Welcome to my book blog

2019/03/19

HASHTAG HUNT by Kristina Seek

Title: HASHTAG HUNT 
By: Kristina Seek 

BLURB 
The only reason Lauren entered the Hashtag Hunt was for the $10,000 grand prize. She needed seed money for her startup, and it sounded easy enough: twelve hours to text twelve photos to someone called the Wizard. For hashtag number five, Lauren needs a #HottieInTheWild, and with the help of her best friend, Ivy, she finds the perfect subject. The only reason Brenner entered Barkley’s Pub was to have beers with Scott, an Army brother back in town. The reunion is interrupted when a woman is caught crouched in a dark corner, taking pictures of Brenner. Lauren explains, and though embarrassed, she accepts Scott and Brenner’s offer to help with hashtag number six.While hunting for hashtags, Lauren finds adventure and romance with her #Hottie, but she must stay focused to beat the clock and win the cash.
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My Review
This book come recommended from a family friend to check out as a read that I might like. From the first sentence I was hooked on this amazing new tell of a scavenger hunt by using a smartphone and using Hashtags. Lauren and her friend Ivy start out in a bar where Lauren has already sent in one of the HASHTAGS for the contest and she gets a text with her next requirement and when he walks into the bar she decides that he is the #HitW (Hottie in the Wild) and tries to get a picture of him without him find out. This is what leads to the start of a fun adventure with her friend Ivy and her two new friends. They have a great time going all over the city to get the needed HASHTAGS for Lauren to win the big prize of Ten Grand from the WIZARD who is running the contest. If you are looking for a new romance author with a lot of fun and some amazing surprises along the way this is so the story for you. If you like guys who were in the military then this is also for you. I can’t wait to see what Kristina Seek writes.

 About Author
 
Kristina Seek is the marketing and communications director for a residential design-build firm. Sometime near her fortieth birthday, she kicked around the idea of self-publishing a romance novel. With the support of her family and friends, Kristina completed her first book, The Hashtag Hunt, in 2018. Kristina enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and son and is currently writing her second contemporary romance novel.
Connect with Author
 

2019/03/14

Object of My Desire by R.L. Kenderson


Object of My Desire
R.L. Kenderson
Publication date: March 14th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

A romance author, a cover model, a book signing … a crush.
Ordinary women like me know we shouldn’t fall for beautiful men like Travis Zehler, one of the hottest cover models in romance fiction. But, sometimes, we can’t help ourselves.
When I meet him at a book signing, my attraction to him is instant. I’m infatuated, and I can’t stop thinking about him.
Even though I have doubts he’d ever be interested, I invite Travis to attend a book signing with me. And he says yes.
My fantasy comes true when he takes me to his bed, and the more time we spend together, the more I see that Travis isn’t some object to be desired.
He’s a man with a past. A man who’s been burned. A man who’s learned to keep his guard up.
I want to show him he can trust again, but when our confidence in each other is shaken, I begin to wonder if happily ever afters are only for my romance novels.
EXCERPT:
The combined noise of two phone alarms with completely different songs woke us up at six fifteen the next morning.
I quickly shut mine off, as did Harper.
“That was a horrible noise,” I commented from my bed.
“Yep, I’m up,” Harper said. “Although I’m wondering now why we stayed up late, watching movies.”
“I’m wondering whose idea it was to schedule a seven a.m. breakfast on a Saturday.”
Harper sat up. “No kidding. It’s my day to sleep in. What the hell, people?”
I pushed my covers off me and sat up as well. “We could always skip it?”
Harper’s eyes widened. “And miss free food?”
“You’re right. I don’t think they have coffee though. We’ll have to go and get one before.”
Harper stood. “I’d better get ready then.”
“Are you showering before you go?” I called out to her.
“No, I’m just going to get dressed and go. I’d rather shower after, so I can look pretty for the book signing.”
“Thank God. I didn’t want to shower either.”
I spent most days sitting in front of my computer or running errands. Most of the time, I didn’t even bother with makeup, doing my hair, or putting my contacts in. My outfit of choice was yoga pants.
So, when it came to book signings, I always liked to look a little more professional. But I really didn’t feel like doing all of that before seven in the morning if I didn’t have to. Besides, I didn’t have time.
I brushed my hair and my teeth and put my hair up in ponytail. I put on clean clothes, and, yes, I decided to go with yoga pants because I wanted to be comfortable.
“We’d better go. I don’t want to be one of the last ones there and have to sit with people we don’t know.”
“What’s wrong with that?” Harper asked.
She could make friends with a wall.
“Nothing, except that I hate imposing on people.” I grabbed my name tag and my key card.
“But you’re an author. People want to meet you.”
“I’m a non-famous author,” I reminded her.
Harper grabbed her things and looped her arm with mine. “Then, let’s go make them want to meet you.”
We went and got large lattes first before we headed to the area where we were supposed to meet for breakfast. There weren’t that many people around, but there also weren’t many tables.
“See, it’s a good thing we came early.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Harper said with a smile.
After the food was rolled out, we filled up our plates and brought them back to our table. I wasn’t a health food nut, but I did try to eat well most of the time to keep myself from gaining too much weight. But I was on vacation, and I was eating as much breakfast as I wanted.
“Oh my God,” Harper said with a moan. “These are the best muffins.”
“Crap. And I didn’t get one.”
She broke off a huge piece. “Here, try some.”
I opened my mouth, intending to take a bite, but she shoved the whole thing in my mouth. Both of us started laughing, and I had to turn my face toward the wall behind me. If I kept looking at Harper, I wouldn’t stop giggling, and I didn’t want the room to stare at my chipmunk cheeks.
A close female voice said, “Do you mind if we take your other two chairs?”
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Harper wave her arm at our empty chairs. “Go ahead. Those seats are free.”
“Thank you,” a male voice said.
I finally managed to chew half of the food in my mouth and swallow it. “You bitch,” I told Harper as I turned around.
She laughed again, and I probably would have, too, except I was stopped dead when I saw who was about to take the seat across from me.
It was Travis Zehler, and holy shit, but the few pictures I had seen on online did nothing to prepare me for him in real life.
He was tall with broad shoulders and a trim waist, and when he turned to point to something, talking to the woman beside him, I noticed he had a gorgeous ass, too. I wouldn’t have even needed to look up his picture to know this was him. He carried himself in such a way that there was no other word for it than modelesque.
Now, I remembered how I’d thought he wasn’t the cutest guy I’d ever seen. His hair was shorter than the few pictures I’d seen, and he had a trim beard. When he smiled at us, I knew I wanted to have his babies.
Why did I decide not to look pretty this morning again?
Harper kicked me under the table, and I realized I’d been staring. With my mouth open. With food in it.
Travis shook his head and laughed.
I was going to kill Harper later.
The woman to my right had on a purple name tag like me and was probably about my age. She had shoulder-length auburn hair and pretty brown eyes. “Hi, I’m Angela Devlin.”
I swallowed my food, composed myself, and smiled. “I’m Sydney Hart.” I’d seen her name around on social media, but I hadn’t read any of her books yet.
“I’m Harper, I’m Sydney’s assistant.”
“This is Travis,” Angela said, pointing to him. “He’s my assistant-slash-model.”
“So, when did you two get in?” Harper asked. “We saw your name tag still on the table last night,” she said to Travis.
He smiled, but Angela was the one who said, “We got here about midnight.”
Harper winced. “Ouch. And you both got up so early?”
“I slept almost the whole way here from Minneapolis, so I had plenty of rest. But I did just throw on some clothes this morning,” Angela said.
“Us, too,” I said with a laugh. “That’s where we’re both from.”
Although Travis looked great for someone who had driven for hours and gotten no more than six hours of sleep.
“Are you both from Minneapolis?” I asked. I thought I had read Travis was from somewhere farther away, but maybe I was wrong. I hadn’t given his bio my full attention the night I looked him up.
“I’m from Michigan,” Angela said. “I flew into Minneapolis and drove here with Travis.”
“But you’re from Minnesota?” I asked Travis.
“Yep. Born and raised.” He grinned, and not one, but two dimples appeared. Figures. “I grew up in a small town, moved to the Cities in high school,
and stayed.”

I couldn’t believe he was from the same place I lived. Despite just meeting him, he gave off this aura. I didn’t know how to explain it, and it was kind of like finding out a famous actor lived near me.
“That’s so cool that you decided to attend,” Harper said.
“Yeah, Ang convinced me,” he said, and I noticed the nickname he used for her. They must be close.
“How did you do that?” I asked Angela, half-joking, half-serious. “I think he’s the only model to attend this weekend.”
She laughed. “I did a lot of begging and pleading.”
Travis shook his head, but he was smiling.
“Truthfully, he’s just a really nice guy.”
Travis shook his head again, and mouthed, No, I’m not.
Harper and I both laughed.
Angela put her hand up to her mouth, so Travis couldn’t see what she was saying, but then she proceeded to speak loud enough for him to hear. “He’s also a big softy.”
“Shh … don’t tell anyone.” Travis shoved a forkful of food in his mouth and grinned.
I mentally sighed. God, he’s beautiful.
Harper leaned over to me and whispered, “Just a guy, huh?”


Author Bio:
R.L. Kenderson is two best friends writing under one name.
Renae has always loved reading, and in third grade, she wrote her first poem where she learned she might have a knack for this writing thing. Lara remembers sneaking her grandmother’s Harlequin novels when she was probably too young to be reading them, and since then, she knew she wanted to write her own.
When they met in college, they bonded over their love of reading and the TV show Charmed. What really spiced up their friendship was when Lara introduced Renae to romance novels. When they discovered their first vampire romance, they knew there would always be a special place in their hearts for paranormal romance. After being unable to find certain storylines and characteristics they wanted to read about in the hundreds of books they consumed, they decided to write their own.
One lives in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and the other in the Kansas City area where they’re a sonographer/stay-at-home mom/wife and pharmacist/mother by day, and together they’re a sexy author by night. They communicate through phone, email, and whole lot of messaging.

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2019/03/13

Master of Sin by Sienna Snow



Title: Master of Sin
Series: Gods of Vegas #1
Author: Sienna Snow
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotic Romance
Release Date: March 13, 2019



Blurb

From beloved contemporary romance author Sienna Snow comes a dark and delicious tale of indulgence and passion. Enter the world of the gorgeous gods of Las Vegas -- if you dare. 

It was always him.  

The one I shouldn't want, shouldn't crave, the one who could destroy my carefully built life.

Hagen Lykaios was the essence of sin, indulgence, and danger - everything I knew to avoid.

All it took was one unexpected touch, and he consumed me, left me begging, needy, and hungry for more.

He said if I entered his world he would corrupt me, own me, and change all that I had ever known...and you know what? I went anyway. 







Purchase Links

99c for a limited time!

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU





Excerpt

PENNY

The door locked behind us, and almost immediately I felt the atmosphere of the office we'd entered change. There was an undercurrent of arousal and need flowing, and it definitely wasn't one-sided.

I leaned my back against the door and studied the predator in the impeccable suit before me. What was it about him that made me want to throw caution out the window?

"So, what now?" I asked as he took my clutch from my hand and threw it on a nearby table.

"You tell me."

I pressed my palm to his chest, loving the heat that radiated through the material of his shirt.

"Tell me you feel this."

"Yes."

"My excuse is the adrenaline from the asshole earlier. What's yours?"

I licked my lips and watched his eyes dilate. "Do I need one?"

He stepped forward. "No, you don't." His mouth covered mine.

Dear God, he tasted amazing, whiskey and his own natural essence. His lips were soft, softer than I ever expected. His tongue found its way against mine, and the kiss grew deeper. He rolled and glided, making my mind cloud with a need suppressed for too long.

I found my head jerked back in a tight grip as our mouths continued to duel. We ate at each other as if we were starved.

My arms pulled him closer, wanting nothing more than to feel all of him against me. His hard length pressed into my stomach and my core flooded with desire.

I knew it would be like this if I ever got a chance to kiss him. He was all-consuming and demanding, everything I could ever want. Logic should tell me to stop, to take a step back and think about what going any further would mean. But all I could do was drown in the cascade of desire.

Hagen released my hair, and his hands slid up my thighs, pulling them apart and wrapping them around his waist. He rubbed his rock-hard cock along the seam of my pussy and against my aching clit.

"Hagen," I moaned, wanting more. "I need."

"I know what you need. I'm just not sure you can handle it." He licked down my throat and then nipped the juncture of my neck and shoulder.

I jerked, and my core clenched, arching into the pleasure-pain.

"More. Please. More." I couldn't believe I was begging. Now if only I knew what I begged for.

Hagen began to grind his cock back and forth against the sensitive nerves at the apex of my cleft, creating a rhythm that had every cell in my body screaming.

"Come for me, Starlight." His hand slid farther up my skirt and then his thumb began to stroke my clit.

I detonated, throwing my head back as stars flashed behind my eyes. My pussy spasmed and contracted. I lost all sense of place and time.

My arousal flooded through my core, soaking his thumb and bringing out a groan from his exploring mouth.

"I can't wait to taste your sweet cunt. One day you will come while I fuck you with my mouth."

His words spurred another contraction.

Holy fuck. Dirty talk got me off.

Slowly, I came down from the best orgasm of my life and realized I was now sitting on Hagen's lap. His erection was a brand under my bottom, and his breath was ragged. I looked into his blue depths that almost seemed black since his pupils ate up his eyes.

I tried to reach for his pants, but he stilled my movement.

"I won't take you. No matter how much I want to. Watching you come apart has to be enough."






Author Bio


Inspired by her years working in corporate America, Sienna loves to serve up stories woven around confident and successful women who know what they want and how to get it, both in - and out - of the bedroom.

Her heroines are fresh, well-educated, and often find love and romance through atypical circumstances.  Sienna treats her readers to enticing slices of hot romance infused with empowerment and indulgent satisfaction.

Sienna loves the life of travel and adventure.  She plans to visit even the farthest corners of the world and delight in experiencing the variety of cultures along the way. When she isn't writing or traveling, Sienna is working on her "happily ever after" with her husband and children.


Author Links




Fine Line by A.D. Justice



Title: Fine Line
Series: Crossing Lines #1
Author: A.D. Justice
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: March 10, 2019



Blurb

Lines are for crossing. Rules are for breaking.

I only wanted a cup of coffee. Alone.

It was a simple request, right? Just stroll into the coffee shop on the corner, grab my usual cup of liquid nitrogen, and walk back out.

All while minding my own business.

But I had to walk in at that exact moment. Not ten minutes earlier. Not ten minutes later. Precisely when Savannah Fields needed someone to help her. When no one except me had the courage to stand up for her.

After the incident, she looked at me like I was her hero.
But I’m no hero.
I don’t even know who or what I am anymore.
Who is Nick Tucker? A DEA agent? A criminal? Both? Neither?
The lines I crossed while undercover blurred my staunch sense of morality.

Then the auburn-haired beauty showed up at my apartment, begging for my help. I couldn’t turn her away.

The more I lost myself in her, the more I found myself again.
Or so I thought.
Even a broken clock gets to be right twice a day.
There's a fine line between right and wrong, love and hate, heaven and hell.
__________

CROSSING LINES is a spinoff series of the USA Today bestselling romantic suspense series, Steele Security. The books in this new series are stand-alone novels with interconnected characters, so there's no need to wait until the series is complete to start book one!







Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited








Trailer




Coming Soon

Please note: Pre-orders will be delivered on the release date for each book and will only be available to purchase for a couple of days after release. Each book will release LIVE exclusively on Amazon, available in Kindle Unlimited. If you do not read on Amazon, please pre-order NOW!!!



Releasing April 21, 2019

Only available at the following retailers until April 21





Releasing June 2, 2019

Only available at the following retailers until June 2








Author Bio

A.D. Justice is the USA Today best selling author of the Steele Security Series (Wicked Games, Wicked Ties, Wicked Nights, Wicked Intentions), the Crazy Series (Crazy Maybe, Crazy Baby), the Dominic Powers series (Her Dom, Her Dom’s Lesson), the Immortal Obsessions series (Immortal Envy, and Immortal Love is coming!), and several stand-alone romance novels.

When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her own alpha male character in their north Georgia mountain home. She is also an avid reader of romance novels, a master at procrastination, a chocolate sommelier, a twister of words, and speaks fluent sarcasm. An avid animal lover, A.D. Justice has two horses, two cats, and one very spoiled dog.

While the primary focus of her books have been romantic suspense, she has plans to expand into different sub-genres of romance. Stay tuned to read what she has in store for you!


Author Links

The Blonde Who Got Away by Emily J. Wright


The Blonde Who Got Away
Emily J. Wright
Publication date: March 13th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

Brandon
Brandon Bryce.
The name just doesn’t have a nice ring to it, but it’s a way of living.
His life motto—pleasing every woman with multiple orgasms and making them beg for more.
His only hobby—swinging on a sex swing with a voluptuous woman.
His favorite vacation—drinking ‘Sex on the beach’ in his Jacuzzi while a woman goes down on him hard.
All he wants is sex—anytime, any day, with no strings attached, and no commitment.
As for settling down, he doesn’t believe in marriage, nor has time for something as stupid as love. He has a business to run too, you know. How else could he afford the lifestyle he has worked so hard for?
It was not easy for him to make way from a modest suburb of Chicago to a penthouse in the upper east side of New York. He had to push people around. He dipped his toes into blackmailing. He broke the trust and hearts of hundreds.
Is he proud of his actions?
Yes, of course.
Will he do it again?
Fuck, yeah.
Is he afraid of the Karma?
Nah…He is a Chicago born and bred. He’ll make Karma his bitch before she could do the same.
Brandon 2.0
“Fuck you, Brandon.”
‘Love thy neighbor.’ That’s what Brandon thought the Bible say. But some women from the neighboring building threw shoes at him which made him believe otherwise. That’s not the welcome home present he was expecting.
Asshole.
Jerk.
Douche.
That’s some of the kind words he has been called on his first day back from the hospital.
It has been brought to his attention that he wasn’t the nicest person to be around. He broke ties with his parents because he found them too clingy. His friends are ungrateful bastards. And he has no one left to share his life with.
But good for him that he doesn’t remember any of it. He lost his memory in an accident that put him in a coma for two months.
Now, he is determined to get his life back on track. To make amends to those who he has wronged. But only if he could stop getting distracted by the beautiful blonde whom he fell in love with when he was in a coma.
He is hallucinating according to his doctor. His butler says she is a flicker of his imagination. But she is real to Brandon, and he will find her by any means possible.
While the debate still continues about her existence with no agreement in sight, they all, however, agree on calling her ‘the blonde who got away.’
EXCERPT:
I am infuriated. My office is a sex-charged, blonde-dominated, no work zone.
“Who is the blonde I hired before the accident?” I have seen enough of my jungle of office and come straight to the point for which I am here.
“Oh, that hot cake is . . .” Todd is taking his time, building up the anticipation, pointing everyone in the office from one corner to another with his index finger until he finally stops on a cubicle where a blonde is applying nail polish. “. . . right there.”
That’s no woman. She is a girl—probably 20 or 21. She has her feet up on the table, her heels are scratching the expensive monitor, and her legs . . . let’s just say she is leaving nothing to the imagination in her short skirt. I can even see her red panty because the elevation of her legs has caused her already short skirt to rise up.
“Is that her?” Todd asks.
No . . . ,” I say, feeling disgusted that how could he even think that she is ‘the blonde who got away.’ “She is barely of drinking age. rubbingDoes she even have a college degree?”
“She has a diploma—”
“Good. At least she has a diploma. The rest of them looks like high school dropouts with an experience of a failed modeling career under their belt.”
“You didn’t let me finish. She has a diploma in cosmetology.”
“The girl with a diploma in cosmetology is working for an insurance brokerage company? That’s interesting!” Jeremy says, caressing his chin with his index finger and thumb. “How did she even get a job here?”
“After careful scrutiny of her pussy and appropriate verification of her boobs, the 70% owner of this company cheery-picked this gorgeous young lady. Do you want to know who holds 70% controlling interest in this company?”
“No need to explain further. We get the idea.” I stop Todd from embarrassing me further.
“Mr. B . . .” ‘The girl with the diploma’ sees me. “Oh, my God, you are here,” she says with a shrilled voice and starts jumping in excitement. She surely spins every blonde head towards me. Now, they all have their eyes on me.
‘The girl with the diploma’ runs and jumps at me. She is petite, but her boobs are too big for her body and are currently pressed against my chest while she hangs down my neck.
“I missed you so much.” She kisses me on my face multiple times before I could take my next breath.
“Me too.” I bend a little so she can land on her feet—literally.
“When I heard you were in a car crash, I cried so much that my mascara ran everywhere. So, I went to the store to buy a waterproof one. But they were out of stock. I had to stop applying it for a week until it became available again.”
All right, I am going to say this. She is a dumb one. I was dying, and she was concerned about her mascara.
The rest of them have now started to flock around me. They are all talking at the same time, and I can’t make anything out of it. I feel like a cult leader right now, surrounded by his followers.
All right, their obsession with me can be for one of the two things. Either I am really running a cult and have hooked them on drugs, or I pay them much more than they deserve and they are glad that I am not dead. I’ll go with the latter.
“Shut up!” Someone yells, and the chatter stops.


Author Bio:
Emily J. Wright had her life planned out from the start. She graduated from high school, went to college, did her CPA and got a corporate job as an analyst. But one thing she didn’t plan for was finding clumps of hair in her shower drain. That’s when she realized that the numbers in her head can’t co-exist with the stories forming in her head. So, for the sake of her hair, and not appear sleeping with open eyes in every office meeting when her mind drifts away to think a plot twist to bring the protagonist together with the heroine, she puts fingers to the wireless keyboard and starts putting together the stories.
While the rest seems busy writing about the alpha males with abs that can be used as a grater, she writes about the wild, sassy heroines who can be only tamed by the grand, sweep of the floor romantic gesture of a man with abs that can be used as a grater. PS: She loves abs.
In the world where quiet is a luxury, she found her home in the peaceful suburbs of Dublin, Ohio, where she lived with Zeus, her Labrador, and her cat, Mimi, who makes Zeus miserable by day but sleeps with him in his bed at night.
Yes...she is still single by choice. She is waiting for someone with whom she can share the same chemistry that Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt had in ‘Mad About You.’ Damn it! That show has ruined her. Fingers crossed, this year she gets what she wanted.
And one more thing, for a millennial, her social media skills sucks, so she would appreciate if you stop by her pages to give her some tips.

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The Betrayer by Rebecca E. Neely


The Betrayer
Rebecca E. Neely
(Crossing Realms Series #3)
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication date: March 13th 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Book 3 in the Crossing Realms series ~ Sacrifice or salvation? A chosen psychic few may be both. As Keepers battle Betrayers to save the human race, all’s not fair in love and war.
With the Second Rebellion raging in the city, Curtis Geary, the Keepers’ tech guru, receives a Compulsion for Jordan, a Betrayer ousted by her brood and left for dead. His orders? Obtain information from her that can save his clan–before it’s too late. Plunged into a war zone, cut off from his clan, Curtis quickly discovers this woman is no ordinary Betrayer. Not only does his Vitality energy inexplicably save her life, she may be the missing link in the Keepers’ quest to restore Similitude–the Betrayers’ manufactured weapon deadly to Keepers.
Despised by her own brood, Jordan’s mysterious ability and a wicked set of street smarts have kept her alive–along with the havoc she’s been forced to wreak on humans as a means of creating dark energy. Against his better judgement, Curtis is helplessly drawn to this enigma of a woman, who defies the logic of his trusty computers.
Despite a lifetime of mistrust and her soldier’s survival instincts, Jordan can’t help falling for this at times awkward but genuine man who offers her what she’s always yearned for–love and an opportunity for a better life. But in a race against time and a brood master hell-bent on destruction, love and loyalty will come under fire–within the brood and the clan.
Can Jordan find the courage to embrace her future and find love? Or will she betray the clan and herself as the Keepers wage what may be their final battle to save the human race?
Are you a book reviewer?
Request review copies of this series here!


Author Bio:
Rebecca is a writer, storyteller, author and blogger. A sucker for a happy ending, Rebecca strives to write the kind of stories she loves to read—gritty, suspenseful and featuring authentic, edgy and vulnerable characters, smack dab in the middle of action that explodes from page one.
Careers, past and present, include freelance writing, accounting, mother, problem solver, doer and head bottle washer.
Rebecca is a member of Three Rivers Romance Writers (TRRW), a PAN member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), and is proud to serve as a judge for several writing contests each year. Connect with her at www.rebeccaneely.com

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Bad Luck Charlie by Scott Baron


Bad Luck Charlie
Scott Baron
(The Dragon Mage, #1)
Publication date: March 15th 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Charlie Gault had all the luck. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the good kind.
It was looking like Lady Luck had quite a grudge against him. In fact, at this point merely crashing the multi-billion-dollar ship he had helped design would have felt like winning the lottery compared to his current dilemma. If only he were so lucky.
Things had started off all right––that is, until a freak wormhole unexpectedly swallowed his ship, leaving him stranded on an unknown planet far, far from home. With the crew’s lives at stake, Charlie had no choice but to stop his whining, put on his big boy pants, and step up to save them all, and much to his surprise, it actually looked like he might succeed. Of course, that was when things really went sideways in ways that made merely crashing on an uncharted planet seem like a walk in the park.
Suddenly faced with alien space pirates, talking dragons, and something that seemed very much like magic, Charlie found himself adrift, feeling like a space age Robinson Crusoe––only his man Friday was a blue-skinned alien, and this wasn’t just a desert island. It was a whole new galaxy.
EXCERPT:
“Starboard heat shield seven is gone!” Charlie called out as calmly as he could over the din of their ship more or less tearing apart. He was going to carry out his duties like a professional if it was the last thing he’d do, and the way things were going, it was starting to look like it might be.
“Copy that.” Captain Reynard bellowed over the noise. “Gaspari, redirect the primary debris shield to cover as much of starboard seven as possible. Pull power from wherever you have to!”
Rika Gaspari, his second-in-command began frantically throwing switches, inverting the power flows, her hands a blur of activity as she carried out her orders. The ship’s rattling lessened, but did not cease.
“Still low on power, Captain. The atmosphere has some powerful radiologic properties that are wreaking havoc with our phase shielding. I don’t know if it’s going to be enough.”
“Then pull power from life support.”
“Sir? Won’t we need that?” Charlie asked as he struggled to keep the engines from redlining into critical and blowing them all to hell.
“Not if we don’t survive atmospheric entry. First things first. Right now, getting down in one piece is the most important one,” the captain replied.
Rika did as she was ordered. A moment later the crew felt the ever-present breeze of recirculating air that moved about them cease. It was something they were so familiar with that they didn’t even notice its presence until it was abruptly gone.
“Done, Captain,” Gaspari announced, her close-cropped hair sticking to her damp forehead. “Twenty seconds until we clear the exosphere.”
“Copy that. Jamal, are you suited up?” the captain asked over internal comms.
“Affirmative, Captain,” he replied. “Prepped and standing by with backup fire suppression.”
The chief of security and emergency services had geared up the moment things began to sway out of parameters, which was just before they were unceremoniously sucked through a massive wormhole and spat out Lord knew where. His foresight was a good thing. It was looking like things were about to get a whole lot worse.
The ship bucked and tossed, its hull glowing bright orange as the edges of the strange world’s atmosphere pummeled it with brutal intensity. It was a rough ride in command. Captain Reynard knew the rest of his crew were being subjected to a vicious beating in their compartments. He just hoped they had strapped in. They launched with twenty-four living crew aboard, and he planned to keep it that way.
The command module’s power flickered and dimmed.
“Losing primary power,” Gaspari said.
“I see it,” Charlie replied, already in motion, rushing from his seat to the door to the adjacent engineering compartment just off the bridge.
His team in main engineering down below would keep the reactors powered up. It was his job to keep that power flowing to the controls during flight.
Smoke greeted him as he manually opened the door with the backup access crank tucked into the wall panel.
“We got a fire?” Reynard asked, sniffing the air.
“Negative, Captain. Just some blown circuits and overloaded wires,” Charlie replied as he stuck his head in and surveyed the damage.
The room was small, just row upon row of circuit racks and relays. A harness chair sat in front of a work bench, never before used. Of course, for the maiden flight of the ship, why would it have been.
“The damage looks relatively minimal,” Charlie informed them. “Give me a couple of minutes and I’ll have it sorted.”
“We don’t have a couple of minutes.”
“I’m on it. Let me know when the main control power surges normalize and level out.”
Without another word, he slid through the narrow gap he’d opened in the door and set to work. The blown circuits were the easiest to repair, and luckily the most vital as well. The smoldering wires nearby––while important––were not crucial to staying aloft.
“Powering off navs and switching your panels to emergency reserve. Nobody touch anything until I say so. We’re already maxing the load,” he yelled out through the door.
Melted circuits went flying, his nimble fingers quickly replacing them with the backups stored in neatly-arranged cases mounted to the wall nearby. A mere thirty seconds after he began, he called out to the others once more.
“Okay, we’re good. It’s powered back up. Test the system.”
Captain Reynard feathered the controls. The ship responded as well as could be expected given the circumstances.
“Controls are functional. Gaspari, how are secondary navs and telemetry?”
“We’re limping, but it should be enough,” she replied.
“Okay, we’re good. Get out of there, Charlie.”
“Just a sec, Captain. I need to swap a few wires and reroute some of this charge so we don’t fry everything if there’s another power surge. It’ll just take me a minute.”
“Can it wait?”
“It can, but it shouldn’t.”
“All right, then. But be quick. We may have to make a much more abrupt landing than would be ideal.”
“Believe me, the last place I want to be is stuck in here,” he replied, setting to work.
He had just replaced the first of the failing wires when the ship bucked and slammed him into the wall, the emergency protocols sealing the re-powered door shut with him inside. He frantically clawed for the crank handle, but the turbulence was too much. Miraculously, he was thrown backwards––right into the harness chair. The back of the chair, that is.
Gotta get strapped in, he realized with a desperate grunt as his body switched from weightless to crushing Gs as the ship lurched and dove.
Charlie slammed into the ceiling with a rude crunch, held weightless a moment, hovering just out of reach of anything from which to push off, then was thrown to the floor, pinned by the G-force.

The pressure relented for a moment, allowing him to breathe. Charlie ignored the pain racking his body and dragged himself into the harness chair and strapped in snugly, and not a moment too soon, as the ship flipped upside down, then dove in a tight spiral.
Stuck in the memory foam chair, Charlie cried out, then fell silent as the pressure of the mounting G-force drove the blood from his head, rendering him unconscious.
He wouldn’t remember the crash. But he would never forget the aftermath, nor the folly that had led up to it.




Author Bio:
A native Californian, Scott Baron was born in Hollywood, which he claims may be the reason for his off-kilter sense of humor. Before taking up residence in Venice Beach, he spent a few years studying abroad before settling into the film and television industry, where he has worked off and on for some time. Scott not only writes, but is also involved in indie film and theater both in the U.S. and abroad.




 
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