Daily Archives: September 12, 2017

VBT – BILLIONAIRE EVER AFTER

TourBanner_BillionaireEverAfter

Billionaire Ever After

by Mary Hughes, Victoria Pinder Arabpour, Tia Morris, Courtney Runion Hunt, Ann Omasta, Christine Kingsley, Traci E Hall, Rossie Cortes, Margo Bond Collins,  A.E .Easterlin Elayne Cox, Blaire Edens Lateia Elam Sandifer , Tierney O’Malley, Cheryl Phipps, Michele De Winton, K.L. Brady, Talia Hunter, Allison Gatta, Debbie White, Stephanie Queen, Caitlyn Lynch Catherine Bilson, Cristiane Serruya

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GENRE: Romance

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BLURB:

Feel the sparks fly off the hot romance and action-driven pages of these EXCLUSIVE TITLES—unavailable separately in ebook format anywhere else!

From sweet to sensual, they’ll satisfy your most indulgent fantasies as you fall in love with an array of billionaire beaus in this contemporary romance collection by some of today’s hottest New York Times, USA Today, and International bestselling authors.

Quench your book-boyfriend addiction with page-turning stories overflowing with decadent luxury, heart-warming love, heated adventure, steamy scenes, and happily-ever-afters.

Featuring billionaires from bad boys to Marines and CEOs to cowboys, this set will take you around the country and jet-setting around the globe with intense, passionate men who always get what they want and fulfill the desires of the women they crave.

Relish each journey in this LIMITED-TIME collection PACKED with novels and novellas that will provide over one hundred hours of reading.

Grab your copy today before these hot billionaires fly off into the sunset!

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The collection is on sale for only $0.99!!!

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BOOK EXCERPTS

Mary Hughes

Bad Boy Billionaire’s Lady

Elizabeth promised a dying man she’d protect his charitable legacy. But how, when the greedy, manipulative sharks on the board want her out? And now the biggest shark of all, the Lovless heir, is coming home.

Rebel Lovless joined the Navy to escape his robber-baron grandfather molding him into a ruthless copy. So when the old man dies, the SEAL returns to give away his billions, only to find surprise charities—and a hostile board tearing at the throat of charity organizer, classy lady Elizabeth Rothschild.

Excerpt

Just let me escape. I vow never to take a shortcut again.

Feet pursued Elizabeth. A hand clamped onto her coat. Her pulse kicked into overdrive.

“Where d’you think you’re going?” Skullcap dragged her to a stop.

She swung around, messenger bag first, the kitten carrier clamped to her body.

The mugger grabbed her by the lapels—and tore open her coat beneath the carrier strap.

She sucked in a shocked breath. Inhaled a wash of male stink. She recoiled automatically, heart hammering. The kitten released a terrified screech.

“Well, well.” The mugger dragged her back, his foul excitement pouring off him. “What’s this?”

She struggled against Skullcap’s hold, impotently, horrified that the situation had careened so out of control. Her blood thundered in her ears as she tried desperately to think of a way out…or was that the sound of a motor?

Suddenly, the hard roar of a powerful machine filled the mouth of the alley.

Beyond the muggers, a motorcycle skidded into the narrow way, its harsh engine reverberating against the buildings.

The goon spun toward the intruder. Freed, Elizabeth clutched the carrier and stumbled back, her pulse racing frantically.

The bike tore down the pavement and squealed to a stop a few feet from the mugger.

A big, helmeted, leather-clad man sat easily on the low-slung seat. Scuffed, shitkicker boots rested flat on the pavement.

Her panted breaths rasped in her ears. The mugger’s more dangerous biker pal? God, and she’d thought things couldn’t get worse.

One boot rose to toe the stand down. With a fluid lift of his muscular leg, the man dismounted easily, unfolding to almost a giant’s height. Face completely covered by a mirrored visor, he stood before them without a word.

More dangerous? Try deadly.

Elizabeth’s breath came in frosted little pants. Was she rescued, or in even more trouble than before?

http://maryhughesbooks.com http://www.facebook.com/MaryHughesAuthor http://www.twitter.com/MaryHughesBooks      https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-hughes

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Victoria Pinder Arabpour

Tempting Harry

As the Christmas holiday approaches, Roxy’s determined to lay low and get through the holiday unscathed, but when she meets Harry, her plans suddenly change. Could their chance meeting lead them in a better direction or will their broken hearts and spirits prevent them from finding their happily-ever-after?

Excerpt:

Her face was hot. Chris had been supposed to come for Thanksgiving, but when they were about to make the trip up, he broke up with her and slept with another woman, all on the same day. Which was sadly fitting as he’d cheated on his fiancée, Calliope, when he met Roxy. Her mother would probably say publicly that she got what she deserved, if she was given another opportunity. She had already told her privately, on more than occasion. Roxy thought it herself. She hugged her stomach, then looked at her mother’s blue eyes and squared her shoulders. “If I go offer to get him a drink or something, you’ll leave me alone and not talk about either my looks or my love life?”

“Oh, very well. I’m sure you’ll like him.” Her mother pushed her slightly again, to tell her to move faster. She hated having to introduce herself to anyone. Someone else had introduced her to Chris, so the social awkwardness had been lessened when she met him. But she had no time to think about any of that now. She took a step forward, lightly tapped the man’s rather strong muscular arm, and did exactly what her mother had told her. “Hello, would you like a drink or something?” At that moment, the front door opened and everyone in the room grew silent. The attractive, so far unnamed man placed his hand on her shoulder. “Stand behind me.” Without another word, he blocked her view. She peeked around him and saw Gabe and her uncle Tom greet a dark-haired man. “Who is that?”

https://www.facebook.com/victoriapinder1/ http://victoriapinder.com/ https://twitter.com/victoriapinder

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Tia Morris

Billionaire Puppy Love

A sexy, busy corporate CEO and billionaire hires an attractive woman as his live-in pet sitter when a basket of puppies is dumped at his corporate office by his zany aunt who wants him to settle down and find love.

Excerpt

This was a date, not a business meeting, and she’d taken the job as his pet sitter in hopes of being his PA. Well, they could spend time together, and she would keep things very professional. Friendly, but not romantic.

They stopped to admire the silvery light of the moon shining on the nearly flat ocean. Emma sighed and plopped onto the sand.

Max sat next to her. “I was going to be a gentleman and remove my jacket so you wouldn’t get your dress sandy. And then I remembered I didn’t wear a jacket.”

She gave him a shy smile. “I like you in these clothes better than a suit.”

He leaned close. “Look at that moon,” he murmured, sliding an arm around her waist.

And then he was stroking a hand down her back, his touch assured and confident, but amid the hunger on his face was absolute tenderness.

The tender look evaporated all her resolve. Emma fell backwards onto the sand on her side. Max did the same, facing her.

She didn’t care if her dress was stained or that sand covered her bare legs. All that mattered was this moment…and Max.

“You’re so cute,” he murmured, cupping her cheek.

Emma wrinkled her nose. “Puppies are cute. I’m not a puppy.”

“When you do that little thing with your eyes…”

“You mean when I roll them because you’re comparing me to a pet?”

“Hush,” he said softly. “You mean a lot to me, Em. I haven’t felt this way about a woman in a very long time. You’re sweet and generous and beautiful, inside and out.”

Emma gazed up at him as the waves lapped at their feet.

“Em, I’m going to kiss you now.”

https://www.tiamorris.com/     https://www.facebook.com/groups/982039651930248/

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Courtney Runion Hunt

A Bridesmaid for the Billionaire

Being a bridesmaid in her best friend’s wedding means Jenny Malone will have to face her college sweetheart. Finn Jones shattered her heart when he left her behind on graduation day. Over the years since Jenny and Finn parted, he’s grown up and made himself a billionaire in the process. When they help their best friend elope in the islands, will Jenny and Finn find their second chance at love or will it be just another island fling?

Excerpt:

“I want a billionaire too.” A bedraggled Jenny Malone greeted her best friend when she opened the front door of her penthouse in Thorne Tower. Pausing in the glorious marble entryway, perfumed with the rich scent of lilies and roses from the enormous display centered on a carved wood table near the elevator, Jenny tossed her sodden cheap black umbrella into the stand by the door and slipped off her soaked pumps. When her bare feet pressed against the chilled marble floor, she shivered. Even though it was only early October, the Manhattan night outside pelted down cold rain from an indifferent sky. She’d gotten soaked on her dash from the subway.

“Bad date with your tinderfella?” Callie Matthews led her friend into the sumptuously decorated penthouse that was now her home. In June, just as school ended for the year, Ashton Thorne hired Callie to care for his son, Oliver, over the summer. As a struggling kindergarten teacher with space in both her schedule and her bank account, Callie accepted the challenge. Within just a few weeks, Ash and Callie fell madly in love. Now, her friend and former co-worker lived in the lap of luxury with a diamond that cost more than Jenny’s outstanding student loans winking on her finger.

Jenny wasn’t jealous or even envious. She loved Callie like the sister she’d never had. But, there was a tiny part of Jenny that wished it was her getting breakfast served on silver platters instead of grabbing a stale bagel at the local bodega. Or being driven around Manhattan in a climate-controlled private limo instead of taking the crowded subway to work, smashed in with the other bleary-eyed commuters. And, of course, Jenny would love for a hot, handsome, sexy guy to look at her the way Ash looked at Callie. If he happened to be ridiculously wealthy, so much the better.

And why not wish for the moon while she was at it?

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www.twitter.com/courtneyhunt71

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Ann Omasta

The Broke Billionaire

Despite rolling in cash, Trey Donovan feels broke in the ways that truly matter… love, passion, friendship, loyalty, intimacy, and desire. Will Ellie Thorne change that or break him for good?

Distracted and tired, Ellie did not expect anyone else to be on the road as she drove to her bakery at the crack of dawn.

Trey was out for an early morning jog, attempting to escape some of the stress and pressure that surrounded him at his corporate empire.

Ellie had no idea that the mysterious, handsome pedestrian she hit with her car was powerful business tycoon, Trey Donovan, and he intended to keep it that way.

Will he be able to win her heart without using his money as a crutch? Is she the woman he’s been waiting for, or will she leave him even more broken than before?

Find out now in The Broke Billionaire.

Excerpt:

The urge to cry was almost overwhelming, but she refused to give in to it. She would let it all out once the stranger was safely at the hospital receiving treatment for his injuries, but right now she needed to focus all of her energy on getting them out of this predicament.

She couldn’t help but notice that the weight of him on top of her wasn’t entirely unpleasant, but she didn’t have the luxury of time to be able to focus on that. As she was trying to decide if gently rolling him off her would risk injuring him further, she realized his breathing had hitched.

She didn’t have to wonder for long if he was awake. He shifted slightly and she gasped in surprise when she felt the firmness in his pants pressing into her upper thigh.

“At least that isn’t broken,” he mumbled near her ear, making the tiny hairs along the back of her neck stand at attention as a thrilling chill raced down her back.

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www.amazon.com/author/annomasta

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M.M. Chabot

Saved by Him

For two years I have been barely living… until James came into my life and changed everything. James I must be crazy. I am not looking for a woman. I don’t see myself ever settling down anymore. I just wanted her.

Sierra I lost myself when my husband died. What I didn’t expect was to meet this blue-eyed hunk of a man. I know he wants something I can’t give him, but can he save me from this life I have been living

This book is part of a series, but all books can be read as a standalone. This is book one of the Renwick Billionaire Romances and will be written into a full-length novel.

Excerpt:

“Oh, my–” gagging again causes her to turn around abruptly, to get away from the smell making her eyes water, right into the hard chest of a man. A man who doesn’t seem pleased. Even though her heart was beating really fast, it wasn’t due to anxiety or fear this time, but rather, to the proximity of this beautiful specimen in front of her. Though her body was frozen, she slowly trailed her eyes up and down. He had chestnut brown hair she could run her fingers through, with a strong jaw she would love to trail kisses down. And those eyes, wow, they were the brightest aquamarine she has ever seen, the same eyes she saw in her dreams after the accident. Eyes that she remembered with warmth and compassion, and they were offset with dark, full eyelashes. That mouth would even be beautiful if he wasn’t frowning so hard, and if it wasn’t directed at her.

Sierra wasn’t sure when she sighed – probably when her traitorous body realized that man’s hard body was pressing up against her still, but she heard it and her face turned red, especially when he took a couple steps back and gave her a death glare.

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Christine Kingsley

Breakaway

Colin Caldwell is spending his summer in the small seaside town of Breakers Bay, where his only goals are to escape, relax and have a good time. He’s a notorious playboy, but why wouldn’t he be? As heir to Caldwell Enterprises, he’s had all the girls in town lining up for a summer fling ever since he was eighteen. Except for the one he really wants. Hadley Hendricks has always kept Colin firmly in the friend zone, ever since he started showing up every summer twelve years ago. This year, he’s determined to make her his for the summer. What he doesn’t expect is for Hadley to get so close that he doesn’t know how to break away again. Or if he even wants to.

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

The authors will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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VBT – The Peacock Door

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About the Book

Title: The Peacock Door

Author: Wanda Kay Knight

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

In a magical tale of adventure, eight cousins sneak through forbidden treehouse doors, only to find themselves separated from each other and lost in strange worlds. In their quests to return home, they must unravel mysteries, escape snares and villains, find one another, and search for the elusive Oracle. The Peacock Door is a rich story of camaraderie, loyalty, love, and determination with a bit whimsy sprinkled throughout.

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Author Bio

Wanda Kay Knight lives in the Pacific Northwest, teaches literature, strives really hard to keep up with her adventurous/competitive family, makes things out of yarn (mainly unique hats), enjoys collecting pretty rocks, and writes a lot.

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Links

Website: www.thepeacockdoor.com

Youtube video:
Youtube video: 

Email address:    wandakayknight@thepeacockdoor.com

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Book Excerpts

Grizzles and Lola:

He hobbled and wobbled when he walked as though sharp tacks protruded from the floor; his shoulders were hunched, and his head bent forward; he was ancient, no doubt about it—he was an ancient, old man. Giant folds and wrinkles covered his face; his white hair fell in large loopy whorls about his head, and they might have redeemed the face if it were not for the huge bulbous nose and the tiny squinty eyes. But the part they noticed the most was the fingers; gnarled, wrinkled fingers with long, yellowed talons for fingernails.

He twisted around and snarled at them; his raspy voice interrupted by his own heavy, noisy breathing, “Can’t you see that I am busy? I don’t like people, and I especially don’t like children. I ate the last child that came here.” He picked his tooth with a dirty fingernail. “What do you want?”

 

Icy Stone Steps:

A full moon had risen in the cobalt sky casting a bluish glow over the icy, snow-swept mountainside, illuminating the entire hamlet. Icicles dangled from the steep, high pitched roofs of cottages nestling here and there, jumbled together at odd angles wherever the mountainside allowed. Jagged, ice covered stone steps, cut into the mountainside, curved up and around the icicle laden cottages until finally reaching a summit—a high, flat plateau. And it was on that plateau—high overhead and overshadowing the village—that a Citadel, a snow-covered stone fortress—overwhelming with its massive and imposing presence—rose up out of the mountain as though etched and carved from the rock itself.

They stood exhaling puffs of frosty mist; entranced by the ethereal beauty of their snow laden destination and shocked by the terrible price they must pay to get there. Finally realizing the price for warmth and comfort for the night so they would have an audience with the Oracle tomorrow was a midnight climb up jagged icy stone steps tonight. It was foreboding and frigid; it was ethereal and sublime.

“We can do this,” Eleanor whispered. She slipped over and laid one arm on Ivan’s shoulder and the other on Tilly’s. Addison silently reached down grabbing Brody’s hand—and he let her do it. Claire moved over to stand beside Levi who had taken Esmé back into his own arms. He smiled a grim smile, and then he turned, planting his foot on the first jagged, icy stone step as each of the cousins formed a silent line behind him, breathing in the cold, frosty air, and preparing to follow.

The Citadel:

 

Nothing, nothing at all, not the ancient tales of lore, nor the fables of old could have prepared the cousins for the imposing power or the exquisite beauty of the Citadel. It rose up out of the snow like an elaborate ice sculpture, with belfries and pinnacled towers climbing into the clouds and reaching higher than the peaks themselves.

There were arches and turrets and cupolas, and parapets and round keeps with lanterns flickering in spade shaped windows, and all of it as pristine and intricate as though carved from ice and decorated with snow.

The castle was hewn from the mountain itself, forged from the stone so that the posterior of the castle was fused into the rock face of the mountain. A high, thick stone wall with ramparts and battlements like the strongholds of old, curved around the castle, surrounding it like a giant horseshoe with the massive gatehouse setting the center and the two prongs fusing back into the mountain.

The Treehouse:

And then, all of a sudden, Gramma stopped and pointed up into the top of a mass of trees. And there it was—perched high in an ancient oak and nestled within the branches—an oddly shaped ramshackle treehouse. It was slightly askew, somewhat rickety and setting a little lopsided with uneven, peculiar angles. It was made of old wooden shingles and tin and such. Branches seemed to grow around the bottom and squeeze the sides and burst out from the top. The entire group stood still, mouths gaping open—peering up.

Levi saw the wooden ladder first and raced toward it. Immediately the others were nipping at his heels as they competed to get to the top. Grunts and ouches and “hey-stop that’s” pierced the air as each one pushed and shoved and as fingers and toes were trampled in the chaos to get to the top first. Gramma watched from the ground, and once they were all at the top, she grabbed hold of the bottom rung of the ladder and began climbing behind them.

The Doors:

The others smiled, nodding innocently. Gramma laughed and turned to go out the peacock door; but, as soon as she grabbed the handle, she pivoted back facing them.

A bizarre expression clouded her face. “Whatever you do,” she said, “Whatever you do—listen to me!” She pointed her finger at each of them, and after staring directly into each set of eyes, she continued. “There are journeys and treasures beyond those doors,” she said, “There are long forgotten wisps of alchemy and lost keys and crystals and mirrors of illusions; but, you must not go out any of those doors. Her voice lowered as she leaned forward. “I gotta tell you—those keys are especially hard to find. You think it’s easy; but, nooo, it is not! Everything is fine as long as you don’t go out any doors except the peacock door, right here. This is the door to use—only this one.” She patted the door.

Her voice lowered even more—almost to a whisper. “You see, kiddies, even if you’re ready to search for the keys, it’s real hard to—um—well—to—to feel them—to experience them.” She rubbed the fingers of each hand together, rotating the thumb around the fingertips. “Yeeessss, to feel them; it’s just not the time to feel them. That’s the hard part. Do you understand?”

Book Spotlight – Reflections: A Journey to God

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About the Authors

Gary Susan Eby

Gary Eby is a retired social worker, mental health counselor and addiction therapist. He writes about self-help and spirituality. Gary loves playing the piano, the drums and walking on the beach with his wife, Susan. His motto is “Choose the positive, because it’s all good!”

Susan studied philosophy in college. Some of her favorite philosophers are Socrates, Plato, William James and St. Thomas Aquinas. She is currently enjoying Emerson’s mystical essays. We have conducted an interview with them.

Their current book is Reflections: A Journey to God.

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About the Book

 Reflections A Journey to God

Title: REFLECTIONS: A JOURNEY TO GOD
Author: Gary & Susan Eby
Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing
Pages: 268
Genre: Spirituality/Self-Help/Healing/Poetry

BOOK BLURB

Our disclaimer: you are completely free to reject everything we have to say about spirituality. What we believe in is not that important. What really counts is what you believe that gives your life meaning, direction, and purpose.

This book is about our personal stories with Spirit and what we’ve learned along our journeys. We’re sharing it with you because it might help you on your own journey to God. We only ask that you read this book with an open mind and heart.

We suggest you pick one of these spiritual essays. Ponder it, meditate for a while, even read it out loud. Allow yourself to feel the words and the light, which may lead you to discover the better life you truly deserve.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Book Excerpt

Emotional Healing

In the twilight of an Oregon summer night, the half-moon projects a mystical glow. Cool mountain air flows with the gentle sounds of cricket music. A glimmering star curtain unfurls to reveal a celestial vision of power and energy that transcends all human worry, doubt, and fear.

Tonight I am at peace, yet I still struggle with discouragement. A part of me obsesses and worries about an unsure financial future. This negative side is unforgiving, self-critical, and emotionally abusive.

At age 60, it appears overwhelming and even impossible to change the direction and course of my life. As I try out new ideas and new technology to achieve my dreams and goals, I stumble and fall. So many barriers and obstacles loom on the horizon. The prospect of giving up and throwing in the towel appears seductive.  Why not just give up?   What’s the point anyway?

I ask myself why am I trying so hard to achieve my dreams, when reality smacks of karma, suffering, powerlessness, and death?  We all know about all of those ‘bad things’ that keep happening to ‘good people’. Right?

I accept that evil and injustice exists in this world.  I know random or calculated acts of violence, painful relationships, disease and the loss of loved ones, cause untold pain and suffering.  In these moments of despair, frustration, and discouragement, my consciousness returns to the power of the half-moon.

There is darkness but the moonlight always conquers the night. Even when no moon can be seen in the sky, the moon is there.  Tonight, I choose to thrive on the Light living within all of us.

Much of life will remain a mystery. The stars above and the universe within will sustain me through predictable trials and life challenges. I choose to embrace the majesty of life made sublimely radiant by those infinite, flashing, celestial spheres.

I feel myself merging with the universe and my thoughts begin to turn toward God.  This is the place I want to be.  This is the space I want to be in.  This is where I want to live my life.  I refuse to let the negative overtake me.

I emotionally reach out toward the lights dancing in the sky and accept what is always, always true.  I am forever guided by God, and whatever happens in my life, I know Spirit will show me through.  No fears, worries or negativity can touch me when I am existing in the Love Light.

Link to Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=268oDidOwHQ

Blog Tour – Dead Cold

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Dead Cold Blog Tour

About the Author

 Jennifer Chase

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

Her latest book is the crime thriller, Dead Cold.

 

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

About the Book:

 DeadCold

Title: DEAD COLD
Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: JEC Press
Pages: 326
Genre: Crime Thriller

BOOK BLURB:

What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute.

On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.

Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.

Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.

The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Book Excerpt

ESCAPE WAS IMPOSSIBLE. TEARS STREAMED down her face as she sat in the darkness and waited for the man to return. There was no other choice—but to wait.

She hadn’t eaten anything in three days and had only a limited amount of water—her strength continued to fade with every hour. With her wrists and ankles secured with duct tape, her skin stung with pain every time she struggled to move. At least the man had peeled the tape from her eyes and mouth so that she could see something besides pitch-blackness.

Even if she could escape, the only way to safety was jumping into the frigid water, but she could not swim and would drown before ever reaching the shore.

The only thing thirteen-year-old Kayla Swanson thought about was home. Fond memories flashed through her mind of her parents, her little brother, and her dog Charlie. She was never going to see them again. Their smiling faces were forever etched in Kayla’s mind, and she constantly held them close to her heart.

The boat rocked, and seemed to sway more violently as the tide flooded in and out of the harbor. Kayla could hear a consistent clanking noise above her as the boat rolled back and forth. The sound had a hypnotic quality, and kept her mind on something else besides when the man would return and what he would do next.

Her lips were dry and cracked as she bordered on dehydration. Even her tears dried on her cheeks, leaving her skin stiff and drawn. Her body began to shake, not only from fear, but also because of the extreme exhaustion and the constant dampness all around her.

The boat rocked more, but this time it shifted from the opposite sides. Kayla heard soft footsteps above, which she knew wasn’t her captor’s heavy walk. She strained her eyes in the darkness and thought she saw a thin shadow stealthily move along the upper deck.

Was it a ghost?

Kayla remembered a television series where a team of people hunted ghosts and they had said that ghosts could occupy any type of space, house, property, and even a boat.

She blinked her eyes several times and hoped that she could catch a glimpse of the ghost again. With every ounce of declining strength, Kayla scooted her body closer to the narrow stairs leading to the upper deck.

Painfully craning her neck, she strained to see something up in the darkness.

The dark shadowed areas played tricks on her eyes—it was there, then it wasn’t.

She waited for several minutes.

Nothing appeared.

The only sounds she heard were the usual boat noises she had grown accustomed to hearing. Whatever she thought she heard was gone now. It was most likely her imagination trying to give her some hope and a few moments break from her dire circumstances.

As she relaxed her shoulders and leaned back against the wall, the reality of her world pressing down hard. Tears streamed down her face. She tasted the saltiness that settled around her mouth. Her last moments were approaching, and there was nothing she could do.

The Story Behind Dead Cold

Here’s my story behind the crime thriller, Dead Cold, and the driving inspiration for entire Emily Stone Thriller Series. What you are about to read is true, at least how I remember it. Please note, it’s not for the squeamish. It was a day that I’ll never forget because it changed everything in my life. It started out as any other mild California day in April. A new neighbor moved into the house next door and it appeared that a man and a woman with a small baby would be added to the neighborhood.

One thing you must realize, it was a quiet and conservative area—not a particularly close-knit neighborhood but nice nonetheless. Nothing ever happened that would rate a news story or a visit from the police. Ever. My first meeting with the new neighbor, and we’ll just call him “John” for this story, was unforgettable. I apologize to all the wonderful and nice “Johns” out there—but I had to pick a name.

There was no conversation with John that would resemble anything cordial or even normal. There was a response to my friendly greeting. Nothing resembling a civil tone, but he demanded, “What’s wrong with your face? Why are you looking at me like that? You know how easy it would be to slit your throat?” He made the cutting of throat gesture with his hand to back up his statement.

I knew that from that day forward there would be a problem—make that a huge problem in my life. And, I was right. The next two and half years were a nightmare, I was constantly stalked, threatened to be decapitated and raped, and I never had a day that wasn’t disturbing in dealing with John. There were so many disturbing situations that I don’t think I could write them all in one book—maybe two or three volumes might cover it. Some episodes were quite unbelievable. I finally moved. And you know what? He followed me and the horrifying stalking and harassment started over. Yes of course, I went to the police and I’m still friends with some of them today. Law enforcement couldn’t do anything until he touched me, hurt me, and yes, killed me. It’s true. So I prepared myself, working with a martial arts and self-defense trainer. I knew it was a matter of time before John broke into my house and killed me. Luckily for me, he was arrested for beating someone almost to death, but I was on his list of people to kill. How nice. I thought things like this were only in the movies. I guessed wrong.

What in world does this have to do with inspiration for my crime thriller series? I would say quite a bit. Well from this experience, I created a fictional vigilante detective, Emily Stone, who tracks down serial killers and child abductors. She accomplishes this covertly and under the police department’s radar. When she gathers all the information, forensics and behavioral evidence, she then forwards everything to the detective in charge of the investigation, while keeping her identity secret.

My own personal experiences with a textbook, violent, sociopath inspired me to create a thriller series and to earn degrees in criminology and criminal justice, as well as police forensics. I think my story ended well. You will find some scenes in my books that are based on real occurrences I experienced, but you won’t know which ones. You’ll just have to guess.

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