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Monday, May 16, 2022

RELEASE BOOST - Fireball by Lainey Davis




Title: Fireball
An Enemies to Lovers Romance
Series: Bridges and Bitters #1
Author: Lainey Davis
Genre: Steamy Romantic Comedy
Release Date: May 10, 2022


BLURB

He hates her for some reason. She will not rest until she changes his mind.

People always like Samantha Vine. It's kind of her thing. All the employees at her tech startup think she's the best boss, and the community partners and investors she woos not only trust, but adore her.

Everyone likes her, except him.

Sam may have been caught off guard when she accidentally insulted science teacher AJ Trachtenberg, but she's pulling out all the stops trying to make it up to him…and it’s not working. Offering his students a swanky field trip doesn't win him over—it only seems to make him grumpier.

Unfortunately, grumpy looks very good on him. AJ is tall, dark, and annoyingly handsome and he’s got a giant chip on his shoulder. Honestly, his smoldering is distracting.

Sam can’t afford any distractions right now, not with the media hounding her as she tries to take her company public. Maybe she can swing a one-time naked distraction, though. That doesn’t have to mean anything, right? She’s not looking for a happily-ever-after here. She’s just trying to get him out of her head.

Alas, when it comes to business and bossy men, Samantha Vine has trouble letting go.

Fireball is the laugh-out-loud first stand-alone installment of the Bridges and Bitters series. If you love found family, hilarious antics, and off-the-charts heat, you'll devour these sexy romantic comedies.





PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU





EXCERPT

“Samantha!” He uses his stern teacher voice when he says my full name and I feel it in every one of my nucleotides.
“Yes?” I whisper, shaking away the sudden fantasy I have of him rapping my knuckles with a ruler. I never even went to Catholic school, so I’m not sure where that comes from.
He rakes a hand through his dark hair, and a loose piece tumbles across his forehead. This man is a snack and he apparently hates me and that’s a really bad combination, because now I’m fully immersed in a very deep desire to make him like me. Oh god, I’m seeking his approval.






AUTHOR BIO

Lainey Davis lives in Pittsburgh in the USA with her 3 feral sons, 2 rescued rabbits, and 1 tired husband. She loves brooding heroes, fiery heroines, and happily ever afters.


AUTHOR LINKS




Book Blitz - The Memory Keeper of Kyiv - Erin Litteken

The Memory Keeper of Kyiv
Erin Litteken
Publication date: May 16th 2022
Genres: Literary Fiction

Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Beekeeper of Aleppo.
“A powerfully moving debut . . . Ukraine’s tragic history painfully echoes its current crisis, and on every page the Ukrainian spirit shines out, unbowed, unbent and unbroken. This is a compelling, timely read.” Kate Quinn, author of The Rose Code

In the 1930s, Stalin’s activists marched through the Soviet Union, espousing the greatness of collective farming. It was the first step in creating a man-made famine that, in Ukraine, stole almost 4 million lives. Inspired by the history the world forgot, and the Russian government denies, Erin Litteken reimagines their story.
In 1929, Katya is 16 years old, surrounded by family and in love with the boy next door. When Stalin’s activists arrive in her village, it’s just a few, a little pressure to join the collective. But soon neighbors disappear, those who speak out are never seen again and every new day is uncertain.

Resistance has a price, and as desperate hunger grips the countryside, survival seems more a dream than a possibility. But, even in the darkest times, love beckons.

Seventy years later, a young widow discovers her grandmother’s journal, one that will reveal the long-buried secrets of her family’s haunted past.

This is a story of the resilience of the human spirit, the love that sees us through our darkest hours and the true horror of what happened during the Holodomor.

“I never imagined the release of my novel on a past oppression of the Ukrainian people would coincide with such a parallel tragedy.” Erin Litteken

May we never forget, lest history repeat itself.

A share of proceeds will be donated to DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

A sharp click echoed in the room, and everyone froze. The Russian’s cocked pistol pointed at Tato. “Are you resisting orders? If you are, we will have to label you an enemy of the people. We all know what happens to enemies of the people. I could shoot you right now, and nobody would care.”

Katya’s head buzzed. All the anger she’d felt morphed into sheer terror as she stared at her Tato. His beet-red face glistened with sweat and his hands curled slowly into fists, the anger crackling off him like a hungry fire seeking fuel. If someone didn’t intercede, he would be shot for attempting to murder Prokyp with his bare hands.

Mama, too, saw his inner struggle, for she stepped in front of Tato and spoke calmly. “I apologize for my husband’s behavior. He’s overprotective of his daughters. He didn’t mean what he said. We’ll cooperate, I swear it.”

The Russian smirked and lowered his gun. Dropping Alina’s hand, Katya pulled her father into a hug and spoke in his ear. “Please, Tato, there is no harm done, but we can’t lose you. Please.” She felt the tension lessen from his body, but vibrations of anger still throbbed like the veins on his neck.

Prokyp watched the scene with amusement, then sauntered back over to his cohorts, smiling. The Russian turned to him and asked with complete sincerity, “Have you been offended by this man? What would you like to do, Comrade?”

Prokyp glanced at Tato and then at Alina, who was white as a sheet, but holding her head high as Mama had taught them to. Katya’s legs wobbled, so she locked her knees and held her breath as they waited for this fool to decide the fate of their family.

“I suppose I can overlook it this once, as long as he and his family promise to cooperate fully in the future.” His gaze lingered on Alina. “But we shall have to check back here often to make sure they are behaving.”

Another activist pushed into the house with a large sack of wheat balanced on his shoulder. “I found this, and another just like it, hidden in the barn loft.”

Katya’s heart sank. She’d worried the wheat in the barn wasn’t hidden well enough, but Tato thought it safe out of sight beneath the hay.

“You can’t take that!” Tato shouted. “It’s my seed for planting this fall!”

“This will pay your quota. For now.” The Russian Soviet waved a hand dismissively, as if suddenly bored by them. “Come, we must move to the next house.”

The woman cast an apologetic look toward Mama and hurried behind the men as they left. The door swung wildly in their wake, and none of them moved until Tato strode forward and slammed it shut, though not before Katya saw the activists’ cart stacked high with sacks of grain, just like the ones they’d taken from the barn.


Author Bio:

Erin Litteken is a debut novelist with a degree in history and a passion for research. At a young age, she was enthralled by stories of her family’s harrowing experiences in Ukraine before, during and after World War II. She lives in Illinois, USA with her husband and children.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub


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Book Blitz - Pura Vida by Jim Utsler

Pura Vida
Jim Utsler
Publication date: April 26th 2022
Genres: Adult, Mystery

Detroit homicide detective Jacob Miller has been accused of many things, but being smart isn’t one of them. The murder of drug dealer Willy is proof enough, but not covering it up is even worse. So why would he think that stealing a fellow inmate’s hidden fortune is any wiser, especially when an ex-mafia family head is after the same thing?

But even the stupidest people have occasional flashes of brilliance, and Jacob is no exception. After being released from prison and moving to sunny Costa Rica, he solves an international murder mystery involving the usual suspects: love, lust, and murder.

Despite that mildly brainiac feather in his cap, he still has to deal with the beef between him, his fellow inmate, and the mob boss…and the violent fallout that ensues.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT:

We sat around a rec room table playing gin rummy as if we were in the country club after hitting a round of eighteen. Of course, there were no beers or whiskeys or fat cigars—and we had only shot nine holes—but the feeling was much the same as when I had once gone to my sister’s club.

Pusser was at the table, and everyone—excluding me—was ribbing one another and telling off-color jokes. We drank Cokes and Sprites and ate from tiny bags of chips from the vending machine. We bet nickels instead of dollars, mainly for my benefit. When I wasn’t there, hundreds of dollars were sometimes on the table.

“So your sister,” Pusser said to me, “she’s watching out for my wife, huh?”

“Yeah,” I said, trying to count the cards as they were played, but with little success. My mind wasn’t big enough to hold that type of voluminous information: too many cards, too many colors, too many numbers. I played by the seat of my pants—and it showed. My partner—whoever would have me—and I almost always lost. That’s why I was passed around, so everybody could feel the sting.

“She better,” Pusser, who today was my card-playing partner, said. “I’ll kill her and her little dog, too.” He was joking, of course, but he felt it necessary to tell me anyway: “No, no, no. I’m just kidding. I’ll just break her legs.”

Everyone at the table—except for me—laughed. Frank Miller, former Minnesota state senator, not guilty of taking bribes from a local window manufacturer, slapped me on the back. “As long as it ain’t the kneecaps,” he said.

“Those are the worst,” Miller’s card partner, Bobby Francone, former CIO of the window company Miller hadn’t taken bribes from, said. “I was jogging one day, tripped on a curb, and—wham!— down I went, right on my fucking knee. Not even a fracture, but it hurt like hell. Still gets stiff in the cold.”

“The end of your basketball career, huh?” Miller said.

“Yeah. Tell me about it. Fuck Michael Jordan, you know. I was known as ‘Bobby the Bomber.’ I could dunk it right over that black motherfucker’s head.” The racism wasn’t all that uncommon, and of course, they all laughed again. I just played my cards, a polite smile on my face.

“Anyone ever tell you you talk too much?” Pusser asked me.

“All the time,” I said.

“That’s good, though, right? You’re the kind of guy I’d want on my side. Don’t know nothin’, don’t say nothin’. Nowadays, everyone talks too much. Whistleblowers and such. Hell, your own employees. Your staff. They all turn on you.” Miller nodded and grunted. “Ain’t that the truth.”

And he should have known because it had been one of his staff members who had blown the whistle on him, with the state attorney general and the FBI eventually getting involved. But to my surprise, neither Miller nor Francone had turned on each other. Instead, they both stood trial, hoping their respective juries would be generous. They hadn’t.

“Of course, you did talk a little bit, didn’t you?” Pusser said.

“I suppose,” I responded.

“Not that I blame you. A lifetime in a maximum-security prison might make me sing a little tune too.”

Looking down at their cards, they all nodded. “Got that right,” one of them said.

“You know, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. You only get one shot at it, right? One life to live,” Pusser said. “You gotta look out for yourself. Dog eat dog and all that, you know what I mean?”

“You got that,” Francone said.

“Yeah,” Miller echoed.

Hence why they were here—why all of us were here. We had all been looking out for ourselves. Every last one of us. Everyone in the rec room, everyone in their bunks, reading books, or watching TV, playing two-on-two on the basketball court, hitting a long ball on the golf course, whiling away time in solitary cells, taking college courses at the educational center, or enjoying conjugal visits.

We had all been looking out for ourselves.

The only thing that mattered now was how big our stashes were.


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Cover Reveal - Zulu - Sybil Bartel

Zulu
Sybil Bartel
(The Alpha Elite, #4)
Publication date: June 14th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Navy SEAL.

Sniper.

Mercenary.

The Navy trained me to be the best, but the Teams turned me into a deadly weapon. Every mission honing my tactical skills, I never missed a shot. Living for my brothers and the Trident I’d earned, I didn’t look past my next deployment.

Then my friend and former teammate made me an offer—private sector, government contracts, combat missions and the chance to fly my own jet. Retiring from the Teams, but not the mission, I joined Alpha Elite Security.

As second-in-command at AES, I demanded precision because I didn’t do things the wrong way. Until a mysterious brunette walked through the door, and everything went FUBAR.

Code name: Zulu.
Mission: Exfiltrate.

ZULU is a standalone book in the exciting Alpha Elite Series by USA Today Bestselling author, Sybil Bartel. Come meet Zane “Zulu” Silas and the dominant, alpha heroes who work for AES!

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


Author Bio:

Sybil Bartel is a USA Today Bestselling author of unapologetic alpha heroes. Whether you're reading her deliciously dominant mercenaries, bodyguards or military heroes, all of her heart-stopping, page-turning romantic suspense novels have sexy-as-sin alpha heroes!

Sybil resides in South Florida and she is forever Oliver’s mom.

Website / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter / Bookbub


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Book Blitz - River of Ashes by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor

River of Ashes
Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
(St. Benedict, #1)
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: August 2nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Psychological Thriller

“A psychological portrait akin to Lord of the Flies.” ~Midwest Book Review

SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET. SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.

ALONG THE BANKS OF THE BOGUE FALAYA RIVER, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Star quarterback. Handsome. Charming. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the haunted abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes clear that someone must stop Beau Devereaux.

And that someone will pay with their life.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT:

A howl came from the direction of The Abbey.

Andrea leaned away from him, listening. “What’s that?”

Beau nuzzled her neck. “Wild dogs. They live on The Abbey grounds. There’s a couple of legends about them.”

“What legends?” She stepped out of his embrace.

He watched her hips beneath her coat. “They say the dogs stay around The Abbey waiting for the lady in white. She was a gamekeeper for the seminary school and a lover of one of the monks. She died on the grounds, betrayed by the man she loved. Her dogs were kept to manage the varmint population. The wild dogs are said to be their offspring.”

Beau slipped the coat from her shoulders. “The gamekeeper was found hanging from a tree in a white hooded cloak. It was all kept very hush-hush at the time. After the woman’s death, the dogs roamed the grounds and lived off the land. They’re said to only appear when death is near.”

Beau looked at Andrea to see if she was sufficiently unnerved.

“That’s just creepy.” She glanced at his hands as he tugged at her jeans. “But a guy who brings girls to these abandoned cells is into creepy.”

He liked the image the cells portrayed. It was his laboratory, like he’d read about in Frankenstein, where he could experiment and create his own monsters.


Author Bio:

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author of over twenty-seven novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.

He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.

One of his favorite quotes is: “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)


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Book Blitz - Shadowed Horizons by Reily Garrett

Shadowed Horizons
Reily Garrett
(The Guardians, #1)
Publication date: May 13th 2022
Genres: Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Fate can have many paths. Which would you choose?

Kiera’s capacity to face death stems from training, begun when old enough to wield a knife. Befriended by wolves and raised by a group of psychic men sworn to protect humanity, she now faces mercenaries intent on reshaping the world using equal talents.

Prodigious keyboard skills and innate curiosity has led Wyatt McGlauklin to invent the unimaginable. He’s long since claimed status as the top computer science geek. Little do people know, there’s much more to Wyatt.

When a blonde spitfire steps out of nowhere to prevent his assassination, his life’s direction takes an extraordinary turn where his analytical mind can’t validate paranormal phenomena.

Fate decrees Kiera find her life partner, but she learns you don’t always get to choose whom you love. Wyatt’s arrival challenges destiny as they combine forces to preserve the world as they know it.

A must-read for fans of for fans of CM Sutter, Dale Mayer, Dean Koontz, LT Ryan, and Fiona Quinn.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Each flip of the key ring around his index finger tallied another reason to quit the world of high stake’s business. Work stemming from a far-fetched theory had taken form and flourished beyond his imagination.

Unlike the soundless steps of his bodyguard’s booted strides, Wyatt’s tennis shoes pealed squishy squeaks through the dimly lit parking garage.

“Adam, this does not make my list of top favorite places to visit. Next time I help an old college friend, maybe we could pick a drier day and find parking other than a creepy garage?”

A rat skittered across the floor in the shadows, its gimlet-eyed stare marking the intruders’ positions. Air redolent of filth, gas, and pizza from a nearby restaurant clogged Wyatt’s sinuses, reminiscent of the alley apartment occupied during college. Since those lean years, digital fluency and hard work had jettisoned him to the top of his field.

The clash of artificial dingy light and murky silhouettes added an ominous, prophetic feeling he couldn’t shake. Water stains mingled with shapeless apparitions to create fleeting two-dimensional monsters between vehicles, ready to attack unwary travelers.

He was not a fan of inkblot tests.

I haven’t been spooked like this in years.

Adam shrugged. “As far as security is concerned, it’s not an ideal location since the street side is open, but it is the closest available. Roadside parking leaves you too vulnerable. As much as you cherish you privacy, I’m surprised you offered to help him. Why couldn’t you do it over the net?”

“Hardware issues require hands-on assistance. He’s my ex-roommate. I felt sorry for him. Modern advances in technology left him in the dust.”

“Next time, suggest a meeting during daylight hours and a place of our choosing?”

Adam narrowed his eyes and tilted his head as if listening to a far-off sound. The combination spelled trouble. His steps slowed and adopted a deliberate edge even as his shoulders tightened in preparation to strike.

“A graveyard walk would be less creepy, and a proctologist’s exam more fun.” Sweat beaded Wyatt’s forehead despite the cool spring breeze drifting over the graffiti-covered knee wall.

“This place feels off to me. Let’s get the hell out of here—” Adam stopped, holding out his right arm to halt their progress.

Wyatt’s slip on a crudely patched piece of concrete necessitated his bodyguard’s steadying hand. Dirt and loose crumbles skittered underfoot, their audio report echoing off the walls.

“Watch your step, boss. No need to broadcast our location.”

“You know,” Wyatt muttered. “People think of me as a good analytical, concrete thinker. I guess whatever higher power gifted me with intuitive abilities for logistics and computers exacted a mental tariff—common sense.” His penchant for talking when nervous filled the quiet atmosphere.

“My instincts say trouble’s GPS has locked on. Stay close.”

The soft glide of his bodyguard’s gun from his shoulder rig compelled Wyatt to suck in chilled air that seared his lungs. Each step forward carried the expectation of death.

“Intuition is your best survival tool and seldom wrong. For an athletic geek, yours is pretty good.”

Wyatt didn’t argue the conciliatory assessment. Routine sparring with Adam revealed the bodyguard had reflexes that boggled the mind.

Sudden sharp beeps shattered the silence. A sequence of long and short chirps denoting binary code identified Wyatt’s caller. His heart rate shot into overdrive. Hair on his nape prickled as he fumbled the device. Swiping to ignore didn’t recall the audible beacon.

Massive pillars supported the five-story concrete structure that supplied parking space for the attached office building. Rounding one to his left, Wyatt stumbled as Adam snatched him sideways.

The colossal brute they almost bounced off had detached from the shadows with a stealth befitting a sixteenth century ninja. Colossal mass defied speed but personified malice with a savage gaze and gap-toothed smile.

“Jesus!” Wyatt’s split-second observation induced a rush of adrenaline with the hand holding his cell thrusting forward in self-protection. “Damn. You’re big.”

Deep chuckling inspired images of the worst villains in horror movies.

Brown hair pulled back in a ponytail swept the shoulder of the man bearing a gold tooth. A ridge of pitted, tanned skin separated the straight bushy unibrow deepening with a tilt of his head. Dark eyes retained terrible knowledge embracing and calculating endless methods for the most efficient kill.

After flicking a glance over the bodyguard in silent disregard, the brute’s appraisal raked Wyatt’s body head to toe. Thin lips widened in obvious glee.

“Time to meet your maker, prodigy.” He mimicked Wyatt’s sidestep in a lightning-fast move and knocked Adam’s gun from his hand. The pistol ricocheted under a nearby Toyota producing multiple tin-like clinks.

Time shattered into bits and pieces where each fractured instant unfurled another fragment of the ominous scene. Wyatt’s thoughts stuttered on a long blink.


Author Bio:

Reily Garrett is a writer, mother, and companion to three long coat German shepherds. When not working with her dogs, she’s sitting at her desk with her fur kids by her side.

Author of chilling suspense and snarky romance, her stories span the distance of romantic thrillers, paranormal romance, and erotic romance. Regardless of genre, each book delves into a dark and twisted imagination yet is tempered with romance and a touch of humor.

Reviews by Kirkus Reviews, San Francisco Bay Review, and BestThrillers.com best describe her work:

"This could be James Patterson, Lee Child, and Tess Gerritsen rolled into one, but the dark, twisted methods used by the serial killer could surprise even those readers…” - San Francisco Bay Review

“…steamy, seductive police procedural…” - BestThrillers.com

“…well-researched thriller that remains romantically genuine throughout.” - Kirkus Review

Prior experience in the Military Police, private investigations, and as an ICU nurse gives her fiction a real-world flavor. Find Reily below.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Amazon


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VBT# Greedy the Crow - Finders Keepers - Mother Melania







Greedy the Crow: Finders Keepers - Teaching Values to Children in a Fun Way (Fearless and Friends Book 2)


Review: Greedy the Crow - Finders Keepers - #Fearless Friends Series - Mother Melania - November 2021

Greedy the Crow introduces readers to how to become safe from fire and to make sure you always have a plan just in case you find yourself in danger from a fire. The local fire safety officer is heading around the town and checking out all the animals’ houses to make sure that they are safe and have a plan in place in case of a fire. All the other animals are safe and have plans in place except for Mr Greedy the Crow. You see Crows love shiny things and hoarding bits and pieces. His house is also not very stable as it is an old barn, his lawn is dry and unmowed and inside his house is a hoarder’s dream. The fire safety gives Greedy the Crow some options and lets him know he needs to change. Greedy the Crow doesn’t' t listen though and then his house one-day catches fire and goes up in flames.  Greedy the Crow ends up homeless and heads around his friends but they turn him away except of course Charity the little mouse who opens her house to Crow - and shows him that even the smallest of people can act and be kind.  This book is a perfect way to teach young children about fire safety in a fun way as what child doesn't love and enjoy books about animals.  This book is perfect for children aged 5-9 years old.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3NgGQBQ





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