Posted in Christian, Giveaway, Romantic Suspense, Trailer on August 20, 2017

WHEELS OF JUSTICE

The Redwood Series, Volume 2

by

Vickie Phelps

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Date of Publication: July 18, 2017

Number of Pages: 324

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When Connie Knight applies for a job at McKinney’s Fine Cars in her hometown of Redwood, Texas, she has no idea what she’s getting into. Buford McKinney is a mean, evil bully who thinks women are the ground God made for men to walk on. The only reason she stays at McKinney’s is the fear of being without a paycheck and ending up homeless. And then there’s Rick McKinney, Buford’s son. In spite of his daddy’s contempt for Connie, Rick is attracted to her and Connie to him. But will their feelings for each other be enough to keep Connie safe? Just how far will Buford go to get rid of her?

Praise

“Great book, read it through in one sitting since I couldn’t put it down.  Very real, strong characters, and satisfying ending. An easy book to recommend.” – Terry Burns, author of The Badge and the Bible series and The Sheriff.

 

CHECK OUT THE BOOK TRAILER!

VOLUME ONE IN THE REDWOOD SERIES: Postmark from the Past

In November 1989, Emily Patterson is enjoying a quiet life in West Texas. She lives in the same house she grew up in, has a great job, and good friends. But emptiness nips at her heart. Then a red envelope appears in her mailbox. It’s a letter from Mark who declares his love for her, and promises to come to her if he makes it home alive. But who is Mark? She flips the envelope over, but there is no return address and it is postmarked 1968. Over the next few days more letters mysteriously appear in her mailbox and odd things start happening. Is someone playing a cruel joke? Her friends say it is the season for miracles. As Emily seeks to solve the mystery, can she risk her heart to find a miracle in the Postmark from the Past?

 

Postmark from the Past on Amazon *  Postmark from the Past on B&N *

 

Vickie Phelps writes to encourage, inspire, and influence. She has published 200 articles, devotionals, and essays in more than fifty magazines and contributed to several anthologies. Vickie is the author of the novels, Postmark From the Past, Moved, Left No Address, Waiting for Joy, and a devotional book, Psalms for the Common Man. Vickie is coauthor with Jo Huddleston of the gift book, Simply Christmas, and Writing 101: A Handbook of Tips & Encouragement for Writers. 

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Blog * LinkedIn * Amazon Author Page

 

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THREE WINNERS: 1st: Signed copy of Wheels of Justice; 2nd: eBook of Postcard from the Past; 3rd: eBook of Wheels of Justice
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AUGUST 16-23, 2017

 

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8/16/17 Hall Ways Blog
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8/17/17 Books in the Garden
8/18/17 CGB Blog Tours
8/18/17 A Novel Reality
8/18/17 Texas Book Lover
8/19/17 Forgotten Winds
8/19/17 Momma on The Rocks
8/19/17 Missus Gonzo
8/20/17 StoreyBook Reviews
8/20/17 Margie’s Must Reads
8/20/17 Books and Broomsticks

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Romantic Suspense on August 8, 2017

“A sexy, fun, cat-and-mouse chase that hooked me from page one!” —JENNIFER PROBSTNew York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author of The Marriage Bargain

Synopsis

She’s a famous jewel thief.

He’s FBI.

What’s that saying? Keep your friends close…and your husband closer.

Being a retired jewel thief certainly has its perks.

  1. Oh, wait.
  2. No it doesn’t.

Without the thrill of the chase, life’s been pretty dull. Penelope gardens, drives her gorgeous husband up the wall, and watches as her old world slowly slips away. But what’s that old saying? When one thief closes the door…a copycat jimmies open a window.

And now all fingers at the FBI are pointed at her.

Set up to take the fall for thefts worth millions, Penelope have no choice but to strap on her heels and help her FBI agent husband track the thief. Grant might not think he needs a partner, but this is one case only a true professional can solve. Besides, she’s got to know who’s been taking her bad name in vain.

Let’s just hope curiosity doesn’t kill the cat burglar.

AmazonB&N * iBooks * BAM

Excerpt

“I’m sorry,” Grant says. “I don’t mean to be so overbearing, but you have to remember that as much as I love you, you’re not a favorite with everyone at the Bureau.”

“Give me time,” I say. “I’m only one woman. It might take me a few years, but I’ll get there.”

His lips twitch. “Penelope…”

“And it’s not as if he said or did anything bad,” I add, eager to leverage that oh-so-promising break in his exterior. “We mostly talked about you. He seemed nice.”

“That man is not nice. I don’t want you to have anything to do with him or with this case from here on out. Promise me.”

“I’ll do no such thing,” I scoff. “I’m not a child you can order around.”

“Promise me,” he repeats, firmer this time. He also takes an anticipatory step forward, though I’m not sure whether it’s to kiss me or throttle me. “If there’s any self-preservation in that crooked heart of yours, you’ll swear not to have anything to do with Christopher Leon or the Peep-Toe Prowler.”

As if I could promise that now.

“Why? What are you hiding from me?”

“I’m not hiding anything,” he says too quickly, his normally implacable exterior slipping. “Could you please be conciliatory for once in your life and do as I ask?”

I think about it. I really do—for a whole two seconds and everything—but there’s more to this situation than he’s letting on. A man doesn’t grow distant and moody from his loving wife for no reason. He doesn’t throw around sex shoes unless he’s trying to create a distraction. And most importantly, he doesn’t lay down mysterious ultimatums without secretly wanting her to do everything in her power to determine the cause.

That one’s plain common sense.

“I can promise to try not to get in the way,” I hedge. Trying not to do something always makes for a good promise, since there’s no real rubric for measurement. I tried not to steal things for years. I just wasn’t any good at it. “But you can’t ask me to pretend this whole conversation never happened—that these past few months haven’t happened.”

“This has nothing to do with you.”

“Yeah, but I’m emotionally invested in the Peep-Toe Prowler now. I want to catch her as much as you do.”

It’s only through sheer force of will that Grant suppresses his smile in time. “Penelope, so help me…”

“Helping you is what I intend to do.” I stand on my tiptoes to graze his jaw, rough in all the right ways. “I can, you know. I might be able to access information that’s closed to you. Thieves talk.”

“You aren’t a thief anymore, remember?” He makes a vague gesture around the room. “The walls have ears.”

“And you did want me to get a hobby…”

“Swimming is a hobby. Interfering in a federal investigation is obstruction.”

“It’s not obstruction if I help you solve the case,” I point out. “Besides, didn’t you just say you wouldn’t arrest your own wife?”

His reluctant and groan-filled laugh is all the confirmation I need to know I’ve won this round. A nice side effect of having an important and busy husband is that he can’t always spend as much time arguing as he’d like. He has a job to get back to.

Unlike me. I, unfortunately, have nothing to do and no one to do it with. I’m not one of the good guys, but I can no longer be one of the bad ones, either. I’m just a housewife with nothing but time on her hands and mischief on her mind.

“To be perfectly honest, my love,” he says with a mock sigh, “the idea of putting you behind bars grows more appealing every day.”

About the Author

Tamara Morgan is a contemporary romance author of humorous, heartfelt stories with flawed heroes and heroines designed to get your hackles up and make your heart melt. Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them.j

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Posted in excerpt, Romantic Suspense, Spotlight on August 4, 2017

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Release Date: February 13th 2017

Synopsis

Love is worth fighting for.

Alexa Wolving has just one rule: never give a guy a second chance. That works just fine in the safe life she’s built. In the charming town of Willowdale, her day job as a librarian balances perfectly with her evening job as a black belt instructor. But when she attracts the attention of a stalker, Alexa’s carefully built world begins to crumble.

Drew Cosimo knows he broke Alexa’s heart five years ago when he took his first Ranger assignment and disappeared from her life. Now that he’s out of the army, he’s moving back home to Willowdale. He’s not looking for a fight, but making peace would be easier if Alexa hadn’t told the entire town he was a money-grubbing jerk. Despite the tension between them, Drew is quick to offer his protection when a stalker forces Alexa from her home.

As the stalker’s attacks escalate, Alexa and Drew are forced to face their painful past and the simmering attraction between them. They must fight to save each other before everything they care about goes up in flames.

Excerpt

She stepped forward. “Clearly, I was wrong to challenge you. This all smells amazing.”

“An amazing meal for an amazing lady.” When she stopped short, Drew realized instantly that she took his comment as a compliment of her looks—and didn’t appreciate it. He plowed on. “What you did tonight, the way you handled yourself with your cats, you were amazing.”

Alexa flushed a little, but she continued to her chair and sat. Drew caught a scent of something citrusy as he pushed in her chair. Her hair fell in smooth waves of honey brown and looked incredibly touchable. She’d freshened up before she came out, he was sure of it, and his chest swelled a little that she’d taken the trouble. Drew took his own seat across from Alexa.

She cleared her throat, but her voice still sounded a little husky when she spoke. Maybe she was as nervous as he was. “What do we have here? I recognize some of these but don’t know their names.”

She sounded impressed, and Drew felt a flood of pride. “The one with the shrimp is couscous paella, and beside it is roasted eggplant and feta, which you can dip with pita chips. This orange soup is a pumpkin curry soup, and then of course there’s the salad, which has asiago cheese.”

“Wow.” Alexa’s eyes spoke her enjoyment, and she made an appreciative sound after popping in a chip full of the eggplant and feta.

Drew couldn’t help himself; he spooned up a bit of the pumpkin soup and passed it to her. “Here, try this.”

She barely hesitated before taking the bait, and when she did, her eyes flew wide open and her mouth made a sensuous little pout. “Mmm, that’s good!”

Drew grinned and just managed to stop himself from spoon-feeding it to her. He was getting way too much of a thrill out of feeding her. While he would like to think it was all motivated by a protective desire to follow Detective Rawlings’s orders and make sure Alexa ate, the burning in his groin said otherwise. He could watch her eat all evening without caring about his own food, if only she’d let him.

Alexa took another bite, again with obvious enjoyment. Down, boy! He hadn’t gotten where he was in life by following his baser instincts wherever they led him, and he wasn’t about to start now. He hadn’t even been thinking about the fact that Alexa still hated his guts and, moreover, had a stalker creep gunning for her. No way was he going to be the man she chose as her only alternative to a stalker.

Time for a little idle conversation to lighten things up. Too bad he sucked at chitchat. Drew cleared his throat. “It’s a good thing I made it to the store yesterday and had the pumpkin and eggplant on hand.

Otherwise, we would have had nothing but spaghetti.”

“Spaghetti’s good too,” Alexa said.

She puckered her lips as she blew on her soup, and Drew’s imagination instantly replaced the soup with her slurping on a long, skinny spaghetti noodle. He shifted in his seat.

“Where did you learn to cook like this?” Alexa asked.

Drew shrugged but mentally leapt at the chance to get his mind out of the gutter. “I spent time in the Mediterranean while on assignment, and I liked the food. While Dad was having chemo, he needed to eat, but he didn’t have much of an appetite, so I taught myself to cook. Dad always loved homemade European food.”

Alexa tilted her head, her eyes on his face. “Your dad spent a lot of time in Europe, I take it?”

Drew nodded. “We were based out of Europe for several years. Germany, Italy, Greece.”

“Is that when he took the photos? I saw some from Russia too. And one in Wales.” She added salad to her plate and dug in.

“You recognized the church in Wales?” Drew asked, impressed.

Alexa colored a bit. “I like to study history, and sometimes I look at travel magazines.”

He opened his mouth to ask if she would ever like to visit Wales but caught himself just in time. What was he thinking? It would sound as though he were asking her to go with him, and no way was that a good idea.

He took a quick bite of soup to cover his pause. “I think he took those trips after I was grown, though it’s hard to say.” Drew kept his tone casual and watched Alexa take a bite of salad. “He was MI, so we never knew for sure where he was on assignment.”

“MI–that’s military intelligence, right?” Alexa asked. “Aren’t those assignments pretty dangerous?”

Drew nodded. “Sometimes—though much of it is paperwork and analysis. But if he was doing any dangerous work in the field, he was always protected by Special Forces. That’s part of why I became a Ranger. As a Ranger, I was a part of the military teams that used to keep my dad safe.”

Alexa went still. “What a beautiful thought. Did your dad know that’s how you saw it?”

Drew shrugged a little uncomfortably. “I don’t know. Maybe. We swapped stories some, while I was taking care of him, but I don’t know if it ever came up.”

Nodding, Alexa took another bite, but Drew didn’t try to fill the conversation lull.

How was it that he’d just told Alexa something so personal that he’d never even explained it to his dad? Was it just because she was female and easier to talk to? Or was it something more? And if there was something more, what did that mean for him?

About the Author

Lily Black believes in true love, but is also quite sure going after it is the scariest thing we’ll ever do!  She explores this dynamic in her romantic suspense novels, which are set in the small imaginary town of Willowdale, where people dream big, love deeply, and kick butt if necessary.  She has a black belt in Chung Do Kwan Tai Kwon Do, and has also trained in everything from judo to broadswords.  She lives in North Carolina, where she works as a content editor for a small publisher, and divides her free time between the mountains and the sea with her very patient and loving husband and their teen daughter. She is also the co-creator of the Book Ninjas’ Blush-O-Meter. Readers everywhere search the Book Ninjas’ online catalog for romance, YA and chicklit novels in all genres, and find books that match their preferred blush level!

Author websiteBook Ninja’s CatalogFacebookTwitterGoodreads

 

 

 

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Posted in Christian, excerpt, Giveaway, Romantic Suspense on August 1, 2017

CHASING SECRETS

Elite Guardians, Book 4

by

Lynette Eason

 

  Genre: Romantic Suspense / Christian

Publisher: Revell

Date of Publication: August 1, 2017

Number of Pages: 336

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Intensity. Skill. Tenacity.

The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.

When a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan’s life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out of taking care of others. But after she has an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her—and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he’s not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.

In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories—and the depths of the heart—Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley’s past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won’t quit.

Baker Book HouseAmazon | Christianbook.comB&N

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Praise for the Elite Guardians Series

“A thrill ride from the first page until the last.” —RT Book Reviews, top pick, 4½ stars for Always Watching

“Witty dialogue and a simmering attraction will have readers flying through this tension-laced thriller.” —Family Fiction on Without Warning\

“Fast, furious, and flirty, Lynette Eason’s relentless suspense barely gives her readers time to catch their breath.” Relz Reviews on Moving Target

Prologue from Chasing Secrets

By Lynette Eason

Rock Moran Castle
County Mayo, Ireland, 1991

Five-year-old Aileen Burke crouched in the small hidden room in the big castle she called home. Terror caused her little heart to beat in her chest like the wings of a hummingbird. More gunshots rang out and Aileen ducked her head and covered her ears. She pressed back into the warm body behind her. “Mam,” she whispered. “I want me mam.”

“Shh, child, yer mam canna be here. I’ll keep ye safe. Just don’ say a word.”

Aileen shuddered and clamped her lips shut. She’d seen the big red stain that grew on the front of her dad’s chest after the man with the gun had yelled at him. It had scared her, so she’d run to her favorite hiding place. The place where Nanny Iona had found her and crawled inside with her.

“Da’s hurt, Nanny, that bad man shot him. He’s bleeding.” She kept her voice low, barely above a whisper, as the screams and shouts and loud noises echoed around them. “Make it stop, please.”

“Shh, say no more.”

Aileen fell silent. Tears leaked from her eyes, and someplace deep inside her, she knew she would never see her dad again.

A loud thud just outside the small door made her jump. More screams raked across her ears and she shuddered. Nanny’s arms tightened around her and she felt the woman’s lips touch the edge of her forehead. “May the God of peace bring peace to this house,” she whispered.

The siege seemed to go on forever as the castle, her home, shook with violence. She must have fallen asleep, her ear next to Nanny’s heartbeat, because the next thing she knew Nanny was shaking her, whispering that they needed to go. “Close yer eyes, leanbh. I’m goin’ to carry you out of here. Promise me. Promise ye won’t look.”

Aileen didn’t answer and Nanny opened the small door that was barely big enough for the woman. If she’d been any bigger, Aileen figured she’d have gotten stuck just like her dog Henry did when he tried to come in the doggy door. Her mam had had to open the door and pull him out, then her da had made the door bigger for Henry. But no one had been able to convince Henry to use the doggy door after that.

She yawned. She wanted to go back to sleep, but mostly she wanted her mam and da. But Da was hurt . . .

Aileen swallowed the lump in her throat and grimaced at the gritty feeling. She tried to be brave. She wished she’d gone to school today. She was supposed to have gone on a field trip to the zoo with all of her friends, but Nanny had kept her home because she had a little fever and a sore throat. Aileen had been very upset about missing the trip, but when Nanny had brought her chicken broth and let her watch her favorite cartoon with a promise to take her to the zoo as soon as she was well, Aileen had cheered up and then fallen asleep.

And then the loud bangs had awakened her and scared her. She’d heard running footsteps, mean shouts, and lots of bad words. So she’d hidden.

Nanny slipped past her and out the door. She turned and held out her hands. Aileen let Nanny help her out of the hiding place and pick her up. “Close your eyes, love.”

Aileen obeyed. Her nose twitched. Her home smelled funny. Bad. Like the time her dad had killed a deer and let her watch him dress it. She hadn’t liked it then and she didn’t like it now. But she kept her eyes shut.

Nanny moved quickly, her steps sure and steady. “Are yer eyes closed?” she whispered.

“They’re closed, Nanny, they are.”

Nanny walked and Aileen bounced against her shoulder. The woman pressed a hand against the back of her head and shoved Aileen’s nose into her neck. Too hard. She couldn’t breathe. “Can I open them now?”

“Not yet.” Nanny’s voice sounded thick, like she had something in her throat and was trying to talk around it. “Not yet.” Nanny’s chest heaved and Aileen heard her sniffle. She struggled against Nanny’s hold and broke free. She leaned back to look at Nanny in spite of Nanny telling her to keep her eyes closed and was shocked to see her face wet with tears. “Nanny, I want me mam.”

Nanny renewed her grip on the back of her head and pushed her back into her shoulder, trying to keep her from seeing. “Don’t look. Don’t look.”

But Aileen struggled free of the hold and looked. She saw her da on the floor, the stain on his chest still a bright red, his eyes empty yet staring at the ceiling. “Da! Da!” She reached for him, but Nanny was moving her farther and farther away.

Leanbh, don’t look, don’t look.”

“Daddyyyyy—!”

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, and Hidden Identity series, as well as Always Watching, Without Warning, and Moving Target in the Elite Guardians series.

She is the winner of two ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award. She lives in South Carolina.

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Grand Prize:

Booklover Basket (18 items including a coffee mug, retro library memo cards, coffee & tea, delicious snacks) & Set of the Elite Guardians Series

First Runner-Up:

Personal library kit & Set of the Elite Guardians Series

Second Runner-Up:

$10 Barnes & Noble gift card and Set of the Elite Guardian Series

August 1 – August 10, 2017

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8/1 Excerpt 1 StoreyBook Reviews
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8/6 Character Interview Hall Ways Blog
8/7 Review Reading by Moonlight
8/8 Author Interview 2 Books and Broomsticks
8/9 Review The Page Unbound
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Posted in 4 paws, Christian, Review, Romantic Suspense on July 30, 2017

Synopsis

In a quiet family neighborhood, during an unexpected thunder storm, Madison Leigh seeks shelter on the porch of a nearby home. While waiting, the inquisitive North Carolina law student glances at the mail, and thinks she recognizes the homeowner’s name. Madison suspects him to be the same Samuel Livingston being held for the alleged murder of his wife, Merry. Her suspicions trigger a surge of curiosity and lead to the discovery of an heirloom brooch owned by the Livingston family.

In order to return the family heirloom, Madison searches for Jamie Livingston, the only child of Samuel and Merry. When Madison locates Jamie in San Francisco, her involvement intensifies as Jamie looks to her for support. With Samuel Livingston being held without bail, and unable to comfort his grieving daughter, Jamie feels desperately alone. She is confident of her father’s innocence, and quickly convinces Madison of the same.

Jamie Livingston suspects the involvement of attorney, Phillip Boatman, her mother’s former employer. And Madison, determined to find the answers, uses her law student credentials to successfully land a position with the Boatman firm. But, if she uncovers the secrets that led to Merry Livingston’s murder, will Madison jeopardize her own life? Not if F.B.I. agent, Court Braxton can help it.

Keeping an eye on Madison while working the case, Court finds himself captivated by the spirited brunette. With every meeting, his feelings are in constant conflict. Professionally, Court knows that he must remain distant, and therefore does not yield to the tender emotions he feels.

With Madison, one glance is all it takes. The love she never thinks will happen catches her completely off guard. But she wonders if her feelings are one sided, as Agent Braxton is a hard man to read. At times, he seems to draw near, then abruptly he turns away. His constantly changing demeanor causes Madison to even question Court’s motives. Perhaps his interest is merely a ploy to obtain information. In a futile attempt to protect her heart, the more Court withdraws from her personally, the harder she focuses on finding the killer.

Taking a calculated risk, Madison searches through the Boatman files and discovers undocumented offshore accounts. Further investigation then guides her to the law firm’s primary client, and to another viable suspect. But, while Madison concentrates on trying to solve the mystery, she fails to recognize that she is directly following Merry Livingston’s former footsteps. The same path that ended Merry’s life.

FOR NO APPARENT REASON lures Madison Leigh from the shelter of law school into a world where she is about to discover the destructive nature of greed. In this maze of money laundering and murder, she experiences the value of true friendship, and witnesses the healing power of God’s love.

Review

I’d put this in the Christian Romantic Suspense/mystery category.

The book starts off right away with Madison snooping through the piled papers/mail on the porch where she was taking cover from a rainstorm. It seems like an odd thing to do but Madison has a tendency to stick her nose where it doesn’t belong (as you will find out reading the book and the situations she puts herself in to help solve a crime).

Enter Court Braxton, FBI agent. He was just finishing up doing something at the house where Madison took refuge during the storm. Let’s just say she caught his eye! Of course she was interfering with his investigation but she didn’t know that in the beginning.

Both Madison and Court are very interested in the other person but they are slow in moving towards a date because of the crime that both are trying to solve. I like that Madison is holding out for marriage and isn’t afraid to discuss her faith with Court to see where he stands. It was also nice to have this as a minor storyline and let the crime solving be the main focus at least until about 3/4 of the way through…and then the romance could ramp up.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book, the characters were engaging and the mystery was intriguing.  We give it 4 paws.

About the Author

S.K. DerbanBorn in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, S.K. Derban moved to London within the first three months, and remained in England until the age of five. Her father, an American citizen, was a decorated veteran of the second world war. Derban’s mother, born and raised in the United Kingdom, was involved with the London Royal Ballet Company, and a great fan of the arts. Even after returning to the United States, Derban’s life was filled with a love of the theatre and a passion for British murder mysteries. S.K. Derban has always remained passionate about writing, and is thrilled to finally share her work with others.

Her personal travel and missionary adventures also help to transport readers virtually across the globe. When writing, S.K. Derban relies on all aspects of her life, from her faith in the Lord, to her love and knowledge of the arts.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Romantic Suspense on June 27, 2017

Synopsis

New York Times and USA Today bestseller Julie Ann Walker delivers red-hot romantic suspense in Fuel for Fire!

Dagan Zoelner has always had his eye on spunky CIA agent Chelsea Duvall. When a mission throws them together, this could be his only chance to win her heart for good.

Dagan Zoelner has made three huge mistakes

The first two left blood on his hands.

The third left him wondering…what if?

What if he had told the woman of his dreams how he felt before his world fell apart?

Spitfire CIA agent Chelsea Duvall has always had a thing for bossy, brooding Dagan. It’s just as well that he’s never given her a second look, since she carries a combustible secret about his past that threatens to torch their lives…

AmazonB&N * iBooks * IndieBound * BAM

Excerpt

Tell us!” Surry demanded again, giving her head a hard shake. Her brain banged around inside her skull, making her see stars. Since she was tied with a length of electrical cord to one of the chairs in front of Morrison’s desk, her hands duct-taped behind her back, there was little she could do to defend herself.

Then again, she still had her smart mouth. “Screw you, buddy,” she snarled. Those three words were all she allowed herself before she clenched her teeth and sealed her lips shut.

The violence that clouded Surry’s face and glinted in his hell-black eyes made her want to curl into a protective ball. He leaned down so that his nose was an inch from hers. His hot breath smelled of coffee and buttered croissants, and the thought of him actually eating struck her as weird. She had assumed he sustained himself by devouring the souls of Morrison’s enemies.

“You will bloody well tell us what we want to know, Miss Duvall.” When he spoke all low and menacing in that thick English accent, she got the unsettling feeling that something dark moved in the shadows just out of sight. “Or I will jab this letter opener into your carotid.” He pulled back to wield the weapon he had taken from Morrison’s desktop. The sterling-silver letter opener glinted in the golden glow cast by the overhead chandelier.

Releasing her face, Surry cocked his head. “So, what shall it be? The truth? Or the knife? The choice is yours.” There was an emptiness in his voice when he asked the questions. Like he didn’t really care what the answers would be. Like he was tired or bored or maybe…resigned?

Oh, that doesn’t bode well.

Of course, the truth was out of the question. She would never rat on the Black Knights. No telling what Morrison, a.k.a Spider, with all his power and connections, could do with that information. So that left…the knife.

But there’s still so much I want to do!

She had never learned to make her mother’s she-crab soup. She had never tried her hand at writing fiction like that of Tolkien or Rowling or Martin. She had never married the love of her life and given him two bouncing, chubby-cheeked babies.

A cold finger of terror dragged up her spine, and for a second she considered spilling her guts and saving her hide. But then, from somewhere deep inside, a well of strength erupted, filling her with determination and the will to do what must be done.

Her mind briefly touched on her mother, and a great sadness weighed down her heart. Grace Duvall would be devastated by the death of her only child. But Chelsea took comfort—cold comfort, but comfort all the same—in knowing that her life insurance policy would be enough to pay her mother’s debts. That was something. Something to hold on to.

“Well?” Surry demanded. “What will it be?”

Chelsea licked her lips. Fear was a living thing inside her, crawling through her chest like a centipede on prickly legs. She squashed it and sealed her own fate. “Do your worst, you sorry, low-life sonofagun!”

Surry’s beard-stubbled chin jerked back as if he couldn’t believe the choice she’d made. Then his eyes narrowed, and grim determination transformed his face.

Closing her eyes, Chelsea waited on the inevitable. That centipede was going crazy inside her, making her chest ache and raising the hair on her head. She braced herself for the deathblow as a million regrets, a million joys, a million memories flittered through her brain.

Funny how many of those regrets and joys and memories feature Dagan.

She held her breath, savoring it, knowing it was her last and—

“Drop. The. Knife.”

With a cry, she blinked open her eyes and craned her head around to see three figures dressed from head to toe in black. Each of them wielded a weapon as if it were an extension of himself.

The Black Knights…

Even had Dagan not spoken the three most beautiful words she’d ever heard in that smooth moonshine voice, she would have known the trio anywhere. There was no mistaking those broad shoulders or those defiant, cocksure stances.

Her eyes homed in on Dagan. He was in the middle and slightly forward of the other two. It wasn’t his height or carriage that gave him away. It was his stillness. Ace and Christian seemed to vibrate with barely leashed power. But Dagan was a statue. Not a muscle quivered. Not a tendon or ligament cracked. Chelsea was reminded of a pair of tectonic plates under intense pressure. She knew what came next. The earth would rip open, and hell would spew forth.

Surry must have felt the doom behind Dagan’s stillness, because his voice sounded wheezy when he demanded, “And who the f* are you?”

“Worry less about who we are,” Dagan snarled, “and more about what we’ll do if you don’t drop the knife.”

Proving he had more balls than brains, Surry spun Chelsea’s chair around and palmed her forehead to wrench her head back. The sharp tip of the letter opener nicked at the skin pulsing over the large vein in her neck. She hadn’t had time to scream, and now she didn’t dare breathe.

“Ring up the police, sir,” Surry said. From the corner of her eye, Chelsea saw Morrison/Spider make a move toward the desk.

“Take one step in the direction of that phone, and you’ll be eating a bullet for breakfast.” There was no mistaking Dagan’s words or his tone. He meant what he said.

Morrison must have come to the same realization. The old man stopped in his tracks.

“Good man,” Dagan acknowledged. “Now, there’s one thing you both need to understand. We’re leaving here with Chelsea. That can be over your dead bodies or your live ones.” Even though his words were calm and his body as motionless as a mountain, rage burned inside him. It was there in his eyes, glowing red like the fires of Mordor. “So what will it be? The choice is yours.”

It was the same option Surry had given her, spoken in the same words. How long had the three of them been outside listening?

“You have no bloody idea who you’re f*ing with,” Morrison snarled, his chest heaving with every furious breath. “I have—”

That’s all he managed. In a flash, the statue, a.k.a. Dagan Zoelner, came to life. He moved faster than the human eye could follow, certainly faster than Chelsea could track with her head angled back in Surry’s grip. One second he was staring at her and Surry, and the next he aimed at Morrison and pulled his trigger.

The gunshot was oddly muffled and Morrison stumbled back, hitting his hip on the edge of the desk. Surry bellowed his outrage and released her head. Free from his brutal grip, she turned to Morrison and understood the strangeness of the weapon’s sound.

It wasn’t a bullet that had exploded from the end of Dagan’s gun. It was a dart. She had just enough time to catch a glimpse of the fuzzy yellow end protruding from the center of Morrison’s chest before Dagan fired again. This time the dart whizzed over her head. Surry made an awful gurgling noise. When she pulled her chin back, she saw the projectile sticking from his neck.

He reached for the dart, stumbling into her chair. His hand hit the back of her head, looking for leverage and forcing her chin into her chest as every vertebra in her neck threatened to crack under the pressure. She couldn’t see what happened next. But she heard it. Heard the boots that pounded against the tiles as the Black Knights raced into the room.

Surry released her head when Christian tackled him. From the corner of her eye, she watched Ace catch Morrison right before the old man toppled face-first onto the floor. And Dagan? Well, Dagan knelt in front of her.

She gasped when his big, warm hands cupped her cheeks, gently lifting her head. Her neck ached, but it wasn’t broken. All her fingers and toes still worked when she gave them an experimental wiggle.

“Chels… Christ. Are you okay?” His stormy eyes searched her face.

She nodded her head. That’s all she could manage because a giant lump was centered in her throat. She had put on a brave face throughout the entire ordeal, but now that it looked like she was saved, all her shock and terror rose to the surface, crumbling her mask of courage.

“Thank God.” He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close.

It was the first time he had hugged her. The first time she had been in his arms. Oh, how she wanted to hold him tight in return. But with her hands still trapped behind her back, the only thing she could do was turn her face into his warm neck and breathe him in.

She had always loved the way he smelled. A mixture of worn leather, dryer sheets, and shampoo. All clean and healthy and…male.

“I was afraid m-maybe I didn’t press the button long enough to send out the Mayday,” she said in a rush, her lips moving against the rough fabric of his ski mask. “And th-then they found the thumb drive. But they were so quick to stop questioning me and…and…” She had to stop. “Thank you. Thank you for coming for me.”

His wide palm cupped the back of her head, holding her close. Was it trembling? “Always, Chels. Never doubt it.”

Oh great. Now the lump in her throat had grown to the size of a Carolina pine.

She wanted the moment to last forever, to stay just like this, safe in his arms. But all too soon, he pulled back. “What were you thinking, telling them to do their worst? You were baiting them, egging them on. You stupid, stubborn, self-sacrificing fool.”

And just like that, happiness and relief morphed into incredulity that slid quick as a whistle into anger. Seriously? He was going to stand there—er, squat there—and call her names?

He may be hotter than the door handles of hell, but when he gets all Me Tarzan, You Jane, I want to dump his limp body in the River Thames and feed him to the fishes. After she’d killed him with mind-blowing sex and multiple orgasms, natch. And she could probably cop to his last two accusations. She was stubborn, and in that instant she had been willing to sacrifice herself. But the first one?

“S-stupid?” she sputtered. And good news! The lump in her throat vanished. “Screw you, Dagan! In case you’ve forgotten, I pulled off this op w-with…”

She stumbled to a stop because he’d ripped off his mask. And there it was. The Beard.

Looking at him dressed all in black, shoulders as broad as the Lowcountry, she couldn’t help but think he resembled a god. One of the mythical beings she read about in her fantasy novels. Formidable. Powerful. Gorgeous.

And here I am, a mere mortal.

The look he pinned on her was one she recognized. She liked to call it his Clint Eastwood gunfighter squint. He tended to whip it out right before he laid into her for something. She braced herself, mentally running through her standard list of comebacks. But he didn’t give her a tongue-lashing. At least not a verbal one. Instead, he took her face in his hands and sealed his lips to hers.

She was so surprised that her mouth formed a startled O. Dagan took advantage, his tongue surging between her teeth. His lips were firm yet amazingly soft, and his beard abraded the tender flesh of her cheeks.

Holy mother! Dagan Zoelner was…kissing her!

Oh. My!

Pre-order Fuel for Fire or Hot Pursuit and receive another Black Knights Inc. novel of your choice! 

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About the Author

Julie Ann Walker is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling Author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series. She is prone to spouting movie quotes and song lyrics. She’ll never say no to sharing a glass of wine or going for a long walk. She prefers impromptu travel over the scheduled kind, and she takes her coffee with milk. You can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Romantic Suspense on June 2, 2017

 

 

Synopsis

He lost his mentor.

He lost his K9 partner.

He almost lost his will to live.

But when a ruthless killer targets a woman on the run, Theo and his new K9 companion will do whatever it takes to survive—and save the woman neither can live without.

Grieving the death of his partner, Theo Bosco has no room in his life for distractions. Though his instincts scream that he should avoid Juliet ‘Jules’ Jackson, he can’t seem to stay away. It doesn’t help that Theo’s new K9 companion has fallen head over paws with Jules’s rambunctious family.

Or that when he’s with her, Theo finally knows peace.

When Jules rescued her siblings, whisking them away to the safety of the beautifully rugged Colorado Rockies, she never expected to catch the eye—or the heart—of a cop. Yet as Jules struggles to fight her growing attraction to the brooding K9 officer, another threat lurks much closer to home…

And this time, there’s no escape.

“Vivid and charming.” —CHARLAINE HARRIS, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series

 

AmazonB&NiBooks * Indiebound

Rocky Mountain K-9 Unit Series

Run to Ground (Book 1)

On the Chase (Book 2)

Survive the Night (Book 3)

Excerpt

Her shoulders lifting and dropping again in a sigh, Jules stiffened her spine. She just needed to be confident. She also needed to not let the cop’s air of authority—as well as his muscled forearms and pretty dark-brown eyes—reduce her to the babbling idiot she’d become the last time he’d been at the diner. For goodness’ sake, she’d messed up her name. Her name. If she wanted to survive in her new life, she needed to step up her game. Firming her jaw, she picked up a coffeepot and headed to Theo’s table.

He watched her, his frown deepening with each step, and she fought the urge to slow or, better yet, turn tail and run.

“Morning.” She turned the mug in front of him right side up with shaky fingers. His wary eyes—almost black and alarmingly perceptive—took in everything, including, she was sure, her obvious unease. “Did you need a menu?”

Jules caught herself before he could respond.

“Sorry.” Her flush prickled her chest and moved up to her face to warm her cheeks. “Of course you don’t need a menu. You probably know everything on there by now. Well, I’m guessing you do. I’ve only seen you here once, but Megan mentioned you’re a regular.”

Abruptly, Jules stopped talking. More of the nervous babble pressed on her lungs, wanting out. Afraid to open her mouth again in case she started talking and wasn’t able to stop until she told this man—this police officer!—everything he shouldn’t know, she forced a smile and stayed quiet. She was turning out to be a terrible felon.

“Number three,” he said after another pause just long enough to make her uncomfortable. “Scrambled.”

“Got it.” Jules scribbled down the order, relieved to have something to focus on other than his too-intense gaze. He looked at her like he could see everything about her, and there were so many things she wanted to keep hidden. When she glanced up, she kept her eyes away from his, focusing on his left earlobe instead. “That’ll be right out.”

After picking up the coffeepot again, she began to turn around, relieved. A sound behind her, something halfway between a masculine grunt and a throat clearing, made her stop reluctantly. Jules focused on his other earlobe this time, trying not to show her renewed panic. “Was there something else you needed?”

“Where are you staying?” He bit off each word, making him sound like he was angry he had to speak to her.

The mild, unfocused fear blossomed into terror. Why was he asking? Was he investigating her? His frown deepened when she took a beat too long to answer, and she rushed out her response. “Um…in Monroe.”

“Where?”

Her paranoia was feeding her panic, and she gave a vague wave toward the north. “On the edge of town.”

If he narrowed his eyes any more, he’d be squinting. “The blue house off of Orchard Street?”

“No.” Her feet moved of their own volition, and she took a step toward the door. This job was too important for her to run out on her second day, but the cop’s questioning was pushing her to the point where she just wanted to escape, paycheck or no paycheck.

“The old Garmitt place, then.” It was a statement instead of a question, and the accuracy of the guess made her eyes widen despite herself. Jules knew fear and guilt must be plastered all over her face. “Heard someone had moved in there.”

“Uh…” Her mind raced as she scrambled to think of the best way to respond, to save this conversation from the quickly approaching crash and burn heading her way. “I’m not sure.” She barely caught herself before closing her eyes in exasperation. That was her clever save?

“Your address is Thirty-Two Blank Hill Lane.” Again, he said what should’ve been a question with such certainty that it came out as a statement of fact. “Did you buy it?”

“No.” Running was beginning to sound better and better. Jules was willing to do pretty much anything to get away from this man, this cop, who knew too much already.

“You rent then?” At her nod, he studied her. She stared back, determined not to say more. Every line in his body was held tightly, from the hard line of his mouth to his forearms to his erect spine. “What brings you to town?” he finally asked.

Her mouth opened, but nothing emerged as her thoughts bounced against each other in a chaotic mess. “This job?” Her voice was pitched too high, and the end of her sentence rose, turning it into a question. Jules resisted the urge to smack herself. Between her twitchy behavior and asinine answers, she knew that, even if he hadn’t been suspicious before, he would know for sure now that something wasn’t right. Her shoulders curled in as she wished for the power of invisibility. Either that or better acting skills—or any acting skills.

“What the hell, Theo?” Megan appeared out of nowhere, grasping Jules’s elbow and tugging. Although she jumped initially, Jules relaxed and allowed herself to be pulled a few steps away from the extremely awkward conversation—or interrogation? “I finally find an employee who can do basic math and doesn’t spit on people’s eggs, and she’s the one you inflict yourself on? Drink your coffee and be all broody, like you normally are. Quietly broody.”

The tiny muscle in Theo’s jaw pulsed with tension. Jules didn’t breathe as she waited for him to react. There was strained silence for several seconds before Theo spoke.

“Which one spits?”

“You missed my point.” Whatever else Megan was going to say was interrupted by the thump of the front entrance as it closed behind some new customers. “Be right with you!” Her gaze never left Theo’s face. In turn, he never looked away or flinched. The non-panicked corner of Jules’s brain was impressed with both of them.

“What’s up?” Another cop came to a stop next to the booth, reaching to gently bump Theo’s shoulder with his fist. Although the newcomer was wearing a congenial smile, there was a coiled tension to him. The way he placed his body almost, but not quite, between them and Theo said a lot. It was protective in a got-your-back kind of way, but it also showed that Theo had the lead, that the new guy wasn’t taking over the situation.

“Theo’s scaring my new waitress.” Megan’s glare shot toward the new arrival. “The one who can do math.”

“And doesn’t spit.” Theo’s deadpan delivery made Jules start, and an unbidden smile curled her mouth. Their gazes met, and the cop’s eyes seemed to soften for the shortest of moments. Even before Jules was certain she saw it, it was gone.

“Are those your only hiring qualifications? Adding, subtracting, and saliva control? T, maybe we need to look for a new place for our breakfast meetings.” There was humor in the cop’s voice, although his gaze was ready and watchful, moving from Theo to Megan to Jules.

Turning toward the kitchen while keeping a firm grip on Jules’s arm, Megan said over her shoulder, “Your food is safe, Hugh.”

After the End

For fans of sexy, brooding ice divers

Motorcycle Club bad boys turned firefighters

Tall, dark, and silent wilderness guides

And cops with hearts of gold…

The end is just the beginning.

What happens after happily ever after? Now that the murderer has been caught and the arsonist is behind bars, the town of Simpson, Colorado has returned to its sleepy, picturesque former glory. Yet for the heroes of Search & Rescue, work is never done…

…especially not if the extraordinary women if their lives have anything to say about it.

Told in alternating chapters focusing on four unforgettable romances, this slice-of-life novella catches up with fan favorites from Katie Ruggle’s Search & Rescue series—proving once and for all that the end is just the beginning.

After the End is the fun and heart-warming epilogue novella to the exciting Search & Rescue series by Katie Ruggle.

Free on the following sites

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About the Author

katie ruggleWhen she’s not writing, KATIE RUGGLE rides horses, shoots guns, and travels to warm places where she can SCUBA dive. Graduating from the Police Academy, Katie received her ice-rescue certification and can attest that the reservoirs in the Colorado Mountains really are that cold. While she still misses her off-the-grid, solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains, she now lives in Rochester, Minnesota near her family.

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Posted in Giveaway, Romantic Suspense, suspense on May 29, 2017

Book Details:

Book Title: Deceiving Bella: Book #11 In The Bodyguards of L.A. County Series
Author: Cate Beauman
Category: Adult Fiction, 588 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Createspace
Release date: October 13, 2016
Tour dates: May 22 to June 16, 2017
Content Rating: R (Sex scenes, language, some intense moments)

Book Description:

Isabella Colby has always yearned for normalcy. Now that she’s settled in LA, she finally has it. Good friends, a pretty home, and her thriving career as the Palisades’ top skincare specialist are a dream come true. Bella is content until she meets her hunky new neighbor, but her attraction to the blue-eyed cutie is the least of her worries when contacting her long-lost father threatens to destroy her happy life.

Reed McKinley is more than ready to forget the past. His seven-year stint as an NYPD detective nearly got him killed. His wounds have healed and he’s starting over as Ethan Cooke Security’s latest recruit. With sixty-hour workweeks and little time to himself, the last thing on his mind is a relationship. Then he bumps into the gorgeous woman next door.

Reed and Bella become fast friends. Before long, Reed discovers that Bella is keeping dangerous secrets. Bella may have the answers to decades-old questions he’s been searching for. Reed will risk it all to uncover the truth, but he soon realizes that the deeper he digs, the direr the consequences.

“This book captured my attention from the very beginning. The author did an excellent job of developing the characters and helping the reader feel like he was along for the story. I have enjoyed all of the books in this series, but I must say Deceiving Bella is one of my favorites!” Amazon Customer

 

 

Deceiving Bella is the eleventh book is the Bodyguards of L.A. County Series. Check out the first ten books here!
 
 

Book One

 

Morgan’s Hunter, the story of Morgan and Hunter. (4.2 Stars!)

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Morgan Taylor, D.C. socialite and wildlife biologist, leads a charmed life until everything changes with a phone call. Her research team has been found dead—slaughtered—in backcountry Montana.

As the case grows cold, Morgan is determined to unravel the mystery behind her friends’ gruesome deaths. Despite the dangers of a murderer still free, nothing will stand in her way, not even the bodyguard her father hires, L.A.’s top close protection agent, Hunter Phillips.

Sparks fly from the start when no-nonsense Hunter clashes with Morgan’s strong-willed independence. Their endless search for answers proves hopeless—until Hunter discovers the truth.

On the run and at the mercy of a madman, Morgan and Hunter must outsmart a killer to save their own lives.

One thing I noticed right away was Hunter is smoking hot. This author captured his attractiveness well. Many romance authors have said their main character was good looking, but this was one of the very few times where I thought, “Wow. He’s hot!” And let me tell you blonde-haired blue eyed guys are not my type. The author deserves some serious props here.”  – Raven Reviewer

Book Two

Falling For Sarah, the story of Sarah and Ethan. (4.5 Stars / Award Winner!)

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Widow Sarah Johnson struggled to pick up the pieces after her life was ripped apart. After two years of grieving, she’s found contentment in her thriving business as photographer to Hollywood’s A-list and in raising her angel-faced daughter, Kylee…until bodyguard and long-time friend Ethan Cooke changes everything with a searing moonlight kiss.

Sarah’s world turns upside down as she struggles with her unexpected attraction to Ethan and the guilt of betraying her husband’s memory. But when blue roses and disturbing notes start appearing on her doorstep, she has no choice but to lean on Ethan as he fights to save her from a stalker that won’t stop until he has what he prizes most.

This story, although starting sad with Jake’s death, goes zero to sixty from there. A creepy, insane , psycho thrown in with HOT manly men always make for an awesome ride.”
Inside BJ’s Head

 

Book Three

Hailey’s Truth, the story of Hailey and Austin. (4.4 Stars!)

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Hailey Roberts has never had it easy. Despite the scars of a tragic childhood, she’s made a life for herself. As a part-time student and loving nanny, she yearns for a family of her own and reluctant Austin Casey, Ethan Cooke Security’s best close protection agent.

Hailey’s past comes back to haunt her when her long lost brother tracks her down, bringing his dangerous secrets with him. At an emotional crossroads, Hailey accepts a humanitarian opportunity that throws her together with Austin, taking her hundreds of miles from her troubles, or so she thinks.

What starts out as a dream come true quickly becomes a nightmare as violence erupts on the island of Cozumel. Young women are disappearing, community members are dying—and the carnage links back to her brother.

As Austin struggles to keep Hailey’s past from destroying her future, he’s forced to make a decision that could turn her against him, or worse cost them both their lives.

“WOW. My head is in a whirl from this one. From the high intensity of Suspense, down to the oh-so yummy Romance, by far, Hailey and Austin have the hottest freaking scenes of the three books! ~ It’s so good… or I’m so bad because–I hate to admit it–I reread the hotter than Hades scenes! I could read the entire novel again, and that’s rare for me.”  Hammy

Book Four

Forever Alexa, the story of Alexa and Jackson. (4.4 Stars!)

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First grade teacher and single mother Alexa Harris is no stranger to struggle, but for once, things are looking up. The school year is over and the lazy days of summer are here. Mini-vacations and relaxing twilight barbeques are on the horizon until Alexa’s free-spirited younger sister vanishes.

Ransom calls and death threats force Alexa and her young daughter to flee their quiet home in Maryland. With nowhere else to turn, Alexa seeks the help of Jackson Matthews, Ethan Cooke Security’s Risk Assessment Specialist and the man who broke her heart.

With few leads to follow and Abby’s case going cold, Alexa must confess a shocking secret if she and Jackson have any hope of saving her sister from a hell neither could have imagined.

“FOREVER ALEXA is a book that is impossible to put down. I loved the first three books in this series, Morgan’s Hunter, Falling for Sarah and Hailey’s Truth, but FOREVER ALEXA is far and above my favorite in the series. That being said, I not only recommend but encourage readers of romantic suspense to give Ms. Beauman’s books a try…..you will not be disappointed!!!”  NicoleMD

 

Book Five

Waiting For Wren, the story of Wren and Tucker. (4.6 Stars!)

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Wren Cooke has everything she’s ever wanted—a thriving career as one of LA’s top interior designers and a home she loves. Business trips, mockups, and her demanding clientele keep her busy, almost too busy to notice Ethan Cooke Security’s gorgeous Close Protection Agent, Tucker Campbell.

Jaded by love and relationships in general, Wren wants nothing to do with the hazel-eyed stunner and his heart-stopping grins, but Tucker is always in her way. When Wren suddenly finds herself bombarded by a mysterious man’s unwanted affections, she’s forced to turn to Tucker for help.

As Wren’s case turns from disturbing to deadly, Tucker whisks her away to his mountain home in Utah. Haunted by memories and long-ago tragedies, Tucker soon realizes his past and Wren’s present are colliding. With a killer on the loose and time running out, Tucker must discover a madman’s motives before Wren becomes his next victim.

“I loved the book, the chemistry between all the players, always love it when a man knows what he wants and goes about getting it. Of course I did cry some tears and my spine tingled not just the suspense but the intimate times Tucker and Wren spent together and not just between the sheets.”  Seawitch Reviews

Book Six

Justice For Abby, the story of Abigail and Jerrod. (4.6 Stars / Award Winner!)

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Fashion designer Abigail Harris has been rescued, but her nightmare is far from over. Determined to put her harrowing ordeal behind her and move on, she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life while eluding the men who want her dead.

The Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring is in ruins after Abby’s interviews with the police. The organization is eager to exact their revenge before her testimony dismantles the multi-million dollar operation for good.

Abby’s safety rests in the hands of former US Marshal, Jerrod Quinn. Serious-minded and obsessed with protocol, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest agent finds himself dealing with more than he bargains for when he agrees to take on his beautiful, free-spirited client.

As the trial date nears, Abby’s case takes a dangerous turn. Abby and Jerrod soon discover themselves in a situation neither of them expect while Jerrod fights to stop the ring from silencing Abby once and for all.

“I really thought this would be a routine bodyguard/subject book, boy was I wrong. Cate Beauman’s characters popped! By the end of this book (which I read in one sitting) I was exhausted but replete… From paragraph to paragraph this story shifts and changes. The betrayals and surprises come at the reader at a furious pace. And while this story revolves around a very dark occurrence, there are enough moments that will make you smile, chuckle, snort and go “awwwww.”  
Sebella Blue

Book Seven

Saving Sophie, the story of Sophie and Stone. (4.7 Stars / Award Winner!)

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Jewelry designer Sophie Burke has fled Maine for the anonymity of the big city. She’s starting over with a job she tolerates and a grungy motel room she calls home on the wrong side of town, but anything is better than the nightmare she left behind.

Stone McCabe is Ethan Cooke Security’s brooding bad boy more interested in keeping to himself than anything else—until the gorgeous blond with haunted violet eyes catches his attention late one rainy night.

Stone reluctantly gives Sophie a hand only to quickly realize that the shy beauty with the soft voice and pretty smile has something to hide. Tangled up in her secrets, Stone offers Sophie a solution that has the potential to free her from her problems once and for all—or jeopardize both of their lives.

Saving Sophie is truly a beautiful story… Cate has woven a meaningful story about a courageous woman who overcomes domestic violence to build a life for herself…The author beautifully shows the readers the struggles and fears that Sophie goes through to break free. There is pain in sorrow and beauty in the tears. The heroine is broken and whole. She survives to show us that if you have the courage and the will you can overcome all odds… Saving Sophie is about abuse, courage, romance, honor and so much more.” Rebecca

 

Book Eight

 

Reagan’s Redemption, the story of Reagan and Shane. (4.5 Stars / Award Winner!)

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Doctor Reagan Rosner loves her fast-paced life of practicing medicine in New York City’s busiest trauma center. Kind and confident, she’s taking her profession by storm–until a young girl’s accidental death leaves her shaken to her core. With her life a mess and her future uncertain, Reagan accepts a position as Head Physician for The Appalachia Project, an outreach program working with some of America’s poorest citizens.

Shane Harper, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest team member, has been assigned a three-month stint deep in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, and he’s not too happy about it. Guarding a pill safe in the middle of nowhere is boring as hell, but when he gets a look at his new roommate, the gorgeous Doctor Rosner, things start looking up.

Shane and Reagan encounter more than a few mishaps as they struggle to gain the trust of a reluctant community. They’re just starting to make headway when a man’s routine checkup exposes troubling secrets the town will do anything to keep hidden–even if that means murder.

“Cate Beauman’s eagerly anticipated book Reagan’s Redemption the 8th book in her Bodyguards of La series did not disappoint! I have not found a book in a long time that I just could not put down. I literally stayed up until 2am reading. This book had it all, suspense, great hero, heroine, mystery, and romance. I believe Cate definitely knocked this one out of the part.” Jeannie K

Book Nine

Answers For Julie, the story of Julie and Chase. (4.6 Stars! / Award Winner)Buy Now!

Julie Keller relishes the simple things: hot chocolate on winter nights, good friends she calls her family, and her laid-back career as a massage therapist and yoga instructor. Julie is content with her life until Chase Rider returns to Bakersfield.

Bodyguard Chase Rider isn’t thrilled to be back in the town where he spent his childhood summers. His beloved grandmother passed away, leaving him a house in need of major repairs. With a three-week timetable and a lot to do, he doesn’t have time for distractions. Then he bumps into Julie, the one woman he hoped never to see again. Chase tries to pretend Julie doesn’t exist, but ten years hasn’t diminished his attraction to the hazel-eyed stunner.

When a stranger grabs Julie’s arm at the grocery store—a woman who insists Julie’s life isn’t what it seems, Chase can’t help but get involved. Julie and Chase dig into a twenty-five-year-old mystery, unearthing more questions than answers. But the past is closer than they realize, and the consequences of the truth have the potential to be deadly.

“This series just gets better and better! I loved Answers for Julie – as with the whole series, it’s a careful balance between suspense and romance, the characters are really well developed, and the plot moved at just the right pace with a fair number of surprises thrown in!” LCF

Book Ten

Finding Lyla, the story of Lyla and Collin. (4.7 Stars!)Buy Now!

Principal Dancer Lyla Markovik-Avery is always on the go. Grueling practices and endless performances rule her busy days–and things are about to get more hectic. Russia is rolling out the red carpet for their beloved star, despite the string of violent terrorist attacks that have rocked the nation.

Bodyguard Collin Michaels’ life is falling apart. His long-time relationship recently ended. He’s trying to start over, but that’s easier said than done. Luckily, Collin has a new assignment on the horizon: keeping a beautiful ballerina safe for the next three weeks.

Collin finds comfort in Lyla’s easy friendship, but that all changes after a night out on the town. Simple feelings become complicated–something Collin can’t afford, especially when tragedy strikes and Collin realizes Lyla’s caught in the middle of a dangerous plot for revenge.

Collin and Lyla are forced to flee. They need to reach the border before it’s too late, but the odds are stacked against them in a country that wants them dead. With time running out, Collin formulates a risky plan that might be their only chance of making it out alive.

“In reading the synopsis, I wasn’t sure how I would like this although I love all of Cate’s books. Boy, was this a surprise for me. This book is wonderfully written with so many twists and turns, it was hard to put down. Such a beautiful love story with action, suspense, drama, and a bit of sadness too. I loved Lyla and felt sad because of how she felt she had to live her life. I also loved Collin and how he recognized the journey that Lyla needed to take. Of course, being a man, he is on his own journey of self realization as well. Wonderful story that I KNOW I will be reading again.” Ree Ree

 

Meet the Author
International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards.Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on her twelfth full length novel.


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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Romantic Suspense on April 14, 2017

Synopsis

The hero we’ve all been waiting for…

Ethan “Ozzie” Sykes

Former Navy SEAL

Underground operator for Black Knights Inc., the covert government defense firm disguised as a custom motorcycle shop

In a black-on-black international mission that went seriously sideways, Ozzie was badly injured—now he’s stuck at BKI headquarters in Chicago, champing at the bit to get out into the field again. To his disgust, he’s tasked with distracting Chicago Tribune ace reporter Samantha Tate, who’s been trying to dig up the dirt on BKI for years. Turns out Samantha’s beauty, intelligence and sense of humor are a seriously big distraction, and Ozzie’s losing his desire to keep her at bay.

Ozzie’s tired of hiding, and Samantha may be the best—and worst—person to share his secrets with…

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Excerpt

Ozzie’s pounding heart jumped into his throat when the Basilisks’ sergeant at arms slid from his chair at the high-top and bolted after her, reaching into the back of his waistband for the weapon he’d stored there. Reaction time for men in Ozzie and Christian’s business was faster than the speed of thought, so a split second later, they were off their stools, weapons out, and barreling across the room.

Samantha!

Ozzie wasn’t sure if he screamed her name aloud, or if that was just his soul crying out in terror.

“Stop!” he yelled, blasting through the back door and sighting down the barrel of his Beretta 92 FS at the Basilisk’s beefy back. The biker had an eight-inch hunting knife fisted in his hand, and he was closing the distance to Samantha.

“I said stop!” Ozzie shouted again, plowing down the dark alley and darting around a big, blue dumpster that, from the overpowering smell of it, was in dire need of a visit from the trash man.

The pounding of his feet on the dirty asphalt sent daggers of pain slicing through his injured thigh. The agony traveled up his spine to stab into the base of his skull.

Neither the biker nor Samantha bothered to glance back, prompting him to make his intentions crystal-fucking-clear. “Drop that pigsticker, asshole! Or I’ll put a bullet in the back of your skull and then piss on your corpse!”

That did it. The biker skidded to a stop, slowly lifting his hands in the air. Ozzie blew out a relieved breath when Samantha made it to the mouth of the alley and escaped around the corner.

What the hell have you gotten yourself involved in this time, Samantha?

“Was the pissing-on-his-corpse bit really necessary?” Christian asked as they slowed their momentum to stalk toward the Basilisk.

“I don’t believe in pulling my punches.” Ozzie skirted around the biker so he could get a good look at the man’s face. And conversely, let the man get a good look at the business end of his Beretta to discourage the dickwad from attempting any funny business.

The light from the street lamps in the parking lot filtered into the mouth of the alley and lit the Basilisk’s hairy face. Ozzie could see the words forming in the guy’s beady black eyes before he hissed them aloud. “Who the f* are you?” His vocal cords sounded like they’d been marinated in years of bad bourbon.

“Friends of the lady,” Ozzie said. The sound of the biker’s heavy breathing filled the alley. His robust middle said he wasn’t a stranger to milk shakes and cheese fries, and it’d likely been years since he’d managed more than a brisk walk.

When the biker smiled, it revealed his front teeth, all of which were gold and speckled with flecks of chewing tobacco. To call the dude ugly would be an offense to the word. He was f*ing ugly. “Aw, I wasn’t gonna hurt her,” Fugly said, adding a wink that set Ozzie’s blood boiling.

His finger twitched against his trigger. The day they’d pinned his SEAL Budweiser to his chest was the day killing had become a part of his life. But taking out jihadists in the backwoods of Afghanistan was a far cry from punching a fat biker’s ticket in a Chicago alleyway. Through gritted teeth, Ozzie managed, “Drop the knife.”

“Now why would I do that?”

“Because if you don’t, you won’t be able to see or pee straight by the time we’re finished with you.”

“Big talk.”

Ozzie wiggled his Beretta from side to side. “Backed up by a big gun. Now drop the blade.”

“You won’t shoot me,” Fugly declared, his smile stretching to reveal back teeth yellowed not by gold but by poor dental hygiene. Just looking at them made Ozzie feel filthier than the floor of a taxicab.

“Look, rotten mouth.” His patience was stretched tight. “I’m trying real hard to be polite, but I have to tell you, it’s not something I excel at.”

“F* you.”

“Oh, now see?” Ozzie shook his head. “That just got you removed from my Christmas list. You’ve got two seconds to comply before I add you to my other list. It’s titled: Dickheads I’ve Shot in the Gut.”

The biker eyed him for a good two seconds. Then he uncurled his fingers from the hilt of the knife. The blade caught the light and glinted as it somersaulted through the air, hitting the asphalt at his feet hilt-first.

“There,” Fugly said. “Happy now?”

Getting there. “You hiding any other weapons?”

“Just my dick.” The dude spit a huge glob of tobacco juice on the ground next to Ozzie’s boot. It was a visual f* you.

“Comedian, huh?” Ozzie asked.

Now that Samantha was safe and the adrenaline was letting down, he realized he was sweating. June in Chicago usually went one of two ways. Either spring held on with a fierce grip, keeping temps mild. Or summer came on like a she-devil, setting the city on fire. This year was the former, but since there wasn’t a breath of wind in the alley, the coolness of the night barely penetrated the insulation of his biker jacket. What little air there was felt thick…expectant, like an electrical storm rolled in the distance.

A trickle of perspiration slid from his temple to his chin. He was using his free hand to wipe it away when a noise from the parking lot had his blood running cold and goose bumps crawling over the back of his neck. It was a squeal of alarm. And it came from Samantha.

“Watch him!” Ozzie shouted, turning and running for the mouth of the alley without a backward glance.

 

About the Author

Julie Ann Walker is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling Author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series. She is prone to spouting movie quotes and song lyrics. She’ll never say no to sharing a glass of wine or going for a long walk. She prefers impromptu travel over the scheduled kind, and she takes her coffee with milk. You can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Romantic Suspense on March 19, 2017

 

Synopsis

I’m a wanted jewel thief.

He’s FBI.

What’s that saying? Keep your friends close…and your husband closer.

Being married to a federal agent certainly has its perks.

  1. I just love the way that man looks in a suit.
  2. This way I always know what the enemy is up to.

Spending my days lifting jewels and my nights tracking the Bureau should have been a genius plan. But the closer I get to Grant Emerson, the more dangerous this feels. With two million dollars’ worth of diamonds on the line, I can’t afford to fall for my own husband.

It turns out that the only thing worse than having a mortal enemy is being married to one. Because in our game of theft and seduction, only one of us will come out on top.

Good thing a cat burglar always lands on her feet.

A sexy, fun, cat-and-mouse chase that hooked me from page one!”  —JENNIFER PROBST, New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author of The Marriage Bargain

 

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Excerpt

“You have good taste in friends, I’ll give you that,” Grant said as soon as they moved out of earshot. “I like her.”

So did I. “I hope your partner can be trusted with her. He seems…” By the book? Straitlaced?

Unpleasant? “Serious.”

Grant twisted his head to look at me. “He is serious. But he’s also been my partner for a long time. I can safely promise you that no harm will come to her through his hands.”

Much as I hated to admit it, I would have to trust this man enough to take him at his word. Of course, that didn’t mean I failed to notice that he fully reserved the right to cause harm through his own hands. I wasn’t stupid.

I smiled to show my blessing. Grant smiled back to accept my blessing. And that was that.

“Excellent,” he said and turned his attention to the bar. “I’ll have what the lady’s having. And get her another.”

“Make mine a double this time, bartender.”

The bartender winked at me and carefully poured out two glasses of tonic water. Grant took his in hand with an almost perplexed look on his face.

“Sorry to ruin your big moment,” I said. “But I don’t drink.”

“Ever?”

“Not since I was about eighteen years old.” I shrugged an apology and set to work squeezing my lemon. It behooved me to tread lightly moving forward—especially regarding my tales of the past—but if I wanted to get answers out of this man, I would have to open up enough to keep him interested. Give and take, push and pull. Nothing in this world was free. “I drank a lot of malt liquor and bottom-shelf vodka when I was young—and I mean a lot.”

“Fake ID?”

“Five-fingered discount.”

Grant’s eyes flashed in an expression of interest, the same way they always did when I surprised him with the truth. “Ah, youthful dissipation. I know it well.”

Somehow, I very much doubted that. “Oh, yeah? You hit up a lot of liquor stores when you were a kid, Agent Emerson?”

He laughed and loosened the knot of his tie, just like every other lackey in the place. Unlike everyone else, however, there was a sensuality about the action, a man allowing himself to come undone at just the throat. A flash of that vulnerable spot, taut with muscles and sprinkled with hair, was all that he released to me.

Oh, dear God. It was enough.

“I wasn’t always an officer and a gentleman. I had my fair share of youthful shenanigans.”

“If you called them shenanigans, I promise you had no such thing.”

This time, his laugh was a rumble, that force of nature not even his massive strength could hold back. “You’re a fascinating woman, you know that? The stories I bet you could tell…” He had no freaking idea.

Or maybe he did.

“You’re probably wondering what I’m doing here.” I changed the subject with a smile, fishing around in my bag. My fingers sought the peace offering I’d brought with me. “I came to apologize for storming out on you the other day, and to give you this.”

“This?”

I handed over a carefully wrapped box the size of his palm. “I’ve got a few connections. It’s probably better if you don’t ask.”

His face revealed absolutely nothing as he took the gift in hand, but I could tell he was surprised. Three times I’d encountered this man, and I was already beginning to figure him out. His laughter was genuine, his smile devastating, his sense of humor perfectly intact. He was also phenomenally good at hiding any emotion other than that. Amusement and interest were allowed to run free, but the rest of it—the suspicion and the alarm, the fact that he genuinely thought I just handed him a stolen piece of jewelry or drugs in the middle of a federal agent’s bar—was quashed before it had a chance to surface.

He was good. He was very, very good.

But I was better.

About the Author

Tamara Morgan is a contemporary romance author of humorous, heartfelt stories with flawed heroes and heroines designed to get your hackles up and make your heart melt. Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them.j

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