Free Comic Book Day — and keeping movies and books fresh

If you follow me on social media, you know that I love, love, love superheroes. So, naturally, Free Comic Book Day is one of my favorite days of the year. 🙂

Mountain Empire ComicsFree Comic Book Day is always held the first Saturday in May — May 7, this year. During that day, comic book stores across the country and world give away free comics, host costume contests, and much, much more. As part of Free Comic Book Day, I will be signing books starting at 10 a.m. and going until noon (or maybe even a little later, depending on the crowd) at Mountain Empire Comics in Bristol, Tenn. The store will be giving away free comics, and the street will be closed off for all kinds of vendors.

So why is Free Comic Book Day one of my favorite days of the year? Because not only do I get to sign books, but I also get to hang out at the comic book store and talk about all things related to superheroes, along with fantasy books, movies, TV shows, and more. This year, I expect much of the talk to be about Marvel’s newest superhero movie, Captain America: Civil War, which opens on Friday, May 6.

As an author and a reader, I’ve seen tons of blog posts and articles about how to keep a long-running book series fresh and interesting, not only for fans of the series but for the author writing it too. I think that Marvel does an excellent job of this when it comes to their superhero movies.

Captain AmericaI’ve seen several articles and comments from Marvel filmmakers talking about how all of their movies are superhero movies, but how they all explore different ideas and genres, which helps keep them fresh and interesting for the audience, actors, and filmmakers. For example, Captain America: The First Avenger is a World War II movie. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a political thriller. Guardians of the Galaxy is a space adventure. Ant-Man is a heist movie. And so on and so forth.

I find myself doing the same thing when it comes to my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. Each book is an assassin story at heart, but the books also contain elements from other genres besides urban fantasy.

One of the reasons that I started writing about my assassin heroine, Gin Blanco, was because I thought that there were so many different stories that you could tell with an assassin character. So far, 14 books have been published in my Elemental Assassin series, along with several e-novellas and short stories.

Book #15The more books I write in the series, the more I think about incorporating elements from other genres. For example, I’ve always wanted to write a western, and part of Unraveled, book #15, Aug. 30, takes place in an Old West theme park. So the book is my take on a western, with Gin facing down some evil cowboys, among other bad guys.

I’ve also always wanted to write a spy thriller and a heist book, among other stories, and I think that Gin would be the perfect character to help me explore those genres. Hopefully, readers will enjoy seeing my nods to other genres in my books.

Who knows? Maybe my Elemental Assassin series will be like the Marvel movies and just keep going and going and going … 🙂

What about you guys? What are some of your favorite book and superhero series and movies?

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Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!

NEW RELEASES

brightBright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade)

by Jennifer Estep

Bad Things Always Come In Threes…

As a thief, I’m good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families–and kill every last Sinclair. What they don’t know is that I’m on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I’ve got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…

“An adventurous ride you will never want to get off.” –#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout on Cold Burn of Magic

Amazon Kindle / Amazon print / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-MillionGoogle PlayiBooks IndieBoundKobo

Audible / Amazon audiobook

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biker bluesBiker Blues: Salvation Set 1-3

by Dale Mayer & Tasha Lyons

This set includes all the books in the Biker Blues: Salvation series (Books 1-3).

Beaten. Broken. Finished.
An abused wife meets the most unlikeliest of angels – a man who looks like the very devil himself.
He won’t let her give up.
Nor will he let her go.
Will he be yet another captor or will he become her salvation?

Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, B&N

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mother loadThe Hitwoman and the Mother Load: Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman Book 14

by JB Lynn

You think you’ve got problems? Don’t talk to Maggie Lee about problems.

Her mother’s escaped from the loony bin, and rumor has it she’s robbing people for ice cream money.

A mob boss is insisting she liberate his daughter from a mental hospital that Maggie’s pretty sure she belongs in.

And people keep trying to kill her.

While Maggie deals with all that, she must also contend with her dysfunctional family; the challenges of parenting her orphaned niece; a handsome, but dangerously curious reporter; a hot manny who lives under her roof and gets under her skin; a smooth and sexy con man; and a certain murder mentor/cop redhead. And, honestly, it’s getting too much to bear. Good thing she has her talking animals to confide in.

But with everything that’s going on, can the intrepid, yet inept, hitwoman figure out how to keep everyone she loves safe without ending up in jail or killed?

Or will she just take up residence in a rubber room herself? Truth be told, she could use the break.

AMAZON | iBooks | KOBO

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honorFatal Honor (Shadow Force International Book 2)

by Misty Evans

Miles is Charlotte’s one and only weakness. He’s also her only hope…

To stop a Romanian crime lord and clear her name, British Intelligence officer Charlotte Carstons has no choice. She must track down former Navy SEAL Miles Duncan and ask for his help. Miles holds the key to completing her undercover assignment and proving she’s no traitor…but he also holds a grudge. Getting him to forgive her may be the most challenging mission of her life.

Charlotte is his fantasy woman. She’s also the biggest mistake of his career…

He was supposed to hunt her down. Instead Miles ended up at the mercy of the sexy, mysterious MI6 agent who left him without so much as a goodbye after their six-week love affair in the Carpathian Mountains. Back in the States and working as an operative for Shadow Force International, Miles has been searching for Charlotte ever since—and so has everyone else. She’s a traitor to her country and she may be responsible for the deaths of his SEAL teammates a year ago.

Together, they can save the world. Or destroy each other…

When Charlotte shows up on his doorstep asking for help, Miles knows better than to get involved. She’s determined to go back to Romania with or without him, however, and he knows she’s walking into a deadly trap. Can he keep her safe as they travel across continents and explore the depth of their feelings for each other? Or will misplaced honor and treasonous loyalties prove fatal for them both?

FREE BOOKS

frozenFrozen

by Meljean Brook

For a year and a half, Olivia Martin has tried to forget Erik Gulbrandr, the glacial man who’d scorched her mouth with a single kiss. But when Olivia finds herself snowbound with Erik on the winter solstice, she discovers that the man who set her body aflame is cursed by abominable needs — and a desire that might destroy them both…

Frozen is a 52,000-word paranormal romance and includes explicit love scenes.

Amazon

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5+ Books That Changed My Life

The fabulous Michelle Diener challenged us to write about 5 books we love or have recently read or read long ago and still remember. I have many more than 5 books I love, as I’m sure you do 🙂 So here are 10+1 of the first to come to mind, in no particular order.

Sherlock Holmes—Here are all four full-length novels and fifty-six short stories about the colorful adventures of Sherlock Holmes — every word Conan Doyle ever wrote about Baker Street’s most famous resident. So devoted and numerous are the followers of the immortal Holmes … so timeless are his colorful adventures … that this shrewd and lovable amateur detective whom Doyle invented when he was a young doctor is the most popular character in the last one hundred years of fiction. As a lasting tribute to the indestructible detective, whose earliest adventures first appeared in print in 1887, and to his famous creator, Holmes’s entire career has been brought together between the covers of this handsome volume. It is the definitive, authoritative Sherlock Holmes text as originally published in nine separate books. Also included is a delightful preface, “In Memoriam Sherlock Holmes,” written by Christopher Morley, the distinguished author and founder of The Baker Street Irregulars. Here is the whole thrilling and amazing career of Sherlock Holmes, all of his adventures in crime collected in one exciting volume.

I’m not sure what excited me about these stories as a young girl. The adventure, the mystery? The ascetic, brilliant Holmes? His deep and abiding friendship with Dr. Watson?

Bambi—Bambi’s life in the woods begins happily. There are forest animals to play with and Bambi’s twin cousins, Gobo and beautiful Faline.

But winter comes, and Bambi learns that the woods hold danger—and things he doesn’t understand. The first snowfall makes food hard to find. Bambi’s father, a handsome stag, roams the forest, but leaves Bambi and his mother alone.

Then there is Man. He comes to the forest with weapons that can wound an animal. Bambi is scared that Man will hurt him and the ones he loves. But Man can’t keep Bambi from growing into a great stag himself, and becoming the Prince of the Forest.

The non-cartoon version of this story caught my second-grade mind. Adventure, romance, the mystery of the deep forest, and that sense of living in a social structure unlike our own (though I didn’t know that was a hook at the time lol).

Carbonel: The King of Cats—Rosemary’s plan to clean houses during her summer break and surprise her mother with the money hits a snag when an old lady at the market talks her into buying a second-rate broom and a cat she can’t even afford to keep. But appearances can be deceiving. Some old ladies are witches, some brooms can fly, and some ordinary-looking cats are Princes of the Royal Blood. Rosemary’s cat (“You may call me Carbonel. That is my name.”) soon enlists her help in an adventure to free him from a hideous spell and return him to his rightful throne. But along the way Rosemary and her friend John must do some clever sleuthing, work a little magic of their own, and—not least— put up with the demands of a very haughty cat.

Magic, an intrepid heroine, and a cat who is all alpha male snagged my young imagination.

The Nameless RomanceThe first actual adult romance that grabbed me was a regency-era about a tomboy who was supposed to be a lady. Different than the usual bluestocking or masquerading as a man. I vaguely remember a scene where she escapes in a tree. It turned me on to romances. Wish I could remember the title or author!

Bridge to Terabithia—This Newbery Medal-winning novel by bestselling author Katherine Paterson is a modern classic of friendship and loss.

Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer so he can be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. And he almost is, until the new girl in school, Leslie Burke, outpaces him. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie’s house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief.

A children’s book I read as an adult. My then-middle-school child recommended this to me. I wept. Seriously good if a kid’s book has that much power.

Crocodile on the Sandbank—Set in 1884, this is the first installment in what has become a beloved bestselling series. At thirty-two, strong-willed Amelia Peabody, a self-proclaimed spinster, decides to use her ample inheritance to indulge her passion, Egyptology. On her way to Egypt, Amelia encounters a young woman named Evelyn Barton-Forbes. The two become fast friends and travel on together, encountering mysteries, missing mummies, and Radcliffe Emerson, a dashing and opinionated archaeologist who doesn’t need a woman’s help — or so he thinks. First book in an excellent series.

Romance, mystery, and 19th-century snark at its finest. I adore whatever Elizabeth Peters wrote, but Amelia Peabody is my favorite. This series is summed up best by Ms. Peters herself. “Another dead body. Every year it is the same. Every year, another dead body…” – Abdullah, p. 151, Lion in the Valley

Black Orchids—Not much can get Wolfe to leave his comfortable brownstone, but the showing of a rare black orchid lures him to a flower show. Unfortunately, the much-anticipated event is soon overshadowed by a murder as daring as it is sudden. It’s a case of weeding out a cunning killer who can turn up anywhere—and Wolfe must do it quickly. Because a second case awaits his urgent attention: a society widow on a mailing list of poison-pen letters leading to a plot as dark as any orchid Wolfe has ever encountered.

I recently reread the Rex Stout Nero Wolfe mysteries. Considering other stories often don’t stand the test of time wow, is Stout’s writing energetic and fresh. Still.

Changes—Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden’s lover-until she was attacked and left struggling with the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Now, she needs Harry’s help. Harry’s enemies have found the secret she has hidden for so long, and he will have to unleash the full fury of his untapped power.

Because this time, he’s fighting to save his child.

I always liked Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, but around this book, I began to love it.

If anyone asks, I’m Team Murphy.

The Atrocity Archives—Bob Howard is a computer-hacker desk jockey, who has more than enough trouble keeping up with the endless paperwork he has to do on a daily basis. He should never be called on to do anything remotely heroic. But for some reason, he is.

Charlie Stross’s Laundry series is fabulous. Geeks meet demonology, a writing style that sings, and a take on bureaucracy that is both funny and dead on. Add in Bob’s romantic interest Mo, a violinist (musician yay!) who gets her own story later on, and I’m hooked.

 

Borderline—A year ago, Millie lost her legs and her filmmaking career in a failed suicide attempt. Just when she’s sure the credits have rolled on her life story, she gets a second chance with the Arcadia Project: a secret organization that polices the traffic to and from a parallel reality filled with creatures straight out of myth and fairy tales.

For her first assignment, Millie is tasked with tracking down a missing movie star who also happens to be a nobleman of the Seelie Court. To find him, she’ll have to smooth-talk Hollywood power players and uncover the surreal and sometimes terrifying truth behind the glamour of Tinseltown. But stronger forces than just her inner demons are sabotaging her progress, and if she fails to unravel the conspiracy behind the noble’s disappearance, not only will she be out on the streets, but the shattering of a centuries-old peace could spark an all-out war between worlds.

No pressure.

I’m reading this now, so I can’t tell if the ending will throw off my take on it. But it’s so insightful on its own that it almost doesn’t matter. Add in the gritty reality of the fantasy elements, and the book becomes one I quote endlessly at my husband.

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New Releases for April!

It’s a busy April!

This month is the release of Books 2 and 3 (the ending) of the Biker Blues: Salvation series.

This is Romantic suspense with heart stopping emotion!

Beaten. Broken. Finished.

An abused wife meets the most unlikeliest of angels — a man who looks like the very devil himself.
He won’t let her give up.
Nor will he let her go.
Will he be yet another captor or will he become her salvation?

[ cover: Salvation part1 ]

 Kindle  Nook  iBooks
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[ cover: Salvation part2 ]

 Kindle  Nook  iBooks
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[ cover: Salvation part3 ]

 Kindle  Nook  iBooks
 Google Play  Kobo

At the same time this book series is being released as a full Set. And if that wasn’t enough, we also have the Psychic Vision set of Books 4-6, and SEALs of Honor set of Books 1-3!

[ cover: Psychic Visions Box Set ]

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[ cover: SEALs of Honor Box Set 1-3 ]

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Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!

Book recommendations

mercMercury Striking (The Scorpius Syndrome)

by Rebecca Zanetti

“Thrilling post-apocalyptic romance at its dark, sizzling best!”—Lara Adrian

“Nothing is easy or black or white in Zanetti’s grim new reality, but hope is key, and I hope she writes faster!” —New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione
 
With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynne Harmony has trekked across a nightmare landscape to find one man—a mysterious, damaged legend who protects the weak and leads the strong. He’s more than muscle and firepower—and in post-plague L.A., he’s her only hope. As the one woman who could cure the disease, Lynne is the single most volatile—and vulnerable—creature in this new and ruthless world. But face to face with Jax Mercury…

Danger has never looked quite so delicious…

 [Amazon]  [BN]  [Books-A-Million]  [GooglePlay] [ Kobo ][ Walmart][ Target ]

FREE BOOKS

dreamLike a Dream

by Shina James

A shocking event leaves fifteen year old Amelia Waters devastated, especially when she’s forced to stay with her mysterious aunt Leona and two cousins. They completely dominate her life and force her to move away from her home in Stillwater, Oklahoma to Columbia, MO. The moment she reluctantly settles into a toxic reality, she becomes bombarded with nightmares about the past that reveal something she could have never prepared for.

With her back against the wall and no way out, Amelia begins to struggle with the will to live, until Aaron—a mesmerizing boy from her dream, becomes a reality. Every nerve in her body gravitates to him as they both fall deeply in love.

But slowly Amelia begins to realize that nothing was ever a coincidence, and there is something far greater and dangerous in store for her.

Amazon

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confectionsSweet Confections (Indulgence Row Book 1)

by Danyelle Ferguson

According to Rachel Marconi chocolate heals all wounds. That and throwing darts at pictures of her ex-boyfriend. Burned by yet another bad relationship, Rachel decides to reprioritize her life, putting her dream to compete on a Food Network Challenge on the top of her list and dating at the bottom crossed out in red sharpie. But what’s a girl to do when a certain sexy guy keeps asking her out?

Cue in Graydon Green, a former pro hockey player turned restaurant owner. After a lot of persistent and humorous teasing, he finally convinces Rachel to commit to a date. Just when things begin to warm up, threatening notes directed at Rachel arrive. When her bakery is vandalized, Graydon’s protective streak goes on red alert. Is it her obsessive ex-boyfriend stalking her? Or maybe a challenger trying to sabotage the competition?

Either way, Rachel is definitely going to need more chocolate – perhaps drizzled over ice cream and devil’s food cake.

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lavenderLavender Beach (A Pelican Pointe Novel)

by Vickie McKeehan

There is courage in each step no matter how small

After losing her leg in Iraq it’s been an uphill battle for Eastlyn Parker. When Nick and Cord decide to confront her in Bakersfield, the ex-helicopter pilot reluctantly agrees that starting over in Pelican Pointe might be the only option for her. It won’t be easy though. She has addiction problems that go beyond her low self-esteem.

After a long absence, Cooper Richmond has come back to his childhood home. In an attempt to escape his own painful memories, he’s traveled the world over as a photographer. But no matter where he goes, he’s locked in an emotional void. His approach to life is merely to get along. He does that with his books and his train store.

But when Eastlyn shows up at Cooper’s shop, their brief encounter blossoms into attraction. Both are cautious. Both have trust issues. But if these two have the courage to leave behind their baggage once and for all, and set their sights on the future, there may still be hope for a happy ending.

Amazon

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secretsSecrets and Sensibilities: A Regency Romance Mystery (The Lady Emily Capers Book 1)

by Regina Scott

When art instructor Hannah Alexander agrees to accompany four of her students on a country house visit before Easter, she never dreams of entering into a dalliance with the owner David Tenant, the handsome new Earl of Brentfield. But one moment in his company and she’s in danger of losing her heart. There are secrets aplenty at Brentfield, enough to challenge any lady’s sensibilities, even those of Hannah’s protégé, Lady Emily Southwell. As events unfold at Brentfield, Hannah quickly learns that loving David comes at a price, to her future plans of being a portrait painter, to her position as a teacher, and to her very life.

This clean romance with a touch of mystery was previously published by Zebra as A Dangerous Dalliance.

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Guest blog: Rebecca Zanetti on The Scorpius Syndrome

Rebecca-4First, a big thanks to Jennifer and the Magical Musing gang for having me over to play today.  One of my favorite parts of writing a book is doing the research beforehand.  Don’t get me wrong—I make things up for a living, so I’m fine fudging the facts of reality a little bit.  Still, it’s nice to have a basic truth to begin with.

My new series, the Scorpius Syndrome, is a romantic suspense/thriller series that takes place after a deadly bacterium kills off most of the world.  In the times of Ebola, Zika, and biological warfare, the scenario is a little more real than I’d like.

However, keep in mind that it’s the developing relationship between the hero and heroine that really matters in a romance.  The genre, etc., is important, but the characters drive a romance, so that part makes it a lot more fun.

Yet still…I wanted something a little different.  You know, not zombies as bad guys.  You know who terrifies me as bad guys?  Sociopaths…and serial killers.  So I figured, what if the bacteria localizes in the brain and then alters some people…some for the better, and some for the worse?  What if it can strip a brain and leave the person a fully living, thinking, breathing serial killer and not a zombie.  Eesh, right?

Mercury Striking compSo the bad guys in the Scorpius Syndrome (some of them, anyway), are serial killers.  Those of course range from the wild desperate ones to the cunning, brilliant, calculating ones.

If the villains are bad….and the heroes have to be impressive.  Who would survive the apocalypse?  Tough, dangerous, deadly soldiers to start with.  So the hero in Mercury Striking is Jax Mercury, a former gang-banger turned soldier who goes home to inner city LA and creates a somewhat safe place called Vanguard.  He’s all set until Lynne Harmony, the former head of the CDC infectious disease unit and only person alive with a blue heart from a possible cure, shows up on his doorstep asking for help.

Anyway, back to the research.  Did you know that bacteria can come from outer space…even in a small rock?  It can.  Did you know that some of the Ebola survivors have had their eye color actually change after surviving the virus?  They have.  Did you know that antibacterial gel might be more important than medicine some day?  It might be.

Anyway, who knows.  It’s nice to make things up and then return to the real world of Starbucks, Internet, and antibiotics.  I hope they last. 🙂

MORE ABOUT REBECCA

Shadow FallingNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti has published over twenty-five dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and contemporary romances. She has received a Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations for Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge, and RT Top Picks for several of her novels.

She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Her current series are: The Scorpius Syndrome, The Realm Enforcers, and Blood Brothers.

You can visit Rebecca at the following sites:

Website:  www.RebeccaZanetti.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaZanetti.Author.FanPage

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RebeccaZanetti

GIVEAWAY TIME

Rebecca has generously offered up two prizes for giveaway:

1) A print copy of her book Forgotten Sins from the Book Depository — open internationally

2) A Sephora mini-survival kit just in case the apocalypse does happen 🙂 — open U.S. only

To enter the giveaways, use the form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Giveaway, Guest Posts, Jennifer's Posts | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!
NEW RELEASES

MartiniDevil_CVR_XSMLMartinis with the Devil: Part One (Zyan Star Book 1)

by A.A. Chamberlynn

When offered a job on the Holy Representative’s special security team, bounty hunter Zyan Star couldn’t be less interested – until she finds out it’s her most hated of exes that they’re trying to track down. He broke her heart and dumped her, which in turn led to the loss of her soul at the hands of an immortal soul thief. Now she too exists on a diet of souls, with the occasional martini thrown in for good measure, and she’s had over two hundred years to fantasize about revenge. She just didn’t quite imagine it playing out alongside the emissaries of Heaven.

Working with Eli, the uptight angel that heads up the HR’s security, is just about as much fun as Zy expects. He of course wants her vampire ex brought to justice through legal avenues, which is very inconvenient and incredibly boring. As she dives into the case, however, she realizes there’s more at stake than her plot for payback. Like, the free will of mankind, and preventing the minions of hell from taking over the sovereign dimensions.

This job is going to push her to the limits of her abilities, and there’s just a slight problem with that: the powers she’s suppressed for centuries after losing control of them are exactly the powers she’s going to need to save the HR, end her millennia-old ex and stop Lucifer’s little plot to join the party and invade Earth.

Savior of humanity? Not so much. Or so she thought.
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99c BOOKS

wickedMore Wicked Alphas, Wilder Nights: Sizzling Collection of Paranormal Romance

by Kayleigh Malcolm, et al.

Your favorite authors of paranormal romance are at it again — writing MORE bonus scenes and all-new stories just for you! These sexy excerpts and scenes from New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors will set your hearts — and your devices — on fire!

Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

FREE BOOKS

damesDangerous Dames

Demon Undamned – Andris Bear
The only woman Incubus Chamos has ever craved has landed atop of Satan’s hit list. The one man Shula Blackfox can’t trust is the only one she wants, but with Satan hunting her, she may not live long enough to give into his dark desires.

Death By Chocolate – Sally Berneathy
Lindsay loves chocolate. It tastes good, it makes her feel good, it never cheats on her like her almost-ex-husband. But someone wants her dead and uses her weak spot—chocolate—to try to murder her.

A Touch of Betrayal – L. j. Charles
It’s time for Everly Gray to track her parents’killers and bring them to justice. A good plan until she’s kidnapped for an impromptu trip to Hawaii, and discovers Mitch has betrayed her. Before he married Everly, Mitchell Hunt made a bargain with the devil—and lost. He shows up in Hawaii to make things right, but his betrayal has flipped their relationship to the other side of romance—and there’s no way back. Or is there?

Stealing Justice – Misty Evans and Adrienne Girodano
A hot FBI agent, a sexy woman who breaks the law, a killer who’s unstoppable: Stealing Justice
Stopping this killer may be the last thing she ever does.

Wildfire – Mina Khan
Lynn Hana Alexander is a 25-year-old Japanese American shape-shifter haunted by guilt. She’s been questioning herself and her dragon abilities ever since she failed to save her grandmother. When her best friend is threatened by mysterious fires burning up acres of West Texas, Lynn rushes to the rescue determined not to fail again. However, with a tempting firefighter, a flirty city developer and dragon pheromones distracting her, how is she going to find the arsonist? And worse: is her primary suspect a malicious rogue dragon or the love of her life.

The Beachcombers – Stephanie Queen
Ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise takes on a new partner, a gorgeous Scotland Yard detective Shana George and the fireworks could get them killed before they can find the missing heiress–and whoever is behind the kidnapping.

Building Ties – Teresa Reasor
Navy SEAL Brett ‘Cutter’ Weaver is on a mission to Nicaragua when he learns his bride-to-be, Tess Kelly, has been injured in a car bombing. At Homeland Security’s demand, he’s rushed home to find Tess embroiled in three controversial stories. One may offer the key to her attacker. On top of the emotional and physical upheaval of the bombing, Tess has been offered the journalistic opportunity of a lifetime at the Washington Post. If she accepts the job, she and Brett face living on opposite sides of the country. With their wedding two weeks away, she has temptations to face and tough decisions to make.
Serving as her security detail, Brett sees Tess’s remarkable investigative reporting skills in action, and acts as her sounding board and partner. He’s willing to sacrifice to ensure her happiness, but more, he wants to keep her safe. Because there’s a killer stalking her, and one interview at a time, they mean to catch him.

Textual Relations – Jamie Lee Scott
Mimi Capurro, owner of Gotcha Detective Agency, hasn’t seen her old college flame since they teamed up to find a killer several months earlier. Now, after breaking and entering into an alleged predator’s home, Mimi and Charles find a murder victim on his bedroom floor. This is not the way Mimi expected to see Nick again. Even though it’s his job, Nick is loath to get involved until a teenage girl with ties to the victim disappears. Now Mimi, Nick and Charles race against the clock to find the killer and hopefully find the girl in the process.

 

keeganKeegan’s Bride (Mail Order Brides of Texas Book 2)

by Kathleen Ball

Keegan Quinn watches the passengers disembark wondering where his mail order bride is. All he sees is a woman with a husband and child. Upon approaching the young woman, he discovers she is his bride, and she has a daughter she never mentioned. As they cross the street, the little girl screams for her daddy and points to the man who accompanied them on the stage.

Rancher Keegan Quinn is furious. The married woman swindled him into paying passage for her and her child. It was fool hardy to think a mail order bride would want him. He rides out of town as fast as he can, vowing never to look back. It’s a loco dream to think he can have a family while constantly looking over his shoulder.

Addy has no idea why Peg calls the new sheriff daddy. It cost her, Keegan, the man she hoped to make a life with. She has many secrets, but the sheriff is not one of them. She needs Keegan to keep her safe from her past in Boston. Once he learns the truth, he’ll send her back, but it’s a chance she’s willing to take.

Can two people who have so much love to give, realize they actually love each other?

Amazon

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copperCooper Moon: The Calling

by Cheryl Shireman

It is often said that the course of true love never runs smooth. This is certainly the case in the love affair of Cooper and Sally Moon. From the moment she fell in love with Cooper Moon, Sally learned that holding onto the most attractive man in town is never easy. Now, despite a long history of infidelity, in a life-altering moment, Cooper suddenly vows to change his ways. His decision will not only change Sally’s life, but will also have wide-ranging consequences for the entire town.

Filled with an unforgettable cast of characters you are sure to love (and maybe a couple to hate), the story of Cooper Moon will capture your heart from the first page. It is a story about undying love, the many faces of faith, and the many consequences of a single decision. You will not only follow the love story of Cooper and Sally, but also the struggles and triumphs of an intriguing cast of characters.

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Nook

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Some of Jennifer’s favorite books and series

Hey, everyone! I am continuing our April posts about some of our favorite books and series. Here are my picks in no particular order:

Sugar DaddySugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas: I know that many folks love Kleypas’s historical romances, but to me, her contemporaries  really shine, especially Sugar Daddy, the first book in her Travis contemporary romance series.

This book focuses on Liberty Jones, who is growing up in a trailer park in Texas. Really, it’s more of a coming-of-age story than a romance, since Liberty deals with everything from losing her first love, to her mother dying, to raising her little sister by herself, to growing up and becoming a successful businesswoman. The thing that I love about Liberty is that no matter what happens, she never gives up, and she always finds a way to take care of herself and her family.

The Dortmunder series by Donald E. Westlake and the Parker series by Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake): These series are both about thieves, and they are like the two sides of the same coin, since they are both written by Westlake.

The Dortmunder series are comic crime capers, about a group of quirky, lovable (if sometimes inept) thieves who continually have the worst luck imaginable, but always manage to scrape by. Contrast that to the Parker series, which is about a loner, tough-as-nails thief named Parker, who usually shoots first and ask questions later. If you like crime fiction, check out Westlake’s books.

Captain America Winter SoldierCaptain America: Winter Solider by Ed Brubaker, et. al.: Back in 2014, the Marvel movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out. I loved the movie so much that I got the comics collection that the movie was inspired by and read it.

And it was fantastic.

The basic story arc is that a deadly assassin called the Winter Soldier is on the loose, and it’s up to Captain America aka Steve Rogers to stop him. But surprise, surprise, the Winter Soldier turns out to be Steve’s old friend Bucky Barnes, who has been brainwashed into becoming the ultimate assassin. So it’s up to Steve to try to figure out if he can save his best friend — or if he’ll have to stop the Winter Soldier once and for all. This story has all the things that I love — action, adventure, superheroes, and a truly epic friendship between Steve and Bucky.

The James Bond series by Ian Fleming: Just about everyone knows James Bond from the movies — a suave, supercool superspy who saves the world on a regular basis. But I discovered the James Bond books back when I was in high school. The books differ quite a bit from the movies, but I love the mixture of action, adventure, and spy shenanigans, in both the books and the movies.

Where the Red Fern GrowsWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls: If you’ve read my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series, you know that Gin Blanco, my heroine, has a blood-spattered copy of this book hanging up on the wall of the Pork Pit, her barbecue restaurant. Why? Because it belonged to her murdered mentor, and because the book is about love and loss.

In fact, this is the first book that I remember just absolutely breaking my heart. It’s about a young boy named Billy who gets two dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann, and all the adventures that they have together. If you don’t know what happens at the end of the book, I won’t spoil it for you, but just be sure that you have some tissues handy. Because you will cry. A lot.

So those are some of my favorite books and series. What about you guys? What are some of your favorite books?

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Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!

99c BOOKS

earthbound (1)Earthbound

by Mari Collier

Book blurb: Marooned in the 19th century Old West, an alien must survive on the violent planet and return to his homeworld to destroy his mortal enemies and avenge his people.

During a raid to a Comanche camp he rescues Anna, a tall warrior woman. The two become friends and comrades, their fates forever intertwined. They find themselves together in the prairies of 19th century Texas, the bordellos of Civil War-era New Orleans, to Prohibition in the 1920s, the Great Depression, and the vastness of space.

But will they survive hardships through history, the enmity of their southern neighbors and the Civil War, and be able to return to his home planet to exact his revenge?

Amazon

FREE BOOKS

welcomeWelcome to Redemption: Series Collection (Books 1-6)

by Stacey Joy Netzel and Donna Marie Rogers

A hometown series full of sexy romance, humor, and heart…where everyone gets a second chance at love.

A FAIR OF THE HEART – Single mother Lauren Frazier can barely keep the roof over her head from falling down around her. So when handyman Caleb Hunter stops by for a haircut, he’s the answer to her prayers…though her son isn’t as thrilled to have him hanging around. Old wounds have kept Caleb from returning to Redemption, but when he receives word of his mother’s unexpected death, guilt and regret bring him home for good. Lauren excites him like no woman ever has, but she’s a package deal, and he’s not sure he’s prepared to take on a ready-made family.

A FAIR TO REMEMBER – Ready for a nice, quiet life in small town USA, reformed gang member Wes Carter feels Redemption is the perfect place to relocate his financial business for reasons more than just the name. Tara Russell has decided to add some excitement to her life and get a little wild–no matter how uncomfortable it makes her or her overprotective family.They meet at the local fair one warm summer night and discover opposites attract for all the right reasons. Add a dash of Sugar in the form of an incorrigible Great Dane, and it’s destined to be A Fair To Remember.

THE PERFECT BLEND – Carrie Lowell swears off men for good after nearly losing her business in a bitter divorce. She’s on the verge of bankruptcy when librarian Matt Jacobs walks into her shop and offers sound–if unwanted–business advice. Financially, he’s a godsend, but emotionally he’s athreat to the barricade she’s built around her heart.  Heir to a vast fortune, Jacob Spalding flees L.A. for Wisconsin to escape the scandalous nightmare his life has become. Now known as Matt Jacobs, he settles in to small town life and soon finds himself infatuated with the coffee shop owner across the street.  Too bad the infuriating woman is as contrary as she is beautiful.

GROUNDS FOR CHANGE – Charlie Russell lived with a secret for years, but guilt has pushed him to the breaking point. He meets psychologist Dana McClain and feels an instant connection that has nothing to do with his Great Dane, Sugar, spilling coffee down her shirt. Dana switched to counseling animals because she has a history of becoming too emotionally involved with her clients. She figures she’s safe helping Charlie with Sugar’s issues, until he reveals his secret and asks for help. She tells herself it’s all about the dog, not the guy, but history has a way of repeating itself.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS – Heiress Melinda Spalding is stunned when her brother moves to the Midwest, and soon follows. Discovering she likes”Mayberry” is as shocking as her attraction to the local mechanic. But L.A. is where she belongs–or is home truly where the heart is? Drew Porter has no use for snooty “Lindy” Spalding. But is there more to her than meets the eye, or should he run as fast as he can in the opposite direction?

THE HEART OF THE MATTER – Allie Daniels wants a family of her own, but can’t have children. She hides her desolation from everyone-especially the town veterinarian, whose three-year-old is a painful reminder. RickWilde liked Allie back in high school, but life took them in different directions. Now a single parent, his interest in Allie is renewed despite the fact her shoulder is colder than the bitter winter wind. Brought together by an orphaned kitten, Allie is helpless to resist Lukas’ impish innocence and Rick’s charm. Does she risk her heart on an impossible dream, or will Rick’s desire for more kids devastate their future?

Buy from Amazon  Buy from Apple iBooks Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from Google Play Buy from Kobo Buy from Smashwords

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CutthroatA Cutthroat Business: #1 (Savannah Martin Mysteries)

by Jenna Bennett

Everyone has warned new-minted realtor Savannah Martin that real estate is a cutthroat business. But Savannah doesn’t think she’s supposed to take the warning literally … until an early morning phone call sends her to an empty house on the ‘bad’ side of town, where she finds herself standing over the butchered body of a competitor, face to face with the boy her mother always warned her about.

Rafe Collier is six feet three inches of testosterone and trouble; tall, dark, and dangerous, with a murky past and no future—not the kind of guy a perfect Southern Belle should want to tangle with. In any way. But wherever Savannah turns, there he is, and making no bones about what he wants from her.

Now Savannah must figure out who killed real estate queen Brenda Puckett, make a success of her new career, and avoid getting killed—or kissed—by Rafe, all before the money in her savings account runs out and she has to go back to selling make-up at the mall.

iBOOKS | NOOK | GOOGLE PLAY | KOBO | SMASHWORDS

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON CA | AMAZON AU

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LIGHTSLights. Camera. Marriage! A Sudden Falls Romance

by Elizabeth Bemis

A girl with nothing to lose…

Deaf interpreter Sophie Redmond can fix anything–but her own love life. Jilted at the altar–but still a hopeless romantic, she auditions for the lead role in a reality TV show promising to deliver her the man of her dreams. At this point, she’ll settle for the cash prize to help her fledgling business take off, but she can’t help wondering…what if?

A guy who wants to get lost…

Jay Sinclair should have known better when he accepted his TV producer brother’s plea to be a last-minute stand in for some crazy wedding reality show. A former military officer and current best-selling spy novelist, Jay wants nothing more than to lose in the first round of the ridiculous competition so he can take off on the trip of a lifetime–a trip he needs to make before he runs out of time.

And a one-way ticket to losing their hearts…

When Jay and Sophie meet, they know they’re all wrong for each other…only the viewing public disagrees. As they vote Jay through round after round of Lights. Camera. Marriage! despite his best efforts to get kicked off, even he begins to wonder what it would be like to win it all. But reality show dreams don’t really come true… right?

Amazon

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The bits readers skip

skippingI think it was Elmore Leonard who wrote that writers shouldn’t write the bits that readers skip. I try to do that with my own work, writing what we call in the writer biz ‘tight’, in other words, there is no slack, every word counts. Maybe as I hone that more and more, I’m less forgiving of books that are padded. I’ve definitely been developing some bad reading habits lately. Maybe it’s because I’m pushed for time, maybe it’s because I’m a tight writer, as I said above, but the last few books I’ve read, I’ve skipped quite a lot.

The non-romances I’ve read, which have been the first two books in a private detective series, and a cozy mystery, I skipped the descriptions. Not all of them, but enough. The books were supposed to be suspenseful, and the description just dragged the pace down and I wanted to know what was going to happen, not hear about the layout of the woods and the stream, or hear about the way things worked in the hotel.

The romances – I’m afraid I skipped the sex scenes. I was glad the characters were getting it on, make no mistake :), but I didn’t really want pages and pages of details of what they were up to between the sheets.

In the mystery novels, I think I’d say the description should have been more subtly included, rather than info-dumped, and in the romance novels, I’d say the sex scenes should have been more about emotions and plot advancement, rather than physical acrobatics.

But maybe it’s not that. Maybe I’m just too impatient, and want to get on with the story, or I’m in too much of a rush, and should savour it more. I don’t remember being so quick to skip pages in the past, but then as I didn’t really miss much of the story–or it didn’t feel like I did–so maybe it’s not me.

I’ve decided to try harder to read the bits I want to skip, but if they truly don’t add anything, I’m giving myself permission to skip.

What about you? Do you skip paragraphs, and if you do, which bits do you skip?

photo credit: Womens Fitness Equipment Skipping Rope via photopin (license)

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