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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Grand Masquerade by Stephen Perkins





Supernatural Suspense, Mystery, Thriller
Published: February 2020
Publisher: Star Born Publishing LLC

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Beware the terror lurking beneath a mask of smiles...

On an ancient ley line, deep within Vermont's dark forests, lives a mysterious and frightening secret...

A forbidden door to a world beyond human perception.

And three hunters are about to become the hunted!

A high-tech executive and a US presidential candidate, who in public appear to be at odds, are covertly working together to flood a small Vermont town. The plan is to evacuate the townspeople to a federal camp where they will be implanted with a newly developed surveillance/mind control device called Minerva.

What they didn't know, is that the town sits on an ancient ley line guarded by spiritual beings called the Others. There's something going on in the Green Mountains of Vermont and its more than anyone could imagine.

Their visit to the small town, in the guise of a hunting expedition, quickly turns sour. They come face to face with their worst nightmares - coming back not just to haunt them, but coming alive to take revenge.

The executive's playboy son and the town sheriff catches on to their fiendish plan and tries to stop them - and discover forces beyond comprehension.


About the Author

Stephen Perkins is the best-selling author of six novels, Raging Falcon, American Siren, Escape to Death, Sorcerers' Dynasty, Twilight's Last Glory, and Sky Parlor. His newest book, Sky Parlor, was released in June of 2019, instantly hitting Amazon's Hot New Release list, and proving to be yet another thrilling, exciting, thought provoking, and conspiracy-laden epic. His growing legion of rabid and loyal fans will be excited to learn that the Ebook edition of Perkins's new novel, Grand Masquerade, has just gone live, and that print editions are also now available! While enjoying the books, be sure to visit the author's blog, Newsspellcom.org, the only source for real alternative news.

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Down to Fall by Jodi Watters



Title: Down to Fall
Series: Love Happens #5
Author: Jodi Watters
Genre: Steamy Contemporary Romance

Release Date: March 20, 2020



Blurb

A lust
story. Only meant to be temporary.
A love
story. Always meant to be permanent.
A hate
story. Never meant to be.
This...
is all three.

Nicole
It started
in an elevator in California. Our lust story.
You know,
the kind you know going in is a bad idea, but... the nagging desire and all. A
few drinks in the hotel bar across from our workplace. A few nights in a luxury
suite twenty floors above. What could it hurt?
Innocent
fun would be had by all, and I’d walk away a well-satisfied woman. Ready to
continue my life of brokenhearted loneliness.    

Grady
It started
on a ridge in Afghanistan. Our love story.
You know,
the kind you felt in your soul at first sight, but... the tragic circumstances
and all. Intentionally casual conversation over Irish whiskey. Intentionally
casual sex over the course of two weeks. How could I refuse?
Guilt-ridden
bonds would be built, and I’d confess my darkest sin. Beg for forgiveness five
years overdue and clean my conscience along with it.

It started
with the cold hard truth. Our hate story.
You know,
the kind that could end a surprisingly beautiful beginning.












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Excerpt


Ten minutes after he agreed, Nicole found herself standing
inside a deluxe suite at the Hyatt, their tryst beginning in the lap of luxury.
It would end here too, but only after she’d had her fill of
him and/or thirteen days had passed, whichever came first. Based on the way
that gray t-shirt stretched across his broad shoulders, and if there were
tattoos and tan lines under it, she’d run out of time before she ran out of
desire.  
Backing her up against the hotel room door, Grady leaned in
but didn’t touch her, only locking the deadbolt and flipping the security bar,
the sound loud in the hushed darkness of the room.
“You sure about this?” His masculinity surrounded her, warm
and wicked. His height dwarfed her, tall and tantalizing.  
“Yes,” she whispered. “Are you?”
“No,” he choked out, his voice gravelly. “No, I’m not sure.
But there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
They’d never been this close before, but if she’d known his
strength was so powerful, his scent so heady, his size so commanding, she’d
have cornered him weeks ago. Probably humped his camo-panted leg like a dog in
heat.
Well, he’d better be ready. She was about to be unleashed.
Which was to say, he’d be on the receiving end of her largely limited—and
significantly rusty—sexual repertoire.
Comparing herself to the animalistic dynamo that was a
female canine in heat was her ego talking. Oh, she could get the job done, no
doubt about it, but Grady might not be so impressed he’d hire her again, if you
caught her drift.
Thirteen days might turn into a one-and-done situation.
But luckily, she’d made that quick drugstore run during her
lunch break yesterday, so she was fully prepared. Condoms, a Lady Bic razor and
shaving gel, and a king-sized Kit Kat bar completed her purchase. The condoms
were a necessity—safety first, ’cause that’s how ole Nicole rolled. The razor
because, between the two of them, he should be the only one with stubble. The
chocolate was simply because she hadn’t had sex in a longer timespan than your
average bad-credit car loan, and that fact would make any girl self-medicate.
Thankfully she’d had the foresight to buy a half dozen candy
bars and wasn’t ashamed to admit she’d powered one down just prior to stalking
him via the elevator tonight.  
Chocolate might give her cellulite, but it also gave her
courage. Courage she desperately needed, because right about now, she was
feeling like a born-again virgin.
Unsure. Unsteady. And unprepared for the sight he was about
to bestow upon her.
Bare, muscled skin.
Their suite was several stories high, the only glow in the
room from the small lamp on the nightstand and that of a thousand twinkling
lights from the surrounding downtown buildings. The panoramic floor to ceiling
windows offered an amazing view, day or night, and though the drapes were drawn
open to the outside world, they were cocooned inside by the soft radiance of a
single bulb.
The only people on earth.
Moving deeper into the room, his eyes barely left hers as he
tugged his t-shirt off, lazily dropping it to the floor.
My god.
There were tattoos. Plural. And in nearly the exact location
of her fantasies.
The letter F was inked over his left pec
muscle, a single initial monogrammed in an Old English decorative script. F for
Foster. Underneath that same glorious pec muscle was a short verse, in a
cleaner, simpler font, that wrapped horizontally around his torso toward his
back.
It was too dark in the room for her to read the words, but
that task was now on the tippy top of her To-Do list.
What she could read was the larger quote tattooed along the
right side of his collar bone. De oppresso liber. To
liberate the oppressed. The motto of the United States Army Special Forces.
Don’t ask her how she knew that. It wasn’t a fun tale to
tell.
“What’s going through that pretty head of yours?”
Swallowing, she regained the use of language. “That I wanna
lick your tattoos.”
A smartass grin graced his beautifully sculpted mouth.
“Damn. Should’ve tattooed my dick.”
The button on his pants popped, the slide of his zipper
letting loose a hoard of butterflies in her stomach when he opened the placket.
Dark shadows hid his best asset, his intention only to relieve the pressure,
not release the beast. 
He needn’t worry. She wanted to lick that too.









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Author Bio


My love for
steamy romance began when I was in junior high. A friend and I noticed a
dumpster of discarded paperbacks behind our local dime store. Covers missing
and each book split down the spine, I scanned the pages for any love or lust
words—and curse words, too. From that point on, I scoured the public library
and the paperback racks at every store, reading anything labeled romance. I said
a tearfully grateful goodbye to Judy Bloom, and Jackie Collins began ruling my
world.

I live with
my high school sweetheart husband in the desert Southwest. Awesome in the
winter, not so much in the summer.

My life
long goals are to think before I speak, smile more and swear less, and actually
weigh what my driver's license states I do. 



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Liar, Liar, Hearts on Fire by Pippa Grant






Title: Liar, Liar, Hearts on Fire

Series: Bro Code #3
Author: Pippa Grant
Genre: Romantic Comedy

 Release Date: March 24, 2020





Blurb


Never borrow pants from your brother. Especially if he’s a
size smaller than you are, because all that pressure in the junk will
short-circuit your brain.



And you’ll lie to a woman in a club about your real name.



Leave her unsatisfied after making out in a bathroom.



Then find out that she’s the one thing standing in the way of your dreams. And
she very much doesn’t like being lied to.



Now I have to convince Lila Valentine—the woman I can’t stop thinking about, my
biggest regret, and my new boss—that I’m what’s best for the baseball team
she’s inherited.



If we can’t work together to save the Fireballs, the commissioner’s forcing a
sale and moving them across the country.



I’ll do anything to save my home team.



But the one thing I can’t do?



Keep my hands to myself.



Which would be fine, if she hadn’t been telling me lies this whole time too.



Liar, Liar, Hearts on Fire is a rocking fun romance between a single
dad obsessed with baseball, an heiress with secrets, baseball pants, a rundown
team, and rabid ducks. It stands alone and comes with a guaranteed
happily-ever-after.










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Excerpt


The squawking erupts again nearby and saves me. There are no
visible chickens on the field, and it gets louder as we approach the dugout on
the first base side.
Louder and more intense.
Very intense.
Like, are there chicken police? Because we might need the
chicken police.
I drift directly behind Tripp while we approach the noise,
shameless in using him as a human shield if this is a chicken uprising. What's
that movie? The one with the apes that rebel and take over the world? That's
what this sounds like, except with feathers and clucks instead of
chest-pounding and grunts.
"Should we call security?" My self-defense classes
didn't cover protecting yourself from rabid chickens.
"That'd be a foul," he murmurs. And then chuckles
to himself, and oh my god.
"Foul—fowl? Like a bird-fowl? Did you just make
a dad joke at a time like this?"
"A time like this? You mean a random Tuesday night at a
deserted ball field?"
"At a time when the chickens are gathering for a
ritualistic sacrifice of one of their own."
His shoulders shake, and he seems to be struggling to cough.
"Oh, god, did you inhale a feather? Is that how this
starts? They shed their feathers to choke us to death?"
"Please don't talk about chickens and choking in the
same sentence."
"That was not a dad joke."
"No, it was—oh. Duck."
I squat low, spinning to see what I'm ducking from.
Tripp flips his flashlight on me. I squint and cover my
head. "Stop! I can't see! What's coming?"
"Lila. Ducks. Ducks. Not chickens. It's
mating ducks."
He swings the flashlight to the dugout, and—oh.
Oh.
"Is it...supposed to be that violent?"
There are two ducks under the bench in the dugout, one
flapping its wings and chasing the other, who's squawking so loudly she could
wake the dead.
And— "Ohmygod, I did not need
to see that!"
Duck penis.
Duck penis.
Oh my god. Duck penis. Duck penis should not look
like that
.
Tripp's bent double laughing.
"Where's security?" I demand. "Hello?
Security? Security? I'll give whoever removes this duck a
ten-thousand-dollar bonus. Right now."
No one comes running for ten grand, because no one
can hear me
.
The squawking. It's a cry for help.
"It's nature," Tripp says. He's wiping his eyes
now, he's laughing so hard. "Give 'em a few. They'll finish up."
The girl duck is racing back and forth under the bench.
The boy duck is chasing her with that thing.
And I am not having it. "Shoo. Shoo!"
"Lila!" Tripp calls, but I'm already gone.
Flapping my arms. Yelling. Charging the dugout and the
ducks.
Why are they even here? There's no pond here. Winter's
coming. They should be flying to the Caribbean for Mai Tais and sunshine.
And instead, they're ruining the sanctity of my ballpark.
"Shoo!" I yell again.
I hit the stairs down to the long covered bench, and the boy
duck suddenly seems to realize I'm coming at him.
He turns, pointing that thing at me, flaps
his wings, and gets this evil glint in his eyes that means I really should've
thought about what I was doing before I came in here.
"Woo her nicely," I snap.
He squawks—no, quacks at me.
Crap.
I need to go back to kindergarten to learn my animal sounds
again. I'm a city girl. We don't do farm animals.
"And put that thing away!"
"Lila." Tripp's laughing so hard he's wheezing. He
grabs my elbow and tugs. "Let the ducks be."
"I'd let it be if he wasn't attacking her."
"Maybe that's how ducks have sex."
"Then maybe ducks shouldn't exist."
"QQQUUUUAAAACCCCCKKKKK!" the boy duck
yells.
It's like a Braveheart yell, and I realize
I'm asking the wrong question.
I shouldn't be asking why is the duck assaulting the
other duck in a dugout?
I should be asking what have humans previously done
to this duck because he's going to kill me?
It charges, wings flapping.
I scream and take off running. Tripp mutters a
well-timed, oh, fuck and runs with me. "The other
dugout," he shouts, pointing to the dugout on the third base side.
Another light flashes up in the stands.
"Security!" I yell. "Arrest the duck! Arrest
the duck!
"
It's gaining on us. Quacking louder. And it can fly. It
can fly
.
It's going to swoop over us, poop on our heads, and whack us
with that—that—that mutant penis and then scoop us up in its
talons, and—"Aaah! It got me. It got me!"
It bit me on the butt.
"Don't fuck with nature," Tripp grunts.








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Author Bio

Pippa Grant is a USA Today
Bestselling author who writes romantic comedies that will make tears run down
your leg. When she's not reading, writing or sleeping, she's being crowned
employee of the month as a stay-at-home mom and housewife trying to prepare her
adorable demon spawn to be productive members of society, all the while
fantasizing about long walks on the beach with hot chocolate chip cookies.




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The Critical Offer by Yitzhak Nir






Political Thriller
Published: November 2019

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A car bomb explosion horrifies Jerusalem.

Head of the Mossad, a former Israeli Air Force fighter pilot Gershon Shalit, is enraged by the murder of his daughter, frustrated by his wife’s decision to leave and distrusts his prime minister - seeks revenge. But, his first priority is to eliminate the fundamental threats to destroy the State of Israel's existence.

His random encounter with a beautiful Chinese diplomat, leads to an impossible love affair, where he is exposed to a once in a lifetime offer that could diminish the threats to his country and save Zionism from collapse. Nothing will keep him from making this offer a reality, despite a heavy personal price.

The Critical Offer is not just a 'run of the mill' thriller. Its futuristic and believable plot is based on a wide spectrum of inside information and suggests bold and 'out of the box' solutions to the Jewish state's main dilemmas…

Can the Chinese megalomaniac initiative "Belt & Road" solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

If you care about Israel's destiny - The Critical Offer is a breathtaking book that will keep you awake for many nights...




About the Author




Yitzhak Nir is a former Israeli fighter pilot, trainer and operations planner in the IAF. He retired as an El Al captain and IAA supervisor. He took part in 86 combat missions, shot down 2 enemy planes and documented some 30,000 flight hours.

Yitzhak Nir is an author, painter and curator. He is also a former urban planning and road safety activist. His paintings can be found in art books, private collections and on book covers. He has published short stories and professional papers and holds a BA from New Haven University in Air Transport Management.

He is deeply involved in changing the Israeli public opinion about crucial security issues, towards a new "out of the box" vision and ideas.

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Take Me Back by Kathryn Shay

Title: Take Me Back
Series: Hidden Cove Firefighters
Author: Kathryn Shay
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 23, 2020


Six years ago, Kate Cassidy broke Rafe Casella’s heart by abandoning him a few months before their wedding. Now she’s in town with the gut-wrenching news that she had his baby, in secret, and she wants Rafe back. She has to be kidding!

But Kate is deadly serious. She made the worst mistake of her life when she left Hidden Cove and she’s determined to fix it. She plans to reinstate herself in the fire department and raise her son in a loving family—one that includes his father.

A rollercoaster of emotion, devastating fires, a stalker targeting Kate and a sizzling attraction that never diminished, set the two of them on an irrevocable course to reunion. That is if they can all stay alive.

If you liked the face-paced events, breathtaking tenderness, uplifting messages of forgiveness, as well as on-the-edge-of-your-seat fire scenes, all characteristic of the Hidden Cove Fire Department Series, then you’ll love New York Times bestselling author Kathryn Shay’s ninth installment.

Don’t miss books 1-8 in the beloved Hidden Cove Firefighter series: AFTER THE FIRE, ON THE LINE, NOTHING MORE TO LOSE, AMERICA’S BRAVEST, IT HAD TO BE YOU, CHASING THE FIRE, THE FIRE INSIDE and A BURNING PASSION.







“What the hell are you doing here?”

“Hello, Rafe.” Kate Cassidy’s voice was still husky; she used to turn him on with just its sound.

He couldn’t swallow, as if cotton was stuck in his throat. He gripped the door handle. Finally, he was able to reiterate, “What do you want, Kate?”

She straitened her shoulders. It was longer, now. “I came to explain some things.”

After six years, she wanted to explain some things!

“From where? I don’t even know where you ran to.”

“Not far. Upstate.”

Ludicrously, because she’d almost left him at the altar and he should be cursing her, he asked, “Did you get a job as a firefighter?”

“No. Long story why.” She’d let her hair grow some, and light brown waves fell around her face past down her back. She’d also put on some weight, but there was still that same sadness in her eyes that she always carried with her.

He shrugged away the observation. “Well, whatever you want with me, I don’t want to hear it.”

“I want you back, Rafe.”

An ugly laugh escaped him. “You gotta be kidding me?”

“I’m not.” She reached out and grasped his arm. “It's true. I still love you.”

As if he’d been burned, he viciously shook her off. “No.”

Stepping back, he closed the door in her face, but stood there staring at it. In a few minutes, the bell rang again. He couldn’t stop himself from opening the door again.

This time, she wasn’t alone. She held a little boy by the hand. It was a punch in gut. He tore his gaze away and the words just blurted out. “He should have been mine.”

Kate held his gaze. “Look at him, Rafe.”

He did. And noticed some things. The boy was probably about five. His hair was a bit curly, dark brown, with dark eyes. The curve of his mouth seemed familiar. And he stuck his hands in his pockets like…oh, my God, like Rafe always did.

Realization slammed into him. “Oh, my God?”

Kate said, “Go back in the car, honey.”

“But you said—”

“Just for a bit. Mommy has some private things to talk to about, then you can see him again.”

When the boy trudged out of sight, she raised her chin. “He’s your son.”

“You said when you left if you ever had a baby, you didn’t want two first responders as parents. That you couldn’t bear to have him end up alone like you did and risk him having a childhood like yours.”

“I meant every word.”

Again, he moved await because he didn’t want to grab her in anger. “You left out one little fact back then. That you were already pregnant.”

“You wouldn’t have let me go if you knew.”

“You’re right I wouldn’t.” His voice came out gruff. “I would have insisted we go through with the wedding. I’d have forced us to go to counseling, for as long as it took. Damn you, Kate, I would have protected you!” The last came out loud.

The boy came running over. He must not have gotten into the car. “Mommy, why’s he yelling?”

Immediately, Rafe squatted. “I shouldn’t have. It’s wrong to shout at people. I’m sorry.” He smiled. “What’s your name?”

“Tomaso Rafael Casella.”

He held her gaze. “After my father?”

“Yes, and you.”

Holding onto his mother’s legs, Tommy asked, “Are you my daddy?”

“Did your mother say I was?”

“Un-huh, after my other dad, Connor, died.”

He took in a breath. “You married someone else?”

“I’ll explain if you let us inside.”

“Come on, Tommy.” He stood and led them inside.

At the exact moment when two little guys rumbled down the stairs which led to the foyer. “We’re ready to go outside.”

“Oh, dear Lord, you already have two boys. Mitch and Megan said you weren’t married. But…” She frowned. “I don’t understand.”

“Let’s go to the back and I’ll explain.” They by-passed a big living room to the right and entered the kitchen. Kate had loved this old Victorian that he’d bought when he was twenty and fixed up the three lives.

She stood behind a chair, frowning, as he addressed the kids. “Tommy, this is Mike and Mattie. I’d like you guys go in the family room to watch that movie you two wanted to see?”

The boys scurried away. Tommy hesitated. Until one turned back. “Come on, Tommy, we got a great movie.” So, he went with them.

It took excruciatingly long to get the boys settled in front of the TV.

“We’ll talk at the table where we can see them.” The kitchen overlooked the family room.

When Rafe served her mug, she’d blanked her face.

“I have only one thing to say to you, Kate. Any future with me is impossible.”

#

Sweat soaked the shirt of Rafe’s uniform inside his turnout coat as he crawled along the duplex’s first floor. Burning timbers fell on each side of him and his group that followed. “Everybody okay?”

His squad checked in. Brick said, “It’s hotter than hell in here, Cap.”

Firefighters suffered some ill effects of the protective gear. It slowed them down and made movement harder. Which increased heat fatigue.

“Yeah. You okay?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Sounds like you’re having trouble breathing.” The physiological effects of higher heart rate and higher core temperature restricted breathing.

“The heat’s gettin’ to me.”
“Me, too,” Lorelei Lane put in.

“There’s the stairs,” Rafe told them after seeing a brief outline of them through the thermal camera. “I’ll take Brick and Lorelei with me.” Which wouldn’t incur as much exertion as climbing. “The rest of you check upstairs. Lieutenant, you’re in charge.”

Bronson said, “Yes, sir.”

Laborious minutes later, even for Rafe, they reached their destination, the first-floor bedroom in the back. “There’s not time to quiz you, Lane. Let’s just get to the beds.”

In here, too, black smoke curled around them like fog as they continued their creep, feeling their way along the floor. Rafe, first in line, put his hands on one side of the bed. “A body.”

Brick had gone to the opposite side. “Another one here.”

“Can you get him alone?”

“Does a bear shit in the woods?” His friend sounded offended. Rafe would chide him afterward.

Rafe grunted as he picked up the woman. She was slight and he considered letting Lane carry her out but just then a bad feeling seized him. And he trusted his gut.

“Follow me out, Brick. Lane, you take up the rear.”

Crashing timbers and the sound of water slapping the flames had gotten louder back here. Rafe coughed. Conditions were worsening. They’d just reached the exit from the bedroom, when they heard five repeated short blasts of a horn above the cacophony.

Into the radio, BC Peter Baker barked, “Evacuate now. Evacuate immediately.”

“Everybody hear?” Rafe asked on their internal channel. He forced himself to stay calm.

Bronson, Ruggero and Sullivan checked in with yeses. “We’re on our way down. No one up here.”

“We need to move faster,” he called behind him. The acrid scents of burning wood had kicked up.

He walked as fast as possible with the woman over his shoulder.

They’d almost reached the exit when Lorelei shrieked, “Oh, my God, Cap, Brick just went down.”

“Went down to his knees?”

“No, he collapsed forward.”

Rafe sounded his mayday alarm. A high-pitched screeching rent the air. In seconds, Beth relieved Rafe of the woman, and Murray scooped up the victim who’d gone forward with Brick. Rafe, his heart beating fast, snapped out, “I’ll get Brick under the arms. Ruggero take his legs.”

It seemed to take forever before they got outside. Not only was Brick heavy but they were experiencing fatigue, now, too.

“Get away from the house, quick Rafe,” Baker shouted as they carried their brother to safety.

They were 30 feet away when the duplex exploded.














A NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author, Kathryn Shay has been a lifelong writer and teacher. She has written dozens of self-published original romance titles, print books with the Berkley Publishing Group and Harlequin Enterprises and mainstream women’s fiction with Bold Strokes Books. She has won many awards for her work: five RT Book Reviews awards, the Bookseller’s Best Award, Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year and several “Starred Reviews.” One of her firefighter books hit #20 on the NEW YORK TIMES list. Her novels have been serialized in COSMOPOLITAN magazine and featured in USA TODAY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and PEOPLE magazine. There are over ten million copies of her books in print and downloaded online. Reviewers have called her work “emotional and heart-wrenching.”



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