Saturday, February 7, 2015

Craved By an Alpha Blog Barrage, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Felicity Heaton's Craved by an Alpha Blog Barrage

Craved by an Alpha, the fifth book in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot paranormal romance series, Eternal Mates, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY at her website and sharing sneak peeks of the book.
Find out how to enter the Craved by an Alpha international giveaway (ends February 8th) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website, where you can also download a 5 chapter sample of the novel: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/craved-by-an-alpha-paranormal-romance-novel.php


Here’s more about Craved by an Alpha, including an excerpt from this paranormal romance novel.
Craved by an Alpha
Having turned his back on his snow leopard pride, Cavanaugh has been counting the days until he’s free of a role he never wanted—one that separated him from his fated female and stands between him and the future he craves with her.
Just days from the night he will finally be free to be with the low-ranking beauty who stole his heart, she walks back into his life and threatens to destroy everything he’s worked towards in the five long years they’ve been apart.
Eloise has travelled across continents searching for the male who was once her best friend and so much more to her, but was now her pride’s true alpha. Desperate to fulfil a promise to her kin to save them from the tyrant he left in charge, she convinces Cavanaugh to return to his pride, but as they journey to Bhutan, doubts bloom and old feelings resurface, tearing her between duty and her deepest desires and impossible dreams.
Will Eloise be able to resist the burning need that Cavanaugh reignites in her and remember her place in the pride? And can Cavanaugh find a way to save his kin and claim the future he craves with the woman he loves?
Craved by an Alpha is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/craved-by-an-alpha-paranormal-romance-novel.php

Excerpt

Cavanaugh checked his watch. The coloured lights above the bar of Underworld flashed across the glass face in time with the thumping music, but didn’t stop him from seeing what he wanted. It was gone midnight. Four years and three hundred and fifty seven days had passed. In eight days, with the rising of the full moon, he would be a man without status.
He couldn’t wait.
It felt as if this moment had been too long coming, as if he had been waiting an eternity for it to pass. Pride politics and all the bullshit that came with the territory would cease to exist.
He would be free.
Cavanaugh leaned his backside against the corner of the black bar, tucking himself away from the lighted area off to his left where Sherry was flirting with another group of young fae as she served them their drinks, twirling her blonde ponytail around her fingers, and Kyter was stomping around looking as if he was chewing a wasp. Hard. The big sandy-haired jaguar shifter had been in a foul mood since his new mate, Iolanthe, had returned to her homeland of the elf kingdom to break the news to her parents. Apparently, Kyter had wanted to go with her, and Iolanthe had wisely decided to go alone. Cavanaugh had overheard her mentioning something about how he had threatened to kill her parents.
He sighed and rolled his shoulders to ease the ache building in them, born of a punishing workout session that had lasted over half a day. The closer he came to the day he had been waiting for, the tenser he became and the only release he had found was unleashing hell on the gym Kyter had set up in the back of the nightclub Cavanaugh called home.
His boss had suggested finding a female to slake his needs, but Cavanaugh wasn’t interested in the women who frequented the club, or their attention. He could probably have his pick, but there was only one woman he wanted in this world.
His fated mate.
He palmed the right pocket of his black trousers, feeling the wallet there, his thoughts with the faded photograph it contained. The image was seared on his memory, burned there by countless hours spent lying on his bed in his small apartment in the back of Underworld, holding the old picture above him and staring at it.
Countless hours filled with regret.
Countless hours in which he had wondered how different things might have been.
He was trying to make that difference happen. He was trying to change the paths they had somehow ended up treading and bring them back together.
The methods he had chosen hadn’t been the best, but he couldn’t change things now. He had made his choice and he had lived with it, through the fight that had almost claimed his life to the pain of realising the mistake he had made to the close to five years of separation that had broken part of him.
That part of him had been fractured before he had set in motion the series of events that had brought him to Underworld.
It had been a constant source of pain since that fateful night back at his pride’s village and he had been doing his best to stem the flow of it, feeling as if he was trying to hold back a tsunami with his bare hands. Every night since then, he had patched up his heart as best he could and fought for the strength to keep walking forwards, his eyes fixed on the future he wanted, determined to make it happen.
Determined to turn all the mistakes he had made, and the pain and the loneliness he had endured, into something glorious.
Having his mate in his arms.
A commotion near the entrance of the nightclub off to his left caught his attention and Kyter’s too. Cavanaugh stared beyond the sandy-haired male, trying to catch a glimpse of what was happening. The crowd was too thick, the club jumping tonight, making it impossible to catch anything other than a flash of a tattered grey coat hood and a backpack. It looked as if someone had rolled into the wrong place.
They were dressed for a damned expedition, not a nightclub where most of the patrons wore little and worked up a sweat on the dance floor, and in the shadowy alcoves.
A female flagged him, waving her hand as if he was a slave and she could order him around. Cavanaugh shot her a black look but she persisted, flashing him a come-get-me smile that made him cold inside.
No one could smile as she could.
Her smile lit up the world.
It made even the coldest reaches of his heart warm.
The smile she wore in the picture in his wallet, her arms wrapped around his neck and her rosy cheek pressed against his. She had hurled herself into his arms when her mother had offered to take a photograph of them to test out the camera he had bought for her as a present from his latest trip down the mountain to the nearest big town. He had been gone for a week and gods he had missed Eloise in that time.
Gods he had missed her since fleeing the village five years ago, his pride in tatters but resolve burning in his heart.
Hope that he might be able to carve out the future he wanted, escaping the one he had been born into and forced to accept.
He was about to give up and serve the female still frantically trying to get his attention when the hooded trekker moved closer. His gaze zeroed in on them over the heads of the patrons lining the busy bar.
It was a woman. Average height. A little too thin even with the thick coat. She stumbled into a group of five male demons near the edge of the dance floor off to his left and waved her small hands around, flashing scars that circled her wrists.
When one of the burly demon males lightly pushed her shoulder, barely touching her, she staggered back and almost fell but recovered herself. What was wrong with her?
Was she a homeless person, on drugs, or maybe drunk?
She was unsteady on her feet as she backed away from the demons, heading in Cavanaugh’s direction, towards one group of the thick black columns that rose up on either side of the dance floor to support the high ceiling of the club. The demons followed her, exchanging glances and wicked smiles that made Cavanaugh wonder what the female looked like. Her hood obscured her face, hiding it from him, but he guessed she was pretty because the demons looked as if they wanted to party with her.
She waved her hands again as she moved directly in front of Cavanaugh, clearly trying to deter the males, and he sensed the fatigue rolling off her. Not drunk or on drugs. She had stumbled because she was weak.
His dark grey eyes began to widen.
He could sense her fatigue?
Her scent hit him hard, knocking him back a step, and he had to grab the edge of the black bar top in front of him to steady himself. He stared at her, unable to take his eyes off her, his head and heart reeling.
It couldn’t be.
The demons tossed her black scowls when she flashed them something. A small square of paper.
The tallest of the group pointed towards the bar.
She turned.
Cavanaugh’s heart stopped.
Wavy dark hair spilled from beneath the hood, the lights from the club playing over the lower half of her face, turning her pale skin different colours as she searched the length of the bar.
Eloise.


Craved by an Alpha is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.
Find all the links, a fantastic 5 chapter downloadable sample of the book, and also how to enter the giveaway and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/craved-by-an-alpha-paranormal-romance-novel.php
Books in the Eternal Mates paranormal romance series:

Author Bio

Felicity Heaton
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.
If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:
FelicityHeaton.co.uk | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | GoodReads | Amazon
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The Ex File Release Day Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!

The Ex File
Behind the Blue Line Series
Book 1
Alexis D Craig

Genre: Erotic Suspense, Police Procedural, Hot Romance

Publisher: Hot Ink Press
Date of Publication: 2/7/2015

ISBN:
ASIN:

Number of pages: 148
Word Count: 59,931

Cover Artist: Laura Hidalgo of BookFabulous Designs

Book Description:

Second Chances Can Be Lethal

Narcotics Officer, Sean O’Leary is bitter after a messy divorce that has reinforced his solitary nature, leaving him only with his dog and a sword collection. He could never imagine that  his former best friend may be the only woman to bring happiness into his lonely life.

Ellie Gardner knows loss; especially after she was banished from her best friend/crush's life by his jealous wife. Although the regret of walking away from the love of her life still stung, a chance encounter with Sean may change everything.

When Ellie and Sean reconnect, they could never expect it'd be in such an explosive way, leaving them both to gain the fulfillment of their 'what if's.
Finding love is hard enough without the past breathing down their necks, especially when said past has no intention of letting go. When Sean's ex, Pia Mastriani returns, Ellie must face her nemesis' relentless tactics to get Sean back, including eliminating Ellie if necessary.

Sean and Ellie’s relationship is put to the test but will they fare well while they go rummaging through The Ex File?


Excerpt

Retirement parties and funerals have several things in common, the largest of which is they both resemble family reunions, only with infinitely more baggage. Ellie Gardner didn’t particularly enjoy heading to either, but did so out of duty and respect. It was the least she could do.
The party at the police union hall was in full swing by the time she snuck in the back door.
Her plan was simple, drop her gift, hug her friends, pay her respects, and bolt. Thirty minutes, tops, at least in her mind. These kinds of things depressed her, even with the cash bar she was leaning against currently.
She’d changed out of her front desk aide clothes as soon as her shift had ended and was now comfortably ensconced in her ‘off-duty’ attire of a Clash t-shirt and jeans, both holdovers from her college days, and a new pair of black Chuck Taylors. If she was going to be emotionally uncomfortable, at least she didn’t have to worry about her appearance.
“Sweet tea vodka, two shots.” She smiled at the bartender and pushed a ten across the counter. She figured fortification was going to get her through the night, though not too much lest the pendulum swing wildly in the opposite direction. It wasn’t often that one of her former lovers was retiring, and was there with his new wife. Though they’d remained friends, the level of impending awkward had surpassed ‘thermonuclear’ the moment she’d opened the car door.
“Make that four,” a gruff and familiar voice behind her told the bartender as he laid a hand on her shoulder. “Hey stranger.”
Fuck. Make that one ex-lover and one unrequited crush. “Hey, Sean.” She smiled over her shoulder and found herself immediately ensnared in the topaz blue eyes that still showed up in her dreams occasionally. Sean O’Leary was six feet, one inch of Irish devilry, in addition to the badge and gun. Black hair that he’d let grow down to his broad shoulders and a smile that inspired in her a desire to fling her panties at him. The old Jack Daniel’s t-shirt and the well- worn jeans were doing nothing to disabuse her of that notion, either. His hand trailed fire from her shoulder and down her arm before he sidled up to the bar on the stool next to her. Being his friend was hard, and being his best friend, for the short while she had been, had been damn near impossible.
He lightly tangled his fingers in her raven curls, sending an involuntary shiver down her spine. Anyone else would have gotten cut for that level of familiarity. “I almost didn’t recognize you with your hair long.”
‘Long’ was a relative term. She’d let her hair grow a couple inches beyond her normal pixie cut for the hell of it, and was still getting reacquainted with the ringlets. “Just trying something different.” Though the last time he’d seen it, she’d been damn near a dead ringer for Halle Berry.
This time he just touched one curl, rubbing it between his fingers. “Well I like it, it suits you.”
Ellie was grateful for the darkness of the bar as she felt her cheeks heat in pleasure at the compliment. God, she was pathetic… and damn, how long did it take to fill a shot glass?
“Thanks. I’m liking the longer look on you, too.”
His laugh couldn’t be heard over the music as he ran his fingers through his hair. “Yeah, it’s been for work, and I just haven’t felt like getting it cut.” He surveyed the room, filled with uniforms and casual clothes pretty evenly, before turning back to her with a curious look. “I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me, but I didn’t expect to see you here tonight.” It had only been three years since she and Sean had last spoken; since he’d been married and his wife was… not fond of Ellie was the politest way to say it. He slid twenty to the bartender and handed her back her ten.
Ellie gave her ten back to the bartender, “A donation,” she said with a small grin. She then took both her shots in quick succession before turning to face Sean fully. “Of course I’m here.
Sarge is one of my favorite people on the planet, and besides,” she patted the expertly wrapped gift on the stool next to her, “his wife commissioned a piece from me.”
In her spare time, Ellie sometimes made shadow boxes for people, because she believed in keeping memories special, even if she wasn’t particularly prepared to revisit them herself.
Sean toasted her before tossing back his first shot, “And I’m sure it’s beautiful.”
She blushed again and nodded her thanks as another friend came over. Sean met her eyes with his in silent goodbye before pushing off the bar to evaporate into the crowd. Not that she followed his perfectly jeans-clad ass as he departed or anything.





About the Author:

Alexis is a writer with a couple of day jobs. Working for two different police agencies, it's a juggling act to find time to write.

She is also an aunt, godmother, avid cyclist, serial hobbyist, ghost hunter, and collector of stray animals. Her husband is a loving, patient man.

The author of Imminent Danger, Undercover Seduction, and Give Me Shelter with Lachesis Press, and she has three more novels coming out in 2015, The Ex File on February 7th, Dead and Disorderly on May 23rd, and Bulletproof Princess on August 8th from Hot Ink Press.


@Dispatchvampire



  


Friday, February 6, 2015

Rise & Fall Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!




Rise & Fall 
(THIRDS Series, Book #4) 
by Charlie Cochet 

Blurb: 
After an attack by the Coalition leaves THIRDS Team Leader Sloane Brodie critically injured, agent Dexter J. Daley swears to make Beck Hogan pay for what he’s done. But Dex’s plans for retribution are short-lived. With Ash still on leave with his own injuries, Sloane in the hospital, and Destructive Delta in the Coalition’s crosshairs, Lieutenant Sparks isn’t taking any chances. Dex’s team is pulled from the case, with the investigation handed to Team Leader Sebastian Hobbs. Dex refuses to stand by while another team goes after Hogan, and decides to put his old HPF detective skills to work to find Hogan before Theta Destructive, no matter the cost.

With a lengthy and painful recovery ahead of him, the last thing Sloane needs is his partner out scouring the city, especially when the lies—however well intentioned—begin to spiral out of control. Sloane is all too familiar with the desire to retaliate, but some things are more important, like the man who’s pledged to stand beside him. As Dex starts down a dark path, it’s up to Sloane to show him what’s at stake, and finally put a name to what’s in his heart.


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Available for purchase at

   




Excerpt


Dex sorted out all of Sloane’s pillows, fluffing them up and arranging them before bringing the tray over.
Once Sloane was settled, Dex placed the tray over his lap and kissed him, tasting a faint hint of minty freshness.

Sloane stared down at the tray.

“Is it okay?” Dex asked. Had he forgotten something? “Eggs benedict and pancakes are your favorite,
right?”

Sloane nodded.

“What’s wrong?”

“You made heart-shaped pancakes.”

Dex held back a smile. “Are they too unmanly? Should I have made them grenade-shaped? I’m sure
Letty’s got a mold for those.”

Sloane chuckled. “No, hearts are fine. It’s real sweet. Thank you.”

Dex sat down on the edge of the bed beside him. He ran his fingers through Sloane’s hair feeling guilty
for having left him on his own last night. Sloane could take care of himself, even if he was injured, but

his partner was drugged up and obviously feeling a little out of it, considering his reaction to the heart
shaped pancakes. Maybe it was time he took care of his partner like he’d promised he would.

“Why don’t you eat your breakfast while I shower, and we’ll watch a movie or something together?”

Sloane gave him a wide smile. “I’d like that.”

Dex left Sloane to his breakfast and went off to shower as quickly as he could. Showering wasn’t as
much fun without his partner. As he lathered himself up, a naughty thought occurred to him. He’d also
promised he’d make his partner purr. Finishing up, he could barely hold back his smile or the heat
spreading through him. Easy there, Daley. Don’t get yourself worked up yet. He dressed in his comfy
cotton pajama bottoms and a loose faded Back to the Future T-shirt before heading out into the
bedroom. Sloane was smiling, his plate devoid of any evidence food had ever been on there. Wow, his
partner had been hungry. Really hungry. Starving. Sort of like after….

“Please tell me you didn’t.” Dex removed the tray and put it on the floor against the wall. He pulled the
blanket back and tried to lift Sloane’s T-shirt, but his partner slapped his hand away. “Sloane, let me see,
damn it.” He grabbed Sloane’s wrist with one hand and managed to pull up the cotton shirt, cursing
under his breath at the tiny beads of blood seeping through the bandage. “For fuck’s sake, did you try to
shift?” When Sloane looked away, Dex had his answer. No wonder his partner was out of it. It wasn’t
just the meds. Sloane hadn’t recuperated from postshift. Dex opened the minifridge and found it empty.
“When?” He slammed the fridge door shut.

“Last night. After you called,” Sloane mumbled.

“Last night?” Dex put a hand to his head. Veggies and hummus were all well and good for Sloane’s
Human side, but not for the Felid inside him. He needed meat, protein, and more than the packet of
sliced chicken Dex had left him in the fridge. “Fuck. Sloane, you know you’re not supposed to attempt
shifting. The doctor said so, and it’s in the packet. To make matters worse, you do it when there’s no
one here to perform postshift trauma care? With no access to the right foods? What were you
thinking?”

“I’m thinking I need to fucking heal, and if that’s the quickest way to do it, then it’s a risk I’m willing to
take!”

Sloane’s ferocity surprised Dex, and he took a step back. His partner’s pupils were dilated and his fangs
slightly elongated. Fuck, what the hell was going on? It was like Sloane was having trouble controlling his
feral side. Dex could see it. He could see the Felid inside Sloane staring back at him from behind glowing
amber eyes. Could the meds be doing this? The recovery packet the doctor had given them specifically
instructed Sloane not shift while he was healing, especially while on his meds.

“Okay, take it easy. It’s me.” Dex held his hands up in front of him and swallowed hard, aware of the
telltale signs. “There’s no hurry for you to heal, Sloane. It’s okay.”

“It’s not okay,” Sloane snarled, his fingers flexing against the sheets and his nails starting to grow. Fuck.
Oh fuck.

“Sloane, you need to breathe. Calm down.” Dex slowly edged away from the bed. Why was this
happening? Sloane had never lost his grip on his Felid side. Not to mention he’d yet to fully recover from

his first attempt. “Please, Sloane. Your body’s not healed from the first try. Who knows what asecond
attempt will do?”

There was no reply from Sloane. He was gritting his teeth, his face red, and his muscles straining.

“Sloane, you need to stop.”

“I can’t.” Sloane lowered his head, his fierce gaze on Dex.

“Why?”

“To protect you!”

Dex gasped as Sloane let out a roar, his body starting to shift. What the hell was Dex supposed to do?
He’d never faced a Therian who’d lost control of his Human side, much less an Apex predator. Quickly,
he backed up against the far wall, cringing as Sloane’s cries of agony filled the room. Sloane tore at his
clothes, pulling his T-shirt and pajama bottoms off before his mass shifted, bones popped, and fur
pierced his skin. Dex reached into his pocket and with shaky hands placed a call.

A gruff voice answered. “What do you want?”

“Ash, you have to help me.” The panic in his voice must have been clear, because Ash’s tone instantly
transformed from its usual gruffness to concern.

“What’s going on, Dex? Talk to me.”

“It’s Sloane. He’s shifting, but it’s not… not normal. He tried last night but couldn’t complete the transformation. Then we got into an argument, and it’s like he’s lost it. I don’t think he’s in control. How
is that possible?”

“Hide.”

“What?”

“Hide somewhere he can’t get to you. I’m on my way. I’ve still got my key to your place.”

Ash hung up, and Dex shoved his phone in his pocket. Where the fuck was he supposed to hide? When
he moved his gaze to the bed, he stilled. There was no time for hiding. The huge black jaguar lay in the
center of the bed, his tail thumping against the headboard. He sniffed the sheets, then the air before his

gaze landed on Dex.


About the Author


Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn't writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers. 





You can find Charlie at 

                  



Giveaway









Presented By



One More Second Chance Release Day Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!

One More Second Chance
Lobster Cove Series
The Wild Rose Press
Jana Richards

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication: February 6, 2015

ISBN:
ASIN:

Number of pages: 331
Word Count: 82,083 words

Cover Artist: Tina Lynn Stout

Book Description:

Dr. Alex Campbell has an agenda—finish his contract to provide medical services in Maine, pay off his medical school debt, and head back to his real life in San Diego. But when he meets Julia, all his carefully laid plans are put in jeopardy.

Julia Stewart, Lobster Cove’s high school principal, swears she’ll never let another man drag her away from the home she loves. Her aging parents need her, and the Cove is where she wants to raise her daughter. When her mother’s illness brings her and the big city doctor closer together, panic sets in. Her marriage taught her men don’t stay.

Can she put aside the heartaches of the past and trust Alex enough to accept the love he’s offering?

Or will her fear of abandonment mean she’ll send him away forever?

Available at Amazon   The Wild Rose Press

Chapters    Kobo     iBooks

Excerpt

“What did the x-ray find?” she asked.
“A spiral fracture of the right arm.” He paused for a moment and took a deep breath as if trying to control his emotions. “I’ve seen this kind of injury before. A fracture like this can be the result of a fall, but it can also be an indication of child abuse. An arm as small as Ava’s will break like a twig if it’s twisted hard enough. I’m obligated to contact the authorities if I suspect abuse.”
Julia stared at him in mute shock, her brain struggling to process his words, as if trying to translate some unintelligible language. The words child abuse rang in her ears. Finally she found her voice.
“You think someone deliberately hurt her?”
“Her injuries are consistent with abuse.”
“I don’t give a damn what they’re consistent with. Ava has not been mistreated. My mother said she fell down the stairs, and if that’s what she said, then that’s what happened.”
“I believe there’s more to the story than a simple fall.”
“If it comes down to believing you or believing my mother, I’m going with my mother.”
“Perhaps you don’t know your mother as well as you think you do.”
Julia sucked in a breath and stared into Dr. Campbell’s dark, accusing eyes. The idea that her mother would hurt Ava was ridiculous. She adored Ava, would do anything for her…
She blinked and looked away, remembering an incident the other day. She’d heard her yelling at Ava about the milk she’d spilled on the kitchen floor, making such a huge deal of it that Ava had cried. It had struck her as strange, since she couldn’t remember her mother yelling at anyone, ever. She wasn’t as patient as she used to be. And how did she explain her strange phone call telling her Ava had been hurt? Of course she’d been upset, but her mother had been nearly incoherent with distress. Was something going on she wasn’t aware of? She was seventy-one now. Maybe looking after a rambunctious five-year-old was too much for her.
No. She shook her head to reject the disloyal thought. Dr. Campbell was the one who was wrong.
“I know my mother. She didn’t do this. It was an accident.”
“We’ll soon find out. Sharon is questioning Ava now.”
Julia stared at the door. “She’ll be scared, all by herself.”
“Sharon’s very good at what she does. She has a way of making kids feel comfortable.”
Julia turned on him, the anger and despair she’d been holding inside spilling out. “And you? Do you enjoy upsetting five-year-olds and turning families’ lives upside down? Does it make you feel powerful to sic the authorities on us?”
“Look, Mrs. Stewart, I take no pleasure in bringing in the authorities. But I’ve seen child abuse, up close and personal, and I can tell you it’s damn ugly. The things parents and caregivers are capable of doing to defenseless children…”
He stopped abruptly, his chest heaving. Closing his eyes, he averted his face and took a deep breath. When he turned back to her, his steely control was back in place. “So yeah, if I have even the smallest suspicion that a child has been abused, I’m going to ask questions. And I’m not going to apologize for it.”



About the Author:


When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel.

Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish.

She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com





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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Icy Passage Tour & Excerpt!

Icy Passage
An Antarctica Story
Ann Gimpel

Hartwood Publishing Group

96K words

Release Date: 2/5/15

Genre: Science Fiction/Romance with a Splash of Paranormal

Lethal cultures, bizarre illness, and political intrigue create an unlikely backdrop for love in Antarctica, the last true frontier.

Book Description:

Fresh out of residency, Dr. Kayna Quan opts for a tour in Antarctica. Money is short, so she hires on as medical officer aboard a Russian research vessel headed for McMurdo Station. Primed for almost anything, she plays her paranormal ability close to the vest. Being odd man out in a world where most don’t believe in magic makes her wary and feisty.

Brynn McMichaels has been stationed on remote South Georgia Island for two years, and he’s eager for a change. When cultures of the single-celled organism, archaea, overgrow their bins in his lab and begin shifting into another form, he worries he’s losing his mind and talks with scientists at McMurdo, but they have problems of their own—bad ones. After he hears about them, Brynn agrees to help. The weather’s too uncertain to send a plane, so he hitches a ride aboard Kayna’s ship and brings his mutant culture colonies along.

Attraction sparks, hot and powerful, between Brynn and Kayna, but her disclosure about her magic is a tough nut to crack. It doesn’t help that her dead father is stalking her. Lethal cultures, bizarre illness, and McMurdo’s refusal to let them land force Brynn and Kayna into an uneasy alliance. Will their fragile bond be enough to thwart the powers trying to destroy Earth, and them along with it?


Excerpt

…“Dr. Quan,” someone screamed at her over the howl of the wind. She spun, almost lost her footing, and snapped up another cable.
“Coming.” She ducked through a door onto deck four, bent double, and shook her head briskly. Water flew everywhere. She straightened, shoved her hood aside, and more water ran down her back.
The ship’s staff captain, second in command on the vessel and staunchly British, clucked in annoyance as he tugged the heavy, reinforced steel door closed, latching it securely. Muscles bulged in his arms and shoulders as he wrestled with the uncooperative door. “Thank bloody fucking God I found you,” Harold Markham blurted and grabbed her arm. Panic streamed from him in waves that battered her paranormal side.
Kayna’s eyes widened in surprise. She didn’t know Harold well, but he’d seemed imperturbable until now. “What happened?”
“Tell you on the way.” A corner of his mouth twisted downward. “Be grateful. This saves you from a harsh lecture about going outside in rough seas, without telling anyone.” He yanked on her trying to jockey her down the corridor.
“Stop that!” She raised her voice for emphasis. “If there’s a medical emergency, I have to know what it is because I’ve got to stop by the surgery to get my bag and anything else I might need.”
“Oh.” An uncomfortable look washed over Harold’s face. Worry etched lines into the skin around his blue eyes, and he raked a hand through unevenly cut blond hair. He lowered his voice and spoke near Kayna’s ear. “It’s one of the Russian seamen. He caught his arm in machinery. It’s bad.”
“Amputation bad?”
It was a stupid question since he wouldn’t know. Kayna made a dismissive gesture with one hand and said, “Don’t bother trying to answer.” She sprinted past him, stopping in the corridor outside the suite that contained both her surgery and living quarters. “Maybe you should have someone carry him here,” she told Harold. “At least I have an exam table we can strap him to.”
He shook his head. “You need to have a look before we even think about moving him. He’s on the raised walkway in the engine room, and there’s more blood than I’ve ever seen.”
Kayna keyed an electronic code and let herself in. She shucked her soaked jacket, threw additional items into her medical bag, and raced to where Harold waited in the corridor, bristling with tension. “How do I get to the engine room?” she asked and jerked the door shut. “I walked through it at the beginning of the trip, but I don’t remember—”
“There’s an access door at the end of Deck Three. I’ll be right behind you,” he cut in, his normally cavalier voice edged with anxiety.
She fought the rocking ship, moving as fast as she could, and hustled down one flight of stairs. Once there, she ran toward the door that led into the bowels of the ship where the engine took up two decks. Harold followed hard on her heels. Her heavy bag, coupled with the ship’s unpredictable motion, almost landed her on her ass—twice. When she glanced back at Harold, his face was set in grim lines. He’d given up any pretense of unnecessary conversation, but he held out a hand for her bag and opened the door just wide enough for her to squeeze through.
Adrenaline hummed along her nerves as she navigated steep, oily steps into the heart of the ship, grateful she could hang on with both hands. Her clumsy bag would’ve made the stairway treacherous. Engine noise hit her in the pit of her stomach, and she wished she had ear plugs.
Footsteps pounded toward her, and one of the Russian engineers came into view. He motioned frantically and added a volley of Russian. Close-cropped black hair hugged his skull, and his dark eyes held a haggard edge. Blood spattered his dirty white T-shirt, leaving a hell of a mess.
“Lead the way.” Kayna didn’t know if he understood, but it didn’t matter because he spun and raced back in the direction he’d come from. Two more twists of the corridor and she heard screams even over the noise of the ship’s enormous twin engines. Another moment and she saw a tall, bald man writhing in a pool of his own blood. A close-to-severed arm lay next to him. Kayna dropped to the metal decking and made a dive for the brachial artery running beneath the man’s arm, afraid if she hesitated long enough to glove up, she’d lose him. Straddling his body, she put pressure on the artery while the seaman lashed his body from side to side like a bucking bronco.
“Get me a clean towel or shirt,” she yelled, wondering if anyone spoke enough English to understand, but it didn’t matter because Harold shouted in guttural Russian, dropped her bag by her side, and sped into a side room.
She eyed the mangled arm, and cursed softly. It looked as if a giant had twisted the seaman’s lower arm until the severed section hung from a slender flap of skin. Both the ulna and radius were broken, their white, jagged ends protruding through a sea of tattered flesh. Without a sophisticated operating theater, there’d be no way to save the sheared off limb. Blood poured from the injured extremity, jetting from injured arteries and flowing from torn veins, but at least the rate had slowed. She ran her free hand down the man’s neck, other arm, chest, and abdomen, searching for further damage with a magical assist from her psi ability.
“Dr. Quan.”
When she glanced up, Harold hunkered next to her and handed her two bath towels reeking of bleach fumes.
“Thanks.” She nodded sharply. She’d been so focused on assessing if the seaman had other significant injuries, she’d missed the staff captain returning with towels. She folded one, tucked it into the wounded seaman’s armpit, and pressed as hard as she could while the sailor shrieked and thrashed, clearly in agony. “Put your hand where mine is,” she told Harold. He complied immediately, and she twisted to reach into her medical bag for a syringe and a vial of morphine. She thought about gloves again, but she was already coated in the man’s blood.
She guesstimated the seaman’s weight, did some quick calculations, and hoped to hell she’d gotten them right as she drew enough morphine into the syringe to dull pain, but not totally knock him out. He thrashed wildly beneath her, his blue eyes so crazed with agony they were nearly all pupil. “Hold him down so I can give him this,” she said.
Harold started to move his hands. “Not you,” she cried. “Keep pressure on that artery so he doesn’t bleed out.” Harold barked a command, and four burly seamen stabilized their wounded companion. Kayna plunged the syringe into the meaty part of his other arm. Her jaw clenched as she waited for the morphine to spin its magic. She dropped the empty syringe back into her bag and pushed Harold’s hands aside, replacing them with her own.
“His arm?” the staff captain asked in a rough voice.
Kayna looked up long enough to meet his gaze. “His arm is probably toast. Right now I’m fighting to keep enough blood in him so he doesn’t die. The morphine will kick in soon. At least it will give him some relief. Once he settles down, I’ll give him a whopping injection of antibiotics and a tetanus shot.”
“What can I do?” Harold asked.
“Where exactly are we?” she countered.
“Not far from the Falklands.”
“Better news than I’d hoped for. Have someone radio for a medevac helicopter. This man needs a hospital. Actually, he needs a level one trauma center for that arm, but that’s probably not going to happen.”
Harold bolted from the engine room, and Kayna eyed the group of Russian seamen ringed around her. She gestured to one to keep pressure on the towel and dug in her bag for a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, and a tourniquet. She filled another syringe with a mix of antibiotics and readied it. The man’s body relaxed as the morphine kicked in. Soon she could inject her antibiotic soup without anyone holding him down. As grim and desperate as the situation was, Death was a worthy adversary.
“Bring it on,” she muttered as she checked vital signs and noted them. “I’m going to win this round.”
Almost as if Death had a corporeal presence and had risen to her challenge, a chilly breeze passed through the overheated engine room. She’d sensed Death before when she was pulling out all the stops to save a life, had even mentioned it to some of the other docs when she was an intern, but they gave her such odd looks, she’d never made the mistake of disclosing her paranormal abilities again. When it got right down to it, almost everyone was just as psi-phobic as her erstwhile almost-fiancĂ©.
“Easy,” she murmured and injected antibiotics. The man’s eyelids flickered, and for the barest moment he focused on her. “That’s right.” She patted his uninjured hand and hoped her tone would bridge their language barrier. “Help will be here soon. You’re going to make it.”…




About the Author:


Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. She’s also a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent.  Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing.  A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. She’s published over 20 books to date, with several more contracted for 2015 and beyond.

A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.





@AnnGimpel