#ReleaseDay “The Devil’s Den (Cavaleri Brothers, Book 4)” by Lilian Harris

 

Title: The Devil’s Den by Lillian Harris

Series: Cavaleri brothers, book 4

Genre: Dark mafia romance, and it’s not a standalone

Book link: http://mybook.to/thedevilsden

Free in Kindle Unlimited

Blurb

He was the boy held captive in the basement. I was the girl who knew.

But I never told a soul. I had innocent lives to protect. And this was the only way.

He was my friend first. My lover second. We wanted to be free, to make a life together. But that was a dream we knew would never come true.

Prisoners of my ruthless father, we could not escape the horror we were forced to endure-until I drew a weapon on the only boy who ever loved me.

And as they drag me away, screaming his name, I hope he’s still breathing.

Because our story, it’s not over yet.

*
*
*
*
Author note: This story contains dark themes and scenes depicting SA.

#LilianHarris #thedevilsden

𝗧𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗲𝘀:⁠

Dark Friends to Lovers⁠

Mafia Romance⁠

Captives⁠

Virgins⁠

Emotional Trauma⁠

Slow Burn

Excerpt

“What are you thinking about?” he asks, rubbing his thumb over the top of my hand, my head lying over his shoulder.

“That I have ugly hair.”

“What?” He jerks his head back in an instant. “Who gave you that idea?” The way he stares, it’s not with anger at me, but for what I just said.

I shrug, avoiding his gaze by staring at my bare feet. After a few seconds, he snakes a hand under his pillow and retrieves something. In his palm is the notepad I once gave him.

But as I look at it, as he turns to open a page, I let out a small gasp, my stomach flipping all over again.

I can’t stop staring.

My breathing goes ragged.

I’m there on the page, in a long wispy dress, my hair caught in the wind, skipping among flowers, butterflies floating around me, like he knew that’s how he makes me feel. But that’s silly, of course, there’d be butterflies in a meadow. That’s what this is. He continues to turn, page after page, and I find more of me on every single one.

He’s been drawing me this whole time? Why?

He gazes straight at me, the crooked smile reaching the far corner of his mouth. “Your hair reminds me of the sun, and the sun is beautiful.”

My heart flutters in my chest, tears growing within my eyes. And his face, the one that barely ever smiles anymore, grins so wide for me now. “Did you just call me beautiful?” I whisper with a thread of shock, because there’s no way he said that.

He raises a shoulder with a smirk. “I may have.”

My mouth spreads into a smile of my own, those butterflies in my stomach flying higher. And my head, it falls right over his shoulder, his arm draping around my back. “I think you’re kinda beautiful too.”

With a deep sigh, his head slants over mine and we stay that way until it’s time for me to go, wishing I didn’t have to.

Meet the Author

For Lilian, a love of writing began with a love of books. From Goosebumps to romance novels with sexy men on the cover, she loved them all. It’s no surprise that at the age of eight she started writing poetry and lyrics, and hasn’t stopped writing since.

She was born in Azerbaijan, and currently resides in Long Island, N.Y. with her husband, three kids, and a dog named Gatorade. Even though she has a law degree, she isn’t practicing. When she isn’t writing or reading, Lilian is baking or cooking up a storm. And once the kids are in bed, there’s usually a glass of red in her hand. Can’t just survive on coffee alone!

Lilian would love to connect with you!

WEBSITE: https://www.lilianharris.com/

MAILING LIST: https://mailchi.mp/800b3adeda74/booksbylilianharris

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lilian-harris

FACEBOOK: facebook.com/LilianHarrisBooks/

INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/lilianharrisauthor/

TWITTER: twitter.com/AuthorLilian

GOODREADS:https://goodreads.com/author/show/19163712.Lilian_Harris

EMAIL: LilianHarrisAuthor@gmail.com

#BookTour “Christian and the Great Journey” by Monica Jobe

~~~~

 

Children’s Christian living, Children’s Christian Values

Date Published: June 28, 2022

Publisher: Lucid Books

 

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 

Journeys can be long or short,

Dangerous or safe,

Topsy-turvy,

Bumpy, curvy

And wind a million ways.

Each one different, just like you, and special in its way.

Can you help Christian figure out

Which path to take today?

In this fun-to-read, rhyming picture book, we join Christian on his journey
to find his friend. Along the way, we learn valuable lessons about thinking
for ourselves and making good choices.

~~~~

~~~~

About the Author

Monica Jobe grew up in the hometown of Superman, Metropolis, Illinois, where her love of books began early. She currently resides in Clarksville, Tennessee, with her husband of 7 years, Bill; their 6-year-old son, Seth; 13-year-old chocolate lab, Scout; and 3-year-old solid black cat, Freckles (named by Seth). Monica first received the calling to write children’s
books during an internship in Garden Valley, Texas, following high school.

After graduating from the Institute of Children’s Literature, Monica set out on her own journey in life and traveled different paths before she could write about the greatest journey of all. She is a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. Monica is also a music and nature lover who values her family and faith in Jesus most of all.

Contact Links

Facebook

Instagram:   @monica.n.jobe

~~~~

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

~~~~

RABT Book Tours & PR

~~~~

Yecheilyah’s Fifth Annual Poetry Contest!

poetry banner

Yecheilyah’s 5th Annual Poetry Contest 2022

 

Theme: FREEDOM

 

Submissions Accepted:

 

Thursday, July 7, 2022 – Friday, September, 30, 2022

 

Winners Announced:

 

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

 

About.

Yecheilyah’s Annual Poetry Contest is an online national and international poetry competition established in 2017 by award-winning author, book blogger, and poet Yecheilyah Ysrayl. The contest’s purpose is to find and celebrate the work of dope poets while raising awareness about the power of poetry.

To see the rules and guidelines, past winners, and a list of FABULOUS prizes for the top four poems, follow the link below and ENTER TO WIN!

GOOD LUCK!

www.yecheilyahsannualpoetrycontest.org/

 

spoken word(1)

~~~

Author Ian Connor Book Signing!

If you’re in the San Diego/La Jolla area, stop by Warwicks Books Sunday, August 14th and meet author Ian Conner! Make sure to bring either your copy of Cardinals or Skadegemutc: Ghost Witch because he’ll be happy to sign them!

Cardinals Card

Amazon Kindle

Paperback

Cardinals cover

~~~~

When: August 14th at 2PM PST

Where: Warwicks Bookstore

Address: 7812 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037

~~~~

Ghost Witch Card

Amazon Kindle

Paperback

Ghost Witch Cover

~~~~

About the Author

Ian Connor

Ian Conner is retired and has spent most of his adult life as a Marine and Army Infantry Sergeant. Now living near San Diego California with his wife Bonnie, a cellist, and their two dogs, Cookie and Isabella. Conner spends his days fostering kittens, gardening, crafting beautiful stained glass and creating worlds on the page.

Black Raptor Books

R & R Button

 

 

 

 

 

 

R&R Book Tours

 

 

#GuestBlogger Behind the Scenes: “Midsummer Night’s Delights” – A Sizzling Historical/Fantasy Romance by Kelli A. Wilkins

This “Behind the Scenes” blog is part of a series examining my romance novels. In each blog, I’ll talk about why I wrote the book, share my thoughts on the plot and/or characters, and reveal what I loved most (or least) about writing the book. Warning: Blogs may contain spoilers.

Hi everyone,

Today I’m sharing a behind the scenes look at the making of the first book in my Naughty Nobles trilogy, Midsummer Night’s Delights.

Midsummer cover

Like many of my romances, this novella has its own origin story. Years ago, I was writing romances for Amber Quill Press, and they put out a call for super-hot erotica stories including/featuring ménage. I thought about it for a while, then I got an idea for a story. The premise was simple: What if a highly repressed/inexperienced couple was introduced to the world of wife swapping, ménage, and group encounters? Hmmm…

I wasn’t exactly sure where the story would lead, but I had a good opening scene/sequence, and a few ideas for key scenes. Based on those, I just started writing.

Midsummer Night’s Delights introduces readers to Julian and Annabelle. They are strangers trapped in an arranged, sexless marriage. To loosen them up, Julian’s father sends them to the Marquis of Demby’s estate to attend a Midsummer Ball. (And this type of ball isn’t for dancing!)

Julian and Annabelle meet the marquis, Vincent, and his wife, Sabrina. Over the course of their visit, they learn how to open up and explore their sexuality. When they attend the Midsummer Ball, they shed their inhibitions while indulging in their wildest fantasies. Anything goes in this erotic tale, and I had a lot of fun showing how Annabelle and Julian loosen up and embrace their wanton sides.

When I wrote Midsummer, I had no idea I would write a trilogy. I figured the story was self-contained and had wrapped up nicely. Julian and Annabelle were no longer repressed, the end.

But readers and reviewers loved the story and the characters so much that they wanted these very naughty adventures to continue. So, I wrote two sequels, Midwinter Night’s Delights and Ultimate Night’s Delights. Although the stories are connected, each novella stands alone as an individual read.

After the original release of Midsummer Night’s Delights, readers asked for a prequel. They were curious about how Vincent and Sabrina met and what their history entailed. Although I had no plans to write a full prequel, I was still able to give readers what they wanted. In Midwinter Night’s Delights, Sabrina tells Annabelle how she met Vincent and how they got involved in their unusual games. (I’ll be sharing more about that book in another “Behind the Scenes” blog.)

I liked writing this novella because it was something different for me. I had never written a full-fledged super-hot, X-rated erotica story before. Most of my romances are heavy on plot, characterization, adventure and/or mystery with key love scenes included every so often—this book is the opposite of that. It was good for me to break out of the pattern of full-length historical romances and write something shorter, hotter, and out of character.

I’m happy to say readers enjoyed the book. Here are a few kind words:

Praise for Midsummer Night’s Delights…

  “Smokin’, 4 Stars! Looking for an author who isn’t afraid to push the envelope in erotic romance? Kelli A. Wilkins has gifted us with her take on a secret summer ball that opens the eyes of two unsure newlyweds. Midsummer Night’s Delights is a story that draws you in. Subtle teases and heated scenes ebb and flow around the central characters and before you know it, not only are you eagerly turning the pages to see what unfolds. You won’t be disappointed with this piece – you’ll be curious, become titillated, and leave aroused.” – Natalie, Reviewer, EroticRomanceWriters.com

“For those of you who delight in erotic romances, Midsummer Night’s Delights is a book you won’t want to miss. Kelli is an author who brings joyful imagination to her writing, an equal part of enthusiasm, and a lot of talent, as well. Her love for her characters shines through in her words. Midsummer Night’s Delights is a must-buy for Kelli Wilkins fans everywhere, as well as those who enjoy a truly excellent erotic romance. This book is a keeper, so get your copy today.” – Rose, RomanceatHeart.com

“4.5 Blue Ribbon Rating! What a romp! Midsummer Night’s Delights is a delight in itself! I really felt for poor Julian and loved how he “rose” to finding the solution to his predicament. And Annabelle proved to be an apt pupil for her lessons. They are endearing characters with a real problem and a rather thrilling, fun answer. Good writing and lots of action make this a book to recommend!” – Kris Jones, Romance Junkies Reviewer

Here’s the book summary and links to all the books in the trilogy:

Midsummer Night’s Delights

At this Midsummer Ball, couples pair up everywhere—but not for dancing!

 Young newlyweds Julian and Annabelle are miserable. Their arranged marriage is lacking everything—especially sex. Julian suffers from a lack of confidence and is harboring a secret urge. Innocent Annabelle’s longings go unnoticed and unfulfilled, no matter what she tries.

But all that changes when they are invited to a Midsummer Ball. Their unconventional hosts, Vincent and Sabrina, introduce them to a world where their most intimate desires and hidden passions are explored—and fulfilled. Swapping and naughty games are just a few of the surprises awaiting them…

~~~~

 Order Midsummer Night’s Delights (Book 1) here:

Midsummer cover

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6W5QHM 

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/3LrJP1 

 ~

Get Midwinter Night’s Delights (Book 2) here:

Midwinter cover

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VTH1GCC

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/mdKaaX

~

Order Ultimate Night’s Delights (Book 3) here:

Ultimate Cover

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XGCCTJW

All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/bxgyPk

~

I’ll be sharing more about Midwinter Night’s Delights and Ultimate Night’s Delights in future blogs, so stay tuned.

I enjoy hearing from readers and other authors. If you’ve read the trilogy, drop me a line with questions or comments. Let me know which book or character is your favorite!

Be sure to follow my blog for the latest updates and visit me on social media. You can read more “Behind the Scenes” blogs here: www.KelliWilkins.com/blog

I also made a Facebook page for my historical romances: https://www.facebook.com/Historical-Romances-by-Kelli-A-Wilkins-1703805359922371/

Happy Reading,

Kelli A. Wilkins

 ~~~~

 

                                                         ABOUT THE AUTHOR       

Kelli A Wilkins

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 20+ romance novels, 7 non-fiction books, and 5 horror ebooks. Her romances span many genres and settings, and she likes to scare readers with her horror stories.

Her latest novel, In Another World, was released in early 2022. This contemporary mystery/romance is set in the world of the paranormal.

She also released two horror shorts, More Than I Bargained For and Silent Sentinel in 2021.

In 2021, Kelli published Journaling Every Week: 52 Topics to Get You Writing. This fun and innovative guide to journaling is filled with hundreds of thought-provoking prompts designed to get you writing about your feelings and emotions.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.

Visit her website/blog www.KelliWilkins.com for a full title list and to find all her social media links.

~~~~

#CoverReveal “Village of Salt and Sorrow” by Laura Holt

Cover Reveal Banner

After an incredible ARC tour, we are thrilled to finally be able to share the cover of Village of Salt and Sorrow by Laura Holt! It was absolutely worth the wait!

Village of Salt and Sorrow ebook

Village of Salt and Sorrow

Expected Publication Date: Coming Soon!

Genre: Adult Fiction/ Magical Realism

Nova McIntosh has been called many things—a witch. Dangerous. The girl with fire in her hair and salt water in her veins, whose eyes will drag you in and crush your heart like an under tow—and they’re all true.

It’s said that Loch Moira was once home to a flock of selkies, until its fishermen made a deal with a sea witch to steal their pelts. Unable to transform, the selkies were forced to retain their human forms and wed their captors. But the sea is unforgiving and eternal and demands restitution: the lives of two girls after every storm as penance for the selkies who perished on land, or it will swallow the town whole.

The youngest in a long line of magical women bound to perform these sacrifices, Nova understands the need to be cold and merciless. So, when she finds a boy washed up on the beach after a storm, she doesn’t expect to feel anything for him. However, the ocean has never given back anything alive, either, and the closer Nova grows to Arron, the closer she comes to unraveling the mystery behind his survival and discovering the key to ending her town’s curse.

Add to Goodreads

Pre-Order on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble

About the Author

View More: http://photographybyktjo.pass.us/lara-holt

Laura Holt is the award-winning author of Fathoms Below, Fathoms Above, Fathoms Between, Fathoms Across, and the forthcoming final book in the Star-Crossed series, Fathomless. She is a self-professed word witch with a passion for mythology, history, and caffeine. When she’s not writing, you can find her stretched out on a yoga mat, hiking down wooded trails, or wandering the aisles at a local bookstore searching for her next great read. She lives in small-town Georgia with her daughter, three cats, and a lot of fake plants.

Follow her on Instagram at @authorlauraholt to stay up to date on bookish news, events, and book and music recs, or subscribe to her seasonal newsletter for even more exclusive content and writer resources at https://holtlara2.wixsite.com/lauraholt.

Laura Holt | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Cover Reveal Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

#BookTour “In Danger of Judgment” by David Rabin

In Danger of Judgment by David Rabin BannerAugust 8 – September 2, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

book cover

~~~~

Synopsis:

 

When a covert operation during the Vietnam War ends in tragedy, one of its members resolves to kill the man who betrayed it to the enemy. Now, fifteen years later, he’ll finally get his chance.

Chicago, 1987. Home of mediocre baseball teams, gangs that rule the streets, and a Mexican drug cartel that supplies the city with heroin. Chicago Police Detective Marcelle DeSantis and her partner, Bernie Bernardelli, are working a series of heroin-related murders, and their job just got more complicated. The man who sabotaged the Vietnam operation, Robert Thornton, is now the chief enforcer for a Southeast Asian heroin cartel, and after fifteen years overseas he’s arrived in Chicago to eliminate the reigning cartel and seize control of the city’s heroin trade.

Racing to stop a drug war, Marcelle and Bernie don’t realize they’re about to be caught in a deadly crossfire: another man is circling in the wings, one of Thornton’s soldiers from Vietnam, who’s preparing to exact his long-sought revenge against his former mentor. He’s the last person anyone would ever suspect, and when he finally makes his move, the paths of these four people will explosively converge.

Praise for In Danger of Judgment:

In Danger of Judgment does a masterful job of juggling multiple, full-blooded characters through high-octane storytelling as they make their way to a shocking, violent ending. David Rabin is a name that is sure to become familiar among lovers of best-selling, full-throttle thrillers”

––David Shawn Klein, award-winning author of The Money

“Mr. Rabin brings a fresh set of characters to the tried-and-true crime drama, and his breezy narrative style and crackling dialogue kept me turning the pages well past my bedtime.”

––Ronald Aiken, author of Death Has Its Benefits and former president of The Atlanta Writers

“Kudos to Mr. Rabin on the high quality of the prose, the thrilling plot with a twist and surprise ending, and the extensive research that went into this novel. I highly recommend it.”

––Jill Caugherty, author of Waltz in Swing Time

“Well-developed characters drive Rabin’s taut thriller. . . . the story builds to a lengthy, sensational final act, brimming with well-earned suspense”

––Kirkus Reviews

“A stunning debut, David Rabin’s In Danger of Judgment is an engrossing page-turner. Shocking twists barrel full-speed into an action-packed and tense crime thriller readers won’t see coming…. Builds an intricately-plotted crime thriller that’s cinematic and wildly compelling. The author’s prose is concise and ‘unputdownable,’ skilled at giving a tangible sense of the time period these characters inhabit.”

––IndieReader

Book Details:

Genre: Crime Thriller

Published by: Black Rose Writing

Publication Date: August 4th 2022

Number of Pages: 369

ISBN: 1685130593 (ISBN13: 9781685130596)

Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Black Rose Writing

~~~~

Don’t Miss this Video Trailer

~~~~

Read an excerpt:

Prologue

1968 – 1972
South Vietnam

The eight men filing into the Tactical Operations Center had six days’ beard growth, they reeked of sweat and jungle, and their clothes were smeared with soil and grime and still-wet enemy blood.

Major Henry Sampson waited for them at a table at the rear of the TOC, as far away as they could get from the beeping, static, and chatter of the radios. The men settled themselves around the table and didn’t wait for Sampson to ask a question. They’d just completed their fourth mission, and by now they knew the debriefing procedure.

“Eleven,” said the first man.

In due course, Sampson would steer them to other aspects of the mission, but they always started with what was most important: the number of enemy killed in action.

Sampson had had a rude awakening a few years earlier, during his first tour in South Vietnam. He was a West Point man, a professional soldier to the core, but Vietnam was a war unlike any he’d prepared for. In every war America had ever fought, the objective was to capture and hold territory, but in Vietnam, that was never the goal. The only metric that mattered was the body count.

“Tell me about the first one,” Sampson said.

“Sentry in the southwest sector. Older than usual, thirties, maybe, leaning against a tree with a Chicom AK slung over his shoulder. He wasn’t even scanning, just gazing into the distance, probably thinking about his old lady back in Hanoi. I snake-crawled from the rear, put my hand over his mouth, and pulled back. Three stabs and a slash through the neck. No sound.”

The man described the rest of his kills and then they went around the table. By the time they finished, the count reached 102. It was a good night’s work.

Sometimes the body count was so high that Sampson wondered whether they were exaggerating, but he questioned them carefully and they convinced him the count was true. When the two guys from the Department of Defense had given him the assignment, he didn’t dream the men would kill so many.

* * *

The DOD men had arrived by helicopter on a soggy December morning in 1968, late in the rainy season at Phu Bai, South Vietnam, where Sampson was stationed with the 101st Airborne Division. They weren’t in uniform, but from the way they exited the Huey—quickly and gracefully—Sampson could tell they’d spent some time in the bush.

There was no fanfare on their arrival. That was by design. Sampson had been told the men would meet with him and then leave, and the fewer the people that knew about the meeting, the better.

The DOD men introduced themselves as Robinson and Reese, and it occurred to Sampson that whoever gave them their code names must have been a Dodgers fan. They wore identical navy-blue suits, white shirts, muted ties, and blank expressions. Robinson was black and Reese was white, but otherwise they could have been twins.

Sampson took them to his hooch, a rudimentary structure of plywood elevated a foot off the ground and divided into four living quarters. Inside, the décor was olive drab, drab being the operative word. Sampson’s corner had a cot, a small desk, makeshift shelves, a locker, and a table fan.

He pulled over a couple of folding chairs for the two men to sit on. Sampson wished he had a conference room befitting their importance, but the hooch was the only venue at the base where they could be assured of privacy. He’d made sure that the other three officers who lived there would be absent for the meeting’s duration.

Reese got it started as Robinson shook a Marlboro out of a hard pack and lit it with a Zippo. “We’re going to tell you some stuff you may already know, but bear with us. We’ll get to the good part shortly.”

Sampson sat up straight and did his best to look attentive. “I’m at your disposal, sir.”

“When you got here,” Reese said, “you were fighting the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army. The VC are still around, but we hit them so hard during Tet that they’re no longer a major threat to the South. That’s why you’re now focused on the NVA.”

Robinson took the baton. “The NVA’s constantly moving men and supplies down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, infiltrating into the South, probing for weaknesses. Occasionally, they attack us and the South Vietnamese, and then they hightail it back to the North. Now, we both know that in a war you’re supposed to pursue the enemy, take the fight to them instead of the other way around. That’s how it’s always been done, but this is Vietnam, where nothing gets done the way it’s supposed to.”

“We’re not allowed to send ground troops into the North,” Sampson said.

Reese nodded. “That’s right, and it’s not because our civilian leadership is spineless, contrary to what you guys in-country may believe. North Vietnam has a great, big patron on its northern border called Communist China. In ’64, the Chinese told us that if we sent boots north of the 17th parallel, they’d intervene on behalf of their North Vietnamese comrades. Meaning, they’d send a few million Red Chinese soldiers down south, just like they did in Korea when we drove too far north, and we all know how that turned out for us.”

“Not real well.”

“Yeah. Not real well. We want to help the South Vietnamese, but we don’t want to start World War Three. Frustrating for us, frustrating for you.”

“I don’t make policy, sir. My duty is to follow orders and execute the mission.”

“I’m glad you mentioned that,” Robinson said, “because we came here to give you a mission.”

“Sir?”

Robinson stubbed out his cigarette and leaned forward. “You are very quietly going to insert ground troops into North Vietnam.”

They proceeded to tell him about the operation they wanted him to supervise: how the men would be selected, how they’d be trained, and the nature of the missions. They spoke for nearly an hour. Sampson listened intently, saying nothing. When they finished, they asked if he had any questions.

He did indeed have a question, though he hesitated to ask it, fearing they might think him insolent. But it was such an obvious issue, he just had to ask. “Why go to all this effort? All this planning, the massive selection process, the special training? Why don’t you use the men you already have?”

The DOD men looked at each other without a trace of reaction, communicated telepathically, and turned back to Sampson. “That’s above your pay grade,” Reese said, “but if you’re not comfortable with this op, we can find someone else.”

Now Sampson wished he hadn’t asked, but he recovered quickly. “I can do it,” he said.

“There’s one more thing. The body count is important—the higher the better, of course—and it needs to be accurate. You’ll have to drill it into the men to keep an accurate count. Can you do that, Major?”

“I can do it.”

Sampson thought the whole thing was a crock, just another foolhardy operation in a senseless war. But they got through the selection process and trained the men, and when they were finally let loose on their missions, they surpassed everyone’s expectations. The body counts were staggering.

* * *

It was now late 1972, and Team One was nearing the end of its sixth mission. The Huey had inserted them six nights ago. They’d spent three nights approaching the target camp, followed by three nights of recon. Seven of them would attack the camp, and the eighth would remain just outside the camp’s perimeter to cover them as they withdrew.

They wore no insignia and bore no identification, all to give the government plausible deniability if things went south. For the same reason, they never called each other by name during their missions. They were Ares Numbers One through Eight, a bit of theater they deemed absurd but acquiesced to nonetheless.

They killed time with the usual idle chatter: their favorite bands, best road trips, girlfriends good and bad. In their three years together, they’d told the same stories so many times that the telling was no longer the point. It was how they reinforced the bonds among them.

“Okay, guys,” Ares One said, “fifteen minutes till go time.”

They synched their watches, and as they went through one last gear check, Four addressed the elephant in the room. “The war’s almost over, so this is probably our last mission.”

Silence. No one wanted to talk about it.

“You know I’m right,” Four continued. “The Paris peace talks are barreling down the tracks. Kissinger went on TV and said peace is at hand.” He absent-mindedly checked his M16 again. “When we started out, I thought you guys were a bunch of losers, and now I don’t want it to end.”

“Jesus, you’re a downer,” Five said. “Look, when we get back, we’ll do it up right. Get us a case of that black-market champagne, put on some CCR and turn it all the way up.”

“Temptations,” said Seven.

Everyone laughed. Seven loved Motown.

“Enough of this shit,” Three said. “If this is our last mission, I don’t want the perimeter again. I want some action. Lemme be on the assault team.”

Two shook his head. “If Sampson and Thornton find out you violated the orders—”

“Fuck ’em,” Three said. “What’re they gonna do, fire me?”

No one had a response to that unassailable logic, and Three turned to Six. “Let me take your place,” Three said. “Take the easy duty tonight.”

Six looked at the others. They all nodded.

Three and Six exchanged weapons and ammo, Six getting the sniper kit. They all gave each other thumbs-up, and the seven men on the assault team moved silently into their assigned sectors.

Six checked his watch. The men would breach in twenty minutes and return one hour after that. He had nothing to do now but wait.

He stared into the darkness, listening to the sounds of the jungle and imagining the men—

Gunfire.

There should not have been gunfire.

It was not the treble staccato of American M16s. It was the bass thuds of Chinese AKs.

The gunfire ended abruptly, and then all was silent.

A flood of thoughts coursed through his brain.

His friends were dead.

The enemy had known they were coming, and so the enemy knew he was here.

And now, the enemy would come for him.

* * *

Sampson sat in his hooch, drinking his fourth Scotch of the night. The operation had gone along like clockwork until that bastard Thornton went rogue, the chief instructor selling out his own men.

The higher-ups had immediately terminated the entire operation, and Sampson could just imagine the hysteria now playing out at DOD. First, there would be recriminations. Who picked Thornton? Who vetted him? How in the hell did no one foresee this? Then they’d have to invent stories to tell the families, explaining why the bodies of their sons and brothers weren’t coming home. They’d prime people to describe how heroically the men had died, so the families would buy it and not inquire further. And once the cover-up started, they’d have to cover up the cover-up. It would feed on itself and grow exponentially until the cover-up itself was more important than the events that birthed it.

As distasteful as it was, Sampson knew there was nothing else they could do. If the public ever learned the whole story, there’d be more heads rolling at DOD than bowling balls at the local alley on dollar night.

* * *

Three weeks after the operation ended, the DOD men visited Sampson again.

In the four years since he’d last seen them, Sampson’s world had changed dramatically. The war was winding down and would end soon—and for Sampson, that was a problem. The way to get ahead in the military was to serve in a war zone. He’d done multiple tours in Vietnam, but once this war ended, who knew when there would be another one? He would have to find a way to make himself invaluable.

When the DOD men arrived, they looked just the same as before, all the way down to their navy-blue suits and inscrutable faces. They assured Sampson that no one blamed him for the unfortunate way the operation had ended. They complimented him on how well he’d run it, and on the results the men had obtained. A promotion to lieutenant colonel was already in the works.

When he heard the word “promotion,” Sampson knew they were about to get to the real point of the meeting. Guys like them always dangled a prize before asking for something.

“There are two other things,” Robinson said. “DOD wants to keep the operation and its outcome confidential.”

No kidding, Sampson thought. “What else?”

“The upper echelon at DOD considers the remaining men to be somewhat unstable.”

“What you mean is, you think they’re crazy.”

“However one puts it, given their, uh, mental disposition, we consider it prudent to monitor them until the last of them has passed away.”

Sampson saw the logic of it. “Where do I fit in?”

“The perpetuation of secrecy and the observation of the men are related tasks, and we need someone to oversee both. We’d be pleased if you could do that, at least until your retirement, which we hope will be many years from now. Can you do that, Major?”

At that moment, Sampson saw his future.

These assignments were delicate. They were critical. They would last the rest of his career.

They were giving him a way to make himself invaluable.

He took his time and pretended to think about it, not wanting to look too eager, then slowly nodded.

“I can do it,” Sampson said, though it would be another fifteen years before he’d discover just how complicated it could get.

Chapter 1

Sunday, May 10, 1987
8:02 p.m.
Chicago

Marcelle leaned against the railing of an apartment building at the south end of the 3700 block of Wilton Avenue, waiting for someone, though not for anyone in particular. She’d been there for five minutes and decided to wait another two before moving on.

The street was deserted, the residents having battened down the hatches in anticipation of twilight. An empty Old Style can rolled down the street in a grating, metallic rhythm, pushed by the wind coming off Lake Michigan a mile to the east. The only sign of life was the rumbling of an L train on the tracks a half-block from where she stood. The neighborhood seemed peaceful, though she knew its tranquility could be deceiving.

She was about to give up on this spot when two men in their late teens rounded the corner at the other end of the block and began walking toward her. They wore the gray and black colors of the area’s predominant street gang, the Latin Eagles, and they walked with a slow swagger as if they owned the place, which they pretty much did. One was taller and one was shorter, and thus became, in her lexicon, Mr. Tall and Mr. Short.

The instant they saw her, they broke into big smiles and started conversing energetically. She’d gotten their attention. It didn’t surprise her, because she was accustomed to getting attention. She was about five-eight and in her late twenties, with dark brown hair that barely touched her shoulders and a face that belonged on a magazine cover. Tonight she wore a light coat that was open at the front. Marcelle always dressed for success.

The men were five steps away now.

She put her right hand in her coat pocket.

Que pasa, mami chula,” said Mr. Tall.

They walked back and forth around her from opposite sides, examining her from head to toe and leering at her, no doubt expecting she’d panic and try to extricate herself.

Except she didn’t.

Instead, she smiled at them.

It was a beautiful, radiant, magazine-cover smile, and because it was the last thing they’d expected, they froze in their tracks.

Her hand came out of her coat pocket.

It held a badge case.

“Detective Marcelle DeSantis,” she said, “and I want you to know I do appreciate the compliment.”

Mierda,” said Mr. Short.

“We don’t talk to police,” said Mr. Tall.

Her smile turned into a pout. “A minute ago, you thought I was sexy, and now you don’t even want to talk to me? My feelings are hurt.”

The men looked dumbfounded. Marcelle figured no police had ever spoken to them that way, and she took the opening. “I’m not here to hassle you guys. You’re just two fine-looking dudes strolling down the street. Fact is, I need your help.”

Now they looked intrigued. “Help with what?” asked Short.

“I want to find the guy who killed your friends. Hector, Ramon, Angel, and Luis.”

“We take care of our own business,” said Tall.

“That’s good to know. Have you found the guy yet?”

Again, they were speechless.

“I know you want to find the guy who did it,” Marcelle said. “You want revenge, and you want people to know they shouldn’t screw with the Latin Eagles. The problem is, you won’t find him on your own.”

“Why not?” asked Tall.

“Because he’s a pro and you guys aren’t exactly Sherlock Holmes. If he gets found, it’s going to be the Chicago Police Department that does it.”

Tall shrugged. “We don’t know anything.”

“Okay,” she said, “but maybe you’ll remember something or hear something.”

“What do we get if we help you?” Short asked.

Now she knew she was getting somewhere. When they asked for something, it meant they were interested.

“I’ll tell you what you’ll get. If we convict the guy, he’ll get a life sentence or death row. Either way, he’ll go to a prison. Probably Pontiac, Stateville, or Joliet, and you’ve got members in all three. I’m sure your buddies will give him a warm welcome when he arrives.”

It was the men’s turn to smile.

“I’m gonna go now,” Marcelle said, “but I want you to remember something. I didn’t give you any shit. I didn’t ask for ID or search you. I treated you like men because that’s what you are.”

They nodded their agreement.

“Here’s how I work,” she continued. “You play straight with me and I play straight with you. As long as you’re law-abiding, I’ll treat you like you live on Lake Shore Drive.” She handed each man a card. “If you learn anything that might help us, call me. I don’t know your names and you won’t have to give them.”

The men pocketed the cards. Short looked ready to leave, but Tall stood still, his face gripped in concentration, as if trying to recall something from long ago.

Now, he looked like he remembered.

He stood up straight and looked her squarely in the eyes. “It was good to meet you, Detective. Have a nice night.”

***

Excerpt from In Danger of Judgment by David Rabin. Copyright 2022 by David Rabin. Reproduced with permission from David Rabin. All rights reserved.

~~~~

Author Bio:

David Rabin

DAVID RABIN was born in Chicago and raised in its Lakeview neighborhood. He later moved to Atlanta, where he worked as a trial lawyer for thirty-three years. Now retired, he writes fiction, runs a competitive shooting program, and competes in rifle sports, including the discipline of Highpower Rifle, in which he holds two High Master classifications. He and his wife, a former clinical social worker, have two grown sons. In Danger of Judgment is his first novel.

Catch Up With David Rabin:
DavidRabinAuthor.com
Goodreads
Facebook – @DavidRabinAuthor

~~~~

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

~~~~

ENTER TO WIN!

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for David Rabin. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

~~~~

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours

~~~~

#BookBlitz “Nightmasters Book 2: Change of Engagement” by Loran Holt

~~~~

Nightmasters, Book 2

 

Fantasy

Date Published: June 4 (Hardcover Release August 11)

Publisher: Acorn Publishing

Kelgan Defthand and his rather motley crew continue on their quest to defeat an unknown and terrible malevolence. They are expecting the same places, faces, and traces of evil, but an enormous surprise awaits them. A mysterious ship takes them to an even more mysterious destination, and “Others” seem to have intruded.

Who are they? What do they want? Can they be trusted?

~~~~

About the Author

Recently retired from a job as a University Professor, and looking for diversion in sunny Southern California, Loran Holt did what any Southern Californian does – took up writing, of course. Feeling that sword-and-sorcery suited her personality admirably, she set her sights on that genre. Nightmasters is the result and her first published work of fiction, but she is already the published author of two books on silent film costume design under the Author name Lora Ann Sigler.

Contact Link

Website

~~~~

Purchase Link

Amazon

~~~~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~~

RABT Book Tours & PR

~~~~

#CoverReveal “A Lust for Blood (A Realm of Curses Novel)” by K.C. Smith

Cover Reveal Banner

How gorgeous is the cover for K.C. Smith’s debut novel, A Lust for Blood?! Read on for more info and pre-order a copy. There’s even a beautiful pre-order incentive!

80F37D6A-F13F-4BA9-A01E-C8C3FFF69EC5

A Lust for Blood (A Realm of Curses Novel)

Expected Publication Date: November 1st. 2022

Genre: Adult Dark Fantasy

Publisher: Phantom House Press

There is no escape when the monster is you

When Oriana awakens in a field of blood and bodies, she is devastated to realize the patchwork of death was caused by her own hand. A curse lingers in the air, and there is only one option to save herself from further bloodshed. Oriana uses her magic to create an enchanted forest imprisoning the monster responsible for the massacre–herself.

Garren has built a career around slaying demons. When he learns of a centuries old creature locked away in the strange Phantom Wood, the opportunity is too great. He will stop at nothing to destroy the demon filth that lurks in those shadows if only to satisfy his own haunting memories.

Oriana soon finds herself caught in a cat and mouse game, fighting to keep her identity secret. As the two grow closer, secrets unravel. But could they each be the answer the other has been searching for?

Add to Goodreads

730C2B1D-FC46-4DD2-8EE3-542BF40F2BD2

Pre-Order on Amazon!

Pre-order a copy and you will receive a stunning art print. Proof of purchase must be sent to the author. You can email K.C. Smith at kcsmithauthor@gmail.com

About the Author

22245275

K.C. Smith is a writer of Adult Fantasy from Maryland where she lives with her husband and their chihuahua, Tank. Writing allows her to escape from her busy life as an Accountant and small business owner. When not writing or reading, she can be found rock climbing or traveling the world! A Lust for Blood is K.C.’s debut novel and will be releasing November 1, 2022!

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | TikTok | Newsletter

Cover Reveal Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours