Black as Midnight is up for Preorder!!

The next Ariel Kimber book is finally up for Preorder! May 31st is the set release date.

Click here to preorder it here on Amazon!

1547331354789

Blurb:

Black as Midnight is the next full-length novel in the Ariel Kimber series.

 

Ariel Kimber has finally settled into her life. Not only does she have a safe place to call home, one she actually loves living at, but she’s got the best roommate a girl could ask for. Oh, and he comes with an adorable little black cat as well.

And that’s not all that’s looking bright and shiny in Ariel’s life.

She’s got a job now, working at Tyson’s shop – Fortune’s for the Unfortunate. Her job is awesome and it’s made even better by the fact she gets to work where her father, Rain Kimber, lives, who is also another bright spot in her life.

Life is golden, shiny, and the potential for happy days – endless.

Until it’s not.

When the Council comes to call, you pick up the phone and answer… Or you suffer the consequences.

Only a fool wouldn’t answer, and Ariel Kimber is no fool.

With her coven of guys, her psychotic father and the honorable Marcus Cole by her side, she can make it through anything… Even the Council.

 

Ariel Kimber reading order:

Brothers of the Flame

Love Potion

Blood Magic

The Ties That Bind

Tyson (Novella)

Good Witch, Bad Witch (Short Story)

Black as Midnight

prettyugly

Pretty Ugly is the first book in the Mercy Mc Series. It’s King and Carmine’s story. King and Carmine first appear in my Dollhouse Series so if you like their story and like them and want to read more about them you can in my Dollhouse books. You can get that at Amazon.

Pretty Ugly ~ Coming soon!

Chapter One – Ugly

Carmine

“You’re going to like it here.”

I highly doubted this. I never liked it anywhere. Not even when I’d been home with my mother and brother before the state had rightfully stepped in had I liked being there. And in the handful of homes I’d been dumped in ever since were all the same to me. I hated each and every one with a passion.

They hadn’t been bad places to be, really. The people who’d occupied those places just, well, they kind of sucked. Or, maybe it was me that sucked. Either way, I never lasted long, and in no time at all they were ready to ship me off to the next place. And then the next.

I’d been too quiet. Too withdrawn. Too bitter and too angry. One family had gotten rid of me because they thought I was mentally unstable and feared I might either harm myself or eventually harm the other children in their home.

Please.

I snorted.

“Something funny, Carmine?”

I ignored the soft spoken question from the woman with too bright pink lipstick seated at my side. Just as I ignored all of her gentle, well meaning, insufferable prodding. Why the woman still bothered would forever remain a mystery to me.

I had to give it to her though, the lady was insistent. To be honest, it was kind of nice. Having someone give a shit, having someone talk to me, even when she knew I’d never respond. However brief our encounters were, they were the only source of stability I’d had in my life for too long.

Ms. Manning had been with me since my older brother and I had been taken away from our mother. She’d been there to help me pack my meager belongings. She’d dropped me off and been the person to introduce me to my new “family”. She’d also been the one to pick my ungrateful ass up when said family had deemed me unsuitable for their household.

She and I were on our fourth house and the damned woman never seemed to lose her optimism. If she hadn’t been the only constant in my life, the one to always pick me up when everyone else decided they didn’t want me, I might have told her to shove her optimism right up her asshole. I couldn’t do that to her. I needed her too badly to be there to pick me up when no one else wanted me.

“This couple is in their late forty’s and they only take in teenagers. Right now they’ve got two boys and two girls. They’re all a bit older than you are, but I don’t see that being an issue where you’re concerned.”

She droned on and on about my new family. I ignored her words, choosing rather to stare blankly out the passenger window, watching the world as we passed it by. Nothing she said ever really mattered. She didn’t know these people. She only knew what she’d read about them in a folder and she’d only seen the faces that had been put on for her benefit when she’d stopped in for her scheduled visit.

But she did not really know.

Therefore, I never really listened to her.

“We’re here.”

Already? It seemed this new family lived not too far from the one I’d just left behind. Usually it took longer to get there than this.

I took in my surroundings without a word as she drove on down the dirt lane. Trees as far as the eye could see. The road opened up into a clearing where an old, worn down farm house sat proudly in the center of the clearing. A big, wrap around porch housed a dilapidated bench and a broken down rocking chair.

The place was quiet and seemingly devoid of life.

For whatever insane reason, I loved it.

I could see myself blending in to the quiet scenery. Possibly even becoming forgotten altogether, like the rest of the place seemed to be.

“It’s perfect,” I whispered to myself, shocking not only myself but the woman seated beside me.

And it was.

For the year I stayed on there before being shipped off to the next place it was perfect. But like everything else in my life it didn’t last. Nothing in my life ever really did. Until the next place that is. That place stuck. Only because I worked to make it so. And I only did that because of him.

 

 

King

 

Ugly.

She was ugly. Except for those goddamn eyes. Jesus. They reminded me of my mother’s eyes. Sweet, brown, big and full to the brim with hope.

How in the fuck she could land in a place like this and have eyes full of hope would forever remain a mystery to me. Too bad before she left this place that beautiful hope would probably bleed out of the corners of her eyes in the shape of tears and trace down her homely face.

No one left this place whole and she would be no different.

This thought made me unbearably sad.

Something uncomfortable stirred in my gut with just one look into those eyes. Uncomfortable because it had been a long time since I’d felt any sort of real emotion towards another human being. Not since my mother had been ripped away from me and my father had bled to death before my very eyes as he tried and failed to save her.

I shut myself off from my emotions after that.

One look into an ugly little girls beautiful brown eyes and a switch had been flipped inside me. One look into those eyes and somehow I knew, this little girl, if I let her in, would end up owning me.

This absolutely terrified me. And yet, for some insane reason, it elated me.

I’d been dead inside for so long just the thought of some part of me coming back to life, suddenly resurrected, hit me in ways I never would have expected. For some reason I wanted to reach out to the brown eyed girl and hug her as a thank you.

I did no such thing and I probably would never ever do so.

To touch her would be to destroy her. My father had taught me that with my mother. She hadn’t been much to look at either, but goddamn did she ever have beautiful eyes. And the eyes were the most important part on a person, the window to a person’s soul.

My old man had taken one look into my mother’s eyes and he’d fallen hard. And then he destroyed her.

I was a lot of things, not all of them were good, but the worst of them all I was my father’s son, through and through. I would be until the day I died. My father had taught me to embrace this and I did, feeling no shame or remorse when I more than probably should have.

Carmine changed all of that.

I knew what kind of life I was destined to live, even at fifteen with this little slip of an ugly girl with beautiful eyes standing before me, I knew. And I also knew that one look into those eyes was all it took for me to fall hard.

Something that also terrified me and the only time I loathed being my father’s son because if I gave into my emotions I’d be her ruin.

So I did something stupid. Something that hurt us both in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I’d take it all back if I could. But that’s the fucked up thing about life, you only got one shot at it and if you failed it’d be your own damn fault.

And I failed.

But it wasn’t just my own life I fucked up. I fucked hers all up too and it wasn’t the place we first met that lead to the hope bleeding out of her eyes. Oh no. It wouldn’t be til years later would I see the loss of hope in those eyes. And just like my father with my mother, I’d be the reason she lost the light in her eyes. Unlike my father I’d do it intentionally.

.99 Cent Sale

No Mercy – Book 1 in the Dollhouse Series is on sale for .99 Cents!!! Grab your copy before it goes back up to it’s original price of $2.99.

newnm

Pick up your copy here:

Amazon Buy Link

Synopsis:

“Do you know what the funny thing about Mercy is?” Cap asked her. Before she could answer he spoke again, “It can be a cold, hard, unforgiving bitch.”

Duchess runs The Dollhouse. An old, two story mansion she recently purchased in an attempt to create a safe home for herself and her girl Franky, something neither of them have ever had. A safe home is not all The Dollhouse is though. The downstairs is a bar and the upstairs is home to something much seedier. A modern day brothel. A brothel Duchess is the proprietress of.
Duchess is a cold, hard, tough as nails woman with a murky past. Her whole life revolves around taking care of her girls and keeping them safe.
Life at The Dollhouse is irrevocably altered when its sole neighbor, the Mercy MC, strolls through the front doors of the bar.
From that moment on Duchess’s fate is intertwined with theirs. She tries to fight it to no avail. They claimed her and her girls and that’s all there is to it.
She gets a family she never wanted. Friends she never needed. And a lover she never expected. She also suffers loss and has no qualms about killing anybody who stands in her way or threatens her or her girls.

This is the first part in a series and it is not a happy go lucky story.

Freebie Friday

I had planned to do this every Friday. To pick one book that’s currently free and I’ve either read it or it’s on my TBR. Butttt….. I suck at blogging and I’ve skipped the last like 2 or 3 Friday’s. So I suppose it will be the sporadic Freebie Friday and not the every Friday Freebie Friday. 😛

This week I picked a military romance. Mostly I picked it because I’m in love with the cover.

One To Hold

See what I mean? Gorgeous cover!

Synopsis:

Derek Alexander is a retired Marine, ex-cop, and the top investigator in his field. Melissa Jones is a small-town girl trying to escape her troubled past.

When the two intersect in a bar in Arizona, their sexual chemistry is off the charts. But what is revealed during their “one week stand” only complicates matters.

Because she’ll do everything in her power to get away from the past, but he’ll do everything he can to hold her.

Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18. (M/F)

Amazon Buy Link

I love a book with a disclaimer! I’m super excited to read this one and it’s free so who could pass up that price? No me, that’s for sure!

Have a lovely Friday and get your #oneclick on.

Untitled Prologue ~ Something I’m working on.

Something I’ve been working on when I need a break from The Dollhouse and My King. It’s a little darker than anything I’ve ever written. It’s Untitled, unedited, subject to change and all that blah blah blah.

Copyright © Mary Martel

Prologue

“Twins,” she sneers. “The devils spawn, the pair of you,” she shakes her head in disgust. “Both of you trying to save the other from a well-deserved punishment.”

She tsks loudly, angrily.

“Your punishment is deserved. If one of you does not step forward to accept it I will be forced to punish the both of you and, Lord knows, you don’t want that.”

Both young men, mirror images of one another, remained silent, kneeling on the floor.

“Do not test me,” she seethes. So enraged she doesn’t seem to notice when spittle fly’s out past her dry, cracked lips.

Neither boy so much as flinches when her saliva rains down on their lowered heads. They’d been here with her before, several times in fact. If they spoke up in their defense the punishment would be a hundred times worse. They’d learned this particular lesson not even a week into their forced stay in her home.

“I should never have allowed such evilness to enter into my house. To corrupt my family. To taint my home. This is the thanks I get for opening up my home to you when you wretched little beasts had nowhere else to go. I took you in with open arms and you ungrateful bastards…”

On and on she ranted, all the while pacing back and forth in the dark, windowless room with a dirt floor and a bare bulb as the only source of light hanging from the ceiling.

Back and forth.

Back and forth.

All the while her mouth spewed venom down at them. So horrible were her words I felt them as if they were a physical thing, a horrible thing, leaving me trembling in my hiding spot under the stairs.

Neither boy moved a muscle. They were stone statues, her words unable to chip away at their rough exterior.

They were brave.

They were everything I wasn’t and I envied them their bravery. They were both polar opposites of me in every way. And they were both here, down in the basement, because of me.

She stopped pacing, stopped spewing vile obscenities.

Her arm came up and down, slicing through the air with surprising speed and accuracy.

Crack!

The twin on the left, I wasn’t sure which one because I was still unable to tell them apart, was left with a flaming red hand print covering his cheek from her blow to his face.

He made not a peep in protest nor did he move a hand to shield himself.

I, however, whimpered, unable to hold the pathetic little cry in any longer.

Both boys simultaneously jumped to their feet, but it was already too late. Beady brown eyes were locked on me. She had her prey in her sights and there would be no help for me now. Her tongue snaked out, momentarily wetting her dry lips. A sinister grin bloomed to life on her weathered face.

“Ruby Jane,” she called out.

In the harsh light I watched as horror spread across first one, then the other twins face. They knew what was coming for me.

They’d tried to protect me, my young champions, but once again fate had other plans.

I wiped snot off my face with the back of my hand, scooting further into the darkness below the stairs, all the while praying for a miracle. Praying for anything. Praying for the floor to open up swallowing me down into the seven pits of hell.

It was of no use because I was already in my own version of hell, one I’d been in for years. One I’d remain in for a good, long while.

Until one day we were all set free.

Last Sins – The First Chapter

Copyright © Mary Martel

Chapter One

“This is your new best friend.” I switched the safety on and handed the Glock over to Carmine.

She balked but takes it anyway, holding it out away from her, between her pointer finger and thumb. Like somehow if she held it in her hand it would go off all on its own.

I wanted to laugh but held it in check for fear of discouraging her. Carmine was a weird one and I never knew how she’d react to things. Like with the gun. I thought she’d grab hold of the fucker, take aim and fire away. That’s probably what I would have done. I loved weapons of all kinds and got excited whenever I got a new one.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed by her reaction. I wanted her to enjoy this as much as me.

“Um, should we be doing this here?” Her eyes skirted nervously around us.

We’d already gone over this. Twice, as a matter of fact. Still, hoping to put her at ease I semi repeated myself.

“Honestly, Carmine, no one will care.” And they wouldn’t. “We’re far enough out of town where the shots won’t be heard and the police won’t be called.” Either that or they’d know to stay away. No need to share this part with her, though. “If someone says jack I’ll get Captain and he will kick their asses.” This last part was scary true but also kind of good.

“Yeah, but do we have to do it here?” Her arm shot out to her side and she waved the gun around in the air.

Thankfully the safety was on. Also, weirdly, she seemed to momentarily forget she had ahold of the damn thing.

I looked at her, really looked at her. I didn’t like what I saw. And for once it had not one thing to do with the fact that she was ugly. Although, these days, she looked a whole lot less ugly. Which was saying something.

In the last month she’d gone through several different looks and this was the only one that stuck.

No longer did she sport a mop of ultra-frizzy brown hair. She’d cut it. Short. All of it. Gone. It looked marginally better.

Being flat-chested with the new hair cut she looked like a boy.

Her clothes were no longer two sizes too big and frumpy as all get out. Instead she had jeans and plain cotton t-shirts that fit her just right.

She no longer resembled that butt ugly girl who’d showed up on my doorstep looking for a job as a prostitute. Instead she looked like a plain-Jane, too thin, girl with a boy haircut and a whole lot more confidence.

Only now the confidence was gone, replaced by nervousness.

I didn’t get what she had to be nervous about.

My bar, The Dollhouse, and our home was right across the street. We were outside the Mercy Motorcycle Club Compound. The whole place was fenced off to keep outsiders out. No one could see us from the road and that’s how they liked it.

These men wouldn’t care that we were here. Hell, you weren’t even allowed past the front gate unless they wanted you to be here. And the Prospect at the gate hadn’t asked what we wanted or why we were here, he just opened it up and let us pass through.

This was because we were considered Mercy and we were considered Mercy because Captain, my man, was the President of the club.

For this reason no one bat an eyelash when I repositioned one of their picnic tables and lined up beer cans on it.

So what the fuck was her damn problem?

“Carmine-” I started.

Quickly she spoke, cutting me off. “Does King know we’re out here doing this?”

“No,” I answered honestly, not getting why she’d ask in the first place.

I mean I got why they were close. They’d been in foster care together and King was the only real family Carmine had. He’d taken her back numerous times, which is how she ended up with me.

But that didn’t explain why she thought he’d care if she was out here with me learning how to shoot a gun.

If anything I thought the crazy man would be happy she was learning how to take care of herself. My life came with risks and dangers and since she was now very much involved in my life and the risks I took. I thought she needed to be able to take care of herself now more than ever.

And since he was neck deep in my shit I figured he’d appreciate this.

The fact that she was worried, and she wouldn’t have asked if he knew what we were doing if she wasn’t worried, got me thinking.

They were family. Not tight like me and Franky, but still family nonetheless. If I knew Franky were taking risks for someone I’d be all over that, ready to eliminate the source of those risks.

Lucky for me, King and I had a bond and he took on a role filled with more of a risk than Carmine could ever dream of.

Also, lucky for me, he was all up in my shit and paying close attention. Therefore, he already knew the risks she took for me. And, more importantly, he was okay with it.

That being said, I hadn’t informed him of my plans to show Carmine how to take care of herself along the way.

I did this mostly because I gave a shit about her, but also I did it for peace of mind. If something were to happen to her when I wasn’t around to protect her I would no doubt go homicidal and people would end up dead.

She was one of my girls even though she was a different kind of girl than the rest.

She had Franky potential only sans the whole fucked up whore bit. But still a whole lot of fucked up. I started off thinking of Carmine as an unwanted burden. There were burdens you took on then there was Carmine. A burden you’d rather sell an organ than accept.

Then she became an asset.

Solid. Rock steady. Everything I didn’t know I needed her to be.

She had it going on.

After I approached her about taking on more than the role of housekeeper she readily agreed.

Now, not only did she run my bar, but she took down the girls’ appointments and passed on the client’s info to my contact for background checks.

She knew just as much about my business as I did. Which is why I wanted her to learn how to use a gun. She got this because I’d explained it to her.

Now I didn’t get why she was worried about King.

“Carmine-” I again started but got no further.

Eyes aimed over my shoulder at the garage where they actually did work around here, she stated, “I want a car, too. But an SUV like yours.”

Fuck.

I didn’t need to look over my shoulder to know the garage doors were open and they were working on Franky’s car.

I was very much relieved to hear her say she wanted an SUV like mine. An SUV I could go and buy for her. Franky had to have a fast car with “character.” I didn’t get this. My SUV was nice, dependable, and, more importantly, it got me from point A to point B. What was the point in anything more than that? Flash and fast drew attention and attention was unwelcome.

“You want an SUV like mine?” I asked. At her nod I told her, “After this we’ll go pick you out one.”

“I can’t do that,” she gaped at me.

“Why the fuck not?”

She was getting on my nerves. We came out here to shoot things, not to have her question me and then get all weird and insecure on me.

Goddamn females and their ridiculous emotions.

“For starters, I can’t afford it-”

I cut her off, “Nobody said you’d be paying for it.”

“That’s not what I wanted when I said it, Duchess,” she angrily huffed out. “I wasn’t hinting at you buying me a car. I was just stupidly thinking out loud.”

Why was it considered stupid if she wanted it and I had the means to get it for her?

“Okay,” I agreed, verbally letting it go.

This would be the end of the conversation, but it wouldn’t be the end of the subject. I’d go out on my own and buy her the damn thing. And if she bitched and protested acceptance I’d lie and feed her some bullshit about it being a company car.

I snickered. Company car indeed.

She wouldn’t dare argue with me either, so it was perfect.

“Okay?” she sounded confused.

I couldn’t blame her. I wasn’t known to be one who gave in so quickly, or ever for that matter.

“Yeah, okay.” I grinned at her.

She blinked slowly, staring at me stupefied. “Uhh…”

“So,” I decided to take advantage of her being off her game and asked, “You ever fuck him?”

Her eyes grew wide and her mouth opened and closed twice before she sputtered, “Fuck…fuck who?”

“King.”

Her face grew red, tomato red. It was instant.

Her lips pursed in an angry line and she hissed at me, “Why would you ever think that?”

Whoa.

Hello, crazy. Where have you been hiding?

I held my hands up, palms out, in a nonthreatening gesture.

“Take it back,” she continued to hiss at me.

I’d never seen her angry before. I think the only looks I’d ever seen her wear were complacent or concerned. This was a good look for her.

Eyes lit with fire. Cheeks red in anger. Lips a hard, thin line.

“There’s nothing to take back, Carmine,” I slowly told her, enunciating each word carefully.

“I don’t want him to think-”

“I’d never say anything to anyone. If you don’t trust me than you’re a fucking moron,” I snapped at her.

“I… he…” she sputtered looking anywhere but at me, her anger having dissolved as quickly as it had arrived.

Jesus. Did she have multiple personalities?

Maybe I should take that gun away from her before I really pissed her off and she shoots my ass.

“Whatever, Carmine. It’s your business.” I eyed the gun in her hand, wondering if she’d hand it over if I asked or if I should try and tackle her and wrestle it out of her hands.

Probably not the latter, the boys around here would never let me live that shit down and I already was a bit of a freak show to them, I didn’t need to add to it.

“It’s just that,” her arms came up in helplessness before quickly dropping down to her sides, the gun slapping against her thigh. She didn’t seem to notice or care and prattled on, “I tried once. I kind of um, threw myself at him. I was drunk and he was, well, beautiful, like he always is. I finally got up the courage to make a move, we’d been in the same house for months and he was the first person to ever treat me like I was something, ya know? Like I was worth caring about.”

She cleared her throat, her voice got deeper, rougher with emotion when she continued, “Anyway, he turned me down, pushed me away. He was gentle about it, but still it hurt. I don’t think I ever got over it, or him. But I don’t want him to know that. If he knew I had feelings for him, or if he thought he hurt me… I can’t lose him.”

She looked at me with big eyes filled with pain and pleading.

“I get it,” I spoke quietly and smiled reassuringly at her. “My lips are sealed.”

Her shoulders sagged in relief.

“Now,” I changed the subject, “Give me the gun and I’ll show you how to use it.”

She looked down at the gun in her hand, looking confused, like she didn’t remember how it got there.

I should have been more concerned about this, but instead I was scheming.

Everyone deserved to get a little piece of happiness, deserved to get what they wanted out of life at least once.

And if you were one of mine I went out of my way to see that you got it, even if I had to get my hands a little dirty in the process.

And Carmine was most definitely one of mine.