Book Excerpt Moral Panics

Book Excerpt – Chapter 11

            Jacobs’ app, Investigate, had been hugely successful amongst Bay Area police departments. The police, in an effort to be more transparent about their work, needed a modern way of recording case details and registering evidence. Jacobs’ app had provided them with everything they needed.

            It was far more efficient, allowing the departments to separate the workforce into two categories: Searchers and Investigators. The Searchers went into the field to respond to gunshots, disturbances, and public complaints. They could take photos of crime scenes from their phones, which would automatically upload to their shared servers, making it far easier for officers to collaborate through the app.

            These pieces of evidence would then be sent to the servers where the Investigators would take over. The Investigators would receive the data, decide whether to follow up on possible leads while the Searchers moved on to the next crime scene. The Investigators would cross-reference this information with cell phone information drawn from known criminals to determine possible motives and suspects. Access to all of this was made possible by Jacobs’ sleek, easy-to-use system.

            Easy to use. Easy to abuse.

            Jacobs monitored the incoming data on Investigate after receiving Hunter’s phone call. Within a matter of thirty minutes, the officers on the scene were taking photos of the van and the crime scene. She watched as the photos were uploaded, preparing the replacements.

            Investigate had some technical difficulties in those crucial moments. While the general file was being recorded, a few pieces of evidence did not make it into the cloud server being provided by her company.

            The photos of the shredded tires were not uploaded, instead being replaced with a picture of a suicide note, detailing a full confession of the man’s crimes and a motive for those crimes.

            When the Investigator at the police department went over the file, it was an open-and-shut case. The evidence was clear. This crime was classed as a murder/suicide of a psychologically deranged individual motivated by antisocial personality disorder and a desire to gain some element of control over his surroundings. His vehicle would be towed to the impound, and no one would see a reason to follow up.

            The file was released to the public to ensure adherence to modern transparency policies, and there would be no further investigation.

            – K.M. Ecke

About the Book

If anything can be hacked, nothing can be trusted.

Tanner Moore is at the top of his game in the high stakes world of big technology. As chief technology officer of Paragon, the largest corporation in the world, he is about to release the greatest convenience innovation in the history of commerce: drone delivery service to every inch of the globe.

But when an interview with journalist Amy Noral is secretly recorded and published by the clickbait media, Tanner’s fall from grace is swift and brutal.

Tanner is fired, publicly condemned as a terrorist for comments he never made, and kidnapped by a mysterious vigilante group who use surveillance data to track and kill their enemies. Tanner must navigate their underground world full of violent zealots and mental manipulation to find his way to freedom, or see his drone technology used as the most advanced assassination tool ever devised.


Moral Panic explores the collision of the most extreme elements of politics, ideology and technological media manipulation. It navigates through a maze of modern surveillance with a skeptical eye on the data-driven world we live in, to bring an awareness of the possibility of such a story coming true in the real world.

Pre-order your print or digital copy now and save $2!


Hailing from the original birthplace of the atomic bomb, Los Alamos, NM, K.M. Ecke is an organic, free-range, preservative-free, philosopher-poet using universal truth to battle cultural insanity. Ecke, which is German for ‘corner’, is the child of a physicist and musician and grew up at the corner of creativity and logic. After ten years of existential exploration and creative experimenta-

tion, he releases his debut novel Moral Panic, along with an album of lyrically-focused songs, Change of Mind via his independent creative collective The Dream Flow.

 Ecke strives to deliver a strong story with inherent value to his readers. The author is well-versed in writing, including essays, songs and poetry, the last of which the author finds the most efficient form of expression, and thus, the best way to improve his writing practice.

Initially intending for law school, a business law class changed his direction, and Ecke chose to pursue writing, soul-searching and creative projects. After several years of odd jobs learning about different pieces of the world, he began his own private music teaching business and attended Colorado Film School for a year and a half to study filmmaking. After 18-months in his program, he veered to his own path and established Dream Flow Media, the home to all of his creative endeavors; publishing, music and all additional branches of the many-faceted visionary. Along with his own creations, he strives to bring other artists into the fold to develop a creative collective for a variety of multimedia projects.

Ecke also works as a filmmaker for local non-profits and bands, and hopes one day to see Moral Panic on the big screen. The author lives in Denver, Colorado and hosts a storytelling micro-podcast Myths, Metaphors, and Morality. For more info, visit the author online at

kevin_ecke @thedreamflow kmeckethedreamflowthedreamflow




Book Excerpt Nature of the Witch

Book Excerpt

Thanky ou to Majanka for letting me visit her blog on my blog tour. This extract is taken from a part of the story where Kiera is beginning to feel more confident with her powers. Here she is sneaking out of the house to perform a spell that she can’t tell anyone about, especially Jack who is charged with trying to protect her.

Before she slipped on her shoes she held them out in her hands and whispered, “Give me silence, like a fall of snow that no one should hear me wherever I go.”

Then she scattered some small stones across her duvet. She had enchanted them earlier in the day so that, hopefully, they would give the illusion to anyone who entered the room that someone was in the bed. The bed still looked empty to her, but then it probably only worked on others so there was no way for her to know.

She opened her bedroom door and peered out. It was 11 o’clock. She wondered briefly what Jack had decided to do and felt guilty. She didn’t like lying and she wished she was seeing the New Year in with him. As she thought of him a smile crept to her lips. After her first impressions of Jack, who would’ve thought she would actually enjoy his company?

She didn’t meet anyone as she left the house. The living room was in darkness so perhaps Jack had decided to go to bed. Outside it was cold and she pulled her coat tighter. She had a strong urge to turn back and crawl into her cosy bed, but she bowed her head against the wind and strode quickly forward. If she didn’t do this tonight she would have to wait another year.

The words in her book played around in her mind, ‘do not be fooled by the beauty of this flower for it carries a darkness within.’ She would need to be careful, what exactly did that mean? What could the plant contain?

She glanced around at the thick black that surrounded her. Her only light came from a soft, patchy glow, emitted from the few stars that managed to escape from behind the clouds; the same clouds which had blocked the sun all day now did the same with the moon, which meant she could only see a couple of feet in front.

The cold bit at any exposed skin from her nose to her fingertips. Despite the added layers she was wearing it seeped into her clothing. She shivered and moved a little quicker across the frosty grass, which should have crunched under foot but remained eerily silent due to her spell.

She’d had a last minute change of plan. She had spent the week researching into local ancient trees and had picked out a location, but whilst shooting with Jack she’d had a change of heart. As they were leaving she had spotted an oak tree hidden between the other trees.   She wasn’t entirely sure of its age and she hadn’t found it listed anywhere as an ancient tree. However, one thing Mags and Kitto had both taught her was to trust her intuition, and her intuition told her that this tree was old. She felt sure that it could help her.

Kiera wasn’t the only one moving silently through the darkness. He had no need of spells. He had learnt to be as one with the night many moons ago, at a time when the earth was much younger. He didn’t need to see Kiera to know where she walked, he could smell her. He smelt the blood in her veins and his body shuddered in anticipation. It had been so long since he had tasted the sweetness of a witch’s blood, there was nothing like it. He knew he should wait. It wasn’t time yet. After all, she wasn’t fully trained, so there would be no fight, and the battle was half the fun. But the waiting was getting harder, especially at times such as this when she was so close.

Witches thought they could harness nature when, in reality, he was nature. He and his kind were the embodiment of nature, in all its savagery. There were none more powerful. He had proved that before and he would prove it again.

The more he thought about the witch the more he liked his plan. Tonight was the night, there would be no more waiting. He would rip off the witch’s head to show the Gwithiaz before he slaughtered them too. He could almost taste the blood on his lips and he quickened his pace.

Nature of the Witch

Many years ago, magic prevailed in Britain. It was a time when chosen women followed a path forged by Mother Nature herself; a time of witchcraft, of the brotherhood of the Gwithiaz and of the terrifying Creatures.

This has all passed from memory a long time ago. But now, magic has returned. Kiera is the first witch the world has seen in centuries, while Jack must learn the ways of the Gwithiaz. They must not only master their crafts, but also overcome their differences and work together if they are to survive the dark enemy that lurks in the shadows.
In the rugged Cornish landscape where it first began, the two face the dreaded Kasadow: an ancient evil that has awakened and is ready to destroy them, and their magic, once and for all.

Purchase Link

Author Bio

Helen lives in the UK with her husband, two children and one diva-like cat called Tiger. Helen, like many others, was captivated in her childhood by books from the likes of Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton and any books which took her to new worlds and showed her places of magic and mystery. She has enjoyed writing and creating her own magical worlds from a young age. She is currently writing the second book in the ‘Nature of the Witch’ trilogy which will be out soon.




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Book Excerpt My Dinner From Eleanor’s

Excerpt #1

My table bussing duties completed, I joined Maggie at the stove. The warming food smelled good. She took a taste of one of the pots. “Almost.” she said, “Not quite warmed enough.” She handed me an oven mitt. “Why don’t you take the things out of the oven and set them on the table.”

I did as instructed. The warmth of the oven when I opened the door felt good. The rolls smelled as if they were freshly baked. I took the tray out and closed the door. Maggie turned the temperature setting up a couple of clicks above ‘warm’, and closed the oven door. “This would be our little fireplace,” she said, “keeping us toasty as we eat.”

I placed the rolls in a large bowl that I had lined with a paper towel for the purpose. I put a plate on top of it to retain the warmth. The pasties I arranged on a large serving plate.

I cut a sampling of the pasties into pieces, not exactly quarters, but as near to same-sized as it is possible to cut something that has a curved yet almost triangular shape. I found a small plate and arranged the samples on it in a manner that I hoped suggested ‘presentation’.

I brought the plate over to Maggie and held it for her to make a selection. She kept her eyes on the stovetop but acknowledged me by turning her head towards me slightly and opening her mouth just a bit. I picked up a selection and put it into her mouth.


She ate, not taking her eyes off her pots and pans.

As she ate, I took the opportunity to study her in a way that might not have been wise had she noticed.

Her hair was brown with the faintest hint of auburn and not quite shoulder length. It hung compactly about her head in tight tiny ringlets. It was not the sort of hair to run fingers through, but would be a delight to nuzzle close against on a cold night.

Maggie turned her head slightly towards me again, mouth open, waiting for another piece. I noticed that she wore no lipstick.

“Vegetable,” I said as I placed it into her mouth, not bothering to mention the hint of curry.

She ate.

The dark sweater that she wore was loose but not baggy, creating a tension between concealing and suggesting the shape of what was covered. The loose fit of the sweater only accentuated the snug fit of her skirt. The shortness of the skirt only directed attention to the stockings with their multicolored bands, which only called attention to her legs.

She inclined her head towards me again, her lips open and receptive.

“Sweet potato.”

I placed it in her mouth. As I did, I took note of the tilt if her head and the curve of her neck. I imagined how she would look when she offered her neck to be kissed.

“Ready,” she said.

Excerpt #2

On the walls were displayed black-and-white and color photographs interspersed one by the other, some framed, some matted. All the photos were of flowers, of varieties of orchid.

“This is Jan’s work?” I asked.

Maggie nodded.

I began to stroll the corridor as one does in a gallery, studying each of the photos in turn.

Upon closer inspection, I was surprised the see that the photographs were not of flowers at all, but of models, women who had been posed in such a way that the opening of their orifice was made to resemble the orifice of an orchid. Their legs and arms had been arranged to be petals and sepals and labia as labellum. The focal point of each photograph was the opening of the ‘flower’, waiting to be entered. All that was lacking was the scent

Maggie watched me as I walked the exhibition. I paused from time to time to study a particular work more closely. These were not soft floral arrangements; this was no rose metaphor for womanhood. It was a blooming of cunt; not a thorny prick among them.

I wondered for which Maggie had posed.

“What do you think?” she asked at last.

“Very… floral,” I said.

Maggie’s expression told me that she was expecting a more expansive response.

“It was an interesting choice,” I offered, “to have women…” I struggled for the right words “…to have women present themselves as orchids in that way. Flowers waiting to be pollinated.”

Maggie said nothing. She took my hand. “Come on,” she said, “Let’s have some tea.”

Maggie led the way to a closed door opposite to where we had come in. When she opened the door, we were at stub intersection: a short hallway to the left led to what appeared to be the bedrooms; at an oblique angle to the right was the kitchen. We had come full circle. As Maggie reached for the light switch by the door, I noticed the photograph of her and Matilda hanging on the wall. Matilda, Maggie’s special flower. Maggie threw the light switch, and the photo gallery was once more plunged into darkness.

About the Book

All he was wanted was his dinner, plain and simple, and then he would be on his way.

She suggested that he try something different for a change.

That is how the night began.

A man.
A woman.
An order of vegan macaroni and cheese.

That is how the night began.

It became an evening of conversation. The talk was of art, literature, history, until…

This Is a story that addresses that age-old dilemma:
When you have gone home with someone you have just met, to a mysterious house on a dark and foreboding street, and that person wants to draw you, and asks that you pose in… a certain way… what do you do?

Buy the book on Amazon.



Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Dinner from Eleanor's by Trilby Singer

My Dinner from Eleanor’s

by Trilby Singer

Giveaway ends March 16, 2018.
See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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Book Excerpt Vicky and Lizzie’s First Period

Book Excerpt

The children filed out of the theatre.

Jody was swarmed by inquisitive students in the corridor. They hushed their questions at her, eager to get the gory details on the Layla Quick case.

Vicky and Lizzie walked arm in arm, envious of the attention their ginger friend was getting.

‘Look at that tiny bottle of vinegar,’ Vicky whispered as Mr Parker ran ahead of the line, ‘They’re all over her.’

Lizzie shook her head and pretended to spit at her. ‘Bitch.’

‘Hey Vicky,’ Henry said, walking up alongside them. ‘You think she’s telling the truth?’

‘Who, Jody?’

‘Yeah, man.’

‘She’s a prissy little tattle-tale, mate,’ Vicky smirked, ‘Half the stuff that comes out of her bitch mouth is chicken bollocks.’

‘Yeah, and most of what goes in, so I’ve heard,’ Lizzie said.

Henry scrunched his face in confusion. ‘I don’t get it. Nobody saw it happen.’

‘Yeah, man.’ Vicky descended the IT corridor stairwell. ‘Who do you think they’re gonna believe, anyway?’

Henry took a deep breath. ‘You know, I think Jonnie and Sam are planning something.’

‘What, that gay boy and his four-eyed boyfriend?’ Lizzie giggled. ‘The only thing they’re planning is how to set up their Gruntr profiles.’

‘Nah, straight up.’

They reached the ground floor corridor.

‘They’re, like, bunking off and spying on Pondie.’ Henry said.

‘Pondie? The woodwork teacher?’ Lizzie didn’t believe a word of what Henry had to say. ‘Are you on crack, or something?’

‘Swear down,’ Henry said, ‘Something ain’t right.’

‘Oi! Williams!’ Jonnie called out from behind the trio. ‘You chatting up White Jizzie again, fag?’

Henry turned around as the girls giggled at Jonnie’s remark. ‘Leave me alone.’

‘Yeah?’ Jonnie cackled, evilly. ‘You wanna fuck me more than her, dont’cha, mate?’

Henry stopped in his tracks. ‘You’re a prick, mate.’

Jonnie barged past Henry, knocking him into the wall.



Vicky turned away from the commotion and whispered to Lizzie. ‘You know what we should do, right?’


‘We should totally start a rumour. We can sue the school.’

‘What are you talking about?’

‘Look what’s happening with Layla and Mr Galigan, man,’ Vicky giggled, giddy at the prospect of some easy cash and sympathy. ‘What do you think?’

‘Could do, I suppose.’

Lizzie wasn’t fully on board with the idea. She couldn’t connect the dots in the same way her friend was doing.

Vicky opened her mouth before Lizzie had a chance to shoot down the idea. ‘If we do it together, we can be each other’s witnesses.’

‘But they’ll believe the teacher, not us.’

‘That’s why we need more than one of us there, you know.’

Lizzie shot her friend a look. ‘You’re not serious, are you?’

‘Sure, why not?’

‘Are you actually?’

‘It’ll be a laugh, right? Just need the right teacher to do it with.’

Lizzie looked at her shoes. ‘You’re mental in the head.’

‘No, no!’ Vicky grabbed Lizzie’s arm and pulled her closer as they walked. She whispered in her ear. ‘We’ll start a rumour and see what happens.’

‘Yeah, but who we gonna do it with?’

‘We could do it with a girl teacher?’

‘No, that won’t work,’ Lizzie thought aloud, ‘girl teachers don’t do nasty stuff like that.’


Mr Bloom, the handsome technology teacher, made his way past. He squeezed through the line of children heading to their first class of the day. ‘Excuse me, guys. Thanks.’

‘Hi, sir,’ Vicky said with a smile.

‘Hey, Vicky,’ Mr Bloom slowed down and walked with her. ‘Did you do that homework I asked for?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Good. You too, Lizzie?’

‘Yes, sir. Of course I done it.’

‘Good, I’m expecting it period three tomorrow.’ Mr Bloom pushed past a couple of boys and sprinted up the corridor.

The boy he accidentally knocked was Jonnie. ‘Sorry, excuse me, please!’

‘Fuck your Dad, sir!’ Jonnie shouted after Mr Bloom. He ignored the boy. It was quicker and less work to pretend he hadn’t heard the utterance.

Vicky and Lizzie chuckled to each other, knowing they’d lied to Mr Bloom. They turned out of the corridor and entered the school playground.

The sports hall loomed at the far end, adjacent to the technology annexe.

‘You seen the way Jonnie talks to the teachers?’ Vicky asked Lizzie. ‘He’s such a prick. I dunno why you like him.’

‘I told you, he’s fit.’

Vicky slung her arm around Lizzie’s shoulders. She pulled her close as they crossed the playground. ‘It’s not just about looks, though, is it?’

‘No, but—’

‘—You just wanna shag him, don’t you?’

‘—Eww, no! That’s gross!’

‘Hey, don’t act all innocent, princess! I’m your best friend, you know! I know you better than anyone!’

Lizzie pushed Vicky’s arm away and shuffled her rucksack back over her shoulders. ‘Shut up. At least I don’t fancy his mate with the glasses.’

‘I do not fancy Sam Bright!’

‘You do too.’

‘I don’t!’ Vicky stopped in her tracks. She flicked her long, blonde hair over her shoulder and blew Lizzie an exaggerated kiss. ‘I’m far too gorgeous for speccy Sam Bright. Mwah!’

‘We both are. Mwah!’

Vicky and Lizzie hooked their pinkies together – the Hopper and White version of a classic high-five. The pair finished with their silly little motto.

‘Sisters! Forever.’

Vicky & Lizzie’s First Period

Bloody Hell!

All together now…
There were two girls called Vicky & Lizzie
Who kept the Academy busy
Causing trouble and mirth
For all they were worth
Sending teachers right into a tizzy
They kicked-off a false, nasty rumour
That one of the staff was a groomer
For everyone knows
Gossip spreads out and grows
But the school didn’t quite see the humour
Would Vicky & Lizzie regret
All the damage they caused? Nah, not yet
Scheming, conniving
The girls kept on vying
A dangerous precedent was set
Vicky & Lizzie delivered a blitz
On a school at the end of its wits
Did they care? Did they f**k
They were common as muck
Those nasty, vindictive young s#!ts
This might cause upset and uproar
It’s a musical satire, what’s more
For the first time ever
We promise you’ve never
Read anything like this before
So pick up your copy today
Of a story about which you will say
That I wanted to barf
But so hard I did laugh
Vicky & Lizzie have just made my day!

Purchase on Amazon


About Andrew Mackay​​

Some authors are afraid to cross the line.

Me? Oh, I’m glad you asked! I make “the line” my starting point…

My brand is satire.

I hop between genres like madman on crack because my razor-sharp literary knife is hungry for political and social commentary. One genre just can’t cut it (if you’ll forgive the pun.) I’m obsessed, I tell you!

I write straight-up humor and farce, horror, crime, romance… all under the banner of satire.

My novels often contain a ruthless commentary on society, delving into the darker machinations of modern life. They can be uproarious, funny, outrageous and shocking. Make no mistake, though. They are this way for a reason, and always come equipped with a sense of humanity and wit.

My influences include John Cleese, Tom Sharpe, Kurt Vonnegut, James Patterson, Hunter S Thompson, Douglas Adams, Imogen Edwards-Jones, Michael Frayn, Chris Morris, Jerry Sadowitz, Christopher Hitchins, Bill Maher, George Carlin, Jordan Peterson, Pat Condell, and writer/director Larry Cohen.

My obsessions include (and are essentially limited to) obscene amounts of: smoking, drugs, alcohol, caffeine, sex, debating, daydreaming and writing about himself in the third person.

Website –

Facebook –

Twitter –

Join Andrew Mackay on Facebook for a virtual launch party tonight for a selection of author takeovers and giveaways.

17:00 – 20:00 CST  which is  23:00 – 02:00 GMT (14/15 Feb)


Book Excerpt Magic of Stars

Book Excerpt

Wow – he was a fast mover, Sapphire thought, as she gazed into his brooding eyes. She did a quick once over of the man: tall with a mop of dark silky hair, expensive looking suit, good olive coloured skin and enviable white teeth. Decision made, she threw back the last of her wine and coughed as it caught in her throat and dribbled down her chin. Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, she said, ‘Now that’s an interesting proposition.’ She ran the tip of her tongue over her lips and tried to make her eyes smoky, like the blonde in her boyfriend’s bed. Sadly, it just sent her vision out of focus once more.

She put out a tentative finger and traced it down the man’s tie, looping her thumb under it before yanking hard to draw him closer to her irresistible pouting lips. Or was it the woman in her boyfriend’s bed who had those – not stupid Sapphire, with her boring, un-kissable, devoid-of-shiny-pink-lip-gloss lips, and with absolutely no pulling power whatsoever?

 The man grabbed her fingers and loosened her hold on him, setting her back on the stool. ‘Not a good trick, if you don’t mind me saying so.’

‘Whoops, sorry. It was supposed to be an enticement, not a garrotting.’ She swayed with laughter and almost toppled off her stool again, the effort of staying upright suddenly difficult.

‘Lady, it really is time you left my bar.’

‘I’m going, Captain – and my name is Sapphire.’ She saluted him as she climbed off her stool, fumbling for her bag. As she stood up she caught her heel in the foot rest and felt herself falling. She clutched at the bar top, her nails scraping as her stomach swooped with alarm ––

Marco Cavarelli was by her side in a second, his hand under her elbow, helping her to stay upright.

She winced as she righted herself, the room spinning on a different axis to her own. ‘Ooh, I didn’t think you could get drunk this quickly.’

‘You can if you try as hard as you did.’ He grabbed her arm as she teetered unsteadily on her heels.

‘I really don’t drink, you see.’

‘Your impression of a teetotaller is way off kilter, if you don’t mind me stating the obvious.’ He gripped her arm to pull her up and steady her. ‘Take a couple of painkillers with a glass of water before you go to bed – it makes all the difference,’ he instructed, his lips a tight line of disapproval.

The barman slid the bill over. ‘Just to keep the books straight, Signore.’

‘Of course, no problem.’ He let go of Sapphire and turned away from her to sign the chitty.

Sapphire suddenly couldn’t bear to see him go. It was so important that he stayed; that he understood she really, really didn’t want to be as drunk as she clearly was. ‘No, don’t go!’ She dashed a tear away as it rolled down her cheek, only for it to be replaced by another one.

Her rescuer sighed. ‘I don’t need another maiden in distress, you know.’ He ran a hand over his face, puffing out his cheeks, resigned as he turned to the barman. ‘Why can’t we just throw ’em over our shoulders and dump ’em somewhere, like we used to do back in the caveman days?’ He sighed and shook his head.

Si, Signor Cavarelli, she is trouble.’ The bartender waggled his head, weighing up the dilemma. He turned to Sapphire with a sigh, pointing at his boss and enunciating clearly. ‘He look after you.’

Sapphire was confused by the exchange, but she had sufficient brain cells still functioning to know she would never find her room unaided. She grabbed the bottle of champagne from the bar counter and waved it at the barman. ‘I don’t drink, you see.’

‘Had me fooled, that’s for sure,’ the barman said, winking at her.

The Magic of Stars

Sapphire Montrose always felt like a loser in the struggle of life, but when she becomes the airline manager of a run-down airline she starts to believe she is a winner – until she unwittingly propositions her new boss and all her hard work is undone.

In a moment of recklessness air stewardess, Sapphire Montrose throws caution and her dress to the wind by propositioning a handsome stranger in a hotel in Florence, only to find herself waking up alone and embarrassed in her hotel room.

Unfortunately for Sapphire, it turns out that her new boss, Marco Cavarelli, is the man she failed to seduce and she is now fighting for her job and her self-respect when he tells her there is no place in his revamped airline for an alcoholic woman with lascivious tendencies. To make matters worse she is increasingly attracted to him and he seems to be giving out the same vibes. Or is he simply testing her? One wrong move could be the end of her career. But what if he really is offering love – and is he worth the risk?

Purchase from Amazon UK

About Jackie Ladbury

Jackie Ladbury was desperate to become a journalist when she left school but was ousted within minutes on the day of the exam at her local rag because she’d forgotten to bring a pen.

Short and sharp lesson learned.

Her budding writing career was not on hold for long, though, as Jackie found herself scribbling love stories of pilots and ‘hosties’ while she flew in aeroplanes of various shapes and sizes as a flight attendant herself.

Fast forward a good few years and, after being short-listed in a couple of prestigious romantic writing competitions, Jackie decided it was time to discard her stilettos, say goodbye to the skies and concentrate on writing romantic novels, where the only given is a guaranteed ‘happy ever after.’




The Write Romatics



Book Spotlight: London Noir

Book Excerpt

Sophie dipped her brush in water and then chose azure blue to finish the detail. Azure blue reminded her of summer days and sandy beaches. It also reminded Sophie of her mother, and, as usual, the thought brought a bitter taste to the back of her mouth. Sophie swallowed. Concentrating to stop the trembling in her fingers, with one, two, three strokes, she finished the butterfly wings.  The makeup brush clattered onto the dresser. Sophie twisted towards the mirror and admired the trail of tiny, azure butterflies sweeping up over her shoulder. In the light of the bedroom lamp, the sequins of her silver dress reflected the blue of the butterflies’ open wings.

Sophie swept her clutch bag from the bed and placed inside it the syringe, then the perfume and pepper spray. The spray was a noxious mix, designed to blind the victim and, even better, make them writhe in agony. For that reason, Lady Penny insisted all the girls carried it. Lastly, Sophie picked up the flick knife and touched her finger to the razor-sharp edge. Sugar G had trained them – a strike to the eye, to the crease of the groin, or the stomach – all the soft parts of the body. Not all the girls carried a knife, and she was certain of those who did, none of them carried it to commit murder.

London Noir by Ann Girdharry

Memory loss, nightmares, the urge to kill – Sophie has it all. Is it really post-traumatic stress disorder? Or something more sinister? Kal is about to find out…

After a near-fatal road accident, Kal helps Sophie, a young girl in trouble. The girl’s friends are being murdered one by one. Why? And who by? Kal must kick start herself out of her downward spiral to save the young stranger. But Kal is in the grip of the London Cartel and is someone stalking the girl, or is the girl stalking someone?

To be published 17th October 2017

Ann Girdharry

Ann Girdharry is a British crime suspense thriller author.

A trained psychotherapist, she worked for many years as a manager in the not-for-profit sector, for agencies working with carers, vulnerable older people, survivors of abuse, and victims of racial attacks.

She currently lives in Montpellier, France with her husband and two children.

Her debut novel, GOOD GIRL BAD GIRL, is an ERIC HOFFER BOOK AWARD Finalist 2017.

Her second crime suspense thriller, LONDON NOIR, will be published October 2017.






London Noir is available in ebook and paperback 


Book Excerpt The Kidnapping of Senator Andy Thompson

Senators Andy Thompson and Hunt Wagner lead the way in a spirited debate on a new health care bill and whether or not to stop President Robinson and Secretary Von Schumann from sending troops to Botswana. A real adventure begins when Senator Thompson is kidnapped and Brian Travors, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State is suspected of being involved. Senators Hunt Wagner and Darius Clemens head a committee hearing to get to the truth. President Robinson suffers a heart attack and Vice-President Barry Newman takes over temporarily.

Book Excerpt

“Mr. President, my distinguished colleagues, I rise to support this resolution and to put the Senate on record as being opposed to sending our boys to fight in what is mostly a civil war between Botswana and Mozambique. We cannot and we must not repeat Vietnam. We are the most powerful nation in the world but, we cannot send our troops everywhere. We must have a foreign policy, which dictates our national priorities. This Administra-tion needs to form a better strategy for our national foreign policy. I yield the floor.”

Senator Wagner rose to speak. “I ask for the ayes and nays on this resolution.”

Senator Gibson announced. “The clerk will call the roll.”

“Mr. Atkins, Mr. Blakely, Mr. Bauman, Mr. Clemens, Mr. Coleman, Mr. Connors, Mr. Dion, Ms. DuBois, Mr. Evans, Ms. Ferreira, Mr. Gain, Mr. Gibson, Mr. Iannotti,…”

“On this resolution, the vote was eighty-five yes, and fifteen nay, the resolution is agreed to.”

Hunt and Andy were proud of themselves because they had taken a step forward. Now it was up to the president. What would he do? How would he react? No one really knew.

President Kirk Robinson sulked in the chair in the Oval Office. Why was everything going so wrong for him when it had all started out so good? The first few months of his administration he had succeeded in getting three major bills passed through the Congress, one of them being the Budget Act, but somehow everything suddenly went wrong and now he was the bad guy. It seemed to be the doings of two men, Secretary von Schumann, his Secretary of State, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Brian Travors. They were truly bad news.

Why did I ever bother to nominate them? They have been nothing but trouble. He decided to call Senator Bauman because he needed to reach out to the members of the Senate and now was the time.

Author Bio

Celine Rose Mariotti was born in Derby, CT, and is a lifelong resident of Shelton, CT. She is a graduate of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT where she majored in Business Administration with a minor in English. Since a child, Celine Rose always loved to write and when she was a senior in High School she began sending her work to publishers. Her first poem appeared in Night Roses in 1991, and her second poem appeared in Green’s Magazine of Canada in 1991. Since then Celine’s work has appeared in many literary magazines around the USA and even in India, Australia, and Scotland. Early Bird Publications of India published a primary textbook of essays on the presidents. Celine Rose also writes a monthly column for PCM Magazine of India. Some of her stories for children have appeared in Hindu Young World also of India. Other works of Celine Rose can be found in FreeXpressions in Australia, with a lot of her poetry appearing in Bell’s Letters of Poetry of Mississippi and Poetry Explosion Newsletter of PA. You can also find a number of pieces of her work in Storyteller Magazine of AR as well as Lone Star Magazine, Write-on Poetry Magazette of Utah, and Poetespresso in California. Celine’s work has appeared in Poetic Monthly, Pink Chameleon, Coffee Ground Breakfast, Tombigbee Magazine, Atlantean Publishing, Tigershark Publshing, Pablo Lennis, Suzerain Enterprises (“Fighting Chance” and “Love Chance”), and FrostFire Worlds. Her work also appears in The Goose River Press Anthology. Rock Village Publishing of Massachusetts published Celine’s first children’s book, Olivia MacAllister, Who Are You? Magbooks of Hong Kong published her story “Leapy the Frog” as an e-book. Celine self-published her poetry book, Through Celine’s Eyes. Her nonfictionbook is , What Corporate America is Really All About was self-published. Her other books, published by Write Words, Inc., include the young adult title, I Have a Friend on Jupiter. This book is the first in the Adventures on Capitol Hill series, soon to be followed by The Murder of Secretary Judd Kane. Celine also is creative in other ways, expressing herself by playing the guitar and the banjo. She also operates her business, CRM Enterprises from her home. Celine resides with her family in Shelton, CT.





Book Excerpt The Sweet Spot

The Sweet Spot by Anneli Lort (Tour Banner)

Book Excerpt

Almost half an hour later, Sebastian was exhausted but still holding his own.  He’d confessed his sins and asked for forgiveness on prime-time national television, and it was almost over.

“I’d pretty much hit rock bottom when I had to fulfil the commitment I’d made to write my autobiography. I tried to back out of it, fought tooth and nail with Richie to get it canned, tried to give back the advance I’d taken from the publisher.  You name it, I did it, but in the end, as I sit here now, I can say that I’m so very glad that it went ahead as planned.”

Piers smiled knowingly at the audience: “Olivia Carmichael, I presume?”

“Good God, does nothing escape your beady eyes, Piers?” Sebastian joked. “Once a tabloid hack always a tabloid hack, eh? And there’s me thinking you were too highbrow for the gossip magazines these days.”

The audience, sensing an upwards shift in Sebastian’s mood, were delighted that he seemed to be in control of his host.

“Well Sebastian, there’ve been some photographs of you both making the rounds, and she’s been on your arm at most of the major events in the last year, so it isn’t hard to put two and two together.” He turned to the audience: “And for the benefit of our viewers, if you don’t know, Olivia Carmichael is an award-winning sports journalist who was commissioned to help write Sebastian’s life story.”

“Yes, Olivia’s been instrumental in my recovery, she made me want to get better, and that’s what helped me find form on the golf course again.  My game has always been linked to my emotions. If I’m happy I play well, if I’m not, well we all know what happens.  My freefall from the world golf rankings is testament to that.”

“So how did she get through to you when your close friends and family couldn’t?” asked Piers.

“She didn’t put up with any of my crap from day one,” Sebastian explained.  “She took me on and came out on top, and made me see how badly I’d been behaving.  She made me want to be a better person, and I hadn’t felt like that for a very long time.  Look Piers, I’m not going to go into detail and tell you the how and the why. I know you want me to, but let’s just say that this extraordinary woman saved me.”

“And where is she now? Are you together?” Piers was on the edge of his seat, almost as excited as his audience.

“Wow, that certainly was unexpected, it’s not often we have a Romeo and Juliet moment on my show,” Piers exclaimed.  “That was a brave thing to do, don’t you agree ladies and gentlemen?” He almost burst with joy. He knew this would be front-page news, and he had the exclusive.

“So, Sebastian, don’t keep us in suspense, where will you be if Olivia comes calling?”

“Piers, even you know where I’ll be,” he replied. “At The Open Championship in the home of golf, St Andrews, taking on the world and hoping to bring home the Claret Jug.  It’s the one I’ve always wanted to win and this is my year. I feel good about my game. Hell, I feel great about it. I can’t wait.”

“And in taking on the world you’re also taking on Troy McLoud, who is, in fact, the defending champion.”

“Yes, and I’m going to beat him,” Sebastian grinned.

The audience was on its feet, cheering and whooping, willing their new favourite golfer to succeed. It took a full minute for Piers to restore peace.

“Well, I think we can safely say you’ve won over our audience, and I’m certain the viewers at home too. You’ve gained some new fans today, Sebastian.  You’ve given us an unusually open and honest insight into your life. You’ve been weighed and measured, and let me tell you, you’ve not been found wanting.  I think I can speak for everyone when I say that I wish you the very best of luck, both on and off the golf course.”

Sebastian ginned. “Piers, I’d like to say it’s been a blast, but that would be my first lie of the night.  Thank you for giving me the stage to set the record straight. The time to move on is now, and I’m grasping it with both hands.”

Piers had the last word. “It’s been a real pleasure having you on, and thank you for your genuinely honest answers to some tough questions. Ladies and gentlemen, Sebastian Bloom.”

The room erupted once more and Sebastian felt the weight of the world lifting from his shoulders. All he had to do now was win The Open Championship and convince Olivia to come back to him.

Title: The Sweet Spot

Series: Appleton Vale, Book 1

Author: Anneli Lort

Publisher: Creativia

Cover Artist: Louise Mizen Ferguson

Release Date: July 4, 2017

Romance Genre(s): Contemporary, Sports

Words: 89,500

View on Goodreads

About the Book


The Sweet Spot is a classic love story with a sexy, modern edge, set in the sleepy West Country village of Appleton Vale, and in the glittering world of professional golf.

Olivia escapes London to overcome memories of heartbreak, and moves to Appleton Vale to ghostwrite the autobiography of Sebastian Bloom, former world number one golfer and global icon. But he doesn’t make things easy for her; Olivia is not ready for a new relationship and fights her feelings for Sebastian.

Their story comes to a head at the most prestigious golf tournament in the world, The Open Championship, where Sebastian’s return to form sets up an explosive clash with his lifelong rival, Troy McLoud.

As the lives of Olivia, Sebastian and the residents of Appleton Vale interweave, passions flare and the stakes rise.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

About Anneli Lort

Anneli Lort lived with a charming cast of characters in her head for a number of years before she found the time to sit down and bring them to life in the Appleton Vale series. Once she put pen to paper her imagination was free to create a character driven world of contemporary romance that is both heartwarming and engaging.

In a public relations career that spanned more than two decades Anneli worked closely with elite professionals at the highest level and with some of the world’s biggest sporting companies. With this came an access-all-areas pass to the greatest sports events on the planet where she saw for herself the tension, drama and emotions that were played out behind the scenes. While TV audiences around the world watched the sporting excitement unfold, she was there to witness first-hand what really happened before and afterwards – the untold stories the rest of the world never got to see.This is the rich and enviable background she brings to her debut novel – The Sweet Spot.

Anneli lives in a village much like her fictional creation – Appleton Vale – that is nestled against the foothills of the South Downs. She spends her days working in brand communications, writing, walking her dog – Hector – and riding her New Forest Pony Henry. The dog shares the house; the horse has his own rather spacious accommodation.

Anneli is currently writing the second novel in the Appleton Vale series – The Country Club – which will be on sale in December 2017.

Connect with Anneli

Website | Facebook | Twitter


To celebrate the release of her bestselling debut, The Sweet Spot, Anneli is giving away a £20 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. For your chance to win, enter via the Rafflecopter below. The contest closes at midnight EST on September 8, 2017, and is open to entrants worldwide.

Good Luck!

Enter here.

Tour Stops

August 28:

Bookk Review by Foxylutely Books

August 29:

Author Interview with Drops of Ink

August 30:

Exclusive Excerpt at The Bookworm Lodge

August 31:

Exclusive Excerpt at All Things Bookaholic

September 1:

Exclusive Excerpt at Reviews by Crystal

September 2:

Guest Post at Book Huntress’ World
Exclusive Excerpt at Underneath the Covers

September 3:

Guest Post at Lori’s Reading Corner

September 4:

Exclusive Excerpt at I Heart Reading

September 5:

Guest Post at Romance Novel Giveaways

September 6:

Character Interview with Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books

September 7:

Exclusive Excerpt at Romantic Reads and Such
Book Review by Life at 17

September 8:

Exclusive Excerpt at Loves Great Reads

September 9:

Author Interview with Liz’s Reading Life

September 10:

Exclusive Excerpt at Abibliophobia Anonymous

Tour Hosted by LoveBound Promotions

Release Blitz: Seduction en Pointe

  1. How long have you been writing?

I’ve always been a writer – I come from a family of artists and poets, and storytelling just sort of went along with that. My mom taught creative writing classes for kids, so I put it officially around eight, but unofficially forever. Professionally, I’ve been writing fiction since about 2014, which was when I started to seriously pursue self-publishing and then moved toward the Indie market. A lot has changed in three years, for sure.

  1. What is your favorite genre to write?

I’m a romance writer, so obviously the big umbrella of romance, but it’d be really hard for me to pick a subgenre. I write contemporary and historical, and I wrote both erotic and more traditional romance. This year I have a contemporary ménage series coming out and then a historical BDSM series, so I really can’t pick! Romance is full of new and exciting challenges, and I look forward to pushing the limits of writing with each new book.

  1. Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I definitely want to get into fantasy. I think I’ve always been a little intimidated by world building, but in a sense every book we write has some element of world building – a ranching town in Montana, a ballet school in Paris, so I think I’m ready to take on the challenge.

  1. Please tell us about your book.

When successful TV star of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, Nicco Castillo, finds his boyfriend in bed

with another man, he goes full-on Hollywood trainwreck that lands him in ER. Next thing he knows, the producers are shipping him off to Paris to shape up and learn to dance for the next season’s story arc. But his incredibly tempting Parisian ballet instructor, Isabelle La Croix, makes that all too difficult, especially when he learns about her decadent desires–desires Nicco is all too pleased to indulge in. Against the ballet barre, the balcon railing, and wherever and for however long Isabelle is willing to have him.

Seduction en Pointe was definitely my most difficult book to write! It started as a spin-off for a novella, but the company that owned the novella went out of business, so I scratched that story and started again. And again. And again. I must have rewritten this book four times in full. At one point, I had this big white board laid out in the foyer with each scene written out in explicit detail. Let’s just say that my mom is one patient woman.

  1. Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

I loved writing Nicco. Isabelle is wonderful, but her struggle is more about pain and grief, and Nicco’s internal challenges are focused on figuring out who he really is after he becomes very famous, and I think determining who we are is a real challenge everyone faces. I struggled with writing Nicco because I was really hard on him, and I need to soften the edges, but I think we’re often very hard on ourselves, which I hope came through a little in his character. The journey for self-discovery is never really over, though.

Seduction en Pointe doesn’t have a real antagonist, but I guess I could say that the person Nicco was is the least likable main character. It’s his struggle to escape this Hollywood persona that leads to most of the events in the book, and that Hollywood persona isn’t very likeable. But his own recognition and drive to fix himself is the redeeming quality there.

  1. What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Like I said, I rewrote this book a lot. And let me tell you, I’d rather write a full manuscript from scratch than have to go in and start changing major plot points and elements in an otherwise written manuscript. The character of Giancarlo started out as a real SOB, and that just made it hard to justify Nicco’s loyalty to him, so I had to evolve his character into something totally different.

The entire plot had changed about four times over the process. When I first started writing the book, I only aimed for about 35,000 words, but the final draft came in a little over 70,000.

  1. What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

With this book, the routine was to keep fixing issues until something actually clicked into place. For the most part though, I outline and prep books before diving in. I love work in series because there’s an establishment of characters and locations and it’s a lot easier and more fun than starting from scratch. I don’t think I could ever go full Pants-er though. It terrifies me. How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

With all its complications, this one was well over a year. For the most part though, my books turn around more quickly than that. I tend to think about books for awhile before I actually write them, so when it comes down to getting my butt in the chair, I already feel confident in the story and character.

  1. Can you tell us about your editing process?

How much wine do you have? This one was rough. We changed fundamental elements from the original story, down to Isabelle’s name and the chronology of her marriage. I wrote and rewrote both Giancarlo and Nicco and it went through my amazing editor a solid three times before we officially signed it. The last big edits we made were to change the opening scene. I never thought I’d get an email that said how about we start with him having a seizure during a blow job?

  1. Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

Yes! So Nicco is one of three main actors in the Queen Anne’s Revenge an uber successful historical pirate television program. The Full Swing series follows Adrian and Luke, the other two main actors, who get introduced in the book. In truth, Adrian’s story with Julianna is running parallel to a large part of Seduction, which we’ll obviously get more of in book two! I’m really excited to explore more of their relationship, as well as Luke’s.


  1. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

I’m sure you’ve heard this before and you’ll hear it again, but write. Write every single day and read all the time. Read newspapers and memoirs and fiction and mystery and the back of cereal boxes. Write short stories and long stories and poetry and plays. I keep a Faulkner quote by my desk that says it best, Don’t be a writer, be writing.

There’s also something else, and this one definitely came as more of a surprise. Treat your writing like a business. Work every single day. Don’t take rejections personally. Plan, organize and double-check. View writing as a path, just like going to school or taking vocational training, and you will prioritize it, as will those around you. Treat it like a business and no matter how many rejections you get, stand up and brush off and get back to work.

  1. Why should everyone read your book?

Seduction en Pointe is fun! If you like the idea of falling in love running through the streets of Paris, or luxury apartments and ballet classes in ancient buildings, art and music and erotic dalliances, this book is right up your alley. Setting and aesthetic play a huge role in this book, and there’s just no better background in the world for sensual fantasies to come to life than Paris.

  1. If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

So hard! I have to say Jane Austen, Juliette Marillier and J.K. Rowling. All three of these women have fundamentally inspired me in both art and life, and I’m a better, more rounded, more discerning person because of their influence.

  1. What inspired you to write your book?

So I had written the novella about two years ago, and I always planned to get around to writing Nicco and Belle’s story, but I figured it would be a short addendum to the original. Obviously, this book  took on a life of its own. In the original story, Nicco is all charmer and flirt so I knew he’d be a hell of a lot of fun to write, and he delivered! It’s been amazing watching the transformation from a side story to my first full length novel.

  1. Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

Yes! The Lovin’ Is Easy, book one in the Triple Diamond series, is coming out for general release in September. The series is a season-based collection of male/female/male ménage stories set on The Triple Diamond Ranch in Wolf Creek, Montana, which my heroine from The Lovin’ Is Easy, Madison, inherits from an uncle she’s never met. I’m working on book two in the series right now, fall in the mountains, and it’s been such a fabulously fun process.

Book Excerpt

And walking through the door to his producer’s office, he stopped dead. In that moment he absolutely believed that everything happened for a reason.
She faced away from him, but even at a distance he could see the smooth curve of her neck, the beautiful line of her back, arching against the chair. She was a small woman, but a shadow of muscles adorned her shoulders and upper arms where they weren’t hidden behind the waves of white-blonde hair pulled into a tight ponytail. She was something from an erotic fairy tale, all subtle power and ephemeral beauty.
And it wasn’t just that—though there was plenty of that. But it was the way she held herself, too, full of strength and self-possession and confidence. This woman knew exactly who she was in a way that Nicco envied and respected all at the same time.
He schooled his features and checked in with the receptionist for his appointment with the French production team before turning around to face her. If he’d thought her beautiful from the back, he hadn’t been prepared for her face, for the expression in her pale-blue eyes, for the softest, sweetest curve of dusky-rose lips as they parted slightly.
She read a magazine, and Niccolo cursed himself for having let his written French lapse, because he didn’t have a clue which glossy it was.
Still, never hurt to try, and something about this unknown woman made it impossible for him to walk away or pick one of the seats at the far end of the waiting room. She called to him, a modern-day siren, all enticing and impossible to ignore. So he sat beside her, catching a hint of her scent. She smelled like lemons, sweet and fresh, and that seemed to fit her, as did the pointed sharpness of her neck, which grew considerably more rigid once she realized he planned on talking to her.
“What is it you’re reading?” he asked, thickening his Spanish accent. As long as he’d been chasing lovers, the Spanish charm had always worked wonders. Hell, it did wonders for getting him starring roles too.
“Who wants to know?” Her accent was light, as though she’d learned English alongside her French, studied in Sweden or London or New York City. But for all of the softness that came spilling out of those pale-rose lips, there was a steel core that told Nicco she wasn’t having any of his charm. Her words came out strong, self-possessed, and confident, and they made him curious about the woman below the slight frame. Despite appearing so soft, she held her head at a tilt that signified power, kept her neck straight, her shoulders arched. Everything about her stance told Nicco exactly how she felt at his intrusion into her space. Normally, he took his cues and left the obviously uninterested alone, but this woman was enchanting and mysterious, and Nicco found he couldn’t quite look away from her, even as he knew that he tempted the serpent, perhaps because he did.
“Niccolo.” He extended his hand. “Here for a meeting with Monsieur La Montagne.” According to the terms Parker had laid out, Nicco would be working alongside La Montagne’s office on a PR tour of Paris while he took his dance classes, giving a few interviews here and there, a signing or two, onward and upward.
The woman beside him, however, appeared abjectly unimpressed. He liked that, liked that she didn’t buy into his bullshit the way everyone else did, the way he’d been doing for so long.
“That is a remarkable coincidence,” she replied, her eyes taking on a sardonic glint he knew came at his expense, “given that you are in his office, after all.” Feisty, this one. She obviously enjoyed goading him, and Nicco felt a wash of something dangerous at the thought that men probably attempted to charm her quite often. For some reason, his visceral reaction to this strange, nymph-like woman grew stronger each time she stabbed him with her barbed tongue. That was inconvenient, to be certain, but it didn’t stop him from wanting more.
But there was something about his—well, he wouldn’t necessarily call it just an attraction—to this woman that went deeper than lust. Nicco had had lovers, more than his fair share of them since everything with Antonio had gone so royally tits up, and he’d never lacked for a partner if he wanted one. No, whatever had him suddenly desperate to learn more about this mysterious woman went deeper than that, to some fundamental part of himself that might even long for redemption.
“I’d heard about the French,” he said. He should just turn around and leave her to her magazine, but he just couldn’t seem to do so. “Seems the rumors about witches and the smell of cheese aren’t so terribly off.”
She raised an eyebrow, and he took some satisfaction in the small quirk at the corner of her mouth that told of a repressed smile. He’d bet a week’s pay that her smile would light up the city, and he promised himself that at some point, he would be the cause of it. He didn’t know how or why, just that it would happen one way or the other.
“American, is it?” she asked, ignoring his slight.
“Mostly,” he replied. “Spanish sometimes. Occasionally English.”
From her confused expression, Nicco wondered if he had been spending too much time in California. Normally, folks didn’t question his various origins. Of course, the French were reputedly distrusting of anyone who wasn’t French. Still, he had to admit that there was something simple and altogether enjoyable about flirting with a woman who didn’t want to sleep with him just because he was a celebrity or because she angled to get her face in the papers. It felt good to just be himself for what seemed like the first time in a very long time.
“Of course,” she replied, breaking his train of thought. “All that ego can’t be exclusively American, can it?”
Nicco almost laughed out loud.
“You already know me so well,” he said. “Would you care to know me better? Dinner, perhaps?” It was bold, and the moment the words were out of his mouth, Nicco knew it had been too audacious. Something flitted across her eyes, and he could almost see her folding into herself. No, he didn’t like that, didn’t enjoy seeing this confident person turn into something else so quickly. He might be an ass about recognizing the signs in his own life, but someone or something had clearly hurt her—recently, if the ache across those beautiful pale-blue eyes was anything to go by.
“No smart remark,” he commented, hoping to bring back some of the devil he’d seen in her expression. “I’m surprised.”
She squared her jaw, and Nicco found himself happy to see even a little of the fight fill her eyes, even if it was at his expense. And, as he had anticipated, she turned a cold tongue in his direction, murmuring low under her breath.
“You don’t know the first thing about me, so I’ll ask you kindly to take a walk.” Fury, for all it was leashed and low in her whisper. And it made him ache, made him feel some of the hurt in his own chest, because the first week after he’d discovered Tony with his lover, Nicco had lashed out at everyone and everything, taking the whole wide world down to his level of hurt and sadness.
He didn’t doubt that he was nothing more than the proxy for her fury, and it made him feel bad, made him ache for her and for himself a little too.
“Miss La Croix?”
Before she could say anything that might cut him to the quick—would most definitely cut him to the quick—the woman beside him nodded in answer to the receptionist and stood without another word. If he had thought the slope of her neck enticing, he wasn’t prepared for the way her long, powerful legs, visible below her light-blue dress, mesmerized him. She didn’t so much walk down the hall as glide, her body so completely under her command that it made him wonder about putting his body in her hands too. She didn’t give him a second look as she slipped away, and that made Nicco’s heart ache in a way he didn’t want to analyze.
Her magazine still sat on the corner of the table, one of the pages bookmarked with a thick, folded corner, as if she planned on going back to it. Thinking quickly, he pulled out a pen and scribbled a note down on the back cover.
If you ever need a stranger for a friend, give me a call. There are some things we don’t heal from so easily.
Below that, he jotted his e-mail address and then took a short jog down the hallway to catch up with her. The simple note, just like the few extra moments he had spent with his fans outside, felt like color returning to the black-and-white version of himself. He still couldn’t see the full picture, not yet, but just being out of LA helped him focus.
She looked surprised and not all that happy when he drew level with her.
“You left this,” he said, handing her the magazine but not letting go.
She pursed her lips. “And what do you want in exchange for it?” Her tone sounded almost resigned. Bored, almost. He knew better, though. Her expression had a fire—blue and burning—and he rather enjoyed inspiring a reaction in her, whatever it was.
“What’s your name?” he asked her, suddenly desperate to know. By the smallest amount, her expression softened, and Nicco had to wonder what she had expected him to ask. He’d never push a person to do anything they didn’t want to do. He had retained some standards over the last few months of going full-on Hollywood.
“The catch?” she asked, her lips still pointedly pursed in his direction. And what lips they were.
Nicco shook his head. “No catch. I just want to know your name.” He really, really did. She sighed and nodded, sending the white-blonde ponytail swishing across her shoulder. Then she squared her jaw and lifted her chin.
“Isabelle La Croix.” She offered nothing else.
“Isabelle,” he repeated, because he couldn’t seem to stop himself from doing so. “A pleasure.” He handed her the magazine with his note facing down and watched as she gave a sharp nod and continued down the hallway, watched her far after there was nothing left to watch. What about this woman set his body to flame and his mind to far more carnal images than would ever be appropriate for a chance encounter in a producer’s waiting room and so, so much more?
Something hidden that came in bursts of emotion across her pale-blue eyes, something that came in the cut of her shoulders and the grace of her walk.
Miss La Croix. It fit her. She was so utterly French, petite, graceful, sharp around the edges and beautiful beyond the pale. Nicco trod in dangerous waters. He had only just left California behind, and already he panted after a woman he would never see again, unless her facade cracked and she actually decided to contact him. He could hope, kind of had to hope, because there was something about her that was so unlike anyone he had ever met. She had a self-possession, a self-awareness that almost made him envious, would have, if it hadn’t impressed him so.
The whole thing made him…a little relieved. He’d had lovers since Antonio, of course, men and women to waste the lonely nights with, to party with and get drunk with. But to actually find himself feeling a deep, intense connection—and with a person he had only just met—it gave him hope that he might not be on his own forever. Maybe Tony’s infidelities hadn’t completely destroyed who Nicco had been before, after all.

About the Book

Seduction en Pointe, Gemma Snow
Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Full Length 

When successful TV star of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, Nicco Castillo, finds his boyfriend in bed with another man, he goes full-on Hollywood trainwreck that lands him in ER. Next thing he knows, the producers are shipping him off to Paris to shape up and learn to dance for the next season’s story arc. But his incredibly tempting Parisian ballet instructor, Isabelle La Croix, makes that all too difficult, especially when he learns about her decadent desires–desires Nicco is all too pleased to indulge in. Against the ballet barre, the balcon railing, and wherever and for however long Isabelle is willing to have him.





Loose Id

Author Bio

Gemma Snow is the author of several works of erotic and romantic fiction in both the contemporary and historical genres, and enjoys pushing the limits of freedom, feminism, and fun in her stories.  She has been an avid writer for many years, and recently moved back to her home state of New Jersey from Boston, after completing her education in journalism and creative writing.
In her free time, she loves to travel, and spent a semester abroad living in a 14th century castle in the Netherlands. When not exploring the world, she likes dreaming up stories, eating spicy food, driving fast cars, and talking to strangers. 
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As a thank you to everyone who checked out Seduction en Pointe, I’m raffling off a stack of fantastic romance novels, bookmarks and other fun treats – and it’s super easy to enter! 
All you have to do is send confirmation of purchase for Seduction en Pointe to with the subject line Raffle Entry, before 11:59 p.m EST on August 31st! It’s that simple! 
More info:

Book Tours: Book Excerpt Dark Dawn over Steep House

Book Excerpt

THERE WAS A message engraved in the locket.

         To my darling Siddy with all my heart.

         The glass was cracked, but I did not need to read the flowing Connie to know that the picture was of my mother. And – not for the first time – I wondered that I did not look like either of my parents.

         ‘Give that back.’

         I hardly heard the words but, when I looked up, I saw the curl at the corner of his mouth that I had seen in our twin reflections. ‘Dear God in heaven,’ I cried. ‘Are you my father?’

         ‘Where did you get that locket?’

         ‘It fell on the steps when you were stabbed.’

         ‘You had no right to keep it.’

         ‘I forgot about it with everything else going on.’ I clipped the locket shut. ‘And you had no right to keep it from me.’

         This was the closest that I had ever seen my guardian to panic. He lunged over the table, catching it with his knee and scattering our afternoon tea.

         ‘What?’ I closed my fist around the locket. ‘Will you prise it from my fingers like a clue from a corpse?’ I pulled back just in case. ‘Why did you take me in?’ I struggled to control my voice. ‘By your own admission you are not a kind man.’

         ‘You are my goddaughter.’

         ‘You do not even believe in God and why would my mother be sending you love tokens?’

         Sidney Grice sank back into his chair. He closed his eyes. ‘I am not your father,’ he said quietly. ‘Your father was your father.’

         I had never known Sidney Grice to tell a lie and I could not believe that he was doing so now. ‘What are you hiding from me?’ I looked at him.

         My guardian’s right eyelid was losing its tone and he had trouble closing it properly. His glass eye stared blindly back at me. ‘No more than I am hiding from myself,’ he answered carefully.

         His plate lay in the ashes, broken from when he had dropped it, all those long minutes ago when I thought perhaps I knew him.

About the Book

‘Delightful and original…a series that could well become a cult.’ Daily Mail

‘Pure amusing enjoyment.’
New Books Magazine

‘Funny, fresh and sharply plotted… a detective duo to rival Holmes and Watson.’ Goodreads

London, 1884: Sidney Grice – London’s foremost personal detective – is restless. Having filed his latest case under ‘S’ for ‘Still To Be Solved’, he has returned to his book, A Brief History of Doorstep Whitening in Preston, to await further inspiration. His ward, March Middleton, remains determined to uncover the truth.

Geraldine Hockaday, the daughter of a respected Naval captain, was outraged on the murky streets of Limehouse. Yet her attacker is still on the loose.

But then a chance encounter in an overcrowded cafe brings a new victim to light, and it seems clear March and Grice are on the trail of a serial offender.

A trail that will lead them to the dining room of a Prussian Prince, the dingy hangout of an Armenian gangster, and the shadowy ruin of a once-loved family home, Steep House…


The Mangle Street Murders

The Curse of the House of Foskett

Death Descends on Saturn Villa

The Secrets of Gaslight Lane

Dark Dawn over Steep House

Buy on Amazon

About the Author

M.R.C. Kasasian was raised in Lancashire. He has had careers as varied as a factory hand, wine waiter, veterinary assistant, fairground worker and dentist. He lives with his wife, in Suffolk in the summer and in Malta in the winter.