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From The Top
-Indie Wish List >> Guest post "Who or what inspired you to be a writer?"
Hi Indie Wish List, thanks for asking me to guest post today!
I found romance novels while still in high school and immediately fell in love. Some of my favorites were Elizabeth Lowell and Linda Howard along with so many Harlequin Presents authors like Robyn Donald and India Grey.
It was a time not unlike now. Print publishers were trying new things every day, expanding into different subgenres of romance. I ate it all up and knew I wanted to do this as a job.
When I turned twenty-one, I rented a typewriter—yes, it was that long ago! I learned quickly that writing is hard and selling is harder. I got rejected for twenty-five years. (I still have the letters, over a hundred.)
It was disheartening, but I loved what I was doing and even when I considered quitting, my family encouraged me to keep at it. In 2014, I made my first sale to Harlequin Presents and I’ve published forty books since then, nine of them with Tule Publishing, including the Blue Spruce Lodge series.
My experience taught me that persistence is everything. In From The Top, Ilke, is an alpine skier. She rises to the top without help—a stubborn character flaw on her part. Then she fails spectacularly when she expected to sweep the podium, plus discovers she’s pregnant. She’s devastated and returns to Blue Spruce Lodge to tell the father, Nate.
Nate has his own dream of a picket-fence family, which suffered a blow when his wife divorced him. He has a three-year-old son and that’s complicated enough without Ilke telling him she’s going to give him another baby—and then leave to continue her training.
I hope you enjoy watching them figure out how to compromise and open up, then achieve greatness together.
Series: Naughty Ever After Series
Author: Trista Jaszczak
Genre: Twisted Fairytale / Erotic / Romance
Release: February 28, 2018
Who could ever learn to love a beast?...
Eric Morris had his priorities straight. Money, motorcycles, and models. That is until a motorcycle accident leaves him permanently scarred and angry with the world. He finds comfort in isolation, refusing to leave his own home for fear of what the world will think of the once beautiful man. With working beginning to pile up he has no choice but to hire a personal assistant to cater to his every need, including taking the force of his attitude. What he doesn’t realize is that Elle Davis is not like other women and she fully intends on putting Eric right into his place. Will Eric be able to make her see through his scars…will he be able to change for her?
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I feel my mouth drop open slightly as I gawk at him. Makes me wonder what he’s talking about and if I can be nosey and pry just for a bit. I just have no idea what to say. I continue to stare with a slightly open mouth as I rock back and forth on my bare feet. I feel a chill run down my spine that makes me shiver and I immediately pull the white robe around me tighter. I watch Eric as he swallows and drags his hand down his face. He looks up at me with a pout.
“I think I’m still trying to figure out why I had the accident. I certainly didn’t plan it. It just…” His voice fades off and he shakes his head. “I should have died that day.”
I give my head a little shake. “It wasn’t your time.”
“Do you really believe that?”
I chew on my lip softly for a second as I think things over and finally give a little nod. “I do. Clearly you weren’t meant to die on that road that day, Eric.”
He moves closer to me, so close that I can feel warmth radiating off his body. Another chill rushes down me and I hug myself tighter. I look up at Eric who is staring intently at me. “What did Lucian do to you?”
“It just didn’t work out.” I shrug. “We tried, he…I just wasn’t right for him.”
“He wasn’t right for you, you mean?” I feel the blast of warm air and smell of peppermint of his breath.
I feel my body give a little shudder as Eric seems to lean a little closer to me. I can hear each breath he takes as he begins to study me again. I keep my eyes forward, a little nervous to look him in the eyes. I stare ahead at his neck and begin counting his heartbeat as I see each pulse throb…one, two, three, four, five….
“I’m just trying to figure you out.”
I giggle. “There’s nothing to figure out.”
“I’m willing to bet that there’s a lot more to you than you let on.” He tells me pushing my hair off my shoulder.
I shake my head. “I really hate to disappoint you. I’m pretty much an open book.”
His lips twist up at the corners. “An open book, huh?”
I take a deep breath in and smell nothing but the sweet peppermint from his mouth. He’s standing incredibly close and I hadn’t noticed him take a step forward.
“If you’re such an open book then why don’t you tell anyone what Lucian did to you?”
My mouth drops. What exactly is he trying to get out of me? The fact that I fell a little too hard and fast for Lucian and ended up having him crush my heart? I’d rather not take a trip down memory lane, thank you very fucking much.
“Elle,” Eric’s voice grows soft as he leans down very slowly.
I look into his eyes. I can’t think. I can’t speak. The smell of peppermint is intoxicating. My surroundings become blurry. I part my lips slowly and I feel my eyes begin to close.
“Eric.” Lucian’s voice makes me gasp and jump back as he walks into the room. “I just wanted to see if you were finished.”
I step away from Eric, slightly shaken up, and a little confused. I cross my arms and take a very deep breath. I release it slowly and count to five to relax myself. Eric turns and gives Lucian a nod as he seems a little distraught himself. “Just finished.”
“I…I should get dressed.” I say, looking at Eric who is running a hand through his hair as Lucian is telling him that he can have the proofs ready in a few hours if needed. Eric gives him a little nod, but his head turns to me.
“Did you have a good shoot, Elle?” I hear Lucian’s voice and even though I understand that he is talking to me I can’t take my eyes off Eric.
Eric smiles. “Did you have a good shoot, Elle?” He repeats, looking back at Lucian who is staring at us both like we’re crazy.
I shake out of the haze of peppermint and Eric’s blue eyes to nod. “It was great. I really hope they like the photos.”
“She was stunning,” Eric adds. “They’ll blow everyone away.”
Lucian raises his eyebrows and cocks his head slightly. “Alright, well…I can’t wait to see them. I bet they’re great.”
“I’m really cold…I’m just going to get dressed.” Eric and Lucian both give me a nod and as I walk away I can feel their eyes on me. I have no clue what just fucking happened. I feel…a little panicked to be quite honest. I nearly kissed Eric. Or…did Eric almost kiss me? I have no idea. My heart is still pounding at the thought. I swear to God…looking in his eyes is just like being charmed by a snake who is about to eat you. Completely unaware of anything around you except him. And that…is terrifying.
In The Series
Trista Jaszczak (jazz-ick) is the international bestselling author of Red, Unmasked, Skin Deep, and Loverboy. She is an Air Force spouse and mother to two mischievous and rambunctious little girls. She is originally from Hamilton, Ohio but calls home where ever the Air Force sends her. She currently resides in Anchorage, Alaska where she finds endless inspiration in the pure Alaskan wilderness. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time with her family in the vast Alaskan outdoors, working as a make-up artist, running, or riding her Harley. She loves the outdoors, the moon, old movies, and music.
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Series: A Symbols of Love Novel
Author: Dylan Allen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 28, 2018
And in paradise, I don’t have a past. I don’t have pain, my secrets don't haunt me and I can be anyone I want
He’s here for business.
Harry's intoxicatingly handsome, rich, and also the biggest jerk I've ever met. So, it's inconvenient that sparks fly every time our eyes meet.
Indulging in an affair wasn't on my agenda.
But fate isn't a mistress to our intentions; And what starts as a strike of lightening on a moonlit beach ignites a fire between us that will span continents.
Meeting again in the unlikeliest of circumstances feels written in the heavens.
And I'll need the courage of the gods to tell him the truth.
They say the truth will set you free... but what if it destroys you first?
The Boat House
by Jana D. Barrett
Release Date: October 2017
Genevieve Vandermere-Anderson lives in an elite world carefully crafted by her stepfather. While other girls her age revel in the freedom of their first summer break from college, Genevieve has no choice but to return to her childhood home in Hilton Head, South Carolina to play sidekick to her vindictive stepfather. Forbidden from social media and isolated from her peers, she returns home disheartened and oppressed by the actions of her past, governed by secrets.
Though she is fearful of the repercussions, Genevieve decides it is time to start making her own choices. She sneaks out of her fortified house to attend the annual beach bonfire. There she meets a handsome stranger and follows him to an abandoned boathouse hidden in low country marshes. Little does she know that this small act of rebellion will be the catalyst for unraveling the truth about her regretful past, and the layers of deception her stepfather has masterminded.
When she begins to investigate the boating accident that tragically killed her mother and two other people, she discovers that her stepfather's suspicious behavior and control tactics are all part of a greater agenda.
This book was like a roller coaster ride. There was so much going on, so much mystery and piecing together events of the past, so much back and forth of character emotions and wondering what was going on, who to trust. My head spun as I tried to read fast so I could find out how everything would turn out. There were so many characters and so much going on in so many different lives. You would think this would make the book feel like too much, but it wasn’t.
We basically already know the big mystery from the get-go. Or do we? The book is about piecing everything together and gathering evidence. This is very different from other mystery books.
I’m happy that it seems this is just the start. That we will get more stories from the characters in this book.
About the Author
Jana was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. An avid reader, she loves to travel, cook and try exotic foods. She is a self- proclaimed 'city girl' who fell in love with a country boy. Jana, her husband and their daughter live on a retired pasture, with a lovely farmland view. An animal lover she has Siberian Husky named Blizzard, a barn kitty named Winter and an impolite group of wild turkeys.
Blog Tour Schedule:
by Christina Bauer
(Angelbound Origins 0.5 - prequel novella)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: February 27th 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
An Angelbound Prequel Novella by Christina Bauer
As the High Prince of the demon-fighting thrax, Lincoln knows he must marry for political gain. Not that he minds. For all of his eighteen years, Lincoln’s been bound to his duty. Fighting demons is his life, and he’s never given romance a second thought. Instead, the High Prince lives for the days when he leaves his hidden realm to fight demons on Earth.
Then, everything changes.
Lincoln and his nobles become forced to visit Purgatory, the home of quasi-demons (who are mostly human with a bit of demonic DNA). Here Lincoln spies Myla Lewis, a lady warrior who enflames his heart, ignites his interest, and inspires his respect. Trouble is, Myla’s also a quasi. By thrax law, Lincoln must kill anything demonic—not date them. For the first time in his life, Lincoln wonders if he’ll follow his duty…or heed the demands of his heart.
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Christina_Bauer_Duty_Bound?id=yoAyDwAAQBAJ
I am Lincoln Vidar Osric Aquilus, High Prince of the Thrax. My people are renowned as the greatest demon hunters across Heaven, Hell, Earth, Purgatory, and the Dark Lands. At eighteen years old, I’ve killed precisely one thousand four hundred and thirty-seven demons in hand-to-hand combat, more than any other thrax in history. All of which leads to a single inescapable conclusion.
I can make it through this breakfast with my mother.
At least, I think I can.
“You haven’t touched your eggs, my son.” Mother spears a strawberry off her plate. After many years of maternal encounters, I’ve learned to keep my mouth closed in situations like this one. Mother will bring up her true concerns when she’s good and ready.
In reply, I merely maintain her stare. We’ve an odd relationship, but a close one. We’re both natural schemers, so neither wants to pass up a test of intelligence and charm.
“Perhaps you dislike formal breakfasts,” says Mother as she gestures to my tunic.
“I’m fine with wearing royal garb to meals. Rest assured, all my Batman costumes are safely packed away.” As a child, I fought hard to dress as a human superhero. Unlike demon killing, that was one battle I ultimately lost.
“So you say.” A small smile rounds Mother’s mouth. “Those tunics hide quite a lot.”
“True. I’ve a Bohemian Rhapsody T-shirt on under this thing.”
“I have no idea what that is, but I’m pleased to see you turned out so well.”
This morning, I’m dressed in a velvet tunic, leather pants, and tall boots. Meanwhile, Mother looks regal and lethal in her black velvet gown. She has porcelain skin, delicate features, and an all-knowing glare that reduces hardened warriors to mush.
Needless to say, I’m pleased that her glare has softened. I must remember to work Batman into our conversations more often.
For a few minutes, Mother and I continue our breakfast in silence. It would be pleasant, except for the setting. Our new feasting hall is located in Purgatory.
This place combines the worst of a rundown human suburb with the best of a rotting Dumpster. The sky is constantly cloudy with two types of weather: rainy and about to rain. It’s part of the magic of this realm that the weather is always dreary. Plus, the sky never reveals the sun or moon, and even if it did, those celestial bodies follow different patterns than they do in other realms.
Closing my eyes, I let my thoughts return to the glittering caverns of my homeland. As a rule, thrax live underground on Earth in the realm of Antrum. For some reason, the oracle angel, Verus, has demanded the royal family—and our noble entourage—move to Purgatory for a short period of time. This wasn’t a popular idea, but the oracle’s word is law, so we arrived here three months ago. Until Verus sets us loose, our days will be spent in tents and wooden halls like this one.
I scan the empty benches around me and sigh. It’s hard being separated from the bulk of my people. Quiet breakfasts like this only make things worse. Usually our feasting hall is packed with thrax sharing breakfast at communal tables. However, today Mother insisted on having a family-only morning meal, which in this case translates into me, Mother, and a half-dozen terrified workers. Father should get here any minute now. I can only hope he arrives before Mother’s temper returns.
As if in reply to my thoughts, Mother spears another wilted strawberry with a vengeance. Looks like her temper will resurface before Father does. Bugger.
“You never answered my question,” says Mother. “You haven’t touched your food.” She spears a grape with such force the entire table wobbles.
“Careful there,” I say. “You’ll bring down the roof down.”
“One perk of being queen. I can bring down roofs and no one says a thing.”
At those words, the half-dozen servants in the room visibly shiver.
There’s no question about the general topic of Mother’s angst, either. It’s always the same issue: the House of Acca. That tribe is the largest and most troublesome of all thrax.
At this point, problems with Acca could fall into one of two categories.
One, Mother might be worried about my impending marriage contract with Acca’s most eligible noblewoman, Lady Adair. If Mother thinks there are problems on that front, she would be sorely mistaken. It’s a business arrangement, nothing more. I’d regret that, but I’m a prince. I always knew I’d never marry for love.
Two—and far more worrisome—would be if Mother discovered my ongoing scheme against Aldred, the dreaded Earl of Acca himself. I’ve many issues with the Earl, but my largest is how Aldred keeps leading his warriors into ill-planned demon attacks on the Earth’s surface. Thanks to the Earl of Acca, hundreds of good thrax meet bad ends every week. I meet with the families of the fallen, trying to provide comfort as their worlds fall apart. So many tears and ruined lives…and all so the Earl can prove his so-called prowess in battle.
Even worse, my parents have forbidden me from doing anything to stop Aldred’s bloodshed. Per some ancient treaty, if I interfere with Aldred’s rights to lead his troops, then the Earl has the unmitigated right to execute me on the spot.
And as every royal knows, execution threats and breakfast do not mix well.
Book 1 - Angelbound - is currently FREE:
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Christina_Bauer_Angelbound?id=zDLTDAAAQBAJ&hl=en
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
Stalk Christina on Social Media – She Loves It!
The Soul Mender Trilogy
by R.S. Dabney
Genre: Urban Fantasy
The Soul Mender
The Soul Mender Trilogy Book 1
In a wild escape to avoid becoming the sixth victim of the elusive Rocky Mountain Murderer, twenty-two-year-old Riley Dale finds herself flung into a universe parallel to her own, where Las Vegas is known for its churches, terrorist attacks are initiated by the United States, and peace can be found in the darkest corners of the globe.
As the deadly visions that have haunted her since childhood become real, Riley is confronted with the implausible story of a world split in two and the stark contrast between good and evil in people she thought she knew.
Racing deeper into the mystery of the new world, Riley discovers the explosive truth about her ancestors who have been hunted for thousands of years because of a single mistake made long ago.
And now it’s her turn to pay for that blunder.
Pursued by both the government and a clandestine sect of assassins, Riley must ally with the only people in the parallel universe willing to keep her safe—the drug-addicted, prostituting other half of her soul, and the counter soul of a man who tortured and killed five young women.
Discover new worlds in this Kirkus Star Awarded (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/rs-dabney/the-soul-mender/ ) book that is being called "not only highly entertaining, but profoundly edifying!"
Dark hair swirled around the faces of two figures looking down on the lights of a
city far below. They stood motionless on a precipice, unmoved by the wind and
pelting rain. Sharp daggers, gilded and set with precious stones, hung from
scabbards hidden beneath long coats that billowed with each gust.
“Does she know?” the smaller one asked, heavy-lidded eyes focused on the
“The old woman is afraid. She wants to protect her, but she knows what is at
stake,” the taller man replied. Golden rays flecked his eyes, mirroring a sun that
had yet to show its face.
“The Germans know where she hides,” the first said in a heavily accented
voice. “She will be dead within a fortnight. She may die before the secret can be
The tall man’s eyes flashed, but his face remained stoic. “The woman is
afraid, but she is not a fool. She will alert the girl in some way.”
Gazing toward an unknown future, their silent stares vanished into the
roaring sky. “It won’t be easy this time. The world is gearing up for war, and
they know this is their last chance. They’ll be desperate,” the short man said.
The tall figure nodded and turned, his trench coat fluttering.
“What now, Emir?” the man at the ledge asked.
“We wait,” the man called Emir replied, disappearing into the darkness. “We
wait until Riley Dale decides whether or not she values her life.”
The Peace Keeper
The Soul Mender Trilogy Book 2
Safe in her own world, Riley Dale should finally be able to put the horrifying experience in the parallel universe behind her. But as she processes recent events, business as usual is not an option. Her allies are still in big trouble.
To rescue her friends, Riley ventures back into the parallel world she had tried so hard to escape from. As her path winds through a maze of twisted history and familial legend, she finds herself blocked by both her attitude and insecurities, as well as by her enemies.
And those enemies are becoming desperate.
As each version of the world and her opponents grow more volatile, Riley must cast aside her own weakness and accept the mantle of Electa if she can ever hope to save humanity from a devastating end.
Tick, tick, tick. What must have been a clock counted away precious seconds
with a jarring noise, as if the long arm of time scraped in slow motion like nails
on a chalkboard. Shapeless shapes and hazy clouds morphed and changed colors
in her mind with each excruciating tick. But she remained frozen.
Occasionally, a new form emerged, a humanlike silhouette that hovered close
and danced for a moment in the world between sanity and whatever muted fog
she’d entered. Then came the darkness and the tick, tick, tick.
Finally, a day came when the shapes formed outlines, and the colors
remained static and sharp. The ticking sound blended into the rest of the waking
world, overshadowed by chirping birds and wind pressing through an open
window. Welcome sounds. Soft sounds. And the wavering human outline
appeared, and this time he had a face and didn’t bring with him a new cycle of
darkness and harsh noises.
Riley Dale stared up at the man, aware for the first time of her own body
lying on an old brass bed. A sticky cloth bandaged her head, and her arm was
wrapped in iodine-stained gauze. A temporary brace held one leg secure as
mysterious blue liquid dripped into her veins through an IV attached to her arm.
She coughed, hacking up green bile and pink clumps that she prayed weren’t
pieces of lung. The man held out a bowl, and she spit.
“Welcome back.” The old man stood by the bed, looking tired and wan.
She searched each wrinkle on his face, studying the way his jaw tightened
and unclenched, noting that any signs of age were intentionally misleading, not a
true indication of strength or ability. Her mind flashed back to the night she’d
staggered to his porch and asked for help. She’d told him everything, and he’d
confirmed that he was indeed her grandmother’s Custos.
Michael Flynn stared down at her sympathetically, removing the bandages
from her head and forearm.
“How long was I out?” she asked.
“A week.” He wiped the wounds clean and applied a fresh coat of antibiotic
ointment. “You needed to heal.”
She tried to sit upright but felt weak and dizzy. Her head raced, and her leg
still throbbed, but the physical pain was insignificant compared to the anguish of
wasting a week doing nothing.
Resting her head back onto the pillow, she let out a slow breath and nodded
at the leg. “Is it broken?”
“No. The bone was bruised but intact. Once you feel strong again, you won’t
have a problem walking.”
Riley sighed and peered out the window. Leaves rustled in the breeze, and
for a moment she felt comfort knowing she was back in her world. But then
Ezra’s determined stare and Oz’s angry scowl flashed through her mind as she
recalled the SUV plummeting into danger to save her life.
And all she’d done to assist was lie in bed.
“I have to help them.” She pushed herself into a seated position and met
Michael’s eyes. They seemed to burn with a new intensity, as though the
smoldering amber coals had finally found enough oxygen to burst into flames.
“Yes.” He nodded. “You do. But you couldn’t have accomplished anything in
your former condition. You are stronger now.”
Riley touched the spot on her forehead where she’d hit the dresser when the
bad half of Zachary Stone had tried to kill her. No more oozing, pus-filled
laceration—just a clean patch of scarred flesh. She caught a glimpse of
Michael’s concerned stare but kept her gaze on the bedsheets. His eyes carried
too many terrible thoughts. Too many excruciating conclusions. Gabe. Pain
clenched in her stomach.
“Have you heard from him?” she asked.
Michael dabbed a wet cloth to her forehead and handed her a small pill. “He
hasn’t checked in yet. I’m sorry, Riley. Gabe is strong. He always finds a way
Riley swallowed the medicine, fighting tears. “Do my parents know I’m
“Not yet. I thought you should recover first before deciding if you want to
bring them into this. If you really mean to save your friends and complete your
mission, you will have to disappear. They would lose you all over again. That
decision is yours to make, not mine.”
Almost immediately, Riley felt her lids growing heavy from the medication
in her system. Never mind the weight of the task—really the weight of the world
—resting on her shoulders if she chose to be the Electa. Michael Flynn pressed a
comforting hand on hers before he slipped from the room. She drifted back into
the unconscious world, thinking only of her friends and all the people who
needed to be saved.
The World Binder
The Soul Mender Trilogy Book 3
Riley’s allies are scattered, broken, or dead. In one universe, an army stands ready to destroy the East. In the other, a biological weapon threatens to wipe out the West. Despite the looming devastation, she is no closer to restoring balance to humanity.
As Riley trains to use the ring her grandmother left her and works to find a way to bind the worlds, terrifying new visions plague her. Unearthed betrayals lead Riley to painful truths and hopeless revelations about those she thought she could trust.
Even about people she loves.
As her enemies circle and her friends falter, Riley must race to find answers lost to ancient memory in the sands surrounding what was once the Garden of Eden. Healing the world may demand she sacrifice all she holds dear—even her own chance to witness the peace she’s fought so hard for.
Disguised in the signature black robe of the ancient assassin clan, Gabriel Hart
pulled his hood lower around his face and remained still. Dread, dark as the
robes and minds of the men surrounding him, pumped through his veins. Cheers
that mutated into a low chanting erupted from the crowd, bouncing back and
forth against the rock walls of the Jondi-Al-Haqq’s underground chamber.
Behind Emir, the leader of this clandestine group, the multitude parted as blackclad
assassins came forward, dragging two frightened prisoners.
Abigail Weaver’s dark skin lay shrunken against her emaciated body. Her
eyes were hollowed-out orbs of fear. Months of torment and neglect hung on her
like a shroud. Kiersten Dale appeared less gaunt, having been a more recent
capture. Her blond hair lay tangled across her face. Splotches of dirt accented
her cheeks. Raw terror radiated from her being, but she was still alert.
Riley’s sister and her best friend. Gabe swallowed and took a step forward,
knowing what their deaths would mean in the scope of this great mission.
The assassins strung the young women up on the posts and began pouring oil
over the wood at their feet. Silent tears fell from Abby’s vacant eyes, and for a
moment, Gabe felt them fall upon him. He looked back at her through the
secrecy of his hood. The chanting grew louder.
“Abigail Weaver and Kiersten Dale, you will die today because of your
friend and sister’s unwillingness to save you. Riley Dale was given the
opportunity to turn herself over and take your places, but she refused that offer.
It is not us who kill you today but the cowardice of your loved one. Your hate
and anger are just. You two do not deserve death, but Riley has forced our hand.
Direct these last moments of anger at the real one who has failed you. Godspeed
to you both into whatever afterlife awaits you.”
A pair of assassins emerged from the chanting crowd, each carrying a
flaming torch. As they walked to the center of the room, Gabe closed his eyes,
took a deep breath, and prayed for strength beyond what he’d ever mustered in
his long life.
“You? It can’t be. You Judas son of a bitch. You betrayed her.”
Gabe’s eyes snapped open at the sound of the familiar voice. He spun his
gaze to the side and there she was: Riley Dale, or at least some version of her,
storming forward. Rage and terror etched the creases of her face. Her goldenbrown
hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail. Fury swirled in her green eyes.
He recognized one of the torchbearers and felt matching anger erupt through his
body. Tariq Zaman, one of their good friends, turned his back on Riley and
touched the impatient flame of his torch to the waiting oil. Fire erupted across
the wood. The screams of the girls twisted with the smoke into the air.
Riley sprinted toward Tariq, but as she jumped to attack him, Gabe flung his
body forward, knocking her to the stone floor. Her head slammed into the
ground, and as her image faded from sight, he locked eyes with her, hoping she
caught his pleading stare before she vanished. For a split second, he gazed at the
floor, but the piercing shrieks of the two girls yanked him back to the present.
The time to think had passed. Gabe shut his eyes and materialized at the base
of Kiersten’s pyre, grimacing as flames lapped onto his own robe and clawed
hungrily at the flesh around his ankles. He grabbed Kiersten’s hands and in an
instant transported her from the hot breath of death’s mouth to a vacant spot
behind of the crowd of assassins.
The room fell silent, except for a few startled inhalations. Hooded faces
stared at the empty stake in the center of the room where the black-robed figure
touched by flames had just snatched their prisoner before disappearing. As fire
licked higher up Gabe’s robes, he closed his eyes and reappeared next to the
second stake, grabbing Abby’s gaunt hands and vanishing again, only to
reappear on the far edge of the cavern, far from where he had left Riley’s sister.
By now his entire robe was ablaze, and he threw it from his body, scattering
the closest group of men. His white undershirt clung to his skin, soaked through
with perspiration. Charred holes and flaps of fabric adorned his pants. Burns
needled the flesh on his lower limbs. He winced.
“Gabe?” Abby’s question came out in a dazed whisper.
“Stay down. I’ll be back.” He shoved her to the ground and then disappeared
as the first dagger flew, zinging through the emptiness he’d just vacated to clatter
off the stone wall. As Gabe reemerged next to Riley’s terrified sister, he felt
something tear across the flesh of his back. Grabbing Kiersten’s hands, he
transported her up into the main entryway of the Jondi mansion, far above
ground. He left Kiersten in the empty foyer and reentered the chamber below,
where he’d left Riley’s best friend. She was nowhere to be seen.
Desperately searching for Abby, Gabe ducked and rolled as more daggers
flew. He heard Emir’s booming voice echoing to “kill the Custos.” Exhausted,
Gabe’s mind flashed back to many years before when a mob of black had rained
down upon him—black so heavy, it reduced him to nothingness. Not the time for
He darted as the nearest assassin slashed at his abdomen. Twisting toward the
edge of the cavern, Gabe spotted her. Despite months of captivity, Abby had
found the strength to crawl along the edge of the wall, trying to avoid detection.
And it seemed to be working, as every other pair of eyes was trained
malevolently on Gabriel Hart.
Thinking of Kiersten alone in the hall above, Gabe offered a silent curse in
his head to the man who was supposed to be protecting her. If you’re not already
dead, Raphael, I’ll kill you when I get out of here. Another dagger found his
flesh, this time at the back of his calf. He let out a frustrated grunt and then
reappeared next to Abby’s retreating form. He grabbed onto her as she let out her
own scream of pain, and focused on the entryway above.
He’d been gone too long. Beneath the towering ceiling and marbled
columns, two assassins stood with Kiersten between them, one with a dagger to
her throat, the other with his dagger across her abdomen. Gabe held a wounded
Abby, who clutched at the place in her ribs where red was spreading like an
unwelcome rash. His heart pounded as blood pumped from his own wounds.
“You may save that girl,” one of the men said in his thick Arabic accent.
“But we will kill the other. As soon as you vanish to come for her, our blades
will move as well. Either way, this is the end for Riley Dale. You have failed,
Custos. Once again, you have failed.”
Gabe set Abby gently on the floor, trying desperately to formulate a plan that
ended in Kiersten reuniting with her sister. But exhaustion clouded his brain.
Everything was just a little out of focus.
“Gabe,” Kiersten said, her green eyes sparkling with tears. “Save Abby.
Please. I will be okay, but don’t let anything happen to her.”
“Riley will never forgive me.” Gabe’s heart tightened at Kiersten’s
composure and bravery, and at the notion that even if he rescued one of these
two girls, Riley would forever blame him for the loss of the other.
“Gabe.” This time Kiersten’s voice was higher, more urgent. “They’re
coming. Get Abby out now!”
He spun around as what looked like a colony of rabid bats hurtled toward
them from the hallway. Black fabric billowed in a deadly storm of assassins.
Gabe bent down, picked up Abby, and turned a solemn face toward Kiersten.
Their eyes met. He felt his own grow large. A figure appeared behind Kiersten
and the two assassins, simultaneously plunging a knife through each of her
captor’s throats. The daggers aimed at Riley’s sister clattered to the ground as
the men holding them fell to their knees.
Gabe felt rage and relief as the newcomer grabbed Kiersten. But before he
could act, the angry mob had reached his position and buried another dagger into
his flesh. Gabe slammed his eyes shut, held Abby tightly, and focused on the
Sham Al Basra hotel, praying Ezra would be waiting in the room, ready to help.
About the Author
Debut author R.S. Dabney’s passion for reading, writing, and exploring thrilling stories about unlikely heroes conquering evil started at a young age, culminating in the completion of her first novel, The Soul Mender, book one in The Soul Mender Trilogy. Her favorite books span every genre and she likes to describe her own work as having something for everyone—a sprinkle of suspense, a dash of adventure, and a whole lot of good versus evil.
R.S. grew up running around the red rocks and ravines in the deserts of southern Utah, building forts, fighting battles, and living the lives of all the characters she and her friends created. An avid lover of all things nature and the outdoors, R.S. attended Texas A&M University where she majored in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation and minored in Park and Natural Resource Management. She worked for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for three years before leaving to pursue her dream of writing a novel.
She currently lives in the Big Bend region of Texas with her husband, two dogs, and cat. When she isn’t lost in another dimension creating havoc for her characters and stories, she enjoys mountain biking, exploring the desert, and eating way too much Mexican food.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Title: Finding Forever
Series: Forever Trilogy #1
Author: E.A. Weston
Genre: NA Romance
Release Date: February 27, 2018
Seventeen year old Harper Collings
Just wants to get away.
Away from the life that has been inflicted on her.
Away from the pain it causes.
Cole Kennedy has it all.
A pretty girl on his arm.
A best friend by his side.
He’s the quarterback for his high school football team.
Cole wants to get away from his life.
Away from the stress it causes.
Nobody knows the secret life Cole Kennedy has to endure, the everyday torment from his father until the day he snaps. The day Cole is arrested and taken away from everything he knows. Sentenced to finish out the rest of senior year in Sunshine Estates he meets one girl that doesn’t seem to care about life even more than him.
Harper Collings takes solace in the reprieve that Sunshine Estates brings. Her life is painful and leaves scars. When the new guy tries to befriend her, Harper does her best to push him away, she doesn’t want him, she doesn’t need him. But in the end he is the only person that can save her.
When two lives collide, they find more that they were looking for.
They find, Forever.
E.A. Weston was born and raised in Dublin Ireland, She now resides in southern California.
She is the best-selling author of New Adult contemporary, paranormal, and Fantasy romance novels. By day she stays at home with her daughter but each night she slips away to spin her tales and gets lost in her fantasy worlds.
As an avid reader, Elizabeth enjoys anything with a bit of romance and a paranormal twist. When she's not writing or devouring her latest read, she can be found spending time with her family or watching movies.
Title: Waiting for the Sun
Series: Waiting for the Sun #1
Author: Robin Hill
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Be the butterfly, Frankie…
Francesca Valentine would rather swear off chocolate than go on vacation solo, but she made a promise to her late father to come out of her shell and live a little. When her best friend bails on their annual girls’ trip, she vows to do just that, but her plan is foiled when the hotel loses her reservation. Alone and stranded in Austin, Texas during one of the world’s largest music festivals, she's rescued by a mysterious stranger, and an unexpected friendship blossoms.
Ten years after losing his family in a tragic accident, Darian Fox is finally back on his feet. The onetime rock star turned successful indie label-owner is content with the isolated life he’s created for himself and wants to keep it that way. But when he’s forced to travel to Texas on behalf of his company, he finds it’s hard to be alone in a city overrun with people. He meets the beautiful, magnetic Francesca and discovers alone is the last thing he wants to be.
The unlikely pair form a bond that elevates them from merely existing to living a life less ordinary. But the lines of friendship quickly blur, and when Francesca’s true feelings surface, Darian will have to decide between breaking her heart and breaking the promise he made to the family he lost. With his own heart ruled by guilt, does Francesca even stand a chance?
…Spread your wings and fly.
WAITING FOR THE SUN is part one in a two part duet. Part two, RIDERS ON THE STORM, to follow. Due to mature content, both installments are recommended for readers 18 and up.
"Wow. I loved it. Yep!!! You guys were right about this one. Totally reminiscent of our old school indie feels!! I mean... from the "meet-cute" to the "just hanging out as friends" to the obvious attraction, and the TOTALLY believable push-pull (and all the heartbreaking history behind it). I believed it. Felt every "feel" and especially the "whys" of this emotional journey." - Maryse, Maryse's Book Blog
"This is a debut novel, but leaves out no element of a romance; swoony, wit, charm, funny moments and emotional. It tells a chocolate mousse love story: fluffy and delicious on the surface and then three bites in (or fifty pages) you realize how deep and rich it really is." - Bestselling Author Emma Scott, Forever Right Now
"I laughed. I swooned. I raged. I swooned. And I really liked this book." - Paige, A is for Alpha B is for Books
Robin Hill spends 75% of her day writing, 30% reading, and a good 25% hanging out with her husband whilst simultaneously stalking random people online. She’s terrible at math. She loves wine. Coincidence? Maybe.
She also loves to cook, eat cheeseburgers, listen to The Doors, and watch Jeopardy. She hates flying and blue cheese, and she's not too keen on treadmills. She believes in aliens but not ghosts. And she dream casts Josh Duhamel in every book she reads.
Robin hides out at her Texas Hill Country compound with her husband and their little poodle princess, Alice Malice.
Promise Me Always
by Rhonda Shaw
Publication date: February 26th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Gabrielle Wells was everything Danny Anderson shouldn’t want. She was his opposite in every way, but he couldn’t keep his distance, and fate seemed to push them together at every turn. She consumed him, and the more he learned about her, the more he realized she was exactly what he didn’t know he needed. But then past mistakes forced him to walk away and never look back, breaking Gabrielle’s heart in the process.
Fast forward six years, and it seems as if fate is intervening again. Danny, now a best-selling rap artist, returns to his hometown, and is reunited with the only girl he’s ever loved.
Gabrielle isn’t the girl he left behind, though, and Danny realizes life has thrown her quite a few curves. But he will stop at nothing to get her back, refusing to let his true desires—love and family—continue to elude him. However, when Danny’s past crashes into his present, threatening everyone he loves and everything he’s fought for, he must decide if his promise to Gabrielle of “always” is worth the risk.
Rhonda owes her love of reading to her mother who would read to her each night before bed and sometimes give into pleads for more than one chapter. These days, if Rhonda doesn’t have a book in her hands, it feels like something is missing. While romance is her true passion, Rhonda enjoys reading multiple genres.
Born in California, but transplanted to the Midwest, Rhonda is warm weather girl to the bone (even years later, winter and her are not on speaking terms) and loves nothing more than a balmy, summer evening. She also loves all animals–especially her silly French Bulldog, Keno.
Nowadays, she has so many characters and story ideas running around in her head that she can’t keep up with them. But one day, she’ll tell each one.
Interview with the Author
If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
Ancient Egypt. I’ve always been so fascinated with the temples and the pyramids, and how they built them. Their ability to build these gigantic structures without any modern conveniences is mind boggling to me.
What is the last thing you googled?
4-Legger. ? I was looking up organic shampoo for my dog.
What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?
On the couch with my Frenchie snuggled in my lap, reading a book, or playing something on Xbox.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Depends on the season. If it’s warm, we’re usually out in the yard enjoying the pool. Cold, we’re inside, hunkered under blankets, and watching something on TV.
If you were stranded on a desert island, which of your characters do you want by your side?
I would probably have to say Jerry Smutton, from book two in my Men of the Show Series, The Ace. He’s such a crazy smart ass, and he makes me laugh. I’d want him with me to keep me entertained. ?
What is the hardest part of writing?
The writing, particularly finding the time to put words on a page, especially with a full-time job. Usually by the end of the day, I’m exhausted (physically and mentally), and I’m just not in a creative place. That’s the hardest (and most frustrating) part for me.
How long have you been writing?
About 14 years. My first (poor ? ) attempt at writing a book was back in 2004.
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
Honestly, it was boredom. ? I was at a job where I had to sit and wait a lot, so I wanted something to fill the time. I was getting tired of not finding books I wanted to read, and, like they say, if you can’t find it, write it. So, I did/tried. It was horrible, but the writing bug bit me big time, and I kept going.
Tell us about your next release.
Promise Me Always is a second chance romance, as well as opposites attract. Gabrielle and Danny are both misunderstood, but determined to survive through their unique circumstances, and with each other, they want nothing more than acceptance and love. We get to follow them through their journey and see how they both grow and mature, and, in the end, succeed with finding the peace they’re both looking for.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Gabrielle is my favorite. I really enjoyed watching her grow in the book, from being a shy wallflower to a woman who is strong and willing to do whatever necessary to protect the ones she loves. Her evolution is really inspiring.
How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Danny’s friend, Dollar. Without giving too much away, he’s just shady, and I don’t trust shady.
This or That?
iPod or Mp3? iPod.
Kids or No Kids? No kids (unless we’re counting fur babies, then 1 ? )
Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
Outline or Pantser? Both
Married or Not? Married
Pie or Cake? Pie
Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream? Frozen Yogurt
Spring or Fall? Summer? ? Okay, Spring
Soda or Pop? Pop
Dogs or Cats? Dogs
Wine or Beer? Wine
Comedy or Drama? Comedy
Indie or Traditional? Both; they both have their pros and cons
Fantasy or Reality? Fantasy
Call or Text? Text
Coffee or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate
eBook or Paperback? eBook
Title: Secret Lucidity
Author: E.K. Blair
Genre: Student/Teacher Forbidden Romance
Release Date: February 26, 2018
This wasn’t supposed to happen.
But it did.
This wasn’t supposed to be my life.
But it was.
I was just a typical girl, living a typical life. Nothing was out of the ordinary until tragedy threw me into a turnstile I couldn’t see my way out of. That was, until him.
I never could’ve imagined my heart falling the way it did. Hard, fast, and with unbounding beauty.
The only problem?
He was off limits.
But he became my everything, and I became his, so we risked it all. It was only a matter of time until I realized that our risk came with unimaginable consequences.
My name is Camellia Hale and his is David Andrews, and this is our love story.
GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33539943-secret-lucidity
Blair has done it again: made the taboo a beautiful story! Oh man, I cried so much throughout this book. The tragic scenes were heartbreaking. The ugly scenes were cringe-worthy (and I will confess I had to skip a few paragraphs because I can’t handle self-infliction. Phantom, sympathy pain!). The love scenes were so REAL! That’s my word to describe Blair’s work—REAL.
Cam goes through so much in this book, and she’s not a strong person at all. Therefore, everything she goes through is so much more poignant as she gives up again and again. She was a hauntingly beautiful character. Too young, too hurt, too damaged to go through everything she went through, and she mostly alone, yet she tried as much as a sheltered, young girl could. Her naivety was written so truly in this book. And I’m not talking relationship-wise. I’m talking all aspects of life.
David is difficult for me to describe. His backstory was tragic, and I feel for him in many aspects. He was a war hero, yet his job during that war was not always in everyone’s best interest, as he himself admitted. When I step back from the story, I know what he did is wrong. However, when you’re in the story, living the story through Cam’s eyes, you can’t fault him. That man loved hard, he loved fully, and his love saved a young girl from destroying the most beautiful gift—life. His love saved Cam in so many ways, got her through so much, and in the end, she became a stronger person because of him.
I wish there was so much more to the story. I didn’t want it to end. Now I feel bereft, especially after the epilogue. Happy tears!
New York Times, USA Today, and International bestselling author, E.K. Blair, takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her books. Blair tends to drift towards love stories that are deeply layered with emotional angst. Give her a character and she will dig into their core to find what lies beneath.
Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace and spending time with her friends and family. She's a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.
We are a group of authors,