Category Archives: guest release

Guest Promotion–Finders, Keepers by Chloe Holiday

Hurt and humiliated by her boyfriend’s cheating, Farrah ducks into a bar—and goes home with Caleb for a round of incendiary revenge sex. Horrified when she later finds out she was mistaken, Farrah sneaks out. When Caleb wakes up alone, he has to see her again, but all he has is a single mitten…

Finders, Keepers is a fast, fun novella: a sexy modern Cinderella story with a dash of humor, plenty of spice, and NO CLIFFHANGERS!

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EXCERPT

Just three more hours to go. Softly humming “Frosty the Snowman” to herself, Farrah made the rounds with her mail cart, already excited about Global Marketing’s party tonight. Or rather, Justin’s reaction to her killer new dress.

Farrah stepped into the copy editor’s cubicle, her short red skirt trimmed with white marabou feathers swinging. She dropped a couple of manila envelopes onto his desk and resumed her circuit through the quiet maze of workstations.

The cart took a sudden lurch to the left — the darned wheel stuck again. The detour triggered the motion-activated Rudolph on the new guy’s desk — and the glares of coworkers — as a tinny version of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” blared.

The new guy smiled, his eyes on her short skirt.

Maybe not her best choice—he probably thought she did it on purpose, just to meet him. Farrah rotated the offending wheel and shuddered: a gummy chunk of red candied fruit clung to the rubber. Who really eats fruitcake?

The guy turned from his computer. “Hey. I’m Brad. Need a hand? ”

She smiled at his eagerness. ” Can I get a tissue?”

“Absolutely.” He yanked two out of a box and handed them to her, grinning.

“Thanks. I’m Farrah. Nice decorations — I love the holidays.” She extracted the nasty wad of gunk from the wheel.

“Will you be at the party tonight?” he asked.

“Yes, with my boyfriend, Justin.” Farrah pretended not to notice the way his face fell. “Nice to meet you, Brad.” She tossed the crumpled tissue in his trash bin.

It would take more than fruitcake to dent her mood, her usual holiday cheer sparked higher by anticipation. Still humming, she finished her rounds and wrestled the mail cart back into place. Her stomach growled at the smell of cinnamon from the plug-in air freshener. It’s a break from Pumpkin Spice, anyway. A few festive cubicles were decorated in bright tinsel garlands or Hanukkah dreidels, but this year most employees had refrained after Shelby, the new department manager, made known her distaste for such “vulgarity.”

Someday I’ll be free of Shelby and the corporate world, too.

At least the witch hadn’t extended her disapproval to attire yet. In addition to her red skirt, Farrah wore small holly earrings and her pine-green nails glittered with tiny candy cane decals. Her late grandmother always told her, “Have fun while you’re young, honey—it gets beat out of you soon enough.” Farrah had taken those words to heart.

No one was going to ruin her holidays, not even her dragon lady boss. Tonight’s party was destined to be wonderful. She smiled, imagining the look on Justin’s face when he saw her in that glamorous new dress, and slipped back to her cubicle. Her “in” box brimmed with more documents to photocopy. One eye on the clock, Farrah raced through her drudge work.

The moment five o’ clock arrived, she hurried to gather her bag and coat and rushed outside, humming “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

BIO

I write the things I love to read: steamy, fun stories about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, smart women and men who aren’t jerks. I like to read about friendships, either close women or a good bromance. I want all the feels: the thrill of a smoldering gaze or the barest brush of fingertips, the shocked gasp at the underhanded villain, the angst of heartbreak, the joy of reunion, and of course, happily ever after!

 

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Guest Promotion–Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For by Wendy Kendall

Irresistible December magic. Desiree and Leo tangle in mystery and romance. Desiree wanted to believe in magic again. An enthusiastic teacher, she’s created a fun game of secret Santa for her first grade class. A mysterious stocking with her name and a creepy message appears. This creepy secret Santa is stalking Desiree. Who is it? Could it be devastating news that it’s Leo, her new romantic love interest? What can be learned from the legend of the snow kiss cookies? Will this secret Santa be stopped before Desiree is harmed? Cookie recipe included.

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EXCERPT

On Sunday Dez luxuriated in reflections of the night before. She tenderly placed the heart wreath on her kitchen table as a centerpiece.

She texted Katherine. What a night. Do you believe in Christmas miracles and true love? I do now.

            When her cell beeped later, it was a response from Katherine and thankfully not the anonymous sender. Sounds like a good time. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

            Dez took Katherine literally and called her right away to fill her in.

On the drive to work Monday morning, Dez noticed all black sedans, wondering if one of those is the one that aimed to run them down last night. There had been no threatening texts since Friday. In fact, other than Katherine’s text, the only others had been the most romantic treasures from Leo. She’d relished and responded to those.

She drove into the parking lot and focused on her morning ahead. Her students would be excited before the break, plus the tantalizing secret Santa fun would need to be managed. She walked down the hallway conscious of the click of her pumps on the linoleum and the swish of her tan khaki pants Her colorful winter sweater offset the bland slacks.

Dez hoped to run into Leo first thing, to say good morning. It was just as well she hadn’t since she was late. She opened her class door and got right to work setting up for the day.

The shared classroom door with Madeline’s room stood ajar. On the wall, there was an extra stocking. It had glitter all over it, sparkling stars, and her name, Dez. She took it off the hook. There was something inside. John swung the adjoining door wide open and walked in carrying a box.

Madeline followed. “Oh wait, here’s one more.” She slipped a smaller box on top of what he was carrying. She looked at Desiree. “Good morning. John, let me know if I can help with anything else. Glad I was in early for you.”

said good morning to Dez. “I’m getting ready for the reading group lesson for Thursday.” He thanked Madeline and walked over to his desk.

Voices and laughter echoed as students came in from the hallway. Peter and Jack rushed up to Dez and said together, “Cool stocking.”

She put the stocking back on it hook. “Bood morning. Please put your secret Santa cards on your desk, and then take your seats.”

Madeline said, “An admirer? Is that really appropriate at school?” She walked through to her room, closing the door behind her.

Dez reminded herself to get with Principal Milner today about how she’d caught Madeline. She considered what Madeline had said. An admirer? Maybe the stocking was from Leo. How nice of him. How fun.

It was a very busy morning. Dez was happy that John’s mood had improved, and as her Teaching Assistant he was trying to engage with the kids. She’d still have to ask him about his actions after school in the parking lot Friday. She shuddered remembering that stare he’d given her.

With the class out to recess, Dez made a beeline for her secret Santa stocking. Her excitement matched her students’ as she took down her stocking and reached inside. Would she find a sweet gift from Leo? She pulled out the cardboard, and her heartbeat sped up. One look and her heartbeat pounded.       The card was a picture of Santa in his sleigh with reindeer. Her smile faded seeing a cut out photo of her face pasted on the drawn figure next to Santa. Where did that picture come from? The caption read: Secret Santa may sleigh you if you’re not a good girl

No signature. A secret and creepy Santa. Would Leo give her this? There was a bump in the toe of the stocking. She shook it upside down over the counter and a sprig of holly with berries fell out. From Saturday night’s heart wreath?

Dez looked around, including out the windows. Was anyone watching? The idea of someone putting up a stocking with her name was odd enough, but with this inside?…her phone vibrated… It was from that hideous anonymous sender.

Her hand shook as she clicked on it and read. How did you like your card?

Dez turned her cell phone off. Her hand shook as she secured it in her desk. John brought the students back from recess and she focused on her job. During lunch she attempted to meet with the principal about Madeline. No luck, he had a busy schedule today too.

Dez walked back to her room. Leo came to mind. It would be nice to bump into him now. How nice to see him sometime today, or at least hear from him. Or had she heard from him already? Was that stocking from him? The text?

From designer bags to body bags. Kat Out of the Bag – Katherine Watson purse designer/sleuth. Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash – cozy cold case. Finalist, 2022 Best Suspense, Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For. Cherry Shakes In The Park blends danger, divas, and frothy delights. Ribbons of love run through Heart of Christmas Cookies and Dreams. Wendy enjoys Pacific Northwest life, as blogger, podcaster, syndicated columnist.

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Guest Promotion–Going Home, At Your Age? by Jacqueline Diamond

Her hidden past is about to explode! Sara, an artist who’s turning 50, returns to her hometown for Christmas to face her estranged sisters—and the man she left behind—with a stunning secret. A compulsively readable tale of love and redemption packed with heartwarming surprises, Going Home, At Your Age? is a standalone book in the “Sisters, Lovers & Second Chances” series by USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond.

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EXCERPT

In her life, Sara Matchett had committed three huge, earth-thumping, wildly stupid mistakes. She planned to confront them, wrestle them to the ground and, in the process, probably commit a whole swarm of new and even more idiotic screwups.

Then leave her hometown for the last time.

Why not? At nearly fifty, she’d reached the perfect age to turn her world, and everyone else’s, upside down.

“I think that’s a worthwhile goal, regardless of which secrets you plan to unload,” said seventy-one-year-old Aunt Jewell, clear-wrapping a plate of cookies in her kitchen. “In fact, I’m dying to hear about them. What would Christmas be without a soap opera?”

“And I have a lot of experience in the field,” Sara conceded as she snapped a lid atop the cranberry-orange stuffing casserole she’d prepared.

She wished the kitchen had a mirror so she could check whether her green velvet dress was too fussy. Were the stars she’d embroidered ridiculous on a grown woman? “If I ever write my memoirs, I’ll call them, I Was a Teenage Drama Queen.”

“Why limit yourself to the past when you have such talent?” deadpanned her aunt, who sported her own original outfit, red with sparkles cascading along the bodice and skirt. She’d tucked a glittery comb into the dyed jet-black hair. Sara hoped that, in another twenty years, she’d have as much panache as her aunt.

“I’m not sure I’m as gifted as that.” Hearing the quaver in her voice, Sara swept into the living room, ready to head out the door. Might as well get it over with.

Until this moment, she hadn’t allowed herself to dwell on exactly what might happen when she arrived at the family celebration and set the record straight with her sisters. Not that Sara wished to dampen anyone’s holiday, but they deserved to learn why she hadn’t been part of their little world in Rancho Allegro, California, for thirty years…

Also, she didn’t plan to miss Jewell’s upcoming marriage, which was the main reason for her extended visit. After a decade of widowhood, her aunt was remarrying and had requested that Sara, the only one of her three nieces to share her artistic talents, help prepare for the event in late January….

Sara yanked her thoughts back to today’s planned gathering. This would involve people new to her, including her sisters’ bridegrooms and their offspring from previous marriages. Well, she could tolerate having an audience. Just as long as she didn’t have to see the one person who knew too much, and had hurt her more than almost all the others put together.

Although Dr. Nate Patton shared a medical practice with her sister, Cody, there was no reason for Sara to run into him. Not today, at least. He’d no doubt be celebrating the holiday with his relatives.

USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond has sold medical romances, romantic comedies, mysteries and Regency romances—more than one hundred titles! A former Associated Press reporter and TV columnist, Jackie has been honored with a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her popular series include Safe Harbor Medical Romances and Downhome Doctors.

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Guest Promotion: Christmas in the Air by Josie Riviera

What if you told your innermost secrets to a guy you assumed you’d never see again?

Penelope Reid meets an elusive, handsome stranger on a plane trip. Along the way, she confesses her problems and fears, her unrealized goals, while she believes the man is only half-listening. She is a single mother, readjusting after a difficult divorce, and raising a challenging twelve-year-old son.

Months later, she comes into direct contact with Jacob Williams, the new pediatrician in town, and the man she met on the plane.

Will he use his knowledge of her life to embarrass her, or pursue her?

Note: on sale for 99cents through the end of December

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EXCERPT

Prologue:

Penelope Reid sat glued to her seat.

Breathe in. There’s nothing to be nervous about. Flying in an airplane is routine for many businesspeople.

And she, unfortunately, was a businessperson.

She attempted to smile at the flight attendant who walked past, before resuming her pep talk to herself.

Virginia to Hilton Head Island is a short flight.

She considered texting her brother, Lincoln, with a ‘mission accomplished’ message, though he wouldn’t get the message until she had cell service again. He’d encouraged her to take the flight to secure a toy shop location. She’d complied, albeit reluctantly, though she’d been successful with the negotiations and closed on the deal. Nonetheless, when she finally arrived home, she intended to wring his neck. He knew how much she dreaded flying.

She cut a glance at her handsome seatmate’s profile. She’d admired the angle of his face—his sharp jawline and straight nose—throughout most of the flight. Framed by the afternoon sunlight streaming in the window, he seemed relaxed. Of course, he seemed relaxed because he was sleeping. In fact, he’d slept almost non-stop.

She coughed and nudged him. She needed someone to talk to and take her mind off the flight. She’d already breezed through every magazine in the seat pocket.

“Hmm?” He took off his aviator sunglasses and turned toward her. His eyes were a deep shade of brown, warm and mesmerizing, rimmed with black eyelashes. “Have we arrived?”

“Hardly.”

He peered out the window. “Cloudy day.”

“The weather forecaster called for rain.”

“He was probably right.”

She was probably right,” Penelope corrected.

He grinned. “Touché.”

Penelope sat up straighter. “Before you fell asleep, we were discussing our jobs.”

“Were we?”

“We were about to.” Her seatbelt tightened as she leaned toward him. “I’ve managed a toy shop business ever since I was a teenager.”

“Sounds fun.”

“I hate it.”

His dark eyebrows curved upward. “Why?”

“Do you want the truth?”

“By all means.” He flashed her a positively magnetic smile.

Her heart stilled. Here sat a good-looking man who had listened to her rattle on about her life whenever he opened his eyes. At least, she assumed he listened. She’d held him captive because he couldn’t escape. They were seated next to each other in first class. Still, she’d begun to assume they were friends, and he was an attentive guy.

At his assessing gaze, a flush warmed her cheeks. “I’m bored with my job. I want to create, not manage.”

“Create what?”

“Let’s call it a midlife crisis.”

“Let’s.” Another smile. “Do you have another job lined up?”

“No.”

“Is your job difficult?” His tone lowered. Thick, wavy hair fell across his forehead, and he pushed back the strands with his hand. His features were a bit weathered, his jawline and cheekbones prominent. A rugged man who apparently spent time outdoors if appearances were any indication.

The thump of attraction in her chest surprised her. She hadn’t felt an interest in any guy since her divorce.

Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable shih tzu, who constantly needs grooming, and live in an old house forever needing renovations.

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Guest release promotion–Tempered Truth by Pamela S. Thibodeaux

Fate declared them neighbors. Scandal insisted they were brothers. The fact that they looked enough alike to be twins only added fuel to the rumors flying about their parentage.

For fifty-plus years Craig Harris and Scott Hensley have enjoyed a bond nothing can sever.

Not the insinuations that they share the same father.

Not the years of strife and grief and heartache.

Not even death.

Will the truth set them free or will it destroy the friendship that has lasted a lifetime?

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EXCERPT

February 28th, 2005

Craig settled in for the seven-plus hour drive to Scott’s home in Lafayette, Louisiana. His daughter-in-law sat in the back seat so she could take care of his granddaughter should she awaken. Her continued weeping unnerved him. “Lex, please, you’ve got to get a hold of yourself.”

“I don’t know what I’m going to do if he dies, Craig. I don’t think I can handle it. He’s my father. I’ve already lost one father; I’m not ready to lose Scott too. Oh, God, I can’t believe this is happening!”

“We don’t yet know how he’s doing. Trina said he’s stable. Whatever the situation, what he and Trina, need from you now is your strength and your faith. Besides, being this upset is not good for you, especially in your condition. Nor is it good for Tamera Joy.”

She sniffled. “You’re right. I’m sorry.”

He glanced in the rearview mirror and smiled as she rubbed her gently rounded abdomen, then returned his gaze to the road. “No need to apologize. Let’s focus on the positive here.” Easier said than done but I hope she can get it together. Neither my heart, nor my nerves, can take much more of her crying.

Craig swallowed the bitter bile of fear in his throat. Hard to believe barely two months ago Scott sat at his kitchen table toasting the holidays, the upcoming New Year, and their joy over their second grandchild.

Now he clung to life in a hospital room.

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

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Release Promotion–Destiny’s Secrets by Kara O’Neal

I’m so excited to introduce you to Andrew and Ben, mischief-making twins, who are private investigators and catch the case of their life. They must reunite sisters who were kidnapped and torn apart at ages 3 and 2.

I have to tell you that my fingers flew over the buttons of my laptop on this one. There was so much to write, so many characters to flesh out. And I absolutely adore that steadier, calmer, and quieter Andrew gets trail-blazing, pants-wearing, veterinarian, Jo Tatum as his lady love, while fun-loving, never serious, mischievous Ben ends up with Charlotte Ryan, a math wizard who has more courage in her pinky than you can shake a stick at.

These sisters don’t know each other, and Andrew and Ben must bring them together. It’s a story filled with joy, sorrow and bravery. I loved writing every word of it.

BLURB

Pike’s Run, Texas, 1882

Andrew and Ben Lonnigan, brothers and private investigators, have accepted an important case—to reunite the long-lost DuBois daughters with their rightful inheritance. Abducted from their childhood home in New Orleans when they were three and two-years-old, Jo and Charlotte were adopted by separate families.

Andrew heads north to find Josephine Tatum—a pants-wearing, spitfire veterinarian who challenges his mind and captures his heart. Ben travels south to find Charlotte Ryan—the financial mind behind her father’s ranch, with a sweet disposition and, unfortunately, a fiancé.

As the sisters journey toward destiny, Charlotte must guard her heart against Ben, a man too daring to ever return her love. And Andrew must hide his feelings from Jo, a woman determined to carve her own path. While the foursome battle feelings, they must also war with a villain from the sisters’ past, one with the will and the means to destroy everything the DuBois daughters hold dear.

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EXCERPT

“You aren’t gonna talk just because I won’t sleep in the tent with you?” Andrew asked.

Jo took a deep breath and glared at him, trying to rein in her temper.

“That’s more of a punishment for you than me,” he went on. “I’m not much for conversation. My brother is better at it. I prefer silence, but you sure seem ready to explode with things to say.”

He looked at her with such ease that her good sense left her. “I think it’s rude of you to tell me outright that you find me ugly.”

“When did I say that?” he replied.

“When you told me you weren’t going to sleep in the tent with me.”

He made a face. “No, I don’t think I said that.”

She rolled her eyes. “Fine. You implied it.”

“No, you inferred it. I implied something altogether different.”

She sat ramrod straight. “What do you mean? What else could you have meant?”

He shrugged. “Maybe I can’t share that cramped space with you because I find you too damned attractive.”

She reared back.

“Maybe I’m trying to protect you from my inability to leave you be and not touch you.” He watched her carefully, his gaze direct and intent.

Her breath came more quickly. “Do you mean to tell me…that you…you find me desirable?”

“I do.”

She almost declared the ridiculousness of the statement. But it wasn’t. Not at all. It shouldn’t be. What was absurd was his honesty. And even more unbelievable…she tried the control of someone as disciplined as he.

Pleasure burst through her. She couldn’t help but grin at him.

He cursed.

The heat in his gaze made her pulse race, and she stood.

He shot to his feet.

And now she picked up on his nervousness. It was subtle, but she could tell he considered running away. He’d given her a powerful piece of information, and he didn’t even know if she found him attractive.

She walked the ten paces necessary to get to him.

He didn’t back away, but she could sense he steeled himself against whatever she planned.

“You can sleep in the tent with me. I’d like that very much.” She heard the husky note in her voice.

His brown eyes went warm, and her body melted. She refrained from leaning into him.

“We probably ought not to,” he ground out.

“Why?” she murmured, stepping even closer. Her breasts almost pressed against his chest. “I won’t tell anyone.”

He narrowed his eyes at her. “Have you done this before?”

“What?”

“Seduced a man.”

“Is that what I’m doing?”

“Yes,” he clipped.

Born and raised in Texas, I had to make the state the setting for my first series. From the food to the fun, like floating the rivers, it is the fire in my blood that inspires me. My family and friends take center stage in my books. My sisters and best friends are my heroines, and my husband created my favorite hero. Love and family are the point of my stories, and I seek to entertain, relieve stress, and inspire people. Books can take one on a journey that one can relive over and over. I am extremely grateful to those authors who did that very thing for me. I learned and I fell in love with their words and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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Blog – The Story Continues

Guest release promotion–The Earl’s Error by Kathy L. Wheeler

BLURB

The countess of Kimpton, can’t trust her husband. Not only did he exile her brother from England without a word to her, but she’s since learned he fathered his ex-mistress’s unborn child. She’d had only one stipulation at the start their marriage… to treat her with respect.

The Earl of Kimpton, wants his wife. When she threatens to leave over an accusation so far beyond the pale, he panics and offers to pay her to stay. He’s bought himself two weeks and prays it allots him enough time to find her missing brother and prove he’s not the scoundrel she believes.

Neither is able to ignore the explosive passion between them, but in their search for her brother, they encounter a threat that could not only destroy their relationship, but their very lives.

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EXCERPT

“Dammit, Lorelei. Don’t. Don’t run from me.” He took the stairs two at a time. Reached the top as she turned down the hall of the wing where their chambers nestled side by side. He should never have allowed her a separate room. At the end of hall, her hand twisted the knob on her door. “I’ll pay you,” he blurted. She stopped but didn’t turn. “One thousand pounds if… if you can manage a fortnight. Just until—” Until what?

The tightness in his gut registered as fear. Fear he’d never gain ground. But he had the advantage. Lorelei had nothing. She’d had no dowry. He didn’t need or want one. She’d be destitute without him. He’d saved her useless brother from debtor’s prison. But now, her brother had stooped to a new low. Abandoning not only his sister, but a child as well. So what if the mother was one of the most sought-after courtesans in London? Lorelei would never care about such a detail, though most of the beau monde would turn her away if they knew she felt that way.

Blast. The short, cruel thing would be to enlighten her. Take her by the shoulders and shake her until she heard the truth. Make her realize that he hadn’t put her brother on board a ship, show her that her precious Brandon was acting as an irresponsible cad, running from his responsibilities of a mistake—a mistake most men of their standing took pains to buy their way out of.  Hell, the man was more a noose around one’s neck. Had been since Thorne and Lorelei’s wedding.

Lorelei’s body stiffened, and he swallowed the words. Thorne could never hurt her so callously. She turned, pierced him with flinty blue eyes. The world revolved to a stop, and perspiration gathered at the nape of his neck. He inhaled through his nose, letting out a slow stream through pursed lips.

“Per week,” she said. His wife’s tone, usually warm and full of husky mischief, radiated cold gray steel.

“What?”

“A thousand pounds. Per week. For two weeks I shall stay. And I want half now.” Her crystallized pitch would have made Medusa proud. Curiosity driving him, Thorne looked her in the eye, certain he would turn to stone, while bitter irony held him in a firm grip.

Two weeks. Could he find that no-good brother of hers in that amount of time? Force him to acknowledge his responsibility? Thorne had his doubts, but he would accept her offer. Give her half now, and pray it was enough to keep her from leaving before he located Harlowe.

But he had his pride as well. In a tone that matched her cold glare, he said, “Done.” He stepped back, enough out of reach to keep from grabbing her, with the scent of her hair annihilating what was left of any remaining sense, good or bad. He tipped his head, unable to stem the sarcasm. “Perhaps you’ll excuse me, my lady, I’ve urgent business to attend.” He stalked down the stairs to his study and shut the door with a solid click. Someday he might learn to hold his tongue. Not speak until spoken to—a quality his father had tried beating into him until the day the old bastard dropped dead of an apoplexy when Thorne was but ten and three.

He tossed the note he still clenched on his desk, furious with his reaction—no, overreaction—and moved behind the desk. He peered up at his father’s portrait with disgust. The pompous ass. It showed in the set of his shoulders, his grim facade. He made a silent vow to remove it to the attic. Or perhaps make Harlowe paint over it as retribution.

Thorne reached up and ran his fingers along the gilded edge of the frame, just inside one corner, and pressed the minute mechanism. The large painting parted slightly from the wall without a sound. He slipped a key from his watch fob pocket and fit it into his pride and joy—one of the first burglar-resisting safes created by Charles Chubb. Granted, it was a test model, but it worked magnificently. Talk about an exquisite piece of art.

Thorne counted out several hundred guineas, locked the safe, and restored the painting to its rightful position.

Of all the asinine things he could have thought of to entice his charming and beautiful wife into remaining by his side, he had to offer money. It was the panic, of course. Money she would likely use, inevitably leading him to the same fate she’d threatened. Losing her.

Well, he’d bought himself a fortnight to locate Harlowe and hopefully convince Lorelei to stay. He jerked out the bottom drawer of his desk and grabbed a sheet of paper. He scribbled off a quick note and rang for Oswald.

Minutes later, snatching up his top hat, he jammed it on his head. There was some satisfaction in slamming the door behind him. Only fifty feet from the stables, the heavens parted, dumping a waterfall of ice-cold tears that soaked through every layer he wore.

The perfect ending to the perfect day, eh? There was nothing now but to follow through on this idiotic voyage he’d forged for himself. For if his wife found out about the babe …

Kathy L Wheeler loves the NFL, the NBA, musical theater, travel, reading, writing, and … karaoke.

 

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Guest release promotion–The Cowboy’s Embrace by Kara O’Neal

Fate brings his greatest regret back into his life…

 

Sixteen years ago, Lily Spero lost her parents and siblings to a villain on a white horse. When she visits the Swinging A Ranch, her past collides with her present, opening wounds long buried and shockingly creating hope where none had been before.

Deacon Tolbert is the foreman of the Swinging A Ranch. He’s carved a niche in the world all his own. But when Lily Spero arrives, the girl he abandoned years ago, he’s forced to face the most gut-wrenching moment of his life.

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EXCERPT

He would come back soon. He would. He wouldn’t leave her here.

Lily assessed the park with its strong oaks and maples and winding packed dirt paths. She bit her lip and worked hard not to cry. She was a big girl. She was eleven, and he’d asked her to be brave while he was gone.

As she hid in the shade, she sank down to the grass, huddled against a trunk and hoped no one noticed a frightened, stranded, black girl. Where was he? What was taking so long? He only went to find food for them.

Morning turned into noon. People came. Some to eat their lunches on blankets they spread on the ground. Others to walk the picturesque paths. She pulled her knees into her chest and buried her nose in her dirt-caked pinafore. It had been yellow once. A pretty color as bright as the sun.

As she rocked back and forth, she prayed. She repeated over and over the words her mother had taught her. With her eyes clamped shut and her lips moving without ceasing, she implored to Heaven for Deacon to return.

But hours passed. Faces swam before her, asking her questions, giving her food. She couldn’t answer the nice strangers. Just gazed down the path, hoping, waiting, her heart dying.

Where are you? Please come. Please come back.

She silently begged to see his familiar form, dressed in overalls and a threadbare work shirt, coming around the bend to carry her away. But he didn’t come. And the kind people didn’t leave. They took her home with them, and Lily didn’t argue, even though their pale skin struck uncertainty in her heart. She couldn’t think. Deacon, she grieved.

And his name was the pained whisper on her lips every night, the perpetual cold ache in her heart…that could never be filled.

Born and raised in Texas, I had to make the state the setting for my first series. From the food to the fun, like floating the rivers, it is the fire in my blood that inspires me. My family and friends take center stage in my books. My sisters and best friends are my heroines, and my husband created my favorite hero. Love and family are the point of my stories, and I seek to entertain, relieve stress, and inspire people. Books can take one on a journey that one can relive over and over. I am extremely grateful to those authors who did that very thing for me. I learned and I fell in love with their words and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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Guest promotion for Gemini Rising by Bianca Swan

Monozygotic twins, or identical twins. result from the fertilization of a single egg with a single sperm. Fraternal twins, or dizygotic twins, are the product of fertilization of two different eggs.

In identical twins, as the cells divide and multiply, at some point very early in the embryonic growth, they spit into two individuals. As you can imagine, the genetic material in these twins is identical, hence the name identical twins. Monozygotic twins are always the same sex (except in my dark fantasy Gemini Rising!)

Fraternal twins, can be different genders, look different, and have different characteristics. Even though we call identical twins identical and think of their genetic material as identical, we need to keep in mind that there is another important factor—environmental influences—which means identical twins come from the same genetic material, but, in characteristics they may actually have differences as well.

Whose genes produce monozygotic twins? Only women ovulate. So, the mother’s genes control this propensity to twins, and the father’s genes don’t. This is why having a background of twins in the family matters only if it is on the mother’s side.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) embryos are more likely than naturally conceived embryos to split into identical twins A fertility doctor can transfer just one embryo—in hopes of reducing the risk of non-identical twins—but identical twins may still occur, and more frequently than in the general population.

BLURB

Science said male/female identical twins were impossible until the Alastair twins were born. Were Alina and Alain genetically encoded or did growing up in an isolated island castle determine they walk the forbidden trails?

The Alastair twins are a scientific impossibility. To parents who’ve tried every way to have a child, their male and female identical twins are a miracle.

Isolated in their island castle, the Alastair twins Alain and Alina turn to each other for friendship and love. But when their love shifts from fraternal to frighteningly deep, they’ll each dance with their lust in their own way.

A dark fantasy of forbidden longings and midnight pledges, spoken only to be broken or kept. How can these phenomenal twins possibly unleash their innermost desires? The answer will shock you.

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EXCERPT

Rory rushed him, grabbing his shirtfront, his fist drawn back to strike. Alain raised a defense. The horses snorted, hooves scrambling on cobbles. Aiden Alastair strode into the barn hall, assessing the situation at a glance.

“By all that’s holy!” Father’s hands fisted. “Have you both taken leave of your senses?”

Rory freed Alain with a shove. “I’m rearranging your son’s pretty face. You’ve said yourself that Alain’s too pretty for his own good.” The old, familiar humiliation and pain twisted in Alain, but he squared his shoulders, and with blood on his mouth, faced his father. His brother-in-law’s lips curled in a mocking smile. “I was just trying to help you out, Lord Alastair.” He put hateful emphasis on the title.

Alastair crossed his arms, glaring at his son-in-law. “You’re my daughter’s husband and as such this is your home, but I won’t tolerate fighting beneath my roof.”

Rory hung his head, staring at the cobbles, said nothing. His stiff posture sagged.

Father’s eyes found Alain. His expression altered from angry to hurt. “I would have expected more of you. Did you start this?”

Of course, he’d jumped to the conclusion Alain was to blame. He was always ready to believe the worst of his only son. He could tune them out, suppress his feelings and stoically endure. But not this time. Damage, like love and hate, came in degrees. All his life Alain had suffered at this man’s clumsy hand. He arched an eyebrow.

Rory’s gaze lifted to Alain’s face. He gasped, “Don’t.”

“You’ve always been disappointed in me, Father.” The chill in his voice bled into his limbs. “But frankly, I don’t give a damn. Never have. Never will.”

Splotches of anger dotted Aiden Alastair’s face. “How dare you say that to me? You’re a damned fine excuse for a son. If I could, I’d pass the title to Rory.”

The painful attack knocked the wind out of Alain.

To be told he meant less to his father than this bastard, hurt. He hadn’t believed Aiden had the power to break his heart. He collapsed on the wooden bench beside the bridles and stared at the old oriental carpet he used for polishing Spirit’s hooves. Suddenly, he hated the wealth surrounding him.

“Aiden.” Mother strode down the aisle, seized her husband’s arm and shook him. “I overheard. How could you say such a thing? Be so cruel to your son? I’m beginning to question how I feel about you.”

Bianca lives in the Lone Star State with a baby grand piano and Zippy Z, her swift, little sports car. Her two sons are the stars in her crown. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, horses, symphony, theater, etc. She still believes in the power of love—and the power of lust—and enjoys delving into the soul of both the L-Words, bringing to life hot, passionate men and the lucky, fiery women who love them.

 

 

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Guest Release Promotion–Love Leads the Way by Margot Johnson

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She coaches him in team leadership, but do they both need lessons in love?

BLURB

Single mom Tessa Shore runs a successful leadership program at work and supports a mother with dementia. She can handle any challenge in her jam-packed schedule as long as nothing spins out of control…especially her feelings.

Engineer Mark Delaney is an expert on pipelines at the same company, but his interpersonal skills need a makeover. Advancing to an executive job requires enrollment in a leadership course he doesn’t think he needs.

When their professional and personal issues entangle, life at the office gets a lot more complicated. Romance is impossible…or is it?

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EXCERPT

Pacing around Crescent Park in moonlight trimmed with stars, Mark breathed fresh air and slowed his erratic heartbeats from the shock of Tessa’s invitation. Apparently, the woman who directed the class with the precision of an air-traffic controller could flex…at least, a little. She wanted to spend extra time with him, and he couldn’t refuse.

“I didn’t think we’d bump into other participants at this late hour.” She hugged tighter her windbreaker against the cool breeze. “We won’t mix business and pleasure. I’m strictly off duty, and so are you.”

“Okay, Tessa, whatever you say.” Zipping higher his jacket, he strode and sniffed moisture riding the wind. Guilt tiptoed around his collar, and he couldn’t escape the feeling this outing was a bad idea. He should avoid her, except in class, yet he accepted her invitation. But why did she break her own rule and contact him?

“If I can’t discuss work, can I ask you a personal question?” He admired her profile with pert nose tipped to the sky, breathing the fresh night air.

“I guess so since I’m the woman who persuades everyone else to dish.” She laughed and brushed a curl from her cheek.

Streetlights alternated with a full moon to light the pathway. Their footsteps crunched on gravel, and their murmured voices broke the peaceful silence.

“Ready.” She tucked her hands in her jacket pockets.

“Is Mr. Shore waiting at home?” He winced at his forward question. No sense beating around the bush. He shouldn’t pine for someone else’s wife.

Margot is the author of sweet romances Love Leads the Way and Love Takes Flight. She left an HR leadership role for the fun writing life. Her characters love dogs, and her loyal, old golden retriever, Sophie, is the inspiration for the adorable dogs in her books.

 

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