Truth or Dare, the first in a new series, Playing with Fire, by Anne Conley!
Cover Art: James Price with AEP Designs
Cover Model: Stanley Fields
Photographer: Jeffrey Todd Photography
Publish Date: August 21st, 2018

When a child’s game goes delightfully wrong, Jude finds himself rethinking his current status quo and begins looking to Annette to make sense of his own life.

Annette is trying not to get distracted by the sexy firefighter, but when her artistic retreat begins in disaster, Jude’s playing the hero she can’t ignore. Suddenly, her artwork is completely changed with Jude’s exquisite lines transforming her landscapes.

Up until now, their life was like a notebook full of doodles, but it’s turning into a full-fledged art showing, and neither of them know how to deal with the embers of desire when they ignite into flames.

 

Excerpt:

Jude let out a hiss of air, probably because the paint was cold, but it made his nipples stand out, a stark relief against the flat disks on his chest. She traced the ridges of his abdomen with strokes of color that stood out against his tanned skin.
 
The bristles of the brush loved Jude’s skin, flattening and molding to it, leaving color in their wake. It was glorious, the way her hand was working the brush.
 
His jeans hung low, and Annette held her breath as she outlined the line that went down the outside of the abdominal ridges, leading into the miraculous “V” that ended with the jutting 
bulge in his jeans. Jude was holding his breath too.
 
Moving back up his body, she painted his collarbone, his neck, his Adam’s apple, then stood back and looked at him, trying to imprint the picture in her mind. Grabbing her sketchbook to ground herself, Annette quickly drew the lines, transposing them from Jude to paper so she could look at them later.
 
And remember.
 
His eyes were dark and intense, like a caged beast was inside him desperate to be let loose. Not finished with her work for the day, she tried to ignore that thought.
 
Vague impressions of Drake and his intentions for her show made her focus enough on her work to make sure she utilized the light while she could.
 
She made a quick sketch of Jude’s torso lines and looked at him again. He hadn’t moved and was still looking at her intently. A shudder of need slammed into her, but she still required something more.
 
Annette looked at him, trying to be dispassionate as she thought about what it was she needed.
 
She needed him to move a little bit so she could get the lines in motion.
 
“Can you hold onto that beam above you?” His golden eyes looked up to the beam in question, a good two feet above his head.
 
“Sure.”
 
Her breath hitched as he jumped straight up in the air and grasped the beam, his muscles popping with the exertion.
 
Those were lines a girl could dream about.
 
“Perfect,” she breathed as she reached for a chair to stand on and continue painting him.
 
The muscle around his armpit was bulging out roundly, so she started there. God, his arms were phenomenal. She loaded up her brush and went to work, tracing the routes of the veins on his forearms as his hands gripped the beam. His biceps were bigger here, more defined from this position, so she re-marked them in a darker shade of the flame color she’d mixed up.
 
His jeans sunk lower on his hips, so she was able to trace this “V” a little further down, gulping at the top of the nest of curls peeking from his jeans. The curve of his ass showed as she went around to the back of him.
 
“How long can you hang there?” She really wanted to get his back. It was amazing, the muscles a brilliant topography of the human body.
 
“As long as you need me to, sweetheart.” He wasn’t breathless at all, so she took his word for it.
 
After a quick sketch of the lines on his front, she went around to the back and started painting it.
 
Annette hadn’t done many portraits and hadn’t had much of an interest in sketching the human body. It was mostly because she went to college in east Texas, and the nude model they’d had for the one lesson had been a woman.
 
She may have to rethink the human anatomy.
TruthorDare_all9
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Finally we get Simon’s story – I am SO excited for this one!

 

Echo is HERE!  Simon’s long-awaited story is available for you to get on your e-reader, now!  Find out why Advanced Readers are saying it’s “Bittersweet,” a “New Favorite,” and “What a book to conclude the series with.”

Blurb:One attack in her home is enough to make Lacie Hill freak out, but a second is enough to make her check out. Lacie was happy with her solitary life—kindergarten teacher, weekly girls’ nights out, and a father she’s close to. When she’s targeted for sick games with unknown players, she forces herself to act normally and hope everything will go away. You know, ostrich impersonation. The police are doing everything they can to help. Nothing left for her to do, right? 

Wrong. 

When Lacie’s father hires Pierce Securities to help her, the only person not working a job would be the boss man, Simon— a control freak who loves his rules. He’s trying to find his sister’s stalker while keeping his micromanaging eyes on all the guys in the office. He has policies in place for reasons. For safety. For professionalism. 

For his heart. 

But will Lacie’s case be an echo of his past? Or will he be able to protect her and love her at the same time, breaking all his hard and fast rules?

After school, Simon called Quinten and grabbed the bottle of Glenlivet he’d rescued from his bottom drawer before taking this job. It was some skewed sense of needing something to resist in his possession. The last two days, it had been in plain sight, untouched, next to Tanya’s picture. Tonight would be a different story. Since he couldn’t resist the woman across the street, he didn’t see why he needed to resist this too.

He was so fucked.

When Quinten arrived, Simon was well on the way to being drunk.

“Hey, what’s got you twisted?”

Waving his glass at the window, Simon muttered, “Her.”

 “Trip down memory lane? Man, you have to know you did what you had to. Anybody could have been put in that situation. She was good.” The table with Tanya’s picture was in front of the window, and Quinten clearly misunderstood, thinking Simon was talking about the photo.

Simon did a double-take when he figured out who Quinten was referring to. “No, not her.” Lacie chose that moment to walk to her mailbox, gauzy skirt flowing in the wind. “Her,” he waved at the picture, “and her, too, prolly.” He finished off his two fingers of scotch and poured two more.

For a grand total of ten fingers in an hour and a half. Too much.

Quinten studied the woman through the glass but remained silent. Finally, he looked at Simon. “What’s the problem?”

“She’s making it all too hard. She won’t talk to me or even look at me. She knows I’m here to protect her, and she’s making my job so hard.” Simon sounded like a petulant child, but the scotch was doing that. He felt raw, and the only person he could be that way around was patiently sitting in front of him, his finger rubbing his jaw.

“Why?”

Simon laid it all out there. “I kissed her. I lost control and kissed her.”

Quinten remained silent while Simon drank. “Are you afraid she’s like Tanya?”

The scotch didn’t burn anymore. It was smooth going down his throat into his belly, sloshing around with other scotch and lunch’s protein shake. He should eat a loaf of bread to soak up the alcohol, but he didn’t want that. He needed to feel all the alcohol and take a one-way train to oblivion.

“No.” Simon leaned his head against the chair back. “Yes.” He sighed, a rough sound in the silent room. “I mean, she’s not like Tanya. I don’t think she’s going to kill me, but when I’m with her, I feel so …”

“Happy?” Quinten grinned as if Simon was talking about Santa Claus.

“No. Edgy, uncomfortable, I don’t know how to describe it, but I don’t like it. And I can’t control it. It’s like I’m out of sync with myself around her, and I don’t know how to fix that.” 
He looked his brother square in the eyes. “I imagine myself having a family with her. What the fuck do I do with that?”

“Is she in danger?”

Simon remembered the man at the bar last night. “Fuck yes. A lot of danger, and I don’t know where it’s coming from. It’s like she has an army out to get her, in a dozen tiny battles. It’s killing me that I don’t know what to protect her from.”

“Is the scotch helping?”

Simon put his head in his hands. “No.”

“Then get your ass in a shower, sober up, and continue your job. She either lets you in or she doesn’t, but these feelings you’ve got for her …”

“What about them?”

“You have two choices. You can follow your own advice and keep it strictly professional, which is safe but won’t really help you man up about your issues with Tanya, or you can explore them and see how they relate.”

“I can’t explore them. I’ll get distracted and Lacie’ll get hurt. You don’t know the danger. Someone’s setting her up with all these guys who have her whereabouts and trying to get her away from me.” Simon knew how he sounded. He heard the words, the disconnect in personalizing the case like this, but he was powerless to stop it. It only reinforced things for him, but he was too drunk to figure out what.

“I think you need to. You asked me over here for something, and that’s what I’m leaving you with.” Quinten stood. “I love you, brother. If you need me, call.”

Haven’t started the series yet?  The first one, Craze is FREE, and the second is only .99.  Grab Echo while it’s still at the release price of 2.99!

Craze
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 Stalk Anne EVERYWHERE!

Website/newsletter/blog: www.anneconley.com
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Anne’s Bio:

Anne has written her entire life and has the boxes of angst-filled journals and poetry to prove it. She’s been writing for public consumption for the past several years. She lives in rural East Texas with her husband and children in her own private oasis, where she prides herself in her complete lack of social skills, choosing instead to live with the people inside her head.
Currently, she has five romance series.  Playing with Fire explores the trials and tribulations of a small team of fire fighters in the fictional mountain town of Pamona Gulch. In Pierce Securities, she gives us Ryan, Evan, Miriam, Zack, Quinten, Jordan, Hollerman, and Simon. Her favorite series, Book B!tches, is all about a group of women in Mystic, Texas who get into all sorts of shenanigans. In Stories of Serendipity, she explores real people living real lives in small town Texas in a contemporary romance setting. In The Four Winds, she chronicles God’s four closest archangels, Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael, falling in love and becoming human.

 

 

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I was captured…That’s just the beginning of my tale. I’ve survived Purgatory, abuse, and near death. In that abandoned farmhouse I nearly lost everything, but Jacob saved me. We were trapped in this hell together, giving each other the strength to hold on. I fell into darkness with my captor’s son.Until I left him behind.She was perfect, my Alana. Brilliant and full of pain. She understood my darkness and fueled the fire. When she left, I waited patiently to find her, and in her honor, I killed men who took away from innocents. Then I found her…She’s deadly now, a killer too, and perfectly mine. It was beautiful to behold, but she belongs in a cage. My cage. She’ll love me again, or I’ll expose her dirty secrets for the world to see while going down in flames with her. In darkness, it’s most definitely till death do us part.

Warning: This book is full of triggers. It’s wicked dark, with created evil falling in love. People die. They are hurt horribly. The bad guys get away, and there is no apology for it. Hardcore trigger within these pages.

 

 

 

Leaving me to my misery, Master and the doctor left the room to speak in harsh whispers in the hallway. Curling myself into a ball, I kept crying harder and harder until I was gasping for breath. Master threw a glare my way before leading the doctor far away from my room.
The pain, the loss, shot through me like I was taking a bullet to the heart. How could I have done this? How could I put my precious little one through something this awful? I was as bad as Master. I was a monster like him. Crying harder at my thoughts, my eyes caught on the doorway in time to see someone peeking in. My body relaxed in one great whoosh. Jacob was here. He slipped into the room and crept into the bed with me. Ignoring the blood and filth on the towels, for the first time, Jacob took me into his arms. I curled into his chest, inhaling his clean, crisp scent through the tears.
“I’m sorry, Alana. I couldn’t get here sooner, and I can’t stay here long. He’ll come back soon.”
It didn’t matter. He was here now, and I clung to him, curling my fingers into his shirt and holding on desperately. In his arms, the pain dulled, and I could handle it. I could cry into his chest and be held. I could be fragile, and he’d catch the broken pieces. His lips trailed up the side of my neck, soft kisses that pushed away the agony and warmed me.
“You can do it. You’re strong enough. Hold on a little longer,” he whispered into my skin. I believed it because he did too.
So I lifted my face so his lips could touch mine.
Soft and warm, his mouth was different. He slipped over the scars of my abuse and filled in the cervices left behind. Maybe it was the medicine making me fanciful, but I thought I could ask for this. That maybe I would ask him to take me. That I’d like to have him. But then, he was pulling away.
“I have to go. I’ll be with you later. Look for me.”
And as fast as he’d come, he was gone, but the pain was behind a wall, one he’d built high. He gave me strength, and I would use it to survive. I’d done the right thing, as horrible as it was, and I knew he didn’t judge me for it. We’d done this together, and it made the load easier to bear. Master stomped his way back into the room, face scarlet and chest heaving like a locomotive. I wanted to cringe at his bald fists, but I couldn’t move. I was too tired, or too resigned maybe, to care.

 

 

 

Writing professionally since 2008, LeTeisha Newton’s love of romance novels began long before it should have. After spending years sneaking reads from her grandmother’s stash, she finally decided to pen her own tales. As many will do during their youth, she bounced from fantasy, urban literature, mainstream, interracial, paranormal, heterosexual, and LGBT works until she finally rested in contemporary romance.
LeTeisha is all about deep angst and angry heroes who take a bit more loving to smooth their rough edges. Love comes in many sizes, shapes, and colors, as well as with—or without—absolute beauty and fairy tale sweetness. She writes the darker tales because life is hard … but love is harder.
Twitter  Facebook  Web Goodreads  Amazon  Instagram

 

 

3FA2EB40-EF02-415E-985C-4DE1E68F596F

Synopsis

I was captured…That’s just the beginning of my tale. I’ve survived Purgatory, abuse, and near death. In that abandoned farmhouse I nearly lost everything, but Jacob saved me. We were trapped in this hell together, giving each other the strength to hold on. I fell into darkness with my captor’s son.Until I left him behind.She was perfect, my Alana. Brilliant and full of pain. She understood my darkness and fueled the fire. When she left, I waited patiently to find her, and in her honor, I killed men who took away from innocents. Then I found her…She’s deadly now, a killer too, and perfectly mine. It was beautiful to behold, but she belongs in a cage. My cage. She’ll love me again, or I’ll expose her dirty secrets for the world to see while going down in flames with her. In darkness, it’s most definitely till death do us part.


Warning: This book is full of triggers. It’s wicked dark, with created evil falling in love. People die. They are hurt horribly. The bad guys get away, and there is no apology for it. Hardcore trigger within these pages.

 

Add to Goodreads: https://goo.gl/QYRzWm

 

Chapter 1

Taken
Alana

What’s past, is prologue.
-William Shakespeare

I raided the cupboards for something quick and easy to make and grabbed a package of blueberry Pop-Tarts to throw in the toaster. As I waited for them to finish, I figured I’d broach the topic of the father-daughter dance with Dad. Every year, Northside Prep held its annual dance to raise money for the after-school programs. The dance was the talk of the town as the girls ran out to buy their dresses and make appointments for hair and makeup. Me? I got to wait for the dad who never came. This year, I wanted to be the same as the rest of the girls; I wanted him to choose me.
“Hey, Dad, the dance is this weekend. Can you get away from work for a few hours and go with me?”
He looked up from his laptop, eyebrows drawn and a faraway glaze to his eyes. Aaron and I had dubbed this Dad’s “deep thought” expression. Usually, it ended up with one of us in trouble or disappointed, unfortunately.
“What day is it, Lani Girl?” Dad was the only one to call me Lani Girl. I loathed nicknames, especially the horrendous “Al” Aaron kept insisting on calling me. For Dad, I was always his Lani Girl, no matter how much he loved my name Alana Rose.
“Saturday night. The dance starts at eight o’clock,” I replied, hopeful. Always hopeful.
“I’m sure I can get away, sweetheart. Let’s go.”
“Oh, Daddy. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Running around the counter, I gave my dad the biggest hug I could.
“How about I take you to dinner before the dance too. Just the two of us?”
I squeezed him harder. “I’d love that. I’ve missed you so much.”
“I’ve missed you too. I’m sorry I’ve missed so much lately. Saturday night is all yours. Dinner, the dance, anything you want.”
As he planted a kiss on the top of my head, I thanked him once more before grabbing my Pop-Tarts and heading upstairs to get ready.
I turned my iPod on and danced to Fergie’s “London Bridge” as I made my way to my closet to pick out an outfit. I chewed on the last bite of my Pop-Tart as I sorted through my pants until I landed on a pair of dark-blue American Eagle jeans. I completed the outfit with my tan Ralph Lauren boots I’d received a few weeks earlier for my birthday and a burgundy tank top. Styling my hair in a messy bun, I grabbed my book bag and took one last look around my room to make sure I didn’t forget anything. I had a habit of leaving behind my homework almost every time I left my room.
With one more stop in the kitchen, I threw my arms around my dad and kissed his scruffy cheek as I thanked him again for agreeing to go to the dance. Moving on to my mother, I gave her a kiss on the apple of her cheek. Saying goodbye, I popped my earbuds in my ears and let James Blunt serenade me with “You’re Beautiful” as I headed into the direction of Northside Prep. I had to pick up the pace so I wouldn’t miss the first bell. Lost in my own world, I jumped when a heavy hand came down on my shoulder. I turned around to see who it was, thinking it could be Ryan. Instead, a tall man stood in front of me. My five-foot figure was small next to his; he had to be over six feet tall. With wire-framed glasses and dress pants, the man looked harmless enough despite his basketball-player height. He reminded me a lot of our eccentric neighbor, Mr. Edwards. His dark hair blotted out the sun, and his nose, crooked as if had been broken before, caught my attention between steel eyes. He could be hot, but something about him was wrong. Buzzing nerves crept down my arms. Get away from him, Alana. Run.
“Do you have the time?” His gruff voice shocked me to the core. The roughness to it was almost biting.
I offered him the time and backed away. Adrenaline raced through my blood and kicked my heart into a gallop as a cold chill raced down my spine. Continuing my walk to school, I refused to turn and look back, even though I knew his eyes were boring into me. Within a few steps, his hand landed heavily once more on my shoulder, but before I could scream, his other hand came around and covered my face. As the world blurred, I noticed the rag in his hand. The slightly sweet smell filled my nostrils and I swayed, only to be caught before I fell. I was weightless, floating in the air, and then I crashed to the ground and darkness claimed me.

***

“Wakey, wakey, little girl.”
Hot breath hit my face with the whispered words. Disoriented and sick to my stomach, I couldn’t wake up fast enough or bring the world into focus. The loss of my bearings made my stomach pitch.
Where am I?
“Wake up. Wake the fuck up. Open your goddamn eyes!”
I shook my head, attempting to clear the fog, as a smack blazed across my face. A cold trickle of fear rushed up my spine. I recognized the voice. The man in glasses who’d stopped me on my way to school. Afraid to open my eyes, I turned my head away from his voice, but surprise filtered through me with a sharp pain spreading over my cheek as his meaty fist connected again. One tear escaped as I bit my lip and opened my eyes before another hit could come my way. He held my arms viciously, digging his fingers into my biceps, and my breasts were smashed into his chest. I could barely touch the floor on my tip-toes.
“Ah, there she is. Hello, sweet girl.”
His voice was beyond creepy. Refusing to respond or look him in the eye, tears choked me, and my cheek burned from his strike.
“Aren’t you a stubborn little one? But oh, so precious. Look at you, sweet cheeks. You’re sure going to be fun to break in. Those stunning looks of yours must’ve driven the boys crazy, but don’t worry, you’ll never have to worry about them again. You’re mine. All mine.”
Terror shook me to my core, and I whimpered. My heart throbbed, pounding so loudly I knew he must have heard it. Mouth dry, and tongue thick in my mouth, I stared at him. This man was a monster, and Lord knew what he planned to do with me. Against my best judgment, I couldn’t stop the words from pouring out of my mouth.
“I want to go home. Please, please, please let me go home. I won’t tell. I promise I won’t tell. Let me go. Please.” My voice cracked over the last word. I wanted my mom back. My dad. Even my brother. Anyone. I didn’t want to be here.
“Isn’t it the cutest thing? You think you have power here. Well, you don’t. You’re nothing but a slave.”
There was recently an abduction case on the news. The newscaster shared tips from law enforcement on how to deal with being taken. Didn’t the police say to make yourself real to your captor? To get them to feel something? Humanize yourself.
“My name is Alana Masters. I’m only seventeen. I’ve done nothing wrong. I’m a normal teenage girl. Please don’t hurt me. Please. Please.”
A change came over him; those must have been the wrong words. Where he looked like a normal man before, his eyes darkened with evil and his face filled with rage.
“Of course you’ve done something wrong, little girl. You’re like the rest of those bitches. Flaunting your ass in front of me. Teasing me but never giving me the time of day. You’re a manipulative little whore. You begged for this. You begged me to take you and make you mine, you fucking bitch. Don’t worry, whore, you’ll learn your place before I’m done with you. I’m going to fuck you up and make you scream. Make you regret turning up your little prim and proper nose at me, cunt.”
His eyes glazed over, lost in his own world. He no longer looked at me. His gaze went through me, and I wondered who he was thinking of. Who did he remember? Frightened more than ever, I wanted to go home. But somehow, I knew the nightmare had only begun. Grabbing my face, the monster brought my face to his. Looking me right in the eyes, he spoke, and every word cut me to the bone.
“You are mine. Your body. Your pussy. All mine. I am going to train you, mold you, and break you. And if you ever, ever dream of escaping me, remember this: You are Alana Masters. Your parents are Alan and Barbara Masters. You live at 3412 West Monroe Street, and you have a younger brother. If you step one foot out of line, little girl, I will kill them all. Their blood will be on your hands.”
When he pushed me away, I landed on the harsh, cold cement. I was in a large cage, maybe about six-by-six, with a mattress full of stains— the smell of urine wafting from it—lying on the floor in one corner and a bucket in another. A loud clang made me spin. He locked me in here. Sweat trickled down my back, and my clammy hands wouldn’t allow me to be fooled into believing this wasn’t real. I had been taken. I’m going to die here. How’d this happen to me? What had I done wrong? I wanted out now. Back with my family, my dad, my mom. But the grit on the ground and the soiled mattress were all I could see through the watery film in my eyes.
“From now on, you will call me Master.” He turned and headed up the darkened staircase, leaving me behind as the tears flowed freely down my face.
“Don’t worry, you’ll eventually have cried so much you won’t be able to cry anymore,” a voice said from the darkness.
“Who’s there?”
“My name is Celia. And I’m you, months from now. Welcome to Purgatory.”

 

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About the Author

Writing professionally since 2008, LeTeisha Newton’s love of romance novels began long before it should have. After spending years sneaking reads from her grandmother’s stash, she finally decided to pen her own tales. As many will do during their youth, she bounced from fantasy, urban literature, mainstream, interracial, paranormal, heterosexual, and LGBT works until she finally rested in contemporary romance.
LeTeisha is all about deep angst and angry heroes who take a bit more loving to smooth their rough edges. Love comes in many sizes, shapes, and colors, as well as with—or without—absolute beauty and fairy tale sweetness. She writes the darker tales because life is hard … but love is harder.

Twitter  Facebook  Web Goodreads  Amazon  Instagram

B55A08FB-716F-4AED-B45C-F93E296171E6

 

Echo–romantic suspense by Anne Conley in the Pierce Securities series.
Cover Model: Devon Ryan
Photography: Tresal Photography
Cover Art: LoveBooks Cover Design

Blurb:  

One attack in her home is enough to make Lacie Hill freak out, but a second is enough to make her check out. Lacie was happy with her solitary life—kindergarten teacher, weekly girls’ nights out, and a father she’s close to. When she’s targeted for sick games with unknown players, she forces herself to act normally and hope everything will go away. You know, ostrich impersonation. The police are doing everything they can to help. Nothing left for her to do, right?
Wrong.
When Lacie’s father hires Pierce Securities to help her, the only person not working a job would be the boss man, Simon— a control freak who loves his rules. He’s trying to find his sister’s stalker while keeping his micromanaging eyes on all the guys in the office. He has policies in place for reasons. For safety. For professionalism.
For his heart.
But will Lacie’s case be an echo of his past? Or will he be able to protect her and love her at the same time, breaking all his hard and fast rules?

 

Excerpt:
Lacie Hill was painfully early to school, obtrusively to get ready for her day, but unobtrusively, to avoid her own home. As she walked around straightening desks and picking up papers, she gave herself a talking to. She was leaving all the negativity at home, where it belonged. She didn’t need to show her fear to her students. This was where they came to learn through play, and Lacie was all about teaching. She loved being a teacher, and watching the children as they grasped concepts and gained knowledge, even without knowing it. It was why she existed.
A knock at her door, and a familiar throat clearing had her turning around.
“Hi, Daddy!” With long strides, she walked over and hugged the man who had raised her after her mother died when she was eight. He rarely had time to come into her classroom, but had managed to visit more since last week. She hated that the evil following her had tainted his school the way it had, but at least it hadn’t managed to invade her classroom.
He squeezed her tightly, cocooning her in only the safety a father’s hug could. It wasn’t until she’d squeezed for a good thirty seconds that she saw the man standing behind him.
“I finally managed to get you an Aide for the classroom. Mr. Pierce is going to help you out with your students, and anything else you may need.” Her father stepped back, and the stranger held out his hand to shake hers. She almost didn’t see it, though, because… his eyes. The heat flashing in them as he stepped forward to shake her hand consumed her, a hunger that tracked through her veins and coursed around her body before it shuttered into a look of benign nonchalance. It was so fast, if it hadn’t have had such a physical effect on her body, Lacie might not have noticed it.
Lacie glanced at her father. Surely the new man was vetted and verified, because with everything that had happened, she was wary of strangers. The hunger that had flashed in his eyes had been terrifying.
And this guy was definitely strange.
For one thing, he was dressed in a suit. Lacie had never seen a teacher’s aide who dressed nicer than the teachers. Or the administration either. His suit was designer, she could tell that much. And it stretched across a frame that wasn’t used to sitting behind desks and working in classrooms. This Mr. Pierce was built like a small line-backer—broad shoulders, tapered waist.
But it was his eyes that struck her most. Gray eyes with a light green ring around the pupil gave them an eerie quality, but they were clear and held an intelligence that belied his position. Not that teacher’s aides were stupid by any means, but this guy did not fit into that mold. And the way he had looked at her sent shivers down her spine, and Lacie reminded herself again, that Daddy had checked the guy. But his look was full of something dangerous, hot, and feral, all wrapped into one darkening gaze.
“Ms. Hill,” he spoke, prompting her to realize she was staring at him.
“Sorry,” she held out her hand to shake his. “Mr. Pierce, it’s nice to meet you. I’m excited to be working with you.” Not that she had known about him, but knowing her dad, he’d probably busted his butt to get her someone in her classroom to help out since the tire-slashing incident last week.
As her hand touched his, Mr. Pierce’s grip surprised her. Warmth filled her hand, almost a zinging like what she’d read about in romance novels. Which she’d always thought was stupid. But she had the inane desire to shake the tingling off her hand when he let go. His had was calloused, as if he was used to working. Although, if the muscles that seemed to shape the suit were any indication, he probably lifted a lot of weights. And apparently had an electrical socket hidden in there somewhere. The buzz of electricity that flowed up her arm was ridiculous, but he didn’t seem to notice it, with the exception of his sharpening gaze.
“Well, I’ll leave you two to it, then,” her father said awkwardly before backing out of the room. “Have a great day, sweetheart.” He winked at her, then left Lacie alone with the stranger in the suit who was supposed to help her all day.
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Craze
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Wire
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Click
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Grab
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Murmur
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Bond 
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Seek 
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Hitch
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About Anne:

Anne has written her entire life and has the boxes of angst-filled journals and poetry to prove it. She’s been writing for public consumption for the past several years. Currently, she has four romance series. In Stories of Serendipity, she explores real people living real lives in small town Texas in a contemporary romance setting. In The Four Winds, she chronicles God’s four closest archangels, Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael, falling in love and becoming human. In Pierce Securities, she gives us Ryan, Evan, Miriam, Zack, Quinten, and Simon. Her newest series, Book B!tches, is all about a group of women in Mystic, Texas who get into all sorts of shenanigans. 

She lives in rural East Texas with her husband and children in her own private oasis, where she prides herself in her complete lack of social skills, choosing instead to live with the people inside her head.

Visit her website for more information and sign up for her newsletter:
http://www.anneconley.com

 

★★•*´´*•★★ COVER REVEAL ★★•*´´*•★★

THE DARKENING

A Horror/Paranormal story

by E. H. James

Scary zombie hands reaching in dark room

Blurb

Michael Caulfield’s dreams are all about to come true—a new apartment with the woman he loves… an engagement ring in his pocket.

Only Michael has no idea his idyllic existence is about to come crashing down. The apartment is over a Darkening—a vortex between this world and the next. Created when the original owner made a deal with the devil, and opened years later, when an unsuspecting woman holds a house party with a psychic.

Now everyone who comes into prolonged contact with the Darkening is pulled in. Only no one remembers they ever existed. That is until Michael comes along. Not only is he not taken, but he is the first mortal to know of its existence. Only there is no one who believes him…or is there?

* * *

Author Bio

E. H. James has always been fascinated by the unexplained. Wanting to delve deeper into the unknown, James has read and researched in the areas of parapsychology and metaphysics, for the past forty years.

Taking those first hand experiences, involving the unexplained, James has woven the real and imaginary together into stories of the strange and bizarre.

James’ stories range from the paranormal to horror, to fantasy and science fiction, from short stories and novellas, to 100K+ novels.