Thursday, May 28, 2020

#BookReview – “Dark Demon” by Christine Feehan



Blurb

For as long as she can remember, Natalya has been fighting demons; first in the form of childhood nightmares, then later, immortal creatures that kill and prey on the innocent--including her own twin brother. Whether Carpathian or vampire, she slays those who murder by night, and has no equal until she is seduced by the very thing she considers her enemy...

A Carpathian who has seen nearly everything in his endless existence, Vikirnoff doesn't think he can be surprised anymore, until he faces a woman who rivals him as a vampire hunter. A formidable and gifted warrior in her own right, Natalya has a nature that is strangely familiar - yet alien - to his own. Who is this mysterious female who fears no one, not even him? Natalya could the key to the survival of the Carpathians, but all Vikirnoff is certain of is that she is the key to his heart and soul...
  

Review

In the thirteenth book of the Dark/Carpathian series, vampire slayer Natalya is on the run from a very determined Carpathian hunter. Raised to hate both hunters and vampires, she actively avoids hunters, but vampires always seek her out. Since she’s part mage, part human, and part Carpathian, she wields a lot of power and magic. Though she comes from the distinguished Dragonseeker line, she doesn’t know much about her heritage, and what she does know, well, it’s a lie.
Vikirnoff Von Shrieder has been searching for Natalya for a while and finally finds her in the midst of battle, but she isn’t the lifemate he expected. She’s brash, funny, stubborn, and doesn’t obey him. In other words, she drives him crazy!
Vikirnoff and Natalya bicker a lot, but it’s hilarious playful bantering. He was bossy, sure, but he wasn’t cold and harsh to her. She was strong enough to handle and flabbergast her man, which makes her one of the best heroines in the series.
A great cast of secondary characters played big roles in this book. Jubal, Gabrielle, Falcon, Sara, Mikhail, Raven—just to name a few.
This book definitely had a lot of villains and action scenes, which was great. Xavier, the evil and powerful mage intent on destroying the Carpathians, is probably the cruelest, strongest villain yet to be introduced in the series. Sweet and brilliant Gabrielle meets an unexpected fate, her future with Gary temporarily shelved. Razvan, Natalya’s beloved twin, has turned evil, or so everyone believes. So much stuff happened, and more will be revealed in later books.
This is definitely one of the better books in the series.
4 Stars

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

#MFRWhooks - "Cinderella's Enchanted Night"



#MFRWHooks

Welcome to the weekly Marketing for Romance Writers Book Hooks. Every week authors get together to share their news and hook readers onto their books. 

If you're interested in sweet sex, love, and happily ever afters, keep on reading... 

Book 4 in The Cinderella Body Club series
Heat Rating - Sensual - 2 Flames 
Contemporary Romance with a Magical Twist 

Blurb 


Annalise Gallagher wanted Elijah Burleigh. Plain and simple. She’d watched him from afar for months, her friends called her ‘his own personal stalker’, and then she made a wish on a magic pendant for a full-body makeover. Transformed into the gorgeous knockout she always wanted to be, she asked Elijah out on a date and wore a haute couture gown straight from Paris to his friend’s wedding.
With just twenty-four hours on the clock, her enchanted night faded into the morning hours and everything crashed down around her. Annalise harbored a shameful secret and Elijah demanded the truth with the veil of magic gone.
The truth, however, could destroy her fragile confidence and push him away forever.

Excerpt 


“I just want to think about tonight.” Annalise shifted her face out of his grasp and licked his index finger. “Just you and me in these gorgeous clothes and in the most elegant Victorian-style bedroom I’ve ever seen. I’m not perfect, Elijah, and I have baggage you don’t want to know about but let’s put everything else aside for tonight. Will you make love to me, and accept whatever happens in the morning?”

Elijah tilted his head to the side. “I think you’re underestimating me about something but I don’t know what.” He reached up and removed a few strategically-placed jeweled bobby pins from her hairdo. The curly locks cascaded around her shoulders and then he pulled her shawl off her arms and took her purse to lay on a nearby vanity. His chest rumbled as he spoke. “Okay, tonight will be about sex. Tomorrow, I want an explanation.”

Saturday, May 23, 2020

#BookSpotlight - "Queen of the Castle" by Lyndell Williams


Blurb

From award-winning, bestselling author, Lyndell Williams, a story of bridled desire unleashed.

Tarika is happy living single. She loves her home—her castle—and is not looking for some man to try and take over everything she has built. When her best friend, Hafsah throws Aqil her way, Tarika makes it clear that she is not interested in the shy man, who barely speaks to her. When she needs his help after an accident, she allows Aqil and his daughter into her life, making it difficult to resist his sexy gray eyes and sultry smile. The more time she spends with him, the harder it is to keep her distance.

Aqil planned to stay focused on rebuilding his life with his daughter after a messy divorce until he saw Tarika. He tries to maintain a respectful amount of space, but her confidence and beauty draw him in. He knows he has everything Tarika needs and gets closer to her, bringing them into a passionate abandon that can break down the walls of her inhibitions but may also shatter their lives.

Buy Link

Available at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088P8WR33/

Author Bio

Lyndell Williams (Layla Abdullah-Poulos) holds a B.A. in Historical Studies and Literature, M.A. in Liberal Studies, and an AC in Women and Gender Studies. She is an adjunct instructor as well as an anti-racism and gender equity advocate. She is the senior New York trainer for the Muslim Anti-Racism collaborative.
Williams is a cultural critic with a background in literary criticism specializing in romance. She has been published in peer-review journals and presented at national conferences about Muslim and interracial romance fiction as well as racism, sexism and the Black Muslim experience.
She is the founder and managing editor of the NbA Muslims blog on Patheos and a cultural contributor for Radio Islam USA. She is a contributor to the online publications About Islam and Haute Hijab.
Williams is the lead content editor WriteType Editorial Services and mentors aspiring writers across genres.
She’s had numerous short stories published in collections and enjoys a growing list of subscribers to her Layla Writes Love online short story series.
Williams self-published her first interracial romance novel My Way to You. The novel made it onto four Amazon bestsellers lists its premiere weekend.
She is committed to the traditional use of literature as social commentary to affect positive social change.
Williams is married and the mother of six children.

Social Media

Blog - https://laylawriteslove.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/laylawriteslove/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/laylawriteslove
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/laylawriteslove/
YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWpN2YTkr9cGO9Z7-AB8xNw
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/laylawriteslove
Amazon - http://amazon.com/author/laylawriteslove
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/abdullahpoulos/lyndell-williams-author/

Thursday, May 21, 2020

#BookReview – “Dark Secret” by Christine Feehan


Blurb

Rafael De La Cruz has spent centuries hunting vampires with his brothers, and with each passing year his capacity to feel emotions has grown weaker and weaker until finally there's barely been a memory left-until only sheer willpower keeps him from turning into the very abomination he hunts. But it'll take more than will to keep him away from the woman who is meant to be his and his alone…

For five years, rancher Colby Jansen has been the sole protector of her younger half-siblings, and with fierce determination and work she has kept her family together and the ranch operational. Now, the De La Cruz brothers are threatening that stability. They claim that her siblings belong with their father's family, not with her. Colby vows to fight them-especially the cold and arrogant Rafael De La Cruz. But Rafael is after more than her family-he wants Colby and will not let anything stand between them. After ages of loneliness, the raw desire to possess her overwhelms his very soul, driving him to claim her as his lifemate.
 
Review

In the twelfth book of the Dark/Carpathian series, Colby Jansen is desperately trying to keep her ranch up and running, but she’s in serious debt and dangerous “accidents” are happening on her property. After the death of her mother and stepfather, she’s raising her younger half-brother and half-sister the best she can, but then her stepfather’s brothers and the brothers’ wealthy employers arrive to take her siblings away.
Rafael De La Cruz knows Colby is his lifemate at first sight, but he doesn’t care about her hopes or feelings. To him, she is his property and the only thing that will save him from eternal damnation, from turning into a vampire. He literarily needs her, so he takes her. He manipulates her mind, seduces her, and begins her conversion—all without her knowledge or consent. Even though he feels remorse for his actions—after realizing she feels violated—he’s still shocked that she doesn’t want him.
Rafael and Colby are very stubborn characters who usually refuse to compromise, especially Rafael. He’s harsh, cold, and demanding, but he does care for Colby and wants her to be safe and healthy. Her happiness, however, takes second place to her safety, so they were often at odds.
Colby is insanely attracted to him. Though she felt torn about what to do, she usually submitted to him but kept their relationship sexual. She fought him and their budding romance every step of the way, which became annoying after a while.
Nicolas, Rafael’s brother, is just as arrogant and frustrating. I didn’t like him much in this book, but I know that he’s calmed down and is a better man in his own book, Dark Curse.
Natalya, a rare Carpathian female, is kickass and awesome! I love the history of the Dragonseekers. Her and Colby’s family line is one of strongest in the series, and one of the most controversial.
This isn’t my favorite Carpathian book by far, but it’s special to me because it’s the first one I read years ago when I first discovered this series (back when I was in my very early 20s). I know a lot of readers abhor this book, and I understand why, but Rafael’s intense control issue does make sense for the character. He’s not in control of his dark side, so it’s obvious problems will arise. If Ms. Feehan wrote him like most of the previous heroes, then she’ll just be recycling the same old character. Rafael is something new.
The writing style is the same as usual, but I’ve grown accustomed to it.
3 Stars

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

#MFRWhooks - "Forever Winter"

#MFRWhooks #MFRWauthor #HistoricalRomance #RegencyRomance #Sweet #Clean #Debut

Christmas stories are always fun in the summer...



Heat Rating - Sweet - 1 Flame

Regency Christmas novella

Blurb



Viscount Camden Beckinworth had lived the life of a devil-may-care rake until his parents’ untimely death. He cast aside his personal life, returned home to save the crumbling family business and decided to re-enter Society five years later. By then, the pesky little sister of his two best childhood friends had grown into a lovely woman.
After two disastrous London seasons, Susanna Lorican accepted a marriage proposal from a neighborhood friend and, while she had adored him since childhood, she never expected the man of her dreams to reciprocate her feelings. She planned the perfect Christmas Eve wedding but she didn’t expect a snowstorm to barrel through the English countryside on the morning of.
Does social peril and uncontrollable weather keep the lovebirds from the altar or do they find their happily ever after in the midst of a disastrous wedding day?

Excerpt 

Camden drew her into his arms and brushed his lips across her hairline. “I make my own luck.” He blew softly in her ear. She shivered in response. “We control our destiny, Susanna, no one else. Besides, you have nothing to worry about. The one activity we shared truly worth gossiping about will never reach the light of day.”

Her face flamed even hotter. Air escaped her lungs in short, choppy gasps as she remembered the way he touched and fondled her for hours. That wonderful activity made her feel as if she was the most cherished woman in the entire world. She despised double standards, as did Camden, but because her good name and reputation needed to remain protected in all areas, especially in high society gossip circles, they refused to make love again until their wedding night.

But now, with her wedding possibly postponed, she glanced at the open doorway one last time and pushed it from her mind. She embraced Camden with all her strength. She was so tired of denying the wondrous craving that pooled in her stomach when he was near. Kissing him as if her life depended on it, she felt his breath entered her mouth and traveled deep into her lungs. She tasted his strong, rich essence and nearly melted. Trailing her hands up the back of his neck, she pulled free the ribbon pinning his long hair respectably to his nape and buried her hands in the dark silk. His embrace soothed the anger, worry and misery burning inside her.

Camden responded with equal fervor. He clasped the narrow dip of her waist and massaged firm flesh sheathed beneath layers of restricting peach-patterned fabric. He growled low in his throat and bent at the knees to reach the lacy hem of her day dress. Lifting several layers of skirt to grasp her thigh, he silenced her shocked moan by deepening the kiss. Her warm skin flared hot beneath his exploration. He trailed his hand higher until Susanna finally broke free from their intense kiss and twisted free of his smoldering embrace.

She stumbled back and braced herself against the sofa. She felt deliciously exposed and wanton beneath his yearning gaze. Breathing heavily, blushing scarlet, Susanna scowled at her fiancĂ© but couldn’t find the desire to reprimand him. He rarely touched her like that. She loved when he did. With any luck, after tonight, they wouldn’t have to restrain themselves any more. 





Buy Links



Amazon: http://amzn.to/XmHYda (US);

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/19KFuH1


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

#NEBT - "Rock You Like a Hurricane" by Sierra Brave



Blurb:

Lifelong best friends, Tommy Marks and Ken Davidson know each other so well they’re an unstoppable team able to complement respective strengths while ironing out each other’s weaknesses. Neither man can imagine a life without the other, but they never expected to fall for the same women. College student, Trisha Harper is fascinated by the synergy between Ken and Tommy. She's attracted to both and unable or unwilling to decide which man she likes best.
As the trio prepares to ride out a hurricane together, Tommy and Ken make a gentleman’s agreement promising neither will make a move on Trisha. With the tropical cyclone raging outside and the electricity out, the stakes are high, and their pact might not withstand the eye of the storm. Both men teeter between desire and the fear of rejection and loss, but Trisha has no plans to break up the dynamic duo. For her, it’s all or nothing, and she’s determined to have Tommy and devour Ken too.

Disclaimer: Rock You Like a Hurricane is a male-female-male (MFM), sensuous romance. Themes include explicitly sexual situations. If such content might offend you, please do not buy this book
Although the Triple Passion Play series starts out as MFM in book one, the relationship progresses to MMF in later books.
Previously published by Liquid Silver Books.


Buy link: US UK CA AU


Excerpt

“Hey now! You’re going to mess up my luxurious locks.” Tommy ran a hand through his hair while smirking before he bent forward and snatch the pillow with one hand while gathering her up with his free arm. Trisha squirmed, resisting until Tommy pulled her into his lap and wrapped his arms around her waist. “Settle down now.” He nuzzled the side of her head.
Her chest tightened and her pussy sent shockwaves through her core. Tommy had hugged her before, but he had never held her close in such an intimate way. His hard chest supported her shoulder while his soft, yummy-smelling hair brushed against her neck and cheek. For some reason, he smelled like Ken tonight. She closed her eyes, breathing in his fragrance. Oh! Her eyes flickered open as his cock stirred beneath. He’s getting hard! Trisha’s breath caught in her throat, and she pursed her lips to repress a smile. As her eyelashes fluttered, she caught the expression on Ken’s face. Shit. He looks as if he’s been punched in the gut. Is he jealous? I can’t have these two fighting.
Scooting back into her seat, Trisha used both hands to shove Tommy away. “Unhand me, you troll!”
“Troll!” Tommy scrunched up his nose and twisted his lips.
“Well, when you make that face.” She pointed and laughed. “I saw a deck of cards over by the snacks. Let’s play poker.”
Tommy grinned and nodded. “Sure, but Ken will wipe the floor with us.”
Trisha shot a look Ken’s way, offering him a smile and a wink before awkwardly looking away while playing with her hair.
Ken stretched in his seat. “As much as I’d love to rake you two over the coals, we don’t have any chips.”
Well, here’s my opening. Hope my voice doesn’t crack. Trisha lifted her face, batting her lashes at him. “Who needs chips when we have clothes?

Q&A with Sierra Brave

What made you decide to re-publish the first book in the Triple Passion Play series?
Sierra: After the unfortunate passing of the owner of the publishing company, my rights to Rock You Like a Hurricane reverted to me. To keep the book available, I had to re-publish.

You made extensive revisions. Why?
Sierra: The characters in the Triple Passion Play series are some of my favorites which is probably why I wrote four books featuring them. The first book was published in 2016. When I was ready to re-publish, I took a fresh look at the story. Rock You Like a Hurricane was still a fun, sexy read, but in the past four years, I’ve learned a lot, and my writing style has changed. The voice no longer sounded like my own so I edited until the characters and story felt like they belonged to me again.

Were there any major changes in the plot?
Sierra: No. The bones and the heart of the story are the same. The timeframe covers less than forty-eight hours—Rock You Like a Hurricane is all about the catalyst for the deeper relationship developing between Ken, Tommy, and Trisha in the next three books.

Is Rock You Like a Hurricane a historical romance?
Sierra: Not really. I call it a retro erotic romance. I wrote book four, Triple Naughty Christmas, first before any of what became the first three books. My intended had been to write a stand-alone holiday romance about a seasoned poly relationship. Once my middle-aged trio began to come to life on the pages, I felt like a lot more of the story of Trisha, Tommy, and Ken deserved to be told. The beginning seemed like a great place to start. Book one is set in 1996 when the three MCs are still in college.

Why does Rock You Like a Hurricane feature so much world-building?
Sierra: I wanted to convey a sense of nostalgia for the mid-to-late 90s, but I spent a lot of energy setting the scene for a much larger reason. In order for older readers to be able to relate to the main characters, I needed them to feel as if they were stepping into the college coed/new adult mind frame. Tommy, Trisha, and Ken behave differently in book one than they do in book four because they’re not nearly as mature or confident yet. Navigating the early days of adulthood is a challenging time often filled with impulsive decisions and mixed-emotions of anxiety and excitement. I wanted my mature readers to remember those heart-pounding, fly-by-the-seat of your pants, but in some ways, much simpler days

Connect with Sierra Brave

More Books by Sierra Brave, in the Triple Passion Play series

The Power of Three
Amazon USUKCAAU
Other Retailers: https://books2read.com/u/4DoyPr

Baby Makes Four
Amazon USUKCAAU
Other Retailers: https://books2read.com/u/mKKYAL

Triple Naughty Christmas
Amazon USUKCAAU
Other Retailers: https://books2read.com/u/bzvGw9

Friday, May 15, 2020

#PreOrder - "Root Brew Float" by Sydney Winward


Blurb:

Josephine Brevil has lived hundreds of years haunted by the horrors she experienced during the Salem Witch Trials. She takes great care to hide her powers, though serving a Root Brew Float laced with a magic potion now and again never hurt anybody. The Order sends her to Massachusetts to deal with a paranormal threat, and she meets the young and handsome widower, Clarence Watts. However, being with him comes with a choice. How can she choose between the man she loves and the magic she holds dear?

Excerpt:

“There’s a reason we’re inside the circle. Nothing can touch us in here. Now close your eyes and listen to my voice.” She paused for a moment to take a deep breath, channeling the magic swirling within her core. “Clarence Watts, our task here is to send your deceased wife into the afterlife, beyond the door and into the next realm. If you have done as I previously instructed, you have gotten rid of many of Heidi’s earthly belongings, which is a crucial step to letting her go. Now, imagine a rope that connects you to Heidi. Cut it and sever the tie.”

“It can’t be that simple.”

“It’s not. It’s symbolic of freeing her, but the act of letting go is another story altogether.”

“I’m not sure how I’m supposed to let her go.”

“Cling onto something else you care about. It usually helps.”

His hands tightened around hers. She cracked her eyes open, her heart racing as she stared at their conjoined hands. The word home echoed in her mind again, and when she tried to push it away, it slammed back into her stronger than before.

Home is with the Order, she insisted.

Yet, her pounding heart didn’t believe her.
 
Coming Soon...
 
 
About the Author:

Sydney Winward was born with an artistic brain and a love of discovery for new talents. From drawing to sewing to music, she has loved to explore every opportunity that comes her way. At a young age, Sydney discovered her love of writing and wrote her first book at twelve years old, and since then, she hasn’t been able to stop writing. Her active imagination and artistic mind take her away to different worlds and time periods, making every new story a fantastic adventure. When she is not writing (or fawning over animals in the neighborhood) she spends time with her husband and children at home in Utah.

Social Links:

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Instagram





Thursday, May 14, 2020

#GuestPost - "Mail Order Beatrice" by Caroline Clemmons

Writing In A Multi-Author Project (MAP)

The past few years I have found writing in multi-author projects entertaining and successful. I’m referring to independently published works and not those like, for instance, Harlequin. In the event you’re not familiar with how a MAP functions, I’ll explain.

The MAP creator comes up with the premise which may or may not involve the location. For instance, each of the Matchmaker’s Ball series takes place in Creede, Colorado. On the other hand, the Pinkerton Matchmaker Series has the couple marrying in Denver, Colorado, but may then involve any location (usually west of the Mississippi). One of my favorite of those I’ve written this year, STUART, Bachelors and Babies Series, involves a bachelor who somehow becomes in charge of a baby under two. My latest two releases, MAIL-ORDER VICTORIA and MAIL-ORDER BEATRICE, are part of the Widows, Brides, and Secret Babies series. Both involve a baby that is a surprise to the groom when he meets his bride’s train or stage. (Victoria’s groom had surprises for her, too.)

The length is also a variable set by the series organizer. They may be as short as a 20,000 word story or as long as a 55,000 book. Occasionally one might see a longer MAP, but those are rare.

If readers like the premise, hopefully they will want to read the entire series. If they do, an author can gain new fans. All authors want more of those!

Truthfully, creating a book to someone else’s specifications is a little more difficult. I find the most difficult are the Pinkerton Matchmaker Series books because they involve (1) a mystery and (2) it takes place somewhere new and/or involves a new skill that involves research. I love research but tend to fall down rabbit holes when I start studying a subject—i.e. time drain.

The ease or difficulty can be as simple as how well the creator has planned and explained the parameters. If she constantly makes changes or additions, authors can waste a lot of writing time redoing an outline or even a manuscript. Experienced creators know to have this all set in guidelines BEFORE anyone starts writing.

Now you know all the things to appreciate the next time you read a multi-author project title. I hope this helps authors decide whether or not to join a multi-author project. 



MAIL-ORDER BEATRICE

Widows, Brides, and Secret Babies Series book 10
by
Caroline Clemmons
Historical western romance, sweet

ABOUT THE BOOK

Beatrice “Attie” Kendall has to escape from home with her six-week-old son. With the limited financial help of her kind brother, she goes to Atlanta where she consults a matchmaker. After the hard life Attie’s been dealt for her twenty years, she’ll finally have a good home with nice people and a friend nearby. In fact, her husband and their home seem too good to be true. Does she dare trust that her life has really changed?

Tate Merritt isn’t ready to get married but he gives in to his grandfather’s coercing. Grandpa raised him and Tate tries to please the older man. Tate doesn’t know what to think about this mail-order bride. She isn’t at all the wife he imagined—plus, she showed up with a baby! The child’s a cute little thing but Tate isn’t sure how he feels about her surprising him. How can he trust a woman whose story keeps changing?

Life presents obstacles to further complicate Attie and Tate’s marriage. They’ll have to work together to solve their problems and protect their family. Can they trust one another enough to make this marriage work?

Universal Amazon Link https://mybook.to/Attie

Amazon Link https://www.amazon.com/Beatrice-Widows-Brides-Secret-Babies-ebook/dp/B08711J8TJ/

ENJOY AN EXCERPT OF THEIR FIRST MEETING

Here’s an excerpt of when they meet:

Tate’s misgivings grew as the stage came closer. By the time the vehicle stopped in front of them, he was ready to turn tail and run for home. He’d given his word, though, and he never broke his word. That meant he’d stand here and look halfway pleased his bride had arrived—if she had.

First person off the stage was a pretty brunette. She turned back and took a basket from inside the stage and held it while a beautiful blonde stepped out. The blonde took the basket and hugged the brunette.

Reg walked up to the brunette. “You must be Hannah. I’m Reggie.” They walked off to where his parents stood.

Grandpa nudged him. “Son, are you nailed to the boardwalk?”

He came out of his reverie and walked to the blonde. She was a pretty woman and had a real sweet expression on her face.

“I’m Tate Merritt. Are you Beatrice Bishop?”

“I am. My friends call me Attie, but whichever you please is fine.”

“Shall I take the basket?”

“If you don’t mind.” She handed it to him and removed the cloth she had covering the basket.

He glanced at the contents then stared. “It… It’s a baby. I didn’t know you were bringing a baby. Is this kid yours?”

Her chin came up. “His name is Wade. I’m a widow, you see, and Wade is my son.”

Grandpa had strolled over and peered at the basket’s contents. “Well, I’ll be if that isn’t a cute little sprout. Wade you say? Looks like a fine boy.”

Her face radiated such joy her beauty increased. “He is a very good boy. I’m fortunate to have him.”

She looked at Tate. “I didn’t have a chance to let you know I was bringing him but the matchmaker said from what your minister wrote that she was sure you’d not mind. Your preacher mentioned what a kind and loving family yours was.”

Grandpa stood there grinning like a fool which certainly was no help.

“You’re here so I suppose we’ll manage. We’re due at the church now. I’ll load your luggage if you’ll show me which is yours.”

Grandpa reached for the basket. “I’ll take charge of my great-grandson.”

Muttering under his breath, Tate escorted his used bride to the pile of luggage the stage driver had set on the boardwalk.

Attie reached for a carpetbag. “This and that small trunk there. The brown one.”

“That’s all?”

“It is.” She raised her chin again—defiantly, he thought, but he supposed it could have been the difference in their height.

He gauged her size and judged her to be about six or seven inches over five feet. Her eyes were the brightest blue he’d ever seen. In addition to being wrinkled from the trip, her dress was plain and frayed at the cuffs and the hem.

Reg and his father loaded a large trunk and valise onto their wagon.

Reg laughed. “Funny our mail-order brides being friends, isn’t it? Guess you’re going to the church next so we’ll see you there.”

“You know Mr. Spencer?” His used bride touched his arm and appeared excited. “Why, that’s wonderful. Hannah and I are good friends. I hope we can visit them sometimes.”

He hefted her trunk and a heavy carpetbag. “Sure I know him. Guess I know about everyone in this county and the next. There aren’t that many of us.”

She kept step with him. “I get the feeling you’re not happy about the baby and me being a widow instead of never wed. I can understand that but I hope you won’t send me back.”

He stopped and looked at her. “Attie, I’m not sending you back. I can’t help being a little upset because I didn’t know you had a baby or that you were a widow.”

He started walking again. “I had this picture in my head. Give me a little time to get my mind changed around to the real you.”

ABOUT CAROLINE CLEMMONS

 
Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a tiny office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their two rescued indoor cats and dog as well as providing nourishment for outdoor critters.

The books she creates in her pink cave have made her a bestselling author and won awards. She writes sweet to sensual romances about the West, both historical and contemporary as well as time travel and mystery. Her series include the Kincaids, McClintocks, Stone Mountain Texas, Bride Brigade, Texas Time Travel, Texas Caprock Tales, Pearson Grove, and Loving A Rancher as well as numerous single titles and contributions to multi-author sets. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading her friends’ books, lunching with friends, browsing antique malls, checking Facebook, and taking the occasional nap. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Join her and other readers at Caroline’s Cuties, a Facebook readers group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/277082053015947/ for special excerpts, exchanging ideas, contests, giveaways, recipes, and talking to like-minded people about books and other fun things.

Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there.

Follow her on BookBub.

To stay up-to-date with her releases and contests, subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here and receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

#MFRWHooks #MFRWauthor - "Arresting Mason"

#MFRWHooks

Welcome to the weekly Marketing for Romance Writers Book Hooks. Every week authors get together to share their news and hook readers onto their books. 

If you're interested in bad boys, danger, intrigue, hot sex, love, and happily ever afters, keep on reading... 

Blurb

Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcĂ©e behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.

Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.
When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?

Tagline


Their chance encounter resulted in a steamy affair, but will his former gang and a parole officer tear them apart?


Excerpt



Mia scowled at her brother as he headed up the stairwell, and she used her body to block his entrance into her home.
Jim didn’t seem to notice her tense body language and pushed her aside to enter. “Good morning.” He hugged her with one arm and frowned at the hardwoods. “There’s something sticky on the floor.” He scraped his shoes over it a few times and headed toward the kitchen. “What’s for breakfast?”
“Why are you here?” Mia shut the door, grabbed the towel she’d left on the sofa, and used it to cover the evidence of her desire on the floor. The last thing she needed was for her brother to realize what that sticky substance was. Her gaze darted toward the telephone and answering machine combo in the living room and back to Jim as he picked up the pancake mix. The U-shaped kitchen occupied one half of the loft’s airy floor plan, and she could see into the kitchen through a gap between the upper and lower cabinets. “You know to call first. I don’t have any messages on the machine, and I doubt you called my cell phone.”
“I’m in the neighborhood to see a parolee for an unexpected visit—well, unexpected for him—but I thought I’d stop by to see you first.” Jim sat the box aside and opened the fridge door. “You have any more blueberry muffins?”
“No, you cleaned me out the last time you showed up unannounced.” She crossed her arms and glanced at the closed bedroom door. “Jim, you need to leave.” She’d rather shave her legs without aloe-infused shaving cream or live a whole month without a hairdryer than introduce her parole officer brother to her parolee—boyfriend, perhaps?—the day after the best sex of her life. Talk about awkward.
“What’s the rush? I haven’t seen you in a few days.” He grabbed an apple from the bowl on the counter and rubbed it on his polo shirt to shine the fruit before he sank his teeth in. “Why are you so uppity?”
“I’m in a bathrobe, Jim, and you’re irritating the crap out of me. I have plans today and need to get going.”
“I bought you that robe for Christmas last year. It’s nice to know you use it.” He glanced at the food on the marble countertop. “Looks to me like you were about to fix breakfast. Pancakes are fine since you’re out of muffins.”
Her blood pressure rose. She wrapped her hand around Jim’s arm and dragged him out of the kitchen as a noise resonated from the bedroom.
“Wait a minute. What was that?”
“Just rats. Come on.” Mia jerked on his arm again, but he refused to budge.
Jim shook off her hand, took a step toward the bedroom, and stilled. “Oh God, there’s a man in there. No wonder you want me to leave.” He scowled at the splotches on her neck as though he just noticed them. “That’s very professional. What will all those snooty ladies say tomorrow after you open the store?”
She clasped her neck. “Leave, Jim. I don’t want you to ruin this.”
“Fine, I’ll go.” He patted the gun he always wore beneath his loose blazer. “Don’t worry. I won’t have a problem with him as long as he’s not Evan.”
She doubted that. Evan was blond, gorgeous, and an up-and-coming photographer with a great body. Jim hated him on sight. Mason, a tattooed ex-con who worked at a garage, wouldn’t stand a chance unless Mia buttered Jim up first.
“Just to be sure.” Mia grabbed her brother’s arm again. “We can meet for lunch tomorrow and I’ll tell you about him.” A door creaked open behind her, and she whipped her gaze toward the bedroom just as Jim did.
Mason paused in the doorway, dressed in his jeans and wrinkled dress shirt. The shirt hung open and revealed his sexy snake tattoo. His eyes widened like saucers.
“What the hell?” Jim dropped the apple on the floor and jerked free from Mia’s hold. A dark glower morphed his face into a mask of anger, and he leveled that hate-ridden stare on her new lover. “Mason Harding. What the fuck are you doing here?”
Mason folded his arms across his chest and leaned against the doorframe. His lips sealed together in a thin line as his right cheek twitched. Tension palpitated so strong between the men she feared the windows and light bulbs would shatter at any moment.
“How do you know him, Jim?” Mia swiped damp strands of hair behind her ears, a little afraid to know the answer.
Her brother spun toward her and fisted his hands. “He’s one of my parolees.”
Oh God, no. She covered her mouth with her hands. I’m gonna throw up.




Buy Links: 


Barnes and Noble – https://bit.ly/2uOj90J
The Wild Rose Press store – http://bit.ly/2FSVvBa

Monday, May 11, 2020

#GuestPost - 5 things about "Vanilla with a Twist" by Peggy Jaeger



A note from Peggy Jaeger...

My newest novella, VANILLA WITH A TWIST, is part of the One Scoop or Two summer series from the Wild Rose Press. All the books in the series have a few commonalities: all revolve around ice cream in some form, all are summer settings, and all are under 35,000 words.

5 things special to my book, in addition to the above requirements, are:
  • It’s set in the fictional seacoast town of Beacher’s Cove, New Hampshire. New Hampshire only boasts about 17 miles of oceanfront, and I didn’t want to set the story in a town that’s real because I wanted to be able to manipulate the area, stores, and boardwalk to make it my own creation.
  • The heroine, Tandy Blakemore, is the owner of VANILLA WITH A TWIST, a boardwalk ice cream parlor. Tandy grew up on the family’s dairy farm and learned to make fresh ice cream from her grandmother, using the milk and cream from the farm’s cows.
  • I gave Tandy very geographic-specific phrases to use when she’s upset or frustrated. Since this is a sweet romance, Tandy couldn’t swear. When she needs to explode, she uses phrases like Jeezeumcrow and Chips on a cracker to express her frustration and displeasure, instead of more colorful and bawdy language.
  • It’s a sweet romance about 2 people who weren’t looking for the other but found them, anyway. I love a story where the hero and heroine don’t think anything needs to change in their lives, and then they meet someone and come to the realization that this person is exactly what’s missing from them living their best life! Love that.
  • The effects of a teenaged mother who lives in a small town are explored. Tandy was a 16 year old when she got pregnant. The father was an 18 year old itinerant worker who never even knew he’d impregnated her. Living in such an insular, small community where everyone knows everyone else’s business was hard on Tandy. But she survived the scandal and became a well respected business owner in her hometown.




By Peggy Jaeger
Release date 5.20.2020
Format: ebook only
Sweet Romance
Contemporary romance
Smalltown romance

Blurb

Tandy Blakemore spends her days running her New England ice cream parlor, single-parenting her teenage son, and trying to keep her head above financial water. No easy feat when the shop's machinery is aging and her son is thinking about college. Tandy hasn't had a day off in a decade and wonders if she'll ever be able to live a worry-free life.

Engineer Deacon Withers is on an enforced vacation in the tiny seaside town of Beacher's Cove. Overworked, stressed, and lonely, he walks into Tandy's shop for a midday ice cream cone and gets embroiled in helping her fix a broken piece of equipment.

Can the budding friendship that follows lead to something everlasting?


Buy Links


Excerpt 

“Nope. Proprietary is my middle name.”


He laughed. “Mine’s Basil.”


She tilted her head. “Your initials are D.B.W, like in dubyuh?”


His wince was as charming as his smile. “I know, pretty awful, right? In school, I was called D.B., which is even worse.”

“What do you like to be called? Deacon? Deke?”

“Deacon’s fine. Is Tandy short for anything?”

“Nope. It’s actually a mistake.”


“How so?”

“The nurse at the hospital who filled out my birth forms had a bit of a hearing problem.” She rolled her eyes at the story her brothers loved teasing her with.

“My mother wanted to name me Sandra after her own mother, and then call me Sandy to distinguish the two of us. The nurse heard it as ‘Tandy’ and recorded it as such. My father found it hysterical, so the name stuck. It’s kind of unusual, so...” She lifted a hand in a there- you-go gesture.

He flicked her a lopsided grin again. “It is, but lovely, too.”

Heat flew up her neck and sprinted to her cheeks.

“One of my partners says he doesn’t care what you call him, but don’t ever call him late for lunch.” He shook his head and forked in a chunk of his lobster. When, a half second later, he sat back and closed his eyes, a tiny moan blowing through his lips, she knew he was having a moment.

“Good God, this is even better than advertised.”

“Yup,” she said.
Deacon opened his eyes again and focused on her face.


“This is another of those recipes Ricky refuses to share,” she told him.


“That’s too bad, because this”—he lifted his filled fork—“is something I’d love to reproduce when I’m back home.”

“Where’s home? I don’t mean to be nosy, but you sound like you’re from the East Coast, only...not.”

“You’re not being nosy. We’re sitting, enjoying a meal, and getting to know one another.” He took a sip from his own water bottle as his gaze held hers. “I grew up in Rhode Island, but for the past fifteen years, I’ve lived in New York. Manhattan.”

“I’ve never been.”

“To the city?”

She shrugged and popped in another knot. “To New York.”

His eyebrows rose again.

“I’m the poster child for small-town girl. Born, bred, lives, and will die here. I’ve only been out of New Hampshire once, in middle school, for an all-states band contest.”

“Where’d you go?”


“Boston.”


One corner of his mouth twitched. “Not exactly international travel.”


“Nope. Took a school bus. Competed. Lost. Came home. Didn’t even have time for any sightseeing.”

“Now, that’s a shame. Boston’s a great town. I have an off-site office there, and I usually go up once a week on business.”


“What do you do? If I had to guess, I’d think something in”—she tilted her head again as she regarded him—“finance. You look...I don’t know.” A quick lift of her shoulder and then she said, “Successful.”

His laugh was swift, open, and free, and she felt it all the way to her toes.

“You make it sound like a curse.”

“I don’t mean to, sorry. It’s been...a while since I’ve been able to sit and chat. Running the shop is a twenty-four-seven life in the summer months, and it doesn’t give me time for other things. Like making small talk.” She glanced out at the water.

He was quiet for a moment, studying her, while she tried to hide the heat slipping up her neck again from her confession by dipping her chin.

“I can understand that. My business occupies my life twenty-four-seven, too.”

“And yet you’re here, on vacation, so you’re able to take some time away from it.”

This time his laugh held a darker, strained note.

He shook his head and dropped his gaze to the water bottle in his hands. “This isn’t exactly a vacation,” he told her. “Not in the true sense.”

“A vacation’s a vacation in my book.”

“In mine, too. Usually. But I didn’t plan to take these three weeks away. I was, well, the best word is coerced.”

Author Bio

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer!

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, she brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, Peggy is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"

Social Media links

Website: http://peggyjaeger.com/
Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?ref=bookmarks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/peggy-jaeger
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDR8RRIlssIyS0FYZWeGqsg/videos?view_as=subscriber
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peggyjaeger_author/
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peggy-jaeger-296ab878/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
Authors database: https://authorsdb.com/community/15814-peggy-jaeger
Triberr: https://triberr.com/tribe/strong-women--loving-men