REDEEMED THROUGH LOVE BY UNOMA NWANKWOR

REDEEMED THROUGH LOVE BY UNOMA NWANKWOR

At thirteen Halima Dajuma discovers that her father has another family. No longer is she an only child, but younger sister to three older brothers. This discovery changes everything. For a while, Halima happily settles into a safe life shaped by her family’s expectations. Now, determined to find her voice, she breaks an arranged betrothal and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. The search for truth rattles her world and the people in it, in ways she didn’t bargain for. When everything comes crashing down will she be content with what she finds or wish she’d remained in the comfort of the familiar?

The connection was electric, heart jolting even, but it came from the wrong source.
Charming, attractive and successful, Ekene Odili, is the Dajuma family lawyer. He’s also friends with Halima’s oldest brother, Rasheed. For years, religion and her fiancé stood between Halima and Ekene. He knows she’s off-limits. However, knowledge is no match for a heart which refuses to adhere to logic. When he begins to see the pain she has to endure, is he willing to sacrifice his heart and let her go?

The ultimate loss soon shatters her heart, then will Halima still have the courage to surrender to a redeeming love?

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EXCERPT

Halima said her prayers and crawled into the cool sheets of her queen-sized bed. Moments later, as expected it would, Sade’s Sweetest Taboobegan to play. She picked up her phone, smiled and accepted the call.

“Hello.” Her tone was low and tired.

“Hey yourself,” he responded with a voice that prickled her skin every time. “How are you? No need to ask if you made it home okay since you were with Kam.”

Halima let out a faint chuckle at the fight she had to put up, so Kamal would drop her in her own home instead of her staying overnight in his. He just got back from a trip and she was in no desire to see him and Ebele all over each other. Amongst all her brother, that couple couldn’t function without their hands or lips being on each other. For someone who’d been celibate for years, that wasn’t where she needed to be.

“So, you just had to go and add another reason for me to be upset with you?” The normal softness of his voice when he spoke to her was absent.

“And what’s the first?” She knew exactly what he was talking about, but she wouldn’t be the one to admit it.

His grunt caused her to smile.

“You’ve been avoiding me. We’re going to get to that, but first why didn’t you call me when those men came to your office?” He paused. “I was going crazy with worry.”

“That wasn’t my intention.”

“Are we that bad? I mean you’d rather get in trouble than see me?”

“I didn’t call anyone at the time. It wasn’t personal.” Halima rubbed her forehead. She didn’t want him running with the wrong impression. Yes, she was avoiding him, but it was nothing he did. It was all her. Be that as it may, this wasn’t the heavy conversation she wanted to have tonight. Besides, the phone worked both ways.

“Kene, you’ve always been good to me—”

“But?”

“But nothing. Can we not talk about this tonight?”

“No can do. Your brothers are like putty in your hand but that’s not me, Princess. I want to know why you would endanger yourself that way instead of calling me?” His anger laced with frustration seeped through the phone.

Halima sat up against her keyboard and creased her brows. She wished her brothers would be putty in her hands.

“That’s not true.”

“You and I know it is. But that’s not the point. We’re talking about you deliberately putting yourself in danger. You weren’t under arrest so why would you go with those people without your lawyer present?”

Two opposing emotions clashed within her. Aggravation and pleasure. The former at the fact that he was talking to her as though she were a child and he referred to himself as just her lawyer. He was acting just like her brothers. And the latter at the fact that he cared enough to be angry. She knew she sounded crazy but there was nothing she could do about her truth. She imagined the six-foot four-inch dark chocolate brown package pacing wherever he was with a scowl on his face.

“Ekene, I’m going to tell you like I tell my brothers, I’m a thirty-six-year-old woman perfectly capable of taking care of herself.” She paused for his response, got none so continued. “Abubakar was going to call you as my lawyerbut Chiaka got to Kammy first then he Rasheed and I’m sure that’s who called you.”

“If your little outburst and the use of my full name are supposed to dismiss me, it’s cute but not going to work,” he said. “Considering I broke every traffic law to get you out of where you shouldn’t have been in the first place, I want an explanation.” His chuckle irked her.

She yawned. Hopefully, he’ll get the message and get off the phone. She was done talking to him.

ABOUT UNOMA NWANKWOR

Unoma Nwankwor writes clean, multicultural romances that span Africa and the Diaspora. Unoma weaves romantic tales for readers who enjoy stories centered around faith, family and the rich culture of Africa. Through the pages, she promises you humor, tight hugs, forehead kisses and above all else, redemptive, sacrificial love.

Her readers are in love with her unique way of telling stories that capture the essence of her present home base in the USA and her Nigerian culture. Unoma wears numerous hats but the one she’s most proud of is, mother of two kids and wife to her film director husband. You can catch her writing from the comfort of her bedroom nook with a pack of pepperoni slices and a cup of java.

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HEALING HANNAH’S HEART BY PRESLAYSA WILLIAMS

 

HEALING HANNAH’S HEART BY PRESLAYSA WILLIAMS

Time will heal her scars, but what will heal her heart?

Hannah Hart may have been burned by the breakup of her rocky marriage, but the ambitious Afro-Filipina model has big plans for her future. Her stunning looks and flawless skin provide the opening she craves to become a celebrity in the fashion world. Then an arsonist’s match brings Hannah’s world crashing down around her.

Recovering from the burns that destroyed her skin, Hannah is forced to accept help from the last person on earth she wants, her estranged husband, Jake Hart. Jake isn’t ready to give up on their marriage. The return of Jake’s teenage son from a one-night stand had been the catalyst for their breakup. How can he help both the son who resents his abandonment and the woman he still loves? He can do nothing about the scars on her skin, but can he heal Hannah’s heart?

As she struggles to rebuild her life from the ashes of her shattered dreams, does Hannah have the courage to give Jake a second chance? And is the world ready for a differently-abled model who will redefine what it means to be beautiful?

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ABOUT PRESLAYSA WILLIAMS

Preslaysa Williams is an award-winning author who writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with an Afro-Filipina twist. Proud of her heritage, she loves sharing her culture with her readers. She is currently earning her second graduate degree, a MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, at Seton Hill University. She holds an undergraduate degree in Spanish Language & Literature from Columbia University.

Preslaysa is also a professional actress, a planner nerd, an avid bookworm, and a homeschool mom who often wears mismatched socks. To follow along with her busy life, visit her at http://www.preslaysa.com where you can sign up for her newsletter community.

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RETURN TO ME BY FARRAH ROCHON

RETURN TO ME BY FARRAH ROCHON

Three years after his bride-to-be jilted him at the altar, Jonathan Campbell is still struggling to expunge every reminder of her from his life. His new motto is to never again expose his heart to such anguish. But when she pops up uninvited on his doorstep, his life is suddenly upended all over again.

A case of cold feet sent Ivana Culpepper running the week before her wedding. She found refuge and purpose in Haiti, working with relief aid organization Operation: Heal. When a series of circumstances force her to return to her hometown of New Orleans, Ivana must face the consequences of her actions and the bitter rejection of the man she once loved.

Can Ivana convince Jonathan to give her another chance, or is her betrayal too much for their newly reawakened love to overcome?

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EXCERPT

The stiff breeze blowing off the Mississippi River whipped Ivana Culpepper’s long, natural hair around her head. She caught it up and twisted it in an attempt to tame the mass of wavy locks, to no avail. Forgetting about her hair, Ivana took another ten steps forward before stopping at the corner of Ursuline and Chartres Streets. She could make out the sloped roof of the house on the far end of the block, could tell by the fresh cornflower blue color of the dormer that it had received another coat of paint since she’d last seen it three years ago.

Three years ago.

It didn’t seem that long, yet, in a way, it seemed like a lifetime ago. When Ivana thought about the person she’d been when she left New Orleans on that balmy summer afternoon, she had a hard time reconciling her with the woman standing on this chipped French Quarter street right now. Save for a few additional wrinkles that had popped up in the corners of her eyes and a faded scratch courtesy of a run-in with a cactus during a hike in the mountains of Hispaniola, she looked the same.

It was the insidethat had changed.

“Not completely. You’re still too much of a coward to face him.”

She sucked in a deep, cleansing breath and tried to convince herself that she wasn’t a coward. But as comforting—even necessary—as it occasionally was to lie to herself, it had never done her any good in the past.

If she wasn’t a coward, she wouldn’t have spent the past two weeks avoiding the man she was supposed to marry just a week before she’d left that faithful day in July. She wouldn’t have spent an entire night in costume two weeks ago at the kickoff party for the Diane Holmes Foundation, trailing him around the room, wondering about his relationship with the gorgeous woman he’d had on his arm.

It isn’t your concern who he has on his arm.

She’d had her chance to be that person, and had thrown it away. When it came to Jonathan Campbell, she didn’t have any claim on him. Zero. He was a man from her past. A man she’d loved, but one she’d run from. And if it wasn’t for the fact that a close friend needed legal advice, Ivana would have done everything in her power to continue running from Jonathan.

She should have told Angus that she couldn’t help him. There were other channels he could have gone through to address his situation. But it went against everything in her nature not to help a person in need. Providing aid to those in trouble was at the heart of her very existence. It’s how she’d met Angus Thomson. A fellow relief worker, they’d worked alongside each other for the past three years in Haiti. So when Angus had called, frantic over an issue with his G-1 visa, Ivana couldn’t help but get involved. When she realized that they needed to talk to someone with legal expertise, Jonathan was the first person who came to mind.

A chill raced through her body, and it had nothing to do with the brisk wind still blowing off the river. She lifted the long, simple, slightly tarnished chain she kept around her neck and fiddled with the breathtaking ring that hung from it. For the past three years she’d worn the engagement ring Jonathan had given her close to her heart, treating it like a talisman, seeking strength from it when she needed courage. Ironic that she would turn to it today, when the courage she sought had to do with facing the man who’d given her the ring in the first place.

She’d envisioned the moment when she would face Jonathan again countless times, speculating about how he would react. Would he be upset? Relieved? Would he look at her as if she were a ghost? She’d tried to put herself in his position, but when she considered what herreaction would be to seeing someone who’d left only a week before their wedding, she could barely stomach it.

Regret coasted through her bloodstream. Thick, suffocating regret. She knew the taste of it well. It had been a healthy part of her diet for years now.

She needed to just get this over with. She would fulfill her promise to Angus, and then she would leave. Who knows, maybe Jonathan wouldn’t even be around. It was late. He may have already left the office.

Ivana closed her eyes, sent up a quick prayer, and crossed the street. A mixture of anxiety and anticipation traveled along her skin as she moved ever closer to the gorgeous structure. The sun had just started its descent, turning the western sky an array of warm oranges, reds and purples.

Her heart thudded within her chest when she noticed a sleek black sedan parked in the reserved parking spot next to the law office.

Well, so much for him not being here.

She’d spent the afternoon coming up with things to do in order to delay her trip, hoping by the time she arrived everyone would be gone for the day. Jonathan had always put in way too many hours at the office. She’d gotten him out of the habit, but apparently he’d reverted back to being a workaholic.

As she approached the house, Ivana couldn’t help but remember the first time she encountered Jonathan here, the very first day they met. She’d charged up the steps of the three-story creole cottage, prepared to do everything within her power to save the house from the ruin she just knew its new owner was preparing to heap upon it.

It had been determined that the house was the place where the first known voodoo healing in New Orleans had occurred, according to her sisters of the religion, which she had practiced for years. When she learned the house was slated to become a new law practice, Ivana assumed the buyer was going to gut it. Instead, he’d restored it to its former glory.

Only days after their thorny initial encounter, she’d been stunned speechless when she’d gone to dinner at the home of longtime family friend, Margo Holmes, and found herself sitting directly across the table from Jonathan Campbell. That’s when Ivana learned that he was the college basketball teammate of her now brother-in-law, Tobias Holmes, her baby sister Sienna’s husband.

It all seemed so, so long ago.

This little jaunt down memory lane isn’t helping. Speed it up.

Ivana rolled her eyes at the annoying voice in her head, which, for some reason, did not want to get with the program when it came to stalling this inevitable meeting. But it wasinevitable. She knew this. It was a miracle she’d managed to go the past two weeks without Jonathan discovering her presence in New Orleans. He was too tied to her family to expect this avoidance dance to go on much longer. It was time she ripped off the Band-Aid.

She climbed the porch steps and tried the door. It was locked.

Of course, it was locked. It was after normal work hours. She rang the doorbell, her heart’s ridiculous racing picking up even more steam as she waited. Ivana counted a full sixty seconds before ringing it again. Maybe he wasn’t here after all. It wasn’t out of the realm of possibility that he left a car parked at the law firm at all times.

Just as she made the decision to leave, the door opened and the man she’d been prepared to marry appeared on the other side.

Every drop of breath she possessed seemed to rush out of her lungs. She’d seen him at the gala a few weeks ago, but always from a distance. This was the first time she’d been this close to him in three years.

The aromatic, woodsy notes of his cologne assaulted her senses, the faint smell bringing with it powerful memories of the one time in her life when she’d felt true happiness. When she’d felt loved. The weight of it was almost enough to break her.

“Hello, Jonathan,” she managed to say, the words struggling past the knot of emotion wedged in her throat.

He stared at her for what seemed like an eternity. A silent, unbearably uncomfortable eternity. Those arresting, gorgeous eyes she’d spent hours gazing into as she lay languidly in his arms now looked at her with a mix of shock and aversion.

“I hope I’m not—” But before she could finish, the alluring lilt of a woman’s soft voice came from somewhere nearby.

“Jonathan, what time is the band supposed to start?” The woman arrived at the door, sidling up alongside him. “Oh, hello,” she said to Ivana, her eyes wide with surprise.

Ivana took in the stunning, honey-toned beauty with legs that went on for days. She looked from the woman standing next to him in a gorgeous body-hugging gown that shimmered with thousands of crystals, to Jonathan, whom she just now realized wore a sleek, black tuxedo.

He was going out. Theywere going out. On a date.

A retched sensation settled like a lead anchor in the pit of her stomach. It wasn’t as if she was surprised he was seeing someone; she’d had to put a stop to Sienna’s reports on his extremely robust dating life over the years. But hearing about it from her sister while she worked in a village thousands of miles away was different from witnessing it firsthand.

“I…” Ivana started. “I didn’t mean to disturb you. I just…I needed to speak with you.”

The discomfort in the air was palpable as he continued to stare at her with that stoic expression. After another few moments passed, he finally said, “We’re late for an event.”

The iciness in his tone caused a shock of goosebumps to pop up along her skin. They were the first words he’d spoken to her in three years. To have him address her so coldly, without an ounce of feeling, was something she probably should have anticipated, but foolishly had not.

She would be lying if she said it didn’t hurt. She would also be lying if she didn’t admit that it was nothing less than what she deserved.

“I—” Ivana said again, but she wasn’t sure how to respond. “I’m sorry for bothering you,” she finally managed. The words felt like sandpaper as the came out of her throat.

“Come by tomorrow during normal business hours,” Jonathan said. He turned to the woman next to him. “Are you ready?”

“I just need to grab my clutch.” She looked to Ivana. “Excuse me,” she said, her eyes kind, her smile even kinder. “I love your skirt, by the way.”

Ivana looked down at her bright, flowing skirt. She had a closet full of them. “Thank you,” she returned.

She looked back up to find Jonathan staring at her with an emotionless expression. She’d run dozens of scenarios in her head, anticipating how he would react when they finally saw each other again. She’d readied herself for his shock. Even for his fury. But never for such…indifference. His apathy at what she considered to be one of the most significant moments she’d faced in years made her feel hollow inside.

“I should have called before coming,” Ivana said once she and Jonathan were alone again.

His brows arched and he shook his head, huffing out a humorless grunt of laughter. “A call? Yeah, maybe you should have called after three years,” he finished with unmistakable disdain in his voice.

Ah, there it was. There was the anger she’d anticipated.

The knot in her belly tightened by several degrees.

She’d expected this, hadn’t she? Anger was an acceptable reaction when the woman who’d left you at the altar showed up on your doorstep without warning after three long years. His anger was totally justified. Still, that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt.

“Jonathan, I know—” Ivana started, but stopped when his date returned, carrying a sparkling royal blue clutch in her hand.

“I’m ready,” the woman said. She captured Jonathan’s arm and wrapped her hand around it. It wasn’t an overly possessive move, yet Ivana still had a visceral reaction to seeing the woman’s delicate fingers caressing his skin. Her head knew that she’d given up all rights to him the moment she’d boarded that plane to Haiti, but her heart didn’t care. Her throat ached and her insides clenched with proprietorial jealousy.

Jonathan and his date stepped out onto the porch. Ivana wasn’t sure why she remained standing there as he locked the door behind him. She should have left two minutes ago, after he’d so coldly told her to come back tomorrow.

Yet she remained standing there, watching as the impeccably dressed couple turned toward the stairs.

“Goodnight,” the woman on his arm said. Jonathan tipped his head in a bid of farewell before escorting his date down the stairs and to the black sedan.

Ivana walked down the porch and onto the sidewalk. She stood there watching as his car backed out of the parking spot and pulled onto the street.

Her eyes connected briefly with Jonathan’s as he stared at her in the rearview mirror seconds before turning onto St. Phillip Street.

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ABOUT FARRAH ROCHON

USA Today Bestselling author Farrah Rochon hails from a small town just west of New Orleans. She has garnered much acclaim for her Holmes Brothers, New York Sabers, Bayou Dreams and Moments in Maplesville series. The two-time RITA® Award finalist has also been nominated for an RT BOOKReviews Reviewers Choice Award, and in 2015 received the Emma Award for Author of the Year.

When she is not writing in her favorite coffee shop, Farrah spends most of her time reading, cooking, traveling the world, visiting Walt Disney World, and catching her favorite Broadway shows.

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Awakened by Moni Boyce

AWAKENED: THE ORACLE CHRONICLES BOOK ONE BY MONI BOYCE

Secret lineage, a ruthless vampire, and forbidden love.

Willow Stevens dreams of stardom are eclipsed by the real nightmares of a sinister man haunting her dreams. Unbeknownst to her, Eli Walker, her hot but snobbish co-worker, may know the reason nightmares plague her, but their history shows he is more prone to reject her, than help her.

Then Willow passes out at work only to wake in Eli’s apartment. There she has her chance to learn more about her heritage. But, knowing why the vampire king stalks her doesn’t make the nightmares disappear. If anything, they become more real as she now faces off against a slew of creatures she’d always believed were myth.

That Eli is one of those creatures is just her luck. Secret witch guild or not, his natural ways are casting spells her heart can’t escape. As a Protector his only focus should be her safety. Anything else is forbidden. He plans to stay in task, but some women break a man, or tempt him to break the rules.

Can Eli keep Willow alive and safe from the vampires long enough for her to grow her own powers or will both cast aside rules for a reckless passion that will only lead to danger?

AWAKENED is the first installment in The Oracle Chronicles series. This interracial, paranormal romance is a great mix of magic, adventure.

**This book is part of a series and ends in a cliffhanger**

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EXCERPT

Sleep was pulling and tugging at every part of her physically and mentally. The long yawn that left her mouth made her shake her head. The minute she hit the mattress she was asleep in seconds.

Where am I?

When the thought entered her mind she knew she was dreaming, but wherever she was, she’d never been there before. She looked down at her body and saw she was still wearing the bathrobe. A chill crept up her spine because this felt eerily real. In any other dream she wore a random outfit. The hallway was massive, like she was in a palace. Her bare feet made no sound as she tiptoed down the corridor, frightened she would encounter someone. This place had an ominous feeling. She shouldn’t be here.

“Wake up. Wake up. Wake up.” The whispered words did nothing, because she remained in the dream or whatever it was.

A large doorway loomed at the end of the hall. The door was slightly ajar. Against her better judgment she crept towards it.

What am I doing? Why am I going to investigate? I should head in the other direction.

Despite the screaming thoughts in her brain she proceeded to the door, frantically looking around for anyone or anything that might lurk in the shadows. The sliver of an opening was enough for her to press her eye to and attempt to look around without being caught. It was a bedroom. There were floor to ceiling windows on the far side of the room. There must have been a balcony or terrace situated outside because the flimsy, gauzy curtains billowed out from the windows, caught by a breeze. In the dimness she could barely make out a sleeping form in the cavernous bed. The room seemed devoid of anything else, save a large armoire.

Something made her crack the door open and walk inside.

What are you doing you crazy person? Go back. Get out of here.

Still she moved closer, her curiosity carrying her closer and closer. Seconds later, she stood on the stairs that led up to the bed. Her hand and arm shook as she reached out to touch the shoulder of the sleeping form that had their back to her.

“Who’s there?”

His sinister voice froze her in place. The hairs all over her body stood on end. This was Killian’s bedroom. He rolled over and sat up. The covers slipped down revealing his naked chest. His green eyes scanned the darkened chamber. She was sure his vampire sight allowed him to see just fine despite the lack of light. The crazy thing was, he seemed to look right through her like she wasn’t even there. She waved her hand in front of his face.

“You can’t see me?”

His eyes continued to search the room. While she was definitely dumbstruck that she was invisible to him, her mind chose that moment to have a stupid thought.

If he’s a vampire why isn’t he sleeping in a coffin or underground?

She wanted to kick herself.

Really? Right now is not the time for this.

“I can smell the witch on you, Willow.” His nostrils flared.

Her body went rigid with terror.

He knows I’m here.

The derision in his statement made her wonder if he knew she was staying at the Walker Coven. After the attack he already knew she traveled with witches.

“I will find you.” He sounded so sure she swallowed to keep from choking and clutched her throat feeling like he was strangling her.

Wake up!

Her eyes flew open, and she took in a deep, much needed breath before she sat up and looked around the beige and white, eighteenth century bedroom she occupied at the coven and sighed.

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ABOUT MONI BOYCE

Moni Boyce is a writer, filmmaker, poet and author of contemporary and paranormal romance novels. She spent the last fifteen years working in the film industry and now creates characters of her own and brings them to life on the page. Moni has ghostwritten romance novellas and novels for over a year now and decided to put some of her own creations out in the world. She considers herself a bookworm, film buff, foodie, music lover and an avid world traveler having visited 32 countries and counting. She lives a bit of a nomadic life, but considers Los Angeles home. Which is the subject of her first travel book: Greater Than A Tourist – Los Angeles, California: 50 Travel Tips From A Local.

Redesigning Happiness by Nita Brooks

Happy August!

REDESIGNING HAPPINESS BY NITA BROOKS

Real life is a work in progress… #DesignYourLife

It wasn’t easy for Yvonne Cable to get over a heartbreaking relationship and revamp her life. But now the once-broke single mom is Atlanta’s most sought-after interior designer—and one-half of the media’s hottest power couple. She and her celebrity fiancé, Nathan, are a perfect, practical match, on—and off—camera. And with their new home improvement reality show the object of a fierce network bidding war, there’s no limit to how far they can go . . .

But Yvonne is stunned when mogul Richard Barrington III unexpectedly makes an offer for their program. He’s the man she thought left her for a more successful woman. And he’s the father of her son—though he didn’t know it until now. Richard wants to get to know their boy, and Yvonne agrees, though she’s wary. Yet little by little, she’s finding it hard to resist the responsible, caring man Richard has become. But when a scandalous leak puts everything Yvonne’s worked for at risk, she’ll have to look beyond surfaces to come to terms with who she is—and discover what she truly wants.

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A reading addict, self-professed connoisseur of home improvement shows, and a collector of teapots, Nita Brooks resides in South Carolina with her family. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter at @AuthorNitaB.

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Kill Shot by Amber Malloy

KILL SHOT BY AMBER MALLOY

The only thing standing in the way of one perfect life is her torturous past.

Invited to speak for the United Nations, International Attorney Ashe Marcille is on the fast track. However, everything changes when she finds her law partner dead. Left with no option but to abandon her hard-earned career, she goes on the run.

Walker Knight, owner of a high-tech security firm, left the spy games years ago. A former agent for J8, he had no intention of returning to that life until the agency calls in one last favor. It should have been an easy job—pick up then drop off a lawyer with no questions asked. But, best laid plans…

Attracted to the attorney from the minute he laid eyes on her, Walker sets out to solve her case. Until he can figure out who wants her dead, he’ll have to keep her close…very close.

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ABOUT AMBER MALLOY

Amber Malloy dreamed of being a double agent but couldn’t pass the psyche evaluation. Crushed by despair that she couldn’t legally shoot things, Amber pursued her second career choice as pastry chef. When she’s not writing or whipping up a mean Snickers Cheesecake, she occasionally spies on her sommelier. Amber is convinced he’s faking his French accent.

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Book Blitz: dawsk by Erhu Kome Yellow

DAWSK BY ERHU KOME YELLOW

A demon hunter, a witch incarnate and a shape-shifter; a messed up trio in an even messier love triangle.

Hardworking nurse Simisola Oladeji is unlucky in love.

When reclusive billionaire Aiden Essien walks into her life, she knows there will be no future with him and even more so when she stumbles upon his bloodthirsty secret.

She is safer reuniting with her long-lost boyfriend Femi, surely?

Caught between the two, trouble is never far away as she discovers some disturbing truths about her past life. A dark force is rising and the messy trio is going to have to fight, together, to save lives.

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EXCERPT

From the east, the wind rose and whipped the trees, bending the branches and leaves. Dark clouds hovered over the Meje clan gathered in the forest clearing. The powers of the spirits they evoked with resonant voices surged in their midst.

The air reeked of a foul presence. Gusts of wind screamed, making the animals scamper in fright.

The hunters of Ori clan remained still and silent, hidden in the long grass, undeterred by the bloodcurdling sounds.

They had waited for this moment all their lives. This mission was the reason they existed, the reason they had been fiercely trained for years.

As devout worshippers of Yemaja, the earth goddess had imbued them with the strength to rid the earth of the abomination that tarnished her order.

The demon hunters with their bodies painted black and white, the symbol of impending war, had in their hands, daggers with long thick horns for handles.

These daggers had been forged from the rocks in the hidden cave beneathYemaja’swaterfall—the only weapons capable of slaying the beasts short of taking their heads off from their bodies, which proved to be an almost impossible task.

The hunters waited for the opportune moment to strike, their bodies primed for action, eager for the victory to come.

The Meje clan folk held hands firmly by the edge of the lake andchanted after their leader whose head was adorned with cowries and raffia palm.

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ABOUT ERHU KOME YELLOW

Erhu Kome Yellow is an urhobo author of fantastical stories where gods, mythological creatures and magic come together.

She has been shortlisted for the Syncity Anthology prize, the Quramo writers prize and featured in Blaud Magazine. Dawsk is her first book, and is currently the Creative Freelance Writers Book of the year.

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Cinnamon Black’s Other Daughter? by Angelia Vernon Menchan

Cinnamon Black’s Other Daughter? by Angelia Vernon Menchan

Cinnamon faced the wall with her eyes closed. She felt rather than saw Leigh walk into the room. The scent of Estée Lauder Youth Dew perfume filled the air.

“How is she?” Leigh whispered, asking Velma, her oldest sister. Cinnamon had been with Velma six months since Leigh picked her up in Haiti and Jesse was arrested. She attended school and hadn’t phoned or reached out to Leigh. Velma shrugged, not wanting to speak. She suspected Cinnamon wasn’t sleeping. Velma beckoned for Leigh to follow her from the room.

Cinnamon heard the door closing softly as a tear slid down her cheek. She felt completely empty inside and didn’t want to return to Center City, but she knew Leigh would insist and though at almost twenty, she was technically grown, she would go home. It was time to, there was no longer a reason to stay away. As a Dubois woman, she had to suck it up, square her shoulders and face the world.

Ten days later, Cinnamon and Leigh flew back to Florida, secrets between them. There was also a lie that Leigh would take to her grave with her.

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EXCERPT

“Do you know Labyrinth Jackson?” Aura asked Muhammad. Muhammad had lived and worked in Los Angeles several years ago. They were eating lunch in her office. She was his big sister and attorney.

“Should I?” He asked.

“No, she reached out for an appointment in four weeks. She’s lives in Los Angeles. She’s a couple years older than me but you had groupies, even older groupies.” Muhammad smiled smugly. His sister was always on his shit.

“I did but the name doesn’t ring a bell. What’s her situation?”

“I’m not sure. She’s moving to or coming through and needs an attorney to read something and provide guidance. I took her on because I do know Rosetta Garcia. She was two years ahead of me in law school. It’s intriguing.”

“Sounds like it. But you need intrigue, I’m sure your professional ball players and the whole Brown and Black clan are as boring as hell.” Aura could only chuckle. That was a lie. Her practice up to and including her family was always exciting.

“You know damn well, that’s not true. Mo money, mo drama.” Muhammad shook his head.

“Mo money than drama though.” Muhammad noted. Aura held up her palm for her brother to slap it.

She had looked up Ms. Jackson and there was nothing out of the ordinary. She worked at a bank, earned a decent salary. She lived in a nice apartment she didn’t own but had almost no debt. She was an only child who inherited a house her parents bought in the 60s for ten thousand that was worth over 200 thousand even though it was on the periphery of south-central Los Angeles. She had no ex-husbands or children but had dated four well known athletes who were now married to other women. Her Facebook and Instagram profiles had photos of roses and there were no selfies are photos. Just random expressions here and there. Aura was truly intrigued. She didn’t know Labyrinth has scrubbed away all photos before contacting Aura.

ABOUT ANGELIA VERNON MENCHAN

Angelia Vernon Menchan is author, publisher and mentor. Since January 2006, she has published more than 125 books and novellas through her small publishing company, Honorable MENCHAN Media, through which she has published books for 19 authors to date. Menchan is a retired budget analyst and founder of #JUSTLOVEMinistry a mentoring program for girls and women.

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Cover Reveal: Healing Hannah’s Heart by Preslaysa Williams

HEALING HANNAH’S HEART BY PRESLAYSA WILLIAMS

Time will heal her scars, but what will heal her heart?

Hannah Hart may have been burned by the breakup of her rocky marriage, but the ambitious Afro-Filipina model has big plans for her future. Her stunning looks and flawless skin provide the opening she craves to become a celebrity in the fashion world. Then an arsonist’s match brings Hannah’s world crashing down around her.

Recovering from the burns that destroyed her skin, Hannah is forced to accept help from the last person on earth she wants, her estranged husband, Jake Hart. Jake isn’t ready to give up on their marriage. The return of Jake’s teenage son from a one-night stand had been the catalyst for their breakup. How can he help both the son who resents his abandonment and the woman he still loves? He can do nothing about the scars on her skin, but can he heal Hannah’s heart?

As she struggles to rebuild her life from the ashes of her shattered dreams, does Hannah have the courage to give Jake a second chance? And is the world ready for a differently-abled model who will redefine what it means to be beautiful?

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ABOUT PRESLAYSA WILLIAMS

Preslaysa Williams is an award-winning author who writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with an Afro-Filipina twist. Proud of her heritage, she loves sharing her culture with her readers. She is currently earning her second graduate degree, a MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, at Seton Hill University. She holds an undergraduate degree in Spanish Language & Literature from Columbia University.

Preslaysa is also a professional actress, a planner nerd, an avid bookworm, and a homeschool mom who often wears mismatched socks. To follow along with her busy life, visit her at http://www.preslaysa.com where you can sign up for her newsletter community.

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Loving Cassie by Jacinta Howard

 

LOVING CASSIE BY JACINTA HOWARD

Cassandra James thinks she has her place in the world all figured out. But an unexpected betrayal forces her to ask if her “free black girl” vibe is a myth, or worse, a mask to hide herself from the world.

Bam Mosley, keyboardist for the alt-soul band, the Prototype, knows who he is. He just wants to make good music and see the people he cares about win.

Then he meets her.

Sure, Cassandra is gorgeous and smart, with hypnotic eyes, but his bandmate’s sister wasn’t supposed to be this…disruptive and break down all his defenses.

She sees what he hides from everyone else. He allows her to take off her mask.

But is their connection powerful enough to survive life’s low notes? Or maybe the true test of love is knowing when to let go…

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Excerpt:

Kennedy was shaking me awake way before I was ready to function.

“I’m up,” I croaked, to get her to stop jerking on my shoulder. I buried my head in her comforter, struggling to push myself into consciousness. It felt like my body was filled with concrete. Probably because I was operating on a little over two hours of sleep, messing around with Bam.

Bam: A sudden impact or occurrence.

His face crowded into my brain, his lips on my ear, beard scratching my skin, his skilled hands on my body. I ran a hand down my face, like that would erase the memory, or my attraction to him. I could still smell him in my clothes from last night. I heard Kennedy already rustling around and finally pushed myself to set up, blinking sand out of my eyes.

She was rummaging through her bag, and looked up at me. She smiled sleepily.

“We can crash in the van,” she informed me, yawning. “The guys never make us drive.”

Probably another southern thing I wasn’t privy to living in the Midwest. I nodded, rubbing my eyes as I swung my legs over the twin sized bed, standing and heading into the bathroom. When I came out a few minutes later, Kennedy was fully dressed, lugging her bag into the living room.

“They’re outside,” she said quietly, moving further down the darkened hallway. I saw light peering from the kitchen. Pepper was already up?

I headed back into the bedroom and dressed quickly, throwing on a pair of leggings, a t-shirt and shoving Bam’s hoodie over my head again after I brushed my teeth and washed my face. I pulled my skull cap on and rolled my carryon out of the bedroom.

“I can’t believe you’re awake,” I greeted Pepper, who was standing in the living room, wearing a lavender jogging suit, her hair hanging down the middle of her back in one long braid. She looked as if she’d been up and at it for hours.

“Had to see my grand-girls off,” she said smiling.

I released my bag, moving to hug her. Her embrace was warm and comforting when I inhaled her.

“You come back sooner. Not later. Understand?”

I nodded, hugging her tight. “Definitely.”

“I mean it, Ru.” Her voice was firm and I nodded again.

“I promise.”

“Remember what I told you. Take care of you too,” she said gently in my ear.

I felt tears welling in my eyes when I nodded again. “I will.”

Kennedy and Pepper exchanged their good-byes and then we were pushing through the front door less than two minutes later. The air was crisp, the sky still dark because even the sun couldn’t be bothered to make an appearance yet. The van was parked at the curb, engine humming quietly, billows of smoke exiting from the rear exhaust pipe because of the temperature.

My eyes immediately landed on Bam at the rear of the van, standing next to Travis as they hoisted Kennedy’s bags into the back. He was wearing a navy blue thermal and a pair of gray sweats and he looked so good, I almost tripped on the steps leading down to the sidewalk. I exhaled, catching myself, and dragged my carry-on behind me, the wheels extra loud on the concrete because it was so early and still outside. Bam looked up at me then, his gaze connecting with mine. He smiled a little, and my stomach tightened. I looked away.

“Y’all can go on and get in. The heat’s on, so it’s warm,” Travis told us, his eyes on Kennedy, who was standing at the curb shivering as they loaded the bags.

“Right on,” I said, starting toward the doors.

“Cupcake.”

It was Bam’s deep voice calling me. I hesitated for a second before turning and looking at him. A half-grin was on his face when he jerked his head, beckoning me to him. I chewed on the inside of my lip, staring at him while I debated. He chuckled.

“C’mere, Cassandra.”

Reluctantly, I made my way to the back of the van.

“I got the rest,” Bam dismissed Travis, his voice early morning gruff, which was insanely arousing.

“Aight.” Travis smiled at me before loping around to the driver’s side.

I stood there toeing the gravel and stuffed my hands into the oversized hoodie I’d decided I was stealing and taking back home with me because it was so comfortable.

“After careful thought and consideration, I’ve decided that last night was a mistake,” I declared in a rush before he could speak. Better to just get it out there so that my entire trip wouldn’t be ruined with weird awkwardness.

Bam grinned at my announcement, hoisting Kennedy’s second bag into the back, biceps flexing.

“You did, huh?”

“Yes.”

“I called you after you left.” He looked over at me as he effortlessly picked up my heavy shoulder bag.

“I turned my phone off. What were you gonna say?”

“That I hope you don’t think last night was a mistake.” He smirked and grabbed my other bag, arranging it in the back so that it fit with the others.

“I prolly shouldn’tve let things go that far.”

His eyes had turned serious when he turned to face me, shutting the back doors. I stayed quiet, mostly because it was difficult to speak when Bam was looking at me the way he was.

“Me askin’ you to come over wasn’t about that. I just wanted your company.”

His gaze was zeroed in on mine, his chocolate eyes tired but full of heat.

“But I’m not gonna front. Our chemistry is unreal, Cass. I got carried away.”

I drew in a breath at his admission. Bam didn’t talk like a boy. He tucked his hands into his sweat pockets, his eyes never leaving my face.

“It’s not just on you. I’m the one who got carried away.”

“And now you’re shook.”

His tone was matter-of-fact. I looked down at the oil stained gravel, shaking my head in denial.

“I’m not ‘shook.’ I just think we need to chill.” I looked up at him again. “Don’t you?”

“No.”

I tilted my head to the side. “So you’re sayin’ you wanna be my rebound? Because that’s what it would be.” I exhaled, staring at the ground again. “I don’t have the head space, or the emotional capacity or fortitude to deal with… anything.”

“Emotional fortitude?”

When I looked up again, he was biting on the inside of his lip, holding back a smile.

“Don’t make fun of me. I’m trying to be real here.”

“I’m sorry.” Only he didn’t look sorry at all because he was still grinning. “You’re just super cute.”

He squinted at me like he was trying to figure out how it was possible, or where I came from, and grabbed the bottom hem of my hoodie, pulling me closer slowly, like he was giving me a chance to pull away if I wanted to. I didn’t.

“You have too many women,” I accused tilting my head up to meet his eyes, ignoring the way my heart was racing standing so close to him. He smelled like soap and detergent, and man. “Not that I care. I’m not here for this anyway. I just wanted—” I stopped and shook my head, sighing, looking across the street at Pepper’s neighbor’s house, shivering a little in the cold.

“You just wanted what?”

“To breathe…”

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ABOUT JACINTA HOWARD

A longtime journalist and lifelong music lover, Jacinta Howard lives in the Atlanta area. She is the author of new adult, women’s fiction, and contemporary romance, a USA TODAY HEA Must-Read Author and a two-time RONE Award nominee.

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