Release Day Blitz & Review: To Nurture & Kill by E.M. Markoff!

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Title: To Nurture & Kill

Series: Ellderet Tale, #1

Author: E.M. Markoff

Audience: Adult

Genre: Epic Dark Fantasy

Formarts: E-Book and Paperback

Cover Artwork: [Pink Pigeon Studio]

Release Date: April 22, 2017


To Nurture & Kill Synopsis:

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Eutau Vidal owed nothing to anyone and lived his life as he wanted. But then his sister died, leaving her newborn son Kira in his care, and everything changed. The Purging sweeps on, spreading misery across the Land of Moenda as the Ascendancy wages its war of extermination against the Deadbringers. Now, torn between a promise to his dying sister and the desire to regain his freedom, Eutau struggles to care for his young nephew even as the babe begins to manifest dark powers of the most dangerous kind.

To Nurture & Kill is a tale of love and loss, the story of one man’s search for meaning amid the ashes of war. It is a standalone prequel to The Deadbringer, the first book in The Ellderet Series.


MY REVIEW:

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*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
This was my second read by Markoff and I just can’t believe such a short thing made as much damage to my being as it did. It was captivating from the very first page and it managed to do the unthinkable: It made me forget about ACOTAR/ACOMAF as I read it. (I haven’t been able to read anything due to the release of ACOWAR that has me thinking about nothing else.) Markoff has what feels like an effortless ability to help you immerse yourself in her words, and nothing else. It also made me realize just how much I missed Markoff’s ruthless world and incredibly badass characters.
This novella follows Kira’s uncle, Eutau, who I’ve grown to love even more (and hate at times) thanks to this. We see a character development in him that had me tearing up at so many places from the overwhelming pride that invaded every part of me. There were a bunch of times where I just wanted to hug him and let him know he was not alone.
I always love a guy’s POV, especially when there is a baby in the mix. Because of that, this plot line made me super happy to explore. I also can’t praise Markoff enough for the subtle diversity she incorporated into it. It wasn’t shouting at my face at every turn, it was just a fact, and we easily moved on with the plot. In my opinion, this is EXACTLY what all authors should do when it comes to diversity, instead of having it be the main focus. It should be treated as a normality, because that’s what it is… I am forever grateful for this, Eileen!
Anyway, back to a lighter topic: I can’t believe Kira’s power still manages to amaze me with every glance I get of it. I want it all for myself but I guess I can live vicariously through him. I grew even more protective of these two than I already was from The Deadbringer.
This novella is divided into three parts and I was crying like an inconsolable baby as soon as that third one slapped me in the face.
This title is, by far, one of my absolute favorites! Markoff can do no wrong and I will recommend her words forever! (I’ll just have Kira bring me back from the dead so I can fulfill my promise.) I can’t wait for the next installment of this amazing world!

5/5 stars!


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Goodreads: [Goodreads]

Purchase: [Amazon]


To Nurture & Kill YouTube Playlist:

(A note from the author) Music is dear to me. Just like I can’t imagine a life without books, I can’t imagine a life without music. It motivates me in so many ways, and it is vital to my writing since it helps set the mood and excites the writing muse. The songs chosen for the To Nurture & Kill playlist were what I listened to over and over again as I wrote. The songs are in order and can be played while reading. Or read the book first and then listen to the playlist and have fun assigning the song to the story 😉

To Nurture & Kill Playlist:

[YouTube]


Author Bio:

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E.M. Markoff is a Latina writer who was raised on a steady diet of Mexican folklore, anime, Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe films, and unrestricted access to comics and books. Growing up, she spent many days exploring her hometown cemetery, where her love of all things dark began.

Upon coming of age, she decided to pursue a career as a microbiologist, where she spent a few years channeling her inner mad scientist. Despite enjoying her time in a lab coat, she always had a love of writing short stories and so, one day, she set the first word to paper and never looked back.

Currently, with the aid of her feline companion, she is working on the second novel in The Ellderet Series.

Send coffee.

——

Social Links:

[Website] [Newsletter of the Cursed] [Goodreads]

[Instagram] [Facebook] [Twitter]

 

 

Review & Giveaway: Under the Bleachers by K.K. Allen!

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SYNOPSIS:

One kiss can change everything.

Fun and flirty Monica Stevens lives for chocolate, fashion, and boys … in that order. And she doesn’t take life too seriously, especially when it comes to dating. When a night of innocent banter with Seattle’s hottest NFL quarterback turns passionate, she fears that everything she once managed to protect will soon be destroyed.

Seattle’s most eligible bachelor, Zachary Ryan, is a workaholic by nature, an undercover entrepreneur, and passionate about the organizations he supports. He’s also addicted to Monica, the curvy brunette with a sassy mouth—and not just because she tastes like strawberries and chocolate. She’s as challenging as she is decadent, as witty as she is charming, and she’s the perfect distraction from the daily grind.

While Monica comes to a crossroads in her life, Zachary becomes an unavoidable obstacle, forcing her to stop hiding under the bleachers and confront the demons of her past. But as their connection grows stronger, she knows it only brings them closer to their end.

It’s time to let go.

To have a future, we must first deal with our pasts. But what if the two are connected?

[Goodreads]

——

PURCHASE LINKS:

 [Amazon US] [Amazon UK]


MY REVIEW:

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*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
“What I’m looking for is a way to accept my past, because until I do, I won’t be able to accept my future.”
This was my second read by K.K. Allen and I loved it! I was super excited to dive back into the world of these characters especially since a few of my all time favorite characters, Chloe and Gavin, made appearances from ‘Up in the Treehouse.’
This book is told in dual POV and it follows Monica, Chloe’s friend, and Zachary, an NFL Quarterback. I really enjoyed Monica’s humor and flirtatious ways. I loved how she was different than other main characters. She’s actively NOT looking for a relationship and won’t be easily thrown into one. I admired her independence and unapologetic attitude. I also loved witnessing her at her worst because it proved to me just how well rounded of a character she was. She kept so many secrets about her past that I couldn’t sympathize with her until they were forced into the spotlight. She may have been an adult when we met her but she did a lot of growing throughout the chapters.
And Zachary, oh man. What can I say about him that I haven’t already said about every other male character? He stole my heart, as I knew he would. His sensitivity and resilience astounded me to no end. I absolutely loathed how he was treated at various stages of his life, but the fact that his heart of gold remained intact throughout it all, had me drooling with pride. He kept bringing tears to my eyes whenever his feelings would get hurt since I took every blow personally. In my mind, he deserved to be treated with adoration, respect, and everything nice. So much so, that at some points, I didn’t think Monica was right for him.
One of the things I love about Allen, is that her characters are always so… full. They feel so real that they always leave me with a sense of fulfillment that is rare to find in other books. As a reviewer, I try to purposely figure out things I don’t like about characters, but it’s the most difficult thing to do when reading Allen’s books. For example, I thought I disliked Monica, but as it turns out, I was only fooling myself. As soon as I witnessed the reasons behind the actions that pissed me off, my respect for her only grew. Also, as a reviewer, I love to be proven wrong about my initial reactions and Allen has that down to a T.
Monica’s and Zach’s worlds collide in the most obvious of ways and also, in the most unexpected of ways. Allen had some phenomenal plot twists up her sleeve and they hit me hard. I was in denial for a bit, until I actually saw the aftermath of the explosion that was ‘the whole truth.’ K.K. wove this story so beautifully that I can’t wait until the next installment! I have a slight idea of what characters it will follow next and I am so excited! There are still some loose ends that need to be tied up and I can’t wait to witness them.

4/5 stars!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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K.K. Allen is a Contemporary Romance & Fantasy Author, University of Washington Alumni, and Seattle Seahawk fan!!

At age twelve, K.K. picked up a pen and wrote her first novel, a YA rockstar romance that will never see the light of day 🙂 She continued filling notebooks until she was finally ready to share her work with the world.

K.K. lives in central Florida with her son, works as a Digital Producer managing website development projects, and loves to attend signings around the area when she can! You can find all upcoming event dates and other information at: www.kk-allen.com.


SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

[Facebook] [Newsletter] [Amazon]

[Instagram] [Facebook Group]

[Goodreads]


GIVEAWAY:

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WIN PAPERBACK COPIES OF ‘Up In the Treehouse’ AND ‘Under the Bleachers’!

Click [HERE] to enter!

Review + $150 Giveaway: Something in the Way by Jessica Hawkins!

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Title: Something in the Way

Author: Jessica Hawkins

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Forbidden

Cover Design: RBA Designs : Romantic Book Affairs
Photography: Perrywinkle Photography

Release Date: February 27, 2017


SYNOPSIS:

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It was a hot summer day when I met him on the construction site next to my parents’ house. Under the sweat and dirt, Manning Sutter was as handsome as the sun was bright. He was older, darker, experienced. I wore a smiley-face t-shirt and had never even been kissed. Yet we saw something in each other that would link us in ways that couldn’t be broken…no matter how hard we tried.

 

I loved Manning before I knew the meaning of the word. I was too young, he said. I would wait. Through all the carefully-chosen words hiding what we knew to be true, through his struggle to keep me innocent, and through infinitely-starry nights—I would wait. But I’d learn that life isn’t always fair. That no matter how much you achieve, none of it matters if you suffer the heartbreak that comes with falling for someone you can never have. Because even though I saw Manning first, that didn’t matter. My older sister saw him next.


 MY REVIEW:

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*ARC provided by Give Me Books Promotions in exchange for an honest review*
“My world had been so dark before her. It worried me how far I’d go to keep that light in my life.”
As soon as I had this ARC in my possession, I dropped everything I was doing in order to start it. It had already overtaken my entire being as soon as the synopsis dropped. Who cares if I was dealing with a headache and needed to go to sleep in order to go to work in a few hours. My heart and mind didn’t care, so I started it immediately and it was the best decision I ever made… for the most part. Since I cried myself to sleep after the last page it was a bittersweet decision more than anything.
This story is a dual POV that follows Lake at age 16, and Manning at age 23. Lake has become one of the most adorable characters I’ve ever read about. She had me laughing so hard and admiring her mind from the very first few pages and that opinion never went away. Her humor alone made me fall in love with her right off the bat and had me invested in her feelings 100%.
Manning stole my heart from the first moment I saw him as well. His tragic background tore at me with all its might and I just wanted to take his pain away so he could smile his sexy smile, and laugh his sexy laugh more often. Their souls were just so beautiful and perfect for each other that I was rooting for them to get together at every turn of the page.
Also, I hate Lake’s sister. I won’t even name her because she doesn’t deserve it. So these sentences are all she’s getting in my review.
I had an immense disliking for myself throughout this story since as I kept reading, I was getting myself that much closer to the end… but I just couldn’t stop. The way Jessica brought their emotions and thoughts to life was staggering. Her writing is so addicting, it pulls at every fiber of your being until you’re entirely consumed and turned into a puppet. The characters have invaded my mind and soul and they’will never get out; They’ve made their home in there and I don’t have the strength to kick them out. I had an anxious, turning-of-the-stomach feeling for the most part of the story. Even though I was giddy with excitement in some moments, the bad feeling never went away. I was completely terrified of whatever Jessica threw their way and it was more than justified. I was NOT ready for that ending and every word kept ripping me apart until I couldn’t take it anymore. I am still in denial about it all. HOW COULD THAT HAVE HAPPENED!?!?! My mind is reeling with theories when usually a book just has it on pause until the second book releases. The theories I have in my mind are killing me and I need to know if they’ll come to light!!
This story was not only a masterpiece because of the flawless execution but because it resonated with me in the most personal way. I grew up in love with an older man and I was transported to the past from the very first word. I was 15 when I started to fall for the guy and that was only a year younger than Lake. Because of our similar experiences, I just wanted to step into the pages and give Lake some advice. I saw that her age and innocence poured into her every action and I wanted to help her grasp the situation more firmly. With that said, she also showed a maturity that’s to be admired.
This is going to be a trilogy and as I am already dying with the first one, I’m immensely terrified of what the other 2 have in store for me. But at the same time, I want them in my hands asap! Jessica has rocked my world and I can’t wait until May 22 for ‘Somebody Else’s Sky’ to come out. That title alone has me shaking my head at all the pain that it is to come my way.
“You can’t move the stars. Manning and I were inevitable.”

6/5 stars!


GOODREADS LINK:

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[HERE]


PURCHASE LINKS:

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 [US] [UK[CA]

[AU[B&N]

 [Kobo[iBooks] [Google Play]

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AUTHOR BIO:

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Jessica Hawkins grew up between the purple mountains and under the endless sun of Palm Springs, California. She studied international business at Arizona State University and has also lived in Costa Rica and New York City. To her, the most intriguing fiction is forbidden, and that’s what you’ll find in her stories. Currently, she resides wherever her head lands, which is often the unexpected (but warm) keyboard of her trusty MacBook.


 AUTHOR LINKS:

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 [Amazon] [Facebook] [Website[Twitter]

 [Instagram] [Bookbub] [Pinterest]

[Goodreads]

——

DON’T MISS OUT ON ANYTHING JESSICA HAWKINS!

Sign up for her Mailing List!

 [HERE] 


 Jessica has two generous giveaways going on that amount to $150!

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Click here for:

[$50 Giveaway]

——

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Click here for:

[$100 Giveaway]

Release Day Blitz: Ex-Con serial by Katana Collins!

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~BOOK 1~

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Worse than bad. Hotter than hot. These are the bad boys of the Harrison Street Crew, and they answer to no one. They take what they want. And what they want is you.

Ex-convict Shane McGill is as rugged and wild as they come. Bad to the bone and back on the streets, he’ll do anything and say anything to survive. Even if that something means joining the one car club he had worked so hard to avoid. But there’s one person out there who can match him toe-to-toe…the hot mechanic pin-up doll of a woman with the body of a goddess and tomboy attitude would even give him a chance.

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~BUY LINKS~

[Amazon] Barnes & Noble[] [iTunes] [Kobo]


~BOOK 2~

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Charlize “Charlie” Wakeman fixes cars and doesn’t suffer fools. But when the hot as hell ex-convict Shane McGill enters her mechanic shop, she can’t resist one wild night with him. It was just meant to be a fling…the wildest, most thrilling fling of her life. But Shane’s too ruthless, too bad to ignore, and Charlie can’t stop herself from coming back for more.

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~BUY LINKS~

[Amazon] [Barnes & Noble] [iTunes] [Kobo]


~BOOK 3~

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Shane McGill learned one thing from prison—if you get a second chance, don’t screw it up. Shane doesn’t regret a single second of his life once he’s found Charlie. She’s the happiest, hottest, most important thing to happen to him. But as tensions rise in the Harrison Street Crew, his relationship with Charlie takes on a new level of heat, and danger…

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~BUY LINKS~

[Amazon] [Barnes & Noble] [iTunes] [Kobo]


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Katana Collins grew up in a lot of different places. She has called PA, NC, GA, FL and NY all her home. Pretty much in that order, too. Her dream was to always be an author. A photographer. A teacher. A veterinarian. A dolphin trainer. A ballerina. And an actress. She’s proud to say that a few of these even came true.

Katana attended the Savannah College of Art and Design where she took only one writing class–but it was the class that changed the course of her life forever. One amazing professor and one semester later, she emerged with a new set of skills and was finally able to develop what was always a passion into that of a career. Or in Katana’s case, one of many careers. She showed up her first day of undergrad in overalls and flip flops…and graduated in a strapless silk dress and a pair of Manolos. She has never since worn overalls. Though, she does admit to the occasional flip flop.

Katana’s “double life” entails photographing portraits (boudoir and glamour portraits, pet portraits and baby/kids/family photographs). Katana currently lives in Brooklyn, NY as a newlywed with her husband and two rescue dogs…one mastiff and one chihuahua.

[Twitter] [Facebook] [Website]

 

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Obsidian Sky by Amy Braun!

Review: Hooked on Trouble by Kelly Siskind

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SYNOPSIS:

Reality bites.  Hard.

The last time Raven did “real” was sixteen months ago, when she spent one unforgettable night with the tattooed, impossible sexy Nico, and then he disappeared the next day.  Since then, she’s kept her guard up and her feelings to herself.  She doesn’t have time for relationship drama when she’s busy searching for her long lost sister.

Nico hasn’t stopped thinking about Raven—her sultry curves, inked skin, or the fact that he ditched her after their night together.  Now that they’re living in the same city, he knows this is his chance to make things right.  What better way to prove to Raven he’s for real than helping her find her sister?  But when the lines between right and wrong start to blur, putting his job on the line, Nico has to decide if the risk is worth the ultimate reward.


BUY THE BOOK:

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 [Amazon] [Barnes & Noble] [Kobo]

[iBooks] [Google]


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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A small-town girl at heart, Kelly Siskind moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario, Canada.  When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head.

She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—Gummy Bears heal all.  She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

——

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

[Website[Facebook]

Add Hooked on Trouble to your shelf on Goodreads: [Goodreads]


GIVEAWAY:

Enter below to win 1 of 15 free ebook downloads of Hooked on Trouble!

[http://bit.ly/2gP3I0w]


MY REVIEW:

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*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
This is my second read by Kelly and I enjoyed it quite a lot! It was hot, full of heart and heartbreak, and had everything else in between. It kept me laughing hard at times, and tearing up at others. Kelly showed us two struggling characters whose situations felt as real as the words in this post. This follows Raven and Nico who had a one night stand about a year ago and we get to see their reunion.
Raven is not your usual main character which was a massive plus for me. She sort of pissed me off at times but I also grew to admire her overall. Her point of view had me with a bad feeling in my stomach almost from cover to cover. I was a bit scared to continue reading in case I was proven right and I definitely was. Another thing I didn’t really enjoy was how the topic of sex made appearances in scenes that had no use for it. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for heavy and steamy but there is a time and a place, and I felt like there were a few red flags scattered around.
It also follows Nico, a sexy-as-sin cop with a heart of gold who kept gluing my jaw to the ground for too many reasons to count. His point of view was the most heartbreaking, in my opinion. His dynamic with his family was just stunning. I didn’t know how invested I was in him and his brother’s life, Josh, until I saw all the crap that life threw at them. The hardships they had to endure made me ache inside and brought tears to my eyes.
All in all, I was very happy with how everything tied up at the end and I can’t wait to read more by Kelly!

4/5 stars

Surprise Release & Cover Reveal: Birthday Blaze by Kacey Shea!

It’s Kacey Shea’s birthday this week and she’s celebrating with five days of giveaways including the release of Birthday Blaze, which is FREE for iBooks, Nook, & Kobo. Amazon will match the zero price any day now (the more readers who report it the faster it will change).

 [Nook] [iBooks] [Kobo] [Kindle] [Goodreads]

Download your free copy and be sure and join [HERE] for more birthday fun!

Cover Design: Bridgette O’Hare, Wit & Whimsy Cover Design


Synopsis:

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Brennan O’Shea might be every woman’s dream.

Gorgeous.

Single.

Built like a tank and inked to perfection.

A fireman. Really, what else is there?

Yeah, he’s a fantasy brought to life if only it weren’t for one little problem. Okay, it’s a big one. He can’t talk to women. The more attractive the lady, the more words fail him. And his beautiful, friendly neighbor Jenny has Brennan lusting for more than chatty banter. Will a birthday wish give him a shot with the woman he wants? Or will his hopes go up in flames?


 EXCERPT:

Today is my birthday.

Thirty years old. Fuck. When did I get old? Besides my firefighting career and my health, what do I have? I pictured myself in a little ranch style house, married with at least one kid by now. Instead, my plan for this Wednesday afternoon is to sleep the day away and hope my friends don’t remember it’s my special day because they’ll drag me to the bar. Fuck. I am old. I don’t even want to get wasted on my birthday.

I slide the key in my lock and the slam of another nearby door pulls my gaze to the neighboring unit.

“Hey! I’m glad I caught you!” Jenny huffs between labored breaths.

Oh. Fuck me. Maybe the universe is feeling generous. Jen’s covered in a sheen of sweat. Droplets form between the valley of her breasts and disappear beneath her sports bra. Her tiny black shorts are practically painted on her skin and it takes all my willpower not to stare.

“Hey, Jen,” I stutter.

“So . . .” She flashes a playful grin and walks over. “I have to work ’til four, but a little birdie told me it was your birthday and I have a surprise for you. Do you have plans later so I can drop by?”

“No plans.” I blow out a breath, take off my ball cap and run my other hand over my head. “Wait! How’d you know it’s my birthday?”

“Facebook reminders.” She laughs and backs up to her door. “Okay, I’ll stop by about five? Gives me time to wash off the blood.” She scrunches her nose up and it’s so fucking adorable I almost forget we’re discussing slaughtered animals.

I smile and mumble “sounds good,” as she retreats inside her apartment. I open my own door and my cell phone chimes from my pocket. I glance at the screen and grin. She never forgets.

“Hey sis,” I say.

“Happy birthday, little bro! I love you! Want me to sing?”

“God, no!” I laugh and she scoffs through the line. “It’s a gift for my ears if you don’t.”

“Fuck you,” she says with a smile in her voice. “So . . . any big plans for your dirty thirty?”

“Not really. Cruz is on shift, so we’ll go out this weekend for beers.”

“You are the worst bachelor ever. What I would give for a night out without crying, midnight feedings, and diapers.” Emily sighs.

“How is my nephew, anyway?”

“Sucking on my boob as we speak.”

“God! Don’t say things like that.” We’re just two years apart and best friends as much as siblings, but she has no filter, especially now that she’s a sleep deprived mom.

Emily just laughs. “Sorry, I can’t help messing with you. But really, you have no plans? Maybe I should come over tonight.”

“No!” I answer a little too emphatically.

“Oh, so you do have plans. Maybe a booty call? You are a first responder, after all . . .”

“God, stop. Sister-brother boundaries. Is nothing sacred?”

“Sorry. It’s been so long since I got laid. Seven weeks exactly. If I’m not getting lucky tonight then you should be. Who’s the lady?”

“It’s not like that. It’s my neighbor, Jen. She mentioned stopping by tonight. She has something for me. It’s probably nothing.”

“She sounds hot,” Emily teases.

I chuckle, because Emily never stops. “Yeah. She is hot, but she’s also really sweet, funny, and smart; but I don’t think she’s into me.”

“Then she has horrible taste in men. But I think if she’s coming by she might be into you. Now’s your chance, Brennan! Sweep her off her feet. Take charge. Be the man! Besides, it’s your birthday; luck is on your side.”

“I don’t know . . .” Maybe Emily is right. Maybe I should stop pussyfooting around and make a move.

“Do it! Now, I’ve got to go change stinker’s diaper. Love you, Brennan. Have a great day. And use condoms!”

“’Bye, Emily.” I smile and end the call.

Before I crash I check the fridge and pantry. Emily’s right. If I want a chance with Jenny I need to pull out all the stops and go with my strengths. I may not be a smooth talker but I can cook like a top chef. Today’s forecast: baked ziti with a side of romance.

Birthday Blaze originally appeared in the Amazon bestselling charity anthology Hook & Ladder 69. This short story is a fun, sexy read that showcases Kacey’s humorous story-telling and colorful characters. For more by Kacey check out her [website].


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Kacey Shea is a mom of three, wife, and indie author who resides in sunny Arizona. She enjoys reading and writing romance novels as much as her son loves unicorns, which is a lot.

When she’s not writing you will find her playing taxi cab to her children while belting out her favorite tunes, meeting friends or family for food and to share some laughs, or sweating it out in the gym. Kacey finds that picking up heavy weights repeatedly is good for her mental health as much as it is for the physical.

She has an unhealthy obsession with firefighters. It could be the pants. It could be the fire. It’s just hot. On occasion she has been known to include them, without their knowledge, in her selfies outside the grocery store.

Kacey one day aspires to be a woman hand model in a sexy photo shoot. You know, the woman’s hand raking across the muscular back or six pack stomach of the male fitness model. Yep, that hand.

Until that day comes she will continue writing sexy, flirty romance novels in hopes to bring others joy!

Kacey enjoys interacting with her fans so please feel free to stalk her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.