Daily Archives: June 21, 2017

SPOTLIGHT, BOOK TOUR AND GIVE AWAY: Avenging Kiss BY Karen Tjebben

Psychological Romantic/Suspense
Date Published:  December 2016
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Some sins cannot be forgiven. Those must be avenged.
When Aditya Chopra stumbled upon the decimated camp, she vowed to hunt down the men who killed her sister. The stench of burnt flesh and the taste of death in the air haunt her dreams and power her lust for vengeance. She will show no mercy.
The men of Savage Security served their country. They’d done their time in the sandbox and now enjoy their peaceful lives in the States, far from the death and mayhem of war. Will living in peace blind them to the dangerous threat that’s poised to strike?
 

Excerpts from Avenging Kiss

Logan pushed his cart around an endcap and started down another aisle. He stopped suddenly when he saw her, the woman from the bar. She looked just as good standing in the aisle in yoga pants as she had last night in her dress. She held jars of spaghetti sauce and was clearly debating between the brands.

Was it kismet that she stood in his grocery store the day after spotting her at the bar? He inhaled and worked out his plan as he approached.

“That one has a stronger garlic flavor.” Logan pointed to one of the jars in her hands. “The other one’s sweeter.”

Aditya turned her head to look over her shoulder at the man talking to her about pasta sauce. She liked what she saw. “Really?” she asked, raising an eyebrow. She didn’t hide that she was checking him out. She made it obvious as her eyes raked over his body. He was cute, and he probably knew it. He had that ‘guy next door’ look about him, but his body was clearly more fit than the average Joe. “How lucky for me that I ran into a spaghetti sauce connoisseur.”

Her smile and the flirty lilt in her voice nearly undid him. She was flirting back. He could work with that. “Logan Murphy.” He held out his hand, and when her feminine fingers smoothed across his, his manhood took notice.

“Aditya Chopra,” she replied. She held up the jar in her left hand and waved it. “Garlic can be so off-putting.” She set the jar back on the shelf and eyed him again. “I prefer sweet and smooth.” She knew her lips eased into a natural smile. Spending time with this man could end up being very pleasurable.

Sweet and smooth, that was exactly how he saw her. She didn’t hide her sweet curves, and Logan had a feeling she’d be smooth under his touch. “I think I saw you last night.” Had she noticed him?

“At The Grill House?” she asked. Her eyebrows rose in recognition. “I thought you looked familiar.” She rested one arm on the shopping cart and took a more relaxed stance.

“A few men offered to buy you a drink, but you refused,” he stated. He was determined to find out if she was dating someone before he got too invested in this flirtation.

Her eyes sparkled as she understood his statement for what it was. A fishing expedition. “I was supposed to meet a friend, but he never showed,” she said with a shrug. A smart woman lets a man think she has other potential suitors. It activated some sort of primal need in men to hunt and claim what they wanted.

Logan wanted to sink his hands into the dark spiraling curls that hung below her shoulders and press his lips against hers.  Her beauty mysteriously called to him, like some siren captivating unsuspecting men. He’d watched her all night at The Grill House. He wasn’t going to waste this opportunity. “If you’re hungry, I make lasagna that will melt in your mouth.” He knew he’d melt in her mouth.

Her lips curved into a smile as her dark brown eyes shimmered with playfulness. “Lasagna, huh?” She inhaled deeply and caught his subtle glance at her chest. She knew she was smaller than a lot of women, but a man had never not enjoyed being with her. She understood that how one used their assets was more important than size. Some men used their manhood like battering rams, endlessly pounding furiously against a woman’s most tender spot. Sex with those men was the worst. That tender area could only take so much friction before discomfort settled in. How that wasn’t obvious was a mystery to her. She preferred the smooth glide of a firm cock caressing her, teasing and tempting her towards release.

“So,” she began, “I could bring a salad,” she paused and one side of her lips rose in a tempting smile, “or dessert?”

Logan liked the way she said dessert. Like it was something filled with possibilities that she planned to savor and enjoy. “Either would be fine.”

“Hmm,” she eyed him as she nibbled on her lip. “I don’t make a habit of going to strange men’s homes.”

“Then you’re in luck. I’m not strange.” He casually shrugged his shoulders. “You can text my address to a BFF if that makes you more comfortable.” Was that the phrase women used? “That way she’ll know where you are. I promise… I’m safe.” He pressed his hand to his chest.

“Said the spider to the fly.” She set the jar of sauce in her cart. “Curious though,” she already knew that she’d go, but she still wanted to flirt a little to see his reaction. “What makes you so sure that you’ll be safe with me?” She cocked her head to the side and maintained eye contact.

He knew far too well how a tiny woman could destroy a man. There was no sufficient armor to protect the heart. “I have a feeling you’re worth the risk.”

 

2.

 

Aditya had waited outside the American base, hoping to catch sight of him. His look was very distinct. At six foot four with hair the color of a raging fire, he’d been easy to spot. He’d pulled out of the base with another man in a jeep. The hot wind pulled at his scraggly red hair as he’d laughed at something the other man said.

She’d known where they were going. There was a hotel nearby that catered to Europeans and Americans. It boasted a full bar with live music, decent food, and willing women.

After donning her black garments and niqab, she’d made her way into the hotel. Other than the cameras that covered the entrances and exits, security at the hotel was poor. One only had to get inside to enjoy privacy.

Aditya had entered the hotel a few feet behind the men. As they’d headed towards the bar, she’d walked directly to the bathroom off the lobby. Entering the stall, she’d quickly removed her outer clothes and shoved them into her bag. Then she’d stopped in front of the bathroom mirror to check her appearance. After adjusting her skirt, she’d decided to open another button on her shirt. While he’d get a peek at her cleavage, she’d still look like a respectable woman. Playing a whore gathered too much attention. She’d added a touch of lipstick and powdered her face. And finally, she’d adjusted the Kanzashi Geisha sticks in her hair to make sure it would be easily accessible. Hidden inside the stick was a sharp two-sided blade. It was thin and slid easily from the decorative case. And after one more look in the mirror, she was ready.

She’d walked into the bar with the confidence of a Western woman and noticed Lieutenant Shaw sitting alone at the bar. His friend was dancing with a woman, his hand palming her ass and pulling her close to his body. Aditya didn’t waste time. She needed to get to Shaw before he found someone to screw.

She’d slipped onto the bar stool next to him and offered him a shy smile. He’d grinned as he raked his gaze over her. His high-wattage smile had nearly knocked her over. The heat in his gaze as he’d mentally undressed her pleased her. She returned his smile and stared at his muscular arms as she bit into her bottom lip. With that one interaction, she knew that he wanted her. He’d come to the hotel in search of sex, and she didn’t plan to disappoint.

He’d been such an easy target. Arrogant men never realized the threat a woman could pose to them, and she’d tirelessly worked that advantage. They’d quickly exchanged names and engaged in meaningless chatter. But once she’d stroked his knee, he’d taken the bait and asked her to join him in a room.

She’d played coy at first, acting as if she’d needed to think about it. But then he’d leaned in close and whispered in her ear promises of pleasure. And then, as he’d pulled away, he playfully tugged on her earlobe with his teeth. She’d responded by stroking higher on his thigh. That worked for him, and he stood to go back to a room. His pants had tented nicely; apparently it didn’t take much to turn him on.

She’d followed him to a room. He’d unlocked the door and waited for her to enter first. As she’d stood in the entrance, he’d closed the door and turned the bolt. After a dangerous smile, he’d lifted her and pressed her against the wall with his muscular body. She’d instinctively wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. In response, he’d rubbed his cock against her center. The pressure of his body against her had lit her up. He knew how to kiss, and Aditya realized that fucking him would be fun. So many of the other men she’d entertained cared little about her pleasure. She hadn’t expected much from those lowlifes anyway. But little had they known that there was nothing more erotic than the warmth of your prey’s blood washing over your skin as you take their life.

 

 

3.

 

The moment Jack had been waiting for finally arrived when the restaurant door opened and in walked Bella. Jack took her in. Her petite form was sheathed in a red dress that hugged her in all the right places. The plunging neckline accentuated her firm breasts and the skirt cradled her ass. He’d never seen her wear anything like that to work.

Bella’s smile radiated joy, and her eyes sparkled with happiness. Her long black hair with the pink tips fell beautifully over her shoulders. She was Jack’s weakness.  He wasn’t sure which part of her called to him more. Her sweet personality that brightened every day at Savage Security, or her fantasy worthy, smoking hot body. Those two traits combined made her the most desirable woman he’d ever known. From the moment they’d met, he’d recognized the sincerity and kindness in her eyes. In his line of work, he didn’t see much of that. He dealt with the dregs of society, and when he’d met Bella, he realized that she was the antidote to the cynicism that orbited him. And now as he took her in, he knew that he either needed to get over her or claim her as his own.

Bella looked over her shoulder and reached back with one hand. Behind her, a man reached out and locked hands with her. She smiled at him as he stepped beside her. Jack’s brows pulled together as the man’s body brushed against hers. Jack’s blood turned molten. He stared at them as they made their way towards the Christmas tree to drop off the toy she carried.

Cole couldn’t have been happier as he watched Jack’s reaction to Bella’s friend. If he’d realized Bella would show up with a man, he would have taken out his phone to record the look on Jack’s face.

The air around Jack thinned. He struggled to catch his breath. It felt like he’d been sucker punched by a gorilla.

Bella looked happy. With a man.

Jack shook his head in shock and finally remembered to breathe. “Who the hell is that?” Jack sneered. Irritation laced his words. His night had gone from promising to miserable in the period of a heartbeat. With each step the man took, Jack studied the intruder. The man’s short cropped blond hair stood in a messy, spikey jumble on top with the sides cut short. A short-trimmed beard and mustache completed his look. His clothes fit him well, the style current and fashionable. He looked like he’d stepped out of a magazine photoshoot after being prepped and perfected by professionals.

This male version of a fashionista’s relationship with Bella was not going to continue. Jack would definitely put an end to this man’s dreams of bedding his woman.

Mike watched the happy couple stroll to the Christmas tree. This was a new development. He hadn’t heard Bella talk about a man. Did Alisha know about this? He’d be sure to ask her.

Jack tore his eyes from Bella and looked at Cole. “Did you know about this?” He subtly pointed towards Bella and the mystery man on the other side of the room. “Did you know that she was bringing a friend tonight?”

Cole chuckled low. His shoulders rose and fell as his chuckle strengthened into a laugh. “No, but I think the night just got a hell of a lot better.” At least Cole suddenly felt much better. It was clear from Jack’s reaction that he didn’t need to worry about Julia. Jack’s OCD was about to be unleashed on the stranger who’d dared to put the moves on Bella. He knew it was going to kill Jack to watch her with a man tonight, especially one that may go home with her. He almost started to feel sorry for him.

Bella squeezed Eric’s hand. She was thankful that her dry spell was over. It had been a while since she’d been with a man. Sure, she was surrounded by macho, manly-men all day, and her friends were jealous that she worked in the midst of all that sexy testosterone, but they didn’t know the downside.

She was surrounded by all that testosterone.

The men she worked with were intense. Not the ‘their favorite team is playing their rival so they turn into madmen for a few hours’. No, everything about her coworkers was hardcore. They took everything seriously, and even their presence could be intimidating. Sometimes she felt as if she worked in a pressure cooker. She figured the men were probably sitting in the restaurant right now assessing threats, probably had been since they’d entered and probably would until they left. They never let their guard down.

About the Author

Karen Tjebben lives in central North Carolina with her wonderful husband, twin daughters, and two hamsters. When her girls left for kindergarten, Karen discovered that she needed to fill her days with something, and that was the beginning of her writing career. She loves to create worlds filled with unique characters that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and seeing the world through her daughters’ eyes.
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BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: The Accidental ART Thief BY Joan Scheighardt

The Accidental Art Thief
by Joan Scheighardt
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
For a quarter of a century forty-five-year-old Zinc has worked as a
caretaker for a wealthy old man, living in a small casita on his
ranch in New Mexico. She doesn’t make much money, but she has the old
man, her dogs, and gorgeous views of the mountains. She is basically
a very content recluse who doesn’t invest much time thinking about
what she might do if her circumstances change. So when the old man
dies suddenly, and his daughter all but throws her off the property,
Zinc is forced to reinvent herself—and quickly. With a touch of
magical realism and a collection of offbeat characters, The
Accidental Art Thief explores the thin line between life and death
and the universal forces that connect all things.


“Zinc is an engaging, quirky, and utterly unique heroine, instantly
likeable, with a hefty mixture of strong intelligence and
overwhelming naivety…. While the novel is realistic, there is
subtle magic woven in nearly every line, as coincidence and confusion
come together into what might be termed the wisdom of time, spirit,
and love.” ~ Magdelena Ball, CompulsiveReader.com, author of
Sublime Planet, Black Cow, and other titles.
“Schweighardt populates her modern-day odyssey through the southwest with
fascinating, quirky characters thrust into a complex (and hilarious)
web of emotional turmoil, poignant misperceptions, and downright
lies. As laugh-out-loud funny as it is thought provoking.” ~
Julie Mars, author of the memoir A Month of Sundays: Searching for
the Spirit and My Sister, and the novels Rust, Anybody Any Minute,
and The Secret Keepers.
“A sensitive, gripping, artfully rendered novel that kept me reading
from the first page to the last.” ~ Faye Rapoport DesPres,
author of the memoir-in-essays Message from a Blue Jay.
Joan Schweighardt is the author of five novels, and more on the way. In
addition to her own writing projects, she writes, ghostwrites, and
edits for individuals and corporations.

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway
!

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BOOK BLITZ AND GIVEAWAY:Taking Chances BY Kimberley O’Malley

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 20 June, 2017
Publisher: Carolina Blue Publishing
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Katie Fitzgerald learned the hard way about love. She vowed to never get involved with a doctor at work, and when she did, he broke her heart. Older and wiser, Katie is serious about never getting hurt again. Dr. Flynn Reynolds, staff cardiologist at Windsor Falls Memorial, just might be the man to change her mind. Attraction explodes between the two from their very first meeting. But Katie is determined to protect her heart. Will Flynn convince her to take another chance?
About the Author

Kimberley O’Malley is a recent transplant to Charlotte, North Carolina from the frozen North. She is learning to say y’all but draws the line at sweet tea. Sarcasm is an art form in her world. When not writing, she is a full-time nurse and part-time soccer Mom, but not necessarily in that order. She shares her life with an amazing husband of more than twenty years, two teenagers, and one very sweet Shetland Sheepdog, Molly.
Contact Links
 
Facebook: Author Kimberley O’Malley
Twitter: @K_OMalley67
Instagram: kimberleyomalley67
 
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SPOTLIGHT AND GIVEAWAY: Avenging Kiss BY Karen Tjebben

Psychological Romantic/Suspense
Date Published:  December 2016
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
Some sins cannot be forgiven. Those must be avenged.
When Aditya Chopra stumbled upon the decimated camp, she vowed to hunt down the men who killed her sister. The stench of burnt flesh and the taste of death in the air haunt her dreams and power her lust for vengeance. She will show no mercy.
The men of Savage Security served their country. They’d done their time in the sandbox and now enjoy their peaceful lives in the States, far from the death and mayhem of war. Will living in peace blind them to the dangerous threat that’s poised to strike?
 
About the Author

Karen Tjebben lives in central North Carolina with her wonderful husband, twin daughters, and two hamsters. When her girls left for kindergarten, Karen discovered that she needed to fill her days with something, and that was the beginning of her writing career. She loves to create worlds filled with unique characters that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and seeing the world through her daughters’ eyes.
Contact Links
Purchase Links

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RELEASE TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: WORKING WITH IT The Persimmon Series, Book 3 by Cass Alexander

WORKING WITH IT

The Persimmon Series, Book 3
by Cass Alexander

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BOOK TOUR: REACH FOR YOU by Pat Esden

 

 


REACH FOR YOU
Dark Heart Series
Book Three
Pat Esden
Genre: paranormal romance
Publisher: Kensington Books
Date of Publication: June 27, 2017
ISBN: ISBN13: 978-1-4967-0009-4
ASIN: B01LZCVLU3
Number of pages: 320
Word Count: 80k
Book Description:
Her passion is her greatest weakness.
His legacy is his prison.
To reunite, both must fight the demons within.
A world of deception and danger separates Annie Freemont from her mother—and from Chase, the enigmatic half-ifrit with whom Annie’s fallen in love. But she vows to find her way back to them, before Chase succumbs to the madness that threatens his freedom. The only person who can help is the magical seductress, Lotli, a beautiful, manipulative woman . . . a woman who has disappeared.
Annie must stay strong, even as the future she imagined is slipping away. With the help of family and friends, she discovers that Lotli is being held against her will, by those who want to exploit her powers. But though weakened, Lotli remains a powerful alley and adversary. A bargain is struck. And now Annie’s only chance to rescue Chase could also tear them apart . . 
Loyalties will be tested, walls will be breached, and enemies will be fought, yet Annie’s greatest battle lies within her own heart—to trust her love for Chase to overcome its greatest enemy, and to save those she holds most dear from the terrifying realm of the djinn . . .
Amazon     BN       Kobo      Indie Bound
Target      Book Depository      BAM
May 28- July 2
Chapter
1
We journey. Ceaseless and hungry.
Carved into
stone tablet. Tenerife, Spain
The campsite was ominously
silent. Then a breeze lifted and my ear caught the faint clank and rattle of
the bones and knives hanging in the pine trees behind us.
“You don’t think they’re both
dead, do you?” Selena whispered.
I scanned the dilapidated camper
ahead of us, a do-it-yourself RV created out of an old bread truck. Despite the
midafternoon warmth, the doors were shut tight. The tent behind it, barely
visible from our angle, bowed under the weight of rain that had pooled in its
canopy. There was no campfire smoke. No trampled grass. In comparison to when
we’d come here last week, the place looked deserted.
Goose bumps pebbled my skin. I
gave the camper another once-over. “Zea was really old and sickly. He could
have died—or if the kidnappers came here first looking for Lotli, they could
have found him. They might have—”
Selena cut me off with a glower.
“You mean, supposed kidnappers.”
My jaw clenched. Yeah, that was exactly what I meant. I
understood why my cousin didn’t like that everything we’d discovered pointed to
her boyfriend, Newt, being involved in Lotli’s disappearance, and perhaps Zea’s
as well. But I thought we’d gotten past that, like a bunch of times already.
I swiveled toward where we’d
parked our Land Rover. The Professor stood rooted next to it, a mixture of
disgust and apprehension crinkling his face. From his scholarly glasses and sandy brown hair all the way down
to his polished loafers, he looked anything but ready for our reconnaissance
trip out here on the back roads of Down East Maine. An afternoon of research at
Oxford University would have been more appropriate. “You want to check inside
the tent while we look in the camper?”
His gaze flicked to the soggy
tarps. He cleared his throat, then—as posh as ever—said, “Don’t get me wrong,
I’m not totally against the idea. But the thought of discovering a rotting
corpse is a teensy bit abhorrent.”
“Would you rather discover one in
a closed-up camper?” I snapped. It was lucky we’d driven into the campsite from
the main road instead of walking like we’d done the last time.  I’d assumed the Professor had an
adventuresome spirit to go with his young Indiana Jones good looks. Especially since he was an
archaeologist, though this summer he was tutoring Selena’s eleven-year-old
brother as a favor. Still, and
despite how eager he’d seemed to come with us, the Professor had freaked the
second we started past the creepy stuff Zea and Lotli hung in the trees to
scare people off: the knives and bones, pieces of copper pipe, broken mirrors,
and doll parts. Frankly, I was surprised he’d even gotten out of the Land Rover
at all.
I pasted on a smile. “Sorry. I
don’t much care for the idea myself. Let’s just hope he’s napping or
something.”
The Professor wiped his hands
down the sides of his chinos. “I truly hope you’re right.”
As he headed for the tent, I tramped
toward the camper with Selena close behind. If only Chase were here now. The
creepy stuff hadn’t bothered him at all, and the fear of Zea being dead would
have only driven him forward faster.
My chest tightened, my longing
for Chase aching inside me, raw and unrelenting. If it weren’t for me, he would
be here now. Instead, both he and my mother were trapped in the djinn realm,
prisoners of his father, Malphic. If it weren’t for me, Lotli wouldn’t be
missing either.
“Well?” Selena jerked her head at
the camper door. “Are you going to just stand there?”
I raised my hand and knocked. One
second passed. Two seconds. I rapped harder. Nothing. I tried the doorknob. It
turned beneath my grip. I opened the door a crack, hesitated, and took a deep
breath before pushing it open all the way.
A wave of hot, musty air rushed
past me as if the camper had been closed up for days.
“Hello?” I said, sticking my head
inside. I gave the air a cautious sniff. No dangerous odors, like a leaky gas
stove, permeated the air.  No
rotting-trash smell—or decomp.
Selena nudged my shoulder. “What
are you waiting for?”
I swallowed hard and stepped
forward.
The place was cramped, a gypsy
wagon on steroids. Tassels and prisms curtained the windows, letting only faint
streaks of light inside. Miles of fuchsia and turquoise fabric draped the
ceiling and walls. Animal skulls, feathers, and nubby candles clustered inside
miniature altars. The fridge, table, and chairs, every surface that wasn’t
fabric covered, was painted purple or black. Stars decorated the ceiling. An
antique bed piled with crimson quilts and an avalanche of pillows took up the
camper’s entire backend. It was cozy enough, I supposed. But I couldn’t begin
to imagine what life had been like for Lotli, apprenticed to Zea as a child
because of her magic abilities, essentially indentured. Not that I thought a
devout shaman like Zea would have been cruel to her. It was just so different
from anything I’d experienced.
“Zea, are you here?” I called
out. “We need to talk to you about Lotli.”
I minced my way deeper into the
cramped space, working my way toward the back of the camper. Cold sweat carved
a trail down my spine. I crept past a tiny kitchen and dining nook, then the
bathroom—one toothbrush in the holder, a washcloth draped over the edge of a
yellowed sink.
I returned to the front of the
camper and pulled aside the curtain that divided the living area from the bread
truck’s cab. Seats for the driver and a passenger, seashells glued to the dash,
insulated coffee cups in the holders—
Something brushed the back of my
neck.
I yelped and jumped sideways,
whipping around to see what it was and smacking my elbow against the wall. Pain
zinged up my arm. I glared at Selena, standing barely an inch behind me.
“Shit,” I said, rubbing the sting
from my arm. “You scared the hell out of me.”
She gave me a sheepish pout.
“Sorry. I thought you knew I was there.”
“I didn’t think you were that close.” It wouldn’t have hurt half
as bad, except I was already sore and bruised from being thrown out of the
djinn realm earlier in the day.
Her pout transformed into a smug
smile and she flipped her blond hair over one shoulder.  “Looks to me like Zea and Lotli might have
pulled a vanishing act after all. Huh?”
I stopped rubbing. “Or the
Professor’s about to find something disgusting in the tent.”
“Want to bet?”
I closed my eyes, struggling to
regain my composure. We couldn’t afford to waste time discussing the same thing
over and over again, any more than I could have afforded the luxury of staying
home to nurse my aches and pains. Chase and Mother were in danger. And I
couldn’t go back to the realm and rescue them until we found Lotli. Without her
and her flute-magic, it would be too risky, perhaps even impossible to enter or
escape from the realm.
I shoved past Selena and strode
to the tiny bathroom. “While we’re here, we should find something personal of
Lotli’s that you can use to scry and see where they’re holding her.”
Glancing around, I spotted a
scruffy hairbrush. You couldn’t get much more personal than that. I grabbed it
and brandished it toward Selena.
She stood just inside the
bathroom doorway, hands on her hips, eyes narrowed. “Cut it out, Annie, I’ve
had enough of you talking like Newt kidnapped Lotli, the innuendos and little
jabs. Maybe his family’s hiding something, but Newt doesn’t have anything to do
with it. So quit acting like he’s evil, okay?”
I mirrored her stance. “He told
you his dad was a stockbroker, that they owned their summer home. Those were
lies. His brother is a registered creep. No matter what you want to think:
Newt’s not innocent.”
She turned her back on me, her
voice bordering on hysteria. “I don’t know why I bothered coming. You’re so, so
. . . You always have to be right—” Her voice died and she slowly faced me.
Angry red blotches mottled her face. But tears rimmed her eyes.
My anger drained. She didn’t look
pissed. She was trembling like she was about to fall apart. Earlier today, when
we’d first heard about the lies Newt and his family had been telling, I’d seen
something in Selena’s eyes, something beneath her disbelief.
“What is it? Tell me,” I asked
gently.
She raked her hands over her
face. “Nothing. You just need to trust me. I know Newt couldn’t be involved.
And he wouldn’t have let his brother do it either.”
I leveled my gaze with hers and
toughened my voice. “What makes you so certain? Tell me the truth, Selena.”
Her chin quivered. “I just know.”
Tucking the hairbrush handle
first into my hip pocket, I stepped closer. I pushed her hair back from her face.
“You’re my cousin. Please. Tell me.”
 “Nothing. He just wouldn’t do it. He loves
me.”
“I get that.
But—”
She shoved my hand away. “No, you
don’t get it. I know he loves me.
Like forever.”  Her eyes pleaded for me
to understand what she couldn’t bring herself to say.
A possibility seeped into my
head.  My hands went to my mouth,
covering a horrified gasp. She couldn’t mean. She couldn’t have.  “What did you do?”
“I kind of—I put a . . .” Her
voice faded and she looked down at the floor.
“A spell?” A month ago, the idea
of witchcraft being involved would never have occurred to me. Now it seemed
more than likely.
 “You can’t tell anyone. Mom, Dad,
Grandfather—they’d kill me.” She curled her arms over her head, her shoulders
shaking as she crumpled down against the wall.
I crouched and put my arms around
her. “Whatever it is, it’ll be fine. It can’t be that bad.”

 

“It is,” she sobbed.
About the Author:
Pat Esden would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. 
An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle, and George Sciter’s Cat Tales Anthology.
The first two novels in her Dark Heart series, A HOLD ON ME and BEYOND YOUR TOUCH are available from Kensington Books.  REACH FOR YOU (book #3 Dark Heart series) will be released June 27th. Her short story, Black as a Dark Moon, Scarlet as Sumac, will come out this September in the Fragments of Darkness anthology.

 

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PRE-ORDER BLAST AND GIVEAWAY: JUST THE THING The Donnigans series, book 2 by Marie Harte

JUST THE THING

The Donnigans series, book 2
by Marie Harte

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