Monthly Archives: May 2015
Spotlight: M.B. Feeney
The brilliant and loving Mich Feeney has joined the Magic of Books Promotions team. Her talents and expertise will shoot the promotional company into the stars and beyond. To help welcome her into the family, as owner of the company, I present the newest book of the author and friend she has become to me.
Born and bred in the UK, Holly is getting the chance of a lifetime—six weeks abroad. The Kings, a host family in the US, have invited her to stay with them and get a chance to experience life as an American. When she discovers that the King family includes two teenage boys, will she be glad she came or ready to hightail it back across the pond?
M. B. Feeney is an army brat who finally settled down in Birmingham, UK with her other half, two kids and a dog. Currently at university studying for her BA (Hons) in primary teaching, she procrastinates on her assignments by listening to music of all genres and trying to get ‘just one more paragraph’ written on whichever WIP is open. She is also a serious doodler and chocoholic. Writing has been her one true love ever since she could spell, and publishing is the final culmination of her hard work and ambition.
Her publishing career began with two novellas, and she currently has multiple projects under way whilst Honour, a compilation of her own military based shorts, was released in November 2013 and her short novel, The One That Got Away was released February 2015. Always having something on the go can often lead to block which eventually gets dissolved by good music and an even better book.
Her main reason for writing is to not only give her readers enjoyment, but also to create a story and characters that stay with readers long after the book is finished, and possibly make someone stop and think “what if…”
I’ve only just met Mich, but I already see a lifelong friend. Her talents go far beyond writing. She’s a thankless mother of two, a loving woman to her soulmate and is always thinking of her friends before herself. Maybe that’s one of the reasons she’s gone into teaching; a chance to shape the young minds of our future writers. I’m so excited to spend time with a generous and loving personality like hers and to learn and grow from her wealth of expertise. My life will never be the same now that you have entered my life.
Hmm, a personal testimony about Mich (M.B. Feeney) . . . Where to start! Shall I do this like a Best Man speech? Yeah, why not
*pouts that I don’t have a glass of bubbly to toast this awesome girl*
Well, I first ‘met’ Mich quite a few years ago. I can’t remember the exact details, but knowing us two, we were probably up to no good. It was online, of course, but that didn’t stop us! We grew close as friends and then we cemented our friendship by meeting up in person. It was at a Twilight convention (don’t groan, it was a fun weekend! Lol).
Here’s what I’ve learned and loved about Mich over the years:
She is fiercely loyal to her friends and family. No matter what, she’s there. No matter what she’s going through herself, she’s there for her friends.
She has a slight music addiction (which we share). I’ve lost count on the artists we’ve talked about over the years lol.
She also adores her cowboy boots (The Boots Stay on!) I swear this addiction was brought on by Jackson Rathbone, but it’s not like I’d complain. Have you seen that man on stage? Phew!
She loves 1 Direction *coughs* Louis *coughs*
She is one hell of a kick arse author! Have you read her books? Damn, this girl can write! She sticks to normal men! Nope, there’s not a billionaire arsehole in sight, thank God!
She’s training to be a teacher. Now, props to her, because being in a classroom of 30+ kids all day . . . nah lol.
But the thing I love about Mich is this. She’s Mich. She puts on no front. What you see is what you get and that’s quite rare in an author. She hates putting herself out there. She hates pimping herself. She’ll bend over backwards for anyone, but ignores herself.
She is an awesome friend and I know that I can count on her for anything. I know she wants the publishing world to take her seriously, because she lives for books – reading and writing.
And Mich, when you get this, when you sit and read this . . . Thanks. Thanks for being such an amazing friend, an awesome author, and someone anyone can instantly love.
*raises cup of tea*
❤ JC Clarke
The moment I read M B Feeney’s first
story, I knew I had discovered one seriously talented author. With a
British flavour to each of her stories, M B builds strong, unique
characters that draw the reader in until they can’t help but become
invested. Her latest offering, Dear Diary (The Exchange Series Book
1) is no exception. A great start to what I anticipate will be a
When she’s not
busy with writing, her studies and family commitments, M B Feeney is
100 percent committed to supporting the indie writing community. She
has not only read and reviewed hundreds, if not thousands of stories
over the years, she has always been there to lend an ear, shoulder,
or hand any way she can for countless numbers of people.
On a personal level, I’ve known M B
Feeney for well over 5 years. She is a true friend, mother, sister
and confidante… a woman who is genuine, honest, and generous to a
fault. (She is also quite partial to pear cider now and then too
lol). She also encouraged me to take my first tentative step into the
world of writing, and for that, I will be forever grateful. I can
honestly say without a single doubt in my mind, that if it weren’t
for one Ms M B Feeney, I would not have become a published author.
L J Harris.
With stories set in England that are witty yet quirky, M.B. Feeney has a way with words that’ll suck you right into her fictional worlds. I’m proud to call her friend.
❤ RE Hargrave
Here are some ways you can stalk and learn about this warm hearted woman.
I encourage all of you help welcome her to the Magic of Books family by purchasing one of her incredible books today.
(Purchase of any of MB’s books can be used towards entries in the Rafflecopter)
“Just Like in the Movies” is about to be rereleased with a new cover…signup today for the BLOG BLITZ on July 3, 2015.
Brought to you on behalf of MoB & all of MB Feeney’s friends and family.
Veil’s and Vengence by Rachelle J. Christensen
Veils and Vengeance by Rachelle J. Christensen
When wedding planner, Adrielle Pyper, goes to Hawaii to orchestrate a destination wedding, she isn’t prepared for what she finds.
After the trauma of her previous event, the beautiful isle of Kauai is the perfect place for Adri to unwind and do what she does best – plan. She even lets herself indulge in the attention of the groom’s handsome brother. But just when everything seems to be perfect, an afternoon snorkeling trip turns to murder when Adri discovers the body of a young woman.
Shaken, but unable to let it go, Adri’s sleuthing leads her into more danger than she could imagine. When a number of “accidents” threaten her own life, it soon becomes apparent that someone will do anything to keep Adri from interfering with their vengeance.
Author Rachelle J. Christensen
Rachelle J. Christensen is a mother of five who writes mystery/suspense and solves the case of the missing shoe on a daily basis. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a minor in music. She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and, of course, reading.
Rachelle is the award-winning author of six books, including Wrong Number, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things, and What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know. Her novella, Silver Cascade Secrets, was included in the Rone Award-winning Timeless Romance Anthology, Fall Collection.
$25 Cover Reveal Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
The Reapers by Ali Winters
Kain had been living an ordinary life without a second thought until he meets Nivian who turns his world upside down. He is thrust into a world of hunters and reapers. The keepers of life and death have been feuding for centuries over a reason no one can even remember.
With Kain having been marked for reaping, and Nivian being hunted, they forge a friendship and together must find the truth in order to keep balance in check. Wrong choices could destroy everything. As they journey they discover hidden histories, powers, and lies and truths that have been spun since the beginning of time. The consequence of failure, unimaginable.
Ali currently lives in windy Wyoming with her husband and two dogs, Nika and Tedward. When not writing Ali is either photographing, knitting, reading, dancing or staying inside where it’s warm with a hot cup of coffee. She dreams of traveling the world someday soon.
Or you can also find her on these social platforms.
Hunger by L.L. HUNTER
Stolen Art by Ruth Silver
Granted Wishes by Tanya Vought
“Granted Wishes”, a contemporary romance by author Tanya Vought, is only $0.99 from May 29 to May 31.
About the Book
Author: Tanya Vought
Genre: Contemporary Romance
A decision that will change her life forever.
After the loss of her husband, Gracelynn Calhoun has struggled with her life and career. Forced to take a four week vacation or be fired from her job, she surprises everyone including herself and agrees to the vacation.
The owner of Antonetti Suites, Giovanni works hard and doesn’t have time for relationships or love. That is until he literally crashes into Gracelynn. She brings back all the feelings he thought he would never feel again.
With the odds stacked against them in every way possible, will they forge ahead together or will this be the end of the road for their newfound love? Will the whispers from above bring them together or will misunderstandings ruin what could be an amazing second chance at love?
Buy from Amazon.
“Beautifully written story that has you feeling you are part of the story. Makes you feel every emotion the wonderful characters are experiencing and keeps you wanting more!! I too am a hopeless romantic and this book had me laughing, crying and feeling hopeful that true love does still exist!!! I can’t wait for the next release in the series!!!”
“Granted wishes is a magical story of love lost and new beginnings.”
“Gracelyn and Giovanni story was so beautifully written that it captured my heart. This story has everything fate, faith, love, loss, grief, letting go, finding yourself, second chances, miracles, and soul mates. Get your Kleenex box handy as there are some tear jerking moments.”
“Brew up a cuppa, curl up in soft armchair and prepare to be entertained.“
“he premise of this book was an incredible tale of immeasurably and everlasting love, despite the fact that many would scoff at the possibility.“
About the Author
Tanya Vought is a hopeless romantic. She loves reading, writing, singing and doing crafts with her children. What started as a lifelong dream became reality. She’s overjoyed that readers will get to read her debut, Granted Wishes. She loves her characters sexy and sassy. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two amazing and imaginative children.
Visit her website.
The White by T. L. Shreffler *Review and Giveaway
Title: The White (The Dragon Pearl, Book 1)
Author: T.L. Shreffler
Release Date: May 25, 2015
Genre: Fantasy Adventure, some romance
Ever since The White appeared in our valley of Windridge, my people have lived in fear. But today that fear ends. Finally, the King has sent his most elite dragon hunters to kill The White, the last of the imperial dragons.
Since the death of her father, Sienna Foxburn hasn’t felt safe. The White, a fire-breathing imperial dragon, terrorizes the Valley of Windridge with no end in sight. But Sienna isn’t satisfied hiding behind the walls of her keep. She is tired of fearing the dragon, but she can’t fight it alone.
Then a mysterious sorceress and two elite dragon hunters arrive, claiming to be sent by the King. Thus begins the great hunt for The White. Sienna embarks on a dragon-hunting adventure through the exotic Valley of Windridge, all while uncovering secrets and conspiracies that could endanger the entire Kingdom….
Sienna Foxburn has been hiding in her keep and minding herself ever since her father died. She hasn’t felt safe since that dreadful day. The imperial fire-breathing dragon has made that feeling spread throughout the Valley of Windrigde, and to the people there is no end in sight. But Sienna isn’t satisfied with this; she has been in hiding for too long and decides to do something about it. She decides to fight, but she can’t so it alone. With some wishful thinking four mysterious strangers show, two sorceress and two elite dragon hunters, saying they have been sent by the King to hunt The White. Is it fate, or is there something else going on? Read it
This book was very intriguing and written in true fantasy style. Having a heroin is very daring and fit perfectly! I found her inspiring. This is a coming of age tale where the young lady who has been afraid to venture out after her father’s death finds the courage to fight for what she believes in and finds herself in the process.
Sci Fi, fantasy 16+
- L. Shreffler is a dragon hunter living in the sunny acres of San Fernando Valley, California. She enjoys frolicking through meadows, sipping iced tea, exploring the unknown reaches of her homeland and unearthing rare artifacts in thrift stores. She holds a Bachelors in Eloquence (English) and writes Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and poetry. She is author of The Cat’s Eye Chronicles (#9 Amazon Top 100, #1 Kindle Fantasy) and has previously been published in Eclipse: A Literary Anthology and The Northridge Review.
Pre-Order the Book:
(include link with image: http://www.amazon.com/White-Dragon-Pearl-Book-ebook/dp/B00W2TS78O/)
(include link with image: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/T_L_Shreffler_The_White?id=Y0kVCAAAQBAJ&hl=en)
(include link with image: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-white-5)
(include link with image: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24604412-the-white)
There is a tour-wide giveaway with four winners: one signed copy, two ebook copies and a $10 Amazon gift card.
Excerpt 1. Sighting The White
James wrestled me to the ground, his thick forearm around my throat, not quite hard enough to choke. “I win!” he declared. “Just say the word, and I’ll let go!”
Damn, he was too strong. I tried to reply, but it came out as a garbled squeak. I reached my arms around, trying to get him off my back, but he was too heavy to budge. He pinned me down by pure weight.
We were so distracted by the fight, we didn’t notice the wind pick up, moaning through the trees. Branches began to thrash back and forth. My hair whipped into my face.
Then a shadow flew over us.
Pure adrenaline shot up my spine. I threw James to the side, his arms limp from shock. We both stared upward, searching the sky.
A terrible, piercing shriek split the air, a thousand times louder than a bird. The forest fell silent. The wind whipped the trees back and forth as though shaken by giant hands. Several branches snapped off and fell to the ground.
The bowark screamed and took off running. It thundered across the hill at a clumsy, rolling gait. I scanned the sky once, twice, holding my breath. Then, finally, I saw it.
The White circled around a pillar of rock high up on the mountain. This close, it appeared much larger than the distorted beast of my dreams. The shadow of its wings engulfed the entire hillside. Its tail stretched twice the length of its body, longer than the towering trees. The sunset’s glare reflected from its wings, casting its scales in a pearlescent glow.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. The dragon had appeared from nowhere!
The sun hovered low in the sky, fading over the opposite ridge of the valley. Nightfall. We had stayed out too long.
I tried to stand up, but James threw me back to the ground, pushing me flat against the grass. “Get down, you idiot!” he hissed. “Its hunting!”
The dragon’s tail lashed through the air, snapping several trees in half as it banked and turned. The broken trunks skidded down the hill, upturning rocks and loose dirt, creating a minor avalanche. The rocks bounced downward. James gripped my hand and we braced ourselves. A huge boulder rolled right past us, barely missing our legs.
The bowark kept running. It was painful to watch, like a rock trying to outrun lightning. The White circled once more, then dove from the sky. Its wings created a howling, whistling sound, almost as loud as its screech. It plucked the bowark off the ground in one massive claw, like a hawk scooping up a mouse.
Then, with an elegant twist of its wings, it soared back into the sky. A minute later, it was gone.
Excerpt 2: The Fire’s Bane
I woke with a start to Marley licking my face. Still one foot in the dream, I fully expected the scent of smoke to strike my nose, and fire to leap from the wooden shingles of the kennel roof. I sat up half-panicked, but all was quiet and peaceful. Birds twittered airily as gray dawn stretched across the sky. Low clouds obscured the light; it looked like it might rain.
Four other deerhounds lay around me. They wagged their tails when I sat up, then they turned to sniff and lick my face. I ran my fingers through their curly soft fur. They assured me everything was fine and normal, just another day at Glenhold.
Except it wasn’t just another day. Someone stood outside the fence of the kennels. The dogs kept a wary distance from him, ears down, wagging their tails in uncertain greeting.
I stood up stiffly. I picked a few bits of straw from my clothing and pushed my wild, vine-like hair off my face. I probably looked a mess, but I couldn’t do much about it. I wiped my face with my shirt sleeve as I approached the fence.
Finally I saw his face through a gap in the wood. I immediately became nervous. The Fire’s Bane. Darius, I thought. Much different than my dream-Darius with smoothly shifting features. In person he looked grim and rugged, dark-eyed and intimidating. Our gazes met through the fence.
The dogs sensed my nervousness. A few barked in wary alarm. I hushed them thoughtlessly.
Unexpectedly, Darius said, “I have need of three hounds.” His rocky baritone shivered across my skin, rougher than I expected, like shale on a mountain slope. I’d never heard a voice pitched quite so low in the chest.
I hesitated, glancing at the pale misty dawn. The dogs had to wait an hour after feeding before being worked. Otherwise they might get bloat—a twist in their stomachs. “It’s a bit early,” I said. “What for?”
“Mistress Ashyra is going on a hunt,” he said. “She would like three of your best hounds to accompany her.”
I scratched the back of my head. It wasn’t my place to release the hounds. That was the kennel hand’s duty and if I overstepped my bounds, I’d be in trouble. After last night’s excursion, I wanted to avoid that as much as possible.
“I don’t actually work here,” I said slowly.
He paused. His voice turned wry. “So…you just sleep here?”
I flushed. “On some nights.”
His eyes combed my hair. “You like animals, then?” he prompted.
“Of course,” I said, then bit my tongue. Ouch. I’d never felt this awkward in my life. The Dragon’s Bane was having an idle chat with me? The girl who sleeps in the dog kennel?
My next words rushed out, “I’ll let the trainers know Mistress Ash wants three hounds to accompany her. She’ll have to wait until mid-morning.”
Darius nodded. He turned to leave, then hesitated. “Is there a blacksmith at the hold?” he asked.
Any of the soldiers could have given him this information. “Yes,” I said, and pointed over my shoulder. “On the eastern wall, you’ll see the forge.”
He gazed at me for a moment. I wondered at his thoughts. Then he turned in the direction of the forge. I watched him stride away. He moved quickly for a big man. I couldn’t deny the width of his shoulders, especially from behind….
The moment he left my sight, I sank back against the rear wall of the kennel. I put my head against the cool stone. His presence gripped me like a fist. I didn’t know whether I fancied him or feared him. He wasn’t what the rest of the hold-girls would call handsome. He was too roughened, his face too angular for that. In fact, I’m sure most found him downright terrifying. Hold girls sighed over strapping young men like James or my cousin Stephan—charming, clean-cut soldier types. Those were Glenhold’s heroes.
But was it attraction that held me bound to the Bane’s presence, or intimidation?
Excerpt 3: Dragon Greeting
Abruptly, a scream split the darkness. A man’s scream. The soldiers started yelling. I heard armor clank and men curse as they stumbled about the woods, trying to grab their swords.
I turned to Skyler, but she was gone from my side. My mouth gaped. She had vanished like smoke. The night was pitch black and I was alone.
I stood up shakily, listening to the cries of the men thrashing in the woods. My heart pounded. Was it The White? I looked up to the sky, but the trees were far too dense to see anything. I sniffed the air, waiting for a plume of smoke or a burst of flame. I tried to control the urge to flee. Running into the woods at a time like this would be madness. But what could I do? Hide? How did one hide from an unseen foe?
The soldiers’ screams continued to echo, and then a fierce battle cry smothered them. I saw strange blue light between the trees. It came in the direction of the soldiers’ camp. I stumbled toward it, then paused, torn. I couldn’t help the soldiers. I had no weapon, no training.
Slowly, I sank to the base of the tree behind me. I pressed myself flat against the bark and clutched my hands in a silent prayer. By Phaidros, I was a coward. A skulking, defenseless coward. I should at least go and see if I could help.
I had no weapon. I would be walking to my own death.
Then out of the darkness, two gleaming orbs of orange light appeared. At first I thought they were campfires, but that was impossible—they were perfectly round. Those glowing orange orbs hovered directly in front of me.
Something large and heavy uncoiled from the trees. At first, it looked to be made of wood. Then the brown bark of its skin rippled. I saw a shimmer of scales. The body of some great beast stretched above me.
I opened my mouth soundlessly.
The dragon stared down at me. All I could see were its glowing, orange eyes, its pupils slitted like a cat’s. It blinked at me from the canopy, barely discernible from the leaves. Then it stretched down its long neck like an elegant snake, until we were face to face.
I couldn’t look away. Somehow, inexplicably, a strange warmth seeped through my body. It began at my cheeks, blazing like a sunburn, then slowly worked down my neck to my chest and limbs. I felt certain, somehow, that the beast recognized me. It didn’t make any sense, but the impression was strong in my mind. I tried to cry out again, to gather enough breath to scream, but I could only gaze in fascination.
Its long snout drifted closer. It sniffed the air vigorously around my head, like a dog after a bone. I could clearly see its brown and green mottled skin. A unique pattern of spiny scales ran up the center of its snout to the crest of its head, not unlike a rooster. Damp breath carrying the scent of old, putrid blood struck my face. The spines upon its head quivered and stood upright, then pressed back smoothly against its skull. Was it…greeting me?
Then, abruptly, the beast pulled back into the branches and closed its eyes. Shadows veiled its body. It disappeared.
The Blackmail of Evelynn Faust by Shirley Anne Edwards
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of Evelynn Faust
Faust suffers from horrible insomnia and paranoia. The summer before her senior
year of high school should be one of the best summers of her life. But she’s
tormented by guilt and an addiction that haunts her every waking moment. Evelynn
is a drug dealer who also craves the drug she sells. The money and the
popularity that come with it aren’t bad either. But when she’s caught dealing
on school property by Eric Wagner, the respected and admired police chief’s son,
the game is over.
he wants – her.
parents who don’t understand her rebellious nature or her circle of friends who
only care about partying and getting high. When Adam Tristen moves in across
the street, and he wants to get to know her better, it all seems too good to be
must make a pact with the devil.
waiting for Eric to act on his threats. But Adam, the charming college sophomore,
sees something special inside Evelynn, and he wants to help her fix mistakes. In
order to do that she must confront a dark secret from her past that could
destroy her family…her life…and her entire world as she knows it.
must take a leap of faith.
club’s kitchen each enjoying a plate of food. We used one of the
stainless-steel tables while the staff moved around us, acting as if we weren’t
Remember when I told you to wait a minute in the hallway? I asked him for
permission.” He smiled and finished eating the last of the Swedish meatballs on
might burst out of my dress.
“I forgot to mention, but you look great in your dress.”
pig and must be bulging out of it, and not in a sexy way. Sure you’re not
physic and reading my mind?”
a guy. So, what’s the deal? Why are you afraid of him?”
table while a waiter placed crackers on a tray.
fear in your eyes.”
I finished the rest of my soda to give me more time. He cocked his head to the
side, waiting for me to continue. I would reveal just enough to stop his
questions. “Eric and I have a history. We were friends for a short time in
grade school. But, he’s developed a massive ego because of his father, and his
overall popularity at school. He has a hard time taking no for an answer.” I
inhaled a shaky breath. “He thinks he’s in love with me.”
the least-likely person I’d fall in love with.”
committed relationship or to be in love.” He shrugged. “I’m twenty and never
been in love with a girl.”
and wanted to make sure with Adam before we went any further with our
drink from his glass. “Not into dudes. I’m 100 percent straight. But my parents
would love for me to settle down with someone. They got married around my age
and expect me to do the same, at least when I graduate college.”
I graduate high school and grow out my hair.”
few strands, and my belly tightened.
six inches last month because I got sick of it. My mother wasn’t too happy. I
thought she might disown me.”
ear. It tickled. I fought not to squirm in my seat.
lips as I stared into his big brown eyes. “Thanks. Since we’re sharing things
we like about one another, you have nice eyes.”
hand, leaving me cold from the lack of heat near my neck.
an ice cube.
from my seat. “I’m supposed to be working the party, I mean, I have to talk to
people with Dad about donations for fixing the track at my school. I better get
nice sitting and talking with you, Evelynn.”
Only my seven-year-old sister, Olivia is allowed to.”
didn’t expect. “Thanks for making me welcome here. I hope we can hang out
when you could be with a college woman?” I teased.
didn’t smile, although humor flashed across his face. “Age has nothing to do
about it. You don’t act like some immature sixteen-year-old girls I’ve hung out
on his arm and went to throw my plate in the garbage.
forehead. “Do I look okay? Maybe I should go to the bathroom?”
say attraction also, but then again, I could’ve been mistaken. He gave me two
thumbs up. “You look great.”
giving him a wave.
an entirely different one from the other times I smoked up. Passing a mirror, I
noticed how red my cheeks were. Adam was right. My dress did fit me in all the
right ways. It had just taken someone like him to see it.
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Anne Edwards is a Northeast girl who first found her love for books when she
read Nancy Drew’s The Secret of the Old Clock Tower at thirteen. Shirley found
her love for writing at a very young age, and since then has let her
imagination run wild by creating quirky characters and vast worlds in her head.
Shirley lives in New Jersey and works in the entertainment industry in New York
In the immortal words of Mark Twain: “Life is short, Break the Rules.
Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret
ANYTHING that makes you smile.”
For more information about Shirley and her writing journey:
Website link: http://shirlwriteredwards.wordpress.com/
@ShirleyAWriter (link: https://twitter.com/ShirleyAWriter)
author page: http://www.amazon.com/Shirley-Anne-Edwards/e/B00N87EEAO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1426708495&sr=8-1
Amazon GC & 1 Digital copy of The Blackmail of Evelyn Faust
Burn by Allie Juliette Mousseau
Series: Brothers of Ink and Steel
Author: Allie Juliette Mousseau
Genre: New Adult/Sports Romance
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Liam Knight, a sexy panty-melting, hard-bodied streetfighter and renowned tattoo artist, is rising up the ranks of the UFC Middleweight Division, but he’s about to get knocked out by his past.
Quinn Kelley is a semester away from becoming a college graduate when her mother’s death sends her spiraling, forcing her to go back to her hometown and a past she can’t outrun.
Nearly a decade ago, Liam and Quinn fell in love while surviving on the city streets together, but they were torn apart by one irreversible night. Now each has moved forward without the other, but like a tattoo on the heart, absolute love creates a lasting burn.
Quinn has kept a tight rein on her emotions, but with the passing of her mother, the foundation she’s built begins to crack. Will seeing Liam again crumble her fortress to the ground, uncovering the flame that still burns? Or will it extinguish the fire forever?
Liam’s tough exterior and resentful demeanor hides more than a wounded heart. He’s tormented by guilt over what happened to Quinn—and the secret he kept, even from her. But revealing his secrets would require unearthing the all-consuming monster he keeps caged in the darkest part of his soul, the one that threatens to devour him.
When they’re given a second chance, will they let go of their fear and pride and let the flame between them become one?
Or will the heat burn them both?
One more hour before Josh shows up.
Maybe he’ll get distracted with Sophie and Charlie—his beautiful new family. Then he can call and apologize for missing it, and I can say, Better luck next time.
Damn I hope that happens.
I shade with snow-white opaque, platinum and charcoal and finish off the edges.
I’m actually thankful to Quinn for walking in on me this morning—I could’ve fucked up my hands bad and would’ve had to cancel this session—and doing this is the best therapy I could give myself.
“I think you’re done, man. Why don’t you go take a look?” I tell him.
He slides off the chair and goes up close to the full mirrored wall. “Holy Fuck! It’s incredible!”
“Happy you like it.” I smile and begin cleaning my area.
“Man, it’s a fucking masterpiece.”
“Aren’t you afraid if you continue fighting in the MMA, you could hurt your hand so bad you wouldn’t be able to tat anymore?” he asks.
Wow! That statement hits too close to home.
“I don’t mean nothing by it—you’re a hell of a fighter—could become a world titleholder,” he continues. “But you’ve got an amazing talent right here.”
“Thanks.” It’s just another subject and another question I don’t have an answer for.
After he leaves and my station is all cleaned up, I walk out into the waiting room.
“He was a happy customer,” Adrienne chirps.
Adrienne has been working for me since I opened the place. She and her longtime girlfriend live in the apartment above the shop. They’re great people.
“Josh just called. He’s on his way,” she says.
“Great,” I mutter and then look around at what I’ve built: black walls with red trim and black and red checkered flooring with a Persian area rug welcoming clients to sit on the black leather sofas. My artwork hangs on the walls … they’re good, but these pieces aren’t parts of my soul. Those are colors I’ve only ever let one person see. After her, I pulled the dark shades down over those windows.
“Want to talk about it?” Ade shakes me from my daze.
“No thanks. I definitely do not want to talk about it.”
“Are you going to talk to her about it?”
When I look over at her, she has her arms folded across her chest defiantly. Her spaghetti strapped dress shows off her colorful, flowered arm sleeves.
“You’re going to get on my case too?” I accuse.
“Well, you know there are no secrets here.” When she tilts her head to challenge me, the light reflects off her silver chin post. “I think fate is giving you a lucky draw from the deck, and you need to play your cards right. You’ve been pining after her for as long as I’ve known you.”
“Ade—” I begin.
“I’m not finished speaking. This is do or die, Jack—where you find out if she still has a thing for you or not. Maybe then you can get on or move on.”
“Jesus Christ, I hate all of this free advice!” I sweep my fingers through my hair.
“Free advice just means you have a family that cares about you,” she quips.
At that moment, the buzzer rings, announcing someone has opened the door behind me.
“Welcome to The House of Ink and Steel,” Josh announces.
“Hi there!” Adrienne coos with the biggest smile. “You must be Quinn. I’m so excited to meet you.”
“Thanks.” She sounds unsure and distrustful.
“This is Adrienne, she’s been working here for forever,” Josh says.
“Oh yeah! Since Liam opened the place.”
“It’s impressive, Liam.”
When Quinn says my name, I feel as if I could melt.
“Would you like the tour?” Josh asks her when I don’t answer fast enough.
“I’d love it,” Quinn says. “You know, I’ve watched you on Ink Master.”
She’s still talking to me.
“Really? You watch that show?” I finally turn to face her.
“Well, only when you’ve been a guest judge. Guess I’m partial to your work as an artist.” She bites her lip and her gaze drops to the floor.
It’s her shy look. Her I-want-to-hide look.
“Come on, I’ll show you the alcoves.” Josh takes her arm in his. “Talon and Ryder do quite a lot more work around here than he does.”
As he leads her through the place Adrienne comes close and whispers in my ear, “It’s going to be alright, Liam. The universe has a way of working things through when it’s the right time.”
“At least one of us believes that.”
“Don’t be so cynical,” she scolds. “You just got handed a second chance.”
Before I can shoot her a dirty look, Josh and Quinn come back through the lobby. “Let’s get some lunch,” Josh says. “I’m famished.”
I give Adrienne a kiss on her cheek. Even though she’s just frustrated the living hell out of me, I know she cares.
We step out into the parking lot.
“I like the family SUV look you’ve got going on here,” I razz Josh, who used to drive a sleek Gillette Vertigo around. He still has it, but now he also owns a souped-up (with all the safety features) Chevy Tahoe. It has a pink flowered car seat in the back, which I’m sitting next to, along with the toys I had to push over to make room for my ass. A purple sippy cup sits in the drink holder next to Josh.
“Wouldn’t have it any other way,” he admits with a shit-eating grin.
“I’d love to meet your family.” Quinn smiles over at him from the passenger seat.
“I can make that happen,” he tells her.
Soon, though, Josh drives the scenic route around Lake Calhoun.
“Look!” He indicates the colorful snow kites gliding over the frozen lake. Before anyone protests, he pulls into the recreation area’s parking lot.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen those,” Quinn says. “It looks like a kaleidoscope.”
“Good thing we’re all dressed warmly. Let’s get a closer look.” Josh turns off the engine. “I could use the fresh air too.”
This is turning into more than lunch. Before I lose my cool, I try to get back into the state of mind I had when I was tatting the guy’s arm.
“Sounds good,” Quinn says, and that solidifies it.
We all walk out to the lake’s edge. There’s so much going on here, even in the middle of February, and it reminds me why I love this city. Vendors are serving hot cocoa and warm, freshly baked pretzels; kids are running around in full snow gear, and of course, there are the snow kites. A snow kite looks a lot like a windsurfer, only it’s built to stand and sail on ice. The colors remind me of a hot air balloon festival, when hundreds take to the skies.
“There must be close to fifty of them,” I say.
“Have you ever tried it?” Quinn asks, and I realize she’s talking directly to me.
“No. I’d fall flat on my ass.” I smile.
“Yeah, and break it, then I’d be the one carrying you home.” Josh laughs.
“Asshole.” I shove him lightly. “You know, Connor’s into it. Has his own kite and everything. He’s good at it.”
Josh asks Quinn, “So, where are you living these days?”
“Georgia. I’ve been there the past few years.”
“Do you like it?” he prods.
“It’s hot and humid in the summertime, but the winters aren’t so bad.” She shrugs. “I sort of like the storms that blow through.”
She didn’t really answer his question.
“It’s really cool you two became such close friends.” She stares off dreamily at the kites.
“Yeah, I put up with him,” Josh quips and shoves my shoulder. “You two entertain each other for a second, I need to use the loo.”
I’m going to kill the fucker. I have no idea what to say! And obviously neither does she, as we both just stand there, painfully uncomfortable.
“Adrienne seems sweet,” Quinn finally says.
“Yeah, she’s cool.”
“How long have the two of you known each other?”
“Since I opened shop six years ago.” I watch a novice kiter fall on his ass. I know how you feel, buddy, I think.
“Six years is a long time,” she says.
“I guess.” I just shrug my shoulders. I’m now plotting the ways I’m going to kill Josh. “You never did finish telling Josh if you liked living in Georgia.”
“The people are really nice. I love the southern hospitality and big smiles. The people make you feel really welcome.” She continues, “I’ve made some great friends.”
“But?” I say, while I crane my neck towards the bathrooms.
“It’s an easy question, do you like living in Georgia?” It comes out more rough-edged than I intend it to.
“Yes, I do,” she snaps back at me.
Perfect, I’ve made her angry.
Trying to save this conversation, which is already a train wreck, I try, “I’d miss the winter too much, I think, to live down south.”
“I miss the winter, the smell in the air and the prickly feel of the cold on your face,” she says, then slowly states. “I’ve been thinking for a while now about … maybe … moving back up into this area.”
It’s a big city, but not big enough. “Would your boyfriend go for that?” FUCK! Way to be subtle. And I don’t even want her to answer that! “You know, Josh is taking a long fucking time. I’m going to walk by the bathroom and see what’s taking him so long.”
I walk away fast, hoping she’ll forget that I asked her anything. Now I’m getting pissed off because I’m acting like a fucking teenager!
“Wait, I’ll go with you,” she says, catching up.
Without paying her much mind, I throw open the door of the men’s bathroom and walk inside, calling Josh’s name. When I get no answer, I come back out.
“Did you see him?” I ask.
“No.” She looks at me like I’m nuts. “Maybe he had to go to the car to get something.”
We walk together out into the parking lot, until we’re standing in the empty space Josh’s SUV had been parked in.
“Okay … that’s weird. You know, I’ll just call him.” She fumbles through her coat pockets. “He may have gotten a call from … Sophie … my phone isn’t here. Oh, shit! I just remembered, Josh asked if he could borrow my cell phone when his battery died. He must not have given it back to me.”
“I’ve got mine.” I feel my jacket’s inner lining and find only a piece of paper.
Sorry, Liam. Josh made me do it. Adrienne
I close my eyes as the reality of what Josh just pulled off becomes completely clear.
“That asshole!” I look around the lot, hoping it isn’t what I think.
“What is it?”
“He drove us out here, left us on purpose, and stranded us further by confiscating our fucking phones!” I’m fuming.
How the fuck could he do that to me? What the fuck would make him think this was a good idea?
I hear a soft giggle beside me. I peer over to see Quinn trying to stifle her laughter behind her mitten-covered hand.
“It isn’t funny!” I state. “It’s a five mile hike back to my place.”
That doesn’t stop her. Her response grows from a giggle to an all-out laughing fit.
“He didn’t even fucking feed us!” I growl.
But her eyes still sparkle when she laughs, and it sounds so good and beautiful I can’t help but get sucked into it.
“You think it’s funny?” I reluctantly smile at her.
She nods with tears in her eyes.
I have to hand it to him, this is definitely one way to force us together.
Allie Juliette Mousseau is a USA Today Bestselling author.
She can always be found writing, playing in puddles with her children, hiking with her husband, or adventuring somewhere in the world. Her favorite place to write on warm days is outdoors, but when the weather gets too cold, she’ll be inside at her desk inspired by the mountain view from her home office in Montana where she lives with her loving husband, children, and golden retriever. She loves to travel and lived for three years in her RV with her family while visiting the national parks and forests of the U.S. and a couple Canadian provinces. She is excited to add all of Canada and Alaska in the near future!
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