Friday, May 20, 2022

This week's interesting read... Mermaid of Paris

Mermaid of Paris
Jincey Lumpkin
(Mermaid of Venice, #4)
Publication date: May 16th 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

The latest action-packed installment in the Mermaid of Venice series finds Gia Acquaviva, the world’s most famous mermaid, reconnecting with a mysterious man from her past. Will he punish Gia and get the revenge he deserves––or will they fall in love all over again?

Meanwhile, Gia attempts to rebuild her broken business empire just as the Mermaid world descends into a bitter and dangerous civil war. Gia already picked her allies, but will she make good on her promises––or will she cut sail when the winds shift?

Fans of Killing Eve and Fifty Shades of Grey will love the Mermaid of Venice series. These page-turning thrillers have lush fantasy elements and showcase the billionaire lifestyle that you secretly covet.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

When Florent’s jet landed and he exited the plane, Moussa led his people in a round of applause. After much embracing, Moussa escorted Florent onto Gia’s plane.

Florent wore a sweater, just like the last time she’d seen him, several months ago. He carried a Domenico Vacca alligator duffle—a custom bag that cost him no less than eighty grand.

Bon soir, Gia,” Florent said, lowering his head to nod hello. “These days you can’t seem to stay out of trouble, can you?”

Gia wanted to gain the upper hand, to throw him a little, so she gingerly pulled the cashmere blanket off her chest—exposing her breasts—and moved Serena to the other side to continue her feeding.

The plan worked. Florent was transfixed.

“I would get up,” Gia whispered, “but as you see, I am dealing with a hungry baby.”

Florent’s eyes flashed, and in that blaze echoed a multitude of memories, unrealized dreams and resentments. Over the years he had fantasized about everything from embedding himself back in Gia’s life and marrying her, to strangling her and tossing her in the ocean. And now, here she was right in front of him, chest exposed, the very picture of radiant motherhood combined with unfettered sexuality. It was difficult for him to reconcile this scene with what he knew to be true about her—her killer instinct, to be specific. After all, he had the scar to prove just how dark her true impulses were.

Moussa shifted from one foot to the other and swallowed hard as he watched the pair before him. He offered a brief, “ahem,” and broke the awkward silence. “Bisset, how long before we leave for the port?”

“I have a fleet of trucks coming in half an hour,” Florent replied, finally tearing his eyes away from Gia.

“Then I have some work to do to get everyone ready.” Moussa bowed at Florent before heading down to wrangle the merfolk, happy to leave the plane.

When Moussa was gone, Florent sat across from Gia, trying not to fidget. He wanted to telegraph an air of cool serenity. Gia, of course, didn’t buy it.

“Why are you here, Florent?”

“I want to help. Am I not a gentleman, Gia?”

“I never knew you to be one, no.”

“Then you don’t know me.”

Gia studied his face, narrowing her eyes. “I find it odd that you harbor an impulse to help in any circumstance that involves me.”

Florent smirked. “Oh, but you see, Gia, I’ve been waiting for the moment you need me the most. I have been watching and waiting for a very long time. What luck,” he commented, raising his eyebrows. “It appears that the moment I anticipated has finally arrived.”

Author Bio:

JINCEY LUMPKIN is a writer and creative director in Luxury Beauty. She is the author of the Mermaid of Venice fantasy thriller series. Recognized as a thought leader on women and culture, Jincey has written more than 50 columns for the Huffington Post and Playboy. She headlined Sex Week at Harvard and gave an infamous TEDx talk, “Are Robots the Future of Sex?” She has been profiled by Dateline NBC, Vice, and GQ, among others. Out Magazine listed her in its "OUT 100", naming her as one of the world's most influential LGBTQ+ people, alongside celebrities like Laverne Cox and Ricky Martin.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter


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Thursday, May 12, 2022

This week's Interesting Read... XPRESSO BLITZ introduces Sirens and Leviathans

Sirens and Leviathans
C.D. Britt
(The Reign of Goddesses, #2)
Publication date: May 10th 2022
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Goddess of the sea
Head of the Zephyr Maritime Administration.
Spymaster.

Amphitrite has always lived in the shadows of her sisters, but the shadows are where she does her best work. Living two lives was always easy enough for the Goddess; from being a pirate ship captain chasing secrets instead of gold to an upstanding government official. She has worked alongside her spies and sirens for centuries, guarding both the sea and Halcyon.

But a war has started against the Titans, and the darkness taking over the sea is now more than she can handle alone.

West Murphy has been the golden heir all his life, making selfish choices and surrounding himself with disposable people. That was until the night an act of violence forever changed his life. Now, feeling betrayed by everyone he knows, he considers himself a hollow shell of a man with no true purpose.

Until a tsunami changes the tides of his fate forever.

Sirens and Leviathans is the second book in the Reign of Goddesses series.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Amphitrite stepped off the gangplank and steadied herself against the sway of the ship as waves met the hull. She looked around the deck, where her ladies were well into the process of commandeering the large vessel.

She took a deep, fortifying breath of crisp ocean air. The salty breeze revitalized her in a way nothing else could. They were still far from shore, a fact belied by the lack of birds calling out to her. She’d have enough time to handle her business here and move on before the human ships found her.

The pirates, having been rounded up by her crew, were on their knees with their wrists tied behind their backs.

Good. This was going to be easier than she thought.

The captives’ dark eyes watched them with a combination of anger and shock. Another perk of a ship full of female pirates. Men never knew what to do when faced with her crew. Did they fight the lady as they did a man? That moment of hesitation was all she and her girls needed.

Her first mate moved to stand beside her and, without prompting, gave her the lay of the land.

“A dozen men here. Twenty men, including the captain, are being held below decks.” Her first mate paused and ground her teeth. “And thirty-two in cargo.”

Amphitrite almost choked.

“Thirty-two?” She tried not to let her voice rise, but she was having difficulty. Thirty-two women sat in the ship’s hull, terrified, not knowing that their future meant being sold into a slave trade where the price was innocence and flesh.

“Yes,” she confirmed. “They are in a horrendous state. This lot,” she motioned to the men bound in front of them, “is lucky I didn’t separate their heads from their necks when I found them.”

The cadence of her first mate’s normally calm voice broke, telling Amphitrite all she needed to know about how to handle this.

“Take me to the captain,” she ordered. “Hold the men here. We will let our friends of the sea handle them soon enough and I don’t want to miss that.” She let a devious smirk cross her face as the men tied in ropes visibly paled at her reference to ‘friends of the sea’.

Oh, they knew. All the better.

Her first mate led her across the deck. As she turned toward the ship’s living quarters, she heard the tell-tale grunts of her crew taking their anger out on the newly captured men. She did not begrudge them, not if what she was walking into was anything close to what she imagined.

They stopped in front of an ornately carved door, the rich wood mismatched from the rest of the battered ship, and she knew immediately a pretentious bastard waited behind it. Her hand twitched toward her cutlass, but perhaps it was better to let him think her weaker, less able to handle herself in his presence.

Amphitrite was good at misleading people. That was what made her the best spymaster on the high seas. She was unremarkable when compared to her sisters; Persephone and Hera. She could fall back into the shadows, and she knew how to stay there. Even her sisters were ignorant of the network she’d amassed over the years and her role at its head. When her spies went to Hera with information, Amphitrite often wondered if she even questioned who’d accumulated those jewels of intelligence for her. How would that thunderous sister of hers react if she knew the truth? That she spent her days as a pirate, hunting for a treasure much greater than gold: secrets.

She stepped through the ridiculous door, her first mate following behind her, and stood before a fat, bearded man. He was strapped to his seat in the center of the small chamber. A sneer pinched his bloated face when she entered.

Amphitrite knew what he saw. A petite woman in scandalous trousers and a leather corset tied over her undersleeves. A dark blue coat large enough to suit a man twice her size. A tricorn hat with a bold feather. A gleaming cutlass. Wild red hair barely constrained in a wind-swept braid.

A menace.

A pirate queen.

The bane of his existence.

“Sea witch,” he growled, straining against his bonds.

Amphitrite shrugged. “Sea witch. Water witch. It matters not what you call me.”

The captain glowered.

“You searched him?” she questioned her first mate.

“Sadly, yes. The disgusting things I do for you…” she muttered.

Amphitrite gave her a wink and assessed the briny captain coolly.

Oh, how the tables have turned.

“And whom may I presume you are?” She smiled, but it was all teeth.

He spat on the floor near her feet. Neither she nor her first mate flinched.

“Ah!” Amphitrite held up a hand. “My apologies! I haven’t properly introduced you to my first mate! A thorough search without a name. Where are my manners?”

The woman stepped forward and Amphitrite watched the man’s weariness grow at the sight of the honey eyes and skin, the dark hair braided with colorful beads from around the world. She could have been a siren had she not been born mortal.

“Captain,” she said with flourish. “This is Medusa.”

The man jerked against the rope holding him to the chair, his eyes bulging with fear.

Amphitrite smirked at her friend. “Your reputation precedes you!”

Medusa’s beautiful face held no smile. “As it should.” Her flinty gaze was trained on the captain, who trembled violently.

“Honestly, I did not receive that same reaction.” Amphitrite pouted.

“You hide the nightmares in you. I let mine free.”

Author Bio:

C.D. Britt began her writing journey when her husband told her she needed to use her excessive imagination to write stories as opposed to creating a daily narrative for him. Ever since she penned her first words, life has been a lot more peaceful for him.

She currently resides in Texas where she has yet to adapt to the heat. Her husband thrives in it, so unfortunately they will not be relocating to colder climates anytime soon.

Their two young children would honestly complain either way.

When she is not in her writing cave (hiding from the sun), she enjoys ignoring the world as much as her children will allow with a good book, music, and vast amounts of coffee (until it’s time for wine).

C.D. Britt is the author of Shadows and Vines and the upcoming book, Sirens and Leviathans.

Both books are part of the Reign of Goddesses series.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter / Pinterest


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Thursday, May 5, 2022

This week's interesting read.

Kiss of Darkness
Taylor Aston White
(Curse of the Guardians, #1)
Publication date: May 5th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

He despises her… almost as much as his beast craves her.

Kyra’s seen and survived the worst things imaginable, all because of the magic she was born with. Trapped by her secret, she has no choice but to serve Councilman Gallagher or risk everything she has tried so hard to build. Because despite black magic being banned, her very survival depends on it.

When she’s commanded to summon a Daemon, a Breed notorious for their corruption and brutality, she’s torn between keeping her secret and doing the right thing.

Xander’s hate for black witches was notorious, but nothing frustrated him more than the one witch that brings trouble with a capital T. With dark amber eyes, and a controlled strength that fascinated his beast – the monster he’s cursed to share a soul – Xander will do anything to push her away.

So when he’s forced into protecting her, he must put aside his prejudice and ignore his growing desire that’s an insult to his past.

Because he’s had an entire childhood to remember why you can’t trust black witches.

And he definitely can’t trust Kyra Farzan.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“Little girls shouldn’t be here.” A hand struck out, carefully circling her wrist with enough pressure to stop her, but not enough to hurt.

Kyra paused, the coin at the edge of the slot. She looked up, and Xander removed his sunglasses.

“That’s a rude comment,” she said, trying to tug from his grasp.

His mouth twisted, pale eyes narrowed as he released her wrist, only to grip her jaw. He angled her face against the light, her lip stinging when she frowned.

“What are you doing here, Kyra?” His white silver hair, just long enough to cover his unusually dark brows moved across his forehead, partially concealing his expression.

“Minding my own business!” she snapped, but the steel behind her reply lessened when she met his eyes, and flinched. “Don’t touch me.” The words came out quiet, desperate. His eyes had been blue, she was sure of it, yet she could see her own reflection in his irises made from a liquid silver.

His fingers opened, and she stumbled back, breathing heavily. She needed to get out of there before she suffered a full panic attack. Xander was just too much, his gaze too direct as she tried to look anywhere but him.

“Black witch,” he grunted, as if she were tainted.

Which she wasn’t, but she couldn’t explain why he was wrong. He wouldn’t care either way, his opinion on her already set in stone, and had been since they first met. Black witches were seen as evil because of their ability to gain power from death, and while many embraced that sordid side of magic it didn’t mean they were all evil. It did, however, make them illegal.

Ignoring him, or at least trying to as he seemed to press himself closer, always pushing her boundaries, she inserted the Ravyn into the slot, the portal opening with a flash of light. He said nothing as she stepped through, the package hugged tight to her chest, and as soon as the portal closed behind her she released a sigh of relief.

Author Bio:

Taylor Aston White loves to explore mythology and European faerie tales to create her own, modern magic world. She collects crystals, house plants and dark lipstick, and has two young children who like to 'help' with her writing by slamming their hands across the keyboard.

After working several uncreative jobs and one super creative one, she decided to become a full-time author and now spends the majority of her time between her children and writing the weird and wonderful stories that pop into her head.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub


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Sunday, May 1, 2022

Meet El Segador...

 


They call me The Reaper. But when my woman tells me she's dying there’s no way I’m gonna let that happen.

Want a little taste of Shadow?


 “Look,” Venus said, her voice barely above a whisper. Had he not been so close to her, Shadow wasn’t sure he’d have heard her. “There she is.” The woman looked proud as a motherfucker. Her smile was carnivorously, viciously gleeful. Shadow couldn’t blame her. “My little sister, Lyudmila.”

“Handful of a name,” Shadow commented as he sized the girl up.

“Handful of a girl.” Venus grinned. “Always was. I called her Millie just to piss her off, but it stuck.”

The man they carried out of the ring wasn’t as big as Shadow, but he was just as muscular. That wasn’t the issue, though. The woman who’d fought him stood in the corner of the ring, braced on one hand against the turnbuckle, her hip cocked. She had short-cropped hair dyed in several shades of blue from a pale turquoise to nearly black. In her other hand, she had a joint she pulled from occasionally while they cleaned up the mess behind her. And she might have been five feet tall. Maybe. If she were in heels.

Shadow felt his face split into a big grin. “Wee little thing.”

“Don’t let size fool you. She packs punch.” Venus couldn’t sound prouder.

The little thing wore a black vest and black pants. Both looked to be leather. Both were studded with silver spikes at the seams and around her waist. Matching black wristbands accompanied the vest and pants, as well as a studded dog collar. She wore dark makeup over her pale skin so that around her eyes was blackened, and her cheeks were highlighted in a very dark blue that matched her lipstick. Rounding up the outfit were thick black boots. All in all, very Gothic. With that outfit, Shadow expected loads of piercings and tats but saw none. Not even a piercing in her delicate earlobes. The closer he got, the more she appealed to him. He couldn’t help but grin.

“I think I’m in love with your sister, Venus. Just throwing that out there.”

Venus chuckled, but there was no humor in the sound. “Good luck with that.”

BUY