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Sneak Peek of Bounty by Bobbi Schemerhorn

Rion glanced over his shoulder at his home one last time before crossing-over, through the portal and into the Hereafter. The hair on his arms and the back of his neck stood on end from the static caused by the two dimensions merging.

He pushed his way through Olympia’s portal. He could feel the warmth of the solid ground on the other side through the thin soles of his shoes. The Hereafter was a void absent of all life and sound; the space between worlds. He took a ragged breath. The air was so thin there may as well be none.

He spied the glow of Earth’s portal in the distance. He’d never used that particular portal before. Over the centuries Rion had traveled to Earth at least a hundred times, usually chasing the undesirables from his world, but sometimes from other worlds. The criminals would use the Hereafter to cross-over, attempt to escape to other places. It was Rion’s job to bring them home to face justice.

Only this time, Rion was the one on the run. His circumstance was different. He was no criminal. But his only hope for survival was to seek refuge on another planet. Many of his kind in similar situations fled to Earth, it was the closest thing to a safe haven as they could find.

The Earth portal was approximately twenty minutes away. Rion would need to move quickly to reach it. The Hereafter’s air supply was minimal, and his changing physiology made it difficult to breathe. Gods could survive days in the Hereafter, humans mere minutes. Even though he was more god than human, his survival would still be difficult. He tried to pick up his pace and jog, but the dim light and the uneven surface made it challenging. Rion coughed several times. It felt as if his lungs were collapsing in on themselves from the lack of oxygen. He had to get out, and quickly.

The black surface was like volcanic rock and was cracked as if all water had dried up many millennia ago. But he often wondered if the Hereafter had once been a luscious and beautiful place, full of life. Tiny particles floated in the air around him, only visible if caught at the right angle against the warm glow of the many thousands of portals.

The Hereafter made him uncomfortable. The darkness seemed to enclose on him, and the lack of sound seemed to scream in his

ears, like air rushing through a tight tunnel.

As he approached the portal the hair on his arms and the back of his neck again stood on end. The sound of rushing water filled his ears; all of Earth’s portals were submerged. It was going to be a difficult transfer. Kilometers of ocean separated Rion from freedom.

Before crossing-over from the Hereafter to Earth he struggled to take a final breath. His chest tightened and the thin air rattled through his lungs as he heaved in a breath. It had been months of planning, careful meticulous planning. He was directed to take this portal; it was the closest of all Earth’s portals. With his physical changes he would never survive the trek to any of the others.

Rion pushed through the portal. Immediately, the cold of the water began to seep through his bodysuit. It was made of organic material meant specifically for travelling to Earth. They had a series of sensors to help regulate the user’s body temperature in the frigid waters. The organic component also helped to make the suit more buoyant which would help him reach the surface faster. Rion suspected since his physiology is changing the suit wasn’t able to protect him properly.

The water was heavy and dark, he was certain he knew where

he needed to go. He struggled, kicking his legs frantically to reach the surface before his lungs finally reached a point where they force him to take a gulp of air. Only it would be a mouth full of Earth’s salty ocean water.

His mind raced and drifted to when he had still been fully a god; when this short distance would have been a mere inconvenience. Now his ability to remain underwater had deteriorated. He knew the changes would only make this journey more treacherous the longer he stayed on Olympia. He feared he waited too long before leaving his world. The illness that plagued him was mutating his genes, changing him into a human.

He gasped for breath as he broke the surface. Rion leaned his head back and treaded water the best he could while trying to catch his breath. The sky was dark, and he looked at all the tiny specks of light.

How many of those have portals? he wondered.

As he was about to start the long swim to shore, he heard a motor. It was getting closer and louder. As he spun about he spotted a watercraft gliding toward him.

“I didn’t think you were going to make it,” came a female voice. “You tripped the sensors fifteen minutes ago; I thought maybe you drowned.” A slight girl sat atop her ride like a knight on a horse.

Bounty

by Bobbi Schemerhorn

Genre: Urban Fantasy

On a world called Olympia, a terrible disease plagues the race of gods. As rumors spread about the disappearance of the anomalias, many infected gods flee through portals from Olympia to other worlds, including Earth, hoping to avoid a similar fate.

When the disease infects Rion, a bounty hunter who once helped return anomalias to Olympia, he, too, seeks sanctuary on Earth. But Rion’s partner, Temis, hunts him. Temis still believes the lies told to the bounty hunters about the anomalias. She believes they are violent, paranoid, delusional.

Rion’s only hope is to convince Temis to see the dark truth. But how can he convince her that everything she thought she knew is a lie?

A race against time to discover a chilling truth with powerful consequences.

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Bobbi Schemerhorn was born in Nova Scotia, but raised in Alberta. She has lived all across Canada, living in at least five different provinces, thanks to her military husband. Bobbi enjoys watching a variety of TV shows and movies; she is a Sims 2 playing fool, and loves working with her hands making crafts. Although she has no human children she does have one beautiful kitty who has reached her 19th year.
Bobbi is self-published in the fantasy genre. She has dabbled in Steampunk and Greek Mythology as well as Urban and Epic. Outside of her own writing Bobbi takes pride in helping her fellow authors with their work with her content editing and beta reading. She is known for her tough love both in her professional and personal life.

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Sneak Peek of The Man Before You by Shalana Battles

Jack was at a loss. He told himself he wouldn’t let this happen. He went to check on her, not to fall in love with her. Damn Eloise and everyone’s inabilities to tell her no. He hated that about her. The way she always got what she wanted, but he loved it, too, in a way, because it meant she was happy. Eloise would rip him to shreds. God, he loved her. He loved her from the first day she walked into that theater at eighteen, but now it was different. It wasn’t just her body or sex or lust, it was friendship and trust. It was months of messages, packages, and phone calls. It was knowing that she’d finally let him in, let him within reach.

Jack couldn’t help but wonder what that would be like once he got back. They’d have so much to talk about. He’d go wherever, leave the Army if he had to, be as much in this as she’d allow. He just wasn’t sure how much she’d actually allow. If he gave up everything, changed his whole life for her and she pushed him away, he wasn’t sure he could live through that. He’d lost Eloise once, but he’d never really had her, or at least that’s what he told himself. This would be a relationship, with labels, with attachments. It was something they’d had the entire time, but never said so out loud. Talking about it made it real, and Jack wasn’t sure Eloise was ready for real.

Jack looked at the letter in his hand and reflected on what Eloise had said about the words leaving her soul. He needed that too. He carefully folded the letter, stuck it back in its envelope and then in his chest pocket, and went to find Chase.

“Chase,” Jack yelled and found him at one of the tables with a few other men. “I need some paper.” Jack remembered that Chase kept a couple of notebooks to write his wife. Everyone mostly used social media, but as Jack now knew, there was something about a physical letter.

“Writing Miss Eloise?” Chase stood and Jack followed him.

“She said she loves me.” Jack slammed into Chase’s back. “What the fuck?”

“Sorry.” Chase turned to face him. “You shocked the shit outta me. She said what?”

“You heard me, man.” Jack didn’t want to tell Chase that Eloise had endured more trauma. He didn’t want Chase to bring up the possibility that Eloise only said that because she was hurting and didn’t have anyone else. He didn’t want Chase to suggest that it didn’t mean anything, that she’d take it back, or that once he was home and she had to face her written words, she’d cover them in friendship and destroy him in the process. Jack already felt those things. No, he didn’t need Chase to say them.

The Man Before You

Grand Mesa Men Prequel

by Shalana Battles

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Time may not actually heal all wounds, but love just might.

Eloise’s husband was dead and she wished she were too. She quit going to work, refused to answer her phone or her front door, and shut out the people who cared about her. She felt imprisoned by her tainted memories, but couldn’t escape her own home or recliner, because she had to focus on breathing.

Six days after she buried her husband, Jack pounded on Eloise’s door. Jack, a man she hadn’t seen or spoken to in over a decade. Jack, the only man including her husband, who Eloise felt truly knew her.

Jack’s life hadn’t been without its fair share of loss. Breaking contact after Eloise’s marriage had seemed the best thing for them, but regret tortured Jack when Eloise swung open her door and he saw the shell of the woman he once loved.

Eloise pushed Jack away ten years ago and never expected him to come back into her life. She hated herself for wanting Jack to stay, but she couldn’t help but remember the love they once shared and the life that they could’ve had—or the life they could have now.

The longer Jack stayed, the more he realized Eloise blamed herself for not being there when her husband died. Jack wanted a second chance, but Eloise didn’t think she deserved one. Eloise wanted to find herself, but wasn’t sure she could while dealing with grief, Jack’s deployments, PTSD, and a universe that seemed determined to keep them apart.

A Second Chance Standalone Romance

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Shalana Battles is a YA/Adult writer who tells stories about love…sometimes with witches and ghosts. Her debut novel, SOUL JUMPER released October, 6, 2020. Be the first to hear about upcoming projects and book updates by signing up for her newsletter below!

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Sneak Peek of The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme

(Maralyth):

I’d just finished filling the stoneware flagon when the front door opened and the clatter of boots filled the house. Quickly, I placed two goblets and the flagon on a wooden tray. I walked light-footed into the sitting room, its stone hearth dark in the heat of summer and Mother’s seat beside it still draped with the knit lap blanket she always used in wintertime. Somehow, none of us wanted to be the one to finally fold it away into the small trunk that held several other of her belongings.

Poppa, Kenton, and the two men stood assembled by the doorway in an awkward formation for a few seconds before Poppa gestured for everyone to sit. He raised his eyebrows at me.

“Ah, thank you, Mara. Will you set it down over here?”

I nodded, my gaze lingering for a breath or two on Poppa’s eyes, which were tender and spoke to me of his desire to draw me in, where he knew I wanted to be.

The only good thing that had come of Mother’s death, he’d said recently, was that he saw me more clearly, freed from the veil of protection Mother had always draped over me. He couldn’t give me what I really wanted, though. Nestar would take over Graylaern Vineyards  someday, not me. And even if there were no Nestar, I could never do more than fix the meals and tend the house—and possibly continue to boss the workers.

Because I was a girl.

“I’ll come right to the point,” Jamery said.

“May I offer you some wine?” Poppa asked as he poured.

His secretary glanced at the wine as though he very much wanted some. Jamery offered a tight-lipped smile. “Very well, then. Thank you.”

He made his way toward the couch and the others followed. I stepped back, intending to stay as long as Poppa allowed me.

Jamery reached for a goblet. “Lord Nelgareth has expressed concern that your Firstfruits have fallen short over the past six months. I offered to come in person to sort out any miscommunication.”

My bones went rigid. There was no way Poppa had made a mistake.

Determined to show his always-present hospitality, Poppa smiled at Jamery’s secretary and gestured to the remaining goblet. “Please—have some wine. I’ll be happy to listen to your concerns.” He turned his attention to me. “Will you bring some goblets for Kenton and me, please?”

I nodded—too curtly, probably—and glanced once more at the men. Jamery rolled his cup between his hands, his mouth twisted like a thirsty leaf. I shuddered and returned to the kitchen to fetch more goblets, fighting a sudden urge to stay there, hidden among the pots and pans and cooking mess. Invisible, the way Mother had kept me. Safe.

But I didn’t want to be invisible. So I grabbed two goblets and turned to face the sitting room. Safety be damned.

The Stolen Kingdom

by Jillian Boehme

Genre: YA Fantasy

A bold girl, a kingdom under attack, magic everywhere—I devoured it in one sitting! This book is one wild ride!” —Tamora Pierce on Stormrise

Nothing is quite as it seems in this thrilling YA fantasy adventure by Jillian Boehme, The Stolen Kingdom!

For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner’s daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling.

When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.

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Jillian is known to the online writing community as Authoress, hostess of Miss Snark’s First Victim, a blog for aspiring authors. In real life, she holds a degree in Music Education, sings with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and homeschools her remaining youngster-at-home. She’s still crazy in love with her husband of more than thirty years and is happy to be surrounded by family and friends amid the rolling knolls of Middle Tennessee.

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Sneak Peek of Scarlett and the Big Bad

He cleared up the tea tray and then moved the table about a foot back from the couch before taking his seat right beside where she was standing. He spread his feet apart and took her hand. Before she understood what was happening, he pulled her over his knee.

She gulped as her hands reached out to his hardwood floor, steadying her body as her head hung down across from her shoes. She hadn’t been in such a position since she was six-years-old. “What are you doing?”

“What I have to do to keep you safe.” Her face burned with shame as he rubbed his palm across her bottom. His circular movements stirred something between her thighs, a tingling ache she hadn’t expected.

“Please don’t.” A shiver scurried up her spine as she tightened her stomach muscles, attempting to raise her torso.

As he lifted his hand, she immediately missed the weight and heat until he landed a swat across her ass. Her mouth opened on a gasp, though he hadn’t struck her hard.

He hit me! A slight sting resonated, but the pulsing beneath her skirt had intensified. Her face flamed from her cheeks to her ears, but she took consolation in him not knowing. If he could somehow see what she was feeling, the humiliation would have been unbearable. The second swat landed, followed by the third. “Ow!” More and more fell until she lost count and a slow burn built across her rear. She squirmed as the stinging amplified.

Cool air covered the back of her legs as he lifted the hem of her dress and threw it over her back. Her jaw dropped. “Wait. No.” She reached behind her, attempting to push the garment back down, but he forced her arm away, overpowering her with ease.

“You aren’t in charge here.”

Scarlett and the Big Bad

Fated Fairytales Book 1

by Sierra Brave

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance

What if Red Riding Hood invited peril and the big, bad wolf was the only hero who could save her?

Promised power and position, Scarlett Capuche left her tiny village to join the prestigious Order of the Phoenix.

Monty Blackwolf never wanted a mate, especially not a human raised on a hidden farm for blood-ritual sacrifice. But his werewolf’s heightened sense of smell drew him to Scarlett’s sweet fragrance from miles away.

Duty-bound to protect her, he will break her of her religious devotion to the magical terrorist group responsible for the murders of his parents and older brother, even if he has to put her over his knee and turn her bottom as red as her hair.

She belongs to him now, and he will claim all of her despite his affliction with a unique, third shifter-form he doesn’t fully understand and isn’t able to control.

Will Monty save Scarlett, or will he prove more dangerous to her than anyone else?

Author’s Note: If you’re offended by steamy fairytale retellings with graphic language, explicit put-you-in-the-moment love scenes, elements of power exchange, and domestic discipline, you might want to look for a different book.

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Sierra Brave is a multi-published author of heart-pounding, blush-inducing romance with put-you-in-the-moment love scenes. She enjoys writing about a variety of gorgeous alpha males who can’t resist head-strong heroines. Curvy girls have a special place in her heart and often grace the pages of her books. Tales of shifters, cowboys, twisted fairy tales, space pirates, Amazon warriors, and vampires capture her imagination as do tempting spanking and ménage scenarios, but she also engages in more down-to-earth themes such as office romance. You’ll find lots of unique characters and humor in all of her stories.

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