AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – Ellie Masters


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★★ ELLIE MASTERS ★★


TFcover.jpgTWIST OF FATE

Genre: Romantic suspense/thriller

Details: Full length, multi POV, standalone, HEA novel

Author: Ellie Masters

ARCs will be available for read/review third week in January.

Blurb:

Melissa is a victim, capable of attracting only the worst kind of man. She seeks redemption for crimes she did not commit.

CJ struggles to absolve himself of an unforgivable act. He seeks salvation through heroism, but fails every day.

Our prince, a man with the blackest of hearts and an endless capacity to inflict pain, seeks validation for his work. His corruption is absolute, but even he will sacrifice for love.

Meanwhile, a man of pure evil invades their lives, weaving his sinister threads and binding their futures.

But Fate has different plans for them all. As tornados tear through the town, their lives will be uprooted, twisted, and tangled beyond what any of them could foresee.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33310128-twist-of-fate

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CHANGING ROLES

Genre: Dark Romance/Mystery


BLURB:

Kate Summers’s career on the Police Force came to an implosive end when the Mayor’s wife exposed her secret life as the Mistress of Pain. Kate lost not only her detective’s badge, but something much more valuable. She lost her confidence as a Mistress of men.

She now scrapes by as a private investigator, feeding off the misery of others. When the Mayor and his wife ask her to investigate the murder of their daughter, Kate faces a difficult decision. To follow the leads, she must reenter the world that destroyed her career and go undercover as a submissive to a noted Dom. Only Kate swore she’d never endure the submissive role again.

Yet Jake Davenport is the one dominant fearless enough to not only challenge her rules, but break them. While accepting her new role and the erotic thrill it brings her is difficult enough, Jake’s complicated past raises many questions. As her investigation progresses, the man she’s fallen in love with might just be her number one suspect.


Buy Link:

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HIcover.jpgHEARTS INTENSITY

An Angel Fire  Rock Romance

Genre: Contemporary Rock Romance

Blurb:

Skye Summers endured a tragic past. She wants what the past stole, and despite lingering scars, she’s surviving and thriving. Now she cures the sick, heals the wounded, and takes care of those clinging to life. The only person she can’t heal is herself, because Skye is too broken for love.

Ash Dean has it all: Fame, fortune, and the adoration of screaming fans. The constant parties, drugs, alcohol, and an endless string of one-night stands are taking their toll. He gives and his fans take, until he’s lost within the crowd. He wants someone to see him for the man he wishes to be rather than the one he’s become.



One fate…

Two lives…

Three Days…

That’s the proposition…


It would be insane to accept and Skye’s a fool to agree, but she’s tired of playing it safe, besides what could go wrong?

Buy Links:

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ASHES TO NEW

ashes.jpgAn Angel Fire  Rock Romance Prequel Novella

Genre: Women’s Lit/Abuse Survival

Blurb:

Ashes to New, prequel to Heart’s Insanity: an Angel Fire Rock Romance, is a story about the fiercest kind of love. It’s about enduring. Surviving. And never giving up. Elsbeth and Forest are two teenagers trapped within an abusive foster home. They endure tragedy, but find there is light in the darkest places. With hope is as limitless as the summer sky, all they need is the love of one another to survive.

Buy LInks:

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https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8071b21f8/

About the author:

ellie.jpgELLIE MASTERS is the bestselling author of Heart’s Insanity: an Angel Fire Rock Romance. She writes multiple genres, creating the stories she loves to read. These are dark erotic tales. Or maybe sweet contemporary stories. How about a romantic thriller to whet your appetite? Ellie writes it all. Want to read passionate poems and sensual secrets? She does that too. Dip into the eclectic mind of Ellie Masters, spend time exploring the sensual realm where she breathes life into her characters and brings them from her mind to the page and into the heart of her readers every day.

When not writing, Ellie can be found outside, where her passion for all things outdoor reigns supreme: off­ roading, ATV-ing, scuba diving, hiking, and breathing fresh air, are just a few of her favorite pursuits.

She has lived all over the United States, east, west, north, south and central, but grew up under the Hawaiian sun. Now, Ellie is proud to call herself a Southern transplant, learning to say y’all and ‘bless her heart’ with the best of them. She lives with her beloved husband, two children who refuse to flee the nest, and four fur-­babies; three cats who rule the household, and a dog who wants nothing other than for the cats to be his friends. The cats have a different opinion regarding this matter.

Ellie’s favorite way to spend an evening is curled up on a couch, laptop in place, watching a fire, drinking a good wine, and bringing forth all the characters from her mind to the page and hopefully into the hearts of her readers.

Stay In Touch:

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Author Spotlight – Gabriella Massina

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – GABRIELLA MASSINA!

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Kate Gardener Mysteries Series

 

De Profundis – Book 2

As faithful parishioners gather for Vespers on All Saints Day, a dp-front-coverbeloved priest is bludgeoned to death in the church sacristy…

Though he is no stranger to controversy, the priest’s death sends shockwaves through the community. Allegations from the past come to light when a young seminarian, the victim of sexual abuse, is found hiding on the church property, his clothing covered with blood.
Forensic photographer Kate Gardener has her doubts about the young man’s guilt, and her hunches are seldom wrong. The twists and turns of this complicated and controversial case throw Kate into the path of the members of a notorious dining club…. and a very handsome young architect. Romantic entanglements must take a backseat to the case, however, as the investigation intensifies and the inquest into the death of Neville Crane looms.

Together with Detective Sergeant Richard Pierce, Jimi Khan, and the rest of the team, Kate must overcome her fears and face the ghosts of her past in the race to piece the clues together and catch a brutal murderer before he strikes again.

Adult Language
Adult Situations

** This book includes a vivid description of the experience of 9/11 that some readers may find disturbing. Readers’ discretion is advised. **

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Author Spotlight – Gabriella Massina

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – GABRIELLA MASSINA!

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Kate Gardener Mysteries Series

 

The Memory of Trees – Book 1

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On a crisp September morning, a jogger stumbles upon an horrific scene in a London park…

When forensic photographer Kate Gardener steps in for her injured supervisor, the brash American ex-pat finds herself at the scene of a truly brutal murder. The naked, castrated body of a young pharmacist has been found at the edge of Regent’s Park.

Gifted with acute sensitivity and a “photographic” memory, Kate is uniquely suited to capturing the details of crime scenes and seeing what others do not see. Something about this crime scene haunts her, though, and her frustration grows as the investigation proceeds.

After the victim is linked to the sensational decade-old murder of a young woman, and a second equally-brutal crime scene is discovered, Kate has to agree with New Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad detectives that there is a definite link between the cases. Then crime scene photos go missing — and a coworker’s strange behaviour takes centre stage — and Kate begins to fear that the murderer may be close to the case… and about to strike again.

Kate’s instincts for solving crimes have always been spot-on… but finding the truth this time may be more dangerous than she could ever have imagined.

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Author Spotlight – Gabriella Messina

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – GABRIELLA MESSINA!

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Excerpt

“Nice shot.” The Hooded Man’s voice was surprising: rich yet with

a touch of softness to the timbre. Sam watched him walk to Franco’s

body. The Hooded Man crouched for a moment, looked steadily at

the body.

“I’ll call… for help.” Geez, is that my voice?

The Hooded Man didn’t respond and Sam started to wonder if he’d

even heard her. Sam reached into her pocket for… the phone.  The

phone that got tossed. Shit!

“There’s only one way to help him now.” The Hooded Man stood

up, raised his weapon and aimed it at Franco’s abdomen. He fired,

the bullet blasting into his body just below the sternum.

Sam quickly raised up the gun and trained it on him. “Put the gun

down!”

The Hooded Man glanced toward her briefly but seemed

untroubled by her clipped order. Franco whimpered a final time

and was still.  “Any minute now.”

Sam kept the gun aimed at him as she looked at Franco’s body. The

skin color had changed, taking on a silvery sheen. Sam closed her

eyes, opened them. The body seemed to be moving, a subtle gelatin

like shudder. Beads of the silvery sheen rolled off the body like

sweat, soaking into the ground below.

He’s… it’s melting. The fuckin’ body is MELTING. Sam backed away

and leaned against a nearby tree, the gun lowered at her side.

The Hooded Man continued to watch the body until nothing

remained but a darkened patch where the body had been. He

holstered his weapon and pushed back the sweatshirt hood, ran a

hand through his wavy black hair, causing longish pieces on the top

of his head to stand at odd angles. He looked to be in his early

thirties, but a kind of dark maturity gave him an air of timelessness.

His eyes were dark, a rich coffee brown that nearly verged on black,

with heavy black eyebrows rising above them. She’d been a little

over-generous in her height estimation; with the hood back, he was

tall, but his wiry build gave him an illusion of greater height.

He watched Sam for a moment before he stepped away from the

melting site and joined her by the tree. “You all right?”

Sam was silent, staring at the spot where Franco, or whatever he

had become, had melted away.

The Hooded Man watched her a moment more, then reached into

his pocket, pulled out a piece of soft white cloth. He reached over,

dabbing at the blood that had trickled down her neck from the cut

Franco had made. He dabbed once, twice; as he reached to dab a

third time, Sam shivered slightly, grabbed his hand.

She watched his face relax a bit as he released the cloth into her

hand. “That was a little close, wasn’t it?” His voice had a bit of an

accent, maybe Irish or something. That wasn’t going to help her

concentration.

Sam blotted at her neck, glared at the handsome man in front of her.

“Close, yeah, thanks. What was that?”

The Hooded Man glanced at the melting scene then looked back at

Sam. “Some poor bastard infected with LV.”

Sam stopped blotting. “LV?”

“Lycanthropic Virus.”

Sam gave him a blank look. “I’m sorry, I left my medical

encyclopedia in my other coat. What does that mean exactly?”

“A virus which causes Lycanthropy.”

“Lycanthropy, I see.” Sam moved away from the tree, began to

make big circles as she scanned the ground searching for her phone.

She stopped suddenly. “Wait a minute. Is that, like, werewolves?”

“Like, yeah. What are you looking for?”

“My phone.” She groaned, resumed her search. “Werewolves, huh?

Not to antagonize the crazy person or anything, but when was the

last time you had a CAT scan?”

Her phone appeared in front of her face. Sam looked up at the

Hooded Man, took the phone from him. “Six months ago.” He

raised his other hand; Sam’s Lorcin pistol hung before her eyes.

Sam hesitated a second, then took her gun, tossing him a small

smile in thanks. “Uh-huh, well, you need another one.”

She started walking away from the scene and toward the low-level

noise and movement of Broadway. The Hooded Man followed her.

“You know, after what just happened, after what you just saw, I

would think you’d be more open-minded than this.”

“I’m a New Yorker, I was born open-minded.” Sam picked up her

pace, keeping it steady and brisk as she reached Broadway and

started up the street.

“So, what happened to Sick Boy?”

“Who?”

“The kid who robbed the store, who was hit by the bus.”

Sam stopped suddenly. The Hooded Man had walked on a few

steps before he noticed that she had stopped. He backtracked to

stand in front of her.

Sam looked at him warily, placed her hand near the gun in her

pocket. “You. You were there, by the vendor. The man in black.

Who are you?”

“Vincent Kremer, at your service.” He bowed slightly at the waist,

adding a flourish with his right hand then smiled.

He has a nice smile, nice everything actually… oh, what the hell, Sam?

You’re just one big hormone anymore… Shook her head, banishing the

thoughts away and focusing in again on Vincent where he stood on

the sidewalk. She frowned. “Why were you there? Were you

following that kid? Oh, wait, let me guess… He was a werewolf.”

Vincent grinned. “You’re catching on.”

“Good Lord.” Sam rolled her eyes and marched past him,

continuing up Broadway. Vincent hurried to catch up to her, talking

all the way.

“Jekyll and Hyde. The beast within realized. The virus enables the

physical transformation; drugs eliminate the ability to control it.

Result – a short, violent life spent preying upon the homeless, the

sick, the weak, spreading the evil as they go. A physical

manifestation of everything dark that lurks within.” He paused,

seemingly for breath, as they neared St. Paul’s and Vesey Street.

“You know, that bastard had been running around for two days.

Gutted a junkie in the Bowery the other night.”

Sam stopped walking, her gaze fixed on the sidewalk ahead of her.

“The Bowery, huh? Now that’s funny.”

Vincent frowned, puzzled, “Why would that be funny?”

Sam looked up at him, a matching frown on her own face. “Because

someone was spotted leaving the scene that night. A man like a

shadow.” She paused, letting it sink in, looking him up and down.

“A man in black.”

 “Oh.” Vincent looked down at his clothing. “I suppose my

wardrobe is a bit incriminating, then.”

Sam nodded, started walking again. “A bit. Now, I’m torn between

hauling your ass in on murder charges, or my personal favorite, me

walking this way and you not following me. So -”

Sam turned to look back at him, but Vincent was gone. What the hell,

c’mon with the disappearing people!

Sam noticed something laying on the ground behind her. It was just

about in the spot where Vincent would have been standing if he

hadn’t high-tailed it out of there. Sam wondered what did it… the

threat to haul him in or that she encouraged him to go away.

Sam bent to pick up the small piece of folded cardboard. A

matchbook, plain and white, half the matches gone. She opened it

and despite her tiredness, the aches and pains setting in already

from the altercation with Franco-thing, the fear and anger and

loneliness she felt right now with Ivan locked away in the

hospital… despite all that, she smiled.

Written on the inside of the matchbook cover were the initials VK

and his cell number.

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Interview for Shifter Day

 

What is your book about and why did you want to write this particular story?

My book is called BLOODLINE. It’s about a young NYPD narcotics detective named Samantha Karolyi who becomes infected with the Lycanthropic Virus, and as she goes through the changes becomes enlightened as to her family’s unique history and genetics regarding being a werewolf. It’s very much rooted in history and science. I’ve always found that sci-fi and fantasy stories that have those firm roots in reality, scientific theory and medical facts and even geography and stuff, those stories are the most convincing, they draw me in and hold my attention the best, and the zing moments, whether they are thrilling or frightening, they feel more genuine when you have that basis of reality running through the story.

This story actually began its life as a screenplay… about 15 years ago, I think? Yeah. In its earliest incarnations, Sam was a guy, Vincent was just “Krem” (and may have been a vampire), and the story was set in LA. Then a peer reviewer said something in a critique that sent the whole story in a new direction. He said that the script had a lot of good elements, but needed something to set it apart, and that maybe Sam should be a girl. And that set me on a new path with the story. Sam became a girl, “Krem” became Vincent, Ivan morphed from wise old friend to cantankerous grandfather, and the whole story shifted to the East Coast, to New York City.

Why did I want to write it? Well, I’ve always enjoyed movies like Underworld, or An American Werewolf in London… TV shows like Buffy, the Vampire Slayer… So it seemed kind of natural to gravitate toward the genre. The original idea sparked one night when I was watching The Lost Boys and I thought wouldn’t it be cool to have the two Coreys in another movie like that, that genre, but as adults (It wasn’t too long after that that Corey Haim died) … So that’s where the seed of the story came from originally.

How did you come up with the lead character(s)?

Sam is me, plain and simple. And there really aren’t enough female werewolves out there. I think because that monthly werewolf cycle is to much like the human hormonal cycle and people are literally terrified of what those two surges coming together could be like.

Ivan is essentially a depiction of my grandfather in his later years… The temperament, the illnesses, all of it… In fact, the story about the lentils that’s in there was something he actually told me when I was little… I remember straining to look out the back window and see if I could see those “lentils” out dancing on the lawn *laughing*…

Vincent… well, Vincent began as kind of the mysterious guy who shows up and helps out the hero… Kind of like Angel did to help Buffy… But by the time the story transitioned into book form, the character began to change… I think in some ways he’s even more mysterious than he was in the beginning… and when I “cast” Aidan Turner in the role, so to speak, Vincent really came to life.

Out of all the characters in your book, who is your favorite to write? 

Sam is easy, ‘cause I can just look at the situation, the scene, and approach it from my point of view really. Vincent is fun, too, because… well, it’s Vincent *winks*… I enjoyed exploring Dr. Hudson’s character a lot, hearing what he’s thinking and feeling. When you write screenplays, you have to go for minimal, bare bones, only what you can see, so getting the chance to get to known him better as I wrote it out was fun. I think there are a lot more nuances to his character that are explored in this book, and we’ll be explored further in the next book. In the same way, Ben was fun. Ben is like the best guy friend I never had, and wished I had, when I was growing up. He’s clever and brave and snarky… I learned so much about his past and what makes him tick, and I can’t wait to see how he grows in book two.

How do you choose when/which characters die in your books?

Well, I haven’t had a death in any of my writing yet, so I don’t know. But I think if I do write a death into any of my work, it will happen at a time to a character that will have the most impact on the other characters… The death of a character needs to be an event that throws the story in a new direction, not just the plotline itself, but the character arcs as well. Good or bad, the death of a character changes everything.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Lack of time and distractions. Getting the opportunity to write can be very difficult… Sometimes I can’t do a thing until after 11 o’clock at night, and after a full day I’m often too mentally tired to accomplish anything. Plus I write for a living, so assignments always have to take priority. And there can be a lot of distractions… My son is five… ‘Nuff said, right? And often between television being on and people trying to talk to you… It can be rough… When I wrote screenplays, it was nothing to crack out 15 pages in an evening, but now… some days I’m lucky if I hit 250 words.

Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?

I learned so much about New York City writing this story, its geography, its history. When I first wrote the screenplay, I had never been to the city. I just used a guide book and maps and pictures… and it must have worked, because peer reviewers commented on how real the city felt. That only increased as I wrote the book, and I found a lot of stuff that will work its way into book two.

There’s an important thread of history through the story, too, and medical knowledge… I realize Nazis can be a bit clichéd in horror, fantasy and sci-fi genre as the bad guys, but I feel the angle I took in the story was a novel one, and the information it brings in about Auschwitz and Mengele and Operation Wehrwolf… I think it makes for a very real anchor for the story.

So, Book Two… Are you writing it and when can your fans expect to see it?

I am writing the next book… It’s going to be titled QUICKSILVER and I’m planning for release in February 0f 2017. Barring anything unforeseen, I want to get it published February 14th… Besides being Valentine’s Day, it was also the time of year when the Ancient Romans had their Lupercalia festival, which was all about fertility and wolves… and both of those topics play into this new book. You get to learn a lot more about Vincent, about Jack Hudson, and about what’s really going on with weres in the NYC.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

My readers… Let me just savor that for a moment… There are so many writers out there, so many good books, so many in this genre… To know that people are reading and loving what you write is such an amazing feeling… Okay… I think I’d just want to say thank you so much for reading my work, I hope you enjoyed it, and I’d really love to hear what you think. Review, comment, shoot me an email, tweet me, whatever… I would love to hear from you!

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Author Spotlight – Gabriella Messina

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – GABRIELLA MESSINA!

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The Bloodline – Book 1

 

 Blurb

“Samantha needs to understand who she is, where she came from, why we are who, and what, we are.”

After a death-defying fall, Detective Samantha “Sam” Karolyi hopes to use her leave from work to heal her body, and care for her aging grandfather, Ivan. But a series of strange incidents intrudes on her rehabilitation – a drug addict gutted in an alley; a young thief’s suicide by bus; bodies disappearing from the City Mortuary – and Sam realizes that something is terribly wrong in New York City.

When her grandfather is attacked by a vicious animal and left for dead, Sam begins an investigation that places her directly in the path of one of these animals, an encounter that leaves Sam wounded… And infected with Lycanthropic Virus.

Werewolves, creatures of legend, now roam the streets of New York City.

As she struggles through the physical and emotional transformation process, Sam – along with her partner, Lenny; her childhood friend, Ben; and a mysterious “Man in Black” – begins to uncover the truth about these werewolves, and the truth about the BLOODLINE.

 Copyright © 2013 by Gábriella Messina

Based upon the original screenplay, “The Devil Inside”; Copyright © 2005 by Gábriella Messina

This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual events, locales or people, living, dead or undead, is purely coincidental.

This work contains Adult Language, Adult Situations, Violence and some Sexuality. Readers’ discretion is advised.

71,308 words

Approx. 352 pages

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Excerpt

“What’s the matter with your eyes?” Lenny stared at her, a strange

look on his face, a look somewhere between puzzled and freaked

out.

Sam rubbed her eyes again. Strange… It was almost like the room,

or what she could see of it, had lost color. Things were blurry and

gray. “I don’t know. Lenny, are you sure that was Tylenol?”

Lenny pulled out the bottle again, squinting at the label. “Label is

hard to read. Kit spilled juice on it this morning.” He offered it to

Sam, saying, “You’re welcome to try deciphering it yourself.”

Sam reached out awkwardly for the bottle, bringing it close to her

face and straining to read it through the gray haze that seemed to be

covering her eyes. “Acetaminophen… 500 milligrams… Hy…” Sam

rubbed at her eyes again as the gray surged, almost completely

blocking out her field of vision. She squinted at the label again.

“Hydro…codone…” Oh no… Sam strained to see the letters of the

medications name, but she was a narcotics detective… Shit, she

already knew. “Lenny? Did you give me… Vicodin?”

“Yeah. Got them when I had that dental work done. What’s the

matter? You feel sick?”

Sam handed the bottle back to him and moved toward the

bathroom. “Um, I’m just… I need a minute, okay? Make yourself

~ 243 ~

comfortable, Len, I’ll be right back.” Sam quickly went into the

bathroom, shut the door behind her and locked it.

Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear… Sam fiddled with the switch on

the fluorescent light above the sink. Vicodin. It couldn’t even have

been a mild narcotic, a little bit of codeine, perhaps. No, it had to be

one of the big guns. Hydrocodone. Oh dear, oh d-d-d-dear-dear… Sam

found the switch and flipped it on. The light flickered to life, its

glare nearly blinding her. Sam squinted, struggling to see her

reflection in the mirror. It was not just the sudden brightness

making it difficult to see; it was the gray. Sam rubbed her eyes and

looked at the mirror again. She could see the shower curtain, the

towel bars, towels, curtains on the window… All shades of gray.

“Oh d-d-dear,” she murmured.

Ben would have laughed at her, said she sounded like Piglet. The

thought of her childhood friend made her tear up and tearing-up

was not a good thing at all.

Her eyes began to burn and ache. It felt as if they were being pried

open with hot metal tools, the eyeball itself stretching. Sam

whimpered and fumbled for the faucet. She turned on the cold

water, letting it run in a steady stream. Sam bent over and filled her

hands with the refreshingly cold water. She splashed her face

several times then focused on rinsing her eyes. The cold water felt

~ 244 ~

good, soothing the burning sensations and relieving the pressure

ever so slightly. Sam raised up, grabbed a towel from off the rack

and blotted her face dry. She looked at her reflection in the mirror –

and froze.

The eyes looking back at her from the mirror were not her eyes. It

was funny the thoughts that pop into your head at the oddest times,

but all of a sudden she was remembering her dad and something he

used to say to her when she was very little. He would take her on

his knee and lean in so their foreheads touched and would say to

her, “Where did you get those blue eyes?” Sam wished she had

gotten them somewhere because the way they looked now, she

would need to get new ones.

The eyes looking back at her from the mirror were not her eyes.

They were flat and black as if the pupils had expanded, consuming

the entirety of the irises and moving into the sclera. They were like

shark eyes looking back at her, devoid of the emotion and

expression and LIFE that are so present in the human eye. Sam

flinched. She’d seen these eyes before. In Battery Park, when she

was fighting with Franco.

It was happening. She was turning into a werewolf.

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SERIES SPOTLIGHT – The Portwood Brothers Series by Emily Robertson

Playing By The Rules (Portwood Brothers, #1)

Payton always had one rule she lived by, no boyfriends until after college. No one seemed to agree with her, even her own mother who had her at age sixteen. Returning to school after an accident that flipped Payton’s world upside down left her feeling out of control. Holding on to her rule seemed to be her only lifeline.

Josh had been letting the past rule his life for too long. Finally being at school, he’d become his own man, and he’d been putting all that behind him. Just when he thought he had it all put together, life got crazy. Not only did his ex show back up, but Josh also found he couldn’t get Payton Whitmore out of his head.

Once Josh convinces Payton to give him a shot, she’s so closed off that he wonders if it’s even worth it. Josh can tell there’s something special about Payton though, and as soon as he goes all in, he’s ready to show her that some rules are made to be broken.

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Playing With Fire (Portwood Brothers, #2)

Jackson wants the one thing he can’t have, his brother’s girlfriend. He tried to forget her, but even spending nine months Afghanistan didn’t make him want her any less. Now he was heading home, a home he shares with his brother and the woman they both want.

Emma believed that you should never follow your heart. She tried that once, and she ended up alone and broken. After she put the pieces back together, she decided she’d rather forget about love and just have fun. Who needed someone special anyway? Certainly not her.

When both of them realize they are on the same page, they embark in a hot, no-strings arrangement that satisfies their needs without getting their hearts involved. But when you play with fire, someone always gets burned.

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Playing For The Win (Portwood Brothers, #3)

Addison had always thought when she said, “I do” two years ago that it’d be forever. Madly in love, things were going along fine, great even, until she found out her husband was keeping secrets from her. Unable to deal with that on top of everything else in her life, she packed her bags and headed home to her parents.

Bryce had been called a lot of things in his life, most of them he wouldn’t repeat. One thing he’s never been called was a quitter. He’d proven time and time again that when he set his mind to something, he succeeded at it. It might take some persistence and a little hard work, but he never gave up until it paid off.

Bryce knows one way or another he was getting his wife back. He’d have to fight harder than he ever had before, but he’d do it for Addison, for them. He’d play dirty if he had to because he wasn’t going to lose. He was playing to win.

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Excerpt from Playing For The Win (Portwood Brothers, #3)
© Emily Robertson 2016

Bryce grabbed the bag of food and pulled out several cartons of spicy food. He passed over a carton and a set of chopsticks and the reached in and grabbed the napkins. Addison opened the lid and wasted no time digging into her drunken noodles. After several bites, she glanced over to see what was in Bryce’s container. Shaking his head laughing at her, he held out a bite of his pad thai for her.

“How are your noodles?” he asked gesturing toward her meal.

“It’s perfect. Just what the doctor ordered.”

The pad of Bryce’s thumb ran across the corner of her mouth, “Sauce,” he explained. Their eyes held as she watched him take his thumb and suck the sauce off and then smiled at her.

When she didn’t return the smile, his shoulders slouched and he ducked his head. “Sorry.” Addison hated those words. She’d heard a lifetime of sorries over the past year. She wasn’t even sure what people were sorry for anymore. Even now she didn’t know. “What for?”

She saw his shoulders rise and fall with the deep breath he took, “Hell, I don’t even know anymore. What do you need me to be sorry for to make this better, to make it so you’ll come home?”

Her first reaction was to get defensive. Why would someone apologize when they didn’t even know why? However, in her time home, Addison knew that she was just as much to blame for the breakdown. “Bryce…” The rest died on her lips when she looked up and saw the pained look in his eyes. The hurt he was feeling.

“Baby, tell me. I don’t know what’s going on with you anymore. I just feel like I can’t fix it, I can’t fix us unless I have a clue what I’m fixing.”

On a whisper, Addison said, “It’s not fixable, Bryce.”

“Everything’s fixable. I just want us back, and I know I fucked it all up with the whole Renee thing,” at the mention of Renee’s name she flinched and retreated a bit more into herself.

“Don’t do that.”

“Are you really asking me not to be hurt by that whole situation?” she asked hurt that he’d even suggest it. “You lied to me for who knows how long, and you still haven’t told me what’s going on.”

“You have every right to be hurt, but there’s bigger issues than that. This has been going on since-”

“Don’t you dare say it,” Addison interrupted before he could finish.

“Baby, you need to talk about it. You’ve never said a word. We went to the hospital and you didn’t say anything. I gave you space because I thought that was best, but I’m really doubting myself. Maybe I needed to push you to open up.”

Pulling her knees to her chest and hugging them, Addison tried to retreat inside. She had to get away from this conversation.

“Addison, look at me.”

She continued to look straight ahead and was trying to think of anything other than the conversation Bryce wanted to have. She’d just been told she’d never have kids, and he wanted to talk about the one child she did carry and lost. She couldn’t take it anymore, and she was leaving. She needed some space so she got up to leave, and was thrown off balance when Bryce reached out and pulled her into his lap.

“I wish you’d clue me in.”

“You wouldn’t get it anyway,” she thought to herself.

“I know I’m a little dense at times, but try me,” he told her.

Oh shit, that’d been out loud?

“I was there with you through it all, the joy and all the heartache. I still hurt too.”

Anger exploded inside her like nothing she’d felt before. She pushed away from him hard and yelled, “You don’t have a clue!”

“I think about Ellie all the time. I think about how old she’d be now, and what she’d be doing. I keep thinking how much trouble I’d be in because she’d probably have acted like me. It’d have served me right. A part of me is missing because she’s not here, but she wouldn’t want this to break us apart. She’d want us to be strong.”

Addison shook her head not wanting to hear it. She should say something, but she couldn’t form the words. Finally, something came. “I think I’m going to bed. I have an early flight.”

“Don’t do this. Please.”

Addison couldn’t handle anymore. She’d been hit hard at the doctor’s office, was dealing with the feelings being around Bryce again, and now he wanted to bring up the past. Climbing the stairs, she held the sob in until she crawled under the covers in the guest room. She wasn’t sure how long she’d cried, but when Bryce crawled in behind her and pulled her back into his chest, she didn’t try to fight him. She just let him comfort her. Eventually, her body stopped shaking, and she was able to fall asleep.

 

A Message from Emily Robertson✦ I have literally tried to start this thing twenty times now. Each time I do, I go back and delete it. At first I thought it was because I couldn’t get the right feel for whatever I was writing down, but I’ve come to realize that it’s simply because I’ve finally reached the end, and I’m not ready. It’s so bittersweet to leave behind the Portwood Series. This series was so many things to me other than a book.

✦ Playing by the Rules is set around Payton who struggles with how to deal with her life after a head injury. When I started writing this book, I was frustrated with my own medical options for the same thing. I had been fighting with drug dependency, and I knew there had to be something else, but having nothing wasn’t an option. While coming to that realization, I also had to find a way to live with my memory, which wasn’t as good as it used to be. This book was a way for me to get my frustrations out and share what life is like living with chronic pain.

✦ I’ve said it before, but I never was going to write a book about Jackson. Wes was going to be the next book in the series. If you know Jax, though, you know he’s a pushy guy, and he usually gets what he wants. So when he decided he wanted his story told, that was it. Wes moved back to the backburner, and Jax was front and center. When he first meets Emma, he doesn’t know what to think about her, and I was really excited about that because I hate writing sex scenes. Say what?! A romance writer who doesn’t like writing sex scenes? It’s true. I thought I’d dodged a huge bullet. Then out of nowhere the two decide to throw me a loop and start up a friends with benefits relationship.

✦ Playing with Fire was a book that was written when my husband was deployed. This book kept me company on the long nights that I was alone. The fears and doubts that Emma faces are ones that I have had. The way I wrote Jax, a man who loves his country and career, that’s the way I see so many men and women who serve our country. The scenes where Jax is leaving for deployment were some of the hardest for me to write. They were hard because I had just stood by and watched the man I love pick up his gear and leave for war. I assured him in every way I could that I had everything covered back home and not to ever worry, and I felt him shake as he cried when he hugged me knowing I couldn’t cry for him. The military life is one that has many facets, and it’s so hard to show them all. I just hope that I was able to give a glimpse into the world.

✦ Bryce…I knew when I wrote Jackson’s book, I’d have to write Bryce. I didn’t want to. I tried not to. Honestly, I did. The subject matter in his book was something that wasn’t as easy for me as the other two. I’ve been blessed enough never to have lost a child, and I couldn’t draw from personal experience with that. Talking with close friends and going through that experience with them doesn’t make me an expert on the matter. Everyone grieves differently, and no one can imagine the pain that you feel when you lose a child. To add a failing marriage on top of that just made the situation even more difficult to handle. I really tried to be as sensitive to the situation as I could, and my heart breaks any time I hear of someone who is living through or with the loss of their child.

✦ The other hard part of this book was making the guy who I never saw having a lovable quality, have something that made people fall for him. If I didn’t like him, why would the readers? I can’t say I love Bryce, but he’s grown on me. Any guy who’s good with kids is all right in my book.

✦ So, where does this leave me? It leaves me free to work on new things. What am I working on? More Bryce. Blah! That’s right, I’m working on a novella about how he and Addison met and fell in love. After that, though, I’ll be going back to a series I’ve already started about a band. I had a blast writing the first book of the series, and I can’t wait to write the rest of them. If you’ve read any of my books, thank you so much for your support. I couldn’t do this without you. If I’m a new to you author, I love meeting new readers, so look me up online! Thank you all for the support and love. It makes the hard days easier and the easy days fun.

 

Emily Robertson graduated from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas with a degree in Theatre.  She is an avid reader and enjoys reading New Adult and Romance as much as she does writing them.  She currently resides in the Washington D.C. area with her husband and two children.  She loves connecting with and talking to other readers by e-mail, or on Facebook or Twitter.  You can get information on her upcoming works by signing up for her newsletter.

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Spotlight – The Portwood Brothers Series by Emily Robertson

 

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Series Spotlight!

Playing By The Rules (Portwood Brothers, #1)

 Playing With Fire (Portwood Brothers, #2)

Playing For The Win (Portwood Brothers, #3)

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BLURBS 

Playing By The Rules (Portwood Brothers, #1)

Payton always had one rule she lived by, no boyfriends until after college. No one seemed to agree with her, even her own mother who had her at age sixteen. Returning to school after an accident that flipped Payton’s world upside down left her feeling out of control. Holding on to her rule seemed to be her only lifeline.

Josh had been letting the past rule his life for too long. Finally being at school, he’d become his own man, and he’d been putting all that behind him. Just when he thought he had it all put together, life got crazy. Not only did his ex show back up, but Josh also found he couldn’t get Payton Whitmore out of his head.

Once Josh convinces Payton to give him a shot, she’s so closed off that he wonders if it’s even worth it. Josh can tell there’s something special about Payton though, and as soon as he goes all in, he’s ready to show her that some rules are made to be broken.

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Playing With Fire (Portwood Brothers, #2)

Jackson wants the one thing he can’t have, his brother’s girlfriend. He tried to forget her, but even spending nine months Afghanistan didn’t make him want her any less. Now he was heading home, a home he shares with his brother and the woman they both want.

Emma believed that you should never follow your heart. She tried that once, and she ended up alone and broken. After she put the pieces back together, she decided she’d rather forget about love and just have fun. Who needed someone special anyway? Certainly not her.

When both of them realize they are on the same page, they embark in a hot, no-strings arrangement that satisfies their needs without getting their hearts involved. But when you play with fire, someone always gets burned.

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Playing For The Win (Portwood Brothers, #3)

Addison had always thought when she said, “I do” two years ago that it’d be forever. Madly in love, things were going along fine, great even, until she found out her husband was keeping secrets from her. Unable to deal with that on top of everything else in her life, she packed her bags and headed home to her parents.

Bryce had been called a lot of things in his life, most of them he wouldn’t repeat. One thing he’s never been called was a quitter. He’d proven time and time again that when he set his mind to something, he succeeded at it. It might take some persistence and a little hard work, but he never gave up until it paid off.

Bryce knows one way or another he was getting his wife back. He’d have to fight harder than he ever had before, but he’d do it for Addison, for them. He’d play dirty if he had to because he wasn’t going to lose. He was playing to win.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily Robertson graduated from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas with a degree in Theatre.  She is an avid reader and enjoys reading New Adult and Romance as much as she does writing them.  She currently resides in the Washington D.C. area with her husband and two children.  She loves connecting with and talking to other readers by e-mail, or on Facebook or Twitter.  You can get information on her upcoming works by signing up for her newsletter.

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