Two souls intertwined. One epic love story.
Get swept away in the passionate romance between political opposites Caroline Gerard and Jack McIntyre in the first half of The Bellator Saga.
"If you only read one series in 2016, make it The Bellator Saga by Cecilia London!" - Irene, The Literary Gossip
"I can't recommend this series enough. It's one for any contemporary romance reader, any Hunger Games lover, any dystopian lover, any fans of erotica. I IMPLORE you to read this series. You don't want to miss it." - TeriLyn Reviews
"...One of the most unforgettable reads of my life. This riveting and compelling story gripped me. Stole my heart. And I don't think I will ever get it back." - Bianca, Biblio Belles
"This series is unique, poignant, and unforgettable. Readers will be irreversibly captivated by London's writing and intensely invested in the exquisite creativity that her mind has to offer." - Vivian, Beauté De Livres
"An unforgettable saga unlike anything I've ever read before...I can't recommend this series enough!" -Suzanne, Tied Up In Romance
Rising Democratic star Caroline Gerard is reluctant to fall in love again after losing her husband. Can Republican playboy Jack McIntyre break through her grief and capture her heart? Told mostly in flashback and set against a chilling fascist backdrop, Dissident is a rollercoaster ride of political intrigue, passionate romance, and undying love.
Caroline faces the biggest challenge of her life when confronted with the cruelty and sadism of her captors at The Fed. Hope fades quickly, even as she holds onto her one last bit of sanity and her unshakable belief that her husband will rescue her. But is that faith just a mirage?
Reeling from her experiences at The Fed, Caroline tries to forge ahead and create a new identity. But that’s hard to do with the ghosts of the past constantly whispering in her ear. She is determined to find the rebellion and move on with her life, but what will she find when she arrives there?
Cecilia London is the pen name of a native Illinoisan currently living in San Antonio, Texas. She's filled several roles over the course of her adult life - licensed attorney, wrangler of small children, and obsessed baseball fan, among others. An extroverted introvert with a serious social media addiction, she is the author of The Bellator Saga, an epic, genre-crossing romance series. You can catch all of her quirky updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or at her website.
When I left Nashville, Tennessee, I knew deep in my heart I wouldn't be back. I knew I would never be heard on every country music station around the world, and I would never step foot on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Cold hard guilt and responsibilities that I didn't want forced me on a different path.
Me being responsible for an eighteen-month-old was a horrible idea. Me being a second grade teacher in a catholic school was plain ludicrous.
Life sucked, love hurt, and I didn't know who to pick.
I dozed off with Rydell in my arms and a weight on my shoulders, but I didn’t know why. I couldn’t pinpoint where the darkness came from, but I had a good hunch. No matter how many times I tried to ignore it and say it wasn’t so, something kept me from feeling grounded, something like Kit Noel Berry. The sudden thought that had turned into urgent words caused Rydell to jerk awake.
“What’s your middle name, Ry?”
“Your middle name. What is your middle name?”
“Rydell is my middle name. Edith Rydell Brinkley. Why?”
I shrugged one shoulder and kissed her forehead. “Just curious. Come to North Carolina with me next month. I don’t want to go without you. Maybe we’ll find some place to busk or something.”
Even through the dark, I could see the puzzled expression. “I can’t. I made plans to go to Miami gambling with Wendi. I told you that, but I will be here for her birthday on Sunday. Promise.”
“But what if I said not to go with Wendi, that I really want you there with me?” I questioned.
“Where is this coming from, Brantley? I don’t know if I’m reading this wrong or not, but in case I am, I have to tell you, I won’t do it.”
I wore the puzzled expression this time. “Do what?”
“I refuse to be second best to anyone and I refuse to carry that kind of jealousy again. I love you, and I believed you when you said that there is nothing between you and Kit. I have to, Brantley. I can’t carry that around like I did with Ryan. There were always girls hanging on him, and it gutted me. I’m not that girl. If I have something to worry about with you and Kit, then I need to know this right now. Dump me, don’t cheat on me.”
I leaned in on one elbow and gave her a serious expression through the dark. “Babe, you never have to worry about that. I have everything I need and want right here with you. I was merely begging for my own self-satisfaction. I hate the thought of not seeing you for two days.”
Rydell snickered and touched my face. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Even you should know that. It’s two days. You’ll survive. Go to sleep. Bay is going to be awake in about five more hours, if we’re lucky.”
I plopped to the bad and took a long deep breath of Rydell’s scented shampoo, or her lotion. Something smelled amazing.
One second I had just closed my eyes, and the next, I heard a loud ringing coming from the living room. I jumped up and darted out when I realized it was my computer and Kit calling me on Skype. I darted to living room, cussing a plastic cow when I ran out to shut it up.
“Jesus, Kit. We’re not even awake yet. I am supposed to call you, remember?”
“You have a morning woody,” she giggled.
My eyes dropped to my shorts, and my hand covered my crotch. “Let me get woke up and I’ll call you back. Bay’s note even awake yet.”
“It’s almost nine-thirty on Christmas morning there. I’ve been waiting all day for this.”
“I open a toy, Daddy.”
“See, she’s awake. Merry Christmas, my little Bay Berry.”
I looked up to Bay, holding Phil, and wearing her cute little nightgown, one sock on, one off. “I’ll call you back, Kit. Give me ten minutes.”
Of course that wasn’t good enough and I wasn’t quick enough to stop Bay. She darted in front of the computer before I had a chance to put her in the right pajamas. “Oh no, I’ll wait. It took me twenty minutes to get connected. You go take care of that and I’ll talk to my sweet baby, Bay.”
I went to the bathroom in my room, covered Rydell’s naked ass with the sheet after a quick peek, and slid on a shirt and sweats, closing the door behind me. This might go better than I had planned. Rydell drank at least a six pack, and we were up really late. If I was lucky, I’d make it through Christmas morning with my family before—Wait. Not my family. I shook off the thought and started coffee, wondering why I had just internally said that.
Two cups of coffee, and five presents from her mama later, we were done. Thank God. I relaxed realizing I didn’t have to deal with any Rydell drama. One more present and I was out of the woods.
Bay opened little leather bracelet with silver diamond way too big for her wrist, and I turned my frown from her back to Kit.
“What time is it there, Brantley?”
I looked over my shoulder just as the doorbell rang. “Ten, hang on. Someone’s at my door.”
“Oh, yay! I can’t wait.”
My frown continued while I went to the door, wondering what the hell she had bought that she couldn’t wrap. I opened the front door to a truck parked in my driveway and a boy about ten or so at my door, fluffy white kitten in hand.
“My titty, I titty, Daddy.”
I was speechless. The little boy handed it to Bay wearing a big smile. I had to pick her up and help her to keep her from breaking his neck. “The lady in the email said you’d pay me when I got here. It was only twenty-five, but she said I could get fifty since it was Christmas.”
“For a cat?” I exclaimed, uncaring of his young age.
“That’s what she said. Want me to show you. My mom has it on her phone.”
“No, that won’t be necessary. Here you go, Merry Christmas,” Rydell said from behind me, her fingers inside my wallet.
“My titty, Dale.”
“I see, baby. Merry Christmas. I’m going to shower while you finish up with Kit. Merry Christmas to you too cowboy.”
I watched her walk away amazed. That’s why I was so in love with her. Rydell didn’t do drama. Ever. She could have been pissed about the whole kitten thing, but she wasn’t. She was happy, ready for our own Christmas. What a relief.
I walked back to Kit with the stupid little cat. “Are you kidding me? You bought her a cat?”
Kit beamed from ear to ear. “I’m hoping it will replace Phil, and you sort of bought it. Sorry about that. I didn’t have time to get it sent. I have been searching for a kitten close to you for two weeks now. Ahhh, look. She loves it.”
I shook my head, catching a glimpse of Rydell, standing in the hall with a cup of coffee to her lips. She winked at me while standing there listening.
“Okay, tell Mommy goodbye, Bay.”
“I pway a titty.”
Kit laughed, pulling my attention back to her. “You better name the titty, and one more thing.”
“Those are not the pajamas I bought for her. You’re lucky they’re adorable. Did your mom buy those?”
“What the hell am I supposed to do with this rat ball?”
“I would name it if I were you.”
“Yeah, right. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Bye, Bay Berry Jandt. I love you so much. Merry Christmas, baby.”
“You can call later and I’ll let you know whether it’s still alive or not.”
“Bye, make sure she has the best day ever.”
“I will, starting with some breakfast. Merry Christmas, Kit.”
“Merry Christmas, Brantley.”
I closed my laptop and looked to Rydell, waiting for the storm.
I rubbed my face while sputtering a frustrated breath through my lips. “What did you want me to say, Ry? I couldn’t say, oh no. Rydell bought her that nightgown.”
“I expected you to tell me the truth last night, idiot. That was something special from her mom. You could have just been up front with me. She could have worn my later. Don’t do that, Brantley. I love her to death, but I’m not her mom, and I will never try to be.”
Again, Rydell surprised me. I thought I was about to get an ass chewing for not telling Kit that Rydell bought it for her, and here she was mad because I didn’t tell her about Kit’s. Women were way more complicated than I could have ever guessed. Exactly the reason I didn’t get involved with them. “You’re right and I’m sorry, but you were so excited about it, I didn’t want to take that away from you.”
At least that softened her scowl. Rydell smiled at me, her head tilting to the side.
“Thank you for thinking of me like that, but next time just tell me.”
“Pinky promise, now can we get on with Christmas?”
“For sure. I’m going to jump in the shower. You go start bacon.”
I talked to my mother and Bridgett on Facetime while Bay played with her favorite toy, a white little fur ball, accusing them of being in on it. Even though they denied it, I could tell by the way they talked to Bay that they knew. Bridgett asked her what she named it before I told her she got it. Guilty.
Despite the fact that I thought about my little man Simon more than once throughout the day, I had the best Christmas I’d ever had in my life. Rydell and I exchanged gifts, and Bay opened a little pink guitar from me. She loved it almost as much as her new titty. I recorded her singing, Let it go, at the top of her lungs and sent it right to Kit’s email. She would piss her pants laughing. Rydell and I could barely contain ourselves. She was no doubt a performer. Her little foot tapped on the floor just like mine, and her face showed more emotion than Adele’s. My little county singer. Bay Berry Jandt.
Jettie Woodruff is a lifelong writer, living in a pretend world since she was a little girl. Jettie spent hours filling pages of spiral notebooks with a number two pencil and a wild imagination. Her very first story was a scifi of all things.go ah
Jettie writes more along the lines of erotica now. She likes to keep her readers on edge, and deliver a story that will pull out every emotion possible. Writing on the edge of taboo and dark, Jettie hopes to distribute an adventure you'll not soon forget.
Married for twenty five years, raising two boys and one girl has left lots of writing material. She has recently become a grandma to not one, but two of the most beautiful little girls on planet earth.
Jettie also hates doing this bio. That's all you get. She loves to read and write. What else is there? <3
TESSA BAILEY REVEALS THE COVER FOR TOO HOT TO HANDLE
When Rita Clarkson's Suburban takes its last breath on a New Mexico roadside, rescue roars up on a Harley in the form of smooth-talking honkey tonk owner, Jasper Ellis, a man as mysterious as he is charming. Rita's cross-country journey to New York City--with her three estranged siblings in tow--is only beginning, but now that Jasper has found Rita, his plans do not include her leaving.
About Tessa Bailey:
Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.
Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.
She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.www.facebook.com/tessbailey www.twitter.com/mstessabailey
This is War, Baby by K. Webster Publication Date: February 29, 2016 Genres: Contemporary, Dark Romance
His strategy changed and he sent me away to WAR, because money is everything in this world.
In my WAR, though, I found peace.
I couldn’t help but find love where I least expected it, with a man who lived a battle every day of his life…all inside his head.
But then my captor came back for me.
So we thought.
The good guys always win, right?
All’s fair in love and WAR, right?
This is War, Baby is a dark romance. A really dark one. So dark you’re going to wish you had a flashlight to see yourself to the end and someone to hold your hand. Human trafficking, dubious consent, and strong sexual themes that could trigger emotional distress are found in this story. This story is NOT for everyone.
K Webster is the author of dozens romance books in many different genres including contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, and erotic romance. When not spending time with her husband of twelve years and two adorable children, she’s active on social media connecting with her readers.Her other passions besides writing include reading and graphic design. K can always be found in front of her computer chasing her next idea and taking action. She looks forward to the day when she will see one of her titles on the big screen.
You can easily find K Webster on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads!
Book: Falling Ashes (Ashes to Ashes #2)
Author: Annie Anderson
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 21st March
Mena Constantine is pissed off.
Finally freed from her fifty-year imprisonment by a maniacal leader, she is desperately trying to recover and get her life back. Problem is, the life she had is long gone. Struggling under the weight of her memories and healing from the wounds of her captivity, she can't seem to catch a break. Every waking moment, death seems like a relief she would welcome.
Asher Crane is a dead man.
As a Guardian to the King, his only purpose in life is to keep the King alive. And he's failing. Miserably. With the King ill, the Queen dying, and zero plans for a successor, he's pretty much screwed. Because if the King dies, the law says Asher dies, too.
As these two wounded souls collide in a series of bloody and unfortunate events, they will clutch to the last shreds of life before death beats down their door.
Pre Order Link
Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, sheâll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, and old man of a dog.
Other Books In the Series
Aurelia Constantine is having a rough century. Plagued by visions of murder, death and destruction, she has resigned herself to the nightmare her life has become. When an enemy from her past comes to her rescue, she must let go of old wounds and heal the breach so she may survive the evil poisoning her mind. Rhys Stevens is guilty. Murder. Betrayal. Treason. Take your pick; heâs guilty of them all. On the path of redemption, he must beg for forgiveness from the one person he fought to save - the woman he has always loved. Thrown together in the trenches of war, they must work as a team to stop a monstrous puppet master from pulling their strings. Ashes, ashes. We all fall down. Get ready to burn.
BEAST by Alana Albertson Heroes Ever After, #1 Publication Date: March 22, 2016 Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
SYNOPSIS: Wanted: Beautiful woman to be the mistress of my manor. Must be single. No sex required, dynamic conversation imperative. Salary $100,000 for a one-month contract.A viral post. Thousands of women applied—including me. I told myself I was crazy, but the money could pay for my father’s medical treatments and save his life. A month later, I received the call. I’d been chosen. A man with a mask greeted me, and though he filled my days with a library full of books, and dressed me in the finest clothes, he never shed his cover nor touched me intimately, despite my growing hunger for him. He was equal parts Iron Man, Phantom of the Opera, and Beauty’s Beast. But he wasn’t a superhero, the tragic villain of a novel turned musical, or the cursed creature of a fairy tale. This former Marine was trapped in his own nightmare—demons from the war he had fought in haunted his thoughts, scars from the bomb he jumped on marked his skin. True love could free him from his self-imposed prison, but he’d have to let me in. Opening the door to his cabin was the easy part, but the real test would be allowing me into his heart. Otherwise, he would always remain a beast.
EXCERPTChapter One—Isa I stared at my phone, rereading a post from Reddit that had gone viral. Wanted: Beautiful woman to be the mistress of my manor. Must be single. No sex required, dynamic conversation imperative. Salary $100,000 for a one-month contract. The opportunity of a lifetime. Thousands of women had applied, the world was anxious to learn the identity of the man the press had hailed as “the dark bachelor.” Though I’d never purchased a lottery ticket, nor did I believe in get-rich-quick schemes, I hastily filled out the application, never thinking for a second that I had a chance. The process had been easy enough—agree to submit to a background check if chosen, send a picture, and write an essay (100 words or less) answering the question, “What I’d do with the $100,000.” Well, that was easy. My words poured onto the page. I would pay off my father’s medical bills, and provide him with the best care. He has brain cancer, and insurance hasn’t covered all of his treatments. I dropped out of college and work three jobs to support him. I would like to spend more quality time with him before he passes. My father is proud, independent man, a Marine who served Vietnam, and he hates to be a burden. He has dedicated his life to me, and I’m happy to take care of him during his final years. I would be forever grateful to you for this opportunity. I attached a picture of me wearing a loose-fitting grey T-shirt, jean shorts, and flip-flops. For makeup, I had only used a tinted moisturizer, purple eyeliner to accentuate my green eyes, mascara, and nude lipstick. My black hair hung like a shower curtain around my face. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t sending a provocative image to this man. Though I strongly doubted whoever he was only wanted a platonic companion, I was positive hundreds of girls would send in bikini shots, or nude selfies, so if that was what that guy was looking for, then he’d have plenty of options. I figured the chances of me being chosen were so slim, it was worth the risk to apply. What kind of man posted an ad like this? He could’ve been a serial killer, or some psycho. One newspaper swore he was a famous tech billionaire, another speculated that he was a deformed recluse. I didn’t put much thought into it—until I received the call from a blocked number. “Hello?” I answered my cell late one night. “May I speak to Isa?” A man with a deep, sexy voice asked. I had a heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach. “This is Isa.” “This is the man who posted the ad.” Dios mío! Was this a joke? “Uhm hi. What’s your name?” He laughed, a gruff, sexy laugh. He sounded younger than I’d thought he’d be. I had assumed he was an older gentleman when I read the ad. “You can call me Bruce.” The way he said Bruce made me certain it wasn’t his name. “Okay, Bruce. Am I a finalist or something? Why are you calling me?” “I wanted to hear your voice.” He paused, and exhaled. “Is your dad going to be okay if I pick you? Does he have someone else to step in to take care of him?” I didn’t even know this guy and he seemed to care more about what happened to my father than my own friends did. “Honestly, no. I didn’t think I’d be chosen so I never really considered what I’d do.” I felt so stupid. I should’ve never applied. I would have to quit my jobs, find somewhere for my father to go, and someone to attend to him. “I’m sorry to waste your time. I applied on a whim. I heard that thousands of girls applied. Why me? I mean, I could really use the money, but—” I swallowed a sob. Was he really about to pick me, was I about to throw away this amazing opportunity so that once in my life I wouldn’t have to struggle? “Hey, look. I liked your essay—and your picture. As for why I chose you, let’s just say you stood out to me. If you really want to do this, I can arrange to have someone take care of your father.” Was he for real? “Are you serious? Who are you? Why are you doing this? You sound really nice, I’m sure you can find someone to hang out with you for free.” “I have my reasons. So is that a yes?” My hands shook. Was this really happening to me? “I don’t know. I mean, I’m not going to sleep with you, if that’s what you’re after. I don’t know anything about you; you could be an axe murder. I feel naïve even talking about this.” “I’m not expecting sex in return. And though I’m not going to tell you my real name, the Washoe County Sheriff knows who I am and you are welcome to verify with them that I have no criminal record. If you agree to meet me, I promise to show you a good time and keep you safe. I’d like to get to know you. So what do you say?” I couldn’t believe he was serious. And why wouldn’t he tell me his real name? Was he famous? Notorious? “Can I think about it?” “No. I need a decision. What’s it going be?” My heart raced. I was now completely intrigued; yet simultaneously scared to death. He promised to take care of my father, and I desperately needed this money. My breath hitched. “I’m in.”
ABOUT ALANA ALBERTSONAlana Albertson is a multi-award winning author, current President of Romance Writers of America’s Contemporary Romance Chapter and the former President of both Romance Writers of America’s Young Adult and Chick Lit chapters. Alana Albertson holds a Masters of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University. A recovering professional ballroom dancer, Alana currently writes contemporary romance, new adult and young adult fiction. She lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, two young sons, and four dogs. When she’s not spending her time playing with her sons, dancing, or saving dogs from high kill shelters through Pugs N Roses, the rescue she founded, she can be found watching episodes Homeland, Devious Maids, or Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.
Meet Luke Crawley in Blake Austin's debut novel of loss, redemption, and ever-enduring love!
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1VCbvci
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/20TgV3N
Luke Cawley is a broken man. After his wife's tragic death, he lost everything that mattered in the world. Now, his life is filled with hard days, harder nights, and a steady stream of alcohol and the wrong kind of women. Nothing helps.
Until the letters arrive on Luke's doorstep.
Nine envelopes. Nine messages. Nine chances to find his way back.
Rae Goode is looking for the real thing. After fighting her way out of a string of bad relationships, she's ready for something different--something true.
She meets Luke while piecing her life together, and right away she can tell that he's different. Drawn together by fate and the desire to heal, Rae and Luke discover new ways to mend their broken hearts--one letter at a time.
Discover Blake Austin's debut novel of loss, redemption, and ever-enduring love.
I was about twenty minutes early for my shift, but I got up to the bar, grabbed a rag, started wiping it down, bussing some dishes.
"Damn, Luke," Jake said, watching me work. "You win the lotto or something? Royals win the pennant last night and I forgot to watch?"
"I'm just in a good mood, that's all," I said.
I thought about it a moment longer, decided I should tell him more. Impart some wisdom learned from my not-particularly-advanced years.
"When everything's dark for so damn long and your eyes get used to it," I said, "just a little glimmer of sunshine lights up the whole world."
He nodded, then grabbed a bus bin and headed back into the kitchen.
Warren though, Warren wasn't impressed. He was sitting by one of the daytime barflies, but he'd stopped talking and was just watching me. I was on thin ice, and I knew it. I couldn’t afford to lose my job. A heartbroken, drunk, angry widower is probably as unemployable as the average ex-con.
I came on at the end of the day shift. Warren liked tending bar during the day, because it meant just shooting the shit with the regulars. That day I had a smile for every customer, sparse words of wisdom like day drunks want to hear. Tending bar wasn't my dream. But to hell with letting that make me lazy. I kept the place clean, I poured drinks like I cared.
I was getting into the swing of it when happy hour kicked in and a few more people filtered through the door. Couple of middle-aged bikers, a retired couple that parked their RV out front.
The door swung open again, letting in a little bit of that early-evening cold, and I glanced up to see a crowd of three women, with two men. One of the women was a reddish blonde, radiant. Sort of stole the light out of the room. It was Rae. Our eyes met and her smile gave the room back its light.
She'd been in jeans at the shelter, but she was in a blue dress now and she looked damn fine in either. Took my mind right off Maggie, faster than I thought it would be possible. I met her eyes, and she gave out a little gasp and giggle. I was probably smiling in surprise myself.
The crowd came over to the bar. I'd thought the other four were two couples, but I realized pretty quick that the black girl with the afro was dating the quiet white guy in a beard and glasses and tattoos, and that the other guy was trying to impress Rae. He had a John Deere hat, but his clothes were way too clean for me to buy it that he worked on a farm. I hated him, right off. I probably would have hated him if he was the best guy in the world, though. The other girl, she was tall, latina, and for some indiscernible reason was interested in the poser farmer.
Most of the time, I'm awful at reading people. But for some reason, at work I can tell you everything about everyone who walks in the door. About who's into who, about who had a bad day at work. Who wants to get drunk and miserable, who wants to get drunk and happy, who wants to get drunk and start trouble. Maybe it's some magic of the job, maybe it's just how people carry themselves at a bar. Helps with tips, that's for certain. You wingman right, and the money flows in.
Warren, he likes to upsell them drinks when he's doing that. Get them excited about the top shelf. Not me.
"Hey, Rae," I said.
"Luke," she said.
John Deere looked at me like I was the scum of the earth. And maybe I was, but if I was the scum then he was... I don't know, something worse than scum. Wannabe scum.
She introduced me to her friends. Nicole had the afro, her boyfriend was Eric. The girl with bad taste was Irina, and John Deere had some name but honestly it went in one ear and out the other. He was John Deere to me. Yeah, maybe I'm an asshole.
"So, how do you know this guy?" Deere asked, tossing me a look that said I clearly wasn’t good enough to be friend with someone like Rae.
"Oh, he came in just the other day. Adopted the sweetest dog, a bloodhound." She turned to me, flashing that dimple high on her cheek. "How is he? You guys call a truce yet?"
"King's great," I said. "I mean, he's probably at home right now, eating everything I've ever owned, but I figure I was due for a purge anyway, right?"
It was a lame attempt at humor, but Rae laughed.
"What can I get you all? Friend of Rae's is a friend of mine."
RATING: 4 STARS
Nine letters. Nine hopes. Nine chances of redemption. Nine letters to live again. In Blake Austin's debut novel, Nine Letters, Mr. Austin immerses his readers with a heartfelt raw emotional tale on the struggles of dealing with grief and loss in the eyes of Luke Cawley. Broken. Lost. Hurt. Angry. Luke Cawley is half the man he used to be. He lost his reason. His love. His wife. Five years of love was abruptly stolen from him. His world, his dreams, his life, and his reason is an empty void after losing his Emily. Luke can only escape his grief and pain with meaningless sex and alcohol. For one year, he was wandering lost until nine letters appeared on his doorsteps.
To read the rest of Michelle's review ==> CLICK HERE
About the Author
Blake Austin is a guitar playing father of one, who lives in Los Angeles. He's written music for as long as he can remember and was inspired to add book writing to his repertoire. 9 Letters is his debut novel.
For updates: Follow Blake Austin on Facebook here: http://on.fb.me/1ZUj6sR
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Buy the Books: http://ow.ly/Yon9t
By Aimee L. Salter
Young Adult, Dark Romance / Magical Realism
Tully isn’t alone in her skin. Whenever she touches someone, they feel everything she feels. All her ugliness. All her darkness. All her pain. The only thing she wants is to be left alone--and to finally get out of her small Oregon town.
But then she meets Chris. He’s everything she’s not: Light. Trusting. Innocent. And he wants Tully.
Tully knows she should spare him the heartache of being with her. But when he touches her, she’s not sure she’ll have the strength to push him away—until he learns about her dark past, and what really goes on in her ever decaying home.
From the author of Every Ugly Word comes a poignant, emotionally raw story about the violence that plays out behind closed doors and the all-consuming passion of first love
Excerpt 1 - Opening Pages / What’s at stake
I think it’s because the first time Chris saw me, I wasn’t me. He saw someone who didn’t exist. And by the time he figured that out, he didn’t care anymore.
He should have cared.
He cares now.
In the half-light of my pitiful bulb, everything looks gray. Dust motes hang in the air. My narrow bed is unmade, sheets tangled. The quilt my mom stitched when I was two hangs half-way off the mattress, stretched toward the door like it too would flee this room if it could. The rest is bare—the drawers, the closet door, the walls. Even the clothes strewn across the chair and rug are plain and dirty.
Somehow it’s never bothered me before. But with Chris here it does.
His eyes are closed, his burnished lashes quivering because he’s screwed so tight. Everything’s shaking under the pressure. The muscles in his jaw twitch. His hand is white-knuckled. His shoulders . . . oh, Lord, help me, those shoulders that have lifted things I can’t carry and swept me along too . . . they’re hunched. Knotted. Pressed in on themselves. On him. There’s so much of him that I feel small, yet he’s the place where I can breathe.
At least, he was.
My insides are in freefall because I did this to him. I shouldn’t have that power over him. I shouldn’t have that power over anyone. But he gave it to me and refused to take it back.
“Chris?” I barely whisper, but he flinches like I screamed. “It wasn’t about—”
“Don’t.” It’s a hard syllable. A word bitten off. He doesn’t even open his eyes. “I swear, Tully, if you say one word . . .” His fist becomes a hammer.
I am ugly. I am black inside, rotting and putrid. I have told him this. Many times. But tonight, finally, he believes me. As he turns on his heel and stumbles out the door, I can’t even call after him. Because when he gave me the power to turn him inside out, I gave him mine. And even though I knew this day would come, knew he was wrong about me, somehow he gave me hope.
As I watch him stagger into the hallway and disappear, that hope begins its death throes. It doesn’t die quietly. It screams and curses and shoves at me. And for the first time ever, I am grateful for my life, for my father, and for this house.
Because if it’s taught me anything, it’s how to take a blow.
My Own Worst Enemy- Guest Post
By Tully Harden (main character in Dark Touch, by Aimee L. Salter)
People think my story before Chris walked into my life was sad because I was hurt. A lot.
It’s true, I carry scars—both those you can see, and those you can’t. But the truly sad part of my past is that I spent years hurting myself. I was pissed off, and frightened, and so freaking tired I had given up and accepted what happened to me. So whenever hate rose like bile in my throat (which was most of the time), I turned it on myself.
I am my own worst enemy.
My self-destruction might look different to yours, but we’re driven by the same loathing. I hurt myself because I hated what I was. What I became. I turned the anger in, because until I met Chris, I didn’t think I deserved forgiveness. Hell, I didn’t even think forgiveness existed. I threw myself under the bus because when the pain came, it fit. It felt right.
Chris didn’t save me from that—he couldn’t. But he showed me my own truth. Let me see where I believed lies. Assured me my life could be different. I will never love anyone more than him because what he showed me set me free.
So now it’s my turn to speak up. If you remember nothing else I’ve said, remember this:
Whatever you’ve been through, wherever you’re coming from, you don’t have to hurt to earn a smile.
Love is out there. Joy is possible. And there’s no penance to pay when you find it.
I hope you’ll read my story and see how I discovered this. I know my story can give you hope. Just be aware: I know how hot my boyfriend is. If you so much as look at him sideways, I’m still capable of slapping your teeth out of your face.
RATING: 4 STARS
A deep raw and emotional tale of young love, abuse, and dark secrets. Dark Touch by Aimee L. Salter completely blew me away as Ms. Salter touches on a sensitive subject matter in such a powerful way in a genre that I rarely read.
“My feelings. Whenever anyone touches my hands they feel what I feel.”
To read the rest of Michelle's review ==> CLICK HERE
About Aimee L. Salter:
Aimee L. Salter is the author of the gut-wrenching Every Ugly Word, a gripping and emotional story about the devastating consequences of bullying, and Dark Touch, an equally raw story about the violence that plays out behind closed doors and the all-consuming passion of first love.
Aimee lives in Southern Oregon with her husband and son where she writes made-up stories that tell the truth about life. She never stopped appreciating those moments in the dark when you say what you're really thinking. And she'll always ask you about the things you wish she wouldn't.
She blogs for both writers and readers, and you can also find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook: