Saturday, May 2, 2015

BLOG TOUR and *RRBB REVIEW*: Death Of A Chorus Girl by P.M. Briede

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Welcome to my stop on the Death of a Chorus Girl Blog Tour! Read more about the book below, and be sure to follow along with the tour and enter the Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!


When Detective Richard Giordano walks onto the Broadway stage, he expects to find a young, dead chorus girl. Having the show’s choreographer so intricately tied to the victim, and now his case, is something else altogether. What quickly becomes even more troublesome is balancing his attraction with his gut instincts.
The choreographer, Empathy Delacroix, is no stranger to death. Emotional scenes from the past suck her in and force her to play critical roles in the events. They often culminate in her experiencing the victim’s demise. It’s a secret she can’t confide in the police, even if she knows how the chorus girl’s life really ended.
Time ticks by and New York’s vilest players come out of the shadows, not only threatening to detour the case but also Detective Giordano’s and Empathy’s entire lives. The bonds of death and love push them closer together and into the path of a killer, leaving both unsure of what their future holds.





Excerpt:

Had I known the smile Em gave me by the statue was the last one I would see that afternoon, I would have taken more time to memorize it. We are on our way to our fourth address. Each time she enters that frightful trance it is as if I watch her die. Her body quivers uncontrollably until she collapses in my arms. Her breathing grows shallower until it stops. At that point, all the tension seeps out of her, and she becomes lifeless. Then she blinks, begins gulping the air as if it is water, and clings to me like I am her anchor to reality. So far, we haven’t talked about what is going on, short of her outlining in specific detail how my victims spent their last living moments. I’m confused and alarmed about what I’m witnessing, and even a little scared of her. And yet, as confounding and outrageous as this all is, I refuse to walk away. I can’t leave her to deal with it alone. Whatever this is, it is a part of her. The burgeoning love I feel isn’t diminished by it. If anything, it grows. Now there is something I can be for Em, her anchor. She may go through the experience alone, but I am determined to never again let her deal with its aftermath that way. The time between each site is just as bad as the sites themselves. She won’t talk to me except to insist that we continue on this madcap quest. I hear her whimpers as she fights back the emotions resulting from her experience. The tears never fall but sit heavy in her eyes as she shivers next to me. She looks battered and broken, though there isn’t a bruise marring her perfect skin. I try multiple times to comfort her but she pushes me away, saying it isn’t time for that now. Needless to say, when she grabs my arm and shouts, “Where are we going?” I’m shocked. “Battery Park, Em. We don’t have to do this anymore…” “Stop the car!” she demands, cutting me short. “Stop the car, Richard! Stop it now!” We are in the middle of New York City traffic. I can’t just stop, but glancing at her, she looks green and terrified. The tears are falling and her free hand claws at the door. “Let me out! Please, Richard, I have to get out!” I flip on the lights, directing us into the far-right lane to park the car. In an instant, she is out and racing to a trash can. By the time I join her, she’s violently emptying her stomach contents. I am at a loss for what to do as I watch her beg for water between her heaves. I don’t have any and I can’t leave her to get some. She is barely holding herself up. “I need water!” I holler and flash my badge. “Em, stay with me.” Please don’t have this madness she’s been putting herself through steal her from me. Thankfully, a food vendor hands me a bottle. I help her to the ground and feel helpless as she guzzles about half the bottle before pouring the rest over her head. I look at the vendor sheepishly as I fish a ten out of my wallet. He waves it off and offers to bring me more water if she needs it. I’ve come across enough burn victims suffering from dehydration to recognize the symptoms of fire damage in the woman cowering on the pavement in front of me. She needs more water. I press the ten into his hand and gratefully accept his offer. I give her my full attention while he is gone. “What happened? What do you need?” Her eyes aren’t completely clouded over, as if we are on the edge of another trance. She focuses through the fog and for the briefest moment, she is completely back. “Get me out of here. I can’t be in Lower Manhattan.” The words shake with her fear. Her body convulses again as it fights the wretched trance threatening to sweep her away from me. Something about this instance, though, is much worse than all the rest. I’m afraid it may actually kill her. There aren’t many options. I don’t want to leave her, and I can’t leave the car. She can’t be in Lower Manhattan, but getting her out requires taking her deeper into it first. It pains me to take the only move I have. The vendor returns and I waste no time before ordering him to stay with her. I race to the charger, flip on the lights, and quickly maneuver through traffic to get turned back towards uptown. By the time I get back to Em, I was gone about fifteen minutes but it was the longest fifteen minutes of my life. The vendor is still by her side and from the number of bottles on the ground it looks like he was very generous to her. “You should probably get this one to a hospital, officer,” he comments with sincere concern. “Thank you, sir. I’ll take care of her from here.” The vendor walks back to his cart as I turn back to Em. The convulsions have stopped but she is soaking wet. I kneel before her and cup her face to bring her eyes to mine. There are hints of that damned fog in them, but it hasn’t taken her over yet. “Em, I’m here. The car’s at the corner and I’m going to get you out of here. Can you walk?” She shakes her head, and I don’t hesitate to scoop her up into my arms.
DeathofaChorusGirlTeaser5



5 Stars!

The opening story in the Empathy Delacroix series (aka: the story of Em and Richard).
Em (Empathy) is a choreographer for Broadway/off-Broadway shows.
Richard (prefers to be called Rich, but annoying people call him versions of Dick) is a detective for the NYPD.
When Rich and his partner, Steve, investigate the (possible) murder of a chorus girl during a practice rehearsal, Rich feels an instant connection and immense attraction to the choreographer - Em. 
What if Em is a suspect though? Any relationship attempts have to occur after Em is no longer a suspect.
Oh the tangled webs in this story!  There were so many people I wanted to shake, and others I wanted to punch in the face!  I always love the way Ms. Briede makes the characters into flesh-and-blood people, with complicated emotions and stubborn pride and mistakes.
This book is told in alternating first-person perspectives from Em and Rich.  The great part is that Ms. Briede labels each section/chapter with whose perspective the part is told from, and a small little heading as well.  I enjoyed this, as it made it simple for me as the reader to know which person's thoughts and emotions I was reading.
While there is a tiny bit of a paranormal edge, I would dismiss that and place it under a complicated contemporary romance-ish with elements of extreme suspense.  Yes, it is hard to place into one category!
Detective Richard Giordano is my new book boyfriend!   
I can tell you how much I enjoyed it, and how I can barely stand to wait until book 2 releases (hopefully soon!).  Keep in mind that this is a trio of books, and this book 1 does leave you in the middle of the story - so be prepared!
Romance Readers received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.




About PM Briede:
I am a lover of all things artistic. I grew up surrounded by the performing arts both as a spectator and performer. That love of creation and design is the fuel for my writing now. Being able to create and entertain is a dream come true.
The imagination is a powerful thing, able to take you places you never dreamed. I write realistic fantasy. The idea of the possible having impossible explanations fascinates me. That idea is the driving force behind the Charlotte Grace series.
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Friday, May 1, 2015

BOOK BLITZ: Amii's Angel by Natalie-Nicole Bates

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BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Amii’s Angel AUTHOR – Natalie-Nicole Bates GENRE – Contemporary Romance PUBLICATION DATE – March 2015 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) - 35,000 words PUBLISHER – Books To Go Now Publishing

BOOK SYNOPSIS

For years, Amii Sloan has held a burning grudge against Ryan Maine for his cutting cross examination during her sister’s murder trial. Now, a chance encounter brings Ryan back into her life, along with a very interesting proposition—to work as his personal assistant in the idyllic town of Unity.
Down on her luck, and supporting a mother with early onset dementia, Amii doesn’t have much of a choice but to accept the job Ryan offers. But can she overlook the past to possibly open the door to a brighter future?
As she spends time with the handsome, successful lawyer, she realizes that maybe first impressions can be wrong, and that just maybe she and Ryan could share a whole lot more than she ever imagined.
Amiis Angel -Book Cover

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EXCERPT

From the instant he first saw her, Ryan Maine sensed she would be his wife.
“I’m usually very good with faces, but I’ll be damned if I can remember where I know you from.” It sounded like a cheesy pick up line, but it was the truth.
He smiled at the raven haired beauty before him. He had been off the dating scene for way too long. Now was the time to get back into the game.
His smile deflated when he saw the hard, cold look in her dark eyes. “You may not remember, but I sure do. As a matter of fact, I’ll never forget it. You cross examined me at the trial of my sister’s murderer.
You destroyed a part of my soul that day.”

AUTHOR BIO

Natalie-Nicole Bates is a book reviewer and author.
Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian and Edwardian era photography and antique poison bottles. Natalie contributes her uncharacteristic love of hockey to being born in Russia.
She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.
Visit Natalie online at www.natalienicolebates.com

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COVER REVEAL: The Magic's In The Music by Susan Squires

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BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – The Magic’s in the Music SERIES – The Magic Series AUTHOR – Susan Squires GENRE – Contemporary Paranormal Romance PUBLICATION DATE – May 26, 2015 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) - 100,000 words PUBLISHER – Independent COVER ARTIST – Rebecca Poole, Dreams2Media
The Magic's In The Music - Cover

BOOK SYNOPSIS

The Ghost rebels The Merlin gene has come alive in his brothers and sisters, giving them a magic power when they find their destined mate. Lanyon is afraid he’s next. Why would he want to share their destiny? The family is under siege. The Clan’s powers are increasing. His father, once invincible, is in no position to lead them. So he rebels. He haunts the L.A. club scene, appearing out of nowhere to play music no one can forget.
But can he avoid Destiny? The minute he sees a beautiful blond girl and feels the incredible tug he’s heard his brothers and sisters describe, he knows he must resist her at all costs.
Star-power Greta Falk is trying to control her own future, having sued her stage mother for emancipation when she was fifteen. But does she want a role in the next billion-dollar movie franchise? Or does she want to study the stars that have always fascinated her—the ones in the sky?
Destinies Collide When Lanyon feels obligated to rescue Greta from the paparazzi, the only safe place to take her is home to his family. Right where he doesn’t want to be. Now he’s drawn into everything he’s been trying to escape. He can’t resist Greta. And she may hold the key to the Tremaine future. The Clan wants what he and Greta know. Can they make peace with their Destiny and embrace a future together?
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EXCERPT

From several points in the room, Greta heard a soft hiss. “The Ghost.” Jax swiveled, then froze, her Lava Lamp forgotten.
For Greta, things started to move in slow motion. She felt a tug, almost physical, from behind her. She turned like she was moving through viscous liquid.
The man who strode through the crowd had shaggy dark hair, a long leather duster and stubble of at least three days. That’s where the similarity to the jerk who’d just been tossed out ended. This guy was no poseur. He couldn’t care less about the crowd. He didn’t even spare them a glance. The fierce look in his eyes was all for the red-washed stage. He strode toward it like he was moving through hell toward redemption.
“Get people on the sound board and the lights,” a hefty man hissed to someone in the shadows. Club manager? Several guys in black jeans and tee shirts scurried away
Greta was having a hard time catching her breath. What was with that? Yeah, the guy was a looker, but she’d been hanging out with beautiful men since she was twelve, and they’d never affected her this way. Cheekbones? Check.
Strong jaw? Likewise. But his chin had a dimple, if she wasn’t mistaken. His lips were full, sensual. He felt dangerous, but contradictory.
The crowd didn’t yell at the newcomer or jeer. They backed out of his way respectfully. The guy hopped up on the stage and surveyed the instruments abandoned there, his back to the crowd. He glanced to the keyboards but settled on a guitar, a candy-apple red one that glinted in the dim light. He picked it up, flipped a few switches on the amp and corrected the tuning. Back still to the audience, he strummed a chord that seemed to reach right down into your guts and quiver. As the echo died away, the man on stage threw his head back and began to play in earnest. It was no song she knew. She’d be willing to bet no one except this Ghost knew that song. The cascading notes were angry, but with a sobbing sound below that vibrated with sadness in your lungs. The notes started to soar only to be dashed to earth again and again by evil riffs. It was as if the man was ripping out his soul with that music. It went on and on. Nobody danced. Nobody fidgeted. Nobody talked. Nobody got up to go to the bathroom. They just listened, mesmerized. Maybe they knew they’d never hear something like this again.
He turned around to the audience, but Greta knew he wasn’t seeing anybody in the room. Emotions flickered across his expression as he pulled out those wild notes and sent them skittering or thundering or sidling slyly into the room.
When the last resounding chord crashed into silence, he stood with head down. The place erupted in applause and shouts. “Ghost!” Greta felt like a linen suit in Arizona in the summertime. She came to herself and grabbed for her martini. Her hand was shaking.
What the hell?

The Magic's In The Music - Author Photo

AUTHOR BIO

Susan Squires is a New York Times bestselling author known for breaking the rules of romance writing. Whatever her time period, or subject, some element of the paranormal always creeps in. She has won multiple contests for published novels and reviewer's choice awards. Publisher's Weekly named Body Electric one of the most influential mass market books of 2003 and One with the Shadows, the fifth in her vampire Companion Series, a Best book of 2007. Time for Eternity, the first in the DaVinci time travel series, received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly.
Susan has a Masters in English literature from UCLA and once toiled as an executive for a Fortune 500 company. Now she lives at the beach in Southern California with her husband, Harry, a writer of supernatural thrillers, and three very active Belgian Sheepdogs, who like to help her write by putting their chins on the keyboarddddddddddddddddddddddd.

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BOOK BLITZ: Liberty by Kim Iverson Headlee

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BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Liberty, second edition AUTHOR – Kim Iverson Headlee GENRE – Historical Romance (ancient Rome) PUBLICATION DATE – Dec. 2014 LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 462 pages/118K words PUBLISHER – Pendragon Cove Press COVER ARTIST – Natasha Brown BOOK INFO - http://kimiversonheadlee.blogspot.com/p/liberty.html

BOOK SYNOPSIS

They hailed her “Liberty,” but she was free only to obey—or die.
Betrayed by her father and sold as payment of a Roman tax debt to fight in Londinium’s arena, gladiatrix-slave Rhyddes feels like a wild beast in a gilded cage. Celtic warrior blood flows in her veins, but Roman masters own her body. She clings to her vow that no man shall claim her soul, though Marcus Calpurnius Aquila, son of the Roman governor, makes her yearn for a love she believes impossible.
Groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps and trapped in a politically advantageous betrothal, Aquila prefers the purity of combat on the amphitheater sands to the sinister intrigues of imperial politics, and the raw power and athletic grace of the flame-haired Libertas to the adoring deference of Rome’s noblewomen.
When a plot to overthrow Caesar ensnares them as pawns in the dark design, Aquila must choose between the Celtic slave who has won his heart and the empire to which they both owe allegiance. Knowing the opposite of obedience is death, the only liberty offered to any slave, Rhyddes must embrace her arena name—and the love of a man willing to sacrifice everything to forge a future with her.

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Liberty - Book Cover

EXCERPT

FINGERS CRAMPING AND shoulders aching from having wielded the pitchfork all day, Rhyddes ferch Rudd tossed another load of hay onto the wagon. Sweat trickled down her back, making the lash marks sting. Marks inflicted by her father, Rudd, the day before because eighteen summers of anguish had goaded her into speaking her mind.
Physical pain couldn’t compare with the ache wringing her heart.
She slid a glance toward the author of her mood. He stood a few paces away, leaning upon his pitchfork’s handle in the loaded wagon’s shade to escape the July heat as he conversed with her oldest brother, Eoghan. She couldn’t discern their words, but their camaraderie spoke volumes her envy didn’t want to hear.
Her father’s gaze met hers, and he lowered his eyebrows. “Back to work, Rhyddes!” On Rudd’s lips, her name sounded like an insult.
In a sense, it was.
Her name in the Celtic tongue meant “freedom,” but the horse hitched to the hay wagon enjoyed more freedom than she did. Her tribe, the Votadini, had been conquered by the thieving Romans, who demanded provisions for their troops, fodder for their mounts, women for their beds, and coin to fill the purses of every Roman who wasn’t a soldier.
If those conditions weren’t bad enough, for all the kindness her father had demonstrated during her first two decades, Rhyddes may as well have been born a slave.
She scooped up more hay. Resentment-fired anger sent wisps flying everywhere, much of it sailing over the wagon rather than landing upon it.
“Hey, mind what you’re doing!”
Owen, her closest brother in age and in spirit, emerged from the wagon’s far side, hay prickling his hair and tunic like a porcupine. Rhyddes couldn’t suppress her laugh. “’Tis an improvement. Just wait till the village lasses see you.”
“Village lasses, hah!” Sporting a wicked grin, Owen snatched up a golden fistful, flung it at her, and dived for her legs.
They landed in the fragrant hay and began vying for the upper hand, cackling like a pair of witless hens. When Owen thought he’d prevailed, Rhyddes twisted and rolled from underneath him. Her fresh welts stung, but she refused to let that deter her. He lost his balance and fell backward. She pounced, planting a knee on his chest and pinning his wrists to the ground over his head.
Victory’s sweetness lasted but a moment. Fingers dug into her shoulders, and she felt herself hauled to her feet and spun around. Owen’s face contorted to chagrin as he scrambled up.
“Didn’t get enough of the lash yestermorn, eh, girl?” Rudd, his broad hands clamped around her upper arms, gave her a teeth-rattling shake.
When she didn’t respond, he released her and rounded on Owen. “As for you—”
“Da, please, no!” Rhyddes stopped herself. Well she knew the futility of pleading with Rudd. Still, for Owen’s sake, she had to try. Her father’s scowl dared her to continue. She swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat. “’Twas not Owen’s fault. I—” Sweat freshened the sting on her back, and she winced. “The fault is naught but mine.”
“Aye, that I can well believe.” Rudd grasped each sibling by an arm and strode across the hayfield toward the family’s lodge. “Owen can watch you take his lashes as well as yours. We’ll see if that won’t mend his ways.” The thin linen of her ankle-length tunic failed to shield her from his fingers, which had to be leaving bruises. Rhyddes gritted her teeth. Rudd seemed disappointed. “I doubt anything in this world or the next will make you mend yours.”
“You don’t want me to change. You’d lose your excuse to beat me.” Sheer impertinence, she knew, but she no longer cared.
“I need no excuses, girl.”
The back of his hand collided with her cheek. Pain splintered into a thousand needles across her face. She reeled and dropped to her hands and knees, her hair obscuring her vision in a copper cascade. Hay pricked her palms. Owen would have helped her rise, but their father restrained him. Owen blistered the ground with his glare, not daring to direct it at Rudd for fear of earning the same punishment.
Not that Rhyddes could blame him.
Rudd yanked her up, cocked a fist… and froze. “Raiders!”
Rhyddes whirled about. Picts were charging from the north to converge upon their settlement, the battle cries growing louder under the merciless afternoon sun. One of the storage buildings had already been set ablaze, its roof thatch marring the sky with thick black smoke.
Rudd shed his shock and sprinted for the living compound, calling his children by name to help him defend their home: Eoghan, Ian, Bloeddwyn, Arden, Dinas, Gwydion, Owen.
Every child except Rhyddes.
She ran to the wagon, unhitched the horse, found her pitchfork, scrambled onto the animal’s back, and kicked him into a jolting canter. The stench of smoke strengthened with each stride. Her mount pinned back his ears and wrestled her for control of the bit, but she bent the frightened horse to her will. She understood how he felt.
As they loped past the cow byre, a Pict leaped at them, knocking Rhyddes from the horse’s back. The ground jarred the pitchfork from her grasp. The horse galloped toward the pastures as Rhyddes fumbled for her dagger. Although her brothers had taught her how to wield it in a fight, until now she’d used it only to ease dying animals from this world.
But the accursed blade wouldn’t come free of the hilt.
Sword aloft, the Pict closed on her.
Time distorted, assaulting Rhyddes with her attacker’s every detail: lime-spiked hair, weird blue symbols smothering the face and arms, long sharp sword, ebony leather boots and leggings, breastplate tooled to fit female curves . . .
Female?
The warrior-woman’s sword began its descent.
From the corner of her eye Rhyddes saw her pitchfork. Grunting, she rolled toward it, praying to avoid her attacker’s blow.
Her left arm stung where the sword grazed it, but she snagged her pitchfork and scrambled to her feet. Unexpected eagerness flooded her veins.
As the Pict freed her weapon from where it had embedded in the ground, Rhyddes aimed the pitchfork and lunged. The tines hooked the warrior-woman’s sword, and Rhyddes twisted with all her strength. The Pict yelped as the sword ripped from her hand to go flying over the sty’s fence. Squealing in alarm, the sow lumbered for cover, trying to wedge her bulk under the trough.
With a savage scream, the warrior-woman whipped out a dagger and charged. Rhyddes reversed the pitchfork and jammed its butt into the Pict’s gut, under the breastplate’s bottom edge, robbing her of breath. She reversed it again and caught the raider under the chin with the pitchfork’s tines. As the woman staggered backward, flailing her arms and flashing the red punctures that marred her white neck, Rhyddes struck hard and knocked her down.
The warrior-woman looked heavier by at least two stone, but Rhyddes pinned her chest with her knee. She dropped the pitchfork and grasped her dagger, yanking it free. Grabbing a fistful of limed hair, she wrestled the woman’s head to one side to expose her neck.
The Pict bucked and twisted, trying to break Rhyddes’s grip. ’Twas not much different than wrestling a fever-mad calf.
Rhyddes’s deft slice ended the threat.
Blood spurted from the woman’s neck in sickening pulses.
Rhyddes stood, panting, her stomach churning with the magnitude of what she’d done. ’Twas no suffering animal she’d killed—and it could have been her lying there, pumping her lifeblood into the mud.
Bile seared her throat, making her gag. Pain lanced her stomach. Bent double, she retched out the remains of her morning meal, spattering the corpse.
After spitting out the last bitter mouthful and wiping her lips with the back of her hand, she drew a deep breath and straightened. As she turned a slow circle, her senses taking in the sights and sounds and stench of the devastation surrounding her, she wished she had not prevailed.
The news grew worse as she sprinted toward the lodge.
Of her seven brothers, the Picts had left Ian and Gwydion dead, her father and Owen wounded, the lodge and three outbuildings torched. She ran a fingertip over the crusted blood of her scratch, and she couldn’t suppress a surge of guilt.
Mayhap, she thought through the blinding tears as she ran to help what was left of her family, ’twould have been better had she died in the Pict’s stead.
The surviving raiders were galloping toward the tree line with half the cattle. The remaining stock lay stiffening in the fields, already attracting carrion birds.
Three days later, the disaster attracted scavengers of an altogether different sort.

CHARACTER BIOS

I am Rhyddes ferch Rudd, which in your tongue means Freedom daughter of Red. The blood of ancient Celtic warriors flows in my veins, though I am a farmer's daughter by the circumstance of my birth. My life spans much of the reign of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, one of a very few men ever to claim that title who did not abuse his power for personal gain—but I care not who rules and who dies in this gods-cursed empire.
More than anything—even more than my freedom—I yearn to be my lover Aquila’s equal. As a foreign slave in an empire where citizenship stands paramount, where an arena fighter such as I can only be considered the equal of other gladiators, actors, undertakers, and whores, this goal seems impossibly remote. Although Aquila is the son of a powerful Roman, he has declared that he would renounce his aristocratic status, wealth, and power for me, but I cannot in good conscience allow him to destroy himself on my account.
And yet the gods have granted the impossible to other mortals. I pray that I am worthy to receive such a boon from them, for surely divine assistance is the only way for Aquila and I to bridge the vast social chasm that separates us from enjoying a future together.

Mornings Journey - Author Photo 

AUTHOR BIO

Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, and assorted wildlife. People & creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-20th century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet.
Kim is a Seattle native (when she used to live in the Metro DC area, she loved telling people she was from "the other Washington") and a direct descendent of twentieth-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim's novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband's ancestor, the seventh-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her new imprint, Pendragon Cove Press.


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– 5 e-copies of Liberty – 10 note cards – 1 autographed print copy of Liberty

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

BLOG TOUR and *RRBB REVIEW*: Shadow Of Doubt by P.A. DePaul

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The new SBG novel from the author of Exchange of Fire.
When her secretly filmed tryst shows up on the internet, Michelle Alger goes on the run. She has no choice. Not only was her one-night stand the son of a US senator, but he’s been murdered—and she’s the number one suspect. With both the senator and an avenging drug lord on her trail, her life is in danger. There’s only man she can trust. He saved her once, but will he still be her hero six years later? Captain Jeremy Malone and the rest of Delta Squad have the senator’s order: find the mystery woman who killed my son. But to Jeremy, she’s no mystery. Six years ago his team of Green Berets rescued her from the torturous clutches of a Colombian cartel, and he’s never forgotten her. His personal and covert mission: find Michelle before anyone else. When he and Michelle do meet again, the sparks are explosive and consuming. They’re also dangerous as hell. Because with each new bit of evidence, Jeremy suspects that Michelle’s innocence may be a ruse—a beautiful trap set by a woman who has even more secrets yet to bare.
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Michelle paced the length of the room for the thousandth time. There were exactly eighteen steps from the bathroom door to the sad excuse of a table. Not the biggest rooms here at the OTE. A long moan drifted through the left wall followed by a slam, then rhythmic banging. “Oh, God. Yes,” a woman cried. “Give it to me, daddy.” Whomp. Whomp. Whomp. The cheap picture over the bed rattled with “daddy’s” frantic pace. Michelle rolled her eyes to the ceiling. “Really?” she asked the stained tiles. As if her situation wasn’t bad enough, she now had to listen to a bad porno. She glanced at the clock. 5:22 p.m. Her fingertips felt cold. She went to rub her hands together only to find her palms had a thin layer of sweat. How messed up was that? Darn nerves. For years she had fantasized about this moment. So many versions ranging from innocent to completely far-fetched had captivated her dreams. Only Fate would deliver the version where she was holed up in a seedy motel with Big Daddy providing the sleazy soundtrack. “Yes! Right there! Harder!” She tuned out the “Oh-Gods,” and the “That’s-the-spots” and replayed her favorite fantasy. The one where Captain Jeremy Malone sought her out only to find out she had been given a new identity and placed in Witness Protection. Devastated by the government’s unwillingness to tell him where she had been relocated, he made it his personal mission to find her. Though it took years, he finally discovered she became a park ranger in Indianapolis. He immediately requested leave from the military and showed up at her apartment door. She laughed at her foolish daydreams. Even if the man had hunted her down, then what? Her track record since Colombia had been Michelle, zero; Disaster, every time. The looks of disgust on her partners’ faces when they saw her body usually killed whatever passion she had been able to muster through the fear and memories. Only one man had seen beyond carnage and made her feel as if it would be okay. A hoarse shout bled through the thin wall followed by a lot of groaning. Hopefully that signaled the end of “daddy’s” session. Had she done the right thing calling Cappy? How long had he been in Indianapolis? God, had she been this close to him all this time? What if he’s seen the news? Would he call the police, FBI, Army to tip them off? She started to panic. Oh no. What had she done? Knock. Knock. Knock. Michelle jumped at the sound on her door. The blood drained from her face and her heart pounded against her ribcage. No way in this short span of time could it be another drunk with the wrong room. Which meant . . . He’s here. All her insecurities rushed through her brain as she stared at the door. Everything from her thunder-thighs to her lack of makeup and hungover status swamped her. “Michelle?” a muffled, deep male voice called on the other side. She’d know that intonation anywhere. It slid over her, tightening the knot in her stomach. She rubbed the dancing area and snagged on a button. Jerking her head down, she started cussing. She still had on the ugliest uniform ever. Not one ounce of sexiness could be wrung from the drab olive and gray clothing. Sweat pooled under her arms, not helping her confidence and— Wait, what was that? She squinted and dabbed a spot on her shirt. Great. She had on the most god-awful stained uniform ever. This was so far from her fantasy she could only hang her head. About par for the last twenty-four hours. Knock. Knock. “Michelle,” Captain Jeremy Malone said again. “It’s safe to open the door.” No one shouted “POLICE” or “FBI.” That was a good sign, wasn’t it? Didn’t they have to identify themselves first before entering? That meant he was alone, right? She threw her shoulders back and strode across the room. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath and opened the thin wood. Holy Cheesus on wheat toast. How could she not recall how HUGE he was? And that was saying something, since she was considered tall. But he had to be at least a half a foot over her head. Not only tall, but ripped with muscles . . . Like no-way-could-this-exist-in-real-life muscles sprouted beneath a tight T-shirt. Since he had worn a helmet the last time they met, she had never gotten to see he had dark brown hair, buzzed in a military crew-cut. His stance was all business; exuding strength and power and don’t-mess-with-me-cause-I-know-eighty-ways-to-kill-you. But one feature commanded her attention—the same one haunting her for years. His eyes. Those wonderfully expressive deep coffee-colored eyes. “Cappy.” She shuddered. After so many years of longing, she was finally staring into their depths . . . and he was staring right back.



4 Stars

The story of Michelle and Jeremy.
Michelle has had a tough life (to be for sure!).  Actions that happened in her past, led her to her hero - Jeremy.  A super HOT military man that rescued her some years back.
Wouldn't you know, she manages to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and needs to depend upon Jeremy to save her once again.  The problem - Jeremy now works for the man that insists she actually did this bad act.  But Jeremy already knows her, and knows there is no way she could have done this.
A continuation of the series, this brings back some characters we met in the first book.  Though it could be standalone, I think it's better if the books are read in succession for the most enjoyment.
I really did enjoy this book and recommend it highly.  Lots of action, and romance, and hot military men! What's not to like?!

Romance Readers received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.





** BOOKS FROM THE SBG NOVEL SERIES **
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P.A. DePaul is a multi-genre romance author including paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense. She originally hails from Carroll County and Baltimore County, Maryland, but also lived in Macon and Warner Robins, Georgia. She currently resides in a beautiful community just outside Philadelphia. button author links
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

REVIEW TOUR: Carnival Tricks by Jade Kerrion



Title: CARNIVAL TRICKS
Series:  DOUBLE HELIX CASE FILES, BOOK 1
Author:  JADE KERRION
Genre:  FUTURISTIC THRILLER-ROMANCE
Publish Date:  APRIL 7, 2015


SYNOPSIS:

In a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, Kyle Norwood is an honest-to-God human and proud of it. His deadly skills come from hard work and not genetic sleight of hand. An easy mission to protect two Proficere Labs scientists turns into a shoot-out that leaves a scientist and a federal agent dead. Worse, the research data the scientists were carrying disappears. 

In a world where human derivatives are hated and feared, Sofia Rios is almost human. When a fight during her waitressing shift turns fatal, a dying scientist launches her into the shady world of scientific espionage. The unwilling trustee of research that people would kill to obtain, Sofia turns to the man who steps out of the shadows to protect her, even though he appears as dangerous and disreputable as the people who hunt her. 

Together, Sofia and Kyle must unravel the truth behind the illicit information she carries before one or both of them are killed. Their mutual attraction sparkles, but the spark could just as easily become an explosion if Kyle ever finds out that Sofia is a despised telekinetic. 



EXCERPT

The young man behind the counter did not look up when Kyle walked around the poorly stocked aisles into the restroom at the far end of the store, next to a door marked Exit. The restroom was filthy, but the stall was large and had a sink, which was all he needed. Kyle stripped off his shirt and grimaced at the deep cut in his side. Fortunately, the bullet had not ripped through organs or major blood vessels. He would be all right, at least long enough to make it to D.C. Perhaps the doctor there could help.

Behind him, the door lock clicked.

What the—?

Hadn’t he locked the door?

Reaching for his Glock, he spun around. His jaw dropped when he saw Sofia glaring at him with a first aid kit in her hand.

She scowled at him. “I knew it. I thought I smelled blood in the car.”

“Didn’t your mother ever teach you to knock?”

“Not when you’re hoping to catch someone butt-naked or with an injury that they’re trying to hide.”

“How did you—?”

“You walked funny. You were favoring your right side.”

That was not an answer to the question he had intended to ask. He had locked the door, hadn’t he? Kyle glowered at her. “Did I ever mention that you’re too observant?”

“Several times now.” Sofia washed her hands in the sink, and then leaned down to peer at the cut. “You could use some stitches.” She opened the first aid kit and carefully picked through its contents.

“I see you rummaged through the trunk of my car,” he said blandly. “It’s a good thing I didn’t have a body hidden in there tonight.”

She cast him a dirty look. Clearly, the girl knew no fear. “I can make do with what you have here.”

“Do you know what you’re doing?”

“There are lots of self-help videos on YouTube.” She giggled when he frowned. “Of course I do. I took courses in first aid before I decided to sign up for my nursing program. It wouldn’t do to learn that I’m queasy about bodily fluids after graduating. In fact—”

She paused suddenly. He did too. He had not imagined the low thud, like that of something heavy, a body perhaps, falling to the ground. He shrugged on his shirt and pulled his gun from his leather jacket. Pale and silent, Sofia closed the first aid kit and picked up his leather jacket. She looked at him, and he nodded. It was the only assurance he could give.

He eased the door open and tried to peer out of the bathroom, but was driven back by a hail of bullets that ripped up the wooden doorframe. “Do you have the car keys?” He mouthed the words.

Sofia patted the pocket of her denim jeans.

“On my count, get out the back door and get to the car.”

She swallowed hard and nodded. He did notice that the only time she did not argue with him was when their lives were in danger. Smart girl.

“Three…two…one.”




4 Stars

Carnival-Tricks is the story of Kyle, a human in a world of genetically engineered super humans, and Sofia, and mildly modified human with very limited enhanced abilities.  It follows their trials and tribulations as they seek to protect the world from an unknown danger than was entrusted to them by sheer accident.  They encounter a cast of morally ambiguous, and some outright non-moralistic, characters that add intrigue and danger to the mystery surrounding.  Add in a romantic subplot and commentary on outdated discriminatory ideals.

Overall, the story is interesting.  There is mystery and suspense wrapped around a complex scientific plot device.  I think that for me, that wasn’t the hardest thing to keep straight.  The futuristic technologies and enhancements to our world were are to imagine  and therefore, the suspenseful scenes lose a little in translation.  The characters, however, are enjoyable.  Kyle and Sophia have a alpha male softened by the ethical high-ground mentality of the heroine dynamic.  I wish there was a little more focus on the relationship between Danyeal and Zara as they don’t seem to mesh whatsoever yet somehow do.




Tuesday, April 28, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Stages & Thieves by Danielle-Claude Ngontang MBA

Stages & Thieves - Banner

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE: Stages & Thieves SERIES: Semya Slotin Mystery – Book five RELEASE DATE: February 17th, 2015 GENRE: Thriller/ romantic suspense

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Stages & Thieves - Book Cover
One fateful July morning forever changed the lives of Sémya Slotin and her best friend Polliannah Guryev.
Vincent Edgerton, the only man Sémya has ever loved, was taken from her by an explosion and a fire that she couldn’t understand, trust, nor explain. It left her alone, hurt, angry and desperately seeking answers. On top of everything, she is also incredibly hormonal; Sémya Slotin is going to be a mother.
Polliannah just healed from losing her husband but seeing her best friend grieving is not only breaking her heart, it has been a strain on their once close-knit relationship. She is afraid that Sémya will completely disappear into her grief. Thankfully, Polliannah can always seek refuge with the handsome Chief Superintendent James Connelly. In the past three months, he has become her safe haven. But when they finally give in to each other and Jim reveals his true feeling for her, Polliannah pulls away. Is she ready to put herself out there again?
Then all of the sudden, Sémya, the pregnant Detective Extraordinaire is chasing art thieves across the globe, making dangerous deals and finally meeting her father… It’s all about ex-lovers and new ones, a priceless painting, con artists, baby bumps, an impromptu trip to Moscow, designer dresses, teacakes, a birthday ball and reconnecting with your roots.
With everything that has happened this year, Sémya and Polliannah are more vulnerable and exposed than they have ever been. Will Jim’s love and trust be enough to ease Polliannah’s doubts? Will Sémya find out what happened to Vincent?
Welcome to the Stages & Thieves saga, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

EXCERPT

Sémya stared at today’s date on her laptop and felt the blood drain from her face. At the same moment, she felt a sharp pain in her low abdomen, not the usual kicks Poopie had been blessing her with. “Oh God!” she cried in pain and held her belly. This is hell! She got dizzy and managed to get to the bathroom before she made a mess. She kept throwing up for a good ten minutes before she felt another sharp pain or contraction maybe. When the worst passed, she slowly got back up and brushed her teeth, put on one of Vincent’s large shirts and walked back to her bedroom.
The excitement and joys of the day were gone. All that was left was pain, longing and grief. Sémya rubbed her belly as to soothe it but she felt another small contraction creeping in. “Poopie, I promise to be strong if you will,” she mumbled and went straight to bed. She put her special pregnancy pillow between her legs and hugged it tightly as the pain moved to her back. She bit into it and breathed. It’s not early labor, Sémya, not early labor… She was too tired to address the tears that were falling down her cheeks. If Vincent were here, he would have rubbed her back gently and murmured nice loving words in her ears. He would tell her what she already knew, that it was just Braxton Hicks contractions. He would tell her that Poopie was a show hugger for doing this on his thirty-fifth birthday. Sémya quietly kept crying and braved the pain until she fell asleep.

BUY & TBR LINKS

AMAZON US KINDLE – AMAZON US PAPERBACK – AMAZON CA KINDLE – AMAZON UK KINDLE – AMAZON UK PAPERBACK – IBOOKSTORE – KOBOSTORE – BARNES & NOBLES – GOODREADS


STAGES & THIEVES BOOK SOUNDTRACK

 Spotify URI: spotify:user:1187291858:playlist:7nJxhUmUssvo7kjwszMxFy

Fallinlove2nite Prince and Zooey Deschanel

Under Pressure Queen, David Bowie

Sexy Lady Jessie J

The First Cut is the deepest Cheryl Crow

Breathe Faith Hill

My Immortal Evanescence

Tears in Heaven Eric Clapton

You make me feel like a natural woman Aretha Franklin

The way you like tonight Michael Bublé

Beneath your beautiful Emeli Sandeand Labrinth

Stay with me Sam Smith

Dust to dust The Civil Wars

Somewhere we know Lilly Allen

Distance and time Alicia Keys

Missing Everything But The Girl


AUTHOR BIO

1252b-dcngontangmbaauthorpicture
I’m over 30. I was born in Quebec City, Canada. I grew up in France and in Gabon. I speak English & French fluently. Pizza is my favorite dish. Black Forest Cake is my favorite dessert. I met Michael Jackson when I was eleven. I loathe vodka but love gin, wine and tequila. I'm obsessed with Robbie Williams and Michael Fassbender. I call Toronto my home. I love reading. I love dancing. I love watching exciting TV shows. I love my life... most days. I'm a major goof. I can't stand intolerance. I'm curious, cheeky and oh so opinionated!

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS

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COVER REVEAL: More Than Lies by N.E. Henderson






No one is perfect. 

I wish I could scream it at them, but no one will listen to me. Instead, they choose to ignore me by making me into something I’m not. I try to make them happy, but no matter how hard I try it’s not good enough. I make good grades. Hell, I was top of my class senior year, but things happen. We make sacrifices for people important to us. My parents wouldn’t understand that. Instead, they say I could be better. I’m the good girl to everyone else, but to my parents I fall short. To most I have curves, to them I’m fat. I just want them to be happy with my imperfections. You know what? I’m tired of giving and getting nothing in return. Screw them.

The only one that I want to see me for who I really am…is him. 

TARALYNN EVANS has always been the good girl, forced to befriend people she cares nothing about. She tries hard to be what them and everyone else expects her to be, but what’s the point when it’s never enough to gain their approval? She’s over lying to make others happy or self-sacrificing to spare their feelings. For once, she just wants to be herself. She wants to feel human, tired of being a puppet.
When tragedy strikes her in the worst way, she finds herself bargaining in distress, trying to find reason and rationality in what’s set before her, but will he give in when in most cases the good girl never gets the bad boy?

Ink, sex, lies, loyalty. 

Those are the things that define me, and my life. I do me. Nothing else matters. I don’t need anyone’s approval, nor do I seek it. I’m comfortable with the man I am. The only thing that haunts my dreams are those sapphire eyes that remind me of midnight. I will shut it down every single time. I can’t have her. She deserves more than what I’m after. The problem is that sometimes life is a bitch. That curveball was nowhere in sight, but now that it’s been thrown…my life may never be the same.
SHAWN BRADEN has always been the bad boy. He’s always had the love and support of his parents no matter what he does. He knows he can have any girl he wants. Too bad he never wants them more than once. What he truly wants is the one thing he’s never admitting to, not even to himself. What happens when he starts seeing past the facade she’s put on for years and shows him the real girl that is hiding inside? Will he fall against his will, or will she become nothing more than every girl before?


       "Why the fuck was that prick bringing you home?"
        After Mason made it known yesterday morning that I'm sleeping with Jared, you'd think Shawn would know the answer to that question. He probably does. He just wants me to verbalize it. I'm not going to.
       "Leave it, Shawn." I twist around and pin him with a stare. Next, I toss the tequila back, but this time my eyes widen. Ok, maybe my buzz wasn't so much gone like I originally thought.
       Wow. That was stout.
       "How much have you had to drink?"
       "Enough that I should be in bed." What's with the twenty questions? More importantly why does he even care? From what I saw earlier tonight, or last night really, Shawn and Mason left with the brunette trash from Level. I don't have to guess what they left to go do and I certainly don't want to imagine it.
       "So, let me get this straight. You, drunk, got onto the back of Cole's bike? Are you fucking crazy, Tara?" He doesn't wait for a reply. "Or do you have a death wish?"
       "Neither, are you done now?" His palm smacks the side of the refrigerator before turning. Moments later, I hear the door to the half bathroom down the hall slam closed.
       I turn back around, pour yet another glass and down it. I'm going to pay for this when I wake up and it's going to be so much worse than yesterday morning's hangover. Screw it. If I'm going to do it in the first place, might as well do it right.
       "You know, it's only a matter of time before Holly has him back in her grasps. You don't stand a chance with Shawn; you never have." Cassie's catty bitch-ass voice assaults my ears. Sometimes she's worse than Amanda. I put up with Mandy’s shit because she is dating my best friend, but it'll be a cold day in hell before I deal with this bitch’s crap. Without giving it a bit of thought, I turn and leap forward. She needs a good butt kicking. I'm not a fighter. I know I can take her if I tried, but I don't actively seek out confrontations. My mother would flip her lid, so I do what's necessary to avoid that at all cost.
       Before I reach her, a set of massive arms grab me by the waist, pulling me backwards and against his hard chest. "Get. Out. Of. My. House." Shawn bites each word out through clenched teeth. I know they aren't directed at me. Even if I weren’t looking at her shocked expression, I'd know they are aimed at Cassie Winston.
       "What?"
       "I don't think he stuttered, Barbie?" Okay, Barbie is usually held for Holly, the queen bitch herself, but I had to. Sue me if you don't like it. I don’t usually act like this, but I’ve had a fair share of alcohol tonight.
       "You won't disrespect her, or anyone else that lives here. Last time I checked, you don't live here… so leave." His words are still a bark. Shawn can come off quite scary at times. Frankly, Cassie looks like she is about to pee her pants. Inside, I'm loving it. This is so much better than me punching her. "Or I could let Tara go, but I don't think you want me to. Trust me, she will crush you.
       "I will? Hell, I don't know if I will or not. I've never hit another person in my life. I'm bigger than Cassie, sure, in every way, but I'm not going there.
       The snootiness crosses her face again. It's the same one my mother wears around me. She should have been my mother's kid. I'm certain her and my mother would get along much better than my mother and I do. "Yes, she would.
       "Oh that bitch went there. Yes, I have issues with my weight. I'm not over weight, I don't think, but I’m not thin or skinny by any means, and it doesn't matter how much I work out, I'm never going to be a small size. I love to cook and I love to eat the food I cook. It's just not in the cards for me. Doesn't mean I like it, but she doesn't have a right to throw it in my face, especially with Shawn standing here.
       I try to jump forward, but Shawn's hold on me tightens. "Leave. Now." Another bark, only this time his voice is deeper. It's a warning.
       "Whatever." She turns, exiting the kitchen followed by the house as quickly as her feet will move.
       Once I hear the door click closed he releases me, and as he steps backwards the warm flannel shirt I'm wearing, Jared’s shirt, is pulled off my body. I turn, facing Shawn. What the heck is that about? 
      "Go take a shower?" My jaw drops. He rips the shirt down the middle, making two un-wearable pieces. What the flyin...
       The material is disregarded and lands on the tile floor.
       I plant my hands on my hips in a defiant gesture. He's not about to order me around. I might take that crap from my parents, but I won't from anyone else. "Excuse me?"
       Shawn wastes no time. He springs forward in an instant, making me step backwards until my back collides with the wall. He continues to close in, placing his palms on the flat surface of the wall next to my face and leans in. "You smell like him and I don't fucking like it.
        "Oh tough shit."
        Because you smelling like a cheap whore is so much better," I lash back. I don't waste my time either. I take both of my hands, placing my palms on his chest and pushing as hard as I can. It might not have come across as a shove, because his body didn't move away from mine as much as I intended it to. "Piss off, Shawn." With those last words I leave the kitchen, taking myself up the stairs to my bedroom for a shower… and not because Shawn ordered me to, but because I do in fact stink.
        If I weren't as drunk as I am right now, I might have stopped to analyze what just happened between us, but I don't. I'm going to struggle enough just getting out of my clothes to shower tonight, or this morning, or whatever the hell time of the day this is.
Mother effin' jerk, he is.
 

MEET N.E. HENDERSON

Hi, I’m Nancy,
I’m a mom, wife, writer, obsessed reader, and fiction whore to the chore. I’m an introvert. It takes me a minute to warm up to people, but once I do, you’ll probably never get me to shut up.
I live in the south, Mississippi to be exact. I love warm sunny days and I despise cold and raining weather. I have a love/hate relationship with my Bull Terrier, Xena. The little winch thinks my husband belongs to her when he most certainly does not; he belongs to me.
I love to read possibly even more than I love to write. That can be a problem when I have fictional people taking up room inside my brain and screaming to get out. They don’t understand why I can’t give them my full attention.
In my free time, I love riding my Can Am Maverick and finding new off road trails. I’m a city girl, married to a country boy, who likes to get a little dirty and sometimes muddy. Even though I don’t do it often, I love roller coasters. The steel coasters that is. I hate the wooden ones.
Readers, connect with me. I love hearing from you and reading your reviews.

xoxo,



 







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Is this your first time hearing of author NE Henderson? Check out her other books while you wait on the release of More than lies! Now available are the first two books in the Silent series, Nick and Shannon's story. 


Silent No More (Silent, #1)

Silent Guilt (Silent, #2)