The Devil’s Reprise- TEASER and EARLY REVIEWS

The Devil's Reprise SMALLSo the Devil’s Reprise releases tomorrow – NO WAIT IT RELEASES TODAY!!! Early surprise lol. It’s live on AMAZON right now and at all other retailers tomorrow, Oct 29th.

This is the second book- and the last book- in this series. Tomorrow, The Devil’s Metal will be 99 cents so that’s something you may want to snap up while you can!

 

First, some reviews from The Devil’s Reprise Blog Blitz:

 

Reading Books Like a Boss says: “I’ve read a lot of other rock star books, but Sage Knightly is easily one of the sexiest and most alluring fictional rock gods.  Not only is he incredibly talented (in more ways than one), he will go to hell and back to protect the woman he loves. “

“One of the BEST parts of The Devil’s Reprise (aside from the steamy sex scenes) was the bone-chilling, spooky scenes.  This book contains the scariest imagery Karina Halle has ever written.”

CLICK TO READ REVIEW and ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Reading is my Breathing says:

“Karina Halle doesn’t beautify anything in this book. Sexual orgies of drugged rock stars? Graphic. Depressive thoughts of characters? No censorship. Especially when it comes to Sage’s POV. It was really pitiful to witness Sage’s behaviour at the beginning. It was breaking my heart to see this man so sad, so desperate, so broken. He wasn’t dealing with his past very well…

I think that The Devil’s Reprise may be the sexiest and most spicy book by Karina Halle so far. I’m not sure if it was electrifying chemistry between Sage and Dawn or the fact that hero is one hot rockstar god. But I’m 100% sure that this book is able to set things on fire with its level of hotness!”

CLICK HERE TO READ REVIEW AND ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

 

And finally, a creepy pre-Halloween teaser

Jacob got up and leaned across the table, looking everyone in the eye. “Then you’re dismissed.” He banged the table with his fist and walked away.

“Christ on a cracker,” Garth said under his breath. He watched Jacob go in fear. He was a skinny little dude with eyes too big for his head. He seemed like an all right guy, even though he was young and skittish. His keyboard skills were stellar, which was all I needed from him. “Is he always like that?”

“Jacob runs a tight ship,” I explained to him while out of the corner of my eye I caught Dawn and Max getting up together and leaving. I was struck with a burst of incurable jealousy and had to swallow it down.

“I can see that,” Garth said. “Guess it was true that Hybrid was a bit of a wild band.”

My head snapped toward him, my jaw automatically tensing. “Don’t even mention Hybrid,” I growled, my voice low. “This isn’t Hybrid. It never will be. This is my band, my show. Got it?”

Garth nodded quickly, his eyes even wider than before. He turned his attention back to his food, his shaking hand reaching for his coffee cup. I sat back and ran my fingers through my hair, exhaling slowly. Nice start to the morning. I was all over the damn map and practically scaring my new bandmates.

I grabbed a piece of toast, excused myself from the table before I became even more of an ass, and took off for my room. The rickety open-caged elevator had freaked me out when I rode it the other day, so instead I took the stairs, pausing to catch my breath at the fourth floor. Shit, if going up stairs was making me winded, I didn’t know how I was going to handle the show tonight.

You’re not going to handle it, the voice inside my head said. You’re going to fail because you can’t handle any of this on your own.

I closed my eyes, my arm resting on the railing, and tried to make the voices shut up.

“I have another message for you.”

I opened my eyes at the whispered words and looked for the source. At the end of the hall, just beneath one of the sconce light fixtures, was a very short figure, a woman who couldn’t have been taller than five feet. Her silhouette was heavyset, flabby, and though I couldn’t see her face but for her gleaming eyes, I had a feeling she was ugly as sin.

“Excuse me?” I asked, taking a moment to realize she spoke perfect English, though her accent was still foreign. Russian, maybe.

“I have another message for you,” the woman repeated in her strangely monotone voice. Then she turned around, and I noticed her wide body had been hiding a maid’s cart.

It all clicked. This was the housecleaner who wrote on my mirror.

I walked off after her, more annoyed than anything.

“You wrote on my mirror,” I said accusingly as she stopped and slowly looked at me. I came to a halt, put off by her eyes, which were so heavily lidded I could barely see her irises. She was all elephantine jowls and cheeks, hair gathered at the top like a cow took a shit on her head. Ugly as sin was right.

She stared at me—at least I think she was staring at me; it was hard to tell—and then she said, “Oh, yes. You. I have another message for you.”

“A message from whom?” The lights flickered in the hall. “What did that mean, ‘be careful what she wished for’? Who is ‘she’?”

She shook her head sharply, to the left, the right, the skin under her jaw jiggling. “I don’t know. I only pass on the messages.”

I folded my arms. “Then tell me who told you?”

She smiled, and I tried not to grimace at her missing canines. Jesus, what was the hotel thinking hiring this charity case? “The dark man with the white face. He tells me in my sleep.”

Okay. I blinked hard and rubbed my forehead. Too many drugs, not enough sleep.

She went on, “He says to tell you it will all end when she appears.”

“I don’t think you know what you’re talking about, but I’d appreciate it if you stayed away from my room,” I said, trying to bury the uneasiness in my voice. “I’ll report you if you try and talk to me again.”

“The dark man won’t care,” she said, turning around to continue to push her cart. “He will find her once she’s been given everything she wants, and it will all start all over again.”

I had to reach out and grab the edge of her cart. “Is the girl here? Is he talking about Dawn? The redhead? Can you at least tell me that much?”

She watched me for a few agonizing beats before I caught the slightest nod of her head. “There is nothing you can do. Nothing you can do but watch.”

Had this crazy shit happened to me a year or two ago, I wouldn’t have a believed a word this woman said. I’d say she’s an obvious mental case who dreams of Satan visiting her in her dreams. But now I knew better.

“Please,” I begged, feeling foolish, helpless. “You have to tell me more. Who are you?”

“I am Tatiana,” she said, her accent thickening. “I work here.”

She began to push her cart away while I heard Tricky call out, “Sage!”

I turned to look at him, wanting to go after Tatiana, the crazy elephant lady, but Tricky was already running down the hallway toward me.

“You almost ready? We have to go,” he said.

I watched Tatiana and her cart rumble around the corner and out of sight.

“Sage,” Tricky repeated. I finally looked over at him. He frowned. “You all right, man? You’re looking kind of pale.”

I wiped a layer of sweat off my forehead and tried to slow my heart rate. The creepy feeling held on to my bones. I had to talk to Dawn. “I’m all right. Is it that time already?”

Tricky nodded. “Yes—well, no, but we have to get our clothes and everything together for tonight. We have to coordinate our outfits, don’t you think?”

I gave him a funny look. Robbie was like that, too, when we played shows. Figures that Tricky would be displaying front-man tendencies. “You know what I wear: black. I go with whatever crazy thing you’re going to squeeze your balls into.”

He grinned. “Bright orange velvet jumpsuit.”

I shook my head. “My God.”

“And platform Alice Cooper boots.”

Tricky put his hand on my shoulder and turned me around, leading us back to our rooms while yammering on about what he was thinking about for the next night. Something tight and terrible. I’d stopped listening as we passed Dawn’s room. I needed to talk to her, even though she didn’t want to talk to me.

“Sage, we don’t have time,” Tricky said seriously as he noted my gaze glued to her door. “This is a big deal for you, whether you want to admit it or not. This is a big deal for your fans. We can’t mess this up, and I don’t want to mess it up for you. You need a clear head, you got it?”

I was surprised at the sincerity in his voice, that he was actually taking this seriously for once.

I nodded reluctantly. “Okay. Let’s get ready.”

I left Dawn’s door, thinking I could hear her shuffling around on the other side. Still that barrier between us.

Stories for Amanda is OUT! Read about Camden/Ellie, support a GREAT cause

sfa higher resWant to read more about Camden and Ellie? How about them as teens when they first met each other? Want to support an extremely worthy (and personal) cause at the same time, plus check out stories from sixteen of today’s best selling romance writers?

The anthology Stories for Amanda is out now on Smashwords, Amazon and all other retailers – you can read Defying the Dust, featuring Camden McQueen and Ellie Watt. Camden and Ellie went through nearly the exact kind of bullying I went through as a teen (every story comes from somewhere), which is why their story and this cause is so important to me.

Amanda Todd was a young girl who was lured into a bad decision by a cyber-stalker and then mercilessly targeted online and in real life over and over again, until it became too much for her to handle and she ended her life in October of 2012.

She wanted to help other kids by sharing her story and letting them know they should never be punished for who they are or for making a mistake. AmandaToddLegacy.org is an organization that reaches out to kids in need, educates about the harmful effects of bullying and provides resources that can make a real difference.

100% of the proceeds from sale of this anthology will be donated toward that vision. 16 of the most popular and bestselling authors in Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance and Young Adult have come together in support of the fight against bullying. Each has contributed a new short stories or missing scene from their most popular series for this very worthy cause.

EXCERPT FROM DEFYING THE DUST

I exhaled and headed out of the medical building and back into the inferno. The sun was high in the sky now, searing my pants to my legs in seconds. I shielded my eyes from the glare and looked around. The van wasn’t in the parking lot. I guess Raquel and my father fucked off somewhere. Too bad it was too hot out to even think about walking back home by myself.

I sat down on the curb and waited. A few cars puttered past on the main road, the dust rising like sandy plumes behind them. There was something pretty about that and had I been in a better mood, or at least had my sketchbook on me, I would have tried to capture that in colored pencil. Pen was too blunt for something that ethereal.

Then I saw something even more poetic: the silhouette of a girl walking through the dust clouds along the sidewalk. I couldn’t see her face, just her shape, though I could tell she was small and walked with a pronounced limp. She turned in my direction and headed toward me. As soon as the dust cleared, she stopped and looked around as if she were lost.

Wow. She was pretty. Very pretty. She looked about my age, too. She had long blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, big dark eyes, a round face, and pouty lips. I’d never seen her before—I would know if I had. I knew every girl in town—from afar, of course. No girls ever talked to me. But I kept all their names and images in my head, using the prettiest ones when I was spanking it in the shower.

But unlike a lot of the girls in Palm Valley, this one wasn’t showing a lot of skin. You get used to it in this heat, seeing your classmates walking around in cut-offs and bikini tops that only the coolest girls could fill out. This girl already stood out by wearing flared jeans, Doc Martens boots and a T-shirt. She must have been boiling hot, just as I was.

She started walking toward the building, but stopped as soon as she saw me.

My first instinct was to smile at her. It made most girls turn and run away.

But then she started walking again, slower this time and with deliberation. She was trying to control her limp, her focus now dead ahead, not letting her eyes waver to me. I couldn’t tell if it was because I weirded her out or if she was self-conscious. Maybe both.

She was just a few feet away, refusing to look at me, when I said, “If you’re looking for the psychiatrist, he’s upstairs.”

The girl stopped and looked at me, a mix of shock and fear on her face. Up close she was even prettier, with a smattering of freckles across her petite nose. She filled out her jeans and black shirt pretty well too. I adjusted myself and prayed I wouldn’t get another inappropriate boner, though at least there’d be a reason for it this time.

I kept my face deadpan. Might as well give her another reason to be turned off. “I mean, I’d know, I was just at the shrink. Guess my father thinks I’m a bit nuts.”

She looked me up and down, her face relaxing slightly though she still looked puzzled. Finally she said, “I’m looking for a pharmacy.”

I squinted up at her. “You’re not from here, are you? I mean, this town?”

She shook her head. She looked really uncomfortable.

“Aren’t you hot in those jeans and boots?” I asked.

Her face immediately went red and I knew I struck a nerve. But instead of feeling proactive, like I’d shut her down before she had a chance to shut me down, I just felt bad.

“I’m sorry,” I said quickly and got to my feet. “I’m not one to talk.” I towered over her, awkwardly adjusting my pants and rattling my wallet chain, but to her credit she still stood there and folded her tanned arms across her chest. Her T-shirt was an aged looking Metallica Master of Puppets. I nodded at it. “Cool shirt. Do you like Metallica or did you pick that up at a thrift store?”

“Both,” she said, raising her chin. Her eyes darted to the building. “So is there a pharmacy in there?”

“Yep,” I said. “What are you looking for?”

She gave me a look that said it was none of my business.

I raised my hands in apology. “Sorry. Just trying to make conversation. Usually I have about two seconds before someone throws a lame insult in my face. You’re breaking a record here.”

She sucked on her bottom lip—completely adorable. I had the sudden urge to do the same thing.

“Did you really see the psychiatrist?” she asked, still appraising me.

I looked down at my clothes and back up again. “Look at me. Don’t I look like I need to see a shrink?”

She smiled but shook her head. “No. I like the Deftones,” she said, nodding at my patch. “I have all their albums.”

No way. No way this cool pretty chick in the Metallica shirt would also like one of my favorite, more obscure bands. I was pretty sure my mouth was open so I quickly tried to fill it with words.

“Uh, oh really? Cool. Have you seen them live?”

“No…I’ve never been to a concert. How about you? You look like you go to a lot.”

I laughed, trying to figure out if she was insulting me or not. Her face was still guarded, yet sweet, and I decided she was being genuine…which was rare around me. “No, I’ve never seen them live. I took the bus out to Palm Springs when I heard Queens of the Stone Age was playing at a small bar there. Course, they wouldn’t let me in, I was only ten at the time, but I saw Josh Homme from far away.”

I wondered if she knew who the singer/guitarist was but she just said, “Was he tall?”

“Yeah, he was tall.” Even though our conversation must have sounded pretty stilted and lame to anyone listening, I felt like I was having the best talk of my life. “All the girls were throwing themselves at him,” I added, trying to appeal to her even more.

She shrugged. “I don’t like redheads much but he’s good on guitar.” Her eyes drifted to the building. “Are you busy or do you want to help me with something?”

“I’ll help you,” I said a little too quickly. I winced at my own overenthusiasm but she just nodded at me with a straight face.

“Good,” she said. She started walking toward the building, her movements stiff. She glanced at me over her shoulder. “Come on.”

I looked back to the road, wondering if my dad was going to kill me if I wasn’t waiting by the curb. Then I decided that for this girl, death was worth it.

I followed her into the building, the smell of strawberries and vanilla wafting behind her. I tried not to stare at her ass as it wiggled in her jeans, but I caught a few glances while I could. Who knew if I’d ever be this close to a girl again? To be honest, I was surprised that not only was she cool as hell, but she was actually still talking to me. There had to be a catch…

As soon as we were in the mall-like foyer and spotted the small pharmacy shop—the type filled with canes and footbaths and gauze, not fun stuff like Sharpies and Super Soakers—I tried to make conversation.

“So where did you move here from?” I asked.

She shrugged. “Out East, the South, whatever,” she said and then stopped suddenly. I nearly ran into her and stopped myself just in time. I’m sure the last thing she wanted was a sweaty Camden all up against her.

She smiled like she was about to let me in on the world’s biggest secret. I felt like my breath was being leached from my lungs.

“You go talk to the clerk and distract him,” she said, her voice low and hushed.

“What?”

She frowned, her smile becoming wry and twisted. “Come on. Be a pal.”

Now it was my turn to frown. “I just don’t understand. You want me to distract Mr. Sirk, the guy behind the counter? Distract him from what?”

“Haven’t you ever shoplifted before?”

I was taken aback and laughed. “No.” Her mouth turned into a tight line. Oh my god, I thought she’d been joking. “You’re serious.”

“Man, you guys in this town are no fun,” she said and quickly turned to the store.

I reached out, grabbed her elbow, and dropped it as soon as I felt awkward, which was pretty much right away. “No, no. I mean. Yeah. This town is no fun. But I’ll help you. I’ve just never done it before.” For obvious reasons, too. I mean, one was that everyone watched me like a hawk anyway. I looked like I played Troublemaking Teen Number One in a Lifetime movie. Two was the fact that my dad was the sheriff.

Although the fact that I’d be helping this girl steal something—commit a crime—did make me feel like I was sticking it to my dad a bit.

“What’s your name?” I asked her.

She raised a thin brow. “Why?”

I pushed my glasses up the bridge of my nose. “Well I figure if I’m going to be your accomplice, I might as well know your name. Bonnie and Clyde knew each other’s names.”

“They knew a lot more than that,” she said and I could have sworn another shade of crimson dotted the center of her cheeks. “My name’s Ellie.”

“Camden,” I said. I stuck out my hand then thought better of it. Then I raised it again because I’d already gone too far. I stared at it dumbly, like it was stuck in greeting limbo.

Luckily, Ellie was a good sport and she shook my hand anyway. Her grip was strong, surprising. Most girls my age shook hands like everyone had some disease—or maybe that’s just the way they were with me. But there was a strange sort of confidence in her handshake just as there was a strange sort of vulnerability in her eyes. She was already an enigma to me.

“Camden,” she said slowly, as if my name felt good on her tongue. “Isn’t that a town?”

I nodded. “I can be a lot of things.”

“So can I.” She looked to the store and back again, a grin making her cheeks pop. “So you’ll be the fall guy? I mean, you’ll distract him?”

“Sure,” I said, trying to sound more nonchalant than I felt. “What are you stealing?”

“Just…nothing,” she said.

“And you’re sure you can’t buy it?”

Her face fell briefly and a wash of sadness flashed through her dark brown eyes. “No. My family is poor. We live on my uncle’s date farm. It’s just temporary but…”

I patted her on the arm. “I get it. Let’s do it.” I could tell that whatever brought Ellie to this town, she wasn’t happy about it. I didn’t mean to sound like the moral police anyway. I was just curious as to whether it was something she actually needed or something she was doing for kicks. From the grave look her eyes suddenly took on, it seemed to be something she needed.

We walked into the store and she veered off to my right, walking purposefully down the aisle while I took in a deep breath and approached Mr. Sirk. The minute he looked up from his tattered paperback novel—Tom Clancy—and saw me, his eyes narrowed in suspicion.

“May I help you?” he asked. He licked his lips nervously. Sometimes I wondered just how scary I looked to people. I mean, sure I was in all black and kinda weird, but still, I was obviously just thirteen. I wasn’t a threat. Then again, people had said that before the Columbine incident, too.

Of course, now I had to distract him long enough for Ellie to steal whatever she was stealing.

I leaned on the counter, noticing him inch back slightly, and said, “Got any comic books?”

He looked slightly relieved. I bet he thought I was going to ask him for hard drugs or something.

“Did you check the magazine rack?” he asked.

“No,” I answered. “Thought I’d ask you first. So do you?”

“No,” he said. He brought his book out and was about to resume reading when I said, “Could you order some in for me?”

Okay, it was lame, and I was seconds from being thrown out of his store, I could tell.

He sighed angrily and said, “Look, kid, this ain’t a library. If you want to buy comic books, I suggest…”

I know he kept talking, but I stopped listening the minute I caught Ellie leaving the store out of the corner of my eye. I tapped the counter with my fist, making the man jump, told him “thank you”, and quickly walked out of the store after Ellie.

She hadn’t looked behind her or stopped until she was well clear of the building. Though she was still limping, she looked casual and carefree, like she hadn’t stolen anything at all. In fact, I couldn’t be sure of it until I was right beside her in the insufferable heat looking down at her jean pocket, which bulged at the front.

“Is that it?” I asked.

She kept her eyes to the road. “Yep. Thanks for that.”

“No problem.” I really, really wanted to ask again about what it was she stole, but from the clipped way she finished her sentences, I knew she wouldn’t tell me. Maybe it was something as simple as makeup.

I chewed on my lip for a second, trying to think of what else to say. My father hadn’t come by yet, but I felt like time was running out.

“You were really good,” I told her.

She shot me a funny look.

I swallowed uneasily. “I mean, you looked natural. Not that I think you always steal shit, it’s just…um, well it was kind of fun. More fun than what I normally do.”

“And what do you normally do? Aside from go to the shrink?”

She was a smart-ass, too. I liked that.

I smiled and brushed my hair behind my ears. “You know. Play guitar, draw, paint, listen to music. Annoy my stepsisters. You?”

She shrugged. “I’ve been learning a lot about harvesting dates.”

“I think you need to get out more,” I joked. “Maybe…”

Ellie looked at me expectantly. It was ridiculous, what I was about to say, but my mouth was moving and the words were coming out before I could stop them.

My eyes dropped to the hot asphalt as a gum wrapper blew past on a stiff breeze. “Maybe…if you wanted…I could show you around town. I mean, if you wanted. Might be nice to know the area before school starts. I could tell you all the kids to avoid…though they’d all say to start with me.”

She was silent for so long that I finally had to look up at her. She was staring off into the distance, at the dry, crackled mountains. Either she was ignoring me or she was lost in her own thoughts.

I opened my mouth to tell her to forget it when she said, “I guess you get bullied a lot, huh?”

I snorted. “Well, yeah. Last year they started calling me The Dark Queen. I’ve been shoved into more lockers than backpacks have. My lips get most of their action from other dude’s fists.”

She looked at me, her gaze leveled. “You sound proud of it.”

I shrugged with one shoulder. “It’s life. Gotta make something of it. I’m not going to stop being me.”

“Is that what you told the shrink?”

I nodded. “Pretty much.”

“But what’s the real answer? Who is the real Camden?”

“Wow. You’re all deep and shit, for a shoplifter.” I expected her to smile at that but she just looked back to the road, just in time to see my dad’s van come down into the parking lot. I took in a steadying breath. “Well, that’s my ride.”

I must have sounded odd to her because her head whipped toward me and she studied my face. “Is that your family?”

“My dad and stepmom,” I said quickly. “They’ll have a heart attack when they see me talking to a girl. Think the shrink scared me straight.”

Her mouth formed an “oh” and I figured she was probably assuming I was gay. I was tired of correcting people though, so I didn’t add anything to that. Besides, maybe she’d think I was less threatening if I was.

The van came to a sudden stop beside me, Raquel getting mild whiplash in the front seat. I was surprised to see my father hopping out and coming around the front of it.

“Dad,” I said nervously.

Only he was smiling faintly, like he was really impressed that I was talking to a member of the female species, and a cute one at that.

“Camden,” he said, his eyes fixed on Ellie. “Who might your friend here be? I don’t think I’ve seen you around, young lady.”

Ellie stuck out her hand and raised her chin to look him in the eyes. There was a hint of detachment in her gaze, like she was pretending to be something she wasn’t.

“Hi, I’m Ellie. I just met your son.”

“Ellie?” he prodded.

She swallowed like something was stuck in her throat. “Ellie Watt. I just moved here.”

My dad’s brows came together like two black caterpillars. “Watt…are you with the folks who are living on Jim’s date farm?”

She blinked in surprise. “Yes, sir.”

He watched her for a few moments, wiggling his jaw back and forth. “I see. Well, welcome to Palm Valley. I’m Camden’s father. Sheriff McQueen.”

The color quickly drained out of Ellie’s face and she nervously rubbed her palms along her jeans. “Oh. How cool.” Her eyes flew to mine for an instant, a mix of disappointment and fear taking them for a second or two. Then her expression was detached again.

I stared back at her, smiling lightly as if to tell her that her secret was safe with me. It wasn’t until my dad told her it was nice meeting her and barked at me to get in the car that I eyed the bulge in her pocket and gave her the thumbs up.

“If you want to hang out,” I started.

“Camden!” my father yelled as he got in the car. “Let’s go.”

Whatever delight my father initially had at seeing me with Ellie was suddenly gone, like he already knew she was the shoplifting type and disapproved.

Still, I had to try. “Do you need a ride?” I asked. I heard my father groan from inside and Raquel telling him to be quiet.

She bit her lip and shook her head. “No, I’m okay. My mom can get me. No. Wait…I can walk home.”

“Phhff, you can’t walk home in this,” I said, glancing at the sun.

“No,” she said quickly, an edge to her voice. I looked at the hardness in her eyes, the trepidation in the whites of them. “Thank you. I’ll walk.”

I gave her an uneasy smile. I didn’t want her to walk, but it was obvious the idea of getting a ride with me and my dad scared the crap out of her. I bet she thought it was a trap and we were going to lead her straight to the police station for questioning.

“Okay, well—”

“Camden!” my dad boomed.

“—I’ll be seeing you. I hope.”

“I’ll see you at school,” she said, giving me a quick wave. I expected her to march off toward the building or maybe down the street, but she just stood there, waiting, until I was in the van and we were moving away.

I watched her until she was gone; my neck craned around until it hurt. Then I sat back in my seat and let a small smile play on my face. I didn’t know what had happened, but somehow my day turned around one hundred percent. For once, I was able to talk to someone without them being weird about how weird I was. For once, I was able to meet someone who seemed to have secrets and problems of her own.

For once, I met a girl who was cool as hell and totally took my breath away.

And so, naturally, for once, I wasn’t going to let this girl get away that easily.

I had hope.

 

Bold Tricks is now OUT + sexy teaser

Bold Tricks is out NOW! If you haven’t gotten started on The Artists Trilogy (Hachette) yet, now is your time. You can buy ALL the books in the series from Amazon and other online retailers (B&N, KOBO, iTunes, etc), starting with book #1, Sins & Needles.

This gritty “twisted romance” (says RT Book Reviews) has got readers everywhere up in a knot.

TAT collage

Need some convincing? How about a short little teaser…<3

He reached down and slowly unbuttoned my blouse until my breasts were bare and spread before him – he wasn’t the only one going commando. He trailed his fingers over my flesh, goosebumps rising in his wake, and tugged lightly at my nipple ring. I groaned and arched my back, offering myself to him, needing more.

But he wasn’t in a hurry, not tonight. He slowly made his way from my breasts to my abdomen, kissing and licking over my stomach, concentrating his mouth there as if willing his seed to be planted. He finished untying my pants and cautiously pulled them off, taking it slow around my leg.

“Does this hurt?” he whispered as he held my damaged leg in his hand, his eyes roaming all over my naked body.

I shook my head no. “Not right now.”

The Artists Trilogy is now complete!

Well folks, The Artists Trilogy is finally finished. Bold Tricks is officially out, wrapping up this gritty romantic suspense series that USA Today calls “captivating” and RT Book Reviews calls a “gripping, twisted romance.”

If you’re a fan of flawed characters, steamy sex, dicey choices, riveting action scenes, violence, revenge, tragic romance, and all that other good stuff, give The Artists Trilogy a shot – each book is under $3.

The Artists Trilogy Reading Order

#1 Sins & Needles – $2.99

sins and needles

#0.5 On Every Street – $0.99

on every street

#2 Shooting Scars – $2.99

shooting scars (1)

#3 Bold Tricks – $2.99

Bold+Tricks

Available at all E-book retailers (with print editions coming to a bookstore near you in 2014).

 

ENTER TO WIN PRINT COPIES

Hey all, for the release of BOLD TRICKS on October 15, I’m going to be doing something unique. One of my characters from The Artist Trilogy ( Javier, Camden, Ellie etc.) will be hosting a Facebook chat on Oct. 22 about BOLD TRICKS and The Artist Trilogy! I need YOUR help to determine which character comes out to play! Take this quick poll and let me know who you’d want to chat with for the night! AND five luck winners out of the people that take the poll will win a print copy of both SINS & NEEDLES and SHOOTING SCARS!

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Read the first chapter of Bold Tricks (TAT #3)

Pretty self-explanatory….no?

BoldTricks3

CHAPTER ONE

The storm raged on and inside I was screaming.

I was sitting in a stolen Jeep with no roof, parked on the side of a dirt road beneath a wavering canopy that occasionally let a spattering of rain pelt me in the face. Despite the warmth of the tropical night, I was cold and soaked to the bone in my muddy evening gown.  On one side of me was Camden McQueen, on the other was Javier Bernal. One more light than dark, one more dark than light. Both men had come for me. Both men had loved me. And both of them I had seriously underestimated.

There really wasn’t much time to sit around and try to get my head on straight. But after everything that happened, I knew a panic attack was just waiting to devour me, to incapacitate me, to take me out of the game. I could feel the fear buzzing through my veins, threatening to tear me up from the inside out. The fear of losing everything – Gus, my mother, my revenge, my purpose. I feared Javier and what he might do to Camden. I feared Camden and the way he’d changed toward me. I feared myself and the things I might do to try and make sense of it all.

We had only been in the Jeep for about ten minutes, heading back to Veracruz, when I’d told Javier to park the car so I could have a moment. He reluctantly complied, finding an area beneath some massive trees that shook from the howling winds. Both men were staring at me and I could only look down at my hands as I rubbed them up and down against the mud on my dress, the coldness seeping into my palms. They both knew me, knew my attacks, and that alone had me screaming internally, wanting to run. I couldn’t even look at them. I couldn’t even accept the situation. Javier and Camden. The three of us having to work together, let alone sit in a Jeep together without them killing each other. And I was in the middle.

My mind raced back to our escape. My mother. Dear God, my mother. I really never thought I’d see her again, let alone at a drug lord’s party but there was she was, serving motherfucking champagne. She was working for Travis of all people, the man who poured acid down my leg when I was just eleven years old, the same man who my mother wanted to rob that night in Mississippi. What the hell had happened to her? After everything we had gone through as a family, after all the pain I suffered, the inquests from authorities, the move to Palm Valley to stay with Uncle Jim and her eventual abandonment of me, why was she here with him now? And where was my father?

I swallowed, my throat feeling thick and debated on asking Javier. He had known this all along, knew where they were. He’d even wanted me to kill them for some sick, divine purpose from that damaged moral code of his. This whole time he knew and he was using me.

I couldn’t even be angry at him over that, though. I should have known better, I should have expected this. I was so damn angry at myself for falling for his old tricks, for slipping into a past that would have been better  left buried. I hated myself for losing my faith in Camden and putting it in Javier instead, and hated myself even more for the damage I caused. That was another reason I couldn’t look at him. Every time I looked at Camden, I saw the ways he’d changed. He was stronger, tougher and more ruthless. He was also hurt, scarred deep inside by what I’d done.  He now had the kind of scars that even his skilled hands couldn’t transform.

“Are you okay?” Camden asked, his voice low. My knee was touching his knee. My other knee was touching Javier’s. I could feel them on either side of me, hear their breathing, both their bodies tense and rigid as we sat there in the darkness. This was so awkward. So fucking awkward.

And from the looks of it, with Gus and my parents in the clutches of Travis Raines, my cover being blown, the three of us having to make our way through Mexico together, awkward was the least of my problems.

I nodded, still looking at my hands, even though I wasn’t okay. None of us were.

Javier sighed loudly. Something about his tone made me look over. Somehow it was easier to look at him, maybe because I didn’t feel guilt when I did.

“What?” I asked. I pressed my fingers into my thigh to keep my nerves from misfiring.

He tilted his head toward me and though the only light came from the glow of the Jeep’s dashboard and the far-off flashes of lightning in the sky, I could see the gleam in his eyes. Unreadable, as always.

“I’m just wondering how long we’re going to sit here in a fucking tropical storm,” he said simply, a false smile spread across his face. “That’s all.”

Camden sat up straighter. “At least the rain should wash all that blood off your face.”

Javier’s eyes flicked over to him. “Are you sure you want me to help you get your fat Gus back? Because I think I’m the one doing you both a favor. Aside from saving your behinds, of course. I don’t recall either of you thanking me yet.”

I exhaled through my nose. “Just give me a few minutes. I need to figure out the plan.”

Javier let out a dry laugh, rain running off the tip of his nose, and eyed me incredulously. “The plan? You’re not in charge of the plan, angel. If you want my help, then you’re doing it my way.”

“Fuck that,” Camden spat out.

I finally had to look at him. His eyes were raging beneath his glasses that reflected the dull glow from the car and he was gripping the door handle like he was about to break it in two. Oh god, I didn’t need this. But then again, it was partly my fault. Maybe I did need this.

“Camden,” I said, trying to placate him with my eyes, “please, let’s just…let’s just stay calm and think.”

“I am calm,” Javier answered as Camden opened his mouth. “I need to go find my sister, Violetta. That’s my goal first and foremost. Then I’ll help you get to Travis and Gus.”

“And my mother?” I filled in, daring him to be honest.

He gave me a short nod, though he was looking off onto the dark road. “Yes…and your mother.”

Now was the time to ask him. Better now than never.

I took in a deep breath. “Where’s my father?  I didn’t see him at the party.”

He raised a brow and looked over my head at Camden. Why, I had no fucking idea. I turned to look at Camden but he was staring back at Javier like he didn’t even know who he was.

“Javier,” I repeated. “Where is my father?”

He frowned at Camden and looked back at me. His face went stony. “The man you call your father is dead.”

Every limb on me froze. My lungs sucked in warm air and raindrops.

“Dead?” I asked, feeling like I was choking.

Dead.

My father was dead?

No.

Javier’s eyes softened momentarily but only for a minute. “I didn’t know until I got here.”

I let it soak in over my bones. My father was dead.

The good parent.

The weak one.

Dead.

With my mother working for Travis, I truly was an orphan now.

“Oh god,” I said, finally finding enough air. I leaned forward, trying to ward off another panic attack, and Camden’s warm hand met the small of my back, just enough to let me know he was there. His touch somehow strengthened me. “Oh god.”

“I’m sorry,” Javier said.

It took a few moments before I realized what he said.

I immediately whipped my head toward him. “No you’re not,” I seethed. “You wanted me to kill them. You sick fucking bastard, you wanted me to kill my own parents. You brought me here for that. You are not fucking sorry!”

Javier stared at me impassively, his features forever reptilian, smooth and calculating. No emotion. No anything. How could I have even thought there was something warm inside him?

“You’re right,” he said, turning his attention back to the empty road. “I’m not sorry. I’m glad he’s dead. He deserves it for what he did to you. But I am sorry you feel this way, right now.”

“Like I wouldn’t have felt worse if I killed them?”

He shrugged. “Obviously now I know how that would have played out. Apparently you don’t hold the same grudges that I do.”

I felt like elbowing him in the nose again, seeing it break over and over. But Javier was one of those men who could take the pain and make it work for him. He had too much of an advantage over us at the moment and he liked it when I hated him as much as he liked it when I loved him.

“How did he die?” I asked, grinding my teeth.

“I don’t know,” he said. “All I know is that he is one less person to hurt you.”

“You are so fucked up,” Camden muttered, his hand tightening on my back.

Javier merely grinned at that, his teeth white in the darkness, taking no offense at all. “Whatever I am, you need me more than I need you. And because of that, you’ll do as I say.”

“Sounds like a deal with devil,” I told him.

“My, my, angel, how quickly you’ve changed your tune now that this tattooed ape is back in your life.” He eyed Camden. “You know, just because you’re here now, doesn’t mean you’ve won anything.”

“I only came to get Ellie back,” he said, his voice quiet but full of animosity. I knew that Camden was keeping himself on a very tight leash. I also knew that when he didn’t, well, I didn’t have to look long at Javier’s bruised and bloodied face to know what happens.

“Oh, of course,” Javier said with deliberation. “But is she really back?”

“Javier, shut the fuck up,” I said. “If you’ve got a plan then tell us what the plan is, because the longer we sit here arguing, the further Gus gets away from us.”

He slowly looked back to me. “That has been my point all along. Are you able to think now? Is your little attack over? Because I know what worked last time you—”

“Get on with it,” I cut in. Neither Camden nor I needed him to finish his sentence. The last time I had a panic attack around Javier, we ended up having sex in an orange grove. I was vulnerable, driven by lust, desperate for closure and lured back into my own past. I had a million excuses for why I fucked him but what bothered me the most was that at the heart of them all, I did it because I wanted to. I needed to. Now, looking at him, knowing how much he had and hadn’t changed, I hated myself for being so weak, hated my body for betraying me so easily.

He held my gaze and I knew in the dim he could make out the raw anger in my eyes. He was thinking, wondering how much more he could toy with me. He now had the ability to get a rise out of both Camden and I anytime he wanted. He was a man with too much ammo, but perhaps he’d always been that way. He stockpiled it like a squirrel preparing for winter.

He shifted the Jeep with a lurch, causing me to fall into Camden, and pulled the vehicle back onto the dirt road, the rain whipping us as it continued to fall in heavy drops. We sped in the direction of Veracruz, where the city lights were casting a dull orange glow on the bottoms of the storm clouds.

“The first step is to get rid of this car,” Javier said, his mouth setting in a grim line. “They’ll be looking for it.”

“There’s always Jose,” Camden said.

I looked at him incredulously. “You have Jose?”

He gave me a small smile. “The car’s a bit battered but yeah I have Jose. It brought me and Gus down here. All your stuff is still in the trunk.”

Thank god, because all my other stuff was in the hotel room that I wouldn’t be returning to. The only thing I had on me was what fit into my clutch purse: Eleanor Willis’s passport (which was pretty much useless now since Travis knew it was a façade), some makeup, a few pesos and that was it.

“Right,” Javier scoffed. “I’m sure the car isn’t want by a few people either.”

“You mean other than you?” I asked.

He grunted. “The past is the past. We’re better off getting something more inconspicuous, don’t you agree?”

“We’re getting my stuff out of the car, at least,” I told Javier.  “You can add that to your plan.”

He made another disagreeable sound but didn’t argue. “Fine. Get your stuff. Get a new car. Head to Mexico City to check on Violetta.”

I frowned at the mention of his sister. “Check on?”

He nodded. “I’ll tell her to get out of town, go to Marguerite or Alana’s in Jalisco.”

“And she’ll listen to you?”

He bit his lip for a second. “She knows what happened to Beatriz. She’ll listen.”

“Who is Beatriz?” Camden asked.

Javier shot him a look as he brought the Jeep onto the main highway. “None of your fucking business.”

“It’s one of his sisters,” I quickly told Camden. “Travis murdered her.”

“Of course he did,” Camden said with a sigh, leaning back into the seat. I finally had the strength to watch him for a few moments. The wind was ruffling up his dark hair, his glasses reflecting the lights of the few cars on the highway that were braving the storm. His jaw was strong, lips full but held together tightly. I knew he was tormented but I didn’t know by whom. Was it Javier?

Or was it me?

He took his glasses off and wiped the rain off of them with the sleeve of his tuxedo he had gotten for Travis’s party. It took effort, his brilliant blue eyes wincing with pain. His shoulder was still messed up from being shot.

“Do you have any more of your pain killers?” I asked him.

He closed his eyes and nodded while he slipped his glasses back on. “Now’s not the time. I’ll deal.”

“Well you certainly dealt with Javier’s face,” I said. It slipped out before I had a chance to take it back. I wasn’t about to start provoking the monster but it was easier said than done.

And provoked him I did.

Javier’s grip on the wheel tightened and he slammed on the brakes so we went skidding across the highway. I screamed, the tires squealing beneath us, as we came to a shuddering stop on the shoulder and he flipped it into park.

“Jesus!” Camden yelled. “Are you trying to kill us?”

Javier immediately whipped out his gun so it was in front of my face and pointed it at Camden.

“No. Now I’m trying to kill you,” Javier sneered, staring down the barrel of the gun.

“Then fucking do it,” Camden said, his eyes blazing, meeting the challenge.

“You shouldn’t tempt me,” Javier countered.

My eyes darted between the two of them and the gun. It wavered slightly, betraying Javier’s smooth exterior. He was damn angry, angry enough to do something stupid. He didn’t need Camden egging him on.

I raised my hands slowly, careful not to touch the gun that was inches away. I spoke carefully, trying to keep my voice from shaking. “Please, please, Javier, Camden, let’s just…let’s just calm down.”

“Shut up,” Javier said, his eyes flitting to me and back to Camden. “This is all your fault.”

“How is this my fault?” I exclaimed and then realized it was. I needed to keep my mouth shut. We all did. I looked between the two of them and said, “Okay, I’m sorry. It is my fault. Obviously we’re not getting anywhere if we can’t get along.”

Javier’s grip tightened on the gun. “This isn’t a matter of getting along, angel.” He licked his lips and nodded at Camden. “Tell me, Camden, how did you manage to escape from your ex-wife and the mighty Vincent Madano?”

Camden frowned at him, his jaw tensing. “How do you know about that?”

Javier grinned. “I read it in the newspaper like everyone else.”

“Bullshit.”

“I have to say, I’m impressed,” Javier went on. “Vincent Madano is not a man you can just mess up and walk away.”

“How well do you really know them?” I asked Javier, remembering that Camden had said something about it all being a set-up, that Sophia and her brothers, and possibly Javier were all in on it. The exchange, the kidnapping – it was all for show. All to get me away from Camden and maybe to put Camden in danger.

It must have been driving Javier crazy to have Camden here with us. Camden could not be caught that easily.

“I know them well enough,” Javier said. He loosed his grip on the gun, shook the rain off of it and put it back in his waistband. I exhaled in relief. “But I suppose that’s neither here nor there at this point.”

I was sure that Camden wouldn’t let it go that easily. Just how deeply was Javier tied to his ex-wife and her brothers and why? But Camden only gave Javier a final glare before turning his attention back to the darkened farmland we had stopped beside.

“Let’s just get Gus back,” he said and pressed his lips together as if to prevent himself from saying something else.

Javier watched him for a few moments before putting the Jeep back into drive and returning us to the highway.

We sat in unbearable silence as we made our way into Veracruz, yet it was safer than saying anything. I felt like we were a word away from incinerating each other. Camden only spoke up to give directions to where he had ditched Jose.

Unfortunately it was a bit too close to Travis’s compound for comfort. We pulled down a quiet residential street only a few blocks away, the leafy trees blowing wildly in the wind, the rain having thankfully dropped off. The sound of helicopters buzzed in the distance.

Javier eyed the sky and I asked, “Are those his or news choppers?”

He nodded subtly. “They’re his. The news wouldn’t dare cover this.”

“Turn right down here,” Camden told him and we came down another street, this one more narrow, with the trees blocking out the streetlights that were few and far between. This was still a well-to-do area, though the houses were smaller and spaced further apart, all behind tall gates and walls. I did note that it was a dead-end road, which meant there was only one way out if something were to happen to us. We couldn’t be too careful, not with the choppers circling in the distance, their spotlights occasionally lighting up the sky.

“There she is,” Camden said, pointing to the end of the street where jungle seemed to have taken over and there were no streetlights. I could barely make out the shape of the car in the darkness.

“She?” Javier asked, eyebrow cocked. “Its name is Jose.”

Camden shrugged. “Guess she’s a cross-dresser.”

Javier sighed, shaking his head in disgust, and pulled the Jeep up to it. “Let’s make this fast.”

We hopped out and it was only now that we were closer that I saw what Camden meant by “battered.”

“Holy shit, Camden!” I cried out at the sight of the poor vehicle.

“What the hell did you do to my car?” Javier yelled, his hands thrown up in the air.

The GTO had the paint scraped off all along one side, the windows on the driver’s side were all shot out, the driver’s side mirror was missing, the front was totally crunched up with only the right headlight intact.

Your car?” I asked Javier once I managed to look away from poor Jose. “What happened to the past being the past?”

“Now’s not the time to argue semantics,” Camden interrupted us. “She’s broken but she’s a survivor.” He fished the keys out of his suit jacket and tossed them at me. “Just like you.”

I caught them and he held my eyes for a moment before walking past me back to the Jeep.

Javier scoffed, though I didn’t know if it was for the state of the car or Camden’s comment, and made his way to the trunk. He bumped it with his fist. “Come on, let’s get her open.”

I was about to hurry over to him when Camden suddenly said, “Fuck.”

I spun around and looked at him. He was frozen in the act of taking off his jacket, his good arm free, his head cocked upward, eyes searching the sky. The sound of the choppers had gotten louder and over the tips of the waving trees I could see the spotlight in the sky, the blades whirring.

“Yeah, no kidding fuck,” I said. I turned to Javier and quickly ran over to him, trying to get my keys into the trunk of the car. I kept fumbling, missing the lock just as the wind blew my hair back and we were lit up by the spotlight, the helicopter coming closer. We were in their sights, no doubt about that. We had been spotted.

“Hurry up!” Javier yelled at me before ripping the keys out of my hands.

Camden hit the side of the Jeep with his fist. “There’s no time!” he yelled. “We have to go!”

“No!” I yelled back as Javier got the trunk open. “Not without my stuff!”

Suddenly the ground in front Camden started exploding with bullets as a steady stream of them came off the approaching chopper. We all cried out, dirt flying everywhere.

Javier quickly slammed the trunk shut. “Then we’re taking Jose. Get the fuck in!”

He went for the driver’s seat as Camden came running over, taking my hand and pulling me to the passenger side. He shoved me into the backseat, telling me to lie down, and barely got in the car himself before Javier was gunning the engine and driving the car backward. I could feel the wheels spinning for grip beneath my head and tried to sit up just as the sound of more bullets filled the air. I was tossed back down as Javier put the pedal to the floor and turned the wheel, the sheer power of the rear wheels grinding until we did a 180 until we were facing the right way. The chopper was now directly above us and I could feel the wind its blades created flowing through the smashed windows, the spotlight blinding me.

“Hang on,” Javier said, “this is going to get ugly before it gets better.”

He pressed down on the gas again and the car roared loudly before it lurched forward and we were all pinned back to our seats from the force. This is exactly why I loved this car. I just hoped he was stronger than he looked at the moment.

We raced down the street, the chopper in hot pursuit, the whir of blades and bullets gaining on us. I leaned forward between the seats, reaching for the glove compartment, waving my hand at it when I couldn’t reach. “My gun, give me my gun!”

Camden gave me an odd look but opened the compartment and handed me the gun that was thankfully still in there. It wasn’t my colt .45—that was in the trunk still—but it would do.

“What are you doing?” Camden yelled as I quickly checked the clip and slammed it back in.

“She’s being a good girl,” Javier said, just as the trunk was bombarded with bullets, sounding like metal fireworks being set off. “Fuck!” he yelled and swerved, trying to lose them, as I attempted to lean out of his window. I wedged myself up against the back of his seat and faced behind us. The wind whipped my hair around, the spotlight blinding me, but I managed to keep the gun aimed upward at the helicopter. I had no idea if this would work like it did in the movies but I figured it was better than just sitting in the backseat and doing nothing.

Only problem was, Javier kept swerving and throwing me off balance and the chopper kept moving out of my sights. You’d think that would mean that their bullets weren’t any closer to hitting us but that wasn’t quite the case. One hit the trunk again, a dangerously close call, just as Javier brought the car spinning around the corner and on to another road.

“Where do I shoot?” I screamed above the noise. “The fuel tank?”

“Shoot the fucking person who’s shooting at us!”

“Right,” I muttered. All I could see against the light was the outline of the chopper, not anyone inside. Still, there was a faint red glow whenever the gun went off so I just aimed there, firing off a few rounds and hoping they went somewhere.

Suddenly the windshield in the back of the car was hit and I screamed as it exploded into a million shards of glass. Obviously I hadn’t hit the gunman yet.

“Keep shooting!” Javier yelled as he brought the car around onto another street. We were leaving the hidden, residential hills of the wealthy and into the more open and busier suburbs of Veracruz. It was well lit and now there was traffic we had to contend with.

The chopper ducked down lower and sped up as we slowed to navigate around the cars on the road. The sound of horns, irate yells from drivers, and screeching tires filled the air. I took aim once more and fired again and again, hoping it would hit at least the windshield. But the helicopter came closer, the wind from the rotors shaking my arm like jelly, its landing skids almost coming down on top of us until Javier swerved the car to left and the chopper had to rise quickly to get above a tall semi-truck in its path. I took the time to grab my arm with my other hand, trying to steady myself, to ignore the cramp in my lower back, the pressure of the door frame against my shoulder.

Come on, Ellie, I told myself as the helicopter came back again, much faster now and much lower, as if it didn’t give a fuck anymore.

“Drive faster!” I yelled but wasn’t sure Javier could hear me over the noise. I took in a deep breath, trying to see past the hair flying in front of my face and started firing.

I fired and fire but it just came closer and closer.

And then there was a dull click.

There were no more bullets left in my gun.

And my other clip was in the glove compartment.

We were fucking screwed.

WANT TO READ ON?! Pre-order the FINAL book in the trilogy HERE – Bold Tricks releases October 15th

What’s new with Karina Halle

I wrote that title in the third person, not because I’m turning into George Costanza, but because it’s easier for search engines to pick up. Sadly I’m busy writing most of the time (when I’m not cuddling with my fiance or dog in our 1930’s sunny farmhouse we just moved into -yep, had to throw that in there because it’s just so awesome), so I can’t always answer the same questions on my Facebook and Twitter. Sooooooo hopefully people can see this and get up to date with all the newest happenings. Because, I know, life changes quickly!

1. There is no Little Fifteen. I get this question way too much…There IS NO LITTLE FIFTEEN. Instead we have the Ada Palomino Series coming out late 2014, starting with Veiled, which you can add to your Goodreads here. NOTE: The series isn’t YA but NA…but Ada is 17…the thing is, I hate categorizing books this way. I don’t write into a genre, as you know. But it’s a teen – a realistic teen. There will be sex and swearing and ghosts…nothing graphic or erotic, but you know…it happens!

 

2. Bold Tricks is the final book in the Artist Trilogy and it comes out October 15th. You all may hate me for the outcome…but keep in mind, this is my book and their story. I came up with the epilogue of the book WHEN I was writing Sins & Needles. It was always this way. Hope you enjoy it anyway. I’m fucking proud of this series.

 

3. The Devil’s Reprise is the sequel to The Devil’s Metal. It comes out in paperback and e-book on October 29th JUST in time for Halloween. It’s sexy and scary and if you’ve NOT read The Devil’s Metal, that’s okay…it’ll make sense as a standalone.

 

4. Ashes to Ashes is the 8th (second to last) Experiment in Terror book coming out in December 2013. Blurb and cover coming soon!

 

5. The Artists Trilogy is coming to AUDIOBOOK in Jan-March of 2014! However PAPERBACKS of Sins & Needles, Shooting Scars and Bold Tricks won’t be coming out from Grand Central Publishing until late 2014 (but HOPEFULLY it will be moved up to an earlier date).

 

6. Also in January, I’m releasing a standalone horror romance. I’ll be including the first chapter in either the Devil’s Reprise or Ashes to Ashes.

 

7. Dirty Angels…what the hell is that? It’s a new series, three books, revolving around three different characters. It’s romantic suspense. It’s dark and edgy and sexy as hell and the first one will come out in April. The books can be read as standalones and out of order if wanted, but that said I am aiming to have each book, Dirty Angels, Dirty Deeds and Dirty Promises no more than three months apart.

 

8. Lost in Wanderlust…my Chinese Democracy. When is this coming? Probably no sooner than April…unless Grand Central publishes it. I have to let them offer on it but otherwise I can’t publish any contemporary romance until April as per my contract.

 

9. The last EIT book – Dust to Dust – is coming in May. *cries*

 

I have some other books coming next year but I don’t want to commit to anything until I’m actually writing the thing! I hope that clears some stuff up. Stay tuned for cover reveals and blurbs and other fun stuff🙂

Sins & Authors – Interview with K.A. Tucker and Karina Halle (aka Crazy Canucks)

Sins & AuthorsAnd here we have it folks. The last Sins & Authors interview and this time I get interviewed as well! I can’t believe all the wonderful authors who agreed to take time out of their busy schedules (believe me…authors are BUSY people…we barely have time to bathe ourselves) to come and talk to me about The Artists Trilogy. I’ve had so much fun and discovered so many fun and talented authors and their books in the process. Win win all around! For our final interview we have none other than K.A. Tucker whose book Ten Tiny Breaths dominated Amazon’s Top 100 for weeks and weeks, garnering the attention of Atria, where she’s now signed. She’s since come out with One Tiny Lie and the soon-to-be released Four Seconds to Lose. Also, you may not know this, but like me, Tucker is a Canadian. And as such, a really cool person to close down a bar with. Also…I may start slipping into “eh” a lot. You’ve been warned (you also get your Bold Tricks teaser below!)

KH:  You’ve read the whole Artists Trilogy – give the peeps out there who haven’t read it a good reason to pick up Sins & Needles

KT: I have read the entire series *smiles wickedly* This has become one of my favorite series. Though it’s not categorized as a New Adult read, it could be. The characters are young and f*d up. The tone of this series is dark, dark, dark. The writing is phenomenal (Karina, your voice is unique and captivating). And the plot? Hot, and action-packed. Never a dull moment.

KH: If this were a movie – who would you cast?

KT: I am the worst at movie casting but I’ll take a shot. Rachel McAdams for Ellie (because McAdams has that look about her- the pretty girl hiding the devil inside), Ryan Gosling because I think he can pull off a nerd-gone-bad ass look (and, oh! Ryan and Rachel together again! Sigh… And, Oh! They’re both Canadian! And WE are both Canadian! I digress). For Javier, I keep going back to Diego Gonzalez. Not for his acting ability, but I think he could both charm and creep me out (as Javier does).

KH: OMG. You’re right!! Team Canada! Ryan and Rachel would be perfect again. That is GENIUS!! Out of Ellie, Javier and Camden, who is the most justified in their actions, the way they lived their life?
KT: At first I was going to say Javier, because this is the only life he knows, in a ‘kill or be killed’ world. But… no. He’s driven by power and greed, not survival. So I pick Ellie. She was abandoned by parents who taught her nothing but to lie, steal, and run.
KH: If you could get Camden to tattoo you anywhere and anything, what would you get?
KT: An ankle bracelet. It would have to be something really delicate and pretty, like a vine with tiny flowers.
KH: Mini golf with Camden, playing pool with Ellie or sailing with Javier?
KT: I can’t believe I’m saying this but… sailing with Javier.
KH: Sucker for a sailboat, eh? Assign a drink for each character. 

KT: Ellie= Dirty Martini,  Camden=Jack & Coke Javier=Scotch neat

KH: I’ll drink to that. Give me a word to describe Bold Tricks
KT: Bittersweet (and I can’t explain why without revealing the end but that’s what I was feeling the entire way through this book. Fantastic story, ends perfectly, but there’s an undertone there, a “what if”, a “why!” that pulled at my heartstrings.
KH: Your character Trent from Ten Tiny Breaths goes on a date with Ellie – what happens? (say this is pre-TTB)  
KT: I think she’d be drawn to him with his pretty boy looks and his hard body. They’d do dinner and he’d charm her. Maybe they’d go for a ride on his bike. Then he’d take her back to his place, she’d think he’s just an average guy who works out of his condo, doing graphic design and she’d ditch him because there’s not much to steal from him. Or… he’d take his shirt off, she’d see the giant “Forgiveness” tat on his back and completely swoon.

KH: She does like them tats. Let’s talk about the book I’m having the pleasure of reading – Four Seconds to Lose!!! Go!  Yes! Four Seconds To Lose is based on Cain, the owner of Penny’s Palace (strip club) from Ten Tiny Breaths. Remember? The really hot but really strange guy who goes out of his way to help Storm and Kacey, who tells Kacey that she needs to quit the bar because she’s too good for it? The one who might have some skeletons in his closet? 

And, boy, does he ever…

FSTL is told from two POVs: Cain’s and Charlie Rourke (new character).  She’s a twenty-two-year old pole-dancing diva who wants a job in his club. And who he can’t stop thinking about. Cain is a very controlled, principled man (I know, sounds contradictory, given his profession) who doesn’t sleep with the dancers. And Charlie, well… she’s just there to make a ton of money and fast because she’s in her own personal mess. Her name isn’t even really Charlie.

There’s not much more I can tell you without giving away parts of the plot. I will say that, as different as ONE TINY LIE is from TEN TINY BREATHS, FOUR SECONDS TO LOSE is VERY different. Both characters are dark and complex, as are their situations. Cain was difficult to write because he’s so intense. The drama is dialed up in this story but there are also many moments of humor to lighten things up. Readers will get a lot of the TTB supporting cast in this book. Specifically Nate, Ben, and Storm, though Kacey, Trent, and even Tanner make more than one appearance.

KH: I love Charlie, loved Cain…really loved this book. Seriously. I’m so excited for everyone to read it, it’s deliciously dark and very hard to put down (I read it while moving, how about that, eh?)

AND NOW THE INTERVIEW SWITCHES OVER….KA is in the driver’s seat

KT: The progression (or shall I say demise) of Javier’s character from On Every Street through to Shooting Scars (and beyond… *smug smile*) is sad to witness but necessary. Did you begin this series knowing how far he would fall? How much of his soul he would lose?

KH: Of course I knew! I’m a plotter and I really get to know my characters inside and out before I write them…of course, they evolve too and surprise me as they go. Nothing Javier did ever surprised me…it’s just who he is. I do believe he has a soul but no more or less than he did after the events in On Every Street. He’s not an evil man, but he is a businessman at heart and his first love is power. Power – or the quest for power- has ruined many people. 

KT: There are distinct reader camps here: Team Javier and Team Camden. Was there ever a point where you couldn’t decide who Ellie should end up with? Was it ever a hard decision for you?
KH: I had always planned who she was going to end up with…I planned out the epilogue in Bold Tricks while I wrote Sins & Needles, actually. The whole Team This vs Team That was a bit of a shock to be honest. This was never meant to be a love triangle – and I stand by that though it is a triangle, not all parties “love”. I had no idea people would actually consider Javier to be a valid love interest. That said, there were some moments where I could see the relationship going either way but I stuck to my guns and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I’m sure some people will be pissed off but *shrugs* it’s my book and it went the way I wanted it to. IDGAF lol. 
KT:  I can tell that you enjoy delving into this dark world of cartels.  As a reader, do you find yourself pulled toward writers with a similar dark edge to their writing? I have a hard time picturing you reading fluffy romances.
KH: I do read a lot of edgier stuff. A lot of paranormal/horror in YA or adult. Romantic suspense (though it’s hard to find, IMO) I love. Or just suspense in general. Most of my favorite writers are men. But I do read fluffy stuff too when I need a break…I have nothing against happy endings or romantic cheese and fluff, my only problem with those books is that the plot is usually too boring to keep me interested. But take Helen Fielding or Sophie Kinsella and their chick lit…loved their books!
KT: I love it when I hear an author’s voice come through in their writing. I had a opportunity to talk to you in person (aka close down the Book Bash hotel bar). Now that I’ve read this series, I feel like I’ve gotten to know you as a person and that’s pretty cool.  Do you find that your words flow freely as a natural extension of your thoughts? Or do you still toil over every sentence (as I do).
KH: I honestly just write and put it all out there. When I do my re-read, that’s when I started to toil and perfect as much as I can😀
THANK YOU FOR INTERVIEWING ME KA TUCKER!!
me and KA

KA Tucker

Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons.

She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit.

Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

Author of the Casual Enchantment series and the Ten Tiny Breaths series.

Website:  www.katuckerbooks.com/‎

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/K.A.Tucker.Author?sk=app_106171216118819

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/#!/kathleenatucker

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4866520.K_A_Tucker

BTteaser

Sins & Authors – Interview with Claire Contreras

Sins & AuthorsSo. This is the second to last interview for Sins & Authors (sorry for that week off there, I haven’t had the internet) and I can’t say I’m saving the best for last because ALL the authors have been so kind and amazing. But Claire Contreras (author of the popular romantic suspense There is No Light in Darkness and Darkness Before Dawn) is a pretty special author and I’m honored to have her crazy honest yet insightful ass talking to me today about all things TAT. And hey, there’s a Bold Tricks teaser in it for you as well🙂

KH: Ellie Watt of The Artists Trilogy is a character most readers hate – why do you think she bothers people so much? Can you relate to get? Why or why not?

CC: You know what I’m starting to realize? People, especially women, are very judgmental when they read or hear about a woman that is hurt. Instead of saying, “power to women” and wanting to hold her hand and walk with her in her painful journey of self-discovery, where she’ll make the mistakes she needs to make to find herself, they sit back, cross their arms and judge away. I think THAT is why people are bothered by Ellie. Ellie has a pain to her that we’re all familiar with, if we dare look inside ourselves. She feels pain but she doesn’t want to give in to it. She is hurt, but she doesn’t want to let herself bleed from it. She’s trying not to be the person she thinks she was destined to be, but she makes mistakes along the way. Sound familiar? I think it should…to all of us. So yes, I totally relate to Ellie. 

KH: Javier Bernal is a cheater, a liar, is emotionally abusive, is a drug lord, murders people, etc Why do you think so many readers give him a free pass?

CC: Because he’s an asshole and people love assholes. I don’t think most people differentiate an asshole and a “bad” guy and I will never understand why people would want Ellie, who has been hurt time and time again, to be with somebody who can only give her fleeting moments of hope amongst tremendous pain. BUT I do understand the appeal. He’s a sweet talker, he knows how to you know what, and he’s a master manipulator. AND since we see him in a different light in On Every Street, I think some people got stuck with that vision of Javier. They think despite what he does in Sins & Needles and despite what he does in Shooting Scars, that he wants to be saved. Can you save somebody that’s not completely alive to begin with though? I don’t know.

KH: Camden McQueen is a hero – or at least an anti-hero. Do you agree and why?

CC: Camden, Camden, Camden. I agree with whatever Camden says he is, especially if we’re in the forest. Or a dirty bathroom. Or his backyard. Anyway, he’s definitely a different type of hero, but a hero nonetheless. He goes for what he wants and maybe you see him falter a little in Shooting Scars because yes he goes all out, but circumstances are different. In Bold Tricks though? No words.

KH: If you had 24 hours with Camden, what would you do? If you had 24 hours with Javier? PS you are single in this dream!

CC: LOL! I am single in this dream…I would tell Javier that I was a virgin (haha) once we get that out of the way, I would make him take me to go get tacos because I love them.

Camden…I would let him tattoo my scars. Nekked. Then I want him to take me for a long walk in a muddy forest. Hell, I’d even be down to go camping with Camden and I am NOT outdoorsy.

KH: If you were on the run from the law, what would it be for? How would you evade the police?

CC: Hahaha what makes you think I’m not running right now? I would probably have to run for something stupid like forgetting to pay my taxes or something.  I would move to Canada to evade the police, so when you hear a knock on your door at 2am one day, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

KH: You’re already sending your kids here to stay in my barn and guest cottage, I figured there was a reason lol. You’ve read Bold Tricks…give me five words to describe it

CC: Damn. Only five?!

I’m going to do phrases and then words. I’m really bad at following rules:/.

Adrenaline fueled, heart stopping, stomach punching, breath taking, “just fuck me already!” (the last one was just a thought I had while reading)

Insane, Earthshattering, Amazeballs (I don’t even say this word), Jaw dropping, Genius.  

KH: Would you rather do shots of Tequila on a beach in a drug lord’s house with Javier or shots of Jameson in a divey bar in the desert with Ellie?

CC: Damn. You completely screwed me here and you know it. Fuckdamnshitfuckmother. Sorry, Ellie, you’re my girl, but Javier has a beach and tequila.

KH: You won’t drink Jameson because I force-fed you shots of it, that’s why. Now this is pre-There is no light in Darkness….your character hottie mchottie Cole and my Ellie go on a date. What happens?

CC: He fucks her. I don’t know how the date will start, it depends on how they met, I guess, but one thing is for sure: he fucks her 

KH: And I’m sure Ellie likes it. Tell me about your next book Prisoner.

CC: Prisoner is Dean’s book (a character in Darkness Before Dawn). He’s very mysterious because he keeps to himself and doesn’t talk much, so you never really know what’s going on in that head of his. Because Prisoner is written mostly in his POV, you find out everything there is to know about him. His family is big in organized crime in Chicago, but that isn’t really his life, or it wasn’t supposed to be. He has an interesting journey. 

KH: You’re Team Gus. Can we talk about how rad Gus is?

CC: GUS!!!! I LOOOVE GUS! He’s so badass. BAS.ASS! He’s protective of the people he cares about and knows no limits. AND he has one of the coolest and scariest jobs ever. 

Your Bold Tricks Teaser:

bttease

Claire Contreras

Claire Contreras graduated with her BA in Psychology from Florida International University. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, two little boys, and three dogs.

Her favorite past times are: daydreaming, writing, and reading.

She has been described as a random, sarcastic, crazy girl with no filter.

Life is short, and it’s more bitter than sweet, so she tries to smile as often as her face allows. She enjoys stories with happy endings, because life is full of way too many unhappy ones.

She is currently working on the second novel in her series.

Website:  http://www.clairecontreras.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/CContrerasBooks

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ClariCon

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6655354.Claire_Contreras

TOMORROW I WILL ANNOUNCE THE TWO WINNERS OF THE SINS & AUTHORS GIVEAWAY! ALSO LOOK FOR K.A. TUCKER AND ANOTHER BOLD TRICKS TEASER!