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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Suspense, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 228
1. Spotlight and Giveaway: Hot Rebel by Lynn Raye Harris

This week, bestselling author Lynn Raye Harris celebrates the release of her romantic suspense Hot Rebel. Featuring a military hero, kick ass heroine, and a Middle Eastern mission gone bad, this is an action packed romance.   To celebrate the release, Lynn is hosting a $50 gift card giveaway, so please enter below!

Summary

A rebel on the run…

Victoria Royal is a traitor. Or so the U.S. government believes. Victoria was once a promising sniper in the Army, but now she’s gone rogue—worse, she’s just landed in the middle of a Hostile Operations Team mission in the desert and blasted it all to hell.

Nick “Brandy” Brandon doesn’t expect to run into Victoria when he’s bugging out from a mission gone wrong. It’s been more than three years since she disappeared from the sniper course they were in together, and he’s finally stopped thinking about her killer curves and smart mouth.

But now she’s back—and she’s far more dangerous than Nick ever believed possible… Is she really a traitor? Or is there something more at stake? He has to decide fast—because time’s running out and too many lives hang in the balance…

Excerpt

Driven by some emotion she couldn’t name, Victoria turned and walked back over to Nick. He was frowning at her when she reached up and pulled his head down. She pressed her lips to his cheek, felt the roughness of his stubble and breathed the smell of him—sand, spice, and cool water—deep into her lungs.

“Thanks for saving me,” she said, her lips close to his ear.

She started to step away, but he caught her close and turned his head, his lips meeting hers. The contact was shocking—and delicious in a way she hadn’t anticipated. She’d been kissed before, but this… this was better than any of those kisses had been.

His mouth was soft and hard against hers, his hands firm on her hips as he held her against him. The kiss was hot and tame all at once. Simultaneously the most arousing and most chaste kiss she’d ever had. He didn’t force her mouth open, didn’t thrust his tongue between her lips—he just kissed her hard and thoroughly before setting her away from him and taking a step backward.

And, God, she wanted his tongue so badly now. Wanted to feel it sliding against her own, stroking her senses higher.

But the kiss was over and he was looking at her, his jaw firm and a hard look in his eyes.

“You’re welcome,” he said, and it took her a moment to remember that she’d thanked him for saving her.

“I… I have to go.” Her cheeks flamed as she said it because he knew she had to leave as well as she did. The car was running, and she’d left the door open. She took a step backward, and then another.

Then she turned and got inside the car, determined not to look at him again. But she failed because she looked up, her gaze clashing with his right as she closed the door. And she didn’t look away as they drove off. Nick didn’t move from the spot she’d left him standing in.

It was only when the car turned and he was out of sight that she remembered how to breathe.

Goodreads Link

http://bit.ly/GoodreadsHotRebel

Buy Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/AmazonHotRebel

iBooks: http://bit.ly/AppleHotRebel

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1mgY70t

Google Play: http://bit.ly/GoogleHotRebel

Author Biography

USA Today bestselling author Lynn Raye Harris burst onto the scene when she won a writing contest held by Harlequin. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former military husband and two crazy cats. Lynn writes about hot military heroes, sizzling international billionaires, and the women who dare to tame them. Her books have been called “exceptional and emotional,” “intense,” and “sizzling.” To date, Lynn’s books have sold over 2 million copies worldwide.

Social Networking Links

Website: http://lynnrayeharris.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2973925.Lynn_Raye_Harris

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLynnRayeHarris

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LynnRayeHarris

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Hot Rebel by Lynn Raye Harris appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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2. TURNING PAGES: INVISIBLE, by DAWN METCALF

I haven't been this stressed out by reading a fantasy novel since Holly Black's TITHE. Tension simply sings in this second book in the Twixt series. While not exactly a standalone - it does help to know a little about the world and its denizens -... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on TURNING PAGES: INVISIBLE, by DAWN METCALF as of 9/26/2014 5:12:00 PM
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3. Trailer Reveal! Night Sky by Suzanne Brockmann and Melanie Brockmann

I haven’t shared a trailer in a while, and since I’m looking forward to Night Sky, I decided to pass this one along.  What do you think? Are you going to add Night Sky to you TBR stack?

Night Sky

By Suzanne Brockmann and Melanie Brockmann

Sourcebooks Fire ? October 7, 2014

ISBN: 9-781-4926-0144-9 ? Hardcover/$16.99 ? Ages 14+

Preo-order here Amazon BN.com

“Original and exciting, NIGHT SKY propels readers into a dangerous future. Loved it.” –Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Made For You and the Wicked Lovely series.

“A gripping page-turner from first to last…the start of something that can only be described as ‘greater-than.’” –Kirkus STARRED review

“Action-packed, mysterious, charming and witty. I’m ready for more!” — Gena Showalter, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Alice in Zombieland

“Full of adventure, humor, and just the right amount of Brockmann wit…I love this book!” –P.C. Cast, New York Times bestselling co-author of the House of Night series.

Hunted. Kidnapped. Bled. Destiny can be dangerous…

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann makes her young adult debut with a pulse-pounding novel of paranormal suspense set in the same world as her highly acclaimed and bestselling romance Born to Darkness, alongside her daughter and co-author Melanie. Young girls are being murdered for the secret that’s in their blood. When Skylar’s neighbor becomes the next victim, she must use her newly discovered abilities to save her before it’s too late.

Sixteen-year-old Skylar Reid is thrown into a strange world when she discovers that she has unique telekinetic and telepathic powers.  After Sasha, the child she babysits, is kidnapped and believed to be murdered, Sky and her best friend Calvin are approached by Dana, a mysterious girl who has super-abilities similar to Sky’s.  With the help of Dana and her sidekick Milo, the four teens embark on a quest to discover who killed Sasha, and to bring the killers to justice.

With Dana as Skylar’s surly and life-toughened mentor, Sky attempts to harness her powers to aid them in their quest. Complicating an already complex relationship with the older girl, Sky starts to fall for the dangerously handsome and enigmatic Milo – and begins to suspect that the attraction is mutual. But then Sky realizes that Sasha might still be alive, and the unlikely foursome’s mission becomes one of search and rescue, pitting the heroic teens against a very deadly enemy.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Suzanne Brockman, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author, has won 2 RITA awards, numerous RT Reviewers’ Choice, and RWA’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year three years running. She has written over 50 books, and is widely recognized as a “superstar of romantic suspense” (USA Today). Suzanne and her daughter, Melanie Brockmann, have been creative partners, on and off, for many years. Their first project was an impromptu musical duet, when then-six-month-old Melanie surprised and delighted Suz by matching her pitch and singing back to her. Suzanne splits her time between Florida and Massachusetts while Mel lives in Sarasota, Florida. NIGHT SKY is Mel’s debut and Suzanne’s 55th book. Visit Suzanne at www.SuzanneBrockmann.com.

Suzanne’s website and a link to her virtual signings: http://www.suzannebrockmann.com/about/ns-virtual-signing/

The post Trailer Reveal! Night Sky by Suzanne Brockmann and Melanie Brockmann appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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4. TURNING PAGES: THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD OF PRICKWILLOW PLACE, by Julie Berrey

My poppets, gather round, do! There's a simply scandalous novel you must sit down and read, right away! It's a school story - boarding school. It's set in the Victorian era. There are stern spinsters, callow boys, naughty dogs, and ...dead bodies... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on TURNING PAGES: THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD OF PRICKWILLOW PLACE, by Julie Berrey as of 9/19/2014 7:18:00 AM
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5. Giveaway: We Were Liars by E Lockhart

This morning I have a giveaway for you to enter.  I have an ARC of We Were Liars by E Lockhart up for grabs.  This is a compelling read that draws you in and refuses to let go.  I am still trying to decide whether or not I actually liked it, but I know that I could not put it down.

About the book:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

US addresses only, please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Giveaway: We Were Liars by E Lockhart appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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6. Interview with Dixie Lee Brown, Author of Whatever it Takes and Giveaway

Please give special guest Dixie Lee Brown a warm welcome to the virtual offices!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Dixie Lee Brown] Independent; persistent; reliable; animal lover

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Dixie Lee Brown] WHATEVER IT TAKES is the fourth book in the Trust No One series. Nate Sanders is a detective for the Portland (Oregon) Police Bureau. His deceased uncle has left some serious trouble behind and now it’s found Nate.

Who should save his bacon but the beautiful and mysterious Alex Morgan, the woman he hasn’t stopped thinking about since she wrecked his classic car in book #3? Alex’s past haunts her day and night. She has a smart mouth, a chip on her shoulder, a dagger on her belt, and knows how to use them all.

Nate sees through her bluster and signs on to help her rescue a kidnapped boy, but his own trouble just might get her killed—or is it the other way around?

[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Dixie Lee Brown] Nate and Alex both appeared in the third book in the series, IF YOU ONLY KNEW. Their character descriptions and backstory were already set, as well as the setting for the beginning of the story at Nate’s house. Combine that with two minor unanswered questions that suddenly become very important and a “crazy” heroine, and I had my concept.

[Manga Maniac Café] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Dixie Lee Brown] I love the relationships in this book. Alex and Nate are right for each other. Most of Joe’s team from the first three books put in appearances, plus Alex’s best friend from book #1. I love having the whole team show up. Also, being a romantic suspense, there’s a lot of action in this book. Action is just plain fun to write!

[Manga Maniac Café] What gave you the most trouble with this story?

[Dixie Lee Brown] It’s the same problem I have with every book. I’ll write two chapters leading up to a specific event and then handle the event and its aftermath in a paragraph! Lol! My editor calls me on it every time!

[Manga Maniac Café] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Dixie Lee Brown] Being the hopeless romantic I am, it would be “I Won’t Let Go” by Rascal Flatts

[Manga Maniac Café] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Dixie Lee Brown] My Kindle – of course.

[Manga Maniac Café] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Dixie Lee Brown] Laptop, notepaper, and a jump drive

[Manga Maniac Café] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Dixie Lee Brown] Assuming something would also make me magically capable of doing her job, I’d want to trade places with my wonderful Avon editor, Chelsey Emmelhainz, cuz she’s terrific!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Dixie Lee Brown] The Golden Key Chronicles by AJ Nuest

Asking For Trouble by Jannine Gallant

The Dysfunctional Test by Kelly Moran

Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Dixie Lee Brown] You probably hear this all the time, but if I have spare time—I read!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Dixie Lee Brown] I’d love it if readers would check out my webpage: http://www.dixiebrown.com/

Or like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dixie-Lee-Brown/311618418919108

Or follow me on Twitter: @DixieLeeBrown

Whatever it Takes

Trust No One # 4

By: Dixie Lee Brown

Releasing August 12th, 2014

Avon: Impulse

Blurb

Assassin Alex Morgan will do anything to save an innocent life – especially if it means rescuing a child from a hell like the one she endured.
But going undercover as husband and wife, with none other than the disarmingly sexy Detective Nate Sanders, may be a little more togetherness than she can handle. She’s used to working alone, and no man is going to change that – not even a man who makes her heart pound and her defenses crumble with just a touch
Nate has dodged more than a few bullets over the years, but fighting his attraction for Alex may be the bullet that does him in. Still, Nate’s determined to help her find the missing kid. There’s no doubt in his mind that they’re walking straight into danger, but Nate’s willing to face anything if it means protecting Alex. She might have been on her own once, but Nate has one more mission: to stay by her side – forever. 

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/whatever-it-takes-trust-no-one-4-by.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21150710-whatever-it-takes

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Whatever-Takes-Trust-One-Novel-ebook/dp/B00GG08JAG/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406816764&sr=1-3&keywords=whatever+it+takes

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/whatever-it-takes-brown-dixie-lee/1119738830?ean=9780062328304

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/whatever-it-takes-24

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/mx/book/whatever-it-takes/id738454204?l=en&mt=11

Author Info

DIXIE LEE BROWN lives and writes in Central Oregon, inspired by what she believes is the most gorgeous scenery anywhere. She resides with two dogs and a cat, who make sure she never takes herself too seriously. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, movies, and trips to the beach.

Author Links

Website: http://www.dixiebrown.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dixie-Lee-Brown/311618418919108

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DixieLeeBrown

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6583364.Dixie_Lee_Brown

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Print copy of another installment in Dixie Lee Brown’s Trust No One series, IF YOU ONLY KNEW—where you get to meet Alex and Nate for the first time!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Interview with Dixie Lee Brown, Author of Whatever it Takes and Giveaway appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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7. Virals, by Kathy and Brendan Reichs | Series Review

In Virals, acclaimed mother and son writing duo Kathy and Brendan Reichs have created a captivating and enthralling series by incorporating science fiction and crime with a contemporary perspective, via 4 teens who are navigating an unusually adventurous adolescence.

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8. TURNING PAGES: TIN LILY by JOANN SWANSON

This debut novelist describes herself as "an avid reader of just about every genre (plenty of YA, a smidge of Sci-Fi, buckets of horror, a dash of literary, even some graphic novels)." Her familiarity with both horror and literary works shines... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on TURNING PAGES: TIN LILY by JOANN SWANSON as of 8/29/2014 11:35:00 AM
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9. Review: Irresistible Force by D D Ayres

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I don’t usually read romantic suspense because the heroine is usually put into a dire, life-threatening situation, and sometimes that just stresses me out.  I ventured outside of my comfort zone because Irresistible Force features a K-9 dog.  I wasn’t sure how big a part the dog would play in the story, but anything with the word “dog” pretty  much gets my attention.  I’m so glad I picked this up!  While there are several uncomfortable scenes for our heroine, Shay, she thinks well under pressure and refuses to allow herself to be a victim.  It helped that James, her police officer love interest, is brave, kind, and understanding, and oh, yeah, Bogart the dog puts all of his training to the test to save Shay from danger.  Thank goodness!

Shay is need of a serious break.  Her whole life has been one traumatic misunderstanding after another.  After an abusive experience when she was a young girl, she has lived with whispers, taunts, and outright bullying at one school after another.  Now an IT professional, she’s changed her name and buried her past behind her.  Or so she thinks.  When her ex, a powerful, wealthy banker, just can’t take “no” for an answer, all of her fears from her childhood catch up with her.  Fearful of Eric, who is stalking her, she rescues a shepherd from the animal shelter where she works as a volunteer.  A woman brought the dog in to be destroyed, claiming that he was aggressive and had attacked a child.  When he turned out to be anything but, Shay renamed the animal Prince and took her home, thankful to have such a trustworthy guardian at her side.

Police officer James Cannon is desperately searching for his canine partner, Bogart.  He gets a tip that the dog is at a cabin in the woods, and he confronts Shay, accusing her of dognapping his partner.  By the time they work out the misunderstanding, Shay can’t help but act on her attraction to the gorgeous cop.  She wants to be in charge for a change, and after another frightening encounter with Eric earlier in the day, she throws her inhibitions out the window.  Her no-strings encounter backfires because James is a great guy and wants more than what she’s originally willing to offer, but Shay’s demons won’t let her trust him.

Shay is a tragic character, and I couldn’t help liking her.  I wanted her to finally have a happy ending, because up until the start of this book, life has done nothing but crap on her.  Eric is a first-class bastard, and once Shay finds the courage to call it quits with him, he refuses to let her go.  His ego won’t let her call the shots, and his need to be in control puts her in an unenviable situation.  With the power that comes with his position at the bank, he arranges for Shay’s placement company to have her temped to bank.  Then he does everything he can to make her regret ever having met him.

Normally I would think the heroine was an idiot for not just going to the authorities when someone is harassing them, but Shay’s previous run-ins with the law makes it perfectly logical that she would avoid trying to get help from anyone.  She has always had one person to rely on, and that has always been herself.  The whole world seemed like it was out to get her when she was younger, so her reluctance to trust was believable.  James is still kind of an unknown, too.  She’s just met him, they got off on the wrong foot, and she can’t bring herself to confide in him, especially when he isn’t exactly upfront with her.  I loved the push and pull between them, and wondered how they would ever come to an understanding that allowed them to be open and trusting with each other.

If you like romantic suspense, you will love Irresistible Force. The hero is everything that Shay needs, Bogart has a starring role, and Shay learns to open her heart and finally learn to trust.  If you are like me and on the fence about romantic suspense, you have to give this book a try.  I couldn’t put it down, and even though I was squirming near the end during Shay’s life and death ordeal, I knew that James and Bogart would eventually race to her rescue – but only after Shay found the strength to save herself from the danger confronting her.  I can hardly wait to meet the protagonists from Force of Attraction, the next book in the series.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

“Incredible! You’ll be on the edge of your seat to see if the heroine can make it out alive.”—Catherine Coulter, New York Times bestselling author

When adrenaline runs high, so does the force of desire…

For Shay Appleton, it’s love at first sight when a gorgeous stray dog is brought into the animal shelter where she works. She just knows he’ll make a terrific watch dog—and with an abusive ex who won’t let go, she needs all the protection she can get. But Shay never suspected that her new pet is actually a trained police K-9 named Bogart—until Bogart’s even more gorgeous, human partner shows up on her doorstep.

IRRESISTIBLE FORCE by D.D. Ayres

Officer James Cannon is one tall, strong alpha male who’s convinced that Shay stole his dog. But once he gets closer to the suspect, he realizes that this stubborn, independent woman not only needs a guard dog, she needs James as well. It seems that someone from her past is stalking her, and threatening her life. When danger meets desire, will James risk his career and his best friend…to protect the woman who’s stolen his heart?

The post Review: Irresistible Force by D D Ayres appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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10. Review: Dead Sexy by Aleah Barley #zombies

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I love zombie books, but I have to admit that boyfriend zombies are my least favorite trope.  I just can’t get onboard with undead boyfriends.  I mean, let’s think about it for a second.  They are essentially decaying corpses with a craving for brains and raw flesh.  Your flesh, or the flesh of your friends.  It just doesn’t seem worth the risk to date a dead guy who could turn on you at any moment, going from Romeo to Hannibal Lector.  Though, since raw meat is his preferred dish, even my humble cooking skills would wow a hungry zombie.  Just head up to the local butcher shop, buy a tasty steak, and serve.  No fuss, no muss, if you overlook the dripping blood.

Now, I might be willing to make an exception for DS Thomas Conroy, the zombie government agent in Aleah Barley’s Dead Sexy.  He’s gorgeous, tall, dark, and firmly in control of his motor skills.  He works for a government agency that works to ensure equal treatment for zombies.  Since the plague 12 years ago, businesses have found a way to exploit this new source of labor.  Zombies work for low wages, rarely complain, and contentedly accept ground beef for an annual bonus.  This cheap influx of employees has forced many of the living factory workers out of a job, so the economy hasn’t improved much in Barley’s post-rising Detroit.  With the dead and the desperate roaming the streets, Motor City is even more dangerous than ever.

Gemma Sinclair works at the family mortuary, in addition to hunting zombies to help make ends meet for her and her mother.  Her uncle Donny works for them, and he’s a typical zombie; slow, can’t remember the past, and speaks only in stilted sentences.  Still, he’s family, and Gemma loves him, despite his undead condition.  Gemma is still mourning the death of her father, the one person who understood her.  After his death, he made certain that he didn’t come stumbling back to life, and now Gemma is bitter about losing him.  She doesn’t get along with her mother, and she chafes at still living at home.  Worse yet, she’s still a virgin and with her dangerous profession, she worries about dying before experiencing some hot sexy times.  No wonder she can’t get DS off her mind.  He’s about the only guy she’s been attracted to, even if he is dead.

I really enjoyed this short read.  It’s about category length, and the tone is snarky and humorous.  I don’t always like snarky heroines, but I found Gemma engaging and relatable.  She’s just trying to make a buck, be independent, and find herself a guy to love at the same time.  She and DS get off to a rocky start; she Tasers him and turns him over to the police, even after he saved her from a feral zombie.  To say that he’s a bit annoyed with her is an understatement.  To make up for the major inconvenience she has caused him, he makes her partner up with him on the case he’s working on.  An agent from Toledo, he needs help from someone more familiar with the streets of Detroit.  Zombies are disappearing, and it’s his job to find out way.  For 150 bucks an hour, plus expenses, Gemma’s happy to pitch in on his mission to find the missing Biters.

There are some annoying editing errors that jarred me from the story, but at .99 for the Kindle, Dead Sexy is a great buy.  I liked the protagonists and the setting, but I would have liked more background on the zombie plague.  Maybe I’ll get that in the next installment of this series, which I am eagerly looking forward to reading.

Grade:  B / B+

Review copy purchase from Amazon

From Amazon:

Mortuary attendant Gemma Sinclair hunts zombies for a living. It’s messy work, but it pays the bills… right up until she stun guns the wrong dead man in the ass.

Now to keep her family business going, Gemma’s forced into a partnership with federal agent D.S. Thomas Conroy. Zombies are disappearing all over town, and he needs Gemma’s help to figure out why.

With a villain on her trail and a gang of zombies ready to attack, Gemma’s just glad her backup is dead sexy…

The post Review: Dead Sexy by Aleah Barley #zombies appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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11. Novella Review: Captured by S J Harper

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I enjoyed Cursed and have been waiting impatiently for the next book in the  Fallen Siren series.  When I saw Captured, a prequel, up on Amazon, I didn’t hesitate to click the “Buy” button.  And why would I?  This suspenseful read is FREE.  If you enjoyed Cursed, too, or just want to get to know the characters before diving into the series, you have nothing to lose to snatching is up!  Plus it will tide you over until the October release of Reckoning.

Captured chronicles the first case Emma and Zack team up on.  On loan from the San Diego office when Zack’s partner is unable to help with a case, Emma is in Charleston to help Zack with two mission objectives.  First, locate Cooper Anderson, a four year boy who has been kidnapped, and two, capture the kidnapper before he or she strikes again. The federal agents are racing against time; two other little boys have already been murdered, and all signs point to the same perpetrator in their latest case.

Zack is a werewolf, and Emma is a Siren.  She’s been cursed for failing to keep Hades from kidnapping Persephone.  Tasked with redeeming herself in the eyes of Demeter, she works tirelessly to save innocent lives from harm.  She has a couple of rules that she won’t allow herself to break, the most important being:  never fall in love.  All of her lovers have met with unpleasant fates at the hands of the vengeful goddess, so Emma tries to save herself a lot of grief by not getting involved with anyone.  This proves a challenging task because the sparks fly between Zack and Emma as soon as they meet.

While the mystery isn’t too challenging, the blossoming romance between Emma and Zack kept me turning the pages.  They really click as a team, their work styles complimenting and strengthening each other in their race against time to find the missing boy.  Emma’s quest is doubly urgent, because she never knows if this is the the case that will bring her redemption for her failure centuries ago.  Every life held in the balance may bring about her freedom from Demeter’s vengeful rage.  Zack is a complication she doesn’t need, but can’t resist, regardless of how many times she’s been burned in the past.

Likeable characters make this a worthwhile read.  Captured reminded me how much I’m looking forward to the next book in the series! 

Grade:  B

Review copy purchased from Amazon FREE

From Amazon:

Join FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong.

She’s a Siren. He’s a Werewolf.

Their mission is redemption.

Emma Monroe is a Fallen Siren, cursed by the gods and banished to Earth for her failure to prevent the kidnapping of Persephone. She’s had many names and many lives, but only one mission: redemption. Now she works for the FBI and is on temporary assignment in Charleston. Solving this next missing persons case could be the key to ending her ancient curse—unless the temptation that’s her new partner gets in the way.

Zack Armstrong is a Werewolf. Tall, dark, and dangerous, he currently works for one of the bureau’s elite Child Abduction Rapid Deployment teams. In many respects the man is every bit as mysterious as his secret and perilous past. But there are two things he’s certain about, that he’s going to get his man and his woman.

When Zack finds himself suddenly shy a partner and a third child goes missing in Charleston, Emma goes from consultant to CARD team member in the space of a few hours. The abductions of the first two boys ended in murder, an outcome that neither Zack nor Emma can abide. As they race against time to track down the kidnapper and rescue the latest victim, they find themselves fighting something just as treacherous—a growing attraction that can’t be ignored or denied.

The post Novella Review: Captured by S J Harper appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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12. TURNING PAGES: COMPLICIT, by Stephanie Kuehn

This is necessarily going to be a shorter review, since this is a psychological thriller and there is virtually not much other than the barest of plot summaries I can share with you without providing spoilers and clues that you don't need. What I... Read the rest of this post

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13. Review: Knockdown by Brenda Beem

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Knockdown piqued my interest because it’s a survival story, and it takes place on a sailboat.  The mega-tsunami threatening to destroy every coastline in its path also seemed pretty interesting.  I haven’t read a post-apocalyptic story like this before, so I was game to give it a shot.  I really enjoyed it!

Toni’s at dive practice when her father sends her a text message to hurry to the marina where the family sailboat is docked. She’s worried and confused when he won’t answer his phone, and neither will the other members of her family.  She hears from teammates that disaster is headed in their direction. Mega-tsunamis are rushing toward the Pacific coastline, created after historic seismic events in Indonesia.  They have 18 hours until the tsunamis hit the Oregon coastline.  They have 18 hours to evacuate before the monster waves crush everything in their path.  Only when she gets to the boat, her parents aren’t there.  Only her twin brothers, and some of their friends, are waiting at the dock.  Toni doesn’t want to leave without her mom and dad, but they left strict instructions to head out to the ocean if they didn’t arrive by a certain time, and when they are no shows, the teens have no choice but to brave the open waters without them.

Goodness! Up until the tsunamis knockdown the sailboat, I was on the edge of my seat.  Literally.  The pacing is fantastic; it’s unrelenting and tense, and I could hardly breathe.  I didn’t understand how Toni and her small band of friends were continuing to function.  There is a raging wall of water bearing down on them, and their only hope of survival is to get far enough out to sea, seal up the boat, and hang on as the waves toss it about, flipping it over like an angry child with an unwanted toy.  Having once been caught in rough waters in a disabled boat, I could easily imagine how helpless Toni felt as their vessel was batted to and fro.

I was worried that after the tsunami raged by, the story would slow to a crawl.  That did not happen.  Though the teens survived the waves, they still had to survive the new world they found themselves in.  Coastlines all around the world were ravaged, island nations wiped clean, and most modern conveniences a thing of the past.  With the little group struggling to survive, suddenly the teens find themselves in need of water and provisions.  Worse, as the climate begins to change, sliding towards a new Ice Age, they must find ways to keep warm.

Toni is a capable narrator.  She easily conveys her feelings and fears, her dreams and hopes.  The boat is overcrowded, and tensions and personality conflicts begin to pick away at morale.  When tragedy strikes, it seems that the team will unravel into chaos, and Toni wonders how they will survive afterwards.  She worries that she’ll never see her parents again, and knows that the life she once had is long gone.  I really liked her and found it easy to relate to her.

I didn’t realize that Knockdown was the first in a series, or I might have passed on it.  I’m glad I didn’t.  The ending is satisfying, and I knew that Toni had found a temporary shelter from the destroyed world around her.  I liked the characters and I want find out what happens next, so I’ll be looking forward to Toni’s next adventures.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

A sail boat can tip over and come back up again. Sailors call this a knockdown.

In eighteen hours a mega tsunami will hit the Pacific Coast. It will leave in its wake massive destruction and the threat of an ice age.
Sixteen-year-old Toni, her brothers, and their friends race the clock as they sail Toni’s family boat far out to sea. They must get beyond where the wave crests, or the boat will be crushed.

Without their parents to guide them, the reluctant crew improvises. Romances bloom and tempers flare. There is no privacy. Cell phones won’t work. The engine breaks down. They are running out of time.

Even if they survive the wave, there is nowhere in this ravaged world to go. When disaster strikes, it is up to Toni to find the strength to lead the crew when her brothers cannot.

The post Review: Knockdown by Brenda Beem appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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14. TURNING PAGES: SOPHIE, IN SHADOW, by Eileen Kernaghan

This book is heartily recommended to anyone re-reading A PASSAGE TO INDIA this summer (hi, Lissa!), and to anyone whose childhood summers included Kipling's KIM, which is worth a re-read this summer as well. This book is for anyone who fears that... Read the rest of this post

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15. Thursday Review: ASK ME by Kimberly Pauley

If you were ever that kid who gobbled up Greek myths like popcorn, then, like me, you may have been a bit intrigued and mystified by those exalted yet still human personages, the oracles. Cloistered in a rarefied environment, like the Oracle of... Read the rest of this post

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16. Spotlight and Giveaway: Pocket Star-E July 14 Releases

Pocket Star has some great digital releases hitting stores today, and I have excerpts to share, as well as a giveaway for each title!   Check out Pocket Star’s online community at XOXO After Dark.

APPREHENDED by Jan Burke

SUMMARY:

From the New York Times bestselling suspense author Jan Burke comes a brand-new e-short story with the added bonus of three short stories from the Eighteen anthology.


Apprehended is a mini-anthology containing a brand new short story from Jan Burke: “The Unacknowledged,” which features the fan-favorite investigative reporter Irene Kelly, back in her journalism school days. Also included are three short stories from the previously published Eighteen: “Why Tonight,” “A Fine Set of Teeth,” and “A Man of My Stature.”
Praise for Eighteen:
“Astonishing…wry…these stories are sure to delight.” —New York Times bestselling author Jeffrey Deaver
“A delightful collection of page-turners. At turns chilling, funny, poignant—and always insightful. With these stories, Jan Burke’s at the top of her game.” —New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman

EXCERPT:

I made sure we were alone. That was actually the hardest part. After realizing that no restaurant in the city would be free of people who might know Donna, I ended up inviting her over for dinner on a night when I knew Lydia had an evening class. Until two months earlier, Lydia and I had shared the place with another roommate, but she had married over the summer. We had been putting off finding another renter, but tonight I was glad for the lack of a potential eavesdropper, enjoying the emptiness and quiet that usually had me thinking that I was going to have to move back home again.

Donna and I made small talk until after I cleared the dishes. She seemed a little down. All the same, she was an easy person to talk to. I was fighting some very cynical thinking about that as I pulled out some photocopies I had made.

I had thought of going all Perry Mason on her ass, cross-examining her until she wept and admitted her crimes. I couldn’t do it. The truth is, I liked her.

“I had a special assignment given to me this week,” I said. “Do you know who Jack Corrigan is?”

She shook her head. My tone must have hardened, or my look, or—somehow I tipped her off that the nature of our little dinner party was about to change.

“Well, I suppose that doesn’t matter. I have a feeling that you do know who Cassie Chadwick was.”

She, who blushed so easily, turned pale. She looked at me with such desperation that, for a full minute, I wasn’t sure if she was going to cry, run away, or punch me. But she just nodded yes and looked down at her hands.

“If she hadn’t harmed so many people,” I said, “I could almost admire her cunning, not to mention her nerve. After running a number of other scams, she marries a naive doctor from Cleveland, just happens to convince him that they should visit New York at the same time a man from home is there—a man who is a high-society gossip in Cleveland. She asks that man to give her a carriage ride, and has him wait for her outside the home of Andrew Carnegie, a wealthy, confirmed bachelor. She goes into the house, comes out thirty minutes later, and—this part really interested me—trips as she’s getting into the carriage. Drops a promissory note for two million dollars—a note that appears to be signed by Andrew Carnegie, whom she blushingly claims is her father.”

She stayed silent.

“Too bad promissory notes aren’t what they used to be. Planning to borrow millions based on phony documents, and cause a bank or two to fail?”

“No.”

“I didn’t think so.” I let the silence stretch for a time, then said, “Who told you about Cassie Chadwick?”

“Aunt Lou, my great aunt. She grew up hearing stories about her. Aunt Lou claimed to ‘admire her brass’ as she put it. Aunt Lou doesn’t think women ever get a fair shake in this world.”

“Is Donna Vynes your real name?”

“My married name, yes.” She was tracing patterns on the tablecloth with one of her perfect fingers, still not making eye contact.

“So you’re really a war widow?”

The finger stopped moving. She looked up at me. “Oh yes. And my mother is dead. John, my husband, sent home all of his pay—a little over a hundred and fifty dollars a month at first. It was up to about four hundred when he was killed. Just about everything he saved for us got spent on my mother’s medical needs. But John also bought some life insurance through the service. So I had ten thousand from that.”

“That’s where the seven thousand comes from?”

“Yes.” She sighed. “There was this neighbor of Aunt Lou’s in Cleveland. Her daughter was about my age. Despite all my other faults, I’m not like Eldon, so I won’t name her, if you don’t mind. Anyway, at the end of last semester, she dropped out of school here. Looking back on it now, I think she was just really homesick.

“But what she told me was . . . well, once we got to know each other, she said the reason she left was because Eldon Naff slept with her and then told the world about it. She said she had been working as an assistant for Mr. Langworthy, or rather to someone on his staff. She said it was Mr. Langworthy who fired her, mostly based on Eldon’s gossip. I don’t know if that’s true, but I learned a lot about Mr. Langworthy from her. Including the fact that in early September, he was going on a Mediterranean cruise.

“And I couldn’t help thinking about Mr. Carnegie and Mrs. Chadwick. Especially because I never knew my dad. My mother always said my father died while she was pregnant with me, but I think she was lying. Aunt Lou all but confirmed that my parents weren’t married. So I am illegitimate, just not the child of a rich man.”

After a long silence, she said, “God, I don’t know how you did it, but I’m glad you figured it out. It’s a relief.”

Link continuing the excerpt to XOXOAfterDark:

http://xoxoafterdark.com/2014/07/08/pocket-star-e-nights-apprehended-jan-burke/?mcd=z_140714_Burke_PSEN

US residents only, please

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TRIED by Jan Burke

SUMMARY:

With a brand-new short story featuring Tyler Hawthorne from The Messenger, plus three stories from Eighteen, this is the third of six e-short story collections from New York Times bestselling suspense author Jan Burke.

EXCERPT:

At this hour, although two other attendants roamed another part of the cemetery, Tyler and Shade were alone in this section of the hilly grounds. Suddenly Shade stiffened. His ears pitched forward and his hackles rose. He gave a low, soft growl.

Tyler came to a halt. Shade protected him, but the dog seldom growled at living beings.

In the next moment, the air was filled with what he at first took to be bats, then saw were small birds, of a type Tyler had never seen so far inland. “Mother Carey’s chickens,” he said, using the sailors’ name for them. Storm petrels. “What are they doing here?”

The birds fluttered above him, then a half dozen dropped to the ground before Shade in a small cluster. The scent of the sea rose strongly all about him, as if someone had transported him to the deck of a ship.

Shade stared hard at them as they cheeped frantically, then the dog relaxed into a sitting position.

The other petrels flew away. No sooner had they gone than the six before him were transformed into the ghostly figures of men.

They were forlorn creatures, gray-faced and looking exactly as what they must be, drowned men. Their uniforms proclaimed two as officers, the other four as sailors, all but one of the British navy.

Shade’s demeanor told him that these ghosts—unlike some others—would be no threat to him.

“May I be of help to you?” Tyler asked.

“Captain Hawthorne?” the senior officer asked.

“I believe the rank belongs more rightly to you,” Tyler said. “I was a captain in the British army many years ago, but I sold out after Waterloo.”

“Yes, sir,” the captain said, “I understand. If I may introduce myself to you, I am Captain Redding, formerly of the Royal Navy. Lost at sea in about your—your original time, sir.”

They exchanged bows.

“You are a Messenger?” Captain Redding asked.

“Yes.”

“We are all men who drowned at sea. Many of those in the flock you called ‘Mother Carey’s chickens’ are indeed just that. We come from many nations, taken by that sea witch Mother Carey, yet death has made us all birds of a feather. Little birds tell other little birds news of those such as yourself, and speak of Shade as well.”

The dog gave a slight wag of his tail in acknowledgment.

The captain went on. “The midshipman we bring to you is an American. Hails from here in Buffalo. We approach you on his behalf.” He turned to the man. “Step forward, Midshipman Bailey, and tell the captain your story, for we’ve not much time left.”

“Aye, sir.” The midshipman gave Tyler a small bow. “Thank you, sir. If you would be so kind to visit my sister, who lies dying not far from here. In the asylum, sir. The good one. We’ve all of us in her family done her a grave injustice.” He looked down at his feet. “Many injustices.”

“When were you lost at sea?” Tyler asked gently.

“Eight years ago, sir, in ’63. In the War Between the States. Would have done more for my country if Zeb Nador hadn’t pushed me overboard in a storm.”

“Do you ask me to seek justice for you?”

“Not necessary for me, Nador’s in the county jail here and will face trial for murdering someone else. He’ll hang as well for that one as for what he did to me.”

Tyler was about to try to say something to comfort him, unsure what that might be, when one of the other men whispered, “Hurry!”

Midshipman Bailey nodded, then said, “Will you go to her, sir? Her name is Susannah. She needs you tonight. And if you’d tell her Andrew sent you to her, and that she was always the best of his sisters, and that he sees things clearer now, and hopes to one day rest at her side—”

“Hurry!” the captain ordered.

“Well, sir, I’d take it as a great kindness.”

“I would be honored to do so, Midshipman Bailey.”

“Thank you!” he said, and had no sooner whispered these words than all six men again transformed into small birds and rose from the ground. They circled in the air above him, where they were joined again by the larger flock. He had thought they would begin their long journey back to the sea, but they surprised him by surrounding him and the dog.

Quite clearly, he heard hundreds of voices whisper to him at once, “Storm’s coming!”

And they were gone.

Shade immediately headed toward the nearest gate at a brisk trot. He glanced back at Tyler in impatience. Tyler hurried to catch up.

“There is more than one asylum, you know. The closest is still under construction, which leaves Providence Lunatic Asylum and the Erie County Almshouse—”

It wasn’t hard to read the next look he received.

“I apologize. Yes, Sister Rosaline Brown’s would be the ‘good one.’ And of course you will know the way and of course you will be admitted, although large black dogs, as a rule . . .”

Shade wagged his tail.

Providence Lunatic Asylum was operated by the Sisters of Charity, who had previously established a hospital in Buffalo. They had arrived in the city just in time to deal with the early cholera epidemics and were considered heroes by many. In 1860, horrified by conditions in the Erie County Almshouse and Insane Asylum, Sister Rosaline Brown started the asylum, which attempted a more humane treatment of the insane.

The dog paused at the small building closest to the cemetery’s main gate. Tyler understood what he was meant to do. Hailing the man who was keeping watch, Tyler said, “A severe storm is coming. Please call the other men in.”

“Storm?” the man said, bewildered.

“Yes, it’s calm now, but I just saw a flock of storm petrels. Sea birds. The only reason they’d be this far inland is if a hurricane had blown them here.”

He bid the man a quick good night and wondered if he would heed the warning.

In the next moment the wind came up, and trees began to rustle and sway. Shade leaped into the gig Tyler had left tied at the gate. Tyler glanced over his shoulder and saw the watchman gather a large lantern, and soon heard him calling out to the others.

Link continuing the excerpt to XOXOAfterDark:

http://xoxoafterdark.com/2014/07/08/pocketstarenights-tried-jan-burke/?mcd=z_140714_Burke2_PSEN

US residents only, please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

CONVICTED by Jan Burke

SUMMARY:

From New York Times bestselling suspense author Jan Burke comes the fourth of six e-short story collections.
Convicted is a mini-anthology containing a brand-new short story, “The Anchorwoman” featuring a young Irene Kelly, plus three stories from the highly acclaimed Eighteen print anthology: “Revised Endings, “Devotion,” and “The Muse.” Jeffery Deaver, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Kill Room, praised Eighteen as “Astonishing…wry…these stories are sure to delight.” And New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman says, “A delightful collection of page-turners. At turns chilling, funny, poignant—and always insightful. With these stories, Jan Burke’s at the top of her game.”

EXCERPT:

“So at ten o’clock on Wednesday, five clowns—probably males—jumped out of a moving van parked in the alley behind your house and started singing ‘Oklahoma!’—do I have it right so far?”

“Yes.”

“Did they seem to be looking up at you, singing it to you?”

She hesitated, then said, “I’m not sure. They glanced in my direction every now and then, but they didn’t stand still and serenade me. They moved around, danced, and did high kicks and cartwheels.”

“Then what happened?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“They climbed back into the van and drove off.”

“Were they all in the cab, or were some riding in the back?”

“Two in the back.”

Illegal and dangerous.

“Did you see anything in the van itself? Furniture?”

“I didn’t get a good look at the back. The angle was wrong.”

I looked at my notes. What hadn’t I asked?

“What about the van itself—Bekins? Allied? North American?—what moving company?”

She was shaking her head before I finished. “Not a moving company. It was a rented van. Las Piernas Rentals.”

“Well—that’s a lucky break.”

“Why?”

“Local rental company with three locations, all within town. If it had been one of the nationals, the truck could have come from anywhere. License-plate number?”

“No, again, I couldn’t see it from that angle.”

“How big was the van?”

“Big. I don’t know.”

I tried to come up with vehicles to compare it with, which didn’t work with her, but when I got her to say how much of the Mickelsons’ house the van had blocked, I had a reasonable idea. Another idea struck me.

“Did you see a number on it? Most rental companies paint numbers on their trucks, to keep track of which ones they’re renting, I suppose.”

“I looked for one, but it had a big piece of paper taped over it—like butcher paper, maybe?”

I hesitated, telling myself that I needed to separate latenineteenth- century fiction from the present problem. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

“Cokie, are there any banks or businesses on the other side of the alley?”

“There’s a row of homes, that’s all.”

“Anybody doing any kind of business out of a house that you know of?”

“No.”

“I mean any kind of business. Any pot growers? Drug dealers?”

“No! We did have a problem when Auggie and Andrea Sands lived at the end of the cul-de-sac, but their mom kicked them out. That was about three years ago.”

“She kicked them out for selling drugs?” Lydia asked.

We had known the Sands twins in high school. Always in trouble.

“Kicked Auggie out for selling drugs, and Andrea for banging her boyfriend in the living room. Their mom came home early with a friend from work. Guess that was the last straw.”

“How did their mom find out that Auggie was dealing?”

“One of the neighbors told her.”

“You?”

“No. I didn’t want to mess with those people.”

“Do Andrea and Auggie know you weren’t the one?”

She frowned. “They should. They have no reason to think I would tell on them.”

I exchanged a glance with Lydia and moved on.

“Anyone in the neighborhood angry with you?”

“You think singing clowns is a sign of aggression?”

“A possibility, anyway.”

She smiled. “I’m so glad you see it that way. My parents think it was something fun, as if I have a secret admirer. But it doesn’t feel that way to me. It seemed to me that someone wanted . . . well, to ridicule me.”

I bent my head over my notes and hoped my hair hid my blush. I certainly felt ashamed of my meaner thoughts about her.

“It seems crazy to think that,” she went on, “but . . . it didn’t make me happy, it made me feel as if I had been targeted, and someone went to a lot of trouble to do it. I’m a little scared by that. But I can’t think of anyone who would feel that mad at me. I get along with my neighbors. I’m one of the last young people still living on our street, and I try to help my older neighbors. I visit them. I run errands for them.”

A passage in “The Red-Headed League” came to mind:

“As a rule,” said Holmes, “the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious

it proves to be. It is your commonplace, featureless crimes which are

really puzzling, just as a commonplace face is the most difficult to

identify.”

Easy for him to say. But was there some commonplace crime hiding beneath all that clown makeup?

“Cokie, what would you normally be doing on a Wednesday morning at about that time?”

“Normally, I’d be playing canasta with the widows.”

“I hate to admit it, but I don’t understand.”

“You know, the card game.”

“Yes, I even know how to play it. Who are the widows?”

“Oh. Three of my neighbors. One day Mrs. Redmond—she’s across the street and one house down—mentioned to me how much she loved the canasta parties that used to be held on the

street. I talked to a couple of people about it, and long story short, we started playing canasta at her house on Wednesday mornings.”

“Who are the other players?”

“Just two, Mrs. Harding and Mrs. Lumfort.”

“Who knows that you do this?”

“Everyone on our street.”

“So because of the clowns, you arrived late?”

“No, we didn’t have a game that day. Mrs. Harding was . . . out of town. Mrs. Lumfort had a doctor’s appointment. Mrs. Redmond’s beautician had asked her to move her hair appointment to that morning, so because it was just going to be the two of us, she asked me if I’d mind just canceling. I told her it wasn’t a problem.”

“You hesitated about Mrs. Harding. What was going on with her?”

“Nothing. She went to a lawyer’s appointment with one of her granddaughters. Kayla just moved in with her.”

That name was vaguely familiar. Why did I know it?

“Kayla Harding?” Lydia asked. “My brother Gio used to date her.”

Gio was five years older than Lydia, and the list of girls he dated in high school was only slightly shorter than the list of female students in his graduating class. The fact that he hadn’t been burned in effigy years ago spoke to his abundant charm. Lydia claimed he genuinely cared about all of them, which seemed unlikely.

“Kayla ended up in prison, didn’t she?” Lydia went on. “Stole a car.”

“Yes,” Cokie said, “but she’s been out for a couple of weeks now.”

“Friend of yours?” I asked.

“No. I know her sister better than I know her.”

“Mindy,” Lydia said. “She’s our age.”

“Yes. I’m not close friends with Mindy, either. I just see her when she visits her grandmother.”

“Kind of a Goody-Two-Shoes, isn’t she?” I said.

“That can happen when you’re trying to show the world you aren’t like your troublemaking sister, right?” Lydia said.

Cokie and I shrugged.

“Think of your sister, Barbara,” Lydia said to me.

“I’d rather not,” I said.

“Mindy is Kayla’s half sister,” the ever-informative Cokie said. “Their father is on his third marriage. Widowed once, divorced once, and the third seems to be the charm. So Mindy

just claims that she’s ‘only’ a half sister when she gets annoyed at Kayla.”

“Told you she was a bitch,” I said.

“Not exactly,” Lydia said.

“Yeah, well . . .” I glanced at my watch. “We’ve got a couple of hours to try to find the Las Piernas Rentals location that rented out the van.”

I used the Yellow Pages in the phone book to get the three addresses and phone numbers of the rental places, then opened the Thomas Guide, a book of detailed maps of Los Angeles County that only a fool would try to live without. A lost fool.

Cokie readily agreed to come along with me, but Lydia, thinking of the discomfort associated with being the third person in a Karmann Ghia, opted out.

Link continuing the excerpt to XOXOAfterDark:

http://xoxoafterdark.com/2014/07/08/pocket-star-e-nights-convicted-jan-burke/?mcd=z_140714_Burke3_PSEN

US residents only, please

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Pocket Star-E July 14 Releases appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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17. Spotlight and Giveaway: Ignite July Releases


Set fire to your passions with heart stopping suspense, adventure, and intrigue from Ignite. Each Ignite title features to-die-for heroes and kick-butt heroines on an emotional roller coaster ride toward love. With new books and new passions exploding every month, every Ignite novel is one you can’t put down until the last page is turned. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books are coming next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, and like their Facebook page.

Today I’m happy to be featuring Ignite’s July Releases!!



Alive at 5 by Linda Bond

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!


When Samantha’s mentor dies while skydiving, she suspects he was murdered. Her investigative instincts lead her to irresistibly gorgeous Zack Hunter. An undercover police officer, Zack is investigating his uncle’s diving death with the same adventure vacation company. He doesn’t want Samantha’s help because he’s terrified of being responsible for a partner again. Still, Samantha’s persistence is quite a turn-on, and he finds it harder and harder to stay away from her. But when the killer turns his attention to Zack, Samantha could be the only one who can save him.



Down Among the Dead Men by Claire Baxter

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!

Determined to find her estranged father, Caitlyn ventures into the rough, tough world of the South Australian opal fields. Instead of finding her father, she discovers a half-sister she knew nothing about and learns that her dad is a wanted man. Dale, a former city lawyer-turned-lapidary, is hiding out in Minagoona to protect his daughter. Caitlyn convinces Dale to work with her to clear her father’s name. No matter what, he’ll do his damnedest to keep her safe—even if it means exposing himself and his daughter to the men who want to kill them…




 

The post Spotlight and Giveaway: Ignite July Releases appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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18. Review: We Were Liars by E Lockhart

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

Wow! This is a hard book to review, because it’s so important for the reader to go in blind, or it won’t work.  The slow unfolding of Cady’s forgotten memory, like a languid summer day, is suspenseful and engrossing.  I started reading They Were Liars without even reading the blurb, and I’m glad I didn’t.  Knowing too much going in spoils the mystery of Cady’s lost summer, so I hadn’t even read any reviews for the book.  I hate spoilers!

I’ll give you a general overview of the story, with no spoilers, and try to tell you how I felt about it without ruining the read for you.  Deep breath – here we go!

Cady spends her summers on Beechwood, the family island.  Her grandparents, and each of their three daughters, have a house there, and Cady’s summer days are spent swimming, hanging out with her cousins, and enjoying the closeness of her extended family.  Everything seems so idyllic to her, until she turns fifteen.  Then her life slowly starts to unravel; her father leaves her and her mother, moving to Colorado with another woman.  Because her family doesn’t believe in actually expressing your feelings, her mother works out her hurt and grief by erasing every trace of Cady’s father from their life.  Their old furniture is given away, the house in Vermont is redecorated, and only then can they begin their summer vacation.

While Cady is hurt and confused, and hadn’t found the process of rearranging the house therapeutic, her mother continues on as though nothing has happens, and she expects Cady to do the same.  Stiff upper lip, steady square jaw, no emotional outbursts allowed.   It’s during this pivotal summer that Cady realizes how imperfect her family is.  Petty jealousies tear away at her aunts.  Her grandfather takes pleasure in fueling the discord between his children.  And Gat, her cousin Johnny’s friend, a boy she’s known forever, has suddenly stolen her heart, despite her family’s disapproval, because Gat doesn’t fit into their wealthy, white world view.

Cady is an unreliable narrator, and I was never sure when she was telling the truth, or what she thought was the truth.  When she forgets most of summer fifteen after suffering a traumatic brain injury, she frantically attempts to discover what happened.  Why was she swimming by herself?  Why won’t her mom or the rest of her family tell her what happened that warm summer night?

While I loved Cady’s voice, I’m not so sure that I liked this over-indulged, spoiled young woman.  Even though I was at odds about how I felt about her and her equally privileged cousins,  I could not put the book down.  Now that it’s a day after I finished We Were Liars, I can’t even tell you if I liked the book.  All I know is that it held me mesmerized, and all I wanted was to find out the truth behind Cady and her whacked family.  If you are looking for a quick, hard to put down read, We Were Liars has your name written all over it. 

Grade:  B/B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

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19. Spotlight and Giveaway: Veiled Target by Robin Bielman

 
Enter to Win
$15.00 eGift Card of Winners Choosing


VEILED TARGET
Veilers #1
Robin Bielman
Released July 22nd, 2014

 

Never take Fate along on a date. The kiss goodnight could be deadly.

Tracking down Veilers—non humans—is only a sideline for Tess Damon. Vengeance for her fiancé’s murder is her reason for living. But with two botched jobs on her record, if she fails to eliminate her next mark, she’s dead. She’s not afraid to die, but not before she gets even. Too bad fate has a really bad sense of humor.

Hugh Langston, a wolfen half shifter, lives to keep both humans and his pack safe. But when rogue humans kidnap his apprentice, his rescue mission is compromised by a hot-as-hell, kick-ass woman who makes him think only one thing: mine.

Tess tries to ignore her feelings, but temptation trips her up. Especially when Hugh figures out he’s her next target and forces her into an inconvenient alliance that tests all the laws against their attraction. Now, with the line between good and evil getting blurrier by the minute, it becomes clear Tess’s only hope of living to see another day—and finding a murderer—lies with the one man she’s supposed to kill.


 
 
 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


“Cut the crap, Tess. Why were you following me?”
“How do you know I was following you?” Oops. She meant to say, “What makes you think I was following you?”
He gave a knowing smile—that looked ridiculously sexy rather than irritating. “I know you don’t want to insult my intelligence so let’s just say for argument’s sake, if you were following me, why would that be?”
At least she’d gotten him to change his tone.
“Truthfully?” She leaned a little closer to him. She couldn’t help it.
“That would be nice.”
“I’m really not a very nice person,” she announced.
“Neither am I.” He reached out and moved a strand of hair behind her ear.
Was he trying to confuse her? Because it was working. She’d nearly fallen into his hand before he pulled it away. He was indeed a very bad man.
“That’s good. I hate nice guys. So where does that leave us?”
“I haven’t got all night, Tess.” He lowered his chin, indicating—she presumed—he was growing tired of their banter.
She lifted an eyebrow. “No? That’s too bad. I’m a night owl. I can—”
“Answer my question before I haul you to your car over my shoulder.” His tone sent a little zing of pleasure right to the tips of her breasts.
“As if you could—” She was over his shoulder in one second flat. He moved swiftly, quietly and with superhuman strength. Uh oh. “Hey, put me down!”
He started down the alley, seemingly unbothered by her spastic attempts to get him to let her go. “You ready to walk and talk now?”
“Fine,” she conceded, although the view of his backside was pretty damn good.
When both feet securely hit the ground, she tugged down her dress and shifted the V-neck into place. He watched her squirm to put the rest of the material back where it belonged and his roving eyes heated her from the inside out.
“I followed you because I wanted to help.”
He started walking. “Do I look like I need help?” A little gleam—and major interest?—flickered in his sideways glance.
“Well, no. But I’m very capable and I didn’t feel like going home, so I decided there was no harm in making myself available to you should you need me.” She took a deep breath. It was time to put the question out there. “Did you know Dane is a—”
“Wolfen? Yeah I know.”
“How do you—”
He stopped and turned toward her with confusion and passion in his deep blue eyes. For several seconds he stared at her, like he was trying to get inside her head. Guess what she was thinking. “I’m the leader of the Night Runners,” he finally said.
She imagined he’d told her something he’d never told another human being before.
What the hell was she going to do now?


 

USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman lives in Southern California with her high school sweetheart husband, two sons, and crazy-cute mini Labradoodle, Harry. When not attached to her laptop, she can almost always be found with her nose in a book. She also likes to run, hike, and dip her toes in the ocean. Filled with wanderlust, she longs to visit many different places and fulfill her curiosity. She wouldn’t mind indulging her sweet tooth in every location either. She’s a lover of sticky notes, cable television shows and coffee drinks. Writing is a dream come true, and she still pinches herself to be sure it’s real.

She writes contemporary and paranormal romance and loves to connect with readers. Learn more and sign up for her newsletter on her website at http://robinbielman.com. She can also be found online here:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/RobinBielmanWriter

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RobinBielman

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/robinbielman 





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20. Interview with Kay Thomas, Author of Personal Target

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Good morning, Kay!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Kay Thomas] Wife, Mother, Writer, Friend, Believer

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Personal Target?

[Kay Thomas] Here’s the scoop straight from the back cover copy:

A former SEAL and Black Ops specialist who left the CIA, Nick Donovan gave up a life on the edge to work in the private sector. But that didn’t stop his enemies from coming after him, or his family. In a case of mistaken identity, a drug cartel kidnaps his sister-in-law’s best friend…a woman from Nick’s past.

One minute Jennifer Grayson is housesitting and the next she is abducted to a foreign brothel. Jennifer is planning her escape when her first “customer” arrives. Nick, the man who broke her heart years ago, has come to her rescue. Now as they race for their lives, passion reignites as old secrets resurface. Can Nick keep the woman he loves safe against an enemy with a personal vendetta?

At its core, the book is about a case of mistaken identity and a very personal vendetta. Personal Target takes the reader from Dallas to Mexico, across the African Savanna, to the shores of the Mediterranean in a race against time for Nick to save the woman he loves but lost ten years ago.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Can you share your favorite scene?

[Kay Thomas] One of my favorite scenes to write was when Nick and Jennifer met on the page for the first time. They have a history together, but their summer affair was over long ago. In this scene, Jennifer has been kidnapped, and Nick has come to take her away from the people holding her captive.

Here’s the link to that excerpt. http://www.kaythomas.net/books/personal-target/exclusive-excerpt-reveal.html

The woman at the vanity turned, and Nick’s breath caught in his throat. He had known it would be Jenny, and despite what he’d thought about downstairs when he’d seen her on the tablet screen, he hadn’t prepared himself for seeing her like this. Seated at the table with candles all around, she was wearing a sheer robe over a gray thong and a bustier kind of thing, or that’s what he thought the full-length bra was called.

He spotted the small unicorn tat peeping out from the edge of whatever the lingerie piece was and his brain quit processing details as all the blood in his head rushed south. He’d been primed to come in and tell Jenny exactly how they were getting out of the house and away from these people and now . . . this. His mouth went dry at the sight of her. She looked like every fantasy he’d ever had about her rolled into one.

He continued to stare as recognition flared in her eyes.

“Oh my God,” she said. “It’s . . .”

She clapped her mouth closed, and her eyes widened. That struck him as odd. The relief on her face was obvious, but instead of looking at him, she took an audible breath and studied the walls of the room. When she finally did glance at him again, her eyes had changed.

“So you’re who they’ve sent me for my first time?” Her voice sounded bored, not the tone he remembered. “What do you want me to do?”

What a question. He raised an eyebrow, but she shook her head. In warning?

Nothing here was as he’d anticipated. He continued staring at her, hoping the lust would quit fogging his brain long enough for him to figure out what was going on.

“I’ve been told to show you a good time.” Her voice was cold, downright chilly. Without another word she stood and crossed the floor, slipping into his arms with her breasts pressing into his chest. “It’s you.” She murmured the words in the barest of whispers.

Nick’s mind froze, but his body didn’t. On autopilot his hands automatically went to her waist as she kissed his neck, working her way up to his ear. This was not at all what he’d planned.

“I can’t believe you’re here.” She breathed the words into his ear.

Me either, he thought, but kept the news to himself as he pulled her closer. His senses flooded with all that smooth skin pressing against him. His body tightened, and his right hand moved to cup her ass. Her cheek’s bare skin was silky soft, like he remembered. God, he’d missed her. She melted into him as his body switched into overdrive.

“What do you want?” She spoke louder. The artic tone was back. He was confused and knew he was just too stupid with wanting her to figure out what the hell was going on. There was no way the woman could mistake the effect she was having.

She moved her lips closer to his ear and nipped his earlobe before she spoke in a hushed tone. “Cameras are everywhere. I’m not sure about microphones.”

And just like that, cold reality slapped him in the face. He should have been expecting it, but he’d been so focused on getting her out and making sure she was all right. She might be glad to see him because he was there to save her, but throwing her body at him was an act.

Jesus. He had to get them both out of here without tipping his hand to the cameras and those watching what he was doing. He was crazy not to have considered it once he saw those tablets downstairs, but it had never occurred to him that he would have to play this encounter through as if he was really a client.

He slipped her arms from around his neck and moved to the table to pour himself some wine, willing his hands not to shake. “I want you,” he said, clearly and loudly enough for any microphone in the room to pick up.

She smiled, but her expression wasn’t warm. “Do you now?” Her frigid tone was so at odds with the woman he’d known years ago.

He knew what he had to do. Monique and company were expecting them to have wild sex. If they’d been truly alone, it wouldn’t have been a hardship. And regardless of the circumstances, that’s exactly what he was going to have to pretend to do. He had to make love to Jenny knowing others were watching, at least until that distraction of Bryan’s came through.

There wouldn’t be any sneaking out of the room or the house before then. Guards were most likely gathered around security monitors at this very moment, drinking beer and taking bets as to how long Nick would last before he came. They were expecting to see some action.

“What do you think I want?” His voice was pitched low but loud enough for the mics as he took a sip of the wine. “Didn’t they tell you what to expect?”

Copyright © 2014 by Kay Thomas. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Kay Thomas] I adored the research. Much of the story takes place in Africa. I loved “travelling online” and learning about the continent and the different countries. I liked researching so much that it was sometimes a challenge to pull myself away from the research and do the actual writing itself.

Talking with people who’ve lived in the places I wrote about was fascinating. With some of the exotic locales in this series, I’ve found it helpful to read blogs written by those who have just moved to an area and are sharing their day-to-day experiences. Through the marvels of the internet, I was able to get an authentic feel for what those extreme locations were like when I virtually visited the jungles of Mexico or the edge of the Sahara, without leaving my office chair.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Kay Thomas] A book to read, if I have downtime where I’m going. Nowadays that can be a Kindle or even my phone with the Kindle App.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Kay Thomas] Only three? I’m glad you can’t actually see my desk. : )

There’s an empty plate from breakfast (I had toast). A box of Kleenex. (I have allergies). Two tape measures. (I have no idea why they are here.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?

[Kay Thomas] When I’m working on deadline is the only time I don’t really care what I eat. (It’s sort of my optimum time for a diet because I don’t notice if what I’m eating tastes like cardboard or ambrosia.) But my favorite snack is a cinnamon toast rice cake with almond butter. I could live off of that.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Kay Thomas] I honestly can’t think of anyone I’d like to trade places with, even for a day. I like being me. : )

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week.  Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

[Kay Thomas] Ohhh, great question. I think I’d like to be able to “teleport” so I could snap my fingers and be anywhere in the world. There are so many places I’d like to see and people I’d like to visit that just live too far away.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Kay Thomas] I’ve been LOVING Laura Griffin’s work. I’ve glommed on to her entire backlist and, sadly, I just finished the last book. (sniff, sniff)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Kay Thomas] I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and sometimes, Pinterest.

My website: www.KayThomas.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KayThomasWrites

Twitter: www.twitter.com/KayThomasWrites

Pinterest: www.pinterest/KayThomasWrites

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you for stopping by!

AEGIS: an elite team of ex-military men working under the radar of most governments. If you have a problem no one else can handle, they can help.

A former SEAL and Black Ops specialist who left the CIA, Nick Donovan gave up a life on the edge to work in the private sector. But that didn’t stop his enemies from coming after him—or his family. In a case of mistaken identity, a drug cartel kidnaps his sister-in-law’s best friend … a woman from Nick’s past.

One minute Jennifer Grayson is housesitting and the next she’s abducted to a foreign brothel. Jennifer is planning her escape when her first “customer” arrives. Nick, the man who broke her heart years ago, has come to her rescue. Now, as they race for their lives, passion for each other reignites and old secrets resurface. Can Nick keep the woman he loves safe against an enemy with a personal vendetta?

The post Interview with Kay Thomas, Author of Personal Target appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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21. Spotlight and Giveaway: Personal Target by Kay Thomas

 

Personal Target

An Elite Ops Novel

By: Kay Thomas

Releasing July 29th, 2014

Avon Impulse

Blurb

AEGIS: an elite team of ex-military men working under the radar of most governments. If you have a problem no one else can handle, they can help.

A former SEAL and Black Ops specialist who left the CIA, Nick Donovan gave up a life on the edge to work in the private sector. But that didn’t stop his enemies from coming after him—or his family. In a case of mistaken identity, a drug cartel kidnaps his sister-in-law’s best friend … a woman from Nick’s past.

One minute Jennifer Grayson is housesitting and the next she’s abducted to a foreign brothel. Jennifer is planning her escape when her first “customer” arrives. Nick, the man who broke her heart years ago, has come to her rescue. Now, as they race for their lives, passion for each other reignites and old secrets resurface. Can Nick keep the woman he loves safe against an enemy with a personal vendetta?

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/07/personal-target-by-kay-thomas-elite-ops.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22308416-personal-target?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Personal-Target-Elite-Ops-Book-ebook/dp/B00KACAU5I/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&keywords=personal%20target%20by%20kay%20thomas&linkCode=ur2&qid=1400188200&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&tag=kaytho-20&linkId=VKJ26JGVY7WLJSJ5

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/personal-target-kay-thomas/1119566027?ean=9780062290878

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/personal-target/id877703928?mt=11

Author Info

Kay Thomas didn’t grow up burning to be a writer. She wasn’t even much of a reader until fourth grade. That’s when her sister readThe Black Stallion aloud to her. For hours Kay was enthralled—shipwrecked and riding an untamed horse across desert sand. Then tragedy struck. Her sister lost her voice. But Kay couldn’t wait to hear what happened in the story—so she picked up that book, finished reading it herself, and went in search of more adventures at the local library.
Today Kay lives in Dallas with her husband, two children, and a shockingly spoiled Boston terrier. Her award-winning novels have been published internationally.

Author Links

http://www.kaythomas.net/

https://www.facebook.com/KayThomasWrites

https://twitter.com/KayThomaswrites

$75.00 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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22. Spotlight: Dangerous Territory by Emmy Curtis

 

About DANGEROUS TERRITORY

A SEXY STRANGER

Flirting with danger is reporter Grace Grainger’s modus operandi. But she’s learned the hard way not to grow attached to the soldiers she’s embedded with in Afghanistan. To escape from her pain and loneliness, she fantasizes about the hot night she spent with a gorgeous stranger three years before in D.C. Grace never thought she’d see him again-let alone need him to rescue her . . .

AN EXPLOSIVE NIGHT

Air Force Master Sergeant Josh Travers knows journalists are nothing but trouble. So when he has to risk the lives of his team to save some reporter who’s been separated from her patrol, he’s not happy-until he recognizes her stunning eyes and delicious curves. Josh has never wanted a woman like he wants Grace. Even in an Afghan cave with a sandstorm and enemy troops closing in, he can’t deny the desire. This might be the end for both of them-or one hell of a beginning.

About Emmy Curtis

Emmy Curtis is an editor and a romance writer. An ex-pat Brit, she quells her homesickness with Cadbury Flakes and Fray Bentos pies. She’s lived in London, Paris and New York, and has settled for the time being, in North Carolina. When not writing, Emmy loves to travel with her military husband and take long walks with their Lab. All things considered, her life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny. And if you get that reference…well, she already considers you kin.

Emmy’s social media:

http://emmycurtis.com/

https://www.facebook.com/EmmyCurtisAuthor

@EmmyCurtis19

Buy links:

B&N: http://bit.ly/1nc6Uu1

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1m6wEsm

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1qQm9kD

GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/1sayQUz

Excerpt

He withdrew his arm from her shoulders and grabbed his water bottle. “Do you want to rehydrate?”

“Sure, I drank all my water in the M-RAP.”

“Here.” He reached up into the darkness and his hand collided with bare skin. He felt further up and encountered more bare skin. “What the…?”

“Oh! That’s embarrassing. When you bought me in from the bathroom, I had only put my panties back on. My jeans are still out there.”

“What? You take your pants off to pee?” He was getting a strange insight into women here, and he was incredibly uncomfortable and intrigued. Not about the pee, but about the type of woman who felt comfortable enough to take off her clothes in the middle of a war zone.

“I don’t have a dick, you know. How did you expect me to pee?”

“You might not have a dick, but you have balls,” he said grudgingly. “Do you want me to get your pants?”

“It’s okay. I’ll get them. I know where I left them.” Her voice trailed off as she went around the corner toward the entrance to the cave.

“No wait!” he hissed. Shit. What was he thinking, letting her wander around outside. He jumped to his feet, ignoring the pain that shot up his leg, and rounded the corner, to see her perfectly silhouetted in the mouth of the cave against the moonlit sky. “Get down!”

She turned to look at him instead of ducking. Damned civilians. He launched himself at her, pulling her to the ground, but trying to brace her fall. He didn’t really succeed.

Breath huffed out of her as he landed right on top of her. “Shh,” he said against her ear. In the distance, he could hear voices. With the echoes it was difficult to know if they belonged to people who were directly in front of them or across the valley. And suddenly, as the voices drifted off into the distance, he became aware of her body under his. The silence. When he moved slightly, his mind shifted to the perfect night they shared in D.C. The night he’d thought about so often. The night that had sustained him through some difficult deployments. He’d wanted to find her, but was honestly too scared to let go of his fantasy. Reality always sucked, and her being a damn reporter sucked the most.

He raised himself on his forearm and whispered against her ear, “Are you all right?”

She nodded, causing her short black hair to brush against his face. He closed his eyes and inhaled. His body weakened, and then got a lot harder. Fuck, he almost wanted to cry. He had dreamed of being this close to her again, to be on top of her, to be able to feel her scent overwhelm him again. But hell. Fate had played a dirty trick. Here, in a fucking cave in Afghanistan. What a fuck up.

She moved under him, and holy shit, he was sure she had moaned. Or wait, maybe that was a groan. “Am I hurting you?” he asked, suddenly concerned.

“In ways you can’t possibly imagine.” She let out a sigh. “No, I’m fine. I might need help up, though.”

He pulled himself off her and helped her up, and was very, very glad for the darkness of the cave. He knew his dick was tenting his BDUs. Thank god no one could see him. Then she stood to one side and the moon shone directly at him.

“Well, soldier, is that a night vision scope in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?”

“I’m a fucking airman, not a soldier. And what did you expect, you writhing under me when I was just trying to save your sorry ass.”

“Oh. I’m sorry. I was joking, I thought that was your scope in your pocket. I was just trying…”

Shit. Shit. Busted.

He took a deep breath. And tried to laugh. “We seemed to understand each other better three years ago.”

“Well, we didn’t exactly do a lot of talking back then.” She smiled wryly.

Josh tried really hard not to close his eyes and give in to the emotion still coursing through him from being so close to her again after all those years of just dreaming about her.

Holding up one finger, she turned. She pointed at her jeans and nodded for his approval. He gave a tiny nod, and she virtually scampered out to pick them up.

As she entered the cave again, with a grin, he leaned against the wall to watch her in the moonlight. She bent to step into the pants and her glossy dark hair swung in front of her. She pulled them up, and started to fasten them. He couldn’t help himself, God help him.

His hand hooked over the top of the jeans, preventing her from finishing doing them up. She straightened. She should have had a quizzical look on her face. But she didn’t. It was like she knew. She met his eyes and he detected a tiny flicker of her eyebrows, as if saying “Yes?” Still holding her jeans, he pulled her toward him, his whole body throbbing for her. Every one of his cells felt as if they were reaching for her. Every feeling he had ever had, every warm thought, wrapped around her. He wanted her so badly. Had wanted her for three years. If he didn’t think about it, maybe he could forget she was a soul-sucking hack. His body certainly seemed to have forgotten already.

Desperate to taste those lips again, he abruptly pulled her against his body and in the same instant, claimed her mouth as his. She tasted every bit as good as his memory served. His body responded instantly, as if it had been waiting three years just to find itself in this very place.

Her mouth opened under his, kissing him back, her tongue dancing under his, making him long for the feel of her tongue elsewhere on his body.

A crack of a twig or something from outside put his instincts back in place as he wrenched away from her. Christ, what had he been thinking? He never broke the rules. She looked puzzled, but still she didn’t say anything.

He took a huge step away from her, shaking his head at himself. What. The. Fuck. Was wrong with him?

She took a deep breath in and let it go in a long sigh. But still she remained silent. Why didn’t she say something? Shit was she planning on writing about this? Of course she was. That was what she did. His career was over. His status as one of the most fast-tracked senior enlisted airmen in his career field was over. Damage control.

“I don’t know why I did that. I’m sorry for breaking protocol. I hope we’re still off the record?” He hated how hopeful he sounded.

She laughed lightly. “Exactly what about this…” she gestured around the cave. “…is protocol? Exactly what are you breaking?”

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23. Thursday Review: I AM THE MISSION by Allen Zadoff

When I reviewed the first book in The Unknown Assassin series, Boy Nobody (click here for full review), I said it was a great addition to the YA thriller genre and a good "boy book" despite having a somewhat unbelievable premise. What makes this... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Thursday Review: I AM THE MISSION by Allen Zadoff as of 8/7/2014 10:58:00 PM
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24. Interview with Juanita Kees, Author of Under Cover of Dark

 

 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Juanita! Thanks for stopping by to chat this morning.

[Juanita Kees] Thank you for having me over at Manga Maniac Café, Julie.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Juanita Kees] Wine-loving, romantic, shoe-crazy bookworm

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Under Cover of Dark?

[Juanita Kees] You met him in Fly Away Peta. He starts a murder investigation in Under the Hood. When will Detective Mark Johnson have his chance at happiness and what’s next for the bad guys?

Under Cover of Dark is a romantic suspense follows Under the Hood, about a Western Australian drug gang, the teenagers they recruit, and the cop who wants to bring them down.

When Mark Johnson delves deeper into his investigation into the murder of Tiny Watts and the involvement of a teenage gang with sleazy lawyer, Gino Bennetti, and his drug world ties, the last thing he expects is to be interviewing Gino’s widow, a woman in a world of trouble.

When her husband is shot and killed, it is both a relief and a disaster. Lily has her son to protect and secrets that run deeper than the scars she bears. Mark Johnson is the last person she wants uncovering those secrets, especially the truth about her son, Luke’s involvement in Tiny Watts’ murder.

As the investigation continues and Lily’s wounds begin to heal, she finds the detective easy to trust and the friendship between them blossoms into more. But the secret Lily holds places everyone in very real danger. When it is finally revealed, Lily will lose everything: her son, the man she’s grown to love, her freedom, and her life.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your favorite scene?

[Juanita Kees] Mark loved the Perth hills at night. The stars shone brighter without the glow of the city lights. The bush was alive with sound, a chorus of creatures of the night. The frog calls merged with the chirping of the crickets, somewhere close a possum shimmied up a tree into its nest. The hypnotic calls of the nightlife blended with the laughter around the table. For a moment, Mark could forget about murder and petty theft, and enjoy the peace.

His thoughts turned to Lily. While she’d relaxed somewhat in the glow of wine, warmth and friendship, he knew by the way her hands gripped the thin wooden arms of the chair her troubles weren’t far from her mind. He had to admire her strength. All that had happened in the last couple of months alone would have most women hunched over in a hysterical heap. But not Lily. Lily was holding it together quite admirably. How long could she keep it up before it broke her?

She must have sensed him watching her. The laughter froze on her lips as her eyes met his. For a long moment, she held his gaze across the table, searching until she seemed to find what she was looking for. Mark felt the impact of her acceptance and his heart skipped a beat. Suddenly the cop was at war with the man. While his instinct rejoiced at the hint of a break in the case, his body reacted to the intensity of the woman. Good God! Gino Bennetti had not deserved this brave, intelligent, beautiful spirit.

Lily leaned across the table towards him. Still entranced, it took him a moment to process her words.

‘We need to talk, Detective.’

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Juanita Kees] I loved bringing the bad guys to justice because it’s not always that easy in real life. The characters from Under the Hood (TJ, Scott and Marty) were so much fun to write and I had a ball bringing them back in Under Cover of Dark. And of course, the gorgeous Detective Mark (if I may say so myself?) has been with me for such a long time and I thought he deserved to find a love of his own but I wasn’t going to make it easy for him. ?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Juanita Kees] My Sony Xperia notebook! I’m hooked on it. It’s my own personal assistant. I can make notes for new stories, edit with office suite and still make calls and text. (Oh, and play the odd game of Mah Jong!)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Juanita Kees] My herbal tea and teacup, my whiteboard for ideas, and my writing angel — a gift from my friend Jodie at my first RWA Conference.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?

[Juanita Kees] Definitely chocolate! Jamaican Rum and Raisin, gotta have it!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Juanita Kees] Deborra-Lee Furness … I’d give my right arm to have dinner with Hugh Jackman ?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week. Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

[Juanita Kees] It sounds a little cliché, but it’s true …the power of Peace — I’d use it to bring peace to the world so everyone could live together in harmony, the wars would stop and hatred would be eradicated.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Juanita Kees] Wow, where do I start?? I love telling the world about books I enjoy.

Yes, Chef! – Lisa Joy

The Nanny Proposition – Rachel Bailey

Almost Invincible – Suzanne Burdon

Bet on It – Cheryl Adnams

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Juanita Kees] I love hearing from readers, so pop in and say hi ?

Author Site: http://juanitakees.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Juanita-Kees-Author-Page/119574648138202

Twitter: @juanitakees

Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/Kees2Create

On Goodreads: Goodreads

Blog: The Other Side

New Australian romantic suspense follows Under the Hood, about a Western Australian drug gang, the teenagers they recruit, and the cop who wants to bring them down.

When Mark Johnson delves deeper into his investigation into the murder of Tiny Watts, and the involvement of a teenage gang with sleazy lawyer Gino Bennetti and his drug world ties, the last thing he expects is to be interviewing Gino’s widow, a woman in a world of trouble.

When her husband is shot and killed, it is both a relief and a disaster. Lily has her son to protect and secrets that run deeper than the scars she bears. Mark Johnson is the last person she wants uncovering those secrets, especially the truth about her son Luke’s involvement in Tiny Watts’s murder.

As the investigation continues and Lily’s wounds begin to heal, she finds the detective easy to trust and the friendship between them blossoms into more. But the secret Lily holds places everyone in very real danger. When it is finally revealed, Lily will lose everything: her son, the man she’s grown to love, her freedom and her life.

The post Interview with Juanita Kees, Author of Under Cover of Dark appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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25. Spotlight and Giveaway: First to Burn by Anna Richland

 
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A Soldier with Secrets.

Immortal Viking Wulf Wardsen once battled alongside Beowulf, and now serves in Afghanistan. He’s trusted the mortal men on his elite special operations team to protect his secret, until an explosion lands Wulf in a place more dangerous to him than a battlefield: a medevac helicopter.

A Doctor with Questions.

Army captain Theresa Chiesa follows the rules and expects the same from others, even special forces hotshots like Sergeant Wardsen. She’s determined to discover the secret behind his supernaturally fast healing, and she won’t allow his sexy smile to distract her.

An Enemy with Nothing to Lose.

Even as Theresa’s investigation threatens to expose him, Wulf dreams of love and a normal life with her. But the lost Viking relic needed to reverse his immortality is being hunted by another—an ancient enemy who won’t hesitate to hurt Theresa to strike back at Wulf.




 
 
 
 
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Anna Richland lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. Like the heroine of FIRST TO BURN, she joined the army to pay tuition, a decision that led to an adventurous career on four continents (if standing on the bridge in Panama that divides North and South America counts as two).

She donates a portion of her book proceeds to the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.


To find out about her October novella, HIS ROAD HOME, and the next Immortal Vikings romance, THE SECOND LIE, visit her website at annarichland.com and sign up for her newsletter.


 
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The post Spotlight and Giveaway: First to Burn by Anna Richland appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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