Book Blitz & Excerpt: Murder Mittens + Giveaway

Murder Mittens
R.J. Blain
(Magical Romantic Comedies, #13)
Publication date: December 25th 2020
Genres: Adult, Magical Romantic Comedy, Urban Fantasy

Becoming a bounty hunter and taking on the call sign of Murder Mittens wasn’t Harri’s brightest move, but what’s a lynx to do with millions of debt while working a customer service gig? The scars deforming her face won’t remove themselves, and she’ll bag and tag every criminal in the United States to get rid of them if necessary.

Being assigned a handler could make or break her, but did the powers that be really have to toss Sebastian Sumners her way? The lion with a stubborn streak as wide as hers tests her patience on a good day, but nothing makes her purr more than goading him into roaring.

Add in a protective family, a serial killer on the loose, and more trouble than any one cat needs, and it’s going to take a miracle for Harri to get through the most important job of her life.

Warning: contains magic, humor, cranky shapeshifters, cats, murder, and mayhem. Proceed with caution.

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EXCERPT:

Chapter One

Why was murdering irate, irrational, ignorant, and flat-out wrong customers illegal? The idiot on the phone rambled about how it wasn’t fair that dumping coffee on his router invalidated his warranty.

I thought it wasn’t fair his stupidity might lose me IQ points, and I’d learned long ago that humans—or lycanthropes, such as myself—didn’t come with warranties or guarantees. I had bills to pay, and murdering one of the customers wouldn’t pay my bills.

Then again, in prison, I wouldn’t have to pay any bills. Every day by the end of my shift, I considered incarceration as a viable option.

Free board, free food, good medical care, and asshole inmates to beat on sounded a lot better than dealing with an idiot customer.

“Sir,” I said in the hopes of circumventing his tirade. Mr. Edward Lavell ignored me.

The idiots always ignored me. I bet my gender had something to do with it. On average, the men finished their calls five minutes faster, and every supervisor to review the situation came to the same general conclusion: customers took men in tech more seriously than women, and I, unfortunately, sounded too feminine.

“Sir,” I repeated, only to be ignored again.

Why couldn’t I just hang up on him? Oh, right. I valued my job. As I valued my job, I couldn’t hang up on him, I couldn’t curse, I couldn’t threaten to rip his throat out, and I couldn’t indulge in my desire to murder him.

There was a time and a place for murder, and on the job at a call center for a cable internet company was not the time nor the place.

For the fourth time since calling in, Mr. Lavell explained that it really wasn’t his fault he’d dumped coffee on his router.

“Sir, liquid spills are right in the contract for the router. I’m sorry, but I can’t change the rules for you. Spilling coffee on your router invalidates its warranty.”

“It’s not my fault the cup holder in my computer has a mind of its own,” he complained.

Wait. What?

His computer’s cup holder has a mind of its own? The realization I dealt with someone far worse than just an idiot sank in. Every call center had legends of Code Red customers, who were in an entirely different class from the standard 1-D10T and the unfortunately common PEBKAC. With Mr. Lavell, I had it all. A problem certainly did exist between the keyboard and chair, and he’d definitely deserved his flag as an 1-D10T.

Until his call, I had remained safe from the evils of a Code Red customer.

By the time I got off the phone with him, I’d need some alcohol and someone to kill.

It’d be easier to find someone to kill than the alcohol; me and booze just didn’t mix, and I’d been banned out of every damned bar in town to keep the peace.

Maybe I could whip on some makeup, grab a gray wig, and pass for a little old lady. With my face covered in burn scars, it wouldn’t take much to pull off some makeup artistry and transform myself into an older woman rather than a mutilated one. I could become a conventional beauty given an hour and the right products. An old lady wasn’t an impossibility.

Alternatively, I could shift, pay my family a visit, and steal a bottle of liquor from one of the cabinets. With the number of lynxes running around the place, they might not even notice me before I made off with my alcoholic prize.

As sighing was not acceptable when dealing with paying customers, I took a moment to steel my nerves before saying, “Sir, computers do not include cup holders.”

That caught his attention. “What?”

“Sir, computers do not include cup holders,” I repeated, already dreading the moment I would have to explain what a CD was, how they were used, and what the player’s actual purpose was. Few systems still had any disc drives at all, as most companies had moved to online downloads of their programs and games.

The next few minutes of my life would not be fun, and I typed a message to my supervisor warning him I had a major 1-D10T on my hands, a possible Code Red situation, and to make sure he was aware I faced the demise of some IQ points, I notified him the customer had opted to use his disc drive as a coffee cup holder.

“What the hell is this thing for, then?”

“CDs, sir.” I closed my eyes and waited for the meltdown.

“First, you claim I invalidated my warranty, and now you’re telling me my cup holder plays music?”

“As this is an internet company, sir, I can’t help you with your CD player. However, it is not a cup holder, nor should it be used as one. As for your router, you owe $35.79 on the device. Once you finish paying for the damaged equipment, I can schedule a tech to come to your home and install your new router. Since you’ve been a customer for so long, I can waive the fifty dollar installation fee. Your monthly bill will not change if you opt to pay off the damaged equipment and start a new rental.”

If he gave me a hard time, I’d take my time and give him all of his options. None of them would be as good as my initial offer. I cracked open an eye and checked my messages with my boss.

He wished me the best of luck and promised to send flowers to my funeral. He also begged me not to tell my brothers about the menace wasting my time. If any one of my forty-seven brothers found out I dealt with customers screaming at me five days a week, they’d go on a rampage.

That my boss knew my family drove me crazy on a good day.

I figured my idiot family had gone on a hunt to meet my boss, and because we were all infected with lycanthropy, my boss wouldn’t have thought twice about their behavior.

Lycanthropes had a reputation.

Most days, it wasn’t a good one.

Only an idiot would piss off a bunch of male lycanthropes out to protect their precious little sister. Unfortunately for me, I counted as an endangered species, as the odds of a lycanthrope having daughters in the first place fell somewhere in around ten thousand to one.

I needed to notify my mother she needed to have more daughters. While she was at it, she needed to give me a new name, because nobody ever believed Harri was a woman’s name. I figured she’d meant to name me Harry because she’d expected yet another boy, swapping out the ‘y’ for an ‘i’ to make things easier on her.

When on the job, I went by Christine because Christine seemed gloriously feminine and nobody on the team used their real names. Technically, I was supposed to change my name every day, but I went by Christine for all new callers, and I only rotated through when I knew I was dealing with someone who gave me issues.

My method worked well enough, so my boss didn’t complain.

While Mr. Lavell spluttered and began the tedious process of mulling over his options, I began making plans for after work—assuming I escaped from my job without succumbing to the temptation of informing the customer he was most definitely wrong, he needed to go back to school to join the modern world, and it wouldn’t hurt if he learned to be civil.

I had to explain his options four times before he finally conceded he should stick with his old plan, pay for the damaged router, and move on with life. It took an extra ten minutes of listening to him whine before he finally hung up.

Above all, I hated the rule that we were not supposed to hang up on clients. It wasted time. Had I been allowed to just hang up, I would have wished him a good day, disconnected the call, and began the tedious process of adding notes to his file so the next customer service representatives stuck with him knew they had trouble on their hands.

My phone rang, but instead of a customer, my phone reported my boss wanted to speak with me. With slumped shoulders, I accepted his call and answered, “Sir?”

“I listened in on your Code Red.”

I hated when my boss actively monitored my calls; thanks to how the system worked, he could listen in on me at any time. But, a job was a job, and with my scarred face, finding a job became troublesome at best—and nobody in the call center knew or cared what I looked like. Oh, well. Before I jumped to conclusions, I’d ask. “What’s my grade, sir?”

“You did fine. You stayed professional, you didn’t come across as too condescending, and frankly, there’s no sane tech on this planet stays totally cool a Code Red. It could have been much worse.”

I checked the clock, breathing a sigh of relief that I’d hit the end of my shift and wouldn’t have to take any more calls. “What do you need?”

“I had a question about your schedule. You’re off for the next week, correct?”

“Yes, sir.” I had plans, and they involved the International Most Wanted List along with every legal bounty list I had managed to get my hands on in the past month. If my boss tried to put an end to my hard-earned vacation, I’d finally do what I should have done months ago, snap, and quit.

I wanted him to cross my last line so badly.

“Ted wants an extra shift. How would you feel about an unpaid day added to your vacation? I’ve already gotten approval if you’d like to claim the unpaid day.”

Score. I’d bid for time off almost a year ago, but sick days were the bare minimum the state allowed, which accounted to five for the entire year. An extra day tacked onto my vacation might let me bag an extra bounty.

Any day I bagged an extra bounty was a good day in my opinion.

“I can take an unpaid day, sir. That’s fine. Can you send me an email confirming the unpaid day off?”

“It’ll be in your inbox within the next ten minutes, and I’ll CC human resources notifying them you’re excused for that day.”

“Okay. Will the rest of my schedule remain the same once I’m back from vacation?”

“Yes. Ted just asked for extra hours, and the others with seniority declined the day off.”

I bet; on our income, every hour mattered. Most who worked for the call center had seen better days. I lived like I’d seen better days and I looked like I’d seen better days, but appearances lied. I only worked at the call center to maintain appearances. Thanks to depression in my teens and therapy that hadn’t gone like my parents had wanted, my entire family demanded I check in at least three times a week to ensure I remained human.

They believed if they took their eyes off me, I might shift into a lynx and never come back.

Two years ago, they wouldn’t have been wrong, but I’d found a new purpose in life. Not a single one of my brothers would approve, my mother would have yet another litter of kittens, and my father would be so disappointed.

Personally, I thought it was obvious. I worked in customer service. I was a prime candidate to become a murderous asshole. I did so legally, on behalf of the government and other legal entities, and I did so for a filthy amount of money.

Smiling stretched my scars, but I did it anyway. “If anyone needs any extra hours, I can afford another day or two off,” I offered. “I can take up to a week unpaid. I’ve been saving up to take some time off if any opportunities allowed.”

It would delay paying for the expensive procedure required to piece my face back together and remove the evidence of the fire that’d almost killed me as a child. It took a lot of magic to convince the lycanthropy virus I wasn’t supposed to be a scarred wreck.

A lot of magic cost a lot of money, and I figured I might have the three million dollars within five years if I landed a bounty every weekend and took on some of the more dangerous jobs. While I waited for my boss to mull over my offer, I considered the various jobs on offer.

I liked hunting other lycanthropes. Unmated males were easy catches, and the fugitives usually brought in a pretty penny. The last one I’d bagged as a live capture had added fifty thousand to my bank account.

Then again, if I landed an entire extra week, I’d make up the lost hours with a single small bounty, and anything else would be extra cash in my savings account.

My boss grunted, signaling he’d come to a decision. “I’ll keep that in mind and pitch the offer. I’ll email your personal and work addresses if there are any takers plus text your phone.”

“Thanks, sir. Have a good evening.”

“You, too.”

He hung up, and before something could go wrong, I clocked out, filed my paperwork for my final call, and logged out of the system so I couldn’t be sucked back into doing even more work.

If all went well, I’d be a hundred grand richer by the end of the week and that much closer to being able to look in the mirror without wincing.

 

Author Bio:

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.

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Book Blitz: The Accidental Heiress + Excerpt

The Accidental Heiress
The Accidental Series, Book 3
by CJ Fosdick

Romantic Suspense

Release Date: December 21, 2020

Publisher: Pegasus Prose

Jessica and Robbie Mitchell’s belated honeymoon to Ireland begins with a surprise landing—ala Miracle on the Hudson—in the Shannon River. Robbie saves Jessica and the service dog of a blind passenger, who is the only casualty. Born in Ireland, Robbie is eager to see his native country 136 years after he emigrated to America, after bridging time to meet his contemporary Wyoming soulmate, Jessica.

The couple ends up at a B & B that was the manor house Robbie and his mother once served. Here, they learn that before Robbie left home, he unwittingly set in motion a dark family scandal that has affected generations who run the B & B. The family “healer” is a mysterious104 yr. old woman. As the couple sink deep into the enchantment of Eire and the mysteries and misfortunes of his descendants, including the actual 200 yr. old Magdalen scandal, he wonders if there is a way to reset history without losing the love of his life.

The book is set in two contemporary parts with an 1883 historic part sandwiched between, giving the reader a “fly on the wall” view of what happened to the family Robbie left behind. If history can be reset to restore a broken family, will it separate or spare the soulmates?

Purchase Link

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Excerpt

 

I squeezed Robbie’s hand as I gazed out the window. When the wing of the plane dipped again, the airport runway came into view along the Shannon peninsula. It was then I heard it, low and grumbling…escalating to a higher pitch that overpowered the drone of the engines. Every few seconds, the screech persisted. A buzz of bewilderment boiled into fear among the passengers.

Did you hear that?”

 

What’s happening?”

 

Oh God, Something’s wrong!”

The wing of the plane quivered as we tilted like a carnival ride in an orbit of descent. I could see vehicles, streaming out of an airport hangar, ants lining the runway, all moving toward the Shannon estuary. Suddenly, the loudspeaker crackled to life, but the clipped message was not an answer to my frightened prayer.

This is your pilot… Brace for river impact!”

 

About the Author


Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, Cj moved to Rochester, MN where she raised her family, and on hilltop acreage pursued her lifelong dreams: horses, rescue animals and published articles, short stories and award winning novels.

On occasion she ventured downhill to climb a waterfall in Jamaica, float in the Dead Sea, kiss the Blarney Stone and always, always…research settings for the next plot.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Rhyker’s Key + Giveaway

Rhyker’s Key
Orion’s Order, #2
M.C. Solaris
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: M.C. Solaris LLC
Date of Publication: 12/21/20
ISBN: 9781952655050
ASIN: B08MZJJRZM
Number of pages: 740
Word Count: 220,000
Cover Artist: Mayhem Cover Creations

Sexy Shifters. Hot Vampires. Intriguing Immortals.
Rhyker, tattooed bad boy and lethal jaguar shifter, falls for the sweet and caring healer, Keena. Except, she’s determined to keep him in the friend zone… good thing he’s a predator that enjoys the hunt.
Together, can they heal their past and forge a future bonded with true love?
SECOND BOOK IN THE ORION’S ORDER SERIES
Orion’s Order returns in another addictive installment about their secret world of magic and mystery. A world where the most powerful words in the Universe are discovered in the fight against an ancient evil force.
KEENA OLIVER
I am haunted by my past mistakes. Mistakes that I have no idea how I even made. I am an educated mind and spirit healer after all. So how in the holy healer hell did I end up in a relationship where the male who I thought I loved…
Yeah, it’s probably best not to rehash those nightmares. But if I don’t dare open up that box to my past, then how am I ever going to be able to move on? Especially because I so want to move on with a certain sexy male. A male whose lips devoured mine in a darkened corner that one time. A male whose predatory piercing blue eyes practically track my every move. A male who I shouldn’t be fantasizing about every second of every day. Why? Because it would ruin me.
RHYKER KINGSLEY
I’ve had my eye on a certain female for almost a year now. A female who is damn determined to keep me in the friend zone. A female who’s been hurt by her ex but refuses to open up to me about it. So, you could say I go through a lot of smokes… a f*cking lot.
Meanwhile, my pack of lethally trained and skilled hunters and I are gunning for an evil SOB who not only signed his death warrant the second he tried to come after my pack sister and mate to our alpha, but also the f*cker poses a threat to our world as we know it. Yet, said ancient powerful bastard has gone off the grid and is all but impossible to track.
Oh, and did I mention that the past seems to be mixing with the present? I mean, the f*ck is this? The revenge year of the shitty exes? 
So, excuse me while I light up a smoke… or two. 
Rhyker's Key teaser
Devour this addictive series at your own risk…
+ Happily Ever After
+ Sexy Paranormal Jaguar Shifter Romance
+ Multiple POV
+ Mature Content
+ This series is meant to be read in order for the best reading experience
 
Rhyker's Key teaser
RHYKER’S KEY is an adult paranormal jaguar shifter romance. If you like swoon-worthy males, heroines with feminine strength, an engaging plot, satisfying relationships, steamy love stories, happy ever afters, and getting sucked into a supernatural story, then you’ll want to immerse yourself in the world of species!

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Excerpt

Words. She needed
to find words so she could respond because that was how conversations went. But
words eluded her at the moment because she was still trying to recover from the
debilitating tease from a moment ago when his lips were… Wait, you need to respond. But what did he say again?

“What do you use
the second bedroom for?” he asked again in that curious feline way of his as he
walked back toward her from the hall.

What do you use the second bedroom for? She had to slowly
repeat his question in her mind in order for her brain to get with the program
and understand what he was even asking. My
second bedroom? Oh god, do I tell him what’s in there?
She bit her lip in
slight hesitation and he noticed, of course.

“What? Is that like
your secret sex dungeon or something?” His lips turned up at the corners in a
very feline way.

“Sex dungeon?” She
laughed. “Of course that’s immediately where your mind goes.”

“Well, where else
would it go when I’m with you.” He took a step closer to her. “In your home.”
He closed the distance between them so they were separated by mere inches.
“Alone.”

Her pulse quickened
to a hummingbird’s pace and suddenly, she was back to being in the scorcher of
desire.

Noticing her
reaction, his mischievous grin transformed into his irresistibly sinful smirk.

She knew he was
just playing with her but before he could continue, she broke the erotic
tension between them by taking a step back and saying, “Here’s my sex dungeon.”
And she didn’t mean for it to come out as husky as it did.

She opened the door
to the second bedroom and he peered inside. His brows shot up in surprise
before refocusing back on her in a silent question.

She laughed. “No,
this is not my sex dungeon. This is my therapy room.”

“Therapy. Is that
what they’re calling it these days?” he drawled, walking over to the pole.
Without warning, he gripped the pole and lifted his body effortlessly so he was
completely parallel to the ground. He gave her a wink and she laughed. As soon
as his feet touched the ground, he climbed up the pole with just his arm
strength.

“Good thing I had
that installed for the highest weight class or else you may have fallen flat on
your face,” she quipped, trying not to notice the way his biceps flexed and
tantalized her feminine essence.

“Don’t insult me. I
always land on my feet.” As if in emphasis of his point, he let go of his grip
at the very top of the pole and landed softly on his feet with feline grace.

“So not fair.” She
shook her head, still smiling. “I’ve trained for years and yet here you go showing
me up.”

“I’ll gladly be the
judge of that.” He stepped aside and held his arm out to the pole in invitation
for her.

Rhyker's Key teaser

About
the Author:

M.C. Solaris’s life took an unexpected turn during the super blood moon eclipse on January 20, 2019. She woke up and began writing bios for her imaginary friends that she met that day.

As soon as the pen hit the paper (or fingertips to the iPhone), she couldn’t stop. It was kind of like one of those fire hydrants, spewing copious amounts of water all over the place. The characters and their stories just flowed out of her. She is honored to be the scribe, getting to share her friends’ stories. You can read all about her gifted friends in the Orion’s Order series (Book 1 is Calypso’s Heart).

 

On a personal note, M.C. Solaris is actually the pseudonym of Marina Schroeder, women’s health enthusiast and lover of all things paranormal romance (PNR) and happily ever after (HEA). When she is not curled up on the sofa with her partner’s oversized hoodie, a PNR novel, peppermint tea, and one of her three cats, you will find her either at the ocean with her toes in the sand or in a forest hugging a tree. Well truthfully? There is one more place you might find her: trolling the aisles of Whole Foods for a satisfying combination of salty and sweet while hiding in her partner’s hoodie… like any proper PNR-writing introvert.

 

Want to get the latest scoop, sneak peeks, and short shares all about her imaginary friends? Go to www.mcsolaris.com/newsletter and sign up for the newsletter.
Welcome to The Order!

 

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