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Starting the Burn

Ignite You: A Second Chance Mafia Romance Book Cover Ignite You: A Second Chance Mafia Romance
(Cole Brothers Series, #1)
Diana A. Hicks
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Hicks Media Group, Inc. (2 Nov. 2019)
Publication date: November 1st 2019

Dom Moretti.
Former mafia hitman.
God’s gift to women.
Brilliant lawyer.

Those were just a few reasons why I hated Dom in law school.

Tonight…

I hate his panty-melting stare, his wicked smile, and that loose-hip stride of his.
I hate the way his biceps stretch the sleeves of his tailored suit.
I hate that after two years, I can’t stop thinking about the almost kiss in the library.

So when he sits at my bar, acting like he doesn’t remember me, I do what any woman would’ve done in my position.

I agree to a midnight hookup with the great Dom Moretti.

Ignite You is a steamy, slow-burn mafia romance that can be read as a standalone. It is book one in the Cole Brothers series. Previously released as Love Over Logic

I have read this book now twice but I still found it less interesting than the rest of the series.

I think it is because of the scene setting that is done for the Cole Brothers and their backgrounds.

For me, Diana Hicks is one of those authors whose writing gets better the further into a series she goes.

And also, I guess, Mafia Doms are not in my ‘hit’ list!

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Kerrigan and the Knight

A Dark and Stormy Knight Book Cover A Dark and Stormy Knight
Victorian Rebels #7
Kerrigan Byrne
historical romance, crime
Gnarly Wool Publishing
Publication date: June 2nd

Sir Carlton Morley is famously possessed of extraordinary will, singular focus, and a merciless sense of justice. As a man, he secured his fortune and his preeminence as Scotland Yard’s ruthless Chief Inspector. As a decorated soldier, he was legend for his unflinching trigger finger, his precision in battle, and his imperturbable strength. But as a boy, he was someone else. A twin, a thief, and a murderer, until tragedy reshaped him. This Knight of the Crown is driven by a painful past and a patient fury… and his entire life is a lie.

Now he stalks the night, in search of redemption and retribution, vowing to never give into temptation, as it’s just another form of weakness.

Until temptation lands—quite literally—in his lap, taking the form of Prudence Goode. Prim and proper Pru is expected to live a life of drudgery, but before she succumbs to her fate, she craves just one night of desire. On the night she searches for it, she stumbles upon a man made of shadows, muscle and wrath… And decides he is the one. When their firestorm of passion burns out of control, Morley discovers, too late, that he was right. The tempting woman has become his weakness. A weakness his enemies can use against him.

Excerpt

A few heavy, staggering sounds reverberated on the ceiling above him before a great, thunderous crash drove him to his feet.

The master bedroom. His wife!

Feeling as though he’d been kicked in the chest by an unruly horse, he took the stairs three at a time, sprinting down the hall until he exploded through the door, shearing the latch.

His very shaken, very nude wife was attempting to pull herself into a sitting position from where she’d sprawled on her back, using a toppled marble table to stabilize her.

He lunged forward. “Don’t move,” he barked in the same commanding voice he’d used on countless criminals.

She’d already frozen when he’d burst in, but his words had the opposite effect, sending her scrambling to find something with which to cover herself. “Oh, bother,” she groaned. “I-I don’t… I’m all right. I just need—need a towel. Please. Please go.”

“Don’t be foolish,” he admonished as he hit his knees next to her, his hands hovering over the slick, lithe lines of her prone form, searching for injuries. “What the bloody hell happened?” he demanded. “Did you hit your head? Is anything broken? Can you move all your limbs? No, never mind, don’t try to move. I’m calling for a doctor. Bart?” he bellowed. “Where the bloody hell is he? Did no one hear you fall hard enough to shake the house? Bart!

No!” She seized his shirt when he would have risen with one desperate claw, keeping the other arm ineffectually over her breasts. “I don’t want anyone to see me!”

“If he sees you, I’ll replace his eyes with hot coals. I’m calling him to send him for the doctor.”

“I don’t need a doctor. I am perfectly well, I simply—”

“You don’t get to make that decision, a slip like this is serious, especially in your condition! Must you fall so bloody often? I order you to take more care with your footing!”

He put his hands on both her shoulders to keep her still as she tried again to sit up. His grip slid as her still-slippery limbs flailed in a wild attempt to fight him off.

After a few slick and ineffectual endeavors, he succeeded in pinning her arms at her sides, leaving her gleaming body completely bared to him.

He resolutely examined only her eyes, as he leaned above her. They held no indication of the clouds one noted with a head wound. In fact, they sparked with dark azure tempests that would make Calypso proud.

“I didn’t slip, exactly,” she protested with a mulish expression.

“No? Then tell me how, exactly, you came to be on the floor.”

Long, dark lashes swept down over damp cheeks flushed with heat. “I… finished my bath, stood, and stepped out of the tub to reach for the towel. By the time I had one foot on the ground I was overwhelmed by extreme vertigo and thought to steady myself on the table.” A confused frown pinched between her brow as she looked over at the fallen furniture . “I must have fainted, because the next thing I knew I was on my back staring up at the ceiling.”

“I suspect you’re truly addled if you think anything you just imparted to me makes me feel a modicum of comfort,” he gritted through his teeth. “You and the child must be all right; do you understand me? You lie here. I will get a doctor. And he will examine you thoroughly. That is the end of this ridiculous discussion.”

He would have said more, but all the words had compressed the air out of his lungs, and he couldn’t seem to fill them. His hands trembled where they shackled her arms and the legs he knelt on felt too unsteady to hold their position for long.

It had been years since his body showed such obvious signs of terror. Maybe since his very first battle when bullets missed him so narrowly, he could hear them sing by his ear.

Lord, but she was a weakness.

Author Bio

Kerrigan Byrne is the USA Today Bestselling and award winning author of several novels in both the romance and mystery genre. Her 2020 releases include A Dark and Stormy Knight in June, All Scot and Bothered in September, and A Treacherous Trade in December. She lives on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington with her wonderful husband and Willow the Writer Dog. When she’s not writing and researching, you’ll find her on the beach, kayaking, or on land eating, drinking, shopping, and attending live comedy, ballet, or too many movies.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5808498.Kerrigan_Byrne

https://www.facebook.com/Kerriganbyrneauthor
https://www.instagram.com/kerriganbyrne

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Aileen erases the wall

Alpha Erased Book Cover Alpha Erased
Alpha Girls #9
Aileen Erin
Paranormal, Young Adult
Ink Monster LLC
May 12th 2020

Tessa—part witch, part werewolf, raised human and now the unofficial leader of a newly minted supernatural alliance—thinks nothing of her brother, Axel, texting her and Dastien to meet up. The location pin is in a weird spot, but maybe he found a magical anomaly? But when Tessa steps into the darkened warehouse, she doesn’t expect to see her brother laying in a pool of his own blood, smell the sulfuric scent of black magic, or feel the pain of her mate being shot full of silver.

 

Tessa has seconds to make a choice, but there’s only one thing she can do to save the two most important men in her life—sacrifice herself.

 

The last thing Dastien hears from Tessa is her plea—help Axel. Then their bond goes silent. He can’t hear her. He can’t feel her. And there’s no sign of the attackers who took her.

 

Dastien does everything he can to save Axel before calling his friends in a panic. It takes all of them to find Tessa, but when Dastien’s finally reunited with her, there’s no sign of recognition in her eyes.

 

No magic in her touch.

 

No wolf beneath the surface.

 

I’m never sure what to write for the “author’s choice” guest posts, so I reached out to my Superfans group and someone asked this question:

What do you do when you hit a “wall” to get your creativity going again?

I thought that could be helpful to any other writers out there. So, here goes:

For me, I’ve found that hitting a “wall” means that I’ve messed up somewhere in the story. It’s like my subconscious is stopping me from going any farther into the story. I have to go back, look at what I’ve done so far, and see what needs fixing.

It took me a looooong time to figure that out. I used to force myself to keep going, and my productivity would slowly get worse and worse and the wall would get thicker, taller, bigger, until I wanted to quit. But, that’s just me and my experience. I know right away what to do now. I take a break, re-read what I’ve written so far, talk to my developmental editor about how to fix whatever isn’t working, and then I get back to work.

But that won’t work for everyone, especially when you’re first starting to build your creative life.

Figuring out what’s building that wall up and why it’s there is the key to tearing it down. Sometimes it’s nothing to do with the story. Sometimes life is crazy. Sometimes there are just too many stresses, anxieties, and things happening to leave enough headspace to be creative.

The key there is to minimize everything that’s going on in your life—to quiet it—so that you can focus on being creative. And if you’re not under a deadline, maybe think about giving yourself a break to deal with all the things life has thrown at you, until you have that quiet space in your mind.

But life is always kind of chaotic. Things happen. It’s hard. This is your passion, and you don’t want to give it space or time. How do you keep writing through all the ups and downs of life?

You do what you can to quiet everything else when you’re writing. You set a goal for how long you’re going to write and where you will write it. Whether it’s taking a walk before you sit down to write or go to a spot in your house that relaxes you or another place outside your house that you find peaceful. Find a spot that you will consistently go to. It will key your brain into—this is time to write. Then, set a timer. Put away your phone. Turn off your WiFi. No distractions.

This is your writing place, and this is your sacred writing time. Set the timer for 15min. Don’t stop until it goes off.

Was it easy? Okay. Set it for longer. Was that painful? Okay, keep it at 15min every time until it becomes easy. Then, set it for longer. Aim to write at least a little bit every day. Even if it’s just setting your alarm fifteen minutes earlier so that you can get that little bit in before your family is awake or before work or before school. It doesn’t have to be hours at a time. If you write one page per day, in less than year, you’ll have finished a book. 250 words per page. For 300 days. That’s 75K or a full novel.

The thing to keep in mind is that creativity is a muscle. It gets stronger the more you use it. If you start out thinking that the words are supposed to be flowing out of you during your writing time, then you might be setting yourself up for failure. You can’t go from being a couch potato to running a marathon. So, why do you think that you can go from writing nothing, to spending four hours solid writing and get 100 pages written in one session.

That’s not a thing.

Writing takes time. It takes consistent, constant work. Letter by letter, word by word, sentence by sentence you will get there.

And if you sit down to write and hear a little voice in your head telling you that you can’t do it, that you suck, that this is a waste of your time, that you should give up now, or any variation of that, then you’ve met your Inner Editor. Every single writer has one, and all of them—all of them—are complete and utter assholes. Tell them to shut up. Ignore them. Keep going.

At first, finding that creativity to break through your “wall” can be really hard, sometimes seemingly impossible. You’ve got life in your way, distractions galore, and that jerk of an Inner Editor is back, taunting you again…

Writing is hard. Full stop. But the more you do it, the more you keep at it, the easier it gets. The more creative you get. The faster the words come. The better your writing becomes.

Until you reach a point when you find yourself in front of a wall, and it’s not tall, thick, impenetrable anymore. It’s a thin fog you can walk right through.

You can do it.

Just keep writing.

Author Bio

Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

https://www.facebook.com/inkmonster.net”  

https://twitter.com/aileen_erin”  

https://www.instagram.com/aileenerin/”  

“https://books2read.com/u/bM95oG?store=amazon”  

https://books.apple.com/ca/book/alpha-erased/id1464699590?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

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 https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=f82YDwAAQBAJ

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An Ex-wife to come?

Dear Future Ex-wife Book Cover Dear Future Ex-wife
Jillian Quinn
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance
Independently published
(15 April 2020)

I, Harley McQueen, do not take Nathan King to be my husband…

I wish I could say no to this wedding. But to save our fathers’ company, my ex-best friend needs a fake bride to bail him out of his latest scandal.

Nate has a reputation with women.

I want the promotion my father has denied me for years.

Together, maybe we can make this fake marriage work.

As long as I don’t fall in love with him…

Again.

   

EXCERPT:  

 “Hey there, Queen,” Nate says as he approaches me with a wicked smile on his handsome face. “You look happy to see me,” he jokes, wiggling his eyebrows.

 My throat closes up at the sight of him. His dark, wavy hair is gelled and styled to perfection. Tall and muscular, he fills out every inch of the navy suit that molds to his body. Women drool over him now, but I know the nerdy boy who had hair that would never stay put. His teeth were such a mess, he wore braces until our sophomore year of high school. And for a few years, I was several inches taller than Nate. But now, when he leans in to hug me, he has to dip down to meet my height.

 He towers over me, his masculine scent filling my nostrils as he kisses my cheek. My skin tingles from the unexpected contact. Heat rushes to my face, which is now on fire from his delicate touch. He’s only doing this because he knows I won’t make a scene in front of our families. Nate takes every opportunity he gets to irritate me.

 For as much as I hate him, I still miss him. So, when I hug him back it’s a real one. I don’t want to let him go, and the feeling seems to be mutual.

 Nate clutches me, his fingers digging into my back. “You look good,” he whispers against the shell of my ear, sending chills down my arms. “I can see the Pilates paid off.”

 I gasp at his comment.

 Nate laughs in response.

  Damn him .

 I hate showing that he has any effect on me. More than anything I wish he didn’t have a single ounce of control over me. But he does.

 Nate tugs on a strand of my hair, twirling it around his finger. He did this when we were kids because he thought it was funny when I slapped him. My former best friend was an oddball. And now, he’s doing it to torment me. Men like Nate can smell desire on women. He damn well knows I think he’s hot. Nate looks like a walking orgasm in his expensive, silky suit that was tailor-made for him. Everything about him screams sex and money.

 “Let’s get started,” my dad says, snapping me back to reality.

 I flick Nate’s finger, and he drops his hand to his side. He stares me down with his hauntingly beautiful eyes. When I turn my back to Nate, Stefan is still standing behind the chair he rolled out from the table for me.

 Nate sits across from me, though no amount of space is enough because I can practically feel the heat from his gaze rolling down my arms. Our parents get comfortable at the heads of the table, my dad to my left and Richard on the right. Nate’s wingtip hits my heel under the table. I ignore him as he taps me again. A few seconds later, his silky dress sock slides up my calf. I stare across the table at him, and he challenges me with one look.

  Do it , his eyes demand.  Fight me, Queen .

 I hold my breath when his foot grazes my inner thigh. His gaze is pointed down the table at my dad, but I don’t miss the corner of Nate’s mouth lifting slightly into a satisfied smirk. He wants to play with me.

  Game on, King .

Author Bio:

 Jillian Quinn is an international bestselling author of contemporary romance. Her books are light and funny but also on the steamy side. So, don’t be surprised if you have to fan yourself with your Kindle.

 As a lover of coffee and a collector of book boyfriends, you can find Jillian most days, thinking about her next romance novel as she pours another cup.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16088454.Jillian_Quinn

https://www.facebook.com/jquinnbooks

https://www.instagram.com/jquinnbooks

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And Alexandrea talks: tbc guest post waiting

The Secret Brokers Book Cover The Secret Brokers
(Secret Brokers, #1)
Alexandrea Weis
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense, Thriller
Vesuvian Books
April 7th 2020

Dallas August runs a dangerous business—an organization of elite spies for hire.

The secrets trade.

Nothing is off limits, and no price is too high.

When asked to uncover what recluse Gwen Marsh knows about a Mafia kingpin’s death, Dallas poses as a bodyguard to get close to his target, but the stubborn Asian beauty wants nothing to do with him. As the FBI and the Mafia close in, danger drives them together, but can he protect Gwen, or will Dallas be the one risking everything to discover what she is really hiding?

Dallas August is about to find out how dangerous life can be as one of the Secret Brokers.

Once you are in, there is no turning back.

Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

The tale of the undercover spy has always intrigued me. The danger and surreal settings have drawn me as a reader since I was young. A big influence on my desire to write in this genre was Ian Fleming—yes, the creator of the James Bond Series. His take on the character, and his details into Bond’s psyche, riveted me to every page. If you haven’t read the books, I highly recommend that you do. Fleming presented an in-depth course on how to write a character—one to which readers are drawn. Yes, James Bond was sexy, dangerous, and intriguing as a character, but he also had a vulnerability not captured in the films. Many of the James Bond novels were about the evolution of the character. His mistakes, broken heart, and failures as a spy made him confoundingly appealing. When I set out to write The Secret Brokers Series, I wanted to recreate the same flawed character in Dallas August that Fleming had mastered. After all, it’s the humanity of a character that draws us in. Knowing someone can be as unsure gives us hope that we’re not as different as we feel.

What makes The Secret Brokers stand out from other thriller genres will be the characters. They will be human, weathered by their flaws, but also retain a humorous side that makes them unforgettable. The world in which they live will be unique. As spies for hire, Dallas and his specialists—that is the term for his spies—steal secrets and sometimes sell them to the highest bidder. Their assignments will not always be deadly, some will be comical, but the dark world where many of Dallas’s specialists work will provide countless tales of deceit, infidelity, theft, betrayal, and murder. Stories will take place in museums, governments, colleges, hospitals, labs, drug companies, businesses, homes, and will involve men, women, children, cheating husbands, desperate wives, business moguls, leaders, diplomats, dictators, nurses, doctors, and politicians. The plotlines won’t be fantastical but relatable. In the stories, many may see their experiences mirrored. Adventure, romance, intrigue, and humor will be the cornerstones of The Secret Brokers Series. I hope it will entertain readers for a long time to come.     

Author Bio

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, 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 award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.WEBSITEGOODREADSFACEBOOKTWITTER

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