Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Derrick


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Russell will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 


See below to read an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY





In Hyde Park, a movie theater erupts in flames on a bitterly cold November evening.

It seems like a job for the fire department, but under Captain Creighton’s direct orders, Detective Gavin Nolan and his partner, Derrick Williamson, must investigate. Arriving on the chaotic scene, they find multiple fatalities —but one of the victims is most peculiar…

Gavin soon discovers that this fire wasn’t the first of its kind. The arsonist has set ablaze other buildings around Chicago, and more female victims left in the same gruesome state have been discovered.

Gavin and Derrick determine that the arsonist is not an arsonist at all—but a sinister serial killer with an agenda.

Juggling the unexpected events in his personal life, Gavin digs into the locations of the explosions. At the same time, Derrick probes into the victims’ lives, searching for any possible connection. 

However, when the next explosion occurs, the killer leaves behind a significant object, and Derrick becomes noticeably reserved. Gavin soon uncovers an enigmatic link, one that points to Derrick’s military past. A time that his partner had wished to forget. Yet, to catch the vicious maniac, Derrick must tell Gavin everything.

In a suspenseful, gripping ride to the end, it is up to Gavin to rescue his partner from the clutches of a  killer. But will he make it in time?

WARNING: This book contains graphic scenes, explicit language, and violent sexual situations.

Read an excerpt...
The Opus Theater was a gouged-out smoldering shell of a building, resembling a nefarious beast defeated at the hands of a mob of local villagers. Its massive first-floor entrance breathed out the last of the smoke, the toothy marquee scarred with black soot. Above, its blackened window-eyes stared down upon the people menacingly. As Gavin ambled closer, avoiding the other officers, a gripping scent of chemicals, fabric, and noxious gas filtered into his nostrils, then wafted away with the wind. Next to the theater, a pair of smaller sibling buildings, a shoe business and a comic magazine shop, were scarred and smoldering as well. Even from here, Gavin could make out the shattered glass sparkling grimly against the siren lights.

As he had seen on the news, the fire trucks clustered near the front of the buildings. The crews were already wrapping up their gear, and one was lowering its long ladder. Firemen dashed from the trucks into the dark fa├žade of the building, being swallowed up by the dying beast. Other men tugged on the thick gray hoses that were haphazardly tossed around on the street. Already, pockets of ice were forming on the standing water and small icicles began to grow from the edges of the building. Gavin carefully stepped over the hoses, which reminded him of ripped-out intestines from the gut of the savage beast, and tried to get out of the firemen’s way.

Hastily, a fireman rushed past him and knocked him slightly. Grunting an apology, the man kept talking into his radio and rounded one of the trucks. The smell of smoke invaded Gavin’s nostrils once again.

From behind him, Derrick shouted, “About time you fucking got here.”

READ AN INTERVIEW WITH RUSSELL  Click HERE

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Russell has been writing for the majority of his life. Slipping into alternative universes allows him to enjoy the process of creativity from the novel’s conception to its final draft. Currently, he lives in South Texas with his wife, two kids and several cats.

DERRICK is a 2018 Winner in the New Apple Literary Awards, receiving Official Selection in Psychological Suspense.





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Justice Gone





This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. N. Lombardi Jr.  will be awarding $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 


See below to read an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY



When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.

A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran's counselor, is caught up in the chase.

Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa's patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield's dramatic capture.

Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?

My Review...
Sometimes when you begin a book, you just know it’s going to be something you want to read. I’m not exactly sure how to describe that feeling. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an exciting scene that starts in the first paragraph. I think it is the flow of the writing, the kind that keeps your interest. This book had that flow, at least it did until it blasted me in the face with action. Wow, what a start for a novel. I was appreciative of his writing; mad at the story and the injustice. I was a little of everything and that is because the author and his words made me that way. That means having the talent to write mere words on paper and create a huge amount of emotion in your readers.

Injustice, unfairness, unwarranted violence, our cops and our military, are easy subjects to write about and evoke emotions as I said in the previous paragraph. They are also subjects to create interesting characters around. That happened here and some really enjoyable characters came out of this book. Characters you hope to read more about.

This book has been categorized as being a part of the legal/thriller genre. I’m not sure that’s quite where I’d put it. Actually, it’s rather difficult to describe. It definitely is a thriller and it has a lot of legal activity in it, but it’s almost crime fiction or a mystery too. So, I guess if you like to read any of these genres, you’d enjoy it. There are a lot of points here for discussion and some thought-provoking ideas. An enjoyable read and yet a somewhat deep book.


Lombardi Jr. has at least 2 other books published that I can see ratings on, and all seem to be well rated.

Read an excerpt...
Tessa had given much thought as to how she should dress for the occasion. Her first instinct was her Karen Kane pants suit, but dismissed that idea to wear her copper-brown print kaftan in its stead.

Now, with its folds caught in the vigorous September breeze, giving the illusion of a multitude of miniature flags fluttering around her, her thick locks of hair dancing around her head, she spoke to the crowd, slowly, deliberately taking her time. “Hello, my fellow citizens.” She stopped to survey the mass of people standing in front of her. Dramatic pauses replete with eye contact, if not overdone, were quite effective in getting one’s message across. Not surprisingly,  Tessa  knew  how  to get her message across, a special art in the realm of behavioral scientists. Public relations firms, advertising companies, political campaigns, all hired an army of psychologists to sell a product. And Tessa Thorpe, as someone who had thirty years’ experience as a criminal psychiatrist, could sell as well as any of them.

“We are here today for two reasons, two very important reasons that are essential to our well-being in a modern society. Freedom is one, and justice is the other.”

Enthusiastic cheers.

“When the call for war came, we were told that our enemies hated our freedoms. We were told that the citizens of Iraq had been held hostage by a ruthless dictator who denied his own people these freedoms. Our invasion of that country was sold to us as Operation Iraqi Freedom. And so we sent our young men and women off to war, the most traumatic experience a human being could ever go through, with the belief that they were fighting for liberty and freedom. And yet, one of those whom we had sent…had come back to us only to have his own freedom denied. His single offence at the time he was approached by law enforcement officers was that he was exercising his freedom to stand on a street corner.”

This elicited a roar from the crowd.

“This is not merely tragic, it is an act of deplorable fraud, being denied the very thing he fought for!”

More heartfelt cheering.

“When I was young, we were made to pledge allegiance, an oath that ended with the phrase, ‘with liberty and justice for all.’ Well, Jay Felson was denied liberty…let us make sure he is NOT DENIED JUSTICE!”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle
East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People's Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Visit his goodreads page:


Buy links:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Goodreads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Waterstones

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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Mamma's Moon and Sophie Washington:Code One

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

To read an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY 







This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jerome Mark Antil will be awarding $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 


To read an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY 

Exile in Darkness and Justice Gone

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Annalisa Carr will be awarding $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

To read an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY 







This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. N. Lombardi Jr. will be awarding $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

To read an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY   Click HERE

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Where Demons Dance

Historical Fiction


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Emma Briedis will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



A desperate widow…


It’s 1874 in Cedar City, Utah Territory, when Penelope Cavey finds her beloved husband, Henri, dead from a gunshot wound and the mysterious phrase, “demons dance” carved into the parlor mirror. Despite her brother’s attempts to dissuade her, Penelope is determined to find Henri’s killer and sets out alone for St. Joseph, a rural town in Utah—following the only clue Henri left for her.

A lying father…

Ava Patton is haunted by dreams of another life. Her nightmares give way to reality when her caring stepmother, Nellie, confirms her rising suspicions that the man who claims to be her father is only pretending to be, and that her real parents are dead. Astounded by this revelation, Ava sets out to uncover what became of her parents and in doing so, stumbles upon a heartbreaking tragedy. She is forced to stop her quest when her brother, Lawrence, falls seriously ill.

A labyrinth of a mansion…

Lawrence finds himself trapped within the winding halls of a large house, plagued by taunting voices as he struggles to escape. Unable to distinguish reality from the imaginary, Lawrence doesn’t know who or what imprisoned him there, nor to whom the house belongs. Lawrence realizes he holds the key and must find Ava and Penelope before another person is silenced.


An excerpt...

Lawrence gripped the doorknob in his hands, clinging to the cold metal as he dangled in midair. With eyes and teeth clenched, he could see himself falling to his death.

Looking up, he saw the outline of the doorframe and the hinges that looked like they were about to burst under his weight. Using all the strength he had, he tried to pull himself back up into the room when he paused and looked down—the top of a table stood only a little way from his feet. Relieved, he let go of the door and dropped down.

Lawrence felt a rush of fear as he landed and looked about the room, suddenly feeling wary. Quickly, he jumped off the table. He stood in a long, rectangular dining hall, reminding him of the medieval halls he had often seen in books. A long table covered in a white cloth ran down the center of the chamber. Above it, a large wooden chandelier hung on a rusty chain, with hundreds of little candles flickering back and forth, manipulated by unheard whispers echoing throughout the room. His heart quaked. On either side of the room, windows lined the walls, but instead of seeing sunlight and lawns, he saw blackness. Lawrence crossed to one of the windows and gazed out.

Where am I? was the resounding thought inside his mind.


About the Author:
Emma Briedis has written six books in multiple genres, including fantasy, romance, and historical fiction with Where Demons Dance being her debut novel. After reading Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables at the age of thirteen, she decided to write a book of her own, and hasn’t stopped since. She lives in Southeastern Wisconsin with her dog, Chewie.




Amazon link to buy book: https://www.amazon.com/Where-Demons-Dance-Emma-Briedis/dp/1732983305/ref=sr_1_2


Website: http://www.Elbriedis.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/elbriedis

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/EmmaBriedis

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Soul of the Storm

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jean M. Grant will be awarding $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

See below to read an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY





Charlotte MacGregor lost the thrill of conquering mountains five years ago when her sister disappeared on a hiking adventure without her. Still guilt-ridden, Charlotte heads for a vacation to rustic Vermont with a friend—where she's surrounded by reminders of her devastating loss and plagued with unanswered questions.


Matiu Christiansen is an outdoors buff. He works multiple jobs to save for his dream of owning an outfitter in New Zealand. He's never quite felt at home in the United States and he yearns for his Maori roots, but his attraction to Charlotte puts a kink in his plans to move home later this year.


Thrown together by coincidence, Charlotte and Matiu form a kindred bond through their shared love of the outdoors. Can Charlotte surmount her demons to assist Matiu on a rescue when a late-season snowstorm hits? And can Matiu help Charlotte heal from the pain of the past?


My Review...
A true love story; a real feel good kind of story. Almost everyone has been hurt or has lost someone special to them and almost all of us have sworn we’d never get close enough to be hurt again. Such is the case of Charlotte and her Kiwi.

This is a sweet read. Quick and enjoyable yet with some depth. I always say romance is not my favorite genre, but this was a book of characters you could feel and even be friends with. It’s setting is in New England so if you have any knowledge at all of New Hampshire or Vermont you’ll enjoy the references and the scenery. We all need a book like this every now and then.


Jean M. Grant has two or three other books published, and I couldn’t find anything but high ratings. Check them out.


Read an excerpt...
“What’s on your agenda tomorrow?” He offered her a brookie. He sat closer this time, his thigh brushing hers.

She unwrapped the brookie, grateful to have something to focus on, inhaled the enticing mixed scent of chocolate and buttery deliciousness, bit into it, and had to cover a moan.

“Choice, right?”

“Heaven. I need to get you to write these sayings down. Though I’m filing them away in my brain. This is choice?”

“Yup or sweet as.”

“Sweet as what?”

“Just sweet as. We leave the conjunction hanging there.”

They shared a chuckle.

“Confuses the hell out of tourists,” he added.

“Indeed.”

“Easy as.” His eyebrows lifted as he munched. “So, tomorrow?”

“Not sure. If Ronnie hasn’t already ventured there, maybe north to Waterbury to visit the cheese and ice cream factories.”

“Nah, that’s tourist stuff. How about farther off the beaten track?”

“You have better ideas?”

“Of course.”

“What’s your schedule like since you’re Mr. Busy?”

His smiled tipped to a frown. “Another full day. Since I mucked this morning on my day off, maybe they’ll give me a break tomorrow. Plus, I’m waiting on their vehicle to get repaired.”

She found herself nibbling on her lip, and it wasn’t just from the chewy deliciousness in her mouth.

He poured her tea. His clock near the TV chimed. “I gotta change for the inn shift. Be right back. Drink the tea slowly. Let it work its flavor on your palate. Drink it like you would an expensive wine. Slosh it, inhale, savor.” He rose. “Just don’t spit it out after.”

She almost snorted the swallow of tea. God, he was a flirt, even if he didn’t know it. Maybe he did.

She admired his physique as he strode to his bedroom. The T-shirt stretched nicely across his wide shoulders, and she presumed he had a well-defined torso beneath it. She bet his calves were in kick-ass shape from all the work he did. And his butt…

He only half closed the door. She got a decent peek as he took off his dirty T-shirt. Elaborate, curved black tattoos covered his shoulder blade in similar symbols to the ones on the quilt.

She pulled her gaze away as he disappeared behind the door. Veronica had warned her. Fun only, fun only. Oh my God, what the hell was she doing?


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she’s not writing or chasing children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.

Social Media links:








Buy links:
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Barnes and Noble
Itunes
Walmart
Kobo
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Monday, April 22, 2019

Justice Gone and Vivi's Leading Man

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. N. Lombardi Jr. will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B&N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

Click to read an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY  

https://www.ourtownbookreviews.com/p/justice-gone.html






This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Emily Mims will be awarding 2 prizes each containing ebooks Mist and Smoke, the first two books in the Smoky Blues series to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

Click to read an excerpt and sign up for the GIVEAWAY

https://www.ourtownbookreviews.com/p/vivis-leading-man.html

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Game Warden's Mate



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A.M. Griffin will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


The Hunt. As the new Game Warden, Xrez Ym’ihla brings patrons from across the galaxy to track prey in a game built to enslave the weak and mate the strong. The business is a long running family legacy and Xrez is determined to succeed as his father had before him. He hadn’t meant to let one human occupy his thoughts, mind, and body.

His lies may come back to haunt him, but if he reveals the truth, he’ll ruin his chance to capture the heart of the one he wants.

The Prey. Esme Valdez had her entire life planned from an early age. As a chemist, her life was average and mundane, just the way she liked it. Until the impossible happened. Never did she imagine being abducted by aliens and forced to participate in a survival of the fittest game called The Hunt. If she survives and makes it to the end, she’ll be freed. If not, she’ll be forced to mate the one who captures her.

Esme is determined to win at all costs, even if it means putting her trust in a sexy alien who taunts her in the most delectable way.

Their love was built on betrayal. Can she trust him with her heart and life?

Read an Excerpt...

Xrez watched the hologram and vividly remembered how prey reacted during the introductory phase. It didn’t matter the species, at some point, they would go into survival mode and divide into the groups they thought would give them the best chance.

“One of them has a beast,” Xrez noted.

It was small, oddly shaped and quadrupedal. It kept close to the pale female, protectively. Its fur wasn’t much different than his hair, short, but where the beast’s fur appeared smooth, Xrez and other Dar’E had wiry, coarse hair.

“Oh, yes! This should prove interesting. We’ve never had one of those in The Hunt before. The human called it a dog. The universal translator has input it as a companion, animal, protector.”

When the female got up to walk across the camp, the dog followed dutifully by her side. Xrez thought the description fit. As time went on the translator would input other information about the dog.

The female and her beast walked past another female. She appeared smaller than the first. She had skin as dark as the coarse hair covering his body. But his coloring was dull compared to the radiance of her. Her skin was vibrant under the sun, glowing with energy.

He’d only seen humans on holograms, none in the flesh. He’d always thought they appeared soft and mushy. Those weren’t attributes he wanted in a companion or mate. Instead of turning him off, this one made his belly stir.

Xrez reached out. His hand hovered over the hologram. Of course, he couldn’t feel anything, but that didn’t stop his longing. How would his fingers and claws feel against her skin? Would he scratch her?

He balled his fingers and brought back his hand. She was too soft for him to touch. Her skin was much too thin to withstand his claws. He would never be able to grip her butt or scrape his claws down her back while she rode him.

She lifted her hair off her neck and used her other hand to fan her back. Her hair was dark, almost black, but under the sun’s light, he saw shimmers of gold. It appeared soft and wavy, thick and long.

He decided then that he would run his fingers through it.


About the Author:
A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.



Where you can find me:


Website: http://www.amgriffinbooks.com/

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Single Girl's Guide to Conquering LA

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Carla Roxanne will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Los Angeles can be a tough place for a single girl, especially for those who come on their own from other cities or small towns, with no family or friends living in the state of California, let alone Los Angeles. Many young girls have stars in their eyes when they land in LA, hoping to make it big in acting, modeling, or music. Unfortunately, a large number of them fade into oblivion without anyone ever even knowing who they are because they lack guidance, assistance, funding, and most importantly, knowledge. Well, if you're a single girl and you have your sights set on living in the 'City of the Angels,' there are a few things you will need to know before you make the move. Whether you come to LA to become a star, or if you simply want to enjoy living in a place with great weather year-round, a beautiful coastline, and some of the best-looking, fittest people in the world, this guide book will help you navigate your way through La-La Land. It will help you avoid some of the pitfalls that many people before you have fallen prey to, and if you play your cards right, before you know it, you will be living a lifestyle which will make your family and friends green with envy.


Read an Excerpt

The Who: In LA, almost everyone has a roommate. With the high cost of living in the city, it makes perfect sense to split the cost with someone else so you can afford to do something other than simply pay rent every month. A good roommate can be an asset, but it’s not always easy to find one. Living with a woman can be challenging, as women can be catty and jealous, and you don’t need that kind of drama in your life. Having a man live with you can be very beneficial. Men are a lot easier to get along with. They’re not hormonal like females, so not too many things bother them, and they generally have good attitudes. They’re also more prone to go out and about, so they will more than likely be gone frequently. If you find one who has a work schedule that is the opposite of yours, or who works all the time, you’ve got it made. Besides, there’s nothing like having a man around to fix things for you and to do some of the things you don’t want to do, such as taking out the trash. With housing being so expensive, having a roommate will give you disposable income, which will allow you to build a little nest egg for a rainy day.


About the Author: Carla Roxanne is a Senior Executive Assistant for one of the top insurance companies in the nation. She has spent many years in administration supporting and organizing some of the highest-ranking executives in Los Angeles. In her spare time, she writes poetry and short stories.



Blessed with the gift of the gab, she has the innate ability to draw people to her through her stories.


The Single Girl's Guide to Conquering LA is Carla's freshman project. Visit her website for details of her next book.


Born in White Plains, New York, Carla currently resides in Los Angeles, California.



https://www.dramaqueenprod.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Carla-Roxanne/e/B07L5T1PQN/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

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The book is on sale for $0.99.







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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Dukes by the Dozen



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC.












What's better than a dashing duke? A dozen of them! In this case, a baker's dozen--thirteen of your favorite historical romance authors have
come together to bring you more than a dozen tantalizing novellas, with one per month, for a year's worth of never-before-released romances.


Duke in Winter by Alyssa Alexander

February - The Difference One Duke Makes by Elizabeth Essex

March - Discovering the Duke by Madeline Martin

April - The Duke and the April Flowers by Grace Burrowes

May - Love Letters from a Duke by Gina Conkle

June - Her Perfect Duke by Ella Quinn

July - How to Ditch a Duke by May McGoldrick

August - To Tempt A Highland Duke by Bronwen Evans

September - Duke in Search of a Duchess by Jennifer Ashley

October - Dear Duke by Anna Harrington

November - Must Love Duke by Heather Snow

December - The Mistletoe Duke by Sabrina York

January - Dueling with the Duke by Eileen Dreyer


Read an Excerpt...

from Dueling with the Duke

by Eileen Dreyer

January

She had a face that was completely forgettable. At least that was the way Jamie had described her. A girl you might overlook if you weren’t careful, which Jamie had said would be a shame.

Jamie had been correct. If Adam had simply seen Jamie’s wife sitting at a desk, he would have walked right by. It was when she moved that she began to make an impression. She had a compelling grace, especially for a small woman. He would have expected her to, well, bounce like a small bird on a fence. She glided as if books rested on her head.

Of course, he thought almost smiling. A marquess’s daughter. She had undoubtedly balanced a goodly number of books on her head.

“How can I help you, Your Grace?” she asked, setting her glasses down on a table and rising to her feet. “I don’t believe we’ve met?”

“To my eternal regret,” he said, “we have not met before now. I should have begun at the beginning. I am Adam Marrick, Mrs. Grace. Jamie’s cousin.”

And there it was, he thought. The reason Jamie had fallen in love with Georgina Wyndham in the first place. That smile. Wide, bright, warm, all-encompassing, as if she embraced not just him but the world. Before he knew it, Adam was smiling back.

“He loved you very much,” he said.

Her eyes glittered with welling tears, but that smile held. “I know,” she whispered. “I loved him dearly. I am so very glad to finally meet you. He spoke of you as well, of course. You were quite his hero. Hussars, wasn’t it?”

“It was.”

She invited him to sit, where they enjoyed a bit of society over tea.

“Lully,” he blurted out, appalled at his own clumsiness. “I’m really here for her.”

His words were met with a rather stark silence. “Pardon?”

He nodded, setting down his saucer. “I am actually here to bring her some news.”

Again Georgie tilted her head. “Lully is four, Your Grace. What news could you have to give her?”

This wasn’t going the way he’d planned. He should have believed Jamie from the start. Maybe his reaction to Georgie wouldn’t have knocked him so off-center.

“I need to take her to Scotland.”

“I beg your pardon?”

He tried briefly closing his eyes. “She is needed there.”

She was staring at him as if he’d begun to bark like a dog. “In Scotland.” Suddenly she was getting to her feet. “Are you feeling perfectly well, Your Grace?” she asked. “I can call for the local physician. He is old, but….”

He should have known this would be her reaction. “No,” he said, There was no avoiding it. He had to get to his feet as well. “No,” he said, grabbing his cane and hoisting himself up, his knee protesting like an unoiled hinge. “I am not ill. I was coming to see you anyway. I promise. Not only because I wanted to meet the woman who had stolen Jamie’s heart, but because I made a promise to him.”

“That is lovely.” Her voice didn’t sound like it. “But not to the point.”

He nodded and took another breath. “There is news,” he repeated. “Jamie’s mother has died.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

She neither sounded nor looked like she meant it. Having known Jamie’s mother well, he couldn’t really blame her. “If we could sit...”

Giving him a chagrined nod, she sat after him. “How can that concern us?” she asked. “Jamie’s family made certain we knew we were not welcome.”

“Well, since Jamie is…gone, it means that Lully has inherited. I need to take her with me to accept.”

Adam didn’t think you could see fire in the color green. He certainly could now.

“Inherited? Inherited what? Jamie was disowned.”

“You cannot disown a title, Mrs. Grace.”

“A what?”

“She is no longer simply a little girl,” he said as gently as he could. “She’s a duchess.”

She seemed to glide up to her feet, rising to her full height, which suddenly seemed not so insignificant. Following to his own feet, Adam wondered suddenly how anyone could possibly think she was forgettable. She was Boedica, Titania, Maeve. He had the oddest feeling she was looking down at him, instead of standing at his shoulder.

And then she closed the conversation.

“No.”



About the Author:
New York Times Bestselling, award-winning author Eileen Dreyer has published 40 novels and 10 short stories under her name and that of her evil twin, Kathleen Korbel in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, historical romance, romantic suspense, mystery and medical forensic suspense. A proud member of RWA's Hall of FAME, she also has numerous awards from RT BookLovers and an Anthony nomination for mystery. She is now focusing on what she calls historic romantic adventure in her DRAKE'S RAKES series. A native of St. Louis, she still lives there with her family. She has animals but refuses to subject them to the limelight.



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