Swords and Stilettos by Kristin D. Van Risseghem

Excerpt:

I stumbled into Kieran as a tremor moved through me. Hairs on my arms

stood at attention like tiny lightning rods. “Do you feel that?” my voice sounded

breathless, even to me.

He glanced sideways, “Feel what?”

“Look.” I held out my arms to him. “I feel strange. Like someone . . .” I

rubbed my slightly numb hands over my forearms and sucked in a breath, as he

hooked his head around. I fell into step beside him. “Never mind. It’s probably

nothing.”

This happens when lightning’s about to strike, right?

The heat from the sun radiated off the few cars parked along Boutique Row,

their owners engaged in mid-afternoon shopping. Store fronts displayed the new

and trendy “must-have” dresses, shorts, and shoes for the spring season. I paused

to see my reflection. Not a hair was out of place. Thank God.

 


Swords and Stilettos
Enlighten Series
Book One
Kristin D. Van Risseghem
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Publisher: Kasian Publishing LLC
Date of Publication: December 7, 2016
ISBN: 9781943207367
ASIN: B01N8Y9LUS
Number of pages: 290
Word Count: 73k
Cover Artist: Angela Fristoe of Covered Creatively
Book Description:
Zoe Jabril needs to devise a kick-ass plan to save the world ASAP. Otherwise, Armageddon starts the day she turns eighteen—and if that happens, everything is going to hell. Literally.
She could be any other 17-year-old attending parties and checking out cute guys—except she discovers her best friend is a Guardian Angel and the boy she crushes on is a Nephilim, both sent to protect her from the demons who want her dead.
Now Zoe has to deal with growing feelings toward the Nephilim, who spreads a strange electrical current through her body every time he touches her. And she’s under constant attack from Demons, trying to stop her from fulfilling the Prophecy: a girl will be born who will unite Angels, Nephilim, Fairies and Werewolves to battle evil. Then she has to control newly found talents if she’s to prevent the devil from escaping Hell.
Amazon     iBooks     Nook     Kobo
About the Author:
USA Today bestselling and Award-Winning, Kristin D. Van Risseghem grew up in a small town along the Mississippi River with her parents and older sister. Currently, Kristin lives in Minnesota with her husband and two Calico cats. She also loves attending book clubs, going shopping, and hanging out with friends. She has come to realize that she absolutely has an addiction to purses and shoes. They are her weakness and probably has way too many of both.
In the summer months, Kristin can usually be found lounging on her boat, drinking an ice cold something. Being an avid reader of YA and Women’s Literature stories, she still finds time to read a ton of books in-between writing. And in the winter months, her main goal is to stay warm from the Minnesota cold!
Kristin’s books are published by Kasian Publishing LLC.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Calling His Bluff by B.A. Tortuga

Excerpt:

The sheets were drenched, the world a violent place filled with tremors and waves of

agony. Patrick twisted, trying to drive himself up, away from the sea of bites that covered his

skin. He groaned when skeletal hands reached up from the depths to pull him back down. No. He

wouldn’t go back.

“Bébé. Bébé, you are a fighter, aren’t you? So strong.” The voice was soft, melodic,

welcome. It had a lilt to it that pleased him, soothed him.

“Sing to me?” That voice could draw him up.

“Oh, bébé. I haven’t been asked that in a long, long time.”

“Please.” He couldn’t see the face that went with the voice but he knew it. Hot golden

brown eyes, a strong jaw, wicked mouth. Hair like a raven’s wing. It made promises of things

that were simply phantasms, but the sounds… Oh. The voice began to sing, a simple French

lullaby, but so sweet. His tortured brain held onto the song, the melody a salve.

The grasping, bony hands clawing at him withdrew, and a kinder, warmer pair of hands

began stroking his skin with a cool, wet cloth.

“It will be better soon, bébé. Mark my words.”

“They’re trying to drown me. I won’t let them.” Not when he could stay here. “Don’t

stop.”

“You are safe from drowning, mark my words.”

“Am I?” He laughed, but the sound was dry as dust.

“I swear to you, by all I hold holy.”

Patrick opened his eyes, relieved to see the face matched his memory, blurry as it was.

“You’re Mister Remy.”

“Very good.”

“I don’t feel well. I feel awful and guilty somehow.” He felt as if he’d gone and done

something wicked and evil.

“Guilt is not for men like us, bébé. Let it be gone and you will feel better.” Remy stroked

the cool cloth over his burning skin again.

“Is it so easy?”

“No, but then again, it doesn’t need to be difficult, either.” The cloth disappeared, and

Remy held a glass of water to his lips. “If you practice, it becomes easier.”

The cool water eased him, splashed deep in his belly. He breathed deep for the first time

since he’d awakened. “Better.”

“It is.”

The cloths were changed, the cool rags making him gasp. He clenched and unclenched

his hands, trying to adjust.

“I know, bébé. I went through just this before I left San Francisco. Unlike you, I did it to

myself, no?”

“Why? Why would you?”

“I was feeling guilt. You see? Totally useless emotion.”

“Indeed. Guilt is…” He had so many reasons for it—Henry, Caroline, his father’s eternal

disappointment.

“We’ll work on it together. After you heal.”

“Soon? How long can this linger?”

“Not long.” Remy smiled, one hand resting on Patrick’s chest. “Not as strong as you are.”

A tingle made his muscles twitch and he pulled away from the wicked thoughts the dark

hand on his chest drew forth.

“Did I hurt?” Remy asked, concern clear.

“No. No.” No, that was a comfort, down deeper than skin.

“Ah, good.” Remy began to hum again, that voice smoothing over every rough nerve.

The peace made him blink, made his eyelids heavy. All he did now was sleep and dream,

but he was so tired. Remy was there watching over him.

“Be at ease, bébé.”

“You help.” The words popped out, and he tried not to worry about saying them.

“Good. I want to, hmm?”

“Thank you.” He blinked again and again, but couldn’t focus, so he finally let his lashes

fall since they were so heavy.

“Easy. Easy, bébé. Breathe.”

“Stay with me.” He shouldn’t ask, but he did. He needed Remy with him.

 


Calling His Bluff
Club Raven
Book One
B.A. Tortuga
Genre: Gay paranormal romance
Publisher: All Romance eBooks
Date of Publication:  1/1/2017
ISBN: 978-1-945193-92-7
Word Count: 50000
Cover Artist: Erin Dameron Hill         
Book Description:
Patrick’s loss is Remy’s gain.
A Club Raven Novel
After his twin dies in battle, it’s Patrick Daniels’ duty to marry his brother’s fiancée. Too bad he can’t make himself do it, and in his distress, he manifests a psychic talent that’s stronger than the tornadoes in his native East Texas. Then a mysterious man from a place called Club Raven steps in and sweeps Patrick off to the booming East Coast city of Baltimore.
Club Raven veteran Remy Blanchard sees Patrick and knows, even though Patrick is very ill, that this is the challenge he’s been waiting for. He nurses Patrick back to health, and begins to teach Patrick to control his talent. His methods might be unconventional, and Patrick might be new to the kinds of sexual games Remy knows best, but the two of them find something in each other that might be just as magical as the gentleman’s club where they meet.
About the Author:
Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting, and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.
Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.
For more information on other books by B.A., visit her official website:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Connecting Strangers by Rachel Carrington

I close my eyes and slowly squeeze the trigger. The shot sounds so loud I jump backwards. But the bullet hits its mark, tearing a hole through Mark’s shoulder. With a curse, he falls to the ground. I know I haven’t killed him because he’s making so much noise and trying to scramble to his feet. So I snag the keys from the hook by the back door and run.

He’ll come after me which means I don’t have much time to get a head start. The mud tries to suck my shoes off, but I clench my toes while Mark’s promise bounces around inside my head.

You’ll always be mine.

At the time, I thought it was romantic, but I was only eighteen. What the hell did I know? It didn’t take me long to learn it meant Mark doesn’t take no for an answer. In high school, his determination was a compliment. Nowadays, it would get him arrested…if we didn’t live in a town that worshipped him.

Shaking so hard, I have a hard time jabbing the key in the ignition. Relief floods through me when I can finally start the 2000 Volvo my grandmother got me when I graduated from high school seven years ago.

As I gun the engine, I see Mark’s reflection in my rearview mirror. He’s made it to his feet, and though blood is dripping down the front of his shirt, he’s running after me.

The Volvo kicks up plenty of dust and gravel when I stomp on the accelerator, showering Mark with enough pebbles to bring him to a halt. His loud curses follow me down the old, dirt road where our clapboard home sits. It’s the one his daddy built us once he knew Mark wouldn’t be leaving town anytime soon.

Staying in rural Broomtown, Kentucky definitely hadn’t been my choice. That had been all Mark. After my parents died, I wanted to get as far away as possible to start our lives fresh, but Mark, well, he figured since he was going to be trapped in a dead end job once his dreams of playing football were over, he might as well do it around family.

I keep looking in my mirror to make sure he isn’t following me, and I don’t dare relax until I make it to the highway. Even then, the trembling continues.

Ten miles down the road, I realize I left my purse on the kitchen counter, and I have no money and less than a half a tank of gas. In a car that chugs gas like this one, that isn’t going to get me very far. But anywhere is better than Broomtown with Mark.

A tear trickles down my cheek, and I swipe it away. No more tears. I have cried enough for him. When I was still young and foolish, I thought Mark and I would be together forever. I know now that forever can be a hell of a long time when the love of your life morphs into a raving lunatic.

My heart aches when I think about what we had once. We were the love story everyone dreams about. Me, the head cheerleader, and Mark, the captain of the football team. I still remember the night the Broomtown Broncs won the state championship. No one thought a team from the sticks could win such an important title. Mark had carried me on his shoulder through the cheers and the drums. Then he had to go and do something stupid for a senior prank that changed everything.

I switch on the radio to drown out the memories, but they’ve always been louder. The thump of the wheels hitting pavement releases some of the pressure in my chest, and my shoulders begin to relax. I might not be free of Mark forever, but tonight I wouldn’t have to listen to his drunken complaints.

The Volvo’s lone headlight illuminates the long, winding road ahead then bounces off the side of a white car heading in the opposite direction. I wish I could stop the person, warn them where there going. That road dead-ends in Broomtown. Hopefully, the driver doesn’t have plans to stay long. It’s the kind of place that sucks you in and while you’re there, it drains your soul a little piece at a time until you’re moving in slow motion. Just putting one foot in front of the other.

My hand smells like gun powder, and though I wipe them one at a time on my jeans, the smell won’t go away. I still see the blood, too, even though none of it got on me. There’d been a lot of it, though. If I hadn’t seen Mark get up and walk with my own two eyes, I would be worried I’d killed him.

As much as I want to get away from Mark, I couldn’t kill him. It’s certainly not that I love him anymore, but taking a human life just isn’t in me. Hell, taking any life. Mark and his best friend always made fun of me when I wanted to set the mice free from the traps rather than kill them. Mark had better be glad that’s the type of person I am.

Static replaces the low, monotonous voice of the town’s only radio broadcaster. I switch off the sound, and a flash of blue catches my eye in the rearview. I lift my gaze, and my stomach sinks. A cop is behind me, and the blue lights insist I pull over.

Damnit. With one hand, I direct the car over to the side of the road while I reach for my purse that isn’t on the passenger seat where I always drop it. Then I remember I left the house without anything but my clothes and keys. Double damn.

I hear the squawk of the cop’s radio as he approaches the side of my car. His long, black flashlight taps against the driver’s window, and I sigh, knowing the only way out of this is to tell the truth…well, some of it anyway.

Blinking rapidly against the glare of the light, I press the button to lower my window. My gaze tilts upwards and connects with hazel eyes. A sinfully handsome face causes my breath to stall in my chest. The man standing outside the window of my Volvo is a cop, and I should give him the proper respect, but finding my voice proves impossible.

The darkness doesn’t allow me much of a view, but it’s enough to make my nerves dance. I glance at his full lips and realize they’re moving. He’s talking to me, and I blink several times in an attempt to regroup. My hand fumbles on the seat next to me.

“I-I’m sorry, Officer. I left my purse at home. I do have a driver’s license and insurance, but I was in a hurry. I didn’t even think about it, honestly.” I babble on for a few more seconds until the cop interrupts in deep, throaty bass.

“Have you been drinking?” He shines the flashlight into the interior, and the beam slides over my denim-clad legs before sliding up my thin t-shirt.  I hadn’t had the time to grab a coat, and as cold as it is outside, it’s no wonder my outfit looks suspicious. His gaze pierces mine again while he waits for my answer.

I attempt to swallow, but the lump in my throat is the victor. “No, I haven’t.” But I don’t blame him for asking.

“Would you step out of the car, please?” He opens the door and takes a step back to give me room.

Trembling, I follow his command, closing the door behind me so I can lean against the coldness of the steel. A gust of frigid wind lifts the hair off the nape of my neck, and the trembles segue to shivers.

The officer drags his gaze back to the interior of my car before fixing it on me again. He’s staring at me, and I don’t like it. I’ve had just about enough of me treating me like I’m a piece of meat. Of course, now isn’t the time to get defensive. Instead, I return his stare, but I have to look up, way up, to face him. “Do you mind telling me why you stopped me?” I silently congratulate myself on the composed question.

He juts his chin toward the front of the Volvo. “You have a headlight out.”

If only he could see how relieved I am…Something as simple as a headlight, I can deal with. “Oh, that. Yes, I know. I’ve been meaning to fix it, but it just keeps slipping my mind. I’m sorry.” I lift my shoulders in an apologetic manner, but the stern look on the cop’s face remains.

“What’s your name?” The look on his face dares me to lie.

“Emily. Emily Murdoch.” I accept the challenge by using my mother’s maiden name which is also my middle name.

“Where do you live, Miss Murdoch?”

Shit. The last thing I want is for him to know my real name. Living in Broomtown has taught me that cops cannot be trusted. As gorgeous as this one is, I still won’t let my guard down. I paste an easygoing smile on my face and lie again. “Juniper Springs.”

His eyebrows lift, and my heart pounds. Did I say something wrong? Can he tell I’m lying now? “Really?”

I stick to my story, replying with only a stiff nod.

“You mind if I take a look inside your car?”

“Not at all.” I move away from the door and wave my hand as though granting entrance to my minions. What else am I supposed to do? If I said no, he’d have come up with a reason to arrest me. That’s what all cops do.

His concludes his search quickly and straightens to face me. “It’s too dangerous to be driving these dark roads with only one headlight, Miss Murdoch. I suggest you get it fixed first thing tomorrow morning.” He switches off the flashlight. “Drive safely.”

I watch him walk away while my legs threaten to collapse. Once back inside my car, I take in great gulps of air and lean my head back against the rest. But something tells me I shouldn’t be relieved. The cop bought my story too easily. Which probably means he didn’t just find me by accident.

A sick feeling settles in the pit of my stomach. Mark is already on the hunt.

Connecting Strangers
Discovering Emily Series
Book 1
Rachel Carrington
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Date of Publication: July 21, 2014
ISBN:
ASIN:
Word Count: ~67,000
Cover Artist: Elaina Lee of For the Muse Designs
Book Description:
Getting close is dangerous…
He’s too close, and I start to fidget, needing to keep my hands busy so they won’t grab hold of his shirt. Because that’s what they want to do. Draw him closer. So I can Inhale his scent. Taste his skin.
I didn’t run because I was in an abusive relationship; I ran because my soul was being crushed. I’d forgotten how to live, how to be happy. Running out of gas in a small town, I catch the eye of the local sheriff when the very last thing I want is to come under the scrutiny of the police. I left my boyfriend with blood on my hands, and I know as soon as the wound heals he’ll come looking for me.
Adam Madison draws me to him so easily I can’t even pretend to fight. And the closer we get, the more combustible we become.  I’ve never experienced such passion or power. My need is as great as his, but I’m sure he’ll walk away from me once he knows my secret. No other man would stay.

 

I’ve had enough complications in my life. I’m not looking for more, and that’s exactly what Adam is—a sexy, magnetic complication with secrets of his own. And with my ex on the hunt, I can’t risk bringing him down with me. But he won’t leave…even when vengeance could kill us both.
 
About the Author:
I started writing years ago, and my first attempt was a contemporary romance that will never see the light of day. I think I may even have thrown it away by now. It was absolutely horrific as I knew nothing about well…anything to do with writing.
After that, I started writing fantasy romances about wizards and wizards, and once those took off, I segued to paranormal romances (hello, vampires and ghosts) and romantic suspense.
I also write articles for various magazines, including The Writer’s Journal, Writer’s Magazine, Writer’s Weekly, Writing for Dollars, Absolute Write, Freelance Writing.com, and Funds for Writers.
I’m fortunate to make my home in historical Charleston, South Carolina. Beautiful city. Beautiful people. When I’m not writing, I love to read, watch Bones, Castle, Blue Bloods, and Hawaii Five-O, create videos, keep Target in business, play visitor in my city, and drink lots of coffee.
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/rcarrington2004