Book Blitz – Million Miles Away by Alice Bane

Million Miles Away
Alice Bane
(Million Miles, #1)
Publication date: October 5th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

For the past year, sleep paralysis has been little more than a thorn in Natalia’s side. That is, until she meets Korin, a strange but beautiful alien being who makes her question everything she knows about the universe.

Life-changing love almost feels like an invasion.

I won’t bore you with details about the mysterious medical issues I’ve had over the last year;

the sudden severe allergies to food and medication, the sleep paralysis. All I’ll tell you is that they turned my life upside down.

But I’m a rational person.

Naturally, I assumed that my mind was playing tricks on me when I saw the strange figures standing over me.

But it felt so freakishly real;

especially one face in particular that always stayed with me long after I woke up.

Something about him always drew me in and I knew he was different. He made me feel different.

All my life, romance has felt like something that was reserved for everyone but me. I’d accepted that the only love in my life would be experienced through my artwork.

Now I’m questioning everything I know about myself, about reality, and especially about love.

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The girls would always tease me about how put together my life was. Sure, it looked good on paper; top-rated artist in my department, an amazing house which I always kept immaculate, and when I wasn’t working, I was at the gym. They seemed to think that I had a perfect life. They had no idea how much I envied them. They both had incredible relationships with gorgeous men who doted on them endlessly. They were always commenting on how jealous they were of my body, but they also never missed a chance to eat delicious foods that I couldn’t so much as smell without getting sick. They didn’t realize that my house was always clean because it was empty and sterile; just like the rest of my life.

I didn’t even have a pet. Ever since little Ivan died, I accepted that I wasn’t pet owner material. If I couldn’t keep a goldfish alive, what chance did I have with a more complex and emotionally dependent animal? Besides, with my work schedule, it would be cruel to even try.

“Before we get started with what we’ve got on today, I need to ask you guys a really important favor,” Abiola said, circling the desk to take both mine and Laura’s hands in hers. “The two of you have been such a huge part of my life. You’ve been there for me through all my family drama and I couldn’t love you more if you were my flesh and blood sisters.”

“Abi,” Laura pushed out her bottom lip. “That’s the sweetest thing you could possibly say.”

“Well, I would be so honored if the two of you would be my bridesmaids this spring. Please say yes!”

The three of us all wrapped our arms around each other in a sickeningly sweet display of female solidarity. I forced a smile and swallowed the lump in my throat as I imagined walking down the aisle on the arm of some random groomsman who had a wife or girlfriend somewhere in the church. This would be the second time I was a bridesmaid at someone’s wedding. The old saying ‘three times a bridesmaid, never a bride’ rang out in my mind.

“I would love to be a bridesmaid at your wedding,” Laura crooned.

I mustered the minimal amount of excitement I could get away with for the situation and said, “Me too. I love you, woman,” then patted Abiola on the back.

Abiola nodded and wiped at eyeliner from beneath her watering eyes. She was an old soul with a soft heart. She spent her weekends volunteering at a children’s group home. That was where she met her fiancé Trevor, and they bonded over their dysfunctional family situations. They would probably adopt a bunch of foster kids right after their wedding and live happily ever after. She deserved that; it was all she ever wanted.

“Okay ladies,” Abiola clapped her hands. “Today we’re looking for something we can use for the promotion of the OSA campus, which will be opening next year in Portland, Oregon. Boss says our primary focus is to attract engineering and architectural students for the Lunar-retreat that’s in the works.”

“So, where do we start?” Laura said, looking right at me.

“I am going to need to work up some concept drawings for the Lunar Resort. Also, if you could give me the clearest photos of the most beautiful views the Lunar Surface has to offer, that would be cool to show exactly what the students should be aspiring to be a part of. I want to see some dramatic landscapes with visible craters, maybe some rock formations. Anything to pull people in.”

“I’m on it,” Laura nodded and sat down at her touch responsive computer.

“I’ll go to engineering to get permission to use blueprints of the resort that you can use to make the concept drawings,” Abiola said, then turned and headed towards the elevator.

It was an exciting project. I used to fantasize that by the time I was ready to retire, I would be able to cash in on all the vacation time I had accrued and maybe even spend a few of my golden years at that resort. The thought of waking up in the morning and looking out the window to see the Earth just as we see the moon from down here always gave me a sense of calm.

Four hours later, all final decisions had been made on what I wanted to use on the project. Right on cue, my trusty assistants started complaining that they were starving to death.

“If I don’t get some corned beef nachos in me in the next ten minutes, I might actually die,” Laura said and stood up dramatically from her desk.

“I want waffles and bacon,” Abiola rubbed her belly.

I sighed at the memory of bacon; I would probably just have some raw vegetables and berries. I was still looking at my screen and inspecting one of the photos, trying to decide on how I would alter the image to bring it to life. My eyes burned. I clenched them shut and rubbed them, forcing them to rest. Eye strain was the enemy and this day was proving to be particularly difficult since I had hardly slept the night before. I couldn’t shake my anxiety about today’s social gathering after work. Stress and lack of sleep usually meant a big fat migraine, which was the last thing I needed at Laura’s party.

“I’m going to head to the chill room. I need a nap more than anything.”

“You better be rested for tonight’s festivities,” Laura wagged her finger at me.

“I’ll bring my party face, I promise,” I said. I stood up but couldn’t stop the oncoming yawn. “The fatigue is killing me.”

“Yeah, no coffee or sugar in your morning will do that to you,” Abiola said with a shake of her head. “I don’t know how you do it.”

“Well, it’s easy since a cup of coffee could put me in the hospital again, I guess.”

“Jesus,” Abiola pressed her fist to her mouth. “I didn’t mean to…”

“It’s fine, Abi,” I assured her. “I just need to get a little rest.”

The two girls headed down to the food court while I made my way to the sleeping pods. White, plush, and stacked like a honeycomb, they were an inviting image that screamed comfort. I smiled and breathed a sigh of relief to find my favorite lower level pod was unoccupied. Turning on the sound system, I selected a playlist I knew I could sleep through. Sometimes I would choose guided meditation tracks or audiobooks. Today’s selection was soft cello. Something about the deep tones helped me unwind no matter what was on my mind. I settled in, turning on the heated cushions and closing my eyes.

I practiced the deep breathing exercises the doctor had taught me as I pictured myself floating through a dark endless sky toward the moon’s surface. The pictures I had looked at for over four hours served to be the subject of my meditation. I inhaled deeply, focusing on relaxing my arms and legs. Exhaling, I imagined moving further out into space. In… and out…

As soon as sleep found me, I was swept up in a flurry of blinding light. My stomach turned as the light began strobing violently, causing me to feel disoriented. My body tensed as I realized it had been several weeks since I’d had an episode. Right on schedule, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Oh no, no, no, no… I can’t deal with this right now, not at work!

I struggled to wake myself, I couldn’t move. The cold sensation of a smooth metallic surface beneath me was confusing. I felt my fingertips twitch as I tried desperately to flail any and all limbs that might respond to my will, but my body remained where it was. I strained to sit up or scream, but I couldn’t even open my mouth. I was trapped, overwhelmed by the weight of my chest collapsing in on itself. If I didn’t put every ounce of will I possessed into sucking air through my nostrils, I had a very real fear that my body would simply shut down, leaving my body as a cold stiff corpse which might be found hours later in my cozy little pod. Filling my lungs with intention, I gasped for air, breath after panicked breath, hoping someone would notice and wake me.

The strobing intensified for what felt like several minutes and when it finally stopped, there remained a constant blinding light that made my eyes water. Tears streamed from the outer corners of my eyes into my ears.

“Help… me…” I managed to whisper to no one in particular.

From the edge of my vision, a blurry figure leaned over me.

“Please,” I sobbed, trying to turn my head to get a better look at who it was, but I couldn’t.

My chest burned as my heart pounded out of control. I tried to calm myself by reciting the scientific facts about what I knew was happening.

During REM sleep, your muscles are essentially turned off to keep you from sleepwalking. When a person wakes up during REM, they are fully conscious but completely paralyzed. Usually, physical stimulation from someone rubbing or shaking them will pull the victim out of the purgatorial state. Unfortunately, living alone means I have no one to rescue me during these episodes, which can sometimes last for hours.

“Just close your eyes. Everything will be okay,” a distorted voice spoke through the fog of my half-conscious state.

Maybe my brain is morphing the cello music into a voice. Sleep paralysis is often accompanied by waking dreams or hallucinations, after all.

I thought I could force myself to come out of it but, instead, I moved even deeper into unconsciousness. It wasn’t like falling, but more like being underwater and sinking slowly. I struggled against what felt like a chemically induced calm. I tried again to force myself awake but couldn’t. The darkness swallowed me up and I finally surrendered to it.

To my surprise, I suddenly found myself vividly aware of two things; one, the fact that I was breathing without much effort, and two, I was no longer in my cushioned sleeping pod, but rather stretched out flat on my back on a cold metal surface. All efforts to move just made me realize that what I was experiencing was very different from the sleep paralysis I was familiar with. I could move my fingers and flex my wrists and feet. There were actual physical restraints fastened around my wrists, neck, forehead, and ankles that were preventing me from moving.

Blinking hard, I strained to look around at my surroundings. The entire room was reflective as if every surface and object was made from surgical steel. It was shockingly cold, almost like the inside of a walk-in refrigerator. I grunted, twisting my wrists in hopes that I could slip out the straps.

There was a continuous hum that was so low I didn’t hear it so much as felt it vibrating through my entire body. There was a spherical light that seemed to be floating in the air a few feet over me. The ceiling was high above that and almost too dark for me to make out anything but the vague shape of what might have been a reflection of myself and the rest of the room around me. I strained to see past the light so I could study what else I could make out in the reflective ceiling. My heart pounded in my ears as my attention was drawn to a distorted human shape in the darkness at my side.

A chill spread through my body as I realized that someone, or something, was quietly watching me struggle but I couldn’t for the life of me work out who, as the silhouette disappeared from my view the moment I noticed it. Even when I turned my eyes as far as I could, the dark corners of the room remained completely obscured. Regardless of the deafening silence and the fact that I couldn’t see anyone, I knew someone was there.

 

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Blog Tour – Lost in You by Lexi Blake

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Lost in You, an all-new sexy and action packed installment in the Masters and Mercenaries: The Forgotten Series from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake, is available now!

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Published: August 6th 2019

Publisher: DLZ Entertainment, LLC

Genre(s): Adult Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Erotica

Format: Kindle Edition, 324 pages

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Robert McClellan was forced to serve as a soldier in a war he didn’t understand. Liberated by McKay-Taggart, he struggles every day to reclaim the life he lost and do right by the men he calls his brothers, The Lost Boys. Only one thing is more important – Ariel Adisa. The gorgeous psychologist has plagued his dreams since the day they met. Even as their mission pushes him to his limits, he can’t stop thinking about taking his shot at finding a life beyond all this with her.

Ariel Adisa is a force to be reckoned with. Her performance in Toronto proved she’s more than just a brilliant mind, but Robert still acts as if she is a wilting flower who needs his protection. Joining him on the mission to Munich should be the perfect opportunity to test their skills and cement their relationship. She and Robert are an excellent match. But when a stunning secret from Robert’s past is revealed, their world is turned upside down and nothing will ever be the same again.

While they chase dark secrets across Europe, Robert and Ariel realize that the only thing worse than not knowing who you are could be discovering who you used to be…

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A hot, sexy mix of angst, longing, suspense and drama you don’t want to miss!” — Carly Phillips, New York Times Bestselling Author

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He led Ariel out. Down the hall he saw Dante outside the media room, a beer in his hand. He’d been turned toward the kitchen at the opposite end of the hall, as though he’d been standing there staring at it. Had he been listening to the happy couples?

There was something dark in Dante that always gave him pause.

Dante turned without a word and disappeared behind the doors where he would likely drink himself to sleep. It seemed to be the way he and Sasha operated.

But he wasn’t thinking about that tonight. Tomorrow would be soon enough to sit everyone down and talk about the problems they were having. He would get Jax on the phone. He wasn’t leaving him out because he was in London.

“Are you all right?” Ariel had stopped beside him. “Is Dante giving you trouble?”

He was glad she’d been upstairs when they’d gone on their rant. “I think the pressure is starting to get to him. But we can talk about that tomorrow. I think after we get back to London we should have a big group meeting and get some things out in the open.”

“They think Damon and Ian are keeping things from them?”

No. He did not want to go there. He stopped in the middle of the hall and got into her personal space. She backed up against the wall and he loomed over her. It was time to move from reality to a place where they might be able to play out a few fantasies, if she was ready. “No work talk. If you want to go to sleep, I’ll kiss you now and see you in the morning. Tucker and I are in the room next to you. If you need anything I’ll be there. If you aren’t tired and you want to talk some more, we can go down to the bar and have another glass of wine with the full knowledge we don’t have to go any further than that. I’m more than willing to sit up talking to you all night long.”

She tilted her head up to him. “And if I want to go to bed but not to sleep?”

His heart rate ticked up, blood starting to thrum through his system as he invaded further, brushing his chest against hers. He reached for her wrists and gently brought them up and over her head, pinning her to the wall. “Then we need to make a few things clear.”

She took a deep breath, her lips curling up as though she liked the way he smelled. “Me sub, you Dom. Got it.”

He leaned over. “Hey, I’m trying to make sure I take care of you the way you like to be taken care of. I’ve watched you play. I don’t think your play partners realized how much you like being dominated. I think they view you as a woman who enjoys a spanking from time to time. They don’t get how much you need to know your partner is thinking about how to handle you. They don’t understand that you need to stop thinking. You need a place where you obey your partner.”

“In their defense, I had no interest in sex with any of them. I was looking for a spanking, some physical play that wouldn’t lead to real intimacy. You watched me?”

“I always watch you,” he admitted. “It’s why my brothers insist I’m your stalker. I watch you because I can’t not watch you when you’re in a room. If I thought for a second that it made you uncomfortable, I would make myself stop, but I think you like it.”

She watched him, too, and not in a way that made him think she was wary of him. It had always been there between them—the crackle and fire of sexual chemistry.

“You’re going to be a talky one, aren’t you?” she asked.

And she was going to be a brat.

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abouttheauthor

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.

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