The Deal- Billionaire Boardroom Book 2 by Misha Elliot @elliottmisha

release day blitz

Book Title: The Deal – Billionaire Boardroom Book Two
Author: Misha Elliot
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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book blurb

“He thinks he can just hold onto my money. Well I don’t think so. I’ve never had a problem with getting a hold of it before. I’ll show him. Just you watch.”

What happens when an uptight CEO is tasked to tighten the purse strings of a willful heiress? Landon Cartwright has his work cut out for him. Will he be able to tame Bree VanOrmer or will she set him straight?

excerpt

Bree stood and passed the coffee cup off to Valerie. Finally, the door opened. She smiled as she walked through the doorway of the conference room. Her eyes surveyed each face that set around the table, with measured smiles. Their greetings comforted her and reminded her she was among friends.

Before she had a chance to get comfortable in the chair and pull her thoughts together, she was already being addressed.

“Good morning, Ms. VanOrmer, how can we help you today?” An unfamiliar voice spoke. Her eyes moved about the room to the faces she had known before, but they all seemed to be looking for direction from this man. She couldn’t see all of him, but what she was able to view from her end of the room was breathtaking. Although she was only viewing him from the waist up, she was instantly drawn to those hands. He brought them up to brush the hair on his chiseled chin. Then she saw it. Those lips. Framed in a well-kept, trimmed beard were a pair of full, kissable lips. For just a moment longer she allowed her mind to wander and imagine how those lips would feel as they brushed against her own. Then down to the soft tender skin at the nape of her neck. Not wanting them to stop there, they would continue a path all the way down to—

“How can we help you, Ms. VanOrmer?” he asked again. In that moment, all of her rehearsed thoughts left her mind.

“Where is Mr. Jones?” she asked. Despite the long table coming between the two of them, she could easily see the annoyance written on his face.

“There have been a few changes around here, and now you’ll be dealing with me directly as I chair the board here. I’m Landon Cartwright,” he gestured with his hand, “now please tell us what we can do for you today.”

“Oh. Well… My friend has been in business for years and is very talented. And what I’m proposing is that you give me three million dollars for investment.”

“That’s a substantial amount for us to give. I’m sorry, ’your request is denied.”

“Excuse me, Mr. Cartwright. What if we researched and came up with a plan of business that would be of sound investment? Then we can discuss these options with Ms. VanOrmer next month,” one of the other board members suggested.

“I don’t agree with you at all. I think if I want to invest my money to help start up a friend’s expansion, that’s my business. You’re nothing but advisers. I’m tired of coming here asking for permission. You all sit behind a desk pretending to know what is best for me.” Her voice remained forceful and steady. There would be no way for the room to know she was secretly shaking inside.

“I’m sorry that you feel we are under qualified to handle your affairs. Fortunately, your father saw things differently, and before he passed, made sure we were here to address matters for you. So, if that is everything, thank you, gentlemen, for coming in. That will be all today,” Landon said as he briefly staring Bree down. He rose like a judge after passing sentence. Landon’s eyes were no longer on Bree as he addressed the board members to the right and left of him.

The gentle ease in which he took control of a room was impressive. Without saying one single word, he had the ability to get all the men in the room to see things his way. It was evident he was a man who was used to getting his way. What Mr. Cartwright didn’t know was that so was Bree VanOrmer. No, she may not have been an influential businessman, but she was a powerhouse in her own right and knew how to play the game of who’s in control. All she needed to do was to get him alone for a moment or two so she could get him to start seeing things her way, but her mind was a jumbled mess of thoughts. Thoughts that could get a woman in trouble when thinking about those eyes. The way it felt when his gaze pierced through her. That face. Eyes perfectly positioned, a good broad nose and a perfectly chiseled chin. Landon’s features were godlike in their beauty.

She mingled for a moment, waiting for an opportunity to catch Mr. Cartwright alone. Perhaps she could find a way to reason with him. For as long as she had been aware of the power of her looks, she’d used them to get herself out of trouble while in school or get her way with a bat of those long curly lashes of hers. Or the pout of her full, lush lips.

“Excuse me, Mr. Cartwright.” She tilted her head slightly, hoping to grab his attention.

“No need to be formal, Bree, it’s Landon.” The smooth, slick way he said her name was hot enough to melt butter. She knew this for fact, because she was having a definite reaction to it.

meet the author

Misha Elliott sometimes M. Elliott is a romance author who uses writing as a way to entertain, release, and educate. She is a lover of life and reading. Once a northerner she now calls the Lone Star state home.

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 I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Out of the Storm by J.B. McGee #ReleaseBlitz @EJBookPromos @j_b_mcgee

Title: Out of the Storm
Author: J.B. McGee
Genre: Romantic Suspense

 

THEO
There’s an eerie calm before the storm,
And my best friend is in the direct path of the hit.
I have to protect him, no matter the cost.
He’s like a brother to me.
I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure he’s safe.
Even if that means being pulled into the vortex that is Jules Hemingway,
A sexy, fiery tempest that has the potential to destroy everything in her wake.
All I want is to dive in, take my chances.
But first, I must complete the mission—save my friend.
Though it may mean losing what really matters,
The only woman worth drowning for.
JULES
Something’s amiss—strange and ominous,
And I can’t quite put my finger on it.
When Theo Katawhateverhisnameis comes thundering in,
It’s like lightning to my heart, my body, my soul.
It’s a shock—a jolt, as I realize my life is a scam,
A scheme with no winners.
I’m in over my head, treading in a sea of lies,
Leery of whom to trust,
Only looking to protect myself, my heart.
Together, we’re wreckage, debris,
but are we collateral damage in this perfect storm?

 

“Passionate. Angsty. Mind-blowing. A masterful tale of intrigue, lust, and jaw-dropping sex…Yep. It’s one of my hottest reads this year.” -Ilsa Madden-Mills, Wall Street Journal Best-Selling Author

Swiping my face with my shirt, it’s hard to ignore the searing gazes of the girls in the gym that roam to the exposed skin of my ripped abs. A small sideways smirk quirks at the corners of my lips as I duck my head down, heat rushing to my cheeks. I work damn hard for this body, and I love when someone appreciates it. I nod at Rockin’ Red, who’s licking her pouty lips like I’m a fine piece of meat she’s hoping to slowly devour. She probably has a better chance with Charlie, unfortunately for her. Of course, there’s a lot more of him to consume. The thought causes me to chortle.
Making my way to the locker room, I swing the door open. “I’m meeting Jules tomorrow night. You can have your guy do it—” They glance in the mirror at me.
I nod. “‘Sup?”
“What’s happenin’?” Their jaws tick. It may have been posed as a question, but it was definitely a statement.
“I heard you overtalkin’ out there. You know I was engaged once. Never again. I say, get as much ass as you can while you can, man.”
Charlie’s eyes narrow at me as he sizes me up, but he’s more than six inches shorter than me. “It’s not nice to eavesdrop.”
“Didn’t mean to. Normally, I have my iPod with me, but I forgot it. And, if it was a secret, maybe you shouldn’t be talking so loudly I could hear you two machines over. But anyway, I’m not here to socialize.” I glance down at my pecs and abs as I pull my shirt over my head. “In case you can’t tell.”
“Right.” He laughs. “And as for my fiancée. If you saw her, you’d understand why I wanted the best of both fucking worlds, man. Have a nice night.” Charlie pats Tattoo Guy on the back. “Let’s get outta here, Angelo.” Ah. Charlie looks back over his shoulder. “Sorry, I didn’t catch your name. I’m Charlie Hawke.”
I didn’t miss that he didn’t extend his hand to me, so I push mine out toward him. “Theo. Theo Kataigída.”
“Greek, huh?”
I nod, smiling. “You got it.”
He never takes my hand. They both just give me a look that screams ‘go fuck yourself’ before walking out. Yeah. The feeling is fucking mutual fuckers.
J.B. McGee is a mother, wife, and the Amazon Top 100 author of the best-selling This Series. Amazon Crossing acquired the German rights to her debut novel, Broken. Heartfall, her coming of age novel about a bullied ballerina, is a #1 best seller in the Teen and Young Adult Performing Arts genre. Skipping Stones, a military romance about a young woman strongly influenced by her faith and her family all the while searching for her true love, is a #1 best seller in Women’s Christian Fiction.

When J.B.’s not writing, she enjoys reading as well as watching and live-chatting her favorite television shows with her friends. Her favorite shows are Quantico, Blindspot, Grey’s Anatomy, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Below Deck, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Scandal (mainly because of her love of Scott Foley).

Born and raised in Aiken, South Carolina, she attended Converse College and eventually earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from The University of South Carolina-Aiken in 2006.

In college, she was told by her children’s literature professor she would be the one student from her class to be an author. McGee shook her head and laughed. But in 2012, over six years after that statement was made and after a love of reading had been reignited, she gave writing a shot. J.B. gladly ate crow when she emailed her first book to the above mentioned children’s literature professor thanking her and acknowledging the accuracy of her prophecy.

In 2011, it was discovered that not only do both of her children, but also she and her husband, have mitochondrial disease. Affecting 1 in 2500 people, it has no cure or treatments. Being a writer allows J.B. to care for her family’s unique needs while also providing a platform for raising awareness for this disease.

She is a hopeless romantic who loves to escape into fairy tales—some she reads and some she creates.
J.B. McGee and her family now reside in Buford, Georgia.


Check out J.B. McGee’s Release Day Event Giveaways
over on her Facebook Author Page
HOSTED BY:

I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Start Over by J. Saman #ReleaseBlast @EJBookPromos @jsamanbooks

Title: Start Over: A Novel
Series: A Start Again Novel
Author: J. Saman
Genre: Contemporary Romance Stand Alone
Release Date: January 30, 2017

“This book captured my heart and just wouldn’t let go.” – 5 star Goodreads Review

“From the opening chapter, this book had me hooked.” – 5 star Goodreads Review

“Wonderfully written, thoroughly engaging and completely romantic, sometimes love rocks you when you least expect it!” – 5 Star Tome and Tender Book Blog Review

“I can’t explain how much this couple sizzles…like, totally hot!” – 5 Star Review from Author D.C Triana


 

I like to play by the rules. But when I get coaxed into crashing a party, I run into the last man I ever thought I’d see again, my one and only one-night stand, Luke Walker. It’s been ten years since we’ve seen each other, but our chemistry is just as palpable as it was that night so long ago. Only problem is, I’m leaving in one month for a pediatric fellowship across the country.

I like to keep everything close to my chest. But when I see Ivy Green again, the woman I was never able to get out of my mind, I want her. It doesn’t matter that my dark past and dangerous present mean I can’t keep her. That my secrets would destroy any shot at a real future. After all, she’s leaving in a month. What’s the worst that could happen?

I was half joking last night at the idea of no-strings sex. I know it’s not possible. 

She’s an all or nothing girl. I knew that the moment she spoke to me that first time, which is why I chose nothing all those years back. I had to. My life was too uncertain and I was not about to drag her into that with me. 
And now the game maybe different, but I’m still a key player in it. 

 

Yet, I’m so oddly drawn to this breathtaking creature that my thoughts are consumed by her. I’ve never wanted to be connected to another human the way I find myself wanting to be connected to her.
“I was hurt when I woke up and you were gone.” Her quiet words jolt me out of my thoughts and her admission stuns me into silence. “But I figured that’s what happens after a one-night stand and I should just get over it and remember it for what it was. So I dated other blokes and I went on to medical school and all was great—until Jason of course. I did think about you from time to time.” I squeeze her hand and she squeezes back. I can’t stop myself from smiling at her, but I don’t offer anything more because I can tell she’s not done. “I placed as a resident in the hospital here, followed by my fellowship, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.”

 

Ivy turns to look at me and that one simple expression says she gave everything we discussed last night a tremendous amount of thought. 

 

“I’ve worked unbelievably hard, Luke. Four years of medical school. Three years of residency, two of my regular fellowship and now a certificate fellowship that I’ve been dreaming about for these nine years—for most of my life. It’s my goal. The end game of my education that will lead me to the position I want. That’s how it works and I can’t let anything get in the way of that.”

 

She pauses, sitting there holding my hand and watching me intently.
I angle my body to face hers, abandoning her hand in favor of her face, which I hold like it’s the most precious thing in the world. 
“I’d never mess with that. Never in a million years. I think you know that, otherwise you wouldn’t be sitting here with me now. I realize I’m screwed up. That I send mixed messages and do everything with you backwards. But I want to change that. I do. I tried to tell you last night. I just want to spend some time with you. That’s all. Nothing more.”

 

Ivy nods her head and I release her face, taking her hand again, but whether she understands me or not is something else entirely. 

 

“So, friends?”

 

“Yup. Friends.” 
We fall silent again, sitting out here in the freezing cold, watching our breath vaporize into the morning air.
“I’m sorry I left you that morning. It was a chicken-shit thing to do and even though I think we both know why I did it, it doesn’t excuse my actions.”
She shrugs a shoulder. “It is what it is and it’s fine. Thank you for the apology and it is accepted.”

 

“Awesome. Can we go inside now? I’m freezing my balls off.” 
“Wouldn’t want that, would we?” 

 

She moves to stand up, but before she can get very far, I jerk her back down. 
I lower my lips to hers because they’re right there and I’ve wanted to kiss her since I heard that melodic voice in the dark two days ago. 
Fuck friends. I’ve dreamt of this girl for a decade.
I kiss her lightly at first, rediscovering her flavor. The cinnamon and vanilla sweetness is still as intoxicating as it was the first time I pressed my lips to hers. Our soft languid kiss quickly morphs into something fueled by years of pent-up frustration. 

 

That and I’m desperate and terrified that she’s going to push me away any second, so I’m kissing her like it counts. Like I’m fighting the damn clock, because in a way, I am.
But she doesn’t push me away, so I take her lower lip into my mouth, sucking it just a little to get a deeper taste. My memory of her mouth has not done it justice. It’s infinitely better. Warm and soft, and so goddamn sweet. 
Parting her lips, my tongue sweeps against hers, a groan escaping from the back of my throat. Her mouth conforms to mine, allowing me to lead us. We’re at the precipice here. One small shove and we’ll be tumbling into an inescapable abyss. 
Amazing what one kiss can lead to.

 


Author J. Saman lives in New England with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing romance and looking after her busy family, she works as a nurse practitioner. J. is a lover of picking at old wounds and second chance romances. She likes strong female leads and sexy alpha men with a sweet side. 

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Brother in Arms by A.J. Downey #ReleaseBlast @MJsBookBlognR

 

Title: Brother in Arms

 

Series: The Sacred Brotherhood Book III

 

Author: A.J. Downey

 

Genre: MC Romance

 

Cover designed by: Dar Albert from Wicked Smart Designs

 

Rush had
always been the brother that was the most up for adventure. Then
Grinder died and he realized that it was time to slow down. Fast-forward by a
year and more and his older brother Archer had found Mel. Hell, his own twin
was with a woman of his own! Rush is starting to get restless again, which was just
perfect. Cue a string of anonymous hook-ups and one night stands. It was enough
to feed the restlessness for a while, then an adventure of sorts came a callin’
by way of the VP’s estranged aunt and the President’s sister-in-law.
Her
daughter was in need of some kind of white knight, which Rush could care less
about, but the white knight routine did come with a pretty big perk.
It would mean that he got to go back to a job that had, once upon a time, felt
like a calling.
Of
course, nothing was ever easy where Rush was concerned, especially when he
actually set eyes on the damsel in distress. One, she wasn’t some paper
princess, and two, she definitely didn’t want him around. After all, one-night
hook-ups were supposed to be just that… one and done.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33970672-brother-in-arms

 

US UK   AU   CA

 

 

In The Series

 

Brother
to Brother: The Sacred Brotherhood Book I

 

 

Melody Beswick thought she was
bringing herself and her thirteen month old son home to his father. It was her
last ditch effort to make a better life for her and her boy. One in which Noah
had a father to look up to and guide him. While she knew Grinder wasn’t perfect,
she believed in him, and love always found a way, right?Melody never thought her dreams for herself and her son could twist into such
nightmares, and that it was so true, the old adage, that the road to hell is
paved with good intentions. She’s about to find out that another adage is true,
that sometimes it’s better the devil you know, when instead of finding Grinder,
it’s his cold and critical brother Archer at the end of her long drive that she
must contend with.

With no other options, and no place else to go, Melody is about to make a deal
with this devil that she can’t refuse. Who knew it could, quite possibly, be
the best decision she’s ever made?

http://getbook.at/B2B-SB1
Her
Brother’s Keeper: The Sacred Brotherhood Book II
Fate introduces people at both
the right and the wrong times…

 

So it is for Maren on the
absolute worst day imaginable. When all hope was gone, and she was whittled
away to little more than tears and despair, up walks Nox, an unlikely hero to
save the day. Maren is about to discover that sometimes the good guys wear
black, and there are times that the lines between good and evil blur beyond
recognition.

 

Nox is a bad man with a heart of
gold, or so it seems. It also seems that Maren has captured that heart with her
wide, tear filled brown eyes. Nox never saw himself going for jailbait before,
but that’s just what Maren is, all woman trapped in a seventeen year old package.
Still, what he wouldn’t do for her, including taking on the unlikely role of
keeper to her unruly preteen brother.

 

This mess could end beautifully
or in some serious time spent behind bars for Nox, but sometimes, it’s worth
risking it all.

 

http://getbook.at/HBK-SB2

 

A.J.
Downey is a born and raised Seattle, WA Native. She finds inspiration from her
surroundings, through the people she meets and likely as a byproduct of way too
much caffeine.
She has
lived many places and done many things though mostly through her own
imagination… An avid reader all of her life it’s now her turn to try and give
back a little, entertaining as she has been entertained.
Media
Links

 

 

If
you want the easy button digest, as well as a bunch of exclusive content you
can’t get anywhere else, sign up for her mailing list right here.

 

 

 

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Drifter by Janine Infante Bosco #ReleaseBlast @EJBookPromos @JanineBosco

Title: Drifter
Series: A Nomad Series Novel Book One
Author: Janine Infante Bosco
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, MC, Romantic Suspense
Published: November 8, 2016
Cover Designer: JB’s Cover Obsession Design
Model: Matthew Hosea
Photographer: Wander Pedro Aguiar


Stryker
I’m a drifter. 
A man born to ride through this world alone.
There used to be a time when I thought I was the rescuing type. I enlisted in the Marines and made it my duty—I was going to save lives.
I was going to be a true American hero.
But God had another plan.
Or maybe Satan did.
For everything I touch finds mortality.
I’m no hero.
I’m nothing.
I’m a veteran biker, a former nomad who survived war only to live in hell.
Now I ride with the Satan’s Knights of Brooklyn and I’m drifting into a different kind of chaos.
The kind that revolves around a pretty girl with intoxicating green eyes.
A girl who has the power to turn me inside out.
A girl who doesn’t need anyone to rescue her because she’s her own savior.
Until she’s not.
But a man plagued by war and the devil inside him can never be her hero.
Gina Spinelli

Strong. Independent. Fierce. 
They are the three things I strived to be. 
But sometimes being successful can be lonely. 
Sometimes a girl just wants to be a girl and have someone take care of her. 
Maybe even love her. 
Sometimes the strong become vulnerable. 
Or worse, the victor becomes the victim. 
Sometimes we lose control or in my case it’s stripped from you. 
Defeated. Broken. Haunted. 
They are the three things I have become. 
In my darkest hour I admit defeat. 
In my darkest hour I need one person. 
I need him. 
Stryker.
***NOTE: Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, sensitive subjects, offensive language, and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 years and up. ***

Excerpt – “The ride”: Drifter – A Nomad Series Novel Book One © Copyright All Rights Reserved 2016

That fucking skirt she’s wearing hugs her curves, leaving little to the imagination, and while the view is fucking amazing, she couldn’t be dressed any worse for the ride on the back of my bike. She knew it too and before she followed me out the front door of the swanky steakhouse, she sashayed those hips of hers to the bar. She asked the bartender for a steak knife, handed it to me and asked me to do what every motherfucker in the joint wanted to do—cut the skirt. I traded the serrated blade of the steak knife for the sharp blade I kept in my back pocket and sliced through the stitch behind her knees, extending the slit up the back of the skirt so she could straddle my bike. I’d tear the fucking thing off when it came time for her to straddle me, and just for kicks, maybe I’d cut it off her because fuck me, cutting through the stitching of her skirt had me hard as a rock.
It took every ounce of control I could muster not to let my hands travel under that skirt and sink my fingers deep into her ass cheeks. Instead, I kept my hands on her hips, spun her around and stared up into her eyes. They might be my favorite part of her. After spending most of my time with her fighting not to take in every inch of her body, allowing myself only glimpses so I wouldn’t be distracted by her curves, I became pretty fucking hooked on those eyes. They were a bewitching shade of green.
So fucking rare.
So fucking unique.
So damn pretty.
They had the power to put me in a trance just like her hips that swayed back and forth like a pendulum.
Fuck—everything about her made me want to forget who I am and learn who she is.
The roar of my engine purrs, distracting me from her perfect face and I see the parking attendant pull my bike up in front of us. I hand him the ticket, pay the fee and turn around to Gina, watching as she bites down on her plump bottom lip and assesses my Harley.
Throwing a leg over my bike, I grab the helmet dangling off one of the handlebars and offer it to her.
“Still want that ride?” I ask when she doesn’t take the helmet and continues to stare at the bike. I don’t see any hesitation when her eyes lock with mine and a smile spreads across her sensual mouth—a mouth made for a man to dream of when he’s lonely.
“You bet your ass I do,” she says, closing the distance between us as she braces her hand on my shoulder and straddles the bike. She fits the helmet to her head and adjusts the chin strap as I glance down at her five-inch spiked heels and shake my head. She didn’t belong on the back of a motorcycle, she belonged sprawled out on leather seats in the back of a limo with the divider rolled up and me between her legs.  
We were night and day. She was beauty and class and I was nothing, a shell of a man left broken and tormented from war, fresh out of prison, an outlaw—yet, here we were and neither of us seemed to give a fuck.

Janine Infante Bosco lives in New York City, she has always loved reading and writing. When she was thirteen, she began to write her own stories and her passion for writing took off as the years went on. At eighteen, she even wrote a full screenplay with dreams of one day becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild.

Janine writes emotionally charged novels with an emphasis on family bonds, strong willed female characters, and alpha male men who will do anything for the women they love. She loves to interact with fans and fellow avid romance readers like herself.

She is proud of her success as an author and the friendships she’s made in the book community but her greatest accomplishment to date would be her two sons Joseph and Paul.

HOSTED BY:

I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

CARNAL OBSESSION by Reily Garrett #ReleaseBlast @TastyBookTours @reily_garrett

A romantic
suspense with a twist.

 

CARNAL OBSESSION: 
HIS HEART’S PRISONER
Carnal Series
Reily Garrett
Releasing Jan 30, 2017


Life on the street molds emotional athletes.Three years ago, her brother’s death marked the beginning of Kendra’s new life, an existence with no home, no family, and no friends. Time in the underground byways toughened her emotional shell with the loose association of like-minded street rats where survival meant compromise and constant vigilance.


Before he died, Billy had sent her a package in care of his teammate, Conner. For Kendra, re-entrance into polite society comes with a deadly price, as betrayal comes from both sides of the grave.

Conner Crofton owns the BDSM club Ambrosia. After failing to protect his teammate on their last covert mission, penance takes form as a promise to safeguard Billy’s little sister, a girl he’d unknowingly remanded to a world of darkness and uncertainty, deception and psychopathic stalkers.

The past will always haunt us. Each must earn forgiveness and trust as passion, guilt, deception, and betrayal, interweave a destiny formed long ago. A romantic suspense with a twist.

“You? You own this animated horror show? Conner, what happened to you?” A decade ago, he and Billy had filled her head with fantasies only an innocent could dream, back when sex in a t-shirt carried the easy grace of a natural predator and filled her delusions of eternal love. Time had lent fuel to her imagination. Like a boiler that continued to build up too much pressure, her thoughts skated along the razor’s edge of a volcano. The age-old longing persisted despite current reality’s intervention and the memory of how Conner had led Billy into the military, to his death.

“Hello, Kendra. I’m glad you and your band could make it tonight. I look forward to hearing you sing again.” That sweltry intonation could curl an iron bar, yet there dwelt a deep sadness, as if memories pulled him down a road too often traveled.

An audible gulp. Her mouth opened and closed several times without issuing a sound.

She couldn’t look at him, not when her face flamed with the memories of first infatuation. The disappointment invading her mind now stung the back of her eyelids. “When did you turn into a pervert?” It was too much to bear. She needed the quiet and peaceful white noise of the street, wind chimes on someone’s front porch, a car backfiring, a breeze sifting through the trees and blowing the road’s detritus in small dust devils.

“Nice place you have here, Mr. Crofton.” Daeron, ever the peacemaker, stepped forward to shake Conner’s hand.

 

“Yeah, all it needs is some spider architecture, pointed hats, and magic wands. Oh, and I think you’re missing a vat of boiling oil.” Mumbled words lost the bite of her intent.

“Can’t say spiders do much for me, but we do have plenty of oil and violet wands. Most women think of them as magic.” Conner’s husky laugh scorched the knot in her throat like melted sand, changing its consistency until acid threatened to spew forth.

“Looks damn interesting.” Daeron’s comment would earn him an all-out brawl later.

Freaking traitor. Men always stick together.

After a moment, Conner’s words sank in. No!

 “Violet? You’re gay?”

It seemed bystanders thought her a comedian or imbecile, their laughter creating more blazing heat to encompass her face.

Marc, brother of her current tormentor, took pity as he stepped forward. “Hi, Mackendra. It’s been a long time.” Sympathy radiated from him in waves to envelop her in a maelstrom of cloying, sickly sweet flashbacks she couldn’t handle. Of the four brothers, he’d been the nice one.

“Hi, Marc. Let me guess, you’re also part of this zoo?” Regardless of his intended sincerity, she couldn’t rest her gaze on either man. “This den of perverts?”

“You got it, hon. You ready to work? I’ve missed hearing your zany and spirited songs.” Marc stepped forward to offer a hug yet stopped short of contact.

No! She couldn’t abide the company of men whose lives had been twisted by pain and despair, the last men to see her brother alive. Conner’s presence ushered Billy’s last words to fill her mind before he ditched her for another military stint, his final tour. “You’re being selfish, mongrel. I need to do this, protect my brothers. You’ll be safe here, yet they won’t be unless I go back. When I return, we’ll start a new chapter in life, together.”

Well that sure as hell happened. Just not the way I’d planned.

 The physical ache in her heart wasn’t relieved with the pressure of fist against chest. She turned and ran, just as she always did when the agony of memories washed over her. She would never again allow anyone to witness her suffering.

 

Reily
Garrett
 is
a West Coast girl transplanted to the East Coast. Past employments as an ICU
nurse, private investigator, and military police officer has given her a host
of different environments to add a real world feel to her writing.
 
Though
her kids are her life, writing is her life after. The one enjoyed…after the
kids are in bed or after they’re in school and the house is quiet. This is the
time she kicks back with laptop, surrounded by her shepherds, to give her
imagination free rein.
 In
life, hobbies can come and go according to our physical abilities, but you can
always enjoy a good book. Life isn’t perfect, but your imagination can be.
Relax, whether it’s in front of a fire or in your own personal dungeon. Take
pleasure in a mental pause as you root for your favorite hero/heroine and bask
in their accomplishments, then share your opinions over a coffee with your best
friend (even if he’s four legged). Life is short. Cherish your time.

 

I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl