Meet the Authors in #Cimmerian Shade: Erzabet Bishop

Get ready for 22 doses of hot, heart-pumping romance from the darkside with heroes and heroines to keep you turning the pages! Grab this 24-author set now for only 99 pennies! This is a limited edition, and the steal-of-a-price is for a limited time featuring stories from award winning, bestselling authors.

For your reading pleasure, we’ll be featuring each author with a story of her choice for the next few weeks. Some will include interviews, and all will include excerpts. Today’s featured author is Erzabet Bishop.

  1. When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was in about sixth grade. It was a vampire story about a woman on a farm whose husband had been turned and she was trying to protect her child. I still have that old manuscript somewhere.

  1. What makes your stories unique?

I try to reach down and find the root cause of why a character acts the way they do. Who they are. And not everything is always pretty. We humans are a complex lot, filled with gritty emotions and sometimes they boil up to the surface.

  1. Is there a common thread that runs through your books?

Yes. Women finding strength in themselves is a central theme in my books. It could be escaping their past, discovering their strength and finding out they are worth being loved. Also body image. Many of my heroines are curvy girls.

A good many of my books have a paranormal thread in them but some are erotic romance with a little kink to spice things up. I span the rainbow with my work and have written traditional m/f romance, f/f, and also a m/m short piece of fiction that will soon be made into a novel. The characters speak and it gets noisy in here when I don’t listen and give them some play space.

  1. If money was of no concern, what would you envision as your perfect lifestyle? (where would you live, what would you do all day, etc.)

If money were no object, I would write full time. I would have a cook to handle the kitchen, a housekeeper/maid to handle the housework and most of all I would have more time to take nightly walks with my husband and puppies. I love my home in Texas and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

  1. Besides writing, what things are you most passionate about?

Dog rescue. My house is full of rescue puppies and they are the light of my life.

  1. Not limited to writing, what do you believe to be some of your greatest accomplishments so far?

Making USA Today has been one of my greatest accomplishments.

Another one is learning how to work with a large group of authors in a box set endeavor.

In my day job, I have been a bookstore manager for over twenty years and one of my greatest joys is sharing my love of reading with people I meet in the store every day.

  1. Name a few of your favorites (colors, TV shows, movies, stars, songs, etc.)

Colors: Black, pink, red, gray

Books/authors: Court of Thorn and Roses series, Kim Harrison Hollows series, Laurell K. Hamilton, Skye Warren, Tiffany Reisz and too many others to mention them all…

Shows: Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Six Feet Under, Orange is the New Black, Anne with an E, Stranger Things, Thirteen Reasons Why, Handmaid’s Tale, Frankie and Grace, Westworld, How to Get Away With Murder…

Movies: Fido, Lost Boys, Underworld, Grumpy Old Men, Brigadoon, Guardians of the Galaxy I and II and so many more…

Music: Florence and the Machine, Sia, Black Keys, Peter Murphy, Thirteen Reasons Why Soundtrack, Adele. I primarily listen to alternative music.

Kissed by the moon…

Diana Robichard runs Moon Called, an antique shop specializing in cursed objects. A new antiquity falls into her possession and promptly disappears, her tidy world is upended. When faced with a threat to those she loves the most, witchcraft alone may not be enough to save them from the demon fire unleashed across the city. Blood vows and shadowy magic may hold the key, but the ultimate power might just be in the darkest recesses of her heart.

A wolf unleashed…

Alpha wolf Aristide Benoit is a wolf on a mission. When multiple pack members and finally his daughter go missing, he is ready to do whatever is necessary to find them. A pending war with the vampires looms in the distance but a blacker danger lies closer to home. Will the sexy witch destined to be his fated mate be his downfall or his salvation?

A triumvirate of blood and fire…

Vampire Regent, Rand Sinclair, has a problem. Awakened from sleep to find his Coven decimated and the current Regent suspect, he finds his vault is missing an amulet never meant to see the light of day. The treaty with the wolves in tatters, he must act quickly before the woman who haunted his dreams is swept into an ancient curse that will destroy them all. Can he make room in his heart and embrace a forbidden love that can set them all free or let the rage inside of him overtake them all?

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Meet the Authors in #Cimmerian Shade: Felicia Beasley

Get ready for 22 doses of hot, heart-pumping romance from the darkside with heroes and heroines to keep you turning the pages! Grab this 24-author set now for only 99 pennies! This is a limited edition, and the steal-of-a-price is for a limited time featuring stories from award winning, bestselling authors.

For your reading pleasure, we’ll be featuring each author with a story of her choice for the next few weeks. Some will include interviews, and all will include excerpts. Today’s featured author is Felicia Beasley.

Available early July, 2017!

I hobbled across the threshold, praising myself for not immediately falling over. I inspected the damage to my stomach as Chase looked around the small office. Blood oozed from the wound.

“You need stitches,” he said.

“I have a needle and thread in my desk. I’ll take care of it after you leave,” I said, hoping he’d get the hint.

“Let me.” He walked over to my desk, opened the drawer, and started rummaging around.

I stiffened. Stitching up my wound was far too intimate but I would continue to leak until I did something about it. “I’d prefer if you didn’t.”

“Your preference doesn’t matter to me. You have something I need. Until I get it, I’m not going to let you bleed to death.” He didn’t look up from his treasure hunt. “I’m not leaving, either.”

Arrogant jerk-off. “I bet you’re a hit with all the ladies.”

He lifted his gaze. “With the right ones.”

“Let me guess, I don’t fit the criteria.”

He pulled out my unused sewing kit and strutted over like he was a member of the Bee Gees.

“Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive,” I muttered. I would’ve added some cool dance moves but it would’ve hurt too much.

He stopped mid-stride and looked at me like I was nut-so. “Maybe it’s too late and there’s no hope for you.”

“You might be right. Could you be a dear and let me die in peace, then?”

He ignored me, again, and closed the distance between us. His brow furrowed as he studied the damage the naga had done.

“This would be easier without the shirt,” he said.

“I usually don’t get naked on the first date.”

He grunted, not amused. Apparently, having a sense of humor wasn’t a requirement to graduate from demon hunting school.

I tried to pull the hem of my shirt over my head. It wasn’t like I was modest or anything. I stopped when the pain hit me like a locomotive going a hundred miles per hour right to my gut.

“Let me help,” he said impatiently.

I flinched as his warm fingers grazed my bare stomach. He pulled his hands away.

“Did I hurt you?”

I glared to cover up my embarrassment. “Why the hell do you care? Just do it.”

His jaw clenched and I prepared for him to rip the shirt over my head like an overeager lover just to spite me. Instead, he was slow, gentle, careful not to let the fabric further aggravate the wound.

I covered up the effect it had on me with derision. “Took you long enough. I’m guessing you’re a bore in bed.”

I watched him swallow as his gaze rested on my breasts.

I didn’t hide the smirk. “I didn’t know sentinels were celibate.”

His eyes shot to my face and his cheeks reddened. It was kind of adorable. “Pardon?”

“Once you’re done eye-fucking my tits, can we get this over with?”

Visit Felicia’s Amazon Author page to grab your copy now. This title will only be available as a single through the beginning of July

He stared at me as if this was the first time he’d ever seen me.

You know those times when it feels like everything just stops? A second stretches to a millennium. The universe waits with bated breath for the next moment.

But then the moment doesn’t happen, and the universe lets out a big disappointed sigh.

Blue eyes blinked at me as time resumed. The tension evaporated, and I was left wondering if I just imagined the passion in his piercing gaze. He had probably still been thinking about the fire.

“They aren’t coming after us,” he said, sounding relaxed for the first time. He smiled. “I can’t believe we made it out of there.”

“It’s not them I’m worried about.”

Lucas still didn’t move or let go of my hips. He didn’t even ask what I meant. There was no lingering moment this time. No oceans of anticipation to drown in.

One moment he looked like he’d won the lottery and the next his mouth claimed mine like a dragon with his treasure.

Heat that had nothing to do with magical flames infused my body, weakening my legs more than the magic soul suck had.

I leaned my body weight into him lest I fall to the ground in a puddle. He wrapped his arms around my body, keeping me locked against him until he decided he wanted to let go.

A moan escaped my throat as his hungry mouth sucked and tugged on my virgin lips.

Yeah, I had never been kissed before. Just like that movie with Drew Barrymore, only I really was a high school loser.

I wrapped my hands in his hair, fingernails digging into his scalp as I pulled him down harder. Pressure began to build in my lower stomach. Tendrils of pleasant tightness fluttered like butterfly kisses up through my chest.

Now, I wasn’t the only one moaning. His hot tongue glided across my bottom lip. Once. Twice. My mouth dropped open with a sigh, surrendering to his expertise. He closed his mouth around my lower lip and sucked.

There was no drug on the planet more addictive than Lucas Zane. One taste and I knew that I’d do anything for another hit.

I pressed my palms against his bare, bloody chest and pushed, jerking my face away from his.

He looked down at me, eyes half-lidded, cheeks flushed, lips cherry red.

“I thought you only wanted to be friends?” My voice cracked. My body was pissed at my mind for ruining her fun. The co-mingling guilt and desire turning my stomach threatened to make me throw up on his shoes.

The only word to describe the way he looked at me now was smoldering.

“I lied.”

For more from Felicia Beasley, visit her on the web:

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Meet the #Cimmerian Shade Authors: Elvira Bathory

Get ready for 22 doses of hot, heart-pumping romance from the darkside with heroes and heroines to keep you turning the pages! Grab this 24-author set now for only 99 pennies! This is a limited edition, and the steal-of-a-price is for a limited time featuring stories from award winning, bestselling authors.

For your reading pleasure, we’ll be featuring each author with a story of her choice for the next few weeks. Some will include interviews, and all will include excerpts. Today’s featured author is Elvira Bathory.

  1. What makes your stories unique?

I try to take things that haven’t been written about much, for example my shifter stories have animals that haven’t been used before. I have made a WereFossa, WereServal-Genet, WereGharial just to name a few

  1. Is there a common thread that runs through your books?

The most common thread that runs through my books is the fact that I try to write about things, animals and myths that aren’t used or haven’t been used that often

  1. Besides writing, what things are you most passionate about?

I strongly believe in anti-bullying efforts and helping young people build self-esteem J

  1. Not limited to writing, what do you believe to be some of your greatest accomplishments so far?

I have helped raise some of the greatest little people that I have ever known. All five of my kiddos make me proud everyday

  1. Name a few of your favorites (colors, TV shows, movies, stars, songs, etc.)

My favorite color is green, my favorite TV Shows are: Charmed, The Vampire Diaries, The 100, Reign, The Originals, American Gods (just to name a few lol) and my all-time favorite movies are Labyrinth and Legend

What lengths would you go to prove yourself to your family?

What would you do if you found out that you weren’t like everyone else? That you were special but only in a way no one could find out about? What lengths would you go to prove yourself to your family? A family that you didn’t know you had?

Kymber was moving through life with a part-time minimum wage job and only a few friends. She was different from other people and they treated her that way. However, she was happy with her life until the day she met Kheelan; that is when her life was turned upside down. She finds out that she isn’t even human, and that a family she wasn’t aware she had needed her to complete a mission. As Kymber and Kheelan’s adventure progresses, will their focus on business remain professional or will their growing passion take over?


As a show of good faith, I thought I would tell you what you really are. You’ve been feeling different than the people around you, right? Don’t have many, if any, friends? You keep to yourself; going to work and returning home, never going out on a girl’s night or even a date. You bring men home just to have them make excuses before entering the house or, if they’re brave enough to enter, you kick them out right after having sex. You live alone and people go to great lengths to avoid you whenever they can.

Would you like to know why that is? I can tell you. I know we’ve already made plans to meet after your shift however I felt you might like to know the answer to the question that burns brightest in your mind; If only to give you some time to prepare yourself, maybe jot down any questions you might have. I’m afraid this note will make you change your mind about meeting with me, but it’s a risk I’ll have to take. We’re both running out of time. It’s of the utmost urgency that you know ahead of time what you are, who you are, so this note will have to be the way that I lower that particular hammer.

I just pray to the Gods that I will still find you in the rear parking lot of the diner at seven this evening.

You’re Death, a Grim Reaper, Morrigana, your very name means Death and that’s why people avoid you. That’s why you’re always alone. Humans can sense the ‘otherness’ about you, even if they aren’t sure what is so off-putting, and that is why they give you wide berth.

Except there are other beings out in the world that can be around you; Hells, there are even some who would give their right nut to share your bed just for the thrill of being with Death and coming out alive on the other end. There are others still who would kill to be with you on your journeys; to see the world the way you see it.

I’ve said enough for now. As I said, time is of the essence and I wouldn’t blame you for not sticking around to keep our appointment, however I must insist that you meet me at your vehicle after your shift this evening so that we can discuss all of this in length and I can tell you why I’m here.


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Meet the authors in #Cimmerian Shade: Catherine Banks

Get ready for 22 doses of hot, heart-pumping romance from the darkside with heroes and heroines to keep you turning the pages! Grab this 24-author set now for only 99 pennies! This is a limited edition, and the steal-of-a-price is for a limited time featuring stories from award winning, bestselling authors.

For your reading pleasure, we’ll be featuring each author with a story of her choice for the next few weeks. Some will include interviews, and all will include excerpts. Today’s featured authors are Catherine Banks.

Tora’s been on a lot of awful blind dates.

All she wants is to find someone who loves her for who she is, which might be a tall order considering she’s part demon.

But then she goes out with the gorgeous Edan, and the pair immediately hit it off. Edan’s forthcoming about being a dragon, and royalty, to boot, which only makes Tora even more reluctant to risk ruining things by telling him about her demon heritage. However, no matter how hard she tries, she can’t keep it a secret forever.

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Meet the authors in Cimmerian Shade Boxed Set: Heather Marie Adkins

Get ready for 22 doses of hot, heart-pumping romance from the darkside with heroes and heroines to keep you turning the pages! Grab this 24-author set now for only 99 pennies! This is a limited edition, and the steal-of-a-price is for a limited time featuring stories from award winning, bestselling authors.

For your reading pleasure, we’ll be featuring each author with a story of her choice for the next few weeks. Some will include interviews, and all will include excerpts. Today’s featured author is Heather Marie Adkins.

The line between light and dark has never been so unclear.

Ever O’Connell prides herself on being a good Wiccan, and her coven follows the path of the Goddess with love and light. But the “dark” witches in school—the BlackMags— keep pushing her toward the edge, until Ever finally finds herself at war.

Cade Bourdain inherited his father’s thirst for power, drawing him into darker areas of magick. Despite his dislike for the “Fluffy Bunny” Wiccans, he feels an unearthly connection to Ever.

When the two strike up a secret relationship the real magic between them is ignited, generating a power that a dangerous warlock yearns to take for his own. Ensnared by the warlock, Ever and Cade’s conflicting covens must work together despite their differences—or else be destroyed by a common enemy.

The screen door creaked on its hinges as he swung it open and knocked on the front door. His first knock shoved the door in, revealing a cool, dim hallway.

Startled, he propped the screen open with his shoulder and grabbed the handle, holding the door still as he knocked again. “Hello?”

No response.

“Anyone home?” Cade pushed the door open a little more, listening intently.

Still nothing.

Should I go in? he wondered, teetering on the threshold. On the one hand, barging into someone’s home — especially someone who wasn’t necessarily a friend — wasn’t cool. On the other, what if Ever was home alone and something had happened to her?

That thought alone made his decision. “I’m coming in!”

He shoved the door open all the way, the edge dragging across the floor as if it weren’t fitted properly into its frame. The screen door slammed shut behind him, the sound an obtrusive crack in the hushed silence.

“Ever?” Cade walked forward, his eyes darting around the foyer. An opening to his right revealed a battered dining table and chairs, guarded by an impressive sideboard and a painting of a meadow. To his left, a living room with stuffed couches and no television, but a nice marble fireplace that took up nearly an entire wall.

“Hello?” Cade passed through the doorway beside the stairs and found himself in the kitchen. The oven was on, ticking into the silence. Something smelled gingery and delicious. He hadn’t realized how hungry he was until assaulted by the scent. He stepped closer to the oven, curiosity drawing him to peek into it.

“I should really leave the dogs inside when I’m home alone.”

The voice, coming from behind him, startled Cade so badly he jumped, knocking over a pitcher resting on the counter. Tea gushed across the Formica and waterfalled to the floor

Ever stood in the kitchen doorway, looking pale and wan with a square of gauze taped to her hairline, but sporting an amused smile. “Yep. Should definitely leave the dogs inside. Maybe they’ll keep out snooping intruders set on spilling my sweet tea.”

“Damn, Ever. I’m sorry.” Cade grabbed the pitcher and placed it in the sink, then glanced around for a towel. “The front door was open, and you didn’t answer. I thought something might have happened to you. I didn’t know how badly…” His voice trailed off as he eyed the bandage on her head. “Did he really hurt you?”

Ever shrugged, gliding into the kitchen on bare feet. “I had to get stitches. But I’ll survive.”

Cade stood by helplessly as Ever opened a drawer and extracted dish towels for clean up. As she bent to wipe up the floor, Cade jumped forward. “No, let me. I made the mess.”

That damn amused grin again. “Alright. I’ll get the counter.”

A minute passed in awkward silence as they dried. Cade was crouched so close to Ever’s bare legs he could feel her heat. She smelled good, like something earthy, and the curve of her anklebone was fascinating. He stole glances at her smooth, golden calves, muscles clenching as she swiped at the spilled tea. He couldn’t help but imagine what it would feel like to reach out and touch her, to slide his fingertips up her skin, over her knee; to press his lips to the softly rounded curve of her thigh beneath the hem of her shorts.

“Why are you here, Cade?”

The question caught him off guard. He lurched forward, dish towel sliding through the puddle of amber liquid. “Um, what?”

Ever looked down, raising an eyebrow.

Horrified, Cade realized his fumble had pushed a tidal wave of tea over her foot. Another part of him noticed her tiny toes, painted a vivid shade of blue, and the silver circlet on her left second toe. Even her feet were cute.

“Sorry,” he said, avoiding her gaze and her smirk.

“It’s okay.” She lifted her foot behind her, seamlessly leaning backwards to wipe it off with her own towel.

Cade found himself mesmerized by the way her back arched. She had a neck like a swan, all grace and ease. He’d never been this close to her, close enough to notice all the little things most people ignored, like the beauty mark just beneath her jawbone or the perfect hourglass her curves made in that outfit.

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A Wedding on Meadows Shore Book Blitz

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His voice took on a husky, seductive quality. “The women I date aren’t interested in my body, Sophie. What interests them is how I pleasure their bodies.”

She stared deep into his icy blue eyes and snickered.

Max never missed even the smallest of details. They were often the difference between success and getting your hat handed to you. Tonight, he noticed Sophie’s eyes betray her, even as she mocked him. Her pupils were dilated, the rich, whiskey-colored irises nearly overtaken by black. I have her attention.

Embolden by her body’s reaction, he took a step closer. He was so close that if she’d been breathing, her breath would’ve warmed his skin. “I can bring much more to your bed than my father does. So…much…more…” He drew out the words, emphasizing each in a voice that oozed sex. “And though I’m not an easy man to impress, I’m sure you’d have no trouble persuading me to finance your agency. None at all,” he drawled.

Neither of them spoke for a long moment, maybe two. The air was charged. The silence dangled between them like a ripe peach, fragrant and swollen, tempting the weakest among them to reach for it first.

“What do you think?” he asked softly, ending the silence.

While waiting for her response, a calculated kind of wait, he resisted the urge to lift his hand and run his fingers through the strands of hair that’d come loose, softly framing her face.

“I think you really are an ass.”

With that, she turned and walked away. Leaving him to gape at her magnificent back.



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Meadows Shore is the childhood home of the five Clayton sisters and the six Harrington brothers, the family seat where these irresistible characters gather regularly…or whenever they need the comfort of Portuguese home cooking and the love and wisdom of elder women.

After Sophie Clayton catches her husband in bed with a young intern, she creates a new life for herself as the executive director of a failing domestic violence agency. It’s the perfect job for a woman born to fix everything. A friend’s broken heart, a tattered agency, a flat tire—she’ll roll up her sleeves and make it as good as new. Sophie rarely encounters anything she can’t fix…until she meets the devastatingly handsome and insufferably arrogant, Max Parker. One of Boston’s most eligible bachelors, he’s never without a stunning young woman on his arm and in his bed.

When Sophie’s forced to deal with Max, sparks fly, and somewhere in the crossfire of verbal daggers and clever barbs, she discovers his darkest secret.




Eva Charles is the author of the multi-titled Meadows Shore Series that chronicles the lives and loves of the Clayton-Harrington family. She invites you to visit their beloved Meadows Shore nestled in the charming seaside town of Fair Harbor, where you’ll enjoy love, laughter, loyalty, and an abundance of mouth-watering food, Portuguese style.

After being a confirmed city-girl for more than thirty-five years, Eva moved to beautiful western Massachusetts in 2014. There, she found herself living in the woods with no job, no friends (unless you count the turkeys, deer, and coyotes roaming the backyard), and no children underfoot, wondering what on earth she’d been thinking. But as it turned out, it was the perfect setting to take all those yarns spinning in her head and weave them into a romantic tale.

When she’s not writing, trying to squeeze information out of her tight-lipped sons, or playing with the two cutest dogs you’ve ever seen, Eva’s creating chapters in her own love story.

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Jax raked a hand over his hair. He did not want her to leave without him. That meant only one thing. He had to go to her and convince her they couldn’t be separated. He stood and cast his gaze on Ian. The boy slept soundly. Jax had to find a compromise by doing right by the boy and doing right by his heart.


He closed the door behind him gently and checked on Sophia’s room. She wasn’t there. Then he went downstairs. Peeking into the study, he saw Lady Charlotte placing covers over Lord Ridgecroft and making him comfortable. Could she be in the kitchen? He continued down the hall and caught a glimpse of two people sitting on a bench. Jeeves and Sophia. Fisting his hands, he drew in a breath and steeled up his courage.


Jax knocked on the glass of the french doors and stepped out. She looked up at him, sadness etched in her face.


“Can we talk?” he asked.


Jeeves glanced at Sophia. She offered the butler a small smile. “It’s fine.”


Jeeves stood and bowed. “If you’ll excuse me, I’ll finish my rounds and retire for the evening.”


“Good night, Jeeves,” Jax said.


The butler nodded and left.


“I had no idea I had a son. This was a surprise.”


“It’s clear the boy is yours,” she said, softly. “And so is your duty.”


“I won’t deny it,” Jax paused. “And I do want to get to know him, but I don’t want to lose you either.”


“I have to leave tomorrow.”


He pursed his lips, frustrated. “I knew Fiona briefly. I was attracted to her because she was kind, but I knew nothing would ever come of us. My father suggested she knew that, too, that’s why she never told me.”


“I’m sorry.” Sophia looked at her fingers in her lap, then up at him. “She should have contacted you. It would have been the right thing to do.”


He sighed and took the seat next to Sophia placing her hand between his. He snared her eyes with his stare. “The right thing to do is let me go with you tomorrow. I care for you.”


“I know what it’s like to lose a parent. I was twelve when my mother passed away. I still remember the little things, like her smile. I remember traveling all over Britain with her. When my mot

“He can come with us.” Jax just blurted out the first thought that came to his mind. If Sophia wanted Ian to be close to Jax, then it only made sense to have Ian come with them. Jax thought the idea was inspired.


Sophia’s mouth fell open, then she closed it, before she scrunched up her brows. “Are you serious? That we take a five-year-old traipsing all over Europe with us?”


“Why not? It’s the only way we can be all together.” He had no idea what it would entail, but what better way to solve his problem? He would get to know his son and remain close to Sophia.

her passed away, a sadness filled my heart that I thought I would never replace. That little boy is hurting right now. He needs you.”



Gripping time travel story


*I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.*

Well, let me just make something very clear here: I’m a total sucker for Time Travel stories (HUGE fan of Dr. Who, for instance) and ANYTHING Victorian. Romance novels set in that period are my thing. Plus, I had read book three in the series – ‘A lady Never Lies’ – and had LOVED it. So I was eagerly waiting for this new installment. But in case you don’t like serials please don’t get me wrong. This book can be read independently from the previous three but you’d be missing on excellent stories and a lot of talent if you skip them.

As usual, Stephanie Buckhart delivered a great book. ‘A Princess is always right’ is a very well-written story with likeable characters and lots of adventure. I recommend it for fans of fantasy and/or good books.


B & N


A Princess is Always Right

by Stephanie Burkhart


GENRE: Steampunk Romance



Sophia may be the youngest Windsor, but she knows her mind. A Princess of York, she’s committed to do her duty – prevent Jonas Byron from finding Nikola Tesla and decimating the time line.
Jax Ruston is a rugged metalsmith with curly hair and dimples to die for. A resident of 1855, he’s pledged to help Sophia find Jonas. Together, they journey across continental Europe in pursuit of Jonas.

Despite her duty, Sophia’s attracted to handsome Jax. However, he’s committed to living in 1855. Can Sophia keep her focus on her mission, or will desire interfere with her task? Only one thing is certain: a princess is always right.








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Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD.  She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire.  After serving 11 years in the US Army she currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks.  She’s also an assistant den leader for her son’s Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children’s books published with 4RV Publishing.









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Please help WELCOME guest author Donna Del Oro today. She put together this post so that readers could know her main character a bit better. Don’t yoy love it when authors do that? I DO!!


ATHENA’S SECRETS: Athena and Her Art    

by Donna Del Oro

The heart of this novel concerns a young woman, Athena Butler—a modern-day descendant of an ancient bloodline of psychic females—who is first overcome by her clairvoyance at age nine. Her gift/curse has caused her problems during her childhood and teenage years. But by age twenty, she has learned to control her “sixth sight” and is able to turn it on and off like a faucet. If she is in a social situation and doesn’t want to be distracted by the additional input of another’s thoughts and emotions, she has learned to close the channel into other people’s minds.

But there’s another element to Athena’s personality and character. She has an artistic gift that’s nearly as strong as her clairvoyance. As a talented art student, she loves figure painting and specializes in portrait painting. Throughout the novel, Athena places as much importance on her artistic abilities as she does her psychic abilities. As her diplomat father tells her, her artistic talents are a much more marketable skill. Consequently, she is recruited by a gallery owner to join a group of pastiche painters—Genuine Pastiches of the World’s Greatest Painters–who paint replicas of famous paintings and sell them as legal, authentic copies. The world might call these replicas or copies fakes but an elite class of art collectors, who cannot afford to pay three-hundred million for an original Cezanne or Monet, are willing to pay fifty- to sixty-thousand for a genuine pastiche of that same painting. When she is accepted by the gallery into this special class of painters, her money worries end and she’s able to pay for her last year of art school and become a self-sustaining artist.

For me, as a student of ESP phenomena, depicting Athena’s psychic gifts was fun! As a former art minor in college, sharing my knowledge of painting and art history has been just as enjoyable. Actually, I’ve had to learn more about various techniques and styles through the centuries and have had to refresh my art history knowledge. For a perpetual student like myself, this challenge has been a wonderful addition to my research! I’ve even gone back to painting as a hobby because of my fictitious character, Athena Butler—so thank you, Athena!


Close up coffee cup on wood table at sunset or sunrise beach


* I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. *


I’m a huge fan of everything paranormal but as such I’m also very hard to please. For instance, don’t try to convince me vampires can walk in the sun (and sparkle) because you will waste your time and breath. Having said that, I approached this book with extreme caution as I nowadays do when there are paranormal elements in the story. But my fears were unfounded. Donna Del Oro did her research so the ESP elements in ‘Athena’s Secrets’ are well-founded. Moreover, plot is well-developed and the characters are both believable and likeable.

I’m against giving (or reading) spoilers so I won’t talk about the ending except to remind other readers this is book 1 in a series of books. By the way, I’m looking forward to ‘Athena’s Quest’ the second book in this series.







Athena Butler, the twenty-year-old descendant of an ancient bloodline of psychics, yearns to lead a normal life. She wants a career, a boyfriend, independence. Her clairvoyant gift, however, has taught her people can be false and dangerous. Although warned to keep her powers a secret, she’s recruited by law enforcement to help search for a serial killer and to uncover a terrorist cell.

She bonds with an intriguing, handsome man, Kas Skoros, who knows her secret and accepts it. Of the same bloodline, his mother is precognitive and predicts they are meant to be together…some day. Kas, a military veteran and Search and Rescue deputy, is skeptical and cynical. Life is too uncertain. Yet, he can’t resist exploring his passion for Athena.

Still, they face obstacles beyond their control. Can Kas overcome the obstacles? And will Athena stay alive long enough to fulfill her dream of a normal life?



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Print copy of Athena’s Secrets (US Only)




Kas pointed at one of these gravel paths that led through a thicket of oak trees. He seemed to observe how Spartacus was glued to Athena’s side, his tongue flopping out happily, and his tail wagging excitedly.

“We’re pals,” she said.

Kas led her down the back terrace steps to the gravel path behind a row of shrubs surrounding the pool and patio. They’d have to cross twenty acres—about a half-mile, Kas said—to the family’s boat dock.

“I know,” she said, “Alex already took us out in the boat.”

Kas gazed at her with a speculative look. “Women like Alex. He’s the family charmer. Guess he stole your heart, too.”

“Hardly. I’ve grown wary of men who’re too charming.” Athena smiled, bent over and rubbed behind the German shepherd’s pointed black ears until he almost purred with pleasure. Kas looked surprised.

“He usually takes a long time to warm up to people.”

Athena scratched under the German shepherd’s long jaw. “Like his master, I suppose. We became friends yesterday during the ski boat ride. Spartacus told me a lot about you and how he feels about you. You’re his sun and moon, his alpha and omega. He showed me all the things you do together.”

Kas halted on the path. “You read my dog’s mind?”

She didn’t mean for her tone to be so defensive, but out it came. “Well, yeah. It’s what I do. I was holding him in the boat. He doesn’t think in words, of course, but the visual imagery and feelings were there.”

He shot her a crooked smile, then slapped a palm against his thigh, a signal for Spartacus to heel at his side. The dog looked over at his master, back at Athena, gave a whine, and reluctantly moved away from her.

He mock-growled at his dog, which caused Spartacus to perk up his ears. Something was going on with these two-legged humans but the dog didn’t know what.

“That’s for being a traitor, boy. Telling this girl our secrets.”

Athena grinned. “Don’t worry, he didn’t reveal secrets about any of your girlfriends. I don’t think Spartacus knows or cares about that.”

“C’mon, boy.” Kas beckoned as Spartacus rubbed his fur against his master’s leg.

“You’re something else, Athena,” he added, “You’re here three days, and already stealing my dog. But you don’t want Alex? Most women I see hate my dog but crush on Alex. You’re a strange one.”

She almost tripped. Somehow his words both pleased and stung her. “Strange, huh? Well, I don’t think I want to be friends with you after all.”

He snorted but kept on walking, leading her down the path. “No danger of that happening. I don’t make friends with tall, pretty blondes, especially if they have ESP.”

He thinks I’m pretty.  That thought unsettled her more than she wanted to admit.

“Because of your mother’s precog dream? She saw you ending up with a tall blonde?”

“Maybe. She said the tall blonde would have the gifts of the ancient Greek priestesses. That kind of narrows it down, doesn’t it? But hell, no one tells me what my future’s going to be, not even my own mother.” He stopped and fixed his gaze on her face. “Anyway, by strange I meant unique, special. What you, your mother, my mother have—this bloodline of females is extraordinary. You need to be protected.” He looked away and continued walking. “Alex and I do what we can for Mom. We guard her secret. We don’t let the outside world exploit her. Your mother has her husband. I suppose you’ll have to find a protector, too.” Kas looked down at Spartacus, who was trotting alongside. Athena heard his implied message: Don’t expect me to be him.

“Yes,” she said, her chin up, “perhaps. Right now I can protect myself.”





Donna Del Oro lives in Northern California with her husband and three cats. She taught high school and community college English classes for 30+ years and is now happily retired. When not writing novels or reading voraciously, she travels and sings with the medal winning Sacramento Valley Chorus.


Donna is a member of Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime in addition to the Valleyrose chapter of the RWA. She has judged RITA entries and does developmental editing on the side. Two of her novels, Operation Familia and Born To Sing, have won national and international awards.

Follow clairvoyant artist Athena Butler in the next book in The Delphi Bloodline series: ATHENA’S QUEST.



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Christina Palmer
Published by: Anscot Publishing
Publication date: December 4th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance

He’s a bad boy trying to be good

no wait… he’s a good boy who might be turning bad

OMG! I don’t know what he is, but I know he makes me feel things I’ve never felt before, no matter how sinfully it all started…
let’s face it, I’m in love with him. I want to be with him, but there are so many roadblocks – a crazy, sex mad, best friend who wants him for herself – the fact that I’m leaving for college soon – his feelings of guilt about what happened…
and worst of all, my overbearing, righteous, God-fearing mother.
If she ever finds out I’m in love with the pastor – I. AM. DEAD.

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The pretty nineteen year-old serving at the checkout of the Medburg hardware store was oblivious to the admiring glances of the workers and handymen that filtered past her cash register during her shift. Her uniform, a pair of plain brown slacks and a polo top, did nothing to detract from her beauty. Even wearing no makeup and with her golden blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, Bethany King was clearly an extraordinary beauty. Her skin was flawless and hidden under her frumpy uniform was a dancer’s body, lithe and slim.

Unaware of their glances she may have been, she was friendly and courteous. Everyone that she graced with her beautiful smile felt like they had her full and undivided attention, even if it wasn’t the case. Bethany was nearing the end of a gap year between high school and college and found it difficult to maintain her interest in her part-time job when the exciting new stage of her life now loomed so large. She found herself increasingly restless, and, each day, the small town of Medburg seemed to get even smaller. Not to mention her own home.

She found herself clashing more and more with her mother and was only just able to tolerate being treated like a child every time she expressed an opinion or had the gall to disagree with her. Today had been no different.

Over breakfast Bethany had mentioned that she might be going out to a dance with Rebecca, her best friend. Her mother, never a fan of the earthy Rebecca, had insulted her, ‘she dresses like a prostitute’ and by default, Bethany and her poor choice of friends. Now, as she scanned hammers, bags of nails and door knobs through her checkout, Bethany replayed the scene in her mind and thought of all the witty retorts that she hadn’t been able to think of when her mother had caught her by surprise with her petty meanness.

Ten minutes before the end of her shift it seemed that the flow of customers had dried up entirely and Bethany leaned against her counter making small talk with Jenny Granger, the mom of three on the checkout, across the aisle from her. It was polite chit chat only, the two had nothing in common and Bethany was kind of glad that the store had been busy for most of the day.

Just as Jenny began to tell her yet another story of what her naughty three year-old son had been up to the night before, there was a knock behind them on the plate glass window. They both turned at the interruption and Bethany’s smile dazzled as she found Rebecca making silly faces behind the glass. Bethany held up her fingers to indicate that she had five minutes to go and Rebecca, a brunette with a gorgeous figure, nodded and walked a few paces to sit on the bench that sat in front of the store. Rebecca studiously ignored the look of distaste or possibly envy that passed over Jenny Granger’s face.

Bethany walked out of the store and found Rebecca. Her friend was wearing tight blue jeans and a red top that showed off her ample bust. Her lustrous brown hair was down, framing her face. Where Bethany was classically beautiful, Rebecca was a smoldering, sultry beauty who looked far more mature than her nineteen years. They hugged before Rebecca pushed her away playfully and looked her up and down.

“You know, I could never understand why you don’t have a boyfriend when you dress in such sexy gear.”

Bethany rolled her eyes.

“Whatever Renton, what’s your excuse?”

“Excuse? Please Bethany, how could I, in all conscience, deprive the male population of Medburg of this,” she gestured dramatically at her curvy backside, “by limiting myself to a boyfriend. Oh, unless it’s Pastor Yummy! Him I would gladly chain myself too and never even look at another man.”
They both laughed. Rebecca had lusted after the new pastor ever since he had given his first service a month ago and even Bethany had to admit that Sundays at church had become quite a bit less boring since Pastor Michael Blaine had taken the position, but she found Rebecca’s obsession was a little over the top.

“Anyway, I was close by doing some shopping so I thought I would walk you home;” said Rebecca, “want some company?”

“Sure,” said Bethany and they walked out of the store parking lot and onto Main Street.

“So what goodies did you buy?” Bethany asked.

“Well as a matter of fact dear, I bought something for you. I know you have your man issues, never been kissed and all that…ouch!”

They both laughed at Bethany’s light hearted punch to her shoulder.

“A man? What’s that?” she asked Rebecca cheekily.

Exactly my point!” She stopped and brought the bag up and rested it on one thigh while she rustled around inside it. “Wait, I don’t know if you can handle this…”

“Oh my God you bitch, it better not be a dildo or anything disgusting!”

Rebecca looked at her, a mock look of worry on her face.

“Oh…well… it’s not a dildo, but it might be disgusting!” With a flourish she pulled out a plastic wrapped package and held it out to Bethany, who could see instantly it was a book. Curious she took it and looked at the cover through the clear plastic. The title was The Awakening Sophy Series, a collection of erotica by Bianca James and the cover, while subtle, left no doubt as to what was inside. Bethany groaned.

“You know I’m not going to read this, this stuff is disgusting.”

“Bethany King! You sound like your mother. I have it on very good authority that it’s well written and sexy…and yes, probably disgusting, but sometimes disgusting can be just what a girl needs, you know what I mean?” she nudged Bethany in the side.

Bethany laughed again.

“No, I have no idea what you mean, here.” She tried to hand back the book but Rebecca closed the bag and dodged Bethany.

“Nuh uh, that was a gift Bethany, and if you try to give it back or throw it away, I will never speak to you again. Seriously, just read the first couple of stories and if you don’t like it, throw it in the bin.”

Feigning exasperation, Bethany shrugged and slipped the book into her handbag. They made small talk for the rest of the walk home and Bethany avoided telling Rebecca what her mother had said about her.

“I might skip the dance,” she told her friend, “my mom has been a real pain about it.”

Rebecca looked at her friend for a second, sympathy evident on her face.

“Okay Hon, I might too. Well I guess I’ll see you at church on Sunday. Remember, Yummy is mine!” They hugged quickly and Bethany went up the steps and unlocked the front door.

Their evening meal had begun with her mother saying grace. Bethany had stolen a look at her parents as they sat with their eyes closed. Her mother sat painfully straight backed in her chair as she intoned the overly long prayer. Her hair, nearly all grey now, was pulled back severely and secured in a tight bun. Her tired face was devoid of makeup and her mouth was pulled down in what seemed a permanent scowl. Bethany’s heart went out to her, at forty-four, her mother looked at least twenty years older.

Her father sat beside her in his business shirt. He too looked older than his years, but that was mainly due to his receding hair and permanent look of introspection. Dinner was solemn and quiet and absolutely joyless and she was even more relieved than usual when her mother excused her from the table.

Just before 9pm Bethany had finished showering and had dressed for bed. She hung her towel by the window and decided that there was no way that she was going to watch an hour of Christian television with her mom before her ten o’clock bedtime, she had other plans.

It annoyed her that at nineteen years of age she still had a ‘bedtime’ like a little kid, but she was a good girl to the core and although she had argued her case many times, ultimately it was her mother’s house and her rules. Bethany’s dad was no help in such arguments; he never went against his wife, so Bethany played by their rules…most of the time.

She sat at her dresser and brushed her soft curls distractedly as she wrestled with her conscience about whether she would read the book that Rebecca had given her. It was ridiculous that she was even having an internal crisis of ethics about reading it; it was just a book after all. She was nineteen, nearly twenty, for God’s sake; she could read anything she pleased. But the years of her mother’s piety and strict rules about what she could and couldn’t read were hard to get past. She just couldn’t wait to go off to college and get away from the guilt and expectation that seemed to weigh her down with every passing day.

She had smuggled the book into her room that afternoon, opening it to a random page and was shocked and intrigued at what she read in a few brief moments. She hadn’t dared to read more

than a few lines before hiding it under her mattress, nervous that her mother would come in and catch her with it.

After she finished brushing her hair, Bethany went downstairs to say goodnight to her parents. As they did every night, her mother and father sat in their armchairs with the television switched to a raspy voiced evangelist. Her mother watched the preacher intently and barely looked up when Bethany came into the room, while her father read his paper with the rapt attention of an idiot savant. Bethany wondered, not for the first time, how two people could live like this, the same routine night after night with barely a change for years on end.

She vaguely remembered her parents being more fun when she was a little girl, but it seemed as they got older, the fun had drained away and, for her mother in particular, been replaced by a grey sense of devoutness. Bethany thought she knew when things had begun to change; it was one night when she was no older than seven. They had had an unusual screaming match. Unusual, because they never fought. It had left both of them crying and her father begging forgiveness and that it would never happen again. Bethany didn’t know exactly what he had done, but the very next day her mother had withdrawn into herself and the daily prayers had begun. All the same, she loved them.

She walked lightly to them and kissed each on the cheek before whispering goodnight. As she exited the living room her mother, who had seemingly been entranced by the television, said sternly, “Lights off at 10pm young lady.”

“Yes Mom.”

Bethany had to restrain herself from running back up the stairs to start on the book… she had one hour.

After two stories Bethany felt hot and flushed and very aroused. She had started to touch herself through her flannelette pajamas as the third story began to heat up. While she had masturbated before, it was always to her own imagination. She had only seen porn once, on Rebecca’s computer of course and hadn’t thought much of it at all; in fact she had been embarrassed and had asked her friend to turn it off. But reading the illicit words in front of her while she played beneath the covers added an element of spice and danger that made her previous erotic play seem insignificant.

She finished the third story, a hot tale about a doctor and his patient and knew she couldn’t read any more, she had an urgent fire in her loins that would only be quenched by one thing. She rolled over and switched off her lamp, unaware in her sexual excitement that the book had fallen to the floor. She lay back in the dark, still under the covers and slipped her hand under the elastic waistband of her pajamas and panties. She opened her thighs and gasped as her fingers found her moist and sensitive folds.

Bethany breathed hard as she replayed the Bianca James story in her mind. Now it was her that was having her breasts fondled by the stranger who then began to run his hands over her body, stroking her…kissing her…that was when her bedroom door was flung open and harsh light from the bare bulb in the ceiling lit up the room like a false dawn.

Bethany, her heart trying to escape her body through her chest, froze under the covers and squeezed her eyes shut, feigning sleep. Slowly she inched her hand out of her pants, hoping the telltale movement would not be noticed, praying that her mother would turn off the light and leave. Bethany knew it was her, her father never entered her room and her mother had no respect for privacy. It was her.

No harsh words for a pregnant few seconds, and then Bethany heard a floorboard creak by the door and waited for the light to be switched off. Bethany breathed a sigh of relief but it caught in her throat when instead of the sound of a light switch, she heard the ominous pat, pat, pat of her mother’s slippers approaching the bed.


Bethany heard the sound of something being snatched off the carpet and her heart dropped into her stomach like an elevator car freed of its cables. The bedcovers disappeared as though by magic, reefed away by her mother, the crazed magician. Bethany opened her eyes, very relieved that she had removed her hand and met her mother’s furious gaze as evenly as she could. The older woman’s face was etched in fury.


Author Bio:

When I was still in High School, one of my friends smuggled in a book she had found in her Mom’s bedside drawer. It was Princess Daisy by Judith Krantz. As a group we giggled over the steamy sex scenes in that book, but I was more than amused, I was intrigued (amongst other things) and asked if I could borrow it.

Well you know what? I never actually gave it back and I realize now, that was the beginning of my love affair with erotica. It wasn’t long before I began writing my own erotic stories, all of which are still hiding away in a dusty briefcase in my wardrobe. Apart from an embarrassing discovery by my mother in those earlier days, my experience has been a positive one and I continued writing for my boyfriends and eventually my husband, all of whom loved my work.

At my husbands encouragement I decided to publish one of his favorites “Taking Jenny” onto Kindle last year and 30,000 sales of my stories later, here I am. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you continue to enjoy my stories…I have lots more to tell.

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Shatterproof Virtual Book Tour

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You all know how much I enjoy guest authors mainly when they agree to an interview. It’s a great way of knowing authors better and K. K. Weil is a delightful guest in that aspect. Her answers are witty, thoughtful, and fun. Is there a better way to introduce one’s own work than being an awesome interviewee?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, K. K. You’re a star! And just so you know, I’d love to meet Cleo as well. hehe PLUS, I was named after Elizabeth Taylor because my mom loved the movie… how cool is that?

Now, please help me welcome — K. K. Weil!

Author Interview


What are you currently reading?

Right now, I’m reading Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline. It’s keeping me on the edge of my seat. Great read.

Do you have a favorite author? Who is it?

 There are a ton of authors I’d put on that list and every day I think of different ones. A few of my favorites today are Margaret Atwood, who first introduced me to dystopian society, Ayn Rand, who gave me one of my all-time favorite novels, Atlas Shrugged, Amy Harmon, whose writing is just beautiful and Christopher Buckley, because he’s hysterical.

When did you start writing?

 I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I always had a work in progress in a notebook somewhere close by. I recently found one of my earliest stories about kids who were in a sleepaway camp and got into all sorts of trouble. I have many of my old notebooks stuffed in a duffel bag in my basement.

Why do you write?

 There are so many things I love about writing. The rush I get from writing a crucial scene is exciting. Creating characters and storylines brings me into another world, where anything I choose can happen. And then there’s the fact that if I didn’t write, I wouldn’t know what to do with all of those stories that bounce around in my head.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

 I’d recommend Shatterproof to anyone looking for a real-life love story about two flawed twenty-somethings searching for meaning in their lives. Shatterproof looks at things from a different perspective. Instead of hearing from a victim (or someone who rescues a victim), we’re seeing things from the point of view of a young man who has been a witness to his mother’s abuse his entire life. His conflicted feelings of love and resentment toward his mother aren’t usually portrayed in fiction, but are very real for people who’ve grown up in these households. His only solace is that he can help other women in similar situations, even if he can’t help his mother. Griffin’s terrified of repeating the cycle, which is why he keeps women at an arm’s length, until he meets Frankie. She’s got her own unique take on the world and Griffin’s situation, which makes the book different as well.


If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? Why? What would you say to them?

I think I’d like to meet Cleopatra. I’ve always been fascinated by anything to do with Ancient Egypt and specifically, her power at the time. I’d love to hear her point of view about her world, her relationships and her death.


How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Griffin was a character in my first book, At This Stage. I never intended for him to take on the life that he did in that book, but the more I wrote about him, the more I fell in love with him. I decided then that I’d give him his own story and explore what made him tick. There had to be a very good reason that he was as serious and brooding as he was. Something must have happened to someone he loved, not just to him, because he’s the type of guy who’d always put himself second. And who could he possibly love more growing up than his mother? That’s how Shatterproof came alive.

Tell us about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

 Debbie Taylor at The Wild Rose Press is my cover artist. I am so grateful for the work she did for me. I knew I wanted the mood of the cover to be somewhat ominous and dark, because I thought that would fit the book well. She captured exactly the tone I was looking for, while the bright NYC buildings make it pop beautifully. I loved it as soon as I saw it.

Who would you cast for the main characters if your book became a movie?

I’d love to see either Liam Hemsworth or Charlie Hunnam play Griffin. For Frankie, I picture someone who can be wide eyed, yet strong at the same time, like Emma Stone. Griffin’s mother would be elegant and beautiful, along the lines of an older Cate Blanchett. And I think Rob Lowe would be perfect for Griffin’s father.

How about an excerpt from your book meant to capture our imagination and make us want to read more?

Sure! This is an excerpt from Frankie’s perspective. She’s about to meet Griffin’s parents for the first time and Griffin has been on edge about it all day.


When Griffin’s father strides out the door, I involuntarily suck in a gasp. Approaching us is possibly the most handsome man I’ve ever seen, especially in his sharp button-down shirt, slacks and designer shoes. He’s almost Griffin’s clone, except as he smiles to say hello, some soft lines surround his mouth and fiery brown eyes. His dark hair has the same slightly reddish tint as Griffin’s but it’s short, with not a single strand out of place. He’s got Griffin’s high cheekbones and deep dimples indenting his cheeks. These two could be twins born a couple of decades apart.

A small guttural sound spurts from Griffin, who practically has smoke coming out his ears, and two things occur to me. One: I cannot be thinking about how beautiful this man is. I have to hate him the way Griffin does, because, for God’s sake, he’s an abusive asshole. And two: even though he has explained it to me, I’m grasping for the first time why Griffin keeps his appearance the way he does. Morally, he is the polar opposite of his father, yet their physical features could make them identical.

“Frankie,” his father says, revealing a smile matched in beauty only by his son’s. “I’m so glad to be meeting you. I’m Evan.” He extends his hand.

Griffin is absorbed by his father’s manicured hand grasping mine. Definitely no tattoos on those knuckles. He releases me and turns to Griffin.

“Hello, my boy,” he says, but doesn’t reach for his hand. Maybe he knows Griffin won’t shake it and doesn’t want to make things awkward. Instead he gives Griffin a playful slap on the back. Griffin straightens.

“Why aren’t you at work?” Griffin snaps at his father. Griffin’s hands quiver and he crams them in his pockets.

“I was.” His father ignores the tone. “But when your mother mentioned you were bringing a date for dinner, I decided to cut our meeting short. Why don’t we go inside? Your mom said everything’s almost ready.” He tries to escort me by placing a hand on my spine. Griffin pulls me away and steps between us to walk.

Dinner should be interesting.


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“You need to grow up, Griffin,” my father spat at me. “Life isn’t perfect. You need to get over it and move on. Your mother can. She’s happy with me and whatever we have between us is our business, not yours. Grow the hell up, and start acting like a man instead of a petulant child.”


Heat shot through my body at lightning speed. “Act like a man—like you?” I shouted. “What should I do, go pick some amazing woman who’s full of life and beat it out of her until she can’t even recognize herself any more, until she can’t even differentiate between love and pain? Is that what a man does, Dad? Is that what I should do?”


My father broke into a smile. An evil, condescending, terrifying smile. “You think you’re so different from me?” He hovered over me. His tone was sinister, as if he was trying to cut through my skin with nothing but his voice. “Get up.” He yanked my arm and pulled me by the elbow into the bathroom. He grabbed the back of my head and forced me to face the mirror. “Look at yourself, Griffin. And look at me. Everything about you comes from me. You may deny it now. You may put yourself on a pedestal, thinking you’re above being human, but just know that the fire inside you, that’s my fire. That passion, it’s mine. And when you have an uncontrollable desire to love, to hurt, to possess a woman, it’s from me. Nothing is yours alone. Even this face.” He snagged my chin between his strong fingers. I tried to yank it away from his grasp, but he held on too tight. “It’s mine. And there’s nothing you can do about it. You can try to mask it in this mess of hair and clothes and tattoos you have going on, but know that every time a woman falls in love with that face, every time she says she can’t resist you because of it, every time she can’t walk away from you…it’s because of me. It’s because you are me. We. Are. The. Same.” He released my chin with a shove and left the bathroom.



Griffin Stone knows the stats. Sons of abusers become abusers. This is his single fear.

After witnessing firsthand his parents’ tumultuous marriage, Griffin worries that he, too, harbors an explosive dark side. Can he escape from his father’s rage-fueled ways or is he destined to become part of the cycle?

Unable to persuade his mother to leave and wrestling with his resentment towards her for staying, Griffin volunteers at Holly’s House, a safe haven for abused women. Through sculpture, Griffin gives these women pieces of themselves they’ve long forgotten. Holly’s House is the only place where Griffin finds peace and purpose.

Until he meets Frankie Moore.

Frankie is an aspiring photographer, finding beauty in things most people miss, including Griffin. Griffin is attracted to her free-spirited, sassy attitude but fears Frankie will trigger the most intense part of him, the one he must keep buried.

Frankie’s got to get her act together. Her anything-goes behavior is leading nowhere fast. She’s hopeful that her latest hobby will be a building block for the future. But when a stranger appears on the other end of her camera, looking as complex as he is handsome, Frankie thinks this might be just the change she needs.



K.K. Weil grew up in Queens, but eventually moved to New York City, the inspiration for many of her stories. Weil, who attended SUNY Albany as an undergrad and NYU as a graduate student, is a former teacher. She now enjoys writing her own dramas and lives near the beach in New Jersey, where she is at work on her next novel.





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