Guest Promotion–Someday My Prints Will Come

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BLURB:

Eva, a minor goddess of the Venus variety, descended from a distinguished line of matchmakers, operates a business called Someday My Prints Will Come, a virtual lost and found of mismatched prints for photo processors around the country. She uses the leftover space on the database to accomplish her primary mission as a modern-day matchmaker. While she successfully helps others find their soul mates, she has never been in love.

No matter how hard she tries, she can’t find the perfect woman for a particularly picky client—Noah Prince, the emissary for rich and powerful CEO Adam Prinsky of Prinsky Electronics. Noah holds the key to Eva’s past and he’s hoping to win her heart before he has to break it.

This paranormal/fantasy tells the tale of how the matchmaker, who also hopes that one day her prince will come, finds a match.

BUY LINKS:

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The Wild Rose Press

EXCERPT:

“Mr. Emissary, just for the purposesof discussion, if ever we became lovers—that is to say, if I were yours and you were mine, and I held your heart—would you honestly want me to seek variety, as you call it, with other men?”

He hadn’t considered that. It was a trick question, and he thought the best course was to answer it with silence.

“That’s what I thought. I’ve heard it told that fidelity can be quite a turn-on. In my opinion, it is a virtue. You should keep that in mind.”

She had cleared away the plates, and they were sitting on a very roomy and comfortable couch in front of a roaring fire, looking out the window at the waves crashing, drinking wine that tasted like the nectar of the gods out of crystal goblets, and munching on delicate slices of those *almond cookies Eva was always baking.

“What do you put in these things?” he asked. He thought it was very definitely some kind of a love potion, because he was feeling more amorous by the moment.

“Calm down. I told you before, they’re just cookies.” She paused, drew a breath, and continued. “I’ve been thinking, and after some consideration, I’ve decided to let you instruct me in the ways of seduction.”

He choked on his wine and had to put the goblet down. He was speechless. The things that came out of her mouth were a constant surprise.

“I’m beginning to like the sound of this,” he said eagerly, moving closer to her. “It’s not every day a man gets to initiate a goddess. I imagine there would be a lot of pent-up demand, over the centuries.”

“I’m talking about love, Mr. Emissary, not sex.”

*The book contains two recipes for Eva’s special almond cookies.

Marilyn BaronMarilyn is a corporate public relations consultant in Atlanta. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers, and winner or finalist in writing awards in single title, suspense romance, novel with strong romantic elements and paranormal romance.

Marilyn writes in a variety of genres, including: Humorous coming-of-middle age women’s fiction psychic suspense, historical romantic thrillers and humorous paranormal short stories. A native of Miami, Florida, Marilyn now lives in Roswell, Georgia. 

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Author Interview–Wendy May Andrews

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I am from the east coast of Canada (Saint John, New Brunswick) but I currently live in Toronto, a wonderful city to call home. I grew up in a fantastic family, the only girl in the middle of two brothers. My parents are still happily married which has given me such a strong belief in “happily ever after” :) I’m married to my best friend. Culturally, we’re from two different backgrounds so all of the adjustments we had to go through as newlyweds gave me a lot of insight into my characters.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

My main hobby is reading. It’s an addiction, really. I have a hard time controlling how much time I spend with my nose in a book. I also love to take long walks. Now that it is finally spring, my husband and I have been exploring the city more on foot, walking all over Toronto in search of the perfect ice cream.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

This varies from story to story. For my current book, The Duke Conspiracy, I started with a title and developed the story from there. Obviously there needed to be a duke, so what happened to him…

What is the starting point for research—story concept or when you get stuck while writing?

Because I write Regency, there is always a lot of research throughout the entire process. But always when I get stuck the internet becomes my friend. It is amazing what you can find out online! The good news is that I LOVE Regency era England so the research is fun for me.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

Yes. My husband and I love to travel! One of our best trips was to London, England. There is so much to do and see in London! I hope to go back again soon. And there are so many other parts of England that I really should see for the purpose of my writing.

What’s your dream vacation destination?

There are so many amazing destinations, my list is rather long. I’m really hoping to get back to England soon on a research trip. My ultimate dream destination has always been Africa. I want to see it with my own eyes. It is such a diverse continent. From mountains to deserts to oceans and rivers to savannahs, it would be difficult to know where to start! My husband’s dream destination is Australia. I would love to see koala bears in their natural habitat. I’ve always wanted to see Prague. The history and architecture there look fascinating. And then right here in North America there are so many places to see. I’m definitely going to run out of time before I run out of destinations!

Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pinterest, collages) when plotting or writing?

I have just discovered Pinterest. It is an amazing tool for keeping all your visual aids in one place. So I am much more organized with that sort of thing now, for my current work in progress. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite so prepared in the past and I would have to keep searching for things. I think the visuals for my stories are going to be so much better from now on.

In what genre do you read?

My ultimate favorite genre is Regency, but as an avid reader I will read anything, even the cereal box :)

What resources do you use for picking character names?

I have a “Name Your Baby” book with the history of names as well as common nicknames. This has given me many great ideas. There are also websites with lists of the most common names for certain time periods. I also ask friends and family members for suggestions. In one book, I named a unsympathetic character after a mean girl I went to school with. It was great fun.

Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

I am very much a dog person. Sadly, though, we lost our four-legged friend a few months ago and have not yet been able to fill the hole he left in our lives.

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Miss Rosamund Smythe, the only daughter of a baron diplomat, is finding the Season to be a dead bore.  After her stint at spying while in Vienna with her father, she wants a higher purpose in life than “just” being a wife.

His Grace, Alexander Milton, the Duke of Wrentham, wants a quiet life with a “proper” lady as his wife after the tumultuous childhood he had.  His parents had fought viciously, lied often, and Alex secretly wonders if he was even his father’s son.

Rose and Alex grew up on neighboring estates and have been best friends since she was four years old but a family feud has torn their friendship apart.

At a Society event Rose overhears a plot to entrap Alex into a marriage of convenience.  Her loyalty to their old friendship as well as her knowledge of the conspirator, Sir Jason Broderick, causes Rose to overcome her aversion to Wrentham in order to warn him of his danger.  Alex’s complicated childhood has caused him to despise all forms of deception so Rose avoids telling him how she knows so much about Sir Broderick.

When Rose is abducted by Sir Broderick to prevent her interference, Alex must deal with his own conflicted feelings to help her rescue herself. Can they claim their happily ever after despite the turmoil?

BUY LINKS

AMAZON

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iTunes

EXCERPT

Alex gazed at his old friend in admiration. If anyone had ever told him he would be standing in Burlington House surrounded by Elgin’s Marbles debating with Miss Rosamund Smythe about who might be conspiring to entrap him into marriage, he would never have believed such a claim. But here they were. And she looked mighty fetching as she gazed up at him expectantly. He had to make an effort to remember what she had said. Oh yes, something about ideas to investigate. He wondered absently what she could possibly know about investigations and clues and all that. But she was right. They needed to have a direction. The only trouble was he was drawing a blank about any possible ideas.

All he could do was shrug helplessly. “I am so sorry, Rose, but I have absolutely no idea where to start. To the best of my knowledge I have never had any dealings with Broderick. I developed an instant dislike of the man upon first making his acquaintance, but I cannot even tell you why, as we have barely conversed.”

The duke was clearly flabbergasted over this development and was even slightly ashamed to not have a ready solution. Rose must have realized this. She hastened to reassure him. “Never mind about that. We both agreed earlier that the best place for us to start is with Lady Anne. That will have to be my job, as you will just be walking straight into their plot if you try to do anything about it. Now, I really must be going, so we must hurry and establish another appointment to meet up to discuss any of our findings. In the meantime, you should speak to your solicitors or man of affairs or whatever you might have along those lines and see if they are aware of any issues Broderick might have with you. Those gentlemen might know more on the subject than you.”

“How did you get so smart about such things?”

Alex was intrigued by the blush that spread over her face at this unanswerable question. The only thing she could offer was “My father is a diplomat,” with as much dignity as possible.

Alex allowed the moment to pass and was rewarded by the look of relief on her face. He hurried to make an appointment as they saw her maid approaching. “Would it be remarked upon if you come here again tomorrow or the next day?”

“Probably not,” Rose answered. “My mother never rises before noon and is really only concerned with how I spend my evenings. But you had best give me at least one day to try to make the acquaintance of Lady Anne, so let us say the day after tomorrow. That gives me a day and a half to gather as much information as possible. I shall start with my friend Lady Elizabeth. She is a font of knowledge about the ton, as well as being friendly with Lady Anne.” While she was speaking she fumbled with her drawing supplies, finally tucking them under her arm. “Wish me luck,” she concluded as she once more faced the duke.

The duke watched a myriad of emotions chase themselves across his companion’s face. He was unable to identify most of them, but he thought she looked rather wistful as she offered him a brief curtsy before she hurried away without another word.

Alex stood in the same spot for several moments, watching her retreating figure, wondering if she would look back before exiting the building. He was unprepared for the profound disappointment that swept over him as she strode away with purpose, never once glancing back in his direction. Slowly bringing his focus back to the statue she had been sketching, the duke allowed the entire interlude to play itself out in his mind. Giving his head a shake to rid himself of the melancholy that had befallen him, he followed in her footsteps and strode from the hall.

Wendy May Andrews

Wendy May Andrews has been reading whatever she could get her hands on since the age of five. She has been writing for almost as long but hasn’t been sharing those stories with anyone but her mother until recently. Wendy lives in Toronto with her own real-life hero. When not writing or reading, they love to travel wherever the mood takes them.

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Guest Promotion–Love Elixir Antidote


Happy Book Birthday to Love Elixir Antidote!



Love Elixir Antidote
The Adventures of Sonny the Scoundrel
Genre: Fantasy (Satire/Humor)
by Sonny Zae
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: April 20, 2015
Keywords: Fantasy, Medieval, Satire, Humor, Fantasy Adventure, Romantic Comedy

Sonny the Scoundrel lives with Grandpap, the wizard in their rustic village of Sow’s Teat.  Sonny is dashing and handsome, but his reputation is widely known.  When a former flame announces her marriage to a suitor from a distant city, he knows it will be a grand affair attended by visitors from far beyond their village—including young maidens who are unaware of his dubious reputation. 

Since the visitors will include his favorite type of maidens—those he can romance and never see again, he nicks a love elixir from Grandpap in advance of a big wedding,.  Sonny is confident he can charm any of the visiting maidens without need of the love elixir, but why work harder than necessary?  

When he adds too much love elixir to a girl’s cup, Sonny discovers making her fall out of love with him is much harder than he imagined.  Unfortunately, there is no love elixir antidote and Sonny must use his wits to wriggle out of her clinging claws.

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GIVEAWAY!

An ecopy of Love Elixir Antidote and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.

Guest Promotion-Night Of The Blue Moon by Lynn Crain

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BLURB

All his life he felt he hadn’t belonged but it wasn’t until Clarity Langford appeared did he know the truth of it. Once that truth was revealed there was no going back for Connor Angus, only forward. He discovers he is the long thought dead son of pack Elite leader, Charles Langford. And with that knowledge comes a family full of sisters, mystery and longing for things he’s not sure he has any right to obtain and one of those things is Cordelia Sinclair.

PRE-ORDER LINKS (to be released 4/29/15)

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT

“Good morning,” came a quiet rumble behind her.

Without thinking, she turned and punched, dropping her coffee cup in the process, the hot liquid spilling everywhere. She saw the man was blond and powerful but beyond those attributes she couldn’t tell because he held his hand to his face.

“What the hell?” His question came out on a low growl.

“Who are you?” Her tone harsh and edgy.

“Maybe I’m the one who should be asking the questions.” He reached out, grabbed her by the upper arms and slammed her on the table giving her little time to respond. Taking a good whiff, his smile was almost feral.

Cordelia struggled against his grip. “Let me go.”

“Not until you tell me who you are.”

He pressed the full length of his body against her. And what a form it was if what was pressed against her stomach held true. Still, she heaved in frustration as her instinct to get away kicked in. Once she was near him, he smelled more like a spring meadow and the Elites than the Betas. She didn’t care his sexy cock grew by the second. She didn’t care he took his time trying to analyze her smell. Suddenly she was all wet and hot and bothered. All she cared about was this crazy man caught her off guard, threw her on the table and tried to immobilize her. The mere action pissed her off. She lifted her leg hard and chuckled inside when he fell away. Men always left something exposed.

“You fight dirty.” He bent over, one hand to his crotch and the other on his knee breathing deeply.

His voice was a rich, deep timber like honey when the nights started to get cold in the autumn. There would be no way she’d let her guard down with this man if his voice did things to her insides that made her feel like a schoolgirl.

“I do what I have to do.” Her voice was a breathless whisper.

“And you had to hit me?” Slowly, he rose to his full height, towering over her. “I don’t know what you’re doing here but I’m beginning to wonder if you are even supposed to be here.”

His comment pissed her off even more. She drew back her hand and punched him in the face again. “I’ll show you who’s supposed to be here.”

“What the hell did I ever do to you?” The man stood there, a stunned expression on his face.

“Come on. You don’t like to fight women?” His eyes grew wider at her comment.

“You want to fight me?” His question held a hint of surprise and lots of disbelief. “Woman, you don’t know what you’re asking for.” He took a step nearer.

She broadened her stance and prepared for the worst. He outweighed her by probably eighty pounds and was a full head taller than her. His body was lean with lots of muscle. She’d barely gotten rid of the baby fat and the baby had been born four years ago. Still, this was simply going to be a battle of wits at least in her mind. She saw him slowly raise his hand and splay his palm toward her. Suddenly on her ass, a thought flashed through her mind. Damn, he’s a psychic.

“Now who’s not playing fair?” She growled at him. This was going to be harder than planned. She reached up to the table and pulled herself up, her hand grazed the place settings just waiting for guests.

Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. She loves writing full time weaving contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert though currently she lives in Austria as her husband works his dream job.

WEB CONTACTS

http://www.lynncrain.com

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https://www.amazon.com/author/lynncrain

 

Character Interview from Tie Down My Heart

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Today I’m featuring an interview with the Native American hero of my contemporary rodeo western romance, Tie Down My Heart. Chay Red Fox hasn’t had an easy life but it’s been one he’s lived on his own terms. Like the hero portrayed in the current movie, “The Longest Ride”, rodeo is what Chay knows and loves.

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Chayton Red Fox, of the Foot-Trails People and born for the Deer Spring clan. I’ve reached the end of the third decade of my life. For better or worse.

Where were you raised?

Navajo Nation in New Mexico.

Family members?

A grandmother, older sister and nephew

Did you attend college?

More like the school of hard knocks. I trailed my father around rodeos whenever he’d left me, watching and learning, and they finally let me compete when I turned sixteen.

What’s your favorite participation sport?

(Quirks an eyebrow) Really? Isn’t the answer obvious?

Did you always want to be a rodeo competitor?

Always loved horses—it’s in the blood, you know. I wanted to do anything that got me off the rez and into the wide world.

Where did you go for your most recent vacation?

Vacation? That’s a concept of the white world. Natives take a walk on Mother Earth or sit beside a clear running stream and feel re-energized.

What attracts you first to a woman?

A woman who doesn’t back down to my cynical mouth.

Are you talking about a particular woman?

(Chuckles) That’d be saying too much.

BUY LINKS

All Romance ebooks

Amazon

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Indigo

KOBO Books

BIO

As a child, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about characters having exciting adventures in places far away. In later years, she started writing romances and achieved her first publication–a confession story. Now Linda writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor.

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Romancing The 8–Ten Fantasy Wishes

This monthly blog hop encourages members of TransCanada RWA to share 8 words, 8 lines or 8 paragraphs from a work in progress or a published work. This month, I’m sharing 8 paragraphs from the first chapter of a short novella that was one of my first published works. Even though I wanted to, I did not edit or revise any of this selection from the published version.

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The rain had subsided, and a cool breeze lingered. Stopping
only a moment to appreciate the crisp, fresh air, Ali walked
carefully downstairs to Apt. 1. All the windows were dark. Not a
good sign. Taped to the door was a sodden note. “I’m out. Catch me
tomorrow after 9AM. For emergencies, call 555-1700. Manager.”
Probably out on a date having a good time. She grabbed the
note and stomped upstairs. On the other hand, she couldn’t meet a
decent guy. Tonight’s date had been a perfect example. Movies used
to involve a plot and dialogue. Her date’s choice had been filled
with blood, murder and mayhem. A disaster she didn’t intend to
repeat.

Back in her apartment, she punched the number on the note,
foot tapping while she listened to the rings.

“Hayden.”

Oops, the male voice sounded muffled and sleepy. Maybe she
was interrupting something personal. “Is this the Alamo Grove
Apartment manager?”

“That’s me. Is this an emergency?”

“I’ve got a big drip in my bedroom.”

“Sorry to hear your date isn’t working out, lady. How—”

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

All Romance ebooks

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

KOBO

Other authors sharing snippets on Romancing the 8

Denyse Bridger

Darlene Fredette

Gini Rifkin

My Sexy Saturday–On With The Show

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This week’s theme is A Long Sexy Time and focuses on couples who have known each other a long time. This theme fits perfectly with the story in my novella, On With The Show, that includes high school sweethearts who meet up years later. Read on and enjoy…

The steering wheel jerked in his hands, and Dietz pulled his full attention back to the road. Too many sideways glances at the tense woman illuminated by the dashboard lights could put the SUV in the roadside ditch. Hell, he shouldn’t enjoy seeing the flash in her whiskey-colored eyes and her lips tighten into a straight line. But he did…always had.

Probably why his marriage to Trina had only lasted two years. She’d been too damn compliant. Too late, he’d learned a passive personality wasn’t what he’d wanted in a partner. “How are you faring in the big city?”

“Big city? You make Houston sound like another planet.” A deep inhale sounded and she ducked her head. “Sorry. I’m primed for my family to ask the same question. Guess I shouldn’t take out my frustration on you.” Shifting in her seat, she turned and her lips spread in a smile.

His gut tightened. In a flash, he hurled backward more than a decade when her light brown eyes focused on him with adoration. Regret ran through him and he tightened his grip on the steering wheel. “Just asking if you’re still happy there.” When what he really wanted to ask was if she’d ever thought about moving back home. About giving life in small town Texas another chance. Don’t go there, don’t open those old wounds.

The truck jostled over a pothole and his hand shot out to hold her back, the sleeve of his coat brushing her breast. Smooth, Reinhardt. “Sorry.” He barely got out the words on a whispered breath. Then he dropped his arm to rest his elbow on the console.

“I’m okay.”

Had he heard her voice squeak on the last syllable?

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

KOBO

Google Play

For a peek into stories by other authors, click on one of the links below:

Guest Interview–Deborah M. Piccurelli

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I am married (just celebrated our 37th anniversary!) and the mom of two grown sons. Through the years, I’ve worked for our county court system, lawyers and a financial planner, because as a young girl, it seemed romantic in movies and television to be a secretary, and maybe even get to marry the boss (he-he!). I soon found out how unromantic that career choice was, and none of my bosses would have been appropriate husband material for me. But I must have liked that type of work, because I stuck with it for so many years.

I like to read (of course), walking in the park, movies, spending time with my family and friendly get-togethers.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Aside from this novella, I normally write inspirational issue and cause-related romantic suspense. My logline for that, which is on my website, is Uncovering the Unthinkable.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

It depends. I have tons of notes in files. Sometimes I have ideas for special characters, and some for stories. And sometimes I can match them together.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

Definitely freestyle. I just write whatever comes. That’s not to say     whatever comes gets to stay. As any author knows, sometimes you have to rip your manuscript apart.

Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

As I mentioned above, I normally write issue and cause-related romantic suspense. This novella was a complete surprise. I had written it years ago and never got to do anything with it. When I heard Prism Book Group was having a contest, I decided to enter it.

In what genre do you read?

I read in many genres: Romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction, historical romance, thriller. But my favorite genre to read is what I write, which is romantic suspense.

What resources do you use for picking character names?

Here is my formula for choosing character names: I look to the ceiling, throw a few names around in my head, and when one seems to fit the character, that’s the winner!

Real technical, right? Ha!

Seriously, there are some names I’ve come across over time that I’ve tucked in the back of my mind for future use. Somehow, they seem to fit my characters perfectly. But there certainly has been a time, or two when I’ve had to do what I’ve described above. :o)

Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

I’ve had dogs growing up, but once I got married, I worked and had kids. My husband and I felt we couldn’t spread ourselves any thinner and give our attention to one more “person.” But after more than 33 years, we decided to take the plunge and get a puppy. We settled on a tan Yorkie mix, which we were later told was an Australian Silky (so-called because they have very soft and silky hair – not fur). She’s so cute and precious. And that’s her name—Precious.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

First, I hope my stories will entertain, because how else will readers engage if they aren’t being entertained? Beyond that, if my story is about an issue or a cause, I hope to bring about awareness on that particular subject. I also want readers to see how loved of God we are, and the extremes he goes to for us.

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BLURB:

The day new Christian, Derek Spencer, shows up on Charlie Parkes’s doorstep to make up for what he’d done, is the very day he falls in love with her. But Charlie’s sister mistakes him for a home improvement contractor, and he decides to play along until he finds a way to tell her who he really is.

Charlie is attracted to Derek, but knows the attention he pays her is only flattery. How could such a great-looking guy fall for someone with a face like hers? Nevertheless, the two form a relationship that brings a joy to Charlie that’s way beyond her wildest dreams.

But what will happen when Derek’s true identity is revealed?

BUY LINK

Amazon

EXCERPT:

CHAPTER ONE

Derek Spencer grasped the steering wheel of his SUV with one hand, while searching for the address scribbled on the scrap of paper he held in the other.

Would she be willing to see him? The decision to come forward had been tough, but necessary to his peace of mind and his spiritual well-being. He wanted to make things right with Charlotte Parkes.

Spotting the house, he slowed down and pulled into the driveway. He sat in the car and stared at the small brick rancher, trying to perceive the character of the woman who lived inside. The neatly mowed lawn resembled a rich green carpet, and colorful flower beds lined the perimeter of the house. Cheerful drapes adorned the inside of the picture window in front, inviting him to exit the car and ring the doorbell. He accepted the invitation and bounded up the walk.

Barely three seconds passed when the door was torn open and an attractive young woman with a profusion of curly red hair reached out and pulled him in by the arm.

“Finally. You were supposed to be here an hour ago. What happened? Traffic jam on Route 356?”

“I…” He scratched his head. Did she know him?

“Forget it. You’re here, now. Though I’m not sure your lateness speaks well of you. If you want a job, you must be prompt.”

“But…” What on earth was she talking about?

“Shall we begin? My sister is waiting in the other room.” She strolled away, motioning for him to follow.

Having no other alternative, he complied. At least he had gotten through the door.

As they passed through the living room and dining room, Derek studied his surroundings. The place was neat, clean, and comfortable-looking. The living room set was made up of odd pieces of furniture put together in such a way it gave the illusion they were made especially to be a part of this grouping.

When he entered the kitchen, he recognized Charlotte Parkes from her picture in the newspaper. With her porcelain-smooth skin and shiny auburn hair, she looked like an angel. Engrossed in squirting colored icing through a tube onto a layer cake, she hadn’t yet noticed him.

“Charlie, the contractor’s here.” Her sister jerked a thumb in his direction.

Contractor?

Charlotte put down the decorating tool, turned full face, and smiled. “Hello, I’m Charlotte, but you can call me Charlie.” She extended one hand and touched the side of her face with the other.

Nothing prepared him for what he saw.

A flesh-colored road map scarred the left side of Charlie’s face. Her eye slanted down on the outer end, pulled into that position by the tightness of the flesh. The corner of her mouth tilted up into a perpetual half-smile. The photo in the newspaper had been taken before the accident.

How he despised himself at that very moment for his responsibility in what had happened to this once-beautiful woman.

He composed himself and obligingly took the offered hand.

“And this is my sister, Jessica,” she continued, “whom I see you’ve already met.”

“Glad to meet you both.” With difficulty, he tore his eyes away from Charlie to glance at the other woman. “I’m Derek Spencer.”

He stood looking from one to the other, at a loss for words. His throat squeezed closed. This was one of the hardest things he’d ever had to do in his life. How to begin? Taking a deep breath, he dove in, “You don’t know who I am, but I’m here for a specific reason.”

Charlie furrowed her brow at him. “Of course you’re here for a specific reason. We did ask you to come.”

“Huh?” He didn’t get it, and tried again. “What I mean is…”

“Oh, let’s cut to the chase and stop this yammering,” interrupted Jessica. “Char, we have an appointment to keep, or have you forgotten?”

She checked her watch. “Yes, you’re right, Jess.” Turning to Derek she said, “I suppose you should take a look at what we’d like done.”

“Done? I don’t . . .” He stopped. Hmm. Maybe I should play this out. Derek nodded. It could provide a lead-in as to his real reason for being there.

Charlie rose from the table. “This way.” Her movements were graceful as he followed. The light glinted off her long, touchable hair.

As he passed Jessica, she shot him a purse-lipped, slit-eyed look, then fell in behind him. Did she suspect something or just dislike his staring at her sister?

They had gone back through the dining and living rooms to a small hallway where there were two doors. Charlie opened one, revealing a long set of stairs leading to the basement and began the descent. At the bottom of the steps, Derek stopped and perused the room.

“This is it.” Charlie spread her arms to encompass the entire basement. “I’d like it made into a studio.”

“I see.” He really didn’t. Remodeling wasn’t his area of expertise. He looked around, as if evaluating what would be needed for the job. “What kind of a studio will it be?”

“A dance studio.” Charlie shrugged, as if that should have been obvious. “Ballet, specifically. I’m going to teach.”

“I see,” he repeated. Only this time he told the truth. She had once been a ballet dancer on her way to the top, before her career was so cruelly brought to a halt. The local newspapers had depicted the whole tragic story.

“Tell me what you would like done while I write it down.” He dug into his pocket and produced the notepad he always carried, a requirement of working for a magazine.

Charlie pointed out the need for hardwood flooring, floor length mirrors lining the walls, along with exercise barres in front, and a separate entrance so that her students wouldn’t have to go tramping through her home and then take the steep stairs down.

“Okay.” He finished the list with an embellishment. “I’d like to come back with my partner, so he can see firsthand what we’d be doing before giving you an estimate. Would you be agreeable to that?”

Her gray eyes narrowed slightly, and she frowned. “I…guess so.”

“Good. I’ll call you to set up a convenient time.”

She peered at him warily. “Okay. Do you have a card?”

Uh-oh. “Um . . .” He feigned feeling around in his pockets. “I’m sorry. I don’t have any with me. As you can see, I’m not dressed for an average day of work.” He indicated the fine suit he wore. “I’ve come here straight from a personal appointment. I don’t even have my truck.”

“Oh, so that explains your lateness,” piped up Jessica.

He’d forgotten she was there. She’d hung back, standing on the stairs, leaning over the railing.

“Exactly.”

She didn’t look as though she believed him.

“I’ll be in touch very shortly. You can count on it.” He strode out as if he were in a relay race.

Derek jumped into the car, breathing heavily and stared at the steering wheel.

“Spencer, what have you gotten yourself into?” He started the engine and drove off.

D Piccurelli

After years of reading books and watching movies with an element of romance, Deborah M. Piccurelli’s desire to write romance novels came naturally. She is active in her church and is an advocate for sanctity of life. Deborah is the author of two novels, a novella and several cause-related newspaper articles. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and the New Jersey Society of Christian Writers. As one of the winners in a contest by The Christian Authors Show, details of Deborah’s writing journey can be found in the 2013-2014 edition of the book, 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading. Deborah lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two sons.

AUTHOR WEB CONTACT LINKS:

www.deborahmpiccurelli.com

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GIVEAWAY: 3 electronic copies gifted to names chosen from those who leave a comment

Guest Promotion–Jarillo Sunset by Constance Bretes

JarilloSunset_Small (1)

When two strangers meet on a lonely road is it mere coincidence or fate?
Real estate agent Char Johnson is on her way to meet a client when she gets a flat tire. It’s a meeting she can’t afford to miss since she’s just been told she may be out of a job if she doesn’t beat out a co-worker in sales over the next few months. When Vincent Carter stops and helps her, she’s grateful beyond words and is determined to pay him back for his kindness, which is how she ends up agreeing to be his date to a wedding.
Ever since his divorce Vincent has been on a hiatus from relationships, and he’s perfectly happy with that. He’s not looking to get involved with anyone, but he does need a date for a wedding.
Although the two discover they enjoy each other’s company, and there is definitely an attraction, with their schedules it would be difficult to find time to pursue anything. Vincent works two jobs, and Char is working extra hours to save her own job. Then there’s the conniving ex who seems determined to win Vincent back, a whole slew of family drama for both of them, and the list goes on. The obstacles in their way seem to grow by the minute.
And even if they could overcome those, Char may not be able to overcome her own insecurities, not to mention her intense dislike for Vincent’s profession. Her father’s gambling addiction destroyed their family, so for her to now get involved with someone who works at a casino…
Will Char be destined to be alone forever? Or can the handsome Native American she met by chance break through her walls and ease the loneliness in her life?
Content Warning: contains some sexual content

BUY LINK: $1.99 for a limited time

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EXCERPT:

Char Johnson slammed her fist into the steering wheel. “Well, that’s just great. I don’t know why the hell I get stuck with this company car.” Char looked around her surroundings. She was in the middle of nowhere, with a flat tire and a dead cellphone.
Her week had already started out badly. She had been told earlier by her boss that she had three months to beat Mike Ventura in sales. She and Mike were the last two real estate agents hired at Stillwater Realty and they were low on the seniority list. Since the housing market bottomed out, sales had plummeted and one of them would be losing their job. The competition was stiff enough without increasing the competition among employees. She had been on her way to meet a potential seller, but now it looked like she wouldn’t make it.
She stepped out of the car then kicked the flat tire. “Ouch!”
She surveyed the area around her. Based on the information she had, she figured she was about two miles from her destination. The sun was beating down, and the temperature was already a sweltering ninety-five degrees and it was supposed to get hotter. The surrounding area was flat, and almost barren, reminding her of the Sahara desert.
She looked down at what she had on—a blue pinstripe business suit with a white blouse that had lace around the neckline and down the front where the buttons were. She had on a pair of expensive Jimmy Choo high heels. At six hundred dollars a pair they would not be good for walking on a dirt road. I’m not dressed for a hiking expedition!
She was short—five foot three—and she wore heels because it put her at eye level with most of her clients and with the staff at Stillwater Realty. She was glad that she’d had the sense to pull her long hair pulled back into a French braid so it was off her neck and not making a hot day hotter. She had thought about getting her hair cut a million times, and a million times, she’d chickened out.
She had worked up the gumption to start walking toward the subdivision when she turned around one last time and thought she saw a car coming way off in the distance. The car looked like a ghostly silhouette with the hot sun beating down from the sky. She decided she would wait a few minutes to see if the car would stop to help her.
* * * *
On his way home from work at the Apache White Eagle Casino, Vincent Carter turned onto Pueblo Lane, heading down the lone dirt road to his house at the Sunnyside subdivision, south of Jarillo. The county road commission had just leveled the dirt road, making it easier to drive the posted speed. His eyes burned from exhaustion, and he wanted to catch a catnap before going to Jake’s tonight. Jake was having a steak dinner cookout with the band. After the band, White Sands, finished their gig at the casino last night, they were taking a break for the next two weeks. Next Saturday Jake was getting married and would be gone for one week on his honeymoon. The band rarely took any time off to relax or take a vacation.
It had been a particularly busy morning at the Apache White Eagle Casino in Hobbs, New Mexico. It seemed the retirees that came in the night before never left the casino to go to bed and he was serving cheap beer and drinks constantly from the time he got there at 4:00 AM until 10:00 AM.
Vincent was feeling agitated and particularly moody this morning. He was happy for his friends Jake and Jennifer. It took them five years to decide they couldn’t live without each other. He found that his own self-imposed avoidance of getting involved with someone else meant he would be only one of two guys at the wedding without a date. Hell, the whole damn town of Jarillo was going to be there, so he knew he couldn’t miss it.
Vincent saw a movement up the road and lifted his shades up from his nose as he squinted. What the hell was that? As he drew closer, he could see there was a car parked on the side of the road, and a woman stood next to it, waving her hand.That’s all I need now, to have to stop to help someone with car problems. He slowed down, pulled up behind the car, and rolled his window down.
The woman walked quickly toward his SUV, her heels stinking into the dirt road as she approached. “Oh, you don’t know how happy I am to see you.”
“What seems to be the problem?” he asked.
“I have a flat tire, and I don’t know how to change it. I’m on my way to meet someone at the Sunnyside subdivision and my cellphone is dead.”
Vincent slipped his SUV into park and opened the door and got out. As he walked over to take a look at the tire he saw artwork on the car that indicated it belonged to Stillwater Realty.
After he’d checked out the tire Vincent turned back toward her and he was immediately taken in by her beauty. She had clear green eyes, a lovely face that had little makeup, and auburn-colored hair pulled back in a braid. His eyes dropped to her neck, and then to her chest. She had on a blue pinstripe suit with a white blouse. He couldn’t tell for sure, but it looked like she had a pretty spectacular pair of breasts. His eyes went lower, to her waist and then her nicely-shaped hips. The skirt was short, about two inches above her knees, and she had a good looking pair of legs. His gaze drifted a little further, to her feet, and he cringed inwardly when he saw the thick high heels that brought her height up to about five feet five. He couldn’t imagine someone walking in those high heels and not tripping or falling. Vincent brought his gaze immediately back up to hers.
“Do you have a spare tire in the car?” he asked.
“Um, I don’t know. Let me look.” She walked to the back of the car and clicked the little button on the key pad and popped the trunk open. “Oh, I guess I do,” she said with a smile that was genuine and lit up her face.

Connie Bretes

Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romance and suspense. Her romance books are often set in different parts of the country, but her favorite site is Montana. She’s married to her best friend and resides in Michigan with him and a houseful of cats. When she’s not at her regular 8-to-5 job, she can be found writing, researching, and spending time with her husband.
You can learn more about Connie and her books at her website.  You can also follow her on Facebook  or Twitter.

by author Linda Carroll-Bradd