Love and Music in Texas, Book One
In small Texas towns, strangers come and go…
Left in a Stetson hat, on the steps of the local bed and breakfast, Avery Callimer came into the world on a wing and a prayer. Raised by loving adoptive parents, she’s never lacked for love…only the knowledge of her past.
By day she works the Inn, but by night…Avery comes alive as lead singer in a band. Life was good…stable, until new guests blew into town.
Some strangers come with secrets and lies.
Lucas Bennett is one such stranger. Drifting from one mess to another has left him jaded. Doesn’t matter the dramas are never his doing. Giving it one last shot to make a fresh start lands him Harmony’s Echo, Texas and smack dab in front of the tantalizing Avery.
Despite his best efforts to ignore the burn Avery’s ignited within, he’s intent to keep his distance. Secrets have followed him. Secrets he doesn’t want Avery to know.
Each time they’re near the other things heat up like a brushfire on a dry Texas prairie.
But maybe, after the dust settles and the smoke clears, love can bloom with a fresh start.
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Other books by Nikki Lynn Barrett
The Secret Santa Wishing Well
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nikki Lynn Barrett lives in Arizona with her husband and son. She’s an avid reader, a dreamer, and loves everything about books. She runs a book blog, an online used bookstore, and writes various genres of romance. Nikki can also be found outside with her camera when a storm is near, snapping photo after photo. Her dreams of becoming a writer started when she was young, when she started writing books in one subject notebooks by the fifth grade. The Secret Santa Wishing Well is her debut book. You can visit Nikki’s site at: http://www.nikkilynnbarrett.blogspot.com for more information. She is working on her next book. Nikki would love to hear from readers. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
@Stormgoddess925 on Twitter
If you haven’t checked out the review of Blood Purple, the link is above. Great book and it was different from the usual vampire books. Great start to a series.
In a world we think we know, live other races entirely hidden from the mortal perspective. Creatures of legend, of fable and myth, their very history and nature have allowed them to walk side by side with humans since time immemorial. They are warriors, they are hunters, and they are Algula Vampire. And in their own midst, a battle is brewing for supremacy, for dominance, that can and will affect all around them. Old hatred never dies and vengeance is a fiery sword that cuts a bloody swath.
Writing…that hobby that will forever provide you enjoying. To me it’s the best thing that I could do to pass the time on a lazy Sunday, dreary Monday or a happy Friday. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is or what is going on in the outside world there is always something for me to write. It is the hobby that will keep on giving.
How many of you keep your stress and frustrations pent up? How many have no outlet for the feelings inside and you keep them that way until you explode? Honestly I think that’s all of us, we all have things that stay hidden and we don’t know how to push them out and to the surface. It took me a long time to realize how valuable writing is to me. Well, not just writing, creativity as a whole. It comes together and with every facet of our being.
Writing…that hobby that will forever give you fulfillment. There are so many ways you can pick up a pen and bring joy to someone. It’s as easy as sending a letter to a long lost friend or relative. Jotting down a poem in the middle of the day when you’re feeling overwhelmed with some thoughts. Sitting down at your comfy desk and plugging out a blog or short story. You never know where writing will lead you.
One thing I love about writing is I can go anywhere and be anything I want. I don’t have to get dressed up and look fancy; I don’t have to fix my hair, hell I don’t even have to wear socks! Writing gives you that option to be as free as you allow yourself. I honestly believe that it’s this freedom that stirs creativity.
When I sit at my laptop I always write with my eyes closed. I visualize where I am, am I on an island in the Caribbean? Am I sailing the seas of the Atlantic? Could I be on a plane across the world going to see a friend? Yes, yes yes yes! All of the above. That’s the ability you gain when you write.
One thing just occurred to me while my eyes were shut and I was daydreaming about my plane ride to Ireland…the audience here is probably made up of mostly readers. Ahh readers…the key to any author’s success. Without the reader we are nothing. When I spoke about writing and the endless fulfillment it provides, it’s in part because of all of you readers. The lengths you will go to in showing an author you love their works is amazing. The support, loyalty and encouragement from the readers are a driving force in a lot of what is transferred onto the page.
Personally, I know without a few key words of encouragement from a few fans my author days would have been numbered. So let me leave you with this thought for the day, writer or reader, take ten minutes out of your day and jot down a story, poem or thought. Take a collection of the year and at the end see what you have. Maybe it’s a book of poetry, maybe it’s a book of inspirational phrases. Maybe it’s just a few short stories. But read through the years’ worth of work and see what you have – it might be the next great American novel.
Hamza walks into the room with his guard looking at Nikole’s still body lying on the table. “Is she dead?” he questions.
“No sir, she passed out while we were in the middle of the procedure. We were doing like you instructed and burning her body with the needles when she went unconscious. We thought it best to come get you right away.”
Hamza looks over her body, placing his fingers to her neck and feeling only a small hint of life. His lips curve up in excitement as he anticipates what is yet to come. “Good, leave us alone.” He starts to walk around the table staring at her naked and bloodied body.
The room emptied out while Hamza continued to circle the table. He tried to decide what to do with this dead weight prisoner. Leaning over her body, he backhanded her jaw, the cracking of her bones deafening in the silence of the room. He heard her moan in agony while she slowly came to consciousness.
“Nikole, I think it would be best if you just gave me what I asked of you. As soon as you tell me what we want to know this pain will all stop.” Taking his knife from the sheath on his belt, he placed the cold blade to her cheek. “I will cut your pretty little face apart. Don’t think I won’t.” Taking the tip of the blade he breaks the skin at the top of her left cheek and slowly cut lines into her face. Droplets of blood ran down her cheek staining her flesh as he slashed her face. Nikole’s voice is gone from all the screaming she has done and all she can do is heave a cry. Her eyes are still forced open, not even tears can form since she can’t blink. “Come on little Princess, just tell me where Zayn is so I can kill him. I promise this will all stop.”
About the Author:
Ashley is married and lives in Houston with her husband Tony. They have two dogs named Toto and Doogie. They have been together for almost 8 years and he brings her more joy than she could ever imagine as a child. She loves to read and has been hooked on the romance genre ever since her lifelong best friend Laura gave her “Ashes to Ashes’ by Tami Hoag to read when they were younger.
Ashley finds her strength through her family, especially her parents. They always support her in life and they push her to strive for greatness. There once was a motto that Ashley heard in her youth through her Taekwondo life ‘Reach for the Stars’ and that is what Ashley has always done. It was through her upbringing that the values Ashley has and display’s came from. With her Parents always cheering her on in life she was able to grow up having faith in herself and her ability to conquer the world.
Giveaway Info: Prize is an eBook copy of both “Before the Darkness (Refuge, Inc. #1)” and “Amid the Darkness (Refuge, Inc. #2)”. Contest is tour-wide, open
internationally and ends Jan 28. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Rafflecopter link is at the bottom of the post. Good luck!
Before the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #1)
by Leslie Lee Sanders
M/M Post-Apocalyptic Romance
Released on July 1, 2012
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count: 45,000
After an asteroid strikes Earth, a series of violent earthquakes destroy secluded Phoenix and leave survivor Elliot struggling to stay focused in the bleak aftermath. And then he meets fellow survivor Adam. Together, the two search for reliable shelter and other survivors while distant murky clouds fast approach. Their hunt for shelter leads them down an alternate path when they find spray painted symbols directing them to a mysterious place: Refuge Inc.
As ominous clouds slowly shut off all light to their devastated world, they are forced to come to terms with their pasts and their growing attraction for each other.
Neither thought their pasts and personal crises would affect their ability to endure the horrors they’re forced to live through. Neither thought they would be drawn so close to one another in the aftermath of an unimaginable catastrophe. By working together, can they continue to survive? Or will the mystery of Refuge Inc. cause diverse expectations and lead them to decisions that further threaten their lives?
WARNING: Contains explicit male-male sexual practices, graphic language, some violence and brief descriptions of the dead.
“See that dark color on the horizon?” Adam pointed to the east, suddenly looking somber. “That’s a wall of smoke, ash, dust and who knows what else, and it’s coming our way.”
“What? What do you mean?” A bit of panic began to stir in Elliot’s stomach like a bowl of his mother’s spicy and overly greasy chili. He’d thought the worst was over.
“Ever heard of impact winter?” Adam’s green eyes pierced his and neither moved. “What’s headed for us isn’t good. We’re gonna have to take shelter somewhere and fast before it blocks out all light and it gets so dark we won’t be able to tell which way is up. Can’t run from it either,” he added, as if predicting Elliot’s next question. “Been watching it for a couple hours now and it’s moving pretty fast.”
“What do you mean it’s going to get dark?” He knew he looked like a wide-eyed idiot, but he didn’t care much about his appearance at the moment.
“Let me put it this way. Once the sun sets we’re not gonna see it rise for quite some time. That wall of soot headed our way is so thick it will block out the sun. It will take months, maybe years, for all the crap to fall down.”
“Are you sure?” He dipped his eyebrows suspiciously. “How do you know all this?”
“When those assholes finally told us that an asteroid might hit, I went looking for info about anything to do with asteroids hitting Earth and that’s what I found out. We need to find some shelter.”
Elliot looked at the dark grey horizon. Indeed, the cloud of unnerving darkness grew bigger, wider, closer. His heart dropped, it sank in the pit of his stomach like a ton of concrete rubble. “We’re not going to make it, huh?” He gulped, suddenly feeling defeated. Panic. “What’s the point in finding shelter when we’re not gonna live to see the sun again?”
Adam grabbed his hand, gave it a gentle squeeze and let it loose before Elliot realized it had happened. The friendly squeeze hadn’t been part of his imagination. A look of sincerity and concern painted Adam’s handsome face. “I was beginning to think the same thing and then I saw you. Like I said, two heads are better than one.”
Amid the Darkness (Refuge Inc. #2)
by Leslie Lee Sanders
M/M Post-Apocalyptic Romance
Released on December 1, 2012
Heat Level: Sensual
Word Count: 45,000
Weeks after an asteroid strikes Earth, hurling Elliot and Adam into a fight for their survival, the two take shelter in an underground compound known as Refuge Inc. Shaking their past seems impossible as it comes back to haunt them, weakening the foundation of their relationship. Elliot, hung up on guilt over his former actions, tries to right his wrongs which leads him face-to-face with the troubling secrets of the compound. Adam’s run-in with the enigmatic prophet makes him question Refuge Inc. and the survivors’ future.
Working together to uncover the mysteries of Refuge Inc. not only reveals much about the sunless world beyond the compound walls, but exposes the truth about the compound’s occupants … including themselves.
If their haunting pasts continue to dominate, it will steer them directly into a miserable future and their companionship will forever suffer. Either way, they are forced to prepare for the ultimate fight for survival. Can they fight together and make it out on top?
WARNING: Contains graphic language, some violence and brief descriptions of the dead.
When the heavy, rusted metal door to the compound closed, Adam knew it would be closed for good, trapping him and a couple hundred people underground and away from the devastation on the other side.
The word trapped came to mind only because it perfectly described the claustrophobic feeling that overwhelmed him. He’d thought he’d gotten used to being in such close quarters with so many injured and frightened people. He was wrong. For nearly a month, it never really felt like the salvation he heard on so many people’s tongues.
He made his way through a crowd of people who stood crying, praying and staring at the thick latched door as if they were attending a funeral, mourning the loss of their previous lives. For many, that was exactly what was happening. For others—the women and men in fine clothing who looked as if they harbored every necessity they could ever need—Adam was sure it was the beginning of a new life. The glass half full concept.
The skin on Adam’s arm itched under its cast, but he distracted himself by touching the cold metal door with his good hand, a silent goodbye to the hellish world beyond the barrier, a world so familiar yet altered.
A warm hand on his shoulder stole Adam’s attention. He pivoted to stare into worried brown eyes with eyelashes that fluttered uncontrollability like a small winged insect. He smirked.
“What are you doing?” Elliot glanced over his shoulder repeatedly, paranoid. “These people are gonna go nuts any minute and try to knock that door down all at once. You’re asking to be trampled. Come on.”
He allowed Elliot to grab his hand and pull him to the back of the crowd and down the hall which led to Pod 4. The long metal corridor echoed with the sound of their footsteps as they made their way to the large shell shaped area at the end.
“The speakers said we’ll have to get used to our own pods and—”
“I know what the speakers said.” Out of the six rooms in the pod, Elliot pulled Adam to the first room on the left and pushed the metal door open. It creaked and whined on its hinges, and echoed back through the corridor. “I’d like to know who’s behind all of these stupid messages before I start obeying them.”
The author of several books of fiction and fiction with spice, Leslie Lee Sanders resides in Queen Creek, Arizona, with her husband and three daughters. She’s known for writing erotic romance, mostly in the gay and ménage categories, and recently plunged into writing deep, dark romantic sci-fi with her post-apocalyptic and dystopian series, Refuge Inc.