Category Archives: Release Promotion

Guest Release Promotion: Flotsam and Jetsam: the Amelia Island Affair by M.S. Spencer

Thank you so much for having me on your wonderful blog, Linda. I’d like to talk about my new cozy mystery romance, Flotsam & Jetsam: the Amelia Island Affair.

 

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Who’s littering the park with corpses?

State Park Rangers Simon Ribault and Ellie Ironstone are used to dealing with messy campers and ravaging raccoons, but when three bodies wash up on the beach, they mobilize all their powers of deduction. Who are they and how did they get to the shore of Amelia Island? Are they connected to the secretive League of the Green Cross? Or linked to a mysterious Jamaican drug ring?

Ellie, new to Amelia Island, must penetrate a close-knit community if she wants to find answers to the mystery, all while deciding between two rivals for her affection: Thad, the handsome local idol, and Simon, the clever, quirky bookworm.

Simon, for his part, will have to call on his not-so-well-honed romantic prowess to lure Ellie away from Thad and at the same time use his wide-ranging research skills to solve the case.

Simon has been mooning over Ellie for six months, with little to show for it. It takes three corpses—plus a bit of goosing from his best friend Georgia—to  bring them together.

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EXCERPT

As they crossed the street, a fire-engine red Miata barely missed them. It skidded to a stop, and a woman who would put Christie Brinkley to shame leapt out of the car. Simon, accustomed to the sight of her waist-length black hair and eyes a remarkable malachite green, didn’t notice Ellie’s slack jaw. He called, “Hey, Georgia, how’s Santa’s garage? You didn’t unwrap any presents, did you?”

She ran over to them, her short skirt making the long, Tina Turner legs seem even longer. She kissed Simon’s cheek and smiled at Ellie. “You must be Simon’s new partner. Does he treat you as badly as he treats his other colleagues?”

Ellie made a garbled sound in her throat.

She turned to Simon. “Dollink, I’m only down for a few days, and I need to talk to you. Can you come to dinner tonight?”

Simon started to make a joke about checking his social calendar but caught sight of Ellie’s face. She looked pained. What the—?

“Well?” Georgia tugged at his arm.

“Oh, um, sure. What do you want me to bring?”

“Some of that fabulous Italian bubbly you brought the last time. It gave me such a buzz.” She winked at

Ellie, who blinked. “Seven?”

“Okay.”

Georgia turned on her heel and ran back to her car, starting up just as the two drivers behind her had stopped admiring her attributes and begun to fret. She roared off.

“Who…who was that?”

Simon turned surprised eyes on her. “I’m sorry. I should have introduced you. Georgia Petrie.”

“Oh. Your friend from law school.”

“Uh huh.” He gazed at the cloud of dust, the only sign of her passing. “We grew up together.” Ellie muttered something.

“Excuse me?”

“Nothing.”

“Did you ask if Georgia had seen me naked?”

“Me? That’s absurd.” Ellie plopped into the driver’s seat and waved angrily at Simon. “Get in.”

Simon did as he was told. On the drive back to the station, they were both quiet. Simon rubbed a meditative finger over his lips, wondering. What set Ellie off anyway? A thought intruded. No, couldn’t be.

He checked her profile. Nah. But his mouth formed a hopeful smile, and he leaned back, humming his favorite tune.

 

Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents, the last thirty years were spent in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, non-profit director, and parent. She has published twelve mystery/romantic suspense novels, and currently, she divides her time between Florida and Maine.

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Release Day for Freedom’s Path

Today Freedom’s Path, book 3 in the “Deebourne Inn” series from The Wild Rose Press, releases. The novella is set in 1855 Vermont and involves themes of being true to oneself and standing up for what you believe in.

Sidonie Demers is descended from slaves and works to help escaping slaves moved along The Underground Railroad while working as a maid at the Deerbourne Inn. Her method of providing covert information about the safest direction is to hang quilts on the inn’s clothesline whose patterns have specific meanings to those people fleeing north to the safety of Canada. I read a wonderful book titled Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad that provided the essential background and the basis for the rhyme that laid out the path the escaping slaves followed.

To learn about the political climate of the time, I read The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom, a Comprehensive History (first published in 1898). Included in the non-fiction work are first-hand accounts of people who were part of the movement. Everything had to be accomplished in secrecy because the second Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 made aiding escaping slaves a federal crime.

Enter Colin Crawford, an Army corporal who has been sent undercover to the town of Willow Springs to ferret out abolitionist activities. I loved writing this character because he starts out the story already conflicted about the American involvement in moving Indians off their lands. Even though he was raised in a state that disallowed slavery in its state constitution, he is forced to uphold the statutes of the federal act.

I hope readers enjoy this historical romance between individuals with firmly held but opposing beliefs.

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EXCERPT

As he waited for Kevyn’s footsteps to fade, Colin finished his tart. His mind whirled with a topic that he worried might be too forward. After a swallow of coffee, he angled his head and met her gaze. “I saw how you broke that man’s hold. Smart move.”

Eyes wide, she gasped, rested a hand on the table edge, and crouched next to the end. “Oh, please don’t tell Missus Deerbourne that I stomped on a guest’s foot.” Her dark brows drew together. “I’m not sure she’d view my action in the same way you do.”

Her response rankled. Wasn’t the innkeeper concerned for the safety of her workers? He wished he could offer comfort by covering her hand with his. “Can you not carry a small knife in a pocket to protect yourself?”

A laugh escaped as she shook her head then gripped the band of her hat and pulled it lower on her forehead. “Not an appropriate accessory for someone in my position.”

Colin disliked the idea of her being vulnerable to a man’s mauling. “The foot stomp can take a man by surprise, but often not for long enough to effect an escape. Might I demonstrate another move that guarantees a longer distraction?” He sorted through the various moves involved in his ranger tactical training for the one most effective to someone her size. Leverage was what was needed to counter a larger foe.

“I am eager to learn.” She set the tray on the table. “What do I have to do?”

Bracing both hands on the table, he pushed himself to a stand and took a couple steps away from the bench. “Walk toward me like you’re about to grab my arms.”

A blush rose in her cheeks, and she averted her gaze. “Oh, I couldn’t, Mister Crawford.”

Her modesty produced a chuckle. “Miss Demers, don’t worry. You won’t hurt me. Remember, you’re learning a new skill.”

After a nod, she stepped forward with her arms outstretched and fingers spread wide. “Like this?”

“Keep walking.” He balanced his weight on the balls of his feet. When she came within reach, he grabbed the thumb of her left hand and bent it backward.

“Ow.” She contorted her body, back arching in the opposite direction.

He knew her movements were instinctual, with her body acting on reflex to reduce the pressure. “See how you moved to get away from the pain.” He released his hold with reluctance, because he’d enjoyed the slide of her soft palm in his.

Review Copies Available

To anyone interested in reading and reviewing this historical, heartwarming story, please leave your first name and an email address in the comments. State ebook format requested. The first five people who comment will receive a free copy.

Guest release promotion–Second Chance Bride by Joan Reeves

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He was the only man she wanted—and the one man she could never have.

At eighteen, she left all the pain and heartbreak behind and reinvented herself as wealthy, successful Constance Quinn. In her strictly regimented life, there’s no room for love. Now older and wiser, she’s determined to find the part of herself that got lost in her transformation.

When she meets Alex Martinez, something hot and urgent passes between them. Their attraction is mutual. Their desire is palpable, but she knows she’s playing with fire because she has a secret that Alex must never discover.

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EXCERPT

Despite the sultry evening, Constance Quinn felt chilled. This was the house. Every room blazed with lights. The air vibrated with pounding music, accompanied by loud splashes, girlish squeals, and booming laughter. She should leave. Yet, she remained rooted, staring at the house for several more minutes before she turned—and literally bumped into a man. A startled gasp escaped her. She gave a nervous laugh. “Where did you come from?”

He took a step backward, as if knowing she felt threatened, and pointed toward the house she’d been studying. “From across the street.”

His voice captured her attention despite the noise in the background. When he stepped forward, into the light cast from a street lamp, her eyes widened and chill bumps swept over her arms as she realized who he was. His online photo didn’t do justice to his unruly dark hair and warm brown eyes. He didn’t look like anyone’s idea of a History professor. Not with those broad shoulders, lean waist, and carved biceps revealed by the golf shirt he wore. Unexpectedly, a wave of heat flashed through her, chasing away the chill.

“I’m Alejandro, but just about everyone calls me Alex.” He pointed again to the house across the street. “That’s my house. I hope the noise and lights didn’t disturb you.”

His easy smile made her breath catch. She could only shake her head in response. She found herself taking a step toward him. Oh, dear. She curled her hands into fists to keep from reaching out to touch him. Her pulse beat erratically. Suddenly, she felt threatened by…what? His intense masculinity? She took a deep breath and made herself articulate what she was feeling, rather than stuff her feelings into the hole in her soul and pretend they didn’t exist. What was she feeling?

Attraction. Desire.

No! That was crazy. She was the Ice Queen. She didn’t feel desire—especially not for a man she’d just met. She bit back a groan. Why this man?

Even if she wanted him, she could never have him.

BIO

Joan Reeves is a NY Times and USAToday bestselling author who believes it’s never too late to live happily ever after.  Joan lives her HEA with her husband, dividing their time between a book-cluttered home in Houston and a house in the Texas Hill Country where they sit on the porch at night, stare at the star-studded sky, and listen to coyotes howl.

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GIVEAWAY

a writer’s journal to a winner in the U.S. Outside the U.S. the prize will be a copy of one of my ebooks.

Upcoming release–Dulcina

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On November 15, Dulcina , my first contribution to the Widows of Wildcat Ridge multi-author series,  will release. On pre-order now.

The series is set in 1884 Utah Territory and involves the widows left behind after a gold mine disaster. Each story follows one of the widows as she rebuilds her life in the fictional town of Wildcat Ridge in the northeastern part of the territory.

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Left widowed following a Utah mining disaster, Dulcina Crass faces running a saloon on her own when her previous contribution was solely as the singer. She struggles to learn the necessary tasks but her heart isn’t in being a saloon keeper. All she ever wanted was to be a famous singer. Will asking Gabriel Magnus, a neighbor from her New Mexico hometown, bring the help she needs or a new kind of trouble?

Gabriel Magnus isn’t fulfilled by his role as ranch hand on the family’s New Mexico sheep ranch. What he wants is the chance to prove his boot making skills are good enough to start his own business. When he receives a letter from recent widow Dulcina offering a partnership in the Last Chance Saloon, he recognizes the chance to come to the rescue of the vivacious girl he wanted to court a decade earlier. Upon his arrival, he presents her with a demand–her answer could decide both of their fates.

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EXCERPT

“Ceremony?” Her eyes shot wide. “You intend us to be married today?”

“I do, and I’ll not marry a woman wearing mourning black.” The drab color did nothing to highlight her natural beauty. “You look fit to join the circle of viudas in the Questa marketplace.”

Lips pinched, she glanced around the immediate area. “But, Gabriel, I have been in mourning for Stuart since the mine disaster.”

He bristled at the mention of that man’s name but kept his expression calm. “A status that ends now. Stuart is gone, never to return in this lifetime.” When he spotted her lower lip quiver, he braced himself. The way their life would be structured moving forward had to be laid out. “Today will be the first day of our marriage, yours and mine, and he will not come between us. I will proclaim my vows next to a woman who looks to the future, not one who still clutches the past.” He stepped back to gather his luggage then carried it to where she stood. “Please show me to the saloon, where I assume you also live.”

“Oh.” She dropped her gaze and pulled at the strings on her reticule. “I thought you’d book a room in the hotel while we get reacquainted.”

If she thought she was the one making decisions, she’d been on her own too long. Maybe her late husband allowed that behavior. She might as well learn that he would not. He narrowed his eyes. “We will get reacquainted while living under the same roof.” The words “and in the same bed” remained unspoken. He didn’t think she was ready to hear his opinion of how the arrangement would play out.

“But Wildcat Ridge has no minister. Poor Reverend Bainum was lost in—”

“I know.” His voice snapped sharper than he intended. He held up a hand. “The mine collapse. The town can only be saved if you stop looking at what you lost and focus on what can be gained.” Realizing other people paid too close attention to their conversation, he clasped her hand and guided her to a nearby bench. “I am sorry, Dulcina. I do understand you have been through a loss. But that tragedy is not my experience. I see new opportunities, and I aim to grab them.” He smiled. “The best one is you.”

Her eyes shot wide. “I’d planned for us to take a day trip to Curdy’s Crossing on Saturday after the horse-related business is concluded. The church there is run by Minister Stone, and other widows have had him perform their wedding ceremonies. I thought we could marry after services on Sunday.” She ducked her head. “The marriage that is supposed to be only a formality.”

Guest Release–Star-Spangled Suspense (a multi-author boxed set)

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A boxed set collection of romantic suspense novels featuring Exciting Tales of Patriotic Heroes from the Past to the Present. Titles included are: Deathwatch by VB Tenery, Circles of Fate by Pamela S Thibodeaux, Patriot Hearts by Tammy Trail and Daring to Live by Mary Vee

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EXCERPT from Circle of Fate by Pamela S. Thibodeaux

Todd hung up the phone and walked back to his barracks. It was good to hear Mike Ferel’s voice, and even better to know Shaunna and her mother were well. Nearly three months had passed since he left Fort Benning. Less than twenty-four hours after he arrived at Fort Lewis, the Army quarantined him and the rest of his company and put them into isolation to await departure to Vietnam. For nearly two weeks they stayed quartered together with no outside contact. They lived together, slept together, and worked together to build comradeship with the men they would live with, fight with and, very possibly, die with.

They shared practical jokes, funny stories and lives as each man tried to banish the fear they all felt of going to war. They talked, laughed, and cried for hours on end as each prepared for what would be the toughest test of their strength, courage and faith. When the tension and anticipation of the wait began to work against them, orders came in that they would not be going to the jungles of Vietnam. However, before the cheers and shouts of gratitude died down, several of the men—Todd included—were hand picked and flown to Panama for Jungle Survival, a course designed to train soldiers in the art of guerrilla warfare.

For eight weeks the soldiers lived, ate, slept, and crawled through the jungles of Panama while playing a very real game of war. They learned to look out for themselves and each other and how to survive under some of the toughest circumstances man could invent. When they thought they had the course mastered someone would think up another form of torture to inflict on them and then train them to handle it.

It turned out to be the toughest eight weeks of their lives as day after day officers drilled them to expect the unexpected. They learned the most effective ways to watch their comrades’ backs, and most importantly, they learned the true meaning of the term CYA: cover your anatomy.

PamelaSThibodeaux

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.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story!

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Guest Release–Hope’s Dream by Peggy Jaeger

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Hope Kildaire gave up her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner when a car accident killed her father and left her mother an invalid. Working two jobs and caring for her mother leaves the twenty-seven-year-old with no time for fun or relationships. When a law firm representing her paternal grandparents sends her several letters, Hope ignores them. She despises the family who disowned her father and wants nothing to do with them.

Lawyer Tyler Coleman’s job is simply to obtain Hope’s signature on a legal document. Getting it is harder than planned, though, when an unexpected attraction blossoms between them. If Ty is honest with Hope about why he’s in Willow Springs, he’ll fulfill his assignment but may risk hurting her.

The opportunity to have everything she’s ever desired is at Hope’s fingertips. Will her dream come true at the expense of Tyler’s love?

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EXCERPT

He cleared his throat, breaking into her thoughts, the sound barreling around them on the empty street.

“Well.” He buried his hands deeper into his jacket pockets. “I can see for myself you’re fine. You’ve had a full day, so I’ll let you get on home. Thanks again for the great lesson this morning. And for keeping me company while you worked.”

“It was nice to have someone to talk with, so in reality, I should be thanking you. And for seeing that I was safe.”

She wasn’t sure why, but when his cheeks darkened and his chin and gaze dropped down again at her words, she was utterly enchanted.

Without thinking why she shouldn’t, Hope stretched up, intending to kiss his cheek. At the moment right before her lips touched his skin, Tyler lifted his head and turned toward her. The kiss meant for his face landed squarely across his lips instead.

They both went stone still at the contact.

She’d put no heat behind the kiss. After all, it wasn’t as if she were kissing a man she was involved with. No, she’d simply planned it as a sweet way to thank him for being so kind and solicitous toward her, as she would to anyone she considered a friend.

Why, then, didn’t this feel like a chaste kiss between friends?

Why, then, did she feel as if she’d been dropped into a spewing volcano?

And why, then, did the thought of breaking the kiss leave her cold and lonely?

Tyler kept his hands in his pockets, never moving closer, and yet she felt enveloped by him as if he’d wound her into his arms and pulled her against his body. He let out a deep, long breath, the warm air drifting over her face and sending little tingles of…something…straight down her spine. Anticipation? Expectation? Desire? She had no clue, but Hope felt more alive and more aware than she had in years.

A tiny gasp pushed from deep within her when Tyler shifted his head, changing the angle of the kiss.

His lips parted, the taste of hops and barley riding on his breath as she breathed him in. He kept the kiss light, never pushing her into more, giving her all the control of where it went.

Hope had no idea how long they stood there under the bright streetlamp on the empty corner. It could have been a minute. It could have been an hour. The notion briefly blew through her mind that they were out in the open in a town where everyone knew her and liked nothing more to do on long winter nights than gossip. As quick as it came, the knowledge that she didn’t care a whit countered it.

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Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

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

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Guest Release–The Fourth Victim by Beverley Bateman

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Sara’s emotionally abusive husband dies unexpectedly. She’s struggling to reclaim the intelligent, independent person she was before she married. Now she’s part of a special team, training to help other women.

Mac is responsible for training women in special ops, so they are prepared in their challenge to save other women. When he meets Sara, sparks fly between them. He wants her to quit the training and let him take care of her.

Sara graduates. Her first assignment is to save Sara’s daughter from a serial killer. Can Mac step back in this dangerous situation? Can Sara and Mac resolve their issues?

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EXCERPT

The office said he’d had a heart attack. Was he alive? Did she want him to be? What if her husband had to stay home for a few weeks to recuperate? Palms sweating, Sara’s breath came in short, shallow bursts at the thought.

The taxi jerked to a stop in front of the hospital emergency entrance.

Sara fumbled through her purse and counted out her meager number of dollar bills. Gordon didn’t allow her to have a credit card and he only allowed her to have a small amount of cash. She didn’t have enough money to pay the taxi.

“I’m so sorry. I left home without any cash. I…I … Would you take a check?” Tears spilled over and trickled down her flushed cheeks.

The driver spun around. A short stubby finger waved at the sign over the rearview mirror. “Look lady, it says right there – No Checks.”

“I know, I know. I’m sorry. My husband’s had a heart attack and I … I don’t know what to do.” Sara ran her fingers through her hair and scrunched the tight bun at her neck.

The driver shook his head. “Aw, shit. Go ahead, lady. Write the check.”

Sara pulled the single crumpled check Gordon allowed her carry for emergencies out of her purse. When she touched the check a vision of Gordon floated in front of her.

She froze and rapidly blinked her eyes. She only saw the ghosts of dead people. Gordon didn’t believe her and forbid her to ever mention it.

Could he really be dead?

“Gordon?” she whispered.

“Lady, are you writing that check or not?”

“Yes, sorry.” Sara scribbled her signature on the bottom of the check. “Please, fill it in, and give yourself a generous tip. Thank you, thank you so much.” She clutching her worn purse to her chest, slid out of the cab, and scurried through the emergency room doors.

What if he was dead? She didn’t have any money. Gordon did all the finances and never shared anything with her. How would she manage?

Twenty years ago she could have handled it. Could she do it again? But he couldn’t be dead. Gordon would never allow that to happen.

His face flitted in front of her, fixed in an angry glare.

He had to be dead or she wouldn’t be seeing him. He didn’t want to be dead. He didn’t want her to be free. If he thought she could see him he’d be furious.

Sara shuffled toward the reception desk. She glanced over her shoulder, searching for some sign of Gordon, listening for his voice, waiting for him to yell at her. She couldn’t believe he was really dead, even though she had seen him. She clung to the edge of the transition counter, her head down, chewed on her lower lip and waited to be noticed.

Finally a brusque voice snapped, “Can I help you?”

Sara looked up to see a heavy set, older woman in a loose blue top. The woman’s thick dark brows met in a v in the middle of her forehead.

“I’m sorry, I …I’m looking for my husband. His office phoned to say he’d been brought here.” Sara shrunk into her body.

“Name?” the woman commanded.

“Gordon, Gordon Peters.” Sara stared at her worn black oxfords, then at the scuffed, gray linoleum with the red, blue and yellow lines that led to different areas. Maybe she shouldn’t have come. Maybe she should have waited for Gordon to call and tell her whether she should be here or not. But if he was dead she would have to make her own decisions. Her pulse raced. Her head pounded. For the last nineteen years she had never made a decision. Gordon made all of them for her.

“When was he admitted?” The woman reminded Sara of a sergeant major.

“I’m not sure, less than an hour ago. They told me to meet him here. Maybe he’s been discharged already?” She chewed her thumbnail. If Gordon had been discharged he’d be furious at her for spending all that money on a taxi. But she’d seen his ghost.

Tension twisted her stomach into knots. The pain caused her to clutch her purse tightly against her abdomen. She needed to get home and start dinner. She’d have to take a bus. Did she have enough money? She opened her purse.

The woman moved to a second pile of folders and pulled one out. “You’re his wife?”

Sara nodded. “Yes. Can I see him?”

A sob slipped out. If she didn’t find see him soon, he’d be furious. He’d think she was too stupid to even find him in a hospital and he’d be right.

His ghost floated in front of her. This time confusion mixed with his anger.

“Have a seat, Mrs. Peters. I’ll have the doctor speak to you.”

BevB_Oct2

Beverley Bateman is a Canadian author now living in Medicine Hat, Alberta, with her husband and Shiba Inu dog. She’s exchanged the Okanagan vineyards and orchards for ranches. Winters she’s a snowbird. She writes the latest romantic suspense in both places. She enjoys reading, watercolor painting and the Native American flute.

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Backlist promotion–Unlocked Treasure

A Halloween-set romance in ebook, audio, and anthology (print too)

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TAGLINE

Will a prophecy keep a lonely woman from accepting the promise of adventure?

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Aleen MacRae blames the lure of the sea for breaking apart first her family then her engagement. When her interest is caught by a man she sees both in person and in a dream, she resists—afraid to believe in her aunt’s prediction that her future is tied to the sea.

Braden Williams is on the hunt for treasure buried centuries earlier by Rhode Island pirates. His search brings him to the property where Aleen lives. Collaboration on genealogy research draws them closer, and Braden steers her toward his true passion–sailing.

Attending a party with Braden’s family lets her glimpse what she’s been missing. An unexpected discovery before her date with Braden at the Halloween Midnight Organ Recital forces a decision. Will Aleen play things safe or accept what this free-spirited man offers?

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audio at TWRP

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EXCERPT

Ah, the story of her life—practically invisible. The reminder his first sighting had been of her bikini-clad backside made her blush. Still didn’t change the facts. Aleen squared her shoulders. “I remember, but the Manor grounds are still closed.” Should she be nervous about being alone with this stranger, especially one who ignored posted rules?

“Sorry for the intrusion. Let me start over.” Smiling, he approached and extended his right hand. “My name’s Braden Williams.”

Aleen bit her lower lip, but accepted his hand. “Pleased to meet you. I’m Aleen MacRae.” At the moment their hands clasped, she felt warmth flooding her fingers. With a jerk, she released her grip, tingling sensations running along her skin. Immediately, the scent of fresh air and summer breezes wafted her way. Definitely a man of the sea. Just where I foretold your future lies. Whispers of her great-aunt Zsofika’s prophecy trickled through Aleen’s thoughts. At the memory, her cheeks flamed with heat.

“Wow.” Frowning, Braden flexed his hand and narrowed his gaze then dropped it to his flexing fingers. “That was bizarre.”

“Static electricity, from all that wind yesterday.” A reasonable explanation. In the back of her mind, Aleen could hear Zsofika scoff, “Static schmatic. A connection like that is destiny.”

“Well…” His gaze searched her face. “Aleen—hey, that’s pretty, like the direction alee.” A wide smile exposed even teeth.

Her own smile dimmed. Like I’ve never heard that before. “Thanks.” This guy was not charming his way around the rules. “Sorry, but you’ll need to come back when the gardens are open for visitors. That’s Wednesdays through—”

“Yeah, I read the sign.” He gave a dismissive wave then turned to gaze back at the main house. “But I just needed five minutes to check out some dimensions and the lot layout.”

“So, you woke up this morning and just decided to start out your week by trespassing?”

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Hauntings in the Garden, Volume Two, Anthology including Unlocked Treasure and:

Love Her Like the Devil by Stacy Dawn

Caper Magic by Veronica Lynch

ShriekWeek by Anne Knol

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Guest release–Not a Chance by Maureen Bonatch

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Hope just wants to be normal—too bad that will never happen.

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The last thing Hope Hallows wants is to become the latest headline. Living in a town that likes secrets, she prefers to keep hers hidden. Avoiding a nosy reporter’s questions about her ability to infuse euphoria or despair with a single touch, and those who crave this bliss, is nothing new. But having her brother’s annoying girlfriend, Berta, go missing is—especially when it makes Hope suspect number one.

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EXCERPT

“I swear you have a death wish. Are you looking for any excuse to use your abilities again?”

I started at the ferocity in his remark and straightened in defense. He was supposed to be my ally, but I should’ve anticipated his reaction. “I had no choice.”

“Only because you chose to take her in the woods in the first place.” The tiny haze of lights ignited around him as his frustration built.

I pushed my hands in my pockets to prevent from reaching for him for my own selfish comfort. He had to understand. Griffith was the only one who understood me. He was my rock in this ever-changing town. “I had to help look for Berta. There isn’t a choice in everything. I couldn’t let Chance go alone. Yes, I went because it was my idea in the first place, but also because he’s my brother. It’s not safe for him.”

His gaze locked with mine. “You didn’t worry about yourself? Or consider how much worry you’ve caused me? Damn it Hope, you, of all people, should realize what lurks undercover in the daylight has little fear at night and outside of town.”

Griffith always saw right through my petty motives. The trait was what I loved and hated about him.

 

maureenbonatchMaureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line.

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Guest Release–Cowboys, Cattle and Cutthroats By Gini Rifkin

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BLURB

Ochessa is heartbroken when she finds her brother fatally wounded. His dying words are about a childhood puzzle box, missing legal documents, and a drifter named Nicodemus Breedlove. Ochessa vows to find Will’s murderer—and the man Will described.

No stranger to trouble, Nic’s only concerns are his Stetson, his mule Sadie, and a long-awaited chance at retribution. After gaining Ochessa’s trust, and taking the job she offers, life gets more complicated.

Weathering a stampede, a gully washer, and a pack of outlaws, they locate the killer. As Nic’s quest for justice, and Ochessa’s vendetta for Will play out, bullets fly…

Not everybody’s gonna make it out alive.

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EXCERPT

She wanted so badly to be loved and needed. And she wanted Nic to be the man to fulfill those emotions. What made him special she couldn’t—maybe shouldn’t—define. But like a half-remembered dream, an ethereal connection existed between the two of them and right now that seemed all that mattered.

When he halted to stand before her, his gaze turned hungry, and he eased the hat from her head and lowered his mouth to hers. Accepting the full depth of his kiss, she braced her hands against his chest, gripping his shirt with both fists—she never wanted him to leave.

He pulled away first. “Ochessa,” he whispered, in a husky voice. “I can’t go on wanting you without knowing if you feel the same.”

“I want you too. You know I do. But I’m scared, and I don’t even know what it is I’m scared of.”

“How about change. Or the future or the raw need I feel in you. Sometimes I’m scared too—and lonely.”

At his declaration, part of her fears melted.

“You don’t trust my intentions.” He spoke the words that always sat like a dark harbinger in the recesses of her mind.

“No, I do trust you. Really I do.” She was amazed at her own admission, but the decision felt right. “I just need time to sort out my life.”

“Well, time is about all I got.  And I can bear the wait as long as I know what it is I’m waiting for.”

If joy could be counted as a tangible commodity, she suddenly felt rich beyond compare.

Their gazes met and held until it seemed the writing on their souls told the same story, and what bound them emotionally could no longer be separated by Man or Destiny, but only by their failure to take a chance.

Gini Rifkin

Gini Rifkin’s characters are courageous and passionate, and when they meet sparks fly, while danger often threatens.  Her settings include the American West, Medieval and Victorian England, and contemporary fantasy. When not writing, she has the privilege of caring for her rescue animals including ducks, geese, goats, rabbits, donkeys, and cats.

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