Shuffle by Lisa Swallow ~ Chapter Reveal

 Two weeks until Shuffle releases!

Today I’m sharing a ‘chapter reveal’. Read on for an exclusive look at the book!

Shuffle.Ebook

Cover Designed by Najla Qamber Designs
Photo by Lindee Robinson Photography
Models: Ashley Patchak and Andy Glass

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CHAPTER REVEAL

WILL

Touring with Blue Phoenix fooled us into thinking we’d hit the big time and would never return to our ordinary lives again. Yeah, Ruby Riot dominates our corner of the music scene, we’re bombarded with questions and posts on social media, fan mail, and the whole deal. But, at the end of the day, we’re three guys and a girl in a band.

The band’s progress halted and life rewound when our lead singer, Ruby, danced off into the sunset with the Blue Phoenix guitarist and a baby on the way. Jax lost his shit over Ruby getting knocked up by Jem; but what’s the point in freaking out? She’ll come back; Ruby lives and breathes her music more than any of us. Apart from Jax, who was recently caught in feminine wiles of his own. Tegan, Bryn Hughes sister, kicked his backside into line in a spectacular fashion. I can almost see the thumbprint on his forehead. Things lulled as we finished the album and while Ruby has her baby. Then, we try again.

So, me and Nate rewind several months, back to studying and fulfilling our promise to parents. Mine still think we need a back-up plan for when our little musical venture fails. If they’d bothered to pay attention to our lives over the last few months, Mum and Dad would know this isn’t likely to happen any time soon.

We spent all our money from the tour within weeks. Now the choice is a job, which equals less time and energy to rehearse, or doing what the parents want and dutifully completing our degrees. No big deal, only a year left now.

Okay, big deal because I fucked up last year. I need high marks in all my courses this year or I’m going to fail my degree. An Arts degree. Nobody fails an Arts degree.

Living the rock star dream involved more than the odd weekend gig – rehearsals, obligatory partying, and girls. Hangovers equal missed lectures; but somehow, Nate juggled his student/rock star life as adeptly as his drumsticks. Nate studies the same course as I do, but we choose different class times. As only a handful of people in the world can tell us apart, between us we manage to attend at least one of the classes a week and keep our attendance average.

Nate became slack at note-taking last year, his hungover haze interfering with the ability to open his laptop, but somehow he muddled through and passed. I came a tiny percentage away from failing the majority of courses.

I only have myself to blame.

The worst subject is history. Nate talked me into this as our major, and I agreed, thought it would be easy, but no. Hardly any classes to attend, but so much fucking study. We study English lit too; that’s easier to scrape through by reading notes and creating my own crazy theories. History is bloody complicated.

Two weeks in, and things are off to a bad start.

“Shit!” I throw my paper at Nate, across the table in the cafe.

He looks at the assignment-marking sheet on the front and screws his nose up. “Oh, man. Fifteen percent? Was that for getting your name right?”

“I’m fucked!” I grumble and sit next to him. “What about you?”

“Sixty-three percent.”

“How? How do you do that?”

“Study?”

“I do study!”

“Study more.”

I swear under my breath and pull out my phone. A text from Dee, the chick I hooked up with at the beginning of term; a starry-eyed Fresher who won’t take the hint I’m not interested. Times like this, I need to remind myself who I am. Will Campbell, bass player for Ruby Riot heading for the big time. Not Will Campbell, failing Arts student trying to keep his parents happy.

“What the fuck do I do? I tried this time! Really tried. I’m shit at history.”

“Man, if coming back to uni sucks this much, find a job instead.”

No way. As long as I’m here, I have cash flow from my parents. I promised that when Ruby Riot started making more money, I’d pay them back a thousand times over. Behind their smiles of agreement, I see what they really think: never going to happen.

“I can’t. I’m not doing some shitty job at a supermarket while I wait for Ruby to come back to the band.”

“Well, suck it up, princess. Keeps Mum and Dad off our backs if we get a ‘proper’ qualification.”

“When do you think they’ll believe we can make a living from the band?”

“When we actually do. The album launches next month, we have a few small gigs lined up. A bit of cash. Ruby’s coming.”

“With her kid?”

“Dunno. Maybe baby-daddy Jem will come and babysit.”

I laugh; we both do, at the image of Jem Jones – bad-mouthed, bad attitude, reformed addict – with a baby as his new accessory. “I’d pay to see that. Reckon he changes nappies?”

Nate screws his face up. “Dude, I’m eating.”

I steal one of his chips and watch the other students around. Most pay little attention to us, although we have hangers-on some days. Their belief we’re partying rock stars draws them to us, and the partying is one of the reason for my bad grades.

Nate slurps from his can of energy drink. “There’s a study group if you’re that worried.”

I stare. “Study group? Are you mad? I suppose that’s a group of chicks who meet in the evenings in the library and argue about feminist interpretations of history. Like the one in my class, can’t remember her name. Jeez, she doesn’t shut up and the guy teaching the class hardly gets a word in. No wonder I’m not learning anything.”

“Just a suggestion.” He pushes my paper across the table. “Fail this semester and you’ll be stacking supermarket shelves.”

“As if! What about the album? We’re gonna be big.”

“There’s no guarantee, you know that.” Nate stands. “Whose turn is it to go to the Shakespeare class this afternoon? Yours?”

“Oh crap, no, please don’t make me sit through that again. I bloody hate Shakespeare.” I stand too.

“Your name sake? No affinity there? What did you expect when you signed up for Lit as part of your degree?”

“Please,” I beg. “Do this. After that shit mark, I’m not in the mood.”

Nate wrinkles his nose at my pleading look. “Fine, but you do the next two classes.”

“I love you, man.” I grab the side of his face and kiss his cheek hard.

Nate pushes me off. “Jesus, Will!”

He hauls his messenger bag across his shoulders and wanders away. Slumping back in my seat, I chew my lip. Study group sounds like a viable option. Unfortunately.

****

FLEUR

I flick the switch in the library study room and the strip light illuminates the screwed up paper and abandoned pens from the last occupants. Muttering, I grab the bin and dump everything in. Some moron has spilled a sticky drink on one of the wooden chairs and I pull it away from the table. Four chairs are enough for the group.

A select handful of history student friends and I meet here once a week to combine our research and share ideas. We’re aiming to go onto post-grad study, and our co-operation makes sense. We’re in this together, not competing.

Some of the group failed the last paper and even I dropped below eighty percent, which hasn’t happened since my first year. Our understanding of late twentieth century European history needs work and we’ve decided that’s where we’ll focus tonight. Dragging my textbook from the bag and dumping it on the desk, I sit. Laptop open, pen out, and I’m ready.

Nita arrives first; her thick black hair pulled into a ponytail and a worried expression on her face. I’m surprised when Steph enters the room; we had a huge argument in the last session, and we haven’t spoken since. Steph doesn’t like to be wrong; neither do I, so we have issues. Her mark must’ve been really bad if she came back. The fourth member of our happy gang, Sam, wanders in after we’ve started, as usual.

“How’d everybody go with the paper?” I ask.

A variety of displeased grunts is my answer.

“Bombed. What about you?” asks Sam.

“I passed.”

Nita glances at Sam. “Told you she would.”

Steph mutters, “We failed.”

“Well, the next one we’ll all pass,” I say attempting to inject some enthusiasm into the room. “Did everybody bring their textbooks?”

“Yes, Miss,” says Sam with a chuckle.

They can tease all they like, but I’m serious about my ambitions. Since I was a kid, my life revolved around books. Learning. Understanding. When I start my PhD, I’ll teach first year classes part-time too. I admit I’m practicing on my trio of study friends.

“The website links they gave us for research were crap,” says Sam. “I ended up going in circles and more confused.”

“Maybe we’ll map out the best ones today?” I suggest. “Some must be easier to navigate.” I pull up the bookmarks on my laptop.

The door opens and I glance up, annoyed at the interruption. A tall guy stands in the doorway. If it wasn’t obvious who he is, the Ruby Riot t-shirt stretched across his muscled chest is a giveaway. A half-smile plays across his mouth, one I remember from a couple of weeks ago. He pushes long fingers through his dark, spiked fringe as he looks over.

Nate Campbell. Or Will.

Whoever he is, this is one of the big-headed rock star twins. I don’t care which, because after Will’s behaviour at the party whoever he is can get the hell out. I wait for him to close the door and walk away. He doesn’t.

“Yes?” I ask.

“This the history group?”

“Correct.”

“Cool.” He drags a spare chair from the corner of the room to the table.

“What are you doing?”

“Joining your group. To study.” Without waiting for an invitation, he sits and folds his tattooed arms on the desk. “That okay?”

“Depends. Which twin are you? Will or Nate?”

The guy studies me, and I return his scrutiny, looking for a sign of guilt or embarrassment over his treatment of me at the party. If there’s any chance at all that this is Will, he can bloody leave.

“Which one do you want me to be?”He fights the smirk edging around the corner of his lips, but fails.

I scowl at him. “I think you know which one I don’t want you to be. You were both there.” There’s no sign on his face of guilt, either this is Nate or Will’s too arrogant to care.

The guy ignores the response. “Is it because I have to ask nicely?” He clears his throat. “Please may I join your study group?”

Nita giggles and I glance at her. Great, she’s wide-eyed and silly because a Campbell is in the room with us. Steph looks less impressed, but Sam joins Nita in his interest.

“Why are you back at uni, man? Thought you guys made it big.”

Possibly-Nate-maybe-Will shrugs. “Want to finish my degree. Back-up plan and all that.”

“And you want to join us?” I ask, not wanting to waste time on his life story.

“Is that a problem?” asks Nita.

“I suppose not.”

“Welcome,” says Sam.

I glower at Sam; but despite my delusions, I’m not in charge here.

****

WILL

Shit.

Is Fleur the leader of the group? Or does she just set herself up to be? If I tell her I’m Will, she’ll kick my ass straight out of here. Without replying which of the twins I am, I pull out my laptop. If this group is worth the time, I’ll figure out how to talk Fleur around. She introduces me to the rest of the group then returns to her laptop.

After the party, Nate questioned my drunken decision to hit on Fleur, and I shrugged him off, told him I wasn’t serious and just teasing. Truth is, I was serious, and I wasn’t teasing. Yeah, totally screwed up my chances now, but I have a thing for Fleur. I’m not sure how to define the ‘thing’. Fleur isn’t my type of girl. I prefer an edgy look. Ever since I saw her in a lecture two years ago, blonde hair falling across her face as she squeezed past me to take a seat nearby with her friend, I’ve fantasised about her. Okay, truth is when I stood to let her pass, her ass brushed against me, and that was the trigger for my fantasies. And my dick.

For a few weeks afterwards, I looked for an opportunity to talk to her; but hundreds attend my history lectures, and we were never assigned the same seminars. Fleur never noticed me, or if she did, never wanted to talk to me. I’ve seen her at parties in the past, but usually with a guy.

By the second year, I decided her lack of attention was what kept my crush going.

This year, she’s in a couple of Nate’s classes; and on the occasions I’ve taken them for him, she hasn’t spoken to or looked at me. Nate has nothing to apologise for, but she’s sour faced with me-him too. I guess we’re both on her shit list. Maybe something to do with the picture of me and her appearing on Instagram with a comment about how cute she is. The image was only up a few hours before I sobered up and took it down. Good thing I’m not as interesting as Jax, when he posted a picture of him and Tegan the world went bat-shit crazy.

Still, Fleur does weird things to me without trying, and I’d kill to get my hands on her. Chances of that happening now have moved from slim to none.

I shake out of my thoughts, aware I’m glazing over. Already, I’m lost and crane my neck to look at Nita’s laptop. “What are we doing?” I whisper.

“Checking out H-Net site.”

“Oh. What’s that?”

“Research site. Don’t you have the link?” she whispers back.

“Are you okay?” asks Fleur.

“I can’t find the site,” I reply.

“The one we signed up to at the beginning of last year?”

Crap. “I haven’t signed up yet.”

Fleur looks at me as if I’m from another planet. “Are you seriously telling me you’ve never once used this site? The key site? Did you actually pass anything?”

“Not much. I guess that’s one answer to why I failed most of last year.”

“Sign up now, then.”

“Don’t have passwords.”

“Well, I guess there’s no point you being here.”

I hold Fleur’s pissed off gaze, amused by her haughty attitude. “It’s okay. I’ll watch and learn.” I shift closer to Nita whose friendly smile indicates my semi-star status helps me out. “You can email me some details later, can’t you?” I ask Nita.

“Sure!”

The next hour dizzies me. I have screwed up my studies, big style. I need to go back to history assignment writing 101. Why did I slack off mid-last year when the excitement of rising fame hit? Swept up in the moment, I convinced myself I’d hit the big time and I wouldn’t need to bother anymore.

Dumbass.

Fleur knows her shit. Everybody here does. If I hang with them, maybe some of their smarts will rub off on me. As they pack away their laptops and books, I overhear Nita chat to Fleur about some one-on-one help. Right. Fleur’s the smartest. Could I persuade her to give me some extra help too?

Not if she knows I’m Will.

My options are limited and one thing I’ve learned over the last hour is I need to be in this group. The days of achieving a decent grade on my own are gone. Yeah, I could put extra effort in alone, but I don’t want to spend half my life trawling the internet for answers. These guys know a shitload more than I do, and are willing to share.

“Am I allowed back?” I ask Fleur as Nita leaves.

“You never said who you were.”

Her big blue eyes delve into my conscience and, for a split second, I consider telling the truth. The problem is my conscience hasn’t played any part in my life recently.

“I’m Nate,” I say and hold out my hand.

Fleur looks at my hand but doesn’t take hold. “Your brother’s an arsehole.”

“Sometimes. But that doesn’t mean I am, right?”

Her straight blonde hair falls into her face as she bends over to fasten her bag. “Depends. You both have a reputation.”

“I promise I’ll behave,” I say and attempt to sound sincere.

Fleur continues to pack her things and doesn’t reply. Ah, well, it was worth a shot.

“If you think the group can help you, and if you leave the Campbell attitude outside the door, then okay.”

Score. “Easy done.”

Could she look anymore doubtful? “We’ll be here same time next week, 6 p.m., if you want to come back.”

“Thanks,” I say as she walks to the door.

Fleur pauses. “You’re welcome, but I suggest you do some study between now and then.”

“Let me buy you a coffee, say thanks properly?”

“I’m busy, but thanks for the offer.”

“Another time?”

“Let’s leave it at this, Nate,” she says and before I can respond, she leaves.

The realisation hits as the door clicks closed and my brain re-engages. I told her I was Nate.

Nate’s gonna lose his shit.

 

ShuffleTeaser.v1.6
Shuffle (Ruby Riot #2)

Will Campbell, Ruby Riot bassist, is back at university and failing badly at everything apart from partying.

With Ruby Riot on a break, Will returns to university to finish his degree. He needs major help if he wants to pass his final year and attempts to join a not-very-rock star study group. Will is horrified to discover the person organising the group is Fleur Roberts, the girl he’s secretly crushed on for two years and who recently threatened him with a restraining order.

Fleur’s rock stars are history academics. She has no interest in any variety of pierced, tattooed slacker, especially not the jackass rock star who humiliated her at a party. There’s no way in Hell that Will Campbell is joining her group.

Faced with losing the easiest way to fix his academic problems, Will has the perfect solution: pretend he’s his twin, Nate. Will and Nate have swapped identities before so nothing can go wrong. Surely.

Fleur is successful academically, but her love life is a failure. Following a number of disastrous dates, she finds herself falling in love with a guy who is lying to her. But Will’s deceit isn’t the only thing about to shatter her world. When another man Fleur trusted betrays her, and she attempts to retaliate, Fleur discovers how dangerous he is. And when Will becomes involved, the repercussions threaten both of their futures.

Shuffle is the second standalone book in the Ruby Riot series and can be read separately to the first book.

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InkSlinger Blogger Final

New Release ~ The Ninth Hunter by Anna Hub

NEW RELEASE

The Ninth Hunter – A Standalone Paranormal Thriller

Anna Hub

Limited time release price – 99c. Read it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

The Ninth Hunter ebook cover

These weren’t ghosts of the dead with unfinished business. They were something far more sinister.

Daniel Barrow is a ghost hunter bound to a life of misery; protecting the world from ghosts by killing their human hosts. He knows the rules: mark the targets, plot the crime scenes, and then murder those beyond saving. Daniel’s safe in his rituals—until he meets Faye Michaels.

Faye isn’t his average target and her ghosts threaten to destroy everything he has worked for. When his ritual goes wrong, Daniel must create an uneasy alliance with the woman he intended to kill. But the deeper they dig, the closer they get to a dangerous secret that will change their lives forever.

Daniel must make a choice: fulfil his duty, or turn his back on those he has come to trust. Can the truth lead him to salvation?

Excerpt

This was uncharted territory. In all his years of ghost hunting he’d always taken solace in the fact that the ghosts couldn’t physically reach him. Now the rules didn’t stand and he had to be prepared for anything.

Daniel shut the door gently in the hope they wouldn’t be interrupted. He took a mirror from his pocket and searched for the ghosts. They had to know he had arrived but there was no sign of them yet. Perhaps they had a more calculated approach this time. One thing was certain—they wouldn’t let him kill Faye without a fight.

A groan sounded behind the curtain and his throat dried out. He’d never had to face a victim after he’d attacked them and it wasn’t just that he feared the girl’s reaction; he didn’t know exactly how it would make him feel.

He dropped the tablet into the medicine cup and pulled the curtain aside. Faye was asleep with the bed propped up to prevent her neck extending too far. A thick bandage covered her wound. The surrounding skin a mix of yellow and purple. Daniel remembered the way her skin had split beneath his knife, the thought creating a sense of heaviness in his chest.

Faye’s eyes shot open, almost as though she sensed his anxiety, her breath rapid in the otherwise silent room. At first, Daniel couldn’t move, sure she was about to scream. Instead she blinked, her eyes glassy from medication.

He swallowed. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Could he pull his blade out faster than she could call for help? She stared and he waited, each beat of his heart emphasising the slow seconds as the pressure in Daniel’s throat built up, spreading all the way to his jaw. He had to distract her, but the sight of her blue—and somehow bottomless—eyes froze him.

For one small moment he was moved. He wanted to whisper an apology, to have her know she hadn’t done anything wrong—it wasn’t her fault she was haunted. But there was no space for thoughts like that; he had to concentrate on his task.

He forced a smile to his lips. “I’m on a medication round, thought I’d see how you were.”

Faye didn’t answer. She looked to the window, the reflection showing two ghosts hovering on either side of her.

“Do you feel okay?” he asked, searching for a clue of what might be going through her head.

Faye’s voice came out hoarse. “A little sick.”

Perhaps she didn’t remember him after all. Daniel tried to relax his posture as he took the chart from the end of the bed. Hopefully the drug he was about to give her wouldn’t interact too badly with the morphine recorded on her medication chart. Still, he had to take the chance. He didn’t want her revealing anything to the police—sometimes the smallest piece of information was all they needed to catch a killer.

“This tablet will help with the nausea.”

Faye watched as he poured water into her cup, her expression filled with turmoil. He’d always found it easy to play whatever part he needed, but this situation was like nothing he’d experienced before. He’d never felt more like a killer. If she had her wits about her she might have recognised his discomfort but he forced a smile once more and pushed the cup closer. She looked at him, her eyes cautious before she swallowed the tablet and took a drink.

Daniel picked up the water jug. “I’ll fill this up.”

 

He turned the tap in the bathroom and lifted his gaze to the mirror, startled to see a ghost standing right behind him. Despite the bristle of hair and the deep-rooted feeling that he wasn’t safe, the energy reminded him of what it was like to be human. The rest of the time he was just a shell.

Opaque skin barely covered the ghost’s veins and her detailed form made her more human-like than the others. Her eyes weren’t the regular white, but rather the deep blue of night, and her hair a harsh white instead of mottled brown. At first he was bewitched, her edges shimmering as she leaned in and brushed against his shoulder. He jolted; disturbed by the distance she’d travelled away from Faye. This must have been what Lamont spoke about. They weren’t bound by rules anymore. Daniel turned to the side, keeping his eyes on the mirror as the hair on his arms lifted and he thought about all the times a ghost had pulled him through the veil. He couldn’t let that happen now; these ghosts were too powerful to risk entering their realm.

He pressed one hand against the knife at his waist as he reached out to touch her. A chill spread up his hand before the creature flashed and disappeared. He waited to see if she would come back, but the mirror showed only his own pale face and an empty bathroom behind him.

Daniel paused to force away memories from when he was haunted. The ghost had reminded him how it felt to have your every move tracked, the rushing in your veins when you knew they were behind you. He splashed water on his face. Everything about this job felt wrong. He was losing himself, and if he didn’t figure something out soon, Faye Michaels would be his undoing.

 

Q & A with the author

Can you start by telling us what inspired you to write this book?

When I finished working on my last set of books, The Shadow Series, I was looking for a new story to write. At the time I was reading a lot of ghost stories, like the amazing, Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, and The Graveyard Queen Series by Amanda Stevens. I really loved their style of combining ghosts with unique plots I hadn’t come across before. That was exactly what I wanted to create; a story that no one had ever read.

Creating my own mythology has been incredibly challenging, but I’m glad this book stands apart from others in its genre.

Why would readers like this book?

I think The Ninth Hunter appeals to a wide variety of readers. Although I classify the book as a standalone paranormal thriller for adults, I think it’s also suited to a younger audience. Young adult and new adult are my favourite to read and that’s what I had in mind when I wrote this book. The characters are a little too mature to fit into that category but younger readers will still be able to identify with the main character’s struggle for identity.

I’m a big fan of mixed genres so this book has something for everyone. It’s a fast-paced, action-packed thriller but I’ve also added a touch of romance, a pinch of horror and an unusual plot, which could almost pass as fantasy.

Who was your favourite character to write?

The main character, Daniel Barrow, wins this hands down! He’s such a complex guy, and probably the first murderer you’ll genuinely feel sorry for. Although he’s done terrible things, he’s trapped in a life of misery and at the core, he wants to do the right thing. He’s an incredibly flawed hero (anti-hero even?), but he’s so good at his job which makes him a complete badass at the same time. While I truly love, Faye, his strong female sidekick, I think her strength somehow adds to Daniel’s vulnerability and that only makes me love him more.

And finally, what does it mean to you, to have this book published?

Although I’ve previously published a set of four paranormal/fantasy novels, this book is by far my favourite. It’s definitely the most challenging story I’ve written and it’s been a long time in the making, but I’m hoping I’ve captured a unique story and created characters that readers will love.

Buy Links

Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Amazon.com.au

Author Bio

Anna_Hub_Profile_PicWhen I was a child I wanted to be an author. It seemed like a perfectly attainable dream to me then, but of course I grew up and realised that writing was not the best way to make a future for myself. So I discarded the idea and decided to do something normal.

When I studied nursing I thought I’d found a place for myself, but within six months of working in that field I knew I needed more. So in July 2007, I bought myself a laptop and started writing in my spare time. It took me two years to complete my first book and by the time it was finished, I felt as though I’d learnt enough to pursue the dream.

My love for writing has grown rapidly since then and now I know that it’s something I can’t live without. It’s a place where there is no limit, no exact destination and my mind is free to exist in many worlds.

It’s a beautiful sanctuary.

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New Release ~ Downfall by S.D. Wasley

Downfall (The Incorruptibles Book 1)
by S.D. Wasley

Release Date: January 7, 2016

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From Amazon bestselling author S.D. Wasley comes her first work of new adult paranormal romance perfect for lovers of Lauren Kate’s Fallen and the Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series.

Frankie’s cousin wants her to do three things this year:

  • 1. Lose her inhibitions
  • 2. Do something spectacularly stupid
    3. Fall madly in love

Travelling was Frankie’s life. As the daughter of a big-name evangelist, she’s been able to feed her hunger for new sights throughout most of her teenage years. Then a hushed-up scandal gets her thrown off the tour circuit and stuck at her uncle’s house in the town of Augur’s Well.

Forced to repeat her failed senior year, it looks like a dismal existence for Frankie—until she’s invited to the bizarre meeting place of four mismatched people … and falls hard for the fascinating, secretive Cain Aleister.

Furtive meetings in an underground chamber … Latin words carved into a stone wall … intense desire … and a secret so elusive she’ll do almost anything to bust it open. Until now, Frankie never believed in grand passions—but that’s not the only one of her beliefs about to implode right before her eyes.

Looks like Frankie’s going to score three for three.

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Buy Links

99c release special!

 

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Excerpt:

“Where are your friends?” He nodded toward the wall with the carven words. Somehow I’d missed it on my first look around the room, but now I saw a man stretched out asleep on a ragged sofa. “Who’s that?”

“Cain.” Jude took the chip bag out of my hands. “I’ll just put these cans in the cooler. You wake him up.”

Me?”

Jude went down a dim corridor. I looked back at Cain, who still slumbered peacefully. Screw that. I wasn’t waking up this guy I’d never met. Jude could do that when he got back from his cooler mission. But an odd feeling of recognition came over me and I drew closer. Was it possible I knew this man? From school? No way. He was older than me by at least a few years. From Dad’s church? Seemed unlikely. I knelt beside the sofa, looking up and down the length of his body, from his tangled brown hair to his bare feet, lying one on top of the other. His left arm was exposed, palm up, and tiny scars peppered its crook. When I worked my examination back up to Cain’s face I found his eyes open, mirroring the shock and fascination I felt. We gazed at one another for a long, tense moment.

Finally his eyes flicked upwards, above and behind me. “Who is she?”

I hadn’t noticed Jude standing skittishly at my back because I couldn’t take my eyes off Cain. His face now he was awake was … well, there was no word for it but stunning. It wasn’t even something identifiable, like striking eyes or sensual lips. Just a face that could make you forget to blink until your eyeballs dried out. A face that could, and was, making my body react—despite my efforts to control it.

“Frankie. Francesca Caravaggio,” Jude stammered in reply. “An old school friend.”

“What is she doing here?” Cain’s voice was calm, a still body of water against Jude’s nerviness.

“I thought you might think she’s, uh … okay …”

Cain nodded. I felt a rush of air from Jude as he turned away, heading down that dark corridor again. Cain sat up and lit a cigarette, rubbing the back of his head. He offered me one and I shook my head in wordless distaste, although these cigarettes didn’t seem as bad as most. In fact, I couldn’t really smell it at all. He drew on it deeply and gave me a smile, fixing his eyes on my face.

“Hello, Francesca Caravaggio. I’m Cain. Cain Aleister.”

“Frankie.” My reply sounded lame, helpless, because I was seriously disturbed by that smile. It didn’t seem fair that he could keep climbing degrees of stunning like that. “Everyone calls me Frankie.”

He puffed on his cigarette. “The others will be here soon.” His voice. It was soothing, comforting, and intimately warm.

“Who are they?” I asked, more to distract myself than from actual curiosity.

“There’s Liz. She’s a nurse I met in the hospital when I came off my bike.”

“How old is she?”

“About thirty, I think.” Thirty? Jude was hanging out with thirty-year-old women now? “Then there’s Owen Zheng,” Cain went on. “He’s a university student.”

“What does he study?”

“History.”

“Who else?”

“You already know Jude.”

“Yeah, from school.”

“You were at high school together?”

“Yeah. Well, no. I haven’t always been in town. Not for the last few years.”

“Why’s that?”

Okay, here it went. This was the bit where I admitted to this guy who was incredible in a way I had nevernot in forty-five cities over three years—seen before, that I was Don Carver’s daughter. If I could have closed my eyes to get it over with, I would have.

“My father’s a well-known author,” I said in a rush. “He made it big in the last few years and I’ve been touring with him. It takes me out of town for most of each year. Took,” I corrected myself, the new reality coming back to me like a slap. “It took me out of town for most of the year, but not this year. I’m staying in Augur’s Well now. To study.”

“Oh.”

He played with his cigarette for a moment before lying back on his sofa, positioning himself so he could still observe me. That’s it? I watched him, suspicious. He wasn’t going to ask why? He wasn’t going to ask my dad’s name? He wasn’t going to tell me he’d heard of my dad’s Saints Among Us book series and live shows and thought they were a load of bullshit?

“Have you always lived in Augur’s Well?” was all he asked.

“Uh, no. We lived in Land’s End for a few years. That’s where my mum comes from. Dad had a job managing the grocery store so we lived there till I started school.”

“Did you like that? Living on the coast?”

“I loved it.” He waited, but I hesitated to give him any more information about myself. I was already at a major disadvantage in this situation. I seized the questioner’s role. “So … you’re not at school, I guess?”

Cain gave a small smile. “Not for a few years now.”

“Been in Augur’s Well long?”

“No. Just a year. I lived in Revel City before that.”

“Did you get a job here or something?” I couldn’t think of any other reason someone would move from vibrant Revel City to the flat, anonymous town of Augur’s Well.

“Just knew I had to live here.” As he spoke he watched me closely. Was he trying to detect a particular reaction?

I didn’t give him one. “Okay.”

I wanted to ask how old he was but wasn’t sure that was something you asked a man you’d just met. It had never come up as an etiquette issue for me before. Cain reached for an opened soda can and shook it to see if any drink remained, and then dropped his cigarette into the can. It hissed as he turned his head back and smiled at me again, that terrifyingly beautiful smile. My whole body responded to it. I looked away, telling myself to get it together. Where the heck is Jude?

Snow Kissed ~ A Christmas Novella from Lisa Swallow

Today I’m celebrating the release of SNOW KISSED. This is a short and sweet holiday novella that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.
Snow Kissed is available for .99¢ or FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

 

Sadie’s holiday season is officially off to the worst start ever. After losing her job a week before Christmas and starting a fight in a toy store, she decides to throw in the tinsel and heads to the English Cotswolds early for a quiet Christmas with her family.
She wasn’t counting on the complications caused by her sister’s Christmas wedding. Or the groom’s brother and best man, Jamie.
The wealthy, charming Jamie is everything Sadie tries to avoid. But the best man has a secret that will change everybody’s Christmas.
In the snow-kissed Cotswolds, will Sadie have a happy holiday after all?

 

BUY LINKS:

This book is available exclusively through Kindle Unlimited (for FREE) or you can purchase it for .99 cents!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AUS | Amazon CAN

Cadence Release Blitz

Cadence_BLITZ

Today we are celebrating the release of CADENCE by Lisa Swallow! This is the start of a brand new series, Ruby Riot, and it is a spin-off from Lisa’s Blue Phoenix books. Be sure to check out the special sale going on and enter to win the giveaway!

Cadence.Ebook.Amazon

ADD CADENCE TO GOODREADS

Tegan Hughes joins Blue Phoenix and Ruby Riot on tour, and drummer Bryn isn’t the only one who notices his little sister isn’t a kid anymore.

Jax Lewis is the guitarist for Ruby Riot and the band are rising to success. He’s hot property and loving every minute of his new found fame. Now, he’s on tour supporting Blue Phoenix and living his rock star life to the full. Until Tegan walks into his world and puts the brakes on.

Tegan Hughes is taking a year out and has her sights set on touring Europe with her big brother’s band. Blue Phoenix drummer, Bryn isn’t happy when his sister arrives unannounced at his hotel in Lisbon, but Tegan isn’t the type of person to take no as an answer.

With her big brother breathing down their necks, Jax and Tegan attempt to keep a handle on their growing attraction but that proves harder than they thought. Jax is used to getting whoever and whatever he wants and after kissing Tegan once, he knows one thing…he wants more.

The problem is, Tegan isn’t rock star girlfriend material. She has ambitions of her own and refuses to let anything stand in the way of her plans. But when Jax and Tegan’s relationship becomes public knowledge life becomes a hell of a lot more complicated.

Cadence is the first standalone book in a new rock romance series, Ruby Riot. The series is a spin-off from the Blue Phoenix books but you do not need to read the Blue Phoenix series first.

 

CadenceTeaser2.v2 on tour

 

Cadence_SALE

BUY LINKS:

This book is available exclusively through Kindle Unlimited (for FREE) or you can purchase it for .99 cents for 2 days only!

Shuffle teaser 1

The next book in the Ruby Riot series, SHUFFLE, is now available for pre-order!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AUS | Amazon CAN

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

InkSlinger Blogger Final

NEW RELEASE and GIVEAWAY: The Same Deep Water by Lisa Swallow

Sale

The Same Deep Water
by Lisa Swallow
Publication Date: August 26, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Tour: The Same Deep Water by Lisa Swallow

BUY LINKS

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon AUSAmazon CAN

Once, I wanted to die. That was the night I met Guy.

The strange man with flowers stepped from the shadows and saved my life.

Guy. Dimpled smile. Body of a surf god. Smart and funny.
Running out of time.

We became travelling companions through life, ticking off items on our bucket lists. I’d hidden from happiness for years and kept my life under strict control.

Guy showed me how to step into the world and experience more. He brought light into the shadows and helped me through the darkness.

I became Phe again. I lived.

There’s just one problem.

We fell in love and this wasn’t part of our plans.

I thought I could cope with our uncertain future, but Guy has a secret which changes everything..

Sometimes, believing the lies we tell ourselves is easier than dealing with the truth.

The Same Deep Water is a standalone new adult romance set in Australia.

*The book partly deals with mental health issues which may include triggers for some readers*

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A Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt

A man sidesteps the group and heads toward me. I recognise Guy’s gait but until he reaches me, he’s indiscernible from the crowd. Guy’s white mask obscures half his face, but his strong jaw and full mouth are visible still. The well-cut black suit jacket is unbuttoned, a grey shirt with bow tie beneath.

Guy looks a hell of a lot hotter out of his boardies and the control over my attraction to him loosens further.

A low whistle accompanies Guy’s appraisal of me. “You scrub up well.”

“Nicely put. You’re not quite Prince Charming then?”

“Not if you’re Belle.” He crooks his elbow indicating I should place my arm through his.

“Belle?”

“You’re wearing gold which is closer to yellow. Beauty and the Beast.”

“I’d hardly call you a beast.” I hesitate over whether to take his arm or not.

“There are so many inappropriate responses I can give to that comment and won’t.” He pauses. “I’ve told you before, you’re beautiful.”

I blush like a teenager beneath my mask and heavy make-up. “Thanks.”

“Not just tonight,” he says softly.

I hastily change the subject. “You look very different in a suit.”

“Devastatingly sexy?”

“I was going to go with ‘good’.” Yes, and you know you are.

“‘Good’? Not even hot? Seriously?”

“I’m never sure whether you’re serious and in love with yourself, or if you’re joking.”

“Ah, a bit of both.” He gestures again for me to take his arm.

We touch.

Every day I touch new people. Shake hands with clients, am jostled by people on the way to and from work, but until now I didn’t realise I’ve avoided touching Guy. When we first met, his touch would’ve pulled me away from the edge and taken away control of my body and decisions.

As I link my arm through Guy’s, a finality strikes, too. The distance I’ve tried to maintain, the illusion our only connection is a night of my life I refuse to see as part of myself, retreats as we connect. His arm is warm against my bare skin and the curve of his bicep beneath the expensive suit doesn’t escape my attention either. Caught in the romance of the setting, the nervous fluttering in my stomach switches to desire for Guy’s touch. I resolve to limit the amount of alcohol and physical contact for the evening.

Cover Reveal ~ The Same Deep Water by Lisa Swallow

 

TITLE – The Same Deep Water
AUTHOR – Lisa Swallow
SERIES – Standalone
GENRE – New Adult
RELEASE DATE – 26th August 2015
COVER DESIGN – Najla Qamber Designs

 

Synopsis

Once, I wanted to die. That was the night I met Guy. 

The strange man with flowers stepped from the shadows and saved my life.

 Guy. Dimpled smile. Body of a surf god. Smart and funny. Running out of time. 

We became travelling companions through life, ticking off items on our bucket lists. I’d hidden from happiness for years and kept my life under strict control. Guy showed me how to step into the world and experience more. He brought light into the shadows and helped me through the darkness.

I became Phe again. I lived.

There’s just one problem.

We fell in love and this wasn’t part of our plans.

I thought we could face the future together, but Guy has a secret which changes everything.

Sometimes, believing the lies we tell ourselves is easier than dealing with the truth.

The Same Deep Water is a standalone New Adult romance set in Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

GET THE SAME DEEP WATER AT THE PRE-ORDER PRICE OF 99c, LIMITED TIME ONLY!!

 Preorder Links:

iBooks
Kobo
 Nook

 

Reverb (Blue Phoenix #5) – Release Day Blitz

 


TITLE: REVERB
 
SERIES: BLUE PHOENIX, #5
 
AUTHOR: LISA SWALLOW
 
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!!
COVER ARTIST:  Najla Qamber at Najla Qamber Designs
IMAGE Stock Photo


 

PURCHASE LINKS:

 

AMAZON I iTUNES I B&N I KOBO

 

BLURB:

Blue Phoenix drummer, Bryn Hughes, prefers a quiet life away from the spotlight. But that’s proving difficult when his life is complicated by three very different girls: 

Mia, the girl who doesn’t understand the word no.
Avery, who wishes she’d said yes. 
And his forever girl

Add to this a secret that threatens to take decisions about the future out of Bryn’s hands, and Bryn’s reputation as the uncomplicated band member is over. 

The world of Blue Phoenix is changing and Bryn is on the edge. Following a failed attempt to win back the girl he loved and lost as a teen, a broken-hearted Bryn returns to England and discovers heiress, Mia Jordan, has moved herself into his apartment while he was away. Life just got hard. 

When Avery spills soup on a rock star at a wedding and suggests he removes his trousers, she doesn’t expect to see Bryn Hughes again unless he’s carrying a law suit. 
So when Bryn gatecrashes an evening with her friends the following day, what he does stuns her. 

Avery and Bryn begin an unlikely relationship but their growing closeness looks set to end. If Bryn’s heart still belongs to a different girl, and he’s about to tour with Blue Phoenix, a future together looks doubtful. 

But when a secret explodes, the effects reverberate through every aspect of Bryn’s world and deciding where his heart belongs becomes the least of Bryn’s problems.


Reverb teaser each kiss 18April

EXCERPT:

I grab a tea towel and debate how much use it will be against the amount of soup covering Bryn’s trousers, but head out of the kitchen anyway. Bryn hovers outside and I almost slam into his wall of muscle.

“Glad you’re not carrying more soup,” he says and steadies me with his hand.

Bryn’s large palm is warm against my arm and his decision to touch me spikes my already high heart rate. I’m in physical contact with a rock star. I chastise myself; I’ll be swooning and giggling next.

“Here,” I half-squeak and hold out the white and blue tea towel.

He raises an eyebrow. “That’s too small; there’s a lot down there to dry, you know.”

My face flares again at his double meaning. “Maybe take your trousers off…” Oh, my God. “I mean, do you have anything to change into?”

Bryn makes a mock gasp. “I told you. You need to at least, buy me a drink before I put out! Groping me and then trying to get into my pants…you look so sweet and innocent, too.”

I take a deep breath. I deserve this but I’m not taking it. “That’s amusing. I made a mistake and I’m trying to help.”

Bryn takes the towel. “I know, but see the funny side, hey?”

“Yeah, hilarious when I lose my job.”

“Over one bowl of spilt soup?”

“Believe me; somebody is looking for an excuse to get rid of me.”

“Hmm. Well, I won’t complain if that’s what you’re worried about. Accidents happen.”

“I can’t believe you’re calm about this.”

“What would I achieve by being shitty about it?” He pauses. “Oh, because I’m famous you think I’ll have an attitude to you common folk.”

Unsure whether this is teasing or what he thinks of me, I choose to ignore the comment and switch back to my professional mode. “Thank you. Is there anything else I can get you?”

I don’t miss the sweeping appraisal of my white shirt and black skirt. Or more precisely, my tits and legs. “More soup, maybe?” he asks. “In a bowl this time, please.”

“Okay.”

He hands me the now orange stained towel. “And your name.”

My heart sinks into my shoes. “I thought you said you weren’t going to complain?”

“I’m not. I’d like to know your name as we’ve already been so intimate.”

“Avery.”

“Aviary? Like the place birds live?”

I open my mouth to retort, but there’s no hint of teasing. Does he seriously think anybody would have that as a name?

“No, A-ver-y, like the girl who sucks at waitressing.”

Bryn smiles. “Cool name. Well, good luck with the rest of your shift, cariad.”

I grip the tea towel as Bryn moves back to the throng of the wedding.

Did he just call me cariad?

BLUE PHOENIX SERIES LINKS:




SUMMER SKY #1
AMAZON I  iTUNES I B&N I KOBO

SUMMER STAR #1.5

 

FALLING SKY #2

UNPLUGGED #3
AMAZON I iTUNES I B&N I KOBO

 

RISING #4
AMAZON I iTUNES I B&N I KOBO

REVERB #5

Summer Star (Blue Phoenix #1.5) Release Day

 

Title: Summer Star (Blue Phoenix, #1.5)
Author: Lisa Swallow
Release Date: February 18, 2015
SummerStarebook
 
Synopsis:
 
“I love the world we’re in, where you’ll always be my summer Sky. I could live here forever.”
 
Dylan Morgan has lived and breathed his life as lead singer of Blue Phoenix for eight years and now it’s suffocating him. On the verge of a breakdown, he cuts off his signature long-hair and walks away from the band.
 
Returning to a place from his childhood, Dylan’s life collides with Sky Davis, the girl who doesn’t know or care who he is. Usually girls fall at his feet in a star-struck heap, so Dylan is intrigued by and attracted to the girl who’d rather read about hot guys in books than succumb to his charms.
 
What follows is an unsuccessful battle to keep his rock star ego under control and his hands off Sky. The harder Sky fights her attraction to him, the harder Dylan tries to get her attention. But a girl like Sky needs more than a smouldering look and a bacon sandwich to win her over.
 
Dylan and Sky find themselves lost together in the fantasy of a holiday romance by the sea, but the reality of who Dylan is threatens to break the illusion at any moment.
 
This companion novella to Summer Sky is a RETELLING of part one of the book from Dylan’s point of view. Summer Sky MUST be read first.
 
***The novella can be read at any point after Summer Sky – it does not contain spoilers for the other books in the Blue Phoenix series and does not need to be read before Falling Sky.***

 

 
Buy Links:
The Blue Phoenix Series:
Summer Sky (Blue Phoenix, #1)
Falling Sky (Blue Phoenix, #2)
Unplugged (Blue Phoenix, #3)
Rising (Blue Phoenix, #4)
 
Coming Soon:
Reverb (Blue Phoenix, #5)
Forever Sky (Blue Phoenix, #6)
 
About the Author:
Lisa is an author of new adult romance and writes both paranormal and contemporary, often with a side of snark.
In between running a business, looking after her family and writing, Lisa sometimes finds spare time to do other things. This often involves swapping her book worlds for gaming worlds. She even leaves the house occasionally. Lisa loves all things from the Whedonverse and preferred vampires before they sparkled.
Lisa has four books published: the ‘Butterfly Days’ series, and two in her urban fantasy series Soul Ties. She is currently working on a new contemporary romance series Blue Phoenix and the first book, Summer Sky is due for release in April. Lisa is originally from the UK but moved to Australia in 2001 and now lives in Perth in Western Australia with her husband, three children and dog.
Connect with Lisa: FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS
 

Release Day Blitz: Rising (Blue Phoenix #4)

 

Genre: Contemporary Romance / New Adult

Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs

 
 
Synopsis:
 
“Our demons don’t want to play but they sure as hell recognise each other”
 
Three attempts at staying clean after rehab and Jem Jones, Blue Phoenix guitarist, is determined this time he’ll succeed. Haunted by his recent past, Jem throws himself into the one addiction he still has left: music. With Blue Phoenix on a break, he looks elsewhere for a place to channel his creativity and discovers up-and-coming band Ruby Riot.
 
For lead singer, Ruby, breaking into the music scene could break the cycle of abuse that’s controlled her life since she was a child.  Finding release through music, the growing success of the band has set Ruby on the path to regaining her identity and self-esteem.
 
Ruby Riot brings Jem and Ruby together, but Ruby’s tangled personal life pushes her closer to a reluctant Jem. Living and touring together, Jem and Ruby discover they have more in common than their passion for music. Can this understanding break down the carefully constructed barriers they’re trapped behind? Or is loving somebody too big a risk to take?
 
When Jem’s past slams into his present, he has to face the reality behind what made him the man he is and why he hurts the people he wants to love.
 
And as Ruby reaches out to help Jem, she discovers trying to fix somebody comes with the risk of getting cut by one of their shattered pieces.
Jem and Ruby’s story is the fourth book in the Blue Phoenix series. It can be read as a standalone but contains minor spoilers for the other books in the series.

This book includes scenes of domestic violence that are not gratuitously graphic, but may be disturbing to sensitive readers.
 
Buy Links:
 
 

The Blue Phoenix series:
 
 
Summer Sky (Blue Phoenix #1):
 
 
Falling Sky (Blue Phoenix #2):
 
 
Unplugged (Blue Phoenix #3):
AMAZON AU | AMAZON CA

Rising (Blue Phoenix #4):

AMAZON US | AMAZON UKAMAZON AU


 
 
 
Join the Blue Phoenix Reader’s Group here for first looks at covers, exclusive material and chat about the band!
 
About the Author:




Lisa is a romance author and writes both paranormal and contemporary, including the bestselling Blue Phoenix series. In between running a business, looking after her family and writing, Lisa sometimes finds spare time to do other things. This often involves swapping her book worlds for gaming worlds. Lisa is originally from the UK but moved to Australia in 2001 and now lives in Perth in Western Australia with her husband, three children and dog.
 
Stalk Links:
 
 
 
Giveaway:
 

Head over to FMR Book Studio to enter the giveaway.

 
 
 
 
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