Ordinary Man, Extraordinary Situation
In June 2011, September was weeks away, and the full dread of the approaching anniversary hadn’t yet settled on New York City’s residents. But from One Police Plaza to the FBI’s grim headquarters in Washington, D.C., the top brass harbor a rumbling in the gut. Each person who works for them down the line shares their unease, from every rookie cop walking the beat to the lowliest surveillance specialist. And Archer Landis is about to get caught up in their fixation.
Landis is not one of his city’s guardians, and a different sort of electricity runs under his skin on this warm Thursday evening. A highly successful Manhattan architect—a man you’d say has his life totally, enviably, in order—Landis works the room at a Midtown reception, shaking hands, being seen, accompanying his cheerful greetings with the convivial clinking of ice in an untouched glass of scotch.
When the noisy crowd becomes sufficiently dense and everyone present can say they’ve seen him, he will slip away. Out on Fifth Avenue, he will grab a cab for the run south to Julia’s Chelsea apartment. It’s a trip that will hurtle him into deadly danger. Everyone and everything he cares about most will be threatened, and he will have to discover whether he has the courage to fight his way clear.
Genre: Crime / Murder Mystery
Published by: Black Opal Books
Publication Date: June 4, 2022
Number of Pages: 350
ISBN: 1953434819 (ISBN13: 978-1953434814)
Read an excerpt:
Vicki Weisfeld’s short stories have appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Mystery Magazine, Sherlock Holmes MM, and Black Cat MM, among others, as well as in a number of highly competitive crime anthologies, including: Busted: Arresting Stories from the Beat, Seascapes: Best New England Crime Stories, Passport to Murder (Bouchercon), The Best Laid Plans, Quoth the Raven, and Sherlock Holmes in the Realms of Edgar Allan Poe. Her stories have won awards from the Short Mystery Fiction Society and the Public Safety Writers Association. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and other crime fiction organizations. For the past decade, she’s blogged several times a week at www.vweisfeld.com. She is a frequent book reviewer for the UK website, crimefictionlover.com.
Catch Up With Victoria:
Twitter – @vsk8s
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Date Published 03-24-2022
On Sale for $0.99 for a Limited Time
Sometimes love is worth the wait.
Sara Carlisle and Charlie Rhodes are complete opposites. Oil and water. Chalk and cheese.
Before Sara even meets Charlie, she hates him. He’s insulted her best friend -a woman Sara considers family- and that is unforgivable. In person he proves to be just as obnoxious and insufferable as she’d anticipated. And, as far as she’s concerned, the fact that he’s tall and muscular with an accent to die for is not enough to redeem him. Charlie Rhodes is an arrogant A–hole (with a capital A!) and that’s all there is to it!
For his part, Charlie thinks Sara is a conceited pain in the arse. A prissy princess to the nth degree. It becomes his prerogative to get under her skin for the sheer pleasure of riling her up. He feels genuine enjoyment in the face of her frustration, and he makes no secret of it. Besides, she gives as good as she gets!
Fundamentally opposed in every way, it’s obvious to those around them that they’re not going to get along.
But unfortunately, thanks to their respective families, they are stuck in each other’s lives for the foreseeable future. Being civil is as good as it is going to get…or is it?
When their relationship turns from reluctant acquaintances to red hot lovers, they find it’s good.
What could possibly go wrong?
In a slow-burn romance that follows hot on the heels of Handle With Care*,
Sara and Charlie discover that you really can’t rush romance.
*Both Handle With Care and You Can’t Hurry Love can be read as standalone
novels in the expanding Jukebox Collection series.
“I had my reasons for avoiding serious relationships,” it seemed Everett wasn’t going to be discouraged, “but what’s stopping you?”
Charlie cast his gaze to the ceiling. “For fuck’s sake.”
“I watched at least five women attempt to get your attention at the airport the other day, so it’s not your looks.”
He knew Everett had always been a little jealous of his taller, broader physique and his naturally golden coloured hair, so he snorted. “Thanks, Rhett.”
“I’m serious, Charlie. You’re forty-two-”
“Please don’t remind me.”
“–and I can’t remember the last time you were seeing someone.”
It was Charlie’s turn to throw his brother a flat look. “One: we’ve not really had the sort of relationship where we talked about this stuff until recently,” he began, counting on his fingers for emphasis, “and two…well, alright, look, I’ve had a bit of a dry spell, but, like you, casual was always my thing. Is my thing.”
“Uh huh.” He hated that Everett didn’t sound convinced.
Scowling, Charlie demanded, “Did Mum put you up to this?”
He knew he was onto something when Everett shifted his gaze.
“I knew it!” Downing the last of his beer, Charlie stood up to deposit the bottle into the recycling bin in the kitchen.
“Shh!” Everett was frowning at him now. “Do you want to wake the baby?”
“If it’ll get you and Mum off my back about fucking settling down?” Charlie asked rhetorically as he ambled back to the couch and dropped down heavily. “Yes.”
“You wake her, you get to look after her.” The other man shot back, before asking, “Is it so wrong that we want you to be happy?”
Charlie blinked back at him, dumbstruck. “Who are you?”
“Oh, shove off.”
“No, I’m serious – you should know better than anyone that I don’t need to be in a relationship or have kids to be happy.”
“I never said you had to have kids.” Everett was standing firm. “You’re getting a bit old for it anyway.”
Despite himself, Charlie cracked a grin at the unexpected ribbing. “Piss off.”
His brother’s expression softened. “Look, I get it. Being alone’s easier, right? Nobody to hurt you or get hurt by, nobody to nag you or whatever. But,” he raised his hand as Charlie moved to interrupt, “and hear me out, alright?” Charlie shut his mouth and nodded defeatedly. “It’s going to sound ridiculous, but you just need the right person.”
Given that he’d already heard all about how effortless and easy Everett thought being with Gemma was, Charlie decided he didn’t need to hear him wax poetic any longer. “That’s probably true,” he acknowledged, “but I am happy as I am right now, Rhett. So lay off, alright?”
His brother pursed his lips and looked as though he wanted to beleaguer the point, but after another moment conceded, “Alright.”
“Just know that you can change your mind about it at any time, yeah?” Everett nudged his shoulder. “It won’t make you any less of a man, you stubborn git.”
Before Charlie could respond, a familiar, obnoxious voice cut in with a laugh. “That’s assuming he’s man enough to begin with.” Sara sauntered into the room, dropping a handful of shopping bags onto the floor beside the kitchen bench. She hopped up to sit on the granite surface, crossing her long legs at the ankle and chirping, “What are we talking about, anyway?”
From between gritted teeth, Charlie responded, “Nothing that concerns you, princess.” His spirits rose at the expression of distaste which flitted across her face. For some reason she despised the moniker, and so he used it frequently.
“Alright children,” Everett interrupted, narrowing his gaze at Charlie, “behave.” He stood up and crossed the room to greet Gemma with a kiss. “Did you lovely ladies enjoy your day?”
It was Jeff who answered, striding in arm-in-arm with their mother. “We did, thanks. It was just what the doctor ordered.”
“That massage was heavenly,” Beatrice agreed. “Worked out all the kinks from that Godawful flight.”
Charlie stretched his neck from side to side at the reminder. “I shoulda’ gone with you, then.”
Sara muttered something that was likely uncomplimentary under her breath, but, at Everett’s disapproving glower, Charlie bit his tongue. He was unused to this dynamic: previously, he’d been the one delivering looks like that in response to Rhett’s antics. He didn’t particularly appreciate being on the receiving end.
“How’d Zoe go?” Gemma asked. Charlie could tell she was attempting to change the topic, too, if the glare she’d sent Sara was anything to go by.
It was still strange to watch his brother switch completely into daddy mode. Everett grinned at his girlfriend. “We went to the park, came home and she tried some pureed sweet potato – she’s a fan, by the way.” At six months old, they were starting to introduce solids. How did Charlie know this? They’d regaled him and his mother with the information over dinner the previous night. His mum had lapped it up. Charlie had been bored as fuck. “And then she had a bottle and went down for her nap without any issues.”
With his mother cooing at his brother, Charlie did his best not to roll his eyes, but let his mind drift. He loved his niece, but he wasn’t all that concerned by the minutia of dealing with an infant. Glancing around the room, his gaze landed on Sara. Still perched on the kitchen bench, she was examining her fingernails, clearly just as interested in the conversation taking place as he was.
Look at that, he thought to himself with droll amusement, we’ve got something in common after all.
The moment was broken as she sensed his stare and looked up to catch him observing her. Her eyes rolled and she made a shooing motion with her perfectly manicured talons, which, he noted, were painted a vivid, cherry red. He flipped her off and looked away, wishing he could point out what a cliché she was.
About the Author
Anita (A.N.) Verebes is a daydreamer and romance novelist. As a professional civil marriage celebrant, Anita makes a living telling other people’s love stories and celebrating real romance! Also armed with a
Bachelor of Education (Secondary), Anita is a qualified -but not practising- High School English teacher who loves to read anything she can get her hands on, including fanfiction. (And, yes, she’s written her fair share of that, too.) Living directly between Queensland’s sunny Gold and Sunshine coasts, Anita spends her days exploring the Great South East with her husband and their two rambunctious sons. When at home, she’s also a slave to two cats and one very spoilt Great Dane X.
Date Published: January 31, 2022
Publisher: MindStir Media
Attorney James Crosson is in the grips of despair, blaming himself for his wife’s death. A widow hires him to pursue a wrongful death case on behalf of her late husband who died in a seemingly ordinary car wreck. Crosson must
confront his own tragic loss and gambling debts as he unravels the plot hatched by a deranged corporate tyrant who will stop at nothing to conceal the truth, take down the lawyer, and preserve his empire. With Vegas goons closing in and everything at stake, Crosson goes all in one last time with no realistic chance of winning the case or surviving the evil arrayed against him.
I’m so pleased to share this stunning EPIC romantic fantasy novel with you today! Read on for details, an exclusive excerpt to read, and a chance to win a fantastic book box including a signed copy!
Flame in the Palace (Lady of Avalion #1)
Publication Date: May 13, 2022
Genre: Fantasy Romance/ Romantasy/ Epic Fantasy
With her heritage shrouded in mystery and a future seemingly destined for obscurity, a young orphan is raised in her grandmother’s roadside inn. And though she loves her work tending tables, Myria yearns for more. She learns any magic she can from traveling mages, though this only serves to kindle her desire to break free from her mundane life.
When a chance visit to the inn provides an opportunity to learn the magic of the noble elite, Myria’s life changes. But to join the nobility and learn their mystical secrets, she must win the prince’s heart by the end of the summer and become the future Queen of Avalion.
Five noble ladies contend for the same prize over a season of ritualized competitions and formal events, and Myria is thrust into a world of glittering ballrooms, excessive wealth, and charming aristocrats.
But as she learns that the gleaming palaces of Avalion conceal nests of vipers, she must decide if joining them is a cost worth paying to unravel the mysteries of their magic. And the more she learns, the more she realizes there is a shadow hanging over the kingdom that cannot be dispelled merely by a Flame in the Palace.
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The minotaur reveals himself at the mouth of the cave. He is taller than any man she has seen, with the chest and arms of a human covered in dense fur. The bull shows in his cloven hooves, horned head, and elongated face. He must not have been asleep yet, as he watches her with alert and wary eyes. He is always careful. And she is careful to finish her music to the end of a major chord—careful to remain still for him.
When the last note fades, Myria lowers her flute and smiles.
“Hello there. I’m sorry. I know it is rather late. I hope you forgive me, but I brought some people who are keen to meet you.” She doesn’t know if he understands her, but she always speaks to him as if he can.
The minotaur raises his snout and sniffs the air before creeping to her. Myria remains still and waits for him to finish his inspection. Other humans have probably not been so kind to him as she, so she is patient with his trepidation. When his face is inches from hers, the minotaur stops and gazes at her. The anxious whispers of the men grow louder, distracting the minotaur. He snorts out a powerful breath with an uncertain grunt, blowing the hair out of her face. She senses the minotaur tensing in front of her, and her body coils like a spring.
She slowly reaches into her bag to break the tension and offers a peach. “Here,” she whispers, a slight tremble in her voice. “I know how much you like them.”
It is enough to refocus his attention. He is no longer cautious as he reaches for the fruit and bites into it eagerly. Myria breathes a sigh of relief and strokes his long snout.
“I am sorry for my rude friends. Can they come closer? I promise they won’t hurt you.”
The minotaur seems to consider her question for some time, chewing on his peach with his head cocked to the side. Then, amazingly, he nods.
The others draw near with less certainty than Myria. The minotaur’s ears flatten back, but he appears no more imposing than that as he waits for the men to approach.
Myria introduces each man by handing them a peach to give to the minotaur. “This is my cousin Geffrey, and his friends: Aryn, Emiri, and Leor.”
They stand in line, awaiting their turn to give their offering of peach as they gape at the towering minotaur. Myria steps back to provide them with space, crossing her arms and smiling at her handiwork. Emiri steps back with her as Geffrey hands his peach to the minotaur.
“Do you do this often?” he asks as he spins the peach in his hands.
“Do what?” she asks coyly.
“Make friends with dangerous, magical creatures,” he replies with a snort.
“No, the minotaur is the only one I know.”
“You know it’s crazy, right?” His spinning peach increases in speed. “Geffrey has us hunting a minotaur, and some barmaid takes us right to one, plays music for the beast, and feeds him peaches.”
Myria smirks, remembering his calloused hands. “Some barmaid? Is it as crazy as a commoner dressed up as a noble?”
Emiri chuckles, a husky sound that dissipates as he explains, “You are right; I am not a noble.”
“But you ride around with them searching for minotaurs? Do you do that often?” she points out, echoing his initial question.
“Looking for minotaurs? No. Ride around with them?” He gestures to the group before them, where Aryn is offering his peach. Emiri hesitates. “Yes, it happens occasionally.”
“How did you get so lucky?” Myria sighs.
Emiri tenses beside her. “I’m not sure if I would call it luck. How did you even know I was just a commoner?”
“I wouldn’t call you just a commoner, but if you must know, I saw your hands.” Myria reaches for one and holds it between the two of them. She traces the rough edges and lines with two fingers. “You have callouses, which means you’ve had to work hard in your life at some point. I have plenty of my own. Your friends don’t have any.”
Emiri says nothing about the sudden, forward gesture, and merely watches her. She maintains his piercing gaze with a shy smile. It is an expression that earns her many tips with the inn’s patrons, but that is not why she smiles now. The inn and minotaur are far from her mind as she puzzles out Emiri’s role among his noble friends.
“You never answered my question,” she points out.
“I—” Suddenly, a small gasp from the others cuts him off. Myria drops Emiri’s hand and races back to the minotaur, only to be greeted with a strange sight.
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About the Author
Seluna Drake (she/her) is a high school English teacher, author, poet, and artist. Most of the time she passes as a chaotic creative who spends way too much time on video games and not enough time talking to her therapist. She also considers herself a witch, INFP, and an advocate for youth and marginalized voices. You can find her primarily on Twitter: @SelunaDrake.
Click here for a chance to win a fabulous book box full of swag and a signed copy of the book!
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‘Secrets Lurk Beneath’
Welcome to the tour for From the Deep by Kateri Stanley. Read on for more info and grab a copy today!
From the Deep
Publication Date: May 6, 2022
Publisher: Burton Mayer Books
Julian Finch, widower and fisherman, awakes to learn that the bodies of two colleagues have washed up on the beach of Drake Cove. The close-knit community is under fierce public scrutiny due to a long-standing tradition called “The Culling”, the annual slaughter of pilot whales for consumption. An act which divides the nation.
The suspects are the extreme animal rights group, the Fighters Against Animal Cruelty (FAAC) who go wherever the politics is trending. They’ve been harassing the small fishing town for many years, smashing up their boats and sending vicious hate mail.
Tensions mount after a viral video, uploaded by the FAAC of Julian killing a pregnant whale, causes uproar online and in real life. In the aftermath, Julian becomes the victim of hate crime. In order to avoid further life-threatening attacks, Julian and his daughter take refuge in the home of Frank Blothio: ex-fisherman turned writer and political activist who does not have the best history with the animal rights movement, or Drake Cove as a whole.
As Julian integrates into the Blothio way of life, he discovers heinous secrets and disturbing truths lurking beneath the skin of his hometown that will change his life forever.
About the Author
Kateri Stanley is a pseudonym for the multi-genre fiction writer. Since being a child, Kateri has been inspired by the wondrous mediums of books, music, TV and film. After working in the healthcare industry for eight years and studying for an Arts and Humanities degree, she made the decision to move cities in the West Midlands and live with her ever-suffering partner and their two cats. Her debut novel Forgive Me was published by indie press house, Darkstroke Books in 2021 and became an Amazon bestseller reaching #1 in the US Horror Fiction charts. She is currently working on her third novel, Bittersweet Injuries and would love to pursue a full-time career in writing.
Mini Tour Organized By:
Date Published: June 21, 2022
Narrow escapes from bouts with The Potato were just the beginning
Having had a number of odd brushes with death, Author Chester (Chet) L. Richards has always boldly gone where few have dared. His mantra: view all that comes your way – the good, the terrifying, and the ugly – as a series of adventures. Here are a few snippets from his book, From The Potato to Star Trek and Beyond: Memoirs of a Rocket Scientist:
“It took much practice, and many accidents, before I got the hang of it. Even then, The Potato, in its death throes, did not always behave as a Proper Sacrifice should and blazing hot molten lead would explode out from the bubbling caldron.” From The Potato
“He swung his rifle around and pointed it towards my belly, his finger nervous on the trigger. I froze.” From Land of Troubles
“One day, Judy and I were taken for a walk. We wandered around for a bit, climbed a narrow flight of stairs and were ushered into the Sanctum Sanctorum. There, waiting for us, was Gene Roddenberry.” From Star Trek
“My last vision of the raft, before I was driven to the black bottom of the silty river, was of Terry, half overboard, his outside leg caught between a maverick oar and the side of the boat.” From Lava Falls
“‘Three…two…one…fire!”…Hisssss…Pop! ‘Uh, oh!’ said the technician as the meters all swung to zero and red lights lit up down the length of the long control panel. My signals also had disappeared…’We just blew up the [rocket engine] test stand.'” From Rocket Science
The loss of the love of his life, Sarah, knocked the stuffing out of Chet initially. But writing these, the stories she loved, brought him back. May reading them bring you the zest for life the author regained from recalling them.
Unexpected Ever After Anthology Teaser Reveal
Meet. Fall in love. Live happily ever after…
It’s the way it should be.
At least, that’s what we’ve been told.
But that’s only in fairytales.
Real life throws twists and turns.
It will flip you upside down and inside out.
Yet, love will appear when you least expect it.
In the most unusual of places.
Under the worst of circumstances.
It can bring light to situations so dark you can barely see.
Hope where none lived before.
Passion where only pain lies.
It can surprise you and heal the deepest of wounds.
As long as you’re willing to embrace the unexpected ever after…
Unexpected Ever After brings you 20 brand new contemporary romance stories about finding love in the unexpected! Laugh, cry, and feel your heart beat again with these dazzling stories from some of today’s hottest authors!
Silla Webb & Kaden Layne
Laura Pavlov & Willow Aster
Rachel Lyn Adams
#UnexpectedEverAfter #Anthology #Romance #TeaserReveal