Sunday, January 31, 2021
Order Your Copy Here!
Dragon Dreams and Fairy Wings
by Bailey Bradford
General Release Date: 26th January 2021
When one fairy with a faulty memory meets a snarky dragon, the supernatural world will never be the same. Griff was born a Love fairy, but he never quite fitted in. He didn’t want to be part of a harem…at least he didn’t think so. What with his wings gone and his memory damaged, he can’t be certain of what he felt in the past. All he does know is he wants his wings back. Without them, he’s grounded. Blaze is a dragon shifter who tends to stick his foot in his mouth—and some other parts in other places—when he really shouldn’t. His brother’s the king, and his sister-in-law is scary. Blaze’s last screw-up got him grounded, unable to shift into his dragon form. His punishment seems harsh to him, but there's no escaping it. When the Love fairies come to the castle to work on forming an alliance, Blaze has about had it with guarding the horny beings, and he's disappointed that they don’t stay small and cute. Swatting at something buzzing him, he almost starts an inter-species war when it turns out to be a fairy on a dragonfly. And from that snarky first meeting between Griff and Blaze, something wonderful, and dangerous, will come… Publisher's Note: This book was previously released elsewhere. It has been revised and reedited for re-release with Pride Publishing.
ExcerptBlaze rubbed his shoulder where it still ached. He’d been lucky the whip had only caught him a glancing blow, otherwise he’d really be in pain. Of course, even being whipped would be better than his punishment of not being allowed to fly. Or shift. Being stuck in the puny human form and dependent on two scrawny legs just sucked troll balls. That imagery almost made Blaze gag. Trolls smelled really bad, worse than the dragon dumping grounds—and if anyone needed an explanation for what that area was, they didn’t have a nose. Plus, trolls were ugly. It was part of them being trolls and all. They also tended to have large, pendulous balls that swung down close to their ankles. Blaze did gag then, pressing a hand against his stomach. He had to get his mind out of the troll gutter. “Hey, freak, heard you got your powers taken away, all for a piece of ass.” Blaze glared at Bort. “Oh, yeah. Your dad wasn’t worth it.” “My—” Bort’s eyes glowed red, and smoke gusted from his nostrils. “I’ll bake you, you fucking freak!” Blaze kept his trembling inside. He’d learned not to show any fear to bullies. “Go ahead. King Fyre will be thrilled with you. You’ll look great on a spit.” “You think just ’cause your brother’s the king means…” Blaze arched an eyebrow at Bort—which he knew looked cool, because he’d practiced it until he had it perfected and he knew how awesome that one arched eyebrow thing was. “It pretty much means he’ll toast you if you lay a hand on me.” The only reason the guy who’d hit Blaze with a whip wasn’t dead was because Blaze had kind of deserved it. Kind of, because he hadn’t known Valdez was married to another man. Otherwise, Blaze wouldn’t have fucked him. Probably. Blaze’s morals were questionable at times, but only because he was so desperate for someone to touch him. “Right, whatever,” Bort drawled. “You’ll probably cook yourself anyway and save all the good dragons the trouble. Crazy Blazy.” He cackled and flipped Blaze off with both hands. Probably with his toes, too, but Blaze didn’t think to check. Instead he watched enviously as Bort shifted into a gorgeous teal and gold dragon. Bort blew a stream of fire right past Blaze’s head, then flapped his mighty wings and flew off. A rancid scent lingered in the air. Blaze sighed and touched his hair that Bort had just singed. Everyone was going to think he’d done that to himself—again. Even though he was grounded, assumptions would be made that he’d done something stupid to burn his own hair, and rumors would fly. He’d have to worry about that later, if at all. Right now, he had to deal with a bully. Blaze really missed being able to shoot flames. It was true that he couldn’t control his fire, and he could be dangerous. He hadn’t killed anyone on accident, yet, though. “Sheesh.” Blaze sniffed and fanned the air around him. It was no use. The smell was on his head. He could fan all day, and it wouldn’t make any difference. Resigned to walking all the way back to his nest—which meant heading through the center of the dragon city, since he could no longer fly—Blaze prepared himself for the looks and murmurs. People would be talking about him more than usual today. He ought to be used to such stuff, but the truth was, it always hurt. Even so, when he heard the buzz of conversations around him, Blaze held his head up high, despite the burnt hair. He hoped everyone gossiping about him got a snoot full of the noxious odor. * * * * “Where did I put my shoes?” Griff fluttered as much as a fairy without wings could as he looked for his soft purple shoes. Surprisingly, he could flutter a lot, although that translated into gestures with his hands and much twitching on his behalf. “Did Egregio eat them?” Gia asked, hovering above him. Griff glared at her. “Could you maybe not do that? I already feel like a complete loser without my wings.” Who knew they could be knocked off you? Griff hadn’t, and it’d come as a shock to the other fairies in his frolic. Of course, Love fairies weren’t exactly brainiacs. They were more into the sensual than the mental. For brains, people looked to the Genius fairies, though good luck to anyone wanting help from those snobs. They didn’t speak to anyone with an IQ under one-sixty—which left out most of the magic world. “Sorry.” Gia floated down and grimaced. “Ick. How can you tolerate standing all the time? My legs don’t like it. It’s work. It’s so much easier to fly, or—” She smirked. “Don’t go there.” Griff knew his own kind through and through. As a Love fairy, he shouldn’t be bothered by hearing about his sister’s sexual escapades. Maybe he was just jealous. “Keep your sordid stories to yourself.” Gia crossed her eyes at him. “Please. How did a prude get hatched into our frolic?” “I’ve asked myself that a thousand times,” Griff muttered. “Aha!” “Aha what?” Griff knelt and stuck his hand under his bed, then reached farther. “I swear to the gods, Egregio, if you bite me, I will feed you to the dragons.” “Rawr!” It sounded more like a whine than not. Griff ducked his head and looked at the catterwaul under his bed. Much like the human-world cat except with two legs and large, hairy toes, and fangs the size of Griff’s index fingers, the beast was rather fierce-looking. “I’m not joking. Last time you bit me, it got infected. You’re lucky I didn’t toss you out then.” Beady red eyes glowed at him. “Rawr rawr rawr.” “Yeah, you’re sorry now.” Griff wiggled his fingers. “Give me my shoes.” The purple shoes were tossed at him while Egregio continued to vocalize. “I know, I know, they’re pretty. That’s why I like them, too. Now if you’re good, and you keep the dung beetles away for a whole week, I’ll see about getting you your own shoes.” Catterwauls were great to have as long as they were loyal. Sometimes they forgot that, though. A few more rawrs and Griff was pretty sure he had his catterwaul vowing to fight off the shiny green beetles that migrated through the area on the way to the dragon dumping grounds. Griff hoped so. The buzz of beetle wings always left him with serious headaches as well as memories of the worst time in his life. “Okay, got my shoes on, Gia. Now we can go…” Griff spun around, looking for his sister, but no. She had left the mushroom’s interior at some point. “Great. Great! Now how am I going to find my way to where my wings might be?” Griff couldn’t remember things like he should have been able to. The hit he’d taken from a human’s fly swatter had cracked his skull, knocked off his wings and almost killed him. His memory hadn’t been right ever since, but he was lucky to even be alive. Although the term lucky was relative. If he couldn’t find his wings, what point would there be to life?
About the Author
Enter to win a fabulous gift package and a FREE Bailey Bradford romance book!
Published by: Carina Press (HQN)
Publication date: January 25th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
High school sweethearts Mia and Luke get a second chance at love in this brand-new contemporary romance from award-winning author Garrett Leigh.
When Mia Amour returns to England to open a florist shop, all she wants to do is put her lousy ex behind her and never look back. But getting a fresh start is easier said than done when her first love, the boy who once broke her teenage heart, strolls back into her life. He’s every bit as sexy as she remembers, and the urge to melt back into his arms almost makes her forget how devastated she was when he took off without a word. Almost.
Left with no choice, Luke Daley did what he had to do, leaving town to earn enough money to save his broken family, though it just about broke him, too. But now he’s back, running his uncle’s business and trying desperately to forget about Mia, the girl he left behind all those years ago. When he runs into her in town, the shock of seeing her again brings an intense rush of emotions: love, guilt…and an overwhelming urge to find out if it’s still as amazing between them as it used to be.
It doesn’t take either of them long to give in to desire and discover the fiery passion they once shared burns hotter than ever. With each new touch, each moment of forgiveness, old hurts heal and the future they’d hoped for ten years ago becomes possible again. But their fragile connection is tested by a threat neither of them saw coming—a threat that could end their second chance before it even gets started.
Book 1: Forgiven
Book 2: Unforgotten
I was playing darts with some dude-bro of my dad’s when Gus walked in. An automatic grin spread across my face, but he wasn’t alone. Mia flitted in behind him and went straight to the bar without looking my way.
Gus shrugged and followed her.
It stung. I had plenty of old schoolmates knocking around Rushmere, but Gus got me. His easy company had made the transition to civilian life seem almost normal. Perhaps I’d become too reliant on him. Too demanding, and Mia was right. He was her brother, not mine.
I turned my back on them and focussed on flinging darts at the board. My aim had always been good, and I won several times over, but still the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end, and no matter how much I drank, my skin tingled with her imagined gaze all over me—imagined, because I reckoned I still knew her well enough to be certain she was stubbornly refusing to face me.
Calling time on my darts marathon, I drained my drink, bid my opponents goodbye, and left the pub without glancing in the direction I’d last seen Gus and Mia. It was a mile walk back to my house, but I was glad of it; at least I would be come the morning.
I fished my phone from my pocket and checked that my alarm was set, even though military life had left me incapable of sleeping more than four hours at a time. An Instagram notification from my brother caught my attention. I swiped it and immediately wished I hadn’t. Wasted and trashing whatever shithole town he lived in now, treating them to the same havoc he’d wrecked my mum’s life with after our dad died. Not that I could judge him right now for being wasted, but I’d go home, fall asleep in my own bed, and wake up in time to keep my life moving forward, even if I had no idea where I wanted it to go. Billy was destructive to himself and everyone around him. I loved him, but sometimes I just couldn’t fucking look at him.
A muttered curse behind me spun me around.
Mia glared at me. “For God’s sake. Is there nowhere in this town I can go without you loitering around the corner?”
The absurdity of it was so unfair I just stared.
She stepped closer, her face pretty much twisted in the kind of half snarl that had made me so fucking hard in the past.
Would make me hard now if I let it.
If I let her.
I swallowed thickly. We’d been in the same room all night, and yet somehow the sight of her in front of me seemed brand new. “I’m going home.”
“Yeah. I figured that when you left the pub ten minutes ago.”
She didn’t move. Neither did I, and I cursed myself for not going straight home. The rare glimpses of her were bad enough, but these face-to-face staredowns clawed at my insides. I had stubborn feet, a steady gaze, and hands that never faltered, but with Mia so close a gust of wind would blow her hair into my face, everything trembled.
I inhaled fresh air, hoping it would clear my mind. It didn’t. “Whatever. I’m going home now.”
Still I didn’t move. I glanced over Mia’s shoulder at the pub. “Where’s Gus?”
“Talking to some bloke from Grindr, I’d imagine. He left with a spring in his step.”
“He left you there by yourself?”
“No, he just left like an adult, because I’m old enough to make the three-hundred-metre walk on my own.”
Mia started to step around me. In a fit of nonsensical recklessness, I grabbed her arm, then braced myself for the inevitable answering shove.
But she didn’t shove me. She stared, apparently transfixed by my fingers circling her slim wrist, and did nothing at all.
Reeling, I let her go. “Sorry.”
“Why are you sorry?”
Perhaps she was drunk too, and heat swam in my veins. Getting lit with Mia had always been awesome. Back in the day, I’d lie back and let her take whatever she wanted from me, but that wasn’t the picture dancing through my beer-addled brain right now. I wanted to grip her again, spin her around, and pin her against the wall. She’d never let me dominate her—I’d never wanted to—but fuck if it wasn’t an image I couldn’t shake.
I shook my head. “I’m sorry I bothered you.”
It was my turn to move past her, and her turn to stop me in my tracks with a strong grip. “Luke.”
“What?” I spun around to face her again, my shout ringing out in the quiet pub car park, the vehemence in it surprising me as much as Mia. “What?” I tried again, softer this time, but no less desperate. “You don’t want to talk to me, I get it, okay? So leave me the fuck alone, and I’ll do the same for you.”
“I never asked you to leave me alone.”
Our eyes met and held on for the first time since our chip shop reunion two weeks ago. I fell down the rabbit hole of those fucking stormy blues, and as the seconds ticked by, so did my resolve to walk away.
Bonus Material available for all books on Garrett's Patreon account. Includes short stories from Misfits, Slide, Strays, What Remains, Dream, and much more. Sign up here: https://www.patreon.com/garrettleigh
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer, cover artist, and book designer. Her debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards, and was again a finalist in 2017 with Rented Heart.
In 2017, she won the EPIC award in contemporary romance with her military novel, Between Ghosts, and the contemporary romance category in the Bisexual Book Awards with her novel What Remains.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with photographer Dan Burgess.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Character Post: Ruby Shaw from Aloe and Goodbye
My name is Ruby Shaw. At least it is today.
It was something else two weeks ago, but I’m not allowed to use my real name anymore. That’s what Victor Wilson, the US marshal who’d dumped us off in this godforsaken little town, told me. And my daughter? Yes, she had to choose a new name too. She picked Allison—Allie for short—which isn’t too different from her birth name.
It’s been hard getting settled into Paradise, Arizona, especially after our neighbor was found dead the morning after we moved in. We’re carrying on with our new normal, but it’s been especially hard for 12-year-old Allie, whose mood is as dark as the black clothing she always wears. After dropping her off at school, I walked over to a café called Bette’s Place, where Bette, as usual, poured me a cup of coffee while peppering me with questions about real estate maven Greta Stramtussle’s murder.
I have no idea what happened to Mrs. Stramtussle and am doing everything I can to keep as far away from the murder investigation as possible. Victor keeps telling me to fly under the radar, but so far, I haven’t been able to do that since someone is trying to frame me for murder. Ever since we arrived, the folks around town have been giving us the side-eye. They’re convinced I had something to do with Mrs. Stramtussle’s demise. Just because I’m new in town doesn’t mean I have something to hide, though I most certainly do have a lot to hide, namely my entire identity. How did we end up in witness protection? All because of brother-in-law’s entanglement with some bad dudes—some really, really bad dudes—who I’ll have to testify against in the future.
Leaving the cafe, I caught a glimpse of Luke, who was slinging eggs and hash browns in the kitchen. He gave me a friendly smile and a wave as I left. He is, without a doubt, the hottest guy in town, but I have to admit there aren’t many men to choose from. When Luke came to my house with vegetable scraps for my compost pile the other day, he definitely was flirting with me, but getting involved with anyone while in witness protection is out of the question.
While our lives are definitely chaotic right now, one thing is certain: I need a job. Victor told me he wasn’t going to support us financially forever, so finding employment is at the top of my list. I was an artist in New York City before ending up in this postage-stamp-size town, so I hadn’t had a regular nine-to-five job in, well, forever. I already lost one position in town when I convinced the local feed store owner I was not interested in his physical advances. I’m pretty sure he’s still smarting from my kick that made him curl up like a jumbo shrimp.
The good news is I have a job interview today. I’m going to hike up to the Hilltop Hotel, which I’ve heard is haunted. Paradise is a former ghost town, so who am I to say if the hotel is full of ghosts or not? I hope the only spirits I encounter are friendly and that I last longer than I did at Farrell’s Feed and Tack.
Allie and I are committed to staying in Paradise, just as long as
it doesn’t turn out to be more dangerous than where we’ve been. I hope I’m
making the right decision because our lives depend on it.
About Aloe & Goodbye
New Yorker Ruby Shaw arrives in a hillside town in Arizona with a brand-new name, a duffel bag on her shoulder, and her daughter, Allie, at her side. Before arriving, Ruby witnesses a murder that lands her in the witness protection program. That decision means she’s gone from being a successful artist to being a nobody in a postage-stamp-sized town called Paradise—a name that doesn’t fit the former ghost town. Even though their new digs are a little shabby, and there may be ghosts haunting the town, they are optimistic about their new lives, that is, until a neighbor turns up dead.
Having just arrived in town, living next door to the victim, and without an alibi, the community members are suspicious of Ruby. A local deputy befriends her, but the deputy still points to her as the culprit each time they find a new clue. If matters weren’t bad enough, Allie is having trouble fitting in at her new school, and Ruby can’t seem to hold down a job.
As they settle in, they meet the quirky inhabitants of Paradise: Bette—the chatterbox café owner, Flora—Allie’s eccentric babysitter, and Derek—who runs local history tours, which he jazzes up with ghost stories of questionable veracity.
Ruby’s life improves when she meets a handsome cook at the local café who is passionate about succulents and cacti, and may feel equally passionate about her. Even though Ruby and Allie want to stay in Paradise, a US marshal has other ideas, as he threatens to move them to a new town after Ruby gets mixed up in the murder investigation. Ruby must find the killer before she and Allie lose their new home or even worse—their lives.
About Janice Peacock
Janice Peacock is a cozy mystery author who specializes in craft and hobby mysteries. She loves to write about artists who find new ways to live their lives and perhaps catch a criminal or two in the process. While working in a glass studio with several colorful and quirky artists, she was inspired to write the Glass Bead Mystery Series. The Ruby Shaw Mysteries, which are set in a small hillside mining town, were inspired by her trips to Jerome, Arizona, and Jacksonville, Oregon. When Janice isn’t writing about amateur detectives, she wields a 2,500-degree torch to melt glass and create one-of-kind beads and jewelry. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and an undisclosed number of cats. Visit Janice online at janicepeacock.com.
The Duet is complete!
Thorns and Forgiveness, the all-new steamy and suspenseful second book in the Twisted Legacy Duet from bestselling author CoraLee June is available now!
Determined to save my mother from her disastrous marriage, I sold my pride for a second chance with Hamilton Beauregard. I ached for him, but my heart refused to forgive.
Hamilton broke me. He betrayed me.
He made me fall in love with a lie.
While trying to figure out my feelings, we all had to navigate my mother’s toxic sham of a marriage and her husband's deteriorating façade. My stepfather was dangerous. Deadly. During a tragic moment of weakness, his evil bloomed to life, and someone died.
Hamilton is the only way I’ll survive.
Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2JSHVot
Coralee June is an international bestselling romance writer who enjoys engaging projects and developing real, raw, and relatable characters. She is an English major from Texas State University and has had an intense interest in literature since her youth.
She currently resides with her husband and two daughters in Dallas, Texas, where she enjoys long walks through the ice-cream aisle at her local grocery store.
Connect with CoraLee
Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/3iKV5kk
(Fatal Truth #2)
Publication date: January 28th 2021
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Thriller
Can love untangle a web of lies and expose the truth?
A loner with a mysterious childhood…
FBI agent Dolan Watts is no stranger to pain. From his childhood spent in foster care to his daily grind of hunting down hardened criminals, it’s been the one constant through the years. Pain carved out gut feelings he can trust and instincts able to solve cases in record time. Until now. Confronted by a malicious new enemy who revels in mind games, Dolan begins to doubt his own perceptions. Fearing he’s spiraling into insanity, he seeks help from the one woman who can shine light into the darkness consuming him.
A woman haunted by a secret…
Psychologist Daughter Dawson sabotaged her own safety the moment she accepted Dolan as a client. Still, she felt compelled to help him. Dolan’s past mirrored many of the questions about her own, making his torment achingly familiar. Despite their growing attraction, her career demands she keep an ethical distance. Yet when she makes the mistake of confiding in him, both their lives are thrust into unimaginable danger.
Nightmares come to life…
When gruesome tragedy uncovers a serial killer’s twisted agenda, Daughter and Dolan must cling to each other if they hope to survive. Can they stop the body count from rising? Or will they find their only purpose from the start was to be pawns in a reign of evil?
She wanted more. All of it. Hand-holding and kissing and long, lazy lovemaking. She opened her eyes and hoped he could read her feelings in them. The next two years were going to be torture, and it was all her fault.
His face was naked with longing, desire, deep affection. It was beautiful to see this powerful man baring his emotions to her. Emotions that had everything to do with her, with wanting her. It was a heady drug, one she wanted to overdose on. If she never saw him after today, she’d forever remember the way he looked at her right now, like she was his entire universe.
He slid his hand into her hair, the movement causing a rash of goose bumps to break out all over her body. “I’m sorry for breaking the rules. I take all the blame.”
She opened her mouth to ask him what rule he’d broken, just as his lips landed on hers. The world fell out from under her. She grabbed on to him to keep from falling, latching onto his shirt and yanking him closer. His arms clamped around her, holding her even tighter to him, and the raw male strength of his body against hers was a revelation. Heat radiated off him like he was her own personal sun.
And then his tongue was in her mouth—warm and tasting like a wish. The salt of her tears mingled to make this kiss the one that all other kisses would be measured by.
And then it was over and he was pulling away. She wanted to beg him to keep kissing her, and maybe the world and the two years separating them would disappear.
He looked down at her, his face ravaged by the war raging inside him, the same one inside her—the nearly overwhelming need to be together, the rules be damned.
He stared at her for an endless moment, a muscle in his jaw ticking, then turned and walked to his car.
Tears flowed as she watched him drive away. At the end of the parking lot, he stopped before pulling out onto the road. She couldn’t see inside the car, but knew he was watching her in the rearview mirror. A sob choked in her throat. If she cried any harder, he’d turn around and come back for her, but she couldn’t let him.
He drove out of the parking lot and out of her life. She turned to her car and saw the bouquet he’d given her sitting on the roof.
She mashed her face in the pretty flowers and watered them with her tears.
Seven Things about Abbie Roads:
1. She loves Snicker Parfaits. Gotta start with what's most important, right?
2. She writes dark emotional books featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending... after torturing them for three hundred pages.
3. By day she's a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. At night she burns up the keyboard. Well... Burn might be too strong a word. She at least sits with her hands poised over the keyboard, waiting for inspiration to strike. And when it does--the keyboard might get a little warm.
4. She can't stand it when people drive slowly in the passing lane. Just saying. That's major annoying. Right?
5. She loves taking pictures of things she thinks are pretty.
6. She lives in Marion, Ohio with her favorite fellow and two fur babies.
7. Being a published author is a dream come true for her.
Also check out this giveaway on the author’s website!