“Creepz” by Ruth Bainbridge #BookBlast


Creepz cover

Creepz

by Ruth Bainbridge

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GENRE: Suspense Thriller

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BLURB:

June 2017. New York is suffering under the worst heatwave in centuries, but it’s the barrage of grisly murders that has city dwellers on edge. Since the homicides don’t fit a pattern, the NYPD is treating them as unrelated, but Detective Grace Jarrod isn’t so sure. Graffiti left at the crime scenes points to the crimes being linked and part of a rampage.

The delivery of a cryptogram to her precinct proves her theory correct. A group calling themselves CREEPZ takes credit for the deaths and for the war they wage. They promise not to stop until a societal revolution is achieved. Jarrod leads the investigation and goes after the madmen that strike at will and profess to kill for love. Little does she know that the group of homeless drifters is led by a genius who believes himself God.

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Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

He wasn’t much bigger than she was. With her shoes off, he was only eye level. She could get through him … she could. Like Stacy said, he was just a little punk—a creep—one of hundreds she’d encountered before. He was only trying to scare her, but it wouldn’t work. She could handle this—if only she could move her damn feet.The click of the gun being cocked echoed in her head. A shiver shimmying up her spine, the filthy stranger’s grin widened as he neared and pressed the cold steel into the center of her forehead.

“No!” she screamed.

“Ya-yo-yes, little girl with no way to go but da-da-down.”

“But why? Why?”

“Because Daniel says so-so-so. It’s adios sad buh-bye time, so maybe you oughta cry.”

“Please,” she begged as tears streamed down her face. “Please don’t kill me. I’ll give you all I have. I will!”

“Haff to blonde hair and not much more. Me and Daniel, we’re goin’ to war, but yah-yu-you? You gonna start it!”

Sharp laughter knocked all thoughts from her head as a paralysis overtook her.

The man was crazy. Deranged. With no more time to think, she lunged forward, prepared to bash into him. A loud blast stopped her in her tracks and made her ears ring.

The impact of the bullet slammed her backwards. Staggering one unwieldy step, a blinding light lit up the alley as the bullet smashed through her skull. Her brain emptied and splattered onto the back wall. Limp, a numbness overtook her.

Was this it?

Her eyes crossed as she fell. Looking upward at the blackened sky, her question went answered.

She was dead before she hit the ground.

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~ Author Bio and Links ~

Ruth Bainbridge was born in the idyllic, sleepy town of Ithaca, NY, and has been a lover of mysteries for her entire life. Ever since a child, she’s consumed detective stories at regular intervals, becoming enamored with all the superstars of crime. She loved matching wits with Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Thomas Pitt, Lord Peter Wimsey, Richard Jury and Edward X Delaney. In fact, she was so inspired by their brilliance that she began trying to emulate her writing idol’s achievements by composing her own short stories. However, life interfered with her plans of becoming the next hopeful to try a life of crime–on paper at least. But the empty nest syndrome happened and gave her the impetus to return to her first love–murder.

Her works include: THE CURT SAVAGE MYSTERIES (a four-part series that should be read in order); DEADSPEAK, a detective Twin Peaks; and ONLY ONE WILL FALL, the first in THE NICK CROSS MYSTERIES. CREEPZ is her eighth published work. The most intense read of the season, it’s a complex adrenaline rush that’s filled with suspense.

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~ RAFFLECOPTER ~

 Ruth will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour and, (US/CANADA ONLY) Ruth is hosting an EXTRA CONTEST. The prizes are a Kindle Fire HD8 and (5) $10 gift certificates. It’s a CRYPTOGRAM CONTEST and all winners will be randomly drawn via rafflecopter.

TOUR

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cryptogram Contest (US/CANADA ONLY)

Enter to win a Fire HD8 Tablet with Alexa – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

“Ways of Grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity, and How Sports Can Bring Us Together” by James Blake


Ways of Grace cover

“Ways of Grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity, and How Sports Can Bring Us Together”

Author: James Blake

Genre: Sociology of Sports/Minority Studies/Tennis

Release Date: June 27, 2017

Amazon                   Goodreads


Inspired by Arthur Ashe’s bestselling memoir Days of Grace, a collection of positive, uplifting stories of seemingly small acts of grace from across the sports world that have helped to bridge cultural and racial divides.

Like many people of color, James Blake has experienced the effects of racism firsthand—publicly—first at the U.S. Open, and then in front of his hotel on a busy Manhattan street, where he was tackled and handcuffed by a police officer in a case of “mistaken identity.” Though rage would have been justified, Blake faced both incidents with dignity and aplomb.

In Ways of Grace he reflects on his experiences and explores those of other sports stars and public figures who have not only overcome adversity, but have used them to unite rather than divide, including:

Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, a Pakistani Muslim and Amir Hadad, an Israeli Jew, who despite the conflicts of their countries, paired together in the 2002 Wimbledon men’s doubles draw.

Muhammad Ali, who transcended racism with a magnetic personality and a breathtaking mastery of boxing that was unparalleled.

Nelson Mandela, who spent twenty-seven years in prison for his commitment to social reform, peace, and equality yet never gave up his battle to end apartheid—a struggle that led to his eventual freedom and his nation’s transition to black majority rule.

Groundbreaking tennis legend Arthur Ashe, who was a model of courage, elegance, and poise on the court and off; a gifted player who triumphed in the all-white world of professional tennis, and became one of his generation’s greatest players.

Weaving together these and other poignant and unforgettable stories, Blake reveals how, through seemingly small acts of grace, we can confront hatred, bigotry, and injustice with virtue—and use it to propel ourselves to greater heights.

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“So Good (An Alpha Dogs Novel)” by Nicola Rendell #CoverReveal

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On the roof of a house outside Truelove, Maine, master carpenter Max Doyle looks down through a skylight and sees the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. She’s naked, she’s gorgeous, and everything about her is perfect, down to the ball-busting tattoo of a rose that wraps around her hip. But it isn’t just any woman making his knees buckle. It’s his best friend, Rosie Madden. And as he stands there, mesmerized and precariously close to toppling off the roof, he knows he’ll never, ever be able to look at her the same way again.

Rosie can’t help but notice that Max is suddenly acting very strange—lots of long stares, totally tongue-tied, and not at all like the slightly cocky hunk she’s proud to call her best friend. She can’t figure it out, until later that night when Max rescues her from the world’s worst date, challenges her to a game of pool, and shows her just exactly what she’s got him thinking about. Repeatedly.

But life is complicated. Rosie’s cat, Julia Caesar, wants to eat Max’s dog Cupcake for an afternoon snack. A dream job threatens to pull them apart. And another glance through the skylight changes everything, one more time. Yet try as they might, they can’t go back to being just friends, because falling in love with the one you’ve always adored?

It feels so good.

Coming August 7th

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Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs
Cover Photographer: Sara Eirew Photographer
Cover Model: Justin Edwards
Cover Model: Bella/Nikki Sebben

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Nicola Rendell writes dirty, funny, erotic romance. She likes a stiff drink and a well-frosted cake. She is at an unnamed Ivy and prefers to remain mostly anonymous for professional reasons. She has a PhD in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from schools that shall not be named here. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. She realizes that her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady and she’s totally okay with that. She lives with her husband and her dogs. She is from Taos, New Mexico.
Author Links

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Taco Tuesday!


Chopped Onion


It’s TACO TUESDAY and look who got a post up! *Bows*

This challenge is sponsored by author A.C. Melody, and it’s not as easy as it sounds, but here we go!

Onions for Writer’s Menu: Not everyone cries when they cut onions: share an outside-influence type circumstance/object that caused a character to tear up – or – notably didn’t, when they should have.


 

Looking lost, Ranard moved towards the front door. Rubbing at his throat, he stopped and looked back at his children standing together with their arms around each other. He looked at his wife and saw her face clouded with contempt and hatred… for him.

Turning and taking the last steps to the door, Ranard reached out for the doorknob… and froze.

This isn’t what he wanted. This isn’t what he needed.

The last seven years had been one long nightmare. Always trying to stay ahead of the game at work. Hanging out with friends and coworkers he didn’t like… and who didn’t like him. Sleeping with any woman who said yes. Gilbert Porter going out of his way to find his youngest son every few weeks to tell him how worthless he was. He’d tell him how a real man would step up to the plate and reclaim his family… be the husband and father they needed him to be. Not some loser who can’t even remember his sons’ birthdays.

Ranard Porter wanted to fix his life, but he didn’t know how. He’d wanted to push his pride aside and admit his weakness. But he just couldn’t. Not to Lennie. She was so smart. Always confident and sure of herself. Even when he attempted to berate and degrade her, she rose above him and continued on. Not seeking or needing his approval. Not needing anyone’s approval… the way he did.

Approval he never found.

He turned to look at what he’d lost.

Myron stood with his arm around RJ’s shoulder and they watched their mother comfort Duncan. His teenage son who stood ready to defend his brother… from him. A man-child… already more of a man than Ranard was… or would ever be.

Ranard opened the door and slipped out into the loneliness of the night… where he belonged.

Deleted scene, Ranard’s POV, Free, a Novella

 

Onions for Reader’s Menu: Name a favorite book you read where a character was brought to tears by an outside influence (ex: poked in the eye, thick smoke, laughing too hard, etc.) -or- where a character was notably incapable of being brought to tears for any reason.


Best Interest front coverGoing with the first book which comes to mind, I’m cheating a bit on this one – but the character is Rena Averest from my own In the Best Interest of the Child. This child haunted me and was not easy to write. Rena’s situation is the catalyst which forces Olivia Chandler to confront her own childhood demons… and makes sure Rena doesn’t suffer the same fate. There had to be enough similarities to push Olivia, but not so much that Rena became Olivia – broken and hiding.

So Rena doesn’t cry.

  • Eleven years old, suffered multiple injuries in the car accident which killed her mother and left her father in a coma.
  • Rena has daily physical and occupational therapy as she heals from the broken hip and ankle caused in the accident.
  • She’s seen her father once since the accident, and of course, he was comatose.
  • Rena is living with her godparents, who absolutely adore her, yet she worries about being extra work for them.
  • When Rena speaks of her mother, whom she was very close to, it is only of her death.
  • The first time Rena meets Olivia Chandler she believes Olivia has come with news of Rena’s father’s death.
  • Rena and Olivia meet a man at the hospital who lost his best friend in the same multi-car accident which ripped Rena’s family apart. HE becomes emotional… but eleven-year-old Rena Averest does not.

Any of these situations would have made an adult weepy and teary-eyed, but Rena is stoic for much of the story.

There does come a point when Rena cries. Her tears are cathartic, releasing the pain, anger, loneliness, and sense of loss locked deep inside her for almost six months.

When Rena cries, she does not cry alone. Olivia cries… but her tears are not for Rena.


♥ Next week’s ingredient is…Tomato!

Tomato for the Writer: Embarrassment and/or ridicule often play a part in our character’s journey. What was one of your main character’s inescapable, red-faced moments?

Tomato for the Reader: Share a book you’ve read where you were so embarrassed for the main character by something they themselves did or where they were ridiculed so badly, it left a lasting scar impression on you.

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“Heart of Knives” by L.V. Lewis #BookBlitz

 
Title: Heart of Knives
Author: L.V. Lewis 
Genre: ScFi/ Fantasy Romance
Release Date: June 27, 2017
 
 
The Complex Book Series.
A Lone Planet. One Complex.
Unlimited Chaos.
When an elf princess is threatened for her activism, who will come to her rescue—her fairy prince fiance’ or the handsome human bodyguard she adores?
Princess Amarie Vanyarin has a reputation for doing what’s right, no matter the cost. When she volunteers to act as Elf ambassador at the Complex—a domed community of Humans and Metas on the planet Lorn—a faceless assassin threatens her life. Soon, the civil rights activist is torn between thwarting another war and concentrating on her betrothal to Fairy Prince Erihstall Habbernock. Their plan to strengthen their mystical bond with a love spell goes awry when the magic inadvertently enchants the wrong person.
Or does it?
Amarie soon discovers that her fiancé and Gary Locke, the human bodyguard who’s captured her heart, both have ulterior motives—neither of which bodes well for her.
With the future ahead uncertain, will the headstrong princess continue to fight for Human-Meta peace, or will she choose to confront the emerging threat targeting the men she loves?
 
 
The blinders are already beginning their slow descent when Gary reaches Princess Amarie’s apartment. The moving shadows make him nervous and more alert. His boss’ voice slices through the paranoia already building up inside his mind. She’s going to need you, Sergeant. Right. I’ve got a job to do. Time to get to work.
Until a kit shows up, the only weapons Gary has are the Ama Seldova-issued segif on his gun belt and a pocket knife. The gun only temporarily knocks out an individual, and the knife won’t be useful against most Nighters. Against a single opponent, this won’t prove to be an issue. Two attackers, and Gary will have to take some chances. More than that, and the only real option for guaranteed survival is running. Hoping the attack doesn’t come tonight, or has happened already, Gary runs for the elevators leading to the top floor.
During the day, the Complex is filled with Humans and Metas moving about, each doing their job or living as best they can in what amounts to a giant tube. The same is true at night. The Human population gives way to Nighters, who are inherently quiet, which makes the atmosphere far more stifling to Gary as he passes them in the apartment’s lobby. The stares are worse. In Gary’s mind, each one of them looks hungry and thinks he is a stupid, easy meal.
Safely upon reaching the elevator, Gary smacks the ‘Up’ button hard enough to echo back towards the awakened civilians. Snickers echo around him as he turns with a silly look on his face. Hey fella, we’re all here to be peaceful. Chill out. Those words are etched on every face that turned at the sound. Fuck, Gary thinks. Why do I have to be so damned human?
An eternity of stares and seconds later, the elevator doors open. Gary forces himself to step inside with some semblance of dignity. Not too fast, not so slow as to be cartoonish. Now alone, he heaves a sigh. The doors begin to close, and he thinks, Okay, get your bearings back. Relax. You’re a goddamn soldier. Act like one.  Before the doors can fuse shut, pale blue fingers slip between them, automatically reversing open. A tall, lean man with the pallor of undeath smiles at him.
“I assume you’re going up,” the man asks.
“Yep. Straight to the top,” Gary replies.
“Perfect.”
The man pushes the button for the floor below Princess Amarie’s, then steps back and to the side so he’s flush with Gary. Side by side for the full ride, neither looks at the other. Gary decided early on this was the most uncomfortable elevator ride in man’s history that didn’t lead to someone’s death or dismemberment. So far. They reach the man’s (vampire, Gary) floor and the doors slide open. Before exiting, he looks Gary straight in the eye.
“Come and see me sometime, when being a monster hunter isn’t such a new smell on you. We’ll have more fun then,” the man says.
“Don’t do anything I need to come and see you for. We’ll pretend this didn’t happen,” Gary replies, meaning every word.
“Everybody knows that is not how this experiment will go down, Locke. You don’t have enough to lose yet, so it’s no fun to play with you. And please, feel free to visit me any time.”
The man vanishes into shadow as the doors close. Gary stares at the ceiling of the elevator, wondering why vampires were gifted with mind-reading. Willing the car to move up faster than programmed, he thinks, Just one more floor, dude, and we’ve finished the hard part.
The elevator doors open, and immediately Gary knows he’d been wrong. The hard part wasn’t over at all. A piercing scream is sounding through the thick walls of the princess’ suite on his left. What the fuck is happening to her? No time, gotta move. Gary pulls his segif from its holster and finds the nearest door leading left.
With one swift kick, he splinters the solid oak door. With a second kick, he smashes enough to duck in without his vision being impaired. From the corners of his eyes, he sees a flashing light but has no idea what it might be. To his right, however, is the princess. Naked. Her dark olive skin on display. Her arms and face are tilted up and what looks like purple smoke is weaving its way into her nostrils. Another scream escapes her mouth. Bolting from his crouched position, Gary harpoons himself into the princess in a desperate plea to stop this attempted possession.
With a heaving gasp, she falls underneath him, and the smell of her sweet perspiration invades his nostrils, saturating every pore of his being. Gary barely has time to realize he recognizes this scent before he loses all awareness in the emerald green mirrors of the princess’ eyes.
The vision before him is perfection personified. Her skin is so soft to the touch he could caress it forever. The vulnerability in her eyes slays him, and he feels himself reacting to her in a way that is not very professional, but he can’t help himself.
Perhaps it’s the fact that he hasn’t been with a woman in a while. His job keeps him busy, and fuck paying for sex. He’s old school and would rather hook up the old fashioned way. Princess Vanyarin certainly is his type—exotic brunette. Maybe it’s her Meta powers that’s got him under her spell, but it can’t be that. The device he’s wearing should protect him from that.
The fruity-looking fairy boy says something in a language Gary doesn’t understand, and his body’s reaction to the Princess goes into overdrive.
“What in the absolute fuck!”
Gary tries to turn away from the sleek, lithe body beneath him, away from the enchanting eyes, but he can’t. Within seconds, blackness covers him, the world goes cold, then nothing.

 

 

Growing up, L.V. Lewis wanted to be an internationally known rock star, but unfortunately, lived in the wrong part of the country to pursue that career (and neither American Idol nor The Voice were available then). An early love for the written word gave her the plan B she sought. Now she pens romance novels that let her live vicariously through rock stars and other fascinating archetypes.