A MelanieM Review: Nobody’s Prince Charming (Road to Blissville #3) by Aimee Nicole Walker

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Fire and ice. Oil and water. Vodka and decisions. That’s what Darren McCoy and Wren Davison are: two opposites that shouldn’t mix well. Dare believes in fairy tales, true love, and happily ever after. Wren believes in fast cars, freedom, and no-strings sex. What can these two men possibly have in common? A magnetic pull strong enough to obliterate logic and reason.

For more than a year, Dare and Wren have worked together at the Curl Up and Dye Salon. Dare has pursued the mysterious, brooding man, and Wren has resisted his provocative charm. Then one day, something happens that allows the men to see each other in a new light. Wren learns that Dare hides a heavy heart behind his brilliant smile. Dare realizes that beneath Wren’s gruff exterior beats the heart of a prince.

Passions ignite once the men stop fighting their attraction, but will it be enough to overcome their differences? Is Wren the prince that Dare is looking for? Can Dare teach Wren that true love does exist?

Nobody’s Prince charming is a modern-day fairy tale where some princes ride Harleys, and castle walls are built to scale. It is the third book in the Road to Blissville series but can be read as a standalone book. This book contains sexually explicit material and is intended for adults eighteen and over.

Nobody’s Prince Charming is the first story that I read in Aimee Nicole Walker’s Road to Blissville series and it looks as though I’m going to have to remedy that because I found this story  charming and heartwarming.  Everything I look for in a contemporary romance.   It’s the third i the series but works perfectly as a standalone.  It’s not necessary to have read the others to have any backstory here.

This is also a lighthearted story in that there’s very little angst or deep drama in the situations that occur there.  Serious ones, yes, but none with the all-encompassing gritty, dark realism found in other stories.  I love those too, mind you.  But it’s nice to have warm and light, with a good smattering of fun and laughter (that’s where Grandpa and euchre games figures in) for good measure.

No, this is a sweet, wonderful opposites attract romance.  I fell in love with the characters, main and secondary alike.  Aimee Nicole Walker has created a delightful small town and filled it with characters you love to spend time with.  It’s a joy to watch them meet, sizzle with attraction, and then fall slowly in love.  Yes, I definitely have to seek out those other stories.

In the meantime, I recommend you pick up and read Nobody’s Prince Charming (Road to Blissville #3) by Aimee Nicole Walker.  I think you will agree with Dare that Wren is exactly what he and the reader needs.

Cover art: Jay Aheer.  Love that cover. So hot and works for the story and character.

Sales Links:

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2GEVRiv

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2E7iyq1

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 238 pages
Published March 21st 2018 by Chasing Rainbows Press LLC
Original TitleNobody’s Prince Charming
ASINB07C8KQGW6
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesRoad to Blissville #3

A Lila Audiobook Review: Red Fish, Dead Fish ( Fish Out of Water #2) by Amy Lane and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

What they say this book’s all about?

Two months ago Jackson Rivers got shot while trying to save Ellery Cramer’s life. Not only is Jackson still suffering from his wounds, the triggerman remains at large—and the body count is mounting.

Jackson and Ellery have been trying to track down Tim Owens since Jackson got out of the hospital, but Owens’s time as a member of the department makes the DA reluctant to turn over any stones. When Owens starts going after people Jackson knows, Ellery’s instincts hit red alert. Hurt in a scuffle with drug-dealing squatters and trying damned hard not to grieve for a childhood spent in hell, Jackson is weak and vulnerable when Owens strikes.

Jackson gets away, but the fallout from the encounter might kill him. It’s not doing Ellery any favors either. When a police detective is abducted—and Jackson and Ellery hold the key to finding her—Ellery finds out exactly what he’s made of. He’s not the corporate shark who believes in winning at all costs; he’s the frightened lover trying to keep the man he cares for from self-destructing in his own valor.

Red Fish, Dead Fish is even better than Fish Out of Water. I have forgotten that when Amy Lane goes for gritty and sad it’s always detailed and perfect. What Jackson endures in this second story takes off with the same intensity and suffering. Yes, it’s more than redeeming in the end, but he has to fight with everything he has to get to the other side, where Ellery is always waiting for him.

The author did an excellent job integrating this volume within the main story. We get to learn more about Jackson’s life, his fears, and the need he has to love and be love. Ellery is always there with him even when Jackson tries to push him aside. They have learned to work together and comfort each other better. There’s always an internal fight not to give the other too much but in the end, they always provided what the other needed.

There’s a large variety of secondary characters, new and old, that make the reader want to know more about their stories. Plus, in Amy Lane’s fashion, we get to see characters from her other books making small cameos in this book. It works and is always best to read the other books first; in this case, Racing for the Sun. There are also some bonus short stories at the end of the audiobook that are worth listening to. They bring all three books together.

I don’t think this series is over. The reader gets a complete story, but there’s always the possibility for more. Opened doors and new phycological adventures for Jackson and Ellery. This book was long and action-packed. Parts are cringeworthy and you get to suffer with the characters but in the end, it goes perfectly with the characters and their story.

Greg Tremblay brings the characters back to life without missing a step. They’re as strong and individual as on the first book, getting the reader submerged into the story within minutes.

The cover by Reese Dante matches the previous book with its clean lines and out of the ordinary elements. Still, quite literal, but it works one more time.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Greg Tremblay
Length: 11 hours and 48 minutes

Published: March 2, 2018 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B01LZQ0MBK

Edition Language: English

Series: Fish Out of Water
Book #1: Fish Out of Water
Book #2: Red Fish, Dead Fish

A Jeri Release Day Review: Once Burned (Anchor Point #6) by LA Witt

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5
This was, by far, my favorite of the series so far. I’ve liked and wanted Diego’s story since we met him in Dalton’s book. Finally, we got it.
By design or not, the Anchor Point books rely heavily on Naval policies and politics. While interesting, sometimes I felt that all of it bogged the story down some. I mean, I still read and enjoyed them, but it got to be a bit much.
In this story, though, it wasn’t so much the politics of the Navy, but how easily the Navy can screw someone who served. And it brought to light a HUGE issue in the military. Green card holders who serve but then can easily lose their jobs AND their status- becoming another undocumented immigrant in a country that they once fought for.
Ok, moving on……
Mark is nearly divorced after a pretty disastrous marriage. He got slam orders to move to Anchor Point, after he was surprisingly made Captain. His first night out he meets Diego. The bartender who hates the Navy and won’t date military. But he ends up bending his rules for Mark.
One night becomes many. A casual hook up becomes an undefined relationship. And we finally get Diego’s story about why he hates the Navy. And it breaks my heart. Because it happens. We just don’t hear about it.
I really enjoyed reading about an “older” couple. Older meaning pushing 40 instead of the romance norm of mid 20’s. Older guys need love too! And Diego and Mark were awesome together. I loved that Diego was still friends with Dalton and that Mark became friends with his ex wife. There weren’t a ton of side characters- but they played an important role.
The ending (the epilogue really) was a bit neat and tidy for me, but overall a really good book.
Cover art by LC Chase was perfect and in keeping with the series.
Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 289 pages
Expected publication: April 9th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN 1626497486 (ISBN13: 9781626497481)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesAnchor Point #6

Vicki Reese on Writing, Characters, and her new release No Tears for Darcy (author interview)

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No Tears for Darcy by Vicki Reese
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Tiferet Design

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Vicki Reese here today talking about writing, characters and her new release No Tears for Darcy.  Welcome, Vicki.

 

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Vicki Reese ~

 

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?:  I’m not sure. I’d say a little of me goes into all of them. Actually, a little of a lot of people that I know. I take bits and pieces of myself and everyone I know and those pieces go into my characters.
  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write? Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?: With a degree in Library Science, I love research. I can get lost in the research – which is not always a good thing! LOL. As for making up my own worlds and cultures – that is my first love, but to do it right requires a lot of research so the two are not mutually exclusive. I’ve been known to create entire worlds in the sand while vacationing, but when I bring those worlds (in the form of pictures) back home, then I get to work researching to make them viable, whether contemporary or fantasy or science fiction. You have to make it real for yourself and the reader.
  • Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing? Sort of. I read a lot and always have – in a lot of different areas. From Shakespeare to Asimov. From DuMaurier to Clancy. I read almost everything – so for me, it came down to picking one (or three). And some that are my favorite to read I don’t write (like historical fiction).
  • Do you like HFN or HEA? Why?: It has to be HEA for me. I’m a firm believer in HEA and committed relationships. Yes, it takes work and it’s not always easy, but there has to be that “hope” that the couple will make it. After all, they’ve already made it through the worst, so the rest can’t be bad, right? I need that happiness and hope that all will work out. I’ve read several HFN and they just didn’t work as well for me because I didn’t have that feeling they would stay together. I need that for a satisfying ending.
  • Do you read romances?: Definitely. I started reading romances in college and haven’t stopped. In all genres- historical, contemporary, paranormal, suspense – you name it, if it’s a romance, I read it.
  • How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?:  I know for a lot of readers, that’s all they read, and that’s fine. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with it. I definitely prefer the feel of a book in my hand, not my tablet (or computer). But, after a recent issue with my vision, I find that I like being able to enlarge the text and that means ebooks. Plus, as I’ve moved a lot over the years (23 times so far), it’s a lot easier to move a library of ebooks than my actual library. As to where it’s going… your guess is as good as mine. Ebooks are here to stay…until something better comes along. LOL
  • How do you choose your covers?: I’m fortunate to have worked with some great artists for my covers. I give them what I would like, and they come up with amazing drafts. For me, I usually like one or two of the main characters, a little of one of the settings, good fonts, and colors that carry the mood of the piece. I’m not a fan of “cartoonish” covers-though they work for many books. But I don’t like them for mine. I like the characters to be real, for both myself and the reader.
  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories and why?: That’s like asking if I have a favorite child. They’re all my favorites. LOL. From the first silly story I wrote as a child to my latest novel, they all mean something special to me.
  • What’s next for you as an author?: I’m currently working on my next romantic suspense for Dreamspinner as well as a high fantasy story I hope to shop around.
  • Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work, then years later you loved it?: Actually, No Tears for Darcy is one of those stories. I wrote this several years ago, but the timing wasn’t right for it. Then I met Dreamspinner and, voila… a love was born.
  • Ever drunk-written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?: LOL!! No, sorry. Due to a medical condition, I don’t drink. But I have written while under the influence of medication – interesting outcome, but it made little sense so it didn’t make it in.
  • If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?: I kind of have that now. I have a private office with a great view outside, good music on the stereo, multiple bookshelves stuffed to overflowing and a big, comfy chair to sit in. Back before the kids grew up, I wished for a place like this instead of the chaos of the kitchen table. Funny thing is, I miss that chaos, but I cannot write in a place like a coffee shop or the library. I find those surroundings too distracting—watching people, listening to conversations, and so on. So I’m good with where I am.
  • With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain? To get away? To move past? Why do you write?: I write to escape. To show a better world, or a world where the possibility of a HEA exists. Where someone normal like me can face difficulties and still come out on top of things. I write to give hope to myself and my readers. In today’s world, we all need a little hope, and happiness. We all need our HEA, even if only for a short while.

 

About No Tears for Darcy

Letting love pass them by would be a crime.

Former forensic accountant Cameron has lost nearly everyone he’s ever loved, and now his vintage clothing shop has been broken into and trashed. When town police chief Will Carson asks an out-of-town cop friend of his for help, Cam takes one look at the dark-haired, blue-eyed detective and knows he’s in real trouble—and it has nothing to do with vandalism or murder.

Pete Minchelli is on leave from his job in Philadelphia due to a gunshot wound, but he figures he can help an academy buddy with some light police work. Plus, he’ll have a chance to experience small-town life. He’s tired of the big city and all its corruption. But he quickly discovers that not all the bad stuff happens in cities. What he doesn’t expect to find is death, treachery—or love.

RELEASE DAY BLITZ : Syncopation (Twisted Wishes #1) by Anna Zabo (excerpt and giveaway)

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Syncopation

Series: Twisted Wishes #1

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date (Ebook): April 9, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook): 104,000 words or ~295 pages

Subgenre: contemporary romance; m/m romance

Includes: Rockstars, BDSM, Angst, Pansexual/bisexual, Aromantic

Links:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0789GZX16/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/syncopation-anna-zabo/1127659237

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/syncopation/id1326105335

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anna_Zabo_Syncopation?id=t0RDDwAAQBAJ

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/syncopation-8

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Syncopation/Anna-Zabo/Q264976640?id=7194974976389

Synopsis:

There’s no resisting the thrum of temptation in this male/male rock-star romance from genre-favorite author Anna Zabo!

Twisted Wishes front man Ray Van Zeller is in one hell of a tight spot. After a heated confrontation with his bandmate goes viral, Ray is hit with a PR nightmare the fledgling band so doesn’t need. But his problems only multiply when they snag a talented new drummer—insufferably sexy Zavier Demos, the high school crush Ray barely survived.

Zavier’s kept a casual eye on Twisted Wishes for years, and lately, he likes what he sees. What he doesn’t like is how out of control Ray seems—something Zavier’s aching to correct after their first pulse-pounding encounter. If Ray’s up for the challenge.

Despite the prospect of a glorious sexual encore, Ray is reluctant to trust Zavier with his band—or his heart. And Zavier has always had big dreams; this gig was supposed to be temporary. But touring together has opened their eyes to new passions and new possibilities, making them rethink their commitments, both to the band and to each other.

Excerpt 

Ray rose, and Zavier followed him past the berths and into the lounge at the back. He pulled the curtain closed, then turned. Ray was breath and lust and jangling tension. Not exactly where Zavier wanted him to be, but they would work on that. There was time. Right now, though?

“Ray, may I kiss you?”

Shock washed across Ray’s features. He stammered out a reply. “Yes.”

Good. Zavier stepped close, enough to see the wild beating of Ray’s pulse.

“But…why ask?”

“Consent,” Zavier murmured. He cupped Ray’s face with one hand. “Everything tonight has to be something you want.” He slid his hand against the other side of Ray’s head. “You can say no. You can tell me to stop.” He tilted Ray’s head up and their lips touched.

Ray whimpered.

“Trust that I’ll heed your wishes.” He held Ray’s head firmly between his hands. Brushed a thumb against a flushed cheek.

“I—do trust you.” Ray’s words were warm breath against Zavier’s lip.

“Good. Will you listen to me tonight? Will you obey me?”

Ray was trembling against him. “Yes.”

Zavier kissed Ray, gently at first, letting him stiffen and moan, then relax. Lips moved gently, coaxing, opening, claiming, until Ray’s mouth was his and that hard, lithe body was molded to Zavier’s. That taste, the press of Ray against him put fire into Zavier’s blood. He’d needed this. Wanted it since he’d auditioned. They’d danced and danced for months. Countless days of living with each other. It was time already.

The second time he kissed Ray, it was to claim his mouth. A kiss that pulled whimpers and sighs from him, had him digging his fingers into Zavier’s arms. But it also had him tipping his head back and thrusting his hips against Zavier. Savoring Ray’s desire was a joy. Finally, his hands were where they belonged, playing a different kind of music.

Zavier held Ray’s head with one hand and slid the other down to his ass to pull them tightly together. He drank in Ray’s gasp and groan when Zavier ground their dicks against each other so there’d be no doubt about Zavier’s intent.

They weren’t in high school anymore, and Zavier would have every inch of Ray that was offered to him.

When he broke the kiss, it was only to bite and lick and suck at Ray’s neck until he was twisting and thrusting and shaking in Zavier’s arms. “Oh fuck. Oh god, yes.”

There. Each word cascaded down Zavier. Ray’s pleasure, his need.

The engine turned over, then the bus lurched, sending them both off balance and breaking them apart of a moment.

Zavier laughed. Not the most ideal conditions. But a little space would keep him from getting too far ahead with Ray.

Ray groaned in exasperation. “Cock-blocked by a bus.”

“If you think you’re frustrated now, just you wait.” Zavier grinned.

About Anna Zabo:

 

About the Author

Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow. They live and work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think.

Anna grew up in the wilds of suburban Philadelphia before returning to their ancestral homelands in Western Pennsylvania. As a child they were heartily disappointed to discover that they couldn’t grow up to be what they wanted (a boy, a cat, a dragon), so they settled on being themself whenever possible, which may be a combination of a boy, a cat, and a dragon. Or perhaps a girl, a knight, and a writer. Depends on whom you ask. They do have a penchant for colorful ties and may be hording a small collection of cufflinks.They can be easily plied with coffee.

Anna has an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, where they fell in with a roving band of romance writers and never looked back. They also have a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Connect with Anna Zabo:

Twitter | Facebook Group | Instagram | Website | Goodreads | Facebook Page | Newsletter

Win 2 e-copies of any back catalog novel by Anna Zabo:

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Direct Link to giveaway: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0352/

Andrew Grey on Writing, Romance and his latest release Redeeming the Stepbrother (Tales from St. Giles #2)  (author guest blog)

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Redeeming the Stepbrother (Tales from St. Giles #2) 

by Andrew Grey

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

Release Date: April 10 2018

Book Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Andrew Grey here today talking about reading, romance, and his new release Redeeming the Stepbrother (Tales from St. Giles #2) .   Welcome, Andrew!

♦︎

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?  It’s funny, but in some ways.  As a teenager I didn’t read romance.  It wasn’t something that was necessarily open to boys and times were quite different then.  However I remember reading stories and getting caught up in the romance portion of them.  There was the action and suspense, but what turned the pages for me was to find out what happened to the main characters and if they finally worked things out between them.  So I guess I was always a romantic at heart, I just didn’t realize it until later.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?  Yes, that has happened.  There have been times when I was feeling what my characters were to the point hat I actually had to walk away from the story for a period of time.  I remember the beginning of Fire and Hail, after I wrote the first chapter I was shaking to the point that I had to set the whole story aside and allow myself to calm down before I could continue. 

 

Blurb/Synopsis:

Family can be a blessing and a curse, but for artist Florian, it’s a nightmare he longs to escape.

As chief designer for Bartholomew Artist Porcelain, Florian specializes in painting birds. He also watches them in the wild to distract himself from his short-tempered mother, at least temporarily. Florian’s heart is too soft to leave his stepsister, Ella, to suffer alone. Still, he can’t help dreaming about one day finding happiness and love.

When Count Dieter von Hollenbach arrives in town to visit a friend and present an award, he isn’t looking for romance. Then again, he doesn’t expect someone as perfect as Florian to come into his life. To make sure Florian is all he seems and that their connection is genuine, Dieter keeps his title to himself.

But he isn’t the only one with a secret.

At a masquerade ball to celebrate the award, some of the masks fall away, but those that remain in place could destroy the love beginning to grow between them.

Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print

Genre:  M/M Contemporary Romance

Excerpt 

I crouched in the reeds, finding a dry spot and using the tall grasses as cover to watch, listening and filling my camera with images. There was almost too much activity to take in all at once.

An engine sound grew near, and I turned but didn’t see the car. I didn’t want to scare any of the birds away, so I stayed where I was until slurpy footsteps came closer.

“Florian,” Dieter said with his deep voice and German accent.

“Right here. Stay low and move slowly. There is a lot of activity today.” I waited until Dieter got nearer and moved over to share my firm, dry patch of ground. I pointed. “Look over there. The baby egrets are learning from their mother to hunt for food.” Dieter leaned in the direction I had pointed, and I inhaled his sweet, slightly musky scent. Dang, he smelled good. I inched a little closer, just so I could get another whiff of him. Too bad I’d never learned how to add scent to a painting—other than the smell of paint, that is.

“Look over there.” Dieter pointed to a sandpiper as it scampered over the sand, poking its long beak down every now and then.

A motor sounded in the distance and grew louder and louder. It was one of those large cabin cruisers going full speed, motors rumbling throatily as it approached. The birds scampered for cover or took to the air, flying off for safety.

“I hate that. They’re supposed to slow down in this section of the Bay, but they don’t always do it. Danged tourists.” This was a known birding area and most locals left it alone or stayed clear when they were on the water.

There was no use sitting here any longer. The birds were gone, and while they’d return eventually, they were scattered now. Besides, it was getting late.

I stood, stretching my back and legs. “Sorry about that.”

“It’s not your fault.” Dieter was wearing the same sort of clothes as he had the last time I saw him. Definitely something out of another era. His gaze traveled downward as I smiled. “My clothes?”

I nodded. “Where did you get them? At an antique store?”

Dieter shrugged. “They were my father’s. He used to take me bird-watching in Bavaria when I was a little boy. It was one of the few things he and I did together.” He slowly and carefully made his way back toward the cars, and I followed him, enjoying the view. “My father was a difficult man.” Dieter opened the trunk, took off his binoculars, and set them inside their case. “He didn’t seem to have a lot of time for me, but we used to go hiking in the Alps and to lakes, where we watched birds. My father used to take me hunting, but I was miserable at it.”

I shivered. “I hate hunting. I could never get the hang of shooting.” I opened the trunk to my car and starting taking off my gear, getting out my sneakers. “My stepfather took me once and I nearly shot my foot off and then dropped the gun. It almost disappeared into the mud. After that, I decided that watching birds was a lot more interesting than trying to shoot them. I can buy chicken in the store when I want poultry.” I smiled, and Dieter grinned in return.

“I can shoot very well. I just don’t think hunting is very sporting. Not when my father’s version was standing in a field while the gamekeepers released captured birds and he shot them as they tried to get away.” Dieter looked downward once again. “But these were what he wore when we went bird-watching, and I kept them after he passed away.” He changed his shoes, and I did the same.

I wasn’t sure what to do or talk about now that we were done watching the birds. I needed to get some dinner and was about to ask if Dieter wanted to join me, but his phone rang before I could.

Dieter answered it and spoke softly in German before ending the call. “I must go. It was very nice bird-watching with you.” He nodded once, sort of a small bow. I didn’t understand what it meant, but I did the same in return. “I hope to see you again.” Dieter got into his car and hurried away. I watched him go and for a second wondered if I suddenly smelled bad.

With nothing more I could do, I packed up my things and headed to town. I wasn’t particularly interested in going home, so I figured I’d get something to eat and read for a while. I had my Kindle in my bag, and some quiet time away from family chaos was probably a good thing.

As I passed through town, I noticed the dark Mercedes parked outside the café. I thought it was Dieter’s and debated eating there. It was my favorite place in town, and Betty, the owner and hostess, usually gave me a table by the window so I could watch people and relax. I didn’t want Dieter to think I was following him, though, and nearly drove past before deciding to park and go anyway.

“Hi, honey,” Betty said as I stepped inside. “Your usual table?”

I nodded. “Thanks.” I sat down, and she brought me a cup of tea and took my order for a chicken salad sandwich. One of these days I really needed to work on becoming less predictable. Even I thought my life was a bit boring and a little redundant.

“How are things going at the studio?” Betty asked after she put in the order.

“Good,” I answered, glancing over at the tables on the other side of the café. Dieter sat with Dante, talking quietly. I didn’t want to appear to be eavesdropping on my boss, but I had to confess that I barely saw Dante, my gaze only for Dieter. Dieter leaned over the table, his hair falling slightly forward, framing his profile, and I might have sighed slightly.

“I see,” Betty said, and I looked up at her. “You know Mr. Dante is taken.”

I must have looked askance at her because she nodded.

“Honey, the other man is a business associate of Dante’s. He’s dreamy, if you ask me, but I don’t know how long he’s going to be staying, so don’t get your heart set on that one.” Betty and husband had run the diner for three decades or so, and due to diner gossip, had a pretty good idea of everything that went on in town. “There haven’t been any rumors as to why he’s here, but there have been various ladies who’d like to take him for a spin.”

About the Author

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Author Links

Amazon Author Page

Barnes and Noble Page

Dreamspinner Press

Facebook

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads

Twitter @andrewgreybooks

Website

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)

Release Day Blitz for – Blood Bathory: Like The Night (The Guardians of Gaia #1) by Ari McKay

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Cover Design: Lou Harper
 
Length: 123,737 words
 
Blurb
 

Evan St. John, a young fashion photographer running from the pain caused by the death of his younger sister, is thrilled when he is offered a job with House of Nadasdy, a leading fashion house in Paris. What he doesn’t know is that Elizabeth Nadasdy, the elegant and powerful owner, is a centuries-old vampire with a penchant for collecting beautiful people. To Evan’s horror, he is turned into one of her “children.”


Unable to bear what he has become, Evan flees to New York and to his best friend, police officer Will Trask. For years, Evan has nursed an unrequited love for Will, but he also knows Will is the one person who might be able to help him. As Evan and Will try to deal with Evan’s condition, they are drawn into the world of the theriomorphs: shape-shifters who are guardians of life and the sworn enemies of vampires. Caught in an ancient war between two powerful supernatural forces, Evan and Will find they must choose sides – because if they are to have any chance of a future together, they must destroy Elizabeth Nadasdy before she destroys them.

 

Excerpt
 

Will had always been protective of those he cared about, and Evan was no exception, especially since Evan’s attractive face, slender build and “out and proud” attitude had occasionally made him a target on campus. It had been that way since their freshman year, and it was no different now. It was ridiculous, perhaps, and no doubt part of that White Knight thing Evan had always teased him about, but Will couldn’t help it; it was just the way he was.


“You might as well ‘fess up now, because I’m going to get the story out of you one way or another. I’m not going to let anyone hurt you if I can do anything about it. We stick together, right?” Will’s tone grew serious. “I mean it, Evan. You know you can count on me. You’re my best friend.” It was still true, even though they hadn’t been face-to-face in years. No one had ever taken Evan’s place in his life; no one ever could.


“Even if I tell you I’ve been working for a vampire?” Evan asked softly. “I don’t mean that figuratively, either. I mean literally. She’s a monster. She’s killed her own models. She turns people into monsters like her.”


For a long moment, Will couldn’t do anything but stare at his friend, wondering if this was a joke and he was somehow missing the punch line. Evan’s blue eyes were haunted but guileless; the man was a lousy liar, at least when it came to Will, and there was too much pain in Evan’s gaze for it to be some elaborate trick. Whatever was really going on, Evan, at least, believed what he was saying, and that was the most horrifying part of it. Whatever had happened to Evan in the last few months had damaged him in a way that Will was afraid he wasn’t going to be able to fix.


It was painful to face the fact that his best friend had apparently suffered some sort of mental breakdown, and Will cursed himself for not having tried harder to get in contact when Evan’s communications had grown infrequent. Obviously Evan had been going through something terrible, and Will knew that he had to do whatever he could to get Evan the help he needed. Which meant making sure that Evan remained here for now, until Will could figure out how to get him to a doctor.


“Let me make sure I understand what you’re saying,” he replied, keeping his voice quiet and reassuring. “Elizabeth Nadasdy, the famous fashion designer, is a vampire who kills people. That makes sense, I suppose. Or at least it explains why the models all look as though they weigh five pounds.” His attempt at humor sounded hollow, but it was the best he could do at the moment. “And she’s after you?”


Evan leaned back away from Will. “You don’t believe me. You think I’m crazy.”


Will hated to see that look on Evan’s face, the question of sanity aside. “Evan, it’s not that I don’t want to believe you, all right? But you know how it sounds, don’t you?” He knew his tone was pleading. “Vampires don’t exist. I can tell you believe it, though, and that makes it hard, because I know you’d never lie to me. But how can I believe it? How can you believe it?” He reached out and touched Evan’s arm in mute appeal. “How?”


Evan met Will’s gaze, his expression steady and calm, no trace of madness lurking in his gaze. “I don’t just believe it. I know it. I know it because I’m one, too.”

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.


Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.


McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.


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