Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Teaser Tuesday: The Beating Heart of a Mind by Bruce Perrin #PsychologicalThriller


The Mind Sleuth Series #6


Psychological thriller

Date Published: 05-02-2023

Publisher: Mind Sleuth Publications

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Bullied to death in the boardroom?

Private Investigator Rebecca Marte doubted it. Since when would the president and CEO of a highly successful company find the criticisms of his subordinates so destructive to his self-image that he would commit suicide? That, however, was what her new client, Nicole Veles, claimed.

Nicole painted a toxic, if not criminal, picture of defamation leading up to the man’s death. His problems were more than just the company’s bottom line. They ranged from public ridicule of some of his out-of-date marketing concepts that had been leaked to the press to a police report from a young man who claimed the president and CEO had propositioned him. And after his demise, one of his most vocal detractors ascended to his position. That was enough to raise Rebecca’s suspicions. She took the job.

But as she began her investigation, hints that Nicole’s beliefs were tainted by her history became difficult for Rebecca to ignore. Two years earlier, Nicole had been kidnapped, and she still bore the mental and emotional scars of abuse and captivity. She’d cut all connections to her friends and fled her past by relocating to Colorado where no one knew her. She took a job where long-term relationships were impossible, save one stubborn older woman who wouldn’t take no for an answer—and who just happened to be the wife of the suicide victim

While everyone else thought the man’s death, while tragic, was just the consequence of high-pressure business and depression over the loss of the company he had founded, could Rebecca trust anything to the contrary that her new client told her?


“Tension is well-developed, whether it's psychological revelations that involve Rebecca more deeply in her client's life than she'd imagined, the wedge between client and investigator driven home by the victim’s wife, or the probe of a business structure that supports dangerous undercurrents.”

-Midwest Book Review






It’s not what you look at that matters,

it’s what you see.


Henry David Thoreau 

American naturalist, poet, and philosopher



Midnight, Jen’s Place, Lone Tree, CO


Conditions were far from ideal for what Kyle Logan had in mind.

He pulled a pint of whiskey from a back pocket and leaned on the front fender of his battered brown pickup truck to consider his options. His gaze tracked up and down the lonely road. Empty, as he expected at this hour. So, he tipped his head back for a long pull on the bottle, his gaze following the tilt of his head. The moon, although only three-quarters, shone like a searchlight, its rays unfettered by the thin cold air of the high plains.

His eyes came back down to the ghostly outline of a massive old house across the road, previously the home of a local rancher. Now, it was Jen’s Place, a temporary shelter for survivors of domestic abuse.

In the front, a porch ran the length of the building. Two sconces carved arches of light in the darkness cast by the porch’s roof. Their rays revealed two doors—a larger main entrance to the shelter and a smaller door well to its right. Otherwise, the porch lay in shadows, the windows mere rectangles of still darker voids. Having seen the structure by day, however, Logan was under no illusion that the feeble rays of those two bulbs were the only security for the building. He’d seen two cameras—motion-sensitive no doubt—on each corner of the structure. There were almost undoubtedly other cameras on the sides and back of the building.

A gravel driveway cut through a xeriscape yard, ending in a circle in front of the house. The native shrubs and grasses of the plot were brown and brittle from the long winter, matching the vacant lots on either side of the building. The area behind was undeveloped, although whether it was just waiting for a new housing project or was part of the Colorado Open Space Alliance, Logan didn’t know. And he didn’t care because the wind that might have covered the sound of his approach through the dry landscape—a wind that had howled down from the mountains or across the face of the front range most of the month—was eerily quiet.

Yes, the conditions were far from ideal. But since the shelf life of Logan’s information was limited—probably measured in hours rather than days—he had to act soon. And since he couldn’t hasten the new vegetation of spring or command the wind to blow, tonight was as good a night as any. He drained the bottle of whiskey and tossed the empty into the bed of his pickup.

“To hell with sneaking around,” Logan snarled into the darkness. He pulled a knife from its cover, admiring the sheen of the blade in the moonlight. Growing up, knives had been his weapon of choice against his peers who always seemed bigger and stronger. Now, it would serve him well once inside.

But to get beyond the front door, he needed another of his tools. He returned the knife to its sheath, walked to the back of his truck, and lowered the tailgate. Laying on the bed was a post driver—a thirty-inch, weighted section of pipe with handles used to drive metal posts into the ground. Though lighter than the equivalent law enforcement battering ram, it was much cheaper and considerably less incriminating. And unless the new owner of the ranch house had seriously upgraded its door, the driver would work. He picked it up and quietly closed the tailgate.

As Logan started up the drive, lights mounted below the cameras came on. The beams overlapped on the drive, and Logan had to pause a moment to shade his eyes with a hand. He broke into a slow jog. His quickened pace wasn’t to limit his time in view of the cameras. After all, before the night was over, it would be clear to everyone who had visited the home. There would be no doubt because, one way or another, he’d be leaving with what was rightfully his.

Logan hit the porch steps at a full run, only slowing to ready his makeshift battering ram. He slammed it into the door just above the knob. The door held although he could hear the frame crack. He hit it again and the door exploded inward, splinters from the shattered wood flying across the entry hall. He dropped the post driver on the floor and pulled the knife from its sheath.

There were rooms on the right and left with their double doors open. Their interiors were dark, but even so, Logan could tell they were large communal areas with chairs, couches, and desks. Beyond the doors, the hall split with a stairway on the left while a narrower hall continued on the right toward the back of the house. From his surveillance earlier in the day, he knew he wanted a room in the front right corner of the second floor. He took the stairs two at a time, reversed direction on the landing, and sprinted to the door. He turned the knob. Finding it unlocked, he burst inside and switched on the lights.

A woman was sitting up in bed, covers gathered up around her neck. Her eyes blinked under a hand that partially shaded them, her understanding of the situation coming slowly. But when it did, she screamed. Logan sprang forward and slapped her hard across the face. With her head turned from the force of the blow, he grabbed her roughly by the hair, sat beside her, and held the knife in front of her eyes. She froze, her sobbing the only sign she was still alive.

“What the hell am I going to do with you, Linda? I thought after the last time you’d forget all this crap. You belong at home. With me. What do I have to do to make you see that?”

“Please don’t hurt me,” Linda whimpered. “I’ll do better.”

“Like hell, woman.” Logan raised his hand again, this time slowly closing it into a fist. He drew his hand back.

“Don’t you dare touch her,” came a voice from behind him .

About the Author

Until ten years ago, I was a human factors psychologist doing research on cutting edge technologies like virtual reality and artificial intelligence at a major aerospace company. The aim? Fit these technologies to the way people learn, remember, and do their jobs, not the other way around. But if the world can be shaped to work with us, it can just as surely be molded to destroy us.

Now, I’m an author writing “The Mind Sleuth Series”, stories where the evil side of research and science too often surface. Sometimes the devastation is unintentional. Sometimes, it’s motivated by greed or passion, but it’s always a race to see if and how my heroes—Doc, Nicole, Rebecca—can turn the tide.

For special features, giveaways, and previews of my upcoming books, subscribe to my newsletter at brucemperrin.com.


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Monday, April 24, 2023

Release Blitz: Reluctant Hearts by Linda Griffin #Romance


Four Contemporary Romances


Contemporary Romance Novellas

Date Published: April 24, 2023

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

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Four couples, four stories:

Darien Francis and Richard Li meet during a bank robbery, but she’s afraid to love again.

Shane Kenniston and Beth Parker are reacquainted years after she had a crush on him, but she is a recent widow, and Shane’s life was upended by a false accusation.

David Early and Kate Howard meet in the laundromat, but her life is consumed by the needs of her disabled child, and David isn’t ready for the responsibility.

Realtor Frank Ellison meets Kayla Barnes at an open house, but a mistaken first impression derails any chance of romance.

Can they all overcome the obstacles to love?


When she finally stopped crying, he asked, “Do you want to tell me about him?”

“No.” She backed away from him and searched her pockets for a tissue, but of course at this moment, of all times, she didn’t have one. He did, though—a whole box stood on the coffee table—and he gave her one, and she blew her nose. Her mascara was running, and her face must be blotchy and red. “This is so humiliating,” she said. “I never do this. I feel like such an idiot.”

“Why? It’s perfectly natural. I’m glad to know you’re not so tough.”

“It’s unprofessional, and it makes me feel ugly. It’s a good thing you’re not attracted to me.”


She peered at him, sniffling, and dabbed at her eyes. “You’re not, are you?”

“Which answer will get me in the least trouble?” he asked.

She laughed shakily. She felt a lot better. “If you were before, you wouldn’t be now.” He gave her another tissue, and she managed to get most of the mascara off. He rubbed away a stray smudge with his thumb, and his fingers brushed her cheek. The soft touch was even more comforting than being held in his arms. She closed her eyes.

He kissed her. It was the briefest pressure of his lips against hers, gentle and sweet, but she felt it deep inside. She opened her eyes. His were wide with surprise. “I think we just went off the clock,” she said.

About the Author

Linda Griffin is a native of San Diego and has a BA in English from San Diego State University and an MLS from UCLA. She retired as fiction librarian for the San Diego Public Library in order to spend more time on her writing. Her stories have been published in numerous journals including, Eclectica, Thema Literary Review, and The Avalon Literary Review. Reluctant Hearts is her sixth romance book from the Wild Rose Press, after Seventeen Days (2018), The Rebound Effect (2019), Guilty Knowledge (2020), Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking (2021), and Bridges (2022). In addition to the three R’s—reading, writing, and research—she enjoys movies, Scrabble, and travel.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Arcane Deception by Angela Knight #DarkFantasy #BDSM @ChangelingPress


Dark Fantasy & BDSM

Date Published: April 21, 2023


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When her grandfather wanders off, witch Kate Marshall enlists a handsome neighbor to help find Eli, who suffers from dementia. She doesn’t know Mark Delaney is a magic-using undercover agent trying to bring down a gang of drug dealers with deadly spirit animals.

Soon Mark and Kate find themselves falling in love, even as he wrestles with lying to the woman he’s fallen for. Unfortunately, the gang lord is having them watched, so Mark can’t come clean.

When the gang lord kidnaps Eli and Kate to force her to collude in his crimes, she must trust Mark to help them escape, despite his lies, the risk to her heart and the threat to her beloved grandfather’s life.



All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2023 Angela Knight


Kate Marshall hurried along the path as fast as she dared, scanning the surrounding woods for a flash of white hair. Anxiety coiled in a sick knot in her belly. Good thing it was late spring. If it had been winter, she’d have to worry he’d forgotten the way home and succumbed to hypothermia.

No sign of him. Nothing but squirrels rustling through the leaves as courting birds sung from the pines, oaks, and maples looming around her.

Dammit, where is he?

Kate stopped in her tracks, closed her eyes, and scanned again, but nothing glowed behind her closed eyes. No sign of Eli Riley’s Talent shining through the trees. Except…

Wait. Not a glow, but something. She concentrated, focusing until the sense of power grew more acute. It seemed to be emanating from the lake.

Her eyes flew open, and she took off in long strides just short of a run. “Granddad? Granddad, where are you? You’re scaring me!”

Some days, Eli seemed just like the man who’d raised her during those idyllic childhood summers, endlessly wise, skilled in art and magic and the intersection where the two met. On bad days, he became a six-foot three-year-old, prone toward tantrums and violent outbursts. Even worse was the lethal combination of his raw magical ability and his failing memory, which could easily kill him if he made an error with a spell. Which was why she’d panicked when she’d woke up this morning to find him gone.

Eli hadn’t been in the studio crafting something fatal, though his backpack of magical gear was missing. She’d searched the rest of the old Victorian house and its extravagant garden, but no luck.

What worried her most was the lake. Her childhood summer haunt was less than a mile away from the house. Way too close for comfort.

He can swim. Hell, he taught me. But what if…

Flickering light flashed through the trees ahead -- sunlight glinting off the water. The sense of power was stronger now. Splashes sounded, suggesting someone swimming.

Or drowning. Her heart shot into her throat.

“Granddad, dammit!” Kate broke into a sprint, ignoring the thin branches that whipped across her face. “Granddad!” I can’t lose him too. She burst from the trees. “Granddad!”

But when she spotted the swimmer, it was not her grandfather. Not with the long blond hair slicked around broad, bare shoulders that gleamed in the morning sunlight. The man stopped swimming and turned, treading water, wiping a big hand down his dripping face. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Have you seen an old man?”

“No, nothing but couple of deer and about a dozen squirrels.” He started back to the shore, muscular arms stroking the water, sending droplets flying through the arc of a rainbow. “What’s the problem?”

“My grandfather… He’s got dementia. I woke up this morning to find him gone. He comes out here to paint.” Kate raked both hands through her brunette hair, absently plucking out leaves and twigs from her heedless run. “Oh God, he could be anywhere. The road -- he could have been hit by a car. Sometimes he doesn’t remember to check before he crosses…” She started to turn away.

“Hang on, let me get dressed and I’ll help you look.” He waded out of the lake, water streaming down a body like a gladiator’s, all hard, carved muscle. He wore only a pair of black swim trunks and a glowing golden tattoo in the center of his chest, a circle surrounded by sigils. Looked like some kind of protective spell. And he was big, easily six-one. On any other day in any other situation, she’d have drooled.

“Where do you live?” He walked over to a pile of neatly folded clothes. Picking up a towel, he started drying off, muscle flexing in his broad chest.

“In the Victorian a mile that way.” She jerked a thumb over her shoulder and looked away, trying not to ogle.

“Oh, you must mean Eli. I didn’t know he’d gotten that bad.” He pulled on faded jeans despite his wet trunks, then shrugged on an equally faded black T and stuffed his bare feet into running shoes. The shirt’s white lettering read “USAC Academy.”

He was Arcane Corps. No wonder he radiated so much power, she’d felt it a quarter mile away. Kate was tempted to close her eyes and check the glow of his magic, but that would be rude.

He extended a hand, a frown of concern on his face. “Mark Delaney. I’m so sorry about your grandmother.”

A spasm of pain stabbed her, but she forced a tight smile as his long fingers enfolded hers. His skin felt calloused and cool. “Thank you. I’m Kate Marshall.” She studied that tough, intensely masculine face. Beard stubble roughened his square jaw and broad, cleft chin, blond brows slashing over Feral gold eyes. It was hard to tell, but she thought his hair would be honey blond when it dried. His lips were thin and masculine, but they looked soft, kissable. Tempting, despite the nerve-wracking situation she was in.

After a carefully calibrated squeeze, he let her go. “Don’t freak out, I’m going to manifest so I can track him. I’m a Feral.” Golden light exploded around him as his magic became visible in a flare of sparks and whirling energy. A heartbeat later, it coalesced into a huge shaggy figure with a long bullet-shaped head and foot-wide paws. The raw power of the animal spirit beat at Kate’s senses as it towered over her, almost ten feet tall. Mark was only dimly visible in its center, cocooned within it like a man in armor.



About the Author

New York Times best-selling author Angela Knight has written and published more than sixty novels, novellas, and ebooks, including the Mageverse and Merlin’s Legacy series. With a career spanning more than two decades, Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine has awarded her their Career Achievement award in Paranormal Romance, as well as two Reviewers’ Choice awards for Best Erotic Romance and Best Werewolf Romance.

Angela is currently a writer, editor, and cover artist for Changeling Press LLC. She also teaches online writing courses. Besides her fiction work, Angela’s writing career includes a decade as an award-winning South Carolina newspaper reporter. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, Michael, a thirty-year police veteran and detective with a local police department.


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Facebook: @AngelaKnight2002

Twitter: @AngelaKnight



Publisher on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: @changelingpress



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Tuesday, April 11, 2023

The Circle is Small by Maggie Blackbird #ContemporaryRomance #Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie Blackbird will be awarding a $10.00 eXtasy Books Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

An ex-cop returning to face his horrendous past, the woman who won’t forgive him, and the family who’ll never let him forget that he killed their son.

First Nations Constable Jordan Chartrand’s guilt can’t handle the accusing stares from the family left to mourn their son after that horrible night…so he flees from his Ojibway community and the woman he loves. Two years later, his mother’s cancer diagnosis forces him to return to help her.

Devoted schoolteacher Ellie Quill wants nothing to do with Jordan after he bolted to the city and left her behind. Her life goals are set. As for her secret, she’ll keep that to herself, even if Jordan’s begging to know the truth about her child.

When the two are compelled to work on a community project to address the rampant drug problem, their forced proximity slowly melts Ellie’s icy walls. But no matter how much her heart desires to give Jordan the second chance he’s begging for, she refuses to because providing a life for her son in the tradition of the Ojibway culture is her top priority now, not moving to the city where Jordan continues to hide.

Read an Excerpt

The bell tinkled above the door. Ellie, still hedging her way instead of outright walking, inched her way to the table. She set her purse on the back of the chair.

“I ordered a pot of tea. You wanna share?”

“Sounds good. What kind? The last time we met, the caffeine kept me up too late.”

“Good ol’ spruce. Your fave.” His face grew hot. Maybe he shouldn’t bring up reminders of the past.

The way her skin shone said she was flattered he’d remembered.

He gave himself a fictitious pat on the back for earning a point. “And fresh honey.”

Her smile was on the coy side. “Really? You’re going all out, aren’t you?”

Hmm, she was getting comfy and grinning. Her elbow rested on the table, and she’d cupped her chin in her palm. He also leaned in and caught a whiff of her fresh scent.

The waitress sauntered over with their pot of tea and honey. She set down the items and sashayed away, smirking.

Ellie’s brows bunched.

Jordan was about ready to arrest the waitress and cart her off to the holding cell for inciting irritation. Now he had to calm Ellie down before she found an excuse and bolted. “Never mind her. You know how people are around the rez. You can’t do anything without them squawking about it.”

He poured their teas.

Ellie continued to frown in the waitress’ direction.

“You gonna give her the power to dictate your feelings?”

“What?” Ellie squinted and faced him.

“You were having a good time. You gonna let her ruin it for you?”

“You’re right.” Ellie fixed her tea. “It’s been too long since I last went out.”

“That’s the spirit.” Jordan lifted his mug and sipped. The spruce mixed with honey was sweet pleasure on his tongue.

“Tell me something…” Ellie peeked at him over the rim of her mug.

“What’d you wanna know? I’m an open book.” He couldn’t help setting his forearm on the table.


His spine stiffened. “Winnipeg?”

Ellie nodded. “How’s your life going there?”

The sincerity in her gaze said she wasn’t attempting to goad him but sincerely wanted to know. It’d be a helluva lot better if you and your child were with me. Instead, he said, “It took some getting used to, but I don’t mind it. The pay could be better.”

“Where are you living?”

“North end. I got a bachelor suite. It came furnished.”

“You’re working at Portage Place. Right?”

“Yep. When I got the job, I wanted to be close by. Not stuck in some crazy commute. The north end also has a lot of ’Nish, so I feel right at home,” he told her, using the familiar shortened slang for Anishinaabe.

“Are you making lots of friends there?” She blew on her tea.

“Yeah. I made a few at work and met lots through the patrol group.”

Her lips parted, and then she clamped her mouth shut.

He’d best let her know he wasn’t dating anyone or hadn’t dated anyone. “I go home to a cold beer and TV dinner once I’m done my shift. That’s been my life for the last two years.”

“Oh?” Her gaze searched his face.

He didn’t look away. The offer was on the table. They’d come to the point where they had to shit or get off the pot. And he wasn’t getting off the toilet quite yet. “I told you why I had to leave.” He lowered his voice and leaned in even closer. “I couldn’t stay here after what happened. Leaving you behind… D’you really think I’d start dating again? After a girl like you?”

The lush bronze color on her face slowly turned white.

“When you came back after getting your teaching degree, and I saw li’l Ellie all grown up, damned straight I went and talked to your class. After our first date, I knew then you were the only woman for me.” His cards were laid on the table. Now he’d find out if she’d play a game of poker with him or forfeit her hand.

About the Author:
An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes. When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.

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Teaser Tuesday: DOC by Marteeka Karland #mc #romance @changelingpress


(Salvations Bane MC)


Motorcycle Club Romance

Date Published: April 14 2023


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Talia -- Helping one of my students out of a bad situation shouldn’t have been a life altering event. But the second Doc meets us in nothing but jeans and motorcycle boots, I know I’ll never look at any other man the same way. I knew Caroline’s father was sexy, but he’s a well-established physician in the community as well as a member of Salvation’s Bane MC. As the daughter of Grim Road MC’s president, I know that’s a line I can’t cross. All I can do is look from afar. Maybe it’s time to break some rules…

Doc -- When my daughter Caroline shows up in a beat-up Ford, I’m prepared to have me a little chat with some boy who needs a lesson. Instead, an angel emerges from the driver’s side, and I’m a goner. Of course, life is never that easy. The girl is the daughter of an MC in the area that flies under the radar. Grim Road MC is even more secretive than Salvation’s Bane. Whatever they do must be dangerous, because the next thing I know, her Dad is telling me to make her my ol’ lady. And my wife. Good thing I’ve already decided to do both.


WARNING: Graphic violence, adult situations, and references to human trafficking and domestic abuse that may be triggers for some readers. Happy ending and no cheating, as always.



All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2023 Marteeka Karland


Fifteen minutes later, Chucky still hadn’t answered her text, and Linnie hadn’t answered mine. Not surprising, since Trix took every phone I gave her and pawned them. Linnie had a burner phone for emergencies, but if she wasn’t in trouble, she might not even have it on.

“I swear to God, Trix, if something has happened to Linnie…”

“She’s fine, Jude,” Trix snapped at me. But her brows were knitted together, and she was calling Chucky over and over. Apparently it was going straight to voicemail.

“Dad!” Linnie called out to me from the parking lot. I hadn’t noticed her right away because the car she got out of wasn’t the car she was supposed to be getting out of. Instead of the sleek red Mercedes I knew Chucky usually drove, she got out of a light blue Taurus. Car had to be at least fifteen years old. Judging by the slight trail of smoke coming from under the hood, the poor thing had had it.

Relief flooded me, but I did my best not to let it show. Instead, I lifted my hand and waved to my daughter, plastering a big welcoming smile on my face. “Hey, sweet Caroline!” There you go, Trix. She wanted me to use Linnie’s given name? I hoped she never got the song out of her head.

Linnie ran around the front of the car to the driver’s side. She appeared to be begging the person driving to get out of the car. I was prepared for some sixteen- or seventeen-year-old punk wanting to date my daughter. It was bound to happen sooner or later, though I’d hoped she’d be at least forty when it did. What I wasn’t prepared for was the slender beauty who stood and allowed Linnie to snag her hand and lead her toward me. Wasn’t expecting this. If this was Linnie’s girlfriend, I was so fucking fucked, because I was sure it was bad form for a man to lust after his daughter’s girlfriend.

The woman was young. Probably barely out of her teens, if that. She had long, jet-black hair that hung down her back in tight spirals, shimmering with bluish-silver highlights in the sun. The breeze blowing off the sea made all that shining silk blow to one side and whip around her body with every sudden gust. Her skin was pale, a sharp contrast to the gleaming ebony hair. She wore pink shorts with large yellow flowers on them and a short-sleeved white T-shirt. The same flower in pink was inlaid with a smaller, identical flower in yellow. Definitely one of Linnie’s friends, romantic or otherwise. Which meant I needed to look the fuck away. Because, no matter how young she looked or dressed, something in me noticed the woman beneath. Even if she was trying to hide that woman.

“Dad! Dad!” Linnie waved as she tried to run with her friend in our direction. The woman with her, however, refused to follow Linnie’s lead willingly. She looked reluctant as hell to come near us. Every now and then, her gaze fell on me, and she’d immediately look away. Kept coming back to me, though. Like she couldn’t decide whether or not to be afraid of me. “I want you to meet my teacher.”

That got my attention. This lovely young woman was most certainly not Janet Wankum. Which made me wonder exactly how old this girl was. If she were Linnie’s teacher wouldn’t she be at least eighteen? No. Not necessarily. This was a private music class. This could be another student further along than Linnie helping out Ms. Wankum. I couldn’t help but let my gaze sweep over the girl again in a more thorough perusal. Thank God for sunglasses. Surprisingly, I recognized her. Should have by the hair, but she always kept it in a bun at the base of her skull. Though I hadn’t known she was a teacher, I knew she was a stellar musician. I remembered seeing her play various instruments from the piano to the guitar and violin. Thought she played the flute too, but I wasn’t sure. What I hadn’t realized at the time was how stunningly lovely she really was.

Yep. She was luscious, her eyes a gleaming silver that seemed to look into a man’s soul. Her body was slender yet filled out to perfection. Her breasts were small, but with her compact body and finely muscled thighs, she gave the appearance of someone athletic. Maybe that of a delicate ballerina. Not a musician.

“This is Talia. Her dad’s in an MC too.”

I’d seen her with the younger kids, helping them with all the patience of a woman twice her age. I’d caught her staring at me more than once, but she never approached me or gave me the indication she was anything other than afraid of me. I also thought I knew her father. Which probably explained her trepidation. If she lived in a biker compound, she’d be wary of another MC member.

“Rocket? From Grim Road?”

Her lips parted in surprise, and her pale gaze met mine briefly before she lowered her eyes submissively. Goddamn if my cock didn’t give a jerk.

“Yes,” she said with a quick nod. “Rocket is my dad. You know him?”

“I do. Good man. Leads his club well.”

“Of course, you know

that outlaw,” Trix spat. “He’s a thug, and that girl is as bad as he is. She’s trying to steal Janet’s students.” Trix lunged for Linnie, trying to pull her away from Talia. My daughter gave her mother an impatient look and shrugged her off.

“Mom, Ms. Janet asked Talia to help. She has more students than she can handle but doesn’t want to drop anyone. Since Talia is the most advanced of any of us, she helps. Ms. Janet has us two days a month and so does Talia.”

“I’m not paying for this little… tramp to sit back and play on her phone while you have another practice session.” Trix nearly spat the word “tramp.” “You can practice at home, Caroline. From now on, you’ll let me know what days you’re supposed to be with Janet, and those are the days you’ll go.”

Caroline looked like her mother had slapped her. “Mom! I can’t believe you said that! Besides, I know Dad’s the one paying for my lessons, because he gives me money for them every week I’m with him.” She stepped away from Beatrix and snagged Talia’s hand again. The older girl tried to twist free, but Linnie was having none of it. “Talia is a wonderful teacher. Even Ms. Janet says so.” Linnie looked at me with pleading eyes. “Daddy, Talia’s not like Mom says.”

“It’s all right, Caroline.” Talia spoke softly, patting Linnie on the shoulder and gently tugging her hand away. “Not everyone understands my dad or our way of life. I’m used to it.”

The girl turned to go, but Caroline was persistent. “Please don’t go yet, Talia. You promised to eat dinner with us. Remember?”

“I said I’d think about it.” She glanced at her watch. It wasn’t a fancy watch like the kind that connects to your phone, but one that looked vintage grandma. Tiny face. Elastic metal band. “I’m sorry, but I really need to go.” To say Talia looked supremely uncomfortable was an understatement. She wouldn’t look at Beatrix at all and only cast furtive glances my way. Mostly she had her head down.

“Daddy?” Linnie gave me a pleading look, like she thought I had the power to keep her friend with us. When my little girl gave me that look, there was no denying her. Good idea or not.

“It’s all right, Talia. Trix was just leaving. You’re more than welcome to join Linnie and me for supper.”

God help me, the girl’s head snapped up, and she looked at me with wide, startled eyes before glancing at Trix again and lowering her gaze. “I’m sorry. But I really can’t. I was supposed to go straight home. I’ll be in trouble as it is.”

“I’ll make things right with your dad, but tell me why you disobeyed him? Did Linnie ask you to bring her here?” I wanted Trix to hear this. Whatever it was. Because, again, I already knew the answer. It didn’t take a genius to figure it out.

“No. She didn’t ask. And don’t worry about my dad. I’ll be in trouble, but I know the rules. I’ll tell him what happened and let him be the judge of if I was right or wrong.”

“Lia…” I deliberately shortened her name, making it intimate so she’d look up at me again. It worked, though I thought I might fall to my knees the second her gaze locked with mine. The girl was stunningly lovely and so Goddamned innocent I knew I was going to hell for all the dirty thoughts I’d have about her tonight. “Who asked you to bring Linnie to me at the beach?”

“Mr. Rothschild, sir.”





About the Author

Erotic romance author by night, emergency room tech/clerk by day, Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of.


Contact Links

Twitter: @marteekakarland

Facebook: @experiencethemagicmk


Publisher on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: @changelingpress


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Monday, April 10, 2023

THE EFFICIENCY JOURNAL by Misha Saidov #SelfHelp #giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

This journal, created by renowned coach and psychotherapist Misha Saidov, will help you become the hero of your own life. It was created to assist you in setting important goals, reaching them, and winning. It will support you along the way, especially when you find yourself lost or confused. The Efficiency Journal will help you stay on track.

You don't need to schedule your day by the minute. If you want to succeed, you only need to complete three key daily tasks, set goals that fit into 12-week sprints, and honestly reflect on your results once a week.

You will learn to manage your energy and analyze your actions, achievements, and experiences.

The result will be a formed character, created by daily volitional actions.

What's inside?

– Weekly and daily planning sheets
– Space for summarizing weekly results and for reflection
– Wise thoughts and tips along the way

Any goal reduced to daily tasks will be achieved, no matter what.


For those who want to succeed in business, improve themselves, move forward, maintain their motivation and eliminate distractions.

Many of us have meaningful ideas that could change the world. Without embodiment, they will remain just a dream. A dream about the future.

Read an Excerpt

In 1910, in the center of Paris at Sorbonne, the president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, gave a speech.

One of the passages of the speech became known as “The Man in the Arena”:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Do you ever find yourself asking: “Who am I? The one in the arena, or a spectator?”

About the Author:
Misha Saidov, a life performance coach and author, is the founder of IMCP (Institute of Metacognitive Programming) and Think Meta, a coaching company that conducts 4000+ client sessions per month.


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Friday, April 7, 2023

Book Blitz: Particles in the Air by Jenna Podjasek, MD #Medical #Thriller


A Dr. Mallory Hayes Medical Thriller


Thriller, Medical Thriller

Date Published: January 2023


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In the wake of a natural disaster, a new pandemic is unleashed...


Dr. Mallory Hayes, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) medical investigator, is a committed physician and researcher quietly battling height and air-flight anxiety. When a tsunami devastates the coast of Southern California, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) establishes a camp to house the tens of thousands of people displaced by the disaster, and the Army is brought in to provide medical services.

Mallory is dispatched to the camp by the CDC to prevent the potential spread of disease from contaminated water. What she discovers is far worse than anything she could have imagined—an accelerated HIV-like virus, and a common, everyday microbe, are proving to be extremely deadly.


Particles in the Air is a shockingly realistic tale only an immunologist could write—a tense, high-concept thriller meant to appeal to fans of A.G Riddle, Michael Crichton, Terry Hayes, Richard Preston, and others.



 About the Author

Jenna Podjasek, MD, is an Allergist/Immunologist who trained at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

She lives with her husband, two children, and numerous pets in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.

PARTICLES IN THE AIR is her first novel (more to come!).

Follow Dr. Podjasek on Twitter @JennaPodjasek and Instagram at @JennaPodjasekauthor.


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Release Blitz: DEFCON by Michele Packard #thriller



Date Published:  April 7, 2023


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Compared to James Patterson and a name to watch, Packard was recently awarded for her last novel - “Counterintelligence is one of the year’s top political thrillers" by BestThrillers.


Buckle your seat belt and get ready for another rocket-fast thriller!


America’s top operative, Matti Baker, is launching an all out war in this fast-paced, psychological, political thriller.

There is one quality that is unique to the human species…GREED.

Enlisting the help of the President and her team, Matti Baker fights to defend the hope for a world without chronic illness. No more cancer, no more diabetes…if only she can stay alive long enough to reproduce her genesis. But working against her is greed in every form. While conspiracies abound, and time is short, the crosshairs are on her.

Baker is sacrificing all and doing what others are unwilling to do. She’s serving justice.

Freedom comes at a cost. And Matti Baker is ready to pay the price as she launches her own version of DEFCON.

The countdown has started.


DEFCON is a multi-layered, heart-pounding, thought-provoking, realistic thriller in the ongoing AESOP series.


About the Author

Award-winning author, Michele Packard, comes from a military family and worked as a cable tv executive before staying at home to raise her three children. She has written in both the fiction and non-fiction genres, utilizing her experiences and wit to share stories with others. Her family calls her "AESOP" as she tends to exaggerate. A lot. Packard grew up watching her father read Patterson, Child, Flynn, Clancy, and Woods and soon developed a penchant for conspiracy theories with strong protagonists in the psychological, political, and military thriller genres. Her books tend to lean heavy on sarcasm as she intertwines current and historical events for thought-provoking stories. Recently deemed as one of the top political thrillers of the year and a name to watch. She’s loving every minute of it.

She is a frequent traveler with her husband and is the primary caretaker of the family's beloved two labs.


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Thursday, April 6, 2023

Slaves of an Alien Game by Nina R. Schluntz #ScienceFiction #Romance


Science Fiction Romance

Date Published: 03-21-2023

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Game Wardens rule most of the galaxy by a fierce empire built on enslavement and brokered deals. The only means to earn one’s freedom is by playing in the Alien Games. Two slaves go in the arena, the survivor, if there is one, is given their freedom and crowned a king, earning them a small country to rule and slaves of their own.

To make the battle more fun for spectators, genetically enhanced monsters, sahalias, are given to the combatants, but they must found in a scavenger hunt. Five orbs, each hatching into a lizard that will bond with their keeper, are hidden on a random planet. If the competitor finds all five, they have a great imbalance of power over the other, who will have none. The sahalias are created with one purpose, to battle to the death and destroy the other competitor.

Book One Excerpt

He stood there in the headlights of my car, not answering me. I wondered if he was going to shift into a more alien body and go, “You got me!”

“Are you an alien from another planet?” I repeated the question slowly as if that might help prompt an answer from him.

“Yes.” He offered nothing more. We both waited, for what I wasn’t sure. Maybe he was considering if he needed to dose me again.

The standoff ended with him turning to enter the junkyard. He angled his flashlight around, looking for his next orb, while I stood there unable to move or speak.

What the hell was a person supposed to do in this situation? Text their mom and say, “Hey. So, I got pulled into this alien scavenger hunt, and I’m gonna be gone for a while. Let’s hope I don’t get probed.” Include a few laughing-face emojis, maybe an alien-face emoji too.

“Caden!” His deep voice, which now sounded extremely alien to me—as if I could hear extra tones in it that I hadn’t noticed before—pulled me out of my reverie. Well, the third time he shouted my name, it did. The first two, I was too busy thinking about how weird his voice was.

I walked over to where he stood, his flashlight aimed at the orb on the ground.

“You must now decide,” he said. “Will you collect the orbs and be my ally?”

“You promise I’ll be safe?” I asked. “I’m not going to die doing this? I will be completely intact, my arm and everything. And this—these things will all be removed from my body?”

“If we are the victors of the game, you can have whatever you wish. I promise you that.”

“And if we lose?” The fact he’d worded his response the way he did made me wonder if the losers were killed or something.

He kept the flashlight aimed at the orb, and with his other hand, he cupped my chin.

“If you are my ally and do as I say, we will win. I assure you of this,” he said.

I waited, expecting that surge of magical opioids from his hand, but none came. Maybe he was decent enough to want me to make the decision sober. “And you’ll return me back here, to Earth?”

“Yes, with a settlement of the prize. Cash if you like,” he said.

Well... I mean, I needed his help getting this thing off anyway. And he wasn’t being a jerk. He seemed nice enough for an alien. He could clobber me with brute force and make me help him, except maybe the rules kept him from doing that or something. Would the rules keep me safe after we left Earth? Good gravy, what was I saying? I was acting as if this was a normal problem people faced.

“Fine, we’ll be an alliance,” I said.

“Wonderful. Pick up the orb.” His face truly looked pleased, and this time the tingle that went through my body was a burst of chemicals of my body’s own making.

About the Author

Nina Schluntz is a native to rural Nebraska. In her youth, she often wrote short stories to entertain her friends. Those ideas evolved into the novels she creates today.

Her husband continues to ensure her stories maintain a touch of realism as she delves into the science fiction and fantasy realm. Their three cats are always willing to stay up late to provide inspiration, whether it is a howl from the stray born in the backyard or an encouraging bite from the so called “calming kitten.”


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