Monday, April 15, 2024

One Way Out

 Blackmail, kidnapping, stalking, death threats…some days, you just can’t win!


One Way Out

Nick Seven Book 9

by Tim Smith

Genre: Thriller, Romantic Suspense


Blackmail, kidnapping, stalking, death threats... some days, you just can’t win!

Lauren Scott is a wealthy widow with a lot of embarrassing secrets. Her late husband, a convicted stock swindler, died under mysterious circumstances, just as he was about to name names in Federal court. His legacy supposedly includes a list of VIPs who attended sex parties on a private Caribbean island, among other things. Now Lauren has become the target of too many people who think she holds the secrets he once kept, and they just might kill her for them.

She calls on her friends, former CIA spies Nick Seven and Felicia Hagens, for help. Despite initial misgivings, they agree to assist her. But their laidback Florida Keys life is quickly disrupted by those in hot pursuit, including a zealous podcaster who is making Lauren’s private life public, a Treasury agent, victims of her late husband’s Ponzi scheme, and a Southern governor who has his eye on the White House.

Looks like there might be trouble brewing in paradise.

 

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**Don’t miss the rest of the Nick Seven series!**

Get them here -

Book 1 Amazon * Series on Amazon

 

 About the Author


Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author of romantic mystery/thrillers and contemporary erotic romance. His novels featuring former CIA agent Nick Seven have garnered several awards and international critical praise. He is also a freelance writer, blogger, editor and photographer. When he isn’t pursuing those interests, he can be found in the Florida Keys, doing research in between parasailing and seeking out the perfect Mojito.

 

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Author Links

Website: https://allauthor.com/author/timsmith

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Giveaway

$10 Amazon

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

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Friday, April 12, 2024

The Bush Clinic

The Bush Clinic

The Tribal Wars Book 1

by Stella Atrium

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera


A space colonization story about seeking independence and home rule in the face of corporate greed. Tribal women bind together in a war zone where they are discounted as not important enough to save or keep safe.

On Dolvia, Lt. Mike Shaw demands Dr. Greensboro’s doctoring skills at the hospital, forcing the closure of her bush clinic. She witnesses forced labor, forced migration, and the threat of an epidemic from bad water. She sees how tribal women–often wearing burkas–find solutions for saving the children in a conflict zone, and she commits to the their cause for Home Rule.

Brianna Miller is an isolated girl–a mixed-blood orphan–among the Dolviet tribes. With the lessons from Dr. Greensboro, the abuse from soldiers, the sisterhood among victims, Brianna prepares for a future she will choose for herself. But first she must travel offworld.

 GUEST POST

What book do you think everyone should read 

The Little Prince is a classic for readers of all ages.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?

Some characters are added to a scene so the action work, but later they step forward a primary characters. I’m often as surprised as the reader.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

Today’s writers are lucky with internet research so that details can be vivid and follow the laws of physics (at the very least)

I like to develop magic out of found-in-nature wonders, such as Utcan’s talisman that is a serpent pouch based on a “mermaid’s purse,” shaped in nature by a shark for a developing fetus. Utcan can spy though a hole drilled in the head of a dead fetus in the pouch and view the universe. No lie; true story.

What do you think about the current publishing market?

Self-publishing changes every 18 months, and the services play follow the leader. If one group focused on direct sales from the writer’s website, soon enough all groups are offering the same. It’s all pay-for-play, so be certain that you have enough capital stashed away to afford the next steps such as offering audible books.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I like humor and romance and action, but not so much dark apocalyptic setups where everybody dies after torture. Set-ups begin to bore me. I do find that when writing a long scene, I start the think that somebody has to die soon so the sequence can end.  LOL

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t even get started. Writing is a life style choice. All your days are spent with characters that other people cannot know yet, and at the sacrifice of parties or friends or long walks with the dog.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Writing is a daily discipline. There are many tricks to get past the dread of facing the blank page. One principle that I found was that when a scene isn’t working, the problem may reside with earlier scenes where better action is required for continuity. The later event is an outgrowth of a previous action.


 HOME RULE was named a finalist in the Book Excellence Awards announced in April 2024.

**All books are half price at $1.99 in celebration!**

“First rate sci-fi novels. Atrium’s worlds compel both in their alien detail—and what they reveal about our own world.” -- BookLife

**On Sale for Only $1.99!**

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/62034817-the-bush-clinic

 

Book Trailer:

https://youtu.be/nUhdqzGWGP0

 

The Body Politic

The Tribal Wars Book 2


Brianna Miller returns to Dolvia where tribal women protest the oppressive rule of Rabbenu Ely by self-torchings in the Cylay Square. Brianna re-establishes her tribal schools and takes on assistant Kelly Osborn who is mixed blood and also a poet.

Kelly visits a neighboring planet Cicero where her aunt Carline Bryant takes over her education. While returning to Dolvia, Kelly meets the Australian adventurer Hershel Henry who has signed on for a tour of Dolvia as a photo-journalist. Henry takes an opportunity to interview the khalif on the opposing side of the tribal wars.

 EXCERPT

 

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Home Rule

The Tribal Wars Book 3


Brianna Miller and rebel leader Karlyhi emerge as leaders uniting the tribes against the offworld mining cartel. Reporter Hershel Henry opens a local newspaper to report a more honest version of events leading to regime change. But will bringing down Rabbenu Ely only stir more violence and unrest?

Unity starts at home. How can the tribes bind together as a nation-state after fighting among themselves for generations? Inspiring leaders are needed, and a flashpoint act that binds individuals to a single cause. When Henry witnesses (and broadcasts) the ninth death-by-fire, this one by respected teacher Kecouroo, all the tribes feel the outrage and call for Rabbenu Ely to step down.

 

**On Sale for Only $1.99!**

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Tribal Logic

The Tribal Wars Book 4


From Paris, Jesse Hartley jumps back to Dolvia in the galaxy's Westend. A bloodless coup on Stargate Junction interrupts her travel plans and sends her in a different direction. Hershel Henry is tasked with rescuing abandoned conscripts after the abusive Company withdraws from asteroid mining.

A change in leadership on Stargate Junction makes all characters question how the future will shape. How to survive the shifting loyalties among the city-states? Will my home even be there when I return?

While on a deep space rescue mission, Hershel Henry misses karsci on Dolvia the Abydian khalif steps down. Within the turmoil, will Henry connect with Jesse Hartley, or is that romance lost forever?

 

**Get it for Only .99cents or free in KU! **

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About the Author


Stella Atrium presents planet stories about female protagonists of diverse ethnicities who encounter obstacles relatable to our lives today. How do women in a conflict zone gain voice in the public square using the few tools available to women?

THE BUSH CLINIC received an Editor’s Pick from BookLife, a 2022 Artisan Book Review Award, and a 2023 Independent Press Award for Science Fiction.

The second novel titled THE BODY POLITIC also received an Editor's Pick from BookLife and a Artisan Book Review award.

HOME RULE debuted in the Top Ten Amazon rankings for the genre category in August 2023, securing an Editor's Pick from BookLife, a Literary Titan medallion, and another coveted Artisan Book Review Award for Science Fiction.

TRIBAL LOGIC: Book IV of The Tribal Wars was released in January 2024.

Also be certain to pick up Atrium’s standalone novel SEVEN BEYOND that won a 2014 Reader’s Favorites Award in Science Fiction.

 

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Author Links

Website: https://stellaatrium.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SAtriumWrites

X: https://twitter.com/SAtriumWrites

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/satriumwrites

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1377194.Stella_Atrium

  

Giveaway

$10 Amazon

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

https://bit.ly/TribalWarsTour

 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Not Quite a Scandal

 An inheritance lost. A betrothal threatened. A scandal brewing…

Not Quite a Scandal

Audacious Ladies of Audley Book 2

by Bliss Bennet

Genre: Historical Regency Romance


An inheritance lost. A betrothal threatened. A scandal brewing…

Outspoken Quaker Bathsheba Honeychurch knows how difficult it is for an unmarried woman to successfully champion political change. Her solution? Wed best friend Ash Griffin as soon as he comes of age and begin remaking the world. But when Ash’s urbane, aloof cousin arrives with inconceivable news, Sheba’s future dreams are suddenly at risk…

The death of the Earl of Silliman reveals an appalling lie: it is not Noel Griffin, but his long-lost cousin Ash, who is the true heir to their grandfather’s title. Raised to place family above all, Noel accepts his grandmother’s bitter charge: find Ash, disentangle him from his religious community, and train him to take on the responsibilities and privileges of a title that Noel had been raised to believe was his. Noel certainly won’t allow a presumptuous, irritating Quakeress to thwart him in doing his duty—no matter how fascinating he finds her...

When scandal threatens both their reputations, can Sheba and Noel look beyond past dreams and imagine a new world—together?

 EXCERPT

Before Sheba could offer an objection, Noel set himself in front of her. “Shall we try a simpler dance? A waltz, perhaps, M. de Brunhoff?”

A look of relief passed over the poor dancing master’s face. “As you wish, monsieur.”

The restlessness Noel had felt all afternoon, being in Sheba’s company but not the focus of her attention, settled as soon as he guided her hands up to rest against his shoulders. Unlike the more demure society misses with whom he typically danced, she kept her head held high, eyes not shying away from his. But the pink tint of her cheeks blazed nearly scarlet when he set his hands not on her elbows, as she was obviously expecting, but more daringly against her waist. That elusive scent of honeysuckle enticed his nose, and he could almost swear he felt the pulse of her blood coursing beneath his fingers, even with the weight of her silk gown and stays and his gloves between them.

“March, march, march, march, then messieurs, pirouette, mesdamespas de bourée, pas de bourée, pas de bourée. Up, up, up on the toes, oui, oui…”

A satisfaction bone-deep settled over him at finally having Bathsheba Honeychurch in his arms. At being able to allow his eyes to roam without embarrassment or restraint over the sweep of her pert brows, the stretch of her lush mouth, the expanse of her graceful neck below that tip-tilted chin, confident and defiant in turn. He’d never had much sympathy for Goethe’s self-indulgent Werther, but the romantic hero’s assertion that “a maiden whom I loved, or for whom I felt the slightest attachment, never, never, never should waltz with any one else but with me” struck him as painfully apt.

He twirled her carefully, silently, unwilling to allow meaningless small-talk to distract him from a pleasure he feared he’d never stop craving.

She, too, remained quiet as the slow notes of the waltz enveloped them in a bubble of awareness, her blue eyes roving his face as his roved hers. She blinked, and blinked again, as if she could not quite understand what she was seeing.

Might she be beginning to recognize, even if she could not quite yet allow herself to believe, that the man standing opposite her might be more vital to her happiness than the one dancing on the other side of the room?

Yes, this was how he would win her. Not by wooing her with words, but by allowing her to see the truth of what he felt.

“Ah, yes, my lady, with what elegance you dance!” M de Brunhoff cried as Ash and Delphie twirled past him. “Now, let us vary the posture, eh? Messieurs, place your right arm fully about your partner’s waist, et mesdames, rest your hand and arm on your partner’s shoulder.”

Noel swallowed, then laced his arm behind Sheba’s waist. Although he kept her at a decorous distance, the heat of her warmed his entire side. And when her hand crept up his shoulder, her corseted breast mere inches from his chest, that warmth turned molten.

He felt, as well as heard, Sheba’s breath catch in her throat as his fingers tightened against her side.

The beat of the music, the tap of their slippers against the polished floor, the hum of pleasure he could not quite keep contained—Noel spun, and spun, dizzy with the turning, near giddy with longing.

 

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Book Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Quite-Scandal-Audacious-Ladies-Audley-ebook/dp/B0C5N946Y8

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/not-quite-a-scandal-audacious-ladies-of-audley-book-2-by-bliss-bennet

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/157199882-not-quite-a-scandal

 

About the Author

Bliss Bennet writes smart, edgy novels for readers who love history as much as they love romance. Despite being born and bred in New England, Bliss has always been fascinated by the history of that country across the pond, particularly the politically-volatile period known as the English Regency. Though she's visited Britain several times, Bliss continues to make her home in the States, along with her spouse and an ever-multiplying collection of historical reference books.

 

Bliss's Regency-set historical romances have been praised as "savvy, sensual, and engrossing" by  USA Today, "catnip for the Historical Romance reader" by Bookworlder, "romantic, funny, touching, and extremely well-researched" by All About Romance, and "everything you want in a great historical romance" by The Reading Wench. Bliss's latest book is Not Quite a Scandal, the second book in The Audacious Ladies of Audley series.

 

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Author Links

Website: https://www.blissbennet.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blissbennetauthor

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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blissbennetwrites

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14156261.Bliss_Bennet


Giveaway

$10 Amazon

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Necrosis

 Every breath could be their last.

Necrosis

by C.L. Schneider

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Horror


How far would you go to survive—when every breath could be your last?

Amidst the chaos and fear of an apocalyptic virus, a mother fights to protect her daughter from the rotting remains of society. Navigating a frightening new world where survival is paramount and trust is a gamble, infection is only a misstep away. Despite her doubts and imperfections, Amy’s love and resolve are without question. But are they enough? Can she shield her daughter from the violence and savagery, and keep them both alive another day? For, at the end of the world, there’s no second chance. With a single bite, necrosis will set in.

Sink your teeth into this zombie survival story with a twist ending you won't see coming!

Necrosis Excerpt

Raspy sounds of hunger pushed from her rotted throat, washing over me with the smell of old blood and things long dead. I didn’t understand how breath still rattled in her lungs. How her vocal cords, exposed and moldy, were still capable of producing noise—a terrible wet, scraping that was so far from human. So far from her.

My mother had a sweet voice in life. Melodic. Powerful, when she wanted it to be. Her songs were one of my sharpest memories as a child. They were the soundtrack of my youth. Everyone used to say, “Bridgette could have made it big.” If she didn’t have four kids, two jobs, and a husband who cared more for drinking than working. Now she’ll never sing again.

For some reason, the thought struck me harder than the look of her gray, decomposing flesh and patchy hair; sporadic clumps of white strands, matted and darkened with bloody tissue.

Beside me, my daughter screamed, with all the gusto of a nine-year-old whose world had fallen apart. Her gaze darted from the horror inching toward us in the dining room to the real-time carnage of my boyfriend’s death happening in the kitchen, and she screamed louder.

I put a hand over her mouth, silencing the high-pitched dinner bell before it carried into the street and brought more of the undead in through the busted front door. “Shhh, Lila, please,” I whispered. “You know better.”

She nodded, tears streaming, and I removed my hand. Her shoulders shrugged in a fast, heavy breath. “Grandma…” It was all she could get out before burying her face in my leg.

I peeled Lila off me and shoved her toward the bathroom. “In there. Lock the door. Don’t open it for anyone but me. Go!”

Lila hurried off, messy, brown ponytail bouncing, as her short legs carried her down the hall and into the bathroom. The door closed. Locked. I imagined her hiding in the bathtub, curled up in a ball, clutching the dirty ladybug covered backpack she hadn’t put down since we left home. I raised the tire iron in my grip and vowed, as I had a hundred times, to do whatever was necessary to protect her. Lila was the only good thing I’d ever done in my life.

We shouldn’t have brought her here, I thought, watching my mother’s bloated jaw, snapping involuntarily, searching for a meal. My stare darted to the body in the kitchen, blood-soaked and twitching, as the mindless fiends bent over my boyfriend, devouring him alive.

It’s too much.

It's all too much. No child should have to see what we’ve all become.

We should have gone to the country like Rusty wanted. There’s too many in the city. Coming home was a mistake.

The outbreak was too widespread for an old, wheelchair dependent woman with a bad hip to survive on her own. If I’d gotten here sooner…. But there were too many states between us, and with the roads clogged and gas scarce and wandering bands of the undead everywhere, the trip became painfully long. My mother couldn’t run, couldn’t fight. But I let wishes override common sense, and convinced myself she’d be here, barricaded in, alive and well. Maybe, with Mr. and Mrs. Hitchens next door. Or the Walker family on the corner. It was a close-knit neighborhood. Everyone looked after each other. Particularly her, after my father left.

Yet, in my heart I knew better.

I knew I’d find her stricken with the virus, holed up in the dusty rooms of the ramshackle house I grew up in. I knew what she’d look like, flesh disintegrating and mind gone. I knew what I’d have to do. I’d seen, and killed, enough of the ravaged these last four months to be prepared.

Except, I wasn’t.

Her sallow, blood-stained eyes (once a soft brown) locked on me, not with the love of a mother, but with the malice of a starving predator. Her bloated fingers, tips torn down to the nailbed, dug into the floor as she crawled toward me. She wouldn’t stop unless I stopped her.

 

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61879560-necrosis

Book Trailer:

https://youtu.be/0IMEjDTRfc4


 

About the Author


C. L. Schneider is an award-winning author of immersive fantasy fiction, including The Crown of Stones Trilogy and the Nite Fire Series. While fantasy is her main focus, she also pens the occasional horror or apocalyptic tale. Born in a small Kansas town, Schneider resides in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley Region with her husband and two sons. To learn more about the worlds she creates, please visit her website www.clschneiderauthor.com or connect with C. L. Schneider on social media, where she is an active part of the indie author community.

 

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Author Links

Website: https://www.clschneiderauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CLS.Author

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Giveaway

Signed copy of Necrosis,

$20 Amazon giftcard – 1 winner each!

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Her Duke at Midnight

 A governess and her secret take an invincible duke by storm…

Her Duke at Midnight

Mythic Dukes Book 3

by Wendy LaCapra

Genre: Historical Paranormal Regency Romance


A governess and her secret take an invincible duke by storm...

The Duke of Hurtheven will stop at nothing to protect those he loves. So, when a mysterious new governess captures his godchild’s affection, he vows to uncover her secrets. Instead, she sets him aflame.

Miss Hera Bythesea accepted a governess position to secure the character reference she needs to reclaim her secret child. But she did not count on Hurtheven—curious, relentless, and temptation in human form.

In Hera's world, Hurtheven faces a challenge his power and wealth cannot solve. But for the love of unwed mother and child, he’ll undertake any Herculean Labor.

 EXCERPT

Excerpt

(The heroine, Hera, meets the Duke of Hurtheven just after he discovers her charge–his goddaughter–wandering alone in a hedge)

He was close enough for his breath to raise gooseflesh on her neck. Who could steal up behind a person so quickly and not make a sound? A devil incarnate, that was who.

No matter. She squared her shoulders. She’d faced devils before.

She swiveled around with as much dignity as she could muster. “There you are!” She addressed Felicia. “I’m very disappointed in you, young lady.”

Felicia chewed her lip, glancing between her nursemaid and the duke. With eyes wide and innocent, she wrapped her arm more tightly around the duke’s neck.

“You must be the incomparable new nursemaid.” Hurtheven’s tone suggested he found her anything but.

“Indeed.” Though she dropped a quick curtsy, she made certain her tone revealed her own disdain. “I’m afraid, however, you have me at a loss.”

“Do I?” He revealed a line of white, even teeth in neither a smile, nor a sneer, but a chilling combination of the two.

“Well”—she wet her lips—“I imagine I would remember if we’d been introduced.”

“Of course you would.”

Ugh. The arrogance. Her initial assessment had, of course, been correct.

Well, if he wasn’t going to own up to being a duke, she needn’t treat him as one. She fixed a level gaze on him and held out her arms. “If I might have my charge, Mr.—?”

He did not immediately reply. In fact, he didn’t speak until the tendons on the back of her knees started to quiver. A useful silence, Karl had called that trick. But she could no longer be tricked. She kept her expression patient, pleasant.

The duke returned his attention to the child. “Hurt?”

Fee scoffed. “No.”

The duke exhaled, holding her close for a significant moment.

Hera inhaled sharply. Hot embarrassment prickled in her neck as if she were witnessing something she ought not. He’d been genuinely frightened.

“Fee,” the duke addressed the child, “you must go back inside…and stay there.”

Her little fingers dug into his skin. “Can’t I stay with you?”

He angled his head to meet her gaze and his expression softened. “Ah, but if you do stay with me, you’d have to be a proper lady and greet every one of your father’s guests.”

Fee dropped her jaw, widened her eyes, and then violently shook her head.

“I didn’t think so.” He touched her nose. “Now, you go back upstairs, and I promise I’ll be up to see you when the party is finished.”

Fee pouted. “You’ve been gone forever.”

He nodded. “An interminable amount of time, I agree. And I missed you every day—”

No. No. She would not reconsider her judgement of the man just because he looked into Felicia’s eyes with tenderness and spoke to her as if she were the most important thing to him in the world.

“—An hour longer is all I ask. Surely the party guests will be leaving by midafternoon. And, if you go quietly, and Mrs. Montrose tells me you’ve been good, I promise presents tonight.”

Fee considered. “Good presents?”

“The best, of course.” Fleetingly, he met Hera’s gaze over Fee’s head. “They’re from me, aren’t they?”

Hera bit back a groan.

“You do give good presents.” Felicia nodded. “I’ll go.”

“And be good?” he prompted.

“And be good.” She parroted.

“That’s my girl.” He kissed Fee’s forehead before planting her on her feet.

As Hera reached out to take Fee’s hand, her arm brushed his, singeing her flesh. Fire and brimstone.

“I trust”—he spoke as if she were the errant child—”you will not to lose her again.”

“Of course not. She’s promised you to be good.” Hera matched his authoritative baritone with her best no-nonsense nursemaid voice. “Good day.”

Her still-tucked-up skirts may have belied her bravado, but she turned and walk back to the house, head held high. All will be well.

“Mrs. Montrose?”

She stopped.

“That is your name?”

His voice dripped with undisguised suspicion.

She glanced back over her shoulder. How had he discovered her surname was false? Or—she narrowed her eyes—was he just guessing?

“Why would I lie about my name?” she asked.

“Why, indeed.” He lifted a brow, not in the least cowed nor convinced by her insouciance. “I was merely making sure I remembered correctly.”

She smiled, briefly and innocently. “Allow me to reassure you…your memory is sound.” She tilted her head in a pitying manner. “My father had trouble remembering things in his later years, too.”

Without waiting to see his reaction, she returned her gaze to the door and quickened her pace.

Obviously, all was not going to be well.

She could carefully advance across this checkered board while employing every ounce of competence and skill she possessed and still find herself ruthlessly knocked aside. This man wasn’t a pawn. He wasn’t even a rook, a knight, or a king.

This man was the player.

And his presence challenged everything.

 

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His Duchess at Eventide

Mythic Dukes Book 2


Lovers reunited & a dukedom reclaimed—the Regency meets the Odyssey

Lord Cheverley, son of the Duke of Ithwick, returns to England devastated physically and emotionally by seven years of war, a shipwreck, and six years in the captivity of a brutal pirate. The courts have declared him dead, and his wife is entertaining suitors. Should he demand his rightful place, disrupting his family’s lives, or should he return to sea, seeking vengeance against the pirate? He sets out to find the answer in disguise.

Penelope once believed in love, but then the man who swept her off her feet deserted her, leaving her and her unborn child utterly alone. She will do anything to protect her son, including enlisting the aid of a mysterious sea captain to uncover the true intentions of her devious suitors. But the captain soon awakens something in Penelope, and she begins to suspect he is no stranger. But, as they peel back the layers of a deadly plot, can this broken family heal their wounds in time to save what really matters?

 EXCERPT

One

November 1805

Wind whipped Captain Lord Cheverley’s improvised sail against his raft’s mast. Salted sea-spray stung his lips and gusts roared in his ears. Using his shoulder, he wiped rain from his eyes and then re-wedged the paddle between his left arm and leg. Thighs straining, he gripped the groaning rudder.

He hadn’t survived the unspeakable—seven years of war, a shipwreck, the loss of his right arm below the elbow, and six excruciating years of captivity—only to fail now.

Had he?

Wine-dark depths did not defer to long-serving officers of the Royal Navy. Frothy white waves were indifferent to sons of dukes. And life-hungry storms didn’t give a damn if they stripped wives of their husbands, or sons of their fathers.

Penelope. Thaddeus. Vast emptiness yawned. Instinctively, he beseeched the heavens. Please. I must survive.

No god answered, only darkness without direction, no land, no guiding stars. The blank, shifting water beneath promised death—the same, slow demise that had claimed the lives of Chev’s fellow seamen stationed with him on the HMS Defiance.

That gale, too, had materialized as if summoned by Poseidon’s trident, without warning and yet powerful enough to devour his sixty-four-gun ship. Rocks like rusted knives protruded from a deadly shoal. Waves thundered without reprieve, breaking the Defiance into pieces unfit for kindling. And his ship’s end had been only the beginning of his nightmare.

Tu n’es rien. You are nothing. Je te possède maintenant en entier. I own every part of you, now.

His raft listed. He spit over the side.

How much adversity could a man face before he surrendered to annihilation’s mercy? How god-damned much?

The wind bellowed. Siren whispers sounded, sensing weakness—supplicate, surrender, submit.

What did he have to offer the world he’d left behind? He’d thought he’d return a hero. Instead, he was broken in body and soul. If he yielded to the storm, would it not be kinder to his family and a just restitution for his sins?

Memories feathered through his thoughts. His face buried in the softness of Penelope’s hair. Her fingers, drifting in soothing circles against the small of his back.

He inhaled deep, straining against invisible bonds and roaring back into the wind. He cursed fate. He cursed God. He cursed the pirate witch who’d kept him captive. Then, he cursed himself.

His anger crystalized in breath, clouding the chilled air. He’d escaped captivity, darkness, restraints. Zephyr’s winds and Poseidon’s waves demanded the final say, but he would not give up without a fight.

Not tonight.

The bundle strapped across his back held what little remained of hung beef and brandy. His cask of fresh water ran low, but he had enough to last another day.

He smothered his weakness, gritted his teeth, and held fast to the rudder.

He’d survive.

He’d survive on the pure need for vengeance.

What Readers Are Saying:

Romance and adventure that will keep you up at night!

-Eva Devon

...stunning in its emotional intensity and, for me, her best writing yet. The journey of these characters shattered my heart, filled me with hope, and kept me reading late into the night, finally releasing me with the reassurance that some bonds, though stretched beyond imagination, cannot be broken, that evil foes can be vanquished, that love wins.

-PJ on the Romance Dish

His Duchess at Eventide is a tale that is all things fabulous, mythical and epic. …I know Chev, Penelope and their romance will have a firm place on my ebook keeper shelf and in my memory.

-Gayle on Lady Celeste Reads Romance

Stunning, Emotional, Heartbreaking and full of hope , this has to be one of my all time favourite books.

-Maggie, Amazon Reviewer


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Her Duke at Daybreak

Mythic Dukes Book 1


2018 Romance Writers of America® RITA® Contest Finalist

A devilish duke & a proper widow agree to three nights, but will explosive passion cost more than they have bargained?

Infamous for his pedigree of madness and murder, the reclusive Duke of Ashbey believes he cannot feel until a mysterious woman unlocks a world of sensation in a single, shattering moment of connection. Ash casts a desperate bid for more.

Recent widow Alicia Stone has long been reviled as the chief impediment to a love affair that captured the nation’s imagination. Publicly, she settled for respectability’s cold comfort, but, secretly, she longs to experience what she never found with her famous husband—uninhibited passion. When Ashbey proposes a discreet three-night assignation, Alicia shocks herself by accepting. But will their explosive union cost them both far more than they bargained?

 EXCERPTS

ONE

 

A distinctly male scent filled the air—wealthy male, a scent she recognized but could not place. Hair on her neck raised; she forced a calming breath. Nothing came of panic. She’d learned that on the high seas.

“Please, have a seat.”

His cultured intonation disproved her first assumption—that he was yet another of Octavius’s creditors, the horrid men who demanded money in the most unlikely of places.

“Imprisonment,” she said coolly, “is not to my taste. And if it is not to yours, I suggest you unlock that door.”

“Admirable restraint,” he said.

“Losing one’s head is a luxury afforded only to those accustomed to care.”

He made a deep, humming sort of sound, a sound she felt in her belly.

“A woman such as yourself should be accustomed to care.”

She added outrageous to a list that included male, wealthy, and cultured. “I do not believe we’ve been introduced, Mr. —?”

“The honorific you seek is Your Grace.”

She turned. His face was illuminated by the faint glow spilling from a lighted sconce.

The duke—if he was truly a duke—was at least a full head taller than she, but it was his smoldering eyes that sparked recognition. He was the man from the funeral.

For a split second that might as well have been an eternity, her mind went blessedly blank. Then, bereft of thought’s direction, her senses began to dance.

Stop, she ordered.

But he smells so nice, they whined.

“You’ve surmised you are in no immediate danger.”

But she was in danger. Pure peril, actually—past, present and future. “Have I surmised correctly?”

 

TWO

 

Either they were swaying, or the room had started to rock. Alicia wasn’t sure which sensation she should heed. Her weight rested on her right foot, now, her left…but neither foot was keeping her aloft. She remained upright only because Ashbey held her against his chest as if she were his cherished bride.

She was not his cherished bride.

Nor would this be a marital coupling done with hasty discretion beneath the proper shielding of sheets—thank heavens.

The duke restrained his masculine force, but it hung in the air like a scent, taunting. Tempting. She’d glimpsed his manhood—he was already cocked and fully primed.

He’d said something before taking her into his arms. Something that had roused her anger. Only she couldn’t remember his words. She could not remember any words, for that matter. Words were stupid and useless, a mere nothing next to the wanton anticipation thrilling her blood.

Tonight, she’d finally understand the sounds that had filled those long-ago Caribbean evenings. She’d make sense of the shadows she’d seen dancing on the walls. She’d learn passion, unrestrained.

She wanted it all—all the sighs, the groans, the pleasure—and she wanted it now.

Her hands crept up his hard forearms and into the unbelievable softness of his hair. Tentatively, she stroked his neck.

He ceased swaying, and a rumbling noise tore from his core. The desperate sound unleashed a sense of power, as if he had been formed for her and her alone.

“Kiss me.” She lifted her face.

He guided her mouth to his. The slide of his lips and the exploration of his tongue combined. This was more than a kiss. The heat of his mouth promised all she needed. Greedily, she demanded more.

“Slow,” he said through a ragged breath.

She shook her head no. Desire’s waves were rollicking and fast. Why wade tentatively into the ocean when she longed to dive and submerge?

She hadn’t felt him loosen the laces of her dressing gown, but the silk slipped from her shoulders down into the crooks of her arms.

 

THREE

 

Lady Stone stirred, releasing him from his thoughts. He planted a kiss on her shoulder. Even her skin was sweet.

“Mmmm,” she responded.

Carefully, he brushed the hair from her face. “Good morning, Lady Stone.”

Dream’s mist cleared from her eyes. “Alicia,” she whispered. And then, she smiled.

An unfamiliar feeling entered his heart—light and heady, as if he were galloping free.

“Alicia.” He tested the name. The consonants spilled over tongue like water. Alicia.

Now he understood why she had, at first, refused to call him Ash. The gift of her name was more intimate a gesture than anything they’d yet shared.

Too intimate.

He’d pleasured Lady Stone. He could remain thankful, even devoted to Lady Stone from afar. But Alicia? Alicia was someone he must gather up close and protect.

A discordant note clanged in his soul.

The best way he could protect Alicia was to let her go.

“Good morning, Ash.”

He gathered her into his arms and held tight.

“Ah, Ash,” she sighed.

How could a single sigh transport him from despair to—what was that word? Was there a word for feeling all would be right with the world?

She pulled away. Her lids swept down as her cheeks pinked. “I require a bit of privacy.”

“Of course.”

He set her free. Reluctantly.

She glanced back half way across the room, her shy, sweet smile more dangerous than a primed pistol. Then, she disappeared into the adjoining chamber, but not before nervously adjusting her shift.

Why was she nervous? She was utterly perfect. She’d always be utterly perfect. At least, to him. He settled back into the pillows, propping his head on his arm.

The child of a madman, even a madman with a ducal title, was bound to be lonely. His father had never harmed him, but he thought it wise to act as everyone else in the household and keep out of his father’s way.

Alone in his chambers, he’d taken comfort in sounds of human activity—cleaning, brushing, polishing…the clank of dishes, the swish of a gardener’s scythe. But this was the sound he had longed for—the sound of someone for whom he cared, going about a trivial occupation. Life, shared.

His chest pierced—the price he’d have to pay for the return of his feeling. But his three stolen days were not over.

She emerged with another, private smile.

Not in the least.

What Readers Are Saying:

"Great characters. Great sex. Great story." -Author Abigail Sharp

"Ms LaCapra has loaded this book with drama, a bit of angst (but notanoverdose), a sprinkle of humor and sizzle. I was glued to this bookfrom start to finish, it's just that good." -Deb Diem, Goodreads

"Her Duke at Daybreak is a steamy romance but it is so much more. It is the joining of two lost souls." -Kelly Tyree, Goodreads

"This is my first experience of Wendy's books , it won't be the last. Her characters are wonderful and her writing is riveting." -Maggie Whitworth, Goodreads

"This was a Happily Ever After that almost didn't happen so that makes it all the more enjoyable when it finally comes." -Diane, Goodreads

 

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About the Author


Historical Romance author Wendy LaCapra writes award-winning books reviewers describe as ‘heart-pounding, entrancing’, ‘lusciously romantic and sparkling with wit.’ As a teen, Wendy discovered spine-tingling gothics in her local public library, inspiring her to craft her own seductive tales full of secrets and scandal. She lives with her husband in a quirky, historic building in NYC and loves a girls’ night in. For new release, sale alerts and other news, sign up at http://bit.ly/GetWendyNews

 

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Giveaway

$10 Amazon

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One Way Out

 Blackmail, kidnapping, stalking, death threats…some days, you just can’t win! One Way Out Nick Seven Book 9 by Tim Smith Genre: T...