Thursday teaser: The Collection

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Romantic comedy by Kayla Dawn Thomas

Tequila twang hit the back of my throat. Fighting the urge to grimace and twitch, I grabbed my glass of orange juice and took a slug. The alcohol warmed all the way down while the juice softened the blow. I smiled at the bartender, signaling I needed another round.

A short man with wide shoulders, a thick neck, and beefy arms took the stool beside mine. He looked like a brick. His hair was buzzed so short on his squarish head, it almost hid the gray beginning to sprinkle through it, and a close-fitting gray t-shirt created the illusion of a younger man. But I had an eye for male smoke and mirrors.

The bartender brought him a beer from the tap. He took a sip and then looked over at me and my fresh glasses of tequila and orange juice. “Interesting combo,” he said. Then his eyes slid over my fitted, white halter dress. He didn’t know the tie was cutting into my neck. I’d cinched it down tight in a desperate attempt to keep the girls corralled. I never knew when I’d have to launch into action.

“It works,” I replied. I had no desire to get into a conversation with this guy. I had a job to finish tonight. I checked the time on my phone. My “let him sweat break” was almost over, and there was no doubt in my mind Mr. Mendoza was sweating right now. I tipped back my second shot.

The Brick ordered a tequila and orange juice for himself and a round for me. What the hell. My job barely bordered on legal, so why not drive a little tipsy while I was at it.

We clinked shot glasses. I sipped my orange juice and watched him experience the combo for the first time. He smacked his lips. “Pretty damn good. Thanks for the tip.”

“Thanks for the drink,” I said, reaching for my purse.

“I’ve seen you in here before. I just haven’t been brave enough to approach you,” the Brick said.

I glanced over to where his left hand rested on the bar, noticing the white tan line in place of a wedding ring.

He ran a hand over his buzz cut as an excuse to flex his biceps. I pressed my lips together to suppress a laugh. Over the last couple of years, I’d learned a lot about the antics guys use to impress women. When one took a moment to dissect them, they became outright hilarious.

“Can I order you another round?”

Photo by Miguel Andrade on Unsplash

“No. I have to get back to work.”

His eyes bugged a little. “You get to drink on the job?”

“I work for myself.”

He nodded like he got it, but I doubted he did. Next thing I knew, he was setting one of his meaty paws on my forearm. Despite its size, his touch was gentle. “Look, I can’t let you go before I ask you something.”

“Shoot.” I was pretty sure I knew what was coming. This wasn’t my first rodeo. In fact, these moments were what kept my HOA fees paid and expensive bags on my shoulder.

“I’m a personal trainer.” That explained the muscles. “And to keep up on what’s new in the industry, I go to conferences a few times a year. There’s one in Chicago next weekend.” He kept his eyes on the thumb stroking my arm. Aw, he was nervous.

“Anyway, I would love it if you came with me.” With the words out, he felt brave enough to look me in the eye.

“Is that so?” I arched one of my expertly waxed brows. Had his wife attended any of these conferences?

A flush spread across his cheeks, and he moved his hand to my hip. “Yeah.”

My phone dinged, signaling a new text message. I glanced at it. Mrs. Mendoza was ready for her delivery.

“I’ll think about it,” I said. “Do you have a card?”

While I paid for my first two rounds, he whipped out his wallet and eagerly slipped a card for a well-known meathead gym into my hand. “Call me.”

“Oh, I will,” I said, turning so his hand grazed my butt. I gave my hips an extra little wiggle as I left the bar. He’d hear from me, but Mrs. Brick would hear from me first.

The Collection

Think twice before you slip off that ring, boys.

Arriving at her parents’ house for an impromptu visit, Jenna Ray gets her own surprise when she finds her father lip locked with a strange woman. Then, her brother-in-law defiles her sister’s car with a waitress in a parking lot. Jenna Ray snaps the night she discovers her mentor with his receptionist wrapped around his waist and proceeds to dump the guy in nothing but his boxers at his wife’s feet. Discovering her hidden talent to seduce, Jenna walks away from her IT career and reinvents herself as a vigilante seeking justice for women who are too tired and hurt to stand up for themselves.

A side effect of the job is losing her ability to trust any man. So, when she finds herself getting lost in Thad Benson’s hypnotic blue eyes, Jenna fights the attraction with all she’s got. But Thad’s a patient man, who’s up to the challenge of taming Jenna.

With a cast of quirky friends, clients, and family, the Jenna Ray Stories will have you laughing and cringing at Jenna’s predicaments.

Get it on Amazon.

Kayla Dawn Thomas

has been telling stories since she could talk, telling her wild tales to a jump rope until she learned to read and write. Her mother was relieved when she made the transition to paper.

Today Kayla writes contemporary romance, weaving her experiences growing up on a cattle ranch into her work as well as whatever is striking her funny bone or curiosity at the moment. When Kayla isn’t writing she enjoys swimming, reading, and spending time with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.

Learn more about Kayla and her books at her

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Thursday teaser: Lee

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Contemporary romance

Lee: Lucian & Lia book 6 romantic erotica

By Sydney Landon

“So how many exactly have there been since I left?  Assistants, I mean,” I add quickly.  I certainly have no desire to hear about the number of women warming his bed.  He probably can’t count that high. 

“A few,” he says vaguely.  “No one has any type of work ethic anymore.  And the few who managed to show up on time couldn’t take direction if you stapled a detailed list to their damn forehead.  Do you know that I asked one of them for the Camden file, and she came into my office with a purse the size of the Grand Canyon and dumped it out on my floor?  When she started crawling around down there going through the debris, I asked her what she was doing and she said that she didn’t know what name brand her nail file was, but she figured it would do the job.” 

I can’t help it.  I laugh until tears are rolling down my face.  I can so easily imagine Lee’s expression when that happened.  “That’s hilarious,” I manage to croak out as he shakes his head at me.  When I get myself under control, I ask, “So I take it that she didn’t make it long after that?” 

“Hell no,” he grunts.  “As soon as she put all that shit back into her bag, I had HR inform her that her services were no longer needed.  I was half afraid that she’d find that damn nail file and stab me with it, but according to Pete, who was close by, she actually hummed on her way out.” 

“She was probably thrilled to get away from you,” I joke.  Lee wasn’t an easy man to work for, especially if you couldn’t read his mind.  Luckily, we connected from the beginning, and it had never really been a problem for me. 

“I just want people to do what I pay them for,” he states, making no apologies.  And why should he?  Yes, he can be a bit abrupt, but he works just as hard, if not harder, than anyone there.  Plus, the pay scale at Falco is far better than most businesses in North Carolina. 

“I agree with you,” I say softly.  Then as quickly as the moment of familiarity that only comes from working together is there, it’s gone, and I’m on edge once again.  I want to know why he’s here, yet I’m terrified to ask.  But this strange impasse that we’re at must end, and he doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to do it.  Therefore, it’s up to me.  So, squaring my shoulders, I ask point-blank, “Why are you really here, Lee?  You and I both know this is completely out of character for you.” 

He smirks for a moment, then inclines his head to acknowledge the truth of my words.  “I’d like you to come back to work.  Seeing as you’re currently unemployed, it shouldn’t be a problem.  You can start in the morning.  Kara will be more than happy to turn everything back over to you.” 

I gape at him in shock.  “I—er… what?” I manage to get out.  He’s completely unruffled, while my hands twist in my lap as I try to decide if he’s joking or not.  Since when have you known him to joke?  It’s time to make that run for the door. 

He gets to his feet abruptly as if everything has been decided.  “I’ll see you at the usual time tomorrow.”  When I open my mouth to protest, he adds softly, “Don’t even think about not showing up.  Because if you aren’t there, the first place I’ll look is Hunter Wrenn’s home, and I know you don’t want that.”  My vision blurs as I stare at his retreating back.  For the second time that day, the front door is slammed as another angry person leaves.  “Oh, my God,” I whisper as I collapse in my chair.  He knows.  Dear God, he knows!  The voice in my head is in full panic mode, but outwardly, I’ve fallen into some kind of weird trance-like state. 

About Lee, the spicy romance

Romantic erotica

My name is Lee Jacks and I’ve lived a life that few could imagine. When you grow up as the son of a crack whore with little more than the clothes on your back most days being accepted by your peers is the last thing you expect. I was always an outcast which was fine by me. It’s what kept my brother and me alive. Survival is something that isn’t taught in public schools, but it damn well should be.

But I’m no longer a gutter rat to be kicked aside like yesterday’s trash. I’m a sought-after member of the Asheville, North Carolina elite and invited to parties given by the upper crust of society.

The one thing I never counted on was falling in love with my assistant Liza. In one of my few selfless acts, I refused to bring her into my corrupt world. When she quits her job, and walks away from me, I soon discover that I never really knew her at all. For she has secrets of her own and one of them could very well be the need to destroy me.

Graphic content warning: This romantic erotica novel contains depictions of violence, sexual abuse and child abuse.

Get it on

Sydney Landon

is the New York Times & USA Today best selling author of:  Weekends Required, Not Planning on You, Fall For Me, Fighting For You, Betting on You, No Denying You, Always Loving You, Pierced and Fractured.  Sydney is currently working on the next book in the Danvers’ Series as well as the Pierced Series.

When she isn’t writing romantic erotica or romance, Sydney enjoys reading, swimming and the beach.

She lives with her family in Greenville, South Carolina.

Get to know more about Sydney:

Her BestSelling Reads author page   |    Website    |    Amazon Author page    |    Barnes & Noble    |    Kobo    |    Google Play    |    iBooks

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Summer teasers: New books for reading in the sunshine

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It’s summer! Time for relaxing, beaches, cottages, lakes. Time to stretch out with a good book.

Your favorite bestselling authors have some excellent books ready for your summertime reading enjoyment.

A Soldier’s Fear

Military romance by D.G. Torrens

LOVE IS THE ENEMY… Dominic is a soldier for the British Army and Olivia, a freelance photojournalist. They meet by chance in Iraq after Olivia persuades Dominic’s commanding officer to allow her to tag along with Dominic’s convoy. Their fate is forever sealed on Mount Sinja. An all-consuming passion between them takes Olivia’s heart hostage and she falls irrevocably and irreparably in love with Dominic. Then, a cruel twist of fate on Mount Sinjar changes the course of their lives forever.

“This book will test all your emotions, and keep your attention to the very end.”—Tom Elder, Amazon

The Hilo Bay Mystery Collection

Three cozy mysteries by J.L. Oakley

The past never forgets. No one gets away with murder.

Auntie Bee Takahashi is a retired fourth grade teacher. Her great-niece, Tawnie Takahashi, is a hard-nose Honolulu TV crime reporter. When crimes from the past touch friends and family, Auntie Bee and Tawnie face down the past in hopes of finding justice and healing for the victims and their descendants.

In Coconut Island, a box of letters from a WWII soldier stationed on the Big Island found at the Big Island Historical Society, unlocking painful memories for Bee. Her older sister was swept away in the 1946 tsunami, but now Wendy suspects she was murdered first.

In Volcano House, plans for a big celebration at historic Volcano House take a dangerous turn in the form of a long missing manuscript of The Bottle Imp, Robert Louis Stevenson’s great horror story. It’s tied to an unsolved murder 125 years old, and the secrets behind two warring families spanning four generations.

In Hilina Pali, Auntie Bee receives a mysterious envelope. Items in it point to an old injustice with tragic consequences. She, Wendy and a local historian race to prevent the recurrence of a tragedy at Hilina Pali 75 years ago.

Mist-chi-mas: A Novel of Captivity

Romantic thriller by J.L. Oakley

Everyone is bound to something. Englishwoman Jeannie Naughton never intends to run away from life, but in 1860 a woman’s reputation is everything. A scandal not of her own making forces her to flee to an island in the Pacific Northwest, home to Coast Salish people and Hawaiians working for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Jeannie settles into life at English Camp where she meets American Jonas Breed. As a youth he was captured and held as a slave—a mist-chi-mas—by the Haida. Jeannie forms a passionate, hidden liaison with Breed.Jeannie and Breed plan to run away and marry. News that Breed has been killed in a fight leads Jeannie to marry Andrew Pierce. Twenty years later, recently widowed Jeannie receives news that Breed may be alive. She now embarks on a journey to find him, and stirs up an old and dangerous struggle of power and revenge.

“A masterful work of historical fiction”— Chanticleer Book Reviews

Take No More

Conspiracy thriller by Seb Kirby

This book will take you a ride to Florence and Venice—ideal for a summer break.

When James Blake discovers his wife murdered in their London home, he is determined to find her killer. As the prime suspect, he flees England and sets out on a journey that takes him to Florence and Venice and into a dark underworld of corruption, a trail that will lead him to the killer – and the shocking truth behind the mystery.

“Wow! This is action-packed from page one.”— Sibel Hodge, author of Into the Darkness

The Bonding Spell

Paranormal urban fantasy by
M.L. Doyle

Hester Trueblood can’t deny having an ancient, Sumerian goddess in her

head has its perks.

She enjoys her new strength and fighting abilities, things that would have been useful when she was a soldier. And the two handsome men dedicated to serving and protecting her are a nice bonus too.

On the other hand, there are drawbacks.

Having Inanna’s voice inside her head 24/7 can be annoying, and the constant threat of demons and monsters is a dangerous nuisance. The bitchy goddess and the evil hordes are problems Hester can handle, but the adoration of a demigod has Hester off balance.

None of that matters when an old secret threatens to destroy Hester’s family. To battle the goddess of witchcraft, Hester will need all of Inanna’s powers along with the help of her devoted soldiers—and even a love-struck demigod—if she wants to survive.

“The perfect combination of supernatural suspense, some spicy romance and a twisting mystery.”—K.L. Wilson, Amazon

Wildfire

Wildfire: Wine Country Mystery #1 by Scott Bury

Wine country mystery by Scott Bury

Wildfires swept across California wine country in 2017, destroying thousands of homes and businesses and killing dozens of people. Law school grad and single mother Tara Rezeck finds herself in the middle of the catastrophe. She has to evacuate with the rest of of the staff of Sonoma’s most award-winning winery. When she returns, she finds her employer’s body in the ashes.

The question that challenges her brains and her legal training is: was it an accident? Or was his body burned to hide evidence of murder?

“It starts out at a run, and keeps you hooked till the end.”—Diane G, Amazon

The [Stolen] Series:
Once Upon a [Stolen] Time

and Once Upon a [Fallen] Time

Historical fantasy by Samreen Ahsan

2015…

All her life, Myra Farrow has been obsessed with medieval castles—and the kings and princes who once inhabited them. Now, wealthy videogame designer Steve Bernard wants her to model for a princess character in his new game, filming inside the mysterious Hue Castle—a cursed, barren, colorless place forbidden to visitors for centuries. Unknown to Myra, her soul is bound to Hue Castle by blood and sorcery. When she enters it, she awakens dark powers that will reach through time—stealing her past, torturing her present, and rewriting her future.

“This is a wonderful , magical book.”—Paula, Amazon reviewer

Fight to Survive

Military thriller by Alan McDermott

Eva Driscoll Thriller Book 3

Ex-CIA assassin Eva Driscoll has found a new life in Australia and believes she’s outrun the Executive Security Office, the most powerful and secretive organization on the planet. But the ESO has been watching her every move and when they approach her with a high-risk mission in North Korea, Eva is forced to co-operate with the organization she once vowed to destroy.

But releasing a high-ranking defector proves costly, and Driscoll is captured and imprisoned in a secret camp on the Chinese border. What she witnesses there will haunt her forever . . . so she decides to take matters into her own hands. But how long can she keep the ESO thinking she’s working in their interests rather than her own?

When her handlers become suspicious, Eva knows time is not on her side.

Incendiary is the fourth book in the Eliza Carlisle Mystery series. For Eliza Carlisle, starting a new year means making tough choices, even if those decisions mean losing friends and possibly getting kicked out of culinary school. She’s all set to take her life in a new direction when her demented half-brother Simon’s reappearance changes everything.

Back Side of a Blue Moon

Historical fiction by Caleb Pirtle III

2018 BEVERLY HILLS AWARD WINNER for Historical Fiction

BEST OF TEXAS BOOK AWARDS for Historical Fiction

Times are hard along the Sabine River, and the little East Texas town of Ashland is crumbling under the weight of the Great Depression. Families are giving up and leaving town. No one can save Ashland. It is as isolated as the back side of a blue moon.

Into town comes Doc Bannister, the miracle man with a homemade doodlebug machine that, he says, can find oil beneath Eudora Durant’s blistered farmstead and make them all rich

Eudora thinks Doc is a flim-flam man. The Sheriff believes he is a con artist. The town knows Doc may be crooked, but he has brought hope to a town that had no hope.

Eudora has everything Doc wants. She is a beautiful woman who owns cheap land. In Ashland, she is known as the scarlet woman. Whispers say she murdered her husband.

She holds the fate of Ashland in her hands. Will she let Doc drill? Is there really oil lying deep beneath her sunbaked land? Can Doc find it? Or is he more interested in finding love than oil?

“Writing at its finest. Caleb Pirtle makes you sweat in the scorching sun and choke on the dust that fills your nostrils and clogs your throat.”—Kelly Marshall, Amazon

A Case of Sour Grapes

A Case of Sour Grapes - mystery by Gae-Lynn Woods

Mystery by Gae-Lynn Woods

Meet Maxine Leverman, lover of expensive shoes, beautiful handbags, and her lingerie wearing ex-husband’s hush money. When she pleads her way into a job at family-run Lost and Found Investigations, Maxine’s only goal is to gain the concealed carry license and PI skills she needs to find the man who attacked her, and then kill him. (Or maybe just put him in jail, that decision can wait.)

But when she secretly takes a missing husband case on her first day at the agency, she stumbles into a high-stakes game of blackmail and murder. Maxine must unravel the links between a forgotten folk-punk band, an international drug cartel, and the tangled history of the missing husband to keep the women in his life alive.

“An adventuresome, enticing and enjoyable read.”— Nancy While, Amazon

Meant for Her

Sports romance by Raine Thomas

Evan isn’t open to help from anyone, however. His focus is on his Major League career and making himself as marketable as possible for his upcoming free agency. He plans to ride out the season in Atlanta and then sign with another team, away from the painful memories that haunt him.
Someone’s eager to send him on his way, too. Between anonymous threats and equipment sabotage, it’s clear he’s earned himself an enemy along the way. To him, it’s one more sign that he’s right to move on. But Sierra threatens his conviction. Her contagious smile proves hard to resist, as does her kiss. She tempts him in ways he never anticipated, making him question his plans for the first time. If he’s not careful, she might just convince him that he’s meant for her.

“This was a great read. The story captured my imagination, the characters moved right into my heart and, as always, the writing style was creative, smooth and wonderful.”—The Book Hookup

Ghosts of Witches Past

Paranormal suspense by Corinne O’Flynn

From a USA Today Bestseller comes the story of magical families with a joined history full of secrets, lies, and murder…

A mother’s love. A dying wish. Secrets from the grave. The past never forgets…

Forced into seclusion after a traumatic event with “city ghosts” as a child, Wavy never leaves the safety of her riverside village, where the local ghosts are easy to spot and avoid.

Running for his life from the people who were supposed to protect him, Niall seeks out the only living witness to the murder that ruined his outcast family.

When an accidental meeting brings the two witches together, clues to a new mystery begin to unfold. Unraveling the threads of long-buried secrets brings connections to light that will haunt both their families forever.

“I love a GOOD ghost story, not just A ghost story, and O’Flynn does it perfectly!”—Montzalee Wittmann, Amazon

Velvet Rain

Science fiction by David C. Cassidy

A mysterious drifter, Kain Richards is the last of his kind—and a man on the run. Once a tortured prisoner and pawn in a clandestine government experiment, his freedom hangs in the balance against the relentless pursuit from Brikker, an obsessed and ruthless madman who will stop at nothing to possess him. 

Born with the Turn—the godlike power to reverse time—Kain’s ability is constrained inside a “bubble” that alters time within it. The further back he turns, the larger the bubble, the larger the effect—and the greater, stranger, and more dire and unpredictable the consequences.

“A great page turner that would make a great movie. “—Herb Fogler

Coming by the end of summer

Razor Rocks

Mystery by Toby Neal

Paradise Crime series, book 13

Coming August 15

Someone is attacking and robbing luxury yachts as they sail the Hawaiian Islands—their passengers missing and presumed dead. Sergeant Lei Texeira, with her typical leap first, look later style, dives into a case with the Coast Guard to find answers that lie as deep as Davy Jones’ locker.

Lei is back, solving crime again! Pre-order this fast-paced mystery with a twist of romance, and take a trip to Hawaii with the series that’s sold more than a million copies!

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Thursday teaser: Torino Dreams

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By DelSheree Gladden

“What are you doing?”

“What do you think I’m doing? I’m calling the police to report this,” he said. His fingers started dialing and Kate panicked. Lunging for his hand nearly pitched her into the snow when she tripped over a piece of the wreckage, but Kate grabbed his hand and stopped him from making the call. He ripped his hands away from her, glaring once again. “What is wrong with you?”

“Please don’t call the cops,” Kate begged him. “I only have two points left on my license. If they give me a ticket I might lose it.” There were other reasons she didn’t want the police involved, but Kate was not about to bring those up.

He smirked. “That’s your problem, not mine.” His finger moved to complete the call.

“I’ll fix your car!” Kate blurted out without thinking.

It was enough to make him pause. The way he scoffed at her offer made Kate want to smack him. “You? You are going to fix my car?”

“Yes. Please, just don’t call the police.”

He laughed outright, and not hitting him got even harder. “Why would I let you fix my car when I could just file a claim and have an actual professional fix my car?”

“I am a professional!” Kate snapped at him. Was he always so irritating?

“A professional what?” he asked, ignoring her attitude completely.

Oh, that was it. Kate’s freezing hands balled into fists. “A professional mechanic,” she said through her teeth.

Maybe he realized that Kate was about to add to his reason to call the police by punching him in the face, because he tamped down his obvious disbelief and mellowed his tone considerably when he spoke. “Why would I risk you taking off without fixing my car rather than just getting it fixed through your insurance?”

“I’ll fix it for free,” Kate said. Her stomach dropped out at the very idea of it, but she had to say it.

He lowered his phone, but he didn’t look like he was planning on giving in. “How are you going to fix my car for free if you can’t afford to pay a ticket? Do you have any idea how much parts cost for a BMW?”

“Of course I do. The 7 series is an expensive line to work on. Your Beamer isn’t the first one I’ve ever fixed up.” Not that Kate got the chance to work on luxury cars very often any more, but she definitely remembered back when she did. That used to be the only kind of cars she worked on.

“And what am I supposed to do for a car while you’re fixing this one? Are you going to get me a rental?”

Kate swallowed every last bit of bitter pride and made him an offer.

“I’ll loan you my car until I get yours fixed. I have a Ford Torino GT fastback at home. You can borrow that.”

His eyes lit up at the offer. Kate suddenly felt like she was going to throw up.

Torino Dreams

Kate hates hiding, but the risk of her past sneaking up on her is too great to risk getting involved in anyone else’s problems. At least, until getting involved is the only way to avoid a run-in with the police.The snow was to blame for the car wreck, but desperation forces Kate to make Sam an offer she’s sure she’ll regret. If she can fix Sam’s car and send him on his way without the getting the cops involved, she can get back to her normal, safe life.

It should be easy enough. Kate knows cars better than almost anything else. She can repair the damage to the car, but can she protect herself from falling for Sam and putting everything she’s worked for in danger?

“Begins with  a romantic swoony vibe, but then the suspense kicks in.”—Anima Giraldez, Amazon reviewer

This is a standalone book, so no waiting for part 2!

DelSheree Gladden

was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read.

Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by.

When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

And find her on social media

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Fight to Survive

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Launching today!

The third Eva Driscoll action thriller

By Alan McDermott


The third Eva Driscoll thriller launches today on Amazon.

Eva went back to her car and locked her purse inside, then walked across the lawn to the Holman residence. She opened the camera on her phone, set it on top of the mailbox by the sidewalk, and zoomed in so that the front door filled the center of the screen. She pressed the Record button, then walked up the path and rang the doorbell.

The shouting stopped. She wondered if that simple act had been enough to end the altercation, but it wasn’t to be. Jake threw the door open and glared at her, his face red and contorted with fury.

“What?” he yelled.

Eva pretended to flinch. “I want to make sure Sally’s okay.”

“How about you just fuck off and mind your own business?”

Jake tried to slam the door, but Eva threw out a leg so it hit the ball of her foot. The door swung back open, and she could see Sally standing in the middle of the living room, her hair a mess and a couple of red welts on her face.

Jake wheeled around and stood over Eva so they were a couple of inches apart.

Perfect.

“I want to see Sally,” she said quietly as she leaned in and pressed her thumb into the pressure point above his elbow, “and I’m not gonna let a chickenshit like you get in my way.” She knew the camera wouldn’t be able to see her gripping him, and it brought about the reaction she was hoping for.

Jake howled with rage and pushed her. Eva stumbled backward for a couple of steps, then collapsed onto the ground. Jake followed her, and Eva hid a smile as he approached. She couldn’t have choreographed it more perfectly if she’d tried.

He leaned over her, snorting like an enraged bull.

“That’s the last time I’m going easy on you,” he shouted, his pointed finger inches from Eva’s face. She swung a foot at his hand and connected; in retaliation, he aimed a kick at her ribs. Eva blocked it with her arm and rolled away before springing to her feet. Her back to the camera again, she whispered a taunt.

“You kick like a pussy.”

Jake was unable to contain himself. He lunged at Eva and swung his fist in an arc, but she saw it coming. She ducked slightly and the arm flew over her head; while Jake was off-balance, she delivered a vicious punch that connected with his jaw. Jake wobbled but managed to stay on his feet, which wasn’t in the script. He kicked at her again, but she pirouetted into him and caught him on the temple with her elbow.

The fight was over.

Fight to Survive

is the third Eva Driscoll thriller following Run and Hide and Seek and Destroy.

She’s working for her enemies. Or so they think…

Ex-CIA assassin Eva Driscoll has found a new life in Australia and believes she’s outrun the Executive Security Office, the most powerful and secretive organization on the planet. But the ESO has been watching her every move and when they approach her with a high-risk mission in North Korea, Eva is forced to co-operate with the organization she once vowed to destroy.

But releasing a high-ranking defector proves costly, and Driscoll is captured and imprisoned in a secret camp on the Chinese border. What she witnesses there will haunt her forever . . . so she decides to take matters into her own hands. But how long can she keep the ESO thinking she’s working in their interests rather than her own?

When her handlers become suspicious, Eva knows time is not on her side. Can she defeat the evil at the heart of the camp and get out alive—or will this final installment really be her last?

Alan McDermott

is a husband, father to beautiful twin girls, and a full-time author. Alan lives in the south of England, and in 2014 he swapped writing critical application for the NHS to penning thrillers that have gone on to sell close to a million copies. His debut novel, Gray Justice, was well received and earned him membership of Independent Authors International. That book launched in July 2011, and by the time he’d written the follow-ups, Gray Resurrection and Gray Redemption, it had attracted the attention of a major publisher. Alan signed with Thomas & Mercer in 2013 and has now written six novels in the Tom Gray series and a spinoff called Trojan. Alan’s eighth novel introduced a new female lead, Eva Driscoll, and a new thriller series.

Alan can be found:

BestSelling Reads author page   |   Amazon Author page   |   Website   |   blog   |    Facebook    |   Twitter

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The Bonding Blade—Out today!

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Thursday teaser

By M.L. Doyle

The follow-up to M.L. Doyle’s acclaimed The Bonding Spell is out today on Amazon. You’ll only need to read this sample, featuring the 21st-century incarnations of the Sumerian goddess Inanna and her demigod lover Gilgamesh, to be convinced to get the whole book.

I checked my cell phone for the time again. Waiting for Fredricks began to grate at my nerves. “How does he manage to make an immortal feel like she’ll die before he finds what he’s looking for?”

Gil flashed his teeth at me before turning his most intimidating glare to the wizard.

“I thought you knew where everything was in this hovel of yours,” Gil said. “What is taking you so long?”

“I apologize, my lord. There are many references to blood contracts and many more that claim to be a way to break the contract, but upon further inspection, the breakage usually involves the death of the person who entered into the agreement.”

“Well, that won’t suit our purposes, will it, wizard?” I said.

“No, my goddess. I understand. I think I’m getting close.” He held a large book open, his hand skimming over the words. “This one is a bit different. I’m just working out the translation now, but roughly it says, ah… blood is the permanent bond for which the promise lives. Ah, it goes on, and this was the part I was unsure of. Oh yes, right here it says, ‘but the trials of Shamash bring the … the …  I just can’t figure out this word. Sword maybe? The dagger?”

“Blade,” Gil said, his voice heavy. He leaned both hands on the table in the center of the room. “The blade of Utu.”

Fredricks and I waited for him to elaborate, but he didn’t.

“Gil?”

He straightened, ran a hand through his hair and took a deep breath. “You won’t like it, my queen.”

I crossed my arms and leaned a hip against the table. “I don’t like what’s happening to my Quinn now, sooooo…”

Gil held his hand out to Fredricks, who hefted the large tome into his hand. Gil held it up as if it weighed nothing. He skimmed the page, running his finger back and forth over the same passage a few times. His face hardened as he read. Finally, his gaze flicked up to me. “You know of Utu?”

I was so happy when that one was crushed into oblivion, Inanna said.

“Nope, but evidently, Inanna does.”

“I would hope she would. Utu is or was the lord of justice in her time. He meted out punishments, adjudicated disputes …”

“And contracts, I assume.”

“Exactly. He is quite well known for having several items which, after his death, could be used to determine the right and the wrong of things as he did while alive. A staff that would bend and twist when someone told a lie. A ring that would glow to identify the righteous party.”

“Handy. Too bad we don’t have doodads like that these days. Are you saying one of these items could be used to break Quinn’s contract?”

“No. Both of the items I spoke of were destroyed.”

“How do you know that? And how could an immortal die in the first place?”

Gil lay the large book on the table and leaned over it, a rigid set to his shoulders. “I know this because I killed him myself, and destroyed his talismans.”

Fredricks shrank back, sucking in air with a hiss, his hand to his throat. The drama queen.

 I waited for Gil to elaborate, but he didn’t. The longer I waited, the more disturbed he looked. Finally, he slammed the book shut and picked it up, holding his hand out to me.

“We’ll be back, wizard. Speak to no one about this.”

The Bonding Blade

Can the embodiment of an ancient goddess live a balanced life in modern times?

Former Army Sergeant Hester Trueblood struggles to find the answer, seven years after fate bonded her to the ancient Sumerian Goddess, Inanna. Whether engaging in battles to the death with demons or entering fight club scraps, Hester’s life is forever subjected to Inanna’s whims and insatiable lust. It hasn’t been easy to juggle the mounting perilous challenges, or to tolerate the demands of her demi-god lover, Gilgamesh.

When her warrior Quincy is stricken with a mysterious illness, Hester thinks a supernatural blade could be the answer to save him. Or it just might destroy the world.

One thing is for sure. Nobody is immune from the painful reality of loss and suffering—not even a goddess.

Read the exciting second instalment of The Desert Goddess series. A blend of fantasy, action adventure, mystery, and romance with a biting sense of humor.

Get it today in paperback or e-book format on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, Angus & Robertson (Australia), Playster or 24Symbols.

M.L. Doyle

aimed to prove her brother wrong when she joined the Army on his dare. Almost two decades later, she not only confirmed that she could, contrary to his warning, make it through basic training, her combat boots took her to the butt-end of nowhere and back countless times and she lived to tell about it … or write about it as it turned out.

A native Minnesotan, Mary lives in Baltimore where her evil cats force her to feed and care for them including cleaning up their poo. To escape from her torture, Mary loves to hear from readers. Check her out on Facebook.com, or Twitter @mldoyleauthor, and you can read excerpts of all of her work on her website at www.mldoyleauthor.com.

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