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Feature: Dear Mr Pop Star by D & D Philpott

Feature: Dear Mr Pop Star by D & D Philpott

For more than a decade, Derek and Dave, have been writing to pop stars from the 1960s to the 90s to take issue with the lyrics of some of their best-known songs.

But then, to their great surprise, the pop stars started writing back…

Dear Mr Pop Star contains 100 of Derek and Dave’s greatest hits, including correspondence with Katrina and the Waves, Tears for Fears, Squeeze, The Housemartins, Spandau Ballet, Devo, Deep Purple, Nik Kershaw, T Pau, Human League, Eurythmics, Wang Chung, EMF, Mott the Hoople, Heaven 17, Jesus Jones, Johnny Hates Jazz, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, Chesney Hawkes and many, many more.

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For more than a decade, this duo has been writing to pop stars from the 1960s to the 90s to take issue with the lyrics of some of their best-known songs. But then, to their great surprise, the pop stars started writing back..

Embark on a fun-filled, laugh-out-loud journey along with Derek and Dave as they reach out to these pop artists and the unforgettable responses they receive. Derek and Dave have a wonderful and quirky sense of humor that will make it impossible for you to put this book down. This book is a departure from my normal reads and I’m so glad to have given it a chance.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Preorder Blast: Luke’s Touch by Lisa Renee Jones

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Preorder Blast: Luke’s Touch by Lisa Renee Jones

To celebrate the upcoming release of LUKE’S TOUCH, Lisa Renee Jones is hosting a huge giveaway! Register your pre-order below and you’ll be entered to win an Apple 10.2″ iPad OR a $200 Amazon gift card (winner’s choice)! As an added bonus, EVERYONE will receive a FREE DELETED SCENE FROM LUKE’S TOUCH!





His mother called him Lucas. His brothers in the military and Walker Security call him Lucifer for his wild side.

She called him the man she loved, she called him Luke. But then he proved he really is worthy of his nickname. Or so she thought. Nothing is as it seemed back then.

A man with a past. The only woman he has ever loved. Someone wants her dead. That someone is about to find out that yes, he is Lucifer when you dare to threaten his woman. Even if she doesn’t call herself that now. He does. But all he ever really wanted to be was Luke—the man worthy of her love.


 Lucifer’s Sin (book one) – Available Now







Lucifer’s Touch (book two) – June 21, 2022






Luke’s Revenge (book three) – September 13, 2022







New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones writes dark, edgy fiction including the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series and the upcoming, crime thriller The Poet. Suzanne Todd (producer of Alice in Wonderland and Bad Mom’s) on the INSIDE OUT series: Lisa has created a beautiful, complicated, and sensual world that is filled with intrigue and suspense.

Prior to publishing Lisa owned a multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine. She lives in Colorado with her husband, a cat that talks too much, and a Golden Retriever who is afraid of trash bags.


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Promo: No Escape From War by Cynthia Eden

Promo: No Escape From War by Cynthia Eden

Title:  No Escape from War

Genre:  Contemporary Romance 


 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞. 𝐎𝐡, 𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐬𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐭.

Warren “War” Channing finally has the chance to nail his beautiful, lying ex. And, no, he doesn’t mean “nail” in the down and dirty sexual way…War means he has the opportunity to send the lovely and infuriating Rose Shadow to jail. Turned out, the woman who had shattered his heart beneath her high heeled shoes was wanted for murder. She was on the run, and he was just the man to hunt her down and toss her into the nearest cell…War could hardly wait.

𝐇𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝.

The breakup had been ugly. Painful. It had ripped out her heart and left her in a sad, crying heap as she ate her ice cream, but Rose had moved the hell on, and she had sworn to never, ever need War again. Except, well, now she did need him and his sneaky skills because Rose was in trouble up to her eyes. The kind of trouble that could wreck a woman’s life.

𝐇𝐞’𝐥𝐥 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐩𝐚𝐲.

Rose has cracked the story of a lifetime. She’s uncovered a brutal serial killer who has been hiding in the shadows—only now, she is his next target. The cops think she’s involved in the string of murders because maybe her DNA had been at a crime scene and maybe she’d been spotted by witnesses at another location, but Rose is a reporter—she’d been at the scenes because she was tracking down the real killer. Now, though, because War has caught her, Rose is out of time and options. War is former special ops. He’s the best PI in town. And he’s the man who gave her more pleasure than should be legal…Too bad that he’s also the man who hates her the most.

𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐲-𝐞𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬…𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐣𝐚𝐢𝐥.

They make a grudging deal—she’ll pay him anything he wants if he just gives her forty-eight hours before he turns her over to the cops. During that forty-eight hours, he will help her track the real killer. When the clock runs down, she’ll be out of his life for good. Except…a whole lot can change for two people in forty-eight hours. Hate can turn into desire. Need can rage out of control. And a love that you thought was long dead? It just might flash to life again.

Provided, of course, that the murderer hunting Rose doesn’t manage to kill her before she and War can catch him. Forty-eight hours. The countdown starts now…

𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫’𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐞: The “Trouble For Hire” romance series features hot, former military heroes…and these guys truly are the best kind of trouble. All of the books are stand-alones with guaranteed happy endings. Danger, romance, action, suspense, humor…oh, it’s definitely time to find some trouble…

Buy Links:  

 Apple Books | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play | Amazon Paperback | Barnes & Noble Paperback | Amazon Hardcover

Author Bio:  

 Cynthia Eden is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Cynthia writes sexy tales of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance. Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over one hundred novels and novellas.

Cynthia is a “hybrid” author. She has published extensively with New York (her New York publishers include Avon, Kensington, Grand Central, and Harlequin), and she has also enjoyed success in her indie writing career.

Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast. She loves romance novels, horror movies, and chocolate.  Her favorite hobbies include hiking in the mountains (searching for waterfalls) and spelunking.

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Release Day Promo: Emily’s House by Amy Belding Brown

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Release Day Promo: Emily’s House by Amy Belding Brown

From USA Today bestselling author of Flight of the Sparrow Amy Belding Brown comes an evocative new novel about Emily Dickinson’s longtime maid, Margaret Maher, whose bond with–and ultimate betrayal of–the poet ensured Dickinson’s work would live on.

Massachusetts, 1869. Margaret Maher has never been one to settle down. At twenty-seven, she’s never met a man who has tempted her enough to relinquish her independence to a matrimonial fate, and she hasn’t stayed in one place for long since her family fled the potato famine a decade ago.

When Maggie accepts a temporary position at the illustrious Dickinson family home in Amherst, it’s only to save up enough for a ticket west to join her brothers in California. Maggie never imagines she will form a life-altering friendship with the eccentric, brilliant Miss Emily or that she’ll stay at the Homestead for the next thirty years.

In this richly drawn novel, Amy Belding Brown explores what it is to be an outsider looking in, and she sheds light on one of Dickinson’s closest confidantes–perhaps the person who knew the mysterious poet best–whose quiet act changed history and continues to influence literature to this very day.

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A Conversation with Amy Belding Brown, Author of Emily’s House

What inspired you to write EMILY’S HOUSE?

For decades, I’ve been fascinated by the life and works of Emily Dickinson, drawn to her jewel-like poems and eccentric reclusiveness. My aunt, a great admirer of Dickinson’s work, was a poet and storyteller who first brought Emily alive in my imagination when I was young. It was she who told me I share an ancestor with Emily on my father’s side. A graduate of Amherst College and native son of nearby Northampton, my father took our family to visit Amherst many times. Though it wasn’t open to the public in those days, I was always intrigued by the mysterious brick house behind the fence on Main Street. When I began researching a novel based on Dickinson’s life, I thought Emily would be the leading character. Then I read Maid as Muse by Aífe Murray and encountered the story of the remarkable Margaret Maher. As soon as I learned that she had refused to burn Dickinson’s poems, I knew I’d found my protagonist — an energetic, ambitious, and insightful Irish immigrant. A woman Emily described as wild and warm and mighty and one I wanted readers to meet.

How did you approach the research for this book?

I began by reading all the material I could get my hands on about Emily Dickinson and 19th century Amherst. I soon discovered there are dozens of different takes on Dickinson. Though she’s one of the world’s literary greats, she’s still veiled in mystery to this day, so it’s difficult, if not impossible, to know the true Emily. But for my novel, I had to make some decisions about who she really was and, most importantly, view her through the eyes of my protagonist. So my research into the Irish immigrant experience in 19th century Massachusetts was vital. I looked into the particulars of Margaret Maher’s life, studying the syntax of Hiberno-English speech, what her childhood in County Tipperary must have been like, and the experience of Irish immigrants in Massachusetts in the mid-1800’s. I researched what it took to skillfully manage a household in the 19th century. I visited Amherst and the Emily Dickinson Homestead and sought out the location of Kelley Square where Margaret’s family lived, using old maps, charts and town records to immerse myself in the Amherst of Margaret’s time. Once I start writing, I continue to research, guided by questions that arise as I go along. So my research is both driven by and informing the story as I go.

Was there anything you learned about Dickinson’s work that you didn’t know before writing this novel?

I was surprised at how difficult I found much of Dickinson’s poetry. Like many, when I was young I read some of her relatively accessible “nature poems,” and later I studied some of her more famous ones, guided by Dickinson scholars. But when writing the novel I read hundreds I’d never encountered before. I was dazzled by her word choices, but frequently confused about her meaning and intention. I found that I could only read a very few at a time, that they need to be taken in small doses if I’m going to absorb them.

Without giving anything away, what do you hope readers will take away from reading EMILY’S HOUSE?

While I’m writing my novels I actually don’t think much about what I want readers to get out of them. I’m focused on discovery — finding the universal truths embedded in the history and I kind of expect readers will do the same. I came away from writing EMILY’S HOUSE with a new appreciation for challenges of the immigrant experience and the hardships and exploitation frequently suffered by domestic workers. It’s all too easy to overlook the profound influence servants have had on the lives of their employers — and on our nation’s history. The Irish immigrant, Margaret Maher, recognized Emily Dickinson’s literary genius and it’s thanks to her we have access to the work of America’s greatest poet. The world of literature would be much poorer without her courage and insight. Yet in most accounts, Mabel Loomis Todd gets credit for sharing Dickinson’s poetry with the world. I believe that, once Margaret saved them from the fire, the poems would have been discovered and published sooner or later, with or without Mrs. Todd. And it leaves me wondering how many other immigrants and servants over the years have taken similarly pivotal actions that have been credited to others.

About the Author

Amy Belding Brown is the author of historical novels, including the USA Today bestselling Flight of the Sparrow, and Mr. Emerson’s Wife. A New England history enthusiast, Amy was infused at an early age with the region’s outlook and values. A graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, she received her MFA from Vermont College and now lives in rural Vermont with her husband, a UCC minister and spiritual director.

Promo: Tools of a Thief: A Series of Decisions on Karias by D. Hale Rambo

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Promo: Tools of a Thief: A Series of Decisions on Karias by D. Hale Rambo

Charming gnome embarks on engaging adventure to change her path in spellbinding fantasy novella

“Tools of a Thief: A Series of Decisions on Kairas”

D. Hale Rambo | May 25, 2021 | Fiercewood Press

Paperback | 978-1-7361281-0-7 | $9.99

Ebook | 978-1-7361281-1-4  | $2.99


ALLEN, Texas – D. Hale Rambo combines personality and fantasy to create a carefully crafted, character-centric story about finding your true happiness. Tools of a Thief: A Series of Decisions on Kairas (May 25, 2021, Fiercewood Press) takes readers on an unforgettable adventure with characters they’ll love from the first page.

How do you stop being a thief? Zizy assumed quitting her job, stealing from her boss, and flitting magically across the continent was one way to give it a go. Getting in and out of sticky situations is typically Zizy’s specialty. A little spellwork here, a pinch of deception there, and she’s home free. Quick-fingered, fast-talking, and charming the gnome knows traveling across a shattered continent won’t be easy. Still, she has the skills to keep herself from getting killed.

Too bad she was followed on her one-way trip. Pressed into a mission she can’t say no to, Zizy feels desperate, out of place, and as lonely as before. But when she meets a charming book hoarder with bold curiosity, Zizy can’t help but want to bring her along on this one last job. She’ll just hide her past, her present, and complicating info about herself. What could go wrong?

Either she finishes the job and protects those she loves, or it all falls apart. Is this journey the final key to unlock a new path or just another sticky situation she has to run from? She’ll use every tool she’s got to get what she wants.

An Interview with D. Hale Rambo

  1. How did you come up with the idea for Tools of a Thief?

I started with the deities first. Beginning with them was not the easiest thing to have started with, but I love a good creation myth. Their personalities and desires shaped the world, the inhabitants, and conflicts. I drew on my inspiration from classic fantasy and Greek and Egyptian mythology.

I knew I wanted to do two things. I wanted to hang out at the beginning of this world with these deities as their powers grew and I wanted to hang out after everything went horribly wrong for them.  I outlined the first part, built the world, and set it aside to use as a campaign setting (for Dungeons and Dragons). Then I sketched what the world looked like after a massive upheaval. I asked myself who would be the most entertaining person to explore the “Oh shit” timeline of the world with. Anyone who asks that question and doesn’t pick a thief is really missing out.

Zizy and Laysa came to be because I wanted to explore the world and see what had happened to it after the “Oh shit” cataclysmic part. A gnome who has more wits than sense and really just wanted a break. A Brix (earthy creatures with a natural knack for agriculture) who just wanted to learn everything she could about the wonders of the world. They’re just both parts of me fleshed out as characters.

I wanted to explore what it was like to start something new mid-way through your life. When you’re on a path already, good or bad, and you really want to be doing something else. It mirrored where I was several years ago. I was over my perfectly lovely job in my perfectly fine life that was, in my mind, exactly where I should’ve been. And I hated it all. But I’ve always believed you can do anything, start anything new at any age. I have had some really great mentors in my life who have stoked that fire of thinking.

  1. How did you incorporate Zizy and Laysa’s budding relationship with the adventure elements of their journey?

I wanted to make sure the story I was telling wasn’t just a fun adventure travel story but also a story of new beginnings through and through. An origin story of these characters’ adventure together is also one of a romantic relationship that could become the brickwork to utter joy and happiness.

          Anytime Zizy had a doubt about herself or felt like running away, Laysa is there to support her or give her a reason to try. Laysa absolutely believes in Zizy and is clearly smitten with her, and it sort of breaks Zizy’s walls down how open she is about it. And Zizy has a lot of walls up. You would too if you hadn’t been able to really trust anyone for years and years.

          I kept Laysa open and loving and curious. If Zizy backs away, Laysa asks her questions and gives her room to answer in a safe space. They start to trust and depend on each other and it sorta changes the whole nature of what Zizy has to do to change her life. And those changes become a rockslide that tweaks how each adventure moves on until you get to an ending that in no way could’ve happened without Zizy loving Laysa. Wanting to be worthy of Laysa’s love. There’s no will they, won’t they here.

  1. How did your personal experience as a dungeon master influence your novella?

Poorly. Haha, it’s nice to have characters who will take the bait you leave out because you’re literally writing them to. Ultimately though it kinda ends up the same way. They do stuff you didn’t think of at all, and it takes you in a new direction. Having played games like this for years with various people has helped me broaden my horizons, stretch my imagination, and try to think of new twists on things people expect.

ToaT is a pretty light-hearted novella. It’s not about killing things or gaining XP. I leave all that to the campaign setting for the pre-cataclysm portion of the world.

— The setting is open to Patreon subscribers

  1. As an avid reader yourself, what types of books do you tend to read?

Currently,  it’s fantasy that satirizes like Orcanomics or character-focused works like Silver in the Wood. I love AU spec fic, sci-fi comedy, and of course, romance novels outside of fantasy. If I need something to read but just want a comfort book, I’ll re-read Jane Austen’s books for the 450th time. Now that I’m older Persuasion is my go-to.

  1. What’s next for Zizy and Co.?

The second book in the series, Components of a Caster, leaves right off where ToaT ends but from Laysa’s POV. She’s been searching for her own sort of power for a while now, and she may have finally found a way in. I’m looking forward to exploring what it means to feel valuable and needed. Also, to showcase what it takes to do spellwork in the complex world that is Kairas.

  1. Why is creating diverse characters important to you?

Creating characters who look like me or share my worldview is important because I grew up reading and watching characters who looked nothing like me. They had grand adventures while people like me were background characters. It took a few dozen years to even contemplate that I could change that by starring women or POC in the adventures that I always wanted to be on. So it’s literally a post-it on my monitor as a reminder that I can include all different types of people! And now I have these stories to share with people like my little sister, and she knows she’s in there and I’m in there and that really matters.

D. HALE RAMBO: D. Hale Rambo is an avid reader, Pathfinder/Dungeons & Dragons player, bubble bath connoisseur, and author. She has been writing and creating other worlds since she was old enough to mark them on her bedroom wall. As a dungeon master and in life, D. Hale Rambo believes in the fun of morale bonuses, inspiration, and always using cover. Get updates on the series, say hello, or debate with her about the versatility of gnomes at

Follow D. Hale Rambo on social media:


 Twitter: @therambogeeks

Instagram: @therambogeeks

Pre-Order Blitz: The Musician by Bella J

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Pre-Order Blitz: The Musician by Bella J


Title: The Musician

Author: Bella J.

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: May 3, 2021


For years I watched her. Drank her in as she performed in front of an empty theatre, pretending every seat was occupied, the cello settled between her legs as her dainty fingers made love to the strings…one beautiful note after the other.

She thought she was alone, that no one heard her play. But I did. I heard every note, every tune, every vibrato. It drowned out the voices. Silenced the demons. It gave me peace.

I’d hide in the shadows so I could get high on the music that stemmed from her soul. It was entrancing. Beautiful. Utterly hypnotic.

She has no idea that I exist—that I live for the nights she performs for me, and me alone. But she will.

Soon she’ll realize how important she is to me.

My cellist.

My soloist.

My Requiem. 





I tightened my fist abruptly, gripping her hair tight and pulling her head back, exposing the beautiful, delicate arch of her throat, bobbing as she swallowed. My gaze held her captive, her pretty pink lips parted as I brought mine closer, hovering a mere inch away.

“It is our fear that fuels us,” I eased my fingers along her jaw, “our fear of failure, of pain,” I gripped her chin between my thumb and forefinger, “death. Those are the things that make it so fucking important for us to survive. Even if it means exploiting the fear of others by making their worst nightmares come true.” I bit my bottom lip as I studied her, those blue orbs of crystal staring back at me with a burning determination to not. Show. Fear. And by God, I loved it.

“So, let me tell you what not to do in order to survive me.” I tugged her hair in my fist, and she moaned, the sound burning its way to the tip of my cock. “Do not fight me if you want to survive me. All it does is make my dick hard and my control non-existent, and I doubt you’re strong enough to handle that.”

I let go of her hair, and I was sure she’d scramble to the other side of the bed like a scared little kitten with her tail between her legs. But instead, she sat up, not taking her eyes off mine for a second, her cheeks flushed, and upper lip curled with a snarl. Her face was the perfect picture of resistance and contempt. “You don’t know what I can or cannot handle, Elijah. Just because you stood in the darkness and preyed on my life does not mean you fucking know me.”

I wiped at my chin with the back of my hand, unable to stop myself from being amused by her. It was in her bones, in her blood—that primal need to fight.

“You know,” I grabbed the bottle of whiskey, “you remind me of someone.”

“Yeah, who?”

I smirked. “You’ll find out soon, little cellist. Soon.”


All the way from Cape Town, South Africa, Bella J lives for the days when she’s able to retreat to her writer’s cave where she can get lost in her little pretend world of romance, love, and insanely hot bad boys.

Bella J is a Hybrid Author with both Self-Published and Traditional Published work. Even though her novels range from drama, to comedy, to suspense, it’s the dark, twisted side of romance she loves the most.

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PROMO: The Last Carolina Sister by Michelle Major

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PROMO: The Last Carolina Sister by Michelle Major

In Magnolia, North Carolina, love might be waiting right next door…

Meredith Ventner knows a wounded creature when she sees one. Though her temporary new neighbor may be—on the surface at least—a successful, drop-dead gorgeous doctor, she recognizes the deep hurt Ryan Sorensen is carrying, and it’s catnip to her soul. But even though Meredith is the youngest, scrappiest and single-est of Magnolia’s most famous sisters, she’s committed to expanding the animal shelter on her newly inherited farm. She can’t waste her energy on a man who’s only passing through town.

Ryan is hoping that after a month of small-town living he’ll be healed enough to return to his busy ER. His injured leg isn’t half as painful as his guilt from the tragedy he’s trying to forget. Yet somehow, helping feisty, tenderhearted Meredith care for her menagerie is making him question his career-first priorities. Here in this quirky small town another future is coming into view, but can he change his life, and open his heart, to claim it?

Purchase on Amazon

Excerpted from The Last Carolina Sister, by Michelle Major. Harlequin, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

She laughed softly. “All animals have personalities, most of them more appealing than humans you meet.”

“Based on some of the characters I’ve run across in the ER, I can only imagine.”

“You must think I’m a silly, crazy pet-rescue lady, when what you do has life-or-death stakes. Most people do.”

As they watched the animals, he shifted closer to her, not so they were touching but enough that he felt the startling connection like a physical force between them. “I don’t think you’re silly, Meredith.” Her name on his lips felt right. “I’d considered crazy with the way you showed up on my doorstep, but now I get that it’s passion. You’re passionate.”

The moment the word slipped off his tongue, he regretted it. She glanced up at him, and he took a step away, not wanting to spook her. Her gaze had sharpened but held the tiniest speck of vulnerability, like she needed someone to tell her she wasn’t silly or crazy.

He wanted to say a lot of things in this moment that wouldn’t be smart for either of them. Ryan had come to Magnolia to recover on his own, not to make friends and definitely not to acknowledge an unexpected attraction to his gorgeous, spitfire neighbor.

“I should be getting home.” He made a show of yawning.

“Right,” she agreed, calling out good-night to each of the animals by name as they passed.

The damp air of the barn made Ryan’s lower leg stiffen, and he did his best not to be too obvious about how much he had to rely on his cane as they walked to her truck.

He noticed each time Meredith’s gaze tracked to his bum leg, but thankfully she didn’t ask any more questions. It was as if they’d both used

up their allotment of words for the day, and by mutual agreement they drove the short distance between the two properties in a companionable silence.

“Thank you again, Doc,” she said when she pulled to a stop in front of the cottage. “I owe you.”

“Just promise me you won’t trust any more idiot men who tell you they’re interested in your kittens,” he said, then opened the door.

She grinned. “Cross my heart,” she said as she traced the shape over her thick jacket.

Ryan’s heart thumped in his chest. Despite a job that must entail hours of manual labor, her fingers were slender and elegant. Noticing them made him wonder about the rest of her body, which was not a path he had any intention of letting his mind wander down.

“Good night,” he told her and closed the car door with more force than was probably necessary. Time to remind himself that their little adventure tonight had been an aberration, not the start of anything more.

He waited until her taillights disappeared around the curve in his driveway and then limped up the steps to his front door.

Release Blitz: The Descent of the Drowned by Ana Lal Din

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Release Blitz: The Descent of the Drowned by Ana Lal Din

“The Descent of the Drowned”

Author: Ana Lal Din

Pub date: March 15, 2021

Publisher: White Tigress Press

Genre: YA/Crossover Indo-Persian Fantasy

Book Synopsis

She is bound to serve. He is meant to kill. Survival is their prison. Choice is their weapon. Ana Lal Din showcases her storytelling skills in her young adult debut, weaving together a harrowing narrative that examines humankind at its darkest and brightest. Set in a colonised Indo-Persian world and inspired by Pre-Islamic Arabian mythology, “The Descent of the Drowned” weaves together tales of power, identity, redemption, and what it takes to hold on to one’s humanity in the face of devastation.

As the sacred slave of a goddess, Roma is of a lower caste that serves patrons to sustain the balance between gods and men. What she wants is her freedom, but deserters are hunted and hanged, and Roma only knows how to survive in her village where women are vessels without a voice. When her younger brother is condemned to the same wretched fate as hers, Roma must choose between silence and rebellion.

Leviathan is the bastard son of an immortal tyrant. Raised in a military city where everyone knows of his blood relation to the persecuted clans, Leviathan is considered casteless. Lowest of the low. Graduating as one of the deadliest soldiers, he executes in his father’s name, displaying his worth. When he faces judgement from his mother’s people — the clans — Leviathan must confront his demons and forge his own path, if he ever hopes to reclaim his soul.

But in the struggle to protect the people they love and rebuild their identities, Roma’s and Leviathan’s destinies interlock as the tyrant hunts an ancient treasure that will doom humankind should it come into his possession — a living treasure to which Roma and Leviathan are the ultimate key.

Hardcover | 978-1-8380465-0-7 | $25.99

Paperback | 978-1-8380465-1-4  | $17.99

EBook | 978-1-8380465-2-1 | $9.99


Excerpt from Chapter 27

Roma clutched the hairpin in her hand. The daunting frame of the Firawn’s son was shrouded in a black cloak, the curved-sword pendant tucked out of sight, but his hood was drawn back from his head. Shadows haunted the hollows of his face and obscured his emotions to anyone who might search beyond the surface. She met his unwavering stare with a cumulative numbness within her chest and the promise of blood in her eyes. She didn’t want to feel such despair, nor did she want darkness to swaddle her mind, but she had accepted that her auction would end with her death.

What did it matter if it were an executioner who took her life or if it were her?

When the Firawn’s son took a deliberate step toward her, the blood promise blazed like a fuelled torch, and she touched the tip of the blade to her throat.

“Don’t come near me,” she warned.

Every sound, smell, and taste overpowered her heightened senses. Her frantic pulse throbbed like drumbeats in her ears. She smelled the scattered rose petals and tasted the subtle vibration in the air at his slightest shift. It somehow reached her, pricking her sensitive nerves and exposing his invisible stealth. She shifted as he did. Her mirrored movement caught his attention, and he looked at her with a different awareness.

“You don’t want to do this, Roma.”

Tipping back her head, she pressed the point of the blade into her skin. A warm line of blood seeped down the side of her bared throat. His face hardened and his movement stilled.

“I don’t want you to touch me.”

“If I wanted to touch you,” he said, disturbingly calm, “you’d already be on the bed.”

Her knees trembled from exhaustion and her skin still burned from the fever. Fear had eroded her for hours, days, years. Now she came full circle. It would all end tonight. “Then why am I here?” she asked in no more than a whisper. He was silent. Because he didn’t have an answer that could convince her of his lies. “I’m not educated like you, Saheb, but I’m not stupid.”

“No, you’re not,” he murmured.

“I know what you want. You want power. And it makes you feel powerful when you subdue me.” The blade burrowed deeper and the blood trail thickened. A surreptitious shadow of emotion came and went in the nadirs of his eyes. She didn’t care to define it. “I won’t be broken by your kind again.”

“My kind?”

“Your kind, Saheb. Men.”

“You’re a survivor.”

“This is my survival,” she whispered.

Drawing back her hand to stab her throat, she saw him close the distance in mere heartbeats. She should have killed herself, but an instinctual part of her—a part far too strong that always sought life over death—overwhelmed her, and she switched to sink the blade into him in the very last second.

It was a mistake.

Author Q&A

  1. How did you convey your own struggles with cultural identity through the two protagonists in the book?

Leviathan struggles with a physical sense of belonging in that the higher caste won’t accept him and neither will the clans. Roma struggles with a spiritual sense of belonging in that she feels disconnected from the belief system she has been raised with. Both characters have had society shape and force an identity on them that doesn’t harmonise with their nature, so they’re conflicted and rootless and have to dismantle their imposed identities, reconstruct them on their own terms, and carve out a place for themselves in the world — something that I feel I have had to do as well.

  1. How did you handle the identity crisis that came from being raised in three different cultures (Danish, Pakistani-Indian, Islamic)?

I didn’t handle it. I grew up confused, frustrated, conflicted. I still am. I think most people, if not all, experience an identity crisis at some point in their lives. Mine also came from the fact that I was the youngest child of immigrant parents from an Indian-Pakistani and Muslim background. Choosing to be Muslim over Danish, Pakistani or Indian, eased some of that frustration, but nothing has been resolved. I’m still attempting to understand who I am. I’m still sorting through the cultural baggage to uncover the things that hold value to me and discard those that don’t. It’s a process. A long, unstable process.

  1. How did you explore the theme of humanity versus depravity throughout the book?

Through the characters’ experiences, circumstances and choices. Some of the characters in the novel abandon human decency and become beasts. Others attempt to hold on to their humanity even in the darkest of times. I have tried to illustrate what happens when one crosses the line between humanity and depravity. When one chooses to oppress, violate, annihilate. And, also, when one chooses mercy, compassion and redemption.

  1. How do humans become a product of their social and cultural heritage?

Social and cultural heritage is the behaviour, values, social status and belief system which we inherit from our environment (i.e. the people who raise us and the milieu wherein we are raised). We become a product of this heritage when we’re brought up in a particular environment with a particular belief system and uphold/follow that system with or without question.

  1. What inspired you to start writing?

Stories. When I was a child, my older sisters would read the Arabian Nights and Danish fairy tales to me. I became so absorbed in the stories that I would enact them. If I didn’t like something, I changed the narrative or content. I discovered the power of words. That they can enlighten, manipulate, inspire, enrage. With this understanding, I wanted to use my own words to write something that might matter beyond just the entertainment value.

  1. How did you portray the current issues, catastrophes, and sufferings of the voiceless within this fantasy world?

I have woven previous and current social, cultural and political issues into the setting. Things such as caste system, rape culture, ethnic cleansing/genocide, colonisation and war crimes are all familiar aspects of our world. I have explored those issues (and others) through the characters’ circumstances and personal experiences in the novel.

  1. What is the connection between your background, the #ownvoices elements and the issues that are represented in the book?

Like most of the characters in the novel, I come from a multicultural background, and I have struggled to break out of the social and cultural heritage that shaped the world wherein I was raised. Moreover, I’m a woman with a mental illness, which made it harder for me in a culture where women are already considered a burden without much value, so a mental illness on top of that was like the final nail in the coffin. Caste is also a reality in my culture. The perception/oppression of women, multicultural identity, mental illness, social and cultural heritage, and caste system are subjects I have explored or engaged with throughout the novel.

  1. What are some of the sources that have inspired the story world in your book?

I have attempted to build a colonised Indo-Persian world and drawn inspiration from pre-Islamic Arabian mythology, Islam, and the social, cultural, religious, and political history of South Asia, West Asia, the Middle East, ancient Arabia and other places over time. Most of the incidents in the novel are authentic cases from our own world in some shape or form.

  1. What do you hope readers gain from your book?

I want to spread awareness. It reminds us that we as human beings have a responsibility toward each other. To know, to understand, to listen and to help. I want to provoke thought, and I want readers to feel. Whether that feeling is anger, discomfort, compassion, hope, curiosity or a conflicting combination of all. If I can encourage even one person to research about any of the issues, I would feel that I have achieved something valuable with this novel. That I have succeeded.

Author Bio

Ana Lal Din is an #ownvoices author who was born in a Danish southwestern city and raised in a small town outside Copenhagen. Passionate about culture, language, religion and social justice issues, Ana’s story worlds are usually full of all four. What drives her as a writer is developing characters that are psychologically and emotionally complex, reflecting human nature at its darkest and brightest — and everything in between. Since Ana is a Danish-Pakistani Muslim with Indian heritage, she often explores the intricacies of a multicultural identity through her characters. “The Descent of the Drowned” is her debut novel. For more info, visit

$0.99 Sale from A.L. Jackson!

$0.99 Sale from A.L. Jackson!

Rex Gunner. As bitter as he is beautiful.

The owner of the largest construction company in Gingham Lakes has been burned one too many times. His wife leaving him to raise their daughter was the last blow this single dad could take. The only woman he’ll let into his heart is his little girl.

Rynna Dayne. As vulnerable as she is tempting.

She ran from Gingham Lakes when she was seventeen. She swore to herself she would never return. Then her grandmother passed away and left her the deed to the diner that she once loved.

When Rex meets his new neighbor, he knows he’s in trouble.
Will he hide behind his walls or will he take the chance . . .

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Dropping my head, I started for the door, unsure if I was cowering or if I was just staggered by what I’d unwittingly forced my way into. I felt like a fool. Naïve and reckless. Because I’d come seeking something I hadn’t understood.

And I’d just stumbled into the awareness that their lives were pieced together precariously.


A tender, loving, imperfect balance.

It would only take one misstep to send everything toppling over.

I reached for the latch when I felt the flurry of intensity rise up behind me, the tension suffocating, the movement stealing the air from the room.

I spun around, my back plastered to the door as he approached.

Coming closer and closer.

He wasn’t touching me.

But he might as well have been.

He rested a hand on the door above my head, his face dipping toward mine, his words a breathy grunt at my ear. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing to me, Rynna?”

Lust and confusion trembled through my bones, this man pushing me away and then drawing me closer.

I thought maybe neither of us could ignore it.

The overpowering attraction.

Because the fever in my veins ignited a fire in my belly.



No words would form on my tongue.

“Tell me, Rynna. What do you want with us?” he murmured, low and rough. “Because I don’t have anything to offer you, and I won’t let you take anything else from us.”

I attempted to process what he said, what he meant.

But I couldn’t focus. Couldn’t see. Could feel nothing but the heat radiating between us.

Wave after blinding wave.

I gasped a breath, and he inched closer, a single knee wedging between my legs. He set both hands on the door above my head.

Caging me in.

A desperate sound rumbled through the strength of his chest.

A hand was suddenly on my jaw, thumb under my chin, tipping my face up to meet the ferocity in his gaze.

Rage and restraint and desire. I couldn’t decipher what was happening. The push and the pull. The hatred and the need.

I could barely speak. “I . . . I thought maybe you could use a friend.”

Promo: Spark by Aleatha Romig

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SPARK (Web of Desire #1) by Aleatha Romig

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PREORDER ASHES, Book #3, Coming April 7th!!
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“From a little spark may burst a flame.” ~ Dante Alighieri

Life’s lessons taught me well.

Dreams and happy endings are simply illusions our mind creates to soften life’s blows. I am no longer a little girl who believes in fairy tales or the existence of knights on white horses.

While I never intended to return to Chicago or to see him again, the decision was out of my control. Now I am here, and I can’t or won’t allow the spark in his piercing blue eyes to reignite my heart the way his predatory gaze sets fire to my body.

Patrick Kelly is my past—a childish attraction.

We are no longer children.

I may have started as nothing, but that is history.

Today I’m part of the royalty—a duke, a lord, or perhaps a knight—an intricate appointment within the upper echelon of the Sparrow dynasty. The wide-eyed tourists entering Chicago have no idea of what lies beneath the surface as they stare at the shimmering lake and shiny buildings.

Nothing is as it seems.

Sparrows control everything—no one enters our realm without our knowledge or catches us unaware.

No one until her.

Now that she’s here, there is too much at stake to give in to the spark that seeing her rekindles within me. Surely if it were allowed to burn, the flames will consume both of our worlds, leaving only ashes.

From New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig comes a brand-new dark romance, Spark, set in the same dangerous world as Secrets and Twisted. You do not need to read the Web of Sin or Tangled Web trilogy to get caught up in this new and intriguing saga, Web of Desire.

SPARK is book one of the WEB OF DESIRE trilogy that continues in FLAME and concludes in ASHES.

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About the Author:
Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Together with her high-school sweetheart and husband of over thirty years, they’ve raised three children. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns or her new lighter side, she likes to spend her time with her family and friends. Her pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!

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