Spotlight & Excerpt: Rattlesnake Road + Giveaway

Rattle snake Road

Rattlesnake Road
by Amanda McKinney
(A Small Town Mystery Romance)
Publication date: May 4th 2021
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romance, Suspense

★ From bestselling and award-winning author Amanda McKinney comes her most evocative and twisted small-town Mystery Romance… ★

Everyone hits rock bottom, only the brave escape.

Welcome to 1314 Rattlesnake Road.

A quaint two-bedroom log cabin nestled deep in the woods of the small, southern town of Berry Springs—the perfect hideaway to escape your past.

Tucked inside thick, mahogany walls lay mysterious letters, forgotten and untouched for decades. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame breathtaking views of jagged cliffs, deep valleys, and endless lies. Mature oak trees, tall enough to touch the clouds, carry the whispers of the haunted, of stories untold.

Inside sits Grey Dalton, emotionally battered and bruised, her only wish to pick up the broken pieces of her life. But outside, await two men, one a tattooed cowboy, the other a dashing businessman.

One will steal her heart, the other, her soul.

Rattlesnake Road is a standalone mystery romance about love, loss, hitting rock bottom, and clawing your way to the other side.

Your escape awaits…

(Due to serious subject matter and mature content, please be aware that this book might be an emotional trigger for some readers.)

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Excerpt:

Eight hours, and the nightmare would be over. This completely unexpected, slap-you-in-the-face nightmare.
I often look back on that day, thinking that if things hadn’t happened the way they did, how different my life would have been.
It wouldn’t have been a lie when I promised “for better or for worse.” It wouldn’t have been a lie when I told myself I had everything under control.
I might have become a PTA mom, the mother of two strapping young boys, whose greatest worry in life was snagging her eight-karat diamond ring on her cashmere sweater. A trophy wife, a gracious hostess, a homemaker in our many homes across the world.
My life would be easy. Secure. Simple.
Until it wasn’t.
Before the day that changed all that, I foolishly considered my life to be stable and controlled. My life. But the assumption that my life was my own was the biggest misconception of all.
The reality is that our lives are not our own. Instead, a culmination of events, most of which are out of our control, governed by the ripple effect of our reactions to those events. We fight that knowledge, deny it, numb it with drugs and alcohol, but at the end of the day, we’re all merely the point of a pendulum slowly being pulled back, waiting until the day we’re released to our fate.
This was my day.
The day the universe let go. The beginning of a journey that took me to the deepest depths of hell.
I remember the hyper-awareness of that morning. The way the single bead of sweat trickled down my back as I paced back and forth. My heart, a pounding staccato, in sync with that stupid instrumental jazz music my husband demanded play through the speakers of our Upper East Side penthouse suite. Every day—every single day—starting at six a.m. The kitchen stank like old, burned coffee from the pot I’d started an hour earlier but had yet to drink.
My palms were cold and clammy as I wrung my hands, staring at the city beyond the window. Little did I know how different the view from my windows would soon be.
“You took them?”
Startled at the deep voice behind me, I turned.
William stepped into the kitchen, tucking his navy dress shirt into his Tom Ford slacks, his dark hair wet from a shower and combed flawlessly to the side, as usual.
Disdain brewed in my churning stomach as I took in the perfection of my husband. While William had been enjoying a shower, I’d been fighting off a panic attack, clutching a prescription bottle in my hand.
Words weren’t able to penetrate the haze of my emotions, so I simply nodded in response—the last fake response in a house built on lies.
“Okay.” William returned my nod while he adjusted his shirt to his liking. “It will all be over soon.”
Blinking, I stilled.
It will all be over soon.


 

Author Bio:

Amanda McKinney is the #1 bestselling and multi-award-winning author of more than fifteen small-town romantic suspense and mystery novels. She wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY in 2017, after walking away from her career to become a writer and stay-at-home mom. Her books include the bestselling series, STEELE SHADOWS SECURITY, the multi-award-winning BERRY SPRINGS series, BLACK ROSE MYSTERIES, and many more to come.

Set in small, Southern towns, Amanda’s books are page-turning murder mysteries peppered with steamy romance. She lives in Arkansas with her handsome husband, two beautiful boys, and three obnoxious dogs.

Text AMANDABOOKS to 66866 for the latest on new releases, promos, and freebies!

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Break the Stone + Giveaway

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Break the Stone
by Cassie Swindon
(Golden Chains, #1)
Publication date: May 7th 2021
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense, Young Adult

Raelyn Bell’s father forces them to flee their quaint town, severing the last connection to her dead mother. Now, desperate and alone. But she won’t give up. In a new town, Raelyn defies Pa’s wishes by investigating the truth of her mother’s death. Only the answers will help her fill the void plaguing her heart.

Meanwhile, U.S. Army Specialist Kody Walsh’s duty is to obey orders, no matter how “gray.” His questionable actions lead him straight to Raelyn. If Kody aids in Raelyn’s quest, it could mean game over for his career.

As the two cut through layers of lies, threats, ambushes, and stalkers, their bond grows stronger. But the dangers prove worse than they ever feared. Can they see this journey through without losing their lives—and each other?

Break the Stone is a suspenseful mystery, perfect for fans of fast-paced storylines and heart-pounding romance. It is the first of three books in the Golden Chains series.

Content is for age 17+ with trigger warnings of mild: PTSD, profanity, sexual content, and violence.

Goodreads / Amazon

Break the Stone

EXCERPT:

Kody Walsh gripped the sealed red envelope tightly while his other hand steered around a John Deere. He pulled up to an old farmhouse where lace curtains blew out from an open window. His smart watch alerted him about his increased heart rate but Kody ignored it. He parked his Jeep at a distance behind a set of oak trees, leaving it running–just in case.

Hopefully no one’s home. I’ll be quick.

Kody patted his Glock and hustled past a blue Chevy with a dented-in door. It looked so run down that it probably couldn’t even start.

Good. No one can chase me when I leave.

A tall, broad, lumberjack-looking man with a trimmed beard marched out the side door, out to a barn.

Shit!

Kody plastered himself against the side of the house, then snuck inside the open window. He scanned the study room, taking inventory of the exit options: one closed door leading to the rest of the house, the window he just came through and a chimney. His gaze darted around the room.

Desk chair—blunt force trauma, non-lethal. Award hung on the wall—one quick slice from a shard of broken glass to the neck could do the trick if needed. Darts in the corner could poke out someone’s eye.

An antique desk stood against a wall in the small room. Kody dropped the red envelope on top of the desk as instructed. Then, he started searching for the item Snyder commanded that he borrow—steal. Kody’s hands were jittery, but he kept repeating the same phrase in his head.

A soldier does anything for the team. Anything.

He sprang across the study and looked in boxes, under books, on top of the shelf, in the cabinets, and rummaged through the drawers. As he slid the bottom drawer out, the rollers got stuck and fell off the track, sending it down at an angle. A girl’s voice started singing from the other side of the door. Kody’s heart raced as he ducked below the desk.

Wait! There it is!

A white marble box was taped underneath. It had a gold compass shape engraved on the front with tiny red specs sparkling like jewels. Kody ripped it off and jammed it in his pocket.

Sacrifices must be made for the team. There’s no other option.

The voice grew louder again and the door knob turned slowly.

Author Bio:

Instead of the boring bio info, here’s some interesting tidbits about the author:

• Tackled her father for a pair of Michael Phelps’ personal goggles
• Cried when the Cubs won the World Series
• Met husband freshman year of college- a blizzard & tequila may have been involved
• Moved to Raleigh by the flip of a coin
• Mutated into a zombie when daughter was born in 2013, then again 17 months later for son
• Evacuated from a boat crash in the Atlantic during a whale watching tour
• Witnessed a wild horse pack galloping through the Rockies
• Cofounded a three-person Beanie Baby Club in the 90s, in a treehouse
• Snorkeled in The Great Barrier Reef
• Broke her foot when pretending to be a Baywatch lifeguard
• Completed her first fiction read in 1992, “The Pig Can Jig”
• Stranded in a Cancun lagoon while jet skiing
• Crunched the back of a Dodge Neon against a wall while transporting a Medieval knight to a pub
• Watched Frozen more than any other movie combined to date
• Invented a symbol language to pass notes to her best friend in high school French class
• Swung off a rope swing of pirate ship in Aruba
• Backpacked through Italy
• Stole plaques showing what swim records she broke

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Black Oak Series + Giveaway

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Enter the Black Oak
Black Oak Series Book 1
by Monique Edenwood
Genre: Dark Romantic Suspense

 

Falling for a man like Jackson Wilder was not something I had planned.

He was wild, experienced and savagely beautiful. He was also damaged and dangerous. Our love was a cosmic collision of lust and obsession that left me scorched by exquisite flames of desire and domination.

Jack possessed me. He educated me. Loving him was the greatest pleasure I’d ever known… up until the moment I discovered the dark secrets he had been hiding.

I could never have imagined that pulling myself out of the agony of betrayal would lead me to reconnect with a former friend, Cameron O’Neill, scion of one of Manhattan’s wealthiest and most powerful dynasties, and sworn enemy of Jack.

Cameron’s craving for me was acute. The relentless force of his devastating masculine beauty and his powerful, controlled virility was dizzying. Desire colored his fierce gaze. I knew it was wrong. Jack would never allow it. I had to do everything within my power to resist him, even when he pulled me down the rabbit hole where I uncovered dark truths about Manhattan’s most secret society that led me to the brink of madness…

Enter The Black Oak is a thrilling romantic suspense set in Manhattan’s high society and the first novel in the Black Oak series by author Monique Edenwood.

Enter The Black Oak will take you on a dangerous journey through lust, desire, betrayal and obsession that will leave you breathless by the end and desperate for more. 

Mature Audience.

Please note that Enter The Black Oak features a love triangle between the heroine and two men who are sworn enemies. The early stages of the novel explore the multi-dimensional complexities of infidelity. It features a strong female lead who is initially thrown off balance by the discovery of her partner’s infidelity and who regains her strength and power as the novel progresses. The infidelity is a catalyst for the rediscovery of an old friend. The novel features two alpha males, one quite dominant, and is an homage to radical female strength and stunning masculine beauty. If depictions of powerful, beautiful, dominant but damaged men are not your thing, this may not be for you!

excerpt

As I fumble in my purse for a tissue to wipe my eyes, the energy around me shifts and I begin to sense… something—some presence coupled with a charge of electricity…
The hairs stand up on the back of my neck and goosebumps prickle down my arms as I spot a shape out of the corner of my eye. Mustering the courage to look, I turn to my left and let out a breathy gasp as I see a man—a tall, beautiful, dark-haired man—standing between me and
the door I came through.
 A man that I know—or at least that I once knew.

Cameron.
 Cameron O’Neill.
 Scion of the O’Neill dynasty.
 My heart beats out of my chest.
 Finding yourself alone with one of New York’s most breathtaking eligible bachelors is something that most women in Manhattan would kill for, but seeing the man I used to be so close to, and that I still feel so betrayed by, see me in this pitiful state is one injury too many for my battered self-esteem.

A shadow darkens his features and he frowns as he watches my tear-streaked face. “I’m… sorry. I didn’t realize anyone was up here,” he says taking an unwelcome step towards me, his voice deeper and richer than I remember from our college days together.
 I wipe the tears from my eyes, barely able to speak. I loathe crying in front of anyone, never mind this ex-friend who has a history of hurting me.
 Despite my embarrassment at being caught in this pitiful state, I can’t help but be taken aback by the intense, impossible beauty of this stunning man. A mop of thick, wavy dark-brown hair caresses the golden skin of his forehead and jaw. His strong hairline frames a chiseled, heart-shaped face with cheekbones so sharp they cut shadows beneath them. His mesmerizing, almond-shaped brown eyes are large and his irises a swirl of deep amber tones, visible in just the moonlight and the pale glow of the light above the roof door. His stubble is thick, clearly not having been touched for a couple of weeks. He seems taller than I remember too; he must stand just under six foot three, about the same height as Jack. He has a look of anguished concern on his devastating face, my attempts at concealing my distress having obviously been in vain.
 “Jess, I… didn’t mean to disturb.”
 It’s surreal to hear him say my name—annoying almost—as though he should no longer have the right to use it. I wipe my face and try to compose myself. I hate that the man who spent so long warning me about Jack may now think that

Jack is the reason I’m upset and that he was right all along.
 “You— I— You’re not disturbing. I just needed to… get some air,” I stammer, starting to get up. “I didn’t think anyone would be up here. I can go—”
 “Stay,” he says firmly. “I mean, you can stay, as long as you need. Please.”
 I sit back down. In the state I’m in, I’d better not try to go back down those stairs unless I want to be surrounded by people asking me what the problem is. I look up at him, half expecting him to turn and leave me to my misery.

But instead, he stays.

Suspended moments pass between us as he peers into me in awkward silence, studying my face with intent, his eyes wandering over every inch of my features

“Jess, I don’t want to get too personal, but… are you sure everything’s okay?” he asks.
 “Yeah,” I shrug. “It’s just been one of those days.”
 “Sure,” he indulges me. “Believe me, I often feel like crying after a night with some of these people.”
 I shoot him a smile of gratitude at his gracious attempt to downplay the situation as my eyes float over his impossibly beautiful face. The moon emerges from behind wisps of blue clouds and lights up his unflinching eyes, leaving me skipping a breath. Cameron was one of my best friends for several years, but he never once made me as jittery as he’s doing now in all that time.

In my defense, the guy truly is breathtaking. It’s no mystery why most women lose all rational thought around him. Plus, he looks so much more like a man now than when we were students together at college, and not just because of how amazingly well he’s grown into his masculine features or how much
broader his shoulders are and stronger his arms look, even under his white shirt and expensive-looking black suit. His whole energy is different. The youthful exuberance has gone, and in its place is a man who looks poised and collected and unnervingly confident. His gaze is impenetrable, his face composed. He wears the body language of a man that is confident about his physical strength and social position.
 He looks determined. And powerful. And dangerous.

Black Oak Burning
Black Oak Series Book 2

 

Cameron’s relentless craving for me never seemed to end, even when it seemed that he may end up claiming his victory over Jack.

The irresistible odyssey into his dark dreams of domination thrilled me to my very core, breaking some of the chains holding me to Jack and setting my soul on fire with the fervor of relentless lust and unspeakable threats of ecstasy.

The incessant magnetic pull of his hard, capable body and the yearning in his determined eyes overpowered all attempts at reason. And he knew it acutely.

Just as it seemed the storm had begun to still, demons that had long haunted Cameron started to resurface and Jack launched an all-out assault on my senses and need for protection, pulling me into his dizzying vortex of indecent desire and fervent obsession and making it clear to me that I would always belong to him.

I had no idea the Society would be watching our every move, waiting for the moment to strike, allowing Manhattan’s most powerful patrons to take their revenge on Cameron.

And Jack.

And me.

If I let them.

Would we all make it out?

Black Oak Burning is the scorchingly hot sequel to Enter The Black Oak and Part 2 of the Black Oak Trilogy. It starts with an explosive release which will leave readers breathless and giddy as they prepare to experience the ecstasy and torment of those who enter The Black Oak.

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Black Oak Scorched
Black Oak Book 3

 

I did everything in my power to resist Cameron’s never-ending need to have me as his own. The heat of his hunger and the fervor of his attacks on my will was merciless, wearing me down as I struggled under the weight of Jack’s ceaseless craving and possessive need to reclaim me… as well as his surveillance of my every move. 

I was also forced to fight Sebastian Gravier’s growing desperation to have me submit to him so that he could educate me in the dark pleasures of the Black Oak Society that have been so carefully crafted by his wicked deviance.

What the resistance didn’t know is that as they were finalizing their plan to take down Quercus Velutina once and for all, the Society were mounting one of their own, with brutality and betrayal that no one could have ever imagined. 

Despite the victory of his bloodshed, Sebastian’s restless hunger for suffering and revenge never abated, and once Cameron made it clear to Jack that he intended to take me for his own, Gravier finally got what he had ached for–Jack declaring all-out war on Cameron, restless and ready to hand down his own special brand of justice.

_______________________________________________________________ 

He thinks he has won, but the war will not be over until Jessynia belongs to me and me alone. And my craving for her flesh and my need to possess her soul will never end…

_______________________________________________________________

Black Oak Scorched is the third novel in the Black Oak series and is the first book in the series featuring multiple narrative points of view.

For mature audiences.

Monique Edenwood is a British-Canadian author based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Her love of the magical trees and forests that she grew up surrounded by helped to inspire her first novel, Enter The Black Oak, book 1 in the Black Oak trilogy.

She loves helping people escape their daily lives for a short while with the help of some intrigue, suspense and some smoking hot fictional boyfriends!

When she isn’t writing or reading, she loves hiking and cycling around beautiful Vancouver.

She’s also an epic fantasy geek and lover of 80’s and 90’s music. 

Monique absolutely loves hearing from readers of her novels so please feel free to contact her!

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