Daily Archives: 28 July, 2017

EXCLUSIVE FIRST CHAPTER REVEAL :: MERCY by DEBRA ANASTASIA


FIRST CHAPTER REVEAL – MERCY by DEBRA ANASTASIA


Debra Anastasia is back with a brand new standalone, MERCY releases on 21st August and we’re beyond excited to be able to bring you the first chapter reveal! Sit back and enjoy the sneak peek at this gripping upcoming novel! 

“27 days until I change how you perceive love.”
              

SYNOPSIS 

He taught me to kill. Murder is in my blood now. It runs through my veins and though I hide the monster I see in the mirror with ink, it doesn’t keep him from coming out.

My street name is Mercy, but I never show any. Except for her. I watch Becca, though she doesn’t know. She saved me a long time ago; the day my father killed my mother. Her bravery turned her into a target.

My father holds a grudge and knife with the same proficiency, and Becca is the focus of his hatred. And I’m the only monster who can save her.

Pre Order MERCY on iBooks below


CHAPTER ONE

Chapter 1 of MERCY by Debra Anastasia

Superhero

Fenix

“Hold these eggs.”

My father handed me the white carton in the grocery store. The aisle was cold. I was cold. My hands were shaking.

“Don’t you drop those eggs, son.” His voice was menacing. But everything about him was menacing.

He’d finally done it. He’d killed my mother. Last night. This morning.

We were in the grocery store because we needed food. My sister was at my aunt’s house, which was good.

Because Mom was dead.

My hands shook more. I stared at them and willed them to stop shaking. I begged them to stop shaking.

Mom was shaking before she died. Seeing her like that was all there was. In this grocery store. In my head. My hands were clean now, but Dad had scrubbed them before he’d put me in the truck.

To come here. To get groceries.

I felt sick to my stomach.

Mom had been trying to make dinner. In the end all the food from the fridge had been tossed around the kitchen.

The squeaky Styrofoam container the eggs were in was giving me away. He was watching. He was getting even angrier.

Mom wasn’t here anymore. To step in. To stop him when he got this way.

“Stop shaking, Fenix Churchkey.”

It was a whisper from the scariest man on the planet. I tensed my muscles. There was no difference. Maybe it was making it worse.

“You’re the best boy, Nix. I love you so much. Just remember that.”

Mom. She was gone.

I watched in horror as the carton tumbled from my hands and hit the floor. The eggs made a sickening noise inside.

Mom was shaking before she died.

Before he murdered her.

I looked at his face, knowing he would kill me too. Not here. Most likely not here.

He liked private. He liked closed doors.

I knew not to make a sound when his hand grasped my arm so hard. He would squeeze right through the bones maybe someday.

I started to count my matchbox cars in my head. It was how I kept quiet. In a box under my bed there was three cars. The red car. The blue van. And the Hummer, my favorite. It was purple and…

“What did I tell you?”

His mouth was next to my ear. His breath smelled bad. His sweat smelled bad.

Mom was gone now.

At least my sister was at my aunt’s house. She was just a baby.

Dad grabbed my other arm, a little lower than the edge of my T-shirt sleeve. I watched as my skin came up between his fingers.

I felt the tears.

Crying always made it worse.

He was going to break my arms. Both my arms.

“Hey! Mister! Leave that boy alone.”

I felt chills up my spine. We were private. We liked closed doors. No one was allowed to know.

“I said let go! You’re bigger than he is. And let him go. He’s good.”

She was a kid. Like me. She put her hands on his forearm and pushed. I was stunned quiet. I was stunned stupid.

She wasn’t wearing matching socks and her hair was a giant halo of curls. She had a shiny purse with a stuffed dog sticking out of it and a fistful of coupons. There was a spiral pad with a cat doodled on it popping out of a pocket.

Dad took one hand off of me and lifted it. He was going to backhand this little girl. I put my hand up to block him.

I saw my death in his eyes then. You don’t stand up to him.

Ever.

Mom was gone.

The little girl didn’t flinch.

It would occur to me years later that she’d never been hit a day in her life. But not now. Now she was a superhero.

“You don’t hurt kids. That’s wrong.” She looked from his face to his hand that was still squeezing me.

“Go on, girl. ’Fore I change your mind.” Dad wiped his mouth with the back of his threatening hand.

Restraint.

He had it for her. For this little girl.

She frowned at my father and then put her lips to the side like she was fed up with him.

I felt my mouth drop open.

Then she was looking at me. Her clear blue eyes saw me. Saw through me. “Are you okay?”

To see this wild disrespect of what my father could do, what he demanded from Mom, from me was like getting hit with a wave in the center of my chest.

I felt my father’s warning hiss to me. This girl was the sun on the darkest horizon. She made dark turn to light.

I nodded. I was fine. We were always fine.

Mom was gone.

“Mister, you need to let go of his arm.”

The girl pointed at me. I knew what she saw. His fingers biting into me like teeth on a tiger. I had so many bruises all over my body that were in the outline of my father’s hand. This new one on my arm would only be unique because it didn’t feel entirely in the safe zone of how my shirts lay. I would wear a long sleeve if I could find it tomorrow. If I made it to tomorrow.

“I said for you to get. And mind your own damn business.”

The girl’s eyes went wide at his use of the word “damn”. If she only knew.

I wanted her to know.

She narrowed her eyes at my father. “You’re a bad man.”

The veins in my father’s neck were starting to pop out.

She was in danger now. And I knew I should protect her from him, but to not be alone for a moment. It was making me breathe, and I needed that so much.

“You’re about to learn how bad I can be.”

It was a low growl. It was his home voice. It was his closed-door voice. It was the voice I was never going to get away from. It was the last voice my mom heard.

Mom was gone.

“You’re trying to scare me, and I don’t scare easy. I sleep in my own bed with the lights off and no nightlight anymore.”

She lifted her chin at my father like a boxer just before the first punch.

“Dad, let’s go.” I spoke for her. Normally I never spoke. Not when my father’s voice had cracked its way into my soul. But I didn’t want to see the light in the girl’s eyes fade.

I didn’t know what a soul was until I watched my mother’s leave last night—or this morning. It was that eye light.

“Rebecca Dixie Stiles!”

The girl snapped her head around. Rebecca had to be her name.

“Over here, Dad! I need your help!” She crossed her arms in front of her.

I watched as my father shifted his weight and a muscle twitched in his jaw.

My father didn’t say anything else. He abandoned our groceries on the floor by the egg carton and pulled me with him.

I looked over my shoulder at her. She was waving down her father, who I didn’t get to see. “Dad! This guy! Wait!”

She reached past her stuffed animal into the sparkly bag and jogged after us. She held a lollipop out to me. I looked at it. The words “Hug Me” were printed on it. I stuck it inside my pocket.

Rebecca locked eyes with me then. “Be okay. Okay? Be okay.”

I nodded.

It just didn’t happen that day.

Or the next.

Or the next.


TBB RECOMMENDATIONS from DEBRA 


POUGHKEEPSIE is a standalone beautiful romance that will steal your heart.

 What a difference a smile and giving a damn about someone down on their luck can make. Livia and Blake will steal your heart.  Theirs is a love story that you will cheer from the beginning.  You want these two to succeed.  You want the best for them. You will love them. You will cherish them.

“You make the rest of the beautiful things in the world cry for even trying at all. You make it hard for me to breathe.” 

 


FOR ALL THE EVERS is a standalone emotional and beautiful otherworldly romance.

Written from the heart, this is a journey where past meets present, depicting bravery, addiction, sacrifice, determination, perseverance and redemption. Ultimately it captured the very essence of love and what we’d do in the name of love.  We cried tears of joy and devastation.

“If true love hurts more than this does, I don’t want any part of it.

All the Evers


About the Author

There are a lot of eyes in Debra Anastasia’s house in Maryland. First, her own creepy peepers are there, staring at her computer screen. She’s made two more sets of eyes with her body, and the kids they belong to are amazing. The poor husband is still looking at her after 17 years of marriage. At least he likes to laugh. Then the freaking dogs are looking at her—six eyeballs altogether, though the old dog is blind. And the cat watches her too, mostly while knocking stuff off the counter and doing that internal kitty laugh when Deb can’t catch the items fast enough.

In between taking care of everything those eyes involve, Debra creates pretend people in her head and paints them on the giant, beautiful canvas of your imagination. What an amazing job that is. The stories hit her hard while driving the minivan or shaving her legs, especially when there’s no paper and pen around. Within all of the lies she writes hides her heart, so thank you for letting it play in your mind.

Connect with Debra
Twitter | Facebook | Web

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Filed under Debra Anastasia, Excerpt, Pick an Author

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US (An Opposites Attract Novel #2) by RACHEL HIGGINSON

Standalone in a series – enemies to lovers

SYNOPSIS

I’m cursed.

At least when it comes to finding Mr. Right.

I’m tired of men that only want one night stands or blind dates that are nothing but awkward and uncomfortable. I’m tired of avoiding inappropriate text messages and the constant disappointment of always meeting Mr. Wrong.

After all these years of dates that lead nowhere, I can admit that it’s me. I’m the problem. I’m shy and picky and cursed. Definitely cursed.

So I’ve decided two things.

The first? I’m giving up dating and relationships and men in general. Maybe, possibly, forever.

The second? I’m going to have to try harder to avoid Ezra Baptiste.

If I couldn’t hack it in the kiddy pool of dating, I certainly can’t swim in his deep end. He’s too successful. Too intense. He’s all man when I’m used to nothing but boys pretending to be grownups. He’s everything I’m afraid to want and so far out of my league we might as well be different species entirely.

So he’ll need to find a different artist to paint his mural. And a different graphic designer to help him with his website. He’ll need to find someone else to glare at and flirt with and kiss.

It can’t be me.

We’re too different. 

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US is available below

         


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“I tried to save you from this, Molly….I’m tired of failing.”

Oh how we loved this book, it was everything we seek in an easy, swoony and romantic story. Rachel Higginson captured our attention and we stayed with her throughout this story captivated by the characters and their slow building, beautiful romance. The writing was fabulous and everything just felt so right and wonderful. We absolutely loved The Difference Between us.

‘He didn’t just do things. He conquered things. All the things/ He was too much for me. Too sure of himself. Too successful. To self-possessed. Too manly. Too way, way, way out of my league.’

What we loved about this book is that it wasn’t predictable, it was low angst and drama yet still completely nailed the emotional aspect. That is something which is a rarity, but less really is more in all aspects, as this story was character driven, which we absolutely relished.

‘Beauty was found in the things that caught my eye, that made emotions flow…’

Molly is career driven and has a string of dating disasters under her belt. As we delve into her family life it soon becomes apparent as to why this is. Her time is spent trying to become noticed in a company that exhibits archaic and questionable values and behaviours. Artistic by nature and wonderfully loyal, savvy and sweet, she immediately endeared herself to us. Yet sometimes what is missing is that one person who sees all of you and brings out the qualities that may be lying dormant or undiscovered. Sometimes it takes honest admiration, sincere attraction and trust to be the best you can be.

‘When Ezra said my name, I was anything but the crazy cat lady. I was bold, beautiful, and everything defiantly female.’

We fell in utter love with Ezra, the enigmatic loaded multiple restauranteur who goes for what he wants. A bit of a domineering mystery who slowly asserted himself firmly on the pages, in our hearts and in Molly’s life. Through mutual friends, Ezra was not letting Molly, nor her talents slip through his fingers. This man was a force to be reckoned with, almost grumpy and aloof in attitude as well as unapologetically honest. He was quite a character who made us laugh and swoon in equal measure.

“I’m not sure I remember a time when I didn’t want to kiss you.”

Molly and Ezra’s story was just wonderful, we thoroughly enjoyed every moment we spent with them, their friends and the subsequent simmering romance and comedic banter. This story has made us want to pick up every single story Rachel Higginson has written and go on a binge read!


Also available in this standalone series.
THE OPPOSITE OF YOU – STANDALONE

 


TBB recommends THE FIVE STAGES OF FALLING IN LOVE 
If you’re looking for a beautiful, emotional and moving story of grief, love, hope and love, then this standalone second chance romance is a TBB recommendation.

 SYNOPSIS

The Five Stages of Falling in Love is a Contemporary Romance.
Elizabeth Carlson is living in the pits of hell- also known as grief.

Her husband of eight years, the father of her four children and the love of her life, died from cancer. Grady’s prognosis was grim, even from the start, but Liz never gave up hope he would survive. How could she, when he was everything to her?

Six months later, she is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and get the kids to school on time. Both seem impossible. Everything seems impossible these days.

When Ben Tyler moves in next door, she is drowning in sorrow and pain, her children are acting out, and the house is falling apart. She has no time for curious new friends or unwanted help, but Ben gives her both. And he doesn’t just want to help her with yard work or cleaning the gutters. Ben wants more from Liz. More than she’s capable of ever giving again.

As Liz mourns her dead husband and works her way through the five stages of grief, she finds there’s more of her heart to give than she thought possible. And as new love takes hold, she peels away the guilt and heartache, and discovers there’s more to life than death.

 THE 5 STAGES OF FALLING IN LOVE is available to purchase below
Amazon US || Amazon UK || Our Review

 

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Pick an Author, Rachel Higginson