If I Fall

Title: If I Fall
Author: Amber Thielman
Genre: Dark, Edgy Mature YA
Cover Designer: Anna Bloom
Publication Date: February 14th, 2019
Blurb: 
How do you survive when your best friend takes his own life?
Khloe has no idea how she’ll live without her best friend by her side. Carter was not the suicidal type, and Khloe can’t understand his leaving her so abruptly. When she finds Carter’s journal, it’s a secret portal holding all his deepest secrets. As Khloe unravels the hidden darkness of her best friend’s life–hoping to find what drove him to suicide–she struggles without him as she stumbles back into the treacherous world she’d left behind. Prescription drugs, sex, and the tip of a needle to feel her pain for her.
Her friend Ava tries to reason with her, but the more Khloe discovers Carter’s life, the less she understands. When Khloe almost goes over the edge, a handsome paramedic, Ty, saves her life and seems intent on saving her heart along with it. But the shadows that chased Carter are hot on her heels, and unless she can find the peace that eluded him, she might follow Carter past the last page.

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Amber Thielman is an avid reader and writer of dark, edgy Young Adult and New Adult books that push the boundaries and challenge your comfort zone.
Despite her growing love for HEA’s, Amber reads too much Stephen King and grew up devouring every Fear Street novel R. L. Stine ever wrote. When she’s not writing, Amber enjoys traveling, practicing the art of staying on her horse, binge-watching Netflix, and spending time with her husband and their adorable tiny human Aidyn in Southeast Idaho. She also has an undying love for pumpkin-flavored anything and boozy concoctions.
  
Author Links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/matchbox_girl
“Khloe, your phone. It’s ringing.”
            My eyes flickered open. I didn’t move, and instead, let my gaze flash around the room. I laid there for another moment under the comforter, motionless and silent, still half-asleep. The air in the room was stale and smelled sour with stifling heat and B.O. My head was swimming with dizziness much like it had before I fell asleep and my stomach was churning from the after-effects of booze and weed.
            “Khloe,” the voice said again. I closed my eyes. Maybe if I ignored it, it would stop talking.
            The tiny silver cell phone sitting on the dresser next to my bed was nothing short of deceiving. The catchy tune I had momentarily listened to on repeat, now made my eardrums want to explode. How could something so loud and annoying come from something so small and fragile?
            “Khloe, answer the fucking phone!”
            The male specimen lying next to me sat up, reached across, and plucked the phone from the dresser before tossing it near my head. It was still going off, shrill and violating. Christ. Why hadn’t the person hung up yet? Still groggy, I grabbed the phone and looked at the screen before flipping it open and putting it to my ear.
            “Carter?” My throat was raw and scratchy. Attractive. It tasted like bile. I cleared it and winced. “What are you doing? It’s four in the morning.”
            For a moment, there was silence. An eerie and unnatural silence that made my heart thump against my insides like steel drums. My throat tightened.
            “Carter?”
            “Hey, Khloe.”
            My best friend’s voice was different—quiet; almost poignant. I rubbed my face and kicked the covers off, sliding my feet into a pair of slippers. I padded down the hallway to the bathroom so I wouldn’t wake up the guy who was asleep again and probably drooling into my pillow. I made a mental note to wash it tomorrow if I wasn’t too hung over to function.
            “What’s up?” I asked, shutting the bathroom door behind me. “Is everything okay?”
            Another long silence cocooned me. I could barely hear him breathe.
            “Are you with anyone?”
            “Just some guy I met at work tonight. But I’m in another room. It’s alright.” I ran a hand through my tangled brown hair, trying to recall the last time I’d taken a shower and washed it. At this rate, dreadlocks would be my next fashion statement.
            “What did I tell you about sleeping with losers you meet at the club?”
            “Oh, relax.” I leaned over the sink to survey the mascara stains under my eyelids. I looked like a harlot. “He’ll be gone by morning. You’re going to worry yourself to death. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with scoring free drinks all night.”
            “You’re only eighteen,” Carter said. “You’re supposed to be a server. You’ll get fired if you keep it up.” He sighed, and silence led again. I waited for him to say something else, but he didn’t.
            “Carter?”
            “I’m here.” He sounded sleepy, groggy, in and out of some dream world. My fingers tightened around the cell phone in my hand until my knuckles ached. “Besides, Ava needs to stop sneaking you booze. She’s a bad influence.”
            “That’s beside the point.”
            Another long silence greeted me, but I didn’t push it, just waited for him to talk. Sometimes that’s all you could do.
            “I care about you, you know,” Carter said after a full forty-five seconds. “And you have a habit of doing reckless… things.”
            “Only to push your buttons.” I took a seat on the edge of the bathtub and crossed my legs, scanning the mysterious bumps and bruises up and down my skin. Blackout nights and perplexing injuries were not new to me, but they were puzzling, nonetheless.
            “It’s not funny.” His voice tightened. I paused, startled by the sudden anger in his tone. Carter rarely snapped like that, especially not at me. The last time he’d raised his voice in my direction, I’d twisted his arm behind his back until he apologized just to escape the agony.
            “Don’t you use that tone with—”
            “I worry about you.” He cut me off. His voice was softer now, his anger diminishing. He sounded off somehow… buzzed, maybe, or high. But Carter didn’t drink. I’d never seen him cradling so much as a Dr. Pepper at parties. “I really do. I worry about you.”
            “You don’t have to,” I retorted. “There’re a lot of things I wouldn’t have been able to get through without you. But the rest is up to me to decide for myself.”
            “If this guy in your bed is gone before tomorrow morning, I won’t have to kick his ass.” For a moment Carter sounded like his old self, and some of my concerns faded.
            “Oh, best friend, what would I do without you?” I stood and turned on the cold water in the sink, then leaned down and filled my mouth, swishing the stale taste of beer and cigarettes out the best I could. I didn’t have the energy to brush my teeth, so this would have to do.
            “Carter?” I said, drying my mouth with a towel. “Are you sure you’re okay? It’s usually me calling you at four in the morning, not the other way around.”
            “Jusqu’ a la procaine fois.” It was our secret phrase, meaning, ‘until next time’ in French.
            “That didn’t answer my question,” I said with a smile. From my bedroom, I could hear the guy snoring in my bed. I didn’t know his name, barely knew his face, and I didn’t care to.
            “Take care of yourself, ami.”
            “Will you stop speaking French and talk to me?” I sat back down on the edge of the bathtub. The beer from earlier sloshed around in my stomach. “I know something is wrong, Carter. You’re my best friend. Talk to me. Why do you sound so weird?”
            The beep in my ear was so distinct I almost flinched. I held the phone away from me and stared at it, dumbfounded. Even during our worst fights, sometimes even the ones that had escalated to a screaming match, neither of us had ever hung up on the other one. It was an unwritten rule.
            “You ass,” I said aloud, dialing his number and pressing the green button. We were going to get to the bottom of this, upset or not. After the fifth ring, I snapped the phone shut, opened it, and then dialed again. I figured he’d have to forfeit, eventually.
            “Carter,” I said to his voicemail. “If you don’t answer this phone, the next time I call, I’ll come over there and pound your fucking door down.” I snapped the phone shut for the fifth time and sat fuming on the edge of the bathtub, giving him time to listen to my voicemail. He never could bear to hear me upset, so I didn’t doubt the phone would be ringing any time now.
            Anytime.
            I dialed again, a small lump of panic rising in my throat as the phone rang and rang. Flipping it shut I shoved it into the pocket of my jeans, grateful—though not for the first time—that I’d passed out in my clothes. In my bed, the male was still snoring even louder now. I kicked off my slippers, yanked on some shoes, and sneaked out the door, careful not to wake the stranger. I could only hope he’d be gone by the time I got back.
            The chill of a Washington morning in early spring hit me as I fumbled in the dark for my car keys and slid into the driver’s side of the piece of shit Grand Prix that almost didn’t qualify as a car anymore. It started on the fourth try, sputtering and wheezing like it was having an asthma attack. I slammed it into drive and headed towards Carter’s place, unwilling to admit my high school car, Missus Betty, was probably nearing the end of her eventful life. We’d all known it for a while, but the reality of the situation was still harsh—especially when she was still chugging along after two-hundred-and-fifty thousand miles.
            “We’re almost there,” I said to the wheezing car. “I know it’s cold outside, but just a little further—” Missus Betty wheezed up the hill in the direction of Carter’s off-campus apartment. The lights were off when we finally arrived, and I put the car in park and turned off the engine, patting the dashboard with a thank you. I slid out of the car and trudged across the lawn to the front door. I tried the handle. Locked, per usual. What a girl.
            “Carter Drake, open the damn door!” I shouted. In the house next to his complex, a dog began to bark, shattering the stillness of the early morning. I spun around to face the general direction of the barks. “Shut the hell up!” I didn’t care if I woke the neighbors. They were uptight assholes, anyway. The window to Carter’s bedroom was obscured and I couldn’t see a light on. I wondered if he was asleep or in the bathroom.
            “I’ll break your window!” I threatened. As I stood on the front porch in the dark, the dog’s barking grew louder, and I became colder. Too annoyed to stand there until the sun rose, I picked up a small stone from the garden, pulled back my arm, and heaved it at the second-story window. It made a sharp splitting sound against the glass before bouncing off and hitting me in the face. I cursed, holding my nose, suddenly remembering the spare key hidden under the rock in the garden.
            “Damn you, Carter,” I mumbled. I fell to my hands and knees to grope around in the dark for the flat stone that hadn’t moved for two years. My fingers brushed the smooth surface, and, using my cell phone for light, I grabbed the key and brushed the dirt from my pants before sticking it in the lock and pushing the door open.
            The entire apartment was dark—silent. Aside from the buzzing of the fridge in the kitchen, there was no sound. I pocketed the key and felt against the wall for the light switch, flipping it on and shutting the door quietly behind me. The living room lit up, blinding me momentarily. I looked around, seeking for some sign of Carter, but the house was still. Just as expected, the place was spotless. Over the suede chaise sofa laid a hand-woven quilt, the quilt I’d made him during my long-ass, torture-filled summer at camp without him. The coffee table in front of the couch was tidy, only flaunting a few stacked magazines and an Aloe Vera plant. The apartment was clean—cleaner than my place had ever been, which was typical for the two of us.
            “I’m coming up,” I hollered at the stairs. “I hope you’re decent.” I waited for some reaction; some grumbled reply or sleepy bitch-out. Instead, there was silence—a silence that chilled my core. “I know you’re here. I saw your car by the curb.” Trying to ward off the dizzying effects of my hangover, I climbed the stairs one at a time, giving Carter enough time to fully wake before I reamed his ass for hanging up on me. “It’s your fault I’m not sleeping right now,” I said. My head was starting to pound, vision fuzzy as exhaustion overcame me. I stopped in front of his door and let my hand rest on the handle, pushing it open. “I may very well kick you out of bed and—”
            There was silence, an eerie, terrifying silence that seemed to freeze time. In that silence, someone started to scream. For a fleeting second, I wanted to cover my ears and yell at them to shut up: grow up, be quiet, get the fuck out. Shut the fuck up.
            Then I realized it was me.
            I spotted the bottle of pills first, a neon orange prescription bottle lying open on the floor. The lid was off, and it was empty. Next to the empty bottle of pills, he was there.
            With a sob, I dropped to my knees in front of him. I could hear my breath coming in quick, short gasps of panic as I reached out and allowed my trembling hand to feel for any sign of life. His lips were tinged blue, his eyes partially open and staring at the ceiling above us. His skin, at one time running so much warmer than everybody else’s, was cooling down. Chilled and waxy.
            “No,” I screamed the word until it hurt my throat. “I don’t understand what’s happening. I don’t understand what’s happening. Carter? Carter. Tell me—tell me what’s happening. Carter!” I collapsed onto him, letting my head rest on his chest. “I need to call 911,” I murmured. Jumbled thoughts raced through my mind, none of them making a bit of sense. I pulled my cell phone from my pocket and dialed the emergency line. My hand was shaking so severely that twice I dropped the phone.
            “It’s okay,” I said to Carter. “They’ll be able to help you.”
            “911, where’s your emergency?” asked the operator on the other end of the line. I touched my face, only just noticing the tears rolling down my cheeks.
            “My friend,” I said. I reached down and squeezed Carter’s hand. “He’s-he needs help. I need an ambulance. We’re in the Kirkwood Meadows apartments, number sixty-one.”
            “I’m sending Paramedics now,” the dispatcher said. “Ma’am, can you tell me what happened?”
            “No. I don’t know. I just-I need someone to come and help him. I need someone to come and save his life and I—” The cell phone dropped from my fingers. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I heard it clatter to the floor, bouncing against the hardwood floor of his bedroom. I reached for him again, resting my hand on his, our temperatures clashing. I could feel my face and fingers start to tingle and numb, threatening a panic attack.
            “It’s going to be okay,” I said, lacing my fingers together over his chest. I began compressions, holding my breath, as the seconds ticked by in slow motion. I paused for a moment and checked for a pulse. There was nothing. “I love you, Carter,” I whispered, pumping his chest again. “I’m so sorry, just stay with me. They–they’ll help you.” Then, in the silence of the house, amongst the midst of death, I lost it.
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Bad Deal

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Book Title: Bad Deal (Belikov Crime Family 1)

Author: Ember-Raine Winters & Faith Ryan

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Always Inked

Genre/s: Dark Erotic Romance, Mafia/MC

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 40 000 words

It’s the first in a series but stands alone

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Blurb

He’s a Russian devil and he owns me.

JR Richards

What’s worse than wanting the one person you can never have? How about finally getting them. Don’t get me wrong the sex was great, but everything that came after? Yeah, it’s like they say, be careful what you wish for.

Ruslan Belikov

My brother made a deal that didn’t go as planned. Now I have to get back what’s ours and pretty boy Jacoby is the tool to make that happen. I’ll torture and use him until I get what I want, then I’ll toss him aside like the rest.

A motorcycle club and a Mafia family shouldn’t make deals. Someone’s bound to lose. Family, friends and hearts, nothing’s safe in a world fueled by drugs, money and sex.

WARNING: Ruslan Belikov and Jacoby Richards may not be for everyone. They are two dominant men thrown into an impossible situation. Some readers may find their story makes them uncomfortable. If you don’t like dark and dirty mafia bosses who use torture and sex to get their way turn back now. You have been warned.

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Excerpt

I follow behind them quietly as Demitri shoves him toward the bathroom. I notice Jacoby wince as Demitri squeezes his shoulder. I file that information away for later when the fun really begins. As I enter the bathroom, I remove my suit jacket folding it over the counter and rolling my sleeves up to my elbows.

I see Jacoby shiver as Demitri blasts the cold water on him not bothering to let him remove his underwear. “Leave us.” I bark. Demitri jumps as if I’ve startled him, but does as told and scurries from the bathroom shutting the door firmly behind him. Jacoby’s eyes watch me as I move closer. I’m not sure if it’s fear or something else in his eyes as he glares at me. There was no heat behind it. “You like this, don’t you?” I wave a hand over my body. Jacoby nods. Good, no point in lying to me when I could see it written all over his face. My cock is painfully hard and I decide it’s time for some relief. “On your knees.” My thick accent becomes even thicker the more aroused I become. When he does nothing but drop to his knees and await my instructions, my hands go to my belt unbuckling it and pulling the leather slowly from my slacks. His breath catches in his throat when I pull myself out stroking once, twice before stepping forward and grabbing a fistful of his hair.

“Open,” I growl shoving myself down his throat. He gags and his eyes water as I start my punishing pace. Both my hands are in his hair pulling it roughly as I piston my hips. It only takes him a second to acclimate and stop gagging. I push harder and move faster. The feel of absolute control feels like heaven and has me coming like a river down his throat. This kid is the perfect submissive. Too bad I can’t keep him. As soon as I find my drugs, I’ll have to get rid of him. The thought has me pausing momentarily. No matter, I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

Once my cock is sated, I close up my pants and walk out of the bathroom without a word. Demitri gives me an odd look as I exit the room and make my way down the hall. “Hang him up by the hook for the night, Demitri.” I never turn as I give the order. I hear Demitri’s grunt of understanding and continue to my apartment above the club.

About the Authors

Ember-Raine Winters

Ember-Raine Winters lives in sunny California with her two beautiful kids and a wolf. Also known as Apache her pure white Siberian Husky. She loves writing romance and reading just about anything she can get her hands on. And, football! She loves watching football and going to games. It’s one of her favorite ways to unwind. She dislikes the super-hot temperatures in her city and exercise. She hates to exercise but somehow her sister still gets her to do it every day. She also thinks it’s completely awkward talking about herself in third person. Ember loves connecting with readers so don’t be afraid to stalk her and drop her a line on social media.

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Faith Ryan

Faith Ryan is wife to a handsome bearded man and mother to three, yes three, teenage girls. She lives in a small town in Ohio and is an avid reader of romance and frequently finishes several books in one day. A coworker once told her that people who read romance are considered smarter than others, Faith totally agrees and thinks this doubly applies to romance authors. Everyone needs a little bit (or a lot) of romance in their life!

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Broken Glass

Title: Broken Glass
Author: J.M. Sullivan
Genre: A/ Dark Fantasy / Fairy Tale Retelling
Cover Designer: Westerfield Creative
Publication Date: January 15th, 2019
Publisher: Bleeding Ink Publishing
 
Blurb:
The scariest thing about Wanderland isn’t death–it’s the momerath.
And now Dinah is one of them.
***
Alice Carroll has spent the better part of her life avoiding Wanderland–and the momerath–at all costs. But now with her sister gone, Alice has only one place to go.
Back to Wanderland.
Armed with only her blade and a raging vendetta against the traitorous Red Queen, Alice storms the undead wasteland to find Dinah and atone for her mistakes. But with relentless momerath and a ruthless Queen encroaching, will Alice’s determination be enough? Or will she fall down a new rabbit hole searching for revenge?
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Teacher by day, award-winning author by night, J.M. Sullivan is a fairy tale fanatic who loves taking classic stories and turning them on their head. When she’s not buried in her laptop, you can find her watching scary movies with her husband, playing with her kids, or lost inside a good book. Although known to dabble in adulting, J.M. is a big kid at heart who still believes in true love, magic, and most of all, the power of coffee. If you would like to connect with J.M., you can find her on social media at @jmsullivanbooks– she’d love to hear from you.
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She killed another Joker today.
Excuse me.  I mean, ‘Guardsman.’
Ha.
That’s the real joke. The Red Queen cares about the Marked as much as a cat does a dirty litter box. She’ll use them if she must, but otherwise they’re disposable.
Except for me.
She watches me.
I don’t think she knows what to do with me. Not that I blame her. I don’t know what to do with myself. Sometimes I feel like everything is normal, and other times, well—then, at least, the voices tell me that everything is fine.
I don’t quite believe them.
It would be easier if the memories stopped. Of life before. It’s muddled, but there are fragments of purpose and joy, all tied to a quiet, blonde girl. She is strong, stronger than she knows—I know this because I know her better than myself.  And yet, I don’t remember her.
I am empty.
The memories are not mine—they belong to someone else. I am a traitor in this body, an unwelcome host. And yet, the longer I stay grey, the more this body calls to me. Like the other Marked.
We understand each other.
They tell me things. Secrets the Queen will never know. I can read them in their eyes. I can feel them in my bones. Words unspoken, but always heard. Whispers, desperate songs, pleading for salvation. And all the while, they watch me. Waiting. Haunted stares as she kills our brothers and sisters. Their pain is palpable, heavy in the air and on my shoulders while they call to me on an undiscovered frequency.
I hear them laughing.
I hear them crying.
I hear them . . .
I hear . . .
Them.
 

The Devil’s Duet

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The Devil’s Duet
by Eva Charles
 
Genre: Dark Romance / Romantic Suspense
Cover Design: Letitia Hasser, RBA Designs
Cover Photography: Wander Aguiar
Cover Models: Zack Salaun & Adrea
Depraved: Book 1
Release Date: 02.21.19
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Delivered: Book 2
Release Date: 03.21.19
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A confirmed city-girl, Eva moved to rural Western Massachusetts in 2014. She found herself living in the woods with no job, no friends (unless you count the turkey, deer, and coyote roaming the backyard), and no children underfoot, wondering what on earth she had been thinking. But as it turned out, it was the perfect setting to take all those yarns spinning in her head and weave them into steamy love stories.
 
A romantic at heart, Eva looks forward to date night all week. The perfect evening includes well-crafted cocktails, a fabulous perfume, Cherry Garcia ice cream, and her husband, of course. If you add good friends, live jazz, and impossible shoes, she will follow you anywhere.
 
Eva holds a BA from Boston College, and a JD from a Washington College of Law. She spent a career working in domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and civil rights. Aspects of this work often find their way into her books.
 
When she’s not writing sexy stories, trying to squeeze information out of her tight-lipped sons, or playing with the two cutest dogs you’ve ever seen, Eva’s creating chapters in her own love story.
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The Sixth Gate

 
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The Sixth Gate
by KT Munson


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Genre: YA Dark Fantasy
Series: The Gate; Book 1
 
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The interplanetary gates have existed between the five planets and the Netherworld for as long as living memory.
 
Dr. Elisabeth Avery is a woman caught between two worlds. Little does she know that others like her, other half-breeds, are being hunted. When a creature drags a princess into the Netherworld, Elisabeth is determined to save her by any means necessary.
 
Meanwhile, on the planet of Hystera, a Keeper and his assistant investigate a grisly string of suicides and are in need of someone with Elisabeth’s skills. The Gate Guardians and Elisabeth are aware that something is coming and know that it has something to do with the Netherworld bleeding through to the planets, but not why.
 
Will Elisabeth be able to come to terms with who she is in time to face the coming threat?
 

 

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K.T. Munson is an independent author. First published at 5 years old in the young writers conference, she has pursued writing writing ever since. She maintains a blog that is about writing and her novels. She was born and raised in the last frontier, the great state of Alaska.
 
 

 

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Dark Child of Forever

DARK CHILD OF FOREVER

Dark Destinies, Book 3

by S.K. Ryder

Genre: Dark Paranormal Romantic Fantasy

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

34a9d-synopsis

A reluctant new Lord of Night. His vulnerable human queen. If they can’t change five thousand years of history now, it will change them. Forever.

Fate has cast vampire Dominic Marchant and the human love of his life, Cassidy Chandler, into roles they never imagined. Thanks to his mad sire, he is now the Lord of Night, and Cassidy, with her unique ability to merge her mind with his, has become the incongruous mortal queen of his immortal kingdom. Even as he dreams of seeing the sun again and she can’t imagine becoming a vampire, they vow to reshape their domain into a world where vampires feed on love rather than fear and leave their prey swooning instead of dead.

But not all their subjects are pleased with the change in leadership. A powerful ancient vampire and his cadre of followers serve Dominic his greatest challenge yet just when reclaiming the day looks like a real possibility. Soon friends turn up in ashes, and Cassidy and his human family become targets in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse that leads them and their unlikely, vampire-hunting allies deep into the wilds of the Canadian Rockies—and straight into their worst nightmares.

With their lives and the very existence of the world of night hanging in the balance, Dominic and Cassidy must decide whether to chase an impossible dream or finally embrace their dark destiny.

c8d28-excerpt

The vault door in the vestibule unsealed. A vampire appeared and stood with his arms draped over the decorative gate, his unshaven face split by a lecherous grin that made Jackson rise from his chair in alarm.

“Cassidy.” Serge’s baritone voice purred with appreciation. “You ordered takeout.” Unlike his lord and master who still digested the events of the day, Serge had no idea what the human was doing there.

“Be nice,” she said. “He comes bearing gifts.”

“Oh, yes, he does.” Serge unlatched the gate and sauntered across the kitchen, barefoot and rumpled, his curly caramel hair sticking out in every direction, the vampire equivalent of a man in search of coffee.

Jackson glared at him. “Sleeping with the boss now? You’ve come up in the world.”

“Sleeping? No. Not I.” Serge puffed out his barrel chest with pride. “I stand guard over my lord.”

His lordship materialized beside Serge and delivered a gentle slap to the back of his head. “More like lie guard flat on your back,” he said in his lyrical French accent.

Serge growled much as the cat had earlier. “But I am always with you.”

“I know,” Dominic concurred with a dramatic sigh. “There is no getting rid of you.”

“And you are glad for it, blood-child. Admit it.”

Cassidy smiled at their antics. Tall, lean and grace incarnate, Dominic was the polar opposite of both the stocky Serge and muscle-bound Jackson. Even dressed in his usual exercise pants and T-shirt, both black, few would mistake him for the ordinary man of twenty-seven he had been when he was turned into a blood-drinker. Carved cheekbones and a knife-blade nose dominated his profile, and his expressive mouth could instill terror as easily as convey gentle humor. Not to mention bestow mind-blowing kisses.

But it was the eyes that were the most striking thing about him. Their quiet depths missed nothing and could flash from warm and beguiling to full black and disturbing in the space of a heartbeat. Gold flecks danced in the hazel irises now as he looked at her.

“Bonjour, mon amour,” he murmured and held out his hand.

“Bonjour,” she said, moving into his embrace.

The world around them fell away, and they stood together in the sunlight streaming through the foyer just as she remembered it. He rubbed the back of her neck with his thumb while she nuzzled into his thick hair, inhaling his heady youngling scent of winter on the cusp of spring, clean and earthy and full of warm promise.

“Indeed. He brings gifts,” Serge said, pulling them back to the moment.

Uh oh, she thought.

His tone had lost its swagger and turned dreamy. It meant he saw ‘shadows’ in the aura of whoever he was looking at, or impressions of the future. When Serge had his visions, disjointed and insubstantial as they were, something always changed.

Often not for the better.

Though Dominic appeared unconcerned, Cassidy felt the tension skitter through him, too. Neither of them dared to interrupt Serge as he studied Jackson with an intense interest that no longer had anything to do with his warm blood. The human man returned the stare, his hands wrapped over the back of the bar stool as though preparing to pick it up and use it as a weapon.

Serge turned to look at Dominic with a wide, gap-toothed grin of wonder. Then he chuckled. The gleeful sound was entirely worthy of the pirate he had been in life.

Oui?” Dominic prompted. “Did he bring a good gift?”

Serge laughed.

Jackson offered a tentative smile. “I suspect you’ll like it.”

And just like that Serge stopped laughing.

In a flash he was by Jackson’s side, his eyes bugging out of their sockets. “Beware the fire,” he whispered on a hiss that made Cassidy’s skin crawl.

Jackson took a hasty step back.

“Beware the fire,” Serge repeated, now looking at Dominic. Then he laughed uproariously and disappeared.

Dominic closed his eyes and struggled for patience.

“What…was that?” Jackson said.

Cassidy rubbed the chill out of her arms. “That was Serge. You remember him, don’t you? Vampire you tried so hard to kill?”

Discomfort tightened his mouth as he looked away.

Dominic moved forward and placed his hands on the edge of the green granite counter top as he faced Jackson. “So did you bring me fire, Jackson?” His gaze darkened as he let the vampire rise and his senses expand.

Looking through his eyes, Cassidy saw that Jackson had changed more than she realized. His aura, once muddy red with anger, had brightened into the powerful crimson of a man whose mind and purpose were clear.

Jackson took a deep breath and pressed a fingertip onto the little black case. “In a way.”

Dominic tilted his head, brows drawing together. “This is from the lab?”

“Yes, it is.”

The lab. The Striker Foundation’s clandestine research facility, staffed with bright scientific minds compelled by Dominic to maintain absolute secrecy. The lab existed for one reason, and one reason only, and it was this now that caused Dominic and Cassidy to become stone-still with anticipation.

“They did it, Dominic. They found a way. You can have the sun again.”

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Dark Heart of the Sun

His future is already written…in her blood.

Rookie journalist Cassidy Chandler wakes to an ugly bruise on her neck, a hole in her memory, and a fiancé who seems to know more about what happened than he’s telling. It’s enough to make Cassidy call off the engagement and move out, even if that means trading a posh South Florida mansion for a dilapidated beach house. Unfortunately, she also trades one devious man for another questionable character in her unexpected new roommate: the darkly enigmatic and exasperatingly French Dominic Marchant.

For Dominic Marchant secrecy is a matter of survival. As a newborn vampire with dangerous enemies, he’s sure the headstrong young woman invading his lair with an unknown vampire’s mark on her throat is about to get him killed. But the charming Cassidy resists his every effort to make her leave and even embroils him in her own tumultuous life. Before he knows it, she has stolen his heart and helps him rediscover his lost humanity. Now he’s fighting to protect her not only from the ancient vampires hunting him, but also from his own deadly desire for her.

But her secretive ex isn’t done with her yet, and neither is the dark prophecy Cassidy and Dominic’s unlikely relationship has set in motion. Together they are swept up in a battle where nothing is as it seems, love and deception are the weapons of choice, and the only way to survive is to risk everything–for each other.

Dark Lord of the Night

The only thing standing between a new vampire and eternal darkness is the fragile mortal woman who claims his heart.

Youngling vampire Dominic Marchant struggles to master his deadly instincts as he hunts the urban jungles of South Florida. He keeps his hunger confined to the blood of the guilty with help from Cassidy Chandler, a human woman who can literally touch his soul. Their love is his last remaining tether to humanity, which is tested beyond endurance when powerful forces from his past introduce him to terrifying new appetites he could never have imagined.

His efforts to protect Cassidy from the depravity overtaking him push their relationship to the brink of shattering. Refusing to give up on the man who is her heart, she takes an unthinkable gamble to save him. But is she fulfilling an ominous prophecy that ensnares them both? Or has she become just another pawn in a cunning game played by the five-thousand-year-old vampire who claims Dominic as his own?

Desperate to rescue her from a fate worse than death, Dominic strikes a perilous bargain with his greatest enemies only to face an impossible choice–embrace his darkest self…or destroy the woman he cannot live without.

S.K. Ryder is a software developer by day, a scribe by night and answers to Susan any time. She writes the type of stories she loves to read: heart-pounding adventures full of supernatural mysteries and relationships between strong, compelling characters. Though she calls South Florida home, she has also lived in Germany and Canada and has traveled widely, usually in the hot pursuit of wild and scenic nature. When not debugging code, complicating her characters’ lives or plotting her next rafting adventure down the Grand Canyon, she can be found beach combing, scuba diving, sailing or just hanging out with a good book. When push comes to shove, she can also bake a halfway decent cake and stand on her head, though not at the same time.

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Butterflies and Flutterbyes

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Butterflies and Flutterflyes- Dreaming in Words

Author- Maggie Love

Publisher- Hydra Productions

Cover- Chandra TruLove Fry

Poetry full of emotions. Dark, silly, love, it’s all there. All inspiring with entertainment all wrapped up in one book. With over 30 poems that will touch your heart, make you cry and laugh all at the same time

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Author Maggie Lowe has been writing ever since she was able to pick up a pencil. As a child, she could create worlds of all kinds. At the age of eight, she wrote her first song. When she was thirteen she wrote her first fan-fiction story. At the age of twenty-five, she wrote the first book that she hopes to publish someday soon. And now, at the age of thirty-three, she published her first poetry book. Now she is currently working on several WIPs and looks to the future full of hope and excitement for what’s to come

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