Thursday, June 23, 2022

This week's Interesting Read... from Cynthia Sax

Provoking Odium
Cynthia Sax
(Cyborg Unity, #1)
Publication date: June 21st 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction

A Beautiful Cyborg

While accompanying his leader on a mission, Odium, an E Model cyborg, hears a distress call over the communication lines. The voice on that message makes his circuits surge with energy and all his systems light up. He has to respond to the mysterious female, would risk his lifespan and the lifespans of everyone on board their ship to protect her.

A Human Female Others Call Beast

Briella gained her nickname due to her flying abilities, her fearlessness, and her scarred countenance. Her verbal-only relationship with the sexy cyborg who answers her distress call is a steamy yet short-lived fantasy. His kind is physically perfect, and she is…not. He will uncover that truth when…if they survive the attack upon her freighter.
***
Provoking Odium is a STANDALONE Cyborg SciFi Romance set in a dark, gritty, sometimes-violent universe.
It features a human female intent on remaining mysterious, a cyborg warrior determined to uncover her identity, and an enemy seeking to destroy them both before they have the opportunity to meet.

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EXCERPT:

Briella should leave now, before Mohini and Odium met. Seeing the two of them together would tear her soul apart.

But then the doors opened, and the toes of two huge black boots became visible.

She lifted her gaze and her breath caught. That footwear was attached to an equally large male.

Odium was built like the warrior he was. The body armor barely contained his muscular form. Well-maintained weapons decorated the garment. His stance was strong. His hips were narrow. His shoulders were wide.

Desire hit Briella like a missile, almost knocking her over.

She’d researched E Models, had seen some of his kind on Mercury Minor, and she believed she knew what to expect.

But her overly active imagination had fallen far short of envisioning Odium. His hair was the blackest black. His skin was gray. Not one scar marred his countenance. His eyes were dark.

His face. Stars. His face.

All the cyborgs she’d met had been handsome. Odium, however, was Mohini-levels of beautiful. He was that exquisite female’s physical match.

Briella’s desolation escalated. She took a step backward.

Odium’s nostrils flared. He turned his head, gazed directly at her.

She froze in place. That was impossible. There were hundreds of beings stationed between them. He must merely be looking in her direction.

Seeking to test that theory, she shifted to the right.

His gaze tracked her.

Her warrior had somehow located her in the crowd.

Briella’s palms dampened. Her stomach knotted.

Others sought to speak to Odium. He didn’t look at those beings. His focus was on her.

It was heady, exciting, worrisome. She brushed her fingers over her goggles. They were in place, so her eyes were hidden.

He saw her scars. Those couldn’t be concealed.

But he couldn’t view the worst of her disfigurements, the part of her that had evoked fear and hatred in her kind, that made the toughest of warriors avoid her.

She could endure his perusal, could stand her ground and—

Mohini approached Odium.

His gaze flicked toward the female.

Her friend was impossible for any male to ignore. And her cyborg was certainly a male. He vibrated with vitality, with power.

Briella wanted him with every cell in her body.

Mohini appeared as enthralled with Odium. Her eyes glowed with interest. Her lips moved. Her friend’s words were too softly spoken for Briella to hear.

But she could imagine what was being said, and every flirtatious comment, every glance, every movement was a dagger stuck deep into her face. The pain, the torment lashed her again and again.

It was unbearable. Panic filled her. She couldn’t do this, couldn’t stand by passively and watch her friend seduce the male she wanted. That was beyond her capabilities.

She turned away from them and ran.


Author Bio:

For updates on characters and for very bad jokes, sign up for Cynthia's monthly newsletter at http://cynthiasax.com

USA Today Bestselling author Cynthia Sax is currently writing cyborg and alien romances with high heat levels. These stories are set in a shared dark, gritty, sometimes violent world. There is always a romantic happy ending between the main characters and this happy ending is FOREVER. But everyone else is in danger.

Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of... top ten lists.

She loves writing fated to mate or instalove romances as this is her personal experience with love. She fell in love with her Dear Wonderful Hubby at first sight and 25 plus years later, they're still very much in love. This is what she wishes for her characters and for her readers.

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Thursday, June 16, 2022

Interesting Reads for Thursday

Into the Lion’s Den
A.S. Green
(Secrets of the Northland Shifters, #1)
Publication date: June 15th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

It’s not just Shifters who lurk in the shadows.

Mountain lion shifter Reese Fitzpatrick never expected to be running his father’s business–a luxury resort hidden away in Minnesota’s Northland. But when his father is killed by a hunter’s bullet, it’s up to Reese to keep his father’s legacy alive.

The job would be hard enough without the arrival of Sarah McAvoy, a mysterious woman with secrets of her own.

While she quickly has Reese’s mountain lion purring inside his skin, she’s also such an irritating distraction he wants nothing more than to snarl and bite her.

But Reese has more to worry about than an accidental reveal of his animal nature.

If he and Sarah can’t get past their differences, overcome the slow-burn of their sexual tension, and make the summer a financial success, the Fitzpatrick land could soon be covered in parking lots and strip malls.

Turns out, Reese’s father wasn’t the competent businessman he always believed him to be. And those vulture real estate developers are already hovering. Just waiting for Reese to fall.

That is, if the hunter who killed his father doesn’t return to get him first.

Fans of K.F. Breene and Kresley Cole will love this hot paranormal shifter romance!

Goodreads / Amazon

Only 99 cents for a limited time!

EXCERPT:

A growl rumbled through the air, coming from outside the barn wall. An icy trickle of fear slid through my veins, and the hair on my arms stood at attention, even under the warmth of my sweater.

I held my breath as paralysis locked my legs. I had to be imagining it.

But the growl rumbled through the wall again, low and ominous.

“Please, go away,” I whispered to whatever was out there. “Please, go away.”

Wild animals were supposed to shy away from humans, right? It wouldn’t come near me unless it was provoked. And I hadn’t done anything to provoke it.

Unless… Unless it called this abandoned barn its home?

Shit. I needed to get out of here. But I was too afraid to move. And even if I could run, that might only make things worse.

Slowly, I pulled my phone from my pocket and hit Reese’s number. After our argument and my declaration that I didn’t need his help, this call would be humbling. He’d probably call me a city girl and tell me I didn’t belong up here. But at least he’d have the necessary information to later find my body.

Reese didn’t pick up. Instead, I got his voicemail. When I heard the beep, I closed my eyes and whispered, “Reese. Help. I’m in an old barn not far from the lodge.”

A low, menacing growl responded from just outside, and through the cracks in the barn wall I could see a large tawny animal prowling along the exterior.

I whimpered, walking backward toward the farthest right corner of the barn. My shoulder ran into a prickly bale of straw. There were two stacked on top of each other, and I ran around behind them, crouching low.

I sat with my back to the bales, facing the rear wall of the barn and drawing my knees to my chest.

I wrapped my arms around my legs and said a little prayer.

But it was too little too late. The animal was inside the barn. Its rumbling growl was louder now, and I felt rather than heard the whispery vibration of large paws slowly stalking across the wooden floor.

Sunlight streamed through the open barn door and projected the shadow of an enormous mountain lion against the back wall. Perhaps the shadow was distorted, but it looked to be unnaturally large—maybe four feet high at the shoulder.

Its tail twitched, and it turned its head in my direction.

Oh god. I closed my eyes and laced my hands behind my head, curling into an even tighter ball.

More soft footfalls.

It was now on the opposite side of my hiding place, and it rubbed the length of its body against the bales of straw, putting a heavy pressure against my back.

I squeezed my eyes closed as I sensed it round the end of the barrier, then the beast’s breath brushed against my cheek.

My whole body trembled and I swallowed my scream as a warm tongue rasped the length of my neck.


Author Bio:

USA Today bestselling author A.S. Green lives in chilly Minnesota and spends the all-too-short summers on Lake Superior, which is the muse for her paranormal and contemporary romances. She writes complex characters, action-packed plots, and snarky in-your-face banter. And, of course, loads of steamy love scenes.

When she's not writing romance, she's probably watching Outlander or pleading (unsuccessfully) with her husband to don the kilt she bought him last summer.

You can find her on most social platforms at @asgreenbooks. For the latest news - and to get your hands on exclusive content - subscribe to A.S. Green's newsletter today (asgreenbooks.com)!

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Saturday, June 11, 2022

Shadow needs your help!

AllAuthor

Cover of the Month

Shadow (Bones MC 10): A Bones MC Romance

Hey Everyone,
I’m excited to tell you that my book has been nominated for the "Cover of the Month" contest on AllAuthor.com. This will help me a lot if I could see some votes coming in, so please remember to vote my book.
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Marteeka Karland

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Interesting Read Thursday... Born in Blood by Emma R. Dean

Born in Blood
Emma R. Dean
(Syndicate of Blood and Chaos, #1)
Publication date: June 3rd 2022
Genres: Adult, Mafia, Reverse Harem, Romance

All they had to do was accept her deal and Shadow would give them everything they could ever want.

Despite being born a mafia prince, Damien Chaos lacked the one thing he desperately wanted.

Absolute power and control.

If he wanted that, Shadow was the answer.

The only problem was the Shadow Empire is a kingdom of the intangible and they owe their allegiance to no one.

Kidnapping their lead scientist was the only answer.

If Damien could possess her, if he could resist his desire – if he could just ignore how badly he wanted to carve a symphony of obsession into her skin – he’d finally get the answers he’s been searching for.

They may call him cruel and psychotic.
Manipulative and ruthless.
But they have no idea exactly how far he’ll go to win his kingdom, because Damien Chaos can play this game better than anyone else.

That is, until he met her.

All power comes with a cost.

And that price is their pain and sacrifice.
The pretty mafia prince and his boys may think they have what it takes, but they could never break her.

Desdemona is a ghost – a shadow, and the mafia could never get their hands on her.

But Damien, Aeron, and Kaito were too beautiful to deny. All she had to do was let them think they’re in control. Then they’d fall right into her trap.

They would become hers.

All three of them.

She would use their desire to dig her claws deeper into their minds until they began to relish in the pain – until they finally submit.

For the first time in their lives Damien, Aeron and Kaito are forced to learn what true chaos really is.

This is a reverse harem mafia romance where the villain gets the girl. It has some dark themes including manipulation, stalking, kidnapping, and violence. This story also has MM.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“If I thought I could steal you from him, I would,” she whispered, and somehow Kaito knew she was talking about Aeron, not Damien. “I’d be willing to share you with him though. He’s almost as pretty as you are. I want him to break me, but I want you…I want you to eat me alive.”

Kaito shuddered, knowing he was well and truly fucked now. This girl understood him, and he hadn’t said a single word. She wanted what he wanted, and his obsession with Aeron didn’t seem like a dirty little secret when she talked about it.

She was focused on his scar like it held the secrets of the universe. Then she looked up at him and licked her lips.

For the first time since it happened, someone else had touched that mark on his neck and he hadn’t wanted to destroy her for it. No, Kaito wanted this crazy woman to sink her teeth into it, even though he knew it would hurt like a bitch.

A strangled sound left him and Kaito couldn’t even be bothered to feel embarrassed, not when she started riding him again. Even through their clothes the sensation made him mindless until he was driving his hips up into her, desperately trying to create more pressure and friction.

Her breaths started to come in pants and Kaito leaned forward, rubbing his nose along hers just to feel those breaths—the evidence of her desire on his face as well as his dick.

All he wanted to do was taste her – the poison would be worth it.

Because he knew that sharp sting was exactly what she really tasted like, and he was the only one who hadn’t gotten to devour her. Kaito sank his teeth into her jaw, holding the bone with enough force her hips stuttered, and a little cry left her lips.

This was his though, this pleasure he’d let her take, the sharp sweetness of her skin.

His teeth ached to draw blood, but Kaito held very still, resisting the urge to make another mark on her face.

“Do it,” she whispered, reaching down to unbuckle his pants.

Kira took him out and started stroking so hard and fast there was nothing he could do but fall apart underneath her, teeth digging into her jaw but never breaking the skin.

“Such a good boy,” she murmured, using his shirt to wipe the cum from her hand. “But next time you’ll taste me.”

The praise and the orgasm made him fucking stupid. Kaito licked the mark on her jaw and breathed her in, wanting to hear what else she was willing to tell him. Would she let him know how good he felt when he was fucking the shit out of her?

Would those blue eyes tell him everything he wanted to hear?

Fuck, she’d gotten into his head so deep Kaito didn’t think he’d ever be rid of her

Author Bio:

Emma Dean is the autistic author of Draga Court and the Council of Paranormals. Juggling work, life, higher education, and a rambunctious toddler leaves little room for much else, but when she gets the chance she dives into a good book and likes to re-read the Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop every year during Christmas.

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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Are you ready to SURGE??

 


Surge

Hades Abyss MC 8

by Harley Wylde

Genre: LGBTQ MC Romance 

Colette’s a sweet angel in need of saving, and like it or not, I have a hero complex. Marrying her seems like the right thing to do. Then my sometimes lover, Aidan, finds us together. The hurt in his eyes nearly guts me.

My club knows I’m bisexual. I’ve not hidden it from them. Doesn’t mean I’ve flaunted it in their faces either. So when I decided to claim Aidan and Colette, I’m not sure how it’s going to end. All I know is they both need me, and I need them too.

With human traffickers after Colette, a possible traitor in the club, and more chaos than I can handle, I do the only thing I can… I run with my new wife and husband. Once I figure out who wants Colette, I’ll do whatever it takes to destroy them. Until then, I’ll keep her safe, and Aidan too. Because they both mean more to me than I realized.

WARNING: Surge is part of the Hades Abyss MC series and contains bad language, violence, and content some readers may find difficult to read.


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Don’t ask Colette to leave. S’il vous plat. She needs to be here,” he said.

I didn’t know what the hell he’d said when he wasn’t speaking English, but the tone was still clear. These two needed help. I didn’t know how they’d come to be here, but I couldn’t force them out. Not knowing if they would be okay. Although, he’d only asked me to help the woman. I didn’t know what to think.

Start talking,” I said.

Colette got off the bed and scrambled into her clothes. Her cheeks turned pink as she glanced at me. She came closer and took Jacques’ hand.

A man invited us,” he said. “He promised there would be food and drinks. Said we were both welcome. We can leave. We won’t cause trouble.”

And this little display?” I asked, motioning to the bed. Her cheeks burned brighter, and she dropped her gaze. “Were you hoping to lure someone in and rob them?”

She gasped, and Jacques shook his head. “Non. We would never do such a thing. I only hoped Colette could eat something we didn’t pull from a dumpster. Your party offered us something for now, but…”

If they’d been living on the streets, it would explain the malnourished look. At least for the woman. The man might be thin, but he didn’t look like he’d missed as many meals. Had they only recently come together? Something felt off about the entire thing.

It still doesn’t explain the rest,” I said.

Beautiful, isn’t she?” Jacques asked. He put Colette’s hand in mine. “We always pay our way.”

My stomach twisted at the implication. No fucking way. Nope. I wasn’t about to use this pretty woman just because they’d come here to eat something.

You’re selling her to me for a meal?” I felt her tremble and knew my words had upset her. I hated doing that to her, but I needed to be clear on what was happening. For one, if that’s what this motherfucker meant, I wanted to knock his teeth down his damn throat.




Harley Wylde is the International Bestselling Author of the Dixie Reapers MC, Devil's Boneyard MC, and Hades Abyss MC series.

When Harley's writing, her motto is the hotter the better -- off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can't deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you've come to the right place. She doesn't shy away from the dangers and nastiness in the world, bringing those realities to the pages of her books, but always gives her characters a happily-ever-after and makes sure the bad guys get what they deserve.

  The times Harley isn't writing, she's thinking up naughty things to do to her husband, drinking copious amounts of Starbucks, and reading. She loves to read and devours a book a day, sometimes more. She's also fond of TV shows and movies from the 1980's, as well as paranormal shows from the 1990's to today, even though she'd much rather be reading or writing.

You can find out more about Harley or enter her monthly giveaway on her website. Be sure to join her newsletter while you're there to learn more about discounts, signing events, and other goodies!


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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Love, Now War Anthology... Join this group of authors in one compelling book!

Love, Not War: A Charity Anthology for Ukraine
Publication date: May 24th 2022
Genres: Adult, Romance

LOVE, NOT WAR — A charity Anthology for the Ukraine Crisis Fund

17 authors have come together to write 16 different romance stories of all sub-genres and tropes.

LOVE, NOT WAR releases 05.24.22

All proceeds will go to benefit affected communities in Ukraine, with a focus on the most vulnerable, including children, who need access to food, medical services, and psychosocial support. It also supports humanitarian assistance in impacted communities in Ukraine and surrounding regions where Ukrainian refugees have fled.

PARTICIPATING AUTHORS:

A.R. HALL

CASSIA BRIAR

DEE GARCIA

EMERY LEEANN & ELIZABETH ST. JOHN

HAZEL GRACE

JEN STEVENS

JENSEN REED

KATHERINE MOORE

M. JAMESON

M.R. LEAHY

N.M. BLACK

SARA A. MOSIER

SAVANNAH SLOAN

SUKI WILLIAMS

SUMMER O’TOOLE

YOLANDA OLSON

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Thursday, April 28, 2022

This Week's Interesting Read is from Maci Aurora

In the Shadow of a Wish
Maci Aurora
Publication date: April 26th 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

In the Kingdom of Kaloma, women are forced to marry by the age of 26. It’s the law.

In the remote village of Sevens, at the northernmost point of the kingdom, there lives an impoverished family with four daughters and a son. Without the means to make love matches, the daughters are trapped by their circumstances.

When one daughter discovers a golden key deep in the Whitling Woods, it may have the power to change everything…

Auri Fareview, practical and realistic, does what she can to serve her family. When she finds a golden key that could be the answer she needs to save her sisters from the unjust Kaloma Marriage Laws, she discovers the treasure might be more than she bargained for. Enchanted, it doesn’t just come with a price attached, it’s also home to an imprisoned god, who wreaks havoc on her body, her heart, and her soul. And those aren’t practical matters. He has the power to break her.

Nixus Uraiahs has lost track of how long he’s been imprisoned by the spell on the key. There have been six key-keepers, all of whom have failed to break the spell to free him, and Nix knows he’s the reason why they haven’t. So, he will hold this 7th key-keeper accountable to the bargain of the spell: three wishes and a price for each. There’s no hope in her freeing him, however. Nix knows she’ll be like all the key-keepers who came before her. Except Auri approaches her wishes differently than any of the others, and Nix begins to see her as more than just a key-keeper. She intrigues him, proving her strength, surprising him, and enchanting him. Though he’s entrapped by the enchantment placed on the key, Nix realizes his heart is at risk of being captured by the seventh key-keeper. That is a risk he can’t afford to take knowing his villainy is just a single wish away.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“The Spelled Ribbon”

“You love your family?”

“Fervently.” She started walking again.

He knew he shouldn’t but asked anyway, “Would you tell me about them?” He followed her, a few steps behind.

“What would you like to know?”

Everything, he thought, but didn’t give it the substance of his voice. “Your parents?”

“Scarlett and Tomas Fareview.”

“They must be amazing.”

“Why would you say that.”

Flustered, Nix turned to smell a flower. “Well…” He stretched the sound, trying to find a reason that didn’t start with because you’re amazing, which would sound like a lie, and ended up saying, “You are unique.”

She grinned. “Unique. I like it. Yes. They are amazing. They met, fell in love, and settled in Sevens. That’s the village where we live.”

“You smile when you talk about them.”

“Well, they are… my life,” she said and continued walking. “I have three older sisters. Jessamine is the oldest, then Tarley and Brinna.” She looked over her shoulder at him and smiled. It was a different kind of smile, unguarded. He could see it was because she was talking about her family. “Then me. And I have one brother, Mattias. He’s the youngest.”

“And how old is Mattias as the youngest?”

“Eighteen.”

He considered the state of her skirt and boots when he’d met her. “And you all live together in Sevens?”

She nodded.

“How old is your oldest sister?”

“Jessamine? Twenty-seven.”

“And no one has left?” Nix thought this strange.

She shook her head and continued walking. “It isn’t because we are opposed to the idea, but with respect to marriage, none of us want anything less than what our parents have. Our parents adore one another. The other factor is that living in Sevens—and my parents’ refusal to leave it—has made it difficult to meet anyone and to make a living to find the means to leave.” She stopped under an archway where peach roses grew over to the other side, reaching out to touch one.

Nixus noticed a red ribbon tied around her wrist. It would have seemed an insignificant trifle, except it was wrapped with a swirl of golden magic. “What is this?” He reached out and touched the ribbon with a finger. The magic kissed his skin with a warm caress. Positive magic as opposed to the alternative, which heightened Nix’s curiosity.

Auri looked surprised by his touch, her eyes jumping from where he’d touched her to his face. That blush he liked worked its own magic against her skin, and she grabbed ahold of her wrist. “This? A gift from my mother. Just a ribbon. She gave each of us one.” She paused, then added, “We don’t have a lot of extra, not with seven of us. It’s just a ribbon–”

“It appears to be more than that–”

She tilted her head, and her brows bunched. “What do you mean?”

Nix could tell she didn’t know it was spelled, and just by looking at it, he couldn’t tell what it was for. As far as he knew, Auri’s mother had taken it to a local witch who’d cast a protection spell for each of her children. He didn’t remark on the magic and instead said, “It’s obviously very important to you. That makes it a very special ribbon.”

She smiled, looking away, and twisted the ribbon around her wrist. “Yes. You’re right.” She started back down the path.

Author Bio:

Maci Aurora has been writing stories since she was a child. When she was eleven, she fell in love with reading Sunfire Historical Romances about girls who made a difference in their lives and still fell in love. In high school, a friend introduced her to Lavyrle Spencer and Judith McNaught, and from there, her writing journey was cemented in telling stories about love. Having already published many novels (all of which are threaded with romance as upper YA and New Adult titles) under the pen name, CL Walters, Maci Aurora wanted to write stories that offered the same attention to story and characters but with additional steam.

Maci writes in Hawaiʻi where she lives with her husband, their children, and their fur-babies.

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Thursday, April 21, 2022

This week's Interesting Read

The Reluctant Bride
Monica Murphy
Published by: Dangerous Press
Publication date: April 19th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Everyone’s for sale, including me. One moment I’m the forgotten daughter of one of the most wealthy families in the country, and the next I’m the blushing bride in an arranged marriage. My fate is sealed in my wedded union with a complete stranger.

In public, Perry Constantine is the life of the party. Easygoing. Adored. In private, he’s brooding. Dark. Angry. But so am I. It’s a contest of wills to see who will break in the bedroom first, and while I try to remain strong, I find myself craving the very man I swore to hate.

My husband.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks / Google Play

EXCERPT:

“Good morning,” I say as I take a step back from my mother’s embrace. Can’t linger too long or Winny will say something snide and rude.

He doesn’t say a word beyond a nod of acknowledgement at my arrival. His expression is stern, yet impassive. I never know what he’s thinking, and it’s disconcerting. I’ve learned from that though, and do my damnedest to wear the same expression when I’m dealing with Halcyon business for Win.

Or when I’m trying to get out of a sticky situation with a woman. That happens more often than I care to admit.

“Have a seat, darling,” Mother says, indicating the chair on the other side of Winston. I do as she says, settling into the leather chair that’s more comfortable than the one I sit in at my desk every damn day. “How was your weekend?”

I can’t tell her it was full of debauchery that included too much alcohol and too many women, but I avoid the paparazzi at the more popular clubs to keep it under wraps.

Instead I smile at her and say, “It was fine.”

Winston snorts. I’m sure he knows what I was up to. Wonder if he misses it. If I had his hot wife to come home to every evening, I wouldn’t miss that lifestyle at all.

“That’s nice.” Mother smiles, revealing straight white teeth that nearly blind me. Looks like someone just visited the dentist. “I hear you’ve been given new projects at Halcyon.”

I chance a look at Winston but he’s not paying attention to us. Too busy tapping away on his phone.

“I have.” I try to tamp down my excitement before my brother calls me out for behaving like a hyperactive puppy. “I’m handling all the angry calls that come into the office.”

Mother frowns. “Angry calls?”

I nod. “We piss off a lot of people in this city. There’s a lot of damage control going on. And not always of the—violent variety.”

The knowing look on her face is obvious. She’s just as ruthless as Winston. Swear to God that’s where he got it from, not Dad. Clearing his throat, Winston sits up straight, resting his arms on top of the table.

“Enough with the pleasantries. Let’s get down to business.”

“Winston,” Mother murmurs.

I frown at the both of them. “What exactly is this business we’re discussing this early in the morning anyway?”

Mother clears her throat as well, glancing over at Winston before she turns her attention on me. “It has to do with…you.”

I frown. “What about me?”

“Perry, darling. You’re not getting any younger.” Her expression is dour, as if she’s discussing something that displeases her. “It’s time for you to settle down.”

I snort. So does Winston.

“I’m only twenty-four,” I remind her. “Winston didn’t marry until he was forty.”

“Thirty-nine,” he corrects.

“Whatever,” I say to him, returning my attention to our mother. “There’s no one I want to settle down with anyway, so I can’t.”

“Ah, but you can.” Her smile is serene. “I’ve found someone for you, Perry. And you’re going to absolutely adore her.”

Wait a minute.

Back the fuck up

Author Bio:

New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author. A believer in kissing. A believer of love.

I also write contemporary romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson.

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