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Gentry Generations, #1
by Cora Brent
Publication Date: August 21, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
A summer job.
That’s all it was supposed to be.
It never crossed my mind that I was about to collide with a man who would obliterate every plan I ever made.
My mother has always warned me that love is like a lightning bolt and it strikes without warning. But I had no intention of getting struck by either lightning or love anytime soon. I’d be too busy finishing my journalism degree and landing a job in a city far more sophisticated than Phoenix.
There was certainly nothing in the cards about getting involved with an ex-ballplayer turned nightclub boss.
He was too old for me, too complicated, too distracting.
On the surface we had almost nothing in common except the draw of an overpowering physical connection.
The seasonal job at a local resort was going to be temporary.
He was going to be temporary.
But insufferably sexy, arrogant Dalton Tremaine has other ideas.
And the harder I fall for him the more I can’t find a good reason to resist giving him everything he wants…
*STRIKE is the first book in a brand new sexy spinoff series from NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Cora Brent. No cliffhanger! May be read as a stand alone.
Cora Brent was born in a cold climate and escaped as soon as it was legally possible. Now, she lives in the desert with her husband, two kids and a prickly pear cactus she has affectionately named ‘Spot’. Cora’s closet is filled with boxes of unfinished stories that date back her 1980’s childhood and all her life she has dreamed of being an author. Amazingly, she is now a New York Times and USA Today bestselling writer of contemporary romance and begs not to be awakened from this dream.
I live in the sparkly beachside suburb of Redondo Beach in California with my infuriating shoe-dropping husband and my two boys who speak in mystifying grunts.
Go-getter Georgia Paxton has ten days to acquire a quaint hotel in the Scottish Highlands for her travel accommodation company before she’s off on her next grand adventure. Too bad the sexy, broody Scot who owns the place is dead against the idea…and that she’s in very real danger of losing their little bet to see who can convince whom first.
“What are we doing?” she asked against his mouth.
He pulled back and stared into her stormy eyes. “I think it’s called kissing.”
“Oh. I’ve heard of it.” She paused. “I like it. A lot.” She regarded him. “You taste good. Like an ice cream cone I want to lick forever,” she murmured, then leaned forward and sucked his bottom lip between hers.
He shifted, his zipper denting tender flesh. “What flavor?” He nuzzled her neck and bumps flew across her skin.
“All flavors of the rainbow. Sweet, salty, and with a hint of you, and before you ask I don’t know what that taste is, but I’m calling it delicious.”
“That’s a lot of flavors.” He cupped her face and stared into her liquid eyes.
I wish you were mine, Georgia Paxton.
She snuggled deeper into him, their combined heat misting the windows and possibly the countryside.
He glanced out the window. The rain had eased to a steady drizzle, and the road appeared manageable. He glanced at his watch and pulled a hand through his hair. They’d been out way later than he’d planned, but Callum had enjoyed every minute of her company. “I think we can get going.”
“Are you sure? I’m not sure if I’ve got this kissing thing down. I need to practice.” She wiggled in his lap.
When you put it that way. He glanced at his watch again. Damn, he wanted to spend hours exploring her body with his hands, with his mouth, map it until he knew every quiver, every intake of breath, every moan. Right now, with her hands in his hair, her amazing sunshine scent was making him punch-drunk.
“If I don’t leave now, I don’t think we’ll be leaving for a while.” He cast a glance in the backseat at his goat. “I don’t want an audience.”
She blinked away the haze. “Absolutely not. Poor Delilah.” She did one last wiggle against him, then crawled over to the passenger seat.
“Can we practice kissing later, but without company?” She lowered her voice. “I was enjoying that.”
The daughter of a local police detective, 15-year-old Ryann has spent most of her life studying how to pull off the most gruesome murders her small Colorado town has ever seen.
But killing is only part of it. Ryann enjoys being the reason the cops are frenzied. The one who makes the neighbors lock their doors and windows on a hot summer’s day. The one everyone fears but no one suspects.
Carving out her own murderous legacy proves harder than she predicted. Mistakes start adding up. And with the police getting closer, and her own father becoming suspicious, Ryann has to prove once and for all that she’s smarter than anyone else—or she’ll pay the ultimate price.
Mature YA. *Some graphic content
This creepy novel places you inside the mind of a twisted teen killer, which is even more unsettling because of how familiar and normal she seems. Be prepared to leave the lights on and look at the people around you in a whole new way.”-Eileen Cook | Author of WITH MALICE
“Pretty Wicked is fresh, thrilling, and deeply haunting. I’ve never read anything like it! The story escalates from page one and will leave your pulse pounding as you wonder just how far Ryann will go. 5/5 stars.”-Tiana Warner | Author of Ice Massacre & Ice Crypt
Some people are called to certain things in their life. That’s what hunting is for me. An urge. A desire.
The closest thing I have to a calling. My name is Ryann Wilkanson. I’m fifteen years old.
And I’m a killer.
v v v v
It was hard to pick my first.
Call me sentimental, but it had to be just right.
I knew what I wanted. What I needed. Someone worth the risk, the challenge. Somebody who deserved it. Now, I’m not talking about the horrible, abusive assholes you see on TV. I wanted someone who I thought deserved it…
And to be honest, that could’ve been just about anybody. Some people might think it’s odd to contemplate killing someone, but it was the most natural thing in the world to me. I didn’t dare talk about it—I somehow knew that much—but my thoughts raced with vivid, red-tinted images.
While my fantasies were fun, I had to wait. I still lacked the skill and organization to actually go through with it.
And, as I matured, I realized part of me was still hesitant. A piece of the puzzle was missing. It was as though I was waiting for permission. Something to give me the final push into action.
Funnily enough, I got that that clarity six years ago, when I was nine. My dad thought he was simply giving me a ride to school, but he initiated the defining moment of my life.
I remember it like it was yesterday. He’d just come off nights and wasn’t in the best of moods when my mom asked him to drive me and Bri. I’d raced to the car first, winning shotgun, leaving Brianna to storm behind me. She was a sore loser, and it only made my grin bigger.
We were just a few blocks from the house when Dad started with one of his commentaries on all that was wrong with society.
“Jesus. People like that make me sick.”
We had stopped at a red light, and I spotted a guy standing on the corner with a sign that read Please Help. At first I felt kind of bad for him, and I didn’t understand why Dad was upset. “At least he’s not dealing drugs,” I suggested.
“Brilliant observation. Maybe we could put that on a T-shirt for him,” Bri said. My father laughed and my stomach dropped. She never wasted an opportunity to make me look stupid.
Dad grunted. “Don’t be naïve, Ry. He’s probably scraping enough together to get his fix. People like that are after one thing—and it’s not a job.” He rolled his eyes, disgusted. Not a minute later, while we were still waiting at the light, a kid in a fancy sports car passed us. “See, look at that. Punk probably had it handed to him from Mommy and Daddy. He’s what—seventeen? Probably hasn’t worked a day in his whole goddamn life. Entitled brat. This is the problem with the world. You got two lazy bums on opposite ends of the spectrum, and neither are worth their salt.”
My father didn’t have a whole lot of empathy for anybody, and he certainly didn’t entertain excuses. I had to be the best if I wanted him to love me.
“People need to either lead, follow—”
“Or get out of the way,” I finished. He patted me on the head. I knew this rant well and kind of understood my father’s reasoning. The homeless guy couldn’t even be bothered to walk up and down the rows of stopped cars to beg. He just stood there with an empty cup. He really was a waste.
I fought the urge to point out to my dad that I was nothing like those people—and never would be—but I knew he wouldn’t care. He loved me, but nothing I did seemed to impress him, especially since my older sister Brianna, the golden child, had perfected everything before I even had a chance to try.
I had to do something really big to make an impression.
I had to be a leader.
In the car, all those years ago, I realized that my desires could turn into something much more.
Those entitled, useless people my dad despised were taking our hard-earned money, space, and air. And I was someone with deadly urges who wasn’t afraid to do something about it. Not everyone could say that. But unfortunately, I would have to wait. I was much too young to execute my plans in the way I wanted.
My thoughts, however, were uninhibited, and I became enamored with the power and control that selecting the right kill could bring. The foreplay was intoxicating. I daydreamed about the countless ways I could do it. About all the places I could sneak up and strike. About the legacy I would leave behind. For years I researched and studied serial killers— or as I liked to call them, The Greats. Most of The Greats hadn’t started until well into their adulthood. Call me an overachiever, but I wanted more kills in less time. I had all the qualities required: above-average intelligence, inside information (Dad was a cop), and a sweet cherub face.
But I also had something more. Tenacity. I knew what I wanted, and come hell or high water, I was going to get it. By fifteen, the thirst inside me could finally be quenched.
Cue my first planned victim—a snotty little brat who lived only a few streets away from me. Olivia McMann. Ugh. She was exhausting. Spoiled. Whiny. Brianna used to babysit her. I’d be dragged along because my parents usually worked overtime at their respective jobs. I was twelve and old enough to stay home alone, but they insisted. Like I had nothing better to do.
Brianna would be online with her friends or texting her boyfriend, and she’d stick Livy with me. Olivia wouldn’t leave me alone. One night she pestered me for hours on end until I lost it on her.
Then she got the quivering lip and teary eyes and went crying to Bri.
Bri’s voice ripped across the room. “Ryann, what did you do now?”
“Nothing! Why do you always assume it was me? Maybe Livy is being a little crybaby over absolutely nothing,” I said, arms crossed tightly across my chest.
The brat came running up behind me. “You’re mean, Ryann. I hate you!”
I swept my hair into a ponytail and turned my back to her.
Death glare in full force, Brianna dug into me. “Why are you being such a pest? Leave Olivia alone already. Go find something to do, and don’t think for one second I’m giving you any of the money.”
She proceeded to get Olivia some licorice. A reward for her evilness. Maybe they were in on it together and shared private laughs while discussing different ways to torture me.
Brianna was seventeen at the time, and she hated me. No matter how hard I tried, she always dismissed me like I was an annoying pain in her ass.
“Not everything is my fault, you know,” I said, determined to stand my ground.
“Well, she’s not the one in my face right now. Go play with her for an hour until her bedtime, and maybe I won’t tell Mom.” Smiling smugly, Bri tilted her head. I wanted to punch her. As soon as we were out of her sight, Olivia stuck her tongue out at me and danced around, joyous in her victory.
“See, I told you I’d get you in trouble. I always get my way. You have to do what I say.” She laughed.
I promised myself I’d never forget.
Back then, I’d imagined choking her or holding one of her mom’s embroidered pillows over her face until her squirming stopped. I knew her parents were well-off. Only the best for their princess. Olivia was the type of kid who tantrumed, tattled, and fake-cried to get what she wanted, no matter the cost to anyone who got in her way. Olivia was going to turn into the same kind of spoiled, manipulative bitch I’d seen time and again at school.
I knew how to deal with someone like her.
After all, I had killed.
Kelly Charron is the author of YA and adult horror, psychological thrillers and urban fantasy novels. All with gritty, murderous inclinations and some moderate amounts of humor. She spends far too much time consuming true crime television (and chocolate) while trying to decide if yes, it was the husband, with the wrench, in the library. She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.Follow the tour HERE
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Somebody was in his cabin. Beauregard McDunphy lumbered around the side of the modest wood structure, his fur rippling in the wind, his big paws leaving tracks in the wet dirt. At one point, not too long ago, he’d been bigger than any bear in the area—shifter or animal. Now he was merely normal size. Yet he could still take a human trespasser without much effort. He lifted his snout, and the fur rose down his broad back.
He was a loner, and he liked his privacy, so anybody who even remotely knew him understood to stay the hell out of his space. What was that smell?
Irish roses and something . . . female. The scent of woman.
He growled, the sound hollow.
Who the hell was in his cabin? He stalked toward the front door, which remained open. Oh, he was going to scare this interloper. He sucked in air to snarl, rolling his neck so he could fully flash his canines.
A woman came into view, turning around, skirt rustling. “There you are.”
He paused and studied her. Thick black hair piled on her head, violet-blue eyes, smooth features. Delicate. Something stirred inside him, and he shook his head, trying to focus. Why wasn’t she scream- ing? Most people freaked out when faced with a grizzly bear. Wait a minute. He knew her. Didn’t he know her?
She pressed her hands to her hips. Her green houndstooth de- signer suit looked like something out of the fifties. Somehow, it worked on her. “Do you mind shifting back to human form? We need ta talk.”
The brogue. Irish brogue. Pretty eyes. Small stature. Sparks of power all around her.
It hit him then. A witch. There was a witch in his home. He growled again and set his bones to transforming into his human shape. The process took longer than it should have, considering he’d mainly been in bear form for nearly three months. Three useless months that hadn’t changed a damn thing about his failing health.
Pain lanced down his spine and through his arms. His bones broke and reformed, hurting much more than they should. The fur receded on his arms and then the rest of his body. Agony flared through his face, reshaping it, nearly making him black out. Finally, he straight- ened, his body elongating. He kept his expression stoic and tried to banish the ache.
“That looked painful,” she whispered, her gaze soft on his face.
“It was,” he responded before he could think. Then reality crashed
back. “Why is there a Coven Nine witch in my fucking cabin?” His safe cabin in the Seattle wilderness where witches and the Coven Nine couldn’t get to him. What was her name? He couldn’t place it. Everything was cloudy. Yet he remembered seeing her in Ireland at witch headquarters—she was a council member. When was that? Months ago.
She hummed and looked around, her gaze high and a light pink dusting her cheekbones.
He settled his stance. His human brain kicked back in. “As a member of the Coven Nine, what are you doing here?” She was on the ruling council of witches, and she should have security all around her. His back stiffened, and he turned to scan for threats.
“I’m alone,” she said.
That was impossible. Yet even with his senses returning, he couldn’t find any other people near, much less any witches. “Why?” he barked. His voice was rough and hoarse from disuse.
She blew out air, her pretty lips pursing. Her gaze rose nearly to the rough wooden ceiling. If she craned her neck up any more, she might fall backward.
Bear frowned. “What the hell?”
She cleared her throat. “Do you, ah, do you mind?” Her hand swept out, even the small movement graceful.
“Mind what?” he snapped, glancing over his shoulder again. Trees
and silence met his gaze. Thunder ripped above, and an angry autumn rain began to slap the ground. Summer had given up the fight, and the oncoming winter scented the breeze. He stepped inside the cabin.
She backed up so quickly her butt hit the ancient stove, and she gave a startled eep. “Please, Mr. McDunphy.”
What in the world was wrong with the woman? “Please, what?” Was this some kind of trap?
“Put some clothes on,” she said through pearly-white teeth.
He started and looked down at his naked body. “Oh.” Clothes were such a damn annoyance. “Uh, okay.” A small dresser sat by the bed, on the north wall. He moved past the raggedy sofa and modest fireplace to yank out a pair of faded jeans. He struggled into them, wincing as he engaged the zipper.
Life was so much easier as a bear.
by Elizabeth Hartey
Publication Date: August 2, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romantic Fantasy
Sometimes you land a great job, meet your soulmate and live happily ever after—nothing else required. This isn’t one of those times.
Annie Caslo is a successful, young doctor, but when she begins rethinking the career choices she’s made, she makes a decision to find a way to stay focused and achieve her true ambitions – that is until fate steps in and she is thunderstruck by Colt Ballard. He’s six foot three inches of heart-stopping hotness, an adept, roguish soccer star and also one of her interns. But he’s a player – on and off the field – and Annie has better things to do. Still, the combustible chemistry between them is impossible to resist – Colt brings out feelings she never knew existed and Annie’s swept off her reluctant feet.
When she continues to second-guess her life choices, opportunities and obstacles begin piling up higher than the greasy Mexican food stacks she hates to admit loving. While in a state of emotional turmoil, she gets a celestial visit from a hunky, Hollywood heartthrob, lookalike, who claims to be her guardian angel. He takes her on a magical road trip to self-discovery with the help of several, dearly departed film icons.
Drawn into the excitement of a life she’s always dreamed of, this new life threatens to shatter the LIFE and love she already has—unless her quirky angel can help her find a way to have it all.
As a lover of the northeast US, Elizabeth moved to the Poconos with her husband several years ago to open a Chiropractic Clinic. Four children and a menagerie of animals later, she has finally found time to fulfill her lifelong dream of writing novels.
A dreamer at heart, romance is, of course, the genre she spends most of her time writing and reading into the wee hours of the morning. When she’s not juggling work responsibilities and writing, she enjoys swimming, knitting and hiking the beautiful hills and woods around her home and spending time with her family.
About the Book:
In the summer of 1914, Jane Fairchild, a young English musician, is kidnapped by magic and sent to Spellhaven, an island city ruled by magicians. Here, peace and prosperity are maintained with the assistance of Unseen Spirits bound to the service of the Lords Magician. The Spirits must be kept in good humour by the performance of all kinds of shows, dance, drama and music. Jane is one of many people kidnapped from the outside world and forced to contribute to these entertainments for a set period of service.
Only Jane is having none of it. She will not perform for her kidnapper, Lucian Palafox, but agrees to undertake an apprenticeship with another magician impresario, provided she is taught magic in return. Jane’s forays into magic lead her deeper within the mysteries of Spellhaven, her rivalry with Lucian escalates and the quarrels between them grow strong enough to shake the city to its foundations.
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Release Date: August 17, 2017
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing
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Read an Excerpt:
Jane Fairchild lowered the flute from her mouth and curtseyed to the audience scattered around the lawn. She could not help smiling at their cheers, even as Toby Scott, the leader of their consort, bent down towards her and muttered, ‘You weren’t supposed to play that. You promised to behave.’
They had played one solo each, as agreed, but Jane had abandoned the Gounod she had rehearsed for some variations of her own on a nameless tune from her childhood. Toby despised that kind of music making and none of the others cared for it much. Jane had meant to be well-behaved this evening, when they wanted to impress Lady Waverley and her guests. The consort, music students in their final year, had been invited to play at this garden party in July chiefly because the Waverleys’ son had been at school with Toby, but their guests were likely to include several potential patrons and aficionados who might help them in their fledgling careers. The year was 1914.
The trouble was, as Jane had looked round in the deep evening light, she had felt a need to stir up the audience. They stood in little clusters under the trees or on the paths in the rose garden and listened politely between sips of champagne, but they were not properly engaged with the music. Most of them were young and busy flirting by whisper or touch, or staid and on the edge of somnolence. At least Jane had caught their attention and made some of them laugh.
She shook her head at Toby while she put her flute away and did not answer him. Now that they had finished their set, people were quick to surround the musicians and compliment them, and she was able to dodge round him without a fuss. She was thirsty, so she headed towards the refreshments promised earlier. She doubted champagne would be provided for the musicians but lemonade would be more welcome in any case.
A stranger stepped in front of her, a young man, dark and thin. ‘That last piece was the real stuff. Couldn’t you strangle your First Violin with his own strings and play some more of it?’ he said.
‘Good evening, Mr.…?’ Jane said.
The stranger inclined his head. ‘Lucian Hunter, at your service.’ There was a glint in his eye, as though at a joke he did not expect other people to understand.
‘Mr. Scott is a very fine musician and a friend of mine.’
‘But deadening. You ought to quarrel with him and strike out on your own.’
Jane drew breath to argue and then decided not to explain herself to this person, whoever he was.
‘I don’t think so,’ she said. ‘Excuse me, I should go and find Lady Waverley.’
‘Wait!’ Hunter’s voice was not loud but compelling. He spoke clear English but with the shadow of an accent Jane could not place. ‘I have something else to ask you. Will you meet me next week and play for me?’
‘I’m afraid not.’
‘I could pay you for some lessons. Surely you take pupils?’
Not arrogant young men, Jane thought. ‘It really isn’t possible,’ she said, and turned away.
She felt a hand on her arm and swung back to glare at Hunter. He dropped his clasp at once but he said, ‘You’ll regret it if you don’t. It’s the music I want, you know.’
‘Not from me. Or from anyone else I know if you lay a finger on me again.’
His smile was swift and infuriating.
‘I don’t need to, now,’ he said and turned away.
Mirror World Publishing Paperback: https://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/poetry/products/spellhaven-paperback
Amazon US Kindle – http://amzn.to/2vvHOp4
Amazon US Paperback – http://amzn.to/2vAd5p8
Meet the Author:
Sandra Unerman lives in London in the UK. When she retired from a career as a Government lawyer, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing at Middlesex University, specialising in SF and fantasy, and graduated in 2013. Since then, she has had a number of short stories published. In 2016, these included stories in Three Drops from a Cauldron, the Midwinter issue and Aurora Wolf, the September issue, both available online. She writes reviews and articles for the British Science Fiction Association and the British Fantasy Society. She is a member of London Clockhouse writers and other writing groups. Her interests include history, folklore and medieval literature.
Connect with Sandra :
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-Unerman/e/B0034NS9VM
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6566116.Sandra_Unerman
Goodreads Book Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35546814-spellhaven