Quiet and listless, the glass heart sat hidden under layers of unremarkable clutter, its secret safe. The human hands had touched it often through the strata of debris, but until now, had never uncovered it fully.
At last, the yellow duster cut through the grime, and the heart began to shift. It would most likely have frozen over again, up on its high shelf, if the cat’s careless pouncing hadn’t made if fall into a box full of tinsel.
This is how the history of time and place began to change — with the story of the frozen heart.
THE LAST BREATH
The Breathless series, Book 1
by Leigh Lennon
Loss is not foreign to Julia Barnett. To the outside world she is the epitome of the perfect mom. That is, until the doors of her impeccable life are closed and reality hits her square in the face. Once the leading lady in her own epic love story, she can only look back at what used to be. With an absent husband, an intrusive father, a troubled child, and an ex-fiancé that is still tied to her life, it’s no wonder Julia is grasping for air in her chaotic world.
The bruises that Julia lives with are invisible to those closest to her. She lost so much early in life, more than most could survive. Now, she grapples with resentment towards her husband because of all the empty promises he’s made. In the midst of this turmoil, test results reveal an illness she is not sure she will survive.
For Julia, it is not her life that may be cut short that consumes her, but how her family will endure without her there. As everyone rallies around Julia while she fights like hell to live, she learns that family, along with love, comes in many shapes and sizes. It is her family that gives her the strength to fight the biggest battle of her life; one she doesn’t want to lose.
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Thriller
It all started with a woman and a lighthouse. The House that Adelia Built spins a tale full of love, lies, and betrayal at the hands of a man Adelia calls Augustus—her own husband.
In the late 1800s, Augustus finds a job as lighthouse keeper on a beautiful, but isolated island. He can’t wait to bring his new bride home to the lighthouse, set on majestic bluffs, which have laid claim to many shipwrecks.
Augustus soon suffers from the effects of self-induced isolation, as Adelia watches him slowly lose his grip on reality until he turns mad, bringing forth dire consequences.
Meet Hope, a modern day quiet, quirky young woman with a case of agoraphobia—or so it would seem. She feels an inexplicable pull toward the lighthouse and the bluffs beyond. Hope struggles with her internal battle and seeks to find the truth about her unsettling, recurring nightmares. Maybe then she can discover why she has always felt so alone and unusual.
Enter Clooney, a handsome, unassuming stranger who soon becomes so much more to Hope. The very woman who has guarded her heart in the past will soon find herself wrapped in a web of denial, leading to a heart-wrenching reality.
For every truth she exposes, more heartache is found. Hope must come face-to-face with her worst fears as she uncovers the mystery surrounding her spellbinding connection to the lighthouse.
Genre: Spicy Historical Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Lady Charlotte Talbot hasn’t seen Armand Rajaram de Bourbon, her oldest childhood friend and once betrothed, since his family returned to India when she was fifteen. Since then, she has left a groom at the altar, changed her name to Catalina Sol, opened a house for unwed mothers and orphans, and captained a ship, the Liberté, crewed by the best fighters in the Spanish Main. She’s no longer the lady he left behind, not that she’d admit to wishing he’d return.
When Armand’s brother is kidnapped, he breaks his rule of never engaging with pirates. But desperation drives him to the Liberté and a life he thought he’d left far behind. He’d do anything to save Henri, but Armand never expected to find Charlotte here, and now that’s he’s found her, he doesn’t have a clue what to do about it.
Together, they must face kidnapping, pirate captains, blackmail, and themselves. The Liberté may sail thousands of miles from the shores of England, but that might not be far enough to escape the past.
by J.M. Maurer
Most of Addison’s days start the same. She walks to work, brushes off the townsfolks’ disapproval, and fixes any-and-all local catastrophes. But there’s not a single resident in Willow Run who doesn’t know that’s all about to change.
For MLB pitching phenom Ben Peterson, returning to Willow Run is like stepping into another world. Back in town, he’s poised to do more than merely get his head on straight. For the last six months, his thoughts have been centered around one thing—the beautiful small-town girl who taught him there’s more to life than hurling a baseball.
LIFE WITHOUT YOU
by S.P. West
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Paper Gold Publishing
Once upon a time in a land not so far away, a man and a woman fell in love. They were very happy. Until one day they weren’t – their happily ever after disappeared.
This is their story.
Have you ever been in love?
The kind of love that leaves you breathless and makes you feel like you can fly?
I have…. It was the biggest mistake of my life. I let him become my everything; my sun, moon and stars but that wasn’t enough for him.
What he did nearly destroyed me.
My husband’s betrayal taught me the hard way that once trust is gone, it can never be regained. He won’t ever be part of my life again.
If I could sum myself up in one word, just one, then personally I’d pick fool. Misguided, dumb fool.
I made a mistake.
A mistake so big that the future I had planned out with the love of my life vanished in the blink of an eye. I didn’t see it at the time. That would have been too easy, by the time I realized what I lost it was too late. It was my own fault; I can’t blame anyone else. Because of it I lost the one woman that meant everything to me.
But I’m telling you now if fate ever gives me a second chance with her……I swear I’ll never let Summer slip away from me again.
Pleasure Your Fantasies Series: Book 1
by Stacy Eaton
Genre: Contemporary Romance – Holiday
Contains Sexual Content and Adult Language
Reba St. James would prefer to serve the drinks or play hostess to the businessmen and their guests at Pleasure Your Fantasies, the gentlemen’s club where she’s employed. Unfortunately, when she needs extra money to pay off an urgent debt, the only position that pays her enough is dancing on stage with barely anything on.
Wallie has been a body guard at the club since it opened four years ago, and over the last year he’s developed quite a crush on Ms. Reba. He might have thought he had a chance with her, except the club has a strict rule: No dating between guards and dancers.
When the attraction between Wallie and Reba reaches undeniable levels, Reba is ready to walk away from dancing altogether and try to find another way to help pay the bills, but when a final notice shows up, she’s forced to go from part-time dancing to full-time, and any chance of a relationship between them is put on hold.
Everything changes on Christmas Eve when Reba and another dancer get into a fight, and Reba is let go from the club. Will Reba lose everything, or will Reba and Wallie get more for the holidays than just their Mistletoe Fantasies?
Mistletoe Fantasies is the first book in the six book Pleasure Your Fantasies Series that spins off of The Celebration Series.
THE ANNA JENNINGS SUPER NOVEL SERIES
by E.J. Whitmer
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Anna Jennings is no superhero. In fact, had you asked her about superheroes a week ago, she would have called you crazy. She believes in routine, working hard and playing harder. But that all changed one night when she and her wayward sidekick Carl discovered several of her co-workers engaged in some decidedly non-run-of-the-mill human activities. Now her life is in a whirlwind as she finds herself caught up in the superhero world of her super-sexy boss and her long time crush as they battle the evil Captain Zinger (yes, really). Will Anna find a way to save her superheroes (even with the disastrous help of the spandex-loving Carl), her sanity, her new found love, and – oh yeah – the world? Find out in Power Surge – Book 1 in the Anna Jennings Super Novel Series!
Clark Kent was a fox. Seriously. The man could go from the nerdy-chic look of a newspaper reporter to liberty blue, spandex tights and still send hearts a-flutter. Granted, saving the world and being an all-around good guy didn’t hurt his image. But seriously. The man was a fox. And really, ignoring the Michael Keaton years, Bruce Wayne was pretty foxy himself. It’s no wonder when people think of superheroes, they automatically picture tall, dark, dramatically handsome men, flying around the city, rescuing beautiful women from their eminent demises.
I’ve spent my whole life envisioning said heroes. Growing up with four older brothers meant my world practically revolved around super heroes and villains. It also meant that at any time, I had four courageous, handsome and cunning champions to save me from evil. Whether I was stuck in a tree, being bullied at school, getting felt up by Jimmy Holstrom at recess, or crying over spilled ice cream, my personal super heroes were always there to swoop in and save me.
I’m twenty-eight now and still getting caught in trees, bullied by coworkers and crying over spilled ice cream. Jimmy Holstrom moved away in seventh grade, so he isn’t an issue anymore. (And really, I’d give up donuts for a month to be felt up right now.) Decades later, my brothers still swoop in to rescue me on a near daily basis.
Yet somehow, twenty-eight years of being rescued hasn’t taught me to butt out of sticky situations. It hasn’t taught me to think twice before climbing trees or to use sarcasm sparingly.
But really, what’s my motivation? Careful people don’t have cool scars to show off. They don’t have exciting childhood stories to tell nieces and nephews. They don’t appreciate the gift of life and how quickly it can be taken away. And they certainly don’t get rescued by foxy super heroes who wear their underwear outside of their pants.
Mysterious trips out of town, a strange encounter with a naked guy and a possible werewolf attack … After a month-long hiatus from super villains, Anna Jennings’ life is finally regaining some sense of normalcy. One would assume that after her latest near death experience, she’d know better than to let her guard down too quickly. But as Anna is about to learn, complacency only leads to trouble. Evidently, March is the month for nudity in the world of superheroes. In the past week alone, Anna has seen more nipples and chest hair than she’s seen in her entire life, and not the good kind. Things only get stranger for Anna when her sidekick Carl is bitten by what may or may not be a werewolf. Now she has to help him prepare for the full moon, attempt to find time to spend with her sexy boy toy and avoid a plethora of random wannabe nudists, all while battling an invisible villain set out to destroy her superhero friends. Sounds easy, right? Well, no one ever said you need super powers to save the day.
I pondered that as we passed a caricature booth. A small group of elderly women surrounded one of their friends as she posed for the artist. A woman clad in lavender velour took one look at me and gasped, bringing me to the attention of the entire group.
“Goodness gracious!” she cried as she rushed over and began running my cape between her fingers. “What on earth are you wearing?”
I searched for Blake over my shoulder and found nothing but the bustling crowd. “Um … It’s a costume. I’m a performer down on the end of the Pier.”
“Dorothy, did you hear that!?” cried another woman sporting a sunhat the size of a manhole cover. “She’s a performer! Oh, honey. Won’t you put on a little show for us?” The women behind her squealed with delight, nodding and clapping furiously.
“Well …” I hedged. Lying on the fly is not my forté. “I’m not a solo performer. I’m a magician’s assistant. My partner … He’s … Well, he ate too many funnel cakes, so he’s visiting the commode.”
“Ah… Funnel cakes will do that,” agreed a tiny, wrinkly old woman in what looked like a frilly pink romper. “My Walter, God rest his soul, called them Hansel and Gretel Cakes. Whenever he’d eat one, he’d leave a trail behind him on the way home. Not of bread crumbs, of course …”
My eyes bulged in horror as the group nodded in understanding.
The lavender lady finished fiddling with my cape and shuffled around to my front, eyeing the bird logo screen printed on my chest. “What does this stand for, honey?”
I had no idea. I’d never asked Carl what it stood for. I shrugged my shoulders slightly. “I’m not totally sure. A friend made it for me.”
“Is that right? Well your friend has some serious talent! The workmanship on these stitches is wonderful! Do you have any extras I could buy off you? Perhaps something in a light purple or periwinkle?”
“I’ll need a built-in brazier for mine,” chimed a heavy-set woman in the back.
“Mabel, you’ll need a couple of built-in, reinforced hammocks to wrangle those monsters!” Snapped the sunhat lady.
“Well at least I won’t have to roll mine up like a couple of boobie burritos, you saggy old bitty! Good gravy, if you had nipple rings, they’d leave sparks on the cement everywhere you walked!”
The gaggle of grandmas immediately erupted. Sunhat lady began tucking her breasts into her trousers in preparation for their showdown. Lavender abandoned fondling my super suit to help hold back hammock boobs. I took the opportunity to slowly back away from the chaos and melt into the passing crowd.
Chicago isn’t exactly a stranger to bizarre happenings. Crime sprees are a daily occurrence in the Windy City. However, over the past few weeks, not only has the crime rate skyrocketed, but assailants have gone missing. When Vance Publishing employees start acting strangely, (i.e. Crying hysterically over dead goldfish and attempting to choke someone to death with a handful of macarons) it is up to the team at VP to find out what’s happening and put a stop to it. While Anna Jennings may not be a novice when it comes to bizarre episodes, she doesn’t usually find herself butt-deep in whipped cream on a Monday night. As if that isn’t bad enough, she has to juggle a failing relationship with her long-distance boyfriend and a sexy boss who has suddenly embraced his divorced status. Get ready for more crazy hijinks and sexy superheroes in “Power Play” – Book Three in the Anna Jennings Super Novel Series!
I stepped off the elevator onto my floor and my nostrils were immediately assaulted by the intoxicating smell of chocolate. It was all I could do to not moan inappropriately. I followed the scent across the floor, past Mae’s empty desk and into my office. There, sitting on my desk, sat a large pile of … something. Quite honestly, it looked like someone lured a buffalo into my office and allowed it to defecate on my mousepad. How something so heinous could smell so tempting is beyond me. I had no idea if I was supposed to eat it or cover it in a gallon of kitty litter.
“What smells so good and who the heck shat on your desk? Did you piss somebody else off this week?” Blake stood behind me, just outside the doorway, gaping at the pile of chocolate poo.
“Probably,” I admitted. “I can’t think of the last day I didn’t piss somebody off.”
“I dare you to touch it.”
“No way! You touch it!”
“Yoo hoo!” Mae’s voice carried over Blake’s shoulders. “Hot coffee comin’ through!”
Blake turned to let Mae through and slowly followed her into my office.
“Anna, I hope you don’t mind but I brought you another treat from my baking class.”
I accepted the mug of coffee from her and took a sip, my eyes glued to the brown pile on my desk. “What exactly did you bake, Mae? It smells delicious.”
“It’s a chocolate jelly roll, of course.” She set my customary box of granola clusters on the corner of my desk and dropped a handful of mail in my inbox.
“How does one eat a chocolate jelly roll?” I asked, daring to poke my index finger into the frosting. I touched the tip of my tongue to it, took a moment to absorb the flavors, and nodded in appreciation. It was actually quite delicious.
Mae chewed the inside of her lip as she considered her concoction. “You know, I’m not sure. Normally you’d just slice off a piece. I suppose I could go grab a ladle.”
E.J. Whitmer is a young-ish Iowa native who spends her days working in marketing and design. When she is not working or writing, she likes to spend her free time cooking, crafting, attending sporting events, harassing her outrageously good-looking husband or cuddling her new son.
Journalist John Hunt is known for taking any risk necessary to get the story. That is until his careless ambition leads to a hefty price. Reporting in Syria, John leads his cameraman Andrew three miles out of the safe zone. An explosion strikes. No one should have survived. But John did. After six months of rehabilitation, John is finally out of the hospital, he’s also out of work, and a horrific disfigurement is a constant reminder of that day. Already skating the edge of sanity, he is pushed further when his deceased cameraman pays him a visit. Both men should have died that day, yet one survived. Why, and to what end?
BOUND BY SHADOWS
The McAllister Justice Series, Book 2
by Reily Garrett
Genre: Romantic Thriller
The architect of fear employs many forms.
Kidnapping and murder never crossed Kaylee’s mind when seeking a fresh start in Portland, a new beginning to shed the remnants of tragedy dogging her steps. After escaping from an underground cage, she fights to stay one step ahead of the killer bent on silencing his only witness. Kaylee.
Two months after dodging a sociopathic murderer’s best efforts, Caden McAllister flounders within a social sink hole, unable to move forward, too stubborn to step back. Guarded and wary, the private investigator’s stagnant lifestyle detonates into chaos when a battered and bloody young waif stumbles into his care.
Framed for a murdering a past lover, Caden must clear his name and overcome his charge’s doubts while keeping her out of the sex-slave trade. When betrayal ends with Kaylee’s re-capture, Caden must conquer his past and risk all or lose the one he has come to love.
Murder, mystery, underground tunnels, and romance are intertwined in this standalone romantic thriller, the second installment of the McAllister Justice Series.
From the scorching pits of Tartarus, a warrior emerges with a deadly need for more than vengeance…
A loner, Dagan, lives with an inexorable thirst he’s kept hidden for eons, even from his fellow Guardians. Until he meets a beautiful, maddening human who awakens in him a hunger that shakes him to his very core, and threatens to shatter his tightly erected shields, exposing his dangerous secret. And wanting her is a path leading to destruction.
Driven to find her missing mother in a shadowy world, Shae Ion refuses to be sidetracked. When she becomes the target for a sinister force, a sinfully sexy and utterly impossible immortal abducts her, and he’ll stop at nothing to keep her safe.
Stuck in an isolated place with the reclusive Guardian who allows no one close, Shae struggles to control her new burgeoning powers, and is unprepared for the tangled emotions he stirs in her. But passion has a way of obliterating barriers.
However, the road to happiness is strewn with treachery. When an old enemy strikes, and comes after Shae, they are drawn into a terrifying, supernatural battle. And not even Dagan, a lethal, immortal warrior who’d lay down his life for her, can save her now…