Mia Farris is a successful attorney and owner of a clean beauty cosmetics business. When Fortune 500 company, Sinclair Cosmetics, proposes to invest in her expansion, she is wary of the corporate giant and their sexy chemist Peter Attah. Peter’s job is to convince Mia that opening her mind to compromise will place her products in the hands of more women that need them. Instead, he convinces her that she may need to open her heart as well.
Peter Attah is a chemistry professor committed to helping people of post-war African nations rebuild their lives. As a consultant for Sinclair Cosmetics, he uses his influence with the CEO to do so. When he is assigned to develop new products with the beautiful Mia Farris, he finds her impenetrable. But with time, he realizes her broken heart is an equation that only he can solve.
Love & the Lab is a STEAMY enemy to lovers short read where the characters hate hard and fall in love fast. There are instances of domestic violence, corporate greed, and racism. Please read responsibly.
Title: Worth The Wait (A Southern Fairy Tale- Book 2)Author: Shannon Davis
Genre:Contemporary RomanceRelease Date: October 29, 2020
Cover Designer: Cover Me DarlingHosted by:Buoni Amici Press, LLC.
High school English teacher Claire Gibbs thought she’d found love but a broken heart was all she had to show for it. When her latest disappointment turns out to be a smooth-talking control freak, she swears off men. Although she couldn’t deny wanting the fairy tale—a happily ever after with Mr. Right—she was in no rush to date again.
Until she met Caleb.
Air Force officer Caleb Williams’ love life could be summed up in three words: crash and burn. All he wanted was to find a love that would stand the test of time. After a string of failed relationships with high maintenance drama queens, he gave up hope of finding someone special to share his life with and decided to fly solo.
But then he met Claire.
As fate keeps bringing them together, waiting for the right one might not take as long as they thought. Sparks ignite and passion flares as their dreams of finding true love become reality. But a possessive ex will stop at nothing to prevent their happily ever after. Will the one thing they’ve waited their whole lives for be destroyed at the hands of a killer?
Claire leaned in closer, nuzzling her cheek against my chest as we watched the sky light up. With every bang, she tensed, squealing and squeezing my leg as her body jolted. Between the explosions, her fingertips worked busily, making tiny circles on my thigh as she anxiously awaited the next thrill. Her enthusiasm was invigorating, her laughter contagious, and her touch was like a warm salve. Tender. Soothing. Yet so damn powerful. Spending the evening with her was nothing short of comforting. Something I had craved for so long. Holding her felt remarkably familiar, like I was home. And when she reached over and intwined her fingers with mine, I had a brief flash of us sitting together watching fireworks just like this for many years to come.
As the finale exploded, I couldn’t resist the urge to kiss her any longer. Pulling my hand from hers, I lifted her chin, bringing her face close to mine. Her smile told me she knew exactly what I had in mind.
I swallowed, my gaze steady on hers. “Might wanna close your eyes for this,” I whispered.
As the hand on my thigh stilled, the other slid around my neck. “It’s about time, cowboy.”
I heard something in her tone that made my heart spasm. Had she been wanting this too? Her fingers traced up my neck, pulling me closer. I leaned in further and her eyes slowly closed. Holding her chin ever so gently, I pressed my lips to hers. I kissed her softly, once, twice, three times, then parted her lips with my tongue. As I explored her mouth, burying my fingers in her hair, her hand groped my thigh, causing my shorts to grow tighter and tighter. Never had I ever tasted lips so sweet. Never before had anything felt so right, so perfect. I knew without a doubt Claire was the one for me, the one I’d been searching for, waiting for, longing for all these years. She was the one. And I never wanted to let her go.
Shannon Davis grew up in Northwest Florida where she developed a love of writing as a young girl, keeping countless diaries and notebooks filled with short stories. After college, she followed her love of mathematics and became a high school math teacher. She retired from the classroom after nearly three decades to pursue her lifelong dream of writing.
A military wife and mother of three college-aged children, she and her husband reside in Georgia with their three dogs and four cats. When she is not writing, Shannon enjoys traveling, baking, and outdoor activities. An avid reader of women’s fiction and love stories, she is a sucker for happy endings. Her love of the south coupled with romance is evident in her novels, Worth the Risk and Worth the Wait, books one and two in the Southern Fairy Tale series.
From internationally bestselling romance author Alexa Aston – the final book in the exciting Hollywood Name Game – a stunning new contemporary romance series. Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
She’s a legal shark—sleek and deadly—but doesn’t trust anyone beyond her small circle of family and friends.
He’s internationally famous—and yet a mystery to the world as he cloaks himself in privacy.
Can they shed their fears and open their hearts to one another?
Actor Wynn Gallagher is at the peak of his fame, playing superhero Carbon Man in the Alpha Tharra Universe film franchise. While the role has made him wealthy, he’s ready to move on to newer challenges—but his ironclad contract will keep him tied to the role for years to come. Seeking legal advice, he approaches Scarlett Corrigan, one of the top entertainment attorneys in Los Angeles.
Scarlett is the younger sister of Hollywood’s highest paid actor, Rhett Corrigan, but she’s made a name for herself in entertainment law. She thrives on challenges and readily accepts Wynn as a client, but she puts the brakes on the strong attraction between them, not wanting to mix business with pleasure.
Eventually, Wynn and Scarlett become involved but tragedy strikes not once, but twice, threatening to end their relationship before it has a chance to grow and flourish.
Can Wynn and Scarlett overcome overwhelming odds and find lasting love?
Hollywood Enigma is the fifth and final book in the Hollywood Name Game series. Each book in the series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Other Books in the Hollywood Name Game Romance Series:
Hollywood Name Game, Book 1
Release Date: August 6, 2020
From internationally bestselling romance author Alexa Aston comes a stunning new Contemporary Romance series. Book One in the exciting Hollywood Name Game series has arrived. Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
Being late to an interview lands her the biggest job opportunity of her life.
He may be rich and successful—but he’s just this side of miserable.
Can a wannabe be The One for the biggest star in Hollywood?
Cassie Carroll came to Hollywood with big dreams that never materialized. Acting isn’t even on the back burner anymore—it’s completely off the stove. Working for a third-rate agent, Cassie hopes to land a new job that will give her credibility, as well as help pay the rent. Late to her interview, she swerves to avoid hitting a dog—and totals the car of Hollywood’s leading action superstar. Surprisingly, she walks away from their encounter with a job—as the sexiest man alive’s personal assistant.
Rhett Corrigan is bored with the movies he makes and the drop-dead gorgeous model he’s dating. He’s afraid that Hollywood has typecast him—and that he’ll never be able to break out of his action mold and try new acting challenges. When Cassie Carroll literally slams into his life, she brings a breath of fresh air and common sense to his world. She pushes him to be a better actor and a better man.
Can these friends become lovers—and can their love survive—in a tabloid-happy town that thrives on rumors and backstabbing?
From internationally bestselling romance author Alexa Aston – Book Two in the exciting Hollywood Name Game – a stunning new contemporary romance series. Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
She’s Hollywood royalty whose trail vanished a dozen years ago.
He doesn’t do relationships and thinks commitment is a four-letter word.
They Google each other . . . and sparks fly . . .
Sydney Revere, the daughter of a famous movie couple, left Hollywood behind over a decade ago. Christened The Wild Child by the media, she reinvents herself as a serious student who becomes an attorney and marries a safe, predictable man. When her husband cheats on her and the law loses its glitter, Sydney returns to Hollywood. Her father hires her to storyboard his upcoming movie, No Regrets—and then stuns Sydney when he offers her the job as his assistant director.
Dash DeLauria is a rising actor who hasn’t trusted a woman since his mother left. He’s now the guardian of his mentally-challenged brother. Dash is looking to grow professionally and after he wins the lead in No Regrets, he finds he’s lost his heart and soul to Sydney. With both their careers on the upswing, life is sweet.
But Sydney’s ex-husband isn’t finished with her yet. Discovering who she really is—and that she’s wealthy—he tracks her to California, ready to start over with her again.
She has zero friends . . . and is wary of men, living life as a recluse.
His only friend is 90 and when she dies, he’s adrift.
Can a dyslexic actor and a shy loner find happiness together?
Famous from the time she was fourteen, London Russell lands the cover of Sports Illustrated to cap off her modeling career. Leaving the fashion world behind, she follows her dream of becoming a singer-songwriter. Thanks to an ex-boyfriend’s vicious attack on her, London becomes a recluse who turns out hits but never tours—and can’t trust a man. Her life changes course when she encounters a Hollywood screenwriter and director and agrees to write the theme song for their next movie.
Knox Monroe grew up as America’s darling, a child actor featured on several popular television series. After his mother’s betrayal, Knox drops out of sight, returning years later to make the successful transition to adult roles. A known womanizer and loner, Knox meets London by chance. Through her connections, he winds up with the lead role in a new movie.
Will London be able to open her heart and move past Knox’s player reputation? And will Knox knock down the emotional fortress that he’s built around his heart?
Hollywood Double Hollywood Name Game, Book 4 Release Date: October 8, 2020
From internationally bestselling romance author Alexa Aston – Book Four in the exciting Hollywood Name Game – a stunning new contemporary romance series – has arrived. Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
She’s a Hollywood leading lady who’s never found love – except with Jax, her Basenji.
He’s divorced from a cheating wife and refuses to ever give his heart away again.
Together, their smoking-hot chemistry leads to movie magic . . . and murder . . .
Mac Randall’s life turns upside down when he walks in on his wife and her lover. He finishes his tour of duty overseas and leaves the army, becoming a popular stuntman in Hollywood. When the actor Mac doubles for is murdered, Mac is surprised to find himself cast as the film’s leading man—at the suggestion of the actress who will play opposite him.
Keely Kennedy has built a solid career in Hollywood, rising from supporting roles to leading lady, but she’s been unlucky in love. She becomes close friends with Mac Randall, her new co-star, while she helps him prepare for his first on-screen role. Friendship blossoms into love during their shoot and despite several mishaps on the set, she knows not only has she done the best work in her career on this film, but she believes Mac will become an instant star.
Before production is complete, though, the murderer surfaces—ready to kill the film—and its two stars.
Hollywood Double is the fourth book in the Hollywood Name Game series. Each book in the series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Wynn had never experienced such a physical rush as he did sitting next to Scarlett. The tall beauty fascinated him. Over the years, he’d quietly seen a few women but as his success mounted, he’d almost lost interest in the opposite sex. Or rather, they’d lost interest in him. No one wanted to know Wynn as a person. Every woman seemed more interested in being seen with Wynn Gallagher, the superstar, and what that could do for them. He found himself shrinking inside until he’d almost disappeared.
Scarlett was different. A highly paid professional in a competitive field. Comfortable in her own skin. She came from a world where she mingled with the rich and famous on a regular basis. She didn’t seem impressed sitting next to Carbon Man. She treated him as Wynn, a guy—not Wynn, the megastar.
That was a huge turn-on.
He noticed people seated at tables around them began rising. Scarlett scooped up her casino money and he said, “You must’ve done Sarah a good favor to get double the money to play with.”
Those mesmerizing gray eyes looked at him with amusement. “I helped her work out a problem that arose at the last minute.”
With a straight face, he said, “It involved a demanding donor who wanted a front row seat to tonight’s action, I’d guess.”
The corners of her sensual mouth turned up. “I believe it did. Fortunately, this donor came alone. No plus-one. Since I ended a relationship this morning, it was easy to insert this fussy donor into my plus-one’s seat.” Her smile widened. “Problem solved.”
“Was this a longtime plus-one?” he asked.
She shrugged. “A couple of months. I had the feeling Chaz was more interested in the people he would see tonight and chat up than he was spending time with me.”
“Then Chaz is a fool,” Wynn said. “I’ve known you less than two hours and see you’re smart, capable, interesting, and incredibly beautiful. If I were your plus-one, it would be hard to get rid of me. I’d be stuck to you like glue.”
Her eyes lit with interest. “You would?”
About the Author
Award-winning and internationally bestselling author Alexa Aston lives with her husband in a Dallas suburb, where she eats her fair share of dark chocolate and plots out stories while she walks every morning. She’s a binge fiend (The Crown and Ozark are favorites) who enjoys travel, sports, and time with her family.
Her historical romances bring to life loveable rogues and dashing knights, while her contemporary romances are light and flirty and sometimes contain a bit of suspense.
Haunted by his discovery of a beloved neighbor’s body floating lifeless in the lake where he’s fishing, 16-year-old Benjamin Baum is convinced she was murdered despite her death being deemed an accident. While those around him tire of his fixation on finding a supposed killer, Ben’s alienation leads to drinking and the reader begins to wonder if he’s a reliable narrator. The plot takes a shocking twist, revealing the terrifying reality that things are not what they seem—that, beneath a façade of prosperity and contentment, darkness lurks.
I can recall with near perfect clarity the moment I saw Helen Lowenthal’s bloated body slide up through a carpet of emerald water lilies and bob on the water’s surface like a ghostly musk turtle. In the seconds before her lifeless ascent, a constellation of fireflies—tiny flickering furnaces—danced and glowed in the early summer dusk; a white egret, all legs and neck, landed atop Split Rock and stood regal guard over the lake; a long-eared bat carved wicked arcs through the sky before devouring a plump imperial moth.
From the direction of Second Beach, Nathan Gold’s pontoon boat—the Ark—puttered along the shoreline with four prosperous couples reveling in their evening cocktails. A symphony of big bands, laughter, and giddy howls poured off the boat and tumbled across the lake’s still water. Nathan and his wife, Bea—a gregarious, stocky woman—called out to me as they passed, and I waved back with delight, wondering how two people could be so festive, so happy, so often.
Bonnie Schwartz, my mother’s friend, was also on the boat. She was considered by many to be the prettiest woman on the lake, as was her mother before her. I waved to her with the hope of some reciprocity—maybe a nod or a simple smile in my direction—but this auburn beauty, distracted by her empty martini glass, did not notice me—an omission that punished my fragile sixteen-year-old heart.
I sat on the edge of the dock, my feet immersed in the water of our beloved New Jersey lake. As the Ark turned north toward the clubhouse, the boat’s wake caused the pungent, algal water to lap against my calves. I held a wooden fishing pole that Papa, my grandfather, had given me when I was six. The hook baited with a throbbing night crawler, I watched as the red-and-white bobber teased me with a quick downward thrust, only to rise to the surface and drift with rippled ease. Clever fish, I thought.
A few seconds before the swollen body emerged, I turned back to look at my grandparents’ summerhouse. I could see Nana flitting about the screened-in porch, setting the table for yet another dinner party, while Papa probed the lawn for moles, angling empty glass bottles into their holes with the open ends facing downward. “Makes a howling noise, Ben,” he once told me as he guided a beer bottle into the earth. “Drives them crazy, like psychological warfare.”
What I noticed first in the water before me was not a body, but a flutter in the lilies that I mistook for a jumping frog. It was only when the attenuated rays of the descending summer sun flashed off Helen’s gold and diamond watch that I realized something terrible had occurred. I gasped and leapt to my feet. “God,” I mumbled and raised my right foot as if to take a step forward, toward the body. “Papa!” I yelled, dropping the rod to the dock. “Papa, come down!”
Despite his old age, my grandfather was a lithe and energetic man who, after numerous injuries and surgeries, had somehow managed to retain much of the athleticism of his youth. He was alarmed by the distress in my voice, for he threw a bottle to the ground and dashed down the slate path to the water’s edge. I glanced up to my grandmother, who stood frozen on the porch, right hand on chest, her mouth open.
“There!” I shouted to Papa and pointed to the blue-white body of his next-door neighbor. Helen Lowenthal, whose rare kindness had evoked in me the greatest loyalty, was dressed in a pink tennis skirt and matching top. Barefoot, she floated on her back, her face dappled with lake slime, her dyed blonde hair draped over a mat of lilies, her pale arms elevated above her head as if she were a surrendering soldier. I took another step closer, toward the water. I found myself drawn to her body, to its deadness, to its serene, haunted passage, as one is drawn to the very things—once beautiful, now rotten—that intrigue us, that repulse us with their incomprehensible transformation.
Papa reached the dock and grabbed my arm. He stared at the body in silence, then, as if looking for a clue, scanned the shoreline and the lake’s expanse. A hundred feet from the dock, in a pool of quiet water, an elderly couple fished from an anchored motorboat; the Ark continued its journey toward the clubhouse, a familiar Ella Fitzgerald melody drifting off the stern; a small sailboat floated in the windless dusk; and the white egret elevated from Split Rock, relinquishing its perch in search of food. “Go inside and call the police,” Papa cried. “It’s Helen, you know.” He wiped the sweat from his face then, panting, bent over at the waist. “Helen … Lowenthal,” he said through heavy breaths, before stepping down, fully-clothed, into the shallow water.
I watched as he struggled to traverse the muddy lake floor, the water rising from his knees, to his waist, to his chest. When he reached Helen, he touched a small bruise on her forehead. He then grasped her left hand and guided her—belly-up—toward the shore, her body slicing through the water with ease and purpose. As I watched this scene unfold, I was immobilized by my first close contact with death. I stared at her corpse with a vast fear, with a revulsion that shamed me, and, I would later acknowledge, with something approximating wonderment.
With great care, Papa placed his palm on the side of Helen’s head—a tender movement that protected her from hitting a protruding rock. Now just feet from the shore, the water knee-deep, he turned to me. “Go, Ben,” he demanded. “Go now!”
Unable to divert my eyes from the scene before me, I moved slowly up the dock. I watched as Papa stepped up onto the shore, his legs heavy from the weight of his sodden pants. I watched as he lifted Helen, as he groaned in exertion, and then gently laid her down on the spongy moss. I took one last look at the woman. She wore the fancy watch her husband had given her for their twentieth anniversary, and on her left hand was an engagement ring, the one with a diamond so large that some of the women from the bridge club had started a rumor that the stone was fake. I glanced at her toenails, painted cherry red, and at her slime-lacquered face.
“Go!” Papa screamed, now with fury in his eyes. And then I ran to the house and into my grandmother’s fleshy, perfumed embrace. I ran to a safe place.
About the Author
Adam Pelzman was born in Seattle, raised in northern New Jersey, and has spent most of his life in New York City. He studied Russian literature at the University of Pennsylvania and went to law school at UCLA. His first novel, Troika, was published by Penguin (Amy Einhorn Books). He is also the author of The Papaya King, which Kirkus Reviews described as “entrancing,” “deeply memorable” and “devilishly smart social commentary.” The Boy and the Lake, set in New Jersey during the late 1960s, is his third novel.
BLOOD MONEY is the true legal thriller of a terrifying David vs. Goliath
fight against massive healthcare fraud by a brave Whistleblower. It
includes attempted murder, extortion, money-laundering, fraudsters hiding
money in the Cayman Islands, gold buried in a storage container in a
CEO’s backyard, an Assistant Attorney General sabotaging her
state’s case, and a corrupt Governor torpedoing litigation by his own
Attorney General. From Silicon Valley to the Sunshine State, in a
showdown that reads like a Hollywood movie, Chris Riedel survives to share
it all. His actions have resulted in more than $550 million in settlements
and a court verdict… and counting.
Blood Money is the story of how a Silicon Valley CEO became a fraud fighter. It is an insider’s look at the David vs. Goliath struggle between a whistleblower seeking to save his company and stop taxpayers from being ripped-off, and healthcare companies engaged in massive fraud. Along the way, it exposes what it is like to work with government prosecutors.
I lived the Silicon Valley dream, founding my first company at twenty-four, and then starting two others while I was still a young man. The first two companies revolutionized how bacterial infections were diagnosed and treated—saving hundreds of thousands of lives around the world.
My third company, Meris Laboratories, jumped to another level entirely. Between 1988-90, it experienced the fastest growth among 2,000 labs in the industry, and delivered the highest pre-tax profit margins. In 1991, we achieved the ultimate Silicon Valley aspiration by leading the company through an initial public offering (IPO). A secondary offering (SPO) followed six months later. A month after the SPO, Business Week selected Meris as the fortieth best small business in America — out of over 20 million registered small companies. We were deeply honored.
We decided to celebrate our success in the best possible way: a few months after the SPO, I retired after twenty-two years in healthcare. I was forty-five years old. For someone who grew up in a lower middle-class family, you can only imagine how proud I felt.
During the 1990s, two labs (dubbed the “Blood Brothers” by Wall Street analysts) grew to dominate the industry: Quest Diagnostics and Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp). When my wife, Marcia, and I came back into the industry 11 years after we retired, the California laboratory industry had changed. Instead of walking into a level playing field for all labs, what we found was a rigged deck, a broad pattern of corruption, kickbacks, price gouging, and naked profiteering. This made it impossible for honest competitors, like our Hunter Labs, to survive.
Even worse, I discovered that hundreds of millions of dollars were being stolen from California’s Medicaid system.
This corruption was anything but a victimless crime. Beyond California’s taxpayers, many others were getting harmed, namely California’s oldest, sickest, and poorest. What I found was that the Blood Brother-dominated laboratory testing market in California had devolved largely into profiteering by the greedy at the expense of the needy.
These frauds were not accidents. They were core business plans, designed and sanctioned at the top. I learned of this as the “big wink” that goes on every day in American healthcare. If you want to be a big or mid-sized player in the healthcare arena, you quickly find out that you must make a choice: join the fraud team or go home. One of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, Merck, was described by an Assistant U.S. Attorney at a Taxpayers Against Fraud conference as: “Organized crime masquerading as a drug company.”
I never imagined I would become a fraud fighter. My closest friends, also successful businessmen, despised anyone who sued corporations—particularly whistleblowers. This held throughout corporate America, which views whistleblowers as pariahs instead of people who stand for integrity and fair business and employment practices. Was I about to become something they despised?
About the Author
CHRIS RIEDEL is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who has founded five healthcare companies and served as the Chairman and CEO of all. Chris achieved the Silicon Valley dream when he took his third company public in 1991. A few months later, it was ranked by Business Week as the 40th best small company in America. Soon after founding a fourth company, his battle against healthcare fraud began. In 2011, he received the Taxpayers Against Fraud Whistleblower of the Year award.
FBI Agent Joseph Trammell retires to a beachfront home on a Georgia island.
Six months later, PI Red Farlow finds him dying in a pool of blood. Someone shot him four times. Five shell casings litter the floor. Drops of blood lead out of the house and onto East Beach on St. Simons Island. Red sets out to find out who killed Joe Trammell and why.
Did the local drug and arms smuggler hire a hit? And who caught the fifth bullet?
Farlow wades into the murky water of intrigue, conflicting love affairs, and danger as he tracks down the killer. It’s not exactly a relaxing day at the beach.
East Beach, Red Farlow Mysteries, Book Three
Red Farlow resisted following his wife, Leigh, to bed. He’d slept fitfully of late. Instead, he walked to his front porch overlooking the beach and St. Simons Sound.
He sat and listened to the water and waves, cloaked in a fog teased by a gentle winter breeze.
The mist had drifted in earlier that evening and thickened into a likeness comparable to Brunswick stew. The cloud blanketed Red’s neighborhood.
His nostrils flared. A southwesterly wind ushered in the rotten egg stink from the paper mills on the mainland.
A freighter hauling across St. Simons Sound to Brunswick’s port sounded its foghorn. Red watched as the ghostly hulk cruised past. Gulls danced in the breeze over the beach’s surf line. All was right with the world. Or was it?
Red looked down at his cell phone. How did I miss a call? He noticed the time— half past midnight.
He listened to the voice message.
“Red, ah…Tram. Now!”
The short, clipped message alarmed. Red’s friend was a talker by nature. He recalled Joseph Trammell’s older brother relating how he burst forth from their mother’s womb, chatting up a storm. Tram didn’t deny that. He just grinned upon hearing the story.
At times as a federal agent, Tram faced predicaments that would dent anyone’s proclivity toward conversation.
Red considered what the trouble might be as he went in to tell Leigh he was going out. He put on a windbreaker, walked through the mist to his truck, and drove up the road to Tram’s house.
He parked on the street and walked to the front door, which stood half-open. A lone lamp glowed in the living room and an upstairs hall light sprayed the stairwell with its softness. He stepped into the house, down the hall by the stairs, and to the brightest lit room—the kitchen.
Joseph Trammell sprawled, barely alive, in a pool of his blood on the floor. Red kneeled over and cupped the back of his friend’s head and shoulders.
Tram’s eyes fought hard to open.
“Red,” he managed to utter.
“Yeah, man. It’s me,” Red said. “Tram, help will be on the way soon.” Red dialed for an ambulance.
The former FBI agent fought for breath. He managed to say, “Key West.” Tram tried to heave more air, but the rattle denied it. His eyelids opened and shut several times.
It was the last time Red saw his old boss and friend he called Tram. Someone put four bullets in him. Looking at Tram on the floor, the private investigator feared the EMTs could do little to save him.
Joseph Trammell exhaled a final faint whoosh of breath, and his head slumped to one side. He died.
That was too bad. Red loved the guy. Damned.
Tram retired from the FBI late the previous summer and moved into a house on St. Simons Island’s East Beach.
Red and his wife Leigh had passed the house on the road a dozen times. They walked by it on the beachfront that many or more. The night Red got the call, he finally went inside the cottage.
It’s not that they weren’t welcome. Tram had invited them to visit his house twice. Both times they had conflicts and couldn’t make it, so Red was long overdue in dropping by to see him and his pride in homeownership. He and Leigh did manage to meet Tram once for dinner at a restaurant on the island.
The sad part about not having visited Tram’s new house was Red had a home a mile away in St. Simons Island’s Village on the Georgia coast.
Busy lives got in the way. Leigh had her psychotherapy practice on Chippewa Square in Savannah. They went to Europe for three weeks that autumn. On and on the reasons mounted. But Red knew he should have visited Tram as soon as he moved in on that hot day in August. He didn’t.
Red looked around the kitchen and concentrated on everything in a quick view.
A large pool of blood under his friend. Five shots fired, as indicated by the collection of brass casings on the floor five feet from Tram’s body. He’d taken four bullets. Someone else got the fifth. A trail of blood drops speckled the floor.
Red saw no gun but noted a butcher knife on the kitchen counter near the sink.
He remained still, not wanting to disturb the evidence there—someone who was bleeding escaped out the back. Anyone could see that much. Small puddles of blood found three to four feet apart led from the kitchen to the porch, out the screen door, and onto the sand of East Beach.
Red took out his cell phone and shot a dozen photos of the scene. When a siren sounded a few blocks away, he gingerly stepped out of the kitchen and left through the front door. While waiting on the small patch of grass, he watched as a lone woman approached the house from down the street. A couple walked up the road that dead-ended into Tram’s property.
Minutes later, an ambulance pulled onto the short pebble driveway, followed by a county police car. Two EMTs ran to the house. Red directed them and the cops to the kitchen.
The hubbub began.
Other neighbors appeared. Two more cops arrived and started asking questions of everyone there. An officer talked to one woman—the early arrival—who said she lived several cottages down. Red wondered what the cops would learn from her and the others.
In the middle of the night, gunshots tended to raise alarms, particularly in high- end neighborhoods with million-dollar beachfront houses. Of course, many were vacation homes and unoccupied much of the time. Still, there were plenty of full- timers on the stretch of East Beach.
Red walked back into the house. As the ambulance guy and woman examined Tram’s body, two sheriff’s officers came in and started asking questions. Soon, a county homicide detective appeared in a sedan. Red spoke to him, explaining that after Tram’s voice message, he came over and found his friend dying on the kitchen floor.
Red saw no need to tell them what Tram uttered in his last moments. No one asked.
About the Author
W.F. Ranew is a former newspaper reporter, editor, and communication executive. He started his journalism career covering sports, police, and city council meetings at his hometown newspaper, The Quitman Free Press. He also worked as a reporter and editor for several regional dailies: The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, The Florida Times-Union, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Ranew has written two previous novels: Schoolhouse Man and Candyman’s Sorrow. He lives with his wife in Atlanta and St. Simons Island, Ga.
First loves are never forgotten. Ever. Certainly not for Tommy “Pancake” Jeffers. His first-kiss, sixth-grade love, Emily, who he has not seen since grammar school, is sliding toward divorce in the artsy Gulf Coast town of Fairhope, Alabama. Longly Investigations has been charged with looking into the finances involved. When Emily doesn’t appear for their nervously anticipated meeting, Pancake’s radar goes on high alert. Her body, along with that of Jason; one of two guys she has been dating is found murdered, execution-style, Pancake calls in Jake, Nicole, and Ray.
Who would have done this? Could it be the soon-to-be ex, who has an ironclad alibi; the other guy Emily was seeing–jealousy being a motive for harm; or do the drugs found in Jason’s pocket indicate a drug-related hit? That world yields a host of suspects. As they peel back the layers of this idyllic community, dark secrets come to light and convoluted motives and methods of murder are revealed.
Perfect for fans of Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich.
B. Love, an author who focuses on African American romance, urban romance, and non-fiction genres, is celebrating five years as a published author on November 5th, 2020. Often called the ‘Prolific Pen Pusher,’ B. Love has achieved much in just five years as a published author. She has released more than 110 award-winning novels that have received both critical acclaim as well as financial success. To mark her five years of successful novel-writing, the author is set to release five new books.
Her upcoming titles to be released on November 5th promise to entertain, empower, and enlighten.
B. Love has been writing ever since she was 12, and her stories stand apart from regular love stories in that they focus on self-growth, self-awareness, compassion, and gratitude. Her stories have more to do with transforming the life and approach of the reader, rather than providing them with merely a gripping plot. With a sizable fan following in all parts of the world, her stories are characterized by compelling content that explores the many colors of human emotions such as love, passion, and devotion to life.
B. Love’s books focus on encouraging inner growth and elicit deep inner exploration in her readers. She focuses on continuous learning and self-reflection and encourages her readers to take the same path to unravel a beautiful life that each one of us are bestowed with.
In addition to writing, B. Love is a writing coach, editor, publishing sage and consultant, and has founded a publishing company that helps talented authors publish books. She also provides mentoring for new authors and guidance to current authors as well as story ideas and summaries for those who need inspiration to start writing. Her company has helped publish more than 300 books by about 50 authors.
Mira is a troubled soul living in the sphere of toxicity. With heartbreak and rejection being too heavy of a cocktail to continuously digest, she turns to drug use in order to dull her reality. Unfortunately, her spiral leads to homelessness and a need for rescue. Desperate for cash, she finesses her way into an underground casino. Taken in by the action, it’s clear this is a place she doesn’t belong. However, a meeting with a powerful man causes her to lose her potential marks and gain a path to healing that just may let her heart tag along.
Smoke is suave and charismatic, and he knows his business. As the owner of an underground casino, his eyes and ears are always open. Dollars don’t get played or paid without him knowing about it. Faces become familiar after first glance. When a woman, less made up and more run down, enters his establishment, Smoke instantly recognizes her as out of place. Yet, there’s something about her that draws him in. He wants to care for her… help her reclaim her light. If only the task was that simple.
Will Smoke and Mira find themselves in the mirrors of each other? Or will the truth of circumstances fade the promises of the future?
Oakland was once the baby sister kept under her brother’s thumb. Now, she’s a woman determined to take care of herself, and that includes licking her own wounds. Fresh off of heartbreak, she’s sure being alone couldn’t get any worse… until she finds herself in jeopardy of losing her job. Reflexes would have her call her big brother to save her, yet she reminds herself that she wanted this independence and she must fight to keep it. Entering a competition with a fellow journalist looks like a plausible solution. However, the nature of the competition, steeped in pretend dates and getting-to-know you questions, puts a lot more than her employment on the line.
Azriel is mighty with words. A talented journalist, he’s no stranger to proving himself. When he’s offered an opportunity to enter a challenge to showcase what he’s made of and stamp his name on the magazine industry, he confidently accepts. His competition not only matches his savvy, but her allure is enough to make the world stop moving. In a romantic whirlwind dubbed as research, he finds discovering her truths shifts his perspectives and steadies his heart. However, with his career on the line, love may have to be left out of the credits.
Will Azriel and Oakland let their hearts narrate the future? Or are they both sentenced to a life without love?
After the success of Oakland and Azriel’s articles, Sammy decides it’s time to take the world by storm again. This time, he puts Pryer and Deacon on opposing sides.
No stranger to pleasure, Pryer lives the life of a sensuous woman who goes after everything she desires. Her biggest belief when it comes to men is that they can’t handle a woman who knows what she wants and how to take control in the bedroom. Having built a large following and huge success giving tips and tricks to women looking to spice up their love lives, Pryer gladly accepts the challenge given by Sammy… but her confidence wavers slightly when she realizes who she’s up against.
Deacon has the ability to convince a woman to do anything he desires. His straightforward, charming demeanor has preceded him within the industry. Because of his reputation of having no shortage in bed partners, he’s Sammy’s first pick to prove that women can be persuaded to do just about anything after hearing the right words from the right man. There’s no doubt in Deacon’s mind that he can make his competition submit to his rule… until he learns his competition is Pryer.
After yearning for Pryer for years, Deacon finally has the opportunity to make her his. Unfortunately, securing her heart means jeopardizing his role as head journalist. If he loses this competition, Deacon’s pride won’t be the only thing taking a hit – his pockets will too. Will he risk it all for love, or will he prove that it is only a need when you decide to make it one?
*Please note: These characters were first introduced in Love is the Byline: Oakland and Azriel*
B. Love is an award-winning, bestselling author of over 110 titles in the African American romance, urban romance, and nonfiction genres. In just five years, Love has accomplished more than anyone her age, which led to her being aptly called the Prolific Pen Pusher.
Love is a self-love and womanhood maven. Since age 12, she has been spreading life-changing content that helps cultivate growth, self-awareness, compassion, and gratitude. Love has readers from all over the world, all of which she has challenged to explore the many facets of love, passion, and life through her riveting books.
Every captivating word and plot in Love’s portfolio is geared towards empowering, enlightening, and entertaining whoever chances upon her writing. Because of this burning desire to catalyze others’ growth through continuous learning and self-reflection, Love founded her publishing company, earning the title of Ambassador of Black Love stories, where she helped publish over 300 enthralling books for over 50 talented authors.
When she’s not writing, Love utilizes her company as a platform that provides expert services and resources for both self-published and traditional authors, helping them to hone their craft and carve their path in the industry.
To learn more about B. Love and her books, visit http://www.authorblove.net or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using her official handle @authorblove.
Sorry to already disappoint you, but I’m not the person you think I am.
My charming uniform and seductive smile have caused nothing but trouble, and my not-so-honourable reputation, which I used to be so proud of, has kept me away from the one person I wanted to spend the rest of my life baking cookies for; my sweet, beautiful, slightly crazy Miss White.
I guess now I need to tell the whole story.
At forty years old, following years of self-sabotage, I’ve suddenly found myself admitting that I know absolutely nothing. Maybe my friend Niall was right when he told me to accept the process and just grow up. And now it’s too late; I’ll never be able to keep her close to me. All that’s left to do is watch helplessly – but deservedly – as my world comes tumbling down around me.
The only thing stopping Shae from living her best life is the fact that she’s dying.
Together with her social media followers, popular travel vlogger Shae hides her illness from the world and lives every day like it’s her last. Her picture perfect life is only missing one thing—love, because for Shae, it’s not better to have loved and lost—it’s better not to love at all.
Emmett knows all about loss—he had it all until the death of his wife sent his life spinning out of control. It took him three years to pull himself together, trading ball diamonds for the strawberry patch and sweet corn fields of the family farm but now it’s time for him to take another chance at love.
After Emmett escorts Shae down the aisle at his sister’s wedding, he falls hard. One glimpse of her fun-filled life and Emmett knows he’s ready to be a part of it.
As they spend more time together, Shae fights against her feelings. How can she let him love her when it’s only going to lead to more heartache? But it’s hard to keep her distance, especially when Emmet is fighting for her heart.
Is love the one thing Shae can’t live without?
Don’t Tell Me You Love Me is the first book of the Don’t Sweet Romance series, a picture-perfect tale of first love, second chances, and living your best life. Fall in love with Shae and Emmett today.