Thursday, January 10, 2019

"Triplicity" by J. Mercer


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Triplicity
by J. Mercer

Triplicity  by J. Mercer

Triplicity by J. Mercer is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on Dark and Stormy.

Description
One week on an Alaskan cruise, three teens, and an endless trail of lies.
Enter a series of thefts on board and they all fall under scrutiny. Though Navy acts a proper preacher’s daughter, she did end up with someone else’s purse in her hands, and Jesse knows way more than he should about what’s gone missing. Isaiah, however, is the one with motive - enough money and he could get back to his ranch. Each holds a piece of the truth, but exposing the thief could damn them all. They must navigate through the lies they’ve told, choose between standing together or saving themselves, and decide if innocence is worth facing their ugliest secrets.


Excerpt
Navy
Masses of people stood in line to board the incubator in front of me. Sorry, cruise ship. But honestly, the thought of so many bodily fluids in such a confined space made my stomach churn.
Double-checking that my hand sanitizer was still in place, I bumped my backpack higher on my shoulder and stepped away from my mom's fiancé, who was chatting up a blue-haired old lady. Facing my mom, I decided it was as good a time as any to start up our fight again. She couldn't get away from me here.
“If we keep moving like this,” I started, “I'll never be kissed.” There'd been one guy in Houston I'd had hopes for, but after this vacation we were headed to Kansas City. I might only be sixteen and five-sixths, but at this point it felt like I'd be voting first.
“You do the kissing then, Navy.” My mom caught the eye of an officer at the next checkpoint and smiled, smoothing her hands down the front of her black jumpsuit. She was always worried about her first impression and always deferential to those in uniform.
I reached behind her and tightened her halter top, thankful at least she hadn’t picked the leopard print. It was a good thing we were getting out of Texas before its fashion sense could get too many claws in her.
My mom's normal go-to attire—conservative diamond studs, fitted sweaters with pencil skirts, and sleek suits—would curl a lip at sharing suitcase space with a glorified onesie in leopard print.
Her attention hopped from the officer to Guy, my soon-to-be stepdad. “Solve your own problems, dear. Before they can solve you.”
“No, Mom. Just, no.” She would never get it; everyone wanted to kiss her. Somehow, she pulled off rich and cultured while still approachable, where my resting face was icy at best.
A girl couldn't help her resting face, and it took a long time for people to get past that. Plus, I was too picky, or so my mother said. I wanted real emotion, not just chemistry, and I definitely didn't want to get it over with, which is what she kept telling me to do.
“Anyway, this move,”—always moving, I should add—“it’s about stability too.”
Guy let out a huge laugh, and the old lady's hat bobbled in the air as her shoulders shook. My mom and I shuffled forward, neither of us bothering to notify him he was holding up the line. It didn't matter; this was the Godzilla of lines. Take any ride at Disney on the busiest day of the year, and it wouldn't top this one: through a vast building (stand here, punch that, sign this, rude hands gesturing you impatiently over there like you'd done this before and had any idea what they wanted with you), out into a human holding tank, up and back and up and forth inside a humongous steel cage, until finally we reached the deck that wrapped around the massive boat.
We were cattle. And we were being herded into an incubator.
Shaking my head of it, I begged her, “Please, please, please don't make me switch high schools again. This is the last one, okay? Can you manage two years in Kansas City?”
“If you insist, love.” My mom patted the back of my head, then dropped her hand to my shoulder and kneaded it. With her attention focused elsewhere, it was her usual absent-minded pep talk. “If you don’t want to see more of the world.”
Shaking her off, I took a few steps forward. Guy was still flirting with the old lady and people were starting to grumble behind them, so I went back for his stuff and tapped him on the shoulder. His black turtleneck made him look even more pompous than he was, but this lady was eating it up same as my mom had. When I was back at her side, I whispered, “If you get sick of Guy, we stay in Kansas City anyway. Got it?”
She extended her diamond-studded right hand to shake mine. “Got it.”
Wrapping my bare fingers around her chilled palm and the collection of old rings resting along her knuckles, I wondered if she actually loved this one.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“... the dynamic relationships and interactions between the characters felt real - the ups and downs, lies, and secrets had me intrigued all the way to the end.” ~ onlinebookclub.org
“From its elements of intrigue to its daily exposés and challenges, Triplicity is an engrossing chronicle that is recommended for mystery and thriller enthusiasts as well as those who enjoy strong, proactive, often rebellious teen protagonists more than capable of taking matters into their own hands. It should also be noted that although the main characters are teens, Triplicity should not be limited to young adult audiences. The depth of characterization, flavors of romance, adult confidences, and alternating viewpoints keep this story lively and involving for all ages.” ~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“The writing and storytelling kept me on the edge of my seat, needing to know what happens next. Each teen was likable in their own way. However, the majority of the adults didn't have any redeeming qualities. For some people, that may be a drawback, but it drew me in. It intrigued me to see how the teens would navigate the seven days at sea. It was my first book by J. Mercer, and definitely not my last!” ~ Shakera @audiobookobsession
Triplicity had me hooked from the very first chapter. The description of the characters and differences in their tone and expression made me excited to keep reading. I wanted to find out more about each person and how their time on the cruise would overlap. This was a fast read and had many interleaving plot points to keep you turning those pages. I found myself feeling sad it was over near the last few pages.” ~ anonymous
“I've enjoyed all of J Mercer's books, and Triplicity did not let me down! With characters who are both flawed and likeable and a setting that feels like you're right there, this is a book worth taking the plunge for. Enjoy!” ~ Amazon Customer


About the Author
J. Mercer
J. Mercer grew up in Wisconsin where she walked home from school with her head in a book, filled notebooks with stories in junior high, then went to UW Madison for accounting and psychology only to open a dog daycare. She wishes she were an expert linguist, is pretty much a professional with regards to competitive dance hair (bunhawk, anyone?), and enjoys exploring with her husband - though as much as she loves to travel, she’s also an accomplished hermit. Perfect days include cancelled plans, rain, and endless hours to do with what she pleases.




Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one a $25 Amazon gift card.

Links


Forever Yours Clean Romance Event


GIVEAWAY
Forever Yours Clean Romance Event


During the month of January, we will be featuring 12 fabulous authors who write clean romance!
There will be $400 worth of Giveaways plus free ebooks and awesome sales!
You are invited to join the fun, learn about these great authors, and find your next favorite book!
Check out this great list of featured authors who are sponsoring this event:
Never miss a giveaway, freebie or sale by signing up for Clean Wholesome Romance’s Reader Newsletter!
Are you a blogger or reader who would be willing to post about this event on your blog or social media? Sign up here.
Are you an author who writes clean romance? Learn more about CWR upcoming events here, or sign up for the CWR Author Newsletter.

Giveaway
To start things off, enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

"Evoke" by Danielle Simmons


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Evoke
(Lake Haven Book 1)
by Danielle Simmons

Evoke (Lake Haven Book 1) by Danielle Simmons

Evoke by Danielle Simmons is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
When five friends return home from college for the summer, it feels as if the friendship that has bound them together since childhood is stronger than ever. But when Laney Thomas wakes up nearly two months later and discovers she is the sole survivor of an accident that has claimed the lives of three friends, Laney quickly realizes the world she awakened to, is not the one she remembers.
With her memory of the accident and week leading up to it seemingly lost, Laney must rely on Evan Davies, the only one not in the car that night, to help her remember what happened. The two have always been close, sharing a rare and inextricable bond. With him by her side, she can get through the nightmare she is living.
But when Evan disappears from her life without explanation, Laney is left to navigate her new world on her own, nearly losing herself, and all she loves in the process.
With memories of the past as her guide, Laney starts to remember the truths of the friendships she cherished, and love coveted, and the role her heart played in the accident that fateful night.


Excerpt
I was trapped in the dark, no light to guide, and did not recognize the sounds of the world around me. I couldn’t hear water lapping against the shore, or wind in the trees, just the ticking of a clock overhead and hurried footsteps in the distance. While the arrival of cautious breathing told me someone was near, my head felt as if it were trapped under sand and I could not open my eyes to determine the source.
“Hello,” I called out, my voice barely a whisper. While I should have known it as my own, it was more fragile than I remembered, and despite the word’s simplicity, felt it dangling at the edge of my tongue.
“Alaina,” an unfamiliar voice answered, reaching for my hand, holding it carefully. “Can you hear me?”
I nodded in relief, grateful I was not alone, and with each intake of air, my body awakened, nerves coming to life. The numbness that had rooted in me began to lift, rousing synapses that brought feeling to my finger and toes. A low fire ignited in my shoulders and spread down my arms, and my pulse began to accelerate in response to the pain that now filled me. Hot tears rolled down my cheeks, carving tracks like rain on the desert floor, as heavy sobs built in my chest.
“Are you in pain?” the voice asked.
“Yes,” I cried out, my words finding new power.
A cool hand pressed down on my arm, and in seconds, the discomfort subsided. “Is that better?”
I moved my head in acknowledgement, throat too thick with tears to respond.
“Good,” it responded, pleased. “Alaina, do you think you can open your eyes for me?”
I tried to do as it asked, but my lids were heavy and fought me.
“Come on baby, open your eyes,” a new voice encouraged. Unlike the first, it was familiar, and I turned to it instinctively. “Please,” it begged, and I tried again, wanting to do as it asked. This time, I succeeded, my eyes opening slowly, but light sliced through the darkness, and I closed them quickly in response.
“Could we close the blinds, please?” the commanding voice ordered. Footsteps crossed the room quickly.
“It’s okay,” the familiar voice soothed. “Try again sweetheart.”
I did as it asked and opened my eyes again. It was darker than before, and my vision a bit blurry at first, but with each cautious blink, the room came into view.
“Mom?” I asked, finding the worried eyes of my mother on me. They were red, her face tired; she looked as if she hadn’t slept in months.
“Hi baby,” she reached for my hand, pulling it close, wiping away the tears from my cheek with the other. The warmth of her touch matched that of her voice.
“Hi sweetheart,” my father said, standing behind her.
“Dad?”
“That’s me,” he smiled.
“Look…terrible,” I licked my lips, the salt of my tears burning their cracked skin.
“Do I?” he asked. “Well, I’ve never felt better,” he squeezed my mother’s shoulder, a tear rolling down her cheek.
“Alaina, do you know where you are?” the commanding voice asked, pulling my attention from my parents.
“No,” I looked up, finding a man in a white coat standing next to me.
“You’re in the hospital.”
“Hospital?”
“Yes.”
I looked at him, confused. “Who are you?”
“My name is Dr. Roberts.”
“Doctor?”
“Yes,” he nodded. “I have been in charge of your care since you arrived. Do you remember coming to the hospital?”
“No,” I responded, my confusion beginning to grow.
“Alaina, you were in an accident.”
“Accident?”
“Do you remember being in an accident?”
Accident. I repeated the word in my mind, knowing its meaning, but unable to understand the connection.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Atmospheric, deeply moving, and emotionally intense.” ~ Reader’s Favorite
Evoke is the first in a new series. The book is in the young adult category, but I think it would be enjoyable for any age. The main character, Laney, undergoes a memory loss after an accident and it was hard to put this down as we slowly start to learn more and more about what happened. I can’t wait for the sequel!” ~ MrsMiller
“Sat down and read the whole book in a few hours! Couldn’t put it down! Danielle does a great job keeping you interested and leaves you wanting more!! Can’t wait for the next book!!!” ~ Sarah Perry
“This book is amazing! From the first day I received Evoke, I was just going to glance through it, but then I started reading. I could not put the book down! It captivated my curiosity from the beginning. A must read for all who are into a wonderful adventure of a college age girl who tries to go on with her life after a horrendous tragedy. I hope to see more books from this author in the near future.” ~ Joanne Godfrey
“Loved this book from cover to cover. Rich insight into the characters' personalities and foibles, accompanied by great story telling and unexpected twists and turns. Can't wait for the next installment in this series.” ~ jl


About the Author
Danielle Simmons
Danielle grew up in a small town in California's Sierra Nevada Foothills. A voracious reader from an early age, she began writing poetry and short stories in elementary school and continued that passion throughout high school and college. She studied literature, creative writing, and communications at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, sons, and two cats, where she is a PR executive by day and writer by night.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Links

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

"Las Vegas Crime" by Leslie Wolfe


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Las Vegas Crime
(Baxter and Holt Book 3)
by Leslie Wolfe

Las Vegas Crime (Baxter and Holt Book 3) by Leslie Wolfe

Las Vegas Crime is the third book in the Baxter and Holt series by Leslie Wolfe. Also available: Las Vegas Girl and Casino Girl (read my blog post).

Las Vegas Girl by Leslie WolfeCasino Girl by Leslie Wolfe


Las Vegas Crime is currently on tour with Silver Dagger Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Detectives Laura Baxter and Jack Holt are members of the elite: Las Vegas Metro PD, one of the toughest and most respected law enforcement agencies in the United States. In the middle of a city with two million residents and 43 million annual visitors, they’re searching for a missing girl and the ruthless killers who snatched her.
The girl: gone.
When a teenage girl is daringly kidnapped from her school, minutes after being dropped off, a frenzied search begins, involving the entire police force of a city that never sleeps. But for Detectives Baxter and Holt this isn’t a crime like any other; it is personal.
The crimes: terrifying.
A bold and merciless serial killer preys on young girls and leaves them out to die in the cold and dreadful expanse of the Mojave Desert, unable to move, to scream, to fight for their lives.
The choice: impossible.
Now Detective Holt is faced with an agonizing decision: he can sacrifice all that he holds dear or jeopardize the life of an innocent girl, his own flesh and blood. The man holding all the cards in this game of life and death isn’t willing to negotiate; he’s only willing to kill.
In Las Vegas, few things end well.
Two mavericks form an intriguing team. Baxter and Holt trust each other with their lives, just not with their secret plans.


Excerpt
1
Silent Screams
She struggled to control her sobs but failed miserably. With every mile the man drove into the dark desert, her fear grew, panic overtaking her sense of reason, making it impossible for her to sit still and be quiet like the man had ordered.
“No, please,” she whimpered, “I’ll disappear. I won’t say a word to anyone. I swear,” she added in a high-pitched plea, her voice trembling badly.
She stared through a blur of tears at the man’s intense eyes, reflected in the rearview mirror. He rarely looked at her, not even when he spoke to her, but when he did, his eyes were ice cold, feral.
She couldn’t tell how long they’d been on the road, or how far away from the city they’d traveled. Far enough for darkness to engulf the dazzling lights of Las Vegas, left behind at their brightest and now gone from view. Far enough to know that no matter how loud she’d scream, no one would hear her desperate cries for help. She sat silently, petrified, unable to fight anymore, knowing what Homeboy did to those who disobeyed him.
They had entered the desolate vastness of the Mojave Desert, cold and bleak at night.
Her breath shattered as raw memories swirled in her head, repeating over and over like a broken record.
“Get rid of her,” that terrible man had said, “this bitch ain’t good for nothin’.” The one they called Snowman had curled his lip in disgust and ran his fingers across his throat in a clear gesture, sealing her fate.
She was to be killed.
She remembered how her knees gave and she folded onto the cold, grimy floor, half-naked and barefoot, shaking, sobbing uncontrollably, while the other man, a brute she got to know only as Homeboy, smiled and licked his lips. Then he’d grabbed her arm and dragged her out of that place, mumbling, “Sure, boss, whatever you say.”
She’d seen that look on Homeboy’s face before.
Maybe she was better off dead than having that animal’s hands on her again. Her body still ached from the hours she’d endured at his pleasure. The thought of peace soon to be found, even if in death, calmed her taut nerves. Soon she’d be free, one way or another.
No one dared defy Snowman’s orders.
Her mind wandered, numb and absent for a while, as Homeboy drove fast into the night, mile after mile, without saying a word.
A slight chime came from the GPS and he braked, although there was no intersecting road crossing the highway, no available turn to take, just desert dunes, covered in shrubs and cacti, and trolled by scorpions, snakes, and coyotes.
He turned off-road and drove carefully into the desert, climbing over a hill then descending behind it. He didn’t immediately stop; he kept on going, putting more and more distance between them and the road, eliminating any chances that someone could see her, could hear her screams.
She felt her heart thumping against her chest, the sound of its terrified beats deafening against the deathly silence of the desert. Fresh tears started rolling down her cheeks and her pleas were left unanswered.
She gasped when he cut the engine, bringing the SUV to a stop. Trembling, she didn’t fight back when he grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the vehicle.
“Please,” she mumbled, “I’ll do whatever you want. Please let me go.”
“Can’t do that,” he replied, his lips stretched in an evil smile that exposed crooked, yellow teeth. “You heard the boss man.”
He let go of her arm and reached inside his pocket. Panicked, she bolted in a desperate attempt to save herself. She ran toward the highway, now hidden behind a hill, not feeling the cactus thorns tearing at her flesh, not minding the sharp edges of the desert stones bloodying the soles of her feet.
She’d run a few yards and he hadn’t caught up with her yet; hope gave her wings, and she sprung uphill clawing at the stones with her bare hands, desperate to put more distance between the two of them.
She was almost at the top of the hill when his steeled grip bore into her arm, stopping her in place so abruptly that her bleeding feet sent pebbles and sand in the air. Angered, he dragged her back to the SUV and slammed her against the cold metal.
“Nice try, bitch. There’s nowhere to go.”
She was starting to understand that, to accept it, although every fiber in her body screamed its fear, urged her to fight, to run, to survive. She drew breath hastily and let out a blood-curdling shriek.
Homeboy laughed. “Sure, go ahead, scream. You’re giving me a hard-on.”
Her scream died, stifled by a sob.
He dug into his pocket and pulled out a small bottle fitted with an eyedropper. With a lewd, sickening smile, he took his time unscrewing the cap and carefully extracted two drops of the clear liquid. Then he grabbed her jaw and forced her lips open.
“No, no,” she whimpered, fighting desperately to free herself.
Homeboy just smirked, ignoring her feeble kicks, and squeezed the eyedropper, releasing the liquid into her mouth. Then he held her lips sealed under his heavy hand, forcing her to swallow.
She couldn’t detect any strange taste; he’d barely used a drop or two. It couldn’t be too bad, she thought, gasping desperately for air as soon as he released his grip.
She felt her tongue becoming numb, then her lips. Panic opened her eyes widely and made her lungs scream for more air. She gasped, feeling an evil numbness taking over her body, reaching her extremities, weakening her knees. A strange sense of dizziness overtook her, making her reach for support, finding none until her body hit the ground. No matter how much she willed herself to move, she lay still on the cold desert dirt, feeling every stab of pain where sharp-edged rocks cut into her flesh.
Homeboy crouched near her body with a satisfied grin. He pushed aside a few locks of her hair, clearing her face, touching her frozen lips.
“You won’t die,” he said, while his hand fumbled with his belt buckle. “Not now, anyway. Not until I’m bored with you.”
She forced her lungs to draw air and screamed, then drew another raspy breath and screamed again.
She listened but couldn’t hear her own screams. The desert was completely silent, except for the brute’s rhythmic grunts.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“I enjoyed the story, character development, and dialogue. There were plenty of plot twists that I didn’t see coming and that added to the book's mystique. When I stopped reading to work, I found myself wondering what happened in the book, and replaying parts of the novel in my head to see if I could figure more out. It has been a while since I enjoyed a book this much. A first-class thriller with perfect pacing. Not much is as it appears here, which is just the way fans of mystery, thriller and suspense will want it.” ~ Piaras
“An excellent thriller that keeps you turning pages, a book I will go back in a week and read again it was that good. […] This is a book everyone should read to learn that Cops are only human. Highly recommend this book!” ~ J. T. F.
“I have read all of Leslie's books, she is without a doubt at the forefront of authors. Each book seems to get better than the last one, which is nearly impossible to do. Las Vegas Crime captured all the excitement I've come to expect from Leslie. However, she has that unique ability to express the emotions of the individuals and make you feel what they are going through. All I can say is Las Vegas Crime is absolutely a MUST READ.” ~ Dick Fasching
“Blasted right through this ‘gritty’ thriller in no time. Yes, it was that compelling of a read. I'm not gonna say any more about it than that. I'm totally hooked on these Baxter and Holt adventures. Leslie Wolfe certainly knows how to get your attention and then some. Give it a try. You'll see. Cheers and happy reading!” ~ JIM in MT
“Fast paced, suspensful and filled with twists and turns. Only this time, Holt's family is traumatized by the kidnapping of his teen daughter. Some brutal rape scenes are hard to deal with so this is not for the squeamish. Baxter and Holt make a great and creative team and I want more books about them. Love this series.” ~ Astrida M.

About the Author
Leslie Wolfe
Leslie Wolfe is a bestselling author whose novels break the mold of traditional thrillers. She creates unforgettable, brilliant, strong women heroes who deliver fast-paced, satisfying suspense, backed up by extensive background research in technology and psychology.
Leslie released the first novel, Executive, in October 2011. It was very well received, including inquiries from Hollywood. Since then, Leslie published numerous novels and enjoyed growing success and recognition in the marketplace. Among Leslie’s most notable works, The Watson Girl (2017) was recognized for offering a unique insight into the mind of a serial killer and a rarely seen first person account of his actions, in a dramatic and intense procedural thriller.
Leslie enjoys engaging with readers every day and would love to hear from you.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.


Links