VBT – Black and White

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About the Book

Title: Black and White

Author: Ben Burgess Jr

Genre: Contemporary

BEN - REVISION - FLAT

When the prestigious law firm of Wayne, Rothstein, and Lincoln catches two major cases—a rape case where a White NBA star allegedly raped a Black stripper, and a murder case where a Black rapper allegedly killed a gay couple and two policemen—Bill O’Neil and Ben Turner are tasked to handle these racially charged litigations. The cases hit emotional chords with the two lawyers and force them to reckon with their interracial relationships and families. Will the racial tension of their cases destroy them or make them stronger?

Author Bio

Ben Burgess Jr is the author of the award-winning novels “Monster,” “Wounded,” “Love and Happiness,” ” Daddy’s Girl,” and the new novel “Black and White.” He is an active performer of spoken word poetry. Ben Burgess Jr uses his love of writing to inspire and influence youths to strive for what they believe in and to never give up on their dreams. His novels “Monster” and “Wounded” are currently used in schools on the lower east side of Manhattan. Ben Burgess has a BA degree in Business Management and an MA degree in Educational Leadership. He is the proud father of his daughters Jaelynn and Jaclyn and he is active in trying to improve urban neighborhoods and communities.

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Links

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Website: http://www.benburgessjr.com/

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Getting to know – Carolyn LaRoche

Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband and their two sons.
She’s been known to lug her laptop to the baseball fields and keeps a notebook by her bed to jot down the next big story idea in the wee hours of the night.
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Daisies in the Outfield
After his professional baseball career crashed and burned, Jamie escaped to the scenic coastal town of Falmouth for a fresh start. With a new career that fit his personality, Jamie lived life on his terms. His terms were simple—fight fires for the adrenaline rush, coaching MLB hopefuls for the love of the game, and spending his nights with one of the many pretty faces that crossed his path. Plenty of women passed through his life but none had tempted him to settle down.
Until a feisty brunette changed all that. Too bad the sexy paramedic had no interest in Jamie or spending the night with him. She carried an attitude as thick as her New York accent and he wanted to coax a smile on her face.Mandy was running from something and Jamie couldn’t help but be intrigued
Can a sexy little wager convince a confirmed bachelor and a woman running from her past to take a chance on love?
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Dandelion Wishes
When a terrible injury ended his pro career, Grant knew nothing would ever take the place of his one and only love—baseball. Fighting fires didn’t hold the same kind of excitement as catching a ninety mile an hour fast ball at Fenway Park but he loved every minute of it. Especially when he met the sassy, sexy as hell paramedic that’s as complicated as a three-alarm fire.
Callie had already lived through her fair share of serious. At twenty-eight, her current plans for the future included having a good time and enjoying the MLB hopefuls that showed up on the Cape every May to play in the summer baseball league. College boys were fun but didn’t hold half the appeal as the sexy firefighter that kept showing up when she least expected it.
He wanted her and she wanted absolutely none of it. Or, so she thought. Grant could not only set her body on fire with just a look but with only a few kisses she started to forget that serious was off the table for her life. After hiding so much for so long, can she open her heart up and trust that Grant’s in it for more than just the chase?
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Tell us about you
I’m a proud wife to the bravest man I know and mother to two amazing boys. I love cheering on my kiddos at baseball games, teaching high school science and trying new recipes I find on Facebook.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm clock? Okay so maybe that’s not exactly what you meant… We only have one life to live and I am not going to spend mine sleeping it away. There’s so much to see and do in this world.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’d love to step back in time and spend a day with Robin Williams. He was such a gifted man. His ability to tap into the exact emotion of any given situation went beyond pure talent.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
I love baseball, I love Cape Cod and hot firefighters make for good heroes. Combining the three seemed like a really good idea for a sexy, funny romance.

Tell us your writing process
I am a total seat of my pants writer. My process is nearly non-existent. Once I start work on a story, I write it until its done, do a couple read-throughs and send it off to my beta readers. From there, edits and prep for publication. I don’t have a specific snack or music I like to listen to or anything like that.

What tips can you give other authors who are looking to get the word out about their book?
Network and get comfortable with social media. The internet can be an author’s best friend if it’s used properly. Also, something my husband says to me frequently—make sure you are writing because you love writing. Let the rest fall into place.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’m not really sure. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. The idea to publish my work just sort of evolved over time and a series of unexpected decisions.

Tell us about your main character:
Jamie is a former MLB player with a slightly messy past. After his baseball career comes to an end, he discovers a new love in firefighting. He’s a ladies man with no interest in ever settling down until he meets Mandy.

What are you working on next?
I’m about halfway through the third book in this Cape Cod series. I’ve also begun work on a humorous cop drama.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Does raising two teen boys count?

Who are your favorite authors?
I love Janet Evanovich. Her characters are so imperfectly real. I am also a big fan of Jill Shalvis. Her romances have a lot of humor and relatable characters.

What do you like to do with your free time?
I’m a beach girl. I love the ocean, the sand, the smell of the air. I dabble a little in crochet but I am not very good at it and I love to try new recipes.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I have always wanted to write a story based on the many letters my father wrote to my mother while he was fighting in the Vietnam War. I think that might be next big project.

Where can people find you on the web? 
Twitter: @CarolynLaRoche
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynLaRoche

Any final thoughts?
Don’t be afraid to try out new authors. In the last three years my indie horizons have been broadened tremendously. I’ve discovered amazing writers I’d have never known existed if I’d stuck with only the shelves of Barnes and Noble.

An Excerpt from Daisies in the Outfield
“Come on, Sally, when’s dinner gonna be served?” All the guys had a girl name for their night on kitchen duty. Jamie’s was Sally. Grant had been harassing him big time and it was getting way beyond annoying. Every time the door to the house opened, he held his breath hoping Mandy would walk in.
“You’ll get your food when it’s ready,” he snapped, not bothering to hide his annoyance.
“Touchy today, aren’t we. Is it your time of the month, Sally?”
“Go to hell.” Jamie stirred the sauce then poured the five pounds of pasta into the oversized colander to drain it.
“Damn, man. You need to get laid something serious.”
“You might not understand this, but there is more to life than getting laid and getting drunk.”
“Tell that to my liver and my dick. They are pretty feisty little guys and they want what they want when they want it.”
“You really need a life, Grant.”
“I have a great life. A job I like, a twenty four hour grocery store across the street and
plenty of pretty ladies around town with a thing for firefighters.”
“Why don’t you and your dick go tell the guys grub’s on. I need to step outside for some air.”
“Thinking about my parts got you all hot and bothered, does it?” Grant left the kitchen laughing and Jamie stepped out the back door to the little grassy area behind the fire station. Stretching, he let the cool ocean breeze that always accompanied nightfall, wash over him. The smell of sand and salt assaulted his senses. It was a heady combination on a warm summer night. Even better if he had a certain woman in his arms watching the waves crash in over their toes.
“Hey,” a voice called out quietly from the dimness of dusk. A very familiar voice. A voice that made his heart jump around wildly in his chest. Mandy.
He turned around and saw her standing at the corner of the building, peering at him with an amused look on her face. Suddenly feeling a little shy, he replied, “Hey, yourself,” instead of striding over and taking her in his arms like he had ached to do all day long. Mandy giggled and twisted her hands in front of her.
“What’s so funny?”
“Well, I came here to meet a guy named Jamie but it looks like I’ve found Betty Crocker instead.”
Oh, shit. The apron!
“You got a problem with a man in an apron?” He grinned and she laughed again, shaking her head.
“No. I don’t suppose I do.”
“Good.” This time he did close the distance between them but he didn’t touch her. She shivered a little and he hoped it was because of his proximity and not the evening breeze. “It’s a house joke. The guy on kitchen duty has to wear one—the frillier, the better—and he gets a girl name. Hazing at its best, I suppose.”
“What’s yours?”
“My what?” It was getting hard to think when all he could focus on was her lips and how badly he wanted to taste them.
Mandy ran a finger lightly up his arm until she reached the place where the full length apron started up around his neck and hooked her finger there. “Your girl name. What is it?”
“Sally.”
“Hmmm…I’ve always had this secret fantasy of kissing a girl named Sally. Ever since I heard the song Mustang Sally.”
“You have? Maybe we should do something about that.”
“Maybe we should.” Mandy was more
relaxed than he had seen her over the last few days, flirting with her words and ravaging him with her eyes. He sure liked this side of her.
Jamie bent down and scooped her up in his arms. Mandy wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. She leaned back slightly and murmured, “Oh, Sally. You have the most amazing—eyes.” She ran her tongue over her lips, never once looking him the eyes.
“So do you,” he replied focused only on those now slightly dampened lips. The space between them disappeared as she took his mouth with a passion he wouldn’t have thought her capable of. Worried one of the guys might walk outside and see them, he carried her into a stand of pine trees on the side of the building, never once breaking their contact. She let a tiny little moan escape as she ended the kiss.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself.” She sounded embarrassed.
“I never want you to not do that if you have the urge. Did that even make sense?” He chuckled huskily against her throat as he placed tiny little kisses across the neck line of her top. The thin, silky material was erotic, caressing his chin and cheek as he explored the bare skin of her shoulder with his tongue.
“Yes. It made sense.” She pulled his mouth back up to hers. “I feel like doing it again.”
Jamie dropped to his knees, setting Mandy gently onto the ground. He sat in the cushion of the pine needles and pulled her onto his lap. “Then by all means—”
The second kiss was better than the first as his tongue sought hers. She was as fervent as he was in her desire to get as close as possible. If he weren’t in uniform, twenty feet from ten other guys, he would have given into her every demand. As it was, they were about to go to a place he wouldn’t return from without an ice cold shower so he pulled back reluctantly.
“Did I miss something?” he whispered against her ear.
“No. Why?”
“This morning I wasn’t sure I would ever see you again. I mean, there was something—”
“I know. I’m sorry. I was having some doubts but then I talked to Callie and worked a few things out.”
“I like when you talk to Callie.” He grinned and pressed a kiss to the side of her neck, behind her ear. “Can you talk to her more often? Preferably on a day when I am not on duty?”
Mandy laughed. “I think that can be arranged.”
“Are you hungry?”
She shook her head. “Not anymore.”
There was no mistaking the meaning in her words. “Yeah, me either. Unfortunately, I have to get back inside. The captain can be a bit of a ball-buster.”
Mandy moved to stand but Jamie pulled her back in, crushing his lips to hers in one last hard kiss. He wanted to remember the feel of her lips all night long. She snaked her arms around his neck and murmured, “I know exactly what you mean.”
His hands slid up her back slowly, slipping under the hem of her top and finding the soft skin of her lower back. A groan rumbled through his chest. Frustration mounted and that ice cold shower was definitely about to become reality.
“I should go,” she whispered. “I don’t want you to get in trouble on my account. I’m thinking you are going to need those balls your captain will want to bust in the near future.”
He groaned again, this time in sweet agony over the image her words had conjured in his mind. They walked out of the stand of trees hand in hand, Jamie cursing his need to be employed.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come in for a bit?”
She shook her head. “No. I don’t want to get in the way.”
“You are never in my way.”
He loved the way all her skin, not just her face, changed colors when she was embarrassed. Half the time he said stuff like that just to make her blush.
“See you for the game tomorrow night?” he asked, wrapping his arm around her waist and pulling her in for one last kiss.
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world, Coach.” She batted her eyelashes exaggeratedly and gave him a sugary sweet smile.
“Good. I’ll make sure one of my uniforms is clean just for you.”
“You can but you’ll be wasting your time.” Mandy stepped away and gave a little wave. “I never lose a bet. Enjoy the rest of your shift.”
He watched as she walked away, stopping just before she turned the corner and blew him a little kiss.
What the hell was all that?
That was a side to Mandy, he hadn’t expected. All her temperature changes over the past few days hadn’t prepared him for what had just gone down.
The door opened behind him. “Where the hell’d you get off to, man? I was about to call in search and rescue.”
“Nowhere. I’ve been out here the whole time.”
“You’ve got dirt on your knees.”
“I dropped something.”
“And found it by rolling around under the trees?” Grant reached up and pulled a pine needle out of Jamie’s hair.
“I guess so.”
“You look like a freak in that apron.”
“Mandy likes it.”
Grant’s eyes widened as he scanned the area. “She’s here?”
“Was. I invited her for dinner.”
“Well, why didn’t you all come inside then?”
Jamie turned and grinned at his friend. “Because she skipped the meal and filled up on desert.”
“You dog! You didn’t—?”
“No! Not that. I would have but you know, work and all.”
“Always getting in the way of the good stuff,” Grant grumbled as they returned to the kitchen. “If I could get paid for having sex, I would.”
“You can. But, you can also get arrested for it.”
“I meant legally, you ass hat! Maybe I’ll become a porn star.” He gyrated his hips exaggeratedly, making Jamie laugh.
Jamie pulled off his apron and tossed it to Grant. “Sorry, dude. You better stick with fighting fires. You’re on cleanup. I need a shower.”
A very, very cold shower.

VBT – Ariella’s Escape

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About the Book

Title: Ariella’s Escape

Author: Carolee Croft

Genre: Epic Fantasy Romance

Ariella had always believed that the life of a warrior should include indulging in wine and men whenever they were on offer… And in Chaldea, the capital of the old empire, they certainly were.

Especially the man she finds in her bedchamber, a slave provided by her hosts to entertain her in any way she wishes.

But when betrayed and surrounded by enemies in a strange land, there is only one man she can trust—the slave who was meant only for her pleasure but is much more than he seems.

Demetrius had been captured in a battle at the age of fifteen, and slavery was all he had known in his adult life. When his chance for freedom comes along, his fate is bound to the noble warrior maiden whose voice and body he cannot resist. Duty calls him to return to his kingdom, but the journey will take him places that will change him forever.

Together, they make their way through a den of thieves and an enchanted elf forest, but the biggest danger of all may be their fiery attraction to each other and the secret that will draw a dividing line between them.

Author Bio

Enchanted by romance on page and screen, I have always tried to write my own versions of the perfect fairytale. As for real life, I believe I may have already found the man of my dreams, but I still haven’t found the dog of my dreams. Currently, I’m obsessed with Italian greyhounds. I can usually be found enjoying the outdoors or relaxing with a good book on the west coast of Canada.

Connect with Carolee:

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Links

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Book Excerpt

It was strangely reassuring to know that he was not Chaldean, judging from his sun-bronzed skin, fine eyebrows and long brown hair, a shade so dark it was nearly black. And his eyes… like two pieces of a summer sky. She had always been a fool for a blue-eyed man. Judging by his elegant speech, very likely, he came from a noble lineage but was held here as a hostage to ensure peace with another kingdom.

“Then what is it, my lady?”

He sat down beside her on the bed, the scent of some innocent field flower with something more heady and musk-like tempting her to get closer to his bronzed body. She tried to discern his age… late twenties perhaps. His forehead was unlined, but there was something about him that made him appear older, a world-weariness perhaps behind his charming and carefree disposition.

There had been one or two times when she had bedded a man after less conversation than this, but this was strange territory with too many possible complications, and she could not afford to indulge herself on a whim. There was also his status to consider. As a slave, he was obviously not free in his choices, and she could sympathise with that. Ariella knew she would loathe being ordered to “entertain” guests in this manner were she in his place.

“Do my looks please you?” she asked tentatively.

“Yes,” he replied, a slight hoarseness in his voice.

His eyes scorched her, and she had to look away.

“It’s just that… I do not wish you to do this merely out of a sense of duty…” she said softly, “that is… if you did not want to…”

“My lady, I want to,” he said.

VBT – Daisies in the Outfield

Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband and their two sons.

She’s been known to lug her laptop to the baseball fields and keeps a notebook by her bed to jot down the next big story idea in the wee hours of the night.

Facebook Blog Goodreads Twitter Amazon

Daisies in the Outfield

After his professional baseball career crashed and burned, Jamie escaped to the scenic coastal town of Falmouth for a fresh start. With a new career that fit his personality, Jamie lived life on his terms. His terms were simple—fight fires for the adrenaline rush, coaching MLB hopefuls for the love of the game, and spending his nights with one of the many pretty faces that crossed his path. Plenty of women passed through his life but none had tempted him to settle down.

Until a feisty brunette changed all that. Too bad the sexy paramedic had no interest in Jamie or spending the night with him. She carried an attitude as thick as her New York accent and he wanted to coax a smile on her face.Mandy was running from something and Jamie couldn’t help but be intrigued.

Can a sexy little wager convince a confirmed bachelor and a woman running from her past to take a chance on love?

Goodreads Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon AU Nook

Dandelion Wishes

When a terrible injury ended his pro career, Grant knew nothing would ever take the place of his one and only love—baseball. Fighting fires didn’t hold the same kind of excitement as catching a ninety mile an hour fast ball at Fenway Park but he loved every minute of it. Especially when he met the sassy, sexy as hell paramedic that’s as complicated as a three-alarm fire.

Callie had already lived through her fair share of serious. At twenty-eight, her current plans for the future included having a good time and enjoying the MLB hopefuls that showed up on the Cape every May to play in the summer baseball league. College boys were fun but didn’t hold half the appeal as the sexy firefighter that kept showing up when she least expected it.

He wanted her and she wanted absolutely none of it. Or, so she thought. Grant could not only set her body on fire with just a look but with only a few kisses she started to forget that serious was off the table for her life. After hiding so much for so long, can she open her heart up and trust that Grant’s in it for more than just the chase?

Goodreads Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon AU Barnes & Noble iTunes

An Excerpt from Daisies in the Outfield

“Come on, Sally, when’s dinner gonna be served?” All the guys had a girl name for their night on kitchen duty. Jamie’s was Sally. Grant had been harassing him big time and it was getting way beyond annoying. Every time the door to the house opened, he held his breath hoping Mandy would walk in.
“You’ll get your food when it’s ready,” he snapped, not bothering to hide his annoyance.
“Touchy today, aren’t we. Is it your time of the month, Sally?”
“Go to hell.” Jamie stirred the sauce then poured the five pounds of pasta into the oversized colander to drain it.
“Damn, man. You need to get laid something serious.”
“You might not understand this, but there is more to life than getting laid and getting drunk.”
“Tell that to my liver and my dick. They are pretty feisty little guys and they want what they want when they want it.”
“You really need a life, Grant.”
“I have a great life. A job I like, a twenty four hour grocery store across the street and
plenty of pretty ladies around town with a thing for firefighters.”
“Why don’t you and your dick go tell the guys grub’s on. I need to step outside for some air.”
“Thinking about my parts got you all hot and bothered, does it?” Grant left the kitchen laughing and Jamie stepped out the back door to the little grassy area behind the fire station. Stretching, he let the cool ocean breeze that always accompanied nightfall, wash over him. The smell of sand and salt assaulted his senses. It was a heady combination on a warm summer night. Even better if he had a certain woman in his arms watching the waves crash in over their toes.
“Hey,” a voice called out quietly from the dimness of dusk. A very familiar voice. A voice that made his heart jump around wildly in his chest. Mandy.
He turned around and saw her standing at the corner of the building, peering at him with an amused look on her face. Suddenly feeling a little shy, he replied, “Hey, yourself,” instead of striding over and taking her in his arms like he had ached to do all day long. Mandy giggled and twisted her hands in front of her.
“What’s so funny?”
“Well, I came here to meet a guy named Jamie but it looks like I’ve found Betty Crocker instead.”
Oh, shit. The apron!
“You got a problem with a man in an apron?” He grinned and she laughed again, shaking her head.
“No. I don’t suppose I do.”
“Good.” This time he did close the distance between them but he didn’t touch her. She shivered a little and he hoped it was because of his proximity and not the evening breeze. “It’s a house joke. The guy on kitchen duty has to wear one—the frillier, the better—and he gets a girl name. Hazing at its best, I suppose.”
“What’s yours?”
“My what?” It was getting hard to think when all he could focus on was her lips and how badly he wanted to taste them.
Mandy ran a finger lightly up his arm until she reached the place where the full length apron started up around his neck and hooked her finger there. “Your girl name. What is it?”
“Sally.”
“Hmmm…I’ve always had this secret fantasy of kissing a girl named Sally. Ever since I heard the song Mustang Sally.”
“You have? Maybe we should do something about that.”
“Maybe we should.” Mandy was more
relaxed than he had seen her over the last few days, flirting with her words and ravaging him with her eyes. He sure liked this side of her.
Jamie bent down and scooped her up in his arms. Mandy wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. She leaned back slightly and murmured, “Oh, Sally. You have the most amazing—eyes.” She ran her tongue over her lips, never once looking him the eyes.
“So do you,” he replied focused only on those now slightly dampened lips. The space between them disappeared as she took his mouth with a passion he wouldn’t have thought her capable of. Worried one of the guys might walk outside and see them, he carried her into a stand of pine trees on the side of the building, never once breaking their contact. She let a tiny little moan escape as she ended the kiss.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself.” She sounded embarrassed.
“I never want you to not do that if you have the urge. Did that even make sense?” He chuckled huskily against her throat as he placed tiny little kisses across the neck line of her top. The thin, silky material was erotic, caressing his chin and cheek as he explored the bare skin of her shoulder with his tongue.
“Yes. It made sense.” She pulled his mouth back up to hers. “I feel like doing it again.”
Jamie dropped to his knees, setting Mandy gently onto the ground. He sat in the cushion of the pine needles and pulled her onto his lap. “Then by all means—”
The second kiss was better than the first as his tongue sought hers. She was as fervent as he was in her desire to get as close as possible. If he weren’t in uniform, twenty feet from ten other guys, he would have given into her every demand. As it was, they were about to go to a place he wouldn’t return from without an ice cold shower so he pulled back reluctantly.
“Did I miss something?” he whispered against her ear.
“No. Why?”
“This morning I wasn’t sure I would ever see you again. I mean, there was something—”
“I know. I’m sorry. I was having some doubts but then I talked to Callie and worked a few things out.”
“I like when you talk to Callie.” He grinned and pressed a kiss to the side of her neck, behind her ear. “Can you talk to her more often? Preferably on a day when I am not on duty?”
Mandy laughed. “I think that can be arranged.”
“Are you hungry?”
She shook her head. “Not anymore.”
There was no mistaking the meaning in her words. “Yeah, me either. Unfortunately, I have to get back inside. The captain can be a bit of a ball-buster.”
Mandy moved to stand but Jamie pulled her back in, crushing his lips to hers in one last hard kiss. He wanted to remember the feel of her lips all night long. She snaked her arms around his neck and murmured, “I know exactly what you mean.”
His hands slid up her back slowly, slipping under the hem of her top and finding the soft skin of her lower back. A groan rumbled through his chest. Frustration mounted and that ice cold shower was definitely about to become reality.
“I should go,” she whispered. “I don’t want you to get in trouble on my account. I’m thinking you are going to need those balls your captain will want to bust in the near future.”
He groaned again, this time in sweet agony over the image her words had conjured in his mind. They walked out of the stand of trees hand in hand, Jamie cursing his need to be employed.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come in for a bit?”
She shook her head. “No. I don’t want to get in the way.”
“You are never in my way.”
He loved the way all her skin, not just her face, changed colors when she was embarrassed. Half the time he said stuff like that just to make her blush.
“See you for the game tomorrow night?” he asked, wrapping his arm around her waist and pulling her in for one last kiss.
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world, Coach.” She batted her eyelashes exaggeratedly and gave him a sugary sweet smile.
“Good. I’ll make sure one of my uniforms is clean just for you.”
“You can but you’ll be wasting your time.” Mandy stepped away and gave a little wave. “I never lose a bet. Enjoy the rest of your shift.”
He watched as she walked away, stopping just before she turned the corner and blew him a little kiss.
What the hell was all that?
That was a side to Mandy, he hadn’t expected. All her temperature changes over the past few days hadn’t prepared him for what had just gone down.
The door opened behind him. “Where the hell’d you get off to, man? I was about to call in search and rescue.”
“Nowhere. I’ve been out here the whole time.”
“You’ve got dirt on your knees.”
“I dropped something.”
“And found it by rolling around under the trees?” Grant reached up and pulled a pine needle out of Jamie’s hair.
“I guess so.”
“You look like a freak in that apron.”
“Mandy likes it.”
Grant’s eyes widened as he scanned the area. “She’s here?”
“Was. I invited her for dinner.”
“Well, why didn’t you all come inside then?”
Jamie turned and grinned at his friend. “Because she skipped the meal and filled up on desert.”
“You dog! You didn’t—?”
“No! Not that. I would have but you know, work and all.”
“Always getting in the way of the good stuff,” Grant grumbled as they returned to the kitchen. “If I could get paid for having sex, I would.”
“You can. But, you can also get arrested for it.”
“I meant legally, you ass hat! Maybe I’ll become a porn star.” He gyrated his hips exaggeratedly, making Jamie laugh.
Jamie pulled off his apron and tossed it to Grant. “Sorry, dude. You better stick with fighting fires. You’re on cleanup. I need a shower.”
A very, very cold shower.

VBT – THE LAWMAN’S APACHE MOON

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THE LAWMAN’S APACHE MOON
by Debra Holt

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GENRE: Romance

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BLURB:

“No more detours!” That was the promise Angelina Lord made to herself when she accepted a ride from a wedding in Texas, with the best man to her destination in Santa Fe, New Mexico. What could possibly go wrong?

Angelina is focused on one thing–opening a fashion boutique in Santa Fe. What she really doesn’t need is one full-of-himself lawman with his aggravating air of superiority and soul-searing eyes…not to mention heart-stopping kisses…coming to her rescue. If she lets him get too close to the truth, he could bring down the wall she erected around her well-ordered life and her heart.

United States Marshal Jace Blackhawke holds family and traditions as the center of his life. He isn’t part of Angie’s world and she certainly isn’t part of his. Will their differences prove to be too insurmountable in the face of the truth that will not stay silent?

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Book Excerpt

At first, Clay remained silent. When Jace was about to prompt him again, he finally began to open up. “A long time ago, I thought I did the right thing. It hurt like hell to do it. Then I did something else that seemed to be the honorable thing. And that went bad, too. I paid for it all for twelve long years. Now, Kaitlyn comes back here because her grandmother needed to see her. I thought I was beyond all the feelings, all the memories and the pain from a dozen years ago. But turns out, I am still the world’s biggest fool. I put my heart out there once again. But I should have known it was too late.” He’d probably left out the more personal details, but what he told Jace was enough to have him shaking his head when Clay finally finished with his departure from the ranch that morning and his arrival at Lou’s Bar.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers. Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most. She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and planning high-end weddings (ah, romance!).

When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure. She read her first romance…Janet Dailey’s Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing contemporary romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles…and sighs…to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s.

Debra invites you to visit her website at www.debraholtbooks.com. She loves to hear from other aspiring authors or readers via email at debraholtbooks@gmail.com.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebraHoltBooks

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

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lawmans-Apache-Moon-Texas-Lawmen-ebook/dp/B0721YWNWG/ref=sr_1_1

BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lawmans-apache-moon-debra-holt/1126590975?ean=2940157402365

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY:

$10 Amazon/BN GC

Please use the following Rafflecopter code:

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cheryl Low might be an Evil Queen, sipping tea and peeping on everyone from high up in her posh tower—a job she got only after being fired from her gig as Wicked Witch for eating half the gingerbread house.

…Or she might be a relatively mundane human with a love for all things sugary and soap opera slaps.

Find out by following her on social media @cherylwlow or check her webpage, cheryllow.com. The answer might surprise you! But it probably won’t.

Social Media Links: Twitter& Instagram: @cherylwlow Website: cheryllow.com

In the Realm there are whispers. Whispers that the city used to be a different place. That before the Queen ruled there was a sky beyond the clouds and a world beyond their streets.

Vaun Dray Fen never knew that world. Born a prince without a purpose in a Realm ruled by lavish indulgence, unrelenting greed, and vicious hierarchy, he never knew a time before the Queen’s dust drugged the city. From the tea to the pastries, everything is poisoned to distract and dull the senses. And yet, after more than a century, his own magic is beginning to wake. The beautiful veneer of the Realm is cracking. Those who would defy the Queen turn their eyes to Vaun, and the dust saturating the Realm.

From the carnivorous pixies in the shadows to the wolves in the streets, Vaun thought he knew all the dangers of his city. But when whispers of treason bring down the fury of the Queen, he’ll have to race to save the lives and souls of those he loves.

A deliciously decadent debut that will make you reconsider the world within which we live – because how different are we than Low’s drugged-up citizens of the upper crust?” — Sara Dobie Bauer, author of the Bite Somebody series

Grab your copy now World Weaver Press Amazon Barnes & Noble iTunes Kobo Goodreads

“Vaun took another deep drag off the cigarette one of his new friends, Gabby, had offered him. She and the man sitting beside her pretended quite comically to be from the High. The prince did not ruin the show by telling them that he knew everyone in the High, to some degree. The quality of their vanity charms indicated they were not, not to mention the state of their clothing. Being rude was only fashionable if one’s victim was up to the challenge and could strike back. Besides, Vaun never discouraged people who tried so hard to amuse him.

The prince exhaled black smoke. It was thick and dramatic, but his skin didn’t hum the way it usually did after a deep breath of dust. In fact, the tingle was more of an agitation, making him shift in his seat and flick his cigarette more angrily than usual. Ash fluttered through the air. How much tea did he have to drink for a decent buzz? He all but dropped his cup back on its chipped saucer in disgust. “I shouldn’t have come,” he muttered.

“You’re leaving?” Gabby’s smile faltered. Her fingers clenched around her teacup. She wore fingerless, black lace gloves like his sister did on occasion and Vaun noticed that her skirts and bodice were also in dark colors with hints of lace sewn in wherever possible, some obviously added as an afterthought and not even matching the lace elsewhere. It would have been easier to try to imitate the High fashion of Belholn but Gabby had aimed even higher, for the princess herself.

“Yes. I’m sure I have a date somewhere.” Some part of him enjoyed the distress of the people around him at the possibility of his departure. It made him want to leave even more.

“Wait!” Gabby grabbed at the man beside her, whose name Vaun had forgotten a while ago, and tugged at the sleeve of his obviously repaired jacket. “Show him,” she whispered urgently.

Vaun took another draw of his disappointing cigarette. The best part about going to a teahouse or club in the thick of the Main was how the people tried so desperately to impress him. The people in the High knew him too well to try so hard. They feared his mockery even more than they desired his attention. But this group had spent the better part of the last hour trying to wow him with their trinkets and knowledge of the High. It was all nonsense read from the paper and mostly outdated. “I truly doubt you have anything to show me that I have not seen.”

The man reached into his jacket a little uncomfortably and took out a small mason jar. Others giggled, recognizing it, but Vaun only blinked at first. Its glass belly was full but not with anything liquid or solid. Light, captured and pulsing, swirled inside the jar. Vaun felt it as much as he saw it. He heard it like a whisper against his senses and found himself leaning forward to see it more clearly: a soul. Vaun had seen them before, but they weren’t common. So uncommon, in fact, that he was surprised they hadn’t led with this in their attempt to impress him. He supposed they might have been afraid he’d take it. Soul capturing was an old craft that most considered barbaric now.

His gaze turned up from the jar to the man holding it. “Who is it?” The soul was a beautiful captive, but the person walking around without it was the real prize—the puppet, someone that could be made to do anything.

“I couldn’t say.” The man smiled. “He wouldn’t be much of a spy if I did.”

Q&A With….

Cheryl, thanks for stopping by my blog today. Tell our readers about you
I was born and raised in California but moved to Sweden when I was twenty-three. I now have dual citizenship and somehow ended up moving so far north that I’m actually in the Arctic Circle. I love cafes and sugary treats and that love has forced me to spend a lot of time at the gym.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The desperate hope that there will be a box of cookies waiting for me and all my books will magically be edited.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why
Gail Carriger. Because there would be tea and probably some sort of pastry involved and I just image she’d be a delight to talk to.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Vanity in Dust is a product of obsessive imagining. It’s pure fantasy born from daydreams. A world driven by magic, where it’s become their drug of choice and inevitably clouded their minds. Once I laid the groundwork for the world, I built it by wondering in my daily life, how would this work in the Realm? Which inevitably led to them turning a library into a café where they can whisper their secrets and pretend to read books—most without words.

Tell us your writing process
I’m an outliner. I fell into it a while back. I obsess over a story for a while, building a list of ideas and scenes and then when I’m ready, I flesh that out into a full outline. Then I pick a month and write on a word-count-a-day schedule. It really works for me and I love doing it.

What tips can you give other authors who are looking to get the word out about their book?
Twitter and Instagram are your friends and finding a community of other writers and readers can be really helpful and supportive. There’s a lot to be learned from other authors successes and mistakes.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
There wasn’t a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I’ve always been in my own world and writing happened even before I was ready to be an author.

Tell us about your main character:
Vaun Dray Fen is a prince in a city where that means everything and nothing. He has more power than almost anyone around him, but comes to realize that’s not saying much because his mother rules over every choice they make. He’s spoiled and light-hearted and indulgent but finds out he might be capable of more than playing his mother’s jester.

What are you working on next?
The second book in the Crowns and Ash series has been turned in to my amazing editor. It’s going to be a five book series so that should keep me pretty busy for a while.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Cookies! I am really good at baking cookies. Cake, not so much.

Who are your favorite authors?
Genevieve Cogman and Gail Carriger come to mind first. Amazing world builders with stories that are both exciting and hilarious. I also love Emily Gee, Tanith Lee, and Christopher Rice.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Between the books I want to write and the books I want to read, my free time is well and truly filled.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
Detox in Letters is the second book of the Crowns and Ash series and we’re hoping to have that out next year.

Where can people find you on the web? 

Website – http://cheryllow.com/
Twitter- https://twitter.com/cherylwlow

Any final thoughts?

Questions are fun! And now I want cookies.

A Wedding With A Filipina

Okay I have been off the radar for a whiles, but that is okay. A lot has been happening in my life as of late.

This year has been a ride from one thing to another. Some may know that I was dating someone who was extremely toxic. Both in her behaviour towards me and my son, and also to my friends. She was a real nut-job to say the least. But bad things cannot be remembered or dwelled on.

A few months ago, I met a lovely lady through online dating. Needless to say, online dating can be daunting. Considering that I also met my now ex-wife from online dating, and after taking a journey half-way across the world, that marriage ended in divorce.

Thankfully not all women are the same. Such as the case when I met Grace in Macau. After talking with Gracey for a few months, I took the journey to Macau to meet her in person. Of course, first dates can be awkward, and it was 🙂

Our plan was Grace would meet me at the Macau airport, and from there we would go to the hotel resort, Pousada De Coloagne, Macau. We arrived at the resort in early evening. First up was dinner together. Dinner was memorable, as we were joined by the local bugs at our table 🙂 Giant Cicadas and other creatures that come out only at night 🙂

That was our first date, which lead to spending a lovely week together in Macau.

Macau will always be a special place for us. It is not only a beautiful city with more casino than Vegas, but it is the city where we got engaged 🙂 Here are some photos of the place where Grace and I got engaged. A very scenic place, with lovely views all over the city.

After a memorable week in Macau, it was off to Philippines together to meet Grace’s family, and spend a week in Bicol.

We have a wonderful time travelling around Bicol, Legazpi City, Mayon Volcano, among other places 🙂

All too soon our time together was over before we knew it. 7 days together in Philippines and it was time for me to head home 😦

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What happened next was the longest month of my life. I journeyed home and spent the next 30 days working and counting the days until I came back to the Philippines, to be reunited with my fiancée.

30 days. 30 long days and nights passed. Every day Grace and I spent time together on Facebook video and Skype. As much as we both loved spending that time together, it was not enough.

For a month I saved all I could so that my son, David, and I could get back to Philippines. For Grace, that meant staying with a friend in Manila. While for us, it meant that David needed to get a new passport, which was not easy as I needed to get Anna to sign off on his application, since she is David birth mother. Good thing was it took just over a week to get his passport after the forms were lodged.

Our journey began in mid July, when David and I arrived in Manila, where I was met by Grace. As she planned, she was waiting for us at the airport. It was one of the longest kisses at the airport anyone in Manila had seen 🙂

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A week in awesome Manila. And no trip is complete in Manila without a trip to see the Dinosaur Kids Playground. Any parents with kids should make the effort to get to this park. BBQ/Picnic areas along with a ton of adventures for the kids 🙂

When I started to look for a partner, I never expected that I would meet a Filipina,let alone marry one! 🙂

On a journey that started in March, we took the next step in our journey and got married on Saturday August 5.

Our journey together as husband and wife began yesterday, and no doubt, this marriage will last, as for the first time in my life I am with a partner who is equally yoked, which is biblical.

Yes, sometimes we have differences of opinion, but we never argue or fight. We talk about things, what is right and not. For Grace, being a mother is a new beginning for her, and even though David can be a handful for anyone (especially Grace’s family), they understand his ADHD condition and accept it.

David is adjusting well to life here. He is excelling at Tagalog, which I am very proud of his accomplishments that he has achieved. He too, has a long way to go as he learns to adjust in a new school, with new friends and a new lifestyle.

Needless to say, this will not be the only post about life here in Philippines. 🙂

Our Journey is only beginning……..

Macau Journey