Release Spotlight/Excerpt: VIGOR (a Spartan Riders MC Romance), by J.C. Valentine Reply

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Description:

USA Today and International bestselling author J.C. Valentine is back with the latest in her electrifying, dangerous, and provocative world of the Spartan Riders MC…

After escaping an abusive marriage, Spartan Riders bartender Ginger “Red” Mercury is determined to live life on her own terms. When the club’s VP declares her untouchable and stakes his own claim on her, she finds herself ready to wage war.

A year after inoculating the threat from notorious cartel leader Ricky Cruiz, Garrick “Repo” Stone, the last-standing original member of the Spartan Riders MC, has his focus on something else: monogamy. Having decided to settle down and take an ol’ lady, he has his sights set on Red…and he has his work cut out for him if he hopes to win her.

When a new threat makes itself known, threatening everything the brothers stand for and care about, they’re left scrambling to find out who’s behind it before it’s too late. With the high-stakes game of war looming over them, will Red be able to open her heart to love before outside forces pull her and Repo apart?

Excerpt:

Ginger opened her eyes to the feel of Garrick’s fingertips lightly stroking the side of her face and realized she’d fallen asleep.

Breathing deep, she sat back, wincing at the pinch in her spine. “How long was I out?” she asked groggily as she touched her fingers to her hot, damp cheek—the one that’d been pressed against his chest.

“About an hour.” Garrick plucked his shirt, grimacing. “You drool.”

“I do not!” Ginger flushed, feeling fifty shades of embarrassed. Because sometimes she did drool. But she was not about to admit that.

“Tell that to my shirt.” He looked over at her and smirked. “No worries, babe. Your secret is safe with me. Besides, it’s nice to know you have at least one flaw.”

Ginger scowled, then frowned as his words registered. “You thought I was, what, perfect?”

“The thought had occurred to me.” Standing, Garrick crossed his arms over one another, grabbed the hem of his shirt, and stripped it over his head.

Ginger could only stare at the perfection he presented. Even for an older man, he had an incredible body. It was obvious from the thick, defined muscle that he took care of himself. And that dusting of salt and pepper hair that ran in an upside-down V from his chest to his waistband got her panties all in a twist.

He was so masculine and sexy, it hurt to look at him.

Licking her lips, Ginger remembered their conversation. “Well, I’m not perfect. I’m just me. You though…wow.”

Oh man, had she just said that out loud? Garrick’s gaze captured hers, and yeah, she definitely had. And it was clearly going to his head.

And not the one in his pants.

“Like what you see?”

Well, she’d already stuck her foot in it. No sense in beating around the bush now. “You know I do.” They’d had sex before, and she’d let him go down on her last night. Considering how wet she’d been then, it should be obvious.

“Then maybe,” Garrick said, his gruff voice full of seduction as he leaned down over her, bracing his hands on the back of the couch, so she had to tilt her head all the way back to meet his eyes, “you should act on it.”

Ginger pressed her lips together. Her fingers itched to touch him, to explore the body that’d felt so good on hers so long ago. She wanted to get properly reacquainted. But should she? She’d already messed up and let him do things she never should have allowed. If she took this step, if she let him have her completely…he’d have her completely.

And he knew it.

Other Books In This Series:

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Description:

Taco’s story…blurb coming soon!

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About The Author:

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Pinterest • Google+ • Amazon Author Page • Goodreads

Giveaway:

Review: TAKEN, by J.C. Valentine Reply

5 out of 5 Stars

Available For Purchase On:

Review:

J.C. Valentine is one of my favorite authors and when I see a new book is coming out I can’t wait to see what it is about. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this novella but I can tell you this book was very well done. Even though this is a novella Ms Valentine has done an awesome job developing the story line and the characters. I truly enjoyed this book and could not put it down once I started reading. I Highly Recommend this awesome read. Looking forward to what ever Ms Valentine brings us next.

Reviewed by Epiphany

Our Blog was this book in exchange for and honest review.

Description:

Love is blind…
Especially when you’ve been abducted.

Caught in the dredges of life, Elise had come to the grudging conclusion that mediocrity was all she’d ever have.
Until a routine shopping trip turns into a deadly affair.

Taken. Two men, one a brute and the other an enigma. A cabin in the woods. One dangerous agenda.

Blindfolded and held captive, Elise’s mundane existence just got a whole lot more interesting. Thrust into the unknown, held prisoner by a man with rough hands and a gentle voice, she’s faced with her own demise while struggling against a growing desire for the unacceptable—her captor.

Will Elise make out with her life—and heart—intact?

Teaser:

Excerpt:

What kind of person became attracted to their kidnapper? It was too early for her to claim Stockholm Syndrome, so that just left insanity. Or the sex drought. She hadn’t had a close encounter of the penis variety in far too long to be healthy.

Well, she wasn’t about to start with his!

A door creaked open, and Elise felt the air change as they stepped into another room, the musty smell of dirt and dust thicker than in the rest of the place. Spinning her around, Manhandler gave her a gentle push, and Elise plunked down onto the edge of the bed, its springs screaming in protest as she bounced and fought against rolling backward into the center of the mattress.

“This thing must be ancient,” she commented without thought.

“I’d say seventies, at least.”

“Seventy years?” Elise screeched in disbelief. She almost leaped clear off again, considering what manner of filth it must harbor.

“Seventies as in what decade it’s from,” Manhandler clarified.

“That’s not much better.”

“Suck it up, buttercup.”

And so she would. Elise glared behind her blindfold at him, hoping he could at least feel her indignation and resentment. Except she hardly felt it herself, so he probably couldn’t either. Drat. She was a piss poor hostage. Where was her fire? Her raging sense of self-preservation? That snappy attitude all the fictional heroines in her plethora of romance novels had?

Left all that back in Neverland, she thought to herself. A self-deprecating smile began to form. Elise had never been much of a fighter. Just a sad and lonely girl living in a lonely world. Blah, blah, blah. Guess I’ll go eat worms.

“Whatever you’re planning, don’t,” Manhandler said in a calm manner that belied the threat inherent in his statement.

Elise wiped the smile off her face instantly. “I’m not planning anything.”

“Right.” He didn’t sound convinced. “Let’s keep it that way, shall we?” His hand smacked her thigh, startling her. “Lie down. Get some sleep.”

Elise eased herself down onto her side, grimacing as she thought of all the critters that were probably living among the blankets and within the mattress. God, was the pillow even safe to touch? “Where will you be?”

She heard Manhandler move around to the opposite side of the bed, and when he sat down, her body rolled to meet him in the middle. “Right here, buttercup.”

Elise gasped, scrambling for the edge of the bed—as far from him as possible without defying his orders.

“What,” he said with a laugh. “Did you really think I was going to leave you alone in here, so you could get up to mischief? Not hardly.”

That wasn’t exactly what she’d been thinking, but Elise would have done some snooping around, maybe searched for an exit. Not that she expected either man to leave her in any position to get them into trouble. They seemed to be one step ahead at every turn. Turns that were few and far between.

Elise froze in place as he settled in behind her. Releasing a little groan of approval, he shocked her to hell and back when he grabbed her around the middle and hauled her back up against his chest. Breath puffing against the back of her neck, Manhandler said in a sleepy voice, “This is for your protection as much as it is mine. Don’t get any ideas, just sleep, and we’ll get along just fine. Deal?”

What could she possibly say? No deal? He had her right where he wanted her, leaving Elise no choice but to play the hand she was being dealt. Unable to make her voice work, Elise simply jerked her head in affirmation.

“Glad you agree, buttercup.” Within a matter of seconds, he was out cold, his arm a vice holding her in place. And Elise? Well, she wasn’t going to sleep anytime soon.

About The Author:

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Pinterest • Google+ • Amazon Author Page • Goodreads

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Review: The Affair (An Erotic Short Romance), by J.C. Valentine Reply

the-affair-cover

5 out of 5 Stars

Available For Purchase On:

Review:
This is a interesting quick read by J.C. Valentine. Once I started reading I could not put it down. This is one of those books you have to read to the very end to find out what happens. What a way to breath life back into a stagnant relationship. I can’t recommend this book high enough.

Reviewed by Epiphany

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Description:

While the husband is away, the wife will play…Bradley is a good man. He’s loyal and loving and a great husband and father. But the spice is gone from our marriage. It’s time to liven things up a bit.

I’m done being good. Done following the rules. I’ve spent half my life playing wife, mother, chauffeur, and maid. Now, it’s time to play the vixen. It’s time to reclaim the woman I used to be—the woman I was always meant to be. It’s time to shake things up.

Warning: This book is short and filled with dirty, steamy sex. It’s going to speak to your adventurous side, the side of you that craves a fantasy. So, if you’ve ever wondered what if, then this is the book for you. It requires an open mind, so read it till the end. You won’t be sorry.

Teaser:

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Excerpt:

I’ve never done anything like this before. Me, a married woman with kids, sitting alone in a hotel bar drinking cheap, bubbly champagne from a fluted glass.

The last time I had champagne was at my wedding twelve years ago. I was younger then, able to stay up past midnight without looking like something death ran over. I had a better body then, too. No stretch marks. Tight stomach. Twenty pounds lighter. My boobs were fantastic, too, defying the laws of gravity. Certainly no need for the uncomfortable underwire pushup from Victoria’s Secret to make them look good.

But I digress.

I’ve never deliberately sat in a bar waiting for someone to notice me. A nice someone. Someone with dark, kind eyes that hold an edge of danger. Someone that lights that fire in my belly from just a look, the barest touch.

After popping out two kids and spending the last seven and a half years running endless errands and performing maid duties in exchange for a weekly romance novel stipend and the occasional functional haircut when time allows, I’ve missed that feeling. You know the one—excitement, flare, burning desire. I’m at the point in my life where I need to reclaim a part of myself. That part that needs to be reminded she’s still a woman. A woman with needs. With desires. With dreams and passions and a zest for life.

That’s why I’m here tonight. While my children play gin rummy and eat far too many sweets with my in-laws, I’m on a mission to rediscover the vibrant, sexy, confident woman I used to be.

jc-valentine

About The Author:

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Pinterest • Google+ • Amazon Author Page • Goodreads

Giveaway:

the-affair-giveaway-graphic

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Indie Sage

 

Review: Buried Secrets, by J.C. Valentine Reply

buried-secrets-cover

Available For Purchase On:

Amazon (99c or #FREE with #KINDLEUNLIMITED): http://amzn.to/2eSJkHQ

Paperback: http://amzn.to/2gw1jn2

Review:
I have read several of J.C. Valentine’s book and they are mostly romance. This book is eerie and suspenseful. A who done it kind of book. I thought I had figured out who the “Who Done It” person was until I go to the end and was blown out of the water. WOW. This book had me guessing around every corner, and sitting on the edge of my seat. It seems that Ms Valentine is not just a romance author after all. I recommend this intriguing, suspenseful book.
Reviewed by Epiphany
Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.
Description:

 How do you live with yourself when you don’t even know who you are?

On a chill October night, a girl goes missing setting the small town of Oakridge on edge. James has spent the last five years running from a past that still haunts him to this day. Now he finds himself thrust back into a life he thought he left behind. Finding out his new home may be haunted and reconnecting with an old friend while being thrust into a murder mystery, James finds himself trying to figure out which end is up while questioning his own sanity.

**AUTHOR’S NOTE** Buried Secrets is a New Adult, mystery thriller with very little romance but heavy on the suspense.

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Excerpt:

Prologue

Fall crept in like a burglar while the town slept. It brought with it a chill that felt refreshing after one of the hottest summers on Oakridge record. A slight, sticky fog hung in the air and evidence of Halloween was on nearly every doorstep in the form of carved jack-o-lanterns. Skeletons hung on doors, and festive orange lights draped roofs. Leaves coated the ground, wet and matted to the sidewalks and streets.

James breathed in the cool air that stung his nose just a bit. He loved when school let out at the end of the day. He never could wait to get out of the confines of the small, overcrowded classrooms. Even now he couldn’t fully escape it. Classmates of his walked and ran the same mile stretch he was, laughing and talking about anything and everything. Right now, he knew the junior high girl and her friend from his science class walking a few feet behind him were debating the hotness of Tommy Henderson, the varsity basketball player for Oakridge High. Everyone knew him, and everyone loved him. He was going to take the team to the championships. Probably would graduate and take some college to their championship, too. Something the whole town could be proud of.   

They met a few years ago when James was playing in the woods. AJ found him digging for worms—he’d been on a mission, wanting to teach himself how to fish, to live off the land like the people from ancient times—and he’d offered to help. AJ had run off, leaving James to sit and wonder where he had come from—he hadn’t heard him approach in the first place. He returned cupping a handful of water in his palms. He’d dumped the liquid in the hole James had dug, and moments later, worms began squirming to the surface.  

They became fast friends. James kept their friendship a secret. He wasn’t sure why exactly, except that AJ was his only friend, and he wanted to keep him all for himself. If he told someone, they might want to meet him, then the magic might go away. So they spent all that summer collecting worms and pretending to be hunters in the deep woods behind Oakridge Park. When summer break was over and school was back in session, James was disappointed to find that AJ wasn’t in any of his classes. In fact, he wasn’t in any classes in the school. No one heard of him.  

He finally broke and told his mom and dad about him one evening over dinner, because he was worried about AJ and needed to share him with someone, so he could feel close to him again. Like if he kept him a secret, and didn’t see him, then he wouldn’t be real anymore. It was an odd way to look at it, he knew, but he hadn’t ever had a friend quite like AJ. He was fun and daring and super inventive, and he liked James, flaws and all.  

So when he told his parents about AJ, they were happy for him. His mom said he probably just missed him in the halls. The schools weren’t huge, but they were big enough to lose someone in. His dad said that AJ probably just went to a different school. Maybe in the next town over, since no one knew him here. That settled it for a bit, and the next time James saw AJ, which was at the park just after sunset one evening when James was on his way home from skipping rocks in the small stream in the woods, he asked him about it. AJ had told him that both theories were wrong. He lived a few miles west through the woods and his mom homeschooled him. He said his dad did some sort of factory work in the next town, which was just enough to pay the bills and put food on the table, according to him. It was only then that James realized AJ didn’t wear the best of clothes, and he wasn’t as kempt as James was. But that didn’t make any difference to him. In fact, he felt closer to AJ than ever before. Finally, he had found someone who would never judge him. Someone who could truly understand him.  

So when Mercy Worthington fell into step with him, James’s heart beat a rapid tempo and his stomach turned to knots.

“Hi,” she said in a very delicate, but cheerful voice.

James stared at the ground and muttered a hello, but he couldn’t get up the nerve to really look at her.

“I’m Mercy. You’re James, right? James Clearwater. I think my dad works with yours at old man Jenson’s. He does the proofs, doesn’t he?”

James nodded. His dad worked at Jenson Design Studio where he developed photographs in one of the two darkrooms. His dad had big dreams of one day owning his own studio and becoming a famous photographer. Mercy’s dad was a set designer. James knew everything there was to know about Mercy and her family, and not just because the whole town knew who her family was, but because he paid attention and took notes. James was in love with Mercy Worthington, and had been since the third grade when she’d taken a job behind the lunch counter for a day and handed him a carton of 2% with that big, white smile of hers trained squarely on him. She was a senior at the high school, which made her five years older than James, who was thirteen now and in the seventh grade.

Today, like every day, she was radiant. Her dull blond hair waved gently behind her as the breeze caught it and when he found the nerve to look up at her, he found her green eyes smiling on him.  

He was going to marry her one day.

“I thought so,” she said, grinning. She took in their surroundings. “Do you take this route every day?” He nodded. “I’ve never seen you, and I walk this way every day. How come I’ve never seen you?”

He shrugged. “I dunno.” He felt awkward and short on words. He stuffed his hands in his pockets.

“You don’t talk much, do you?”  

He glanced at her and caught her teasing smile. He smiled back, feeling a little of the tension leave his shoulders. Why was she being so nice to him? A part of him felt like this must be a trick, but when he looked around, he only saw other kids from school walking silently or in small groups or pairs, chatting quietly. Could she really be interested in him? The only kids besides AJ that talked to him were the ones who poked fun of his clothes or his haircut, his slight lisp or the way he tripped over his own feet. She probably just felt sorry for him. He had heard of that before, girls who felt sorry for the underdog and took pity on them. Normally, he would get mad at being a charity case, but right now he couldn’t care less. Someone other than his family knew he existed. Mercy Worthington knew he existed. Suddenly, he didn’t feel like a shadow slinking around in the world unnoticed anymore.  

“So how long have you lived in Oakridge, James?” Mercy asked, as they crossed the street.

“My whole life,” he replied.

She nodded. “Do you have any friends? I never see you with anyone.”

He shrugged. “Some.” He didn’t want to look like too much of a loser.

“What about a girlfriend, do you have one of those?”

He felt himself blush. “No.”

“I know what your dad does for a living. So what does your mom do?”

“She likes to garden, but no one pays her for it,” he said. His dad was old-fashioned and believed that the wife should be home with the kids while the husband went out and provided for the family.

“That’s cool,” she said. “My mom is a painter. Sometimes she sells her art to the museum or to some person with lots of money. She’s pretty successful. I was thinking of painting when I get out of college. What about you? Do you know what you want to do after college?”

Honestly, James wasn’t sure he even wanted to go to college. His dad never pushed the notion, insisting that he wouldn’t amount to much more than a gas-station  attendant anyway. He wanted to be an astronaut when he was little, like most boys that age did, then he switched to a fireman after a class field trip to the fire station in fifth grade. Now, he just wasn’t sure what he wanted.  

“I’m not sure,” he said honestly. “Maybe I’ll just travel across the world for a while and live off the land until I figure it out.” That had been a dream of his and AJ’s, to hitch rides all over the country with nothing but a backpack and a few dollars in their wallet.  

Her face lit up with excitement. “That is so cool that you said that. I always dreamed of seeing the world, but my dad said that education comes first. I will have all the time in the world to do what I want after I get my ducks in a row.”

James wasn’t sure he believed that, but he kept his mouth shut.

Heavy footsteps approached from behind and moments later a big, strong arm wrapped around Mercy’s shoulder. Tommy Henderson had arrived.  

“Hey, babe.” Tightening his grip on her neck, he pulled her in for a sloppy kiss.

“Hey,” she said when she came up for air. “Tommy, this is James. His dad works with my dad. He’s going to travel across the world one day.” She said this with a grin that made James’ stomach flutter a little.  

Tommy sized James up, and James knew he was trying to figure out where he knew him from. James knew him from the many times he “accidentally” knocked his books from his hands, and “inadvertently” tore up his homework. James was afraid if he recognized him, he might have to endure another embarrassing moment involving colorful adjectives and descriptive threats, and he just didn’t want to be made a fool of in front of a girl like Mercy Worthington.  

He hung his head, allowing a few scraggly scraps of hair to shield his eyes.

“Travel the world, huh? Like a hobo or something?” He laughed, his deep, belly rolling chortle that made all the girls weak in the knees. James thought it made him look and sound stupid. “What are you hanging out with this joker for? He’s like two feet tall. I could smash him with my pinkie.”

James felt his finger press down on the crown of his head in demonstration.

“Hey,” Tommy said, putting himself between James and Mercy. “You trying to steal my girlfriend?”

“Stop picking on him, Tommy,” Mercy snapped.

Tommy sneered at James, then his features smoothed, and he turned on a smile for Mercy. “Whatever you say, babe. Just making sure the boy understands there’s no competition. You’re my girl, aren’t you, babe?”

Mercy rolled her eyes. “Of course, Tommy.”

They had come to a fork in the road where James’ house was to the left and Mercy’s to the right. “I’ll see you around, James,” Mercy told him, smiling apologetically.

“Yeah, see ya,” Tommy said, then ruffled James’ hair like he was some little kid.

James watched after them as they turned and walked off. After a few feet, Tommy turned to face James. “And, James.” James raised a questioning brow. “Stay away from my girl.”

Mercy punched Tommy in the side playfully, and he laughed, tugging her closer as they resumed walking. James felt his body begin to shake. He was angry. At that moment, he wanted to beat Tommy Henderson until his arms were too weak to continue. For the first time in his miserable existence, James thought he felt angry enough to kill.  

As the sun set, the day turned bitter cold, and the rain had moved in. It was sheeting down now, and Mercy’s shoes were soaking wet as her feet beat through every puddle. She was running, the rain pouring down her face in rivers, filling her eyes and blinding her to her path. Someone was chasing her.  

She’d decided to walk home after an evening at her boyfriend, Tommy’s, house, and almost as soon as she rounded the first street corner, she felt someone following her. The shadowy figure kept pace for a couple of blocks, then steadily picked up pace, until Mercy broke out running…and so did they.  

She was crossing the park playground now, and she could just make out the hill ahead. Her house was just over that hill, and if she could make it, she could get help. As her feet slipped, trying to find purchase on the soft, mud covered ground, Mercy could feel her muscles begin to cramp and burn with exhaustion. Against her will, she was slowing. When her feet hit the loose bark covering the playground, Mercy did slip. She caught herself with her hands and scrambled to her feet, pushing herself harder until she finally reached the bottom of the hill. There she used her hands, her fingers digging into the grass, and pulled herself up until she could look over and beyond to her house. The lights inside were a warm beacon, and she felt a sudden urgency come over her.  

As she came to her feet, Mercy heard a muffled thud, and glanced over her shoulder. It was a mistake that she wouldn’t live to regret.

The shadow stood before her, and to her surprise, she recognized the dark figure.

“What do you want from me!”

A visual sweep revealed something big and heavy looking in their hand, and with quick precision, the shadow raised its arm high in the air and brought it down hard. A slow trickle of blood broke through her hairline and ran down her forehead, then her face and dripped off her chin. A second blow caused it to grow thicker and run faster and Mercy fell to her knees, then finally her face, where her eyes focused and glazed over and her breaths faded away to nothing. And still the shadow hit her, until all the fury, all the anger subsided.   

Her last vision was that of the warm yellow glow coming from the living room window where her mother and father, sister and brother sat watching the evening news and waiting for her to come walking in the door any moment.

Stooping down, the figure wrapped its cold, wet fingers around Mercy’s ankles and pulled, slipping frequently under the girl’s slight weight as it dragged her lifeless body into the copse of oak trees beyond the playground. Come morning, when the sun broke through the clouds, children would run and play, never knowing the horrors of what happened just a short distance away.  

Teaser:

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About The Author:

jc-valentine-1

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Pinterest • Google+ • Amazon Author Page • Goodreads

Giveaway:

deluca-duet-reveal-giveaway-graphic

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spotlight: Buried Secrets, by J.C. Valentine Reply

buried-secrets-cover

buried-secrets-full-jacket-cover

Available For Purchase On:

Description:

How do you live with yourself when you don’t even know who you are?

On a chill October night, a girl goes missing setting the small town of Oakridge on edge. James has spent the last five years running from a past that still haunts him to this day. Now he finds himself thrust back into a life he thought he left behind. Finding out his new home may be haunted and reconnecting with an old friend while being thrust into a murder mystery, James finds himself trying to figure out which end is up while questioning his own sanity.

**AUTHOR’S NOTE** Buried Secrets is a New Adult, mystery thriller with very little romance but heavy on the suspense.

buried-secrets-blitz-banner

Excerpt:

Blackness surrounded him, its endless pools of ink swallowing him whole. He couldn’t see his hand in front of his face, but he felt the terror seeping through his skin, past his bones and making its way down to his very soul.

James knew he was in the throes of one of his nightmares again. He could never make out a thing, just knew the feeling it left him with.

He tried to make himself wake up, but couldn’t find his way out. The feeling that someone was coming for him caused panic to swell and his heart to accelerate, threatening to break free from his chest.

Not knowing what was coming, fear lacerating his insides, James started to run blindly. In his bed, his feet kicked out wildly, tangling in the linens and ratcheting up his terror, because to James, he was trapped.

His breathing labored and coming in short, sharp bursts, James cried out at the same time his body bolted upright in the bed. Sweat beaded on his brow and dampened his skin, his clothes suctioned to his body uncomfortably. He was clammy and winded, shaken, but he already felt better for knowing he was free from that awful feeling of suffocating terror that had threatened to overtake him just moments ago.

Scrubbing his hands down his face, James breathed deeply, hanging his head to his chest while his body calmed. As his adrenalin levels normalized, and he began to feel more like himself, James gave a final sigh of relief. Stabbing his fingers through his hair, he was readying himself to try to go back to sleep when he looked up and choked on his breath.

His entire body went rigid in an instant. His breathing, his heartbeat. Everything ceased to work. In the next instant James threw himself back against his headboard, fear gripping him once again.

He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He would chance rubbing his eyes to be sure his vision was true, only he was too frightened of what he would find once he opened them again.

Teaser:

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About The Author:

jc-valentine

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Pinterest • Google+ • Amazon Author Page • Goodreads

Giveaway:

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Indie Sage

 

Cover Reveal/Pre-Order: Buried Secrets, by J.C. Valentine Reply

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Cover Designer: R.A. Mizer with Shoutlines Design

Amazon (special 99c #preorder price): http://amzn.to/2eSJkHQ
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2ecVSJ5

Description:

How do you live with yourself when you don’t even know who you are?

On a chill October night, a girl goes missing setting the small town of Oakridge on edge. James has spent the last five years running from a past that still haunts him to this day. Now he finds himself thrust back into a life he thought he left behind. Finding out his new home may be haunted and reconnecting with an old friend while being thrust into a murder mystery, James finds himself trying to figure out which end is up while questioning his own sanity.

**AUTHOR’S NOTE** Buried Secrets is a New Adult, mystery thriller with very little romance but heavy on the suspense.

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Excerpt:

Fall crept in like a burglar while the town slept. It brought with it a chill that felt refreshing after one of the hottest summers on Oakridge record. A slight, sticky fog hung in the air and evidence of Halloween was on nearly every doorstep in the form of carved jack-o-lanterns. Skeletons hung on doors, and festive orange lights draped roofs. Leaves coated the ground, wet and matted to the sidewalks and streets.

James breathed in the cool air that stung his nose just a bit. He loved when school let out at the end of the day. He never could wait to get out of the confines of the small, overcrowded classrooms. Even now he couldn’t fully escape it. Classmates of his walked and ran the same mile stretch he was, laughing and talking about anything and everything. Right now, he knew the junior high girl and her friend from his science class walking a few feet behind him were debating the hotness of Tommy Henderson, the varsity basketball player for Oakridge High. Everyone knew him, and everyone loved him. He was going to take the team to the championships. Probably would graduate and take some college to their championship, too. Something the whole town could be proud of.

They met a few years ago when James was playing in the woods. AJ found him digging for worms—he’d been on a mission, wanting to teach himself how to fish, to live off the land like the people from ancient times—and he’d offered to help. AJ had run off, leaving James to sit and wonder where he had come from—he hadn’t heard him approach in the first place. He returned cupping a handful of water in his palms. He’d dumped the liquid in the hole James had dug, and moments later, worms began squirming to the surface.

They became fast friends. James kept their friendship a secret. He wasn’t sure why exactly, except that AJ was his only friend, and he wanted to keep him all for himself. If he told someone, they might want to meet him, then the magic might go away. So they spent all that summer collecting worms and pretending to be hunters in the deep woods behind Oakridge Park. When summer break was over and school was back in session, James was disappointed to find that AJ wasn’t in any of his classes. In fact, he wasn’t in any classes in the school. No one heard of him.

He finally broke and told his mom and dad about him one evening over dinner, because he was worried about AJ and needed to share him with someone, so he could feel close to him again. Like if he kept him a secret, and didn’t see him, then he wouldn’t be real anymore. It was an odd way to look at it, he knew, but he hadn’t ever had a friend quite like AJ. He was fun and daring and super inventive, and he liked James, flaws and all.

So when he told his parents about AJ, they were happy for him. His mom said he probably just missed him in the halls. The schools weren’t huge, but they were big enough to lose someone in. His dad said that AJ probably just went to a different school. Maybe in the next town over, since no one knew him here. That settled it for a bit, and the next time James saw AJ, which was at the park just after sunset one evening when James was on his way home from skipping rocks in the small stream in the woods, he asked him about it. AJ had told him that both theories were wrong. He lived a few miles west through the woods and his mom homeschooled him. He said his dad did some sort of factory work in the next town, which was just enough to pay the bills and put food on the table, according to him. It was only then that James realized AJ didn’t wear the best of clothes, and he wasn’t as kempt as James was. But that didn’t make any difference to him. In fact, he felt closer to AJ than ever before. Finally, he had found someone who would never judge him. Someone who could truly understand him.

So when Mercy Worthington fell into step with him, James’s heart beat a rapid tempo and his stomach turned to knots.

“Hi,” she said in a very delicate, but cheerful voice.

James stared at the ground and muttered a hello, but he couldn’t get up the nerve to really look at her.

“I’m Mercy. You’re James, right? James Clearwater. I think my dad works with yours at old man Jenson’s. He does the proofs, doesn’t he?”

James nodded. His dad worked at Jenson Design Studio where he developed photographs in one of the two darkrooms. His dad had big dreams of one day owning his own studio and becoming a famous photographer. Mercy’s dad was a set designer. James knew everything there was to know about Mercy and her family, and not just because the whole town knew who her family was, but because he paid attention and took notes. James was in love with Mercy Worthington, and had been since the third grade when she’d taken a job behind the lunch counter for a day and handed him a carton of 2% with that big, white smile of hers trained squarely on him. She was a senior at the high school, which made her five years older than James, who was thirteen now and in the seventh grade.

Today, like every day, she was radiant. Her dull blond hair waved gently behind her as the breeze caught it and when he found the nerve to look up at her, he found her green eyes smiling on him.

He was going to marry her one day.

“I thought so,” she said, grinning. She took in their surroundings. “Do you take this route every day?” He nodded. “I’ve never seen you, and I walk this way every day. How come I’ve never seen you?”

He shrugged. “I dunno.” He felt awkward and short on words. He stuffed his hands in his pockets.

“You don’t talk much, do you?”

He glanced at her and caught her teasing smile. He smiled back, feeling a little of the tension leave his shoulders. Why was she being so nice to him? A part of him felt like this must be a trick, but when he looked around, he only saw other kids from school walking silently or in small groups or pairs, chatting quietly. Could she really be interested in him? The only kids besides AJ that talked to him were the ones who poked fun of his clothes or his haircut, his slight lisp or the way he tripped over his own feet. She probably just felt sorry for him. He had heard of that before, girls who felt sorry for the underdog and took pity on them. Normally, he would get mad at being a charity case, but right now he couldn’t care less. Someone other than his family knew he existed. Mercy Worthington knew he existed. Suddenly, he didn’t feel like a shadow slinking around in the world unnoticed anymore.

“So how long have you lived in Oakridge, James?” Mercy asked, as they crossed the street.

“My whole life,” he replied.

She nodded. “Do you have any friends? I never see you with anyone.”

He shrugged. “Some.” He didn’t want to look like too much of a loser.

“What about a girlfriend, do you have one of those?”

He felt himself blush. “No.”

“I know what your dad does for a living. So what does your mom do?”

“She likes to garden, but no one pays her for it,” he said. His dad was old-fashioned and believed that the wife should be home with the kids while the husband went out and provided for the family.

“That’s cool,” she said. “My mom is a painter. Sometimes she sells her art to the museum or to some person with lots of money. She’s pretty successful. I was thinking of painting when I get out of college. What about you? Do you know what you want to do after college?”

Honestly, James wasn’t sure he even wanted to go to college. His dad never pushed the notion, insisting that he wouldn’t amount to much more than a gas-station  attendant anyway. He wanted to be an astronaut when he was little, like most boys that age did, then he switched to a fireman after a class field trip to the fire station in fifth grade. Now, he just wasn’t sure what he wanted.

“I’m not sure,” he said honestly. “Maybe I’ll just travel across the world for a while and live off the land until I figure it out.” That had been a dream of his and AJ’s, to hitch rides all over the country with nothing but a backpack and a few dollars in their wallet.

Her face lit up with excitement. “That is so cool that you said that. I always dreamed of seeing the world, but my dad said that education comes first. I will have all the time in the world to do what I want after I get my ducks in a row.”

James wasn’t sure he believed that, but he kept his mouth shut.

Heavy footsteps approached from behind and moments later a big, strong arm wrapped around Mercy’s shoulder. Tommy Henderson had arrived.

“Hey, babe.” Tightening his grip on her neck, he pulled her in for a sloppy kiss.

“Hey,” she said when she came up for air. “Tommy, this is James. His dad works with my dad. He’s going to travel across the world one day.” She said this with a grin that made James’ stomach flutter a little.

Tommy sized James up, and James knew he was trying to figure out where he knew him from. James knew him from the many times he “accidentally” knocked his books from his hands, and “inadvertently” tore up his homework. James was afraid if he recognized him, he might have to endure another embarrassing moment involving colorful adjectives and descriptive threats, and he just didn’t want to be made a fool of in front of a girl like Mercy Worthington.

He hung his head, allowing a few scraggly scraps of hair to shield his eyes.

“Travel the world, huh? Like a hobo or something?” He laughed, his deep, belly rolling chortle that made all the girls weak in the knees. James thought it made him look and sound stupid. “What are you hanging out with this joker for? He’s like two feet tall. I could smash him with my pinkie.”

James felt his finger press down on the crown of his head in demonstration.

“Hey,” Tommy said, putting himself between James and Mercy. “You trying to steal my girlfriend?”

“Stop picking on him, Tommy,” Mercy snapped.

Tommy sneered at James, then his features smoothed, and he turned on a smile for Mercy. “Whatever you say, babe. Just making sure the boy understands there’s no competition. You’re my girl, aren’t you, babe?”

Mercy rolled her eyes. “Of course, Tommy.”

They had come to a fork in the road where James’ house was to the left and Mercy’s to the right. “I’ll see you around, James,” Mercy told him, smiling apologetically.

“Yeah, see ya,” Tommy said, then ruffled James’ hair like he was some little kid.

James watched after them as they turned and walked off. After a few feet, Tommy turned to face James. “And, James.” James raised a questioning brow. “Stay away from my girl.”

Mercy punched Tommy in the side playfully, and he laughed, tugging her closer as they resumed walking. James felt his body begin to shake. He was angry. At that moment, he wanted to beat Tommy Henderson until his arms were too weak to continue. For the first time in his miserable existence, James thought he felt angry enough to kill.

As the sun set, the day turned bitter cold, and the rain had moved in. It was sheeting down now, and Mercy’s shoes were soaking wet as her feet beat through every puddle. She was running, the rain pouring down her face in rivers, filling her eyes and blinding her to her path. Someone was chasing her.

She’d decided to walk home after an evening at her boyfriend, Tommy’s, house, and almost as soon as she rounded the first street corner, she felt someone following her. The shadowy figure kept pace for a couple of blocks, then steadily picked up pace, until Mercy broke out running…and so did they.

She was crossing the park playground now, and she could just make out the hill ahead. Her house was just over that hill, and if she could make it, she could get help. As her feet slipped, trying to find purchase on the soft, mud covered ground, Mercy could feel her muscles begin to cramp and burn with exhaustion. Against her will, she was slowing. When her feet hit the loose bark covering the playground, Mercy did slip. She caught herself with her hands and scrambled to her feet, pushing herself harder until she finally reached the bottom of the hill. There she used her hands, her fingers digging into the grass, and pulled herself up until she could look over and beyond to her house. The lights inside were a warm beacon, and she felt a sudden urgency come over her.

As she came to her feet, Mercy heard a muffled thud, and glanced over her shoulder. It was a mistake that she wouldn’t live to regret.

The shadow stood before her, and to her surprise, she recognized the dark figure.

“What do you want from me!”

A visual sweep revealed something big and heavy looking in their hand, and with quick precision, the shadow raised its arm high in the air and brought it down hard. A slow trickle of blood broke through her hairline and ran down her forehead, then her face and dripped off her chin. A second blow caused it to grow thicker and run faster and Mercy fell to her knees, then finally her face, where her eyes focused and glazed over and her breaths faded away to nothing. And still the shadow hit her, until all the fury, all the anger subsided.

Her last vision was that of the warm yellow glow coming from the living room window where her mother and father, sister and brother sat watching the evening news and waiting for her to come walking in the door any moment.

Stooping down, the figure wrapped its cold, wet fingers around Mercy’s ankles and pulled, slipping frequently under the girl’s slight weight as it dragged her lifeless body into the copse of oak trees beyond the playground. Come morning, when the sun broke through the clouds, children would run and play, never knowing the horrors of what happened just a short distance away.

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About The Author:

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Pinterest • Google+ • Amazon Author Page • Goodreads

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Giveaway:

$20 Amazon Gift Card

Rafflecopter Link:

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Indie Sage

Review: Her Only Salvation, by J.C. Valentine Reply

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4 out of 5 Stars

Available for Purchase on:

Amazon (99c or #FREE with #KindleUnlimited): http://amzn.to/2bEdxJD

Review:

I have read several books by J.C. Valentine and love the way she writes. This book did not disappoint, I just wish there was more of it. The loved the relationship between Luke and Terri. Part of this story line was a little hard for me to read coming from a very similar situation. When Terri finally had enough of her abusive husband and did what she had to, it reminded me of when I finally got my abuser out of the house and our lives. I hope this is going to be part of a series. I recommend this book.

Reviewed by Epiphany

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

Description: 

Sometimes, relationships can be deadly.

Terri thought she was marrying a strong, loving man, only to find that beneath that handsome face lies something cold, brutal, and dangerous. After years of abuse, her husband takes things a little too far, and Terri finally summons the courage to take matters into her own hands and make her escape.

But freedom comes at a price.

Forging a new life, Terri moves to a new town and tries to forget her past, but she can’t help looking over her shoulder at every turn. When prison bars can no longer hold her husband, and her past comes knocking, Terri finds that the strength to trust again may be her only salvation. When her attractive new boss steps up to the plate and vows to protect her at all cost, she’s inclined to accept…but can she ever allow herself to trust her instincts again?

*Author Note* Her Only Salvation is a bold and enticing storyline with a hint of romance (sensual but not explicit). This book was originally released under J.C. Valentine’s given name and was entitled “Spring Cleaning.”

Excerpt:

The sun was set low on the horizon when Randy’s blue 4×4 rumbled up the drive. Terri sat among the growing shadows brought on by the failing light, perched on the edge of the black leather sofa she and Randy picked out in celebration of their first apartment together. Her stomach was a bundle of nerves. She stared absently into the mug of lukewarm coffee, trying to talk herself out of running in search of a hiding place. The brown liquid trembled beneath her fingers, miniature shockwaves radiating from the outside in as she listened for his response to seeing his belongings strewn about the lawn. She squeezed her eyes shut as she listened to the wild roar of his voice as he bounded up the walkway, his heavy boots thundering against the aged wooden planks with each raging step.

Terri placed her mug carefully down on the table, and stood on shaky legs. This was the part she had been anticipating since she rolled out of bed this morning. She’d given Randy his ritual parting kiss as he headed out to work, and then set about clearing the house of all his belongings. Now that he was furiously trying to work his keys in the new locks, she had a moment to reflect on her actions and almost felt guilty that she had gone about things the way she had.

Almost.

What was she supposed to do, though? Given the situation, she could hardly be expected to tell it to him straight. It was too late now to change her mind anyway, she thought, cringing at the threatening baritone that seemed to fill the otherwise quiet neighborhood.

His gruff voice belted out a string of profanities when he realized that, after five years, his keys no longer worked, courtesy of Bob’s Locksmith Service. A thunderous boom against the door gave Terri a start. He’d kicked it. She wrapped her arms around her trembling body, instantly feeling sick to her stomach, listening as he made his way around the perimeter of the house, trying every door and window for a way in. A lone tear rolled down her cheek as she thought about the way things used to be, the way things should be. In the early days, she would have greeted him at the door. Then, after a shower, they would have had a nice dinner together and curled up on the couch to watch the drama unfold on some ridiculous reality show, wrapped in each other’s arms.

Angrily, she swiped it away.

Things would never be the same again. The Randy she knew was gone, replaced by some tyrant bent on her destruction. The only thing that haunted her now were the lingering questions;

Why did he do this? What had she done to deserve it? Why wasn’t she enough for him? Had she ever been? They were all questions she had asked herself a million times, and questions that she knew she would never get the answers to. The fact was he was sick, and he needed help that was beyond her expertise.

She barely flinched when the glass from the dining-room window shattered across the pale gray tile. Her favorite potted fern, the last memory she had of her mother, along with bits of terracotta and soil mixed with shards of glass, blanketed the floor. Surprising even herself, she calmly picked up the phone and dialed 911. She spoke in an eerily steady voice, relaying her name and address to the operator, and hung up, ignoring her requests for more information. In her experience, they would get there faster if she cut to the chase. She wouldn’t run. Not this time.

Terri rose to her feet, prepared to face her attacker…her husband.

Teaser:

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About the Author:

jc-valentine

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Pinterest • Google+ • Amazon Author Page • Goodreads

Giveaway:

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Indie Sage

Spotlight: Her Only Salvation, by J.C. Valentine Reply

her-only-salvation-cover

Available for Purchase on:

Amazon (99c or #FREE with #KindleUnlimited):  http://amzn.to/2bEdxJD

Description:

Sometimes, relationships can be deadly.

Terri thought she was marrying a strong, loving man, only to find that beneath that handsome face lies something cold, brutal, and dangerous. After years of abuse, her husband takes things a little too far, and Terri finally summons the courage to take matters into her own hands and make her escape.

But freedom comes at a price.

Forging a new life, Terri moves to a new town and tries to forget her past, but she can’t help looking over her shoulder at every turn. When prison bars can no longer hold her husband, and her past comes knocking, Terri finds that the strength to trust again may be her only salvation. When her attractive new boss steps up to the plate and vows to protect her at all cost, she’s inclined to accept…but can she ever allow herself to trust her instincts again?

*Author Note* Her Only Salvation is a bold and enticing storyline with a hint of romance (sensual but not explicit). This book was originally released under J.C. Valentine’s given name and was entitled “Spring Cleaning.”

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Excerpt:

She wasn’t on the floor for more than five minutes when Cathie called her behind the bar.

“You have a phone call, doll.” Passing off the receiver, she flashed a quick grin over her shoulder and said, “It’s a guy.”

Not knowing anyone who would possibly be calling her, let alone a man, not to mention at work, puzzled Terri. With a dark frown, she lifted the receiver and pressed it to her ear.

“Hello?”

At first she didn’t hear a thing, the noise in the bar drowning everything out. Turning her back to the room, she cupped her hand over the phone and repeated the greeting.

At first, she didn’t trust what her ears were hearing. The voice was too distinct, too familiar to be real. Her first inclination was to throw out the most obvious explanation and come up with something that she was better equipped to handle mentally. However, when his voice came down the line again, rough and laced with menace, reality slammed into her like a freight train.

“Hi there, sweets,” Randy said smoothly. “Miss me?”

Terri’s voice seemed to be caught in her throat, a lump that she had difficulty even getting her short breaths past.

“Judging by your silence, I’ll take that as a yes. Don’t try to deny it,” he snapped, then quickly reigned in his temper.

Terri didn’t realize she had been shaking her head. In that instant, she knew he was watching her. Immediately, she spun on her heel and scanned the crowd. There were so many people tonight, she could barely make out their faces, let alone single one out. As he continued to talk, she slowed her visual inspection, breaking the room down into square foot sections, taking in every face methodically. Randy had distinct, pale blonde hair, and anyone who didn’t fit that description, she tossed out of the equation, and those with similarly blonde hair she subjected to intense scrutiny.

“You’re looking good, sweets,” he complimented her from his hidden vantage point.

“Always knew you would live up to your full potential one day.”

She could almost feel him moving through the room, his eyes pinned to her every step of the way. It made her skin crawl.

“From housewife to barmaid,” he continued. “Wouldn’t your mother be proud.”

“My mother was always proud of me,” she sneered into the phone. Bringing up her deceased mother had always been a sore spot for her, and he well knew it. She would not allow him to sully her memory any longer.

Randy snickered, loving that he had managed a reaction out of her. “You always were easy to rile up, sweets.”

“Don’t call me that,” she nearly shouted in return, but managed to lower her voice at the last minute to avoid attracting any unnecessary attention.

“Not so fond of that nickname anymore?” He clicked his tongue thoughtfully. “How about love bug? Does that suit you better?”

“I hate it,” Terri growled, hoping to sound as angry as she felt.

“Good, love bug it is. Now,” he went on, uncaring of her growing temper. “I must be going, but before you beg me to stay, I want to assure you that I won’t be far.” Suddenly it was as if the sound coming through the other end of the phone had entered a vacuum.

Eyes darting frantically across the sea of dancers, Terri honed in on a set of familiar wide shoulders set against a tall frame and a head of pale blonde hair cut short in an almost military fashion, exiting the club. It had to be Randy, she thought, but he was gone from view so quickly, she couldn’t be sure.

Except that she would know him anywhere.

With shaking hands, Terri replaced the phone on its station, and without saying where she was going, walked mindlessly down the narrow passage leading to the locker rooms. She needed to be alone. She couldn’t think. Her mind was too clouded with visions of her murder, of Randy strangling the life out of her once and for all.

With panic setting in, Terri burst through the locker room doors and ran for the washroom where she proceeded to vomit her dinner into the toilet.

Luke found her soon thereafter, worry and annoyance warring for dominance on his broad face.

“The girls are wondering where you disappeared to,” he informed her, crossing his arms over his chest as if she were a child in need of reprimand. “You know you can’t just take off without telling someone where you’re going.”

“I know,” Terri muttered, keeping her head low. She lacked the strength to hold it up, too weakened from the turmoil eating at her insides to do much else than sit there and ponder her fate. “I’m sorry. Tell them I’m sorry.”

Luke was suddenly sitting beside her. She hadn’t even heard him move.

Lifting her chin, he narrowed his deeply blue eyes on her and tilted his head. “Are you sick or something?”

“I’m fine,” she managed, trying to find some strength to lie effectively and failing miserably.

Tucking a chunk of hair that had escaped her ponytail behind her ear, he shook his head.

“Talk to me, Terri. I know everything isn’t fine. I know there is something going on with you, and I want to know what it is.”

“It’s nothing,” she insisted, forcing herself to meet his gaze.

Dropping his hand, Luke’s expression changed from soft and understanding to a mix of anger and annoyance like a switch had been thrown.

“That’s bull and we both know it. Now this…whatever this is,” he waved a hand through the air encompassing her, “is starting to affect your performance here. This is a business, Terri, and if you want me to be understanding, then you’re going to have to level with me.”

Terri narrowed her eyes on him. “Are you saying you’ll fire me if I don’t confide in you?”

Luke sighed deeply, pinching the bridge of his nose in exasperation. “No, I’m not going to fire you, Terri. I just need you to help me understand. I can’t help you if you don’t.”

The pained expression he turned on her, one of utter defeat, somehow compelled Terri to open her mouth and admit this one person into her shrunken world.

“My husband,” she began, and swallowed hard to tamp down the tremor in her voice, “he’s been released from prison.”

Luke looked at her in a way that told her he was trying to be sympathetic but still didn’t grasp the gravity of the situation.

She went on. “He was here tonight, and I think he was here last night too.” She grimaced, knowing in her heart of hearts that what she was about to say next was the truth. “I think he was the one who hit that boy in the parking lot.”

Luke’s eyes widened, understanding mixed with equal parts anger and worry twisting through them until the blue seemed to swirl with his anger.

“I’ll kill that asshole,” he seethed, his fingers curling to form tight fists against the bench they sat on.

Terri shook her head. “You can’t. They would lock you up, and then who would watch out for me?”

She didn’t want Luke to get himself into trouble. It was obvious he was a fighter, willing to go up to bat for any cause he deemed worthy, but she didn’t want to see him get caught up in the drama of her life. Not if she could help it.

She hadn’t meant to, but she started to shake a little, almost as if the cold outside hadn’t fully left her.

Seeing this, Luke wrapped her in his arms and squeezed her to him. “Hush,” he murmured. “I won’t let anything happen to you.”

“Promise?” she asked, then sniffed back the start of a runny nose. Had she started crying too? Jesus, she really was a mess.

“Promise. It will be a cold day in hell before I let that creep get anywhere close to you again.” He petted her hair absently. “Don’t you worry about a thing, I’ll work something out.”

Closing her eyes, she leaned into his embrace. For the second time in her life, Terri decided to put her trust into a man. This time, she only hoped she wouldn’t get burned.

Teaser:

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About the Author:

jc-valentine

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

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Cover Reveal: Her Only Salvation, by J.C. Valentine Reply

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Description:

Sometimes, relationships can be deadly.

Terri thought she was marrying a strong, loving man, only to find that beneath that handsome face lies something cold, brutal, and dangerous. After years of abuse, her husband takes things a little too far, and Terri finally summons the courage to take matters into her own hands and make her escape.

But freedom comes at a price.

Forging a new life, Terri moves to a new town and tries to forget her past, but she can’t help looking over her shoulder at every turn. When prison bars can no longer hold her husband, and her past comes knocking, Terri finds that the strength to trust again may be her only salvation. When her attractive new boss steps up to the plate and vows to protect her at all cost, she’s inclined to accept…but can she ever allow herself to trust her instincts again?

*Author Note* Her Only Salvation is a bold and enticing storyline with a hint of romance (sensual but not explicit). This book was originally released under J.C. Valentine’s given name and was entitled “Spring Cleaning.”

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Excerpt:

Luke stomped across the floor and poured himself a glass of water. Gulping it down, he placed the empty cup in the small sink basin and turned to survey the room.

Terri didn’t try to make small talk this time, not after what happened the last time. Instead, she cleaned around the human pillar parked in front of the taps. He would have to move sometime, but she wasn’t about to tell him that.

She could feel his eyes on her as she moved about the confined area.

“The police said it was a hit and run.” Luke’s voice was gruff, tortured.

Sensing his need to unburden himself, she put the glass she was cleaning down and met his eyes. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” He broke eye contact, staring at the shelves of liquor above her head as if deep in thought. Eventually, his gaze shifted back to hers.

“They said since it was on my property, I might be facing a lawsuit.”

Terri rose up straight. “How is that possible? You weren’t the one that ran someone over.” Anger for Luke’s situation had her fisting her hands against her sides.

A shoulder lifted and fell. Luke sighed deeply, as if he were exhausted by the whole ordeal. “It all depends on whether the guy lives or not and how much he can tell the detective about what happened tonight.”

“What do you mean, if he lives? How serious was it?”

Luke smirked humorlessly. “Every hit and run is serious, Terri.”

She raised an eyebrow at that. “Duh. What I meant was…” She shook her head. “Yeah, I don’t know what I meant.” She huffed at her own stupid remark.

Retrieving his cup, Luke poured himself another glass of water. He sipped it slowly, thinking. “The guy was only twenty-one,” he stated, as if that should clarify everything. The look she gave him said it didn’t. “He left my club falling-down drunk, intending to drive home.”

Terri winced. The dram laws said that bartenders, and anyone else who served alcoholic drinks, were supposed to monitor how much was too much for any one customer. If they looked like they weren’t handling it so well, they weren’t allowed to leave unless it was by cab or some other designated driver. It was a good rule that kept a lot of heat off of the Sunset Black.

“Okay, but how can this be held over your head? He never drove away, and they can’t prove the guy who hit him was drunk,” she pointed out “Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some responsibility to make sure my customers make it home safely.” Pushing off the bar, Luke returned his glass to the sink without finishing it. “If he wakes up, he might decide I didn’t hold up my end. If I’m sued, I’ll probably lose this place in legal fees alone.”

“Well what about this driver? Didn’t anyone see who it was? What kind of car they were driving? Anything?” Terri felt desperate for answers. It wasn’t even her business to save, but she felt a kinship with Luke, and that made her concerned with what happened to him in his life.

He had offered her a job when no one else would. She was uneducated and hadn’t worked since the day she married. To top it off, he treated her kindly, something she hadn’t experienced in years, and he was her friend. Those she called a friend she stood behind fully. His fight was now her fight, as far as she was concerned, and anything she could do to keep him from losing his livelihood—his dream—she would do.

“One of the witnesses said they saw a late model blue pickup speeding away. They didn’t get the plates or see who was driving, though. So they probably won’t catch the guy, which leaves just me, unless that boy recovers and gives us something good to go on.” Reaching out, Luke placed a gentle hand against Terri’s cheek. “Hey, you’re all pale. What’s wrong?”

She didn’t know how she could’ve missed it, but her eyes were wide open now. The guy at the club earlier with the broken beer bottle and the driver of the truck in the parking lot responsible for running down one of their patrons…

Shaking now, Terri peered up at Luke hoping he wouldn’t confirm her worst fears. “Who was the victim? The guy they took to the hospital.”

“Terri, I don’t see how—”

“Please,” she pleaded, “I have to know.”

“It was that guy who hassled you tonight. The college kid.”

Terri’s legs crumbled beneath her. Luke’s quick reflexes made sure she didn’t fall. Scooping her into his arms, Luke carried her quickly to his office before anyone noticed what had happened.

Luke place Terri on a very smart-looking sofa in his office. He left her long enough to close the door, then returned, pulling up his desk chair and sitting down to face her.

“Want to tell me what just happened out there?”

Terri shook her head. Words failed her. They were all locked up in her throat. Blood pounded through her veins, making her pulse thunder inside her ears.

Rubbing two fingers across his chin, Luke studied her. “Okay. Do you want to go home, Terri?”

She thought about it. The idea of going back behind that counter, walking around the dark club floors where someone could be watching her, and she’d never know it, terrified her.

“Yes” was all she could say.

“Okay then.” Luke stood and rounded the desk. He slid open a drawer and drew out a set of keys. “I’ll drive you home.”

Terri’s attention snapped back to him. “What about my car?”

Luke held up a hand. “Leave it. I’ll pick you up tomorrow afternoon on my way in. Your car will be fine until you get back.”

Terri didn’t argue.  She stood up and let Luke lead her from the office, thoughts of Randy racing through her mind. Had he finally been released from jail? Was he free to come after her now? If he was, would he really do it after all this time? But she already knew the answer to that. Of course he would.

The question now was, would he be waiting for her, ready to run her down the moment she stepped across the protective barrier of the club provided her like he did to that boy?

She could only hope that having Luke by her side would be enough to keep her safe.

JC Valentine

About the Author:

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Pinterest • Google+ • Amazon Author Page • Goodreads

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Review: Grit, A Spartan Riders Novel, by J.C. Valentine Reply

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5 out of Stars

Available for Purchase on:

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Review:

I am a huge fan of J.C. Valentine’s writing! With this new MC series though, J.C. Valentine will leave you longing for more. I love this book! Grit is a sweet and fun read, with some twists and turns. The two main characters Gabby and Blake are the perfect picture of opposites attract. They each tell themselves this is not a good idea. They each have their own demons from their past that could destroy all of them, thus the not “good idea” thoughts. Will they be able to fight the natural attraction they have for each other and the almost electric pull that they feel almost like a physical thing? Can they walk away from each other? You will have to read the book to get these answer and it is a book that is well worth the read. Can’t wait to see where Ms Valentine takes this storyline. I highly recommend this book.

Reviewed by Epiphany

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Description:

Gabby Morgan isn’t looking for love. Not even a little romance. Following a rocky past that she’d just as soon forget, she’s determined to focus on the future. One that most certainly doesn’t involve the tough-as-nails, short-on-words, hot-as-hell biker…or his kid.

Blake Mahone may not be done with women, but he’s finished with relationships. Then Gabby Morgan enters the picture. She’s flawless, refined, and as his kid’s teacher, way out of his league. She acts like she hates him, but her eyes tell a different story. Before he knows it, Blake finds himself hot for teacher, and he’s more than ready to learn all her secrets. Now all he has to do is convince her to give him a shot…without getting them both killed in the process.

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JC Valentine

About the Author:

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Pinterest • Google+ • Amazon Author Page • Goodreads

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