Tag Archive: St. Martins Press

My very first read of Lauren Smith and her new series, ‘Brothers Of Ash And Fire”, is very, very interesting. Titled “Grigori” one of the handful of the existing Royal Dragon Shifters, the story is pretty interesting and captivating.


Keeping the history of his ancestry and the existence of his family’s descendants a secret is Grigori’s ultimate goal. But a mythology professor and history buff, Madelyn Haynes is threatening that very secret, it’s his job to make sure she does so, even of he has to kidnap and keep her a prisoner in his castle.

Plagued by mystical dreams, Madelyn comes to Russia looking for answers never imagining being swept away by a dangerous and sexy stranger. The dreams of dragons chase her in the night along with the fiery attraction that sparks towards Grigori.

With ageless secrets coming to life, and with the revelation of truth behind Madelyn’s mythological dreams, Grigori and Madelyn have to decipher history to protect their ancestry, they have come together to fight the evil threatening their existence and future.

Lauren Smith’s first read was pretty impressive and captivating as she takes the readers on a mythological journey of Royal Dragon shifters, their fight to survive among the humans, their struggle to keep their existence a secret, and ward off evil that threatens their mates and their future.

Received an ARC from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley for an honest review.

Demolished – Owens Of Blue Bay

The Blue Bay Crew – start of a new series featuring the Owens siblings in the town of Blue Bay Crew written by Cathryn Fox; another captivating series for the readers for sure.


First in the series, “Demolished” brings bad boy, Sean Owens to his hometown, to take care of his father’s construction business and set roots. He never dreamed that his past girlfriend Summer Wheeler would ever be in Blue Bay under a false name refusing to acknowledge him.

Summer Wheeler is running from a tragic past leaving her alone and coming home to Blue Bay is her way of staying under the radar of the people hunting her. Coming face to face with her lover Sean and having to take his help to fix her home was never in her plan.

A decent story, but somehow not captivating as her earlier stories, “Demolished” can be read once. Sean and Summer make good enough characters, but somehow the plot lacked the needed intrigue and suspense to make a lasting impression

Received an ARC from St, Martin’s Press via NetGalley for an honest review.


From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathryn Fox comes the first in the hot new Blue Bay Crew series that follows the sexy, blue collar Owens men who take over their family’s construction business in the small town of Blue Bay, CT.

Summer Wheeler is on the run. Hiding from the men who killed her father, Summer is on her way to her childhood cottage in Blue Bay when she runs into Sean Owens, the forbidden bad boy from her past. After giving him a fake name, she gives in to one steamy night with him, never expecting to see him again.

Sean isn’t sure why Summer is pretending to be someone she’s not, but he’ll play her game if that means he can indulge in one of his oldest fantasies – a night with Summer. He’s shocked to see her when he returns to Blue Bay, and even more surprised when Summer offers him a job renovating her old family cottage. Hot workdays turn into hotter nights, but when Summer’s secret catches up with her, she’ll have to decide if she can trust Sean with her heart—and her life.

Demolished nails the perfect combination of emotion, scorching intensity, and a touch of suspense that will draw readers to this fantastic new series!


DEMOLISHED by Cathryn Fox

SMP Swerve

Publication Date: August 29, 2017

ISBN: 9781250152954; Price: $3.99

Author Bio

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathryn Fox is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie), pizza, and red wine. Cathryn has two teenagers who keep her busy and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan. When not writing, Cathryn can be found laughing over lunch with friends, hanging out with her kids, or watching a big action flick with her husband.

Author Links

Website: www.cathrynfox.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCathrynFox

Twitter: https://twitter.com/writercatfox

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071743C81

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/demolished-cathryn-fox/1126437549

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781250152954

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/demolished-1

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=pK0kDwAAQBAJ



Summer Wheeler.

All grown up.

I can hardly believe I’m walking out of a Dick’s Inn and Diner—and hopefully into one of its rooms—with sweet Summer Wheeler, the girl I’ve always crushed on but couldn’t do anything about. Christ, back in the day two years might as well have been a chasm, but today, not so much.

Jesus, she’s gorgeous. Has lush curves that every guy’s dreams are made of. Her once blond hair is now as dark as the night sky, rich, luxurious, citrus scented, and damned if I can’t wait to see those curls spill across my pillow. She still has that sprinkling of freckles on her nose that make her look young and adorable, and those lips . . . Goddammit, never have I seen lips that were so plush, so damn kissable. A bolt of lust hits like a sucker punch, and my body trembles, anxious to taste her heat, to discover what she’s wearing under her professional clothes. Fuck, it’s all I can do not to back her up against that big truck of hers and take her right outside in the parking lot.

Yeah, sure, I’m supposed to be getting my shit together, turning over a new leaf, becoming a productive, upstanding citizen of Blue Bay and every other stupid fucking idiomatic expression that meant I needed to do better for my family. But I’m not in Blue Bay yet, headed back to a place where everyone knows my name—and the cops don’t like me—to take over my dad’s construction business. Yup, I get it, it’s time to step into the role I’d been groomed for since I could hold a hammer, and spend less time on the road satisfying my own selfish urges. When I get home I’ll be on the straight and narrow: no women, no distractions, and no trouble with the law. Until then, however . . .

I put my hand on the small of her back and the heat that fires between us is almost catastrophic. Jesus. Who’d have thought that after all these years there’d still be such a powerful pull? I shake my head. Chemistry like this doesn’t come along every day.

The warm night air falls over us as I push the lounge door open and guide her into the night. I pause and glance up and down the long strip of black street. I’d been in this Podunk town in the past, circling through as I went from one sponsored motocross event to the next. Hell, all I need is a place to lay my head, but seriously what is Summer really doing in a shit place like this? Designer clothes. Expensive truck. She is so out of her element. Where exactly is she headed, and who is this friend she’s visiting? More importantly, why is she pretending she doesn’t know me?

I’m pretty good at reading people and I spotted the recognition flashing in her whiskey-colored eyes the second I met them. Then again, maybe she doesn’t want to acknowledge me because . . . well . . . because for her, this is just a quick hot affair as she passes through town. Fine, if she wants to play it that way, I can, too. No names. Anonymous sex. This isn’t my first rodeo and all cards on the table, it’s for the best. I don’t have time for more.

“This town doesn’t have much, but there’s a pizza joint two blocks down. It’s decent.” Her dark lashes flash over darker eyes, meeting my gaze straight on. She doesn’t even look like she’s breathing, which gives me the distinct impression that this isn’t something she does on a regular basis. I brush my knuckles along her arm, and she shivers. “Unless you’d prefer to just—”

“I’d prefer,” she whispers.

My cock throbs. Apparently little Sean prefers that, too. I pull a key card from my back pocket, and the letter stuffed inside nearly falls out. I shove it back, not wanting to think about the stabbing pain behind each written—and unwritten—word. Later I’ll wallow in my own misery, kick my stupid fucked-up ass, and condemn myself for my selfish ways. Christ knows there’ll be plenty of time for that in the coming months.

“My room or yours?” I ask.

She grins at the cheesy comment, the tension easing a bit from her body. “Yours.”


Veteran puzzle editor Fred Piscop created the cryptic puzzles that will appear inside the jacket in the hardcover edition of Secrets in Death, on sale September 5, 2017. Below is a behind-the-scenes exclusive interview. Enjoy!



Veteran puzzle editor Fred Piscop created the cryptic puzzles that will appear inside the jacket in the hardcover edition of Secrets in Death, on sale September 5, 2017. Below is a behind-the-scenes exclusive interview. Enjoy!

“Cryptic clues always involve some sort of wordplay. Moreover, cryptic clues are usually divided into two parts: a straight definition and a bit of wordplay, both leading to the same answer word.”

SMP: Hi Fred, thank you so much for creating such terrific puzzles for Secrets in Death. How did you get started creating puzzles?
FP: I’ve been a puzzle person practically all my life. When I was eight years old, I was placed into an experimental program in which 4th through 6th grades were done in two years. My teacher for both years was George Bredehorn, who introduced me and the class to anagrams, word games, mathematical brainteasers and all sorts of other creative stuff. George and I remained close until his death in 2012. If not for George, I probably would never have gotten into the puzzle biz.
I started creating cryptics in the 1980s and conventional crosswords around 1990. Perhaps not surprisingly, I found that I was pretty good at it. I constructed puzzles part-time until I got laid off from my computer job. Since then, I’ve been a full-time puzzler.

SMP: How many puzzles do you think you have created? 
FP: I estimate that I’ve created over 7000 puzzles so far.

SMP: Where else might people find puzzles you’ve created?
FP: My puzzles also appear in Newsday (Creators Syndicate) – in August my 1000th Newsday puzzle was published; The New York Times (I create a monthly bonus puzzle for online subscribers, and have taken over creation of Split Decisions, a variety word puzzle, following the death of its inventor, the aforementioned George); Crosswords with Friends (a new offering from Zynga, the folks who brought you Words with Friends – I’m proud to be part of that team); and several other outlets. And, I’m currently the editor of the USA Today Crossword.

SMP: How much math is involved in creating these puzzles?
FP: Interestingly, people who are good at math or music or both (I’m good at both) tend to be good at puzzles; while people who are literary (English majors and the like) tend not to be good at puzzles. Puzzle construction is mathematical in the sense that the constructor has to think in two dimensions and has to be cognizant of letter sequences that are more common than others, and letters that appear more commonly than others. A simple example: N is much more common in the alphabet than M, but if you look in a dictionary, you’ll see that the M section is four or five times as big as the N section. On the other hand, words end with N much more commonly than they do with M. So if you have a choice of starting a word with M or N, it makes mathematical sense to choose M – but the opposite is true with ending a word.

SMP: How do you come up with the clues for the puzzles?
FP: It’s an easy matter to just select clues from any of the massive databases out there, but I try to come up with original stuff when I can, using Google searches. Often I’ll find something interesting that I’ve never seen before. I recently clued ARM as “Tommy John surgery site.” It’s a fresh clue that I haven’t seen (not to say that it’s never been done).

SMP: With your love of puzzles, do you read mysteries? 
FP: I don’t read mysteries, but I have contributed crosswords to several books in the “Puzzle Lady” mystery series, authored by Parnell Hall. You have to solve the puzzle to discover a quip that is relevant to the mystery.

SMP: So you created two puzzles for SECRETS IN DEATH, a Crossword and a Cryptic. They look the same, what’s the difference?
FP: Actually they don’t look the same at all. Conventional crossword diagrams are fully interlinked; every letter is contained by an across and a down word. But in a cryptic, only every other letter in a word is crossed. And the clues have different formats: conventional crossword clues are generally straightforward, while cryptic clues always involve some sort of wordplay. Moreover, cryptic clues are usually divided into two parts: a straight definition and a bit of wordplay, both leading to the same answer word. (You can learn more about cryptics from my book Cryptic Crosswords & How to Solve Them).

SMP: What surprised you most as you created the SECRETS IN DEATH puzzle and cryptic?
FP: Actually I surprised myself that the cryptic construction went so smoothly. I hadn’t constructed one in over 20 years.

SMP: So many people do crosswords to relax. What do you do to relax?
FP: I solve the cryptic in the Guardian (a British paper) every day. I do my best to stay in shape: run, bike, go to the gym and play senior softball. And I’m a musician too, a keyboard player. I play at a few jam sessions every week, but don’t really gig anymore. My favorite jam these days is on Tuesday night at Katie’s of Smithtown. The house band consists of world-class players including drummer Bobby Rondinelli, who has played with Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, Rainbow, Leslie West, and a host of others too numerous to mention here. And I take my niece’s dog Dina out for a long walk every day.

SMP: Thanks, Fred!

My introduction to Melanie Scott was “Devil In Denim” followed by “Angel In Armani” and by the time I got to “Lawless In Leather”, I was literally stitched, tied and sewed with her stunning stories and humorous writings!!!

Following the New York Saints owned by the said Devil, Angel and Lawless alpha males, comes “Playing Hard” as the romance and love transcends from the owners to the players on the field. Melanie Scott and her titles just conjure images of passion and danger, love and lust, sassy and kick-ass heroines and sexy and alpha heroes.


Oliver Shields breathes and lives baseball and with the team making the play-offs for the first time ever, he can feel his dream being fulfilled a little closer. But then fate steps in the form of an accident removing him from the play-offs and maybe baseball itself. And destiny brings him face to face with Amelia Graham and he is at the cross roads of his future.

Coveting a hot shot job on Wall Street, Amelia Graham is successful, independent and fulfilling life, far away from her painful past. Friendly ties lands her in the middle of the successful and sexy baseball players, and her attraction to Oliver give her hope for a relationship and love that she wants more than anything.

Two different people bound by love, a romance hinging on friendships being severed, and a future that can be torn apart by distance, Oliver and Amelia have a lot to fight for with the support of their family and friends. And the constant presence of Alex and Maggie, Sara and Lucas and Mal and Raina only add spice making Playing Hard” hard to resist and not fall in love with her Melanie’s characters even more so.

Melanie Scott, her titles and her stories conjure images of passion and danger, love and lust, sassy kick-ass heroines and sexy alpha heroes and loads of wit and humor. Another wonderful, heartwarming and emotional love story from Melanie Scott…love her books!!!!!

Received an ARC from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley for an honest review.


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