Shopping for a CEO
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It’s Andrew McCormick.
Oh, sweet holy hell.
I haven’t seen him in months. Haven’t kissed him since we were in the emergency room after my best friend, Shannon, swallowed the engagement ring his brother, Declan, gave to her as he proposed.
(A tip: don’t bury a three-carat diamond ring in a piece of tiramisu at a fancy restaurant as a way of proposing to a woman. Any woman. Why ruin the dessert like that?)
I’m the maid of honor for the wedding. Andrew is the best man. We’ve managed to avoid each other so far, but the wedding is three months away. I knew this day was coming.
But I didn’t expect it to be today.
My heart starts skipping beats as I take him in from afar, shielded by the angle of my bench. He has no idea I’m watching him. Thick hair, cut short and with the kind of layered sophistication that only comes from a stylist who charges three figures. Shaded eyes that I know are sharp and smoldering, a blend of brown and honey that makes you melt inside. He’s in a full suit, tie still snug against his neck, the moonlight reflecting off a white shirt. His grin is contagious, making my own smile widen as I tilt my head and let myself get lost in wondering.
by J.L. Meyers
Genre: Psychological Thriller
A fatal car crash. The sole survivor. And the dark hooded stranger that wants her dead.
When a terrible accident--not accident--stole my parents’ lives, my whole perfect life changed. My memories are hazy, and there are scars on my wrists. I’ve been locked away for my own protection…until I prove my sanity, until I lie. There was no hooded figure on the road that day, no one standing over me as I lay paralyzed watching my parents burn.
I am Cassidy Lockheart…20-year-old orphan.
Determined to free my caged mind, I find myself far away on an unexpected trip to help return my forgotten past. The snow was part of my life before, but now it’s like a blank slate, until an avalanche changes everything. But I’m not alone. These other ‘lucky’ trip winners may not be the strangers they pretend to be. And my hooded attacker…I see him everywhere.
Is this real? Or delusion caused by head trauma?
Either way, I’m being watched. I can sense it. I can feel it. Someone is after me; maybe they’re after us all. The avalanche was no accident. It was staged to deliver us to this abandoned place. A place where the walls whisper dark secrets of a sinister past…a past no one can escape. Trapped, this snow won’t let up…it won’t let us leave. My lost memories hold clues, but they’re buried so deep, polluted and twisted in my every waking nightmare. What is real? I don’t have the answers. But I need them. Time is ticking and if I don’t figure this all out soon it will be too late.
The past is coming for us all…and it wants blood.
Warning - This book contains some graphic scenes that are only for an adult audience.
Psychological Thriller / Horror
"Think of the tension of Silence of the Lambs combined with the horror of Carrie and you have Nerve Damage. This is a psychological thriller that won’t let you put it down, yet you are almost too scared to turn the page!”
This chilling tale from J.L. Myers is a suspenseful and twisted addition to other great psychological thrillers from the likes of Sarah A. Denzil, K.L. Slater, and Dot Hutchison.
Jessica L Myers' vivid imagination and quiet demeanor as a child led her to the imaginary worlds of books. Even at a young age, her love for the supernatural was prevalent, with her first loved books being R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series. Following that she took an interest in other non-fantasy fiction, including Virginia C. Andrews series Flowers in the Attic.
In her teen years, Jessica spent many school hours writing poetry and dark short stories and took up sketching some of the terrifying things that came from the graphic night terrors she’d grown up with.
As an adult and after meeting the love of her life, Jessica got married and started a small construction business with her husband. With the birth of her son, Jessica suffered PPD and found escape in her books and their fantasy landscapes. It was at this time that her need to write flourished. In 2009 the decision was made and the first words to her New Adult Paranormal Romance novel What Lies Inside were written.
When Jessica isn’t immersed in writing about extraordinary characters with dangerous abilities and deadly obstacles to overcome, she likes to spend time with her two kids and husband, curl up with a good book, or watch anything and everything supernatural.
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Title: WICKEDLY EVER AFTER: HALLOWEEN HIJINKS
Author: Lotta Smith
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
As the new Mrs. Rowling, life is supposed to be easy for former FBI Special Assistant Amanda Meyer. Marriage to her drop dead gorgeous boss Rick is everything she dreamed of, unfortunately she can’t sleep, and she can’t even blame the ghost of his late stepmom Clara for popping up in the middle of the night with a tricky request.
Someone staged mechanic Fynn’s death to look like a suicide, and now his unhappy ghost is keeping Clara and her dead friends awake all night. Proving he was murdered will keep the newlyweds hopping, and the real trick will be staying alive in this hilariously wicked book in the Manhattan Mystery Series.
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At exactly three o’clock in the morning, I was in bed, turning over for the umpteenth time. For some unknown reason, I couldn’t fall asleep. In fact, I didn’t have even a blink of sleep.
Okay, so I was pretending not to know the reason for my difficulty, but I could come up with possible reasons. For starters, I had a little too much espresso cake after dinner and a few more cups of strong green tea than the recommended amount at lunch. Also, in the past few hours alone, I had at least thirteen people visit me, asking about the whereabouts of their personal belongings and if I thought their spouses were cheating on them. All of them happened to be former residents of this upscale condo on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, where I called home. The last straw was Mrs. Williams, who kept demanding I return her hearing aid. I kept telling her that I wasn’t the evil woman who hid her belongings, and I shared my hunch that her family might have forgotten to put her hearing device with her; however, she didn’t seem to fathom what I was trying to say—perhaps because she didn’t have her hearing aid.
By the way, did I mention that all those people who visited me during these ungodly hours had been dead for years?
My name is Amanda Rowling, née Meyer, a part-time secretary for my husband and mostly a stay-at-home housewife, and people, including but not limited to my husband Rick, usually call me Mandy.
Anyway, I was trying my best to grab some sleep before dawn, not that I had to get up early and go to work in the morning, but Rick had been busy since joining USCAB—United States Cover All Bases, a security-based conglomerate owned and run by his dad—and I wanted to do my best to be his super-supportive partner. Cooking power breakfasts for him and myself had become my ritual since I moved in with him at this condo over a year ago, and I was determined to continue this ritual. Anyway, using knives and a hot oven in a sleep-deprived status wasn’t high on my to-do list. I tended to commit faux-pas in the kitchen, like scorching eggs and bacon to a crisp, whenever I was short of sleep.
Before marrying him, I used to work for the FBI’s New York City headquarters as a special assistant. At first, I was just an assistant with a mission to keep my then-boss Rick Rowling, the sexy, arrogant loose cannon who loved nothing more than trouble, from wreaking havoc and destroying NYC. However, a little after starting my FBI career, I developed a special skill of seeing dead people and communicating with them, and my tasks expanded to interviewing murder victims and dead witnesses.
When Rick, who was the head of Paranormal Cases Division and the only colleague I had, left the feds to join his family business, I followed his suit and resigned from the feds.
Even though Sheldon Hernandez, the head of the FBI’s New York City headquarters, offered me a lucrative consulting contract, I declined. At that time, leaving my life with the FBI, communicating with dead people and dodging frequent temper tantrums thrown at me by the deceased, and concentrating on being Mrs. Rowling seemed like a fabulous idea. But after the wedding and returning from our honeymoon, I wasn’t sure if I made the right decision. At that time, I presumed I’d stop encountering the spirits of dead; however, things didn’t go as I’d hoped. I was still having as many ghostly visitors as before.
And, recalling my past life as an FBI assistant, I was horrified to found myself sort of missing my days dealing with the murderers, crooks, and dead people. Okay, so having nothing to do with criminals should be the norm for most people, and when I left the feds, I couldn’t wait to spend my days without worrying about being assaulted by evil ghosts and bad humans, but…
Lotta Smith is the author of Paranormal in Manhattan Mystery series. She fell in love with mystery the moment she developed consciousness. She is especially fond of lighthearted murder mystery stories with a little sprinkle of romance.
She went to medical school hoping to see real corpses and sexy professors. Back then, she was into this kind of mystery series about a smokin' hot forensic medicine professor and a quirky female student going a-sleuthing, cracking unsolvable cases. Lotta truly, madly wanted to team up with a superhot professor and crack a difficult murder or two. (Note; she got to see the corpses, but sexy professors were nonexistent.)
Lotta loves to hear from her readers. Feel free to drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Author: R.K. Gold
Narrator: Kyle Tait
Length: 4 hours 3 minutes
Publisher: Earl of Plaid
Released: Aug. 3, 2017
Neville Canton was about as average as any man can be. He had a mediocre job, a pleasant wife, an on-going feud with his sister, and an average case of cancer that took his life. But death wasn’t the end of his problems and even average people have to learn to overcome. Now trapped in a cloud between the living and the dead, he must find his way to the afterlife. With the help of a spiritual guide he navigates through seven challenges; seven tasks to sever his final connections to the mortal world. If he fails, he forfeits his eternity and the consequences may be worse than death.
R.K. Gold graduated from the University of Maryland in 2014 with a B.A. in English and is now pursuing a M.S. in Economics from the University at Buffalo. He is a non-genre specific author who enjoys reading and writing about characters searching for their purpose in life.
Q&A with Narrator Kyle Tait
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Charm (A Cinderella reverse fairytale)
Navy SEAL Dex Evans has a problem. His buddies think it’s a riot when they sign him up for a dating service behind his back. But who would have thought that with a profile like SailorBoy69 he’d snag a woman who was hysterically funny and gorgeous. Too bad she was also skittish as all hell. Dex fears that when she finds out his profile was a set-up, his happily ever after could sink to the bottom of the ocean.
Single mother, Kenna Wright was in way over her head. She’d spent years putting her child first while ignoring her needs. So what was she thinking responding to the flirtatious email? Luckily for her, when she is stuck on a project with Dex, he’s even better in person than he’d been on his online profile. But can she believe this sexy SEAL when he says he’s looking for more than a fling?
When one of her co-workers is murdered and it looks like Kenna might be the next one in the killer’s crosshairs, Dex is determined to keep her safe. But with a target on her back, it’s really hard to keep a shield over her heart.
....... Hello SailorBoy69,
SNMP stands for So Not Mary Poppins. Take it to heart. My photo is me, but it’s pretty much a fake, since it took me two hours and twenty dollars worth of product to achieve the look. If we were to meet in person, I probably wouldn’t look anywhere close to this, so soak in this picture. Actually, don’t worry, we won’t meet, but I’ll get to that.
Here’s me in a nutshell. I live in the good part of town because I work my ass off handling my full-time job as a nurse, plus a part-time gig, that’s so my son can go to school in a decent school district. Being a good mother is the most important thing in my life, so I have no earthly idea why I’m responding to your profile since I don’t have time to date. Did I mention I have a kid, two jobs and really don’t look like this?
I like the fact that you’re serving our country. That’s part of the reason I’m reaching out to you. But the real reason I’m writing, is that I’m ninety-nine point nine percent sure you won’t respond, so this is a safe letter to write. I can feel good that I’ve finally put myself out there, without enduring the humiliation of a first date, which I’ll fail at, because I’ll never in a million years figure out how to reach this level of pretty again.
But in all seriousness, I wanted to take aim for a good guy, and you’re it. I like the fact you’re in the Navy. I like the fact, that you work with disenfranchised kids. I think you’re a nice man. Hell, I don’t even care if that’s not your real picture, because responsible men do it for me. Of course in my world they’re like mythical unicorns, they just don’t exist, at least not for me. But the dream of a responsible man makes my panties damp. See I can say this safely, cause you’re not going to respond, and I’m never going to meet you.
So, that’s my story SailorBoy69. Just know that out there in this big bad world a woman thinks you’re pretty exceptional, except for the atrocious cyber name you’ve given yourself of course. Now, if you have a thought of responding, for God’s sake don’t. Remember, it’s me. I have a kid, two jobs, and I’ll look like crap, and you’ll ruin the fantasy.
― Signed, So Not Mary Poppins
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Caitlyn O'Leary is an avid reader, and considers herself a fan first and an author second. She reads a wide variety of genres, but finds herself going back to happily-ever-afters. Getting a chance to write, after years in corporate America is a dream come true. She hopes that her stories provide the kind of entertainment and escape that she has found from some of her favorite authors.
Her Series Include:
It's a bit Paranormal, a bit Sci-Fi and 100% Action/Adventure. The characters have special abilities, that make them targets.
This is focused on a group of Navy Seals. What makes them special is their bond to one another, and the women they come to love.
This is the series that started her career, it is a Menage Series that takes place in Fate Harbor Washington. It focuses on a tight knit community who live and love and care for one another.
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The Chosen Knights
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Eli willed his sword away. It disappeared behind his back, just the way I would have done it. “You know nothing. Nothing about me is human. I won’t be a part of something that could kill any one of you.”
“How could it kill us if—?” Then I had a thought, recalling the first time I’d seen him in the cafeteria. I had no evidence but it was worth the shot. “You can astral travel, can’t you? You’ve done it before, when you first saw me in the cafeteria. You can travel in the present too. That’s why you took off.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. Do you even know what that is?” His jaw clenched.
I knew he was lying. “Out-of-body experience.” I followed behind him when he started walking away.
“You have no idea of the consequences when you travel. Astral travel.”
“Then let it be my consequence.”
Eli whipped around. His face was just a breath away from mine. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Then show me.”
Eli pierced his eyes into mine. His heart drummed a mile a minute. “You want to feel pain, Lucia? You want to know what happens to people when they astral travel?”
“I-I—” I didn’t know what to say. I certainly didn’t expect him to say the things he did.
Eli extended his arm to me. “Take my hand.”
“Take my hand, Lucia.” His tone was stern.
I shook my head.
“Last warning for—ELI.” I screamed. My stomach dropped, along with my body. Eli’s arms embraced me as we plunged through multiple layers of clouds with my back facing down. Hair whipped my face and the force of gravity made me dizzy.
“You didn’t heed my warning, Lucia,” Eli grumbled.
“So you’re trying to kill me?” The normal reaction for someone in this situation would be to fight back, but my instincts told me I wasn’t in danger. “What are you doing?” The clouds got smaller as we plummeted faster by the second. I began to have second thoughts. Wanting to believe so badly I could get through to him, I’d let it possibly cost my life.
He ignored my plea. Looking squarely in my eyes as air rushed against us, he said nonchalantly, “Get ready to die.”
by Brian James
Genre: Urban Fantasy
The Viking gods have been banished from Asgard by Odin. Today they make the best of life on Earth. Thor is a professional athlete, Freya a prostitute, and Loki sells cheap products on QVC. Lurking in the background of their lives is a prophecy; one that declares that their time is at an end. Ragnarok is about to throw the gods into a state of civil war and the one who controls the hammer of Thor may be able to change the arc of destiny.
Brian James is a professional writer whose work has appeared in a number of mainstream publications. In the past he has written articles for the Detroit Free Press, The World Poker Tour magazine, Classic Rock Magazine, Audi’s various publications, and a score of websites. While working with the World Poker Tour, and a subsidiary website, Brian was also responsible for celebrity and player interviews.
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Carry Me Home
“You ready for this, Guera?” he asks.
It’s a test, Guera. Only thing I can say is you’re allowed to fight back. Take ‘em out with everything you got.
I’d heard of people being jumped into a gang before, maybe it was Rosa who told me about it. As the girls start to descend from their spots around the room, slowly closing in like encircling wolves, I know what’s about to happen.
The realization takes hold in my chest, a quick plunge of the heart into an icy lake of fear. I back away slowly out of instinct, ready to run, but there’s nowhere to go. The sound of their skittering feet is the first thing I hear before they come at me. Me against all of them. Me against Rose Tattoo and Cigarette Twins. Me against the jealous novias. Ten sets of eyes glinting with the thrill of a fight. I flinch and turn my back to avoid the fists, but they’re all around me. One of them catches me by the shoulders, holding me in place as the other girls hit the back of my skull. My head flies forward, chin to chest.
At first I don’t know whether to swing or cover. I reach up to protect myself, but there are too many points of contact. The rush of adrenaline is intense. It blocks the pain, but there is a fiery need in me to get away. I try and kick or punch, feeling one or two connect, but the girls are everywhere. An elbow slams against my temple. My head splits and my ears ring. I go down.
Every infinite minute of being the enemy feels like it’ll never end.
Someone’s shoe stomps my thigh. Others strike my ribs. I heave and gag until I can’t breathe. But that kind of terror turns me into a resilient kind of crazy. The kind of rabid-mad that is born of desperation. I scrape and flail until I’m on my feet, pulling hair and swinging my fists, making contact with whatever I can. I don’t realize I’m screaming until Toño calls them to a stop.
It ceases the moment the girls hear his voice, and I’m left there shaking and crazed, my breath dragging in and out of my lungs in a feverish effort to return to its normal rhythm. I pant and cry, as softly as I can, but it’s hard to deny my body the relief of all-out sobbing. My head hurts. My brain smashes against my skull with the pulse of too much pressure. I taste blood in my mouth, though no one has touched my face. Now that it’s over, the pain of it all rushes to the surface and makes me want to vomit. I feel like I could die.
Why am I here? Why am I doing this?
“She’s in,” Toño says, and the cheers of the group shock my senses and make me tense up.
They all rush me, and at first I’m terrified it’s about to start again, but instead they hug me and pat me on the shoulder all at once. Each hand on my back or squeeze around the shoulders rocks me with pain, but they’re so happy. Their laughter and cheering is contagious, it flows into me, filling me with a strange sense of pride and belonging. I can’t help my smile when I see their encouraging faces. I even start to laugh.