Category Archives: Release Promotion

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

TAGLINE

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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Guest Release–No More Secrets by Joanne Guidoccio

BLURB

Angelica Delfino takes a special interest in the lives of her three nieces, whom she affectionately calls the daughters of her heart. Sensing that each woman is harboring a troubling, possibly even toxic secret, Angelica decides to share her secrets—secrets she had planned to take to the grave. Spellbound, the nieces listen as Angelica travels back six decades to reveal an incredulous tale of forbidden love, tragic loss, and reinvention. It is the classic immigrant story upended: an Italian widow’s transformative journey amid the most unlikely of circumstances.

BUY LINKS

  Amazon (US) –  https://www.amazon.com/No-More-Secrets-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B08CVTYWWX

Amazon (CA) – https://www.amazon.ca/No-More-Secrets-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B08CVTYWWX

Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-More-Secrets-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B08CVTYWWX

Amazon (AU) – https://www.amazon.com.au/No-More-Secrets-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B08CVTYWWX/

EXCERPT

Peck. Peck. Peck. It was unnerving to watch Bellastrega attempting to type on a computer keyboard. But if Angelica were to make any comment, the younger woman would pause and smile her enigmatic smile. Or she might rise and make her way to the kitchen where she would brew one of her green teas. Nothing—at least nothing Angelica had observed in the past eight weeks—upset Bellastrega.

When the tall, striking blonde with the smallest of suitcases had knocked at her door, Angelica had known they would get along. And like everything else she had orchestrated in her life; Angelica had not been wrong. Within days of arriving, Bellastrega had reorganized the household, implemented a healthy eating regimen, and given the octogenarian peace of mind.

At last week’s checkup, the specialist oncologist had frowned as flickers of uncertainty appeared in eyes that rarely showed emotion. Taking off his glasses, he had fumbled for words. The rogue cells had not magically disappeared, but there was a reprieve of sorts. Or at least, that’s what Angelica had gathered from the inarticulate sentences and the incredulous look on his face.

Time, that was all Angelica needed. Time to tie up all the straggling bits that remained. But if Bellastrega didn’t finish typing the letter, the process could stall indefinitely.

“It’s done.” Bellastrega pressed print and watched as the two-page letter emerged.

Angelica breathed a sigh of relief as she rose and walked toward the desk. Two months ago, she could barely get out of bed and needed a cane or walker to move about. At first wary, Angelica had listened and followed Bellastrega’s advice. Espressos had given way to green teas, and the white devils—flour, sugar, and bread—had been replaced with whole grain alternatives. Affirmations and morning stretches had improved Angelica’s mood and strengthened her legs. On milder days, the two women took short walks around the neighborhood. Had Bellastrega arrived six months earlier, she could have reversed the diagnosis and given Angelica years—possibly even a decade—of extra life.

Angelica’s sisters resented the newcomer and refused to give credit where credit was due. Instead, they came up with an alternative truth: Angelica had hired a strega, a witch who would betray her employer, steal her valuables, and leave in the dead of night.

When Angelica tried to reassure them, they raised several questions. What normal person decides to move to Northern Ontario in January and show up on a stranger’s doorstep? Who was this woman? Did she have a husband or children? Who were her people?

Who were her people? Angelica tried not to laugh at this last question, one that Italians of her generation often asked when strangers appeared in their lives. It was as if an imaginary bubble existed around each family, and very few people were allowed to infiltrate it. But most of all, the whispers of strega annoyed Angelica. When she had shared this information with her companion, the younger woman laughed and admitted to possessing psychic powers.

Taken aback, Angelica struggled with this tantalizing morsel she would not dream of sharing with her sisters. In their minds, psychic would be translated into witch, and the suggestions that Angelica terminate Bellastrega’s employment would increase in number. Instead, Angelica decided to embrace the younger woman’s gifts. And so Bellastrega—beautiful witch—was born as Lynn Miller faded into obscurity.

A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Joanne Guidoccio writes paranormal romances, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

 

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Website – https://joanneguidoccio.com

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Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Joanne-Guidoccio/e/B00FAWJGCG/

Guest Promotion–Mrs. Spinney’s Secret by M.S. Spencer

BLURB: Amity Landing is being invaded by Hollywood and Cassidy Beauvoir, chairman of the board of overseers, doesn’t like it. That is, until she meets Jasper MacEwan, the director of American Waterloo: the Rout of the Penobscot Expedition. Their budding romance is interrupted by a series of deadly incidents, sending them on a quest for long-lost English gold. Who will be the next victim? Can they find the treasure before the murderer does?

BUY LINKS

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/u/3JXWEA

https://books2read.com/MrsSpinneysSecret

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Spinneys-Secret-M-Spencer-ebook/dp/B08P886V99

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mrs-spinneys-secret-m-s-spencer/1138392573?ean=9781509234486

ITunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/mrs-spinneys-secret/id1543575824

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mrs-Spinney-s-Secret-Paperback/474281367

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/mrs-spinney-s-secret

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/M_S_Spencer_Mrs_Spinney_s_Secret?id=kTsTEAAAQBAJ

EXCERPT

Nemo’s

“Speaking of, I think I deserve a raise for hazardous duty. Guess how I spent yesterday?”

“Has to be with the Red Hat ladies. Bunch of old coots in purple dresses who rampage through town harassing the inhabitants like a modern-day James gang. The one in charge accosted me the other day. Ripped me up and down for crossing against the light.” He shivered. “She’s terrifying.”

“That would be Edna Mae Quimby.” Cassidy suppressed a smile.

Sally turned to her. “Quimby, you say? It must be her husband I had to deal with then. The sheriff.”

Cassidy started. “Sheriff Quimby? What did he want with you?”

“He was asking about Rick Ahearn—the subcontractor who found the Spinney house for me. Evidently he’s dead.”

Cassidy thought of the news article Nellie had brought in. “That’s right. They found him a mile from Amity Landing. He was dressed in a sailor suit.”

“Yeah—pretty queer, huh? I didn’t have to ID him, thank God. Wouldn’t have been able to anyway—we only spoke on the phone. The hotel found my card in his room and gave it to Quimby. He wanted to know what my connection was to him. I told him I’d hired him to find sites for the filming, but that I hadn’t heard from him in days.” She blew her cheeks out. “Bit of a jolt to hear what happened to him.”

Jasper drained his beer. “Sailor suit, huh. So they think he fell off a boat and drowned?”

“That’s what they thought at first, but no.”

“No?”

“No. Sheriff told me he was found on this floating barge out in the water.” Sally jumped off her stool and plopped some bills on the bar. “Gotta go. You coming, Jasper?”

“Might stay for dinner.” He regarded Cassidy tentatively. “Fancy a bite to eat?”

She nodded, afraid to speak, afraid he’d see her pleasure at his invitation. She followed him out, but at the top of the stairs remembered her purse. She ran back. Pauline was standing behind the bar, a singular expression on her face. It might have been panic, but the fear was mixed with a hefty dose of sheer bafflement.

Librarian, anthropologist, Congressional aide, speechwriter—M. S. Spencer has traveled the globe. She has published fourteen romantic suspense or murder mystery novels, with two more on the way. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

WEB CONTACTS

Blog: https://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com

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Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-s-spencer

Release of Amata

Grayson’s adopted daughter is all grown up and not following Papa’s directives.

After completion of her studies at a teacher’s college, Amata Wainwright returns to her Cheyenne, Wyoming, hometown. Her worry is she must inform her state senator father that she didn’t earn the expected diploma. Determined to help a younger brother who suffers with dyslexia, she starts tutoring him and his friend using unorthodox methods.

Rancher Harlan Thorpe has his hands full and needs no more distractions. He’s establishing a breeding program on his ranch, keeping an eye on his stubborn son who keeps ditching school, and riding herd on his younger brother who would rather drink and gamble than put in an honest day’s work.

The mischievous young boys contrive situations to get Dario’s sister and Liam’s dad together. Each time, the adults don’t know what has hit them, but the growing feelings are definitely not in either one’s plans.

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FREE in Kindle Unlimited

EXCERPT

A familiar surrey with a matched team of roans stood near the holding corral where transported animals were off-loaded. A group of saddled horses stood tied to the railing.

A shaft of sunlight reflecting off a depot window blinded her. She averted her face then lifted a hand to shade her eyes. Several men gathered near the corral with a couple of them sitting atop the corral railing. The broad-shouldered one with the wide-brimmed hat looked like Chester. Why was the family’s man-of-all-work waiting there instead of on the platform to greet her?

The ground beneath her shoes shook. She glanced down but saw nothing amiss.

Pounding hooves beat the dirt, followed by masculine hollers and whoops.

An echoing set of hard footfalls thrummed from the opposite direction.

“Get out of the way!”

What’s going on? Amata looked between a tall man bearing down on her from the left and a beast of a cow thundering her way from the right. Her pulse kicked up.

The stranger waved an arm. “Move back, lady!”

Two hands grabbed her upper arms and jerked her off her feet. A muscular body slammed her back against the railroad car, pressing close. He tucked her head under his chin and clamped her to his chest. Grasping handfuls of soft cloth, she gasped and inhaled warm cotton and male sweat overlaying the scent of fresh soap.

Seconds later, the cow barreled past followed by a galloping horse, both kicking up clods of dirt.

Amata squirmed, which only dragged her fists across hard-as-granite muscles. Such awareness was scandalous. Heat invaded her cheeks, and she stiffened. “Sir, unhand me.”

Another horse charged past.

“Not yet.”

“I beg your pardon.” She lifted her head but only moved an inch under his strong hold.

“My men need to get that steer controlled.”

The metal car at her back kept her upright and as far away as possible from the rampaging cow. Unfortunately, her feet dangled several inches above the ground, hardly a position from where she could issue directives. “At least allow me to stand on my own two feet.”

His stance eased away. “Sure enough, miss.”

Even with her feet under her, Amata was adrift. Their bodies no longer touched, but the skin on her arms tingled where his grip held her safe. Her breathing was too fast. Blood pounded in her ears, and yet again, her hat hung askew. Except at a few dances as a youth, she’d never been held in a male’s embrace.

Freed from his iron grip, she shook herself and glanced up into eyes of the bluest blue. A lock of sandy brown hair hung over one eyebrow. The stranger was quite a handsome man…as long as she didn’t factor in his brutish manners.

“Cupids and Cowboys” is a multi-author series. Previous titles are:

Harriet by Pam Crooks

Lainie by Cynthia Woolf

Vella by Charlene Raddon

Alice by Margaret

To find these and upcoming titles, go to the series page on Amazon.

Guest Promotion–The Duke’s Decision by Carolina Prescott

BLURB (book 1 of the “Dukes in Danger” series, A Haversham House Romance)
When widowed Viscountess Rowden literally stumbles across the arrogant Duke of Whitley while she’s gathering research for the puzzles she creates for the London Mail Observer, she can’t possibly know he’s the Crown’s spymaster. Whit believes enemy agents are using the newspaper’s puzzle pages to send coded messages to Napoleon. His mission is clear—less clear are his feelings for the woman he may have to destroy. While Vivian struggles to forget her past and find a future where her heart can be safe, the duke must decide whether the fiery viscountess is friend, foe, or fate.

BUY LINKS

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KOBO

EXCERPT

“I feel obliged to let you know that you have once again caught me skulking about.”

The familiar voice sent shivers up her spine. Shivers that had nothing to do with the inclement weather. “Your grace?”

Vivian turned to see the duke standing in front of a settee that boasted plump cushions and an unobstructed view of the summer rain on the lake. The sky crackled as a streak of lightning blazed through the clouds. The answering thunder came only seconds later.

“Like you, I am a refugee seeking shelter from the storm,” he said. “Please join me. I promise not to pry into your business unless asked.”

“Your grace, I apologize for my behavior earlier. I have such a temper, and it sometimes gets the best of me, no matter how I try. Please accept my apologies.”

“I will accept yours if you will accept mine. You were right. I have no business interfering in your affairs. I was simply reacting to your distress without thinking.”

She smiled up at him, her attention held once again by cornflower-blue eyes that made her feel so…wanted. “A truce, then?” She extended her hand.

He raised his eyebrows.

“At least until the storm is over?”

The blue eyes twinkled. “Agreed.” He took her hand, marveling at how perfectly it fit in his own. And then he noticed her gown.

“Uh…may I offer you my coat? Your dress seems to be rather…ah…damp.”

In fact, what her dress seemed to be was the most erotic piece of clothing he had ever seen, and on a woman who already dangerously intrigued him.

BIO

Carolina Prescott loves a good romance. That and her penchant for history—along with her love for happy endings—makes writing historicals a wonderfully logical career choice. Carolina divides her time between an apartment in the trees in California and a house on a hill in her native North Carolina.

WEB CONTACTS

Website: carolinaprescott.com
Facebook: Carolina Prescott writes
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/123261864-carolina-prescott
Twitter: @cprescottwrites
Instagram: Carolina.Prescott

Guest Release–The Editor’s Kisses by Kara O’Neal

LOGLINE: A budding suffragette agrees to a fake courtship with the editor for a job…not love.

BLURB:

One kiss changes the whole game…

 Constance Forrester is a suffragette determined to change society. When Stephen Dawson, her school chum, starts a newspaper, she asks Stephen to take a risk and employ her as a journalist.

Stephen immediately turns her down. But his interactions with Constance have made the town princess, Madeline Talbut, curious. Stephen has loved Madeline for years, and he concocts a plan: enter into a fake courtship with Constance, and in return, Constance can be a journalist for his newspaper.

It’s a chance Constance can’t pass up. So what if she has to attend parties and withstand Stephen’s heart-melting kisses? A suffragette must forge through barriers, but when Stephen changes the game, Constance finds herself the object of the editor’s desire…

Book Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/u/31Y1ya

EXCERPT:

Setting: The Talbut Parlor

The Problem: An annoying parlor game

Madeline’s spinning of Constance was a little rough, but Stephen held his tongue. When their hostess let go, Constance fumbled for a moment before Stephen raised himself up and yanked her into his lap.

The shouts of excitement and delight that went around the room nearly deafened him. People playfully called out “cheater”, but Stephen didn’t care, especially when Constance whisked off her mask and looked immensely relieved to see he’d successfully caught her.

They headed to the closet without fuss. Constance almost looked as if she was dying to climb inside. She probably wanted to get the farce over with.

Once they were squeezed into the confining space, with their chests pressed together in a way Stephen had only fantasized about, she said, “Thank you. I don’t know what I would have done—”

He covered her mouth with his hand, having dislodged it from his side. Then he leaned near her ear. “They might be able to hear us,” he whispered.

She flinched.

He lowered his arm, and she let out a slow breath. He wished he could see her face. For more reasons than to satisfy his worry she was all right.

He did everything he could to ignore the touch of her body along his front. He tried not to remember how she looked, how her eyes lit up, how her expression sharpened when she was interested in something. Why had he watched her all night?

But he knew. He knew very well. She was captivating. Intriguing. And so damned lovely.

Why was he having feelings for her? Wasn’t his love for Madeline strong enough to withstand attraction for another woman? But if it was, he would be in the closet with his hostess and not the lady he pretended to the world held his fancy.

He had to kiss her. He had to discover if this attachment was real. Besides, if he didn’t kiss her, everyone would wonder why. And for some strange reason, he needed every fellow out there to understand Constance Forrester was his. He closed his eyes and realized his attitude was no better than a caveman’s. But the need to possess and brand raced through him without pause, and he couldn’t fathom how to check it. Except to kiss her and get her out of his system once and for all.

“Constance,” he uttered. “I’m gonna kiss you.”

She flinched again.

“I won’t hurt you, I swear it. But if I don’t kiss you…they’ll all question us and our…attachment.” He was an ass. He was using their agreement to coax her into acquiescence, and while he knew it, and was ashamed of it, he continued. “It will only be for a second. I’ll just brush my lips with yours.”

In the darkness, he felt her slight nod against his chin. His heart pounded at her quiet surrender.

When she pulled back as far as the space would allow and lifted her head to his, heat slashed through him. He’d never needed a kiss as much as he needed hers.

Madeline had kissed him. Once. Behind the schoolhouse when they were sixteen. And that moment hadn’t caused nearly the anticipation this one did.

He lowered his head and swallowed her gasp. It wasn’t a brush, even though he only set his lips on hers. It was a fire. A shot of whiskey that whipped through him and pooled in his gut. He deepened the connection, and she let him, sighing and sinking into him despite already being as close to him as he could get her.

He melted. He needed to move to the ground and cover her, press her down and make her his. He used his tongue, tasting her. She capitulated instantly and opened her mouth under his. He took what she allowed without hesitation as his free hand came up to grip her waist.

The damn closet was too small. His left hand was wedged between her side and the slender door. But though he couldn’t get his arms around her, he didn’t stop the kiss. It went on and on, stealing his breath, tightening his chest and making him doubt everything he’d ever known about his heart.

Rapid footsteps had him surging backward, and he knocked his head on the wall.

The door flew open, and cool air blasted his cheeks. He and Constance fell out of the space, their limbs tangling as they tried to right themselves.

Peals of laughter rung around them as Stephen reached out a hand to balance her. She latched on as if she didn’t want to let go, and his muscles vibrated with hope she had enjoyed the moment as he had.

It had taken less than a few seconds for him to realize kissing her had been the wrong thing to do. But also the most right, most perfect, most sound judgement he’d ever made in his life.

As those who’d crowded around the entrance to the kitchen went roaring with laughter back into the parlor, he gazed at Constance. And his world tilted.

Her flushed cheeks and bright eyes made his heart constrict with an emotion he was too afraid to name at the moment. But he knew what it was. He knew.

How in the devil had it happened? Was he a fool? A fickle man?

He swallowed. “Do you want to leave?”

And before his eyes, he witnessed a transformation that set his blood on fire. Determination changed her expression, and she lifted her chin.

“Certainly not. I’m quite all right, I assure you.” She gave a shake to her skirts. “We’ve a job to do, Stephen Dawson, and I’ll not let you down.”

She exited the kitchen with a swirl of satin, and he followed with less sure steps. She wouldn’t let him down, he knew it. But he feared he might disappoint her, for if she knew the direction of his thoughts, she would never forgive him. Constance Forrester had no time for any man. She had plans. Plans that didn’t include caring for the heart of the newspaper editor.

Born and raised in Texas, I chose 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 — http://www.karaoneal.com/blog

Blog – The Story Continues — http://www.karaoneal.com/the-story-continues

Guest Promotion–Matt’s Runaway Pregnant Wife by Monique DeVere

BLURB:

This might be the biggest risk of her life.

When her whirlwind romance with gorgeous Sicilian-born restaurateur Matteo Giordano culminates in marriage, award-winning pastry chef Sabrina Newton-Giordano thinks she has it all…until Matt refuses to introduce her to his family. Sabrina desires their baby to have the same love she knew from her grandparents, but Matt’s outright rejection of his family could result in their baby never knowing his or her paternal grandparents, something Sabrina will not accept. Until that is, she hits on the perfect solution—run away to Sicily to meet the in-laws!

Matt wants only one thing—to keep his wife and unborn child safe. For a man intent on never allowing anything to stand in his way, it should be an easy task. But Matt hasn’t bargained on how stubborn his irresistible, runaway wife can be. Despite his stern objections, she’s determined to form a relationship with his family. He knows, from past experience, they’d never accept her or the baby. Now Matt is torn between the urgent need to protect his wife and fear of causing her undue stress in her pregnancy.

Available on Amazon KindleUnlimited and to purchase from Amazon.

Book Purchase Link: https://smarturl.it/6mypb6

EXCERPT:

She kept him on his toes, he’d give her that. From the moment he met her he’d known she was unique to any other woman. The first hint was when he’d arrived unexpectedly to check on his London restaurant. Everyone, except Sabrina, had nervously tripped over themselves in his presence. She’d simply continued to work as though his arrival was as insignificant as a dust mote drifting past her head. The second hint had knocked him the moment she glanced up and locked eyes with his. Something he’d never experienced before had happened. His body had responded to the instant connection in a way that had been shocking and potent. He’d decided right then to make her his. Even then, she hadn’t made it easy for him. She’d resisted their attraction, had flat-out refused to have drinks, dinner, or—her words—anything else with him. To say that she’d become a challenge he’d fixated on was to understate the level of his attraction for Sabrina.

Then one day, after weeks of him putting his best moves on her and about to admit defeat, a delivery arrived at his office. It was a beautifully presented slice of his favourite dessert along with a note that read: if you want more, come and get it! He was pretty sure the soles of his handmade Italian shoes left scorch marks on his office rug in his haste to get to Sabrina. The rest had been white-hot sizzling sexy, whirlwind, and incredible. And now here he was, fighting to keep his marriage from falling apart only after eleven-and-a-half months of wedded bliss.

Matt washed his hands at the kitchen sink, then rummaged in the under counter fridge.

He chuckled. “Surprise, surprise, nothing but dessert and fruit.”

Yep, one thing he could be sure of was that he’d always find some sort of dessert in their fridge at home, thanks to Sabrina’s never-ending effort to create new and exciting after-dinner treats. And, oh look, she had his favourite dessert sitting in a small yellow and white cake caddy, as though she’d somehow been expecting him. When he grabbed the container his gaze landed on the four red apples in a bowl on the shelf below, so he snagged one of those, too.

BIO

Monique DeVere grew up on a plantation on the beautiful island of Barbados, where her childhood was all about exploring and letting her imagination run free. She moved to the UK as a teen and soon fell in love at first sight with her amazing, strong-silent-type husband. They have four beautiful children and four incredible grandchildren.

Monique writes sweet ‘n’ spicy romance, and when she isn’t working on the next novel or movie script, she can be found spending time with hubby and family, armchair travelling, creating recipes, reading about health and nutrition, or working on her spiritual growth. She enjoys going for walks, gardening, or simply crazy-dancing around the house. Monique loves to hear from her readers. You can email her at monique@moniquedevere.com, or contact her by visiting her website: www.moniquedevere.com or blog: http://moniquedevere.blogspot.co.uk to learn more about her books. You can also visit her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/moniquedevere or follow her on Twitter: @MoniqueDeVere or Instagram: authormdv

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WEB CONTACTS

Website | Blog | Newsletter | Amazon Author Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook Fanpage | LinkedIn | Wattpad | Pinterest | Instagram |

 

Guest release–Blood and Breakfast by Alicia Dean

Myself and twelve other authors (13 total, get it? 😊) each wrote a spooky, suspenseful story in the ‘A Friday the 13th Story’ series. They are stand-alone but have recurring threads and they were all released on Friday, November 13th.

My contribution to the series is titled Blood and Breakfast. Check it out below. And be sure to check out my contest where you can win an Amazon gift card! Find details here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeCUDvF4YrTa1YzADCvrQIWbK8Q6Ro7Gnb0yRxxl3Kg2Fkd-Q/viewform?usp=sf_link (Contest ends Dec 15, 2020)

Determined to boost the sagging ratings of her internet radio show, “A Dark Place,” murder junkie Sasha Gillette checks into the Talley House Bed and Breakfast in North Kingston, Rhode Island. She and her co-host plan to broadcast an episode about the murders that took place there thirteen years earlier on a Friday the 13th, when a man butchered his entire family.

Not long after Sasha arrives, the other guests begin to disappear. Has a killer from the past resurfaced or is there a copycat on the loose?

One of the lone survivors, Sasha finds herself trapped with a sadistic killer and, suddenly, murder isn’t as much fun as she thought.

Excerpt

“I’m going to look for her. It’s not okay that she’s been gone for hours when she said she’d be back in thirty minutes. Do you know where she was taking her walk?”

“I-in the woods.”

“Well, of course she was,” I muttered. “Agnes, do you have a flashlight I can borrow? And maybe something I can use for a weapon?”

Agnes nodded. “I’ll get you a flashlight. I have a hammer.”

Dorset rose as well. “I’ll go with you.” He cut his gaze to Bradley, but the dufus just sat there without volunteering to help. “Nothing, old chap? Not going to offer to come along?”

“I should stay here in case she comes back,” Bradley murmured but he didn’t look at them. Was he afraid…or feeling guilty?

I shivered when we stepped outside, drawing my hoodie tighter around my body. The nearly half full moon hovered in the cloudy sky behind the branches of a Tulip tree. Lightning flashed, illuminating the back yard. The icy air held the scent of rain. “We need to hurry,” I told Dorset. “It looks like it might storm.”

He nodded. “I’d say let’s split up to cover more ground, but with one flashlight and hammer, and with the odd happenings lately, maybe we should stick together.”

“Agreed.” My teeth chattered, though it wasn’t all that cold.

We walked along the wood line, shouting for Macy, shining the flashlight between the trees. Nothing. As if by mutual agreement, we entered the woods. I shuddered, not only concerned about a potential maniac, but also leery of whatever creatures might be scurrying around at my feet. I was a city girl and didn’t even own a pet. I was not okay with encountering an animal, of any kind.

We searched for another half hour with no sign of Macy. We were deep into the woods when the sky opened up and doused us with buckets of rain. Thunder rumbled and more lightning flashed. We gave up and hurried back to the house.

The others were waiting for us.

“Anything?” Bradley asked, his voice high-pitched with anxiety. He seemed much more concerned about Macy than he had been about his wife.

“Not a sign,” I said. “We need to call the police.”

“I did.” Agnes was seated in the forest green wing chair in the corner of the library. “They took the information but said she’s an adult and can leave any time she wants.” She rose. “We waited dinner for you. Let’s eat.”

A pall hung over the room as we ate in silence, the air thick with fear and confusion.

Afterward, I excused myself and headed upstairs, anxiety weighing on me. I had an overwhelming feeling that I wouldn’t sleep a wink. Nor would anyone else.

Please like Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Fri13thShortStories

Amazon buy link

Fun Fact:

I was plotting my story and trying to figure out why a normal family man would suddenly snap and murder his family. I realized that hallucinations could cause people to do crazy things, so I researched what could make people hallucinate. I discovered that the plant, jimson weed, can cause serious hallucinations. I also wanted to incorporate some kind of an authentic local legend in my story, so I researched legends in various states and came across the Devil’s Footrock in Rhode Island.  I was able to mesh the two–jimson weed and the Devil’s Footrock–to come up with how the husband/father in my story lost his mind and killed his family. It’s so much fun when ideas click and make a story come together. Here’s a photo of Devil’s Foot Rock:

 

All stories in the Friday the 13th series:

 

Links to Evil by Rolynn Anderson

Till Death by Maureen Bonatch

Blood and Breakfast by Alicia Dean

Retribution by D.J. FitzSimons

Shattered Reflections by Tamrie Foxtail

A Deadly Game by Jannine Gallant

Dead to Rights by Margo Hoornstra

In the Still of the Night by Callie Hutton

Glimpse, the Dinner Guest by Stephen B. King

Scorned by Anna Kittrell

Vanity Kills by Dianne McCartney

Fatal Legacy by Krysta Scott

Azrael’s Chosen by Leah St. James

Alicia Dean began writing stories as a child. At age 10, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who shared the name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me), and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.

Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley (she almost always works in a mention of him into her stories) and watching (and rewatching) her favorite televisions shows like Ozark, Dexter, Justified, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and Vampire Diaries. Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Stephen King, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

Web Contracts

Website: http://aliciadean.com/

Blog: http://aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAliciaDean/

Twitter: @Alicia_Dean_

Instagram: AliciaDeanAuthor

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alicia-dean

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/aliciamdean/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean

Guest promotion–Gingerbread Cottage

Here’s another title in the Holiday Cottage series by author Linda Baten Johnson

Blurb

Carrie Highsmith’s boss insists she secure a land contract between a toy company and an elderly couple before year’s end. If she succeeds, she becomes a partner. If she fails, she files for unemployment. Standing between Carrie and her goal is a handsome obstacle—Matt Wilder.

Matt, a lawyer who represents the landowners, stays one step ahead of Carrie in her attempts to seal the agreement. He loves the area and the people and intends to protect both. In a battle of wills and personal values, who will win—the small-town lawyer or the driven career woman?

Excerpt

Carrie Highsmith checked her teeth in the car mirror for food or lipstick, finger-combed her short blond hair, and took three cleansing breaths. If she successfully negotiated the land deal for Joy Games and Toys before the end of December, she could add the word partner to her business card.

Carrie hummed We Wish You a Merry Christmas as she pulled her wheeled presentation cart with her carefully prepared materials to the address listed for the lawyer, Matt Wilder. She’d selected a tailored red suit for today, not only for the holiday season, but because she’d read in some magazine that wearing red made you look confident. She hoped it was true because her stomach felt like she was in one of those bouncy castles from her childhood. She squared her shoulders, lifted her head, and plastered on a smile. A bell jingled when she opened the building door.

“Watch yourself.” From the third highest rung of a ladder standing in the middle of the foyer, a long-legged man in jeans and a faded sweatshirt waved to her with a chandelier light bulb. “Two more to do.”

“I have an appointment with Mr. Wilder at ten. I’m Carrie Highsmith, Carrie with a C, not a K.”

She maneuvered her rolling bag sideways to get inside and close the door to keep out the chilly December wind. Carrie bit the tip of her tongue. Silly things jumped out of her mouth and surprised her when she was nervous, like “Carrie with a C, not a K.”

“That’s the office.” The man nodded his head to a room to his right. “Go on in. Wilder will be there shortly.”

Carrie detected a chuckle floating down, and when she looked up, he winked at her. Had he winked? She must’ve been mistaken. She jerked her rolling bag then cringed at a sickening screech as the ladder’s metal feet skittered across the tiled floor. She jumped backward, staring in disbelief as the ladder wobbled and fell. Glass shattered, and the man who might’ve winked at her, but who probably hadn’t, sprawled unceremoniously at her feet.

“You cut your hand.” The tapping of her stiletto heels echoed through the silence as she rushed to his side.

“I cut my hand? I disagree. My hand suffered a cut when I landed on broken glass.” Angry brown eyes stared up at her.

“Let me help you.” Carrie reached for him.

“No. Go in the office and leave your wrecking machine here.” He retrieved a handkerchief from his pocket.

“But I need it for my meeting with Mr. Wilder.” Carrie stepped away from the ladder-felling bag.

He glared at her, dabbing a blood-soaked handkerchief on his hand.

“I’ll get it later.” Carrie retreated to the room he’d indicated and sank into a chair as deflated as a birthday balloon on the day after the party.

Judging from the anger in the handyman’s eyes, she surmised he’d definitely tell his boss about the mishap. Carrie hoped the real estate lawyer would understand. She couldn’t change what happened, but she could give a superb presentation. After practicing the major points and rehearsing so many times for this meeting, things could only get better.

Carrie rose and studied the office, seeking clues for conversation starters. Other than a map of Sprucewood, Colorado, the only relief on the utilitarian beige walls was a calendar featuring Labrador dogs. December’s black puppy wore a big red bow around its neck and sat next to a Christmas tree. Carrie’s best friend in elementary school received a sweet-tempered Labrador puppy for Christmas one year, a dog who grew and grew and grew.

Mentioning her friend’s dog when Mr. Wilder arrived might be a good idea. He was ten minutes late. With time to kill, she examined the room more closely.

The bookcase held law books, a paperweight which didn’t hold down any papers, a coffee carafe, and two Christmas mugs. Labels noted contents of the file cabinets, and his desk was clear except for a picture of two little boys and a wire basket with several thick files. The top one bore Jay Peterson’s name. Her fingers itched to open the file.

The handyman entered. “Carrie, I’m Matt Wilder, double T in Matt, because it’s short for Matthew.” The amused twinkle made his eyes sparkle. He waved his bandaged fingers toward the chair opposite the desk.

“You’re Matt Wilder, the lawyer for Jay Peterson?” Carrie tripped over the chair’s leg and plopped into the seat. She straightened her suit jacket. He was young and handsome.

“I am. Sorry for the display of temper. I’m not accustomed to being knocked off my feet by a beautiful woman.”

“And I am not used to knocking men off…” Carrie felt the warmth spread from her neck to the root of each hair. “I am so sorry. I expected a lawyer to . . .”

“To be wearing a suit?” Matt leaned back in his office chair. “Gave up those a couple of years ago when I moved back to Sprucewood. Still have some in my closet in case I need to go to court.” He put his elbows on the desk and leaned toward her. “Will I need to pull out one of my suits, Carrie?”

Carrie didn’t like the uncomfortable directness of the man or the accelerated beating of her heart. She motioned to the picture of the two boys. “Cute kids.”

“I think so.” Matt gazed at the photo on the desk then stared at her. “You’re avoiding my question, Carrie. Mr. Peterson gave the owner of Wade Brinkman Realty his answer. Are we going to end up in court?”

FREE in Kindle Unlimited

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Linda Baten Johnson loves traveling, meeting people, and collecting stories. Her favorite memories include parasailing, white water rafting, and being mistaken for a tour guide in Mexico and Russia. She writes squeaky-clean stories for Barbour Publishing, Chicken Soup for the Soup, Winged Publications, and Lovely Christian Romance.

Web Contacts

www.lindabatenjohnson.com

https://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Baten-Johnson/100005772243791

https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Baten-Johnson

Heirloom of Faith | An American Family Saga (wordpress.com)

Books by Linda Baten Johnson (Author of Mail Order Emma) (goodreads.com)