Release Day Spotlight: Cheat by Gillian Zane




Cheat
Gillian Zane
Series: Karma, Inc.
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Karma’s a bitch…and her name’s Cassie.

Working for Karma Incorporated might sound like the best job in the world, but there’s one really big catch: you’ve got to die to get it. Cassandra Mercier died at the ripe old age of twenty-one and is now gainfully employed by the Afterlife Corporation as a Karma operative. Her job duties include manifesting bad karma on unsuspecting victims.

Two months into her internship Cassie is promoted and given her first solo case. His name is Bishop and he is a cheat.  He needs some bad karma, and Cassie’s the right girl for the job.

Inflicting a bit of payback on this cheat should be easy for Cassie, so she gets permission from her boss to do a little investigating on her own time. Investigating into her living life, the one she can’t seem to remember. The only problem, she is forbidden from doing the digging herself. Afterlife Corporation rule. She can hire someone to look into it for her, though, and that someone turns out to be Drake Greco. She regrets her decision the moment she walks into his office…

Amazon | Goodreads



***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Gillian Zane is the author of the NOLA Zombie series. Zane is the pen name of a prominent blogger in the publishing industry, which will remain a mystery unless you Google it. Since she can remember her goal has been to become Master of the Universe and has decided to focus first on the literary world. Things are progressing nicely.

Zane has been a freelance writer for the last ten years and has published a few non-fiction works, none of which was very exciting. Zombies are much more exciting and a way for her to combine her two current obsessions, hot boys with guns and Doomsday Prepping. When she isn't stockpiling MREs (Meal's Ready to Eat) or researching how to build a cistern on a budget, she's taking care of her little family and exploring the city that she loves, New Orleans. You can find Gillian Zane on twitter @GillianZane.

Sign up for her newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bmCzWf

Web: http://romance.rocks/

Twitter: @gillianzane

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




Release Day Giveaway: A Knight with Grace by Laurel O'Donnell


aknightwithgracebanner

About the Book


Title:
A Knight with Grace
Author: Laurel O’Donnell
Genre: Historical Romance
Buy: Amazon

Lady Grace Willoughby defies her father’s orders to marry Sir William de Tracy and escapes with a friend. She has no intention of wedding a cursed man, a man ostracized from the church, a man who would only doom any future children they might have to the fires of Hell. She prays for a knight to rescue her.

Excommunicated and outcast for a horrible crime in his past, Sir William de Tracy searches for forgiveness. Marriage has never crossed his mind until Lord Willoughby commissions him to retrieve his fleeing daughter and honor the dying wish of his father by marrying Grace.

But things are not as they seem. And when an assassin tries to kill Grace, William must choose between his soul and the woman he has come to love. Can William and Grace overcome their past and find the redemption and love both are so desperately seeking?

Author Bio

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Laurel began writing in junior high school when she carried a pen and paper around wherever she went. In college, she took fiction writing classes to further her skill. Her love of the medieval time period led her to work at King Richard’s Faire in Wisconsin where she learned stage combat and sword fighting. The Faire fed her insatiable appetite for the medieval era.
Laurel has many books yet to write and hopes you will join her on her journey to bring the medieval era to life! Please visit her at her website www.laurel-odonnell.com for the latest information about upcoming releases, contests and to contact her.

Links

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Spotlight: Cadence's Cauldron by Nicole Pouchet

Cadence's Cauldron: A Paranormal Romance
Author: Nicole Pouchet
ISBN: 978-0-9966062-4-0
Series Name: Elemental Myths
# in the Series: 4
Length: 50,000 words
Date of Publication: July 26, 2016
Publisher: Nicole Pouchet
Cover Artist: Ann Alger

Blurb

Cadence Williamson has life all figured out. Her London jazz nightclub gives her a place to sing, friends she calls family, and enough money to pay the bills. No man is going to block her chi, especially not the shark trying to buy her out. Who cares if she’s been dreaming of doing the deed with him? Cadence’s perfect plans unravel when she develops fiery superpowers, melts her mic, and has past life visions of an evil force snuffing out the city’s population.

Trystan Tawanti may have his fun, but he’ll never allow another pretty face near his soul again. The serial entrepreneur is determined to purchase Cadence’s nightclub and turn it into a profit machine—no matter the cost to his heart or to his Incan family’s world-saving destiny. He just has to ignore those pesky empathic powers and the feelings signaling his fated mate is near.

Will Cadence and Trystan learn to trust their destiny and each other before ancient evil catches up to them to burn London down?


***

Excerpt

“This is a song we like to call the ‘Lullaby for Insomniacs.’” Her smile heated the warehouse, and the men at the bar with Trystan exhaled their awe as one. Their audible fascination would have been amusing if he wasn’t just as securely under her spell as them.

She sang and her words penetrated his senses. The loneliness he felt, the ever-present searching for something more clawed at him, urging him to leap from his chair and force his way to her. The pianist played his solo as she swayed her body to the rhythm. More instruments joined in. There was a whole band back there. Trystan should have cared.

All he could do was watch Cadence’s body move. Her hips drifted from side to side and the outline of each leg could be seen through the dress. He loosened his collar, discreetly removing his tie and undoing the top two buttons of his shirt.

As he rolled up his sleeves, he noticed three other men doing the same. The room was definitely getting hotter. He was turned on by the singer, and his Spidey senses proved he wasn’t the only one. At least a dozen guys leered at the songstress. Couples let their hands roam freely under cover of the tables. Several women peeled off their cardigans and layers of clothing. One sat wearing nothing but a camisole.

Cadence licked her bottom lip as she launched into her final verse.

If I could reach the lever

I would make this thing go faster

Speed through confusion

Rewrite this chapter

There was nothing confusing about the state of the people in the club. A woman to his left ran her tongue over her ruby red lips, and a nearby man pressed against her backside, whispering in her ear before caressing her knee. The man she came with whispered into her other ear, and they both smiled as he let his fingers trail over the newcomer’s hand.

They were all ready to get it on. There was no wonder. The singer was a living aphrodisiac and someone had turned up the heat. The combination of sweltering passion and pure lust set off an animalistic response in the audience.

Everyone sat silent at the end of her song, panting with arousal. Desire was at a fever pitch in the club, and Trystan wondered if an orgy would break out, or if people would adhere to societal rules. Applause began, softly at first, then thunderous as the spell weakened and people returned to their senses.

Cadence and her band bowed. The pianist and the rest of the musicians stumbled off, leaving her on the stage alone. She blinked into the spotlight, seemingly unaware of the extent of her effect on the audience. “Thank you,” she shouted over the crowd before handing the mic off to the emcee.

The emcee went on about a big-name jazz singer scheduled to perform in a few weeks. Trystan forgot to scold himself for not listening as he tossed a ten pound note toward the bartender and followed the singer to her back office...

***

About the Author

Nicole Pouchet is a memoirist and a paranormal romance novelist. Books from her Elemental Myths paranormal romance series have enjoyed spots on Amazon’s Bestseller list. Layla’s Gale, A Paranormal Romance won second prize in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Additionally, Cadence’s Cauldron, A Paranormal Romance won an Honorable Mention in the 2014 RWA Pages from the Heart Romance Novel contest.

Still amazed to be an adult, Nicole has managed to center her life on raising her two small sons and being true to her family (including husband and friends). She resides in Issaquah, Washington where she is a marketing executive. Happiest near the water, Nicole spends her free hours plotting her next escape, writing, and staring at the ceiling.

Website
www.NicolePouchet.com

Social Media
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/NPouchet
Twitter: @NPouchet
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/NicolePouchet
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/NPouchet/




Author Interview: Prodigal Son by Lisa Beth Darling

About the Author:

Lisa Beth Darling is 49 years-old, lives in her hometown of New London, CT with her husband of 30 years, Roy and is mother to their two daughters. She is the author of more than fifteen novels along with several short stories and non-fiction books. When she’s not writing she likes to garden and is an avid movie buff.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I generally have an idea of where the story is going but not necessarily how I’m getting there.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

They take over all the time and when that happens I find it best to let them, they usually know more than I do about the story anyway.

What is your favourite food?

A good pizza

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I like mid-morning to early evening best. I hate getting up in the morning and I’m too old to stay up until all hours of the night.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

Greece, Ireland, Scotland, and New Zealand are all on my Bucket List. I hear they have very good food and white beaches in Greece. Ireland and Scotland because that’s my ancestry. New Zealand because it looks absolutely beautiful.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Sometimes they do, in my OF WAR series, since it centers around Ancient Greek Gods, a lot of it takes place on Mount Olympus and in Greece itself.

Do you listen to music while writing?

My iTunes is always cranking away as I write. I love ‘Classic’ Rock the most.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

“Prodigal Son”, the finale to the Sister Christian series will be my newest release when it hits the market on August 30th. The entire series centers around a long-lost brother and sister, Richard Mason and Hannah Rice. They’re very opposite creatures yet also very similar. Don’t let the title of the series fool you, this isn’t (necessarily) a ‘Christian’ or ‘religious’ series. It’s full of dark family secrets, intrigue, and drama.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

Not to get discouraged, I think that’s the biggest thing. I do what I do because I love to do it and, for me, that’s the best approach.

Is there anything you would do differently?

I suppose I’d get out there and try to network more but I’m basically an introvert so making contacts if difficult for me.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

Influences are all around anything can inspire me to write a story if it strikes me just the right way. As far as authors go, Stephen King has been the biggest influence along with VC Andrews, Harold Robins, and Jacqueline Susan.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

Do it for you not for anyone else and not for a big paycheck. If you don’t love it you’ll get discouraged very quickly and give up thinking there’s something wrong with you. Write a little bit every day and then rewrite when the story is done instead of editing as you go along.

What are three words that describe you?

Crazy hippie chick.

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

My favorite book is still “The Stand” by Stephen King.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

When the Hour is Darkest Love and Faith Can Conquer All.

In the final installment of the Sister Christian Series, the Court has demanded a hearing regarding Hannah's capacity. Hannah and Nick are falling deeper and deeper in love. Looking forward to a bright future together they begin planning their life together. A shadowy stranger from the past has set his sights on Hannah and her 3.5 million dollar trust fund. Is he really Rick MacNeill, the son Hannah thought died in the terrible fire at Saint Anne's? Is he someone sinister? The last of the family secrets come to light in this roller coaster ride of suspense, love, betrayal, and faith.

List of previous books if any
Fiction:
OF WAR Series
Sister Christian Series
The Doc Series
Standalone Novels/Stories
Non-Fiction:


Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.

Purchase Links:
Kindle/Amazon (paperbacks available on Amazon)
http://amazon.com/author/lisadarling





Cover Reveal: Cheat by Gillian Zane




Cheat
Gillian Zane
Series: Karma, Inc.
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Karma’s a bitch…and her name’s Cassie.

Working for Karma Incorporated might sound like the best job in the world, but there’s one really big catch: you’ve got to die to get it. Cassandra Mercier died at the ripe old age of twenty-one and is now gainfully employed by the Afterlife Corporation as a Karma operative. Her job duties include manifesting bad karma on unsuspecting victims.

Two months into her internship Cassie is promoted and given her first solo case. His name is Bishop and he is a cheat.  He needs some bad karma, and Cassie’s the right girl for the job.

Inflicting a bit of payback on this cheat should be easy for Cassie, so she gets permission from her boss to do a little investigating on her own time. Investigating into her living life, the one she can’t seem to remember. The only problem, she is forbidden from doing the digging herself. Afterlife Corporation rule. She can hire someone to look into it for her, though, and that someone turns out to be Drake Greco. She regrets her decision the moment she walks into his office…

Amazon | Goodreads


***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Gillian Zane is the author of the NOLA Zombie series. Zane is the pen name of a prominent blogger in the publishing industry, which will remain a mystery unless you Google it. Since she can remember her goal has been to become Master of the Universe and has decided to focus first on the literary world. Things are progressing nicely.

Zane has been a freelance writer for the last ten years and has published a few non-fiction works, none of which was very exciting. Zombies are much more exciting and a way for her to combine her two current obsessions, hot boys with guns and Doomsday Prepping. When she isn't stockpiling MREs (Meal's Ready to Eat) or researching how to build a cistern on a budget, she's taking care of her little family and exploring the city that she loves, New Orleans. You can find Gillian Zane on twitter @GillianZane.

Sign up for her newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bmCzWf

Web: http://romance.rocks/

Twitter: @gillianzane

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


Author Interview: Pigeon-Blood Red by Ed Duncan

About the Author:

Ed Duncan is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio for many years. He currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH and is at work on the second installment in the Pigeon-Blood Red trilogy.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I start with a very broad outline that tells me what the novel is about, who the characters are, and how the story will end.  The details fill themselves in as I write.  As ideas come to me, however, I jot them down so that I don't lose them.  Occasionally, I think of a character or plot twist as I'm lying in bed just before falling asleep.  When that happens, I get out of bed and write a note to myself.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

My characters do sometimes want to take over the story.  For instance, in Pigeon-Blood Red I intended to have two main characters who were roughly on par in terms of importance to the novel, but with a slight edge going to Paul, a lawyer, because, after all, I'm a lawyer and Paul is an idealized version of myself.  To my dismay, however, Rico – the other character – an underworld enforcer, fought this idea at every turn.  I fought back but eventually I gave up.  There is now only one main character in the novel, Rico.

What is your favourite food?

My favorite food is a tender, succulent steak, preferably filet mignon.  My favorite dessert is German chocolate cake.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I'm definitely a night owl.  I often don't start writing until late evening and don't stop until three or four o'clock in the morning.  Like a number of people, I thought at one point that I suffered from sleep apnea, and I think I do have of moderate case.  However, if I stay awake until I'm ready to fall asleep (no earlier than two o'clock), I generally can fall asleep without much difficulty. Of course, that wasn't possible before I retired.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

I dream of traveling to Kauai, Hawaii.  The last scene from one of my favorite movies, Body Heat, was filmed there.  In that scene, against a backdrop of towering mountains, blue sky, and an aquamarine ocean, Kathleen Turner's character, the femme fatale, is pictured relaxing on a chaise lounge while she awaits a tropical drink being delivered to her by a waiter dressed in Hawaiian garb.  That scene, the ultimate depiction of "the good life," made a lasting impression on me.

Do distant places feature in your books?

A distant place, Honolulu, is featured in Pigeon-Blood Red.  The action begins in Chicago, then switches to Honolulu, and ends back in Chicago.  The idea for the novel came to me during a visit to Honolulu many years ago, and that location is central to the novel's plot.

Do you listen to music while writing?

Very rarely do I listen to music while I'm writing.  It's too hard to find a radio station that plays for extended periods without commercial interruptions or the kind of soothing music I find conducive to writing.  Unfortunately, my own collection is interspersed with too many up tempo recordings.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?


Pigeon-Blood Red tells the story of an underworld enforcer who is in pursuit of a small time businessman who stole a pigeon-blood red ruby necklace worth millions.  He trails the thief from Chicago to Honolulu, but the chase goes sideways after the hardened hitman develops a grudging respect for a couple of innocent bystanders who become embroiled in the crime:  the thief's unsuspecting wife and an old flame who comes to her rescue as the enforcer closes in.  The hitman must decide whether to follow orders and kill them or spare them and endanger the life of the woman he loves.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

I've actually had something confirmed that I already knew based on my reading and observations, that is, it is not enough to write a good novel, because tons of excellent novels are being published annually.  So trying to get noticed through effective marketing is very important.  The key is determining what is effective and what is not.  Unfortunately, much must be learned through trial and error and wading through all of the advice online can be both daunting and frustrating.  However, unless you bite the bullet and hire a good publicist, the effort must be made.

Is there anything you would do differently?

I think I would have looked for legitimate contests for first novels to enter.  Certainly, the odds of winning are slim but the payoff could be huge if your novel were accepted by a major publisher.  

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

I write crime fiction so the biggest influences on my writing have been writers in that genre.  The biggest early influence was The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett.  The dialogue in that novel is simply superb.  Witness the fact that much of it was used verbatim in the 1941 movie version of the novel, whose screenplay was nominated for an academy award.  My biggest modern influence is Lee Child.  His Jack Reacher character is wonderfully realized and remains unfailingly fascinating from one novel to the next.  And no one can turn up the tension and maintain it chapter after chapter like Child.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

My advice to beginning writers is to constantly re-write.  They should find a good editor, especially if they intend to self-publish.  They should read everything they can about the business of writing.  They should attend a variety of writing conferences.  If they are self-publishing or being published by a smaller publisher, they should consider retaining a reputable publicist.  Unless they have some skill in this area and oodles of time, trying to duplicate what a good publicist does likely will be both time-consuming and frustrating.

What are three words that describe you?

Three words that describe me are:  loyal, dependable, and trustworthy.

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

I haven't revisited it in a long time but I'd say my favorite novel in any genre is An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser.  Unlike Hemingway or Fitzgerald, Dreiser is not a master of style and his sentence structure can be clunky, but the pathos and sweep of this novel are extraordinary.  I think it's truly an example of the great American novel.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

For underworld enforcer Richard "Rico" Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss's priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime.

As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

Praise for Pigeon-Blood Red

“Fast-paced and full of surprises. Will keep you on the edge of your seat!” – Amazon Customer

Pigeon Blood Red has a dramatic and satisfying conclusion, leaving the reader nodding his head with approval." - Readers' Favorite

In a novel with as much action as love, it is sure to be a story that will fulfill the desires of readers of all ages, genders, and areas of interest.” – Red City Review

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ed-Duncan-Author-1077945592245888

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28223259

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pigeonbloodred

Author Website: https://eduncan.net/


Book Spotlight & Giveaway: My Soul to Keep by Kris Norris




My Soul To Keep
Fearless 5
Kris Norris
Genre: Paranormal romance
Publisher: All Romance eBooks
Date of Publication:  July 1, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-945193-08-8
Word Count:  75000
Cover Artist: Erin Dameron Hill

Book Description:

A deadly cycle…a haunting legacy.

From the moment Detective Caitlyn Decker arrives at the scene, she knows this crime is anything but a routine killing. The cryptic note. The contradictory evidence. The violence. There’s no doubt in her mind her life’s about to get complicated. Add Special Agent Deacon McGraw into the mix—a man she’s had an unfortunate crush on for the past six months—and it’s shaping up to get downright messy.

Deacon has waited twenty years to solve his father’s murder. If his calculations are correct, this recent killing is connected to it, and the start of something grisly. After nearly convincing himself his father’s outlandish theories on a cold case were nothing more than a slow slide into madness, Deacon’s suddenly faced with a harsh truth—no one’s going to believe him, either.

Caitlyn’s not sure what to make of Deacon’s claims. But she’s willing to give him a chance—one that quickly translates into more than just a working relationship. Becoming lovers carries more risks than simple heartbreak. One miscalculation, or a loss of faith, and they just might lose their souls.

ARe

***

Excerpt: 

“Bloody hell.”

Detective Caitlyn Decker shook her head before pressing her fingers against the bridge of her nose, closing her eyes as pain throbbed through her temples, not that it’d do much good. The headache had already taken root, somehow pulsing with every beat of her heart. Nothing but time or drugs would touch it now. And, somehow, downing half a bottle of Motrin while working a murder scene didn’t seem like a viable solution. She glanced at the paper again, rereading the words scribbled across the crisp white sheet.

Some choices are easy, some aren’t. Can you guess which one this was?

Christ, she’d officially seen it all.

A male snort drew her attention, and she shifted her focus as Detective David Truman knelt beside the body, giving it the once-over. He gazed up at her, exhaling loudly as he gained his feet. He stuffed his hands in his pockets, nodding at one of the CSI technicians as they snapped some photographs.

He turned to face her. “Not exactly the kind of case you want to grab at the end of a shift, huh?”

She shrugged. “Thinking there isn’t a right time for a case like this, period. We both know that note means trouble.”

Truman glanced at the paper, nodding. “Just another Wednesday as far as I’m concerned.”

She frowned at his hollow tone, spinning slightly toward him. “You sound more cynical than usual. Everything okay?”

“Peachy. You?”

She shook her head. “Fine. Keep secrets.” She toed the pavement. “So, you aren’t on shift for another two hours. Why the early start?”

“I needed to get out of the house, and I heard the call come through over the radio. Thought I’d check it out…see if you wanted me to take it for you.”

“And let you have all the fun? That’s crazy talk.” She nudged his elbow. “You and Clare okay? We can go grab coffee after if you’d like.”

“God, who are you, Dr. Phil? I’m fine.” He glanced over her shoulder, cursing. “Looks like the feds just pulled up. You sure you don’t want me to take this? Their presence here probably means a joint endeavor, and seeing as you got stuck with the last one…”

Caitlyn did her best to calm the sudden pounding of her heart. The last thing she needed was to sound breathless. And all because of who might have just arrived. “I’m good. But I can count on your help if I need it, right?”

“It’ll cost you.”

“It always does.”

Truman gave her a mock salute before trudging off toward his car. She heard him murmur a token hello to the fed he’d mentioned, the gravelly reply beading her skin with a sudden rash of goose bumps. She took a few soothing breaths, only to jump when a rumble of thunder sounded off to the east, the promise of rain heavy in the early morning air. A nearby streetlight buzzed as it flickered, casting odd shadows against the brick building before settling, again. She turned up her collar against a blast of cold, damp air, tucking her hands in her pockets. After a few weeks of summer-like weather, the sudden shift into more typical spring temperatures felt even colder than usual. Or maybe it was just her. A reminder of how little else she had in her life to make the endless string of homicides bearable. To chase away the incessant chill that seemed to have settled bone-deep inside her.

Footsteps scuffed the pavement behind her as the fed moved into her peripheral view. She didn’t turn to greet the man. Couldn’t. Not when her face felt more than flushed. Special Agent Deacon McGraw—or Deke as he usually went by—headed the violent crimes unit for the Seattle branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and he seemed to be the bureau’s prime choice in interagency ventures. Not that she had a clue why he was here. As far as she was concerned, this was just a routine killing in an alley of one of the poorer districts the city had to offer. Nothing to suggest it fell under federal jurisdiction. Her gaze strayed to the paper lying beside the victim’s bloody body, the words glaring at her. Perhaps routine wasn’t quite the correct term.

Deke cleared his throat as he crouched beside the corpse, using a pen to twist the paper slightly. He cocked his head to the side, glancing at her as he stood. “Just what this city needs, a killer with a twisted sense of humor.”

Caitlyn crossed her arms over her chest. “I’ll admit. I found the note…odd.”

He chuckled. “Odd? It’s creepy as hell, though I think we both know the answer to his question. The way the throat’s been sliced damn near through to the vic’s spinal column, the arcs of blood against the wall, not to mention the fact the guy’s been virtually gutted…thinking it wasn’t a hard choice for the bastard that did this.”

“I don’t know…all that defensive bruising along his arms, the marks on his head. The guy fought hard. Could suggest reluctance on the part of our perp.”

“Or the killer’s not as strong as he thought he was.”

Caitlyn snorted, waving at the guy spread out across the black asphalt. “The victim’s easily two-twenty and those muscles aren’t fake. The guy obviously put in some heavy hours at the gym. And that faded tattoo on his wrist means he was part of the Fifth Street gang at some point. That kind of street tough doesn’t ever really go away. Thinking there aren’t many people who’d even consider taking him on. Lord knows, I wouldn’t want to have met him in a dark alley.”

“At least, not to fight.”

“Seriously, Deacon? He’s not even cold, yet.”

“But he was pretty. Thinking guys like him would want that noticed, even under these circumstances.” He winked at her. “Especially by a sexier than hell cop.”

“That’s detective to you, G-man. Besides he’s not my type.”

“That so? What is your type, Detective?”

“Still breathing would be a good start.”

Deke grinned, the simple gesture making her heart race. Damn, but the man was handsome. Shaggy brown hair, the perfect amount of scruff, and those eyes—so fucking blue it made her stomach flip-flop. She’d had an unfortunate crush on the guy since they’d worked an assignment together six months ago, and bumping into him every few weeks on any potential crossover cases only made the fire in the pit of her gut burn hotter.

She drew in a much-needed breath, turning to fully face him. “So, there something about this case I’m unaware of? A reason I’m going to have to play nice with the bureau?”

Deacon placed his hand over his heart, the wind tousling his hair around his face. “And here I thought you liked playing nice with me. That hurts, Caitlyn.”

She did her best to ignore the way his words curled over her flesh, making her skin prickle as if he’d actually touched her. Damn, she shouldn’t react to him like this.

She glanced at the body again. “Is this where you tell me there’s a slew of other bodies just like this one scattered across the country? All with cryptic messages that make your skin crawl? Which makes this whole damn mess some jurisdictional bullshit? Because honestly, if that note is any indication of what direction this case is going to take, I might be inclined to just hand it over to you. No fighting. No whining to my superiors.”

His expression sobered, the lines of his face becoming slightly harsher. He scanned the alleyway, motioning her to join him in a relatively unoccupied area off to their left. Caitlyn followed him, unsure whether it was curiosity or the inklings of fear making her stomach tighten. Or maybe it was just him. He stopped when he reached a dumpster, looking up and down the narrow road again before focusing on her. Those crystal blue eyes of his made her breath hitch, the intensity of his expression bordering on lethal.

She reached up, palming his shoulder, wondering why he suddenly seemed so serious. As if the previous banter had just been for show. “Hey, you okay?”

“I was better before I got here.”

She pulled her hand back, tucking it in her pocket. “Thanks, Deke. Way to boost my fragile ego.”

He chuckled, leaning in dangerously close. His breath feathered over her cheek, rustling the wisps of hair that had pulled free from her ponytail. “Sweetheart, you’re the only silver lining in this whole mess.”

Her face heated again as his jaw brushed hers when he eased back, palming the brick behind her head. The position virtually trapped her between him and the building, his chest grazing hers as she inhaled deeply. Her pulse kicked up as her breasts rubbed across his pecs, the slight friction making her nipples peak against her shirt. Thank God she had on far too many layers for him to notice. She cursed inwardly. Now wasn’t the time or the place to consider anything other than the task at hand. But damn…every new case, every lost soul just seemed to be a hollow echo of her life. Claimed a bit more of the part of her she’d tried to lock away—keep safe. And she knew that, sooner or later, there’d be nothing left of her. Nothing left for her to give to anyone other than an empty shell of the person she’d once been.

She scanned the area, expecting someone to start yelling suggestive comments, but no one seemed to notice them. Or maybe everyone was simply too focused on the dead body splattered across the pavement to spare them a passing glance.

Caitlyn schooled her features. “Obviously, there’s something much deeper going on here than one creepy note and a dead body. So spill.”

Deacon tilted his head slightly, a hushed sigh sounding between them. “It’s…complicated.”

“Everything with you is…complicated.”

He arched a brow. “I could say the same thing about you, but…” He raked his free hand through his hair. “For the record, this isn’t the first body. Or the first note. There’s just one catch.”

“There always is.” She moistened her lips, quirking her mouth into a hint of a smile. “And…”

“The truth is, this is the thirteenth victim in a string of killings, all of which have the same MO and the same type of cryptic note.”

“Thirteenth? Strange how I haven’t heard anything about it. Not so much as a bulletin over the wire. There a reason for that?”

“The murders began about sixty years ago. The killer seems to target fit, young males in their prime. There were six deaths, then nothing for about forty years. Then suddenly, there were six more. An agent tied the two cases together, despite the first file being buried beneath a bunch of high security red tape, but he was killed during the investigation. The bureau pretty much back-burnered the whole thing when the killings stopped as mysteriously as they’d begun. In fact, there hasn’t been another case…until now.”


***

About the Author: 

Kris Norris is a jack-of-all trades who's constantly looking for her ever-elusive clone.

A single mother and slave to chaos, Kris started writing some years back, and it took her a while to realize she wasn't destined for the padded room, and that the voices chattering away inside her head were really other characters trying to take shape. (And since they weren't telling her to conquer the human race, she went with it. Though she supposes if they had...insert evil laugh).

Kris loves writing erotic novels. She loves heroines who kick butt, heroes who are larger than life, and sizzling love scenes that leave you feeling just a bit breathless.

For more information on other books by Kris, visit her website: www.krisnorris.ca

https://www.facebook.com/Kris-Norris-539446482786963/

***

Tour giveaway 

3 ebook winners to receive GABRIEL by Kris Norris

a Rafflecopter giveaway