Excerpt and Contest – The Heartbreak Cowboy

*Old flames burn hotter the second time around…*

It’s been four long years since McCrea Coldiron watched Eleanor Mackenna
walk out of his life. He wasn’t ready for the marriage noose then and never
thought he would be. Single, free to do as he pleases, and running the
Promise Point Horse Rescue Ranch are the things that make him sure he was
right to let Eleanor go… This is until she comes back to town with a
daughter he never knew about in tow.

Eleanor knows just how badly McCrea can burn a woman and how persuasive
he can be when he wants something, so she’s more than cautious about
his charming words and cocky grin when she comes home to arrange the
sale of her grandparents’ ranch. But when a flat tire in a thunderstorm
introduces four-year-old Sophie to her daddy, Eleanor knows McCrea’s love
for his daughter is genuine. Can she trust it will be the same for her? As
the icy walls around her heart begin to melt, Eleanor must find the courage
to trust her heart or run away from the man who has always owned it.

Being shown what he lost is a wake-up call for McCrea and he isn’t about to
let Eleanor or Sophie walk away. It’s time to prove he’s a man who believes
in love and happy-ever-after.

Read an Excerpt-

“Perfect,” she groaned. Nix thought she needed comforting, or he was just fishing for information so he and Hank could plot McCrea’s disappearance.

She opened the door before he could knock and glanced at the bottle. “It’s a little early for wine, isn’t it?”

“It’s lunchtime and I’m hungry. Are you in or what?”

“It’s greasy food and alcohol,” she said, grinning as she snatched the wine from his hand. “Of course, I’m in.”

He stepped inside and glanced at their bags by the door. “I guess I should have called.”

She searched the drawer for an opener. “It’s fine.”

“Want to talk about it?” he asked, eyeing the flowers.

She handed him the opener. “There’s nothing to talk about.”

“You haven’t called in sick in three years,” he said, sliding the card around so he could read it. “And you’ve been crying.”

“So I am an emotional mess.” She shrugged, trying to downplay the flowers and card. “Chalk it up to PMS.”

“PMS or Cowboy?” he asked, inserting the corkscrew.

She grimaced at Hank’s nickname for McCrea. “I know what you’re doing, Nix Rebel.”

With a few twists, he removed the cork and poured wine into the glasses she set in front of him. He leaned closer, taking great interest in her face. “What am I doing?”

For all his toughness and brawn, Nix was a sensitive and affectionate man. His presence calmed her and at times, persuaded her to divulge more than she wanted to.

She tapped her short nails against the Formica countertop. “You’re baiting me with greasy egg rolls and red wine, hoping I’ll spill my guts. You know alcohol makes me stupid.”

“I won’t argue with you there.” He laughed before reaching into the bag for an egg roll. “But if it were PMS, I’d be dodging the wine instead of consuming it.”

“I’m not a suspect so don’t start with the questioning,” she said. “Comprende?”

“Si, senorita,” he said, devouring half of the greasy wrap in one bite. “Don’t bother with the plates. Bring the bag.”

“Nix!” Sophie ran into the living room waving her drawing in the air. “My daddy’s a cowboy!”

Oh God, Sophie! Really?

“Is that right?”

Her little head bounced up and down. “Mommy told me all about him. He has dark hair like mine and eyes too!”

He crouched down beside her to inspect the drawing. “You did a great job, Sophie.”

Sophie pointed to the newly added horse beside McCrea. “He has horses and Mommy said I could ride one!”

His smile never faltered. “That sounds like fun.”

“We’re going to see him soon.” Holding the drawing as if it were her most prized possession, she went skipping back into her room.

Eleanor took a spot on the end of the couch, licking the grease from her fingers. “These things are addictive.”

He sat down next to her and popped the other half of the egg roll into his mouth. It was somewhere between his third and fourth one that an awkward tension meandered into the room and made itself at home between them. “You’re going back to the ranch.”

Deciding she liked the awkward tension much better, she tossed her uneaten egg roll back into the bag. “There are a lot of things I need to sort through.”

“Things like teacups and lace dollies, or memories and old lovers?” he asked, digging into the bag for a napkin.

“We all have a past,” she defended.

“True, but Cowboy gets under your skin.”

“No, he doesn’t,” she lied.

“The Whiskey Sour says he does.”

“Don’t make this into something it isn’t.” She purged her frustration by crunching the empty bag into a tight ball. “Oh, and by the way, I love the way you and Hank swung in to save me like Tarzan,” she said, throwing the bag at him. “But it just made the situation worse.”

He dodged it, gathered the empty glasses, and headed into the kitchen behind her. Setting them on the sink, he crossed his arms over his chest and leaned his butt against the counter.  “If it wasn’t something then there wouldn’t be a situation, Jane.”

Eleanor busied herself with washing the glasses. “There is no situation, only a little girl who wants to meet her daddy.”

“And a woman who is still in love with the little girl’s daddy.”

She no longer had a just cause for wanting to slow roast McCrea over an open pit. And if she were being fair, she had to shoulder part of the blame for what went wrong four years ago. McCrea hadn’t seduced her. In fact, she had gone to the Roadhouse that night with her mind set on seducing him. Sure, he had been older and more experienced.

But Eleanor hadn’t been blind to his intentions, nor naive about how the night would end. She had gone to his bed willingly and without any expectations of marriage or commitment. Only love.

But McCrea hadn’t loved her. And she had decided a long time ago that she was done with wasting time wishing he did.  “McCrea was my first crush, my first real kiss, my first lover.” She paused, remembering each of those times. “He’s the father of my child. But the love I had for him died when he let me walk away four years ago.”

“I know a thing or two about being in love, and real love, true love, can’t be killed or forgotten no matter how much you want it to be.”

Her grip on the glass loosened, and it slipped to the bottom of the sink.

“Careful,” he said, leaning over to pick the glass up. He dipped it under the running water and set it in the drainer. “Letting things slip through your fingers can hurt you.”

 

About Mina Beckett

Mina and her husband live on a small farm in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of southern Kentucky. She’s an artist, an avid reader, a dog lover, and a miniature horses enthusiast.

Life in her corner of the world consists of long winter nights curled up by the fire, cheering on her favorite football teams in the fall, enduring March Madness in the spring and walking barefoot through her garden with a cold jar of tea in the summer fireflies at sunset accompanied by a serenade of crickets and frogs, and lazy nights in the porch swing.

Pick up the prequel novella The Cowboy’s Goodnight Kiss for FREE on Mina’s website!
Enter to win a $25 Amazon GC
 

 

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#BookPromo AUGUST by Amarie Avant

August Reiss
Seven years ago, the love of my life and my parents died a robbery gone wrong.
Do you know what that can do to a professionally trained hitman?
Now, I work for a government organization, my next assignment is to infiltrate the Marchand’s crew.
The information is vague.
But what takes the cake, is that the family “business” of crooks I’m to investigate, includes a Bajan little sister whose lips are the definition of sex and trouble.
And yet Natalia’s soft curves are off limits—not because her brothers will bash my head in.

 

 

No, she is capable of offing me herself.

Natalia Marchand 
Anything a man can do, I can do it better.
I’ve lived by that credo my entire life, and with my dangerous ‘job’ it’s always been true.
I’m a rich man’s kryptonite, I can pretend to desire you, and then execute a plan to take all you own.
My brother’s and I live a dangerous lifestyle.
Then in walks muscles, murky green eyes, and a cocky smile. August needs a place to stay, and he’s saved my kid brother’s life.
Now, he’s a god to my brothers. Can he really be trusted?
But I’ll put a bullet to his head if he proves my intuition is right.

 

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#Excerpt – The Lost Children of Andromeda: Zosma by Jason Michael Primrose

ZOSMA IS A POWERFUL PRE-APOCALYPTIC SCIENCE FICTION STORY EXPLORING THEMES OF TRUTH, RESILIENCE, AND DIVERSITY

Zosma opens the series on Earth in 2052 A.D. as Allister Adams, a young superhuman, begins his search for the planet’s possible savior: Zosma Caster. Zosma is an intergalactic refugee and the vessel for an otherworldly energy source from the Andromeda Galaxy. The rogue organization C20 has been interested in Zosma’s power, but are its intentions entirely pure? Allister’s search for an alien becomes a search for truth as the walls, literally and figuratively, are closing in.

Zosma is the first in the series The Lost Children of Andromeda. Inspired by his personal journey of self-discovery, Jason Primrose has created a world in which even superhumans are challenged by the effects of greed, fear, and natural disasters. The apocalyptic tale explores the themes of reality vs. perception, human extinction and climate change, diversity of thought, and resilience.

https://www.lostchildrenofandromeda.com/pre-order-zosma/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Zosma-Children-Andromeda-Jason-Primrose/dp/1643071858/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535552955&sr=8-1&keywords=lost+children+of+andromeda

Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/zosma-jason-primrose/1129430202?ean=9781643071855

Mascot Books: https://mascotbooks.com/mascot-marketplace/buy-books/fiction/science-fiction/lost-children-of-andromeda-zosma/

Read an Excerpt-

ALLISTER ADAMS

Abandoned C20 HQ, Former Middle East

Baking in 150 degrees of cloudless daylight, the two rode atop a chariot of sand across the Iraqi desert. Obliterated in a dust storm called the Middle Beast, dilapidated skyscrapers and houses buried under mountainous sand dunes whizzed by. Crossing three time zones at hundreds of miles per hour had put them a day ahead of his intended ambush. They stopped moving, inviting silence to surround them.

Celine’s face lost its color. “I caused this,” she whispered.

A mushroom-shaped watchtower held a wicked smile of broken windows and was bent near the base, as if welcoming them with a butler’s bow.

If it were two months prior, the watchtower would have been patrolling the region for trespassers. If it were two months prior, Celine would be inside it, strapped to a device amplifying her sand manipulation powers beyond her control. It was that machine he’d walked by, in a rush to find C20’s leader before C20’s leader found him.

Her skin opened with a loud tear, as fissures split along her arm and torso. She hid them with a rapid turn of her body, and yet, in that brief moment’s time, Allister saw her skin had mutated to slate rock. The simplicity of his hand pressed softly against her back calmed her heaving. “No one had a chance.” She wrung her hands, eyes glued to the ground under their feet. “The U.N. blamed global warming. Any fool would know there was nothing natural about what happened.”

Pressure to relieve her of her obligation elbowed its way into his conscience. He shifted his weight. He wasn’t good at doing things alone. More often than not, he screwed them up. Plus, Celine was smarter and had better control over her powers.

“I thought this had passed,” she muttered, shying away from his caress.

PTSD at its finest. She’d almost died there, and he, mustering all the audacity and naïveté in the world, had asked her to come back on a hunch. The tightness in his chest wouldn’t leave, not until she did.

Allister pushed his hair away from his face and styled it in a bun on top of his head. “Allister Adams arrived,” Cynque announced next to his ear. “30.50° N, 47.78° E. Former capital of Iraq, Al Basra.” The inevitable, dreaded check-in. Decades ago, it was a choice, celebrated and rewarded on social platforms. Now, loca- tion services went right into Cynque’s data-collecting brain, the same brain the authorities used to track anyone Cynqued. The hourglass had been turned over.

“The infantry is lighter the farther you get from the dome,” Celine pointed out. “Do you know what you’re looking for?”

“Hey, we agreed no questions.”

“I doubt your government considers this laying low.”

“I didn’t pay for advice, I paid for cover.”

Flushed cheeks joined the scowl on her face. Her reserve raised to normal, her tone’s temperature lowered to cold. “I’ll get to it then,” she said, ahead of him, glaring at the disheveled base. She took several calming breaths, and frustrated wrinkles subsided from her forehead. “With humility, I call upon this fallen nation’s ashes. Rise up and cover the route of this spirit on his search for the lost.”

The tattered grey bandanna around his neck slid over his mouth and nose. Awe and envy befell him in secret. Peace, the kind Allister rarely achieved, had drowned her frustration. The door to her superhuman gifts wasn’t the devil’s fiery red, it was the sky’s placid blue. When speaking or, rather, manifesting her will, the Earth listened, like child to mother or vice versa. Such calm must’ve dwelled in her heart, a calm that contrasted what unfolded on the desert horizon. Two opposing sand armies raised from the east and west, rushed at them, thundering and torrential. With her arm’s thrust, the storm converged and charged forward, picking up anything and everything terrestrial in its path to aid its fury. Not wanting to miss the fun, wind joined the catastrophic distraction and kept the dust moving around after her hands returned to her sides.

“I trust you can find your way from here!” she shouted, yanking the techno-currency from her bosom and shoving it into his chest. “Stay away from my country, Allister Adams!”

It took him a second to look down, transfixed by what she’d conjured from her overactive imagination. When he did, she’d removed her hand, and he caught the chip inches from becoming a needle in a haystack. As he came back up to thank her or apologize or explain himself, her face and body dissolved, carried away by the storm as fine, ground rock.

 

About the Author

Jason Michael Primrose has been creating alternate worlds and characters since childhood. For nearly ten years, he has used his unique storytelling gift to impact the entertainment, fashion, and tech consumer product industries. His experience spans brand strategy, creative direction, retail merchandising, and influencer/celebrity partnerships.

www.lostchildrenofandromeda.com

https://twitter.com/lostchildrenofA

https://www.instagram.com/lostchildrenofandromeda/

#zosma #lostchildrenofandromeda

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Excerpt and Giveaway The Werewolf on Lowre Few Lane by Bryce Bentley-Tales

In their hometown in Ireland, thirteen-year-old Colton and his best friend Jade spend their free time investigating a local urban legend about an old abandoned house which seems to be genuinely haunted. At the same time, Colton has developed a crush on American foreign exchange student, Dylan, who is visiting his aunt. Turns out, Dylan isn’t your average American kid–he’s a werewolf. When Dylan’s aunt disappears through a portal inside the house Colton and Jade have been investigating, the three of them set out to save her from the magical realm on the other side of the doorway.

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Read an Excerpt

A loud clanging echoed across the yard, and we both cowered behind the stone fence post. Adjacent to the old post, a crumbling stone wall shielded us from anyone standing by the house. When I poked my head around the ledge, nothing but the motionless tall weeds could be seen in the yard and the same gloomy look the house had had before. It was dead quiet.

Jade put her hands on my shoulders, her mouth next to my ear. “S-see, I told you. You believe me now? It’s haunted.”

I tried to speak, but my mouth was dry. I brought my binoculars up, gripping them hard with both hands. “Probably just varmint inside,” I said.

“Aye. And maybe you and your butterfingers could be captain of the rugby team.”

“Har-har. You think the Kennedy twins really disappeared inside?”

“I told you. I saw them at the house when I was with Erin two nights ago. They said they were going inside.”

“Maybe they’re hanging out at the local pub downtown?”

“Colton, no one has seen those fellas since that night. They went inside and never came out, sure of it.”

I swiveled the binoculars around, peering at the large, arched front doorway, which had a wolf face door knocker. Jade whispered close to my ear, “You see anything?”

“Shhh, I can’t focus with your tongue in my ear.”

“My tongue isn’t in your ear,” Jade said, her voice irritated. After a few seconds, she pushed on my shoulder. “By the way, you find out the new foreign-exchange fella’s story? You didn’t take your eyes off him in class. I missed a lot while I was away.” She giggled. “You fancy him, don’t you?”

I cringed, lowered the binoculars, and spoke in a hushed voice over my shoulder. “Don’t say that out loud.”

“And who’s going to blimey hear us? Just us and the ghouls at 44 Lowre Few Lane.”

“I have loved haunted houses for as long as I can remember,” recounts Bentley-Tales. “When I was kid I was hooked on the Scooby crew who were always going into haunted castles, houses, amusement parks, museums. Heck, you name it, it was haunted!” These sweet-scary childhood memories fueled Bentley-Tales’ storytelling in this book, his first YA horror story. And certainly, developing the story through the eyes of a young gay boy allowed the author to offer a special, inclusive point of view. And while masterfully creating tension and fear through the dark fantasy conflict, the navigation of young love is another great strength Bentley-Tales displays. “There’s a part in the story where Erin wants to make Colton jealous by telling him how much attention Dylan is giving her. I get a good chuckle when I re-read it, as it’s such a typical young love triangle!”

Author Website: http://brycebentleytales.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YALGBTauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rotville?lang=en

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Cover Reveal – The Heartbreak Cowboy

*Old flames burn hotter the second time around…*

It’s been four long years since McCrea Coldiron watched Eleanor Mackenna
walk out of his life. He wasn’t ready for the marriage noose then and never
thought he would be. Single, free to do as he pleases, and running the
Promise Point Horse Rescue Ranch are the things that make him sure he was
right to let Eleanor go… This is until she comes back to town with a
daughter he never knew about in tow.

Eleanor knows just how badly McCrea can burn a woman and how persuasive
he can be when he wants something, so she’s more than cautious about
his charming words and cocky grin when she comes home to arrange the
sale of her grandparents’ ranch. But when a flat tire in a thunderstorm
introduces four-year-old Sophie to her daddy, Eleanor knows McCrea’s love
for his daughter is genuine. Can she trust it will be the same for her? As
the icy walls around her heart begin to melt, Eleanor must find the courage
to trust her heart or run away from the man who has always owned it.

Being shown what he lost is a wake-up call for McCrea and he isn’t about to
let Eleanor or Sophie walk away. It’s time to prove he’s a man who believes
in love and happy-ever-after.

About Mina Beckett

Mina and her husband live on a small farm in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of southern Kentucky. She’s an artist, an avid reader, a dog lover, and a miniature horses enthusiast.

Life in her corner of the world consists of long winter nights curled up by the fire, cheering on her favorite football teams in the fall, enduring March Madness in the spring and walking barefoot through her garden with a cold jar of tea in the summer ? fireflies at sunset accompanied by a serenade of crickets and frogs, and lazy nights in the porch swing.

Pick up the prequel novella The Cowboy’s Goodnight Kiss

 

#Excerpt from Taunted Souls by Janice Ross

Taunted Souls: A Friends to Lovers Romance

For the past five years, Lucas Akins has been in love with his best friend Shayna Davies. Anyone with eyes could see, even Shayna. Yet she’s been fighting off her own feelings too!
As they attempt to continue a life together as just friends, the universe steps in and forces them to own up to their feelings.
But life is never that easy.
Bad choices and dark secrets filter into their lives to shatter the only real happiness either has ever known. And they are forced into circumstances neither is prepared to take on, though they must; otherwise, love might be lost. Forever…

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Excerpt –

Shayna:

Shots fired. I dropped to the ground as a shower of the worst kind poured around me. Gunshots! The men that had been guarding me took off. After several rounds of machine gun bullets and maybe ten seconds of deathly quiet, I got enough courage to get up on my knees.

My bag was on the floor of the vehicle. I slowly pulled it out, unable to see much else. As I made slow movements, the beating of my heart pulsed through my eardrums. Remaining low, I shifted and nearly fell over a body. Blood tainted my hands as I clambered to get up and keep moving.

I gasped but nearly tripped over another. Only then did the stench of death hit me. I crept low, away from the truck. Not once did I think to look back. I could’ve been seconds away from death but didn’t care. I only wanted to get away.

When I reached the sidewalk, I paused for a few deep breaths. The tears had finally stopped flowing. I felt optimistic about survival.

“Taylor . . .” It was Van. He limped toward me, his clothes torn and soiled.

“You’re okay?” I jumped up and into his arms. Pulling back just enough, I searched for bullets or blood. I thought he signified safety. I cried. A gush of tears rushed down my face, some soaked up whatever part of his body I was leaning up against. And for the first time since meeting him, I considered having him take me all the way home.

“Can’t nothing or no one take me out,” he swore. Rubbing his thumb on my chin, he asked if I was all right.

I parted my lips to reply. My throat was dry. I took a few seconds to think on my answer because even though I hadn’t gotten hurt, my mind was totally fried. I was still scared and shaking and ready to end living, just so I wouldn’t have to go through anything like this ever again.

“Did you think it would be that easy?” a female voice kinda whistled at us. In slow motion, I turned my head to the voice and zoomed in. She was dressed in black, with strands of blonde hair streaming through a cap. It was pulled low enough that you couldn’t quite make out all of her features, but it was obvious that she was gorgeous.

“Who the hell are you?” Van asked. His arm snaked around my waist as he yanked me into his groin. I could’ve thrown up right there, but I swallowed hard and forced back down the vomit.

“No time for that. I need you to take a walk with me.”

Van laughed kind of shaky.

“It’ll be even funnier when this place starts swarming with police and you’re forced to explain these dead bodies,” she threw out.

I’d forgotten Van had a gun until he pulled it out and pointed directly at her. As much as I was scared out of my mind, I couldn’t help but mentally trace the sleek design. I was inches away from something that could end a life. Silent alarms sounded in my mind. I squirmed around, but his grip grew tighter.

“What’s this, Van?” I mumbled, turning my head just enough until I was able to see him from the corner of my eyes. “You’re squeezing the hell out of me.”

“Don’t move.” He yanked me closer into him. “Stay quiet.”

My tear ducts burned as I searched out some kind of hint from the stranger. I didn’t know if she was a friend or enemy. Right now, Van had me feeling like he was nothing but an evil and twisted bastard for doing me this way.

 

 

 

Interview with author Janice Ross

Janice Ross was born in Guyana, South America and migrated to the USA in 1980. Although her citizenship certificate now reads the United States of America, she considers herself a citizen of the world. Sure she has not physically been around the world and back, but she’s travelled in her mind and dreams.

Janice enjoys Zumba, Kickboxing, and most exercise classes. When she’s not pushing her physical limits, Janice spends time working on her craft, as well as lending a hand to other aspiring writers.

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Blog:
http://jgrwriter.com

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