The Cringle Cove Christmas Chronicles Sales Blitz with HJ Bellus, Kristen Luciani, Kate Benson, Michelle Dare, AD Justice and Victoria Renteria
Title: The Cringle Cove Christmas Chronicles
Genre: Holiday Romance
Publication Date: November 29th, 2018
Another winter means Christmas in Cringle Cove, the cozy resort town nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania. My home.
It was never my dream to run my auntâs bed and breakfast, but itâs my reality. The only good thing about this time of year is that we shut down the bed and breakfast to celebrate our familyâs Christmas.
The town twinkles with the festive lights as the snow falls in a glistening blanket on the land. The cheer is in the air, and I find myself embracing the holiday spirit. Not even the stack of bills that keep piling up can ruin the joyful cheer.
That is until I collide into Roan McDaniels in the local coffee shop. The searing liquid that spills down my arm, is nothing compared to the ache in my heart.
Heâs back in town. The man who broke my heart so many years ago and he looks good. Damn good.
Little did I know I was in for a very unexpected gift.
HJ Bellus is a small town girl who loves the art of storytelling. When not making readers laugh or cry, she's a part-time livestock wrangler that can be found in the middle of Idaho, shot gunning a beer while listening to some Miranda Lambert on her Beats and rocking out in her boots.
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After my sister and I lost our parents, life has been up in the air. The only thing weâve been able to hold onto is our pact to spend every Christmas together, avoiding it like the plague.
Thatâs exactly what Iâm doing when a deliciously dimpled man introduces himself the first day I arrive in Cringle Cove.
Thereâs nothing wrong with making a friend, right?
Until our easy friendship turns into a hellacious crush and a favor bred from nightmares.
For the first time ever, Iâd kill for a Christmas miracle.
For someone who loves everything about the holidays, mine are sure getting off to a terrible start.
The worst part? I promised my ex I wouldnât tell a soul weâd ended things until weâre far away from Cringle Cove.
At least Iâm in the most festive town in the country.
If everything else goes to hell this week, Iâve got that.
Iâm hiding out in a coffee shop when I see Abby.
Sheâs awkward, sarcastic, and obviously miserable here.
Iâve never wanted anyone more.
Keep a promise to your ex in exchange for a happy holiday?
What the elf was I thinking?
What the Elf? is a multi-POV standalone with content intended for mature readers.Kate Benson was raised in Texas and currently resides in central Florida with her husband and their growing army of fur minions.She learned to read at the age of four and has been hooked ever since. She credits her passion for literature to her mother, her love of story-telling to her father and her unwavering faith in happily-ever-afterâs to her husband, Sean.Some of her favorite things include rainy days, loud music, superhero movies, hot tea and of course, lazy afternoons with a great book.To find out more about Kate, her work or to just say hello, she loves hearing from her readers and can be found on social media.
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It's Christmas in Cringle Cove. Somebody save me.
This place makes me crazy with all the decorations. But one thing makes being here even worse: my ex-boyfriend. In fact, he makes me regret ever leaving the house.
One wrong step and I fallâhard. Who's there to save me? None other than Max. Seeing him again brings back so many memories. One, in particular, brings tears to my eyesâthe day I ended us.
Heâs all I think about. All I see. And he wants me back.
However, returning to Max means choosing a road I never thought Iâd take again.
I always know when Shaineâs home on break from college. Every part of my being goes on high alert the second she enters Cringle Cove. She was once mine, but not anymore.
That is until I find her on the ground in pain. Ice happens.
With her suddenly near, I have to fight the constant urge to wrap my arms around her and kiss her. We arenât the same people we used to be.
We have a lot to work through. Hearts to mend. If Shaine is my Christmas gift, it'll be worth all the pain.
This will be one long week.
Michelle Dare is a romance author. Her stories range from sweet to sinful and from new adult to fantasy. There arenât enough hours in the day for her to write all of the story ideas in her head. When not writing or reading, sheâs a wife and mom living in eastern Pennsylvania. One day she hopes to be writing from a beach where she will never have to see snow or be cold again.
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This is my first trip home in nearly four years. I havenât been back for a very good reasonâand his name is Hunter Beckett.
My parents need my help over Christmas break, so Iâve agreed to return during the semester break against my better judgment.
Kisses under the mistletoe. Family pictures in front of the numerous decorations. Christmas in Cringle Cove is a magical time for everyone else who visitsâjust not for me.
Four long years away without a single glance backward. Iâm THISCLOSE to college graduation. One week around the chocolate-with-flecks-of-gold-eyed devil and Iâm THISCLOSE to giving in to him all over again.
Hunter should come with a warning label: MISTLETOE NOT REQUIRED.
A.D. Justice is the USA Today bestselling author of the Steele Security Series (Wicked Games, Wicked Ties, Wicked Nights, Wicked Intentions, Wicked Shadows), the Crazy Series (Crazy Maybe, Crazy Baby), the Dominic Powers series (Her Dom, Her Domâs Lesson), the Immortal Obsessions series (Immortal Envy) and a few stand-alone romance novels, such as Completely Captivated, Just One Summer, Envy, and Intent.
When sheâs not writing, sheâs spending time with her own alpha male character in their North Georgia mountain home. She is also an avid reader of romance novels, a master at procrastination, a chocolate sommelier, a twister of words, and speaks fluent sarcasm. An avid animal lover, A.D. Justice has three horses, one dog, and two cats.
While the primary focus of her books has been romantic suspense, she has expanded into different sub-genres of romance. Stay tuned to read what she has in store for you!
From USA Today Bestselling Author Kristen Luciani comes a holiday tale so sinfully sweet and sexy, it will have even the grumpiest, most bitter holiday grinch dancing joyfully under the mistletoe.
He made a promise.
He gave me a ring.
Then after planning the perfect future, he made a choiceâ¦to kick me out of his life.
Except, he never bothered to tell me.
I hate that Iâve spent the past five years comparing men to the one who shredded my heart.
I hate that he still has such a tight hold on me from across the Atlantic freaking Ocean.
And most of all, I hate that Iâm still in love with him.
Five years ago, I got on a plane.
It was the biggest mistake of my life.
I traded my dreams to escape my dark past.
I pushed aside the only family I ever knew.
I crushed the only girl Iâd ever loved, driving her into the arms of another manâmy best friend.
And now Iâm back to face everything I left behind.
Only Iâm too late.
Kristen Luciani is a USA Today bestselling author and momtrepreneur with a penchant for stilettos, Silicon Valley, plunging necklines and grapefruit martinis. As a deep-rooted romantic who prefers juicy drama to fill the lives of anyone other than her, she tried her hand at creating a world of enchantment, sensuality, and intrigue, finally uncovering her true passion. No pun intendedâ¦
He was an Olympic Gold Medalist.
She was his best friends sister.
Together, they started a love affair that would shock a nation.
Brooklyn Myles was returning to her hometown after college with no clear direction in lifeâbut she gets more than she bargained for when a cruel twist of fate sends her long-time crush calling.
Hayden Jaxon had a competitive snowboarding career, six gold medals, and women falling at his feetâexcept, it wasn't enough. He wanted more, and his heart wouldn't settle for anyone but her.
Can Brooklyn survive her brother's best friend? Or will she be another victim of his winter games?
Former Director of a major corporation, Victoria has spent most of her life inside of a book. When she wasnât reading, she was busy scribbling down stories of her own. Meeting her husband while he was in the United States Army, Victoria quickly adapted and learned the role of the military spouse.
After finishing her Business Management Degree in college, she spent years working in the corporate world where her writing quickly fell by the wayside. Finally, taking time away from the corporate world, Victoria has been able to dive into her stories and create a whole new world for you to live in. She now resides in the sunny Tampa, Florida area with her husband, son, and two amazing boxers. When she isnât writing you can find her on the beach or hiking. Maybe even writing on the beach.
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Title: High Stakes
Author: Casey L. Bond
Genre: YA PNR, Dystopian/SciFi
Editor: Stacy Sanford/ The Girl with the Red Pen
Cover Designer, Photog & Trailer Made By: Melissa Stevens/ The Illustrated Author Design Services
Model: Breanna Ellis
Publication Date: Feb. 1st, 2019 Hosted by:
Her name is Eve, and she was aptly named. The first female accepted into the Asset program, she was the first to rise to the top. She would also be the first woman to travel back in time, assigned with one target in mind: Enoch â one of the first vampires to walk the earth. Her mission was simple: Land, shove her stake through Enochâs black heart, run to safety, and jump off something really high so she could warp back home and carve out the life sheâs always wanted.
The only problem was that time travel was more complicated than anyone realized. She was supposed to travel back seven days, but instead, landed in the middle of England in the year 1348, during the time of the Black Plague.
Enoch never kept his true nature a secret. As a wealthy landowner, he protected and provided for the people under his care, and in exchange, they were more than willing to provide the scant amounts of blood he needed to survive. When a strange young woman showed up at his gate in the midst of the plague and then fell ill, he nursed her back to health.
Heâd never met anyone like Eve. She was intelligent and witty, and the most beautiful creature heâd ever laid eyes upon. And, he learned, the most dangerous.
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Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07N8LYJ62
You can find more information about Bondâs books via the following links:
Website: Facebook: Twitter: Goodreads: Pinterest: Amazon:
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Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing, Inc
RED IS FOR ROOKIE
RED IS FOR RACE
Tracking a kidnapper is an unusual assignment for a private investigator. But Matt is Holly’s lifelong friend. During the race to save him, Holly discovers a lot more than she bargained for. Matt’s in love with her.
RED IS FOR RISK
Holly’s world has never been more dangerous. Her mother’s convinced Holly will end up dead, so she hires a PI to protect Holly. She needs Stryker’s savvy and expertise and is eager for his help, though she risks her heart working with the danger-loving man.
RED IS FOR REVENGE
Stryker’s past returns to haunt him. The kidnapper wants revenge. Stryker risks his life Holly. The dangerous race transforms Holly from a Rookie into a seasoned PI. But with the two men turning her life upside down, can Holly take the heat?
As I turned away to retrace my surveillance route, my gaze swept across a man I hadn’t noticed before. He stood near the ballroom door with his back to me. I did a double-take. An off-duty cop. I could spot one a mile away. The way he walked, stood, and observed his surroundings. A cop couldn’t disguise his identity. Calm, professional, strong, he looked as though he controlled the world. With legs braced wide, right foot behind, he kept his piece away from the crowd. Even from the rear the guy looked cocky.
Someone touched my shoulder. I jumped. While I’d been eyeing the cop, Matt had crossed to my side of the room.
“Who invited the police?” Matt jabbed a thumb toward the ballroom door.
“My question exactly. Maybe one of the rich types demanding extra protection. Or maybe the cop’s moonlighting as a bodyguard.”
Matt rubbed his clean-shaven chin. “Maybe. Don’t know.”
“Whatever. I’ll find out.”
“You do that.” Matt sauntered back to his side of the ballroom.
I planned to check the cop out but didn’t want to meet him this way. I had an image to project. I was an investigator. A professional. Strong. Independent. Cool. Granted, I had a lot to learn, but I sure didn’t want to be seen on Valentine’s night appearing to shop for a man. In a town as closely-connected as Dallas, if we met in the line of fire–and I had no doubt we would—he’d never take me seriously. Some time tonight I’d inform the cop I was actually working.
I policed my half of the room then headed back toward the Champion Wrestler table.
Big, warm fingers grasped my arm with just enough pressure to make me brake and take notice. The dark-haired, fine-looking man extended his other hand. A sense of recognition nagged me. But I didn’t know him.
He sat with his back to the wall at the Attorney table catty-cornered to the wrestlers’ enclave. I shook his waiting hand, feeling warmth and solid strength. He wore his dark suit like other men wore uniforms. Daring. Proud. Indomitable. Candlelight reflected mystery in his brown eyes. With the kind of smile you see on a man given an unexpected dish of ice cream, he stood and offered me the empty chair his polished wingtips had guarded. With the chair now free, a bevy of females flew over from different tables and circled him.
“Sit a while.”
His compelling expression excluded everyone in the room but me. It was an invitation I didn’t want, but my feet, aching from the unaccustomed spike heels, did. So, I slid into the seat.
“Thanks, but just for a minute.”
Sophisticated women glared—shoppers vying for the man’s attention. He flashed them a smile and motioned to the nearby Champion Wrestler table. “Those men want to meet you.”
“I’ll be back.” One woman, wearing heavy eye liner, trailed her hand along the top of the man’s chair and threw him a seductive glance before she moved away. The other ladies stepped over to the strong men’s table.
“Thanks, man.” One wrestler nodded, his long blonde hair falling into his square-jawed face.
I turned to the man, a real James Bond type. Unwanted sparks ignited my insides. Too intense to be handsome and too electric to be ignored, he was big, tense, and concentrated. I’d never met a man who looked so ready for adventure.
Here was trouble masquerading as charm.
“They’re gonna love this at the office,” Bond drawled.
I blinked. The heat in his eyes warmed me like sun-melted chocolate. The challenge in his steady gaze stiffened my backbone.
“The office?” I noticed the bulge under his armpit not quite hidden by his well-fitting dark suit jacket. Tingles trilled my spine.
“Stryker Black. You’re Holly Garden.”
Recognition hit me. The out-of-uniform cop I’d spotted standing in the foyer with his back to me. How had he settled in so quickly? His proximity caused my eyelid to do its thing. Most people never see my twitch. I hoped Stryker didn’t. The quivers make me look unprofessional.
“How do you know my name?”
“Looked up your file at our office.”
Suspicion brought sudden anger biting into me like the Genesis serpent. To keep my temper in check I whispered. “You’re a police officer?”
“Used to be. Now a PI. Ace Investigations.”
I shot to my feet, snagged a four-inch stiletto on the chair rung and lurched forward, catching the table’s edge to keep from landing in his lap.
“I knew it!” Mom.
With my nose inches from his ear, his masculine scent broke through my protective aura. Trying not to breathe in his woodsy, nautical aroma, I scooted away.
Because I wasn’t breathing freely, my whisper sounded weird and nasal. “I want you to leave. At once.”
“Why should I?”
I stared and forgot to lower my voice. “You’re not needed.”
The four lawyers seated around Stryker perked up. Fat and thin, they gazed at me like I was a valuable bequest in a contested will. One leaned so far forward on the table his French cuff dipped into his coffee.
Stryker remained cool. “I’m sure you’re acquainted with a lady named Violet Garden.”
My palms turned sweaty.
My own mother thought I couldn’t fill Dad’s shoes. She thought I didn’t have the guts to be a detective. She thought I’d fail. Knees weak, I slid back into the chair and gazed down. My fingers itched to fiddle with the clasp on my glittery bag, but I held them still. I couldn’t let the PI see how his words curdled my self-esteem.
“Security was the word Ms. Garden used.”
I spoke low, not wanting anyone else to hear. “She didn’t. She couldn’t.” I clamped my lips. Striker didn’t need to know how his words upset me.
“Hard to believe?” He gave me a hard-boiled, tight-lipped Bogart smile.
Sitting so close, he didn’t look like a cop. Or a PI for that matter. More like a very, very sexy bad guy. Mafia or something. My throat closed. How could Mom do this to me?
“Mom asked for you? Personally?”
“She asked for Ace’s top man.” His dark eyes spoke of secrets, hinted of danger. Pulled me in even as they warned me off.
I whispered, “Luck of the draw?”
We’d been talking in hushed tones, but now the PI, a beguiling smirk on his face, spoke louder. “I won the lottery.”
One lawyer said, “I’ve got to remember that line.”
The other lawyers grunted agreement.
Their responses helped me regain my poise. I turned back to the PI. “Okay, you work for our competition . . . and you’re here?” I’d staked out Ace Investigations to see what I was up against, so why hadn’t I laid eyes on him there? And he was an eyeful. Plus, he was feeding me a line. And good at it. Too good.
I scooted my chair away from him. Not that long ago I’d been dumped by another charmer. I wasn’t about to nibble this bait.
Even if I had wanted to chance another romance, I had a new vocation. I had Dad’s murder to solve and his reputation to sanitize. I needed to prove to the city of Dallas and its entire police force that Dad hadn’t been a dirty Private Investigator. If I failed, our investigative firm would dribble on down the drain. I lifted my chin. Even if I had time to spend with a man, I’d never choose this smoothie. But I did need to size up the competition.
Investigator Rule Number One – know your enemy.
So, I did an about face and turned on the sugar. “Stryker, is it?” I smiled sweetly. “I thought I had every PI in Dallas pegged. Glad to meet you.”
Stryker’s focused expression didn’t change. “Likewise.” He laid a strong hand on my bare arm, raising the hair with a single light touch. “Stay a minute more. Tell me about yourself.”
A male voice interrupted Stryker. “Let’s be judicious here. Fair’s fair. There’re four attorneys at this table and one lovely woman. Time to share. My name’s Jeff Davidson of Davidson, Hillyer & Greene. I’m sure you’ve heard of my firm. And this is . . . .”
While Jeff introduced the other three suits, Stryker leaned back and scanned the room, doing his security thing. With me quickly shaking hands around the table, the trio of women who’d huddled around Stryker earlier made their move. Rising from the nearby Champion Wrestler table as if directed by an unseen choreographer, they mobbed Stryker.
I sucked in a breath. His mouth hanging ajar, Stryker looked stunned. Three wrestlers stood too, pushed aside their chairs, and towered over Stryker. I glimpsed Matt striding across the ballroom toward us, security face on.
The big blond wrestler, who seemed to be their leader, rasped, “We wasn’t just twiddling our thumbs over here. We was talking with these ladies.” His expression looked downright testy. He raised a fist, looking about to deck Stryker.
The three glamour girls stepped away from Stryker and melted into the crowd.
Prepared to intervene, I grabbed my purse and wriggled to the edge of my seat, curious to see what Stryker would do. This was plain screwy. Were the wrestlers trying to pick a fight?
Stryker’s face grew leaner, showing clear bone definition. A paper-thin scar slicing through his cleft chin whitened. He stood and faced the three muscled men, their crimson cummerbunds flashing.
“So, we want our ladies back.”
“Cool it you guys.” I unclasped my purse, thinking I might need my gun.
The fourth wrestler jumped to his feet, tipping his chair backward. It landed with a thud on the carpeted floor. A solid wall of red cummerbunds circled Stryker. I shot off my chair. One mat-pounder grabbed my arm and hauled me toward his table.
“We want this one too.”
I jerked my arm loose. My abrupt movement caused my ankle to turn in one of the tricky stilettos.
“Yeow!” I stumbled. Before I could catch my balance, I lost the shoe on my twisted ankle, and fell to my knees.
Events fast-forwarded. Two wrestlers pummeled Stryker. Someone kicked my evening bag. On hands and knees, I chased it under the Attorney Table to rescue my gun. I glimpsed Matt confronting the other two wrestlers and attempted to squirm out to escort the muscle-jocks to the nearest exit. Crouched on hands and knees, my dress tightened around me like shrink wrap and stopped me cold.
A lawyer squatted beside me. “Let me help—”
One of the wrestlers slammed him backward with an open palm. With a crash and tinkle of broken glass, the table flipped onto its side. A white and silver rain of crockery and cutlery poured down. A plate of romaine lettuce and blue cheese dressing slapped against my thigh, releasing the odor of salad-splashed velvet. My vision slowed as if I starred in a surreal movie. Mind scanning possible actions, my skirt creeping higher above my knees, I crawled free.
Was this a diversion for a robbery? I had to take control. Still on hands and knees, I smelled something acrid and sulfuric. The lighted candle centerpiece smoldered at the edge of the tablecloth. With a soft whoosh, flames leapt to life. I grabbed the closest thing at hand, a large slab of prime rib probably from the same uneaten place setting as the salad and beat the flames with the semi-rare meat until they died in wisps of smoke beneath charred beef. Smelling cooked steak mixed with scorched hair and fearful of what I would find, I touched my eyebrows and bangs. Crispy but still there.
Gasps and murmurings told me the crowd grew around us. Heavy feet shuffled, and I jerked my hand back to keep it from getting trampled. Fists struck flesh accompanied by grunts and colorful language. I couldn’t believe such a brouhaha erupted in our little corner of the big room with so little provocation. Something smelled fishy and it wasn’t the shrimp cocktail sauce dripping onto the carpet. I was about to spring to my feet when a body thudded to within an inch of me and lay still.
Stryker. One look at Stryker’s bloody face and I all but keeled over him.
My pulse spiked, pushing me into Unthinking Mode. Okay, so I lost it here. Thoughts of my job flew out the window. But only for a few seconds.
Still on my knees, I fished in my clutch for my cell, and dialed 911. Dead zone. Resisting the urge to throw the instrument at a wrestler, I dropped the useless thing back into my purse.
As quickly as the commotion started, it ended. The dull thud of fists on flesh died. Fingers and knees digging into the thick carpet, I lifted one hand and pressed two fingers against the carotid artery in Stryker’s muscular neck. Warm skin. Steady pulsing.
Lord, please don’t let him be badly hurt.
With all quiet above me, I assumed Matt held everything under control. I loosened Stryker’s red power tie and rubbed his big, limp hand between both of mine. His lashes, fanned across those high cheekbones, looked longer than any man had a right to own. Other than being a little bloody and lying motionless, he looked fine. Too fine. But I didn’t have to remind myself that Mom hired him. A twinge of joy that it was him, not Matt or me lying on the floor, layered in an uncomfortable guilt that squashed the relief, so I said another quick prayer for the competition PI.
He groaned, and his eyelids fluttered.
Men’s polished dress shoes, accompanied by glittering high heels, moved close enough for me to touch. One wrestler squatted next to me. “Here, let me—”
“No. Don’t touch him.” I swatted the man’s beefy hand away from Stryker.
Stryker opened his eyes, relieving my worry about him. But Mom would arrive any minute for her grand entrance, and I desperately wanted her to gawk at her security being carried away in an ambulance.
I said to the wrestler, “I’ve got to call EMS.”
Furor at the ballroom doors made me look up. “That was fast. Matt must have gotten through to EMS.” But doubt nagged my brain. Too fast. Way too fast.
Before I could follow up my hunch, the crowd opened up and two blue-uniformed men, carrying oxygen paraphernalia, a stretcher, and a medical kit hustled to the table.
The EMS team ignored Stryker who lay concealed by a drooping tablecloth, with only his long legs and feet protruding. One Medic knelt beside another stretched-out body. I struggled to my feet, red dress hiked almost mid-thigh, to identify the victim.
“Matt!” I rushed over in time to see the medic jab a syringe into my co-investigator’s limp arm.
Electrical impulses spiked my nerves. I’d never seen an emergency team do that. The first medic finished a cursory check for broken bones, then both men heaved Matt onto the stretcher and hustled him through the crowded ballroom.
Juggling on one four-inch heel and one bare foot, I elbowed my way through the crowd after them. “Which hospital?”
They mumbled something incoherent and disappeared through the hotel’s exterior door.
Lord, please take care of Matt. He’s a good friend. Keep him safe.
I started after them.
The blond wrestler clutched my arm, stopping me from following them out to the ambulance. Then he smiled crookedly, straightened his bow tie, and righted his cummerbund. “Don’t look so worried, the PI’s in good hands.”
I stiffened. “How do you know Matt’s a PI?”
The wrestler frowned and clamped his lips.
Shivers snaked my spine. Something was very wrong.
About the Author
Anne Greene lives in the quaint antiquing town of McKinney, Texas, a few miles north of Dallas. Her husband is a retired Colonel, Army Special Forces. Her little brown and white Shih Tzu, Lily Valentine, shares her writing space, curled at her feet.
Besides her first love, writing, she enjoys family, friends, travel, reading, and way too many other things to mention. Life is good. Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly.”
Anne’s an award-winning author of twenty-three books. She loves writing about alpha heroes who aren’t afraid to fall on their knees in prayer, and about gutsy heroines. She hopes her stories transport you to awesome new worlds and touch your heart.
Date Published: January 2019
An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he's pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler's fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.
He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can't do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they're going to have to engage the enemy.
James' goals aren't necessarily the same as his crew. It's a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.
Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.
Fala nudged Dan with her shoulder, then fed the anvil bird a red berry.
As they rounded the corner onto the docks, the ship came back into view. Gold letters nearly two feet tall arched across her stern. They read, Lanternfish.
Dock workers lugged items aboard the ship, rolls of canvas, kegs of gunpowder, live pigs, and more. A glazer worked on the large lanterns attached around the poopdeck. Stuttering Lewis hung over the stern on a bosun's chair, and carved a log that replaced the supporting statue they'd destroyed when they took her. Rather than a lady with a vase, he was making a skeletal pirate, complete with a branch that became an arm holding a cutlass.
McCormack sat at a desk underneath an umbrella alongside the ramp up to the ship. He turned his journal around quickly. "Do you want to check it, ma'am?"
"No need Mr. McCormack. Maybe later. Things look much improved around here."
"Aye, ma'am. You look much improved too. Island life agrees with you."
"That it does. We're going to have a look around, we'll report in this afternoon. Where's the captain?"
"Could be in the tavern. That's where most business gets done around here."
They walked the length of the ship. Underneath the bowsprit was a new figurehead made of riveted pieces of metal, like a suit of armor. It was a huge lanternfish. Circular white portholes served as eyes, and a long twisted steel rod protruded from his forehead. The rod arched until it was tangent with the bowsprit, then bent back down. At the end, a huge hexagonal lantern hung, it matched the others on the back of the ship. Long sharp teeth protruded from the creature's bulldog-like jaw, and the fish appeared to be hollow inside.
The ship resembled an anthill. Men scurried everywhere, painting, tying new rigging, glazing, and more. When they turned back, a young woman approached McCormack's desk.
The woman was tall, thin, and muscular. She wore a bamboo coulee hat that was wider than her shoulders. It was covered with a gauze beige cloth. Her features were Eastern, giving her an exotic beauty. She wore only short leather boots, and a leather pair of shorts. Her legs were covered with wrapped strips of beige silk up to her knees, as were her breasts, forearms, and fists. She thumped the bronze foot of her pole weapon on the dock then waited for McCormack to speak. The shaft of her weapon was ebony black. The curved blade of the glaive started above her head, and had but a single edge.
As they walked closer, they made out a jade disk pendant around her neck, and the weapon had bronze fittings of a fierce dragon holding the blade in its mouth. The fittings served to add strength opposite the cutting edge.
"Name?" McCormack asked.
"What are you good at?"
"Any experience with guns?"
"Can you rig a sail?"
"Like a master."
"Sign here. Then find Don Velasco topside. He'll get you situated."
Dan and Fala walked past. Serang's braided black hair hung to the small of her back, nearly touching her shorts.
"Wonder what she does with that frog sticker?" Dan said.
Serang spun around, took two running steps toward the side of the pier and threw her weapon like a spear. It sailed across the water to the next dock and impaled a huge bay frog that was sunning itself. "Stick frogs," she said.
About the Author
C. S. Boyack was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. He likes to tell everyone that he was born in a small town in the 1940s. He's not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives him a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into his fiction.
Boyack moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back.His writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups he jumped in with both feet.
He likes to write about things that have something unusual. His works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. His goal is to entertain readers for a few hours and he hopes you enjoy the ride.
Date to be Published: March 7th, 2019
They say you can't run away from your problems. EmVee knew from experience it was true. She and her father tried to run, until the truth came and got them. Now with nothing to lose, she must confront the monster that changed her life forever. Unfortunately, she has to work with his best friend, Kayson who she is almost sure, isn't quite as nice as he seems. Kayson revealed not just why her father disappeared, but a new world of magicals that wanted the debt he left behind to be paid.
(Insatiable Darkness - Book 0, Caged Fire - Book 1, Unbreakable Darkness - Book 1.5)
“Look kid, your father’s time is running cold. They are on to us, too many lives are at stake if either of you get caught.” Rocky handed her a thumb drive. “It’s a matter of your life and his death. He owes me, and I owe another a favor.”
“You give it to him,” EmVee replied evenly, checking her emotions and desire to punch the guy and run.
“No, this is where my road ends. Remember. Remember the name to nowhere and the code is your father’s real name. If you are his daughter. He would have told it to you, it’s a safe-word of sorts. I’m tired of running and they made sure I don’t have anything to run to. My son, he’s out there somewhere, and I’ll die taking the name of his safe-place with me. He’ll be free of them, both of them. Max and you have a chance. Don’t forget my name. It’ll mean something someday I hope. Run. Run now.” Rocky grasped her wrist, yanked it toward him, and placed the thumb drive in her hand.
EmVee looked at the drive, squeezed it in her palm.
Rocky tossed something in his mouth and pushed her back. “Look away, kid.” His body started convulsing. He groaned and collapsed, eyes open and staring towards the moon teased by dark clouds.
Sweat slid from under her drawn hoodie. Why’d he’d do it? They could’ve taken him to a hospital.
She glanced around quickly, then went for Rocky’s pockets. She reached in his jacket, flesh and entrails had spilled from his waist and into his coat. EmVee jerked back, shook her head a shaky sigh escaped her lips. She bit down on her lip and did what she had to do. In his jacket she found his cellphone and put it in her back pocket. His wallet she stuffed in the side pocket of her backpack. There was nothing else.
Putting her hand over her nose, swallowing back the tangy taste of vomit. She reached over and closed Rocky’s blue eyes. She’d never forget them.
Title: Dream Walker
Author: Bridgette OâHare
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Cover Designer: DARK UNICORN DESIGNS
Editor: Jennifer Green of Plot2Published Editing
Publisher: CLOVERHOUSE PUBLISHING
Publication Date: January 25th, 2018
Lullaby: Silent Night: Dream Walker: https://amzn.to/2S7LohL
Bridgette O'Hare is a writerly life form surviving on high doses of chocolate, excessive episodes of Supernatural, and copious amounts of snark.
She spends her time in search of sleep, witty co-conspirators, the planet Gallifrey, and ways to unleash treachery upon her characters in interesting ways . . . or you may find her instigating shenanigans on Facebook.
Sheâs the proud Mum of two highly entertaining humans and she resides on the coast of North Carolina.
Bridgette is recommended by 4 out of 5 people that recommend things. Number 5 was unavailable for comment.
Smart Masses Newsletter http://bit.ly/smartmass
Silent Night: Dream Walker: https://amzn.to/2S7LohL
Matt had never been one to let a chance to provoke Jenna slip by. âI know what Iâm getting you for Christmas,â he chided.
âDoes it involve a trip to some tropical island and drinks with those tiny umbrellas in them?â Jenna quipped back.
âWhat makes you think Iâd take you somewhere like that?â he retorted.
A sly smirk slinked up one corner of Jennaâs mouth. âWhat makes you think I was going to take you with me on my little island excursion? Itâs my present.â
Matt shook his head. âA watch, Jenna. Iâm getting you a watch. Not that youâd use it.â
He checked his mirrors and backed out of the driveway.
âAlright, children. Letâs play nice,â Halle interrupted before the back and forth really took off.
âThat was nice,â Jenna mumbled.
âYeah, about as nice as when you two ditched me at Leviâs Halloween party. Left me with a house full of masked marauders, and I donât mean the interesting comic book kind.â Matt glared at Jenna in the rear-view mirror.
âWhy are you looking at me like that? Halle bailed on you, too!â
âHey now!â Halle piped in.
âShe was hurt. She gets a pass. You could have found me, or called, or texted, or something.â His words came across with a little something Halle couldnât help but be concerned about. For the past year, she had watched as Matt and Jenna bantered back and forth, always teetering on the edge of something more than friendship but never slipping over. Halle found herself glancing between the two, wondering if Jennaâs secret was why she had always kept Matt at armâs length.
Jenna went silent for a moment. The countenance of her face saying more than words could. âIâm sorry, Matt. Youâre right. I should have let you know. Forgive me?â
Mattâs eyes darted between the road and the rear view mirror several times before he blew out a heavy breath and his stare rested on the mirror for a long moment. âI forgave you the moment it happened. You know that,â he replied.
âOf course you did,â Jenna chimed. âYou canât stay mad at me. I wonât let you.â She stuck her tongue out at him.
Halle laughed at the exchange. âYou two are something else.â
âDonât know what youâre laughing at,â Matt remarked as he turned the Jeep into the school parking lot. âYouâre friends with both of us. What does that say about you?â
âThat Iâm crazier than I thought,â Halle muttered. âBut hey, at least yâall are entertaining.â
She adjusted her sunglasses and reached for her bag in the floorboard. âIâll see you guys at lunch. I need to bolt. Have to try to get to Senior Mozingoâs class before homeroom to ask about some work I missed.â
âYou sure youâre not just trying to avoid him?â Jenna asked as she nodded her head at the guy standing on the sidewalk straight ahead of the Jeep.
âCrap,â Halle mumbled.
âWant me to run him over?â Matt smiled. âI can say the gear slipped.â
Halle rolled her eyes, though her sunglasses hid the gesture. âNo. I donât want you to run him over. Geesh. But . . . you could run interference for me.â
âAnd you donât think hitting him with a car would do that?â Matt grinned.
âNevermind. I donât want to deal with the police interrogation afterward. Iâll just do the best I can.â Halle made a face at Matt, slipped out of the Jeep, and eased toward the back of the car parked beside them.
Wake the Dead
Written by Stacey Rourke
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Release Date: Feb 28, 2019
Preorder Link: https://amzn.to/2svLLrg
With a touch of her hand, Octavia Hollows can restore life. Yet, she couldn’t save the man she loved from the horrific accident that stole him from her. Octavia thought she could outrun the pain, but ghosts from the past refuse to be silenced. Out of options, she chooses to retrace her wayward journey across the country in search of answers. Surrounded by baffling mysteries of the undead, what she learns about herself along the way might become her greatest weapon.
Seattle, Washington: Land of cloudy skies and a great cup of coffee.
Octavia blew into town in search of information, only to get swirled up in a paranormal predicament even she couldn’t fathom. A neonatal nurse is dead, and her young patient is aging at an alarming rate.
Can Octavia unlock the secrets to this confusing curse before time runs out?
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Florida with her husband, two beautiful daughters. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012 and Turning Pages Magazine
Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Readers' Favorite Fantasy Silver Medal Winner for 2015
Readers' Favorite YA Fantasy Bronze Medal Winner 2017
Utopia Award Winner Author of the Year 2018
Utopia Award Winner for Best Villain 2018 for Ursula in Rise of the Sea Witch
Author/Founder of OUAB
Author: Karina Espinosa
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Cover Designer: Covers by Christian
Blurb: Max and his best friend/guardian angel, Jones, are on the run for a month before the first clue leads them to Sin City, Las Vegas, to find the Nephilim of Greed, Nikolai. The combination of Nikolaiâs reluctance to help and fear of an unknown force leaves Max full of more questions than answers.
Will Max discover who is hunting the Nephilim? And if he does, can he overcome the forces of evil against them?
In the sequel to Sins of the Fallen, Karina Espinosa pulls readers back to the saga unfolding in the world of angels and demonsâa world in which everything begins to fall apart.
Karina Espinosa is the Urban Fantasy author of the Sins of the Fallen series and the Mackenzie Grey novels. Infatuated with travel, pop culture, and the need to write everything down, she spends much of her days in front of a computer working on her next book, shopping online, and listening to music. With nomadic tendencies, she is currently resting her head in South Florida until the itch to move strikes again. You can usually catch her on Facebook, Instagram and live-tweeting during episodes of Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Orphan Black. Follow her on social media!
Sins of the Fallen: https://amzn.to/2Msqb09
Title: Heart & Hand Author: Rebel Carter Publisher: Siren Press Release Date: January 22, 2019 Genre: Historical Romance Editor: Squid & Ink Cover: Najla Qamber Designs
Anyone who was absolutely anyone knew the story of how Julie Anne Baptiste’s parents met: the blue-blood Union cavalry officer and the freed woman on her way North fell madly in love at first sight, all in the midst of the Civil War. It was legendary within New York City's Four Hundred, and from girlhood, Julie daydreamed of her finding own true love match. But now, as a well-seasoned debutante of twenty-one years, Julie only dreams of teaching and much prefers the vibrant world of her books over the company of society’s most eligible bachelors.
Julie is content to perform the role of affluent debutante until she realizes all of her tomorrows have horrifyingly become occupied by a gamut of social engagements, and they will remain so until she marries. Desperate and knowing only a wedding will put a stop to the madness of living as a debutante, Julie does the unthinkable: she responds to a mail order advert in the Heart and Hand Matrimonial Times. No longer a girl fantasizing of love, Julie did not anticipate forming a genuine romantic connection with the man she corresponds with, but when ex-Union soldier Forrest Wickes writes her, Julie loses her heart.
All seems well with Julie’s plan to leave the city and marry, until the society pages intercept one of her letters and within the hour all of New York knows of Julie’s decision to become a mail-order bride. However, the New York City society pages don’t know they only reported half the truth about Julie Baptiste. The debutante intends to marry not only Forrest Wickes but also his best friend, William Barnes. Her secret of taking two husbands safe, Julie sets out for the Montana Territory before the papers can learn the truth. But how will a debutante-turned-teacher manage frontier life with two husbands?
STALK REBEL CARTER...
My inspiration for writing comes from all around me, overheard conversations, art that I see, lived experiences, snippets that I've read, songs I've heard, ect., and I know it helps me create a richer story for my reader. I have so many ideas swirling in my head, and I'm beyond excited to put them down on paper, or kindle, for y'all to read and love.
I've got an adventurous soul, and I've lived all over the world, Europe and Britain, not so much a fan (sorry!), to Asia, VERY MUCH A FAN. And after all the in-between, I ended up in Colorado, which I wouldn't trade for the world. For me, there is something magical about being able to view a snowcapped mountain while walking to work that sets my heart and creativity off like a firework. I hope that the stories I tell are able to give some of that magic back to you with every page turn.
Title: The Winter Queen
Author: Sherry D. Ficklin
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Cover Designer: Strong Image Editing
Publication Date: March 11th, 2019 Hosted by:
Blurb: Far from the shores of England another Elizabeth was born to rule a nationâ¦
The daughter of Peter the Great, Elizabeth is a princess by birth, and a warrior by blood. Never content to be a pawn in the game of men, Elizabeth is destined to sit upon a throne. But when her fatherâs sudden death leaves her mother and sister at the mercy of the scheming Privy Council, she will have to abandon her beloved Russia in order to survive. Little does she know there are things far worse than exile awaiting her...
This is not a fairy tale.
And Elizabeth is not your average princess.
She is a Romanovâone woman in a line of powerful female rulers who will change the face of Russia forever.
WINTER QUEEN is the first prequel to the Stolen Empire series.
Queen of Someday: https://amzn.to/2Dm44Wi
Queen of Tomorrow: https://amzn.to/2W4nbvc
Queen of Always: https://amzn.to/2sBo3Kg
The Winter Queen: https://amzn.to/2DlZ8ki
Sherry is the author of over a dozen novels for teens and young adults including the best selling Stolen Empire series. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she's on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.
Sherry also writes contemporary romance under the pen name SJ Noble. You can find her at her official website, www.sherryficklin.com, or stalk her on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/sherry.ficklin.
Queen of Someday: https://amzn.to/2Dm44Wi
Queen of Tomorrow: https://amzn.to/2W4nbvc
Queen of Always: https://amzn.to/2sBo3Kg
The Winter Queen: https://amzn.to/2DlZ8ki
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