Devil’s Host MC: The Complete Series by Shari Slade

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The Devil’s Host MC: The Complete Series
Shari Slade
Publication date: February 12th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Meet the dangerous enforcer of The Devil’s Host MC in this complete bundle!

When a big scary biker shows up at Jimmy’s Diner fifteen minutes before the end of my shift—covered in tattoos and looking at me like I’m on the menu—I should flip the open sign to closed. But I don’t. I’m too used to doing what I’ve been told. Too used to working and struggling and surviving to do anything different. A closed sign wouldn’t stop him anyway. He’s here to collect a debt. And I’m the only one left to pay.

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THE DEVIL’S HOST MC is only 99c for a limited time! Get this “dark, dangerous, and perfectly dirty” bundle while it’s on sale.

EXCERPT:

I can’t process all of him at once. He’s that big. He is scruff and muscle and a white T-shirt tucked into dusty jeans. He looks weathered and road weary, like most of Jimmy’s clientele, but…more. Everything about him is intense. His knife-blade cheekbones. His heavy brows.

His blue eyes flash icy heat, and some animal instinct tells me this man isn’t looking for sass, that if he finds it, he might do something about it, something I won’t like at all.

He’s made himself comfortable in the booth with his leather jacket tossed on the opposite side along with a sleek black helmet. I’m pretty sure there’s a motorcycle parked out front now to match his accessories. If only I’d heard the rev of an engine and the spray of gravel, but I was too busy humming and watching the clock. A warning would’ve been nice. I might have locked the door a few minutes early, even if it did mean Jimmy would dock my pay.

No. I wouldn’t have locked a customer out. But I’d have braced myself better.

His hands are massive and flat on the tabletop. Tattoos crisscross his blunt knuckles, the ink broken by spidery scars. It takes my brain precious seconds to decipher the blue-black loops and whirls as letters.

It’s like he’s put them there for inspection. But not the “clean enough for supper, ma’am?” kind of inspection, the “how much damage do you think these can do?” kind.

A lot of damage. That’s the answer. A lot. Those are knuckles that have been through walls and windows. Flesh and bone.

I want to say we’re closed, but Jimmy’d can my ass for turning away a paying customer. I want to run back to the kitchen and get Harry to tell him to take his business elsewhere, but Harry isn’t any match for this man. And I’m frozen in place anyway. I can’t peel my eyes away from his hands.

I stare harder, and it hits me that the letters over his knuckles form words.

Lost. Soul.

Some fear inside me eases, because that’s almost romantic. Lost souls and lone wolves. Desperadoes. If he were really terrible, he wouldn’t have to advertise. The truly dangerous men blend in.

“Not much of a talker, are you?” he says.

I try for caustic, but the words slip out as half whispers. “Not when I don’t have anything to say.”

He laughs again, only softer this time. More smug. “I can respect that.”

Him respecting anything about me seems like the most ridiculous thing yet. Even sillier than me standing here for long minutes without taking his order. My gaze drifts up his colorful forearms, across his chest, and over the hard pecs I can make out through thin cotton. His neck, corded with muscle and more ink, flexes under my scrutiny.

Everything about him is hard, except for his mouth.

His lips look soft. And pinker than they should be. A sensual mouth, curled into a smile that says I know everything you’re thinking, and yeah you’re exactly right. A smile that says test me, please. A smile that says I’m hungry and you look like cake.

Fuck me. I want to be cake.

 

Author Bio:

My readers are what’s important to me. Yes, I write for myself and the enjoyment of it, but I adore when a reader actually has a great time reading a story I slaved over. I don’t write any particular genre, but I do stick to kick-ass female characters. I love writing about all types of differently strong women. My debut series is Young Adult Science Fiction. The first novella is free to see if you enjoy what I write.

I’m very involved with my fandoms, and love all things geeky and nerdy. I love connecting with my readers, so if you’d like to contact me just head over to my website 🙂

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Clan by Realm Lovejoy

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Clan
Realm Lovejoy
Publication date: November 12th 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

“Highly enjoyable, thought-provoking sci-fi by an author with considerable talent and promise.”–Kirkus Reviews

____

Clans are Unity.

No variation. No deviation.

On Clades, to be a Clan is to be an exact copy. A perfect society cloning themselves to survive, even as the zombielike Frags threaten to overrun them on an unforgiving planet.

Clan 1672 (privately known as Twain) was never supposed to survive the Incubation Tank. But he did. Illegally. He is different from the other Clans.

A secret that could destroy him.

Goodreads / Amazon / Audible

*Now available on audio!*

EXCERPT:

A glitch. Being a glitch was somewhat bearable, but an intentional glitch was not. Twigg had told Father Krume and Brisbane that Twain had been an accident. Twain wanted to believe that he had been locked up because Twigg had wanted to protect him, not because Twigg had wanted to cage him like some sort of sick scientific experiment. All those years he had spent, hidden—agonized by solitude…

“Son.” His sponsor stood at the door. “Mandy reported to me that you’ve thrown away dinner two nights in a row. Don’t tell me you’ve got nausea again.”

Twain eyed his sponsor’s silhouette. “Father, are there other mutants besides us?”

“Why would you ask that?”

“We were wondering—someone mentioned that there were more.”

Twigg eyed him sharply. “Who told you this? I knew the Contribution Center was dangerous for you…”

“We didn’t catch his number.”

“I have never seen another mutant and neither have you. Are you sure you didn’t get the Clan’s number?”

Something about the tone of Twigg’s voice gave Twain the feeling that he shouldn’t talk about it anymore. “We honestly don’t know. We’re all the same after all.”

Author Bio:

Realm Lovejoy is an American writer and an artist. She grew up in both Washington State and the Japanese Alps of Nagano, Japan. Currently she lives in Seattle and works as an artist in the video game industry. CLAN is her first book. You can find out more about her and her book at realmlovejoy.com

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The Tulip Garden (The Contini Cousins #1) by Sarah Mathilde Callaway

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31178817
Interview with the author of The Tulip Garden
Sarah Mathilde Callaway
What inspired you to write a love story?
Since I was a little girl, I’ve always dreamt of writing love stories. That was my only possible destiny. But never would I have dared imagine that I would spend so much of my time so close to the place where the most famous love story of all time unfolded. Every morning, at dawn, I walk by the gate and look at the bronze statue of Juliet, then gaze at her balcony, thinking that love really has no limits.
How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day in Verona? What traditions are there surrounding Valentine’s Day that are specific to Italy?
The atmosphere in Verona during San Valentino is absolutely unique. Verona is among the most visited European cities during the days of the “Verona in Love” festival, when it truly breathes happiness. It’s amazing to see all the people in love, smiling, it’s something that stays with you for a lifetime.
What advice do you give to someone looking for love this Valentine’s Day?
I’d tell them what I’ve told myself throughout my whole life. Love can bring you many shadows, and lead you to very dark places, but you have to keep on shining. This is why I enjoy dressing in bright clothes so I can shine!
What sort of response have you had to your book from the Italian readers?
I don’t really worry that much about what my readers think of my novels. Of course, it’s very gratifying when they write to me to say that they spent the whole night reading my novel, unable to put it down. However, I feel my destiny is not to sit around waiting for people to judge my writing, but to keep building something greater instead.
Why do you think your book would make a romantic and thoughtful gift for your loved one this Valentine’s Day?
This will actually become a reality on Valentine’s Day in Italy since the “Verona in Love” Festival will be gifting novels by Sarah Mathilde Callaway to some of its thousands of international visitors. The English version of The Tulip Garden will be released in paperback on that day, so it will be the perfect gift: like a delicate flower, but passionate, thoughtful and bright, like the book’s cover. The day the English translator received my novel, she also got a bouquet of tulips as a present from a friend. Her friend knew nothing about my book so my translator saw this as destiny.
What’s the formula for a successful romantic novel?
I think it’s the ability of the author to attract the reader into another dimension, letting them feel like they’re living the story themselves. Whatever role or traits of character the protagonist assumes, he needs to penetrate the mind of the reader and conquer him. For me, the success of a novel hangs in the balance between Art, Literature, Scenery, Harmony, Sentiments and Light. Like in a musical composition, the words need to mix to create a melody.
Would you ever write an erotic romantic fiction story?
I’ll be pushing myself to explore new horizons and forms of sensuality in my future novels. I’m not a series writer, so I can try pretty much anything. A few nights ago, I was looking at the bright stars in the sky, and thinking about the Orient and places I’m very attracted to. In that moment, I started envisioning a new literary endeavour around love and sensuality, which I’ll be exploring soon.

 

 
 
The Tulip Garden
Sarah Mathilde Callaway
Genre: Romantic Fiction
Publisher: Reedsy
Publication date: 02/04/17
About The Book:
After receiving an urgent letter from their aging grandmother, Arianna and her cousins, Angelica and Anastasia, return to the Contini estate in the lush countryside near Florence where they spent their childhood summers. Arianna is engaged to a London banker who has put a ring on her finger but doesn’t give her the happiness she desires. When Arianna arrives in Tuscany she rediscovers herself and her forgotten passion for the land. She also encounters true love with Lorenzo, a man who lives his life intensely without worrying about the future.
Lorenzo, a simple farmer working the Contini land, soon finds out that Arianna is Armando Contini’s granddaughter. Their relationship is marred by this discovery and shortly afterwards Lorenzo decides to go to Ireland to take over a run-down farm. The tulip garden becomes Arianna’s refuge. She understands that true love has no bounds and can overcome any obstacle.
The second novel in the Contini Cousins trilogy, ‘Le Rose di Shakespeare’ (Shakespeare’s Roses) will be published in summer 2017, set in Sarah’s city of Verona.
About the Author
Sarah Mathilde Callaway lives in fair Verona, the city perhaps best known for inspiring the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Sarah spends her days taking care of the Lamberti Tower in Verona, the iconic 12th century monument that overlooks the northern Italian city and is the third most visited attraction (after Juliet’s House and the Verona Arena). And she spends her evenings immersed in her passion for writing.
Her love of storytelling and writing began at the age of just 13, when she would draft her own versions of English, Russian and French literature on an old typewriter. She has a degree in writing and, in Italy, is affectionately known as the ‘Writer in the City of Love’.
Sarah adores writing romance, pen in hand and heart afire, while watching the wind ruffling the treetops surrounded by people living out their own love stories in the city that inspired the world’s greatest ever love story.
Sarah is in an unusual position: she is one of very few Italian indie authors to have her book, The Tulip Garden, translated into English and released internationally. She has also written historical and contemporary novels in Italian – so there are plenty more novels ready for translation! Sarah is a member of EWWA (European Writing Women Association) and a member of the RWA (Romance Writers of America).
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Secrets: In Wolf Lake (Secret Series #1) by DK Davis

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33783618Secrets: In Wolf Lake           

Secret Series Book 1

DK Davis

Genre: YA, sci-fi, fantasy

Samantha discovers a gifted creature living in Wolf Lake; now his life depends on her saving him.

Samantha’s dealing with a lot of emotional blow-back from her mother’s new marriage. Then she discovers a gifted creature living in Wolf Lake, and life suddenly becomes all about keeping his existence a secret, earning his trust. That is until his life depends on her saving him. But she won’t be able to do it alone…

A series of secrets, invisible yet glaring, and most include a Supernatural spin, like an unwelcomed sensation sparking every nerve ending. 

Buy it at: Amazon

“This freakin’ rocks!” Lisa zipped by again, spraying diamonds of water all over me. I gripped hard on the rod and stood up to keep the fishing line from snagging onher or the jet-ski. The boat pitched, dipping. I shuffled to regain my balance then turned to give Lisa a piece of my mind. In that nano-secondthe fishing line snapped. I spun around and tumbled nose first over the top of Koko. My rod splashedinto the water in front of me as if I’d thrown it.

Instant coldness prickled through me, but I didn’t want to lose that fishing pole. I dove a little deeper, waiting for the water to settle. The sun illuminated beneath the surface and made it easy to see the rod leaning against a big rock right below me. I swam toward it.

A curl of water slid along my arm as something swam near me. I expected the lunker fish, the big guythat snappedthe fishing line, butinstead, I stared at two round black eyes. I couldn’t look away from its flat green face, the size of a baseball, with small slits for nostrils and a wider slash for its mouth.Shorttubular ears stuck out from each side of its head.Not any kind of fish or amphibian I’d ever seen.

It stared back at me andmoved closer.

When it touched my arm, I screamed.A stream of bubbles flushed out of my mouth, blinding my vision. I pushed off from the huge rock with my feet andfought my way to the surface.

Air, I needed air.

Koko’s paws churned through the water just above me. His nails scratched across my cheek as I surfaced.

“Koko, get back, buddy,” I croaked, sucking in air,and then I nudged him to move back.But I didn’t want him too far away. My mind flashed to the thing beneath the water, greenish body, short arms and legs, and a long lizard-like tail. But those black eyes…the way it stared at me, almost like it had intelligence.

 

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DK Davis writes YA sci-fi, supernatural, and fantasy with a good dollop of all the relationships woven in between. When she’s not writing, editing, or reading, she’s hiking, RV’ing, fishing, spending time with grandchildren or her favorite muse (her husband) in Southwest Michigan.

Twitter – https://twitter.com/DKDavisBooks

FB – https://www.facebook.com/dk.davis.92

Website – http://suda788.wixsite.com/dkdavis

Books We Love Ltd. Author Page –http://www.bookswelove.com/authors/davis-dk/

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Poison, My Pretty by Amity Allen

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32978338Poison My Pretty

Amity Allen

Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery

As soon as Poppy Parker turns 21, the star of a popular TV show about witch detectives discovers she has supernatural powers off the set as well as on. When the show is canceled, she returns home to figure out how to harness the magic brewing inside her.

Freaked out by these recent paranormal gifts, Poppy just wants to fit in, so when she’s asked to serve as a judge for the annual Bloomin’ Belles youth beauty competition she readily agrees.

But when the pageant’s snooty director drops dead and Poppy’s friend is arrested, the former TV sleuth sets out to uncover the real killer, only to find…

the business of beauty can be deadly.

Buy it at: Amazon

Skylar’s twin sister Mads called while I was driving to the convention center. “Are you really going over there? I can’t believe they’re going to continue this pageant.”

“So you heard about the murder?”

“Yeah. Skylar told me last night when she got home. It’s awful.”

“Yes, but you know how it is. The show must go on! Surely you can’t be that surprised.” I was only beginning to understand the importance of these competitions to their participants, and I could picture pageant moms dragging their glitzed-up toddlers over the dead bodies of fallen competitors. The way zombies climbed over each other to get to the top of the pile in movies—only prettier.

“Are they sure it was a murder? She didn’t just have a heart attack or something?” I could hear the anxiety creeping into Mads’ voice, and I didn’t blame her. Our little town was supposed to be safe. Murders didn’t happen here. That was the sort of thing that happened in the city across the bridge, not in our sleepy little bedroom community.

“That’s what they said, Mads, but I don’t think you need to worry. If it was a murder, you can bet it was personal. Certainly not the doin’s of a mad man or a serial killer. If Heather Morgan was murdered, it was by somebody who knew her and had something to gain from her death. This was no a random act of violence.”

 

16080362

 Amity grew up reading every mystery she could get her hands on, burning through everything by Agatha Christie in record time and wanting to be Nancy Drew when she grew up. After writing books in other genres for the past few years, she’s finally come home to her true love – cozy mysteries.

Amity and her husband live in L.A. (lower Alabama) with a houseful of teenagers and a half dozen pets. Besides books, Amity’s favorite things are football, needlepoint, fried shrimp, and sweet tea.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Amity_Allen

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AmityAllen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16080362.Amity_Allen

Sign up for Amity’s Book Club: http://eepurl.com/coqgxX

Text MYSTERY to 24587 for new release alerts.

Tour giveaway $20 Amazon GC

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Bound Souls (Forever Yours #1) by N.D. Jones

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33960714Bound Souls (Forever Yours Book 1)

N.D. Jones

Genre: Science Fiction Romance

Publisher: Kuumba Publishing

A supernatural love triangle that tests the bounds of science, truth, and faith.

Regent Lela of Asiya is the most powerful person on her planet but she is powerless to save the life of her beloved soulmate—Zion Grace. For thirty years they lived as husband and wife, but Zion’s time is at an end. Lela must go on without him.

“There will never be anyone else for me.”

Despite having died, nothing can keep Zion from his soulmate. He’s back but not as the man he once was. Zion must help Lela move on with her life, lest he lose her forever. But how can Zion convince Lela to accept the love and affections of another man when he still wants her for himself?

“I love you, Lela. My heart is forever yours.”

Lela and Zion are bound souls, destined to live eternity together. For these lovers, death is not an end, but a fateful beginning.

This novel includes “The Garden,” a bonus short story.

Download for Free at: Amazon     BN    Kobo     Inkterra     iBooks

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/A5Nb2IdY_gE

Excerpt:

It was true, Zion had only three more years left on his thirty-year life extension. He was tired and felt even more so as the days, weeks, months and years crept by. Zion spared a sidelong glance at his wife, whose head was down, eyes closed and hand still fiercely gripping his own. She wasn’t ready for the ride to end either, yet they both knew it was slowing, preparing to grind to its final halt and he would have to disembark, leaving her behind.

This thing with Ammon had eaten away at Zion for the last several months. Yet Ammon was simply an outlet for his own anger, fear, and depression. He was growing older, his hair thinner and grayer, and his stomach… well, let’s just say he’d had to use the services of a good seamstress over the years. Yet Lela was still as beautiful and fit as when they’d first met.

Zion didn’t begrudge Lela her slow aging or fine, alluring features. In fact, he loved that about her. What did bother him was that other men could see what he saw. Everything about Lela exuded intelligence, grace, dignity, strength, and beauty. Zion learned a long time ago, she could never see herself the way others did, especially men.

While Zion rarely entertained jealous thoughts before or cared much when he caught a male giving Lela an approving look, now he saw nothing but. Under the circumstances, the little signs of masculine appreciation for his beautiful wife enraged him.

“I’m sorry,” Zion spoke into the quiet breach, lifting Lela’s chin with his bruised hand.

Tears flooded her eyes. Even wet, they were still the most stunning eyes he’d ever seen. Picasso marble Zion thought the first time she’d looked at him—a combination of black, brown, gray, and white. Back then, they’d sparkled with intelligence and curiosity, now they glistened with pain. Lela wasn’t ready for this conversation. How could she be?

“No, it’s me who should apologize. I thought you were paranoid, seeing things that didn’t exist.”

“I acted like a jackass, a Neanderthal, damn near dragging you out of the banquet room before the function was over. Hell, I might as well as hoisted you over my shoulder and beat my chest like a caveman.”

He rubbed his thumb across her right cheek, then lips. “You’re an incredible woman, Lela.” Zion paused, nearly biting his tongue on his next words. The ones his selfish heart screamed at him to not utter. “You’ll live for a long time, probably another four or five decades. I only have three years left. For an Asiyan, you’ll be in your prime when I pass on.” His voice cracked when the held tears dropped from his wife’s eyes. She knew where he was going with this, Zion realized.

“You’ll have to go on without me, and I don’t want you to spend the next fifty years by yourself.”

“I won’t be by myself. I’ll have Xavier.” Lela pushed off the bed and moved away from him. She walked to the window, refusing to acknowledge the true meaning of his words.

Zion followed, watching her stern but sad image in the window. Needing to touch and reassure her, he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled Lela to him.

“The thought of another man being this close to you,” Zion whispered, stirring tendrils of her long hair, “makes me want to commit murder. When I heard Ammon offering for you, it took all of my self-control to not take a laser gun to him. The only thing I kept thinking was that he couldn’t have you. That you’re mine and mine alone.”

“Is that why you’ve been so angry these past few months?” She turned in his arms, then rested her head against his resilient shoulder.

“Yes and something else.”

“What else?”

Zion lifted her chin, compelling her to meet his eyes.

“I didn’t want to acknowledge how selfish I was being,” he said, leaning down and placing a warm, soft kiss on her lips. “I want you to be happy in those four or five decades you have left, Lela, but I don’t want you to find happiness in the arms of another man.”

“I have no desire to mate with anyone else, or to take a lover,” she reassured, initiating another kiss, a desperate embrace full of a wife’s integrity and denial. “I can’t imagine being with anyone other than you. I love you, Zion. I could never love another.”

He knew she spoke the truth. He believed her, but she didn’t understand. Zion did. He’d experienced the loss of a spouse.

“When Iman died, a part of me died with her. Like you, I thought there would never be anyone else for me. And that was true for a long time—”

Lela shook her head in protest, not allowing Zion to continue. “Don’t.” A heartbreaking plea. “Don’t say such things. There will never be anyone else for me.”

Zion saw the near panic in her upturned face, her Picasso marble eyes glowing with resolution and despair.

“It’s not the same. It just isn’t.”

It was exactly the same. Yes, what he felt for Iman was different from the love he had for Lela. But it was love all the same. Loving Lela didn’t mean Iman ceased to occupy a special place in his heart and mind. A small, warm piece of her and their life together would always be a part of him. As he would always be a part of Lela, but she couldn’t see it, not now. But someday. Zion didn’t want to think about that and clearly, neither did his wife.

https://js.gleam.io/e.js” target=”_blank”>Tour giveaway: Autographed paperback copy of “Bound Souls” (3 winners, U.S. only)

 

3249098

D. Jones lives in Maryland with her husband and two children. She is the founder of Kuumba Publishing, an art, audiobook, eBook, and paperback company. Kuumba Publishing is a forum for creativity, with a special commitment to promoting and encouraging creative works of authors and artists of African descent.

A desire to see more novels with positive, sexy, and three-dimensional African American characters as soul mates, friends, and lovers, inspired the author to take on the challenge of penning such romantic reads. She is the author of two paranormal romance series: Winged Warriors and Death and Destiny. N.D. likes to read historical and paranormal romance novels, as well as comics and manga.

 

Website: http://www.ndjonesparanormalpleasure.com

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ndjonesparanormalromanceauthor/

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/NDJones

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NDJonesauthor

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ndjones001

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Release Day Blitz: Chameleon by Zoe Kalo

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Chameleon
Zoe Kalo
Genre: YA Gothic/Multicultural
Date of Publication: February 15, 2017
Number of pages: 230
Word Count: 55,000
Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Designs
Book Description:
An isolated convent, a supernatural presence, a dark secret…
17-year-old Paloma only wanted to hold a séance to contact her dead father. She never thought she would be kicked out of school and end up in an isolated convent. Now, all she wants is to be left alone. But slowly, she develops a bond with a group of girls: kind-hearted Maria, insolent Silvy, pathological liar Adelita, and their charismatic leader Rubia.
When, yet again, Paloma holds a séance in the hope of contacting her father, she awakens an entity that has been dormant for years. And then, the body count begins. Someone doesn’t want the secret out…
Are the ghost and Paloma’s suspicions real—or only part of her growing paranoia and delusions?
Excerpt:
I cannot clearly say how I had entered the wood; I was so full of sleep
just at the point where I abandoned the true path.
–Dante Alighieri, Inferno 1.
11-12
Chapter 1
Puerto Rico, 1973
Oak trees dripping with Spanish moss embraced us from both sides, but not enough to shield us from the prison that would be my home for the next seven months. The high stone walls and neo-Gothic bell tower loomed over us as my stepfather drove his Mercedes through the spiked iron gates and into the sloping, curving driveway.  A spider of dread crawled up my back. Prison indeed.  I couldn’t believe it had come to this. The way things had blown out of proportion. I’d only wanted to contact my dead father. Ask his forgiveness.
           
My mother reached for my hand from the front seat without turning around to look at me. I stared at her perfectly polished red nails and the glittery square cut emerald on her ring finger. Her fingers flicked, silently pleading for my attention, but I was frozen inside. Her hand retreated.
I stared at the convent, my eyes studying the pointed arched windows, the worn, age-blackened stones. The place looked haunted. Perfect for my state of mind. What was my mother thinking?
Something moved behind one of the windows. A face. For an instant my pulse raced at the sheer paleness of it, at the two dark holes that made up its eyes.
“What are you looking at?” Sara, my six-year-old half sister, asked.
I pointed. “A girl.”
She followed my line of vision.
“Where?”“There. High up. In the window.”
           
She dipped her head so she could have a better look. “I don’t see anything.”
           
I felt a shiver, but not from the cold. It’s white. It’s watching us.
           
Then the car moved too close to the building, and the face vanished from view. 
           
“Is this your new school, Paloma?” Sara asked.
           
I nodded. Sara was the child, female version of my stepfather. Her bottomless dark eyes, framed by velvety lashes, stared at me with misery. “I don’t like it,” she whispered, grabbing my hand.
           
“It’ll be okay,” I whispered back, and gave her hand a little squeeze.
           
“You promise?”
           
“I promise.”
           
“Well, here we are,” Domenico said in his strong Castilian accent, stopping the car in front of the entrance. He climbed out and opened the door for my mother. Then he proceeded to take out my suitcases from the trunk.
           
My mother was silent. She stepped out like a wooden mannequin, her eyes shimmery with unshed tears.
          
I climbed out, followed by Sara, the gravel crunching under our shoes. The early morning air was cool and a blanket of mist still lingered—not surprising, since the convent was on the outskirts of El Yunque, the island’s rain forest. More Spanish moss hung from the oak trees and rippled in the breeze like long, shivering memories. I could smell the dew on the leaves and the rich perfume of moist earth, redolent of open graves.
           
I glanced at the ominous clouds. “Beautiful morning.”  An ongoing distant hum resonated all around us. One, two beats passed, before it struck me: Waterfall.  Something within me shut down—or exploded, I couldn’t be sure.  I shut my eyes for a second, wiping out memories of chilled water searing my lungs.
          
I repeated the eighth multiplication table in my head. This always helped.
“After you,” Domenico said, interrupting my thoughts.  I wanted to loathe him. Tried to, anyway. I could see what my mother saw in him: a powerfully charismatic, handsome man with the infinite skill to make people do his bidding. My mother, with her small delicate features and petite frame, looked invisible beside him.  A mere spectre. But that was just a façade. I knew better.
           
The big oak door opened and a nun clad in black habit and a wimple came down the steps to greet us.
           
Sara wrapped her arms around my waist. Her gesture both comforted me and heightened my anxiety. Nuns in habit made me think of great black birds. 
           
“Bienvenidos,” the nun said. Like my stepfather, she also had a Castilian accent. “I’m Madre Estela and I’m second in charge to Madre Superiora. You must be Señor and Señora de Aznar.”
           
They exchanged small talk. Madre Estela sounded polite enough, but she didn’t offer to shake hands with my parents, which I found strange. Maybe nuns weren’t allowed to shake hands. I wouldn’t be surprised. I noticed the wedding band on her ring finger. Married to God. Absurd.
           
“You must be Paloma,” she said tonelessly. 
           
“Yes,” I said. Wasn’t it obvious? I didn’t know what else to say.
           
The cross on her chest caught my attention. It had a crucified Christ on it and I noticed the thorns cutting Christ’s forehead, the little drops of blood glistening on His fragile body.
           
“Welcome to our school, Paloma.” Her critical gaze scrutinized my makeup, my tight jeans. “I’ve heard much about you.”  I didn’t miss the hint of cold disapproval in her voice. I wasn’t sure how much my parents had complained about my behavior, but considering I had been kicked out—well, actually, kindly asked to leave—from my previous school in the middle of October, it couldn’t be good.
           
“Are you ready to resume your senior year of high school?” Stress on resume.
           
“I can’t wait,” I said. There was no point in being nice—or pretending to be. That just wasn’t me. I felt miserable and couldn’t hide it. Besides, I could tell from our short exchange that she’d made up her mind not to like me long before meeting me, and I had the sinking feeling that no matter what I said or did, her opinion wouldn’t change. I had already been stamped in her Inquisition book, tagged a criminal. 
           
Madre Estela’s stony eyes moved to Sara. My little sister’s arms clutched my waist even tighter. From the nun’s expression, I could tell she was wondering if I had infected Sara with whatever plague ailed me. She dismissed us and turned back to my mother and stepfather. “Madre Superiora is expecting you in her office.  Let’s not keep her waiting.  Don’t concern yourselves with the suitcases. Someone will come for them shortly.”
           
They thanked her and followed her up the steps.
           
“I don’t want to go in,” Sara said.
“It’ll be okay,” I said. I glanced at the window. I wanted to see the pale face again. But there was nothing.
           
A drop of rain hit my cheek and I wiped it off. Then I held Sara’s hand and together we walked up the steps and through the arched doorway.  I felt my throat closing up.
           
Seven months.
Seven months wasn’t that long, was it? Besides, Thanksgiving break was just around the corner. Six weeks, to be exact. I had already marked my calendar. I couldn’t wait. I would go through the motions, no need to make friends that I’d never see again. When you get close to people, you end up getting hurt.
About the Author:
A certified bookworm and ailurophile, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery. She lives amongst cats and books in Belgium, and is the author of the Cult of the Cat young adult fantasy series and the Retribution novella series for adults.
Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.ZoeKalo.com and receive her exclusive short story “Arkalla.”
Website and blog: www.ZoeKalo.com

 

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Kinky Sex Magic by Kailee Reese Samuels

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Kinky Sex Magic
Kailee Reese Samuels
Publication date: February 14th 2017
Genres: Erotica, Romance

Sex is sex. Love is love.

When Sal Raniero is contracted to find incriminating information on his former Mistress, the only payment he requests is the whereabouts of his best friend Iris Kettles. The friendship by day twists and turns into a turbulent love, but at night she craves his seduction.

Like a rogue eclipsed in the shadows, he stands guard, ready to attack. He’s following Iris, watching her eat and sleep, flirt and f@#k. Protecting and stalking, Sal keeps his submissive safe.

Fearing never deserving or earning his love and respect, Iris accepts her fate. She cannot let go with Sal. So she runs, unable to stop and face the truth in Sal’s eyes. His love unequal, he will always be there, chasing her down with relentless devotion. Pushing further away, Iris enters a dangerous game, confronting the men who want to hurt her body and hating herself for knowing the Master she truly needs to completely surrender.

KINKY SEX MAGIC is an author’s cut of select scenes from the novel Juliet. Kinky Sex Magic is new material unavailable in Juliet.

KAILEE REESE SAMUELS writes romantic suspense with an erotic flair. Let her words whisk you away, escaping with delicious guys, toe-curling kisses, and addictive stories.

WARNING: This book contains graphic BDSM, strong sexual situations, and explicit language. Contents intended for MATURE readers 18+ ONLY.

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EXCERPT:

The Texas sun glared down in early June, unforgiving and tanning Sal’s already dark complexion an even deeper shade of sexy.

He always made a point of thoroughly cleaning Serene’s stables twice a year in June and December. His dedicated routine of daily chores helped make it easier, but it didn’t change the heat.

Emptying the stable at six in the morning, Sal worked the better part of the day, stopping to answer Serene’s business line, a call from Jack, and another interruption by Zoe, slowing him down to the point of frustration. Hot, sweaty, and filthy, Sal paced on the phone. With all the distractions, the clean-up took too damn long.

He picked up the call for a longtime client of Serene’s, wanting to schedule her for a week in Florida after the Fourth of July. As always, Sal handled the call professionally without any hint of his personal struggles.

Jack called to ask Sal if he’d like to go to Houston early Friday morning. He had a consultation with a colleague for plastics work on a patient and a gala art reception Saturday night. It hadn’t been unusual for Jack to grab the young version of himself, hightailing it away for a few days. Typically, that involved Jack’s sports boat, fishing, and copious amounts of beer, but a classy weekend would work, too.

Sal never knew who he might meet when they went out dressed to kill. Those rich little bitches loved him, and well, he didn’t mind their money. Spending a night with an over-middle-aged-trying-to-be-twenty-something poshed-up, plastic doll was never a bad time.

Sure, there were things he would rather be doing, but work was work—his talents and body provided a privileged life. Sal never bit the hand that fed—unless she asked and paid for the service.

When Zoe brought him a bottle filled with ice cold tea, Sal knew she had ulterior motives, a sweet inquisition about his latest little flirtation with her new friend, Iris. She flipped a five-gallon bucket over, plopping her ass down. The questions turned into an interrogation, but Sal knew her curiousness translated into caring. Zoe acted like his baby sister, and it would have been odd for her not to say something, especially considering Sal nor Iris could seem to keep their eyes off one another.

Zoe pointed out, “She’s been gone almost a full week, and you haven’t said a word.”

Sal moved small bales of hay, feed, and gear back into the straightened stable. Opening the bottle, he took a long swig as his arm muscles flecked in dirt and shimmered with sweat. Wearing ripped jeans with his rugged, worn belt, boots, and now stained, white tank top, he looked hot.

Zoe knew he showed up many a woman’s dream, but to her—Sal held the role of her older, very protective brother. Her bro who developed quite a crush on one Ms. Iris Kettles.

Wiping his mouth off with a bandanna, he shoved it in his back pocket. “Z, you know girl… She’s just another applicant to Juliet. Iris is nothing special.”

Zoe stood up, ready to fight. “Bullshit, Salvatore! You and I both know she’s not just another notch in your well-punched up belt. I saw the way you were looking at each other. There is something special there.”

“Heh.” Sal shook his head, taking another swig of the tea. “Okay, I concede there may be an attraction, but there isn’t much I can do about it.”

“You’ve been with her,” Zoe declared.

Sal shot Zoe a flabbergasted look of—who me?—like she caught him with his hand in the cookie jar. A slight blush rose up on his sweaty, grinning face.

“I have done no such thing,” he said, smirking and trying to evade the issue. Sal knew he couldn’t deny it. His thoughts raced back to the hotel. After Kate removed his collar, Sal held Iris in his arms after a serious heavy petting session. He decided not lie to Zoe.

“I may have stained her Midsummer dress… Just a little,” he proudly snarled.

“You are so bad.” Zoe laughed.

“I am not bad. I am just trouble, and ya, particularly with Iris. I do have a thing for her—a big fucking thing—I can do nothing about. She’s not looking for a boyfriend, Z. She’s looking to find out who she is, and I am not going to be the one to stand in her way,” Sal argued.

His phone went off in his back pocket, the simple message from Ella.

“Kaiser’s tonight.”

Taking a deep breath, he looked at Zoe, scowling at the phone and him.

“I know something is up with that message, too. And I think you better be careful, babe. There are a lot of murky, gray puddles in the land of Juliet. Don’t you go get yourself stuck in the mud now. If anyone hurts you, I swear to the heavens above—I will kill someone,” Zoe threatened.

“I’ll be good,” he said, finishing his tea. “Good, but trouble,” he flirted with a wink.

 

Author Bio:

Embracing diversity. Coffee addict. Mango lover. Blueberry fetishist. Sweet peach tea crazy. Red wine devout. Whiskey deviant. Tattooed & pierced. Loves shoes. Collects rosaries. Fanatical organizer/cleaner/list-maker. Never sleeps. Hermit and recluse.

Storyteller.

KAILEE REESE SAMUELS has been spinning tales since she can remember. Her books are contemporary fiction with a no-holds-barred attitude. She adores listening to her characters ramble and putting them into situations that push the boundaries.

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Love Story (Love Unexpectedly #3) by Lauren Layne

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Love Story
Lauren Layne
(Love Unexpectedly #3)
Publication date: February 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love in this charming rom-com—a standalone novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Good Girl.

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

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EXCERPT:

“Spock, we’re giving you Horny!” my mom blurts out, apparently fed up with my denseness.

Her utterance is too much for my siblings to handle and they both burst out laughing, retreating into the kitchen to rejoin the party where there’s wine.

Oh what I wouldn’t give for wine right now.

“I, um . . . you’re giving me the car?” I ask.

“Because yours broke down,” my dad explains, walking forward to thump Horny’s dented hood.

“And this one’s . . . not broken down?” I ask skeptically.

Look, it’s not that I’m not grateful. My parents are trying to give me a car, I appreciate the sweetness of the gesture, it’s just . . .

Here’s the thing about Horny: he barely got us three kids through high school. I mean, Horny is the car that sputtered and shook making it the 3.2 miles to Jefferson High, no matter who was behind the wheel.

I’m even going to come all the way clean here and say that early on in my freshmen year, I was embarrassed showing up in Horny. Then I realized I was lucky to have a car at all, and well . . . I dunno, I guess Horny became a part of us Hawkins kids’ charm, because the station wagon was practically an institution from Craig’s high school reign all the way through Brandi’s.

But poor Horny quit working years ago. Much to Brandi’s chagrin, he gave up the ghost a mere two months before her high school graduation, and I spent the last bit of her senior year being picked up by my parents.

“He’s going to take you to California,” Dad says, giving the car another thump.

“Really?” I step forward and run a tentative finger along the familiar panel. He’s had a bath, so at least that’s something. “Because last I knew, he wouldn’t even make it out of the garage.”

“Yeah, well, we neglected him for a while, but he’s right as rain now,” Dad says, puffing out his chest as though Horny’s a fourth child.

“Like, as in he actually starts?”

“Purrs like a kitten,” my mom says with an emphatic nod, even though I know she doesn’t even like cats. “We didn’t believe it, but we took him to church on Sunday and there were no issues.”

I literally bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that this is hardly a feat. Sacred Presbyterian is 0.8 miles away from the house.

“You took Horny into a shop?” I ask, starting to warm to the idea of having a car again. I’m a little touched, actually. Money is tight for my parents. Dad’s a PE teacher, and Mom gives a mean winery tour, but the gig’s never paid much.

“Not exactly, it was more of a bartering situation,” Mom says.

“Yeah?” I say, going around to the driver’s seat, already giddy with the prospect of telling Oscar I’ll be able to come see him in Miami after all, even if I won’t exactly be riding in style.

“Reece agreed to fix him up.”

I’m lowering myself into the car as my dad says this, but I reverse so quickly I hit my head. My skull doesn’t even register the pain, because I’m too busy registering the hurt in my heart at the familiar name. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Reece,” my mom says, giving me a bemused look. “He’s always been handy with cars.”

“He fixed up the car in exchange for what?”

And then I feel—I actually feel—the air change around me as the side door to the garage opens, and a new presence sucks all the air out of the space.

I don’t turn around. I don’t move. But I feel his eyes on me. Over me.

“Reece is headed out to California too,” my oblivious mother chatters on. “It worked out perfectly actually. Now you two can ride together, and your dad and I don’t have to worry about you alone in the middle of nowhere with a twenty-something-year-old car.

They think the car is going to be the problem here? It’s not the car that’s toxic to me. It’s him.

Reece Sullivan. My brother’s best friend. My parents’ “other son.”

Slowly I force myself to turn, and even though I’m prepped, the force of that ice-blue gaze still does something dangerous to me.

He winks, quick and cocky, and I suck in a breath, and I have to wonder . . .

I wonder if my parents would feel differently about their little plan if they knew that their makeshift mechanic is the same guy that popped my cherry six years earlier under their very roof.

And then broke my heart twenty-four hours later.

 

Author Bio:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren lived in Seattle with a cushy job in e-commerce/web-marketing. On a whim, she quit her job and moved to NYC to pursue a writing career. A year later, she had an agent and two publishing contracts.

She now lives in midtown Manattan where she writes full time, although has been known to be lured away from the computer by a well-made cocktail.

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Obsidian Sky (Dark Sky #3) by Amy Braun

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Obsidian Sky
Amy Braun
(Dark Sky #3)
Publication date: February 7th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult

The final struggle against the Hellions has arrived. A trapped engineer and a desperate marauder scramble to fight an enemy with unspeakable power on its side. Time is running out, and one world will be destroyed…

After sacrificing herself to save the lives of her friends and family, Claire Abernathy struggles to outwit her Hellion captors. They torment and terrify her into working on a weapon with the sole purpose of obliterating the world, friends, and love she has struggled to save. If Claire has any chance of saving those she loves, she must delve deeper into the Hellion world, and witness nightmares she could never imagine.

In Westraven, Sawyer Kendric is desperate to find the woman he loves. To do so, he must finally embrace his family’s atrocious past and heal the wounds it has caused. He will be forced to make new allies, uncover secrets that change all he knows, and find the courage to lead a ragtag crew into the darkest, deadliest battle of their lives.

Claire and Sawyer fight to save their broken world in the final installment of the epic DARK SKY trilogy.

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Previous books in the series:

28260225 29963541

 

Author Bio:

Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She is the recipient of April Moon Books Editor Award for “author voice, world-building and general bad-assery,” and the One Book Two Standout Award in 2015 for her Cursed trilogy. She has been featured on various author blogs and publishing websites, and is an active member of the Writing GIAM and Weekend Writing Warrior communities. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.

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