Thursday, 31 August 2017

Release Blitz ***Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Clare London***

Length: 19,598 words

Cover Design: Tibbs Design

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

London Lads Series

Chase The Ace (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner
How The Other Half Lives (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner
A Good Neighbour (Book #3)  Amazon US | Amazon UK  Dreamspinner 
Peepshow (Book #4)  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner


Garry’s at the end of his tether. He’s waiting at Glasgow Airport to meet his friend Will, on their way to a holiday in a Scottish Highlands hotel. Now there’s a ten-hour delay to incoming flights, the seat in the lounge is more like an instrument of torture, and he’s beyond tired of airport food.

He’s also dreading having to apologise for the pass he recently made at Will, his colleague at a London bank, under the influence of too many beers and a long-held crush. Now Will’s been offered a new job offer on a continent thousands of miles away, Garry realises it may be the end of their close friendship—let alone anything more.

To add to Garry’s stress, he’s treated to the company of Emily and Max, two young people who think he needs educating in the ways of the world. Struggling with their well-meaning help and the startling mess from spilled ketchup and noxious-smelling sweets, he’s encouraged to re-examine how he feels about Will and to decide what kind of journey he’d really like them to take together.


Garry suspected he knew what tipped psychotics over the edge.

It wasn’t childhood trauma or thwarted world domination. Far from it! It was the agony of a plastic bucket chair digging into the back of your legs in the middle of a chaotic Arrivals lounge. Add to that the robotic monotone of the Glasgow Airport PA system offering “apologies for the inconvenience caused to those customers awaiting incoming flights from the USA,” and it was like salt rubbed into a wound.

He slumped back in the seat, his arms folded tightly across his chest. He could feel the scowl on his face etching into the muscles. There was noise everywhere—booming announcements over the speakers and the incomprehensible swell of people’s excited chatter. Kids shrieked, and suitcases rattled over the threadbare carpet. Rolling neon signs flashed up reminders to boarding gates, constant alerts to keep your bags beside you at all times, and then—almost as an afterthought—the price of the latest, must-have mobile phone package.

Airport lounges had to be one of the least comfortable places on earth. He hunched down farther, trying to nap. Like it’d be possible in this maelstrom. Bad mood, or what? He’d been up since the crack of dawn, maybe even before. He couldn’t exactly remember the time, as over the years he’d found that lack of sleep caused him, one, serious memory problems, two, to leave the house in an unmatched pair of socks, and, three, the unmitigated loss of his sense of humour.

He was jolted back to attention as a man hauling a heavy suitcase let it run over Garry’s feet. With a cry of pain, Garry wrenched his long legs back under his seat, but not before the wheels had left neat little tramlines over his boots. His toes felt bruised, and his mood teetered further toward homicidal. Luckily the perpetrator had taken a sharp left and vanished into the direction of the car hire franchises, else his suitcase—and probably his limbs—might have been scattered to the four winds.

Garry winced. So much for keeping your luggage with you at all times.

So… what was currently on his agenda? A too-early start; a wickedly uncomfortable waiting area; a psychotic bunch of fellow passengers. The bad omens were already stacking up. He’d arrived at Glasgow Airport rather travel-worn from his own flight from London Heathrow, preparing to meet up with his friend Will somewhere in amongst this mess of humanity.

Then he’d been greeted with the worst of news—a delay.

Ten hours? He felt like shouting it aloud, as in fact a few of the less self-disciplined airport visitors already had. What do they mean, incoming flights to Glasgow delayed ten fucking hours? He’d stumbled onto his own flight at some godforsaken hour of the morning to get to Scotland on time, only to find the connecting transatlantic airlines couldn’t meet the same punctuality. Ten hours! It was only late morning. Ten hours would take him on into the evening and a large part of the night. Ten hours of sitting on this seat, with nothing but overpriced airport snacks and the metallic xylophone tones of the airport announcer for company.

Okay, so yes, obviously, he was in a less than good mood.

But he had nowhere else to wait for Will. He couldn’t travel on to the Scottish hotel their mutual friend Allen had booked, because he didn’t know which one it was. Allen didn’t seem to be answering his mobile at the moment. Garry had tried seven times already, ever since the first announcements were made about the delay. And Garry knew that was the only number available, not just because Allen could be such a bloody control freak, but because Leonard—Allen’s husband—never even turned his phone on when he was travelling anywhere. Nor would Will be accessible, circling somewhere in the sky between the States and here. And if Garry left the airport to go anywhere else, he ran the risk of missing Will’s flight altogether. No, he knew he was effectively trapped between the proverbial rock and the hard place. In fact, he could feel the hard place biting into his arse right now, as he tried to get comfortable in his seat for the hundredth time.

Besides, what could he do but wait? He was here because his friend Will had specifically asked him to be.

His best friend, Will.

They were both flying in to Glasgow, ready to meet the rest of the gang. It was a long-held tradition, an annual holiday together in June, whatever their commitments for the rest of the year. Friends since university, there were around eight of them on any year’s trip, depending on who could get away from work. Allen was the self-appointed “manager” of it all, and this year he’d suggested they visit the Scottish Highlands, his own home turf. Garry had happily booked the time off, like he always did. He rarely had other plans that might conflict.

Allen always waxed lyrical about Scotland. Most of his multitudinous family had left the home country over the years, moving all over the world, making what sounded like starry marriages with entrepreneurs and lawyers. Even a Hollywood movie star in one case. But Allen had stayed, happy to find everything he needed right there—including the man he met and moved in with, several years ago. He and Leonard often made the trip north to the Highlands on their own. The hotel they stayed in had a fabulous view over Loch Lomond, and the highest star-ratings for food and comfort. And, this year, Allen and Leonard wanted to share it with their friends as well.

Everyone thought it was a great choice, including Will and Garry. Will in particular had always wanted to see more of Scotland. They both lived in London and spent a lot of their social time together, so they usually travelled the same route to the reunion holiday. This year, they’d arranged to fly to Glasgow, hire a car, then drive the rest of the way.

At least, that had been the original plan.

But the plans had changed, hadn’t they?

Author Bio

Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with the weekly wash, waiting for the far distant day when she can afford to give up her day job as an accountant. Sheís written in many genres and across many settings, with novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say sheís just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, sheís happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.

All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!

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Blog Tour ***Race to the Gallows by Jenny Bullington***

Title: Race to the Gallows
Series: Mavericks of the Heartland #1
Author: Jenny Bullington
Genre: Adult, Historical Mafia Romance
Published: August 24, 2017
Jack and Ruby Walsh thought their sleepy town's Independence Day would be like all the others. That is, until an accidental explosion of fireworks destroys downtown Cherokee, Iowa. A witch-hunt ensues as WWII tensions rise, causing everyone to blame one immigrant German family for the fire. But was it really them? Only Jack and Ruby have the courage to fight for justice, even as they stand against the most corrupt in their community. Ignited by their white-hot passion for each other, the two stick together until they have Cherokee on its knees, rectifying its wrongs and uncovering a more sinister criminal network. RACE TO THE GALLOWS is a harrowing tale of love, loyalty, and courage. Based on true events in Northwest Iowa.

RACE TO THE GALLOWS Excerpt © Jenny Bullington 2017
  Chapter Five
June Vogel
            June stood  in their family kitchen and wrapped up the food she made for the luncheon after  the memorial service. The children were getting changed in their rooms after  their baths, and she still had to do Hannah’s hair. She could hear the boys in  their rooms, conversing in English. Before, when they’d first come to Cherokee,  her children had usually spoken in their German tongue, and that provided a  sense of comfort for her. She didn’t want them to ever lose that gift from  their family and their homeland. Yet now, after repeated bullying, they rarely  spoke German unless they were around her and her husband.
  Her ankles  began to ache in her heeled shoes, and it brought her back to her present  reality. She’d been standing by her counter, caught in thought again. The  kitchen always seemed to be the one room that she occupied most as she both fed  and kept vigil over her family, prayed and daydreamed for them above herself –  only if there was spare time did she allow herself to utter prayers for her own  heart. The memorial service would be difficult today, and while she ached for the  hurting families, she always felt apprehensive when she had to venture in to  town. How would it go today? Could she openly grieve the loss of a child in the  community? And if she didn’t in a way that others expected, would that be held  against her? Would she hear again how she and her family are Nazis?
  Sighing, she took a deep breath to steady  herself. Someday, she tried to  convince herself, they will see that I am  a good person no matter where I came from. June heard their collie, Jaeger,  barking in the yard, and as she gazed out the window above the sink to the  yard, she saw her husband, Karl, walking toward the house from the barn. 
  “Hi, sweetheart,” Karl greeted as he opened  up the front door of the farmhouse, the familiar squeaking of the hinges  echoing in the kitchen. He drew his handkerchief out of his back pocket and  wiped the perspiration from his brow. He’d been hurrying through his chores on  the farm so they could attend as a family.
  June took a  fresh glass out of the cabinet, filled it up with cool water for him, and  walked over to Karl. He paused mid-step, his eyes flashing with admiration for the  woman before him.
  “You look  lovely,” Karl complimented in German as he slowly took the water from June,  smiling as he leaned in and kissed her cheek. 
  “You smell  awful,” June teased, but the happiness she tried to fake didn’t reach her own  expression. Karl’s face fell when he saw that something was bothering her.
  He touched  her face gently then took her by the hand, feeling his callouses rubbing  against her own as he led her to their kitchen table.
  “Karl,” June  began softly, “we have to go soon and you’re not ready.  You should bathe quickly.”
  “No,” he  stated simply. “What is the matter?” He slid a chair out for June to sit in.  June tried to sigh her frustration, yet knew the way her husband worked: if  something was bothering June, he wanted to discuss it right away. Meanwhile,  she would be patiently annoyed at having to discuss the inner feelings she hid  from everyone.
  June  shrugged and shook her head no, not wanting to divulge her feelings before they  had to leave. She had to keep them stuffed down, hidden, locked away and not  let them out lest she dissolve in tears as soon as the snide remarks and glares  came their way. The wounds sometimes felt so deep, all because she was from a  different country. Even some of the other residents in Cherokee had earlier  generations come from Germany, yet none as recently as she.
  “Tell me what’s bothering you,” Karl asked  once more, the loaded question that she did not want to discuss. Despite this,  his gentle blue eyes pleaded with her, begged her to open up as she’d been  asked by him many times before.
  Yet June couldn’t put  into words the depths of her feelings. It was as if a well was sealed tightly  inside her, deep in the Bavarian forest that was the free nature of her soul,  containing all her dreams, longings and hopes. It was those places she chose to  let herself in her mind wander; safe, warm, comfortable.
  It also contained such  darkness that shadows seemed as daylight compared to the monsters and demons  that made the darkness their friends. It was there, in the darkness of her  soul’s forest, that the well made its dwelling. Many times, June imagined the  well was sealed tightly with chains, but somehow, they’d come loose from time  to time. The burning red flames of memories would crawl out, chasing after her,  even in the otherwise placid places of her soul’s forest. She’d run as fast as  she could, but quickly her bare feet would become ensnared. Cracked, bruised  and bleeding, she’d only allow herself to collapse under the oppression of the  aggressive memories if she was alone. When the kids were napping or playing  outside, or at night when everyone in her family was fast asleep. Only then  could she allow herself to feel the weight of it all, the unceasing burden she  carried.
  Otherwise, on any normal  day, she chose to keep the well locked. It sometimes beckoned for her to take a  peek, but there was too much… too many emotions, too many memories that vividly  played across her eyes like they were still going on right before her. 
  Karl had met June back in  primary school; their families were friends and fellow farmers in Kelheim.  While they’d been the best of friends in school, it had been in secondary  school when June had met an older man, someone who’d said the right things, who  appeared religious and upright.  He  seemed to be on the successful track in life and was part of the military’s  young adults that seemed to be on the rise upward toward importance. That was  the only reason her parents had allowed her to be courted by the man. 
  Yet he was not what he  appeared.
  She’d been warned by a  well-meaning friend from school who had heard things about him, things he’d  done with other girls. June refused to listen, however. His time, his  attention, his touch all allowed her to pretend everything was okay. Surely her  parents would have stopped them had the hidden secrets been true?
  But her friend was right.  Everyone who’d expressed their concerns was right. She didn’t listen and she  paid for it, nearly with her very life. June had wanted to believe that his  words were true, that she had been special. He’d said he loved her, and oh how  badly she wanted to be loved.
  Then his love began to  hurt her. He robbed her of a precious part of her life, her virginity, something  she had wanted to give in a sacred way to someone who cherished its value. Once  he was done hurting her, he taunted her for her lack of performance, liking her  to a Jew he’d hated so deeply, as he put back on his Nazi uniform. June laid  there, bare, broken, and bleeding, and still he kept hurting her with his  words.
  This pain she carried  every day, reminding her of what was stolen from her youth, what she could  never get back. What she could never give to another – she came to Karl broken,  used, tainted. Who she wanted to be and what she wanted to give to her future husband  was instead given to someone who made her feel as though she was no more than a  piece of refuse. 
  June knew how lucky she  was that Karl still wanted her, still loved her, and had two more children with  her even after she had born a child, unwed. He was seen as the hero, and in  many ways, he was. June would hear Karl praised for his valor in taking on a  tainted woman with a child, and she said her thanks many times. She had no idea  why he still loved her even though he wasn’t the first to her. Yet as grateful  as she was, she wished she could have been seen for her own valor, her own  bravery as she rose from the bed, bloodied, broken and raw. She stood, numb,  and forced her legs to move to the wash room despite the pain, cleaned herself  up and left. She was the one who bravely made her way home, keeping her  composure until the warmth of her pillow on her bed enveloped her, holding her  and soaking up her tears. 
  It was June who still  held her head high when the man accused her of taking advantage of him and lied  about her integrity and character to everyone in the town. It was June who  withstood the torrential rains of judgement as she brought her first born into  the world out of wedlock. 
  June’s quiet suffering  and bravery to survive until she and Karl finally joined hands in matrimony was  neglected, unobserved. Karl took the credit for saving her, and while she was  indeed thankful for him, at the same time, she was the one who endured the  most. 
  She hadn’t cried since  that day, until she and Karl moved to a new country and she found herself once  again alone. Alone and, eerily similar to before when she was the outcast,  hearing cruelty thrown her way. She’d found out how to be strong alone before,  she’d have to find a way again. 
  Karl and the children needed  her to be strong. Therefore, June forced the well inside her soul shut, and  sealed it up, walking away unburdened by the chains she had to bear, accustomed  to their weight. 
  Smiling once again, June  put her hand on Karl’s face and stroked his cheek.
  “I’m fine,” she said,  almost convincing herself of her lie, and decided leave the children at home  this time so they wouldn’t see her ridiculed and mistreated.
Jack Walsh
Jack tried to be careful  with his dress pants before the funerals as he waded through the debris,  looking for something, anything, that could show the Malones accusation against  the Vogels was a lead worth pursuing. He doubted very much the Vogel boys had anything  to do with the fires, yet it was his duty to investigate anyway.
  “Walsh,” Paulie called  from behind him. “What the hell do you think was going on with that guy on your  block?”
  Jack was thankful that he  had convinced Ruby to wait for him in the coolness of the church rather than  the heat of the sun. He could tell she was upset by something that day, and the  stranger on his street didn’t help. He shook his head, disgruntled. He felt  unnerved, and suspicious that his own home was being watched. He had made it  his business to know everyone in the area he patrolled, making mental files for  each resident should anything ever come to play in the future. He was always  preparing for an investigation on anyone, at any time, so the unfamiliar face  refused to leave his mind. He had a wife he loved more than himself, and a baby  on the way. Should that man have gotten the notion to dig through the home and  Ruby was home alone…
  Jack stopped where he  stood and shook his head more vehemently this time.  “I’m not sure, but he doesn’t know who he’s  messing with,” Jack finally replied to Paulie, meaning every word he spoke. He  felt his protectiveness over his own home turf send a surge down to his stomach  and a tingling began in his fingers.
  “Hey, you know I will be  over as fast as I can if you ever need it,” Paulie stated simply, shading his  eyes from the sun.   
  Jack smiled and nodded. He  did indeed know Paulie would always be there. “It’s probably nothing,” he said  more for Paulie than himself, “there are a lot of extra people in town today  for the memorial service and to see Main Street for themselves.”
  Paulie lifted his  eyebrows at Jack’s statement. “Right,” he feigned agreement.
  Jack smirked at his  partner. He liked that they knew each other as well as they did. He looked down  at his watch and saw that it was nearly time for the service to begin.
  “It’s hotter than hades  out, Goldstein.  I want you to find out  where that locket came from and see if we can track down its owner.  Start with the jeweler, see if he remembers  it.  Ask Mr. Beatty to see if anyone  ordered it from one of his catalogs, too.”
  Paulie pulled his  notebook out of his front shirt pocket and wrote notes down with his pencil.  “Consider it done,” he said as he deliberately flipped it shut and put it back  in its place.
  Jack looked around the  debris, the piles of rubble familiar to him now, and he huffed in exasperation.  He’d need to refresh his eyes. “Let’s come back after the funerals.  One more look.” Jack said as he turned to leave  the disaster site, hearing the crunch of debris underneath his black leather  shoes. He made a mental note to be sure to wipe off the bottoms of his shoes  before entering his father-in-law’s church.
  He had been so engrossed  in watching where he stepped in his church clothes that when he finally looked  up, he was shocked to see a couple men in suits and one with a camera by his  car.
  Jack looked back at  Paulie, who’d been following closely behind him, and whispered, “What is this?”
  “Sheriff Walsh!” one of  the men shouted, seeing he’d been noticed. “Ryan Josephs with the Daily  Journal!  I have a few questions for  you!” Jack heard Paulie chortle behind him, and slap his shoulder as the  reporter named Ryan nearly ran to approach Jack.
  “You’re a celebrity now,  Walsh,” Paulie taunted under his breath so only Jack could hear. “I’ll wait for  you in the car.”
  “Oh, hell no,” Jack  called after his partner. “You can take this one!”
  Jack watched Paulie laugh  as he kept walking away from the clamor. He was still laughing at Jack’s plight  even as he opened the car door and got in.
  “Sheriff Walsh, how can  Cherokee recover from such a disaster in your opinion?” the reporter, Ryan  Josephs, asked.
  Jack heard the question,  but as the group of reporters started to circle around him, his mind began to  wander to a time that was distant, yet one he was never able to forget.
  He was standing in body  with the reporters on Main Street, but his mind went back to his boyhood,  sitting on the front step of his family’s run-down house with a wooden,  wrap-around front porch with chipped paint. There were two cop cars out front;  they’d been there a while after a neighbor intervened in the feud finally, and  a throng of people had gathered to watch the scene playing out before  them. 
  It was no secret the  Walsh family had their problems. With barely enough food to feed their large  brood, Jack’s father had gambled the rest of their meager income away. As if  that wasn’t enough to make them a spectacle, Jack’s father also had a problem  with the bottle and the fist, and it was usually directed toward his  mother. 
  The oldest of Walsh kids,  Jack would rush his siblings to the back bedrooms when his father would ramp up  to an outburst. He’d stand in the kitchen, or the hallway just outside the  kitchen, bottle that he’d just polished off in hand, and he’d start yelling.  Life had dealt his father an unfair hand, Jack would hear him shouting. Life  never worked out for him. Only later did Jack realize that all of it was his  father’s own doing. He’d made the family lose everything, and yet Jack’s mother  stuck with him, tried to fix things. 
  Yet this time, there was  no fixing. This time, there was no more forgiveness, let alone going home. His  father had beat his mother so badly this time, she was carried out by the cops  and firemen, headed in the back of the ambulance to the hospital. 
  Jack sat on that step,  watching them leave with her, and he had this sinking feeling in his stomach  that something was horribly wrong. His mother didn’t look right, and he’d never  seen his father in handcuffs before. Indeed, nothing would ever be right again.
  His mother never  recovered from her injuries, and spent the rest of her days as an invalid in  the hospital. His father had been jailed for the abuse, and Jack and his  siblings all had to go live with his paternal grandparents. 
  But the boy on the step  that day felt a break so deep he didn’t understand until much later the pain of  that wound.  He began to weep openly, as  any boy who loved his mother would, watching her leave on a stretcher, watching  the cops gather up the younger children and their belongings in suitcases,  watching the crowd cover their open mouths and aghast eyes. Then a reporter had  the audacity to come up to him, trying to get the details of what  happened.  
  Jack saw it all, and to  this day had never spoken of the time that his mother turned from a living  being to being trapped in a body that didn’t house her soul anymore. That  little boy would never sit on that wooden front step again, not until many  years later when Jack and his siblings came back to burn the house and all its  horrid memories to the ground.
  That boy grew up helping  his elderly grandparents raise his siblings, and under their tender care, he  grew into the leader he was today. The sense of duty and justice was instilled  in him, and he fought for it from even a young age. 
  One cop, a father of one  of Jack’s classmates, shooed the reporter away and sat down next to him on the  step. Jack heard later that his dirty face had the marks from where the tears  streamed down his face. When the cop put his arm around Jack, he buried his  head in the cop’s chest and felt consoled compassionately by a grown man for  the first time ever in his life.
  Never again, Jack  had promised himself.  Never again…
  “Sheriff Walsh?” Ryan  Josephs repeated, looking perplexed. 
  Jack woke from his  reverie and to his embarrassment, realized he’d been standing in front of the  reporters, lost in the fog of his own memories. 
  “I’m sorry, could you  repeat your question?” Jack replied to the reporter named Ryan, though he  looked at everyone standing around him seeing the same confused face looking  back at him.
  “Uh, sure.”  Ryan cleared his throat.  “Do you believe you’ve put the right people  in jail?”
  Jack’s heart jolted.  “What did you say?  I’ve made no arrests  in this investigation as of yet.”
  “Oh, just this morning  two suspects were arrested and jailed,” Ryan stated, scribbling down notes in  his small, leather-bound notebook.
  Jack’s face flushed  hot.  He was the lead on this  investigation, and there was literally no evidence that gave a clear lead on  anyone being the guilty party.  There  hadn’t even been any other investigative parties involved.
  Except for the Malones, Jack’s  memory reminded him, and he gave the reporters a dark look before bolting  toward the car where Paulie sat. 
  Glancing up in alarm as  he saw Jack coming, Paulie asked, “What’s going on?”  His hands popped up and gripped the steering  wheel, knuckles suddenly white.
  “Get down to the jail!”  Jack demanded, running around to the side and throwing his body into the  passenger side of the car.  He shut his  door just as Paulie backed out onto the street once more and headed away from  the fire scene. 
  “Walsh?” Paulie reminded  his partner of his earlier question.
  “Someone’s been thrown  into our jail without notifying or partnering with us,” Jack took his hat off  and nearly threw it down onto the floor by his feet before thinking better of  it.  “Has anyone contacted the station?”  Jack’s voice rose along with his stress and anger.
  “No,” Paulie quickly  replied, coming only to a partial stop at a crossing before charging forward.
  “Damn it!” Jack exclaimed  indignantly, slamming his fist on the car door, having a keen sense of who had  taken over his investigation.
  “What about Ruby?” Paulie  questioned, glancing at his partner. “She’d be with the Vogels at the memorial  service.”
  Jack raised his hands in  the air as he leaned his head back, seeming to look up at the sky. “You’re  right. She’d be right by them, and if anything happens…”
  Paulie brought the car to  a stop. “Go, Jack. I’ll see what happened at the jail.”
  Jack put his hat under  his arm and, once out of the car, began running toward the church.
Ever since she was a little girl on a farm in rural Iowa, Jenny Bullington's heart has been filled with wanderlust and adventure. She started writing at an early age, and has never stopped. After exploring Italy, Ethiopia, and South Korea, Bullington's desire to transport others to those places and to raise awareness of important humanitarian and social issues takes hold in her writings.
She received her Bachelor's Degree from Iowa State University and her Master's Degree from Pacific Oaks College. In her spare time, Bullington enjoys teaching as an adjunct college professor, writes parenting and child development columns for a taekwondo kids program, advocates against domestic violence and human trafficking, and is passionate about social justice. She's recently been featured as a storyteller at Ode, an Iowa organization that promotes positive impact through empathy. Her adventures never stop as she raises her five small children with her beloved husband, Branden, in the Midwest.
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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Release Blitz ***Healing Him by A.T. Brennan***

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 71,000 words


“I hated that I was like this, but after years of trying to work through it I was beginning to feel like I’d never be normal.” ~ Cody

Hiding the fact that I was in love with my best friend Isaac used to be the most complicated part of my day, until a chance meeting with a handsome stranger named Jonah sent my life into a tailspin. Scars from my past have stopped me from giving in to my desires for so long, but I’m done being afraid. I want both men. I just don’t know if I’ll be able to trust that anyone can love me.

“I knew it was a bit messed up, but there was no jealousy or envy when I thought of my men together.” ~ Isaac

I’ve loved Cody for as long as I’ve known him, but have always held back because of his past. Then I met Jonah and I knew there was no way I could choose between them. I want it all—the man I’ve loved for so long, and the one I’m quickly falling for. It’s not going to be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.

“I wanted to believe it was all true, but I couldn’t push aside the fear that I was just a distraction until the two of them got together.” ~ Jonah

After having my heart broken I never thought I’d find love again. I wasn’t looking for anything real, and then I met not one, but two men I can’t resist. Isaac and Cody are everything I ever wanted but didn’t know I could have. I want to believe the three of us can work, but a part of me can’t get past the fear that I’ll be the odd man out, again.

*This is Book 2 of The Den Boys series, but can be read as a standalone - no cliffhangers.


“So, start with Insidious?” I asked Cody as we flopped on his small couch.

“You’re evil.”

“What? We’ve seen it so many times you should know when the freaky parts happen. I could have said I Spit On Your Grave.”

“That movie was messed up, not scary.” Cody shook his head and took the beer I held out to him. “I’m never watching that one again.”

“True, how about The Grudge?”

“Fine, but I swear to god, if you change my ringtone to that creepy moaning noise, I’ll never speak to you again.”

I grinned and opened my computer to cue up the movie. We might be able to joke about that incident now, but at the time it had been anything but funny.

The first time we’d watched it together we’d only been friends for about a month. I’d waited until Cody had fallen asleep then downloaded the moaning sound the demon character made as his ringtone. Then I’d snuck into the bathroom, blocked my number and called his phone. We’d been at my place that night, and he’d flipped out.

I’d felt terrible at how badly I’d scared him. I’d thought he’d get a good laugh out of it and that would be the end of things, but he’d been so freaked out he hadn’t been able to sleep for hours.

That was the night I’d learned a little bit about Cody’s past, and why he hadn’t handled the joke well. It wasn’t so much the ringtone that had scared him, it had been waking up in my bed alone, scared and disoriented.

It had taken a few more months for Cody to open up and tell me more about his past, and every time he told me something new my heart broke a little bit more for him. Even now I’d learn about something he hadn’t told me yet, and I’d wish I could take away his pain.

The more time I’d spent with Cody, the more I’d realized that he was an incredible person. He wasn’t just sweet and kind, he was caring and fiercely loyal. He was also beautiful.

At five-nine he wasn’t short, but with his slender build and cherubic face he seemed so much younger than twenty-one. His big blue eyes were wide and expressive. He wore his blond hair shaved close on the sides but long on top, so it was constantly falling over his forehead and brushing the tops of his cheeks if he didn’t continuously push it back. Everything about him was so beautiful it was almost painful, and it hadn’t taken me long to fall in love with him.

If he’d been any other guy I would have asked him out on a date, and gotten to know him as a romantic interest instead of as a friend.

Author Bio

A.T. Brennan, who also writes under the name Mandie Mills, is a romance and erotica author. A native of Ottawa, Canada, she enjoys picking up and moving from city to city every few years. A former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, current entrepreneur and freelance writer, she enjoys spending her days working on her many projects and her nights writing and not getting enough sleep. Currently she lives on Canada's East Coast with her family, both two- and four-legged. She enjoys collecting books and exploring the different sides of romance and romantic expression in her works.

You can visit her at, or on Facebook at A.T. Brennan Author, and also at Author Mandie Mills.

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Release Blitz & REVIEW ***Sir by DL Hess***

Title: Sir
Series: The Awakening Series #1
Author: D.L. Hess
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 30, 2017


I look at him and my body reacts in a way that it never has before, even in the throes of passion. I look at him and I start aching so deep inside it takes all I can to think, to breathe, to speak. He’s like the brightest flame and it takes everything in me to resist its call.

I know that if I give in, I’ll get burned so deeply, there might be nothing left once I come out the other side.

But, god, I want to step into that flame.


Hollywood movie star Nate Stone only dates supermodels, movie stars, and socialites. So why can't he keep his mind off of diner waitress Tori?

Nate never thought he’d return to Boden, Louisiana. Running off to Hollywood after high school to make it big, the kid from the wrong side of the tracks meant to leave his hometown in the dust. But twelve years later he’s preparing to make his directorial debut—and Boden is the perfect place to shoot his film. But he gets more than he bargained for when he ends up at the local diner and discovers the best cup of coffee in town is poured by a pretty waitress who dominates his every thought and fantasy. Now all he wants to do is to return the favor and make those fantasies a reality…

Tori Wilson never thought she’d end up a small-town diner waitress, but a couple of bad decisions paired with an unforeseen tragedy left her with no choice. Now the shy baker spends her days clocked in at Boden’s Finewhile Diner, whipping up her famous cherry pies and serving her customers hot coffee with an extra side of sweetness, until one day, she finds People’s Sexiest Man Alive sitting in a corner booth. The powdered sugar flies as Nate uses all his tricks and charm to attempt to seduce the headstrong waitress into his bed.

A man like Nate could have anyone he wants—but somehow, for some reason that Tori just doesn’t understand, he wants her. But maybe, just maybe, being with Nate, even for a short time, will be worth the heartache when he’s gone.

People say that when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

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“One day, pretty Tori,” he murmured, “You’re going to let me in.”
He took a moment to sip his drink, letting that sink in before continuing, “I’m not going to deny that I want to fuck you. I can’t promise a future or that I’ll be some sniveling boyfriend who pines away after you once I go back to L.A. But I will say that I have plans for you if you say yes.
“I can promise you that I’m going to take you to new heights that you’ve never imagined. That I’ll make you feel pleasure so intense that you forget your name. I’ll fuck you so good, for so long that the only thing you’ll crave is my hands on your skin, my cock deep in your pussy.
“If you let me, Tori, I’ll open up a whole new world to you. I’ll make you fly.”

Review by: Jennifer
(4 Stars)

Author Bio

D.L. Hess picked up her first romance novel when she was ten years old. It was Judith McNaught’s Once and Always, and she spent all night hiding in the closet and reading. It left an imprint, an imprint she hopes to leave with you.
D.L. Hess grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and now goes between her hometown and Los Angeles. Her partner-in-crime is a nine pound Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix named Busby Berkeley who goes with her everywhere. D.L. Hess is an avid fan of cooking, traveling, and discovering new experiences. Her travel bucket list includes cruising all the major rivers in the world. So far, she has only hit two of them.

Author Links


Release Blitz & REVIEW***Style by Toni Kenyon***


STYLE by Toni Kenyon

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—unless it follows you home.

All Ashley Jacobs wants to do is forget about the Get Rocked! In Vegas Festival and get on with her life. Unfortunately, the one night she spent in the arms of

British band, Style Strike’s bad boy bass player, Paul Gray makes that simple wish impossible. She’s brought home more than memories. What should have been a fun fling before she settled into her orderly life has gone awry. To her horror, Ashley’s entire life is turned upside down when she discovers that she’s pregnant. She’s literally about to be left holding the baby.

Paul Gray’s never forgotten that night in Vegas with the woman who wanted nothing to do with a rock star. Style Strike’s US tour has gone from strength to strength and his social media star is on the rise. Paul finds himself surrounded by everything he's worked so hard to achieve. His life is awash with women, fame and fortune—but all he can think about is the sensual woman who walked away from him that night in Vegas.

Knowing the tour's about to hit her hometown, Ashley makes the sensible decision to contact Paul. He needs to be told about the baby, doesn’t he?



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Review by: Jennifer
(3.5 stars)
This was a what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas read. Ashley, with the help of her bestie, let loose one night and had a great one night with Paul, a member of the rock band Style Strike. A few weeks later, Ashley finds out that she is pregnant, and has no clue how to tell Paul or if he would even want to know. With some emails sent back and forth, the two decide to meet up when the band gets to town. Now she just has to figure out how to tell Paul, and pray he takes the news well.

So this is the first book in this new series, but it read like it was the third or fourth book. With constant mentions of characters from previous books, as well as those characters being major parts of this story, it probably would have worked better for me had I read the other series. I couldn't really connect with Paul and Ashley, they both got on my nerves. There is so much more I would like to comment on... but no spoilers, I give this 3.5 stars.


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Toni Kenyon lives in Auckland (New Zealand) with her husband (and their dog and cat) the goldfish is just squatting! She writes romance by day, sings in a band by night and in her spare (yeah, right) time she wrangles difficult heroes into line, so they can star in her next novel. Toni also loves the garden and has a special place in her heart for her fruit trees and her veggie patch. A keen amateur photographer, Toni posts “Mood of the Suburbs” shots across most of her social media profiles. She loves to hear from like-minded people, so pop on over and say 'Hi' any time.
Visit her website and sign up for her newsletter so you can stay informed about her new releases.
Toni can also be found at:
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Twitter: @Toni_Kenyon

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Release Blitz ***Magnetic by Avylinn Winter***

Buy Links: Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 14,000 words

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Treacherous Chemistry Series

Volatile (Book #1) - Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Toxic (Book #2) - Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK


He’d been afraid of me, and I had used fear to keep him away until I couldn’t stand to be anywhere but close.

Dante Heron has lived a life surrounded by pointless affection and impossible demands. Driven to the brink by his parents in pursuit of fame and fortune, he has learned to circumvent anything that would force him to feel more than he can stand. Until Chris. But then, he drove away Chris just as surely as he’d chased off everyone else.

Lost and afraid of the truth of that rejection, Dante pines from afar—more used to suffering than facing his problems. However, his feelings continue to torment him and no matter how many times he wants to leave the past behind, it won’t let go.

Publisher's Note: Magnetic is a companion book to the Treacherous Chemistry series and should be read after Volatile to appreciate the story.


The spotlight nailed me to the parquet, blinding as I faced an audience I couldn’t see. Drops of sweat ran in rivulets down the nape of my neck, caught by the white starch collar before they could travel farther. The steadfast rhythm from the orchestra pulsed through my blood, holding me grounded while my fingers pressed against the harsh strings of my violin, moving from place to place in a dance my mind barely followed. I simply played, pouring out every last shred of emotion I had from the bottom of my core. Emptying myself of everything.

As always, I was close to losing control. One slip, one finger misplaced, and the night would be ruined.

I could hear Mother’s voice in the back of my mind. Don’t fail us. We have sacrificed so much for you. I opened my eyes and saw her sitting on the front row, a frown on her forehead. Father sat beside her, clasping her hand as if to soothe her annoyance. They were never content, never proud. I wondered if they ever would be.

The cello section initiated the final build-up, stroking their strings with utmost care. I banished Mother from my thoughts, letting myself be swept away, carried in the moment. I had to succeed—and I would. The beast was mine to temper, reined in with the tips of my fingers.

You can do it. This time it was Chris’ voice, gentle and reassuring. Inhaling a rugged breath, I almost lost my focus. I couldn’t think about him. Not now.

The conductor moved the orchestra into the last part of my solo and I followed, clinging to the sounds beneath my bow. It was a desperate chase to the finish—a chase that had been thrilling in the past, but everything had changed since Chris had left after those disastrous days in Athens. I had been so angry. I’d felt betrayed and abandoned with emotions I hadn’t been able to handle.

Pushing myself to the limit, I held on until the audience broke out in applause. It was a tame response, not the wild cheers from a delirious crowd.

I had failed.

At any other time, it would have been mortifying. My stomach would have dropped and my heart would have thumped loud and scared. But I couldn’t feel a thing once the music had ceased. I was already numb.

* * * *

“You have got to take this seriously, Dante,” Mother snapped as she caught me off-stage. Lara, my sponsor or manager, or whatever it was she called herself these days, trailed behind and winced at my dear mother’s tone.

“I am,” I replied, even if I knew it was far from the truth. I didn’t care anymore.

“I heard you miss several notes. Do not disappoint us like that again.”

“I won’t.” It was an automated response, designed to avoid conflict.

“I know you’re still sulking about that boy, but don’t you understand now why I told you to get a grip of yourself?” She folded her arms across her chest. “He’s meant nothing but trouble and he would have ruined your career.”

“Mrs. Heron, please, not here,” Lara interjected.

Mother pursed her upper lip but said nothing. She knew it was foolish to cause a scene while the members of the orchestra still lingered around us. Keeping up appearances was everything to her. Producing a loud huff, she took my arm and steered me through the narrow corridor, aiming for my private dressing room. Not for the first time, I wished it was truly private and not a room where Mother, Father and Lara could enter at will.

After finding out about Chris, my parents hadn’t let me out of their sight. It hadn’t mattered how many times I’d asked them to go home. They’d refused, bringing up painful memories of what I had lost. Lara had tried to persuade them to leave me alone, but even she balked when it came to my parents. I resented her for it, almost wanting her gone, as well, but she still made herself useful by cushioning their attacks.

I was old enough to shut the door in their faces if necessary, but some part of me still wanted their approval, an approval I’d never gained as a child.

Lara opened the tall door, letting us inside the dimly lit room. Scattered candles gave it a muted glow but there was nothing warm about the atmosphere. Rooms like these evoked unpleasant memories, at least if I discounted those moments spent with Chris.

I clenched my fingers around the fragile neck of the Stradivarius. I had to move on. It had been Chris’ choice to leave—even Lara had said so. In my desperation to save him from my parents’ wrath, I had pushed him too far away from me, and now he was gone. Swept away like dust in a harsh wind.

I was the wind, and it pained me. I was poison, destroying everything in my path, something he should have known from the start.

The door shut with a loud bang behind me.

“You know we do this because we love you,” Mother said, her voice laced with forced maternal care. She excelled at the act, but I knew better. It had taken years to understand that she only said these things to pull the strings even tighter around me, and when Chris had opened my eyes to real love, I had finally thought that I could break free. But he’d left and she remained.

“You don’t do it because you love me,” I replied, strengthened by Chris even if he wasn’t around. It came out of nowhere, pushed forward with rush of adrenaline.

“What did you say?” Her tone screeched and bellowed at my conscience.

I turned toward her, meeting her harsh glare. “I said that you don’t do it because you love me.”

“How dare you!” She shook with anger, her face pinched into a sneer. The carefully crafted mask of makeup cracked at the edges and she raised her arm as if to slap me. She had done it before. Many times. Red marks left by harsh fingers, bruises around my wrists where she’d held me. Years of living in fear of unjust discipline.

Breathing deep, I straightened my shoulders and stared her down, daring her to take that last step. She lowered her arm, perhaps realizing that in a physical fight she didn’t stand a chance against a grown man. I had never done anything in retaliation, but maybe she understood that this time would be different.

I was sick of her. I was sick of Father. I was sick of them ruining the small scraps of happiness I felt while playing the instrument I loved. It was the same every time—they would point out the mistakes, always saying that I should have played better. However, they’d never been able to take my passion away, no matter how hard they pushed me. It was the only reason I’d managed to keep playing. I had learned to accept their anger and disappointment. I had even learned to expect it, but their disapproval had ultimately taken Chris from me and that was a different story altogether. I should have been stronger. I should have stood my ground to keep Chris by my side when they’d flown all the way to Athens simply to break us apart.

“Be glad that we’ve supported you all these years. You would be nothing without us.” She waved me off, approaching the side table to pour herself a glass of chilled champagne. Even angered, she would only drink one serving—too controlled to loosen up.

Lara gave me the smallest of nods, almost imperceptible to avoid Mother’s detection. She knew how hard this was for me, and more than anyone else, she wished that I would break free from my parents. In many ways I already had. When Lara had taken me in as a fragile thirteen-year-old boy to nurture my talent, my life had changed for the better. But she’d never had the power to protect me completely. My parents were always around in one way or another. Their words echoed across oceans.

I wiped off my instrument, handling the beauty with the reverence it deserved. It was the only relationship in my life that still worked, but a violin didn’t keep me warm at night. That role had been given to endless girls, but the vicious cycle of dead affection had dragged me down even further. I hadn’t noticed until Chris had entered my life and changed everything.

The reflection of a candle flame glimmered on the dark screen of my phone which stared at me from the table as if urging me to pick it up. I wanted nothing more than to call him, but it had been weeks and the more time that passed, the harder it became.

The first time I’d dared to call, desperate to hear his voice, Mother had entered the room, staring at me while Chris had uttered my name as if he’d been waiting for my call but had feared it at the same time. I hadn’t been able to say anything and her presence had reminded me of why I should just let it be. It was useless to stir up emotions when nothing would come out of it.

The second time I’d called, he’d never picked up.

Author Bio

Raised in one of the cold corners of the world, Avylinn spends her days either wrapped up in a blanket or basking in the precious sunlight. When she can’t choose herself, she’s holed up in an office working with climate research that has little to do with the worlds and characters she creates in her vivid dreams.

Always the emotional one, she has found her outlet in writing, voicing thoughts, emotions and fears through her characters that feel very much alive to her. And, what began as a hobby soon took more and more time in her life until she realized that she had left her old life behind and entered a new one where her emotions turned into a super power—ready to launch at her poor readers.

She recharges with the help of coffee, cinnamon buns, popcorn and occasionally a healthier alternative.

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