Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Berman Murders by Doug Kari ~ @Journada @RABTBookTours #RABTBookTours #TheBermanMurders #DougKari #TrueCrime


Unraveling the Mojave Desert's Most Mysterious Unsolved Crime


The Berman Murders by Doug Kari

True Crime

Date Published: March 5th 2024

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield


About the Book:

At daybreak on January 6, 1986, a couple on a camping trip in the Mojave Desert set out for a stroll and never returned. The local sheriff’s office eventually discovered that Barry and Louise Berman had been murdered. As years passed and the double homicide remained unsolved, the Berman case spawned speculation and conjecture. Despite extensive investigation by local and federal authorities, to date there’s never been an arrest made in the case – let alone a conviction. But this doesn’t mean the crime is unsolvable.

After years of investigation, research, and interviews, Kari was able to link the Berman murders to a Cambodian sex crimes and trafficking case involving a former Marine. This is the first book to tell the full story of the Berman murders and uncover the likely suspect.

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Lemon by Marteeka Karland ~ @RABTBookTours #RABTBookTours #LemonMCRomance #MarteekaKarland #MotorcycleClubRomance


Grim Road MC, Book 2


Lemon by Marteeka Karland 

Motorcycle Club Romance, Suspense, Age Gap

Date Published: March 8, 2024



About the Book:

Lemon: I’m settling in at Grim Road in my role as vice president. The men test me, but it’s all in good fun. I think I enjoy it as much as they do. Then, out of nowhere, things go horribly sideways. I realize how much weaker I am physically than everyone else in the club. That weakness can be a horrible liability. Yeah. Things are going great. Until they aren’t. I may have bitten off more than I can chew…

Rocket: My little sourpuss is a force to be reckoned with. She takes everything dished out to her and gives it back in spades. She’s my VP, but she’s also my old lady. Sometimes, I need to take care of her. More importantly, she has to let me. That fact is never more apparent than when a small team of roughnecks think she’s a woman from another club. They soon find out the error of their ways, but at what cost to Lemon? It’s time for the president of Grim Road MC to take charge. And there’s gonna be hell to pay.

 Read an Excerpt: 


I made it a whole month at Grim Road MC before Falcon threatened to cut off my dick and feed it to me. I think he forgot I was a girl or something because I’m as docile as they come. Yep. Passive even!

OK. I’m lying. I liked busting Falcon’s balls just ‘cause I could. The guys had made me vice president of Grim Road right after Rocket brought me to the compound. Since then, we’ve all been working on our trust issues. And by “we,” I mean the men of Grim. I got that they all had secrets. I got that everyone had things they didn’t want anyone else to know. Even then, you tell your family. Because it was your family who would always have your back. Grim Road was family. Rocket’s family. My family.

Except for Falcon. But he was a work in progress.

“I swear to God, Rocket. If you don’t do something about that little hellion, I may shoot her.”

“Now, Falcon. You know it’s not nice to threaten to shoot your vice president.” I just loved taunting him.

“Next time Rocket calls church, I’m askin’ for your fuckin’ patch.”

I sighed, trying to fight back a smile before I ruined my indifference. “Are you still sore about your bike? ‘Cause it was totally for a good cause. Saved Rocket’s life.”

“You know what the fuck this is about, woman!” Falcon’s hair was wild and sticking out all over the damned place. Looked like he’d been trying to pull his hair out by the roots. Over and over. And over.

“I even had the thing fixed for you. Only took a couple weeks in the body shop, and they assured me it would be good as new. Not a scratch to be seen.”

“You had them paint it pink!” He had his arms out like he was going to lunge and choke me to death the second he got the chance, but I wasn’t worried. First, Falcon was all bark and no bite. At least he was with me. Remember the family part? Second, he knew Rocket would feed him to the sharks in very small pieces if he even looked at me cross-eyed. “Not only did you crash my fuckin’ bike through a door intentionally, you disrespected it even more by painting it pink!” He practically roared the last word. And I was pretty sure there was spit flying from his lips. Which was just gross. Fucker.

“Tell you what. I’ll apologize to your bike. I’ll even volunteer to ride beside you when you take her for a test drive.”

“No way in fuck I’m ridin’ that abomination in public. I’m surprised Knox let the fuckin’ thing in the compound at all.”

Knox chose that moment to enter the common room. “Knox didn’t know what was gonna roll out of that Goddamned trailer or he wouldn’t have let it in,” he commented.

I grinned, looking over my shoulder at Knox and popped my gum like a bimbo. “Hey, Knox. Havin’ a good afternoon?”

“Was until that fuckin’ bike showed up.”

“Awesome! Now. Forget all that. It’s not important.”

“Not important? How the fuck is you having my bike painted pink not fuckin’ important?” Yeah. Falcon was in a bit of a snit. But fuck him. If he wanted to be the best patched member of Grim Road -- after me, of course -- he needed to learn that there was a method to my madness. And there was one very huge wrong in this place that needed to be righted. I figured one month was long enough for everyone involved to start their penance.

“Because it was sacrificed for the greater good. This is one of those times, Falcon.”

“What the everlovin’ Christ are you talking about, Lemon?” Falcon sounded equal parts pissed and resigned.

“I’m talking about Gina.”

That got everyone’s attention. And quit the bitching.

“She good?” Falcon was immediately sober, all his anger at me evaporating in the space of a word.

“She’s learning to be. In case you hadn’t noticed, she’s been leaving her house more and more. Had supper in the common room last night.”

“Yeah. I noticed.” Falcon glanced at Leather, who ducked his head, shaking it slightly as if he wanted to deny what had happened. “A few of us made sure she had what she needed.” Falcon gave a sigh. “I apologized, too. Took several tries before she finally opened her door. Not that I blame her. She say why she ain’t left? Surely she knows she can. Right?”

“She knows,” Rocket leaned back on the couch where we sat. He draped an arm over my shoulder, and I snuggled against him shamelessly. Not only did it feel good to have his arm around me, but it reinforced my claim to any club girls in the building. “This is her home now. I promised to keep her safe, even from men inside my own club.”

“So she trusts you,” Falcon nodded. “I guess that’s something.”

I snorted. “Nah. She don’t trust Rocket.” My man gave me the side eye, but flashed a cocky grin too. Like he was proud of me. But, honestly, what man with me wouldn’t be proud, right? “She trusts me.”

When Falcon looked to Rocket to confirm, Rocket just smirked. “She ain’t lyin’, my friend. Gina believes in Lemon. Believes Lemon can keep her safe. Ain’t gonna lie and say I’m not disappointed a woman under the club’s protection doesn’t fully trust me, but I suppose that’s just one of many reasons I have Lemon in my life.”

“Damned straight, baby.” I leaned in and brushed a kiss over Rocket’s lower lip. “See me, love me, motherfuckers.” That got a laugh from everyone, including Falcon.

“Seems like you’ve got that situation under control.”

“I totally do, Falcon. Which is why I had your Harley painted pink.”

“Not… seeing how the two go together.” Poor Falcon. He was really having a hard time. He seemed to have even forgotten he was supposed to be pissed about the paint job on his bike. This was why I liked keeping him off-balance. It was so much fucking fun to watch. I knew I shouldn’t enjoy myself at Falcon’s expense. This was actually serious stuff. But, honestly, I just couldn’t help myself.

“Because, Gina happens to be fond of the color pink. In fact, she told me that, if she knew how to ride a motorcycle, she’d save everything she could to buy her a pink bike. Now, me personally?” I shook my head. “Don’t see the appeal. However, if Gina likes it, I think we all owe her way the fuck more than one stupid pink motorcycle.” I pointed at Falcon. “You ever want to graduate to officer’s training camp?”

“Officer… what?” Falcon jerked his head back like I’d slapped him. Which, I mean, I won’t lie and say I didn’t want to. Not because he deserved it, but because he thought he deserved it. And I just plain thought beating up on Falcon was fucking fun. But, not in this instance. Much.

“Well, yeah. You don’t think every officer in this club will be around forever, do you? Or even want to stay an officer. There will be a time when your services may be needed in that capacity, though why, I’m not sure. You’re just as big a dumb fuck today as you were the day I met you.” I looked him up and down like I was judging him and finding him lacking. “Gonna take longer than I first thought with this one,” I muttered.

Falcon took a threatening step toward me, but Rocket growled at him. The younger man glanced from me to Rocket before slinking back that fucking threatening step. I smirked.

“One of these days, Lemon,” he growled.

“Yep. One of these days I’ll hand you your balls, and you’ll probably just stand there wondering what the fuck just happened. You know. Like you’re doing right now.”


“Pretty sure Christ had little to do with it,” Leather muttered. “Satan? Yeah. Possibly.”

I waved them both away. “Satan has a restraining order out on me. He had nothing to do with it either.”

Knox barked out a laugh before moving from the doorway. “Give it up, guys. You’re never gonna get one over on that woman.”

“Whose bright idea was it to make her vice president anyway?” Falcon was back to looking all surly again.

“That’d be me.” Bear, the second biggest man I’d ever seen in my life moved into the room, crossing from the back to the front in his even, confident gate. He didn’t pause but passed by Falcon and smacked him on the back of the head before heading out the front door to the parking lot.

“Ow, Bear! What the fuck?” Falcon looked ready to do murder, but I wanted to laugh. God, I loved it here! There was so much glorious mayhem! And, being vice president, I got to cause as much as I wanted and no one said anything. Occasionally, Rocket would pull me back, but most of the time, he let nature take its course.

“Best get on your bike and go find Gina. Give her a few rides, make her comfortable with everyone here and maybe Lemon will let you paint your bike black again,” advised Bear.

“Finally!” I threw up my hands in exasperation. “Someone who understands.” I looked up at Rocket. “You should make him your vice president. Oh, wait…” I grinned.

Falcon mumbled, but Leather actually nodded his head, his face relaxing a little, and I knew he got it. “We should all take a turn, Falcon. I know it’s your bike and all, but if she likes pink Harleys, then I think we should all take her ridin’. Show her we’ll do anything to earn her trust.”

I tilted my head at Leather. “You just went up several notches in my esteem. Maybe we can put you in charge of sensitivity training.”

“Lemon,” Rocket sighed. “They’re doing what you wanted. Let them work it out.”

“They don’t seem to be able to, though Leather got the right idea. Kudos to you!” I grinned at Leather. “See if you can get the other dumbasses who don’t want to admit they did anything wrong to fall in line. You do, I’ll give you a cookie.”

Surprisingly, Leather grinned. “Yes, madam vice president.” He sketched me a two-finger salute and sauntered outside. Falcon gave a dramatic sigh and followed.

“He’s not a bad guy, you know.” Rocket leaned down to murmur next to my ear.

“Yep. I know. I just like fuckin’ with him. Besides, Gina needs this. And I think the guys do too.”

“They do. I’m glad you recognize that. Of course, I’m pretty sure none of them would have voted you in as VP if they hadn’t known you’d have good instincts with us.”

“How’m I doin’?” I gave him a cheeky grin.


About the Author:

Marteeka Karland is an international bestselling author who leads a double life as an erotic romance author by evening and a semi-domesticated housewife by day. Known for her down and dirty MC romances, Marteeka takes pleasure in spinning tales of tenacious, protective heroes and spirited, vulnerable heroines. She staunchly advocates that every character deserves a blissful ending, even, sometimes, the villains in her narratives. Her writings are speckled with intense, raw elements resulting in page-turning delight entwined with seductive escapades leading up to gratifying conclusions that elicit a sigh from her readers.

Away from the pen, Marteeka finds joy in baking and supporting her husband with their gardening activities. The late summer season is set aside for preserving the delightful harvest that springs from their combined efforts (which is mostly his efforts, but you can count it). To stay updated with Marteeka's latest adventures and forthcoming books, make sure to visit her website. Don't forget to register for her newsletter which will pepper you with a potpourri of Teeka's beloved recipes, book suggestions, autograph events, and a plethora of interesting tidbits.

Contact Links:

Author on Instagram & TikTok: @marteekakarland

Author on Facebook

Publisher on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok: @changelingpress


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Monday, March 4, 2024

The Graveyard Killings by Wes Markin - The Yorkshire Murders, Book 4) ~ #CrimeThriller ~ @rararesources

The Graveyard Killings

A decades old case....

When the body of a young girl is found exhumed from her grave, DCI Emma Gardner knows there’s more to this grisly find than just misadventure. Penny Maiden was killed in a hit and run accident forty years ago, and her killer was never found…Could someone be trying to right an old wrong?

A DI on the rails...

Determined to bring a dangerous gang of drug dealers to justice, DI Paul Riddick is trying hard to play by the rules. After his previous reckless actions, he knows this is his last chance to stay in the job he loves. But when his private life takes an unexpected turn, Riddick begins to lose control again.

Emma needs Paul to help her with her case, especially when more bodies are found in the same graveyard. But hurt badly by Riddick once before, Emma's not sure she can trust him again.

But as Paul’s behaviour begins to spiral even more, Emma worries she may have left it far too late to save her old friend Riddick from his own destruction...

My Review:

The Graveyard Killings if the fourth book in The Yorkshire Murders. I have not read the previous books but I felt this book worked well as a standalone. There were some things I didn't understand but that's my fault for starting a series in book four and not at book one. I'm not one to penalize an author because I failed to do my research.

Bouncing between 1980 and 2023, The Graveyard Killings intertwines. The body of a young hit-and-run victim is exhumed and placed on a nearby grave. In the grave of the recently exhumed is the body of someone else. CDI Emma Gardner finds that she needs the help of self-destructive DI Paul Riddick. DI Paul Riddick is trying, and failing, to color between the lines, in his attempt to bring down a gang of drug dealers. As Emma and Paul dance around their connection, pieces of the puzzle connecting their cases together become evident. 

This book had me on the edge of my seat. The first flashback to 1980 evoked strong emotions, especially at the very end before switching to 2023. The Graveyard Killings is a suspenseful crime thriller with two seemingly separate cases - a cold case and a drug case - with unexpected ties. There are so many twist, turns, and shocking events and the author did a magnificent job weaving everything together and then systematically unraveling it all in a dramatic and exciting fashion.

I was provided a copy of this book.

My Rating:

Purchase Link:


Meet the Author:

Wes Markin lives in Harrogate and is the bestselling author of the DCI Yorke crime novels set in Salisbury. He is also the author of the Jake Pettman series set in New England. You can find out more at https://www.facebook.com/WesMarkinAuthor

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Soft Lies & Hard Truths by Dalia Dupris ~ @dalia_dupris @RABTBookTours #RABTBookTours #SoftLiesandHardTruths #DaliaDupris #Romance

California Heart Series, Book 3


Soft Lies & Hard Truths by Dalia Dupris

Contemporary Romance

Date Published: 04-17-2024

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


About the Book:

Heartbroken and mortified by mean-spirited taunts and social media pictures of her looking like a hot mess at her ex-boyfriend’s wedding, Leah James decides to accept her friend, Miguel Montoya’s, offer to take a road trip to their hometown of Santa Lorena.

Miguel, ex-Marine turned fitness trainer, is done pretending that he doesn’t have strong feelings for Leah. From the moment he laid eyes on her, he knew she was the one, and now this trip provides the perfect opportunity to take their relationship to the next level.

Will shocking lies, deceits, and half-truths dampen the fiery sparks of passion that ignite when Leah and Miguel are forced to share a cozy honeymoon cottage, or will they overcome their fears and build a brighter future based on honesty and love?


About the Author:

Dalia Dupris has been a book lover as long as she can remember. Dalia’s BA in English Literature from UCLA and Master’s degree in Social Work, from the University of Southern California, in addition to years of experience as a licensed psychotherapist, contribute to her creation of relatable and complex characters.

In her spare time, she enjoys bike riding along the California coast with her husband, and hiking with her daughter. She loves hearing from her readers. Their words of encouragement inspire her to continue creating memorable characters, who will make you laugh and cry and keep rooting for them until the very last page. Subscribe to her website for a chance to learn more about Dalia and her books.


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TikTok: @daliadupris8


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Sunday, March 3, 2024

The Snow Job (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries) by Dianne Ascroft ~ @DianneAscroft ~ Cozy Mystery #CozyMystery #DianneAscroft #GreatEscapesBookTours


The Snow Job (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries) by Dianne Ascroft

About The Snow Job:


The Snow Job (Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery

3rd in Series

Setting - Fenwater, a fictional small town in the province of Ontario in Canada during the early 1980s. 

Independently Published (December 13, 2023)

Paperback ‏ : ‎ 310 pages

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8871249321

Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0CQ3DJL3F 

A Scottish shindig, a pretty pin, a cold corpse. When a well-liked and respected townsman is murdered on a snowy street in Fenwater, it’s up to Lois Stone to sift through a multitude of motives to find the killer.

Middle-aged widow Lois is beginning to feel part of the Fenwater community, and as winter sets in, she is getting ready for the town’s biggest Scottish event, the annual Burns Night supper. But when one of the committee members dies in suspicious circumstances, Lois has more to worry about than the fate of this year’s celebration. She tried unsuccessfully to revive the man and her friend Marge worked with him. So, they want to find his killer even though Lois promised her partner Bruce that she would stay out of police matters. But, what’s the harm in asking a few questions? Such as does someone want to safeguard their inheritance or give their business a boost? Will finding the motive for the murder lead them to the killer or maybe more?

And so begins a fortnight of slippery sidewalks, angst about ancestors, capable firemen and cunning firebugs, unreliable records, swirling Scottish music and swinging tartan kilts, calico cats and smouldering spooks set against the backdrop of snow glistening under streetlamps on serene streets, the comfort of ritual in a cold churchyard, the swish of skate blades in crisp night air and the tang of mouthwatering meatloaf in rural Canada in 1984.

The Century Cottage Mystery series is mainly set in rural Ontario, Canada during the early 1980s.

A tale for fans of Cindy Bell, Leighann Dobbs, Dianne Harman and Kathi Daley.

About Dianne Ascroft:

Dianne Ascroft writes the Century Cottage Cozy Mysteries, set in rural Canada, and The Yankee Years historical sagas, set in WWII Northern Ireland. She has a passion for Ireland and Canada, past and present. An ex-pat Canadian, Dianne lives on a small farm with her husband and an assortment of strong-willed animals.

Her previous fiction works include An Unbidden Visitor (a tale inspired by Fermanagh’s famous Coonian ghost); Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves: A Collection of Short Stories (contemporary tales), and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars, which explores Operation Shamrock, a little known Irish Red Cross humanitarian endeavor.

Author Links:

Twitter/X: @DianneAscroft 

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February 19 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT
February 20 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 22 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – SPOTLIGHT
February 23 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
February 23 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST
February 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 26 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 27 – Sarah Can't Stop Reading Books – REVIEW
February 28 – Christy's Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 28 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
February 29 - Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW 
March 1 – Boys' Mom Reads! – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR GUEST POST
March 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
March 3 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Friday, March 1, 2024

#Review ~ Living The Dream at Puddleduck Farm by Della Galton ~ #Romance @DellaGalton @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks

Living The Dream at Puddleduck Farm

About the Book:

Life would be idyllic if everyone else was on the same page…

Puddleduck Vets Practice is busier than ever.

Phoebe Dashwood is juggling the usual crazy animal antics of her quirky clients, whilst organising the wedding of her bridezilla grandmother and thankfully dating her perfect man.

Phoebe loves every minute of being a New Forest vet, even if she hardly has time to catch her breath. If only she could find some quality time for her and the man of her dreams, life would be perfect.

When an ex’s heartbreak stirs up some emotions from the past, Phoebe realises she must deal with some unfinished business. It would seem a miracle is needed to pull off a happy ending for everyone – but is it within Phoebe's power to work miracles?

My Review:

Living the Dream at Puddleduck Farm is the fourth book in the Puddleduck Farm series. Phoebe and Sam are happy, but life is not without challenges. They both are so busy that finding enough time to spend together is tough. Phoebe's grandmother is also getting married, adding another thing to her plate. Sam also has some family issues to take care of that cause a little bit of friction. On top of that, Rufus re-enters the picture and her past walks right back into her present. 

Living the Dream at Puddleduck Farm is another great book in a wonderful series by Della Galton. The author did a great job creating this world, setting it up, and developing the characters. I had fun reading about strong grandmas, supportive parents, and silly animals. There are realistically written stressful situations and hard decisions, but also ones filled with love, support, and fun. I loved being back on Puddleduck Farm.

I was provided a copy of this book.

My Rating:

Purchase Link - https://mybook.to/PuddleduckFarmSocial

Meet the Author:

Della Galton writes short stories, teaches writing groups and is Agony Aunt for Writers Forum Magazine. She lives in Dorset.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DailyDella/

Twitter https://twitter.com/DellaGalton

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dellagalton/

Newsletter Sign Up: http://bit.ly/DellaGaltonNewsletter

BookBub profile: Della Galton Books - BookBub

The Freaks of Lark Street by Harvey Havel ~ @RABTBookTours #RABTBookTours #TheFreaksofLarkStreet #HarveyHavel #Fiction


The Freaks of Lark Street 

by Harvey Havel


Date Published: 01-04-2024

Publisher: Pageturner Press and Media


About the Book:

Julius T. Downer has lost his job at a prestigious Wall Street firm, his lovely girlfriend who has run off with his best friend, and his shoebox of an apartment where he and his girlfriend have been locked up in Pandemic-stricken New York City during COVID. Without much money left, he has little choice but to dump it all and relocate to Albany, New York, where he lives hand-to-mouth at a Motel 6.

Demoralized, Downer knows he must get on his feet. He ventures to the most cosmopolitan street in Albany, which is Lark Street, hoping to find another girlfriend similar to the one who just abandoned him and also hoping to have a little fun before he searches for another job. Instead, he finds an antagonistic and unwelcoming crowd who snub him at every turn. The only ones who welcome him in are those he terms as "freaks." These are the homeless, the drunks, the addicts, and the sex workers on Lark Street.

But his downward slide is mitigated by an outsider artist who takes up residence in one of the few coffee shops that are established there. With the help of this outsider artist and his group of "freakish" friends, Julius T. Downer finds that he has a special supernatural ability when it comes to viewing art.

And Downer enters Albany already hating artists and everything about them. But after finding that he has this new ability bestowed upon him by this outsider artist, he finds that his new relationship to art and the art world around him can help many people who are suffering and struggling through their own lives. Downer finds a new path to follow with the understanding that he is just a "freak" himself.


Read an Excerpt:

Chapter Three


Even on the crowded subway, he grew impatient while hanging onto the overhead handlebar, his weight rocking to and fro, the train car abruptly jarring its passengers off their feet.

As soon as he opened the door to their studio apartment, he dropped his bag to the floor and embraced his girlfriend.  He loved feeling her skin again, his body reconnected to hers.

“God, did I miss you,” he whispered on her earlobe.

“I did too,” said Elisa, “but you know we can’t continue this way.”

“What way?”

“Well, I was talking to my mother today, and she said that we need to do things differently, now that we’ve been locked in here for so long.  It’s unhealthy, at least emotionally.”

He wanted to say that her mother should go fuck herself, but he didn’t say that.  Instead, he slid his hand down her back in an obvious attempt to seduce her and return to the single organism they had been during the Pandemic.

“We’re not going to go through all of that again, are we?” she whispered.

“It has to be gradual, sweetie.  A gradual separation.  Otherwise, it will hurt too much.”

She removed his hand from her back and held it between their bodies, as though he were a kid caught stealing candy.

“It’s not healthy,” she said.  “It’s like we’re addicted to each other.”

“I can’t stand being away from – ”

“ – my body.  You can’t stand being away from my body.”

“That’s not true,” he said.  “We are one body.”

“It doesn’t work that way.”

“Who says?” he insisted.  And then more seriously, “honey, we can’t listen to your mother all of our lives.   It’s our lives together, and not all three of ours.  You and me alone are ones who have to live it.”

“Why don’t I make us some dinner, and we can talk about something else for a change.”

“Like what?”

“How about we watch the news or start reading books?”

“The news?  That will only make us angry and depressed.”

“We have to get into something new.  How about music?”

“It’s all the same recycled, trained-monkey girl garbage.”

She pulled away from him.  She wasn’t happy with him now, he guessed.  Maybe he should have opened himself up to her new ideas.  Then, he remembered to ask her about Mace’s party that weekend.

“Hey, I’ve got an idea.  We’ve been invited to a party this weekend.  My buddy at the firm.  We can go to that and meet other people.  That will definitely help.”

“Honey, it’s only Wednesday.”

“So?  We maintain the status quo until Saturday night.  I don’t see anything wrong with that.”

“We have to start changing right now,” she said matter-of-factly, as though her mother were a doctor who had written a prescription for them.  “It has to be immediate.  Cold turkey.  I’ll make you some dinner, and when we go to sleep, we shouldn’t be touching each other.  Think of it as an experiment.”

His heart sank.  All day staring into a computer screen, and this is what he gets.  He had been daydreaming about his lean body pressed to hers, his body on her body, as though nothing had mattered more than the prospect of holding her in bed until the time came to enter her.  He couldn’t imagine what their individual bodies would feel like or mean.  But he could tell that she stood firm on this new policy of hers, all to his detriment, proving once again that Elisa could handle it much more easily than any man.  She was much stronger in this sense, as though the new policy had been written in a textbook for all couples to follow, or at least advised in couple’s therapy when man and wife wonder how they went bankrupt or no longer had a place in each other’s hearts.  Maybe she was right, though.  Maybe their physical closeness was unhealthy.  Nevertheless, it did not alter his need.  Nor did she want to take off her clothes and crawl into bed with him.

“How about grilled cheese and tomato soup?” she asked him, smiling as though a new day had dawned.

“I’m not very hungry,” he said.

“Oh, c’mon, honey.  Don’t feel bad, okay?  We’re adults.  We’re not children.  We have to grow up.”

Nevertheless, Julius peeled off his clothes and climbed up the ladder to the loft above.  Under the covers, he could not lie still.  He kept rubbing his feet together, the back of his head pressing down on the pillow, his body fumbling to find a cool spot in the sheets.  Nothing worked.

Elisa cooked downstairs, and he couldn’t stand it.  The cooking became a new part of her happiness instead of cuddling with him.  A curse had set in.  A new life without touching her had manifested itself.  One part cleaving from the other.  If only she would stop her damned cooking and comfort his gaping vulnerability, he would have given her anything.  Instead, she ate her grilled cheese sandwich and turned on the television to a useless show about the lives of celebrities.  He needed her to say something, say anything, to rid him of this horrible curse, this unfathomable separation from her skin, breasts, and hips.  His need was immediate.  He became a lost soul in the hell created by his longings and her bodily absence.  It was visceral.  The acuteness of it cut through him like a surgeon’s blade.

Julius waited a couple of hours for her to join him in bed.  When he curled up against her in the middle of the night, she moved away, deliberately separating her body from his.  He tried several times, until she grew irritated by his gestures.

“Do you want me to sleep downstairs?” she asked.

“Please,” Julius said, “let’s not do this.  And besides, there’s no room downstairs.”

“Then sleep on your side of the bed.  You don’t have to touch me all night.”

“Why are you doing this to us?”

“Because I’m sick of being your plaything.  Now please, you have work again in the morning, and I have to research how I’m going to get back to college.  Go to sleep, or we’ll never get up.”

He blamed her mother for filling her head with these new ideas.  It came straight out of a Women’s Studies class, he figured.  Surely, a woman had to stand on her own two feet, but that didn’t mean abandoning her significant other.  Deflated, he rolled away from her, admitted defeat, and even though he longed to spoon into her backside, he didn’t want to anger her.  His childishness was now her annoyance, the unhooking of their flesh painful.  She cut off the umbilical cord and sent his body into a cold, shivering sleep.


About the Author:

Harvey Havel has been a short-story writer and novelist for over thirty years. His first novel, Noble McCloud, A Novel, about a young, struggling musician was published in November of 1999. He now has nineteen books which include novels, short stories, and two collections of essays on current affairs and political matters.

His latest book is a serialized novel, The Queen of Intelligence: A 9/11 Novel, has just been released through Kindle Vella on Amazon.com in 2021.

Havel is formerly a Lecturer in English at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey. He also taught writing and literature at SUNY Albany and the College of Saint Rose, also in Albany, New York.

He currently lives there with his pet cat, Marty, and has many more books in store for his many fans in future.

Copies of his books and short stories, both new and used, may be purchased at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, Smashwords.com, or at your favorite local bookstore.

An excellent interview with Harvey Havel by Robert Nagle of Personville Press in Katy, Texas, can be found at Imaginary Planet.net.

His readers are encouraged to leave their honest comments about his work anywhere his fine books are sold.


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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Moonlit Thorns by P. Rayne is now live! @PiperRayneRocks @valentine_pr_ ~ Dark Contemporary Romance

Moonlit Thorns by P. Rayne is now live!

No one knows what happens up at Midnight Manor.

The home of the Voss brothers sits like a sentinel looking down on our small town, remaining a mystery. The four brooding billionaires rarely leave the confines of the iron gates, fueling rumors that have existed for decades.

When my father dies, all the security I’ve known is ripped away, forcing me to come face to face with the eldest brother, Asher Voss. His outward beauty is just as I’d heard—it belies a predatory nature, irresistibly drawing me in.

A bargain is made, and I have no choice but to live in the shadowy confines of his gothic manor to save my family. As time passes, it becomes harder and harder to deny our attraction.

Asher Voss might be too old for me, and he’s definitely cursed by his own demons, but an inferno of passion between us threatens to either consume or destroy us both.

MOONLIT THORNS is a dark, contemporary romance, Beauty and the Beast retelling.

My Review:

Moonlit Thorns is a gritty, dark romance. A wonderful retelling of Beauty and Beast but spicier, this novel will pull you in and not let you go until it's over.

Asher is a dreamy hero with a horrific past. Annabelle just lost her father and is about to lose their family legacy. When she sought help from the very family that is threatening to take their familial home, she steps into Midnight Manor and her whole world changes.

This book has wonderful characters, a sexy plot, and wonderful world-building. The authors created emotionally-driven main characters. I loved this book and can't wait for the next one.

I was provided a copy of this book.

My Rating:

Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3tVC8Fk

Meet P. Rayne:

The darker side of USA Today Bestselling Author, Piper Rayne.

Connect with P. Rayne:

The Space Between Us by Melanie Summers (Brainiacs in Love, #1) ~ Comedy, Contemporary, Romance, RomCom @MJSummersBooks @XpressoTours

The Space Between Us
Melanie Summers
(Brainiacs in Love, #1)
Publication date: February 29th 2024
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance, RomCom

Love just might be the final frontier…

S.E.T.I. researcher, Gwen Fox, is a woman on a mission—to answer the cosmic question of the ages: Are we alone?
Along with her work family, Gwen is perfectly happy spending her days listening for extraterrestrial signals— until the worst happens. They get word that they’re about to be shut down by Ty Sterling, their billionaire backer whose heart is as cold as interstellar space.

About to lose everything, Gwen has no choice but to travel to Peru to change his mind. Armed only with scientific zeal and optimism, Gwen faces off against Ty, who just might be the most stubborn, cynical man in the galaxy.

As the tension between the pair builds, so does the undeniable chemistry that neither of them saw coming. Against the breathtaking backdrop of the Peruvian jungle, the space between enemies and lovers begins to collapse.

Will Gwen and Ty discover that together they form a supernova of passion? Or will their budding relationship crash and burn on impact?

*** The Space Between Us is a swoony, adventure-filled, delightfully funny tale of a woman who will do anything to save her job and the stubborn billionaire who dared to get in her way. It’s a standalone rom-com with a little more spice than a regular Melanie Summers book. ***

Enemies to lovers
S.T.E.M. romance
Adventure, romantic settings, and a little danger
Forced Proximity/Only one tent
A secret cinnamon roll hero
Loads of banter, awkward moments, and delicious tension

Add to Goodreads / Purchase from Amazon

Read an Excerpt:

He wants me. And it’s been so very long since someone wanted me. So long. Like I’m pretty sure I’m revirginated at this point. Let’s face it, I want him right back. I want to feel him against me and inside me and on top of me and under me. I want to taste his kisses and his skin and to feel the way he moves. There’s a silent alarm going off in the back of my mind, trying to tell me this is a terrible idea. It’s saying something about betraying my work family and risking my heart with a man who literally just told me he has no interest in happily ever after with anyone.

And yet…

Here we are, two consenting adults, completely alone and absolutely wanting to do this. I stare up at him, taking in his chiseled jawline, his stubble, his dark eyes that are undressing me right now. My heart pounds in my chest, my body hums with excitement. “A night to remember? That’s a bold prediction,” I say in a breathy voice I don’t even recognize.

“I’m confident I can back it up,” he tells me, lowering his face to mine.

He leaves just the smallest space between our mouths. Enough that I can feel his breath and can almost feel his lips against mine. It’s less than an inch and yet it’s infinitely far away because there’s still time for me to say no. To get up and walk away without allowing anything to happen. We could go back to whatever we were a minute ago. Just two people stuck out here alone together passing the time. That would be the smart thing to do— to get up and walk away because he is the very last man I should want like this.

But he’s also the man I’ve wanted like no other. The desire I have for him is all that matters in this moment. There is nothing, no one else on this planet that means anything to me right now. There’s no future, no past. It’s just the two of us here in this perfect moment.

Meet the Author:

Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.

Melanie made a name for herself with her debut novel, Break in Two, a contemporary romance that cracked the Top 10 Paid on Amazon in both the UK and Canada, and the top 50 Paid in the USA. Her highly acclaimed Full Hearts Series was picked up by both Piatkus Entice (a division of Hachette UK) and HarperCollins Canada. Her first three books have been translated into Czech and Slovak by EuroMedia. Since 2013, she has written and published three novellas, and eight novels (of which seven have been published). She has sold over a quarter of a million books around the globe.

In her previous life (i.e. before having children), Melanie got her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, then went on to work in the soul-sucking customer service industry for a large cellular network provider that shall remain nameless (unless you write her personally - then she'll dish). On her days off, she took courses and studied to become a Chartered Mediator. That designation landed her a job at the R.C.M.P. as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for 'K' Division. Having had enough of mediating arguments between gun-toting police officers, she decided it was much safer to have children so she could continue her study of conflict in a weapon-free environment (and one which doesn't require makeup and/or nylons).

Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three young children, and their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog. When she's not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken 'from above'. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something--more like just staying until they turn the lights off.

She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International.

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$500 USD prize to one lucky creator!