Thursday, November 28, 2013

Eve's Thieves by Mac Rome



A group of women have been the victims of some unusual thefts. They have had, not items, but aspects of their physical being, such as their heights, builds and youth stolen via dark magic. To stop the thieves and restore themselves, they band together to defeat the loose confederation known as Eve's Thieves. To do it, they must battle an ancient evil, deal with betrayal … and face the darkness within themselves. But they soon find that little is as it seems. Can they trust anyone -- even each other? Who is the leader of the group known as Eve’s Thieves? What will it take to stop her … and will any of them survive to do it?



Excerpt:

Nevaeh was checking online for jobs, now that she was again able to enter the work force, when her phone rang. She pulled it out of her pocket and looked at the number, something she’d gotten in the habit of doing lately. There was one frequent caller whose calls she no longer was taking. But she didn’t recognize this number, and there was no caller ID display, so she answered. “Hello.”

“Hello, Nevaeh? This is Linda Younger,” said the familiar voice from the phone.

“For someone named Linda Younger, you sure sound like Wynda Dancer,” Nevaeh replied flatly. “How are you, Wynda?”

“OK, I guess. And you?”

“Fine.” There was an awkward pause before Wynda said, “Peri tells me you’re not answering her calls or texts — or anyone else's from the team, for that matter.”

“What team?” Nevaeh said. “There is no team. There’s only Peri and whatever version of her plan is left now. And apparently that plan involves keeping secrets within the ‘team.’”

“I know,” said Wynda. “But lives depend on it, including yours.”

“And Lilka’s?”

“And Lilka’s,” Wynda said, swallowing hard.

“Well, I don’t know how much she wants her life saved right now,” Nevaeh said. “I don’t know if she’s going to make it as it is.”

Wynda’s heart sank. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “How is she?”

“What do you care? You’re dead, remember?”

“Nevaeh!” Wynda shouted. “What’s wrong with Lilka?”

There was a second’s pause before Nevaeh said, “You sent her some flowers just before you ‘died?’”
“Yes,” Wynda said. “I needed to tell her, ‘I love you,’ and to try to encourage her to stay with it. I tried to tell her what was going on without telling her what was going on.”

“Well, from what Maryska has texted me — she’s the one person in the ‘group’ whose texts I’ve been reading, by the way — Lilka is in deep grief, and her mind seems to have gone a bit over the edge. She does nothing but sit in the apartment with the lights out and the curtains shut, listening to 3 Doors Down and Chicago —”

“But she hates those bands,” said Wynda. “Those are my fa— Oh.”

“Yeah,” Nevaeh said. “She spends all day listening to your music. She’s taken to wearing only black, and only outfits that have a pocket over the left breast so she can keep your note over her heart. She even pins it to her nightie so she has it there overnight.”

“But she sleeps in the buff,” Wynda said.

“Not anymore,” Nevaeh said. “Not if it means being separated from the last she has of you. The only other thing she does is call Peri a couple of times a day, asking when the next mission will be. It seems to be the only thing she looks forward to.”

“Oh, God, I wish I could tell her,” Wynda said.

“Then why don’t you?” What’s the big secret? Why are you hiding this from people, and especially the woman you love? I mean, look, I don’t get this whole ‘gay’ thing, but from what I saw before, you two really loved each other.”

“Love each other,” Wynda corrected.

“Well, you’ve got a funny way of showing it,” Nevaeh said. “And, assuming we all survive this, how do you think Lilka’s going to feel when she finds out the truth? Will she forgive you that easily? Will your love be undamaged? Will it even survive at all? She’s wounded pretty deeply, in some of the worst grief I’ve ever seen. How will she react when she finds out the hell she’s being put through was all a lie?”

Quietly, Wynda asked, “Is anyone with her?”

“Maryska’s staying with her. I don’t think Lilka’d buy any food or pay the bills at this point if someone wasn’t staying there. Maryska’s sleeping on the sofa. Lilka goes to the bedroom at night and hugs your pillow — the one you used as a bed when you were shrunken — to smell your scent on it so she can go to sleep with a little bit of you.”

Wynda’s lip quivered as she asked, “Why aren’t you talking to anybody, Nevaeh?”

“I promised Peri I’d keep your secret,” Nevaeh said. “With the way I feel, the only way I can do that is to not make contact. And, until this stupidity is over, I want nothing to do with Peri. This plan is putting Lilka through hell, and I can’t believe you’re a willing part of it.”

“Look, we really need you for the next take-down,” Wynda said.

“Well, you’ll have to do it without me. I’m out of the team until you stop putting Lilka through this nightmare. Oh, and ‘Linda?’ I don’t want to talk to you again. When Wynda Dancer is available, I’ll talk with her. Until then, goodbye.” Nevaeh hung up without giving Wynda a chance to reply.

Wynda sighed. She looked over at Peri, who had listened in on Wynda’s side of the conversation. “Well, that could have gone better,” the former Olympian said to the detective.

“Can’t say I’m surprised.”

“Why are we doing this again?” Wynda asked.

“You already know,” Peri said. “Whoever the mole is, she’s feeding our battle plans to Eve’s Thieves, directly or indirectly. My source says it’s direct. We need a strategy they won’t see coming. They think you’re dead.”





About the Author:


Mac Rome is a lifelong resident of the Great Lakes region of the United States. He’s experienced life in the Appalachian foothills, along the Ohio river and in the flatlands of the former Great Black Swamp, and in large cities, small towns and rural areas. He’s a student of ancient lore and mythology and a lover of cultural exploration, history and dialects. He writes fantasy, science fiction and romance.


 Author Links:  Site     Blog        Facebook      Twitter 


Friday, November 22, 2013

Seal the Deal by JoAnne Kenrick

A 1Night Stand Story



Isle of myth and magic. Destined mates. One extraordinary date.

After being ditched at the altar, Finn Kneale isolates himself at Port St. Mary’s magnificent lighthouse. A violent storm ravishes the coastline, pitching the maritime tower into the Irish sea and transforming Finn into a seal. Carefree at first, he soon longs to walk as a man again. When leap year arrives, bathing land and sea in magic, Finn temporarily regains his human form. If he can’t find his soul mate in twenty-four hours, he’ll be back to cavorting among the waves.
Anne Ward—resident midwife and newcomer to Port St. Mary, Isle of Man—guards some wild secrets of her own while avoiding entanglements with married doctors. A believer in fate, she seeks out Madame Eve’s exclusive agency to help find her destined mate.

1Night Stand matches these two lonely souls. But will their extraordinary date allow Finn and Anne to open their hearts to magical possibilities and Seal the Deal?

Excerpt:

Finn Kneale slid from his watch-point rock a few miles out from the little tourist trap where he had lived for most of his life. Under the miraculous February 29th lunar eclipse, he delved into the depths of the Irish Sea. The orb hanging over the ocean like a dimmed lantern held his last chance to undo the spell shrouding him in misery. Water lapped, and he twisted, clapping flippers over the sea foam. Waves crashed over his mottled gray-and-black seal self. Excitement rushed through him and exited in a loud, brassy roar. Then he unleashed another and another, each increasing in volume for the benefit of his aquatic friends. The barked announcement told the world Finn hoped to meet his mate tonight.

He floated in the shallows, waiting, watching as the old, white lighthouse fluctuated in and out of existence. The sliver of moonlight cast a silvery glow over the once-in-ruins building sitting proud again, high on the cliff’s edge. Its beacon shone bright, yet the gray sky pitched gloom below. He had all of twenty-four hours to seal the deal—as long as the lighthouse stood—then the energy balance would return to normal along the rocky shores of the Isle of Man, the historical maritime building vanishing once again. At least, that was the story his father had relayed every morning for the last four years.

Shimmying his slippery body across the pebbled beach of Port St. Mary, he took cover between tall, bulky rocks for the transformation. Safely hidden, he squeezed his eyelids closed and tried to envision his human self. Too much time had passed; he wasn’t sure his memory was close to the mark.

Think, Finn, think.

Soft cotton towels against his whiskers, the warm touch of the sun on his shoulders as he worked the farm, tasty homemade soup tangy on his tongue. Soft flesh of a woman beneath him. Oh, to be admired for his manliness rather than his cutesy seal features and bubble-blowing talents. Fragmented recollections of the little things were all that had survived years of watching the shoreline.

Buy Links:   Decadent Publishing       Amazon       Barnes & Noble



About the Author:


JoAnne Kenrick is a multi-published author who writes both contemporaries and paranormals. Her Irish Kisses series earned her the title of a Bookstrand bestselling author, and contemporary romance bestselling author at ARe and Amazon.When JoAnne's not writing, she enjoys creating book adverts and crafting.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two kids, and two puddy cats. When they aren't demanding her attention she strums away on the keys of her little laptop, creating worlds and adventures she could only ever dream of. Come across the pond and faraway....with JoAnne Kenrick. Get exclusive sneak peeks at her new and upcoming releases by signing up to her quarterly newsletter here: 
http://tinyletter.com/joannekenrick


Author Links:  Facebook   Twitter    Pinterest   Website


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thunderstruck by Laura DeLuca






Taranis, the Celtic god of Thunder, has spent an eternity longing for the touch of a single mortal woman. He has followed her through incarnations, but always his powers were too much for her to bear.

Tara is a deaf woman, struggling to fit in the hearing world. She hides a gentle heart behind a tough exterior. Will she let down her defenses when a handsome mute tries to win her heart?

And even if she does, can Taranis’ love come without a death sentence?


Excerpt: 

Taranis watched Tara climb onto her moped. She ran her fingers through her short black hair before pulling on her helmet. Mortals would never have been able to see so clearly, but even from across the street he could make out every detail of the art that was etched across her muscular yet feminine arms. They were drenched in color from the corner of her shoulder to the tips of her elbows. On one arm he saw a frog and a crow alongside the Puerto Rican flag, which was the heritage she had chosen in this new life. There was even a flamenco dancer adorned in a pink and green gown, forever frozen in her graceful dance. The other arm displayed a garden of colorful flowers— roses and lilies in blue, black and orange. Taranis imagined the fragrance of those flowers would be more intoxicating than any within the earth because they were drenched in her natural scent. He also noticed that mixed in among the tattoos that spoke of her Latino heritage; there was also a Celtic tribal band wrapped around her left ankle. Taranis knew it was a sign that a part of her was still drawn to the life she had lived before—the life he had been a brief but traumatic part of.

Taranis pushed the negative memories away. This was a new era. A new world. One where anything was possible. There were times when the magic of technology seemed to dwarf the powers of the gods themselves. First sign language and then computers with their artificial voices had made it much easier for Taranis to blend in among the mortals. Taranis especially loved the women of the twenty-first century. They were so bold and fearless, unafraid of demanding equality from their male counterparts. Tara was a prime example of that feminist drive. It seemed in each life time, she grew even stronger and more durable. He admired her strength and perseverance, but he also saw the sad and lonely woman she hid beneath the tough and snarky fa├žade.


For two years he had watched her, yearned for her, but he was biding his time and building her trust. He had interacted with her in his human guise. Yet, he hadn’t given into the temptation to pursue anything more than a casual friendship, even though her smile insinuated she was open to more. He knew it was fear that restrained him. Each time he thought about romantic innuendos, he remembered Calista lying dead in his arms with blood dripping down her pale neck. Still, he hungered for Tara with a passion unlike anything he had ever known. He had waited centuries for her to return to him after his failure with Calista. He was sure that in this new world where their paths had finally crossed again, he would find a way to make her love him. He didn’t want to risk her life, but Taranis had a secret hope. He believed the very characteristic that she considered her greatest flaw would be the one thing that ensured their happiness in this life and all that followed.


Buy Links:   Amazon      Smashwords       Barnes & Noble        Goodreads


A few words from the author...


Short stories have never been my forte. Just like in real life, I am a little long-winded.  When my publisher announced they were doing an anthology called For the Love of the Gods, I didn’t really plan to participate. Then while I was standing in the shower, I was struck with inspiration. But I can’t take full credit for it and neither can my muse. Thunderstruck only exists because of my friend, editor, and fellow author, Tara Chevrestt. She is not only the person who my main character is based on. She’s also the beautiful model on the cover of the e-book!

It’s no surprise that Tara is an inspiration to many.  She is an amazing writer, a no-nonsense editor, and an active feminist. She has a spunk and fire few people can claim and she’s never afraid to tell things how they are.  Tara is also deaf, and while she’s faced a lot of discrimination because of her lack of hearing, she’s never let that stop her from getting what she wanted. More importantly, she doesn’t let it stop her from being happy with who she is, imperfections and all.  This was the image I wanted to convey when I wrote Thunderstruck. Tara’s colorful vocabulary and the fact that she can kick some serious butt are only a small part of the story. The most important lesson I wanted people to take away with them is that, like Tara, we should all embrace who we are, including the imperfections that make us unique.

Tara’s motto is “Strong is Sexy” and she proves those words every single day. My fictional Tara could never do justice to the real lady, especially not in only thirty-five pages, but it gives you a little piece of the fire that drives a strong woman forward.  Get to know Tara and you’ll have no trouble believing she could capture the love of a god. 


About the Author:


Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart.  In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the editor of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years.  Her current works include Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, Morrigan, Player, and Demon.


Author Links:  Website      Facebook      Twitter     Goodreads    


Giveaway: 

Laura is giving away an eCopy of Thunderstruck during her tour.

For a chance to win please fill out the Rafflecopter below.


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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Come Full Circle


Come Full Circle by Natalie-Nicole Bates



Fifteen years ago, Bethany Minor fled her hometown after being left at the alter by Dane Brennan. After the sudden death of her mother, she is forced to return home and face her past.

The years have been hell for Dane, and seeing Bethany again only reopens wounds he long thought closed.

When they realize the flames of their past love never died, Bethany and Dane will need to confess all before they can have a chance to reclaim their life that once should have been.

But when the truth of the past is finally revealed, will they still stand as a couple?



Excerpt:

     Dane felt strangely nervous about meeting Bethany. What could she possibly have that belonged to him? When he’d seen her earlier, at first she’d barely acknowledged  his presence.

     But when she hugged him so hard it almost took his breath away, all of the old feelings came welling back up inside him, along with the regret of losing her, and the promise of everything a life with her would have brought.

     The feelings of loss and sadness became so acute, that he could actually feel a pain in his chest. He’d made so many mistakes, and the gravity of those mistakes was still apparent.

     Finally, he caught sight of her walking slowly up the street toward him. She was dressed only in a  loose-fitting old  sweatshirt and jeans, totally inappropriate for the cold, rainy weather. At that moment, he wanted nothing more than to take her in his arms, and beg her for a second chance. That, he would not do. He still had some semblance of pride and reality.

     “Bethany, why did you walk here in the rain? I would have been happy to come to you,” he said, and dared to push a few errant strands of her dark hair away from her face.

     “I need fresh air. Being in my mother’s house with all of her things…it was closing in on me.”

     “I’m sorry. Would you like to get out of the rain? We could go somewhere and get a cup of coffee, and talk,” he  suggested hopefully.

     “I’m not really to being around a lot of people, Dane. The funeral will be hard enough.”

     “Would you like to come home with me for a while? At least you won’t be alone.” He made the offer, but from the look on her face, he already guessed her answer.

     “No. Thank you for offering, though.”

     Her refusal made it sound as though she’d said no to a business associate, not someone she’d once loved.

     After a few minutes of silence, she spoke again.

     “So anyway, here is what I came to give you.” She produced a small, familiar-looking box, from the front packet of her jeans.

     He licked his lips. “I hope that’s not what I think it is.”

     She lifted the lid, and as he feared, it was the engagement ring he’d given her, when he thought of her as his princess. The round diamond twinkled proudly under the harshness of the street lights.

     “I don’t want it back,” he stated firmly. He didn’t ever want to see it again. The ring was a harsh reminder of what might have been.

     “Well, I don’t want it either, Dane. It belongs to you. I thought my mother returned it to you after…after we broke up. It was wrong for her to keep it.”

     She was trying to push the box into his hand, but he refused to open his hand and stepped back from her.
     “Throw it into the garbage, Bethany.” He pointed to the public trash receptacle.

     “I can’t throw it away; it’s too expensive!” she exclaimed.

     “Then give it away, donate it, sell it! I don’t care!”

     When she shrank back, he realized his tone was  harsher than he’d intended. Immediately, he stepped forward and pulled her into his arms. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he repeated over and over again.

     He wasn’t sure exactly, how it happened, but his lips found their way to hers. He closed his eyes and basked in her familiarity, her taste, and his tongue gently parted her lips. As their kiss deepened, he became keenly aware of the contrast of the intense heat coming from her skin, and the icy coldness of her hand on his neck. In that one moment, he was ready to beg Bethany to escape with him forever.

     “Hey, Mr. Brennan.”

     The voice jolted him back to reality. A teenage boy  held the hand of a teenage girl as they passed by. They  looked vaguely familiar; most likely they were from the neighborhood.

     “Hey,” he answered back.

     “Hear that? If I’m Mr. Brennan, what does that make my father?” he whispered into Bethany’s ear.

     Without a word, she tilted her head back and connected her beautiful espresso brown eyes―the eyes he’d fallen in love with―to his, and held him captive.

     There was so much he wanted to say to her, but the words wouldn’t come. He touched a hand to her cheek, and found that her skin burned beneath his fingertips.

     He then spoke the obvious.

     “Bethany, you’re burning up with fever. You can’t be alone tonight. Come home, and let me take care of you,” he implored.

     She blinked a few times, and he held a tiny hope she would agree to leave with him, but she reached up and ran her fingers through his beard, and said, “You know I can’t do that.”

     “Well, at least, let’s go to the apartment upstairs at BFC. I lived there for a few years. It’s really nice.”
     Her eyes grew huge. “I never want to go to that apartment again!”

     Then she darted away from him, and hurried off in   the opposite direction.

     For a moment, he simply watched her leave, perplexed at her final words. Why was she so upset at the mention of the apartment? It wasn’t as though she ever stayed there. It was mostly for interns from the mortuary college, who were on-call during the night.

     He slowly crossed the street and walked to his car. Reaching his hand into the pocket of his jacket to get his keys, he  found the box with the engagement ring. A caustic laugh escaped his throat. While he was lost in their kiss, she’d found a way to return the ring.

  Buy Links:      Amazon     AmazonUK      Barnes & Noble



About the Author:


Natalie-Nicole Bates is a book reviewer and author.

Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian and Edwardian era photography and antique poison bottles. Natalie contributes her uncharacteristic love of hockey to being born in Russia.

She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.


 Author links:    Site      Facebook        Twitter 




Giveaway:
  
Natalie-Nicole Bates is giving away a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card to a lucky winner during her tour.

For a chance to win just fill out the Rafflecopter below.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ella Jades' Romance Book Tour



Crossfire of Love


Can an arranged marriage lead to love?

Recent college graduate Gabriella has finally married the man of her dreams, the older, charismatic attorney Lorenzo Martinez. She's had a crush on him for as long as she can remember and always imagined they'd one day find their happily ever after. Unfortunately, they enter into a union arranged by their fathers.

Lorenzo is charming, protective, and loyal to his crime lord father Carlo. When Carlo asks Lorenzo to marry Gabriella he jumps at the opportunity. He's been drawn to her for many years and knows by marrying her he's helping to protect her father.

Gabby is resentful and won't be Lorenzo's charity case. But sparks fly and the couple soon gives into their desire, realizing they were meant to be together.

What happens when Carlo's enemies threaten their future? Will someone get caught in the crossfire?

Content Warning: graphic sex, some violence

Buy Links:   Beachwalk Press       Amazon         Barnes & Noble         



Embracing the Unexpected



Sometimes love can be found where we least expect it.

When Parker Phillips, a successful attorney, has a confrontation with his friend Ava's abusive boyfriend, he finds himself facing assault and battery charges, and he's ordered to attend an anger management course. Parker, who has never been attracted to a man, is drawn to Dr. Jace Cross, the psychiatrist leading the class. But how can that be, since Parker is straight?

Jace accepted the fact that he was gay many years ago, and he's comfortable in his sexuality, but he's been single for some time now. He throws himself into his work to fill the lonely void.

Although sparks fly whenever they're together, Parker's reluctant to embrace these feelings he has for another man.

Can the sexy doctor help him discover who he truly is?

Content Warning: Strong language, graphic sex



Buy Links: Beachwalk Press     Amazon         Barnes & Noble    




Something More


An affair and a shocking secret threaten to tear apart a rich and powerful family.

Claudia Samson, housekeeper to the privileged Callahan family, finds herself alone and pregnant after a brief fling with Gavin, the youngest Callahan son. When she informed him of the pregnancy he accused her of running a scam and made it clear that she was on her own.

Brody Callahan, Gavin's older half-brother, has devoted his entire life to running the family business. He doesn't realize what he's been missing by throwing himself into his work until he finds Claudia asleep in the family guest bedroom. He has discovered his very own Sleeping Beauty. Intrigued by the young woman, he vows to get to know her better.

Although Claudia is instantly attracted to the charismatic businessman, she knows her secret will destroy any chance they have for a future together, but Brody's awfully hard to resist.

Meanwhile, as Gavin watches Brody and Claudia's relationship develop, he begins to devise a plan to use the secret to his advantage. He wants full partnership in the business—something he was denied by both his brother and their deceased father—and maybe now he can finally obtain it.

Can Brody and Claudia survive the storm, or will the secrets and blackmail destroy both them and their love?

Content Warning: graphic sex and some explicit language

Buy Links:   Beachwalk Press          Amazon         Barnes & Noble        


Watch the Trailer:  YouTube Link





Passion's Pain



One woman…two men. Who will she choose? The father or the son?


Lilli Daniels is down on her luck. She's been homeless, hungry and alone for far too long. Everything changes when she meets an intriguing, older stranger.

Successful attorney Jackson Avis maintains complete control of every aspect in his life. When he set eyes on Lilli he's captivated. He tempts her with a life of privilege and security, introducing her to a world she never knew existed. Complications arise when Jackson's son and aspiring doctor Cameron expresses interest in his father's girlfriend.

Lilli fights the attraction, but Cameron wants to give into his heart. He's the complete opposite of his manipulative father and stops at nothing to protect the woman he's falling in love with.

Sometimes life leads you down one path only to bring you to your true destiny. Can Lilli figure out who her heart belongs to?

Buy Links: Secret Cravings Publishing     Amazon       Barnes & Noble

Watch the Trailer:  YouTube Link  




About the Author:

Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can't be stopped. Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two young boys. When she's not chasing after her kids, she's busy writing, attending PTO meetings, kickboxing, and scrapbooking. She hopes you'll get lost in her words.



 Author Links:       Site     Facebook Author Page      Twitter





Giveaway:

Ella Jade is giving a lucky winner a choice of one of the above eBooks!

For a chance to win please fill out the Rafflecopter below.





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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

In Liam's Wake


In Liam’s Wake: The Makeshift Soldier (Toys & Soldiers Series) By Ashlyn Forge

For eight years, Liam has been trapped underground in The Colony—a sanctuary so determined to stay hidden it forbids anyone from leaving once they’ve entered. His only hope of returning home rests on his best friend Riley who, on the eve of their escape, slipped into a coma.

Despite staggering debt, vengeful mutants and bounty hunters, Liam continues a seemingly never-ending quest for a cure to end Riley’s unnatural five-year sleep. Every night, Liam stares at the listless man who not only holds his escape, but his heart. The suffering can end, however; Liam must only forsake all hope of ever returning home again, abandon Riley to his fate, and wholeheartedly serve as a soldier for The Colony—the very people he’s trying to escape.

Live the life within his reach, or continue chasing the one just beyond his grasp? He need only submit.

More details and sample downloads - http://www.ashlynforge.com/in-liams-wake/


Buy Links:
Amazon (ebook) - http://amzn.com/B00FPYT5V6/
Smashwords - http://bit.ly/Hq5Kyt
Goodreads - http://bit.ly/19mo9r9




In Liam’s Wake by Ashlyn Forge – Selected Quotes

In the large hall crowded with people in black, Liam stood out in gray. That’s how he felt: like a phony among genuine hopefuls. He was anxious to get this charade over with.

“I…I ain’t trying to kill myself.” Liam swallowed hard, his throat tightening. “If—if you’re here for that.”

“All gambling is a secret wish for destruction. Every day you step into the ring, knowing you might not get out. You take a risk.”

“Life is a struggle. It’s just as hard as, if not harder than, the blood sports you participate in. If you really want to tempt fate, you should try actually playing the cards you’ve been dealt for once.”

“He’s the worst one. He wants to get outta here so badly he’d roll anyone under the bus to do it. And he’s never the one who gets hurt—it’s just everybody else around him. And he tells me he’s not into guys, and I believed him, but that was a fucking lie too.” (Riley about Liam)

“Liam? Normal and rational aren’t two words I’d use for him, ever.”

“From the very beginning, you’ve been trying to undo something you can’t. It’s what you always do. It’s what you always did. You’d walk around with your head in the clouds, dreaming of something more than what you’ve got in your hands, when what you have is so fucking good already. This isn’t what I want for you. What I feel for you is so strong, but I can’t waste any more time, and you shouldn’t either. “ – Riley.

“Every read from [Liam] says he doesn’t want to hurt anyone; his emotions say it, his thoughts say it.”

“So why did you find yourself at knifepoint...? Because that’s the thing about people like him—they really believe that what they’re doing is good and right. They never set out to hurt anyone.”
“I think it must be luck. You should be in the grave ten times over. You live on the edge in hopes of one day falling off, yet you continue to thrive. Rather than faith, isn’t that just dumb luck?”

“Lissten Outssider, we imps love prey that’ss riddled with pain. And you are that. You are one who doesn’t ssttand sstill and wait for the reeaper to take your head. You beckon deatthh, you tauntt it to come. That tthinking is a ssicknesss, and it hass brought you to the doorsstep of an imp...”




Ashlyn Forge Bio
Ashlyn Forge spends most of her days self-editing, writing, and editing. Her love of storytelling, and the imagination in general, has put her in an on-and-off relationship with Writing for a number of years. She is particularly drawn to anything resulting in blurred lines between magic and science, as is evident in the surreal world of her Toys and Soldiers series. Her literary ambition in life is to see one, if not all, volumes of the Toys and Soldiers Series tucked neatly under everyone’s pillow. If it were not for the discordant jumble of ideas clamoring for attention in her head, she would also take up crocheting.

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