Merakai

Title – Merakai

Series – Halfway House Series (Book 6 of 7)

Author – Dzintra Sullivan

Genre – Paranormal, Romantic Comedy

Release Date – September 24th, 2017

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BLURB

I’m Merakai. I was born on the Island of Shadows and thought I’d die here, kind of wish I had. The daughter of a naiad and a shadow walker has left me with a unique ability to use any water surface as a portal of escape. I don’t trust anyone. How can I? When I know there’s a price on my head, and a rider ready to collect?

Barren, a handsome blood mage I met on the Island, well, I like him, a lot. He looks at me like I’m something special. My father stole his blood and has it hidden away, it’s his ‘ace card’ to save him from a death sentence. Where do the lines of family loyalty and destined love lie?

Ivan Grey, the single most despised person in recent history, is my father. I hate him. I want him dead. I want him to pay the price he’s inflicted on others.

But… he is my father.

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EXCERPT

“So…” She buckled up and relaxed back into the white faux leather seats. “What, where and why?”

“Pardon?” Barren spoke, his head slightly tilted to his shoulder, eyes remaining firmly planted on the road ahead.

“Where is the parlor? What are you getting? And Why?” she repeated.

Barren nodded. “Ohh… well, Ashja recommended a shop on the other side of town, ‘Ink Balz,’ he said a few of the wolves run it.” Barren flipped a look back at Merakai, the word wolf made her wince slightly. “Wolves here aren’t like on the Island, the last few weeks we’ve been going to ‘Hair Balz’ a local bar run by the pack.”

Torsten jumped in, “Dolph is the pack leader. Between you and me I think he has a massive crush on Eloise.” Wiggling his eyebrows. “He’s like a big puppy begging to have his tummy rubbed whenever he’s near her.” He laughed.

“You both sound like you’ve settled in fast,” Merakai said, a slight ping of jealousy to her voice. Her focus had been on her father and everyone judging her because of that fact. Yet, sitting here in the back of a car, traveling to a tattoo parlor was the most fun she’d had in months. She could feel the stress leaching from her muscles. This was exactly what she needed and the two guys she needed it to be with.

“What’s not to like?” Torsten chuckled, sitting back into the front seat, his hands linked behind his head. “This is heaven. We have a warm bed, we have food that we don’t have to hunt down first. There are people who care about us, not to mention the freedom to come and go. Pubs, clubs, beaches and even a tattoo shop…” Torsten’s smile was sincere. “How could anyone not be happy here… I love Havenlea and never want to leave.”

“I guess…” Merakai said, her sight drifting to the trees passing at a speed that created a constant green blur at the window.

“Raki?” Can I call you that?” Torsten asked tentatively. She nodded and he continued, “Cool, okay, Rakes babe, what’s up?” Twisting his body to sit sideways on the chair, his arm bent and rested on the top of the seat. “The three of us shared the Island, nothing can change that, but we can help each other.” He looked at Barren then back to Merakai in the back seat. “Even Whitey here can be a warm and fuzzy guy.”

“We shared the Island but in very different ways. You were sent there, I was born there. Not to mention… my father,” Merakai’s voice was quiet and distant.

Barren nodded. “Yeah, your dad is a dick.” Torsten hit his arm. “Oomph… What?” Barren followed Torsten’s flicking eyes to look at Merakai in the rearview mirror, she had sunken even further into the back seat. “Oh, fuck, sorry,” Barren apologized. “Hey, at least you know he’s a dick. I don’t even know who my dad is, and believe me he could be an even bigger dick than yours for all I know.” Barren laughed. “Besides, we aren’t defined by the dicks that are our parents… the ones we know or the ones we don’t know.”

“You’re a fucking dick.” Torsten rolled his eyes as laughter escaped Merakai’s mouth.

“That he is,” Merakai said softly.

“Hey,” Barren faked his shock at being called a dick. “There’s the shop. Let’s go get this dick inked.” He pulled the hand brake up as the engine shut down. “Wait, not my dick, but my… oh fuck.” Barren laughed and growled at Torsten for making him look like a bigger dick in front of the hot chick.

“Don’t growl at me, fido, you’re holding your own dick on this one.” Torsten held his hands up as he got out of the car, opening the back door for Merakai to exit. Merakai trying her best, but unsuccessfully not to laugh, as she followed the two guys into the shop.

AUTHOR BIO & LINKS


My name is Dzintra Sullivan and I am an author based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.
I am happily married to an amazing Canadian man and a mother of four delightful children. I fell in love with books as a young girl, reading Judy Blume and Enid Blyton. I progressed onto loving the supernatural genre as a teenager and never left. I write romantic comedies with a paranormal twist, my motto being “Love Is Love, no matter species you are”.
I write to escape the normal, my books are heavy in humor, heavy in sarcasm, and heavy in love. Even readers who aren’t a fan of paranormal, love my books. They are not the normal paranormal books, nor am I the normal kind of author.
Take a chance, pick up one of my books, and escape with me.

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Promotion proudly supported by Love, Lust & Erotic Pleasures

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Minefield

MINEFIELD

Deadly Gambit, book 2

by K.H. Bixby

 

Genre: Thriller

Complications mount when Sam Turan agrees to work part-time for Heidelberg Bank and dedicate the rest of his time to rebuilding his homeland in the Middle East. Conspiracies and plots threaten his relationship with the Adler heiress and attempts to blow him up escalates the danger level. Sam can only trust a handful of friends. With the ground shifting beneath him, is anyone what they claim to be?

Both Sami and the agent returned to the living room and Sami handed Cassidy the sweeper. “Here. Take this. See for yourself. The ambassador can verify there weren’t any bugs last night as he was here when I swept the place after getting home from talking to you at the airport. I’ll look for physical evidence and for Jazzy-cat.” He pulled over Agent Cassidy and whispered to him, “I do have a closed-circuit camera system. Cameras are in the ceiling moulding. Unless they found it, I should have an image of who planted the spyware.”

Cassidy looked over at Stills and gave a nod. The man pulled out his phone and called for a tech to clean out the spyware. “We’ll look, but our team will have more sophisticated equipment. They will be here shortly. Let me know if you see anything odd.”

Jazzy was Sami’s next concern. With the new furniture, her hiding places had changed a little. He looked behind the potted plants and stepped out to check the balcony as the cat door provided an exit to the small outdoor space. In the past, she often hid under the old easy chair. It’d been replaced but since it had been her habit, he got down on his knees and began to peer under the sofa and chair. She wasn’t there but something else was.

Blood drained from his face as he slid back. Cassidy had been watching him. “What? Your cat?”

“Bomb, I think,” he said in a weak and shaky voice.

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Shell Game

Uprooted from the violence of his homeland, Sami Turan leads a sheltered existence in New York until an explosive encounter with a family member brings back to the surface all he’d lost. On a mission to right a wrong in the best way he can think of, he discovers monsters wear many masks.

Trying to correct his ill-conceived actions, he inadvertently nudges out of balance the first domino of an overlooked international conflict.

Will his actions help his homeland or will he end up starting the next world war? At what price? And will the monsters he exposes in the process be obliterated?

As a person who views news and politics with the fascination of watching a train-wreck, Bixby is driven to extract what IS discussed and twist it into the light of what ISN’T.

Writing fiction, but keeping it within parameters of the believable and possible, K.H.’s thrillers grab the reader, causing them to wonder … is the story real?

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S.K.I.E. Series

Title: S.K.I.E. Series
Author: Caitlyn Mancini
Genre: YA science-fiction/genetic engineering (futuristic not alien sci-fi)
Cover Designer: Renee Barratt from The Cover Counts
Blurb:
Selie is starting college in the year 2098 at Ashmore University located within White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia. While technology has advanced to incorporate artificial intelligence microchips, the worries of a teenage girl have not. Selie thought the worst she would be dealing with was hard tests and difficulty making new friends. Instead, she stumbles upon a ghastly discovery of missing students and illegal experiments. Just when she thinks she’s made a friend and meets a handsome boy who’s much more than he seems, her world is turned upside down and she soon realizes that she is no longer ordinary. Now, along with her newfound friends, she has to fight for survival and stop others from falling victim.
Blurb:
Selie has survived the horrible ordeal she underwent when she was kidnapped and injected with an unknown serum. The quiet illusion is disrupted when a body is discovered, a victim who may have been Dr. Daven’s. With potential evidence of the illegal experiments, Selie delves deeper into her obsession to stop him and Reyna. Selie, alongside her friends Eirian, Heero, Rose, and Brody, takes it upon herself to learn more about the experiments and potentially who Dr. Daven really is. Among the uncertainty surrounding their intensifying abilities and the growing feelings between her and Eirian, Selie has no idea what she may uncover but feels whatever she may uncover might be far worse than she realizes.
Caitlyn Mancini was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in English and a sub-concentration in creative writing. Caitlyn started her writing journey at the age of 7, coming up with fantastical stories and characters, including a children’s series at the age of 12 inspired by her sister Laurynn. Caitlyn’s hobbies include writing, drawing, making board games, and Taekwondo among other dabbles. She has a love for anything supernatural including sci-fi/fantasy. Caitlyn works as a stenographer in Michigan.
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Project S.K.I.E.: http://amzn.to/2xOKbpe
S.K.I.E. Secrets: http://amzn.to/2wtwagq

Blood & Bone Series

Title: Blood & Bone Series
Author: Tara Brown
Genre: YA SciFi/Mystery
What would you do if your life was a lie—and everyone knew but you?
Jane has come a long way from the dark days of the horrific car accident that robbed her of many memories. Living the life of a shopgirl with a charming boyfriend—a handsome, green-eyed doctor named Derek—is so satisfying that she doesn’t want to revisit her past.
But the past insists on revisiting Jane. People keep thinking she’s Samantha, a dead girl who looks exactly like her. Now, Jane is determined to discover her connection to the girl, leading her to question everything from her relationship with Derek to her own sanity. Should she believe Rory, the man who insists she actually is Samantha? Or should she depend on Derek, who offers her love and shelter…but who may have other reasons for keeping her under wraps? Who is telling her the truth—and what are the others hiding?
Blurb:
Not even the warning label on the experimental project could have prepared Jane Spears for the nightmare she would walk into when the Ashley Potter case landed in her lap. Deep inside the victim’s mind, Jane finds clues hinting at the worst crimes she has ever come upon. But the bread crumbs don’t lead anywhere, and in the waking light Jane discovers nothing is as she believed. The conspiracy goes deeper than she can reveal, and the crimes are too hideous to leave unsolved. Can she stop it all in time, or will she be sucked in—trapped by the deranged mastermind?
Blurb:
Being a mind runner isn’t easy, but catching criminals is all that matters to Jane Spears. Though her job may be gruesome, she’s not willing to stop just yet. And even as she admires the ring from her fiancé, she has no intention of letting a wedding sidetrack her work—not when she’s about to delve into the darkest mind she’s ever encountered.
As she starts to explore the twisted ruins of a sociopath’s psyche, Jane realizes she may have finally met her match. She knew this case would be a challenge, but she didn’t expect to get caught in a mind-bending nightmare. Because this irredeemable murderer seems to know something about Jane that even she doesn’t—something unspeakable lurking in her past. Can she escape the killer’s derangement unscathed and ready to walk down the aisle?
I believe growing up in a really small town gives a person a little advantage when it comes to the imagination. You need one or you go mad.
Needless to say, mine saved me. After it got me into trouble first, that is. That’s the problem with a vivid imagination, all the lies you tell.
I am happily married with two daughters.
I have two giant dogs, two savage cats, and a penchant for a glass of red.
Also, I drag my bread through the sauce. I can’t help myself, bread is life.
According to my age, I am meant to be a responsible adult, but it isn’t going well at all. I would still head off to Hogwarts tomorrow and I suspect there isn’t a single wardrobe I haven’t crept into, hoping to find the door to Narnia. And don’t even get me started on the King’s Road, I get lost.
Fortunately, I am an international bestseller so I have wormed my way into a quirky or eccentric category.
Thank God for that.
I am represented by Natalie Lakosil from the Bradford Literary Agency and am published traditionally with Montlake Romance.
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Fierce Tides

Title: Fierce Tides (Purgatory Reign Series, Book Three)
Author: LM Preston
Genre: Urban Fantasy/YA/Romance/Paranormal
Editor: Cindy Davis
Blurb:
Peter Saints understood the reason he was hated and hunted by an evil so twisted he had to brace himself to face it. He didn’t mind taking his part of the blame of unleashing it. Now he would destroy it for nothing less than to calm the fear he’d seen simmering in Angel’s eyes. The love he had for her was boundless, he’d fight anything to heal it, heal her, and free them. This made it personal. He would finish it.

LM. Preston was born in Washington, DC.  She loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl.  A Techie and Educator for over sixteen years, she started writing science fiction under the encouragement of her husband who was a Sci-Fi buff and her four kids.  She has an obsessive desire to write and create stories of young people who overcome unbelievable odds.  She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing. In addition to being an author, she’s also a Moderator for Yalitchat in 2011, 2012 Vice President of Mid Atlantic Book Association and 2012 co-chair for the Maryland Writer’s Conference.
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Val and Pals

VAL & PALS series

by Margaret Lashley


Genre: Humor/Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit

The first 2 books will be specially discounted to 99 cents on Sept 19th.

 

Absolute Zero: Misadventures From A Broad


A Midlife Meltdown…with a Side of Fries.

Val’s long-suffering life as a patient daughter, dutiful wife and reliable workhorse has turned her into a snarky, miserable nag.
She has the house, the husband and the career. The only thing missing is the happy.
Before she’s set out to pasture, Val wants one more go around the track. Unbridled. In Italy.
La dolce vita or bust. 

Will Val find her happy ending abroad? Or someplace she never thought to look? And will she get there before her money and her sense of humor run out…
If you’ve ever dreamed of ditching your life and running off to Europe, now’s your chance! Join Val on a roller-coaster ride through Europe that will leave you gasping! From gut-busting hilarity to gut–wrenching gaffs, finding yourself again is always worth the price of admission. Buy it now!

The plane came to a halt. A mechanical bell binged. I looked around nervously. I slung my purse across my shoulder and sardined myself into the line of passengers inching their way down the narrow aisle. When I reached the plane’s exit door, I paused hesitantly, like a convict who’d gotten free of her cuffs without anybody noticing. My mind swirled with excitement and abject terror. Goosebumps rushed across my body. The hair at the base of my neck pricked up like a scaredy-cat.
What the hell was I doing? 

Mere days before, I’d slammed every single door – including the screen one – on my life back in Florida. The last chance to change my mind had come and gone, as unheeded as a speed limit sign at a NASCAR rally. Every safety net I’d ever known was thousands of miles away, across the Atlantic Ocean, out of sight and out of reach.
I took a deep breath to steady myself, then stepped off the plane into the complete unknown. I glanced back and waved goodbye to the Air Italia flight crew. I turned again and meandered down the gangplank behind a frail, elderly couple holding hands. Their long-standing marriage triggered flashbacks of my own, long-suffering one.
Seven weeks ago, I’d signed the final divorce papers ending fifteen years of matrimony to Jimmy Johnson, a man I no longer knew. I envisioned the beautiful house Jimmy and I had shared together. I’d sold it and my advertising business just days before the flight. After splitting the pot with Jimmy, I’d netted a hot-damn jackpot of $473,000. I pictured my best friend, Clarice Whittle. I’d left my Ford in her garage, along with a few boxes that held the final remains of the cranky, resentful woman I hoped this trip would get rid of for good.
I’d brought next to nothing with me. I’d left even less behind. No kids. No pets. No job. No husband. No responsibilities. No nothing.
I’d spend the last forty-one years in perpetual motion – Val Jolly’s non-stop stint as dutiful daughter, long-suffering wife and brown-nosing business woman. I’d catered to everyone else’s needs for as long as I could remember. Somewhere along the way I’d turned into a crabby, shrill woman that even I didn’t like. I’d forgotten who I was and what I wanted. This trip was going be my R&R&R – relaxation, romance and re-invention.
I was in Italy to try my hand at living irresponsibly, like my trampy cousin Tammy Jeter. She’d always done as she damn well pleased. Up ‘til now, I’d thought she’d been selfish. Especially when she left Whitey Large and their five pit-bulls (One with puppies!) to run off with Tater Johnson. Turns out, that girl had had it right all along.



Available for only 99cents Sept 15-19

Glad One: Starting Over is a …!


How Many Do-Overs Do You Get in One Lifetime?

One crazy old lady. Two gin & tonics. Three wacko beach-bum friends. Will Val’s fourth stab at starting over add up to a big fat zero?
Val’s down, but don’t count her out just yet. Broke, but not broken (just seriously cracked), Val Fremden returns to her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida to find everything she knew squashed under the heels of change.
With nothing left to go on but her own dry sense of humor and the life coach advice of a beer-guzzling old lady she meets at the beach, can her life get any crazier? Just wait.
Glad One is a satirical look at divorce, single-hood and climbing back up the social ladder. It’s told through the eyes of a snarky, reluctant, midlife-crisis survivor who lost everything — but regained herself.
Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for Val? Or is that just the headlamp of another train wreck heading her way? Knowing Val, it’s probably both.
If you like wacky, deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love Glad One! It’s the second book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women’s fiction.

A puff of jaded air forced its way between my pursed lips like steam from a relief valve. I needed a good cry. But this was not the time or place for it. To distract myself, I started counting my blessings.
One decimated pocketbook. Two cottage-cheese thighs. Three maladjusted ex-husbands…. Crap! 

Whoever was running the show up there had a wicked sense of humor – and I was getting damn tired of being the punchline. I scrounged around for my powder compact and opened it, intent on repairing my makeup after the nine-hour flight. One glance in the mirror at my worn-out face made me snap it shut. Why bother? 

In forty-five years, I’d accumulated a good portion of wrinkles, a fair amount of belly fat, and, apparently, precious little wisdom. These questionable assets, along with $5,726 and a suitcase full of inappropriate clothes, were all I had left to launch my latest life makeover. I slumped back into my seat. I was bone-dragging tired. Even so, a wry grin snuck across my lips like a stolen kiss from a stranger. I was not defeated. Not yet, anyway.
The way I saw it, I still had two viable options. One, I could finally learn to laugh at myself. Or two, I could drink myself into oblivion. I fished around the bottom of my purse for a coin to determine my fate. I flipped a tarnished nickel into the air with my thumb. It did a triple gainer, plunged into my coffee, and splashed a nasty brown stain on the crotch of my white stretch pants.
Awesome. Let the festivities begin.

***
My last life makeover had begun over seven years ago, and had turned out to be a spectacular, downward spiral reminiscent of diving off a cliff with a bowling ball in my pants. Drowning in dullness and fueled by movie-inspired stupidity, I’d ditched a tiresome marriage and lucrative writing career, sold all my belongings and took off for Europe. In Italy, I met a German and fell in love with the idea of life with a stranger in a strange land. Things had been great for a while. But then the shiny wore off and the cracks showed up, like they always did.
On my arrival back in St. Petersburg, Florida, I’d discovered that seven wasn’t such a lucky number. In fact, seven years abroad had been just exactly long enough for my entire credit history to be erased – just like most of my money. I’d gotten off that plane with no driver’s license. No place to live. No credit card. No phone. No resume. And, worst of all, no friends. Incredibly, I’d somehow managed to become a foreigner in my own homeland.
As a lifelong lover of irony, I’d had to smile at my own ingenuity. How many other people on the planet could have claimed such a monumental fuck-up?


Available for only 99cents Sept 19-22
Two Crazy: Fickle Finger of Fate


The World is not a Safe Place for Figurines. 

When you’re pushing 50 with an industrial bulldozer, birthdays can be a bitch. What was intended as a gag gift for Val ends up making her gag all right – and lands her in a whole heap of trouble with the law.
With one hot cop on her tail and a mean one on her trail, Val turns to old friends and new ones to help prove she’s not into human dismemberment.
Who’s the good cop? Who’s the bad? And who’s the dwarf in the Halloween mask?
Will a pair of falsies help Val stumble onto the truth? If not, she’s got to rely on her wacky, beach-bum friends if she’s going to escape the fickle finger of fate.
Two Crazy is a satirical look at how life seems to take pleasure in screwing up all of our well-laid plans. It’s told through the eyes of a snarky, middle-aged woman with major trust issues and dubious, yet highly original coping skills.
If you like deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love Absolute Zero. It’s the third book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women’s fiction.

I woke the morning after my birthday party with a cop in my bed and a dead body in the kitchen. Okay, it was just a roach carcass. But I swear it was big enough to draw a chalk line around. It was legs-up in the middle of the floor. I’d fumbled, bleary-eyed, toward the cappuccino machine in nothing but Tom’s t-shirt, and had managed, of course, to step right on it. The disgusting crunch of its carapace underfoot made me scream like a little girl.
“Aaahhhh!”
As a native of the Sunshine State, I’d grown up learning to deal with the worst that Florida’s flora and fauna had to throw at me. Poison ivy. Cabbage-palm spikes. Daddy long-leg spiders. Fire ants. Kamikaze tree frogs. Ghoulish house geckos. Deadly rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. Even the occasional gator on the road or in a swimming pool. I’d managed to make my peace with all of them – except one.
Let a roach get anywhere near me – especially a flying one – and my bravado disappeared faster than Oreos at a Weight Watcher’s convention. When I’d stepped on that nasty bug, I’d let out a scream that could be heard on the International Space Station. If that marked me as a sissy, so be it. But there was something abhorrently primeval about a creature that could live for months without its own head.
“What’s going on in there!?”
Tom dashed into the room. He was naked except for his state-issued revolver. The sight of his tan, muscular body almost made me forget about my predicament. Almost.
“A roach,” I grimaced. I held up my foot like it needed stitches.
Tom grinned at me and shook his head.
“There appears to be no permanent damage. What happened to my fearless partner? Valliant Stranger?”
“Hey. Roaches are my kryptonite, okay?”
“Duly noted. I thought you put out some traps. Roach Motels, right?”
I took a paper towel off the roll and ran it under the tap. I bit my lip in disgust and wiped my foot.
“Yeah, I did. I guess there was no room left at the inn.”
Tom sniggered. “Don’t those things come with ‘No Vacancy’ signs?”
“Very funny, Mr. Morning Sunshine. Can we please change the subject now?”
“Okay.”
A dirty grin crept across his face. Tom sidled up to me and put his hands on my hips.
“Have you got a vacancy that I can fill?”
I knocked his hands off of me.
“Geeze, Tom. I think that may go down in history as the most disgusting foreplay line ever.”
Tom scooped me up into his arms. His naughty grin deepened his dimples and crinkled the corners of his hypnotic, green eyes.
“Okay, how about this? I’ve got a gun, lady. Better do what I say.”
Both my hormones and my imagination went haywire.
“Now that’s something I can work with.”
Three Dumb: Wheelin’ & Dealin’


Baloney and Cheesed.

They say three’s the charm. But charming isn’t Val’s style.
Val Fremden is a lot of things. Quirky. Jaded. Disaster prone. But more than anything, she’s afraid of commitment.
When boyfriend Tom tells her he loves her – then trades away her mom’s ashes for a tiki hut – Val’s just not feelin’ it.
On the warpath with Tom, Val’s forced to rely on her oddball friends to help track down her mom’s cremains. But three botched stakeouts and two disasters later, she still hasn’t got peanuts. Through trial (but mostly error), Val discovers it’s not easy to outwit a mobile master of disguise when she’s stuck driving a paddy wagon full of nutcases.
She loves Tom…she loves him not. Knowing Val, she’s gonna need a bigger flower….
Three Dumb is a satirical look at how life, over time, changes our perception of love and the things we value. It’s told through the eyes of a snarky, middle-aged woman with legendary commitment issues and a gnawing reluctance toward romance.
If you like deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love Three Dumb. It’s the fourth book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women’s fiction.

I’d spent Sunday evening alone, cooling down slowly, like the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl. I’d avoided a critical meltdown, and when I woke up Monday morning, I’d found myself on the verge of no longer being a lethal danger to other life forms.
After a cappuccino and a long, cool shower, at 8 a.m. I called Lefty’s Hauling again. It rang fifteen times, unanswered. This was, of course, totally unacceptable. It was time for Plan B.
I slipped on a sundress and sandals, put my hair in a ponytail and climbed into the red pleather driver’s seat of Maggie, my 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint convertible. With a little encouragement in the form of smashing her gas pedal to the floor, Maggie carried me north along Gulf Boulevard. The four-lane road, lined with two- and three-story beach resorts, skirted the Gulf of Mexico like stiches in a hem.
Year round, tourists flocked to the quaint mom-and-pop motels and sugar-white beaches. I couldn’t blame them. All-in-all, St. Pete Beach was a great place to be.
I turned east on 107th Avenue. Immediately, the salt air and kitsch beach shops disappeared, replaced with anywhere-USA strip malls. At 66th Street, I turned north in the direction of good-old Pinellas Park.
Every major metropolitan area had a section designated especially for rednecks. How they found each other, I didn’t know. Maybe they were all related, or there was some special redneck hotline I wasn’t privy to. At any rate, in Pinellas County, the mecca for country bumpkins and politically incorrect-and-proud-of-it folks was definitely Pinellas Park.
If it weren’t for Florida’s history of hurricanes and tropical storms, Pinellas Park would have choked to death on doublewide trailers decades ago. But in 1993, a freak storm took out all but the very highest quality manufactured homes. It had been dubbed the “1993 Storm of the Century” by some, the “’93 Super Storm” by others, and the “Great Blizzard of 1993” by the Yankees up north. But we locals simply called it the “No-Name Storm,” because it had come up so quickly and unexpectedly not even the weather forecasters had had time to register it with an official moniker.
It had begun on March 12th as a cyclonic storm in the Gulf of Mexico, then quickly grew into a beast that stretched from Cuba to Canada. It moved into Florida around midnight, catching us unaware with winds over 100 mph. It spawned 11 tornadoes and a storm surge in St. Pete that topped out at seven feet. For folks along the coast, bay and rivers, it had been devastating. It wiped out or damaged over 18,000 homes in the Sunshine State and killed 47 of our citizens, more than Hugo and Andrew combined. Suffice it to say, it was not a good time to be living in a tin can on wheels.
WHAT FOUR
November 7, 2017


Most Definitely Contains Nuts.

All Val wants is a quiet holiday away from her oddball family. But a promise pried from her lips earlier in the year has blown that wish out the henhouse window.
When Val and her boyfriend Tom arrive at her mother’s house in Hicksville, USA, the annual Family Fruitcake Competition is well underway. And there’s more than a few fruits and nuts in the running.
But the biggest contest is between Val and her mom.
As their battle of wills heats up, unexpected ingredients get thrown into both women’s batter. It may be time to call in a referee….
Who will get best in show? Who will get their just desserts? And will Val’s half-baked family turn out to be too much baggage for Tom to handle? Order a copy and find out!
If you like deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love What Four. It’s the fifth book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women’s fiction.

Like the characters in my novels, I haven’t lead a life of wealth or luxury. In fact, as it stands now, I’m set to inherit a half-eaten jar of Cheez Whiz…if my siblings don’t beat me to it.

During my illustrious career, I’ve been a roller-skating waitress, an actuarial assistant, an advertising copywriter, a real estate agent, a house flipper, an organic farmer, and a traveling vagabond/truth seeker. But no matter where I’ve gone or what I’ve done, I’ve always felt like a weirdo.
As a child I lived in my own pretend world of tickling fairies and talking cats. I began writing when I found an ancient black typewriter on my grandparent’s back porch. (Inspired by my brothers, Boys are Stupid was my first masterpiece.)
I’ve learned a heck of a lot in my life. But getting to know myself has been my greatest journey. Today, I know I’m smart. I’m direct. I’m jaded. I’m hopeful. I’m funny. I’m fierce. I’m a pushover. And I have a laugh that makes strangers want to join me at restaurants. In other words, I’m a jumble of opposing talents and flaws and emotions. And it’s all good.
In some ways, I’m a lot like Val Fremden the main character in my Val & Pals Series. My books featuring Val are not autobiographical, but what comes out of her mouth was first formed in my mind, and sometimes the parallels are undeniable. I drink TNTs. I had a car like Shabby Maggie. And I’ve started my life over four times, driving away with whatever earthly possessions fit in my car. And, perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned that friends come from unexpected places.

Forever Cursed

Title: Forever Cursed
Author: Sarah J Pepper
Genre: New Adult Fantasy Romance
Publication Date: Oct. 10th, 2017
Editor: Nadine Winningham
Publisher: Neximus Publishing
Photographer: Wilcoxon Photography
Makeup: Platinum Imagination Hair and Makeup

 


Blurb:
Captain James
Peter may as well be imprisoned on Neverland with us for he consumes Miss Bell’s thoughts, stealing her away from me. His retaliation is a constant threat of which we cannot escape. Even so, that pathetic excuse of a man is the least of my worries.
Corrupt and vile creatures rule this tiny spit of land, brought here by fairies, by Miss Bell.
Whether she admits it or not, she needs my protection. Yet, I catch her glancing at my severed arm with pity in her eyes. She thinks of me as weak, injured, and any number of inadequacies. Feck. I will not stand for it! I will protect her even if it costs me my life.
Miss Bell
Captain James makes no attempt to shield the darkness harbored in his eyes, like he wants me—needs me—to see what most people do. Ruthlessness. Turmoil. Devastation.
“Remember that the same hand I use to caress your delicate skin has been stained with the blood of my enemies,” he says, cupping my cheek. “Do not assume my affection for you is something others have experienced. Understood, Miss Bell?”
I understand. Hell, I am counting on it. Peter would rather see me dead than in the arms of another, and I have no intention of dying—especially not when Captain James makes me feel so alive.
Award Winning Author, Sarah J. Pepper, specializes in fantasy and paranormal romance. She unveils the beauty of love in her new adult/young adult novels. Her works envelope dark, paranormal romance – think “happy ever after” but with a twisted, dark chocolate center. Real-life romance isn’t only filled with hugs, kisses, bunnies, and rainbows. True-love can be more thoroughly described in times of darkness and tribulation. It’s in those harsh moments where you see what a person is truly capable of – both the good and bad. Sometimes prince-charming isn’t always on time, and the glass slipper is a little snug. However, it doesn’t mean Charming is not Mr. Right, and who says every shoe is the perfect fit? Get a glimpse inside her head at www.sarahjpepper.com.
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Neverland Evermore: http://amzn.to/2x4lSSt
Forever Cursed (Pre-Order): http://amzn.to/2xBpkWz