Sunday, October 19, 2014

Game On Book Highlight + Giveaway


Title: Game On
Author: Collette West
Genre: Romance
Publication: October 17th, 2014

Pitching phenom Bruce "Jilly" Gillette has a hard time talking to women. His hulking presence of tattoos and muscles is what makes him an intimidating closer on the mound, yet off the field, he's painfully shy, uncomfortable in his own skin.

Desperate to revamp his loner image, the New York Kings hold a dream date contest, granting the lucky winner a night on the town with their surly reliever, doing whatever it takes to force Jilly out of his comfort zone.

Hailey Halpert enters the contest on a whim, looking for answers as to why her high school relationship with Jilly hit the skids. Now she’s a popular romance author writing under a pen name, and her reappearance in Jilly's life is no accident. It turns out that her novels are all about the sexy players on the Kings, and Jilly has no clue that he's about to become her new leading man.







          His clumsy attempt to show his feelings started off as something beautiful, something I'll never forget, and I want him to know that.
          "Jilly…" I say tentatively, and his eyes instantly snap to mine. "The way you held me all through the night, felt so…right. The way you touched me, running your hand up and down my arm, and later when you were stroking the inside of my palm with your thumb. God…it felt so good. You didn't have to say anything. I could feel it."
          "You don't know how long I'd wanted to do that," he whispers softly, his face turning red.
I smile, breaking eye contact because I'm completely overwhelmed. He's saying the words I've always wanted him to say. This is the talk we should've had a long time ago, and I want him to know everything that's in my heart.
          I meet his eyes again. "What made it even better was that…you didn't have to touch me in all of those places…any other guy would have to make me want you. Your fingers on my arm were enough. I was in agony being so close to you and not being able to do anything more. I wanted you to take me somewhere, anywhere, to finish what you started—upstairs to one of the bedrooms, outside on the porch, in the back seat of the car—so I could kiss you everywhere I wanted to—but you didn't."
          He's staring at me so intently that I'm afraid to go on, but I have to. I'm almost there.
          "I know neither of us got much sleep that night because all I could feel was your hand caressing my body from my neck to my fingertips. But the next morning, as soon as it got light, you couldn't wait to get out of there. You started muttering to yourself about being late for something, propped me up on the side of the couch, and left me there. You didn't even say goodbye. Do you have any idea what that felt like?" 
          He meets my eyes for a second before looking away. "If you were tightly wound, you can imagine how I felt. You don't remember what you were doing right before that, do you? How you were running your leg up and down mine? Your knee at my—” He stops, burying his head in his hands. “I had to get out of there because I—"
          I swallow, realizing now why he did what he did. 
          "But I could've…" I stammer. "Helped you…with that."
          He pushes himself away from the table, and I'm afraid he's going to leave me sitting there all alone again. "I didn't know what to do. I—"
          "Jilly, I was yours for the taking." 
          "Are you still?" His gaze burns into me.
          I look into his soulful, brown eyes, which are holding nothing back from me. He's taking a giant leap for me now, even if he couldn't do it back when we were kids. Things could've turned out so differently if he had, but here we are, in New York City, sitting across a table from each other, four years older, four years wiser. 
          I’d thought he was lost to me forever, never to be a part of my life again. But he's here, offering me a second chance at what I've always wanted—to be with him.





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, GAME CHANGER and GAME ON.





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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Full Contact by Sidney Halston + Giveaway






Title: Full Contact
Author: Sidney Halston
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Expected Publication: October 28th, 2014 by Loveswept

Sidney Halston returns to steamy Tarpon Springs, Florida, where a hell-raising bad boy prepares to get down and dirty for the woman he loves.

How could she have been so stupid? When Jessica Cross decides to give her violently jealous boyfriend—the otherwise influential and charming Dennis Stavros—a second chance, she very nearly becomes a statistic. After weeks of healing from a broken rib and collapsed lung, and with Dennis behind bars, Jessica finally feels ready to come out of hiding. But will she ever be able to take a chance on love again with someone new?

Mixed martial arts fighter Slade Martin knows he has a bad reputation. Hell, he's probably earned it. So it won’t be easy to convince beautiful, vulnerable Jessica that she can trust him—that from the moment she walked into his life, she’s been the only one he’s wanted. Powerful and confident, Slade knows he can honor his vow to protect Jessica body and soul. Winning her heart will be another matter . . . but a woman like Jessica is worth the fight.


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About Sidney

USA Today Bestselling author, Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: “Just Do It” Nike.
And that’s exactly what she did. After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative romantic side and wrote the successful New Adult series, Seeing Red and Seeing Black. That first pen stroke sealed the deal and she fell in love with writing. Currently on sale is the bestselling contemporary romance, Against the Cage and soon to be released Full Contact, the second of the Worth the Fight series.
Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she’s not writing you can find her reading and reading and reading…  She’s a reader first and foremost.
When she’s not writing or reading her life is complete and utter chaos trying to balance family life with work, and writing (and reading). But she wouldn’t have it any other way., she found an outlet for her imaginative romantic side and wrote Seeing Red, among four other novels currently in the works, including the sequel to Seeing Red. That first pen stroke sealed the deal and she fell in love with writing.


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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Book Highlight: Return by Skye Malone + Giveaway


Title: Return
AuthorSkyeMalone
Series: Awakened Fate (Book Three)
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Wildflower Isle
Publication Date: October 6, 2014
Cover Designer: Karri Klawiter 

For Chloe, the ocean was supposed to mean safety and for a time, it almost did. She overcame the Sylphaen’s drugs. She discovered an unforeseen attraction to Zeke, one that he shares for her. A life underwater seemed possible, until she learned that nothing was as it appeared.

After an unspeakable betrayal shattered everything she thought she knew about Zeke’s world, she and Zeke have fled the ocean for the one place Chloe never expected to want to go.

Home.

But the challenge of living as a mermaid over a thousand miles from the ocean isn’t the only problem facing her. Home has changed. Enemies are waiting, ones she never saw coming. Her little Kansas town is full of surprises.

Including Noah, the guy she left behind.


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Other books in the Awakened Fate series


Awaken, book #1
Only 99¢!


Descend, book #2

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Excerpt

“…do it in Jeri’s old room.”
Earl’s words filtered through the cotton stuffing in my head, barely making sense.
“Yeah, well, seemed fitting.” He paused. “Listen, Richard, I called you as a courtesy, on account of how you said one got away from you yesterday. But it took me an hour after the girl collapsed to get the boy to finally conk out, and with that damn scum-sucker metabolism of theirs, you know I can’t promise either of ‘em will be down for long. You and your boys want any part of this, you better hurry up and get here.”
Alarm struggled through me, weighed down by an exhaustion that wanted to smother my mind back into sleep. Scum-sucker? He…
“Hang on,” Earl said as though interrupting someone. “One of them ain’t breathing the same as they were.”
My heart began to pound harder while I fought to open my eyes. Breathing? He sounded so far away. How could he hear anyone breathing?
Footsteps clunked on the hardwood floor. Light pierced the blackness around me as I managed to lift my eyelids. I was on the bed, facing the doorway. In the window seat, Zeke was slumped, his head resting on the wall. The room was dark around us, though the hall light was on.
Earl came to the door. In one hand, he held a phone to his ear, and at the sight of me, he made an angry noise.
“What’d I tell you? The girl’s awake.”
He dropped the phone onto the window seat as he strode toward me, and all my dull commands to my muscles couldn’t make my body move. Striding past me, he retrieved something from the dresser and then returned with a sports bottle in his hand.
I tried to pull away, but he just reached down and grabbed my head from behind, lifting it toward him. With his teeth, he popped open the top of the bottle and then shoved it into my mouth.
Bitter-tasting liquid flooded my throat. I choked, the drink spewing from my lips, but he just dropped the bottle and clamped an enormous hand over the lower half of my face.
“Swallow,” he ordered.
I stared up at him. His grip tightened on my hair, tugging at my scalp.
“Now.”
Someone shouted angrily from the tiny speaker of the cordless phone, their words indecipherable. Earl’s face darkened and he glanced to the window seat.
Spikes crept from my forearms, finally answering the frantic signals from my brain. As he turned back toward me, I flopped my arm out like the dead weight it was, succeeding in catching his side.
With a pained cry, he lurched away, his hand leaving my mouth.
I spit the liquid out and struggled backward, half-crawling and half-tumbling from the opposite side of the bed.
“Zeke,” I croaked.
He didn’t move.
Earl made a furious noise while he straightened, clutching at his side. Blood darkened his flannel shirt.
But he didn’t look startled. He didn’t look surprised in the least by the tips of the iridescent knives protruding from my skin.
“What…” I tried. “Why are you…”
He glanced from me to Zeke, and then to the phone still laying on the window seat. Annoyance twisted his face. He reached over, retrieving the bottle from the floor, and then he returned his gaze to me.
Clutching the edge of the bed, I trembled. “Please. I’m not your enemy.”
“Tell that to my daughter.”
My brow furrowed.
He started around the bed. I scuttled backward, my legs still refusing to hold me, though the spikes listened and grew longer. Half-sprawled on the floor with my back to the wall, I lifted one of my arms in front of me like a shield.
Earl stopped.
“I don’t…” I managed, breathing hard with the effort of keeping my arm up. “I don’t know your daughter. Please.”
A snarl curled across his mouth. “Please,” he repeated scornfully.
He kicked my legs, toppling me sideways. His hand came down on my wrist, avoiding the spikes, and he twisted it. I shrieked as pain shot through my arm. Dropping the bottle from his other hand, he took my throat.
“Stab me again and I break your neck right now,” he growled.


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About Skye 


Skye Malone is a fantasy and paranormal romance author, which means she spends most of her time not-quite-convinced that the things she imagines couldn't actually exist.

Born and raised in central Illinois, she hopes someday to travel the world – though in the meantime she’ll take any story that whisks her off to a place where the fantastic lives inside the everyday. She loves strong and passionate characters, complex villains, and satisfying endings that stay with you long after the book is done. An inveterate writer, she can’t go a day without getting her hands on a keyboard, and can usually be found typing away while she listens to all the adventures unfolding in her head.


Skye also writes YA urban fantasy as Megan Joel Peterson and is the author of The Children and the Blood trilogy.



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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Highlight: First Match by Lynne Silver + Giveaway


Title: First Match
Author: Lynne Silver
Series: Coded for Love Prequel
Genre: Adult, Fantasy Romance
Publication: September 22nd, 2014

Allison Macclesfield wants—no needs—to be a rock star, and what better decade to do it in than the ‘80s? Music is her passion. She’s got her future mapped out. Move to New York, find a job, audition to be lead singer in a band.

Plans don’t include giving it all up for Peter Shepard, the sexiest guy she’s ever met. He’s nothing like the guys she’s known. Peter’s life is full of mystery, and though they believe they’re a perfect match, she can have him or her rock star dreams. But not both.


Purchase on Amazon for just 99¢!



Peter leaned in until their faces were inches apart. “I am nothing like the other guys you know.  If my life were my own, I’d buy you a house in the suburbs and marry you and make babies. But I don’t have that to offer you, and, trust me, you don’t want what I have to offer.”

“Marriage? Babies? We’ve known each other two days. And I’m going to—”

“New York. I know,” he said almost bitterly. “You’re going to be the next Blondie, and I will not stand in your way.”

“Then what do we have?”

“This,” he said, and leaned in to find her mouth and take her in a deep kiss. As soon as his lips touched hers, all her fear and anger morphed quickly into passion, and she tugged him down to deepen the kiss. Just like at the concert, their passion exploded into an inferno. His large body pushed her willingly back into her mattress, and the comforter crushed up between them as an unwanted barrier.

She couldn’t get enough of his mouth and ached for more. “Get under here,” she ordered and tugged the blanket out from between their bodies. She heard him kicking off his boots and she sat up to yank her extra-large T-shirt over her head. Her panties were next. Peter stood next to the bed, ripping off his clothes silently and quickly.







Romance author, Lynne Silver, writes the popular Coded for Love series and other hot contemporary romance novels, such as Love, Technically. Before writing romance, she wrote fiction of a different sort, drafting press releases for technology corporations. Washington DC is her home (non) state, where she resides with her husband and two sons. She is represented by literary agent, Jessica Alvarez of Bookends LLC.



Book Highlight: The Art of Love & Sinner's Grove + Giveaway


Celebrating the Release of Sinner’s Grove,
Here’s the Book That Begins the Saga …

Free on Amazon September 23-24: The Art of Love

Title: The Art of Love
Author: A.B. Michaels
Series: Sinner's Grove (Prequel)

With nothing but a strong back and a barrel full of ambition, August Wolff finds wealth beyond measure in the frozen goldfields of the Klondike.  Success, however, comes at an unbearably high price.  Now Gus walks alone, and all the money in the world can’t buy him what he needs.

In the late 1800’s, when women are largely seen and not heard, Amelia Starling longs for a life limited only by her imagination.  Blessed with abundant artistic talent and an even bigger heart, she moves to the boom town of San Francisco, hoping to make her mark and living with the pain of a sacrifice no woman should have to make.

Two wounded yet defiant individuals meet at the dawn of a new century, discovering a passion eclipsing all they’d ever known.  Longing to build a life together, can they overcome the dictates of a cruel and spiteful society?…The Art of Love is the prequel to the just-released contemporary romantic suspense novel, Sinner’s Grove.  Sinner's Grove is available today and tomorrow only for 99 cents on Amazon.



Title: Sinner's Grove
Author: A.B. Michaels
Series: Sinner's Grove #1

A startling discovery when she was 14 left San Francisco artist Jenna Bergstrom estranged from her family; unforeseen tragedy only sharpened her loneliness. But now her ailing grandfather needs her expertise to re-open the family’s once-famous artists’ retreat on the California coast. The problem? She’ll have to face architect Brit Maguire, the ex-love of her life.

Seven years ago, Brit spent a magical time with the girl of his dreams, only to have her disappear from his life completely. Now she’s back, helping with the biggest architectural renovation of his career. No matter how deep his feelings still run, Brit can’t afford the distraction of Jenna Bergstrom, because something is going terribly wrong with the project at Sinner’s Grove.

As Jenna and Brit struggle to keep their passion in check, unseen enemies close in, bent on destroying more than just her grandfather’s dream. Through the prism of ever-increasing danger, Jenna finally discovers what true family—and true love—is all about. But will it be too late? 



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Excerpt from Art of Love

       Dressed in formal attire, Gus  arrived an hour after the party had begun. No sense in milling around too long and having people think he actually wanted to be there. He talked to a few people he recognized and lingered at the back of the ballroom, watching the hoopla unfold. Turns out he’d made it to the Firestones’ Pacific Heights mansion just in time.
“And now, may we present The Family, a painting by Amelia Starling.” Edward and Josephine, Will’s parents, jointly pulled a silk cord and the curtain rose, so to speak, on a huge canvas.
The guests erupted in a collective “Oh!” The painting was incredible, unlike any family portrait Gus had ever seen. He started to move through the crowd to see it better, but froze at what, or rather who, he saw next.
“And we are happy to introduce the creator of this brilliant work, Miss Amelia Starling.”
The woman who stepped forward, smiling at the crowd, was none other than Ruthie … but not the sweet young girl Gus had met several weeks before. No. This woman was beyond beautiful, her eyes with some kind of color on them that made them seem even larger and more exotic than before, her gorgeous dark hair swept up with some kind of shiny netting woven through it, and glittery diamonds hanging from her delicate ears. And her body. Lord have mercy. Her body was encased in a long, deep-colored dress, a kind of red, he thought, that displayed her breasts and every other curve with elegance and grace. She was magnificent.
Gus was furious.
He strode through the crowd but stopped so that she could see him as she talked to one admirer after another. At one point she saw him and her eyes grew wide. He continued to stare at her and she didn’t look away. The man she was talking to—a geezer with money, no doubt—finally had to touch her arm to get her attention. Good.
He waited, patiently, until the crowed had thinned and the Firestones had announced the buffet was open. Then he made his move.
“I take it this is what you meant by ‘a little of this and a little of that’,” he said.
She smiled awkwardly, looking around the room, probably for someone to come and bail her out.
“No one’s going to rescue you this time … Ruthie.” He stepped closer and noticed she was breathing rapidly; it was doing wonderful things to her cleavage. “Who is Ruthie, by the way? Did you just make her up on the spot?”
“No. It’s my middle name,” she explained in a quiet voice. “Look, Mr. Wolff …”
“Oh, so you know my name.”
“I knew who you were the instant I saw you.” Her chin rose. “Your … reputation precedes you.”
“Ah. Well, I’ll tell you what I tell everybody else: don’t believe everything you read.” He cocked his head. “Why did you lie about who you were?”
She shrugged her beautiful shoulders. “I don’t know. I guess I wanted to hear an honest opinion of my work. You would hardly have been straight with me had you known I painted it.”
Gus leaned in to whisper in her ear. She smelled like lavender. “I assure you, Miss Starling, I would be nothing but straight with you.”
The young woman stepped back and glared at him. “I’m sure you would be, Mr. Wolff, until the next distraction turned your head.” She made a point of looking around the room. “Speaking of which, where is the melodious Miss Lindemann? I don’t see her anywhere.”
This woman was a pip. Gus wanted more of her. He captured her gaze and answered calmly. “Miss Lindemann and I aren’t seeing each other anymore. I haven’t been with a woman since before you and I met.” He mimicked her perusal of the ballroom, even though most of the guests had migrated to the dining area. “Come to think of it, where is your swain—or swains, as the case may be? Let’s see, there’s Charles, from the other night, and then there’s your live-in. What’s his name? Sander? My my, how do you keep them all straight?” He smiled wickedly. “Oh dear, there’s that word ‘straight’ again.”
Miss Starling’s delectable face, which had shown wariness before, now exploded into a storm of outrage. Apparently so mad she didn’t care who saw her, she pulled her arm back to slap Gus’s face. He caught her arm easily and wrapped it around his waist. Once again he pulled her close and nuzzled her. “I don’t give a damn who you’re with today, as long as you’re with me tomorrow.”
“That is never going to happen,” she hissed.
“Never say never,” he said, letting his breath caress her ear. He let go of her and stepped back, his voice rising to a normal level and his tone serious and heartfelt. “I am giving it to you straight, Miss Starling. I don’t know a lot about art, but I do know how something makes me feel. Your work is astonishing. You know how to capture the … what shall I call it? The truth of a given moment. That is rare and something to be very, very proud of.”
The siren opened her mouth but no words came out. As they stared at each other, Will walked up. “Ah, I see you’ve finally met Lia,” he said. “Isn’t she spectacular?”
            Keeping his eyes on her, Gus concurred with a murmured, “Yes indeed. Spectacular.”


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About the Author

A native of northern California, A.B. Michaels holds master’s degrees in history and broadcasting, and worked for many years in the public relations and marketing fields.  She currently lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband and two furry “sons” who don’t seem to realize they’re just dogs.  For more information about the Sinner's Grove series, including upcoming titles, please visit http://www.abmichaels.com.



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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book Highlight - The Fall by Stephen Cost + Giveaway


Title: The Fall
Author: Stephen Cost
Publication: September 16th, 2014

For thousands of years, Death walked behind the dark veil of the living, waiting to ferry the dead. That is, until the day that Death took a life for pleasure rather than duty. On that day, the first Reaper fell to Earth. Now, Reapers live among us, craving the taste of death, forcing them to kill to satisfy their immortal hunger.

Giles Reid fell more than 300 years ago starving for the taste of death, only to find himself drowning in a sea of the living and blinded by a hunger that forces him to kill. In the centuries since his fall he has tried to be more human, desperate to live a life that makes up for what he is and the wrong he has done. Driven by his guilt over killing, he has chosen to feed only on evil; humans that have never been a threat to him but who are always a danger to others. That is, until the day he tries to feed on a human as strong, fast and cunning as himself; a human who, it turns out, has been hunting him. Now he is being pursued by the very evil he has fed on for centuries, embroiled in a deadly cat-and-mouse game, where friends and other Reapers connected to him are simply pawns on a chessboard waiting to be sacrificed. Giles is left with a choice, save the life of the women he loves, the daughter of his mentor, or betray her for his own survival.

To save the woman he loves, Giles will have to be the monster he is.



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Excerpt

"By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done." The day that is the basis for The Fourth Commandment. (Genesis 2:2-3) 

The following text was found in 1947 in a synagogue in Cairo, Egypt and rejected by the Church as heresy.

"By the seventh day God had created all life and the Earth, but He knew life could not exist without death and so Death was born to provide passage for his Children of Earth to his Kingdom of Heaven.  This, he completed before the setting of the sun on the seventh day and so He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on this day He celebrated his creation of life and Death, He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.  (Geniza fragments, found Cairo, Egypt, 1947)


“Death is the beginning of immortality”

--   Maximilien Robespierre, July 26, 1794


1
Martins


People say they love the smell of fresh cut daisies, but I far prefer the scent of what pushes them up, the dead. You see, death has a scent all to itself, slightly tangy and bitter, pleasing and calming on the palate. Sure there are other aromas I love too, not just that of death, which can chase the chill from my heart, or would, if I had a heart; at least one that could beat and warm the night’s cold from my blood.
Every day I crave the smell of death and evil, I have since my birth. But living in a sea of flesh and blood, I have developed an appreciation for other human and earthly scents; Like the ocean, its sea salt assaulting my senses with a clean, pure bouquet, quite unmatched by anything manufactured. Or the first morning smell of fresh-cut, wet grass and, of course, women. Women smell so much sweeter than men. They, over the millenniums, have refined their scents out of necessity as much as pleasure, each expertly adapting their sultry, seductive and secret combinations of body lotions and perfumes. Honing this craft throughout the ages, to tempt and seduce men out of their minds.
But these are not the only olfactory delights to curl my toes and tickle my senses. For nothing—not the tangy stench of death, nor the sweet scent of a woman—compares to the most inspired aroma of all. Coffee. Nothing in my three-hundred-plus years of experience has compared. Sure, coffee itself has evolved, from non-filtered to filtered, from espresso to cappuccinos, and now from mochas to Frappuccinos, but the essence is the same. The intoxicating sweetness, the mild-to-bitter flavors that leave you wanting more—needing more. 
You see, that’s my drug. Some people need cocaine, others heroin, and some crave cigars or alcohol. I, on the other hand, have the most decadent, refined and expensive vice of all. And it’s because of this little addiction—or weakness—that I can be found most nights here, sitting on the dimly-lit, damp, covered balcony of Martin’s Books and Coffee.
I sip my overpriced drug while the not-so-distant smell of the ocean creeps its way through the maze and tangled web of Seattle’s wet streets. The cars filing by below enhance the scent of the ocean sitting not too far from here, as the sound of their tires splashing through wet, potholed roads echoes that of the rush of a wave over a rock and the sound of ocean spray.
On most days, Martin’s tends to be a good place to relax. One of the few independently-owned book stores left in Seattle, the atmosphere here is calming and the lighting muted. Not so dark that you cannot read a book and enjoy your coffee, but just dim enough so that someone of my, let us say fair complexion, can go unnoticed by the everyday person stopping by for a fix and a good book. 
The décor is modern contemporary, although the designer clearly relied far too much on his collection of old IKEA catalogs, with a thousand shades of tans and browns with brushed steel accents scattered throughout, for effect. I do think that they might have gone a little overboard with the alternating redwood and pine floor boards. The effect is still pleasantly calming if not somewhat dull.
So, why so critical, you may ask? It’s an occupational hazard, I’m afraid. We all, Reapers and humans alike, must have a day job and mine happens to be that of a wine critic. The crème de la crème of critics, although, truth-be-told, I’m not a big fan of wine. However, I have been gifted with a palate most French chefs would give their sous chef’s right hand for. Not their own hand, of course. No French chef I have ever met, and I have met more than my fair share, would ever think of giving that much for their craft.
“Mr. Reid, would you like another?”
The sound of her sing-song voice pulls me back to the moment, temporarily suspending my hazy, drug-induced stupor.
The question comes from Sarah, one of my favorite wait-persons here at Martin’s. Yes, I said wait-persons. Living—if you can call what I do living—in a world of political correctness, I’ve learned it is no longer appropriate to refer to someone as a ‘waitress’. That would be such denigration. Sarah is just the typical twenty-something coffee house wait-person who can be seen in any of the hundred or so coffee houses that pepper the Seattle Landscape—not Sarah herself, of course, but the type. Tall, but not too tall, with long blonde hair. A lightly tanned complexion and the body, a perfectly sculpted masterpiece. I’m not sure about the other Sarahs out there, but my Sarah has one defining attribute that I find hard to resist, her smell. The bouquet that wafts around her is subtle and ambiguous, what is that? Lavender with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon, perhaps?


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About Stephen

Stephen Cost was born in Wexford Ireland and raised in a small seaside town not far from Dublin. From a young age he would spin dark tales and write them down for his own amusement.  At the age of 13 he moved from his home in Ireland to America and his love of dark American cinema took root.

He passes his free time, when not writing, by reading horror and fantasy genre novels in addition to watching science fiction and horror movies.

He graduated from University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology.  A computer engineer by trade, he specializes in integrated system services and uses the knowledge gained from his degree to write emotionally captivating urban fiction.



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