Tag Archives: Romance

Guest Release—Ghost In The Rain by Marie Treanor

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A haunted Highland house, battered by storms and murder…

Arriving at remote Invershiel House in the Scottish Highlands, researcher Kate Yorke is fascinated by the reclusive and troubled owner – notorious rocker Dan Stewart. Dan is haunted by the deaths of his fellow band members, especially his ex- lover Islay Lamont, whose shade seems to flit around the in the rain.

Then Kate trips over a dead body which inexplicably vanishes. It becomes a race against time to find the identity of the body and the killer. And to discover if she and Danny have any kind of future together. Or even at all…

BUY LINKS

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i-Books

EXCERPT

I had to acknowledge that my peace was churned up by his unexpected presence here. It wasn’t even an unpleasant feeling; in fact it felt rather…exciting. But it was disturbing.

I took off my glasses and rubbed my eyes. I suspected Dan Stewart carried such disturbance wherever he went. If I thought about it, the whole house felt different now. As if its peace had gone too; as if it had sprung to life, eager, waiting.

Mocking my own silly fantasy, I stood abruptly and paced around the room, trying to recover my lost concentration. I suspected I was just tired and would work much faster and much better after a good night’s sleep.

I paused by the window to watch the storm. Although the thunder had stopped, the wind and rain were still blasting the trees and rattling the window. Close-up, I could feel the draught through my thick sweater. On impulse, I retrieved my phone from my bag and tried to capture the raging storm on its camera. But it looked too tame on the screen, not deep or dark enough, no real movement in those black clouds still scudding and swirling across the sky. I wished I could paint. For a moment, I even wished I could be part of it, to go outside in it again. There was nothing to stop me, except common sense.

I smiled to myself and lowered the phone, just as a movement in the garden below caught my eye. Someone was out in this. Someone not remotely dressed for it either. Through the darkness and the almost opaque mist of rain, I could make out only that it seemed to be a woman wearing only some kind of floating, white, wispy garment, more like the loungewear of wealthy women of past centuries than anything anyone would wear today for any purpose. The odd garment shimmered as the figure glided across the lawn, impossibly graceful.

On impulse, I raised my phone again and snapped.

Perhaps she moved too quickly. Nothing of her showed on the screen except an indistinct blur of light against blackness. Frowning, I looked again out of the window, but the woman had gone. Vanished.

Gone back inside if she’s got any sense whatsoever.

I could tell myself that, and believe it. I just couldn’t quite silence the tiny voice in my head that whispered I might just have seen a ghost…

And then, before I could laugh myself back to sceptical normality, another figure strode into view. Two figures. A man and a large dog. The dog was trotting along at his side, sniffing the grass. Even in darkness, the man was unmistakably Dan Stewart. He seemed to be wearing the same old khaki jacket. I could see the rain running off him in rivulets. It hadn’t seemed to touch the ghostly woman…

He stopped, gazing ahead, and slowly turned as if looking for something, or someone. Just for a moment, I was tempted. I even raised my phone hand. But it felt too wrong to take a picture of him without permission in his own home. He was facing the house now and without warning, he tipped back his head and caught me staring down at him.

I felt frozen in that distant gaze. Forcing myself, I gave a feeble wave and dragged my eyes free towards the black, wooded hills and the furiously scudding sky. Still, I was aware of him striding back towards the house. I even heard his voice calling to the dog which loped after him.

Restlessly, I abandoned the window. I needed to go to bed. My eyes, my mind, were all far too tired.

Ellie had been quite blasé about leaving the letters out of their locked cabinet. “Even if anyone knew about them, who’d steal them round here?” she’d said reasonably. I took her at her word and just stuffed my own notebook into my bag before picking it up and heading for the closed door, where I paused, because I could hear footsteps pounding up the stairs.

My heart drumming, I waited for them to pass before I left the room. They strode closer, along the hall, and I held my breath. He’d go past; he must go past…

The door flew open, and Dan Stewart stood there, scowling at me. Raindrops stood out on his wet hair and clothes.

No, he wasn’t pretty. But there was something devastatingly attractive about that rough, bony face and those big, grey eyes that seemed much darker than before.

“Did you take any pictures?” he asked abruptly.

I blinked. “Sorry?”

“Pictures,” he repeated. “With your phone.”

I lifted my chin. “No,” I said. “I’m not that rude. Or crass.”

His frown deepened for an instant, and then his whole face relaxed into a grin. “Not of me. I wouldn’t wish that on you. I mean before I went out?”

The dog, a large, hairy creature of indeterminate breed, pushed past his legs and regarded me, wagging his tail.

“I took some pictures of the storm,” I said with as much dignity as I could muster, before I gave in and held out my hand to the dog.

In much more peremptory fashion, Dan Stewart held out his hand to me. “Can I see them?”

I paused with my hand on the dog’s head, feeling my hackles rise. I straightened, no doubt glaring my outrage, but his eyes and his hand remained steady. I curled my lip, a trick I’d recently discovered was quite famous for taming unruly students, and took the phone from my bag, slapping it into his palm.

Marie_Pub

Marie Treanor lives in Scotland – in a picturesque village by the sea – with her eccentric husband, three much-too-smart children and a small puppy who rules them all. Marie is the award winning author of over forty paranormal romances – Indie, New York and E-published.

 

Email: Marie@MarieTreanor.com.

Website: www.MarieTreanor.com.

Subscribe to Marie’s New Release Mailing List: http://www.marietreanor.com/marie-treanor-newsletter/ .

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marie-Treanor-Paranormal-Romance/105866982782360.

Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarieTreanor

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Guest Interview—Hywela Lyn

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I was born and lived most of my life in Rural Wales, although I have lived in a small English village, since my marriage. I love the outdoors and animals, and enjoyed many happy hours riding in the hills in my native Wales, the beautiful landscapes and colourful myths and legends inspired much of my writing. I have always loved the stars, and although I started out writing Western historicals, I became fascinated by the idea of travelling in space, and exploring distant worlds and began writing Science Fiction Romance – I always say ‘Space Opera’ which is how I would categorize my writing, is really a ‘Western’ in space with starships instead of horses and aliens instead of Native Americans.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Romance that’s ‘Out Of This World’ (although a few of my stories are set on this world but in a distant time either far back in the past, or in the future.)

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

Reading (of course.) As I said earlier, I love the outdoors, walking with my dog and caring for my two horses. Although I learnt to ride ‘English’ style, when Western Riding became more popular in the UK, I bought a Western saddle (from an endurance rider) and changed disciplines. Western riding is so comfortable and relaxed, and my horses converted to it very easily. I completed several endurance rides myself, using Western tack, and even bought a specially reinforced ‘Stetson’ as my mare, T’pau, although sweet, is very spooky an we’ve parted company a few times. At one time I used to sketch and paint, but don’t have time for that any more, unfortunately.

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

Usually the characters come to me first, then the setting and the plot sort of evolves around them. I always think the characters tell me the story as we go along.

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

I usually like to find a picture of my hero and heroine and keep it in front of me as I write.  I don’t find a suitable picture I will make a quick sketch, it just helps to flesh out the character in my mind. In ‘Beloved Enemy’ I had already found the male model I wanted for my cover ‘Jimmy Thomas’. The picture I found conveyed exactly the right image for my ‘tortured hero.’ The female model was a little harder to find, but the one I found suited the main character perfectly. I was lucky in that my cover artist used both the  pictures I chose and incorporated them into the cover.

In what genre do you read?

I love reading Science Fiction naturally, but I also enjoy historical Westerns, Romantic suspense, and adventures stories. I will actually read almost anything if it has good characters and holds my attention.

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

I couldn’t be without an animal or two. I have two horses, Harri and T’pau.  Harry is a black Welsh Cob and T’pau is a chestnut and white ‘Paint/American Quarterhorse. ‘Dusty’ the stable cat, does the ‘mousework and vermin control.   I also have a rather manic ‘rescue’ terrier called Choccy. He is the sweetest, most affectionate little dog, but unfortunately was kept locked up for the first two years of his life, and as a consequence was never ‘socialised’ with other dogs. It’s taken over a year and a lot of patience, but he’s now reached the stage where he will see another dog and approach it happily, instead of barking furiously and spinning in circles. He’s very clever and learns quickly, and when I’m not out with the horses, I take him for long walks in the woods or across the fields, and he just loves to chase a ball and play ‘fetch’.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I would love to think that readers would enjoy reading about my characters, and be left with a feeling of hope for the future, and the triumph of good over evil, and that they will feel the same sense of satisfaction when the main characters finally get their ‘happy ever after’ as I did writing it.

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Cat Kincaid is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.

Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. However, the beautiful, red haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.

Marooned on an inhospitable planet, they need to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction. But how can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again, and she made a solemn pledge to destroy him?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Amazon UK

The Wild Rose Press

Giveaway

Thank you so much for having me here today – I wonder how many readers think we will one day explore the stars?  I’m looking forward to your views and will give a $6.00 Wild Rose Press Certificate to the most interesting answer.

EXCERPT

Before she could activate the weapon, Kerry let off another barrage of plasma bolts into the river. He leapt toward her and ripped the severed tentacle from her leg. It flapped around on the wet grass. She scrambled to her knees, still slightly winded, and fired at the hideous thing. The foliage around it flared briefly with an eerie green flame, and the tentacle shrivelled into a slimy black mass, emitting a pungent odour and causing her to gag.

“It seems I was mistaken about the creature being dead.” Kerry prodded the smouldering mass with his boot and looked across over the water. “It is now.” He leaned down and grasped her wrist to haul her to her feet. “Are you hurt?”

“No, I don’t think so.” Her shoulder was sore and probably bruised but she’d live.

She tried to control her shivering. The incident affected her more than she wanted to admit. Kerry’s proximity—naked to the waist, his lithe body shining from the water droplets that still clung to his skin, and his legs swathed in tight black leather—did nothing to help. The last thing she wanted was for him to realize how scared she’d been when she thought a snake attacked her.

“Thanks. That was close. It would have been a bit ironic if I’d been killed by the same creature I saved you from.”

She realized he still grasped her wrist. She tried to move away, but he pulled her back, obliging her to turn to him.

“You’re trembling.”

“I’m fine.”

“No,” he said. “You’re not.” He pulled her closer and his eyes softened, his gaze holding her mesmerized. She opened her mouth to try to speak, but in the same instant, he put his hand under her chin and his lips closed over hers.

Snippet from 5 Start Review – Books By Beverly

“Cat comes to Kerry and his party’s rescue. If anyone is going to kill him it will be her.

I haven’t read the first two in the series but Beloved Enemy is a stand alone. A good one!”

Hywela Lyn

Hywela Lyn lives in a small village in England, with her long-suffering husband Dave, although her heart remains in her native rural Wales. Although most her writing tends to be futuristic, the worlds she creates are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature.

WEBSITE  –     http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk

BLOG  –            http://www.hywelalyn.blogspot.com

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLynAuthor?ref=hl

                  https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLyn

TWITTER –        https://twitter.com/Hywela_Lyn

GOODREADS –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1422651.Hywela_Lyn

 

Her first novel, Starquest, a futuristic romance released by The Wild Rose Press was followed by a sequel Children Of The Mist. Her recently released third novel Beloved Enemy, continues what has now become a series known as ‘The Destiny Trilogy’.

 

She is a member of The Romance Novelists’ Association (UK)  and Chiltern Writers, her local writing group. A keen animal lover, when she is not writing, she can usually be found enjoying the outdoors with the horses and dog – or just  eating chocolate!

Guest Interview—Barbara Burke

Welcome to an author friend from The Wild Rose Press.

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I’m a freelance journalist. I started out working as a reporter for a weekly newspaper and when I moved away I branched out on my own. But many years ago, when I was in university, I had a naïve plan to write a romance to finance a career as a ‘real’ writer. My manuscript was rejected, not surprisingly. Since then I’ve become a little more humble and maybe even a little wiser and I thought I’d give it another shot. It’s worked out much better this time.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Barbara Burke’s characters fall in love with their brains, not their bodies.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I like to hike and sail, which makes me sound all outdoorsy and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Really I like to read and do cryptic crossword puzzles and drink red wine.

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

Heads or tails? You can’t have just one side of a coin.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

Again, I can’t pick just one. I start off with an idea of plot and character and then see how they negotiate their way to the end of the story.

If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.

I need absolute silence or I’ll start singing along (even if it’s an instrumental piece) and that can completely change the mood of what I’m writing.

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

There is no starting point for research. I’m doing it constantly.

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

Yes, but I’ve travelled to a lot more places that were the setting for books I’ve loved over the years.

Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?

I don’t get stuck creating a story. I get stuck in the dreaded middle bit where you know where the story came from and you know where it’s going, but it seems to be spending all its time playing solitaire instead of progressing.

What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process?

I don’t think there were any. Everyone needs an editor. EVERYONE.

Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations).

Write a few lines. Check email. Write a few lines. Move the cat off the keyboard (and check email). Write a few lines. Have lunch. Write a few lines. Move the cat from in front of the computer screen (and check email). Et cetera.

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

I have all kinds of unfinished novels and I’m a freelance journalist. I get antsy if I’m spending all my time writing fiction and I get antsy if I’m spending all my time writing non-fiction.

What’s your dream vacation destination?

It depends on the time of year, but generally speaking it would be somewhere with lots of history, outdoor cafes and a beach.

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

Yes. At the moment three cats, a snake, a tankful of fish and a horse.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

A feeling of satisfaction at the end. I don’t write insightful or deep. I’m just trying to entertain, not enlighten.

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When ARP warden Molly sees a light shining through the darkness of London on a cold winter’s night in the middle of the blitz she’s infuriated with the careless American who struck it. Doesn’t he know there’s a war on?

Guy’s just trying to find his way through a maze of unlit streets. He’s very sorry and Molly reluctantly forgives him. When he accompanies her on her nightly rounds the two learn about each other, themselves and whether it’s really possible to fall in love in only one night – especially when there’s no guarantee of tomorrow.

BUY LINKS

Amazon

The Wild Rose Press

EXCERPT

They stood silently. Slowly her hand came out of her pocket to rest on the top of his arm. The other one reached up to gently touch his cheek. He could see the glint of her eyes, those impossible brown eyes, as she gazed up at him gravely.

“Are you going to kiss me?” Her cool British voice gave him no inclination of how she felt.

“Is that what you want?” Guy wasn’t sure what he would do if the answer was no.

She didn’t reply, and he took that for her answer. Quickly he undid the clasp on her helmet and pulled it away, letting it drop to the ground without a thought. Free of its weight, she tilted her face up, her lips dark and full in the black night, and settled more deeply into his grasp.

It was invitation enough.

He bent his head toward her.

Her lips were soft and cold. Willing, but tentative. Her arms circled his neck, and he pulled her to him more tightly, body to body despite the thick winter clothing they both wore.

The night suddenly got a lot warmer.

The kiss didn’t last long. It was too sweet to be sustained, and they were too new to the sensation to change it into something more. As soon as Guy sensed Molly withdrawing, he broke it off.

But he didn’t release her. And she made no move to pull away.

“Was that a mistake?” he asked.

“No.” Molly sounded quite sure, and Guy’s heart soared. But then she continued, “However, repeating it might be.”

SNIPPET OF REVIEW

I absolutely loved this book! Ms. Burke descriptions of London in 1941 were so clear and concise, I felt like I was there. The historical accuracy of this story was spot on. ~~Amazon review

Barbara Burke - CopyBarbara Burke’s peripatetic life means she’s lived everywhere from a suburban house in a small town to a funky apartment in a big city, and from an architecturally designed estate deep in the forest to a cedar shack on the edge of the ocean. Everywhere she’s gone she’s been accompanied by her husband, her animals and her books.

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Guest Release—Forever And Always by Susanne Matthews

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Ballet is the only thing Brandi Alexandra Jameson has ever known. When an accident leaves her dance partner dead and herself unable to dance again, she tries to accept the situation, but some pain goes too deep to be set aside so easily. Lost, alone, frightened, all she wants to do is hide away, but her family has a different idea.

Jarrett Sullivan has been in love with Brandi from the first day he saw her and blacked a kid’s eye for calling her names. Shy, unsure of himself, he stayed in the background, looking out for her, but before he could make his move, she left Victoria for the stage in Toronto. Now that she’s back, he’ll do whatever it takes to win her heart. After badgering her sister, he earns the right to escort the woman he’s always wanted to the event of the year.

When Brandi discovers Jarrett paid an exorbitant amount for an Alexandra Jameson poster, she assumes he’s lied to her and is nothing but another crazed fan. Her heart broken she flees Victoria and ends up in Geneva where she hopes to learn to cope with what’s happened to her.

Can Jarrett find her and explain what happened or will a spiteful woman’s half-truths keep them apart forever?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Solstice Publishing

EXCERPT

“You’re here and dressed for the occasion,” Jane said, her grin so wide it split her face. “I almost expected you to back out.”

“I came close,” Brandi answered, leaning into him for support. “But I figured you wouldn’t let me and, as I’ve learned on the way over, he would’ve dragged me here as you’d requested.”

“Not sure he’d have gone that far,” Jane laughed, winking at him. “But, I’m sure he’d have tried to persuade you to attend. Now, come on over here and say hello to everyone.”

Brandi followed her sister into the room, leaning on him for support even though she held her cane with her left forearm and hand.

“Auntie B!” The small ball of energy dressed in red and white chiffon separated herself from her father and ran toward her, almost knocking Brandi down with her exuberant hug.

“Whoa, munchkin,” Brandi said, and laughed. “I’m not that steady on my feet, yet. Don’t you look pretty?”

The vivacious, tiny brunette, hands above her head, pirouetted to show off her fancy dress.

Jarrett watched Brandi blink away tears. Would she ever be able to see this without hurting?

“I learned that at dance class. I even stood on my tippy-toes,” Hope said. “It’s called a parette. I’m going to be a ballerina, just like you one day.”

“You’ll be a much better dancer than me,” Brandi answered and smiled. “Now, tell me about your beautiful dress.”

“Nana bought it for me. I look like a princess.”

“You do,” she agreed.

“Come on, Hope,” Jane said, her face slightly flushed. “You can talk to Aunt B later. Right now, they have games and prizes for the kids in the salon.”

The child clapped her hands and reached up to take her mother’s. She waved at them as they left the room.

“Nice to see you again, Jarrett. Thanks for bringing my girl here,” Phil Jameson said, reaching for his daughter.

Jarrett reluctantly let go of her and moved out of the way, but stayed close by her side. She was his date tonight, and he wanted every one of the ravenous wolves in the room, looking at her as if she were the blue plate special, to know it.

“You look wonderful, darling,” her dad said, kissing her. “How’s the house?”

“It’s great. You did a magnificent job.”

“Not me,” he said, and chuckled. “Your escort here did all the work.”

“Why didn’t you mention that on the drive over?” she asked, turning to look up at him.

His face heated. This was another thing he’d hoped to keep quiet. The last thing he wanted was for her to feel beholden to him.

“It wasn’t very much really—moving a few walls, redoing the bathroom, putting in sturdier staircases and railings, refinishing the woodwork and staining the wood furniture to match—and it isn’t as if I did all of the work myself.”

He’d done most of it though, considering it a labor of love.

“Of course not. You’re the boss, but I appreciate it. Please tell your men how happy I am with everything.”

“I’ll pass it along,” he said, trying not to preen.

Brandi turned to her father once more.

“I’m more solid on my feet now but, after a while, I get tired and when I do, my back aches, the way it did after a particularly, grueling rehearsal.”

“Jarrett,” a silver-haired woman in black stepped up beside Phil and extended her hand. “Thank you so much for picking her up.”

“It was my pleasure, Reverend Jameson,” he answered.

“Please, call me Clarice. After all, we’re almost family.”

She reached over and pulled Brandi into a tight hug and then held her at arms’ length. “Darling, you look lovely, but you’re still too thin.”

“Mom, you saw me just last week.” The exasperation in Brandi’s voice was clear. “I can’t gain weight that quickly….”

“I know, but you’re even smaller than you were when you danced.” Clarice’s face turned a deep red. “I’m so sorry….”

“Mom, it’s okay. I used to be a prima ballerina. Now, I’m not. I’ve accepted that. We can’t keep dancing around the elephant in the room, pardon the pun.”

Susanne Matthews

Canadian author Susanne Matthews lives in Cornwall, Ontario. A retired educator, she spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel.

Follow Susanne on her:  Website    Blog    Facebook page    Twitter @jandsmatt

Amazon author page    and    Goodreads author page

Guest Release-Betrayal by Karen Cogan

Betrayal cover from John

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Bethany never imagined becoming the target of a hired killer. Her intent had been to clear her roommate of murder and get her out of jail. After a tip from a neighbor about a ski-masked man leaving the apartment and tossing something in a dumpster, she retrieves a pair of bloody gloves from the dumpster and places them in her brief case for safe keeping. On the way to take them to the police station, she is attacked and injected with a fast-acting sedative. In a desperate attempt to protect the evidence, she thrusts the briefcase at the man in front of her and begs him to take care it.

BUY LINK

Amazon

EXCERPT

Bethany glanced behind her, heart skittering, as she hastened along the street. Though she hoped to blend in with tourists in southern Staten Island, she couldn’t escape the feeling she’d been followed. She’d told no one except the detective about the evidence in her briefcase. Since it could prove the innocence of her friend, she was eager to turn it in. Fortunately, in two more blocks she would arrive at the station. She could hand it over and stop worrying.

Someone brushed against her and she tightened her hold on the satchel. Pedestrians here were working people with a sprinkling of petty thieves. The last thing she needed was to have an opportunist steal what was valuable only as evidence and discard it in a dumpster where it would never be found and justice would never be done.

She entered the crosswalk with the throng. Half-way across the street she felt a sharp jab beneath her right rib. She grimaced as she stumbled forward, bumping into the broad back of the man striding ahead of her. He turned to study her with striking blue eyes.

Someone touched her hand and whispered, “Let go and I’ll let you live.”

She jerked her hand away as her vision began to blur. The man she had jostled turned with a frown. “Are you all right?”

She held on to the satchel. As his face became hazy, she thrust it towards him. “Take care of this please. It’s important.”

He took it from her grasp as she toppled forward. She heard a buzz of voices as strong arms lifted her, and then, oblivion.

Luke carried the limp woman across the street and cradled her in his lap while he called 911. A crowd gathered while he checked her quickened pulse. What could have happened to her? His thoughts were interrupted as a man leaned towards him.

“She’s prone to fainting spells. I can hold onto the attaché case. I’m her brother.”

Luke evaluated the man and made a quick decision. “She told me to keep it safe. It’s fine with me, for now.”

The man didn’t insist, yet continued to stand by, expressing none of the concern Luke would expect of a brother while Luke focused on the woman, making sure she continued to breathe.

The steady shrieking of an ambulance preceded its arrival at the curb. Luke moved back to allow the attendants to administer to the fallen woman. They took her vitals and loaded her onto a stretcher.

“Where will you take her?” Luke asked. Not only did he need to know where to deliver the satchel, he was curious about why it was important enough to protect.

“Mount Sinai.”

“I’m a friend. Can I come along?”

The man nodded. “You can ride up front with the driver.”

Luke held onto the briefcase as he strode to the passenger door. What possessed him to care about what happened to this stranger? He should send the attaché with her and forget the whole thing.

He glanced into the crowd and saw the man who claimed to be her brother watching from the outskirts of the bystanders. If he had it to bet, Luke guessed the guy knew what was inside that case and had a reason for wanting it. Perhaps he had injured or drugged the victim to steal it. The possibilities ran through his mind as he climbed aboard. He thought about going after the suspect. Yet, he doubted he would catch him, given the distance between them. If he didn’t stay with the victim, it would be harder to locate her and return her property. He shut the door and buckled his seat belt. Whatever the outcome, he was along for the ride.

The driver was a stocky, middle-aged man with thinning hair who asked Luke, “You her husband?”

“No. She fell into my arms. I was complemented until I realized she was unconscious.”

The man nodded. “Sounds like my experience with women.”

Luke’s curiosity about what was in the case burned as they drove to the hospital. When they arrived, he waited for the paramedics to lift the woman from the ambulance and wheel her into the emergency room.

“How’s she doing?” Luke asked the small blond attendant who was pushing the cart,”

“She’s stable.”

Once inside, he was asked her name. “I don’t know. We just met. You’ll have to get identification from her purse. Please let me know when she’s able to have a visitor.”

The rigid, vinyl chair in the waiting area poked against his shoulder blades. He resigned himself to the discomfort and the television comedy that spewed raucous laughter. His thoughts were on the woman who’d passed out in his arms.

He turned the briefcase over in his lap. If she protected something illegal, he refused to be any part of it. He studied the lock, and knew it would be no problem. He fished in his pocket and withdrew the knife set he’d carried all through his stint in the military. With a few quick twists, he had it open. He peered inside the bag to see two bloody gloves staring back. If she didn’t have a good explanation, he was going straight to the police.

Bethany awoke in a narrow bed. She squinted at the bright ceiling light, and struggled to remember why she was hooked to an IV. What had happened? She moved to sit up and her head throbbed. Then, it all came back. He had wanted the gloves. Had he gotten them?

She fumbled for the buzzer as a nurse entered the room. “I had an attaché case. Where is it?”

The young woman knitted her brow. “Don’t be upset. Your things are bagged beside your bed.”

“I need to see them.”

The nurse moved swiftly to her side. “Don’t try and get up. I’ll hand it to you.”

Bethany knew from the weight of the bag it didn’t contain the attaché case. She fought rising panic. “My briefcase is missing. Where is it?”

“I don’t know. There’s a gentleman in the waiting room who wants to see you. Perhaps he has it.”

Karen Cogan

A native of Houston, TX, Karen spent her early years enjoying life along the Gulf Coast. After high school, she attended Texas A&M as well as the University of Houston where she obtained a B.S. in early childhood education. She has written numerous articles and stories, books for children and novels for adults. She particularly enjoys writing contemporary and historical romance.

She now lives in the Southwest with her family and assorted pets.

Web contacts:

Amazon:  (http://bit.ly/1ZLfzto,

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

WordPress: https://wordpress.com/post/kecogan.wordpress.com/258

Guest Interview—Nicole Fitton

Tell us a bit about you and your background

Hi Linda, thank you so much for making me so welcome and hosting me on your blog today. I live in a truly beautiful part of the UK – Devon. I grew up in London and have lived in New York. Devon is as far away from those 2 cities as you can get, all green fields, farms and beaches. We often times would dream about living here when on holiday with our 3 boys. We were fortunate enough to make it happen so here we are! My career has seen most of my time spent within PR and marketing in the music industry, although over the last decade or so I’ve been working within healthcare. A real mixed bag which has afforded me some amazing experiences and great ideas for writing!

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Contemporary romantic suspense. Chicklit with a twist is how it has also been described.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I have an 18-month-old Springer Spaniel called Poppy who I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time training!  When not running through fields full pelt chasing her, I like to crochet and bake (not at the same time although that could be interesting). Oh and reading, of course. I try to read at least one book a week, sometimes it happens other times not!

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

The simple answer is both. For me it seems to be that wherever the catalyst for the story starts that’s how it then develops. With my debut novel All Tomorrow’s Parties, I had a strong powerful image of the lead main character Laine Marshall first, the plot then evolved from her. However with my current WIP, it’s the other way around. I had a light bulb moment where the plot unfolded to me, the characters are developing through the storyline as we speak. For me this works well as it’s the inspiration that keeps me passionate about my writing.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

Most definitely freestyle. Most days I feel as if I’m a time thief. I’m constantly grabbing 10 minutes here, stealing an hour there. I often travel with my job so I’m becoming quite skilled at blocking out the noise of the train station or airport lounge and quietly sitting and writing a few pages (I carry a notebook everywhere these days).Interestingly in my day job, I have to be incredibly well organized and plan out everything emmm… maybe that’s why my writing is so freestyle….

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

Yes I have. All Tomorrow’s Parties is set in London and Venice, places I’m fortunate to know well. I would urge anyone who has never been to Venice (or Italy in general for that matter) to go, it really is magical. My second novel (planned for release in May) has three main locations – the West Country of England (about 100 miles away from where I live), a small town called Monflanquin in France where I spent last summer and New York where I once lived. I like to draw on locations I know. I use them as stages in which to place the characters. It really helps me to visualize the characters sitting in a café or catching the subway. Hopefully it drives the descriptive side of my writing.

AllTomorrow'sParties

TAGLINE

Can you really have a happy ever after?

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Set in the music industry of 1980’s London, All Tomorrows Parties is a journey through life and love. Laine Marshall isn’t a product of the 1980’s she is the epitome of it. 18 years of age and working for one of the hippest labels around Vestal records. She takes the day to day hedonism of working for Vestal in her stride and experiences every emotion under the sun except the one she craves the most – love.
She has a DJ boyfriend Danny she ‘likes’ and a music editor lover Tony ‘she could love’, but no smack bang between the eyes kind of love. That is until a chance encounter in Italy sets her pulse racing and her heart in pieces. With her life turned upside down, she tries to navigate towards love with tragic consequences. Someone is trying to derail her happiness but who and why? Can her heart be broken and rebuilt?
BUY LINK

Amazon

EXCERPT

“Let’s find a café somewhere, grab some lunch and plan our day, agreed?” said Andy as they finally stood on the quayside.

They made their way to Café Pietro just off St Mark’s Square. After a quick lunch and glass of wine, they all decided to go their separate ways and explore elements of the city that appealed. They agreed to meet back at the quayside to catch the vaporetti at 6pm.

Andy, Pete, Mary and Ella went straight to St Mark’s Basilica whilst John whispered to Laine he had a surprise to show her and they headed off towards the waterfront. “You’re being quite secretive John, what’s this about?” asked Laine.

“Ah you’ll see”, he said, grabbing her hand and moving towards a small ferry.

The boat took them to the small island of San Lozarro degli Armeni. The island was home to the order of Mekhitarist Monks, originally from Armenia. John explained that the island had been a place of love for the poet Byron. He knew from their conversations that Byron held a special place in Laine’s life. It was also fortuitous that San Lozarro deli Armeni was also home to some of the world’s rarest roses – a favourite for them both. Walking along the beach that first night, they had both been surprised by the other’s love of roses. It had sparked a debate on the origins of the rose and a discussion around why both the UK and the US had adopted it as their national flower. It had been the first of many coincidences.

As they approached the island they were struck by its beauty. The monastery tower framed picture perfect against the powder blue sky, the jade blue sea contrasting against the backdrop of the soft coral stonework of the island. The island itself seemed to be perfectly square with the monastery centrally placed.

Laine had heard of the island when she had read about Byron’s life and his love of Armenian culture but had never expected she would be able to visit it. “This is amazing John – how did you know about this place?” she said, taking hold of his hand. “One of the guys at the base mentioned it a while back, it’s not that well-known, but really worth the trip. When you mentioned you loved Byron, well, it all kinda fitted together”, he said, squeezing her hand just a little.

They walked hand in hand through the cloisters of San Lorrazo del Armeni. The air was heavy with hints of musk and tea rose. Their olfactory senses at first overwhelmed as the subtle changes in scent presented itself, ebbing and flowing like the tide. The roses in the gardens were nurtured like much loved children, now resplendent in a wild spectrum of colours. A monk knelt, a trug by his side. His secateurs delicately dead heading the myriad of rose bushes. He turned and nodded as they passed.

These roses had seen lovers come and go. The memory of their scent imprinted, able to trigger emotions of either love or sorrow. Petals fell as the breeze drifted through and scattered them onto the cobbled path. A carpet of resplendent blooms in multiple colours lay ahead of them. They walked slowly along the path; petals appeared to drop from the sky as if heralding their arrival. Instinctively, Laine took off her sandals. A mix of smooth velvety gloss and heat from the cobbles tickled the soles of her feet. John smiled. The more time he spent with Laine the more he realised how similar they were –both cherished simple beauty where they found it.

NFitton

Nicole Fitton is a freelance writer who lives in Devon with her children, husband, 10 old hens, 1 very old rabbit, an even older cat and a very young springy springer. Her career to date has spanned 3 decades working in PR and marketing within Europe and the USA. She currently works within healthcare management in the UK. When not ‘doing the day job’ and apart from writing, she enjoys field trialing her spaniel (who is very trialing!), playing golf (badly) and drinking copious amounts of coffee. She likes all things shiny and really really likes fast cars.

She is a member of the group Authors Helping Authors. Her second novel is due for release in 2016.

WEB CONTACTS

Blog: https://nicolefittonauthor.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MisoMiss

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alltomorrowsparties2015/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/fitton3818/

Guest Release–HUNTED By Marissa Garner

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Hot agents on explosive cases in the FBI Heat series: For San Diego’s elite FBI agents, risking their lives is standard procedure when it comes to capturing the city’s most dangerous criminals—but falling in love is the greatest risk of all.  

Catching bad guys in San Diego’s underworld isn’t just FBI Special Agent Ben Alfren’s job, it’s his life. He doesn’t have time for a serious relationship, doesn’t want one either. So when he meets his sexy new neighbor, Amber Jollett, he has nothing more in mind than unwinding with a glass of wine, a romantic walk on the beach…and maybe a hot fling.

But Amber is more than he bargained for. Hunted by an obsessed ex-boyfriend, the fiercely independent nurse chooses fight over flight for the chance at a future with her hot, blue-eyed neighbor. When she gets caught up in Ben’s plans to rescue five kidnapped women, their lives get entangled and their attraction flares into passion. But they’ll learn that in this dangerous game of cat and mouse, real love can save—or doom—them . . .

BUY LINKS:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1PjQLGK

B&N: http://bit.ly/1OnacNA

iTunes: http://apple.co/1SpIDSJ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/21m7Zao

EXCERPT:

The man in the gray hoodie was watching her. Amber Jollett couldn’t see his face, but he was the right height and build. Even from the opposite street corner, the intensity of his stare bored into her. She shivered despite the sunny morning.

Her focus never wavered as she slid behind two people. The man’s head turned with her movement.

The traffic light changed, and the crowd surged forward. Amber’s hand dug into her purse until it gripped reassuring metal. Weaving between bodies, she moved to the outside edge to put as much distance as possible between her and the man before the other pedestrians passed on the street. With each step, her heart beat faster.

Halfway across, the man reached up, pulled back the hood…and smiled. Straight black hair. Almond-shaped eyes. Asian features.

Not him.

Amber’s knees went weak with relief.

Not him. Not this time.

A car horn blared. She jumped and spun around to find a taxi idling a few feet away, its driver gesturing impatiently for her to get out of the way. Waving an apology, she scurried across the street. She found a spot out of the pedestrian flow next to the corner of a building. She needed a moment to quiet her nerves.

She braced her hands on the knees of her pastel pink nurse’s scrubs, inhaled deep breaths, and released them slowly. Fear began to fade as calm returned.

Damn you, Jeremy Nelson. I want my life back.

Amber grimaced and closed her eyes. It was starting all over again. Two years had passed since she’d broken up with her obsessed boyfriend, but he continued to stalk her. Restraining orders and calls to law enforcement had proved useless. Now she alone was responsible for her safety. She’d lived in Coronado, across the bay from San Diego, for only two months. But two or three months was the amount of time it normally took for Jeremy to find her. From now on, she would have to be on constant alert. The worst part was imagining him wearing every hoodie, hiding in every shadow, or following in every vehicle. Usually, she didn’t wait for an actual sighting—that would be too late. No, she couldn’t hesitate. Once her instincts told her he was closing in, she had to move on. She cringed. How much longer will I be hunted?

Small FBI Heat graphic

BIO:

Marissa is a wife, writer, chocoholic, and animal lover, not necessarily in that order. As a little girl, she cut pictures of people out of magazines and turned them into characters in her stories. Now she writes edgy romantic thrillers and steamy contemporary romance. She lives in SoCal with her husband, but enjoys traveling from Athens to Anchorage and many locations in between.

WEB CONTACTS:

Newsletter:  http://bit.ly/1NTfT19

Website:  www.marissagarner.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/M_Garner_Author

Pinterest:  https://pinterest.com/garner1819/

GIVEAWAY:  Visit Facebook or website to enter $25 Amazon e-Gift Card giveaway

Cover Reveal for Hearts Of Valor

Hearts Of Valor
The Promise by London Saint James

The year Veronica turned twenty-two changed her life. She graduated from San Diego State University, married the handsome Lieutenant Carter Weis—widowed six months after the happy nuptials.

Captain Quinn Alstrom of the U.S. Coast Guard was eager to start his newest post; however the excitement had nothing to do with the beautiful surroundings of Key West, and everything to do with his best friend’s wife.

Will Quinn’s surprise arrival in Veronica’s life re-spark the fire in the vivacious woman he remembered? Or, will the memory of her fallen husband stop the two of them from finding happiness?
A Manly Man by Jean Young

Confederate POW, Braxton Bolton, had an unexpected visitor the day before his execution, when Arabella Anderson walked into his jail cell and, in front of other POWs, kissed him until he shook with desire.

Two years prior, she had been the Lieutenant Colonel’s prisoner. While she was tortured and raped by the other Confederate soldiers, Bolton was different. He protected her from further suffering, and the grateful young woman had come to repay his kindness. While they became more and more intimate, she learned the story behind his kindness.

But what she learned while with her hero POW, turns the sweet girl into a fearsome warrior. One determined to save the soldier with a noble heart.
Hero of Her Heart by S.L. Hughson

Nicole Taylor has loved Vincent for years. Now he’s back from serving in the Army, and she’s determined to make him see her as something other than a little sister.

After a heated Valentine’s date, Nicole is confused by Vince’s withdrawal. She confronts him, but no matter how hot their physical attraction, he keeps backing away.

Nicole helps him follow his lifelong dreams but he drifts further from her happily-ever-after plans. What will it take for him to see he is truly the hero of her heart?
Feathers by T. E. Hodden

Kerry only wanted to do right by Christopher. To protect him from the whispers of ‘coward’ and the shame of a white feather.

But the war doesn’t look like a grand adventure any more. All Kerry wants is Chris home safe. But will he still be the same man she once knew?
Goin’ Home by Philip Lisagor

How will Jack be able to put Iraq behind him and return home to Leah and their two children? The green peaceful coast of Ireland is the perfect landing zone from the brown violent landscape of Mesopotamia. Jack is humping his ruck along the North Atlantic coast when a chance encounter with an Irish maiden turns him all around and he hears the voice of Leah in a magical moment calling him home.

Guest Promotion–Landlocked by Marilyn Baron

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Amelia Rushing is an inexperienced South Florida realtor with weather issues, and a loser in love. Her grandmother asks her to sell some property on an isolated North Carolina mountaintop, and upon investigation, Amelia finds the tract is landlocked. Determined to make her first sale and right the injustice to her grandmother, Amelia travels to the town of Confrontation and enlists the help of local real estate attorney, Alec Brady, who thwarts her at every turn.

Sparks fly when Amelia announces her plans to move into her grandmother’s cabin until she can sell the property. It is Alec’s current home, and he’s not giving it up. When Amelia discovers that thirty years ago a prominent landscape artist disappeared in the town of Confrontation, she is anxious to solve the decades-old mystery, but there’s a serial killer on the loose, one nobody wants to turn in, despite the number of people missing. What is the community hiding, and does Alec know where the bodies are buried?

BUY LINKS

All Romance ebooks

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

The Wild Rose Press

EXCERPT

He was too freaking gorgeous with his chiseled movie-star face and a buff body to match. He extended his hand, and she stood up to shake it. But for a  moment, he’d rendered her incoherent.

“Welcome to our little part of—”

“I’ve already had the ‘little part of heaven,’ speech from your receptionist,” Amelia said when she rediscovered her voice.

Alec skewered her with a piercing look from his fathomless blue eyes.

“You think I’m a hillbilly.” His deadpan delivery indicated it was more of a statement than a question.

“You must be a mind reader.”

“Don’t have to be. It’s written all over your face.”

“Okay, I have to ask. What’s a Duke grad doing in a backwater town like Confrontation? And I use the term town loosely.”

Practicing law,” Alec answered dryly.

“I’ve already contacted a local broker/realtor named Barry Brady, and he referred me to you. He said he’d looked at the papers I faxed over and that we couldn’t proceed with the sale. That’s when he recommended I see you. Your secretary’s named Brady, too. Is everyone in this town related?”

Alec’s face flashed a barely disguised smile. Must be an inside joke.

“Pretty much, ma’am.”

“I’m glad I could amuse you. Do you all intermarry up here in Confrontation?”

“I’m not married.”

“No cousins available?”

“Is that a serious question?”

IMG_1172 (2)MarilynBaronMarilyn Baron is a corporate communications consultant in Atlanta. She’s a member of RWA and Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), recipient of the GRW 2009 Chapter Service Award and winner or finalist in writing awards in single title, suspense romance, novel with strong romantic elements and paranormal romance.  Landlocked is her 10th book with The Wild Rose Press.

WEB CONTACTS

Website:  www.marilynbaron.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marilyn-Baron/286807714666748

Blog:  Marilyn blogs with Savvy Authors on the 22nd of every month at  http://savvyauthors.com/blog/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MarilynBaron

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4722647.Marilyn_Baron

Character Interview-The Price of Scorn by Kae Elle Wheeler

Kathy Wheeler, writing as Kae Elle Wheeler, is the author of the Cinderella series and shares the protagonist from her latest title.

The Price of Scorn – book IV gives an insight to Cinderella’s evil stepmother’s horrific life, answering the question of why she was so hateful to one of fairy tales most beloved characters, Cinderella.

Please introduce yourself.

I am Lady Hildegard Berenoir Simmon Roche. More infamously known as Cinderella’s Evil Stepmother. It is a ridiculous title some ninny without the sense of a gnat allotted me!

Where were you raised?

I suppose you could say I was reared in the Alsace Region of France since that is where my mother bore me. Since I was seventeen when my father sold me to a brute old enough to be my grandfather, I came into adulthood rather difficultly, around Avignon.

Family members?

La! Again, with the repetitive and mundane. (sighs) Of course, I was raised by my natural parents, no siblings, as well you can imagine. I witnessed no love lost between the two. But they are dead! And good riddance, I say. I-I do have two lovely and beautiful daughters. Pricilla and Esmeralda. One, of which, would be Queen of Chalmers, if not for my conniving stepdaughter.

Did you attend university?

University? Women do not attend University! Alas, I regret I did not put more effort in my studies. Perhaps things might have worked out differently.

You were a wife and mother then, yes? Did you always aspire to your role?

(softly) Mais oui. I did….at one time, it was all I dreamed.(harshly) For one man. That dream crashed in the blink of an eye. No more questions of him, síl vous plait.

What of extracurricular activities?

What strange questions you pose. I do not embroidery. I suppose my time was spent ensuring my daughters’ safety, um, as well as my own. It was a constant activity.

I suppose you read then. What did you like?

Reading! Bah. Who had time to read when married to a monster?

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

(sneers)I suppose it was witnessing my mother’s death at the hand of my father…I recall wondering if I’d imagined the entire episode…I thought I’d gone…mad. Is that what you mean?

Is there a place you’d always dreamed in visiting?

I once begged Maman to run away with me to London—anywhere really—to escape Papa’s cruelty. (flinches) She slapped my face. I-I can still feel the sting. I only wished to keep her…safe. (clears throat) My intentions were not appreciated.

PriceScorn_CVR_MED

 

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Fairy tales don’t always end happily…

Lady Hilda Roche lies upon her deathbed fourteen years after Cinderella and Prince Charming are coroneted as Queen and King of Chalmers. She has nothing but resentment for the stepdaughter who culminates all that was ripped from her. In a tale of heartbreak, the sisters learn how tragedy shaped their mother into the woman she became. The question is: Can the sister forgive her?

BUY LINKS

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1PzMQll

Amazon UK:  http://amzn.to/1EY5ygB

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1JmPuJt

Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1UetsLU

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1U7GLTP

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1033703193

Print: https://www.createspace.com/5602034

EXCERPT

Hilda squinted in the afternoon sun over the array of blooms that normally calmed her. “Lord Roche,” she began. “I cannot—” The words were more difficult to say than she’d envisioned. Her knees shook beneath her skirts and she forced herself to move, lest she collapse. At the low terrace wall, she laid her hands atop.

“Please, your grace. I must apologize for placing you in such a precarious position.”

She glanced at him, his earnest expression tugging at her.

He began to pace. “’Tis true. As I said, I am looking for a wife. But, I feel there is something truly special about you.”

Her short laugh erupted at the irony. “Me, special? Lord Ro—”

“I have not explained to anyone why I need a wife.”

Hilda paused.

He stopped before her, captured her gaze. “Anyone can see how much you love your children. Your face lights up the dark just saying Lady Pricilla’s name.”

Something inside melted a little. “Oui, Lord Roche. That is so. She—they—are my world,” she said softly. Steeling herself against long dead dreams, she straightened and her tone sharpened. “That changes nothing, sir.”

“Do you fear for your children?”

“Every day,” she bit out, feeling as if Gustaf still had his hand gripped about her throat, squeezing.

“They’ve nothing to fear from me.”

She looked away from his gaze back over the garden. She almost believed him. But a woman was always under a man’s control.

KLWbioPicKathy L Wheeler (writing as Kae Elle Wheeler) graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a BA in Management Information Systems that includes a vocal minor. She is an avid theater buff (holds season tickets to Broadway Series in OKC), loves the NFL and NBA (also holds season tickets to Thunder Basketball in OKC), loves travel, people and karaoke.

She is a member of several RWA chapters, including OKRWA, DARA, and The Beau Monde. She writes both Contemporary and Historical romance.

Kathy/Kae lives with her musically talented husband in Edmond, Oklahoma, has one grown daughter who recently had a baby, and one bossy cat!

Social media:

http://kathylwheeler.com

http://facebook.com/kathylwheeler

http://twitter.com/kathylwheeler