Cover Reveal and Pre-Order: The Alternative by Suzanne Burke

Today, I’m delighted to welcome Suzanne Burke to my blog with the cover reveal for her upcoming release, The Alternative. I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peek at this collection, and it’s a winner! Now that the book is up for pre-order, I’ve already reserved my copy. Check out the deets and cover below, then follow the links to pre-order your own copy of The Alternative.

Take it away, Soooz . . .


Hello, and welcome to the Cover Reveal of my New Thriller Anthology

“The Alternative”

The ALTERNATIVE BANNER HEADLINE FOR COVER REVEAL BEST

The Alternative 

The Alternative
by S.Burke

Available to Pre-Order NOW.
Release Date: Monday June 18th 2018
Mystery> Thriller & Suspense > Anthology.

It is such an exciting time for an author when releasing a new book! I would be remiss in not sharing my heartfelt thanks to the marvelous people who gave of their time so readily to beta read my latest book. Their valuable insights helped me enormously when crafting “The Alternative”

At long last, I’m able to share the cover and blurb for “The Alternative” my latest Thriller Anthology. “The Alternative ” is due for release on June 18th.

It is NOW available for Pre-Order

I have many good friends sharing this cover across the blogosphere today and tomorrow, so you’re likely to see it pop up in various places. Thank you to everyone participating in my cover reveal splash, and to everyone dropping by to share in my excitement. Here’s my new baby . . .

With much gratitude to Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khaleesi for the cover creation.

Cover Created by Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khalessi

Presenting “The Alternative” A Thriller Anthology.

“The Alternative”

THE ALTERNATIVE COVER IN HIGH RESOLUTION BEST

BLURB:

The Alternative.

There are those that cling unreservedly to the lifeboat that believing in Karma hands them so willingly.

They work, they live, and they function in a world that allows them the option of unreservedly trusting that Karma has no deadline.

Until they are handed the spark that ignites them into becoming the instrument of Karma itself.

There are others who have had all they once held to be truths, everything they once stood for and took pride in, torn apart and ripped from them by the hand of a cruel fate.

Then, of course, there are those who believed in nothing and no one, to begin with …

These are their stories.

The stories of people both good and bad, who made the choice to exact “The Alternative.”

An excerpt from Chapter 1. Picasso.

February 1990.

The tall man stretched his arms and flexed his long artistic fingers. He stood back to gain a different perspective of his latest work of art. He’d spent a great deal of time sketching his outline and was well satisfied with the outcome. Perhaps this one would be the perfection he craved above all else.

His other efforts were upstairs in the gallery, and while they were far from his lofty imaginings, they each represented another step forward toward his ultimate goal. He knew this exhibition would prompt worldwide interest, that was a given. His reputation was on the line. That at least was something he valued.

He grunted and moved the newest piece into the workroom. The more difficult application of his talent needed to begin.

***

NEW YORK JULY 2015

Meredith keyed in her code, shouldered the door open and dropped her briefcase onto the polished boards of the entry. Working on autopilot, she flicked on the light and bent to collect the mail from the floor; throwing it onto the small bureau without bothering to check the sender. She shrugged off her coat and draped it over the arm of the sofa. Too damned weary to be bothered with any external interruptions tonight, she removed the home phone from its cradle and headed to the kitchen to fix enough coffee to sustain the long evening ahead, deliberately ignoring the well-stocked bar. She was well aware that she’d need every bit of concentration she could muster. She removed the Glock from her handbag, and out of habit, she placed it on the coffee table next to the perpetually full ashtray.

Her head was already pounding and she rubbed at her tense neck muscles until her fingers ached. Relief from the unresolved tension still hovered … just out of reach. She held her breath for a moment, stilling her impatience. If all went to plan, this thing would be finally ended. If justice existed at all, it would go well. All the years she’d worked to bring what was the only course left open to herself and the others to completion was coming. ‘Soon now’, was her daily mantra. But the darker visions still danced vividly in her mind’s eye and tormented her rare sleeping hours … it had been that way for almost twenty-five years.

The memory haunted her, dark and unforgivingly brutal. It replayed in clear and explicit detail every time she was forced to reflect on it … and its aftermath.

***

THE ALTERNATIVE IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

“The Alternative” on AMAZON.COM

Suzanne Burke Amazon Author Page

On TWITTER.

On Facebook.

My Blog

Thank you so much for joining me here today. Your support is very much appreciated.

I would be delighted to hear your thoughts and comments below.

New Release: The Yak Guy Project by C.S. Boyack #Fantasy #Dystopian #Adventure

Treat time! I’m uber jazzed to have the fabulous Lisa, spokesmodel for C. S. Boyack drop by today to talk about Craig’s newest release, The Yak Guy Project. Craig is one of my auto-buy authors, but Yak Guy holds a special place for me. I was a beta reader on this book and it’s just so . . . odd. Hey, odd is a good thing! I adore odd!

The story is filled with sly twists and turns, quirky characters and creatures, vivid descriptions, and clever dialogue. Trust me, you’re going to want to one-click this novel. You can do that right here and check out my 5-star review while you’re at it.

Want to hear more? Lisa has the low down about some of the research that went into this one . . .


Thanks for having me over today, Mae. It’s nice to get out of the writing cabin once in a while. My assignment today is to talk about Craig’s new book, The Yak Guy Project. This title has caught people’s attention, and there have been some positive comments about it. All I can say is the guy is a project throughout the story, he rides a yak, and he really doesn’t have a name. He adopts one later in the story so he can interact with others.

book cover of The Yak Guy Project by C.S. Boyack shows man in khaki hunting outfit with samurai sword strapped to his back and a large yak in the backgroundIt may seem odd to talk about research for speculative fiction. There is so much what if going on, and creatures are made up on the fly, that research seems kind of unimportant. The truth is there is always research.

Craig nearly got swept away by the Research Sirens on this one, when he dug into the silk trade. Guess I should tell you, that with a yak in the story, there is an Asiatic vibe about much of the setting. Anyway, the silk trade is fascinating. From gathering the worms, feeding them, keeping them happy with music and temperature controls, it became kind of a distraction. There were entire trade routes established just for the silk trade, and I’m sure there are many stories someone could tell.

That’s kind of the problem. The Sirens want to wreck an author’s ship against the rocks of research. Most of the research in a story leads to a paragraph or two, sometimes only a sentence. Craig spent weeks digging into the silk trade, because it was interesting. It became a distraction.

Fortunately, I was able to pull him back and get him focused on Yak Guy once more. There was other research involved too. Small things like the edibility of bamboo shoots, snakes with legs who wound up looking like Chinese dragons in the story, even color phases of yaks. We spent a day learning about farming and harvesting rice. My point is there is always research, even in speculative fiction.

Yak Guy is the journey of a worthless young man. He learns to take care of himself at the hands of a mentor, who happens to be a talking yak. Then he is taken to a place that’s designed to show him what he can expect out of life. Where he can want something more than survival in the wilderness. What he winds up wanting is a girl, a specific girl that’s a little out of his league.

Anyway, our Yak Guy turns out okay in the end. He learns a lot of life’s lessons, and some are hard lessons too.

The bonus is all the silk outfits I walked away with. I wound up with some beautiful clothing when helping Craig with dialog and positioning. We decided to make some posters of these, and I brought you and your fans one today.

Lisa Burton, a character created by author C. S. Boyack, wearing flowing green silk gown with old fashioned street lantern in background. Lisa's hair is in a Japanese style bun

I’m currently on the lookout for pirate girl outfits. Is there anyplace around here that might have stuff like that?

Blurb:
Imagine waking up in the desert with no idea what happened to you. You have clear memories of situations and places, but a complete loss in personal matters… like your own name. This situation is bad, and you have no idea how to get home.

When you’re rescued by a talking yak, the situation gets exponentially worse. You’ve obviously lost your mind. The immediate needs of a ride off the salt pan and searing heat, along with a drink of water, outweigh the concerns about your mental state.

This is exactly what happened to the Yak Guy. In fact he’s been placed in an alternate world and given a chance to start over in life.

Can this selfish, almost parasitic, young man learn to start over in a world where charity is hard to find? Life is brutal and short here, but he’s going to have to adapt or perish.

The Yak Guy project is loosely based around The Fool’s Journey from the Tarot. Those with experience in Tarot will spot people and situations from the Major Arcana.

Purchase From:
Amazon Universal Link

Biography box for author C. S. Boyack

Connect with Craig at the following haunts:
Blog | My Novels | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest 

Has it really been that long?

I took a look at my last blog entry and realized it was over a month ago. Wow! How does time past that quickly? I’ve wanted to blog more consistently this year, but once again, that goal was shoved behind the eight-ball. So, what have I been doing?

The day job has kept me busy covering two positions—occasionally three—with staff out for various reasons. Thankfully, everyone is back now, but two weeks of double and triple duty took a huge toll on my energy level. I also did a book signing the end of April, which was a bust, at least in relation to sales. The day turned out to be the first nice Saturday my area had seen in ages, and no one wanted to be inside. There were about thirty authors who participated, but no one was selling. On the plus side, I did a lot of networking, made new friends, and enjoyed myself.

End of Day was finished on time and sent to my editor. She asked for a few changes, thankfully, nothing too large. I made them and shipped them off, but still had one problematic scene that required additional tweaking. We chatted on the phone about that, and I delivered the changes the next day. Content edits are done and now I’m waiting on the copy editor.

In the meantime, I drafted the synopsis, blurb, and tag for book three, completing the information forms my publisher requires. I’m ahead of schedule and have them ready to go when requested. The last time I had nothing when asked and narrowly avoided  a panic attack and meltdown. I feel pretty good about book three—even though it doesn’t have a title yet. Once again, I’ve got past and present timelines. For the past, I’m able to play off a hodgepodge of ideas I used in an old decaying trunk novel, and my lead character in the present is one who popped up unexpectedly in book two, End of Day. Originally, I planned for other characters to carry the lead in three, but Madison Hewitt pantsed her way into the spotlight. Even better? I have a pseudo outline for this book, something I rarely have. Jazzed!

In some ways I feel like I’m juggling a three-act play. Book one, Cusp of Night is up for pre-order, releasing on June 12. I’m working on promo for Cusp, while doing the edits on book two, End of Day. My publisher has also asked for the first chapter of book three to include in the back matter of End of Day. I’ve never been able to deliver that before, but I think I might pull it off. So, despite a crazy April of covering dual jobs and being buried in edits and promo, it feels like my head is above water. For the moment. We all know how easily everything can come crashing down.

I apologize if I haven’t been as visible lately or able to make my usual blog rounds. I try to keep up with rounds as much as possible, but sometimes, it’s hard to squeeze everything in. And I think most of you who are regular followers know I disappear offline from Friday to Sunday night for me and hubby time. 😊

Anyway, it’s good to post again. In parting, I thought I’d share some snazzy postcards and Twitter ads I made for a few older novels (and one new one). What do you think?

Banner ad for cusp of Night, a mystery/suspense novel by author, Mae CllairBanner ad for Myth and Magic a romantic suspense/mystery novel by Mae ClairBanner ad for Eclipse Lake, a a romantic suspense/mystery novel by Mae Clair

Friday Fiction: Dinosaur Waltz

Happy Friday! I rarely do blog posts on Friday, but it’s my turn up at bat over at Story Empire with a Friday Fiction Prompt. I could hardly ask others to play along and not take a shot at it myself. So, here goes…from the cloud below choose a single word to use as a creative writing primer. You can even use your own selection. The only rule is that the word must begin with “sub.”

a word cloud of various words beginning with "sub"If you decide to give the challenge a whirl (and I hope you do), please link back to the Story Empire post in the comments so we can see your creative genius at work. In the meantime, here’s my attempt to be creative and step away from urban legends for a change. I chose the word submarine:

Dinosaur Waltz by Mae Clair

Captain Wade Sloan studied the map on the plotting table. Running at flank was risky with such an old submarine, but the Raleigh had held together through worse. After two weeks of flirting with the boundary line of enemy waters, the crew was wound tight. They’d been on high alert from day one, but had done their part admirably, serving as a diversion for the Seeker-Class subs christened in 2112.

The last of her kind still in service for the NorthWestCoalition, the Raleigh was scheduled to be retired when they returned to port. He’d could either adapt to the NWC’s Seeker technology or retire, too.

“Skipper.” Seaman Dyer’s voice broke through his reverie. “Sir, I’m picking up the signature of another sub, closing fast.”

Nuclear submarine in a deep blue sea. Digital illustration.

“Type and distance.”

“Attack class, Sir.  Not one of ours. “Bearing zero-five-zero, six thousand yards.”

An old tub, like the Raleigh.  “Helmsman. Hard left rudder, ten degrees port.”

“Sir, she’s locked on us.” Dyer bent over the sonar station. “Flooding her tubes.”

Two dinosaurs, giving it one last whirl.

Sloan wrenched the mic from the periscope stand. “Engineering, port ahead two-thirds.  Missile room, flood torpedo tubes one and four.”  He focused on Dyer. “Range.”

“Forty-five hundred yards, Sir.  Still closing.” A pause as Dyer adjusted a dial. “Enemy torpedo in the water, locked on.”

“Helmsman, down plane, hard to starboard.” Sloan clicked the mic again. “Missile room, prepare to fire.”

A second later the reply bounced back.  “Ready to fire, Sir.”

Sloan leaned across Dyer and activated the aft camera.

“Tracking, Sir.” Dyer was intent on the sound in his headset.  “Twenty-five hundred yards to enemy torpedo.”

“Stand by,” Sloan said into the mic.

“Twelve hundred yards,” Dyer announced.

Sloan clicked the mic.  “Missile room, fire one.”

“Fire one.” The nearly insubstantial concussion of the release vibrated through the decking.

“Homing.” Dyer licked his lips, counted off seconds:  “Locked, Sir.”

Sloan raised the mic.  “All hands brace for impact.”  The Raleigh shuddered, rocked hard to the side, but held course.

“Torpedo destroyed.” Dyer’s voice rebounded above a cacophony of warning claxons. “Enemy sub altering course to zero-nine-five.  She’s turning tail, Skipper.”

Sloan called the adjustment to the planesman. “Stay with her.” Sparks danced overhead. He caught a flash-fire eruption from the corner of his eye, but O’Malley was already on it. “Missile room, stand by number four torpedo.”

“Standing by.”

“Engine room, back flank.”

“Aye, Sir.  back flank.”

The boat settled, evening out on a smoother plane. Emergency lighting kicked in, followed quickly by the main systems. Sloan caught the reek of ozone as O’Malley turned a fire extinguisher on the small outbreak of flame. “Damage control, report.”

“Minimal circuitry damage, Sir.  She’s watertight.”

“Range to target is fourteen hundred yards, Skipper.” Dyer flashed a grin. “She doesn’t have our speed.”

The hunter had become the hunted.  Sloan spoke into the microphone.  “Missile room, fire number four.”

“Firing number four.”

“All hands brace for shockwave.”

The backlash from the explosion was merciless, sending Sloan sprawling. A boat destroyed, lives loss. Could it be anything less than savage? He pulled himself upright only to be sent tumbling again by the brutal rocking of the boat. The control room plunged into darkness.

In another few moments the Raleigh reestablished trim. The lighting flickered sluggishly then surged to full power.

Sloan hauled himself to his feet. “Damage control report.”

Problems were minimal and the group in the control room relaxed. A few back-slaps were exchanged as seaman resettled at their stations. Another day and they’d be in the clear, safely back in port.

Sloan returned to the plotting table to focus on their course. After ten minutes, Dyer spoke again.

“Captain Sloan I think you should see this.”sonar screen

There was something in his voice that made several heads swivel in his direction. Sloan crossed to the sonar station and stood staring down at the screen.

“I think that sub we destroyed was a suicide, Sir.” Dyer’s face had gone pale, the color of chalk. He swallowed hard and motioned to the mass of blips on the sonar screen. “All Seeker-Class. The signatures don’t match ours.”

Sloan’s mouth was dry. “Enemy?”

“Aye, Sir. The explosion of that other sub told them exactly where to find us. I guess she was a diversion, too.”

The old dinosaur. “And a damn good one.”

From Beach to WIP

I’ve been off the radar for several days, taking some time to recuperate and unwind. My husband and I decided to celebrate his birthday by taking an extended weekend trip to the beach. The weather in March along the eastern shore is hit or miss. We’ve been visiting this particular beach since we were teenagers in high school. When we were in our twenties, his family owned a modular home there, and we became part owners in a pontoon boat. During the summer, we spent most every weekend at the beach for approximately fifteen years. It’s a four hour drive from Central PA, but for fresh seafood, crabbing, flounder fishing, and sunning on the shore, those trips were worth it.

These days, we normally head to the beach once or twice a year, shelling out for a hotel. I’ve been at the shore when it’s been 80 degrees in December, and when it was freezing cold in June. This trip, the weather was perfect—full sun and only a light breeze. We were able to be outside in sweatshirts.

As we’re much older now, we did a lot of reminiscing of those early trips when we were just kids, and how much the area has changed. We’re no longer “June bugs” but prefer the less crowded months of March, September (still hot enough to use the beach) and December for our trips.

Here’s a few shots from the hotel where we stayed.  The place is styled after an old Victorian boardwalk hotel, and is one of the two hotels we regularly use. This trip, they were hosting two weddings in the banquet rooms, but other than closing their cocktail lounge for three hours one afternoon (I vented to the front desk when leaving), the stay was one of the best we’ve had. More memories of our “home away from home.”

This is the entrance, with registration and the main lobby up on the second level. If you walk back through the hall there are elevators to the upper floors, or you can continue straight to the beach.

a hotel entrance with a split staircase

This is the main lobby. There’s a jewelry shop off to the side where I’ve purchased multiple pendants through the years. There’s also a huge covered porch that faces the beach and extends the entire length of the hotel. It’s lined with high-backed rocking chairs, perfect for enjoying the view with a drink or reading.

Hotel lobby with seating

The view from our hotel balcony.  My husband took shoots of the sun rising each morning but I was slept through it. Something about the coastal air always makes me sleep extra soundly.

view of beach and ocean

We spent an afternoon on the boardwalk. See the huge JEWELRY sign in the background? I picked up a sun pendant there, while hubs checked out M.R. Ducks, next door.

boardwalk with shops and eateries

Mae Clair on standing on balcony with beach and ocean in backround

Now that I’m rejuvenated, I’ll be concentrating on finishing my WIP, End of Day. I have an April deadline, so if I’m a little scarce over the next few weeks, it’s because I’ll be burning extra hours trying to reach “The End.” Cross your fingers I can finish it up by the middle of the month. I normally treat myself to something when I finish a manuscript, but in this case, I put the “treat” ahead of the finish. *gulp*

For all of you trying to pummel your WIPS into submission, I wish you happy writing—and a break to rejuvenate, even if it doesn’t involve a beach town!

Introducing Backstage by Harmony Kent #pre-order

Happy Tuesday, friends! Most of you know I contribute to Story Empire, a group writing blog, along with five other authors. We’re always happy to support each other when one of us trots out a new release. Harmony Kent has been on my blog several times in the past. I hope you’ll welcome her back with her hot new release, Backstage, which is available for pre-order (see links below). Here’s Harmony to tell you about it now . . .


Hello, everyone. Harmony here. First up, huge thanks to Mae for hosting me today! She’s letting me visit today so that I can tell you about my latest book, Backstage. It is an erotic romance novel and deals with some of the sexual coercion scandals that have hit the acting industry in the last year.

Here’s a bit about the book for you:

Banner for the novel, Backstage, by author Harmony Kent

SHE’S A HOPEFUL ACTRESS 

Just when Emma thinks she’s found love. Just when her big chance comes.  Just as she finds a little confidence at long last. Right then, it all goes horribly wrong.

HE’S HER MENTOR

John believed he had found ‘the one’. But the demons of his past wouldn’t allow him to break the leash, and when he gets the wrong end of the stick, it just confirms all his old prejudices and hurts.

THEN THERE’S THE BIG MAN WHO CAN MAKE OR BREAK A CAREER, AND THE DEMANDS HE MAKES

Derek Prentis is his name. Coercion is his game. He’s the man with the money. The big man who wants to keep Emma under his control and who will do anything to keep it that way.

THE PERFECT STORM OF ROMANCE, PASSION, AND GREED.

AWAY FROM THE LIMELIGHT, IT’S ALL HAPPENING BACKSTAGE.

And here is a ‘sneek peek’ …

Book cover for the novel, Backstage, by author Harmony KentEmma reached the wide glass-fronted doors of the hotel and pushed through at speed, but too late. The car that held John sped away in a cloud of powdered snow and exhaust, spitting out his anger in a visceral way that she couldn’t fail to feel. Distraught and utterly bereft, she sank to her knees in the wet snow and held her hands over her face, barely able to breathe, let alone cry or make a sound.

The hurt and grief made a vacuum that felt as though it must surely kill her. What had just happened? How had it just happened? She sucked in a great heaving breath on a sob. Her chest locked. Prevented her from exhaling. She just knelt there out in the cold, alone, and—quite uselessly—trying to suck in more air. Her head spun, and she fell forward onto all fours.

Firm, warm hands grabbed her shoulders and hauled her back to her knees. Emma’s lungs had turned her into a fish out of water. Then strong arms wrapped her from behind and pulled inward and upward, performing a Heimlich manoeuvre on her. She gasped, and then broke into a coughing spasm. Then she sucked in air greedily, sobbing and gasping alternately. 

Those same strong arms pulled her into a comforting embrace and rocked her. Ian’s voice filtered through her panic while he made soothing noises by her ear, telling her over and over again that it would all be okay. When had he turned into such a liar? How could anything ever be okay again? John had gone.


Author, Harmony KentIf you enjoyed reading about Backstage, you can pre-order it now at Amazon … US LINK and UK LINK. And it goes on live sale on March 30th. Thanks so much for sticking with me this far.

Connect with Harmony at the following haunts:

Twitter: @harmony_kent 

Harmony Kent Author Page: Amazon

Cover Reveal: The Gemini Connection by Teri Polen #YA #Sci-fi #Thriller

Hey, gang, I’ve got a fabulous cover reveal for you today. Teri Polen is here with her upcoming release The Gemini Connection. I’ve been looking forward to this one and it sounds utterly fabulous! But don’t take my word for it. Check out the snazzy cover and the blurb below!

The Gemini Connection
by Teri Polen
Paperback Release Date: May 31, 2018
E-book Release Date: June 7, 2018
Young Adult > Sci-Fi/Fantasy > Thriller

Teen twin brothers Evan and Simon Resnik are fiercely loyal to each other and share an unusual bond—they experience each other’s emotions as their own and can sense where the other is.

On their dying planet of Tage, scientists work tirelessly on its survival. Like the twins’ parents, Simon is a science prodigy, recruited at a young age to work with the brilliant creator of Scientific Innovations. To the bitter disappointment of their parents, Evan shows no aptitude or interest in science. As a Mindbender, he travels into the minds of scientists to locate buried memories, connect ideas and concepts, and battle recurring nightmares.

When Simon mysteriously disappears, Evan is plunged into a world of loss and unbearable guilt. For the first time, he can’t ‘feel’ Simon—it’s like he no longer exists. Evan blames himself. No one knows that he ignored his brother’s pleas for help on the night he went missing.

A year later, Simon is still gone. Evan lost his twin, but Tage might have lost its last hope of survival when it’s discovered that Simon’s unfinished project could be its salvation. Evan is determined to find him—somewhere—and bring Simon home. Their unusual connection might be more extraordinary than they know, and the key to locating Simon.

The Gemini Connection paperback is available for preorder at the following locations:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
And for a discount at Black Rose Writing

You can find Teri at the following locations:

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest / Goodreads / Amazon

New Release: Gamble by Staci Troilo #Thriller #Romance #ExMilitary

Hey, everyone! I’ve got another goodie to share with you today. Staci Troilo has a new release in her high-octane Nightforce Security Series. I devoured Password, the first book, and promptly did the same with Gamble (cheating here: I got to read this one before release).  

Once again, Staci has hooked me with her characters, plot cyclone (it moves that fast) and clever mystery. Today, she’s introducing Gamble’s hero, Noah Crawford. Trust me—this is one guy you’ll want to meet.

Take a look . . .

graphic teaser for the novel Gamble by Staci Troilo


Hi, everybody. Thanks for indulging me today. I promise I won’t take up too much of your time.

I consider myself a multi-genre author. My novels are broadly categorized as romance, mystery, and mainstream. The subgenres vary considerably, and my short stories add even more options to the mix.

I started writing romance because I have a thing for the alpha male. Yes, he can be (and often is) in many genres—crime fiction, western, sci-fi, paranormal, etc.—but I initially associated that type of character with the romance genre. I liked to read about this guy. Only stood to reason that I’d enjoy writing about him.

That brings me to my new novella Gamble (part of the Nightforce Security Series), and its hero, Noah Crawford. Noah is ex-military (former SEAL, to be specific) and he works with a bunch of guys whose histories are similar to his. We don’t learn too many specifics; those missions are classified, after all. But we know there were some dark days in their pasts. And whether these men served together or not, that kind of shared experience forms a bond. These guys are tight.

I’m not related to any SEALs, but many of my family members (and my husband’s) have served. Some are still active. I wanted to write a series that paid homage to these heroes, putting them in settings we could all recognize rather than in combat theaters in countries we’ll never see. So, my heroes have retired from the military life. You know alpha males, though. They’re never far from action. The Nightforce guys are no different.

We meet Noah at their hangout—One Ugly Mug. The bar is owned by another veteran, so far only known to us as Cap. It’s a special night because a friend of theirs is in town. The drinks are flowing as liberally as the stories. Noah is comfortably buzzed and not thinking as clearly as usual.

That’s when she walks in.

Noah is interested in his one-night stand becoming so much more. But there are hurdles to jump, games to play, and gunmen to thwart. That’s right, I said gunmen. But we’re not talking about the bad guys today. We’re talking heroes.

Noah fits into this group so well not just because of his history, but because he can hold his own when the barbs start flying. These guys talk fast, act faster, and always have a sarcastic comeback. Heck, they often are the ones who start with the insults.

Noah’s no different.

If you like fast-paced stories with quick-witted, sharp-speaking, fearless, and (sorry, guys) drool-worthy heroes, I think this novella is for you. Noah might just become your next book crush. I know he became mine.

book cover for Gamble, a Nightforce Security novel by Staci TroiloBlurb for Gamble:

Sometimes stakes are too high to gamble. Other times they’re too high not to.

Noah Crawford is a consummate bachelor—until a one-night stand piques his interest in something more. The only problem is, she wouldn’t give him her name, and he has no way to find her.

A week later, resigned to forgetting her, he accompanies his friends to a casino. Floor traffic promises to be light while everyone clusters at the sportsbook for the college basketball championship game. But Noah isn’t in the mood for frivolity and sets off on his own. No one is more surprised than he is when he bumps into his mystery woman.

He’s playing a far different game than cards when armed criminals take over the poker room. Noah is separated from his friends, and somehow the room has been cut off from security. Help isn’t coming. It’s up to him to keep everyone safe while he tries to thwart the gunmen.

Noah quickly realizes he’s trying to prevent more than a simple heist. And he doesn’t know who he can trust. The stakes have never been higher, and he’s all in. But one of the thieves might have an ace up his sleeve, and that could cost Noah everything.

More Information | Universal Purchase Link

Author Staci Troilo in a candid poseAbout Staci:
Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.

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Cover Reveal: Cusp of Night by Mae Clair

Today is uber-exciting for me! At long last, I’m able to share the cover and blurb for Cusp of Night, the first book in my upcoming Hode’s Hill series. Cusp of Night  will release on June 12th, but in the interim, it’s available to add to your TBR on Goodreads.

I have many good friends sharing this cover across the blogosphere today and tomorrow, so you’re likely to see it pop up in various places. Thank you to everyone participating in my cover reveal splash, and to everyone dropping by to share in my excitement.   Here’s my new baby . . .

book cover for Cusp of Night, a mystery/suspense novel by Mae Clair

Release Date: June 12, 2018
Genre: Mystery/Suspense

BLURB:
Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.

Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house—a woman whose ghost may still linger.

Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to unearthing the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .


What do you think? I love what Kensington Publishing did with my cover art suggestions. Should you choose to read the book, you’ll discover why that corner street lamp, alley, and the brownstone buildings looming in the background are perfect—like a scene plucked from my book!

Cusp of Night is a mystery/suspense novel but it has a healthy dollop of urban legend and the paranormal.

Thanks for hanging out with me today! 🙂

Visiting on a Friday

It’s Friday! Who doesn’t love the end of the work week? It’s gray and mucky in my area, but none of that matters given there is a weekend around the corner—albeit with a few inches of impending snow. Hopefully, it’s the last we’ll see of the white stuff until next winter.

Today I’m visiting with Teri Polen at Books and Such sharing one of my favorite novels in her Friday Reading Corner. Teri is a gifted writer, voracious reader, and fabulously supportive of others. I highly recommend clicking the “follow” button on her blog while you’re there.

Hop over and check out my post if you get a chance…you might even pick up a bit of news about my upcoming release, Cusp of Night.  🙂

old books in a stack beside a cup of coffee on a lace doily