Friday, September 17, 2021

Book Blitz with Excerpt + Giveaway: Dead Cat, Run by Annabelle Lewis @alewisauthor @XpressoTours


Dead Cat, Run by Annabelle Lewis
Publication date: February 21st, 2021

Synopsis:
You're where you're meant to be. Run, if you can.

High school senior Jenny Gallagher's psychic abilities have made life in her small New England town rocky. Her premonitions and déjà vu have given her a reputation, one she's not happy with. Tragedy is about to strike, however, and oddly, this time, she doesn't see it coming. Is her gift betraying her?

Not far from Jenny, Wellesley Professor Maximus Dyer also has a gift--a painful and useless one. His ability to see the past has brought him insight into history, but otherwise, he's never known what to make of it. The psychic shocks he receives through his unprotected hands have made any genuine human relationships beyond his grasp. Then someone who doesn't trigger a vision enters his life--a dog?

Sidrah Keeling runs determinedly optimistic throughout her life, trying hard not to ask the big questions about why. Her foresight, her ability to see glimpses of the future in her dreams, often drives her to follow a path she doesn't understand. Alert and listening, with the guardrails of security she's erected in place, she's forced again to follow her dreams. This time to a man. Who is he?

Lurking deep in his sensory deprivation tank, Turner Black sees it all. Born out of the great chaos of time, he once again feels the forces of good gathering to move against him. Not in this life. This time, his darkness will reign supreme. The hunt for his antithesis will begin again now. He can't wait to feel his opponent in destiny bleed.

A fast-paced contemporary mystery thriller with a supernatural hierarchy, Dead Cat, Run will keep you up all night, glued to your seat.


Available at:


Excerpt
Max humped his way through the Wellesley College campus center, yanking his backpack onto his shoulder when it began to slide. Hungry--no, scratch that, ravenous--he snarled in frustration that he couldn't jump in line at the pizza stand and grab a slice. He'd need to wait until he got home. He frowned, remembering he had no ready food there either. As he rounded past the heavenly smells from the greasy Chinese buffet, someone called his name, and he slowed.

"Professor Dyer," a girl said.

Inwardly, he rolled his eyes but stopped, forcing a look of tolerance onto his face. He didn't recognize the student, but then, he usually didn't. It was better to avoid eye contact with the nubile freshmen. Many young girls throughout his career had presumed there was something other than scholarly interest lurking there. He tried everything he could to discourage them.

Now, though, forced to a standstill in their territory, he could have almost predicted what would happen next. Once he stopped, not one, but several young, eager smiling faces peered up at him with their batting lashes and flirty looks. It was exhausting.

"What is it?" he practically barked.

"Oh, sorry," the one who'd spoken said.

"Office hours are posted online," he said roughly. Regrettably, he only saw looming interest and blushing cheeks. The heat rising around the group was practically tangible. He had to get out of there. He began walking away, but out of guilt, he turned his head back. "Make an appointment. I'll speak to you then."

Did he hear giggles? For God's sake. Don't look back again. He wondered for the thousandth time if working at a women's liberal college was a bad idea.

He cleared the union without further intrusions and got out into the street. He put his head down as he walked across campus, then grabbed a beanie out of his coat pocket and shoved it on. No need to bother with the gloves. He wouldn't be touching anyone.

Looking forward to getting home, he rounded the corner of a busy street near his parking lot and ran into a group of men in suits. His backpack fell to the ground, which caused some of his items to spill out. He cursed softly as one of the men knelt to help him retrieve his gear. But then, out of nowhere, a large reddish dog shot between them, grabbed a pair of his gloves, and took off.

"Hey!" Max stood and then ran after the dog. Not more than a few long strides later, the game of chase stopped. He stared with horror as the dog ran into the street, mindless of the oncoming traffic.

"No!" He threw up his hand and yelled. His heart in his mouth, he watched in slow motion as a car slammed into the dog. He dropped his pack on the sidewalk, ran into the street, and screamed at the traffic. Everywhere the cars came to a screeching halt.

His pulse raced, tears choking him as he reached the dog, hesitating only a second before he laid his hands--uncovered--without thinking, onto the soft fur. The gloves the dog had been carrying lay near her front leg, which was bent at an odd angle. Blood, too, was coming from somewhere.

"My God," Max cried. His hands, his uncovered hands, ran down the dog's body--without receiving a vision. Marveling at the empty sensation, he gently touched the dog's face. The beautiful beast looked at him and released a small, pitiful whimper. She licked Max's hand softly and closed her eyes. 

Max closed his eyes, and momentarily dropped his head back with the wonder of the moment before he regained his senses and began to scream at the driver, who had been hovering nearby. He gently stroked the dog, cooing to her with tender words. Where are her tags? Where had she come from?

The only answer he had was that no one nearby came running to claim her for their own. From that moment on, Max took charge, yelling instructions. He'd see that the dog got help. Nothing in the world was more important.


Annabelle Lewis--a pseudonym for the author--lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Regrettably? Perhaps. She still believes she's a Texan even though the math no longer supports that. Nor her birthplace. Nor her residence. No offense, Minnesota. You've got your good points too, but only about six months of the year.

In her youth, Annabelle was a complete failure. Ask anyone who knew her. Any of her teachers and family would tell you this. High school graduation was a sad day for all when Annabelle walked proudly off the high school stage, her thoughts consumed with boys, beer, and after-parties, and later into the arms of her parents. Her father's laughter and singular remark? "I didn't think you'd make it. Get a job at the post office, they have a good retirement plan."

A high bar and words to live by, but Annabelle wanted more. She needed to flunk out of college too. But damn, she sure did have a good time. Trivial arrest records not-withstanding, it was a growth period for our girl. And if you look closely, you'll see a bit of what was to come when she majored in criminal justice. Her lifelong aspiration was to become a judge. Hmm.

For better or worse, Annabelle didn't graduate from college but did find gainful employment and a fulfilling career. This path ended when she became a mom. Married to her wonderful George, who to this day can hardly remember an actual proposal, Annabelle finally became a mother. She didn't have a clue how hard she would need to work to keep those self-imposed requirements of Downey-fresh, iron-pressed sheets, home-baked meals, and mom-of-the-year awards arriving. She composed a small self-affirmation song and made her children sing it to her for money. She was a very good mom.

After clearing the largest hurdles of motherhood and regrettably, begrudgingly, and not-without-tears, launching her children onto the world, she looked around and realized she had a lot to say. Picking up a laptop, she got to work.

Annabelle spends her days continuing to tackle the challenges of motherhood, for both her humans and canines. She also writes. And reads. And cleans. And cooks. And bakes. And cleans again. She also supports her husband, George, in an administrative capacity for their small business. She's in charge of payroll and cut George's checks. This leads to no marital acrimony.

In the beginning, with the blank page staring at her and possibly in a hostile mood after being literally mauled by a dog and by the world in general, she had an idea. What if she could wield a force of good upon unsuspecting evil-doers? What if she had the resources to get the job done without dealing with committee and anyone else's whiney-ass opinions?

It was gold. It took off. Annabelle sat down and began to write and couldn't stop. To date, having written over a million words in the Carrows Family Chronicles and her second series on the Boston Clairvoyants, several items have become quite clear. Annabelle had a lot to say. Annabelle really enjoys writing. And although she hates all things technology, she begrudgingly pounds her head on her desk daily as obstacles are thrown in her path. Almost a hero.

Since entering her world of make-believe, she has rebelled against all intrusion of real-world responsibilities. Her house is a mess, but she tries. Her family is fed, but more often than not, on takeout. She vows to shower every day, but no, it's a vow she'll never keep. Her friends are neglected, but not in her heart.

Read her mordacious blog! Read her books! Follow her on social platforms! Sign up for her newsletter! These are all good things. What are you waiting for? Jump into bed with Annabelle. She's having a swell time. You should join her.


Book Blitz with Excerpt + Teasers + Giveaway: Ultraxenopia by M.A. Phipps @authormaphipps @XpressoTours


Ultraxenopia by M.A. Phipps
Series: Project W.A.R. #1
Publication date: December 1st, 2020

Synopsis:
Betrayed by Family. Tortured by the Enemy. Destined to Destroy the World.

Wynter Reeves lives by three rules: Don't stand out. Blend in. Remain invisible. In a world where individuality is dangerous, being forgettable keeps her alive.

Until she begins showing signs of a rare disease, drawing the unwanted attention of the State's sinister research facility, the DSD. Apprehended against her will for testing, Wynter becomes the subject of the mysterious Dr. Richter, who is determined to make sense of her condition.

However, Dr. Richter's intentions are less than noble, and after months of horrifying experimentation, Wynter jumps at the chance to escape her captors. But freedom isn't what she expected, and as her symptoms worsen, she must make a choice. One that will determine not only her future...

But the fate of the world.



Available at:


Trailer


Excerpt
Behind my closed eyelids, all I see is his face, bloodied and beaten rather than smiling--the way I wish I remembered him. The happy memories were tarnished the moment the State stepped into our lives, and now, instead of his warm voice guiding me, all I hear are the words that have tormented me for years.

"I'm sorry, Wynter."

Tears stream down my cheeks, but I keep hitting the notes, the thrum of the vibrating strings reverberating into my fingertips.

"Wynter."

The coppery stench of blood fills my nose, and the wetness tickles my lips before splashing onto the keys and across my fingers. The sound of each drop ping, ping, pings in my ears.

"Wynter--"

A hand reaches out and touches my shoulder, grabbing me just like the Enforcer's hands did that day. I remember the feel of those fingers, strong and firm, as they pulled me away from my father.

Pressure balloons in my head as my lungs fill with air, bursting with a scream that rises up pushing at the inside of my lips. I won't let them do this to us.

Not again.

A stabbing pain hammers into my temples, and with a shriek, my building power rips out of my body like the lash of several dozen whips. As the pressure pushes outward, the mirrored wall shatters.

Aside from the deafening crack of glass, the only sound that registers in my brain is a strange muffled grunt. Above me, the crystal chandelier swings from side to side as the tiles shower to the carpet like rain.

I spin on my heel, lured by the abrupt surge of energy tearing through my body like a drug, and glare down at the cowering man on the floor, his back pressed against what remains of the mirrored wall. When I take a step toward him to finish what I started, his frightened expression stays my hand.

As he stares up at me, familiar hazel eyes wide with fear, the memory of who he is takes shape in my head, bringing me back to myself and releasing me from my temporary insanity. Horrified, I glance from the bleeding gash on Ezra's right cheek to the glass shards scattered around us.

A single thought breaks through the fog dulling my senses. What have I done?







M. A. PHIPPS is an American author who resides near the ocean in picturesque Cornwall with her husband, daughter, and their Jack Russell, Milo. A lover of the written word, it has always been her dream to become a published author, and it is her hope to expand into multiple genres of fiction.







Thursday, September 16, 2021

Book Blitz with Excerpt + Giveaway: You're So Vain by Whitney Dineen @whitneydineen @XpressoTours


You're So Vain: A Royal Haters to Lovers Romance by Whitney Dineen
Series: Seven Brides for Seven Mothers #4
Publication date: September 12th, 2021

Synopsis:
Family drama is something Lutéce Choate struggles to avoid. With a mother who's an award-winning country western song writer, an aunt who's a Country Music Hall of Famer, and a brother who's a rock star, it hasn't exactly been a low-key kind of life, and she's ready for a break.

Then Lu's younger sister, Claire, goes off and gets engaged to a prince from Malquar, bringing the dreaded spotlight back to shine on their family once again. Lu wants to go to the engagement party about as much as she wants to yodel the Star Spangled Banner at the Grand Ole Opry with her crazy relatives. Alas, not going, doesn't appear to be an option.

Alistair George Henry Bere Hale is not the heir, but the spare. Without the weight of the Crown in his future, he's managed to live the carefree life of a man about town. That is until his younger brother gets engaged before him and their mother starts pressuring him to settle down.

Alistair represents everything that Lutéce has come to despise--he's a rich, playboy, partier, who's always in the spotlight... But Alistair doesn't feel the same about Lu. In fact, he's quite drawn to his brother's future sister-in-law, prickles and all.

When Lu and Alistair's mothers witness the sparks between their children, they start to make plans of their own. Will Lu relax her prejudices long enough to get to know Alistair?

Find out in the fabulously funny fourth book in the Seven Bride's for Seven Mothers Series.


Available at:


Excerpt
Slipping my phone into my purse, I give myself one last look in the entryway mirror. Ben's profile says he's five-ten, which I know means five-eight. As I'm five-ten, I'm wearing flats so as not to make him uncomfortable.

While driving over Laurel Canyon Boulevard to meet my date at Chow's--the latest West Side hotspot--I think about how online dating is really performed in code. Men lie about their height, their weight, and their net worth. Women lie about their age, their desire to start a family (men don't want to hear the word "baby" come up until they've been married for five years), and how many boyfriends they've had.

Men want a young woman with minimal baggage and no obvious desire to procreate. Women want a guy who isn't always looking for a better option. I almost turn my car around in the next driveway.

Instead, I flip on the sound system to distract myself from thoughts of bailing on tonight. My favorite Spotify playlist blasts vintage Enya through the speakers, causing my throat to fill with so much emotion I feel like I've just swallowed a bowling ball.

I love Enya and her ethereal melodies about memories from past lives where she was a princess and love spanned multiple incarnations. Thank God for playlists. I've already burned through five Shepherd Moons CDs.

By the time I pull up to the valet of Chow's, I'm full-on bawling--damn these hormone shots! Oh, Enya, I long for the love you sing of! I can't have always been the social pariah I am in this lifetime. Someone had to have loved me somewhere down the line.

"Ma'am, I'm going to need you to step out of the car." Am I being arrested?

I look up and am jolted back to the present by a surfer-looking dude in a valet uniform. With a sigh worthy of a Disney Princess, I put my car in park and get out. Then I take my ticket and make my way to the front door.

Weaving through what can only be described as a throng of fashionable people--the extremes Angelinos will go to be seen at the latest, hippest, coolest place is legendary--I finally made my way inside and up to the hostesses stand. "Hi there, I'm meeting Benedict Solomon."

The Baywatch babe wannabe looks up from her reservation book and excitedly declares, "Are you Bennie's mom?" I'm either totally delusional about how old I look, or this girl is a cow.

"His grandmother, actually," I tell her with a smirk. Then I raise my left eyebrow with my most intense I'm-gonna-shiv-you-in-a-dark-alley-if-you-don't-take-me-to-my-date-right-now look. She takes the hint and leads the way.

Bennie is waiting at a table by the window. From a distance, he looks a lot younger than his JDate profile pic. A lot younger. Like twelve.

The hostess says, "Bennie, your grandmother is here. Remember, order whatever you want, and Jocko will comp the bill."

Staring at my date, I announce, "I think there's been a mistake."


USA Today Bestselling author Whitney Dineen is a rock star in her own head. While delusional about her singing abilities, there's been a plethora of validation that she's a fairly decent author (AMAZING!!!). After winning many writing awards and selling nearly a kabillion books (Math may not be her forte, either), she's decided to let the voices in her head say whatever they want (sorry, Mom). She also won a fourth-place ribbon in a fifth-grade swim meet in backstroke. So, there's that.

Whitney loves to play with her kids (a.k.a. dazzle them with her amazing flossing abilities), bake stuff, eat stuff, and write books for people who "get" her. She thinks french fries are the perfect food and Mrs. Roper is her spirit animal.


Book Blitz with Excerpt + Giveaway: Tribute to the Alpha by Cara Wylde @XpressoTours


Tribute to the Alpha by Cara Wylde
Series: Alma Venus Shifter Brides #0.5
Publication date: March 31st, 2021

Synopsis:
The war between humans and shapeshifters must end. There has been too much bloodshed, and it's time for the factions to sign a peace treaty. But there is one man, one wolf warrior, who does not want peace. Not even when humans would be forced to provide shifters with brides to bear them heirs. Ruarc Bloodmoon is not interested in a willing human bride. All he wants is power.

Alma is the only daughter of the future representative of the human faction, and she is ready to sacrifice herself to keep her loved ones safe. Ruarc will listen to no one and negotiate with no one, but maybe he will, if she offers herself to him. If she becomes the first shifter bride in history, maybe he will finally see that peace is the only way for humans and shifters to move forward.

Note from the author: This is a prequel to the Alma Venus Shifter-Brides series, which currently has four completed novels and various bonus novellas available on Amazon. The series is complete, and ready for you to devour.


Available at:


Excerpt
"Why don't you want peace?"

He growled low in his chest, and that deep, primal sound made something quiver inside Alma's fragile body.

"Because we don't need it."

"The wolves don't need it..."

"Exactly. You humans are weak. Another few months of war, and you'd be crushed forever. It baffles me that the other factions don't see it. We can just kill your men to the last one, until only boys are left to protect you. You'd surrender then, and we'd enslave all the females. We need child-bearers, after all."

Alma's heart ached. She pressed a hand to her chest, hoping it would ease the pain. It took all her might to not break into tears right then and there. Her survival instinct urged her to bow to the stronger being, bend the knee and ask for mercy for her entire species. But that wouldn't have worked. Not with Ruarc Bloodmoon. She had to be strong.

"You're wrong. You wouldn't be able to crush us. Yes, you are stronger and faster than us, but we have the numbers. Even though you've killed many, there are still plenty left to fight. And we're determined. We believe in our cause and in our freedom. We've learned how to shoot dragons out of the sky. I bet no one expected that to happen, but it did. So, here we are, trying to make peace. Everyone wants it, Ruarc Bloodmoon. What will it take to convince you that this is the only way?"

He shook his head. "You're naïve, Alma Hastings. I don't even know why I'm talking to you. This has been a waste of my time."

He turned on his heels and made to leave. She couldn't let that happen, so she gathered all her courage and dared to grab him by the arm. She couldn't exactly grab him though, since his biceps was as thick as a tree trunk and her hand was small.

He froze in place, and in what felt like slow motion to both, he turned to face her and look at her hand on his arm. His eyes were wide, betraying disbelief. She'd had the guts to touch him! This small, silly human female had the guts to place her hand on Ruarc Bloodmoon, one of the most feared Alphas of the wolf faction. He wasn't even sure how he should react.

"What about the clause concerning shifter brides?" She removed her hand when she realized it had lingered long enough on his taut biceps to become awkward. "Humans are obligated to provide shifters with females they will take as wives, and the females will bear their children and help perpetuate the shifter species."

Ruarc leaned in and sneered in her face. "Didn't you hear me, little girl? We can take what we want, no problem. We can take as many women as we want and breed them. Once this war is over and we win, no one will stand in our way."

"A willing wife is better than a wife taken and enslaved. Less drama. She won't try to escape, harm her mate, or harm herself. Maybe harm the children she never wanted. You must see that I'm right."

"Right?" He laughed. "Is that what you think you are?"

She pursed her lips and forced herself to ignore his comment.

"I will prove it to you. I volunteer to become the first shifter bride. Your bride, if you'll have me."

Ruarc's jaw was about to fall in shock, but he couldn't have that, so he clenched it tightly instead. He didn't know what he'd expected from the little female, but it certainly hadn't been this. She was offering herself to him, just so she could prove that the peace treaty with that clause in it could work. He had to admit that Alma Hastings was brave. And maybe a tad stupid. Nonetheless, she'd taken him by surprise, and it didn't often happen that Ruarc Bloodmoon was taken by surprise.

"I'll sleep on it," he grunted, then was out of the room.


Cara Wylde loves to write about strong, feisty women and their hot Alphas who will do anything to make them happy. Her books are filled with romance and just a dash of mystery, suspense, and that eerie atmosphere she fell in love with reading too many gothic novels. With a master's degree in Comparative Literature, she can't help but play with tropes and themes from various genres, trying to come up with fresh perspectives on the paranormal characters her readers love so much. Vampires, shapeshifters, demons, witches... Cara will always make sure they get their own twists.