Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ SHATTERED DREAMS by Abbie Roads

Shattered Dreams (Beautiful Nightmare, #3)
by: Abbie Roads
Series: Beautiful Nightmare
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense Thriller
Release Date: July 11, 2023
Publisher: Abbie Roads

A crooked cop. Corruption. A woman convicted of murder. A man determined to prove her innocence.

When Helena Grayse is released from prison, all she wants is to say a final goodbye to her old life. But when a man finds her trespassing on his property, instead of turning her in, he takes her in. Accepts her. Loves her.

But someone decides to serve Helena with a death sentence.

Shattered Dreams is the third book in Abbie Roads’ Beautiful Nightmare Series of dark romantic thrillers. It features a felon heroine who never thought she deserved love. If you devour true crime and romance novels then you’ll love a series that combines both in a roller-coaster ride of danger, mind games, and swoon worthy love.

Buy this dangerously dark romance today!

Trigger warning: Depictions of SA and violence.

Previously Published under the title Never Let Me Fall.


Thomas burst through the back door on a dead run. Each footfall a jackhammer of sound. Stealth didn’t matter as much as getting to Helen.

He didn’t remember running through the house and up the stairs, but suddenly, he burst into the bathroom she’d been using. He skidded to a halt. Helen lay in the bathtub, curled on her side. Water rained over her nakedness. She wasn’t moving. Didn’t seem to be breathing. A garish river of scarlet gushed from the massive wound in her chest, pooling as it waited to slip down the drain.

Her face was an abominable shade of blue and gray and devoid of life. Water rained over her, swirling the blood leaking from her chest in mesmerizing streams. The wound was massive. Destructive. Deadly. Something no one could survive.

Despair emptied him out. He became a shell of skin with nothing on the inside.

He reached for her, but even though he stood as close to the tub as he could get, she seemed so far away, as if miles and miles stretched between them. Water rained over his head, drizzling down inside his coat, but he barely noticed.

His hands didn’t seem like they belonged to him as he scooped her out of the tub. Her skin was slick and slippery. Her body limp and lifeless. “Helen.” His voice contained a vast desolation. Her head lolled awkwardly to the side, and wet strands of hair clung to her face in fat tentacles. Ribbons of blood leaked from the gaping wound over her heart, sliding over and around her breast, pooling in the bend of her stomach.

A sick sense of dread filled all his empty places. The wound should be gushing, not dribbling. He was too late. She’d lost too much blood.

No. No. No. Goddamn it. She couldn’t be dead. He wouldn’t let her die. Not now. Not when he’d just found her. Helen needed to be alive. Even though they’d just met, he couldn’t live in a world without her in it. Didn’t matter if they were together or not, she just needed to be alive. That would be enough for him.

His legs folded beneath him. He sat on the floor, leaned against the old tub, and held her. He grabbed her chin and shook her head gently, “Helen. Oh God. Helen, wake up.” This was wrong. So wrong. None of this should be happening. Not now.

Never taking his eyes off her, he reached into his coat pocket for his phone and then dialed the number he called the most. Work. He pinched the phone between his ear and shoulder while it rang.

“No news yet.” Lanning said when he picked up the call.

Thomas opened his mouth. Only one word came out. “Helen.” His brain had clogged up, allowing only a trickle of thought at a time.

“What?” Confusion dominated Lanning’s tone.

“Helen.” It was just a name to Lanning, but to Thomas, she was everything. “Helen’s been shot. I need an ambulance. The police.” He let the phone drop and distantly heard Lanning shouting.

Nothing in his whole life seemed as important as Helen. “You’ve got to fight.” A lump of some unnamed emotion rose in his throat. He struggled to swallow it back down. “You hear me? You have to fight to stay here with me. I know we just met. But you and me— there’s something between us. I knew it the moment I saw you. And you need to stay so we can explore this thing. Because it feels powerful. It feels destined. Like we are supposed to be together.”

His voice hitched, and he struggled to keep talking around the fear and grief bubbling up inside him. “Just listen to my voice.” He smoothed wet hair from her face. Chilled skin met his fingertips. She was too cold. The tang of her blood sickening in the damp air. “Follow my voice. Don’t let it go.”

Thomas shifted Helen’s body until she was settled in the crook of his left arm. Blood pooled on her stomach, seeping into his coat.

Without any reason or rationality, he pressed his hand over the bullet hole. A zap of static electricity blazed through him at the contact. Her body jolted, and then his hand suctioned to her chest.

Everything changed.

Inside his torso, a cool and pleasant sensation gathered, then rolled down his arm to his hand and poured into her. His eyes rolled back in his head under the waves of bliss pouring from him into her. Holy shit. Maybe he was losing his grip on reality, but some vital part of him—his essence, his strength, his soul—flowed into her. The ultimate act of giving. And it felt amazing. “You feel this? You feel me inside you? Making you better?” He sounded crazy. He’d worry about his sanity later.

Underneath her delicate eyelids, her eyes rolled. For the first time since he’d picked her up, he noticed the subtle rise and fall of her chest. Blood no longer trickled from the wound. He stared at his hand mashed against her chest. Were his eyes playing tricks on him? Making him see what he wanted to see instead of reality?

Did it really matter what was happening as long as Helen seemed to be improving? Everything inside him that had been so devastated perked up as if spring had arrived.

She wasn’t dead. He knew that now. Knew it as surely as he knew he was alive. He slumped back against the tub and sucked in a giant breath.

“You’re going to be all right. I’m with you. I’m inside you. I’m a part of you now.” His gaze traveled beyond his hand over her heart to her body. All the horror he thought was behind them reignited.

Her chest and stomach were covered in scars. Her body told a story of misery unimagined, of incomprehensible suffering. And from last night, he knew there were more on her back that he couldn’t see.

“Oh, Helen.” He hugged her tighter to him. What on earth had done that to her? “This is it. After this, all your pain is over. I won’t let anything hurt you ever again.” He kissed her forehead, sealing the deal.

In the distance, sirens sounded—a reassurance that everything was going to be okay. He just needed to keep his hand on her. Keep himself flowing into her. The sirens pulled into his driveway, then cut off midwail.

Thomas whispered to Helen. “You’re gonna hate this, but there’s no getting around it this time. You’re going to the hospital.” He paused, waiting for some reaction from her. But she kept breathing, and her heart kept beating, and that was enough for him. “But don’t worry. I’ll be with you the whole time. You don’t have anything to be afraid of. I promise.”

Footsteps sounded on the staircase, then treaded down the hallway toward them.

“In there,” he called.

Two EMTs entered the bathroom. Thomas didn’t look at them; he just kept his attention on Helen. Her color was better, and he knew in the way-down-deep parts of himself that she was going to be all right.

“Dddaaammmnn…” One of the EMTs stretched the word out long and low.

Thomas’s attention snapped up to the guy. What was he…

The guy had his gaze glued to Helen’s face. “That’s Helena Grayse.”

Thomas knew that name. Everyone in Sundew, Ohio, knew the name.

He looked back down at Helen. She looked so fragile and damaged. Nothing like a murderer.

Purchase Shattered Dreams from:
(Affiliate Links Used)

The Beautiful Nightmare Series:

Abbie Roads is the best-selling author of the Fatal Dreams Series and the Fatal Truth Series. Her novels have been finalists in many prestigious contests including The Golden Heart, The Greater Detroit Booksellers Best, The Oklahoma National Readers’ Choice Award, The Write Touch, The Strut Your Stuff Contest, The Aspen Gold Contest, The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, The Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award, The Midnight Sun, The Kathryn Hayes Contest, The Chanticleer, The Daphne du Maurier, The National Readers’ Choice Award, The New England Readers’ Choice Contest, The Beverly Award, and The Maggie Award. Her debut novel Race the Darkness was Publishers Weekly Top 10 Pick for Fall and Never Let Me Fall is an Amazon Editor’s Pick.

By day Abbie Roads is a mental health counselor always focusing on the bright side. By night she writes on the dark side, putting her characters through the wringer before she gives them their happily-ever-after. She loves a good inspirational quote and is a fan of true crime.

Places to find Abbie Roads:

You can follow the Shattered Dreams Blog Tour here.

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5 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing the excerpt and being a stop along the tour! You rock!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. Thank for you stopping by.

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  2. The cover art looks great. I like the excerpt.

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  3. Looking forward to reading The Beautiful Nightmare series! Thank you

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