#BookTour “Trust Me” by Kelly Irvin

February 7 – March 4, 2022 Virtual Book Tour

Trust Me book cover

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Synopsis:

 

When her best friend is murdered the same way her brother was, who can she possibly trust?

A decade ago, Delaney Broward discovered her brother’s murdered body at the San Antonio art co-op he founded with friends. Her artist boyfriend, Hunter Nash, went to prison for the murder, despite his not-guilty plea.

This morning, Hunter walks out of prison a free man, having served his sentence.

This afternoon, Delaney finds her best friend dead, murdered in the same fashion as her brother.

Stay out of it or you’re next, the killer warns.

Hunter never stopped loving Delaney, though he can’t blame her for not forgiving her. He knows he’ll get his life back one day at a time, one step at a time. But he’s blindsided to realize he’s a murder suspect. Again.

When Hunter shows up on her doorstep asking her to help him find the real killer, Delaney’s head says to run away, yet her heart tells her there’s more to his story than what came out in the trial. An uneasy truce leads to their probe into a dark past that shatters Delaney’s image of her brother. She can’t stop and neither can Hunter—which lands them both in the crosshairs of a murderer growing more desperate by the hour.

In this gripping romantic suspense, Kelly Irvin plumbs the complexity of broken trust in the people we love—and in God—and whether either can be mended.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

Published by: Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: February 8th 2022

Number of Pages: 384

ISBN: 0785231935 (ISBN13: 9780785231936)

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christianbook.com | Goodreads

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Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

APRIL 22, 2010
SAN ANTONIO ART CO-OP
SOUTHTOWN, SAN ANTONIO

The cloying stench of pot told the same old story.

With an irritated sigh Delaney Broward quickened her pace through the warehouse-turned-art-co-op toward her brother’s studio at the far end of the cavernous hall. On his best days Corey had little sense of time. Add a joint to the mix and he lost his sense not only of time but of responsibility. It also explained why he didn’t answer his phone. When he got high and started painting, he wanted no interruptions. His lime-green VW van was parked cattywampus across two spaces in the lot that faced Alamo Street just south of downtown San Antonio. He might be physically present, but his THC-soaked mind had escaped its cell.

Marijuana served as his muse and taskmaster. Or so he’d said.

The soles of her huarache sandals clacking on the concrete floor sounded loud in Delaney’s ears. “Corey? Corey! You were supposed to pick us up at Ellie’s. Come on, dude. She’s waiting.”

No answer.

At this rate Delaney would never get to Night in Old San Antonio, affectionately known to most local folks as NIOSA. Everyone who was anyone knew it was pronounced NI-O-SA, long I and long O, the best party-slash-fundraiser during the mother of all parties where her boyfriend would be waiting for her. “Hey, bro, I’m starving. Let’s go.”

Delaney’s phone rang. She slowed and dug it from the pocket of her stonewashed jeans. Speaking of Ellie. “I’m at the co-op now. He’s here.”

Share as little info as possible.

“He’s stoned again, isn’t he? I’m sick of this.” Ellie’s shrill voice rose even higher. “I swear if he stands me up again— ”

Us. Stands us up.”

“Stood us up again. That will be it. I’m done. I’m done waiting around for him. I’m done playing second fiddle to his self-destructive habits. I’m done with his starving-artist, free-spirit, pothead schtick. The man is a walking stereotype. I’m done with him, period.”

Delaney mouthed the words along with her friend. She knew the lyrics of this lovesick song by heart. The childish rejoinder “It takes one to know one” stuck in her throat. “We’ll be there in twenty. You can tell him yourself.”

Ellie would and then Corey would kiss her until she took it all back. With a final huff Ellie hung up.

The door to his studio— the largest and with the best light because the co-op was Corey’s dream child— stood open. “Seriously, Corey. Think of someone besides yourself once in a while, please.” Delaney strode through the door, ready to ream her brother up one side and down the other. “You are so selfish.”

Delaney halted. At first blush it didn’t make sense. Twisted and smashed canvases littered the floor. Along with paints, brushes, beer bottles, and Thai food take-out cartons.

Wooden easels were broken like toothpicks and scattered on top of the canvases. Someone had splattered red paint over another finished piece— a woman eating a raspa in front of a vendor’s mobile cart, the Alamo in the background.

Delaney’s hands went to her throat. The metallic scent of blood mingled with the odor of human waste gagged her. A fiery shiver started at her toes and raced like a lit fuse to her brain. Her mind took in detail after detail. That way she didn’t have to face the bigger picture staring her in the face. “Please, God, no.”

Even He couldn’t fix this.

She shot forward, stumbled, and fell to her knees. Her legs refused to work. She crawled the remainder of the distance to Corey across a floor marred by still-wet oil paint, beer, and other liquids she couldn’t bear to identify.

He sat with his back against the wall. His long legs clad in paint-splattered jeans sprawled in front of him. His feet were bare. His hands with those thin, expressive fingers lay in his lap. Deep lacerations scored his palms and fingers.

Her throat aching with the effort not to vomit, Delaney forced her gaze to move upward. His T-shirt, once white, now shone scarlet with blood. His blood. Rips in the shirt left his chest exposed, revealing stab wounds— too many to count.

Delaney opened her mouth. Scream. Just scream. Let it out.

No sound emerged.

She crawled alongside her big brother until she could lean her shoulder and head against the wall. “Corey?” she whispered.

His green eyes, fringed by thick, dark lashes that were the envy of every woman he’d ever dated, were open and startled. His skin, always pale and ethereal, had a blue tinge to it.

Delaney drowned in a tsunami of nausea. “Come on, Corey, this isn’t funny. I need you.”

Her teeth chattered. Hands shaking, she touched his throat. His skin was cold. So cold.

Too late, too late, too late. The words screamed in her head. Stop it. Just stop it. “You can’t be dead. You’re not allowed to die.”

Mom and Dad had died in a car wreck a week past her eighth birthday. Nana and Pops had taken their turns the year Delaney turned eighteen. Everybody she cared about died.

Not Corey. Delaney punched in 9–1–1.

The operator’s assurance that help was on the way did nothing to soothe Delaney. She sat cross-legged and dragged Corey’s shoulders and head into her lap. She had to warm him up. “Tell them to hurry. Tell them my brother needs help.”

“Yes, ma’am. They’re en route.”

“Tell them he’s all I’ve got.”

CHAPTER 2

TEN YEARS LATER
NASH RESIDENCE, SAN ANTONIO

Real men didn’t cry. Not even during a reunion with a beloved truck.

Swallowing hard, Hunter Nash wrapped his fingers around the keys, concentrating on the feel of the metal pressing into his skin. He cleared his throat. “Thanks, Mom. For keeping it all these years.”

His mom didn’t bother to try to hide her tears. She wiped her plump cheeks on a faded dish towel, offered him a tremulous smile, and bustled down the sidewalk that led from the house on San Antonio’s near west side where Hunter had grown up to the detached two-car garage in the back. It had housed his truck for the past eight years. Almost ten if he counted the two years it took for his case to go to trial. He had no place to go in those years when he’d allegedly been innocent until proven guilty. His friends no longer friends and his job gone, he had no need for transportation.

The door to the garage was padlocked. Mom handed him the key. “My hands are shaking. You’d better do the honors.” She stepped back. “I still can’t believe you’re here.”

“I did my time, Ma.” As a model prisoner he’d earned time off for good behavior. It was easy for a guy to behave when he spent his days and nights scared spitless.

“I know. All those nights I’ve lain in bed worrying about you in that place, whether you were safe, if you were hurt, if you were sick.” Her voice broke. “I can’t believe it’s over.”

“Me neither.”

It wasn’t over. In fact, it was just beginning, but she didn’t need to know that. His determination to prove his innocence would only worry her more. A divorced mother of four, she’d raised her kids on a teacher’s salary and an occasional child support check from the crud-for-brains ex-husband who showed up once every couple of years in an attempt to make nice with his kids. She deserved a break.

The aging manual garage door squeaked and protested when Hunter yanked on the handle. He needed to do some work around here, starting with applying some WD-40. The smell of mold and old motor oil wafted from the dark interior. Hunter slipped inside and waited for his eyes to adjust. A layer of dust covered the 2002 midnight-blue Dodge RAM 1500, but otherwise it remained in the pristine condition in which he’d left it the night he said goodbye and promised he’d be back. “My baby.”

More tears trickling down her face, Mom chuckled softly. “After you finish reintroducing yourself, come back inside. I’m making your favorite chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, pineapple coleslaw, and creamed corn. Your brother and sisters are coming over after work. Shawna’s bringing a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Melissa’s contribution is three kinds of ice cream, including rocky road. She said it seemed appropriate. I hope you haven’t lost your sense of humor. And you know Curtis. He’s all about the beer.”

The last thing Hunter wanted to do was celebrate with his sibs. Mel and Shawna had visited faithfully at first, but less as the years rolled by. Curtis never showed, even though Fabian Dominguez State Jail was only a few miles down the road from San Antonio.

Nor did Hunter want to explain why he’d sworn off alcohol. The conditions of his parole included monthly pee tests— no alcohol or drugs, but that part of his life was over anyway. It had been easy to comply in prison, obviously. Whether he could maintain his sobriety in the beer drinking capital of the country remained to be seen. He’d do AA if necessary. “Mom— ”

“No buts. They’re family. They love you. You need to live life, enjoy life, make up for all you’ve missed. You haven’t even met most of your nieces and nephews. Did you know Mel is expecting another baby in August?”

“Yes, I— ”

“Today we celebrate your new job and your new life.”

His bachelor of fine arts with an emphasis in drawing and painting from Southwest School of Art might once have allowed him to teach art in one of the school districts, but not anymore.

It didn’t matter. The prison chaplain had hooked him up with Pastor James. The preacher ran a faith-based community center that served at-risk youth. He’d hired Hunter to teach art to those who’d already had their first brush with the law. He figured Hunter could teach life lessons at the same time he introduced them to art as a way to channel their anger at the hand life had dealt them. Learning what happened when a guy got off track would be the lesson.

Even though Hunter hadn’t gotten off the track. He’d been shoved off it. By an eager-beaver, newbie detective; a green-as-a-Granny-Smith-apple public defender; and an assembly-line justice system.

He would get by in this world that had hung him out to dry. Especially knowing Mom had his back. She had that don’t-mess-with-me teacher look in her burnt-amber eyes. Like her sixth graders, Hunter knew better than to argue. It felt good to know she remained in his corner. When everyone else had hit the ground, scattering in opposite directions, she never budged in her belief that son number two could not be a murderer. She’d brought him up better than that.

“You’re right. Give me a few minutes.”

She patted his chest and stretched on her tiptoes to plant a kiss on his cheek. Her lips were chapped, and the wrinkles had deepened around her mouth and eyes. Her long hair had gone pure white during his years away. “Take your time, sweetheart.”

Hunter gritted his teeth. After years of looking over his shoulder, bobbing and weaving around hard-core convicts who’d as soon shank a guy in the shower as look at him, he didn’t know how to cope with nice. With sweet. With love tempered with wisdom and a hard life.

“One day at a time.” That’s what the prison chaplain had told him. “Get through the next minute, the next hour, the next day.” That’s how he did eight years at Dominguez. This couldn’t be any harder. He opened the truck’s door and slid into the driver’s seat. The faint odor of pine air freshener greeted him. And citrus.

More likely that was his imagination. Delaney’s perfume simply could not linger that long. Move on. She has. She did. To her credit Delaney held on as long as she could— until the guilty verdict. Then she was forced to move on. She couldn’t be blamed for that.

Hunter picked up the sketch pad on the passenger seat. In those days he kept one everywhere. Just in case. The first page. The second. The third. All drawings of Delaney. Sweet Laney eating a slice of watermelon at a Fourth of July celebration. Laney rocking Hunter’s newborn nephew in a hickory rocker on the front porch. Laney in a bathing suit sitting on the dock at Medina Lake. Laney with her soulful eyes, long sandy-brown hair, and air of sad vulnerability worn like a pair of old jeans that fit perfectly. That too-big nose, wide mouth, and pointed chin. Corey might have been the angelic beauty— totally unfair— but Delaney’s face had character. She had a face Hunter never ceased to want to draw and paint.

And kiss.

He turned the pages slowly, allowing the memories to have their way with him. Meeting at a party Corey had thrown when Delaney was a senior in high school. Their first date, ribs and smoked chicken with heart-stopping creamed corn, potato salad, coleslaw, and jalapeños at Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q followed by dancing at Leon Springs Dance Hall.

She had danced with the abandon of a small child. As if she didn’t care who watched. Her face glowed with perspiration. Her green eyes sparkled with happiness. His two left feet couldn’t keep up, but she didn’t mind. She twirled her peasant skirt as she flew around him, her hands in the air, her curves beckoning.

Hunter closed his eyes. Her softness enveloped him. Her sweetness surrounded him.

He needed to see her again. He needed to talk to her. Somehow he had to prove to her that she was wrong about him. Whatever it took. He laid the sketchbook aside. “Come on, dude, let’s take a ride.”

He stuck the key in the ignition and turned it.

Nothing. Not even a tick-tick-tick. He tried a second time. Nada. “I’m an idiot.” He patted the steering wheel. “Not your fault, man.”

The truck hadn’t been driven in years. The battery was dead. He might be able to jump it, but more likely he’d need a new one. Batteries cost money.

One thing at a time. He’d waited this long.

Hunter slid from the truck and eased the door closed. “I’ll be back when I get my act together.”

In the kitchen Hunter found his mom peeling potatoes. She pointed the peeler at him. “You can’t imagine how good it feels to have you home.”

“You can’t imagine how good it feels to be here.” He landed a kiss on her soft hair. She smelled of Pond’s cold cream. The same old comforting scent. Life had changed but not her. “I’m gonna take a walk. I need to blow the prison stink off.”

“Enjoy. They redid the walking trail at the lake and installed new outdoor fitness equipment.” She waved the paring knife in the air. “But don’t stay too long. You have company coming.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He pantomimed a mock salute and headed for the front door.

One thing at a time. One step at a time. That’s how he’d get his life back.

***

Excerpt from Trust Me by Kelly Irvin. Copyright 2022 by Kelly Irvin. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.

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Author Bio:

Kelly Irvin

Kelly Irvin is a bestselling, award-winning author of over twenty novels and stories. A retired public relations professional, Kelly lives with her husband, Tim, in San Antonio. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two ornery cats.

Visit her online at:
www.KellyIrvin.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @KellyIrvin
Instagram – @kelly_irvin
Twitter – @Kelly_S_Irvin
Facebook – @Kelly.Irvin.Author

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Tour Participants:

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#BookTour “Taken (A Detective Al Warner Novel Warner Series, Book 6)” by George A Bernstein

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A Detective Al Warner Novel

Warner series, Book 6

 

Suspense / Thriller

Date Published: 11-11-2021

Publisher: GnD Publishing LLC

 

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Detective Al Warner’s investigation of a street hooker’s death leads to a
case of human sex-trafficking. Nicki, an undercover cop, is snatched while
carrying a concealed tracking device, but it’s stripped from her before she
can activate it. Warner is stymied as she struggles to send the locating
beacon.

 Meanwhile, an young woman, Maggie, is offered a lucrative deal as a birth
surrogate for a secretive, wealthy couple. While living nine months in
luxurious seclusion, she learns her fetus is a tool of extortion, and fears
for her life. Al Warner is struggling to solve two cases at once. It all
comes together in a violent conclusion, with Warner once again thrust into
deadly peril.

 

~~~

EXCERPT

~ 5 ~

Jack Harris pushed out of his chair and scurried to head off Warner as he strode toward his office.

“Got a minute, Boss?” He panted softly as he touched the Warner’s arm.

“Yeah, Jack. What’s up?” He studied the short detective. “You still gettin’ physical therapy? You look winded.”

“Some, but this job doesn’t provide much free time. I’ve got—”

“Cut the crap, Jack. We need ya here, but in good workin’ order. I want ya to see the therapist four times a week. Make a schedule and stick to it.” He laid a hand on Harris’ shoulder. “Got it?”

“Yes, Boss.” His cheeks pink-tinged as he studied his shoes.

“Okay.” Warner nodded toward his office. “Ya waylaid me for a reason. What’s up?”

Harris tapped on his pad. “I got a call from Damian Torres.”

“The Miami-Dade Sheriff’s detective?”

“Yeah. A Seminole brave found a woman’s body in Big Cypress, near the Collier County border.” He glanced at his tablet’s screen. “The sheriff’s M.E. IDed her as one Ada Funck.”

“And they called us why?” Warner, followed by Harris, entered his office and perched on the corner of his desk.

“Apparently, she’s got a record as a Miami hooker… a street walker from the Miami Springs area.” Harris pocketed his tablet. “He figured since she was one of ours, we’d be interested, especially since it was so unusual.”

“Unusual?” Warner rose and circled his desk “Why?”

“Well, she had the expected track marks on her arm. Most of those babes are users, but they were old and well-healed, and her tox screen was clean as a whistle.”

“Huh.” Warner looked up from the report he’d begun to scan. “Any info she was in any kind of rehab?”

“Nope.” Harris settled on a chair. “And she looked healthy. Or at least she was before she croaked.”

“What d’ya mean, ‘healthy,’ Jack?”

“Well fed, decent haircut, nicely trimmed nails. Nothing you’d expect from one of those babes.”

“So,” Warner scratched his chin, “someone was takin’ good care of her. Cleaned her up, fed her, maybe made a concubine outta her. Then what? Dumped her like trash?”

“Maybe. And one more thing, Boss.”

“Yeah, what?”

“The sheriff’s ME says she’d given birth right before she died. It was a Caesarian delivery.”

“Weirder by the minute. Not uncommon for a hooker ta get knocked up, but I’d guess it would be rare for taking it early.” Warner slouched back in his chair. “They sendin’ the vic up to our ME? I’d like the Hawk and his CSU unit to go over her, too. See if they missed something.”

“Figured that’s what you’d want.” Harris stood. “She’s on the way to his lab right now.”

“Good.” Warner selected another file to review. “Give it to Dean Beck, and you run all the follow-ups. Keep me posted.”

“On it, Boss.” Harris headed for the doorway.

“Hope this ain’t the beginnin’ of some new, nasty creep on the prowl,” he muttered under his breath.

It’d been six months since the unsatisfying conclusion of the Shadow affair. A non-conclusion at this point, and still a bone the FBI was chomping on. It was out of his jurisdiction now.

Seems like we can’t go a full year without some major loony poppin’ up. His gut had the uncomfortable feeling more bad stuff was coming, sooner rather than later.

He sighed, and began scanning a batch of action reports.

Warner’s thoughts drifted to Eva. Something was on her mind. Well, she’d spill it when she was ready. His lips arched into a small grin. What a lucky bastard he was for a woman like that to actually love him.

~~~

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About the Author

George A. Bernstein, now living in south Florida, is the retired President of a modest, publicly held appliance manufacturer. He spent years attending writing seminars and conferences, learning to polish his work and developing a strong “voice.” George is acclaimed by his peers as a superb wordsmith and a crafter of surprise endings no one expects. He works with professional editors to ensure his novels meet his own rigorous standards, and all of his books are currently published by small indie press, GnD Publishing LLC, in
which he has an interest.

Taken is the sixth of his Detective Al Warner Suspense series, with the first five; Death’s Angel; Born to Die; The Prom Dress Killer; White Death; and Sniper, all garnering rave reviews. His Detective Al Warner has attracted many fans, with readers likening Warner to James Patterson’s Alex Cross. Four of his novels are also now available in Audible.

Bernstein’s first novel, Trapped, was a winner in a small Indie publisher’s “Next Great American Novel” contest, and received high praise, gaining many mostly 5-star reviews, reaching “Top 100” status. His second novel, A 3rd Time to Die (A paranormal Romantic Suspense) has also garnered mostly 5-Star & 4-Star reviews, with one reader likening him to the best, less “spooky” works of Dean Koontz & Stephen King.

Bernstein is also a “World-class” fly-fisherman, setting a baker’s dozen IGFA World Records, mostly on fly-rods. He’s written the popular Toothy Critters Love Flies, the complete book on fly-fishing for pike & musky.

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Purchase Link

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon

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2 signed print copies of Taken (US Only)

3 digital copies of Taken (International)

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#BookTour “Veles” by P.J. Marie

veles-copy

Welcome to the book tour for P.J. Marie’s Veles. Read on for details and a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card!

Ebook - Veles

Veles

Publication Date: December 23rd, 2021

Genre: Dystopian/ Dystopian Sci-Fi

I was the land. I was the air. I was the sea. I was all of it – everywhere – and as I inhaled then let the tormented sorrow screech from my lungs, the world buckled and broke beneath my feet.

I was burning alive…

And the world would burn with me.

A century after the Great Destruction that devastated civilization, Mizuki Altherr lives within a small village struggling to survive beneath the shadow of a great mountain. The Elders teach that it is home to Veles, god of the earth, who keeps them safe – but demands penance for humanity’s past indiscretions.

It’s a Gifting year…

The previous sacrifice tore Mizuki’s family apart and forever changed her world. Now she must face the terrible tradition again as her closest friend, Aiden, and his family are chosen to provide the next offering. In a desperate bid to end the cycle of violence and defy the Elders’ iron rule, Mizuki and Aiden set forth on a daring journey into the Wild – where together they discover a secret that shatters their understanding of the village and reveals the truth behind the horrors that left the world in ruin.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

“Don’t move.”

She froze at the sound of Aiden’s voice, her brain instantly making sense of everything surrounding them as all the pieces and memories from the last two days fell into place. She had fallen asleep in Aiden’s arms, but he had not woken her up for night watch, and now he was sitting rigidly behind her and gripping her tight. She blinked again, her eyes rapidly searching the small space under the overhang and peering out into the darkness that lay beyond their small shelter. Only the faintest hint of light was visible; the sky was dark, with a grey drizzle still lingering from the storm the night before. She instinctively knew that something was wrong from the tense way he was holding her, but no matter how hard she squinted, she couldn’t see anything.

“What is it?” Mizuki whispered, her voice so low it was scarcely audible as she forced herself to remain still against Aiden’s frame.

“I heard something,” Aiden whispered, his hand leaving her side and slowly shifting to point off to the left just outside the shelter. “There.”

She looked to where he pointed but again saw nothing. She could barely make out the nearest trees and the thin trail of smoke coming from the remains of their fire. So she craned her head forward and listened. She could hear the wind as it shifted through the trees, faint and weak compared to the force of the gales the night before. She could hear the slow drips of water that fell to the ground off the shelter and the soft patter of light rain that continued to fall, but what struck her more than anything was the lack of other sounds.

“No birds,” she whispered faintly, feeling Aiden nod behind her. They both remained seated and still, their breaths puffing like little clouds in the cool morning air. She had woken up enough times after a storm to know that the birds always sang, even if it continued to rain. She could feel her heart starting to race, her panic starting to grow as she swallowed hard and willed her eyes to see into the dark. “What do we do?”

“We need to pack up,” Aiden whispered, his hands moving once again as he unwrapped his arm from around her waist and gently leaned forward to reach his calf. “Quietly – but as quickly as you can. Take this.”

She could see from the bottom of her gaze that he was undoing one of his knife holsters and transferring it to her leg, but she kept her eyes firmly locked to the place where Aiden had heard the noise. She remained entirely still as he worked until she felt the leather pull tight, and Aiden patted her calf twice to let her know he was done. Then they both shifted, Aiden sliding back and silently crawling to the small hole where they had stored their packs while Mizuki tentatively stood and began taking down their damp but no longer drenched clothes. Her tired legs ached beneath her as she carefully rolled each item and handed it to Aiden, who had moved back to her side. He stuffed everything into his pack, not caring what was what and keeping his eyes fixed on the darkness as the wind shuffled through the trees.

Her skin started to prickle with the distinct feeling of being watched as she slipped on her pack and glanced over to Aiden. He already had his pack on, and he was holding his bow ready with an arrow nocked. He glanced at her, his eyes gesturing down to the knife on her leg before he looked back out into the dark, grey drizzle. She reached down and took out the knife without question and tried not to think about how much it shook in her hand. She had to remind herself to breathe as Aiden shifted and motioned for her to follow. She held the blade near her hip, moving toward him and standing so close next to his side that there was barely an inch of space between them.

She followed him out from their cover, inching soundlessly to the edge of the overhang as her eyes rapidly scanned the darkness for movement. They had just stepped out into the misty rain when suddenly Aiden was shouting, and her heart was constricting in terror.

“GET BEHIND ME!” Aiden yelled, unleashing his arrow at the dark and silent form that lunged from the treeline on the left.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Author_Picture

Engineer by trade, P. J. Marie has always been a storyteller at heart. Inspired by the captivating tales that her Ukrainian grandfather used to tell about settling the Canadian prairies, P. J. has always looked at life through a narrative lens.

An avid creator, P. J. loves the design process from start to finish and is always working on projects that meld the structured world of engineering with her creative passions. Whether through world-building, crafting cosplays, or building custom bookshelves for her ever-growing collection of novels, manga, and terrible monster movies, P. J. is always working on something.

In her spare time, she enjoys collecting new skills, drinking copious amounts of tea, and spending time with her family and adorable doggo.

P.J. Marie | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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Bunny’s Reviews (Review) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

@takealookatmybookshelf (Review) https://www.instagram.com/takealookatmybookshelf/

February 18th

Dark Whimsical Art (Spotlight) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

 @the.suspense.is.thrilling.me (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.suspense.is.thrilling.me/

 @NerdyFoxReads (Review) https://www.instagram.com/nerdyfoxreads/

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#BookTour “These Darker Streets (Goddess Among Us #1)” by Abigail Linhardt

TheseDarkerStreets copy

We’re celebrating the upcoming release of These Darker Streets, the first book in a brand new series by Abigail Linhardt! Read on for more info and a chance to win a really cool giveaway. Don’t forget to pre-order a copy of the book.

Godess Among Us Book 1 cover (1)

These Darker Streets (Goddess Among Us #1)

Expected Publication Date: February 12th, 2022

Genre: Fantasy Romance/ Romantasy

Tragic loss. Eternal love. Ancient magic.

Brigit used to believe in magic and had hopes for a great future. Not any more. She has hunkered down to just get through life. Then a mysterious man appears, beckoning her out into a vulnerable relationship. He brings with him a life that doesn’t even exist in her reality. Plagued by visions of past lives, Brigit’s trust in a magicless existence is about to be shattered.

Every few lifetimes, Ildanach meets a woman who is the reincarnation of his love and together they can protect the earth. Now he has met Brigit, a woman hell-bent on denying anything that she cannot touch in this reality. When he sees the spark of his love in her, he knows she’s the one with whom he can stop the dark spirit for good. However, she is lost in the darkness that mortal life has given her.

The world is in danger from the fairy of the underworld who wants to stop the guardian and the goddess once and for all. In a battle of life or death, Idlanach must save the mortal world before time runs out and Brigit must decide once and for all if she can believe in something as mysterious and magical as love.

These Darker Streets is an addictive read that seamlessly weaves Celtic legend into a dark and dangerous urban fantasy filled with compelling characters, engaging action, and a love story powerful enough to survive centuries. Abigail Linhardt is a bold, new voice to watch.

D.D. Croix, award-winner author of Dragonfly Maid

Excerpt - Quote

Pre-Order Here!

About the Author

Author Pic

Abi has been a writer all her life, but is a mentor at heart. When she is not writing, you can find her slaying enemies online or hunting for the next bohemian adventure. She has published works of fiction, poetry, academia, and even won awards for her short stories in science fiction and horror.

Abi is also a proud mom of two…ferrets! She live streams on Twitch where you can enjoy her terrible gaming skills and join the live discussion. She works part-time as a freelance ghostwriter, editor, and audiobook narrator, hoping to one day make these passions her full-time job. She currently resides in Kansas.

She is one of nine children–all who share the creative spark.

Abigail Linhardt | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok

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Book Tour Schedule

February 7th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

I Smell Sheep (Review) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

February 8th

@loveleighreading (Review) https://www.instagram.com/loveleighreading/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Dark Whimsical Art (Spotlight) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news

February 9th

@wraithreads (Review) https://www.instagram.com/wraithreads/

@honeydukesbooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/honeydukesbooks/

@inkspit.blog (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/inkspit.blog/

I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

February 10th

@betweenthesheets.books (Review) https://www.instagram.com/betweenthesheets.books/

@ofmoviesandbooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/ofmoviesandbooks/

Haddie’s Haven (Review) https://haddieshaven.blogspot.com

Sadie’s Spotlight (Spotlight) http://sadiesspotlight.com/

February 11th

@bookishly_kenia (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bookishly_kenia/

@happily_undignified (Review) https://www.instagram.com/happily_undignified/

@atrailofpages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/atrailofpages/

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Book Tour Organized By:

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#BookTour “Expedition Borneo” by Daniel Side

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Adult Romantic Adventure

Date Published: February 2022

 

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AN ADVENTURE LIKE NO OTHER.

One part, exotic, jungle setting, one part romance, two parts gripping, heart-pounding suspense.

Jake Bennett knew a couple of things for sure: he needed a job, he didn’t want to die in the jungle… but he’d never met anyone like nurse Brockman.

The two clash when Jake discovers that Katherine Brockman’s mission has nothing to do with checking the condition of malaria in native villages.

The possibility of saving tens of thousands of lives unites them as they venture into the steaming jungle to discover if the “Legend of the Riverman” is true.

Soon, the dangers of the jungle wrapped in the unforgiving heat, threatens to end, not only their mission, but their lives.

But nothing can prepare them for what they discover, hidden deep in an unexplored jungle basin.

 A new, action-packed, adult adventure.

~~~

EXCERPT

A DAY OF TRAVELING

Tam watched Jake and Katherine paddle towards him and Munroe. Fisher and Greenwood’s dugout was close behind them. Tam liked the spot he had found. It was a small clearing on the edge of the river, created by slabs of rock, similar to those at the head of the last set of rapids. It would be easy to unload the dugouts and there was a view for fifty feet before the jungle started. A few large rocks would provide protection if needed. He watched Jake as he approached. He was scanning the bush on the opposite side of the river.

“You see too?” Tam whispered as they glided up beside them. Jake nodded. “You think this good place to eat?” Tam said, loud enough for all to hear.

“Yes,” said Jake. “Let’s hurry and get some lunch. I’m hungry as a sun bear.” They climbed out of the dugouts, Jake casually slinging his rifle over his shoulder.

“Okay, it looks like it’s time to get dirty. To take the dugouts further is a waste of energy. We’ll spend the rest of the day here and organize for switching to foot travel. Everyone start unloading while Tam and I discuss the details of our switch to land.”

Tam watched Tanum. She went about her business, but he saw that she was constantly viewing the surroundings, especially across the river.

“Tanum see something,” he said to Jake.

“Yeah. I didn’t see anything but something was moving over there. Good spot you chose macha. Good sight lines.”

“You think guard tonight?” asked Tam.

“Maybe.”

“Tell others?”

“I don’t know yet. Let’s stay here for the rest of the day. Say we have to re-organize for tomorrow. It’ll give us a chance to see if someone is over there. Maybe we even try to take a look ourselves.”

“You too clumsy in jungle, macha,” said Tam.

Jake smiled. “I was thinking more like you and Tanum.”

 

*          *          *

 

They had erected the tents in the middle of the clearing close to a couple of large rocks. Tanum and Tam ventured out, moving slowly upstream in a dugout. They tied up and cautiously explored. On the other side of the river in the underbrush, they found a path, similar to the one on their side of the river. Tanum thought they were animal paths. They didn’t find any trace of natives.

 

*          *          *

 

“You’ve been hugging that rifle all evening, Jake,” said Fisher. He sat with his legs stretched out, his back against a rock, finishing the last of his coffee.

Tam looked at Jake, wondering what he would say. Of the three men, Fisher impressed Tam the most. Thin and wiry like himself, he seldom tired and never complained. He thought that if anyone else had seen the motion, it would be him.

“Saw something, don’t know what. Movement in the underbrush the other side of the river. Might’ve been something, might’ve been nothing. Best to be careful. Haven’t seen anything since we’ve been here. Tam and Tanum didn’t see anything either when they went out.”

“We haven’t seen any natives so far. Is that usual?”

“Don’t really know. Never been this far before. But my experience has been that if they don’t want to be seen, you won’t see them. Just like the animals,” Jake answered, throwing the last of his coffee into the fire.

“Should we post a watch? During the night.”

“Been thinking on it. Best to be careful.”

“I would be willing to take a turn if needed,” Fisher said.

“Thanks for offering. I’ll have Tam sit up a while, in our tent so as not to be obvious. I’ll take over for him. If I feel it’s necessary to continue, I’ll come and wake you.”

“Very good. In that case I’ll get some sleep. Good night.”

 

*          *          *

 

Jake sat under the mosquito netting, peering out of the opening of their tent. It was a cloudless night, the moon lighting up the gray shale around their camp. He leaned his rifle against the tripod that held up one end of the hammock. Tam had awakened him with no sightings and, in the last two hours he hadn’t detected anything. He walked to the hammock and arranged the net around it. Drawing the Webley, he lay back. Within minutes he was asleep.

 

*          *          *

 

Fisher emerged from the tent and glanced over to where Jake sat by the fire with Katherine, Tam, and Melor. He yawned and rubbed his face. “Morning.”

“Coffee?” asked Katherine. “Made it myself.”

“Aren’t you turning into a proper domestic. Got to visit the loo first.” He looked around. “Where’s Robert?”

“He’s not in the tent?” Jake asked.

“No. I assumed he was up and about. Just Thomas in the tent. Maybe Robert’s off taking a pee.”

Jake stood, scanning the edge of the rock where it met the jungle. “We’ve been here for a good half hour. It doesn’t take that long to piss. Tam, grab the rifles. We’ll take a look. The rest of you stay here.”

“Where’s Tanum?” asked Fisher.

“I just sent her out to hunt. We could use…” Jake stopped as Tanum emerged from the jungle. Her face was grim, eyes focused on Jake.

“Shit,” said Jake.

She stopped in front of him. “Come.”

Tam handed Jake his rifle. “Tam, you stay here with Katherine. William, get Thomas up and come back here with your rifles. I’ll be right back.”

Tanum led him into the jungle, moving cautiously, her eyes searching the foliage as they walked through the underbrush. It thinned out after thirty feet and Jake spotted something ahead.

Munroe lay on his back. His head was missing.

~~~

~~~

  About the Author

An avid reader as a youngster, Daniel began a teaching career at twenty, peppering his life with trail rides on his horse Kelly, scuba diving in the murky Great Lakes of Ontario and taking fencing lessons.

He married Lynda, five months after they met in a bar on a Thursday night. With her, he raised a family, wrote and produced school plays, built their log home, restored a classic Mustang, a ’69 Mach 1 for enthusiasts, and took their three boys on many canoe trips in northern Canada.

Twenty years later, unable to find a science fantasy adventure he liked, with encouragement from Lynda, he wrote The Reedsmith of Zendar. Expedition Borneo is his sixth novel.

His books are varied, but whether suspense, a thriller, or an adventure story, all contain characters in trouble that you will care about and root for. He’s never perfect and neither is she, but the attraction is inevitable as they learn about each other on an adventure seldom of their choosing.

 

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#BookReview “Soulless (Kings of Chaos MC, Book 9)” by Shyla Colt

Kings of Chaos MC, Book 9

 

Contemporary Romance

Date Published: 01-21-2002

 

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5/5 Stars!

Soulless is classic Shyla Colt at her best!

Warp is the Nomad the rest of the club gives a wide berth. He’s liked and respected, but no one wants to upset the loner.

Jess is the kind-hearted southern girl ready and willing to help anyone who needs it.

The two connect when they’re asked to be godparents to the same children… and find an attraction that’s off the charts!

Warp’s early life leads him to avoid entanglements of any kind, especially love. Betrayal by those he should have been able to trust has shaped his life of never letting anyone get close.

Though Jess is no child, she’s free for the first time of her manipulative family and the stifling small town she grew up in.

Nothing about these two says they would work and nothing is in their favor.

Still, there is a chance!

Kudos to the author for not only including mature women, but women who are successful, and for some great banter!

Add this one to your TBR and keep it at the top!

Enjoy!

~~~

Warp

Life taught me not to trust. Family betrayal cuts the deepest of all, and my kin’s given me plenty of reasons to go by my road name “Warped.” A Nomad, I make a point of not getting too attached.

Then I become a godfather, and my wall begins to crumble. Against all odds, their godmother, Jess, would infiltrate my defenses with a fiery kiss that shows me I can have everything I’m not worthy of. A better man would let her go, but she’s become a light in the impending darkness encircling me as my past rises from its grave and refuses to let go.

 Jess

I spent my life chasing after my dreams and defying the small-minded views of my tiny southern town. When I saw a chance at a life in California, I took it. I never imagined a tattooed biker with dark eyes full of malice would play a starring role in my fantasies. I knew he was off-limits, but too much to drink has me crossing lines and set things into motion I never thought possible. The connection we share is something I’ll risk
everything for.

 Is this a new beginning or the breaking point?

~~~

~~~

Purchase Links

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#BookTour “Soulless (Kings of Chaos MC, Book 9)” by Shyla Colt

~~~

Kings of Chaos MC, Book 9

 

Contemporary Romance

Date Published: 01-21-2002

 

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Warp

Life taught me not to trust. Family betrayal cuts the deepest of all, and my kin’s given me plenty of reasons to go by my road name “Warped.” A Nomad, I make a point of not getting too attached.

Then I become a godfather, and my wall begins to crumble. Against all odds, their godmother, Jess, would infiltrate my defenses with a fiery kiss that shows me I can have everything I’m not worthy of. A better man would let her go, but she’s become a light in the impending darkness encircling me as my past rises from its grave and refuses to let go.

 Jess

I spent my life chasing after my dreams and defying the small-minded views of my tiny southern town. When I saw a chance at a life in California, I took it. I never imagined a tattooed biker with dark eyes full of malice would play a starring role in my fantasies. I knew he was off-limits, but too much to drink has me crossing lines and set things into motion I never thought possible. The connection we share is something I’ll risk
everything for.

 Is this a new beginning or the breaking point?

~~~

~~~

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Shyla Colt is a chaos wrangler, chronic crafter, and imaginary friend collector. The mom of two and a wife road trips with her weird brood when she’s not taking on a new hobby or bingeing on spooky podcasts and documentaries. She writes strong women with sass, plenty of nerdy tendencies, and the intriguing intense males who love them.


She can be reached at http://www.shylacolt.net

 

 Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter: @shylacolt

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~~~

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#AudioTour “Born to Die (A Detective Al Warner Novel)” by George A. Bernstein

~~~

Narrated by:  Michael Harrity

A Detective Al Warner Suspense Novel

 Mystery / Suspense

 

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Too many infant boys of Palm Beach gentry are dying of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Only obstetrics nurse Casey Jansson is suspicious.

Al Warner, crack Miami homicide detective, is inactive, languishing on
medical leave from a deadly shootout with the Angel of Death. He’s in
the best physical condition of his life, but struggling to convince the
department’s shrink he is not suffering from PTSD.

Warner meets Casey at a local pub. They are attracted to each other, but
misreading the other’s body language, remain reserved. Learning of the
SIDS deaths from Casey, Warner concedes it sounds more than coincidental,
agreeing to help investigate and hoping romance develops later.

Then Danny O’Brien, a resident doctor and Casey’s best friend,
whose research on the deaths is coming to a stunning conclusion, is killed
when his little Honda is pushed into the path of a speeding
tractor-trailer.

Casey is shattered, but stubbornly continues her search for a culprit for
these SIDS deaths. She receives Danny’s notes, mailed to her just
before his death. Eager to investigate, she leaves Warner a message, and
then follows her suspect deep into the Everglades. Getting Casey’s
message, Warner races after her, sure that she put herself in danger. But
unlike Casey, who had an unwitting guide, he is uncertain where to look.
Casey’s obsession tangles her up in mortal danger. Only Warner can
save her – if he can figure out where she went, and get there in time.

~~~

~~~

 About the Author

George A. Bernstein, now living in south Florida, is the retired President of a modest, publicly held appliance manufacturer. He spent years attending writing seminars and conferences, learning to polish his work and developing a strong “voice.” George is acclaimed by his peers as a superb wordsmith and a crafter of surprise endings no one expects. He works with
professional editors to ensure his novels meet his own rigorous standards, and all of his books are currently published by small indie press, GnD Publishing LLC, in which he has an interest.

Taken is the sixth of his Detective Al Warner Suspense series, with the first five; Death’s Angel; Born to Die; The Prom Dress Killer; White Death; and Sniper, all garnering rave reviews. His Detective Al Warner has attracted many fans, with readers likening Warner to James Patterson’s Alex Cross. Four of his novels are also now available in Audible.

Bernstein’s first novel, Trapped, was a winner in a small Indie publisher’s “Next Great American Novel” contest, and received high praise, gaining many mostly 5-star reviews, reaching “Top 100” status. His second novel, A 3rd Time to Die (A paranormal Romantic Suspense) has also garnered mostly 5-Star & 4-Star reviews, with one reader likening him to the best, less “spooky” works of Dean Koontz & Stephen King.

Bernstein is also a “World-class” fly-fisherman, setting a baker’s dozen IGFA World Records, mostly on fly-rods. He’s written the popular Toothy Critters Love Flies, the complete book on fly-fishing for pike & musky.

Conact Links

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~~~

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~~~

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#BookTour “Ruins on Stone Hill (Heroes of Ravenford Book 1)” by F. P. Spirit

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Heroes of Ravenford Book 1

Fantasy

What do you get when you mix a novice wizard, a reckless warrior, a sharp-tongued thief, & a saintly cleric? Swords, sorcery, & sarcasm.

They didn’t set out to be heroes, but the little town of Ravenford was in desperate need. Before Glolindir and his friends knew it they were facing fierce monsters, deadly assassins, black mages, cunning demons, powerful dragons, and even the remnants of the dread Thrall Masters themselves. Will they be able to live up to the challenge, or will they fall and leave Ravenford at the mercy of the forces of darkness?

~~~

EXCERPT

CHAPTER 1

The Red Warrior

The aged ash trees reached toward the sky. Glimpses of deep blue peeked through the treetops, the light of the afternoon sun barely penetrating the dense forest foliage. The fresh scent of the surrounding trees and bushes, mixed in with the earthy aroma of grass, wafted on the cool crisp air. A trace of dust lingered, churned up by the wheels of the wagons that had traveled the well-worn dirt road, cutting a path through the looming forest.

Other odors also rose from the earth: the musky, warm smell of horses, the heady memory of wine, some pungent herbs, and dried hay. These scents were attached to a group of travelers. Horses pulled wagons filled with boxes, barrels of goods, and beverages that the caravan owners were carting to their destination. The wagon floors were lined with hay in a vain attempt to make passengers more comfortable.

The clip-clop of horse hooves, the squeaking of turning wheels, and the creaking of wagons announced the caravan’s presence along the dirt road. Bright-voiced birds and rustling leaves accompanied its passage through the forest.

Glolindir sat in one of those wagons on a pile of hay—his back propped against a box of goods with his cloak thrown over it in an attempt to make the seat more comfortable. Being an elf, Glo did not look much different from a human. Standing at about six feet tall with flaxen hair, blue eyes, and fair skin, he was perhaps a bit thinner than most humans, but the only trait that gave away his heritage was his pointed ears.

Glolindir had been lulled into a half-trance by the rocking motion of the wagon, and the soft sounds of the forest. The young elf was quite content, until he realized that something was different. There was a subtle change in their surroundings, but he could not quite tell what it was. He opened his eyes and gazed around, straining his senses.

His friend, Aksel, was doing the same. A few minutes ago, the gnome had been lounging across from him on a second pile of hay. Now Aksel was standing up, his three-foot frame tensing as he listened with his own pointed ears.

They were both transfixed, trying to place what was amiss. Aksel gazed at him. Glo shook his head at the silent question that passed between them. They were missing something obvious, something that was just at the edge of their awareness. Both friends turned to gaze at Seth.

The halfling sat in the front of the wagon next to the driver. His small frame, just barely shorter than Aksel’s, was dwarfed next to him. Seth’s head was slightly cocked as if also listening.

Listening. That was it! There weren’t any forest sounds. The birds had stopped chirping their songs, and even the rustling of leaves had died down. Glo continued to strain his ears, but the surrounding woods remained quiet. He opened his mouth to say something when a strange sensation washed over him. It hit him like a crashing wave, making every nerve taut. His heart raced, sweat gathered across his brow, and he felt a bit light-headed.

Aksel must have noticed his sudden change in condition. “Are you alright?” Glo ignored the gnome, his eyes darting from side to side. He searched for any sign of danger, yet saw nothing to warrant such an intense reaction. What is causing this sense of dread? It suddenly dawned on him—it was his familiar, Raven. He was linked empathically to the tiny magical beast, and these feelings of fear were coming from her!

Glo stood up and poked his head out of the wagon, looking up into the trees. Where is she? He scanned all around, his heart still pounding. There she is. He spotted her up the road ahead of them, winging her way back in a state of utter panic.

Aksel’s head suddenly appeared next to him. “What’s going on?”

“It’s Raven. Something has her really spooked—something on the trail ahead.”

Aksel raised an eyebrow. Seth’s eyes narrowed. Even the wiry old wagon driver knew something was wrong. He glanced over at Glo and said, “Son, you don’t look so good.”

Glo steadied himself. “I’ll be fine.”

They scanned the woods ahead, three pairs of keen eyes scrutinizing either side of the trail.

“Over there!” Seth pointed up ahead off the trail to the left.

Glo focused in on the spot, but at first saw nothing. Abruptly something moved. It looked like the top of a bow. Glo strained his eyes, trying to get a better look. Is that an arm? Yes, he saw an arm—a bare green arm. It was sticking out from behind a bush and holding a drawn bow with a nocked arrow. As he continued to watch, a gust of wind briefly blew the bush aside. For just an instant, he got a look at a face.

It was not quite human, but brutish, almost monkey-like with green skin and two short tusks protruding from the lower jaw. Glo was momentarily startled. He’d seen such a creature before, but only in books back home. That’s an orc! A wave of nervousness passed through his body. Orcs were nasty creatures—carnivorous humanoids who did not mind feeding on the flesh of people. They were all in grave danger.

Aksel and Seth must have seen it as well. Aksel let out a soft gasp, and Seth’s eyes went dark, a twisted smile crossing his face. Glo pushed down his rattled nerves, and took a deep breath.

“Orc!”

His voice startled the driver, and the man nearly fell out of his seat and off the wagon. He recovered and pulled hard on the reins, bringing the wagon to a complete halt. The driver then turned, dove into the wagon, and crawled back behind the barrels and boxes.

The reaction had caught Glo by surprise. He tore his eyes away and peered out ahead of them. The other wagons had also stopped. Aksel distracted him yet again. “Where did Seth go?”

In all the commotion, Seth had disappeared. Glo scanned the area, his heart pounding in a frantic rhythm. He finally caught sight of Seth stealthily crawling under the stopped wagon in front of them. He was about to cry out to him, when a whizzing noise came out of the forest. Glo instinctively ducked down into the wagon, Aksel beside him. A split second later, two arrows embedded themselves into the seat above. Both elf and gnome flinched at the sight.

Glo swallowed hard. “I think he’s headed toward the front of the caravan!”

Aksel merely shook his head. “Doesn’t surprise me.”

Glo silently hoped that Seth knew what he was doing.

Aksel mirrored his thoughts. “I just hope he knows what he’s doing.”

“He was well-hidden beneath the wagons.” Though he tried to sound comforting, Glo was equally worried about their friend. In fact, he was concerned about all of them. Orcs were not creatures to be trifled with. This was a deadly situation—one they just might not survive.

~~~

All of the books in the Heroes of Ravenford series:

~

Ruins on Stone Hill

Heroes of Ravenford Book 1

~

The Serpent Cult

Heroes of Ravenford, Book 2

An army of darkness. A group of young heroes. A town hanging in the balance.

~

The Dark Monolith

Heroes of Ravenford, Book 3

A cult of black mages and demons. The secret to the Thrall Masters’ terrifying power. A desperate race to find it first.

~

Princess of Lanfor

Heroes of Ravenford, Book 4

An insane princess who wants to rule the world. A magical artifact of terrifying power. A deadly struggle to possess it.

~

The Baron’s Heart

Heroes of Ravenford, Book 5

A brutal murder. A missing heart. A race against time and death.

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~~~

~~~


About the Author

F.P. Spirit is an avid science fiction and fantasy fan. A Trekkie before it was cool, F. P. became hooked on fantasy the moment he cracked open his first copy of Lord of the Rings. When he is not lost roaming the multiverse of sci-fi and high-fantasy fiction, F. P. is either creating adventures for his roll-playing friends and family or connecting with his mind and body in an attempt to reach that inner spark of spirit.

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~~~

#BookTour “The Liars Beneath: A YA Romantic Suspense Novel” by Heather Van Fleet

TheLairsBeneath copy

Congratulations to author Heather Van Fleet on the release of The Liars Beneath! Read on for more info.

The Liars Beneath FLAT (3) (1) (1)

The Liars Beneath

Genre: Upper YA Thriller/Mystery w/ Romantic Elements

Publication Date: January 27th, 2022

Publisher: WiseWolf Books

TW: Mentions of Sexual Assault, coercion, drug use, drinking, suicide.

After a tragic accident ends her best friend’s life, 17-year-old Becca Thompson succumbs to grief the only way she knows how: by wallowing in it. She’s a fragment of the person she once was—far too broken to enjoy the summer before her senior year. But when Ben McCain, her best friend’s older brother, returns home, Becca must face her new reality head on.

She isn’t interested in Ben’s games, especially since he abandoned his sister during the months leading up to her death. But when he begs for her help in uncovering the truth about what really happened the night of his sister’s death, Becca finds herself agreeing, hoping to clear up rumors swirling in the wake of her best friend’s accident.

An unhinged ex-boyfriend, secret bucket lists, and garage parties in the place Becca calls home soon lead her to the answers she’s so desperate to unveil. But nobody is being honest, not even Ben. And the closer Becca gets to the truth—and to Ben—the more danger seems to surround her.

Clearing her best friend’s name was all she wanted to do, but Becca is quickly realizing that the truth she craves might be uglier than the lies her best friend kept.

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Excerpt

July

Present Day

Splinters tear at the undersides of my nails when I squeeze the church pew ahead of me. The raw skin burns, but I welcome the pain, needing it to distract me from the ache in my chest.

In front of me sits an old man who’s scratching at his comb-over toupee. The side falls down past his right ear, leading way to the baldness beneath. I huff, irritated because I can’t see the front of the church around his oversized head…not that I want to. Not when I know what’s there.

Her coffin.

Her face.

The results of my biggest mistake.

“And now a reading from the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter three, verses one through eight.” The minister clears his throat, talking nonsense Rose would’ve laughed at.

Instead of listening, I relax under Dad’s arm, while Mom clings to my right hand. Settled and sheltered, I shut my eyes, welcoming the darkness. It promises peace, an almost believable sense that this isn’t happening.

In a world away from grief, I’m with my best friend again—the echo of her voice whispering promises of forever in my ear. We climb trees, fish with my father early in the mornings on his boat, then spend our afternoons swimming in the river alcove off Colton Road.

Our space, our world, she tells me.

Yes. Always, I smile and say.

“…and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up…”

I clutch Mom’s hand even tighter, bottom lip trembling. The minister tries to pull me back in, but I won’t let him. Not now.

Slipping back into my memories, I inhale the smoke from summer bonfires, taste the s’more goop dripping from between my lips, listen to Rose’s laughter while she watches me shove four marshmallows into my mouth at the same time.

Away from the church, in the dark, non-lonely recess of my mind, mud squishes beneath my boots with every step we take along the dam near my house. Rose teases me for being scared of falling into the water, her blue eyes filled with mirth.

With the setting sun at her back and a hand over my forehead blocking the glaring light, I watch her long-limbed body teeter close to the edge, balanced on one foot like a ballerina. As always, she’s completely fearless.

But then the rush of water drifts closer, her lips part in a silent scream, and I gasp…

More tears fill my eyes when they pop back open, and my recollections become nightmares with the snap of a twig beneath my feet, though I wasn’t there the night she died.

The sole source of Rose’s end was the exact same thing I feared falling into for so long. Irony is cruel.

Two weeks ago, I was finishing up the first of my college applications, readying for senior year. Now I’m preparing for a future knowing Rose would be by my side every step of the way.

We were best friends. Like sisters even. Joined at the hip since the age of ten, living the dream of two girls eager to become women. Rose was the other half to my whole. Together, we could have accomplished anything.

If only she hadn’t been so stupid.

If only she was still alive.

I shiver, letting go of Mom’s hand to wrap my arm over my stomach. The muscles harden beneath, and agony builds a bomb inside.

Don’t cry, Becca. Don’t you dare.

“You okay, sunshine?” Dad whispers, no doubt sensing my mood.

No, I want to say. I’m dying inside. But that’s not what comes out.

“Uh-huh.”

Without bravery, I’ll fall apart.

My gaze wanders the congregation, searching for familiar faces. Those who loved Rose, those who might have hated her too.

Sienna’s the first person I see. She’s a girl I know from school, someone I hung out with at lunch if Rose wasn’t there. A friend to me, a barely passable acquaintance to Rose. Her exposed cheek is blotchy and red, stained with tears I’m surprised she’s shedding.

Beside her sits her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Alex. His arm is draped around her shoulders and his head is tipped back, brown eyes half-lidded as he looks to the ceiling. He’s either high or sleeping. Either option wouldn’t surprise me

I look away, catching sight of a few nosy townspeople, some distant relatives of Rose’s I barely know too. Overall, though, I don’t see many familiar faces. Not Adam, her best guy friend. Not even Travis—though my ex not showing up doesn’t surprise me. I think he hated Rose more than she hated him.

“And finally, I’d like to leave you with a few words from Rose’s older brother, Ben,” the minister finishes.

My lips part with shock. I move forward in the pew, my father’s arm falling away. I can’t believe he’s actually here.

My best friend talked nonstop about Ben; hero-worshipped him even, despite the fact that he constantly ignored her. His achievements were her achievements. The awards he won, the trophies he earned playing football too. Rose treated her older brother like a king. A saint, really, who could do no wrong.

But then Mr. Perfect went away to college and turned his back on Rose and everyone else who loved him. That’s when everything changed.

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About the Author

Heather Van Fleet_Picture

Heather Van Fleet is a Midwestern-born author with a love of all things spontaneous road trips, TV shows that leave her questioning her morals, and book boyfriends. As a graduate of Black Hawk College, Heather took her degree in early childhood development, tossed it into the garbage, and is now living the dream writing books sprinkled with suspense and lots of kissing.

She’s currently living out her own version of a happily ever after with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband, their three hugely feminist daughters, and two fur babies with bad attitudes. When she’s not being a mom or writing books, you can find her drinking way too many energy drinks or crashing out on her sofa with a romance novel of some sort.

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