#99Cents Deal :: Imagine the Kiss (Crystal Creek Series #7) by Laura Haley-McNeil

Available for 99 cents from 23rd till 29th May!

Two people open themselves to the truth and open themselves to each other.

Her marriage in ruins, violinist Teagan Whitloch Munroe escapes into her music and the solace she finds at the Crystal Creek Ranch. Practicing in the woods helps her piece together her life, but she isn’t alone. When she hears someone hiking nearby, she demands he reveal himself, but the only revelation she gets is a soothing voice that heals the pain in her heart.
Maimed by a crushing accident, the once famous architect Phineas St. Cyr protects the world from his disfigurement by sequestering himself in the woods on the Crystal Creek Ranch. When he hears the intoxicating strains from Teagan’s violin, he can’t resist the beauty that quiets his aching soul, and he yearns to know the woman who creates such beauty.
Teagan finds sanctuary in her friendship with this connoisseur of music, but soon realizes Phin’s hiding more than his hideous scars. As they become entangled with each other, Teagan is stunned to learn they share more than a love of music. They are caught in a web of deceit by someone threatening to reveal Phin’s secrets. His exposed past endangers Teagan, and he can no longer walk away. This time he must face the enemy determined to defeat him. He’ll fight to the finish to protect the woman he can never love. No price is too high to keep buried the secret that will mark Teagan for destruction.Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Read an Excerpt from Imagine the Kiss

Chapter One

Teagan Whitloch Munroe was trembling. She was trembling, and she couldn’t stop. She’d been trembling for more than two hours—since she’d left the downtown Denver condominium she shared with her husband, Dr. Wilbert Munroe. What she’d seen inside the condo—in their bedroom—made her want to vomit. A cold knot of disgust and revulsion gripped her stomach.

When she’d walked into the master bedroom, she must’ve gasped. Will was lying on the bed, but he wasn’t alone. He’d lifted his head from the pillow. He looked right at her.

And swore.

He didn’t look surprised. He looked annoyed.

She’d pressed a hand over her mouth.

Blinded by tears, she’d backed into the doorjamb and stumbled into the hallway. She didn’t remember running out of the condo, but she must have. Her legs throbbed, and her chest ached. The only thing she remembered was her husband calling her name. What had he said? Let’s talk? She didn’t know if she should laugh or sob.

And she remembered the dulcet laughter of the naked woman who was servicing him in bed. Teagan’s and Will’s bed. Teagan had thought Ginny Andrews was her friend.

Some friend. Ginny who was svelte and toned. A contrast to Teagan who’d struggled with her weight since she was seven years old.

A shuddering breath rocked through Teagan’s lungs. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She wiped them away.

She barely remembered driving to the Crystal Creek Ranch, throwing a saddle on her favorite horse, Champagne, and racing through the meadows until she reached the aspen forest covering Crystal Peak.

Fighting against the despair that filled her, she wrapped shaky fingers around the reins and urged the Arabian horse through the trees bursting with spring green leaves. Her vision blurred, and she tried to focus on the pink wild roses and purple elephant’s head mingling with the green undergrowth. The splashes of Crystal Creek tumbling over rocks sounded next to the trail. It was happy and musical and far from the darkness that crowded her heart. Her stomach roiled and begged to be emptied of the half sandwich she’d eaten during the orchestral rehearsal that afternoon.

She ran her hand over the horse’s neck damp from perspiration.

About the Author:

A native of California, Laura Haley-McNeil spent her youth studying ballet and piano, though her favorite pastime was curling up with a good book. Without a clue as to how to write a book, she knew one day she would.
After college, she segued into the corporate world, but she never forgot her love for the arts and served on the board of two community orchestras. Finally realizing that the book she’d dreamt of writing wouldn’t write itself, she planted herself in front of her computer. She now immerses herself in the lives and loves of her characters in her romantic suspense and her contemporary romance novels. Many years later, she lived her own romantic novel when she married her piano teacher, the love of her life.
Though she and her husband have left warm California for cooler Colorado, they enjoy the outdoor life of hiking, bicycling, horseback riding and snow skiing. They satisfy their love of music by attending concerts and hanging out with their musician friends, but Laura still catches a few free moments when she can sneak off and read.

Laura on the Web:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Newsletter

 

Release Blitz – Ruin of the Scarred (Sting of Love #1) by Medha Nagur

Bidisha, a 17-year-old braveheart, has lived all her life in hiding since she is the daughter of the most wanted woman in Bishnupur. In the calm of the British Raj, Bidisha embarks on the quest to free her mother from the false accusation. But for that, she needs to challenge the royals who dare not stand against the British.
And when she enters the palace, she encounters the power-hungry Yuvaraja Trinabh and his twisted mother, the Rani Maa. Rani Maa despises her dutiful but meek step-son Yuvaraja Prabir and his hound Debesh Das, a Yodha who is his master’s protector. And so, she assigns Bidisha a job to spy.
But hearts entwine, and love meddles their path in the most unpredictable and adventurous ways.
Furthermore, things become dicey when Bidisha slits off her lover’s thumb, the Yuvaraja himself. Her dream to live free becomes a farfetched nightmare as her hiding in the jungle is not an option anymore.
When the deadly romance and the moral complexity are only a superficial part of the deep-rooted dark conspiracy, will Bidisha survive her sinking ground?
Will she emerge a warrior, save her own heart and win her love?
Or, will she succumb to the royal politics, lose her mother and lose herself too?

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com 

Read an Excerpt from Ruin of the Scarred

Bidisha’s ears pricked up when she heard twigs snap behind the temple. She looked around as she walked inside after her mother taking cautious steps. Bidisha dumped the clothes on the floor in haste. And her hand went straight to her sword as she walked out. She closed the door behind her and latched it from the outside. Bidisha stepped out in the twilight and walked to behind the temple.
‘Could it be a bear?’
Howbeit, it was not an animal but a man fully clothed in black, his back to her. Bidisha held the sword straight at his neck even before he realised her presence. But in an instant, the man turned around and pulled his sword out. The two blades clanked.
‘Not bad. You sensed my presence,’ he said, his sword moving against her steel as he closed in on her.
‘You’ll be sorry for that soon,’ Bidisha sneered wrapping fingers around her worn hilt as she lurched back against his move, her nose just an inch away from his blade.
The man cut again. She scrambled back. But Bidisha came hard at him as she cut and thrust her sword against his. The two closed in on. Their swords clanked. His deeply set intense dark eyes peeked out at her from under his mask as their blades locked.
‘He is not the same man. He is not Debesh.’
Just when Bidisha aimed at his head, the man suddenly lunged. He caught her wrist and twisted it till she dropped her sword. He picked her sword before he let go of her hand. Bidisha aimed her fist at his jaw and connected. But he moved back just in time, so she was barely able to touch him.
‘Hold on. We can talk,’ he said, taking a step back.
Bidisha advanced, her hand headed straight to his mask. But he dodged her, stepping back into the bush and onto a snake that hissed back at him. To protect himself, he ran ahead and landed on her, losing his balance. Even as he tried to get a hold, Bidisha was on the ground, on her back, groaning. His face above hers, their breath hitched. The man was stiff on his fours as if he was desperately avoiding her touch.
And just when he tried to get up, her eyes widened as the cobra struck right at her face, making it through the gap between the two. She held it and, in an instant, threw it away while the man in the mask slid off her. Bidisha bounced back on her feet when he had already grabbed the two swords he had dropped on the ground. She shuddered as the open mouth of the snake made it again before her eyes.
‘Can we talk now?’
His deep voice reverberated in her chest.
The cool breeze from the lake brought the musk of the mud and the touch of the dew in the dusk moving her out of her thoughts.
About the Author:

Medha Nagur is anything but a stereotypical homemaker, at home full time but with a pen all the time!
A freelance blogger by profession in her past life, she was on her maternity break when she started writing fiction. Medha considers herself a chronic creative aficionado who loves painting and writing.
Once a lecturer in Science College, where she gave lectures in Computer Science soon after her Masters, was fascinated by the blog world and realized her love for the words and took up writing full time.
She is also at her creative best when it comes to cooking innovative dishes to cater to the needs of her 11-year-old son, 4-year-old daughter, and not to mention her epicure husband. Get a glimpse of her culinary art on Instagram.
A music lover who likes to hit the floor on Zumba numbers is also a fashion enthusiast (like any woman on this planet!).
She wants to be in the womb of nature when it comes to holidays, embracing its warmth, which she believes is a gift to mankind.
All in all, she is born to collect laughs and make a relentless commitment to love so that she can enjoy life in abundance.

Medha on the Web:
Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon

Release Blitz: Rudrabaan (Cursed Elements) by Nitya Neelakantan

A café owner who is haughty and entitled. An event planner who is earnest and acquiescent. A curse that was cast an eternity ago…

Shruthakeerthi Urs aka. Shruti is the client from hell. Jaideep Rai is the hot new event planner who bring out the shrew in Shruti. Tempers fly and egos clash even as they attempt to work together on an event.
Fate brings them face to face again when they both sign up for the same Jungle Challenge adventure, traversing the mountains and forests of the Western Ghats of India. Forced to work together they snarl and spar at every given chance, refusing to admit that they may be hankering for something amorous with the other…a simmering undercurrent of passion!
And what happens when one of them is cursed? Can they put aside their differences and come together to break a curse that has sounded the death knell for generations of one of their families? Amidst surprise revelations, mystic mendicants, and repressed memories, can the two work out the pieces of the puzzle that can break the curse?
Will Shruti and Jaideep survive this epic adventure and find love, or will they remain ships passing in the night…

Rudrabaan is an adventure filled story peppered with magical realism and hued with some regular hate to love drama.
Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Read an Excerpt from Rudrabaan

Jaideep was now definitely staring at the two of them. How does Bobby do this? How does he just win people over? Jaideep was feeling confused and irritated. If it wasn’t for the fact that Bobby was his best friend and that he was gay, Jaideep might have just ripped his limbs apart for hugging Shruti. He wanted to be in Bobby’s place right now, smelling her hair and gently kissing her forehead as she leaned in. He pictured himself pushing his fingers into her curly knots and bringing her head closer to his chest.
Thwack! Prashant’s broad hand landed on Jaideep’s back. ‘Let’s go, buddy. Did you not hear your name?’
Participants were now divided into two groups and given logs of wood and thick ropes. They had to make rafts that would take them across the stream. Lunch was being served on the other side of the stream. Eager to have lunch, the teams put their backs into making the rafts.
Shruti and Jaideep sat on opposite sides of the raft as they were part of the same group. About a meter from the bank, the ropes of their raft began to come undone, and the logs of wood separated, toppling the team into water. The other team who had reached the bank began laughing as they stepped into the water to pull people out.
‘It’s all your fault. If you didn’t know how to tie ropes you should have left it to the experts,’ Shruti shouted at Jaideep.
‘Like you are an expert on everything?’, he retorted as he looked at her wet cotton shirt. It was clinging to her skin and the water had made it see-through. Jaideep was looking at the clear outline of a yellow bra as he spoke.
‘I wasn’t talking about myself. But if you took the time to pull your head out of your ass, you would know that!’ she said and stomped away, water dripping from her clothes as she walked onto the bank of the stream.
The rest of the group had already gone ahead to where lunch was being served and didn’t notice the exchange of words between them.
Jaideep grabbed Shruti’s arm and pulled her close. They looked at each other with daggers in their eyes but kindred embers in their souls. He wanted to bite her lower lip as he glared at her, his eyes lingering a second longer than intended on her luscious lips and moving furtively down her neck.
He tore his eyes away from her and forced himself to look away as he said, ‘What is your problem? Why do you hate me? I am just trying to have a decent, hard-earned holiday. Please!’
Shruti wrestled her arm out of his grasp. She tried hard not to focus on why her body was melting in response to his touch,  like a smitten kitten and she said, ‘Don’t you dare touch me again. I don’t know you enough to hate you. You are not that important to me. Please enjoy your holiday and stay the hell away from me!’
Shruti walked away huffing, but her body seemed to be yearning for that fervour she felt a few seconds ago when Jaideep had clutched her wrist. She had been so afraid that he would feel her pulse quicken and hear how loudly her heart thumped inside her chest when he touched her.
Neither of them saw that a flaming arrow had landed right next to the riverbank that they had stepped onto. The flames flickered and the arrow disappeared once again.

About the Author:

Nitya Neelakantan is a writer and yoga teacher from Bangalore. She has three paperback novels that are awaiting publication with Rupa Publications and Readomania.

Nitya graduated with a degree in Hotel Management before moving into the learning space as a technical trainer and then a soft skills trainer. Her writing and yoga journey began simultaneously as she hung up her corporate boots in exchange for more time with her two and four-legged family.
When not teaching or reading, Nitya enjoys travelling with her husband, son, and two fluffy dog-babies.  She is an amateur blogger who is also passionate about composting, slow fashion, and conscious living.

Keep in touch with Nitya:

Release Blitz: Dawn’s Desire by Shilpa Suraj

DD Release Banner

One night of passion, a stolen moment of joy and six years of pain…

Rishi Khatri cannot forget the beautiful woman who swept into his life for one incredible night and then disappeared…with the contents of his wallet and large chunks of his heart.
Until the day, he meets Sehar again and he realises that he cannot forgive her. For, Rishi has made a cardinal mistake. He’s fallen in love with his one night stand.
Sehar Mirza’s one night of rebellion destroyed any chance of a normal future. But her heart cannot regret her choice. For in that one night, she laughed, she loved and she lost. She lived an entire lifetime.
When their paths cross again, Sehar and Rishi find their feelings for each other haven’t dimmed. All they want in life is another chance, a second chance.

But Sehar has a secret. One that will destroy their tentative happiness.

Can they learn to look beyond their past mistakes and hope for a shared future? Can Rishi forgive a betrayal so large that it leaves his already battered heart in pieces at Sehar’s feet?

Can love win? Or will loss claim their destiny for its own again?

Book Links:

Read an Excerpt from Dawn’s Desire

His home looked exactly as I’d expected it to. Meticulously curated, tastefully furnished and anally maintained.
“You live alone?” I asked, as he handed me fresh towels and herded me towards the guest bedroom.
“Did you think I had a secret wife stashed away in my cupboard or something?”
I shrugged. “Stranger things have happened.”
He came to an abrupt halt in front of me. “Really? Like what?”
I gave him what I hoped was an enigmatic smile but what was, in reality, probably more constipated.
With one last weirded-out look, he pushed the door of a room open and stepped back. “This is the guest bedroom. It has an attached toilet. If you need anything, let me know.”
With that, he was gone before I could thank him or say any of the hundred other things bubbling through me. I dropped the duffel bag I’d carried along on the beautifully made bed and took in my surroundings.
The entire room was done in shades of pastel green and cream and had a soothing effect on my otherwise frazzled nerves. My finger trailed over a summery yellow porcelain bowl on the bedside table with potpourri in it.
Who kept his home so immaculate for him? Jealousy speared through me as I took in the many feminine touches to the room. I shook it off and marched into the bathroom to wash the day’s dirt and grief off of me.
The hot spray of water from the shower boiled my skin and cleansed my soul. I took a deep breath as I wrapped my hair in a towel, changed into a comfortable pair of shorts and a t-shirt and followed my nose to the drawing room.
Rishi held out a bowl of steaming hot deliciousness. “Chicken Pad Thai okay?” he asked.
I nodded, taking the bowl from him. “Thank you.”
He gave me a brief smile before picking up his own bowl and digging in. He had a copy of the latest book by Lee Child beside him.
“How are you enjoying that?” I asked, pointing with my fork to the book.
He moved his hand in a so-so gesture saying, “Not sure if it is the book or my mood though.”
I bit my tongue. I really did. But it wagged anyway.
“Is there something wrong with your mood?” I asked.
His fork froze on the way to his mouth. “Nothing that concerns you,” he answered, quietly.
It stung but I forced myself to look serene as I dug into my dinner.
“You haven’t asked me yet,” I pushed my food around. “Why my parents threw me out of the house? Don’t you want to know?”
“I haven’t asked you about many things, Sehar.” He reached casually for the television remote and turned it on. “Why would I start now?”
This time it hurt to breathe. I sucked in a harsh gasp but it did nothing but burn its way through me.
“I tried to explain my behaviour that night to you in Goa.”
“And I told you I wasn’t interested in your explanation.” He kept his gaze on the television even as he increased the volume to drown me out.
“Rishi, I never meant to-“
The television clicked off, the silence that fell in the room as abrupt as it was complete.
He turned towards me, finally, fury burning in his gaze, his knuckles turning white from his grip on his bowl.
“Is it so hard for you to understand that I am not interested in discussing that night with you? Ever? You lied to me, you slept with me, you used me and you stole from me…whatever your so-called justifications are, Sehar…I don’t care!”
My throat locked, my apology crumbling and dying inside me.
“Are we clear?” he asked, softly.
“Crystal,” I forced out.
“Good.” He turned the television on again, letting the sound wash over us.
Silently, I ate every last bite in my bowl before walking to the kitchen to wash and stack it on the drying tray.
I stopped at the entrance to the living room and watched him eat and stare at the television as if my presence in his home made no difference to him.
We both knew better. We were both experts at pretending differently though.
“I’ll be gone in the morning,” I told the back of his head.
“You always are.” He increased the volume again until I thought the windows would shatter.
Or maybe I would.
About the Author:

Shilpa Suraj wears many hats – corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.

Contact the Author:
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Release Blitz: Ye Gods! The Law is an Ass! by Seelie Kay

Ye Gods! The Law is an Ass!
(Donovan Trait #2)
by Seelie Kay

Genre: Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance, Mystery
Publisher: eXtasy Books

ISBN: 978-1-4874-3357-4
Page: 145
Word Count:44705
Publication Date: 2021-09-03

Book Blurb:

It was the Great Lie, and it could destroy the Vampire Nation.

In First, We Kill All the Lawyers, vampire lawyer Donovan Trait survived repeated attacks by a serial killer. Now, after violating a marital agreement with the Vampire Coalition, and several ancient Vampire Laws, Donovan, and his newly-turned vampire bride are on the run. You see, in exchange for permitting a pure-blood vampire to marry a turned human, the Traits agreed to allow vampire scientists to monitor the conception and birth of their children. When Judge Shirley Magnusen Trait turns up accidentally pregnant on her wedding day, the fury of the Coalition is unleashed. The tribunal recommends unacceptable punitive action and the Traits are forced to flee to a mysterious island of vampire nuns. The Traits are, by profession, seekers of the truth. But this time, the truth may not set them free. In fact, it could start a revolution. Will the Traits escape the clutches of the Coalition and keep their babies safe? Or will their family be…eliminated?

Book Links:
Goodreads * eXtasy Books

A Quick Interview with Seelie Kay

Why do you write romance?

Because I am fascinated by the games people play to find and secure a lasting relationship, which is not always love. There’s the chase, the courtship, the falling, the surrender. That’s what I try to capture in my stories.

Do you prefer a certain type of romantic hero?

I adore smart, dashing gentlemen who aren’t afraid to live on the edge. They can be a bad boy, a billionaire, a prince, or a secret agent. That hint of danger just hooks me! However, I they have to be paired with strong, independent women who aren’t afraid to fight for what they want, even love.

Why did you write “Ye Gods! The Law is an Ass?”

Donovan Trait is a vampire lawyer. In the human world, a very respected lawyer. I wanted to give him the opportunity to shine in the vampire world. So I created a scenario where his turned vampire bride Shirley is unfairly punished for an unintentionally violating their marital agreement, as well as other outdated, outrageous, and outright discriminatory laws—she unintentionally  To survive and protect their unborn child, they must not only fight back, but also rebel. In this instance, human history provides them with the path. That gave me the opportunity to draw parallels between the fight for human rights and the rights of vampires who aren’t purebloods. It also allowed me to poke at the continued need of both societies to embrace social change. Perhaps surprisingly, the vampires lag far behind the humans in terms of equality and individual freedoms. However, in the end, the message is clear: Whether human or vampire, an individual is entitled to certain rights and liberties. And no human or vampire has a right to deny them.

About Seelie Kay:

Award-winning author Seelie Kay writes about lawyers in love, sometimes with a dash of kink.

Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in nineteen works of fiction, including the new paranormal romance series Donovan Trait, as well the erotic romance Kinky Briefs series and The Feisty Lawyers romantic suspense series. She also authored The Last Christmas, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The President’s Daughter, Seizing Hope, The White House Wedding, and participated in the romance anthology Pieces of Us.

When not spinning romantic tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently, she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.

Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

Seelie on the Web:
Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Author’s Amazon Page

Cover Reveal: Twilight’s Temptation by Shilpa Suraj

Book Blurb:

The ace photographer and the supermodel, they should have been a match made in heaven. Instead, they fought like the demons of hell.
Complicated, surly, and sexy, Manav Apte was probably the only photographer who resented his muse. From the day he’d seen her, there had been no other. Unfortunately, she was the one woman he could never have.
Passionate, talented, and gorgeous, Diana Severes refused to give the temperamental ass behind the camera the satisfaction of knowing he got under her skin. It was, however, impossible not to notice him or his glowering disapproval that trailed her everywhere she went.
Their dislike and distrust of each other is legendary in the fashion industry and yet, the sparks that fly when they come together for work are enough to light the sets on fire.
Will the Golden Girl of India’s fashion scene be able to see beyond his hatred to the love he’s desperately trying to mask? And will the country’s most talented photographer realise that his true talent lies not in what he views through his lens but what he sees through the filter of his heart?
About the Author:

Shilpa Suraj wears many hats – corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.

Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter

Cover Reveal: Midnight’s Star (Shades of Night #1) by Shilpa Suraj

Visually impaired author and current flavour of the Indian literary scene, Dev Arya, has not just triumphed against the odds in his life, he’s annihilated them. He’s got fame, fortune and floozies in abundance. And yet, he’s lonely.
Cafe owner and only child to her differently abled father, Avni Desai is broke, heartbroken and a true survivor. But no matter how hard she hustles, she’s still struggling to stay afloat.
And then, one day, Dev walks into her cafe… and everything changes for both of them. From excellent tiramisu to earshattering singing, from dramatic friends to accident prone sexcapades, they embark on the ride of a lifetime.
Will it all be worth it though? Will two broken souls find a way to heal each other? Or do the fractures go so deep that there is no way for either of them to find the love they so deeply crave and yet can’t seem to have?
Book Link:
Goodreads

Releasing on 28th May!

About the Author:

Shilpa Suraj wears many hats – corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.

Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter

Book Blitz: Beneath the Lies (Forgotten Trilogy #1) by Sapna Bhog

 

A saga of Forgotten Love and Second Chances

How would you feel when the man you have known and loved for the last five years is not who he said he was? That everything he ever told you was all a lie.

An accident changed our lives forever and now I have to bring him back to us because he doesn’t remember our life, our family or us. One minute, I was just a regular girl from India married to a man she loved, and the next, my life has changed completely because I’m married to an English Duke, who doesn’t remember me.

My name is Aaliya Singh Talbot and I will do whatever it takes to bring my husband back from the darkness and into the light.

I will make him remember no matter what I have to do!

I will make him remember everything – beneath all the lies!

 

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com * Other Platforms

Read an Excerpt from Beneath the Lies

Aaliya

Mumbai

Someone is screaming!

In a heartbeat, I know it’s me. I jerk awake and sit upright on my bed, my heart roaring against my ribcage. My hand trembles as I push my long hair back from my damp forehead. He can’t be dead; this was just a dream! I chant that thought while taking huge calming breaths. This is the third time this week I’ve woken up like this, feeling like he’s gone. The fact that I’ve lost all touch with him screams inside me that something is drastically wrong else he’d never be silent for this long; his phone would never be switched off like it has been this last week. I shut my eyes, anxiety weighing me down. How long should I convince myself there is a reason for his silence?
I grab the photo frame from my bedside table. It is a picture of Damien and I from our honeymoon. His arm is around me and both of us are smiling into the camera, the waves of the Indian Ocean crashing behind us.
I run a finger along his face, tracing that bearded jaw, visualizing him in my mind’s eye. Those striking grey-green eyes that sparkle whenever they rest on me, that heart-stopping smile that almost always makes me melt. I miss him! I miss being tucked under his chin when he hugs me. I miss his scent and I miss how his strong arms and tall frame wrap around me when we sleep, making me feel protected and cherished. This is the first time we’ve been separated for so long and perhaps that’s what is making me anxious. I shake my head. No, something is wrong. I can sense it.
God! Please let him be safe, I pray.
Love is a strange yet powerful emotion that hit me when I least expected it and swept me off my feet without me even knowing it. And now, five years later, it is the faith I have in that love that makes me believe he would never leave me without contact—unless he was in trouble.
Fear for him slithers like a poisonous snake across my veins but I have to tamper it down because I have one more reason to remain sane, to stay anchored to the belief that Damien will be fine, no matter what. I breathe in deep, letting the familiar hum of the air conditioner soothe my nerves before I slide off the bed. My feet hit the cold marble floor and I head to the other bedroom where I tip toe inside.
My darling little boy—an angel with his mouth open and a tiny hand clutching his rather overlong hair—is sleeping in his cot. A small smile skates across my lips and my heart warms as I stare at him for a moment before lifting him carefully and putting him on my shoulder. He wriggles for a moment but soon relaxes in my arms, his nose digging into the side of my neck. I inhale his soft, sweet fragrance, and shut my eyes for a few seconds. Rian is ten months old and the love of our lives. Reluctant to let go of him, I hold him for a second longer before I gently tuck him back in his cot and caress his beloved face, so similar to his father.
My cell phone rings and I run to my room, glancing at the clock that shows that it’s three in the morning. I pray fervently that it’s finally him calling. Please God, let that be my husband!
I lift the cell, scanning the caller id and my shoulders slump.
“Gabriel!” I breathe into the phone. “Where is Damien? It’s been a week since I heard from him. One whole week with his phone switched off and you giving me a different excuse each time I call. I’m scared, Gabe. You can’t even begin to imagine the thoughts running through my mind.”
His silence only fuels my fear.
“Gabe, please,” I plead. “Where is he?”
“Aaliya, he…he’s been in a car accident!”
“No! God, no!” I shudder. “Is he-”
I swallow against the pain in my throat and try again, because I need to know. “Is he fine? Please tell me he’s alive!”
“Aaliya, he’s fine. He was in a coma for a week. He’s just woken up now.”
“One week!” I gasp out. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Tears burn my eyes, threatening to spill over. “His trip to London was planned for two days not ten, Gabe. I’ve lived in terror this last week ever since I lost contact with him. You knew how worried I was and yet you fed me with one excuse after the other. How could you keep his accident from me? I deserved to know, Gabe.”
“Aaliya…”
“Don’t you dare try and placate me!” I yell, unable to hold it back any longer. “You should’ve called me the minute he was admitted to the hospital.”
“Aaliya, I’m sorry. I truly am!” His voice comes out broken. “This is hard for me too. I didn’t tell you because he told me to look after you and Rian first if anything happened to him. I never imagined that he’d meet with an accident so soon after. You may not understand this now, Aaliya, but I did this to protect you both.”
 “Protect us from what?”
Gabe sighs. “How much do you know of the English aristocracy?”
My fist squeezes tighter around my phone. “I don’t care about the damn English aristocracy. Tell me about Damien. How is he?”
“Like I said, he’s fine now. He woke up a few hours ago. He’s injured his head, but he will be fine. There’s a lot to tell you, Aaliya. Damien hasn’t told you entirely who he was…is.”
“What do you mean, Gabe? Don’t talk to me in riddles. Besides, I know who he was…” I shake my head. “…he is. I know about his life in England. So, stop trying to tell me something else.”
I’ve known Gabriel Westcott for as long as I’ve known Damien, which is five years now. He is Damien’s best friend, his business partner and was his best man at our wedding. Since Damien was an orphan, Gabe was also the only person to attend from Damien’s side. This last week he’s given me one excuse after the other regarding the silence from Damien and now he’s feeding me some nonsense about my husband that I refuse to believe.
“Damn it, Aaliya. You need to listen to me!” Gabe shouts. “Damien is the second son of the Duke of Kittridge. He returned here to England ten days ago not on a business trip, like he told you, but because his father and brother died in a car crash. He came for their funeral and because of his new responsibility. Damien is now the Duke of Kittridge.”
“No!” I whisper, dropping down on the bed. “That can’t be true. He would have told me. No! I don’t believe you.”
“Google it. Now! It’s K I T T R I D G E.”
He spells the word as I grab my laptop and open Google and type the letters. My eyes widen in shock. Oh my God! The cords in my neck strain as I stare at the images on the screen. There are dozens of pictures of Damien. He’s at a funeral. He’s with an older woman. Another picture shows him with his arm around a younger blonde woman, comforting her. Who are these women? What in the hell is going on? I read tweets on him.
“The new Duke of Kittridge”
“Missing son returns after five years”
“The Devil Lord is now the Devil Duke”
The Internet has the whole history of Damien; it knows things I’ve never known. My Damien is not Damien Alexander, as I’ve always known him; he is Damien Alexander Talbot, now the Duke of Kittridge.
“How…how is this possible?” My voice trembles. “How could I have not known?”
“I will explain it all to you, Aaliya. But first, you need to come to London as soon as you can. Can you organize to leave Rian with someone for a few days?”
“I’ll bring him with me. Damien will want to see him.”
“Aaliya,” Gabe lowers his tone and my heartbeat accelerates yet again, “he doesn’t remember you. He has no memory of the last five years of his life, which includes Rian and you.”
Did he just say that? No! It can’t be true. But I know to the core of my being that it is true. This is why my instincts have been roaring at me since the last few days. My stomach plummets, the hollowness spreading through every inch of my body. A whimper escapes my mouth and I press a hand on my lips to stop myself from screaming.

About the Author:
Sapna Bhog is an author from India who writes contemporary and historical romance novels. As a self-proclaimed die-hard romantic, her books are filled with swoon-worthy heroes and feisty heroines who clash all the time, but do get their happy ever after. Sapna has always surrounded herself with books and when she is not writing she is reading. Originally from Dubai, she now lives in Western India with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky. Sapna gave up a successful IT career and took a foray into writing and has never looked back since. Her favourite pastimes are reading, writing, traveling and shopping—not necessarily in that order. She loves to hear from readers.

Sapna on the Web:
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Release Day Blitz – Bovine Tricks by Seelie Kay

 

About the Book:

Lady Annabelle Trask is missing. Unfortunately, MISix doesn’t know if they’re looking for a woman, a cow, or something in between!

Is it real or is it fantasy? That’s the question MISix Agent Mathilda Honoria Spencer struggles with on her latest assignment. Tasked with discovering the whereabouts of Lady Annabelle Trask, Tillie is thrust into the world of Hucows and other human animals. It’s a world that raises serious questions about sexual fetishes, intentional physical enhancements, and even pornography, but in the end, Tillie has only one mission—to rescue and return Lady Annabelle to the Queen. However, as she and her partner, Agent Abdul Ali, attempt to find Lady Annabelle and keep her out of the clutches of terrorists bent on destroying the monarchy, they must also wrestle with their feelings for each other. Can they draw the line between their duty to the Crown and their relationship with one another? Or must they embark on separate paths to continue to serve the Queen?

Book Links:
Goodreads * XtasyBooks

Read an Excerpt from Bovine Tricks

Tillie’s face reddened. Suddenly, she felt quite queasy. She started to speak, but her superior held up his hand. 

“There’s more. This is a human-animal auction. It is not limited to Hucows. There will be Hupigs, Huhorses, and maybe even, Husheep. Fortunately, you are to focus on the cows. That is where we believe Lady Annabelle will be found.”

Tillie gazed at him. “What if she isn’t there? What if she has changed…er, species?”

“I suggest you cross that bridge when you come to it.”

“And what am I to do if I find Lady Annabelle? How do I extract her?”

“You purchase her at the auction. You have been given sufficient funds to bid up to one million Euros.”

Tillie’s eyes grew wide. “Criminy. That much?” 

Lord Ryder nodded. “These cows are well-trained and well-treated. The females are pampered—weekly manicures, hair treatments, and such. A happy cow is a happy milker, as they say.”

Tillie’s eyes widened. “Lady Annabelle could be there willingly? She is not necessarily a captive, forced be a Hucow?”

“Exactly. And that is our dilemma. While the Queen hopes that she is there willingly, several factors are at play. Lady Annabelle may have freely joined a farm to become a Hucow, or she may just have danced on the wild side and somehow wound up at auction. In the alternative, she may have been kidnapped and forced to become a Hucow, or she may have been forced and now enjoys the lifestyle. There are all sorts of reasons she could be there and all sorts of reasons she prefers to stay. Our only mission is to get her out.”

Tillie frowned. “Why would they put her up for auction? Isn’t that a way to get rid of unproductive or uncooperative cows?”

“Not necessarily. Some farms simply raise and train Hucows, then sell them. Given their going rate, it is a lucrative business. A great way to supplement the income from a regular farm. Human cows bring much more lucre than actual farm-raised cows.”

Tillie sighed. “For just one day, I would like to forget that there is a whole lot of people engaged in activities that far surpass my imagination.”

Lord Ryder’s mouth curved up into a wry smile. “Then we would be out of a job.”

Tillie tapped her jaw, considering. “You know, this might be a better job for the Yanks. They are a kinky bunch. I believe there was a recent study that found them to be the kinkiest country in the world.”

Lord Ryder snorted. “If you were the Queen, would you want that bunch of kinksters to know your relatives are participating in like behavior? Why their intelligence services would find a way to use it against us for decades.” He shook his head. “No. This we do alone.”

About Seelie Kay:

Award-winning author Seelie Kay writes about lawyers in love, sometimes with a dash of kink.

Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in nineteen works of fiction, including the new paranormal romance series Donovan Trait, as well the erotic romance Kinky Briefs series and The Feisty Lawyers romantic suspense series. She also authored The Last Christmas, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The President’s Daughter, Seizing Hope, The White House Wedding, and participated in the romance anthology Pieces of Us.

When not spinning romantic tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently, she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine. 

Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

Seelie on the Web:
Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram * Author’s Amazon Page

Book Blitz: Dare to be a Duchess by Sapna Bhog

 

He’s a powerful duke. She’s his uncle’s ward. They have forever been at war, until one night, one masquerade, and one kiss…

Lara Ramsay is no stranger to scandal. As the orphaned daughter of a British colonel and his beloved Indian wife, whispers follow her everywhere. Not even the protection of the formidable Duke of Wolverton, a man she can’t stand, keeps the gossips at bay.
The audacious Lara has driven Tristan Wentworth, The Duke of Wolverton, to distraction since the day his uncle took her in—and he’s quite certain doing so is her favorite pastime. After catching her and his younger sister at a salacious masquerade, he’s had enough scandal and issues a marriage ultimatum: find a husband within six months or one will be chosen for her.
Unfortunately, no one in the ton appeals to her. Except, perhaps, the duke himself. The battle of wills has only just begun, and when Lara kisses him, their fate is sealed.
Sometimes even the most proper duke needs to break the rules to win the heart of the woman he loves…

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com

Quotes from Dare to be a Duchess:

“Here, right at this moment, I’m giving you an ultimatum: Find someone from the ton to marry in the next six months or I will choose someone for you.” – Duke of Wolverton

“Well then the plan is simple, ‘Divide and Rule.’” – Lara Ramsay

“You’ll be surprised that a gentleman with the best intentions can behave like a rake when faced with temptation.” – Duke of Wolverton

“I think, Wolf, that you go on and on about my undesirability and my unattractiveness as a way to convince yourself more than me. The fact is that you kissed me because I am desirable and I am very attractive indeed.” – Lara Ramsay.

“You know very well that I’m accepted in the ton, albeit grudgingly, thanks only to you. No man wants to marry me, and I don’t want to marry any of those men.” – Lara Ramsay.

Read an Excerpt from Dare to be a Duchess:

Wolf crossed his arms and glared at Lara. Despite being at fault, she was as unrepentant as ever. Her absolute nonchalance drove him mad, always. 

“It is my concern. Getting into trouble is second nature to you, so I’d be lying if I said that it gave me any pleasure to be the one to help you out.” Wolf scowled at her. “Paxton is not a fool. He only has to think closely as to whose identity I would desperately want to protect and then remember your dark hair and he will come up with your name. You truly have no sense at all.”

“Well then you shouldn’t have bothered coming to my aid,” Lara retorted. “I could have handled the situation perfectly well by myself.” 

Wolf put his hands on his hips. “And how may I ask would you have done that?”

“I’ve heard that a well planted knee on a delicate part of a man’s anatomy would normally do the trick.”

His eyebrows shot up. “You’re crazy to think that you could have deterred Paxton that easily.”

Lara merely stared at him, her head held high, further fueling his temper. 

“What, nothing to say?” he snapped. “Which brings me back to my first question. What in the world are you doing here in this depraved place?” 

Lara continued to watch him with those deep blue eyes, her lips set in a mutinous line. Her lack of response irked him even more. 

“Answer me,” Wolf demanded, his tone sharp.

She met his gaze head on. “We had no inkling this place would be so bad. And nothing untoward has occurred, so stop shouting at me.”

 “Unbelievable,” he growled. “Do you know how bad this place can be for two innocent girls like yourselves? Behind their masks and costumes, the men here have only one thing on their minds when they look at you, and you, as usual, don’t care that you could be completely ruined if discovered, let alone taken advantage of, in this den of vice. You are wild and irresponsible and you give no thought to your actions or the consequences thereof. And you 

brought Anne here? Just because you don’t care about your reputation doesn’t mean you can play fast and loose with hers.”

Lara’s eyes blazed with fury. “Anne is not a child. She is a grown woman who has a mind of her own.” 

“And that is justification for you to come here?” Wolf countered.

“I, too, have a mind of my own,” she shot back. “And I do not appreciate you telling me what I can and cannot do.”

His nostrils flared. He was the Duke of Wolverton, one of the most powerful men in England. No one defied him. And yet this one woman stood against him at every turn. Why couldn’t she understand the potential danger for her or Anne here?

About the Author:
Sapna Bhog is an author from India who writes contemporary and historical romance novels. As a self-proclaimed die-hard romantic, her books are filled with swoon-worthy heroes and feisty heroines who clash all the time, but do get their happy ever after. Sapna has always surrounded herself with books and when she is not writing she is reading. Originally from Dubai, she now lives in Western India with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky. Sapna gave up a successful IT career and took a foray into writing and has never looked back since. Her favourite pastimes are reading, writing, traveling and shopping—not necessarily in that order. She loves to hear from readers.

Sapna on the Web:
Twitter * Facebook * Instagram