Tuesday, July 31, 2018

#NewRelease - A Brush with Death by @nj_ember

Title: A Brush with Death
Author: N.J. Ember
Genre: Adult Paranormal/horror
Cover Designer: Najla Qamber Designs
Publisher: Fire Lotus Books
Publication Date: July 31st, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

A darkened road.  A truck-stop diner.  A chance meeting.

All Marisol Pedilla wanted was to make the drive to her aunt’s house without incident. Instead, she meets a woman named Sasha. Together, they encounter more misfortune than Marisol has ever experienced.

Danger and deception seem to be all too common in Sasha’s world, and it’s a world Marisol wants no part of. But fate has other plans. The secrets Sasha’s keeping from her could change Marisol’s life forever.

N.J. Ember is a paranormal fiction author who loves to write stories about survival and triumph over adversity. Whether her characters are dealing with the paranormal or everyday life, she seeks to show that strength is not always about being superhuman or invulnerable. She enjoys anything with mystery, suspense and horror, so when she’s not writing you can find her watching shows like Orphan Black, Penny Dreadful and Sherlock. She currently lives in Michigan with her grandpa and a forever growing collection of books and Funko Pop! figures.

Author Links:

Chapter 1

I’d never been more thankful to be wearing jeans as I crawled around on the checkered floor of a truck-stop diner. It had to be here somewhere. “Mierda,” I cursed loudly as I smacked my head against the underside of the table. I climbed back into the booth, and the dark green vinyl squeaked in protest, sticking to the back of my legs. My stomach dropped as I dumped my purse out onto the table for a third time and rifled through the contents. I sighed. Yup, it was official. My wallet was missing, and I was screwed.
A waitress hurried towards me. She looked tired; dark shadows nestled under her eyes, and her mouth was turned down in a thin-lipped frown. “Have you decided yet, Honey?”
I looked up, panic fluttering hard in my stomach. The sizzle of food hitting the flat top caught my attention, its aroma flooding the tiny diner. Bacon. Possibly hash browns. My stomach growled, but spare change would only get me so far. “Uh, just coffee for now. Thanks.” I smiled politely then haphazardly shoved things back into my purse.
My hands felt grimy, and I grimaced. I threw my purse over my shoulder and pushed past incoming people towards the bathroom. I washed my hands twice. I didn’t know how it happened or where I could have lost it, but I knew what my mom was going to say when I called her. “I told you you were too young to drive to your aunt’s alone. I knew your brother should have gone with you.”
It didn’t matter that I was twenty-three. In her eyes, I wasn’t ready for so much responsibility, even though I’d been her shadow, her second in command for as long as I could remember. I knew I could handle this. While I’d never driven so far across the country before, I had the GPS on my phone and a printout of the directions in case that failed. What I didn’t factor in was bad luck, or maybe it was just my own stupidity.
Once I was sitting back in the booth, I rested my head on my arms. Exhaustion was tugging at my eyelids, making me sluggish, like I was dragging my body through water. I sat up, pushing my jet-black curls behind my ears. The lecture was coming no matter how long I put it off. I plucked my cell phone from my purse, but the screen stayed blank. I pushed the power button. Ugh, no charge. I picked up a menu instead, to avoid looking awkward, and glanced out the window.
The interior of the diner was tinged red from the glow of the neon sign hanging in it, providing some extra security against the inky darkness. It was already past midnight, and even once my phone was charged, it would still be too late to call.
I skimmed over the menu, not really taking it in. My stomach growled again, and I startled as I felt myself falling forward. I was hungry and tired, with no money and a lot of miles left to go. I wasn’t sure how, but there had to be some way I could manage to get to my aunt’s without my mom having to rescue me.
“You mind if I sit with you?”
I jumped again. I’d been so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t notice the woman come up to me. Her skin was a deep golden brown that reminded me of tiger’s-eye stones. Her voice was soft, but there was a hint of underlying smokiness. Tall, with a slender, athletic build, she looked imposing in a leather jacket and high-heeled boots. She had a long, angular face with full lips and high cheekbones, and her onyx hair billowed outward in an afro. I looked around. The diner was crowded but not completely full, and I failed to find a reason why a total stranger would try and sit with me.
She seemed to read my thoughts. “Hey, it’s cool. I thought it’d be nice to have some company, but I understand.”
She turned to go, and I felt a pang of remorse at my hesitation. I reached out and grabbed her wrist. “Wait!”
She turned back, and my heart flip-flopped. I ignored it. My fingers brushed against hers as I let go. “Sure, you can sit here.”
Her eyes widened, and the ghost of a smile showed on her face. It only lasted for a second, but the warmth of it seemed to make her brown eyes lighter. She slid into the seat opposite me. “Thanks. I’m Sasha.”
“So what brings you out this way, Marisol?”
Before I could answer, the waitress returned. “Would you like to order?”
Sasha glanced at me. “You haven’t ordered yet?”
I shook my head. “Just coffee.”
Sasha didn’t even bother looking at her menu. “I’ll have the western omelette, extra cheese, and she’ll have the pancakes with bacon.”
My face burned with embarrassment. “You don’t have to do that.”
“It’s the least I can do. Besides, you were staring at the picture so hard when I walked up; I thought you were going to burn a hole through the menu.”
My embarrassment deepened, and I looked away, desperately trying to think of anything else to talk about. “Do you come here often?” I mentally kicked myself. “I mean, I only ask because you seemed pretty sure of what you wanted.”
“No, not that often. I’ve passed through here a couple times though.”
I looked back to find her watching me, and I quickly dropped my eyes to the tabletop and fidgeted with the edge of the menu. “So, you do a lot of traveling?”
“You could say that, yeah.”
“For work?”
“Most of the time.”
“What kind of work do you do?”
This time it was Sasha’s turn to be interrupted. The waitress set two mugs in front of us and filled them. I moved my menu out of the way as she slid a steaming plate of pancakes in front of me. My mouth watered. “The rest of your order will be out in just a minute, hun,” she said to Sasha as she handed her a stack of buttered toast.
I grabbed three packets of sugar, ripped them open and dumped them into my coffee, along with two creams. I stirred, watching the color of it lighten to something more acceptable. Sasha’s gravelly laugh made me look up.
“You want any coffee with that?” I noticed she had left her own cup alone.
I smiled at her. “Not if I can help it.”
She shook her head as I drizzled syrup onto my pancakes and dipped a piece of crispy bacon in it. “So you never answered; what do you do for work?”
Sasha’s face fell, and I instantly regretted asking. The waitress brought her omelette. I waited as she cut into it. “This and that. Nothing worth talking about.”
I nodded. Conversation stopped for a few minutes as we ate. The neon sign flickered, and Sasha tensed. She stared out the window. I did the same, but beyond the procession of cars and trucks, I couldn’t see a thing. “What is it?”
But it didn’t seem like nothing. I watched as she shifted and reached for something I couldn’t see. The sleeve of her leather jacket lifted up, revealing a tattoo: a long-stemmed rose intertwined with a scythe.
“That’s beautiful.” I moved my plate out of the way so I could lean forward. “Would it be okay if I took a closer look?”
Sasha pulled her sleeve up some more and stretched her arm out towards me. I traced the lines with my eyes. “Why a scythe?”
“It’s a reminder.”
I looked up. Sasha’s gaze connected with mine, and my stomach lurched. I was scared to breathe. Scared to blink. Then she turned away, looking out the window again, and disappointment sank like a stone in my stomach.
“Marisol,” Sasha said sharply. “Get down!”
Hands grabbed my legs. I fell backwards, and my butt hit the floor. The window next to us exploded in a shower of jagged glass as the diner was plunged into darkness.

#NewRelease - Audrey and the Hero Upstairs by @rlindawrites

Title: Audrey and the Hero Upstairs
Author: R. Linda
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Editor: Lori Whitwam
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Publication Date: July 31st, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

My road to recovery began with Brody—the man who saved my life.

Without his courage and determination, I’d have died in the fire that took the lives of my entire family. If that’s not a hero, I don’t know what is.

Brody has been by my side every step…but the emotional scars are as crippling as the physical ones, even if they’re harder to see. The anxiety of being around people, seeing their disgust, feeling their pity—I’m not sure I can handle it.

Maybe it’s wrong, but feelings are developing between us, leading to stolen glances and sneaky kisses. The problem is I’m not quite eighteen, he’s twenty-five, and we’re living under someone else’s roof. It would be so much simpler with someone my own age, like Bennett, the hottest guy in school.

How can Brody and I possibly be together? And if we were, how would we explain all this to our friends and Brody’s family—who also happen to be my foster parents? I’ve already lost so much…but can I lose someone who shouldn’t even be mine?

R. Linda drinks wine and writes books.

A coffee addicted, tattoo enthusiastic fangirl with a slight obsession for a particular British boy band and solo artist, she is a writer of Contemporary YA/NA Romance and Suspense, sometimes dabbling in Paranormal as well.

Renee lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and two sons. When not writing she can often be found reading books to her children and cuddling up with them on the couch to watch their favourite movies.

Author Links:

Buy Links:
Bailey and the Bad Boy: http://amzn.to/2y8hvUx
Indie and the Brother’s Best Friend: http://amzn.to/2CCpHBZ
Harper and the One-Night Stand: https://amzn.to/2GN8p3U
Kenzie and the Guy Next Door: https://amzn.to/2IAeRMN
Audrey and the Hero Upstairs: https://amzn.to/2NA6wuF

#BlogTour - The Loudest Silence by @kmary0622

Title: The Loudest Silence
Author: Kate L Mary
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic/Zombie
Publisher: Twisted Press
Editor: Lori Whitwam
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

When Regan was a young girl living in the small town of Altus, OK, Kellan was just her brother’s best friend. Then the virus came, turning the world’s population into zombies, and he became so much more. They were only kids, but he saved her. Watched over her. Kept her alive. And he’s been doing the same thing every day since.

After living the apocalypse for nine years, Regan thought they’d experienced every kind of loss and terror imaginable. But when a new group starts wreaking havoc in the Oklahoma wastelands where they live, Regan and Kellan are faced with a new set of horrors.

When they cross paths with a teenage girl, offering to help seems like the right thing to do. But Regan and Kellan soon discover that lending aid to the girl very well could lead to their undoing.

Kate L. Mary is an award-winning author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, ranging from Post-apocalyptic tales of the undead, to Speculative Fiction and Contemporary Romance. Her YA book, When We Were Human, was the 2015 Children's Moonbeam Book Awards Silver Medal Winner for Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fiction, and the 2016 Readers' Favorite Gold Medal Winner for Young Adult Science Fiction.

Author Links:
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/1utg3pW

Buy Links:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MZmSxa

Outside, the sun was making its final descent toward the horizon, painting what was left of the blue sky orange and pink and purple. It was beautiful. Almost heartbreakingly so. Living where we did, I got to see so few sunsets, and no matter how lucky and how safe we were, I couldn’t help missing some of the simple things everyone else got to experience on a daily basis. Sunsets, rainbows after a storm, the flicker of lightning bugs on a dark summer night.
Kellan had his bag and was already headed toward the door when I grabbed mine. I slung it over my shoulder and followed, feeling groggy and slightly unsteady on my feet. In front of me, he opened the door, but paused to look around. Before he had even uttered a word, I knew what was coming.
“Heads up,” he called as he stepped out.
Even half asleep, pulling my gun was an automatic response, and it was in my hand before I’d taken another step, the safety flicked off and the barrel pointed at the ground just like I’d been taught. I couldn’t see much of the yard thanks to Kellan’s broad frame, but his tone told me there wouldn’t be more than three of the dead. He was too calm. Too laid back.
When I made it out, I had to squint against the swiftly setting sun. Kellan was already moving across the yard, and through the bright rays I could make out two figures. They were slow, which was normal these days, and after my eyes had adjusted, I could see that they were old. Early days of the apocalypse, I’d guess. Their clothes were little more than rags, torn and weathered, and the zombie on the right dragged his foot behind him as he lurched toward Kellan. Of course, I couldn’t say for sure if the thing had at one time been a he, because at this point there was no way to tell. The creature’s scalp was ripped down to the bone, and not a single tendril of hair had survived, and its face hadn’t fared much better. The skin on its cheeks had been ripped—or eaten—away, and its gums, black and rotten, were visible, along with the few teeth left. There weren’t many, and they were brown, gnarled things that probably hadn’t been in good shape when it was still a person. Not that the lack of teeth stopped the creature from chomping at Kellan and me right now.
I kept my gun out, but transferred it to my left hand so I could pull my knife with my right. Bullets weren’t the issue—we had plenty of those—it was the noise a gunshot would make. Not only would firing a gun risk drawing more zombies our way, but it could also attract the attention of people, and that was the last thing we needed right now. Or ever, for that matter. Especially not the type of people who would come running at a gunshot.
Kellan pulled his own knife when the first zombie was still six feet away. The one in front of him wasn’t the one with the bad foot. No, this one was faster, and his facial features were intact enough to tell me that he had in fact been a man when he was alive. A pair of beat up cowboy boots still adorned his feet, and the tatters of a plaid button up shirt clung to his torso. When he opened his mouth to growl at Kellan, revealing a full set of brown teeth, a shudder moved down my spine. Nine years, and I still wasn’t used to these things.
“Stay back,” Kellan called as he charged forward and grabbed the zombie by the little bit of fabric still clinging to his body.
I didn’t listen, of course, but instead hurried after him so I’d be there in case he needed backup. Odds were good he’d be okay. Kellan knew how to handle himself, but you never knew what was going to happen these days, and it was better to be safe than sorry.
He wrapped his fist in the creature’s shirt, working to keep the struggling zombie at arm’s length. In his other hand he held the knife, which he expertly flipped over so he was holding it blade down. When Kellan lifted his hand, the zombie in his grasp growled and chomped, but he held his ground, not flinching even a little bit when the creature’s teeth snapped inches from his skin. I moved closer, my fingers tightening on the knife in my own hand, but just like I’d thought, he didn’t need me. The blade was stuck deep in the zombie’s eye socket only seconds later, and the thing went down, its body thumping against the dry Oklahoma ground.
Kellan’s eyes were focused on the second zombie when he leaned down to retrieve his knife, but I was already moving before he’d managed to pull it from the skull.
“Regan,” he said, reaching out for me, “stop.”
I was too far away, though, and too focused on the dead man in front of me. Copying what Kellan had done only a few seconds ago, I flipped my knife around so I was gripping it with the blade pointed toward the ground. My heart thumped out a beat that echoed in my ears and nearly drowned out the sound of the moans. Meanwhile, a bead of sweat had begun a slow descent down my body, starting on my chest and moving between my breasts. I swallowed an irrational bubble of fear that was desperately trying to rise up from deep inside me, and kept my gaze focused on the zombie. He was old and slow, but I was young and had the reflexes of someone living. There was nothing to worry about.
I lifted my arm and prepared to bring it down, aiming for the eye socket just like Kellan had, but before I could do anything, he grabbed my elbow and pulled me back. I stumbled over my own feet and tried to regain my footing, but my balance was off and my hands full. I went down hard, my ass slamming into the dusty earth, and the impact vibrated through me until I felt it in my teeth. A hiss of pain and annoyance forced its way between my teeth, followed only a moment later by another thump as the second zombie hit the ground.
Kellan yanked his knife from the thing’s eye socket and turned to face me. “You okay?”
“No thanks to you.” I twisted my body, pushing myself half off the ground so I could rub my sore ass. I’d landed on the bruise that had already started developing from my fall the night before, and I now knew my entire butt cheek was going to be black and blue. “What the hell was that?”
“I told you to stay back.” He shoved his knife into its sheath and replaced his gun in its holster. Then he held his hand out to me. “Come on.”
I slapped it away and pushed myself up, pausing long enough to swipe my own weapons up off the ground. His gaze was on me, I could feel it burning into my back, but I couldn’t look at him. My blood felt like it had been baking in the damn sun for hours, and more than anything right now, I wanted to hit him.
“What’s your problem?” he asked.
“Like you really don’t know.” I stared down at the crisscross pattern the sole of his boots had left behind in the dirt, too angry to look at him.
“I don’t.” He paused like he was waiting for me to respond, but when I didn’t, he said, “You think I should have let that thing take a bite out of you?”
I spun around to face him. “Why do you automatically assume it would have gotten the better of me?”
“Because you’re not experienced enough.” He shoved his hand through his dark hair, pushing it back off his forehead. “You’ve only been out a handful of times.”
“And exactly how am I going to get any experience if you won’t even let me take down a slow zombie like that? What will I do if I’m by myself and I come up against a new one, one that’s faster, and I have no experience? How do you think I’ll survive?”
Kellan blinked like my words made no sense to him. “Why would you be alone?”
“Because things can happen, Kellan.” I rolled my eyes and shoved my knife into its sheath. “Seriously, I can’t even believe I have to tell you that.”
“I’d die before I let anything happen to you.”
His words made my insides clench and tingle. Made me feel like I was soaring into the sky. Still, I was obligated to point out the implications behind them.
“That’s my point,” I said slowly. “What if you died and I was left alone? Shouldn’t I have some experience so I can make a stand?”
Kellan’s mouth dropped open, but he said nothing. We stood there staring at each other while the scorching Oklahoma sun pounded down on us. I couldn’t read his expression, which was strange. Usually, I could tell what Kellan was thinking. But at the moment, he was too guarded. It was like a wall had gone up.

#BlogTour - Redemption Part 4 by @katebensonauthr

Title: Redemption Part Four
Author: Kate Benson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Editor: Chasing Sophie Publications
Cover Designer: Dana Leah at Designs by Dana
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2018

***This book contains content intended for mature readers***

After months of keeping our secret, Bella and I were sure we’d find a way to stay together, to keep our romance from taking us down.
We’d been so careful, taken every measure, every failsafe option there was to stay under the radar.
My cousin, the rightful heir to the Avery fortune, found out anyway.
Now? He’s out for blood.
I swore I’d keep her safe, promised I’d do whatever it takes to make sure this side of my life never touched her.
I had no idea that promise would be so impossible to keep.
I’ve already failed her once.
I’d be damned if I do it again.

I still can’t believe how quickly I fell for Adam.
We spent our first two months in a whirlwind, keeping our secret from the world until one day, it spilled to the masses.
We faced losing everything.
My career, my reputation, my freedom…
I’d risk it all to keep him.
The problem with that is that he would, too and he had more to lose than anyone I’d ever known.
He asked for my trust, earned it plenty of times over, but how far would he go to keep me?
Am I destined to be the reason his empire comes crashing down?
Or would we somehow find redemption?

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-after’s 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.

Author Links:
Benson's Book Babes (Fan Club/Readers Group): https://www.facebook.com/groups/PromiseSeriesSupportGroup/

Buy Links:
Redemption: Part One (The Vault Book 1): https://amzn.to/2IPcIwx
Redemption: Part Two (The Vault Book 2): https://amzn.to/2HRBywv
Redemption: Part Three (The Vault Book 3): https://amzn.to/2IHth1C
Redemption: Part Four (The Vault Book 4): https://amzn.to/2LcmRZF

#BlogTour - Unreserved by @micheele_dare

Title: Unreserved
Author: Michelle Dare
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Designs by Dana
Publication Date: July 27, 2018

Life was so predictable. Alicia dedicated herself to work and spent her nights alone, rarely venturing out. She was content with her expanded role in her father’s business, even if she was lonely. She’d sworn off men, until a sexy detective made her reevaluate what she really wanted.

Bodyguard duty was not why Rider became a detective. But, orders were orders. When he saw the blonde beauty, he silently thanked the chief for his new mission. One-night stands were all he’d wanted before, but Alicia sparked something primal inside him.

Rider quickly put the pieces together—Alicia had been hurt, so she hid her heart. His goal became proving his love for her was unreserved. Then his closest friend revealed a secret, blindsiding Rider. A decision had to be made, and the outcome would change their lives. Life wasn’t so predictable anymore.

Michelle Dare is a romance author. Her stories range from sweet to sinful and from new adult to fantasy. There aren’t enough hours in the day for her to write all of the story ideas in her head. When not writing or reading, she’s 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.

Author Links:
Newsletter Sign-Up: http://eepurl.com/bt14zX

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Monday, July 30, 2018

#Blitz & #Giveaway - Alpha Pair by @Brenda_Sparks

Title: Alpha Pair
Author: Brenda Sparks
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Cover Designer: Rae Monet
Editor: Callie Lynn Wolfe
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: July 30, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

How strong is the blood that binds? Tatiana Bolovich is a beautiful femme fatale with a haunting history. Having recently discovered the brutish Demetri Romanoff is her heartmate, she spent the past year avoiding him, but the Fates have other plans.

Demetri commands every situation. A strong, valiant warrior he’s used to being in control, that is until he is kidnapped by demons. Forced to endure unspeakable experiments at the hands of his enemy, the Alpha discovers just how out of control life can get.

Summoned by the Alpha Council, Tatiana grudgingly helps track Demetri down, promising herself that she will disappear from his life forever once the job is done. But matters of the heart are not so easily ignored.

Once they are reunited, Demetri discovers the natural born vampire is his heartmate. He must win her heart…or die trying. With a wedding to get through and a demonic princess on their trail, Tatiana must decide whether she will give Demetri a chance to prove himself or deny her nature and slip away into the night.

Born in Virginia, Brenda Sparks now resides in the Sunshine State.  Balancing her professional commitment to the local school district with her writing is challenging at times, but writing suspenseful paranormal romances is a passion that won’t be denied. Her idea of a perfect day is one spent in front of a computer with a hot cup of coffee, her fingers flying over the keys to send her characters off on their latest adventure.  Brenda loves to connect with readers.  Please visit her online or stop by her website to say hi.

Author Links:
Twitter : @brenda_sparks https://twitter.com/brenda_sparks

Buy Links:

 The Alpha swung a leg over the motorcycle and tugged on his helmet. “You coming anytime this century, woman?”
Tatiana pulled her helmet down over her dark hair, the blunt ends sticking out from under it like twigs in a nest.
“Hold your horses, Romanoff.” She straddled her bike.
Demetri shifted the bike from its stand and rousted the thing with a kick of his booted heel. He gunned the throttle. “My horses want to go,” he called over the roar of the sports bike.
Tatiana started the motorcycle she borrowed from Marcus with a push of a button. The black beast growled to life. “Well, what are we waiting for then? I bet I can get to the counseling center before you.”
The howl of her engine made further conversation impossible when she revved the machine.
They tore off down the gravel drive, the bikes fishtailing. Bits of gravel spit out behind them. Demetri gunned his engine and took the lead. He flashed her a brilliant smile when he passed, making it almost worth being second place. But not quite.
As they rounded out of the gated fence onto the road, Tatiana cut under him to regain the lead.
He shook his head. Life will never be dull with you, tigress warrior. You are a fierce competitor, but then so am I.