Book Blitz: Baseball & Broadway by C.L. King & Katrina Marie

Baseball & Broadway
C.L. King & Katrina Marie
Publication date: October 22nd 2018
Genres: Adult, New Adult, Romance, Sports

A broken heart is never an easy one to mend.

Alice spent years forming a new identity while chasing her dreams. A fresh start was just what she needed. When she scores the leading role in a Broadway hit, a new world of possibilities opens up, including singing the National Anthem at the very game her ex was playing.

The biggest mistake of Easton’s life was ending things with Alice before they left for college. No woman has gotten close to him since. Instead, his primary focus is on his baseball career. While warming up before a game, a voice comes over the speakers as the Anthem is sung. A voice that causes something deep to stir inside of him.

Is it possible to rekindle a romance after so much damage was done? This game is bigger than any Easton has ever played. Two hearts are on the line. Either he’ll strike out or slide into home for the win. There’s only one way to find out.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend the evening before I depart for college. There’s a twinge of bittersweetness coating the air surrounding our table. It’s the last time I’ll see my high-school sweetheart, Easton, until Thanksgiving break. The last time he’ll hold my hand in his, the way he’s doing it now, for a long while.

I’m not sure how well our long distance relationship will work, but we’ll do what we have to. We’ve been together for so many years, I don’t know what we would do if we weren’t one unit.

We’re at our favorite Italian restaurant, Ramona’s. The flickering candles on the table, our water in wine glasses giving us a look of sophistication, and the Dean Martin crooning from the speakers, keeps our last outing romantic. It’s exactly like I pictured it, down to a T.

It’s crowded in here, which is expected for a Friday night. I don’t hear the other patrons, though. My entire focus is on Easton, as I try to cement his looks in my mind to last me for a while. I’m going to miss his bright green eyes laughing at me when I do something ridiculous. The way his lips pull up into a smirk when I bust out in song and dance regardless of where we are. I won’t be able to cheer for him from the stands as he rounds third base and heads for home.

Just like that, my mood starts to dim. I try to keep my smile firmly in place, but I’m beginning to think I should have chosen a performing arts school closer to him. Even if they are subpar to the elite school I spent my whole life hoping to get into, and actually got the acceptance letter to attend a few months ago.

Easton brushes his fingertips across my palm, bringing me back to the present. He always seems to know when I start to get sad, it’s comforting. I know that I shouldn’t dwell on the future. Everything will work itself out. I glance down at our hands, feeling the butterflies come to life, as they always do. That’s how I know we’ll be okay. Even after the years we’ve been together he still manages to give me warm fuzzies. I always feel that new relationship giddiness.

When I glance up at him, he’s smiling, but it feels forced. His lips aren’t quite as upturned as they usually would be. My stomach fills with dread. Whatever he’s about to tell me isn’t good, and I’m pretty sure this boy I’ve loved for most of my teen years is about to break my heart. I just hope I’m strong enough to pick up the pieces afterward.


Author Bio:

Katrina Marie lives in the Dallas area with her husband, two children, and fur baby. She is a lover of all things geeky and Gryffindor for life. Welcome to Your Life is her debut novel and she hopes you enjoy reading it as much as she enjoyed writing it.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

When CL King isn’t hard at work writing you can usually catch her reading, baking cookies, dancing to music, or just simply being crazy. She has a huge passion for baseball and the theatre. But her true nerd side comes out when she is doing math for fun. She has an old soul which is evident with her love of the 70s show Emergency. If you want to get on her good side bring her an Ocean Water from Sonic. Even though she tries to focus on one project at a time she always seems to be working on multiple projects at once, it’s a good thing that she is highly organized. Just don’t take her to a bookstore, you do that and you are likely able to spend hours browsing.

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Book Blitz: Beautiful Nightmare by L.C. Son

Beautiful Nightmare
L.C. Son
(Beautiful Nightmare, #1)
Publication date: February 14th 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Damina Nicaud, a beautiful, successful art buyer in Washington, D.C., has been plagued by hauntingly romantic dreams of a mystery man every night. While she knows she shouldn’t consider her dreams to be anything more than anxiety brought on by her upcoming nuptials, she can’t help but be lured into its entreat. Unbeknownst to her, the dreamscape that plagues her mind will be all that carries her through eventual heartbreak and learning the truth of her orphaned lineage. She is more than human.

Escaping to New Orleans on the heels of her broken heart, she begins to unravel the mystery of her life while discovering a love powerful enough to unleash an ancient power residing within herself. Weaving through a world of artistic passion, vampires, wolves, and the supernatural, Damina Nicaud begins to take hold of her Beautiful Nightmare.

Goodreads / Amazon

On sale for 99¢ for a limited time!

EXCERPT:

This is our spot. The place where he comes to see me. I know he can see me because the moonlit sky illuminates the area where I stand like a spotlight. But under the golden oak is shadow cast. I can only see his silhouette.

I’ve never seen his full face. Just his eyes. The look in his crystalline green eyes paralyzes me with awe, fear, endearment, and safety.

He stays in the shadows, waiting for me to come closer. But I cannot. There are stirring shadows all around us. He is unmoved. I am afraid.

My fear keeps me from going closer and running into his embrace. I know that he will wrap me in his arms, and I will be safe. But I stand still. Frozen.

“A well-written paranormal romance, Beautiful Nightmare seamlessly blends the real with the fantastic. The novel delivers with a creative story and the element of fantastic that’s simply put, quite fantastic. Son uses location and setting effectively to convey emotion and atmosphere; her dream sequences are eloquent with a poetic flair, and there’s a careful reverence in the words she’s chosen, elevating the novel over other works in the genre.” Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★

“Filled with twist and turns, and an ending that makes me desperate for the next book, this book is definitely 1-click material. The characters, their connection, their journeys, and developments were well crafted and superbly detailed. Enjoy getting lost in this fabulous paranormal fantasy romance.” Bex ‘n’ Books, ★★★★

 

Author Bio:

Wife of one. Mom of three plus a Beagle.

Well, at least that’s how I’m described in the confines of my everyday life.

Writing has always been second nature to me. I spent my childhood creating short stories and my collegiate years writing for the campus paper (Go TERPS!) Jump twenty years to the present–I’m still writing. At my day job I spend most of my time writing capability briefs, white papers, proposals–you name it.

Then one day it hit me! It was time to access my own creative power and bring to life the characters I’ve created in my mind.

In addition to enjoying life with my amazing family, I can usually be found with my head in a book, binging my favorite shows, and watching movies with jaw-dropping scores! (I love all things Danny Elfman!)

I hope you enjoy my first book, Beautiful Nightmare. It has everything you’d look to find in a paranormal romance-urban fantasy-new age novel. Vampires. Wolves. Love. And so much more!

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Book Blitz: Submitting To The Cowboy by BJ Wane

Submitting to the Cowboy
BJ Wane
(Cowboy Doms, #3)
Publication date: April 12th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Tamara Barton had lusted after Connor Dunbar ever since she was old enough to know what those stirrings meant whenever he was near. Connor’s refusal to see her as anything but the young girl he’d befriended and protected for years soon drives them apart, but not before she catches an up-close, personal glimpse of him exerting the dominant control she’d heard rumors about.

Connor regretted the harsh words he’d spoken to Tamara when he caught her spying on him as much as his lustful response to the look of need reflected on her face. He’d been looking after the neighbor girl since the moment he saw her falling off her first horse at the age of ten and didn’t plan on stopping now that she was a grown woman who thought she wanted their relationship to go in a different direction. He knew his sexual proclivities were not for the young, sweet kid he was so fond of, and wouldn’t jeopardize their special bond by giving in to her desires.

But Tamara always had a way of getting what she wanted and when he saw she was serious about becoming a member of the private BDSM club he owned with his brother and best friend, Connor discovered he didn’t want her submitting to anyone but him. When he learns she’d kept things from him that could have impacted her welfare, would he allow his failure to protect her to drive another wedge between them or finally embrace a life with her at his side as more than just a cherished friend?

This is book three in the Cowboy Doms series but reads as a standalone.

Publisher’s Note: This contemporary western romance contains elements of mystery, suspense, adult themes, power exchange and sensual scenes. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Tamara pivoted, her eyes widening as none other than the object of her obsession for the last twenty years entered with a loose-limbed stride that never failed to draw women’s attention, including her own. Connor Dunbar looked the same at thirty-eight as he had five years ago; ruggedly handsome with sun-streaked, dark brown hair worn long enough to pull back in a short ponytail, his jaw covered with scruffy whiskers a shade darker than his hair that was sexy as hell.

“Tam?” Surprise colored his voice as those incredible eyes landed on her frozen stance.

The slow stretch of his chiseled lips hit her with a gut-wrenching sucker punch as warmth encircled her heart. No, no, no, she lamented, resisting the urge to turn and bang her head against the wall. That reaction would not do. She’d stayed away so long to get over him, praying with endless regularity for a much less potent response when seeing him again. Disappointment swamped her upon learning those pleas had gone unanswered. Given she’d returned to put this ridiculous, one-sided infatuation to bed once and for all, her response didn’t bode well for achieving that goal anytime soon. I can do this, remain professional and do my job, she lectured herself. Easy. Piece of cake. And then a blue flame of pleasure lit up his eyes as he strode toward her, shredding her resolve in less time than it took to come up with it.

“I heard you were back, maybe for good.” Gripping her shoulders with his large, calloused hands, he pulled her close for a bear hug she knew meant nothing more than an old friend greeting another. “It’s damn good to see you, sweetie.”

Tamara stiffened, the endearment a reminder he would never consider her anything more than a friend. Pulling back from the comfort of his muscled body, she cast a quick glance down at the list of appointments and saw what she hadn’t had time to check. He was her first patient. Dismay changed to sudden concern, overruling her silent objection as the meaning of that sunk in.

“What happened? Were you injured?”

Connor looked puzzled and then his face cleared with a rueful twist of his lips. Rotating his left shoulder, he nodded to the computer. “It’s in my file, I’m sure. Gunshot wound several weeks back, followed by surgery to repair some damaged tendons. I believe it’s your job to help me gain as much strength back as possible.”

Shot? Tamara pulled back from the urge to sink onto the desk chair before her wobbly legs took the choice from her. Instead, locking her knees, she reminded herself of her job. Given her reaction to seeing him again was as strong as always, she wasn’t happy about having to put her hands on him or with being subjected to his close presence for a few weeks. It is what it is, so get over it already. She’d been repeating that phrase for a long time and it looked like she would continue to do so.


Author Bio:

I live in the Midwest with my husband and our dog, a lovable Great Pyrenees/Standard Poodle. I love dogs, enjoy spending time with my daughter, babysitting dogs and kids, reading and working puzzles. We have traveled extensively throughout the states, Canada and just once overseas, but I now prefer being a homebody. I worked for a while writing articles for a local magazine but soon found my interest in writing for myself peaking. My first book was strictly spanking erotica, but I slowly evolved to writing erotic spanking romance with a touch of suspense. My favorite genre to read is suspense.

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Release Day: Gluttony by K. Webster

PMoney is my legacy, but I want something money can’t buy.
I am Baxter Samuel Goddard V.
I am Gluttony.

 

 

GLUTTONY BY K. WEBSTER

AN ELITE SEVEN IS LIVE!

Keep reading to grab your copy & to enter to win a $20 gift card!!!

 

My life has been served to me on a gold platter to be devoured by my silver spoon.

Money, money, and more money. It’s the backbone of the Goddard name. I’m the only son, so it’s all mine for the taking.

But sometimes money isn’t enough. I always want more, yet nothing seems to satisfy me.

My father has made sure I become a part of The Elite Seven. Where most candidates are chosen, I was given my place. Everything comes at a price, though. Luckily, I can afford any price—no one has more money than God.

The Elite Seven have their initiations. My assignment is personal and beneath me: steal a car and send a warning. It’ll hurt my best friend in the process, but we both made a pact going into this. There’s no line we won’t cross.

My task makes an ugly turn and I nearly take a life. Such a small, unimportant person—someone no one would even notice was gone. She’s a problem my money and power can easily sweep under the rug.

It’s what my father wants. It’s what my brothers want. But when she finally opens those big, innocent brown eyes, I realize I’ve found what I’ve been searching for my entire life. I don’t want my little problem to disappear…I want to keep her.

Accept your sin wisely, for the tasks given to earn your place are not for the weak—they’re for The Elite.

Money is my legacy, but I want something money can’t buy.
I am Baxter Samuel Goddard V.
I am Gluttony.

 

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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The Elite Seven

7 AUTHORS.
7 STORIES.
7 DEADLY SINS.

 

Since 1942, The Elite Seven Society have created and guided influential leaders, molding the country into something better. This society was birthed by Malcolm Benedict, II who wanted more for Americans. More wealth. More influence. More power. Some leaders have the skills, but not the influence, and that simply wasn’t fair according to Mr. Benedict. He invested his own money and time to construct a society that bred the best of the best, year after year.

But to be the best, you must be ruthless.

Good leaders make sacrifices. Sometimes the sacrifices are hard, but the rewards are plentiful. Mr. Benedict made sure to indulge these leaders with their utmost desires. A devout Catholic himself, he designed a society that rewarded his leaders with the sins that were frowned upon. If they were giving up love and happiness and joy for the betterment of the country, they deserved something in its stead.

Pride, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony, and Lust.

Choosing leaders for this society means that it takes intense focus. Only seven are to be selected, and the investments and time are showered upon the new seven chosen every four years. The predecessors of each group of seven choose people who fit the sin that will mold them into who they are needed to be in the future—what America needs them to be. This is after a detailed study of many potential candidates. The university’s acting dean behaves as a liaison for the society bringing the college applicants to the predecessors so that the selection may begin. The society members who are going out will bring forth a candidate that the society votes on and approves.

After they are chosen, the initiates are given a token and an invitation to initiation. The initiation will be a test to their character and ability to do what’s right for the betterment of the society. Once the initiates pass their test, they are discreetly branded with the mark of the society and are groomed through challenges during the course of their elite education to breed them into the influential people they were meant to be.

Once in The Elite Seven, there is no getting out. The money and power are their rewards. Should they choose to stray or break the rules, the society strips them of everything. Anything they once had will be removed. Opportunities will never arise. They will no longer have the support of the society. To this day, there have been no known occurrences of anyone from the society having to be banished. This elite group of people is what every young man and woman aspire to be a part of. While the group is a secret society, they are whispered about amongst the privileged folks in the country. Anyone who is anyone knows of the group and secretly hopes it’s their son or daughter who is selected, for good fortune is showered on the family for decades to come.

Lust: NOW LIVE

I was born with wealth, athletic ability, and looks that could melt the panties off a nun.
I had a clear path to success.
Until fate dealt me a cruel blow, leaving me empty and in need of purpose.
My only focus now is to become part of The Elite—a secret society in one of the most prestigious colleges in the world.
But everything comes at a price, and with The Elite, you have to earn your place.
Lucky for me, being sinful is in my DNA.
The only obstacle to full initiation is my task: seduce the un-seducible, the forbidden, and lure her with the sins of the flesh.
Easy for a man like me…in theory.
She started as my task, but what happens when the lines between lust and love blur, and the need for power rages war with the need for her?
Accept your sin wisely, for the tasks given to earn your place are not for the weak—they’re for The Elite.
This is my life, my chance, my legacy.
I am Rhett Masters.
I am Lust.

Purchase LUST by Ker Dukey NOW
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Pride: NOW LIVE!

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

But who said the devil was a he?

In my world, she was out to cause havoc on all our lives.

She’ll use the one thing I care most about to control me—force me into her Elite world, filled with sin, deceit, and power. And under her spell, I’ll lead a sinister brotherhood of seven at one of the most prestigious universities in New Orleans.

Seven tasks set forth by the devil herself, promising nothing less than the forbidden fruit of power. What they don’t understand is it will all end in bloodshed and regret.

They call me the alpha. The one in charge. The one with pride bigger than any task I could be given. And my pride won’t let me be anywhere but at the top of the food chain until she gives me what I truly want.

My task is Meghan Thorne.

She’s too pure for me to touch, too good for me to ruin—and the only thing standing in my way to freedom.

Accept your sin wisely, for the tasks given to earn your place are not for the weak…they’re for The Elite.

As they say, pride comes before the fall.

I am Mason Blackwell.

I am Pride.

Purchase PRIDE By J.D Hollyfield NOW
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Wrath: NOW LIVE

I’m a motherless son to a father who hates me. Fury has lived and breathed in my black heart for so long, it’s a part of my soul now. The only thing that’s ever mattered to me is protecting my twin sister, Sabella, from my father’s temper.

So when the chance to join a secret society presents itself, there’s no question I’ll do whatever it takes to become a member and earn my place in the ranks of only the most Elite.

With a taste for the deviant, I’m drawn to the darkest of desires, and no one ever leaves my bed unscathed.
My task: seduce Patience Noelle, St. Augustine’s sweetheart and the mayor’s beloved daughter—then break her heart.

Sinning is what I live for, and deviance is my passion. Failing has never been an option.

But what happens when my sin becomes my curse—when destroying the only woman I’ve ever wanted is my key to protecting my sister?
Accept your sin wisely, for the tasks given to earn your place are not for the weak…they’re for The Elite.

This isn’t just my chance, it’s my legacy and reckoning.
I am Samuel Gunner.
I am WRATH

Purchase WRATH by Claire C. Riley
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Envy: NOW LIVE

It was temptation that broke the sinner.

People say I have everything.
They’re wrong.
I may have looks, money, and privilege, but I don’t have the one thing that really matters, the one thing I crave: a woman with eyes only for me.
I’m searching for my woman—one who will fall to her knees because I’m her king. She’ll wear the crown of my tarnished name, and long for me when I’m not near. And when I am close, she’ll be naked across my lap, feeling the sting of my palm across her milky skin.
You could say I’m a sinner because I’d do anything to have the perfect woman—compliant to my every need and whim—and I’m envious of every couple who walks around naive to the luxury they have.

That’s why I joined The Elite, the most prestigious brotherhood in the south.
It’s the one place that will give me what I cannot have.
Only…the task assigned to me is too much for my jealous eyes.
Accept your sin wisely, for the tasks given to earn your place are not for the weak…they’re for The Elite.
Those who envy have no peace.
My name is Sabastian Westbrook.
I am Envy.

Purchase ENVY by M.N Forgy
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Gluttony: NOW LIVE!

My life has been served to me on a gold platter to be devoured by my silver spoon.

Money, money, and more money. It’s the backbone of the Goddard name. I’m the only son, so it’s all mine for the taking.

But sometimes money isn’t enough. I always want more, yet nothing seems to satisfy me.

My father has made sure I become a part of The Elite Seven. Where most candidates are chosen, I was given my place. Everything comes at a price, though. Luckily, I can afford any price—no one has more money than God.

The Elite Seven have their initiations. My assignment is personal and beneath me: steal a car and send a warning. It’ll hurt my best friend in the process, but we both made a pact going into this. There’s no line we won’t cross.

My task makes an ugly turn and I nearly take a life. Such a small, unimportant person—someone no one would even notice was gone. She’s a problem my money and power can easily sweep under the rug.

It’s what my father wants. It’s what my brothers want. But when she finally opens those big, innocent brown eyes, I realize I’ve found what I’ve been searching for my entire life. I don’t want my little problem to disappear…I want to keep her.

Accept your sin wisely, for the tasks given to earn your place are not for the weak—they’re for The Elite.

Money is my legacy, but I want something money can’t buy.
I am Baxter Samuel Goddard V.
I am Gluttony.

Purchase GLUTTONY by K. Webster
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Sloth: Releasing May 13th

I don’t give a fuck.
Not about money or fame, beauty or power. I’ve had all those things since birth, and trust me, they’re a fucking snooze.
I don’t give a fuck about anyone, not even myself.
Until my father proves evil can exist in the most holy of places. For the first time ever, something like interest stirs in my soul.
He wants me to enroll at St. Augustine.
Join The Elite.
Court the virginal daughter of Archbishop Savoie.
Prove to him I’m worth the family name.
I’ll do it all.
And I’ll do it so well, no one will know what’s coming. People are so quick to underestimate the wicked and lazy.
They forget idle hands are the best tools for the devil’s work.
I am Rush Dempsey.
I am Sloth.

SLOTH By Giana Darling

 

GREED: Releasing May 20th

I’m hungry.
My greed is insatiable.
I’m a slave to the need. The drive for more. For everything.
Once I decide I want something, the greed for it consumes me.
I want answers.
I want justice.
I want vengeance.
I want HER.

My best friend and his sister—the girl I vowed could trust in me and whom I would always protect—dropped off the map two years ago. My own father pledged assurances that they’d been living a life they deserved.

Lies. Lies. Lies.
Hell hath no fury like a man who has no fucks to give and a mission to fulfill his promise.

I may be a greedy sonofabitch, but I’m also a loyal one. Cross me or my brothers, and I’ll come for your throat. And my teeth are razor sharp.

When I discover the corruption running deep within my own bloodline, I take a stand to right the wrongs. I had no idea their darkness would lead me to the light—to her.

The Lust I have for her will keep me grounded.
The Wrath for those who betrayed us will ignite the fight inside me.
And the Greed for victory will consume our enemies in a tidal wave of Hell’s fury.

They say the three gates of Hell are Lust, Wrath, and Greed.
Well, open up, motherfuckers…Daddy’s home.
I am Micah Dixon.
I am Greed.

GREED By Ker Dukey & K.Webster

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Book Blitz: Vicious by L.G. Shen

 

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Sinners of Saint, Book One
Contemporary Romance
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Emilia
They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true.
The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares.
He is a brilliant lawyer.
A skilled criminal.
A beautiful liar.
A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover.
Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him.
Vicious
She is a starving artist.
Pretty and evasive like cherry blossom.
Ten years ago, she barged into my life unannounced and turned everything upside down.
She paid the price.
Emilia LeBlanc is completely off-limits, my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. The woman who knows my darkest secret, and the daughter of the cheap Help we hired to take care of our estate.
That should deter me from chasing her, but it doesn’t.
So she hates me. Big fucking deal.
She better get used to me.
Vicious a complete standalone and a part of the Sinners of Saint series
 
Other Books in The Sinners Of Saint Contemporary Romance Series:
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Defy
Sinners of Saint, Book Two
ISBN: 978-0996135672
Ruckus
Sinners of Saint. Book Three
ISBN: 978-1546904465
Scandalous
Sinners of Saint, Book Four
ISBN: 978-1977569189
Bane
Sinners of Saint, Book 5
ISBN: 978-1717110985
About the Author

 photo Vicious Author L.J. Shen_zpsotiogvim.jpg

LJ Shen is a USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author of over ten books. She lives in California with her husband, son, and cat.
 
 
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Release Blitz and Giveaway: The Gordon Place by Isaac Thorne

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Horror
Date Published: 04/15/2019
Publisher: Lost Hollow Books
 
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Lost Hollow constable Graham Gordon just walked into his abandoned childhood home for the first time in twenty years. Local teenagers have been spreading rumors about disembodied screams coming from inside. Now, thanks to a rickety set of cellar stairs and the hateful spirit of his dead father, he might never escape.
Meanwhile, Channel 6 News feature reporter Afia Afton—whose father is the victim of a local decades-old hate crime—is meeting with town administrator Patsy Blankenship. Her mission is to develop a ghost story feature for a special to air on the station’s Halloween broadcast. When Patsy tells her about the screams at the Gordon place, the past and the present are set on a collision course with potentially catastrophic results.
Can Graham come to terms with his father’s past and redeem his own future? Can the murder mystery that has haunted Afia for most of her life finally be solved?
It’s a fight for the future and the past when spirit and flesh wage war at the Gordon place.
Excerpt
CHAPTER ONE EXCERPT
The only net gain for Graham, if it could be considered such, that had come out of the election so far was that he had been able to use the position to convince the town to turn his old homestead over to him for a song and a promise he’d clean up the blight. That had been another lark. In the same town board meeting that had seen him sworn in as constable there had appeared on the agenda a plan to demolish the old place as a means of curbing the juvenile delinquency it seemed to entice. The rumors being spread by the kids in town had reached the board’s ears, and they had come to the same conclusion he had: the place was turning into an attraction for vagrants and ne’er-do-wells. Therefore, tear it down.
When the time came for public input on the matter, he’d suddenly found himself standing—without having previously planned to do so—and arguing that the place had sentimental value for him and that he’d like a shot at restoring it. He might even turn it into some kind of tourist spot, an idea he’d come to by way of town administrator Patsy Blankenship, she whom he’d hung up on moments ago. She had already renovated one old local homestead into a bed and breakfast that hosted the occasional guest or local event. The board had balked at his idea at first, but after he’d promised to either clean up the blight or hand the old Gordon place back to the town for demolition within a year, they’d relented. Now he owned the home: a shelter for rats, snakes, vagrants, and bored teenagers. He had no idea where to begin.
Graham pushed the thoughts away. This was no time to go second-guessing his life choices and cost himself what little nerve he had summoned to search for trespassers. He sidled up the hall. The back of his shirt created a loud scraping sound against the faded and peeling fleur-de-lis wallpaper covering the entry hall, a remnant of his mother’s New Orleans roots. He left his own narrow trail of Wolverine sole prints in the dust on the floor, carefully avoiding stepping on the ones left by the previous visitor. The physical memories of life in the house came flooding back to him. The sound of his footsteps on the hardwood floor. The sound of his father’s footsteps. Even the scrape of the wallpaper against the fabric of his shirt bubbled up memories of him dashing all over the house, running his hands and fingers over the walls as he did, just as any normal wild young boy might do.
The tiny hook and eye latch that had been meant to secure the cellar door was already undone when he got there. Graham didn’t know whether his father had initially installed that latch, but he’d always thought it a silly and unnecessary addition. The door to the cellar was no more than three uneven slats of painted pine carelessly supported along their backs by two horizontal two-by-fours. Large gaps between each slat rendered useless any attempt to keep the cooler air of the cellar out of the entry hall by just shutting the door. Besides, it had always managed to swing shut and stay closed on its own—even unlatched—which was one more reason the cellar had made for such an excellent hiding place.
A small wooden cabinet knob was mounted a couple of inches below the hook. Graham grabbed it and pulled. The door swung open easily on its spring hinges and without much complaint about the new tension; surprising after so many years of disuse. The ray from his Maglite spilled into the opening and revealed three splintery and slowly disintegrating steps, approximately one-quarter of the familiar set of plank stairs leading from the mouth of the door before vanishing into the damp darkness below. Graham felt for the light switch just inside the cellar door and flipped it on, but it produced nothing. He’d had service activated so he could begin work on the place. Maybe the power company hadn’t gotten around to it yet. That would certainly explain the state of the security light out front.
“Hello?” he shouted into the depths of darkness. “Lost Hollow Constable! Is anyone down there?”
There was no answer.
Graham stepped through the door. He’d covered only one tread before the sound of the creaking staircase started to get to him. There he paused, not allowing the door to swing shut behind him and not liking the soft and spongy feel of the tread on which he stood. It had much more give in it than he remembered from his youth.
From this position, the narrow beam of his Maglite enabled him to see the end of the staircase, but nothing beyond. The final step looked black and almost completely rotted away. The one above it didn’t appear to be in much better shape. If he went forward, he risked breaking those steps, which would make climbing out of the cellar much more difficult. If he didn’t go on, and someone was trapped down here, he might lose his job in disgrace. Worse, a real law enforcement officer, like a county sheriff’s deputy, might end up investigating the “screams” and finding a dead body he’d missed out of fear, in which case he could at the very least be accused of neglecting his duties as an officer of the peace.
Maglite secured in his left hand, Graham pawed at his right hip, immediately taking comfort in the shape of the county issue radio clipped to his belt. He ran his fingers along the top of the device until they closed around the volume knob, which he turned to the right. A thin click and a spurt of white noise erupted through the tomb-like silence of the old house. It vanished just as quickly, leaving in its wake the distinct hum of radio silence. Even so, it was reassuring that he had not only remembered to carry his direct connection to the Hollow County Sheriff’s Department inside with him but it also appeared to be in proper working order.
“Let’s hear it for technology. Thank God.”
From somewhere inside his head, he thought, the darkness replied: GOD AIN’T GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.
The next thing he felt was the bone-crunching shock of something blunt and heavy striking the back of his head. He heard what sounded like the shattering of thick glass. He was able to stay upright just long enough to feel what might have been a trickle of blood oozing from his scalp to the nape of his neck. A pair of unseen hands at his back thrust him into the darkness of the cellar, launching him down the full length of the rickety staircase. He fell forward, plummeting face first into the densely compacted earth beneath the house. The bridge of his nose exploded in a bright starburst of pain. His upper teeth crashed down on his lower lip, ripping open the pliable flesh. He felt an immediate swelling there. A thin stream of hot blood ran tear-like down his chin from the wound. Dimly, he heard the crack of splintered wood as his shins came down last, disintegrating the deteriorated lower steps in a fireworks show of wood rot and ancient dust.
His radio went flying when he hit. He heard it shatter in a hiss of static somewhere off to his right. The base of his Maglite struck the ground at the same time. It flew from his hand and bounced off the earth once, twice, and rolled some distance over the ground before coming to rest against the farthest cinder block wall of the cellar. The lamp behind the flashlight’s lens flickered madly, creating a nauseating strobe effect, a stop-motion version of Graham’s shadow on the wall beside him as he at first struggled to regain his feet and then gave up, collapsing flat to the earth.
The lamp finally steadied itself at a low burn, illuminating almost nothing about the cellar but the corner in which it had landed. It had come to rest too far from the limit of Graham’s reach. He stretched his left arm out for it anyway, hopeful that the darkness had merely created some sort of illusion of depth. His fingers clawed at the dirt for a second or two before they ultimately surrendered and lay still.
Graham Gordon lay broken and exhausted on the black earth at the bottom of the cellar stairs. In the fading last rays of his dying Maglite, he saw an eye: a disembodied, full white orb broken by jagged lightning-shaped lines of red capillaries. The iris in the center of the eyeball was a murky dark brown color, unshining and nearly black. Its pupil was but a pinprick in the beam from the flashlight.
It stared at him from just beyond the edge of the darkness, unblinking.
“Dad?”
The world went dark.
About the Author

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ISAAC THORNE is a nice man who has, over the course of his life, developed a modest ability to spin a good yarn. Really. He promises. Just don’t push him down a flight of stairs.
You can find Isaac on Twitter or on Facebook
Isaac reviews films for TNHorror.com and TheHorrorcist.com. He is the host of Thorne’s Theater of Terror and Classic
Cuts on 24/7/365 horror-themed SCRM Radio at scrmradio.com.
More of Isaac’s work is available at isaacthorne.com and wherever books are sold.
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Review: Take Me Home For Christmas by Brenda Novak

Take Me Home for Christmas (Whiskey Creek, #5)Take Me Home for Christmas by Brenda Novak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sophia thought she married the man of her dreams but he turned into a nightmare. When her husband turns up missing she finds he had several secrets he kept from her, including the fact that she is now broke. Going home is the only option and her behavior when she was younger is not forgotten by everyone in town. Now she is working as a housekeeper for Ted Dixon who she burnt along the way. Will Ted be willing to let the past stay in the past even though his feelings for her are renewed?

This was good but I had a hard time warming up to Sophia. I liked the story but did not flow as fluidly as other Brenda Novak’s books for me. I vacillated between a 3.5-4 star rating. Great series.

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Book Blitz: Tick Cooper by John Vance

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YA & Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher: Black Opal Books
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“I swear by everything I ever owned that my adventure will be the honest truth—even if I had to tell a few lies along the way to get to the meaning of that truth.” So promises Tick Cooper, a twelve year old Ohio boy who’s about to accompany his Uncle Ned down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans. It’s the autumn of 1860, right before the election that will send Abraham Lincoln to the White House. With his mother deceased and his father having deserted him for the chance of gold in California, Tick has been most fortunate to receive the care and love of his father’s older brother and his wife—Aunt Clara. Although she has recently passed away, she and Uncle Ned have educated the boy about living a good and proper life. But Tick hasn’t had much of a chance to put what he’s learned into practice—nor to face the moral challenges every young person will face as he or she grows up. But the river journey will provide plenty of those experiences and tests of character. Yet, reaching New Orleans does not conclude the lessons and challenges, for there Tick witnesses a slave auction, and on the block is a thirteen-year-old freed black girl named Clarissa, whom Tick had briefly met in Ohio. Now Tick faces his most significant challenge. Can he help get Clarissa back to Ohio all the way from New Orleans?
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Excerpt
There I was jumping from the top of one tree to another. It wasn’t exactly as if I was flying, because I had to land on the top branch of each tree, but it sure felt like flying. Geese were following me and honking away like they were trying to warn me about something. But when I decided to forget about the tree tops and just fly, I fell hard to the ground thirty feet below and started rolling down the side of a hill while I was hiding my face in a pillow. I kept feeling the feathers from the goose down pillow sticking out and poking my cheeks and the side of my neck. Try as I might, I couldn’t pull that pillow off my face and it got to be stained with the blood coming out of me. But I kept rolling and rolling until I was stopped by something firm but soft. But by the time I finally pulled the pillow away from my face to see what or who had stopped me, I woke up and I never found out. That happens to me in dreams a lot. Wish it didn’t, though. What woke me up was my Uncle Ned telling me it was time to leave our house and get on the train to Cincinnati where we would get aboard the steamboat the St. Paul and head down to New Orleans. I was about to leave on the greatest adventure of my life. I swear by everything I ever owned that it will be the honest truth—even if I had to tell a few lies along the way to get to the meaning of that truth. Uncle Ned shouted from the front porch of our house in Oxford, Ohio, “Time to catch the train, Tick.” That’s my name—Tick—Tick Cooper. Or what they’ve always called me anyways. Uncle Ned said I’d always remember this day as long as I lived, but I still wrote it down when we got on the train in Hamilton so I’d be sure never to forget— “November the 1st, 1860.” We would ride some thirty-five miles to Cincinnati, the 2 largest city in the whole state. I’d a been on the train only once before—when the railway first opened, when I was six. But what gets a boy excited when he’s six and what gets him excited at twelve are quite different things—so this time I acted all grown up like I’d ridden the railroad every week. I didn’t jump around and bother Uncle Ned the way I did the first time. Even so, it was still pretty special chugging along in such high style. Nothing much happened on the train for the first twenty miles or so, but two more passengers got on and right afterward I heard some commotion going on in front of where we were sitting. “I say that’s my seat you’re sitting in. Get out of it now.” The man who said that was an elderly gent who looked like he had gotten into many tough scrapes in his life. He had long white hair and side whiskers, but what I grabbed my attention most was his scarred-up face. It looked like someone had dug trenches on his cheeks and above his right eye. And he seemed much bigger and stronger than men as old as he was. He was talking to a boy who looked younger than me—maybe nine or ten. The boy was in the seat by himself and was just too scared to say anything back. “You had better come up with a good reason why you took my seat or I’ll rip your nose right off your face, boy.” Because Uncle Ned had fallen asleep, it was up to me to do something. I just had to be sure that boy kept his nose on where it was, so I ran up to the man. “Excuse me, mister. My brother here is in the wrong seat. Come on, Ben. Your seat is back with us.” That boy almost flew out of the seat and headed to the back of the train car. “Excuse my brother, mister. He doesn’t hear well and sometimes I have to tell him things twice.” I turned and walked back to my seat, expecting that that white-haired old devil would 3 grab me and try to take my nose off. But he didn’t say or do anything. He just grunted and sat in the seat I guess he always sat in when he rode on that train. I found out that Ben’s real name was Peter Butler and that he was put on the train by his grandpap so he could take a steamboat from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh, where his mother, father, and baby sister had just settled in a house. I told him I’d look out for him until we reached Cincinnati, where his grandpap’s brother lived and would take him in for the night. We talked about the man with the scars on his face—I mean we talked softly so we wouldn’t wake Uncle Ned or let that old buzzard hear us. I told Peter that some folks believe they really own whatever they use often—cups, chairs, and such–and that it’s easy for someone big to get what they want from someone smaller, who can’t do anything about it. And if that big someone is also real ugly, it’s all the easier. When I told Peter my name, he wanted to know if I was born with it. I told him that when I was born my father named me John Polk Cooper, but those first two names never really suited me much. It was Aunt Clara who first called me “Tick” because when I was a baby I used to burrow into the blanket like a tick into a dog’s back. But the name really stuck when I started running around and hiding in bushes, old dead trees, and holes in the ground. I also like the sound of Tick Cooper better than John Cooper or John Polk Cooper any day of the week. One of my teachers said that Tick Cooper wasn’t as easy to pronounce as John or John Polk Cooper, because the first name ended with a “k” sound and the second name began with the same sound. But she was educated and I guess those things matter to those kinds of folks. Ben said that Polk was a funny name to be stuck with—and it was, but from what Uncle Ned told me I got my middle name because of the then president of the United States, James Polk, who they say kicked the Mexicans out of Texas and took it for the 4 United States. Uncle Ned said that my father thought Polk did the right thing, but from what Uncle Ned also told me, my father once shot a man in the leg who claimed that the twelve feet at the very back of my father’s land rightfully belonged to him. They say the man showed my father the papers, but my father shot him anyways, saying that it was the law that those who live on the land and cultivate it have all right to it. I guess old President Polk never heard of that law when he took Texas. So since I was born on March 3, 1848, I got stuck with a Polk between my first and last names. If I was born three years ago my name would have been John Buchanan Cooper, which was wore then the name I had. As Aunt Clara used to say, “Thank heaven for small favors.” When the train stopped in Cincinnati, we waited until the foul-looking man left the train car before we did. Uncle Ned woke up and finally met Peter, who thanked me for helping him and waited until he saw his grandpap’s brother before getting off the train. I wished he was going to New Orleans instead of Pittsburgh, because I knew I’d never see him again, but my Aunt Clara used to say that the older you get the more often folks would come in and then out of your life—sometimes on the very same day. Aunt Clara. I guess I forgot to say that she was Uncle Ned’s wife and was always like a mother to me, since my own mother died when I wasn’t yet two years old. I’m still very sad that Aunt Clara got real sick and died a few months back. The day before we left Oxford, we went to see her grave at the Old Yard Cemetery. Uncle Ned had been going there every week since she died, but he never made me go with him. I just did it on my own every few weeks or so, but it was more to be with Uncle Ned because I really wanted to go. Not that I’m afraid to visit the graves of all those dead people. I’ve been there after the sun went down with three of my friends and was the very last to run out of there, which won me the wool cap we found snagged on a tree limb the day before. 5 Anyway–at her grave, Uncle Ned told Aunt Clara that he’d be going away for a spell and he’d be thinking of her all the time. He also told her that he’d be taking me with him. She was so good to me—she really was. As soon as we got off the train, we heard a noise on the wooden platform—a kind of “ker-thump” every several second or so, so we looked around and saw a man who looked like he hadn’t shaved his whiskers in a hundred years limping along with a wooden crutch under his arm, which he dragged as he took a step with his good leg. Good leg? I should have said only leg! Uncle Ned reached in his pocket for a coin or two, which he liked to do whenever he saw someone who couldn’t walk or see too well. So I reached in mine and pulled out one of my two new Indian head pennies. My other one was back in my room at home, but I always carried one of them with me for good luck. But when I looked at the coin, I wanted to think that Uncle Ned’s contribution would be enough that the one-legged old soul wouldn’t hold it against me if I jammed my lucky coin back in my pocket. I sure didn’t want to be without luck on my grand adventure to New Orleans. But I didn’t think or act fast enough because the next thing I knew I had put my Indian head penny in the man’s hand. He closed his old fist around it, and I felt like I dropped my hunting rifle down a well. My stomach became as heavy as a cannon ball, and my throat felt as dry as if I had swallowed a campfire. Being charitable isn’t always “its own reward,” as Aunt Clara used to say. The poor man had only limped about ten feet away when two men in fancy clothes, with new top hats and walking sticks came up behind him and started laughing and pointing at his crutch. I guess these were men because they were dressed in all high fancy, but they acted like boys not much older than me. The one in the striped pants took his walking stick and swung it like he was chopping at a low limb and knocked the 6 crutch out from under the old man, who fell to the platform before I could take get close enough to break his fall. Those two dandified gents both burst out laughing as the old man let out one of them painful old man’s screeches, with a whistling sound—probably because he lacked some front teeth. The coins he had gotten from me, Uncle Ned, and some other kindly folks were scattered all over the platform. And then you know what those two popinjays did? They threw down several coins themselves! I couldn’t believe it. I guess they paid for the right to hurt the old man. Or maybe they did it to make sure their consciences wouldn’t bother them none. Uncle Ned told me once that some folks believe they can make up for their being cruel and thoughtless by giving money. And these two gents were nothing compared to what I’d see later on my adventure. But I’m running ahead of myself. When I went over to help up the old man, I saw my Indian head penny about six feet away, picking up the bright sunshine, which made it sparkle. When I got the crutch situated under the old man’s arm, I walked over and picked up the coin. I was afraid someone else would take it and use it to buy something useless. No. Now wait. That’s not all of it. I better come clean or this tale isn’t going to be worth you’re taking the time to read it if I don’t. To tell the honest truth, I picked up the coin mostly because I wanted to think more about his need for it, since four other folks gave the old man more money. I picked up my coin as the lame old man was walking away with the rest of the money that someone had picked up from the platform, along with the new coins just placed in his hand. I knew he wouldn’t miss my Indian head penny—not one bit–and seeing that it and the other penny back home were gifts from my Uncle Ned, I decided to put the penny back in my pocket. For about a second. I caught up with the old man and gave him my good-luck penny for a second time. Maybe I was wrong, but I just felt he needed the good luck 7 much more than I did. Then I heard Uncle Ned calling me, and that was the last I saw of my penny and the old man. But not the last I’d see of those two high-hatted, dandypants scoundrels who knocked the old man down.
About the Author

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During his career as Professor of English at the University of Georgia, John Vance was the author of six books and numerous articles devoted to literary biography and criticism. He also began indulging his love of theater as actor, director, and playwright, with thirty-five of his plays staged. Now he has turned exclusively to fiction, and is the author of fourteen novels, including the humorous memoir Setting Sail for Golden Harbor and the recently BookBub featured In Mind of the Vampire. He lives in Athens, Georgia with his wife Susan.
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Book Blitz: The Other Angel by Ann Covell

 

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Historical Fiction
Published: February 2019
Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers
 
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The Other Angel is a dramatic, startling tale of how four young people from diverse backgrounds, each with their own aspirations and values, become unlikely though firm friends. It is an absorbing story that will attract readers as they get to know the characters, whose disparate lives intertwine before the Civil War splits them up. The Gettysburg battle aftermath brings them back together. It is an exciting story filled with breathtaking scenarios of plots, war and espionage, as well as romance and pathos. The story will resonate with readers as it unfolds to an emotion-charged conclusion that will invoke their empathy.
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About the Author

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Ann Covell is a British citizen and lives in England’s glorious south-west. Ann had a long career with the British health service research section, and also served as a Justice of the Peace in England.  Her interests include history, writing and politics. She is the author of “Remembering the Ladies” (a book of unique essays on the 19th century U.S. First Ladies,) and “First Lady, Jane Pierce,” who was the 14th U,S, First Lady”.
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Book Tour: Evil Embers by Cristelle Comby

 

Evil Embers (Vale Investigation, book 2)
by Cristelle Comby

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GENRE: Urban Fantasy

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BLURB:

After narrowly preventing the destruction of Cold City, PI Bellamy Vale needs a rest. Or rather, he needs a plain and simple vanilla case—no monsters or otherworldly creatures involved!

When foreign businessman Eli Smith shows up at his doorstep with a thick wallet and a request to find his missing sister, Vale doesn’t think twice before agreeing.

If he’d known body-hopping demons and smoke monsters came attached to this job, however, he might have.
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Excerpt

The door slammed shut as something grabbed at me. And by “grabbed”, I mean “lifted me off the ground and rammed me into the nearest wall”.

The structure bent under the impact while a nightmare that would have fit in an old-school John Carpenter movie screamed at me. With my gas mask on, I never heard it coming.

Dazed, I glanced up and faced sharp, yellow-tainted teeth. They formed a circular pit of canines, ready to swallow my head whole. I pulled a knife from my boot and slashed the creep at the center of its mass. The fiend’s scream rose an octave as the cold steel struck home.

The creature dumped me back on the floor before dissipating into nothingness.

The attack sucked the air out of my lungs, and I spent the next few minutes coughing through the mask. I felt like kicking myself. I spent my first week here carving wards around the entire six-block area before going in for the first time. I should have known better than to cut one on this house’s front door and move on. I forgot the back door. That mistake left that damned poltergeist way too much room to attack.

The monster du jour was a ghost, an escapee from the realm of death—the Underworld, Hell, or whatever else you call the place people go to once they’re done with life. From what I knew, not everyone turns Casper in their afterlife. However, those who do become near-mindless creatures stuck in their own plane of existence. When they make it to our side of the border, they turn into full ectoplasmic savages.

The dead guy I stepped over near the open back doorway was proof enough of that. What was once an engineer working for the city now had his chest cavity cut down to the bone and his head severed from his body. Blood splatters all but drowned out the muted yellow of his shredded biohazard suit. Judging from the angle of what remained of his corpse, he was trying to flee the house when the poltergeist got him.

“Dammit,” I muttered as I tightened the straps on my gas mask. Whoever this engineer was, I was pretty sure he didn’t come in here alone, which meant I may have to explain what a six-foot PI in a surplus army jacket, a gas mask right out of the First World War and second-to-thirdhand leather gloves was doing in an area strictly reserved for city workers and engineers.

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva, where she still resides.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

She is the author of the Neve & Egan Cases series, which features an unlikely duo of private detectives in London: Ashford Egan, a blind History professor, and Alexandra Neve, one of his students.

Currently, she is hard at work on her Urban Fantasy series Vale Investigation which chronicles the exploits of Death’s only envoy on Earth, PI Bellamy Vale, in the fictitious town of Cold City, USA.

Twitter :

Website :
http://www.cristelle-comby.com

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Cristelle-Comby/e/B00EAWEODS

Goodreads :
https://www.goodreads.com/CristelleComby

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Evil-Embers-Vale-Investigation-Book-ebook/dp/B07MD2Z7ZV/ref=sr_1_1

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One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.:

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