May 24, 2016

In The Spotlight! Banished Threads, Threads #3 by Kaylin McFarren

A valuable art collection disappears turning a treasure-hunting duo into crime-stopping sleuths committed to vindicating family members in Kaylin McFarren's action-packed suspense novel, Banished Threads.

While vacationing at the stately Cumberforge Manor in Bellwood, England, Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen attend an elegant dinner party hosted by her uncle, Paul Lyons, and his aristocratic wife, Sara. Before the evening ends, a priceless collection of Morris Graves's paintings are stolen from her uncle's popular gallery, throwing all suspicion onto his wife's missing granddaughter. Determined to clear Sloan Rafferty's name and, in the process, win Paul's favor, Chase scours the countryside looking for answers. In his absence, the police accuse Rachel's uncle of an unsolved murder and secrets surrounding her grandmother's death and the deaths of Sara's former husbands turn his wife into the most likely suspect.

With the true villains hell-bent on destroying Paul Lyons and his family, solving both crimes while ensuring her uncle's freedom not only endangers Rachel's life but that of her unborn child. Will Chase save them before the kidnappers enact their revenge or will the ultimate price be paid, as predicted by a vagabond fortuneteller? 

First place - 2016 Hudson Valley RWA Hook, Line & Sinker Contest

A lone figure stood in the estuary lookout nestled in the trees above the North Sea on the Holderness Coast, waiting with restless anticipation as Gwen Gallagher approached the cliff's edge. A quick adjustment to the night-vision binoculars allowed the watcher a closer view of the twenty-eight-year-old secretary as she savored the last autumn sunset she would ever see. The crisp, cool air picked up speed, leaving her long black hair sailing like a ghostly pirate's flag behind her. It lifted the hem of her black skirt slightly, exposing her white shapely legs and black suede booties to the wintry elements. Her pale blue eyes swept across the landscape, appraising the beauty surrounding them. She raised her chin toward the darkening sky and smiled, obviously believing the note she had received, inviting her here, had come from her married lover.

As Gwen moved even closer to the edge, the watcher inhaled a deep breath. All that remained between this ludicrous woman and the vividly blue ocean was two meters of solid rock. From the lookout vantage point, there was barely enough light to confirm that she was staring down at the tossing sands and churning water, mesmerizing in the early evening breeze. All it would take was one push, and she would feel the rush of wind through her hair and see the crystal-blue sea one last time as she slammed headlong into the jagged rocks below.

The watcher's heart was fluttering erratically now as Gwen stood balancing on the brink of extinction. The sky darkened, and gray waves slammed into the rocks, blasting sea spray high into the air. By all appearances, she had become preoccupied by the black storm clouds collecting overhead and the hard-hitting raindrops striking her cheeks. The wind was whipping now and had started to voice its howling rage. Meanwhile, the watcher climbed down from the lookout and stepped hurriedly across the uneven ground, arriving only six yards away from the scene where Gwen now remained frozen in place. The soles of her shoes held her stoically to the uneven mafic rock as the rising wind whipped and swayed her body like a frail willow. For a brief moment, the watcher was uncertain of what to do next. Then Gwen turned around suddenly and stared back in a trancelike state. Another step forward resulted in waking her.

"What are you doing here?" she called out. "What do you want?"

The watcher remained silent and took another step forward before pulling out an engraved, freshly sharpened steak knife. A look of fear crossed Gwen's rain-streaked face, making it impossible not to smile.

"Go away! Leave me alone!" she screeched. She took a final step back to distance herself, just as a massive wave hit. The spray washed over her and sent her plummeting fifteen meters down. The watcher dropped on all fours to maintain a protected position on the slippery, stony ground. Minutes later, the surge passed, and it was now safe to stand. A quick assessment confirmed the dangling binoculars were safe and in excellent working order, but the engraved knife had been washed away. After stepping down to a new viewpoint, it was easy to ascertain that Gwen had been injured from the fall and was now trapped in the jagged rocks below. She looked up at the watcher and called out for help, screaming at the top of her lungs.

Bloody idiot. If someone should hear her, they could interfere, and that would ruin everything.

Five minutes passed as poor Gwen continued to scream. Then, as good fortune would have it, the wind rose again. With the crush of another wave, she was pulled under and swept out to sea.

The watcher smiled and was about to leave when a tiny fraction of light picked up something on the ground. Careful inspection confirmed it was a gold hoop earring, plucked from its owner—a marvelous souvenir to add to the prized, growing collection. After the watcher slipped it into a pocket in the yellow hooded slicker and removed the binoculars, a pleasant thought came to mind. Since it had become a moral right and obligation to dispose of the unworthy and undeserving in the Cumberforge Manor, it wouldn't be long before Gwen's lover would be joining her and the rest of the moneygrubbing fools who had been personally escorted to the bowels of hell.

Kaylin McFarren is a California native who has enjoyed traveling around the world. She previously worked as director for a fine art gallery, where she helped foster the careers of various artists before feeling the urge to satisfy her own creative impulses.
Since launching her writing career, McFarren has earned more than a dozen literary awards in addition to a finalist spot in the 2008 RWA Golden Heart Contest. A member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers, she also lends her participation and support to various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest.
McFarren currently lives with her husband in Oregon and visits her second home in California once a month. They have three grown daughters and two grandchildren, and look forward to having more.
Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Banished Threads.

May 20, 2016

Book Trailer, Teasers & Giveaway! European Tour, Rocking the Pop Star #1 by L.V. Lewis

Broken. Guilt-ridden. Ready to start over. 

Brody Kent walked away from the pinnacle of rock superstardom and never looked back. Financially, he never has to work again, but takes jobs as a personal assistant to keep his mind—and other things—busy. The women he works for always want something, and he's more than willing to help. But when he's sent to work for a pop princess, Brody will do anything to make her happy—even if it means admitting the ugly truth about his past. Smothered. Talented. Ready to start her life. 

Successful pop star, Skylar Samuelson is about to embark upon the turning point of her career—a summer tour in Europe. Her manager mother has promised to pull back and allow her full reign of the overseas tour. When Brody Kent becomes her new assistant, Skylar can't deny the attraction. He's perfect. Everything she’s ever wanted. But Brody's hiding something and the truth may break her. If someone else doesn't break her first... 

Lies. Betrayal. And the truth that could ruin them all.

Growing up, L.V. Lewis wanted to be an internationally known rock star, but unfortunately, lived in the wrong part of the country to pursue that career (and neither American Idol nor The Voice were available then). An early love for the written word gave her the plan B she sought. Now she pens romance novels that let her live vicariously through rock stars and other fascinating archetypes. 

Teasers & Giveaway! Because I Love You by Tori Rigby

Eight weeks after sixteen-year-old Andie Hamilton gives her virginity to her best friend, “the stick” says she’s pregnant.

Her friends treat her like she’s carrying the plague, her classmates torture and ridicule her, and the boy she thought loved her doesn’t even care. Afraid to experience the next seven months alone, she turns to her ex-boyfriend, Neil Donaghue, a dark-haired, blue-eyed player. With him, she finds comfort and the support she desperately needs to make the hardest decision of her life: whether or not to keep the baby.

Then a tragic accident leads Andie to discover Neil’s keeping a secret that could dramatically alter their lives, and she’s forced to make a choice. But after hearing her son’s heartbeat for the first time, she doesn’t know how she’ll ever be able to let go.

Adopted at three-days-old by a construction worker and a stay at home mom, Tori Rigby grew up with her nose in a book and her fingers on piano keys, always awaiting the day she’d take her own adventure. Now, she goes on multiple journeys through her contemporary and historical romances. She longs to live in the Scottish Highlands, and her favorite place in history is Medieval England—she’d even give up her Internet and running water to go back in time! Tori also writes high-concept genre fiction as Vicki Leigh, and when she isn’t writing, she’s kicking butt in krav maga or attending classes to learn how to catch bad guys.

Excerpt & Giveaway! Power Play, Scoring Chances #3 by Avon Gale

A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time, behind the bench as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.

After spending guilt-ridden years for his part in Max’s accident, Russian native Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence. Max’s optimism plays havoc with Misha’s equilibrium—as does the fierce attraction that springs up between them.

Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime to forget, but also a sleazy GM determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets the team, Misha revisits his darkest days, which might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.

“I’d never watched this, you know.”

“The YouTube video?” Misha had seen that too. It was filed with angry commenters yelling that he should be deported back to Russia.

“The hit.”

Misha blinked. “You’ve seen the commercial, though. Yes?”

“Yeah, I wish I could say I haven’t seen that. But I meant, I didn’t watch this until a few months ago. They played that game on the NHL channel, so I watched it.”

It never occurred to Misha that Max wouldn’t have seen it, but then he remembered that Max was the hero, not the villain of the story. Misha watched the hit play out on the screen. What must that feel like, to watch the moment it all ended? When Max hit the ice, did he know that game was his last? Did Misha know it was his? How had he felt? He couldn’t remember.

The scene switched to the replay. Misha watched dispassionately, retreated into the blinding pain of his migraine, and told himself that it was all right to suffer, that he should, that he deserved it.

Max paused the video. “Look. See what I have there?”

Misha blinked. He had not expected questions. “I—what?”

“The puck, Misha. The puck. Your hit wasn’t late.”

Oh. “Yes. I know.”

Max stared at him. On the television screen, their younger selves were suspended at the moment everything changed.

Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and when she’s not writing you can find her at the salon, making her clients look and feel fabulous. She never gets tired of people and their stories -- either real or the ones she makes up in her head.

New Release! The Doctor in Unit H, The Mockingbird Place #4 by Kris Cook

Maddox Butler

Some people say you can’t fall in love at 18. But I did. And the man of my dreams? Jaris Black. He was also 18. Our first year at medical school we moved in together. It was…perfect. Until…

I haven’t seen or talked to him in six years. But I’ve never stopped thinking about him. Jaris is a very successful doctor, which is no surprise to me. Still living in Unit H at Mockingbird Place. God, how I’ve missed him.

I won’t drag Jaris into the chaos that is my life. No. I won’t. But my mother who is dying has requested to see him. They were so close. Still are. I had to honor Mom’s wish. I called him and he’s arriving in an hour. Can I keep my feelings hidden from him? I need to, for his sake.

Though starting in straight erotic romance, Kris's total focus now is on gay romance. When asked why recently, his answer was "My muse finally came out of the closet. Isn't it about time? I’ve been out since I was twenty-five." A voracious reader, Kris loves many genres of fiction, but this writer's favorite books are romances that are edgy, sexy, with rich characters and unique challenges. Kris' influences include Anne Rice, JR Ward, Lexi Blake and Shayla Black. Last year, Kris married the love of his life Stephen.