Excerpt: Veritas by Quinn Coleridge #Giveaway


Veritas
Quinn Coleridge
Publication date: July 13th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical

The ghosts are angry, thinking I’ve neglected them.
Do not forget us, they call out from the grave.
I won’t, I promise them. Upon my life, I won’t.

Being a demigoddess in 1892 Stonehenge, Colorado isn’t all one might suppose, especially when the dead are involved. Yet as Veritas of the Rocky Mountain sovereignty, it is Hester Grayson’s calling to help restless spirits cross over by bringing their killers to justice. Blind and pale as an albino, she dwells on the fringes of the nouveau riche, working with her telepathic beau Tom Craddock to catch the guilty.
When a young woman is brutally murdered, Hester and Tom are determined to solve the case as they have every other. But this one demands more. The killer wears many faces and wields greater magic than even Hester possesses. All sleuthing stops, however, when Tom is gravely wounded, and Hester is cast out of her parent’s mansion into the brutal squalor of an asylum.
At the mercy of an insane doctor, surrounded by agitated ghosts, Hester fights to maintain her own sanity by planning her escape and the downfall of her enemies. Can she achieve her goal and expose the madman who sent her to hell? Or will he continue his bloody reign in Stonehenge?

EXCERPT:

My prayer for relief goes unanswered, and faces flash through my mind. Those I saw in my last vision, the one initiated when the doctor touched my skin. Men, women, old, young—they appear and blur a moment later, shifting into the next person. All of Faust’s victims are deep-branded inside me. They are angry, thinking I’ve neglected them.
Do not forget us, they call out from the grave. I won’t, I promise them. Upon my life, I won’t.
The ghosts tell me to find the Book and steal it. Escape the asylum and expose Faust to the world. Let him answer for every crime, they say, condemned by his own words. If only these spirits could be a bit more specific. How exactly do I escape to do their bidding? Have they any suggestions? But the dead only wail and cry for justice. Blasted ghosts always leave the finer points of the plan for me to figure out.
Further enraged by my hesitation, they cause me to burn hotter. All right, all right, I reply through my psyche. As you wish, I so promise. Truth vibrates through the Pit, and the dead finally set my body free. They have accepted my vow, for the moment, but might be less forgiving tomorrow if I don’t take action. I work for a very impatient crowd.
Most people belong to another in some capacity, as a daughter or son, a sister, spouse, or neighbor, but the inmates of this place have been forgotten. They have no one to speak for them, or to avenge their wrongs. And so I’m here, dumb and blind, to serve as the mouthpiece of the wretched, whether I like it or not. That brazen hussy Fate does love a paradox.
Ironically, serving the dead gives me a reason to live, to go on breathing each day. It answers Hamlet’s eternal question of whether to be or not to be with an affirmative. That is why I crawl about the Pit on my knees, searching for a palm-sized piece of metal. It has been hidden and used many times by the inmates before me. I find the broken iron strip and turn toward the northern wall. The rough surface is covered with spider webs and dirt, but something else as well.
Words.
Hundreds of them have been scratched into the crumbling stone with this strip of iron. I trace the curves and the straight lines of the letters, as I did with my alphabet stencils at home. Of sound mind, one inmate wrote, never insane. In another place, I find Hungry, God Sees, and Died Alone. I scrape the iron against rock. Over and over, until each letter is formed, perfect and smooth. Wiping the sweat from my brow, I blow the dust away from my masterpiece, my call to arms.
LEX TALIONIS
YOUR DAY OF RECKONING AWAITS, FAUST



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Excerpt of Incognito by Khaled Talib @KhaledTalib

Excerpt: 

Ayden blinked languidly in the pitch-blackness. His breathing began to feel tight. The feeling of compression slowly paralyzed his entire system. The inside of his mind felt dark and utterly soundless. He could hear his own heartbeat. He tried to sit up, and hit his head, slowly realizing he was in a coffin. Soil slipped through the slits, assailing his eyes, nose, mouth, and body. He snorted, blowing out the dirt from his nose, and blinked repetitively to shake off the remainder. He felt his duffel bag between his legs. Air was precious right now. He could only hope help would arrive in time.
Like every other member of the League of Invisible Knights, Ayden had been trained to withstand all kinds of torture. The founders scouted him through the files of military, police, and intelligence organizations. Potential candidates were selected based on certain criteria. Above all, they must have heart. Anyone who failed the training program would have to repeat it. Traitors were dealt with severely.
Ayden agreed to participate in the League’s program because he felt betrayed by the country he loves. His resume impressed the secret echelons of Anonymous. The former Special Air Services (SAS) commando had single-handedly rescued a group of Pashtun women and children in southern Afghanistan from a human trafficking gang. The display of chivalry didn’t impress his superiors, especially since the culprits included Afghan officers. Lieutenant Ayden Tanner should have accepted the “culture” of the environment. Being a member of the League has some perks: a rent-free, three-bedroom apartment in Hampstead Village. Except for junk mail, his letterbox was always empty. The neighborhood stores and cafes knew him as John the Artist since he was always seen at the art shop buying supplies. He hung his artworks all over his apartment walls. But no one had ever seen it. He never brought guests home. He was also John the Reader at a nearby bookstore. He read fast, all kinds of genres, fiction and nonfiction.
He couldn’t recall how he ended up on the secret island. All he could remember was being kicked out of a bar one night in London after staring a drunken brawl. He found himself the next morning having coffee in the kitchen of a small cottage on the outskirts with a man who simply introduced himself as Mr. Somebody. He spent the next few days in the cottage. Then one day he woke up on a beach with a man in a Guy Fawkes mask staring down at him. No doubt, Mr. Somebody had drugged him. He learned the reason later. The island’s location must remain a secret. From the landscape, vegetation, and animals on it, he gathered he was still somewhere in the UK.
He spent the first three months in a wooden shack, isolated, disconnected from human contact. Rabbits, unusual looking butterflies and foxes kept him company. He was given basic amenities and supplies to survive alone. He soon discovered the value of isolation. It helped cleanse his thoughts and removed impurities inside the soul.
At the end of the isolation period, Ayden was taken to meet other candidates and the training began. Under the tutelage of no-nonsense instructors he learned martial arts, espionage strategies, holistic security strategy, language proficiency and shibboleth, espionage parlance and the art of disguise. Those were morning lessons. Afternoon lessons were more intensive. Lights out by ten.
Upon graduation, Ayden was given a special honor—death. An obituary in the newspaper reported his demise—a car accident during a road trip to Devon, it seems. His body was buried in an Anglican cemetery. Even though he grew up to become a non-believer, the charade was necessary. It was easily fabricated since both his parents were dead. No siblings or other relatives made it easier. The only son of an Anglican pastor and a housewife mother, their memory continued to linger in his mind. He credited them for teaching him values even though he didn’t agree with his father’s beliefs.


Thriller
Date Published: 15, May 2017
Publisher: World Castle Publishing


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The Pope is missing. Three specialists – a British, a French and an American – are dispatched by a covert division of Anonymous to find him.







About the Author

Khaled is a former journalist with local and international exposure. His articles have been published and syndicated to newspapers worldwide, and his short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines. The author is a member of the UK Crime Writers Association and the International Thriller Writers. He lives in Singapore.

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Interview with Melody Winter, author of Starshine! @MelodyWinter



Hi! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Melody, mum to two rapidly growing up teenage boys, a wife to my husband of nearly 18 years, a part-time finance assistant, and a part-time writer!
I’ve lived in York, UK all my life, and love visits to the beach. I love holidaying in Majorca and, if I ever have enough money, I’ll buy an apartment or villa out there and maybe even go and live there.
I love sitting down in my office on the days when I’m not at work, but the boys are at school and hubs is at work. The house is peaceful and perfect for me to write/edit/create my crazy stories.
I love music, preferably 80’s music, and can usually be found, when I’m not working, with my iPod earbuds in listening to playlists I’ve created for my stories.

What do you do when you are not writing?
I work three days a week in finance, as well as running around after my hubby and two teenage boys. I only write during the week when I’m not at my day job as I try to keep my weekends free for family time and generally recharging my batteries. Although if a deadline is looming it all changes,

Do you write an outline before starting a book or just write?
I always write an outline. I’m a massive planner. I do most of my research beforehand, although I still keep researching as I write. I have a rough chapter guide and try to stick to it. There have been times when I’m part way through writing a book and had to change direction, either because things have developed that I wasn’t expecting or my characters have had too much to say and have influenced the plot. (I love it when that happens!)

Can you tell us, in your own words not the book description, a little about your book?
Starshine is my first contemporary romance, but I think my ‘fantasy’ roots show through. It’s story about what many of us probably dream about—meeting your screen idol in person and having a romantic involvement with them. As always though, things never run smoothly. All in all, it’s a little bit of escapism, and asks a lot of questions about the true price of fame.

Which came first for you, the characters or the plot?
The plot. Starshine was sparked by a dream I had, although in the dream, I was Ella, and the main man was my screen idol 😊

Where can we purchase this book?
It’s exclusive to Amazon, and available to buy as a paperback or kindle copy. It’s also in KU (Free.) I also sell signed paperbacks, including a little bit of extra swag that you can only get from me.

Can we expect more novels from you in 2017/2018?
Yes. The beginning or 2018 should see the third book in the Mine series, Sachael Discovery, released by Reuts Publications. I also hope to release Adversity, the second book in the Ascent series, as well as a prequel to that series (Which will be a short story)
I also have another stand-alone dark romantic fantasy, Glow, that needs turning from a 10,000 word short story into a full length novel. The outline is written, chapters are planned—it just needs writing 

Are you working on anything at the moment?
I’m working on development edits for Sachael Discovery before handing them back to my editor at Reuts. After that, I’m straight back into line edits, and then need to finish writing Adversity—I have a lot of people with grabby hands waiting to read it.

Where do you see yourself at in five years—writing wise?
I’d love to be able to make a living from my writing. I should have two series out in the world, a couple of standalone stories, and possibly another contemporary romance trilogy. Fingers crossed.

What is your favorite part of writing?
The editing—seeing my story tighten, sentences made stronger, and knowing that release day is coming soon.

Do you have any upcoming appearances that you would like to share with us?
I’m signing at the UK Indie Lit Festival in Bradford UK on 26th August 2017.

Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Just that I hope they continue to enjoy my writing and my ‘worlds’ and stick with me when I write new books. Their support is something that always overwhelms me, and I hope it continues to do so.

Random Quickies!


Cats or dogs? Cats

Favorite movie? Dragonheart

Favorite book to movie? Twilight

Hardback/Paperback or eReader? Paperback

Why do you like hardcover/paperback more? I love the smell of a book, something you don’t get with an eReader.

How many paperback/hardcover books do you own? Not enough

Do you own a laptop or desktop computer? Both





Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 29th May 2017

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Starshine is exclusive to Amazon and part of KU 

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Film student Ella Summers can’t believe her luck when she is selected to work on the set of the most anticipated film release of the year—STARSHINE. For the next four weeks, she’ll be in the studio with heart-throb and leading man Alex Denton, and his co-star—and recent ex—the stunning Amy Strickland.

But her first day on set has her questioning the true character of the enigmatic and sexy Alex. The charming celebrity she’s adored on screen disappears before her very eyes—if indeed he ever really existed.

Off-camera arguments between Alex and Amy become difficult to ignore, and when Ella uncovers layers of deceit and closely guarded secrets between them, she becomes involved in a battle that has far-reaching implications.

With the paparazzi hounding her every move for the most sensational story they can get, Ella becomes deeply embroiled in Alex’s life. Can she break down his seemingly impenetrable walls, or will he remain the arrogant ass she first met?

STARSHINE is set in London, England. Beware though—Alex Denton has a crude mouth, and an equally wicked smile.


About the Author


Growing up, Melody Winter showed a natural ability in art, a head for maths, and a tendency to write far too long English essays. Difficult to place in the world when she graduated, she pursued a career in teaching, but eventually ended up working in finance. Melody is convinced that the methodical time she spends working with numbers fuels her desire to drift into dream worlds and write about the illusory characters in her head.

Melody lives in North Yorkshire, England, with her husband and two teenage sons. When not dealing with football, rugby, and a whole plethora of ‘boy’ activities, she will be found scribbling notes for her stories, or listening to 80’s music on her IPod.

Melody has a tendency to fall head-over-heels in love with her main characters, even when they frustrate her and refuse to act the way she wants them to. She is a romance writer at heart and loves reading and writing about anything mythological or magical, as well as exploring the gritty side of love affairs and the complexities of being in love.

SACHAEL DREAMS was her debut novel, (REUTS Publications, USA) and the first in the New Adult Romantic Fantasy series—the ‘Mine Series’. The second book in the series, SACHAEL DESIRES’, was released in November 2015, and the remaining books in the series, SACHAEL DELUSIONS, and, SACHAEL DESTINY, are due to be released in the near future.

Melody has also self-published two books, INIQUITY, the first book in a Dark New Adult Romantic Fantasy series— ‘The Ascent’ (The second book in the series, ADVERSITY, is due for release later this year.) and STARSHINE, Melody’s first contemporary romance,  released 29th May 2017.

Contact Links




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Happy book birthday, Tales from Harborsmouth! #Giveaway

Happy book birthday, Tales from Harborsmouth! We're celebrating the new Ivy Granger Psychic Detective book release with a party and a giveaway. Keep reading for a chance to win an Ivy Granger Prize Pack, including a flashlight keychain, button, glow-in-the-dark fangs, and a collectible Passport to Ivy Granger booklet signed by the author.

Let's party!

Tales from Harborsmouth Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective Urban Fantasy Collection

Tales from Harborsmouth (Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective #0.5, #1.5, #2.5, #5.5) by E.J. Stevens.

In Tales from Harborsmouth, readers get to delve deeper into the award-winning world of Ivy Granger.

Ivy Granger is a psychic detective with ties to Harborsmouth's paranormal underworld. Too bad those ties tend to ensnare Ivy and her friend Jinx in the Machiavellian schemes of the city's teeming population of bloodsucking vampires and psychotic faeries.

Tales from Harborsmouth is the first time the Ivy Granger novellas are together in one collection and features two exclusive short stories the series prequel Frostbite and the newest Ivy Granger tale Thrill on Joysen Hill.

Featured in this collection:
     • FROSTBITE (Ivy Granger #0.5)
     • BLOOD AND MISTLETOE (Ivy Granger #1.5)
     • CLUB NEXUS (Ivy Granger #2.5)
     • THRILL ON JOYSEN HILL (Ivy Granger #5.5)


Genre: Paranormal Mystery, Supernatural Suspense, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: July 11, 2017

Add to my Goodreads TBR List.

Start Reading Tales from Harborsmouth

We're giving away fun swag prizes, but first, grab a cupcake and check out these teasers.

Tales from Harborsmouth Teasers

A detective’s job is to take note of the little things, the small details that can break a case wide open, but having anthropomorphic snot treat you like you smelled worse than a troll fart could give a girl a complex.
—Ivy Granger, Frostbite

If a faerie, a vampire, and a demon walk into a bar, you wait for the punch line.  At Private Eye, when a faerie, a vampire, and a demon walk through the door, it’s just another day at the office.
—Ivy Granger, Blood and Mistletoe

Of all the nightclubs, in all the cities, in all the world, the freakin’ demon had to walk into Club Nexus.
—Jinx, Club Nexus - Jinxed

I’d seen a lot in my nine lives, but nothing so strange as Ratfink’s Family Fun Palace and its tone-deaf taxidermied talent.
—Torn, Thrill on Joysen Hill

Want to read more books in this series? You're in luck.

Books in this Series

Want to win fabulous swag? We've got you covered.

Tales from Harborsmouth Swag Giveaway


We are giving away an Ivy Granger Prize Pack, including:

     • Ivy Granger Flashlight Keychain
     • Ivy Granger "Private Eye" Button
     • Glow-in-the-Dark Fangs
     • Passport to Ivy Granger *signed*

To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL. Giveaway ends July 26, 2017 midnight EST. Good luck!

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Interview with Carolyn Arnold, author of the McKinley Mysteries!!



Meet today’s guest, Carolyn Arnold.


She is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series and has written nearly thirty books. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark, POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Today, she answers a few questions for us and gives us insight into her life as a mystery author.

When you first begin writing a new book, is your main focus on the characters or the plot?
I’d have to say it’s really a blend of both. I approach writing a book without an outline and with merely an idea of the storyline. Oftentimes, I don’t even know the identity of the killer until my characters work through the investigation. Both the characters and the plot are strengthened through the editing process.

Why do you write within your chosen genre?
I love the logical progression and intrigue that goes with the mystery genre. The fact that I love to read mysteries and watch crime dramas has also made writing in the genre only a matter of time.

How much research goes into your fiction writing? What is your approach?
As an author of police and FBI procedurals, a lot of research goes into each of my books. I need to know how real life police or FBI would handle situations, have an understanding of forensics and weapons, as well as a grasp of the human aspect—the interaction between departments of law enforcement and within a department.

I’m grateful to have contacts from law enforcement who are generous in sharing their wisdom and experience with me.

Is there a time of day or night when you're most creative?
It used to always be the morning, but that’s not always the case anymore.

Describe your writing environment. (Do you prefer noise or silence? Is your work area messy or neat? What do you see when you look around you?)
Oh, I love working in my office for the most part, but sometimes during the summer, I’ll take my laptop outside and write on my patio.

I prefer just above tomb silent and my work area is somewhat messy with papers everywhere… (bows head in embarrassment).
Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:
Website | Twitter | Facebook

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.


Cancun is calling your name in VACATION IS MURDER…

“There’s action and romance… The story line is quick and light—perfect for beach reading! It was my first introduction to her work, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Sean and Sara continue in the next phase of their life… It’s definitely a book for those who love the cozy mystery set. I’ll be reading more!”
–Stephanie Pitcher, Bestselling author


Book Overview:

This wasn't in the travel brochure…

There's only so much relaxation two former detectives can handle—even if they're on their honeymoon. With their recent fall into money, Sean and Sara McKinley should be living it up, enjoying the sun and beaches of Cancun. But heading into their third week they've had just about enough lying around. 

When the husband of a couple they've befriended is kidnapped and held for ransom, it has the McKinleys putting their experience to use. As they set out in the unfamiliar landscape of paradise, the investigation will have them risking their lives to stop a killer. 

Available in e-book and paperback.


For more retailer links visit: http://carolynarnold.net/vacation-is-murder.

About the McKinley Mysteries:

Romance. Humor. Murder. Are you looking for a murder mystery without all the graphic violence and foul language? Something that you can enjoy in an afternoon and walk away feeling good about afterward? How about a dash of humor and romance? If so, meet former detectives Sean and Sara McKinley. When a billionaire leaves them all his money, they no longer have to work, but they find themselves sticking to what they’re good at—solving murders. Undercover, off the books, and around the world, they’ll get to the bottom of things…and romance it up along the way.

This is the perfect book series for fans of Hart to HartCastleColomboMonkRockford FilesPsych, and Magnum PI.

About the Author

Carolyn Arnold is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series and has written nearly thirty books. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark, POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.



Excerpt & #Giveaway: Lone Star Lady by Lisa Mondello


 If you love sweet romances that are clean and wholesome, then you'll love Lisa Mondello's TEXAS HEARTS series!




Lone Star Lady
Texas Hearts
Book Eight
Lisa Mondello

Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
Publisher: Lisa Mondello
Date of Publication: January 31, 2017
ISBN: 9781940512327
ASIN: B01MQK564T
Number of pages: 229
Word Count: 45,000
Cover Artist: Purple Girl Design

Book Description:

Taos, New Mexico wasn't far enough from home for Theresa Morales to run to. But this Texas girl didn't think there was anything that could wipe away the pain of her mistakes, even in the arms of Dr. Dennis Harrington the local doctor at the Taos ski resort where she sought refuge.

But the past quickly caught up to her when a local kid, Dennis's nephew, becomes traumatized by a fatal New Year's Eve accident that has left him feeling responsible. Dennis couldn't deny he was immediately taken by Theresa the moment they'd met. But the accident that pulled him away from the New Year's Eve gala where he'd danced with her and held her close, had change things for all of them.

Now he's desperate for Theresa to help for his nephew, who is so fragile he fears the worst. The sadness Dennis sees in Theresa's brown eyes tells him she's running from something that happened in Texas. Something she can't face.

When the past comes back and Theresa heals enough to return to Texas, will it leave both of them brokenhearted?

Amazon     BN     Kobo     Google     iTunes


Excerpt:

“I didn’t know who else to go to. I really need your help.”
Teresa Morales listened to Dr. Dennis Harrington’s words as she sat curled up on the soft beige sofa in the lodge at the Taos Falls Mountain Ski Resort. The fire in the huge granite fireplace in the center of the room was burning hot—almost too hot for her comfort. Or maybe that was just her anxiety kicking in. This was supposed to be her vacation. No one was supposed to need her help here.
She bookmarked the page in the book she had been reading before Dennis’s abrupt arrival and closed it, setting it aside on the end table. With a swift motion, she untangled one long leg out from underneath her and brusquely hit her bare feet to the wide pine floor with a dull thud. If this was his idea of a joke, she wasn’t laughing.
“Dennis, I’m just a tourist here. What help could I possibly give you?”
“Last night...” His voice trailed off. His face looked stricken, and Teresa knew he wasn’t talking about the New Year’s Eve party they’d both attended—or the dance they’d shared. No, he was referring to what had happened afterward—the reason behind the beeper call that had pulled him out of her arms and away from the party after their dance. The horrible car crash on the bridge just a few hundred yards from the ski resort had been the only topic of conversation throughout Taos Falls today.

“I’m not sure you understand how severe the accident that took place last night really was.”

About the Author:

New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Lisa Mondello, has held many jobs in her life but being a published author is the last job she'll ever have. She's not retiring! She blames the creation of the personal computer for her leap into writing novels. Otherwise, she'd still be penning stories with paper and pen. Her book The Knight and Maggie's Baby is a New York Times Bestseller. Her popular series includes TEXAS HEARTS, DAKOTA HEARTS, Fate with a Helping Hand and the new SUMMER HOUSE series. Writing as LA Mondello, her romantic suspense, MATERIAL WITNESS, book 1 of her Heroes of Providence series made the USA TODAY Bestsellers List and was named one of Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2012.

You can find more information about Lisa Mondello at lisamondello.blogspot.com and sign up for her newsletter to receive new release information at http://eepurl.com/xhxO5





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Winning the Campaign Manager by Lucy Felthouse--Out Now @cw1985



Out Now—Winning the Campaign Manager by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #PNR #erotica #romance #gay


Blurb:

Politics has never been so sexy!
Cade Avery is running for a position on his local county council. He’s extremely good at what he does and is a valuable asset to his community. The trouble is, he upsets people, says the wrong things, and rides rough-shod over other people’s plans and ideas. His assistant, Mary, eager to improve Cade’s public image, hires him a campaign manager.
Quentin Rayworth is thrilled to be working with such a formidable public figure. It’ll be a challenge, but he’s confident he can help Cade to win the election, and knows that the achievement will look impressive on his CV.
It’s soon clear that the two men are set to be an excellent team. That is, until Cade’s werewolf makes its intentions known—in Quentin, it has found its mate, and it will not rest until he has claimed him. But can Cade—and his wolf—win over the campaign manager?

Buy links:
Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/WTCM
Other links will be added here when they become available: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/winning-the-campaign-manager/

*****

Excerpt:


“You’ve done what?” Cade Avery yelled, fixing his long-time friend and colleague, Mary Summers, with a glare. He slammed his hands down on his desk, making a bunch of pens jump and rattle, and causing water to splash over the side of his glass. “Why the hell would you do such a thing?”
Mary, by now used to Cade’s temper and frequent outbursts, didn’t flinch. Standing firm on the other side of his desk, she calmly stated, “You heard me, Cade. I’ve appointed you a campaign manager. And as for the why, I think it’s pretty damn obvious.”
“Not to me,” he grumbled, snatching a handful of tissues from the box in his top drawer and swiping irritably at the liquid he’d spilled. “Seems like an unnecessary expense.”
With a heavy sigh, Mary replied, “Do you want to win this bloody election or not?”
“Yes, of course I do. What sort of a stupid question is that?”
“Well then, you need a campaign manager. The rest of the team and I already have enough on our plates. We can’t handle that side of things, too. Not to mention the fact that you really need someone with … expertise … in that department. Someone who can boost your public image, make you more likeable … you know, so people will actually vote for you.”
Screwing up the wad of soggy tissue and dumping it in the wastebasket beside him, Cade snapped his gaze to Mary. She stood, the ever-present iPad clutched against her chest, looking as determined and immovable as a five-feet-one, slim thirty-five-year-old was ever going to get.
He sat back in his chair and folded his arms. “What’s wrong with my public image?”
Rolling her eyes heavenward, her body tensing, Mary’s cool demeanor actually looked on the verge of cracking. Taking a deep breath and releasing it, she looked back at him. “Give me strength, Cade. Are you fucking serious?”
She may have used the deep breath and probably a considerable amount of willpower to dampen down her physical reaction to his question, but her actual words gave her true state of mind away. As a rule, the word “bloody” was as bad as it got for Mary. To have enticed a “fucking” out of her, and within the same conversation, no less, meant she was in real danger of losing her temper with him. And despite her diminutive frame and usually chilled-out personality—especially in comparison with his huge frame and fiery personality—when she did lose it, she was utterly terrifying. Possibly the fact that she rarely got angry was what made it so potent when she did. Mary’s ire could turn even the thickest-skinned person into a blubbering wreck.
“Mary,” he cooed, backtracking quickly, “come on, sit down. Why do you always insist on standing up in here?”
“Because, unless we’re having a meeting, I don’t generally need to stay long. I normally impart my information, you give your feedback, and we get on with our day.” She shifted restlessly and narrowed her eyes. “But today, it seems, you’re having a bit of a brain fart. Do I really need to spell it out for you?”
Raising his eyebrows at her increasing irritation, and wondering if there was something going on in her private life that was making her so touchy, he nodded. “Yes, I really think you do.”
A few seconds of silence passed, in which Mary again seemed to be getting a grip on her irritation. She finally said, “All right. But don’t forget; you asked for it.”

*****

Author Bio:


Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves and Hiding in Plain Sight. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 160 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter and get a free eBook: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter


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