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And the snake rattles?

Rattlesnake - And the snake rattles? Rattlesnake Road
(A Small Town Mystery Romance)
Amanda McKinney
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romance, Suspense
Publication date: May 4th 2021

Everyone hits rock bottom, only the brave escape.

Welcome to 1314 Rattlesnake Road.

A quaint two-bedroom log cabin nestled deep in the woods of the small, southern town of Berry Springs—the perfect hideaway to escape your past.

Tucked inside thick, mahogany walls lay mysterious letters, forgotten and untouched for decades. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame breathtaking views of jagged cliffs, deep valleys, and endless lies. Mature oak trees, tall enough to touch the clouds, carry the whispers of the haunted, of stories untold.

Inside sits Grey Dalton, emotionally battered and bruised, her only wish to pick up the broken pieces of her life. But outside, await two men, one a tattooed cowboy, the other a dashing businessman.

One will steal her heart, the other, her soul. 

Rattlesnake Road is a standalone mystery romance about love, loss, hitting rock bottom, and clawing your way to the other side.

Your escape awaits…

RattlesnakeRoadTourBanner copy - And the snake rattles?

(Due to serious subject matter and mature content, please be aware that this book might be an emotional trigger for some readers.)

Excerpt

Wiping the motor oil from his hands, the mechanic looked over my shoulder to the BMW in the parking lot, then refocused on me. “You lost?”

Lost? The man had no idea.

“My car is smoking.”

The corner of his lip quirked. Something about me amused him.

“In that case, let me grab a beer and switch over to Marley.”

I rolled my eyes. My time, and patience, with this small-town country-boy was rapidly waning. “I meant—the hood is smoking. Under it, the engine, whatever, and trust me, I’m not laughing about it.”

“No, I can see that. Did you hit something? Run over anything?”

“Aside from the handful of potholes in this Godforsaken road?” I gestured past the trees to the red dirt road.

“Where exactly?”

“The middle.”

“Where in the middle of the road?”

“I don’t know.”

“What were you doing down Rattlesnake Road?”

“Driving.”

“Ma’am, I can do this all day.” Unfazed by my impatience, the man sauntered over to a rolling toolbox and picked up a Coke. Sniffing at it, he scowled and set it aside—but not in the trash can. He picked up another and sniffed with the same result. Then he grabbed a bottle of water, opened it, and chugged.

“Home.” I fisted my hands on my hips, annoyed with not only his aloofness, but also how unaffected he was by me. “I was driving home.”

The man lowered the bottle from his lips. It was the first time I saw a flicker of something other than amusement behind his blue eyes. “You live down Rattlesnake Road?”

“Yes.”

“Since when?”

“Since not long ago.”

“Alone?”

“I’m not sure that’s your business. Can you help me or not? This is a mechanic shop, right?”

He gestured to the dismantled cars.

“Then why don’t you have a sign out front?” Careful not to bring attention to my foot that was still stuck to the cement floor, I curled my toe around the thong of my flip-flop and tried to lift it from whatever the hell had stuck it in place. No luck.

“Don’t need a sign.”

“All businesses need signs. People don’t realize it’s a mechanic shop.”

“You did.”

“What’s your name?”

“Declan. What’s yours?”

“Are you a mechanic?”

“Where are you from?”

“What does that matter?” I asked. “You gouge prices on tourists?”

He took another sip of water, eyeing me over the rim. A thin trail trickled from his chin, wetting his T-shirt. He didn’t bother wiping it.

“How do you know I’m not from around here?” I asked.

“Because a local would’ve already unwedged themselves from the gum that’s got you stuck in place.”

“This is no ordinary gum.”

“You’re right. It’s watermelon Bubblicious.”

“I didn’t know six-year-olds worked on cars.”

He grinned. “You’re a Yankee, aren’t you?”

“As much as I’m enjoying this little tit-for-tat, can you help me or not?”

“I don’t know.” Declan downed the rest of his water, then tossed the plastic bottle into an overflowing recycle bin in the corner. “Oil leak, yep, I can fix, but it depends on what else I find under that hood.”

“Look now.”

His eyes narrowed with the first sign of disapproval of my attitude. He picked up a towel and wiped his hands, then grabbed a handful of paper towels from a roll sitting next to a tin cup oozing with something. He strode toward me, his gaze on mine.

The man truly was massive. My instinct was to back up, but thanks to the damn gum, I was stuck in place. My stomach tickled as he knelt at my feet. A waft of air enveloped me, scented with fresh soap and that musky scent of man, with a motor oil finish.

The tickle turned to butterflies.

A strong grip slipped my ankle from my shoe, sending a wave of tingles over my skin. After sliding the paper towel under the shoe, Declan pried my flip-flop from the floor, then twisted the gum and rolled it into the paper towel.

As I balanced on one foot, he carried the shoe to one of the many sinks and dabbed a towel in something that resembled nuclear waste. After a few scrapes of the bottom of my shoe, he returned, kneeling again to grab my ankle and slip my gum-free flip-flop back onto my foot.

I felt like a redneck Cinderella.

Heat mixed with the tingles this time—followed by total humiliation when I remembered I hadn’t shaved my legs in a week.

“My, uh, razor’s . . . broken.”

He pushed to his feet. “I’ve got a bush hog out back.”

My jaw dropped.

He grinned widely. “All right. Let’s have a look-see at this smoking silver car of yours.”

“I can’t believe you just said that.”

Winking, Declan strode past me and I got the feeling I’d just met my match.

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Cruel Beauty: author interview

beautycruel - Cruel Beauty: author interview A Beauty So Cruel by
(Beauty & The Beast #1)
Beena Khan
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: February 14th 2021

I was a beauty, a stray orphan until the beast took me as his hostage.

Once upon a time…
A Don by the name of Vlad Vitalli ruled New York. He’s a mafia man. The leader of one of the ruling families, La Cosa Nostra. He’s a monster. A trained killer and a cold-blooded murderer. Tall, mysterious, with icy gray eyes, and he rarely smiles. His smile was made to fool any girl. He’s ruthless, cold, dangerous, and wants to kill me.

I was the wrong person at the wrong time.
Just an innocent at the masquerade ball. The mafia has rules: no witnesses left behind. To save my life, I made a deal with the beast. I handed myself to the cruelest man in the kingdom.

For him, It was supposed to be an easy kill. I’m an orphan raised in poverty. No one would have missed me. Just as the Don Vlad was about to order the hit, I threw off my masquerade mask, revealing my face, and offered myself to him. One look and I was doomed. He took me as his hostage. His captive. He didn’t know by taking me, Dahlia Hadid, he sealed his own fate.

Welcome to New York’s Underworld.
Loosely based on the fairytale.

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Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about?

A Beauty So Cruel is the first book in the Beauty and The Beast series. This is a work of adult fiction, mafia romance, and billionaire romance. The tropes entail: enemies to lovers, forbidden love, captivity, and an age gap.

I’ve always been a fan of the fairytale that is a tale old and classic as time. I’ve always considered Belle my favorite Disney princess. I loved the Disney movie and the Disney beast. I’ve also read the original German and French Fairytales. Belle’s original name was Beauty.

I had planned on writing a mafia dark romance, but I wasn’t sure where to began because there are so many fantastic mafia books out there already. I wasn’t sure what I could contribute new to the genre. Then, I had the idea of Beauty & the Beast.

I’ve read many retellings based on this concept although many tend to be in the fantasy area. I hadn’t read many in contemporary romance, and there are hardly any in mafia romance. I’ve read about two similar mafia romance books that are based on Beauty and the Beast, but there’s not many in the genre. I’ve tried searching as well, but it was limited.

This was my take on it. It has similar concepts to the original fairytale such as people do call her Beauty even though that’s not her real name. Of course, she is beautiful, and she calls her captor Beast. She likes gardening and reading. It’s based in a large estate, a modern glass-type mansion with a rose garden. There are roses and snow similarities. It’s a winter tale. It doesn’t follow the original tale of the debt and it is more of a hostage situation. I wanted to make it more different and deviant from having too many similarities so it could be standalone uniquely. The two characters have intimate conversations about reading and literature as well.

There will be a sequel following the book, and two standalones of different characters in the book. The standalones will also be Beauty & the Beast retellings. Since it’s the first of the book, it’s only $0.99 release sale price and it will also be on kindle unlimited.

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Author Bio

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Beena Khan writes literary fiction and edgy, contemporary romance. She 27 years old and lives in New York. She’s from Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, an immigrant who moved to New York when she was five years old. She currently holds a Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology. She enjoys reading, writing, and netflixing. The Name of Red is her debut novel published at the age of 26. All of her books are on Kindle Unlimited + Free Novella!

Author links:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20221689.Beena_Khan

https://www.facebook.com/Beenaxkhan/

https://beenakhan.com/

https://www.instagram.com/Beenaxkhan/

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Please help the Librarian : night time only!

vampirelib - Please help the Librarian : night time only! The Librarian’s Vampire Assistant
(The Librarian’s Vampire Assistant, #5)
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romance
Independently Published
Publication date: October 31st 2020

From New York Times Bestseller Mimi Jean Pamfiloff comes a snarky Mystery with a side dish of Romance and two sprinkles of chaos, THE LIBRARIAN’S VAMPIRE ASSISTANT, Book Five. (Yep! These books are STANDALONES. But the more you read, the merrier!)

NEVER HIRE A HANDSOME VAMPIRE!

MIRIAM MURPHY loves being a librarian. It’s all she’s ever wanted—to eat, breathe, and sleep books. But when she hired Michael, a handsome college student, she had no idea he was a four-hundred-year-old vampire and that inviting him into her life would result in her becoming one too. But not before he knocked her up and broke her heart.

Now Miriam is a single mother, all alone in a new world with a new vampire body. And someone’s trying to kill her. Who? Why? She has no real enemies.

If only Michael would help. After all, he’s the vampire king now. And this is one mystery she can’t solve on her own.

NEVER FALL FOR A LIBRARIAN!

MICHAEL VANDERHORST knows he’s changed. He can no longer love or laugh or enjoy hot peppers like he used to. But being an unfeeling, ruthless vampire is what it takes to rule the deadliest bloodsuckers on the planet. It’s the only way to keep humankind safe.

Problem is, his enemies know the librarian and his daughter are special to him. They are his to protect, even if he’s incapable of feeling love.

But when danger comes knocking at Miriam’s library door, he must choose between solving the biggest mystery of his existence and the woman he swore to protect.

What’s a vampire king to do?

TheLibrariansVampireAssistantBlitzBanner - Please help the Librarian : night time only!

EXCERPT

My parents started this library and filled it with millions of dollars of books. Three floors. Open in the middle—same as our house—overlooking the main floor. When I wasn’t in school or training to be a Keeper, I was here, losing myself in books. I think I always knew I wanted to be a librarian, but it just took a while to work up the courage to tell my family. Of course, when I did, they acted like I’d told them I wanted to be a porn star or bank robber.

To this day, I don’t regret my choice, but I do regret how my parents were murdered before I could convince them that choosing another path in life didn’t mean I hated them. They died thinking the worst of me, and for that, I don’t think I’ll ever feel closure.

I pull into the parking lot to the side of my library and immediately go for my crossbow. The big one this time. Bertha.

There are four black SUVs in the lot and two parked out front on the busy street at the meters. I know it isn’t Nice, which is why I grab the chocolate-tipped arrow. I make them myself with pure cocoa powder and a flour paste so the tip hardens just enough to penetrate the skin. Vampire skin.

Chocolate is a narcotic for us. Give us enough, and it’ll kill, whereas a small dose has the same effect as alcohol. I’ve yet to sample any since being turned because I’ve been alone with Stella and must be on my guard. Mommy can’t get a chocolate chip cookie buzz until she finds a ninja sitter.

I take my crossbow and exit my Hummer. I might be a librarian, but when it comes to defending my child, I’m a one-woman army. Ready to kick fangs or asses. The ill-fitting, disheveled clothes I wear—below-the-knee skirts, moth-eaten sweaters, and granny glasses—are merely a disguise. Today I have on a wrinkled white blouse, plain tan pants, and a black cardigan that’s all stretched out. People see me and think I couldn’t harm a fly or fight my way out of a paper bag. All part of my Keeper upbringing. Unfortunately, my natural clumsiness is genuine, and so is my lack of love for violence. I can fight, and fight well. It’s just not something that comes naturally or that I enjoy. Even when I was Nice’s prisoner, fear always held me back. And he knew just how to use it to keep me tethered to his side, reading bad poetry, helping him shop online for ruffled shirts, telling him how much I admired his wiry body and long black locks.

The man is a monster.

At least I wasn’t mistreated sexually. Mr. Nice has a rule about not sleeping with humans (apparently they’re too fragile for his bedroom games), but he kept Stella from me. Those are years lost with my daughter, and I’ll never get them back. For that, he’ll pay.

How?

image 20 1024x1024 - Please help the Librarian : night time only!

Purchase:

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/book/the-librarians-vampire-assistant-book-5/id1531938933

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-librarian-s-vampire-assistant-book-5

AUTHOR BIO:

image 19 - Please help the Librarian : night time only!

MIMI JEAN PAMFILOFF is a New York Times bestselling author who’s sold over one million books around the world. Although she obtained her MBA and worked for more than fifteen years in the corporate world, she believes that it’s never too late to come out of the romance closet and follow your dreams.

Mimi lives with her Latin lover hubby, two pirates-in-training (their boys), and their three spunky dragons (really, just very tiny dogs with big attitudes) Snowy, Mini, and Mack, in the vampire-unfriendly state of Arizona.

She hopes to make you laugh when you need it most and continues to pray daily that leather pants will make a big comeback for men.


Author links:

https://www.instagram.com/mimijeanpamfiloff/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5618190.Mimi_Jean_Pamfiloff

https://www.facebook.com/MimiJeanPamfiloff/

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Lactose Intolerant?

Blood Bound: Lowrance Vampires
Lowrance Vampires #1
RJ Blain
Urban Fantasy, Romantic Suspense
Pen & Page Publishing
(28 Jan. 2020)
four star - Lactose Intolerant?

After waking in a shallow grave and clawing her way to freedom, Penelope Francis hunts for the rogue who stole her life and transformed her into a vampire. Despite being corrupted into a feared preternatural, she clings to her humanity and refuses to prey on innocents, instead slaking her thirst on other miscreant vampires. In exchange for a chance at revenge, she joins forces with the charismatic master of the Lowrance brood, a choice that may spell the salvation—or destruction—of humanity as she knows it.

OK. So just about everything you thought you knew about Vampires is wrong – just about anyway. As usual, we get new world building from one of my all time favourite authors because she is funny and comes up with weird and wonderful worlds and stories. And the best kickass heroines with real snark and humour.

For a start, vampires are lactose intolerant. Also, they prefer blood from happy animals, so they arrange for the animals to live a wonderful life, organic, grass fed, and frolicky. And to have a nice death too – a happy death where they feel no pain and are not hurt in any way. Also chicken blood is good as is kobe beef steaks, rare of course.

Only those who have gone ‘wrong’ drink from unwilling victims and they frequently get blood lust and thus drain their victims – who are usually not willing, and so these crazed vampires have blood orgies, which the good vampires break up and see that they are punished.

Vampires do indeed live in clans or families, and are usually rich having lived a long time, and everyone has a job and is a useful member of society. They take human wives as otherwise they couldn’t have children. And people become vampires willingly – on the whole – to live this long and rich life.

I look forward to learning how this series continues and what happens to our heroine – Penelope/Pepper – who was turned against her will and yet survived – and gets sick on chicken blood – gets on with her new life within the Lowrance clan.

51ubUByduvL - Lactose Intolerant?

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What Ladies don’t do

content?id=dnFnywEACAAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&source=gbs api - What Ladies don't do A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder
A Countess of Harleigh Mystery Book 3
Dianne Freeman
Fiction, Historical, Mystery, Murder
Kensington Publishing
July 28, 2020
304
four star - What Ladies don't do

In Dianne Freeman's charming Victorian-era mystery series, Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, finds her sister's wedding threatened by a vow of vengeance. London is known for its bustle and intrigues, but the sedate English countryside can host--or hide--any number of secrets. Frances, the widowed Countess of Harleigh, needs a venue for her sister Lily's imminent wedding, away from prying eyes. Risings, George Hazleton's family estate in Hampshire, is a perfect choice, and soon Frances, her beloved George, and other guests have gathered to enjoy the usual country pursuits--shooting, horse riding, and romantic interludes in secluded gardens. But the bucolic setting harbors a menace, and it's not simply the arrival of Frances's socially ambitious mother. Above and below stairs, mysterious accidents befall guests and staff alike. Before long, Frances suspects these "accidents" are deliberate, and fears that the intended victim is Lily's fiancé, Leo. Frances's mother is unimpressed by Lily's groom-to-be and would much prefer that Lily find an aristocratic husband, just as Frances did. But now that Frances has found happiness with George--a man who loves her for much more than her dowry--she heartily approves of Lily's choice. If she can just keep the couple safe from villains and meddling mamas. As Frances and George search for the culprit among the assembled family, friends, and servants, more victims fall prey to the mayhem. Mishaps become full-blooded murder, and it seems that no one is safe. And unless Frances can quickly flush out the culprit, the peal of wedding bells may give way to another funeral toll. . . .

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I don’t know if this had a previous book and was the second in a series – it did read as though it was and there was information about Frances and George that we were missing. However, I tried to ignore the fact that I really wanted to know more about how they had met, and what, if anything, his job/occupation had to do with it, as I could quite imagine a good story that was missing, as this story was different. NB I found out later that this was book 3 in a series.

Certainly, I have never encountered a house party story with quite so many ‘accidents’. That clearly were intended for someone – but hadn’t yet quite managed to complete their intention.

It did look as though one particular person was the intended victim, but the clues were also there for yet others to be the victim – or victims.

Not a deep book nor is the story a psychological thriller, but a fun murder and mayhem type of plot that would make great dinner theatre.

I’m giving it 4 as a play rather than a novel.

Ps – the fashion as you can see is not intended for any sports – and I remember my grandmother wearing a similar corset and that might explain why she claimed an 18 inch waist on marriage! Note that Bloomers for women were similar to golfing trousers and came in as women attempted to ride a bike in their dresses and found that they couldn’t!

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