Urban Fantasy Author
Book Bling Blog
When an old friend disappears, Martin learns nothing is what it seems…
Martin Russell can barely face the future. With dismal life prospects and an estranged family, he is at the end of his rope. When an old friend, Hannah, elbows her way back into his life, Martin’s luck begins to turn around.
Hidden within the shadows of evil, there must be some good…
Ex-policeman Bobby Tanner lost everything one rage-filled night. Now he runs a reading group for alcoholics where he meets a young drug dealer, Zack, who disturbs him in a way that’s hard to define. Bobby soon discovers the teenager is in over his head and has been dealing with a despicable individual known as The Chemist.
The roots of evil run deeper than we imagine…
Martin’s lucky streak begins to unravel when Hannah suddenly goes missing, and he turns to a friend of a friend, Bobby, for help. Thrust into an underworld empire of corruption and half-truths, he learns his friend may not be who he thought she was.
In a shadowed world of deception, stalkers, and despicable drug dealers, Bobby and Martin must uncover the truth, and fast…
Several lives depend on it.
A large part of The Chemist’s wealth came from something that started out as a petty sideline but now provided an ever increasing income—money lending, loan sharking, pawn broking. It served a double purpose. Obviously it created wealth, but it also increased the footfall of deprived humanity passing through the front door of Shortcross Drive. This meant that when the police did a stop-and-search on visitors leaving The Chemist’s house, all they found were small amounts of cash in new white envelopes. Positive feedback within the local police force went up the line, and it was duly noted that local drug related problems were on the decline. Statistics made fine reading at County Hall and everyone was happy. No matter how much Mario increased the interest rates to his borrowers, people paid their debts. It was an undisputed fact. No matter how much financial difficulty The Chemist’s borrowers were in, they always found a way to pay up. If anybody at County Hall had bothered to correlate the figures, they could surely not have missed the numbers showing that criminal break-ins and burglaries within a twenty mile radius had increased even more markedly.
The largest amount Mario had ever lent to one person was £1,000. It went to a young local tearaway who was quite happy to agree to repay Mario the sum of £1,200 within three days. The young thug duly turned up on the Friday with the cash and a nice bottle of champagne to go with it. Next day, while Mario was sitting down with his copy of The Sun, he read that there had been a robbery at a Post Office in the Peak District, and that the Post Mistress was in a coma after being attacked with a sledge hammer. The paper stated that the thieves got away with over £6,000. Mario felt something akin to parental pride. Mario carried on lending monkeys and tons to his regulars until he received a phone call that came out of the blue. The request came as something of a shock, even to Mario’s fireproof ears.
“Hello, my name’s Jeremy. I’d rather not go into any more detail over the phone, but I was given your name by Eddie Parsons.”
Eddy Parsons, The Peak District thief.
The rather snooty voice continued, “I want to borrow ten-thousand pounds for ten days. I can pay you back the second of next month. Guaranteed.”
It was a strange and twisting road that led to the publication of my first novel. From my humble beginnings, as an office clerk, to ownership of a multi-million dollar business I always maintained my love for literature.
Born and raised in Bristol, England. I spent most of my life in business, my companies turning over in the region of $500 million. The majority of that time marketing cars, eventually owning the largest Saab specialist in the world, before a bitter divorce forced me rethink my priorities. Particularly between 2003 and 2005 when I had to accept that I was no longer a millionaire but literally penniless. I avoided bankruptcy by the skin of my teeth and slowly rebuilt my life.
This led me to the life changing decision to leave the bustling city and move to live halfway up a mountain in the Welsh valleys. At the same time I started a part time six year English Literature course at Bristol University, and attended creative writing classes at Cardiff University. I left school at sixteen and this was my first taste of further education and an immense challenge.
I eventually adjusted my thinking to the academic life, and on 30 June 2015 had confirmation of my 2.1(Hons) degree from Bristol University. At the same time I also won the prestigious Hopkins Prize for my essay on Virginia Woolf and the unsaid within her text. Now the university courses are finished it will, with any luck, gives me plenty of extra time that I can devote to my fiction writing.
Thanks to the university experiences, my interest in English literature has flourished over recent years. Hopefully I have evolved as a writer from my earlier work in short stories (over ninety of them.) Although interestingly my first three novels have all been developed from a long forgotten short story.
Life is, once again, very good, and I live very happily halfway up a mountain, in the Welsh Valleys, with my wonderful partner Mari, and our rescue dog Wolfie.
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Book Review Kiss of a Stranger
Maddie Palmer lost everything when her ex-husband betrayed her. Years later, she’s rebuilt her life. It’s safe and stable—everything she thought she wanted. Until a dangerously sexy ex-con appears in Lost Coast Harbor...
Gabriel Reyes just did six years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he’s returned, determined to expose the men who set him up. His best chance at redemption is seducing the straight-laced woman working for the enemy…until he realizes he’s the one being seduced.
As passion ignites, Gabe and Maddie find themselves drawn deeper into the corruption behind the town’s richest family… even while facing the greatest danger of all—losing their hearts.
Gabe walked straight to the corner and ran his fingers across the leaves of a ficus, his eyes almost soft.
He moved around the room, studying each plant, touching a few others with gentle fingers. “It’s like a jungle in here.” Gabe’s hand hovered near the orchids she kept on the mantel, but he resisted the urge to stroke the temperamental plant. “They’re all real, too.”
“Of course they are,” Maddie said, indignant. She might not be able to keep a relationship alive, but plants were another matter. They thrived under her care.
She wasn’t prepared for his expression when he turned to her. He looked…grateful?
“You don’t realize all the things you miss.” It didn’t seem like he was talking to her.
“Not a lot of plants in prison, huh?” She fought a shudder at the thought. Life without a bit of dirt and a few seeds sounded so sterile, though her rational mind knew it was nothing compared to the other things prison took from him.
“Not a lot of all sorts of things.” He shook off the melancholy, and she could practically see his inner devil return. Gabe’s eyes raked her, a smile tugging at his lips. “This isn’t the home I expected from a straight-laced professional woman.”
Maddie winced. “New furniture isn’t cheap.”
His laugh was unexpected. “I don’t think I’ve sat in a new piece of furniture in my life. No, I mean this.” His gesture took in everything, from her plants to her clothes to the afghan spread across her sofa. “Are you secretly a softie, Maddie?”
She glowered, and he laughed. “Don’t worry. I’ll keep your secret,” Gabe assured her.
Like so many good ideas, Lost Coast Harbor was inspired by a few rounds of margaritas. One sunny afternoon, Lily Danes and Eve Kincaid went to a Mexican restaurant for snacks and tequila and left with the idea for a new series. Inspired by their love of noir movies and 1940s crime novels, they imagined a gritty small town full of crime and corruption, where intrigue and mystery can lead to love and passion.
Suspense, revenge, steamy romance, what's not to like? Kiss of a Stranger is my first read from this author duo, and this read says it's worth a second look at upcoming novels in this debut series. The contemporary plotline was well written, and the romantic relationship between the two main characters who really do need second chances, worked well. I have two small quibbles, that kept me from giving this five stars: 1) The story started a bit slowly for me, but I always feel most writers should throw out the first chapter or so, until "after" the story starts to flow for them...and us, and 2) The hero's heart was a bit too tarnished for me at times. I don't like it when characters take things out on other people that were not their fault, and I didn't like that the heroine was already overcoming a jerk of an ex and then the "hero" took it out on her that her ex's family were behind his go to jail without passing justice. That is personal taste, of course, but then that's what an honest review is all about.
Book Bling gives this steamy second chances romance 4 Stars!
Jack Wylie is tall, dark, handsome and brave - he's everything you'd want in a kidnapper.
Ex-cop Jack Wylie is a born protector, tormented by the day he misjudged a criminal and his life took a tragic turn. Now he's on a mission to kidnap a woman to help her overcome a fear of being tied up.
He's been told by his psychologist brother to keep up the game until the woman gives him the sign. But there has been a big mistake. Jack has accidentally abducted the feisty and beautiful Molly Rhoades - a newly arrived local TV reporter who has secrets of her own. And she doesn't know the sign.
After a dangerous and unlikely meeting, Jack and Molly find themselves consumed by sexual tension, but things get even more complicated when Molly finds out that Jack is engaged to the local Councilwoman Amanda Everett, a ruthless career climber determined to succeed no matter what the cost.
But why did Jack kidnap Molly in the first place? Who is pulling the strings in this perverted puppet show? Jack vows to protect Molly until he finds out the truth, but the layers of deception and vengeance run deeper than he could have ever imagined.
The plan: Scare the shit out of Laura so she’d never fear her sadistic ex-boyfriend again. Apparently, the ass-wipe had gotten his rocks off playing kidnapper during their relationship. He blamed that damn Fifty Shades of Grey series for the upsurge of domestic violence. Sure, the books had provided a few kinky fantasies for the ladies, but lowlifes like Laura’s ex took the fantasy a step too far.
A whimper. Was she crying herself to sleep? He flexed his shoulder blades and relaxed. Wouldn’t be long now. He listened to her breathing slow … and slow … and blinked himself awake. Her sounds soothed him and he was so damn tired. He shouldn’t be attempting this job after an overnight security shift at the bank, but he wanted to get it over with.
Worried he’d fall asleep if he waited any longer, he slid out. Once he cleared the frame, he pushed up on his fingers and toes, then sprang to the balls of his feet. His right knee creaked. He froze, hovering above her, the paleness of her skin luminescent in the shadows. She lay on top of her comforter, a pair of white bikini panties and a gray tank top her only cover.
Nice body. Real nice body — strong and sleek. A cop? Military? Nah, with training like that she wouldn’t be afraid of an ex-boyfriend. But she sure as hell didn’t sculpt those mile-long sexy legs doing aerobics. Slim hips, flat stomach. He whistled softly through his teeth. Damn perfect breasts, fuller than he would’ve expected on someone so lean. Her long, straight hair fanned above her shoulders. He glanced at her face to verify she matched the woman in the head shot Rudy had given him. His chest tightened and he jerked his gaze away. Too late. Those puffy pillow-lips would haunt his dreams.
Time to go to work. He clasped her by the waist, tossed her onto her stomach, and pushed her face into the pillow just hard enough to muffle any screams. Startled awake, she bucked her curvy, near-naked ass in his face. Sweet Jesus! He sat on her legs, keeping one hand firmly planted on the back of her neck while he used his teeth to tear off a piece of duct tape. With the strip hanging between his lips, he caught her arms behind her and wrapped the tape around her wrists several times. He didn’t want to cut off her circulation, but she twisted her wrists and the bonds tightened.
He ripped another piece of tape, cupped this one in his palm, and rolled her over. She sucked in air, but he gagged her before the scream escaped. A hunk of hair stuck to her face under the gag, making her look like a rumpled kid. But the sparks of terrorized fury she shot at him were far from childlike.
Jack faltered. That kind of fear, he’d seen it before. He’d felt it before.
But he’d never provoked it.
Natalie S. Ellis worked behind the scenes in TV news for sixteen years and will always miss the rush of a breaking story. But the seduction of writing a fiery romance with twisty suspense is even harder to resist, especially when she has a new curveball for the plot. Natalie enjoys living in her hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and attributes her cheerful attitude to empty nesting, a supportive family, and way too many lattés.
I blog there the 18th of each month!
Elizabeth Alsobrooks's books on Goodreads
Illuminati - The Book of Life
ratings: 12 (avg rating 4.33)
Illuminati: The Book of Life
ratings: 5 (avg rating 4.80)
The Keeper's Secret: Tell-Tale Publishing's Annual Horror Anthology
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)
2016 NaNoWriMo Winner!
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An Amazon Bestseller!
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