Clever #CoverReveal: Travel Diaries of the Dead and Delusional by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

Travel Diaries of the Dead and Delusional
Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: February 18th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Nineteen-year-old Langley is crazy…like get out the straight jacket and prepare the padded room kind of crazy. She knows it, and the kicker is—she’s choosing to stay that way. She clings to the persistent and intrusive hallucination of her dead sister by choice. Sure, it might be nice to live life in the real world. But not if it means she has to let Sarah go.

Tupper’s life is charmed. He has loving adoptive parents, and several athletic college scholarships on the table. But his passion is for the arts, for the beauty of solid ink lines on paper. His illustrations are eerily similar to a keepsake from his birth mother, Anna: comic-book-style drawings scrawled across an old map…her version of a travel diary. At eighteen, Tupper sidesteps his planned future and starts his journey where Anna’s ended—following her map from Kansas City to Canada. His travels will put him on a collision course with Langley, and their bond is palpable from the start. But secrets will push between them—Sarah and Anna, two ghosts who could sink their icy fingers into the teens and tear them apart.

Perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover’s Hopeless and John Green’s Paper Towns, TRAVEL DIARY OF THE DEAD & DELUSIONAL is a unique and robust novel that explores themes of mental-illness and self-discovery from three distinct perspectives. Lauren Nicolle Taylor is the award-winning and best-selling author of Nora and Kettle and the beloved Woodlands series, among others.

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Author Bio:

Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.

She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.

She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.

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Bombastic #BookBlitz: Best Case Scenario by Dirk B. Sayers

Best Case Scenario
Dirk B. Sayers
(Nyra’s Journey, Act 1)
Publication date: April 16th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

More than a year after graduating from college, Nyra’s beginning to wonder when her life gets started. Was it like this for her mother? Nyra doubts it, but things were different then. Her reality is nothing like her mother’s.

Nyra gets that every generation faces its own challenges and she’s smart enough to know its on her to overcome them. That’s why she worked two jobs all through college, studied so hard and tried not to think too much about the mountain of student debt weighing down her tomorrow.

Still, this feeling of wading through quicksand is getting old. Buried deep in the half-formed jumble of dreams for her future, Nyra hears the siren song of hope whispering to her. She’s so ready. But is the song she hears really hope or is it illusion?

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EXCERPT:

The mirror in the women’s room leaves no refuge from Nyra’s conflicted pride and dissatisfaction. Expressive green eyes set off by her light olive complexion get lots of second looks. A prominent hawk nose calls attention to high cheekbones and overall symmetry. Striking—even pretty, maybe. Time to tweeze her eyebrows, though.

Lips a taste too full for her thin “ish” face? A boyfriend from a couple years ago had called them “kissable.” He’d wanted to do more than kiss, but had moved on to the busty blond in their Mass Marketing class—just when Nyra’s simmering sexuality was about to overwhelm Sister Elise’s warnings against “promiscuity.”

The modest swell of her breasts is all but camouflaged by her flowy tunic. Turning sideways in the mirror, Nyra pulls it tight and pouts. Does anyone even notice? She twists and stands on tip toe, for an over-the-shoulder look at her stern. Does her slender waist make her ass look too wide?

She’d once overheard her brother’s best friend Mark commenting on her “sassy chassis.” Nyra’s all-through-high school crush on Mark dated from his off-hand remark. He’d flirted persistently, but nothing ever came of it. Had Kip warned him off?

The door swings open and in walks Toni, the IT Applications Manager. Nyra pivots hastily toward the mirror.

“Hey, Nyra!” Toni smiles, pulls plum-shaded lip stick from her purse and gets to work. “You look just fine leaving, if that’s what you were wondering. How goes it in the call center?”

“Nothing but a party.” Nyra fishes lip-gloss from her own purse and concentrates unnecessarily on applying it.

“One of those days, huh? I feel you… Had a few of those working the IT help desk before I got my certification.”

“Nothing I won’t get over,” Nyra says.

“That which does not kill us?” Toni’s lips twitch in irony.

Toni has most of what Nyra wishes she had. Full, prominent breasts, perfect symmetry. Her mahogany skin seems to glow, calling attention to generous, kissable lips.

A light dusting of freckles across her nose and cheeks spills down both sides of her neck, inviting speculation. A thick cascade of glossy black curls frame her face, brushing her shoulders. And those liquid brown eyes…

Author Bio:

Dirk Sayers grew up in a university town in Iowa, where he spent his formative years with one foot in the simplicity of farm country and the other in the frenetic environment of a university town immersed in the social upheaval of the sixties. He managed to survive it all, sometimes in spite of himself.

After graduating from college, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, serving for 22 years on five continents, during peace and war. He was decorated five times and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. On retiring, he discovered, (among other things), his experience and six dollars would get him a cup of coffee everywhere…but not necessarily a job.

Accordingly, Dirk took an eighteen month sabbatical to earn a Master’s degree in Organizational Development. Hired shortly after completing his thesis, he applied his new degree as a Corporate Trainer and District Manager. After eleven years with the same company, Dirk became a casualty of the 2008 financial crisis, along with many of the men and women he helped train.

Since then, Dirk has published numerous articles and short stories and two books; a non-fiction work entitled, The Woman’s No-fear Guide to Online dating and his first novel, West of Tomorrow. He is also working on the first volume of a science fiction series, Tier Zero, Volume I of The Knolan Cycle and an anthology of short stories, entitled Through the Windshield, Drive-by Encounters with Truth.

Dirk currently lives in Laguna Niguel, with his wife, two psychotic cats, a Ball Python named Corona and a crow with a deformed talon named Hop-along. His author’s web site is dirksayers.com where he blogs about a variety of issues of interest to us all & posts the latest news regarding his writings.

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Clever #CoverReveal: My Lullaby of You by Alia Rose

My Lullaby of You
Alia Rose
Publication date: June 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

AMY

It’s the summer after high school. Amy can’t wait to leave her small hometown in North Carolina for the vibrant city of Chicago, where she plans to go to her dream college and hopes to build a stronger relationship with her father.

But as she deals with her mother’s resentment over her leaving and an intriguing yet provoking college student, Amy’s reminded of things she’s tried to forget and forced to face emotions she never expected.

SETH

It’s the summer before the last year of music school. Seth would rather be anywhere else than a small beach town in North Carolina, reopening wounds he thought he’d patched long ago and facing the father he hasn’t seen since his mother’s death.

While he’s on his mission for answers, Seth is drawn to an observant and driven local he can’t seem to figure out.

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Author Bio:

Alia has been writing since she fell in love with reading and now the characters in her head refuse to leave her alone. Her debut novel, My Lullaby of You, comes out in June 2018!

When she’s not writing, She works full time as an architectural designer and enjoy drinking too much coffee, making to-do lists, and traveling.

You can find her rambling about all of the above on Instagram and Twitter.

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Precious #PreOrder: Outcast by Denise Jaden

Title: Outcast
Author: Denise Jaden
Genre: YA Contemporary (with romantic suspense elements)
Publication Date: April 20th, 2018
Blurb:
She’s not crazy.
Kass Bateman may be a lot of things, but she swears she’s not crazy—even when she wakes up strapped to a wheelchair in a psychiatric hospital and can’t remember how she got there.
When Kass’s family members go missing one by one, she enlists the smartest guy she knows to help find them. Unfortunately for her, underneath his brains and indifference are some dark secrets and a whole lot of distracting sexy.
Can Kass keep her head together long enough to rescue her family members from their captors—the truly dangerous and crazy ones?
Gritty, steamy, and rife with secrecy, Outcast is the first book in a new upper YA/NA crossover series for fans of Gayle Forman and Rainbow Rowell.

Denise Jaden’s novels have been shortlisted or received awards through the Romance Writers of America, Inspy, and SCBWI. The first draft of her debut novel, Losing Faith, was written in 21 days during NaNoWriMo 2007 and she loves talking with writers and students alike about her Just-Get-To-The-End fast-drafting process.
Jaden’s other young adult novels include Never Enough, Foreign Exchange, A Christmas Kerril,  and Avalanche. Her non-fiction books for writers include, Writing with a Heavy Heart, Fast Fiction, and Story Sparks.
In her spare time, she homeschools her son, acts with the Vancouver film industry, and dances with a Polynesian dance troupe. Find out more at denisejaden.com.

Author Links:
Buy Links:
Denise Jaden has some pre-order / launch bonuses she is giving away. People can get all of these bonuses by emailing her proof of purchase to d@denisejaden.com . 
They are as follows:
Bonus PDF Coloring Book!
A PDF adult coloring book that accompanies the novel.
Coloring Contest!
I’ll also be holding a coloring contest for a $25 Amazon gift card. Simply snap a photo of one of your finished coloring pages and email it to me to enter. Enter with as many of the coloring pages as you like, and I will choose a winner shortly after launch on April 20th.  I will be posting entries on my social media.
Bonus Excerpt!
Read the opening seven chapters of Outcast before anyone else!
Bonus Character Interviews!
Get to know the main characters from Outcast before the book comes out with these fun character interviews.
By the principal’s reddened face, I assume he’s working himself into a tizzy, reminding himself of every single time I’ve sat in his office and shrugged off his questions. I drop into my desk chair, stare down at my sparse scrawl of notes, and will my eyes to come into focus. Sidelong glances come at me from classmates, but I don’t have the energy to stare them down today. Burke is still ranting and his words start to make their way to my brain again. Rules. Disrespect. Fail. Fail. Fail.
I won’t look up. My brain is jumbled, because something about Hope seemed true and honest and so much like Megan.
I have a sister. The sudden unbidden thought kicks me in the gut. I glance out the window and she’s still there, staring in my direction like she knows exactly which classroom, even which desk I’m in.
When I hear the word Expulsion, I look up.
Burke marches over so he’s right beside my desk, right in my face. He angles his head from side to side like he’s silently cracking his neck. “That’s right, Kass. You want to disrespect me, I’d be happy to arrange for you to leave this school.” There’s an unspoken “finally” at the end of his sentence.
I open my mouth to a dry puff of air. No, I don’t want to get kicked out. At least I don’t think I want that. But I seriously cannot concentrate. “I—I need to go home,” I say in a voice so soft, so confused, so completely unlike me, I’m tempted to look around and see if someone else said it.
“You what?” Burke booms. His eyebrows pull together, but before he can say anything else, the kid one seat back jumps out of his chair and stands between me and the principal.
Other than borrowing a pencil from him at the beginning of class, I’ve never spoken to the guy. Elijah Barton, I think is his name. He’s this quiet academic guy, as terrified of me as the rest of the student body. But apparently he’s not afraid of Mr. Burke.
“Sir, I’m sure Kass doesn’t mean any disrespect.”
Burke’s eyes practically spring out of their sockets toward Elijah, but he seems unfazed. Any other time Elijah’s line would sound downright ludicrous. Of course I mean to disrespect. I always mean to disrespect. But right now I don’t know what the hell I mean, and I’m ecstatic for someone, anyone, who’s willing to form a sentence on my behalf.
I can’t for the life of me figure out why Elijah’s doing it.
“I know how hard…family stuff can be,” Elijah goes on, undaunted by our military-teacher-slash-principal’s glare. “Sometimes there are things that are more urgent than class.”
I glance back to the parking lot. Hope is still there. My sister.
Mr. Burke studies Elijah for a second and something unsaid passes between them.  Obviously Elijah has told Mr. Burke his story, whatever it is. Elijah keeps his eyes on the principal’s and doesn’t flinch. I finally find it within me to bend toward my backpack and at least pull out my essay. I slide it across my desk and Mr. Burke snaps it up without even looking in my direction.
He turns on his heel and heads back to his desk. I can’t believe it. He’s going to let it go?
“Everyone stays until the bell,” Mr. Burke murmurs, then shoots a pointed look back at me. “Everyone.”

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Clever #CoverReveal: Love You S’more by Beth Merlin

Love You S’more
Beth Merlin
(The Campfire Series, #3)
Published by: Firefly Hill Press
Publication date: August 21st 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

Having successfully designed the wedding gown of the century, Gigi Goldstein is on top of the world – that is until it all suddenly comes crashing down around her. When the paparazzi captures her and Perry Gillman in a compromising moment the night of the royal wedding, she finds herself entangled in a scandal of global proportion. Convinced her carelessness has ruined every relationship in her life, she’s surprised and moved by her boyfriend, Gideon’s, sudden proposal of marriage and accepts it without a second thought.

Four months later, Gigi’s living at Badgley Hall contemplating an entirely new kind of life, while guilt, regret, and obligation keep calling her back to her old one. Will Gigi stay in South Gloucestershire, marry Gideon, and become the Countess of Harronsby?

Or, will unfinished opportunities and an old flame bring her back across the pond to confront her past and reclaim her future?

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Previous books in the series:

Author Bio:

Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.

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Clever #CoverReveal: Best Case Scenario by Dirk B. Sayers

Best Case Scenario
Dirk B. Sayers
(Nyra’s Journey, Act 1)
Publication date: April 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

More than a year after graduating from college, Nyra’s beginning to wonder when her life gets started. Was it like this for her mother? Nyra doubts it, but things were different then. Her reality is nothing like her mother’s.

Nyra gets that every generation faces its own challenges and she’s smart enough to know its on her to overcome them. That’s why she worked two jobs all through college, studied so hard and tried not to think too much about the mountain of student debt weighing down her tomorrow.

Still, this feeling of wading through quicksand is getting old. Buried deep in the half-formed jumble of dreams for her future, Nyra hears the siren song of hope whispering to her. She’s so ready. But is the song she hears really hope or is it illusion?

Add to Goodreads

Author Bio:

Dirk Sayers grew up in a university town in Iowa, where he spent his formative years with one foot in the simplicity of farm country and the other in the frenetic environment of a university town immersed in the social upheaval of the sixties. He managed to survive it all, sometimes in spite of himself.

After graduating from college, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, serving for 22 years on five continents, during peace and war. He was decorated five times and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. On retiring, he discovered, (among other things), his experience and six dollars would get him a cup of coffee everywhere…but not necessarily a job.

Accordingly, Dirk took an eighteen month sabbatical to earn a Master’s degree in Organizational Development. Hired shortly after completing his thesis, he applied his new degree as a Corporate Trainer and District Manager. After eleven years with the same company, Dirk became a casualty of the 2008 financial crisis, along with many of the men and women he helped train.

Since then, Dirk has published numerous articles and short stories and two books; a non-fiction work entitled, The Woman’s No-fear Guide to Online dating and his first novel, West of Tomorrow. He is also working on the first volume of a science fiction series, Tier Zero, Volume I of The Knolan Cycle and an anthology of short stories, entitled Through the Windshield, Drive-by Encounters with Truth.

Dirk currently lives in Laguna Niguel, with his wife, two psychotic cats, a Ball Python named Corona and a crow with a deformed talon named Hop-along. His author’s web site is dirksayers.com where he blogs about a variety of issues of interest to us all & posts the latest news regarding his writings.

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Compelling #ChapterReveal: Crux Untamed by Tillie Cole


ONLY BOUNDLESS LOVE CAN SILENCE THE WHISPERS OF THE PAST . . .



A broken woman.
A damaged man.
A free spirit intent on saving them both.

Elysia ‘Sia’ Willis lives a solitary life. The only person in it is her big brother, Ky, vice-president of the infamous Hades Hangmen. She loves him, but she has absolutely no love for the outlaw MC he belongs to.
Raised in secret by her mother, Sia grew up separated from her brother and distant father. No one knew she even existed.

After the tragic murder of her mother, Sia spiraled into a rebellion against the rules of the Hangmen. A rebellion with dire consequences that now, years later, she still can’t escape.

As she lives once again in secret, happy on her own at her secluded ranch, a devil from her past comes calling. A devil who wants to possess her once again and take her from the simple life she never wants to lose.
And he will stop at nothing to collect what he believes is his: her.

Valan ‘Hush’ Durand and Aubin ‘Cowboy’ Breaux have finally found a home in the mother chapter of the Hangmen. The notoriously private Cajun twosome have, for now, put aside what chased them from their beloved Louisiana. But as threats toward the club build, Hush and Cowboy are given a task—protect Elysia Willis at all costs. Cowboy welcomes the job of watching over the blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty.
Hush fights against it.

Scarred by events from his past and a secret that plagues his everyday life, Hush refuses to let anyone else get close. Only Cowboy knows the real him. Until a certain sister of the club’s VP begins to slowly knock down his defenses, shattering the heavily built walls that guard his damaged soul . . . with his best friend leading the charge.

As lost and open hearts begin to meld, taking each other from indescribable pain to the never-before felt relief of peace, the newly-mended threesome must first endure one more rocky path.
Only then will they finally shake free of the shackles of their pasts.
Only then will they shed the bonds that have for too long held their happiness captive.
And there is only one way to survive that path . . . together.

Dark Contemporary MFM Romance. Contains scenes of violence and explicit sexual situations. Over 18’s only.

Sia
High Ranch, Austin, Texas
Present Day

“Steady . . . steady . . .”
Sandy’s ears flicked back and forth as she heard me soothe her from my place in the center of the ring. I kept my newest mare’s training rein loose as she trotted on the sand. Her coat was lathered with sweat; so was my forehead. The sun was burning a hole in my jean-clad ass.
“Okay, enough for today,” I announced, both to Sandy and myself.
I had just fed her with hay and water and locked her stall door when I heard the all too familiar sound of motorcycles roaring in the distance.
Frowning, I headed out of the barn. I walked to the front of my house and spotted two Harleys as they approached my door.
Styx and Ky, I realized, giving them a surprised wave.
They didn’t wave back.
I perched on the top step of my porch as they pulled to a stop and flicked out their kickstands. Ky smoothed back his long hair and strode toward me. I got to my feet. “What y’all doing here?”
I hugged Ky. He held on a little too long. It was weird. I pulled back, curious, only for him to look out to the distance, checking around my ranch. I was about to ask him what was up when Styx came toward me and gave me a brief one-armed hug.
“Hey, Styx. How’re Mae and Bump?” A flicker of a smile graced Styx’s lips.
“Good,” he signed, but my attention snapped back to Ky when my brother said, “Get inside, sis. We need to talk.”
He grabbed my elbow and guided me forcefully up the porch steps. “Hey!” I said. He pulled harder, not releasing my arm. “Hey! Dickhead!” I wrenched my arm back. I turned on my heel to meet my brother’s moody-ass face. “What the hell are you doing?”
“For once in your fucking life, will you just do as I say, Sia?” Ky said, exasperated. His face was red . . . in fact, so were his eyes.
I crossed my arms across my chest. “What’s wrong? Why are your eyes all bloodshot? Why do you look like shit?” I shook my head. “And more to the point, why are you handling me like a damn child?”
Ky sighed. His eyes closed, and he opened his mouth to speak. But then he didn’t . . .
Styx cleared his throat. “Been a stressful time lately.”
“Why?” I asked, immediately panicked. “Is Lilah okay? Grace?” I quickly checked my brother over for wounds, or . . . hell, I didn’t know what else. What the hell trouble bikers could get into. “Are you okay?”
My heart started pounding, some weird sense of dread seeping through my body like a poison. Ky opened his eyes and nodded. “Everyone’s fine.” But I could see through his pretense. I was just about to call bullshit when Ky blurted, “Garcia’s back.”
I was sure the warm wind was blowing, because I saw strands of my blond hair floating in front of my eyes, but I didn’t feel it. Ky’s mouth was working, saying something I was meant to hear, yet to my ears, he made no sound. I was lost to the memory of heavy footsteps on creaking floorboards as they approached my room. Memories of screams and barked orders scourged my mind . . . and his touch, his fingers running down my back, his lips nipping at my ear as he caressed my burned flesh. As—
“Sia!” Ky was holding my arms, shaking me from my stupor. I blinked, but a suffocating lump clogged my throat. I blinked fast to rid the flood of tears from my eyes. “Sia,” he repeated, softer this time. I stared at my brother, wordlessly. “Get inside.”
I let him lead me into my home and to the couch. A glass of whiskey appeared in my hand a second later, courtesy of Styx. I knocked it back in one, relishing the burning feeling that filled my chest. I shakily placed the glass on the coffee table and turned to look at Ky.
“You better?”
“Yeah,” I said. “He’s . . . he’s found me?” My voice was choked. I couldn’t have hidden my fear even if I’d wanted to.
“Not yet,” Ky assured me. He got to his feet and began to pace. “Some club shit went down a while ago, and Garcia was involved. Fucker saw me and Styx.” Ky met Styx’s eyes. Styx nodded. Ky removed an envelope from the pocket of his cut. He placed it before me. I stared at the obviously expensive stationery on the table. My hands shook as I slowly reached forward and opened it. A Polaroid picture peeped out. When I finally pulled the picture out and turned it to face me, every ounce of blood in my veins seemed to drain to my feet.
A single black rose.
A black rose, on a bed I recognized so well.
There was no note. No explanation. But I didn’t need one. This image spoke more than a thousand words ever could.
“Mi rosa negra,” the echo of his voice whispered in my mind. His heavy Mexican accent sliding around the words like a delicate silk scarf wrapped around a thorn-studded vine.
All of the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. “Where . . .?” I cleared my throat. “Where was this sent to?”
“The club.” Ky slumped to sit beside me. “Don’t like the cryptic shit”—he pointed to the Polaroid—“but I know that it’s his brand or something, yeah? The one he forced on you? On the girls he traffics?” I instinctively ran my hand over the plaid shirt covering my shoulder, where the small black rose tattoo had once desecrated my skin. I could still feel the scar under my fingertips, out of sight but never gone. And if I ever dared show my bare skin to the sun, a white outline would form as the area around it tanned. Erased, yet forever seared into my very flesh.
Worse still, the longer I stared at that picture, the more someone else flickered to my mind, a face I reflexively recalled several times a day. Brief images of what might have happened to her. But only ever enough to taunt me; I didn’t know how to mentally unlock the rest. Where she was—
“Sia!” Ky called. I blinked into focus. My brother kneeled in front of me. “You’re coming home with me.”
I shook my head. “No.” My arms wrapped over my chest, a shield to fend off the thought of leaving. “I don’t want to.” I swept my eyes around my home. The only place I now ever felt safe in. “You know I can’t leave.” Ky went to speak, but I cut in before he could. “I know I went to y’all’s weddings. I wouldn’t have missed them for the world. But I can’t leave here for too long. I . . . I . . .” I searched for more of an explanation, to put into words the vapid stream of anxiety forming in my stomach like a black pit, stealing all of my courage, my reason, my sanity, my very being.
It was ironic: when I was a teen, I made a vow to leave Austin and stop all contact with the Hangmen.
Then, one escape . . .
That was all it took to make me wish I had never set foot outta Texas. Never cut all ties with the Hangmen.
And one man . . .
One man, named Garcia, to make me long for the lazy Texas days and the sound of horses’ hooves padding on the grass outside of my old bedroom window.
“I don’t give a shit if you wanna come or not, Sia. You’re coming, and that’s that.”
The lack of empathy in Ky’s outright order broke through the mental fog that shielded my inner thoughts. A fire ignited the kindling that lived within me. My chin tilted high and my eyes narrowed to stare at my brother. “Don’t you dare speak to me like that, Kyler Willis. Don’t mistake me for a club whore who’ll jump at your command.” Ky’s face reddened. But I wouldn’t be spoken to like this. Right now, my brother resembled the one man who’d treated me like an errant child. A man I blamed for all the shit in my life. “I love Lilah, I truly do. But I am not some meek and submissive woman who’ll accept your orders. I’m your sister, not your fucking lapdog.”
Ky slowly rose to his feet. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply.
“Does he know where I live?” I asked my brother. He didn’t answer. “I said, does Garcia know where I am?”
Ky’s eyes snapped open. “It’s only a matter of time.”
I got to my feet, ignoring the shaking of my legs. I boldly met Ky’s eyes. “Then I ain’t leaving my ranch. I’m hidden. I’ve been hidden for years. False identity. False deeds on this place. For Christ’s sake, I live in the fucking boondocks. No one around for miles. He ain’t making me leave my home. I won’t give him that satisfaction.”
“Think again.” Ky stood taller. “Get upstairs and pack a bag, and tell that young bitch we hired to help you that she’ll be taking care of things around here ’til you’re back. Tell her there’s a family emergency or some shit.”
My heart pumped faster. “I. Ain’t. Going. Clara can’t deal with everything herself. We have two mares in foal, two saddle broncs that need training. I’m needed here.”
We argued back and forth, back and forth, voices and tempers rising, until a loud whistle cut through our squabbling. I snapped my eyes to Styx, who was standing before the fireplace. His face was like thunder, and he looked like a fucking Titan, he was so huge. He raised his hands. “Sia, grab your shit. You’re coming with us.” I swallowed, defeat settling over me like an unwelcome rain shower on a sunny day. “Ky, calm the fuck down.” Ky turned and bust out of the front door of my ranch. I watched my brother go. I had an eerie feeling that this—the argument, his shitty mood—wasn’t all down to Garcia.
Styx cleared his throat. “You two are way too fucking similar. Both a pain in my ass.” He paused, then signed, “More going on at the club than you know. So how about you chill the fuck out with all the dramatics. I get enough on the daily with my fucknut brothers without adding you into the mix.” His lips tightened, and I knew I wasn’t gonna get my way. “You’re coming with us. I ain’t giving you an option. You’re Hangmen family. And that fucker is sniffing around. Pack your bag so we can get the fuck gone.”
Feeling like a sulking teen, I stormed past Styx toward my bedroom, shouldering him as I passed. He didn’t even move. “Sometimes I fucking hate the family I’ve been born into. Chauvinistic pricks. Y’all have fucking god complexes.”
Styx didn’t even flinch at my words. “As long as that complex belongs to the Dark Lord holding a noose and an Uzi, I’m fucking all right with owning that shit. It’s the way it is. Ain’t gonna change because you’re pitching a fit,” he signed. “You don’t have to like my orders, but you will obey them.” Then he added, “You’ve got ten minutes,” before he left to go after my brother.
Too angry to even give two shits about what was wrong with Ky—it was probably some “club business” I wouldn’t be allowed to know anyway—I stuffed clothes and toiletries into a bag and called Clara to ask her to watch the ranch while I was gone and get help from the vet if she needed it. He owed me a favor or a million for taking in sick horses when his practice was full.
Ten minutes later, my house was locked up and I was in my truck, following my brothers to the Hangmen compound. With each mile I drove away from the safe haven of my ranch, I felt less and less myself. I heard Garcia’s voice in my head, telling me he was coming for me. Threatening that he’d own me once and for all.
But like Kyler, I was good at covering what was bothering me.
So I’d pull up my big-girl panties and stay at the club for a while. As we passed through downtown Austin, lights from South Congress Avenue illuminating the cab of my truck, I let two images of Hades guide me: his smug face, and a noose, reminding why I ran away all those years ago.
This club was quicksand. A quicksand in which I was hell-bent on not getting stuck.

Tillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

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