Romantic New Thriller Suspense by Sam Cheever

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Praise for Pursuing Elena:

“This remarkable book will take you on a journey of pain, hope and LOVE from beginning to end.”

“…twists I never saw coming with a suspenseful story line that kept me on the edge of my seat.”

Get your copy now:books2read.com/u/4DA0zg

Excerpt:

Erik pulled Elena across the office and shoved her behind a heavy, burgundy velvet curtain, pushing in behind her just as the office door opened. Elena stiffened as he wrapped his arms around her waist and lowered his head, whispering. “Not a sound.”

She barely allowed herself to breathe. Every time she pulled air into her lungs, his clean, male scent entered her system and ran amok, creating a pool of need in her belly that was hard to ignore. Elena closed her eyes, her usual balls-to-the-wall style failing her as her body became almost painfully aware of every hard line of his tall, sexy frame pressed against her. She grew slowly cognizant of a sharp pain in her back, like something hard digging into her. She shifted slightly to get away from it and was punished with a big, warm hand spreading over her belly, pulling her more tightly against him.

Then another hardness started to bother her. She closed her eyes and prayed the guard would leave soon. Because Erik’s hand was making slow, deliberate circles over her belly and need was becoming a tight coil in her sexual core.

Beyond their velvet and lust prison, the guard’s footsteps were soft thumps on the thick carpet, his flashlight playing across the chaotic remnants of Phillip Osgood’s office. They could watch him move through the office from his reflection in the window glass. He was a short, roundish form with nondescript features, but he held a large flashlight in one hand and a radio crackled on his waistband.

Elena watched as the bright arc of light skimmed over the desk and stilled, the light illuminating the small drawer she’d laid on top.

She silently scolded herself for her carelessness. She’d assumed that, with all the other mess in the room, the guard wouldn’t even notice.

Judging by the movement of footsteps across the room…directly toward them…she’d been wrong. The radio crackled and a voice came over the line. “Everything okay, Ed? I was expecting you to check in five minutes ago.”

The flashlight swept the floor behind the desk, slithered over the chair Elena had shoved back, and danced inexorably toward the curtain where they hid.

Moving as slowly as she could with discovery breathing down their necks, Elena pulled her feet back and all but held her breath.

Erik’s hand slipped around to his back, where Elena had no doubt his gun was holstered.

The guard moved around the desk and stood looking down at the drawer. His labored breathing scraped through the silence, so close Elena expected to feel it on her face. He breathed with a wet, raspy kind of resonance which told Elena he was out of shape and that he was either a smoker or was coming down with a cold.

Either way she figured she could take him before he could report them to the voice on the other end of the radio. Her eyes on the guard’s form in the glass, she tightened her grip on her gun and then stopped, pulling air into her lungs and forcing herself to relax. She began to picture her attack in her mind.

A glide sideways, emerging from the curtain on the outside, away from Erik. She’d lift her gun and point it at the guard as she moved closer, demanding that he take his hand off his radio. Then with one, swift motion, she’d take the radio with her free hand and clock him over the head with the other.

The only fly in the ointment was Erik. And he was a big, damn fly. Because she knew he’d never let her risk a direct confrontation. He’d take a bullet himself before he allowed that. Her suspicions were confirmed as his arm around her waist tightened, snugging her up against him even as his other arm extended toward the edge of the heavy drape.

In the glass, the guard reached for his radio, pulled it free and lifted it toward his face.

The snap of controlled electricity broke the silence, the flashlight beam shot toward the ceiling and then slammed downward, and the guard jerked twice before falling, his radio flying out of his hand.

Erik stepped from behind the drape and reached out, snagging the radio with his right hand as he shoved the Taser back into his pants with the other. “Let’s go. The other guard will be here in about two minutes.”

They ran toward the outer office and ducked back through the glass doors. The up arrow beside the elevator down the hall lit up as they hit the stairwell at an all-out run. They sprinted down the stairs to the third floor. After checking the hallway to make sure it was empty, they emerged from the stairwell and tore down the hall to the office they’d originally breached. Elena stepped quickly through the window onto the ledge and started moving toward the front of the building. Erik emerged behind her. She could hear the soft scrape of his boots against the concrete.

A bright light came on below and an alarm sounded inside the building.

Elena forced herself not to panic as men with guns spilled from the front door and spread out around the grounds to the sound of shouted orders. She stopped and pressed back against the wall, just out of range of the security light that spread a golden cocoon over the front entrance.

Erik did the same, his broad chest heaving from the effort of running down the narrow ledge without falling.
She turned to him, shrugging slightly. “Oops.”

He shook his head but she noted the slight twitch of his wide mouth that told her he wasn’t totally unamused. “I don’t suppose you had a Plan B when you decided to do this?” he whispered.

She grinned, shaking her head. “I rarely need more than one plan.”

His brows lifted. “And yet…”

“This was your fault. If I’d been alone I’d have been fine.” The guilty memory of a misplaced desk drawer and chair swept through her mind but she pushed them aside. A soldier never second guessed her mission. The only option was to move forward and complete the operation.

Erik pulled something black from the waistband of his jeans and she frowned. Surely he wasn’t going to try to use the Taser from three floors up. Even if he hit one of the dozen men running around below them, they’d still have eleven guards with guns to deal with.

Elena tried to remember how many bullets she had left in her gun. Had she remembered to reload it before leaving home?

She jumped as Erik’s voice sounded next to her. “Intruders spotted on the south side of the building,” he said into the radio. “I repeat, intruders spotted running toward Elm Street on the south side of the building.”

He shoved the radio back into his jeans and jerked his head toward the corner. “Let’s move, DeVitis. There’s a piece of chocolate pie and a cup of coffee waiting for me at the diner down the street.”

Elena peered around the corner and saw that all but one guy had taken the bait and fled to the South side. It wouldn’t take them long to discover the ruse and they’d be back. She would have to take her chances with the one guy.

Slipping around the corner, Elena ran along the ledge, keeping an eye on the bulky guard standing on the outside edge of the light. The orange glow of a lit cigarette flaring into the night told Elena all she needed to know about the guy’s attention span. He was taking a break while his buddies chased down the bad guys.

She smiled, knowing his break was about to turn bad.

She quickly descended from the third floor, using the uneven bricks at the corner of the structure. As soon as her feet hit the ground, she crouched down, watching the guard as Erik slipped down behind her.

When Erik’s feet hit the ground he whistled softly and they tucked themselves into the shadows as the guard’s head jerked up, the cigarette bobbling between his lips.

Elena could envision cartoon bubbles above the man’s head as he considered what he should do next.

What’s this?

Who’s whistling at me?

Maybe I should investigate?

The guard’s head swiveled as if he were looking for someone else to do the job and then, when no cavalry appeared on the horizon, he reluctantly dropped his cigarette butt and ground it out before heading their way. The beefy guard held his pistol down by his side, his gaze narrowing as the shadows began to obscure his view of the ground around the base of the building.

He stopped a few feet away as if he sensed they were there and, as he reached for his radio, Erik shot him with the Taser. Elena and Erik pulled the guard’s twitching form into the bushes and took off running toward the fence. If they were really lucky Elena’s makeshift ladder would still be in place.

If not, well, Elena would have to use her yummy assistant as a ladder.

A not altogether unpleasant option.

Get your copy now! books2read.com/u/4DA0zg

 

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Have you read Book 1 in the exciting La Fortuna DeVitis series? It’s only $0.99 now:

revealingnicola-300 Nicola is just minding her own business, out for a fun night with her friends, when a man with a bedroom voice and deliciously broad shoulders decides she’s someone she isn’t. A heartbeat later, before she even has a chance to make sense of being called by another woman’s name, she finds herself flung over one of those broad shoulders and thrown into an existence that includes a lot of running for her life, dodging bullets, and realizing she’s the victim of a lifetime’s worth of secrets.

Franco has a very difficult job. He’s supposed to protect a strong willed heiress from the conspiracy that has plagued her entire life. Unfortunately, in pursuit of that goal, he accidentally grabs the wrong person. A woman whose feisty nature and insistence that she’s not his heiress have him on edge and off his game.

With menace nipping constantly at their heels, bullets flying and bodies showing up all over the place, Franco and Nicola must quickly put aside their differences and forge an alliance to stop the shadowy group which pursues them. But circumstances might build something much greater than an alliance between them, as distrust turns to affection and need transforms into something neither one of them is prepared to ignore.

Get your copy today! books2read.com/u/m0z1Al

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IMG_7837_120x180USA Today Bestselling Author Sam Cheever writes romantic paranormal/fantasy and mystery/suspense, creating stories that celebrate the joy of love in all its forms. Known for writing great characters, snappy dialogue, and unique and exhilarating stories, Sam is the award-winning author of 50+ books and has been writing for over a decade under several noms de plume.

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Book Blast: Revealing Nicola by Sam Cheever

I’m so honored to have Revealing Nicola highlighted on the Romance Under Fire blog today!

1-b078f2221d6ec0463539f01708b9e727Feather Stone

I’m so thrilled to have been asked to participate in Sam Cheever’s book blast. It’s exciting to meet an author of Sam’s famous reputation. The most difficult part will be picking out a few of her many published novels. No doubt, she is going to be one of my favorite authors.
Revealing Nicola by Sam Cheever Tour Banner

Revealing Nicola

by Sam Cheever

February 21, 2017 Book Blast

Revealing Nicola by Sam Cheever

Synopsis:

She has to overcome a lifetime of secrets…the shock of discovery.

He must protect a treasure that has turned passion to hate… reason to incoherence.

Poisoned by danger, intrigue, lust, and greed…their very survival is in the balance.

Can they endure the conspiracy and find love? And if they do…will it be enough?

Book Details:

Genre:Romantic Suspense, Thriller
Published by: Electric Prose Publications
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Number of Pages: 183
ISBN: 978-1-63587-971-1
Series: La Fortuna DeVitis #1
Purchase Links:Amazon 🔗 | Barnes &…

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Sam Cheever has a Sizzling new Romantic Thriller!

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My name is Nicola. And I don’t know who I am anymore.

I’ve been thrown into a whirlwind of lies and danger. My entire existence is a deceit. Even the illusion of safety has been torn from me, leaving me raw and functioning on pure adrenaline. It seems I can trust only one person. A man…whose forest green gaze makes my already upside down world wobble a little on its axis.

This is my story. It’s a story of hate and greed and violence. But it’s also a story of love and hope and fighting for what you believe in. I can’t let the war I find myself in define me. Or I’ll be no better than the shadowy figures who are trying to take us down.”

5-stars

“If you love thrillers with strong women who know how to stand up for themselves, with hot bodyguards and secrets to unveil then look no further. You will be happily entertained.”

A hand wrapped around her arm and she was tugged backward, hitting the firm heat of a wide chest. She tried to pull away, thinking she was dealing with another overzealous flirt. “Back off, buddy.” She jerked her elbow backward, earning herself a very satisfying grunt of pain. But the hand on her arm didn’t let go.
Hot breath bathed her ear. “Real funny, Elena. Now stop screwing around and come with me. You know it’s dangerous for you to be in here.”

She frowned, realizing he’d mistaken her for someone else. Nici turned her head and slid her gaze up, inhaling a quick rush of air as she got her first look at him.

His skin looked golden under the lights, his wide, square jaw taut with anger as he glared down at her. His eyes were a shade of forest green she’d never seen before, the lashes framing them thick and black. The lights played over his inky black hair, dancing along the glossy waves where it was longer at the top and dimming where he’d shaved it close on the sides.

He was huge, probably six foot five or six, with wide shoulders and massive arms. The hand on her upper arm easily encircled it, with long, dense fingers. He wore a round-necked shirt that glowed white under the spinning lights and lovingly hugged his pecs. The shirt was tucked neatly into a pair of dark denim jeans which looked painted on. A brown leather jacket covered the shirt and Nici wondered what he was hiding underneath it. It was way too warm, both outside and in, for leather.

Nici’s mouth watered as she stared up at him and she almost forgot to yank her arm away.

She remembered a beat later, when he tried to drag her toward the door. “Come on. Let’s get out of here.”

“I’m not going anywhere with you. Let go of me.”

“Elena…”

She stomped on his toes and ground down, feeling the soft leather dent as she put all her weight onto his foot.

“Son of a…” Quick as a wink he wrapped a muscular arm around her waist and hauled her off her feet, throwing her over his shoulder. She gave a little scream, tugging frantically on her short skirt in an attempt to cover her butt.

“Put me down you Neanderthal.”

“I’m taking you home and your father can deal with you.”

She kneed him in the belly and her bruised kneecaps screamed as she hit the unforgiving surface. “Ouch!”
She could almost feel him smile. “Serves you right.”

A man in a shiny suit circled around Nici and stepped in front of her abductor. The man carrying her toward the door barely hesitated as the manager held up a hand. “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to…”

“Mr. DeVitis appreciates your concern for his daughter but you need to step out of my way.”

Nici squirmed, pounding on his back. “This man is abducting me, do something!”

The manager blinked, his mouth opening and closing before he finally frowned, inclining his head. “Give Mr. DeVitis my regards.”

Her abductor didn’t bother to respond. He started toward the door, bodies magically moving out of his way as they neared the exit. As the door opened to admit a loud group of happy partiers, Nici’s head came up and she searched the crowd for her friends. Nobody. They hadn’t even seen her get abducted. Dammit!
“Well looky here. Such a pretty little ass…” A moist hand caressed her buttock and, like a cobra, her abductor struck, a big fist smashing into the young drunk’s face and sending him to the floor like a large sack of potatoes.

“Learn some respect, punk,” her abductor said on a growl before plunging them outside into the warm night air.

She barked out a shocked laugh. “You’re telling him to respect me? That’s rich.”

He didn’t even hesitate, his long strides took them quickly toward the street and he finally lowered her to the ground. She immediately went after him, fists flashing and elbows flying. She used every trick she’d learned in hours of self-defense classes but he seemed to anticipate all of them, easily shutting her down.
When he had both of her fists trapped in one of his big hands, a black eyebrow lifted in irritation, Nici tried the last trick in her arsenal. She went perfectly still, deliberately softening her muscles.

To her supreme annoyance, he grinned, pushing her toward the car. “Not gonna work, Elena.”

The door opened behind her and her abductor gave the dark suited man who’d opened it a smile. “Thanks, Mike.”

The doorman had longish blond hair, a square jaw and piercing gray eyes. “My pleasure. So, Elena, love the new hair style.”

Nici gave him a glare and then, hoping to catch them off guard, let all her weight drop to her heels and sagged downward, her hand tightening around the handle of her purse. She really wished she could get to the gun she carried in a hidden side pocket, but there was no way he’d give her that much time. So she did the next best thing. She screamed, launching herself off her toes and swinging the bag toward his head.

Her grabbed her arm with one hand, tugging the purse easily from her grasp, and shoved her backward with the other.

She hit a soft leather seat and slid, hands scrabbling for purchase even as she skidded toward the far side of the car.

His hand snaked out and grabbed her ankle before her head connected with the door and, in the same move, he shoved in behind her, lifting her legs to rest across his lap. “Let’s go, Mike. Gordon’s anxious to hear that she’s okay.”

His gaze flashing with humor, the man he’d called Mike quietly closed the door and walked around the car, sliding behind the wheel. A moment later the engine of the long, black limousine rumbled to life and it glided away from the curb.

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9VP2M9/?tag=wwwsamcheever-20

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Sea to Sky Books: http://www.seatoskybooks.com/978-1-63587-971-1-revealing-nicola

Sexy New Paranormal Romance from Sam Cheever – Trick or Devil

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When you “read” ghosts for a living, Halloween can be a bit hectic. Even so, Samantha Straeng hadn’t planned on a swashbuckling devil carrying her off to Hell.

For Samantha Straeng, Halloween, which happens to be her busiest time of year, is about to get even more complicated than usual. The drop dead gorgeous man who just walked into her ghost reading business, Back from the Brink, unfortunately isn’t there to hire her for a reading. He has some strange notion of dragging her waaaaay South, where temps are in the thousands and the only thing she’d be reading was a scorched copy of Dante’s Inferno.

Sam has no intention of going to Hell, no matter how sexy her escort is. So she squelches his plans the only way she knows how, using her powers as a witch and her ability to make use of a ghostly cast of characters to escape.

What she wasn’t counting on was just how determined her sexy devil is. And how far he’ll go to win her over.

5-stars

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading this delightful and entertaining book, I found the book to be witty and extremely hilarious at times. This book covers: a feisty witch and ghost whisperer with a attitude (Samantha Straeng). A dark angel/demon stunned by Samantha attitude (Captain Horacio Barabossa). A baddie and escapee from hell (Barrackas). The story-line and plot is well thought out and is exceptionally well written. The characters are well developed with personalities and have feelings of needs, lust and desires. I would recommend this book to people who like to read a well written humorous and entertaining book.” 5 Star Reader Review

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“They call you Samantha Straeng, yes?”

“That’s my name.” She cocked her head, her fingers fumbling nervously with the deck of tarot cards. “Do you need me to read somebody for you? A recently deceased relative? A nemesis from the nether regions?”

The vision in pantaloons frowned. “Why would I do that? If I wanted to talk to someone in Hell I’d just talk to them.”

Her eyes went wide. “Oh. So you’re a reader too?” His obvious hostility suddenly made sense. She cocked a hip. “Look, Black Beard…”

He scrubbed a big, square hand over his jaw. “I have no beard, black or otherwise.” His gaze narrowed on her. “Are you mad?”

Sam shrugged. “Not anymore. But I’ll admit that last spook tweaked my temper strings a bit.”

He crossed densely muscled arms over his chest. The shirt gaped open again and Sam wanted to sigh. “You speak strangely, witch.”

“I speak strangely?” She laughed. “That’s rich. Who the hell says lass?” She indicated his clothing. “And dresses like a pirate? You know Halloween isn’t for a few hours.”

Her visitor cast a gaze the color of storm-tossed seas over himself. One dark gold eyebrow peaked. “What is wrong with my clothing?”

She shook her head. “Look, bud…”

“My name is not Bud, nor is it Black Beard.” To her great entertainment, he bowed, extending one pantalooned leg, complete with tall leather boots that ended in wide cuffs just below his knees. “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Captain Horacio Barabossa and I have come to engage your services.”

Her eyes went wide. “Captain?” Something about the man was off. Instinctively, Sam used her evaluative powers to read his aura, finding it much darker than it should have been. There was also a golden haze of sulfur glowing on the edges, which told her he carried a type of magic not often seen on the earthly plane. He wasn’t human. She’d stake her license on that. But then the obvious question became, What is he?

“At your service.” He threw a small bag onto the table before her. It hit with a jangle and a thump that made it sound heavy. “What’s that?”

“Payment for your services.” He reached out and wrapped long, strong fingers around her wrist. “Come, time is of the essence.”

Samantha yanked her arm away from him and stepped back, her fingers already forming the signs for the spell she would need. “I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what this is about.”

His golden brows lowered, his lush lips pursing. “There is no time.”

A gossamer web appeared on the air between them and began to twine itself into an expelling enchantment. Her fingers dipped and spun on the air, her magic swelling. “You’re gonna have to make time, Barbie. I’m not going with you until I know what you want me to do.”

His frown deepened, then suddenly cleared, only to be replaced by a smile.

Her fingers stuttered in their spell-making and Sam sucked in a breath, lost in a sea of lust built of square chin, full, kissable mouth and dimples as deep as the blue in his gaze. She should have known she was in trouble.

There was more than one way to bewitch a person. He bowed again. “Forgive me for intruding. I will look elsewhere for assistance.”

Sam frowned, her fingers drooping from the spell, and then she nodded. “Okay, I’m so…”

Quick as a snake he whipped around, wrapped an arm as hard as iron around her waist, and stepped into a portal of sparking, silver swirls with her.

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M9FLXTC/?tag=wwwsamcheever-20

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New Cozy Mystery Release – Christmas Grift by Sam Cheever

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A corpse, a cantankerous camel, an entertaining array of suspects, and a yule tide of problems along the way…it must be a Flo and Agnes Christmas!

Who would have guessed Agnes would rub Penelope the cranky camel the wrong way? Or that Flo would find herself ankle deep in camel dung while fending off a masked murderer? Or that TC would, once again, get on the wrong side of her handsome detective in an attempt to help her friends? Why…anybody who’s been to Silver Hills before…that’s who!

5 stars

“The zany sleuths, Flo, Agnes and TC are up to their eyeballs in Christmas lights, camel poop and holiday cheer as they track down clues to find out who murdered the maintenance man.” Barbara, Sexy Sirens Blog

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Thinking of Agnes’s talent for getting under people’s skin, she started to think having her friend working around an animal like that was a bad idea. “Maybe I should go check up on her.”

The front doors whispered open and TC glanced that way, her pretty green gaze going wide. “I don’t think that’ll be necessary.” She pointed toward the door and Flo turned, all the blood running out of her face.

“Good Lord in heaven. It’s the abominable poop monster.” Flo squinted at the aberration standing just inside the door. “Are you sure that’s Agnes?”

TC frowned. “It’s holding a shovel.”

The music in the overhead speakers squealed and went quiet and the lights high above flickered manically. The office door slammed open and Vampira stood there, long black gown swaying in an imaginary breeze. The white-faced creature of the dark lifted a bony white hand and stabbed a blood-red claw toward the door. “Get. Out. Foul. Creature.”

Flo and TC swung their gaze from the vamp to the door, where old abominable seemed to be frowning under her poop colored face paint. “That thing out there is a demon,” Agnes’s shaky voice emerged. “Did you summon it from Hell, Morty?”

The combined gaze of the room slid back to Morticia Newsome, rumored vampire and unfortunate holder of the title co-night-manager at Silver Hills.

Her heavily made-up black eyes tightened with pique. The blood-red lips pursed with distaste. “The only thing that appears to have been summoned from Hell is you, Agnes Willard. Do not take one manure-covered step into this lobby.”

Agnes looked down at her slimy, green brown shoes. “How am I supposed to get to my apartment?”

“I don’t care,” Morty announced with a grimace. “Maybe if you hadn’t done the backstroke in camel dung…”

“The demon shoved me into it. Then it hissed at me and spit something…” She lifted a hand and a long, shiny string of something gooey dropped toward the floor. Morty sucked air, her thin cheeks puffing out like a chipmunk’s during Fall nut gathering. The skeletal finger stabbed toward Agnes again. “Get. Out!”

BUY LINKS:

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N43STFT

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GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Sam_Cheever_Christmas_Grift_Humorous_Holiday_Myste?id=9kaODQAAQBAJ

Print: https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Grift-Silver-Hills-Mysteries/dp/154078570X

Freezer Bernie – New Cozy Mystery Release from Sam Cheever

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3 Winter chickens against a cadre of thugs? Yeah, the bad guys are definitely in trouble!

When a dead guy turns up in the freezer of Flo and Agnes’s favorite Italian restaurant, the ladies quickly discover the corpse had connections to one of their friends. Celia Angonetti’s husband owns Gioppino’s Italian Restaurant, as well as the gun lying next the frozen body with bullet holes in his chest. What he doesn’t own, according to Celia, is responsibility for the kill. Against their better judgement, the ladies get pulled into the mystery of how the dead guy got dead in the freezer…why he’d been killed with Massimo Angonetti’s gun…and how Celia came to the unlikely conclusion that her thug of a hubby was innocent of the crime. Some might think it was an impossible task.

Some probably haven’t met Flo and Agnes.

5 stars

Flo rounded a long, stainless steel counter and found Celia and Agnes staring down at something on the floor. Expecting to see a man’s body, she blinked in surprise at the long sheets of brown paper with blood seeping out from underneath. “Is that butcher paper?” she asked softly.

Celia looked up, her mouth puckered worriedly. “It was all I could think of to cover him with.” She shrugged, her frown deepening.

Flo stopped beside Agnes and stared down at the paper, willing it to rise and fall in breaths that wouldn’t come judging by the amount of blood on the floor. “Do you know who he is?”

Celia didn’t respond. Flo glanced quickly up. “Celia?”

“Yes.” She sighed. “His name’s Bernie. He sold Mass a car last week.”

Agnes wandered away from the corpse and stepped into the freezer, eyeing the series of holes in the door. “Why would Mass kill a car salesman?”

Celia snorted. “Why wouldn’t he?” She shook her head. “Besides, he didn’t kill this man, Agnes. Mass wouldn’t kill anybody.”

Flo’s eyebrows climbed north but she didn’t say anything. From what she’d heard about Massimo Angonetti’s temperament and business dealings, he had no trouble at all killing things.

Agnes shrugged, stepping more deeply into the freezer.

Watching her friend’s movements, Flo felt the need to give a warning. “Don’t touch anything Agnes, the police will be fingerprinting everything.”

Agnes’s head popped around the door. “Even the gelato?”

Flo shook her head. “How did he die?”

Celia twitched a hand toward the butcher paper. “You should uncover him and look.”

Flo’s mouth came open. “Whatever for?”

“To look for clues of course.”

Flo shook her head. “I’d have no idea what to look for.”

Celia sobbed.

Flo immediately felt bad. “Okay. Don’t cry. I’ll see what I can…um…see.” Flo carefully lifted the paper and peeked underneath. The man’s face was a strange blue color and his eyes were wide. They were cloudy from death and Flo shuddered. His mouth was open wide as if he’d been shouting something when he died.

“There’s no foam around his mouth.”

Agnes’s heavy footsteps came from inside the freezer. “You and your foaming mouth.”

Flo didn’t look up. “No petechial hemorrhaging.”

Agnes snorted.

“Petechial what?” Celia asked.

Warming to her examination, Flo peeled the paper back more. It stuck to his chest and she grimaced as she realized it was glued to his shirt by drying blood. “Broken blood vessels in the eyes from strangulation.”

“Ah,” Celia said. “See, Flo, I knew you were the right person to call. You know all about this stuff.”

Agnes snorted out a laugh. “She knows those two things and that’s all.”

Flo glanced angrily at her friend. “Says the person not helping…” Her voice trailed off in horror. “Please tell me you’re not eating gelato at the crime scene?”

Agnes looked down at the small carton of lemon gelato. Then she shrugged, sticking the flat, wooden spoon back into the frozen dessert. “Flo, I’m not eating gelato at the crime scene.”

Celia looked horrified. “How can you possibly eat with a dead body right in front of you?”

Agnes shrugged again. “I have a very strong constitution.”

“Yeah,” Flo stood, “that’s one way to refer to it.” She looked at Celia. “Do you have the weapon he…erm…the killer used?”

“No,” she said much too quickly.

Flo crossed her arms. “Celia.”

Celia flushed guiltily, then folded like yesterday’s laundry underneath Flo’s substitute school teacher glare. “Okay.” She marched over to a big, stainless steel pot on the stove and pulled off the lid, reaching inside.

“Wait!” Agnes screamed, starting forward as Celia jumped and her arm hit the side of the pot, sending it clanging to the floor. A big, black gun flew out of the pot and skidded toward the body, landing right next to Bernie as if the killer had dropped it there.

Flo’s heart was pounding in her chest. “Good Lord in Heaven, Agnes. What are you screaming about?”

Agnes strode over to the gun and inserted the wooden spoon under the trigger, pulling it off the floor with a grin. “No fingerprints. Pretty smart, huh?” A glob of gelato fell off the spoon and landed on the body.

“Very smart, fool. If only you hadn’t thrown your stolen gelato at poor Bernie in the process.”

Celia and Agnes looked where Flo was looking and Agnes frowned.

The shiny glob of frozen sweetness was perched on Bernie’s bloody shirt, in the vicinity of the three tightly packed bullet holes.

“Oh my,” Celia said. “Should we try to clean it out?”

Agnes took a giant step backward, which put her back inside the walk-in freezer. “I’m not touching him.”

Glaring at her friend, Flo nodded curtly. “The last time you touched a corpse he ended up with a broken wrist and a lampshade on his head.”

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Brand New Paranormal Release by Sam Cheever — Only 99 Cents for a LIMITED time!

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Beset&Bewildered,Book8_3D

She’s trying hard to be virtuous, but evil keeps nuzzling her. And the nuzzling feels sooooo delicious!

I used to be someone who was in control of her life. I was an adult. Responsible and mature. But then I took over the Angel Network, my sister’s demon quashing business, and my life just went to hell…literally!

Part of the problem is, of course, my new partner, Slayer. He’s cocky and opinionated and just so…male. Forget that when he’s nearby my body just about melts with desire. Forget that it’s nearly impossible for us to work together. Forget that dealing with dark worlders on a daily basis is death to my better nature. I just want to prove to Astra that I can run her business as well or even better than she did.

But I can’t catch a break.

What are the chances that one of my first clients would be the Queen of the Hellhounds and that she would drag me to Hell, get me entangled with my dangerously unstable ex-boyfriend, or set me on a path that would nearly kill me a hundred ways to Sunday?

There have to be easier ways to make a living than this.

5 stars

Lots of humor and adventure: 

“This is the second book I’ve read by this author, the first being the first in this series, Bedeviled & Beguiled. Both of which I enjoyed very much. At first I was concerned I would be lost since I hadn’t read the rest of the series, but you can jump right in on this one since it focuses on Darma. I can’t say enough how much I’ve enjoyed these books. Once I started reading I found I didn’t want to put it down.”

Great read. Wonderful:

“Great read!! Wonderful I laugh, cried and couldn’t wait to see what happens. Once you start the book you want to keep reading till the end. Can’t wait till the next one.”

heart

I dropped my air booger down at the Phelps Castle and sat for a moment, eyes closed, trying to contain a rage that felt bigger than I was. If it was the last thing I ever did, I was gonna get my revenge on the contemptible Slayer for what he’d done.

I shifted against the seat, grimacing as a heavy wetness caused a giant sucking sound on the seat. A sour, butcher shop smell wafted upward and I clenched my fists, which I was holding away from my body because I didn’t want to touch the chunks of gore covering my fine, leather outfit. A bloody string of something I refused to identify trailed from my hair. My cheeks were stiff under a drying coat of blood.

“Open door.”

The booger’s elderly electronic brain hesitated for a beat, a confused whirring sound preceding a final click before the door lifted upward. I very carefully shifted my legs outside and straightened away from the car, shuddering when a heavy chunk of something slimy plopped onto the seat behind me.

“I’m going to kill him slowly, one hateful cell at a time.”

“Seal and sanitize,” I told the booger. The door jumped downward and stuck, rising again with a clank, and then finally eased shut. The interior glowed green as the booger struggled to incinerate the goop and gore I’d deposited inside. I didn’t even want to think about what the process would leave behind. If I was lucky it would just be a fine residue of gray ash. If I suffered my usual luck, or lack there-of, I’d be forced to remove a charred hunk of demon flesh from my seat in the morning. I shoved the horrid thought away and buried it under soothing thoughts of my revenge against Slayer.

Sloshing toward the large, arched doorway in the back wall of the castle, I scanned the heights of the dark stone edifice. By habit, I looked for signs that my father, James Phelps, Seraphim in the Angelic choir and God’s right hand man, was home. The façade was dark, the windows like black, unblinking eyes unfavorably judging me as I approached.

I realized as I reached the door that I’d have to touch the handle to open it. My hands were painted in green demon blood with strings of blackened flesh clinging to them. Touching stuff wasn’t an option. Rage flared again and it ignited my last nerve. I’d have to space shift into my room. I hated to do it, but the alternative was coating everything I touched with disgusting refuse and then having to clean it all up. Besides, my father would know what I’d been up to if I left the demon’s magic signature all over the place. I didn’t think I was up to receiving his knowing looks.

Space shift it was.

Picturing an open area of my bed chamber, I closed my eyes and envisioned my body disintegrating on the air, moving through space to that exact spot, and reintegrating there.

The total silence as I entered my shift was disconcerting. I kept my eyes closed because I still wasn’t used to the lack of movement, or the swirling silver sparkles as the magic altered physical properties and changed their location.

It was a great relief when my feet touched the soft rug of my room and the familiar, sweet scent of Lunar Roses dispelled some of my stink.

I opened my eyes and found that I’d landed exactly where I’d planned. Despite myself I smiled. I was a classic overachiever and nobody was as hard on me as I was when I didn’t live up to expectation.

Heading for the cleansing tube, I gave some thought to removing my clothes first and then decided against it. There was no way I was going to try to peel slimy, wet leather off my body while it was covered in chunks. I stepped into the tube and said, “Pulse on full, soap thirty percent, temp one hundred and four degrees.”

Hot, soapy water rained down on me, hard enough to loosen the chunks and scour off the dried demon blood. I stayed under there for long enough to deplete the hot water supply and then exchanged the water for hot air. By the time my below-the-shoulder length hair was close to dry, my televisual was dinging for my attention.

I thought about ignoring it but, being a bit anal about doing the right thing, a complimentary personality trait to go with the over-achiever in my nature, I headed toward the device with a sigh. “Answer call.”

My sister’s pretty face swam online and I mentally prepared for one of our “conversations”.

Astra’s long auburn hair curled wildly around her face, her green gaze widening as she took me in. “Tough day at the office?”

I frowned. “Why do you ask?”

“You have a large, blue eyeball stuck to the top of your head.”

I gave an embarrassing girly scream and reached up to knock the eyeball loose. Unfortunately, it didn’t budge. It seemed to be molded to the strands of my hair like it had been glued there. “Arghhhh! Ish!!”

Astra twisted her lips, obviously trying not to laugh. “You’ll probably need to cut that out of your hair. Demon parts are like chewing gum. They stick hard.”

I barely squelched the desire to growl. “I’m gonna kill Slayer.”

Both of Astra’s slender auburn eyebrows lifted. “What did he do now?”

“He talked me into blasting a Super Demon but he didn’t mention it would implode all over me.”

Astra gave in to the desire to smile. “Let me guess, he was somewhere far behind you when it happened, not a hair out of place?”

I let the growl loose. I figured my sister would understand.

She chuckled happily.

“I’m really glad you’re entertained.”

She flipped a hand upward. “Remind me to tell you about my visit to a dragon roost with the sexy Slayer sometime. Believe me when I tell you I completely understand.”

Though her words mollified me a tiny bit, I was careful not to let her know. “I doubt you know what it’s like to have an eyeball stuck to your hair.”

She cocked her head, narrowing her gaze. “You’re right. But that finger that’s sticking out of your collar, I’m pretty sure that’s happened to me before.”

I shrieked again, smacking at the cold flesh that was stuck to the collar of my leather jacket and dancing around like a Venutian elephant in a room full of mice. “Get it off!”

Giggling emerged from the televisual.

“I swear to god, Astra. You’re second in line for murdering after Slayer.”

“Don’t get your panties in a twist, Darma. Just take the jacket off and dump it in the chute.”

“Throw away my Lara Croft original hunting jacket? I think not.”

Shortly after I’d started helping Astra at the Angel Network, I’d discovered the ancient human heroine, Lara Croft Tomb Raider and decided I wanted to be just like her. I promptly got myself some sexy and indestructible leather clothing and started modeling my hunting persona after the feisty female. I was pretty sure Lara wouldn’t throw away a perfectly good jacket just because it had part of a demon stuck to it.

Astra shrugged. “Well, you could always put a sparkly ring on the digit and paint the fingernail a happy pink color.”

I closed my eyes, intending to count to a hundred so I didn’t shriek foul words at the televisual. I think I made it to ten…

“Darma?”

“End call.”

Astra blinked away and I felt instantly better. “If God loved me he would have made me an only child.”

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