Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Book Feature & #Giveaway ~ Hell On the Highway (The Raven Boys Series, Book 2) by Stephanie Nichole ~ MC Romance ~ @snichole_author



Hell On the Highway

The Raven Boys Series, Book 2

Stephanie Nichole 

Genre: MC Romance 


Jude is used to doing everything on her own. There are two people that she knows she can rely on, her father and best friend Kai. However, her father’s failing health has her barely managing financially. Between nursing school, medial bill co-pays and everyday life she’s struggling. Her only saving grace is racing. When she gets an inside invite to the elusive Brody Raven drag races she knows she can’t refuse.

Brody Raven is the youngest and wildest of the Raven brothers. They own and operate a local bar as well as the Raven MC. However, Brody loves to drag race and it’s no secret that he runs an illegal drag racing set up behind the bar.

Brody isn’t prepared for Jude and his cocky, undefeated attitude catches up to him behind the wheel of his car. However, losing is the last thing on his mind once he lays eyes on Jude but she has a secret, a big secret, that could completely tear them apart.

**Read as a standalone **

Learn More: Goodreads * Purchase: Amazon

Watch the Book Trailer:



Twin Flames 

The Raven Boys Series, Book 1

M.A. Lee


Ivy Allan left home and never looked back. Ivy believes she has enough distance between her dark past to be able to live as the new Ivy- the girl no one knows. However, when she arrives at college and befriends wild-child Lacy, her journey to a new life is distracted by a Raven Boy. 

Jameson Raven only loved one thing; his motorcycle. Being every girls wet dream, Jameson is a legend in the motorcycle club world. Never taking life too seriously, this cocky bad boy didn't care about anything or anyone other than his clubhouse. But, that all changed the day he met Ivy. 

After a chance encounter with Ivy, Jameson finds himself intrigued by the mysterious girl who seems unaffected by his appeal. Only, Jameson won't take no for an answer when it comes to Ivy. 

What begins as a troubled friendship quickly evolves into a wild and steamy romance. With an enemy of the Raven Boys set out to destroy the Raven Clubhouse Jameson and his brothers will stop at nothing to save their clubhouse and their family name. With Ivy's help, Jameson discovers what is really worth fighting for. And both Jameson and Ivy are willing to get burned in the process of finding love. 

**Read as a standalone! **

Learn More: Goodreads * Purchase: Amazon

**Book 3, Entangled Rivals releases in July and Book 4, Burning Hearts releases in August!!**




Stephanie Nichole lives in a small town with her family in New Mexico. She graduated college in 2010 with a degree in business and accounting. However, her true passion is all things book related. As a student English and Literature were her favorite subjects. Weekly library trips with her mother also helped instill her love for books. Stephanie would look forward to summer most of all, not because she was out of school but for the summer reading groups at her local library. After a friend's encouragement she started her author journey in 2016.

Stephanie is an avid book, music and old Hollywood movie lover. When she's not busy reading or writing she's probably binge watching Netflix or PassionFlix. Some of her favorite authors are: Edgar Allan Poe, Abbi Glines, Colleen Hoover, Alessandra Torre, K. Bromberg, Tarryn Fisher, Nicholas Sparks and F. Scott Fitzgerald. 

Stephanie also loves to connect with her readers on social media. 



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!


Book Features & #Giveaway ~ Witches Protection Program by Michael Okon ~ @IAmMichaelOkon ~ YA Urban Fantasy #YA #UF



Witches Protection Program
by Michael Okon

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy 


Wes Rockville, a disgraced law-enforcement agent, gets one last chance to prove himself and save his career when he’s reassigned to a 232-year-old secret government organization.

The Witches Protection Program. 

His first assignment: uncover a billion-dollar cosmetics company’s diabolical plan to use witchcraft for global domination, while protecting its heiress Morgan Pendragon from her aunt’s evil deeds. Reluctantly paired with veteran witch protector, Alastair Verne, Wes must learn to believe in witches…and believe in himself. 

Filled with adventure and suspense, Michael Okon creates a rousing, tongue-in-cheek alternate reality where witches cast spells and wreak havoc in modern-day New York City. 

Add to Goodreads

Pre-Order from Amazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo

Read a Teaser from Witches Protection Program:

“Follow me, kid.” She led him down a gray hallway with mulberry-colored carpet, more plush than anything he’d ever seen in a governmental office. The place had to be a city block wide, with corridors branching off to other conduits. Here and there, a doorway opened. Wes saw that many were filled with groups of people sitting at polished conference tables. Some rooms were dark, with shades drawn, the light of a presentation on screens peeking through the slats of the blinds. Staff walked through the hallways, nodding to each other. Some were in pairs. All had a badge hanging on a chain or attached to a pocket. He squinted, but he couldn’t make out the impression on the shield. Forget about attempting to read it. He shrugged; while it looked official, it was unfamiliar. For a person who grew up with an entire family in law enforcement, he found it odd that he’d never seen it before. “What is this place?” he asked.

“This is where the magic happens,” she told him cryptically.

She opened the door, whispering, “Prepare to be amazed.” Then, with a giant pop of her gum, she disappeared.



Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling in his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!



Guest Post & #Giveaway ~ A Pretty Woman With Power by K. Bromberg, Author of Resist, (Wicked Ways Book 1) ~ @KBrombergDriven


Guest Post:

A Pretty Woman With Power by K. Bromberg

Ryker Lockhart: Powerful. Unrelenting. Stubborn. 

Vaughn Sanders: Defiant. Strong. Unyielding.

With those two sets of characteristics, Ryker and Vaughn are definitely oil and water one moment and then an ember met with gasoline the next. That dynamic is what made writing them and their story so much fun in my latest book, Resist. Their tale was a delicate dance though because the push and pull of the chase better be worth the reward for readers.

I often enjoy taking characters and painting them with broad strokes (i.e. Vaughn’s profession) so that readers initially question them. Then over the next 100,000 words, I love to smash their preconceived notions so that they root for the heroine. So that they are right beside her cheering her on and falling in love with the hero just like she is.

It’s not often an easy task to write a heroine, because women are often harsher on female characters than they are males. Heroes can be over the top alphas who are dominant and say all the wrong things, but once they show vulnerability, we somehow forgive them. Heroines on the other hand, are judged more fiercely. She’s too weak. She’s too strong. She’s too wishy- washy. She’s being a b*tch for pushing him away. Making a reader like a strong-willed female character isn’t always an easy task. So when you put two characters together who embody all of these things, it’s a delicate balance to have enough push and pull. Enough sexual tension. Enough redeemable qualities so you can love them despite their faults.

This challenge is one of the reasons I loved writing Resist (and its sequel Reveal). I don’t quite remember where the storyline came from, but I recall the furious scribbling on paper as Ryker and Vaughn’s story came to life in my imagination. Take a strong-willed woman with a risqué job and give her a real reason to need that job. Take a domineering divorce attorney who deals with love gone wrong day-in and day-out, and force him to see that there can be more than just sex between a man and a woman. That love is, in fact, possible.

Challenge accepted.

Is Resist a subtle nod to the Pretty Woman trope? I never really thought of it that way, but I can see the similarities being drawn. Vaughn (my character) and Vivian (movie character) have names that both start with the letter V. They both wear a red dress in a scene. The both work in fields that deal with selling sex for profit . . . but that’s where the comparisons stop.

Vaughn Sanders is a force to be reckoned with. Sure, she’s a madam, but once you get beneath the moniker, readers find a strong-willed woman taking measures into her own hands for the benefit of someone else. Readers will find a woman with a strong backbone and a take no prisoners attitude. A woman they can’t wait to see succeed. Sure, we throw in our hero--Ryker, a senator you know is dirty somehow, an adorable niece, and whole cast of other characters and situations and we’re left trying to figure out how it’s all going to play out . . . but the one thing we know for sure, is that we want Ryker and Vaughn to end up together.

Because hopefully when you finish Resist, like Ryker and Vaughn, you start to believe true love does in fact exist. 

***

















Read an Excerpt from Resist:

The lobby is elegant, with its large chandeliers, but they’re kept dim so as to allow each of its patrons some privacy. Almost as if they know I’m trying to hide some from the rest of the room for a bit. Soft classical music flows from the overhead speakers as people mill about in evening wear. There are hugs given among people, and laughs echo off the walls and marble floors.

I stand in the corner, surveying the crowd as nerves I don’t want to admit to run a riotous act within, and my mind tries to grapple for the nth time with what I’m about to do.

You’re keeping your reputation intact.

That’s how I have to look at this. That’s how I have to justify this.

Just like that, my breath catches when Ryker Lockhart waltzes into the lobby. I’m rarely affected by a man—sure, I can say one is handsome or sexy or gorgeous, but rarely does a man really catch my eye.

But there he is . . . standing in the middle of the lobby, surveying everyone around him, making my pulse race.

This is a bad idea.

He’s tall, his shoulders are broad, and there’s an air about him that screams authority while a magnetism about him makes people look his way.

And he hasn’t even spoken a word to anyone yet.

Such a bad idea.

He’s in a well-tailored tuxedo, everything black save for the crisp white dress shirt beneath it. His hair is styled, and an expensive watch glints at his wrist when he holds it up to look at the time.

Of course, that’s my cue that I’m not there exactly on time, but I give him a few more seconds to make him wait.

It’s all about power, even when I’m in a different pair of shoes.

With a deep breath, I walk toward him, shoulders square, head high, and remind myself that I’m not Vee right now. I can’t act like we’re on an equal playing field.

He has hired me. I am his.

***

Book Details:

Title: Resist
Author: K. Bromberg
Release Date: July 30, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Purchase Link: Amazon

About the Book:

Who says you have to play by the rules to get what you want?

Agreeing to meet Ryker Lockhart is my first mistake. Rich, handsome, and more than intriguing, he thinks blackmail will bend me to his will.

But he’s wrong.

I may have done a few things that weren’t exactly legal, but I have my own reasons for that. The last thing I’m going to do is let some high-powered divorce attorney come into my life, have my body, and rule my heart. Not to mention ruin everything that I have carefully built in just a short amount of time.

But as much as I try to resist him, and against my better judgment, there is something about him that has me agreeing to his proposal.

I’m putting everything on the line for him. I just hope I won’t lose everything when this is all over.

Meet the Author:



New York Times bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary romance novels that are sweet, emotional, a lot sexy, and a little bit real. She likes to write strong heroines and damaged heroes that readers love to hate but can’t help loving.

Since publishing her first book on a whim in 2013, Bromberg has sold over 1.5 million copies of her books across eighteen different countries and has repeatedly landed on the bestseller lists for the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal. Her Driven trilogy (Driven, Fueled, and Crashed) is currently being adapted for film by the streaming platform Passionflix, with Driven available now.

You can find out more about this mom of three on any of her social media accounts. The easiest way to stay up to date is to sign up for her newsletter (http://bit.ly/254MWtI) or text “KBromberg” to 77948 to receive text alerts when a new book is released.

Social Media Links:

Website: https://www.kbromberg.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKBromberg/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KBrombergDriven
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7047863.K_Bromberg

Enter the Giveaway:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Audiobook Blitz ~ Legend of Song de Light by Kaitlynzq ~ #lovecontusongdelightlovecontu #kaitlynzq @RABTBookTours #rabtbooktours


Guest Post

an inside sensory view of all-time by Kaitlynzq


rhythmic

subtle

nature’s vital heart beats
lyrics of lovecontu
a stream of words

ballads of adoryu
gentle breezes
delicate
emanates from inside
soft, quiet pulses

In the series Lovecontu Song de Light Lovecontu

A series that interweaves interior elements from the stories together like gentle hugs to one’s heart from Ancient Script of Lovecontu audio poem, a vocal surround of unique instrumental notes from Legend of Song de Light audio book, layers of quiet a cappella from inside of Legend of Song de Light audio play, to petal soft pink glows that hum throughout the hours held within Lovecontu Song de Light Lovecontu audio set.

The following links will guide you to the audio streams of the vocal recording of the extended and expanded upon scenes for several of the characters of moments within the sensory imagery in Legend of Song de Light audio book, and Legend of Song de Light audio play.

For the audio version on my audio streams:


And, for the audio streams and text version on my blog:



Reviews for Legend of Song de Light audio book


“...This stunningly original composition is heartbreaking yet uplifting and not to be missed…” by Lynda with Books Direct https://www.booksdirectonline.com

“Kaitlynzq puts together a magnificent "song" with her words of Legend of Song de Light...The music in the background was chosen perfectly as it almost danced around her words…” by Amy with Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews http://writeramyshannon.wixsite.com/bookshelfreviews


“Wonderful imagery and compelling tales!...Kaitlynzq’s storytelling technique in Legend of Song de Light is quite unique. ...There is an artistic take on fiction, heightened by the effects of poetry, photography and ballet expressed in each tale…” by Marie with Writing in the Modern Age http://marielavender.blogspot.com

Available to Purchase at: 




#lovecontusongdelightlovecontu

#kaitlynzq

RABT Book Tours & PR

Book Spotlight ~ The Gauntlet (The Soppranaturale Series, Book One) by Ashley Pagano ~ #YAFantasy


The Gauntlet
The Soppranaturale Series
Book One
Ashley Pagano

Genre: YA Fiction, YA Romance, Supernatural, Fantasy

Publisher: Inskpell Publishing

Date of Publication: June 20th, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-949931-15-0
ISBN: 978-1-949931-16-7

Number of pages: 171
Word Count: 40,109

Cover Artist: Najla Qamber

Tagline: Vampires exist. Werewolves exist. Witches exist. Shape Shifters exist. And now . . . Faeries exist. 

About the Book:

Hidden in plain sight, is a mysterious hotel that doubles as a supernatural refugee: The Soppronaturale. 

Each supernatural inhabitant has a specific purpose, job, and destiny. 

All to keep the hotel running and its secrets safe.

Vampires exist. Werewolves exist. Witches exist. Shape Shifters exist. And now Faeries exist. 

The last two Faeries, once unified, could be the most powerful forces on Earth. 

Ommily, newcomer to the Soppronaturale, offensively controls and manipulates the four elements; Fire, Earth, Wind and Water. While Link defensively uses their energy to shield Ommily and himself from even the darkest magic. 

They could protect all others. But first, they have to defeat the Gauntlet.     

Purchase Links:

Amazon       Kobo      BN      iTunes


Read an Excerpt:

When she walks into the hotel lobby, my world stands still. As if the earth suddenly stops rotating for a brief, suffocating second. Not just for me, but other men and women seem to pause just to stare at her, too. Huddled businessmen stumble over their words as they cut off their conversations in order to gawk at her. Their gazes follow her curves, from her forehead down to her heels. Their mouths hang open with no regard to impending drool. Wide-eyed women follow her path also, turning their heads just enough to hide their judgmental expressions. Even the teenage bellboy nearly trips over his luggage cart as he catches sight of her. For me, I have to grip the counter to stop myself from swaying and my knees from buckling, fighting the breath that’s caught in my windpipe.
Her hair, like fire, consumes her shoulders in perfect, flowing ringlets. Her eyes are like protuberant green emeralds that capture your soul, if ever your gaze aligns with hers. Her skin is as if it were painted on her face, pulling in the bronze summer highlights from outside. Her smile is one luminous hue of ivory, matching the sagging tissues directly in front of me. Her body is thin yet slightly muscular, bulging or pinching inward in all the right places. Her clothes even look as though they were made specifically for her, hugging her body seamlessly.

Meet the Author:

Ashley Pagano has always dreamed of being an artist both figuratively and literally. Her love of art was instilled by her mother who always inspired her to be creative either with a paintbrush or with a pen and paper. As far back as she can remember her life was always centered around introspection, storytelling, and imagination.

Because she is so artistic, she took to the idea of creative writing very passionately. Her ability to describe a scene, person, or place, she compares to painting a picture, where she can describe every detail vividly in order to make the reader feel like they’re truly living in the story. Her works of writing usually center around a powerhouse female protagonist (which reflect her own personality), who progresses through many wild and extreme obstacles. Ashley loves to write stories that end with a cliffhanger, that have the reader begging for more and questioning what happens next.

Her most recent novel sets the stage for the paranormal romance of the century and includes ghosts, poltergeists, and demons who just love to get in the way of true love. Ashley has won awards for her design, art, and writing.

Ashley doesn’t believe in down time whatsoever and actually loves having a full “To-Do”list. Ashley is a wife to her wonderful husband, Eric and a mother to a beautiful baby girl named Dakota. She is also a Graphic Designer and a health and fitness coach. Her husband and daughter inspire her to be the best person she can be and encourage her to pursue any of her dreams (no matter how extravagant they may be).





Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Book Feature & #Giveaway ~ The Last Flag (Race the Dead, Book 1) by Wren Cavanagh ~ @WrenCavanagh @nphZone ~ Dystopian Horror, Thriller


The Last Flag

Race the Dead, Book 1

by Wren Cavanagh


Genre: Dystopian Horror, Thriller 


What would you do to pay the bills; to survive, or to just get rich, would you compete against other teams in a quarantined town filthy with zombies wanting to bite out your throat?

Emma and Lewis sign up for the race, they need the money to save his life. But they won't just be racing the dead, the surprise blizzard or the other contestants. 

Because anger and vengeance know no bounds and like everyone in the blighted town they become pawns in a game of retribution. 

The contestants become nothing more than live entertainment to viewers who watch and judge their every move in the town of Prideful as they race each other to arrive alive to a final flag. The team that makes will get airlifted out alive and go back home richer for it, the others walk back to a pittance and if they are not careful. They won't get out at all. 

Learn More:


Purchase:




Wren Cavanagh, that would be me. Also writes under the pen name Junior Sokolov. 

An artist and writer from great North West. 

I am grateful that I have this opportunity to share my work and imagination with you. Growing up my head was always stuck in a book or a comic book (before they got fancy and got the moniker "graphic novels"). 

More often than not those books were filled with monsters, werewolves and vampires. 

Then the likes of Godzilla showed up along with their brethren, born from the very justified fear of the atomic bomb and its consequences. 

And that is what I love. Escaping into worlds of monsters and heroes, and sometimes they are one and the same! 

Letting my imagination run along and bring into the narrative what I see around me everyday. 

I hope that you will enjoy my stories. Find in them a temporary and enjoyable escape of your own. 



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


Series Spotlight & #Giveaway ~ The Silent Kingdom Series by Rachel L. Schade ~ @rachellschade #YA #Fantasy


Silent Kingdom series spotlight!

Rachel L. Schade 

Genre: YA Fantasy 


Silent Kingdom
Silent Kingdom, Book 1


Some fates can't be escaped

Chosen by truth. Marked for death. Halia must choose to save her kingdom, or let it fall.

Misroth's king has died, and the entire kingdom is in mourning--or so it seems. After her father is crowned regent in his brother's stead, Princess Halia discovers a terrible truth that could end her life. But when she flees to live in hiding, she discovers that the Royal Guard are not all she has to fear. Dark creatures stalk her, reports of oppression and war reach her ears, and her burden to protect her kingdom--at any cost--will not be silenced. 

Lovers of fantasy adventures such as Throne of Glass, An Ember in the Ashes, and The Remnant Chronicles won't want to miss this exciting new series. Filled with heart-pounding action and thrilling courage, supernatural powers and nightmarish monsters, readers have trouble putting this book down. Start your adventure today! 

Add to Goodreads * Purchase from Amazon


Forsaken Kingdom
Silent Kingdom, Book 2


An empty throne. A ruined kingdom. Is she their deliverance or their downfall?

Halia's fight for her kingdom is only beginning. With Misroth's rightful king in danger, Halia is forced to trust her enemy and embark on a dangerous journey into Toryn to find her cousin. But Toryn is in ruins, its people plagued by terrors and fighting for survival. As death stalks them all, Halia must face the darkness in her past and her deepest fears, until at last she is faced with one terrible question: How much is she willing to lose? 

Lovers of fantasy adventures such as Throne of Glass, An Ember in the Ashes, and The Remnant Chronicles won't want to miss this exciting new series. Filled with heart-pounding action and thrilling courage, supernatural powers and nightmarish monsters, readers have trouble putting this book down. 

Add to Goodreads * Purchase from Amazon



Rachel L. Schade was born on the first day of summer in a small town in Michigan, only to end up in another small town in Ohio. She attended Ohio State University to learn how to write obnoxiously long papers, cite people who use big words, and discuss her passion: books. She has a great love for the color blue, sunshine, chocolate, and not folding her laundry. Currently she lives with her husband and surrounds herself with coffee and books on a regular basis. 



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


Cover Reveal ~ The Face of the Seal by Jennifer Cuminskey ~ Historical Suspense ~ @RABTBookTours #rabtbooktours


The Face of the Seal
Jennifer Cuminskey

Historical Suspense

Publisher: Windchime Press

Date Published: 8/8/2019


About the Book:

When Gerel Garnier, Paris’ up-and-coming jewelry designer, is commissioned by Britain’s famous art patron William Blackwell IV to create a replica of the 19th Century Qing Dynasty Empress Seal, she believes that her artist’s dream is finally coming true. Blackwell’s name and fortune could catapult her to the status of crème de la crème in the world of couture art design. Little does she know that the dream job will lure her into a web of treachery, deceit and murder.

While attending the unveiling of the original Empress Seal at the Forbidden City, Gerel stumbles on a startling secret about her family roots, and she is a woman on a mission ever since. From the Forbidden City back to Paris, she careens from dark secrets to illuminating revelation as the truth of her lineage emerges. An enlightening epiphany hits her: She Gerel Garnier, is the heir of the face of the Empress Seal–a rare gemstone that has witnessed centuries of love, hatred, faith and bloodshed.

Now the face of the seal has fallen unexpectedly into her hands. What is she going to do with the gemstone that seems to be a curse to whoever possesses it yet still hunted by the dark forces of the world?

About the Author:


Jennifer Cumiskey was born and grew up in Shanghai, China. She immigrated to the United States in 1986. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and an MBA in finance. After a career in corporate finance and management consulting, she now writes full-time as an indie author. Her writings often explores the theme of clash of civilizations and illuminates the tenderness of the human heart by shining a light on its darkest corners. She resides with her husband Paul in Vienna, Virginia. She can be reached at www.windchimepress.com

Contact Links:



Purchase Link:


Book Blitz ~ Jake by Carla Swafford ~ #RomanticSuspense ~ @carlaswafford @RABTBookTours #rabtbooktours


Jake

Carla Swafford


Romantic Suspense

Date Published: May 2019


About the Book:

Forget the Hatfields and McCoys, in a small Southern town, the Whitfields and Tallys are the real family feud. So for some unholy reason, Jake Whitfield’s old man and Angel Tally’s grandfather wrote codicils to their wills the night before they died in a suspicious fire. The codicils require Jake and Angel to marry or lose their inheritances.

Jake feels like a man with two faces. One he presents to his brothers and the public: the criminal willing to step on anyone for a buck while mercilessly protecting the business. The other: the lonely man wanting a better life for himself and his family and working with an FBI agent to make it happen.

To Jake, marrying Angel makes sense. With her family’s help, he can fight the new criminal organization that’s moving into his town. Immersed in the criminal world, there is no hope for Angel, but her brother is still young. She will do anything to protect him from that way of life and whoever killed their grandfather, even marry a despised Whitfield. And Angel never forgot about the sexy incident with Jake in high school ten years earlier.And if she has to go along with a Whitfield-Tally marriage, she wants a replay.


Read an Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

“I hope you rot in hell, old man.”

Jake Whitfield leaned over the grave and spit as his father’s casket slowly disappeared into the blackness. When a violent shudder brought the crank to an abrupt stop, he shot a sideways glare at the cemetery worker.

The man wiped a sweaty forehead on the upper sleeve of his faded gray uniform and kicked the contraption. “Stupid old thing,” he muttered as he avoided Jake’s gaze.

With a painful screech, the device started up again, rattling and jumping, and finally a solid thud came from the hole as it reached the bottom. If he believed in ghosts, he’d swear the hateful bastard wanted out to kill him.

Jake’s attention fell on the mourners surrounding the gravesite.

Their jackets flapped in the hot wind like vultures settling around a carcass as most of the men stared at the ground beneath their feet. No one looked into his face. Though the minister shook his head at Jake’s disrespect, he and the others didn’t say a word. They understood his hatred. Everyone who attended would love to do the same, if they had the backbone. All were business associates and most came not so much to grieve for the man’s death, but to receive assurance that his dad had died.

Many of the people in Sand County owed Dick Whitfield their livelihood and endured his heavy-handed manipulations, but none suffered as much as the Whitfield brothers. The old man had reveled in tormenting his bastard sons more than he did his associates. Besides their last name, the old man refused to give the boys anything without a deal or concession involved. Then again, maybe an agreement had been made when they were born, a bargain with the devil for their souls.

Releasing a snarl, Jake turned and nodded at his brothers. Townsend—or Sen, as he was known—and Ethan fell in step beside him as they headed toward the old man’s white limo idling next to the curb. No one said a word.

Another gust of wind tugged at their jackets. A bouquet of dead flowers blew across their path to become stuck between an urn and headstone.

Behind dark sunglasses, Jake scanned the area. Tension from the funeral and a gut feeling warned that danger lurked. Nothing appeared strange or out of place. But life with the old man had taught him to be extremely cautious whenever emotions ran high. With new leadership at Whitfield Industries taking over, many of the smaller players wanted a part of the business and conspired to oust the brothers. He knew without a doubt, no one would take one brick or dollar without a fight. After years of being under the old man’s rule, they deserved every piece of his ill-gotten money and property. They each had worked hard and often for pennies compared to others who worked for the old man and did far less.

He glanced around again without being obvious. The old cemetery covered acres of well-tended plots that held numerous large memorials and oak trees. Several people headed toward their cars while others remained near the burial site, talking and gesturing toward the grave being filled. In the distance, he heard traffic swooshing by, but strangely, the birds stopped chirping in the swaying limbs.

Steps away from the limo with the chauffeur waiting inside, Jake passed a life-size marble statue. The head exploded, spraying chunks of the white stuff. The confirming snap of gunfire sent everyone running for cover. Screams and shouts of concern punctuated by more shots echoed around him as he scrambled for the other side of the limo, its bulletproof body offering better protection than a tree or headstone. He motioned for his brothers to follow. In no time they hunkered down with guns in hands.

“Damn! Who do you think it is? Some asshole out to get Jake for sleeping with his girlfriend?” Ethan sat on the ground with his back near the car’s engine, watching for anyone coming from behind.


In his usual calm manner, Sen checked his Beretta and then edged closer to the taillights. “Probably the girlfriend.”

His brothers loved to rag him about how his last girlfriend had another guy on the side. When he kicked her out of his home, she must have told the other boyfriend a tall tale as the dumbass came at him with a gun. It almost became messy. When the boyfriend realized whose door he had knocked on, the poor dude drove out of town so fast he left rubber on the road for a half mile.

Jake shook his head and white dust fell around him. His forehead stung. A light touch came back with blood. He’d been nicked. “Most likely someone who’s wanting to take over the old man’s businesses,” he said as he ignored his brothers’ comments. “Or possibly the person who set the fire.” Leaning over, he ruffled his hair, showering the ground with powder and bits of stone.

He sneered. They’d already received warnings that someone outside the county planned to make a move soon. He hadn’t expected it to be at the cemetery. The old man was barely cold in the ground.

Several more shots zipped by and dug into the asphalt a few feet away. Followed shortly by a couple more over their heads.

Damn! They needed to concentrate on stopping the sniper. Normal people ran and kept moving when fired upon, but no, not the Whitfield boys. Maybe he and his brothers were as insane as the bastard they buried.

Sen nodded to where the road looped into the cemetery near the interstate fence. “I think the shots are coming from that direction. See the old rusted-out black van?”

“Yeah.” Ethan peeked over the limo’s hood.

“The sliding door is cracked opened. You think he’s still in there? The smart thing for a shooter to do is leave with the crowd.” Jake referred to the mourners cranking automobiles and screeching tires on their way out.

“I’ll go around and come up on the opposite side.” Without wasting time, Sen stooped low and ran alongside the cars parked by the curb.

Jake shook his head. He always wondered if his middle brother had a death wish. “Tick!”

The rotund driver inside the limo rolled down the window, showing only the top of his pale bald head and large blood-shot eyes. “Yeah, boss?”

“Scoot over. I’m coming in.”

“Sure, boss.”

“You get in the back.” Jake nodded at Ethan. With a jab, he returned his gun to its holster beneath his jacket.

“Sure, boss,” his brother said, mimicking Tick.

In seconds, they eased the limo down the lane toward the van. Jake caught a glimpse of Sen dashing behind a tree a few yards away. Then the side door on the van slammed shut, and a figure dressed in black jumped into the driver’s seat. No way would he let the asshole escape. He flatfooted the gas pedal and the old limo T-boned the van.

The crunch of metal and broken glass rang in Jake’s ears as he pushed hard on the door and sprinted to the other side. Two fellows ran for the trees. He tackled the nearest one as Sen sprinted after the faster, smaller one.

“You son of a bitch!” Jake flipped him over. Fist pulled back to slug the sniper, he stopped. “Sally? Sally Tally?”

Light green eyes in the middle of dark liner and eye shadow glared up at him. Chin length ebony hair tipped blood red stuck to a sweaty pale face. A grimace stretched her crimson lips lined in black as she waited for the downward swing.

He lowered his arm and examined her clothes. No wonder he’d mistaken her for a guy from the back. She wore an ankle-length leather coat with thick-soled biker boots buckled to her knees, the tight black pants tucked in. The only feminine clothing was the stiff red corset holding up plump, creamy white breasts, heaving with each intake of breath.

“No one calls me Sally anymore. Call me Angel.”

The last time he’d heard that husky voice, they had been teenagers, and she’d stolen his wallet. He’d retaliated by turning her over his knee, lifting her short skirt, and giving her nearly bare bottom a good sound spanking. During the chastisement, an unexpected dilemma had emerged. He remembered how much he enjoyed it. Way too much.

About the Author:


Carla Swafford loves romance novels, action/adventure movies, and men, and her books reflect that. And that’s not all, she’s crazy about hockey, and thankfully, no one has made her turn in her Southern Belle card. She’s married to her high school sweetheart and lives in Alabama.

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