Spotlight & Excerpt: Pieces of Eight + Giveaway

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Pieces of Eight
by Tricia Leedom
(Lost Souls’ Treasure, #1)
Published by: Firefly Hill Press
Publication date: July 13th 2021
Genres: Adult, Adventure, Romance

From the author who whisked you away on a wild escapade in The Key West Escape Series comes a sexy, adventure-packed spin off. Follow Mitch Thompson and his team of misfits as they find danger, intrigue, and romance on the hunt for the legendary Lost Souls’ Treasure…

Former special ops aviator Griffin Dodge spent two years working on a marine salvage crew based out of Key West after his military career abruptly ended.

The only person he let himself get close to on the Salty Dog Crew was a woman called “Bug.” They couldn’t have been more different – the former all-star golden boy from the Midwest and the scrappy French circus performer turned salvage diver – but she became his best friend. Griff was happier than he’d been in a long time, but when his first love called to say she wanted him back, he caught the next flight out of town.

A year later, Bug still resents Griff for ghosting her and the crew after he left. She’s furious when he shows up out of the blue to do a favor for her boss. It doesn’t matter that Griff is single again or that he’s sorry, she hates that she’s stuck flying shotgun to Martinique beside the guy who abandoned their friendship and betrayed her trust.

The trip was supposed to take two days tops. Just enough time to meet with an artifact collector who claims to have the missing pages of a diary that could lead them to The Lost Souls’ Treasure. But when the deal goes south, and Griff and Bug are caught breaking and entering, they’re forced to escape up the side of a volcano where the lava isn’t the only thing about to bubble over. The tension between them erupts into an unexpected night of passion that leaves them both uncertain about what comes next.

While Griff starts to question if settling down in the suburbs still fits the man he’s become, Bug isn’t so sure she’s willing to open her guarded-heart to the only man who’s ever broke it.

When a rival treasure hunter hellbent on beating the Salty Dog Crew to the treasure takes Bug hostage, Griff realizes his future plans won’t matter, if he can’t bring his best friend home alive.

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The husky sound of Bug’s laughter gave Griff goosebumps. He rounded on her, blocking her path. She stopped short and her eyes widened with mild surprise as she gazed up at him in the moonlight.

“I missed you, Bug. I’m beginning to realize I’ve been lying to myself for the past year. I went to Kansas City to be with Hannah because I’ve always thought settling down in the suburbs with her was my destiny. It was the life my mother wanted for me. But my mother’s death changed me. Joining the Army Special Forces changed me. The crash, and losing my career the way I did, that changed me most of all. When Mitch hired me onto the Salty Dog crew, I didn’t know who I was anymore. I was lost. You let me figure things out at my own pace. I learned to laugh again and embrace my inner wild child with you.”

“Your desperado soul,” she said with a small smile.

“Yes. I’m not a boy scout anymore. Far from it. And I think I’m finally starting to make peace with that.”

“Where does that leave you and Hannah?”

He shook his head and glanced away. “Still apart and free to see other people.” He met Bug’s gaze again. “I don’t know what tomorrow is gonna bring, but no matter what happens, I want my best friend back in my life.”

She raised her chin. “I didn’t go anywhere. You did.”

“Figures. I’m pouring my heart out here, and you’re being a smart ass. The least you could do is tell me you missed me too.”

“And what if I didn’t?”

He stepped into her personal space, forcing her to crane her neck back to look up at him. His mouth hovered inches above hers. “I wouldn’t believe you.”

Author Bio:

TRICIA LEEDOM enjoys traveling to exotic destinations and having torrid love affairs with hot, dangerous men… even if it’s only in her own mind. When she’s not writing romantic adventure novels, she reads voraciously, tweets compulsively, and fangirls over a TV show based on her favorite book series. Tricia earned her BA in Creative Writing from The University of Tampa and her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Her favorite authors include Diana Gabaldon, J.R. Ward, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Karen Robards, and Johanna Lindsey. She lives in Southwest Florida with two very spoiled dogs. Follow Tricia on Twitter and Instagram @tricialeedom

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Hexes & Hijinks + Giveaway

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Hexes & Hijinks
Danika Dreary Mystery Book 1
by Sherry Soule
Genre: Cozy Paranormal Mystery


This book will appeal to readers of Nancy Warren, Angie Fox, Molly Fitz, and Kate Allenton! 

A whimsical matchmaker. A bizarre murder. And a psychic amateur sleuth…

Danika Dreary’s life is a hot mess. After her latest soul-crushing crisis, Danika moves in with her eccentric grandma, Elsie.

But there’s a catch: Danika must work at Karma Moon within the quaint town of Mystique, California. Except this is no ordinary new-age bookshop, it’s also where Elsie—a legendary matchmaker—helps the lonely residents find love.

When Ryker Van Allan demands his money back on a true love package, Elsie and Danika are shocked. Yet Ryker insists the woman never showed up for the date. And he’s telling the truth—Danika has a built-in lie detector that warns her whenever someone’s being dishonest.

That night, the woman’s body is found near the shop, and Elsie is accused of the murder. Danika can’t let her grandma serve time for a crime she didn’t commit. But the victim has more enemies than the town has secrets, and Danika can’t throw a tarot card without hitting a potential suspect.

With the clock ticking, Danika must prove Elsie’s innocence, suffer through the horrors of retail, and maybe even find a place where she truly belongs.

Do you enjoy clean cozy mysteries with a slice of romance and a dash of paranormal?

Then buy your copy now or read for FREE with a Kindle Unlimited subscription!

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Cozy Mystery series by author Sherry Soule (8)

hexesandhijinks - excerpt

I hesitated outside Grandma Elsie’s new-age shop, Karma Moon, with one hand hovering over the doorknob and dread twisting in my gut.
How had I ended up here?
Simple. I’d lost my job, boyfriend, and home all on the same day. My career as a copyeditor came to an abrupt halt when I’d kneed my horny, boob-grabbing boss in the groin. Then, when I met my boyfriend at Starbucks to calm down, a text popped up on his phone. He tried to shield a pic of my roommate in racy lingerie, but the image seared my eyes like a branding iron.
I know, it couldn’t get more clichéd than that.
We fought, and since my job and the coffee shop were near my residence, I stomped home to find my belongings loaded into my car. When I went to confront my roommate in the condo she owned and we shared, the locks had been changed.
I didn’t even get an eviction notice. Don’t worry, I didn’t key her car or sneak into my ex’s apartment to swap his shampoo with hair removal, although the thought did occur to me.
With no other job prospects or places to live, I didn’t have much choice in moving here. Who else would take in an unemployed, homeless thirty-three-year-old?
A sympathetic grandma, that’s who.
The overcast sky darkened, the scent of pine wafting on the autumn breeze. A light rain sprinkled my red Mini-Cooper snugged up to the curb, which could use a wash. I’d just driven two hours in traffic from Modesto and bug guts and bird poop had splattered the windshield.
I jiggled the shop’s doorknob, but it remained shut tight. My knuckles rapped on the door, then I peered through the stained-glass window into the dark building. A neon sign—a psychic hand with stars around it—affixed to the window pitched a pink glow into the main store area.
Huh. I tugged my cell phone from my purse and dialed Grandma Elsie’s house number. The call went straight to an antiquated answering machine, and I hung up, dropping the cell into my bag.
Main Street appeared deserted. The other businesses, antique shops, galleries, and cafes, closed and silent. Historical towns like Mystique, California shut down by nine o’clock. A touristy, mountain town so small there wasn’t even a mall or movie theater. Surrounding the area were gold mines, wineries, and the Sierra Foothills, a national forest that seemed to guard Mystique like a treasured secret.
I went around the corner and down a dimly lit alley. The brick building beside Karma Moon had grimy barred windows. A security light over the partially open backdoor illuminated the entrance and shone on a planter-box with thriving greenery.
The shadows shifted and the rusty dumpster leaking unidentifiable fluid at the end of the alley banged into the wall. Startled, I yelped.
A Hispanic woman stepped into the light. Not much makeup, nor style to her smooth black hair. Her wrinkled blouse matched the color of her violet lipstick, and she had on plaid flannel pants that resembled a picnic table, with…tie-dye clogs. Yup, I kid you not, the woman wore Crocs.
“You scared me,” I said, placing a hand over my thudding heart.
The woman snickered, the sound making the little hairs on my skin raise. She clutched a purse in both hands, as if at any moment it would sprout legs and run off.
I dragged in a deep, steadying breath. “The shop’s closed for the night—”
“I know that, dingleberry.” Her voice was unnaturally loud in the stillness. “Sorry if I frightened you. Honest. Cross my heart and hope to die.”
An icy pressure on my neck grew colder the longer I stared at the woman. She was lying. The Crocs-wearer wasn’t remorseful at all.
My mouth felt dry. I licked my lips. “What’re you doing back here?”
She pointed a finger at me. “You must be Danika Dreary, the flaky granddaughter that Elsie’s always talking about.”
“Who are you? How do you know my grandma?”
The woman harrumphed. “I’m Angela, her best client. The person who’s been here for her. Unlike you.”
My face burned at the accusation. I opened my mouth and closed it again. How dare this woman try to shame me. If my grandma needed me, I was only a phone call away. Grandma Elsie and I talked every Sunday night, and it was one of the few things I looked forward to every week. I even had her on speed dial. I called it Insta-Gram.
Angela curled her lip. “It’s late and you didn’t bring any stick pins. So now I know you’re not taking this seriously.” She darted out of the alley, the darkness swallowing her up like a frog gulping down a fly.
Stick pins? I stood there, flabbergasted. That woman was a few cards short of a tarot deck.
Shaking my head, I stepped through the open door into the familiar storeroom, and flicked the switch to turn on the overhead light. Dusty shelves adorned one gray wall stocked with an assortment of kitschy merchandise and self-help books. The original hardwood flooring showed signs of wear and warping. The room held the musty odor of an unused attic. A desktop computer, printer, and accounting ledger lay on a desk in the corner.
I shut the backdoor. “Nana? It’s Danika.”
Moving further into the room, I stood beside a gurgling water cooler near a bench backed up against the wall. Footfalls creaked from overhead. I swiveled toward the wrought-iron spiral staircase that led to a two-bedroom apartment above Karma Moon, taking up the whole second floor.
“Hello, sweetheart.” An affectionate smile graced Grandma Elsie’s lips as she descended the stairs. In one fist, she clutched a rabbit’s foot, her good luck talisman.
“You shouldn’t leave the backdoor open,” I said.
She glanced at the entrance and rubbed her thumb over the furry foot. “I thought I’d locked it after my last client left.”
I had to ask. “Matchmaking or tarot card reading?”
Grandma Elsie smirked. “A mixture of both.”
While she examined the locks on the door, I looked her over. Elsie Dreary was in her late sixties, yet appeared much younger. She had short, sunflower-blonde hair with soft bangs that swooped over cornflower-blue eyes and flaunted the striking symmetry of her face. I grinned at her purple fleece pajamas with a cupcake print under a plush robe and fluffy slippers. Wearing oddball PJs was one of her adorable quirks.
My own outfit wasn’t quite as charming: an oversized sweater paired with black leggings and scuffed UGG boots.
Grandma Elsie faced me and we hugged. Her fragrance of gardenias and talcum powder crowded my nose and made me smile. I held her tight, feeling that sense of dread ebb away.
“I’ve missed you so much.” She slipped the rabbit foot into her robe pocket.
“I’ve missed you, too.”
Grandma Elsie pushed back, holding onto my upper arms and giving me a critical once-over. “Let me take a look at you.” She tilted her head and squinted. “What’s with the pink hair?”
I fingered the long strands. Wavy pink strands fell over my shoulders and starkly contrasted my darker brows, blue eyes, and red lipstick. “It’s breakup therapy. Some women go on shopping sprees, others binge on ice cream—I color my hair.”
A therapist was expensive. A box of hair dye was only ten bucks.
Her grin faltered. “I knew you were wasting your life in Modesto with that jerk.”
Ah, the comfort and support of loved ones. I knew coming here I was in for a lecture, I just thought I’d be able to unpack first.
Grandma Elsie huffed. “I gave you that tarot reading on your last visit and warned you the jerk was not to be trusted, but you never listen.”
My shoulders sagged. “What do you want me to say? That you were right? Fine. I guess douchey men are my kryptonite.”
“Oh, sweetheart.” She gave me another hug before stepping back. “You okay?”
My head drooped. “Fair to partly cloudy. But seriously, I’m fine. Really,” I said and meant it. My ex and I had only dated for six weeks so it wasn’t serious, and it was the betrayal that hurt more. “What I’m unhappy about is the way the two of them handled it. Although, it was considerate to pack my car for me.”
“I’m sorry things didn’t work out,” she said. “But it’s time to take responsibility for your life choices.”
My skin flushed and I raised my head. “I know. I just need to figure things out.”
“Like what?” Grandma Elsie grunted. “You quit every job you get within a year. You live a nomad existence. And you date unworthy men. I just wish you’d make a commitment to something—anything—and stick with it. I want you to be happy.”
“Me too.” I bit my lower lip.
My inability to keep a job was not a trait I was entirely proud of. I might not have been happy, but I was attempting to carve out my own niche in the world. And those other jobs hadn’t been challenging enough. I was still searching for my true calling whatever that might be.
I swallowed hard. “Losing my job wasn’t my fault. My boss was Mr. Gropey Hands and I had to introduce his groin to my knee. I quit the next day, and I would’ve filed a formal complaint, but small-scale papers like that don’t have an HR department.”
Grandma Elsie sat on the bench and patted the spot beside her. I plopped down and a flash of my boss’s chubby hand on my breast made my stomach heave. Every time I thought about it, I wanted to shower.
“Then I think it’s for the best—quitting the job and that cheating loser.” Grandma Elsie laid a hand on my arm with a twinkle in her eye. “I told you several years ago that your soulmate was out there. In fact, you’re going to meet him very soon.”
While I wasn’t heartbroken over my recent breakup, I’d sworn not to date for at least six months. Or maybe never, ever again, you get the point.
I rolled my eyes. “No fixing me up while I’m here, okay?”
She puckered her lips. “Love is one of the greatest gifts you can receive, and I take immense pride in finding it for others.”
“You would believe that.” I laughed. “That’s how you make your living.”
Her expression softened, along with her voice. “True, and your grandfather—rest his soul—was the love of my life. None of my other three husbands ever measured up. But it’s high time you settled down.”
“Yeah, right. I’m flat broke and living with my grandma. I’m quite the catch for some eligible bachelor.” My shoulders slumped. “Maybe the jerk was justified in dumping me. I’m a thirty-three year old flake who can’t hold down a job or figure out what to do with her life.”
“Nonsense!” Grandma Elsie gave a derisive snort. “Danika Elizabeth Dreary, you are a smart, capable, sensitive woman. And you’ve always had a job at Karma Moon.” She patted my knee. “Deep down, you must realize that this is where you truly belong, what you were destined to do—”
“Time out.” I held up one hand. “While I’m grateful to you for taking me in, I have zero matchmaking skills, if that wasn’t already apparent by my dismal love life, and selling retail is not my life’s ambition. But while I’m here, I’ll help out.”
To me, romance and relationships were like houseplants, and if they were mine, they most likely died a slow and painful death.
Grandma Elsie curtly nodded. “Good. I would expect no less, and who knows? Maybe you’ll find that you like working at Karma Moon.”
My heart squeezed. I wasn’t being very appreciative of her goodwill. No reason to tell her that I only intended to stick around long enough for my bad karma to get its head out of its butt and remedy itself. And I just needed to save up enough money to live on my own and find another job. I had no plans to stay and work in retail.
My grandma got to her feet. “Let’s get you settled into your old room…” Her voice faded and she froze. Her gaze narrowed as it roamed over the inventory lining the shelves. “Oh, no. No!”
“Nana? What’s wrong?”
“This is bad. Very, very bad.” Her forehead creased. “A love potion and voodoo doll are missing. There’s an empty space on the shelf.”
Grandma Elsie went to the storeroom shelves, frantically moving around bottles, candles, and sticks of incense. A plume of dust rose and tickled my nose.
I fought a sneeze. “I thought those things were harmless.”
“The potions are to some extent.” She kept rummaging through the items. “More of the placebo effect, but anyone who steals a voodoo doll has nefarious intentions. The dolls are reserved for select clients only. “
“Any idea who might’ve taken them?”
Grandma Elsie paused. “Possibly a patron of mine, Angela Hernández. She left just before you arrived. The poor woman is infatuated with a gentleman in town, and she refuses to believe that her soulmate is not the man she’s in love with.”
My lips twitched. “And you know this how?”
She tapped the side of her temple with a smirk. “My magical intuition, of course.”
“Of course,” I teased. “I saw Miss Sticky-Fingers outside in the alley.” I briefly described the woman and our peculiar exchange, along with Angela saying the weirdness about stick pins.
Grandma Elsie pulled the robe tighter around her slender frame. “I gave Angela an afterhours tarot reading tonight because she said it was an emergency, but she wasn’t happy with the outcome.”
“Why would Angela take a love potion and voodoo doll?”
She raked a hand through her hair, the blonde strands standing up wildly. “I’m afraid by stealing the voodoo doll, she intends to hex the man’s girlfriend. And use the love potion on him.”
“Do you want to call the police?”
Grandma Elsie shook her head. “Over two missing items? It’s not worth the trouble. I’ll contact Angela in the morning to sort this all out. But bad things do happen in threes.”
“That’s just superstitious nonsense.” I placed an arm around her. “I’m sure everything will be fine.”
But I was dead wrong.

hexesandhijinks - guest post

21 Fun Facts about Sherry Soule:

Sherry was born in the rural town of Castro Valley, California.
She adores her zany, dysfunctional family.
Black cats are her favorite animal.
She has been writing stories since she was seven-years-old.
Sherry loves shoes, Disneyland, cats, and books.
She is a total Facebook junkie. (Are there any support groups for this?)
Halloween is her favorite holiday.
She loves to read daily.
Sherry loves to watch mysteries.
Her last name is pronounced, “Sue-Lay.”
Her favorite number is “13.”
Sherry is a firm believer that reading has the power to change the world.
She loves getting new followers on her blog, Facebook, and Twitter. It makes her super happy.
She often crushes on fictional characters.
Sherry’s kinda weird and a little nerdy with a twisted sense of humor.
She collects Monster High dolls, unicorns, and little voodoo dolls.
Sherry believes in ghosts and an afterlife.
She’s a Netflix binge-watcher.
Sherry thinks the Winchester brothers are awesome.
She talks to herself. And the computer. And the TV. Sometimes her cats.
Sherry will always be a hopeless romantic at heart.

Multi-Genre Author of Bewitching Mysteries, Unconventional Heroines & Swoony Romances!

Sherry Soule lives in Northern California with her family and two spoiled rescue cats. She writes cozy paranormal mysteries, supernatural mysteries, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and sci-fi romance. Many of her books have been on the Amazon bestseller lists and nominated as top picks in the “Best Paranormal Romance” categories on numerous review sites.

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Honorable Rogue + Giveaway

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Honorable Rogue
by Linda J. Parisi
(Blood Rogue, #2)
Publication date: July 13th 2021
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

There is the blood and can only ever be the blood. So how can love survive in a world of pain?

As a Roman gladiator and slave, vampire Hunter Pierce only knew death and destruction. Never love.

Dr. Victoria Roberts only knew love and safety, never fear or death, until the day her life was shattered with a home invasion that destroyed her world.

Now Hunter and Tori’s worlds collide, with Blood Rogues continuing to menace both human and vampire alike.

Tori is in danger and it’s all Hunter’s fault. To keep watch of the clever doctor, the vampire enlists

her to aid in finding a cure for Nirvana, the dangerous poison rogue vampires are using to kill.

When Tori is kidnapped, Hunter faces his corrupt former master and a race against the clock to save his own life.

But can a vampire who has only watched out for himself risk his life, and his immortality, for the love of a human?

Can a woman who has lost everything rebuild her shattered heart with a man who thinks he hasn’t got one?

Only love, trust, and an Honorable Rogue can save them all.

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Honorable Rogue


Tall, with auburn hair swept up into a Grecian knot, she wore the same dress as the other women who stood by Stacy as she married Charles.

Hunter hadn’t really noticed her before, and he wondered why as he found himself walking toward a small set of stairs. Something about this woman tugged at him. She seemed…sad, and he wondered what sadness could intrude on such a festive occasion. “Apologies. The night is beautiful, the silence self-explanatory. May I?”

She turned. Her brown eyes reminded him of amber glass, bright in the moonlight which made him think of being alive and unfettered. Yet her gaze held the vulnerability of a doe and the threads of a pain he could only guess at. “Free country.” She turned back to the skyline. “Friend of the groom?”

“Yes. For quite some time.” Hunter bowed his head. “Hunter Pierce at your service.”

The line of her mouth softened from straight to curved. “Chaz said those very words the first time we met,” she murmured. “I’m Tori. Tori Roberts. Friend of the bride.”

“I gathered by your dress although I was a little late for the ceremony,” he remarked.

“We’re sisters. I couldn’t want anything more than for Stacy to be as happy as she is right now.”

Hunter frowned. “Stacy didn’t mention any siblings.”

Tori laughed softly and Hunter enjoyed the sound. “Sorry. Not by blood. We’re sorority sisters. Best friends.”

“Ahh. Would you like to sit? He indicated a stone bench nearby.

She faltered and Hunter found her hesitation unsettling. But then she agreed which he found to be even more unsettling. “Not too long otherwise they’ll send out a search party.” She placed her pocketbook on the bench. “Have you known Chaz long?”

He allowed a slight smile. “Long enough.”

She glanced toward the ballroom windows then back at him and she rose slowly. “If you’ll excuse me? As much as I would love to continue this conversation, I really need to get back.”

Hunter stood also. He wondered how someone so astute could be so sad inside. So he asked, “A question before you go?” She lifted her chin, almost a dare to continue. “Why are you so sad?”

She reached for the small pocketbook sitting on the bench. The movement caused her shoulder to hide part of her face. Hunter knew all about hiding.

“How do you know I’m sad?”

“Part of my business is reading people. Can you tell me a few moments ago you weren’t?”

She stepped back trying to put distance between them. “I’m not sure that’s any of your business.”

“Agreed.” Hunter approached her as he would a doe trying to suppress the predator inside. “You wear a mask and if I may be so bold, I think your friends would prefer you didn’t.”

“Really.” Her brows drew together. “Was this part of your ‘service’?”

“Apologies,” he said, inclining his head. “I’ve found most people prefer the truth—eventually.”

She bit her lip, paused, and then blurted, “What’s your truth?”

Hunter found he had to hold back a bitter guffaw. “I’m a vampire.”

“Wow.” Her mouth opened, no sound came out, and then laughter burst from her lips. “That is the first time anyone has ever used being a vampire as a pick-up line on me. Incredibly inventive.”

She clapped her hands together lightly. Whatever had possessed him to tell her his most guarded secret? Nonplussed, he answered, “You asked for the truth. I gave it.”

“Right,” she answered. “I wonder what Chaz would say if he knew.” She clapped again but the sound faded as he drew even closer.

For the first time in a very long time, Hunter found himself completely engaged by a woman. He stepped forward and this time, she didn’t step back. He lifted his arms to circle her body and said, “He would tell you I have no business thinking what I’m thinking.”

She lifted trembling fingers and tucked an errant strand of hair behind her ear yet her lips lifted with an almost roguish smile. “Would he now?”


Author Bio:

As a major in biochemistry with a minor in English literature, Linda has always tried to mesh her love of science with her love of the written word. A clinical research scientist by day and NJRW Golden Leaf award winning author by night, she creates unforgettable characters and puts them in untenable situations, much to their dismay. Choices always matter and love conquers all, so a happy-ever-after is a must. Linda is the current Treasurer of Liberty States Fiction Writers. She has served on the boards of other writing organizations, and loves to teach the craft of writing at worshops and conferences. She lives in New Jersey with her husband John, son Chris, daughter-in-law Sara, and Audi, a Cocker Spaniel mix who had her at woof!

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