When I was eleven, my best friend died in a car accident. When I was twelve, my mom walked out, leaving only a note to say goodbye. When I was eighteen, I was forced into witness protection.
My new name is Shyanne Adams. To protect myself, and painless existence, I do not live. I do not laugh. I do not love. For the last three years, the only meaningful thing I’ve done is care for the horse I rescued.
But now, at the age of twenty-one, the one person from both my past and present is pushing me to start living. Before I know it, I’m moving in with new friends who make me laugh. And next door is Kade Cross, the guy who wants me to love.
Kade knows that I will complicate his life, but he welcomes the challenge. He sees that I’m broken, but he doesn’t try to fix me. When he knows I’m trying to push him away, he braces for the impact.
What Kade doesn’t know is that I could have to relocate at any time. So I have to decide: is experiencing love for a short time worth the pain of losing it?
This New Adult Romance is an emotional journey through pain and healing as Shyanne decides to start living again, but never forgetting she could lose this life… just like her last one.
Excerpt: Captain’s Surprise
I close my eyes and draw in a long, slow breath. “Listen, Kade, I’m honored that you got up at 5:30 in the morning to spend time with me, but I don’t do this,” I say, as I wave my hand back and forth between us.
“You know that social isolation can alter functioning of the brain? Can lead to depression, health issues, and even impulsive behavior.”
Meet Deanna Eshler
I’m a Licensed Clinical Counselor, with a masters degree, but I choose not use my degree. In 2013 I quit my job, working with foster kids and families, to stay at home with my 2 kids. That decision is one of my better ones to date.
In addition to my education in counseling, I am certified through EAGALA to provide Equestrian Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP). That training, and subsequent work using horses to help kids heal, is partially where my inspiration for Shy’s story began. Watching children, and families, gain insight into their own behaviors through the horses has been an amazing process. I should mention that I’m not currently using this certification either. I like to gather information, training, titles, but I’m not big on utilizing my new skills.
I started reading, for fun, around 2007. I thank Harry Potter for showing me that escaping in a book is the best therapy. Since that time, I have read more than 500 books. This is one thing I have stayed committed to. I prefer audio books, since I can fold clothes and read at the same time, but I usually have a kindle book I’m reading simultaneously.
I decided to write my own novel when I realized there are not enough books in the New Adult genre. This is my favorite genre, thanks to Colleen Hoover and Jamie McGuire. Once I started writing Shy’s story, I couldn’t have stopped if I wanted to. Sometimes she would wake me in the middle of the night to tell me what the next chapter was about. Writing her story, as well as her horse’s-Walker, was an emotional adventure. I hope you enjoy reading her story, as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Sandra Walsh was a deadly sniper for the Sweet Briar Group, a covert agency with assassins for hire, until her last mission went horribly wrong, accidentally killing an innocent girl. Knowing she’s a danger to her team, Sandra goes off the grid, becoming a Shade—an agent declared dead but secretly hiding among the living. She intends to honor her vow never to pull another trigger or have contact with the spy world again. Until she meets Casper Grady…
Grady is a former Marine with a troubled past and a debt to pay. His life mission has gone from protecting the nation to helping local children and their families. The moment he meets Sandra, he knows there’s more to her than meets the eye, but he can’t help but be drawn to the mysterious femme fatale. And when Sandra’s past suddenly catches up to her, Grady is determined to protect her at all costs, no matter how dark and dangerous her secrets are.
As the danger increases, so does their intense attraction. But when they’re forced to choose between each other and the people they’ve sworn to protect, their growing love might not be enough to keep them together—or alive…
Grady had had enough of the bullshit. Too many people were dropping in, and he was tired of being the only one who didn’t know the whole story. He needed to jump-start the explanations, and the best way to do that was to go for the throat.
He lifted his chin and locked gazes with Cappy. He held up his fingers and started counting. “Cappy, Wraith, Talon, Romeo, Magician. Not your typical Christian names. Add to that Sandra’s confession that she’s a former sniper and Lethal Fuzzball Boy’s acclamation of her world-famous skill before she ‘died’ and became Jesus with her resurrection . . . I’m going to go out on a limb and say you’re the Commanding Officer of this clandestine team, right? Trained with them in Kansas and now lead everyone on missions? Tell me, does the company you work for start with a big C?”
Cappy stiffened, and the reserved expression on his face eclipsed into a thundercloud. “What. The. Fuck?”
“Here we go,” Romeo muttered, but everyone heard due to the sudden silence at the man’s bellow. Even the sun seemed to pause its ascent in the sky for a moment. “Someone had better start talking,” Cappy demanded in his gruff voice. “And, yes, I mean you, Wraith.” He spread his weight over his feet and slapped his hands on his hips.
Sandra lifted her chin and met the CO’s incensed stare. If her arm hadn’t been touching his, he wouldn’t have known that a tremor raced through her before she opened her mouth. “I made the decision to fill Grady in on details I thought he should know. Especially after an assassin took shots at his head earlier this evening.”
“Granger,” Talon inserted, crossing his arms.
Cappy’s eyes flashed and his jaw hardened. He dipped his chin once as if to acknowledge Talon’s contribution and began to pace. “So, despite the oaths you took, you decided to compromise this team by talking to an outsider?”
“And what else does he know?”
Grady hated being talked around. “Not nearly enough,” he stated bluntly, not caring that Sandra now gripped his arm as if to warn him to back off. Grady had this guy’s number. He was completely lethal, no doubt, but he also seemed to be levelheaded and fair. Time to test that theory. “For example, why do you all act like Sandra’s a ghost? Why would a confessed sniper be insinuating herself into my company as an Operations Manager? Why was a gunman shooting at us earlier? Why did Calvin and Hobbes here”—he pointed to Talon and Romeo—“decide it’s better to break in than knock on the door?”
Exchange of Fire by P.A. DePaul is the first in her new SBG series. It quickly drew me in and had me wanting to fight along with Sandra, aka Wraith, and Grady. There is not much backstory given on before the novel started and as such I, for one, would dearly love a prequel novella. It would have been sweet to watch Sandra and Grady dance around their feelings as they worked out how they felt about each other. I do however, feel that they went from unsaid feelings to tearing each other’s clothes off awfully quick which is something that I personally don’t like in a book. The dangerous action parts were well written and took more of the lead in the story than the romance which is part of why I’m not sure about the Sandra/Grady pairing. Heat of the moment hormones aren’t necessarily what makes a long term relationship work although this particular deadly pair might just work in the long run because of their previous attraction.
We are introduced to an overwhelming number of new characters as is normal in a first in the series book. Unfortunately, it was a bit difficult to keep track of who was who and on which side they were on. On the other hand, I still can not wait to learn more about everyone’s backstory and to hopefully see each of them earn their own happy endings. Despite the number of negatives I would still definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes the romantic-action type of genre.
P.A. DePaul is a multi-genre romance author including paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense. She originally hails from Carroll County and Baltimore County, Maryland, but also lived in Macon and Warner Robins, Georgia. She currently resides in a beautiful community just outside Philadelphia. Exchange of Fire is the first novel in the SBG series with the second novel, Shadow of Doubt, releasing April 2015
Midwife and healer, Samantha McAlester returns from the front lines to find Charles Towne under British siege and the town’s new doctor at war with its citizens.
Dr. Trent Cunningham intends to build a hospital staffed solely with educated doctors. What he doesn’t need is a raven-haired charlatan spooning out herbs and false promises to his patients, while tempting him at every turn.
Then a mutual friend develops a mysterious infection. Trenton is stumped. Samantha suspects the cure but knows treatment will expose her long-guarded secret, risking all she holds dear… including Trenton.
“My darling, you look beautiful this evening.” Samantha’s father stopped before her and glanced at her mother. “Don’t you agree?”
“Yes, of course.” Cynthia sipped her wine, cutting off any further comment she may have made.
“Thank you. I’m so pleased that the weather cooperated so we could enjoy the garden tonight.” Samantha let her gaze roam the mingling crowd. “Another week and it will be too chilly to entertain out of doors.”
“Indeed, indeed.” Aaron’s smile faded as he scanned the area, finally focusing on the two-story home. “This house has served us well for many years. It would be hard to find another as fine.”
Samantha darted a look at her father, then noted her mother’s harsh glance and quick squeeze of his arm. “It is a good thing, then, that won’t be necessary. The British will pull out ere long and the town can return to normal.”
“How is Evelyn?” Cynthia asked, abruptly changing the subject. “Pray tell me she is not still crying over that man.”
“It is to be expected she’d grieve the death of the father of her child,” Samantha said, shaking her head, “even if he did treat her abysmally in the end. At one time, she must have felt something for him.”
“Ah, you’re being sought out.” Aaron motioned for her to precede him down the path. “Time for your annual salute. Are you ready?”
She nodded, aware of a sense of relief emanating from her parents, and made her way down the path, her shoes crunching the shells with each step.
Benjamin handed her a flute of sparkling wine when she reached the group of people gathered by the banquet table. She frowned, worry blooming inside. His mouth was pinched as though he fought pain. Not surprising after receiving a gunshot wound to the shoulder that morning when he fought off the last of the renegades with a little help from Amy. She peered closer.
“Benjamin, are you feeling well?” Samantha studied his expression.
“I’m fine, a touch tired after the day’s exertions.” He wiped his hand down his dove gray evening coat then raised his gaze to look over Samantha’s head. “You made it!”
She turned to see who Benjamin greeted and froze, her flute trembling in her fingers, the liquid sloshing within the fragile crystal. Dr. Trenton Cunningham. His sandy blond hair waved back from his open expression, his crystal blue eyes echoing the wide smile revealing even white teeth. Broad shoulders filled the dark blue evening coat he wore, a canary yellow cravat neatly tied at his throat and tucked into an elaborately embroidered waistcoat. Creamy breeches and black leather boots completed his attire. Despite the formality of his clothes, Dr. Trent appeared as though he’d recently arrived on board a ship from some distant port. Fresh and windblown and ready for adventure.
Trent was a gorgeous man, strong and clever, and extraordinarily dangerous to her sense of wellbeing. Her breath hitched and she forced herself to remain still, appear calm, even as her heart raced. This feeling of imbalance and rushing emotions had never happened to her before.
She turned back to face the remaining guests, and raised her glass.
“My friends, we gather this evening as in years past to rejoice in the bounty we’ve realized this year. As our country begins to define our government and create a new society, consider the wise words from the lauded Anna Bradstreet, some called the Tenth Muse back in her day, in her wonderful Meditations, Divine and Moral.”
Trent locked eyes with her, disconcerting her already roiling thoughts. She took a breath and smiled at the gathering.
“She reminded us that, ‘Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish.’ Pray keep this thought in mind as the year draws to a close and we face new challenges. Our governor and other state leaders will need our support and God’s guidance.”
Glasses clinked all around her to the accompaniment of “Huzza! Huzza!”
She sipped her wine, the cheer of the moment echoing inside her heart. Scanning the crowd, she watched as others mimicked her actions. All but two of her guests anyway. A chill froze her smile into place.
Betty Bolté writes both historical and contemporary stories featuring strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. In addition to her romantic fiction, she’s the author of several nonfiction books and earned a Master’s in English in 2008. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and the Authors Guild. Get to know her at http://www.bettybolte.com.
Donovan is still in New York and Memphis is back home still coming to terms with the fact that he left her once again. Then Donovan gets advice from one of his billionaire friends that leads to him flying back to Texas. Will he be able to get to the auction in time to save the ranch? And will the scorching hot romance between Donovan and Memphis that begun years ago be reignited for forever this time?
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DONOVAN (BOOK 1)
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When I realized I’d slept with my wife’s twin sister, I’d thought everything was going to be over. My marriage. My agreement with my father. But my wife didn’t seem to know and I wanted to keep it that way. There was one little problem. I couldn’t seem to let things go.
Blayne Westmore has just found out that he hasn’t been sleeping with his wife, gorgeous former model Livie Dusek. Instead, he’s been sleeping with her identical twin, Katka. He knows he should break it off, but there’s something about her that draws him to her. Now he just needs to figure out what that something is.
Livie’s thankful when her husband suddenly stops trying to make moves on her, but when she figures out why, she’s surprised at how much it bothers her. She knows it shouldn’t. Their marriage is business only, after all. She’s all but expected Blayne to find women to warm his bed. She just never thought it would be her sister. And she never thought she would care.
Don’t miss out on book three of M.S. Parker’s steamy series, Twisted Affair.
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M.S. Parker is a USA Today Bestselling author and the author of the Erotic Romance series, Club Privè and Chasing Perfection.
Living in Southern California, she enjoys sitting by the pool with her laptop writing on her next spicy romance.
Growing up all she wanted to be was a dancer, actor or author. So far only the latter has come true but M. S. Parker hasn’t retired her dancing shoes just yet. She is still waiting for the call for her to appear on Dancing With The Stars.
When M. S. isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading- oops, scratch that! She is always writing.
Discount code to purchase Garden for 35% off
Here is the code: EN36V
Here is the Smashwords link for Garden – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/496280?ref=AutumnOrchard
‘Garden is very charming with some lovely parallels …’ Sharon Sant – Author of The Sky Song trilogy
Inspired by the classic novel The Secret Garden, Jane Yates introduces us to a steampunk world of bio-domes, robots and mysteries. Eleven-year-old Aberdeen is so used to being by herself that all she has to fill her thoughts are stories of mighty dragons and grand castles. But Aberdeen’s world is soon thrown into disarray however; her parents murdered.
Having no choice, Aberdeen is sent to live with her uncle back on Earth where her fascination into her new surroundings begin to take hold. It isn’t long before Aberdeen befriends three other children – Maisy, Peter and Lenard.
Oh, and there’s Frank too, Peter’s robot dog, who completes this special circle of friendship.
Garden is a journey of self-discovery, of trials and friendship. With adventure boundless, Jane Yates follows up her acclaimed Paradox Child trilogy with a new tale for young fans of steampunk and science fiction.
Praise for Garden
‘Garden is very charming with some lovely parallels …’ – Sharon Sant – Author of The Sky Song trilogy
‘This is an absolutely lovely story with a really intriguing mystery …’ – Jaimie Admans – Author of Afterlife Academy
‘Garden made me smile from start to finish.’ – Dan Thompson – Author of Here Lies Love
‘Jane Yates has written a wonderful story of self-growth, courage and learning how to love.’ – Book Raiders Blog
Excerpt: Chapter One from Garden by Jane Yates
Deep in space, Aberdeen sat on a balcony overlooking a grand party her mother hosted. Everyone wore their finest clothes. The music was loud; a type of remixed jazz. Aberdeen searched her mother out among the crowd of guests. Upon spotting her, she gazed at her mother’s attire; a long silk dress, the colour of shock blue. This was matched by elaborate feathers and sparkling jewels that hung in her blue hair. Her mother’s hair swung down her back, which highlighted her large dragon tattoo. Aberdeen eyed the lead in her mother’s hand and followed it to the golden robot dog sat beside her. It was tall and thin, and even from where Aberdeen sat, she could see the cogs moving inside it as if it had a tiny heart beating.
Aberdeen’s mother laughed gaily. She had the full attention of a young officer with braided hair, who was smartly dressed in his green and gold uniform. As he chuckled along, his head dropped back and a cool thin line of rose-smelling cigarette smoke slid from the corner of his mouth.
Aberdeen continued to watch the party from above. As usual, there was no sign of her father; probably in the engine room of the ship, she guessed. She browsed at all the fresh fruit and flowers in the tall bowls and glasses decorating the table. She knew that they had been picked up the last time the ship had docked at one of the satellite stations. She had learnt that the fragrant, exotic flowers had been grown in large artificial garden domes and she longed to see one.
She looked down in awe at the musicians. A large man sat at a glass piano, his fingers elegantly flitting from key to key. Aberdeen could see his fat belly though through the transparent top of the piano; it wobbled tastelessly as he played, a huge contrast to his regal demeanour. Aberdeen also noticed a tall, skinny man, strumming a black shiny double base and three female trumpeters who all wore brown and white stripy suits.
Draped from the metallic ceiling were candle-shaped lights, and in between them dancers gambolled on trapeze ropes. They wore porcelain masks and flamboyantly displayed peacock feathers, midnight blue and jade green, in their hair. They matched the rhythm of the quintet perfectly, Aberdeen thought.
The floor was polished to a high shine and Aberdeen could see the reflection of the sociable people in it. In the corner of the room was an old gentleman who caught Aberdeen’s interest. Upon his head was a black top hat and he rested a glass monocle on his eye, which magnified his golden brown iris so even Aberdeen could see. His long twisting moustache made Aberdeen giggle.
There were no children however, and Aberdeen wondered what the workers’ children were up to. She suddenly felt quite alone.
Aberdeen picked up some of the plastic cocktail sticks that had been dropped on the floor; planting them along the edge of the balcony and playfully imagining them growing into amazing flowers. She soon tired of the game and thought about going downstairs to join the party, but knew that her mother would not be pleased; her mother felt that children should be seen but not heard and, where possible, not seen at all. Her mother had not wanted children. Aberdeen knew she hadn’t been planned and her mother, a socialite, did not have time for her, nor did she wish for her daughter to mix with the other children on the ship, as these were the workers’ children. The elite children had been shipped off to boarding school, but Aberdeen had not settled in well there and caused fights with the other children. She was returned to her parents in disgrace.
Aberdeen had wanted to play with the ship workers’ children, but her mother, on one of her brief and rare visits to see her daughter, told her horrid stories about them. “They have revolting lice in their hair,” she had said, and “Do you want them to jump at you and bite you?”
So instead Aberdeen spent all her time in the company of her robot nanny; her Guardian. Her Guardian was programed to do whatever she wanted, as long as it did not disturb the child’s parents. It was efficient but uncaring, which had led partly to Aberdeen becoming the same way. The Guardian was responsible for her education too and arranged her meals and even dressed her. It was also programmed to tell stories. The wondrous tales and adventures of frightful dragons and grand castles were her favourite and she would spend her time imagining dragons flying around her room acting out her own brave endeavours.
Early the next morning, Aberdeen awoke thinking she had heard screams and cries for help. Frightened, she locked her door and snuggled tightly underneath her covers. The thick duvet muffled the cries from outside, and before long, she had drifted back to sleep.
When she awoke some hours later, having convinced herself that the commotion from the night before had been a terrible nightmare, she opened her door and sat on her bed waiting for her Guardian. Minutes later, it still hadn’t appeared.
Aberdeen browsed her room to pass more time; it was only fair she allowed her Guardian a little extra before she left the room. Her room was plain compared with the lavish party setting of downstairs, although she knew she could have it decorated any way she desired. She chose to not have a lot. What she liked doing the most was playing with her robot snake. Aberdeen was content with her few intimate toys rather than having extravagant playthings she had no need of. She had books, but she preferred to be read to. The furniture was clinical white, undecorated and simplistic in design. Everything served a purpose and there wasn’t even a carpet on the floor, just white lino. There were pictures on the wall, but none that she had chosen, as if put there by someone who had no knowledge of her at all.
She suddenly remembered the soft toys she once had, which consisted mostly of dragons, but they had been stored away when she had been sent off to school. Her mother, still angry at Aberdeen’s quick return, as if she was but a nuisance, had not retrieved them yet. She much preferred her robot snake anyway.
Aberdeen felt herself becoming increasingly frustrated; why wasn’t her Guardian coming to dress her? She wasn’t used to waiting. When the rage become too much, Aberdeen jumped and stamped her feet screaming for the Guardian to come. When it still hadn’t arrived, she sulked down the hallway until she came to the balcony. All the food and glasses were still left set out, but there wasn’t anyone around. Aberdeen descended the staircase and quickly snatched some of the food. On her way back to her room, she grabbed an opened bottle of wine.
As she crossed the polished floor however, she froze and looked at her sad reflection. Her plain looks gave way to a sour jawline, giving the impression that she rarely smiled. In truth, Aberdeen realised that she hardly did. Her shapeless chestnut hair appeared dull. She looked as far away from the fashionable figure of her mother. Her words rung in her mind.
Spoilt, bad tempered little child!
Aberdeen promptly scooted back to her room. Perhaps her Guardian had arrived.
Aberdeen was furious to find it hadn’t. She slid her food underneath her bed and squeezed under herself, thinking mean thoughts. She ate some of the food and sipped the wine, which made her sleepy. Eventually, not realising how long had passed, and getting rather bored, she played with her small robot snake. She built high obstacles out of plastic bricks for it to slither around. She tried to imagine that the snake was a dragon from one of her stories and that the bricks were castles. When she had drained the wine however, Aberdeen soon found herself slipping into a slumber.
But when she awoke, her angry temperament hadn’t left her. Where was her Guardian?
Just then, outside her bedroom door she heard two muffled grown-up voices.
“It’s a shame; she was beautiful, taken in the prime of her life,” the first voice said.
“She was a mother too,” the second voice replied. “I hear she had a child, a girl, although nobody ever really saw her.”
Aberdeen got out from under her bed and opened the door. She frowned at two officers who were stood in the hallway wearing gas masks.
“Oh, look, Barnabas, there’s a child here, alone in a place like this!” one of them said, pointing and grabbing another mask from his bag which was slung over his shoulder.
“Who is she?” the second offer asked.
“I’m Aberdeen Gale,” Aberdeen introduced herself, pulling herself up as tall as she could and staring at them both.
“Oh, this must be the girl no one ever saw. Poor thing, she must have been forgotten,” the first officer said, holding out the mask for her to put on. Aberdeen glared at the mask; it was a strange shape, light brown in colour with two round windows for eyes. She spotted a dull copper filter hanging from it. The gas mask itself could have been really old if it not for the fact that there was a green triangular light flashing on it.
“I don’t like it!” Aberdeen shouted, folding her arms across her body and scowling at the men.
“Oh, the poor thing, she’s frightened,” Barnabas said, a hint of patronisation in his voice.
“I’m not poor at all,” Aberdeen snapped. “My father is in charge of the ship. I need you to take me to him at once as my robot has not come for me.”
Barnabas knelt down next to Aberdeen. “You poor child,” he said softly. “Everyone is dead. There was a distress signal, which we picked up.” He helped her to put on the gas mask.
Aberdeen could not believe what she was hearing. She tugged at the gas mask, rearranging its strange structure. It felt heavy on her face and it made her want to itch her skin. Barnabas offered her a smile. He looked to his colleague for support, who continued to talk as if Aberdeen was invisible.
“Maybe the girl survived as she leads a solitary existence? Well, that will have to change now.”
Barnabas continued to smile at her.
“You must come with us, my girl,” the other officer instructed, holding his hand out to Aberdeen. “We need to take you off this ship and back to a halfway station for quarantine. Juno is probably the nearest one.”
“Your robot is not coming,” Barnabas told her as if he had sensed her thoughts. “All the worker robot signals were shut down when the distress signal was issued.”
Aberdeen glared at him, “I don’t believe you!”
“It’s true,” Barnabas said. “It’s part of the fail safe protocol. When the distress signal is sent it allows for every eventuality, even robot attack, so it shuts them down.”
Aberdeen stood still, her mind racing, she did not know what to do.
“It was some sort of virus,” Barnabas continued. “We are not sure of all the facts as yet, but from what we can piece together it looks as if one of the crew members released a fast acting, deadly virus as a grudge. We suspect a chemist.”
Aberdeen must have looked blankly at him, as he continued. “We were on our way to arrest him anyway. He had been developing new Class A drugs and had become paranoid.”
Aberdeen took a step backwards unsure to believe them or not. She wasn’t quite sure what ‘Class A’ drugs were, but she definitely didn’t like the sound of them.
The other officer said, “Look, we haven’t got time for this. We need to get you off this ship; it’s going to be decommissioned.”
Aberdeen ran back into her room and scooped up her snake and placed it in her pocket, then followed the two officers along the corridor and away from the only home she had ever known.
Text copyright © Jane Yates 2015
About the author:
Jane lives in the historic city of Oxford, England with her two spaniels. She works at the Pitt Rivers museum there too and is amazed and inspired by its wondrous array of objects. Being a museum of anthropology and world archaeology, Jane often finds herself influenced by its exhibitions. And indeed it has helped Jane write a trilogy for children – the Paradox Child series.
Jane is not only a mother, artist and storyteller, but dyslexic too, which only highlights her success even more. Jane refuses to allow the disorder to halt her dreams and continues to enjoy her favourite hobbies. Jane is a lover of steampunk, adventure and children’s stories, which often play a huge role in her own books.
Jane Yates Links –
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JYparadoxchild
Garden Links –
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GardenNovel
Youtube Trailer Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACQSVhtXpAo
Autumn Orchard Links –
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Website – http://autumnorchardbooks.wordpress.com
I’ve been burned! Again! I should know better than to let down my guard when it comes to matters of the heart, especially with regards to Lauren Mitchell.
A night in jail left Aedyn Cumberland feeling dejected, bitter and used by Lauren Mitchell. The only way forward is to return to Chicago and the impossible task of tearing Lauren out of his heart, for the second time in his life.
Meanwhile, in Granger, Lauren stands up for herself and makes a dangerous decision to take control of her destiny, clearing the way for a relationship with Aedyn. She only hopes it’s not too late.
Just when everything seems to be moving forward for Lauren, disaster strikes. No one realizes exactly how far, Chip Harrison, her former boyfriend is willing to go to save his own reputation.
Don’t miss the thrilling continuation to Flirting With Destiny by New York Times Best selling author, Eve Carter
** DESTINY SERIES **
I am a true romantic at heart and with a modern contemporary erotic twist to my romance novels, you had better fasten your seat belt, as the ride is always fun, exciting and fiery.
Living in Southern California, but a mid-westerner at heart, I find plenty of inspiration for my books in my own exciting life. I have always loved the arts and as a young girl, I took dance classes and spent the summers reading books from the local library. Fascinated with the written word and its power to guide the imagination, I started writing short stories and later took Creative Writing classes in college. I graduated from The University of Iowa with a B.A. in Journalism and an M.A. in Higher Education. I also have a Teaching Credential from Chapman University in Southern California.
Redemption lies beyond the veil between truth and lies.
After witnessing her husband’s brutal murder, Brenna Baudouin lost control of her Shadow Bearer powers and wreaked havoc on her home world. Her penance: one hundred years policing hordes of supernatural misfits that spilled onto the Earthly plane after a cataclysmic war.
She’s on a routine exorcism run when she learns she’s been assigned a new partner. But there’s something about this Shadow Bearer that sparks her suspicions. Particularly when people closest to her start turning up as piles of ash.
Gray Warlow holds tight to the glamour that allows him to get close to the woman on whom he plans to wreak vengeance for betraying his people. Yet as he skillfully manipulates his way past her distrust, he begins to see her not as the heartless monster he was led to believe, but a strong, vulnerable woman.
As they work to put together the pieces of a killer’s macabre puzzle, an attraction deeper than blood and bone flares between them. And they must reveal their deepest secrets to avoid becoming the final targets.
Warning: A thrill ride of supernatural proportions. Contains violent battle scenes, nail-biting suspense, crazy hot sexual tension, and enough twists and turns to make your head spin.
Thankfully, he didn’t get much bang for his buck. This one was weak. Newly possessed, the demon hadn’t had time to gain a strong enough lock on the victim’s body. This shouldn’t take long. The piles of paperwork she had left on her desk might even get done tonight.
She pushed through the crowd, stripping her leather duster off her shoulders as she went. The black corset underneath, paired with tight leather pants, flattered her figure. She turned heads, especially the demon’s. She released the hair tie at the back of her neck. With a quick shake, her burnt copper curls slid down to her waist. She stopped at one of the tiny tables and threw her coat across the barstool.
Eyes closed, she pretended the music was something more aesthetically pleasing as she stepped onto the dance floor, keeping her mark at the forefront of her mind. She felt his eyes on her body as she swayed to the music. Hips gyrating to the heavy beat, she pulled on her glamour to blend in with the other dancers as she let her magic wrap his body. Losing herself in the music, she let him watch her move, feeling his desire amp. His energy vibrated as he made his way through the crowd, his power wild.
His hands draped her hips and he pulled her to him, his magic sliding over her body. Darkness tinged her aura, but she shrugged it off. Dealing with demon magic never got easier, but his wasn’t powerful. Grinning, she wrapped her hand around his neck, pulling him close until her lips brushed his ear. His burning skin jumped against her touch.
They stilled for a moment as the DJ switched tracks. “Think you could get me a drink?” she breathed, brushing a hand down his bare back. “I’m thirsty.” She grinned as he nodded, eager, the demon jumping beneath his skin.
“Anything for you, darlin’.” He wrapped a possessive arm around her waist, moving her toward the bar. “What’s your poison?”
A grin played on his lips. “My kinda woman.”
Pushing past the other bartender, he grabbed a bottle of Jack and poured her shot. She caught it as it slid across the splintered wooden bar. Tossing it back, she reveled in the slow burn of the liquor. It was an old favorite. Just cause she was working didn’t mean she couldn’t treat herself.
She tossed back a second shot, thankful she didn’t have the ability to get drunk. Giving the demon her best longing look, she leaned forward. “Thanks. I needed that,” she murmured. “What’s your name?”
Leaning forward, she traced a finger down her cleavage. “Do you think you could give me a ride home, Zed?” she asked. She bit one finger in a nervous gesture, knowing he was buying it. “My friend went home with some guy and left me here. I can wait.”
His eyes flashed, and she knew she had him.
“Sure.” He glanced at the other bartender. “Give me a second. I got off an hour ago.”
Sure you did, she thought.
A few seconds later he was back, pulling on a t-shirt as he walked. The gesture was surprisingly human. With the demon hiding inside, the brimstone dancing in his blood would keep his body uncomfortably hot, eventually burning him alive from the inside out. It may be the middle of winter, but he would never feel the cold.
He held up his keys as she rose to meet him. “My truck’s out back.”
She moved closer, letting him drape an arm over her shoulder. “Let me grab my coat.” The duster was where she had left it. She draped it over her arms as she turned on her psychic link with Xavier. The mage accepted, and Brenna turned to the demon, knowing Xavier was watching through her eyes. At this point, the mark’s lust was so inflamed he wouldn’t notice the slight change of color in her irises.
Wrapping her free arm around Zed’s waist, she led him through the mass of patrons to the exit. As they stepped into the wintry air, she noticed the bikers again. They stood beside their Harleys, watching her warily as she passed. She worried the tension might give her away, but Zed was oblivious.
She led him over the cobblestone to where Xavier waited. As they closed in on the shadows, she could feel Zed’s eagerness spike.
The darkness moved over them, hiding them from prying eyes. Xavier’s power sang in the night, a compass pointing her to the van. Leaving Zed to follow behind, she moved to the gray van and pressed her back against its side. Zed moved toward her, all pretense of humanity stripped away. The graceless stride betrayed his hunger as green scales peeled away his skin and his eyes turned to blood red slits.
Brenna waited until he was on her, scales chaffing the sensitive skin of her face, then she dropped her glamour. The demon jerked back as her magic wrapped around his body, but it was too late. In one swift movement, she pulled the blade strapped to her back free and ripped the already tattered t-shirt away from his chest. Shifting her body weight, she slammed him against the vehicle even as his body mass grew, the demon pushing its way to the surface. One hand held Zed steady, the other slipped beneath his jeans to feel the skin of his hip.
“A little to the left,” the demon growled, body shaking, titillated despite itself.
He shifted his weight and slammed her against the brick wall behind her. His body pressed hard against hers, he ran a scaly tongue across her cheek. “You don’t have to get hostile, darlin’. I don’t mind if you like it rough.”
She let her power surge and kneed him in the crotch. Sparks flew as her spell sent him flying against the van. Keeping him in place with a holding spell, her fingers found the rune carved on his hip. She ripped away the denim as she tried to control the squirming demon.
“A little help?” she called out. She had pulled back the spell. Her full body weight was pressed against the demon, but he was starting to get free. Her magic had to be focused on breaking the possession; she couldn’t waste it restraining Casanova.
She released the demon as Xavier stepped from the shadows and slammed it against the van again. Subdued, the creature glared at them, its red eyes filled with hatred. Another hard slam dazed the creature, but only for a moment.
A flick of her hand and the back of the van opened. Xavier shoved Zed inside. As soon as he was strapped into the harness, Brenna ripped off his jeans. His hips now bare, she was able to see the rune carving, fresh as she had hoped.
Her ceremonial blade pulsed in her hand as she charged it with her energy.
Zed spit at her. The saliva sizzled across the corset, burning a hole in the leather.
Damn. That had been one of her favorites.
“Stuff something in its mouth. I need to concentrate.”
“Deal with it. Even in the harness this thing is a bitch to restrain.” White lines creased Xavier’s eyes, and Brenna worried his injuries were more severe than he let on.
Zed’s fingers began to work the trappings of the harness, but Xavier pulled him back, one arm around his scaly neck. In an explosion of power, Zed pulled free, knocking Xavier into the side of the van. Saliva dripping from his fangs, Zed growled at Brenna, and snapped the other wrist free. Jumping across the van, he pinned Brenna beneath him. Spittle fell from his lips, scorching its way across her skin. She pressed her palm against his face and pushed with all her strength, ignoring her burning flesh. Then, suddenly, he was gone.
Getting to her feet, she saw Xavier had strapped the beast back into the restraints.
“You got it?” Once she started, she wouldn’t be able to help him anymore. All of her energy would go into the exorcism.
A sharp giggle jarred Brenna’s attention. Looking up, she caught Hilda peering through the glass from the front seat. “If he passes out, I can help.”
“This isn’t a game.”
Zed slammed against his restraints. “I like ghosts. They burn like whiskey going down.”
“Shut up,” Xavier growled.
Tuning them out, Brenna let the words of the exorcism spell spill from her lips. Her hand pressed against the rune on the demon’s hip. The carving glowed and the green light grew until it filled the van.
Zed fought against the restraints. Obscenities, the kind only a demon would know or understand, ricocheted throughout the vehicle.
Xavier stuck a thick leather strap in the demon’s mouth, cutting off his tirade.
Brenna gathered her magic. It pooled through her and into the athame as she sliced the silver blade into the center of the rune. Blood seeped from the wound, spilling over the green light. It exploded with power, slamming Brenna against the van. Xavier fared better, still wrapped around the demon. He was surrounded by a musty green steam that reeked of brimstone.
Continuing the chant, Brenna pulled a pouch of blessed sand from the crevice between her breasts. Throwing a pinch onto the rune, she banished the demon back behind the Veil. Golden steam rose from the wound. It twined around Brenna thick and dense, but she continued to chant even as its foulness tried to seep inside her mouth.
Darkness teased the edges of her vision for a few moments, then the warmth of Xavier’s power wrapped around her body like a shield, pushing out the demonic essence. Time stood still as the final words filled the air. Then, in a flash, the beast was gone.
Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex. When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books.
You can visit Angela at her blog www.angeladennisauthor.blogspot.com. She loves to hear from her readers, so don’t forget to find her on Twitter to chat.
Expected publishing date: March 24, 2015
Purchase Link: Amazon
Meet Oddly Normal, a ten-year-old girl with pointed ears and green hair — a half-witch who will be the first to tell you that having a mother from a magical land called Fignation and a father from Earth doesn’t make it easy to make friends at school! On her tenth birthday, she blows out her cake’s candles and makes a disastrous wish. Now, Oddly must travel to Fignation to uncover the mystery of her parents’ disappearance. Join Oddly as she navigates a strange new school, monstrous bullies, and Evil itself on an unforgettable fantasy adventure through the vibrant world of Fignation in Oddly Normal. Collecting Oddly Normal #1-5.
You’d think that being a half witch with a full witch for a mother would be an idyllic life with magic to learn and play with. However, for a girl named Oddly Normal that is not the case. Her green hair and pointed ears are just one more thing to be bullied about. Her parents, while loving, are both completely oblivious to what Oddly’s life is truly like. Things come to a head on the night of her 10th birthday party.
I haven’t read many graphic novels but I really enjoyed this one by Otis Frampton. I feel like this is something that I could share with my eldest daughter. The storyline made me want more and I could empathise with Oddly as I believe many kids could as well. I look forward to reading the rest of this series. The illustrations are amazing, especially when it comes to Fignation where I would love to live.
* Note I received this graphic novel for free in exchange for an honest review