Tag Archives: comedy

Release Blitz: The Duke & The Dandy Highwayman Trilogy by Zakarrie Clarke

The Duke & The Dandy Highwayman Trilogy | Zakarrie Clarke

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Release Date: May 6, 2019

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: approx. 100,000 words

It is a standalone story

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Blurb

‘The Most High, Noble and Potent Prince, His Grace Padraic, Duke of Waterford.’

After enduring the Ducal Grand Entrance, one might be forgiven for thinking that an evening could only improve. One would be wrong. Padraic was then duty bound to find an amiable miss to romance and dance attendance upon.

In truth, the Duke was rather more partial to establishments that promised charms he would ne’er find in the arms of a Lady. Such dalliances did add a dash of decadence to his life of ducal drudgery, but time was tick-tocking and a blue-stocking bride must be wooed, and wed…

Raff of the Rookeries. The most afeared rake-hell to have haunted the highways since Darkin denied them the pleasure at the gallows…by stepping off the ladder before they could whip it from under his feet. Raff had fought his way up to rule the roost with instincts as razor-sharp as his dirk.

His sword skills, fists, and wily wits had stood him in good stead, but none had proved as invaluable as the weapon he’d ne’er needed to tend. His fury. A rage every bit as lethal as arsenic—deadlier than brawn, brains, or bravado—Raphael had carried it like a toxic plague. Until, he became Raff of the Rookeries.

Unleashed upon the underworld, it was the most formidable foe in London. Two men from two different worlds…a mere few miles apart. That is, until the fateful night when The Duke was halted in his tracks by a very Dandy Highwayman…

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Excerpt

Mayhaps twenty minutes later, the air turned decidedly rank; a stench that came accompanied by random street sounds and the odd drunken shout. They were, beyond any shadow o’doubt, heading for some godforsaken part of town. A logical assumption, further embellished by the aroma of decaying cabbage and other, far less salubrious odors.

If the Devil himself intended to demoralize the poor, he could not find a means more agreeable to his plans, than the London slums.

“Nearly there, Yer Grace,” The scoundrel called over his shoulder as they slowed to a trot.

“Where is ‘there’?” Padraic dared to wonder.

“My humble abode. It’s where you’ll be staying awhile; leastways until someone coughs up for yer safe return.” The highwayman’s voice sounded harsher, colder while imparting this, as if his words were poisoned by the rancid air as they fell from his lips.

“Whereabouts are we?” Padraic asked, curious as to whether his rogue would answer.

“The Strand.”

It was as he’d expected. They were in the warren of narrow, filthy streets and alleyways in the densely populated slums. Home to one of London’s most notorious Rookeries. An utterly lawless labyrinth of squalid living, gin dens, bawdy houses, and brothels. Popular legend told of a traveller who had entered Portugal Street on his way to The Strand and never emerged. His ghost was, apparently, still searching for a way back to civilization. Padraic would just have to hope to fare rather better than he.

The Duke had e’er been horrified that people were forced to live this way, right under the refined noses of the ton. Poles apart, but virtually overlapping in proximity. Padraic had poured thousands into funding an orphanage and school for foundlings, when he came into his inheritance. He visited them oft, choosing the staff himself to ensure that no child was ill-treated, but there was only so much he could do. With all the will in the world, there wasn’t a great deal to be done, as long as those in power turned a blind eye to the suffering of others.

“Whoa…” When Demon clattered to a halt on the cobblestones, the Duke reluctantly relinquished his grip about his captor’s person. The scoundrel shifted in the saddle and with one sharp tug, the kerchief was gone, alongside a fair few strands of hair that were tangled into its knot. The Duke scarce felt the sting as his hungry gaze guzzled the sight it had been denied for the duration of the ride. ’Twas with a devilish wink that the highwayman threw a leg over the horse’s head, before lightly dismounting.

“Billy, m’lad!” He hailed a youth seated on the front steps of a large dilapidated townhouse, holding a lantern aloft. An endearing grin lit up his grimy face as he sprang to his feet.

“Yer all right, Raff?” he chirped, in very genuine cockney tones.

“Too right I am. We ’ave ourselves a guest m’friend. Yer Grace, this is Billy—he ain’t got another name—so I can’t tell yer that. Billy, this ’ere is His Grace, The Duke of Waterford, so yer better mind your p’s ’n’ q’s, like I taught yer.”

“Hello Billy, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” Padriac greeted him.

“Lawks! I can’t fink why, Yer…Grace?” Billy glanced at the man he’d called Raff, seeking reassurance for his form of address, and received an approving nod.

“I can’t think why ’twould not be.” Padraic smiled. Billy looked puzzled for a moment—as if trying to make sense of something he’d patently understood—then just beamed instead and reached for Demon’s halter.

“See that he’s rubbed down and well-fed, won’t you, Billy? I need to get our guest settled in.”

“Righto. C’mon Demon, let’s be ’avin yer, there’s oats awaiting and some fresh hay.”

“After you, Yer Grace…” The rascal sketched a bow, waving his hand with a flourish as he bent extravagantly low, before straightening up to push open the front door. It was painted black; blistered, peeling and desperately in need of a fresh coat. A large, dimly lit hallway lay beyond it, with a wide staircase ascending on the left.

“Raff! I’d almost given up ’ope on ya. Thought you’d gone a-whoring,” announced a stocky, bow-legged man, with close-cropped hair and forearms like lamb shanks. His broad grin revealed several missing teeth, the remaining ones having seen better days. Several decades ago.

Despite having tugged his kerchief down when they entered, Padraic was still unable to drink his fill of Raff’s face, for much of it was cast into shadow and the rest, obscured by a tangled fall of hair.

“Not tonight Bluff, I was off procuring us a guest,” he smirked.

“Crikey, you’ve nabbed a right nob. Who the ’ell is he?”

“This ’ere’s The Duke of Waterford.” Raff declared, inclining his head with divine insolence.

“Lawks! A Duke? Couldn’t yer find a Prince ’anging about then?” Bluff gaped.

“’Fraid not, we’ll just ’ave to slum it…” Raff tutted, with a fulsome sigh.

“I hope yer don’t expect me t’curtsy. I ain’t got the legs for it.”

“You ain’t got the legs for owt except sitting on ’orseback,” Raff retorted, about a breath before his tone darkened to a deadly rasp. “Bluff. See to it that no one. But no one. Lays a finger on him.” He added nary a dire threat, nor had he raised his voice. Raff had, in fact, lowered it to a lethal lash of sound that sliced the air like a whip—but it was the glint of green he levelled at Bluff that made the man swallow visibly while nodding several times.

“Will do, Raff. He’ll fetch a pretty price, won’t he?”

“Too bloody right, he will. I’ll have to keep him up top with me—Duke he might be—but he ain’t above being too ripe and ready by ’alf.”

“A dark ’orse is he? I ain’t at all surprised, now you mention it. Beggin’ yer pardon, Yer Dukeness. Right, I’ll just wait for Billy an’ lock up then.”

“Thanks, Bluff. ’Night.”

“’Night Raff…’night yer Dukeness.” Bluff doffed an imaginary cap at Padraic, who inclined his head with ducal gravity, so as not to disappoint him. The amiable miscreant was chuckling away to himself as he took his leave of them, before disappearing through a door further down the hallway.

“Right then, Yer Grace, up yer go. Right to the top,” Raff instructed, gesturing towards the staircase with a regal sweep of his hand.

“Are you locking me in the attic?” Padraic asked, as he clasped the bannister.

“I am, indeed. Yer can’t get up to any mischief up there.”

The Duke thought it might be wise to hold his tongue and make his way upstairs, afore the scoundrel decided to shove him in the coal cellar instead. Padraic’s brain was abuzz with demon steeds, daft monikers, and bandy-legged blackguards. A boy with only one name and a heart of gold.

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About the Author

After moving to London at eighteen and flitting about for far too long, Zakarrie settled, as blissy as can be, by the sea.

’Twas here that her castaway dreams resurfaced and she began to write; stories that are, in truth, better at being her than she’s ever been.

Her one hope now is that someone, somewhere, will enjoy the misadventures of her miscreants as much as she loves writing them.

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Book Blitz: Fluffy by Julia Kent

Fluffy | Julia Kent

Publication date: April 30th 2019

Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

It all started with the wrong Help Wanted ad. Of course it did.

I’m a professional fluffer. It’s NOT what you think. I stage homes for a living.

Real estate agents love me, and my work stands on its own merits.

Sigh. Get your mind out of the gutter. Go ahead. Laugh. I’ll wait.

See? That’s the problem. My career has used the term “fluffer” for decades. I didn’t even know there was a more… lascivious definition of the term.

Until it was too late.

The ad for a “professional fluffer” on Craigslist seemed like divine intervention. My last unemployment check was in the bank. I was desperate. Rent was due. The ad said cash paid at the end of the day.

The perfect job!

Staging homes means showing your best angle. The same principle applies in making a certain kind of movie. Turns out a “fluffer” doesn’t arrange decorative pillows on a couch.

They arrange other soft, round-ish objects.

The job isn’t hard. Er, I mean, it is — it’s about being hard. Or, well… helping other people to be hard.

Oh, man…

And that’s the other problem. A man. No, not one of the stars on the movie set. Will Lotham – my high school crush. The owner of the house where we’re filming. Illegally. In a vacation rental.

By the time the cops show up, what I thought was just a great house staging gig turned into a nightmare involving pictures of me with an undressed naked star, Will rescuing me from an arrest, and a humiliating lesson in my own naivete.

My job turned out to be so much harder than I expected. But you know what’s easier than I ever imagined?

Having all my dreams come true.

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Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge.

From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes.

Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.

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Cover Reveal: Sour by Jennifer Woodhull

Sour | Jennifer Woodhull

Publication date: June 4th 2019

Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Tall, handsome, and eternally optimistic Noah has dated a string of gorgeous women.

His best friend Elle has outlasted them all. Of course, he has no idea she’s been in love with him for years. Why would he? It’s not like she’s going to tell him.

After all, she’s short and awkward, and as he’s fond of reminding her, has a sour disposition.

When Elle takes off on her annual ten-day vacation with her family, Noah comes to a startling realization. She’s the woman who is by his side day in and day out, whose office is across the hall, and whose house is around the corner.

She has called him on his shit when he gets too cocky, and he has held her in her arms when her heart was broken. Absence must make the heart grow fonder because while she’s in Germany with her parents, he realizes that everything he has ever wanted was right there all along.

Now he’s on a mission to make her realize that romance won’t ruin their friendship, but platonic friendship is ruining their relationship.

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Author Bio:

Jennifer Woodhull is based in the Southern United States, spending time in her second home of England, and traveling as often as she can. Her love of travel permeates her work, and her characters often find themselves exploring new and foreign surroundings.

A keen observer of human behavior, Jennifer often draws inspiration from something as simple as a fleeting connection, or the glimpse of a unique trait or characteristic. Her favorite place to write is on airplanes.

“The drone of the engine, the scores of people, all traveling to something or from something, and being disconnected from digital distractions are a combination that provide the perfect place to write,” she says.

“If you see a woman in seat 9F who is balancing her Macbook on her lap because it’s time to close your tray table, please have patience. I’m just trying to finish one more sentence.”

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Book Blitz: The Honeymooner by Melanie Summers

The Honeymooner | Melanie Summers

Paradise Bay #1

Publication date: August 7th 2018

Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Twenty-eight-year-old workaholic Libby Dewitt lives by the motto ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’

She’s finally about to start her dream life with her steady-as-a-rock fiancé, Richard Tomy. Together, they’re the perfect power couple—right down to the fact that he’s agreed to use their honeymoon to help further her career in mergers and acquisitions. But ten minutes before the wedding, her dreams dissolve via text message.

Devastated and humiliated, Libby escapes to Paradise Bay alone. She’s got two goals for her trip: to devise a plan to get Richard back and to convince resort owner Harrison Banks to sell his property to her company. Unfortunately, when she arrives, she discovers that tall, dark, and built, Harrison is not about to make anything easy for her.

Instead, he derails her plans while at the same time, bringing out a side of Libby she’s kept carefully tucked away—a carefree, adrenaline junkie. After a few days together, Harrison’s got her wondering if the life she always wanted was meant for some other girl. Suddenly, Libby must decide which version of herself she wants to be.

Will she go back to her comfortable, safe life, or risk everything to be with the only man who’s ever made her feel truly alive?

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Author Bio:

Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.

Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three young children, and their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog. When she’s not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house.

She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken ‘from above’. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something–more like just staying until they turn the lights off.

She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International.

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Cover Reveal: Breakup Boot Camp by Beth Merlin

Breakup Boot Camp | Beth Merlin

Published by: Firefly Hill Press

Publication date: October 8th 2019

Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

After weeks of training to whip Joanna Kitt into shape for her big day, her picture-perfect relationship is torn in two and Joanna is left out on her perfectly toned rear end.

In an effort to put the past and her heartache behind her, she gears up for a whole different kind of boot camp – but will 12 steps be enough to get her life back on track?

Or will her getaway to get over him prove healing the heart takes a whole lot more?

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Author Bio:

Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School.

She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.

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Book Blast: Mischief and Mayhem by L.E. Rico

Mischief and Mayhem | L.E. Rico

Whiskey Sisters #2

Published by: Entangled Publishing

Publication date: July 9th 2018

Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

Welcome to Mayhem, Minnesota, home of the Knitty Kitty, The Little Slice of Heaven Pie Shop, and O’Halloran’s Pub—owned by the four young women known as The Whiskey Sisters.

In the wake of her divorce, Jameson O’Halloran has gone man-vegan. And this is one diet she’s determined to stick with. Even when her long-lost ex-brother-in-law shows up looking like two scoops of double dutch dipped in chocolate… She’s not giving in. Been there and still wearing the messy T-shirt.

It’s been a decade since Scott Clarke left his family and his hometown, never to return. But when tragedy strikes, he finds himself dragged back to the land of gossip, judgment, and the one woman he absolutely, positively, without a doubt can never have. His brother’s ex is off-limits. He just needs to keep repeating that to himself until it sinks in.

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On sale for a limited time at 99¢

Author Bio:

L.E. Rico didn’t set out to be an author. In fact, she’s made a name for herself as a classical music radio host—doing her best to make the music and the composers relevant by putting them into a modern context.

It was just a few years ago that she discovered a passion for writing that blossomed into an entire novel. And then another. And another. And, while she still spends plenty of time on the radio, telling the stories of the great composers, she spends even more time composing her own great stories.

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Book Blitz: Blame it on Romeo by Sophia Knightly

Blame it on Romeo | Sophia Knightly

Beach Read #2

Publication date: April 10th 2017

Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Hi, I’m Francesca Lake, WBCG TV’s medical reporter.

Privately, I am on a mission to marry a doctor. After my recent mortifying episode in the ER, it’s clear I suck at self-diagnosis.

It all started when I thought I was having a heart attack. I made a cringe-worthy entrance at the hospital, but in my defense, I thought I was DYING. You can ask Harrison Taylor, my dog’s vet. He was the one who carried me into the ER.

I used to love my job reporting the social scene, but I’ve been recently drafted as the station’s medical reporter.

God only knows what diseases I will have to report on. This is not a good thing for a closet hypochondriac! There’s only one upside–medical reporting means meeting lots of doctors. Surely, there will be a few eligible bachelors in the mix…

I’m trying to ignore my wild attraction to Harrison, but his forest green eyes, rugged physique and warm smile make my insides melt…not to mention other parts. My adorable dog, Romeo, is in love with Harrison, and he’s convinced Harrison is for me.

But I’m looking for a “human” doctor. Harrison is an animal doctor. Do I look like an animal? Well, only on a bad hair day, but that’s beside the point.

Marrying a doctor calls for a methodical approach, and I intend to date as many as I can to meet “the one.”

I have to ignore Romeo’s blatant attempts to matchmake me with Harrison. But ignoring my pounding heart when I’m around swoony Harrison is another matter entirely…

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Author Bio:

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, Sophia Knightly cooks up hot romance and delicious humor in her sexy contemporary romances that pair hot, alpha heroes with strong, smart women and throw them on an exciting emotional journey. Traditionally published by St. Martin’s Press, Kensington, and Samhain Publishing, her popular Tropical Heat Series and Heartthrob Series have consistently been on multiple best selling lists.

Sophia loves writing books that end with a sigh and a smile. In addition to traveling, foodie adventures, and the arts in all forms, one of her favorite pastimes is simply watching people–especially those in love!

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