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FROM EXCITING ROMANCE AUTHOR BROOKE TAYLOR
Book one in the Wicked Games series
After a tornado drops a feisty fugitive into the arms of a steel-hearted warrior, she must convince him to help her and her not-so-little dog evade a wicked enemy.
When a tornado drops Thea Gale and her not-so-little dog Titan into the arms of a steel-hearted warrior, she has no idea the trouble she is in. Lucky for her, the battle-scarred Navy SEAL who comes to her rescue knows a few things about evading wicked enemies.
Nickolas Steele is certain the right thing to do is to turn the filterless fugitive and her overprotective canine in to the authorities. But is the captivating amnesiac really a threat or is she the one whose life is in grave danger?
Nik can’t shake the feeling Thea’s past has come back to claim her, and discovering who she really is might be more deadly than either of them is prepared for. In order to enlist Nik’s help, Thea must not only confront the trauma of her former life but also penetrate the carefully forged armor protecting what’s left of Nik’s heart.
ONE OF THE “MOST ANTICIPATED CRIME BOOKS OF 2021″—CrimeReads
ONE OF THE “MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASES OF 2021″—Book Riot
ONE OF THE “11 CRIME NOVELS YOU SHOULD READ THIS FEBRUARY”—CrimeReads
ONE OF “2021’S MOST ANTICIPATED NEW RELEASES”—Books in The Freezer
This horrifying retelling of the Pied Piper fairytale set in present-day Chicago is an edge of your seat, chills up the spine, thrill ride.
When Detective Lauren Medina sees the calling card at a murder scene in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, she knows the Pied Piper has returned. When another teenager is brutally murdered at the same lagoon where her sister’s body was found floating years before, she is certain that the Pied Piper is not just back, he’s looking for payment he’s owed from her. Lauren’s torn between protecting the city she has sworn to keep safe, and keeping a promise she made long ago with her sister’s murderer. She may have to ruin her life by exposing her secrets and lies to stop the Pied Piper before he collects.
Cynthia (Cina) Pelayo is the author of LOTERIA, SANTA MUERTE, THE MISSING, POEMS OF MY NIGHT, and the upcoming CHILDREN OF CHICAGO by Agora/Polis Books. Pelayo is an International Latino Book Award winning author and an Elgin Award nominee. She lives in Chicago with her family.
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Perfect for lovers of historical romantic mysteries.
Sir Henry, secret agent to the crown, must marry a lady above reproach to afford his illegitimate daughter entrance into society. After narrowly escaping marriage to a highborn bigot, he takes an assignment in Brighton, leading him to an abandoned abbey full of dark whispers, and a sinister secret society, the very one Henry has been investigating for three years.
Isabella is as beautiful as she is talented, but falling in love isn’t part of her plans. She only wants to paint, forget her painful past, and keep her overbearing mother at bay. But gaining one’s independence isn’t easy for a woman in 1823, so Isabella embarks on a fake courtship with Sir Henry. Soon, love and a painting career no longer seem so utterly incompatible.
But when the man Isabella fears most kidnaps her, all appears lost. Realizing the kidnapper is part of the same organization he is investigating, Henry chases after them. Entrapped in a web of secrets, both Henry and Isabella must face old enemies, and fight for their happily ever after.
About the Author
Bianca M Schwarz was born in Germany, spent her formative years in London, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and teenage son. She has been telling stories all her life and holds a degree in English literature. Her first novel is THE INNKEEPER’S DAUGHTER. THE GENTLEMAN’S DAUGHTER is the second and most sweepingly romantic book in THE GENTLEMAN SPY SERIES.
He’s used to stories with no happy ending…
Aiden Hughes never expected to return to Birdsong, but after a scandal rocked his professional world the former hard-hitting reporter needs a plan B. Covering local events for the small town newspaper after chasing down national news is a huge step backwards. But when he interviews the founder of a dog rescue whose heart is bigger than New York City, he wonders if there’s more to life than his byline in a prestigious paper.
Emily McLane has always had a sweet spot for animals. She plans an ambitious adoption festival to fund the expansion of her beloved dog rescue, but she needs publicity. When a former local boy offers to help her design a promotion, she finds herself falling in love for the first time. They both have big dreams, but Aiden’s will take him far from Birdsong. Will they follow their hearts or are they only falling in puppy love?
About the Authors
From Scottish lairds to billionaire businessmen, Kelsey McKnight will ignite your soul, no matter what century it lives in. Kelsey is a university-educated historian from southern New Jersey. She has married her great loves of romance, history, and literature to create her own tales of dashing heroes, sultry bad boys, and lovable heroines who have their own stories to tell. They will take you through the ballrooms of Victorian London, the hills of the Scottish Highlands, New York City penthouses, and into small towns with big hearts, all at the flip of a page. When she’s not writing, Kelsey can be found reading, drinking too much coffee, spending time with her family, and working for a nonprofit organization.
Sarah Fischer works hard fighting the good fight in personnel security. She graduated with a degree in criminal justice and married the calm to her crazy. Then Sarah had a health scare and needed heart surgery. While recovering, she finally had the time to write the stories playing out in her mind. Her college romantic suspense series, Elton Hall Chronicles, is now available in its entirety on Amazon. First Semester, Second Snowfall, and Third Wheel remind you what you loved about college, show you what you missed, and make you yearn for what could have been. Sarah also has a contemporary short story in the Craving Bad anthology. In her spare time, you’ll find her with a book in her hand, at the movies, or watching just one more episode of reality TV.
Great review for the latest anthology I have a story included in. My story, Summer Healing, is one of the titles specifically reviewed. Thanks to Kendra Olson for taking the time to review. The ebook version of this anthology is free btw (links in the review).
If I look over at the counter on the left side of my website, I can see there are 11 days to go before the official release of my debut New Adult novel, Altered. I began reflecting on how I got to be in this situation exactly.
I really never had much of an interest in writing. I was a medic in the army, an administrative management systems major in college, and an MBA. I even had a brief stint in law school (as you will soon learn when you read Altered). I didn’t take literature classes beyond what was required for my diploma or degree. I did however develop a love of reading in high school.
My tenth grade English teacher, Mrs. Janet Ghio, recognized there was no multicultural-influenced literature in our curriculum I could relate to. She gave me a copy of The Color Purple (ha! I’m dating myself), and once I’d finished, she took me out to lunch to discuss what I’d read. That definitely sparked something in my reading life that had been mostly non-existent before (I was more of a tomboy-type kid). The next year, I took philosophy as my elective and fell in love with Dostoevsky and Kafka (The Metamorphosis is still my all time favorite short story).
At some point a couple of years ago, I started bouncing this idea around in my head that I might want to write about. I kept it there – in the back of my head. Around the same time, I really got into the Outlander series and the author, Diana Gabaldon, was very vocal about the writing process. I still kept my idea in the back of my head.
I also follow a celebrity gossip blogger (perhaps I should be thoroughly embarrassed by that, but I’m not), @laineygossip, who introduced me to the New Adult genre. I tore through all of her recommendations plus more and found them to be easy, quick reads that were somehow satisfying. That also prompted me to think, “Wow, I can write that.”
I signed up for NaNoWriMo in 2013, but didn’t write a single word. I finally revisited this idea the following April and was finished with it by mid-May. I was completely embarrassed to be writing and only told my younger daughter who was still in high school at the time. I made her promise not to tell anyone. After the story started pouring out of me, I told another “reading” friend (who lives in another state), Anna, and started sending her what I’d written in 20K chunks. She loved it and that encouraged me to keep going and also share with others in my life that I was writing.
I signed up for NaNoWriMo again in 2014 and this time completed it, as well as another book that’s a contemporary romance (Scale Steps). Again sending it to my friend 20K words at a time.
A few months went by and I really didn’t know what to do with either of my finished manuscripts. Then one day I saw a post in an Outlander Facebook group I frequent (ahem) by one C. H. Armstrong singing the praises of the publishing process she’d been going through with her debut novel, The Edge of Nowhere. I checked out her publisher, Penner Publishing, and decided to submit both manuscripts.
I waited about two weeks. And when I say waited, I mean refreshed my email every single hour. Finally I saw the email I’d been waiting for. I nervously clicked on it to open and read through squinted eyes. “Thank you for querying Penner Publishing with ALTERED and UNEXPECTED (Scale Step before I changed the name) and for giving us the opportunity to consider your manuscripts. Unfortunately, UNEXPECTED is not a good fit for us at this time…” My heart sank, but it wasn’t entirely unexpected (pun intended) given how difficult I’d heard it was to get published. And this was my first query after all (I didn’t even realize I was querying at the time).
I went on to read, “…but we quite enjoyed reading ALTERED. If ALTERED is still available, we would love to talk further.”
Um, talk about burying the lead!
This has been quite a journey and I’ve had a LOT of support along the way. I know it’s an overused word, but I can’t describe the experience as anything other than surreal.
In line with my Outlander obsession, I was so intrigued by and pleased to submit to the Cooklander cookbook, the brainchild of Debra McGill. One, because it involved the “fanmily” of Outlander; two, because sales from the cookbook goes to the three charities supported by Outlander royalty; and three, because I always have some treasured recipes I want to share with everyone.
Although all recipes submitted did not make it into the cookbook, I was fortunate enough to have both of my submissions published in Cooklander. As if that isn’t cool enough, I’m extremely pleased with the placement of them.
Wow, look at that! My Breast of Chicken with Sauce Champignon is right above a recipe submitted by showrunner Ron Moore, and his wife, costume designer Terry Dresbach. For an Outlander fanatic like me, that’s pretty wonderful.
To tie this in with Kelly Cain, author, there is a recipe in the cookbook that Liv from my New Adult Romance, Altered, makes – spinach enchiladas. The enchiladas’ recipe is from the creator and author of the Outlander series Herself, Diana Gabaldon. You will also find her mentioned in the acknowledgements of Altered.
A little more about the cookbook. Although not all recipes submitted were published, 550 were. That’s a bunch and these are recipes that are tried and true. These are family recipes (like my dressing) or simply recipes that have been made and enjoyed for years (like my chicken breast). Every continent is represented (except Antarctica) with almost 300 contributors.
If you want to purchase the cookbook, there are a limited amount available. Go to the website to find out more or to order, and remember, all proceeds go to charity. Bloodwise is especially close to my heart since my dad has been living with leukemia for almost four years now. I’m copying the three charities supported from the Cooklander About page because they can do them more justice than I can:
- Bloodwise – Formerly known as Leukemia & Lymphoma Research, is the UK’s biggest blood cancer charity. Working to beat, treat, cure and prevent blood cancers. Bloodwise researches, helps, campaigns, shares learning and raises money. Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser in Starz series Outlander, supports Bloodwise. See https://bloodwise.org.uk/ for more information or to make a direct donation to this organization.
- NPH USA – supports Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (Spanish for “our little Brothers & sister”) raising children and transforming the lives of more than 3,400 orphaned, abandoned & disadvantaged children, in 9 countries, by providing shelter, food, clothing, healthcare, and education, in a Christian family environment, based on unconditional acceptance, love, sharing, working and responsibility. Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander book series, supports NPH USA. See https://www.nphusa.org/ for more information or to make direct donation to this organization.
- World Child Cancer – Their mission is to improve cancer diagnosis, treatment and care for children across the developing world. Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser on Starz Outlander, is the patron of World Child Cancer. See http://www.worldchildcancer.org/ for more information or to make a direct donation to the organization.
It’s been a lazy day for me. For various reasons, my family decided to celebrate yesterday. And we really celebrated.
And those are just the desserts. We talked, laughed, played games, and generally enjoyed each other. My daughters were happy which always makes me happy. By the end of the night, we were all pretty much in sugar comas (I was unceremoniously cut off on the far left).
Today has been quiet so I decided that it would be a great day to get a little writing done. I’m starting here, but moving on to Who Is Jody Anyway? – something I haven’t worked on in several weeks. I actually dreamed about sales rankings for Altered last night. I’ve been pretty focused on ensuring it has a successful release which means I haven’t been focused on why I got into this game to begin with: releasing those stories and characters rolling around in my brain.
So I wish you a very happy holiday and hope you are enjoying today as much as I am!