Last month in my April News & Things, I posted a snippet from my current work in progress, The Midnight Escape. I'm sharing that snippet here on my blog. I'm interested in hearing some feedback on it. Did you like it? Did it sound interesting? Are the characters likable? Please let me know your comments at email@example.com.
Unedited snippet from The Midnight Escape.
Suzanne didn’t think she’d ever get used to the smell. The awful smell of raw seafood, dead fish, diesel fuel, with a mix of offensive body odor filtering all through the interior of the boat. Didn’t these guys ever take showers? Talking about crab fishing and all that is involved is fine on land, but this is not going to be any picnic. Stinky men, stinky fish, motion sickness, and afraid of the water. Just how she wanted to spend a vacation. Except this was no vacation. It did provide her with an escape for two weeks. Two weeks she didn’t have to worry about Kowalski finding her. Two weeks she could just be glad to be alive. No. She’d drown. Being on this boat was going to be her death warrant.
God, she cursed the day she witnessed that murder in the hospital intensive care unit back in New York City. Her life had never been the same. After a year of testimony and in hiding, she’d been on the run.
She settled in different places, only to have Kowalski find her and then she’d managed to escape. She tried to hide in San Francisco, a small town in Montana, and a few other places. She contemplated going to Canada, but decided to try Alaska first.
She sat in one of the chairs that was bolted to the floor in the galley. She couldn’t even steady her nerves and when she looked at her hands, they shook uncontrollably. She could easily sneak off the boat. It was dark out, and there were plenty of places to hide as she made her escape. She should run, get as far away from here and from Jax and his crew as she can. Being here now gave her just enough time to make her escape from Alaska. Would Kowalski even dare to try and leave the U.S. and seek her out in Canada? Yeah, the man was crazy enough to do it. No one around her was safe, and having Jax trying to be her hero only put him at risk too.
The guys were all busy getting supplies in and packed away, and bait set up in the tubs. She heard what sounded like the engine roar to life. It’s now or never. She got up, about to take off when Jax entered the galley.
“Want to help me prepare dinner?”
“Yeah, we usually have a big meal on the boat before we leave the dock.”
Okay. So she was busted and couldn’t escape, not yet anyway. She swallowed a lump in her throat. Trying her damnedest to push feelings of panic aside.
Just before they left dock, Jax and Suzanne went to the kitchen and together, they prepared a huge meal of steak and potatoes with a large salad and dinner rolls. Everyone sat down at the dining table to eat. Jax introduced Suzanne to Randy, and Art.
“Did you guys end up pulling an initiation ritual on Will?” Jax asked.
“Oh yeah. He was sure green for a while.” Randy said and the crew laughed.
“What was the initiation ritual?” Suzanne asked.
“A greenhorn has to bite off the head of a herring.”
“A raw fish?” Suzanne asked, her eyebrows raised.
“Yeah.” The guys laughed.
“It was pretty awful. Puked my guts up for several hours after that between biting off that thing and the motion sickness.” Will picked up his fork with a piece of steak on it and put it in his mouth.
“I have a new appreciation for the process of puking after I got through that poisoning bout last week.”
“This is an…odd subject around the dinner table,” Suzanne commented.
“It falls under the category of body functions. You should know a thing or two about that.” Jax smiled.
“Yeah, I do know a few things about that, but knowing and discussing, well, it’s kind of gross, isn’t it? How do you guys stand the smell?”
“You get used to it until the last few days or so. Fish and seafood is always the same, it’s the b.o. that can get to you. Sometimes there’s not enough time in the day to shower after doing a twenty-four hour shift. All you really want to do is get two or three hours of sleep,” Matt, the engineer said.
“Yeah, you gotta stay awake and work your ass off. You might get some zzz’s on the way to the fishing spot or on the way back to port. The rest of the time you work like a zombie.” Randy smiled.
“So, Jax, what’s going on with Suzanne, here.” Matt asked.
“I hired Suzanne for this trip only, to help me. She is going to help with the cooking, and getting the dishes in the dishwasher, laundry, and help me in the wheelhouse. She will not be going out on deck at any time while we are at sea. She is not going to be helping with anything as far as crab fishing is concerned. She’s here with me, and we’re a couple.”
Suzanne’s mouth dropped open and she stared at Jax.
“Whoa…Jax, we didn’t know you had a girlfriend.” Matt said
“Ooohhh, oohh. A girlfriend who’s a personal assistant, huh?” The guys all teased.
“She’s just a bed warmer,” Rudy’s tone was…taunting.
Suzanne’s face went red. How was she going to be able to face these men day in and day out after Jax made that statement? And what was that about? We’re a couple? Not. Why would he say such a thing?
“My personal life is my business. I don’t tell you everything and don’t piss me off, or I’ll get in your face about it.”
“You guys talk as if I’m a commodity or something. I am, after all, a human being.”
“A very pretty one too.” Alan smiled.
When they finished dinner, Suzanne caught up with Jax. “Was that necessary?”
“Was what necessary?”
“Telling your crew that we were a couple?”
“Yeah. Believe me, you don’t want those horndogs hanging around you all the time. Knowing you’re mine will keep them in their place.”
“I’m capable of handling unwanted attention.”
“Well, this way you won’t have too.”
“Jax, I don’t need you to speak for me. I’m perfectly capable of speaking for myself. This isn’t the Renaissance era.”
“The Renaissance era? What does that mean?”
“In the Renaissance period, men did all the talking, all the decision making, women just stayed in the home and said nothing.”
“Suzanne, I know these guys, you don’t. I was keeping you from being harass.”
“For now on, let me speak for myself.”
Already she was picking a fight with Jax. Should she apologize for being short with him? Any other time, she’d might just have blown the whole thing off.
She looked around for an opportunity to make a run for it. She watched out one of the windows as the crew went along the side of the boat and untied the ropes.
Now! She ran out the door of the galley and on to the deck and came to a screeching halt. Damn, she was too late. They took the ramp off and the boat was already moving away from the dock. She couldn’t jump it even if she tried.
Ugh, the nightmare begins. She’ll never understand why she just didn’t get off the dang boat and run.
Suzanne made a pot of coffee. She poured Jax a cup and went to climb the stairs when a wave hit the side of the boat, Suzanne slammed against the wall and the coffee splashed over her hand. “Ouch!”
“Are you okay?” Jax hollered.
“Yeah. Just burnt my hand.” Suzanne turned and went back down to refilled the cup. She made it up to the wheelhouse and handed Jax the cup.
“Thanks.” He put the cup in a cup holder next to the gear shift.
“I’m sorry I was short with you earlier. I’m really nervous being here.”
“Jax smiled, “No problem.”
“Do you steer the boat all night?”
“No. I move the boat away from the dock at midnight, and steer for two hours, then Alan will be here about two in the morning to relieve me so I can sleep a few hours. There’s not a whole lot for the guys to do from the time we leave the dock until we get to the location except to make sure the deck is cleaned and no ice build up.” Jax reached his coffee and took a sip.
“It sure is a starry night out.” Suzanne said as she gazed up at the clear, black sky.
“Yeah, on a clear night like this, you can even see falling stars as they cross over.”
If it wasn’t for the boat swaying back and forth and the front dipping into the waves, it could almost be romantic to snuggle up together and watch the stars. Feeling his hard, muscular body against hers. Her body held memories of her arousal a few days ago while she listened to him exercise. Sex. Pure sex. She felt her cheeks grow warm. She needed to get her mind off him and sex.
“There goes one.” Suzanne pointed to the sky. “Did you get a chance to talk to Brad?”
“Yes. I told him what happened. He’s glad I got you on my boat. He doesn’t have to worry about you getting kidnapped again. I asked him to check my house out too. I didn’t want to come home and find it blown to smithereens, or broken into and have wildlife living in it. Said he’d send an officer out to it. He’s got his undercover officer posing as you, and he’s got the FBI involved.”
“I hope it all works out. But I know not to get my hopes up too high. I’ve been disappointed so many times, and really disappointed with the FBI.”
“I guess Brad is good friends with a few federal agents, so maybe this will work out better for you.”
Each hour of the trip, the water was getting rougher, and the boat rocked seriously from side to side. Waves crashed the deck and rolled off the other side of the boat, and Suzanne could feel her head move in circles. “I think I’ll go and lay down. I’m not feeling too good right now.”
“Okay. In my desk drawer are some motion sickness pills if it gets too bad.”
“Okay. Thanks, have a good evening.”
“You too, Suzanne.” Jax smiled at her. She turned around to walked down the stairs. The boat’s movement caused her to sway against one wall and then the other. She moved through the galley and into the captain’s quarters. Occasionally, she’d stiffen her legs to keep from toppling over. She sat down on the bed and put her hands on her temples to stop the movement. “Oh, let’s hope this doesn’t get any worse,” she mumbled as she laid down on the bed. Six hours later, she sprang up from the bed and headed to the bathroom. She lifted the toilet seat and began gagging. The boat was oscillating, and she was being tossed like a ragdoll. Her head was spinning, and the world was going around. She grabbed her temples with her hands. “Oh my God, stop.” She cried out. How can anyone stand to be on this boat with it wigwaging like this? How was she going to survive this? This sucks. She got down on her knees again with her head over the toilet and lost the contents from her stomach. When she felt a little stability, she grabbed the sink and pulled herself up. She yanked a Dixie cup from the suspensor and turned the water faucet on, filled it with water, and took a sip. She walked out of the bathroom and into the bedroom, and the boat took a dive to the right and she landed on the bed. She got back up, and scrambled unsteadily to the desk and pulled out the drawers until she found a prescription for Meclizine. She had to beat this, otherwise, she was in for two weeks of hell. It was bad enough she was scared to death.
The only thing that separated her from the big wall of Bering Sea water was steel. What kept her from going overboard was that she was in a cabin, and when she looked out the window, all she could see was black. Black walls of water. She gasped for air. She was suffocating, couldn’t breathe, the water rose up to her nose and then covered her face. Her lungs were full. Oh. My. God. She was in the throes of a panic attack. She hadn’t had one in years. She never could learn how to swim, and she hated the swimming pool her parents had and rarely got in it. It took her years to confess she was scared of water. Here she was out on the high seas, and no way to escape. Oh, hell. What was she going to do? She had to get out to Jax. That’s what she needed. To be with someone, she needed to be with Jax. She yanked the door opened and stumbled into the galley.
Jax had been sitting at the table and shot up. “Suzanne, are you okay?”
“No. No. I’m not. I…I can’t breathe, I can’t swim, I can’t…I can’t survive this.”
“Suzanne, sit down here.” Jax grabbed her and moved her to the chair. He crouched down on his haunches in front of her, and held both of her hands.
“Oh, my God. I’m so scared. The boat started moving really rough. I…I lost my dinner, and the room was spinning around, and my head. My head wouldn’t stop moving. I managed to take a Meclizine, and went to sit down on the bed and I looked out the window and saw nothing but…but black. Suddenly, I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I was drowning, the…the water was rising up and filling…filling my lungs.”
Hope you enjoyed reading a snippet from my current work in progress. Rest assured there will be more exciting 'events' for Suzanne and her adventure in the Bering Sea! Let me know your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Tena’s Inspiration for A Demon’s Witch:
A Demon’s Witch was my debut novel and has remained close to my heart. A Demon’s Witch hit the market and garnered best seller status. It earned The Romantic Reviews Readers Choice 2016 Nominee in the paranormal romance category. I love talking about this story.
The ideas begin to percolate as I sat in a beauty salon listening to the chatter from other customers. One woman swore she’d been approached by a vampire want-to-be.
This got me to thinking, which is scary in and of itself. What if the hairdresser was an alpha male, Demon Overlord of the Western Hemisphere that owned a multi-species salon in Washington DC? Enter a powerful witch, whose beauty caught the eye of the demon on a rainy day when she rushed into his salon. Now, unbeknownst to him, she is not any ordinary witch, but the little sister of the demon’s enforcer. Now you have a romance with unbelievable complications.
The story became a series, but the other planned books in the series took a strange turn when the majority of readers and reviewers clamored for the enforcer, Tristian’s story to be next in line. I’d never considered writing a book on the witch’s brother, the demon’s enforcer. But after mulling it over for several months and publishing three unrelated books,
I am excited to announce A Warlock’s Secrets (Tristian’s story) is awaiting cover art and will be published spring 2017. So please watch for it!
I hope you enjoy my blurb and peek into A Demon’s Witch.
Keeping a lid on all the paranormal beings inhabiting Washington D.C., is a daunting job. Bruce, a six hundred year old demon and the Territory Overlord of the Western Hemisphere, keeps his finger on the pulse of DC’s power players through the activities at his highly successful Wycked Hair Salon. His movie star good looks and body builder physique keeps his dance card full and the rumor mills running. Within these walls, his anonymity is safe, mostly.
Bruce’s world spins out of control when Angelique, a pint size, gorgeous witch, with an attitude breezes through the doors of his salon. She is the younger sister of Tristian, Bruce’s long time trusted enforcer, whose professional skills are second to none. Tristian is furious at the relationship between Bruce and Angelique, a dangerous situation, but something darker threatens them all. Will undeniable attraction between demon and witch tear their worlds apart?
At two in the morning he awoke feeling her restlessness, listening he heard her soft sobs. He pulled on his black silk lounge pants and grabbed the robe from the foot of his bed. Padding silently in his bare feet down the hall, he paused at her bedroom door just as her anguished scream filled the room. He was at the side of her bed a second later. Gathering her onto his lap, he held her unyielding body to his until her flailing limbs quieted and her troubled violet eyes opened. Cognizant of where she was now and with whom, she flung her arms around his neck and clung tight as shivers racked her slight frame.
Megan came running from the other wing of the house where the staff lived during the week. “Is everything all right?” She peeked inside Angie’s bedroom door.
“Just a nightmare, nothing to worry about. She’s awake now.
“Oh no my Lord,” Megan said in a low frantic whisper.
“Don’t call me that,” he growled, his amber eyes tinged with orange glowed in the dark room.
“Sorry. There’s something dark and dangerous chasing that one.” She nodded in Angie’s direction. “It’s not of this world.”
He lowered his voice and spoke kindly. “Go back to bed, I’ve got this handled.” He paused for a beat exhaling slowly. “For now.”
Buy Link: AMAZON http://amzn.com/1509203087
Best selling author, Tena Stetler, uses her over-active imagination to spin tales of paranormal romance/suspense and cozy mysteries. Her spicy romances spin the adventures of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. From demons to faeries and witches to vampires her intriguing characters take roads less traveled to draw you into exciting tales that engage the imagination and warm the heart.
Tena’s contact links:
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Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense. Beneath The Lake won the 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.
Her stories entwine strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you'll devour. You'll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You'll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you'll want more.
Casi's Inspiration For Beneath The Lake:
I love to talk about my, Beneath The Lake, and the eerie lake lore that inspired my muse. A town that time forgot––the history and creepy stories attached to a rural area that sleeps beneath Atlanta's famous man-made lake, Sidney Lanier, fascinated me. Homes, churches and businesses still linger beneath the surface. The moonshiners of the 1940's added built-in suspense, and the birth of NASCAR. Looper Speedway, a half-mile dirt track where bootleggers competed with their souped-up cars, exposed its cement stands in a recent draught.
There's a Lady of the Lake who haunts the ghost town too––the spine-chilling lore is the basis for book three in my Beneath The Lake series, Between The Shadows. Some say she lures victims to her watery grave. The truth is, swimmers get trapped among the deadfall of sheered-off trees and town remains. Even expert divers get tangled beneath the murky surface, hence the lake's unnerving label: Lanier never gives up its dead. The inspiration swirled in my mind, begging for a story to be told. What a perfect setting for my romantic time-slip suspense series.
Why time-slip? Ever since my childhood imagination discovered Madeleine L'Engles, A Wrinkle In Time, the idea of time travel intrigued me. And Lake Lanier, a man-made lake with mesmerizing history, presented a plausible theory. What if the excavation explosions triggered a seismic shift? Given enough energy, could the blasts rip a portal into a different dimension or a crack in time? The possibilities were endless.
The birth of Lacey Montgomery evolved through my young adult love for Jude Deveraux's A Knight In Shining Armor. The time-slip novel introduced her endearing Montgomery family. I hope my books honor her inspiration. My high school friend, Hilary Johnson, inspired the persona of my heroine, Lacey Montgomery. A lawyer, discouraged with defending criminals, yearned to help honest people in trouble. Some of Hillary's finer qualities became part of Lacey––the dysfunctional relationships came from my own personal experiences. LOL. Once these elements entwined, Beneath The Lake blossomed with an energy and life of its own.
The sequel, Beyond The Mist, picks up where the first story ends incorporating two minor characters as the new hero and heroine. Beyond The Mist is complete, in editing, and will be published in a few months.
For a Free Gift, and a chance to win my entire short story collection, Destiny: Five Novelettes With a Twist, click here:https://spark.adobe.com/page/pxekfzj8Rx4el/
I hope you enjoy my trailer, blurb, and the opening excerpt below.
A ghost town submerged beneath Atlanta's famous man-made Lake Lanier reportedly lures victims to a watery grave. But when Lacey Montgomery's car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of the icy water, she awakens in the arms of a stranger, in a town she's never heard of--34 years before she was born.
When the 2012 lawyer tangles with a 1949 hunk, fire and ice swirl into a stream of sweltering desire. Bobby Reynolds is smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes and, despite adamant protest, Lacey falls in love with a town destined for extinction, and the man who vows to save his legacy.
Threatened by a nefarious stalker, the wrath of bootleggers, and twists of fate, Lacey must find the key to a mysterious portal before time rips the lovers apart, leaving their star-crossed spirits to wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake.
Lake Lanier, Georgia—June 2011
A final thud hurled him backward, flailing through brush and thickets like a rag doll. Grasping at anything to break momentum, Rob’s hand clung to a branch wedged into the face of the precipice. Spiny splinters sliced his skin. Blood oozed and trickled into his palms, and one by one, his fingers slowly slipped.
A sharp crack echoed through the silence of the ravine as the bough succumbed to his weight. He plummeted into free-fall. Clenching his eyes, he drew in a deep breath, terrified of the pain, the mauling that waited on the jagged rocks below.
When icy water broke his fall, the chill kept him from losing consciousness. He spun, straining to see, but darkness enveloped him. Soggy clothing pulled him deeper—deeper into the murky, fathomless depths. He wrestled to squirm free from the waterlogged jacket dragging him down to a watery grave, watched the coat disappear into black obscurity. Panic gripped his stomach, or was it death that snaked around his chest, squeezing, squeezing, squeezing the air, the life from his body? Lack of oxygen burned his lungs, beckoning surrender, and a shard of rage pierced his gut as reality set in. He lunged upward with one last thrust and burst from the water’s deadly grip, gasping for air. A gurgling howl spewed from the depths of his soul and echoed into silence.
Sunlight shimmered across a smooth, indigo lake, but aside from the slight ripples of his own paddling, nothing but stillness surrounded him. He floated toward the shore, sucking deep breaths into his lungs until the pummeling in his chest subsided. When he reached the water’s edge, he hoisted his body onto the soft red clay and collapsed while the sun’s warmth drained the tension from his body.
No one knew he had survived. The rules had shifted. Now he could reinvent himself, become a stealth predator. His target: Lacey Madison Montgomery.
USA Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2jB4JXp
Worldwide Amazon Link: http://smarturl.it/BeneathTheLake
I’ve always loved romantic comedies, especially mistaken identity stories. And what better way to confuse my heroine, then identical twin brothers. Some of my dearest friends have been identical twins, from my early childhood, until now. Six sets, to be exact. I’ve always loved being the one who could tell them apart, the best friend who shared their secrets and their pranks. I thought it was time to write a story for them.
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/double-trouble-darcy-flynn/1123581128?ean=9781941925065
From the first moment coffee mogul, Will Carrington, gazes into the fiery, green eyes of Clare Sullivan, he’s hit with the feeling she does not like him. Not. One. Little. Bit. Used to being the proverbial prize by some gorgeous gold-digging fortune hunter, he’s learned to be careful. But with his hunter instincts now on high alert, he’s determined to find out the why behind her stormy-eyed glances.
Top home designer, Clare Sullivan, wants absolutely nothing to do with arrogant, self-assured Will Carrington, especially after he called her half-sister a gold digger. When she gets the opportunity to design his multi-million dollar Miami penthouse, she arrives at his office ready to decline his offer, and to tell him exactly what she thinks of his cruel and un-warranted comments.
While there, she overhears his one-sided phone conversation, which seems to further insult her sister. Assuming the worse, Clare makes the rash decision to accept the job and charge him a fortune in the process. Someone needs to teach him a lesson and what better way than with a swift kick in his wallet.
Since she and her sister have different surnames, Clare conveniently hides the connection to her sister. But while she works with Will, she discovers another side to this self-assured, woman-hater. A Jekyll to his Hyde. Charming and professional, he’s nothing like the man she’s heard about. What she doesn’t know is Will Carrington has a few secrets of his own.
Will loved it when a plan came together, and this one was flowing along beautifully. So well in fact, if he wasn’t careful, Clare might be inclined to get up and run. And that wouldn’t fit in with his plans at all.
And if she gnaws any more on her bottom lip, there won’t be much left to kiss.
He held out his arms. “Come here.”
Her eyes widened, and her jaw dropped two inches.
“In your dreams.”
“There is some truth to that.” He made a deliberate show of getting out of his chair, and an equally deliberate one of removing his jacket and tie.
After tossing both on the back of his chair, he took a step in her direction.
“What are you doing?” Alarm filled her eyes.
“Getting comfortable and finishing what you started this afternoon.” He undid the top button on his dress shirt, then the next. “Do you mind?”
“Yes, I mind.” She shot to her feet, snatched up the shawl and held it to her chest. “This has gone far enough.”
He shook his head. “Not nearly.” He stopped in front of her, gave her the slightest of smiles, then scooped her up in his arms as if she were a child.
She sucked in a breath and push hard against his chest. “Put me down.”
“That’s the plan, sweetheart. The question is, where?”
Darcy Flynn is known for her heartwarming, sweet contemporary romances. Her refreshing storylines, irritatingly handsome heroes and feisty heroines will delight and entertain you from the first page to the last. Miss Flynn’s heroes and heroines have a tangible chemistry that is entertaining, humorous and competitive.
Darcy lives with her husband, son, two English Setters and a menagerie of other living creatures on her horse farm in Franklin, Tennessee. She raises rare breed chickens, stargazes on warm summer nights and indulges daily in afternoon tea.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DarcyFlynnAuthor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0077AG3ZM
Stolen Secrets is a romance spinoff from my Illuminati (Urban Fantasy) series, so is much more character driven and oriented than what is usual for me. It’s steamier, of course, and the hero is hot, hot, hot, if I do say so myself. Here is who I pictured when writing this:
I’m sure you can see how princely he looks? What English gal stranded in Cairo could resist such a persuasive hunk? Well, the heroine, Lady Isabella Valentine tries, but being a romance I guess you know how it ends . . . .
Here’s how it begins:
Everything about the shop was irregular, including the displays which projected at odd angles, supported by ornate wooden brackets and the occasional book case or other Egyptian artifact. Its merchandise had been collected and added to over a lifetime of adventures, and the result was vastly eclectic and often mismatched and even mysterious. The windows of the cluttered antiquities dealership, not yet shuttered, allowed slanted sunlight to illuminate dust motes, thick and insidious, seeking every crevice and ornate feature in which to drift. Brushing her hand across the table to clear it of its most recent layer, Isabella unrolled the map and traced the route with her fingertip.
She heard the bell above the front door jingle, waited for the expected greeting, and sighed. Five minutes later and Misha would have arrived to clean and bar the entrance, and then she could begin preparing for the dig of a lifetime.
Offered an enormous sum by an anonymous benefactor for the acquisition of an ancient ceremonial relic, a sum that would keep the antiquities shop in Cairo her father left her afloat while she continued her own archaeological pursuits, Lady Isabella Valentine was distracted rather than tempted, then suspicious, when the dashing young Bedouin slipped in just before closing and promised her a deal she couldn’t refuse--for the very same relic. Despite his sensual appeal, she did refuse him, sending him away.
Prince Mukhtar, son of Sheikh Abdul Kummel al-Rahman, leader of the Hassana, is on a sacred Illuminati mission for Queen Isis to retrieve something stolen from one of her temples over a thousand years ago. This mortal disbeliever though an enchanting English rose, however beautiful she might be, is clearly in the power of the Usurper and must be persuaded to help him, one way or another. But neither of them know of the evil power they are up against, or what hidden dangers await them in the tomb of the high priest.
Available for preorder on Amazon, for sale in kindle, nook and trade paperback on Valentine’s Day!
Author Website: www.elizabethalsobrooks.com
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Alsobrooks/e/B00BTRP7ZG/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1485895337&sr=8-2
Love’s Redemption is a story of forgiveness and courage. I loved writing this book. Willa is someone I admire. She’s had a tough life and does everything she can to protect her loved ones. I enjoyed exploring her heart and watching her achieve happiness. And she deserves so much happiness. Lonnie is the man she needs, loyal, steady and kind. He is, without doubt, my favorite hero in the Pikes Run Series. (So far.) And while he has a calm nature, he can be just as assertive and determined as Willa. Together they make a wonderful couple, a model of true love. You will not be disappointed in their journey!
Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/2etVDdU
When she was little more than a child, Willa Kramer went to extreme lengths to save her family from their abusive father. After that horrible day, her mother and siblings moved to Tennessee, and Willa had hoped to leave Texas, its memories and Lonnie Davis, the only boy she had ever trusted, behind. But fate is unpredictable.
Five years have passed, and Lonnie finds himself reunited with Willa, the only girl he’s ever loved. He’s determined not to let her slip away again, but a figure from the past looms, threatening his hopes for the future.
He paused. His chest tightened. He’d waited a long time to see her, had wondered if he ever would. Years ago, she’d wrapped him around her little finger, and he’d grown so attached to her, he’d thought about moving to Tennessee to be with her. But then she had stopped writing. To say it had hurt would be an understatement. But he hadn’t been angry. He could never be angry with her. Never. And now she was back and near. It was too tempting.
After taking a deep breath, he moved forward then went through the screen door. Even though it gave a loud creak, she didn’t turn. Did she know it was he who stood behind her?
The light breeze ruffled her skirt. Her long, velvety hair grazed the small of her back. An ache centered in the pit of his stomach. He’d missed her. And now she was here. “Hello, Willa.”
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How did “Under Starry Skies” by Judy Ann Davis come about? Since the author had worked in adult education and understood the value of reading and writing for all adults, the story of school teacher Maria O’Donnell teaching Indian Two Bears to read and write in 1875 seemed plausible for a storyline. Two Bears was a minor but favorite and humorous character in her first book, “Red Fox Woman.” She felt she had to bring him back in the sequel because her readers fell in love with him and his humorous and wily disposition. They also fell in love with the youngest Ashmore brother, Tydall, who's the story's hero.
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Hired as the town’s school teacher, Maria O’Donnell and her sister Abigail arrive in the Colorado Territory in 1875, only to find the uncle they were to stay with has been murdered.
Rancher Tye Ashmore is content with life until he meets quiet and beautiful Maria. He falls in love at first sight, but her reluctance to jeopardize her teaching position by accepting his marriage proposal only makes him more determined to make her part of his life.
When their lives are threatened by gunshots and a gunnysack of dangerous wildlife, Tye believes he is the target of an unknown enemy. Not until Maria receives written threats urging her to leave does she realize she might be the target instead of the handsome rancher.
With the help of Tye, Abigail, and a wily Indian called Two Bears, Maria works to uncover her uncle’s killer and put aside her fears. But will she discover happiness and true love under Colorado’s starry skies?
Two Bears reached out and laid a hand on her trembling ones to still her. “Listen closely. You must tell Tye Ashmore and those you trust. You must always carry a weapon with you. Do not take chances. Do not be foolish. Foolish men are the first to die. Take a different path to the school each morning. We need to find your enemy.”
“I don’t know how.” Maria gave a choked, desperate laugh. She watched Two Bears stare with a hawklike gaze at the forest leading to the stable of the manse, then let his eyes encircle the entire wooded area at the edge of the yard.
Finally he spoke in a calm steady voice. “Enemies are not always wise enemies. They get careless. Then we will find him. . .or he will reveal himself.”
You Can Find Judy Ann Davis on:
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A Word About The Author (Optional)
Judy Ann Davis began her career in writing as a copy and continuity writer for radio and television in Scranton, PA. She holds a degree in Journalism and Communications and has written for industry and education throughout her career.
Over a dozen of her short stories have appeared in various literary and small magazines, and anthologies, and have received numerous awards.
When Judy Ann is not behind a computer, you can find her looking for anything humorous to make her laugh or swinging a golf club where the chuckles are
She is a member of Pennwriters, Inc. and Romance Writers of America, and lives in Central Pennsylvania.
Step back into the days of the classic Gothic Mystery romances like “The Shivering Sands” by Victoria Holt, “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier and “Hunter’s Green” by Phyllis A. Whitney. A new series from authors all over the world features novellas in the style of these old-time stories. Check out the “A World of Gothic” series here:
Our gothic series includes authors from, and stories set in, Scotland, Greece, Ireland, Texas, Florida, France, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, which is where mine is set. My contribution to the series is titled “Haunting at Spook Light Inn” and is based on an actual spook light phenomenon that appears in Northeastern Oklahoma, only a few miles from where my sister and brother-in-law live. To help with researching the book, I took a road trip to the area with my friends, Kathy and Krysta. My sister Ruth drove us out to ‘spook light road.’ We didn’t see the light, (Well, Kathy and I thought we saw it, but we’re not sure. And the two naysayers with us claim we didn’t, so I guess I’ll say we didn’t…), but we had a good time, and it was helpful for getting a feel for my story.
*** Many of the stories, including Haunting at Spook Light Inn, are on sale for only 99 cents each!
Amidst a blizzard, paranormal debunker Camille Burditt arrives at Devil’s Promenade in Oklahoma to research a supernatural 'spook light' phenomenon for her latest book. There she encounters a ghostly being, which she dismisses as a figment of her imagination. But as the apparition becomes too persistent to deny, Camille realizes the woman’s ghost is quite real—and that her demise was not accidental.
Declan Rush—the inhospitable, reclusive owner of the inn where Camille is staying—is linked to the deceased woman, but he is less than forthcoming. Despite his unfriendliness, Camille is oddly drawn to him, even though she suspects his connection to the spirit might be that of killer to victim.
When another suspicious death occurs, Camille intensifies her investigation. She has precious little time to ferret out the truth. Not only is her book deadline looming—she's desperate to discover if the man she’s falling for is a murderer.
Right at ten p.m., I put on my coat, boots, scarf and gloves then pulled open the front door. I went around back and keyed in the code to the garage door. The door slid open, and I climbed into a golf cart. I headed down the drive, appreciative of the thick plastic that somewhat blocked the wind. Even with the protection, I was chilled by the time I reached the road.
I parked on the shoulder and snuggled into my coat. Above me, ice-coated tree limbs drooped heavily. A howl rose in the distance. I looked around but saw nothing. Of course, coyotes and mountain lions were sneaky. They wouldn’t be parading around in plain view. From what I’d read, they kept mostly away from civilization. Even though this area was hardly what I’d call civilized, it wasn’t the wilderness either. I was certain whatever had made that sound was a safe distance away.
A three-quarter moon hung in the sky surrounded by a spattering of stars. Beautiful. I didn’t see stars like that in Miami. I focused my attention back to the end of the road. From my understanding, the best spot to see the light was just to the left of a cell tower. I could see the red lights of the tower. I studied the area left of it.
In my peripheral vision, a brief glow appeared. I whipped my head around. A translucent, but not quite human form, wafted above the ditch on the side of the road.
I gasped, and a tremble shot up my legs. It’s not real, whatever I’m seeing, it’s not real.
The figure floated toward me. I lifted the plastic, keeping my gaze on the glow.
What was it?
Not the light. It wasn’t in the right spot nor was it the right shape.
I blinked. Still there. Oh God…
I screwed my eyes shut tightly. When I opened them, the glow was gone.
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Author Alicia Dean began writing stories as a child. At age 10, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who shared the name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me), and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals. She is a freelance editor in addition to being an editor for The Wild Rose Press.
Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching (and rewatching) her favorite televisions shows like The Walking Dead, Dexter, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, Vampire Diaries, and The Originals. Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.
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I used to tell people I got a history degree because I didn’t have to take math classes for it. That was only part of the reason, but back then being a history nerd didn’t give off the best aura. Even my dad said he didn’t understand how I could take those classes because history was boring. It was one of the few things we disagreed on. Growing up, my hero was James Michener. It wasn’t only that he could write like nobody else, but he wrote history. His work inspired me, and one day I plan to write my own historical epic. My first attempt at dipping my toe into that goal was Training Tessa. I set this story in Renaissance Italy, one of my favorite time periods. It gave me an excuse to dig back into that time and place, making the writing fun. One of the biggest reasons for it, however, was the way sensuality permeated art, and life. Yes, there were lots of naysayers, but artists in particular began to look at the human body as sensual. That concept fit well with the story. I hope the story fits well with you.
Debra Doggett has been writing since childhood. Keeping stories in her head while raising three daughters, pursuing her BA in History and working as a museum professional has kept the writer inside her alive. She has also written, performed and directed for the stage, her second love.
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Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Training-Tessa-Debra-Doggett-ebook/dp/B01GAF0EYK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483472306&sr=8-1&keywords=debra+doggett
Meretessa Brexiano believes in love. Her heart yearns for a true bond with the man she weds. She also believes she can change her fate. Refusing the marriage her father has arranged, she strikes a bargain with a man she hopes can teach her the art of seduction. Nicolo da Parma is a businessman with a reputation as a connoisseur of women. Their sensuality is the palette he has painted on since his youth. This time, however, he may have struck a bargain which costs more than he planned. Training Tessa might be the greatest challenge to his own heart Nicolo's ever had.
Nicolo reached a hand toward her. “Seduction is a slow process, Tessa, a process which begins with you. It begins in here.” He tapped her forehead. “Do you even know what your own body looks like?”
She moved, grateful for even a small space between them. “That’s ridiculous! Of course I know what I look like. I see myself every day.”
“Ah, but do you really see? How can you tempt a lover with a body you are not even aware of?”
Before she could protest, he swallowed up the small, safe distance. Strange sensations stirred within her, leaving her without the ability to form the words she knew she should be saying. Nicolo’s fingers untied the lace along her bodice. He slipped the thin scarf through his hand with a sensual caress that made her shiver. What would those fingers feel like against her skin? As his hand slid over her shoulder, his fingers nudged her dress down, letting the fabric glide to the top of her breasts. He leaned in close and for a moment she thought he might kiss her. Tessa wondered what his lips would feel like, what they would taste like.
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