Happy New Year, Everyone

The Fated Series is available for FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

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A Young Adult Paranormal Romance Series

Hope’s Decree
(The Fated, #1)

Release Date: August 13, 2013

Published with Untold Press

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When everything else is lost, there is always hope.

While most teens want an epic senior year, Trinity Whitebone hoped for a normal one. Being seventeen was hard enough. Having the emotions of everyone around you in your head made life more than a little difficult.

Until Blain Heros enrolled.

He screamed hot-god in jeans with just his walk. His intense stare warmed her skin like a thousand suns. Unfortunately, his interest in her seemed to run from blazing to freezing in the span of moments and left her nothing but confused. She could deal with things not being normal, but when life goes from strange to dangerous…

Trinity is the direct descendant of Pandora and fated to rectify the terrors released into the world by her curious ancestor. With powers she didn’t know existed and abilities she never wanted, Trinity tries to walk away from everything her life had become. She thought she could turn her back on her fate until a band of rogue immortals discover who she is and will do whatever it takes to control her powers. Trinity is left with one decision…Embrace fate or die trying.

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*Excerpt*

A few feet away, a man appeared, though he looked more or less the same age as me. Tall, well built with chestnut hair stopping at the hard angle of his jaw, and his eyes as black as a raven’s feather. He didn’t look like the same person from my nightmares. Not that it mattered–his presence still terrified me.

His lips twisted into a sinister grin, a mixture of evil and pain so clear I could taste it on my tongue. I tried to ease my panic and think clearly, but just like in my nightmares, I was losing.

“Who are you and what do you want?” Much to my surprise, my voice stayed even.

“You don’t know, do you?” He tilted his head to the side, watching me with amusement in his dark eyes. He slowly held a finger in the air and then began making circular movements. The motion created his own personal whirlwind, lifting the hair around his face.

He continued to walk toward me, controlling the wind with his finger. My panic increased; my insides felt like they were being stretched thin, ready to snap in half at any given second.

“What do you want?” This time my voice quivered at the end.

“You have got to be kidding me, right?” He shook his head. “This is easier than I thought it’d be.” He must have read the perplexed look on my face because he started laughing–hard. I would’ve been offended had I not been so freaking scared.

His thoughts and emotions become stronger with each step he took, overpowering my ability to shut off the inner darkness wanting to be set free. I wasn’t sure which way was up or down, left or right, and it didn’t matter.

Hope’s Deceit
(The Fated, #2)

Release Date: November 13, 2015
Published with Untold Press

Hope's Deceit eBook

Everything has changed—people, my life-no one and nothing is as it seems. With each new threat, the idea of normal slips farther beyond my reach.

A relationship with Blain is everything Trinity had ever wished for-even before she realized she wanted it, but after the near fatal attack with Melia, something changes. The connection that binds them shifts and a dark force threatens to wedge the two apart. Trinity’s only hope for the life she craves is stopping Melia and her Immortal Rogues.

But fate always has an ulterior plan.

As Trinity’s eighteenth birthday draws near, more abilities manifest. But controlling them is a problem. During an emergency Watcher meeting, some question if Trinity is strong enough to carry out the task she is fated to uphold.

Secrets are revealed, and lives are lost.Melia has plans to awaken an ancient god whose wrath-if released-is sure to create more devastation thanPandora.As new threats surface, fear spreads.Fighting to keep the people Trinity cares for safe may be more than she can handle.

In the end, light may not be enough to outshine the darkness.

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*Excerpt*

Waking up every morning to Blain and his skillful, mind-blowing kisses definitely made starting the day easier. Those lips of his had a way of making me forget the outside world. His clean cotton and fresh-out-of-the-shower scent clung to him like static, and I couldn’t get enough. The feeling of comfort and safety while wrapped in his arms enveloped me, and the terrible images that startled me awake earlier faded away.

Melia being a Rogue and nearly killing me was frightening. But seeing the black orb attack Blain was a whole new level of terrifying. He seemed okay, though. God, I hoped he was okay.

Blain inched back, definitely far enough to see redness spread across my face, and grinned. His stare, the desire and need held there, made my pulse race. “God, you’re beautiful,” he said, stroking a thumb across my cheek.

His tender touch burned through me. The familiar buzz danced along my skin, and the colors from our power–white and gold– followed the sweet caress.

“This is my favorite part, the pink across your cheeks and knowing I put it there.”

I smiled. “Mine is definitely your lips.”

In turn, they kicked up in a sinful smile. The single butterfly in my stomach multiplied into a swarm. The clear blue in his eyes darkened, and he brought his mouth over mine.

Blain’s kiss started nice and slow. His hand slid down my side, finding the edge of my shirt, along with a bundle of feelings I shouldn’t be exploring just yet.

My heart thudded in a staccato-style rhythm. More heat rushed over my skin like a furnace.

I didn’t want to stop. Didn’t want to think about what Melia’s next move may be. Silently, I wished that her army of Rogues, and all the other obstacles in our way, would disappear.

We’d almost lost each other during the near-fatal fight with Melia. Death gave a person a sense of perspective, and living in the moment, with Blain, was the only place I wanted to be.

“Stop worrying,” Blain said against my lips, then pulled away. “Right now is about me making up for being a jerk, and for not doing more of this sooner.”

I wanted to let it go. So bad, but the spinning wheel of thoughts in my brain refused to slow down. “What if Melia sends her Rogues after us? We should probably get a few workouts in, so I’m better prepared.” A spike of terror tugged at my insides.

“You’re right, we need to get you better prepared. But first I need to do a full body inspection. Make sure all your parts are workable,” he said, pressing his lower half into me.

Before I could reply, he skimmed his tongue across my lower lip, dissolving whatever smartass comment was about to come out.

I granted him access, and the worry of Melia’s attack faded. A clear image of Blain filtered in–the sexy, lone-dimpled grin he’d given me over a dozen times. Private moments between us were few. Losing myself with Blain… his touch, his lips, his everything, turned my bones to mush.

If only the bliss could’ve lasted longer.

~Author Bio~


Angela McPherson
Born and currently residing in Midland, Texas, Angela shuffles three active children (not including her husband) all over the place. She works in a busy pediatric doctor’s office as a nurse during the day and writes at night. She is addicted to coffee–who isn’t? And firmly believes chocolate can fix all–especially chocolate ice cream. She laughs a lot, often at herself and is willing to try anything once (she thinks). When Angela isn’t rushing kids around, working or writing, she’s reading. Other than life experience, Angela turns to a wide variety of music to help spark her creative juices. She loves to dance and sing though her kids often beg her not to.

~Author Links~

[Website] [Facebook] [Twitter] [Goodreads] [Amazon Author Page]
[Instagram][Pinterest] [TSU]

Boom Baumgartner’s Dora’s Jinx Release Blitz and Giveawaway

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Dora’s Jinx


A Standalone Young Adult Urban Fantasy
By

Boom Baumgartner

Published

by
Untold Press http://www.untoldpress.com

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Grab Dora’s Jinx eBook for 3.99!
>Purchase on Amazon <

>Add Dora’s Jinx to Goodreads < 

 

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Blurb:

Dora Behn might as well have been born invisible. She could wear bright colors and dance the Macarena in the middle of class without so much as a glance. It’s not that she’s antisocial, just no one other than her family seems to even notice she’s there. This would naturally put a damper on her romantic life… If she had one to begin with.

Everything changes on her sixteenth birthday when a talking cat appears and tells her she is a witch. For Dora, nothing could be worse. No one dated crazy cat ladies!

Things go from bad to worse when the other witches’ familiars go missing, including her aunt’s. Dora’s magic may be the only thing that can prevent the total destruction of the sleepy town of Kinderhook. But to save her friends and family, Dora must learn to embrace who and what she is. She just needs to figure out what that means.

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*About The Author*

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Boom Baumgartner

Influenced from a young age by greats like David Bowie, Boom likes to add a little bit of glam to everything she does, from playing the ukulele to writing novels. When she’s not turning out stories about witchcraft and werewolves, she is a staff writer for ScienceFiction.com. You can find her other musings at LovingTheAlien.net

Follow Boom Baumgartner
[Website/Blog]
[Facebook]
[Twitter]
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Dora's Jinx Giveaway

 

~Excerpt~

Dora’s foot tapped against the yellow linoleum floor, her eyes moving back and forth between the clock and the calendar. The two stood in a stubborn standoff to see which could move the slowest.

The seconds ticked in an agonizingly slow rhythm. On the down beats, she looked at the calendar, the birthdays of all the students in Madame Djoat’s class scrawled in each block. Dora’s name was added with a different color pen as if it were an afterthought. Well, Dora’s French name, Donatienne, was added in with a different color pen, in any case.

Since the beginning of school she’d watched Madame Djoat cross off each day on the calendar, and sing “Bon Anniversaire” to each and every student, eager to have her turn. As her birthday drew nearer, she found it harder and harder to pay attention in class. She had already failed one pop quiz on the masculine and feminine articles for vegetables, and she wasn’t listening at all while they memorized the articles for fruits.

“Stephen! Quel est l’article correct pour ananas?” Madame Djoat pointed to the right side of the classroom.

Next to Dora, Steve jumped as he shoved his arm across his notebook, covering up a drawing of stick figures jumping off cliffs with his elbow. Apparently Dora wasn’t the only one fantasizing about other things in French class.

“Um, what?” Steven swallowed audibly.

Madame Djoat stomped her foot. “Stephen! Quel est l’article correct pour ananas?”

“I, uh… I don’t…”

Finally, she translated. “What’s the correct article for pineapple?”

“Um, I don’t know.”

“En français.” She crossed her arms.

“Oh, er, je ne sais pas.” Steve scratched the back of his head and looked over to his friends for help. The other two boys kept their eyes resolutely on their desks. Breath hitched in Dora’s throat as a thought occurred to her. If she diverted attention off him, maybe he’d notice her.

Shakily, Dora raised her hand. Sweat beaded on her neck, and her heart beat hard against her chest. Maybe he’d be so grateful he’d ask her on a date.

But Madame Djoat moved on. “Ça, Josephine. Connaissez-vous l’article? La ou le?”

Frowning, Dora put her hand down. She shouldn’t have been surprised Madame Djoat ignored her. As far as the school–no, the entire town of Kinderbook–was concerned, she was a witch, and even if she wasn’t one now, she was going to be one eventually.

Used to it, Dora shrugged it off. It would be different soon. When they sang “Bon Anniversaire,” Madame Djoat would ask “Quel âge as tu?” and Dora would proudly say, “Seize.”

Or at least, she thought it was seize. She quickly flipped to the back of her textbook in the dictionary section and looked for the word

“sixteen.” She was right. Seize.

No one ever became a witch after sixteen.

“Madame Djoat,” a loud voice echoed around the room.

Dora whipped around to look over at Melanie Haan, the actual witch of Kinderbook High. Her right arm was waving in the air.

The rest of the class lazily turned their heads toward the speaker while Madame Djoat glanced up and down the lines of desks, trying to find who spoke. Melanie wore a bright pink sundress with fluorescent purple stockings and pink Chucks. It was impossible to miss the girl, yet it took a few moments for Madame Djoat to see her.

“Yes…” Madame Djoat went over to her desk and glanced at the clipboard with their seating charts, her finger trailing down the row.

“Oui, Joan.”

Melanie’s French name, Joan, seemed a little bit strange. Wasn’t the image of Joan burning at the stake precisely the sort of association Melanie would want to avoid, seeing as she was actually a witch?

“I know the answer,” Melanie said. “I mean, je connais le response. It’s le. I mean, c’est le.”

“Bon. Correct,” Madame Djoat affirmed briskly. Then she moved on to the next fruit. “Next! Pomme!”

About the time pomegranate came up, Dora zoned out again. Melanie reminded her of what it was like to be a witch. It was hard to get anyone’s attention at all; something Dora’s aunt had said had to do with a natural defense mechanism.

People treated Dora as if she were microscopic–there, but not worth noting–because they thought she also might be a witch. After all, it ran in the family. Even her mother was surprised that two days before her sixteenth birthday a cat still hadn’t shown up.

After all, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a witch must have a familiar, and that the familiar be a cat. The fact that a cat hadn’t appeared meant that Dora wouldn’t end up a spinster cat lady like her Aunt Pamelia, or her Great-Aunt Calixta.

The class would not be singing “Bon Anniversaire” until the end of the period, and Dora contented herself with daydreams about Steve. In them, his confused expression would turn to her, suddenly have purpose, and he would grin at her like she had seen him do with other girls in the hallway. After her birthday, maybe he would ask her out.

Sure, he hadn’t said more than two words to her since elementary school, but Dora dared to dream.

If Steve didn’t ask, maybe someone like John or David would. Neither of them had really spoken to her either, but Dora was confident that once suspicion of her latent witchdom dispersed, she would be able to catch one of their eyes.

She dreamed up dates in nature parks and laughing at clothing on mannequins at the shopping mall. Then she dreamed up castles and dragons, putting different faces on the prince, until Madame Djoat projected the lyrics to “Bon Anniversaire” on the screen and commanded everyone to sing.

Dora grinned, and sat up straight. Sure, her birthday was actually Sunday, but still, they were going to sing to her, and as far as they cared, it would be her birthday. Oh, and Steve’s. But she didn’t really care about his birthday. Not right now, anyway. She would worry about it if they started dating.

“Bon Anniversaire, nos vœux les plus sincères…” the class sang.

When they finished singing, Madame Djoat smiled and looked at Steve.

“Stephen! Quel âge as tu?”

“Um, sixteen. I mean, seize.”

“Bon Anniversaire!”

“Thanks, I mean, merci.”

“All right, class! À demain! No homework this weekend!”

Dora sat at her desk, shocked, her big moment disappearing like a bubble being popped. The rest of the class shuffled around her, putting their things away in their bags and laughing as they went out into the hallway.

When everyone had left, and Madame Djoat started prepping the room for the next class, Dora slowly put her stuff away. Leaning over to shove a book in her backpack, something bright pink caught her attention. She closed her eyes, and opened them again. The bright pink hovered in her periphery.

“Hey, Dora.” Dora looked up to see Melanie smiling at her. “Bon anniversaire.”

Weakly, Dora smiled, trying not to meet Melanie’s eyes. “Yeah, um…thanks.” Then she crammed the last of her things in her bag and escaped. Of all the people to notice her, it just had to be the witch of Kinderbook High.

 

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This is the FINAL book in this series and it is seriously the BEST one! Energy Reborn by @lynn_vroman Cover Reveal

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Untold Press is excited to share the fourth and final cover in Lynn Vroman’s Energy Series. Energy Reborn is an upper Young Adult Science Fiction Fantasy.  Want to receive book releases, giveaways, and other exciting Untold Press news first? Then, sign up for our newsletter today! Also, be sure to visit our website to discover more Untold Press books. Now, on to the exciting reveal!

 

Energy Reborn

Final book of The Energy Series Coming 2016

After the trauma from their final battle with Exemplar, Tarek is certain Lena is better off without him. She deserves a life without the baggage he carries. She deserves someone…real. But he refuses to live as a useless shell. He fights alongside Oren as they protect Exemplian citizens from what is left of Exemplar’s government. As he fights, one thought keeps him sane:

Tarek didn’t let Lena go. He gave her an out.

Lena has spent the last eight months trying to move forward. She has hope Tarek will heal, but she can’t wallow; she has to raise fifteen-year-old Peter, who suffers from the same ghosts as her soul mate. Her goal is simple: make Peter happy. Make him so damn happy that he drowns in it—while in secret, she yearns for the other half of her heart. But then Peter runs away, back to Exemplar—again.

This time is different.

This time, Peter doesn’t come back.

Lena soon grows desperate and reaches out to the one person able to help her—the one person who has sworn to leave her alone forever. Tarek.

Together again, Lena and Tarek find there is more than the problem of Peter to solve. Exemplian citizens are suffering under the repercussions of Lena and her army’s actions. They blew up the important buildings last year, but they didn’t kill every one intent on Exemplar remaining the superior world.
For Lena, the only answer is to finish what they started, but she won’t stop there. Exemplar’s vulnerable citizens and Peter are not the only people who need saved.

She’ll heal Tarek, too—whether he wants her to or not.

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*The Energy Series In Order*

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Born in Pennsylvania, Lynn spent most of her childhood, especially during math class, daydreaming. The main result that came from honing her imagination skills was brilliantly failing algebra. Today, she still spends an obscene amount of time in her head, only now she writes down all the cool stuff.

With a degree in English Literature, Lynn used college as an excuse to read for four years straight. She lives in the Pocono Mountains with her husband, raising the four most incredible human beings on the planet. She writes young adult novels, both fantasy, and contemporary.

To discover more about Lynn and her books, be sure to follow her social media avenues listed below.

[Website] [Facebook] [Twitter] [Goodreads] [Amazon Author Page] [Wattpad]

 

Hope’s Deceit Release Giveaway, Book Trailer Reveal, and MORE

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Hope’s Deceit

The Fated Series, 2
By

Angela McPherson

Genres: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Published: Nov. 13, 2015
Untold Press www.untoldpress.com

Price:
eBook: 3.99

eBook Buy Links
[Amazon]

Hope's Deceit eBook

Blurb:

Everything has changed—people, my life—no one and nothing is as it seems. With each new threat, the idea of normal slips farther beyond my reach.

A relationship with Blain is everything Trinity has ever wished for—even before she realized she wanted it, but after the near fatal attack with Melia, something changes. The connection that binds them shifts and a dark force threatens to wedge the two apart. Trinity’s only hope for the life she craves is stopping Melia and her Immortal Rogues.

But fate always has an ulterior plan.

As Trinity’s eighteenth birthday draws near, more abilities manifest. But controlling them is a problem. During an emergency Watcher meeting, some question if Trinity is strong enough to carry out the task she is fated to uphold.

Secrets are revealed, and lives are lost. Melia has plans to awaken an ancient god whose wrath—if released—is sure to create more devastation than Pandora. As new threats surface, fear spreads. Fighting to keep the people Trinity cares for safe may be more than she can handle.

In the end, light may not be enough to outshine the darkness.

*Add Hope’s Deceit to Goodreads*

*Click here for a chance to Win a SIGNED Copy of book 1, Hope’s Decree*

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*Click to watch the Hope’s Deceit Book Trailer*

I want to send out a HUGE thank you to Kat and Neilliza with Four Chicks Flipping Pages for creating Hope’s Deceit’s book trailer and for the awesome teasers! Thank you, ladies, so much for all your hard work!

Meet Angela McPherson

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Born and currently residing in Midland, Texas, Angela shuffles three busy children (not including her husband) all over the place. She works in a busy pediatric doctor’s office as a nurse during the day and writes at night. She is addicted to coffee–who isn’t? And firmly believes chocolate can fix all–especially chocolate ice cream. She laughs a lot, often at herself and is willing to try anything once (she thinks). When Angela isn’t rushing kids around, working or writing, she’s reading. Other than life experience, Angela turns to a wide variety of music to help spark her creative juices. She loves to dance and sing though her kids often beg her not to.

[Website] [Facebook] [Twitter] [Goodreads]

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❤ Excerpt ❤

Waking up every morning to Blain and his skillful, mind-blowing kisses definitely made starting the day easier. Those lips of his had a way of making me forget the outside world. His clean cotton and fresh-out-of-the-shower scent clung to him like static, and I couldn’t get enough. The feeling of comfort and safety while wrapped in his arms enveloped me, and the terrible images that startled me awake earlier faded away.

Melia being a Rogue and nearly killing me was frightening. But seeing the black orb attack Blain was a whole new level of terrifying. He seemed okay, though. God, I hoped he was okay.

Blain inched back, definitely far enough to see redness spread across my face, and grinned. His stare, the desire and need held there, made my pulse race. “God, you’re beautiful,” he said, stroking a thumb across my cheek.

His tender touch burned through me. The familiar buzz danced along my skin, and the colors from our power–white and gold– followed the sweet caress.

“This is my favorite part, the pink across your cheeks and knowing I put it there.”

I smiled. “Mine is definitely your lips.”

In turn, they kicked up in a sinful smile. The single butterfly in my stomach multiplied into a swarm. The clear blue in his eyes darkened, and he brought his mouth over mine.

Blain’s kiss started nice and slow. His hand slid down my side, finding the edge of my shirt, along with a bundle of feelings I shouldn’t be exploring just yet.
My heart thudded in a staccato-style rhythm. More heat rushed over my skin like a furnace.

I didn’t want to stop. Didn’t want to think about what Melia’s next move may be. Silently, I wished that her army of Rogues, and all the other obstacles in our way, would disappear.

We’d almost lost each other during the near-fatal fight with Melia. Death gave a person a sense of perspective, and living in the moment, with Blain, was the only place I wanted to be.

“Stop worrying,” Blain said against my lips, then pulled away. “Right now is about me making up for being a jerk, and for not doing more of this sooner.”

I wanted to let it go. So bad, but the spinning wheel of thoughts in my brain refused to slow down. “What if Melia sends her Rogues after us? We should probably get a few workouts in, so I’m better prepared.” A spike of terror tugged at my insides.

“You’re right, we need to get you better prepared. But first I need to do a full body inspection. Make sure all your parts are workable,” he said, pressing his lower half into me.

Before I could reply, he skimmed his tongue across my lower lip, dissolving whatever smartass comment was about to come out.

I granted him access, and the worry of Melia’s attack faded. A clear image of Blain filtered in–the sexy, lone-dimpled grin he’d given me over a dozen times. Private moments between us were few. Losing myself with Blain… his touch, his lips, his everything, turned my bones to mush.

If only the bliss could’ve lasted longer.

The somber memory of yesterday, Blain’s life nearly lost, all still too real. The awareness created an empty pit in my stomach. Within seconds, the daydreamed effects of us together and safe shattered.

My body stiffened. Thank goodness Morpheus barged in before Blain caught on that something was wrong.

“Knock, knock.”

Blain’s wandering hand on my stomach froze, and his lips stopped moving. Resting his forehead against mine, a growling sound deep in his throat emerged. “I should’ve let you take him out,” he said, frustrated.

I smiled. Regardless of what was going on, knowing the effect I had over Blain kinda rocked. Strike that, it totally kicked ass.

Blain sighed. “Please tell me the reason you’re in my room is because you’ve found Melia and destroyed her. I’d really like to get back to spending time with my girlfriend.”

Hope’s Decree, book one now on Sale! Click image to purchase 🙂

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Into The West Release Blitz and Giveaway with @JACampbellAuth

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A Young Adult Time Travel Novel

Into The West

by 

J.A. Campbell

Published by Untold Press

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Tina Harker is a typical teenager. She loves hanging with her friends at the mall, buying shoes, and getting manicures. Most of all, she loves horses. Her life is everything she wants until her father drags their family to Arizona. Now she’s living in a virtual ghost town in the middle of the desert, millions of miles from the nearest shopping center.

The one small highlight in the dreadful situation is the local ranch. They have a horse Tina can ride anytime she wants. Trying to make the best of her situation, Tina goes on her first cattle drive and gets a lot more adventure than she expected.

Bandits, cattle thieves, and a really cute cowboy are only the beginning as she finds out the ranch she is coming to love is in grave danger. Can Tina find the strength to travel back in time and save the ranch when her very life is on the line? It’s no simple trip to the mall, but with a little help from her cowboy, she might just save the day.

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“Never a good plan to go killing creatures that hang out around magic portals.”Into The West, J.A. Campbell

“Nothing is going to happen,” she said when they parted.
   Rowe winked at her. “I know. Good excuse to kiss you.”
   “You don’t need an excuse.” —Into The West, J.A. Campbell

Click Here to Enter Giveaway

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J.A. Campbell
Julie has been many things over the last few years, from college student, to bookstore clerk and an over the road trucker. She’s worked as a 911 dispatcher and in computer tech support, but through it all she’s been a writer and when she’s not out riding horses, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer. She lives in Colorado with her three cats, her vampire-hunting dog Kira, her new horse and Traveler-in training, Triska, and her Irish Sailor.She is the author of many Vampire and Ghost-Hunting Dog stories and the young adult fantasy series Tales of the Travelers. She’s a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Dog Writers of America Association and the editor for Steampunk Trails fiction magazine.

Links to follow J.A. Campbell 

Website ~ Blog ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ LinkedIn ~Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page

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Other Books to Enjoy by J.A. Campbell

Sabaska’s Tale

(Tales of the Travelers Book 1)

Sabaska's Tale eBook

Sabaska’s Quest

(Tales of the Travelers Book 2)

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Senior Year Bites

(The Clanless Book 1)

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Happily Ever Afterlife

(Anthology)

Happy Afterlife

Dragonthology

(Anthology)

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So, how is it?
Tina stared at her phone, amazed she had cell service, then back out the window of her parents’ car.
OMG. Just…OMG. I can’t believe they’re doing this to me, she texted back.
When Jessica didn’t reply, Tina sighed. It’s like being on Mars. All red and brown and flat. No trees. Some mountains, I guess. Alien. Horrible. She sent that text and waited.

Her phone beeped, searching for signal, then found reception again.
Hugs. I’ll come visit soon. I miss you. Gotta go. TTYL.
Tina put her phone away and stared out the window. She saw nothing out there. No stores, no restaurants, no school, no people. Just empty desert–horrible.

“Honey, we’re almost there,” her mom said, sounding excited.
“Almost where?” she muttered, crossing her arms and glaring at her feet.
Her dad glanced over his shoulder with a big grin on his face. “Almost home, sweetheart.”
“Almost to hell,” she said, even more quietly so her parents wouldn’t hear. Even the radio broadcast more static than music as reception faded in and out.

Tina went back to staring out the window since it was marginally more interesting than her feet. She supposed she would have to get used to the view. Like it or not, she couldn’t escape this hellhole until she went to college. The next two years would drag before she could return to lush green trees that dotted the concrete sea of New Jersey.

Her dad slowed and turned off the highway onto a dirt road. The car bumped, waking her little sister, Betsy.
“Are we there yet?” Her sister stretched and glanced out the window. She paused mid-stretch and Tina could see the surprise on her face. “Wow!”

Tina shook her head. Of course Betsy would be excited.
“This is so cool!” She bounced in her seat. Or maybe that was the potholes in the road. Did they ever fix things out here?
Tina ground her teeth. All she could see in the distance were more of the weird, red mountain things and a dirt road stretching to nowhere. “Where is this place we’re supposed to be going?”
“Home, sweetie,” her mom said in a sugary sweet tone.
“Sure, if we were Martians.”
“Tina Harker,” her dad said. “Do not talk that way to your mother.”
Tina sank down in her seat and crossed her arms again. This totally sucks, she thought to herself. She tried not to hit her head on the top of the sedan as they jolted down what was supposed to be a road.
“Hey, look, a house!” Betsy bounced again in her seat. This time Tina knew it wasn’t just the bad road. “And, Tina, a horse. Maybe they’ll let you ride it.”

Tina sighed and tried to ignore her little sister. Her parents had obviously sold the ten-year-old on the adventure, but Tina had left more behind than Betsy. Not wanting to see any horses right now, she didn’t even try to look. She missed Frankie, the thoroughbred she had leased for over a year. It wasn’t fair that she had to leave him behind. Tina had planned on buying him, but with the move, there was no way. Her parents had told her there were plenty of horses in Arizona and she’d find one there. They didn’t understand. She didn’t want just any horse. She wanted her horse.

Tears welled in her eyes, and she took a couple of deep breaths, trying not to cry.

A few minutes later, they passed another house on Tina’s side of the car and she couldn’t help but stare. A fence surrounded a large, dusty yard. The front porch seemed welcoming, except that one side sagged dangerously and the chipped tan paint peeled badly.

She wondered if anyone actually lived there. She didn’t see anyone, but saw a swing set in the yard and a rusty pickup parked in the backyard. It reminded her of a bad T.V. show.

Ages later, they passed a couple more houses in better repair than the last. Finally her dad pulled off the bumpy non-road onto another bumpy non-road. They continued for another small eternity before Tina saw a cluster of buildings that looked like stores. Her dad turned down something like a main street and stopped in front of one of the small stores.
“Welcome to Golton, kids.”

Tina looked around her, horrified. “I thought you said we were moving to a town.”
Her dad smiled at her and opened the car door. “It’s a ghost town.”

Tina stared while he got out and stretched. The hot blast of dry air made sweat bead on her forehead, and then quickly dry. She felt like her skin would crack. Her dad shut the door, but with the car off, it would heat up fast. She didn’t want to get out, but she couldn’t stay in. Betsy had already jumped out and, as usual, bounced around her dad.

The heat made her wish she were wearing a halter-top, but the intense sun made her glad that her shirt covered her shoulders. The tan she had from riding her horse wasn’t enough to protect her.

She wondered if her dad joked about this being Golton. Forget about ghosts. There was nothing here to haunt.
“Come on, honey, let’s go see the store.”
Tina sighed. Maybe it would be air-conditioned.

Her dad talked quietly with the man behind the counter. The store had a little of everything, but not much of any one thing, and no variety. If you wanted toothpaste, you got Crest. If you wanted apples, you got red. Tina folded her arms across her chest and tried to pretend she was in a bad horror movie and she’d eventually be rescued and taken back to civilization, but not before the movie-monster got her sister.

Speaking of horror movies…Tina picked up a book called Missing in Arizona. The intro page said something about Golton being an area with a large number of disappearances.
“Tina, come here for a minute,” her dad called.

She hastily put down the book, hoping it was a joke, and joined her dad. Betsy shook the clerk’s hand.
“Tina, this is Mike. He owns this store,” her dad said.

The man behind the counter had the brownest skin she’d ever seen with short, jet black hair and an easy grin. He looked about her dad’s age, forty or so.

“Hi,” Tina said, smiling, and trying not to stare. She offered her hand and managed not to ask Mike if he was a real Indian.
Betsy had the benefit of being ten. “Tina, guess what? He’s a real Indian. A Nav…” She hesitated and looked up at Mike.
He smiled down at the little girl. “Navajo.”

“Betsy, they are Native Americans,” Tina’s mom said, sounding horrified.
Mike smiled at Betsy and winked. “Navajo,” he repeated.

“It’s nice to meet you,” Tina said, glad to meet another human in this desolate waste.
“It’s nice to meet you, too, Tina. Welcome to Golton. If there is anything you need and we don’t have it here, I can probably order it for you.” He smiled again. He had an accent, but Tina didn’t know if it was because he was a Native American or an Arizonian.

“Thanks,” Tina said. “Hey, that book back there said a lot of people go missing here. What’s up with that?”
He shrugged. “Conspiracy theories mostly. Seems like people go hiking in the desert and get lost and die. Stay close to civilization until you know your way around and you’ll be fine.”
“Thanks!” Tina was glad to know that the book wasn’t serious.

“It’s good to see you again, Mike. I just wanted to introduce the girls and my wife,” Tina’s dad said.
“Oh, those government boys were by the house with your things yesterday. I stopped in, didn’t seem like they were making too much of a mess, so I left them to it. My wife locked up after them. I’ll call her and have her meet you there with the other set of keys,” Mike said.

“Thanks.” Her dad placed the money for Betsy’s candy bar on the counter, and reached across to shake Mike’s hand.
They spoke for a few more minutes, but Tina tuned her parents and Mike out and glanced at some of the knickknacks in the store.

Finally, her parents and Betsy headed for the door. Tina followed them outside.
“See, it’s not so bad here,” her dad said, opening the car door. “Lots of nice people.”
Tina wondered where the other people were, but she didn’t feel like getting into another argument. At least not right then.
The car had baked in the sun and it hadn’t completely cooled down by the time her dad stopped again in front of a house. It was a two-story house with wooden siding and a large front porch. It looked like it may have been painted sometime in the past decade. As an added bonus, the porch only sagged slightly in the middle.

“There’s a fence,” Betsy said, bouncing again. “Can we get a dog, since we have a yard and a fence?”
Tina rolled her eyes. Their townhouse back in Jersey wasn’t big enough for a dog, or at least that’s what her parents kept saying.

“We’ll talk about it once we get settled,” her dad said.
“Cool.” Betsy nodded, as if they had already decided they would get a dog.
Tina wondered if she could talk her parents into a horse if Betsy got a dog. She doubted it. Especially since the horse she wanted lived in New Jersey. Frankie probably wouldn’t like it here anyway. Tina didn’t.

The hot, dry air blasted her as she stepped out of the car. The paint was probably white at one point, but it looked kind of yellowish now, though it hadn’t started to peel yet. It reminded Tina of a farmhouse out of an old movie.
Her mom had a funny expression on her face, kind of like the first time she’d tasted Betsy’s cooking and had to pretend she liked it. She stared at the house.

Tina’s dad put his arm around her and gave her a hug. “Just needs a little fixing up.”
“Well, let’s go explore,” her mom said after another few moments of silence. She sounded as cheery as before, but Tina wasn’t quite convinced. Betsy, on the other hand, seemed excited.
“Look, we’re in a real house, with space and stuff. Can we get a swing set?” She bounced up the front porch and tried the doorknob. “It’s locked.”

“I have the key,” her dad said, following Betsy.
Tina placed her foot gingerly on the steps up to the front door. They also sagged in the middle, but at least held her weight.
“Tina, I bet it’s haunted,” Betsy said once they were inside. “Look at this old picture. Think she’s still here?”
Betsy pointed to a portrait of a woman on the wall. She wore a bonnet like in an old movie and a dress with flowers on it. Tina wasn’t sure, but she thought the woman might have been a Native American.

Her dad laughed. “Mike assured me the house wasn’t haunted. This house has been in his family for a long time.”
“I thought Indians lived in teepees,” Betsy said.

“Some of them used to, honey. Most of them live in houses these days,” Tina’s mom said.
Tina turned away from the picture. A lighter spot on the yellowed wallpaper next to it had probably held another picture. She noticed stairs to the second floor that started right by the front door. The bare wood floor looked polished, probably by years of footsteps. The kitchen was straight back from the front door, and there was another room opened off to her left. Their new house didn’t seem terribly large, but it was bigger than their townhome in Jersey.
Huffing, Tina glanced around. “Is there electricity?”

Both her mom and dad gave her the don’t-be-ridiculous look.
“Hey, a fireplace,” Betsy shouted from the living room. “Can we have a fire, Mom?”
“When it is cooler, dear.”

Tina sighed and followed the sound of her sister’s voice into the living room. Their stylish leather couch and loveseat were completely out of place across from the stone fireplace. Boxes were stacked everywhere and spilled into the kitchen. She wandered toward the kitchen.
Betsy screamed.

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KILLING TIME by @ IngridNickelsen Release Day Blitz & Giveaway

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A Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Killing Time

For Better or For Worse, #2

by

Ingrid Nickelsen

Published with Untold Press

Killing Time Low res

Death is the ultimate heartbreak. Evangeline never expected it to break hers after she died. No one should have to choose between their husband and their first love, but it is that choice that shatters her spirit.

She makes her choice, choosing not to transition, and finds that death can be vengeful too.

The world of the dead is far more complex that she ever knew, and facing the consequences of her actions might be the hardest obstacle yet. Fighting to survive in a world she doesn’t understand, she seeks the help of the wanderers. Time is running out as winter grips the land and her companions help her search for Will. Perhaps, if she keeps her eyes open and believes in her love enough, she will make her way back to him before the Hunters find her first.

Unexpected reunions, impossible choices, and long-hidden secrets will fill her journey with joy and sadness. It is Hunting season and Evangeline will have to fight for those she loves while remembering that cheating death always has a price.

Told from a dual perspective, Killing Time brings the For Better or for Worse series to a heart-stopping continuation in every sense of the word.

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INickelsen

Ingrid is a 23-year-old French girl, college student, and dreamer. She currently resides in Paris, where she spends most of her time going to museums and the movies. Despite the romantic atmosphere in Montmartre, or even the fancy cafés in the Champs Elysées, she would easily trade it all for a nice walk in the woods with her schnauzer, Golden. She is always craving adventures, and finds that books are the cheapest way to travel to far-away lands. She is inwardly convinced that words have the power to heal the worst blisters on our hearts, or at least can make us forget about them for a little while. And sometimes, it is just enough to face another crazy day.

Author Links

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Be sure to check out For Better or For Worse, book 1

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“What hurts is to have no one to hold. What hurts is to be dead, and forced to survive. What hurts is that trying to survive breaks me.” ― For Better or for Worse

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The snow is burning my skin. I know it. But I can’t feel it, not really. It doesn’t hurt that much, I guess.

I don’t know how to move anymore, lying here on the cold white ground like a dead body. I feel dead.

Guilt weighs on me, and now it’s simply too hard to fight it. I can’t fight it. I stare numbly at the empty sky above me, utterly disoriented. I hear his voice calling me over and over again, desperately willing it to stop. That’s what hurts most. The pain in his voice, piercing the darkness. Piercing me. I close my eyes to silence my tears.

Please, stop. I’m so sorry.

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I sit down in the sand, clenching the locket tighter in my hands.

This is for the best. All I ever wanted was for Eve to be safe.

When she arrived in this land after her death with no memories of who she used to be, I had to be the one who reminded her of us. Of our love story. It used to be the most beautiful thing life ever gave me, until destiny changed her mind and fired a bullet through my perfectly happy heart. Death gave me wings too soon, but I’ve never allowed myself to fly. I’d never wanted to be set free… Not like this. I broke about a thousand rules and waited for her in this in-between. I’ve met Eve every single night and watched little pieces of her being slowly put back together. I’ll never let myself forget the way she looked at me when she finally remembered me. The last piece of the puzzle.

I didn’t think she would agree to leave her section and complete her transition. She’s always been so stubborn. Well, maybe she has changed over the years. Her husband Josh must have tamed her temper a bit.

I smirk at the thought of him. If the poor guy knew about us… I wonder if she told him. Probably not. Even if she did, I don’t really care. He had more than fifty years with her, but it should have been me.

It should have been my life.

I honestly think I deserved this last kiss. These last kisses.

I smirk again. No, maybe he shouldn’t know about them.

I lie down to gaze up into the starless sky. I can’t believe I lost her, again. She’s really gone this time.

Now the moment I have dreaded for so long has finally arrived. I must ask myself that inevitable question.

What am I going to do now that she left for good?

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ADRENALINE Release Blitz with @SunnivaD

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Adrenaline cover

CAMERON
Life’s the shit!
Chicks squeal over how wild and yummy I am, play their silly games trying to tie me down. But I’m free as a bird, doing what makes life life: kicking extreme-sport-ass!

I base jump, snowboard, bungee jump. I do anything for the rush.

Then, Ingela blows into town for college—a cool Swedish blast of trouble. Foulmouthed and runway-gorgeous, the girl seeps in like poison and melts the freaking brain.

To Ingela I am what chicks were to me: pastime, leisure, entertainment, pleasure. She’s killing me, and I’m digging it. There’s a new rush in town! Yeah, I hunt down my highs, and now the chase is on. I’ll catch her soon enough, just, what’s the deal with her ex?

BO
With Ingela, sex is a dance. A slow tango where skin flows over skin. It is slick readiness, a quiet welcome. It’s smooth, warm, right, and all wrong.

On and off. On and off. Again, she’s wrecked with grief. It’s a reminder of how I destroy her, how crushed relationships shouldn’t be revived.

We’ve done this for years, now, but clearly we’re in for more.

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Adrenaline 3D

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Sunniva Dee

Originally from Norway, I moved to the United States twelve years ago. I hold a Master’s degree in languages and taught Spanish at college level before settling in at the Savannah College of Art and Design as an adviser.

I write New Adult fiction, sometimes with a paranormal twist—like in “Shattering Halos,” published by The Wild Rose Press in February 24th 2014 and in “Stargazer,” released November 2014. The first book I’ve self-published was the New Adult Contemporary novel “Pandora Wild Child,” which made me a proud indie author in October 28th 2014.

I specialize in impulsive heroines, bad-boys, and good-boys running amok. Then, there’s the intense love, physical and emotional attraction beyond reason—sensory overload for the reader as well as for the characters. Like in real life, I hope you’re unable to predict what comes next in my stories.

Yes, so I write what I love to read, and depending on the reader, you’ll find my books to be a fast-paced emotional rollercoaster—or disturbing because the struggles of love aren’t your thing. Here’s to hoping you have the same reading vice as me!

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Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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Chops to love Adrenaline teaser

BO
Sex is a dance with her. A slow tango where skin flows over skin. It is slick readiness, a quiet welcome. It’s smooth, warm, right, and all wrong.
There’s no move she makes I don’t preempt. When it’s new, I follow. When I’m different, she forms to me. She was the ground I walked on. The air I worshipped. The first years together she was my everything.
With Ingela, sex is love. It is guilt over not giving her what she’s worthy of.
This girl. She deserves so much. And I?
I don’t have it all.
The way she looks at me. It’s knives sharpened and twisting in my gut because the extent of her love is beyond my capacity. I tell her again, for the seventh time in five years, what the answer always must be:
“Ingela, I can’t. You are the best person I know. You deserve someone with the chops to love you hard and forever. I’m not that man.”
Again, I’ve reduced her to this; her body, the one I just took to the skies in ecstasy, wracks with grief. This is why tonight is the last time we break up. I hate myself. I have to accept that I can’t make her happy.
It’s time I quit chickening out, quit running back to her over a bleak fling and whenever I need solace. To me, she’s comfort and familiarity. I’ll never stop loving Inga.
But to her, I’m still everything.

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Firm breasts Adrenaline teaser

CAMERON
The chase is over. Right here, right now, this is it. Even if it only lasts thirty seconds, the rush of what I’m about to do floods me and makes me feel. It’s so intense, every muscle in my body goes rigid with anticipation.
The air is sharp and early-morning raw. I stare out from my post on an overhang off Firam Peak. Let my eyes judge the steep drop into the ravine on the backside of the mountain. Jagged granite walls form unpredictable patterns that crash to the bottom the way I will soon, and a light dusting of snow contrasts starkly with the somber stone.
I shake my arms. Not to relieve the tension but to make sure I’m nimble and ready. I didn’t invite my friends, Dan and Marek, along today. I’d be better off with someone else around, of course, but nothing compares to the thrill I experience as I step forward alone. I’m on the edge now, in every sense of the word.
I draw in a breath of icy oxygen. Crack my fingers inside my gloves and adjust the strap on my helmet. I’m ready.
It’s so easy to plunge off the cliff. All I do is heave up on my toes and extend my arms. A light bend at the knees and I’m off, flying.
Ah, yes. I fly.
So good.
The wind howls around me. I’m fast—I’ve jumped a dozen times into this ravine so the speed doesn’t surprise me. When we started base jumping, Dan and I would heave ourselves as far out as we could to stay clear of the rock walls during the free-fall. With the velocity you take on, the smallest miscalculation will throw you against the ragged stone, toss you around, and beat you about like a rag doll. It’d be hard to survive.
It gets boring, though, to be careful every time. Which is why, at this point, to get that rush—the woozy bliss inundating my brain for hours afterward—I simply tip off the edge.
The wingsuit I wear is advanced technology. I stretch my arms out to the side, the fabric spanning open at my sides. A familiar sting of disappointment sings through me as I realize I’ll never fly without the squirrel suit. I can’t even begin to imagine the drug it would be to base jump with no security equipment. Straight to death, of course. I chuckle to myself at the thought.
I’m reaching the white ravine floor too quickly. Fuck, I’m lightning fast. The parachute on my back is a click away, but I postpone it, postpone it—
I’m on top of the world!
I’m so fucking alive while I plunge to what could be my last moment on Earth. I curl my body into a somersault and shout my rush out in an echo against the surrounding rock.
“Wooh-hooh!”

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Regret and darkness Adrenaline teaser

INGELA
My cell just buzzed. It’s four in the morning on a weekday. On an instinctual level, I know who it is. I’m not one to give myself breaks; not once, not once, do I not answer when he calls, so I sit up, adrenaline diluting my blood and telling me to go-go-go.
“Stop missing me, asshole,” I say into the receiver.
Brooding, emotional, feel-sorry-for-himself, wishy-washy, sexy nightmare Bo. He’s the epitome of inconsiderate. I’ve been studying in the US for over two years now, but my ex keeps calling me from home. Not giving a damn about the time difference, he calls right when the hell he needs me.
I fumble for the light. Turn it on. Squint and clutch my phone tighter. “Hej,” I puff out next since he doesn’t respond right away.
“Hej, Inga,” he breathes back. Voice silky, like the damn singer-guitarist he is, he says what I knew he would as if he didn’t hear my initial greeting. “I miss you.”
“You’re horrible, Bo.”
“Come on, Inga—this is hard.”
I know what he means by hard. “Is it?” I ask, sitting up straighter. “Is it, now? Then, why did you break up with me for the fifteenth time in, like, what…”
I don’t want to repeat the number of years out loud. Bo and I were an item on and off between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one. All I care about right now is him shutting the hell up. Whenever I’m almost over him, he’s there again. Black-velvety soft voice in my ear, making adrenaline, my worst enemy, course through my body until I tremble.
The man on the phone drove me to the brink a while back. There’s a reason why I’m here and not in Gothenburg where I’d be subject to his erratic moods on a daily basis.
For the millionth time, I wish I didn’t remember the good parts. Me, starting out as the sixteen-year-old groupie of his local band. The parties, the fun. The endless nights in our own little world in the dump he rented with two fellow bandmates. I swallow a lump in my throat. It was supposed to be us always. Not just for a few years. And he wasn’t supposed to be… the way he is.
“Inga, did you hear what I said?” Bo whispers now, like he cares that I should be asleep at this hour.
“No.”
“I call you, and you don’t even listen?”
“Doing my best,” I say. By the displeased huff he makes, I can tell he understands; I’m doing my best at not listening to him.
“I’m accepting a scholarship to a one-year guitar clinic in Los Angeles.”
Even sitting, my knees go weak. Deepsilver, the gorgeous little college town I’ve set new roots in here on the East Coast, must be only hours from Los Angeles by plane. The pull is on my heartstrings already—I’m too close to where Bo will be.
“Why?” I ask. “They can’t teach you anything here that you can’t learn in Gothenburg, I’m sure. And the band—are they replacing you?”
He puffs a snicker. “Naw. I don’t think so.” Bo is aware that he’s the chick magnet of the bunch and the reason they’ve been doing decent as a college band since they moved to the big city.
“I might check in with some labels while I’m in L.A. The band is with me on this. Probably heading over too, if I can scrounge up some gigs for us. Maybe we’ll tour the East Coast. How about that, Inga? We’ll pop by your little town.”
“Uh-huh, whatever.” I hurt. I try not to admit it to myself, but I miss him so much. The need to have him with me under my covers sucker-punches me. No one. No one is like Bo in bed. I feel the ghost of his hands on my skin as he lets out a quiet laugh on the other end.
“You’re so silly, Ingela. Just give it up already. I’ll take a couple of days in Deepsilver on my way there, okay? I’ll treat you well.”
I blush. There’s a reason to his sexy chuckle, to his sudden promise. As soon as I’m the slightest bit turned on, my breathing stops cooperating. Five years of on-and-off dating has Bo tuned in to the smallest changes in me the way he is to his guitar. So yes, he’s completely aware of his effect on me.
“Fuck you,” I mumble.
“Do you swear as much in English as you do in Swedish?” he purrs like he’s describing dirty pleasures.
“None of your—”
“—goddamn business?”
“Yeah, that. Bye, dick.”

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Bar brawl bite Adrenaline teaser

CAMERON
Sex, for instance. Damn straight, sex is a major high. I curve a hand around Inga’s waist, kneading, and she lets out a happy sigh. Some tumbles are more exciting than others, of course. Some chicks are more fiery than others.
I look down Inga’s supermodel body. She’s skinny, muscular in a feminine way and almost as tall as me. Small, firm breasts. I know they’re firm because I’ve felt her up more than once. I want to feel them right now, actually. I wonder if she’d consider me as a fuck buddy if I worked up the nerve to ask? The thought of that high I crave so badly tenses my jaw.
I inch my hand up across her belly, covering my move from an audience with the other arm. Ingela squirms to get more comfortable in my lap. She lifts her elbow enough for me to sneak up even higher under her shirt.
I’m easy. Just the thought of this little indiscretion makes my adrenal gland squirt its drug into my blood. Is her bra too tight? Will she allow me to cup her boob right here between our friends?
I kiss her temple. A small grin plays on her sleepy mouth. To me, Ingela’s the ultimate girl. Ever since she first cussed me out with a big smile on her face, since she gave me a bite mark on my upper thigh in a make-believe bar brawl, I’ve been in deep. For a girl, she’s fucking up there.
Not that I love her. No, people I simply enjoy being with. I don’t love them. Well, obviously Mom—my big bro, Patrick, the hotshot pilot. But that’s it. At thirteen, I realized that the only thing I’ve ever really loved is the sensation of being one hundred percent alive. In the everyday grind—school, work, colleagues, friends—you merely trot along. There’s no gallop, no living to the max.
No mental, wicked, ace living.
I grin wide.
“What’s that face for?” BB girl Beth squints my way. She’s got a thing for me, probably because I’ve never fucked her and she’s curious. I’ve had several of her colleagues. BB girls are easier lays than Smother girls.
Robin snorts. “Bet he’s thinking about next weekend. Dude’s got the weekend off and is spending his tip money on stupid shit.”
I laugh at that, and Ingela groans, uncomfortable at my chest rocking against her.
“What’re you doing?” Beth asks. “Something extreme again?” Her eyes go to my broken finger.
I shrug the shoulder Ingela isn’t resting on. “I heal fast. Plus, the ticket’s been paid for since Christmas. I’d go with a broken back.”
Beth sucks in a girly breath, and I smell acting. “Oh, don’t say that—you’re jinxing yourself, Cam. Don’t get hurt out there.”
She’s full of it. I always get myself hurt.
“Don’t go,” Ingela slurs.
“What, darlin’?” I drawl out. Clearly, I’ve heard wrong.
“Don’t. Go.” She doesn’t say it louder, just more pronounced.
“Hmm. You’ll miss me now?” She arches her back the tiniest bit, and it’s the little shift I need to slip a few digits in under her bra. Five seconds later, I’ve cupped that sweet little tit of hers. So soft and warm.
“Perv,” she tells me but doesn’t object to my groping ways.

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INGELA
Troy or Roy is the last one to get off his barstool. Dude’s been on his ass the entire night. It’s three a.m., I’ve grabbed a broom, and I’m sweeping beneath his chair.
“Ingela…” he slurs out, blinking slowly. “You know I like you, right? You must’ve noticed.”
“Uh-huh—you need a cab, honey?” I inquire.
“Naw, I was thinking… do you want to, um, go on a date with me?” He’s so drunk I don’t think he had to work up the courage to ask. Unless you count the months he’s been sitting on that stool without broaching the subject.
“Nope, I don’t,” I say and pat his cheek.
He instantly turns whiny. “Whyyy?” He drags the word out like Lyric does. “You’re such a hottie and shit.”
I try to lift one of his stool legs high enough to pull out the wadded-up napkin stuck underneath it. “Whatevs, and you need to go home. We’re closed.”
“Oh yeah, but you’ll be open again tomorrow anyway. Or hey, today,” the smartass says. Stupid me buys into the conversation.
“I’m off to bed, dude. We all have to sleep at some point.”
As I stand, he snatches my hand in a drunken plea. “Oh, Inga—pretty Inga—say ‘yes’ to a date? You’re my… uh. Number ten.”
Whatever that means. “Nope, don’t want to,” I tell him. “Go home or I’m calling Jason to butt you out of here. See ya later, buddy.”
He whimpers and stands. Wobbles. Then, he narrows his eyes at me. “You Swedes are different, huh? Okay, how about no date, just—I’ll take you straight to bed?”
From his expression, he thinks he’s onto something. Sure, I could be in that mood. Tonight, for instance, as tired as I am, I still don’t feel like going home alone. I’d love to wake up with company—only the concept doesn’t involve overly drunk guys I’ve never felt an inkling of attraction to.
I jump when a strong hand curls around my upper arm. “Troy,” Cam says behind me. “Leave Inga alone. We’ll get you a taxi home, okay?”
Troy’s face slowly morphs to offended as he plops down on the stool again. “Oh, so he can touch you? I’ve seen you two—you let him frenchie you, even. What does he have, huh?”
A single snicker hits my ear from Cameron. “You think she should be fair? If she kisses me, she should kiss you too?”
I grin. That is a funny concept. Fairness in kisses.
The guy huffs, mad. “Don’t get what’s so special about…” He tilts his chin to Cameron but tries to focus on my face as he speaks.
Cam interrupts, though, letting go of me and moving over to Troy. “It’s time, cuddle-bun. We’ll find you someone nice tonight if you’re not too hung over, all right? Inga’s busy.”
“I am?” I say, catching Cam’s gaze as he stacks Troy on his feet and accommodates his arm around his neck to haul him off.
“Ass,” Troy mumbles but doesn’t resist.
“I’m going home with you,” Cam explains to me.
I get butterflies at that. At how sure he sounds when he tells me. He winks over Troy’s lolling head and mouths, Stay put.

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