#ReleaseBlitz “The Tribesmen of Juno: The Survivors #3” by Robert I. Katz

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Today, we are celebrating the release of The Tribesmen of Juno by Robert I. Katz! It is the latest installment of his sci-fi series The Survivors. Read on for more details and a peek at the first chapter!

Tribesmen of Juno v.2.1The Tribesmen of Juno: The Survivors #3

Publication Date: May 25th, 2021

Genre: Sci-Fi/ Fantasy

Publisher: Rukia Publishing US

From USA Today bestselling author, Robert I. Katz, comes The Tribesmen of Juno, Book Three of The Survivors.

Thirty years ago, Terence Allen left his father’s home in the city of the Viceroy, and under the assumed name of Blake Pierce, gained both fame and fortune, first as a wandering ronin, then as a mercenary commander. Now, Blake Pierce is the Duke of Taverno, and he controls half the nation of Venecia.

Blake Pierce is a power in the world, but the cities that owe Taverno loyalty are being bribed to switch allegiance to his principal opponent, Benedetto Corsi, the Duke of Siena.

In far away Fomaut, the Primate has been assassinated. Wolford is beset by unknown forces.

All over the continent, unrest is stirring.

Men are digging into the ruins of the dead cities, seeking riches and the weapons of the nearly forgotten Empire. The industrial revolution encouraged by Blake is slowly grinding to a halt.

For three thousand years, the Viceroy has ruled over all the nations, rarely exerting his authority but tolerating no opposition to his reign. Only the Viceroy retains any remnant of the Ancient’s lost technology. Many men have tried to challenge the Viceroy. All have been crushed.

But the seven nations are stronger and richer than they were, and the Viceroy has expended much of his hoarded arsenal. Has the time come to finally throw off the Viceroy’s rule? Or will Taverno turn into just another dead, radioactive city?

Blake would prefer not to find out, but unseen forces are moving against him, and in the end, he may have no choice but to fight back or lose everything he has gained, including his life.

Chapter One

And so it came to pass in the thirtieth year of the reign of the Viceroy Gaius Tiberius VII that a rebellion arose from a minor princeling in the city of Poitiers. This princeling was tall and handsome, a writer of poetry and a singer of songs, unrivalled with a blade, strong with phrygium, quick with praise for the accomplishments of others. His people loved him and he had been told since he was a small child that he was destined for great things.

His rebellion was small, at first. He questioned the primacy of Inquisitoria over the spiritual needs of his people, arguing that a relationship with the creator could be forged by every individual through devout prayer and without the intercession of God’s anointed.

The Inquisitoria declared this to be heresy, but heresy, though frowned upon, is not forbidden. Only words that encourage active disobedience to Imperial edicts are forbidden. All other enquiry is allowed. The Prince’s thoughts, at first spoken, then written, and then disseminated throughout all the nations, were much discussed.

The Viceroy took no position on this issue.

But then, the Prince decreed that the mandate of heaven had fallen from the Viceroy, since the Empire from which the Viceroy’s authority derived had turned its face from this world. This was rebellion. This was not allowed. The Viceroy, ever merciful, gave the Prince a chance to repent. He refused.

The Viceroy then led an army to the gates of Poitiers and called upon the Prince to emerge, to recant his words and pay homage to his rightful overlord. Again, the Prince refused. The Viceroy, much saddened, returned with his army to the City of Varanisi.

The Prince, joyful in his defiance, decreed a celebration, and declared that the Viceroy’s rule was at an end.

One day later, an Earthquake shattered the city of Poitiers. A day after that, a ball of fire descended from the heavens upon whatever remained. The Prince and those few of his people who had not already abandoned him vanished in the conflagration.

The city of Poitiers no longer exists. Where it once stood, a blue, placid lake now fills a gigantic crater. Fish swim in the lake, but those who eat these fish grow ill. Their hair falls out. Their blood grows thin and pale and then oozes from their mouth and their eyes, and then they die, screaming in agony.

Three hundred years passed before the Viceroy’s rule was again challenged.

From: The Reign of the Viceroys of Gault, Third Edition, New Imperial Library, 4753

“Your Grace?”

Blake Pierce looked up. Colin McGregor insisted on following the rules of protocol and decorum, in public at least, and he did so with an unruffled air of gravity and calm. Colin had been with him for many years, first hired as the purser for Pierce’s Marauders, Blake’s former mercenary company, now serving as seneschal and principal advisor to the Duke of Taverno, Blake’s current and most illustrious title.

“Sit down, Colin.” Blake tapped a piece of parchment sitting on the table in front of him. “What do you make of this?”

Gingerly, Colin picked up the parchment, quickly scanned it, frowned, and then read it again. “Unfortunate,” Colin said.

Yes, the sudden death of Blake’s principal factor in the city of Mitre was “unfortunate.” Natural causes, supposedly. An elderly fellow, he went to sleep one night and didn’t wake up. Elderly, and fat, but he had been vigorous and had displayed no prior symptoms before suddenly dropping dead.

Unfortunate.

Mitre was a small city but strategically placed, at the confluence of two rivers providing excellent access to the sea and both isolated and partially defended by a range of encircling mountains. Three large passes cut through the mountains, all surrounded by steep cliffs. Easy enough to rain arrows, boulders or boiling oil down onto an invader. It would take a large and determined force to break through. Unfortunately for Mitre, a small but rich city with a tiny military of its own, at least three such armies were currently considering an invasion.

In years past, Mitre’s small military, combined with the difficulty of reaching the city, had been sufficient to keep them independent, but that was in the days when the King of Venecia aided in keeping the peace. The King was long dead and times had changed.

At least four different poisons could have killed silently in the night. Probably more. Blake was not an expert on poisons but as a sometime agent of the Viceroy, he knew the basics.

“Suggestions?” Blake asked.

Colin puffed up his cheeks and tapped a finger on the arm of his chair while his eyes wandered to the harbor outside the Castle windows. “This changes nothing. We’re offering Mitre protection and an alliance. Prudence would dictate their acceptance.”

“And yet it appears that a message has been delivered, one that the Elders of Mitre cannot fail to understand. They deal with us at their peril.”

Colin shrugged. “If they refuse to deal with us, they will suffer the fate of a thousand other conquered cities. That message, too, will be clearly understood.”

Blake sighed. “We shall see. It is up to them to decide.”

“And,” Colin added, “it is entirely possible that he did die from natural causes.”

Blake reluctantly grinned. “Make certain that an autopsy is performed, and that the results are made public. I expect that his heart has been weak for several years. His courage in performing his duties, suffering as he must have been, is an inspiration to us all.”

“Indeed,” Colin said.

“And give him a nice funeral.”

“Of course.”

Abel Barker knew a thousand ways to kill, but only a few of these left no distinguishing marks upon the body. Of these, poison was the least obvious but was often the most difficult to administer. Poison, to be effective, must be delivered to the body of one’s victim, which means that the assassin must have access to that victim, or must suborn someone in the victim’s circle.

Poison itself might leave no trace, but the method of delivery all too often left a trail.

Almost always better to mix violence with misdirection. Strangle a man, for instance, and then throw him off a tall building, or have him stumble at the edge of a cliff or leave him in the desert for the sand lizards to devour. Anything to destroy the evidence.

And if you don’t mind leaving questions behind, the body can simply disappear.

Poison, though, did have its uses. Sometimes, nothing else would do.

Abel Barker, for most of his life, had served the Viceroy. He had been recruited as a boy, having been discovered in his parent’s small village by a Finder team searching for children with the ability to weave soul-stuff. He had been brought to the Viceroy’s city, Varanisi, educated in the Viceroy’s scholium and been sworn to the Viceroy’s service. In this, he had not been given a choice. Abel Barker would, if necessary, die for the Viceroy. All of his classmates would.

In theory, change could be good, for the individual and for the society in which the individual lived, but more often than not, change brought instability, and the Viceroy prized stability. The Viceroy suffered no challenge to his own rule. After more than two thousand years, the Viceroy had managed to arrange things pretty much the way he wanted them.

Blake Pierce, or Terence Sergei Allen as he had once been known, had started a revolution. The Viceroy had reluctantly allowed that revolution to proceed. Blake Pierce had not been the first to mix the uses of phrygium with the ancient remnants of technology but in theory the innovations he had introduced would advance the Viceroy’s own goals upon this world.

Now, ten years later, the wasteland was filled with searchers, looking for they knew not what, hoping to strike it rich and ignoring the first lesson they had been taught as children, which was to avoid the dead cities.

Abel Barker crept among the trees. It was a dark, quiet night, warm with a light breeze. Somewhere, not far away, an owl hooted.

Seven men slept in the clearing. An eighth stood watch, sitting on a fallen log facing the woods. The sentry yawned, straightened his back and re-filled a ceramic mug with coffee from a pot simmering over a small fire.

Abel Barker’s night vision goggles gave him a clear view of the clearing. His hazmat suit protected him from residual radiation.

The ruins began less than a hundred meters from the clearing. A small city had once stood here. The city had not been physically destroyed. Neutron bombs, followed by radioactive dust, had killed off the population. Centuries later, most of the buildings had crumbled into rubble, but the rubble, and the dirt beneath the rubble, was still filled with both treasures and lingering poisons.

These men were digging for treasure. Unknown to themselves, they were finding poison. Idiots.

In the past ten years, hundreds of small teams, almost all of them poorly equipped and ignorant of the real risks, had decided to try their luck. The majority returned with little of value or did not return at all.

These men had already ingested sufficient ambient radiation to kill them, but it would kill them slowly, over months, perhaps even years. Slowly was not good enough for the Viceroy’s purpose.

Whistling under his breath, Abel Barker opened a small box, pressed a button and quickly retreated. Silently, odorless and invisible, a volatilized gas sprayed upward and then, blown by the breeze, drifted toward the campsite. The gas inhibited the action of acetylcholinesterase on neuromuscular junctions, preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine, the body’s principal neurotransmitter. The gas was readily absorbed, either through the lungs or the skin. The first symptoms of exposure included a runny nose, nausea, then, a few minutes later, difficulty breathing. Convulsions and death by asphyxiation would soon follow.

Not a pleasant way to die, but necessary. If any of their comrades came looking for them, the decomposing bodies of these men would serve to reinforce the lessons that they had been taught as children and foolishly chosen to ignore.

An hour later, it was done. Three of the seven had awakened after exposure. They had stumbled out of their tents, vomiting, hoarsely gasping for breath that would not come. They had tried to run but had fallen, twitched a few times, groaned, cried out, struggled and then died.

Abel Barker, a compassionate man (when allowed to be), regretted the actions that circumstances had forced him to take, but knew that good men are often compelled to unpleasant and otherwise regrettable deeds, for the greater good of us all.

Sad, Able Barker thought, but necessary.

An adversary is someone who wants the same things that you want. Nothing personal. It’s competition. You win some and you lose some. An enemy, on the other hand, wants you dead…because he hates you.

Benedetto Corsi was an adversary, not an enemy. Blake was happy about that. Corsi and Blake Pierce had struggled against one another for many years, and to some extent, each had enjoyed the rivalry. Blake had, at least, and he was fairly certain that Corsi had as well.

The same could not be said for Johannes Stryker, and even more so for Saverio Narcena.

Stryker was Corsi’s spymaster, a man whose emotions ran cold, at best, but Stryker, from what little Blake knew of him, took pride in his own intellect, in his objective evaluation of the world around him. Blake, by besting Corsi all those years ago with tactics that neither Corsi nor Stryker had foreseen, and thereby establishing himself as Corsi’s principal rival, had offended Stryker.

Narcena had other reasons to hate Blake. His reasons, in Blake’s estimation, were childish. Years ago, Blake had defeated him in battle, making him look foolish. Corsi had relieved him of command and placed him under Stryker’s tutelage—to learn wisdom. Narcena, in Blake’s estimation, should be thanking Blake for having shown him the error of his ways and setting him upon a path more in keeping with his talents. Narcena, or so Blake’s spies told him, saw things differently.

Blake stood on the highest balcony of Castle Taverno, looking up at the stars from which his ancestors had come, thousands of years ago, and brooded. Mitre was not the first small setback he had suffered. A message had indeed been delivered to the city fathers of Mitre. A similar message had been delivered to Blake. Those messages had been coming more often, their unmistakable sub-text growing louder and louder.

Stop.

Blake sighed. For many years, Blake had served as an agent of that stability the Viceroy so prized. He knew how things worked. He had never grown so complacent, however, as to think that he himself, and the others like him, represented the limits of the Viceroy’s reach.

Blake well remembered the meeting he had with the Viceroy, when blood feud had first been declared against him by Thierry Jorge Garcia. The Viceroy had gently and sadly explained to him that in the world outside Varanisi, his commands meant little. The Kings and Queens and leaders of the various nations paid lip service to the Viceroy’s primacy but had no hesitation in ignoring him when they felt like doing so.

The Viceroy had seemed so regretful at his inability to help, so sincere. Blake, being young and naïve, had believed him.

Each year, the Viceroy sent the finders abroad, looking for children with the talent to weave phrygium, soul-stuff as it was often called. The parents of such children were handsomely rewarded, the children taken to be educated and raised in the Viceroy’s palace, and once in the Viceroy’s palace, a worm was planted in their brains, a worm which grew and bored deep, doing no harm, but enforcing the Viceroy’s will. A neural web it used to be called, in the far-off and long vanished Empire of Mankind, a tool to control the victim’s behavior.

Tindall and Eliza, whose services the Viceroy had loaned him, were once such children. They had helped Blake achieve hegemony over half of Venecia but Blake had never taken their services or their loyalty for granted. Tindall and Eliza were loyal to the Viceroy. They had to be. They had been given no choice.

There were rumors of agents deeply planted in the bureaucracy of all seven nations, of secret assassination squads. Blake did not know for certain, but he suspected those rumors to be true.

Ambition had come slowly to Blake Pierce, once a satisfied, indolent young man named Terence Sergei Allen, but it had come. Seven men and women before him had discovered that phrygium could be used to power the technology of the ancients, something that the Viceroy in theory approved of and encouraged, but then, succumbing to pride and ambition, all seven had then set themselves against the Viceroy. That, at least, was the story. All seven were now dead and long since forgotten.

When you play a game that you cannot win, Blake thought, stop playing…or change the rules. Thousands of years ago, the commander of what was then the greatest military force ever assembled had said, “If you have a problem that you cannot solve, then make it a bigger problem.”

Blake had done his best to make the problem bigger. It remained to be seen what the Viceroy would do about it.

Available on Here (All Countries) and on Amazon

Also in the Series

Towering Flame Final v.3The Towering Flame (The Survivors #1)

From USA Today bestselling author, Robert I. Katz, comes The Towering Flame, the first book in a brand new series, The Survivors.

Once, long ago, the Empire of Mankind spread among the stars, but the Empire fell into civil war and anarchy, leaving every human inhabited world across the galaxy to go its own way.

Today, after two thousand years of isolation, the Viceroy rules over seven nations on one long-abandoned planet. He alone possesses any vestige of the technology left behind by the vanished Empire and he uses it to rule with an iron fist in a velvet glove.

But below the surface, ambitious men are struggling for power and rebellion is simmering.

Terence Allen is the third son of a wealthy father. Terence is satisfied with his life. He has few responsibilities, fewer challenges and little desire to change.

Terence Allen is an unlikely catalyst for rebellion, but Terence’s destiny changes the moment he sees Thierry Jorge Garcia striding toward him one night at the Summer Fair in Varanisi, the Viceroy’s city. Thierry, the heir to a long-standing military tradition, will let nothing keep him from pursuing Irina Archer, the woman he had known and loved as a young man in far-off Cathay, the woman who is now Terence Allen’s fiancée.

The feud that results will have repercussions far beyond the borders of the city, as the seven nations seethe with conspiracies, rumors and strife. A war that has been brewing for over a century is coming, a war that will upend the foundations of both men’s world.

Only $0.99 HERE

Antiquarians GuildThe Antiquarians Guild (The Survivors #2)

Twenty years ago, Terence Allen left his father’s home in the city of the Viceroy, and under the assumed name of Blake Pierce, has gained both fame and fortune, first as a wandering ronin, then as a mercenary commander.

Since the king’s death, ten long years before, the nation of Venecia has fallen into chaos, as the smaller city-states strive to maintain independence and the stronger states try to conquer all the rest.

Blake Pierce’s company, Pierce’s Marauders, has entered into a contract to provide security for the city-state of Taverno, which is beset by numerous enemies, the most serious of which is Benedetto Corsi, the Duke of Siena.

But Blake is facing other challenges, some that he knows about, others that he merely suspects.

In far away Fomaut, the Primate and the leader of his armies, Alejandro Garcia, are digging in the ruins of dead cities, seeking the lost technology of the Ancients and preparing for war against their neighbors, while Davida Montoya, the woman Blake loves above all others, is still living in her father’s castle, refusing to join him until his wars are over…which, the way his career is going, may be never.

For Corsi, and his shadowy spymaster, Johannes Stryker, the Kingship of Venecia represents the culmination of their ambitions. For Blake Pierce, rule of Venecia is only one step toward his own secret goal: to free the world of Gault from the heavy-handed tyranny of the Viceroy, who has ruled the world for over 2000 years.

~~~

Giveaway

Grand PrizeThe Survivor Series & $10 Amazon e-Gift Card
                 Second Prize – Choice of Book from The Survivor Series & $10 Amazon e-Gift Card

E N T E R

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About the Author

Robert I Katz

I grew up on Long Island, in a pleasant, suburban town about 30 miles from New York City. I loved to read from a very early age and graduated from Columbia in 1974 with a degree in English. Not encouraged by the job prospects for English majors at the time, I went on to medical school at Northwestern, where in addition to my medical degree, I acquired a life-long love of deep dish pizza. I did a residency in Anesthesiology at Columbia Presbyterian and spent most of my career at Stony Brook, where I ultimately attained the academic rank of Professor and Vice-Chairman for Administration, Department of Anesthesiology.

When I was a child, I generally read five or more books per week, and even then, I had a dim sense that I could do at least as well as many of the stories that I was reading. Finally, around 1985, with a job and a family and my first personal computer, I began writing. I quickly discovered that it was not as easy as I had imagined, and like most beginning writers, it took me many years to produce a publishable work of fiction. My first novel, Edward Maret: A Novel of the Future, came out in 2001. It won the ASA Literary Prize for 2001 and received excellent reviews from Science Fiction Chronicle, InfinityPlus, Scavenger’s Newsletter and many others.

My agent at the time urged me to write mysteries, as mysteries are supposed to have a larger readership and be easier to publish than science fiction. Since I have read almost as many mysteries as science fiction and fantasy, and since I enjoy them just as much, I had no objection to this plan. The Kurtz and Barent mystery series, Surgical Risk, The Anatomy Lesson and Seizure followed between 2002 and 2009. Reviewers have compared them favorably to Patricia Cornwell and Robin Cook and they’ve received positive reviews from The Midwest Book Review, Mystery Review Magazine, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Lady M’s Mystery International, Mystery Scene Magazine, Library Journal and many others.

In 2014, I published a science fiction short story, “To the Ends of the Earth in the Deep Blue Sea” on Kindle for Amazon. Since then, I have made all of my previously published novels available for purchase on Kindle and now, in June, 2017 I am about to embark on a new venture. I will be publishing new novels on Kindle, the first of which is entitled The Cannibal’s Feast. It’s a science fiction story of corporate warfare in space. The next, coming out in early 2018, will be another science fiction novel tentatively entitled The City of Dust, a tale set on an abandoned world after the collapse of the First Interstellar Empire of Mankind.

Robert I. Katz | Twitter

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#ReleaseBlitz “Good Lookin’ (A Joe Turner Mystery)” by T.L. Bequette

Good Blitz

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Good Lookin

Mystery, Legal Thriller

Date Published: May 24, 2021

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

From the gang-ravaged streets of inner-city Oakland to the rolling hills of Berkeley, California, attorney Joe Turner defends the most hardened criminals. Confronted with an unlikely murderer in a modern-day whodunnit, Turner’s latest case seems impossible to unravel. At its heart is a decade-old murder and a tangled web of family, loyalty, and devotion that has the trial hanging in the balance. Viewed through the prism of the unique bond of twins, Good Lookin’ asks how far each of us will go to protect the ones we love.

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#ReleaseBlitz “The Best Friend’s Sister” by Sophie Blue

 

The Best Friend’s Sister by Sophie Blue

AVAILABLE NOW!

Amazon UK https://amzn.to/3aMFCgW

Amazon US https://amzn.to/2R3IhMi

FREE IN KU

#TheBestFriendsSister #SophieBlue #ReleaseBlitz #Novella #BareNakedWords

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Blurb

Finding out her boyfriend was seeing someone else sucked. Finding out via a social media live stream when he proposed to the other woman was brutal.

All of a sudden Charlotte is surrounded by whispers and looks of pity. It’s mortifying. She needs a fresh start and fast.

Enter Ollie.

Ollie is her brother’s best friend and her saving grace. He’s in the middle of renovating his grandparents’ beach house into a B&B in North Carolina and offers her a place to stay and lay low.

With over 3000 miles between her and her ex, Charlotte feels she can let go and be herself again. But the trouble with social media is that once something is out there, it never truly goes away.

When her problems follow her to paradise, will she have the strength to stay, or will she run again?

 

Meet the Author

Sophie Blue is a hopeless romantic and avid reader. She fell in love with reading at a young age and can always be found with her nose in a book. She started writing after having her baby and published her debut rom com in May 2020.

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#ReleaseBlitz “More Anxious (Love Sick Series)” by Sydney Aaliyah Michelle

Title: More Anxious

Series: Love Sick Series Book 2
Author: Sydney Aaliyah Michelle
Genre: BWWM Sports Romance, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 24, 2021


She’s coming into the light, but at what cost. They say love conquers all, but is it worth her mental health or worse, her life for a chance at a happily ever after?

After sharing her story, Leah Jones is more exposed than ever. Her career is taking off and everyone wants a piece of her. Her inner circle is pressuring her to move forward. They believe her anxiety is lessening, but Leah is getting better at hiding it.

Her boyfriend, football superstar Ryan Ware is pushing for them to move in together, but Leah isn’t ready to recalibrate her life. She’s struggling, and no one seems to notice until super fan, Erin Reynolds, maneuvers her way into Leah’s life.

Leah hires Erin to be her assistant but giving up control proves harder than she thought. Especially when Erin reveals her true motives.

Will Leah’s anxiety hold her back? Is she willing to risk losing the man she loves or will she step out and protect what she’s worked so hard for?

More Anxious is the steamy second book in the Love Sick romance series. A modern-day spin on the classic story All About Eve. If you like drama with a twist, alluring passion, and characters who fight for what they believe in, Sydney Aaliyah Michelle’s More Anxious will take you on a ride.

My head remained in a fog the whole rest of the day. I prepared dinner for tonight. I finished with an hour to spare and still no word from him. I crawled into bed and buried myself under the covers.

He hated me.

I hated me, too.

I drifted back to sleep some time later.

A soft knock woke me. I bolted upright.

I wiped my eyes to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

Ryan stood next to the sliding bay doors. He leaned against the doors with his arms crossed over his chest.

I blinked.

“Hey, little one.” He licked his lips. “You still mad at me?”

I shook my head and wiped my eyes.

“I missed you today,” he said. 

I whimpered, pushed the covers off me, and stood up in the center of the bed. I traversed it in a few steps before launching myself into Ryan’s arms. He caught me and stumbled backward.

I settled in his arms. He perched us on the side of the couch while I attacked him with my lips. I kissed him all over his face.

“Hey,” he said between kisses. “Slow down.” He leaned back.

I grabbed the back of his neck and pulled him toward me as I continued my assault.

Ryan opened his mouth to protest. I silenced him with my tongue and licked his lips. Too tempting to ignore, I bit him.

“Ouch.” His hand touched his lips.

“Sorry.” I licked his bottom lip and sucked on it. Ryan’s lips were like a pacifier to me. I wrapped my arms around his neck and straddled him. “I’m so sorry. About last night and today.”

Ryan stood up and walked toward the bed. He laid me down and pulled my arms from around his neck.

“No, come here.” I reached for him, but he ducked out of grasp and pushed my shirt up and laid tiny kisses down my stomach.

I pulled my T-shirt up over my head. Ryan ran a hand between my legs as his lips continued to taste my flesh. He worked back up to my breast, taking each nipple in his mouth and sucking hard. I arched my back to bring him closer. He snaked a finger inside the seam of my panties and ran it along it. I writhed beneath his touch. My brain latched on the sensation. It was exciting and exhilarating. Ryan’s touch made it all better.

I tilted my hips. Ryan pushed two fingers inside of me, only to the knuckles. His arms rested on my torso, holding me in place.

“What are you doing?” I gasped as he flicked my clit and then his fingers returned to tease my entrance.

“Manipulating you with sex.” He pressed his strong fingers into my center. His thick middle finger rubbed my clit.

“We need to talk about . . .” I squeaked out as he increased the pressure. I looked up at him.

“Not today.”

Sydney Aaliyah Michelle is a Contemporary Romance writer, a voracious reader, tattoo lover, and movie fanatic who hails from Texas.
After surviving 5 1/2 years living in China, she had the courage to finally pursue her passion and become a writer.
She identifies the sci-fi action flick “The Matrix” as the best representation of her life in the past. She is now blessed to be awake and doing what she loves.
She can recite the entire script from the 80’s teen comedy/drama “The Breakfast Club” and loves any and everything associated with the Avengers Movie, especially Tony Stark.
When it comes to books, Sydney reads different genres, but some of her favorite writers are Stephen King, Xyla Turner, J.A Huss, Kaia Bennett, & Emily Bronte. Under the Dome, The Great Gatsby & Wuthering Heights are her favorite books.
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#ReleaseBlitz “Mack” by Alex Wolf

Mack by Alex Wolf

a sizzling, sexy, standalone contemporary romance

AVAILABLE NOW!

smarturl.it/mack-kindle

Add to your TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57982214-mack

 

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BLURB

Mack Mitchell has an ego as big as his bank account.
Cocky. Arrogant. Powerful.

Presley Griffin is a do-gooder out to save the world.
Sweet. Giving. Smart.

Yet they have one thing in common…
They’re ruthless in the courtroom.

The spark is instant.
The attraction undeniable.
The yearning inescapable.

But when the enemies become lovers, can they both survive the fire?

 

MEET THE AUTHOR

Alex hails from the USA and currently resides in Tampa with his awesome girlfriend who’s also an author.
If you like filthy-mouthed, possessive alpha heroes and steamy romance, then he’s the author for you!

#ReleaseBlitz “Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia” by Julia Hengst

VenusUnderwater

It’s such a pleasure to share this beautiful book with you all! Songs from Mermaidia by Julia Hengst, will delight kids and parents alike!

Read on for more info and a chance to win a fantastic giveaway – A copy of the book (digital or print) and a $25 Amazon e-gift card!

VenusUnderwater-Interior-Ingram-EBOOK-ISBN- 9781736137512.indd

Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia

Publication Date: May 14th, 2021 (Today 🎉)

Genre: Children/ Songs/ Poetry/ Puns

The magic universe of mermaids, full of laughter, song and delight: help your child discover self-confidence and find their inner flow by diving deep into the magical world of Mermaidia. Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia introduces the underwater world of Mermaidia. This humorous and whimsical collection of poems and songs reveals how baby mermaids are made, what mermaid families are like, and how mermaids study magic at School of the Fish to become Sea Witches (not Sand Witches). Created by family therapist Julia Hengst the Venus and Her Fly Trip series helps nurture the whole child, promoting self-esteem, confidence and social/emotional/mental health in a fun, playful way.

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About the Author

J+Round

Julia Hengst is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, an avid surfer, traveler and word nerd who resides in Maui. Passionate about psychology, spirituality and media literacy, she holds an undergraduate degree in Media Studies from UC Berkeley, a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, and an imaginary degree from the University of Puns. www.venusandherflytrip.net

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#ReleaseBlitz “Weathering Old Souls” by Didi Oviatt & James J. Cudney

WeatheringOldSoul

Congratulations to Didi Oviatt and James J. Cudney on the release of their novel, Weathering Old Souls!

Read on for details, an exclusive excerpt and a week full of fantastic giveaways!

Release Week Giveaways!

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  • 1 physical book of Weathering Old Souls (US Only)

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Weathering Old Souls

Publication Date: May 15th, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Fiction with historical interludes, metaphysical elements, past life regression, suspense & mystery.

Publisher: Next Chapter

Abigail has always struggled with strange voices appearing inside her head. From the relentless tyranny a woman faces on an antebellum plantation to the unknown prison camps in America during World War II, our heroine discovers the past in a way that forever changes her future. There are moments from previous periods that serve as guiding posts for the country’s growth, but they also mark the transitions for Abigail’s own personal history. Her best friend, Margaret, partners with Abigail to discover the identity of these voices while focusing on her passion and quest to become a United States senator. Through it all, a serial killer torments the country, romance blossoms between some of the people they meet during the journey, and secrets long thought buried come to light in devastating ways. With the twisting of elements, numerical alignments, and the trauma of spiritual entanglements, no one will be the same… and just a few might not even be around anymore.

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Excerpt

One morning as winter should’ve been transitioning into spring, an eight-year-old Abigail awakens with a piercing scream. She bolts upright and snails herself to the edge of her bed, placing a heavy hand on her chest to help steady herself and catch her breath. Her body twinges as though she’s fallen down a flight of stairs or been slammed by a double-decker trolley. The agony starts in the muscles behind her shoulder blade. From there it feels like a rocket exploded, escaping through her chest, leaving only traces of burning gases to snake their way through the rest of her fragile body. She coughs violently as her system tries to rid itself of unknown toxins.

The bedroom is dark and frigid because the pipes broke the previous day and her father was too busy sleeping off a hangover to call a contractor to fix them. Oliver has no mechanical knowledge or experience with home repair, but he tells Abigail that the Stauntons will address the issue since their heating system has also experienced problems with the winter storms that year. It’s been an unpredictable season, much more so than the usual winter in South Carolina. Some days Abigail has played outside all afternoon, hardly catching a chill. Others she wakes to a beautifully ominous layer of frost clinging to every blade of yellow grass as if its very life depends on it.

A thin glint of light pushes through the crack between the bottom of the broken shade and the splintered windowsill. Abigail watches as the sparkly dust settles on the foot of her bed and shines brightly. It reminds her of the quartz necklace dangling on the neck of the woman in her scary dream. It was gorgeous and made the woman feel safe and comforted as it has in every dream where it made an appearance. Abigail’s told Margaret about the necklace many times, wishing she could hop out of bed today and do it again. It’s only been two months since she saw Margaret, but missing her is more than just a faint feeling. It’s soul crushing. She aches for Margaret’s companionship like any other child would her own sibling who’s grown up and gone on without her.

In her nightmare, Abigail was stuck inside the body of an old lady running through a field, sweat pouring from her head down the curves of her hollowed and withdrawn cheeks. It was pitch black, and there were trees all around her, the wind shaking the branches such that they whispered secret directions in an unknown language. They resembled monsters with claw-like arms and vicious teeth, ready to bite her flailing limbs. Someone had been chasing her, but Abigail never saw the figure’s face.

Confusion rocks her body. Part of her is the small innocent child who wants to scream for Elizabeth, but a stronger piece of her feels much older, more mature, as if she’s lived for decades, maybe even centuries. She shakes through the aftermath of terror, unable to make sense of what happened in her sleep. All she knows is that it was horrific and made her fear something awful was destined to happen. Abigail wonders if her nightmares relate to the bits of conversation she’s overheard between Elizabeth and Bradford in the past. Elizabeth once said something about a killer coming after them again, but they’d ultimately agreed they were much safer now.

After deliberating with Imaginary May for a few moments, Abigail announces, “I can handle this on my own. I am a big girl. Margaret’s gone, but she taught me to be strong.”

She cuddles the teddy bear that Elizabeth gifted her last month for Valentine’s Day. Elizabeth had always bought one for Margaret when she was a child, the kind of mother and daughter tradition that Abigail has always yearned for. This is the first year that Margaret has been away for Spring Break during Valentine’s Day. Elizabeth missed her daughter immensely, so she purchased two identical teddy bears at the local toy store. One for Margaret, who would be home on Spring Break soon, and one for her favorite little neighbor and second daughter.

With a heavy sigh, Abigail stretches her arms above her head, extends her legs, and spreads her toes apart. Then she drops her chin to her chest, before rolling her head around in big circles. Four times each direction, one for every major element. She studied them in school that year. With each round of her neck, Abigail breathes in and counts to ten, then she lets out the air and reminds herself of everything she has to be grateful for. Margaret once taught her this morning routine, to help her ease the body tremors brought about by a nightmare, as the last doctor she saw refused to give any pain medication or advice. The stretching and breathing exercises help, and her pains slowly evaporate like a faint mist over a swamp.

An oblong mirror that’s mounted to the wall across from her window offers Abigail a dust-clouded view of her messy hair as it knots and sticks out in every direction, along with her worn-out unicorn covered nightgown. She chuckles at the sight of herself, and the last of her anxiety and spasms disappear. She imagines the body aches to have a color, a dull shade of lilac, as they lift in a swirling pattern like hazy smoke and exit out of the beam of light coming through the window.

“Stay away, you filthy bloke,” she chastises the imaginary swirl of colorful pain.

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Weathering Old Souls

About the Author: Didi Oviatt

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Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Search for Maylee, Justice for Belle, Aggravated Momentum, and Sketch, along with multiple short story collections. She’s collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology, The Suspenseful Collection. Most recently, she published her first romance novella titled Skinny Dippin’ which was originally released as a part of the highly appraised Anthology, Sinners and Saints. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid-back outdoorsy lifestyle. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, and sun-bathing in the desert heat play an important part of her day to day lifestyle.

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About the Author: James J. Cudney

Jay Pic1

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, mind, and body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels, and suspense thrillers. I conjure characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Reader & Reviewer

Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies, or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read two books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review, and post it on all my sites and platforms.

Blogger & Thinker

I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks,” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.

Genealogist & Researcher

I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others; and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.

James J. Cudney | Blog | Amazon | Next Chapter |BookBub | Twitter | Facebook | Braxton Campus Mysteries FB

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#ReleaseBlitz “She’s the One Who Gets in Fights (The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters Books)” by S.R. Cronin

She'stheone

Happy publication day to S.R. Cronin! Check out this brand new Historical Fantasy, She’s the One Who Gets in Fights and enter for a chance to win a $30 Amazon gift card!

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She’s the One Who Gets in Fights (The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters Books)

Publication Date: May 14th, 2021 🎉

Genre: Historical Fantasy

It’s the 1200’s, and the small realm of Ilari has had peace and prosperity for generations. That doesn’t mean every citizen is happy, however.
Sulphur, the third of seven sisters, is glad the older two have been slow to wed. It’s given her the freedom to train as a fighter, in hopes of fulfilling her lifelong dream of joining Ilari’s army. Then, within a matter of days, both sisters announce plans and now Sulphur is expected to find a man to marry.
Is it Sulphur’s good fortune her homeland is gripped by fear of a pending Mongol invasion? And the army is going door to door encouraging recruits? Sulphur thinks it is. But once she’s forced to kill in a small skirmish, she’s ready to rethink her career decision.
Too bad it’s too late. The invasion is coming, and Ilari needs every good soldier it has.
Once Sulphur learns Ilari’s army has made the strategic decision to not defend certain parts of the realm, including the one where her family lives, she has to re-evaluate her loyalty. Is it with the military she’s always admired? Or is it with her sisters, who are hatching a plan to defend their homeland with magic?
Everywhere she turns, someone is counting on her to fight for what’s right. But what is?

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Excerpt

In early spring, after the last of the snow melted and the mud dried, I told my parents I wished to visit friends I’d made while studying. Then I rode to Pilk to learn more about joining the Svadlu. I knew they had a booth at the largest market there, often staffed by Svadlu officers who’d answer questions. I had a lot of them.

They accepted women, but what were the standards? Were they the same as for the men? Being a Svadlu provided status and a fair amount of pay, so they never wanted for recruits. How many people who tried to join were accepted?

The next day I found the booth. Officers wore cloaks of saffron yellow, but this man boasted a scarlet cape covered in regalia, identifying him as a Mozdol. My nervousness surprised me as I approached him.

“Hello, lass,” he greeted me with warmth. “Let me guess. You’ve got a younger brother who wants to join us but he’s too nervous to come talk to me himself. Am I right?” He seemed pleased. With what? That he induced nervousness in potential recruits?

“Uh, no. Sir. I was hoping to get some information on me joining.”

“You?”

He looked at me more closely. Of course I wore a dress, not my fighting clothes, so I didn’t much look the part, but he squinted at me anyway.

“You’re tall. Well-muscled for a woman and you look to be in good shape. Have you ever held a sword?”

“I’ve been sparring since I was a child.”

That impressed him.

“And I’ll do whatever you need to me to. Answer questions about weapons, engage in fights, perform tests of strength, whatever you need.” I spoke too fast in my eagerness.

“Slow down,” he chuckled. “All that’s good, but actually, none of it matters compared to what I’m going to tell you next.”

He hesitated as if he wasn’t sure how to explain this vital fact to someone as ignorant as me.

“You’re a farmgirl, right?” He looked at my clothes again.

“Yes, sir.”

“Well, the Svadlu are more of a city operation. We do things differently than on the farm.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean being a member of the Svadlu is a pretty good deal. Lots of young people want in.”

“I know. That’s why I’ve worked so hard.”

“And that’s good, but most successful recruits get in because they have a sponsor. You know, someone already in the Svadlu who vouches for them. Um, especially if you’re, well, you know, a woman. Then it helps a great deal if one of us says you’re up to it.”

“But I can prove I’m up to it!”

“I suspect you can.” The look he gave me held respect, but he stayed firm. “A sponsor makes the difference. Why don’t you ask around? Surely your family knows someone who can help you.”

He looked up. Several people stood behind me now, all hoping to talk to him. “If you’ll excuse me …”

I rode back to Vinx dejected. I already knew my family had no contacts in the Svadlu and I had no idea of who I could turn to find some. Why did I have to know someone in order to get in? What stupid kind of way was that to run an army?

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Will be available through Kobo, Apple, and Barnes & Nobel later this month!

About the Author

authorpicture

Sherrie Cronin is the author of a collection of six speculative fiction novels known as 46. Ascending and is now in the process of publishing a historical fantasy series called The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters. A quick look at the synopses of her books makes it obvious she is fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had.

She’s made a lot of stops along the way to writing these novels. She’s lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. Now she answers a hot-line. Along the way, she’s lost several cats but acquired a husband who still loves her and three kids who’ve grown up just fine, both despite how eccentric she is.

All her life she has wanted to either tell these kinds of stories or be Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. She now lives and writes in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she admits to occasionally checking her phone for a message from Captain Picard, just in case.

SR Cronin | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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#ReleaseBlitz “Malevolent” by Anne L. Parks

Title: Malevolent
Author: Anne L. Parks
Genre: Romantic Thriller/ Suspense

Release Date: May 11, 2021
Cover Designer: Drue Hoffman @ Buoni Amici Press
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.

From bestselling author Anne L. Parks comes both a chilling thriller and moving love story.

Kylie Tate survived a life of dominance and abuse. An up-and-coming criminal defense attorney, she has been assigned to a first degree murder case which could make or break her career. The downside—the second chair is fellow attorney and violent ex-boyfriend, John Sysco.

When she catches the eye of enigmatic billionaire, Alex Stone, she can’t help but be drawn to him. Unfortunately John is not willing to let her go—especially into the arms of another man.

As John’s sanity spirals into darkness, his attempts to get Kylie back escalate, along with the abuse she thought she had escaped. The one glimmer of hope she has is the unconditional support Alex provides. Ravaged by demons from his past, Alex vows to stop at nothing to keep Kylie safe.

But the closer the couple gets, the more Kylie wonders if Alex is truly her savior—or as dark and dangerous as John.

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Born and raised in the Rocky Mountains, Anne L. Parks has moved all over the United States with her Navy husband. Legally trained, she switched careers and followed her dream of becoming an author. When not writing, she spends her time reading, doing yoga, mountain biking, and spoiling her German Shepherd, Zoe. And drinking wine.

Parks loves to create stories with mystery, plenty of twists and turns, and loaded with suspense. With a background in criminal defense and a military husband, she feels right at home amongst highly trained, somewhat jaded, ready-to-take-out-the-bad-guys alpha males and the strong, brave women who love them, but can also handle whatever life throws at them. Murders, terrorists, courtroom drama…if it touches on the dark nature of humanity, Parks is unafraid of delving into the depths of depravity—and bringing her readers along for the ride.

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#ReleaseBlitz “Lucky (The O’Sullivan Brothers Book 1)” by Rie Warren

LUCKY

The O’Sullivan Brothers Book 1

Dark Irish Mafia Romance

by Rie Warren

Genres: Mafia romance, Irish mafia, dark romance, enemies to lovers

#Lucky #O’SullivanBrothers #RieWarren #Live #NewSeries #IrishMafia

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http://bit.ly/LuckyIrishMafia

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https://www.bookbub.com/books/lucky-dark-irish-mafia-romance-o-sullivan-brothers-book-1-by-rie-warren

 

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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57412345-lucky

 

Blurb:

He’s concerned with one thing only: ruling his mafia empire. She’s sworn off men—especially bad ones—for life. Despite their instant hostility, these two are on a hot collision course, and the collateral damage could be catastrophic.

LUCKY

I know all about being down on my luck but, right now, I’m at the top of the mafia food chain, and I don’t intend to let anything, or any woman, get in my way.

Then this broad appears in my casino. Prudence Knight is a straight-up hustler, a card shark who wins hand over fist, and I refuse to be impressed.

With her smartass attitude combined with the angelic looks, she’s begging to be controlled by a mafia man like me.

I don’t plan on taking it easy on Prue. Sure, she’s been through an ordeal, but now she owes me. I’m gonna find a reason to keep her for as long as she serves my purposes. Because, after years of being under my dad’s despicable rule, the only risks I take are the ones I know will benefit me in the end.

PRUDENCE

I’ve been known to be hardheaded and I’m definitely all about my independence. I bust my butt to earn a living and I have no desire to be any man’s pawn. Not even Lucky O’Sullivan’s.

Oh yeah. I’ve heard of him. Who hasn’t? The rumors, the gossip, the mafia myths. He’s said to be an unrepentant killer, and that might be the least of my worries. I hate him at first sight, and the feeling seems to be mutual until he makes me an offer I really should refuse.

Now I owe him, which makes this arrogant mob boss think he owns me. I’m getting in too deep, but at what cost?

Lucky is book 1 in the O’Sullivan Brothers Irish mafia series. No cliffhangers. No cheating. Includes sizzling hot scenes. Can be read as a standalone.

 

Excerpt

Prue doesn’t want to want me?

Tough fucking shit.

Now I had her where I wanted her. Stretched out half on top of my Jeep with her face down. And she wasn’t escaping.

Something deviant compelled me to barge right against her.

Having her suddenly at my mercy again made my cock stiffen so fast blood rushed right to my groin. I jammed my pelvis against her ass so she could feel how she affected me, and she struggled.

I didn’t care.

I dragged my hands from her hips to her stomach and pulled her torso up. I held her tightly against my chest, my palms climbing over her top to hold her tits. I ran my fingers across her nipples that peaked up at my barest touch.

Still the obstinate woman wriggled in frustration.

I let out a husky chuckle then shoved her hair aside. Leaning in, I nipped and licked her neck until she stopped resisting.

Her hot whimper was music to my ears because I knew it wasn’t fear. It was fiery desire she kept trying to contain.

And I was about to break it all free so I could wallow in her untamed need.

Tugging her around, I dug a hand into her hair and claimed her mouth. The inferno combusted. Our tongues circled and twined, my hand controlling just how hard and how long the slippery kiss lasted.

When a groan tumbled from me, I snatched her head back.

“Goddamn it, Prue.” Ragged breaths struck through my chest. “Tell me.”

“What?” She sucked her bottom lip between her teeth.

“You know what I want to hear come out of that pretty mouth of yours.” My tone was clipped and crisp.

“Fine.” With a haughty toss of her magnificent mane and pure fire lighting those crystal green eyes, she admitted, “I want you, you arrogant ass—”

I crashed my mouth over hers again.