Friday, 31 March 2017

When Darkness Falls Series: The Vampire Redemption Series #1 by Ellen Chauvet

  Title: When Darkness Falls Series: The Vampire Redemption Series #1
By: Ellen Chauvet
Publication Date: March 17, 2016
Publisher: Relentlessly Creative Books
Genre: PNR/Urban Fantasy
Cover Designer: Jun Ares
#whendarknessfallsblitz
A strong-willed Southern woman living her dream life in Paris, Lexie Miles is devastated when her best friend Emma is brutally murdered by vampires. From that moment her “dream life” begins to crumble. She discovers that not only was Emma living a double life, but her boss Tom Grant is as well.  She is plunged into a 500 year old secret that takes her on an unimaginable path.  

When her mother, Cassie, comes to Paris for her thirtieth birthday, Lexie is bequeathed with a birthright that gives her super being abilities and the dubious gift of being the “Chosen One”.  Her entire life has been a lie, and she is pissed.  

Meeting Etienne Benoit, head of a secret society, she is inexplicably drawn to him, and she ignites in him a sizzling desire that refuses to be ignored. Etienne reveals his story and Emma’s link to the Society and her brilliant perfection of two antiserums.  Lexie must come to terms with the concept that she may be falling in love with a vampire. She reluctantly accepts her legacy and along with Tom and Etienne travels to the headquarters of the Society in Southern France.  They receive an e-mail from Emma that reveals the first clue in what proves to be a race against time and the dark forces that threaten to destroy everything Etienne has created.  A traitor lurks among them and they have no idea who it is.  

As war rages across the land Lexie, Etienne and Tom hunt frantically to find the antiserum that Emma hid before she was murdered. Lexie’s kidnapping and Tom’s death at the hands of Etienne’s son Francois and his partner Marielle spurs Etienne to take drastic action.  The result leaves Lexie alone and despairing that she will never see her love again.  Unwilling to accept this fate, she enlists the help of Kendrick McDonough, a Scotsman and Etienne’s second in command.   Kendrick becomes her friend, trainer and mentor.  Lexie vows she will never give up on Etienne.  She will find a way to return him to the light side.  
Print Copy
BARNES & NOBLE - https://goo.gl/iQHAHP
CREATESPACE - https://goo.gl/nphs9b
Ellen lives in Vancouver, British Columbia and finds the months of rain and gloom particularly conducive to creating in this genre. Ellen’s love for reading and writing developed at an early age and she wrote several short stories and plays which were lost over the years and many moves. Ellen’s passion for travel began when her Dad took a position with an international soft drink company and they moved to Bogota, Colombia. While in South America Ellen and her family lived in most of the major cities, including, Caracas, Venezuela, La Paz, Bolivia, Lima, Peru, Santiago, Chile, Buenos Aires, ArgentinA and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

Ellen spent her high school years near Chicago and in the summer between high school and university moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she lived for the next thirty years. In 1996 Ellen moved to Vancouver where she met and married the man of her dreams. While they were married, her husband, a French Canadian, introduced her to the French culture and in particular Southern France and for the first time in her life, Ellen felt like she’d come home. 

Ellen was first introduced to vampires through Anne Rice’s Interview With A Vampire, and although she fell in love with the book, vampires were not in the forefront of her reading must-haves. Then in 2003, a friend introduced her to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Ellen was fascinated by the idea of good and evil vampires.  At that point she started reading every vampire novel she could find, particularly loving Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, JR Ward and Laurell K. Hamilton.  When Darkness Falls is the first in a series of books called The Vampire Redemption Series and is adult fiction.  
Social Media Links
Twitter - @ChauvetEllen

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Vindication, a Tri-Stone Trilogy, Bk 3 by Anne L. Parks


Blog Tour
Vindication
Anne L .Parks
Release Date: March 28th 2017

Kylie Tate is the happiest she has ever been since accepting Alex Stone’s marriage proposal. Nothing can stand in the way of her happily ever after. Until Alex’s father, James, escapes from the prison hospital, and disappears without a trace.
Alex is determined to marry Kylie as soon as possible and start their future together. Having his father free to wreak havoc is not part of the plan. When James is found dead on Alex’s property, Alex is charged with murder—and the District Attorney is going after the death penalty. Kylie is in for the fight of her life to get Alex acquitted. Faced with the possibility of Alex’s conviction, will Kylie go outside the law to save him?




OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES




Born and raised in the Rocky Mountains, Anne L. Parks has spent the last 25 years moving all over the United States. Married to the Navy - well a Commander in the Navy - Parks has lived in various locales throughout the United States. She currently resides in the Washington D.C area, and is loving every minute. When not writing, she spends her time reading, doing yoga, mountain biking, and keeping track of four kids. And drinking wine.
2013 marked her debut in publishing. Her first novel, Strangers, released on her 45th birthday. She was amazed at the number of people who fell in love with a story about two people dealing with grief, and finding love again. Abby and Bryce were the perfect couple to introduce Parks as an up-and-coming author.
Her second novel, The Return, released in December 2013. A wonderful Christmas romance, it is the first book in the Return To Me series. Book two, Return To Newport, released April 29th, and followed the couple through the murky waters of saying good-bye to a past that refused to let go. Lauren's Return, the third book in the series, released on August 19th. This chronicles the challenges of bringing together a family amidst tragedy and death, and still holding firmly to the love they have fought so hard to keep alive. The fourth book, Returning Home, shifts the focus away from Jake and Eve, and delves into the life Eve's eldest daughter. Clarissa has a secret she has guarded for most of her life. Fearing it will be revealed, she refuses to allow love into her heart - until she meets Griff. December 2014 brought the close of this series, with the release of RSVP: A Return To Me Christmas novella. The wedding of the year is threatened by Mother Nature, forcing the couple to re-evaluate whether "happily ever after" is really attainable.
Stepping out of her comfort zone, Parks delved into the paranormal with a group of highly talented authors. The result? An unexpected fantasy of four sisters fighting to save the earth - and each other - from their deranged mother. Elementals, A Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Anthology, released on May 15th. Summer brought more collaboration with the release of a Fourth of July themed short story, FlyBoy, that was included in the Sparks Fly boxed set.
 


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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Read the first chapter of His Competent Woman A BBW Billionaire Romance

Indulge yourself with pure romance - as good as eating chocolate in the bath!

His Competent Woman
A BBW Billionaire Romance
30,000 words
Self Standing and Complete
$0.99

In desperate need for money, Emma applies for a job with handsome billionaire Curtis West. The thing is, she loses her temper during the interview and fudges her credentials. Can she pull it off or will this end in tears?

This will be released April 14th. Read the first chapter and sign up for the pre-order.





Chapter One: Emma

     “Ben's a lovely boy,” Miss Maddy said brightly. “We're so happy to have him.”
     “Thank you so much!”
     Oh, tell her to quit the chitchat and cut to the chase!
     That’s my inner devil. I’m patient and cool on the outside, but inside me there’s this little voice that pipes up and says it how it is. She’s blunt, difficult, and honestly, a bit of a slut. Maybe it’s the real me, I don’t know. But whoever that little voice really belongs to, she’s certainly impatient.
     While my devil was right, I resisted an impulse to hurry Miss Maddy along. Ben's schoolteacher was dedicated and likeable, although somewhat longwinded. Being a teacher is a tough job, and Miss Maddy prefaced every conversation with endless compliments, as if parents weren’t capable of tackling reality without a spoonful of sugar. 
     “Ben’s kind, generous, and very popular.”
     “But Ben isn't doing well,” I prompted her. “Is he naughty in class? Not listening, maybe?”
     “He's in my bad books for being too chatty at least twice a week!” Miss Maddy laughed indulgently. “But that's normal for a seven-year-old, isn't it?”
     Come ooooooooooooooooon!
     “You asked me to come and see you,” I reminded her. “You said it was important?”
     When she’d called me, I’d immediately envisioned broken bones or at the very least gushing blood. Once assured on both counts, my mind had flown to some hideous disciplinary problem. Thankfully, Ben didn't seem to be in any trouble.
     “Ben's not doing well on his reading.” Miss Maddy was finally getting to the point. “His writing is poor, too.”
     Okay, so my stomach plummeted at that. “He's young. I thought boys are slower to develop than girls?”
     “I think he may be dyslexic,” Miss Maddy confided. “I'm not a psychologist, Mrs Reed, but he does seem confused about certain words and letters. I think we should have him tested.”
     Now I could barely breathe, either. “Dyslexic? But that's serious, isn't it?”
     “Well, it makes school a bit more of a challenge, but with support most children cope very well.”
     “I’ll make an appointment with the doctor.”
     “I’m afraid that won’t work,” Miss Maddy said carefully. “Dyslexia isn’t covered.”
     Hell, hell, hell!
     If it wasn’t covered by the National Health Service, it meant private doctors. That meant money, and I didn’t have a bean. “Can you test him?” My voice was totally Minnie Mouse, squeakily hoping against hope.
     “I’m afraid not.” Miss Maddy handed over a leaflet. “It takes a qualified psychologist. There’s a list here to help you out.”
     “They’re going to be expensive, and I'm broke!”
     “I'm so sorry.” Miss Maddy looked away, knowing it was bad news. “You're a widow, isn't that so?”
     “Yes.” Dear Graham. Gone seven years now.
     “He died in Iraq?” Miss Maddy asked delicately. “Erm, during the war?”
     “Actually, he was run over.” It still made me sad just thinking of it. “It was an accident.”
     A stupid, stupid accident. A young man, a car thief, had made off with an army jeep parked at the Baghdad market. He'd jumped in, taken off and rocketed into Graham just twenty feet later. Killed instantly, Graham’s friends assured me afterwards. Graham hadn’t suffered at all, thank heaven.
     The driver had joined him shortly after. The mob had beaten him so badly that he'd died on the spot. It was no consolation. I didn't find it a comfort that two families had grieved instead of one. Still don’t, actually.
     “Very tragic,” Miss Maddy said sympathetically. “Look, there are some charities that help out. It’s all in the leaflet.”
     “Oh, thank god!”
     “But it can take months to make an appointment,” Miss Maddy cautioned me. “And it may not be in Oxford, so you may want to save for the trip.”
     Oh lord, it’s going to take us months, my inner devil moaned.
     Miss Maddy cleared her throat, piling on bad news, “I'm afraid that if Ben is dyslexic, he will need some support.”
     Support. Crap, crap, crap. That meant specialist training, extra classes, and that meant more bills. My stomach pitched and rolled with fright. As if I weren’t already struggling to make ends meet.
     Parenting Ben on my own made working a regular job extremely challenging. Few businesses tolerate staff starting at nine a.m. and dashing off at three p.m.—never mind sick days and school holidays.
     I hadn’t been able to find a decent job, full time or part time, either. After applying to hundreds of companies, I’d turned to the gig economy. To my horror, I discovered that meant forking out for massively expensive babysitters at unreasonable hours. A zero-hours contract at Tesco had actually cost me money at the end of the month, with all my salary and some of my last remaining savings going to sitters.
     Now I was just shattered at the thought of the months ahead. A psychologist would cost a bomb, but there was nothing left to sell. The car had gone first, then the antique clock that had been my grandmother's, and finally the 78s, the vintage records that had been Graham's treasures from his grandfather.
     All I had left of value was my wedding ring, an antique Cartier that I’d taken off and shoved into my pants drawer because two of the diamond chips had fallen out.
     Oh god, do we have to part with it? It’s all we have left of him!
     Just the thought made me feel like weeping, but I had to pull myself together. Ben’s future was more important.
     “What will testing cost?” I asked Miss Maddy fearfully.
     “Well, there's the assessment. Last year we had little Siti Menon tested, and I think her mum said it set her back—” Miss Maddy mentioned a figure that made me reel. 
     “If he is, will he need special lessons?” I was praying she’d say not. “Or a special school?”
     “We can help,” Miss Maddy assured me.
     For a second I breathed again. If the school could pitch in, maybe we’d be okay. I was uncomfortably aware of being a burden, a scrounger on state benefits.  Maybe I could help, volunteer for something.
     My spirits rose a little, but then Miss Maddy whacked me right back down. “But if Ben’s diagnosed, there may be extras like a laptop and special software. Tutoring in coping techniques can sometimes help, too.”
     She rummaged in her desk. “Let me see about prices. I had a list here from a chat group the other day. I think tutoring classes are charged by the half hour and that they tend to charge about—”
     By the time she was done, I felt sick. Even selling my ring wouldn’t raise enough cash.
     “But it's all worth it,” Miss Maddy finished. “It really does work.” Then she put the boot in. “Without intervention, he'll fall more and more behind.”
     “Can the school help with a grant for testing?” I would crawl through broken glass if they’d help. Sackcloth, ashes, the lot.
     Miss Maddy just shrugged helplessly. “I’m so sorry.”
     “Or maybe if he needs it, with tutoring?”
     That got me another helpless shrug.
     I sat in my chair, shell-shocked. I knew that Ben would not get any more attention. It wasn't Miss Maddy’s fault. She simply had too many kids to cope with. The school was already under tremendous strain, with classrooms holding thirty children and sometimes more. Frankly, it was a miracle she'd not just dismissed Ben as lazy.
     “I'll see to it,” I tried to sound totally cool. “Thank you, Miss Maddy. It's very kind of you to alert me.”
     Miss Maddy blushed. “It's a pleasure. We all love Ben. He's such a pleasant boy.”
     She’s a pain in the bum sometimes, Miss Maddy, but her heart is in the right place.
     Walking out onto the sunny street, I prayed for a miracle. Maybe the job centre had something new.
     “Oh, Mrs Reed…” The counter staff knew me by name, I'd been in so often. “There's an opening in Tesco, but it's shift work. Mostly nights and weekends.”
     “They pay so little that it won't cover the babysitting,” I couldn’t help but moan. “Is there anything that isn't zero-hour contract or minimum wage?”
     “Nothing that matches your qualifications,” the woman said sympathetically.
     “A degree in English literature and a year as a glorified intern in a publishing house have prepared me for nothing but benefits.” Yes, I was on a total self-pitying grumble fest. “Why didn't I study something lucrative like accounting?”
     “Accounting?” One of the office staff popped up, holding a newly printed vacancy notice.  “There's a job in Weston Enterprises. It says office manager, but they said to give priority to people with bookkeeping or financial management experience.”
     Weston Enterprises, a top-of-the-line green architecture construction company. I took the posting and read through it quickly. It looked like simple enough work, a girl Friday job that covered office record-keeping. It was nine to five, a proper contract, and the salary was decent. It was a miracle.
     Run! My inner devil screamed. Get there right now! We’ll snaffle this job before some other desperate cow even gets wind of it!
     “I'll go straight away!” Then I ran out the door before anyone could stop me.
     It wasn't difficult to find Weston Enterprises. Not only are they one of the richest construction companies in the country, but their headquarters consists of a silvered glass tower. Soaring straight up from a small park, the locals had nicknamed it Minas Ithil after the moon-inspired spire from Lord of the Rings.
     I managed to catch a bus that took me straight to the front gate. I blasted through the little park and arrived at reception pink-faced and panting. “I've come about the office manager job,” I announced.
     The receptionist, a pretty little bubble blonde in a blue-flowered summer dress, glanced over the job vacancy sheet. “That will be Sam,” she chirped brightly. “Top floor. Speak to Caitie. Her desk is in Reception.”
     The executive lift was opulent and made entirely out of glass. As it whisked me into the air, I was treated to a dazzling view of Oxford.  The doors opened on an equally stunning vision: Caitie, who was working the executive floor reception desk, looked more like a fashion model than an office worker.
     She was perfect for Minas Ithil. Arwen Evenstar to the life, the girl could be an Elven Ring-bearer, no problem.
     Caitie was tall, slender, and dressed in a silky, emerald shift that looked straight off a Tokyo catwalk. Her glossy black hair fell down her back. It was so long that it almost reached her waist. Everything about the woman screamed style. Even her nails were perfect, a classic French manicure with white glitter tips.
     I took in all the gloss, feeling my toes curl in shame. I would never, ever get a job here. It was amazing they’d even let me in the door.
     Her eyes are too close together, and she’s probably got hammertoes. Inner me can be a bitch.
     “You’re here to see Sam?” The model was abrupt, and her voice was rough. She was emptying out her desk, clearly intent on leaving. But she smiled nicely enough and waved me to a plush leather sofa. “Do take a seat.”
     “Erm, can you point me to the ladies’?”
     I bolted into the loo, took one look at my reflection and squealed with horror. I’d wanted to look smart for Miss Maddy, so I’d worn plain black trousers and a navy blue blouse. It was suitably severe, corporate, and nobody would guess that my black court shoes were so worn that the left one had a hole in the sole. But compared to Miss Evenstar out in reception, it looked hideously dull.
     As for my hair! It’s naturally curly and a dark chestnut that goes well with any strong colour from turquoise to wine. But with me raking my hands through it all morning, it was standing up on end. Sadly, it wasn’t a romantic, wild cloud, either.
     I’d say porcupine, but it has a flavour of pufferfish, too—you know, that super poisonous one. Devil me can be mercilessly self-critical, too.
     To add a final, horrible touch, my face was scarlet from running. As well as my looking like a freak, it had made my eyeliner run. Instead of sultry, I was looking at racoon eyes.
     “You look like Cher—after she’s put her fingers in a socket,” I grumbled at mirror-me. “And without the sexy vulpine glamour.”
     Repairing the damage, I hastily combed my hair, pulling it back into a well-tamed bun. Running my hands under the cold tap and pressing them against my face, I toned down some of the hideous flush.
     Waiting for the last of the red to cool away, I stared my reflection.  My hair was okay, but I’ve got very ordinary brown eyes, too boring for beauty, a nice straight nose, but it’s too big for my taste, and my mouth is too thin. Still, with the black-and-navy look, I was presentable. I reminded myself that this was a job interview, not a beauty competition.
     Just as well, really, because my blouse looked as if I’d been poured into it, and my trousers were disgustingly tight. I'd eaten been eating too much cheap stodge recently and had failed to lose my winter pounds.
     Real women have curves!
     It was not a comfort. “Well,” I smiled at mirror-me, “at least giving up chocolate means no spots.”
     Digging in my bag, I realised I was out of eyeliner. My mascara was almost dead, but a drop of water from the tap eked it out. I was almost out of lipstick, too, but by digging in the bottom of the tube, I made do.
     “There,” I talked myself up for courage. “Understated, serious, and dependable. Totally employable.”
     There was no way I could compare to the gorgeous PA, but seeing this was an admin job, I hoped looks wouldn’t matter.
     “You’ll be behind closed doors. Probably in the basement,” I assured myself.
     I looked at the job description again.
     Must have good organisational skills, communicate well, and handle many details and challenging situations at once.
     Well, I could handle that. Having once invited Ben’s kindergarten group over to the house for his birthday, there was nothing a company could throw at me that would scare me. Twenty screaming kids had made me immune to chaos and yelling, and it was unlikely the executives would mimic little Kevin and vomit into my handbag or hang onto me so hard that my knickers slid down to my knees like they had with that minx, Seema.
     Must be conversant with Microsoft Office packages including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
     Proofing manuscripts had made me an ace at editing, and I’d taken a course in PowerPoint at the Job Centre, just to improve my CV. My Excel skills were basic, but I’d be fine after a bit of quick extra tutoring. All jobs have a learning curve. I could get up to speed in the evenings in the first week or so.
     Includes responsibility for liaisons with vendors to ensure that orders are fulfilled as requested, invoices are paid, and refunds or exchanges are processed.
     That sounded like it took common sense. Also, fighting with the plumber, the electrician and three roof contractors had made me an expert in negotiation. And with the plumber being a foul-mouthed Geordie, I’d not be knocked sideways by construction worker swearing either.
     Must hold a degree in business administration and have at least two years’ relevant corporate experience.
     Ouch. Now that was a stumbling block. I knew full well that a degree in English Lit would not be an acceptable substitute. But perhaps they were flexible on that.
     Human Resources were always trying to filter applicants by box ticking, I told myself firmly. And anyway, figuring out our finances and living on the edge for seven years had to count for something.
     I took one last look in the mirror, straightened my shoulders and walked out, straight into a firestorm.
     “Caitie, my own bloody PA, is cleaning out her desk right now!  No notice!” The roar blasted out of the carpeted executive offices, ringing around the building. I flattened myself against the wall instinctively. “Family issues, she says! Her bloody sister had a kid, and Caitie feels she has to run off and play nanny!”
     “Can we offer some leave instead?” a much more reasonable voice asked. “Negotiate?”
     “Seeing she’s been late every morning this week, and skiving off early, I told her to get out and not come back!” the angry voice fumed.
     “Oh, dear. And I came to tell you that Suze has given notice, too.”
     “Whaaaaaat?” The loud angry voice echoed down the corridor, practically shattering the delicately tinted windows.
     “She has a baby, Curtis. She decided being a mum was more important than a career.”
     “She told us when she applied for the job that she was a career woman!”
     “Yes, but she changed her mind. It’s not a total disaster, we can replace her.”
     “Can we? We're still looking for a press relations exec, too!” The voice was fuming. “One who won't give zero notice after falling in love with a bloody tourist and emigrating to Australia!”
     “Right. Anya,” the unfortunate Sam said. “Well, it was unusual, and rather romantic, I thought.”
     “Romantic? It's disruptive, and it costs a fortune to interview and recruit!” The anger was running freely, his voice ringing around the hall. “Babies, family issues, and bloody husband-hunting! They preach bloody equality, but it’s all take and no give!”
     “Oh, come on. We’re just hitting a bad patch.”
     “I've had it, Sam! From now on, no more women!”
     “Curtis, I appreciate that you're angry, but you know you can't do that. Discrimination is illegal.”
     “Illegal? What about quitting with no notice? Three of them in one week!”
     “It’s unprincipled, but we can’t exactly chain them to their desks.”
     “Unprincipled? It’s bloody robbery! Look at Suze! At the interview, she went on and on about how she wanted a career, yet she married some banker a month later.”
     “Well, it’s not a crime.”
     “Isn’t it?  She had a worthless bloody degree that qualified her for nothing when she started. I spent six months training her up, then she fell pregnant. She took her sick leave and her holiday, both of which I paid for. Then she vanished for the best part of a year on maternity leave, which I also paid for, and now she goddamn quits!”
     The roar reverberated through the hall. I shivered, frozen by the rage. 
     “Yes, it's unfortunate—”
     “Unfortunate? It bloody well cost me a fortune!”
     “Yes, I know.”
     “Two years and I’ve not had an ounce of work out of her!”
     “Yes, but—”
     “You said I can’t fire her, but now she can just leave?”
     “Yes.”
     “Can I sue her for compensation?”
     “No. It doesn’t work that way.”
     “Can I sue Caitie for walking out with no notice?”
     “Actually, no.”
     “Fine. In that case, no more women.”
     “But Curtis—”
     I snuck down the hall, back into the waiting room, now empty, and then sat trembling. Curtis, the voice had said. That roar had been Curtis Weston, CEO of Weston Enterprises. I’d read about him often.
     Curtis was one of our local lions. An inspirational architect, the creator of the glass Minas Ithil tower and winner of several awards, including a coveted RIBA for innovation in architecture. He was a local boy who had built up a billion-pound fortune, and everyone in Oxford was proud of him. 
     In interviews, he'd seemed pleasant if rather driven. Now I was changing my mind. Curtis Weston cared only about his business. He didn't have a clue that life, love, and family can change lives and priorities.
     It was unfortunate that he was losing three of his staff at the same time, but being stinking rich, he could just replace them. Curtis Weston’s reaction was completely over the top.
     “Mrs Reed?” A tall, friendly-looking man with sandy hair and a slightly rumpled brown suit stood before me. “I'm Sam Jefferson, Human Resources Director.” He had a warm smile and a firm handshake. “You're awfully quick! I only sent the job spec an hour ago.”
     I smiled, “I like to be efficient.” Game on, right?
     “Right,” Sam was looking me over. With a sinking heart, I could see he was noting the lack of jewellery, well-worn shoes, and probably my worried eyes, too. Oh crap. The Job Centre probably sent him my CV.
     “Penguin Publishing! Well, that’s impressive!” Yes, Sam was checking out my past. My heart was plummeting into my gut again.
     Smile and flash our boobs; my horrible self is shameless. Think of Ben! If it helps get us the job, it’s worth it!
     God, to be reduced to this! I did have a promising start in Penguin, but then there was a telltale, year-long gap, and then the dratted thing was littered with zero-hour jobs. The whole thing reeked of loser. 
     “Cashier at Tesco, driving for Uber, and part-time cleaner for the Royal Bank,” Sam said warmly. “You're versatile and not afraid of hard work. You’ve been taking short courses, too. Excellent!”
     He was going to turn me down. The despair just blasted through me. He wanted a competent professional with years of experience, not a rundown single parent. Especially with Curtis Weston ripping into him just minutes before.
     I’m a lame-duck mum, I thought.
     The money I needed was receding before my eyes. In a flash, I could see Ben being left further and further behind, with me standing uselessly on the sidelines, unable to help him. 
     Fight, you stupid cow!
     “I'm organised and used to coping with problems,” I said quickly. “I enjoy challenges, and I'm a fast learner.”
     “Yes, I can see that,” Sam said gently. I could tell he hated this part of his work, telling desperate job seekers they were out of luck. Sam seemed a kind man, one of the best. He was probably thinking that Curtis Weston would kill him if he hired me. I wasn't even remotely a fit for the job, either, or any job they had, probably.
     “Mrs Reed, I'm very sorry but—”
     “The Royal Bank were very pleased with me,” I interjected desperately. It wasn't a lie. The manager had complimented me on my sparkling clean corners and floor waxing.
     “Sam, can I borrow Jenny?” Curtis put his head around the door. “I've got a pile of correspondence, and I’m busy with that presentation for Fitzsimmons—” he stopped abruptly and stared at me. “Oh,” he said crisply. “Hello.”
     He was much taller than I’d imagined. Curtis Weston was easily six feet, with narrow hips and long legs contributing to an overall impression of lean grace. He moved swiftly, every move economical and purposeful. It was sexy as hell; panthers had nothing on this man.
     The strong, regular features were good, too. Short brown hair, brown eyes, and a light tan from working outside set off sparkling white teeth, small nose, and slanting cheekbones.
     Oh, sweet mother of god, YUM! He’s stunning. Want! Want! Want! 
     I ignored my suddenly thumping heart. Okay, what am I lying for? The thumping was way lower down in my body.
     Good looks and ohmilord, just look at the window dressing!
     The expensive suit was definitely more than an off-the-rack at some high-end fashion house like Armani or Cardin. No, this was pure Savile Row. It was hand made and beautifully tailored to highlight the sinewy physique, and the expensive black material screamed money. So did the crisp blue shirt and the navy and red tie.
     My knees were going liquid just looking at him. He was damn gorgeous.
     Lean, dark, and sexy, just like we like them, inner me moaned. And seeing he built this business up from nothing, he's also bright and hard-working.
     I had to agree. If we’d met at a party, I'd have made the most horrendous pass.
     The thing about all that beauty and grace is that I suddenly became aware of less-than-glorious me. I was horribly aware of my clothes, too worn to impress and definitely straining at the seams. I sucked in my tummy. I really had to lose some weight.
     Like chop off three inches all the way round.  Or industrial liposuction.
     I was also cursing myself for my haste. Instead of rushing over, hoping that being first would snag me the job, I should have made an appointment, done my hair properly, dressed better, and looked the part.
     Investing in some new shoes might have been a good move, too. I could feel the unseen hole in the sole burning into my foot.
     “You're applying?” Curtis spoke swiftly, with a light, clipped tone.
     Say something!
     But I was tongue-tied, suddenly shy of all that gorgeousness right in front of me.
     “This is Emma Reed,” Sam said quickly. “She’s here for the office manager job.”
     Curtis stepped forward, and I caught a whiff of his aftershave: leather and orange. It promised warmth and excitement. I could feel myself flush.
     He’ll have a lean body with long, ropey muscles. Those arms will curl around us, sexy and hard. Totally delicious.
     I mentally shook myself and told myself to focus. Curtis Weston was clearly out of my league, just like the job, but oh my god, if only I could take him home as a consolation prize!
     You still haven’t spoken, moron!
     “Hello!” It was supposed to come out cool and competent but I sounded like Minnie Mouse. I cleared my throat, adding, “Nice to meet you.” Hell!  Now I was Billy Goat Gruff.
     Curtis Weston nodded briefly. “How do you do.” His voice was cool to the point of cold.
     He was looking me over. I suddenly had the impression that I was standing under a searchlight. Every inch of me felt hot and exposed. The hazel eyes ran over me swiftly. This was a man who was quick in everything, from mood to decisions. And by the pursed mouth I could feel him judging my worn shoes and lack of gloss.
     The image of Caitie, the supermodel in the emerald sheath, rushed back into mind. Yes, the slightly contemptuous gaze told me Curtis Weston thought I wasn't up to par.
     He wasn't gorgeous; he was a judgemental arse.
     Suddenly furious, I turned to Sam. “As I was saying, Mr Jefferson, the Royal Bank was pleased with my work. They did say they might have another opening, so if you've other candidates—”
     “The Royal Bank?” Curtis interjected. “You worked there?”
     “Yes, and for Tesco, and Penguin Publishing.” I decided I'd lay it on thick. I'd never get the job—Sam Jefferson would know I was misrepresenting myself—but at least I could walk out with my pride intact.
     “Are you married?” Curtis asked abruptly. “Or intending to get pregnant soon?”
     “Curtis!” Sam was red with annoyance. “For god's sake!”
     “Oh, I don't mind,” I said sweet as honey. “Let me tell you, Mr Weston, that I am not married and do not intend to marry. Frankly, I have no interest in men.”
     “Excellent!” Curtis said promptly. “You're hired.”
 

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Dirty Confessions By Jasmine Red

  Title: Dirty Confessions 
By: Jasmine Red
Publication Date: March 29, 2017
Genre: Erotic Romance
#dirtyconfessions
Beware. This is not a love story. This is about a man and his obsession with a woman who’d he’d hurt long ago. This is about his journey. The sexual adventures he embarked on that led him away, and then back to her. This is romance, if it was lathered in lust and warm moans and whispered under silk sheets in a candle lit room. This is not an orgasm. It is multiple orgasms. The senses breaking free. The erotic flicker of a wet tongue against a stiff nipple. Fingers toying with clits. Moans riding cries of pleasures. Hard lengths sliding in lush treasures between hungry thighs. This is not a romance. It is a romance of lust.
Jasmine Red serves as a Secret Alter Ego for an author who wants to be nasty as hell.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Beauty of the Beast By Rachel L. Demeter

Beauty of the Beast
by Rachel L. Demeter
Fairy Tale Retellings, #1
Release Date: March 15, 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Fairy Tale Retellings, Gothic Romance #beautyofthebeasttour
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🥀 Book Blurb ðŸ¥€
Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.  

A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.  

A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.  

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more… Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice. Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.  

Disclaimer: This is an edgy retelling of the classic fairy tale. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

🎬 Book Trailer 🎬

🥀 Teasers 🥀


🥀 Excerpt 🥀

~ The East Tower ~

Arms sprang out from the darkness. They spun her full circle and slammed her body against the king’s portrait. Isabelle gasped, more in shock than from pain, as she stared into Adam’s deformed face. The lantern flickered behind his massive form, casting his cloaked body in silhouette. But she saw enough to know he was far from pleased. Rage and frustration radiated from his body like a palpable force.

“I warned you to stay out of here,” he said, his voice dangerously cold and deep. Those rugged vocals vibrated against her body and seeped into her marrow. “What part of forbidden didn’t you comprehend?” His voice lashed out from the darkness like a hurtled knife, and the word “forbidden” seemed to whisper another meaning altogether. Isabelle tried to answer but failed to find her voice. Indeed, her vocal cords had turned to solid ice, as numb and cold as the blood rushing through her veins. She couldn’t breathe; she felt like she was suffocating.

“My mother gave me that musical box on my fourth birthday,” he said, the sensual lull of his voice causing the fine hairs on her nape to stand erect. “And now your recklessness has destroyed it. Have you nothing to say?”

“I—I’m sorry.” He offered no reply; only the ragged sound of his breathing and the hammering blizzard broke the silence. “Please—I didn’t mean any harm.”

She struggled under the weight of Adam’s colossal body and battled to free herself. He merely gave a low chuckle and pressed her firmly against the portrait. He looked otherworldly at that moment, like an angel of death seeking vengeance. Both beautiful and monstrous, his cool, sapphire eyes overflowed with warring emotions. In spite of his harsh and ruthless exterior, she detected a quaver in his voice and saw that his large, cloaked shoulders trembled. The darkness in his soul cast a shadow that embraced her; as she peered up at him, she knew he was drowning in the turbulent waters of a past time.

“What a disappointment,” he went on, his voice growing deeper still, mocking her words from so many days ago, “You’re like any other woman.”

“I—I’m sorry. Please, Adam. I—” Her gaze shot past his body and over the wreckage of a past life. She thought of her private chamber again—of the stale perfumes and outdated garments.

Her flight or fight instinct seized hold of her. She attempted to scramble free, but he merely grabbed her shoulder and whirled her back against the portrait. Gloves wrapped his hands; his long, silk-clad fingers grasped her shoulder and kept her firmly in place.

He stood intimately close.

Far too close.

As close as Raphael had been that night.

“Going somewhere, ma belle? After you’ve worked so hard to find my East Tower?”

Hands like two steel bands held her wrists in place. Hot breaths, which faintly smelled of wine, seared her cheeks and assaulted her senses. Her breasts flattened against the pressure of his strong chest, and she felt that same chest swell and deflate in perfect sync with her own. One large hand slipped down her elbow and glided across her extended arm. The lush material of his gloves drew a shudder from her heaving chest. His breathing grew more ragged, shallower, and the erratic beat of his heart banged against her own.

Anger and desire warred on his face, twisting his features into a mess of both monster and man. “Find anything of interest, aside from my musical box? Come, come. You went through such great trouble to get here,” he asked, his voice now threaded with both anger and something else.

Yes, Isabelle recognized that something else. It was the same note that had entered Raphael’s voice that night…

She attempted to duck under his arm, but he moved swiftly, capturing her in the crook of his elbow. Reeling her toward him, he emitted a low, haunting chuckle that swelled the eastern tower to its rafters. She was back where she’d started—pinned against the portrait, Adam’s body serving as a flesh-and-blood blockade.

Hunger radiated from him, enfolding her in a current of sizzling power. His silk-clad hand grazed the curve of her breast as it moved down her body in a painfully slow caress. Even more alarming was her reaction to him. Her treacherous body responded with a crush of hot and cold pulsating waves. Then he whispered a taunt in her ear, and his liquid baritone slid down her backbone like honey; it swirled inside her, finding its home in her most intimate area.

He leaned closer still. His face’s uneven skin brushed against her neck, the black waves of his hair tickled her chin... His thick arousal expanded against her, reminding her of what he was capable of—and of her sheer vulnerability.

His lips teased the base of her throat. Cursing her traitorous body, Isabelle gasped at the gentle scraping of his teeth. His tongue and lips tormented her throbbing pulse—just barely, stirring her skin in a mere ghost of a touch.


🥀 Meet the Author 🥀 

Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and her high school sweetheart of fourteen years. She enjoys writing poignant romances that challenge the reader's emotions and explore the redeeming power of love. Imagining dynamic worlds and characters has been Rachel's passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mother would record them for her. She holds a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether crafting the protagonist or antagonist, she ensures every character is given a soul. Rachel endeavors to defy conventions by blending elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness. Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.

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Friday, 24 March 2017

When Darkness Falls By Ellen Chauvet

Tristan's Lyceum Wolves by Kym Grosso


Charismatic and powerful Lyceum Wolves' Alpha, Tristan Livingston, is out for revenge after a devastating attack on his pack. Not only did he survive a building collapse, he orchestrated the rebuild of his chic, state-of-the-art nightclub within a week. Determined to mete out justice, he rescues a beautiful witness who may be the key to helping him find the perpetrators.
Dr. Kalli Williams, dedicated veterinarian, is hiding a secret that endangers not only her own life but the lives of wolves across the country. After being tortured by a savage vampire, she's reluctantly agrees to help the sexy Alpha in his quest to identify suspects; ones who'd kill her on the spot if they knew she existed. As Kalli places herself in the hands of the dominant wolf, she soon finds she wants nothing more than to submit. Tristan, committed to ruling his pack as a lone wolf, is inexplicably drawn to the mysterious and enticing woman, who seems more than human, but not quite supernatural. As he discovers her secret, he teaches her the meaning of trust, helping her learn how to be true to her nature. After living a lifetime alone, will he succumb to the visceral need to claim her, acknowledging the soul binding connection between an Alpha and his mate? And will he prevail against the menacing enemy who threatens to destroy Lyceum Wolves?
Kade
Kade Dark Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 1)
Luca
Luca’s Magic Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 2)
Tristan
Tristan's Lyceum Wolves (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 3)
Logan
Logan’s Acadian Wolves (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 4)
Leopold
Léopold's Wicked Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 5)
Dimitri
Dimitri (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 6)
Lost Embrace
Lost Embrace (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 6.5)
Jax Webshare Cover
Jax (Immortals of New Orleans, Book 7)
Kym Grosso is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the award-winning paranormal romance series, The Immortals of New Orleans. She also has a new erotic romantic suspense series, Club Altura Romance. In addition to romance novels, Kym has written and published several articles about autism, and is passionate about autism advocacy. She is also a contributing essay author in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Raising Kids on the Spectrum.
Kym enjoys reading, tennis, zumba, traveling and spending time with her husband and children. New Orleans, with its rich culture, history and unique cuisine, is one of her favorite places to visit. Also, she loves traveling just about anywhere that has a beach or snow-covered mountains. On any given night, when not writing her own books, Kym can be found reading her Kindle, which is filled with hundreds of romances.

The Tribulations of August Barton By Jennifer LeBlanc

Title: The Tribulations of August Barton Series: The August Barton Series #1 By: Jennifer LeBlanc Publication Date: October 25, 2...