Five novels: Seizing Control, Making Choices, Seeking Redemption, Tempting Fate, Finding Nirvana
by Kylie Hillman
Black Shamrocks MC Series
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Brotherhood before blood.
It's that simple.
Until, the brotherhood betrays blood...
On the surface, the Black Shamrocks MC is exactly what an outlaw motorcycle club should be. Unapologetically brutal. Unquestionably ruthless. Unwaveringly loyal.The brotherhood appears rock solid, allied and impenetrable. Their various blood ties only serve as a reminder of the generations of kinship and family that came before them.
Dig a little deeper and the illusion begins to shatter. Beneath a well-cultivated facade of unity, old tensions simmer and new alliances are created. Game plans are being put into action. Legacies are being secured. Deals with the devil are being made.
While these betrayals are being executed with cold efficiency, a new love is born. It's a love that those undermining the club never saw coming. It's a love that threatens to derail the upcoming coup. It's a love that could unite them all and stop evil in its tracks if it's allowed to prosper.
When those closest to you are plotting your downfall, is it possible for love to conquer all? If the war needed to defeat those responsible could cost you a loved one, would you be willing to pay the price? Unfortunately, the answers don't matter anymore ... because, ready or not, the Black Shamrocks MC is about to be engulfed by BLOOD & BETRAYAL.
SOOTHING SUFFERING, BLACK SHAMROCKS MC #0.5
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ~Kahlil Gibran~
Turns out that there is a fate worse than death. After watching my mother fade away before my eyes, I decided that I would do everything in my power to live a long life.
Death is scary.
Death is the end.
Now, every time I look at my scarred and broken body, I close my eyes and I pray for death. It doesn’t scare me anymore; if anything, I look forward to the day that I can close my eyes for the final time and never have to think about Brendan Taylor and what he did to me, ever again. The sweet respite from the voices in my head—the ones that keep telling me that I’m still Brendan’s slut—can only be achieved by embracing the end of my life.
That final barrier, the one that stops me from following through on my desire to die, is getting thinner by the day. With every memory that masquerades as a nightmare, with each flinch away from Mik’s gentle touch, with every single glance he sends my way that’s filled with guilt and regret; I edge one step closer to finishing it all.
No-one knows. I refuse to let them see just how close I am to giving up. There’s nothing they can do anyway. My bed was made when I chose to let my pride get in the way of admitting my mistakes. If I’d spoken up, none of this would have happened.
I should find it ironic that the person I hurt the most is the only one stopping me from taking my life. Except, I don’t. He’s always been the one. Even when I was too stupid to realise it. If it wasn’t for that loving glimmer I glimpse in his gaze when he looks at me, I’d do it.
Instead, I hold onto that love and push through another day.
For how much longer? I don’t know.
All I know is that today isn’t the day I put an end to my pain.
SEIZING CONTROL, BLACK SHAMROCKS MC #1
“When something bad happens, you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” ~Unknown~
This has been my motto for the past four years. I was certain I’d proven to myself, and anyone who mattered, that I’d let my past strengthen me, not destroy me. I’d survived every woman's worst nightmare and I was still standing. I was chasing my dreams, my family was thriving, and so was my relationship. As far as I was concerned, I exemplified the positive essence of the saying.
Unfortunately, everything I thought I’d overcome was about to rear its ugly head. He refused to stay in the past where he belonged. He was determined to conquer me and keep me for himself—to control me, alienate me from my loved ones, and force me to submit to his will. His latest attack was going to prove his most lethal, and he was going to teach me that, even though he hadn't destroyed me in the past, he had absolutely defined me.
MAKING CHOICES, BLACK SHAMROCKS MC #2
“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.” ~Lewis Carroll~
Everything in life comes down to choices. Big choices, little choices, choices that seem insignificant at the time yet end up having a significant impact on our life, and choices that we know are going to change things for us in the biggest way.
Smart people—educated, well-raised people—like me make choices with rationality. We make choices by weighing up the pros and cons, by analyzing every potential outcome, and by removing emotion and fear from the equation.
Is love a choice?
Can you make a choice whether or not to love someone? Or is it a decision that’s taken out of our hands by a combination of hormonal fluctuations and our addiction to them, emotion-led instinct, and a micro-moment of positive resonance that transcends all logic and common sense?
I was certain that as a logical, educated, and composed woman, I would eventually love the person who was the best fit for my career aspirations. The person who would complement my vision for my life. The person who would meet my parent’s exacting expectations.
As a logical, educated, and composed person, I didn’t believe that I would ever regret my choices. If I was honest, I thought I was too smart to end up with significant regrets.
How wrong was I.
SEEKING REDMEPTION, BLACK SHAMROCKS MC #3
“The day misspent, the love misplaced, has inside it the seed of redemption. Nothing is exempt from resurrection.”
There comes a time when you have to admit defeat, when the only thing left to do is throw your hands in the air, and say “That’s it! I’m done.”
You realize that you’ve reached that point, when no matter how hard you try to tell yourself that your life is going to get better, you know deep down that you’ll need a miracle for things to improve. And since I don’t believe in miracles anymore; I know I’m fucked. Right now, it’s just a matter of when, not if.
In my former life as the pin-up girl for wholesomeness, I couldn’t have imagined that I’d ever reach this point. I was the girl with the nice house, the worthwhile career, the supportive parents, and the hot bad-boy biker boyfriend who was really a teddy bear underneath it all. I volunteered. I played competitive hockey. I helped old people carry their groceries to their car.
I can pin-point the exact moment my life started to spiral out-of-control. When his fist connected with my cheek that first time, when I accepted his sobbing apology instead of walking away like I’d always said I would if it happened to me—that was when everything was set in motion.
Forgiveness, deliverance, salvation—I’ve always believed that everyone was entitled to a second chance. I might not have faith in my own worthiness, but the broken man who has joined me in my descent into the darkness, I know he warrants another opportunity to pull himself back from the brink.
For me, I know there isn’t a way out of this bleak, black hole we currently call a life, yet before I admit defeat, maybe I can help him find the redemption he so desperately seeks?
CONQUERING CIRCUMSTANCES, BLACK SHAMROCKS MC #3.5
“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.” ~Buddha~
“The biopsy showed Invasive Lobular Carcinoma Breast Cancer. I’m sorry, but it appears that it’s already spread to a degree.”
I cross myself as the official diagnosis is delivered in measured tones that are meant to be reassuring. It’s possibly futile—this effort to keep my rapidly failing faith alive—but I say a prayer to my Lord for good measure. To be honest, in my heart of hearts, I already knew the truth which is why I didn’t tell anyone about my suspicions. Or that I had an appointment today.
With Mikhail’s release from prison this morning, my children were needed elsewhere. If they knew what I had planned for today, after the urgent phone call from my specialist’s receptionist yesterday afternoon, all five of them would be here trying their hardest to be supportive. As much as the thought of my daughter cross-examining the doctor and the boys cracking jokes to lighten the mood makes me smile, I’d much rather that they attend a happy event.
Shaking away thoughts of the children, a wry smile crosses my face at the reaction I’d receive from them if they knew I still called them children. The twins, Madeleine, and Benjamin, are twenty-three while Joel is almost twenty-two. Rounding out the siblings is Matthew at seventeen, and the baby, Lachlan, who recently turned fifteen. Hardly children anymore, although they always will be in my heart.
“Ms. Markham,” the sympathetic voice of my specialist cuts into my musing. Crossing his hands and resting them on his desk, he regards me with a serious expression. “The options are not pretty, but I’m confident that you are facing good odds. Due to this being your second occurrence, I must stress the need for a double mastectomy and a full hysterectomy, in addition to the chemotherapy. You’re only forty-six. Life-saving and preventative measures are needed.”
He doesn’t have the sentence completed before I’m shaking my head. It might be a life-ending decision, but I can’t face losing my breasts and my most feminine of female body parts. Every woman has a limit to what they can handle. I know mine with absolute certainty. The decision I made twenty years ago stills stands—strong and true, and I’m as resolute today as I was back then. Life may have dealt me cruel blows with the loss of my only biological child, followed quickly by my first brush with cancer, yet even with the subsequent loss of my ability to have other children because of the treatment options available back then, I will not be persuaded otherwise.
Dr. Jenkins presses his lips together at my vehement, albeit silent denial. “Wendy, if you want to live then you’re left with no other options. With a second occurrence, one that’s already spread to the lymph nodes, chemotherapy followed by surgery is your best chance for survival.”
Internally, I’m screaming with frustration at his stern, disapproving words, although I’m sure on the outside I appear to be listening with appropriate gravity. I’ve always been a master at hiding my true emotions. It’s held me in good stead, and I hope it continues to do so because after the last few months, this is the last thing I need to deal with. Patrick is slowly driving me crazy with worry, and the children all have varying issues for which they require my ongoing support.
TEMPTING FATE, BLACK SHAMROCKS MC #4
“It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll; I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”
~William Ernest Henley~
Revenge. The vindictive pleasure it brings has been many a man’s downfall. Its seductive nature, the power it imbues, the satisfaction that settles in your bones knowing that you’ve settled the score, is a craving that’s hard to resist.
My man is strong. Stronger than any I’ve ever known yet I fear his need for retribution is going to beat him. The Club needs a leader they can trust, a man who sticks to his word, a champion of their code of honour. Me, well, I need my lover, my partner, my soul mate to put me first. He needs to be the master of our destiny, the keeper of our fate, while I’m lost in my grief and confusion.
It’s not fair. I know it’s not. Yet, even knowing how much he needs to avenge the wrongs that were brought down on our head—the deception that threatened to tear the Shamrocks apart—I can’t give him what he’s asking for.
To kill my father.
Every fibre of my being accepts that he’s my soul mate. My matching half. The yin to my yang. We both acknowledge that our destiny was sealed when I was just a girl. However, if he continues with his pursuit of vengeance, I fear the outcome will do more than tempt our fate.
It’ll destroy our future.
FINDING NIRVANA, BLACK SHAMROCKS MC #5
“A great battle is a terrible thing,” the old knight said, “but in the midst of blood and carnage, there is sometimes also beauty, beauty that could break your heart.” ~ George R. R. Martin ~
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so it’s said. The day he walked—limped—into my clinic, there was no beauty to be found. Instead, a gigantic dark mass of rage hid his soulful blue eyes, perfectly symmetrical features, and full lips under a cloak of misery so dense that it stole the breath from my lungs. I took down his name, and he took a piece of my heart.
My mum always says that I’m too quick to trust, too fast to give away my feelings. I can’t help it. Pain and suffering calls to me. It whispers my name, begging me to act as a salve to the unbearable ache that I can see them crumbling under.
From the first moment I can remember, my touch has brought comfort. Whether it was my puppy when he injured his leg, my little sister when she grazed her knees, or my daughter who still looks to her mummy to kiss away the hurt—I’m the person who makes everything better.
Until him. He confounded me; shook off my desire to care for him with an angry shrug that should have scared me into leaving him alone. It didn’t work, though. Because beneath his veneer of hostility, there’s a glimmer of something deeper. It’s easily identifiable to those who are adept at finding it.
Hope. That’s what I see when he lets his guard drop.
And, it’s what stops me from walking away when he begins snarling at the world.
Life let me taste the sweetness it can offer—one time, long ago. The spark of interest that colours his cheeks when he looks at me. The hint of jealousy that narrows his eyes when I talk to his friends. The way he angles his body closer to mine when I’m near. They tell me two things.
One. I’m responsible for the hope that’s growing in his gaze with each furtive glance in my direction.
Two. This man is my last chance to grab the fleeting goodness that life has to offer.
Because, together, we could do more than fall in love.
We might find nirvana.
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
5 x $10 gift cards (Amazon or iTunes)
A signed set of the complete Black Shamrocks MC series (including the bonus novellas)
Kylie Hillman is the Australian author of the Internationally Bestselling Black Shamrocks MC series, Amazon #1 Bestselling NA/Sports novel, Brawl (Black Hearts MMA #1), and the recently completed Centrifuge Duet. She's currently working on the highly anticipated spin-offs to the Black Shamrocks MC series, writing the rest of the Black Hearts MMA series, and plotting her upcoming psychological thriller, Blood Oath.
She's also wife to a Harley-riding, boating and fishing, four-wheel driving, quintessential Aussie bloke and mum to two crazy, adorable, and eccentric kids. A Crohn's Disease sufferer and awareness campaigner, as well as an avid tea drinker, metal head, and math nerd, Kylie is known for lacing everything she says with sarcasm and inappropriate innuendo.