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The Reaper by Rae Scott

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The Reaper

Author: Rae Scott

Publisher: Page Publishing

Release Date: November 3, 2022

Genre:  Mystery/Thriller/Crime

Tropes: Vigilante justice/ Victims no one will miss/ The one you least expect

Themes: Good vs Evil, Life or Death

Heat Rating: No heat

Length: 188 pages/ 60 000 words

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads 

 

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  B&N

 

Reap what you have sown. 

 

Blurb

Fear not those who are innocent, for I shall cause you no harm. I seek out only those who have yet to pay for their sins. Fear me if you have no remorse, for I am the Reaper, and I will ensure that you reap what you have sewn.

The serial killer known as The Reaper is loose on the streets of Norfolk. Its victims have two things in common: They have each hurt a child but served little to no time in jail for it and none of them regret their actions. 

Detective Mel Tanner is close to retirement when she is assigned to investigate a murder that leads her in a hunt for the serial killer known as The Reaper. As a seasoned homicide detective of fifteen years, she now finds herself jaded and unfeeling to the atrocities that she has had to witness every day. 

When rookie Detective Nat Petrov lands her dream assignment, to work with the best Detective in Norfolk, she is thrown headfirst into The Reaper’s perverse sense of justice. The Detectives race against the clock as body after body turns up with the signature Grim Reaper tarot card, each life ended in a way specifically designed for the individual victim. Will the detectives be able to catch a twisted serial killer before time runs out or will The Reaper exact revenge in a way more personal than anyone could have ever fathomed? 

 

Excerpt

Michael watched with a sense of foreboding as the masked figure in the black cloak stood looking down at the various items on the table, fear of the unknown beginning to take hold of him. A thousand thoughts and images ran through his mind as he tried to work out the reason for why he was there on that table, but as hard as he tried, he couldn’t come up with a single explanation for his circumstances. He tried to figure out who his captor might be, but the only name he could come up with was the Grim Reaper, because that’s what his captor looked like. The Reaper came back and held a card in front of his face with its left hand. It was a three-by-five-inch tarot card, and on it was a picture of the Grim Reaper. Michael felt the color drain from his face. The Reaper pulled the card away and with its right hand, held up a laminated newspaper clipping for him to read. Michael Fitzpatrick received a six-month sentence for the beating death of his then-girlfriend’s six-year-old son. Questions on the mishandling of evidence dropping the charges from murder to child abuse.

His stomach dropped. “I did my time for that,” he said, his voice shaking with dread. Out of nowhere, his captor’s fist came swinging down hitting him square on his nose. The sound of his nose breaking resonated loudly in his ears. Instantly his eyes began to water, and blood began flowing down his throat. He tried to turn his head so he could spit the coppery-tasting substance from his mouth, but the Reaper held him still, forcing Michael to swallow the thick fluid. The Reaper slowly shook its head from side to side. Fear of repercussions should he move kept him still and motionless even when his captor went back to the table again.

When the Reaper returned, he was shown another news article. This one detailing all fifty-three injuries the boy had sustained by him during a drunken rage. While he read the article, tears spilled from Michael’s eyes in earnest as he finally realized that he wasn’t going to get out of this room alive. Again, his captor went to the table, returned the news article, and came back to look down at him with its unblinking gaze. It held the Grim Reaper’s card up to him again, only this time it showed him the message that had been written on the back of the card. Swallowing several times to clear the blood from throat, Michael read it out loud, “Fear not those who are innocent, for I shall cause you no harm. I seek out only those who have yet to pay for their sins. Fear me if you have no remorse, for I am the Reaper, and I will ensure that you reap what you have sewn.” Michael looked from the card to the Reaper, tears flowing down his cheeks as he begged for his life. “Please, no. I did my time for that. I would never have hurt him if I hadn’t been drunk. It wasn’t my fault. She knows how I am when I get drunk. She should have kept him quiet and away from me.”

The Reaper placed the card on Michael’s chest and shook its head. With its other hand, the Reaper slowly lifted up a ball-peen hammer, holding it in front of Michael’s face so he could see it, the intention clear.

“Please, no. I’m sorry,” Michael sobbed, frantically pulling against his bindings as panic began to take over.

The Reaper slowly turned and walked around the table until it was standing next to Michael’s right knee. As the hammer was steadily raised over its head, the Reaper looked down into Michael’s eyes.

He didn’t feel the wetness pooling around him as his bladder released nor the pain of the restraints as they cut into his already raw and bleeding skin. The only thing he felt was pure unadulterated terror. “No, please! You don’t understand!”

The Reaper tilted its head, the hammer still hovering high in the air over Michael’s knee and placed one black-gloved finger to its mouth. Shhh. It said as the hammer came down hard, shattering his kneecap.  

 

 About the Author

Born in New England, Rae Scott spent her childhood hiking, fishing, and enjoying the outdoor life inherent to the area. This love of adventure led her to travel the world in a quest to discover new and exciting things, feeding her thirst for knowledge and creativity that she now draws on for her books.  In between her travels, she can be found on her porch in Virginia with her family coming up with new ideas as to where their next adventure will take them.

 

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Captured by Scarlet Blackwell #kindleunlimited #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Captured (Cold Love, Book 1)

Author: Scarlet Blackwell

Publisher: Scarlet Books

Cover Artist: B4Jay

Release Date: August 8, 2022

Genre: Contemporary small-town m/m romance, crime/thriller

Tropes: Enemies to lovers

Themes: Forced proximity, hurt/comfort, angst

Heat Rating: 4 flames   

Length: 46 000 words

It is book 1 in the Cold Love series, but does not end on a cliffhanger. (HEA)

Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

“I’m not going anywhere until I’ve slept in your nice warm bed. If you haven’t got an electric blanket, I’ll expect you to warm me up personally.”

 

Blurb 

Who is the man with the gun? Friend or foe? Enemy or lover?

Ethan

I saw my way out and took it. I never dreamed it would be complicated by someone as distracting as Gabriel.

Gabriel

I thought my cabin was safe in a snowstorm until he arrived. Shivering, blue with cold and armed with a gun. The hottest thing to ever happen to me.

Horror writer Gabriel’s worst nightmare is about to come true…

Alaska is home to Gabriel Black two months of the year when he retreats to his isolated cabin to write. But with his relationship on the rocks, life is treating him badly. He doesn’t think things can get any worse when a storm strikes, keeping him snowed in, but he’s wrong. 

His solitude is invaded by armed intruder Ethan, his origin a mystery. Ethan is an enigma, a man surely on the run, maybe a dangerous criminal, but Gabriel is drawn to Ethan’s broken spirit and damaged soul. Ethan is so much more than he first appears and Gabriel wants to know what he hides.

Heat ignites between Gabriel and Ethan and the lines between captive and captor soon start to blur. What secrets is Ethan keeping and will Gabriel be prepared to risk all for him?

Trigger warnings: Scenes of violence and murder. Mentions of rape. Homophobic language. Strong language and sexual scenes. 

 

Excerpt 

 Dense, fat snowflakes fell from the dark sky. Caught by a raging wind, they were whipped up into a vicious storm. Gabriel Black glanced out the kitchen window into the night. He wasn’t too concerned about being snowed in. He had plenty of food and the cabin was snug. It was par for the course here and conducive to his work. He had a sentence whirling around and around inside his head like the snowflakes outside. He tested it aloud, changing the words, listening to the sound on his tongue.

Gabriel cursed, startled out of his reverie as the toaster coughed up two slices of blackened bread and the smoke alarm kicked in with an ear-piercing shriek. He grabbed the key to the French window and fumbled a moment before he yanked it open. A blast of freezing night air chilled him instantly to the bone. Shivering, he waved a dish towel under the smoke alarm. 

A flash of movement registered at the periphery of his vision, black against the snow lying thick on the porch outside. Startled, he turned just as a tall figure sidled through the window and levelled a gun at him.

Gabriel froze. Icy fingers crept down his back as he stared at the man in his home. The intruder was in his late thirties, a couple of inches taller than Gabriel and broader across the shoulders and chest. He wore a thin shirt, jeans and flimsy canvas shoes, despite the weather outside being at least ten below. His untidy black hair was wet with snow. His pale, attractive face was dominated by large green eyes. A few days’ worth of dark stubble lined his jaw. His lips and nose were blue and he trembled violently, his teeth chattering together.

“Knock that off.” He raised his voice over the annoying shrill of the smoke alarm.

Gabriel glared at him. He wafted the towel again and again until the alarm shut off, leaving sudden silence broken only by the sound of the intruder slamming the window shut and pocketing the key.

The two men faced each other across the kitchen. Gabriel’s heart surged with terror. All the heat had deserted the kitchen after being open to the elements of the frozen north for only a few seconds. He wasn’t sure if it was fear or cold that made him shake. He looked down the barrel of the gun and wondered if tonight would be his last. It was almost funny. He’d expected south central Alaska in the middle of a howling snowstorm to be the safest haven you could find. Who could have predicted a half-dressed man to suddenly hijack Gabriel’s perfect solitude? Who in their right mind was out in this?

He found his voice and spoke far more bravely than he felt. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” 

The man stepped closer, right into Gabriel’s personal space. His face was like stone, but still he couldn’t stop his shivering. “You don’t get to ask questions. I want some dry clothes.” He prodded Gabriel hard with the gun in his chest. “Move.”

Gabriel turned around. He led the intruder through the living room. The crackling fire warmed him again. He reached the stairs and climbed on wooden legs, wondering if he could turn suddenly and surprise the man, kicking the gun from his hand. But his uninvited guest followed so closely behind him, their bodies were almost touching and when he reached the top, Gabriel felt the gun digging into the small of his back.

When they entered the bedroom, his guest gestured at the wardrobe.  “Come on. I want the thickest sweater you got.”

Gabriel chose some lounge pants and a hooded fleece-lined sweater that he wore to chop logs for the fire.

“Underwear and two pairs of socks,” the man with the gun said. 

Gabriel plucked the items from a chest of drawers. He threw the lot into a heap on the bed and glared once more at the intruder. The guy didn’t look remotely intimidated. If anything, he appeared amused.

“Stand over by the window while I change. Don’t even think of trying anything because I swear I will shoot you in the head before you can move.”

Gabriel positioned himself as directed so the man stood between him and the door. He watched as the guy placed the gun on the nightstand. The key to the kitchen window joined it. Then he pulled something from the back pocket of his pants and laid them down too. A pair of handcuffs.

What the fuck?

 

 

About the Author 

Scarlet writes mainly contemporary m/m love stories that usually deal with dark themes. Her trope is enemies-to-lovers and there’s often a hot cop thrown into the equation. She likes unusual settings and atypical, flawed heroes. Her work is X-rated and her themes are not for the faint-hearted, but a HEA is always assured.

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram 

Amazon Central  |  BookBub  |  BookSirens

 

Giveaway

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an ebook from the author’s backlist

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Series Review Tour – Serial Investigations by Rhiannon D’Averc #KindleUnlimited #giveaway

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

Serial Investigations by Rhiannon D’Averc

Serial Investigations follows a private detective duo, Will and Ram, through tricky cases, mortal danger, and the horror of (maybe) unrequited love for your best friend – with plenty of demons to battle along the way.

The stories need to be read in order.

Overall Heat Rating for the series: 2 flames

Goodreads Series Link 

Warning: All books contain depictions of alcoholism, anorexia, and violent crime/murder.

 

BOOK 1

Book Title: Bloodless

Length: 70 000 words/ 240 pages

Release Date: April 29, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Crime/thriller

Trope/s: Slow burn friends to lovers

Themes: Identity struggle, murder, unrequited love

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

 How do you solve a murder…

… When you’re the prime suspect?

 

Blurb

A body cut up into pieces and left in Highgate Wood. It sounds like the most exciting case that private detectives Ram and Will have had to deal with since leaving their FBI training and returning to London.

As each new body is piled up amongst the trees, the stakes get higher – and Serial Investigations London embraces their first real challenge.

But Ram’s lifestyle – staying out all days of the week, drinking too much, and having sex with a different man every night – soon catches up with him when the police realise there’s just one link that connects the bodies.

And it’s him.

Will faces a battle around the clock to prevent his best friend from being put away for life – and while the two of them face their own demons, there’s a secret hanging over their heads that might just bring it all crashing down.

If you’re a fan of BBC’s Luther, Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole, or sharply witty gay men, you’ll love Serial Investigations. Jump into the action from the very beginning with Bloodless, the first book in a series you won’t dare to put down.

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: Blood Evidence

Length: 63 000 words/ 200 pages

Release Date: August 15, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Crime/thriller

Trope/s: Slow burn friends to lovers

Themes: Coming out, murder, unrequited love

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

 A missing person’s case…

… A murder investigation?

 

Blurb

Private detectives Ram and Will got their name in the news by catching a high-profile serial killer, and now they’re getting more clients. When they’re hired to find a missing person, all they’re worried about is having to spend a night away from home. They go to check his last known sighting in Kent, staying in a quaint country inn.

Little do they expect that Serial Investigations London are about to get thrust into a new murder investigation – one that happens right under their noses.

A confession seems to solve the case, but is it genuine? With suspicions running high, the duo still have to find time to sniff out the whereabouts of their client – and avoid getting arrested themselves.

With Ram hitting the bottle harder than ever and Will fighting to stay in control, they might be about to lose more than just the case.

 

BOOK 3

Book Title: Blood Alcohol

Length: 60 000 words/ 173 pages

Release Date: November 30, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Crime/thriller

Trope/s: Slow burn friends to lovers

Themes: Coming out, murder, inner demons

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

 A horrific torture case with a ticking clock.

All he can see is the bottle.

 

Blurb

Private detectives Ram and Will thought they’d wrapped everything up when they found Ray Riley’s body in Sevenoaks. But it turns out that things aren’t what they seemed – and Riley may be the latest victim of a torture-happy murderous duo.

For the second time, Serial Investigations London are called in to assist as civilian consultants with DI Alex Heath’s team at the Met – but they have their own personal problems getting in the way of clear thinking.

Will has something to get off his chest, and it’s related to that kiss they shared – the one they both tried to forget. But Ram can’t stop drinking to push away the confusion, and this time he’s going to land himself in more trouble than ever before.

Can they get over their issues for long enough to stop another murder – or even keep themselves alive?

 

BOOK 4

Book Title: Blood Sucker

Length:   65 000 words/ 191 pages

Release Date: March 28, 2020

Genre/s: M/M Crime/thriller

Trope/s: Slow burn friends to lovers/misunderstandings

Themes: Conflict, murder, trust and loyalty

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

 A dead body posted on social media.

A vampire stalking the streets of London?

 

Blurb

Will and Ram’s private detective partnership seems to be unravelling. After they ended up sleeping together, the tension between them is at an all-time high – and the unsolved Simon Shystone case is haunting them and their police contacts.

DI Alex Heath normally wants their help, but when a murderer posts images of his victim on social media, the chase is on to trace his digital footprint. With his superiors breathing down his neck, he might not be able to bring Serial Investigations London in on one of the biggest cases of their career.

They should be focusing on the artist who seems to have disappeared without a trace from his home studio. Could his latest commission have something to do with it? And will they be able to handle finding another client turned up dead?

Things are spiralling out of control for Will and Ram – and this time, they might not have each other to rely on.

 

BOOK 5

Book Title: Blood Sport

Length:  164 pages

Release Date: June 30, 2020

Genre/s: M/M Crime/thriller

Trope/s: Slow burn friends to lovers/misunderstandings resolved

Themes: Murder, kidnap, vanquishing the big bad

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

A copycat killer who knows every detail.
A locked room with no escape.

Blurb

Serial Investigations London is officially closed for business – with private detectives Will and Ram still not talking to one another after an explosive argument. Even when a copycat killer springs up, seemingly targeting only their own cases, they can’t see eye to eye.

Little wonder, given that they both have something more important on their minds. Someone knows about San Francisco – about the man who died on a rooftop at their feet. Who has discovered their deepest secret? And what will they do to keep it buried?

That’s when another mystery piles up on top of the rest: a traditional trope that every seasoned detective must face, the locked room. But this one has a deadly twist, and if they don’t come to terms with their differences and work together, one of them might not live to regret it.

Will and Ram face the most pressing and personal danger yet – but the question is, who’s behind it? And will they realise they’ve been set against one another before it’s too late?

If you’re a fan of BBC’s Luther, Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole, or sharply witty gay men, you’ll love Serial Investigations. The story continues with Blood Sport, a nail-biting series of twists and turns that will have you questioning how they’ll ever survive.

Click ‘Buy Now’ to enter the minds of troubled yet brilliant detectives as they struggle inside an interconnected web of lies – and the spider is getting hungry…

Praise for Serial Investigations:
“The front cover didn’t lie; Bloodless is exciting and thrilling.”
“Sets up a really great atmosphere right from the start and constantly leaves you wanting to find out what happens next.”
“A punchy storyline makes it difficult to put down and leaves you wanting more.”
“Just the right amount of action, plenty of intriguing deception and detective work.”
“Love the plot twists! Can’t wait for the next book to see what happens next to Will and Ram.”

 

Excerpt 

Bloodless – Chapter One

Unlocking the door to your new home for the first time is supposed to be exciting. I guess it was the jet-lag, but I couldn’t even force myself to smile as we walked in. Not even for Ram’s sake.

We crashed in hungover and out of it, the sparkling wine and whisky of the plane no longer seeming like such a good idea. I chose a bedroom and dragged my suitcases inside. It felt good to no longer have all of my worldly possessions attached to my person. Without the weight of my backpack on my shoulders, I could feel just how much strain the muscles had been under.

I found Ram still standing at the wide windows of the living room. He was looking out of the clean, fresh glass into the grey and drizzling London of December. It felt like a jolt to look out and see not palm trees, but old Victorian factories and blocks of flats as far as the eye could see.

But then again, no one has ever mistaken Whitechapel for California. It was always going to be a bit of a culture shock, coming back home again.

I shook him by the shoulder, trying to ignore the pit in my own stomach. Maybe if I could get him to snap out of this weary daze we had both fallen into, he would be able to wake me up in return.

“Ram?” I asked, after a moment. He simply swayed under the movement of my hand, like a doll. I wasn’t even sure he was actually looking out at anything.

He turned and looked at me when he heard his name. It was like he was looking at someone he didn’t recognise from a long distance away. If I had felt uneasy before, that expression made my scalp itch with worry. Of the two of us, Ram is the calm and centred one. Even when he’s so drunk he can barely walk, he doesn’t lose it. Not like me. But I’ve never seen him like this before.

“I’m going to take a shower,” he said, after a moment, seeming to rouse. He shrugged off my hand and walked away, leaving me stood watching the place where he had been stood watching. I felt like a sentinel. Something had left us behind and we were plunging into a bowl of cold water, too confused to even try to hold onto the side. I wondered if it would even wash away what we had on our hands.

I was alone, without the option of distracting myself by looking at him. The only thing I could do was to keep moving. I heard the sound of the shower turn on, and I guided my weary feet into my new room. It felt like midnight, but the sun wasn’t even at its midday apex. I went from task to task, like an automaton, letting the cogs turn by themselves to keep my mind empty. Suitcase unzipped; clothes pulled out; find hangers; one by one, up on the rail. Knick-knacks. Decorations. Picture frame.

The flat came furnished, but now I realised that on our hasty flight out of San Francisco we forgot to take a few things into account. The beds had mattresses, but no pillows or sheets. The drawers in the kitchen held no cutlery, crockery, or mugs for tea. Even if they did, there was no kettle, no bags of tea, no instant coffee machine.

I ran out of things to do but I had to find something. I stalked from room to room, tablet in hand, stabbing the pages of an online shopping site. Kettle — black, chrome, retro. Tea bags — Earl Grey, Caramel Rooibos, Herbal Blend. Bed set — plain blue, reverse check, king size. Next.

Ram’s room. Suitcases still locked, black leather bag slung onto bare mattress, leather jacket discarded next to it.

He wouldn’t mind. It’s not like we have any secrets from each other.

Or many, at least.

Open the suitcase (correctly guess the code on the lock). Take out clothes, one by one, to string them up on hangers and leave them waiting for him. Personal items. Books stacked by the bed. Jewellery case. Boots on the floor by the door. Leather jacket hung up last, finally, the only thing left untouched.

I wondered how long it must have been now.

A long time, surely, but all I could hear still was the water hitting the shower tray. Over and over, the same hiss in the same tone.

A long time for Ram to be in there, on his own, with those thoughts swirling around in his head.

With razors and scissors and other sharp things.

“Ram?” I shouted, pounding on the locked bathroom door.

Nothing but the sibilant hiss of the water.

I threw my shoulder into the door, felt it bounce back against me, sending a shockwave through from the impact. Again. The door rattled, the lock unable to give. Again. Again. As many times as it took, again, ignoring the flower of pain blooming out across my shoulder and back. Once more, and I was stumbling forward into the room, momentarily disorientated as the momentum carried me onwards.

The glass of the shower door was all steam, except for a patch near the bottom where the spray of the water was heavy enough to keep it clear. I saw his legs, sprawled across the floor, and I could barely breathe for the fear that I had realised too late.

I wrenched open the door and saw him, and for a moment I understood nothing. He was whole — yes. No blood. But he was lying naked under the water, letting it hit his face and open eyes without blinking, not even reacting to my appearance.

“Ram?” I said again, but his eyes didn’t even flicker in response.

I reached in and grabbed his shoulder, ignoring the water. It quickly drenched my shirt through to the skin, spreading up over my chest and into my eyes as I shook him.

Slowly, like he was caught in a time lapse, his face swivelled around. His eyes looked at me, but they were empty. I don’t think he even saw me.

“Everything’s going to be alright,” I said, reaching up and turning the shower off. I didn’t know if it was the truth, but he was alive. For the time being, that was enough.

He stirred a little when the water stopped hitting him, but only for a moment. His shoulders slumped back down and he rested, resigned, still looking fixedly at nothing.

I grabbed a towel from my bathroom, thankfully one of the few things I did remember to bring with me. I ran back to find him still sitting in the same place. It was like there was no one left inside to notice that he must be cold and uncomfortable. I pulled him out of the shower and into my waiting arms. He came willingly, falling against me like a doll. I towelled him dry as best I could and held him tight, like we were kids again, trying to take some small comfort from one another. His head slotted under my chin, and it felt right but so wrong, because Ram is supposed to be the strong one.

“Everything’s going to be fine, Ram, I promise,” I said, closing my eyes and praying that I was telling the truth.

 

 

About the Author

Rhiannon D’Averc is a crime writer based in the UK. She works as a ghostwriter and author under her own name as well as under pseudonyms. As a professional writer for over a decade, she also keeps herself busy as Chief Editor of London Runway, an indie fashion magazine. Her short stories have been published in Litro, Devolution-Z, Storgy, Literati, and more.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  

Newsletter sign-up  |  BookBub

 

 

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full set of ebooks for Serial Investigations

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