Monday, June 30, 2014

Spotlight, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Open World (C.O.V.E.N., Book 1) Casey Moss (Presented by Bewitching Book Tours)

The world has broken out in wars. Las Vegas has been ravaged by chemical warfare and is now home to several clans and creatures.

Welcome to I-D-8 Entertainment’s newest game: Clans of Vegas—Endless Night.
Friends and family have gathered for a crunch time playtest of C.O.V.E.N.. When a horrible thunderstorm hits, everyone’s sucked into the game for real. In the MMORPG, Hope Collins is kidnapped by Buzz and forced to submit to his whims.

Her boyfriend, Alden, has to delay his quest of defeating a clan’s prince to save her, but time and circumstance don’t seem to be on his side. Faith Collins is bombarded by strange dreams brought on by Buzz. Her boyfriend, Tavis, learns to dream walk, but can he help break the spell she’s under and save her before she’s lost to him?

C.O.V.E.N. is more than just a game. It’s a whole other world.

Book Details:

Open World
Book 1
Casey Moss

Genre: Erotic Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Date of Publication: May 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-77130-852-6

Number of pages: 146
Word Count: 52,000

Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs


A hot trail of sweat trickled down behind Alden’s ear and slipped beneath the collar of his shirt. The world around him all of a sudden seemed off. Not sure if it was the spring heat of southern Nevada, the fire in the grill’s shallow pit or a twinge of foreboding raising his temperature, he shifted his stance and studied his surroundings. The atmosphere rippled away from him in an agitated wave, giving him the impression it wanted to consume everything it touched. Fine hairs lining the nape of his neck rose to attention and tickled his skin.

Feeling as if something menacing stared at him, Den spun from the barbecue. He held a pair of foot-long tongs in his hand like a weapon and scanned the small groups of people nearby. Coworkers wandered about. They ate from paper plates and laughed and talked about office antics, appearing to enjoy the afternoon. Others hung out under the open-air, wooden pavilion next to the community’s club house. 

They all act as if they have no cares in the world.

But then why should they? The C.O.V.E.N. project hadn’t hit too many glitches. Several more months, God willing, the latest and greatest massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Clans of Vegas: Endless Night would hit the shelves. They’d all get their bonuses. He and Hope could finally take their relationship to the next level. Life promised to become great real soon. 

Yet, despite his positive thoughts, another shiver swept through him. Not wanting to dismiss his ‘gut feelings,’ he squeezed the utensil, gritted his teeth and focused in on close conversations. People discussed the previous morning’s meeting. One man remarked, and those around him agreed, how wonderful it was when everyone functioned ‘on the same page,’ especially in terms of the C.O.V.E.N. project. It made each person’s workload progress much smoother. A pair of women walking toward him compared notes on their daughters’ recent ballet recitals. Some teens behind the adults chatted about an upcoming dance and who planned to take who. Innocuous topics. 

Dammit. So then why do I feel uneasy?

Purchase Links:


About the Author:

Casey Moss delves into the darker aspects of life in her writing, sometimes basing the stories on reality, sometimes on myth. No matter the path, her stories will take you on a journey from the light-hearted paranormal to dark things unspeakable. What waits around the corner? Come explore…


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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Midnight Eternal Cover Reveal & Midnight Caller Cover Re-Reveal by N.J. Cole & Giveaway

Title: Midnight Eternal (Midnight Series Book #2)

Author: N.J. Cole

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

Estimated Release Date: Summer 2014 

About Midnight Eternal:

Oliver Durant finally feels complete. With his butterfly now wearing his collar, he begins to introduce her to his world, taking her to his BDSM club and introducing her to his family. Things progress rapidly and she feels safe and welcome with them and his species. The longer they are together, the more she starts to become like his kind, offering him hope that he will be able to be with his mate for the rest of his life.

While Rebecca Summers is new to the BDSM lifestyle, she adapts quickly and serves her Master well, giving him everything he asks for. She loves pleasing him and spending time with his family, who has given her the sense of belonging she’s yearned for since her parents’ tragic deaths. She can’t imagine denying Oliver anything, and even asks to undergo the genetic transformation to become one of his species. Days before the event, they are given some news that changes everything.

Can these two find their happily ever after?

Or does fate have other plans?

Excerpt from Midnight Eternal:

“I want you in the waiting position in the playroom. My butterfly may take as long as she likes, but if I’m kept waiting, there will be a consequence. One minute wearing nipple clamps for each minute sounds fair.” She nodded her head and began to move. “Oh, and I’ll be paddling that ass and flogging that pussy while we wait for your timer to count down.”

Her eyes were wide. I held up my phone with the screen facing her as the timer changed from seventeen to eighteen seconds.

“Oh, shit!” she yelped and took off toward the playroom.

“That’s an added minute for language, young lady,” I called after her.

“Fuck,” she whispered under her breath. It was much too low for a human to hear, but I wasn’t human and she knew it.

“Two minutes.”

There was no response that time and I couldn’t help but chuckle. I loved how she was hurrying, but it was no secret that she loved spankings and nipple play, though the ones I had in mind today had a little more bite than the ones I’d used yesterday.

I stepped into the viewing room to undress, and because I was watching through the monitor, I knew the moment she was ready. At Bocaj speed, I entered the playroom to find her kneeling in waiting position. “Little one, you took four minutes. I am quite impressed, although I’ll have to add on the two minutes for your potty mouth.” I walked around her. “Inspection pose.”

I watched as she shifted into position. The scent of her arousal had already filled the air, and when she moved, I was able to see the visible evidence. “So wet for me. You want my cock, don’t you, little one?”

She knew not to answer, although a whimper escaped her lips as I slid my fingers through her wet folds. “On your knees,” I commanded as I walked over to the cabinet and pulled out nipple clamps and a flogger. It wasn’t as soft as the one she loved, but it still had soft fronds so it wouldn’t mark permanently.

Holding the items in my hands, I headed over to the couch and sat on the black leather. “Crawl to me.”

It was completely unnecessary, as I knew she understood her place. I just liked watching her look at me as she moved the short distance across the floor.

She stared into my eyes as I placed first one then the other clamp on her nipples. Holding her breath for a moment, she allowed her body to adjust to the pinching sensation.

“Up on my lap, over my knees.”

The sight before me was spectacular—her milky white ass ready and waiting. I brought my hand down on her smooth cheek, leaving a pink mark in the shape of my hand. “Beautiful.”

Title: Midnight Caller (Midnight Series Book #1)

Author: N.J. Cole

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance 

About Midnight Caller:

Rebecca Summers enjoys pleasing herself with the curtains open. When a mysterious stranger calls to tell her that he is watching, fantasy becomes reality as she begins to perform for him. Following his instructions over the phone while he watches from afar, she finds herself craving more.

Oliver Durant has always been drawn to humans to exert the dominance and control his kind needs to feel alive. While secretly observing her and calling nightly, he can’t seem to get enough of Rebecca, whom he refers to as butterfly. His urges with her are stronger than the need to dominate, as he is driven to possess her in every way.

Both of their worlds are turned upside down when they finally meet and she agrees to enter into a Dominant/submissive relationship with her Midnight Caller.

Goodreads link: 

Amazon Purchase Link:  Midnight Caller

About the Author:

NJ Cole is a witty, mid-western girl with a kinky side. She works by day and writes by night, all while being a mother to her wonderful boys and serving her Sir. Unlike many of today’s authors, she chooses to write in first person, allowing the readers to experience life through the eyes of the unique characters that live in her head. Her love of those characters and respect for their stories come through loud and clear in her writing. With over two million reads of her online work in the past six months, NJ Cole is clearly an up and coming author.



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Amazon Purchase Link

Stop in the Name of Love by Nina Bruhns

When an undercover cop must cozy up to a suspect's pretty neighbor, things don't go as smoothly--or seductively--as he'd hoped when she tells him she hates cops and wants nothing to do with him or his damn assignment.

Red Rock Rises (The Red Rock Series, Book 1) by Taylor Lee

A fiery former undercover agent, as tough as she is beautiful , fiercely independent, she is the Rock. Few see the vulnerable woman beneath. No one messes with Red Rock until she meets the handsome Police Chief.

Dirty Little Secrets by Julie Leto

Marisela's sexy ex lures her into a treacherous underworld of arms dealers, hit men & sinister double-crosses. Has she descended into hell or finally found kick-ass heaven? It's the perfect setup to break her heart. Again.

Saved by Lorhainne Eckhart

Growing up I had dreams that one day I'd fall in love, marry & start a family. Then one night I was taken. I survived, escaped, I was saved. Eric didn't see me as damaged. He didn't see my baby as a monster. He protected me, kept me safe ... he saved me.

Everything He Never Wanted by Mary Leo

Billionaire, Antonio Milani, came to London to recover what is his: a rare, signed copy of Oliver Twist. Instead, finds himself falling for the woman he suspects is involved in an international ring of book thieves.

A Girl, A Guy and A Ghost by Patricia Mason

A sexy psychic private eye could help her find a ghost... or turn her into one.

Deathblow by Dana Marton

Former small-town football hero turned cop, Joe Kessler never met a linebacker, perp, or a woman he couldn't handle. Then a troubled single mom walks into his life, & the only place this hot jock will ever see 'easy' again is in the dictionary.

One Night to Kill (Seven Nights, Book 1) by Rita Herron

A military man must use his leave to play bodyguard to the General's sexy daughter!

Snowbound (The Protector Series, Book 2) by Karen Fenech

FBI Agent Mallory Burke, injured and on the run for her life, is stranded in a snowstorm with a reclusive and secretive cop she's not sure she can trust but is falling in love with.

BONUS Novella: Secret Identity by Jill Sanders

Carter always had a thing for his best friend Eve. He hired her to boost his business & it's never run more smoothly. When an opening presents itself, he takes a chance at happiness that could end up destroying their friendship.

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Dana Marton

Rita Herron

Taylor Lee
Taylor Lee

Jill Sanders

Karen Fenech

Lorhainne Eckhart

Patricia Mason

Nina Bruhns

Julie Leto

Mary Leo

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Blog Tour ~ His To Claim #1: No Strings by Opal Carew

His To Claim #1: No Strings

BY Opal Carew

Tour Organizer: N K Author Services

Part 2. 

His to Claim #2: Savage Kiss

Rafe is a rock musician by night and head of a multi-million dollar family business during the day. Melanie is his former assistant, a wallflower who’s harbored a secret crush on him for years. Someone he'd never even consider sleeping with. But when Melanie decides to leave behind her shy exterior and live out her own sexy bucket list, the two of them are thrown together in a whirlwind affair that pushes both their boundaries.

His to Claim: Part 1 is the first installment in the scintillating erotic serial novel His to Claim, later to be made available as a complete book featuring special bonus material. Don’t miss the other chapters of Opal Carew’s six-part serial out Summer 2014. She's his to claim--he just doesn't know it.

Buy Links

Part 2.. 

His to Claim #2: Savage Kiss

About the Author:

I love cats, nail polish, Zentangle, and anything glittery!

Newsletter signup:

NYT and USA Today bestselling author. 

Come join our event and win some awesome prizes!!! Pick up your copy today to be entered towards the grand prize!! 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Legacy (Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld, Book Two) by Shakir Rashaan


Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld
Book Two
Shakir Rashaan

BDSM Erotic Romance

Strebor Books/Atria Books
(A Division of Simon & Schuster)

Date of Publication:
June 10, 2014

ISBN: 9781593095468

Number of pages: 272
Word Count: 67,000+

Cover Artist: Keith Saunders, Marion Designs

About Legacy:

A tale unlike anything else, this second episode in the Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld series continues the erotically charged journey inside Atlanta's African-American Fetish/BDSM community.

"In order to be great, you have to leave your mark. Are you ready to leave your mark?"

After returning from Dubai, a power shift occurs within the Atlanta Fetish community as the "torch" is passed on from Amenhotep to Ramesses and Neferterri. The Palace is being transformed in Ramesses' image, and the new "power couple" is adjusting to life in the spotlight and the benefits -- and headaches -- that come with it.

But as Ramesses puts the finishing touches on establishing the balance of power, Amenhotep has tasked him with a daunting undertaking -- one that will test his will and re-forge a bond that was once broken, cementing his legacy within the sacred "society."

Exotic, decadent, and written by a true insider, Legacy takes you deeper into the Atlanta Fetish/BDSM community, twisting more surprises and revelations that are sure to take your breath away.


“So, how did You enjoy Your time in Dubai, youngster?”

Under normal circumstances, a phone call at 7:00 a.m. wouldn’t have bothered me, but coming home and suffering serious jet lag from the near fifteen-hour flight made this phone call something of a cruel joke Amenhotep was playing on me.

With the way I felt, I was in desperate need of a vacation from our vacation. We’d spent nearly a week in paradise, one of the most unique and luxurious locales on the planet while celebrating His and paka’s nuptials, and here He was sounding bright-eyed and bushy-tailed like the flight time never had one ounce of an effect on Him.

I looked at the phone, trying my best to match His energy, realizing quickly that I wouldn’t come close to meeting Him halfway. “Dubai was wonderful, and that’s putting it mildly, Sir,” I replied. My voice sounded like I’d gargled with broken glass. “I feel so drained right now. If I were working for someone else, I would be calling in sick. Why are You calling so early in the morning anyway, Sir? Is something wrong?”

“Well, to answer Your question, we have business to take care of, kid.” He sounded as serious as a heart attack as His voice carried through the air waves and into my ears. “Oh, and You are working for someone else…You’re working for Me, now.”

His trademark chuckle made me want to vomit. He couldn’t be serious about trying to get back to business now, could He? “Come on, Sir? Give Me twenty-four hours to recover, veg out on the couch and enjoy the children, anything other than working the next morning after we’d gotten off the plane?” I hated sounding like a freaking teenager trying to beg his father for more time to be lazy, but I really needed some time to be lazy. Neferterri was soundly sleeping next to me, completely oblivious to the conversation I was having with Him.

Why in the hell did I have to be a light sleeper?

The laughter over the phone after I made my plea gave me the distinct impression that my request would not be honored. “See, that’s the problem with you young folks. By now, I would have taken care of the things that we need to take care of before lunch. Are You getting soft on Me already, youngster?”

I sat up after hearing that question. “Not by a long shot, old man, but I have to wonder how in the world You’re able to be so fucking hyper when You took the same flight we took to get back home?”

“Clean living, You should try it sometime.” His voice never lost its energy. Slowly and surely, it began to breathe life into me, providing the necessary adrenaline rush to lift from the bed and shuffle into the bathroom to begin freshening up. “In order to be great, You have to leave Your mark. Are You ready to leave Your mark, Ramesses?”

He appealed to my ego with that question. He knew full well I was ready to leave my mark, and I was ready to do it in a big way. I had been plotting and planning ever since the conversation we had in Dubai one night, when everything was set in motion:

“I’m ready to do this, Sir. The shock has worn off. It’s My time, now.”

“Is that right, Ramesses? Do You think You’re ready to take things tothe next level?”

“I wouldn’t be here talking with You if I wasn’t ready to take things to the next level. The question is, are You ready for what the next level is?”

“Youngster, I’ve been waiting for You for the past few years to figure out when You were ready. I have the means for You to do what needs to be done, and You have the energy and drive to make it all happen. The way I see it, it’s a win-win proposition for everyone involved.”

“So, why are we here talking when we can be laying the groundwork so I can hit the ground running when we get back? You know the expansion plans I’ve wanted to execute for some time now.”

“The answer to Your question comes with its own question, Ramesses. The plans for the Palace are only the tip of the iceberg. There’s something else I need You to do for Me. This is big, probably bigger than any plans You might have for the Palace.”

“I haven’t refused You before, what makes You think I’m backing down from this request?”

“The request I am making of You, Sir, will require You to do something that I don’t know if You’re going to be willing to do.”

“Stop speaking in riddles and get to the point, Sir. You know I don’t do the cloak-and-dagger nonsense. Spit it out.”

“In order for You to accomplish the expansion plans that You have in mind, You’re going to have to have two individuals to help with those plans. They haven’t spoken to each other in nearly a decade, and despite My efforts, they have yet to reach an accord. Where I have failed, perhaps You might succeed. It’s the only way Your ultimate plans will come to fruition.”

“If it’s the two people that I think You’re talking about, Sir, I might as well scrap the plans now.”

“Don’t be so quick to scrap what has been laid out for You, Ramesses. You and I both know things happen for a reason.”

“I’m dying to know what the reason is for this one.”

“Only time will tell, My old friend…only time will tell.”

“You haven’t answered My question, kid,” Amenhotep’s voice sliced through my thoughts. “Are You ready to leave Your mark?”

What He asked for was the impossible. A decade of noncommunication and animosity, and I was supposed to diffuse that in the course of months? If He couldn’t do it, what made Him think I would be able to do it? Yes, I have an ego bigger than the great state of Texas, but even I have my limitations. On the one hand, what He was asking for was next to impossible, but on the other hand, if I had the right

leverage, I might have the ability to do something my Mentor wasn’t able to do. The end game was too seductive to resist.

“I’m ready, Sir,” I answered. “And I already have a plan in mind.” 

Purchase Links:

Amazon ~ Legacy: Book Two of the Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld
Books a Million
Personal Autographed Copy

About the Author:

Shakir Rashaan currently lives in suburban Atlanta with his wife and two children. Rashaan's catalog includes the series Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld and the upcoming Kink, P.I., and current projects being developed under the pen name Curtis Alexander Hamilton. Other credits include several anthologies, including the bestselling Zane Presents Z-Rated: Chocolate Flava 3. You can see more of Rashaan at

Find Shakir Online:





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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Daddy’s Game (Daddy’s Girl Series, Book Two) by Normandie Alleman

Daddy’s Game
Daddy’s Girl Series, Book Two
Normandie Alleman

Genre: Contemporary BDSM Erotic Romance

Publisher: Stormy Night Publication

Word Count: 62,000

Book Description:

Football and kink collide when the game’s biggest star convinces a beautiful artist to play Daddy’s Game.

Sparks fly when up-and-coming artist Carmen Harris meets football star Natron Dakers at her first gallery opening. Carmen soon discovers that Natron is the type of man who sees what he wants and goes after it… and apparently what he wants is her. Almost before she knows it Carmen finds herself taking everything Natron gives her and begging for more, and when he reveals that he wants to be her dominant daddy and her to be his submissive little girl, she doesn’t hesitate to agree.

At the top of his profession, Natron has money, fame, and all the perks that go with them, and now at last in Carmen he has found a woman he wants to share it with. His life feels complete… until in a split second everything comes crashing down when a devastating injury threatens to end his season—and maybe his career. Natron fears he will lose it all, but will he self-destruct or can he dig deep and fight hard for himself, his teammates, and his little girl?

Publisher’s Note: Daddy’s Game is the second book in the Daddy’s Girl series. It incorporates characters from the first book in the series, Daddy Morebucks, but it is a stand-alone novel. The content of Daddy’s Game includes spankings, graphic sexual scenes, elements of age play and BDSM, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.



She sensed his presence behind her before she felt his hands on her waist.

“I’ve been trying to be good, but you’re so sexy. I can’t resist you, babygirl.”

A wave of desire thrilled through her as his hands skimmed over her belly and he started unbuttoning her jean shorts. Her knees almost buckled and she held onto his forearms for support.

“But…” was the only protest she could muster.

“But I think you have on too many clothes,” he said slipping her shorts down to her ankles.

Feeling dizzy she turned to steady herself and found herself in his arms. When she lifted her face to his, he claimed her mouth, hungrily sliding his tongue between her lips. The electricity between them ramped up a notch, and for a moment she allowed herself the pleasure of letting go and relishing what it felt like to be in his arms.

He stepped back and lifted her t-shirt over her head.

It made her uncomfortable to be half-naked in front of him and she instinctively covered her breasts with her hands. Carmen believed most men preferred a thinner woman, and she was self-conscious about her voluptuous figure. She weighed at least thirty pounds more than the models on the magazine covers she saw every week at the grocery store check-out line.

“What are you doing? Stop. I want to see you.” He pulled her hands away, firmly placing them at her sides.

She felt the warmth rising in her cheeks. “I’m embarrassed.”

He smiled and shook his head. “Girl, you don’t know how good you look, do you?”

“Well, I…I just need to lose a few pounds,” she stammered.

“Lose a few pounds my ass! You’re beautiful. I love your curves. I don’t need an anorexic woman. I want a girl who knows how to live, how to eat,” he said, wrapping his arms around her again. “How to love.”

He scooped her up like a bride about to cross the threshold and started climbing the stairs.

Panic rose in her throat. “Natron, you can’t. Please! You’ll drop me.”

He merely chuckled. “You don’t know how strong I am. I’m not gonna drop you.”

“But Natron, what are you doing?”

“What do you think I’m doing? Takin’ you to bed.”

“But, but…it’s so fast.” The alarm bells that had been going off in her head waned. His persuasive charms were quickly overriding her concerns, and she longed to give in to him.

“When I see what I want I have to have it. And right now what I want is you.” He nuzzled her neck, nibbling his way around her earlobe.

The words “right now” stuck in her head. Okay, so he wanted her now, but what about afterwards? Would he want her later or would she be just another conquest for the big football star?

When he reached the top of the stairs he tossed her on the bed and proceeded to take off the rest of his clothes. As he stood there in all his naked glory, Carmen drew a ragged breath. He was gorgeous.

Good Lord he must have to work out constantly to look like that and still eat pizza. His body was rock hard, every muscle well-defined. He even had that sexy Apollo’s belt that made that deep “v” leading directly to his enormous cock. As impressive as the rest of him was, it was impossible for her not to stare at his erection jutting out proudly before him. She’d heard black men were bigger, and in his case the rumor proved to be true.

“Now it’s your turn,” he tugged at her panties.

“Natron, I don’t know. Maybe this isn’t such a good idea…”

He pursed his lips. “Alright then, let’s play a game instead.”

She closed her legs, eyeing him skeptically. “What kind of game?”

“I call it ‘Everything But’,” he said.

“What do you do?” The game sounded rather self-explanatory, but she was stalling for time.

“You get naked and we can do everything but have sex. No penetration. Just foolin’ around.” He sat on the bed next to her and reached behind her to unfasten her bra. “No harm in that, is there?”
Purchase Links:

 Amazon US ~ Daddy's Game (The Daddy's Girl Series Book 2)
 Amazon UK

About the Author:

A former psychologist, Normandie has always been fascinated by human behavior. She loves writing quirky characters that are all too human. Fiber arts, baking, and Pinterest are a few of her favorite pastimes. She lives on a farm with a passel of children, hunky husband, and a pet pig who’s crazy for Red Bull.

Twitter at

Pinterest at



Amazon Author Page:


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Blog Tour ~ Excerpt: Hold Still by Lisa Regan (Presented by Innovative Online Book Tours)

After saving her three-year-old daughter from a car-jacking, off-duty police detective Jocelyn Rush ends up in the ER. The last person she expects to run into is Anita Grant, former prostitute and an old acquaintance from Jocelyn’s days on patrol. In spite of her obvious injuries—mutilated hands and feet—Anita refuses to talk about what happened. Reluctantly, Jocelyn backs off, and Anita's case goes to Philadelphia’s Special Victims Unit.

Before long, Jocelyn is pulled into the SVU’s investigation. Anita is finally ready to talk, but only to Jocelyn. Her story is harrowing, even to a seasoned veteran like Jocelyn. Working with SVU, Jocelyn’s investigation unearths a series of similar crimes going back four years. Three men are preying on local prostitutes, viciously assaulting and mutilating them.

The police apprehend two of the suspects, but the third eludes capture. As the hunt for the most sadistic of the three intensifies, and his crimes escalate, Jocelyn and her colleagues have precious few leads. Then a monster from Jocelyn’s past resurfaces. She doesn’t want to be reminded of the terrible secret that destroyed her family nearly twenty years earlier, but the man offers her a lead that could crack Anita’s case.

To solve it, Jocelyn must connect her past with her present—before a sadistic attacker sets his sights on her.
Book Details:

Kindle File Size: 1205 KB
Print Length: 396 pages

Print Length: 396 pages
ISBN-10: 1495206807
ISBN-13: 978-1495206801

(Sex Rating 4 of 5)

Purchase Links:

Amazon Hold Still

Barnes & Noble

CHAPTER 1 Excerpt:

October 4th 

Secrets and lies—even the most innocent of lives spring from secrets and lies. Jocelyn Rush’s blood froze in her veins when three-year-old Olivia asked, “Mommy, do I have a daddy?”

Jocelyn was grateful to be driving. Olivia couldn’t see her face from her car seat in the back. She couldn’t see the pallor and the hollow look that came over Jocelyn’s features. To buy time, Jocelyn said, “What did you say, baby?”

She glanced in the rearview mirror. Olivia’s gaze was turned toward the scenery passing by. Her eyelids were heavy, drifting closed and snapping back open every few seconds. Jocelyn was surprised she wasn’t already asleep. They had spent the entire day at Smith Playground where the two of them had slid down the giant wooden slide so many times, Jocelyn’s ass hurt. Olivia called it “The Whee” because Jocelyn yelled, “Whee!” every time they slid down. 

With its indoor playrooms and extensive outdoor playground for children of all ages, Smith was one of Olivia’s favorite places to go on Jocelyn’s days off. Jocelyn liked it too because it was free. She worked full-time as a detective for the Philadelphia Police Department, but raising a child alone was costly. She had to cut corners where she could and free was always good. 

“Do I have a daddy?” Olivia inquired again.

“Everyone has a daddy,” Jocelyn mumbled.

From the day Jocelyn had taken Olivia in, she’d known there would be questions about Olivia’s parentage. Why hadn’t Jocelyn’s sister, Camille, been able to raise her own daughter? Who was Olivia’s father? Why couldn’t she meet him—ever? Jocelyn hadn’t expected the questions to start so soon. She thought she’d have more time. She had imagined a teenager—or a tween, at least—demanding to know who her real parents were. She had envisioned a child old enough to understand violence and junkies. Jocelyn was lucky that no one ever questioned whether or not she was Olivia’s mother. Jocelyn and Camille both favored their mother; and Olivia—with her poker-straight brown hair, wide chestnut eyes, and straight nose—could pass as either one of their daughters.

“Raquel has a daddy,” Olivia said. “He’s a ‘older.” 

“A Soldier,” Jocelyn corrected.

“Soldier,” Olivia tried.

“That’s right, Raquel’s daddy is far away in Afghanistan.”


Jocelyn said the word a few more times, far better prepared to answer questions about war in a foreign country than Olivia’s father. But Olivia’s attention had already waned, sleep finally claiming her. At that moment, Jocelyn felt the tightness in her throat ease as Olivia’s eyelids drooped. 

Skirting the edge of Fairmount Park, Jocelyn took 33rd Street to Ridge Avenue. Three-story, brick row houses with mansard roofs and dormer windows sat opposite the park, many of which were burnt out or boarded up. Some had sagging porches and trash-lined sidewalks. The turrets and columns had long lost their aesthetic appeal. The larger homes gave way to two-story row houses with bay windows, most of which were painted in shades of brown and deep red. She passed Mt. Vernon Cemetery and drove down West Hunting Park Avenue, home to a slew of mammoth industrial buildings. Long abandoned, the broken glass in their windows was like fangs glinting at her as she passed. The streets narrowed as she drove down Germantown Avenue, but the houses and businesses looked no less desperate as she approached the Nicetown Tioga section of the city. She was grateful that the rumble of cobblestones and old trolley tracks beneath her tires did not awaken Olivia. Foliage closed in from both sides of the street as Jocelyn drew closer to the neighborhood where the mother of her best friend, Inez lived. Inez worked patrol in the 35th District. Her mother, Martina provided daycare for Olivia and Inez’s four-year-old daughter, Raquel, while Jocelyn and Inez worked. 

Jocelyn lived in the Roxborough section of the city, but she had to stop at Martina’s house to pick up the treasured blanket that Olivia had left there the day before. They had only discovered it was missing last night. Olivia had thrown the tantrum to end all tantrums before finally falling asleep in Jocelyn’s arms on a wave of hiccupping sobs. There were a few tense moments when Jocelyn almost broke down and called Martina to see if she could pick up the blanket, but she stood her ground. People forgot things, left them behind. Olivia would have to learn that sooner or later. A night without her blanky would not kill her—and it hadn’t. Still, Jocelyn wasn’t about to go another night without it. Raquel was spending the day with her paternal grandparents. With no children to watch, Martina had gone to Atlantic City for the day, but she had promised to leave Olivia’s blanky in a plastic bag between her screen and front doors.

Chew Avenue was a busy street with wide single lanes of traffic in each direction and cars parallel-parked bumper to bumper on either side. As usual there wasn’t a parking spot within a three-block radius. Jocelyn pulled over and double-parked with her hazard lights flashing. Cars zipped around her vehicle without so much as a beep. In Philadelphia, double-parking was the norm. The blinkers were an added courtesy which most double-parkers didn’t even bother to use.

Jocelyn glanced at the house. The screen door was cracked just a little; and there was a flash of a plastic, yellow Shop Rite bag peeking out. She peered back at Olivia and paused a long moment to see if Olivia would wake up now that the car had stopped moving. But the snoring continued unabated. Jocelyn turned away from Olivia, catching her own smile in the rearview mirror. Just looking at Olivia made her grin. Most of the time, she didn’t realize she was doing it. It amazed her that this tiny person could be such a powerhouse of joy. 

Unless she doesn’t have her blanket, Jocelyn thought wryly. 

Jocelyn took a quick look up and down the street, gauging how long it would take her to sprint to Martina’s door and back. It shouldn’t take more than ten seconds. As a rule, she never left Olivia alone in the car—not even when she was paying for gas—but the door was only twenty feet away. It would be faster to run for it than to unfasten Olivia’s seat belt and carry her to and fro. 

Jocelyn slipped her seat belt off and got out, closing the door softly behind her. She sprinted up the steps and snatched the bag from between the doors. As she turned back to her car, she saw the figure, just a blur in her periphery. Then her Ford Explorer drove off down Chew Avenue with Olivia in the back seat.

Jocelyn leapt off the steps and ran into the street. 

“Olivia!” she screamed.

She had never run so fast, and was only vaguely aware of the other cars whizzing past, beeping and swerving to avoid her, expletives rolling out of the mouths of passing motorists. The Explorer made the first right onto North 21st Street and Jocelyn followed, arms and legs pumping, feet slapping the pavement, her heartbeat thundering in her ears. She reached for her gun but quickly remembered she didn’t have it. It was her day off.


She was losing ground as the Explorer turned right onto Conlyn and out of her sight.


Every muscle in her body strained and screamed, her lungs burning. She turned the corner and almost wept with relief. The Explorer was stopped behind someone who had double-parked in the middle of the street. There wasn’t enough room for it to pass. The other car’s blinkers were on, the driver nowhere to be seen. For once, Philadelphia’s narrow side streets were a blessing instead of a curse. 

Breathing heavily, Jocelyn approached the Explorer from the drivers’ side and opened the door. She didn’t look; instead she grabbed and grabbed until she had a handful of clothing. She pulled a skinny, punk kid—maybe nineteen or twenty—out of the car by his collar.

His face was pimpled with a patchy five o’clock shadow. His white-blond hair was greasy, a shock of it falling across his coal-dark eyes as he glared at her. “Hey, what the fuck are you—”

The whole world went silent. Jocelyn knew the kid was speaking, but she couldn’t hear anything. Her field of vision narrowed to his face. And when he met her eyes, for a brief, fleeting second, he looked afraid. Then Jocelyn hit him. She hit him again and again. He fought back, but his ineffectual punches glanced off her body; no match for her rage. By the time she was done, she had a few bruises and her right wrist throbbed, but she didn’t remember the particulars. She only remembered hitting him until he lay at her feet, unmoving. Her vehicle had rolled forward a few feet, bumping the rear of the car that was double-parked. A few people had come out of their homes. They stood on the pavement and on porches, staring open-mouthed.

Jocelyn’s hearing returned slowly. Her labored breath was deafening. She left the kid on the ground and pulled open the back door of the Explorer. There sat Olivia in her car seat, face flushed with sleep. Her little round face was relaxed, her mouth open. A strand of brown hair stuck to one of her cheeks. She sighed softly in her sleep, one tiny hand clutching Lulu, the pink beanie bear that accompanied them everywhere.

“Oh God,” Jocelyn gasped. She put her Explorer in park and then sat in the back, weeping uncontrollably. She dialed 911 on her cell phone.

“911. Where’s your emergency?”


“Miss? Where’s your emergency?”

“Philadelphia. I want to report a carjacking.”

About the Author:

Lisa Regan is a crime fiction author. Her first novel, Finding Claire Fletcher won Best Heroine in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards 2013. It was runner-up for Best Novel. It was also a Digital Book Today Best of 2013 ebook selection. In December 2013, Finding Claire Fletcher and her second novel, Aberration were #1 Amazon bestsellers in the Kidnapping and Serial Killers categories, respectively.

Lisa is a member of Sisters In Crime. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

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