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What begins – but how does it end?

image 26 - What begins - but how does it end?

Excerpts: 

“What’s your name?” I ask after we’ve been driving for a few minutes.

“Fallon,” she whispers, almost inaudible.

“I already know that. What’s your last name?”

 I need to make sure she’s not related to Victoria before I let this go any further.

“Brice,” she says hesitantly.

Brice… I tap my fingers against the steering wheel. I’ve never heard of anyone by that last name before, but I’ll still have someone look into her when we get to the safe house. I have to be sure. I know just the person to do that.

Although, I’m sure my brother will not be happy that I’m contacting him for a favor.

I think further on questions I should ask her like this is a fucking date, and I didn’t just pay one million dollars for her body.

“Where are you from, Fallon?”

“Sun Valley.” She doesn’t offer any more than the bare minimum.

“Have you always lived there?”

“Yes.” A second passes, and then she asks the question that dooms both of us. “What are you going to do to me?”

Gripping the steering wheel a little tighter, I grit my teeth and answer her truthfully.

“I don’t know yet.”

I just don’t fucking know…

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Excerpt: 

“If I don’t matter to you, then why did you kill that man the other night? Why didn’t you just let him go?” I fire back. What could possibly be his excuse? 

Markus’s nostrils flare, and I swear he wants to murder me. The look in his eyes tells me he’s completely done with my shit. It’s a miracle I’ve made it as long as I have. I’d have run by now, but there’s something I need from him, and also, I don’t want to die. 

“I killed him because, one, you’re mine. Two, I paid good money for you, and I don’t plan on wasting that money. Three, you’re fucking mine. He came here, showed up uninvited,  intending to get close to you. He’s lucky that death was the only thing he got.” The possessive tone of his voice frightens me. 

 He really does only see me as an object and not a breathing, living person.

Excerpt:

ly in the eyes and expecting to live. 

Stalking toward me, he wraps a hand around my wrist and pulls me into his chest like a rag doll. “You think I’m stupid? You think I don’t know a liar when I see one?” 

He doesn’t give me a chance to answer him before he twists me around, forcing my back against his chest. I’m facing the nameless man now, and I can feel the tears in my eyes threatening to break free and run down my cheeks. 

Wrapping an arm around my middle to hold me in place, he slips his hand into my sweatpants, and I freeze. My entire body becomes an iceberg. 

What is he going to do? 

            His thick fingers move down over my smooth skin, trailing lower and lower while my heart races faster and faster in my chest. When he makes contact with my mound, I almost scream. The only reason I don’t is that I’m sure that’s what he wants, to terrify me, to get a reaction out of me. 

            “You like this, don’t you? Seeing me so close to the edge. That’s why you won’t tell me? You want to see how close I’ll get before I completely lose it?”

            My bottom lip trembles, and I’m about to tell him, no, that this is wrong, that he needs to stop and let this man go, but two fingers slide between my folds and find my clit. The world around me spins. 

AUTHOR BIOs:

J.L. Beck is a USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR, she has written over fifty different romance novels. She started her journey of writing back in 2014 and hasn’t slowed down a second since then.

She’s captivated by real romance, and loves reading about strong “ALPHA” males, as well as sassy heroines that know or may not know what they want. She is best known for delivering a happily ever after but has ended things on a cliffhanger a time or two.

When she’s not typing away at her next book you can find her being a mom to her two adorable kiddos and wife to her high school sweetheart.

She’s obsessed with Starbucks, social media, and is definitely more of a dog person than cat.

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Author links:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJLBeck/

https://www.instagram.com/authorjlbeck/

https://dl.bookfunnel.com/k4ordpbhzu

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8425041.J_L_Beck

Born and raised in Germany, Cassandra moved to the United States when she was eighteen. She always had a love for reading, that love slowly transpired into writing. She put fingers to the keyboard and started writing about the dark side of romance. 

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Cassandra is one half of the international bestselling author duo Beck & Hallman, who are most knows for the writing the Northwood University series.
The pair also write under the pen name Jenna Reed.

Author links:

https://www.facebook.com/CassandraHallmanhttps://www.goodreads.com/user/show/90264458-cassandra-hallmanhttps://www.instagram.com/cassandra_hallman/https://www.bookbub.com/profile/cassandra-hallmanhttps://twitter.com/CassyHallman

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And now the spirit flows…

TheChristmasSpiritTourBanner - And now the spirit flows...

Alexandrea answers my question.

Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

The Christmas Spirit came as a mixture of my agent telling me I needed to write a Christmas romance with snow in it, and my fascination with Christmas lore from around the world. I blended both concepts and came up with a modern woman, Courtney Winston, thrown into a world where witches and ghosts are real.

I am known for my dark characters and ghostly tales, and I did not stray too far from those themes in this adventure set in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. What appealed to me about the story was bringing legends from Sweden and Germany and weaving them into a modern American tale. There are even Norwegian Forest cats, which were my favorite.

I wanted to give a fresh perspective of Christmas lore by incorporating some legends people may know about. The blending of so many Old-World ideas gave this romance its unique flavor. The added scary bits where dark forest creatures and supernatural elements play a part, provide an unexpected twist.

In my hometown of New Orleans, Christmas has always had a ghoulish edge, and I wanted to share that tradition in this book. Fortunately, I was able to find a lot of European legends with a darker and sinister feel to weave into this story. Many of the older Christmas myths usually involve children being eaten by some goblin or witch, like Halloween. It was that vibe I wanted to bring to The Christmas Spirit.

Our heroine is a rational and no-nonsense person, and sticking her in a forest where all is not what it seems intrigued me because of the offbeat characters and situations I could create. But the ghoulish creatures do more than set Courtney on edge; they teach her to appreciate her life, and no matter how heartbroken and down on her luck she may feel, life and love matter more than anything.

It was the lesson about never giving up on life that I wanted to impart with this story.

Like any good Christmas tale, Courtney should end the book a little wiser and a little more grateful than when she began. All the things she held dear, all the desires she wanted to achieve, didn’t matter. Only love of family and friends meant anything. And it will take a brief battle with spirits to teach Courtney a life lesson about the wishes we want versus the wishes we need.   


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexandrea - And now the spirit flows...

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author, screenwriter, advanced practice registered 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. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable.

Weis writes romance, mystery, suspense, thrillers, supernatural, and young adult fiction and has sold approximately one million books. 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.

She is a member of both the International Thriller Writers Association and the Horror Writers Association. 

www.AlexandreaWeis.com

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ChristmasSpirit - And now the spirit flows...

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Early in the morning I went walking….

Number 9 in the Dukes of Christmas stories / novellas.

As always in this series a very sweet story with a soupcon of feminine issues in the 19th century. Here we are thinking about the fact that women, especially in higher levels of society, were items for sale or barter. They were to do as they were told in all aspects of their life and their husbands, fathers, brothers or other male relatives were their owners. And mothers and older women reinforced this attitude as they had succumbed to it. Women of the higher ranks must never go anywhere without a female companion not be seen alone with a male. And of course the garments that they wore were not designed to be easily put on and off without help. It wasn’t until 1848 that corsets were made with front lacing so that a person could take them off herself. And whilst coats (pelisse)  might have front frogging fasteners, most upper-class dresses were fastened at the back so as not to spoil the line/effect.

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Ready to wear clothing of any style and quality were not available, most people mad either own or employed someone to make them for them.

This story looks at how the first manufactured garments began in the nineteenth century and how ready to wear clothes could be made and sold. In fact ready to wear clothing has a much older history than this -The Short History Garment Industry from Bellatory says that ancient Babylonia shipped and distributed some ready-to-wear garments as early as 1400 BCE (BC). In Ancient Rome, garments were produced in workshops of up to 100 workers to outfit the military. But even in the 19th century, whilst ready to wear was still developing, most garments relied on hand stitching and it wasn’t until the late 1800s that factories were supplying large quantities of clothing.

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THE 12 DUKES OF CHRISTMAS:

1. Once Upon a Duke

2. Kiss of a Duke

3. Wish Upon a Duke

4. Never Say Duke

5. Dukes, Actually

6. The Duke’s Bride

7. The Duke’s Embrace

8. The Duke’s Desire

9. Dawn with a Duke

10. One Night with a Duke

11. Ten Days with a Duke

12. Forever Your Duke

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Tempt me not?!

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As this was a series, I decided to set the scene with book 1 of the series.This was useful to understand the background if not the characters per se, as they were very minor in book 1.

I also hoped that the writing would have improved as so often happens, as the authors develops the series and setting. And it had.

But only marginally.

I didn’t feel though that this book could stand alone. It needed to be set within a series. And unlike the work of RJ Blain, these vampires were standard. Mostly blood drinkers of unwilling victims. But with our hero fighting against tis sterotype.

I found the witches rather unconvincing in the spellwork – too simplistic in the word usage – and thus too easy to be misapplied. And their potions were made too easily – lack of effort all round really. Which meant that the story line lacked drama. And I found the ending unsatisfactory.

And is it a vile or a vial? What holds a potion in US spelling? Author please let me know.

As you can’t allocate half points, I’m giving this a 4 when for me it was really 3.5.

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Books and yet more to read

A novel written by my soul sister – a bibliophile and eclectic reader. So many new authors and books for me to check out – and for my husband too. From classics to books with recipes in – and I love the idea of a reading group with recipes to try out from the book.

My fantasy bookshop would be run alongside a café and deli. Every week we would choose a recipe from a book – cookery or not just as her reading group did – and showcase it in the café, then sell the ingredients and book in the deli, ready packaged in the correct amounts. The recipes might be exotic or just simple like an apple pie with interesting spicing, it doesn’t matter – everything would support the other elements of the store.

A book group would sample the recipe and discuss the book – and the knitting group would attempt to knit a representation perhaps? But that needs really experienced knitters. There is an artist who does make amazing  knitted foods items.

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And there are lots of knitting patterns to make food too.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book – it followed the romance trope but it was the library and descriptions of books and the book-marks that sold it for me. By the way, what did happen to her library when the real one opened?

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