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She could hear his footsteps coming closer. Pressing her trembling hands to her mouth she even tried not to breath. Her bruises were throbbing with pain and chest was heaving. She could smell her burnt skin telling her that it was deep this time. She knew it wont take him long until he finally locates her in his wardrobe. Oh, Lord, Please, help me out.She cried in her brain as hot tears slide down her cheek. All of the sudden, the room was echoing with his favorite music. She banged her head on the wall ahead on her helplessness. That creepy violin was at the max. She knew the reason too well. He had found her. Rishika just sit there waiting for her blow. She tried to numb herself. Like every other time she tried to tell herself that this is not happening to her but the moment she heard him say, "Oh, my dear Shikha, here you are." She broke into tears. She didn't have it in her to look at his face. "Please,.please, "She pleaded as she tried even more to hug her legs. "What? Am I not the same guy you so muc *************** Too Late Too late She could hear his footsteps coming closer. Pressing her trembling hands to her mouth, she even tried not to breathe. Her bruises were throbbing with pain, and her chest was heaving. She could smell her burnt skin, telling her that it was deep this time. She knew it won't take him long until he finally locates her in his wardrobe. Oh, Lord, please, help me out. She cried in her brain as hot tears slide down her cheek. All of a sudden, the room was echoing with his favorite music. She banged her head on the wall ahead of her helplessness. That creepy violin was at the max. She knew the reason too well. He had found her. Rishika just sat there waiting for her blow. She tried to numb herself, like every other time she tried to tell herself that this was not happening to her, but the moment she heard him say, "Oh, my dear, Shikha, here you are. " She broke into tears. She didn't have it in her to look at his face. "Please, please," She pleaded as she tried even more to hug her legs. "What? Am I not the same guy you so much wanted to marry? " Rishika Mehra, the daughter of the wealthiest person in India, was disowned by her family at the age of 17, for a reason never revealed to the world. She went to Germany with the help of her friend/childhood crush, Paul Schmidt. Finally, for the first time, she was able to breathe without any baggage until the day her friend asked her out and made her live under the shadows she never deserved. This story has entered Vote ...
Moonlight in the Morning (Edilean 6)
Moonlight in the Morning (Edilean 6) Read Free Sparks are flying between Jecca Layton and Dr. Tristan Aldredge. At the urging of her dear friend Kim, Jecca put the ruthless New York City art world on hold to spend the summer pursuing her passion for painting while enjoying Edilean's tightly knit artistic community. For years, Kim's cousin Tris -- the town's handsome and dedicated doctor -- felt a deep connection to Kim's college "sister" Jecca, though they had met only once before. Now, Jecca is swept off her feet by this strong, sensitive man in a summer of sensual delights. But when long shadows announce Jecca's return to "real life" and the big city, the lovers must decide: Can they survive the distance? And who will sacrifice the life they've created for themselves to be together? *************** Prologue New Jersey 2004 “Dad,” Jecca said to her father, Joe Layton, “I want to go to Virginia to see Kim. It’s only for two weeks, and you can run the store without me.” She knew she sounded like a whiny little girl and not the mature nineteen-year-old woman she was, but her dad did that to her. “Jecca, you spent all year at that college with your friend. You lived with her and that other girl. What’s her name?” “Sophie.” “Right. I don’t see why you can’t spare your old dad a few weeks.” Parental guilt! Jecca thought and clenched her hands into fists. Her father was brilliant at it. He had perfected it to an art form. That she was spending the entire summer working for him in the family hardware store never seemed to enter his mind. She’d already been home from college for two whole months now and her father hadn’t taken a single day off—and he expected his daughter to be at the store alongside him. She was the one who closed the gap when one by one all the other employees took their vacations. But Jecca didn’t consider taking care of the hundreds of do-it-yourselfers as what her father called “being together,” since the only “conversation” they had was when he asked if the new router bits had come in. Jecca appreciated all her father did for her and she wanted to see him, but she also wanted some time off. She wanted fourteen whole days to do only what she wanted to. Put on a bikini and lie by a pool. Flirt with boys. Talk to Kim about . . . well, about everything in life. Time to dream about her future. She was studying art at school as she wanted to be a painter. Kim said there was some magnificent scenery around her home in Virginia, and Jecca wanted to put it all on paper. The plan was perfect—except that her father wouldn’t agree. She didn’t want to cause any anger by openly defying him, so all she could do was plead for his permission. As she watched him stack boxes of wood screws, she thought of her last e-mail from Kim. “You should spend some time at Florida Point,” Kim had written. “If you climb to the top you can see across two counties. Some of the boys, including my idiot brother, strip off and jump into the pool at the bottom. It’s a
Magic Hour Read Free Dr. Julia Cates was one of the country's preeminent child psychiatrists until a shocking tragedy ruined her career. Retreating to her small western Washington hometown, Julia meets an extraordinary six-year-old girl who has inexplicably emerged from the deep woods nearby—a child locked in a world of unimaginable fear and isolation. To Julia, nothing is more important than saving the girl she now calls Alice. But Julia will need help from others, including the sister she barely knows and a handsome doctor with secrets of his own. What follows will test the limits of Julia's faith and strength, as she struggles to find a home for Alice . . . and for herself. *************** ONE IT WILL ALL BE OVER SOON. Julia Cates had lost count of the times she’d told herself that very thing, but today—finally—it would be true. In a few hours the world would know the truth about her. If she made it downtown, that was. Unfortunately, the Pacific Coast Highway looked more like a parking lot than a freeway. The hills behind Malibu were on fire again; smoke hung above the rooftops and turned the normally bright coastal air into a thick brown sludge. All over town terrified babies woke in the middle of the night, crying gray-black tears and gasping for breath. Even the surf seemed to have slowed down, as if exhausted by the unseasonable heat. She maneuvered through the cranky, stop-and-go traffic, ignoring the drivers who flipped her off and cut in front of her. It was expected; in this most dangerous of seasons in Southern California, tempers caught fire as easily as backyards. The heat made everyone edgy. Finally, she exited the freeway and drove to the courthouse. Television vans were everywhere. Dozens of reporters huddled on the courthouse steps, microphones and cameras at the ready, waiting for the story to arrive. In Los Angeles it was becoming a daily event, it seemed; legal proceedings as entertainment. Michael Jackson. Courtney Love. Robert Blake. Julia turned a corner and drove to a side entrance, where her lawyers were waiting for her. She parked on the street and got out of the car, expecting to move forward confidently, but for a terrible second she couldn’t move. You’re innocent, she reminded herself. They’ll see that. The system will work. She forced herself to take a step, then another. It felt as if she were moving through invisible wires, fighting her way uphill. When she made it to the group, it took everything she had to smile, but one thing she knew: it looked real. Every psychiatrist knew how to make a smile look genuine. “Hello, Dr. Cates,” said Frank Williams, the lead counsel on her defense team. “How are you?” “Let’s go,” she said, wondering if she was the only one who heard the wobble in her voice. She hated that evidence of her fear. Today, of all days, she needed to be strong, to show the world that she was the doctor they’d thought she was, that she’d done nothing wrong. The team coiled protectively around her. She a
It began with a ghost in his bedroom. A tormented soul hungry for vengeance, The sort of nocturnal visitation that even a five-hundred-year-old vampire like Henry Fitzroy found tiresome. It would lead Vicki Nelson, PI, into her most deadly investigation yet.The wraith is determined that Henry and Vicki track down its killer - and is prepared to use a little persuasion by way of the innocent inhabitants of Toronto to ensure their support. Forced to investigate, Vicki discovers a host of souls in desperate torment and evidence to suggest that trailing the killer will only lead to further deaths - starting with her own.
Lei'd With Cupcakes (Cupcakes 3)
Lei'd With Cupcakes (Cupcakes 3) Read Free *************** Katie and the North Star To everyone I was lucky enough to meet over the years at Utopia (UtopYA) Con. I’m so sad that this is the last year of the con, but so grateful that Janet had the vision and passion to make the con possible. I wouldn’t have been able to meet so many wonderful authors, bloggers, and readers without it. Keep on lifting as you climb! Everybody dreams of a Hawaiian vacation… They sell you on the drinks with little umbrellas, dolphin watching, and long walks on the beach. Which probably happens, if you’re that lucky schmuck living out your dream with your destination wedding, but if you’re a fish out of water PI like me, there’s no time for relaxing, because trouble is never far behind. Instead of cocktails, I ended up dealing with the seedy underbelly of The Big Island. And, I didn’t see one damn dolphin while undercover on a boat that was spilling over with drug dealers, kingpins, and pedophiles. I did get to take that long walk on the beach, but that resulted in me and Cade getting busted by his parents, while we were all butt-ass naked. Which leads me to the other issue, meeting Cade’s family. Elin and Elena think they’re the coolest people outside of Snapchat, but it’s hard to meet the parents when your boyfriend is in his late thirties and has never had a serious relationship. You want to talk about grandbaby fever … His mom was foaming at the mouth at the thought of Cade reproducing, and, although the thought of little bad-ass babies who look like Cade is appealing, we’re definitely not ready to take that step. I’d never missed my girls so much in my life, but Amy May, Bea, and Carmen are all dealing with issues of their own, and can’t come to my rescue. The only thing that may help me with this “vacation” is if I could get Lei’d with Cupcakes. “We have started our descent into Honolulu. We should touch down in twenty minutes, and the local time will be three fifty-eight.” I looked to my left to see Elin and Elena sleeping like angels, even though an hour ago they’d been fighting like rabid raccoons. Then, to my right, where Cade was passed out cold. You’d think a large man like that would have a hard time getting comfortable in a standard coach seat, but as soon as he’d sat down, Cade closed his eyes and was knocked out. Cold. I couldn’t keep my five-foot seven-inch frame still in the seat long enough to doze. My knees hurt, the seatbelt annoyed me, and I swear I could hear every sniffle and sneeze for twenty rows. So, while the loves of my life were snoozing happily, I was trying to find out how many mini liquor bottles it would take for me to get drowsy. It was just my luck that now that I was feeling happily buzzed and ready to nap, we were about to land. So, not only was I going to meet Cade’s family with no sleep, there was a good chance I was going to be drunk. “Miss, can I take your trash?” I swiveled my head to find one of the stewardesses holding open
Cupcake Explosion (Cupcakes 4)
Cupcake Explosion (Cupcakes 4) Read Free For the first time in a long time, life is good. I've got a smokin' hot motorcycle man as my fiancé, the best friends a woman could have, a couple of great kids, and things have been relatively quiet on the PI front. You know what that means... the other shoe was bound to drop sooner or later... Just when I was ready to settle down and plan the coolest wedding Greenswood has ever seen, the shit hit the fan, and hit it hard. My friends are fighting, Cade's been out of town doing God knows what for the club, and my sweet little twins are turning into hair-pulling pre-teens with more drama than my old daytime soaps. I feel like I'm being pulled in a million directions, and I've been going so crazy that Elin's swear jar is near to overflowing. I've been eating cupcakes like a woman possessed, and if I'm not careful, there's going to be a Cupcake Explosion... in my pants.Cupcake Series - Should be read in orderAlways Room for CupcakesCupcake OverloadLei'd with CupcakesCupcake ExplosionCupcakes & Macarons: Honeymoon ShortLei'd in Paradise: A Cupcakes Series Novella (Carmen and Bran)Crazy for Cupcakes - Coming Soon *************** FOR THE FIRST time in a long time, life is good. I've got a smokin' hot motorcycle man as my fiancé, the best friends a woman could have, a couple of great kids, and things have been relatively quiet on the PI front. You know what that means . . . the other shoe was bound to drop sooner or later. I’ve been around long enough to know something bad usually happens when you least expect it. Blindsiding you and turning your life upside down. And, of course, after a few months of calm, that’s what happened . . . Just when I was ready to settle down and plan the coolest wedding Greenswood has ever seen, the shit hit the fan, and hit it hard. My friends are fighting, because Amy May caught Bea and Carmen at my new friend Cynthia’s place, Cynthia’s Coffee and Books, eating pastries. Amy May thinks of it as a betrayal, while Bea and Carmen swear they just stopped to shop for books. Now I’m stuck in the middle. Cade's been out of town doing God knows what for the club, not giving me input on the wedding at all. But, I guess I should have figured that, he is Cade after all, the man who said he didn’t do white picket fences. And, my sweet little twins are turning into hair-pulling pre-teens with more drama than my old daytime soaps. I feel like I'm being pulled in a million directions, and I've been going so crazy that Elin's swear jar is near to overflowing. I've been eating cupcakes like a woman possessed, and if I'm not careful, there's going to be a Cupcake Explosion . . . in my pants. “YOU’RE SO ANNOYING. Why can’t you just leave me and Cassidy alone and go play with your stupid video games?” What the hell? Was that really my sweet little Lena, talking to her twin brother like a jerk? “Elena, I don’t want to hear you talking to Elin like that, you understand?” I asked as I turned the c
"While Tolliver slept, I wondered if it was possible that Cameron was still alive...At first, I'd thought she'd been abducted by a gang, sold into slavery, something lurid and horrible. Then I'd wondered if maybe she'd simply been fed up with her life: the tawdry parents and the tacky trailer, the sister who limped and looked abstracted, the baby sisters who never seemed to stay clean. Most days, though, I was sure she was dead."Lightning-struck sleuth Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver take a break from looking for the dead to visit the two little girls they both think of as sisters. But, as always happens when they travel to Texas, memories of their horrible childhood resurface...To make matter worse, Tolliver learns from his older brother that their father is out of jail and trying to reestablish contact with other family members. Tolliver wants nothing to do with the man - but he may not have a say in the matter.Soon, family secrets ensnare them both, as Harper finally discovers what happened to her missing sister, Cameron, so may years before.And what she finds out will change her world forever... Chapter One "ALL right," said the straw-haired woman in the denim jacket. "Do your thing." Her accent made the words sound more like "Dew yore thang." Her hawklike face was eager, the anticipatory look of someone who is ready to taste an unknown food. We were standing on a windswept field some miles south of the interstate that runs between Texarkana and Dallas. A car zoomed by on the narrow two-lane blacktop. It was the only other car I'd seen since I'd followed Lizzie Joyce's gleaming black Chevy Kodiak pickup out to the Pioneer Rest Cemetery, which lay outside the tiny town of Clear Creek. When our little handful of people fell silent, the whistle of the wind scouring the rolling hill was the only sound in the landscape. There wasn't a fence around the little cemetery. It had been cleared, but not recently. This was an old cemetery, as Texas cemeteries go, established when the live oak in the middle of the graveyard had been only a small tree. A flock of birds was cackling in the oak's branches. Since we were in north Texas, there was grass, but in February it wasn't green. Though the temperature was in the fifties today, the wind was colder than I'd counted on. I zipped up my jacket. I noticed that Lizzie Joyce wasn't wearing one. The people who lived hereabouts were tough and pragmatic, including the thirtyish blonde who'd invited me here. She was lean and muscular, and she must have tugged up her jeans by greasing her legs. I couldn't imagine how she mounted a horse. But her boots were well-worn, and so was her hat, and if I'd read her belt buckle correctly, she was the previous year's countywide barrel-riding champion. Lizzie Joyce was the real deal. She also had more money in her bank account than I would ever earn in my life. The diamonds on her hand flashed in the bright sunlight as she waved toward the piece of ground dedicate
An Ice Cold Grave
Hired to find a boy gone missing in Doraville, North Carolina, Harper Connelly and her brother Tolliver head there, only to discover that the boy was the only one left of several who had disappeared over the previous five years. All of them teenagers. All unlikely runaways.All calling for Harper.Harper soon finds them—eight victims, buried in the half-frozen ground, all come to an unspeakable end. Afterward, what she most wants to do is collect her fee and get out of town ahead of the media storm that's soon to descend. But when she's attacked and prevented from leaving, she reluctantly becomes a part of the investigation as she learns more than she cares to about the dark mysteries and long-hidden secrets of Doraville—knowledge that makes her the next person likely to rest in an ice-cold grave. Chapter 1 THE eastern seaboard is crammed with dead people. When work brings me to that part of America, the whole time I'm there it's like wings of a huge flock of birds are fluttering inside my brain, never coming to rest. That gets old pretty quick. But I had some jobs in the East, so here I was, driving through South Carolina with my sort-of brother Tolliver in the passenger seat. He was sleeping now, and I glanced over at him, smiling because he couldn't see me and it was okay to smile at him. Tolliver has hair as dark as mine, and if we didn't run and spend quite a bit of time outdoors, we'd both be pale; and we're both on the thin side. Other than that, we're quite different. Tolliver's dad never took him to a skin doctor when Tolliver was a teen, and his cheeks are scarred from acne; his eyes are darker than my murky gray ones, and his cheekbones are high. When my mother married his dad, it was a case of two yuppies joining together in the hurtling path down the drain. My mother was dead now, and Tolliver's father was somewhere, who knew where? He'd gotten out of jail the previous year. My dad was still in for embezzling and a few other white-collar crimes. We never talked about them. If you have to be in South Carolina, it's beautiful in the late spring and the early summer. Unfortunately, we were nearly at the end of an especially nasty January. The ground was cold and gray and slushy from the melt of the previous snow, and there was more predicted in a few days. I was driving very carefully because traffic was heavy and the road was not clear. We'd come up from mild and sunny Charleston. A couple there had decided their house was uninhabitable due to ghost activity, and they'd called me in to find out if there were any bodies in the walls or flooring. The answer was clear: no. But there were bodies in the narrow back yard. There were three of them, all babies. I didn't know what that meant. They'd died so soon after birth that they hadn't had much consciousness for me to tap into, so I hadn't been able to name the cause of death, which is usually quite clear. But the Charleston homeowners had been thrilled with the results, especially after an
The Mystery of a Techie's Murder
Chapter 36 - The Confession Letter
Description of book "The Mystery of a Techie's Murder" Priya, a software engineer, is found dead in her apartment when her flatmate Julia is away on a weekend. Detective Mayur finds a Pizza Hut cap with the strand of hair in it at the crime scene along with a cigarette butt and shoe prints. Krishna Raj, Priya's manager, says Priya became close to her colleague, Praful, who has been sacked by his previous employer because of the sexual harassment charges. Mayur also learns that Priya's fiance loves someone else and is forced to marry Priya by his parents. He also comes across Priya's ex-friend and her uncle, who were also interested in Priya. He finds that her younger sister has a motive to become a sole proprietor of their father's assets. Will Detective Mayur find the murderer in spite of hitting the dead end?
A Painted House
"The hill people and the Mexicans arrived on the same day. It was a Wednesday, early in September 1952. The Cardinals were five games behind the Dodgers with three weeks to go, and the season looked hopeless. The cotton, however, was waist-high to my father, over my head, and he and my grandfather could be heard before supper whispering words that were seldom heard. It could be a "good crop."Thus begins the new novel from John Grisham, a story inspired by his own childhood in rural Arkansas. The narrator is a farm boy named Luke Chandler, age seven, who lives in the cotton fields with his parents and grandparents in a little house that's never been painted. The Chandlers farm eighty acres that they rent, not own, and when the cotton is ready they hire a truckload of Mexicans and a family from the Ozarks to help harvest it.For six weeks they pick cotton, battling the heat, the rain, the fatigue, and sometimes each other. As the weeks pass Luke sees and hears things no seven-year-old could possibly be prepared for, and he finds himself keeping secrets that not only threaten the crop but will change the lives of the Chandlers forever. ©2000, 2001 Belfry Holdings, Inc. (P)2001 Random House, Inc. Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, a Division of Random House, Inc. The hill people and the Mexicans arrived on the same day. It was a Wednesday, early in September 1952. The Cardinals were five games behind the Dodgers with three weeks to go, and the season looked hopeless. The cotton, however, was waist-high to my father, over my head, and he and my grandfather could be heard before supper whispering words that were seldom heard. It could be a "good crop."They were farmers, hardworking men who embraced pessimism only when discussing the weather and the crops. There was too much sun, or too much rain, or the threat of floods in the lowlands, or the rising prices of seed and fertilizer, or the uncertainties of the markets. On the most perfect of days, my mother would quietly say to me, "Don't worry. The men will find something to worry about."Pappy, my grandfather, was worried about the price for labor when we went searching for the hill people. They were paid for every hundred pounds of cotton they picked. The previous year, according to him, it was $1.50 per hundred. He'd already heard rumors that a farmer over in Lake City was offering $1.60.This played heavily on his mind as we rode to town. He never talked when he drove, and this was because, according to my mother, not much of a driver herself, he was afraid of motorized vehicles. His truck was a 1939 Ford, and with the exception of our old John Deere tractor, it was our sole means of transportation. This was no particular problem except when we drove to church and my mother and grandmother were forced to sit snugly together up front in their Sunday best while my father and I rode in the back, engulfed in dust. Modern sedans were scarce in rural Arkansas.Pappy drove thirty-seven miles per hour. Hi
The Nightlife: New York
The Nightlife Series is violent, sexy, and occasionally violently sexy.Vampires, strippers, escorts, night clubs, pimps and dirty cops – the Nightlife New York is never boring.Aaron Pilan’s life is forever changed when he’s shot trying to rescue a drop-dead gorgeous woman on the streets of New York. Aaron is thrust into the shocking world of vampiric slavery when Michelle shares her blood to save his life.Michelle's existence as a solitary vampire is also altered when she accepts this naive young man into her life. Bound by her blood, Aaron is subject to her authority. He walks a tightrope of strictly controlled feeding regiments and intense sexual adventures while catering to the neurotic control-freak tendencies of his new master. She vows to eliminate him if he proves too difficult to control.This story is bold and evocative, infusing blood, sex, love and turmoil in an urban drama about two vampires battling evil outside and within themselves. CHAPTER 1 Dead on his feet and ready to clock out, Aaron Pilan didn't immediately react when Charlene groped a good handful of his ass. Burned out from a long, hard shift of waiting tables, Aaron's delayed reaction wasn't anything charming or witty as his boss Bemichi would have preferred. Refilling Charlene's merlot that he'd already refilled one too many times, he deadpanned, "Is there anything else I can do for you?" He realized too late, his question could easily have been misinterpreted as an encouragement to her advances. He definitely didn't want to mislead or encourage Charlene. He found her attractive, with that "MILF" allure––Mother I'd Like to Fuck––of older more sophisticated women. But the problem with Charlene came two-fold. She was both a regular customer, and of sufficient age to actually be his mother. And she probably knew enough about sex to thoroughly corrupt his innocence, which, much to his chagrin, remained mostly intact. The real reason he chose not to fraternize with customers was his ever-present fear of the wrath of Bemichi that could descend upon his shoulders like angels of judgment bearing fiery swords. His boss Antonio Bemichi, who owned the restaurant for two decades, wasn't one to allow such indiscretions to pass without consequence. Aaron had been warned his first day in training, "Hell hath no fury like an Italian restaurant proprietor scorned." Bemichi, like many Italians in New York, took great pride in his fine dining establishment and customer service. After all, the place carried his namesake, Bemichis Restaurant. Like many Italians, Bemichi's fiery temper flared and screeched in a fountain fireworks display. Fortunately his tirades sputtered out just as quickly. Aaron considered Bemichi a decent guy, and the job wasn't bad, the food even better. Aaron enjoyed his workmost of the time. The interior décor of Bemichis resembled a New York Italian version of the Olive Garden with comparable pricing. The kind of place to bring the whole
Cupcake Overload (Cupcakes 2)
Cupcake Overload (Cupcakes 2) Read Free One night I was out with my girls enjoying a much needed ladies night while wondering if one more dirty martini would push me over the edge. The next thing I knew, I was in the club’s bathroom listening to a woman screaming, “No,” and a man’s voice growling, “I know you want it.” That asshole picked the wrong restroom, in the wrong club, at the wrong time. Little did I know the asshole was Cade’s VP, and although we saved that woman from his clutches that night, she’d be found floating in a motel pool a month later. Running a PI firm is a lot harder than taking pictures for one, especially when your professional life spills over into your personal one. I’m going through cupcakes like our new puppy goes through piddle pads, and if I’m not careful there’s bound to be a Cupcake Overload.Cupcake Series - Should be read in orderAlways Room for CupcakesCupcake OverloadLei'd with CupcakesCupcake ExplosionCupcakes & Macarons: Honeymoon ShortLei'd in Paradise: A Cupcakes Series Novella (Carmen and Bran)Crazy for Cupcakes - Coming Soon *************** Katie and the North Star (Children’s) For KP, Jessica, Shanyn, and the entire team at Inslinger PR. Thanks so much for all of your help over the last few years. Through deployments, retirement, and numerous moves, you’ve been there to give me a little stability. I appreciate you all! One night I was out with my girls, enjoying a much-needed ladies’ night, while wondering if one more dirty martini would push me over the edge. The next thing I knew we were in the middle of a situation that no group of mostly drunk women should be in. It started when Bea said she needed to use the restroom, which led to Amy May saying she was about to burst, and Carmen and I deciding we might as well all go, so we could head back out onto the dance floor as soon as possible. It was just our luck that from the stall in the back we heard a woman screaming “No” and a man’s voice telling her, “I know you want it.” That asshole picked the wrong restroom, in the wrong club, at the wrong time. Little did I know he was Cade’s VP. And, although we saved her from his clutches that night, a month later, she’d be found floating in a motel pool … which would cause the first bit of adversity that Cade and I would have to face as a couple. Well, that and Branson Braswell. Who would have thought that I’d miss the days where my biggest problem was my cheating, douchebag ex? Running a PI firm was a lot harder than taking pictures for one, especially when your professional life spilled over into your personal one. And dating an alpha male who rode a motorcycle and looked good doing it, wasn’t always sunshine and roses. I was going through cupcakes like our new puppy went through piddle pads, and if I wasn’t careful there would be a Cupcake Overload. “Pee break,” Amy May called, tugging on my arm and pointing to where Bea and Carmen were already walking toward the restroom. We were having a much-deserv
Stranger in the Moonlight (Edilean 7)
Stranger in the Moonlight (Edilean 7) Read Free An enchanting new contemporary romance set in Edilean, about two childhood friends who are reunited after years apart, only to discover that the spark they felt even as kids still remains...When Kim Aldredge was eight, she met a twelve-year-old boy named Travis who was visiting her hometown of Edilean, Virginia with his mother. Even though they were there under mysterious circumstances, that didn’t stop the children from becoming friends. For two blissful weeks they rode bikes, played baseball, and read out loud to each other. They were ordinary things to Kim, but to Travis, they were oh-so-extraordinary. And Travis helped Kim discover her love of making jewelry, the passion that became her profession. Before he left he told her that someday he’d return, and for years Kim kept the photo of her and Travis, their arms around each other and smiling, close to her. Travis is now a successful attorney in Manhattan—but there are things in his life that he doesn’t want made public. And even though he’s traveled the world, he still thinks about that summer he spent in Edilean, and the girl he met there. Those weeks changed his life forever. When Travis learns that his mother has moved back to Edilean and is planning to remarry, he decides it’s time that he return as well—not just to investigate this future husband, but to finally fulfill the promise he made to Kim all those years before…. *************** Prologue Edilean, Virginia 1993 In all of her eight years, Kim had never been so bored. She didn’t even know such boredom could exist. Her mother told her to go outside into the big garden around the old house, Edilean Manor, and play, but what was she to do by herself? Two weeks ago her father had taken her brother off to some faraway state to go fishing. “Male bonding,” her mother called it, then said she was not going to stay in their house alone for four whole weeks. That night Kim had been awakened by the sound of her parents arguing. They didn’t usually fight—not that she knew about—and the word divorce came to her mind. She was terrified of being without her parents. But the next morning they were kissing and everything seemed to be fine. Her father kept talking about making up being the best, but her mother shushed him. It was that afternoon when her mother told her that while her father and brother were away they were going to stay in an apartment at Edilean Manor. Kim didn’t like that because she hated the old house. It was too big and it echoed with every footstep. Besides, every time she visited the place there was less furniture, and the emptiness made it seem even creepier. Her father said that Mr. Bertrand, the old man who lived in the house, had sold the family furniture rather than get a job to support himself. “He’d sell the house if Miss Edi would let him.” Miss Edi was Mr. Bertrand’s sister. She was older than he was, and even though she didn’t live there, she owned the house. Kim had hea
Cuckoo in the Coven
Cuckoo in the Coven Read Free There's a new witch in town, but who is this mysterious stranger and why has he come to Raven's Landing?Rowena Meldrum is the baker at The Witch's Brew cafe, and this shy young witch can only imagine sharing her precious moments with a trusted lover, until Caleb Meriwether strolls into her life. This handsome stranger beguiles and seduces her, but does he have a dubious motive for doing so? Rowena's instinctively wary because she once trusted a male witch who tricked her, and kept her prisoner. Nevertheless, her heart has been entranced, and even the disapproval of her own coven can't stop her falling in love with a man she knows nothing about.Caleb is a loner, a male witch with no history, and no coven. He doesn't want or need a coven, but he's on the hunt for knowledge. He agrees to infiltrate the Raven's Landing community in exchange for vital information about his own origins, and sees Rowena as his way in. But the powerful London witch who holds the key to his past is playing a wicked game, and Caleb needs to find out what it is. Getting mixed up with an adorable innocent like Rowena is only going to hinder his progress, right? It's imperative he cast her aside. What he didn't account for was the power of love, the strength of the Raven's Landing coven, and the revelations they might reveal. *************** CHAPTER ONE CORNWALL, ENGLAND. Present day. Moonlight spilled through the open window into the bedroom. Sunny stirred in her bed. Her eyes fluttered open. Had she drifted off, had she been dreaming again? She looked at the window, where the curtains lifted in the summer breeze. The sky beyond was lit by the full moon. Sighing, she willed herself back into the recurring dream she’d recently been having—lucid visions about a mysterious stranger. “Who are you?” she murmured. The dreams were so delicious she wanted to go there again—to lose herself in his fierce embrace. Her eyelids lowered, sleep beckoning her. Through the ether, her own name whispered through her mind, as if a familiar voice called to her. The call was sensed rather than heard, instinct tugging on her to recognize the intimate, beckoning command. It was him, the seductive stranger. Coiling under the open window, the midnight mist entered the room, crossing the space, wavering over her body. Mystical and entrancing, it wore a man’s image, taking his form as it moved against her exposed skin, teasing her with fey kisses. Her body pulsed with desire. Physical recognition flooded her and she reached out for him. Her emotions dipped and soared. The presence coaxed her gently, caressing her with the most intimate of lover’s touches. She fought through her slumber, moaning in response to his call, her limbs tangled in the sheets. He was there, she could sense him, but still she couldn’t touch him or hear the words he whispered. His face grew more distinct as he closed over her, riding the night to be with her. Intense blue eyes flashed in the moonligh
My Two Soulmates
Description of book "My Two Soulmates" Erika is a smart and brave girl, but her mother left and now it's only she and her father. Then she meets Daniel. Instantly she knows there's something mysterious about him. But thing's change when they touch, magic ignite with flames. She learns that not only is she his soulmate, but there is a whole other world of people with powers that she never knew existed. But then Daniel's enemy Marcus gets to know about her and decides to take her away from him. But is that the only reason or there's something more? Held captive at Marcus kingdom, she not only discovers that she has two mates but also the life she is living so far, was a huge bluff. Where her dark past will lead her to and what will be its consequences? Who will she force to choose at last?
Days of Gold (Edilean 2)
Days of Gold (Edilean 2) Read Free Scotland, 1766: The laird of the clan, Angus McTern, has everything he wants in life. That is, until he is captivated by Edilean Talbot. Breathtakingly beautiful and born of privilege, Edilean represents everything Angus despises. Still, she dazzles him, and when Angus can no longer hide his feelings, she rejects him, leaving him deeply wounded and humiliated. But when Edilean needs his help to reclaim the gold she inherited from her father, her haunting beauty-and her tears-convince him to put aside his pride. However, when Angus tries to intervene, he is accused of kidnapping and theft. To avoid being prosecuted, he must escape with Edilean to America. There they will overcome almost insurmountable obstacles as the man who claims the gold for his own endlessly pursues them. Despite all that tries to keep them apart, Angus and Edilean also find a love as wild and free as the land itself. *************** 1 HAVE YOU SEEN her yet?” “Nay, I have not,” Angus McTern said for what seemed like the hundredth time. He had just come in from the hills, and he was wet, tired, hungry, and cold, but all anyone could talk about was Neville Lawler’s fancy English niece, come to the old castle to look down her nose at the poor Scots. “You should see her,” young Tam said as he tried to keep pace with his cousin’s long stride. Angus was usually glad to see Tam, but not if all he could talk about was Lawler’s niece. “She has hair like gold,” the boy said, his voice cracking. He was just coming into manhood, and what the girls said, did, and looked like was everything to him. “She has eyes as blue as a loch, and her clothes! Never did I see such clothes as she has. They’re spun by the angels and trimmed by honeybees. She—” “But then you’ve never been anywhere to see much to compare her to, now have you, lad?” Angus said—and everyone stopped to look at him in astonishment. They were in the big stone courtyard that had once belonged to the McTern family. Angus and Tam’s grandfather had been the laird, but he was a lazy old reprobate who’d gambled and lost everything to a young Englishman, Neville Lawler. Angus had been just nine at the time, living with his widowed mother, and it had been Angus who the clan turned to. In the sixteen years since, he’d done his best to look out for the few remaining McTerns. But sometimes, like today, it seemed like a losing battle to try to make people remember that they were part of the once-great McTerns. For the last weeks, all they’d wanted to talk about was the Englishwoman. Her hair, her clothes, each word she spoke, the way she said it. “‘Fraid she won’t like you?” old Duncan asked as he looked up at Angus from the scythe he was sharpening. “‘Fraid that great, hairy face of yours will scare her?” The tension that had been caused by Angus snapping at his young cousin was broken and he gave the boy a rough shove on his shoulder to apologize. It wasn’t Tam’s fault that he’d never been anywhere or d
Nerd's Secret Life
Description of book "Nerd's Secret Life" Aurora Michael, School's Nerd with Honey color and Golden shade eyes which are always under the big round glasses, blonde waist length hair with baggy clothes which covers her perfect body. She seem so pure and Innocent with all good grades..... Is she Innocent...???? Is there any face hidden underneath.... now meet, Zayn Black the school Bad Boy aka football team captain who doesn't believe in love and gets everything he wants. He is determined to meet The Mysterious Scarlet who is an underground fighter with killer body and moves... will he get he meet her..... what happens when unknown feelings are developed for Aurora... and many secrets are revealed..
Lavender Morning (Edilean 1)
Lavender Morning (Edilean 1) Read Free Jocelyn Minton is a woman torn between two worlds. Her mother grew up attending private schools and afternoon teas, but she married the local handyman. After her mother died when Joce was only five years old, her father remarried into his own class, and Joce became an outsider -- until she met Edilean Harcourt. Although she was sixty years Joce's senior, Miss Edi was a kindred soul who understood her like no one else ever had. When Miss Edi passes away, she leaves Joce all her worldly possessions, including an eighteenth-century house and a letter with clues to a mystery that began in 1941. In the letter, Miss Edi also mentions that she has found the perfect man for Joce -- a handsome young lawyer. Joce is shocked to learn that the mystery, the house, and the future love of her life are all in Edilean, a small town in Virginia that Miss Edi never told her about. Hurt that the woman who meant so much to her kept so many secrets, Jocelyn moves to this tight-knit village in an attempt to understand the legacy that has been left to her. As she begins to dig into Miss Edi's mystery, she soon discovers some shocking surprises about her family's history and her own future -- and she meets a man with his own mysterious past. *************** Prologue HELEN?” ASKED THE person on the other end of the line. “Helen Aldredge?” If anyone had asked her, Helen would have said that it had been so long since she’d heard Edilean Harcourt’s voice that she wouldn’t have recognized it. But she did. She’d heard those elegant, patrician tones only a few times, but each time had been significant. Because of who the caller was, Helen didn’t point out that her married name was Connor. “Miss Edi? Is that you?” “What a good memory you have.” Helen visualized the woman as she remembered her: tall, thin, perfect posture, her dark hair never out of place. Her clothes were always of the finest quality and of a timeless style. She had to be close to ninety now—Helen’s father David’s age. “I had good ancestors,” Helen said, then wanted to bite her tongue. Her father and Miss Edi had once been engaged to marry, but when Edilean returned from World War II, her beloved David was married to Helen’s mother, Mary Alice Welsch. The trauma had been so great that Miss Edi turned the big, old house her family had owned for generations over to her wastrel of a brother, left the town named for her ancestress, and never married. Even today, some of the older people in Edilean spoke of the Great Tragedy—and they still looked at Helen’s mother with cool eyes. What David and Mary Alice had done caused the end of the direct line of the Harcourt family—the founding family. Since Edilean, Virginia, was so near Colonial Williamsburg, losing direct descendants of people who had hobnobbed with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson was a major blow to them. “Yes, you do have good ancestry,” Miss Edi said without hesitation. “In fact, I’m so sure of your capabilitie
Dracula Cha Cha Cha
Written by award-winning novelist Kim Newman, this is a brand-new edition, with additional 40,000 word never-before-seen novella, of the popular third installment of the Anno Dracula series, Dracula Cha Cha Cha.Rome. 1959. Count Dracula is about to marry the Moldavian Princess Asa Vajda - his sixth wife. Journalist Kate Reed flies into the city to visit the ailing Charles Beauregard and his vampire companion Geneviève. Finding herself caught up in the mystery of the Crimson Executioner who is bloodily dispatching vampire elders in the city, Kate discovers that she is not the only one on his trail... THREE CORPSES IN THE FOUNTAIN NOTICE OF ENGAGEMENT, FROM THE TIMES OF LONDON. JULY 15TH, 1959 Asa Vajda, Princess of Moldavia, is to be married to Vlad, Count Dracula, formerly Prince of Wallachia, Voivode of Transylvania and Prince Consort of Great Britain. The groom has been married previously to Elisabeta of Transylvania (1448 - 62), Princess Ilona Szilagy of Hungary (1466 - 76), Marguerite Chopin of Courtempierre (1709 - 11), Queen Victoria of Great Britain (1886 - 8) and Sari Gab--r of Hungary and California (1948 - 9). The bride, a distant connection of the groom's mother, Princess Cneajna Musatina of Moldavia, is of the bloodline of Javutich. Since enforced exile from her homeland in 1938, she has resided in Monaco and Finland. The marriage will take place at the Palazzo Otranto, in Fregene, Italy, on the 31st of October this year. 1 Dracula Cha Cha Cha Alitalia offered a special class for vampires, at the front of the aeroplane. The windows were shrouded against the sun with black curtains. It added to the cost. The warm could pay a supplement and share the space-none did on this flight-but Kate couldn't be seated in the main cabin at the lower fare. The airline assumed the undead were all too wealthy to care, which was not in her case true. The flight departed an overcast Heathrow Airport in mid-afternoon and was scheduled to arrive in Rome at sunset. In the air, she read well into Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. She didn't take personally the motto, 'don't let the bloodsuckers grind you down,' and identified more with Arthur Seaton than with the vampires who ran the bicycle factory where he worked. Alan Sillitoe was using a metaphor, not stirring up hatred against her kind. That said, England had pockets of real intolerance: she'd been caught in the Notting Hill blood riots last year, and was fed up with the crucifix-waving teddy boys who hounded her in the launderette. She'd visited Venice in the 1920s and served in Sicily and the South during the Allied invasions, but never before been to Rome. Genevieve had offered to meet her at Fiumicino Airport, but Kate preferred to make her own way into the city. Genevieve was best off staying close to Charles. These were their last days. They deserved time together alone before Kate arrived to shoulder part of the burden and, incidentally and unavoidably, play gooseberry. What was between Charle
It began with the call no daughter ever wants to get, the call that told private investigator Vicki Nelson her mother had died. Mrs. Nelson's coworker at the Queen's University Life Science Department told Vicki that the cause of death was a heart attack, and that they'd be waiting for her to arrive in Kingston to make the funeral arrangements. But what started as an all too normal personal tragedy soon became the most terrifying case of Vicki's career. For when Marjory Nelson's body mysteriously disappeared from the funeral home, Vicki, her sometime lover and fellow investigator, vampire Henry Fitzroy, and her former homicide squad partner, Detective-Sergeant Mike Celluci, realized that there was something unnatural about her mother's demise. Vicki swore she'd find the culprit, and see that her mother was properly laid to rest. But what she hadn't counted on was that someone at Queen's University seemed determined to keep Mrs. Nelson on the job -- alive or dead!
Violet thought she’d made peace with her unique ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints that cling to their killers…that is until she acquired an imprint of her own. Forced to carry a reminder of the horrible events of her kidnapping, Violet is more determined than ever to lead a normal life. However, the people who run the special investigative team Violet works for have no intention of letting her go.When someone close to Violet becomes a suspect in a horrific murder, she finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a madman with an army of devoted followers. Violet has survived dangerous situations before, but she quickly discovers that protecting those closest to her is far more difficult than protecting herself. PROLOGUE JAY HIT THE DOOR WITH HIS SHOULDER, BUT IT didn't splinter beneath his weight or anything quite so dramatic. The handle, which was probably old and in disrepair anyway, fell apart on impact and the door shot open, banging against the wall on the other side. The crashing noise filled the dark house, echoing off the walls. The sound of rushing water was stronger in here, as was the stink of urine. Violet recoiled from the smell, covering her face. She could only see fragments of the space around her, tiny pieces of the room: an old bureau with a cracked mirror, its jagged shards catching bits of light from outside and reflecting it around them; a window with dingy-looking curtains billowing in on either side of it; a mound in the center of the floor that could only be one thing. "Chelsea," Violet whimpered, falling to her knees at the same time she caught a glimpse of another person - the killer - emerging from the darkened corner. Above his head there was something glowing, a blur of light that Violet couldn't make out . . . he was moving far too quickly now. "Jay," she tried to warn, but it wasn't necessary. Whoever he was, he was already launching himself toward the open window, throwing himself over the sill just as Jay was about to reach him. And with him went both the trickling of water and the stench of old urine. Two of his imprints. "We did it," Violet breathed. "We found her." Outside, the shrill sound of sirens came closer, and she no longer cared about anything except that they'd found Chelsea. And then, before she could stop him, before she could even shout his name, she watched as Jay, too, hurled himself over the window's ledge. She started to get up, to go to the window to see if he was okay. To see if he'd landed safely, but a hand stopped her. Chelsea's hand.
Scarlet Nights (Edilean 3)
Scarlet Nights (Edilean 3) Read Free What if you learned that your fiancé was not who he claimed to be? Engaged to the charming and seductive Greg Anders, Sara Shaw is happily anticipating her wedding in Edilean, Virginia. The date has been set, the flowers ordered, even her heirloom dress is ready. But just three weeks before the wedding, Greg gets a telephone call during the night and leaves without explanation. Two days later, a man climbs up through a trapdoor in the floor of Sara’s apartment, claiming that he is the brother of her best friend and that he’s moving in. While Mike Newland is indeed telling the truth about his identity, his reason for being there reaches far deeper. He’s an undercover detective, and his assignment is to use Sara to track down a woman who is one of the most notorious criminals in the United States—and also happens to be the mother of the man Sara plans to marry. Mike thinks the job will be easy—if he can figure out how to make a “good” girl like Sara trust him, that is. But Mike has no idea what this mission has in store for him. He’s worked hard to keep private his connections to Edilean, which date back to his grandmother’s time there in 1941. But as Mike and Sara get to know each other, he can’t help but share secrets about himself that he’s told no one else. And in return, Sara opens up to Mike about things she could never reveal to Greg. As the pair work together to solve two mysteries, their growing love begins to heal each of them in ways they never could have imagined. *************** 1 FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA I THINK WE’VE FOUND her,” Captain Erickson said. His voice was forced, showing that he was working hard to control his jubilation. They were sitting at a picnic table at the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, just off A1A in Fort Lauderdale. It was a September morning, and South Florida was beginning to cool off. By next month the weather would be divine. “I guess you mean Mitzi,” Mike Newland said, for just yesterday the captain had given him a thick file on the family. Mizelli Vandlo was a woman several police departments, including the fraud squad of Fort Lauderdale, plus the Secret Service—for financial crimes—and the FBI—for violence—had been searching for for years. As far as anyone knew, the only photo of her had been taken in 1973, when she was sixteen and about to marry a fifty-one-year-old man. Even then, she was no beauty and her face was easily remembered for its large nose and lipless mouth. When the captain didn’t answer, Mike knew that a Big Job was coming, and he worked to keep his temper from rising to the surface. He’d just finished an undercover case that had taken three years, and for a while there had been contracts out on his life. Although Mike had never worked on the Vandlo case, he’d heard that a few years ago there had been major arrests in the family, all of it happening on one day, but in several cities. But Mitzi, her son Stefan, and some other family members—all of whom the
The Last Echo
IN THE END, ALL THAT'S LEFT IS AN ECHO.Before, Violet's morbid ability to sense the dead led her to uncover dark murders and long-buried secrets in her small town. Now that she's working with a special investigative team, Violet hopes she can help even more people - whether by saving a life or catching a killer.Although she's relieved to finally be honest about what she can do, her instant connection with her mysterious partner, Rafe, is both confusing and unsettling, and their unique bond creates tension with her boyfriend, Jay. When she discovers the body of a college student murdered by "the collector," Violet refuses to give up on the case. With her own relationship on the line, Violet doesn't realize that the serial killer is looking to add to his collection and that she may have caught his eye. Will the life Violet has to save be her own? Chapter 1 VIOLET STRAINED, SEARCHING FOR THE SENSATION through the suffocating blackness. It wasn't the kind of thing she could see or hear, making it all the more difficult to pinpoint. She didn't know how exactly to describe what was leading her - pulling her. But it was definitely an echo. That much she knew for certain. Her fingertips tingled, her toes too. And even though it wasn't painful, or even uncomfortable, it was still . . . odd. Like the prickling sensation of sitting on your foot for too long. She followed it by its intensity. If she turned one way, the sensation weakened. The other, it grew stronger. It was almost completely black in this part of the abandoned warehouse. Her feet crunched over broken glass, the sound slicing its way through the calm that had settled over her, blanketing her fears and dulling the rhythm of her heart. She paused, her stomach tightening as her eyes searched the shadows, trying to discern one shape from another, trying to convince herself that she was all alone in here. "I'm okay," she whispered into the emptiness around her, telling herself she should stop. That she'd already gone too far. But after a moment, when the need to follow the echo became too strong, she started moving again, her feet shuffling over the concrete and kicking debris out of her path. The last thing she wanted to do was to trip and fall on the glass-littered floor. She reached a doorway and the prickling shot through her arms and legs, surprising her and making her gasp. She gripped the exposed wood of the doorjamb to steady herself. "What the hell . . ." She wheezed as she reached up to knead the puckered flesh of her arm so hard she worried it might bruise. She shook her head, ignoring both the sting and the concerns that refused to be silent now. Moving more slowly, but still cautious of her surroundings, Violet continued toward the echo. It hadn't always been like this; she hadn't always been so careful. But she was learning . . . trying to think past the overpowering need to find the dead and be aware for her own safety. But it wasn't easy. Especially now, when the echo was so stron
The Maze of Bones
When their beloved aunt--matriarch of the world's most powerful family--dies, orphaned siblings Amy and Dan Cahill compete with less honorable Cahill descendants in a race around the world to find cryptic clues to a mysterious fortune.Book includes game cards which the reader may use to play an online version of the treasure hunt. CHAPTER 1 Five minutes before she died, Grace Cahill changed her will. Her lawyer brought out the alternate version, which had been her most guarded secret for seven years. Whether or not she would actually be crazy enough to use it, William McIntyre had never been certain. "Madam," he asked, "are you sure?" Grace gazed out the window, across the sunlit meadows other estate. Her cat, Saladin, snuggled beside her as he had throughout her illness, but his presence was not enough to comfort her today. She was about to set in motion events that might cause the end of civilization. "Yes, William." Her every breath was painful. "I'm sure." William broke the seal on the brown leather folder. He was a tall craggy man. His nose was pointed like a sundial so it always cast a shadow over one side of his face. He had been Grace's adviser, her closest confidant, for half her life. They'd shared many secrets over the years, but none as perilous as this. He held the document for her to review. A fit of coughing wracked her body. Saladin meowed with concern. Once the coughing passed, William helped her take the pen. She scrawled her weak signature across the paper. "They're so young," William lamented. "If only their parents -- " "But their parents didn't," Grace said bitterly. "And now the children must be old enough. They are our only chance." "If they don't succeed -- " "Then five hundred years of work have been for nothing," Grace said. "Everything collapses. The family, the world -- all of it." William nodded grimly. He took the folder from her hands. Grace sat back, stroking Saladin's silver fur. The scene outside the window made her sad. It was too gorgeous a day to die. She wanted to have one last picnic with the children. She wanted to be young and strong and travel the world again. But her eyesight was failing. Her lungs labored. She clutched her jade necklace -- a good-luck talisman she'd found in China years ago. It had seen her through many close calls with death, many lucky misses. But the talisman couldn't help her anymore. She'd worked hard to prepare for this day. Still, there was so much she'd left undone ... so much she had never told the children. "It will have to be enough," she whispered. And with that, Grace Cahill closed her eyes for the last time. When he was sure Grace had passed away, William McIntyre went to the window and closed the curtains. William preferred darkness. It seemed more proper for the business at hand. The door opened behind him. Grace's cat hissed and disappeared under the bed. William didn't look back. He was staring at Grace Cahill's signature on her new will, which had just become the mo
For centuries, the werewolves of Toronto have managed to live in peace and tranquility, hidden quietly away on their London, Ontario farm. But now, someone has learned their secret—and is systematically massacring this ancient race.The only one they can turn to is Henry Fitzroy, Toronto-based vampire and writer of bodice rippers. Forced to hide from the light of day, Henry can’t hunt the killer alone, so he turns to Vicki Nelson for help. As they race against time to stop the murderer, they begin to fear that their combined talents may not be enough to prevent him from completing his deadly plan.
Desires of the Dead
The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found. Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally, she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger. Prologue Violet leaned forward on her hands and knees over the frozen landscape. Inside her boots, her toes felt as if icy shards were burrowing beneath her skin and slithering into her veins. Her fingers were very likely frostbitten within her gloves. The flashlight's beam slashed through the veil of blackness that had settled over the wintry forest, creating a spotlight where Violet had been trying to uncover the ground beneath the soft layer of snow. In her drugged state, she couldn't be certain that she wasn't hallucinating as she stared at the man who towered over her. His weathered skin seemed to glow with an unnatural life of its own. It was both strange and beautiful. But her thoughts were thick, and she struggled for each one, dredging them up from the swampy depths of her confused mind. He spoke to her, unaware that her brain filtered his words, jumbling them and making them something less than coherent. She tried to concentrate as the tranquilizing sensation bled through her, deadening her senses. But she was cognizant enough to be afraid - terrified, even - of this man. She could understand enough of what he was saying to recognize that he was disturbed. And dangerous. He'd followed her. In the middle of the night. And even through the haze that distorted her awareness, she realized that he must have known why she was there. That he somehow knew she had found the body. She glanced down at his hand, at what he held there, and her tangled thoughts immediately cleared. She watched while he gripped the handle of the shotgun tightly in his fingers, and then he looked at her. "I'm really sorry that you found her," he explained sadly. "I didn't want anyone else to die."
Black Rose (In the Garden 2)
Black Rose (In the Garden 2) Read Free *************** PROLOGUE Memphis, Tennessee December 1892 SHE DRESSED CAREFULLY, attending to the details of her appearance as she hadn't done for months. Her personal maid had run off weeks before, and she had neither the wit nor the will to hire another. So she spent an hour with the curling rods herself - as she had in the years before she'd been kept so lavishly - meticulously coiling and arranging her freshly rinsed hair. It had lost its bright gold luster over the long, bleary autumn, but she knew what lotions and potions would bring back its shine, what pots of paint to select to put false color in her cheeks, on her lips. She knew all the tricks of the trade. How else could she have caught the eye of a man like Reginald Harper? How else had she seduced him into making her his mistress? She would use them again, all of them, Amelia thought, to seduce him once more, and to urge him to do everything that must be done. He hadn't come, in all this time, in all these months, he hadn't come to her. So she'd been forced to send notes to his businesses, begging him to come, only to be ignored. Ignored after all she had done, all she had been, all she had lost. What choice had she had but to send more notes, and to his home? To the grand Harper House where his pale wife reigned. Where a mistress could never walk. Hadn't she given him all he could ask, all he could want? She'd traded her body for the comfort of this house, the convenience of servants, for the baubles, like the pearl drops she fixed on her ears now. Small prices to pay for a man of his stature and wealth, and such had been the limits of her ambitions once. A man only, and what he could give her. But he'd given her more than either of them had bargained for. The loss of it was more than she could bear. Why had he not come to comfort her? To grieve with her? Had she complained, ever? Had she ever turned him from her bed? Or mentioned even once the other women he kept? She had given him her youth, and her beauty. And, it seemed, her health. And he would desert her now? Turn away from hernow ? They said the baby had been dead at birth. Stillborn, they said. A stillborn girl child that had perished inside her. But . . . but . . . Hadn't she felt it move? Felt it kick, and grow vital under her heart? In her heart. This child she hadn't wanted who had become her world. Her life. The son she grew inside her. The son, the son, she thought now as her fingers plucked at the buttons of her gown, as her painted lips formed the words over and over. She'd heard him cry. Yes, yes, she was sure of it. Sometimes she heard him cry still, in the night, crying for her to come and soothe him. But when she went to the nursery, looked in the crib, it was empty. Like her womb was empty. They said she was mad. Oh, she heard what servants she had left whispering, she saw the way they looked at her. But she wasn't mad. Wasn't mad, wasn't mad, she told herself as she paced
Her mother named her Esperanza Salvación - Hope for Salvation. But when a girl works as an escort for Colombian cartel in the ghettos of Spanish Harlem, there wasn’t much hope, or salvation.Hope’s telepathic ability keeps her a step ahead of ruin, but her unusual gift attracts the attention of a psychotic vampire bitch. Trapped in a Manhattan penthouse with the psycho, she thought she was dead meat.Her survival lies in the hands of Vampire Master Enrique. He seems to respect her, perhaps even care. As a measure of protection, he makes her his personal Bloodslave. Helplessly addicted to his bite, Enrique rules her every moment. As always, Hope must adapt to survive.Swept into the decadent nightlife of Manhattan's elite, she falls in love with Enrique and prays someday he may grow to love her, too. But is it simply a relationship of convenience? Is she nothing more than a concubine desperate to satisfy his nightly demands for blood and sex?And forever in the background is the fear that one day the cartel boss she abandoned will hunt her down to collect on old debts. Chapter 1 May The night I became a bloodslave started out like any other. I awoke to Conchita shaking my shoulder and yelling, "Levántate!" Get up. Not once or twice, but over and over again – right in my ear. She ripped open the curtains, blinding me in brilliant sunset. I yelled back. "English! How many times do I have to tell you? We're in America! Speak English." My bat-cave sanctuary of darkness ruined, I officially awoke for the evening. Conchita, my bubbly, obnoxious and neurotic roommate, got by on five hours of sleep a day. Not me, I gotta get my eight to ten. Don't wanna see what I'm like if I don't. Conchita had been living in the Towers in Spanish Harlem since her arrival in New York five years ago. She spoke English like she stepped off the plane from Colombia yesterday. The wonderfully shitty Towers a.k.a. the ghetto – New York's pathetic excuse for subsidized housing. Like most residents here, I hate the place. I really hate the place. Conchita chattered on, oblivious to the fact I wanted to sleep. "Levántate! Tiene que ser bonita! Alístate por tu pareja. Ella viene ahorita!" Yes, I had to get ready. Yes, my date would be here soon, but soon is a relative term. I looked at the clock. "It's only seven. She won't be here till ten. I could've slept at least two more hours." Most of my dates are late anyways. Few people are respectfully punctual when meeting a Colombian prostitute. Ooops – escort. Prostitute is not the politically correct terminology, and it also happens to be illegal. Escort is much more PC, and fits nicely into the grey zone of New York state law. That's me, a twenty-two year old Colombian escort. My mother must have suspected what my life would be like. That's the only reason I can think of why she named me Esperanza de Salvador. Hope for Salvation. There's been little hope of that since the beginning of my illustrio