Welcome Vicky. I'm so glad you dropped by to share your book. This is an amazing series. A One click!
Thank you, Melissa, for hosting me today! I’m having so much fun looking through your website. Your books look amazing, but I can’t wait to see what you have in the “I’d Rather Be Writing” cookbook! J
But… this blog today is all about me. Or rather, my newest book. “Queen of Hearts” is a novella – which means it’s only 81 pages, so is quick to read. But just because it’s short doesn’t mean it’s lacking in adventure and romance. This is the third book in my Gambling on Love series. All three books take place in outer space, on other worlds, and, in some cases, with handsome or beautiful aliens. Like most authors who write fantasy, futuristic, or paranormal romances, I love creating my own worlds. I hope you enjoy reading about them.
Title: Queen of Hearts, Book 3 in the Gambling on Love series
Genre: futuristic romance, novella
Blurb: Adam Chalmers has one hard and fast rule when it comes to passengers on his ship—no lone women. Ever. But when Admiral Keeley Reed of Fleet requests a special service from him, he can’t very well refuse. Adam nearly refuses as his “cargo” approaches him. Amanda Ki. The woman who’d tugged at his heart two years ago. But she’d left him without a word and he’d been transferred as far from her as possible. However, if he doesn't take her on, the kidnappers who took his sister may get away because she has a way to find the answers he’s been seeking.
Tiny, silver-eyed Mandy is part Halo, a race of warriors known for their deadly ferocity. When Adam left her, she suspected her mother, queen of the Halo world, and Admiral Keeley of setting their separation up. But Adam is her true mate, and she can prove it. Unfortunately, he’s an undercover Fleet agent, and she’s heir to the throne of the Halo world. It will take the two of them working together to overcome politics, danger, and each other in order to have a chance at real love.
Adam Chalmers paced the ramp outside his ship. “This is a bad idea. I know this is a bad idea. I can feel it. Something’s not right.”
“Excuse me, boss?”
Adam jumped as his ship’s AI whispered in his ear. He’d forgotten about the damned implant. The scar itched every time he thought about it. The implant was only a few months old. Still, it was much better than the stupid little button he used to wear. Damned thing was always getting lost or caught in cleaning. “Sorry, Thor. I was just thinking out loud.”
Adam ran his hands over his head, disturbing the tied-back locks. As an undercover agent for Fleet, he hated this part of his job. He wanted action, not this shuffling of cargo and passengers from one planet to another. Though, if he was honest, he and Thor were responsible for bringing in several lowlifes who would otherwise still be out there terrorizing honest people. “I don’t like taking on unknown passengers or cargo. Are you sure the admiral said this is legit?”
“Yes. The credentials and credit background check out, though the information was surface only and the admiral wasn’t forthcoming with details.”
Adam didn’t like the sound of that. “What do you mean?”
“When I dug into the background, I found nothing more than the surface profile we were given. There was no depth to the information. The admiral didn’t even give me a name beyond what I gave you.”
“M. Ki. Which could be anyone. Ki’s not exactly an uncommon name on some planets. Did you check everything?” Even as Adam asked, he knew the answer. Thor was nothing if not efficient. And, though Ki wasn’t unusual, it had connotations that worked on his stomach. There was one particular M. Ki he hoped he never saw again.
“You know I did,” the AI said to his question.
“Yeah. Sorry. But Admiral Reed doesn’t usually use us for official Fleet stuff. Word could get out and we’d be sunk. So why us? Like I said, something about this doesn’t feel right.” He patted his ship. Although the exterior had been carefully crafted to look like it could use maintenance, within the walls were the latest upgrades in technology, and a few that weren’t even on the market yet.
“The admiral’s reasoning has not been made clear to me.”
“Which makes this even more curious. Will we be carrying anything more than the passenger?”
“I’m sorry, boss, but that’s also unknown. The manifest says one passenger to be picked up here, a second to be picked up at our next stop, destination to be given at departure. Both are to be delivered to Tairis Station. Do you want me to contact headquarters and request more information again?”
“No. It’s from the admiral so I can’t exactly refuse. And if she’s being tight-lipped on this, there has to be a reason.”
Adam glanced at the time. Their passenger was late. The directive had specified that they be ready to go at exactly two and it was now ten after. He paused in his pacing as he watched a woman toting a regulation-sized carryall enter the docking bay, knowing she wasn’t his fare. He had one hard and fast rule—no lone women on his ship. They were nothing but trouble and this one looked like a catastrophe. He took a second look and his heart stopped. He knew that profile, maybe better than he knew his own. Or he had a couple of years ago. But it had been two years. Maybe his memory was faulty. He looked closer. Nope. His memory, as always, was dead-on. And he had a horrible feeling who the M. Ki was. But why would Admiral Reed do this to him? And why now?
The woman was tiny. Her head barely reached his shoulders when they stood side by side. The only difference between this woman and the one he knew was the color of her hair. Instead of the pale, almost white-blonde hair he remembered, she had dark hair that swung loose at her shoulders. She wore a regulation cut jumpsuit, but on her, it was anything but customary. The cut of the cloth and draping of the fabric showed it to be expensive rather than a generic one like most spacers wore. But then, his black trousers, heavy shirt, and knee-high boots weren’t exactly standard issue either.
What her jumpsuit didn’t hide was the lush body underneath. She was definitely not heavy, but nicely rounded. At least, that was what he’d seen on the surface. She had curves in all the right places and just enough of them to draw the attention of every man, and more than a few women, in the place.
Which was unfortunate, as one of the people whose attention she drew stepped out from a ship that had seen better days. Titus Harman wasn’t much better than his ship. Unfortunately, probably due to blackmail, Titus had connections high up in the hierarchy of the station, which gave him the choice jobs. It also made him a dangerous man to cross. Though Adam couldn’t hear much, he could tell from the woman’s demeanor that she wasn’t happy. She tried several times to sidestep Titus, with no luck. If Titus weren’t such an ass, he’d feel sorry for the slob. Adam leaned against his ship to watch the scene he knew was coming.
Titus grabbed the woman. Instead of frantically fighting back, she calmly kneed him in the groin and executed a perfect round-kick to his head. He went down like a sack of discarded spare parts and she wasn’t even breathing heavy. Interesting how everyone else in the bay had disappeared. She looked up at Adam, her eyes narrowed.
“Friend of yours?” she asked as he joined her.
“Not mine.” Adam glanced down at Titus. He was out cold. Then he looked back up. “Hello, Mandy. Been a while.”
“Adam.” She nodded once at him. They were all so civil. It had been two years since he’d seen her. He’d been working on Cygnus II when they’d met. She’d been his planet contact, but he never found out exactly what she did, just that she seemed to have unlimited funds and everybody danced to her tune. They’d had an immediate and strong connection, but, as his boss had so pointedly informed him, she was off-limits. After a month working closely together, she was in his blood like no other woman had ever been before or since. They’d grown very close, even with the admiral’s restrictions. Their last night together had been so hot he’d nearly combusted, but before anything more than heavy groping could happen, they’d been interrupted. And that’s when everything started to shut down. A day later, he got the message that she was gone and he was being transferred to a planet so far away, it was nearly another universe. Even though he’d tried contacting her, he’d never heard anything back. So that was that. End of story. Over and done with.
Shit. Could he come up with any more clichés for the ending of something he’d thought held promise?
“Can I help you find someone?” Adam asked. “I know most of the ships in dock. I can point you in the right direction.”
The tiniest of grins ran across her face as she stepped over Titus. “Point me and not escort me?”
“Sorry. I’m waiting for a fare. So...?”
She’d been studying him almost as intently as he’d looked at her. He was glad he’d at least put on a clean—or cleaner—shirt this morning. “I’m looking for the Dealer’s Choice, Captain Adam Chalmers.”
Adam’s tongue stuck in his mouth. No. It couldn’t be. He prayed to every deity he’d ever heard of that she wasn’t his fare. “What do you want with me?”
“I’m your fare.”
His stomach sank to a new low and his mouth dried up like the deserts on Arieal I. “You’re M. Ki? Why the subterfuge?”
“No subterfuge. Ki is one of my names, just not one I use very often.”
“Try never.” Well, almost never.
“Would you have taken me if I’d announced who I was?”
“No, and you know it.” Damn. Damn. Damn. Three weeks with her on his tiny ship would be an eternity. He tried a different tack. “My contract states no lone women. Period.”
“And yet, the contract is signed, witnessed, and unbreakable. If you didn’t read the changes, that’s not my problem.” She stuck her toe in Titus’s side. He didn’t move. “As you are well aware, Captain Chalmers, I am perfectly capable of handling myself.”
“That’s not the point.” He glanced at her eyes as they flashed silver at him. That was odd. He remembered her eyes as being gray, like a stormy sea, not this luminous shade of silver. He loved her eyes. And her lips. And... Damn. He forced his gaze away from her and stared at the wall behind her.
“Then let me tell you this,” she stated. “There will be no problem on your ship because I won’t allow it. I can control myself, Captain. Can you?” She glanced around as several security people entered the bay, looking in her direction. “I suggest we continue this discussion on board your ship.”
“Hey, lady, you’re the one with the fast feet. Not my business if you’re in trouble.”
“Adam, there are things going on here that are deeper than you know. Please. Can we at least get on board and talk? Keeley said you’d understand.”
Adam’s instincts kicked in as she named his boss, Admiral Keeley Reed. Very few people knew who she was, and who he was. It was enough to make his decision, though he still didn’t like it. “Welcome aboard the Dealer’s Choice, Miss Ki. Thor, fire up the engines. We want a fast exit.”
Vicky Burkholder resides in Pennsylvania near the area where her ancestors settled in 1741. She lives in a three-generation home and is lucky enough to have two other writers in residence. At various times in her life, she has been a journalist, writer, editor, teacher, short-order cook, computer specialist, DJ, and librarian. Her writing spans the fantasy, science fiction, paranormal and romance lines from YA to adult. No matter the age or genre, all of her books have a touch of romance in them and have to have a happily ever after ending.
LS Books: http://www.lsbooks.com/vicky-burkholder-c430.php
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/vicky+burkholder?_requestid=235154
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Vicky+Burkholder
.@melissa_keir: Sexy Cowboys for Everyone!
BUY LINK: (Preorder- Available on Nov. 30th)
Claiming a Cowboy’s Heart
Even broken souls deserve a second chance at love…
Elementary Teacher, Michelle Alt’s faced untold trials in her life, yet she continues to do what’s right to make things better for the next generation.
Cowboy Veterinarian, Preston Hall has lost everything in order to follow his dreams and return to his grandfather’s small town practice.
These two broken souls recognize each other’s pain and come together to heal, but fear and misunderstandings send their blossoming relationship into a tailspin. Will they be able to put aside their pain to find the love of a lifetime?
The mare’s sides heaved with each breath as the contractions shook her body. A new birth was a wondrous event, the validation of a creator.
Preston laid his hand on Cheyenne’s side. “You’ve got this, girl. We’re here to cheer you on.” The healthy chocolate mare had been Jake’s best therapy horse at the Heartsong Ranch. She’d brought his silent, traumatized stepdaughter out of her horrors and back to her mom.
“I’m glad you’re here. Even though I know Cheyenne doesn’t need us for the birth, having you here in town makes me grateful.” Jake Kyncade patted his friend on the shoulder. “After all, your gramps was the best veterinarian this side of the Mississippi.”
A twinge of pain hit his heart at the reminder of why he’d returned. His grandfather’s passing. “I’m glad to be home.” Why doesn’t my voice sound convincing? “Look, something’s happening.”
The horse’s tail rose. A small leg became visible as the birth began. Holding his breath, he waited and watched.
With his gaze on the eminent arrival, he frowned. “Crap. That’s an upside down hoof.”
His friend drew in close. A second leg arrived. “Shit. The foal’s backward. Those are the rear legs.”
“We have to get the foal out now. If we don’t, it’ll drown.” He knelt next to the horse. “Get up front and soothe Cheyenne. I’m going to have to pull the foal out fast, and I don’t want her thrashing around.” Sweat trickled down his spine. Playing God was not what being a veterinarian was about. Losing an animal—any animal—took a piece of his soul. But to lose a new life…it might leave a permanent scar. I’ve been blessed so far. Would the blessing last?
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/npRax3BIqfM
A PART OF COWBOYS FOREVER
Six Women—Six Cowboys Forever
Six Cowboy Love Stories by the best-selling authors who brought you Cowboy Up 1&2
Marry Me Again, Cowboy by Allison Merritt
An unlikely match made in Texas...
Greer Daily is happy running the ranch she inherited from her father until a resort opens up next door and unruly guests terrorize her livestock and destroy her fences. After she confronts two of them and the situation gets sticky, she finds herself venting her fury on sexy resort owner Guy Carter. But the smooth-talking cowboy isn't getting out of this mess easily. She wants reparations for her trouble.
Guy's first initial meeting with Greer could've gone better, but he hopes to placate her fiery temper by making amends for the fences. When a judge calls them out for being irresponsible and self-absorbed, then orders them to marry, Guy's whole world is upended. Their choices: Six months of marriage or a month of jail time. How bad can a few months with the queen of the cattle range be? Heaven if he can get her to bend, hell if she maintains her starchier than pressed jeans attitude.
Just as something deeper than friendship blossoms between them, Guy's personal assistant throws a wrench into the marriage of inconvenience. If Greer and Guy can't overcome that particular pothole, they have more to lose than their freedom--a lifetime of love.
Cowboy Apocalypse by Leslie Garcia
Can a former Marine and a Hollywood diva facing apocalyptic changes in their lives salvage new beginnings together?
When Stone Winters joined the Marines, he always meant to come home. A woman’s impossible dream kept him away so long that he doesn’t think there’s anything left—especially not when he meets Price Adams, a film star with another impossible dream. He just doesn’t think he’s up for that again.
Price Adams traded in a childhood on her grandparents’ ranch for Hollywood glitz in spite of being a teenage mother. Torn between the stardom she won and full-time custody of her daughter, she accepts one last role—in Cowboy Apocalypse, an inane movie about zombies being filmed on ranches around deep south Texas.
Burned by men more times than she can remember, Price doesn’t want a man in her life—especially not one who looks down on her career and the courage she needs to let it all go.
Rock-n-Roll Cowboy by Autumn Piper
Never judge a rock band by its cover song.
A cowboy leading a rock band? Logan gets an earful from his dad every time he leaves the house to perform. His rock persona destroys his ranching cred with the old-timers, and sticking to the cowboy life instead of running off to Hollywood cost him his girlfriend. Yet, he dreams of success in both worlds, and he’s determined to find a way.
Melody agrees to run a publicity campaign for a local rock band, fully immune to the sexy lead singer’s magnetism—she had childhood experience with a rocker’s absences. Still, Logan is charming, and vulnerable. And persistent…
Logan can tell Melody’s PR plan is his passport to popularity. He has to keep his hands off her, or he just might blow his one shot at making it big.
A Cowboy's Princess by Sara Walter Ellwood
Oil and water don't mix...neither does Texas oil royalty and an ex-Navy SEAL turned rodeo cowboy until danger forces them together.
All retired Navy SEAL turned rodeo cowboy Justin Tanner wants is to get to his next rodeo when a vision in a pair of tight fitting jeans walks up to him and hands him his deepest desire on a silver platter—the deed to his father’s ranch, land her grandfather had swindled him out of.
Lacey Mackenzie is true Texas oil royalty, but when her grandfather dies and leaves her the keys to the kingdom, she finds herself with more enemies than friends and only Justin’s name as the one who can protect her, but can he after she discovers only the oil under his promised ranch can save her company. When her enemies attack, he’s duty bound to save her, but can he give her the one thing she wants after a hot night of passion—his heart?
Ride, Cowboy, Ride by D’Ann Lindun
Can they find freedom together?
A locked up heart.
After imprisoned in a federal penitentiary for ten years over a woman's betrayal, the last thing Lyle Landry is looking for is love. A quick tumble? Sure. A cold beer? Absolutely. And then he's on to the rodeo circuit to reclaim his title.
Broke, busted and blue.
After her ex-husband leaves her high, dry and dead broke, another man isn’t high on Sarah Reed’s list. Especially a sexy ex-con who makes it perfectly clear he’s not interested in more than a one night stand. But his determination to make something out of himself impresses her more than she wants to admit, and she falls hard for the cowboy.
Grab your Copy today!! (Also available in print!)
.@melissa_keir: Snippets of Suspense #free
Free is an anthem to many people. Why pay for something when you can get it for free? The Snippets of Suspense book is a wonderful way to try a new to you author, a new to you story and fall in love.
BUY LINK: AMAZON
Shaken and Stirred…
Spine-tingling suspense with a steamy side of romance, written by ten award winning authors. The Sisters of Suspense Anthology #1 is a collection of snippets from their favorite Romantic Suspense stories. Chilling and thrilling. It’s guaranteed to spark your interest, stir your senses, set your imagination on overdrive and introduce you to new authors you’re going to love.
Snippets by: Veronica Forand, Melissa Keir, Jo-Ann Carson, Jacquie Biggar, Marian Lanouette, Jacqui Nelson, Pat Amsden, Marsha R. West, Kathryn Jane and McKenna Sinclair
Award Winning Suspense
These stories are first chapters to tease and tantalize you into reading more. To grabbing the books and finding out more by the authors. You will love the variety of stories from historical to contemporary, from police procedural to women sleuths. Each is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat!
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.@melissa_keir: Happy Thanksgiving
I hope all my family and friends are having a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. It's a time when we typically share what we are grateful for.
I've been battling depression for years and this year, I've decided to do something different. With the help of my good friend from high school, we are chronicling our things we are grateful for. We each share one a day for 60 days. The thought process is that when we begin to seek out those things we are grateful for, we won't focus on the negatives.
While some days, the gratitude comes easily, there are days when I have to really think past my negative thoughts to find something that I'm happy about. It's great that we each hold the other accountable and seeing her own gratitude has made mine that much more special.
Here's a look at some of the things we are grateful for....
I am grateful for willpower
I am grateful for days when I can be with students.
I'm grateful for days when I can sleep in, curl up with a good book and just veg!
I am grateful for the times when I'm not freaking out about my future
Of all things I am most grateful in this life time for my mother
I am very grateful for my girls who always bring a smile to my face.
I am grateful for the things that has been so life-affirming and supportive to me during this difficult time of my life.
As you can see... we both have a lot to be grateful for... and so do you. I'd love to hear about something you are grateful for.
Welcome Charmaine, thanks for visiting and sharing your book and a little about yourself.
Here's a bit about me and my first book, To Be Continued. My new story won't be available until mid-January so i decided to start at the beginning.
When dinosaurs roamed the earth, I had many children as the wife of a pilot during the Korean War. That’s what women did. We even starched and ironed our soldiers uniforms until my guy begged me to use the cleaners. I didn’t spread my wings until my youngest child, a daughter, turned sixteen. We lived in New York at the time, service days were over. At night I got involved in Community theater and loved the drama and humor long forgotten. A friend suggested I go to NYC and test the waters with my talent.
That’s when the sweet time began.
Years of daytime drama, stage, movies, and commercials filled my weeks. I even did voice over’s for Betty White a few times. And then my fine voice left me when a disorder called spasmodic dysphonia attacked my larynx. Bye, bye to the sweet time. What to do next?
A story came to me one night. Creative juices were ready to work. Although I didn’t know how to write, I wrote—a whole book titled To Be Continued. I sent out query letters, received some rejections but actors are used to that and then came a positive call. Vanilla heart Publishing liked my story and wanted more. I’ve been with them ever since.
Beth Malone wakes up in the morning after a night of passion with her husband of forty years to find a note. “Dear Lizzie, it’s not you, it’s me.”
Abandoned by her husband, disappointed in daughter Susie’s casual attitude—‘Dad’s having a mid-life crisis,’ Beth decides to re-establish herself as the winner she once was.
When Frank Malone returns, he’s in for a big surprise!
A producer optioned To Be Continued for a television movie. I hope it comes to fruition. Meanwhile I wrote—twenty four books this far.
Thanks, Melissa. We meet again to share our work with the reading community.
I’ve always been a sponge soaking up knowledge so when I watched Mike Nichols work in Working Girl and when he selected me to sing Happy Birthday to Melanie Griffith, I knew I had become a real actor. Dancing with Harrison Ford on break, singing with Carrie Fisher in When Harry met Sally and lunch with Anthony call me Tony Hopkins was great fun. I had the privilege of being the leg model for Geraldine Ferarro in a commercial. You may not remember her but she was the first woman up for vice president. This gave me the in for all the unions until I lost my voice.
Published by The Writers Coffee Shop
Genre: FICTION / Romance / General / Science Fiction
Hundreds of years after an asteroid slammed into Earth and sent it into a new ice age, what remains of the human race lives on in underground sanctuaries. Now, as the bicentennial anniversary of the impact approaches, a’s what she thinks.
Bethanie Greene’s life has been planned out for her since the age of thirteen. Beautiful and intelligent, she’s spent the last twelve years training to become the next Matron of the underground nation of Oceania. But when Bethanie is kidnapped by rogue extremists just six weeks shy of taking office, her world is turned upside down by the handsome stranger who rescues her.
Howard James’ life has been the polar opposite of Bethanie’s. Struggling to survive in a world where those in power wished he didn’t exist, he harbors a deep-seated resentment of the government and all its representatives. Together with his unconventional family, he shows Bethanie a life she never knew was possible, while at the same time, opening her eyes to the injustices of the government she is meant to lead.
But can she trust a stranger? And can a few days change everything she believes and desires? Against all odds, Bethanie must decide if her heart and her duties can coexist.
A yawn creeps up my throat and I suddenly feel like I haven’t slept in weeks. The temptation to curl up and go to sleep is strong, but my body is telling me I need a trip to the bathroom first.
I head down the hall to the door at the end. It’s ajar, so I push the door open—and freeze. The bathroom is not empty.
Howard stands at the sink, naked from the waist up, cleaning his teeth. Without clothing, his shoulders look twice as wide as before and every curve and dip in his muscles is clearly visible. Down the middle of his back is what looks like a big, black T. I have this crazy inclination to trace it to see how it feels.
Howard clears his throat and my gaze shoots up to find him watching me in the mirror. “Do you mind?”
He winks at me.
“Sorry.” I pull the door shut. I’m mortified to have been caught staring. I also have butterflies in my stomach again, stronger than ever, and my heart is pounding. I fan my face with my hands in an attempt to calm myself down.
Before I can get everything under control, the door opens and a still-shirtless Howard walks out.
I mentally slap myself for such an inept reply, but the view of him from the front is even better than the back. He has one of those washboard stomachs I’ve heard Gail talk about. I never understood what she meant, but now I can see how apt the description is. Once again, I find myself unable to stop staring.
“Good night, Bethanie,” Howard says strolling down the hallway.
“Howard? What’s the T on your back?” I ask, curiosity getting the better of me.
He stops and half turns towards me. “It’s a tattoo, and it isn’t a T, it’s a crucifix.”
“Yeah, it’s the cross Christ was nailed to. It is a symbol of the weight I bare in the name of justice.”
“Huh. I’m sorry, I don’t really know what you’re talking about. It’s nice, though.”
“Thanks,” he says, “but I better get to bed if I’m going to be up early to take you to the post office.”
“Night,” I call after him.
“Sweet dreams,” he calls back.
I smile. They might just be.
~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~
Melissa Kendall is an almost forty-year-old mother of two from Perth, Western Australia, the second-most isolated capital city in the world. Predominantly a stay-at-home mum, she works a few hours a week as a software support consultant. She has always loved to read and write, and spent most of her teens writing poetry and short stories. Over the years, daily life got in the way and she lost the passion for it, but after the birth of her first child, Melissa discovered e-books and her interest in writing rekindled. She is now the author of two published short stories. Matronly Duties is her first full-length novel.
~CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR~
I love sharing wonderful books with you. I've read a few books by Gina Danna and I love the passion and strife of the Roman Times. These Gladiators not only played hard on the field but off.....
Rome 108 A.D., under the Emperor Trajan, is the center of the civilized world. It is a time of sophistication and decadence, a brutal world to their conquered.
Marcus, a Roman citizen sentenced to die as a gladiator, accused by his wife and brother for a crime he did not commit. Yet death eludes him and he rises to become champion of the sands. The title he does not want. He seeks revenge but his victories in the Colosseum bestow monetary rewards he can use to save a beautiful slave, Gustina, from certain death by the beasts. She gives him a taste of love in a world full of lies, betrayal and murder.
But his overwhelming desire for vengeance, for blood and the kill, brings a higher price tag – can he satisfy the demon inside him and face the truth? A truth that will kill the woman he loves?
Love & Vengeance –
He’d exhausted her, and she trusted him enough to rest in his arms. The gods answer keenly felt. But the night would end, and life would return to normal. Him training, and she back in the Villa. Together but apart. No, his path lay clear before him – he must win his freedom. Until then, protecting her would be difficult. Tension racked his body. If Aulus got close to her…
Gustina stirred next to him. Damn, his fears woke her.
She turned her head toward him, attempting to blow the stray hairs from her forehead and failing. He brushed them aside and smiled. She blinked. The sated blue sparkle in her eyes warmed him deeply. Her lips curved happily to him even more so. The gods blessed him.
“I wake to find you staring at me,” she teased, shifting so she faced him. “I thought you were tired.”
He chuckled. “I’ve rested.” He nudged her nose with his finger.
Her nose crinkled as her grin turned lopsided. “Stop.”
Laughter filled the air. “I can’t stop. My cock has a mind of its own.”
“I’m too sore to consider such entertainment.”
Inside, he winced. Should have known – she’d never been exposed to passion. She melted under his touch. How could he leave her be? “Apologies.”
“Don’t be,” she murmured, reaching over and kissing him.
He growled and pulled her tight.
“Champion,” she said, her hand on his chest. “I cannot stay.” She rolled out of his grasp and stood, stepping into her tunic, tugging the ties up around her neck.
Fucking Romans. No, as a slave, his right to have her all night evaporated into the air. At the sign of dawn, Ludo’s whip would snap, and another day of training would begin. Her duties required her at the Villa, to attend whatever her Domina required. He wanted to spit. He threw his legs over the side of the bed and sat, watched her struggle to get the ties underneath her mass of hair that he had tangled with his fingers. With a deep sigh, he stood and helped her.
“So, I can report you are satisfied?” she teased but he heard the slight tremor in her voice belied her humor.
His arm snaked around her waist, and his mouth plundered hers. Her body molded against his, as if made for him. He finally broke the kiss but didn’t let her go. “Yes. But I want more.”
Gustina laughed. Color filled her cheeks. It made her look so alive, how could he ever let her go? But he didn’t stop her as she headed to the door. With a nod and a smile, she opened it and left him.
He fell back onto his pallet. Her smell remained in the wool blanket and he just laid there inhaling it. Gustina.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Y4BzhU (paperback)
Doesn't it sound good? Only $3.99 in ebook! Grab a copy for yourself!
Inkspell has a wonderful new story which released today. The story tells about Maria who has struggled for her whole life. If anyone deserves a happily ever after...it's her. I quickly fell in love with this strong woman who does what she needs for her child, who is her first priority. But don't just take my word for it... check it out yourself.....
Maria has lost all faith in men- abandoned by her father before she was born and abused by her boyfriend who loved the bottle more than he did her. And now she was running for her life from him, with their son.
Dave has sworn off women. He’s had it with his unfaithful wife and her numerous affairs on his dime. One the same day as his divorce, he meets a beautiful woman who easily made him forget about his promise. But she’s skittish. She’s hiding something. That makes him all the more interested in her.
So what’s a man to do when the girl he fancies would rather be anywhere but near him? He offers her a job as his live in nanny. Slowly, he turns the four of them into a family, hoping she stayed none the wiser until it was too late to back out.
She forced her legs to move and took a sidestep away from him, counting to ten to take the fear away as she took deep breaths to wake the rest of her body.
“Please take a seat,” she managed to whisper in a shaky voice. She didn’t dare turn to look at him; she couldn’t. His voice was enough to torture her.
She would always hear his wet, hoarse voice uttering those words everywhere she went and with every man she was forced to speak to. She wasn’t going to make the nightmare worse by putting a face to it.
The man chuckled, and from her peripheral vision, she watched him take a seat opposite his friends. Maria kept her gaze on the table away from her new tormentor and clutched her fingers in a tight fist as a spark of anger simmered inside her.
Great! He just had to laugh. That’s going to haunt me too! Why don’t I just look at him and complete the package.
She blinked back her tears and pressed her lips together. The anger inside her was quickly turning in to self-pity. She hated her life and herself even more. She was such a coward for letting herself get to this point. A spineless, cowardly chicken too scared to get out of the hailstorm thundering down on her.
Maria drew in a deep breath, then took out her notebook, pulling herself out of the pity hole she spent most of her time in, long enough to put on a fake smile and take their order. “What would you like to have?”
One of the men looked her over, removing what little clothes she had on with his eyes. “You,” he blurted out.
“I’m not on the menu,”
Gator Girl Extraordinaire