Tuesday, February 9, 2016

STARDUST DESTINY ~ NAZAREA ANDREWS --> RELEASE DAY LAUNCH

 

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Today we are celebrating the release for STARDUST DESTINY by Nazarea Andrews! Stardust Destiny is an adult contemporary, and erotic retelling of Helen of Troy and the epic love that started a war. It will be on sale for only 2 days so grab your copy now!

 

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She isn't mine. But I will damn us both to keep her...

STARDUST DESTINY Blurb:

The face that launched a thousand ships...

I grew up knowing my destiny. Daddy pounded it in my head, my brother repeated it every day of my life. I was the only daughter of the Orsi crime syndicate, the pretty prize that would bring peace. My one job was to marry Callum Sheehan, the vicious head of the Irish mob in Chicago.
I never questioned my future–until I saw him.

The man who was never meant to love her…

I wasn’t going to the wedding. It’s shit that my brother does, things our father requires of the heir of the Sosa cartel. Not me. I’m the black sheep, the one Mama spoiled, and my father loves, but without the pressure of expectation. But Sheehan is too big a deal for me to blow off.
And then I see her.

The love that started a war…

She isn’t mine. She will never be mine. I watch her fall apart when she thinks no one is watching. I watch her marry another man. I watch her bravery. And I don’t care who she belongs to or that it will start a war between our families.
I will damn us both to possess her, and burn down the world to keep her.

A modern erotic retelling of Helen of Troy, and the epic love that brought an empire to its knees.

Click here to add STARDUST DESTINY to Goodreads

 

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PURCHASE NOW DURING THE RELEASE SALE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

NazareaAndrews

Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Street Team

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STARK AFTER DARK ~ J. KENNER --> RELEASE DAY LAUNCH

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starkWhat happens after she says “yes”? Together in one riveting eBook, these four novellas—Take Me, Have Me, Play My Game, and Seduce Me—continue the story of billionaire Damien Stark and his fiancée, Nikki Fairchild, from J. Kenner’s Stark Trilogy: Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me. Following the happy couple from their steamy engagement into wedded bliss, this addictive collection is perfect for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You.

I’ve long dreamed of my fairy-tale wedding, but it wasn’t until I met Damien Stark—who captured me with his kisses and undid me with his touch—that I began to believe it was my destiny. Though we both carry secrets and scars, our shared passion heals us, binding us together. We have surrendered to each other completely, and our mutual ecstasy is the brightest light in my life.

But darkness still snakes through the cracks in our armor. Ghosts from our past have moved in, bringing fresh pain that cuts deep and threatens to destroy everything we hold dear.

Damien is my anchor to this world, and I am his. But if we are going to keep each other, we have to fight the shadows of our pasts to move forward into our future.
 

“Kenner may very well have cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.”RT Book Reviews

“J. Kenner has written a sensually seductive storyline that catches your imagination. . . . [Release Me] will suck you in from the very start.”—The Reading Cafe

“[A] sexy and exciting ride.”Fresh Fiction, on Claim Me

“[An] immensely satisfying series . . . The roller coaster events of Complete Me give this novel a page-turning quality.”Heroes and Heartbreakers

 

 

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J. Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Though known primarily for her award-winning and internationally bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list and #1 internationally, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, "chicklit" suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal mommy lit.

JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a "flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations" and by RT Bookclub for having "cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swopn for him." A four time finalist for Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy).
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THE CONSEQUENCE OF SEDUCTION ~ RACHEL VAN DYKEN --> RELEASE DAY LAUNCH & GIVEAWAY

 

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seductioncoverFrom New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken.

Reid Emory has never had reason to question his luck with the ladies. As the owner of a lethal set of aqua-blue eyes and a devastating grin, this Hollywood heartthrob always brings his A game…but lately his luck seems to have run out. The actor is in need of some help, and there’s only one person he can trust to take his love life—and his career—to an explosive new level.

Jordan Litwright’s newest client is trying her patience. As a publicist, she’s more than content to stay in the background and let others shine. But when a publicity stunt backfires, she suddenly finds herself thrust into the spotlight—as Reid’s new love interest. And while other men usually overlook her, Reid is focusing in with laserlike intensity. There’s no denying they have serious chemistry.

But once Reid breaks into the big time, can they turn their made-for-the-media romance into a forever love?

 

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Max jumped onto the couch and held up his hands. “Before you do this, remember, our mother has a Jesus sticker on her car. What would she say?”

“Must you bring her into everything?” Reid roared, stopping in front of the couch, chest heaving.

Max shrugged. “It’s not my fault I’m her favorite son.”

“Says who?”

“Mom. This morning.”

“Was this before or after you added vodka to her coffee and slipped her a pill?”

Max gasped.

Becca made her way around the brothers and motioned for me to walk with her toward the kitchen. No words were spoken. She simply popped the cork from the wine bottle and poured what looked like three servings into a glass and slid it toward me. “Believe me, it helps.”

I took the glass and sipped while she drank straight from the bottle. “Does he ever . . . stop being . . . Max?” I asked. “Curious minds want to know.”

Max jumped off the couch, and naturally he made his own swish sound effect before landing on his feet, thrusting his hands into the air, and turning toward Reid. “I’ve been her favorite ever since I won at gymnastics.”

“You don’t win at gymnastics,” Reid said through clenched teeth. “You get scored.”

“Perfect ten.” Max winked back at us, then covered his mouth and said, “Zero,” while pointing to Reid.

“We were six!” Reid argued.

“Dude!” Max held up his hands. “I’m just saying, it’s not your fault you’re not the favorite. Let it go, man, just like Rose let go of Jack.”

“Who’s Jack?” I whispered.

Becca choked on her wine. “Oh, well, uh, last year Reid had a momentary breakdown because of Max peer pressuring me to shoot Reid in the ass with a tranq gun . . . he spent an hour singing ‘My Heart Will Go On.’” I winced. “Off-key.”

“Damn you!” Reid turned on his heel and thrust his finger in our direction. “What did I ever do to you!” I think he was talking to Becca. “I hit on you once, one time—”

“—thrice.” Max coughed.

“And the only reason was so that I could get back at this one.” He jerked his hand back to Max, nearly hitting him in the face. “Because he told Grandma the lock on my door was broken. I was taken advantage of!”

“Well, it was!” Max rolled his eyes.

“Because you took a sledgehammer to it, you bastard!”

Max grinned. “Guilty.”

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what they were talking about. So I did what any sane girl would do. I drank.

And when my glass was nearly empty, Becca very kindly refilled it while Reid and Max continued pacing around the living room.

“You think if we chant fight, they’ll take their shirts off?” Becca asked.

I eyed Reid’s near perfect physique. “One can only hope.”

“Dirty girls,” Max shouted. “Both of you! Jezebel! I won’t have you poisoning her mind!”

“Oh, please.” I rolled my eyes. “And stop calling me a whore!”

“Term of endearment when Max says it.” Becca patted my hand. “Next time just say thank you. It’s easier that way.”

I glanced back at the guys just in time to see Reid launch himself at Max, hands wrapped tightly around his neck, holding him against the couch while Max screamed. “Help, help!”

“We should probably intervene.” Becca took a long sip of wine and set her glass down on the table, then yawned.

“Yeah.” Max started turning purple. “We probably should. What do you normally do? Take off your top? Blow a whistle? Call the cops?”

“Cops refuse to come when Emorys call—believe me, it’s like the whole McDonald’s thing. Public service refuses to help them now.”

“Makes sense.”

Max made a choking noise while he tried to kick Reid in the shin.

“Oh, well.” Becca walked slowly toward the guys. I followed. I expected her to gently ask them to stop fighting and separate them.

Instead, she punched Reid in the face and then separated them.

He stumbled back.

I caught him and fell backward against the other couch while he rubbed his face and whispered, “My hero.”

“My lungs broke your fall,” I wheezed.

Max gasped for air. “You know my biggest fear is not breathing!”

“Not breathing?” I had to ask, I just had to.

Reid chuckled. “For six years Max was convinced every food was going to cause him to go into anaphylactic shock because Oprah did a segment where some chick nearly died after eating a kiwi!”

“A kiwi!” Max repeated hoarsely. “Who dies from kiwi? That chick.” He shook his head vigorously. “I refuse to go down eating.”

Reid moved off me and sat back on the couch. “He took Benadryl every time he ate fruit.”

Max narrowed his eyes. “Make fun now, but we both know that watermelon gave me hives! My throat closed, you bastard!”

“Maybe if you took smaller bites . . .” Reid said helpfully.

Max lunged again.

Becca grabbed him by the shirt and tugged him back onto his own couch. “No more fighting, we have engagement pictures tomorrow.”

 

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rachelborderRachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken or join her fan group Rachel's New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com .

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BAIT & SWITCH ~ KENDALL RYAN --> RELEASE DAY LAUNCH

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Bait & Switch ebook cover Kendall Ryan

Love is a trap, a trick only other people fall for. Former Navy SEAL Nolan has no such illusions. The only things real in his life are his beloved bulldog and the two women in his life. One is soft and innocent, someone he could build a real future with. But the other is dark and gives him all of the wicked things he craves behind closed doors. What starts out as casual quickly becomes complicated. Can he walk away from a sure thing for something that's foreign territory?

Nolan thinks we met by chance. We didn’t. I sought him out, seduced him, and in return got the sanctuary I needed to survive. But now, impossibly, I’ve fallen in love with him. I don’t care that he has another lover, because when he finds out who I am, it’s going to ruin any chance I ever had with him anyway. She’s the least of my worries.

Bait & Switch is Book 1 in the new contemporary romance series Alphas Undone, which will each feature a new couple.This is a standalone full-length novel. It does not contain cheating.

 

 

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Kendall Ryan Headshot 1 picKendall Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance novels, including Hard to Love, Unravel Me, Resisting Her and When I Break.

She's a sassy, yet polite Midwestern girl with a deep love of books, and a slight addiction to lipgloss. She lives in Minneapolis with her adorable husband and two baby sons, and enjoys hiking, being active, and reading.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras



 
 


SUPERNATURAL CHRONICLES AND INTERVIEW WITH S.T. BENDE --> BLOG PARADE & GIVEAWAY

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We are so excited to bring you the Mardi Gras Blog Parade for The Supernatural Chronicles! The Supernatural Chronicles is a fantastic box set with stories from ten different authors each celebrating a distinct supernatural creature! This is the Supernatural Chronicles: The New Orleans Collection. The Tour goes from February 1st-February 10th with different authors and content each day of the tour! Make sure you check out each stop along the way and enter to win the 1 of 10 Mystery Boxes!! See why everyone is talking about #DYNAMIS, and stop by The Supernatural Chronicles Facebook Discussion Group!

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Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** Kobo ** iBooks

 

Ten authors and one grand scheme of mayhem and magic

in the depths of New Orleans.



About The Supernatural Chronicles: The New Orleans Collection:

Beneath the brow of Bourbon and French architecture, the iris of New Orleans swirls with flecks of worlds and beings unknown to mankind. Come with us as we chronicle their journey—each supernatural race must hunt for an offering in hopes of saving their own. Skinwalkers, Wolves, Vampires, Dragons, Succubi, Witches, Necromancers, Cupids, and Asgardians are all in danger of losing control as an uprising darkness threatens to rip the veil that protects them all from the great beyond.

Ten original novellas, following each supernatural race as they fight an elusive enemy, are written by New Adult authors Lila Felix, Kristie Cook, Brenda Pandos, Delphina Henley, Julia Crane, Jamie Magee, Morgan Wylie, Kallie Ross, S.T. Bende, and Rebecca Ethington. Come join them for the hunt and discover hidden treasures inside.

 

Don’t miss each of the individual Supernatural Chronicles!

 

Supernatural Chronicles: The Skinwalkers by Lila Felix

Supernatural Chronicles: The Wolves by Kristie Cook

Supernatural Chronicles: The Vampires by Brenda Pandos

Supernatural Chronicles: The Dragons by Delphina Henley

Supernatural Chronicles: The Succubi by Julia Crane

Supernatural Chronicles: The Witches by Jamie Magee

Supernatural Chronicles: The Necromancers by Morgan Wylie

Supernatural Chronicles: The Cupids by Kallie Ross

Supernatural Chronicles: The Asgardians by S.T. Bende

Supernatural Chronicles: The Noir by Rebecca Ethington

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Mardi Gras Blog Parade Schedule:

February 1st

2 Girls & Their Kindles

Becky on Books

I Read Indie

Love. Life. Read

Southern Vixens Book Obsessions

February 2nd

JeanzBookReadNReview

Lacey's Love of Literature

Zoe Forward, Author

The WordSmithe

Luna Book Adventures

February 3rd

Reads All the Books

NightWolf Book Blog

A Book a Day Keeps the Boredom At Bay

Fundinmental

The Paisley Reader

February 4th

Dark Faerie Tales

Write for Your Life

TSK TSK What to Read

Pages abound

I Dream of Books

Stalking Shelves

February 5th

Alpha Fangirl Book Blog

Extreme Bookaholic's

Love Affair With Fiction

SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews

Shelf_Life

February 6th

What I'm Reading

Renee Entress's Blog

Nicole's Book Musings

Only One More Page

SweepstakingDreams.com

February 7th

Cover2Cover

Musings of a Writer

Reading Addict

Romancing the Readers

the cynikal kat

February 8th

Evermore Books

Barbara Book Blog

KatyaRath

Teatime and Books

T&L Book Reviews

February 9th

BookCrushin

Jax's Book Magic

Alpha Book Club

Zach's YA Reviews

There for You Editing

February 10th

Collector of book boyfriends

Wickedcoolflight

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

Grownupfangirl / oh the book feels

The Phantom Paragrapher

Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps

 



Supernatural Chronicles: THE ASGARDIANS Synopsis:

Inga Andersson just can’t catch a break. She’s supposed to be enjoying a ski week in beautiful Åre, Sweden, with her immortal-assassin-husband. Instead, she and Gunnar are trapped inside a bizarre scavenger hunt, unraveling an incomprehensible riddle at the bequest of a mysterious being. And if Inga and Gunnar don’t decipher the puzzle and deliver a mythological relic to a New Orleans graveyard within three days, they’ll be ejected from the Norse pantheon, stripped of their immortality, and cast as the solitary line of defense against the onslaught of frost giants and Helbeasts ready to bring about Midgard’s fall. What started as a party game has become a lethal challenge with irreparable consequences, not only for Inga, but for the god she loves . . . and the realm she adores.

Let the hunt begin.


INTERVIEW:

Author Kristie Cook’s interview with S.T. Bende

Kristie: I'm lucky enough to have come to know S.T. Bende and call her friend. Although I've never met her, every time I see her name, I see a big smile. She's always a bright spot in my day. I'm happy to give you this chance to get to know her.

S.T.: Aw!! Kristie is one of my writerly besties. She inspires me beyond words, and I’m so grateful for her friendship!

Kristie: So, S.T. What made you choose to write about Norse mythology?

S.T.: My heritage is Scandinavian, and I have a tremendous love for the culture and the myths of the North. When I enrolled in a Norwegian language class and met the sweetest grandma this side of Asgard, I fell even more in love with all things Scandiwegian. And when I heard the first inklings of the Elsker Saga crew in my head, I was so ready to share their stories!

Kristie: Have you considered writing anything outside of Norse mythology?

S.T.: Maybe someday, but for now it’s all about Asgard. I love researching the myths, and finding fun twists to bring them into the modern world. My primary resources (the Prose Edda, John Lindow’s Norse Mythology, and Turville-Petre’s Myth and Religion of the North) have so very many stories within them, I could write for decades and still not incorporate them all!

Kristie: Your characters do a lot of cooking and baking. Do you share that hobby with them? What's your signature dish?

S.T.: I am an epic baker. Norsk waffles are my favorite anytime food, but I also make a mean Star Wars Sugar Cookie. If anyone’s got a sweet tooth, I’ll totally hook you up. ;)

Kristie: Your books, including The Asgardians, are about several couples of gods, goddesses, and humans. Is there one that you had the most fun bringing together? Any that were more challenging the others?
S.T.: I love the whole crazy Norse crew, but The Ære Saga’s Brynn and Henrik were especially fun for me to play with. Brynn is the God of War’s secondary bodyguard. She’s bubbly, and fierce, and sharp as a tack. Her gift is her smarts, and she shares a very scientifically oriented mind with her childhood crush . . . who happens to be War’s other bodyguard, and therefore her very off limits co-worker. Their interactions were so very much fun to write, because #Brynnrik shares such a deep respect and friendship. The Ære Saga’s Elsa was tougher for me to write because her gift is energy healing, something that was totally foreign to me. I ended up taking classes to learn more about what I needed her to do, and her story came much easier after that.

Kristie: If you were a goddess, what would you be the goddess of?

S.T.: Ooh, that’s a fun question! My answer changes from day to day. But today, I think I’d be like The Elsker Saga’s Inga – a Domestic Goddess! Watch out Cupcake Wars, here I come . . .



About S.T. Bende:

Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, S.T. Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (where she became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and Europe… where she became overly fond of McVities cookies. Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired the books of The Elsker Saga and The Ære Saga. She hopes her characters make you smile, and she dreams of skiing on Jotunheim and Hoth.

Find S.T. on Twitter (@stbende) or her website (www.stbende.com). While you're at it, introduce yourself to @UllMyhr and @TyrFredriksen -- when they’re not saving the cosmos from dark elves, they love meeting new friends . . . especially the human kind.

Want to connect with fellow Norse god fans? S.T.'s readers have created a Facebook group! Head over to the RagnaRockstars page to chat with other readers, talk with S.T., and get access to exclusive content... including Ull POVs and sneak peeks at upcoming Ære Saga books!

TUR is currently available for FREE to newsletter subscribers!

Skål, y’all!


Links:

Website: http://www.stbende.com/
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6868809.S_T_Bende
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27202302-supernatural-chronicles
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stbende
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ST-Bende-102116099988944/timeline/
The Supernatural Chronicles Facebook Discussion Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/434753706727619/

 


 

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#DYNAMIS!

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

BECAUSE ~ JENNIFER FOOR --> COVER REVEAL

We are very excited to share the cover reveal of the latest standalone from Jennifer Foor, BECAUSE .

BECAUSE is the 4th book in the Seven - Year Itch Series and will release on March 14.

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Because_mock1bI’ve heard if you can make it through the first seven years of marriage you’ve made it past the tough part and it’s smooth sailing.
Whoever said that was an idiot.
I’ve been married for seven years, and in that time I’ve waited for my immature husband to grow up and become a responsible man.
It still hasn’t happened, and I’m at the end of my rope. I need him to be a father to our child, not someone who needs his own toys to be content.
I want a partner, not a guy more concerned about his friends than his wife.
This is my marriage, and before I throw in the towel I’ve decided to do something drastic to make it happen.
I’m Shayla Vincent and this is my story.

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

 

 

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Jennifer Foor is an award winning Contemporary Romance Author. She's best known for the Mitchell Family Series, which includes ten books.
She is married with two children and spends most of her time behind a keyboard, writing
stories that come from her heart.




HE WILL BE MY RUIN ~ K.A. TUCKER --> RELEASE WEEK BLITZ, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY

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We are so excited to bring you the Release Week Blitz for K.A. Tucker’s HE WILL BE MY RUIN! HE WILL BE MY RUIN is a Suspense novel, published by Atria books, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster, being released on February 2, 2016! Grab your copy of this suspenseful read today and see what everyone is talking about!

 

 

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

IndieBound | Book Depository | Audible

 

 

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About HE WILL BE MY RUIN:

The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her suspense debut with this sexy, heartpounding story of a young woman determined to find justice after her best friend’s death, a story pulsing with the “intense, hot, emotional” (Colleen Hoover) writing that exhilarates her legions of fans.

A woman who almost had it all . . .

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

 

 

 

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Edging along the side of her bed—I actually have to turn and shimmy to fit—I move toward a stack of vintage wooden food crates that serve as a nightstand. A wave of nostalgia washes over me as my finger traces the heavy latches and handmade, chunky gunmetal-gray body of the antique box sitting next to the lamp. The day that I spied it in an antique store while shopping for Celine’s sixteenth birthday, it made me think of a medieval castle. The old man who sold it to me said it was actually an eighteenth-century lockbox.

Whatever it was, I knew Celine would love it.

I carry it over to the living room, where I can sit and open it up. Inside are sentimental scraps of Celine’s life. Concert stubs and random papers, a dried rose, her grandmother’s rosary that Rosa gave to her. Rosa is supremely religious, and Celine, the ever-devoted daughter, kept up appearances for her mother, though she admitted to me that she didn’t find value in it.

I pull each item out, laying them on the trunk coffee table until I’m left with nothing but the smooth velvet floor of the box. I fumble with a small detail on the outside that acts as a lever—remembering my surprise when the man revealed the box’s secret—until a click sounds, allowing me to pry open the false bottom.

Celine’s shy, secretive eyes lit up when I first showed her the sizeable compartment. It was perfect for hiding treasures, like notes from boys, and the silver bracelet that her senior-year boyfriend bought her for Valentine’s Day and she was afraid to wear in front of Rosa. While I love Rosa dearly, she could be suffocating sometimes.

My fingers wrap around the wad of money filling the small space as a deep frown creases my forehead. Mostly hundreds but plenty of fifties, too. I quickly count it. There’s almost ten thousand dollars here.

Why wouldn’t Celine deposit this into her bank account?

I pick up the ornate bronze key and a creased sheet of paper that also sits within. I’m guessing the key is for the desk. I’ll test that out in a minute. I gingerly unfold the paper that’s obviously been handled many times, judging by the crinkles in it.

My eyes widen.

A naked man fills one side. He’s entrancingly handsome, with long lashes and golden-blond tousled hair and a shadow of peach scruff covering his hard jawline. He’s lying on his back, one muscular arm disappearing into the pillow beneath his head, a white sheet tangled around his legs, not quite covering the goods, which from what I can see, are fairly impressive. I can’t tell what color his eyes are because he’s fast asleep.

“Well then . . .” I frown, taken aback.

I’m not surprised that Celine could attract the attention of a guy like this. She was a gorgeous young woman—her Mexican roots earning her lush locks, full lips, and voluptuous curves tied to the kind of tiny waist that all men seem to admire.

Nor am I surprised that he’s blond. It has always been a running joke between us, her penchant for blonds. She’s never dated anything but.

But I am surprised that she’d have the nerve to take—and print out to keep by her bed—a scandalous picture like this in the first place.

I wonder if she ever mentioned him to me. She always told me about her dates, utter failures or otherwise. Though it’s been years since she was seeing anyone seriously, and she was definitely seeing this guy seriously if she was sleeping with him. Celine usually waited months before she gave that up to a guy. She didn’t even lose her virginity until she was twenty-two, to a guy she had been dating for six months and hoped that she would one day marry. Who broke up with her shortly afterward.

So who the hell is this guy and why didn’t I ever hear about him? And where is he now? When were they together last?

Does he know that she’s dead?

Worrying my bottom lip between my teeth—it’s a bad habit of mine—I slowly fold the paper back up. Celine’s cursive scrawl decorates the back side in purple ink. Words I hadn’t noticed before.

Words that make my heart stop now.

This man was once my salvation. Now he will be my ruin.






 

Author pic - KA TuckerAbout K.A. Tucker:

Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

 

 

 

 

 

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