04 July 2022

Ashes to Ashes Series Aubrey Blake Thrillers, Book One by Rachel Ford Book Release and Giveaway! @ninestarpress @indigomarketingdesign #LGBTQIA+

Title: Ashes to Ashes

Series: Aubrey Blake Thrillers, Book One

Author: Rachel Ford

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/28/2022

Heat Level: 1 - No Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 93800

Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, murder mystery, crime, lesbian, private detective, cleric/priest, guns, violence, anger issues, Action/adventure, bartenders, pets, religion, revenge, slow burn

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Description

A private eye and a vigilante priest face off to bring down a corrupt band of evildoers—by the book, or off the books. Her way, or his.

Years ago, Aubrey Blake joined the police force to make a difference. She almost lost everything in the pursuit of justice. Now she’s about to do it again.

Disillusioned with her former career, she makes a living as a private detective. A living, but not a life.

Then the killings start. The police are on it. But Blake can’t let it be. She can’t walk away. She’s not wired that way.

Then again, neither are the killers…

Excerpt

Ashes to Ashes

Rachel Ford © 2022

All Rights Reserved


Chapter One


The old man glanced at his watch. Thirteen minutes after nine. He was behind schedule. He should have been at the halfway mark already. He should have passed it thirteen minutes ago.


He gritted his teeth and pressed onward, pumping his legs as fast as they’d go. Not so fast these days. People might say age was only a number, but those people didn’t understand numbers. Numbers weren’t just innocuous lines on a page or a reflection of self-image. Numbers made the difference between success and failure, on time or too late, life and death.


One hundred and forty-five beats per minute.


Eleven hundred feet per second.


One round.


One shot.


One kill.


If you dug deep enough, everything was a numbers game. And right now, he was losing. He’d covered just about two miles. That meant he still had over two miles left. And forty-seven minutes to do it in.


Numbers, again. It all came down to numbers. Twenty years ago, those numbers wouldn’t have made a difference. But age understood the numbers game, even if people didn’t. Arthritic knees and old lungs and stiff hips understood the difference twenty years could make.


He puffed as he walked, drawing in one short, quick breath after the next. He hit the two-mile mark about three minutes later.


Two miles.


Halfway.


Forty-four minutes left.


He hit the nine-thirty mark a little closer to schedule. He still had over a mile to go, but he’d been making up lost time. He was close now.


Nine hours. Thirty minutes after the hour.


There’d be meetings and doctor appointments and lawyer appointments and business openings happening all over town right now. But that wasn’t what those numbers meant to the old man.


He was contemplating an entirely different set of figures.


Eleven hundred feet per second.


One round.


Tyler Morehouse was already dead. If everything had gone according to plan, he would have been dead about five minutes earlier.


One shot.


One kill.


And if it hadn’t? Well, the old man had bigger problems to worry about than his heart rate. And that was certainly higher than one hundred and forty-five beats per minute.


A hundred and forty-five beats per minute was the maximum recommended heart rate for a guy his age, according to something he’d read online a long time ago. American Heart Association, or John Hopkins Medicine, maybe. He didn’t remember at the moment, but he remembered the formula: two hundred and twenty beats per minute, minus your age.


One hundred and forty-five, in his case. Another set of critical numbers. He was feeling the impact of ignoring those numbers.


His breathing had grown more laborious, and his lungs burned. He felt mild tightness in his chest.


Six.


That was what he would have rated himself on the pain scale his doctor liked to use: six out of ten. Which, he decided, pun not intended, left him a little breathing room. He still had four out of ten degrees of pain left before he was either immobile or dead.


Four degrees and thirty minutes to go. He’d faced worse. He could tough that out.


And he did. Half an hour and two minutes later, he made the rendezvous. The bench was occupied, as per the arrangement. He took a seat next to the other man and didn’t say anything. He just sat there puffing with exertion and slipped a smartphone out of his pocket.


The other guy didn’t speak either. He took the phone and slid it into his own pocket. They sat there for three minutes, until five after ten.


Then the other guy got up. The old man stayed seated, stayed puffing long breaths of air into old lungs that weren’t used to that kind of exercise.


The other guy said, “It’s done.”


The old man nodded, but he didn’t speak. Not because it was some predetermined code or anything like that. He was still wheezing for breath.


“You okay?”


He nodded. “You better go. You’re on a schedule.”


“You sure you’re all right?”


“Just not used to that kind of pace.”


The other guy smiled, the kind of smile that writers would say “didn’t quite reach his eyes.” The old man hadn’t always understood that phrase, but once he’d lived long enough, he did. Age was more than just a number, after all. “Been a long time, hasn’t it?”


He nodded and said again, “You better go.”


And then the other guy did go. The old man sat on his bench alone, no longer counting the minutes as he collected his thoughts and caught his breath.


Tyler Morehouse was dead. It was over.

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Award-winning author Rachel Ford is a software engineer by day, and a writer most of the rest of the time. She is a Trekkie, a video gamer, and a dog parent, owned by a Great Pyrenees named Elim Garak and a mutt of many kinds named Fox (for the inspired reason that he looks like a fox).

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Revel In You by @scarlettselevabooks Book Blitz and Giveaway! #scarlettseleva #RevelInYou #XpressoTours @XpressoTours⁣

 

Revel In You
Scarlett Se Leva


(Determined, #3)
Publication date: June 30th 2022
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Simone Goodman.
The only girl I’ve loved.
Until she ripped my heart out.

It’s been five years since I’ve laid eyes on her.
Five years since she was mine.

I told myself never again.
But truth be told I still yearn to indulge in her.
To get lost in her touch.

I plan to own the one thing she’s denied me.
Her heart.


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EXCERPT:

I see Craig and Tinea across the room, sitting close to each other, whispering and giggling with flirty smiles in their eyes. I admire their love, but at times I can’t stand being around them. Always touching, petting, and kissing each other.

Like what the fuck.

You’re just jealous.

I’m anything but; I get to bang the girl on the cover of this month’s American Vogue.

Upon my approach, Craig leans over and kisses Tinea.

“You two are corny as hell,” I greet them, then place a kiss on Tinea’s cheeks before sitting.

“Don’t be kissing my wife.”

“She isn’t your wife yet,” I point out. “She could come to her senses and run away.” I laugh.

“Wishful thinking, Mulligan.” Craig laughs. “When you put it down like I do, you never worry about your woman leaving.” He winks at Tinea.

Is that a dig? Simone didn’t leave because I couldn’t fuck her brains out. She left because she’s a conceited bitch. She thinks only of herself. Only Simone has feelings, no one else. Men don’t feel. We do fucking feel, but we can’t show it the way women do cause were expected to be strong.

Fucked up world standards.

“You’re hilarious.”

The waiter comes over and takes my drink order.

“Let’s add mozzarella sticks, potato focaccia rolls, and bruschetta with spring vegetables,” Tinea orders.

“Are you ready to order your main course?” The waiter asks.

“We’re still looking,” Craig answers.

“Okay, let me get your appetizers in. I’ll be back with your drink,” the waiter says to the table before walking away.

“Have you started planning the wedding yet?” I ask Tinea as she sips on her drink through strawberry-red lips.

She nods and puts her glass down. “That’s why we asked you here.”

“What you want us to be a throuple?” I smirk.

“Do you not enjoy the air you breathe?” Craig sneers.

“So touchy.” I laugh.

Tinea snickers, looking sideways as she brings her drink back to her lips.

“The reason we wanted to meet up is, I would love for you to be my best man,” Craig says.

“Of course, I’m honored you asked.” Craig and I bump fists then I stand to give him a man hug, patting him on the back. I sit back in the chair. “You’re sure you don’t want to ask one of your brothers?” Craig has three brothers he’s very close with. I don’t want them to be upset that one of them weren’t chosen.

“No, dude, you’re my best friend. Besides if I choose one brother the other is going to be mad. It’s better this way.”

“I have to get Lisa to help me plan your bachelor’s party,” I say, a smile dance on my lips.

“If he’s going to have strippers I need to know, then I’ll make sure I have strippers at mine.”

“Ryan, I don’t want any strippers.” Craig’s brows snap together.

“What?” I give him a puzzled look.

“Why not?” Tinea rolls her eyes.

“Woman!” Craig growls.

Tinea snickers behind her hand. I always thought Tinea would run all over Craig, but he’s tamed the lioness.

We begin talking about the issues Craig is having at the investment firm he works at. He’s one of their top producers and is eyeing a promotion to become a fund manager.

“If I get this position I’ll be making the big bucks.” Craig beams.

He’s already making bank. He has a medium size portfolio over a hundred million. Craig graduated Summa Cum Laude, and I didn’t hesitate when I made the decision and gave him fifteen percent of my net worth to manage.

The account has grown…

Wait a fucking minute?

It’s as if I suddenly have static in my clothes, and there’s a zap to my brain.

“Who’s going to be the maid of honor?”

“Simone,” Tinea says as she sheepishly looks away.

I’m left speechless. My mind spins as if I just came off a fair ride.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” I bark. I look between Craig and Tinea. Craig is my friend, or so I thought. Why the hell would he think this is a good decision is beyond me. Are they trying to play matchmaker? Simone and I have been down this road twice. I’ve accepted we aren’t meant to be.

That’s not a road I’m willing to travel down again. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, this would be the third time and I’m not a fucking jackass.


Scarlett Se Leva writes unexpected, steamy, suspenseful romance.

When Scar isn’t busy penning her next book, you can find her with her family watching movies, drinking wine, curled up in a corner with a book or running after her three daughters.

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The Jane Thing by Tracy Broemmer Book Release Tour! @IndiePenPR #indiepenpr #tracybroemmer

 


  In THE JANE THING by Tracy Broemmer, Gideon Reece finds himself living with his sister’s best friend who is all sunshine and chatter. However, the more time we spend together, the more I’m realizing that Skye Stafford is different from any woman I’ve ever known, but I can’t risk ruining her friendship with my sister. Fans of Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey will devour this must-read enemies to lovers, best friend’s sibling romance from the Meet Cute Book Club Series.

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In THE JANE THING by Tracy Broemmer, Gideon Reece finds himself living with his sister’s best friend who is all sunshine and chatter. However, the more time we spend together, the more I’m realizing that Skye Stafford is different from any woman I’ve ever known, but I can’t risk ruining her friendship with my sister. Fans of Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey will devour this must-read enemies to lovers, best friend’s sibling romance from the Meet Cute Book Club Series.


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When my best friend asks me to put her brother up at my place for a while, I’m totally on board. After all, I practically grew up in Chloe and Gideon’s house, so I used to kind of know him. Those childhood memories don’t compare to the real Gideon Reece when he shows up ready to be my temporary roommate. He’s grown into a smoking hot guy complete with tattoos, rakish-looking hair, and a face that looks like art. Too bad he’s a pompous jerk.

My sister’s best friend is going to drive me crazy before my stay here is over. She’s prettier than I remember, but she’s all sunshine and chatter, like she thinks we’re going to be besties while I’m here. Spoiler alert: we’re not. I’m here to secure a job and find a place to live, and in the meantime, I have no interest in palling around with Skye Stafford.

Then why did I kiss her? Probably the same reason I can’t get her off my mind. She’s completely different from any woman I’ve ever known, and to my regret, I can’t get enough of her. I have to keep my hands to myself, because I’d never forgive myself if I came between Chloe and Skye. 

 

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Copyright 2022 @Tracy Broemmer


“What are you doing?” 

Frame in one hand and my hammer in the other, I stop just inside my bedroom and look at Gideon.

“What’s it look like?”

My sarcasm flies out the window when he tips his head like he’s actually thinking about it. I feel the heat from his intense stare as it travels up over my black heels and bare legs and skinny gray pencil skirt. What had he called it last night? Corporate getup?

“Kinda like an eighties music video,” he answers with a shrug. “Maybe porn.”

Stunned by his answer, I take half a second to wonder if I’m offended. The laugh pops out before I make up my mind. I hold out the hammer and twist it this way and that and finally shudder when I look back at him.

“I’m going to hang his picture.” I turn my back on him and put the frame and hammer down on my bed. 

“Want help?”

I peek at him over my shoulder and shake my head. “No thanks.”

“Well, I mean, you can’t just hammer a nail in a wall and be done with it. You have to measure, so you’re not crooked.”

“I’m not crooked,” I promise him. I kick off my heels and lead him to the spot on the wall I’ve already measured and marked. “I did that first.”

Rather than look at the spot on the wall, Gideon studies me. Up close to him like this, I smell his cologne. Something woodsy but not overpowering. He also smells like old books or at least an old building—like the mix of paper and dust. 

“Did you work late?” he asks me, and when I shake my head, he asks, “why are you still dressed like that?”

Wow. He really does have an issue with professional attire. 

“Had a date,” I answer. I left my nail out on the counter, so I go to get it. When I come back in, Gideon’s looking around my room. My cheeks heat with embarrassment when I see a lacey black bra tossed over the nightstand. He looks at me again with narrowed eyes, as if he’s trying to work out if I brought my date home and slept with him and forgot to put my bra on when I got dressed again.

“A date.”

“Mm-hmm.” I stick the nail between my teeth and eye the spot I marked earlier with a pencil.

“With who?”

“Mel Kavanaugh.”

“Don’t know him.”

“No kidding.” I speak around the nail in my teeth and roll my eyes. “He works at the bank.”

“That your type?” I wouldn’t swear to it, but he sounds disappointed.

“Will you gimme the hammer?” Nail still between my teeth, I hold my hand out and nod my thanks when he puts the hammer on my palm. Taking the nail out of my teeth, I lean closer to the wall and tap it gently with the hammer.

“Did you use a stud finder?”

“For the date? No.” I shake my head. “Maybe that was the problem.”

I have to look at him when I hear his soft laugh.

“I meant for the nail.” He points at the wall. “I’m surprised you can use nails in a new apartment.”

“Landlord thinks that sticky stuff is the devil’s invention. Told me to hammer as much as I want.”

Gideon’s eyebrows shoot up to his hairline as his face crinkles with laughter.

“Tell me you meant to say that.”

“Totally did,” I promise him.


Tracy Broemmer is the author of several contemporary romance novels including The Mississippi Queen Trilogy, Toasted, and the H Books. Tracy also writes women’s fiction and is the author of the Williams Legacy series as well as several stand-alone titles. Tracy’s books have been called gripping, emotional, and timely, and readers describe her characters as real and relatable. Tracy lives in Midwestern Illinois with her husband of 29 years.

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About The Meet Cute Book Club Series

 

 Escape with the Meet Cute Book Club where meet-cutes don't only happen between the pages of romance novels and members find their own happily ever afters. Eight single women bound by their love of books take a monthly break from real life to lose themselves in the chapters of romantic fiction. From friends to lovers to fake relationships and more, each story features a brand new couple and their journey to find love from an amazing lineup of authors including Louise Lennox, Tracy Broemmer, A.M. Williams, Mel Walker, RJ Gray, Rebecca Wilder, Julie Archer, and Kate Stacy. These eight standalone romances are packed with meet-cutes, heat, and of course a happily ever after!

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Buck Up, Buttercup by Anna Alkire Book Blitz and Giveaway! @anna.alkire #annaalkire #BuckUpButtercup ⁣⁣⁣⁣ #XpressoTours⁣⁣ @XpressoTours⁣

 

Buck Up, Buttercup
Anna Alkire


Publication date: June 30th 2022
Genres: Comedy, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

All’s fair in love and war.
With Randi and Buck, it’s hard to tell the two apart…

An uptight, self-contained college girl, Randi Becker just needed one thing: a room. Somewhere she could study, and keep away from the things that most confuse and frighten her: people.

Unfortunately, the “nice quiet place” she reserved turns out to be a room in the campus’ most raucous house. A place seemingly designed to make studying impossible, made even worse by the other girls’ non-stop drama.

But then Buck, a fun-loving cowboy whom all the ladies love, shows up…and everything gets much worse.

Buck seems to have it all: friends, fun, and a never-ending line of admirers. But what he most desires is a break. So when Buck spots Randi, he figures she’s a perfect decoy: he can play up a “crush” on her that will take him off the market; buy him some breathing room. And if he can tease her a bit, and get under the skin of the uptight busybody? Well, that’s just gravy.

But Buck is about to find more than he bargained for. Randi’s strong-willed, opinionated, difficult—and maybe just what he needs. And Buck isn’t alone. Soon Randi wonders as well…if the world she wanted is really the world she needs. If her future is nothing more than a diploma on the wall. And if the most important thing in her world isn’t a grade, but the cowboy who’s planted his boots firmly in her heart.

Fans of Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare and Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game will delight at this mix of romantic comedy, contemporary romance, and cultures colliding in a campus town with a western flair. Grab your copy today, and fall in love with Buck Up, Buttercup!

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EXCERPT:

An old pickup, with new shiny green paint, slowed down beside her until it crawled along at her pace. A quick glance sideways revealed black-hat-cowboy-guy grinning down at her.

A jolt of awareness cleared some of the fog from her head. He was more good-looking than she’d remembered, and also incredibly large above her in the truck.

“Good morning, darlin’,” he called down.

“Drive on,” she called out.

“Headed into town? We’ve got room.”

“I’m going to walk.” She wouldn’t get into a car with a single person from that party. She walked forward, not looking at him.

“Hold up, you dropped something,” he said, stopping the truck.

Randi whirled around, scanning the empty ground behind her. Her fingers lost their grip and her bags crashed down, things spilling out onto the gravel road. Her eyes burned.

Buck turned off the truck engine and leaned out the window.

“That’s a lot of gear to haul all the way into town,” he said, cheerfully.

“That was a dirty trick.”

“I just want to talk to you for a minute.”

“Leave me alone please!”

“Listen. Hugh, in the passenger seat, and I are headed in for some breakfast. If you ride with me, this gas guzzler will have a full cab. Darlin’, that’s a load off my conscience.”

Randi’s belly shuddered and her lips quivered. The dam burst. Her hands flew up to cover her eyes and a hiccupped sob exploded out.

“I can’t jump in some stranger’s pickup,” she mumbled through her fingers.

“Hey now,” he said, the amused condescension in his voice aking her glare up at him. “You hold on to that pepper spray if it makes you feel better. Land’s sake, girl, we hauled around passed-out-Sarah last night. You’re practically part of the family. And Hugh here has about twenty sisters, so he’s well-trained.”

The door of the truck opened. She took a step back, pulling up the inside collar of her dress to dab at her face.

Buck’s eyes crinkled at her, a lopsided half-grin on his face. It was probably the way he looked at cows right before he lassoed a rope around their necks, or whatever. But he had helped Sarah. And her.

Her shoulders slumped. Defeated, she was beyond resistance. If they murdered her, at least she might be sitting down.

“All right?” he asked.

She exhaled. “All right, I’ll take a ride to the closest bus stop. Thanks.”

Buck picked up her bags and put them in the back of the truck. She hauled her heavy backpack off her aching shoulders and turned to sling it up, but Buck was already gripping the top and lifting it out of her hands.

“Hi,” said a burly man sitting on the passenger side of the bench seat, a gentle smile on his face. Like she was a crazy person. Which she was. With a deep breath, she hoisted herself up into the cab next to him.

“Sorry about Buck,” the big guy said, glaring at the culprit with one eye squinted. “He’s devious about getting what he wants.”

Buck landed on the seat beside her. “Hugh keeps the standards up. Probably why he’s so grumpy all the time.”

Hugh crossed his arms, leaning into the passenger door. His buzzed blond head and muscular frame brought to mind a late-twenties version of Mr. Clean, minus the jewelry.

“I ain’t grumpy. Just tired of your ugly face.”

Buck chuckled. Randi caught herself staring at him. She wouldn’t call his face ugly, not even anything related to unattractive. More like relentlessly cheerful. And way too confident that he could boss everyone around. She sniffed, annoyed with him enough to stop crying.

The truck rolled forward, bumping on the gravel road. They sat on an old-fashioned bucket-style bench, comfortable for two people, and a squeeze for three. The middle seat offered no belt. A death trap. Because that was the logical conclusion to her week from hell. She braced a hand on the dash to keep from bouncing into the bodies next to her.

Not touching either man, holding her body tense and straight, made her neck ache. And still she knocked knees with Hugh and almost leaned on Buck’s shoulder. Buck’s hand on the manual gear shifter was an inch from her thigh, his fingers brushing the edge of her skirt when he shifted. Short of sitting on Hugh’s lap, there was nowhere for her to go to keep from touching him.

She felt shaky, barely keeping herself together. Every time Buck changed position she noticed it, his muscular arms flexing as he drove. It was like sitting next to a tiger: electrifying, an experience you never forgot, and total madness.

“So,” said Buck, flashing a grin at her. “What’s your rush this morning? You just moved in last night.”

Randi dug a tissue out of her bag. “I can’t live in a party house,” she said, dabbing at her running nose.

“A Waffle House?” said Hugh.

“She said party house, Einstein.” Buck glanced at her. “How’d you end up with a room out there?”

“I was teaching in Argentina and found it online. Paid everything…” She paused, choking up, not sure why she was telling them. “They lied to me.” And she dissolved again, covering her face with the tissue.

What was wrong with her? It was beyond humiliating to be crying like a child in front of these strangers. At least she’d never have to see them again.

“Huh,” said Buck, tapping the steering wheel. “Well, I know Trish isn’t happy about the parties.”

“They got an ugly ticket last June,” said Hugh. “She’s on probation.”

Randi sat up straighter, taking in this information. She managed to stop crying, and dabbed her cheeks clean with the tissue.

Buck rubbed the side of his face. “Is that right?”

“I can’t believe you didn’t know that, Buck. Jesus.”

“I just look like I know everything.”

“Yeah, well, one more ticket and they’re facing jail time. And, of course, there were minors everywhere last night. I turned my back and they slurped down my keg.”

Randi pushed up her glasses. No wonder Trish hadn’t been there during the party. It revealed, even more, how shamelessly Trish had lied to her in the emails they’d exchanged about the house.

The farmland was transforming into residential housing when Buck turned onto a major road.

“That bus stop coming up will be fine,” said Randi, her voice annoyingly shaky.

“No way, darlin’,” said Buck. “You cry in my truck, and I buy you a coffee. Then, I drop you off wherever you want.”

“No, really—”

“Hey,” he said, “I put up with all the tears. So now we’re going to go to this coffee drive-through and get sugary drinks to make ourselves feel better. Otherwise, Hugh over there might start his period.”

“You’re such a jackass,” Hugh said, shaking his head.


Anna Alkire has been a long-term college student, a business owner, and a world traveler. Now “settled”—with a sigh and a cup of decaf—Anna lives in Washington state, where she splits her time between a husband who thinks the North Pole would be a great place to live, chasing her hurricane of a son, learning new handicrafts, and creating worlds full of the kind of romance and fun she most wants to read. Find more about her (and grab a freebie or two) at her website, annaalkire.com.

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03 July 2022

Lies I Tell by Julie Clark Book Review! #TheLiesITell @julieclarkauthor #theliesitell #NetGalley








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 From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Last Flight comes a twisted con-woman thriller about two women out for revenge―or is it justice?


Two women. Many aliases.


Meg Williams. Maggie Littleton. Melody Wilde. Different names for the same person, depending on the town, depending on the job. She's a con artist who erases herself to become whoever you need her to be―a college student. A life coach. A real estate agent. Nothing about her is real. She slides alongside you and tells you exactly what you need to hear, and by the time she's done, you've likely lost everything.

Kat Roberts has been waiting ten years for the woman who upended her life to return. And now that she has, Kat is determined to be the one to expose her. But as the two women grow closer, Kat's long-held assumptions begin to crumble, leaving Kat to wonder who Meg's true target is.

The Lies I Tell is a twisted domestic thriller that dives deep into the psyches and motivations of two women and their unwavering quest to seek justice for the past and rewrite the future.


Julie Clark is the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight. It has earned starred reviews from KirkusPublishers Weekly, and Library Journal, and the New York Times has called it “thoroughly absorbing”. It’s been named an Indie Next Pick, a Library Reads Pick, and a Best Book of 2020 by Amazon Editors and Apple Books. Her debut, The Ones We Choose, was published in 2018 and has been optioned for television by Lionsgate. She lives in Los Angeles with her two sons and a golden doodle with poor impulse control.

My Thoughts

 Not having read anything by this author, I did not know what to expect. That said I was pleasantly surprised at Lies I Tell. 

Meg Williams and Kat Roberts, as different as they are the same. Both have deep-seated issues. Meg is bitter about how her mother was treated by a man who stole everything from her. Kat is an unsuccessful reporter who is trying to write a story and expose Meg for the con artist she is.

Meg is plotting her revenge against the man who destroyed her mother, but also cons people out of their money. She only goes after men who are selfish and narcissistic, according to Meg. These two women eventually meet and become friends and that is when Kat finds out that Meg is more than what she thought she was.

Is what Meg does ethical, no not really but it was fun to read how she manipulates the target she is after and gets away with millions in cash and properties. I was rooting for her the whole time. As for Kat, she was finally successful in turning her life around, including the relationship with her fiance.

This book is a twisty psychological domestic thriller that will appeal to you if you like this kind of story. My favorite kind. I really enjoyed this book and I give it  5 stars!

I received a copy of the book for review purposes only.








Parasite by Ridley Harker Book Release and Giveaway! @ninestarpress @indigomarketingdesign #LGBTQIA+ #thriller

 

Title: Parasite

Author: Ridley Harker

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/28/2022

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: M/NB

Length: 82500

Genre: Horror, LGBTQIA+, Action/adventure, coming-of-age, dark, humorous

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Description

Seventeen-year-old Jack Ives is used to being unlucky. His only friend has just moved away to college, his parents are alcoholics, and he’s relentlessly bullied by the town psychopath. All that begins to change with the arrival of a handsome but quirky new student, Lucien, who wants to be more than friends.

Their newfound happiness doesn’t last, however, as a strange new illness strikes the island. Fishermen go missing, and the villagers left behind aren’t themselves anymore. When Lucien is suspected to be the cause of the outbreak, can Jack overcome his teenage hormones and save Eldrick Isle? Will he even want to?

Excerpt

Parasite
Ridley Harker © 2022
All Rights Reserved

0054 hours

September 2, 2015

Gulf of Maine

When some kooky mainlanders offered to pay extra for a midnight ferry, Bill Jamison had jumped at the chance to pay off his bar tab. Now he regretted it. The middle-aged fisherman leaned morosely against the starboard rail while beside him his business partner, Jim Kendrick, fought the uphill battle of smoking a pipe during a storm. The rain pounded against the deck in a dull roar and, judging from Kendrick’s cursing, the pipe had gone out once again.

Not for the first time, Jamison reluctantly noted that his partner was getting on in years. Kendrick’s coat hung from his wizened frame like a cloak. His mysterious weight loss had made them both nervous, not that either one said anything. For an Eldrick Islander, the prospect of cancer was like foul weather; something to be endured without complaint.

“Goddamned son-of-a—” Kendrick upended the pipe and a sodden wad of tobacco fell onto the deck. He kicked it away, smearing it across the boards.

“We shouldn’t have gone out tonight,” Jamison said.

“Horse shit,” Kendrick huffed. “We’ve sailed through worse than this.”

“That ain’t what I meant.” Jamison jerked his head toward the mainlander lurking near the bow of the ferry.

Tall and blond, his passenger’s washed-out appearance resembled a photograph, the kind found in a neglected attic of subjects long deceased. Judging by the young man’s pinched frown, Jamison assumed that Silas Spencer was either a lawyer or an undertaker. He shuddered; Jamison hated lawyers, having seen enough of their kind during his divorce. Blood-sucking monsters the lot of them, in his opinion, but he had never been afraid of them, not even when the wretches helped his ex-wife take half of everything he’d owned.

But he was afraid of this one.

It was the eyes. He had seen eyes like that once before, years ago. Back when he had spent much of his days drunk. Once, while Kendrick cleaned their catch, Jamison had gone too far and drunk too much. His legs had betrayed him, and he had tumbled over the side. He remembered tasting blood. A tangy mix of iron and salt that burned his lungs when he tried to inhale. His eyes had stung. He had floundered in the icy water. He, a man who had learned to swim before he could walk, was drowning.

Then the moment of panic was gone, and instinct had set in. Jamison’s powerful legs had propelled him upwards, his arms outstretched toward the boat. He had nearly reached it before the shadow was beneath him. It came at him like a torpedo, almost too fast for his gin-addled brain to comprehend. A massive, prehistoric monster armed with muscled jaws and sandpaper skin. The soulless black pits of its eyes rolled back in its head, and its gaping maw expanded to reveal rows upon row of serrated teeth.

In the split second before the attack, Jamison had stared into the darkness of oblivion—then he had been shaken like a terrier on a rat. The shark had separated the flesh from his leg and sentenced him to a month in a mainland hospital whose bill he was still struggling to pay off. The very existence of such a creature disproved the notion that humans sat at the top of the food chain.

Safely back in the present, Jamison shuddered and remembered to breathe. He rubbed at his forearms, warm beneath his thick woolen sweater. He had been lucky. If he had drunk a little more gin, perhaps he wouldn’t have had the presence of mind to sink his knife deep into the shark’s eye socket. Now only scars and nightmares remained, and he hadn’t touched the bottle since. He liked to say that his rock bottom was on the ocean floor.

Jamison recognized something of that great white shark in Spencer. The man’s flat, grey eyes made his skin crawl. He glowered at Spencer’s broad-shouldered back, but Spencer didn’t seem to notice or care. His attention lay on the swirling mists beyond the ferry’s bow. Typical yuppie mainlander. Pretentious bastard, Jamison thought.

“They’re up to something,” he said aloud, glancing toward the cabin where the other one had sequestered himself.

Kendrick only snorted. “They’re mainlanders. They’ll spend a few weeks on the Isle, get bored, and then go back to whatever hell hole they came from. You know the type. We get a few every other year or so.”

Jamison did know the type. Unlike Nantucket, or Martha’s Vineyard, Eldrick Isle never attracted the summer crowd. There was nothing to offer. The once booming fishing industry had been usurped by commercial trawlers decades ago, forcing the neighboring isles to turn to seaweed farming instead. Eldrick, however, chose to bow its head and soldier on, clinging to the memory of its glory days. Billboards advertised a hotel that had long since shuttered its doors. The lone diner had a Visitor’s Special that no one ever ordered. The pier greeting the newcomers reeked of dead fish, the ever-present stench emanating from the dozen or so rusted fishing boats docked in the harbor.

Then there was the island itself: Eldrick’s shores were steep, rocky cliffs, with edges sharp and jagged like broken teeth. The surf stirred up debris and rotting vegetation, littering the island’s few beaches with trash from the abandoned canning factory on the island’s east side. Even the hottest days of summer were damp and chilly. Mist obscured the frigid waters. It crept onto the island, soaking through the sturdiest of coats. The few vacationers that showed up in August inevitably took one look at the dying town and turned around to book their return ticket.

Rain splattered against Jamison’s hood, echoing in his ears. Kendrick tried his pipe again to no avail. The storm lulled enough that the sound of retching was audible from within the depths of the cabin. Rasping coughs followed by the wet splatter of vomit. The downpour returned with a roar. It slipped past Jamison’s hood, soaking his neck. His shiver had nothing to do with the cold.

Kendrick abandoned his pipe and frowned, his rheumy eyes searching Jamison’s face. Jamison cleared his throat, striving to be heard over the rain and yet not loud enough for Spencer to hear. “Something’s wrong,” he shouted into Kendrick’s ear. “We were barely on the water before the kid got sick—”

“Billy, you been drinking again?” Kendrick asked, clasping Jamison’s shoulder with gnarled fingers. “When’d you get so goddamned superstitious?”

“No, I haven’t been fucking drinking! I’m only saying that this whole thing feels wrong; if one of my brothers were puking like that, I’d at least go check on him. I think the kid’s got something bad—what if it’s contagious?”

“What, like ee-bolah?” Kendrick asked, with a sharp look toward the ferry’s cabin. “Naw, it couldn’t be…”

“You checked on him?”

“No.”

“Well, someone ought to,” Jamison said.

“You do it,” Kendrick said dubiously. “Last time, I slipped in it and damn near broke my back.”

“Go check it out. If he’s only seasick then I’ll clean it up myself, but I’m telling you, something’s very wrong with that kid.”

“Christ, Billy! Nag anymore and you’re gonna sound like my wife.” Kendrick gave him a shove and then marched across the deck toward the cabin. Jamison caught movement in the corner of his eye and found Spencer watching them, his back against the railing. Their eyes met, and all of a sudden Jamison couldn’t hear the storm. There was nothing but the blood pounding in his ears. One corner of Spencer’s thin mouth twitched upward into a razor’s edge of a smirk. Jamison’s skin crawled. He wrenched his eyes away.

“Jim, wait!” Jamison shouted over the rain, but Kendrick had already knocked on the cabin door. The old sailor reached for the handle, his calloused fingers closing in on the doorknob. Jamison sucked in his breath.

Kendrick half turned around, his shoulders squared and his lips pursed, eyes narrowed beneath his bushy white brows. His hand was still on the cabin door. “Jesus Christ, Billy, what now?” he demanded. “What in the hell’s wrong with you, you crazy son of a bitch? You’re shaking like a virgin on—” He paused and glanced down. Jamison didn’t know why until Kendrick tried to take a step back. His boot remained glued to the floor.

Kendrick shoved at the door and yanked at his shoe. He stumbled as it came loose, trailing a viscous black gel behind it. More of the substance pooled out from underneath the cabin door. Lightning flashed, and a rainbow sheen coated the surface of the muck. The door creaked open.

Before Jamison shouted in warning, something darted out from the gloom. Thick and ropy, like a bundle of rotten vines, it hit Kendrick’s wrist with a wet slap, latching onto his bare skin. Kendrick sputtered, his eyes wide and his mouth hanging open in a perfect caricature of surprise—then another tentacled limb emerged and shoved itself down his gullet. Like a fish on a hook, he was yanked into the cabin.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

Ridley Harker is an up-and-coming horror author who delights in all things gay and spooky. While past careers have included reptile keeping at a zoo and EMT work at a casino, writing is his true passion. His favorite books are those with enemies to lovers, small town settings, and great villains. He currently lives in the Middle of Nowhere with his two dogs, a grumpy old snake, and a host of pet tarantulas.

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