Friday, April 29, 2016

Paradise Cursed by Chris Rogers PROMO

Paradise Cursed Book Description:

Captain Cord McKinsey, a pirate cursed in 1716 for doing a good deed, now operates his schooner, the Sarah Jane, as a cruise ship. Doomed to remain effectively ship-bound and within the Caribbean waters, Cord, 34, has often reinvented himself and his ship over these near 300 years.
Though long despaired of ever breaking his curse, he becomes entwined in solving similar problems for passengers, problems that require extraordinary solutions. When his new Jamaican first mate, Ayanna, confesses she has been cursed by a Bokor, Cord agrees to help her locate a powerful shaman.

But the Bokor’s plan is more heinous and far-reaching than anyone suspects. The lovely Ayanna fails to mention that her mind and body are changing, taking form as a ravenous reptile. Even with the help of a psychic passenger, Cord may lose the people he cares for as well as his ship, the only square footage on land or sea where pain is not his constant companion.

Chris Rogers, best known for her novels of pure suspense, has previously confined any supernatural excursions to short stories featured in her Death Edge anthologies. In Paradise Cursed, Rogers gives imagination full rein to explore life’s darker mysteries.

Chris Rogers Bio:
Chris became a writer the easy way: She read voraciously and filled blank pages with drivel until her fingers cramped and her brain defected. Eventually, she learned to craft a decipherable sentence. Author of the Dixie Flannigan series, Bitch Factor, Rage Factor, Chill Factor and Slice of Life, Chris has published stories and essays in, among others, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Writer's Digest.

While continuing to explore the literary venue, Chris inevitably embraced the creative form of paint on canvas, which allows her narrative flair and graphic origins to unfold in unison. While creating new canvases, she also participates in the design of her book covers. Her paintings can be found in private and corporate collections.


The Caribbean Sea

“Cord! Cord McKinsey!” I heard Mum calling my name just before her arms gathered me into her skirts. Then she screamed for my da. “Jonathon!” Clutching my hand, she ran for him, stumbling over quoiles of rigging, dodging the robbers and sailors fighting around us.
            My mum was one of those women who never seem to age, as pretty at thirty-two, my da said, as she was at sweet sixteen. “A grhá mo chroi,” Da called her, “love o’ my heart.” On the deck of the H.M.S. Transport, Mum’s beauty bore the sailors a dangerous distraction, which perhaps was why I, before anyone, saw the grappling iron tumble aboard.
            The first mate was hailing the Dutch ship, other mates taking up push poles. Exactly nine years old—first day of November being my birthday—I didn’t actually know the name of the four-pronged hook, but I knew sure enough about ships and swords and flags. I knew the schooner flying the Dutch colors was passing rudely near to our starboard prow when the hook came flying onto the Transport’s foredeck, plunking down a hair’s breadth from my left foot.
            I also knew about pirates. When gangplanks slid across connecting our two ships, men skittering over like huge scrabbling rats against the dusky orange sky as the Jolly Roger flew up the pole, I knew to be frightened.
            The sight of my Da always brought comfort... his warm strong hand, the crackle of his crisp white shirt, odors of tobacco, coffee, and sometimes, but only at night when he tucked me into bed, the sweet fragrance of rum. I spied him on the port side, the sun’s remnants turning his carroty hair crimson.
He was waving a cutlass about.
Da didn't own a cutlass, did he? But there it was, and there also in the blood-red glow of the lowering sun stood a man taller and broader than any I ever had seen. A scraggly beard hung to his chest. His skin was pocked, his nose red-veined and bulbous, but it was the glitter in his eyes that nailed my feet to the deck.
Captain Richard Stryker—I recalled seeing the pirate’s picture tacked up in the London shipping office when we boarded for the trip to Jamaica. Stryker’s glittering black eyes fell on my mum, and a hungry look spread the pirate’s rubbery lips, revealing yellow-black teeth crowded in all directions.
“Leave off there!” He sprang in front of us.
 Mum halted, pulling me close. Peering frantically about, I spied Da's cutlass arcing high as he rushed up behind the pirate.
As quick as he was ugly, Stryker whirled and thrust out with his rapier.
Mum screamed. I stumbled backward, stiff with the sight of my da’s face wrenched in surprise a second before it went dull and lifeless. My eyes smarted. My stomach felt suddenly as liquid and turbulent as the sea that roiled around us.
Stryker raised a booted foot and kicked Da’s body off the end of his sword.
Then he returned his frightful gaze to my mum. A snaky tongue flicked out to lick his rubbery lips.
Still screaming with heartache and fear, Mum backed away, pushing me behind her. Too terrified not to learn what was happening, I craned around her skirts to see.
Stryker sheathed his sword, closing the distance in two strides as his long filthy arm reached for her. When his hand locked on her throat, all the anger in me took over and I charged at him, yelling, shoving and kicking.
Scarcely glancing down, Stryker clubbed me. His meaty fist knocked me across the deck as easy as swatting a beetle.
My ears drained of sound. A gray curtain clouded my spinning brain, and my stomach heaved up everything inside, but I staggered to my feet.
Stryker had twisted a hand through mum’s yellow curls and was drawing her to him, pulling her face toward his ugly maw, mum struggling in his grip like a robin flapping at a dragon. Suddenly, she stopped fighting and smiled. Her clawed hand raked down his face.
The pirate roared. He thrust her away, touching a hand to his wounded cheek. When it came back bloody, his entire body swelled with fury.
A cheer for Mum’s bravery rose in my chest—and froze—as the waning sunlight flashed on Stryker’s rapier.
“No!” I lunged at him. Slamming my entire body into Stryker, I felt no give, as if the pirate’s boots had bonded with the ship’s deck. “No! Bloody no!”
His free hand smacked hard against my ear, knocking me down again. Head ringing, I scrambled to my feet, yet even as I slammed against his bulk, Stryker’s thin blade sliced through Mum’s stomach and ripped upward with an eruption of blood.
His laugh exploded in my ears. Looming in the darkening sunset like a specter, his laughter full of dark slimy crawling things, the pirate turned his glistening black eyes on me.
Yelling every blasphemy I’d ever heard, I kept slamming into him until Stryker’s big hand grasped me by the collar, choking me as he lifted me to eye level.
“I think I’ll keep yer, lubber mite.” Amusement rolled out of him on a breath of rotted fish. “If yer don’t make a decent cabin boy, yer’ll make a fine stew.”

25 Years Later
Thundering around us like cannon fire, the storm of the century split the churning night sky, releasing a torrent, slicking the deck of the Spanish brigantine, soaking my new wool coat and faltering my step as we battled a crew too bloody stubborn to give it up. Wind and sea threatened to turn the captured ship into flotsam.
            Regaining my footing, I dipped my head against the watery onslaught and headed athwartship, where the Spanish captain was giving Stryker a go. Captain Stryker, still as large and mean as a raging bull, was backed against the bulkhead, having himself a rousing good time. But I wanted an end to it.
            I shoved past a skirmish near the mizzen. Feeling the slice of a blade, I jerked erect, and a hard gust knocked off my hat.
            Furious, I slashed my cutlass across a man’s neck, bashed another in the head with its hilt, felling them both. Raking a fresh glance at the captain, I decided he could hold his own and to the devil with ’m, if not. 
            “Titam gan éiri ort, Cap’n.” A thousand times since being forced to serve old Stryker, I’d muttered the Irish curse, may you fall without rising. I’d likely mutter it a thousand times more before the lout’s demise.
            The vessel’s prize was rumored to be gold as well as provisions, and our stores aboard the Sarah Jane were running pitifully low. But I despised this type of engagement, every sailor and pirate hacking at every other. I much preferred scoping out a ship under false colors, sliding alongside the bow to render useless their side guns, then hoisting the Jolly Roger so the blokes would know who they were dealing with. Leery of being tortured, a smart captain would hand over the booty nice and easy like.
            But Stryker loved to fight, the bloodier the better. 
            I scooped up my hat from the deck with the curve of my cutlass, slammed it back on my head, and sliced the gut of a lubber coming hard at my face with a marlinspike. Then peering about through the curtain of rain and seeing we had near finished off the crew, leaving only a few passengers to deal with, I sought out the cargo hatch and lowered myself to the hold.
A prize indeed. Gold and silver nuggets. Precious gems. The Spanish American mines must be producing nicely.
Next I checked out the ship’s stores. Vegetables looked none too fresh, but there was fresh water, coffee, tea, and I was glad especially for the latter items. Water aboard the Sarah Jane had become so rank that the crew was lacing it high with rum to the point of being sodded out of their heads. That was a sure way to the gallows. Just ask Anne Bonny and Calico Jack.
            Chewing on a stick of sugarcane, I returned topside.
            The storm had worsened. The sea galloped and lightning shattered the night sky in all directions. It was time to end Stryker’s bit of fun, snatch the spoils and take leave.
            In a flash of lightning I spied his bulky form on the fo’c’s’l and fought my way forward. Between rounds of thunder came the sharp report of a pistol.
I halted.
Not one of our guns. None aboard the Sarah Jane had seen a speck of powder in weeks. Another lightning burst revealed what was happening, yet I doubted my eyes.
Stryker was down.
A woman stood over him brandishing a cutlass straight and true at his face. She looked wild with fear, her wet hair swirling in the raging wind like banshee locks.
“Captain!” I hoped to distract her.
“Get over here,” Stryker yelled back. “Gut this wench!”
No, I took no pleasure from killing women. When I reached Stryker’s side, I spied the flintlock pistol at her feet, the one she’d used to blow a hole in the captain’s shoulder, knocking him down. Next she must’ve grabbed a cutlass from a dead sailor. But now fear froze her from finishing the job.
Stryker’s rapier lay useless near the grasp of his stricken hand.
Keeping a pace away from her, I resorted to my preferred method of settling a problem: reason. “Lady, you may cut out his eyeball, sure enough, but I will hack off your arm before you can run, so—”
“I said kill her!” Stryker growled.
Lightning crackled. In its glow I saw the woman’s terror had gone far beyond reason. Her eyes never leaving the captain’s face, she clutched the cutlass with both hands, working up courage for the killing blow.
Then she shifted her gaze briefly to mine. Looking in those eyes I knew I could gentle this woman if left alone with her.
“Captain, while I settle with this wench, you should take a look in the cargo hold.” I forced a light tone, hoping to diffuse the situation or at least to divide her attention. “Feast your eyes below on the booty we’ll be taking away.”
“McKinsey, you niddering mouse—!”
Thunder drowned the last of Stryker’s words, and in the lightning that instantly followed, I glimpsed a small boy hiding behind the woman’s skirts.
“Captain! There’s a lad.” Another roll of thunder.
The woman flinched backward, shifting her cutlass toward me.
Fast as a snake, Stryker reached across with his good hand, grabbed his rapier and lurched to a half crouch, ready to lunge.
“No!” I stepped between his out-thrust arm and the quivering mum.
Already into his thrust and crazed with fury, Stryker drove upward.
The rapier's thin cutting tip vanished—I felt the sting of it. Then the sword's fiery trail blazed through my belly.
Lightning struck the blade, turning it and the ship and the sky around me into a bright-hot, glowing, shattering ball of fluorescence.

In languid Jamaican waters, the Sarah Jane awakened from a long slumber. Sunlight warmed her deck, and warmed the blood of men soaked deep into her crevices. Drifting on a swell, she felt the tug of her ancient anchor, its line taut but straining with time. A food-seeking snook, followed by smaller, feistier fish, slid past her hull.
            Within her bowels, upright sentient creatures stirred about, including her old friend, cursed these many years and perhaps a better man for it. But the captain’s presence alone would not have awakened her.
            Two younger souls bearing the special energy approached and would soon walk her decks, one fresh and untested, the other bold, sinister, a more threatening presence than any of late. Yet masts remained staunchly upright, companionways open. The dark dance had not yet begun.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hide Away & Shadow Play by Iris Johansen

Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: April 26th 2016 by St. Martin's Press

 Iris Johansen's beloved forensic sculptor Eve Duncan is back and now the stakes are higher than ever. Dramatic changes are on the horizon for Eve and Joe Quinn and their relationship may never be the same. Faced with the task of protecting Cara Delaney, a young girl with ruthless enemies who want to see her dead, Eve takes her away to the remote Scottish Highlands where they join Jane MacGuire in search of a hidden treasure. But nowhere is far enough away to protect Cara from danger. With enemies closing in from all sides, Hide Away is a high-octane thriller that fans will not want to miss.

My Thoughts…

I have to be honest and say that I was a little burnt out on the Eve Duncan series before reading Shadow Play and Hide Away.  I felt like the stories were get redundant and needed some freshness brought into them.       This series within the series is exactly what Eve’s story needed.      I love to catch up on the old and familiar characters but the new character of Cara is what really pulled me in.   

Shadow Play is the first book in this series of Eve Duncan books and it led into Hide Away perfectly.     I love when a book ends and the next picks it up exactly where the first left off.        The story loses no momentum by ending on book and starting another, which is something I hope continues with the third book.  

With Eve having taken Cara under her wing and learning something new about herself, she still takes risks but has to weigh the risks even more with her new knowledge.     I was always amazed by how far she is willing to go to protect those she loves while putting herself in harm’s way, even unintentionally.    Joe Quinn, he is swoon worthy, goes even farther to protect Eve.   Those Eve protects are important to Quinn, his goal in life is to keep Eve safe.   It has always been that way and it is still is.      The connection between these two are still awes me.     I know that it can happen, but the way Iris Johansen is able to portray their connection and pull the reader in is absolutely amazing.  

The suspense, the romance, and the treasure hunt are all wonderful.    This is the Iris Johansen that I love to read.      The best part… this series does not have to be read in order.     As with many series it is better read in order but only due to getting to recognize some of the repeat characters and having an understanding of Eve, Jane, and Quinn.    I already can’t wait to read the last book in this series coming out in July.   

Book Links
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Shadow Play (Eve Duncan #19) by Iris Johansen 

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by St. Martin's Press

Eve Duncan is the most sought-after artist in the field of forensic sculpting. Dedicated to her work ever since her daughter Bonnie was taken and killed at the age of seven, Eve feels a sense of duty to those whose lives were lost and whose bones are now in her hands. When a sheriff in California contacts her with a request for help on the reconstruction of the skull of a nine-year-old girl whose body has been buried for eight years, his intensity and investment in the case puzzle her. But when the ghost of the girl begins communicating with her, Eve finds herself wrapped up in the case more intensely than she could have ever imagined. Not since Bonnie has Eve had such an experience, and suddenly she finds herself determined to solve the murder and help the little girl find peace. Except that the killer is still out there, and he knows Eve is on the case. And he won’t rest until anything and anyone that could reveal his identity is eliminated...

My Thoughts…

It had been a while since I had read an Eve Duncan story.     Yet, I didn’t hesitate to pick up Shadow Play and dive right in.      I am thrilled that she is back.    The last Eve Duncan book was out in 2013 so it had been a while.   

The relationship between Eve and Joe is still one of my favorites.   It is not usually featured in the story but it is always there.     The respect, love, and trust between them is so strong.     There is so much else going on within the story that it is sometimes pushed back and not brought to the reader’s attention yet I notice it in every book.       They may not always like what the other is doing but they always protect and support each other.   

What I had forgotten from the past books in this series is the paranormal aspect.    Jenny, the newest skull Eve is working on, comes to her and talks to her.    Jenny tells her story to Eve and it brings Eve farther into the search for Jenny’s family, killer, and her history.      This is just one paranormal aspect found in Shadow Play.   There are others.   Some seem reasonable, some are a little more out there.  

This is part of a trilogy within the Eve Duncan series.    I am so excited to read the rest of this series.    I definitely recommend checking it out.    

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Father's Day by Simon Van Booy

About Father's Day

Father's Day cover• Hardcover: 304 pages
• Publisher: Harper (April 26, 2016)

 “A strong voice full of poetic, timeless grace.”—San Francisco Examiner

When devastating news shatters the life of six-year-old Harvey, she finds herself in the care of a veteran social worker, Wanda, and alone in the world save for one relative she has never met—a disabled felon, haunted by a violent act he can’t escape. Moving between past and present, Father’s Day weaves together the story of Harvey’s childhood on Long Island and her life as a young woman in Paris. Written in raw, spare prose that personifies the characters, this remarkable novel is the journey of two people searching for a future in the ruin of their past. Father’s Day is a meditation on the quiet, sublime power of compassion and the beauty of simple, everyday things—a breakthrough work from one of our most gifted chroniclers of the human heart.

My Thoughts…

What a beautiful story.   Jason and Harvey’s lives could have ended up so incredibly different if they had not have found each other.    Harvey is orphaned, Jason is her uncle and together they fit.      As clueless as Jason is with raising her he steps up, does the right thing, and makes her have the best life possible.     That could have gone so many ways.     So many bad ways.

Harvey is wise beyond her few years when she loses her parents.   She knows only what she has been told and it hasn’t been all good about Uncle Jason, yet she knows that she needs to be with him.    I love how she manipulated as only a child can do the system and Wanda to get put in the custody of Jason.  Then I love how Jason stepped up and out of his comfort zone to care for her.     I giggled, was concerned, and was beyond thrilled with how they meshed together.   

This is a two part story.   It bounces back and forth between the past and Harvey’s youth and the present and her life as a young woman in a foreign country.   I was impressed with how Harvey turned out and how Jason has such a huge part in that life and her decisions.     My only wish was that the different timeframes were better labeled or given their own chapters.   It was not overly confusing but there were a few times that it took a few sentences for me to realize Harvey was a young girl instead of a young woman.    

Father’s Day is a touching, sweet story that held my attention from the beginning to the end.   I definitely recommend picking up your copy today. 

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Simon Van Booy AP photo credit Ken BrowarAbout Simon Van Booy

Simon Van Booy is the author of two novels and two collections of short stories, including The Secret Lives of People in Love and Love Begins in Winter, which won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. He is the editor of three philosophy books and has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, and the BBC. His work has been translated into fourteen languages. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter. Find out more about Simon at his website and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

After We Fall by Marquita Valentine RELEASE BLITZ

Title: After We Fall
Series: Take the Fall #3
Author: Marquita Valentine 
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 26, 2016


After winning raves for Take the Fall (“crackling with tension, intrigue, and romance”—Katy Evans) and When We Fall (“sexy, emotional, heartfelt”—Monica Murphy), Marquita Valentine ratchets up the tension as new beginnings lead to undeniable passion.

A tough cop with an even tougher past, Hunter Sloan has never let anyone stop him from getting what he wants—and he wants Evangeline Ambrose bad. With her gentle curves and raw vulnerability, Hunter’s beautiful, mysterious new neighbor awakens his protective side. Determined to do right by a woman who’s gone through hell and back, Hunter could be the one to take away the pain—so long as his own secrets don’t sink their relationship before it begins.

Having escaped an abusive marriage, Evangeline simply wants to start over in the small, quiet town of Forrestville. She’s also avoiding all contact with the opposite sex, because she just can’t trust her instincts when it comes to men—not even with the sinfully sexy cop next door. So why can’t she stop thinking about him? Hunter has darkness in his soul, and yet no one ever made her feel so safe. For all her best laid plans, Evangeline didn’t count on choices this hard—or temptation this hot.

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Also Available





Author Bio

Marquita Valentine is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Take the Fall, Holland Springs, and Boys of the South series, having sold more than a quarter of a million books around the world. She’s been called “one of the best new voices in romance” (Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews) and her books have been praised as “sexy, fun, and slightly addicting” (The Book Queen). When she’s not writing sexy heroes who adore their sassy heroines, she enjoys shopping, reading, and spending time with her family and friends. Married to her high-school sweetheart, Marquita Valentine lives in a seriously small town in the south with her husband, two kids, and a dog.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

The Summer of Me by Angela Benson

About The Summer of Me

The Summer of Me cover• Paperback: 352 pages 
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 19, 2016) 

 The national bestselling author of Delilah’s Daughters and The Amen Sisters returns with a moving story about a single mother who, in one unforgettable summer, discovers the woman she can become. As a single mother, Destiny makes sacrifices for her children—including saying good-bye for the summer so they can spend time with their father and stepmother. Though she’ll miss them with all her heart, the time alone gives her an opportunity to address her own needs, like finishing her college degree. But Destiny’s friends think her summer should include some romance. Destiny doesn’t want to be set up . . . until she meets Daniel. The handsome, warm, and charming pastor soon sweeps her off her feet. But is romance what she really wants? Or needs? As the days pass, Destiny will make new discoveries—about herself, the man she’s fallen for, and the people around her. And she’ll face challenging choices too. But most of all, she’ll grow in ways she never imagined, learning unexpected lessons about trust, forgiveness, and the price of motherhood . . . and becoming the woman she truly wants to be.

My Thoughts…

The Summer of Me is a great read.    There is so much going on that this could have been a couple of books, yet it wasn’t too much for one book.    The characters were developed perfectly and the storyline flowed at an easy pace.   There is the trials of motherhood, the discovery of new love, blending families, and so much more.   

Many times throughout the story I was trying to see ahead and find out where the story could be heading.   A few times I got it right, more times I was slightly wrong, and still others I was clueless.    The story between Destiny and Daniel was the main story and my favorite.   I was nervous as to how it would turn out when all the secrets were told.    It was nice to see that the story didn’t just fall into the happily ever after category,  both characters took the steps needed to be honest with each other.    

I recommend The Summer of Me.   It is not always a soft, easy, and pretty story but it is always a good story.      This is my first book by Angela Benson but hopefully not my last.  

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Angela Benson APAbout Angela Benson

Angela Benson is a graduate of Spelman College and the author of fourteen novels, including the Christy Award–nominated Awakening Mercy, the Essence bestsellerThe Amen Sisters, Up Pops the Devil, and Sins of the Father. She is an associate professor at the University of Alabama and lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Find out more about Angela at her website and connect with her on Facebook.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Paper Dolls by Hanna Peach RELEASE BLITZ & GIVEAWAY

Title: Paper Dolls
Author: Hanna Peach
Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense
Release Date: April 24, 2016


My life comes down to this. Two faces. One choice.

Salem is my twin sister. She loved me. She protected me. She forgave me, even after I failed her. I just got her back after searching for three long, lonely years.

Then there’s Clay. Sweet yet intense and nursing a dark past of his own, he’s all the redemption I don’t deserve. He wants to open me up and know the insides of my soul. I want to let him, but I’m scared he’ll run from what he finds.

But I can’t have them both.

My name is Aria. And today, I must choose. One of the two people I love has to die.

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In moments like these, everything slowed. Salem always joked that it was life’s way of making sure you didn’t miss the turning points, the important bits. As if gravity sank heavier and heavier with the weight of the moment until the world was too heavy to turn and everyone held their breath.
It certainly felt like that now. My next action, my next word, would change all of our lives.
“Aria,” Clay’s deep voice reached my ears. “Whatever happens…I love you.” The usual assuredness and authority was gone. Instead, strain and hurt had crumpled up and shoved into his throat. Choose me. Save me. Love me.
Before him my life had felt like a stack of old movies; frames missing or out of order, muted crackling sound, flickering and shuttering away, unloved and unseen in an old unused cinema.
Then I found him. Or he found me.
He created a warm shield around me where I could be safe. He coaxed away all my layers and shed all my masks and his love soaked right into my skin, right into the very soul of me. He pulled out the fossil buried inside that had been my heart and breathed life into me.
How could I give up the man I loved? The one who loved me with a fierce and unwavering passion, the man who made me feel like I could defeat demons as long as he was by my side.
Winking in the threads of sunlight piercing through the solemn gray clouds, seed fluff twirled about me like swirling, dancing couples. Spinning around like Salem and I used to do in our backyard, hands clasped together tightly, turning round and round, eyes to the sky, our twin voices giggling and floating into the air like dandelions.
She had been my shield before Clay.
“I’m nothing without you, Aria,” Salem’s voice trembled, desperation leaking into the breaths between her words. Choose me. Need me. Love me.
How could I end her? I just got her back. For so long we shared almost everything, and she protected me. Her whole life had been about protecting me. Because she loved me that much.
How could I turn against her, toss her away like an old broken toy?
But I had to choose.
I could see us now, the three of us making a chain like when I was a kid, folding pieces of colored paper into rectangles, cutting out an arm, a leg, and half a head, and unfurling my new patterns in the light to reveal a line of paper dolls. Clay, Salem and I − we were all just paper dolls in a paper chain, me in the middle, each end pulling tighter and tighter until something had to tear.
Even now as I stare between Clay and Salem, trying to digest our impossible situation, Hope is still there, that terrible pixie, fluttering on my shoulder, whispering.
Maybe it doesn’t have to end this way?
Fuck you, Hope. Here’s the truth.
Nobody is coming.
No one will save us.
And someone isn’t going to make it out of this forest today.
“Choose,” my sister screamed. “It’s either him or me.”
My fingers tightened around my gun in a reflex. This was it. I either ended her. Or destroyed Clay.
I squeezed my eyelids shut for a moment, just for a moment of peace. Just for an instant I could shut out the inevitable, and in this blessed darkness I believed I could conceive a way that both could exist in my life. A way that I could choose Salem and Clay.
You can’t have both.
You tried.
Choose now.
But how?
What do you do when someone puts a gun to your head? Clay’s words came back to me, echoing as loud in my mind as if he had just spoken them. You refuse to bend. You push back. You find another way. You take that gun off him and put it back in his face. But you do not give in.
Find another way…
I knew what I had to do. A kind of peace settled on my skin, as delicate as gossamer, as light as silk.
I opened my eyes to a world of bright light until my vision adjusted. The torn and pained faces of the two people I loved came into focus. The only two people I’ve shared air with while we slept, the same two people I’d crawl into Hell to be with, and the only two people I would die for. I forced the ghost of a smile forward.
And turned the gun on myself.

Author Bio

Hanna is the bestselling author of the Bound romantic suspense series and the Dark Angel fantasy series. Although she writes in more than one genre she can’t write a book without weaving together a complicated plot and filling it with twists. She writes what she believes: good people can do bad things, ordinary people can do great things, and choose love above everything.

Eternally restless, Hanna has lived in Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Scotland, England, Croatia and Ireland – everything she owns fits into one suitcase. She’s planning her next move with her gorgeous (and understanding) partner right now. If not writing, she can be found wandering a dusty market in Marrakesh or trekking a mountain in Peru, often using her travels as settings in her novels.

To WIN a copy of her next release go to

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by NAL

England, 1921. Three years after her husband, Alex, disappeared, shot down over Germany, Jo Manders still mourns his loss. Working as a paid companion to Alex's wealthy, condescending aunt, Dottie Forsyth, Jo travels to the family’s estate in the Sussex countryside. But there is much she never knew about her husband’s origins…and the revelation of a mysterious death in the Forsyths’ past is just the beginning…

All is not well at Wych Elm House. Dottie's husband is distant, and her son was grievously injured in the war. Footsteps follow Jo down empty halls, and items in her bedroom are eerily rearranged. The locals say the family is cursed, and that a ghost in the woods has never rested. And when Jo discovers her husband’s darkest secrets, she wonders if she ever really knew him. Isolated in a place of deception and grief, she must find the truth or lose herself forever.

And then a familiar stranger arrives at Wych Elm House… 

My Thoughts...

There is nothing that endears a book to me quicker than a strong woman as the lead characters.     This describes Jo Manders.     At first she may not appear as such but she is.   She proves it in her everyday existence.    The way she takes the loss of her husband, Alex, to heart and then manages to keep herself alive and well is amazing.     It is not a great life, it is not an easy life, but it is a life.   She has so much to keep herself busy with.   There is a death to solve, a family history to explore, and so much more.  

I enjoy the era that this book took place in.     The era around World War II is my absolute favorite.     The changes that happen during this time amaze me.    The motor cars, the grand houses, and the changes within cultures never manage to turn me away from reading a good book.   

 I found it interesting how Dottie, Alex’s aunt, is so in charge.   She not only runs the family but she is an art dealer.     She meets interesting people, makes deals, and keeps the money coming into the family.     She also takes Jo under her wing.    Dottie is not always nice to Jo, usually she is downright mean to her.   Yet she does manage to keep Jo safe, healthy, and with shelter.      

The middle of the book is the best, the ending is even better.      Lost Among the Living is a book that starts great and just gets better and better as the story goes on.      I recommend checking out as soon as possible.  

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Girl Who Stayed by Tanya Anne Crosby

About The Girl Who Stayed

The Girl Who Stayed cover• Hardcover: 292 pages
• Publisher: Story Plant (April 19, 2016)

 Zoe Rutherford wasn't sure what she was expecting when she returned to Sullivan's Island. The house on Sullivan's hadn't represented home to her in decades. It was the place where she endured her father's cruelty. It was the place where her mother closed herself off from the world. It was the place where her sister disappeared. But now that her parents are gone, Zoe needs to return to the house, to close it down and prepare it for sale. She intends to get this done as quickly as possible and get on with her life, even though that life seems clouded by her past, both distant and recent. But what she discovers when she gets there is far beyond her imagining and will change her in profound ways. The Girl Who Stayed is a remarkable exploration of the soul by a writer with a rare talent for reaching into the hearts of her characters and her readers, a novel of transformation that will leave you moved and breathless.

  Praise “A beautifully written, page-turning novel packed with emotion.” – #1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Freethy “The Girl Who Stayed is a deeply moving story. I am fascinated by the concept and by Tanya Crosby's stunning storytelling.” - Stella Cameron, New York Times bestselling author.

My Thoughts…

The Girl Who Stayed is a tough book.    The loss of a family member is always tough much less when a young sister loses a younger sister and there is no closure.    The fact that Hannah, Zoe’s sister, disappears and is never seen again when she is so young had to tear their family apart.   Zoe runs from it.   She feels herself responsible somehow.   

Zoe was not an easy to relate to character.      I had a hard time with most of the characters.   There were times that a character came in, left, and then came back chapters later and I wasn’t always sure how they fit into the story.   Ethan, Zoe’s island handy man, was one of those characters.    I wasn’t sure what I wanted to happen between them or what the author had in mind for them.     The sheriff was another of those characters.   He didn’t really have a part in the story, yet he was there. 

While all this may seem like I didn’t enjoy the book, I did.   I actually stayed home from dinner so that I could keep reading I was that pulled into it.      The story was interesting and kept me guessing.   I was not sure where it was heading, who was guilty, and if Zoe would be okay.     The Girl Who Stayed was not an easy book.   No way was it a quick read but it was a good read.   I recommend checking it out.  

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About Tanya Anne Crosby

Tanya Anne CrosbyTanya Anne Crosby is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-five novels. She has been featured in magazines, such as People, Romantic Times and Publisher's Weekly, and her books have been translated into eight languages. Her first novel was published in 1992 by Avon Books, where Tanya was hailed as "one of Avon's fastest rising stars." Her fourth book was chosen to launch the company's Avon Romantic Treasure imprint. Known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, Tanya is an award-winning author, journalist, and editor, and her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. In 2013, she penned her first romantic suspense novel, Speak No Evil, which appeared on the USA Today list. The Girl Who Stayed brings her full circle to work with Lou Aronica, President and Publisher of The Story Plant, who first published Tanya at Avon Books. Tanya and her writer husband split their time between Charleston, SC, where she was raised, and northern Michigan, where the couple make their home. Find out more about Tanya at her website and on her blog, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.