Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Moonlight and Jasmine Book 2
Cassandra Wales, an independent and determined registered nurse, finds her plans for the future shattered when her boyfriend dumps her. Her witchcraft made him squirm but she wasn’t about to change for him. The move into her new home keeps her distracted, but she’ll be sure to keep an eye out for red flags next time. She never expected to find an elderly woman, accompanied by her hot and sexy grandson Jake, at her doorstep with an odd request. Sparks sizzle between Cassandra and Jake. Bad timing for sure. Will she be able to trust a man who has women begging for his attention?
Jake Hill is an ambitious, up and coming lead singer in a rock band. When his grandmother asks him to take her over to her first home, he doesn’t question her motives. Instead, he meets the woman of his dreams. But will she stick around while he climbs the ladder in the exciting world of rock and roll?
How will Jake find the time to nurture a relationship when his music takes top billing? Can the passion between them be enough to lead the way, or will fear of failure take control of their destiny?
As Cassandra traced the outline of his full lips with her eyes, her hands trembled. A thick
head of, shaggy, blonde hair held a sheen in the sunlight. There was a sense of familiarity in his
voice, and it brought her comfort. As he bent down to get his grandmother’s bag, she stole a
glimpse at his tight-fitting jeans. It was difficult to keep a thought in her head.
He placed the bag on the floor, stood and placed his hand on the roof of the car, giving her a
peek at his tattooed bicep. His tight fitted, short sleeved shirt lifted giving her a clear view of his
six-pack. He’s hot, but he’ a real show off. Probably has girls lining up at his doorstep. It wasn’t
like her to gawk at a guy. The array of emotions she was feeling made her lightheaded. All
thoughts of her decorating project took a back seat to her raging hormones. Her focus was
supposed to be on her new home, not a hot, sexy dude in a great pair of jeans. She took a deep
breath in an attempt to get it together. He inched closer, and she got a whiff of his sensual
cologne. Jake oozed sex appeal. Steadying herself, a silly thought cane to her. Is he about to kiss
me? Wishful thinking on her part, but she’d never admit it.
Jake didn’t have to make a move to pique her interest. The intensity of his stare, sent shivers
down her spine.
“Look, I know this is sudden, but how’d you like to meet me this Friday at Shark’s, on
Willow Drive? We’re heading the bill and I’d love for you to hear us jam.” He tilted his head and
reached out to touch her arm. “Say you’ll come. Please? No pressure, but my grandmother is
waiting.” He gave a boyish grin.
His sensuous full lips tempted her to imagine a romantic interlude. I must be losing it. Never
in her life had she found a man so tantalizing. She offered a playful grin, feeling the butterflies in
her stomach grow. “I’d love to hear you play again.” A real date might be better, but a slow start
sounded good for now. She didn’t expect to be so attracted to a man she’d just met. No formal
introduction was needed. The chemistry spoke for itself.
“Can you make it this Friday night? I promise to spend breaks with you.” He kept his eyes
on her, making his invitation hard to resist.
“I think I can make it.”
“You think? Try to be there. I’ll sing a song especially for you.”
She felt the heat on her face. “Okay, I’ll do my best to make it. It’s nice of you to invite me.”
Her heart pounded in her chest. She couldn’t believe she had made a date with a man she met
briefly, right in front of her house. “Thanks,” she said.
“I’m stoked you’re coming.” Jake smiled and jumped into his car, buckled up and waved as
he pulled away.
How on earth did that happen?
Buy Links: Amazon Barnes and Noble Secret Cravings All Romance
~Watch the Trailer~
~About the Author~
Kathleen lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two dogs. She’s a registered nurse who works in an emergency room. Writing has been her passion since she was a young girl. Contemporary and paranormal romance are her favorites. She has three adult children and three lovable grandsons. Her favorite romantic getaway is Cape May, New Jersey. You might find Kathleen on a beach down the Jersey Shore, wearing a straw hat, sipping on an iced tea, dreaming up her next romance novel.
It’s impossible to focus on college biology when your family believes doomsday is imminent and the government is out to get you.
All Pete Wilson’s ever wanted is to become a veterinarian, but those dreams are going up in flames. Commuting to an urban college and helping his parents with their apocalyptic prepper crap is more than he can handle.
Worse, Pete’s asshole neighbor is stirring up trouble, his family’s stockpile has been destroyed and farm animals are turning up dead.
Lindsey Linger is the tomboy sister of his best friend. Now a sexy spitfire, she and Pete are liable to set the barn ablaze as their romance finally heats up. But she’s hiding a terrible secret, and rural life isn’t all bonfires and hayloft romps. That becomes clear one icy winter night when the survival of everyone Pete loves hangs in the balance.
Can Pete be the hero they need, or will this be the end of the world as he knows it?
*Mature situations and sexual content - recommended for ages 17+*
“What the hell?” Mom charges out of the utility room and into the kitchen with my jeans balled up in one hand. In the other hand is a small plastic bag. “What is this? Tell me it isn’t what I think it is!” She shakes it in my face.
“I don’t know! It’s not mine.”
“Then why did I find it in your pocket?”
“My—” Oh, hell no. “I can explain. There was a girl at the party last night—”
“Party? I thought you had a project to work on at the library. Now you’re doing drugs and lying?”
“No! I mean yes. Yes, I went to a party last night, but no, I’m not smoking pot. She must have shoved it in my pocket.”
“She was close enough that she had her hands in your front pocket?”
I open my mouth for a second then snap it shut. I’m screwed either way, so I decide on the lesser of two evils. “Yes, she had her hands in my pocket. I’m eighteen. I can’t stay your innocent little boy forever, Mom, but I promise you I’m not doing drugs.”
“Did you drink?” I feel my cheeks redden under her glare. “I see.”
“What’s going on?” My stomach lurches into my throat at the sound of Dad’s voice.
“Tell your father what you did, Pete.”
“Mom—” Shame, hot and sticky, crawls up my neck. Mom only knows the basics, and if she and Dad knew what really went down last night, they’d die, come back to life, tell me how disappointed in me they are, die again, and make me feel guilty for eternity for killing their vision of the perfect son…the one who doesn’t bang girls who sell pot and have sex with other girls.
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~About the Author~
Always a misfit, Stephanie Lawton writes twisted romance that tugs the heart strings then punches you in the gut.
She has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating characters. She’s fascinated by teacher-student relationships, bullies, psychics, doomsday preppers and larger-than-life characters.
Making readers squirm is her greatest pleasure. Proceed with caution.
Originally from rural northeast Ohio, she lives in Coastal Alabama with her family.
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Stephanie Lawton is giving away a $10 Amazon GC to one lucky winner.
Fill out the rafflecopter below for your chance to win.
Genre: Humor & Horror
100% of the proceeds go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital!
The sassy ladies of sexy Romantic Comedy serve up some spooky and spicy Halloween fun.
Bewitched by Daisy Prescott
A crush. A love spell. What could go wrong?
Better The Devil You Know by Belle Aurora
When you know, you know.
Mystery, Mazto Balls, and Moxie by Z.B. Heller
A mystery weekend gets steamy and stuffed... with food.
Spandex is for Superheros by Ruth Clampett
Beware of the terror of your Halloween costume not fitting.
A Halloween Hook-up by Jennie Marts
A sexy physic and a private eye solve a ghostly murder.
Macabre Magic by L.H. Cosway
Halloween, a bet, one spooky magic trick.
Candy, Dentures, and Way Too Much Spandex by R.S. Grey
He stole my heart in between gyrating geriatrics.
Peckers by Liv Morris
A hot cop with handcuffs and a dimpled smile can be frighteningly sexy.
One Little Bite by C.C. Wood
Even the big, bad wolf can fall in love.
Double Dare by Penny Reid
Never play truth or dare with identical twins.
Red Rum by Ashley Pullo
Trick o' treat, a girl to meet, blood sangria wicked sweet.
Lights Out by Jodie Beau
A single mom, a single dad, a common enemy. Will their feelings come to light on Halloween?
Nightmare in Night Court by N.M. Silber
Lusty lawyers meet creepy criminals.
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Genre: Erotic Romance
Part 2 of 3 (needs to be read in order)Alice Bennett has a very good reason not to trust men, but her body and soul urge her to take a chance on Dylan Marshall, against her better judgment. Unable to quell her cravings, she relents and shares her scarred past with him.
Desperate to find a way to get closer to Alice, Dylan sets plans in motion to learn what lurks in her past. After discovering a shocking link to his own past, Dylan struggles with the truth of his own secret, and whether he's willing to risk a future with Alice if she ever learned the truth.
But secrets rarely stay buriedâ¦
Warning: Adult language and sexual situations. Cliffhanger ending.
Dylan washed his hands as he stared at himself in the mirror in the hall bathroom. When heâd come over to Aliceâs, he hadnât expected them to have sex again. Heâd met his match with her. She wasnât one to just lie down and take orders. She pushed back just as hard as he gave. He liked it. Enjoyed the challenge of her not willingly taking his commands.
He could see himself with her in the long run, but sheâd told him she didnât want anything. He couldnât imagine what had been so bad from her childhood that would damage her so much sheâd never trust a man. Maybe her father was abusive. He met a lot of abusive assholes in his line of work. It made sense, since sheâd told him she didnât want him to hit her in his office when he referred to spanking her sexually.
Standing straight, he buttoned the last few buttons and left the restroom. Alice was on the couch, lost in thought. Her face looked peaceful, but he could see the way she slightly squinted that she was thinking hard.
âPenny for your thoughts?â He sat down.
She turned toward him, pulling her dark hair over her shoulders. âIâd have to pay you the penny to hear them.â
âGive me a try.â
A soft smile formed. âHow did the case go today?â
Heâd wanted her to open up, but heâd take this for now. âIt got a little heated. Weâre on recess until Monday. Tomorrow should be a light day.â
âThatâs good since its Friday.â
âHow about after work we go get a drink?â
She pulled her lips tightly together before sucking her bottom lip in. âI donât know.â
âI donât feel right just having sex with you and not treating you to a few drinks, at least. Iâd suggest dinner and a movie, but youâd object.â Hell, heâd hang the moon for her if sheâd let him.
âI probably would.â She paused. âOkay to drinks. Weâll keep it friendly. No hand holding or anything like that.â
âGot it.â He didnât want to leave, but if this was going to stay on neutral territory, it was best he did. âWell, I guess Iâm going to go home. Itâs been a hell of a day, but you definitely brightened it.â Heâd had sex with her three times todayâ¦that horrible court case couldnât ruin his mood.
âIâll see you tomorrow.â
He bent forward and planted a kiss on her cheek. She tensed, but then relaxed. Without a word, he left. As he walked toward his car, he worried the feelings he was developing for her would never be returned. Perhaps it was time to do a little digging into her life and see what skeletons she had in her closet.
~About The Author~
Lacey Wolfe has always had a passion for words, whether itâs getting lost in a book or writing her own. From the time she was a child she would slip away to write short stories about people she knew and fantasies she wished would happen. It has always been her dream to be a published author and with her two children now of school age, she finally has the time to work on making her dream come true.
Lacey lives in Georgia with her husband, son and daughter, their six cats and one black lab who rules the house.
Separated by fame, reunited through music.
When Jennifer Summers returns to the U.S. after spending two years in Africa, she has some decisions to make. Should she resume her singing career or continue to live a secluded life out of the spotlight in the hopes that her stalker won't be able to locate her?
Years ago Jake Ackerson let Jennifer go so she could pursue her dreams. When she suddenly returns to their hometown he's determined to rekindle his relationship with the woman he never stopped loving.
Jake's band is temporarily without a singer, and Jennifer agrees to take the position, but in doing so she is once again pushed into the limelight, and she knows it's only a matter of time before danger strikes.
Will Jake be able to protect her, and can he convince her to put past hurts aside and give their relationship another shot?
Content Warning: contains some sexual content
"Hmm, that water looks inviting," Jake remarked. They walked up to the edge of the pool. He reached out to pull Jennifer into his arms, but she managed to escape his grasp.
"Oh, no you don't." She darted away from him.
"What?" Jake gave her a fake look of shock and a mocking smile.
As he reached for her again she gleefully squealed and ran from him to the other end of the pool. Jake came up fast behind her, chuckling as she put her hands up in defense. He grabbed her and drew her toward the pool.
"Don't you want to take a nice dip in the pool, Jenn?"
"I think we need swimsuits on to do that," she said.
"Oh, I don't know about that," Jake retorted.
He finally got his arms around her and started kissing her. She responded to his kisses breathlessly. As his hands moved up and down her back, each touch set off a barrage of tingling excitement and sensual feelings within her.
Slowly, he edged her toward the pool until they stood right next to it. She turned so that Jake's back faced the pool. She gingerly brought her arms around to his chest and gave him a shove. He fell backward into the pool and came up from the water sputtering. He swam to the side of the pool to get out then made a beeline toward her. She laughed as he caught up with her.
Grinning wolfishly, he said, "It's your turn now."
"You asked for it, Jake, trying to toss me in the pool. I know you too well." She giggled as Jake picked her up and hoisted her over his shoulder.
Just as he tossed her in the pool, she grabbed him by the neck and they both went colliding in. They came up from the water breathless and laughing. He lifted her up on to the side of the pool and she bent down to kiss him on his mouth. He responded by claiming her lips as his own.
After a heady kiss, he pulled back. "You're chilled. Let's get you out of these wet clothes."
"A plight that's all your fault," Jennifer responded playfully.
* * * *
Tom climbed up into a tree at the end of the property line to watch the couple. First, he saw Jennifer come home, and then a man showed up. Tom pulled his high-powered binoculars out to get a closer look. It looked like she had fixed him dinner and now they were sitting in the kitchen eating.
Tom knew if he didn't get out of the tree and head back to his room to eat and take his medication, the voices in his head would start up again. But he wanted to stay and watch them.
After they ate, they went out on the deck by the pool. He saw her kissing him! Tom felt like he was going to vomit. Now they were romping around the pool after she pushed him in. I wish he'd drown.
His anger was turning to rage, and it was getting out of control.
Buy Links: Beachwalk Press
~About the Author~
Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romance and suspense. Her romance books are often set in different parts of the country, but her favorite site is Montana. She's married to her best friend and resides in Michigan with him and a houseful of cats. When she's not at her regular 8-to-5 job, she can be found writing, researching, and spending time with her husband.
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Genre: Science Fiction/Futuristic Romance
Sex, Love, and Aliens. A science-fiction anthology, which includes:
Tangled Webs by Imogene NixIn the course of a single day Gia Montgomery loses her job and discovers that her boyfriend—now ex-boyfriend—is a two-timing sleaze. After downing a bottle of wine, she catches sight of Cedun in her backyard. He's the Ba'Tua heir who has been living on Earth for several years. Gia struggles to ignore the strong attraction between them, because she's sure he's seeing someone else. Someone very close to her, in fact.
When the situation with her ex turns nasty, Cedun finally has a chance to set things straight between himself and Gia, but nothing is as simple as it seems. Cedun must protect Gia and sort out an impossible love-life tangle before it's too late.
Content Warning: this title contains sexy aliens and feisty heroines, together with enough action—of every kind—to keep readers on the edge of their seats
Tangled Webs Excerpt:
Turning away from her position, Gia caught sight of movement from the corner of her eye. This time she looked out the window and in her garden was a Ba'Tua male.
"Holy hell, what's he doing here?"
Gia headed for the door just as Cedun was removing his Montgomery Industries t-shirt by the side of the pool. Her mind was sluggish and her coordination impaired, and she slammed into the edge of the door as she scurried through it.
"Shit!" The curse escaped her mouth as she kept moving, her hand rubbing the injured section of her side. "Cedun, what the hell are you doing in my backyard?" In her haste, she didn't see the hose on the deck and tripped.
She did notice the bright violet of his eyes—wide and startled—and the bronzed rippling muscles as she cartwheeled, flailing for something to grab onto, then she was falling backward. It's all so slow! A thunk sound married with the explosion of pain in her head.
The water closed around her and invaded her mouth and lungs. Her chest burned as the water weighed her down. Just as it all seemed too much, strong, vise-like arms slid around her middle, hauling her up to the surface.
"Do not struggle, Gia. Let me help you." He did, hauling her out of the pool and laying her flat on the concrete.
Then he rolled her over as she hacked and coughed. Water gushed from her mouth and nose, and she moaned once the indignity was over.
"Now, De' Gia, tell me why you ran out of the house and threw yourself into the pool. De' Valerie told me that you had been removed from your post. It cannot be that which is distressing?"
"Job," she corrected, quietly hoping to stop his liquid voice. Her head and chest ached viciously, and all she wanted was bed. "I want to go to bed."
Cedun stilled. "Is that not precipitous?" A smiled crept over his face, and it turned her insides to molten lava.
Clarity speared her. Their grasp of the English language was literal. She said she wanted to go to bed and was speaking to him, ergo, he thought sex. Horror filled her.
Cedun was probably the most relaxed and least repressed of all the Ba'Tua she'd met. Gia also suspected he'd been involved with Valerie for some time. After all, Valerie was still young at forty-two.
Gia groped for his t-shirt, meaning to push him away. The realization of being so close to Cedun's muscular and unclothed chest flooded her as her hands made contact with hard and well-formed naked flesh. He'd removed that covering before her fall into the pool. Heat flared beneath her fingers as her heart rate sped up. "Cedun, I didn't mean…"
He chuckled. "I laugh with you, De' Gia."
She struggled to free herself. "Go laugh with someone else."
The Spaceship Captain's Wife by Ashlynn Monroe
On a dying planet, treasure waits for an honorable man to claim it. Captain Ric Julius believes the cargo of gems is what he's come for, but there is one jewel he never expected. Her name is Kateri, and she changes everything.
Saving the woman's life, and making a fortune in the process, requires only one thing of Ric—his freedom. In order to obtain the gems he has to agree to take Kateri to safety…and to make her his wife. Every man has a price, but is Ric willing to pay in full on a debt he owes to a dead man on a decomposing world?
Content Warning: contains sensual sex scenes
The Spaceship Captain's Wife Excerpt:
Why am I doing this to myself? Damn, if I didn't need the money… But he did.
As the girl came to kneel beside her father, Ric realized he'd rather face a laser pistol-wielding hijacker than this woman. The traditional charado robe that consisted of many layers of light, sheer fabric did nothing to hide the outline of her body. His mouth went dry and sweat stung his eyes.
The older woman offered him a light meal of native Darooian nuts and fruit. Ric shook his head. He didn't want to risk polluting himself with radiated food. But this transaction was too important for him to offend them.
"Forgive me, I am far too full of…of joy to eat," Ric said.
Marit's woman gazed at him for a moment. Her shrewd eyes narrowed with doubt, but she nodded and pulled the offered tray away.
The kneeling girl was so still he couldn't even tell if she was breathing. His host was watching the silent female with an unfathomable sorrow. Then he turned to study Ric without speaking for a drawn out length of anxiety-filled time. Ric fidgeted nervously.
Oh damn, I hope I haven't blown this. I'll lose the ship without this deal. Ric tried to hide his worry from the other man by keeping his face expressionless.
"We only eat food that arrives in bio locked containers. Our offering is safe. Kateri has not left this house since she was a girl of ten. She has spent half her life hiding from death, it's long past time she was allowed to live," said Marit in the gentle tone. There was no anger or censor on his face, just sadness.
The quiet girl flinched. The movement was subtle, but Ric was used to watching for the slightest tells during negotiations. The girl's posture stiffened.
So she was twenty. He relaxed a bit. She was a decade younger than he was, but at least she wasn't some underage child.
Embarrassed, Ric looked away. "Forgive me," he said, unsure if he was apologizing for the planet's destruction or his behavior.
"You have nothing to apologize for. Caution is an admirable trait. Integrity is another thing I respect. She will make a good wife…"
Marit paused as a string of quickly spoken Dar, their language, interrupted him. Her outraged voice drifted up from under the veils and proved she had a bit of spirit.
The older man's fatherly tone ebbed between anger and softness. Ric only caught a few words, but he was almost positive the girl hadn't known she was part of the conditions for this export.
When she was silent, Ric could see her shaking. The strangest urge to comfort her came over him, but he shoved it away. Perhaps it was the camaraderie of being tricked, but the protectiveness her reaction stirred in him didn't go away.
She muttered something, and he fought to suppress his grin. He had the most inappropriate urge to peek under her veil and see her expression. Was she seething with rage, or was she pouting? He wanted to know. The veil tormented his naturally overactive Metrician curiosity.
"Kateri is a good girl, dutiful. She is…uncomfortable leaving her family behind," said the anxious man democratically.
Ric cleared his throat awkwardly. He could respect the answer. If he truly cared about anyone, he wouldn't want to leave them to die either. A planet hadn't died since the days of old Earth. Pain squeezed his heart in a metaphoric vise. Guilt. His people treated their world like it was garbage, and yet Metricia would live on long after Daroo was space dust.
"Don't look so dour, Captain Aydric Julius. We will die with our gods, but our daughter will live on for us and remember our names. Saving her life is worth risking my soul," Marit said quietly. "She is the most precious gem in your cargo."
Ric nodded. No one had ever loved him as this man loved his daughter. It was astounding and humbling to be entrusted with her life. He'd never wanted such a responsibility thrust on him, but now that it was, he couldn't turn them down.
Is she willing to marry a stranger? What am I getting myself into?
Ric could tell the girl was looking at him. He wanted to talk to her and make sure she was willing. He didn't believe in much, but his honor mattered to him.
His Human by Jaye Shields
Can a human clone trained to kill also learn to love?
Elara Roberts is the captain of a space shuttle sent to retrieve a group of cloned soldiers from the planet US-2. As soon as she lands, the shuttle is overtaken and all of her men killed.
Svarog aka Rogue, is the leader of a rebel group of clones who desire freedom. He's been trained his entire life for one thing—to kill. But when he lays eyes on Elara, the only woman he's ever seen, his first instinct is to love. Taking her for himself, his new mission becomes exploring the body of the creature, and punishing any other clone male who dares come close.
Elara witnessed how easily Rogue killed her men and fears she is next. But instead, the beast seems curious and more lustful than anything else. Her best survival strategy is to play along. But when she gets a chance to escape she realizes she may not be ready to leave Rogue behind.
Content Warning: this story includes a deadly, devastatingly sexy clone who isn't above foul language and dirty sex
His Human Excerpt:
"Why do you want to go to Earth so bad?" Elara asked.
Rogue didn't answer readily, instead, he appraised her, his gaze lingering on her sweat-soaked blouse. "You haven't been here long, woman, but surely long enough to see this planet rivals the hell that the humans make us read about. It's dry here, hot enough to melt the skin right off your body during certain seasons. Those tunnels you saw dotting the landscape, those were burrowed by one of US-2's many creatures. Leave my side, and they'll snatch you up and swallow you whole. It'd probably be an easier death than you deserve."
"Excuse me?" Elara glared at him. "Did you keep me alive to insult me to death?"
"Why would you sign up to take men as slaves, take them to a war they can't even understand?"
"I'm not the bad guy here!" Her voice echoed through the cave, the sound suddenly making her feel more brave.
"Neither am I. Unless I'm crossed." He stood, still nude, his well-muscled body towering over her. "Now that you're my captive, perhaps you can appreciate what we are fighting for. Freedom." With that, the clone walked away from her. She glanced away, trying to avoid looking at the well-carved butt cheeks as the massive soldier walked away. He had a perfect body. The kind of body that was built to kill.
Elara's mind spun. Not only had two clones tried to rape her, but her epic plan to seduce Rogue didn't work. He'd never before had a woman, and she still couldn't please him. Yet he'd protected her from those men.
As far as Rogue was concerned, she wasn't sure what happened. He'd seemed so close to coming. He'd moaned, but then he'd been disgusted by her, shoving her away. She should have been happy that his cum didn't fill her mouth, but it also meant her death.
But if he was going to kill her, why didn't he just leave her to those men?
Finally alone, the terror of the day washed over her. She'd watched her peers murdered, she'd gone down on her captor, and she'd nearly been raped by two killers. Tears leaked down her cheeks, quickly dried by the intense heat on US-2.
Just as soon as he'd left, Rogue returned. His strong hand pulled her out of the fetal position to face him. When he saw her tears, he sneered in disgust. "I'm leaving to retrieve rations. Don't try to escape."
Hope bloomed within her. Of course she'd try to escape. Was this clone daft? She just never thought she'd be left alone to try.
Elara thought back to the initial attack on the space shuttle. The interior had sustained damage, but clearly the clones had been careful, obviously planning to try to take it to Earth themselves.
Rogue pulled on his military cargo shorts, not bothering with a shirt. He pulled a sachet of lotion out of his pocket and slathered it over his hard chest and chiseled stomach. It was a body meant to punish.
She barely heard Rogue's final warning before he departed. Something about danger. Duh. Elara may have been surrounded by a planet of rebel clones, but she was a military captain, specially chosen for this very mission. Her femme fatale Plan A had failed, but now she had no other choice but to try to ass kick her way off this planet. She was sure as dead anyway, might as well die trying.
Gravitation by Beth D. CarterCan Bree and Niah's love overcome their species being at war with one another?
Bree has spent her whole life hiding from the aliens who destroyed what was once Earth. When she stumbles across a wounded alien, common sense tells her to kill him before he can kill her, but her compassionate side refuses to obey. Instead, she helps him.
The two forge a temporary truce when they're forced to band together for protection. But as the days slip by, the alien Niah won't leave her, and as friendship gives way to something more, she can't help but wonder when, or if, them being on opposite sides will break the fragile bonds of love forming between them.
Content Warning: contains sexual content, strong language, and some violence
Niah's leg must be healing nicely if he was able to move around to her side of the cold fire pit. She should be feeling fear because now he could easily overpower her. Kill her. Only he did neither. He just laid there with his hand on her hip and his eyes staring deeply into her own.
This was wrong. So horribly wrong.
And yet…it didn't feel wrong.
And that scared her more than anything.
"Shh," he whispered, and his hand ran soothing circles across her hip bone.
Bree closed her eyes because she couldn't stand looking at him anymore, couldn't face the attraction she was developing. And somehow she must have fallen asleep because the next time she opened her eyes it was daylight.
She sat up quickly, looking around. Niah was gone. His leg splints were in a nice pile, the only testament that he'd been there. She ignored the stab of pain that pierced through her and told herself it was better this way. He had gone back to his people, to where he came from. It was time she went to where she belonged.
As she gathered her things and slipped her backpack over her shoulders, she thought about when she asked him to save one life as a thank you. Well, it seemed like he'd done just that.
He'd spared hers.
Buy Links: Beachwalk Press
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RETURN TO DRAKE SPRINGS
A Next Door Category Romance ~ Drake Springs, Book One
Lance George debates his decision to return to his hometown, but the price is right on the abandoned veterinary hospital he hopes to buy. He’s saved his money to open his practice by living frugally and purchasing wisely. There’s no room in his life for wasteful spending. His alcoholic mother squandered everything she had when he was growing up, leaving him with an obsessive motivation to achieve financial security.
Iris Porter is unaware that she broke Lance’s heart in high school. She’s too busy trying to earn a living in a tough economy. She hopes to reclaim her old job as a veterinary assistant when Lance reopens the town’s only animal clinic. Popular and friendly, Iris is known to be generous to a fault. When a friend’s baby is stricken with leukemia, she organizes fundraisers and enlists Lance’s help.
Lance’s feelings for Iris rekindle when he realizes how much she’s changed. The high school snob is at odds with the caring, sensitive woman who wants to help a family in need. But can he reconcile Iris’s generous spirit with his overpowering need for penny pinching?
Popular cheerleader Iris Porter had no time for geeky Lance George in high school, but much has changed in nine years. Lance has matured into a handsome, successful veterinarian while Iris struggles to pay bills working part-time jobs. Can they finally find romance together? Or can the quintessential miser tolerate her freehearted, generous nature?
Lance George cruised into town in a fog of black insects and misgivings. He’d had good reason to leave home years ago. Was returning a mistake? He’d debated during the entire three-hour drive from Tallahassee and still questioned his decision. But he was here now. The moving company had his packed belongings ready to deliver. Inhaling a breath for courage, he slowed at the Welcome to Drake Springs sign.
Searching familiar landmarks, he recognized the Hurricane Lantern, a rustic restaurant located on Highway 471. To his left stood the stately Wilson home, vacant and for sale. Five blocks past the city limits sign, Highway 471 became Main Street. He passed the First Foster Bank and Boyd’s Diner, both still in business. A left turn here would take him to the high school, but he’d skip that detour down bad-memory lane.
The stoplight at Main Street turned red and he applied his brakes. A flash of purple grabbed his attention. Was that—? No, it couldn’t be. What were the odds he’d return to Drake Springs and immediately see the girl of his adolescent dreams? In the flesh—and what beautiful flesh—Iris Porter stepped into the crosswalk walking a bicycle to the opposite side of Main Street. It may have been nine years since he’d seen her, but with her blond curls sticking out the edges of a bicycle helmet, she looked as adorable as ever.
She turned her head and met his gaze but kept walking. She wouldn’t recognize him, and even if she did, why would she acknowledge him? She had deemed herself too good for him. He’d been a bookworm. A nerd. His limited circle of friends didn’t include babes and jocks. No reason to hope her opinion had changed.
She continued toward the courthouse. She hadn’t lost that subtle but alluring sway of hip that drew the attention of every male student standing in the halls at Foster County High—especially him. Instead of mounting her bicycle and riding, she chain-locked it to an oak tree.
“What’s your story, dear Iris?” He eased forward with the morning traffic while keeping her purple shorts and T-shirt in his peripheral vision. She still had her cheerleader’s legs and slender shape. If anything, she was thinner now. She disappeared inside the Foster County Courthouse. “Doing a title search? Paying your taxes? Filing for divorce?”
Iris’s rejection in high school had driven him to succeed and improve himself, so maybe he should thank her for stomping all over his heart. He continued his drive through town, leaving behind Iris Porter and all conjecture about her.
When he reached Ortega Street, he turned left and pulled into the parking lot of his destination. A business property that once housed Hodges Animal Clinic faced Main. Behind sat a modular home included with the business property. The lot looked weedy, abandoned, and neglected. No wonder it had such an attractive price tag. The realtor must have taken the online photos in winter, before the spring foliage filled in the blackjack oaks. Now shade cast most of the lot in darkness, forming a thick barrier against the hot Florida sun.
A middle-aged, heavyset woman stood in the gravel parking lot. He parked his Transit Connect beside her late model Buick. He’d recently purchased the economical business van in preparation for his new practice. It was small enough to serve as his personal vehicle, too. Unlike his mother, Lance did his research and made practical choices. Impulse buying got people in trouble.
“Doctor George?” The woman approached him with outstretched hand even before he’d fully exited his van. “I’m Barbara Sinclair.”
“Thank you for meeting me.” He shook her delicate manicured hand.
Everything about the woman looked professional, from her perfectly groomed, chestnut hair to her business attire. A few years and a few pounds ago, she was probably a real babe.
“I feel as if we’ve already met, from your e-mails. I believe this property will suit your needs.”
“It looks less cheerful than in the online photos.”
She winced. “Weeds grow quickly in Florida. The reduced price should more than make up for the little TLC the place needs.”
“Right.” He’d reserve judgment until he inspected the buildings. He locked his van, an action that earned him a bemused smile from Ms. Sinclair. She probably thought it overkill for a small town like Drake Springs, but she refrained from commenting. “Could you show me the office first? If it doesn’t suit, there’s no need to tour the house.”
“Exactly my thought. Follow me.”
He fell in step beside her. “What happened to Otis Gibbons? I thought he was the listing agent.”
“You know Otis?”
“I’m originally from Drake Springs, hence my interest in opening a practice here.”
She opened the door, stepped aside, and motioned him in. The faint odor of antiseptic mingled with the woman’s cologne as she moved past him. She’d been a bit generous with her atomizer. “Otis sold me the business when he was elected county commissioner. He didn’t want any question of conflict of interest.”
“Right.” He shut the door against a swarm of love bugs. Those inescapable black insects that frustrated Floridians every May and September seemed especially thick this spring.
“It may be a bit warm. I turned up the air conditioning about thirty minutes ago when I opened the building.”
“The air conditioner is fairly new. Four years old, I’d say.”
The office was a converted Florida Cracker style house, with porches and a breezeway. The reception area was in the former living room. A pass-through with added counter separated the public area from the office. A few animal carriers sat along one wall of the former dining room. “How many exam rooms?”
“Three. The hall gives access both from the reception area and the operating room. There’s also a bathroom.”
“Hmm.” The equipment was gone, probably sold by Doctor Hodges’s estate after her death. Stainless steel tables, gleaming as if recently polished, dominated each examination room. “How long did you say this had been vacant?”
“About three years, but Otis has kept the power connected. He also hired a cleaning service to make regular visits.”
Too bad Otis hadn’t arranged for lawn service as well. “That’s been costly for Otis.”
“Frankly, he expected the property to sell quickly. It’s an attractive location, and Drake Springs is growing. But even Florida wasn’t immune to an economic recession.”
She led him around to the operating room, at one time the house’s kitchen. A door led back to the dining room/office, where the receptionist’s desk and file cabinets now stood. The rear of the house had a utility room, still equipped with a clothes washer and dryer. One wall held stacked cages. A breezeway led to fenced pens outside. He would have preferred more kennel room, but this could work.
“Well, Doctor George, what do you think?” She closed the back door and walked down the steps. “Want to see the residence?”
“Yes, I do.” He followed her past the fenced pens to the back door of the doublewide mobile home. “Where do people take their animals for medical care since this clinic closed?”
“Right now they’re driving twenty-five or thirty miles, to Lake City or up to Georgia. Trust me, this town will welcome you with open arms.”
He was counting on it. He’d saved a tidy sum of money and had qualified for a loan, but he needed equipment, supplies, and utility deposits. He wanted to make this property work, because it’s all he could afford.
The blue painted metal roofing on the home matched the roofing on the clinic. He’d guess the modular home to be less than ten years old, although the roof made it look newer.
“Is the roof new?”
“About four years old.” She unlocked the back door of the residence and led him inside. “Doc Hodges made several improvements before opening her practice.”
Not a fan of modular housing, he examined each room with skepticism. The floor plan was surprisingly open and pleasant, with vaulted ceilings and plenty of windows. A large great room separated two bedrooms and a bath from the owner’s suite and kitchen. The walls were painted or paneled, rather than the patterned wallboard he’d seen on older mobile homes. “Doctor Hodges lived here?”
“Yes. It was convenient, especially for emergencies with animals staying overnight.” She opened the blinds, revealing two windows overlooking the front porch and the front yard’s large crepe myrtle tree, just beginning to bloom. “Her mother sold all the furniture but not the appliances. Of course, if you prefer to live elsewhere, you could rent it out.”
He gave a noncommittal murmur, but he’d be nuts to live anywhere else. Living near the clinic made economic sense. He wouldn’t spend more than he needed to. The bedrooms were roomy enough, especially the owner’s suite with its own bathroom and walk-in closet.
“Cable and high-speed internet are available here, too.”
“Good.” He didn’t need television, but internet was vital to his business. “Immediate possession?” The sooner, the better, because he had no home. His mother had lost their house years ago, and Pops had no room to spare.
“Yes. Considering the amount of your down payment, you’ll have no trouble qualifying for the loan assumption. As soon as we can schedule the closing, you can hang out your open-for-business sign.”
“Well.” He chuckled. “It’s not that simple. I need equipment, for starters. And staff. You know any experienced veterinarian assistants?”
She led him into the kitchen. The appliances looked new. Doctor Hodges hadn’t been one to cook as far as he could tell. But Doc George enjoyed cooking. And he could make the most of this spacious, well-appointed kitchen.
“I know of one. She worked for Doc Hodges but lost her job, of course, when her boss died. She might welcome the opportunity to interview with you.”
“Thanks. First, let’s write the contract.” He followed her outside to the long front porch, additional construction to the original modular home, probably one of Doc Hodges’s improvements. It faced Ortega, a residential street with tidy, modest homes and mature shade trees. Empty except for a wooden swing, the porch could be a cozy retreat at the end of the day, assuming he wasn’t too busy to stop and relax.
Ms. Sinclair removed a ballpoint pen and business card from her purse. She wrote on the blank side of the card. “Here’s the name of the vet assistant when you get ready to hire your staff. You can probably find her at Miller’s IGA Market on Desoto, where she’s been working part time.”
He stuffed the card in his shirt pocket. “Thanks.”
They walked around to the front of the business via the sidewalk, which returned them to the gravel parking lot. “Let me get my brief case and I’ll meet you inside.”
Jittery with nerves, he went inside the building and paced the reception area. This was it. He was about to gamble—no, not gamble--invest his savings into his own practice. He’d have to start out conservatively, at least until he knew how many patients he’d have. One experienced assistant would be a good idea. He could hire more staff as his practice grew. He fished the business card from his pocket and flipped it over to read the name. His hand trembled. The card flew from his fingers.
He stooped to pick it up and read the name again. And smiled.
Cheryl Norman grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and earned a BA in English at Georgia State University in Atlanta. After a career in the telecommunications industry, she turned to fiction writing and won the 2003 EPPIE award for her contemporary romance, Last Resort. Her debut with Medallion Press, Restore My Heart, led to a mention in Publisher's Weekly as one of ten new romance authors to watch. Running Scared, a romantic suspense set in Jacksonville, Florida, and Washington D.C., received a Perfect 10 from Romance Reviews Today. Reviewer Harriet Klausner calls her writing "Mindful of Linda Howard." She currently writes the Drake Springs series romance novels for Turquoise Morning Press.
Her passion for cooking and healthful eating led her to write four cookbooks and an award-winning blog, The Hasty Tasty Meals Kitchen (hastytastymeals.com). She also offers writers grammar help via her Grammar Cop blog, newsletter articles, and workshops.
In addition to writing fiction and cookbooks, Cheryl works with other breast cancer survivors to raise awareness about early detection and treatment of the disease.
Visit Cheryl at her Web site: http://cherylnorman.com , Twitter: http://twitter.com/cherylnorman
and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cherinorman
Books by Cheryl Norman (Amazon):
RETURN TO DRAKE SPRINGS (Book 1: Drake Springs Next Door series from Turquoise Morning Press)
RUNNING OUT OF TIME (Turquoise Morning Press)
REBUILD MY WORLD (Turquoise Morning Press)
RECLAIM MY LIFE (Medallion Press)
RESTORE MY HEART (Medallion Press)
RUNNING SCARED (Medallion Press)
ROMANCE ON ROUTE 66 Anthology (Highland Press)
Short fiction by Cheryl Norman:
Coming soon: Hometown Blessings (Highland Press’s Christmas Blessings anthology)
The Christmas Prayer (Highland Press’s The Heart of Christmas anthology)
Veiled Threat (Turquoise Morning Press’s The Wedding Day Collection)
Twilight Time (Highland Press-Romance on Route 66)
Bad Moon Rising (Highland Press-Romance on Route 66)
Giveaway: signed copies of the original Drake Springs novels, RECLAIM MY LIFE and REBUILD MY WORLD. US only.
Dream Across Time
Raritan Manor Ranch, 1
A woman in love. A ghost in need. A man possessed.
Evelyn Sheridan is in love with Raritan Manor Ranch’s resident ghost, Quinn, but can only experience his embrace in her dreams.
Quinn VanAlder, who doesn’t realize he’s a ghost, loves Eve and wishes she’d stop saying they can’t be together.
While at the ranch, Alex VanAlder arrives for a visit, and Evelyn’s hopes rise. Perhaps she will be able to have a real relationship after all. Alex, though, has no interest in Evelyn. Yet, every time the house cat, Myrddin, comes around, Alex feels like a man possessed and wants Eve with a passion.
Caught between loving a ghost and putting up with a man who can’t make up his mind, Evelyn is at a loss. Can the magic of the ranch help Evelyn to stop being caught between two worlds?
Dream Across Time by C.R. Moss
Series: Raritan Manor Ranch, Book 1
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genres: Paranormal, Time Travel, Erotic Romance
Heat Level: 3 ~ Word Count: 32, 880
Editor: Tricia Kristufek ~ Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
A deep, warm laugh rumbled from him.
“You think it’s funny that I’m going nuts?” She placed her hands on her hips and glared at him over the horse’s back.
Quinn moved around the horse. “You are not going insane.”
As Quinn took another step toward her, she took a step back. “That’s what Julie says. I’m not convinced, though.”
With every step she took, Quinn matched it. In a deep, sultry voice he uttered, “My beautiful, intelligent Evelyn, your mind is very sound.”
Her butt hit the building. Standing in a pile of broken hay stalks, her gaze fixed on Quinn’s eyes, and her breaths came in short rasps. Her mind didn’t feel sound at all, neither did her body. Pulse racing, heart pounding against her chest, she seemed in the midst of losing control. All her senses heightened until colors were brighter. She looked past Quinn at the gentle slopes of the mountain range nearby and the deep blue sky.
He stood an inch before her. She breathed in his musky, masculine scent. Her clothes tightened and scratched against her sensitive skin. Though under a warm sun, a shiver raked her body. How could a man rob her of control, of her senses?
Quinn placed his hands on the building, trapping her between his arms. “Tell me,” his husky voice whispered in her ear. “What has gotten you so bothered you think you are going crazy?”
The heat radiating between their close bodies sent ripples of desire through her. She shuddered.
“You,” she whispered in return, not meeting his gaze. “These dreams. They’re interrupting my life. I’m letting my relationship with you interfere with everything I do when I’m awake. Any good psychiatrist would have a field day with me.” Evelyn paused, took a deep breath to calm her excited body.
Since he towered over her by at least a foot, she talked to his chest. The white shirt, pulled taut over his front, showed the outlines of his well-defined muscles. She wanted to touch them. Evelyn clenched her fists at her sides, taking in another deep breath, and looked up. “It’s gotten to the point where Julie thinks I’m in love—”
“Are you?” Quinn interrupted, a hint of pleading tainted his voice.
His question caught her off guard. She hadn’t thought about the possibility of love, of discussing their feelings for each other. She didn’t answer, and her lack of response brought an expression of sadness to Quinn’s features. She cared for him, but love? How could she love someone who wasn’t real, someone who existed before her birth? Someone who’s a ghost?
Quinn turned his back to her. “I thought… never mind.”
The misery in his voice pinged at her soul. “Quinn.” She put a hand on his shoulder to halt him from leaving. “I’m sorry. I can’t love you. You’re not real.”
His body tensed beneath her fingers. Quinn turned back to her and her hand fell to his chest. He held it there. “Damn it, Evelyn. Stop talking nonsense. I am real.”
She couldn’t deny that fact. His hands were warm. His heart beat strong and steady. Her eyes widened and she gazed up into his passion-filled gaze. She wished she wasn’t dreaming.
“Let me show you how real I am.” His lips descended onto hers.
All the blood rushed from her head and her knees weakened. She leaned into his body for support. His arms wrapped around her. Every nerve fired at his touch. His lips parted and his tongue coaxed her mouth open.
Too dazed to resist, she copied his motions, and the gentle kiss blazed into a raging fire. Their mouths, hot and hungry, moved against each other’s in perfect harmony. Evelyn’s arousal gained momentum. She swirled her tongue against his in wild abandon, learning the sweet taste of him. Digging her fingers into his shoulders, she held on to the moment for dear life.
An eccentric and eclectic writer, C.R. Moss pens stories for the mainstream and erotic romance markets, giving readers Worlds of Possibilities.
More about C.R. Moss:
So what does she write? She writes stories from the light and sweet to the dark and deadly with varying degrees of sexual heat. Writing as C.R. Moss gives her and her muses the freedom to explore worlds of possibilities when it comes to love. And where does the tag line “Love & Lust in the Wild West” fit in? Well, for one, she lives in NV. Two, her stories take place, either in part or in full, in and around the Las Vegas area. In fact, even this website sports “a look of home.” The background picture was taken in an area just a few miles west of Las Vegas and happens to be the inspiration for the setting of the Double D Ranch Tales saga.
She also has a passion for penning dark fiction. Writing under the name Casey Moss allows her to slate other stories under Horror ~ Paranormal ~ Suspense ~ Thriller ~ Urban Fantasy. Visit: http://caseymossbooks.com/
~ Website: http://crmoss.com
~ Blog: http://crmoss.blogspot.com/
~ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRMoss.author
~ Twitter: https://twitter.com/CRMoss
~ Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/CRMoss
~ Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/crmoss/
Come see C. Moss & other wonderful authors at http://www.hotmojaveknights.com October 2015!
Giveaway: signed PDF, reader's choice, of one of my Wild West stories, either Wild West Weekend, Wild West Hauntings or Wild West Promise.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
A chance meeting or a calculated encounter? Someone is in for a surprise.
Brooklyn Conservatory student Sammy Falcone lives a quiet and modest life. She's busy studying classical music, playing her cello, and trying to make ends meet. After she learns of her deceased mother's secret that may involve the Cannon family, she heads to a wedding to catch a glimpse of the privileged clan, never expecting to come face-to-face with them.
Tyler Cannon must abandon his wild, partying ways and step up to help his brother Spencer run the family advertising business. When he meets Sammy at his brother's wedding he's immediately taken by the reserved beauty. Her innocence and simple lifestyle intrigue him enough to become a one-woman man.
Sammy is drawn to Tyler's charm and the attention he shows her. Once she gets to know him, the secrets of her mother's past are no longer important. The problem is Spencer has been suspicious of her from the beginning. Will Spencer's overprotectiveness of his family ruin her chances with Tyler? And if the truth comes out, will Sammy be able to convince Tyler that she never meant his family any harm?
Content Warning: contains mature language and graphic sexual content
When Sammy looked up at Tyler, he had to fight back the urge to kiss her. He'd been distracted by her full lips all night.
"Tonight has been amazing. First, I got to ride in your car, and then we ate at one of the trendier restaurants in the city. I must sound crazy to you because this is your life, but I've never…"
Living in an environment where money wasn't an issue and he could have anything he wanted sometimes made Tyler forget that not everyone was used to that sort of thing. He hadn't thought he had been over-the-top tonight. Their date consisted of pizza and a stroll around the city, but maybe it was too much.
"I get it." He tucked her hair behind her ear before resting his hand on the side of her face.
"I can't hide the fact that I have money. My family is wealthy, but I try not to think about it, especially now that I'm older. During my early twenties I partied and lived excessively, but I'm trying to tone it down." He didn't want to minimize his financial position, but because he'd always had money, he never really had to think about it. He realized that wasn't the case for Sammy. "My mother tries to ground me. My grandfather makes me work for my position in the company, so I do earn my paycheck." He grinned. "I'm sorry if I overwhelmed you tonight. I didn't mean to."
"You didn't overwhelm me. I'm being silly. I don't get out much." She laughed, but he detected the awkwardness in her smile. "I had a great time tonight, and I'd love to see a show with you next weekend."
"So, it's a date?" He leaned down, closer to her mouth. "Because I really want to see you again."
"Me too." When her breath swept across his lips, his control slipped away. "I'd love to."
"I'd love to kiss you." Placing his hand on the other side of her face, he lowered his head, focusing on her mouth…those lips. "Can I?"
She nodded as she softly exhaled.
Once they connected, he lost awareness of everything else. The commotion of people walking by them, cars making their way down busy 42nd Street, and lights strobing from all four corners of the intersection faded into the background.
Her soft lips and warm, vanilla-scented skin dominated his every thought. Darting out his tongue, he sought hers with the eagerness of a needy man. She kissed him with just as much enthusiasm, gripping his shirt when he nipped at her bottom lip, which only served to fuel his desire.
The uproar going on in his pants quickly reminded him he was on a street corner, in Manhattan, where hundreds of people were passing by. Not to mention the paparazzi that was never far behind, especially when he was about to screw something up and embarrass his family and the agency. That hadn't happened in a long time. With Spencer out of town, he couldn't afford any mishaps.
He pulled away, but kept her face in his hands, gently finishing the kiss. When she licked the moisture from her lips, he had to suppress the urge to push her up against the brick wall and continue what they'd started.
"Do you want to go back to my place?" He took a breath, never before caring so much if a woman agreed. "We could be there in less than ten minutes."
Buy Links: Beachwalk Press
~About The Author~
Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can't be stopped.
Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two boys. When she's not chasing after her kids, she's busy creating sexy, domineering men and the strong women who know how to challenge them in and out of the bedroom. She hopes you'll get lost in her words.
She loves connecting with readers.
Author Links: Facebook Twitter Website
~Watch the Trailer~
Ella is giving away a signed swag pack with surprise goodies during her tour to a one lucky winner.
For a chance to win please fill out the rafflecopter below.
Old Guys always comment on my ride-
Please welcome Vicki Batman to my blog today. She's sharing a story and a great book with you! Take it away Vicki...
Long ago, a bad-ass Honda motorcycle showed in my garage. It was so big, the engine was a car engine. Handsome had decided he needed it. I was pissed. I called his office, politely asked for him, and when he answered, I hung up very hard and loudly. He came home pronto.
We hashed all out and finally, he asked. “If you could buy the car you really want, what would it be?” I said with no hesitation, “A Jeep Wrangler.”
When I was a young newly graduated college girl, my dad and I went car shopping. He’d asked me what I wanted, I said a Jeep, and he said that was impractical. My dad was pretty savvy about all things engine driven—cars, helicopters, and airplanes; so with a busted balloon in my chest, I listened to him and bought a practical Ford sedan.
All those years, I yearned for a Wrangler. I came close when I had #1 son. We bought a Jeep Cherokee and oh how I loved that car.
To me, Jeeps are utilitarian. There isn’t anything else like them. Just the styling alone is cool. Cross-over vehicles nowadays look like they are trying to be a Jeep and a mini-van.
Handsome got out of the doghouse by buying me a beautiful white Wrangler with tons of chrome. I drove it, my boys drove it. Twelve years later, we bought a Jeep Patriot. It has a cool front end, not so much chrome, much better brakes, and four doors. There’s a nice area to haul stuff around, a hitch, and roof rack. I love it.
So about the old guys always commenting on my ride? When I drove the Wrangler and bought gas, men would say something about my great little car. I’d laugh and tell them how old it was, which they said they didn’t believe because it looked impeccable.
As for the Patriot? Yeah, no comments from old guys on this one, probably because it doesn’t look so bad-ass. But that’s okay by me.
My heroine in Temporarily Employed drives a Wrangler--big surprise! Here’s a bit about her fun car:
Pretty much covered the whole freakin’ day.
A blinding red-white, red-white strobe, reflected in my brand new Wrangler’s rearview mirror, seized my attention. The police. I tossed my hands skyward, ready to surrender. I shouldn’t have been too surprised. Like I'd commented this a.m. to my roommate, Jenny, “Today, anything’s possible.”
My Bad Day checklist included:
- Crappy job interview, one which might have provided desperately needed income.
- Wore gut-busting panty hose on a hot day which had now worked past my waist and strangled my diaphragm.
- A barely blowing air conditioner indicated something had malfunctioned in my new, fun car.
I stole another glance in the mirror, and with great reluctance, flipped the right turn indicator. My vehicle coasted to a stop on the shoulder of Boston Avenue in my hometown of Sommerville, a nice suburb located between two large cities. Four lanes of cars and trucks zipped by as I sat there where every single one of my family, friends, friends’ friends, and their friends—including Rat Fink Suzanne—would see a police vehicle positioned right behind mine. Gleefully, drivers would chant the “Ha-ha, got you, not me” ditty.
After killing the engine, I flopped back in the seat. Shooting the morons the finger was an idea. Nah. I'm too exhausted to care.
A litany of: "No, not hiring." "Just filled the position." "You're over qualified." "You're under qualified…" tornadoed through my head. Coupled with the intense job search through various outlets like the internet and completing numerous online employment applications, no wonder my body had been depleted of all life force.
Not even a breeze blew to take the edge off the unbearable summertime heat. Tangled wild trees and dry scrubby bushes banked the roadside. The grass had taken on a scorched look. Rolling down the driver’s window, I surveyed my surroundings. Nothing great. Nothing new.
I stole a glance in the side mirror at the policeman who strode purposefully along the shoulder. The gravel crunched under his boots. He looked huge, probably because his uniform, which appeared to be bulked with a bullet-proof vest, made him resemble a buffed-up superhero in size. Exceedingly intimidating.
Sigh. When things went wrong, they were really wrong.
What is your dream car?
Temporarily Employed, romantic comedy mystery
Release Date: October 17, 2014
Author: Vicki Batman
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Word Count: 75,850
Page Count: 314
ISBN: 978-1-62830-497-8 / paperback
ISBN: 978-1-62830-498-5 / digital
New Job. New Love. And Murder.
Hattie Cook's dream job is down the toilet and her new SUV violated. Desperate for cash to cover the basic necessities of rent and food, she takes a temporary job at Buy Rite Insurance Company where she uncovers an embezzling scam tied to the death of a former employee--the very one she replaced. The last thing she wants is to clash with By-the-Book Detective Wellborn, no matter how much he makes her heart pound.
Detective Allan Charles Wellborn has secretly adored Hattie all his life. When the police determine there's more to the death of a former Buy Rite employee, he steps in to lead the investigation. Overly dedicated, always perfect, he puts his job first, even if doing so ultimately hurts the one he loves.
Can the killer be found before Hattie's time is up?
Buy links for Temporarily Employed
Amazon ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Temporarily-Employed-Vicki-Batman-ebook/dp/B00N4J5FDQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410893535&sr=1-1&keywords=temporarily+employed
Amazon paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Temporarily-Employed-Vicki-Batman/dp/1628304979/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412359358&sr=1-2&keywords=temporarily+employed
The Wild Rose Press ebook: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=5829
The Wild Rose Press paperback: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=5896
About Vicki: Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm--the list is endless, giving her plenty of material for her writing.
Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010. Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"
Find Vicki at:
Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/author/vickibatman
Plotting Princesses: http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com
Genre: Fiction Thriller
If your family is a target, you have to be a weapon.
When a simple home invasion turns out to be not so simple, Ron Granger must put aside his quiet rural life and return to the Central Intelligence Agency to take on international arms dealers.
Aided by his beautiful wife, Valerie, and resourceful teen daughter, Leecy, Ron must quickly decide who to believe among the calculating opportunists, shrewd criminals, and power-hungry rival agencies racing to possess the technological breakthrough that will change the face of modern warfare forever. But when Leecy is kidnapped, Ron and Val must choose between the mission and a rescue.
Facing an impossible decision, with time quickly running out, Ron only knows one thing:
When you can't trust anyone else, trust your family.
The sudden explosion of breaking glass and splintering wood reverberated inside the house like a clap of thunder. I was awake instantly, and the rush of adrenaline coursing through my veins propelled me out of the bed and into action.
“Valerie!” I yelled at my wife, who was already leaping out of the other side of the bed. “That should have set off the alarm.” She was rounding the end of our bed just as I flipped on the overhead lights and opened the door of our room. There was someone in the hallway, but the beam from a high-‐powered LED flashlight blinded my eyes before I could look away.
I heard a voice.
“Back the fuck up! Keep your hands where I can see them.”
I felt the round end of a small pistol barrel poke me in the chest before I could blink my eyes and begin to see the revolver in one hand, the flashlight in the other.
“Both of you back up, hands in the air, and stay right where you are.”
I raised my hands and backed up until I bumped against my bedside table. Then the guy swung the pistol and hit me in the face hard enough to get my attention, but not enough to hurt me.
He aimed his gun at Valerie again. “Not another step.”
My vision had recovered so I could see the intruder was wearing a black ski mask, t-‐shirt, jeans and boots. He was about five feet, seven inches, and thin, about 160 pounds, so I had a distinct size advantage, being six feet and 200 pounds.
But he had the gun, a revolver of some kind. That was actually another plus for me since the hammer wasn’t cocked. Getting it ready to fire would take all the time I needed.
He started moving the gun in my direction again when I heard the scream.
It was Leecy.
“Valerie, there must be another one of them.”
I grabbed the man’s left wrist with such force the flashlight dropped to the floor and spun away. I knocked aside his right wrist with my left hand as he cocked the gun and fired, sending a bullet into the wall over my left shoulder. Letting go of his left wrist, I turned into him with my back, grabbed his weapon with both hands, and ripped it from his grip. I made a back left-‐handed throw with the gun to Valerie, who was leaping toward the door to Leecy’s bedroom. She caught the gun in the air as I landed a back left elbow to the intruder’s head, followed by a crushing right cross to his jaw, knocking him unconscious. I left the intruder falling to the floor and raced down the hall.
“Stop right there, lady,” I heard.
“Let her go,” she replied, very calmly and softly, “and I won’t kill you.”
I reached the end of the hall just as two shots slammed into the front door behind Valerie. I ducked back inside the cover of the hallway, but Valerie didn’t move and she didn’t return fire.
“Put the gun down and send my partner out here right now,” I heard the man say, “or this will get messy.”
I walked into the foyer with my hands raised in a sign of submission, but now he had two potential problems, and they weren’t in the same place.
“Your partner is incapacitated,” Val continued quietly, “and if you don’t drop your weapon, you’ll be dead.”
“I’ll shoot her if you don’t put your hands up and send your man to bring my partner to me right now,” he countered.
Streams of moonlight filtered through the dark room from the shattered doors the two men had broken through, but I could see the man hiding behind Leecy holding a gun to her head.
“Last chance to leave here alive.”
He’d backed up as far as he could go, pulling Leecy with him to make his escape.
The bullet struck him in the center of his forehead, making a small black hole and propelling him up and back. The look on his face was that of a man realizing his mistake.
Leecy raced away from the dead man as Val dropped the weapon and stood next to me. The entire incident was over in minutes, but it didn’t feel that way to me. I was drained. I was sweating profusely and my hands were shaking. Maybe it was my age; at forty-‐six, I
wasn’t as young a man as when I started in this business, even though I didn’t think of myself as an old man. But that wasn’t all of it. Now that I had a wife and daughter, I had something to lose.
I hugged Val and Leecy. I held my wife and felt her calming presence wash over me. As we both embraced our child, I thanked whatever gods there might be that my two girls were safe.
“What the heck just happened?” Leecy asked from the safety of the hug we hadher sandwiched in.
“Home invasion,” Valerie answered, “we need to call Lester and get him out here.”
“I’ll phone the station from the bedroom,” I said, “and check on the guy back nthere while I’m at it.”
“Yeah, okay, so you say it’s a home invasion,” Leecy went on, “but don’t most invaders steal your
stuff and not try to kidnap you?”
I was back in our bedroom, stepping over the limp body of the first guy, but could still hear Leecy’s voice.
“And Mom….you…uh…just killed someone.” “I know, dear, but…”
“It was a lucky shot.”
“Lucky shot?” Leecy wasn’t satisfied, obviously. “That’s not my point.”
I was so relieved we were all okay that it hadn’t occurred to me that Leecy’s questions would have to be answered. And not just to her satisfaction: we’d have to answer similar questions by the police, and if this incident were classified as more than just a home invasion, we’d be in danger of generating a lot of unwanted attention.
I dialed our local police station and was relieved to hear the woman’s voice on the other end.
“Elizabeth. This is Ron Granger.”
“Hi, Ron. Why are you calling the police station at five minutes after four in the morning? Is everyone all right?”
Buy Link: Amazon
~About the Author~
John J. Davis is the author of the Granger Spy Novel series, including Blood Line and the soon to be published sequel, Bloody Truth, available Spring 2015.
Davis grew up in the Southeastern US and after university traveled extensively in North America during his career as a regional sales rep and independent broker for leaders in the transportation, shipping and pharma industries. His years sitting in lobbies and airports honed his skill for human observation and fed his talent for writing fast-‐paced, character-‐driven stories.
His inspiration for the Granger family-‐of-‐spies comes from the people he has known and his family roots in the Carolinas—the extraordinarily strong and gentle women and men, whose lives are defined by the love, trust and respect for family. Currently at work on the third Granger Spy Novel and a screenplay, Davis lives near Atlanta with his wife, daughter and two dogs.
Author Links: Site Twitter Facebook Goodreads
John is giving away a signed print copy of Blood Line during his tour.
For a chance to win please fill out the rafflecopter below.
The Adventures of Xavier & Vic
Vic has now become a full partner of Xavier Thorn’s Private Inquiries, yet trouble threatens their personal and business relationship as facts from the past come back to haunt Xavier. Worse yet, a formidable foe returns and proves to be more than Xavier can handle. Fortunately, with his amazing partner and a growing staff, they are ready to take on any problem that comes their way. If only their clients were more forthcoming with the facts!
Once satiated from their lovemaking, Vic raised the topic heavy on her heart. “Xavier, did you see the Queen?”
“In fact I did. She wanted to thank me for my efforts to save the servants forced into sex slavery.”
Vic bolted upright in outrage. “You?”
“And I told her, ‘Your Majesty, you have the wrong man. It was my clever partner, Victor Hamilton, who saved the servants.’”
Vic eyed him carefully as she tried to determine if he was teasing or not. “And what did she say?”
“She wanted to know if you were the spitting image of Dr. Watson.”
Wrinkling her nose in disgust, she resettled on his chest. “I hope you told her no.”
“I did, and then went on to brag profusely about you.”
“What exactly did you say?”
“And have your head swell larger than it already is? Not a chance, scamp.”
“Maybe next time I can go with you.”
“I doubt I’ll be invited again.”
“Did something happen? I saw Stone arrive, and later his men took away a servant in handcuffs.”
His right eyebrow rose an inch. “How do you know he was a servant?”
“He kept saying, ‘I only wanted to refill his tea.’ What happened, did you move the cup?”
“No. And I can say no more about it.”
His words hurt more than she thought possible. She tried to roll away from him, but he held her tight against his chest.
“Let me go,” she growled.
“I did not take the assignment.” He spoke softly, but she could hear an undercurrent of outrage. “I cannot talk about the case, but I made my conditions very clear. Either you were brought fully in and I would have full use of my staff, or I would not take the job.”
“And he said no?”
Xavier paused. “I was able to persuade him to accept you, but he dug his heels in on Tubs.”
“But Tubs is a valuable asset!” Now she understood why Xavier sounded so angry. The First Minister was an idiot! Who would not want Tubs on their side? He knew everything about the criminal world. He could tip a carriage with one arm. He could bend thick metal bars without breaking a sweat, and despite his massive weight, could keep up with her in a dead-out run. However, she refrained from stating these attributes, because Xavier didn’t know the details about some of their activities while he’d been recovering from his injury and opium addiction.
Instead, she hugged her beloved and returned her head upon his chest. “Forget the First Minister. With our growing staff, we need to focus on paying cases.”
“What is our case this morning about—and it had better not be another missing cat.”
She nipped him for bringing up the eviscerating feline case she had taken. “You’re never going to let me live that down, are you?”
She pushed off his chest, and this time, he let her go. “Well, according to Ben’s notes, someone thinks they’ve invested in a scam.” She nudged Xavier from the bed and followed him. “This one will require your involvement, because you have failed to teach me about investments.”
He dared feign shock and dismay. “Not so well-trained after all, are we?”
Her eyes narrowed but she kept her mouth shut. If she argued, he’d torture her with her ignorance through the entire investigation.
Musings from Michigan