Friday, December 21, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway ~ All The Kings Men Series by Donya Lynne

“Rise of the Fallen”, Book 1

BUY NOW: Amazon / B&N / Smashwords

In the streets of Chicago exists an uneasy, centuries-old truce between vampires and their distant cousins, a race of shifters called drecks. Vampire enforcement agency, All the King’s Men (AKM), is charged with maintaining the truce, but when volatile enforcer Micah Black loses his mate and falls into the biological agony that results from the broken bond, he tests the boundaries of the truce by seeking out Apostle, a leader in the dreck community. Micah wants Apostle to kill him, a request Apostle is more than happy to fulfill. 

When ex-Army medic Samantha Garrett inadvertently disrupts the plot and saves Micah’s life, a chain reaction sets Micah’s heart on a collision course with Sam’s, but he will have to protect her from Apostle and her obsessive ex-husband, Steve, if they will have a chance at forever. Can Micah hold his emotions together to keep Sam alive?
"Heart of the Warrior", Book 2

BUY NOW: Amazon / B&N / Smashwords
Severin was born to be a warrior. Conceived as a mixed-blood when his vampire father raped his dreck mother over two centuries ago, Severin retained the power of iron skin inherent to newborn drecks. However, Sev keeps this secret closely guarded. If it's discovered that inferior dreck blood flows in his vampire veins, it could destroy his life. And to make matters worse, his father suddenly wants to make amends for his transgressions. Sev wants nothing of his father's apology, especially now, as he contends with both an assassin who has marked Sev for blood vengeance and his obsessive attraction to his teammate, Arion.

Arion is the son of King Bain's liaison, Gregos Savakis, who had Ari's course plotted before he was even born. But what Ari's overbearing parents wanted for him wasn't what Arion wanted for himself, and a lifetime spent fighting through one relationship after another with females from all walks of life has left him weary in his search for a mate. After a startling and erotic encounter with Sev, Ari has begun to realize why. He's gay. And now he can't stop thinking about Sev. Arion suddenly realizes he's been forcing himself to be with females because that's what his parents expected. But what he wants is a male, and not just any male. Arion wants Severin. 

Can the two overcome the secrets, prejudice, plotting, and the threat on Severin's life to find happily ever after with each other?
“Michah’s Calling”
Novella Supplement to ALL THE KINGS MEN

BUY NOW: Amazon | B&N
  Author’s Note: This is a novella supplement to the All the King’s Men series. It is highly advised that you read Rise of the Fallen before reading this novella. Reading book two of the series, Heart of the Warrior, would also be beneficial, but not absolutely necessary before reading Micah’s Calling.

With the threat of Apostle behind him and Samantha’s life finally out of danger, Micah’s mating phase, known as the calling, unfurls to full strength. Unable to resist the demands of his body and the hormonal heat that drive him to propagate the vampire race, Micah loses himself in the pleasure Sam gives him, yearning for her body to receive his seed to create new life. But after what Sam has been through – barely surviving Apostle’s venomous bite, and then Micah’s own venom to counter Apostle’s and make her immortal – Micah knows Sam’s body has suffered too much to accept a child so soon.

But the desire to nest and start a family isn’t the only thing Samantha has awakened in Micah. She has also stirred Micah’s long-dormant love of domination. With Sam, Micah finds himself longing to re-open his dungeon, and Sam wants to know more about this kinky world she has heard so much about but never tried. When Micah takes Sam to a scene party to introduce her to the BDSM lifestyle, their lives are turned upside-down when Micah is asked to assist in dominating a fellow dom's submissive, only to discover the submissive is his friend, Traceon.

Throughout her journey in this new world Micah has introduced her to, Sam begins to realize several hard truths about herself and what she wants. Will Micah allow her to explore her new interests? And will the new direction in his friendship with Traceon prove to be too much and break the bonds that have begun to tie them to one another? 

Micah’s Calling is a story of devotion beyond the level of friendship that will light your imagination on fire.

"Rebel Obsession", Book 4

Former cobalt addict and AKM drug counselor, Io is a male vampire known as much for his abrasive personality as for his playboy lifestyle. Life on the edge suits him, and he lives full throttle, making his own rules, damn the consequences. What he wants, he takes, and what he wants now is Miriam. If only he can find a way to see her again without getting himself killed, but her father stands in the way.

Miriam is the daughter of the king. Strong-willed and defiant, she feels like a prisoner in her own home and struggles to break free from under her father’s oppressive hold. The king’s law surrounding Miriam is explicitly clear: No one touches her. Period.It's a sentence that's left Miriam to suffer from loneliness and resentment.

In a fit of rebellion, Miriam has turned to cobalt to find relief and freedom, but now she’s a prisoner to addiction as much as to her father’s strict control. What's more, she can’t get sexy Io, who gently tended to her at the AKM facility as she recovered from her first overdose, off her mind. Will she ever see him again?

When Miriam overdoses a second time, she and Io are thrust back together, and all bets are off. Seeing each other was the one thing both wanted, and not even the king’s laws and threats of punishment will be enough to defuse their rebellious obsession with one another now that they’ve found each other again, even if the consequences are death.

********* GUEST POST **********

Rebel Obsession, Io's story, was a labor to write. Io and Miriam were so riddled with shame over what they had become, that neither wanted to talk, so I had to pull the story from them bit-by-bit, a little at a time. But the end product was worth the struggle. I've come to thoroughly enjoy the writing of this book, as hard fought as it was in the beginning, because when the characters finally opened up, they opened up big.

Why were they ashamed, you might be asking? Well, if you've read the previous books in the series, particularly Heart of the Warrior, you'll see that Io was a bit of a bastard. He is notorious for being a womanizer and a bashing homophobe, and when his best friend, Arion, ended up coming out about his homosexuality in Heart of the Warrior, Io was floored. That storyline continues in Rebel Obsession, and we get to see how Io deals with the loss of his friend and watch him face the hard truth about himself: He's a dick. I do love when characters go through hard self-realization like this. It's fun to write.

As far as Miriam is concerned, she is ashamed that she fell victim so easily to the drecks' drug, cobalt. She regrets taking that first hit, but now she doesn't know how to stop. Priding herself on being smarter and stronger than that, she obviously beat herself up pretty badly throughout the entire writing of this story. There were days I felt like I was merely pulling her along in my mind. The epiphany came when it hit me: SHE'S ASHAMED! And she was confused,too, because she didn’t know who she was. After I realized that, it was easier to work with her, because I finally knew how to approach her to get her to spill her story…and I simply rode the idea that she was in the midst of an identity crisis, which helped immensely.

But Rebel Obsession isn't all about Io and Miriam. It became clear early on that this story was a transition piece for the series, and it has a giant cast of characters, connecting the earlier books of the series to the ones still to come. In other words, if you miss this book, you will miss key components that link the early books with the ones coming after it. My editor says this is her favorite book of the series so far, and it's definitely the biggest, coming in at 112,000 words, my upper limit for book size.

A few favorite characters see their storylines continue to develop in Rebel Obsession. Trace is obviously one of those characters. Everyone wants to know more about Trace. Well, you'll definitely learn more about him in Rebel Obsession, and I think you'll like what you learn. We also see Malek, who until now has been whitewashed, calm, and logical, take a turn for the worse. There's a complicated reason for that, which we started to see in Heart of the Warrior, but you'll have to wait until the next book, Return of the Assassin, due out in late 2013, to get his full story.

In fact, I'm drafting Malek's piece now, and I'm in love with him. Whereas Rebel Obsession comes off as a more romantic, transitory piece, Malek's story is taking shape to be deep, dark, and full of action and devious plotting, rife with conflict and adversity. So, stay tuned for more on his story.

We also see the introduction of several new characters in Rebel Obsession, both bad and good. Some will be pivotal to other developing storylines, while others will simply simmer along through the series.

If you haven't read the other books in the series, yet, and want to get caught up before tackling Rebel Obsession on January 2, you can find them on Amazon with the below links. The books are also available at Barnes & Noble, All Romance ebooks, andSmashwords.

Rise of the Fallen - Book 1

Heart of the Warrior - Book 2

Micah's Calling - Novella Supplement

If you want to keep up to date with what's going on at AKM or with any of my other work, and also see occasional snippets of my current works in progress, you can follow me on Facebook: AuthorDonya Lynne or on my blog:

Thank you for having me on the blog today! Enjoy my boys…and their girls (or their boys, as the case may be).

Happy Reading and Writing,


 ********* GIVEAWAY *********

Donya is generously offering up winners choice of an eBook from the AKM series. All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter below to be entered 

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Super Book Blast and Giveaway ~ The Christmas Dare by Joan Chandler

Self-professed Christmas addict Gia Dixon, and by-the-book Ethan Castle have been best friends all their lives. When tragedy strikes Ethan’s family, Gia’s the rock he depends on to pull him through the darkest days. Then, a shared, long-forgotten memory leads to an unexpected yet tender kiss.  Can a simple Christmas dare help them find true love?

********* EXCERPT *********

Funny how times had changed, Gia thought to herself. How was it possible to have gone all these years and not have thought of him romantically? Yet now all she wanted to do was steal a minute alone to kiss him again. Or more.

She saw headlights coming down the road and opened the door, preparing to walk out to meet him.

“No, ma’am,” she heard Ethan call out. He was already getting out of his Jeep and motioned for her to turn around and go back inside.

She was unsure what to make of it, but did as he asked. Then she heard the doorbell ring.  Slowly she opened the door, and saw his smiling face. She backed up a step to allow him to walk inside.

“We may be taking things slow, but I’m still going to do it the right way. When I ask you out on a date, I’ll park and come to your door. If this were seven years ago and you were living at home, your dad would have kicked my ass if he ever caught me letting you just walk out to the curb to get in my car.”

Gia could easily recall the many times her father had complained about that when other boys had done it to her.

“How right you are. My mistake.” She laughed. “From now on I’ll expect to be courted properly according to the Henry Dixon Dating Manual.”

“Besides, stealing a quick moment alone behind closed doors gives me the opportunity to do this.” He pulled her into his embrace to softly kiss her.

When their lips parted, she commented, “I don’t think Daddy had that in mind when he made up that particular rule. But you score extra points for showing initiative.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Joan Chandler is a Florida native who has lived in the Deep South all of her life. She is married with two children who are her pride and joy. She lives a double life of sorts, holding down a nine-to-five job during the day, and writing steamy romance at night—often with her black cat curled up in her arms as she types.

When she’s not spending her spare time working on her next novel, she loves to go camping, sharing girls’ night out with her friends, walking her two dogs, and watching football.

Book Links:

********** GIVEAWAY *********
 Joan will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card, winner's choice, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $10 gift card to Bath & Body Works to a randomly drawn host.
The more times you comment the better the chances you will can follow the tour ~ HERE

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Character Interview and Giveaway with Lorraine Heath


Lady Meredith in sotto voce: Dear Visitor, I wish I could claim to be happy to be here today, but the thought of being anywhere near Lord Chetwyn causes my heart to flutter, my hands to grow damp, and my throat to tighten with unshed tears. I gave him my heart, you see, and he cast it aside like so much rubbish. He proposed to another, Lady Anne. And she left him at the altar. Now Chetwyn is more commonly referred to as “that unfortunate fellow, Lord Chetwyn.” I wish to have nothing further to do with him but in the spirit of the holidays, I shall persevere in order to give you the opportunity to know this dastardly fellow who is prone to breaking lady’s hearts.

Clears throat.

Lady Meredith speaking succinctly: Good day, Lord Chetwyn. I trust you’re well.

Lord Chetwyn: Good day to you, Lady Meredith. As well as can be expected when I have much for which to make amends.

LM: Yes, well, do be so kind as to share with us your favorite part of the holidays.

LC: Attending various balls where I can observe you dancing.

LM: You will gain nothing with false flattery.

LC: I speak only the truth.

LM: I notice you do not ask me to dance.

LC: Would you dance with me if I asked?

LM: I will admit that you are quite adept at the waltz, but I require more in a partner.

LC: You deserve more in a partner.

LM, blushing profusely as his eyes smolder with innuendo:You loved Lady Anne—

LC: I did not.

LM: But you asked her to marry you.

LC: Guilt prompted my actions. Do you love Lord Litton?

LM: I shan’t discuss him.

LC: But you are betrothed to him.

LM: As I am the interviewer, I ask the questions.

LC: Very well. Ask me anything.

LM: Why did Lady Anne leave you at the altar?

LC: Because she loves Lord Tristan. And she didn’t exactly leave me at the altar. I stood as his best man.

LM: It was unconventional. Why ever did you stand by as you did? It made you look a fool.

LC: Better to look a fool than to be one. I wanted there to be no doubt that I approved of their union. And I do. I have seldom been witness to a love so grand. I daresay that I hope to find myself in such fortune some day. And I wish the same for you.

LM: Without question, I am well on my way to having it.

LC: Not if you marry Lord Litton.

LM: He cares for me immensely.

LC: He cares for your dowry more.

LM: Let me remind you that we are not here to discuss me, but to interview you. What is your favorite holiday dish?

LC: I would very much like to nibble on your bare shoulders.

LM, toes curling: Yes, well, that’s not going to happen. is it?

LC: Don’t be so sure. Christmas is a time for miracles and second chances.

LM: I don’t believe in second chances, or miracles for that matter.

LC: Then it seems I have my job cut out for me.

LM: Yes, well, I have no more questions. I wish you a happy holiday.

LC: I will see you at the Duke and Duchess of Keswick’s holiday ball. Perhaps I shall ask you to dance.

LM: As I said earlier, I shall say no.

LM in sotto voce: Dear visitor, I apologize for the short interview but the way he was watching me, studying me as though he harbors some dark secret, as though I am not safe from his advances. I fear he may have that dance after all. I must go now and see that my maid has packed everything for the journey to Keswick’s. I shall be there for three nights. Surely during that time nothing of significance can happen. And shortly, thereafter, I shall be married to Lord Litton. Although I fear I shall never forget the regret and yearning that I just saw in Chetwyn’s eyes. But my battered pride will not allow me to forgive him.

I hope you enjoyed the interviewWhat question would you like to ask Lord Chetwyn?

Thank you for joining me here today.

Happy Holidays!

For more information, visit Lorraine’s 
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Winners Announced

Since I have three winners I decided today I would do it slightly different with just one post with all the winners. That being said lets name the lucky winners of .......Sophie Barnes (swag) , J.L. McCoy, and J.D. Tyler .

Carol L.~ Won Sophie Barnes ~ Buttons and rack of cards..... I will need your snail mail to forward on

Amy E. ~ Won the Swag Pack J.L. McCoy........ I will need your snail mail. 

Julianne~ Won her pick from the Alpha Pack books on J.D. Tyler's Post..... I just need your choice of book and your snail mail. 

I will be emailing you guys shortly. If you see this before you get that email go ahead and send me one to Lindseyhutchison605 (at) gmail (dot) com
The next winners will be announced in my regular fashion. 
If you did not win this time around there is a lot more chances coming up. Stay tuned for the posts and thanks for being a part of the blog.   

Super Book Blast ~ Lust After Death by Daisy Harris

In the Pacific Northwest, where life hurries to keep pace with technology, a re-animated bride named Josie struggles to escape her creator and to find her identity in the half-erased circuitry of her mind and body.

Assassin Bane Connor just wants to get the girl to the Zombie Underground and receive his payoff-a mental reset that will erase his memories as well as his guilt. But an attack by a rival faction derails his rescue, and the wide-eyed female whose circuitry requires a husband tears at his hardened heart and ignites desire like he's never known.

********* EXCERPT *********

She peered down at her wet fingers, confusion etched on her angelic face, and then she gave her digit a tentative lick. Eyes wide with surprise, the girl fed her finger farther into the bow of her mouth.

Ho-ly shit! His body sprung to attention, his nerve endings strung taut as a bow.

Feeling like a peeping tom, Bane looked away from the window, assessing the pebbles below his crates and a nearby bank of leaves and weeds he could land on quietly. Then he gave a last glance through the window and noticed her hand caressing the water’s surface.

A fascinated smile played at her lips. Damn, she was beautiful, and not in some fake plastic surgery and programming way. She was fresh, shiny, new—like she held the keys to paradise.

Fuck, he was drunk. The crates wobbled underneath him and Bane let go of the windowsill with one hand, readying to jump. Really, he was leaving.

Her ivory hand slid up her hospital gown and tugged at the tie. The blue-striped, papery material sank from her shoulders to the floor, revealing a pale, slender body that seemed to shimmer under the bright bathroom lights.

Bane bit his bottom lip to stop from groaning out loud. His hips bucked forward of their own accord. The crates tilted to the side and he grabbed at the windowsill’s metal edging to right himself. His arms supported his weight and he trapped the top crate between his legs and pulled the pile back under his body, desperate for one more look. By the time he righted himself, the girl had turned her back on him to step into the tub.

If he’d thought the front of her was nice… Her back was long and delicate, her ass spectacular. Goose bumps rose on her skin and he could almost imagine the feel of them under his fingertips. The girl must have wondered about the water's temperature, because she bent forward at the hips to test it.

His right hand dropped to cup the bulge in his pants. He was a douche and a pervert. And he would jack off to this image for the rest of his undead life. Which, now that he thought about it, would only be a few more days.

Buy Links : Ellora's Cave  / Amazon / B&N  

Birkenstock-wearing glamour girl and mother of two by immaculate conception, Daisy Harris still isn't sure if she writes erotica. Her romances start out innocently enough. However, her characters behave like complete sluts. Much to Miss Harris's dismay the sex tends to get completely out of hand.

She writes about fantastical creatures and about young men getting their freak on, and she's never missed an episode of The Walking Dead.

********* GIVEAWAY ********* 

Daisy will be awarding a $20 gift certificate to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and a Walking Dead T-Shirt to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US & Canada Only). So when you comment make sure to leave an email address should you be the lucky winner

You can follow the rest of the tour ~ HERE 

Interview and Giveaway with Vivienne Lorret

Can you start off by telling us a bit about Tempting Mr. Weatherstone?

Ethan Weatherstone’s world revolves around order and routine. He doubts Penelope Rutledge possesses an ounce of sensibility. When she isn’t stirring cream into his marmalade, she’staunting him with her plans to travel to the continent,unchaperonedClearly, his duty is to save her from herself. However, somewhere along the way, he discovers that the greatest danger to Penelope might not be her harebrained scheme after all. Instead, it’s lurking within him. He wonders, not for the first time, what it would be like to abandon his rigid sense of control and give in to the temptation of her lips.

As an interviewer, I often wonder about what makes each writer tick. Can you share your inspiration for Tempting Mr. Weatherstone?

I intended to write a kidnapping-gone-wrong story. Penelope was the perfect character to make this happen. However, that all changed the moment I put Ethan on the page. The way he saw his world, changed my mind about the story. I love surprises like that.

Does the hero usually inspire the story?

Not all the time. However, how the hero reacts to the heroine, and vice versa, is the driving force behind each story. Even though Penelope was the first character that popped into my head for this story, Ethan’s controlled demeanor dictated how the story unfolded. He’s such a control freak. 

What is something about Ethan that never made it into the book?

Ethan wasn’t always a control freak. When he was young, he was just as mischievous as any boy. Unfortunately, that all changed when his father died tragically, stumbling off a cliff. Ethan believes that if he hadn’t been too ill for their usual walk through the woods, then his father never would have taken that path by the sea. Holding onto that blame, he spends his life focusing on order and routine to ensure that nothing bad will happen again.  
In your opinion, what makes a hero or heroine?

I could list off dozens of characteristics, but for me it boils down to flaws. I love a character with quirks, a past he/she can’t escape, a healthy dose of self-loathing—even if they aren’t aware of it.  Most often, their internal struggles make me love them.

Do you have any hobbies that inspire your writing?

Everything inspires me. When I bake, the scent of bread or scones inspires a breakfast scene. The sound of the wind howling through the unseen cracks in my centenarian house inspires a barren hearth and chattering teeth. When I take a walk through the park, I usually have my camera with me. I’m always looking for new ways to see the world, and find myself wondering what my characters might think, too. I also find a great deal of inspiration in a steaming cup of tea, and even more at the bottom of it.  

Author Bio:

Vivienne Lorret loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two teenage sons (not necessarily in that order...but there are days). When she isn’t writing, you might find her in line at Starbucks, eager to refuel with a Chai latte and randomly handing out crocheted cup-cozies with a way-too-much-caffeine smile on her face.

For more on her upcoming novels, visit her at , find her on facebook at , or join her on Twitter @VivLorret

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Promo Post ~ She Can.... Series by Melinda Leigh


Series: She Can…, Book 1
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication date: November 28, 2011 Purchase Links: Amazon / B&N

One bad decision turned a single mom into a fugitive.

Ten months ago, Elizabeth Baker uncovered a dangerous secret about her politician husband—a secret that nearly got her killed. Now she and her children are running for their lives. When Beth is hired as the caretaker of a remote Pennsylvania estate, she dares to hope she has found a corner of the world where Congressman Richard Baker can’t find them. But when her new boss dies suddenly and his nephew inherits the estate, Beth is faced with outwitting a former homicide detective who is very smart, very suspicious—and very attractive.

Forced into retirement by an injury and grieving the loss of his uncle, Jack O’Malley is unprepared to share his new home with a strange woman and her two kids. He is even less prepared for the instantaneous attraction he feels whenever Beth enters the room. She is beautiful, intelligent, kind…and obviously terrified of someone or something. As Jack’s investigation uncovers the shocking details of Beth’s past, the rural community is shaken by the murder of a local woman Driven by instinct and desire, Jack is determined to keep Beth and her children safe, even if doing so means putting his heart—and his life —on the line.


Series: She Can…, Book 2
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication date: December 4, 2012 Purchase Links: Amazon / B&N
 A horse trainer’s homecoming turns deadly when a vicious stalker, a cold murder case, and a hot police chief threaten to expose family secrets that a killer wants to keep buried.

After a terrible accident ends her riding career, horse trainer Rachel Parker returns to her hometown to a hostile welcome. Her efforts to rebuild the family farm are hampered by her sister’s domestic crisis and a violent vandal who threatens Rachel’s new business and her life. She is also blindsided by the undeniable and unwanted attraction she feels for hot police chief handling her case. Someone is systematically trying to destroy her. Someone who knows private things about her. Someone who’s been watching her…

As his investigation uncovers the turbulent past Rachel keeps carefully hidden, Police Chief Mike O’Connell finds himself with too many suspects and too many feelings for his fiercely independent victim. His desire for Rachel is a conflict of interest that jeopardizes everything he stands for. Long buried family secrets, a skeleton, and a corrupt local official with a grudge against Mike complicate the case, but the escalating violence against Rachel convinces him he doesn’t have much time. Whoever is watching Rachel wants her dead. Mike and Rachel race to untangle a web of deceit and lies that stretches twenty-five years into the past—before her stalker strikes again.

********** EXCERPT *********
  SHE CAN TELL by Melinda Leigh 
Twenty-five years ago

He liked to watch.

To see the secret, private things people did when they thought they were alone.

  From the moonshadow of an evergreen, he stared across the weedy backyard at the dilapidated rancher. Harry was inside. The Watcher’s breath steamed out into the crisp winterair. Twenty yards of crabgrass was all that separated him from retribution.
Harry had to die.
It was the only way to make things right.
Impulsive responses, while satisfying, were rarely successful in the long term. Discipline was the key. He’dburied his rage and weighed all the options. Harry’s life against his actions. His future against the impact of what he’d done. Ultimately, it was what Harry intended to do that made the difference.
Don’t worry. Just come with me. I’ll take care of you. I promise.
An hour of standing on the frozen ground, waiting for the house to go quiet and dark, had left the Watcher’s toes with a numb ache. Fiery tingles shot through the balls of his feet as he crept toward a dark window cracked an inch for ventilation. The ground was too frozen for his boots to leave prints, but the crunch of dead grass echoed in the otherwise silent night. He crouched under the window, then peered over the sill. No sound. No light. No movement. He raised the sash and climbed through into the living room. Lacquer fumes and sawdust stung his nostrils. Heat rattled from a baseboard register as the aged furnace tried to raise the temperature above meat locker.
The Watcher had never been in Harry’s house, though the carpenter had invited him over a few times to watch hockey games. They were both Flyers fans. They had other things in common, too, but they wouldn’t be friends. Not ever. Not after what the Watcher had seen—and what he’d heard—the other night.
Don’t worry. Just come with me. I’ll take care of you. I promise.
Betrayal sliced into him like the drop point of his knife through a deer’s belly.
Silver moonlight gleamed through bare windows. In the far corner, a drop cloth shrouded a battered recliner. The gutted house had a hollow, unfinished feel that matched the empty space in the middle of his chest.
The house was in mid-renovation. Harry planned to flip it in the spring. The oak floor in the living room had been sanded down to raw wood, but the kitchen was still old and ugly. On the worn vinyl tiles, a four-by-eight sheet of plywood spanned two sawhorses as a makeshift table. The Watcher scanned the assortment of woodworking supplies. Flammable liquids. Newspapers. Rags. Check.
It was a small house with a simple floor plan. Living room, kitchen, and dining area grouped at one end. A short hall led to the single bath and three tiny bedrooms. The door to the master was ajar. He touched it with one finger, and it swung open a few more inches. Single guys don’t think much about things like curtains. Enough moonlight filtered through the blinds to see Harry sprawled on his back under a thick comforter, one arm thrown over his head, snoring. His posture was childlike. Innocent.
The guy was anything but. Anger, hot and sour, rose into the back of the Watcher’s throat. He swallowed, backed away,and clenched his freezing knuckles until they screamed. The pain focused him. He drew a chilling, chemical-laden breath into his nose and exhaled slowly. In the kitchen, he stretched a hand to the ceiling and disconnected the 9-volt in the smoke alarm. He moved to the sawhorse table. Paint thinner would do the job.
“What’re you doing?”
He whirled. Harry shivered bare-chested in the doorway, hands tucked under crossed arms, face wrinkled with sleepy confusion. The prelude to a middle-aged paunch hung over his low-riding sweats. Now what? Harry was awake. The plan was fucked.
The Watcher bowed his head to hide his eyes. They burned with frustration. Couldn’t let Harry see. The Watcher needed to say something. Something to throw Harry off. Something that would make him comfortable with a middle-of-the-night intruder.
“I need some help, Harry.” The plea choked him on its way out. His fingers crawled past the matches in his pocket to his hunting knife. He palmed the weapon alongside the back of his thigh, out of Harry’s line of sight, and opened the blade one-handed. “I’m sorry for scaring you.”
The Watcher knew he should wait it out. Come back another time with another plan. His arm even contracted to return the knife to his pocket.
“It’s OK. You’re always welcome here.” Harry was a sap. He stepped closer, rested a cold hand on the Watcher’s shoulder, and gave it a compassionate squeeze. “Let me get a sweatshirt. Then we can talk.”
The sympathetic touch and gentle words short-circuited something in the Watcher’s brain. Harry’s voice played in his head again.
Don’t worry. Just come with me. I’ll take care of you. I promise.
The Watcher’s vision went red. He lunged at the carpenter. The knifepoint pierced Harry’s belly. Blood seeped around the hilt and ran hot over frozen-stiff fingers. He yanked upward, as if gutting a deer, splitting Harry open from navel to breastbone with a moist rip. The Watcher wriggled the knife loose and stepped back. The frigid air filled with the metallic, raw scents of blood and freshly slaughtered game. Harry’s eyes bugged. His hands clutched his belly as if to keep his insides…well, inside.
“Why?” Blood gurgled from his open lips as his body went limp, sliding to the floor as if the bones had melted.
At the Watcher’s feet, dark liquid spread in a thick puddle on the raw wood. He stepped back before it reached his shoes.Sweat dripped down his back, and his heart knocked around his chest like a pinball.
Harry was supposed to die in the fire. There’s no way anyone would think this was an accident. Now what? The house was a mile outside town. No other buildings in sight. How long would the place burn before the fire department arrived? Would the fire destroy the body? Too many unanswered questions.
Harry’s limbs twitched and went still. His torso deflated; gray eyes glassed over.
The Watcher whipped the canvas drop cloth from the recliner and spread it out on the floor. At five-foot-nine, Harry was smaller than the big buck the Watcher had bagged last autumn, but dead limbs flopped and tangled as he rolled everything in the cloth, deli-wrap style. He dragged the body to the back door. After covering the kitchen floor with lacquer, newspapers, and rags, he tossed a lit match into the center. Fire sprinted across the hardwood with a whoosh. He flipped up his hood and hauled the bundle out. Using the three-foot elevation of the back stoop, he squatted and heaved the body onto his shoulders. He wasn’t small, but he staggered under the dead weight. Brittle-cold air and smoke clogged his lungs as he stumbled for the detached garage behind the house.
Discipline was the key. Lesson learned. He wouldn’t forget it again.
But at that moment, all he could think about was how to make Harry disappear.
Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker. A life-long lover of books, she started writing when her youngest child entered first grade as a way to preserve her sanity. in 2007, she joined Romance Writers of America, learned a few things about writing a book, and decided the process was way more fun than analyzing financial statements. It was time to get serious about making her hobby a career. She began submitting her work in 2008. In 2009 she signed with an agent, who sold Melinda’s debut romantic suspense novel, SHE CAN RUN, in 2010 to Montlake Romance.

SHE CAN RUN released in November 2011 and became the #1 Bestseller in Kindle Romantic Suspense. SHE CAN RUN has been nominated for a 2012 Thriller Award for Best First Novel.

Melinda is also an avid martial artist. She holds a 2nd degree black belt in Kenpo Karate, studies Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and teaches women’s self-defense. She lives in a messy house in the suburbs with her husband, two teenagers, a couple of dogs and one neurotic cat with an inexplicable fear of ceiling fans. With such a pleasant life, she has no explanation for the sometimes dark and disturbing nature of her imagination

To find out more about Melinda and her books you can connect with her online:

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

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Melinda is giving away one copy of She Can Tell, either kindle or print (winner's choice) to one winner. This is a US/Canada Giveaway just fill out the rafflecopter below to be entered 
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