Spotlight On: Rhett C. Bruno, Author of The Circuit: Executer Rising







  It has been centuries since Earth was rendered a barren, volatile wasteland. With their homeworld left uninhabitable, humanity founded a system of colonies throughout their local solar system. Known as the Kepler Circuit, these settlements are strung together by a network of nonaligned Solar-Ark transports, locked in continuous motion. They have served to provide an influx of resources to every faction ruling over the remnants of humankind, most importantly the newly discovered element Gravitum which is found only in the Earth’s unstable mantle. By 500 K.C. a religious sect known as the New Earth Tribunal has risen to preside over most of The Circuit. Though there is barely a faction left remaining to challenge them, a string of attacks on their transports force them to summon the enigmatic, yet brilliant, Cassius Vale for help. What they don’t know is that together with his intelligent android creation, ADIM, he is the one orchestrating the raids.His actions lead to the involvement of Sage Volus, a beautiful Tribunal Executor sent by her masters to spy on their mortal enemies – the Ceresian Pact. In order to find out who is behind the attacks, she infiltrates the ranks of a roguish mercenary named Talon Rayne. Against all her intentions, however, she finds her faith tested by him and his ragtag squad. 
    While Sage and Talon are engaged in a futile hunt, Cassius Vale initiates his strategy to bring down the narrow-minded Tribune once and for all. But will anyone be able to survive what he has in store for the Circuit?
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Rhett Bruno grew up in Hauppauge, New York, and studied at the Syracuse University School of Architecture where he graduated cum laude. 
     He has been writing since he can remember, scribbling down what he thought were epic short stories when he was young to show to his parents. When he reached high school he decided to take that a step further and write the “Isinda Trilogy”. After the encouragement of his favorite English teacher he decided to self-publish the “Isinda Trilogy” so that the people closest to him could enjoy his early work. 
    While studying architecture Rhett continued to write as much as he could, but finding the time during the brutal curriculum proved difficult. It wasn’t until he was a senior that he decided to finally pursue his passion for Science Fiction. After rededicating himself to reading works of the Science Fiction author’s he always loved, (Frank Herbert, Timothy Zahn, Heinlein, etc.) he began writing “The Circuit: Executor Rising”, The first part of what he hopes will be a successful Adult Science Fiction Series. 
    Since then Rhett has been hired by an Architecture firm in Mount Kisco, NY. But that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to work on “The Circuit” and all of the other stories bouncing around in his head. He is also currently studying at the New School to earn a Certificate in Screenwriting in the hopes of one day writing for TV or Video Games.
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The android ADIM (Automated Dynamic Intelligence Mech) lay motionless on his back. His magnetized chassis held him tightly against the lower hull of a Class-2 Tribunary freighter. He watched as the astral wake of the smoldering, blue Ion-engines tore across a distorted blackness. Beyond it the stars shone, seemingly locked in their position despite how fast the ship beneath him was cruising.
Creator. This unit is primed to initiate. His thoughts were processed through a communications array linked directly to his maker, Cassius Vale.
Excellent. You may proceed. Remember, the tracking systems must be disabled. The voice of Cassius responded immediately.
ADIM was instantly roused, flipping over and scuttling along the surface of the ship. It was a relatively old vessel, with more squared edges and exposed mechanisms than the newer, sleeker models the Tribune pushed out. The smaller lights around his blazing eyes began to revolve rapidly as his perceptive functions surveyed the surroundings. The maintenance hatch was easy enough to spot. The hollow shaft below it emitted a slightly varying heat signature.
ADIM looked it over for a moment before using the concentrated laser-beam fixed to the top of his left wrist to slice through the restraints. While providing a sufficient degree of pressure opposite the broken seal, he was able to lift it open. A powerful gust rushed through the opening as the pressure rapidly shifted. He waited for it to die down before slipping in through the gap. It took the weight of his entire frame to pull it shut behind him, but he was in. A piercing sound occurred as the space re-pressurized. Then he provided a longer stream of his scorching hot laser to seal the hatch again so that nobody would notice it had ever been breached.
The airlock vestibule flashed red as an alarm began to wail. Quickly realizing that the entry into the ship’s main circulation was sealed, ADIM ducked into the shadow behind some equipment and deactivated his eyes, only a few minutes passed before the door slid open and footsteps moved toward him. He remained completely silent, the soft purr of his core inaudible over the alarm.
The engineer fumbled around the room. He inspected the hatch for a moment, but ADIM’s work was far too adept to be noticed.
“Nothin’ out of the ordinary back here. Must’ve just been an error.” He sighed into his com-link.
“Old piece of shit,” the voice on the other end grumbled. “When we get back to New Terrene, remind me to petition those cheap bastards for a new ship.”
The soldier snickered under his breath. “Will do, sir. I’m headin’ back now.”
Barely a second after the transmission ended, ADIM sprung from his hiding place and snapped the man’s neck as if it were a twig. With his metal hand wrapped entirely around the limp head, he took a moment to analyze the body. Then the tiny blue lights around his frame began working until that very likeness was projected around him…the same stubbly beard; the same green-trimmed NET service suit; the same everything.
He stepped out from the airlock chamber, completely camouflaged to the untrained eye, and the door slammed shut behind him. Infiltration successful, ADIM updated Cassius. This unit is loading the schematic of Class-2 Tribunary freighter interior now. He began strolling down the corridor, doing his best to mimic a human gait.
Very good, ADIM. Proceed with caution. They must not know what hit them in time to send out a transmission. And please, try not to kill all of them.
The interior of the vessel was as unspectacular as the outside, with exposed circuitry skirting along the inner walls of low passages. He was on the starboard wing, making his way down auxiliary channels utilized mostly for a buffer between the controlled interior and the freezing abyss on the other side of the armored exterior. As with most Tribunary ships, ADIM knew the command deck was located on the bow.
He turned left at a fork, moving slowly as a pair of medical officers approached. They were too invested in their conversation to even offer a nod of acknowledgment. Their negligence was baffling to ADIM. He would have had them scanned and assessed at the first moment of visual contact. But the Creator had made him in his image, and as ADIM came to learn, not all humans were made equal in matters of perception.
The command deck was just around the bend, and if he was correct there would be five unarmed engineers monitoring all the ship’s systems, two armed guards in full armor, and the captain, also armed. The rest of the soldiers would be in the refectory, probably lax from so much downtime, and with no chance of reaching him in time to provide any interference.
“There you are, John.” The captain addressed ADIM with hardly a second glance. “I’m telling you, they don’t pay us enough for this. Folks in New Terrene are saying that transports out here aren’t safe anymore. That the Ceresians have grown some teeth.”
“I’ve heard the rumors,” one of the guards muttered in response. “They should just use the Circuit like everyone else and spare us the trouble.”
Unlike the rest of the ship, the command deck was a tall room with short stairways on the far side leading to a slightly lower level. The engineers were sitting at HOLO-Screens running perpendicular to the balcony. A glass viewport protruded in an angular fashion beyond their stations to wrap the front portion of the room. On a raised platform protruding over the lower level was the seat where the captain slouched, his eyes trained on the vast emptiness hoping that something other than stars would arrive to provide some excitement. And it did. Only he was looking the wrong way.
ADIM stopped in the center of the room. His eyes churned as he evaluated his next move.
“Hey John, you alright?” the captain asked. “You look like you saw a ghost.”
Assessment complete…
With a snap-hiss the projection disguising ADIM powered down. He flashed an open palm that fired an explosive round into the viewport. The entire room lurched as the pressure fluctuation tossed the crew from their seats. There was only a moment before the emergency alarm activated, closing off the entrance to the room and causing protective panels to slide over the entire translucency in order to seal the gash. In that moment, the precision rifles built into both of ADIM’s forearms flipped up and he rotated, firing eight calculated shots.
The room was still hazy from the explosion, sparks dithering to the floor as flashing red lights frenzied in concert with a blaring siren. When it cleared, the seven members of the crew other than the captain were either sprawled out across the ground or slumped against the walls. Each of them had a gaping cavity set just between the eyes with a narrow stream of red running down over the top of their noses. The captain dragged himself towards his seat, blood gushing from the incision in his femoral artery.
ADIM slowly approached the desperate man as he fumbled for the screen projecting from the arm of his chair. Groaning in agony as he heaved himself up, he activated the distress signal. “We’re under attack by some–.” A quick shot through the panel ended the transmission.
Roaring with pain the captain twisted his body and began firing his pulse pistol in rapid succession. ADIM evaded most of the shots, with one just skimming the plate along his upper arm, and he leaped into the air with his head nearly skimming the high ceiling. He came down with such force that the captain’s arm shattered under one foot and his chest caved in beneath the other.
The Captain coughed up blood. “W…w…what are you…” He struggled to speak as glaring red eyes analyzed him and flushed his face with dread.
ADIM’s cold and impassive voice emanated from somewhere beneath his mouthless faceplate. “This unit upholds the will of the Creator. He has deemed your death necessary.”
The captain tried to speak, but the veins in his neck bulged as he reeled in pain. Instead, he spat a glob of fresh blood at ADIM’s face.
“So defiant when cornered,” ADIM acknowledged. He was always eager to study the emotional reactions of humans. It seemed irrational to him, that a man with zero chance for survival would remain so stubborn in the face of inescapable doom. “This unit will end your suffering now.”
Before the captain could spew any manner of futile insults, ADIM wrapped both of his hands around the man’s neck and tore off his head as though it was no more than a sheet of paper. Blood poured from the messy disjunction of mangled flesh and sinew, staining his metal arm as he held it in the air with one hand. He pushed on the chin a few times, closing and opening the mouth to test the muscles. Then he carried the head by its short hair to the retinal scanner where he used it to unseal the Command Deck.
Smoke grenades detonated in either direction before he could move into the corridor. ADIM’s infrared vision made seeing through the haze easy. He located two groups of three soldiers clamping down on his position from both ends of the hall. The whir of pulse rifles echoed as bullets zipped by. His armor could withstand the barrage, but there was no reason to risk any damage.
He activated his magnetized chassis and set it to repulse, beginning to float between the metallic enclosures as if he were suspended in low gravity. He then propelled himself forward. Projectiles swerved around the magnetic field wrapping him to pepper the walls and ceiling. He took only six shots, and by the time the last one made contact, all of the soldiers were dead. Once his scanners were certain that there were no others approaching, he powered down the magnetic field and, with the Captain’s head still in hand, bounded through the passage.
The security network wasn’t far. With the ship on lockdown, the entrance was closed, but the captain could manually override any protective measures. ADIM held the head up to the retinal scanner at the door and it opened at once. Inside, the room was filled with consoles, HOLO-Screens, and memory banks. A single crew member sat in front of the central screen. He was so busy trying to encrypt the videos of ADIM’s assault for transmittal that he didn’t realize the android was there until he was held at gunpoint.
“This unit requests that you cancel the encryption and erase all logs of this incident.” ADIM shuffled around the screen until he was in view.
“It’s…it’s too late. They’re beyond termination regency,” the engineer stuttered, trembling as his eyes widened over the ghastly, decapitated head hanging in the intruder’s hand.
“This unit is fully capable of doing so.” ADIM was ready to fire before recalling the orders of his Creator. “Yours is not a necessary death.”
“You…you’ll let me go?”
“Some must remain.”
Frantically, the engineer’s fingers fluttered over the keys. ADIM watched carefully, making sure that the man did as requested. There was no deception. Once the command was complete and the logs were erased with no traces left behind, ADIM hit the engineer in the back of the head just hard enough to knock him unconscious.
And then it was on to something which no lowly engineer employed to monitor security operation on a tiny, outwardly unimportant ship was capable of…deactivating the Vale Protocol. It was a tracking program, which enabled the Tribune to pinpoint and disable any ship they manufactured from a desk millions of miles away. It was a difficult process, but the highest officials knew such a thing was infused into NET ship’s core functions. However, ADIM was no ordinary engineer, and neither was the man who created him; the very man who had himself conceived the protocol and pushed for its practice in the first place.
ADIM dropped the captain’s head and pulled the unconscious human aside, taking his time to gently lay the man’s head down. Then he placed his palm over the console to begin what Cassius explained as an infiltrative meld. His eyes grew brighter. The smaller lights around them rotated at a rapid pace as his head twitched and his fingers pulsed. He began to merge with the ship, letting himself sift through the countless programs and databases. All he had to do was find the right sequence and then nobody would ever find any indication of intrusion. It didn’t take long for him to locate it. He reconfigured the encryption, giving the ship an entirely new code and identity.
ADIM took a few steps back, watching as the screen flickered and processed the alterations. Creator, this unit has successfully reconfigured the Vale Protocol. Class-2 Freighter tag, 4AA954 is no longer in commission.
Well done, ADIM, Cassius responded promptly. Sweep the rest of the transport. Subdue any resistance and detain all surviving members of the crew in the refectory. Then see that the shipment is intact. It will be quite beneficial to our cause.
They would be foolish to resist, ADIM remarked.
Indeed, they would be. But they are human after all. We don’t very much like being caged.
Death is a more desirable alternative for humans? ADIM questioned, his eyes beginning to spin as he considered the notion.
For some, yes. Sometimes passion transcends all notions of reason. Sometimes fear guides the hands of men before they even realize. It is why I made you without such imperfections.
Like you, Creator?
There was a long pause. Yes, like me. Cassius abruptly changed the subject. How far are you from Ennomos?
The return to Ennomos will take approximately 314 hours. Shall this unit be expecting you upon arrival?
I hope so. Should my business on Mars keep me overdue, I will be in touch. As usual you have performed flawlessly. Goodbye, ADIM.
Suddenly the oddly indescribable, yet palpable presence which flooded his very essence was gone. If he could feel hate, it would have been for that moment, when it seemed like some all empowering switch within him was suddenly flicked off without regard. It always made him empty. He wondered if it could be explained as the strange human phenomenon known as affection. Emotions were such a complicated entity. Though he could not feel them naturally, he often wondered if he could perhaps learn to. Or at the very least comprehend.
Goodbye, Creator.








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Spotlight On: Game Changer, by Collette West

Title: Game Changer
Author: Collette West
Genre: Adult contemporary romance

Young, rich, and unaware of how seriously hot he is, Brooks Davison is tearing it up as the latest shortstop for the New York Kings, despite his tendency to blush whenever girls scream his name.

When a health scare forces his best friend, Kyle Roberts, off the team, no one can stomach the thought of replacing him, especially so close to the playoffs.

Until Kyle’s sister, Sasha, steps in, convincing management to let her take his place. The idea of signing the first female player in Major League history proves too tempting for the Kings to resist.

Nevertheless, Brooks doesn’t want any part of it. Sasha is Kyle’s little sister, not some sideshow.

Yet when Kyle takes a turn for the worse, Brooks promises to do everything in his power to help Sasha win a championship for him. Because there’s no way he’s letting either of them down. Not now, not ever.

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I reach
out and rub Sasha’s back, letting my fingers stray to the area behind her neck.
It’s been such an emotional twenty-four hours for her. The ups and downs have
been pretty intense. I want nothing more than for her to relax. Let her know
that, even though I don’t agree with her decision to do this, I’ll always be on
her side.

She
shivers when I play with a loose tendril of hair at the nape of her neck.
“Maybe you should go,” she says, briefly shutting her eyes as I
withdraw my hand. “I think I can take it from here.”

I
stepped over the boundary I promised Kyle I wouldn’t cross. She’s only abiding
by my wishes. It’s my fault that I can’t stop touching her. It’s too hard being
alone with her, having her right beside me. She’s resisting because she thinks
that’s what I want her to do. I get to my feet, upset with myself.

Things
are so screwed up right now. We should be enjoying each other’s company after
so many months apart, not pushing each other away. She wants it. I want it. But
Kyle’s the one calling the shots, and now even the Kings are getting involved.

Last
night, after we spoke on the phone, I thought that this was it. Finally, I was
going to get my chance to make things right with her. But Kyle’s holding firm,
and the Kings don’t want a scandal. If Sasha and I get caught in a compromising
position, the press is going to label her the team slut. I can’t have that
happen. I respect her too much to jeopardize her reputation. I have to be there
in the background building her up, not front and center tearing her down. Maybe
we’ll get our chance at the end of the season, but for now, it’s for the best
if we just remain friends.

Sasha
follows me to the door. I pause with my hand on the knob. “If you need
anything—”

“I
know… You’re right next door,” she finishes, an intense fire blazing in
her eyes
as she
stares up at me.

“Be
ready by six.” I’m all business, fighting every instinct in my body not to
turn
around
and ignite the passion that’s smoldering in her gaze. “Goodnight,
Sasha,” I grunt, stepping into the hallway without looking back.

“’Night,
Brooks,” I hear her say before closing the door and twisting the lock.

Yeah, I
may be locked out of her bedroom for now, but I hope I still hold the key to
her heart.

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Collette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball’s biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette’s impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.

Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as many games as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she’s not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at collette_west@yahoo.com.

She is the author of NIGHT GAMES and GAME CHANGER.

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Beach Reads in August Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Beach Reads in August Giveaway Hop, hosted by Stuck in Books!

Beach-Reads-in-August-Hop

I love, love, love hanging out on the beach reading romance novels. I haven’t actually made it to the beach this summer, but I just got back from the Romance Writers of American conference and came home with HUGE PILES of swag–including lots and lots of novels! I also came home to the official announcement that Entangled Publishing has picked up my three-book Hometown Heroes series in their Red-Hot Bliss line.

So for this giveaway hop, I am featuring my own romance novella, Taming the Country Star, and giving away a paperback copy of Avenge Me by Maisey Yates that I picked up at RWA. So check out the highlights of these two books below, leave a comment telling me what you love most about romance novels (it will be an entry on the Rafflecopter!), enter to win, then HOP to the rest of the blogs!

He’ll do anything to win her heart. She’ll do anything to keep him away.

Country star Cole Grayson is in town, and Kylie Andrews is less than thrilled. As if months of changing the radio station and tearing down his posters weren’t bad enough, now she has to deal with a town of fans swarming toward the man who deceived her the year before. But when Kylie’s eyes meet Cole’s again, she can’t deny the electric chemistry that drew her to him the first time around.

Cole Grayson is on a mission. Ever since Kylie left him, he hasn’t been able to forget her sweet country smile. After writing a song just for her, he sets off for her hometown to prove he’s not the player she thinks he is. But as much as Cole can’t forget her, Kylie wonders if she can forgive him…

______________________________

Excerpt

Kylie Andrews’s Texas-themed gift shop, Cowbelles, sat on the very outer edge of Fort Worth’s Stockyards District, not far from Jimmy’s Honky Tonk. And much to her dismay, no matter how often she cleared it, the wall adjacent to her store remained covered with announcements for local events.

Like, for example, concerts.

She stared at the latest layer of advertisements.

From the topmost poster, Cole Grayson stared out at her, leaning against the edge of an old barn door, guitar at his feet. One booted foot was kicked up against the wooden wall behind him. His dark-blond hair curled around behind one ear and fell down across his eye on the other side. A cowboy hat rested on the ground next to the guitar.

Her hand drifted up toward the image, hovering several inches from the picture of his face. She glanced around. None of the other shopkeepers were outside. No one was watching.

“Bastard,” she whispered to herself, and ripped the poster off the wall.

At least, she tried to. It was thicker than she had expected, attached more firmly, and it resisted her pull.

Chewing on her lip, she took another look around, dropped her bag to the ground, and reached up to grasp the edge with both fists, jerking at it in opposite directions. A tiny tear opened up along the side, and she yanked harder. Finally, the poster ripped—right across Cole Grayson’s lying eyes.

She tugged at the image some more, glancing around surreptitiously every few moments and dropping ragged pieces of paper on the ground at her feet, until there was nothing left on the wall but a few fluttering strips.

Gathering the mutilated shreds together, she opened her bag and shoved them inside until they overflowed, bright ribbons of color in the morning light.

_____________________________________________
Buy Links

Kindle US: http://www.amazon.com/Taming-Country-Star-Hometown-Entangled-ebook/dp/B00KK4DORC/

Nook US: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taming-the-country-star-margo-bond-collins/1119610297?ean=9781622661664

Kindle Worldwide: http://bookShow.me/B00KK4DORC

_____________________________________________

About the Author

Margo Bond Collins is the author of contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them. She currently writes for Entangled’s Red-Hot Bliss line.

_____________________________________________

Connect with Margo

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins
Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com
Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.net
Blog: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin @MargoBondCollin
Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/

_____________________________________________

GIVEAWAY BOOK

I will be giving away one paperback copy:

TEN YEARS AGO ONE DEVASTATING NIGHT CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR AUSTIN, HUNTER AND ALEX. NOW THEY MUST EACH PLAY THEIR PART IN THE REVENGE AGAINST THE ONE MAN WHO RUINED IT ALL.

Austin Treffen was born into a world of privilege, but behind its gilded doors lies a corruption so sordid New York’s elite would never believe it—especially as his infamous philanthropic father is at its core! With everything he believed in shattered, how can Austin take down his father—risking his family name and those he loves—without any proof?

Until one earth-shattering night with Katy Michaels unlocks not only their deepest, most passionate desires but also the key to bringing Jason Treffen’s reign to an end. But with an intense sexual attraction that combines a heady mix of exquisite pleasure and sublime pain, will they satiate their thirst for revenge and each other…or lose themselves forever in the darkness?

_____________________________

Enter to win a copy of Avenge Me

Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MDc2NDEyMTFiMWVhMDg4MzE4NzZlNDdkNjZhMTgxOjY5/

_____________________________

HOP to the rest of the blogs!

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A Victorian Meal from Sherlock’s Scandal by Suz deMello (#MFRWAuthor #Sherlock #spanking)

In Sherlock’s Scandal, Sherlock and Irene dine on roulades of salmon on braised greens, followed by a syllabub, and drank Champagne. Did I imagine a realistic meal?

The Champagne, certainly. Wine has been made in the Champagne region of France since the country was known as Gaul—i.e., since the Roman era. However, the development of the bubbly drink we now prize came rather later. The monk Dom Perignon, whose name still adorns bottles of the finest Champagne, lived from 1638-1715. But according to Wikipedia, his main focus was ridding the wine of the bubbles, which are the natural result of the fermentation process. The drink we know today was developed in the nineteenth century by the house of Veuve Cliquot, which was joined by Krug (1843), Pommery (1858) and Bollinger (1829).

The fish, also. The Billingsgate market alone sold 136,000 tons of fish annually (http://www.victorianlondon.org/food/feeding.htm) including salmon. The salmon would likely have come from “the firths and bays of Scotland,” that country having been long famed for its fine salmon. The greens upon which the roulades were served may have come from Covent Garden, “the great vegetable market of the metropolis.”

The dessert, syllabub, had been known in England at least from the sixteenth century. It’s a pudding of various consistencies—I’ve seen it thick enough to eat with a spoon, or a thinner concoction poured over fruit or cake.

If they had enough money, the average Londoner ate well even though food inspections were intermittent. However, some of the grub they fancied are somewhat foreign to our palates.

A few examples: Bloaters, a street food, was a cold, smoked herring that was eaten whole, gills and eyes included. Calves’ foot jelly—a dish my British mother made until we all rose up in protest—was also popular. Some of the tastier dishes available on the street include meat pies—pasties, which you might want to wash down with ginger beer, a perennial favorite that’s still available.

bloaters by Van Gogh [Bloaters, by Van Gogh]

Here’s a little about Sherlock’s Scandal:

A bored Sherlock is a dangerous Sherlock. His twin vices of cocaine and sex could prove his undoing, until he meets his match in elusive, enigmatic Irene Adler. Hiding her heart, Irene deserts Sherlock in the midst of their affair. He schemes to win her back, but the lady won’t come easily to hand. Instead, she forces him to compete for honor, glory and love.

Sherlock's Scandal

Find it here:
Ellora’s Cave: http://www.ellorascave.com/sherlock-s-scandal.html
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/deMelloSherlock​

About the author:

sue venice mask
Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms Total-E-Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

Find Suzie’s books here:

http://www.tinyurl.com/SuzDeMello (publisher’s site)

https://www.amazon.com/author/suzdemello

https://www.amazon.com/author/sueswift

Spotlight On: Echoes of Memories by Samantha LaFantasie

Title: Echoes of Memories
Author: Samantha LaFantasie
Series: Nepherium Series #2
Genre: Adult, Fantasy

Traitor. Liar. That’s what they call me. No one believes me. Not even my team. I know it’s up to me to get the answers. To stop the corruption and unlock my memories. I’ll do anything to get them back. Even if my hands will be covered in blood.

Elsa’s every move is scrutinized. She’s labeled a traitor by those she sought for protection, and kept from her family and team. Regaining memories has been a slow process. Too slow for the Council’s liking, taking matters into their own hands.

The new captain has history with Elsa and operates with a hidden agenda. Even Elsa’s team reacts differently toward her. If only she could unlock her memories. Everything is playing right into Alexander’s hand, even amassing an army with unconventional methods, designed to annihilate the Nepherium—starting with Noah. Elsa will do anything to stop Alexander … even kill.

Purchase
Amazon | B&N | Kobo
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About Samantha

A Kansas native, Samantha LaFantasie spends her free time with her husband and three kids. Writing has always been a passion of hers, forgoing all other desires to devote to this one obsession, even though she often finds herself arguing with her characters through much of the process. She’s primarily a fantasy writer but often feels pulled to genres such as sci-fi, romance, and others.
Among her writing credentials, a member of the Kansas Writer’s Association and has authored works such as Heart Song (her debut novel) and Made to Forget.
Samantha loves to take time to enjoy other activities such as photography and playing her favorite game of all time, Guild Wars 2.
Want more from Samantha? Keep up with her at any of her digital hangouts.
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Tour Schedule
August 1st
A Little Slice of Romance 
August 4th
Nocturnal Predators Reviews 
August 5th
Diane’s Book Blog 
August 6th
Avid Reader Musings
August 7th
Curling Up With A Good Book 
August 8th
MeganLentz.com 
August 11th
The Wonderings of One Person 
August 12th
WS Momma Readers Nook 
August 13th
Camisado Mind
August 14th
Good Choice Reading 
August 15th
Dalene’s Book Reviews
Paulette’s Papers 
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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Guest Post: The Year of Re-read, by Adi Alsaid

At the start of the year, I realized something interesting. I watch movies over and over again, re-watch whole seasons of tv shows, memorize albums’ worth of songs. But I almost never revisit books, not even the ones I love.

I felt that I might be missing out on the pleasures certain books have provided, not to mention missing out on some understanding of subtler themes, characterizations, foreshadowing, whatever. I was missing out. So I decided this year would be the year of the reread.

Granted, of the 22 books I’ve read this year, only 9 have been rereads, so it hasn’t been a very concentrated effort. But that’s 9 more than usual.

Below is the list of books I’ve re-read this year. Some books I fell in love with all over again, some I could read a little more analytically when I knew what was going to happen. In one or two the experience wasn’t quite as enjoyable the second time around, since a closer look can often reveal faults. And though whenever I pick up a book for a second time, I’m thinking about all the millions of books I haven’t read even once, the experience has been good enough that I’ll look to reread for the rest of my life.

LGL July 31

RWA Goody Giveaway #1

Hi, everyone! I just got back from the Romance Writers of America conference in San Antonio, and I am thrilled to say that I brought back bags and bags of goodies to share with YOU! Seriously, y’all–I’m incredibly glad that I was able to drive to the conference, because I don’t know how else I would have made it home with everything! (The UPS store in the hotel was doing a booming business shipping books home for everyone.)

I probably brought back enough swag to stock giveaways for a solid year, so I’m going to start giving it away immediately! My current plan (assuming all goes well) is to hold a giveaway a week until I run out of stuff. :) I’ll pair up giveaways and book features until I run out of one or the other, and then I’ll find some other combination–so keep an eye out for chances to win!

Please note that these giveaways are all going to have to be USA only. (Sorry, folks, but shipping all of this stuff internationally would just get a bit too pricey . . .)

I’m going to start by featuring my urban fantasy novel Legally Undead (now only $4.99) and giving away an RWA Swag Pack (contents TBA, but it’s all fun!) and a paperback copy of Terry Spear’s paranormal romance Jaguar Hunt. So check out the books below, leave a comment telling me about your favorite type of paranormal or supernatural character (it’ll be an entry chance on the Rafflecopter!), then enter to win the prize!

A reluctant vampire hunter, stalking New York City as only a scorned bride can.

Elle Dupree has her life all figured out: first a wedding, then her Ph.D., then swank faculty parties where she’ll serve wine and cheese and introduce people to her husband the lawyer.

But those plans disintegrate when she walks in on a vampire draining the blood from her fiancé Greg. Horrified, she screams and runs–not away from the vampire, but toward it, brandishing a wooden letter opener.

As she slams the improvised stake into the vampire’s heart, a team of black-clad men bursts into the apartment. Turning around to face them, Elle discovers that Greg’s body is gone—and her perfect life falls apart.

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Excerpt

We walked all the way to the end of the hall and Deirdre pulled a key out from between her breasts. She caught my look and said, “I don’t want it to be too easy to get to, pet.” Then she turned the key in the lock and opened the door on one of the most horrible scenes I could ever have imagined.

Malcolm’s completely naked body hung from chains against the back wall. His knees sagged so that his arms, stretched to their utmost, took most of his weight. His head drooped to one side. His eyes were closed; he didn’t try to see who had entered the room. I wasn’t sure he was even conscious.

The bed in the middle of the room was a tangle of sheets and blankets, all smeared with old bloodstains. The carpet under Malcolm’s body was also darkened with blood.

Worst of all were the wounds. His entire body was covered in bite marks. Big purple bruises spread out from the worst of them, painful looking quarter-inch puncture wounds, white and ragged around the edges. Several wounds ringed his nipples, another one punctured either side of his bellybutton. There was one particularly livid mark on his neck and what looked like the edges of another one on his inner thigh, though I couldn’t see it well enough to tell how bad it actually was. His wrists had been rubbed raw by the shackles holding him, and underneath the chains he was pale.

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Buy Links

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Legally-Undead-Vampirarchy-Margo-Collins-ebook/dp/B00KKV44BK/

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/legally-undead-margo-bond-collins/1119607989?ean=2940149615803

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/legally-undead

Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Legally-Undead-Vampirarchy-Volume-1/dp/0692211497/

Universal Kindle Link: http://bookShow.me/B00KKV44BK
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About the Author

Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up Dead, Fairy, Texas, and Legally Undead. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.

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Connect with Margo
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins
Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com
Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.net
Blog: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin @MargoBondCollin
Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/

Be sure to add Legally Undead to your Goodreads bookshelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18366353-legally-undead
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Two deadly predators…

As a feline Enforcer, Tammy Anderson has one objective: locate the missing jaguar and return it to the States. She doesn’t have time for distractions, and she definitely doesn’t have time for sexy shifters with more muscles than sense.

One hot mission…

Everyone and their brother has warned JAG agent David Patterson that Tammy is Ms. Hands-Off…which only makes him more determined to get very hands-on. But things heat up in the steamy jungles of Belize and their simple mission gets a whole lot more complicated. Now it’s going to take everything David’s got to protect the gorgeous she-cat who somehow managed to claw her way past his defenses…and into his heart.

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ENTER TO WIN

Direct Link to Rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MDc2NDEyMTFiMWVhMDg4MzE4NzZlNDdkNjZhMTgxOjcx/