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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
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 –
Facebook – http://facebook.com/autumnorchardbooks
Twitter – http://twitter.com/autumnorchardbk
Website – http://autumnorchardbooks.wordpress.com
Racing against time, NSA Agent Joaquin Muñoz is searching for a little girl who vanished twenty years ago with a dangerous secret. Since Bailey Benson fits the profile, Joaquin abducts the beauty and whisks her to the safety of Club Dominion—before anyone can silence her for good.
At first, Bailey is terrified, but when her captor demands information about her past, she’s stunned. Are her horrific visions actually distant memories that imperil all she holds dear? Confined with Joaquin in a place that echoes with moans and breathes passion, he proves himself a fierce protector, as well as a sensual Master who’s slowly crawling deeper in her head…and heart. But giving in to him might be the most delicious danger of all.
Because Bailey soon learns that her past isn’t the only mystery. Joaquin has a secret of his own—a burning vengeance in his soul. The exposed truth leaves her vulnerable and wondering how much about the man she loves is a lie, how much more is at risk than her heart. And if she can trust him to protect her long enough to learn the truth.
You know what they say about curiosity and the cat…but if you still want to know, read below.
Shayla Black (aka Shelley Bradley) is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 40 sizzling contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances produced via traditional, small press, independent, and audio publishing. She lives in Texas with her husband, munchkin, and one very spoiled cat. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading and listening to an eclectic blend of music.
Shayla’s books have been translated in about a dozen languages. She has also received or been nominated for The Passionate Plume, The Holt Medallion, Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, and the National Reader’s Choice Awards. RT Bookclub has twice nominated her for Best Erotic Romance of the year, as well as awarded her several Top Picks, and a KISS Hero Award.
A writing risk-taker, Shayla enjoys tackling writing challenges with every new book.
General Dethan and his brothers have been persecuted for daring to aim too high. They accomplished a Herculean sized task and in doing so won the right to claim immortality. However, in doing so, they have angered the Gods & Goddesses for their daring. Book one Cursed by Fire: The Immortal Brothers solely focus on Dethan. We are introduced to him slowly and very painfully being consumed by fire…again, for times unimaginable. The Goddess of Conflict gives him a chance for redemption from the agony of repeated being burned alive in exchange for helping her raise an army to defeat an enemy faction of Gods. Things are still firmly tipped in her favor since while he gets to again live free as a man every night he is still scheduled to burn and regenerate by morning. His meeting with Selinda, heir to the throne of Hexis, is purely by chance. Unfortunately, I don’t have a very favorable first impression of Selinda. She allows the men around her to boss her around be is very much akin to being a doormat. The author repeatedly shows us how sweet and good and caring she is, and that’s truly a wonderful thing, however, it takes to the almost end of the book before she grows a spine and becomes more than just a pretty princess. This is the type of book that builds up in layers. The further you go into the story the more past sections make sense. The world building and descriptions are on par with an experienced author. If you enjoy mythology, or historical settings, please give the book a chance and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I’m eagerly anticipating book two.
I had a very definite plan for the rest of my life, and it mostly consisted of getting laid by random strangers and never having to deal with the possibility of anyone getting close enough to hurt me again. Now, after one stupid mistake, I couldn’t quit thinking about him, and I knew it was just going to get worse from here.
When twenty-two year-old Jenna Lang went in to Archer Enterprises for a job, she doesn’t expect her entire world to be turned upside-down. Now, she can’t get wealthy CEO Rylan Archer out of her mind and she has a bad feeling that he’s just as intrigued by her. As his intentions become clear, she must decide if she’s willing to risk everything on the chance he’s different.
Including the steamy prequel, Broken Pleasures, M.S. Parker’s new scorching Pleasures series is not to be missed. See what Forbidden Pleasures has in store.
** BOOKS IN THE PLEASURES SERIES **
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.