Thursday, May 29, 2014

Capturing the Earl's Love

Capturing the Earl's Love photo CapturingtheEarlsLove_zps85bbe9be.jpg 
 Title: Capturing the Earl's Love
 Author: Jane Lark
 Genre: Regency Romance (Historical)
 Publish Date: May 29, 2014
 Publisher: HarperImpulse
 Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.        

~Synopsis ~
 photo CapturingtheEarlsLoveHighRes_zps3b7c55b9.jpgFrom Kindle bestselling Historical romance author, Jane Lark, comes a brand new FREE novella to accompany her breathtaking Marlow Intrigues series. "Pure, unadulterated romance." Best Chick Don't miss the other novels in the series, The Illicit Love of a Courtesan The Passionate Love of a Rake The Scandalous Love of a Duke and coming soon... The Lost Love of a Soldier
This novella tells the story of secondary characters from The Illicit Love of a Courtesan Rupert Stanforth, Earl of Morton, is exasperated by his sister's choice of friend. Meredith Divine, clings, using Rowena's plain appearance as a foil for her auburn curls and fuller figure. He would break the friendship, but the more he complains the more time the girls spend together. Ceasing his disagreement, he hopes the friendship will die, believing Meredith will take a wrong-step soon... Meredith clings to her only friend, Lady Rowena Stanforth, despite the disgusted looks thrown by Rowena's proud, judgemental brother. Lord Morton cannot abide Meredith because of her low standing but Meredith's heart favours him... then in his single act of kindness, Meredith grasps an opportunity she cannot resist...






Capturing the Earl’s Love Excerpt

Lord Rupert Stanforth, Earl of Morton, watched his sister, Rowena, approach. She was smiling, and her friend, Meredith Divine, clung to her arm. His gaze briefly passed over the other girl. He was increasingly convinced Miss Divine only kept Rowena as a friend because Rowena was the perfect foil to show off Miss Divine’s more striking looks. Her auburn curls glowed in the candlelight beside Rowena’s lacklustre, light-brown locks. Miss Divine was also slightly taller, and a little fuller in the bust. While they crossed the room, she appeared to press as close as she could to Rowena’s side, letting Rowena’s less impressionable looks make Miss Divine’s stand out among the white-clad debutantes in the ballroom. “Rupert...” His eyes focused on his sister once more. She was out of breath, having just completed a country dance, and her cheeks were flushed, while her eyes glowed, expressing the fun she was having. “I want to introduce Meredith to Ellen. Will you escort us and do the honours? Meredith is dying to meet her.” Mmm, now what is this little game? He glanced at Miss Divine only to receive a very bright but subtly restrained smile. She was trying to win his approval. He was not interested. He wished nothing to do with the little schemer. Her father was in some sort of trade. Rupert had not even wished Rowena to befriend Miss Divine, let alone become so thick with her. The two of them were inseparable; or rather, Miss Divine hung about Rowena like a moth around a flame. Except Miss Divine was no moth. Her beauty was far too vibrant. Rupert was Rowena’s guardian. Their father had passed on long ago, so Rupert was responsible for keeping his sister safe. It fell to him to help her choose her friends wisely. Yet the more he disparaged Miss Divine, the more Rowena favoured the girl. He’d ceased his complaints. Their friendship had still blossomed. He’d hoped it would wither and die back. It had not—yet. He expected Miss Divine to make a wrong step soon though, one which would open his sister’s eyes, and end this arm-in-arm behavior.  

FREE Novella



Marlow Intrigue Series Reading Order

The Illicit Love of a Courtesan photo TheIllicitLoveofaCourtesan_zpsb3afb0e4.jpgTitle: The Illicit Love of a Courtesan (Marlow Intrigues #1) Author: Jane Lark Genre: Regency Romance First Published: April 15, 2013 Published by HarperImpulse: October 3, 2013
Trapped under the reign of a cruel keeper, Ellen Harding longs to be free. Under his oppression, her soul and conscience have died while her body lives on, fulfilling his dissolute desires. She is empty—a vessel—deaf to the voice of morality and blind to shame. When her eyes are drawn to a beautiful man for no other reason than his looks, she imagines what it would be like to escape her chains for a night by giving her body to him. But Edward Marlow is kind and gentle when he touches her, and her subconscious whispers, this man could be her salvation. Yet how can he help her when she has secrets which prevent her freedom? Edward is restless, lonely, and a little angry with his lot in life—it is his only excuse for being drawn to another man’s mistress. The woman’s dark hair and pale eyes are striking, and he cannot take his gaze off her while she watches him over the top of a fan with an illicit intent in her eyes. Once he’s known her, he cannot forget her, and once he’s seen the evidence of her supposed benefactor’s brutality, he wants to help her. But how can he when she will not run any more than she will speak of her past? When a desperate Ellen finally relents and shocks Edward from his sleep, he doesn’t hesitate, he helps her flee. He just doesn’t know he’s running headlong into the secrets of her past.

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The Passionate Love of a Rake photo 18687792_zps30dfe787.jpgTitle: The Passionate Love of a Rake (Marlow Intrigues #2) Author: Jane Lark Genre: Regency Romance Published: November 17th, 3013 Publisher: HarperImpulse
The only woman who had power over notorious rake Robert Marlow was now walking away from him, again. He'd heard Sutton had died, and known Jane was free, but he'd always thought his desire would only be for revenge, not her. Yet here he was, unable to deny what he felt for her…what he’d never felt for any other woman before…

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A Lord’s Desperate Love #2.5 ~ a Free Fourteen part story posted on Jane’s blog

 photo TheScandalousLoveofaDukeHighRes_zps4221490a.jpgTitle: The Scandalous Love of a Duke (Marlow Intrigues #3) Author: Jane Lark Genre: Regency Romance (Historical) Publish Date: April 3, 2014 Publisher: HarperImpulse  
Book three in Jane Lark's Kindle best-selling Regency romance series! Isolated by life and choice, John Harding, the Duke of Pembroke, sees an angel in a pale mauve dress across a room and is drawn closer as lust grips firm and hard in his stomach. The wheat-blonde hair escaping her dull dove-grey bonnet and caressing her neck lures his eyes to a spot he'd like to kiss. She speaks with animation her hands moving. Then as if she senses his gaze the stranger turns and looks at him. A rush of pain and longing spilled from Katherine's heart into her limbs. It was so long since she'd seen John but her reaction was the same as it had been more than half-a-dozen years before. She loved him, secretly, without hope, but a chasm of years and status stood between them.

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About the Author

 photo For13_Jane_Lark_Full_Res_zps518c75cf.jpg Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult Romance, and a Kindle top 25 bestselling author. She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis. When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write. Now Jane is writing a Regency series and contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others' imaginations at last. You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane's favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was 'Katherine' a story crafted from reality. Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses them to create more realistic plots. 'Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it's wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.' Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.
Connect with the Author: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Website


This giveaway, includes an antique English necklace worth £150, plus signed copies of
The Illicit Love of a Courtesan
The Passionate Love of a Rake
And The Scandalous Love of a Duke
Jane Lark Historical Giveaway photo PostcardsHistoricalv2PHOTO1_zps7d520c8b.jpg   

Friday, May 23, 2014

TRUE Blue - PROMO Blitz
By Susan Rae
Romantic Suspense
Date Published: May 16, 2014

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Sometimes we must revisit the past to embrace our future.
Twenty-four years ago, the murder of a Chicago police officer changed Joey DeLuca’s life.  He lost his best friend and first love, Meghan McConnell, when her mother whisked her out of town.  Now, on the eve of another officer’s death, Meghan is back and about to step into his life again.

There is very little gray in Joey's line of work as a Lt. Detective--it is either black or white, right or wrong. But Meghan’s insistence on finding answers to her father's murder threatens those beliefs and throws his marriage to CPD Detective Andi, his career, and the entire DeLuca family in jeopardy when new revelations come to light.

Can Joey save his marriage, solve the murder, and keep his family together all at the same time?

The third book in the DeLuca Family Series, TRUE blue can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.

Chapter One

Lieutenant Detective Joseph Anthony DeLuca Jr. of the Chicago Police Department knelt beside the victim and lifted the edge of the plastic sheet to expose the bloodied head and lifeless torso. His gut clenched. This never got easier, but this guy was a cop, a detective under his own watch, and that fact irked him even more.

“How the hell did this happen?” he asked Sergeant Davis, the slain detective’s immediate supervisor.

Oh, yes, he’d gotten the quick initial briefing when he’d arrived on scene. A convenience store robbery in progress. Shots fired. Officers responding, but before backup could arrive, more shots fired, and then a car screaming down the street and Detective Mark Beattie, pursuing on foot, struck down, his body flying through the air on impact, his head smashing against the pavement when he landed.

“Why was he here in the first place?” Lieutenant DeLuca added, ignoring the sweat that beaded on his brow. The late afternoon heat was stifling. The August sun’s hot rays radiated off the pavement. It didn’t help the sick feeling in his gut.

“He was following up on a lead on a previous robbery attempt,” Sergeant Davis said, “questioning a woman in the apartment across the street. As near as we can tell, he must have heard the first gunshots and he ran outside to check it out.

“We got the call at 3:47 for shots fired. According to witnesses, right after the first shots were fired, a man wearing a ski mask ran out of the store and took off on foot. Seconds later, another guy comes running out of the store, again wearing a ski mask. From what we’ve put together so far, when the second suspect came out of the store, Beattie called out that he was a police officer and told him to stop. About the same time, a car pulled up in the parking lot and a woman started to get out.

“The suspect began shooting toward Beattie, and Beattie returned fire, but then the suspect ran toward the woman’s car. He grabbed the woman and threw her aside so he could get into the car. That’s when Beattie took off after him on foot, right about the time another car came racing down the street. The car slammed into him. Beattie didn’t have a chance. Near as we can figure, it was the getaway car.

“The woman’s sitting in one of the patrol cars. She’s pretty shook up. Her eleven-month-old baby was in a car seat in the back. Both are okay. The suspect never made it out of the parking lot. It seems Detective Beattie got off a fatal shot before he was struck by the car. CSU is still working over the perp.”

Lieutenant DeLuca’s jaw clenched as his eyes focused on the bloodied features of his detective. Beattie was a good man, one of his best. He’d left a wife and two children, middle school age. Just last week, the man was telling him about a trip he was planning to take with his family to the Wisconsin Dells. He remembered the light in Beattie’s eyes as he talked about how excited the kids were.

“EMS worked on him for a full twenty minutes before calling it,” Davis continued. “CSU found a bullet hole in his neck and one in his chest. Not sure what really killed him—the impact, the gunshots, or smacking his head on the pavement. Take your pick.”

“What about the owner of the convenience store?” DeLuca asked.


Lieutenant DeLuca shook his head. “Are they done here?” He nodded down at Beattie.

“Just finished up, for now.”

The lieutenant eased the edge of the sheet down and said a silent prayer for his detective before looking up again at Davis. “Then let’s get him the hell off the street. Has his wife been notified?”

“I’ve already sent one of our men over there.”

“We’re not releasing his name until I know his wife’s been notified.”


“Any chance the first guy out of the store is the same one that slammed into Beattie?”

The sergeant shook his head. “I don’t know. The timing’s pretty tight. So far, none of the witnesses have put the two together.”

“Then we’re looking for a third suspect.”

“I think so. I’ve got officers canvassing the area.”

Lieutenant DeLuca glanced around at the crime tape surrounding the scene, at the crowd of gawkers and media already assembled around the perimeter. He hoped their man got there before word got to Beattie’s wife. With today’s instant information age, he was sure the news of another cop killing in the city of Chicago was spreading like wildfire across the airwaves, as well as the Internet. He glanced again at the assembled media. They’d want an official statement soon.

“What about the hit-and-run?”

“We’ve got a description of the vehicle. Put an APB out on all channels. Nothing yet, but we’ll find him, Lieutenant.”

“You’re damn straight we’ll find him. What about the prior attempted robbery? Any leads there?”

“We’re checking the surveillance video. We’ll be putting a description of all the suspects out within the hour, along with the video. Of course, they’re all wearing ski masks, but who knows? Maybe we’ll get lucky and somebody will recognize them. The two robberies could be tied together.”

“Best guess?”

“Gang bangers.”

“In the middle of the day?”

“A dare. An initiation, maybe. Crazy what these punks are trying now.”

The lieutenant’s stomach burned. No matter how hard they tried to clean up the streets, some days it seemed like the gangs were getting the better of them.

His cell phone buzzed. He reached into the inside pocket of his suit coat and pulled it out. The caller ID indicated it was Andi, his wife.

Officer Andrea DeLuca was a detective, too. She would have heard about the incident already. She’d also know who was shot and that it wasn’t him.

Deciding he wasn’t ready to talk to her about it just yet, he let the call go to voice mail. Less than thirty seconds later, it buzzed again, this time indicating a text.

You okay?

He sighed and texted back.


Are you going to be able to make it to the dinner tonight?

Damn, he’d pretty much forgotten about the dinner. His sister Angela and her boyfriend had invited the DeLuca clan, along with about fifty of their closest friends, to the soft opening of her boyfriend’s bistro. His sister had been pretty adamant about all of them attending.

He texted back, Chances are, not. Go on without me.

Understand. Love you.

He paused for a second and then typed, Me too, and hit send. Why did he hesitate? He didn’t exactly know. Things had been tense between them lately, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on why. Perhaps it was because he was up for a promotion soon and he was working long hours to try to not screw it up. Between that and Andi’s own dedication to their chosen line of work, it seemed they were spending less and less time together. He glanced back down at Detective Beattie. The team had returned and was now placing his body into a body bag. He frowned. Maybe it was time he and Andi did some re-evaluating.

He was about to slip the phone back into his pocket when it buzzed again. Glancing once more at the caller ID, he didn’t recognize the number or the area code. It definitely was not one of his fellow officers or a member of his family. Ignoring the call for now, he slipped the phone back into his pocket and scanned the assembling media again. No less than three satellite trucks had joined them.

According to his cell phone, it was 4:53—just in time for the evening news. Loosening his tie, he took a step toward them. The temperature was a searing ninety-seven degrees. Add in the humidity and the heat index, it had to be about one hundred and five. The heat didn’t help the tension in the streets. It was a well-known fact that crime, including homicides, went up when the temperatures rose.

He glanced up at the sky. They could use a cold front to come blowing through, complete with thunderstorms. It would be a welcome relief.

But there wasn’t a cloud in sight.

About the Author: Susan Rae

Author Susan Rae photo cropped20pic_susan-rae-3_20113_zps902229ec.jpg
Susan Rae grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Columbia College, Missouri with an emphasis in creative writing. She penned her first melodrama in fifth grade for a Girl Scout Drama badge. Complete with hero, heroine, and dastardly villain, it wasn’t so different, really, than the romantic suspense she writes now.

“I love writing romantic suspense because it allows me to combine a sexy, passionate love story with a gritty suspense tale—in my opinion, the best of both worlds.  It also allows me to express my appreciation for the outdoors in the settings that I recreate on the page.”

Freefall,  Susan’s second novel, takes place in Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine Forest and beautiful Door County.  ICE blue returns to the busy streets of Chicago and the shores of Lake Michigan to continue the story of the DeLuca family which began in her award winning first novel, heartbeats. In TRUE blue, the third book in the DeLuca Family series, Susan was thrilled when it became apparent that her characters must take a trip to Montana’s majestic Glacier National Park.

When she is not sketching characters, you might find Susan on the golf course working on her handicap, or traveling around the country seeking out new settings for her novels with her husband and empty nest puppies, Ginger and Nikute.  To read more about Susan’s novels and the writing life, please visit her website/blog at

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Shadows and Light

Three paranormal novellas
Reap the Shadow, Slay the Light
I don’t know what I am, but I’m not human…and neither are the creatures that killed my mom. Running will only carry me so far because there’s a darkness within me, ready to destroy me, and a burning light, begging for escape. It’s the light that screams to my pursuers and works them into a frenzy. Though the darkness might kill me, releasing the light might kill us all…
WarWolf: Half breed
Ema fights to suppress her werewolf emotions and deny her warlock powers. It isn’t easy being a half-breed, but she is determined to slide through life unnoticed by either group. When the warlock leaders team up with humans to force paranormal registration, Ema believes she must choose between her two unwanted worlds. An unexpected companion shows her not all emotions are bad, and power has its benefits.
“Werewolves are real but the legends are wrong…”
It’s the secret Gillian’s father has tried to keep from her and the reason he’s so overprotective. But, he goes too far when he exiles Gillian to a house in the middle of nowhere. Her new landlord, Racer, is more like a cute jailer who has strict orders to keep her safely trapped.
Battle lines between independence and obligation are drawn as Gillian decides just how far she’s willing to go to win back her freedom. And Racer needs to decide what he’s willing to endure to keep her close.

Enjoy the darker side of Paranormal?  Check out Reap the Shadow, Slay the Light, the first novella in Melissa Haag’s Shadows and Light.

After suffering at the hands of her step brother, Pheobe runs to Willam and discovers there’s more to the world than what she knew: Shadows will kill her if they find her light.
I didn’t know he’d entered the room until he tried to say something to me.  I didn’t wait to hear what.  Instead, with hands curled into fists, I came up swinging.  I wanted to punch him in the face to knock the whistle right out of him, but my right hand landed solidly against his chest.  I almost stopped, surprised at my misjudgment.  My swing had been really off.  I’d never noticed we weren’t the same size.  It just made me angrier that he was taller…by a lot.  So, instead of stopping, I continued to rain blows on his chest.
He stood still, taking it all with silence.
Then, like a burst balloon, the rage left me.  For several moments, I just stood there staring at my fists still rested against his chest.  Neither of us moved as my breathing slowed.  Drained and shaking, I lifted my tear-streaked face to his.
“I will hate them until I die.  Someday, I might hate you too...but not today.”
His face held no judgment.  He opened his arms and pulled me against the chest I’d just pummeled.
“I know,” he whispered against my hair.
Melissa Haag currently resides in Wisconsin with her husband and three children. Touch is her first published novel. She is currently working on book four of the Judgement of the Six Series...along with several other new books.
To learn more about her upcoming projects, and subscribe to her mailing list for deleted scenes, deals, and giveaways, visit her at


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Blood Lovers


3 of 5 stars false
Two men, one secret…a brand new life…
Abandoned to the streets of London as a teenager by homophobic parents, Tamir is rescued by the one person he needs to survive what he is. Vidar is a rich man, happy to offer the suicidal young man a sanctuary where no one can touch him.
Or so they think.
There is something different about Vidar, something that could mean trouble—or death—for both of them. Vidar is harbouring a secret that could destroy both them, and the world of safe havens they’ve created.
But flourishing in a love born of blood, suicide, hate and abandonment, will Tamir and Vidar’s relationship last across their forced separation? Or will their fierce dependency, when combined with the uncontrollable split, send them rocketing on a path that will lead only to their deaths?


****I was given a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review****
Blood Lovers is the story of two men's struggle to survive in a world that never truly accepts either of them. Tamir is kicked to the curb by the people who are supposed to be the ones he can always rely on, his parents. Vidar appears at the moment he needs someone the most, but Vidar has his own secrets that may be enough to destroy them both for good.

The book was a short and fun romp that contained some stumbling points for me. Both characters, Tamir and Vidar are likeable if not flawed. The world building was thorough and descriptive.  The whole premise and ending were far fetched and while that's occasionally one of the nicest things about getting lost in a book, it was a stumbling point for me. It felt like a sudden plot twist that didn't fit with the rest of the book build to that point. It may have been beneficial and better transitioned if it was longer, and therefore we could have gotten more explanation. A good choice for the MM fan looking for a short read to get away from life for a little. 

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Calculated - PROMO Blitz
By Renee Novelle
Psycological Thriller
Date Published: August 30, 2013

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An investigative journalist gets an unlikely tip from a mysterious informant. Dismissing it as impossible, she disregards the information and drops the story. Until the informant turns up dead, as predicted.

Plunged into the murky waters of a seedy underground prostitution ring, this psychological thriller provides twist upon dark twist in a story that would ultimately pin the church and several government officials in the largest murder cover-up the city has ever witnessed.

But is it true, or has the journalist merely been used as a pawn in a greater scheme? And how many people is she willing to sacrifice trying to figure it out?


When she arrived at the little facility her building provided, a quick look around confirmed she was the only one there. Just as she’d hoped, and exactly how she liked it to be. Smiling in satisfaction, she flipped on the television that was perched on the wall, and turned up the music on her iPod as loud as she could handle it. The multiple distractions would help her get through the extra mile she was planning to conquer. With chilled water bottle in place, she cranked up the treadmill to a nice brisk pace.

As her breathing picked up speed and her muscles began to warm, Ana’s eye caught a red flash along the bottom of the screen. Breaking News filled the bar, and the too-chipper-for-their-own-good reporters were suddenly getting serious. Since the volume was still muted, Ana couldn’t understand exactly what was going on, only that they were showing the wide stretch of river that ran along the outskirts of the city. She wiped the first beads of sweat from her brow, and used the remote to turn the volume of the television higher while simultaneously adjusting her music.

As the reporters spoke, home-video footage of something floating in the water rolled before her eyes. The camera zoomed in, the frame ever so shaky, and it became clearly apparent that the “something” was a person - face down with long brown hair spread out like a Catholic halo. It appeared another victim had been pulled out of the water; the count was quickly tallying up. A young woman this time, and possibly one who had gone missing the night before.

Ana’s pulse skipped a few beats as they replayed the video over and over. There was something familiar about the long, lean body. Slowing the treadmill to a stop, she ripped the ear buds from her head to give the segment her entire attention. appears at first glance that the victim suffered from a deep cut to the throat, and received multiple stab wounds to the chest...

The beads of accumulated sweat turned cold on Ana’s brow. She immediately reached for her phone and dialed Kylie’s number.

“What the hell, Ana?” Came her friend’s groggy voice.

“Turn your TV on. Channel four. Hurry.” Ana said, eyes transfixed to the screen in front of her. “Recognize that face?”

...It’s thought the victim may be one of the young girls recently reported missing. The screen flashed candids of three possible women. All brunettes. All tall and thin. All roughly the same age. Among them was a photo of Mara, just as Ana had expected there would be.

But the body was too bloated and disfigured to be absolutely certain, and an autopsy would be needed.

... The body will be taken in for processing where officials hope to shed more light on the case in the near future. In the mean time, they’re cautioning residents to avoid....

“Did you see that?” Ana’s voice escaped in more of a demand than a question. “Please tell me I’m seeing things.”

“Oh my god...” Kylie whispered into the receiver, confirming the dread that was building in Ana’s stomach. “Do you really think it’s her?”

“I know for a fact it is.” Ana declared, the pull in her gut getting stronger by the minute. “The autopsy will confirm it.”

“So, what does this mean exactly now?”

“That maybe I should have been listening a little closer when I was talking to Mara.” She said with regret as she swiped her forehead with the back of her hand. “And maybe I should have asked more questions. There’s a story here, I’m sure of it now.”

“What are you going to do?” Kylie’s voice was decidedly more alert now.

Ana shook her head. “I have no idea.”

Though if she were to be truthful with herself in that moment, she’d already made up her mind. Ana flipped off the television, and left the little gym to get started.

About the Author: Renee Novelle
Author Renee Novelle photo 13_zps447ee6c5.jpeg

Formerly a freelance journalist, Novelle has found placement of her pieces in both online and print publications since 2008. Additionally, she has written multiple screenplays, and contributed her writing to many non-profit and for profit organizations. She has launched several blogs over the years, which garnered international attention.

In 2013, Novelle returned to her first love – fiction. Writing under the names Renee Novelle and R.S. Novelle, she has a publication schedule that includes Psychological Thrillers, Suspense, Paranormal Fiction, Contemporary Women’s fiction, Chick Lit, and New Adult.

Though she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication, summa cum laude, she considers herself a constant student of the written word. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic quote poster, and rarely takes “no” as a final answer. She has an unhealthy obsession for theater, dance, music and art, and strongly believes that wine is simultaneously the beginning of, and resolution to, all of life’s problems. She believes in following dreams, and that in the end, you always end up where you’re meant to be.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Chasing Luck

Sometimes surviving doesn’t feel lucky. Especially when you’re a sole survivor…
At the age of seven, Malerie walked away from a bombing that left hundreds dead—including her mother. When a crazed gunman kills her guardian on her eighteenth birthday, Malerie suspects there may be more to her survival than luck. A mysterious code holds the key to her future, and a reluctant white knight holds the key to her heart.

A loner wearing emotional armor…

Ace is a twenty-year-old entrepreneur focusing on two things in life: financial security and a life without ties. A life that doesn’t risk losing the ones who matter. When Ace is hired to secretly act as a bodyguard for Malerie, he faces an unwanted attraction that threatens to sabotage his heart. Can Ace find the courage to love a girl with a death wish?


"Here." I hand him the charcoal rubbing and he takes it without getting up from the bed.

Sitting, he turns the paper around like a different angle will reveal more. The picture of the dragon is detailed with tiny scales lining its body and spikes decorating the curved neck. Large pointed teeth extend outside the dragon's mouth in a hungry snarl.

"What's this?" Ace says, pointing a finger at the symbols near the dragon's feet. “Moon type again?”


"And this is another message for you," he mutters without meeting my eyes.

"I'm positive." I want him to look at me and see how much I believe in this connection.

Then he lifts his head and shakes it slowly. "You're that girl who saves her fortune cookies, doesn't step on cracks, and picks up pennies, aren't you? You think these boxes and the words on the sides are like a bad luck charm."

I continue, despite the fact I want to throw him out of my head, out of my room, out of my house. I didnt think this would be easy, but I hoped. "So what if I do? Thats exactly why I've noticed this message when someone like you wouldn't."

He shrugs. "And the fortune cookie says…"

"This character is a G, then an R, then I, E, and F," I state matter-of-factly while pointing each one out with my fingertip.

"Grief." Ace nods. He rubs his chin, which has grown flattering stubble. "The Moon type was used on these boxes and a title for each picture was placed on the embossing. Honestly, Im amazed youve figured this out. Its genius. Really. Id never see this. But I think youre reading too much into a drawing.”

I grab the picture from his hands. "If you think Im a nut, say it. Go ahead." I trace the outline of the box. Then I open the book to a section I've paper clipped. "The UNIX timestamp is on this box as well." My finger caresses the paper.

"And the date is significant?" Ace leans in and he's too close. His fingers splay on top of the page and I stare at his hands instead of his eyes.

"The date is from last week. The night in the restaurant. The night JT was murdered." I glance up into his eyes to gauge his reaction.

His gaze moves from the paper to mine and back to the paper. "All right.” He pauses and stares at the paper. "Thats very odd.”

"I want you to have more than a weird feeling about it. I want you to say you believe me. I want you to open your mind to the possibility that this is more than a coincidence."

He studies me, his finger drumming soundlessly on my desk. "I don't believe in fortune cookies. And you want me to believe you've opened up the largest cookie in the universe. One that tells the story of what has happened in your life. Malerie…" he says. He takes both my hands in his. His strong fingers send a pleasant shiver down my body. "Now if you are about to tell me that this third box, the smaller one," he says as he opens the box I've rubbed, "if it says a word like infatuation, and this is where you finally hit on me, then it's a different story. One I'm totally on board with."

Brinda Berry lives in the southern US with her family and two spunky cairn terriers. She has a BSE in English and French and a MEd in Learning Systems Technology. She's terribly fond of chocolate, coffee, and books that take her away from reality. She doesn't mind being called a geek or "crazy dog lady". When she's not working the day job or writing a novel, she's guilty of surfing the internet for no good reason.