The Accidental Mafia Queen Book 1
by Khardine Gray
Genre: Contemporary Mafia Romance
Better to be at the right hand of the devil than in his path…
When you come from a crime family, you have a name to live up to. My enemies know I'm a bastard who shows no mercy—exactly the cold-hearted don my father would want me to be. Except we're not the one's in charge. Yet…
The Boss wants me to take over his billion dollar business, and the only way that's happening is if I can win the heart of his cop daughter. I planned to treat her just like all the other women who meant nothing to me, but everything about her is tempting. Her beauty, her body, her soul. Money and Power. That’s all this was supposed to be about…
Falling in love wasn't part of the plan. Neither was finding out that her father has a hidden agenda, and I’m just a pawn in his game.
MAFIA BOSS is The Godfather and The Sopranos with the sexy edge of a drool-worthy Alpha male. Fans of R.R. Banks and Vi Keeland are gonna love this...
Khardine Gray is a contemporary romance author who lives in England with her husband, two kids, and three crazy ferrets.
She is well traveled, cultured, and a woman with a passion for dancing and ice skating.
When not writing you can catch her shopping, indulging on pizza and hot chocolate, or hanging out with her family and friends.
No need to spend money on an airline ticket. Simply pick up one of Khardine's books to become immersed in the fascinating stories and characters she creates.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!
The Leopard Who Claimed A Wolf
A CURSED MOON
by Cecy Robson Weird Girls, #2.5 Publication Date: January 30, 2019 Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance
PRINT (First Time in PRINT!): https://amzn.to/2B8DYnY
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Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2Qp9QJX
Meet the furry big brother that the Wird sisters never had…
Bren is a cocky, brash hound of a werewolf who loathes the idea of belonging to Aric’s pack—much less finding a mate. But Bren’s hotheaded behavior lands him in the doghouse when he defies Aric’s authority in front of his pack, bringing up a sore subject that’s bound to make the Alpha wolf’s blood boil…
Luckily for him, no one can stay mad at Bren and his wild charm for long. And when some frightening ghosts launch a hostile paranormal takeover, Bren will team up with Celia to take down the evil ghouls before they hurt someone they both love…
“Damn it, Bren—wake up!”
“Hmmph?” Someone with a death wish was shaking me. You don’t disturb a werewolf’s sleep; that’s just common fucking sense. The breeze shot through the cracked opened window, bringing a strong whiff of Tahoe’s magic. I grinned and inhaled. That shit was better than witch ganja, and it lulled me back to sleep.
But then Dan flipped on the leg lamp on my nightstand and opened his yap again. “Wake up, I mean it.”
“You can take that werewolf shit and shove it up your ass.”
That made me chuckle into my pillow. Dan swearing was damn funnier than Elmo dropping the “F” bomb. He shook me again, this time harder. I flipped over and tried to get comfortable.
“For crying out loud, put some pants on! I don’t need to see your . . . stuff.”
“It’s my goddamn room. I can sleep naked if I want. And what the hell do you mean by ‘stuff’? What are you, ten?”
Dan ignored me. “Bren, your stupid one-night stand stole all our food, our DVDs, and our laundry detergent.”
I half-opened one eye. “Wendy wouldn’t do anything like that.”
“Her name was Natasha.”
“That’s the name she wrote all over my bathroom with her lipstick.”
I sat abruptly, suddenly panicked. “She didn’t take my porn, did she?”
Dan’s jaw slacked. “Is that all you care about, that she took your porn?”
“No. For shit’s sake I’m hungrier than hell. How are you going to fix me breakfast without any food?”
Dan threw his hands in the air, in that same exaggerated way he always did when I pushed him to his breaking point. He kicked my dirty clothes on the floor and paced like an expectant dad. “You have the audacity to think I’d actually cook you breakfast—after what your one-nighter did?”
I scratched my beard. Damn, I needed a trim. “Well, yeah. It’s your job around here, you’re the woman. You’re supposed to cook, clean, and pay most of the bills. My job is to keep your ass safe from humans, vamps, weres, witches, little old ladies, and pretty much anything else you’re afraid of. It’s part of our deal, along with me getting you laid.”
Dan stomped to the side of my bed, stumbling over a pair of my old jeans. “First of all, it was just that one little old lady. I may be human, but I’m pretty sure she was some kind of spirit―especially given the amount of supernatural activity around here lately. Secondly, I don’t need help getting laid.”
I stared at my beanpole roommate. His messy curly hair hung over his thick black-framed glasses, and he tripped over air on a regular basis. Jesus. There were Girl Scouts more muscular and agile than him. “Yes, you do, Dan.”
“I’ve gotten laid a lot lately, all without your help.”
“Ugly girls don’t count, man.”
“Celia’s not ugly.”
I laughed and yanked at my overgrown hair. Damn, I needed a cut, too. But unlike Dan, I did grunge well. “Celia was more than eight years ago.” I chuckled again. Talk about a mercy lay.
He narrowed his eyes. “What’s so funny?”
“I still can’t believe you were her first. How’d you talk her into it? Did you promise to tutor her in chemistry or something?”
Dan’s entire face reddened, making him look more like a tomato than a walking piece of broccoli. “Whatever, Bren. I’ll prove to you I can get laid.”
“Sure, sure, you can get laid. Don’t get your thong in a bunch.”
Dan stamped his foot. Shit, I only thought girls did that.
“I mean it, Bren. I have to work late at the lab tonight, but I’ll meet you at eleven at the Watering Hole. I’m going to get a girl so hot your head will spin.”
I yawned. “Sure you will, buddy.”
“Fine. If you don’t believe me, how about we bet on it?”
“Dan, you don’t want to bet me on something like that. You’ll only lose and embarrass yourself.”
“You’re just afraid. I thought you were a wolf, not a chicken.”
My brows furrowed and I snarled. “Did you just call me a chicken?” This time it was Dan’s turn to laugh. I could be pretty damn intimidating, but he knew I’d never hurt him. He was a mothering pain in the ass, but also the best friend I’d ever had.
“You heard me, clucky.”
A slow grin eased across my face. “All right then, name the terms.”
“The loser has to clean and cook for the rest of the year . . .”
“Is that the best you can come up with? Oooh, I’m real scared now.”
“. . . wearing a French maid outfit, regardless of who’s in the apartment.”
My grin widened. The little turd had some balls after all. “You’re on.” I held out my hand. He refused to shake it until after I showered.
ABOUT CECY ROBSON
Cecy Robson is an author of contemporary and new adult romance, young adult adventure, and award-winning urban fantasy. A double-nominated RITA® Finalist, Winner of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and published author of more than twenty titles, you can typically find Cecy on her laptop or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.
Connect with Cecy online:
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing, Inc
RED IS FOR ROOKIE
RED IS FOR RACE
Tracking a kidnapper is an unusual assignment for a private investigator. But Matt is Holly’s lifelong friend. During the race to save him, Holly discovers a lot more than she bargained for. Matt’s in love with her.
RED IS FOR RISK
Holly’s world has never been more dangerous. Her mother’s convinced Holly will end up dead, so she hires a PI to protect Holly. She needs Stryker’s savvy and expertise and is eager for his help, though she risks her heart working with the danger-loving man.
RED IS FOR REVENGE
Stryker’s past returns to haunt him. The kidnapper wants revenge. Stryker risks his life Holly. The dangerous race transforms Holly from a Rookie into a seasoned PI. But with the two men turning her life upside down, can Holly take the heat?
As I turned away to retrace my surveillance route, my gaze swept across a man I hadn’t noticed before. He stood near the ballroom door with his back to me. I did a double-take. An off-duty cop. I could spot one a mile away. The way he walked, stood, and observed his surroundings. A cop couldn’t disguise his identity. Calm, professional, strong, he looked as though he controlled the world. With legs braced wide, right foot behind, he kept his piece away from the crowd. Even from the rear the guy looked cocky.
Someone touched my shoulder. I jumped. While I’d been eyeing the cop, Matt had crossed to my side of the room.
“Who invited the police?” Matt jabbed a thumb toward the ballroom door.
“My question exactly. Maybe one of the rich types demanding extra protection. Or maybe the cop’s moonlighting as a bodyguard.”
Matt rubbed his clean-shaven chin. “Maybe. Don’t know.”
“Whatever. I’ll find out.”
“You do that.” Matt sauntered back to his side of the ballroom.
I planned to check the cop out but didn’t want to meet him this way. I had an image to project. I was an investigator. A professional. Strong. Independent. Cool. Granted, I had a lot to learn, but I sure didn’t want to be seen on Valentine’s night appearing to shop for a man. In a town as closely-connected as Dallas, if we met in the line of fire–and I had no doubt we would—he’d never take me seriously. Some time tonight I’d inform the cop I was actually working.
I policed my half of the room then headed back toward the Champion Wrestler table.
Big, warm fingers grasped my arm with just enough pressure to make me brake and take notice. The dark-haired, fine-looking man extended his other hand. A sense of recognition nagged me. But I didn’t know him.
He sat with his back to the wall at the Attorney table catty-cornered to the wrestlers’ enclave. I shook his waiting hand, feeling warmth and solid strength. He wore his dark suit like other men wore uniforms. Daring. Proud. Indomitable. Candlelight reflected mystery in his brown eyes. With the kind of smile you see on a man given an unexpected dish of ice cream, he stood and offered me the empty chair his polished wingtips had guarded. With the chair now free, a bevy of females flew over from different tables and circled him.
“Sit a while.”
His compelling expression excluded everyone in the room but me. It was an invitation I didn’t want, but my feet, aching from the unaccustomed spike heels, did. So, I slid into the seat.
“Thanks, but just for a minute.”
Sophisticated women glared—shoppers vying for the man’s attention. He flashed them a smile and motioned to the nearby Champion Wrestler table. “Those men want to meet you.”
“I’ll be back.” One woman, wearing heavy eye liner, trailed her hand along the top of the man’s chair and threw him a seductive glance before she moved away. The other ladies stepped over to the strong men’s table.
“Thanks, man.” One wrestler nodded, his long blonde hair falling into his square-jawed face.
I turned to the man, a real James Bond type. Unwanted sparks ignited my insides. Too intense to be handsome and too electric to be ignored, he was big, tense, and concentrated. I’d never met a man who looked so ready for adventure.
Here was trouble masquerading as charm.
“They’re gonna love this at the office,” Bond drawled.
I blinked. The heat in his eyes warmed me like sun-melted chocolate. The challenge in his steady gaze stiffened my backbone.
“The office?” I noticed the bulge under his armpit not quite hidden by his well-fitting dark suit jacket. Tingles trilled my spine.
“Stryker Black. You’re Holly Garden.”
Recognition hit me. The out-of-uniform cop I’d spotted standing in the foyer with his back to me. How had he settled in so quickly? His proximity caused my eyelid to do its thing. Most people never see my twitch. I hoped Stryker didn’t. The quivers make me look unprofessional.
“How do you know my name?”
“Looked up your file at our office.”
Suspicion brought sudden anger biting into me like the Genesis serpent. To keep my temper in check I whispered. “You’re a police officer?”
“Used to be. Now a PI. Ace Investigations.”
I shot to my feet, snagged a four-inch stiletto on the chair rung and lurched forward, catching the table’s edge to keep from landing in his lap.
“I knew it!” Mom.
With my nose inches from his ear, his masculine scent broke through my protective aura. Trying not to breathe in his woodsy, nautical aroma, I scooted away.
Because I wasn’t breathing freely, my whisper sounded weird and nasal. “I want you to leave. At once.”
“Why should I?”
I stared and forgot to lower my voice. “You’re not needed.”
The four lawyers seated around Stryker perked up. Fat and thin, they gazed at me like I was a valuable bequest in a contested will. One leaned so far forward on the table his French cuff dipped into his coffee.
Stryker remained cool. “I’m sure you’re acquainted with a lady named Violet Garden.”
My palms turned sweaty.
My own mother thought I couldn’t fill Dad’s shoes. She thought I didn’t have the guts to be a detective. She thought I’d fail. Knees weak, I slid back into the chair and gazed down. My fingers itched to fiddle with the clasp on my glittery bag, but I held them still. I couldn’t let the PI see how his words curdled my self-esteem.
“Security was the word Ms. Garden used.”
I spoke low, not wanting anyone else to hear. “She didn’t. She couldn’t.” I clamped my lips. Striker didn’t need to know how his words upset me.
“Hard to believe?” He gave me a hard-boiled, tight-lipped Bogart smile.
Sitting so close, he didn’t look like a cop. Or a PI for that matter. More like a very, very sexy bad guy. Mafia or something. My throat closed. How could Mom do this to me?
“Mom asked for you? Personally?”
“She asked for Ace’s top man.” His dark eyes spoke of secrets, hinted of danger. Pulled me in even as they warned me off.
I whispered, “Luck of the draw?”
We’d been talking in hushed tones, but now the PI, a beguiling smirk on his face, spoke louder. “I won the lottery.”
One lawyer said, “I’ve got to remember that line.”
The other lawyers grunted agreement.
Their responses helped me regain my poise. I turned back to the PI. “Okay, you work for our competition . . . and you’re here?” I’d staked out Ace Investigations to see what I was up against, so why hadn’t I laid eyes on him there? And he was an eyeful. Plus, he was feeding me a line. And good at it. Too good.
I scooted my chair away from him. Not that long ago I’d been dumped by another charmer. I wasn’t about to nibble this bait.
Even if I had wanted to chance another romance, I had a new vocation. I had Dad’s murder to solve and his reputation to sanitize. I needed to prove to the city of Dallas and its entire police force that Dad hadn’t been a dirty Private Investigator. If I failed, our investigative firm would dribble on down the drain. I lifted my chin. Even if I had time to spend with a man, I’d never choose this smoothie. But I did need to size up the competition.
Investigator Rule Number One – know your enemy.
So, I did an about face and turned on the sugar. “Stryker, is it?” I smiled sweetly. “I thought I had every PI in Dallas pegged. Glad to meet you.”
Stryker’s focused expression didn’t change. “Likewise.” He laid a strong hand on my bare arm, raising the hair with a single light touch. “Stay a minute more. Tell me about yourself.”
A male voice interrupted Stryker. “Let’s be judicious here. Fair’s fair. There’re four attorneys at this table and one lovely woman. Time to share. My name’s Jeff Davidson of Davidson, Hillyer & Greene. I’m sure you’ve heard of my firm. And this is . . . .”
While Jeff introduced the other three suits, Stryker leaned back and scanned the room, doing his security thing. With me quickly shaking hands around the table, the trio of women who’d huddled around Stryker earlier made their move. Rising from the nearby Champion Wrestler table as if directed by an unseen choreographer, they mobbed Stryker.
I sucked in a breath. His mouth hanging ajar, Stryker looked stunned. Three wrestlers stood too, pushed aside their chairs, and towered over Stryker. I glimpsed Matt striding across the ballroom toward us, security face on.
The big blond wrestler, who seemed to be their leader, rasped, “We wasn’t just twiddling our thumbs over here. We was talking with these ladies.” His expression looked downright testy. He raised a fist, looking about to deck Stryker.
The three glamour girls stepped away from Stryker and melted into the crowd.
Prepared to intervene, I grabbed my purse and wriggled to the edge of my seat, curious to see what Stryker would do. This was plain screwy. Were the wrestlers trying to pick a fight?
Stryker’s face grew leaner, showing clear bone definition. A paper-thin scar slicing through his cleft chin whitened. He stood and faced the three muscled men, their crimson cummerbunds flashing.
“So, we want our ladies back.”
“Cool it you guys.” I unclasped my purse, thinking I might need my gun.
The fourth wrestler jumped to his feet, tipping his chair backward. It landed with a thud on the carpeted floor. A solid wall of red cummerbunds circled Stryker. I shot off my chair. One mat-pounder grabbed my arm and hauled me toward his table.
“We want this one too.”
I jerked my arm loose. My abrupt movement caused my ankle to turn in one of the tricky stilettos.
“Yeow!” I stumbled. Before I could catch my balance, I lost the shoe on my twisted ankle, and fell to my knees.
Events fast-forwarded. Two wrestlers pummeled Stryker. Someone kicked my evening bag. On hands and knees, I chased it under the Attorney Table to rescue my gun. I glimpsed Matt confronting the other two wrestlers and attempted to squirm out to escort the muscle-jocks to the nearest exit. Crouched on hands and knees, my dress tightened around me like shrink wrap and stopped me cold.
A lawyer squatted beside me. “Let me help—”
One of the wrestlers slammed him backward with an open palm. With a crash and tinkle of broken glass, the table flipped onto its side. A white and silver rain of crockery and cutlery poured down. A plate of romaine lettuce and blue cheese dressing slapped against my thigh, releasing the odor of salad-splashed velvet. My vision slowed as if I starred in a surreal movie. Mind scanning possible actions, my skirt creeping higher above my knees, I crawled free.
Was this a diversion for a robbery? I had to take control. Still on hands and knees, I smelled something acrid and sulfuric. The lighted candle centerpiece smoldered at the edge of the tablecloth. With a soft whoosh, flames leapt to life. I grabbed the closest thing at hand, a large slab of prime rib probably from the same uneaten place setting as the salad and beat the flames with the semi-rare meat until they died in wisps of smoke beneath charred beef. Smelling cooked steak mixed with scorched hair and fearful of what I would find, I touched my eyebrows and bangs. Crispy but still there.
Gasps and murmurings told me the crowd grew around us. Heavy feet shuffled, and I jerked my hand back to keep it from getting trampled. Fists struck flesh accompanied by grunts and colorful language. I couldn’t believe such a brouhaha erupted in our little corner of the big room with so little provocation. Something smelled fishy and it wasn’t the shrimp cocktail sauce dripping onto the carpet. I was about to spring to my feet when a body thudded to within an inch of me and lay still.
Stryker. One look at Stryker’s bloody face and I all but keeled over him.
My pulse spiked, pushing me into Unthinking Mode. Okay, so I lost it here. Thoughts of my job flew out the window. But only for a few seconds.
Still on my knees, I fished in my clutch for my cell, and dialed 911. Dead zone. Resisting the urge to throw the instrument at a wrestler, I dropped the useless thing back into my purse.
As quickly as the commotion started, it ended. The dull thud of fists on flesh died. Fingers and knees digging into the thick carpet, I lifted one hand and pressed two fingers against the carotid artery in Stryker’s muscular neck. Warm skin. Steady pulsing.
Lord, please don’t let him be badly hurt.
With all quiet above me, I assumed Matt held everything under control. I loosened Stryker’s red power tie and rubbed his big, limp hand between both of mine. His lashes, fanned across those high cheekbones, looked longer than any man had a right to own. Other than being a little bloody and lying motionless, he looked fine. Too fine. But I didn’t have to remind myself that Mom hired him. A twinge of joy that it was him, not Matt or me lying on the floor, layered in an uncomfortable guilt that squashed the relief, so I said another quick prayer for the competition PI.
He groaned, and his eyelids fluttered.
Men’s polished dress shoes, accompanied by glittering high heels, moved close enough for me to touch. One wrestler squatted next to me. “Here, let me—”
“No. Don’t touch him.” I swatted the man’s beefy hand away from Stryker.
Stryker opened his eyes, relieving my worry about him. But Mom would arrive any minute for her grand entrance, and I desperately wanted her to gawk at her security being carried away in an ambulance.
I said to the wrestler, “I’ve got to call EMS.”
Furor at the ballroom doors made me look up. “That was fast. Matt must have gotten through to EMS.” But doubt nagged my brain. Too fast. Way too fast.
Before I could follow up my hunch, the crowd opened up and two blue-uniformed men, carrying oxygen paraphernalia, a stretcher, and a medical kit hustled to the table.
The EMS team ignored Stryker who lay concealed by a drooping tablecloth, with only his long legs and feet protruding. One Medic knelt beside another stretched-out body. I struggled to my feet, red dress hiked almost mid-thigh, to identify the victim.
“Matt!” I rushed over in time to see the medic jab a syringe into my co-investigator’s limp arm.
Electrical impulses spiked my nerves. I’d never seen an emergency team do that. The first medic finished a cursory check for broken bones, then both men heaved Matt onto the stretcher and hustled him through the crowded ballroom.
Juggling on one four-inch heel and one bare foot, I elbowed my way through the crowd after them. “Which hospital?”
They mumbled something incoherent and disappeared through the hotel’s exterior door.
Lord, please take care of Matt. He’s a good friend. Keep him safe.
I started after them.
The blond wrestler clutched my arm, stopping me from following them out to the ambulance. Then he smiled crookedly, straightened his bow tie, and righted his cummerbund. “Don’t look so worried, the PI’s in good hands.”
I stiffened. “How do you know Matt’s a PI?”
The wrestler frowned and clamped his lips.
Shivers snaked my spine. Something was very wrong.
About the Author
Anne Greene lives in the quaint antiquing town of McKinney, Texas, a few miles north of Dallas. Her husband is a retired Colonel, Army Special Forces. Her little brown and white Shih Tzu, Lily Valentine, shares her writing space, curled at her feet.
Besides her first love, writing, she enjoys family, friends, travel, reading, and way too many other things to mention. Life is good. Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly.”
Anne’s an award-winning author of twenty-three books. She loves writing about alpha heroes who aren’t afraid to fall on their knees in prayer, and about gutsy heroines. She hopes her stories transport you to awesome new worlds and touch your heart.
Build: A Bad Boy Snowed In Romance
Only A Good Man Will Do
♥♥ GiveAway ♥♥Dee is giving away an ebook of Naval Maneuvers and a $10 Amazon card to giveaway during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may enter every day for your chance to win. You may find the tour locations here https://goo.gl/PNbaF9 About Only A Good Man Will Do: Seriously ambitious man seeks woman to encourage his goals, support his (hopeful) position as Headmaster of Westover Academy, and be purer than Caesar's wife. Good luck with that! Daniel Goodman is a man on a mission. For years he has striven for perfection, fighting for the pinnacle achievement in his world of academia, Headmaster of Westover Academy. Westover, established before the American Revolution, is still one of the most prestigious schools in the country. They accept only boys whose parents fit a certain mold and only those teachers who hold to a stringent set of mores, on and off campus. Jonah considers his brother a prig. Daniel sees himself as doing his best to serve his students. How much better can he serve them as headmaster? That is what he seeks to find out. Suddenly, into his cut and dried, strictly black and white life of moral and upright behavior, comes Eve Star, formerly one of Europe's foremost exotic dancers. Her life is anything but cut and dried, black and white. Bad enough that she's enrolled her son in Westover Academy under false pretenses. More, she runs the town's most disreputable bar. Worst, much to Daniel's dismay, he finds himself drawn to her like a kid to chocolate. Nothing good can come of this attraction. Or can it? He is after all, a good man. Buy Links:
This is my stop during the book blitz for The Tempted Series by B Truly. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 28 January till 10 February. See the tour schedule here.
Temptation Trials Revolution (The Tempted Series #1)
By B Truly
Genre: Dystopian Romance
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: July 13, 2018
Blurb: There are always two sides to a story. Can love withstand the ultimate temptation?
You can find Temptation Trials Revolution on Goodreads
You can buy Temptation Trials Revolution here on Amazon
Temptation Trials Rebellion (The Tempted Series #2)
By B Truly
Genre: Dystopian Romance
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: November 30, 2018
You can find Temptation Trials Rebellion on Goodreads
You can buy Temptation Trials Rebellion here on Amazon
About the Author:
B. Truly has wanted to be an author since she was fifteen years old and is grateful to have accomplished this dream. She has very vivid dreams and a wild imagination. She likes to read, watch tons of TV shows, and movies. She’s addicted to romance and gets a thrill out of action and sci-fi. She writes New Adult and Adult, Romance. Sci-fi, Dystopian, and Paranormal genres.
B. Truly likes to explore different elements of sci-fi romance, and create various realms of reality. She also loves creating impossible situations for her characters to grow from and try to overcome.
B. Truly has three wonderful children and a husband who defines the person that she is today. She works full-time as an Ultrasound technologist in Houston, Texas.
You can find and contact B Truly here:
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of The Tempted Series. Two winners will win each a $10 Amazon gift card and an e-copy of either Temptation Trials Revolution or Temptation Trials Rebellion (winner’s choice). US Only.
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Chapter 4 (Excerpt #2)
* * * Cade * * *
We arrived at one of their black vans. The other officer was taking my lady to another. The male who held me yanked me to the rear. His comrade opened the back double-doors to the truck. Women and men were inside—all restrained with their hands either tied behind or in front of them. Some were sitting—others lying down.
I wrinkled my nose. The people lying down looked injured. One guy’s leg was bent at an awkward angle. His eye was swollen and glued shut. A chick had blood dripping from her forehead. She whimpered, leaning her head against the metal wall. Several more were in the same shape.
Unable to hold my tongue any longer, I asked, “What’s so wrong with young adults going to a party?” I countered, knowing the law, but also knowing how history had been before the war.
“It’s the law—how we keep society in order. You think you’re above it?”
I jerked against him for good measure. “No. The system is just not right.”
He gripped my arm tighter. “Well, as you’re about to learn, if you break the law, there will be consequences.” He huffed. “I’ve heard enough of your mouth, boy. Shut your pie-hole. You know what….” He inclined his head, yelling at the other lawman. “Dawson, bring that girl over here. I’m going to keep an eye on both of them, because this one is trouble.”
The man who had my lady did an about-face, bringing her to where we were. His face scrunched up. “Fine. One less fool that I have to worry about,” he spat.
The officer handling me pulled me extra roughly into the van. Dawson hauled her inside. With no regard that she was unconscious or dead weight, he dropped her like a sack of potatoes. Her body hit the ground with a thud. She let out a small groan but didn’t stir.
My nostrils flared. I knelt on the floor to get closer to her. “What is your problem? You don’t have to treat us like animals,” I snapped.
“He’s right,” a lady with a blonde pixie haircut agreed. Both of her wrists were cuffed to a metal bar attached to the van wall, along with two other guys. I guess the people causing the most trouble got the wall-bar treatment. I’d probably be getting an introduction.
The punk assigned to me replied, “You know what, since you want to be a hero for your damsel in distress, we’ll let you two get to know each other.” I raised my eyebrow. “Watch him,” he instructed his comrade.
Dawson withdrew his pistol on me. “Move one inch and I will blast your smart ass to smithereens.”
I smirked at Dawson. He wasn’t the one who’d delivered her jolts, or I probably would’ve used poor judgment and tried him. The officer unlocked my handcuffs. He quickly took my right arm and put that cuffed hand to the metal bar attached to the wall. He unlocked my lady’s cuff next, and then took her left arm, attaching it to mine. Now our wrists were handcuffed together—my other was attached to the metal on the wall. I positioned myself onto my rear end. My arms were beginning to cramp. Sitting this way with my back against the wall lessened the strain. My lady was still out cold, but her breathing was even, which made me feel a tad better.
Smiling at his handy work, he replied, “There, now. You can get better acquainted.”
I bit down on my lip to keep from responding. This guy was an asshole. I got the drift he thrived on arguing—loved to put people down.
Another official brought a guy and girl into the van. We were packed inside like sardines. Dawson placed his weapon into its holster, and then burned off.
My prick-ass lawman sneered at the group of us before he took off. “Don’t get any ideas. We have cameras right there.” He pointed. “I’ll be watching from the front.”
There was also a small, frosted rectangular window leading up to the front of the van.
After he hopped off the truck, slamming the doors, it became pitch black. The group moaned and whined. The van started and the locks on the doors clicked loudly. Dim lighting came on from the top corners of the van. Once we started moving, I heard a humming buzz coming from the titanium double-doors. I had a good idea what it was.
A dude who had his hands cuffed in front of him was getting antsy. “We gotta get outta here,” he advised. “Once they put us in the slammer, we’ll be fined.”
“How do you suggest we do that?” a lady responded.
“Maybe I can get these doors to open.” Standing on wobbly legs, he moved closer to them.
That wasn’t a good idea. “Wait!” I told him. “The doors are….”
Too late! The dude let out a high-pierced screech as electric currents zapped through him. He fell on the metal floor forcibly, trembling. His eyes were glued closed—his face scrunched in agony. I flinched, recalling the pain. Several ladies screamed, attempting to move away from the electrified doors.
“That’s fucked up,” a guy remarked.
Eyeing the injured, who were lying out cold on the ground, I hoped the precinct would have morals and get them medical attention. That brought my focus back to my lady. She’d been tasered twice. I worried about her being passed out for so long. At least I could be there for her when she woke up. The lawman actually did me a favor. We were in for a long night.
by Tamela Miles
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Natalie Kliebert finally has the perfect life she spent years dreaming of. She's on the fast track to her fantasy-come-true career as a therapist. If she can help pop star Billy Chambers, it will be her greatest achievement and even sweeter than earning an "A" grade.
The last thing Billy Chambers wants is anyone's help, especially when he doesn't see a single thing wrong with his life. When bossy Natalie becomes his court-appointed personal therapist, sparks fly from day one. Annoyance was never so arousing. Hooking up should be easy, but an undercurrent of evil is coming for Natalie, which may force her to reveal her deepest secret.
The problems of their pasts are no match for today's demons. Natalie and Billy must come together and be the allies they were meant to be in a supernatural fight that may cost them their lives.
Tamela Miles is a California State University San Bernardino graduate student with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and a former flight attendant. She grew up in Altadena, California in that tumultuous time known as the 1980s. She now resides with her family in the Inland Empire, CA. She's a horror/paranormal romance writer mainly because it feels so good having her characters do bad things and, later, pondering what makes them so bad and why they can never seem to change their wicked ways.
She enjoys emails from people who like her work. In fact, she loves emails. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or her Facebook page, Tamela Miles Books. She also welcomes reader reviews and enjoys the feedback from people who love to read as much as she does.
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by Amy Crandall
Genre: YA Psychological Thriller
As she waits to give her statement in one of the interrogation rooms of Arcata Police Department, Abigale recites the same line over and over inside her head.
I did not kill anyone.
I did not kill anyone.
But there’s a trail of bodies, and it leads straight to her. The events that brought her to this very moment all point to one thing…her guilt.
She must convince Detective Collins of her innocence, but how can she explain her ties to the victims, and the evidence that has her name written all over it?
Then there’s the mysterious Facebook profile. DarkHeart434.
Who is DarkHeart434? And why does it seem like this person has all the answers, including the identity of the real murderer?
As pieces of the puzzle start to come together, everything about Abigale’s life begins to unravel—her past, her present…and even her self-proclaimed innocence.
Amy Crandall is an avid reader and novelist born and raised in British Columbia, Canada. She began writing in elementary school, publishing her first story on Wattpad.com at the age of thirteen. With the support of her loved ones and newfound friends on the site, Amy continued to share her thoughts and interests in the form of storytelling.
Before her Wattpad.com days, she was published in A Celebration of Poets - Summer 2012 (Creative Communication, 2012) for her poem My Garden. That experience only drove her desire to further pursue writing. Her first full-length novel, "Delusions", was a featured story on Wattpad.com, reaching #7 in the mystery/thriller genre, and surpassing 115,000 reads, before its publishing.
When she isn't envisioning a new story plot, Amy can be found camping with loved ones, getting lost in a great read, jamming to her favourite tunes, or giving in to her craving of Timmies' iced lemonades.
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