New Release – Lying in Shadows

Lying in Shadows (Event Horizon #1)

Release date – 24 February 2017

 

This book has a bit of everything, romance, betrayal, heartbreak and suspense. ~Obsessed Book Reviews

 

It put you on your toes as the suspense of the situations unfolded. ~SN the Viking

 

It kept me interested and guessing right the way through. ~Alpha Book Club

 

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Marianne needs to find who’s leaking secrets from her company, before they lose another major contract. What she doesn’t need is an affair with her married boss. Even worse, to fall in love with him.

She discovers the security leak is more than a case of commercial espionage: someone is lying in the shadows, playing games with them. Now more than her heart and career are at stake–her life is on the line.

 

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

Lying in Shadows is the first in the Event Horizon series of contemp romantic suspense stories. Some of the characters may already be familiar to readers from the Talisman series, and the standalones Perfect Stranger and Pole Position.

Time-wise, this is set just after Pole Position, and a couple of years before the Talisman series starts.

It’s as much romance as it is suspense, set in a high-tech global company, where good people sometimes do bad things. Just like real life.

P.S. – Event Horizon are a rock band. This could be a whole new genre – hot rocker romantic suspense?

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25 New Loves for Valentine’s Day? And all of them FREE!

The Boy in the Sixth Form pt. 1 (aka My First Valentine)

 

One Valentine’s Day stands out in my memory. I would have been fourteen, and had a HUGE crush on a boy at school. He was two years older than me, and at fourteen, that kinda age difference was crippling. He joined our math class each week, and when I learned his favourite candy was lemon bonbons (a chewy English candy, not unlike bonbonstoffee), I made sure I always took a bag to class with me. I joined the amateur dramatics group, because he was a budding thespian, despite never being interested before. I developed a brief fascination with football when I learned he played for a local team, and I also joined the tennis club. Guess who played tennis there?

After months of talking to him in the math class, spending half my pocket money on candy that I never ate, and watching a sport that I hated, it was finally Valentine’s Day, and I had an excuse to express my teenage devotion. I bought a card for him. I agonized over what to write. How to hint at my identity, without being obvious?

Happy Valentines Day, I wrote. That’s all. SO LAME! Where was the witty line, the inside joke, the freaking giant clue that I was madly in love with him? Where?

I walked past his house ridiculously early, and shoved it through the letter box before running away. Would he like it? Would he connect it with me?

The following day I was on tenterhooks. It was maths, currently my favourite subject. I bought bonbons.

He arrived, hand in hand with another girl from my class.

#HeartShattered

 

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Romantic heroes are always a safer bet, so how do you fancy meeting 25 of them? Or more?

I’m taking part in the Valentine’s Down Under promo on Instafreebie. You can download scores of FREE romance novels, all set down under, in New Zealand or Australia. One of my wolfie books is featured – Caging the Wolf.

Really. What’s not to like?

http://traceyalvarez.com/valentines-promo/

 

The promo runs until 20 Feb, so grab your freebies while you can 🙂

 

P.S. Come back next week for The Boy in the Sixth Form part 2

Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂

Sofia x

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Pre-order my new romantic suspense for a FANTASTIC discount

 

My new romantic suspense novel is released February 24 – but if you pre-order now, you can grab a copy for only $0.99.

From February 24 it will be $3.99.

Lying in Shadows (Event Horizon #1)

lyinginshadows

 

Marianne needs to find who’s leaking secrets from her company, before they lose another major contract. What she doesn’t need is an affair with her married boss. Even worse, to fall in love with him.

She discovers the security leak is more than a case of commercial espionage: someone is lying in the shadows, playing games with them. Now more than her heart and career are at stake – her life is on the line.

Pre-order for only $0.99

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

Take a lot of care with reading Ms Grey’s books, you will not only find intrigue and twists galore, but crossovers through her series ~ Ahmazing Book Faerie

Excerpt

Chapter one

The gossip mag called to Marianne as clearly as if it had a megaphone attached. She’d stuffed it into her tote bag before she boarded the plane, and tried hard to ignore it during the flight, but now, with more than an hour until they landed at Heathrow and all her work documents tidied away, there was no excuse.

She glanced at her new colleague next to her. Rico looked focused on his spreadsheet. Fuck it. She wanted to see what dirt the press was spreading now.

She retrieved the glossy magazine and feasted her eyes on the cover picture first. AJ, also known as Rock God. Her one-time lover. The stock photo was a good one. His eyes were clear, and his lips curved in the start of a smile. He looked fit and confident and beyond sexy—the polar opposite of how he was a year ago, when they last met.

He occupied the center spread, in a multitude of images, and Marianne took her time examining them. She winced at the largest picture—AJ, clinging to a lamppost, the soft amber light glinting off a bottle of Grey Goose vodka in his hand. His hair was longer than she’d seen before, and thick fuzz covered his face. He was a mess.

The paragraph underneath had nothing new to say.

The delicious AJ was seen staggering out of Barney’s club in the early hours. Looks like his latest dry spell has foundered. This is the first time he’s seen in public since his little brother, Event Horizon bass player Sam, died of an overdose last year. Rumour has it AJ’s bought a mansion in darkest Wales, to hide away in. The remaining members of the band have been pressing him to tour again, but he’s not interested.

It was Sam’s anniversary today. Memories of his funeral threatened to overwhelm Marianne, but she pushed past them. Losing Sam was bad enough, but for him to die the way she expected AJ to go was grossly unfair. Watching AJ ride the rollercoaster of addiction was terrifying, and without Sam to curb his excesses, she feared the worst. How long would it be, before she received that news too? Her stomach cramped at the idea.

She’d made a new life. No longer the tagalong groupie from next door, she had a career and responsibilities. She was a different person, on the outside at least. Inside was a different matter. AJ was her first and only true love. Yeah… and it worked out so well.

Most days she didn’t think about him, but today it was impossible not to. She closed the magazine and returned it to her tote, but the images she’d seen continued to taunt her. AJ on stage with the band. AJ on his first album cover, the one that propelled the young rock band to stardom in a matter of months. AJ with an arm wrapped around Sam’s shoulders, carefree grins on both their faces. And then a blurry copy of the headline that announced Sam’s overdose.

Marianne needed a distraction. Burying herself in work seemed like the best option. As soon as they landed, they were heading for the TM-Tech offices in Canary Wharf, where she’d host the kickoff meeting for this super-secret project. It was the biggest piece of work she’d been asked to manage, and that alone should be exciting.

Leaning back in her seat, she gazed at Rico’s spreadsheet. He clicked the mouse in a series of cells, flicked to another page, and then repeated the action.

“Find anything yet?” She spoke softly. Even though they were in Business Class and had space around their seats, she never knew who might be listening.

“Nope.” He blew out a frustrated breath, pushed wire-rimmed spectacles up his nose, and continued clicking between pages.

Rico had been hired a few days earlier, as a forensic accountant, and assigned to her team for this job. His appointment rankled at first; Marianne preferred to select her own team. But Rico came with excellent references and had worked for Thaddeus Merrill, the chairman, before.

She and Rico would be working closely for the next three months. It wouldn’t hurt to be friendly. “So, Rico. I don’t know much about you. Are you married? Girlfriend? Significant Other?”

He gave her a sideways glance and pushed at his spectacles again. “Uh… no.”

Teasing him could be fun. “Is that no to the wife, girlfriend, or significant other?”

“None of them. Too busy, I guess.” He was cute in a geeky way, all floppy dark hair and big brown eyes. The girls at TM-Tech would be falling over themselves to catch him. Not Marianne though. She never mixed business with pleasure.

She was looking forward to this project for a number of reasons. Not only the huge responsibility, but also because being in London again would be good. She hadn’t worked in the U.K. for years, or spent much time recently on British soil, but some things were hard to forget. English fish and chips, and a decent roast beef Sunday lunch were top of her list. Catching up with her family? Not so much.

Then, there was Marcus. If she ever considered breaking her rule about getting involved with a co-worker, Marcus would be her downfall. Especially since he was now her boss.

Two hours later, Marianne gazed up at the gleaming tower block that would be her workplace for the next few months. The sun hung low in the sky, typical for late October, and she tugged her coat a little tighter. After working in Houston for so long, she’d forgotten how cold it could be in London. She bit back a yawn. She’d also forgotten how exhausting transatlantic travel could be.

Rico glanced at her, as he shouldered a leather messenger bag. “We could always reschedule the kickoff for tomorrow morning.”

He looked disgustingly bright-eyed, more as if he slept on the flight, though he’d been working the whole time. “No need.” She was brisk. “We’re here, and with time to spare. Let’s go find Marcus.”

 

Pre-order for only $0.99

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

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Get the first two books in Sofia Grey’s Talisman series for only $.99 each

If you like dark ‘n’ angsty paranormal romantic suspense, you’ll LOVE the Talisman series.
Book #1, OBSESSION, is available for $0.99, but for a short time, you can also grab book #2 at a discount. You can read them as standalones, but they are best as a series.

~ Book #2, CRAVING, is available for $0.99 until 2 February ~

A silhouette of a man sitting on his bike holding on to his woman.

 

A deal with a demon, a biker psychic and the girl who might just be his salvation… if the demon doesn’t get to her first.

02-cravingAmazon: http://amzn.to/2dsJbvq

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2e58yDB

Nook: http://bit.ly/2ebvGyS

IBooks:  https://itun.es/nz/wkxabb.l

 

“A paranormal read that will scare you as much as it intrigues you” ~Cocktails & Books ~

Here’s an excerpt from CRAVING

I’d convinced myself Dante was just a means to an end, and then he smiled at me, his hard, uncompromising face lighting up for just a second. With his sharp cheekbones and proud chin, he looked almost beautiful, and my stomach turned cartwheels. His eyes glittered like diamonds, pale silver that appeared luminous in the badly lit room. I felt as though he was looking inside my head. He’d looked at each of us in turn, and while mentally kicking myself from here to London and back, I’d longed for his gaze to fall back on me.

Arrogant fuckwit. If he didn’t come up with the goods tonight, I’d tell Tristan it wasn’t working—see if he could get someone else. Even as I contemplated the impossibility of finding another medium at such short notice, I realized something had changed. I recognized the music instantly. Glen Miller’s Moonlight Serenade. Surely Melissa wasn’t listening to it outside? When the temperature dropped, I felt an icy trickle down my spine. Like an idiot, I held tighter on both sides, Dante and Tristan. Dante’s hand was warm against mine, his palm slightly calloused. The hand of a man who worked for a living. Tristan’s in comparison was smooth and cool.

Dante was speaking, but I didn’t pay any attention. There, flickering in the doorway, like a hologram on a bubble gum card, stood a man in uniform. A Royal Air Force uniform. Oh. My. God. I’d help to set up the room—there was no hidden projection unit, just our own equipment. I hoped to God it all worked. I could see the airman clearly. He was transparent in places, yet parts of him looked solid. I shivered, my breath hanging in front of my face. How could it be so cold, so quickly?

BUY Obsession: Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

BUY Craving: Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

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FREE and DISCOUNT romances in the Stuff Your E-Reader Sale

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E-reader a little skinny after the holidays? Stuff it with 75+ FREE and $0.99 romances from best-selling Australian and New Zealand authors. From sexy or sweet contemporaries to romantic comedy, historical, paranormal, romantic suspense, erotica, women’s fiction and Urban fantasy/Sci-fi/fantasy – we’ve got you covered.

PS: two of my sexy contemporary titles are included – PERFECT STRANGER and POLE POSITION, both at $0.99.

 

PPS: the sale only runs until December 30th, so grab ’em while you can!

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You want to know more?

How can you pass on FREE romances from Tracey Alvarez, Leanna Morgan, Diana Fraser and Demelza Carlton? How about bargains from Bronwen Evans, Heather Boyd and Janet Elizabeth Henderson? And plenty more.

More romances than you can shake a very large stick at… 🙂

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Perfect Rebound is now available (a contemp novella from Sofia Grey)

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If you read and enjoyed PERFECT STRANGER, this one is for you. It wraps up the budding relationship between Cade and Jenny  🙂

 

PERFECT REBOUND

 

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Cade’s been in love with Jenny for years. She’s recovering from an abusive marriage, and is scared of falling for the wrong guy again.

With Cade about to move halfway around the world for his job, time is running out to show Jenny he’s more than her best friend.

He’d be the perfect rebound, if only she’d take a chance on him.

 

Available for $0.99 from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

EXCERPT

 

Jenny was so far out of my league, she could have been in a different time zone.

She was blonde, bubbly, and gorgeous, while I was a geek. Her idea of a good night out included friends and drinks, while mine was more likely to involve pixels or lines of code.

And yet, we hit it off. She was so damned kind, with a heart the size of Kansas. Or Texas. Whichever was larger.

I stared at the phone in my hand and forced myself to think about the call I just took. Best career opportunity ever. The chance to work for a respected previous boss, on his dream team. Promotion to Lead Developer. Pay raise, of course, an exciting project, and a trip Down Under—six to eight months in New Zealand, visa organized for me and all expenses paid.

What was stopping me from calling right back and saying yes?

Jenny.

Could I bear to be away from her for so long?

We weren’t a couple, much as I loved the idea, and though Jen had started divorce proceedings, it might be years before she was free of her shit of a husband. We were the best of friends, who not only worked together but also shared a house. Anything more was as unlikely as flying to the moon. On my motorbike.

There was every chance Jen would relish the idea of having the house to herself. I wouldn’t know until I talked to her, and that had to be soon. Alan wanted a decision quickly.

My head whirling, I walked back to my desk and found Jen bent over, writing a sticky note for me. I paused and watched, drinking in the sight of her luscious arse, the tight skirt clinging to her thighs. Jen had the figure of a 1950’s pin-up model, with curves that screamed to be touched and blonde hair that bounced as though she was taking part in a shampoo commercial. She was fucking gorgeous.

Slow down, Cade. It was only six months since she left Rob. It was too soon for me to make a move on her.

Close up portrait of a young attractive romantic couple hugging and kissing, laying down on a white bed, having sex and being loving with each other. Love and relationships lifestyle, interior bedroom.

FREE ebook – Wolf at the Door (Snowdonia Wolves #1)

 

For the next 5 days, you can grab a FREE ecopy of Wolf at the Door, the first in my steamy, shifter romance series.

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wolf_at_the_door_cover_for_kindleLove can heal all wounds…

Pop star Lillian Hart is determined never to trust another man. She has no idea that the wolf at her door is anything other than a wounded dog, much less the Alpha of the Snowdonia Wolf pack. There’s something about the wild creature that pulls at her. Then a man with her wolf’s eyes starts to invade her dreams, and reality and fantasy merge in a way that has her hoping, against all odds, for dreams to come true.

Lillian may have sworn off men, but Jake’s not just any man, he’s a shifter, and he’s about to shift Lillian’s world to make room for him. He vows to claim her as his Mate, and when Jake makes a vow, he keeps it. But Lillian wants to take it slow and Jake is not about to waste any time.

In this battle of wills, both discover giving in and trusting their hearts can heal even the deepest of hurts.

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5 post-quake behaviours

Living on an active fault line

I’ve experienced a few earthquakes now, two of which were scary. I’m talking huddled-under-the-desk scared, with ten floors of offices above my head, while the building shook like a rattle in a toddler’s fist. Not fun.

Most of them are gentle, varying from a slight jolt to a swaying sensation, much like being on a boat. I’m fine with those, after all, it’s part of the trade-off for living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world: it’s also one of the most seismically active.

Anyway. Most people who live here, certainly those in the vast area from Christchurch through to Wellington, have adopted new behaviours over the past few years.

using smart phone

1. Keep the phone charged

As soon as it drops to half-battery, I whip out my charging cable. It might shave a few months from the expected lifespan of the battery, but it’s better than being caught with no electricity and just a few minutes of power left.

 2. Carry the phone everywhere!

While I’m at work, it goes with me (on silent) to every meeting, every time I venture outside, or go to the bathroom or the kitchen. If I get stuck somewhere, I can use it to call for help (if the phone network is still working), use the flashlight (another reason to always keep the battery full!), or—hopefully—text my family to tell them I’m safe and to ask if they’re okay.

3. Keep the petrol tank in the car at least half full

I might have to evacuate in a hurry, with no time to top up the tank. Also, in the event of a big quake, the power lines will be down and the petrol stations not working.

4. Look out for ‘safe zones’ when out and about

The main shopping street in Wellington is filled with tower blocks and glass. I dread the idea of being caught there if the Big One happened, but I keep an eye on safe zones: doorways and recesses, or areas of open ground well away from the buildings. I’d dive under a café table if it offered me some shelter.

5. Always have trainers / flat shoes / walking boots at hand

Wellingtonians usually wear flat shoes around the city (it’s hilly, with uneven sidewalks), but I now always keep a sturdy pair of comfortable trainers (and socks) under my desk. Not so much for walking the ninety km home, but for walking to a friend’s house if I get stranded in the city.

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There are other things I do now, that I never did before (hoard bottled water and muesli bars at home, and always keep a flashlight by the side of my bed), but I might save those for another list.

Did I miss anything? What do you do differently now?

 

Did the earth move for you? Hell, yes!

 

Living in the shadow of The Big One

Copyright Maarten Holl / Fairfax NZ

Copyright Maarten Holl / Fairfax NZ

 

It’s weird to think that earthquakes have become part of our lives. It’s normal to keep food supplies and a pair of sturdy running shoes under my desk in the office, along with a list of friends in the town who I could go to, in the event I couldn’t get home.

 

Normal too, to have quake supplies at home. Strong plastic boxes with basic foodstuffs. A camping stove. Lots and LOTS of bottled water. Torches in every room, and emergency lights that come on in the event of a power cut. We get some bad storms here in winter, and those babies have been worth their weight in gold.

 

For as long as we’ve lived in the Wellington region of New Zealand, we’ve been aware of the quake risk, in particular, the Big One that everyone fears will happen. The one in the middle of the day when the offices and shops are all full. The one that cuts off the capital from the rest of the country, with dwindling food and water supplies and no way for aid to come in. The one that generates a deadly tsunami.

 

Sunday night was our first serious tsunami threat, and believe me, I don’t want a re-run of that. Waking at midnight to a gently rocking bed, I could dismiss it as just-another-quake, but then it rocked a bit harder. I scrambled out as I shouted to Teen Son (already awake) and husband (watching TV), and that’s when the jolt hit. Normally, you get a gentle roll, and then either a jolt or a long rolling motion, but this was different. It jolted. And it JOLTED. And then again. Scared? You bet. The house creaked and rattled, boxes fell over, and the grandfather clock stopped. The furbabies mostly ran for cover, apart from Mitten, settled on a pillow, who just watched me with a baffled expression on her face.

 

Where the quake was felt (across NZ)

Where the quake was felt (across NZ)

Losing the electricity was no surprise, but our emergency lights kicked in. Then came the guessing game of how-big, and how-far-away? Finding our cellphones still worked was a huge plus. The initial reports looked bad, but not that bad. 6.2, maybe. Or 6.6. It finally settled on M.7.5, in a remote part of South Island some two hundred miles away from us. Holy fuck, we said. We were lucky. Lucky it happened at home, while we were all together. Lucky it wasn’t the middle of the day when we could all become stranded, miles from home.

 

The power came back on almost two hours after the quake, at which point we scrambled to make tea. Hey, we’re English.  🙂

 

However, despite our proximity to the beach, we didn’t immediately think tsunami. We were too busy firing off messages and emails to friends and family to check they were okay, and to reassure them of our safety.

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It quickly became apparent, this was a real threat, but we saw conflicting updates depending on where we looked. Some sites advised east coast locations at risk, others included Wellington and Kapiti (where we live). If we did have to evacuate, we needed to be ready.

 

Our earthquake / tsunami plan needs a bit of fine-tuning, but we had the basics nailed down. Loading the cars with prearranged items. Grabbing warm coats and strong shoes. Extra batteries. Getting the cat carriers ready for use. Figuring out where to go.

 

Somewhere around four in the morning, I whined that while the quake had been scary, the wait-and-see for the tsunami was worse. It shredded every last nerve.

 

The alerts were called off around five, and we let out a sigh of relief. Finally, we could get some sleep, apart from the aftershocks still vibrating the house of course.

 

Some ten years ago, while planning our move from the UK to New Zealand, top of our list of decisions was where to live. The bustling city of Auckland, way in the north? The capital, Wellington, at the bottom of the North Island, or Christchurch, halfway down the South Island.

 

Wellington Cityscape - Oriental Bay

 

Auckland was out. We were moving to get away from busy cities. Wellington straddles a number of major fault lines and is at risk from earthquakes, so that was also a no. Christchurch, we said. The population is lighter, it’s more rural, but still with a city’s commerce and industry.   As it turned out, I received a job offer in Wellington and that’s where we went.

 

And in hindsight? Wow. I’m glad we made that decision. The imagery of the Christchurch quake in 2011 still haunts me. The loss of 185 lives. A city centre that has only just re-opened for business in some parts. We are happy with our choice of Wellington for work, and a home in a quiet beachside village an hour north of the capital.

 

We were lucky again this time. We’ll re-jig our survival kits and evacuation plans, and get back to normal in a few days. We’ll pull faces, and shrug over the aftershocks, and pretend we weren’t scared by them. The offices will re-open for work, and we’ll swap stories over coffee, trading tips for emergency plans, and laughing at our dumb choices. Canned chicken? Great, except none of us actually eat it!

 

But I know, every time the floor moves beneath my feet, I instantly think: is this the Big One?