Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Adult, Suspense, Thriller
Breathe in. Breathe out. This mantra gets Tessa Benson through the day.
The man she loves walks all over her, and she just wants to get by without her heart shattering to pieces. If she could find her voice, she’d scream.
Everything changes in one night, when she’s snatched from the streets and tied to a bed, a camera set up to capture her dying moment. And the person who paid to watch her die…is still out there somewhere.
Tessa prowls dark neighborhoods in a quest for justice, but she doesn’t find the killer. Not until they strike again…in the place Tessa is least expecting, and where it hurts worst.
Only 99¢ for a limited time!
Seth gazed down into pools of black, into Krista’s large beautiful eyes, and was lost to the humble pain reflecting from them. A direct result of having lost her best friend. He hated to see her cry, and the fact he caused it now had him feeling awkward, ashamed, and less than human.
How could he have left her like that? It was a damn good question. Even though he’d always been able to reason with himself that it was the right thing to do, he faced the obvious fact it had been incredibly painful for her.
He continued to look down at her as she fought to reign in her emotions, her bottom lip quivering and breaking his heart. Proving to him, he had been wrong, and there were no words to right his mistakes. He gently reached out and touched her face, wiping away the tears. “I am sorry, Krista. I never meant to hurt you, I swear. I thought it would be best if I never resurfaced, and you would finally be able to move on without me.”
He knew the excuse was an old one, and it would burn her deeply to know he still harbored the desire to protect her by distancing himself. He also knew that even though he felt inclined to keep his distance, he could never again walk away from her. Her presence soothed his battered soul, and he would never be able to continue without her. He was suddenly determined that he would earn back her friendship, no matter what he had to do.
Krista didn’t let go of her grip on him but was suddenly desperate to have her questions answered to fill in the gaps and understand where he had been? Why was he here? And what did it all mean? “What’s going on, Seth? Why are you here?” she asked warily, fearing that despite his apology, he would up and disappear the first chance that he got.
Seth thought about his time in Mexico, his recent realization of his possible contributions to the murders there, or his inevitable descent into insanity, following in the footsteps of his mother. He stepped back from her, regressing immediately into an old pattern of keeping his tainted darkness away from her pure light.
“I need your help, Kris.”
Krista drew a deep, shaky breath, composing herself as she looked into him. She would see his weakness and that he was struggling with something bigger than he was, probably bigger than what she could handle. But she would help him as best she could. He was sure of that. No matter how it affected her. That’s what he worried about.
“Okay. I’ll help you. But you have to promise me just one thing,” she demanded, pointing her finger at him with a stern warning in her tone. “You have to promise me that you are going to be completely open and honest with me. You aren’t going to hide anything in the name of protecting me. I am sick of being treated with callous indifference so that you can feel like some sort of martyred hero. There is no point in me helping you with anything if we aren’t on the level. Understand?”
Seth clenched his jaw and knew he deserved the insult, while she also deserved exactly what she was asking for—honesty and trust. He nodded in affirmation. He would give her both. “I understand.”
Krista cocked her head to the side and continued to size him up with a wary, narrow-eyed gaze, “Fine, then let’s get out of here. We can go back to my apartment and order pizza while you fill me in on the last decade of your life and what it is you need help with. I’m hungry!” she stated emphatically as she spun on her heel. She crossed the room, gathered her briefcase, and turned back to lead the way out of the building.
As she approached him, she gave her best imitation of Ricky Ricardo’s famous Cuban accent, “Lucy, you have some ‘splaining to do!” and slipped her left arm into his right, gently pulling him toward the staircase. Same old Krista, bossy as ever.
Michelle Bellon lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Chayne and her four quirky and beautiful children. She loves coffee, Superman, rollercoasters, and has an addiction to Chapstick.
She works as a registered nurse, is pursuing her Masters and in her spare time writes novels. As a multi-genre author, she has written in the categories of romance suspense, young adult, women’s fiction, and literary fiction. She has won four literary awards. You can visit Michelle’s website at http://www.authormichelleking.com/
The Black Widow
(Dark Secrets Duet #2)
Publication date: October 28th 2019
Genres: Adult, Psychological Thriller
Day by day, piece by piece, he puts it all together. What will happen when he finally realizes what I’ve done?
There was a time when I thought I was simply a magnet for trouble. Now I know better. If you want to call me the Black Widow, I’m going to own it. You want a monster? I’ll give you one. I’ll alienate you from everything you know and love. You will learn the hard way that evil doesn’t only lurk in our imaginations.
The tall, dark and handsome cop would be well-advised to steer clear of me. He knows better than to get tangled in the web I’ve weaved. I warned him. I told him not to mess with me if he values his life. You’re probably wondering what’ll happen when my darkest truths unravel. It’s not my problem anymore. If he sticks around, he will be the author of his own misfortune.
Caught in my own dangerous game of elimination, will he be the last nail in my coffin?
$2.99 on release week only!
Ignorance truly is bliss. My car pulls away from the curb, my tousled hair dancing in the wind as if our autumn is unseasonably warm. You can’t believe everything you see. In all honesty, it’s not that warm. I have a chill running through my body that I can’t escape. I probably would have closed my car window a long time ago, if I could have, but it’s stuck halfway down. I’m just lucky the raincloud over there is keeping its distance. Lucky. Hah! I’m lucky like that man up ahead.
Look at his tidy pile of leaves. He probably spent his entire morning raking those things into a heap next to the curb and is proud of himself for beating the rain. I smirk at the rotund, older man in his front yard. He hasn’t even had enough time to put away his rake. Instead, he stands there proudly, leaning against the handle and scratching his overfed belly. I can’t resist. Someone has handed this opportunity to me, and I simply can’t pass it up.
My foot presses deeper into the accelerator, thrusting my small car forward. I glare at the old man from beneath dark lashes. His eyes immediately connect with mine, begging me to rethink what I’m about to do. That only encourages me further. I veer toward the pile, blasting through the leaves and cheering with a crazed depth to my voice.
I feel so alive. When the old man stumbles after me, frantically waving his hands with leaves raining around him, I smile harder. A smile. For the longest time, I forgot my mouth could even do that. It feels like my world has shifted, though, and maybe, just maybe things are looking up for me. I force the images of my tormented childhood down, forgetting about my mother’s wasted apologies and the gurgling sound that came from my father’s throat when he drowned before my very eyes. I’ve blown through enough of my life boo-hooing over them. No more.
I carry on down the road, wearing a real smile—not the fake one I wore throughout my unfortunate youth, being spread between perverted foster fathers and overbearing relatives who wanted to make themselves feel better by sporadically treating me like family. No, remembering how I was pawned off to the system never helps. This is why my smiles never last long.
With a deep breath, my smile wilts, but I remind myself that I’m not a teenager anymore. I’m finally free of those people and their unanswered promises. No one’s in charge of my destiny but me. I have to grab life by the balls and make shit happen. Just because my late parents had a few screws loose, doesn’t mean I have to be stuck in my own self-inflicted hell, right? Right?
I pause at a yellow light and proceed into the intersection, flicking on my left turn signal as I make the turn in front of an oncoming sports car. It’s a dumb move. Traffic is thick, and the dude driving the small, black car is in a hurry to go nowhere. He swerves around my rear bumper and lays on his horn. I flip him the bird and hold it there for a few long seconds, completely lost in my own world. I forget to reacquaint myself with the car in front of me. Traffic is now at a standstill.
I quickly jam onto my brake, but I’m screwed. My balding tires argue with the pavement and make a loud screeching noise while my front-end slams into the car in front of me. A loud popping noise is the only warning I have before wearing a face full of airbag. I don’t care if it looks like a fluffy cloud; it feels like a brick wall, and I wonder if I have a broken nose. I struggle to breathe as I push the bag out of my face and clutch at my nose, sighing deeply, choking on the stale air.
Way to go, Clarisse.
“Are you okay?” a man shouts, reaching through my half-open window and tearing my car door from its hinges to pull me free of the wreckage. He thinks my window is broken because of the accident, and I’m going to let him keep on thinking that.
I’m still holding my nose when I collapse into his arms and look up into apologetic eyes. “I’ve had better days,” I admit.
“But you’re alive.”
The corners of my lips quirk upwards oh so slightly. “There’s that.”
He helps me right myself, and I push off of him once I regain my footing. “My bumper didn’t even see you coming,” he says with a smile.
I assess the damage. My scrappy little car is banged up pretty good, but it’ll drive. The back end of his car sits on the ground in a heap of ruin. “Is it true that they can pick that thing up and reattach it?” I ask, already knowing the answer.
“I don’t know. See the way the fender is curled under. That’ll be a hard fix.”
I nod, wondering if I should throw my entire first year of college away and run for the hills. The dark cloud that had been following me finally catches up. My eyes wander to the bystanders who scatter for cover as droplets of rain start to pelt the pavement.
“I can’t afford to fix your car.” I look back to him, trying not to admire his clean-cut military hairstyle. “I’m sorry but I just can’t.”
His eyes sink into mine while he thinks on it, the rain quickly dampening his clothes and mine. He takes my hand to get my attention. It works.
“What do you say we talk to these nice policemen over here and then I take you out for a coffee? I’m sure we can work something out.”
Christa Simpson is the Bestselling Author of contemporary romances with a twist and dark, twisty psychological thrillers. Her stories are loaded with passion, suspense and sarcasm. She’s a small-town Canadian girl living in Southwestern, Ontario, with her husband and two beautiful daughters. Check out her stories and get ready for some emotionally charged entertainment!
Princes of the Lower East Side
(A Scalisi Family Novel, #2)
Publication date: October 28th 2019
Genres: Adult, Historical, Thriller
Mia Scalisi returns in this highly anticipated follow-up to Blood & Whiskey!
Sicily is a paradise on earth Mia Angela Scalisi doesn’t want to leave, but after over a year of peace, obligations—like being Hyman Goldberg’s It Girl at his new nightclub—call her back to New York City.
But everything she’s known in New York has changed…and that might even include the men she once thought were her friends.
When a new, ambitious gangster threatens to take over the old neighborhood, bringing devastation to the poor families who live there, Mia can’t ignore the bonds that tie her to the underworld way of life that killed her brother and set her upon a merciless, bloody path of revenge.
With her brother’s widow, her niece, and a mysterious, devoted bodyguard at her side, Mia must reclaim her position as head of her dead brother’s business, establish herself as the reigning queen among the princes of the Lower East Side, and make the ultimate decision: who lives, and who must die.
Gloria said, hands on her hips. “You promised my husband to watch out for me and Em, but he would want me to watch over you, too. You need someone to look after you, Mia. To care for you. Even if you don’t think you need anyone.”
“I have Paolo.” Mia had asked him once if he’d known what she’d done in America. He understood English, so she spoke both Sicilian and English to him. Paolo had responded with a single, firm nod. And that had been the only time they had discussed it—as much of a discussion as could be had with a mute man.
When she’d announced to her family two weeks ago that she was returning to New York, there seemed an unspoken understanding Paolo would also make that trip. Nevertheless, Don Catalano, who had made the arrangements for her, had told her in no uncertain terms the fierce Sicilian man would be accompanying her as her bodyguard and remaining by her side in New York.
She had come to appreciate his silent presence, his protective hovering. It was hard to understand why he had chosen her to devote himself to, but it wasn’t a gift she was interested in questioning.
“I don’t trust Paolo,” Gloria said. “How do you trust a man who can’t talk?”
“I find him the most trustworthy of men for that reason alone.”
“You can’t travel and live on your own with a man you’re not married to,” she insisted. “You’re still just a young girl, after all.”
“I’ll be twenty-three in September.”
“You are a child,” Gloria repeated softly.
Mia smiled, a little bitterly, down at her small case of cosmetics, dropping the envelope on top. When she was a child, she’d lost both of her parents—her father to a heart attack when she was just a toddler. Her mother had died in a terrible fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, leaping from the top of the building in order to avoid being burned by the flames. Mia and Nick had been forced to hustle the streets, begging for handouts, learning poker to swindle the gangsters, stealing food, freezing nearly to death in their filthy tenement. She’d become a vaudeville performer, because young girls telling raunchy jokes to older men made money. When Nick had been drafted to the war, she’d worked a dozen hours a day for an abusive woman in a dress factory, just to keep a little food in her stomach. She’d known more about being an adult at twelve than most women her age knew now. Once she might have been proud of that, but now, it only made her sad.
Finally, she looked at Gloria. “I haven’t been a child for a very long time.”
Meredith Allison has embraced her nerdiness from youth, with minor jaunts of attempting to be “cool” during high school and college. Spoiler alert: she was unsuccessful at fooling anyone. After this dark period, she returned to the light, embracing her bookish nature and penchant for action and horror films, bloody survivalist video games (she’s looking at you, Resident Evil and Call of Duty) interspersed with the occasional sweeping fantasy adventure RPG (Final Fantasy, anyone?). Along the way, she developed her knack for storytelling, which began when she was a mere child-person many moons ago.
Meredith is a writer (and reader) of many kinds of fiction, but in particular spy thrillers, military-esque suspense, and historical crime. A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, she is by proxy a Huskers fan (GO BIG RED!), as UNL is her undergraduate alma mater, and moonlights as an obligatory Blue Jays fan due to completing her graduate MFA studies at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
When she emerges from her writing cave, blinking in dismay at having to be exposed to the cruel light of day yet again, she can be found romping with her two Pomeranians, serving her overlord cat, hanging with her husband, battling it out with the undead or practicing a new kind of magery on her PlayStation, or simply huddled in a dark corner somewhere with just enough light to read a favorite book. Other interests include baking, cooking, and blogging about new restaurants.