Saturday, December 31, 2016

Blog Tour ~ Code Name: Forever & Ever - A Warriors Challenge: Book 5 by Natasza Waters


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Code Name: Forever & Ever
(A Warrior's Challenge, book 5)
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When an Ivy League girl falls for a guy from the wrong side of the tracks, all the cards are stacked against them except one. Patrick Cobbs has just graduated his BUD/S training. His father's a drunk; his family is poor. He has nothing to offer Marg except the man he wants to become.

Pat's the last guy Marg’s anti-military parents want for their daughter. With her grandfather’s name etched on the Wall of the Fallen, Marg’s father will do anything to keep them apart. Only one person believes in them, and he’s dead.

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“Are you going to kiss me good night?” Marg's voice held a haughty little tone.
He bowed his head and chuckled. “No.” Teasing her was too much fun, and he waited to see her reaction.
“Fine,” she quipped and tipped her shoulder. “Bruce did.”
Oh man, oh man. He torqued his brow. “There’s a difference between me and him, Marg.”
She cocked her head. “And that is?”
“When I kiss you for the first time, it’ll be on my terms when you least expect it.”
She clutched her palms together. “I might not feel like kissing you then, Patrick Cobbs. Sure you want to take that chance?”
He chuckled again. Relaxed and straddling his bike, he gazed at her. Smart and beautiful. Most guys would think he was off his rock, tempting fate or her ire. “I’ll take that chance. Let’s do things the old-fashioned way.”
“You make me nuts,” she finally blurted.
An honest laugh erupted from his chest, seeing he was twisting her into a ball of crazy. “This is good training for you, Miss Stines.”
“How?” she barked at him. Her brow squished together.
“Although you say you don’t want to live the life of luxury, I think you’re used to getting what you want.”
Her knuckles collided with her waist. “Are you calling me spoiled?”
“Are you?”
She took a quick step toward him and leaned over. Within an inch of his mouth, her voice slipped into a silky timbre. “No, SEAL, I’m not. You can keep your kisses. I don’t want—”
Execute. His hands palmed her cheeks and his mouth powered down on hers. Every ounce of blood rushed from his head to his heart. Her gorgeous body melted against his, submitting. Holy God in heaven! He’d been right. Kissing this woman coiled his lust tight.
Their kiss blazed and then ended with a slow burn before he gently pulled away. The corner of his mouth curved. “See you Friday.” He kick-started the engine to life.
“Friday…” she said meekly, gazing at him, still stunned.
      
      He winked at her. Before his lust started talking him into screwing up the start to something incredible, he wheeled around the fountain and rode away.

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Code Name: Ghost (A Warrior's Challenge series Book 1)

Code Name: Kayla's Fire (A Warrior's Challenge series Book 2)

Code Name: Nina's Choice (A Warrior's Challenge series Book 3)

Code Name: Luminous (A Warrior's Challenge series Book 4)

Field Stripped: 10 Steamy Military Romances

SEALed with a Weekend

Twila's Tempest

His Perfect Imperfection

Too Grand for Words (BookStrand Publishing Romance)


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Natasza.jpgNatasza grew up on the beautiful West Coast of British Columbia with the Pacific Ocean on her western doorstep, and thousands of acres of forest on the other. After finishing school, her life took a drastic twist, and a lifelong working relationship with the marine industry began.

After a twenty-year hiatus from creative writing, the stories swirling in her mind began to swim hard to resurface, and she threw them a life ring. She juggles words during her days off, and then gets back down to business, working as an officer in the Coast Guard. Her life is a mix of creativity vs. black and white procedures. With a lifetime of working in the marine community, there’s plenty of stories to tell. It’s a different world, different language, unsung heroes and heroines aplenty, heated moments, and blissful silence when all is well. Reading and writing is the way she turns down the loud hum that work causes, and after thirty years of humming, it’s time to vent.

Social Media Links

Follow me on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/hkt4957

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https://www.facebook.com/TurnedOnByWords/


Friday, December 30, 2016

Virtual Tour ~ Troublemaker by Linda Howard


A thrilling, fast-paced novel of romantic suspense.


TROUBLEMAKER
Linda Howard
Released Dec 27th, 2016
Avon Books



A thrilling, fast-paced novel of
romantic suspense from sensational New York Times and USA Today bestselling
author Linda Howard.

For Morgan
Yancy, an operative and team leader in a paramilitary group, nothing comes
before his job. But when he’s ambushed and almost killed, his supervisor is
determined to find out who’s after the members of his elite squad—and why. Due
to worries that this unknown enemy will strike again, Morgan is sent to a
remote location and told to lay low and stay vigilant. But between a tempting
housemate he’s determined to protect and a deadly threat waiting in the
shadows, keeping under the radar is proving to be his most dangerous mission
yet.

The
part-time police chief of a small West Virginian mountain town, Isabeau “Bo”
Maran finally has her life figured out. She’s got friends, a dog, and a little
money in the bank. Then Morgan Yancy shows up on her doorstep. Bo doesn’t need
a mysterious man in her life—especially a troublemaker as enticing and
secretive as Morgan.




The harder
they fight the intense heat between them, the closer Morgan and Bo become, even
though she knows he’s hiding from something. But discovering the truth could
cost Bo more than she’s willing to give. And when Morgan’s cover is blown, it
might just cost her life.










From TROUBLEMAKER by Linda Howard. Copyright © 2016 by Linda Howard. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

It was dark, the other side of nine-thirty, when he pulled into his parking slot at the condo. It had been late when he’d docked the Shark, then he’d cleaned his tackle and locked it away before heading home. He’d also made a brief stop at a grocery to cover his basic food needs; he hooked the plastic bags on his fingers and dragged them with him as he slid out of the seat. A click of the remote locked the truck.

The condos were at least thirty years old, six rows of two-story buildings made of brick and pebbled concrete. He supposed the effect was supposed to be modern and uncluttered—and maybe it had been thirty years ago, but now it was nothing more than butt-ugly. Each ground-floor unit, like his, had its own little patio, while the upper-story condos had balconies that struck him as fairly useless but that were used a lot during the summer for grilling and such.

The plastic bags rustled and banged against his left leg with every step, reminding him of why he hated buying groceries. After the fact, he always thought that he should throw a backpack in his truck and leave it there for hauling in what few groceries he bought, but he wasn’t home often enough for it to be a habit so he’d forget about the backpack. He’d also almost forgotten he didn’t have any coffee left, but the grocery’s sign had caught his eye and he’d whipped into the parking lot without time to signal, resulting in a few indignant horn blasts. Couldn’t be helped; he had to have coffee.

A concrete support pillar and some tall shrubbery partially blocked his view of the condo building, something that grated but the homeowners’ association wasn’t willing to do away with part of its mature landscaping and shady trees just because he didn’t like it. He couldn’t explain that the greenery provided points of ambush because civilians simply didn’t get shit like that, so he dealt with it. It wasn’t as if he had a lot to worry about; the crime rate in these units was very low, and was in fact a selling point for the young families who made up the majority of residents.

Still—habits were a bitch, but he couldn’t ignore half a lifetime of training. To keep from walking around a blind corner, he swung wide into the street the way he always did so he was approaching straight on; there wasn’t a lot of traffic in the condo development, and he didn’t often have to wait until a car passed.

But even with a direct approach, he still didn’t like it. Sometimes, such as now, he liked it less than at other times, and he couldn’t have said why. He didn’t have to; instinct was what it was.

He stopped in his tracks.

Sometimes . . . such as now.

The sudden surge of awareness was like an electric shock, sending all of his senses into hyperalert. He instinctively moved his right hand to the pistol snugged into the holster at the small of his back even as he tried to pick up any movement in the shrubbery that shouldn’t have been there, anything that was responsible for making the back of his neck suddenly prickle. He couldn’t see anything, but still his senses were screaming. Something was there, even if it wasn’t anything danger—

The thought hadn’t completely formed when the shadows of the shrubbery moved slightly, black on black. More adrenaline shot through his system, and Morgan acted without thought, training taking over as he dropped the plastic bags and dove to the left, leaving his right hand free as he pulled his weapon.

His body was still airborne, stretched out, when he saw a faint flash and a sledgehammer hit him in the chest.

He had two distant but clear thoughts: Suppressor. Subsonic round.

He slammed to the ground, the impact almost as jarring as the sledgehammer to the chest. He rolled with it, the pistol grip fitting into his palm as if his hand and the weapon had been made together, one functioning unit. One part of his brain knew he’d been hit and hit hard, but the other part stayed ruthlessly focused outward, intent on doing what he needed to do. He fired toward where he’d seen the flash, the sound sharp in the crisp night air, but he knew only a rank amateur would stay in the same place so he tracked his next shot away from the shrubbery, following the barely seen black-on-black shadow, and pulled the trigger again.

His mind disconnected from the shock waves of pain rolling through his body because that was the only way he could function. His thoughts raced, analyzing probabilities and angles of fire, selecting the best option even as adrenaline overrode the devastation and kept his body moving. Without being aware that he was moving, he rolled behind a fireplug, and didn’t realize where he was until he was already there. A fireplug wasn’t much cover, but it was some.

His vision was wavering, things rushing at him then drawing back, as if pushed and pulled by an invisible tide of air. Peripherally, he was aware of entrance lights coming on, of curtains being pulled back as his neighbors peeked out to see what the hell was going on. He blinked fiercely, trying to stay focused. Yes—the increase of light brought a man’s form into dim view and he fired a third shot, controlled the upward kick of the muzzle, fired again. The dark form toppled to the ground and lay still.

God, his chest hurt. Shit. This had really fucked up his tattoo.

His vision wavered again, but he grimly held on, keeping his weapon trained on the downed threat. “Down” didn’t mean “out.” If he let go, let the darkness come, the other guy might get up and finish the job. Dead didn’t count until it was confirmed dead, and he couldn’t confirm shit right now.

But doors were opening, people were shouting. The sounds were distorted and strangely far away, the lights fading. Through the growing shadows he thought he saw some of the braver souls venturing out, investigating the gunfire. Words swam at him, around him, and some of them sank into his consciousness.

“Shawn! Are you crazy?” A woman’s voice, both angry and afraid.

“Just call the cops,” said a man—maybe Shawn, maybe someone else.

“I already did,” said a third voice.

“What the hell is going on?”

More noise, more voices added to the chorus as people began approaching, cautiously at first, then with more confidence when nothing else happened. Morgan tried to call out, say something, make any kind of noise, but the effort was beyond him. He could feel his breath hitching as the distant pain rolled closer, like a tidal wave that was about to swamp him.
This might be it for me, he thought, and was almost too tired to care. He tried to control his breathing because he’d heard that hitching sound before and it was never good. He didn’t have to hang on long, he thought—maybe half an hour, if people would get the lead out of their asses and get him to the hospital. But half an hour seemed like an eternity when he wasn’t certain he could hang on even one more minute.

He rested his head on the concrete sidewalk, feeling the chill of it. His outstretched hand was just resting on the winter-dead grass at the edge of the sidewalk and he had the distant thought that it was kind of nice to be touching the earth. If this was it for him, well, it sucked to go, but all in all this wasn’t too bad, considering all the grisly ways he could have gone.

But, damn it, he was fucking pissed because if he died, he didn’t know who had killed him or, more importantly, why.

Someone bent over him, a vague shape swimming out of focus. He had to send MacNamara a warning, and with his last ounce of strength he gasped out, “Ambush.”








Linda
Howard
is the
award-winning author of numerous New York
Times
bestsellers, including Up Close
and Dangerous
, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Cover of Night, Killing Time,
To Die For, Kiss Me While I Sleep, Cry No
More,
and Dying to Please. She
lives in Gadsden, Alabama with her husband and two golden retrievers.




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Author Spotlight ~ Nicholas Belardes



Author Spotlight

Nicholas Belardes

About the Author:


Nicholas Belardes writes fiction, essays and poetry. A ghostwriter for popular fiction, his debut essay collection is Ranting Out Loud: Life, Pop Culture & How We Sometimes Don’t Get Along. His work has appeared in Carve Magazine, Pithead Chapel, the Acentos Review, the Island Review, Memoir Journal, 826 Seattle’s What to Read in the Rain, Barrelhouse, Mission at Tenth, the Nervous Breakdown, Latino Rebels, the Weeklings, and others. He illustrated the New York Times best-selling novel West of Here, and is the author of the first original twitterature, Small Places, which has been talked about in the U.K. Guardian, Telegraph, Reuters, Christian Science Monitor, Wired, The Bohemian, and more. He’s contributed to CNN and other news sites, and once talked about red-haired witches on Coast to Coast A.M. with George Noory.

Nicholas currently lives in San Luis Obispo, California with his partner, writer Jane Hawley. Interviews and other requests: nickbelardes@gmail.com. He tweets from @nickbelardes.


Social Media Links:




About the Book:


In his debut essay collection, Nicholas Belardes uses today’s pop culture and self-deprecating humor as a filter for discussing personal stories of family, writing, gender, art, and race. He dives into the Harry Potter play and discusses his cursed childhood home. He tells coming-of-age tales of Dungeons & Dragons and blames Stranger Things for jogging those hilarious memories. In great detail he describes how working for a cheesy Las Vegas animation company meant everything to a relationship with his dad. And he presents an unpopular artistic argument for how Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones may have ruined his life as a writer (not really). He gives you Star Wars and its weird connections to the Catcher in the Rye (as well as artistic expectations in education). In an essay about race he presents virtual universes, cowboy images of his racist dad, and odd choices of identity in Ready Player One. He even provides a layman’s guide for how to introduce someone to Star Trek while at the same time telling us that what we mimic might not be good for us. He also discusses miscommunication in the world in relation to writing the first original Twitter novel, Small Places. And finally, he describes how American numbness negatively affects the world of art. Belardes presents a side of our humanity working in tandem with pop culture. It isn’t always pretty, though it is hopeful, sometimes funny, and full of promise.

PRAISE:

“Ranting Out Loud is binge-worthy essay reading. As immersed in pop culture as I am as a critic and entertainment journalist, I know that understanding personal bias is everything. Whether discussing Tyrion Lannister or Harry Potter, Californian Belardes digs deep into his own twisted psyche to deep read the pop culture that oozes around us, finding depths in the shallows, and shallows in the depths.” —Thelma Adams, author of The Last Woman Standing, Playdate, and frequent contributor to the New York Observer and Variety.

“A refreshingly honest love-hate letter to pop culture. Nicholas Belardes doesn’t try to pretend that our tech and media obsessions can either be reduced to guilty pleasures or influential icons of our time. Instead, with sharp and brutal introspection, he delves into what the shows, movies, novels, politics and tweets that consume him say about him, and causes us to do the same.” —Natalia Sylvester, author of Chasing the Sun

“David Foster Wallace meets Hunter S. Thompson in this ode to the triumphs and defeats of pop culture. Belardes might be the most informed, intelligent and hilariously iconoclastic guide we’ll ever have to help us bridge the digital divide. Who else dares talk about Dostoevsky in the same breath as Winona Ryder? In Belardes’s nimble mental meanderings, we find Rilke alongside Sam the Mattress Man, Knossos alongside Las Vegas. Even as he is telling us everything we always wanted to know about Holden Caulfield and Luke Skywalker but were afraid to ask, Belardes’s underlying message becomes increasingly clear: art has been dumbed down, artifice is everywhere, and we no longer know what “real” is. “We. Can’t. Feel.” Belardes says, but he’s no misanthrope, and in these essays, we find ourselves in the astute and tender company of someone who loves the world.” —Kim Barnes, author of In the Kingdom of Men

“Nicholas Belardes has incisively given the world a stellar debut collection of essays.” —Caroline Leavitt, NYT best-selling author of Cruel Beautiful World, This is Tomorrow, and Pictures of You

“. . . reads like a love letter to pop culture—I couldn’t get enough. Belardes’ essays are addictive: you finish one and can’t wait to start the next. The snappy, fast-paced writing uses pop culture as a lens to look at everything—family, writing, jobs, gender, and ultimately what it means to be human. I binged on this book like it was a new season of Game of Thrones.” —Lara Zielin, author of  The Waiting Sky and The Implosion of Aggie Winchester

“Many of my favorite books are actually rants. On the Road was Kerouac’s expression of being “mad to live.” Lord of the Rings was an elegantly elven diatribe against the tree-killing machines of war and industry, along with being the best-ever take-down of Nazis. Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem is a gorgeous screed of Sixties counterculture. I could go on and that is part of the point—they DO go on and thank god for that because all ideas can’t be expressed in 140 characters. Nicholas Belardes rants with the best of them and Didion better watch her back because he, too, has culture in his crosshairs. Belardes writes with a sharp eye and an even sharper pen. Covering cinema, pop obsessions, history and the not so United States, he is an articulate witness to the strange, stubborn and intractable truths of our time.” —Brenda Knight, author of Women of the Beat Generation

Buy Links:




Author Interview:

  1. Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon, or night-owl writer?

Many mornings I meander to Kreuzberg Coffee Company in San Luis Obispo, California where I hide in the darkest corner, type, sip coffee, and nibble a blueberry muffin.


  1. Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?

I have a few. One is a graphic narrative short about the time I went to the vigil of Richard Chavez (He designed the flag of the UFW). I sometimes send these types of comics to journals. Another is short fiction about a mysterious amusement park map that a kid finds. I’ve been working with an agent writing sample chapters for a Middle Grade novel about a tunnel collapse. Lastly, I’m in final revisions for a 750-page literary fantasy novel. I was deeply inspired by some of the structural techniques in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (among other noteworthy novels).


  1. What inspires you when you’re writing?

Lights at the ends of tunnels. I can see them even when they’re years away. Other times, as in my essay collection, Ranting Out Loud: Life, Pop Culture & How We Sometimes Don’t Get Along, inward lights—those that interconnect between me and the outside world. In the case of that book it was pop culture colliding with memories.


  1. What’s your favorite item on your writing desk?

I’ve become unnervingly attached to ethereal things that make up digital clouds. Mostly that means stories and essays that have become my friends. They need my attention. Without them I’m lost in every way.


  1. What’s your favorite genre and why?

Literary and fantasy, and the beautiful combination they sometimes make.


  1. Any advice you have for a blossoming author?

Study. Read. Never stop writing. Listen. Find really smart, successful writers who will look at your words. Listen to them when they have advice. Realize you need to grow.


  1. When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I walk up a nearby mountain, or down through the city. Some days I wander along beach trails. The rest is family time. I never get enough of that.


  1. What or who inspired you to become a writer?

I wasn’t struck by lightning while walking through a dark meadow or anything like that . . . Writing is the only work I care about other than doing a good job when washing the dishes. It calls for a mind-numbing thoroughness.


  1. How long have you been writing? How long as a published writer?

Twenty years ago my first story was published. I began reinventing myself three years ago. My craft has gone through a lot of recent development. Ranting Out Loud is a testament to the hard work I’ve been putting in.


Just for fun:

  1. Do you have any pets?

I really really want a dog.

  1. Who’s your favorite musician/band?

RVRBOY. Their debut single is my mantra: https://soundcloud.com/rvrboy/riverman Oh, and it’s my son’s band.


  1. What’s your favorite vacation spot?

Lately I’ve been attracted to the deserts of Arizona.


  1. Do you like coffee or tea?

Coffee.


  1. Did you go to college? If so, what was your major?

Graduate school in history though I’m known to crash fiction courses.


  1. Are you a full-time writer or do you also work in another field? If so, what field?

Full-time!



Promo Blitz ~ Breaking Evil - Ensouled Trilogy: Book Two by Kristina Rienzi


Suspense/Paranormal
Date Published: December 15, 2016

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BECOMING EVIL


One year ago, Sera Murano chose evil. She left her human world behind to transform into an Ensoul, a rare and powerful demon, all to fight the evil she was about to become. Working for her father Lorenzo, the leader of all demons, she secretly vowed to overturn his plot to destroy humankind.


BATTLING EVIL


That is, until demon hunters attack Sera and her beloved, Damon, and the truth about the human-demon war is revealed. Torn between the human life of her past and the supernatural one she lives now, Sera must decide who is the worse enemy: evil or humanity.


BREAKING EVIL


To win the battle of her life, Sera is forced to do the unthinkable, taking drastic measures and risking the lives of those she loves most. She must fight to the death against the only supernatural leader she’s ever known, all for a chance to break the cycle of evil.




EXCERPT

Time was of the essence. Sera burst out of her room and into the hallway and raced down the long corridor. As she reached the winding stairs, she opened her mouth to scream that she was coming for Damon. But before she could say anything, a booming crack silenced her. It bellowed loudly. 

The noise stopped her in her tracks. She had no idea where the sound had come from. Dazed, she froze in her steps and looked around, trying to identify its source. What was that? Her blood pumped fast through her system. When she took her next step, an excruciating and undeniable agony came over her. She had been attacked.

Stars swirled and danced in her vision. Everything dimmed.  The back of her head throbbed. The pain pounded in her skull, making a ba-boom sound over and over again. Without further warning, her body gave way, and she dropped fast to the hard floor. As she fell and desperately tried to right herself, she spun on the perfect angle to see the reason for her unfortunate circumstance. He loomed over her, poised for a further assault. 

Her attacker was a dark, blurry figure. He watched her collapse with his small beady eyes glaring at her from the holes in his black mask. While the hunter's face was obscured, his smile gleamed brightly in the dimly lit house. Sera could have sworn she heard laughter. It was a note higher than she anticipated. She noticed the hunter's right arm; he was positioned ready to strike. He wielded a giant baseball bat, which had just connected with her head.

"What the…?” Sera’s rage metamorphosed into energy, thrusting through her like a roaring and violent storm. It readied her body to respond to her attacker.  

The hunter pulled his arm back slowly until it was raised high above his head. He paused, a cocky move, meant to intimidate her.

Unwilling to fall victim to the masked assailant, Sera summoned her supernatural strength once again and pushed herself off the floor to face him. In a flash, he twisted his body and swung the bat toward her. Sera hesitated a beat too long, just enough for the demon hunter to get his wish.

She had been mere inches away from an upright stance, when the bat, in full swing, connected with her cheekbone. The impact sent Sera careening backward until she slammed up against a wall.

For seconds she teetered on the edge of the top stair.  Finally, she lost her battle with her balance and slid off the wall. To save herself, she took a leap, high into the air. But nonetheless, her body tumbled and crashed down the steps of the grand staircase.

The fall felt as if it lasted for minutes, but only seconds had passed. Conscious as she experienced her soar through the air, her body twisted and turned as it made its way to the bottom of the stairs. Without warning, her head smashed violently onto the marble foyer entrance. Everything faded to black.



About the Author


Kristina Rienzi is an American author who has been writing in some fashion for several decades. In 2014, she achieved traditional publication for her debut novel, Choosing Evil (Ensouled Trilogy, Book One), and has since independently published, Luring Shadows, Twisted, and Winter Road. Her latest novel, Breaking Evil (Ensouled Trilogy, Book Two) will be releasing soon.

Professionally, Kristina has been active in the writing community as a member of several organizations such as Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers. She has also served as the New Jersey Romance Writers Literary Book Fair Chair and, most recently, the President of Sisters in Crime-New Jersey. Kristina holds a Masters Degree in Psychological Counseling and a Senior Professional Human Resources Certificate, working in both fields throughout her business career. 

Personally, Kristina is married and doggie mommy to Pekingese and Shih-Tzu pups. Although a New Jersey resident, she dreams of one day moving to Hawaii and living the ‘Aloha’ way. When she is not writing, she spends her time reading, watching paranormal investigations, rooting for her West Virginia Mountaineers and relaxing with her loved ones, wine in hand.


Contact Links

Email: KristinaRienziAuthor@gmail.com
  

Purchase Links


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