A Pilgrimage to Death
Publication date: August 14th 2018
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
They murdered her sister. They threatened her church. But their day of reckoning will cost her everything…
When Cici Gurule finds the dead body of a parishioner in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, she’s horrified to realize the victim bears the same stab wounds that ended her twin sister’s life one year earlier.
Now, as a freewheeling, progressive reverend who’ll stop at nothing to protect her flock, she’ll need to join forces with her detective friend and loyal pair of Great Pyrenees to hunt down the killer before she’s forced to officiate another funeral.
Soon, however, Cici discovers her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation, and her death was no random act of violence. With the criminals out for Cici’s blood, she needs to catch the wolf by the tail…before it goes in for the kill.
Fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Stacy Claflin will love Alexa’s Padgett’s new edge-of-your-seat novel! Scroll up and click to start this fast-paced, high-octane mystery thriller!
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Sam brought his chair down with a soft thump as it hit the patio paver but he didn’t say anything for another long moment.
“Anna Carmen was my best friend. She helped me through a hard time—she helped me see what I couldn’t then.”
Cici’s lip trembled as she lifted her teacup. “I miss her, too. So much. Yesterday . . . it all came bubbling back up.”
Sam’s hand settled on Cici’s shoulder in that gesture of comfort she’d come to depend on.
“I know you do. And, yeah, I figured it would.”
Jaycee sidled up to their table and settled Sam’s large glass of iced tea on the table. Condensation formed on the glass, dripping down to wet the white napkin beneath it.
“I thought of something,” the girl said.
Both Cici and Sam turned their faces up to the teenager.
“Mr. Johnson told me one time he was meeting someone about a case.” Her brow wrinkled for a moment before she shrugged. “Does that help?”
Sam tugged at his short ponytail. “Maybe. Thanks, Jaycee.”
“Sure.” The girl skittered off to greet some new patrons.
“You think you know what the case is, don’t you?” Cici asked, pouring more tea into her cup.
With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.
Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.
She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.
Realization hit Damien as to who he was staring down. The same dark god that had challenged him stood in Lilith’s form. Damien’s heart inside his chest burned as he thought about Kain and all he’d done for him. Jill. Dad…Rob…Gabriel…Holt…Chelsea.
“Looks like it’s just you and me, Damien. You can surrender and die in peace or you can fight and die anyway. Your choice.”
Save him. Luna’s voice inside of Damien’s mind drew his attention. Save him. I beg of you. Please.
Damien’s body became surrounded with a radiant light so bright it forced Lilith step back. Her wing covered her face. He braced himself on his front legs, roaring at the monster in front of him responsible for taking so much.
The light became so intense not even the lycans could stare at it.
When it finally faded, Damien stood in his true lycan form. His white fur blew in the wind like mist at the tip of his stiffened ears to the end of his tail. The dark markings of his wolf form only seen on the tips of his ears, feet and tail. The fur on the back of his neck was thicker, almost resembling a mane.
“By the gods, he looks like…” Lune stood in awe.
“Tenebris.” Gabriel’s finished, his voice nothing but a whisper.
Stoker used the opportunity to sneak off, nursing the wound on his arm inflicted by Gabriel when he shifted into his full lycan form.
The vampires hissed at the light rising from the east, trying to flee towards the waning night. They had fallen right into Damien’s plan and were intercepted. Howls and snarls joined dying screams as the vampires were overwhelmed.
“What trickery is this?!” Lilith’s fangs spat as she tried to speak.
Damien ignored her, seeing the fear in her eyes as he made his way over to Kain on the ground.
The alpha was so weak he couldn’t retain his shifted form.
“Kain.” Damien’s voice was a comfortable echo. Warm and reassuring. “Alex. Can you hear me?”
Kain opened his eyes, slightly jumping. “Tenebris?”
Damien shook his head. “No. It’s me.”
Damien took Kain’s jacket he was always wearing around his waist and covered his friend with it. “Stay here. Don’t move and don’t die.”
He stood back up and went to face Lilith. The lycans in his way stepped aside, their heads bowed. “This ends here, Lilith. You won’t hurt anyone else.”
Kain led Damien to his tent. “Forgive my intrusion on your time with Jillian. I wanted to tell you one last thing before the fight. Holt nearly mentioned it in the meeting but I stopped him because it wasn’t the time or the place.”
“What is it?” Damien replied, curious.
“The dark secret of the vampire noble. As it is with us, the vampire nobles and high class have the ability to change into more powerful forms. Unlike lycans however, they only have a single transformation. I have only seen it once in my many years but it is very formidable.”
Kain pulled a box out from under a pile of old books and blankets. It was covered in dust as though Kain had been trying to bury the memory.
Laying it down before Damien, he opened it, revealing what looked like a talon.
“Kain, what is this?” Damien took it in his hands, carefully examining the detail.
“It was pulled out of my father’s side. When he returned, his body was dripping blood, his side ripped open,” Kain lowered his head. “Damien, he was in his full lycan form. Whatever left this has power. I want you to be very, very careful. Lilith most likely has the power to become the monster much like the one that left this talon.”
Damien’s breath stalled in his lungs. From what he learned about their history, Pentacost Kain was one of strongest lycan soldiers in the war.
To hear he was torn apart so badly in full lycan form by something that Lilith could possibly become sucked any hope Damien had of having a chance against her out of him.
“Kain, I can’t fight her. What if I’m not strong enough.” Damien raced in his chest as fear fought to take hold of him.
Kain took the talon, placing it back in the box. “Damien, you are more than strong enough. Lilith is inexperienced and most likely whatever it was that took down my father was much more powerful. I just wanted you to be aware of her ability. I will be by your side against her. Gabriel and I have already talked about it. Holt, Yuna, Galeck and Lune agree it’s the best course of action. Just be ready.”
Damien nodded, his words freezing in his throat.
“Good. The moon rises. I must hunt with Gabriel and Lune. Damien, if you need to, you may stay here tonight. I know Jillian does not yet understand how strong your bond with the gods is. It may help to be in the company of someone that does. For now, though, I believe I interrupted something between the two of you. Hell hath no fury and all that.” Kain walked out chuckling.
About the Author
We all want to write as many books as possible in our lives, right?
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Give the article a read and offer some feedback on some things that have helped you move from Snail to Sprint.
(Charming Knights #1)
Publication date: August 2nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Welcome to Charming High.
Sorry, we’re fresh out of charm …
I am a star.
I’m not famous, before you make that mistake.
Although, I guess I kind of am. Or I will be anyway. My future was planned long before I was born.
The definition of a star is a fixed luminous point in the night sky that is an incandescent body like the sun.
I am a star. I am fixed. I am luminous only when no one is looking. I was stuck to repeat the same night every single day.
Until I met Wreck. And he showed me how alive I could feel within my cage.
I am a knight.
I’m not a knight in shining armor, before you start thinking I’ll save you.
I am a knight in raging darkness.
Until I met Hallie. And she showed me how to break free of my battle-torn armor.
Wrecked is the first book in the Charming Knights series by Shana Vanterpool. An exhilarating upper YA contemporary romance series set deep in the lives of Charming High’s most beloved football team. Where the limits of good and evil are pushed, desires and dreams are twisted, and readers are immersed into the lives of people who have it all. Except their freedom…
When I walk into a book store I feel at home. When I smell the pages of a brand new book things make sense. When I read I am who I always wanted to be. I read to escape and I write so others can as well. My family, my actress dog Bella, coffee, and a steamy love story are a few of my most precious things.
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: July 3rd 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
For the longest moment Zack’s brain couldn’t process the sight in front of him.
Seven years, ten months and twenty-seven days. That was how long it had been since he’d seen her. That was how long it had been since he’d lived a life without regret.
Fight promoter Zack Grayson is on the prowl for a rising star. As the top recruiter of a prestigious MMA promotion company, he wants to take someone where he was never able to go: the top of the professional league. He didn’t expect that someone to be the woman he loved…and left.
Top-ranked MMA amateur fighter Shayla “Shilla the Killa” Tyler built walls around her heart when Zack left her seven years ago–and again when her husband turned violent. Now, seeing Zack is nearly enough to send those walls crumbling. But she can’t risk the exposure of the limelight, and she definitely can’t risk another heartbreak.
As Shayla and Zack grow closer, though, business turns personal. And once their passion unleashes, there’s no going back…
Against the Ropes (Book 1)
In Your Corner (Book 2)
Full Contact (Book 3)
Fighting Attraction (Book 4)
Strong Hold (Book 5)
What People Are Saying About Sarah Castille’s Redemption series:
“Powerful. Gritty. And sexy beyond belief. Sarah is a true master!”–Opal Carew, New York Times bestselling author of His to Claim
“Emotionally charged, amazingly sexy, and flat out fantastic.” —Fresh Fiction for Full Contact
“Castille continues to introduce characters who are both intense and vulnerable. The females are more than a match for the men in their lives, and these guys are worth their efforts.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars for Full Contact
“That kiss,” he whispers, his breath hot against my ear. “In Torment’s office. That was nothing?”
“Aside from the fact that we risked both our lives, and you have to pay a heavy price, and I maybe got a little hot from all the activity…nothing.”
“And when we touched…” He slides one arm around my waist and pulls me close as if we were alone and not in the Redemption parking lot where, no doubt, we are fueling the overactive gossip mill. “When I held you…nothing?”
My cheeks burn at the memory. “A friendly hug.”
“And back there in class…” His hips press up against mine, and his voice drops to a sensual growl. “When I had you underneath me with your hands pinned above your head totally at my mercy…nothing?”
I open my mouth, but nothing is exactly what comes out.
Zack responds with a satisfied grunt. “Something.”
“Don’t let it go to your head.” I grit my teeth and look away. “It was a natural physiological response. I’m genetically programmed to be attracted to handsome, sexy men in peak physical condition. Survival of the species and that sort of thing.”
He laughs, and oh God, I missed that deep, rich rumble that rolls right through me. “What about this?” He taps my head. “I’ve heard the brain can overcome basic instinct and genetic programming. Free will and that sort of thing.”
“Yeah, well, it’s not working right now. I think it’s the gi.” Unable to stop myself, I run my hand along the edge of his gi, my fingers trailing over the hard muscles of his chest. “It’s…distracting.”
His muscles tense under my touch, and a growl vibrates in his chest. “You’re distracting.”
“We’re supposed to be keeping it professional,” I remind him, pulling my hand away. I watched his body change from boyhood through his gangly teen years and then fill out when he reached his early twenties. He was ripped back then in a way that made heads turn, but his muscles now are thick and hard, ripened by age and hundreds of fights. When I last saw him, there was still some boy left in the way he held himself, a slight unease with his body. But now, he is all confidence and power. Pure solid man.
Zack grabs my hand and presses it against his bare chest, right over his heart. “You’re not making it easy. Your jealousy…knowing you care…feeling that connection… You don’t know what that does to me.” He is on me before I can part my lips, one hand firm around my neck, his lean, powerful body caging me against the car. His mouth claims mine, stealing my breath away with a kiss that sends a scorching wave of heat through my veins.
“Professional means no kissing,” I say when he lets me up for air. Without thinking, I trace the edges of the scar on his forehead, a bitter reminder of Matt’s misdirected anger when Zack brought home his mangled bike.
Zack covers my hand with his, trapping it against my cheek. “No kissing,” he agrees. “Unless you touch me, and then I can’t be held responsible for my actions.”
“Fine. No touching.” I pull my hand away, pleased that we are setting out some ground rules so I don’t have to worry about wanting to tear his clothes off in the gym.
His naughty hand skims the side of my face, his thumb stroking over the apple of my cheek as he tips my head back, forcing me to look at him. “I can’t train you if I don’t touch you, especially when we’re rolling on the mats like we just did in class.”
“Okay. Professional touching. Nothing else.”
He licks his lips like a predator about to feast. “Unless you want something else.”
I press my lips together and scowl. “Stop qualifying everything. I know exactly what you’re trying to do, and it’s not going to work. You can’t seduce me, Zachary Grayson. You know exactly what professional means. Now let’s shake on it.”
He cups my face between his hands and tilts my head back. “Kiss.”
“You had your kiss—”
Without warning, his hands drop to my hips, and he yanks me against him. His mouth crushes mine, and his tongue slides between my lips, touching, tasting, claiming. I startle at the urgency of his kiss, the raw heat, the fierce desire. I shouldn’t kiss him back, but I can’t resist the dark temptation, the firm hand that has found its way to my nape, holding me in place as he coaxes me open for the slow, relentless possession of my mouth.
Blood pounds in my temples, my hunger for him raw and wild. My hand slides up his chest and over his shoulder. I pull him closer, my fingers clutching the soft, silken strands of his hair. My heart pounds in my chest, and the world shatters around me.
Sarah Castille is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Redemption Series, Ruin & Revenge Series, Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club series, and Legal Heat series. A recovering lawyer with a fondness for dirty-talking alpha males, she now is a full-time writer, who lives on Vancouver Island. Sarah’s books have been listed as Publisher’s Weekly’s Top Ten Picks and Best Summer Reads, and Amazon’s Best Romance Books of the Year, and have won numerous reader’s choice awards including the Holt Medallion.
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