Book Blitz & Excerpt: Saving the World and Other Bad Ideas + Giveaway

Saving the World Banner

Saving the World and Other Bad Ideas
by Jayce Carter

Book 3 in the Grave Concerns series

Word Count: 74,724
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 279

GENRES:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
PARANORMAL
REVERSE HAREM

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Book Description

I finally get four hot men and the world’s going to end. Typical.

I’ve gone to hell, I’ve faced off against the devil and I’ve lost someone who meant the world to me. That’s usually the end of the story, but it seems the universe isn’t quite done with me yet.

Lilith is still out there, the end of the world is getting closer and only I can hope to stop it. The more I discover, the deeper I dig into the mystery of Lilith’s past and my own powers, the less sure I am that I can actually defeat her.

Still by my side are the four men I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with—leave it to me to get my romantic life in order just as the world falls apart. With all the questions, there are only two things I know for certain—I will face Lilith, and only one of us will walk away from it.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, bloodshed and death. There are mentions of child abuse, inadequate parenting and bestiality.

Excerpt

“I could tear your soul right out of your stupid, entitled body!”

The man I’d yelled at stared at me as if I were crazy, but that didn’t even slow my tirade. He might think I was a nutjob—and maybe I was—but that didn’t mean I wasn’t fully capable of doing exactly what I’d threatened.

“You’re insane,” the man said.

“You’re the one who’s attacking that poor woman who works here.”

“She made my drink wrong.”

“So?” I set my hands on my hips, giving him my best melt him into the ground right where he stands look. “You think you’re entitled to everything you want? You think the world revolves around you?”

There beside us stood the barista we were arguing over, her dark eyes wide. In fact, she looked far more concerned about our interaction than about him acting like a spoiled brat. When I had been standing by the bar, waiting for mine, he’d brought his back to tell them they’d made it wrong.

“It really is okay,” the barista told me. “It’s not a big deal. I can just remake it.”

“No,” I responded. “It’s not okay. People can’t just expect others to be perfect, to have it all together all the time. He needs to be understanding.”

“I don’t expect perfect,” the man said. “I asked for iced and she made a hot drink. That’s it.”

“So? She’s trying, damn it. She’s the one working, so you should just say thank you and move on. What makes you so special that you think you’ll get whatever you want?”

His mouth hung open, like he’d never dealt with someone telling him off before. “I wasn’t even rude,” he argued. “All I did was ask her to remake it.”

“She’s doing her best,” I repeated for what had to be the tenth time, that same thing that stuck in my head. “She’s just human, and maybe she’s having a bad day. Maybe she recently lost someone she cares about. Maybe she went to hell and is now in some sort of existential crisis because she doesn’t know how to bring the person responsible to justice. Did you ever think about that, or did you just decide to criticize her?”

The chime above the door rang, and when I turned, I realized maybe I’d gone just a little overboard.

Troy walked in, and I doubted he was there as my friendly neighborhood werewolf just making the rounds.

Which meant someone had called the police on me.

For what? A little disagreement?

Or maybe because I told him I’d rip his soul out of his body…

“Finally,” the man said as if Troy were his saving grace.

“You called the police?” I muttered pussy under my breath, low enough that Troy wouldn’t catch it.

The sharp look in his silver eyes said he had. Stupid werewolf hearing.

“You are going to get arrested,” the man said in the mocking, self-assured voice of a kid who had tattled to Mom on his sibling.

“I doubt that.” I leaned in and kept my voice low. “Because I’m fucking the detective.”

Then, just when I was pretty sure my childish behavior couldn’t sink anymore, I stuck out my tongue at him.

At least he looked shocked.

My high horse didn’t last long, however, not when Troy wrapped his large hand around my upper arm. In a different, sexier moment, I might have even liked his macho bullshit. “I’m very sorry,” he said to the man as he pulled me toward the door. “I’ll handle her.”

Handle me?

I would have told Troy exactly what I thought about that, but he lowered his voice to all but snarl into my ear, “You should probably keep quiet.”

The rumbled reprimand shocked me into silence. Troy never used that tone of voice with me. He was typically soft-spoken and the most likely of the men in my life to let me get away with…well…everything.

So his commanding tone kept me quiet until he opened the passenger-side door of his car and tossed me in. By the time he came around and got into the driver’s side, my brain had started working again and I realized—I didn’t let anyone talk to me like that, not even my sort of boyfriend who turned into some sort of wolf creature and had plenty of weird emotional hang-ups.

“Don’t you manhandle me,” I snapped.

“What was that?”

“What was what? I was protecting the staff against a male Karen. That’s called being a good person. Not my fault you don’t recognize it.”

“You were arguing with a stranger so aggressively that the staff called us about you.”

I crossed my arms and sat back. “He was getting mad at her over one little mistake and she was trying her best.”

He let out a long sigh, as if my words had been more telling than I’d meant them to be. The damn man was far too observant. “I know it’s frustrating to have no leads.”

Frustrating didn’t even start to explain it. After Lilith had killed Gran, after I’d sworn she would pay for it, everything had stalled out. Swearing revenge like that was supposed to be some sort of catapult to action, to lead almost immediately to a big showdown where things got resolved. People didn’t swear to make someone pay then spend six weeks doing absolutely nothing about it.

It was said revenge was a dish best served cold, but it turned out I lacked the patience to let it cool.

It didn’t matter how much I wanted to rain hell down on Lilith—I had no idea where she even was, and neither did anyone else.

The only thing I’d been able to do was help out the werewolves and vampires by removing Lilith’s influence from infected immortals. Doing that felt like a tiny jab back at her, a way to give her the middle finger, but it just wasn’t enough. I could only do it so often, and many of the afflicted had to be killed before anyone could capture them, so it didn’t feel like much of a win.

“I thought we’d have something by now,” I admitted, letting my head fall back against the seat.

Troy set his hand on my thigh, the weight of it reassuring even when I didn’t want it to be. Something about him having my back never failed to make me feel a bit more optimistic. “Ava, you survived hell. You faced off against Lucifer. You destroyed a reaper. You’ll get through this, too. It just may not be as fast as you’d like.”

“Hell was easy. We knew which way we had to go. This, though? I’ve got no idea where to even start.”

He squeezed my leg. “You look exhausted. Are you not sleeping well?”

“I’ve got enough horrible things going on in my life when I’m awake. Why should I sleep? Just so I can dream about the mist there?” Just saying it made me shudder.

I’d had those nightmares all my life, but since going to hell, they’d gotten worse. I woke up choking, coughing, gagging as I clawed at my throat with the memory of that damn mist. Even after I could breathe, I couldn’t shake the horrible drowning feeling.

“You can always sleep at my house,” he offered, his voice having lost its sharp edge, having quieted as if coaxing me to agree. This was the sweet man I was used to.

“You might be able to scare away most things, but I’m afraid you aren’t the best dream catcher.” Despite what I said, he had a point. Even if he couldn’t keep the damn dreams away, no doubt it would be better to wake up next to him than alone.

But I wasn’t that girl, the one who threw away everything for a man—or four of them. I’d survived those dreams my whole life, so I could deal with them alone now.

“What if Grant gets some ambrosia? You slept and didn’t dream when you took it before,” Troy pointed out.

“I’m not ever touching that stuff again. I saw it grown in body parts—I almost was the body some was grown in—and that made it lose its magic. No thanks.”

I kept to myself the fact that I hadn’t actually seen Grant. He and Hunter had both all but disappeared upon our return.

It stung.

After everything, they had just dropped off the face of the earth—or hell, whatever—without a word.

Was it because of what I was? Maybe the reality of sleeping with a reaper was a turn-off they couldn’t ignore anymore. Fucking the cute, eccentric girl who talked to ghosts was one thing—getting naked with a reaper must have been a hard limit.

Cowards.

“What’s wrong?” Troy asked, probably having caught my expression.

“Nothing.”

He sighed, the sound telling me he knew I was lying. “Ava…”

I turned to face him. “It’s just more of not knowing where to go, of not having a plan, of being totally and completely stuck. You know, same old, same old.”

He pressed his lips together, as if he knew there was more I wouldn’t say, but he shook his head. “Why don’t I drive you home?”

“What, no handcuffs?”

That glow in his eyes started, the one that said he really wanted to do just that.

Not that I’d gone without…

In the six weeks since we’d returned from hell, I’d ended up in bed with Troy countless times. Always at his place, and usually because I went there, because I craved his scent, his taste, the feeling of his strong hands on me.

It made me wonder if there wasn’t something to this whole mate thing, some bond that drew me to him, that made me need him like I hadn’t before.

Or maybe I was just addicted to his stupid knot.

That was very possible.

He inhaled, slowly, the glow of his eyes brightening. Right. He could smell me, always knew when I was thinking such things. There weren’t a lot of secrets in a relationship with a werewolf.

He leaned forward, as if drawn by the smell of my desire, driven by the need to satisfy me.

I put my hand up and over his face, stopping him before he could kiss me. “No time.”

His groan was muffled by my palm. “I can be quick.”

“No, you can’t.”

Normally, that would have been a wonderful compliment, because the reality was that I never left Troy’s bed unsatisfied. In fact, I usually fell asleep there because I couldn’t stay awake another moment, not after he’d had his way with me, some wild part of his wolf needing to turn me boneless, as if laying a claim.

He nipped my palm before sitting back. “Will you at least promise to stop harassing strangers? I don’t want to get called out on you again.”

“I wasn’t harassing anyone.” At his lifted eyebrow, I blew out a long breath. “Okay, so I may have threatened to rip his soul out of his body.”

Disapproval flooded his expression.

Which I guess was fair.

Maybe that wasn’t the smartest thing I’d done recently. Or maybe it was. It hadn’t been a very good six weeks.

“I know you’re frustrated, Ava. I know you want to find Lilith, that you want to handle this, but going off the rails isn’t going to make it happen any faster. If you end up in jail or rushing into trouble, it isn’t going to help. You need to relax.”

“How am I supposed to do that? Yoga? Meditation? Tea?”

“I have tomorrow night off. What if we go out?”

I paused at the offer, which had taken me off track. “Like…a date?”

He nodded. “We’re involved, aren’t we? Let me take my mate out, have dinner, act like any normal couple.”

“I don’t think you get to use the word ‘normal’, not when we went to hell, had a threesome with a vampire and your penis gets stuck inside me when we have sex.”

He let out a rough laugh. “You’re impossible, you know that?”

“I’ve heard that before, yeah. So, you’re not going to arrest me?”

“Not today.” He caught my arm as if calling me on how I hadn’t actually agreed to the date. “Dinner tomorrow?”

Maybe trying to date like some happy couple wasn’t the best idea in the middle of everything else, or maybe that was exactly why I needed it right then.

“Okay,” I said, inexplicably nervous. Then again, when was the last time I’d had a real date planned?

Maybe never? Certainly never with someone I actually loved.

I went to get out of the car, but he didn’t let me go. Troy shifted his hand to the front of my shirt, then tugged me in until he could take my lips in a possessive kiss, one that screamed mine in a way that melted me.

Whether it was him or his wolf leaving a mark on me, I didn’t know, and honestly, I didn’t really care.

Being claimed by both of them was fine by me, and one of the few things going exactly right in my life.

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About the Author

Jayce Carter

Jayce Carter lives in Southern California with her husband and two spawns. She originally wanted to take over the world but realized that would require wearing pants. This led her to choosing writing, a completely pants-free occupation. She has a fear of heights yet rock climbs for fun and enjoys making up excuses for not going out and socializing. You can learn more about her at her website.

Giveaway

Enter for the chance to win a $50.00 First for Romance Gift Card!

 

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Notice: This competition ends on 5TH October 2021 at 12am EST. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

You can find my review over on See Sadie Read.

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Dared, by Deborah Grace Staley

DARED POB BANNER (1)

 

Title: Dared (Scandalous Moves, Book 1)
Author: Deborah Grace Staley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: Oct. 3rd, 2021
Cover Designer: CT Cover Creations
Editor:  Janene Cates Putman
Publisher: iNow Publishing
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Have you ever made a daring move?

Di Jenson is a successful Broadway dancer who makes a bet with bad boy Van Vanzant to dance at Vanz, his exclusive gentlemen’s club. The bet? That Di can make more money with one dance than all the rest of the club’s dancers combined—without taking her clothes off.

Van accepts the bet because he hasn’t been able to forget his blind date with Di the year before. He wants to show her he’s more than a guy whose name is synonymous with adult entertainment. Despite the fact that Di is drawn to the bad boy in Van, she knows she can’t respect a guy in his line of business. But when she dances at his club, the bet turns into something neither will soon forget.

Can a bad boy with secrets win the heart of a dancer who dares to make a Scandalous Move?

 

Deborah Grace Staley has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, but she never thought to put pen to paper until she became addicted to reading romance novels. She’s been happily writing in her beloved genre for three decades. Along the way, her books have spent time at the top of the Amazon and Barnes & Noble best seller lists, and she has won a number of awards, including the HOLT Medallion. Originally from East Tennessee, she now calls Southern Florida home. Married to her college sweetheart, Deborah has one fabulous son and lives in South Florida near the ocean. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from King College. Deborah writes full-time, sometimes teaches college, and is a freelance editor.
 

 

 

Book Blitz & Excerpt: Resisting the Dream + Giveaway

Resisting the Dream Banner

Resisting the Dream, by Ann Marie James

Book 3 in the Everyone’s Mechanic series

Word Count: 57,607
Book Length: NOVEL
Pages: 233

Genres:

ACTION AND ADVENTURE
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
GAY
GLBTQI

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Book Description

Nikolai is the fun-loving, flamboyant cousin of Sergei Barinov. He doesn’t know a lot about cars but is happy working as the desk person at Everyone’s Mechanic while he completes his doctorate in finance and accounting. While his parents never accepted who he was, he at least had Cousin Sergei’s family to love and support him. Comfortable in his own skin, he dresses according to his mood, which could be a skirt and makeup or sweatpants. He has crushed on Brandon since he met him but has never been able to be around him without doing something embarrassing. He would love a chance to show Brandon that he’s not just style without substance.

Brandon began interning with Sergei’s company in college and has since worked his way up to be his right-hand man. He is very regimented, likes his routines and needs to stay focused to complete his many duties for Sergei. Brandon is also balancing secretly raising his now-fifteen-year-old brother. He has watched from afar as Nikolai went from being a gangly, awkward teenager to a stunning adult. Brandon might wish he could take the time to get to know Nikolai better, but he doesn’t feel he can add one more thing to his already-full plate.

When Sergei tasks the pair to work together to plan an LGBTQ youth center, sparks fly. Will they decide to take a chance—or will outside forces ruin the possibility before they can even get started?

Reader advisory: This book makes references to addiction, alcohol, attempted violence and drug use.


Excerpt

 

“You have a bruise on your cheek. What the hell happened?”

“Would you believe I ran into a door?”

Sergei widened his stance and put his hands on his hips, giving Nikolai his sternest stare. Nikolai rushed to explain. “Seriously, I saw Brandon going into your building yesterday afternoon as I was leaving, and I was so busy watching him that I ran right into the doorjamb.” Nikolai grimaced. “Not my finest moment, to be sure.”

Sergei’s stern expression morphed into an amused one and he coughed into his hand while avoiding eye contact with Nikolai. When their gazes met, Sergei lost the fight and laughed until he had tears running down his face and had to lean against the counter to support himself.

Nikolai shook his head in disgust at his cousin’s antics. “Yeah, yeah. Laugh it up. You do realize you probably just got grease on your suit, right?” Working at a garage had its advantages, including the apartment he was able to rent above the business, but spic and span cleanliness was not one of those perks. Oh, the owner, Kirk, ran a tight ship and everything was as clean as possible, but it was still a garage. It was Nikolai’s turn to laugh as Sergei looked down at himself to search for dirt on his custom suit.

Sergei took a swipe at his jacket before shrugging and looking back at Nikolai.

“So, why are you here?”

“I need a favor.”

“I figured.” Nikolai made a rolling hand gesture to try to encourage Sergei to spit it out.

Sergei’s forehead furrowed. “I’m a little concerned, though, that you won’t be able to complete this favor without causing yourself bodily harm.”

“What? Why?”

“I need you to work with Brandon on a project.”

“You need me to work with your personal assistant, Brandon Whitaker, on a project? But he hates me.”

“He doesn’t hate you.”

“Doesn’t know what to do with me then?”

Sergei shrugged one of his massive shoulders as Nikolai wished for the thousandth time that he had gotten some of Sergei’s six-foot-plus height and size. Alas, he was stuck at a measly, svelte five-foot-seven. “I can’t deny that. You confuse him, for sure, but he does respect you. He loves the reports you set up for him while you were interning last summer.”

“He was shocked I could even do spreadsheets and reports, though. He thinks I’m an idiot.”

“Only because you turn into a nervous klutz whenever he is around. A doorjamb? Really?”

“What? There’s something about him that does it for me—brown hair, brown eyes, six feet tall, those broad shoulders… Yum. What’s not to love? I know intellectually that nothing will ever come of it. Have you seen the women who come to meet him for lunch?”

“Yes, I have, and I also know none of them last more than a month.”

“He’s not gay. The number of women he takes out makes that very clear.”

“I don’t think he’s as straight as he pretends to be.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean he watches you when you aren’t looking.”

Nikolai waved his hand in the air. “He’s just trying to figure me out. As you said, I confuse him. He’s not a man who likes to be confused. He’s the man with a plan for everything.”

“Exactly my point—and I don’t think he planned for you.”

“Whatever. What is it you needed me to work on with Brandon?”

“I would like you guys to work on plans for an LGBTQ center—a place where teens can come to either hang out or to get help, counseling, the whole nine yards. I want to offer classes as well—financial ones like budgeting and checkbook balancing as well as cooking and other basics. Maybe you can talk to some of the instructors at that dojo you go to and see if they would teach some self-defense classes too. The statistics for homeless youth—especially gay homeless youth—are scary, and I want to do something about it. It will be open to all but mainly to support the community.”

Nikolai was getting excited about the project. The center was something that was desperately needed there in Raleigh and elsewhere. He felt a slight twinge at Sergei’s casual dismissal of his time spent at the dojo. He wasn’t sure what his family thought he did there three-to-five days a week, but obviously it wasn’t learning any of the skills they taught, but that was partly his fault as he’d never told them when he’d received his different color belts. It was something private for him.

He was snapped out of his ponderings by the ding of the door sensor as someone else came in. He opened his eyes wide when he realized it was Brandon. He went to stand, the chair slipped back too fast and he almost fell, catching himself with a hand on the desk, just in time. Nikolai flushed with mortification as his cheeks got hot and he ducked his head, pretending to search for something on his desk in a sad attempt to seem like he had everything under control. Snagging a pencil, Nikolai pulled his long, wavy blond hair up in a messy bun on top of his head, and shoved the pencil in to secure it.

He glanced up after a moment to find Sergei staring at him in exasperation then turning to greet Brandon. “Hey, Brandon, thanks for giving me a minute with Nikolai before coming in. Nikolai is really excited about the project.”

Nikolai took a deep breath to compose himself then turned to face Brandon. “Nice to see you again, Brandon. This should be an interesting project. I look forward to working with you on it.” There. That wasn’t too psycho.

“Yeah. It will be a challenge, but I think we can come up with something great. I know you’re pretty busy with school and here, so when do you think we can meet to get started?”

“Well, I’ve already successfully defended my thesis, so my load at school is pretty light. I’m just waiting on graduation now.”

Sergei’s gaze snapped back to Nikolai. “Wait! When did that happen?”

“A couple of weeks ago,” Nikolai said with a shrug.

“Why didn’t you say anything? We should have celebrated.”

“Well, first you were in London at that big conference, then you hibernated with your hubby for the weekend and didn’t come to family dinner. It just kind of got lost in the shuffle.”

“Did your family go to your thesis defense, at least?” Sergei asked, frowning.

Nikolai couldn’t quite hide his grimace. “Um, your parents and Sasha came. My parents couldn’t make it. It wasn’t a big deal.” Nikolai didn’t even believe himself, so he knew Sergei didn’t.

“We’ll discuss this later.”

“Nothing to discuss.”

Sergei scowled at him. “There’s a lot to discuss, but first, do you definitely want in on this project?”

“Of course, I’m in. It’s important.”

“Agreed. So, when are you available to meet on it?”

“I have sessions at the dojo tonight and tomorrow morning, but I’m free after that. I know tomorrow’s Saturday, so we can postpone to next week if you guys need to.”

“Saturday afternoon works for me. What about you Brandon?”

“Yep. That works. I have somewhere to be in the morning as well, but I will be free about noon.”

“Great. How about we meet at my house then? I’ll feed you all lunch.”

“Sounds good,” Brandon and Nikolai answered together. Nikolai could only shake his head at himself after the bolt of arousal that went through his system when he made brief eye contact with Brandon’s brown-eyed gaze. He hazarded a small smile at the man, but Brandon didn’t respond, instead breaking the connection and turning toward Sergei. “Okay. Glad that’s settled. We need to get moving. We have that meeting at two o’clock with the planning commissioner about your new property on Fayette Street.” Brandon then turned and walked out of the door after a head nod to Nikolai.

“Plan to stay after the meeting to continue our discussion about your thesis defense.”

“It really wasn’t a big deal, Sergei. You know my family doesn’t understand or approve of me and my ways.” Nikolai put air quotes around the ‘my ways’, as it was a common phrase from his mother. His mother and father were not the warm and supportive parents that Sergei’s were. Nikolai’s father was very much about toxic masculinity and a woman knowing her place in the world. Nikolai did not fit his father’s definition of a good son at all, so he was ignored—and that was fine with him. It really was, but Sergei never understood, mainly because Nikolai’s father was always on his best behavior whenever Sergei was around, thinking he could use his connection with Sergei for his own needs in some way.

The truth was—and one his father would never admit—that Nikolai’s father was both scared and jealous in equal parts of Sergei’s power. He felt that as the older Barinov male, he should have been the one to have the influence and wealth that Sergei had accumulated and that Sergei should seek his council like he was smarter, because of his age. Sergei was actually one of the most intelligent people Nikolai knew, and that was saying something because Nikolai had been going to school forever.

Sergei was also one of the hardest-working people he knew, with Brandon being right up there with him. Brandon was truly Sergei’s right-hand man, and Nikolai wasn’t saying that because he had a major crush on the man either. Part of the reason he had such a crush on him was because he worked so hard and was so dedicated to Sergei. Nikolai’s father was lazy and dedicated only to himself. Sad, but true.

Sergei interrupted his thoughts, and Nikolai scrambled to remember what they were talking about. “Not. The. Point. I don’t care how your parents feel about things. This is about communication between you and me. We will discuss it Saturday. Da?”

“Da, Sergei,” Nikolai conceded grudgingly.

“Good. I will see you tomorrow.” Sergei then followed Brandon out of the door.

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About the Author

Ann Marie James

Ann Marie James is fluent in two languages, English and sarcasm. She believes that you will never learn anything new if you don’t read as much as you can, and/or talk to every stranger you meet. She always looks for the best in people and to treat people the way she wants to be treated. Above all Ann Marie believes in love, whatever form it takes. Relationships are hard, love is the glue that keeps it together.

Giveaway

Enter for your chance to win a $50.00 First For Romance Gift Card!

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Notice:

This competition ends on 5TH October 2021 at 12am EST. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group