Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Love is the Antidote by Abbie Roads

Love is the Antidote

When the son of a serial killer falls for his father’s only surviving victim...

The first thing Mercy became aware of was her facing throbbing a low level beat. Her bones ached and her muscles felt too heavy to move. Her side burned with every inhale and exhale. Her stomach felt oddly distended and empty at the same time.

And she was going to milk it for all it was worth.

She finally had a viable excuse to stay in her room, avoid group, and cancel her session with Dr. Payne. The flu. She’d tell everyone she had the flu. Couldn’t be too far from the truth. It wasn’t like she was faking how bad her body felt. She would spend the entire day lying here, eyes closed pretending to sleep, and luxuriating the rare bit of isolation.

“Are you awake?” A masculine voice whispered.

Her heart slammed against her spine, her muscles leaped. She gasped a sound of undiluted shock and wrenched her eyes open.

The world around her had changed. Gone was the sterile room with bars on the windows. Gone was the stench of industrial cleaning products laced with cafeteria food. Gone was the entire Center. In its place was a cozy wood paneled room with a quaint stone fireplace and a man.

His hair was the color of dark caramel and cut just long enough to be swept messily the side. His features were angular and hard and so damned masculine it almost hurt to look at him. His eyes were the color of a changing sky—light in the center of the iris like a cloudless summer day and dark like a winter’s night toward the outer edge.

She knew him. Recognition stabbed her in the neck—in the scar she bore across her throat. The echo of that past pain stole her breath. She grabbed her throat, hand pressing over the cold scar. Her heart turned into a battering ram and beat against the bars of her ribs.

She went from lying on the bed to fully upright and ready to run.

“You.” The word was an accusation, a condemnation, a judgment, scraping its way up her throat and out her lips. She wasn’t going to show him an ounce of fear. He’d swallowed her fear twenty years ago and enjoyed the flavor.

He blinked a long lazy closing of his eyes and when he reopened them, the light in his gaze had been swallowed by the dark. “I’m not him.” He spoke with just as much conviction as her allegation had contained.

His words turtle-crawled from her ears to her brain, their meaning finally firing along her synapse and she understood.

Her body unclenched and she relaxed against the headboard with an exaggerated sigh. As the initial in-your-face shock wore off, she could actually see him. See the humanity in his features. Something his father would never possess. And if he’d intended her harm, she would have felt the energy of his foul intentions.

“I know you.” Her voice was softer and held a bit of wonder in its palm.

“I’m not him.” He repeated the sentence, nothing in his tone changing, but she saw something in his eyes—through his eyes. Sadness. Resolve. And just a hint of fear. That was her undoing. That he could be scared of her—wow.

“I—I—know. You’re Cain.” His name came out hard vowels and sharp consonants.

He held her gaze for moment, then shoved his hands in his jeans pockets and looked down at the floor.

Silence stretched between them.

For years she’d imagined what it would be like to have a conversation with him. Even from her first glimpse of him as a child on the TV, she’d recognized something in his eyes. Her eyes had that same scarred look. The look of having experienced something so painful it marked more than their bodies—it left gaping wounds on their souls. There was an unspoken solidarity in their shared pain.

But in all her fantasies of connecting with the only other person who knew first hand the evils of Killion, she’d never once thought there’d be this much silence.

Obviously, it was going to be up to her to make the first move.

“You know—” She cleared her throat, trying to go for a friendly tone. “—over the years I had thought about finding you. It always seemed like we had a bad bond of sorts. I just never did it because I didn’t know how you’d react.”

He raised his gaze to meet hers, the hard angles of his face easing just a bit.

That got his attention.

He looked at the scar on her neck while he spoke. “I’d thought about the same thing.” His words were spoken with a tentative quality, as if he worried about her response. “But I always wondered if I would remind you of…” He didn’t say the name.

“You look similar to him on the surface, but I see beyond the surface to you.”  She emphasized the word you. Wanted him to understand she didn’t equate him with his father. “You also look different to me somehow. Maybe it’s your eyes. Maybe it’s how you look at me. So different than he did.” She held her hand out to him. “Nice to meet you Cain. I’m Mercy.”

One second. Two. Three. Four. Five—finally he stepped toward her and grasped her hand in his. His grip was firm and dry, his skin rough and wonderful, his touch magnetic and hypnotizing. She got lost in the sensation of total connection. Of there being no boundaries between them, almost as if their skin muscle and bones had melded together into one—

He yanked his hand away from her so suddenly, hers was left out there in midair still holding the shadow of where his had once been. Something was wrong. She just didn’t know him well enough to understand.

He aimed his eyes toward the floor again. “You’ve been pretty sick. You went through the vomit stage. The fever stage. The drunk flirty stage was my personal favorite.” A smile almost grabbed a hold of his lips, but missed. “The crying stage.” He sucked in a breath and spoke while he exhaled. “The scared of me stage.”

The way he said those last words made him sound more like a little boy trying to be brave, rather than the six feet of hard muscled male—who also happened to resemble a serial killer. His tone made her want to reach out to him and offer comfort, but he was so skittish with her that she didn’t dare.

*Sharing is Caring*


Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her characters a happy ending... After torturing them for three hundred pages.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Highland Promise, the first book in my series, The Sons Of Gregor MacLeod, is on sale for $1.99 all this week (e-book only)! A great price for hours of time spent with the brawny Darach MacKenzie and the rest of his drool-worthy foster brothers!!

A wee excerpt for you!!

“I’ll not be marrying the lass, Oslow, but if I did, she’d more than likely give me daughters. All of them looking like her, causing trouble. I’d be an old man in my grave before I was forty.”
“Nay. She’d give you sons. Braw lads as strong-minded and fearless as her. But if you’re not interested in the lass, I’ll introduce her to my Angus. He needs a wife, and I’m sure he’d be as smitten with her as Gare and Brodie.”
The blood heated in Darach’s veins, flushing his face. He looked toward the field, trying to make out what Caitlin and the two younger men were doing. Naught of consequence. Just playing with the kittens.
Playing with the kittens—like hell. Brodie was a right rogue with the lasses, and Gare was such a pitiful lad, caught betwixt man and boy, she’d want to save him just like she’d saved the baby bird. Most likely he’d try to make himself look as pathetic as possible with the hopes of ensnaring her, the devil.
Darach stood abruptly and made his way across the rocky shore to the field. Lachlan’s snort followed him. Sure enough, Gare and Brodie sat beside her, hanging on to every word. Scoundrels, both of them. He frowned, and they jumped to their feet. Let Caitlin see who was master and laird here—the most dominant MacKenzie male.
After sending them to Oslow, he sat on the grass beside her. She looked pleased to see him. Maybe now would be the time to tell her the kittens were going to the miller’s. He willed himself to begin, but one of the cats tumbled into his lap and mewed up at him. Bloody fiend.
“Och, would you look at that. He loves you, Darach. Maybe he will be called Justice, for he is drawn to you and you are the most just man I know.”
He puffed up and deflated at the same time. ’Twas a good decision to send the cats to the miller. Not only did it show Justice, but also Prudence, Fortitude, and Temperance. Surely she would see the right of it.
The kit ran up his body and batted his hair. Darach started in surprise. Grabbing it, he held the wee thing in front of him. The cat reached out and swatted his chin.
Caitlin fell sideways onto the grass, laughing. “You’ve ne’er had a cat before, have you?”
Darach grunted and brought the kitten closer. He had to admit it was sweet—big eyes and downy, soft fur. It suckled the stubble of his beard, and his heart turned over.
“They’re starved, poor babies,” she said. “He’s trying to nurse. All we had was water. It helped, but their bellies are empty.”

There would be lots of milk at the miller’s.

“Caitlin, I doona think…”She gazed at him, her eyes wide, trusting. A happy glow surrounded her, and the words stuck in his throat. Maybe she could keep the kits ’til they were old enough to be on their own. House them in the kitchens and out of his sight and the sight of his dogs for a week or two. Then they could go to the miller.
“Aye, Darach?”
“’Tis naught, lass. We’ll be home soon and they can have their meal.”
Picking up a kitten, she held it close. “I think this little lass will be Temperance, for she’s the only female and needs to have much restraint to live with three brothers. It must be a trial, doona you think?”
“I lived with four brothers, and aye, ’twas a trial.”
A wistful look crossed her face. “I did so wish for a brother. Or a sister. But my parents were not blessed with bairns after me. Instead, I had lots of pets—cats, dogs, horses, and pigs.”
“Aye, pigs are wonderful pets. Although I caused such a fankle when my father wanted to butcher the dear thing, I was ne’er allowed to bond with a pig again.”
“And what happened to it?”
“I doona know. I lost more than just my parents the night of the fire. Verily, ’twas a torment. I longed for pets after that, but I feared to show favor to any creature, lest my uncle hurt the animal. I was verra careful when I fed Cloud apples. The guards who followed me knew, I’m sure, but one older guard in particular didn’t mind.” She turned to smile at the stallion tethered with the other horses. “I’m thankful you saved him too.”
His stomach soured at the insight into her life after her parents’ death, at how afraid, alone and sad she must have been. Yet she’d shown none of that to him or his men. And he knew she must have felt it—her heart was as big as the loch.
“I want you to have, Cloud,” he said suddenly. It was the least he could do.
Her eyes grew round. “Truly?”
“Aye. But wait to ride him until we return to the keep. I doona want him to spook and throw you out here. Let him get used to you in the stables first, aye?” Where he could have a healer on hand and spread out some hay to soften her fall.

With an excited holler, she threw her arms around his neck and almost knocked him backward. One arm settled around her waist, the other hovered just above her hair. The devil take him, he wanted to touch her, to hold her still for his kiss.

Sale ends January 21st. Buy your copy now!!!

—Alyson McLayne

Monday, January 15, 2018

I Can Be a Greedy Reader

I’m sure you know the moment – when you desperately wish one of your favorite writers could write faster. I just finished Persepolis Rising, the latest in James S. A. Corey’s Expanse series, and I want the next book now. Must know what happens! 
Sadly, I’m well aware that I won’t have the next installment for months and months. 
I know that better than most because ten pages of a new draft is a hefty day’s work for me. Very rarely have I written any more than that – a section that could be read in, what, twenty minutes? And that’s only the draft. There’s revising and polishing and… It just takes a LOT longer to write a book than to read one. No help for it.
It’s lucky there are so many wonderful storytellers out there to choose from. For the Expanse there’s even a TV series as well.
Which writers you particularly wish could write faster?

Friday, January 12, 2018

Living in the Moment

Usually on New Year's Eve, I'm reflective. What happened during the year? What can I change for next year? What are my thoughts, memories, goals?

This year, my daughter was home for the holiday for the first time in years. I had my (grown) children, my dogs, my husband, a full glass of champagne, and nothing but sheer joy in the moment. 

And I realized that my theme of 2018 is just that, living in the moment. Not on my phone. Not in my head. Not stuck on what I should have said, done, or need to do next. Just taking it all as it comes, being present to enjoy every minute as it unfolds. 

My daughter with her dog, Henry (a Havanese), and her boyfriend,  Joe. Not pictured, my son, Nick. 
Bandit and Pepper, my Pembroke Welsh Corgis (looking at my not-pictured husband, probably  holding treats).
 So far, so good. I hope your year is going well and brings you everything you wish for and more. I'm leaving the Casablanca Authors blog, but I will come back to check in with you all from time to time, and I welcome you to pop in and visit with me on my social media sites. 

Cheers and best wishes to all! 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Brooklyn Ann says goodbye... but not really.

Hey everyone! Brooklyn Ann here. I've had to make a tough decision. With my publishing schedule for the year and the fact that now that I've released The Highwayman's Bite, I won't be having any Scandals With Bite books releasing in 2018, (Though don't worry. I have a feeling that there are more stories in that world to be told.) I've decided to leave the Casablanca Author blog for now.

However, I WILL remain on the Team Sourcebooks Facebook Page (If you're not following our page, do it so you don't miss out!) because then I'll still be able to spread the word when one of my books goes on sale or if I have any fun giveaways or appearances.

Speaking of appearances, I will be attending the 2018 RT Booklover's Convention in Reno this May, along with many other Sourcebooks authors. In fact, the fantabulous Paige Tyler and I will be on a panel together AND be hosting two amazing parties along with other amazing authors! Check out my Appearances page on my website to see where to find me!

Also, you can keep in touch with me, either on my blog, but if you want more freebies and access to more giveaways, you can sign up for my Newsletter.

Other places to follow me: 

For New Release and Sale alerts:


For a full dose of my weirdness and news:


And speaking of upcoming releases, my 6th Hearts of Metal novel, Forbidden Song, comes out on the 11th! You can PreOrder it now!

So as you can see, even though I won't be blogging here, I'll still be around. I'll always remember the wonderful times I've had interacting with readers here and keeping company with all the amazing Sourcebooks authors.

I hope you all had fun having me here as well and that you'll follow me on my adventures.


Brooklyn Ann

Friday, January 5, 2018

New release: Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet!

Fans of The Kingmaker Chronicles have been eagerly awaiting Amanda Bouchet's Heart on Fire, the epic series conclusion! While readers have come to love the heroine and hero, Cat and Griffin, they aren't the only characters to experience romance in the books. In Heart on Fire, fans will get another glimpse at the budding relationship between Flynn and Jocasta.

Read on below for a little taste of the romantic tension between these two beloved characters!


Flynn’s jaw hardens. “You’re putting words in my mouth again.”

“Am I?” Jocasta smiles vaguely and without humor. “I guess you talk to me so little, I’ve started to invent.”

Flynn freezes, staring at her. Emotional conflict makes him shut down completely. With Jocasta, anyway. He’ll get into a roaring good fight with me.

“Cat and Griffin—they listen to people. Take advice,” he finally says in a low, almost toneless voice. “Cat was Griffin’s advisor at first. In a way, she still is.”

If you ask me, Griffin’s the sage one, but Jocasta eventually nods, conceding the point. “I’ll think about it,” she says.

“Thank you.” Flynn seems to relax. “Get yourself a guard as well,” he adds.

“I can take care of myself.”

“I could take care of you better,” he mutters irritably.

Jocasta grips the edge of the table like it’s the only thing keeping her upright. Or like she might heave the whole thing up and over in a fit of rage. One or the other. I can’t tell. When Flynn realizes what he just said, or rather how it could be taken, he pales until his shock of bright-red hair is his only color.

“I mean…” He clears his throat, looking up, around, anywhere but at her. “I mean you’d be twice as safe with a warrior guarding you. Me. Or someone else.”

Jocasta slowly uncurls her fingers from the table. “Someone else?”

Flynn frowns. “I’m leaving today. I won’t be here. You fought well in the arena, but we were all there. That doesn’t mean you’re ready for this.” He waves his hand in an all-encompassing gesture. “Everyday danger? The insidious kind? It doesn’t always come at you with a sword and a snarl. You might not see it coming.”

That vague smile is back on Jocasta’s lips, the one that speaks of utter disappointment. “So that’s what you want? Some man following me around day and night? Sleeping outside my bedroom door? Taking walks with me? Guarding me in the bathhouse?”

Flynn doesn’t answer. He’s too busy grinding his molars to dust.

“Well, I won’t do it,” Jocasta says. “I’m in a fortified castle and don’t plan on leaving it. There are plenty of guards, high walls, and beyond them, there’s a constant, swelling crowd that seems to genuinely love us. I’m not in any danger.”

Flynn scoffs. “There’s always danger. And it’s most dangerous when you don’t expect it. You can’t let your guard down, Jo, especially while we’re away.”

Jocasta pushes the soggy, herb-soaked cloth farther down the table, wiping up a spill. When there’s nothing left to keep her busy, she finally looks up at Flynn.

“Don’t worry about me. Worry about yourself.” She shifts from foot to foot, looking uncomfortable. “I certainly do.”

Flynn leans in, his hands braced on the table again. Their eyes meet. “You do?”

Jocasta swallows so hard I can see it from here. Softly, she says, “You know I do.”

Flynn’s gaze drops to her mouth. Jocasta’s lips part, and her tongue darts out to wet them. He targets the movement with his eyes, tilting his head slightly and suddenly looking like a hungry and very focused predator. She sways toward the man she’s loved for so long, slowly closing the distance across the worktable. Flynn doesn’t back off for once, and I start to feel like the worst sort of thrill seeker, because my heart is pounding for them, and I can’t look away.

Do it. Kiss her. Claim her. It’s all she wants.

Flynn’s head drops a slow inch. Jocasta tilts hers up.

This is finally happening!

Bellanca charges into the kitchen through a side door. Flynn and Jocasta jump apart. I jump, too, my hand flying to my chest where my heart starts kicking like a deranged donkey. Everywhere Bellanca goes, she goes like a bloody tornado. A bloody flaming tornado.

“What in the Underworld is that awful smell?” Bellanca waves her hand in front of her nose, looking at Flynn and Jocasta like it’s probably them. Then she storms over, peers into Jocasta’s bowl, and scowls. “What’s that?”

“It’s going to be a sleeping draught,” Jocasta says tersely.

Bellanca wrinkles her freckled nose. “Who for?”

“For me,” Jocasta answers from between gritted teeth. She’s usually friendly to Bellanca, or at least neutral, so I know her crossness comes from being interrupted before her first kiss ever, and that from the man she’s been waiting for for years.

Bellanca huffs. “You can’t be that stupid.”

Flynn’s brown eyes narrow. The look he turns on Bellanca is truly terrible, but she doesn’t seem to notice.

Jocasta takes a slow breath, her expression suddenly such a careful mask of politeness that I have no doubt she’s erupting underneath. “Excuse me?”

“Why would you want to sleep that heavily? Only an idiot would do that.” Bellanca looks genuinely confused. As usual, she’s oblivious to anyone’s reaction to her…forthrightness.

“Do you suggest I sleep with one eye open?” Jocasta asks coolly. “Or possibly not at all?”
Bellanca reaches between them and grabs an apple that somehow escaped the splattering of herbal sludge. “Good idea.” As she straightens, she knocks Jocasta’s bowl over, giving it a hard enough shove to dump it on the floor. The earthenware vessel shatters into tiny pieces, hopelessly contaminating the concoction.

Jocasta’s mouth drops open.

Bellanca winks. “Eyes open.” She crunches into her apple as she moves backward in a tinkle of gold bangles and a froth of sky-blue skirts.

Flynn steps after her, his voice lowering in pitch. “Did you just threaten her?”

Bellanca stops halfway across the kitchen, looking increasingly surly. She dabs a fingertip to her lips, wiping off a drip. “I’m trying to protect her.”

“Do you know something?” Flynn growls, stalking forward until they’re only a pace apart.
Bellanca takes another bite and then shrugs. “I know lots of things.”

“Like what?” Flynn demands.

“Like potions such as that one are better left alone.”

Jocasta stiffens. “I know what I’m doing. I’m not likely to overdose.”

Bellanca shakes her head. “That’s not what I mean.”

“Then what do you mean?” Flynn asks, menace still heavy in his voice.

“Good Gods!” Bellanca rolls her eyes. “I was just trying to help. I’m going to change and pack.” She takes another bite and then throws her apple at Flynn, hitting him square in the forehead.

I slap my hand over my mouth, stifling a gasp. Laugh. Gasp laugh. I can’t believe she just did that!
Stone-faced, Flynn wipes apple juice from his brow. Jocasta stares in horror. Bellanca whirls on her heel and then stomps from the room, going out the same way she came in—fast and flaming.

As soon as the Tarvan woman is out of sight, I back away from the open door before dissolving into fits of quiet laughter. Soon after, I hear Flynn and Jocasta do the same.


Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet
The Kingmaker Chronicles, #3
ISBN: 9781492626077
Publication date: January 2, 2018

The riveting conclusion to The Kingmaker Chronicles!

Without Griffin—and apparently a few meddling Gods—to push me along, I’d still be telling fortunes at the circus, lying about my past, ignoring my future, and living as far away from my tyrant mother as humanly possible.

True understanding thuds into place. Hope isn’t just an abstract concept; it’s me. Flesh and blood me. Griffin knew it all along. Probably everyone did. I’m an idea in human form.

I have the power of the Gods at my fingertips.
The only thing ever stopping me has been me.

USA Today bestselling author AMANDA BOUCHET grew up in New England and studied French at the undergraduate and graduate levels, first at Bowdoin College and then at Bowling Green State University. She moved to Paris, France, in 2001 and has been there ever since. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children, who will soon be correcting her French. Connect with her at

Find Amanda Online:
Twitter: @AuthorABouchet

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Heart of the Wolf Re-Release-- A Decade with Sourcebooks!

After ten years of wolves--and jaguars along the way--have you found your favorite wolf? Or big cat?

I've often been asked that, but in truth, every one of them is my favorite--the ones I'm working on at the time, the most favorite. They have to be, since I'm in their world, fighting the good fight, romancing the wolves (or jaguars), falling in love, righting the wrongs, unraveling the mysteries, enjoying the adventure that every story brings.

What is coming next for the brand new year? Heart of the Wolf and the novella, Night of the Wolf. I've already heard from some fans that they want to see more of the wolf pack.

 January 2, 2018

Book 1 in Terry Spear's Heart of the Wolf series
Their forbidden love may get them both killed.
Bella is a red werewolf, sole survivor of the fire that killed her entire pack.
Devlyn is a beta male werewolf in a pack of grays.
Forced to flee her adopted gray pack when the alpha male becomes a vicious threat, she struggles to live as a lone wolf, until Devlyn, the gray male who rescued her as a pup, comes to bring her home.
When a local red werewolf goes on a killing spree, Bella and Devlyn must flee the murderer, the police and their vengeful pack leader. With the full moon rising, and her heat upon her, Bella can't resist the pull to her destined mate, even if means Devlyn will have to face the wicked alpha male in a fight to the death...


Flight of the White Wolf and more of the white wolf pack.

March 6, 2018
Sexy, hot Arctic wolf, private investigator Gavin Summerfield, is on a mission: learn if an heiress’s husband is cheating on her, but he doesn’t expect to meet up with the woman who tased him some years earlier, who is now…an Arctic wolf like him. Her mission: Keep her secrets from the former cop who could be her undoing…but when the wolf instincts take over, watch out!
Google Play:

May 1, 2018

The Silver Town wolf pack has your back
Wolf shifter Sarandon Silver's in trouble with the law, and bounty hunter she-wolf Jenna St. James is determined to bring him in for trial.
Lucky for Sarandon, the entire Silver Town pack is ready to fight for his innocence. But until the case is solved, Jenna's sticking to Sarandon like glue...

Barnes and Noble:
Google Play:

 A Billionaire Wolf for Christmas

The cover is beautiful, but not approved for sharing yet...

October, 2018


And I've submitted a proposal for two more wolf stories and another jaguar, these for 2019. So I'm waiting to hear whether they're accepted or not. If so, that will mean another Silver Town wolf story, this one with Megan MacTire, Howard, the former Enforcer with the jaguars who takes on another Enforcer, who won't let him get in her way, and another SEAL story--this one Vaughn's brother, Brock's story.

In the meantime, I'm working on A Billionaire Wolf for Christmas's edits!

I hope that your New Year is the best ever!!!

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Wilde & Woolly Bears: http://www.celticbears
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