Tuesday, April 10, 2018

New Release - The Blood King

Title: The Blood King (Book 1 of the Brighton Duology)
Author: Liz Long
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Cover Designer: Molly Phipps of We Got You Covered Book Design
Publication Date: April 10th, 2018
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: In the kingdom of Brighton, a President-turned-King offers poor teens the chance to join KEY, the King’s Education for Youth. Seventeen-year-old Reina Torres jumps at the chance to be of service to her country, wanting to learn more about Brighton’s history and future through the Media industry.
The King himself takes an interest in Reina, offering private interviews; he soon commands her to marry his cruel son. Reina, however, cannot ignore her growing feelings for Iris, a fellow KEY student, despite knowing the laws. Reina discovers refusal means punishment much worse than death, and why King Magnus hasn’t aged in decades, thanks to his KEY program.
Liz Long is a proud graduate of Longwood University and author of ten novels. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her day job as Associate Editor includes writing for a magazine publisher in Roanoke, VA. She is also the director of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference and the annual Roanoke Author Invasion.
Comic book readers and fans of CW Network smash hits Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Netflix’s Daredevil will root for Liz Long’s bestselling YA summer series as the HoA’s gifted teen superheroes attempt to save their city from its impending demise. The Donovan Circus series has best been described as "X-Men meets the circus." Adult horror story Witch Hearts tells the tale of a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. New Adult PNR A Reaper Made is about a teen Reaper who gets caught between falling in love or saving her sister's soul. All titles are available for paperback or ebook on Amazon.
To learn more about Liz (including more information on her books, plus writing, marketing, and social media tips), visit her website: http://lizclong.com.
Author Links:
Newsletter signup (new subscribers get 2 free ebooks, including DC #1): http://www.subscribepage.com/lizlongauthornewsletter
                                                  
Buy Links:

ONE

My grandmother once told me our country used to be a democracy. Years ago, when she was a little girl, a man became president. He loved the power so much he kept it, killed his opponents and dared others to come forward. Those who did lost, and with it, our free will.
The man declared himself a King, vowing to take care of the people who best served him. And he did keep his word–those who were loyal to him stayed in their own places of power, content to take orders from a megalomaniac. There were parties and festivals, food and drink and no expense spared. The King remained on his throne of gold, the years turning into a decade, then two and three and four. Eventually, the people in his new kingdom grew complacent, adapting to their circumstances. They couldn’t flee because these were their homes, they said, and fighting was out of the question. Families stayed together this way, they said, and they’d surely be rewarded for their loyalty. Many people in the kingdom died waiting. Eventually people accepted things the way they were, forgot how life used to be. And so the King continued on ruling, content to keep his power over the country. He went to war with other countries who dared threaten us, subduing them thanks to his plans and weapons. Attacks decimated over half of our own country, leaving much of what was once green and fruitful now barren and brown. He won, thanks to the money he pumped into his military. It was the best in the world, and it only took three years for everyone else in the world to realize it. Over half of the human population, on the entire earth, blown to smithereens. He rebuilt the kingdom on top of our old ruins, promising a glorious new era. Other countries would bow to us and fear his name. He was the King of our country, not the world, but he might as well have been. The smaller battles that broke out across the years never amounted to anything. No one could truly spar with him because they knew he’d bomb their entire civilizations off the map. It was a folk tale, this story of King Magnus Brighton. Stories our grandparents made up to get through their days, to scare the younger generation into behaving. I knew better, could read the papers and listen to the media. They only had positive things to say about how our King had saved us all, and continued to fight for our prosperity. People had jobs and homes, food on their table, so why would we possibly complain about being able to live our lives? My own father fought for King Magnus, gave his life to protect his country in the last war.  When rebels attacked Brighton a little over a decade ago, my father volunteered, rather than be drafted. I remember the morning he left, the proud look on his face as he kissed my mother and me goodbye. He’d known exactly what he was walking into and still he’d kept a brave face. I hadn’t realized it at five years old, but at seventeen, I knew he’d been willing to die for his country that had given him so much. As soon as my mother received notice of my father’s death, she packed our things and we went all the way to the other side of what was left of the country. Mama said she couldn’t bear to be so close to the heart of the kingdom, but I knew there was something more. I had no idea what, of course, but I had been too devastated at the loss of my father to question it then and now it just seemed like a waste of time. Things were the way they were, and no amount of questioning or wondering would bring my dad back. I missed him everyday, as much as the day he’d left, but he was never coming back. My mother was the rule follower, hated it when I bent them by breaking curfew or grumbled about the overbearing soldiers. I couldn’t stand her smothering. The King probably couldn’t even be bothered to reach us way out here, but she didn’t want to take any chances.
I don’t know why she bothered. Everyone out here was too busy working to worry about breaking the rules. It’s not like anyone had any real technology, anyways. We had the newspapers and TV, but no one had those fancy phones city people flaunted in those strange commercials we saw on a staticky TV. The wars had taken technology out in most of the rest of the world, leaving King Magnus once again ahead of the curve in luxury. In our tiny part of the world, most of us felt lucky to have what little we did, and dared not ask for anything more.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Cover Reveal - Jaclyn and the Beanstalk


Jaclyn and the Beanstalk
Mary Ting
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: September 4th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
What Fate Awaits A Girl Who Hears Monsters At Night…
Sixteen-year-old Jaclyn looks up to her father. An honest man who once fought for the king, he now teaches Jaclyn how to use her wits—and her sword.
But he has a secret. And his secret may have a connection to the one thing Jaclyn is hiding from him.
Upon hearing “monsters” are terrorizing the small villages around Black Mountain, Jaclyn’s father and his friends head out to hunt them … but they don’t return.
Armed only with her sword and three magic beans—a gift from a mysterious old woman—Jaclyn sets out for Black Mountain to save her father.
On her climb, one bean drops and grows into a beanstalk, catching her when she falls.
She isn’t the only one that takes the ride. Jack, her childhood friend and secret crush, is following her.
Together, Jaclyn and Jack must battle to save not only their fathers, but the townspeople the beasts plan to lay waste to before it’s too late.


Author Bio:
International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

XBTBanner1

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

TWO Awesome New Releases - Provocation and Hunter

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! Eeek! Today, I'm bringing you information on TWO new releases. One is the psychological thriller you've been waiting for, and the other is a PNR. Got your clicking fingers ready? Let's GOOOOOO!!!

Book details:

Title: Provocation - Pen Pals and Serial Killers - Story Two
Author: Jo Michaels
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Length: 294 printed pages
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle ~ $3.27

Blurb:

Doctor Victoria Ward has been killing men for over thirty years. Her victims all have one thing in common: they’re abusive. Righteousness is a close companion—it helps her sleep at night—and she holds the virtue closely as she defends the innocent, upholding the law when it won’t rise to protect those who need it most. When she meets a young girl named Kelly, and follows her down a twisted path of deception, Doc Ward finds herself face-to-face with a ghost from her past. Never before has she wavered in her resolve—but can she defend another against someone she loves?

If you'd like to read an excerpt (or two) here are a couple on the blog:

Excerpt 1: Chapter 1
Excerpt 2: Chapter 2

Now it's time for the second book in the lineup, but stay until the end if you'd like to see the trailer for Provocation! Don't forget to pick up Emancipation, too! See if you can find the characters that cross over from one to the other!

Emancipation will be available on all platforms TODAY, but you can grab it at Amazon RIGHT NOW. Go here.

Ready for the second book?

Title: A Vampire's Thirst: Hunter
Author: Bella Roccaforte
Genre: Adult PNR
Length: 327 e-book pages
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle  ~  B&N   ~   Google Play  ~  Kobo  ~  All $2.99

Blurb:
Hunter Webb, an ancient Viking Vampire, wants one thing: to be with his one true love…an impossibility seeing as he is refused entry to Valhalla for being a Vampire. Instead, he’s dedicated his life to finding a “cure” for vampirism so that he may die in battle as a human and feast in the hall among the gods and find the other half of his heart.

While working in the lab he is struck down by a mysterious illness that shakes the very foundation of his entire existence. The desire to feed ALL of his urges drives him to the edge of insanity. After thousands of years of control, his craving for warm blood and hot sex take over all of his reason…until a tiny vial of blood changes everything. One taste and he remembers what it’s like to feel, hope and live again.

Now he must find the owner of the blood or they will both be in grave danger. Will Hunter find his bloodmate before they both lose themselves to the Thirst?

The hunt is on, the battle fierce…only the strong survive a Vampire’s Thirst.

~~~~

Now, it's time for the Provocation trailer! Hope you enjoy it!



What do you think? Gonna grab these?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, March 22, 2018

New Release - Angelicus - Book 4 of the Meadowsweet Chronicles

Happy Thursday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I bring you a new release from the fabulous Katie M. John! Strap in and get your coffee!! Here we go!


‘Angelicus’ Book 4 of The Meadowsweet Chronicles
Published by Little Bird Publishing House London.
Date of Release 22nd of March 2018 Buy it here! Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK
Author Katie M. John
Website www.katiemjohn.com

SERIES BLURB:
There’s no light without dark.
Fox Meadowsweet is a Witch. Jeremiah is a Witch Hunter. The Meadowsweet bloodline has lived in the sleepy English village of Heargton for thousands of years. Jeremiah Chase is a New York boy in exile.
Neither of them asked for their past, but now it’s the only thing that can save their future as dark and ancient paranormal forces threaten to obliterate the world.
When a local college girl is discovered ritually murdered and covered in strange symbols, old suspicions rise, ancient fears manifest, and centuries-spanning blood feuds reignite between the old households of the village.
With their ancestral reputation of magic and witchcraft, eyes turn to the three beautiful Meadowsweet sisters. Including the eyes of Jeremiah Chase, who finds himself inexplicably drawn the quirky wild beauty of the middle sister, Fox.
But as Jeremiah learns the history of her bloodline, he also unearths the dark and tangled story of his own family, giving him knowledge of a terrible and diabolical legacy.

BOOK TRAILER!!



RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!!

Giving away a Witchy Hamper of surprise goodies worth $75 and a Semi-precious stone pendant made of amethyst and rose quartz.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
FREE BOOK 1

‘Witchcraft’ BOOK 1 of the SERIES IS ON FREE DOWNLOAD
Book 1 'Witchcraft' is on FREE download
Kindle US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NG5CLTE
Kindle UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NG5CLTE
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id950645919
KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/witchcraft-16
Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/witchcraft-kati…/1127088200

~~~~

What do you think? Look good?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Meet a Book Blogger - Platypire Reviews (J. Hooligan)

Hey all you spiffy people! I'm J. Hooligan and I run the blog Platypire Reviews, which mostly consists of shenanigans and book reviews.


I started the blog a little over 4 years ago because I do what I want. Really though, I'm a bit eccentric for most blogs and I wanted to be free to express my "creative" silliness without having to do things like convincing someone to let me do book reviews in a platypus onesie. I also wanted to make a place for people to write book reviews however they wanna (legally) with no obligations or genre requirements.

As for me, I am an eclectic reader. I don't have a favorite genre, I read all sorts of books in whatever formats I can read them in. I just prefer them to be good.

Places you can find me:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/platypire
Blog: http://www.platypire.com
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/platypire
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/platypire

Thanks all your fabulous people for taking some time out of your day to get to know me a little bit more. You're wonderful and I appreciate your awesomeness.

~~~

What are y'all waiting for? Get to following!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Storytime Book Reviews & Promotions Announces New Author Coaching Service

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! Whew! I feel like I just survived the apocalypse. Complications of the flu. *shrugs* Anyway, I have some awesome news to share with you all today. While scrolling my Facebook feed, I saw that one of the promoters I know has a new author coaching service, thought you all might like to know about it, and offered to share for her. She has an awesome early-bird offer. Grab your coffee, or tea, and let's get going!


Storytime Book Reviews & Promotions announces new author coaching service.
This new service is $150.00 and comes with the following:
  • group sprinting
  • group discussion
  • one on one time for thirty minutes each week (many times this will be more than thirty minutes because I like to talk)
  • assistance with word tracking
  • help with plot development and character development
  • reading chapters and or full manuscripts
  • help with outlines/plotting/planning your book or series
  • discussions on time management
  • discussions on self care and health
  • promotion of a backlist title once a month in the Storytime newsletter/FB and Twitter
Storytime is run by Jennifer Malone Wright. Jennifer has been a published author since 2010 and has run Storytime since 2014.

You can find Storytime via the links below!

Website - https://storytimebookreviews.wordpress.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/storytimebookreviews/
Facebook readers group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1161764723843298/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Storytime4Ever
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/storytimebookreviews
Email contact - storytimebookreviews [at] gmail.com

That price is only if you get in the door now, so if you're interested, I'd jump ON it if I were you.

What do you think?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Meet a Book Blogger - Epilogue Book Blog (Holly and Taylon)

Please welcome Epilogue Book Blog! Grab your coffee or tea, and let's get going!


Epilogue Book Blog consists of two halves!
  1. Holly, the awkward one, breaks out into hives when meeting her favorite authors; quotes Michael Scott of The Office daily; and has harbored a crush on the Hanson brothers since seventh grade.
  2. Taylon—also known as the one with the “cool name” and “red glasses”—despises tomatoes, (somehow) functions without the aid of coffee, and befriends people on the dance floor when given the opportunity.
The two of us are friends from college who share many things in common, including full-time teaching careers and a tremendous love for the written word. In 2014, the two of us began sharing recommendations with each other, poolside, discussing fictional characters with a passion that only fellow readers can appreciate. Purely a hobby for us, blogging allows those well-written gems to be shared with a broader audience.


Holly: I tend to read in phases that not even I can predict. While in 2014, I tended toward romance (mostly contemporary and new adult), I’m currently binging psychological thrillers and horror. I also read literary fiction and enjoy my fair share of classics. My favorite books of all-time are The Reader by Bernhard Schlink and Summer of my German Soldier by Bette Greene.

Taylon: I have a hard time picking genre; for me, it’s more about content. I ended the year with a “light” read mood—a quick and easy story, even if predictable. Other times, I want something that moves me, much like how favorite authors Colleen Hoover, Tarryn Fisher, and Kandi Steiner push me to think and reflect. Either way, good writing/story-telling is a must.

Rather than requesting and accepting arcs (with corresponding deadlines), we currently prefer to purchase books, which allows more freedom in terms of a timeline. Reviews are typically posted on Goodreads, our Wordpress website, and Amazon (when our submissions aren’t rejected). A brief review/recommendation is usually shared to our Facebook page as well.

Wordpress: https://epiloguebookblog.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/epiloguebookblog/
Holly’s Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/9705560-holly-epiloguebookblog

Thanks so much to Jo Michaels for this opportunity to share with her followers!
In a climate where readers have so many options, we truly appreciate those who follow, interact, and trust Epilogue Book Blog to provide genuine reviews and recommendations.

How amazing was that post? Get to following these gals!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Book Excerpt #1 - Intensification - Pen Pals and Serial Killers Story Three

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today, I'm scheduled to give you all an excerpt of my WIP, Intensification. Warning: It's not for the feint of heart. This excerpt will introduce you to both main characters, Detective Hank Reynolds and Claude. I hope you enjoy it! As a side note, Provocation is with the proofreader, and a release date will be coming at you soon! If you missed the first two excerpts from that book, check them out here and here. Grab your coffee, or tea, and let's get going!

First, a little about the book:

Title: Intensification - Pen Pals and Serial Killers - Story Three
Author: Jo Michaels
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Length: Looking like it'll be around 70k
Release Date: TBD (Spring 2018 for sure)

Blurb:
Detective Hank Reynolds has just been handed the case of a lifetime. Another reality TV star has gone missing, and it’s up to the Atlanta police department to find her before it’s too late. While he’s digging around, he discovers there have been nearly twenty similar kidnappings in the surrounding areas over the last twenty years, and while trying to find out more—and a witness that’s still alive—he’s dragged into a past he wishes he could erase. His dreams become nightmares about the women, and his sanity unravels. Even his eyes begin to play tricks on him, but no hallucinations are as devious as the antics of the killer—who’s always one breath away—waiting for the chance to strike again.

Now for the excerpt!



Chapter One
Claude

Rolling over, Claude’s eyes fell on the clock. Ten p.m. He grinned. That would give him plenty of time to do the things he wanted to do and still be back before it was time to get up and get moving for the day.
His feet made no noise as he padded down the hall to the garage, and he disabled the alarm system before opening the door. Careful not to knock anything over, he made his way in the dark to the table on the other side of the room and slid it to one side. A few wrenches hanging from pegs banged together, but there was no noise otherwise. Every night he went out, he was more grateful he’d thought to put the rollers on the legs. Once the table was slid aside, he stuck his pinky finger through a hole in the sheetrock and pulled.
It swung forward easily, the hole the only indication there was anything there. Inside were the articles he’d worn every night: A gray coverall, high boots, and a baseball cap with his favorite team’s logo emblazoned on the front.
He chuckled as he pulled it on, the NY turned toward the back. F--- the Red Sox and the horse they rode in on, he’d be a Yankees fan until the day he died.
Carefully, he folded the pajamas he’d been wearing before and put them in the hidey-hole, closing the door softly. His boots were in his hand, and he waited until he was safely in the alcove of the side door before slipping them on his feet. It wouldn’t do to leave prints from boots he wasn’t supposed to have anywhere inside.
Hands in his pockets, he stepped to the sidewalk, casting his gaze both directions before turning left and scurrying down three blocks then going right. His house was the fourth one on the left in the cul-de-sac, a large Tudor with an impressive privacy fence, a high gate, and only a few lights on inside that backed up to a large, wooded area. Before he went up to the door, he grabbed the mail out of the box, snickered at the fliers inviting him to shop at one store or another—they really didn’t want him anywhere near their establishments—and threw everything in the neighbor’s recycling bin.
It had been nearly a week since he’d been able to come home, and he could almost hear his beauties calling out to him. His hand shook as he put the key in the lock and turned, the excitement he was feeling threatening to boil over and consume him whole.
Claude dashed in and spun to engage the deadbolt, also sliding the long chain into place. Once it was locked, he allowed himself to relax. He peeled off the hat and boots, leaving them near the door, and the next to go was his coveralls. No clothing was required in his home, but he preferred to keep the boxer-briefs on. Sitting on chairs in the nude just made his balls sweaty, and he wasn’t about to suffer the discomfort.
As he walked through the kitchen, he swatted Alice on the ass and whispered in her ear, “I’ll be back in a few minutes. I have something to take care of first.”
She giggled in response, and he checked her wires to make sure she was secure before moving on to Nadine.
“How are you tonight, my love?” he asked, caressing her beautiful, brown face.
“I’m excellent, Claude. How are you?” Her sweet voice was like milk and honey to his ears, and he kissed her on the tip of her nose.
“Wonderful. Glad to be home.” After checking her wires as well, he ignored the other ladies and went for the door to the basement. He glanced around to be sure no one was watching and pulled his key out of its hiding place under the plant nearby.
Door finally unlocked, he gave it a hard tug, enjoying the cool hiss of air as the seal broke. He stepped through and pulled the door shut all the way, re-engaging the locks, before hitting the switch to turn on the light. The LEDs nearly blinded him, and as soon as they came to full strength, she started screaming.
Again.
There was no need to run or get angry, so he whistled as he made his way down the steps to her cage, laughing to himself the whole time.
When he rounded the corner, something whizzed past his head, and he ducked back.
“Easy now. You sure you want to throw things at me, madame?” He’d been working on his French accent, and it was nearly perfect.
“F--- you! Let me the f--- out of here, you f---ing psycho!” Her cage bars rattled.
“That’s not a nice way to speak to me, cherie. I saved you.”
“F--- that!” Her voice was so shrill, it echoed off the soundproof walls and bounced around like a pinball.
He winced and leaned out a bit so he could see her. There was nothing else nearby for her to throw, and her hands were empty, so he stepped all the way out and smiled at her. “Cherie, I’ve missed you.”
She backed away from his side of the cage, flattening her body to the back bars, her eyes wide and fixed on his approaching form.
That was the reaction that made him feel most powerful—when they moved away as though they could sense there was something dark inside him.
“I recognize you. You were that guy on the news, huh?”
“No. That wasn’t me.”
“Then your twin brother? I don’t understand how you two can be so diff—”
He launched himself at the bars. “Shut. Up.”
Laughter sprung up and out of her.
“Don’t you dare talk about things you have no knowledge of, or I’ll end your life right now.”
“That’s what you plan to do anyway, right? So why should I give a sh-t if you care what I’m saying or not?”
“Because what you say is the line drawn between whether you enjoy your death or have a really f---ing hard time of it, bitch.” He snarled as the last word dripped from his lips and smiled when she flinched.
As he tracked a path around the outside of the cage, she moved, too, keeping her body on the side farthest away from him. The way her muscles moved under the skin of her thighs made his c-ck hard, and he wiped drool off his chin. Her breasts were magnificent creatures, rising and falling every time she panted. Though she could use a washing, she was still the most alluring one he’d taken.
“You are so beautiful,” he whispered as he moved.
“F--- you!” she screamed.
“I can’t wait to add you to my collection. You’ll be my prized possession. I already have a room made up for you, and it’s just like something you’d pick for yourself. I can hear you thanking me now.” He lifted his voice a few octaves as he mimicked her. “‘Oh, Claude, I love every part of it so very much! You’re the best ever.’ And then maybe you’ll give me a kiss.”
“You know nothing about me, and there’s no way I’m ever going to kiss you.”
“Oh, but I do, Sharon. I do. I watched you for months on television, and then I followed you, always in the shadows where you couldn’t see me. That prick you were dating wasn’t worthy of you, darling.” His hand snaked out and caught her hair, and he pulled her to the bars closest to him. “You’ll never have to worry about not having the right man again, because I promise to take care of you for all time.”
“Killing someone isn’t taking care of them.” Tears were streaming down her face then, and her shoulders sagged. “Please, Claude. Please. Let me go?”
Pulling her head back, he yanked on her hair so the skin on her throat grew tight, the pulse banging away just under the surface. His teeth ached to sink into the supple flesh, tear at it, but he knew if he did, her corpse would be ruined, and he wanted her in his collection very badly.
He inhaled, savoring her perfume.
“Please,” she whispered.
“No.” It was a simple answer, and he watched her to see how she might react. That always told him the most about the women—how they responded when they didn’t get something they’d begged for.
Rather than grow angry, she softened, and her shoulders shook.
“Weak. Just as I expected.” His fingers opened, and he dropped her, letting her sink to the floor. “Tomorrow, mon cherie. Tomorrow!”
After bringing her some food that he left on a paper plate near the cage, he replenished her supply of water bottles then whistled his way back upstairs.
His ladies were waiting, and he had big plans for the evening.
He locked the door and stowed the key after making sure none of the women were watching, and then he went to join Ginger on the couch. “Mind if I have the remote?” he asked.
“Not at all, Claude.”
Taking it from her hand, he was careful not to knock around the supporting wire and damage the limb again like he’d done the week prior. It had been a bitch to repair, and he just didn’t have the time to dick around with it.
With a click of the red power button, the television came on, and he activated the DVR, looking for the latest episodes of She Wants to Marry Him.
Carefully, he put one arm around Ginger and pulled her close, moving her head so it rested on his shoulder. He kissed her blonde hair and laughed when the photos of the women on the show scrolled across the screen, their names emblazoned underneath. “Remember when you were on this show?”
Hand in her hair, he moved her head up and down.
“I bet you do. That d-ckless wonder didn’t know what he had in you, did he?”
Her head moved left and right.
“Let’s see what happens tonight.”
For two hours, he caught up on episodes he’d missed, using the notebook on the coffee table to write down details he thought might be important later on.
He tossed the pad back on the table, turned the television off, stood, and adjusted Ginger so she looked like she did when he arrived, caressing her chin with his thumb. “You’re so beautiful. It’s a shame you didn’t win that one, but it was probably because you’re so stupid.”
Returning to the kitchen and Alice, he wrapped his arms around her from behind and pressed himself to her back and rear. She was still firm, and he liked it. Her roundness made him ache with desire. He buried his face in her hair but pulled back when he got a whiff of something unpleasant.
Moving her hair to one side, he examined her neck, and found a small patch of skin had peeled back, revealing the stuffing he’d packed her with. A little more digging in the hole found the culprit of the horrendous smell. It was a tiny patch of mildew. She’d been near the sink too long and needed to dry out.
“Alice, darling. You’re positively rotting from the inside out. I’ll need to move you, okay?”
Her head moved up and down.
“Perhaps Hailey would like to take your place. I’ll just go ask her. Be right back.” He sprinted up the stairs, flipping on the light at the landing, and making a hard right into the master bedroom. There, he found Hailey lying on the bed with Juniper lying nearby, one hand covering one of Hailey’s breasts. “Get up, ladies! I need Hailey dressed and downstairs to take Alice’s place. You want to do that, sweetheart?”
“Of course, Claude. Anything for you,” she answered.
He dug a pretty dress out of the closet and helped Hailey into it, and then he lifted her over his shoulder and carried her down, careful not to bang her head on anything.
Alice was unhooked from the wires, the dry sponge taken from her hand, and she was placed on the floor nearby. Hailey was buckled in, the sponge put in her right hand, and a clean plate fixed to her left with some Velcro strips he kept in a nearby drawer.
After carrying Alice upstairs, stripping her naked, and arranging her in the bed with Juniper, he pressed his back to the wall to admire his handiwork, deciding quickly that her hand was too high. He adjusted it so it was between Alice’s legs and sighed.
Perfect.
Again, he backed up to the wall and peered at them. His ---- immediately as he watched them play with one another, giggling, kissing, and rolling on the bed, but he shook it off. There was no time for that right then. He had to get back before his time expired. Kissing each lady on the head, he scurried out and down the steps, his hard-on dropping the moment he stepped off the last one.
“Well, my lovelies, I’ll see you all tomorrow! We’ll have a splendid party soon! I’ll bring champagne, and you can welcome Sharon with open arms when I finally bring her up.”
They cheered.
He quickly dressed and hurried out the door, being sure to lock it behind himself, before jogging back the way he’d come.
Quickly and quietly, he snuck through the garage door, changed, rearmed the alarm system, and slipped back into bed.

Hank

At six a.m. sharp, the alarm sounded, jolting Hank out of a deep sleep. He rolled onto his back, one hand absently slapping at the offending noise. Finally, it stopped, and he groaned. It was like he hadn’t slept in weeks, and it was starting to take a toll on him. A decision was made then and there that the sleeping pills the doctor had prescribed would be taken that night. Just one night of rest was all he needed to trudge on through another few weeks of restlessness.
He peeled himself out of bed, pressed the button on the coffee pot, and headed for the shower. Music poured out of his mouth, and he took the detachable sprayer and held it in front of his lips, filling the small space with crescendos and a strong, natural vibrato. It was his favorite time of day, before dealing with the people from the office, before having to get into it with victims calling about some bullshit that may or may not have happened in the middle of the night; in that moment, he was just a man with music in his soul and warm spray from his shower microphone.
Once he was clean, he stepped out and toweled off, going to the kitchen to pour a huge cup of the coffee he could smell from the shower. He gulped at it, loving the way it burned as it made its way to his stomach. A sigh tore out of him. Perfection.
His routine was firmly established, and the next half hour was spoken for as he trimmed his beard, brushed his teeth, and dressed for the day in slacks and a button down, strapping his gun belt to his waist. He always grabbed was his wallet and badge as he left the bedroom, and those went in his back pockets. Then, he filled his travel cup with coffee and left for the day. On the drive to the precinct, he checked his voicemail. There were three calls: One from his ex-girlfriend inviting him for drinks—delete, another from his partner about the upcoming softball game—save, and a third from someone he didn’t know asking about the rich girl kidnapping—delete.
He sighed and threw the phone on the passenger’s seat, leaning back with two hands on the wheel, and finished driving to work while yelling at other drivers to pay attention to what they were freaking doing before they killed someone.
Pulling into the lot, he parked in his designated spot and got out, coffee in hand, to go up to his office. His partner was already there.
“Morning,” Hank said.
“Dude. Phones are blowing up over that rich girl model that went missing. Cap says we need to nail this bastard soon.” Tony thumped the desk with his forehead. “Sorry. Good morning to you, too.”
“Do we have any new information?”
“No. That’s the thing. There have been a million and one ‘hot tips,’ but none of them check out, ya know?”
Falling into a rolling chair behind a desk facing Tony’s, Hank shook his head as his anger bubbled. “Don’t know what Cap wants us to do about it if we don’t have any damned leads. The guys snatching these women might as well be g--damned ghosts!”
“I know. You’re preaching to the choir, man.”
“I’m just so f---ing frustrated with it all.”
“Well, what do you want to do today? Beat the streets?”
“We’re gonna have to.” Frustrated, he pulled the file folder over and flipped it open. A pretty brunette smiled out of the photograph. Missing nearly a week, she’d disappeared while grocery shopping at a local store, one with no exterior cameras. He read over the report once again, but the only thing that stuck out to him was that she’d been on TV on some reality show about marriage. There had been a couple of similar cases over the previous two years, and he assumed it was a pattern. He wondered if anyone else had put that together.
Their captain stuck his head out the door and barked at them to “get in his office. Now.”
With a sigh, Tony and Hank rose and went through the glass door.
“Take a seat, boys.”
They did, neither of them saying a word, Hank still clutching the file.
“I need you two on top of your game. This f---er has everyone terrified to take a step outside.”
He held up a hand. “Whoa. Hold on a sec, Cap. I’m thinking maybe this isn’t random and isn’t linked with those other two snatch-and-grab jobs from Fulton County. It struck me a few minutes ago that four young women who’ve been on one reality TV show or another have gone missing over the last few years. That suggests a pattern, right? I’m not sure Jane the Wife has anything to be afraid of—as long as she doesn’t live in Fulton.”
“Right. Suggests. There’s no way to be sure of that, Reynolds. If they’d all gone missing after being part of one show, we’d have something.”
Truer words were never spoken, and he knew it; he just didn’t really like it all that much. A kidnapper had to be established a number of years, and have a definitive pattern, but the cases they were working had no links between all the victims, only four out of six. It also seemed their realty perp only been active a little while. If Hank’s suspicions were correct, the guy had already snatched the three other women who were in the public eye, but lesser known than the most recent.
“My gut tells me we’ll catch someone soon, so I want you boys looking into everything you can think of, okay? Get out there and get me some answers. I need to assure people that my guys aren’t complete morons.” Cap crushed his cigarette in the ashtray and waved his hands. “Get!”
Tony and Hank got up and left, neither of them with a spring in their step.
“Let’s go, big guy,” Tony said.
“Wait a sec. I’m gonna grab another cup.” Hank refilled his travel thermos and capped it. “Okay. Ready. Let’s do this sh-t.”
They got into Tony’s car, a black Impala, and pulled out, headed for the last known address of the missing girl and the grocery store she’d gone missing from.

~~~~~
I hope you enjoyed that! EEP!

What do you think? Is Claude's house weird or what?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo