Mar 14, 2018


#PreOrder - Out of Nowhere by @DLGallieAuthor

Title: Out of Nowhere
Author: DL Gallie
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Tash Drake, Outlined with Love Designs
Editor: Karen Hrdlicka, Barren Acres Editing
Publication Date: March 24th, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

Emerson James had it all. Great job. Wonderful fiancé. Amazing friends. Loving family. Life was perfect. Out of nowhere, her life fell apart. Rather than dealing with it all, she packs a bag and leaves New York behind. By a twist of fate, she ends up in Nels Cove, Colorado and decides to stay.

Moving to the country is just what she needed. The quaint town, the countryside, and the people are perfect, well most of the people. Chase Archibald is an arrogant ass who grates on her nerves but he also sets her ablaze.


Chase Archibald is Nels Cove royalty. Everyone loves him and his family, well everyone except one person: Emerson James. She is the first person to call him out and not fall at his feet. That pisses him off but at the same time she sparks something inside of him; he can’t stop thinking about her.

Eventually, Emerson lowers her guard and Chase wins her over. Just as she begins to feel like herself again, her past and present collide and she will finally have face what she ran from.


Out of nowhere, she makes a decision but does she make the right one?

DL Gallie is from Queensland, Australia, but she’s lived in many different places all over the world, including the UK and Canada. She currently resides in Central Queensland with her husband and two munchkins. She and her husband have been together since she was sixteen, and although they drive each other crazy at times, she couldn’t imagine her life without him.

Shortly after her son was born, DL began reading again. With encouragement from her husband, she picked up the pen and started writing, and now the voices in her head won’t shut up.

DL enjoys listening to music, drinking white wine in the summer, red wine in the winter, and beer all year round. She’s also never been known to turn down a cocktail, especially a margarita.

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The door has just closed behind me when I see the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. She’s walking down Main Street and I immediately notice her. How could you not? She is absolutely stunning. She’s wearing a yellow sundress. Her red hair is half up and half down and it’s blowing in the wind. Never have I seen someone so breathtaking. She went into Tiff’s and I decide to head there myself; after all Tiff makes the best muffins in three counties. It’s time for my afternoon coffee break and a guy has to eat, that’s what I tell myself as I walk across the street. In truth, I want to see this beauty up close and in person.

Walking in, my eyes immediately find her in the back corner booth…my back corner booth, I think to myself as I walk further inside. My eyes are steadfastly locked on her as I head toward the counter. I’m not looking and don’t see Jolene coming in my direction; her arms full of orders, we collide with each other. The plates she carries go flying and shatter on the floor with a loud crash.

“Chase, I’m so sorry,” she says as she drops to her knees to start cleaning up the mess. Tiff appears and begins to berate Jolene for being clumsy, again. Jolene isn’t cut out for waitressing, but Tiff is too kind to get rid of her. Before I have a chance to say anything, the hottie I’d come in to see is on her knees helping Jolene clean up. My mind immediately imagines her leaning forward, unzipping my slacks, and her pert, pouty lips wrapping around my cock. My deviant thoughts are thwarted when I hear her voice, laced with anger say, “It wasn’t her fault. This guy here wasn’t watching where he was going and bumped into her.” She pauses and looks up at me. “You can always help clean up the mess you made,” she sassily says, her eyes shooting daggers at me.

“Excuse me?” I growl, no one speaks to me like that.

“You heard me, grab the broom from the lady there and help us clean this up,” she responds as she picks up a broken plate and places it into the bin that magically appeared.

“Do you know who I am?” I ask, shocked that someone would speak to me like that.

“I don’t care if you are the president, you will help clean up the mess that you caused.”

Everyone around us gasps. No one has ever spoken to me like that before, and with this one conversation, this little spitfire has piqued my interest. Turning around, I grab the broom from Tiff and begin to help sweep up the mess. Within a few minutes, the debris is all cleaned up. Grabbing the broom from me, she hands it back to Tiff before she makes her way back ‘my’ booth. I watch her walk away, while everyone in the café has gone back to his or her business. Shaking my head, I continue to the counter and order my usual. While I wait, I stalk over to the woman who has garnered my attention. As I sit across from her, I stare at her. I don’t think I have ever been drawn to someone like I am to this woman. “Well, aren’t you a little spitfire?”

Her head pops up from the book she is reading and her cobalt blue eyes glare at me. “Excuse me?” she says.

“I didn’t stutter. I said you are a little spitfire.”

“Did you just quote Major Payne to me?”

Shaking my head, I laugh that she picked up on the movie reference, not my questioning. “Well, I guess I did.” Putting my hand out, I say, “Chase Archibald, nice to meet you.”

She hesitantly looks at my hand before placing hers in mine. Her hand is soft and delicate, compared to mine. “Hi, I’m Emerson,” she replies, immediately withdrawing her hand as if touching me will cause her to catch some horrendous disease, or worse, man germs. She drops her hand back into her lap and goes back to reading, effectively dismissing me.

Never has a woman acted like this around me, usually they fall at my feet, begging me to give them the time of day. This girl intrigues me. “So, to what do we owe the pleasure of your company here in Nels Cove?"

“Well, I’m trying to read while I wait for my late lunch.” She pauses, looking over at me before sassily adding, “but some arrogant ass keeps interrupting me.” Lowering her gaze back to her book once again, she ignores me.

“If you want to see my ass, you just have to ask,” I smugly reply. Her head shoots up and once again she is casting daggers my way. Winking at her, I smile before adding, “So, apart from wanting to see my ass, I’ll ask again. To what do we owe the pleasure of your delightful company in our little town?”

Putting her book down, she stares at me and sighs. “You’re not going to go away until I answer your questions, are you?”

Shaking my head from side to side, I confirm, “Nope.” Flashing her a smile, I wink at her. Again, she rolls her eyes, but I’m sure I see a hint of interest flickering there. This woman in front of me intrigues me, even though she’s being blasé and kind of rude, I’m fascinated with her.

“Not that it’s any of your business, but I’m on a road trip,” she huffs. “I was just passing through, but it's so pretty here I’ve been here for a week now and I think I might stay a while longer.”

Her response puzzles me. How has she been here a week and I’m just meeting her now? A newbie like her would normally send the gossip mills blazing. I want to know more, but the phone in my pocket vibrates. I dig it out and see that it’s a reminder for a conference call in ten minutes. It’s a call that I had to reschedule and cannot miss. “Well, I guess you are saved by the bell. I hope to see you around, Emerson.”

“Lucky me,” she sarcastically says. She picks up her book and goes back to reading, once again rejecting my advances.

Standing up, I walk over to the counter, grab my waiting coffee and head out. As I walk across the street, I glance over my shoulder and see her staring out the window at me. Lifting my hand, I nod my head, tap my temple, and salute her. From across the road, I can sense her blushing and I think to myself, Game on, Spitfire, game on.


#CoverReveal - Fight for Phoenix by @Author_L_Leslie

Title: Fighting for Phoenix
Author: Lynne Leslie
Genre: Second Chance Romantic Suspense
Cover Designer: Wicked Dream Designs
Publication Date: April 18th, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

Phoenix Miles was my future…

Until he left me shattered just like our engagement photo. I'm a survivor though. I have to be because it's not just my life anymore. When he walks into my bar, I smell more than beer brewing and knew letting him in would be a mistake. I won't let him break me again.

I will win this fight.

Jayden Carter was my world…

Until she tossed me away just like her engagement ring. I'm a survivor though. I have to be because revenge is all I have left. My path was set, then I walked into her bar. Now, I'm fighting for love and family.

As the saying goes, all's fair in love and war.

Neither of us count on outside forces trying to tear us apart. Their endgame? Destruction. Our endgame? Love.

Lynne is  a momma bear to two beautiful little girls and one amazing stepson. When she's not writing, she's an avid reader. If you don't catch her with her nose in a book or her fingers scribbling in a notebook, she's usually right in front of the television with her  family. She lives in the quiet country, somewhere on the Panhandle of Florida. She loves music, dancing and beer. Preferably the beer first so she can at least pretend to know how to twerk when the music comes on. She loves anything that glitters and has a weird habit of collecting pens. Even though she's in Florida, she hates the ocean and doesn't eat seafood. I know. I know. She’s a strange human being.

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I relax back in the tub and close my eyes. If the man wants to take care of me then who am I to stop him. My mind is running ninety miles an hour trying to process everything that he told me anyhow. Four years I’ve thought he cheated on me with her and at most times I’ve hated him for it. After hearing the truth, I don’t know what to feel anymore. I can’t say I’m surprised about Eric and the guys having something to do with it. They never liked me. I honestly never thought they would take it as far as they did though. Never thought they really hated me that much. I don’t know why either. I never kept Phoenix from his friends. That’s not something I would have done. I also wasn’t looking to replace them in his eyes, so I could never figure it out. When they were over, and the tension became too much I would just make excuses and go home. I never let on to Phoenix how bad it was and as far as I know, to this day he still has no clue. Oh, he knows they don’t like me because of all this but I mean he has no clue to how bad it was. As far as her, nothing surprises me. I’ve never been able to understand her or any decisions she made.
Shutting the water off with my foot, I notice how quiet it is in the bedroom.
“Nix?” I call out softly. “Everything okay?”
I hear him gruffly clear his throat before he calls back. “Yeah, kitten. Just a sec.”
I let out a sigh. I’ll never tell him just how much I’ve missed that endearment of his. It’s been a lonely four years without him and whenever I think about all the shit they put us through my heart squeezes in my chest. My baby boy has gone four years without knowing his daddy because of them and the more I think about the more pissed off it makes me. That’s not how it should have been. But it’s something I must let go of if we’re going to try to make this work between us. If we’re going to try and be a family. And the more I think of it the more I realize this is exactly what I want. I want my little family. I’m running my hands through the bubbles, lost in thought when Phoenix walks back into the bathroom empty handed. I don’t know if I can even describe the look on his face, but his eyes are burning with flames and I feel the heat from them scorch me as his eyes roam my body. I don’t know what happened from the time he was in there to the time he walked in to here but it’s an interesting turn of events. His eyes are telling me that I’m desert and he’s fixing to devour me. Not that you’ll hear me complain at all.
           “Lean back.” He demands squatting down by the tub.
I do as he says and watch him through drooped eyelids. My body is burning from the inside out and I want him to ease it. He grabs the loofa and squeezes some soap on it all the while watching me with those burning eyes. Starting with my leg, he tenderly washes from the bottom of my feet to the top of my thigh, teasing the apex of them before moving to the other leg. He unhurriedly slides it up my stomach, running slow circles around and up until he reaches my breasts. I suck in a breath and hold it, waiting with anticipation. Slowly, he grabs one breast with his hand as he uses the other hand to wash it. He teases my nipple with his thumb and forefinger before moving to my other breast and repeating the process. By now my breathing is erratic, my body feels like it’s going to combust into flames and I’m so dizzy from wanting him to ease the ache he’s built inside of me, that I can’t take much more. He’s started an erotic game of foreplay that I seriously hope he plans on finishing. He must feel the same way because before I know it, my arms, back and hair are all washed and rinsed in record time, taking care of the stitches on my eye and scratches on my arms and legs, and he’s got me standing with a towel wrapped around me.
Still without speaking, he grabs my hand and slowly walks me into the bedroom, stopping me at the end of the bed. He unwraps me from the towel bit by bit, like he’s savoring every little piece of me he opens. Turning me around so I’m facing the bed, he dries my back. My body starts to quiver as I feel his lips press against the back of my neck. Sliding my hair out of the way, his lips trail a path from my neck, down my back as his arms wrap around me from behind and cup my breasts. My head falls forward and it’s taking all the energy I have to hold myself up. Instead of trying, I lean further over and brace my hands on the bed. Tweaking my nipples enough that it leaves a hint of pain behind, his hands drift down to my throbbing pussy. I feel my juices already dripping down my leg, I’m so turned on. He slides his fingers through my slit and gathers my cream to lube his fingers. Returning to my clit, he starts running in a circular motion as he lays his forehead against my back. His breathing is harsh and each puff of air that slithers across my back, amps me up more. Moving his fingers away, he places a feather light kiss to the middle of my back, picks me up and places me in the middle of the bed. I watch through lust hazed eyes as he quickly removes his shirt, jeans and briefs. No boxers for my man. Never once does he take his eyes from me. I roam my eyes down his heavily tatted body. One day I’ll explore all the delicious flesh he has exposed to me, including that tattoo wrapping towards his cock. Lifting the fingers of my right hand, I slide two of them into my mouth and glide them down my stomach. His eyes flash hotter as they reach my pussy and slide in. I let out a moan and close my eyes. Fuck, that feels good. Pumping my fingers in and out, I work my clit with my thumb. My hips are lifting in time with my rhythm. I feel him settle in between my thighs and his warm breath hits my clit, adding to the sensation I’m already creating. Knowing he’s watching me and enjoying every minute of it, amps me up even more. I open my eyes and look down my body at him. He’s got his hand wrapped around his cock and is stroking it slowly as his eyes devour everything that I’m doing. I feel the heat licking up and down my body as my orgasm draws near. He knows because he strikes as fast as a snake and yanks my hand away. I let out a whimper and writhe my body on my satin sheets.
“That’s mine, kitten.”
Motherfucker. Even in our sweet moments he’s got to pull his dominating shit. I should have remembered who I have between my legs.
“Then do something.” I growl at him.
“I’ve got you, baby. But we still have to be easy. You’ve been hurt.”
“Dammit, Nix. I’m not made of fucking glass. Just fuck me already.”
He crawls up my body and settles in between my legs. Finally. Grabbing his cock, he twirls it in circles on my clit, teasing me. He leans down and presses kisses to each eyelid, my nose and finally my lips.
“My kitten is hungry, huh.” He whispers lovingly. “I’m sorry baby, but I ain’t nowhere near finished with you. And when I’m finally done playing only then will I sink into that fucking pussy of yours that’s weeping my name and give my kitten what she wants.”
Oh god. He’s going to be the death of me. He feathers kisses down my body stopping to nibble on my nipples. Sucking one and then the other into his mouth, twirling his tongue around each pebbled nub and biting down. A thrill runs through me as he nibbles his way down to the heat of me. I spread my legs wide as he makes his way further south. I give a little shiver as his warm breath feathers against my clit. Placing soft kisses to the inside of my thigh, my breathing speeds up as he gets closer my core. Grabbing my thighs, he holds them apart, opens me up to him and gives me one leisure lick from my ass to my pussy. He taps my thigh to let me know I need to hold it in place as he uses his fingers to hold my pussy lips open. Running his tongue around my lips, he gently teases me with the tip of his tongue. He repeats this motion until I can no longer stand him having no contact with my clit. Slamming my hands to his head, I guide him where I want him. Letting out a wicked chuckle he places his mouth over my clit and starts flicking it slowly. I can’t stop the moan that works its way from my throat. His side to side motions send electricity rocketing through my body.
“Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” I chant as my body goes rigid.
Knowing I’m now close he starts sucking on my clit adding a few nips with his teeth. I feel my body flush as he moans when my pussy starts to leak, causing a vibration that sends me soaring with my release. My body twitches as he feathers his tongue on my overly sensitive clit, making sure he doesn’t miss a drop. Placing a kiss to the top of my pubic bone he sits up, leans back on his knees and gazes at me with a smirk on his face. His eyes are filled with pride and he’s got his lower lip between his teeth.
“How are you feeling? Are you in any pain?”
I let out a dreamy sigh. “Oh no. I’m absolutely perfect. I forgot how well you eat pussy.”
Letting out a gravelly laugh, he climbs his way up my body. Planting soft kisses to my lips, he runs his tongue across them until I open and tangle my tongue with his. His tongue caresses mine with a single-minded focus. Tasting the tangy sweetness of my climax, I wrap my legs around his waist, moan into his mouth and rock my pussy against the cock resting against it.
He pulls back with a shudder and a gasp, unwrapping my legs and separating us. “Kitten, keep grounding that sweet pussy against me and I’m gonna take it. I’m trying to be a gentleman and do the right thing here, no matter what I said. But I’m a man, baby.”
His voice is raw with desire as his hand locks around his wide girth and starts a rough slide, hitting my clit with each upward stroke. Anchoring my legs around his waist once again, I dig my heels into his ass, yank him to me at the same time I raise up and bite his lip.
“I said I wasn’t made of fucking glass.”
I capture his lips with mine and ravish them with a savagery I didn’t know I possessed. He’s my oasis in a dry desert and I can’t get enough to quench my thirst. I feel his large rough hands grab my legs and pin them open right before he plunges into me. We both let out a hoarse cry at the feeling of once again being joined together. His ass flexes under my heels each time he pounds in to me. My head is thrown back in ecstasy, tits bouncing, fingers clenching and unclenching in the sheets. He switches his unrelenting pace to slow, scorching thrusts as he leans down and imprisons me between his arms. I take note of how careful he’s trying to be not to put too much pressure on me, no matter how rough we get. One hand tangles in my long hair, gently pulling my head back as his lips once again settle over mine, his mouth ravenous yet meaningful. Our bodies slick with sweat, our mouths letting 0ut guttural growls and broken cries, we immerse ourselves in each other, the only sounds in the otherwise quiet room. My breath hitches at the naked emotion I see in his eyes and I feel a tear leak from mine. One hand leaves my hair as he captures it with his thumb. I feel exposed, but I can’t stop the words from escaping my lips.
“I’ve missed you.”
It’s like my words awoke a beast within because the next thing I know, my legs are thrown over his arms, pussy spread wide open and I’m being rammed with savage strokes. His cock pummels my pussy as I succumb to his wild, feral fucking. He’s magnificent in all his glory. The tattoos on his neck stick out as he strains it back and lets out a rough groan.
“So fucking good.” He murmurs, his hips slamming against mine with no intention of stopping.
My back arches, hips lifting to meet his as pleasure courses through my body. Goosebumps break out and I flush, body coiling tight as my release approaches. Phoenix, knowing my body as well as I do, pinches my clit between his fingers and tugs.
“Come, now.”
I let out a husky scream as I shatter and fly apart. It’s not long before Phoenix follows, his body convulsing, cock twitching with his release as his strained roar echoes around the room. Still keeping his weight from my chest, he buries his face into my neck trying to recover. He holds his lips there for a short time before pulling back and cupping my face in his tattooed hands.
“I’ve missed you too, kitten. So damn much.”
His kisses my forehead, then my lips before giving a slow erotic glide from my body causing both of us to let out greedy moans. Rolling to the side, he falls to his back and throws his arm over his eyes. His chest is still rising and falling rapidly as he catches his breath. Hell, so is mine. We’ve not come together like that since the night he asked me to marry him.
“Not that I’m complaining but where the hell did that come from?”
Removing his arm, his head swivels in my direction. His eyes are full of something. Torment? But I’m not understanding why.

Mar 9, 2018


#NewRelease - Tell Me Now by @S_Moose060912

Title: Tell Me Now
Author: S. Moose
Genre: New Adult, Romantic Suspense
Editor: Jenny Sims and Glenna Maynard
Cover Designer: Sommer Stein with Perfect Pear Creative Covers
Models: Daria and Josh
Publication Date: Mar. 9th, 2018

Bryce Hunter is rich, confident, powerful, and dominant. Men like him take what they want from any woman they want. Without thinking twice, they use you, break you, and then leave the pieces behind.

Past experience tells me to keep my distance, but there’s only one problem—the attraction between us is undeniable. I’m failing to control the desire he ignites in me, yet I know what will happen if I give in. I’ll be the broken pieces left behind.

With no boundaries, it’s not long before his cocky attitude and persistence wear me down. The attention and adoration he showers me with make me see him in a different light, and all too soon, I’m falling for his charms. Falling in love.

Love isn’t kind.

Love isn’t worth it.

Secrets come to light, and I find out I should always trust my instincts.
I’m the pawn in his game.

And I lose.

S. Moose is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of new adult romance. She writes emotional and romantic stories that will make you swoon, cry, yell, laugh, and love.

She is living her own happily ever after with a man who loves her with his whole heart. She is a proud mother to their beautiful son, and adorable puppy.

When she is not writing you can find her hanging out with her family, and friends, getting lost in romantic books, and indulging on Starbuck lattes.

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Mar 6, 2018


#NewRelease - Outliers by @kmary0622

Title: Outliers
Author: Kate L Mary
Genre: Adult Dystopian
Publisher: Twisted Press
Publication Date: Mar. 6th, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

In the dusty ruins of the world, three groups exist: the Sovereign, the Fortis, and the Outliers. Within their walled city, exclusive access to the only remaining technology gives the Sovereign an advantage that seems impossible to beat. In exchange for meager scraps and free reign outside the walls, they use the brawn of the Fortis to their advantage while the Outliers struggle to survive. Living on land that has not healed from the poison of the past, and surrounded by dangers too numerous to count, the Outliers have adapted - but to the Sovereign and the Fortis, they are nothing.

Indra is an Outlier. Each day she braves the wastelands, making the dangerous journey from the wilds where she lives to the City so she can serve the Sovereign in order to give her family a better life. Inside the walls, she has no rights and no freedom. Not only is she powerless to resist the Sovereign’s harsh rule, but she is also unable to do anything to save her people from the brutality of the Fortis. For centuries they have made their abuse of Outliers a sport, but when Asa comes to Indra’s rescue, she sees something different in him. Something that marks him as so much more than just a Fortis guard.

But as Indra’s world begins to unravel, even the quiet alliance she has formed with Asa cannot save her from the wrath of the Sovereign. In one life-altering moment, everything Indra has ever known is ripped away, forcing her to face a world even more harsh and unforgiving. Broken and scarred, Indra finds herself on a journey that will challenge everything she’s ever been taught, learning along the way that she’s stronger than she ever imagined. Maybe even strong enough to free her people forever.  

Kate L. Mary is an award-winning author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, ranging from Post-apocalyptic tales of the undead, to Speculative Fiction and Contemporary Romance. Her YA book, When We Were Human, was the 2015 Children's Moonbeam Book Awards Silver Medal Winner for Young Adult Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fiction, and the 2016 Readers' Favorite Gold Medal Winner for Young Adult Science Fiction.

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“He is in love with you,” Mira finally said.
The statement warmed my cheeks even though I had already come to this conclusion. “I know.”
“And you?” She glanced my way, not turning her head completely when she did it, as if she thought it would make me more likely to answer her honestly. As if she thought I was hiding something from her. “Do you love him?”
“I know nothing about him, but the answer would be no either way. I love Bodhi. I would not have married him otherwise. Plus, no matter what Asa does to help me, an Outlier cannot be with a Fortis. It is impossible.”
“Why?” Mira asked.
I turned my body to face her, walking sideways so that my back was to the Lygan Cliffs even though I had been taught to never lose my focus in this way. “Because we are not the same.”
“Now you sound like one of the Sovereign.” Mira’s blue eyes rolled in their sockets, but her lips pulled up into a smile that helped to ease some of the sting her words had brought to me. “We are the same, Indra. We are all people. We have just been trained to believe that we are different.”
I opened my mouth to argue with her, but no words came out. She was right. Sovereign, Outlier, Fortis, we were all just people. The only thing that kept us apart were the walls that had been constructed years ago, both the physical ones and the ones that existed only in our minds. Those were built on oppression and prejudices so old that no one alive today had a clue why they even existed.
A click echoed off the rocks at my back, followed closely by a few more. In front of me, my friend’s body went rigid. I spun to face the cliffs, the knife in my hand up and ready as more clicking rang through the air. But there was nothing in sight. Not yet, anyway.
“Where is it?” Mira hissed.
At my side, she too had her knife up. This was a position we had been in before, and as long as there was only one of the creatures, we knew what to do to defend ourselves. The problem would come if they were hunting in a pack. One lygan was dangerous enough, but four or five? We would not be able to beat that many.
We remained still. The clicks grew closer together and louder, but with the way the sounds echoed off the rocks, it was impossible to tell how many there were until the creature—or creatures—decided to show themselves.
“Be ready,” I said for my benefit as much as for hers.
The hiss came first. It was a sound that was low and seemed to come from the deepest part of the animal’s belly, and it was followed only a beat later by the appearance of the lygan itself. The creature was bigger than average, its tail as long as my arm and its body only a little shorter. Its claws clicked across the rocks as it scurried forward, seeming to move at an impossibly fast speed considering its stunted legs. The red and purple scales shone even in the limited light of the evening as the lygan twisted between the sharp rocks that made up the cliffs. Now that it was closer, the click of its claws seemed twice as loud, and when it hissed a second time, the sharp points of its teeth were visible.
Readying myself for a fight, I planted my feet. I knew from experience that the creature would pounce without warning, that was how Mira had been injured before, and I was ready when it finally flew through the air, headed right for me.
I slashed my knife up and the blade hit home on the lygan’s stomach. It screeched just before its body slammed into mine, and when I flew back a cry retched from my body on impact. We went down together, my back slamming into the dry ground and the lygan landing on top of me. It was injured and my knife was still in its belly, but it had not given up yet. The animal wiggled and snapped its jaw, and his teeth came close enough to my nose that I felt its moist breath against my face. His yellow eyes were focused on me, the black pupils dilated to slits. The scales were smooth against my hand when I grabbed its neck in an attempt to hold him back, and his claws scratched at my body as he tried to get the advantage.
Mira’s voice seemed far away, but I knew she was nearby and ready to help. Just as I had been with her the day she was attacked. Her face appeared above me. The setting sun shone down on her blond hair, making it glow, and in the brilliant light her passage markings seemed twice as dark against her pale skin.
The sun reflected off the metal when she raised her knife and I had to turn my head away. My hand was still on the lygan’s neck, holding the thing back as it snapped its teeth, but even before Mira had stabbed it I could feel its strength waning. Then she did, and when the knife entered the lygan’s body, the creature let out a shriek that left a ringing behind in my ears. The lygan jerked and its claws clamped down on my stomach, puncturing my dress and forcing a scream out of me. Mira pulled her knife from the creature and brought it down again, and this time the animal let out a drained wail that was preceded by its entire body going slack.
When that happened, its claws relaxed as well, freeing me from the piercing hold it had on my body. I shoved the animal off and it rolled to the ground at my side. Mira was panting, as was I, and for a beat neither one of us moved. She stayed frozen, standing over me while I remained on my back, staring up at her.


#NewRelease & #Giveaway - Outrageous by Jennifer Ann

Title:  Outrageous
Author: Jennifer Ann
Genre: Dark Romantic Suspense
Cover Designer: Amy Q of Q Design
Model: Miles Logan
Publication Date: Mar. 6th, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

The South Side is like an incurable cancer, destroying the lives of everyone it touches.

For Brooke, the nightmare is over, and she uses her experience of survival to help those still living it.

Those like Liam.

He’s the smartest high schooler she’s ever met, and gets under her skin in the most delicious way.

She’s the bravest woman he knows, and he’s amazed she cares about his future and the fate of his band.

Their attraction is undeniable, but it’s also forbidden. She took an oath not to sleep with those she’s promised to protect.

But when the King of South Side tangles with Liam and his bandmates, she’s forced to make a choice.

One that could cost her everything.

Jennifer Ann is an award-winning and bestselling author of contemporary romance with darkly complex plots. Much like her characters, she's in love with the city of New York, trips on airplanes or the back of her husband's Harley, and everything rock and roll.

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The chaos of the South Side is in full swing as I make my way to the band’s usual Sunday night jam session, bass in hand. Only two of us could make it out tonight, but it doesn’t matter. I would’ve gone alone because I need an escape. Music is the only therapy I can afford.

Despite being no more than 30 degrees out, homeless of all ages litter the busted up sidewalks, some propped up against piles of garbage bags, begging for another fix or a hot meal. Tents and cardboard homes line the alleys, their campfires creating an ominous glow against the tall buildings. Every few blocks there’s a car by the curb that’s been abandoned for months, long-since stripped down to the frame like skeletons. A few dealers lurk in the shadows, hoods drawn as they wait for a signal from an interested buyer.

Often there’ll be a horde of drunk college students curious about this part of the city who don’t have the street smarts to stay the hell away. As I cross the bar scene on Fifth Avenue, they’re nowhere to be seen. Instead it’s the usual mix of liars and thieves who are too poor to start over somewhere else, doing whatever it takes to survive.

Too many of the women openly attempting to hook up with guys outside the bars are inappropriately dressed for the weather. On closer inspection, there’s a fine line between junkies and hookers. Some are so high they left home in little more than their underwear, and some looking to get paid for sex couldn't string an intelligible sentence together if they tried.

Once you add grime and the smell of literal shit to the list of the South Side’s attributes, it’s understandable why it was once labeled by some pretentious magazine as the least desirable neighborhood in the nation. It’s too dangerous even for the likes of Minneapolis to claim us, and too poor for St. Paul to give two fucks that we exist. The governor and the rich assholes that support him with their high-end department stores and fancy universities would physically have us removed from their precious state if they could find a way.

Every last native to this area comes from a broken home. They thrive on crime and mayhem, not having experienced any other way of life. Drugs and violent crimes have touched the lives of every single kid who grew up on these streets, my story being no exception. We don’t know the security of a traditional family, or what it’s like to come home to find dinner on the table. We’re accustomed to a rough hand and cruel tongue. It’s rare as fuck if your parents are actually married.

The only saving grace is that the neighborhood is run by Marshall “King Marty” Blackwood, my best friend’s uncle, making my crew untouchable by proxy. But even his protection has its pitfalls.

Before I’m able to sneak past the two prostitutes that have become a permanent fixture on the corner outside the abandoned building where we jam, the one who goes by “Candy” calls out to me. Tilting my face back to the dark sky, I flick my half-used cigarette to the sidewalk and start for her, smoke streaming from my nostrils. Any other day, I’d smoke ‘em right down to the filter. Since I came across the spot where my old man hides his cartons, however, I’ve been living large.

Aside from her rank smell, Candy’s mostly harmless so long as she isn’t so wasted she’s babbling about bed bugs or the government spying on us through technology. She’s not attractive by any means, but that’s an industry standard when you’re working the corners on the South Side. Most times she’s more akin to a motherly figure, asking if I’m getting enough to eat, or why I’m out on the streets alone. Chunks rise in my throat when she adjusts her ill-fitting bra, revealing a dark tit. In moments like this, I’m convinced she’s hoping to entice me to fuck her. As many years as she’s been working the streets, letting every dirtbag on the South Side stick it to her, I wouldn’t touch her with someone else’s dick.

Her obnoxiously long, bubble gum pink fingernails wave through the night sky. “Rook, baby, get over here! I wanna get a good look at you!”

“You just wanna cop a feel of my ass,” I tell her with a half-hearted chuckle.

She hums like she’s envisioning doing it. “Can’t say I’d mind.” Her smooth, chocolaty eyes darken on mine, filled with humor and mischief. They’re the only part of her that’s not repulsive. “When you gonna play me some of that guitar in private, sugar?”

Bile rips through my throat with her suggestion. “Sorry, sugar. I don’t play for just anyone.”

“Well I’m not just anyone.” Her voice seems to skip an octave when she wiggles her eyebrows. “I’m somebody around these parts now. King Marty’s men have been comin’ around the past couple a days, probably hopin’ to get up in my business. Matter of fact, you just missed them.”

Candy’s friend hums, setting her hand on her hip. “Girl, this ain’t no Pretty Woman. Seems to me like they’re decidin’ on the next place to bury a bullet.”

She’s not wrong. It can’t be a coincidence that King Marty’s men would be loitering outside the building where his nephew headlines a band.

“Did they ask any questions about me an’ the guys?” I ask.

“Don’t you worry, baby.” Her eyes narrow with a message that’s as crystal clear as the meth she smokes. “I ain’t no rat. I ain’t givin’ him any dirt on you boys for nothin’.”

I glance over both shoulders for any sign of King Marty’s thugs, grunting to myself. No one in the South Side does something out of the kindness of their heart, especially a strung-out hooker who can’t afford a new pair of fishnet stockings.

Resting the headstock of my bass against my legs, I fish my wallet out from my back pocket and find a single $20 bill. Not the most enlightening discovery when I won’t get another check until I’ve finished writing a ten-page paper for a senior in Burnsville, but stealing to stay fed is nothing new.

I press the bill into Candy’s outstretched palm. “There’ll be more coming if you keep me updated on any of their future visits.”

Her lips spread with a thin smile, exposing her rotten teeth and bright red gums. She’s a living, breathing epitome of why I’ll never touch hardcore drugs. “Sure thing, baby.”

Leaving the women behind, I head toward the building I consider to be more of a home than the rat-infested apartment my old man leased for the second year in a row. After ensuring no one’s paying attention, I slip the fake boarded door to the side and slip inside. Wouldn’t want a bunch of squatters discovering the shithole’s open. And apparently there’s more of a reason to be paranoid about who’s keeping an eye on us.

I always get bad vibes whenever Marshall Blackwood’s involved. Even though he’s supposed to be on “our” side, he’s involved in a lot of bad shit, and has a helluva temper. Who the fuck knows what could’ve set him off enough to send his crew.

As I climb the rackety stairwell to the second floor, the stench of dust and weed that clings to the building fills my lungs with a harsh burn. I make my way past band posters faded with age, hanging over ratty couches that arguably house more crabs than every seafood joint in the Midwest combined. A few months back, the band’s name was spray-painted on the wall behind them in blood-red letters by some chick that tagged along. When we first decided to go by “In Disarray” our freshman year, no one had any objections. Sometimes it's more our way of life than a label.

The brass sound of the drum kit banging along to a Nirvana tune becomes louder with each step. Trask must be letting his sister go at it again as part of her lesson on rhythm, and how to correctly wield the sticks. The little shit is showing improvement, and can maintain a pretty solid beat. We’re always razzing Trask that it won’t be long before we’ll be kicking his ass to the curb so Sasha can fill his place.

I find the brother-sister duo around the corner. Sasha sits behind the drums in the only area big enough to hold our equipment, dark hair flying around her head as her arms twist and bend through the air. Fourteen and feisty as hell, she shares zero physical characteristics of her lanky punk-ass brother. Since she recently grew curves and her baby-face smoothed down, guys started coming around, asking her on dates and shit. If I were Trask, I’d collect their balls in a jar.

Despite having shaggy hair the color of a regurgitated carrot and Owen Wilson’s fucked-up nose from one fight too many, Trask Green is an all-around decent bastard. For what he lacks in looks, although he still manages to bang any chick he wants, he makes up in heart. The guy gave me the benefit of the doubt from day one when we were kids, and I came in as a transplant from Texas. The others were initially cynical of any outsiders who weren’t raised in this cesspool.

Trask taught me crucial ways to survive the South Side, including how not to get my ass kicked by the locals unless I’m jonesing for a fight, where to use fake IDs to score booze, who sells the best pot, and which chicks at South Valley to steer clear of at all costs (one of many reasons I generally only sleep with girls that aren’t from the area). He’s the one who took me to the ER and told the doc I was pushed down a flight of subway steps the time my old man busted my arm in two places. He’s the one who suggested I start charging kids to do their school work, and even hand-picked the richest ones to start a solid client base. He stole me my first mountain bike, and beat the shit out of a kid that tried to jack it a week later.

Every monumental memory I’ve made since moving to the South Side involves Trask in one way or another. Hell, he was even in the next room when I lost my virginity. He’s one of few I’ll ever truly consider to be legitimate family. He’s my brother by choice, just like our other two bandmates. I’d bleed out for any one of the motherfuckers, although I’m hoping they’ll never take me up on it.

“What up, Rook-man?” Trask shouts, throwing me a goofy-assed grin.

Setting my bass on the stage, I lean in while giving him a fist-bump. “Just livin’ the dream, brother.”

He claps me on the back and chuckles in a low, gritty sound. “Aren’t we all.”

I pass by the drum set and ruffle Sasha’s long dark hair. It’s wild from intense drumming, some of it sticking to her slick forehead. “What up, Sasha Fierce?”

Dark eyes snap up to meet mine, glowering with intensity. The mahogany orbs blend into her pupils, giving her a demonic-like charm. She snarls back at me like a cat, curling her upper lip. “Fuck off, Rook.”

With a grunting chuckle under my breath, I reach for my bass, strumming along as she pounds out the last two verses of Heart Shaped Box. We become one entity, the low octaves of my base matching up with her kick drum, the high octaves hitting the snare on the backbeats.

I allow myself to get lost in the melody, closing my eyes and letting the low chords flow through me. The dark notes become a living thing, erasing all the complexities that make up my shit life. If there was a way to stay here forever, playing until my fingertips bled rather than dealing with what’s outside these walls, I would’ve found it by now. This place is my sanctuary—a haven. It’s another reason why I’m unnerved by King Marty’s thugs getting too close.

By the final chorus, Trask and I are wailing out the lyrics in voices unfit for the shower. Sometimes when we’re together, we’re nothing more than a couple of dipshits that even I wouldn’t want to hang with.

After Sasha hits the final beat, she screams through clenched teeth and stands, shoving the worn sticks at her brother. “You guys are assholes.” Bending at the waist, she flicks me off with both hands and sticks her tongue out before heading for the makeshift kitchen.

Unlit cigarette dangling from my lips, I glance in Trask’s direction. “What’s with her? She start her period or something?”

He lifts both shoulders while lighting a joint. “Who the fuck knows.” Settling on the chair behind the drum kit, he smirks my way. “I was at the bodega by my place earlier—saw the rich chick that dates that prick you’re writing a paper for. You end up tapping that ass last night or what?”

“Nah…she had a birthday party or some shit.”

He puffs on the joint, its moldy grass stench filling the air. “Hard to believe she wouldn’t cancel her plans for you. Even the prissiest snobs usually give in with the promise of a Rook-special orgasm.” Eyes the color of the premium weed he deals popping wide, he releases a howling laugh. “Shit, man! Could you be losing your touch?”

I grunt, refusing to humor him with an answer. My usual game involves sleeping with the girlfriends of the jocks that pay me to keep them from flunking out. They’re blissfully unaware that in reality, they’re paying me to ruin their girls. It’s yet another form of cheap entertainment.

Trask twirls a stick through the air, catching it like a pro. “Child services stopped by the house yesterday, asked to talk with my mom.”

“Oh yeah? What’d you tell ‘em?”

“Said she’d left for work. I omitted the fact that she left several months ago.”

When their mom disappeared around Christmas break, pretty much everyone figured she stumbled across a bad scene while trying to score. “They were good with that answer?”

“For now. They’ll be back. And sooner or later, they’ll find out I’m only seventeen.” Scratching his head, he stares off at nothing. “If things don’t turn around, I’ll have to let them take Sasha anyway. Sending her to foster care would be better than watching her starve.”

“Bullshit,” I snap. “You’d never let that happen. You’ve been busting your ass to make ends meet ever since your mom took off. You’ve always been a resourceful bastard. You’ll figure something out.” Lighting the smoke, I inhale deeply, grateful for the sharp burn filling my lungs. These days, feeling anything other than empty is a real treat. “Forgot to tell you—I had an interesting conversation with Candy the Hooker before I came up here.” I glance thoughtfully in his direction while he’s taking another hit. “Sounds like King Marty’s goons have been sniffin’ around her and her girls.”

Trask’s back stiffens. At the same time, a tick passes through his dilated eyes. “What'd they want?”

“Dunno, but I highly doubt it has anything to do with that rank pussy.” Exhaling, I continue to eye him. For someone with a joint in hand, he’s unusually tense. “Why? You know somethin’?”

“Nah.” His gaze darts to the other side of the room. Guilt flickers across his face like cherries on a cop car, as plain as the fucked-up nose on his face. “But whenever King Marty sends them out for something, it can’t be good.”

“You got that right,” I agree, continuing to study him closely. There’s no stopping the skepticism creeping into my thoughts. The whole lot of us aren’t too trustworthy, but we make it a general rule not to lie to each other. We’re all aware Trask sells weed for King Marty, so if it was somehow related to that, he’d come clean. He’s hiding something bigger. “Can’t hurt to watch our backs a little closer,” I add, hoping he’ll take the hint. If he’s worried about something that involves Marshall Blackwood, he can’t be too careful.

The conversation ends there. We break into an abbreviated jam session, cranking out an old B-side tune from one of Bowie’s older albums that we’ve been trying to master. It’s not the same without the other two filling in the melody. More than anything, I get the feeling Trask is still shook up about King Marty’s men the way he repeatedly fucks up on the tempo. As if to prove my suspicion, he splits before we’ve finished the song, claiming he has to help Sasha with homework.

Although he smokes strong enough weed to justify a healthy dose of paranoia, he pulls his sister along like the devil’s on his tail. As they disappear into the stairwell, I can’t stop wondering what the hell he’s gotten himself into.

Before I’m fully awake to comprehend what the fuck’s happening, a fist connects with my face, jarring my eye back into its socket. The lick of pain that follows is a familiar, welcoming feeling.

Too bad for my old man, he’s conditioned me to enjoy this shit. To feed off the sharp sting of torment as a reminder of all I’ve survived, and that I’m still here. I just wish it could happen after I’ve had a full night’s sleep. My uninjured eye tries to compensate for the temporary veil of darkness.

“Stupid ass punk!” he roars, his outline a mere blob in the darkness. The usual stench of booze clings to his skin the way pot clings to Trask. “You think I wouldn’t notice you’ve been stealin’ from me? It’s time I teach you a thing or two about respect!”

If I weren’t nursing a bruised kidney from last time I had the balls to goad him, I’d be tempted to shout out a “hooah.” Until you’ve been reamed by a former Army drill sergeant who was forced into early retirement because of a bum knee and hates the entire fucking world, you haven’t experienced a real ass-chewing.

My stomach twists as words continue to blast from his mouth with the precision of an automatic rifle, the consistency of pure shit. “Get on your pansy-ass feet, son! We’re gonna have us a little talk about where you get the money for all those new tattoos and those ugly as fuck earrings you wear like you’ve grown a vagina! If you have that kind of cash flowing from your dick, you should be helping pay the bills around here, not stealing goddamned smokes from your old man!”

Sweet. He’s loaded out of his mind again. Looks like I’m in for another night of whack-a-mole.

Still in a stupor from the unceremonious wakeup call, I throw my blanket off my legs and sit on the edge of the bed, rubbing my hands over my face. “What time is it? Can’t this shit wait until the sun’s up?”

The next blow to my jaw comes so hard and fast that stars flash before my eyes, blinding in the darkness. My head flings backwards, bouncing against something hard under my pillow.

The pistol my best friend gave me for my seventeenth birthday.

Less than three weeks after we moved in, I was robbed at gunpoint. What kind of stupid fuck would think a twelve-year-old would be carrying something of value? At least I learned a valuable lesson.

The old man’s at it again, pacing the room and shouting a bunch of nonsense as my fingers curl around the cool handle. If nothing else, with any luck I can make him piss himself like he’s done to thousands of soldiers.

“On your feet, you piece of shit!”

Grunting, I shove the pistol into the back of my boxer briefs and rise up to meet him, arms held out at my sides. “Do your worst, Staff Sergeant.”

A wheeze is wrenched from my gut with the following uppercut to my ribs. His shouted insults become white static as he throws punches, not seeming to give a shit where they land. Pain ripples through me with the force of a blazing fire, too wild and bright to be contained.

I try to relax as best I can, and let it happen. Putting up a respectable fight would only warrant another punishment. It’s easier to absorb his pain than to worry about the consequences. It's not like I’m in any fuckin’ sports, and the teachers assume whenever I come to school battered that I voluntarily started a fight.

Before long, the tang of copper and bile fills my mouth. His fist connects with my ribs again, and I momentarily blackout from the pain. From the feel of it, he’s dislocated a handful of them this time. Fuck I hate my life.

Holding a hand out, I stop to spit blood on the floor and twist my spine. Immense pain burns through my chest with every movement. “Fuckin’ hell. Can I call a time out? I think you might’ve punctured a lung.”

The moonlight shifts outside, exposing the monster standing in front of me. Mouth twisted, eyes dark as coal, fists suspended at his sides, it’s like getting a glimpse of the devil himself.

Fuck it. He always tells me I’m not too bright anyway, my favorite quote being,“If brains were made of cotton, you wouldn’t have enough to make a tampon for a flea!” May as well prove it to the has-been son of a bitch.

Pistol aimed directly at his face, I release the safety. “On second thought, keep your hands to yourself.”

His sinister laugh that follows would’ve made Jeffrey Dahmer cringe in fear. “You don’t possess the kind of balls it takes to shoot me, you little stupid ass—”

I squeeze the trigger.