Blog Tour ~ Drakon’s Prey by N.J. Walters


Drakon’s Prey

by N.J. Walters
Blood of the Drakon #2
Publication Date: April 24, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select Otherworld, Paranormal, Romance

Valeriya Azarov turned her back on the family business to write and illustrate children’s books. But with a sister who leads the Knights of the Dragon, it’s impossible to get away from the secret society whose mission is to destroy and enslave dragons. When information falls into her hands along with the opportunity to save at least one of the ancient creatures, she can’t turn away any longer.

When a woman moves into the cabin above Tarrant Cooper’s secret underground lair, he’s both suspicious and intrigued. He hasn’t lasted four thousand years being careless, so when he suspects her of being a part of the Knights, the plan is to kidnap her and find out how much the organization knows about him and his brothers.

He’s drawn to Valeriya, but trusting her could get him killed. Even if she’s a pawn in the war between drakons and Knights, giving her his heart would mean forever.

Buy Links:

Divider_031

Excerpt

“What’s your name?” she suddenly demanded. She’d kissed him and didn’t even know his name.

He opened the refrigerator door and pulled out several packages.

“Hey.” She knew it was crazy to demand anything from this man, but she was past all caution. “I asked you a question.”

“And if I answer it, you’ll never be able to leave here.” The way he said it, with little inflection, stopped her in her tracks.

It was a variation of “If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you.” It was used in the movies all the time, but Valeriya didn’t think this man was joking. “We both know I’m never getting out of here anyway, so why don’t you tell me who you are?” Maybe if she befriended him, she could get him to release her.

And then where would she go? The Knights were everywhere.

She swayed as her knees went weak. All she’d wanted to do was warn Darius Varkas about the Knights and go back home to her life. Now she feared she was truly going to die.

“What the hell?” Her captor was around the counter and caught her before she hit the floor. He scooped her up as though she weighed nothing and set her on one of the stools on the far side of the island. “Are you all right?” He hovered beside her but was no longer touching her.

It was as though he was afraid to touch her. She wasn’t sure if that was for her benefit or for his. She should be trying to figure out a way to escape, fighting the growing attraction she had for her captor. She wasn’t a guest here, but an unwilling visitor.

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite feel that way. It suddenly occurred to her that her intuition was silent. Yes, he was a very dangerous man, no doubt about it, but she didn’t feel as though he was a danger to her.

Her gift had chosen a really bad time to go haywire.

“What does it matter, if you’re going to kill me?” She’d rather get it over with than to drag it out indefinitely. And she really didn’t want to be tortured.

He swore, long and fluently, and in a language she didn’t understand. Did that mean he wasn’t American, or did he simply know other languages?

“Tarrant. My name is Tarrant. And I told you I wasn’t going to kill you.”

She rested her elbows on the counter to steady herself. “For now. You said you weren’t going to kill me right now.”

He swore again. “No one is killing anyone.


My Teaser

Divider_031

About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Street Team | Pinterest | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Profile

 

Giveaway

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ryna

Advertisements

Book Blitz ~ Father by Clarissa Wild

Father
Clarissa Wild
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

Confess your sin.

People call me Father, but I prefer Frank because I’m the worst preacher you’ll ever meet.

Days spent completely wasted pull a number on you, especially when you’ve got a truckload of baggage that comes with it.

Until this beautiful girl in the back of the church takes my breath away.

…And we end up committing sacrilege in the confessional.

Did I mention I’m filthy?

Bad doesn’t even begin to describe me, and after one taste of what she’s got to offer, I want more.

Too bad having a dirty mind isn’t the only thing we’ve got in common…

Our past is laced with sin.

Author’s Note: This book is not for everyone. It’s raw. It’s vulgar. It’s downright offensive. But it’s oh so damn delicious with a capital D. If you are easily offended or prudish, please don’t read this book. But if you like a bit of humor mixed in with raunchiness and brawling, you’ll love this book.

Contains disturbing situations, strong language, and graphic violence.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

She turns her attention to me as she rubs her forehead with her towel. “Well, well, what a coincidence.”

I smile and enjoy the view. No point in denying anything, especially since there’s been no allegation. Yet.

“So Bruno already found you. Are you stalking us or something?” she asks, raising a brow.

Ah-ha, there it is.

“Nah.” I grin. “Just your friendly neighborhood preacher patrolling the area.”

She rolls her eyes, but I can tell she’s barely able to keep the laughter inside.

“Got something to confess?” I ask.

She snorts. “Like you don’t already know everything.”

“I do!” Bruno raises his hand.

“Oh, yeah? Tell me then, what’d you do?” I inquire, inching closer.

He closes his mouth and freezes, so I lean in even closer and pat the bench. “Sit.”

He does what I ask, and then I turn my ear to him so he can whisper.

“I peed in the sandbox.”

My grin turns into a full-on outburst of laughter.

“What?” Laura asks.

I turn my face to Bruno and whisper back into his ear, “Is that the real reason you didn’t wanna play in the sandbox anymore?”

He nods.

“What?!” Laura’s voice is even louder this time, and she’s even thrown her towel over her shoulder like some kind of statement.

Bruno looks at me as if he’s pleading me not to tell her—probably because she’d get mad and rightfully so. But I think I’ll play along with this game.

So I twine my fingers and smile like a motherfucker. “I’m sorry. Confessions made to a preacher are strictly confidential.”

Oh, that look on her face right now.

Blood-boiling rage.

Magnificent.

“Frank …” she hisses.

I shrug, still smiling as I lean back.

“He did something; you gotta tell me. This isn’t a joke,” she grumbles. “What if it’s something embarrassing or wrong?”

“You mean like that thing we did in church?”

Her eyes widen, and the shock on her face is amazing to see.

“What thing?” Bruno asks.

“Nothing!” Laura hisses. “Frank …”

I look at Bruno and say, “Bruno. If you say you’re sorry, your sins will be forgiven.”

“Does that mean God forgives me too?”

I nod. It’s hard to explain these things to a kid as young as he is.

He draws a cute cross on his chest and mumbles, “I’m sorry.”

“Good.” I pat his back and then look at Laura. “See? He’s repenting, so he’s forgiven of his sins.”

She narrows her eyes and snarls at me. “You are so bad.”

PLUS!

Click HERE for a free extended epilogue for those who’ve read the book (spoilers inside)!

 

Author Bio:

Clarissa Wild is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author, best known for the dark Romance novel Mr. X. Her novels include the Fierce Series, the Delirious Series, the Stalker Duology, Twenty-One (21), Ultimate Sin, Viktor, Bad Teacher, RUIN, and the Indecent Games Series. She is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of books and cooking her favorite meals.

Want to get an email when my next book is released? Sign up here to receive 4 FREE short stories:http://eepurl.com/FdY71

Website / Facebook Page / Facebook Profile / Twitter / Fan Club / Pinterest / Instagram / Google+ / Newsletter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Ryna

NOTHER POSTCARD by Elle Christensen – Excerpt Reveal

Today we are excited to share an exclusive excerpt from the upcoming ANOTHER POSTCARD by Elle Christensen. Find out more about this rockstar romance and pre-order your copy today!


Brooklyn Hawk is an enigma. Highly sought after for her incredible voice, her talent shines bright in the studio. But a dark past and a secret she holds close to her heart keep her from permanently stepping into the limelight.

Until her favorite band offers her the chance to chase her dreams.

As the lead singer for rock sensation Stone Butterfly, Levi Matthews is wary of bringing in new talent. But he has heard just how amazing Brooklyn is and when the need for another singer arises, he’s confident that she is the perfect addition.

However, he doesn’t count on laying his heart at her feet.

But the world of music can be as dangerous as it is thrilling. Joining Stone Butterfly on tour was hard enough for Brooklyn, but when she finally succumbs to Levi’s charms, the rock ‘n’ roll life turns deadly.

Will Levi and Brooklyn keep their voices and their hearts entwined? Or will the music prove too hard to survive?

Buy Links:

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

AMAZON US / AMAZON UK / AMAZON CA / AMAZON AU / iBOOKS / B&N / KOBO

Divider_031

Excerpt

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

Brooklynn

“There’s a song on the record called ‘Sanity,’ and I co-wrote it with this fucking gorgeous woman right here. It will debut on the radio in just a couple of weeks.” A stage tech ran out, and while Levi continued to tease the fans, they attached a wireless mic to my cheek. “So! Have you guessed what your surprise is?” he shouted. “You guys get to be the first to hear it!” Their response is epic and they went crazier still when Matteo started beating a low, steady rhythm on his floor tom. Then he transitioned into the fast and heavy, hard rock beat. Simon and Levi joined him, and a couple of bars later, I opened my mouth and sang the most important notes I’d ever sung in my life.

As I sang the first verse, the world began to melt away completely, leaving only Levi and me. When he began to sing his lyrics, our lines clashing and emoting the first stage of crazy, our eyes were already locked. We reached the first chorus and Sasha added her haunting violin. The cacophony of sounds built up the tension inside me. In the safety of the stage and a huge audience, I finally let loose all the caged passion I’d kept locked up tight.

We were approaching the section with the instrumental solos, and Levi’s voice dropped so low that the arena fell silent, the audience mesmerized by him. As he crooned the lyrics about love and a broken mind, he faced me and when he reached the break, he faded out completely. The audience reacted to Matteo, Simon, and Sasha with the same exuberance as they had when Levi and I had been singing. Sasha finished her solo, transitioning into the most intense part of the song. I didn’t even think, too wrapped up in the music. My mouth opened, and I let every repressed emotion I had for Levi pour from my soul. The cello’s rich strains crescendoed, and Levi I circled each other on the stage. I stared into those aqua eyes, captivated by the dark swirl of need that he wasn’t even attempting to hide. Each time we sang together, our voices melded, creating a sound that had shivers coursing through my body. We hit the pinnacle of the song and then the last notes were solemn, the lyrics about giving in to the insanity of love and drowning in the crazy. Levi wandered over to me and his hand came up to cup my cheek. I was overwhelmed by the thick atmosphere, so full of lust and emotion, as though our voices were engaged in dirty, sweaty sex.

The other instruments faded out, and all that was left was the smooth, dark melody coming from Sasha’s cello. She pulled the bow slowly on the last note, and it hung in the air, the only sound in the otherwise complete silence in the arena. The lights descended until it was almost completely dark. I was still glued to Levi’s intense stare until I could no longer see him, but I could feel him. The connection was severed when the world around us erupted. The lights went back up and he put on his most charming smile before turning to the audience and throwing his hands into the air. “She’s amazing, right?” he shouted, receiving an even louder roar of applause in response.


Divider_031

About the Author

About the Author:

I’m a love of all things books, a hopeless romantic, and have always had a passion for writing. Between being a sappy romantic, my love of an HEA, my crazy imagination, and ok, let’s be real, my dirty mind, I fell easily into writing romance.

I’m a huge baseball fan and yet, a complete girly, girl. I’m an obsessive reader and have a slight (hahaha! Slight? Yeah, right) addiction to signed books.

I’m married to my very own book boyfriend, an alpha male with a sexy, sweet side. He is the best inspiration, my biggest supporter, and the love of my life. He is also incredibly patient and understanding about the fact that he has to fight the voices in my head for attention.

I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoyed writing them!

CONNECT WITH ELLE

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / TUMBLR / GOODREADS / INSTAGRAM / PINTEREST / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

 

 

inkslinger-pr-blogger-banner-new-300x111

Ryna

Blog Tour with Review for Boiling Point by Tessa Bailey

boiling-point-tour-banner

We are over the moon excited to bring you the Blog Tour for Tessa Bailey’s BOILING POINT. Grab your copy of the amazing  book in the Crossing The Line Series today!



Boiling Point CoverBOILING POINT

by Tessa Bailey
Crossing the Line, #3
Publication Date: January 25, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: IndieSage PR

piheart5

goodreadsbutton

Synopsis: Falling for a con man is the most dangerous game of all…

Con artist Austin Shaw’s been in disguise so long he’s not sure where his fake identities end and he begins. Now that he’s been strong-armed into working for a specialized undercover unit working with the Chicago police—criminals with unique “skills”—the last thing he needs is to risk his iron control. Especially when it comes to a certain stunningly sexy hacker who tempts him with every look of disdain.

Polly Banks will never, ever trust a con man. On the trail of a ruthless crook who destroyed the only family she’s ever known, Polly is unnerved by the shadow who follows her every move. The one who makes her pulse pound and breath short with lust. Austin. He’s infuriating, enigmatic, and pure sex appeal, and she’s determined to resist him.

But an untrustworthy man of disguise can become anyone he wants…including a man that Polly must trust if she’s to escape their dangerous game alive.

Purchase: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | B&N| Kobo | iBooks

Divider_031

 

My Thoughts
*Advanced Readers Copy received in exchange for an honest review*

I always love Tessa Bailey’s novels and I’ve been dying to read Boiling Point so when I got a change to take part of this blog tour I jumped for it! This book had is steamy and hot and had so much sexiness. Now sadly this is going to be a short review as I just got to work and I just have a short time to type out this review before I get busy. I could not put this book down. I loved reading every second of the book and I didn’t think I would love Austen so much especially because his a con man. I love how this author can write amazing swoon worthy, protective alpha males and some nice fierce and snarky females.

cat_fangirl

This book is about a group of cons who got together to work with a detective named Derek. All these guys joined this group to get a better life for themselves and those they love and not ending up in jail instead. Now this book is all about Polly and Austen, Finally! I always love hackers and trust me I loved Polly. Polly hid some dark stuff with in her I mean I always wondered why she hated con artist and in this book we found out why she hated con artist so much and yet she fell in love with Austen.  Austen wanted to get under Polly’s skin since the moment he saw Polly. He just did not know how at first but they needed to work together to catch a mutual enemy. In the meantime he made sure he can get under her skin while trying to stop this enemy.

Each character in this book brings a certain skill to the table and that is what made the books so much more interesting and a much more fun read. With that said I still wanted some more suspense no just some suspense here at the end but I did like the build-up to the end. I loved how Austen would give the reigns over to Polly, he noticed how she liked to have all the reigns. But I also loved it when he took all the reigns back. I loved the balance between all that sexy times.

swoon

Anyway this a perfect and fun read and I would easily reread this entire series. Now I cannot wait to read the next book in this series as we got a new character in this book and I want to know his story! This book deserves a 5 heart rating! I also loved seeing more of Erin, she is one of my favorite characters after all. Anyway I highly recommend this book because Bailey knows how to bring the A game when it comes to dirty-talking and that hot, sexy times.

 

5

Ash

Divider_031
Excerpt

“Drop the gun.” He issued the order through clenched teeth. “I find the idea of hurting you distasteful.”

She twisted her body, an attempt to regain control of the Beretta. “I can’t believe you don’t have the decency to put your dick away before charging at me.”

Call him sick, call him whatever you liked, he liked Polly talking about his dick in any capacity. Look at it. Want it. “I’m the furthest thing from decent.”

“No shit.” They were breathing heavily, inches from each other’s mouths. And hell if the swollen bastard between his thighs didn’t react favorably to having her close, even though she might have come there to murder him in cold blood. Pity, his cock didn’t deal in semantics.

“One last chance, Banks. Drop the gun or I’ll take it away from you.”

She pretended to think about it. “See, I’m not really in the mood to cry uncle.”

“Are you in the mood to cry Austin? Now that could be interesting.” She attempted to jerk the Beretta away again, giving him no choice but to dig his thumb into the pressure point on her wrist, releasing her grip automatically. “There now.” Keeping his attention trained on Polly, he placed the gun out of her reach on an overhead shelf. “That wasn’t so difficult, was—”

Her freed fist drilled him in the stomach. A grunt burst past his lips, but masculine pride kept him standing upright. Well, masculine pride and another fist flying in his direction, this time at his head. He shot a hand out to intercept the punch, using the grip to drag Polly off the sink and twist her arm behind her back.

“Aiming for this moneymaker face, sweet?” He clucked his tongue. “Now that’s just cruel.”

“Let me go,” she demanded, her voice vibrating with anger. Although he detected more embarrassment than anything else. He’d never seen her anything but confident. Ready for a challenge. It didn’t sit well that he’d scored her pride, so he let go of her arm. He had questions that needed answering, though, so as soon as he refastened his pants—not an easy feat when his cock still stood at attention—Austin pressed her body back against the sink, blocking both avenues of escape with his arms.

“How did you find my address? I’ve made it impossible.”

Some of her confidence returned in the form of a chin lift. Jesus, he would’ve liked to see that chin pointed toward the ceiling as she wailed for more tongue. “You should know by now that nothing is impossible for me.” Intelligence glimmered in her eyes. “I know you asked Derek to pay you by money order. I tracked the last several serial numbers to four different check-cashing places in the neighborhood.” Her shrug appeared grudging. “That was smart, not using the same place consistently. But I was able to pinpoint your general location down to a three-block radius, nonetheless. This building is the only one not run by a professional management company, and the most likely to rent without a proper credit check and accept cash deposits.”

It took an effort, but Austin managed to hide the chest-expanding awe she’d inspired. “And my apartment number? How did you manage to glean that information, my hot little sleuth?”

“I’m not your anything, Shaw.” She narrowed her gaze. “And your buzzer has the name I.M. TheTits on it.”

Divider_031

Also Available

DON’T MISS THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE SIZZLING CROSSING THE LINE SERIES….

Riskier Business #0.5 Cover

RISKIER BUSINESS
by Tessa Bailey
Crossing the Line, #0.5
Publication Date: January 5, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | B&N| Kobo | iBooks

Synopsis: One more game. And this time, there are no rules…

After a life of pool hustling and living on the wrong side of the law, Ruby Elliott is living on the straight and narrow with sexy-as-all-hell NYPD detective, Troy Bennett. Now the only trouble Ruby has with the law is the naughty kind, pinned against the wall by Troy’s strict and spectacularly hard body. Obeying his every command. Both of them losing themselves in a lust that borders on obsession…

But then her father returns with an offer she can’t refuse: one last hustle in exchange for information. Information she’d die to have. As the pieces and the players of the game reveal themselves, Troy feels the fine edges of his control slipping—control he can’t channel without hurting Ruby. The stakes are high, and the risk higher. Because losing this final game could cost more than Ruby’s heart…it might cost her life.

goodreads-badge-add-38px

Risking It All #1 Cover

RISKING IT ALL
by Tessa Bailey
Crossing the Line, #1
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | B&N| Kobo | iBooks

Synopsis: NYPD detective Seraphia Newsom will avenge her brother’s death at any cost. Even if it means insinuating herself into a rough, Brooklyn street gang and going so far undercover, she’s not sure she’ll be able to get out. Every minute she spends in their midst means the clock ticking down on her life, especially when she overhears something that could get her killed.

Bowen Driscol is the heir to a crime enterprise. He never asked for the job, but with his father behind bars, he has no choice but to step in and keep the operation running. But when the NYPD blackmails him with a piece of damning information in exchange for aiding an undercover cop, he finds himself on the other side of the law for the first time in his life.

Bowen knows the danger Sera is in, and keeping her safe trumps saving his own ass. The problem? She can’t know he’s on her side. And there’s the matter of the seriously inconvenient heat sparking between them that’s incinerating his resistance. But Sera only sees Bowen’s past, and men like him are the reason her brother is dead. If they’re to get out alive, he’ll have to risk exposing the man beneath, and hope to hell he doesn’t blow the whole operation in the process.

goodreads-badge-add-38px

Up In Smoke #2 Cover

UP IN SMOKE
by Tessa Bailey
Crossing the Line, #2
Publication Date: June 23, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | B&N| Kobo | iBooks

Synopsis: Never start a fire you can’t control…

Connor Bannon is supposed to be dead. Dishonorably discharged from the Navy SEALs, he’s spent the last two years working as a street enforcer in Brooklyn for his cousin’s crime ring. Through a twist of fate, he’s now in Chicago, working undercover to bust criminals. But when a cute little arsonist joins the team—all combat boots, tiny jean shorts, and hot-pink hair—Connor’s notorious iron control slips.

Erin “she’s getting away” O’Dea knows two things. She hates authority. And… Nope, that’s it. When she’s forced to operate on the “right” side of the law, her fear of being confined and controlled blazes to the surface. The last thing she expects is a control freak like Connor to soothe her when she needs it most. Worse, something behind the sexy ex-soldier’s eyes ignites a dangerous inferno of desire. One that invites Erin to play with fire. And one that could get them both killed…

goodreads-badge-add-38px

About the Author

highres-MJB_5140.jpg

Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter

 

Giveaway

Boiling Point Giveaway Graphic
a Rafflecopter giveaway
IndieSageBlogger

 

Release Blitz with Excerpt & Giveaway for Wasted Time by Mya O’Malley

Wasted Time RB Banner

Title: Wasted Time
Author: Mya O’Malley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000030_00050]

 

Synopsis

Do you believe that some souls are destined to be together, even through hardship and deceit?

After 9-11, Declan’s heart is torn between wanting to stay with Morgan and needing to fight for his beloved country. Knowing that the future may be uncertain, he kisses his fiancée goodbye and focuses on his mission until that dark day from which he will never fully recover. Injured in Afghanistan, Declan has lost more than part of his leg, he’s lost part of himself, now plagued in grief and guilt. How could he possibly ask Morgan to take care of him for the rest of his life, being nothing but a burden to her? Which would be more heartbreaking, feigning his own death or bringing her unhappiness every day? If only he could eradicate her from his mind and be at peace with his decision.

Morgan prays day and night for Declan’s safe return, but when his letters stop coming, Morgan knows in her heart that she has lost him forever. Morgan has a hard time believing in fate and destiny after her fiancé is taken from her. With Declan gone, Morgan’s hope for true love is de-stroyed, but eventually she finds comfort in the arms of another. Morgan’s new love knows that her heart belongs to Declan, but will do any-thing in his power to stop the two from reuniting. Will Morgan eventually be able to move on, or will Declan haunt her dreams forever?

a3482-add-to-goodreads-button

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords

MyaOMalleyteaser2

Excerpt

Her face was the only thing that had kept him sane during his deployment. At this moment, however, thoughts of Morgan had been pushed to the side for reasons of pure survival. Declan wiped the mud from his eye with a swift movement of his hand, just quick enough so that he could see again. Booming thunder went off near and far.

Swearing under his breath, Declan closed one eye and squinted the other shut as he spied his target.Breathe. One, two, three… he could do this. The first time he’d had to shoot another man he had faltered, hesitated only the briefest of seconds, during which time the man escaped his line of sight and shot a fellow soldier in the leg, causing serious injury.

This time, Declan concentrated, aimed his M4 rifle, and fired. The distinct thud of a man dropping to the ground confirmed the target had been hit. Swiping at the sweat in his eyes from the sweltering mid-day heat, Declan gulped and struggled to his knees. Lining up his rifle again, his neck and shoulders ached with fatigue. He bit down and gritted his teeth, tasting dirt while fighting off the pain.

It seemed as if hours had gone by, when in fact, it had probably only been minutes when finally the haunting sound of gunfire ceased. Not one to trust silence in any setting, Declan mentally counted upward until he reached near fifty.

“All clear,” his buddy, Sean, called out. “All clear.”

Declan, always cautious, still maintained his position until he heard his fellow soldiers from his platoon begin to speak. Peeking up from his ravine, Declan rose slowly to his feet as the rifle was pressed to his side.

Surveying the damage, it appeared that several of their enemies were lying still on the ground. The man he had shot lay still, appearing lifeless. Another man lay several feet away. It seemed the enemies had taken off, deserting the boundaries of the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan. His platoon mates fell silent, all business as they quickly gathered their belongings to head back to base.

Declan clutched his rifle, drawing closer to his victim. Curiosity had gotten the best of him. Fully aware of his previous actions, Declan stepped even closer. He had never killed a man before — injured, yes, but never killed. This man did not appear to be alive.

His heart sped up as sweat caused his fatigues to cling to his body. For God’s sake, the man looked to have been only in his early twenties at best. What have I done? What are we doing here? Waves of nausea rose and Declan swallowed hard.

“Hey! Step back!” Sean called out. “Move out! I repeat, move out!”

Hearing his friend call out to him, Declan turned toward the sound of his voice, realizing his mistake seconds too late. He should have known better; he should have. But no amount of training can prepare you for taking another man’s life.

Glancing swiftly at Sean through tear-stained eyes, he saw the movement in his peripheral vision. Sean raced to the open dirt road. They were sitting ducks, in plain sight. The man that Declan had presumed dead, the one he had shot, raised his own rifle and fired at Sean, who dropped instantly to ground.

“No! No!” Declan spun his head back to the imminent threat, a moment too late. The force of the explosion knocked him to the ground in an instant. Morgan’s face was the last thing that registered in his mind as another shot fired, leaving his world black.

 

****

 

Clouds scattered overhead, cries of gulls bringing back another time, a different memory, sitting here with Declan by her side. Morgan squeezed her jaw, fighting back the pain.

Months later, there was still no word from Declan. On the Internet, she had searched out his name relentlessly but there was no mention of Declan, no death certificates and his name couldn’t be found on any list of casualties of the war. It was as if he had simply disappeared, but that wasn’t possible and she feared the worst. He was gone and there was no closure for Morgan, as his only living relatives were his mom and some family living on the west coast, whom Declan hadn’t seen in years. Even she and Declan’s old friend, Stephen seemed to be losing touch.

She could sit on this beach and watch the water forever; it was a place Declan had cherished, a place she felt close to him. Never again would her life be the same without Declan Blake. How was she going to make it without him?

The world was quiet and without joy for Morgan. Even Morgan’s mother nagged her to speak with a therapist. She didn’t see the purpose of smiling or laughing when it was all forced. Constant thoughts of Declan plagued her day and night.

Morgan nearly jumped when her cell rang. First instincts were to let the call go to voicemail, but she knew the person calling would only persist. That’s how it had been lately; she would ignore phone calls only to find tons of messages waiting.

It was Elle, calling for the second time that day. “Hi, Elle.”

“Where have you been? I’ve been trying to call you for hours,” Elle exclaimed.

“I don’t know, I’m just hanging out.”

“Down by the river again?” Elle inquired.

“Yup,” Morgan responded as she moved her foot around in the sand.

“Figured as much.”

Elle’s voice sounded odd, almost as if she were hearing her close by. Morgan turned to see her friend walking toward her on the grassy path leading to the small beach.

Rising to her feet, Morgan felt tears escape. Elle was by her side, arms wrapped around her within moments. Morgan released Elle and took a small step back.

“Oh, Elle, what am I going to do?” she sobbed.

“You’re going to live, dammit. Declan would want you to be happy.”

“How? How can I forget about him, just move on?” It wasn’t possible, she had tried, and it just wasn’t working. Even when she was at work, she was just going through the motions; she did her job, but her heart wasn’t the same.

“I think it’s time for you to see someone to talk about all of this. You’ve waited long enough.”

She was right and so was her mother, believe it or not. “I will, Elle. I will because I don’t know what else to do.”

“Morgan, you’re the strongest person I know. You have so much happiness and love to share. I have full confidence in you. You’re going to make it and come out stronger in the end.” Elle spoke through her own tears.

“Thanks, Elle. I love you.” Morgan felt better knowing there was someone on her side rooting for her.

Trailer

Playlist

MyaOMalleyteaser3

About the Author

Mya O'Malley

Mya O’Malley was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and three step-daughters. The family also consists of a boxer, Destiny and a ragdoll cat named Colby. Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students.

Mya’s passion is writing; she has been creating stories and poetry since she was a child. Mya spends her free time reading just about anything she can get her hands on. She is a romantic at heart and loves to create stories with unforgettable characters. Mya likes to travel; she has visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Costa Rica. Mya is currently working on her seventh novel.

Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By LAWF profile