Second last day of giveaways! Get in while you can!

Their love burned bright, white hot, and strikingly blue around
the edges.
Some thought them careless.
Some thought them crazy.
No one approved.
Taylor Barrett was looking for answers in a universe that had
abandoned him.
Jude Boehler flooded her dark world with charisma and mystery,
drawing everyone into her hurricane.
It was a most captivating of love affairs. They were shooting
stars, meteors in the sky, colliding to create a spectacularly wonderful
reckless romance, leaving them breathless and tethered.
 Their souls were exposed to the chaos, bare and vulnerable. Can these two star-crossed lovers survive the madness that is life?

 

About S.L. Scott
S.L. Scott is a former high-tech account manager with a journalism degree pursuing her passion for telling  stories. She spends her days escaping into her characters and letting them lead her on their adventures.
Live music shows, harvesting jalapenos and eating homemade guacamole are her obsessions she calls hobbies.

Scott lives in the beautiful Texas hill country of Austin with her husband, two young sons, two Papillons and a bowl full of Sea Monkeys.

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Day 10 of Book Nerdiness!

A Muslim Arab Prince with a heavy weight of responsibilities on his shoulders and a young Catholic American woman with a dark, haunted past
living inside her heart. Unexpectedly thrust together in a deal of betrayal brokered by her brother, the last thing she imagines when she goes to his wedding in a kingdom far away from her home, is to find out that it’s her own wedding, as well. 
A bright, independent CEO struggling to live this new life, where the traditions and rules are too numerous to keep up with, and an attractive, intelligent prince wanting nothing more than for his bride to find
the black keys. 
Fate steps in to teach the troubled new princess a few lessons about love, life, understanding and acceptance, while destiny forces the Crown Prince into allowing his beautiful wife to break a rule or two. 

Because when it comes to love, rules blur and traditions fade.
 
About Rose B. Mashal

Rose is a loved mother, wife, and a stay at home lawyer. Writing is her passion, and
reading is her obsession. Music is her best friend and sarcasm is her speaking
trend. One of her joys is bringing happiness to others and her biggest wish is
that they stay true to one another. Through her stories, she wants to spread
nothing except understanding, peace and love.

 
 
 

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While exploring darkness in others, be careful not to
expose your own.
 
That’s what Chicago detective Alicia Raymond discovers when she’s assigned to investigate the torture and murder of a middle-aged trucker. 
Better known as Berg, Alicia is forced to confront her
darkness: her obsessive need to track down killers; her increasing craving for violence; and her potentially devastating feelings for her partner.
When she finds herself sympathizing with a sadistic killer exacting revenge for a decades-old crime, she realizes the most dangerous thing of all might just be her own state of mind. As Berg’s carefully constructed life falls apart, she faces a choice: surrender to the evil inside or finally acknowledge the brutal past she would rather bury.

The Enemy Inside is the first in the Edge of Darkness series, which challenges the
concept of justice, asks if vengeance sometimes justifies murder, and explores
whether you can ever heal from a broken past.

 
Excerpt from The Enemy Inside
The eighteen-wheeler’s headlights cut a path through the murky darkness,
illuminating the outbound Chicago highway in a ghostly glow, its rumbling
engine the only sound in an otherwise silent night.
Shifting in his sticky seat, the driver twitched and spat through the open window. It was well after midnight. He had been on the road for almost twenty-four hours straight, hadn’t slept for forty-eight, and was feeling stretched to the very end of his last frayed nerve.
He realized he should have stopped and had a break or a coffee before getting back on the tollway and heading out of the city, but it was too late now. The tollway was close to deserted as he sped west, the sprawl of suburbia thinning and being replaced by swathes of protected forests, expensive houses, and semi-rural property. There was nothing else for him to do but drive all night to northern Wisconsin, where another load and a lucrative
payday awaited him.
The highway was dull, the same as every other road he’d driven on over the last thirty years. He felt like his life was playing on some kind of endless, tortured loop. His was a lonely existence, punctuated by the odd burst of static on his CB radio and the occasional disembodied conversation with other drivers.
He shifted again and looked at the clock stuck to his dash.
2:00 a.m.
He was ahead of schedule, thanks to some homemade stimulants and a lack of rest, and again considered pulling over to get some food or maybe a few hours of sleep in his cab. While sleep sounded like something he should get, his cock throbbed, reminding him of other, more urgent priorities.
He needed a woman. Any woman.
He wasn’t an attractive man. He was heavyset, hairy, and balding with an array of amateur prison tattoos covering his body. Few women were willing to spread their legs for him. The only satisfaction he got was from the occasional truck stop lot lizard or cheap hooker when he loaded or unloaded in a city.
As the joyless decades passed, his need for more violent satisfaction had grown, and he had enjoyed himself immensely with a drug-addicted hooker last month. His erection strained painfully against his jeans as he savored the memory of the encounter: her shrieks of pain, thick, red blood mixed with slippery tears, and the muffled thuds of his fists
striking soft, pliable flesh. The memory excited him so much he thought he might explode right there in the cab. He needed to feel some battered flesh writhing under him again—and soon.
He grunted, then hocked up phlegm from deep in his throat and spat again. His personally manufactured stimulants had several unpleasant side effects, the main ones being an increase in libido, a frustrating lack of sensation, and a disgusting chemical taste in the back of his throat he could never get rid of.
The truck’s lights illuminated unexpected movement far ahead on the tollway shoulder. He forgot his desire for a moment as he shifted forward in his seat to get a better look at the solitary figure walking on the side of the highway.
He shifted down a gear, and the old air brakes hissed in protest as his lights settled on a petite woman with frizzy blond hair, her arm outstretched in the universal hitchhiker’s salute.
A gift from God.
He pulled alongside her.
Weighing perhaps one hundred pounds soaking wet, she opened the cab door and hauled herself and a small purse into the truck.
She must really need a ride. I only get the desperate ones or the ug-os that no one else will pick up.
He was excited to see she was pretty in an almost familiar kind of way, as if he had seen her before in a movie or on television. She had light blue eyes and distinctive tight, blond curls. He absentmindedly wondered if the carpet would match the drapes, and couldn’t wait to find out.
She looked exhausted, as if she’d been walking for a while.
“Thanks,” she said softly, flashing him a forced, nervous smile while she settled in the passenger seat. She quickly pulled across the frayed seatbelt and clicked it into place.
A safety-conscious hitchhiker? That’s a new one. “No problem,” he replied.
She clutched her bag to her chest like a life preserver.
As he eased the rig back out onto the highway, he smiled to himself. This’ll be easy.
Chapter One
“Are you prepared to be happy, Berg?” Detective Inspector Jay O’Loughlin asked his
partner, as he rushed into the dirty, overcrowded Chicago squad room.
Berg, in the middle of massaging her temples, looked up from her desk and brushed her long, wavy dark hair behind one ear. Buried deep in mounds of endless paperwork, the offer of a distraction sounded good. Her chair creaked as she stood to stretch and smoothed the wrinkles out of her suit skirt.
“How happy?” she asked. “Happy like I just found a great pair of Manolos in a half-off bin, or happy like I hit a moving target at two hundred yards?”
Jay flashed her one of his trademark, sexy smiles.
“Berg, I know target practice is your idea of heaven, but I’m talking happy like I’ve just had the best sex of my life and she voluntarily goes home afterward.”
“Wow, Jay. In your world that’s pretty fucking happy.” She walked out of the squad room and he followed. “So, where are we headed?” she asked, turning back and catching Jay’s lingering stare on her lower legs.
“What? Oh, to the morgue.”
“Gee, the morgue. Yay.” She stopped to face him. “I fail to see how that is going to make me happy.”
“You’ll see,” he replied with a glint in his cobalt blue eyes. “Think of it as an early Halloween treat.”
They walked down the corridor in a comfortable silence, pausing to press the call button for the elevator.
Berg, formally known as Detective Alicia Raymond, leaned against the wall and studied Jay. They had been partners for two years in the newest section of the Chicago Police Department’s Bureau of Investigative Services, the Special Crimes Unit.
Jay was one of the best cops in the district, and she enjoyed working with him, his constant need to check her out notwithstanding. He was tall—one of the few men in the station taller than she was—and handsome in that naughty Irish way, with blue eyes, an easy smile, and wavy, dark brown hair that was a shade or two lighter than her own.
His only bad quality was that he’d slept with nearly every woman in a two-mile radius, both in and out of their district. There had been some station talk, early in their partnership, of a marriage fifteen years ago when Jay was a young cadet. But he point-blank refused to acknowledge whether the rumor was even true the one time Berg had mustered up the courage to ask. They never discussed the subject again. Since then, Berg
had lost count of Jay’s conquests.
Still, while everyone knows he’ll fuck anything that moves, it doesn’t stop the women
flocking to him like bees to honey.
Berg shrugged.
The elevator arrived and they stepped back to let a young female officer get out. She pushed between them, pausing only long enough to direct a malevolent glare at Jay before stalking off.
Berg laughed. “If looks could kill, you’d be dead a thousand times over. Don’t you ever get tired of picking up young officers, then discarding them like used tissue and spending the rest of your life avoiding their hatred?” Berg grimaced at her partner as he raised an eyebrow in response to her question. “You needn’t look so smug.”
“Seen her naked. So worth the death glares,” he said with a grin.
Despite her disapproval, Berg couldn’t help but smile as she contemplated his general appeal. Jay was impossible to dislike. Men and women were equally drawn to him for his easygoing character and self-deprecating laugh. A well-connected, third-generation cop, he was dedicated to his job and solved more than his fair share of cases with diligent work and deadly charm.
“You need to become familiar with the phrase don’t crap where you eat,” she said.
He chuckled. “Maybe if you ever had sex, you’d understand. There’s no need to live up to your nickname all the time, Iceberg. You need a good humping.”
Berg gritted her teeth and crossed her arms. “You volunteering?”
Jay stepped back and raised his hands in surrender. “Hell no! I mean, don’t get me wrong, you’re great to look at and all, and I’m damn sure the sex would be great, but I saw what you did to that veteran cop a couple of years back after he dared to pat you on the ass. You barely moved and the guy was on the ground faster than kids in an earthquake drill. What was that, kung fu?”
Berg raised an eyebrow. “Karate.”
Jay took another step back. “Yeah, well, whatever it was, I don’t plan on being on the receiving end of it, nice as the view may be.” He slowly raked his eyes down from her face to her body, lingering on her chest before looking away.
“We’ve been partners for two years—do you think you could keep the staring to a minimum?” She glared at him.
Jay winked. “I’ll work on it.”
They approached the morgue, barged through the two-way doors, and walked into the cold, sterile silence.
Jay crossed the white linoleum room with a few strides and pulled open a metal refrigerator drawer. “Ta-da!” He made an exaggerated flourish, sliding out a body covered with a sheet. “One dead scumbag.” He waved toward the covered body like a manic The Price is Right model.
Berg looked dubious as she wrinkled her nose and lifted the white sheet to view the corpse. “A dead fat guy? You better have something more for me than some dead scumbag, Jay. I got up from my desk for this.”
“What if he was a serial scumbag?”
Berg arched an eyebrow. “How serial?”
“Like the guy responsible for the missing hitchhikers?”
Berg’s heart lurched. They’d been working on the missing hitchhikers for six months. During a routine review of missing persons’ files, Berg had noticed an anomaly—five local women between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one had gone missing over the past two years without a trace. Missing persons were not all that uncommon; most eventually turned up locally or out-of-state, but these women had simply disappeared.
There had been something about the victims that got to her, so Berg dug a little deeper, talking to any available friends and family between working her regular cases. She had discovered that all the women were known hitchhikers. While many had come from broken families, they had no criminal record and no reason to disappear into the ether without a word to anyone.
Curiosity piqued, she had taken some DNA from the missing women’s personal items and family members. Then came a stroke of luck. During a CODIS, or a Combined DNA Index System, comparison between the Missing Persons’ Index and the Unidentified Persons’ Index, she’d gotten a match. Decomposed remains matching the DNA of one victim, Amelia Smith, had been found.
Then the trail went cold—no more witnesses and no new leads. Nothing.
While her hunches had generally panned out, with no hard evidence connecting the victims to each other or yielding a major breakthrough in the case, Berg had hit a wall. It was the most frustrating and mysterious case she had ever worked on. She had come up with squat beyond the one match, and she had to wonder if she’d seen patterns where there were none.
“You wouldn’t tease a girl, would you?” she asked Jay, now interested in the body.
Jay laughed. “I sure would, but not you, Berg. Name’s Danny Taylor, fifty-five, independent trucker based out of the city. The body was discovered three days ago, five miles from his truck on the tollway, near the Poplar Creek Forest Preserve. He had been tortured and dumped.”
Berg rubbed her arms free of the goose bumps that were emerging due to the frigid air drifting out of the open refrigerator drawer. “What does the ME list as cause of death?”
Jay looked through the medical examiner’s report. “Not sure yet, but the ME thinks shock or loss of blood. Hard to ascertain with so many injuries.” He nodded toward the man.
Berg studied the body critically. It was mottled with bruises, stab marks, and deep gaping wounds. Ligature furrows on his hands and wrists, combined with his blue fingers and toes, indicated he’d been tied up for a good length of time prior to death.
“Of course,” Jay said with a grimace, “he may have willed himself to die once his dick was cut off.”
Berg lifted the sheet a little higher and looked down to the ragged, gaping wound where the man’s penis should have been. “Ouch. Removed pre or post mortem?”
“The ME agrees it was done before he died, judging by the surrounding tissue trauma.” Jay said, looking vaguely ill. “Anyway, ME says there’s a lot more undeveloped bruising under those ugly tats, as well other injuries, so cause of death is still to be determined. We’ll know more tomorrow.”
“Okay, all this is kinda interesting in a gross way, but I’m hearing nothing from you about why you think he’s responsible for my girls,” Berg said, impatient.

“Because we found a lovely hair belonging to Melissa Shipper on him.”
 
About Vanessa Skye
 
Vanessa Skye has always had a love of words and spent her school years writing poetry, speeches and fictional essays.
After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Print Journalism and studying Psychology at Charles Sturt University, Vanessa got a job at Rural Press—Australia’s largest publisher of regional and agricultural news and information—where she worked as a journalist in the Central West of NSW for four years.
Thousands of stories later, Vanessa decided to move back to Sydney and try her hand at public relations while studying a Master of Arts in Communication.
Skip forward a few years and Vanessa once again found herself joyfully studying various psychology subjects while managing a Sydney public relations firm. Enthralled with examining the motivations behind people’s actions, Vanessa realized what she really wanted to do in life was combine her love of words with her fascination for human behavior.
So Vanessa quit public relations to begin the significantly more impoverished life of a professional writer.
Inspired by a recurring dream, Vanessa wrote her crime fiction debut, The Enemy Inside, which challenges the concept of justice, asks if the need for vengeance sometimes
justifies murder, and explores whether you can ever heal from childhood abuse. The second book in this Edge of Darkness series,
Broken, soon followed. The third and final book in this series, Bloodlines, was released on January 15, 2015.
Vanessa’s first paranormal romance book, Koven, was released in May 2015. Vanessa is currently working on an erotic thriller, Evidence, and a young adult fantasy, Warrior.
In her spare time, Vanessa wrote a short story, The Piece, which was published in February 2012 by Dark Prints Press as a part of the One That Got Away dark fiction anthology.
Vanessa now works as a full time writer, lives in Sydney’s northern beaches and tries to immerse herself in salt water at least once a day.

 

You can find out more at www.vanessa-skye.com
 

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Day 9 of Christmas cheer!

 

Michelle’s
Christmas traditions

Christmas is a quiet event in our house. Mainly because the only person there is my cat, Loki. The rest of us can be found around the corner at the parents, enjoying
turkey, ham, veggies, and mounds of mash, as well as prezzies, drinks, and
after dinner games. There is one thing that is a given every year, however, and
that is socks. We all get them. From fluffy ones to thermal ones to ones
covered in frogs, every year we have socks. And we all love it.
 
“We all lose, son. Either I’ll be in there tonight, or I’ll end up there as one of them when I’m dead.”
 
When the dead first rose, the world thought
they could just kill them. But they only return to their graves with bellies full of flesh and more dead littering the ground. Out of desperation the zombie lottery was born.

One night a year, the dead rise, and every
adult gets their name entered into the lottery. No matter their ability, health, or status. The winners are herded to cemeteries and only one will come out alive, but all pray for the scientists working around the clock to find the answer before the killing is done.

About Michelle Birbeck
 

Michelle
has been writing and reading her whole life. Her earliest memory of books was
when she was five and decided to try and teach her fish how to read, by putting
her Beatrix Potter books in the fish tank with them. Since then her love of
books has grown, and now she is writing her own, and looking forward to seeing
them on her shelves, though they won’t be going anywhere near the fish tank.
 





 

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Day 8 of amazing giveaways!

Jeanne’s Holiday Tradition

Christmas
in the McDonald home is always a magical time of the year. Starting on
Thanksgiving, we put up the tree and pull out the Christmas movies. The house
is decorated in festive holiday fashion. I love playing Christmas music while
cooking and for some reason I bake more during this time of the year. Come
Christmas Eve, my son is allowed to open one present. It was something my
parents did for me as a child and I’ve passed it on with my family. Then, I
start my cooking for the feast of Christmas. On Christmas morning, the house is
filled with Christmas cheer. Presents are opened. Friend and family come to
dinner, and we all share in the joys of the season. This is absolutely my most
favorite time of the year. Not because of the gifts, but because of the
atmosphere. I love the joy this season brings. There a sense of “A New
Hope” in the air at Christmas.  ((see what I did there…haha! Nerdy
girl Christmas joke!))  All in all, Christmas is magic and as Harry Potter
once said, “I love magic.”

 
 
 
As teenagers, time is infinite and love is made of fairy tales and caramel corn.  For Alexis York and Ryan Fisher, their friendship was the cornerstone of who they were.  In the wake of a family tragedy, that
friendship was torn apart by time and distance.  Unrequited love was never reciprocated, and two lives that were once intertwined, now moved on different
trajectories.
Fifteen years later, these two friends are given a second chance to correct the mistakes of the past.  With one flight, a new home, and a little help from a tiny red compass, Alexis and Ryan are reunited, setting them back on the same course.  Together, they find themselves on a journey of rediscovery, friendship, hope, and love.
Yet, when the harsh realities of life threaten to tear them apart for good, will Alexis and Ryan lose all hope of a happily ever after? Or will the childhood promises of forever lead these two hearts through impossible odds and back into each other’s arms?

“You’re my compass. My one true north.”
 
 
 
About
Jeanne McDonald
 
 
 Jeanne McDonald is an author, a mother, a wife, a student of
knowledge and of life, a coffee addict, a philosophy novice, a pop culture connoisseur, inspired by music, encouraged by words, and a believer in true love.  When
she’s not spending time with her family, she can be found reading, writing, enjoying a great film, chatting with friends or diligently working toward her bachelor’s degree in literature.  A proud Texan, Jeanne currently resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her family.
Author links: 

 
 

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Ho ho ho! Merry Giveaways!

Love making lists? So does Oliver! Win his story written by T.M. Franklin in “How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You”.
Seventeen-year-old Oliver Wendell Holmes (Yes, his parents are
just that peculiar, but his brother’s name is Sherlock, so it could have been
worse) knows that he’s different. He’s quirky, awkward, and he’s okay with
that. Oliver also likes making lists—meticulous procedures for achieving his
goals, step-by-step. Whether it’s “How to Get an A in Chemistry” or “How to Get
Accepted to MIT,” he has a process, and it’s worked for him so far. He doesn’t
even care that the popular kids mock him. Oliver’s got his eye on the prize.
So when he decides it’s time to declare his feelings for Ainsley
Bishop, the girl of his dreams, it’s only natural for him to make a list—a
point-by-point strategy to win her heart. He knows it will take a grand gesture
for her to see all he has to offer, and her approaching birthday provides the
ideal opportunity for Oliver to put his plan into action.
Finding
the perfect gift is a challenge Oliver meets with his usual dogged
determination. He’ll need to watch her carefully for clues to pinpoint exactly
what he should give her. And along the way, he might just learn that what
Ainsley really needs is not quite what he expected.

 

About T.M. Franklin
T.M. Franklin writes stories of adventure, romance, & a
little magic. A former TV news producer, she decided making stuff up was more
fun than reporting the facts. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during
National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days. MORE
was well-received, being selected as a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review
Best Indie Book Awards, as well as winning the Suspense/Thriller division of
the Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Awards. She’s since written three
additional novels and several best-selling short stories…and there’s always
more on the way.
Connect with T.M. Franklin
Email:
TMFranklinAuthor@gmail.com
 
 

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Day 6, and vampires abound!

Hunted
A horrible disease is ravaging the vampire community in New York City’s underworld. The Vampire Council is on a crusade to obliterate those infected. Harrow Gates is sick, alone, and hunted. A bounty hanging over his head, he is in no position to refuse when Pritchard Tack offers him not only a new beginning, but also a chance to rectify the chaos he created in the vampire world. Now the greatest threat Harrow faces is hope.
 
Jordan is a reluctant new vampire and a woman on a mission.  Her only focus is revenge. In her search for vengeance, a stroke of luck leads her to an underground facility. Once inside the bunker, Jordan meets a man who threatens to pull her
heart away from her sworn mission. There is something behind Harrow’s dark lenses that unsettles the hardened female. Is love strong enough to override her thirst for vengeance?
 
About Lorenz Font

Lorenz Font discovered her love of writing after reading a celebrated novel that inspired one idea after another. She is currently enjoying the buzz from her vampire novels Hunted, Tormented, Ascension and Reckoning, Books
1-4 of The Gates Legacy Series, Feather Light, an erotic romance, Indivisible
Line
, a romance thriller and Pieces of Broken Time, a military romance.
 
Lorenz’s perfect day consists of writing and lounging on her garage couch, aka the office, with a glass of her favorite cabernet while listening to her
ever-growing music collection. She enjoys dabbling in different genres, with an intense focus on angst and the redemption of flawed characters. Her fascination with romantic twists is a mainstay in all her stories.
 
Lorenz lives in California with her husband, children, and two demanding dogs. She divides her time between her full-time job and her busy writing schedule.
 

 

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