Posted in Anthology, christmas, Giveaway, Historical, romance on November 10, 2017

Title: Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms

Author: Leigh Greenwood with Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, and Amy Sandas

Pub Date: October 3, 2017

Synopsis

The Beating Heart of Christmas

Whether it’s a lonely spinster finding passion at last…an infamous outlaw-turned-lawman reaffirming the love that keeps him whole…a lost and broken drifter discovering family in unlikely places…a Texas Ranger risking it all for one remarkable woman…two lovers bringing together a family ripped apart by prejudice…or reunited lovers given a second chance to correct past mistakes…a Christmas spent in a cowboy’s arms is full of hope, laughter, and—most of all—love.

The six authors participating in this anthology are: USA Today bestseller Leigh Greenwood, USA Today bestseller Rosanne Bittner, New York Times bestseller Linda Broday, RITA finalist Anna Schmidt, New York Times bestseller Margaret Brownley, and USA Today bestseller Amy Sandas.

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Authors

Leigh Greenwood

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Rosanne Bittner

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Linda Broday

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Margaret Brownley

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Anna Schmidt

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Amy Sandas

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Excerpts

In the wild and untamed West, it takes a cowboy’s embrace to see you through a long winter’s night. Stay toasty this holiday season with heart-warming tales from bestselling authors Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, and Amy Sandas

From “Father Christmas” by Leigh Greenwood

“If you’re going to shoot me, get on your feet first.  I’d hate to have it known I was killed by a woman so weak she couldn’t stand up.”

“I can stand up,” Mary insisted.  To prove her point, she threw back the covers and started to get to her feet.  Immediately she felt faint.

Joe caught her before she fell.

“I never met such a foolish woman in my life.  Stay in that bed, or I’ll tie you down.  You can shoot me when you feel better.  Meantime, you’d better give me this.”  He took the pistol from her slackened grasp.  “Next thing you know, you’ll drop it and put a hole through the chicken pot.  I’m not chasing down another rooster.”

Mary started to laugh.  The whole situation was too absurd.  Nothing like this happened to ordinary people.  She was ordinary, so it shouldn’t be happening to her.

She certainly shouldn’t be experiencing this odd feeling.  It almost felt as if she wanted to cry.  But she didn’t feel sad.  She felt bemused and bewildered.  Her brain was numb.  Here she was, completely helpless, and she had tried to shoot the only human who had come along to help her.

She must be losing her mind.

From “A Chick-a-Dee Christmas” by Rosanne Bittner

“Sadie Mae!”  Jake screamed her name as he made it around the other side of the small hill.  He couldn’t see or hear her.  All he saw was Tommy curled up on his knees against one of the boulders, a cougar clawing at his shoulder.

Jesus, where is Sadie Mae!  Jake had to kill the cougar, but the bullet could go right through into Tommy or even into Sadie Mae.  He could kill both of them!

“Grampa!  Grampa!” he heard someone screaming behind him.

The boys must be watching.  “Don’t shoot!” Jake ordered them.

It all happened in a matter of perhaps three seconds.  Jake knew he had no choice.  He cocked and raised his 30-30 Winchester.  A six-gun might not do the job … but the risk!  The risk!  The big cat was moving violently over Tommy.  Sadie Mae must be under him!  One of the other kids could be next!  He aimed … and prayed … and fired … cocked the rifle again … fired again.

 

From “The Christmas Stranger” by Linda Broday

Hank slowly tugged the long silk ribbon from around her neck, trailing the red fabric down one arm. He leaned closer. “There’s some mistletoe right over your head. I hope I’m not pressing my luck, but do you mind if I kiss you again?”

A happy, warm glow swept over her. “I don’t see anyone trying to fight you,” she whispered.

He pulled her up into his arms and drew the ribbon around her, tethering her to him. Sidalee had never felt more alive, more breathless, more…hot.

She tilted her face to him, feeling the wild beat of his heart that matched hers. He gently anchored her against the hard wall of his chest. The moment his lips touched hers, an aching hunger swept through her, turning her knees to pudding.

The yearning for him was so strong she clutched him to keep from falling in a puddle at his feet. One arm curled around his neck just under his hair. The strands brushed her skin like tiny feathers.

That’s when she knew she was falling in love with Hank Destry.

 

From “A Texas Ranger for Christmas” by Margaret Brownley

“Sadie, I care for you. I really do. I care for Adam, too. Is there a chance you and I can—?”

The question hung between them, the air taut with tension. At least he didn’t say love. Had he said he loved her, she would have been a goner for sure.

“No. No chance,” she said. Bad news was best delivered quickly and with as few words as possible.

He looked like she had hit him. “After last night I thought…”

“You thought wrong,” she snapped. Afraid of losing control, she curled her hands tight by her side. “All that fancy talk about retirin’ is just that—talk. You’ll always be a Texas Ranger. You won’t be able to help yourself. Rangers don’t make very good husbands. Don’t make good fathers, either.”

“I told you I planned on quitting and I meant it.”

She heaved a sigh. “Richard told me the same thing, and he’d lasted here at the farm three months. Three lousy months!”

“I’m not Richard.”

“No, but you’re one of them. Just like Richard and my pa. Pa promised to quit, too. But there was always another outlaw to chase. Another call to adventure.”

As a child she couldn’t compete with the lure of the rangers. But neither had she been able to compete as a grown woman.

Cole’s burning eyes held hers. “I’ll always be there for you,” he said, “And that’s a promise.”

She scoffed. “Those are mighty pretty words. They were pretty when Papa said them. They were pretty when Richard said them, too. But you know what? They don’t mean beans.”

For several moments the only sound was Adam banging on the table with his spoon.

“Sadie,” he said at last, his voice thick with emotion. “How can I prove that I mean what I say? What will it take?” His tender eyes met hers. “How can I make you believe that I will never leave you?”

“You can’t,” she whispered. It near broke her heart to say it, but it was better to lose him before the first stirrings of love turned into something deeper. As hard as it was now, it would be so much harder, later. “You can’t.”

From “A Christmas Baby” by Anna Schmidt

Louisa Johnson was late slipping out of the house, but she knew Rico would be there waiting. She had come to a decision and she would not be denied, not even by her father—a man she had adored her entire life, but one who now stood in the way of her being with Rico. She had no idea how to make things right with her father. What she knew with more certainty than she had ever known anything in her nineteen years was that she loved Rico Mendez and he was devoted to her. If her father couldn’t accept that—couldn’t look past their differences and see Rico for the kind, hard-working man he was—then she would have to force his hand.

From “A Christmas Reunion” by Amy Sandas

Her voice hit him like a blow straight to his sternum. Warren took an instinctive step back. Old memories sliced through him like the sharp edge of a scalpel against raw flesh.

It couldn’t be.

They were hundreds of miles from where he had last seen Honey Prentice in Montana. That distance was the only thing that had made it possible for him to come back out West. He had assured himself there was no chance he’d accidentally run into the woman who had torn his heart from his chest all those years ago.

But her gasp as she stepped out into the room told him he’d been wrong.

She was as beautiful as she had been as a girl of seventeen.

And she was not happy to see him.

She crossed the room with long, swift strides that had her cotton skirts whipping about her legs. In an easy movement, she pulled the bearded outlaw’s gun from his belt before he knew what she was about and then turned the weapon on Warren.

Fire flashed in her brown eyes as she held the gun steady with two hands. “What the hell are you doing here, Warren Reed?”

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Posted in Giveaway, mystery, romance on November 8, 2017

BOMBSHELL

(What Doesn’t Kill You, #9)

An Ava Romantic Mystery

by

PAMELA FAGAN HUTCHINS

  Genre: Romantic Mystery / R-Rated

Publisher: SkipJack Publishing

Date of Publication: July 11, 2017

Number of Pages: 236

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Temp worker by day, lounge singer by night, single mom Ava is having a hard time breaking up with her long-distance boyfriend and making it without the support of her parents on the island of St. Marcos. Things improve dramatically when she lands a too-good-to-be-true job at a virtual currency exchange, where she meets a seriously sexy man, and goes to work for a boss so incredible he sponsors her on a trip to New York to record a demo. But when Ava stumbles across the raped and murdered body of a young woman, she recognizes her from a shared trauma back in their school days. Ava is devastated and throws herself into avenging the girl’s death. From that moment on, it’s one bombshell after another, going off closer and closer to Ava and the people she cares about most.

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PRAISE FOR BOMBSHELL:

“Just when I think I couldn’t love another Pamela Fagan Hutchins novel more, along comes Ava. She’s smart and sassy, with a story full of juicy plot twists. I enjoyed Bombshell from cover to cover!” — Marcy McKay, author of Pennies from Burger Heaven 

“To finally get a whole book of Ava’s beautiful voice and attitude was so much fun. And then to see that her outer armor was mixed with the very real insecurities and struggles that we can all relate to was magical. She personifies bombshell in every sense of word and I can’t wait to have her voice in my head again in Stunner.” — Tara Scheyer, Grammy-nominated musician, Long-Distance Sisters Book Club

“Entertaining, complex, and thought-provoking.” — Ginger Copeland, power reader 

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes overly long e-mails, award-winning and best-selling romantic mysteries, and hilarious nonfiction from deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and way up in the frozen north of Snowheresville, Wyoming.

Her What Doesn’t Kill You romantic mystery series is Janet Evanovich meets Sandra Brown and a smidge of Alice Hoffman’s practical magic, featuring a revolving lineup of interrelated female amateur sleuths. She is passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, riding her gigantic horses, experimenting with her Keurig, and traveling in the Bookmobile.

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AWARDS

2017 WINNER Silver Falchion Award, Best Mystery

2016 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Cross Genre Fiction

2015 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Cross Genre Fiction

2014 USA Best Book Award Finalist, Cross Genre Fiction

2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-finalist, Romance

2013 USA Best Book Award Finalist, Business: Publishing

2012 Winner of the Houston Writers Guild Ghost Story Contest

2012 WINNER USA Best Book Award, Parenting: Divorce

2011 Winner of the Houston Writers Guild Novel Contest, Mainstream

2010 Winner of the Writers League of Texas Manuscript Contest, Romance

 

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Science Fiction on November 3, 2017

Title: Perfect Gravity

Author: Vivien Jackson

Series: Wanted and Wired, #2

ISBN: 9781492648192

Pub Date: November 7, 2017

Synopsis

Second in a snarky, sexy sci-fi romance series with the perfect balance of humor, heart, and heat.

Kellen Hockley usually keeps quiet about his past, but once upon a time he loved a girl named Angela. He hasn’t seen her in a decade, but now he has to break the news to her that his team of rogue treasure hunters accidentally killed her husband. He’s had better days…

It’s not the news that’s delivered to Angela Neko that breaks her apart—it’s the rumbly, Texas drawl delivering it. She can’t believe she’s hearing Kellen’s voice again. But there’s no time for distractions. When Angela’s own life is threatened, yielding up all of her lies and secrets, she and Kellen must figure out how to reverse the geopolitical firestorm she lit to save the world, to save Kellen’s cat…and just maybe to save each other.

 

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Excerpt

He took her down to the skywalk, second-guessing himself the whole dadblamed time. Nothing was tidy about having Angela here in the Pentarc. Angela who now knew Chloe existed and could definitely do something about that if she chose to. Angela whose mech-clone assistant scared the crud out of her, probably for a very good reason, which he was going to get to the bottom of sooner rather than later.

Angela who he wanted very much to take back to her room, as she’d suggested. He happened to know that unit contained a giant bed and locks to keep the whole rest of the world out.

It wasn’t like showing her his global mechanized critter network was going to unhook any of those complications. Was more likely to knot them up further. But he had said he’d help her get the information she wanted. Well, this was his best way of fulfilling that swear.

She chatted as she walked. About the scenery, about the on-again, off-again drought that plagued this area, about some of her buddies from school who she insisted had also been his. They hadn’t. Nobody in the entire hoity, posh academy had welcomed the hick kid from Texas who didn’t even know what a quinoa was. Nobody but her.

He knew she nattered on because it brought her comfort, probably because there were other things on her mind, and he knew he ought to halt her ramble, make her welcome, settle her. But damn, he’d missed her voice. Not the public voice but the one she’d saved for him, laden with expletives drifting downward from contralto.

The concrete subfloor on the transition from the skywalk to the North tower got a little rough from time to time. Nobody had ever finished out this tower, and it was skeletal in most places, dusted with sand and weather-roughed. The view was downright gothic when you approached it like this, in the middle of the air with nothing but twilit desert all around.

When Angela stubbed her slipper on a patch of uneven floor, Kellen caught her elbow without even thinking. “Watch your step here.”

She paused, looked up at him. An expression fluttered over her face, but he couldn’t lock it down. Fear? Exhaustion? “Where exactly are you taking me?”

“Right here. North Tower.” Actually not far at all. His furry feline general liked this floor best, with its combination of not a lot of people and that permaglass skywalk. She was something of a sun worshipper.

Angela’s fine eyes narrowed. “For what purpose?”

“To show you where I get all my information and why the firewall doesn’t matter.”

She searched his face for a long time, then looked away and shook her head. “I’m sorry. It’s so hard to trust. I just saw all those empty rooms, most with no windows and long drop-offs into nothing…”

Oh. Well, that stung. She thought he was bringing her here, to an abandoned, witness-free area, to do her harm. Jesus. That was not him. Not even a little bit. How come she didn’t know him better than that?

His first reaction was anger, raising spikes, tightened belly, ready to tussle. Defensive reaction. Visceral. He took two deep breaths, forced himself to continue to the second reaction. Which was a deep soul-pulling wish she would trust him, completely and inherently, as maybe one time she had. Now she did not. That was the naked fact.

When his logic brain kicked in, he admitted anybody who survived an assassination attempt had better be cautious to the point of paranoia. What did she really know about him? That he associated with outlaws and murderers. That he still nursed a grudge.

And lord, what he was about to show her wasn’t going to make him look any better. If anything, it would bolster her image of him as a loose cannon, dangerous and walking the teetery edge of bioethics.

“Listen, princess,” he said, sliding his hand up from her elbow, along satin skin, “you don’t have any specific call to trust me. It’s been a long time since we…well, since you knew my mind. And lord knows we’ve both changed plenty. You probably look at me and don’t even know who I am, what I’ve become. I can’t ease your worry on that score, but I can promise you one thing: I will never hurt you. And if folk around me ever try, I will end them.”

Her mouth opened, but she didn’t speak.

About the Author

VIVIEN JACKSON is still waiting for her Hogwarts letter. In the meantime, she writes, mostly fantastical or futuristic or kissing-related stories. When she isn’t writing, she’s performing a sacred duty nurturing the next generation of Whovian Browncoat Sindarin Jedi gamers, and their little dogs too. With her similarly geeky partner, she lives in Austin, Texas, and watches a lot of football.

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Posted in christmas, excerpt, Giveaway, romance on November 1, 2017

Title: A Very Cowboy Christmas

Author: Kim Redford

Series: Smokin’ Hot Cowboys, #3

Pub Date: October 3, 2017

Synopsis

Third in a spicy contemporary cowboy series from acclaimed author Kim Redford. Sydney Steele needs to wrangle cowboy firefighters to model for her charity Christmas calendar, and Dune Barrett—who she has in mind for Mr. December—is just the man for the job.

There’s nothing like a firefighting cowboy to keep you toasty warm this Christmas…

Christmas is coming up, and single mom Sydney Steele is determined to make this a holiday to remember for Wildcat Bluff County. She still has to get those pesky, reluctant—and deliciously attractive—firefighting cowboys to pose for her charity calendar. They claim they’re too busy pursuing an unknown arsonist to take a break.

Dune Barrett has been flirting with Sydney for months, so he jumps at the chance to give her a hand. And when he agrees to pose as Mr. December, she couldn’t be happier. But to really win her over, Dune will have to convince eleven other guys from his crew to exploit their good looks for charity…a task much easier said than done.

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A note from Kim Redford

As a holiday tradition, imagine a big, roaring bonfire with red and orange flames leaping upward along with spirals of pale smoke. I’ll be in my chair beside the fire, along with family and friends, in an open meadow surrounded by the sight and scent of evergreen trees. Bright stars twinkle in the canopy of dark sky above us. Dogs and cats lounge here and there. Guitar and flute and voice serenade us with favorite Christmas carols and old-time country songs that stir fond memories of our close community of loved ones, as well as those who are no longer with us or who are too far away to be there. We drink hot apple cider, roast marshmallows, cook hotdogs, and make s’mores as we sing and visit while making plans for another wonderful year.

And just so you know, there’s always room for one more at our bonfire.

Excerpt

Sydney felt the heat of Dune’s gaze and glanced up at him. He’d moved closer. She inched toward Celeste, her 1959 pink Cadillac, but if she backed up any farther, she’d be impaled on the tinsel-wrapped longhorns. Drat that gleam in his blue eyes. He had it whenever he was around her, and it had a tendency to strike sparks in her.

“You want me to look under the hood?” He leaned forward with a little quirk of his sensual lips.

So kissable. She squashed that thought and immediately was swamped with another one that had him looking under her skirt instead of the hood. What was wrong with her? She definitely did not want him looking anywhere but at her convertible. She had to get her mind back on business.

“Are you in a hurry?”

“Yes!” She was in a hurry to get away from him, or she’d be wearing tank tops instead of sweaters this Christmas.

“You want to step away from Celeste?”

How could she when he was right in front of her? If she made a single move, she’d be right up against his body. If she could’ve, she would’ve looked into the distance to try to clear her mind of unacceptable thoughts, but she couldn’t see over his broad shoulders. He totally filled her world with his presence.

“Guess you’ve got a lot on your mind.”

She rolled her eyes. He didn’t know the half of it. She caught her lower lip with her upper teeth in frustration.

He reached out, tugged her lip free with the pad of his thumb, and gently rubbed back and forth as if to soothe a hurt. “No need to worry. I’m here to help you now.”

She felt chills run up her spine at his gentleness and concern. She didn’t mean to do it—and wouldn’t have been so bold if he hadn’t short-circuited her brain—but she flicked the tip of her tongue over the edge of his thumb and tasted the essence of him. All male.

“Now, why’d you go and do something I can’t resist?” He eased his thumb across her lower lip, down her jaw, and captured the back of her neck with his fingers to hold her head in place as he lowered his face toward her.

She knew a kiss was coming—right on the side of Wildcat Road in front of the whole county—and she knew she should say something or do something to stop him, but she wanted his kiss more than anything else she could imagine at that moment. It’d been so long since a man had held her or kissed her that she wasn’t sure she even knew how to respond anymore.

When his lips finally touched hers—just a gentle brush really, as if he was gauging her response—she felt swept up in a blazing wildfire.

And yet she sought to keep her wits about her. She should focus on business, not her own sudden need. She put her hands flat against his broad chest to push him back, but she quickly realized she couldn’t budge him because he was so much bigger and stronger. She felt a little shock. She was five ten—although she’d claimed to be six feet tall since her high school basketball days when height was critical—and sported enough muscle to work a ranch, but he made her feel almost petite.

She intended to push him away—absolutely, no doubt about it. Instead, she found her hands slowly sliding up his chest, making her hyperaware of the soft cotton of his shirt as his muscles hardened under her touch. All her senses came shockingly alive. She heard a mockingbird’s song, caught the tangy scent of cedar trees, and Dune’s taste still lingered on her tongue. He didn’t move a millimeter, as if he’d waited a lifetime for her to touch him.

When she reached his shoulders, he gave her another feather-light kiss that promised more than it gave. Not nearly enough, not now that her mind had given way to her body. She sighed against his soft lips and clasped his shoulders to pull him closer. He groaned—as if the ragged sound was torn from his gut—at her response to him. She returned his kiss, teasing his lips with the tip of her tongue until she tore another groan from him, and he plunged inside while he crushed her against him, holding her head in one hand and her waist in the other as if he’d never let her go.

She moaned as she thrust her fingers into his thick hair, shivering with heat as he plundered her mouth and made her weak in the knees. She quickly realized that she had an answer to her question. No, indeed, she hadn’t forgotten how to give or receive a kiss, particularly one of this magnitude.

Finally, when she was putty in his hands, he raised his head and looked at her with eyes the color of midnight. She simply blinked in response, unable to articulate a single word.

“If you let me into your life—even a little bit—I promise not to disappoint you.”

About the Author

KIM REDFORD is an acclaimed author of Western romance. She grew up in Texas with cowboys, cowgirls, horses, cattle, and rodeos. She divides her time between homes in Texas and Oklahoma, where she’s a rescue cat wrangler and horseback rider—when she takes a break from her keyboard.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on October 27, 2017

Synopsis

Ewan Mostyn thinks a job as a duke’s daughter’s bodyguard will be easy—but Lady Lorraine has a few tricks up her sleeve that spark an undeniable passion

Fiercely loyal to his friends and comrades, Ewan Mostyn is the toughest in a group of younger sons of nobility who met as soldiers and are now trying desperately to settle back into peaceful Society. Ewan trusts his brawn more than his brains, but when he’s offered a job watching the Duke of Ridlington’s stubbornly independent daughter, he finds both are challenged.

Lady Lorraine wants none of her father’s high-handed ways, and she’ll do everything in her power to avoid her distressingly attractive bodyguard—until she lands herself in real trouble. Lorraine begins to see Ewan’s protectiveness in a new light, and she can only hope that her stoic guardian will do for her what he’s always done—fight for what he loves.

Excerpt

Lady Lorraine manages to sneak off to meet Francis, her would-be-lover in the garden. Ewan Mostyn tracks them down and interrupts Lady Lorraine trying to convince Francis to kiss her.

_______________________________________________________________

“Kiss me,” she said, looking up at Francis with adoring eyes the bastard did not deserve in the least. “I could wait forever if you would but kiss me.”

It was perhaps the silliest speech Ewan had ever heard. It was the sort of thing he expected one of Beaumont’s women to say, and yet despite the melodrama of the sentiment, at that moment Ewan hated Francis more than he ever had when his cousin had been his daily tormentor.

His loathing was so strong and so incomprehensible that Ewan regained control of his body and stepped out from behind the topiary.

Francis saw him first, and he stiffened and stepped back, putting a respectable distance between himself and Lady Lorraine. His expression was wary and, to Ewan’s satisfaction, frightened. The lady spun around as well, but her face showed no fear, only annoyance. She gave a long sigh. “Mr. Mostyn, I believe you know your cousin, Mr. Mostyn.”

“Ewan.” Francis looked him up and down. “We seem to keep meeting. Run along now. Lady Lorraine and I were having a private word.”

Ewan held out his hand to Lady Lorraine. “Come.”

“I see your vocabulary remains much the same,” Francis remarked. “As I’m certain you will use your simple grunts and growls to inform His Grace about this meeting, be sure to mention that I did nothing improper.”

“More’s the pity,” Lady Lorraine muttered. “At least the lecture and scolding would have been worth it.”

Ewan had the urge to laugh. Instead, he beckoned her with his outstretched hand. She did not take it. “I am not a dog, Mr. Mostyn. You needn’t crook your finger at me.”

Francis bowed. “I see I am no longer needed. My lady, sleep well tonight. I will see you…soon.” With what Ewan perceived was to be a meaningful look, Francis marched in the direction of Carlton House.

Since the lady seemed to have such an objection to them, Ewan folded his arms across his chest. He waited for her to speak. He felt he should say something, but he was not certain what that something should be. He had supposed Francis to be taking advantage of the lady, while it appeared she was the one intent on ruination. Francis was no paragon of honor and virtue, and Ewan would have liked little more than to beat the man to a pulp. But he could not fault his cousin for the scene he’d witnessed tonight.

“You won’t tell my father, will you?” Lady Lorraine finally broke the silence.

Ewan let out a breath of surprised air—half laugh, half incredulity.

The lady grasped his forearm. “If you do, it will not only doom me, but it will reflect badly on you as well.”

Ewan inclined his head, acknowledging the point. He’d made mistakes before, and he always took his punishment like a man. He was not much of a gentleman, but he had retained enough of his upbringing to know that one did not lie or cheat to avoid trouble. One faced the consequences of his mistakes with head held high. “Then so be it.”

She gaped at him. “You do not even care? You will be dismissed.”

Ewan blew out a breath. He did care. He cared very much, much more than he wanted to admit to.

Her hand on his forearm tightened, and he looked down at her. The damned chit was shivering with cold. Ewan was impervious to all but the coldest temperatures, but she looked almost blue. “Very well. Tell him. Nothing happened anyway.”

“Not for your lack of trying. I should tell your father you don’t need a bodyguard. You need to be locked in a convent.”

Now her eyes narrowed, and she released his arm as though it were filth she could not bear to touch any longer. “So now I am to be censured by you?”

He frowned at her. “Why not me?”

“Are you married?”

The question took him off guard. Conversation with women generally had the effect of unsettling him. He could never predict where their maze-like minds might wander. Conversation with men began at point A and ended at point B. Women often meandered to C then R and back to L before coming to the point.

“It is a simple question, Mr. Mostyn. Are you married?”

He shook his head.

“I didn’t think so. Are you a virgin?”

Ewan gaped at her. The question was so wildly inappropriate that, in his opinion, she had abandoned the points of the alphabet all together.

She waved a hand. “Yes, I know I am not supposed to ask you that, but humor me. I am making a point. Just answer yes or no.”

He shook his head as he did not trust his voice at the moment.

“Of course you are not. And yet no one thinks anything of the fact that you have bedded a woman who is not your wife. If I had to guess, with those eyes and those shoulders and chest”—she looked him up and down, and he actually felt himself heat at her frank perusal—“I imagine you have bedded more than your share of women.”

Ewan’s head was spinning at the rapidity of her speech, but what he did understand was that she had just complimented him. She admired his body, and the thought of her eyes on him caused him to have to take a breath. His chest felt tight and he lifted his hand to loosen the goddamn cravat before he remembered where he was.

“Of course,” she went on, “it is seen as perfectly natural for a man to want to kiss a woman, touch her, undress her, take her to bed, and—”

Ewan cleared his throat, not only because the already inappropriate conversation had descended beyond the pale, but because her description of the intimacies between men and women made him think of doing those things with her. And now the woman had not only fired his blood but stirred his rod. If she continued in this vein, his state of growing arousal would be evident to both of them.

“My point,” she said—and thank God she was finally reaching it—“is that it is considered natural for men to want these things, but when a woman wants them, then we should be locked away.” She gestured wildly with her hand, losing hold of her wrap so it slid to the ground and trailed after her as she paced. “What is so wrong with wanting a man to kiss me?” She gave Ewan a direct look, challenging him to give her an answer.

About the Author

Shana Galen is the national bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Her books have been sold in Brazil, Russia, and the Netherlands and featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She is a happily married wife and mother of a daughter and a spoiled cat and lives in Houston, Texas.

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Posted in excerpt, romance, Spotlight, women on October 26, 2017

The highly anticipated and epic conclusion to the Chasing Red duology

THE RIVETING CONCLUSION TO RED AND CALEB’S EPIC STORY
Veronica “Red” Strafford’s painful past has made trusting Caleb Lockhart difficult. But Red might have pushed Caleb away one too many times…

I want you to fight for me. Just as I fought for you. But you wouldn’t.
I stood there, staring after him, tears pouring down my face.

 

Chasing Red Duology:

Chasing Red (Book 1)

Always Red (Book 2)

Buy the Book

Excerpt

We were back at the beach. It was past midnight, and the place was deserted, as if it had been waiting for us all day.

As if it had been waiting for this moment.

We lay on the sand, on the same blanket he’d brought when he took us here the very first time. It seemed like a long time ago. Before, he would have reached for my hand, threading his fingers through mine.

Not this time.

I turned onto my side so I could look at Caleb. His eyes were closed. The breeze blew a lock of his bronze hair against his forehead, and I wanted to brush it back so badly.

“I miss you, Caleb.”

He didn’t respond. His eyes remained closed, but I knew he heard me because I saw his breath catch in his chest.

I had hurt him badly, and he was probably still angry at me. He must hate me, but I would rather have that than a cold shoulder.

I needed to explain. I needed to tell him what I really felt.

I took a deep breath, gathering courage. “All my life I had to work hard to get the things I wanted. To reach the places I needed to be. I had to be strong—stronger than most people. Because I had to be. I shut out everyone. And why not?”

I rolled onto my back and looked up to the dark velvet sky, at the bright half-moon and the stars glittering like diamonds. It was so beautiful, so peaceful with the sound of the lapping waves. But a storm was brewing inside me.

“People are selfish,” I continued. “They always want something from you, and when they get it, they leave. So I never let anyone in. But then…I met you. You made me feel. You made me want things that I never allowed myself to want before. And it scared me. It scared me so much. So I didn’t trust you. I didn’t allow myself to. Every time I felt myself getting close to you, I pulled away.”

“Why?” he asked, his voice low and quiet. “Because…because it hurts to hope for the impossible. How can someone like you want to know someone like me? All I have is a suitcase of sad stories and a broken heart. My walls are high and impossible to break down, and I won’t let anyone in. But I felt your warmth…seeping through the cracks. How did you know where to find me?” My voice broke. “No one else ever worked to find me, Caleb. No one else stayed long enough to even try”—I felt a tear slide down my cheek— “until you.”

I sat up, pulling my legs close to my chest and burying my face in my arms. I felt him sit up and move closer to me.

“I didn’t trust what you felt for me,” I admitted. “I was scared. I kept waiting for you to disappoint me. Everyone else did. And I think that…that…somehow there’s something wrong with me. Something missing. That I’m not enough to make you stay, that somehow, someday you’re going to get bored with me and leave.” I sobbed. “All my life, my dad told me it was my fault. That I was the reason for all the bad things…” I swallowed. I didn’t want to talk about him. I didn’t even know why I’d mentioned him.

“I wish he was in front of me so I could hurt him,” Caleb said. “More than he hurt you.”

I heard the anger in his voice. He paused for a moment, and I could hear him breathing slowly, trying to calm himself. When he spoke again, his voice had softened.

“Red,” he whispered. “Do you know how I felt when you left me?”

I lifted my head and looked into his eyes. The emotion I saw in them—the intensity and the tenderness—filled my throat.

“I felt ruined. You ruined me. There is anger, but every time I see you, my anger fades away. And there is pain, but what is love without pain? Because, Red, every time you break me apart, you put me back together. And I always come out better than before. So.” He cupped my face, stroking my cheek with his thumb. “Ruin me.”

 

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Posted in Book Blast, Giveaway, romance on October 25, 2017

BOOK BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – LOVE UNCOVERED

Have you read Love Uncovered by Laura Barnard yet?  This sweet and sexy romantic comedy is the second standalone in the Babes of Brighton series.  It follows Brooke and Nicholas and their whirlwind of a romance.  myBook.to/LoveUncovered

Synopsis

Independent woman to her core, Brooke Archer has always been happy to hit it and quit it with the men in her life. But when her beloved Nan suffers from poor health, Brooke realises just how precious life is and decides it’s time to face her daddy issues and seek out her estranged father. Without so much as a name or photo, and a cagey Mum withholding vital information, it’s going to be no easy task.

Nicholas Parker is a relationship guy and always has been. Abandoned by his mum when he was seven he craves love and security. But finding a woman who can conquer his trust issues is no easy feat. Brooke is exactly the kind of woman he doesn’t need.

Pulled together by some invisible force, can Brooke and Nicholas overcome their differences to uncover true love?

With reviews like this what are you waiting for?

‘What a fast, fun flirty little book!’

‘Read in a day, couldn’t put it down!’

‘A fantastic pick you up book of love and life.’

Head on over to her facebook page to enter her $10/£10 Amazon Gift Card giveaway.  Good Luck!

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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Historical, Review, romance on October 22, 2017

Synopsis

When Harriet Beecher marries Calvin Stowe on January 6, 1836, she is sure her future will be filled romance, eventually a family, and continued opportunities to develop as a writer. Her husband Calvin is completely supportive and said she must be a literary woman. Harriet’s sister, Catharine, worries she will lose her identity in marriage, but she is determined to preserve her independent spirit. Deeply religious, she strongly believes God has called her to fulfill the roles of wife and writer and will help her accomplish everything she was born to do.

Two months after her wedding Harriet discovers she is pregnant just as Calvin prepares to leave for a European business trip. Alone, Harriet is overwhelmed-being a wife has been harder than she thought and being an expectant mother feels like living another woman’s life. Knowing that part of Calvin still cherishes the memory of his first wife, Harriet begins to question her place in her husband’s heart and yearns for his return; his letters are no substitute for having him home. When Calvin returns, however, nothing seems to have turned out as planned.

Struggling to balance the demands of motherhood with her passion for writing and her desire to be a part of the social change in Ohio, Harriet works to build a life with her beloved Calvin despite differing temperaments and expectations.

Can their love endure, especially after “I do”? Can she recapture the first blush of new love and find the true beauty in her marriage?

Review

This book gave me a look into the past and what life might have been like for a woman that had more dreams than just being a mother and wife.

While this book is fiction, it is based on a real person, Harriet Beecher Stowe. While I have heard the name and know she wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, I really didn’t know much about her at all. This authors story, while mostly fiction, does have some truth to it. There is a section at the end of the book that goes chapter by chapter to explain what is true and where she obtained the information. All I can say is a lot of research went into this book!

All that aside, I think I identified with Harriet. I wasn’t meant to be a homemaker. Sure I love to cook, but the cleaning? no thank you! Thankfully men have evolved since the mid 1800’s and don’t always expect women to be the homemaker. But at that time, women had really no rights and not much of a voice.

Calvin is a good man but was set in his beliefs about a family due to how he was raised and his first wife. Not that any of what he learned was wrong, but to fall in love with Harriett when she was the complete opposite, you would think he might adjust his thinking. Over time he did, but it took time and others to help him understand who he married and that she was not his mother or first wife.

I really enjoyed this book especially the last half of the book. I thought that the first half of the book was slow, but it was setting everything up so that the last half would bring all of the situations to a head. I learned something about Harriet and am now curious and want to learn more about this woman who was ahead of her time.

We give it 3 1/2 paws up!

About the Author

Kilpack, Josi-1Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney award for Mystery/Suspense in 207 and Wedding Cake, book twelve in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series won in 2014. Josi was also the Best of State winner in Fiction for 2012. Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her husband, children and super-cute – but not very friendly – cat.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on October 20, 2017

Synopsis

As soon as the mistletoe goes up, that’s when life gets really interesting

Darcy Shaughnessy has gotten used to her overbearing brothers chasing away any man she wants to date. But a chance meeting with a brooding – and deliciously handsome – artist is about to make this holiday season one to remember.

There’s only one thing Benjamin Tanner loves more than his woodcarving: solitude. Then he gets snowed in with Darcy in his cozy cabin in the woods, and their heated feelings begin to melt the icy barrier between them.

With Ben’s need for privacy and Darcy’s love of family and social life, will opposites still attract once the snow clears and the holiday festivities come to an end?

Excerpt

This was not what he had planned.

Maybe it was what he had fantasized about, but this was not what he had planned.

But the instant Darcy’s lips touched his, Ben was lost. From the first time he’d laid eyes on her, he’d wondered how she’d feel in his arms.

Now he knew. Amazing.

From the first time he watched her move, he wanted to know how she’d feel moving against him.

Now he knew. Incredible.

From the first time he’d seen her smile, he wanted to know what her lips would feel like as he kissed her.

Now he knew. Sexy as hell.

His arms banded around her waist until he made sure there wasn’t even room for a breath between them. She went up on tiptoes to press even more intimately against him—which he totally appreciated—and it allowed his hands to linger and cup her denim-clad bottom.

And what a denim-clad bottom it was.

Gently, he squeezed it and even considered grabbing it harder and lifting her onto the counter, but he wasn’t ready to let go of the full-body contact just yet.

It was insanity. One minute, she was frustrating the hell out of him in a nonsexual way, and the next, he was so consumed with need for her that he almost didn’t recognize himself. This wasn’t the man he normally was. He didn’t pounce; he didn’t even think of initiating anything physical in a situation that was so mundane.

And breakfast was pretty mundane.

When Ben chose to sleep with a woman, there was, well, there was a certain protocol to it for him. There were the required three dates. There was the kiss good night that would build in heat over the course of the dates, and then it was normally at her house. Never here. Never in his bed. His home was just that—his. It was his sanctuary, and he was possessive of it. But right now, all he wanted—almost more than his next breath—was to have Darcy in his bed.

Under him.

Over him.

Another growl escaped before he could stop it.

For a moment, he allowed his lips to leave hers, because he was desperate to taste her in other places. His mouth trailed along the delicate line of her jaw, her throat, and up to nip at her ear, a spot he quickly learned made her knees buckle and had her gasping.

Good to know.

But she wasn’t having any of it for long. With her hand firmly anchored in his hair, she let him know the instant she wanted to kiss him again, and he went willingly. Over and over, his mouth slanted over hers until he thought he’d simply consume her. Tongue tangled with tongue. Breath mingled with breath. Never had the act of kissing seemed so carnal. So indecent and so damn erotic.

And that’s when he knew standing at the kitchen sink was no longer cutting it. He needed her. Wanted her. And from the sounds she was making and the way she was moving against him, Darcy felt it too.

This time when he reached down and cupped her ass, he lifted her up onto the counter. Stepping in close until he was firmly pressed against the juncture of her thighs, he cursed their clothes. Cursed the fact that the nearest soft surface was so damn far away. And cursed the fact that she tugged at his hair as she pulled away from him.

“Ben, wait,” she panted.

Well, shit.

A little dazed, he forced himself to open his eyes and focus on her. Her lips were wet and red and a little swollen, and her skin was flushed.

So. Damn. Sexy.

Resting his forehead against hers, he took a minute to catch his breath.

Was he supposed to apologize? Step away and start shoveling? Hell if he knew, but he was going to stay quiet and let Darcy say whatever it was she was thinking. So he didn’t move, and once his breathing was back to normal, he almost felt as if he was holding it.

“What are we doing?” she asked quietly.

Was she serious? Those were some fairly obvious moves going on, on both their parts! How could she be questioning it? And on top of that, she was the one who had initiated it! Lifting his head, he looked at her.

“I thought we were kissing,” he said simply.

She blushed, and it was sexy as hell to see. His fingers twitched with the need to touch her cheeks and feel the heat there.

“I…I know, but…I guess I’m just a little confused as to where that all came from.”

She was confused? Because now he was a little beyond that himself. Taking a step away, he frowned. “Why don’t you tell me?” he began levelly. “Since you were the one who reached up and pulled me into the kiss in the first place.”

The blush was instantly replaced by a look of mild annoyance. Darcy jumped from the counter, placing her hands on her hips. “I guess I got caught up in what I thought was a moment. I mean you came over and crowded me into the cabinets and then started touching me—out of the blue, might I add—so I guess I thought you were into it too.”

Oh yeah. He had forgotten about that part. Once she had reached up and kissed him, Ben had pretty much forgotten about his own actions leading up to it. “Fine. Yes. I came over here and—” He stopped and cursed, raking a hand through his hair. “I don’t know. I wanted to do that since you first showed up here.”

 

About the Author

Samantha Chase, a creative writing teacher, released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Since then, she has published seventeen more titles and has become a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She lives with her husband of twenty-four years and their two sons in North Carolina.

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Posted in Christian, Giveaway, Historical, romance, Trailer on October 19, 2017

LADY JAYNE DISAPPEARS

by

JOANNA DAVIDSON POLITANO

  Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Publisher: Revell

Date of Publication: October 3, 2017

Number of Pages: 416

Scroll down for giveaway!

When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies in debtor’s prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet house guest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.

When Aurelie decides to complete her father’s unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother’s disappearance—and perhaps even her father’s death.

Author Joanna Davidson Politano’s stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance.

Baker Book House * Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Christianbook.com

iBooks * Kobo * Lifeway * Books-A-Million

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Praise for Lady Jayne Disappears

“Emotional. Intriguing. Both haunting and romantic. . . In her historical fiction debut, Joanna Davidson Politano delivers a smart plot that navigates twists and turns with a mixture of wit, intelligent characters, and a refreshingly original voice. Reminiscent of Dickens’ classic storytelling, Lady Jayne Disappears is a debut to remember!” —Kristy Cambron, author of The Illusionist’s Apprentice

“Wonderfully unique, this compelling debut grabs you from the first intriguing line. The evocative English setting, textured characters, literary theme, and unusual romance make Lady Jayne Disappears a standout, the lovely cover offering a hint of the gem within. A must read!” Laura Frantz, author of A Moonbow Night

 

Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her on her website.

 

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

 

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

Grand Prize: Copy of Lady Jayne Disappears + 18pc Book Lover’s Basket

2nd Prize: Copy of Lady Jayne Disappears + Vintage Library Pendant Necklace

3rd Prize: Copy of Lady Jayne Disappears + $10 Starbucks Gift Card

October 17-October 28, 2017

(U.S. Only)

 


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17-Oct Excerpt Texas Book Lover
18-Oct Review Syd Savvy
19-Oct Book Trailer StoreyBook Reviews
20-Oct Review Missus Gonzo
21-Oct Character Interview Chapter Break Book Blog
22-Oct Scrapbook Page Tangled in Text
23-Oct Review Momma On The Rocks
24-Oct Deleted Scene The Page Unbound
25-Oct Author Interview The Librarian Talks
26-Oct Review Reading by Moonlight

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