Spotlight on #Dystopian #Fiction: Knight In Paper Armor by Nicholas Conley

Hi Everyone,
The West Coast wildfires continue to keep us indoors, and I’m staying busy with indoor exercise, exploring paleo recipes (I’ll share some soon!), editing work, developing my next Cupid series story, and blog posts for you. 🙂 This week we have a piece of dystopian fiction for you, from author Nicholas Conley, released today. Enjoy!
xoxo, Celia

Knight in Paper Armor by Nicholas Conley, Book Blitz Sept. 15, 2020

 
Knight in Paper Armor by Nicholas Conley cover

Title: Knight in Paper Armor
Author: Nicholas Conley
Genre: Dystopian
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
ASIN: B08CLSSX8Z
Release date: September 15, 2020
Word count: About 113,000

Billy Jakobek has always been different. Born with strange and powerful psychic abilities, he has grown up in the laboratories of Thorne Century, a ruthless megacorporation that economically, socially, and politically dominates American society.

Every day, Billy absorbs the emotional energies, dreams, and traumas of everyone he meets—from his grandmother’s memories of the Holocaust, to the terror his sheer existence inflicts upon his captors—and he yearns to break free, so he can use his powers to help others.

Natalia Gonzalez, a rebellious artist and daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, lives in Heaven’s Hole, an industrial town built inside a meteor crater, where the poverty-stricken population struggles to survive the nightmarish working conditions of the local Thorne Century factory. Natalia takes care of her ailing mother, her grandmother, and her two younger brothers, and while she dreams of escape, she knows she cannot leave her family behind.

When Billy is transferred to Heaven’s Hole, his chance encounter with Natalia sends shockwaves rippling across the blighted landscape. The two outsiders are pitted against the all-powerful monopoly, while Billy experiences visions of an otherworldly figure known as the Shape, which prophesizes an apocalyptic future that could decimate the world they know.

Amazon

Knight in Paper Armor Excerpt

“So,” Roseanna said, “according to my superiors, young Billy came to the attention of Thorne Century due to his long medical history.” She opened her folder and riffled through. “Dozens of child therapists, doctors, prescriptions, treatments… wide range of disease symptoms and ailments as well as wild mood swings but no evidence of any physical illness or precise mental disorder. The word psychosomatic is bleeding from these papers. I don’t buy it.” Roseanna leaned forward. “I think it all fits a certain pattern.”

“The doctors don’t understand.” Tzeitel bit her lip, paused, then spoke again. “Neither do his parents, though I love them. No. They merely say that he imagines things. Hallucinations, they claim.” She glanced at her frail grandson still shivering in the humidity. “I disagree. He often gets sick, but the sickness comes not from him.”

“Can you explain?” I think she gets it.

“As a baby, he constantly changed personalities, like this”—Tzeitel snapped her fingers—“depending on who held him. Smiling or shrieking, it flipped constantly, and whenever he cried, all of us cried with him for no reason. Not like a normal baby. His brother was not like this, either.”

“I see.”

“It was not so extreme when he got older. But when others are sick…” She knotted her fingers. “He goes to them, touches the place it hurts, and the pain goes away. It goes inside him, instead, until it fades. Very strange.” She frowned. “When people are sad? He walks into a room, makes himself smile—poof, no one is sad anymore, except he becomes sad. Sometimes, I catch him sneaking out across town to help people who are troubled.” She eyed him. “I don’t like it when he does that, though it is very nice of him.”

“He senses things?”

“Doctor, my grandson has a gift. Yes, he senses things. He feels things. He does things to people… things that, perhaps, the world is not ready for.”

Despite the heat, Roseanna felt chills. “I believe you.”

 

Nicholas Conley head shot

About Nicholas Conley

Nicholas Conley is an award-winning Jewish American author, journalist, playwright, and coffee vigilante. His books, such as Knight in Paper Armor, Pale Highway, Intraterrestrial, and Clay Tongue: A Novelette, merge science fiction narratives with hard-hitting examinations of social issues. Originally from California, he now lives in New Hampshire.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Amazon

 

Spotlight on #ContemporaryRomance: Jax, Knight Attack Series, by MLJ Quigg

Hi Everyone,
As we hunker down in our house due to Covid19, a massive heatwave, and the bad, bad AQI from the CA wildfires, I’m sitting in front of a fan and next to an air purifier, drinking a megaton of ice water and scheduling much book fun for the blog. First up for September, we have a contemporary romance series from MLJ Quigg. Enjoy!
xoxo, Celia

Jax, Knight Series by MLJ Quigg, Book tour August 31 through September 7

 
Jax by MLJ Quigg Book cover

Title: Jax
Series: Knight Series
Number: Book One
Author: MLJ Quigg
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release date: 2nd September 2020
# or Pages: 206
Word count: 56K
Cover Artist: MLJ Quigg

Rock royalty.

That’s what people call me.

But all it took was a single phone call to bring me to my knees.

Five years later, my life has changed irrevocably forever.

Though someone lurks in the shadows threatening to tear all that I love apart.

An obsession of the worst kind.

Can I keep the woman I love safe?

Or will everything burn to ash…

Amazon

Excerpt

“For curiosity’s sake, how did you get my number?”
“I got your number by pushing random numbers on my cell, and it rang. Thanks for answering and being so good about it. A family meeting sounds like a good idea. What’s your name?”
“My name is Layla. What’s yours?”
“Jaxson, but everyone calls me Jax.”
God, that voice, it was like butter. So seductive and smooth. Deep and gravelly but had that sexy rasp to it that musicians usually have. I could imagine the man behind the voice, and that made me tingle between my legs. Fuck! I needed to get laid if his voice alone was turning me on.
“What do you do, Jax?”
“I’m in a band.”
Okay, that was cool.
I wondered what Jax did in the band. Did he play the guitar? Play the drums. Or was he a singer? With that voice, my guess? He was a singer. How famous was he? Who knew.
“That’s amazing, Jax. What’s the band’s name?”
“Knight Attack.”
Hooolllyyy. Shit.
No fucking way.
This had to be a joke.
Knight Attack was massive.
They were the biggest breakout band in Australia, and they had only recently gone worldwide with great success. I used to listen to them in Australia, well, I still listened to them. Everyone knew back home that I was a massive fan of the group. This had to be a practical joke. My guess? My brother was behind it. Bobby would do anything to get me back home.
“Fuck off! No way! You are not Jax from Knight Attack. Who is this, really? Did my brother put you up to this? I bet it was Bobby. Tell that meddling brother of mine I am not falling for it, and I’ll come home when I’m good and ready. Jax from Knight Attack? Ha-ha, really, I wasn’t born yesterday,” I ranted.
Yeah, I was on a roll. My mum and brother, Bobby, had been hounding me to stop sulking and come back home. Like I wanted to be in a small country town in the middle of Australia where everyone knew everyone and what you ate for breakfast, especially after what had happened to me. The biggest humiliation of my life so far. No, thanks.
Jax interrupted my internal dialogue as he said, “Okay, I’ll prove it. Tomorrow morning, we are on Good Morning America at ten. I’ll say your name and dedicate a song to you. If you’re watching and believe me, ring me back on the number you now have on your phone. I gotta go, though. We’re about to go on.” Then he hung up.
He. Hung. Up.
What the fuck just happened?

 

About MLJ Quigg

Australian author MLJ Quigg lives in NSW, Australia, with her husband, three adult children, and six cats. Yes, you heard that right, six.

Growing up in a huge family of eight kids was always noisy and didn’t give her enough alone time to unwind. Books have always given her an outlet from the craziness that is her life. Nothing is better than curling up with a good story to take her mind off her surroundings.As a new author, she hopes you enjoy her stories and helps you get out of your world and into hers for a few hours.

Web Site | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Amazon | Instagram

 

New Release in #ParanormalRomance: A Warrior’s Kiss by @CeliaBreslin

Hello my Dear Readers!

I hope this post finds you safe and healthy. As my family continues to shelter-in-place due to Covid and now the devastating Northern California fires, I’m busy writing a few stories for a new series: The CUPID Dating Agency. Author Candace LaVille created the shared world for this multi-author series. All books are separate, unique, standalone reads using their own version of “The Cupid Dating Agency”.

The backstory goes like this: A big war between Heaven and Hell happened, Lucifer lost and no longer runs Hell, humans know about angels/demons, and angels/demons/humans now co-exist and often get matched for potential partnerships (business and/or personal) by the Cupid Dating Agency. I’ve set my quartet of stories in the California wine country, where I have the cupids busy making love matches such as the one between Zeke and Nicky in “A Warrior’s Kiss”.

After you check out the details and excerpt from “A Warrior’s Kiss”, join me in celebrating my new release: follow the link to FreshFiction to enter my Summer Sunset contest and giveaway!

xo,
Celia
A WARRIOR'S KISS BOOK COVER
Title: A Warrior’s Kiss
Series: The Cupid Dating Agency
Author: Celia Breslin
Genre: Adult, high-heat paranormal romance
ASIN: B08FFCWNF2
ISBN: 9781393477938
Word count/pages: 28K / 116pp
Cover Artist: Brantwijn Serrah
Release date: August, 2020
Special Release Price: $.99 (USD)

She’s chasing her dream. He’s after her heart.

French teacher turned entrepreneur, Nicolette Durand has one goal in mind when she leaves the big city, and it has nothing to do with men. Nicky doesn’t care how many dating edicts the cupids send her, she’s simply too busy. Then a hunk of surly angel crashes into her life.

Elite celestial warrior Ezekiel is less than delighted when the Almighty assigns him to Earth to help the cupids. Now he runs a gastropub with speed dating events. But Zeke may have to rethink his surly position on the gig after he meets the kind and curvy biz owner next door.

Nicky is sure she has no time for a relationship, not even with a gorgeous hunk of heaven, but Zeke is determined to convince her otherwise. Too bad hellbeasties intent on destruction and mayhem might stand in their way…

Join The Team

Amazon US | Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Scribd | Vivlio

Excerpt

Zeke and Nicky’s First Meet…

“Think he’s dead?” The whispered question quieted his internal whining.

Nice voice. Soft and smooth, like velvet. Feminine. Clearly, he wasn’t alone.

“He sure looks dead.” A second woman replied, louder and with a chuckle.

He suppressed a scowl and kept his eyes closed. She thinks this is funny?

Bodies shifted behind whatever his head had cracked into, edging closer to either side of him.
“There’s no blood, though,” she of the velvet voice murmured. “Shouldn’t there be blood? […].”

Ah, their business neighbor. She came to a halt near his head, her body heat and peaches-and-honey scent saturating his senses. He should open his peepers and say something, see if the female looked as good as she sounded and smelled.

Shit. Where had that reaction come from? He had no room in his life for a woman, especially not a mortal woman.

“Maybe we should check for a pulse,” the one Peaches had called Maya suggested.
“I’m not touching his body.”

Fast reply from Peaches. Jesus, did he look so horrible? And double Jesus, why did her opinion matter? He must have hit his head harder than he imagined.

“C’mon, girlfriend. It’s a big, beautiful body. How can you not want to get your hands on it?”

Listen to your girlfriend, Peaches. No. Wait. Belay that order.

“Really, M? One-track mind much?”

He tensed to haul his ass upward, but a soft, gentle hand landed on his shoulder, feather light, then slid down his bare arm, kicking up a riot of electric sensation along his skin. He should move, but damn if he didn’t want to see what she would do next. Or touch next.

Warm fingers palpated his inner wrist, right over his madly beating pulse. Racing for her? A human female he hadn’t even laid eyes on? Shit. […]

Eyes shooting wide, he sat up.

Celia’s Summer Sunset Contest & Giveaway

For a chance to win one (1) $15 Amazon.com US e-gift card, visit my Summer Sunset Contest page –> over at Fresh Fiction.

Spotlight on #UrbanFantasy: A Queen’s Pride by @NDJonesAuthor

Hello Dear Readers,
I hope you are all safe and healthy during this global pandemic. We continue to shelter in place over here in San Francisco, and I’m busy writing a new series, editing, and reading. For your summer reading pleasure (and mine!), here’s a look at an urban fantasy series by author N. D. Jones. Read an excerpt and be sure to enter the author’s fab giveaway. Enjoy!
xoxo, Celia

A Queen's Pride Book Tour, June 26 through July, 2020

 

Title: A Queen’s Pride
Series: Feline Nation
Number: Book One
Author: N. D. Jones
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Kuumba Publishing
Release date: June 26, 2020
ASIN: B07Y7N8VDH
# or Pages: 200
Word count: 71K
Cover Artist: Ravenborn Covers


Lies. Murder. Vengeance.

For centuries, humans descended on shifters’ lands, killing and claiming. They devoured all in their path–gold, God, and glory their battle cries. From the flames of destruction on the Zafeo continent, two nations emerged–the human territory of Vumaris and the feline nation of Shona.

No more wars.

No more bloodshed.

Eight decades of peace.

For eighteen-year-old Asha, traveling to Vumaris with her parents, lion alphas of the Kingdom of Shona, should’ve been a simple matter. Recommitting to an eighty-year-old peace treaty between their countries should’ve been easier still. Yet, greed and corruption know no boundaries of time and place. So when a group of mercenaries converges on Sanctum Hotel, hellbent on kidnapping Asha and assassinating her parents, her family trip turns into the bloodiest night of her life.

Will Asha lose those closest to her heart–her parents and Ekon, a young bodyguard she loves. If so, will she forgive her enemies or seek divine retribution?

Only time will tell, and it’s running out for Princess Asha of the Kingdom of Shona.

Amazon | Book Trailer

Excerpt

Asha flipped from one television station to the next, her mind more on the way Ekon had made her body feel than on finding a show for them to watch before Mafdet took over the post and sent Ekon to his suite. While Zarina had raised Asha to speak her mind, she had also taught her to do so with forethought and care. Zarina may have a tendency to shock people, but it wasn’t because she hadn’t calculated the impact of her words before uttering them. But her mother had yet to teach her how to curb her thoughts when her body wanted to do the talking for her.

Foregoing the television, she clicked it off and dropped the remote control onto the couch cushion beside her. She ached in places she wanted Ekon to touch. If she were alone in the suite and in her bed, she’d close her eyes, slip her hand inside her panties and—

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Opening eyes that had closed of their own volition and dropping the hem of her dress she hadn’t consciously lifted, Asha sat up—embarrassed and breathless.

The knock came again.

Asha stood. Waited. A Shieldmane would announce himself, even Mafdet who had a key to the suite. Her parents would call, if they required something of her, expecting Asha to come to them, not the other way around.

By the time the third round of knocking sounded, Asha had moved closer to the door, scenting more than the human on the other side.

“Miss. Miss. Are you inside? We have an emergency. We need to evacuate this floor.”
The man knocked again–hard and urgent.

Peering through the peephole, she saw a tall man dressed in the same uniform she’d seen the front desk workers wear. He appeared both anxious and impatient. If there was a fire or gas leak, the man’s emotions were justified. Asha and Ekon needed to get out of there.

She unlocked and opened the door. Mistake. Asha stepped backward, and the human stepped forward, shutting the door behind him.

A gun she hadn’t seen through the peephole pointed at her.

“Don’t scream. Don’t fight. If you follow my directions, you won’t get hurt.”

If he didn’t have a gun leveled at her stomach, Asha could’ve misinterpreted his smile as a sign of kindness.

“You’re making a mistake.”

“No, I’m making the world better for humans.” Gun hand steady, the man who clearly wasn’t a hotel employee, scanned the outer room of the suite. “Is someone in here with you? A guard?” Green eyes tracked up and down her body. “Yeah, as pretty as you are, there has to be a guard nearby. Where? Bedroom? Bathroom?”

Asha wouldn’t tell a lie, only to be caught in one, but she also wouldn’t reward the human’s threat of violence with the truth.

“Fine. I’ll take your silence as a yes.” He drew closer, blond hair pulled back in a shoulder-length ponytail Asha would rip from his scalp if given an opportunity to strike. “We’ll just wait right here for whoever is in that other room to come out.”

They waited. It didn’t take long since Ekon had already been in the ensuite for five minutes. Asha knew why he’d made a quick escape. She hadn’t been toying with him when she’d asked to see him naked. She’d very much wanted to feast upon his body … and with more than her eyes.

The door to the ensuite creaked open.

The human shoved the barrel of the gun against her ribs, his breath smelling of cigarettes when he whispered in her ear. “I knew someone was in here with you. You’re too important to be left alone. But didn’t your parents ever warn you about opening doors to strangers?” His other hand found one of Asha’s curls and twisted it around his finger. “I told them I could get you to open the door for me. It was the uniform, wasn’t it? No need to answer, little girl. Now, let’s see who came to play.”

Ekon appeared in the living room, having reached them on soundless feet. If not for the creaking door, the human would’ve never known he approached. As it was, though, it was Ekon who was taken by surprise.

Asha saw the moment her gentle boyfriend morphed into her deadly Shieldmane. His eyes darkened, eye teeth lengthened, sharpened, and his fingernails transformed into long, curved claws.

Ekon stalked toward Asha, his focus on the gunman.

In a swift upward movement, the human pointed his handgun at Asha’s head. “Calm down, kitty, or I’ll splatter her brains all over this white carpet.”

Ekon halted.

“That’s good. Real good. Put those fangs and claws away, friend.”

“I’m not your friend. If you want to make it out of this room alive, you need to get that gun away from her and leave.”

“Yeah, no, that’s not going to happen. She’s why we’re here. Where we go, she goes. You’re the one I don’t need.”

A lion roared, and Asha had never heard a more beautiful sound.

“That would be my father.”

The roar was followed by gunfire, then what sounded like all-out war in the hall.

“Fuck! Fuck! What in the hell are those guys doing?”

“They’re fighting my parents, which means they’re dying. If you give Ekon your gun, you won’t have to die with them.”

 

About N. D. Jones

N.D.Jones author photo
N. D. Jones, Ed.D. is a USA Today bestselling author who lives in Maryland with her husband and two children. In her desire to see more novels with positive, sexy, and three-dimensional African American characters as soul mates, friends, and lovers, she took on that challenge herself. Along with the fantasy romance series Forever Yours, and a contemporary romance trilogy, The Styles of Love, she has authored three paranormal romance series: Winged Warriors, Death and Destiny, and Dragon Shifter Romance.

Web Site | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Author Newsletter | Author’s Blog Newsletter

N. D. Jones Tour Giveaway

1 autographed paperback (US Resident Only)
$15 Amazon Kindle Gift Card

Enter N. D. Jones Tour Rafflecopter Giveaway –>

 

Spotlight on #UrbanFantasy: Huntress Rising by @LeeRolandM

Hello Dear Readers,
Whether you’re traveling or sheltering in place, it’s always time to add some books to your TBR. 🙂 Here’s a look at an urban fantasy series by author Lee Roland. Enjoy!
xo, Celia

Huntress Rising by Lee Roland Book Tour, May 4 through 18, 2020

 

Title: Huntress Rising
Series: Angel of Death Series
Number: Book One
Author: Lee Roland
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Release date: December 9, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5092-2887-4
ISBN: 978-1-5092-2888-1
ASIN: B081DR5SBJ
# or Pages: 378
Word count: 99K
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

The Angel of Death is no angel, but a world in ruins needs her guns more than wings.

In a post-apocalypse world besieged by monsters, Colonel Xavier, a military man with a deadly temper, deliberately challenges Maat Ferris, a fierce, werewolf hunter. When Xavier meets Maat, he can’t decide whether to shoot her or kiss her. There is no uncertainty in her. She promptly stabs him. His hot then cold attitude makes her crazy, and his tendency to protect her is even worse.

Unfortunately, the combative pair must join forces on a treacherous journey, across the bleak, barren country. Pursued by a dictator president and the vampire who holds him in thrall, they carry precious cargo that will give democracy seeking rebels a chance to remain free.

Maat and Xavier, true to their aggressive, passionate natures, must also battle their way through a most unusual courtship. Can their love grow amidst the destruction and rebuilding of a society under siege? Or will they kill each other first?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Milliion

Excerpt

Chapter One
May 18, 2085 A.D
Avalon Agricultural Commune
Appalachian Mountains

Christopher worked his way down toward paradise. His tongue flicked in my navel and his fingers had already reached the gate. The lantern’s golden light played across our warm, flushed skin. I twisted my own fingers in his thick red hair, urging him on to the heart of gratification. He stopped, raised his head, and stared at me.

“What?” I didn’t expect him to answer. Christopher never spoke. One of the other members here at the AG Commune told me he could speak but wouldn’t because he was a Prime Oracle. His prophecies always came true—and he hated it.

To my dismay, Christopher rose from the bed, grabbed his robe, and drew it over his head. A frantic knock sounded at the door. The knock came again, this time accompanied by the voice of Julia, our leader Anolia’s young assistant.

“Maat? Maat, are you there?”

I glanced at Christopher, but his face remained impassive. The dark night terrified Julia. What was she doing at my door?

“Maat? Maat, please.”

Each word came with a higher and more desperate note. Christopher gave me one of his sweet smiles. Yes, I knew I had to answer.

“I’m coming, Julia.” I rose, grabbed my own robe, tossed it on, and went to the door. Julia jammed herself inside before it completely opened. She stood gasping, eyes wide, and pale hands clenched tight around her lantern handle. She shivered, even though summer had almost arrived, and it wasn’t cold outside.

“What is it, Julia?” I touched her arm. She jerked.

She closed her eyes and whispered a broken version of the serenity prayer. She didn’t seem any calmer when she finished. “Anolia wants you in the chapel dining room right now.” Julia blurted out the sentence like a single, multisyllable word.

“Why?” Anolia often sent Julia on errands, but she wasn’t cruel. What caused her to send the girl into the darkness she so feared? Julia shook her head, unable to continue. She glanced over her shoulder toward the door. “I have to go.”

I wouldn’t get anything else from her.

“Tell Anolia I’ll be there soon.”

Julia nodded. I opened the door and watched her lantern sway as she hurried up the path and over the hill. After I closed the door, I turned to Christopher.

“Something’s wrong. I better go see what she wants.”

Christopher seized my shoulders with hands made strong by his work at the forge. His fingers squeezed in a savage grip, and his striking face twisted in anguish.

“Take your guns, Maat. Take your guns.”

He spoke with a gravity that stunned me. He gave me a sweet kiss, and he too hurried out into the night. Seconds passed while I recovered from the shock of hearing him speak for the first time in over a year. Then I took his advice. I dragged my old suitcase from under the bed and threw it open.

The scent of gun oil and saddle soap filled the room. All my weapons lay there as they had for the past two years while I’d lived in peace here at the commune. Regularly cleaned, they patiently waited for the once familiar killing urge to strike their mistress again. I pulled on well-worn, black denim pants and a knit shirt, both softened with age. The supple boots that allowed me to tread softly across most terrain still fit comfortably.

I’m tall, lean, and have a moderately androgynous face. I’m not beautiful. Beauty is a blessing for women who need it to survive in this dangerous post-war, post disease world. I’ve never envied them, those lovely things with their smiles and sparkling eyes. All I needed was a gun, a blade, and a little luck. I may even run out of luck, but I kept my blade sharp, and my well-oiled guns didn’t age. The bullets retained their devastating punch.

I pinned my mass of unruly and not so lovely brown curls at the nape of my neck and wedged a small sheathed knife into the knot. The .44 Magnum Rudra, loaded with high impact silvers, the only ammunition I used, went into the unwieldy and uncomfortable holster at the small of my back. A more accessible shoulder holster carried a .45 caliber Aries under my left arm. I strapped a leather knife sheath to my left forearm, so I could grab the hilt with my right hand. I’d seen sheaths that buckled to the thigh, but I preferred my legs free, so I could run better. Knowing when to run had saved me more than once.

 

About Lee Roland

After twenty years in public service, Lee Roland retired to become a full-time paranormal romance and urban fantasy writer. Her first three published novels, the Earth Witches, series tells the stories of strong men and women who battle the evil hiding under the surface of the modern world. Lee hasn’t always been a writer, but has always been a daydreamer, constantly making up stories and noted for rewriting her school day into happy endings when telling her mother. Winner of numerous literary contests and a Golden Heart nominee, she currently lives and writes with her beloved dogs and cats in North Central Florida.

Web Site | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

 

Spotlight on #ParanormalErotica: Let’s Talk About Hex by @RoxanneRhoads

Hello My Dear Readers,
Hope you are all healthy and safe. We’re still okay over here in San Francisco. It’s our third month of the lockdown… For your Shelter-In-Place reading list, please enjoy this look at the Vehicle City vampires from author, and all-around awesome person, Roxanne Rhoads.
xo,
Celia

Let’s Talk About Hex by Roxanne Rhoads book cover and blurb

Carnivora by Lea Bronsen book cover

 

Title: Let’s Talk About Hex
Erotic Short Stories from the World of the Vehicle City VampiresGenre: Paranormal Erotica
Publisher: Bewitching Books
Date of Publication: April 2, 2020
ASIN: B086QNKFP6

After the humans go away, the supernaturals play.

Welcome to Vehicle City.

Let’s Talk About Hex features sixteen erotic short stories set in the world of the Vehicle City Vampires, including two brand new, never before published stories.

Amazon US | B&N | Kobo | Apple Books | Smashwords |

Excerpt: Eternal Desire

Prologue

Cool fingers caressed my cheek as warm breah whispered against my ear, “So beautiful, ma cherie. Je reve de toi, every night, every day. And you dream of me as well. Ah, you are the one. Your time in Paris is over. I need you in New Orleans, Please, ma petite cherie. It is time. I need you to come to me in New Orleans.”

A delicate caress drifted faintly across my bare breast. Did I really feel it?

Was he here with me, touching me like I wanted him to? I tried desperately to escape the tangled web of sleep and catch him before he was gone. He wasn’t just a dream. He was real, touching me now if I could… only…wake…up…

 

Roxanne Rhoads

About Roxanne Rhoads

Roxanne Rhoads is an author, book publicist, mixed media crafter, and lover of all things spooky.

She is the owner of Bewitching Book Tours, a virtual book tour and social media marketing company. She operates a Halloween blog- A Bewitching Guide to Halloween and sells handcrafted jewelry, art, and home decor through her Etsy store The Bewitching Cauldron.

When not reading or writing, Roxanne loves to craft, plan Halloween adventures, and search for unique vintage finds.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | A Bewitching Guide to Halloween |

 

 

Spotlight on #Romance: A Thorned Rose in the Sand, by @LeaBronsen

Hello Dear Readers,
We wrap Lea Bronsen’s visit to my blog this week with a high heat romance along with a foreword from the author herself.
Happy Reading!
xo,
Celia

A Note From Lea Bronsen

I got the idea for this story after watching a video of French “globe cooker” Fred Chesneau visiting nomads in the Moroccan desert. They generously shared their food, home, and wisdom with a stranger, and I thought it would be cool to write about a female rally driver having the same experience – but with more spice!

A Thorned Rose in the Sand is set in the beautiful, quiet dunes of western Sahara where the sun is so hot you can’t walk barefooted and you could go miles and miles without seeing a single soul. In this story, you’ll meet a badass 450cc rally motorcycle, an opiniated but gentle dromedary, and two highly strong-willed young persons from opposite sides of the planet who get off to a bad start then can’t keep their hands off each other.

Carnivora by Lea Bronsen book cover

 

Title: A Thorned Rose in the Sand
Genre: Interracial multiracial romance
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Date of Publication: 5/5/18
ASIN: B07CWGDZLY
Word Count: 77 Pages

When life in a big U.S. city becomes too much, Stevie Jones decides to live her wildest dream – compete against the tough guys in a motorcycle rally across Morocco. But the real excitement is found away from the race track, in the shifting sands of the desert.

After his studies in London, Ragab has returned to the nomadic lifestyle of his Bedouin family and the majestic silence of the Sahara. He dreams of the perfect wife, until a beautiful but feisty biker stuck in a sand dune turns his quiet world upside down.

 

 

 

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Excerpt: A Thorned Rose in the Sand

The girl screamed behind him. “Eeeeee!”

Too hard to resist. Until now, Ragab had had a difficult time respecting her privacy, but surely, a scream called for attention. What kind of a gentleman would he be if he didn’t check on a woman in distress?

He spun and found her kneeling on her jacket, nude and wet, arms outstretched in shock. He bit down a laugh. Yes, the deep well water was cold, but one got used to it, and in the extreme heat of the desert, it was a blessing.

She turned, caught him staring, and even though he couldn’t see anything inappropriate, she hurried to cover her breasts and pubic area. “Look away!” she shouted, voice panicky.

The laugh bubbled inside him, but he obediently turned back to the motorcycle—then stood in such a way he could see her reflection in one of the side mirrors.

Oh, it was like watching a porn scene. Her long, red curls hung wild over her back and round, white butt cheeks. Every time she moved, a portion of her breasts appeared in the space between her ribs and arms. Such perfect feminine curves, all over. Imagine if he saw the front…

Blood rushed to his groin. Stiffening, bothered, he tore from the sight, walked over to the well, and leaned against its waist-high wall, hoping the hardness of the bricks and coolness from the water below would temper his arousal before it became a full-blown erection.

So silent…

He strained to hear.

Splashes. Muffled squeals. More splashes.

He turned slowly and stole a glance from the corner of his eye.

She washed her panties and black top in the bucket and leaned forward to spread them in the sun. […]

Ooh!

Shocked to his core, he turned back and groaned low […].

He closed his eyes, drew long, slow breaths to calm the painful throbbing and counted minutes, trying to think of something else.

His dromedary, for example. It would be cool to show her how to ride it. What if he rode another one, and they both galloped on the dunes together, she laughing, ecstatic…

Then they’d roll in the sand, and he would tease her thighs apart and […]. Oh, yes.

She called, “Ready?”

He risked a glance in her direction.

Wearing one of his sisters’ dresses and looking divine with her red curls floating behind her—and her face white and clean—she strolled to the motorcycle, carrying a bag and her clothes. She stuffed everything on top of the fuel tanks, got up, lifted the dress to her knees, and started the motor.

Not once looking at him.

 

Lea Bronsen

About Lea Bronsen

Lea Bronsen likes her reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strives to give her own stories the same intensity. After venturing into dirty inner-city crime drama with her debut novel Wild Hearted, she divides her writing time between psychological thriller, romantic suspense, and dark erotic romance.

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Spotlight on Psychological Thriller: Carnivora by @LeaBronsen

Hi Everyone,
Departing from our usual spotlights on romance and all things fantasy and paranormal… For the crime drama and thriller readers, here’s a dark tale from author Lea Bronson, along with a foreword from the author herself…

A Note From Lea Bronsen

I’ve always been fascinated by dark psychological thrillers that mess with your mind and keep you on the edge of your seat. I toyed with the genre writing my debut novel Wild Hearted, but labeled it a crime drama. Its sequel, Carnivora, evolved over six years to become a full-blown hold-your-breath thriller that deals with grave issues such as kidnapping, child sex trafficking, and self-harm.

Telling five parallel stories with as many voices, it gives you the perspectives of a police informant, a hunted gangster, a mad avenger, an inconsolable girlfriend, and a psychotic kidnapper. I pull no punches weaving these stories, so be prepared for a dark, gritty, and graphic read – a little dirty on the erotic side – that I hope will play with your strings and stick with you for a long time.

Please note that this is part 1 of Carnivora and I am currently working on parts 2 and 3, so if those cliffhangers at the end are killing you, don’t despair. The continuation is right around the corner!

Carnivora by Lea Bronsen book cover

 
Title: Carnivora
# in Series: 1
Genre: Dark Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Writer’s In Crime
Date of Publication: 9/19/19
ASIN: B07Y53K3HM
Word Count: 144 Pages

Fight evil with evil.

TOMOR
Crime lord Tomor is serving a life sentence behind bars. Without warning, he’s abducted by mysterious men. A sick manhunt is on, with people around him dying like flies. He will need all his street flair and gangster skills to prevent his loved ones from ending up on the death list.

LUZ
Luz grieves the loss of her lover while striving to take care of their baby. The last thing she needs is to fall for the new neighbor.

DAVID
A year after he betrayed his adoptive father and sent him to jail, David is slowly rebuilding his life. Then everything falls apart again: he learns that Tomor has escaped, and his police connections lead him to a child sex trafficking ring involving cold, powerful men.

The cops are in over their heads with “Project Carnivora” … Perhaps the only one who can help bust the pedophile predators is an equally vicious devil: Tomor, the country’s most hunted criminal.

 

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Excerpt: Carnivora, Book 1

“Time to change your bandage again,” the nurse mutters, voice cool, and pulls my orange-colored sleeve up to the elbow.

She unrolls the long strip of bandage from my wrist and tugs at one corner of the gauze plastered on my wound. It sticks as if glued to the freshly grown skin, and instead of removing the gauze carefully, she tears if off hard, discharging pain through my arm, wrist-to-shoulder.

I open my eyes and lift my head off the pillow. “What the fuck are ya doing, trying to reopen the wound or something?”

“Like you care.” She stops pulling and glares, gauze between her fingers. “I can see who you are inside. You’re playing tough, aren’t you, bad guy? But you can’t fool me.”

“Shut up.” I lay down again, huffing, and stare at the white ceiling above me with its rows of long neon lights.

“You’re a good man.”

I glance back. “I said, shut the fuck up.”

Her eyes shine. She rips off the remaining gauze, ignoring my grunt of pain, and throws it in a bin. “Look.”

No fuck.

“Look at it,” she insists, voice low and demanding.

No. I know what I’ve done, and I can imagine what it looks like. A six centimeter-long deep, reddish, scratched-up ridge along my artery. Layers of skin, fat, meat, and whatnot must be visible and sweating a pinkish liquid from the reborn pores. I don’t need to see it.

I guess the girl wants me to be so horrified, I’ll never attempt suicide again. That’s right. She wants to shock me into acceptance.

You gotta be fucking kidding me, little thing.

She shakes her head. “I don’t understand why they gave you the life sentence.”

“You mean they shoulda given me the chair?”

Instead of responding to my sarcasm, she pivots to look up at the clock and widens her eyes as if realizing she forgot an appointment. Face tense, she returns to her work, applies some cool, gel-like liquid on the wound, and bandages it with quick routine moves.

What’s up with her? In my three days in this woman’s company, I’ve noted the things that make her tick. Maybe she’s upset because I’m leaving the infirmary soon. Earlier, she said she didn’t know when I’d be ready to go back to my cell. She probably knows now, but doesn’t want to tell me.

The door opens. She jumps.

A uniformed guard pokes his head in, checks the small room, and exits.

She seems frozen in place, features tense. Staring ahead and taking deep breaths as if trying to regain composure.

I cock my head a little. “What’s going on? They gonna transfer me?”

She visibly swallows and fixes her gaze on some point on the wall.

I snicker. “Are you sad ‘cause I’m leaving?”

Ha, I can be so ugly, when the girl clearly likes me.

As she sits there avoiding me, I take the time to check out her tits, and drink in the amazing sight of their pressing against her green blouse with each breath. She doesn’t have a name tag. Come to think of it, none of the personnel do. Evidently, so the inmates can’t identify their ‘caretakers’, and should they by some miracle leave the premises, track them down.

I nod to her blouse. “What’s your name?”

She twists back to me, brows raised, before shaking her head. “I can’t tell you that.”

“C’mon, I’ll never see you again.” I grin, then add with an ironic snicker, teasing her, “They’ll never let me slash my wrists, or hang myself.”

She looks away and busies herself collecting the medical stuff, throwing a quick, almost invisible glance to the door. What the hell is making her so nervous?

Coldness fills my chest. Something’s up.

“Come on, Babe,” I coax with my most gentle, sensual voice, wanting to buy time. “Tell me your name.”

“Why?” she whispers, fidgeting with the roll of bandage.

“’Cause I want a name to your pretty face when I jack off in my cell.”

Lea Bronsen

About Lea Bronsen

Lea Bronsen likes her reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strives to give her own stories the same intensity. After venturing into dirty inner-city crime drama with her debut novel Wild Hearted, she divides her writing time between psychological thriller, romantic suspense, and dark erotic romance.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Pinterest | BookBub |
Instagram | GoodReads

 

 

Spotlight on #EroticRomance: Shade Addiction by @LeaBronsen

Hello My Dear Readers,
Sending you love and hugs from Shelter-In-Place San Francisco. I hope you are all safe and healthy. This week, I’ll be sharing three works by author Lea Bronson. First up, a high heat romance.
Happy reading and enjoy Lea Bronsen Week!
xo, Celia

Shade Addiction by Lea Bronsen book cover

 
Title: Shade Addiction
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Publisher: Writer’s In Crime
Date of Publication: 3/13/20 (2nd Edition)
ASIN: B084KPTQT3
Word Count: 97 Pages

Ex-boxer Mike Logan struggles to put a brutal past behind and make ends meet as a bus driver. When a young runaway settles for an all-night ride, he seizes the chance to do a good deed—get her home safely. But first, they’ll drive around and talk.

What he doesn’t anticipate is that this broken night angel is also a sexy little minx needing a lot more…and not just the gentle kind.

**This is an expanded edition of the story previously featured in the anthology Passion, Pleasure, Pain in 2019**

#Dark #Erotic #Romance

 

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Lea Bronsen

About Lea Bronsen

Lea Bronsen likes her reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strives to give her own stories the same intensity. After venturing into dirty inner-city crime drama with her debut novel Wild Hearted, she divides her writing time between psychological thriller, romantic suspense, and dark erotic romance.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Pinterest | BookBub |
Instagram | GoodReads

 

 

Deck the Halls with #Books: Maggie’s Starring Role by Emily Mims

Hi Everyone! Happy Holidays! The Deck the Halls multi-author event is drawing to a close soon. Here’s a look at participating author Emily Mim’s contemporary romance, plus check out her dressing and gravy recipe. Be sure to enter the event giveaway, too! Enjoy! xo, Celia

Bewitching Book Tours Deck the Halls with Books Event, December 2 through 20

Title: Maggie’s Starring Role
Series: Durango St. Theatre Series
Number: Book Two
Author: Emily Mims
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Company
Release date: Sept. 23, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-951055-16-5
# or Pages: 198
Word count: 68K
Cover Artist: Boroughs Art Department

It’s all about the money, honey.

Maggie Gutierrez’s job is to keep the Durango Street Theatre afloat financially. In other words, she spends her days sticking her hand in people’s pockets in the hopes of pulling out cash. Well, euphemistically.

The Harrington Foundation grant would go a long way to ensuring the theater’s continued survival, but the administrator of the grant is the guy she used to crush on in a big way, and the last time they saw each other…let’s say things didn’t go so well. As in, he blames her for his father’s death.

Soooo…what’s a girl to do? Anything she can to get that grant, including spending time with him, which takes them down a road that might just lead to a forever neither envisioned.

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Maggie’s Starring Role Excerpt

She settled into her desk chair and Kirby sat down across from her. “So are there any questions I can answer for you?” she asked, cursing the faint flush she could feel on her cheeks. She wasn’t sure if it was from wanting to impress him on the theater’s behalf or Kirby himself.

“No. Not a one.” He leaned forward with an unreadable expression. “Don’t get your hopes up about the grant. The only reason I came today was because the Rileys insisted. I have no intention of letting those people award their grant to the Durango.” She caught a smirk starting to cross his face before he schooled it into impassivity.

The rustling coming from the other office stopped. Maggie willed herself not to look up at the gap at the top of the temporary wall. “May I ask why? Don’t we meet the parameters of the grant?” she asked, feigning confusion.

“Actually, you do. If things were different, I would be happy to see them award the grant to the theater. But with things the way they are, I intend to see that they send the grant another direction. I’m sure you understand.”

Maggie’s heart sank as she looked at him. So the grant was lost because of his antipathy toward her. He really was going to take his anger with her out on the whole theater. Damn him, she thought hotly. He was a prick. Some things never change. The grant might be gone, but he wasn’t going to get away with a stunt like this. She’d be damned if she let him walk out the door with no repercussions. He was going to explain himself to everyone at the Durango and the chips could fall where they may. She had nothing to lose. “No, I’m afraid I don’t understand. If we meet the parameters of the grant, why are you so determined that it go elsewhere?”

“Because of your association with the theater,” he said, his voice calm and his expression cold. “I absolutely refuse to work with you. You are directly responsible for my father’s death and I will not work with you, have anything to do with you, or award the grant to the theater that employs you.”

“So let me be clear. You’re mad at me, so you’re willing to take it out on everyone here at the Durango, despite the wonderful proposal, and even though we meet the parameters and need the money desperately. Do I have that right?”

“I wouldn’t have put it that way, but yes. You have that right.” He leaned forward. “Karma’s a bitch, isn’t she?”

“Oh dear. I am so disappointed.” She leaned forward so that they were barely a foot apart. “Especially since your old friend Josh Goldstein, who’s my boss and the executive director of the theater, assured me you’d be fair despite your feelings toward me. Why, he sat in that office next door, the one he’s sitting in right now eavesdropping on this entire conversation, and said you weren’t the kind to take out your feelings about me on the theater.” She looked up and raised her voice. “Did you hear all that, Josh? Guess you were wrong. He doesn’t plan to play fair.”

“Yes, I heard every damned word,” Josh yelled.

“I did, too,” Rachel shouted from her office two doors down.

“So did I,” a deep voice piped up from the lobby.

Kirby’s face morphed from a vindictive smirk to unmasked horror. “You…you knew they were listening,” he gasped. “You knew they’d hear every word.”

“They needed to.” Maggie regarded him steadily. “You’re breaking faith with the Rileys and you’re breaking faith with us. I told you yesterday we both needed to behave in a professional manner. Instead you decided to use the grant as a weapon to pay me back for something in our past that you hold against me. You’re being unfair to the Durango and you’re being unfair to the Rileys. Somebody needs to know. Hopefully someone who will inform the Rileys of your duplicity.”

Kirby opened his mouth but glanced up and closed it again. He muttered something under his breath as he stood up and yanked the door open, slamming it behind him.

Maggie leaned her elbows on the desk and put her chin in her hands. That had been sneaky, but damn it, Kirby had no right to punish the theater because he was mad at her. They deserved a fair shake, and if that meant getting Kirby in trouble for admitting he was using the grant as a weapon, so be it. She giggled as the sound of raised voices filtered into her office. Good. Josh was giving Kirby a deserved ration of shit. And if she wasn’t mistaken, the voice she’d heard in the lobby was none other than Wade Baxter. The Rileys’ grandson. She smirked even as she rubbed her aching temples.

Yes, Kirby, Karma can be a bitch.

 

Feature article graphic

Granny Johnson’s Turkey Dressing and Gravy, by Emily Mims

This recipe is a treasured one from my childhood. We would gather at my grandmother’s home on Christmas Eve, nearly forty of us some years, and this would be on the menu every year, along with a big turkey and candied sweet potatoes and everyone’s favorite side dish.One of my proudest accomplishments is learning to make it just like Granny did. The recipe is admittedly complicated, but the end result is more than worth it!

(1) Two pans or baking sheets of homemade biscuits. Any homemade biscuits will work.

(2) Three recipes of buttermilk cornbread below. (Two if just the 6 of you.)

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups yellow or white cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk or something like ½ and ½ if your bunch doesn’t like buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs

Heat oil in 10 inch cast iron pan, pie pan, or whatever in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Mix and make a well in center. Add buttermilk and eggs and pour into skillet or pie pan. Bake 20-30 minutes or until golden. (The time kind of depends on the oven. Just watch and don’t let it burn.)

(3) Dressing itself…

Cornbread and biscuit mixture described below.
10-15 eggs, fewer if 2 recipes, more if 3
1-2 cups onions, fewer if 2 recipes, more if 3
Salt to taste

Rubbed sage to taste–I usually end up using most or all of a jar so buy 2.

Whatever turkey juice collects in the bottom of the pan–I always add water to the bottom of the pan to get more juice. If the turkey juice is loaded with butter, so much the better.

LOTS of chicken broth–I’ve seen the time that, with three recipes, I’ve used almost a gallon of broth. The cornbread and biscuits soak up the fluid like crazy. This may seem like a lot, but that’s what makes it moist and creamy. Too little and it will be dry. Don’t try to do this with the little cans–buy several cartons. Better yet, make your own. I collect chicken parts for several weeks-the skin and bones of breasts or the backs and innards of whole chickens or both and boil them for several hours. It’s way cheaper to make your own. If you do buy the cartons, be careful about the amount of salt you add as those are frequently salty already.

Cuisinart biscuits and cornbread. Mix in a 3 cornbread/2 biscuit ratio by volume until cornbread is gone. (Eat rest of biscuits for breakfast.)
Cut up and boil onions until they are soft and clear.
Add onions and cooking broth.
Add eggs.
Add turkey juice and chicken broth until downright wet and it stirs easily.
Add salt (carefully if using prepared chicken broth) and sage to taste.

(Note–at this point if it grew in the pan and you have a lot more than you think you can use, freeze part of it to bake later.)

Bake in large, deep baking dishes like Corningware or a Dutch oven. (It will dry out in a cake pan.) I usually cover mine so it stays moist.

Cook 1 ½ hours or until set throughout but you can and should stir it occasionally so it cooks evenly and doesn’t get hard along the sides of the pan. If it starts to dry out add more broth.

Please, please cook this separately from the turkey itself. With this many eggs, I worry about it not getting up to temperature in the cavity of the turkey.

I usually make the cornbread and biscuits the day before so they can cool completely before I run them through the Cuisinart.

You will need a HUGE mixing bowl to do this. My mixing bowls are those great big metal ones that are actually wider than my sink. Treat yourself to one if you don’t have one.

Gravy

  • Innards and neck from turkey
  • ½ cup of flour
  • Two boiled eggs
  • Some turkey broth from turkey if desired
  • Salt

Boil the innards from the turkey in 1 or two cups of water. Keep adding water for an hour or two until you have the goodness from the turkey parts.

Brown the flour in the oven 13-20 minutes until it’s light brown.

When dinner is close, remove the innards and the neck. If desired, chop the liver, gizzard, etc. and return to the broth.
Add the flour and stir until it reaches the consistency you desire.
You can also add a little of the broth from the turkey itself to add a bit more flavor. Add salt but do it carefully as some of the ingredients already have salt in them.
Slice the boiled eggs and add to the gravy.

Note: This can be cut down to one cornbread recipe, one sheet of biscuits, 5 eggs, ¾ cup onion plus whatever broth is needed for a smaller dinner. I made it last night to go with a baked chicken and used the juice from the chicken along with the broth. It was good but did suffer some from not having the actual turkey juices.

 

About Emily Mims

Emily Mims headshot

Author of nearly forty romance novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write fulltime. The mother of two sons, she and her husband split their time between their home in San Antonio and a second home on Lake Buchanan, and make frequent trips to Tennessee to visit their grandchildren. For fun, she plays the piano, organ and dulcimer, and plays her ukulele and sings in two different performing groups. She says, “I love to write romances because I believe in them. Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman-if she’ll just let it.”

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Bewitching Book Tours Deck The Halls Holiday Extravaganza Giveaway

Emily Mim’s prize in multi-author giveaway: 1 copy of Maggie’s Starring Role and $10 Amazon gift card

Enter the Deck The Halls Holiday Extravaganza Rafflecopter Giveaway –>

 

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