Sunday, February 25, 2018

The History of Hilary Hambrushina by Marnie Lamb Blitz and #Giveaway


The History of Hilary Hambrushina
Marnie Lamb
Publication date: May 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Hilary has one goal for her first year in junior high: to become popular. But her plans are turned upside down when her best friend leaves for the summer and a quirky girl named Kallie moves in next door. Kallie paints constellations on her ceiling, sleeps in a hammock, and enacts fantastical plays in front of cute boys on the beach. Yet despite Kallie’s lack of interest in being -cool, – Hilary and Kallie find themselves becoming friends. That summer friendship, however, is put to the test when school begins, reigniting Hilary’s obsession with climbing the social ladder. As Hilary discovers the dark side to popularity, she must decide who she wants to be before she loses everything.
EXCERPT:
I put on a sweatband and sneakers and brought down a water bottle. My plan was to pedal non-stop for an hour. I figured I could do it, since I was used to riding my own bike, and how different could this bike be? I should lose at least one pound that way, I told myself. So if I use the bike every day, in fifteen days I’ll have lost the weight I want to lose.
I stepped over boxes and piles of books to reach the bike, which sat in a dark corner. This corner had a musty smell, like an old church that hadn’t been dusted since Queen Victoria was my age. A fake raccoon-fur hat someone had given my dad as a joke hung on the wall nearby.
The bike seat was too high for me, but I couldn’t move it because it was screwed in place. Gripping the handlebars for support, I tried to heave my leg over the seat several times without success. I was becoming angry and sweaty, so I started breathing deeply, like I was having a baby, to calm myself down. “Hoo hoo hoo.”
“Hilary!” shouted my mom. “Why are you making monkey noises?”
I froze. I knew that if I said, “It’s nothing,” she’d come down, and I didn’t want her to think I needed help getting on a stationary bicycle. So I called, “I’m just playing a game.”
I managed to lift myself on to the bike. I had to stretch to reach the pedals, but I finally did and started pumping. It was O.K. at first, but soon, my muscles felt like some psycho was using them as rubber bands. And some people actually do this for fun! What’s wrong with them, I thought. I reached for the water bottle and tried to squirt some water in my mouth. Nothing but air came out. I’d forgotten to fill the bottle! I threw it away and continued to pump furiously. Objects on the wall began rattling, and I was making so many strange noises my mother must have thought a whole pack of monkeys was performing a conga line in the basement. I began to have visions of monkeys in spangly pink bikinis
kicking up their heels (did monkeys have heels, I wondered) on stage at the Princess of Wales Theatre.
Suddenly my sweatband fell over my eyes. I didn’t stop to fix it, though. You’re going to pump for the full hour, not for fifty-nine minutes, I ordered myself. Instead, I tried nodding vigorously to get the sweatband to fall under my chin. It fell over my nose and I couldn’t breathe. Then something dark and furry leapt on my head, covering my eyes and tickling my face like a bunch of feathers. I screamed, batting at the thing with one hand and pumping frantically, as if I could escape that way. I soon realized it was only my dad’s hat, but I still couldn’t get it off. Finally I stumbled off the bike and yanked the hat’s tail away from my eyes.
I had no energy left to remove the hat, so I left it on and trudged upstairs. I passed my mom, who took one look at me and started to snicker. Ignoring her, I went into the kitchen to check the clock. I’d been on the bike five minutes.
So that was the end of my experiment with exercising.


Author Bio:
A Journey Prize nominee, Marnie Lamb earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Windsor. Her short stories have appeared in various Canadian literary journals. Her first novel, a YA book named The History of Hilary Hambrushina, is forthcoming from Iguana Books. When she is not writing fiction or running her freelance editing business, she can be found cooking recipes with eggplant or scouting out colourful fashions at the One of a Kind Show.

GIVEAWAY!

$25 Amazon gift card
Ends May 8, 2018

XBTBanner1

The Devil Inside by Jane Hinchey Blitz and #Giveaway


The Devil Inside
Jane Hinchey
(Hell’s Gate #2)
Publication date: February 24th, 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
God is missing…
And Heaven is dying.
And if that weren’t bad enough, I’m in a showdown with my brothers. I don’t care if they’re family—they pissed off the wrong sister. Those Arch Angels are going to pay the price for getting my lover, Levi Forrester dragged into another dimension by a vicious soul stealer.
Retrieving Levi won’t be easy, but I’m Hellbent on taking back what’s mine. After all, when you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.
Now, with God disappearing, lost souls multiplying, and a new threat on the loose, it’s up to me to make things right.
I’m Lucy, the CEO of Hell, and come Hell or high water, I will get my way.
Sequel to:
EXCERPT:
I woke to the sensation of heat. A lot of it. Rolling onto my back, I checked that I hadn’t inadvertently set the room on fire, but there were no flames in sight. Just Levi asleep next to me, radiating an enormous amount of heat. Worried, I placed my palm on his forehead. Shit, he was burning up.
“What is it?” He mumbled, cracking open one eye to peer at me.
“You’ve got a fever. How do you feel?” Worry tinged my voice. Had he brought back an infection from Xoelax?
“What? No way! I’m fine.” He bounced out of bed, gloriously naked, and strode into the bathroom. I watched the magnificence of his muscled back, tight ass, and long lean legs before letting my hand drop to where he’d been laying on the bed only moments earlier. Definitely hot. What was up with him if he wasn’t ill?
His head appeared around the door frame and he crooked his finger. “Coming?”
The promise in his voice had me leaping from the bed and into his arms in record time. Our naked flesh collided, and I reveled in it, in the way every nerve ending sprang to life, from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. Threading his fingers through my hair, he angled my head the way he wanted it and kissed me. He kissed me like I’d wanted to be kissed my entire life—with everything he had. That kiss told me he was mine and I was his. That kiss touched my very soul. It branded me. My head swam with it, my knees buckled, and I sagged against him, consumed by him.
“You’re so hot,” I whispered when his lips left mine to explore across my jaw and down my neck.
“So are you, babe.” He nipped, then soothed the sting with his tongue. He was doing crazy things to me, things that made my blood heat in my veins.
“No, seriously. You’re fucking hot.” I placed my palms on his chest and pushed, putting some distance between us. “As in, you have a temperature. Your skin feels feverish.”


Author Bio:
Aussie Author Jane Hinchey writes sexy, snarky, badass, paranormal romances and urban fantasy novels.
Living in the City of Churches (aka Adelaide, South Australia) with her man, two cats, and turtle, she spends her days writing fantastical stories full of dark sexy vampires, hot shifters, sexy aliens, jaw dropping demons, sinful angels, and magical witches – and while they can be snarky and swear a lot, they mean well and you’ll grow to love them. Honestly.
When she’s not in her writing cave she’s usually playing the Sims, Civilizations or something similar, binge watching Netflix or upping the ante in the crazy cat lady stakes. She loves to hear from her readers, so swing on by her website at www.janehinchey.com and say hi.

#GIVEAWAY!
Straight to Hell Swag Pack

XBTBanner1

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Avalon Nightmares by Alexa Whitewolf (The Avalon Chronicles, #3)

Avalon Nightmares
by Alexa Whitewolf

My rating: 5 stars

Series: The Avalon Chronicles - Book 3
Publication Date: February 21, 2018
Publisher: Alexa Whitewolf
Genre: Fantasy
Print Length: 289 pages
Available From: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Vivienne is still reeling from the fight with Carleigh and finally enjoying some well-deserved quality time with Sébastien. Absorbed into each other, neither is aware of the dark forces lurking in the shadows that threaten their newfound happiness.

The one who could warn them stays silent - not out of choice. Alistair finds himself bound to a mysterious new enemy, only for an old lover to come to his rescue. Will his demon lord powers be enough to help the Lady of the Lake and her savior? Or will he be faced with a choice that could change everything, including his loyalty?

And what of Merlin, whose sole purpose was to imprison the now-immortal Carleigh? Try as they may, none of the heroes can reach him, and his eerie silence is worrisome. 

Lost opportunities, bitter lovers and ambitious sorcerers collide in one last battle for the fate of the world. In this final installment of the Avalon Chronicles, everything will come full circle...but not everyone may get a happy ending.
Avalon Nightmares by Alexa Whitewolf
(The Avalon Chronicles, #3)

Avalon Nightmares (The Avalon Chronicles #3)Is Alexa Whitewolf finally going to give Vivienne and Sebastian their long-fought-for happy ending or will the forces of evil find another way to tear these two apart, once more? Get ready to feel your head spin, because just when you think you can heave a sigh of relief, just when you think you have it all figured out, BAM, the next page will have you off and running again!

Expect some unexpected surprises, rekindling of some old romances, and for everyone to get their say. AVALON NIGHTMARES is full of turmoil, heartbreak, joy and pain and it won’t all belong to Vivienne and Sebastian.

Alistair will get help from his past, Merlin will be filled with one surprise after another, some he cannot talk about, Mordred and Morgana will definitely find themselves in the mix, but just maybe they, too will have moments of heart along with their moments of deceit. And Carleigh? Oh my, that is one bad immortal apple for sure.

Just know this, AVALON NIGHTMARES brings everything home in this brilliant finale! Such revelations, so much depth in each character, their thoughts, their points of view, so many answers are revealed, Alexa Whitewolf shines as an author and creator of worlds!

Intense, detailed, and coming at you from all angles, the magic within these characters are surpassed only by the magic of Ms. Whitewolf’s writing!

I received a complimentary copy from Alexa Whitewolf!

Avalon Nightmares by Alexa Whitewolf #Cover Reveal & #Giveaway!
Click on Banner to Enter!

Remy by Isaiyan Morrison (The Brotherhood Files, #2)

Remy: The Brotherhood Files
by Isaiyan Morrison

My rating: 5 stars

Series: The Brotherhood Files - Book 2
Publisher: Isaiyan Morrison (March 6, 2018)
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Genre: Fantasy | Paranormal
Print Length: 205 pages
Available from: Amazon
For Deamhan, revenge is the best dish of all. 

In 1840s Paris, vampires aren’t just at the throats of humans. Split into two warring factions, Dorvo vampires wage war against the Deamhan, their paranormal cousins created by dark magic and who feed on the psychic energy of their human victims. In this strange new world, Remy, a bourgeoisie, is sired as a Deamhan by Julian. But the intoxicating rush of becoming a powerful psychic vampire is soon eclipsed by the presence of Ruby, a beautiful yet elusive Dorvo vampire. 

Betrayed by his own, Ruby feeds his undesirable urge to have his revenge against Julian and the rest of the Deamhan. But he doesn’t know if he can trust Ruby. She may have given him his freedom, but she’s still the enemy who has vowed to vanquish the Deamhan, the very same Deamhan that betrayed him. Now it’s up to Remy to decide who to trust -- and who to destroy. 

In Remy, The Brotherhood Files, author Isaiyan Morrison presents a paranormal urban fantasy about fractured relationships, mistrust, and forgiveness. Here in the City of Love, it’s anything but, as Remy’s caught between two warring sides who both want him gone. Will his desire for revenge cloud his judgment? Or will he figure out who he can trust once and for all? In this wild journey from the graveyard and through the dark alleys and cobblestoned streets of Paris, Remy is both hunter…and prey. 
Remy by Isaiyan Morrison (The Brotherhood Files,#2)

Remy: The Brotherhood FilesHe would have died the night the working class rebels attacked his wealthy family, but a stranger with incredible skills fought off his attackers. Julian saved Remy’s life, or did he? When Remy awoke, his woulds were gone and he was “different.” From that day forward, Remy was no longer human, he was Deamhan and a volatile world he never could have imagined had become his world. He would soon learn that even among the immortal, there was hatred and war, and the greatest enemy of the physic Deamhan were the Dorvo vampires.

Remy didn’t know that falling for a Dorvo queen would cause his own kind to betray him brutally, but could he trust Ruby not to betray him, too? Alone in a world with no one to turn to, Remy must decide who he can trust and where his dead heart lies. Memories can be erased, but feelings buried deep inside will still glimmer…

REMY by Isaiyan Morrison is the story of a privileged young man who will be forced to learn that the world was not destined to be at his beck and call and that love can be the biggest disappointment of all when those you trust have only their own best interests at heart. Will Remy seek the revenge that is his due or will he learn to forgive the past, but sleep with one eye open?

Isaiyan Morrison’s world of the Deamhan is dark, brutal, and deadly. The quest for supreme power is an obsession and no one can truly be trusted. Remy’s story comes alive through his eyes, and his experiences, his losses and his personal coming of age. Quite possibly the best yet from Ms. Morrison, there are no heroes in shining armor, and even the supernatural are flawed and twisted. Well told, intriguing and deliciously dark and edgy, REMY is a must read for those who like their characters a little tarnished and their worlds shadowy and filled with ever-present danger.

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Isaiyan Morrison!



Cursed by Mila Young (Haven Realm, #3)

Cursed
A Reverse Harem Fairy Tale Retelling
by Mila Young

My rating: 5 stars

Series: Haven Realm - Book 3
Publication Date: February 20, 2018
Publisher: Mila Young
Genre: Fantasy Romance | Reverse Harem
Print Length: 293 pages
Available from: Amazon
Beauty and the Four Beasts. A Deadly Curse. A Fallen Kingdom.

With magic banned in the human realm, Bee, a powerful witch, has had to offer her services in secret. When a request to break a curse comes from the dangerous mountains and royal bear shifters, Bee is hesitant, but winter is coming and funds are tight.

At the castle, Bee finds things are not quite what she was led to believe. The curse Bee is meant to break has reached its zenith, siphoning off the Prince's life while preventing him from controlling his shifting abilities. He is volatile, angry, and far stronger than she had imagined. His brothers, who commissioned her, present her with a challenge - fix it, or lose everything.

Soon the curse is spreading throughout the castle, taking brother alike. It's a race against the clock, buffeted by dark magic, intrigue, and a strange attraction that has her looking at the four brothers in a new light.
Cursed by Mila Young (Haven Realm, #3)

Cursed: A Reverse Harem Fairy Tale Retelling (Haven Realm Book 3)Mila Young’s writing is blazing hot in CURSED and it isn’t because it is the story of a powerful witch who finds love with not one, but four bear princes! Filled with humor, heart and heat, CURSED is my favorite book so far in the haven Realm Series. Is it the characters that come to life and made me smile? Is it the pain of four brothers cursed and suffering so terribly? Or could it be the relationships that and trusts that were built between Bee and the boys? Um, yes, yes, and yes!

I admit, I was a little taken aback by the thought of four hot guys and only one Bee, but there were emotions that came alive that rocked back and forth between cute, playful and desperately needed.

Bee needed the money offered to break a curse on four bear princes, a girl has got to eat, you know. Her introduction to the shifters was comical, but what she discovered at their castle was horrific and the clock is ticking on saving their lives. Who would curse these royal bears? Why would they do it? Bee is determined to save the princes and her heart.

Fun, sexy, tense. Read CURSED as a standalone, but do NOT miss the other fantasy tales in this series!

I received a complimentary copy from Mila Young!



Perfect by Felice Stevens Blitz and #Giveaway


Perfect
Felice Stevens
(Soulmates #4)
Publication date: February 23rd 2018
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance
Despite multiple degrees and business success, in his heart Jeremy Strauss feels he’s never measured up. While he hasn’t lacked for men or women to share his bed, Jeremy has yet to find someone who sees beyond his muscles and perfect smile. Taking it slow with a lover isn’t how he operates, but something about the shy accountant he rescues in a snowstorm makes him want this time to be different. So what if Blake drops little comments here and there about Jeremy’s pretty face? Their relationship is perfect.
Or is it?
Lonely most of his life, Blake Myers is as careful with his heart as he is with a balance sheet. The last thing he expects is for a man like Jeremy to fall for him, and he can’t help but wait for the bubble to burst on their relationship. When the stress of a professional crisis turns personal, Blake sees the perfect relationship he and Jeremy have built start to crumble. Caught in an ever-tightening web of lies, rather than wait for Jeremy to leave him, Blake breaks it off and vanishes.
Perfection is an illusion.
Jeremy doesn’t know which way to turn and for the first time in his life, he’s lost and uncertain. Believing he’s no longer the man Jeremy needs, Blake sinks deeper into despair. Both men struggle with secrets, lies, and hurtful memories until they are forced to look inside their hearts and learn the truth—that love is perfectly imperfect.
EXCERPT:
At around six thirty, his desk phone buzzed. “Yeah?”
“Blake here to see you?”
His pulse sped up. “Be right there.” Jeremy ran a hand through his hair and walked out of his office to the front desk. In his suit and tie and dark wool overcoat, Blake looked sexy and sophisticated. Jeremy felt like an underdressed slob in his sweats and T-shirt. His heart pounded, and his palms turned sweaty. What the hell was happening to him?
“Hey. I’m here.”
When their eyes met, Blake’s face lit up, and he smiled. “Hi. This place is great. I can’t believe you started it from scratch.”
“Yep. I did.” Seeing the curious glances of both Benny and Gino, Jeremy took Blake’s hand in his. “Guys. This is my boyfriend, Blake. Blake.” He squeezed Blake’s hand. “The dark-haired guy is Gino, and the redhead is Benny. They’re my right-hand men.”
“Nice to meet you both.”
Gino gaped at him. “Boyfriend? You never said you were even dating anyone.”
“I didn’t realize I owed you an explanation.” Jeremy chuckled and shook his head. “Blake and I are going back to my office, so unless it’s my brother or the mayor, no interruptions. Got it?”
They nodded, staring at him with wide, shocked eyes, but he ignored them and pulled Blake along, anxious to be alone with him.
He pushed Blake into his office and slammed the door shut behind him, locking it. “Finally. I’ve been waiting all day to do this.”
He covered Blake’s mouth with his and kissed him deep and hard, his tongue pressing at the seam of Blake’s lips. For a moment, Blake stiffened, but when Jeremy slipped his tongue inside, Blake grabbed on to his shoulder and began to kiss him back with equal fervor.
“Mmmm. That’s better.” His hands sure and steady, Jeremy first pushed off Blake’s coat and suit jacket, then loosened his tie. “Wanna know what sexy fantasies I’ve been having all day since you said you were coming over?”
Blake stared at him, wild-eyed and panting. “Yeah. Tell me.”
“You, bent over my sofa, naked. Me fucking you, while outside people are walking by. Maybe they hear us, maybe they don’t.”
He watched Blake’s eyes glaze over with lust. Jeremy was more than willing to make Blake’s fantasy a reality. Getting him off in semi-public was hot as hell, and the desire Jeremy stemmed all day burst free. He wanted Blake. Now.
“Take off everything.”
Breathing heavily, Blake licked his lips. “But what if someone needs you? They’ll knock on the door and—”
“And I won’t answer because I’ll be too busy being inside you. Come on. Get naked.”


Author Bio:
If you join my newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/y85e69ab you'll get exclusive content, sneak peeks at new books and contests. I feature favorite authors, recipes and free short stories!
I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.
I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

GIVEAWAY!

$20 Amazon gift card
Ends March 1, 2018

XBTBanner1

Falling For Jordan by Liz Durano Promo Tour

FALLING FOR JORDAN
A Different Kind of Love, Book 2
by Liz Durano

Friday, February 23, 2018

Outliers by Kate L. Mary (The Outliers Saga, #1)

Outliers
by Kate L. Mary

My rating: 5 stars

Series: The Outliers Saga- Book 1
Publisher: Twisted Press, LLC (March 6, 2018)
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Genre: Dystopian | Post Apocalyptic
Print Length: 237 pages
Available from: Amazon
In the dusty ruins of the world, three groups exist: the Sovereign, the Fortis, and the Outliers. Within their walled city, exclusive access to the only remaining technology gives the Sovereign an advantage that seems impossible to beat. In exchange for meager scraps and free reign outside the walls, they use the brawn of the Fortis to their advantage while the Outliers struggle to survive. Living on land that has not healed from the poison of the past, and surrounded by dangers too numerous to count, the Outliers have adapted - but to the Sovereign and the Fortis, they are nothing.

Indra is an Outlier. Each day she braves the wastelands, making the dangerous journey from the wilds where she lives to the City so she can serve the Sovereign in order to give her family a better life. Inside the walls, she has no rights and no freedom. Not only is she powerless to resist the Sovereign’s harsh rule, but she is also unable to do anything to save her people from the brutality of the Fortis. For centuries they have made their abuse of Outliers a sport, but when Asa comes to Indra’s rescue, she sees something different in him. Something that marks him as so much more than just a Fortis guard.

But as Indra’s world begins to unravel, even the quiet alliance she has formed with Asa cannot save her from the wrath of the Sovereign. In one life-altering moment, everything Indra has ever known is ripped away, forcing her to face a world even more harsh and unforgiving. Broken and scarred, Indra finds herself on a journey that will challenge everything she’s ever been taught, learning along the way that she’s stronger than she ever imagined. Maybe even strong enough to free her people forever. 
Outliers by Kate L. Mary (The Outliers Saga, #1)

Outliers (The Outliers Saga, # 1)From the ashes of life comes strength and one young woman will find her own strength at one of the lowest points in her life. Enter the world of OUTLIERS and let author Kate L. Mary take you on a journey into what is left behind in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world. Three classes have formed, the all-powerful, ruling Sovereign class use their position to gain a warrior force from the Fortis. At the bottom of the chain are the Outliers, those with the least, those who must work the hardest, those who suffer the wrath of both the Sovereign and the Fortis.

Indra has proven her worth in the eyes of her sovereign employer, but it doesn’t protect her from the abuse she must face on a daily basis in order to feed her family. With no rights, no freedoms and no one to depend on while within the sovereign’s city walls. It is nothing for the Fortis to take advantage of their position of strength for sport and always, it is at the expense of the Outliers.

Then Asa stepped forward to risk his position as a Fortis to help Indra. Can she trust a man whose people have tormented the Outliers for decades? As he keeps his silent vigil, she is safe, but one day he isn’t there and that day would forever change who and what Indra was. It would define her greatest loss and nearly cost her her very life. That day Indra had nothing left to give, so she learned to take and a rebel was born…

All post-apocalyptic tales are NOT created equal! Kate L. Mary nailed the worst society has to offer. An extension of whatever brought down the world before? Indra has true grit and strength, she has maturity and a heck of a lot more self-control than I would have had. Asa, as mysterious as he was, definitely could be called a rebel himself, even if his motives were emotional. I KNOW I also liked that there was no romantic, forbidden love between Indra and Asa, yes there was tension, but Indra seemed to know who and what she wanted and it broke my heart that it became the greatest weapon to use against her.

Vile characters, brutal actions and living in constant fear for one class of people will render readers almost speechless with rage. What it does to galvanize Indra will bring readers back for more, because OUTLIERS is not only a firm foundation for what promises to be a powerfully intense new series, it feels alive, kind of like a lit fuse that promises to explode! Read it, you'll be glad you did!

I received a complimentary ARC copy from Kate L. Mary!

The Chief and His Marine by B.A. Sherman

The Chief and His Marine
by B.A. Sherman

My rating: 5 stars

Publication Date: December 1, 2017
Publisher: B.A. Sherman
Genre: Military Saga | Revenge
Print Length: 442 pages
Available from: Amazon |  Barnes & Noble

Too many fathers and mothers know the feeling of pride but also the dread that follows a son or daughter going off to war. And along with dread, when the worst you can imagine happens, there is sorrow … and anger. Sometimes there is more.

Based on true events, join author B.A. Sherman at his most stirring and shocking best as he imagines the horror of war from a parent’s view.This is a story of love, hatred and revenge so gripping and so true to life, it’s hard to tell where reality ends and frightening fantasy takes over. Told in both the quiet streets of the U.S. and the explosive sands of Afghanistan, the Chief and His Marine goes where few have gone…and written about the experience.

But war is real and likely here to stay, he will tell you. Worth thinking about, and deciding what you might do if it were your son or daughter out there. Or you.

These are the thoughts to grapple with in this story. They will make you hug your child a little tighter today, as you follow the Chief and Nick his Marine—just out of school and so proud to be serving his country—into the killing fields of hell.
The Chief and His Marine by B.A. Sherman

The Chief and His MarineThe pride of a father whose son followed him into the military turns to devastation and loss with the sickening swipe of a knife by a coward hiding beneath a mask. One man will become an angel of vengeance ready to go to hell to exact payment for the young life that was taken in the name of hatred, but he will not go alone, he will take the monster with him.

No parent should lose a child to death. When that death is murder and a mockery of the past, what parent wouldn’t declare a war of vengeance? Few of us have the expertise to carry out our darkest thoughts, but Chief John Platte, Navy Seal had both the means and the boiling hatred to return to Afghanistan to make a terrorist assassin pay for the death of his son, a young Marine barely out of boot camp.

This is a story of all-consuming hatred, sacrifices for friendship and brotherhood, family and justice. You will question the actions, but never the emotions that drove one man to the brink of madness as he lives the adage, “an eye for an eye,” with no regrets, save that his son never died and the moments he dreamed of for their future were ripped away.

B.B. Sherman spares nothing in this brutal tale. THE CHIEF AND HIS MARINE is every parent’s nightmare with a twist that few could act on. As long as there is terrorism, twisted death mongers and cowards, there will be the thoughts of vengeance, but few will be able to act on them with the ferocity of the Chief. Powerful, powerful reading that is heartbreaking, gut-churning and will inspire readers to see the hell that soldiers face and are permanently scarred by, should they be fortunate enough to come home. No matter what your feelings are regarding war, violence and retribution, you will be moved by this story and you will not forget the agony it brings to life.

I can tell you this, once read, this book cannot be forgotten.

I received a complimentary copy from B. A. Sherman!


Dead Girl by Jesse Teller

Dead Girl
by Jesse Teller

My rating: 5 stars

This novella is currently available as a free download when subscribing to Jesse Teller's newsletter. Visit jesseteller.com/newsletter for more details.
Deep in the mountains of Neather, Ellen reveres her elders and follows their traditions until a young man betrays her trust and violates her innocence. Pregnant and shunned by her tribe, Ellen’s last shred of tenderness dies with her stillborn baby. After years of isolating herself in grief, she leaves the mountain to carve out a future. Surviving her youth will take all of Ellen’s resolve and develop a life she could not have foreseen.

Dead Girl is one of four novellas in the collection Legends of the Exiles, which releases April 15, 2019.
Dead Girl by Jesse Teller

Dead GirlShe was young, she was innocent and her hormones overrode her common sense. Ellen was used, betrayed and left pregnant, shunned by her family and village, abused by the midwife who was meant to be her support. Her baby dead, her body scarred, she survived physically, but the grief has destroyed her.

Turning her back on society and its cruelties, she becomes a hermit, spending her days telling her story, expressing her rage with paint and crude writing tools. Why did her life turn out so wrong? Why did her baby die? Why wasn’t she deserving of support and love? Would it be better to end her existence or would that mean that the worst of society’s hard heartedness had won? As the years go by, few will break through the shields she has put up around her, both physically and emotionally. Will their caring warm the coldness in her heart? Will Ellen find the courage to move on? It would take a miracle to give her a reason to live, but perhaps that miracle is coming…if it is not too late.

Jesse Teller’s DEAD GIRL is a dark and brutal story of one young girl’s torment in a society too blind to see their injustice. It is the story of unknown strength and a will to survive, even with the burning rage that was destroying what was left of this young woman. Jesse Teller writes with a stark clarity and raw emotion that will burrow deep into the soul of every reader as we recoil at the callousness of the many and the kindness of the few brave souls. Definitely a story that will stay with readers.

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Jesse Teller!

Coming soon! Dead Girl is one of four novellas in the collection Legends of the Exiles, which releases April 15, 2019.


The Fourth Gunman by John Lansing Tour & #Giveaway

The Fourth Gunman by John Lansing Tour Banner

The Fourth Gunman

by John Lansing

on Tour February 19 - March 24, 2018

Synopsis:

The Fourth Gunman by John Lansing

From the best selling author of The Devil’s Necktie, and Blond Cargo comes the latest title in the Jack Bertolino series.

Retired inspector Jack Bertolino straddles two perilous worlds. Known for his impeccable police work, Jack has also done a priceless favor for an infamous Mafia Don: he saved the gangster’s kidnapped daughter from being sold into the sex trade, and brought her safely home.
In Jack’s line of work, he can’t help but have friends—and enemies—on both sides of the law.
So when FBI agent Luke Hunter goes missing after a deep undercover assignment with that same mob boss, the FBI calls Jack in, looking for a favor. With his connections and skills, Jack’s the only man for the job: find Luke Hunter, dead or alive.
The Mobster operates an illegal gambling yacht in international waters off of Southern California, and when Luke went missing, so did half a million dollars of the mob's money. As Jack dives into the case, he’ll learn the true mystery isn’t the agent’s disappearance, but something far more ominous…

The Fourth Gunman is a sizzling action-packed thriller that will keep you turning pages until the explosive finale.

Book Details:

Genre: Crime/Thriller
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Number of Pages: 375 (estimated)
ISBN: 1501189530 (ISBN13: 9781501189531)
Series: Jack Bertolino, 4 | Each is a Stand Alone Novel
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

One

Luke Hunter sat hunched over a tight built-in desk in the cabin of a weathered thirty-six-foot catamaran docked in Marina del Rey. His fingers flew over the keyboard of a MacBook Pro. There had been one amber sconce illuminating the cabin before he broke in to the vessel, but now the laptop computer was throwing more light than he was comfortable with. At two a.m., all was quiet on the dock, but Luke was running late and still had another stop to make before he could call it a night.
Luke’s hair was short, brown, and unruly, his Italian eyes smoky, his beard dark and in need of a shave. His angular face was set with determination as he slipped a flash drive into the computer, tapped a few keys, and hit Copy, hoping to make short work of his theft.
The cabin was teak, and brass, and well worn. Rolled navigational charts littered the cramped workspace but didn’t intrude on the comfortable living quarters and the bunk that occupied the bow of the catamaran.
Luke spun in the chair, unraveled specific charts on the bed, snapped photos with his iPhone, and stowed the maps back where he’d found them. He had a theory as to why so many of the charts were focused on the waters in and around the Farallon Islands, off the coast of San Francisco, and hoped the computer files would corroborate his suspicions.
He took pictures of the scuba tanks, masks, flippers, speargun, and weight belts that were stowed aft. The galley was diminutive but efficient. A few potted succulents and fresh herbs on a shelf above the sink lent a feminine touch to the nautical surroundings. Nothing of interest there.
Luke heard the screech of the rusted security gate that led from the parking lot to the yachts and immediately shut down the computer, pocketed the flash drive, and closed the lid, tamping out the light.
He hoped it was just another liveaboard moored at the same dock, returning home after a night on the town. But he spun in place, laced his hands behind his head, and stretched out his legs, facing the teak steps that led from the stern into the cabin, ready to talk his way out of a dicey spot if necessary. It would be uncomfortable but doable. He set his face into a gotcha grin, ready to go on the offensive. It wouldn’t be the first time he’d been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
The boat rocked slightly, the slippered footfalls nearly silent as a woman made her descent into the body of the vessel. Silk drawstring pants hugged her willowy frame as she stepped off the wooden stairway and seemed to suck all the air out of the cabin.
Roxy Donnelly had straight red hair that kissed her collarbone and parted in the middle, and a light feathering of freckles on her cheeks and chest. Her hazel eyes bore in to Luke’s, assessing the situation. She came to a conclusion and—without speaking—told him everything a man wanted to hear from a woman.
Roxy was backlit, her figure silhouetted in a diaphanous white blouse. Luke could see she was braless, and his heart quickened. Her nipples rippled the fabric, and sparks spread to Luke’s chest and down to his groin. As he became aroused, he found himself at a loss for words. No mafioso cracking wise, only deep breathing trying to hide his visceral reaction to the danger of her unexpected arrival. The cabin seemed to become tighter still, if that was possible, until Roxy broke the silence.
“I knew you were smarter than you looked.” If she was aware that Luke had raided her computer, she gave no indication or surprise at his presence. “You saw the schedule, Trent’s on call.”
She stepped closer and Luke found himself on his feet. “I made the schedule,” he said.
Roxy stepped so close their noses touched. He could feel her breath. The light scent of perfume was intoxicating. She reached down and touched his erection, stoking the fire. “I know what you drink, but I don’t know how you like it.”
“Any way you serve it,” Luke said, his voice deep, throaty, and bedroom. He knew he should hit the road but stood transfixed.
Roxy took his hand, squeezed it, and led him to the queen-size bunk in the rear of the cabin. “Get comfortable.”
She stepped into the galley, poured two glasses of Scotch, neat, kicked off her slipper shoes, and glided barefoot to the bed, handing Luke his drink. They clinked and each took a deep sip, never breaking eye contact.
Roxy set her glass down, slowly unbuttoned her blouse, and shrugged out of it, revealing sheer perfection. A dancer’s body. Compact upright breasts, a narrow sculpted waist, and a sapphire-pierced belly button. She tossed the blouse onto the chair Luke had been sitting in, leaned over him, and unbuckled his belt more roughly than he would have expected.
Luke might have received a reality check, but by the time his cell phone buzzed in his pants pocket, they were hanging over the chair.
“You’re not upset?” he said, a statement of fact.
“You should’ve called first, but it was inevitable. It was perfect the first time. We work too hard for no pleasure. Roll over, I’m good with my hands.”
No argument from Luke, who pulled off his gray crewneck and tossed it on the chair. He eased onto his stomach carefully because he was sporting a blazing hard-on.
Roxy was fully engaged. She lit a candle, then raked his back with her fingernails, the brief contact from her nipples as she leaned over him burning a trail from his neck down to his waist. As she straddled Luke, he felt her heat and let out a husky groan.
Roxy started on his lower back and slowly worked her way up his spine, compressing with thumbs and forefingers every third vertebrae until she reached his neck.
“You are good,” he murmured.
By the time Luke realized cold steel was pressed against the back of his head and not her thumbs, he was dead.
The explosion of the hammer striking the .22 round in her derringer created a blinding electric flash behind Luke’s eyes. The bullet rattled around his skull, tearing up brain matter, until his world turned pitch-black.
Roxy jumped off the bed, grabbed a plastic garbage bag out of the galley, pulled it over Luke’s head, and cinched it around his neck to catch any blood evidence. She picked up her cell and hit Speed Dial.
“Trent. We’ve got a situation,” and Roxy gave him the rapid-fire shorthand version while she rifled through Luke’s pants and billfold, her voice devoid of emotion. Her body vibrated uncontrollably as adrenaline coursed through her nervous system. She dropped Luke’s keys and willed her hands to stop shaking as she placed his cell phone and the flash drive next to her laptop. “I’ll clean things up on the home front, you keep your ears open and get a feel for the play at your end. Stay on shift—Shut the fuck up and let me talk!” And then in a tight whisper, “I killed a man, okay? I’ve had better nights. Okay, okay, but only text if you sense movement in our direction.” Roxy was unraveling. “You won’t hear from me again until, until, shit, Trent, until I call you.”
Roxy snapped out the light and walked over to the door and tried to still her breathing as she sucked in the thick sea air and listened for any movement on the dock. Water lapping against hulls and nylon lines clanking on aluminum masts were the only early-morning sounds. If not for the dead body lying on her bunk, it would almost be peaceful.
Roxy got down on her hands and knees and scrabbled around until she came up with the keys she’d dropped. She sat on the edge of the bed and made a mental list of what she had to accomplish. Sucked in a breath, nodded, and went into action.
Roxy pulled the duvet cover over Luke’s body and changed into jeans and black T-shirt and black running shoes. She grabbed a pair of thin cotton gloves and shrugged into Trent’s oversize black hoodie.
She rifled through the junk drawer and pulled out a roll of blue painter’s tape, took a credit card and the cash out of Luke’s wallet and added it to her own, and ran out of the catamaran, locking the door behind her.
*****
Roxy pulled the hood over her red hair and slipped on the gloves as she ran up the dock and out through the chain-link security gate.
There was a smattering of cars in the lot, and Roxy started hitting the button on the remote-entry key for Luke’s car but got no response. She knew Luke drove a black Camaro but was at a loss. She spun in place and felt like she was going to explode. She turned off the emotion, knowing that if she didn’t fly right, she was as good as dead.
She jogged over to the next lot that was half full and tried the key again. Nothing. Roxy fought to suck down the bile and panic that threatened to overwhelm her. She ran up and down three rows of cars. Still nothing. She pounded toward the apartment complex across the street.
Roxy heard the ding before she found the car.
Luke had parked in the open lot that serviced the channel on the other side of the road. Mercury-vapor security lamps provided ambient light. Roxy checked the license plate and went to work.
She pulled out the tape and ripped off a small strip, turning a 1 into a 7. She tore off two smaller strips and changed a second 1 to a 4. She repeated the task on the front plate and dove, flattening herself on the rocky macadam surface, as a car drove up the street.
A black-and-white rolled onto the lot, its tires crackling over the uneven surface. The cop car did a silent drive past her aisle, slowed, then moved up to the far end of the lot, turned left, and back out onto the street.
Time seemed to stand still, but the pounding of Roxy’s heart reminded her that the clock was ticking and daylight would be her enemy. She grabbed a handful of dirt from the ground and wiped it onto the license plate with one eye peeled for the cop car. She did the same with the rear plate, obscuring some of her handiwork. After the cop car made his final pass down the street and disappeared onto the main drag, Roxy jumped behind the wheel of the Camaro, adjusted the seat and mirror, put on a pair of dark glasses, and rumbled out of the parking lot.
*****
It took sixteen minutes to get from the marina to long-term parking at LAX. The black Camaro had black-tinted windows, and when Roxy pulled into the lot, hit the button, grabbed a ticket, and waited for the electronic arm to rise, she had her hood pulled tight, her dark sunglasses in place, and her head tilted down. If there had been a security camera at play, all it would’ve recorded was the top of a dark hoodie.
The lot was huge. Roxy motored to the far end and parked between two large SUVs that all but swallowed Luke’s low-slung muscle car. She checked the glove compartment to see if there was anything worth taking, or revealing as to Luke’s true purpose, snooping in the wrong place at the wrong time. She found the car’s registration and proof of insurance and pocketed the documents in the hope that it might slow the inquiry sure to follow. She hit the button that opened the trunk, readjusted the driver’s seat, locked the doors, and exited the vehicle.
A salmon glow pulsed above the horizon, a warm-up for the main event. The adrenaline had worn off, and Roxy was so tired she could have slept standing up. What she saw when she looked in the trunk got her heart pounding and her head spinning again. A large leather satchel on wheels, filled with cash. More cash than Roxy had ever seen in her twenty-seven years on God’s planet. It was Mafia money. The weekend’s take from the illegal gambling yacht where she bartended. She zippered the bag and slammed the trunk shut. She didn’t need any more heat than she’d already generated.
Roxy took a few steps away, spun back, opened the trunk, grabbed the satchel, and started wheeling it down the long row of cars toward the shuttle that arrived every fifteen minutes. She’d take the short ride to Tom Bradley International Terminal, where she planned on using Luke’s credit card at a McDonald’s to create a paper trail.
Inherent problems were created by taking the Mafia’s money, but leaving it would have been a major fuckup. A man on the run would never leave without the cash.
*****
Two black stretch limos roared into the parking lot at Long Beach Shoreline Marina, adjacent to the Bella Fortuna. Doors flew open, and eight men exited the vehicles, ran across the lot, and pounded up the yacht’s gangplank, disappearing into the body of the luxury craft.
A somber Tony-the-Man stood at the railing on the main deck and looked down as Vincent Cardona stepped out of the lead car and walked slowly up the gangplank. The two men locked eyes for what seemed to Tony like an eternity before Cardona boarded the ship.
Heads would roll, and Tony instinctively rubbed his neck— his was at the top of the list.
*****
The yellow cab let Roxy off at the Admiralty Club in Marina del Rey. She paid the driver with cash and waited until he was gone before walking next door to the Killer Shrimp Diner, where she was a regular and knew the kitchen was open twenty-four/seven. She peeled off her sunglasses, pulled the hood back, and shook out her startling red hair.
Roxy forced herself to eat scrambled eggs, bacon, and buttered toast, generating an alibi with her own credit card receipt. She paid up and rolled the satchel, laden with cash, down the sidewalk and the half-mile trek to her catamaran as the sun breached the Santa Monica Mountains behind her.

Two

Twenty-four hours had passed since the death of Luke Hunter, and the weather had turned nasty. The sea was whitecapped, the crescent moon blanketed by a thick marine layer. A perfect night for what Roxy and Trent had to accomplish.
A perfect night to dump a body.
Trent was piloting the catamaran, heading south toward the San Pedro Channel and powered by the auxiliary engine. He knew the depth of the basin was good for at least 2,250 feet. He’d studied the charts, set the GPS, and they were just a few minutes from their destination.
Trent looked right at home, almost regal, standing behind the wheel of the craft that bucked, rolled, and cut through the waves, never veering off course. He was a Saudi national and a U.S. citizen, raised in the States from the age of eight, so he had no discernible accent. He was twenty-eight years old, with a boyish open face, a buffed physique, a swarthy complexion, buzz-cut brown hair, and gray eyes that could set Roxy’s heart thrumming. A finely inked tiger ran the length of one muscled forearm, the tattooed claws drawing red blood.
Roxy stepped out of the cabin and carefully made her way behind him, wrapped her arms around his six-pack, and leaned her cheek against his back, trying to still the beating of her heart.
Trent gave her hand a firm squeeze before grabbing the wheel with both hands. “You’re a brave woman, Roxy,” he shouted over his shoulder, fighting the howling wind. “A warrior.”
The moment he announced they were approaching their destination, the GPS system gave off a shrill cry. The night was black; there were no other boats in the area, no container ships navigating the channel. It was time to get to work. He shut off the engine, locked the wheel, and lowered himself into the cabin, followed by Roxy.
Luke, head still covered with the plastic garbage bag, was dressed in nothing but his briefs. He’d been rolled onto the cabin floor; his body lay on top of the duvet cover.
Trent grabbed two fifty-pound diving belts from their scuba gear and carried them up to the main deck. Roxy handed a twenty-five-pounder through the hatch. Trent ran back down, wrapped Luke’s body tightly in the blanket, and, with Roxy’s help, dragged his deadweight up the stairs and onto the aft deck behind the wheelhouse.
Trent pulled back the duvet and fastened one belt, cinched it tight around Luke’s waist, and then made short work of the second. He grabbed the twenty-five-pound belt, wrapped it twice around Luke’s neck, and secured it. Postmortem lividity had turned Luke’s back, buttocks, and legs a blackish-purple where the blood had settled.
Trent pulled the duvet taut, rolling Luke’s body over, and ripped a cut from top to bottom on the garbage bag so it would disengage after splashdown and be dragged out to sea. He worried it might fill with air as the corpse decomposed, and drag the body to the surface.
Roxy steeled herself as she looked down at Luke. His face was bone-white, his eyes devoid of color, just a thick opaque film. If there was one life lesson she had learned from her father, it was to meet trouble head-on. Never roll over, never look back, and never run. She swallowed her rising bile and choked, “Do it.”
Trent grabbed both ends of the blanket and muscled Luke’s body with 125 pounds of lead weights off the stern of the catamaran, tossing the duvet into the chop behind him.
Roxy and Trent stood shoulder to shoulder as they watched Luke float for a second and then slip below the water’s surface; they were confident he was permanently buried at sea and they could move forward with their plan.

Three

Day One
Retired Inspector Jack Bertolino was sitting in the nosebleed seats at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond, Stanford University’s baseball stadium, in Northern California. The sun was blinding, the sky ultra-blue, the wisp of cirrus clouds as white as cotton. The old-growth pepper trees surrounding the field swayed in the light breeze carrying the scent of eucalyptus and fresh-mowed grass, taking some of the heat off the early-September afternoon.
Jack had his eyes closed behind his Ray-Bans, taking in the sounds of the college baseball game, now in the eighth inning, being played in the stadium below. His hair was dark brown verging on black, with strands of silver feathering the temples, and worn long enough to threaten his collar. His angular face was weathered from years doing undercover narcotics work on the streets of NYC, and his tan only served to accentuate the scars from hard-fought battles. A bump on his otherwise straight Roman nose, a gift from a crack dealer, buffered some of Jack’s innate intensity. At six-two and big-boned, Jack had a tight fit in the stadium seating, but the sound of the hard ball slamming into leather, the crack of the bat, the umpire’s barked calls, and the emotion of the crowd made it a perfect day. Took him back to his youth playing the game on Staten Island, where he had raised his son, Chris.
There was a chance Chris was going to pitch for the first time since the attempt on his life that had shattered his throwing arm nine months earlier. Jack wouldn’t have missed seeing his son in action again for the world. It hadn’t been an easy recovery for the young man, physically or mentally, and Jack tried to keep his own emotions in check. He didn’t want his heavy feelings to pull Chris down.
Jack was jolted out of his reverie as a trim man wearing a light-weight gray suit and dark aviator sunglasses, with zero body fat and white brush-cut hair, banged against his knees as he moved down the aisle, finally dropping into the seat directly to Jack’s right.
An attractive, serious woman wearing an equally professional gray pantsuit, with a jacket cut large enough to accommodate her shoulder rig and 9mm, made her way up his aisle. There was something about a woman and a gun that was a turn-on for Jack. Or maybe it was her shoulder-length auburn hair that shone as bright as her mirrored sunglasses. She head-tossed her hair off her face as she took the seat to Jack’s left, feigning interest in the game.
Jack wasn’t surprised by the untimely visit; he had made the feds on his flight from LAX and been waiting for them to play their hand.
“To what do I deserve the honor?” he said, his eyes lasered on the game as the Ohio State Buckeyes headed for the bench and the Stanford Cardinals ran onto the field. Chris had been in the bullpen warming up for the past twenty minutes but remained sidelined; the game was tied three to three at the top of the ninth, and it seemed unlikely he’d be called to play.
“I couldn’t do it,” the female FBI agent said, her eyes never leaving the field. Jack didn’t respond, so she continued, “Come to the game if it were my kid. Too much pressure.” Her voice carried an easy strength, and she wasn’t going to be deterred by his silence. “Especially with all your boy has been through,” letting Jack know he had no secrets from the FBI.
Ohio pounded a ball toward the left-field fence. The batter shot by first and was held up on second by the third-base coach.
It never surprised Jack how much the government knew about civilians’ lives, but his son was sacrosanct. And he knew if he spoke right away, he might not be able to control his growing anger at the personal violation.
The male agent, picking up on Jack’s energy, took off his glasses and proffered his hand. “Special Agent Ted Flannery.” He looked to be pushing fifty but had the body and vigor of a thirty-year-old. “Sorry for the intrusion, Jack, but we’ve come to ask for your help.” Flannery’s hand hung in midair until it became clear Jack wasn’t going to respond. Undaunted, the agent went on, “You’ve had a good relationship with the FBI throughout your career, Jack, and beyond. It’s been duly noted and appreciated, and because of your recent history, you’re in a unique position to be of service.”
“What do you need?” Jack asked, giving away nothing.
“Vincent Cardona,” the female agent said, answering his question. “You visited his home in Beverly Hills on the seventh of May. You were on Cardona’s payroll, hired to find his daughter, Angelica Marie, who’d been kidnapped. An altercation occurred. You slammed Cardona up against the wall, Peter Maniacci drew down on you, and Cardona’s cousin Frankie, with two other gunmen on his heels, ran out of the kitchen, ready to shoot you dead if ordered.”
“You wired the house?” Jack asked.
“Cardona’s too smart for that. He does a sweep once a week. No . . .” She paused for effect. “The fourth gunman was an FBI agent.”
The level of intensity in her tone wasn’t lost on Jack. She had referred to her agent in the past tense, but there was something more. Something unspoken, Jack thought.
Ohio thundered a ball over the fence for a two-run homer. Jack’s body tensed as the coach walked onto the field, huddled with the pitcher and catcher, and signaled toward the sidelines.
Chris Bertolino, number 11, ran out onto the mound and tossed a few back and forth with the catcher as the field was cleared and the game resumed. At six-two, Chris was as tall as Jack, but lean and rangy with sandy brown hair, a gift from his mother’s side of the family.
Jack raised his hand to his lips, and the feds let him concentrate on the game. They knew Bertolino wasn’t a man who could be pressured, and understood the personal significance of this moment.
Chris sucked in a deep breath, nodded to the catcher, and unloaded. His first pitch flew high on the outside. Ball one.
His second pitch went wide. Ball two.
The third pitch was hit. A sizzling line drive caught by the shortstop. First out.
The catcher walked out to the mound, whispered a few words to Chris, and resumed his position behind home plate.
Chris nodded, his game face on. If nerves were at play, he showed nothing to his opponent. He wound up and fired a fast-ball. Strike one. He denied the first two signals from the catcher and threw a second blistering pitch. Strike two. The crowd in the stands started to get loud. Chris tossed a slider, wide. The batter reached, fanned for the ball, and came up empty. Strike three.
The stadium erupted as the second batter stepped into the dugout and tossed his helmet in disgust.
The crowd started chanting and Jack’s stomach tightened. The lanky Buckeye leadoff batter made a big show of whipping his bat to loosen up before flashing a dead eye toward Chris, hocking a loogie onto the red clay, and stepping up to the plate.
Chris smoked a fastball.
The batter swung and made contact. The ball took a short hop and was plucked up by the second baseman, who threw Ohio out at first.
The crowd leaped to its feet as Chris led the team off the field, having stopped the flow of blood.
Jack let out a long, even breath, trying to slow his beating heart.
Chris never made it to bat. The first three Stanford starters were struck out in succession.
Stanford lost the game five to three, but it was a personal triumph for Chris, and Jack wished he were alone to savor the moment.
“I’ve got to get down to my boy,” he said to the female agent, who seemed to be in charge.
“Our agent disappeared three weeks ago,” she said, clearly un-willing to relinquish the moment. “He was deep undercover, and we believe he was on to something major. He never checked in, never filed a final report.”
“You should call in the cops.”
“We won’t jeopardize the case we’ve built against Vincent Cardona.”
“I’ve been down that rabbit hole,” Jack said, ending their impromptu meeting. “Don’t want anything to do with the man.” He stepped past the woman.
“Jack,” she said. The undercurrent in her voice, a sadness, struck a chord and turned him in place. She reached out with her card and looked up to lock eyes with him. “Liz Hunter. Think about it, Jack, and call me. Any time.” And then, “We could use your help.” Agent Hunter wore light makeup on her clear tanned skin. She couldn’t have been over thirty, but her wide forehead was etched with fine worry lines. The hazards of the job, Jack decided. Her cheekbones were high and strong, her figure athletic, her slender, elegant neck tilted slightly to make her point. Jack found himself wondering what her eyes looked like.
“Why should I get involved?”
“The missing agent is my brother.”
Jack nodded, took the card, turned, and made his way down the steep concrete steps toward the Cardinals locker room.
***
Excerpt from The Fourth Gunman by John Lansing. Copyright © 2017 by John Lansing. Reproduced with permission from John Lansing. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

John Lansing
Best-selling author John Lansing started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre performing the lead in the Broadway production of “Grease” before putting together a rock ‘n’ roll band and playing the iconic club CBGB.
Lansing closed up his Tribeca loft and headed for the West Coast where he landed a co-starring role in George Lucas’ “More American Graffiti,” and guest-starred on numerous television shows.
During his fifteen-year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced “Walker Texas Ranger,” co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and co-executive produced the ABC series “Scoundrels.”
John’s first book was Good Cop Bad Money, a true crime tome he co-wrote with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano.
The Devil’s Necktie, his first Jack Bertolino novel, became a best seller on Barnes & Noble and hit #1 in Amazon’s Kindle store in the Crime Fiction genre.
Jack Bertolino returns in John’s fourth novel, "The Fourth Gunman."
A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.

Catch Up With John On www.johnlansing.net, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

 

Tour Participants:

Visit the other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!  

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for John Lansing. There will be 1 winner of one (1) $20 Amazon.com gift Card. The giveaway begins on February 19 and ends on March 25, 2018.

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

My Freshman Year of Fabulous by Jennifer DiGiovanni #Cover Reveal

Series: School Dayz
Genre: YA
Format: eBook
When Avery Thornton needs to escape a first day of school disaster, she ducks into an equipment room to hide and meets someone else who’s also having a really bad day. Eli Fields just got demoted to third string on the football team, a sport he doesn’t even really want to play. On the hunt for a dance partner before her competition season begins, Avery discovers Eli’s secret, non-football life outside of school. She thinks he could be the dance partner she’s dreamed about. But Eli wants no part of dancing with Avery. When someone else steps in as Avery’s partner for competitions, she and Eli begin practicing steps “just for fun.”
But, is that really all that Eli wants? And although Avery has found a perfect partner, she’s learning that perfection doesn’t necessarily equal happiness.

Author Bio

Jennifer DiGiovanni is a freelance writer and YA author of the School Dayz series. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, working on home design projects, or trying to meet the daily goals on her Fitbit. She also likes to try new sports and activities, from archery to ballroom dancing, with varying degrees of success.

Swoon Romance

Swoon Romance on Twitter: @SwoonRomance
Swoon Romance on Facebook
 

Love Times Infinity by K.L. Ramsey #Release Tour

LOVE TIMES INFINITY
The Relinquished Series, Book 1
by K.L. Ramsey