Tag Archives: torture

Blog Tour: Windfall by Shawna Barnett

Shawna Barnett | Windfall

Legends of Vioria #1

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Release Date: August 12th, 2021

Publisher: Hansen House

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Blurb

Captain Liana Foley knows a thing or two about fights. She fights the King’s Navy. She fights to balance power in oppressive Vioria. She fights for respect as a female, bisexual, pirate captain. But she’s losing her biggest fight: to escape her secret past as a lost Princess.

With a mysterious letter and a stranger threatening to expose her, Liana is blackmailed into attending a royal ball and protecting her counterpart, sheltered Princess Rhian. The pretenses are suspicious enough, but Liana takes the risk in hopes to finally unveil the magic plot that killed her parents and forced her into hiding.

When Liana encounters Rhian’s own lightning-wielding powers, the ball erupts in violence. The sheltered princess falls into the care of Liana—and her band of pirates. On the run, the only safe haven for the Windfall crew to hide is the most-dangerous place of all: under the thumb of Liana’s narcissistic, abusive brother-in-law.

In order to protect her crew, her family, and naïve Rhian, Liana must demand sacrifices from herself and the people she loves. Her choices will make powerful enemies; good thing Liana Foley knows a thing or two about fighting those.

Warnings: Violence, attempted rape, domestic violence, torture, murder.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

To Go on the Account

6th of Lengnath, 1715

The Capital of Caerwyn

A shadow crept around a stone archway, unseen by a passing pair of guards on patrol. The woman who cast it pulled down her hood and peered about. Her thick, unkempt black hair fell over her shoulders. A long cloak covered her curves, but she had flung it back to rest a hand on her hip, revealing a sword in its sheath. Her fingers, ruddy and coarse with use, pinched her bottom lip. She strained her ears to hear over the soft slaps of water in the harbor, the creaking of the ships’ hulls as they swayed, and the occasional caw of laughter from the nearby row of pubs.

Just as she began to wring her hands under the cloak, another duo approached. They weren’t dressed in soldiers’ uniforms, but sailors’ garb. She took a step forward and allowed her silhouette to be revealed. “There you are. What took you so long?”

“I’m sorry, Captain,” her quartermaster, Ameen Almasi, said, stopping at her side and turning on his heel to face his companion. “Our young friend was… distracted.”

The youth in question tucked his chin and smiled guiltily at his captain.

“Damn it, Squiddy,” she scolded. “Learn to keep up.”

Her expression softened to amusement as he scowled. His real name was Sava, but she’d settled on calling him “Squiddy.” Not much would be able to change her mind.

Ameen chuckled, deep and quiet. Sava looked much like a young Ameen—slight, lanky, and youthfully energetic. Ameen towered over him. He held his posture, straight and sure, lean with muscle gained by nautical labor. The boy still had some way to go before he would be able to carry himself so confidently. Tonight, he would have a chance to prove himself. She beckoned them to follow her.

The Capital of Caerwyn rose before them in layers, on a crest overlooking the sea. The docks formed its base, spanning out south, east, and west like the fingers of an outstretched hand. The rest of the city stacked upon the palm; rows upon rows of buildings, each one smaller than the width of the one below it. The Royal Palace stood at the zenith of this view, like a crooked mountain range, sporting banners of blue and silver. The ocean-side of the palace stretched out like the hand’s thumb, wide and thick.

“Liana,” Ameen breathed her name rather than her title. His voice plucked her from the high towers of the palace and steadily anchored her back to the alley behind the harbormaster’s office.

She looked about the alley to make sure they hadn’t been noticed creeping about. “This is it?” Sava’s voice cracked.

“Yes. Do you remember what you have to do?”

He nodded. Even in the dark, she could see him shake. Placing a firm hold on his arm, she looked into his face. His eyebrow twitched.

Liana breathed in deeply, nodding to invite him to mimic her. “You can do this.”

“I’m ready,” he said as he twisted a lockpick between his fingers.

The building had suffered some damage since the last storm season and was under renovation, therefore it had an outer shell of scaffolding that looked sturdy enough to climb. Ameen knelt to give Sava a lift, and he was off, scaling the walls as easily as strolling the streets. They watched as he reached the third story, settled himself on a beam, and picked open the window. He scrambled through it and disappeared.

Liana saw Ameen lift his hand to his chest, where a Circle of the Divine hung on a chain under his linen shirt.

“He’ll be alright,” she assured him.

His eyes grazed over her face, then downward. “You weren’t supposed to bring that.”

She followed his line of sight to the cutlass at her side. “It’s for protection, if we’re caught.”

“If we are caught, we agreed you would distract them while Sava and I get away. Soldiers won’t harm an unarmed Caerwyn woman.” He looked straight back at her expectantly with an extended hand, wagging his fingers. After a meaningful silence, she begrudgingly loosened her belt. He was right, after all. It was the reason she was wearing her Mass dress.

“Insubordination is what I call that, Almasi,” she spat. Her tone could cut as deeply as the blade she handed over. But Ameen knew her well enough not to be offended. He grinned, obviously pleased with himself. His amber eyes lit up as he caught her looking for a moment too long. Liana began to pace, her shoulder purposefully knocking against his side as a final jab. She didn’t need to look back to know he was still smiling.

The lighthearted energy between them evaporated as they heard a whistling call in the distance—a warning. Sava’s head emerged from the window. Liana waved for him to come down. In return, he made an exaggerated shrugging gesture and went back in.

“That stupid little—” She rushed to the base of the scaffold and gathered her skirts. “Lift me up, I’m going to get him.”

“You’re in a dress.”

“And whose brilliant idea was that?!”

Deep voices and the light of a lantern cut through the darkness. Despite the cool breeze, she began to sweat. She could hear the patrolmen at the front of the building now. They must have taken a shorter route than usual.

An object landed at Liana’s feet with a flutter and thud. She snatched up the book and flipped it open. The ledger was unreadable in the pale moonlight, but she knew it was exactly what they had come for. “Blimey, Squiddy! You’ve done it.”

“Who’s back there?” came a gruff voice from the front, cutting their victory short. The sound of the ledger’s landing had alerted the patrol.

Liana whirled around and shoved the ledger into Ameen’s hands. She unfastened her cloak and threw that at him as well. “Wait for him but go as quickly as you can.”

He tucked it under his arm with her sword. “Be careful, Captain.”

As she lifted her skirts and sprinted off, Sava was already halfway to the ground.

But, by the Divine, this dress!

She hadn’t gone to Mass in years and had outgrown the gown. Ameen had insisted on this particular one—the rest she owned were plain, albeit comfortable. She’d been a fool to think she could have climbed after Sava. Between the binding bodice around her torso and carrying the weight of the layers of the skirt, she was out of breath within seconds. Still, it made her distress all the more convincing as she collided into the chest of the soldier before her.

The man grunted in surprise and took a step back to steady himself. She clung to his dark blue long-skirted coat. His jaw unhinged.

“It’s a woman!” his friend declared.

“Thank the Divine you’re here!” she gasped out. “Th-these men had me cornered and robbed me!”

She gave a doe-eyed shrug, feigning helplessness. The soldier settled his hands on her shoulders. It made her feel uncomfortably small. The other one, a fair young man, threw himself in the direction she had come.

“It’s alright, ye’re safe now,” the soldier who stayed with her said, beginning to stroke her upper back. He had a slight Northern accent, and his features were darker than the other soldier. She arched away.

The fair soldier returned at a slower pace this time. “Whoever attacked you, miss, they’ve gone now. Likely pirates who’ve come to port for the season.”

“Thank you.” She spoke as demurely as her pride would allow. “I’ll be on my way, now.”

“Shall we escort you home—?”

“No!” She realized too late she had interrupted him. “No… Thank you.”

About The Author

Shawna Barnett is a mother, life-long advocate and author of swashbuckling tales. After receiving a BA in Politics from UC Santa Cruz, Shawna worked in victim advocacy and behavioral health. Born in San Diego, California, her experiences have taken her all over the United States.

After settling in Tennessee with her daughter, Shawna seeks to speak out through writing and contribute to a world where everyone is safe and respectfully represented.

Social Media

Website: https://www.shawnabarnett.com/

Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/sbarnettauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SBarnettAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sbarnettauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20653893.Shawna_Barnett

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Shawna-Barnett/e/B09235XR1H

Giveaway

Shawna is giving away a $20 Barnes & Noble gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Tour: Garden of Eden By Hellie Heat

Garden Of Eden | Hellie Heat

The Elysian Chronicles #1

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Release Date: October 2nd 2020

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Blurb

Micah Vehyl considers himself an “opportunist.” Living in the underground city of Tartarus, he’s not misguided by the ideals of the esteemed and noble government, nor by the promise of re-homing and freedom on the surface. In a world where homosexuality is considered punishable by death, and only the rich and healthy are able to see the light of day, Micah has made a living for himself – among his older brother’s band of criminals and assassins.

Armed with a complex power he barely understands, Micah lives only for himself, removed from the fight of the so-called Resistance movement and the impending war against President Axel Tovar and the esteemed and noble government.

But a chance and erotic encounter with a deeply enigmatic Eden Voss awakens a passion within Micah…one that he thought to have vanished for good. A dangerous passion: one that could just get him killed.

Meanwhile, Eden Voss has secrets of his own: An officer in the Elysian Police Force, Eden risks more than just his career to maintain contact with Micah. But the connection between them cannot be denied and Eden is willing to throw it all away for the chance to spend more time in Micah’s presence.

Caught between passionate desire and the forces that strive to keep them apart, Eden and Micah must navigate treachery, politics, but worst of all – themselves, to find each other. And when injustice threatens all they hold dear, they must make decide if what they’ve started is worth fighting for. And if they’re willing to risk it all to be together in a world where their love is forbidden.

Trigger Warning: This book contains content that may be upsetting to some readers. Dark themes in this series include graphic depictions of violence, torture, human trafficking, police brutality, sexual assault and depictions of rape/non-consensual sexual situations.

Note, this is a trilogy and the HEA will come at the end of the series. This doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but the story continues in book two and three.

Teaser 1

Teaser

“Well, how lucky am I to be allowed some of your attention for the night?” Micah leaned back, assessing Eden’s hard body, all wrapped in leather. He looked undeniably handsome.

Eden glanced up at him, almost shyly, before his eyes widened. Slowly, he reached out, allowing his hand to trace the scab that had formed on Micah’s lip, the bruises that lined his jaw. “What happened?” Micah felt himself flush, pulling quickly from Eden’s grasp.

“It’s nothing. One of the hazards of home.”

Eden’s sharp blue eyes narrowed. “It doesn’t look like nothing.”

“I said it’s nothing,” Micah said flatly. “Drop it, will you?”

Eden’s hands balled into fists. “If someone hurt you —”

“I can take care of myself,” Micah snapped. “I told you that the last time we met.”

“You did,” Eden conceded.

“Does it ruin your image of me?” Micah asked, quirking a brow. “Am I less appealing to you now that the goods have been damaged?”

Eden’s cheeks flared pink. “Nothing could do that. You’re all I’ve been thinking about since the last time.”

HHLogo4 (1)

About the Author

MM Author, Dog Mom Extraordinaire.

Hellie Heat has been writing all her life but only recently discovered her passion in MM fiction. The idea for Garden of Eden came to her in a dream – and she keeps on dreaming up new ideas!

She lives in Ohio with her husband, two dogs and two cats.

Social Media

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20537230.Hellie_Heat

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/helliesgarden

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hellieheat

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hellieheat/

Website: hellieheat.com

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Garden of Eden, Hellie is giving away two prizes, one for a local winner and one for an international winner!

US winner – a paperback copy of Garden of Eden

International Winner – an e-copy of Garden of Eden

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Release Blitz: Garden of Eden By Hellie Heat

Garden of Eden | Hellie Heat

The Elysian Chronicles #1

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Release Date: October 2nd, 2020

Universal Link

Add to Goodreads

Cover

Blurb

In a world where homosexuality is considered punishable by death, Micah Veyhl has resigned himself to a life of squalor in the underground city of Tartarus.

Armed with a complex power he barely understands, Micah lives only for himself, removed from the fight of the so-called Resistance movement and the impending war against President Axel Tovar and the esteemed and noble government.

But a chance and erotic encounter with a deeply enigmatic Eden Voss awakens a passion within Micah…one that he thought to have vanished for good. A dangerous passion: one that could just get him killed.

Garden of Eden is a dystopian romance with dark themes that include graphic depictions of violence, torture, human trafficking, police brutality, sexual assault and depictions of rape/non-consensual sexual situations.

Though it does not end on a cliffhanger, it is the first in a series that will have a HEA…eventually.

Tropes

Excerpt

“Well, how lucky am I to be allowed some of your attention for the night?” Micah leaned back, assessing Eden’s hard body, all wrapped in leather. He looked undeniably handsome.

Eden glanced up at him, almost shyly, before his eyes widened. Slowly, he reached out, allowing his hand to trace the scab that had formed on Micah’s lip, the bruises that lined his jaw. “What happened?” Micah felt himself flush, pulling quickly from Eden’s grasp.

“It’s nothing. One of the hazards of home.”

Eden’s sharp blue eyes narrowed. “It doesn’t look like nothing.”

“I said it’s nothing,” Micah said flatly. “Drop it, will you?”

Eden’s hands balled into fists. “If someone hurt you —”

“I can take care of myself,” Micah snapped. “I told you that the last time we met.”

“You did,” Eden conceded.

“Does it ruin your image of me?” Micah asked, quirking a brow. “Am I less appealing to you now that the goods have been damaged?”

Eden’s cheeks flared pink. “Nothing could do that. You’re all I’ve been thinking about since the last time.”

Hellieportrait

About the Author

MM Author, Dog Mom Extraordinaire. Hellie Heat has been writing all her life but only recently discovered her passion in MM fiction. The idea for Garden of Eden came to her in a dream – and she keeps on dreaming up new ideas!

She lives in Ohio with her husband, two dogs and two cats.

HHLogo4 (1)

Social Media

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20537230.Hellie_Heat

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/helliesgarden

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hellieheat

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hellieheat/

Website: hellieheat.com

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Garden of Eden, Hellie is giving away 2 prizes, 1 for a local winner and 1 for an international winner!

US winner – a paperback copy of Garden of Eden

International Winner – an e-copy of Garden of Eden

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

grr-tours-promo

IG Sized Tagline 1

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