Posts in the Sci-Fi genre

Guest Post

Guest Post: “Using Alternate Species” by Roxy Mews

Interlocking Hearts Roxy Mews

Hi. waves to the crowd My name is Roxy Mews, and I can’t decide on a genre. There are a lot of decisions a writer must make when constructing a story. One major decision is what genre your book falls in. This helps readers find stories and helps publishers market them. If an author is smart they will try to figure this out ahead of time. But I never claimed to be smart.

I tend to think about the story I want to tell, or the feeling I want to convey, before I consider what genre it will end up in. Once I figure out my story, I pick the characters that work best. If that means my characters change sex or species, so be it. Often this leaves me with stories that straddle genre lines.

In The DMA Files series, I wanted to work with characters who took societal prejudice about sex out of the equation. In Coral-600 I wanted to tell about the sexual awakening of a character devoid of the shame we’re told to feel about our first time. So Coral became a robot. And, don’t worry, at over ninety years since her creation, she was well past the age of consent.

The alternate reality I’ve created in these books incorporates many of our modern day verbiage and traditions. One difference is the advancement and acceptance of robotic artificial intelligence technology. The world Coral and Paisley live in had an advancement around fifty years ago that allowed artificial intelligence to become self-aware in today’s world. With beings so close to human appearance and behavior, it’s easy to imagine there would have to be some serious discussion about when a bot was able to act as its own programmer.

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Aural Pleasures, Exclusive Excerpt

Aural Pleasures: Suzanne van Rooyen’s SCARDUST

Scardust Suzanne van Rooyen

As a musician, music is an extremely important part of my writing process. I couldn’t sit down to write without the appropriate soundtrack. While writing Scardust, I listened to a lot of music that I felt evoked the barren and unforgiving landscape of thirsty Panhandle Texas. Albums by the bands Explosions in the Sky, This Will Destroy You, and If These Trees Could Talk played on repeat while I was drafting this book. If you would like to listen to these artists and more, you can access my Scardust playlist below. Even better if you choose to listen to this playlist while reading Scardust 😉

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Reviews, Books, Guest Post, Reviews

Guest Post: Charity Beecham Reads The Blue Effect, Episodes Two and Three by Rose Shababy

The Blue Effect Episode 2 The Revelation by Rose Shababy

Welcome back readers! I have just completed The Blue Effect: The Complete Collection, Episodes 2-3 (Renegade Heroes), by Rose Shababy, and all I can say is: wow! What a remarkable series. I had said at the end of my previous essay: “things just started to heat up between Blue and Kasey”. Not only did Blue finally get her chance at true love, she also found that she possesses a powerful gift, and she inherited a family to call her own.

The connection that Blue and Kasey felt in the first book only gets stronger in 2-3. The love they have developed for each other is so strong that they literally cannot be apart from each other. Every time the two touch they feel a spark pulse through their body that can only be explained as: pure ecstasy. Anytime spent apart from each other only makes them weak, and longing for the next moment they can be together to feel that spark of life.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: Kasia Bacon’s Dirty Dozen of 2015

Kasia Bacon's DD

I believe there is nothing wrong with occasionally making yourself the centre of the universe (#narcissist). So because I can, I decided to disregard publication dates on this occasion and make my literary Dirty Dozen – or my top twelve M/M books, about the most memorable novels I have read in 2015. Therefore, my finalists are not necessarily recent releases, or even ones published within the last 12 months. For reasons known precisely to no one, I missed some gems released in previous years, and clearly have been playing the catch-up game. So there you have it, in no particular order, a peculiar mix of new, and slightly older – twelve separate and varied categories, twelve superb books. All captivating reads, very much on point and highly recommended, even if I say so myself (#narcissist).


Scrap Metal by Harper FoxHARPER FOX, Scrap Metal

This book goes under my BEST BRITISH CONTEMPORARY NOVEL category. The most striking thing about it is the exquisite style of writing– elegant and refined, but intense all the same. Few authors in the M/M genre share this unique ability to dress their thoughts in the language so lyrical and poetic, yet crisp and clear.

Vividly emotional and angsty, this story is touchingly romantic. It features one of my most beloved secondary characters – the curmudgeonly, tough as nails, Gaelic speaking old devil, hiding a huge heart underneath his surly exterior. A subtle pinch of the supernatural adds flavour into the mix. A crime to miss it.

Harper Fox quote

 

 

 

 

 

 


In The Absense of Light Adrienne WilderADRIENNE WILDER, In the Absence of Light

Here goes my BEST AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY NOVEL award. This book is unusual, kooky and completely delightful. I loved every page of this fluidly written emotional journey. I found the setting of a small sleepy town utterly charming. The characters are bold, quirky and powerful; the relationship building tugged at my heart. The plot is intriguing, a little on the thriller side at times, and the humour – dry. Overall, it’s an uplifting, charming story with a lot of beauty and some shadows along the way, a tad of angst, finally concluded with a satisfying HEA.

Adrienne Wilder quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sutphin Boulevard Santino HassellSANTINO HASSELL, Sutphin Boulevard

This is, unquestionably, my HOTTEST BOOK OF THE YEAR. Steamy, passionate and damn sexy, it features some top-notch erotica. For me, its attractiveness also originates from the fact, that this novel peruses edgier, darker avenues, marred with difficult, real topics with some raw authenticity about them. The characters, despite messing up badly and being greatly flawed and damaged, exude seriously irresistible charm and possess ridiculously high likeability factor – and the dynamics between them, Lord Almighty! In addition, it’s a bromance. And the sex is scorching. Just making sure I’ve made my point about the fiery sex crystal clear.

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Nightingale Aleksandr VoinovALEKSANDR VOINOV, Nightingale 

This book wins my BEST HISTORICAL QUEER NOVEL award easily. I’m a massive fan of the World War II time period in fiction. The historical detail is executed just right – there’s enough of it to create the ambiance, but not enough to overwhelm. What I most loved about this book, is its atmospheric feel – the fear, the anxiety, and anticipation of something dreadful about to happen any time soon, the suspenseful vibe keeping me on the edge. The emotions are flying high – it’s not really a romance, although there’s a love story there. The writing is brilliant – articulate and well-turned. To my mind, Aleksandr is pretty much a unique phenomenon within the M/M fiction; I’m convinced there isn’t a subgenre he couldn’t proficiently do.

Aleksandr Voinov quote

 

 

 

 

 

 


In the Middle of Somewhere Roan ParrishROAN PARRISH, In the Middle of Somewhere

This novel takes podium as the BEST DEBUT of the year. Although it contains a relatively angst free, sweet, and heart-warming story, it doesn’t come across as corny or overly saccharine. There are many interesting cinematic and culinary references within. The style is innovative and the language – imaginative with a fair portion of humour woven in between. And what an engaging pair of main characters! It is a book about a character’s growth and it’s just as endearing, as it is amusing.

Every household should come equipped with Rex.

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Restless SpiritsJORDAN L. HAWK, Restless Spirits

This marvellous combination of a sexy historical romance and spooky supernatural tale tops my BEST URBAN FANTASY category. One could call it the Ghostbusters of the 1800s. I enjoyed the original concept and well developed plot. The world building thrills with its creativeness, the cast of characters is diverse, the writing witty and the editing – thorough.  This is an excellent introduction to the new paranormal series – eerie and creepy just enough, with a touch of heat.

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Charmed and Dangerous ASTRID AMARA, K.J. CHARLES, CHARLIE COCHET, RHYS FORD, GINN HALE, LOU HARPER, JORDAN L HAWK, NICOLE KIMBERLING, JORDAN CASTILLO PRICE, ANDREA SPEEDASTRID AMARA, K.J. CHARLES, CHARLIE COCHET, RHYS FORD, GINN HALE, LOU HARPER, JORDAN L HAWK, NICOLE KIMBERLING, JORDAN CASTILLO PRICE, ANDREA SPEED, Charmed & Dangerous

I’ve read tonnes of anthologies this year. This collection claims the BEST ANTHOLOGY title with no qualms whatsoever. Those ten highly entertaining stories about miscellaneous sympathetic monsters and magical abilities, written by a solid crew of my favourite M/M paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors, are an obligatory read for the fanciers of this subgenre. This anthology is as varied content and style wise, as it is homogeneous regarding the quality of writing, which is, frankly, outstanding. I guarantee that fun times will be had by all.

 


 All She Wrote Josh LanyonJOSH LANYON, All She Wrote (Holmes & Moriarity #2)

My Dirty Dozen would feel all wrong without a Lanyon in it. This novel gets the BEST MYSTERY title hands down. I loved the vintage whodunit feel about it, complete with the classic secluded manor setting and amateur sleuthing. My favourite trope – the lovers reunited theme – makes an appearance, giving this novel a surprisingly romantic vibe. The writing is precise and eloquent, as ever. Josh generously displays her trademark humour – the dry, ironic, and witty type, characterised by its deadpan and sarcastic delivery. A superb and refined read.

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Ginn Hale quoteGINN HALE, Swift and the Black Dog

I’ve read a staggering amount of short stories this year, possibly more than over the previous three years combined. Many of them were simply fabulous, so the competition within this category was fierce, indeed. Ginn’s is, undoubtedly, the BEST SHORT STORY I’ve read not only this year, but in a long time. It features somewhat darker, dystopian undertones and an endearing romantic element. Fascinating characters, exquisite world building, smooth composition, compelling story telling – it bears the Ginn quality stamp all over it. This story practically screams for a follow-up or a prequel (seriously, I’ll take either or both, I’m not fussy in this case).


Shattered Glass Dani AlexanderDANI ALEXANDER, Shattered Glass
This book contains the BEST HUMOUR I’ve encountered in the M/M romances in 2015. Its hysterically funny lines had me in stiches, roaring with laughter like a loon several times, what resulted in receiving funny looks from alarmed co-commuters, while travelling on public transport. The story is fast-paced and presented in the most brilliantly executed first person narrative I’ve come across in ages. The whole thing is just one effortless, smooth and hilarious ride.  I’m virtually getting RSI in my finger, hovering over the one-click button, in a nervous anticipation of book two.

Dani Alexander quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Damages Incurred J. R. GrayJ.R. GRAY, Damages Incurred (Bound #4)

I’ve read a heap of BDSM books this year, as it is my favourite subgenre. Sadly, I remained unimpressed by it to a large extend, due to its repetitiveness and playing to the stereotypes. This book decisively stands out for me, so awarding it the BEST BDSM ROMANCE title, truly is a no brainer. There’s nothing trite about it; it’s written with verve, the plot is gripping and the action quick moving. Having a range of well-developed characters – imperfect and broken, just as I like them – to follow increased the book’s attractiveness.  Not to mention that the sex is, fittingly, ass-whippingly good.

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Channeling Morpheus Jordan Castillo PriceJORDAN CASTILLO PRICE, Channeling Morpheus for Bloody Mary

This choice, for once, was a piece of cake to make. I award this book the BEST AUDIOBOOK prize without even breaking a sweat. It is a complete masterpiece and has class coming out of its ears. The highly sensual combo of JCP’s writing & the velvety, sexy ooze of Gomez Pugh’s low voice should be made illegal. Whenever they come together, the magic happens and my insides quiver perilously. There’s nothing better than having your favourite, madly talented narrator reading one of your most beloved books, which features a character you have a ginormous crush on (#TeamWildBill4Eva).

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Stygian Santino HassellSANTINO HASSELL, Stygian

Cheekily rounding my collection up to a baker’s dozen, I’ve added the thirteenth book, which is my BEST PARANORMAL NOVEL of the year. This dark, suspenseful, eerie Southern Gothic fiction, featuring vampires, musicians, and complicated romance, hits just the right balance between creepy and hot. The storytelling carries inarguable cinematic quality and aesthetics about it and the character creation kicks major ass.

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The M/M genre has experienced its fair share of difficulties this year, scandals and dramas included. Regardless of its assorted struggles and hiccups, I feel the genre has grown, in terms of both popularity and diversity, which is a promising factor for its future. As for literary value, 2015 was a very fruitful year, indeed. I’ve accumulated a sizable (or, well, unrealistic) to-be-read pile for the next year and discovered many exciting new authors. I need to mention at least one – J.C. Lillis, whose poignant and masterfully written short story entitled Memory Hills stunned me with its originality and left me teary-eyed. Choosing a dozen novels out of almost three hundred I’ve read in 2015 was an agonising and exhausting exercise. Frankly, I’m relieved I don’t need to repeat it for another twelve months.


Kasia BaconA bilingual Londoner Kasia Bacon is a literary/medical translator and a proofreader. An avid reader, reviewer and book blogger, she’s currently working on her debut M/M fantasy novel, filled with the shenanigans of assassins and sexy elves. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction, coupled with a slight obsession of all things paranormal. She is a lover of MMA, nature and the great outdoors. She can be found on her website, Twitter, or on Goodreads.

Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Guest Post

Guest Post: Charity Beecham Reads The Blue Effect, Episode One by Rose Shababy

The Blue Effect, Episode One- Paper Dolls (Renegade Heroes Book 1) Rose Shababy

Have you ever had that feeling that you were not where you were meant to be? The faces you passed every day, the job you routinely work, or the house you live in is just not where you are meant to be? Well, that is exactly how Blue feels in The Blue Effect, Episode One: Paper Dolls (Renegade Heroes Book 1) by Rose Shababy. Her whole life she dealt with abuse from her mother, instability, and lack of true love.

Blue grew up with an alcoholic for a mother. Since she was a child she could remember her mother coming home late in the night, drunk, and with a different man. It finally got to the point where her mother would just stay drink 24/7. With Blue being the only person at home during the day it was easy for her mother to take all of her drunken frustrations out on Blue; physically and emotionally. At the age of only sixteen, in a fit of drunken rage, her mother kicked Blue out of the house.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: Kate Jarvik Birch on Making Successful Long-Distance Relationships

Tarnished Kate Jarvik Birch

In my latest novel, Tarnished, my main character Ella is forced into a long distance relationship. Granted, it isn’t your typical LDR, considering the fact that Ella is on the run, hiding from a man who wants to own her, and others who’d like to see her dead. Like Ella, sometimes circumstances are out of your control and you might have to find a way to keep a relationship alive even when you’re not next to the person you love.

Here are a few tips on how to help stay connected even when there are thousands of miles between you.

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Steals & Deals

Deal Alert: Beverly Jenkins, Kelley Armstrong, Meg Cabot, and Katie McGarry

This Deal Alert set has some great books by Beverly Jenkins, Kelley Armstrong, Meg Cabot, and Katie McGarry at great prices! Grab them before they’re gone!


Destiny’s Captive by Beverly Jenkins

In national bestselling author Beverly Jenkins’ Destiny series, the Yates men play hard and live hard. And when they find that special woman, they fall hard . . .

Noah Yates fully believes in the joys of a happy family and a good wife. But that’s not the life for him. No, he would much rather sail the wild seas in search of adventure, not tied down. But then the unthinkable happens…he finds himself literally tied down. To a bed. By a woman.

And Pilar isn’t just an ordinary woman. She’s descended from pirates. And after giving him one of the worst nights of his life, she steals his ship! Now Noah is on the hunt, and he’ll stop at nothing to find this extraordinary woman…and make her his.


Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong, #1 New York Times bestselling author, takes an exciting new direction with this big, breathtaking blend of fantasy, romance, horror, and pulse-pounding action, perfect for fans of Graceling and Game of Thrones.

Twin sisters Moria and Ashyn were marked at birth to become the Keeper and the Seeker of Edgewood, beginning with their sixteenth birthday. Trained in fighting and in the secret rites of the spirits, they lead an annual trip into the Forest of the Dead. There, the veil between the living world and the beyond is thinnest, and the girls pay respect to the spirits who have passed.

But this year, their trip goes dreadfully wrong.

With all the heart-stopping romance and action that have made her a #1 New York Times bestselling author, and set in an unforgettably rich and dangerous world, this first epic book in the Age of Legends trilogy will appeal to Kelley Armstrong’s legions of fans around the world and win her many new ones.


The Mediator #1: Shadowland by Meg Cabot

Suze is a mediator — a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won’t leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn’t seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations.

But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it’s not that easy. There’s a ghost with revenge on her mind…and Suze happens to be in the way.


Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Book 1 in Katie McGarry’s award winning Pushing The Limits series

So wrong for each other…and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can Push The Limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her How To Love Again.

Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt: OBLIVION by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Oblivion Jennifer L. Armentrout

Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout released today and we’ve got an exclusive excerpt for you! See the thrilling start of the Lux Saga, Obsidian, through Daemon’s eyes! We hope you enjoy and pick up your copy of Oblivion today!


Kat wasn’t thrashing anymore. She was staring at me with those wide, beautiful eyes. Some of the panic eased off, but she was still frightened. Her body trembled as she looked away, pressing her cheek to the grass as she squeezed her eyes shut.

What was I going to do?

I couldn’t let her tell the world about us. There were only two options at this point. I took care of her, as in what Matthew had volunteered to do. Or I somehow convinced her to keep quiet. I hadn’t risked everything to save her from that demon truck to harm her myself now.

Slowly, so I didn’t startle her, I placed my finger under her chin and gently turned her head to mine. “Look at me, Kat. You need to look at me right now.”

She kept her eyes tightly closed.

I shifted up, bracing my weight on my legs as I clasped her cheeks. Her skin was smooth and too cool. My fingers smoothed over the line of her jaw, and I saw that my hands trembled slightly. I didn’t know if I could make her understand, but I had to try. I had to stop the bullet heading straight for her head.


Experience the epic love story of OBSIDIAN as told by its hero, Daemon 

Black…

I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.

And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can’t stop myself from wanting her—or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy—the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy—a human—won’t just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen…


OBLIVION Pre-Order Campaign:

Get Invaded with Oblivion – Daemon’s POV, which releases on December 1st! If you order OBLIVION before 12/4/15, you can receive a deleted scene. You must fill out the following form at this link.

And don’t miss the first books in the LUX Series!


JLA_Author-photo#1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel Don’t Look Back was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins. You can find Jennifer on her Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or on Goodreads.

Guest Post

Guest Post: “Love, Pixel Style” by Dana Marie Bell

Indirect Lines Dana Marie Bell

Cullen&Inq

Most people who read my books know I’m a huge geek. I watch Dr. Who, I sobbed over the ending of Firefly, and I play video games. Lots of video games. And I adore ones with romance elements in them.

Romance? In video games? Yup. More and more, we’re seeing story-driven video games including romances in their optional portions of the game. It’s never necessary to romance anyone in any game, but to me it adds just that little touch that I long for. The whole “if you want romances in your games go play a dating sim!” argument holds no water for me, because I’m playing the game and enjoying all of its elements, not just the romance. These days, we see more and more games adding it, including Fallout 4 with its options to romance all human companions, but it all had to start somewhere.

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Steals & Deals

Deal Alert: Jennifer Rush, Jill Shalvis, Jay Crownover and Danielle Paige

We’ve got another Deal Alert for you today with some fabulous titles on sale! Altered by Jennifer Rush, Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis, Asa by Jay Crownover, and Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige! Be sure to get these deals before it’s too late!


Altered by Jennifer Rush

They were made to forget. But they’ll never forgive.
Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch, at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, solemn and brooding; Cas, light-hearted and playful; Trev, smart and caring; and Sam . . . who’s stolen Anna’s heart.

When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape. Anna’s father pushes her to go with them, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs.

On the run, with her father’s warning in her head, Anna begins to doubt everything she thought she knew about herself. She soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis

RESCUE ME

Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it’s the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there’s an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . .

The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance…


Asa: A Marked Men Novel by Jay Crownover

 Jay Crownover’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with the much anticipated story of southern charmer and certified criminal Asa Cross.

Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.


Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

The New York Times bestselling first book in a dark new series that reimagines the Oz saga, from debut author Danielle Paige.

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a road of yellow brick—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas. I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. I’ve been trained to fight. And I have a mission: Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart. Steal the Scarecrow’s brain. Take the Lion’s courage. And—Dorothy must die.