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Liquid Friday with author Isabella May

This week we are featuring author and co-founder of popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls Isabella May and her debut novel: Oh! What a Pavlova.

But before we dive ourselves in this mind boggling novel, we must hear from Isabella May about her favorite cocktail suggestion for tonight.

The Piña Colada. All too often it’s associated with Del Boy Trotter from Only Fools and Horses, but could a cocktail be more exotic whilst retaining its status as a classic? I’ve yet to come across a contender. 

A well-constructed Piña Colada (think the Waldorf Astoria’s cocktail bar in New York… or more recently, the offering I sampled at La Bulla Bar in Estepona, Spain), should do three things:

1) Harmoniously blend pineapple, Rum and coconut. Optimum balance is key.

2) Be served simply. Less is more… and a plethora of swizzle sticks, tinsel-coated straws, starfruit slices and umbrellas will not cover up poor mixology!

3) Transport me immediately to a lush Caribbean beach.

Oh, look! It’s time for elevenses…

 

And now without further delay lets dive into Oh! What a Pavlova:

 

Blurb:

Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy. Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.  Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future. And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom… But will she escape before it’s too late?

 

Excerpt:

The Piano Bar was a tradition embedded firmly in the top ten of Corny Things to do in Bologna. Whilst the melange of confection and liquor was a feast for the senses (Steph was already cooing over the Zuccoto Semi-Fredo, mentally noting how she could re-create its perfection), the clientele were mainly tragic, brash or both. For a woman, it was a dodgy place to be. People were packed concertina-tight across the width of the bar, so that for someone as petite as me – and sadly we’re definitely only talking height – it could take several hours to wend your way through the maze of conversations. Bottom pinching wasn’t unheard of, pickpocketing either.

 

But for all that, there was something so compelling about gradually making your way up the stairs, drink in hand, to the famed lounge to feign sophistication whilst something wretched was being hammered out on the keys of the electronic organ, and an overenthusiastic, glitzy, blue-rinsed lady belted out a number from the golden ages, warbling pitifully whenever she hit anything higher than a top E.

As Henry handed me the umpteenth mixer of the evening, I turned a little too quickly, bashing straight into a tall middle-aged man.

“Hey watch it,” he said, flicking drips of liquid marmalade off his rugby shirt.

Oh, okay maybe he wasn’t quite middle-aged. I quickly decided that for a Silver Fox, he wasn’t all that bad looking either.

I felt a sharp tap on my back.

“It’s nearing midnight” said Daisy, as I turned to see my well-meaning colleague had started tapping at her watch as well. “We really ought to head back to the hotel. The morning only heralds Day Two, after all.”

Thanks, Daisy. That was close. I chanced to look over my shoulder, but thankfully he’d gone.

Steph and I followed the advice of our elder, ditched our glasses and turned to say our snappy farewells to the men, who were far too inebriated to understand what our plans were anyway.

“Ah choof off then, why don’tcha?” said Sebastian, at which point I don’t think I’d ever seen him look more like Eton Mess. “Talk about boring… it’s not even officially Thursday yet. Geez guys,” he pointed at Henry and Adrian, “you two really need to train your staff to last the distance.”

We snaked our way to the exit where Silver Fox stood, running his fingers through his hair whilst chatting with a group of men. Something told me – and my pulse – it would be impossible to slip past undetected.

“We meet again,” he said, as I chanced to unsuccessfully squeeze past him, my bust making more than ample contact with his shoulder.

“Hey, I’m so sorry about earlier,” I said with a giggle. “My boss will insist on topping me up every five minutes.” I was too merry to wonder whether that came across as a sexual double entendre.

Silver Fox, amused, seemed to have forgotten the soaking already. And I sensed that all too familiar book-fair-affair-twinge in my stomach as he studied me intently and his grin widened.

“So, I’m guessing you’re a P.B?”

I ignored yet another sharp tap on my back and gave him my ‘excuse me?’ face.

“A Publishing Babe,” he said, laughing cheekily.

Christ, how corny.

“Steph’s managed to hail us a cab, Kate. Time to say goodbye to your friend,” said Daisy, revealing my true identity.

“Well, that’s you told. See you around… Kate,” he said.

“Maybe you will,” I smiled, emphasizing my final word far longer than was necessary as Daisy tugged me out the doorway.

But the fresh air seemed to sober me immediately. As we sped back to the hotel, and Steph and Daisy pondered our four male colleagues’ likely actions over the encroaching hours, I lay my head against the taxi’s window, saddled with remorse.

You can’t keep doing this to him.

 

About Isabella:

Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing. As a Co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One). She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’! Oh! What a Pavlova is her debut novel… and her second novel, The Cocktail Bar, will be published 13th February 2018.

 

You can follow Isabella May on her website and social media here:

www.isabellamayauthor.com

Twitter – @IsabellaMayBks

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMayAuthor/

Instagram – @isabella_may_author

 

Liquid Friday with J.T. Ellison

This week we are featuring J.T. Ellison, a New York Times bestselling author of psychological thrillers and her newest release: Lie to Me.

But before we indulge ourselves in this mind filling novel, we must, just must hear from J.T. Ellison about what is her favorite cocktail for tonight.

Whenever I have something to celebrate, and even
when I don’t, there’s nothing I love more than a
champagne cocktail. Simple, timeless, delicious. It’s
one of my go-to drinks, especially in steamy
summertime.

Champagne Cocktail
(makes 1 champagne flute)

Ingredients:
  • 1 Sugar Cube
  • Bitters
  • Brut Champagne
  • Maraschino Cherry,
    or a Twist
Directions:
  • Place the sugar cube in a chilled champagne flute.
  • (Angostura or Peychaud’s—I like mine soaked,
    YMMV).
  • Fill the glass with brut champagne or another
    bubbly (Cava or Prosecco make excellent CCs!), pop
    in a cherry or a lemon twist, and enjoy. Ching-ching!

So lets kick back and relax with this scrumptious cocktail in hand and finally check out Lie To Me.

Blurb:

Domestic noir at its best. Readers will devour this stunning page turner about the disintegration of a marriage as grief, jealousy, betrayal and murder destroy the facade of the perfect literary couple. New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison takes her exceptional writing to a new level with this breakout novel.

They built a life on lies.

Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.

Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.

Excerpt:

PROLOGUE
IN WHICH INTRODUCTIONS ARE MADE
You aren’t going to like me very much. Oh, maybe in your weaker moments, you’ll feel sorry for me, and use those feelings of warmth and compassion and insightful understanding to excuse my actions. You’ll say to yourself, “Poor little girl. She couldn’t help herself.” Or, “Can you blame her? After all she’s been through?” Perhaps you’ll even think, “She was born to this. It is not her fault.”
Of course it’s my fault. I chose this path. Yes, I feel as if I have no choice, that I’m driven to do it, that there are voices in my head that push me to the dark side.
But I also know right from wrong. I know good from evil. I may be compelled to ruin the lives in front of me, but
I could walk away if I wanted.
Couldn’t I?
Never mind that. Back to you.
Truly, deep down, you are going to despise me. I am the rot that lives in the floorboards of your house. I am the spider that scuttles away when you shine light in my corner, ever watching, ever waiting. I am the shard of glass
that slits the skin of your bare foot. I am all the bad things that happen to you.
I steal things.
I kill things.
I leave a trail of destruction in my wake that is a sight to behold, wave after wave of hate that will overwhelm you until you sink to the bottom of my miserable little ocean, and once you’ve drowned I will feed on your flesh and turn your bones to dust.
You’re mine now. You are powerless against me. So don’t bother fighting it.
I hope you enjoy the show.

WE FIND A BODY
The body was in the woods off a meandering state road that led into a busy, charming historical downtown. It was completely obscured from view, deeply hidden, under several pine boughs and a thick layer of nature’s detritus. Synthetic clothing was melted to the flesh, making it difficult to tell the body’s race or gender at a glance. Closer investigation showed hair that was long and a curious shade: not blonde, not red, possibly chemically-treated. The left hand held evidence of rings, possibly a wedding set, and so the body was eventually determined as female.

The shroud of melt and bough had not stopped the forever daisy-chain progression of decay. Instar maggots and adult flies delighted in their found treat. A genus party started soon after. Diptera and Coleoptera were evident three days in, paving the way for the coming colonization of Calliphoridae. Though the body was burned beyond ready recognition, the insects didn’t seem to mind; it was simply a barbecue feast to them.

Outside of this natural progression, the body lay undisturbed for two days. Birds of prey flew in long, lazy circles overhead. Cars drove past less than fifty yards away, drivers unknowing, uncaring, that one of their own lay rotting nearby.

Three Days Gone, a stray but severe thunderstorm knocked free several of the funereal branches, allowing the body to be exposed, pelted by hail breaking through the leafy canopy. The heavy rains wet the ground and allowed the body to sink deeper into the muck, where it canted on its side.

Four Days Gone, the body was ravaged by a starving coyote, forty-two razor teeth shredding everything available.

Five Days Gone, the body disarticulated, the fire and the heat and the wet and the insects and the coyote and the natural progression of things breaking it down quickly and without thought to the effects this would have on the loved ones. The idea of a non-intact body was sometimes more than people could take.

Six Days Gone, they found her.

SOMETHING’S MISSING
Franklin, Tennessee
Now
Ethan found the note ten minutes after he rolled out of bed that Tuesday, the Tuesday that would change everything. He came downstairs yawning, scratching his chest, to… nothing. Empty space, devoid of wife.

Sutton always began her morning at the table with a bowl of cereal, a piece of fruit, and a cup of tea and read the paper, scoffing at the innumerable typos—the paper was going under, paying for decent copyediting was the least of their worries. A bowl full of cereal, a glass of milk and a spoon would be laid out for him, the sports page folded neatly by his seat. Always. Always.

But this morning, there was no evidence Sutton had been in the kitchen. No newspaper, no bowl. No wife.

He called for her. There was no answer. He searched through the house. Her bag was in her office, her cellphone, her laptop. Her license was stashed in her small wallet, all her credit cards present and accounted for, a twenty folded in half shoved behind them.

She must have gone for a run.
He felt a spark of pleasure at the thought. Sutton, once, had been a health nut. She’d run or walked or done yoga every day, something physical, something to keep her body moving and in shape. And what a shape—the woman was a knockout, willowy and lithe, strong legs and delicate ankles, tendons tight and gleaming like a thoroughbred. A body she sculpted to match his own, to fit with him.

Ethan Montclair couldn’t have a dog for a wife, no. He needed someone he could trot out at cocktail parties who looked smashing in a little black dress.

And not only looked good, but sounded good. He needed a partner on all levels—physical and intellectual. Maybe it was shallow of him, but he was a good looking man, drew a lot of
attention, and not only did he want his wife to be stunning, he wanted her to be smart, too. And Sutton fit the bill.

He knew they made a powerful, attractive couple. Looks and brains and success, so much success. That was their thing.

After Dashiell, she’d bounced back into shape like the champion racehorse she was, though later, when their world collapsed, she’d become tired and bloated and swollen with medications and depression, and she no longer took any interest in being beautiful and fit.

That she’d decided to start running again gave him hope. So much hope.

Spirits lifted, he went back to the sunny, happy kitchen and got his own bowl, his own milk. Made a pot of tea, whistling. Went for the stevia—no sugar for the healthconscious Montclairs, no, never.

That was when he saw it. Small. White. Lined. Torn from a spiral bound notebook, a Clairefontaine, Sutton’s favorite for the smooth, lovely paper.

This… thing… was incongruous with the rest of their spotless kitchen. Sutton was above all things a pathological neatnik. She’d never just leave something lying about.

All the happiness fled. He knew. He just knew. He’d been all wrong. She hadn’t gone running.

He picked up the note.

Dear Ethan,
I’m sorry to do this to you, but I need some time away. I’ve
been unhappy, you know that. This shouldn’t come as a big
surprise. Forgive me for being a coward. Forgive me, for so
many things.
Don’t look for me.
S

She was gone.
He felt something squeezing in his chest, a pain of sorts, and realized that his heart had just broken. He’d always thought that a stupid, silly term, but now he knew. It could happen, it was happening. He was being torn in two, torn to shreds. No wonder there were rites warning against this
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

God was ripping him apart in punishment, and he deserved it. He deserved it all.

He didn’t cry. There were no tears left for either of them to shed.

He put the note down carefully, as if it were a bomb that might go off with the wrong touch. Went to their bedroom. Nothing seemed out of place. Her brush, her makeup case, her toothbrush, all lined up carefully on the marble. Her suitcase was in the closet.

He went back downstairs to her office, at the back of the house. Doubled checked.
Her laptop was on her desk.
Her cellphone was in the charger.
Her purse was on the floor next to her chair.
Her wallet inside, the smiling DMV photo that made her look like a model.
Like a zombie, he moved back to the kitchen. He opened the refrigerator and got out the milk. Poured cereal in the bowl. Dropped the stevia into his tea. Sat at the empty table, stared at the spot where his wife’s head should have been.

What was he supposed to do now? Where could she be? He ran through the possibilities, the places she loved, discarding one after another. Surely he was wrong in his thinking. Surely she’d simply run away, to one of her friends. That’s where she’d gone. Should he call Ivy and see if Sutton was camped in her kitchen, instead of his? Should he give her some time, and space, like she asked?

She left without her things, Ethan. Sutton’s lifelines are her laptop and phone. It’s her office, her world.

A dawning realization. Sutton hadn’t shaken the depression, not completely. She was still prone to fits of melancholy. She might have done something stupid, crazy. She’d tried once before, after… Oh, God. Her words. Perhaps she was telling him exactly what she’d done.
I’m a coward. Forgive me. Don’t look for me.
He threw the bowl of cereal across the room.
“Bloody fucking hell. You selfish, heartless bitch.”

About J.T. Ellison:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes standalone domestic noir and psychological thriller series, the latter starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the international thriller series “A Brit in the FBI” with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the EMMY Award-winning literary television show A Word on Words, Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.
Follow J.T. online at Facebook.com/JTEllison14, on Twitter @thrillerchick, or on Instagram @jt_thrillerchick for more insight into her wicked imagination.

Praise
“[An] exceptional domestic thriller from bestseller Ellison… this standalone may be Ellison’s best work to date.”
—★ Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Wonderful … a one-more-chapter, don’t-eat-dinner, stay-up-late sensation.”
—Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of NO MIDDLE NAME

“Fans of GONE GIRL will gobble up this thriller about a marriage from hell, which moves at a blazing-fast pace and smoothly negotiates more twists and turns than the backroads of Tennessee. J.T. Ellison will keep you guessing every step of the way to the surprise ending!”
—Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author of ONE PERFECT LIE

“LIE TO ME twists you up, throws you into nail-biting action and unexpected revelations. Belt yourself in for this roller coaster ride.”
—Catherine Coulter, #1 New York Times bestselling author of ENIGMA

“LIE TO ME brilliantly combines a domestic noir thriller with a searing portrait of two writers trapped in a web of lies, betrayals, and murder. Sharply written and masterfully plotted, full of  hard truths about the creative life and modern marriage, Ellison has written her finest novel—a breakout page-turner certain to win her a wide audience.”
—Jeff Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of BLAME

“A wickedly good thriller about a picture-perfect marriage that is anything but, LIE TO ME has it all: murder, lies and betrayal. J.T. Ellison will have readers hanging onto the edge of their seats with her latest cunning tale.”
—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of EVERY LAST LIE

“Secrets, secrets, who has more secrets? Writers or wives? With more surprises than a kitchen sink casserole, in LIE TO ME, J.T. Ellison lets us in on what goes on behind the closed doors of both.”
—Helen Ellis, New York Times bestselling author of AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE

“Ellison knows how to deliver gripping psychological suspense… Appearances can be deceiving, but Ellison’s writing is not.”
—Library Journal

“…An astonishing and satisfying ending that makes for a fantastic reading experience.”
—RT Book Reviews

“[An] immensely readable domestic thriller… lush prose.”
—Booklist

Featuring Caridad Pineiro book cover reveal for One Summer Night

I am pleased to feature a great author and friend Caridad Pineiro on my blog.  Here is her newest book One Summer Night from the At the Shore series.

Blurb:

Maggie Sinclair has tried everything to save her family’s business. Her options are dwindling, and she needs someone who can turn things around—fast. Problem is, the only person who can help her is trouble with a capital T. The Sinclair and Pierce families have been feuding for nearly 30 years, but that hasn’t stopped Jax Pierce from noticing Maggie. And he likes what he sees—a lot. But getting involved would mean risking his family, his inheritance, and above all, his heart. Can Maggie and Jax keep their simmering attraction at bay—or will mixing business and pleasure bring nothing but heartache?

Excerpt:

With keen interest, Owen Pierce took note of the three women as they hurried away from the dais and into the Sinclair mansion.

“Put your eyes back in your head, Bro. She’s nothing but trouble,” Jon warned in low tones.

Owen bit back the retort that if anyone knew about trouble, it was his brother. Jonathan had always marched to a different drummer and had set out on his own as a teenager to explore what he wanted out of life. Now a successful entrepreneur, he had captured the media’s attention with his innovative designs and daring adventures. That left Owen to shoulder most of the burden of the family’s real estate business, as well as deal with his father’s anger over Jonathan’s latest newsworthy escapade.

He envied his brother’s carefree spirit and determination, especially as Maggie Sinclair marched back onto the patio with her friends, an angry bride, and an obviously inebriated groom. Both the bride and groom looked far from happy as they approached the elaborate multi-tiered wedding cake that had been wheeled out to the middle of the makeshift dance floor.

He worried the bride might plunge the long knife she held into her new husband, but luckily for the newlyweds, Maggie directed the blade toward the cake.

Jon playfully elbowed him. “Seriously, Owen. She’s not for you. Father declared the Sinclairs off-limits ages ago. He would have a stroke if he thought the two of you were involved.”

Involved with Maggie Sinclair, Owen thought and sighed with regret.

In a way, he’d been involved with her forever. He’d like to chalk it all up to a sloppy, hurried, and stolen kiss at eighteen and the allure of forbidden fruit. But since that kiss, he’d watched her mature into a smart, beautiful woman. One who was willing to work hard for the town and business she cared about as well as friends and family. With every encounter, he’d grown more intrigued with the person Maggie had become.

But his father had come down hard on them about mingling with the Sinclairs right after Maggie’s mother’s death. For years, they’d been unable to come to their Sea Kiss home, and even when they’d returned, they’d done so without their father, who refused to be so close to the family he thought had wronged him.

Not that Owen expected that Jon would kowtow to such rules, since his brother was the kind of man who didn’t hesitate to take what he wanted.

He arched a brow and met his brother’s blue-eyed gaze, which glittered with a mix of undisguised challenge and amusement. “Do you think you’re the only one entitled to a little adventure in your life?” he said.

Jon chuckled. “My kind of adventure is way safer than what you may be considering.”

“Why’s that, Li’l Bro?” he asked, appreciating the sight of Maggie in a dusty-rose gown that hugged dangerous curves. Her chestnut-brown hair fell to her shoulders in soft waves and framed ice-blue eyes and a sassy, sexy face that snared his attention every time he saw her.

Jonathan took a last sip of his champagne and barely stifled another laugh. With a shake of his head, he replied, “Because all I risk is an occasional broken bone, but that…”  He jerked his head in Maggie’s direction as she stepped back beside Connie and Emma.  “That will break your heart.”

Behind the Scenes Tidbits for the At the Shore Series:

 

Purchase Links (click any of them):

Amazon Kindle,   Amazon Paperback,  B&N,  iBooks,  Kobo: Coming Soon!

Caridad Bio:

 Caridad Pineiro is a transplanted Long Island girl who has fallen in love with pork roll and the Jersey Shore, but still can’t get the hang of tomato pies. When Caridad isn’t taking long strolls along the boardwalk to maintain her sanity and burn off that pork roll, she’s also a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author with over a million books sold worldwide. Caridad is passionate about writing and helping others explore and develop their skills as writers. She is a founding member of the Liberty States Fiction Writers and has presented workshops at the RT Book Club Convention, Romance Writers of America National Conference as well as various writing organizations throughout the country. You can connect with Caridad at www.caridad.com. You can also find Caridad on:

Twitter at https://twitter.com/caridadpineiro
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Caridad.Author
Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/caridadpineiro/
Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/Caridad_Pineiro

Want to receive Caridad’s newsletter with exclusive content just for subscribers and special giveaways? Just visit http://bit.ly/2cbxlYw to sign up. Caridad values your privacy and will not share your e-mail or personal information.

Liquid Friday with author Kyna Bryn

This week we are featuring author Kyna Bryn and her inspirational novel Broken Not Shattered.

But before we reach out for her new work of fiction let us find out what does Kyna suggest for our readers this Friday night?

My drink would be Fireball, straight up. I choose Fireball because it is strong and goes down smooth.

fireballThat is right, no recipe needed!  According to their website: “Fireball tastes great by itself, you could practically stick a straw in and drink right out of the bottle.”

So hey, why not?  All we got to do tonight is grab a glass of this hot sounding Whiskey and forget ourselves in the pages of Kyna’s book, Broken Not Shattered.

Synopsis:

Broken Not Shattered is a fiction, based on a true story. It is a brokennotshatteredstory about one woman’s journey through life. A story of horrendous obstacles and terrible injustices. Broken not Shattered reflects the molding of a true warrior of God. From the day she was born, Zara Banks was in a struggle for survival. After being exposed to abuse and neglect, as well as becoming a mother herself, Zara struggled to understand her purpose. She continued to question how God could let so many horrific things happen to her. In the end, it drove Zara away from Him but God had a plan for her all along.

     Zara went through trials that seemed to rival that of Job but, through every trial, she emerged stronger. Facing a millionaire who tried to take her only child, suffering from the abuse of her past and being a full-time employee and single mother, Zara became a stronger woman who overcame adversity worse than most of us can dream of. She emerged from the flaming depths of hell that continued to surround her in life. Broken not Shattered proves that you can come out of the darkness in life stronger, healed and with a greater relationship with God than you could ever imagine possible.

About the Author:

Born in Michigan, Kyna Bryn is a mother, aspiring author and woman who has done it all. From being a waitress, to owning her own kyna-brynbusiness, Kyna has become a self-made, educated woman who does not let anything hold her back. After overcoming many challenges in life, Kyna Bryn has now dedicated her life to inspiring others to know that their past does not define their future. Hurt or broken, used or abused, Kyna focuses on lifting others to know that they are not alone and have the power to be victorious and not victims.

 

 

 

Liquid Friday with Author Norah Bennett

This week we are featuring author Norah Bennett and her book Everything I’ve Dreamed Of.

But before we embrace this wonderful romance novel let’s find out what drink does Norah recommend for our readers.:

“So the drink I picked is called the Brandy Alexander. My main character bakes a lot, and what’s better than an alcoholic drink that tastes like chocolate to go with all the baked goods?! Plus brandy is always a good relaxing drink.”

INGREDIENTS

  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces Cognac
  • 1 ounce white crème de cacao
  • 1 ounce heavy cream
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

INSTRUCTIONS

 

Fill a shaker halfway with ice cubes. Pour in the brandy, creme de brandy-alexandercacao, and the half-and-half. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Sprinkle the grated nutmeg over the top. Tip: grind a fresh, whole nutmeg over the top of the drink and it’ll have more flavor than ground nutmeg from a jar.

So lets kick back and relax with this scrumptious cocktail in hand and finally check out Everything I’ve Dreamed Of:

Blurb:

Kate Willowbrook dreams of a life filled with beauty –– a man who loves her, friends, and a home. At eighteen, Kate’s dreams are replaced by nightmares when she witnesses a crime. Kate runs, everrything-ive-dreamed-of-evernightpublishing-dec2016-finalimagenever settling down or trusting anyone. Ten years later Kate discovers the small town of Lakes Crossing and Noah Reed.

When Noah’s wife is killed in an accident, he buries himself in work and family obligations, believing he will never find love again until he meets Kate. The more he learns about her, the more he is drawn to her and his protective instincts kick into overdrive.

Noah is everything Kate has ever dreamed of, but his take-charge attitude is scaring up old demons she fought hard to bury. If they can’t find a way to strike a balance that satisfies both their deepest needs, they could lose their second chance at love.

Excerpt

Kate pierced him with her green eyes. “I’m certain there’s no shortage of women who would be happy to go out with you. Why me?”

Noah’s cocky grin faded into a soft smile that stole her breath. His eyes darkened as he focused on her. She could feel the heat creeping up her cheeks again, and she couldn’t believe she asked him that question. She didn’t even know why she did, except that she wanted to hear his answer. If she let herself fall for this beautiful man, with a killer smile and the softest brown eyes in the world, she’d fall hard everrything-ive-dreamed-of-evernightpublishing-dec2016-vistaprint-mugs_panoramic-wraparoundand fast. If she were just a toy to him, one that he got bored of and discarded after a while, she’d be devastated. She had lost so much already and survived, but Kate wasn’t sure she could survive his games. If she allowed herself to hope and dream of a life with Noah but then lost it all, she’d crumble, and no amount of superglue would put her back together.

Kate waited for his answer, her eyes locked with his and he didn’t let her down.

“Yes, I won’t deny that I’ve dated other women and there are those who wouldn’t turn me down for a date, but they’re not you.”

Noah reached for her hand, and she let him feel the tremble that ran through her as he engulfed her small hand in his. He raised her hand to his mouth and kissed her fingers, never taking his gaze off her.

“You say you’re not special to anyone, but that’s not true. see

dandelion on a blue background

something special, someone special. I know we don’t know each other very well, but if you give us a chance to change that, together, we may be something special. We won’t know unless we try.”

Kate’s breath hitched, and her heart squeezed. Jesus, the man had a way with words. How did he know what she needed to hear? Now she understood what Roberta Flack meant when she sang, Killing me Softly. He was clawing at the door to her heart, and she didn’t think she was strong enough to resist him, even knowing that she may get shredded if she let him in.

Kate dropped her gaze again as they began to fill. Her breathing was ragged, and her heart broke its confines and was on the run. Whether it wanted to be caught by Noah or not, Kate wasn’t certain.

Special. 

Kate had waited thirty-one years to hear someone call her special. She struggled to rein in her emotions and push back the tears that threatened to roll down her cheeks. She wanted to go out with Noah so badly it hurt. She wanted to get to know him and to be a part of eido-touchhis world, but she was terrified. Good visited her very few times in her life. The instant it arrived, she began preparing for its departure. Good was a temporary visitor and a fickle one at that.

“Come on, Kate. I can sense you’re afraid. I swear I’m a nice guy. I’ll do my damnedest not to disappoint or hurt you. Take a chance. Take a chance on me.”

Kate heard the vulnerability in Noah’s voice. She explored his handsome face, a face she was sure she would never tire of admiring. All traces of his earlier cockiness vanished. Instead, it was replaced by a rawness, an earnestness, a tenderness she’d never seen before. That was the look Kate would remember for a lifetime. Years from now, she would say that was the exact moment she knew, if Noah Reed asked her, she would be his for a lifetime.

Kate let out a slow breath and with a soft smile, she whispered, “Okay, Noah Reed. I’ll take a chance … a chance on you. I’ll go out with you.”

About the Author

Norah lives a double life. By day she is a suit-wearing, prim and image1-jpgproper, professor, administrator, researcher, and lecturer. By night she is a PJ wearing dreamer and writer of books that make people sigh, smile, cry, laugh, fall in love and believe in second chances.

Norah lives in Andover, New Jersey with her husband of thirty years, a cranky geriatric maltipoo, and an obnoxious cockatoo who runs the house and terrifies all its inhabitants.

Norah discovered the joy and escapism that comes from reading at the age of twelve and swears books saved her life and her sanity. Through reading, she has travelled the globe and learned all kinds of equally useful and useless skills such as the proper way to eat a pomegranate, carve a watermelon, or bathe an elephant. These are skills she has passed down to her two daughters who are incredibly supportive, but often wish she had a wider scope of hobbies.

Norah has a long publishing history in academia, but she started writing fiction recently. In July 2016 she published her first work of fiction, R.I.L.Y. Forever with Evernight Publishing and in January 2017 her second book, Everything I’ve Dreamed Of, was also published by Evernight Publishing. Currently, she is working on her third novel, Six Months. Digital and print copies of her books can be purchased at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/R-I-L-Y-Forever-Norah-Bennett-ebook/dp/B01IFH66CK/

Social Media Links

Liquid Friday Holiday Greeting

Please accept out warmest Holiday Greeting from Eden Freed and her staff.  Tonight we will suggest a Holiday Favorite cocktail:  Puerto Rican Coquito!  A thick and creamy coconut drink traditionally made for Christmas.

Ingredients:

2 cans (12 oz. each)  Evaporated Milk

coquito1 can (15 oz.) Coco Cream of Coconut

1 can(13.5 oz.) Coconut Milk

½ cup Sweetened Condensed Milk

½ cup white rum (optional)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish, if desired

Cinnamon sticks (optional)
Directions

1.  In bowl of blender, add evaporated milk, cream of coconut, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, rum (if using), vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. Blend on high until mixture is well combined, 1-2 minutes.

2. Pour coconut mixture into glass bottles; cover. Transfer to refrigerator. Chill until cold.

3. To serve, stir or shake bottle well to combine. Pour coquito into small serving glasses. Garnish with ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks, if desired.

Now that we have this delicious drink for Holidays we can kick back, relaxing with our favorite author and their book.   What? You didn’t get your favorite  book yet?!

No worry, Eden Freed has plenty of suggestions from our guest authors.  So if you are still looking for your last minute Holiday shopping all you need to do is Pick and Click your choice below.

Featured are all the wonderful authors who contributed to this blog in the course of 2016:

Author, poet and songwriter  Kimberly N. Dean and her romance novel Guilty Condolence

guilty

Katie Lewington  and her poetry collection: “Put Me Down, I’m Terrible.

putmedown

Allysa Hart and her new literary fiction novel Adopting Katie.

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Paranormal suspense author Brian McKinley and his 2016 Horror Novel Contest Grand Prize Winner :  Drawing Dead.

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Christian fiction romance author Joshua J. Valentin and his Inspirational romance novel John’s LOVE.

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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of paranormal romance Claudy Conn and her Awakening  book series.

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Dream consultant for People Magazine Paula Scardamalia and her book: Weaving a Woman’s Life: Spiritual Lessons from the Loom.

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Eden Freed and her erotica BDSM novel Violet Blooms

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Alice Orr and her romantic suspense novel  A Villain For Vanessa,

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Mystery and suspense author Lynn Marron and her book ORR: Fatal DNA (A Grace Farrington Mystery Book 2)

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International Award winning Author, Lyricist, Poet and a Humorist: David Ellis and his book Life, Sex & Death.

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Author and historian  Steven C. Levi and his book The Cannabis Stampede.

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Sci-fi romance author K.M. Fawcett and her book CAPTIVE (The Survival Race #1)

Hi Res Captive

Christian YA author of inspirational, historical fiction and paranormal thriller/horror novels Aimée Marie Bejerano  and her book Angelica: You Have Chosen Well.

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Christie Adams, and her latest romance BDSM novel  Passion’s Last Promise.

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Erotica author Paige Matthews and her Rocker series: Double Cross. (Crossroads and Crossover).

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Erotica writer and novelist Cecilia Tan with her newest book Wild Licks, from the series Secrets of a Rock Star,

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Diana Strenka, historical fiction author of  Blackbeard’s Daughter

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C.P. Mandara,  erotica and dark fantasy author of Good as Dead, book one of the Dying to Meet You series.

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Haven Cage, author of an adult, dark urban fantasy novel Falter

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Taisha Demay  author of  Love, Truth and Consequences

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L. Weeks and her fantasy and horror Beauty’s Beast (Haunting Fairytales Collection Book 2)

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New York Times bestselling author of ten books and an award-winning writing professor Susan Shapiro  and her newest book:  What’s Never Said.

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Dark Erotica author Lisette Kristensen and her newest book: Facade’s Surrender

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Alan W. Jankowski.  And his new collection of poems “I Often Wonder: a collection of poetry and prose.

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Erotic Romance author Di Storm and her new release:  Yes Sir! Available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble

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Andrew Grey and his contemporary romance:  “Fire and Snow

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Romance, Science Fiction and Fantasy  author Jenn Nixon  and her book “Lucky’s Charm.”

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Sharon BuchBinder  and her Paranormal Jinni Hunter Series: Kiss of the Virgin Queen

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Roz Lee. USA Today Best-selling Author of Contemporary Erotic Romance and her newest release:  The Backdoor Billionaire’s Bride

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Damon Suede, author of homoerotic romance and his  latest book PENT UP.

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D.S. Wrights   author of  a horror novel The Beast and Me:

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Amber Lacie, author of The Shadows Series starting with Shadows, Book One and Light, Book Two – Shadows Series

Light Shadows

Leonora Solomon author of Tie Me Up , A Binding Collection of Erotic Tales.

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YA, Horror and Romance author Stacy McWilliams   and her first release, Candlelight (An Ember Saga Novella).

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That’s all for now folks,  enjoy your Holidays.

Liquid Friday with Author Eden Freed

As the Holiday season approaches, let’s get into the spirit of giving and some romantic holiday cheer with Eden Freed’s Violet Blooms (now in paperback)

But before we check out Violet Blooms we’ll find out what Eden recommends for this Friday night.

“My favorite memories of the holidays always include two of my faves, cookies and books.  The smell of gingerbread brings back memories of curling up on the couch with a book, anxiously awaiting the arrival of guests.  With that in mind, this Gingerbread Cookie Cocktail really gets me in the holiday spirit or spirits, as the case may be.  Go ahead and give it a try.

Gingerbread Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1-inch piece gingerroot, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon cloves

Gingerbread Cookie Cocktail

  • Orange wedge
  • Brown sugar
  • 1 oz Gingerbread Simple Syrup (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 oz vanilla vodka (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 oz half-and-half (2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 oz coffee liqueur (1 tablespoon)

Directions

1  Gingerbread Syrup:  mix sugar, water, molasses, gingerroot, gingerbreadcocktailcinnamon sticks and cloves in 1-quart saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat; set aside 1 hour to cool. Strain syrup into glass jar; discard spices. Cover jar, and refrigerate until needed. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

2  Cocktail: moisten rim of chilled martini glass with orange wedge. Sprinkle brown sugar onto small plate, and dip moistened rim into the sugar to coat lightly. Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add 1 ounce of the gingerbread simple syrup, the vodka, half-and-half and coffee liqueur; cover and shake.  Strain into martini glass.

So lets kick back and relax with this scrumptious cocktail in hand and finally check out Violet Blooms:

Blurb:

A young aspiring actress, majoring in Theater Arts in her last semester of school, must overcome mediocrity and learn to take violetdirection in time to be discovered by a talent scout during her final performance. Her new acting coach decides to teach her direction through a non-conventional method: introduction to BDSM. Will Violet have what it takes to learn the art of role playing or will she end up on the “casting couch?”

 

 

Excerpt:

“Frankly, you frustrate me Violet. I could teach you,” he said and I felt Chase hand grip my wrist and pull it towards him. Something in his face changed from excitement to concern and he let go of me and straightened out his shirt. He sat back in his seat and blew out through pursed lips before he said, “There are rules.”

…….

Without even hiking my jeans and underwear back up, I sat bare Perfect Gift!assed on the cool leather couch and awaited my punishment. My lower lip was trembling with nervous anticipation. I could feel my breaths coming in short gasps keeping time with Blythe’s quick footsteps as he returned

………

I loved each sub for who they were, but I wasn’t in love with them. Detaching myself from my subs a little made me a better master. I was more objective and able to exact obedience from them. One look at Violet pushed all of my reservation aside. I wanted to possess her completely and utterly.

…… Love isn’t easy. It takes courage. There are days when you just want to walk away and call it quits because you feel as raw inside as you do outside, but you don’t go because it would hurt even more,” she said and sighed. I felt the same way. Georgette looked at me for a moment and asked, “Did you want me to make a collar for her?”

 

leather 2To learn more About Eden Rreed click here.

Liquid Friday with author Katie Lewington

This week we are featuring author Katie Lewington  and her poetry collection: “Put Me Down, I’m Terrible.

But before we explore this insightful and entertaining work, let us discover what does Katie Lewington suggest for us this Friday evening to pair with the reading.

Some type of red wine. Probably Mateus.  I’ve been to Portugal a few times and they drink a lot of it there. Wine always reminds me of Portugal. I love the place.

mateus-bottleAbout the wine:

A brand of medium-sweet sparkling rosé wine, Mateus has been  produced in Portugal since  1942.  It is  styled to appeal to  North American and northern European markets.

So let us kick back relaxing with a glass of this fine sounding wine and discover more about “Put Me Down, I’m Terrible.”

Blurb:

In Put Me Down I’m Terrible, Katie Lewington explores mundanity: a couple making love in a car, a woman preparing for a date, a donut shop. But to say these occurrences are mundane is only half the story. In poetry as achingly familiar as it is uncharted, Lewington putmedownfeeds readers scenes of fumbling vulnerability, teeth-clenching honesty, and unrelenting self-awareness. There’s something in every poem that rings true; the awkward intimacy of a dentist appointment, the doldrum of Mondays, the inexorable journey of stray hairs. But Lewington takes these occurrences further, with precision as sharp as a knife, making the familiar strange and shaking up the norm. A walk of shame becomes a woman’s sphere for agency. Cold sores become a badge of power. New shoes, an insufficient patch. Uncompromisingly honest and hauntingly explorative, Put Me Down I’m Terrible is a celebration of the now, the everyday life, and the vulnerability that comes with it. As Lewington pens in one of the poems, “I don’t need to journey I’m gonna celebrate where I’m at.” Each poem is a celebration, and the collection, a festival unto itself.

Sample Poem:

Cursor   

cursor ran away with the N 
computer keyboard screamed -
get your greasy fingers off of me! 
the N halts, the cursor blinks
as if strangers
watching an argument taking place in the street
awaiting further pressure to move on and forward (like from the police)

my hand hovers removed from the board.

About the Author:

Katie Lewington is a UK based writer and has been drafting, editing and rewriting her bio since she started submitting to literary katiemagazines and journals two years ago. It isn’t as if she doesn’t know who she is, she just isn’t sure what is relevant.  Her creative writing can be read at https://katiecreativewriterblog.wordpress.com and https://gumroad.com/katielewington

She can be contacted through Twitter @idontwearahat

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Inbetweenbooks/

 

Liquid Friday with author Allysa Hart

This week we are featuring author Allysa Hart and her new book Adopting Katie.

But before we indulge into this new adventure lets find out what cocktail does Allysa recommend for this Friday evening.

My fave drink is Hypnotiq and Sprite. I dont know if it has a name I just like it because I don’t like the taste of alcohol and that tastes like sparkling punch.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 oz Hpnotiq® liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Sprite , 7-Up®  or Slice Soda

Mixing Instructions:
hypnotiqShake ingredients in a cocktail shaker together with ice.
Then Strain into a shot glass.
Drink Cold.

OK, lets load up on that cocktail, kick back and relax, slowly indulging in its sweetness while exploring the pages of Allysa’s book Adopting Katie

 

Blurb:

FOREWARD BY #1 Best Selling, Multi-Genre Author Breanna Hayse-
“Every now and then, the literary world is touched by a new talent that has the ability to both change your heart and lift your spirit. This author hits the mark on what the dynamic truly represents and I so proudly recommend this book to any who embrace the love of natural ageplay and desire a realistic view of what the lifestyle means to so many who practice it. Today, I hand over the crown to Ms. Hart as the new queen of contemporary ageplay and am truly excited to see what else she has in store for her readers in the near future.”

A successful CEO by day, Katelyn looks forward to the minute she adoptingcrosses the threshold to shed all of her adulthood stress and worries and become a carefree, mischievous little mess maker. Her husband and Daddy, Mark, is one of the most beautiful people, inside and out, that she has ever met. His dominance turns on all of her switches, but she learns quickly that he means what he says and testing Daddy is not in her backside’s best interest.

Mark is not alone in his endeavor to create a safe and loving environment for Katie. His best friends, Keith and Rose, round out their little family. Being intimately familiar with alternative lifestyles, the couple love and spoil Katie in abundance, but never think twice about turning her bottom red if she steps out of line.

Surrounded by her loving Daddy and adoring Auntie and Uncle, Katie learns that the love, safety, and guidance of this family are what help to make her feel complete. Exploring the little girl who adopt-3lives inside, the one that she has hidden for far too long, she spends her time building elaborate Lego structures and playing in her special tree house that Mark built by hand.

When tragedy strikes, Katie’s idyllic life is shattered and it takes all of the love, support, and discipline of her family to pick up the pieces and put them back together. However, will love and spankings be enough? Katie is not convinced. She doesn’t believe anything will ever be okay again.

“An unexpected journey into love, loss and Little-hood, I can cheerfully recommend this sweet story to any and all ageplay lovers who like their books to focus more on the cuddle and spanks than on the cootie-catching stuff that happens between Big Sheets.”
-USA Today Best Selling Author Maren Smith

“If you ever put yourself in danger like that again, I will take you over my knee and spank your little bottom until I am convinced you have adopting-2learned your lesson… How does that promise make you feel? Because make no mistake about it, Baby, it is definitely a promise.”

 

 

 

About The Author:

I am a full-time mom to a sassy, strong-willed, loveable little girl. Okay, so she is all me. I am on the wrong side of 30, and I have been allysamarried to my best friend for over eight years. Like most couples, we have our ups and downs, but I could not imagine doing life with anyone else by my side. We are Southern California transplants, currently residing in a very rural part of the east coast. I have two crazy dogs that I adore, even though they drive me out of my ever-loving mind, most days.

I have recently rediscovered my love of words and decided to become a writer. My first story is my heart and soul, and it reaches into the depths of all that is me. I also create covers, promos, and logos for  authors. I have met some amazing friends on this journey that I now happily call family. Without my family members, whether biological or chosen, I would not be half the person I am today. Their constant love and support keep me afloat.

Liquid Friday with author Brian McKinley

This week we are featuring  paranormal suspense author Brian McKinley and his  Authors Talk About It 2016 Horror Novel Contest Grand Prize Winning novel :  Drawing Dead.  We will also take a look at Ancient Blood: A Novel of the Hegemony (Order Saga Book 1)

But before we indulge in the succulent pages of his books, let us find out what drink does Brian recommend for our readers on Friday night.

My favorite drink is Diet Mt. Dew mt-dew

but Faolan’s favorite drink is a blood-and-scotch, no ice. The scotch acts as an anti-coagulant for the blood, which needs to be in there. When vampyrs drink straight alcohol, it is too astringent and leads to dehydration. 

scotch

As good as Foalan’s drink sounds, we suggest not to use “real” blood, as some of us are only part-time Vampires.  A good substitute for this occasion is Blood & Sand Cocktail thought to be named for a 1922 silent film starring Rudolph Valentino.

Ingredients:

  • Scotch 3/4 oz.
  • Cherry Liqueur 3/4 oz.
  • Juice from Blood Oranges 3/4 oz.
  • Sweet Vermouth 3/4 oz.
  • Ice

Preparation:

Pour all blood-and-sandingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain into Cocktail glass. Flame orange zest over the top of the glass.

So let us kick back relaxing with this delicious beverage in hand and get a little nibble of  Brian’s books.  What am I saying?  Lets go full force an bite right into them, just like Faolan would have.

 

Drawing Dead: A Faolan O’Connor novel (Book 1).

Faolan O’Connor spent his life killing for men like Legs Diamond and Lucky Luciano, and now it’s his turn to face the music. But when drawing-dead-9-bwvampire Darcy Killian offers him immortality, Faolan enters a world of violence, wealth, and power beyond anything he’s ever imagined.

Driven by ambition and guilt, Faolan fights his way up the ranks in a battle to justify his sins with success. He’s learned the hard way that relationships are vulnerabilities and friends are just enemies in disguise, but he also knows that he can’t conquer a city alone.

Aided by an emotionally-crippled genius and a warm-hearted call girl, Faolan builds a loyal crew with which to challenge the tyrannical Killian s rule. However, will this re-awakened humanity prove a fatal flaw or his ace in the hole? With his life and the future of the city he loves at stake, can Faolan play his cards right or is he drawing dead?

Drawing Dead is the Grand Prize winner of the Authors Talk About It 2016 Horror Novel Contest.

Brian McKinley

When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail 
Are the worst of all 
And the blood’s run stale

I wanna hide the truth 
I wanna shelter you 
But with the beast inside 
There’s nowhere we can hide

– Imagine Dragons, “Demons”

 

Blurb from Ancient Blood: A Novel of the Hegemony (Order Saga Book 1) 

Avery Doyle loves vampires; he’s read every novel, seen all the movies, and researched the folklore. When his first one-night-stand, Caroline, turns out to be a true vampire on the run, he jumps at the chance to leave his ordinary life and join her as a “child of the night.” The honeymoon ends, however, when Caroline’s brutal Creator ancient-blood-2Sebastian enslaves them on his island estate and Avery must confront the dehumanizing reality behind his dreams.
In order to survive, Caroline and Avery take their place as servants in Sebastian’s household during a gathering of the most powerful vampires on Earth, the Hegemony, and soon find themselves involved in the myriad intrigues and deceptions that form the night-to-night existence of The Order.
A society of wealth, power, and inhuman decadence whose existence is protected by human complicity and disbelief, The Order is the immortal aristocracy hidden behind the giant corporations and political leaders of the world. Sebastian, however, has a plan that will change The Order forever and shatter human civilization.
To avoid this terrible fate, Avery and Caroline will not only have to defy the most powerful creatures on Earth, but also confront the darkest aspects of themselves. For in the world of the Hegemony, even victory may cost them their souls . . .
A fast-paced thriller that both re-imagines and pays tribute to the traditional vampire, Ancient Blood is a story of love, ambition, sacrifice, and betrayal that is frighteningly human.

About the Author

Brian McKinley doesn’t really exist. He’s a constructed mortal brianmckinleyidentity used by a relatively young Vampyr in order to publish the truth about The Order. Due to the world-wide influence of The Order and its minions, these accounts must all be published as fiction; however, they are all very real and actually happened. Sometimes the names and sequence of events have been changed to protect the innocent, the guilty, and to keep from getting sued.

Brian is no longer a typical Vampyr and, for this reason, lives in hiding and writes from a secret location. The real “Brian” lives a life of danger and excitement; he loves Star Trek, Game of Thrones, and Boardwalk Empire as much as he loves Chicken Fried Steak. He’s a reader, a role-player, and a dreamer who doesn’t believe that “liberal” is a dirty word. He’s lived many lifetimes and is eager to share as many of them as possible with his readers.

You can follow Brian  on Twitter: @BPMcKinley

You can also follow this link for his Facebook page.