Devious Minds by Collen Helme

Devious Minds 

(A Shelby Nichols Adventure Series #8)

by Colleen Helme



Blurb: 

It’s been almost a year since a near-fatal gunshot wound left Shelby Nichols with the ability to read minds. In that time she’s faced one problem after another. She’s been shot at, framed for murder, and targeted by a serial killer, just to name a few. Now she’s trying to help her lawyer husband win a murder trial that will enable him to become a partner in his law firm. Sounds easy, right? But nothing ever goes as planned when it comes to Shelby Nichols.

When special agent, Blake Beauchaine, shows up to collect a debt from Shelby, things get even more complicated, and Shelby is soon on her way to Paris. A routine meeting with a rogue agent reveals a sinister plot, putting Shelby into the cross-hairs of a known terrorist. Even worse, she doesn’t speak French, so it seems her mind-reading abilities won’t help her this time.

Things go from bad to downright dangerous for Shelby, especially since her usual guardians, Uncle Joey, and his hit-man, Ramos, are back in the states. Lost and on her own in the streets of Paris, can Shelby escape the cold-blooded killer in time to stop his devious plans, or will this be the end of the line for Shelby Nichols?

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Excerpt

 

 

My mouth watered at the thought of chocolate, and I eagerly followed him into another maze of buildings and cobbled streets. We passed a few outdoor cafés before Blake stopped at the one he wanted. We sat outside, even though it wasn’t real warm, and ordered lunch. My order of a buckwheat galette filled with ham, cheese, tomatoes and mushrooms seemed to melt in my mouth.

 

After finishing up and, after a quick restroom break, we left for the chocolate store. On the way, we passed the real, honest-to-goodness, Louis Vuitton shop. I swallowed and glanced inside at all those expensive and non-knock-off handbags. Blake slowed down and studied me. He was thinking I had that glazed look of a woman just about to spend more money on a purse than it was worth.

 

That settled me down some, and I snapped my mouth shut. Letting out a breath, I caught up with him. He shook his head at me, and I only looked back once before we continued on. Several twists and turns later, we came upon another shop with a sign above it that read “Henri Le Roux Chocolatier et Caramélier.”

 

I understood the chocolatier part pretty fast and eagerly stepped inside. All the chocolates were displayed behind the glass case just like jewelry in a jewelry store, and I took my time looking at them all. A young woman came out to help us, and Blake spoke to her in French, so I didn’t know what they said. She got out a box and wrapped it up, then handed it to him.

 

“For you madam?” she asked.

 

“I don’t know,” I admitted.

 

“What do you like?”

 

“Chocolate covered marshmallows,” I replied.

 

“Ah… I have just the thing.” She left and came back with a circular shaped plastic container with lots of square chocolates inside. “These are chocolate outside, and inside is a tender cocoa marshmallow heart. You will love it.”

 

“Oh, thank you… uh… merci beaucoup… très bien!”

 

“De rien,” she said with a smile.

 

While Blake paid for the chocolates, I couldn’t wait to try a piece and opened the container. I pulled out a square and carefully placed it on my tongue, then closed my mouth around it. As the chocolate flavor burst along my taste buds, I tried not to moan, but I did anyway. Next came the sweet marshmallow center, which sort of melted in my mouth. It was the most perfect chocolate-covered marshmallow I’d ever tasted in my life.

 

“Come on, Shelby.” Blake steered me out of the shop and checked his watch. “We have just enough time to see the Eiffel Tower, but we’ll have to take the metro. There’s a station this way.”

 

I followed him in a daze. I didn’t know if it was the jet lag finally catching up, or the excitement of being in Paris, or all of that chocolatey goodness. I only knew that if magic existed, this was how it felt. We came to a stairway with a railing around it and a metro sign posted above. Several kiosks lined the wall at the bottom of the stairs. Blake inserted his credit card into a kiosk and tapped on the screen until several tickets came out. He handed me half of them.

 

“Keep these for later.”

 

The Shelby Nichols Adventure Series
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About The Author

 

As the author of the Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, Colleen is often asked if Shelby Nichols is her alter-ego. “Definitely,” she says. “Shelby is the epitome of everything I wish I dared to be.” Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures. “I love getting Shelby into trouble… I just don’t always know how to get her out of it!” Colleen lives in the Rocky Mountains with her family. Besides writing, she loves a good book, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends. She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.

You can find Colleen at
               
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Blog Tour: The Emblazoned Red, by Dawn McCullough White

Synopsis:

Once, in another world—a dark world, the world of Faetta—there lived paladins and pirates, tyrants and scallywags, vampires and the undead. In this world a revolution is brewing. The royalty of Sieunes are in chains, and those priests and paladins who follow the holy word of the gods are under attack. In the west, the kingdom of Kellerhald receives the fleeing priests in their temples of the paladins of Silvius, god of the Sky.

Here, a young woman has just passed her tests to become a paladin. A pirate crew raids along the Azez Sea. An undead creature, wielding great power, roams the graveyard of Yetta. And a lost soul, crying out from beyond the veil, seeks out a pure hearted warrior to hear its plea.

Amid the turmoil of the revolution, Ilka’s mettle is tested. Rescued by pirates, she ends up with an unlikely ally: the pirate captain himself. The newly trained paladin finds herself collaborating with the undead, working with a vampire, and worst of all, longing for revenge against the man who has ignited the revolution in Sieunes: Francois Mond…

“Death of an Innocent. Rise of a Paladin.”
Excerpt:  

          “Beautiful Rhiannon …” he sighed, and sank his fangs into her neck, pressing her body down onto the pile of dead flowers atop her son’s grave.  

He had been following her around the streets of Lockenwood for a good month.  He had begun following the moment he had caught sight of her lithe body and her bright red hair.  Sometimes he’d sit on top of a roof and just watch as she shopped or left work at night.  As he got more daring, he’d slip inside the tavern where she worked, losing himself in the hot, dirty crowd within.  His cold, hard body was shoved along through the crowd: peasants, villains, beggars.  The poor and the evildoers all jam-packed within the smoke-stained tavern.  And there was Rhiannon, fetching swill for each of them.

All of his efforts in the last month were now at their end.  They reached the final climax with her death.
          Augustine released her limp form and laid her down to rest with her dead baby, and then he sighed because it had come too soon.  He had been longing to talk to her, that’s where this generally went.  He wanted to get to know her a little before her inevitable death.  Wanted to know who she was, what she thought, and what she thought of him.  Perhaps he could’ve eased her sorrows for a time … but then, of course, the lust for her blood would’ve gotten the better of him, and he’d have had to kill her.  But still, this was basically a wasted month
 
About the Author:
 
     Dawn McCullough White is known for her strong female protagonists, and gritty dark fantasy.

Ms. McCullough-White has lived the majority of her life in and around Rochester, NY with a brief stint in Tucson, AZ. She is pursuing a degree in psychology at R.I.T. Dawn is a history buff and was a member of the Society of Creative Anachronism for years, active as a heavy weapons fighter. She currently resides with her husband and son in a quaint neighborhood next to an old cemetery. 
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