Monthly Archives: August 2017

VBT – Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail

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About the Book

Title: Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail

Author: M. Gail Grant

Genre: YA Fantasy

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The enchanted secret of Lily Brooke was safe and sound, until Magdalena and her thirteen-year-old friends accidentally unleashed the revengeful demons of the past. How were they supposed to know that a friendly expedition in the woods on a stress-free Saturday morning would lead to the most intense and scary moments of their lives? So many mysterious happenings have occurred ever since they found that crooked trail leading to the sacrificial cave, and hidden monstrosity of a treehouse. With the chanting voices and shrill noises that only Magdalena could hear, the friends decide there is something sinister living amongst them. Time is of the essence to save Lily Brooke and their childhood club, the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke, knows it is up to them to capture the demons hiding in their community and set the town free. Witches, wizards, and some black magic may just be what it takes for Magdalena and her best friends to save the day.

Author Bio

author M. Gail Grant

Melinda Gail resides in Canton, Georgia with her three daughters, husband of over twenty years, and two adorable fur babies.  Surrounded by the north Georgia mountains, the scenery provides for inspirational settings for her novels. Being raised in the south, she brings a little southern flair and tradition to her characters, all the while remembering the adventurous nature of middle grades to young adult age children. With a passion for the extraordinary and imagination, Melinda hopes you enter a world of fantasy as you see life through the eyes of the characters.

Writing has always been her underlying passion in life. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and a minor in Sociology, she felt understanding and studying human behavior on the individual and collective level, would apply to anything and everything chosen to do in life. Identified as being a strong writer for her age at the time, she attended a summer literary writer’s camp around age twelve. She flourished and loved every moment of the experience and it has stayed with her throughout adulthood.

The desire to write has always been an integral part of who Melinda is, and about eight months ago she decided it was time. Having always been an avid reader of topics from intense young adult fantasy and thrillers, to light hearted summer romances, she chose juvenile to young adult ages for her book. In middle school summers, she would stay up to the wee hours of the morning reading because she just couldn’t put the book down. This basic idea, not being able to put a book down, is the principal she built on while writing Magdalen Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail. It has moments of ease, moments of intensity, moments of humor, striving to offer some of her own personality in her writings. There is a time for sweetness, a time for seriousness, and always a time for kindness and life lessons. Her style isn’t made up. It is simply who she is, on paper.

Links

For author signed paperback and hardcover editions:   http://www.MelindaGailBooks.com

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35580384-magdalena-gottschalk

Facebook:  http://www.Facebook.com/MelindaGailAuthor

Instagram:  http://www.Instagram.com/MelindaGailAuthor

Twitter:  http://www.Twitter.com/MelindaGAuthor

 

Amazon purchases:  http://www.amazon.com/Magdalena-Gottschalk-M-Gail-Grant/dp/069291210X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502285261&sr=8-1&keywords=magdalena+gottschalk

 

Barnes & Noble purchases:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/magdalena-gottschalk-melinda-gail-grant/1126658125?ean=9780692912102

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VBT – Krait’s Redemption

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About the Book
Title: Krait’s Redemption
Author: T.L. Shreffler
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: September 12, 2017

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With winter solstice fast approaching, Sora and her companions are running out of time. She must stop The Shade from awakening the Dark God, yet a powerful force has overtaken her Cat’s-Eye necklace, rendering the stone almost useless. To use the stone, Sora must learn to trust her instincts and embrace her own inner strength. She joins forces with unexpected allies, Lord Gracen Seabourne among them, to protect the City of Crowns. As the city dissolves into chaos, she finds herself barreling toward an epic battle that will decide the fate of mankind.

At risk to his own life, Crash returns to the Hive seeking aid against Cerastes. However, the events that led him into exile have not been forgotten. Will the Hive offer him redemption, or will they demand he pay the ultimate price for his transgressions?

Join Sora and Crash in their epic battle to save the City of Crowns!

Author Bio

tlshreffler
T. L. Shreffler is a noblewoman living in the sunny acres of San Fernando Valley, California. She enjoys frolicking through meadows, sipping iced tea, exploring the unknown reaches of her homeland and unearthing rare artifacts in thrift stores. She holds a Bachelors in Eloquence (English) and writes YA Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and poetry. She has previously been published in Eclipse: A Literary Anthology and The Northridge Review.

Website – http://www.catseyechronicles.com
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/catseyeauthor
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Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/catseyeauthor/
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/catseyeauthor
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5138153
Amazon Author Page Link – https://www.amazon.com/T.-L.-Shreffler/e/B00AGIYQR4/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Pre-order available now!
AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Kraits-Redemption-Cats-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B073NQCDGY
NOOK: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kraits-redemption-t-l-shreffler/1126694513?ean=2940158962882
KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/sora-s-quest-the-cat-s-eye-chronicles-1
ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/kraits-redemption/id1264145659?mt=11

Giveaway

Win 1 signed copy of Krait’s Redemption, 1 Cat’s Eye Necklace or 1 free eBook copy of the book during our giveaway!
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EXCERPT

Prologue

Crash watched the bonfires in the distance.
Each day, more devotees swelled the Shade’s ranks. Shadow portals transported them from cities, from fields and mountains—from anywhere—to this forsaken desert. Nameless warriors pooled beneath a red plateau that towered in the twilight, blocking the moon.
An army of the lost, Crash thought. Their burning pyres beckoned to him like lighthouses on a foreign shore. But he had left those fires behind, walking miles into the flat desert to sit among the sand.
The Shade’s encampment might be in the Desert of Ester, but he wasn’t sure. His sense of certainty had fled long ago. He wondered at this unprecedented gathering. He wondered at the royal city’s evacuation, so close to winter solstice night.
He watched the fires glint against the darkness. He watched, and sat, and pondered. At first, Cerastes’ army had puzzled him. He didn’t know why a Grandmaster, typically a solitary figure concerned with martial discipline and meditation, would want to gather so many numbers. But now, as Crash became more firmly entrenched in the Shade’s activities, he knew what they were about. He had thought Cerastes meant to wage war against the human kingdom, but he was wrong.
Cerastes wanted the Hive.
Crash had realized the Grandmaster’s ambition when the assassin Cobra had issued his last dying words. It had all become suddenly, perfectly clear. Stop him. Cobra’s death had returned the arrow to Crash’s compass, and perhaps for the first time, he knew true north. He knew what he had to do.
He stood and walked away from the crimson fires on the horizon, behind an outcropping of rocks. There, he emptied a bag onto the ground. Ingredients for his spell, including a sheaf of yellowed parchment and fresh salamander ink, fell to the sand. He wrote the spell, then built a small fire out of venomgrass and willow bark. He drew symbols in the sand, and the flames turned indigo blue. Then he burned the paper with its written message. A wandering wind brushed the top of the dunes, carrying wafts of sand and smoke up to the stars.
He doused the fire when he was finished. Then, his black hood pulled low over his face, he sat on his heels to wait.
Redemption. A returning, a renewal. Would the Hive help him now, or would they hold him to his trespasses? Someone must answer, he thought. Someone must answer his call, his message burned on the wind, and someone must answer for his Grandmaster’s mistakes.
He thought back to Sora and the rest of his companions in the City of Crowns, and he felt ashamed. Under the influence of Cerastes’ power, he had wavered. His demon had sensed his Grandmaster’s dark aura, had sensed a home, and for a while, he had lost himself. But Sora’s touch—more than that, her words, her spirit—had brought him back.
He couldn’t fight Cerastes alone. He couldn’t trust his darker half to resist the Shade’s pull, because he, too, was a discarded outcast of the Hive. His Grandmaster’s demonic presence was irresistible, drawing close all those scattered savants with nowhere to belong. Crash had felt his own will tremble. Even now, he couldn’t quite steady his hands. He couldn’t show Sora his weakness. More importantly, he couldn’t show it to his own kind.
Someone had to do the right thing. The right thing, he thought ironically. Someone had to warn the Hive. Anyone who can read the Wind can read this message, he thought. He only hoped Cerastes was too distracted to see it.
Hours passed as he waited. The silence of the desert stretched, as spacious and echoing as a tomb. The stars and moon circled overhead, trailing across the heavens. He found the constellation of Kaelyn the Wanderer and asked, begrudgingly, for luck. Then his eyes picked out other celestial formations known to his race. He recounted their stories in his head: Sibilant, the assassin so stealthy and quiet, she could walk between this realm and the world of ghosts; Dartmouth, who replaced his teeth with knives; Marrow, so cunning he outsmarted the gods and stole the Dark God’s weapons in eons past. Crash found it ironic that, despite all that had transpired, a story could still lend him courage. And each star was a story, a light in the dark, a dream in the abyss.
The wind picked up without warning. A whirl of sand twisted up from the ground, building, growing. Then a figure stepped from the dust.
Crash stood up. He didn’t know what to expect.
The sand settled. A woman dressed in black stood before him. She was insidiously tall. Her hair fell in plaited rows down her back. He noted the chakrams at her belt: circular blades that could remove a man’s head with a single powerful throw. Her eyes glowed the shocking green of aloe.
Memory stirred, and he recognized her. He searched for her name. It came to him.
“Grandmaster Natrix,” he bowed.
“Viper,” she returned, and waited for him to straighten. “I have listened long for word of my brother. Tell me, what has Cerastes done?”

VBT – Grave Injustice

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About the Book

Title: Grave Injustice

Author: Netta Newbound

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Grave injustice cover

Geri and James return in their most explosive adventure to date.

When next door neighbour, Lydia, gives birth to her second healthy baby boy, James and Geri pray their friend can finally be happy and at peace. But, little do they know Lydia’s troubles are far from over.

Meanwhile, Geri is researching several historic, unsolved murders for James’ new book. She discovers one of the prime suspects now resides in Spring Pines Retirement Village, the scene of not one, but two recent killings.

Although the police reject the theory, Geri is convinced the cold case they’re researching is linked to the recent murders. But how? Will she regret delving so deeply into the past?

Author Bio

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Netta Newbound is the author of twelve popular thriller novels/novellas to date including the Adam Stanley Thriller Series and the Cold Case Files. Her debut psychological thriller, An Impossible Dilemma, shot up the charts in 2015 in both the UK and US reaching #1 in several thriller and horror categories. This rapid success gained Netta a name for herself in the thriller genre. The Watcher, another of her bestsellers that reached the top 20 in the Amazon chart, was published through Bloodhound Books, who will also publish her next book, Maggie, in October 2017.

Originally from Manchester, England, Netta has travelled extensively and has lived and worked in a variety of exciting places. She now lives in New Zealand with her husband. They have three grown up children and four grandchildren.

Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B0745SXJVR/ref=as_li_ss_tl?tag=geo01a-21&s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500778508&sr=1-7&keywords=grave+injustice&linkCode=sl1&linkId=79c14f51cba8edfcc87c36b18111ec3f

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/grave-injustice-3

Book Excerpt

Dalton Lloyd closed the shutter on the serving hatch just as a doddering old woman appeared pushing her walking frame towards him.

“Am I too late?” she asked. “I only want an apple.”

“Do you see the sign? Kitchen’s closed,” Dalton barked.

The woman stepped backwards. A look of total shock played out in the deep wrinkles of her face, and her already watery eyes welled some more.

“Don’t look at me like that, you old witch. I do have a life, you know, unlike you lot sitting around here waiting to die.”

Another old codger, who had been sitting towards the back of the dining room, suddenly jumped to his feet and rushed towards them. “How dare you speak to her like that!” he cried, shaking his fist towards Dalton menacingly.

“And you can shut up, and all. What are you going to do with that? Beat me senseless?” Dalton boomed out a laugh as he turned off the light and exited the side door to where his dilapidated truck was parked. Climbing in, he turned the key and headed out the main gates of the Spring Pines Retirement Village.

Relieved to shake off his day’s work, he headed to his local pub to play on the fruit machines, something he did every night—or on the nights he could afford to, that is.

The White Hart had been his local since leaving school. He didn’t like change and was perfectly happy to go about his daily routine until the day he popped his clogs. He didn’t like working at the retirement village—it did his head in. But the feeble-minded old people more than made up for it with their gullible attitudes and more money than they could possibly spend before they carked it.

He had a few favourites that he’d groomed over the past few months. Befriending the needy bastards had been a doddle—offering to pick up a bit of shopping worked every time and would always culminate in the offer of a cup of tea, leaving him to have a good mooch about their bungalow.

No matter how many times they were told to put their money into a bank or building society, they never seemed to listen, and he would always find a stash of notes either under the mattress, in a large old teapot in the kitchen, or in a shoebox in the wardrobe. They wouldn’t have a clue how much they had and, better still, they would add to it every week. So long as he wasn’t greedy, and didn’t take the lot, they were none the wiser. It was easy pickings to top up his wages with.

Pushing his last pound coin into the slot, he prayed for a win. It was much earlier than he usually left for home, but he’d have no choice if he didn’t win any money. And that would also mean no dinner as he hadn’t a scrap of food in the house.

When the last of the credits spun away, he slammed the heel of his hand on the play button and kicked the front of the machine. “Fucking rip-off piece of shit!”

“That’ll be all for tonight, Dalton, buddy.” Wayne, the hefty barman, lifted the hatch and shuffled his paunch through it. “Come on—or you’ll give me no choice but to bar you. Again.”

Dalton shrugged Wayne’s hand from his arm. “Get your stinking paws off! I’m going. But you wanna get someone out to look at that fucking machine. It’s rigged.”

“You don’t complain when you clear it out though, do you, Dalton?” Wayne grabbed his arm again and shoved him towards the swinging door.

“Alright. Take it easy. I’m going.” Dalton scowled at the much larger man, and then at the pub full of people who had all stopped what they were doing to focus on him. “What the fuck are you lot looking at?” He slammed through the door and out into the chilly night air.

As he approached his vehicle, he dropped his keys in the gutter and, after picking them up, he was startled by a man standing beside him.

“What the fuck do you want?”

The man didn’t say a word. He just stepped forward and punched Dalton on his chin.

Dalton laughed, and then began choking. The punch hadn’t been hard, and yet something was seriously wrong. He lifted his hands to his chin and gasped when he saw the amount of blood covering his fingers. He looked back up at the man before falling forwards to his knees and sprawling in slow motion to the gutter.

The last thing he saw was the man’s brown leather shoes as he walked away.

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

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ben-Burgess-Jr./e/B00BCKZPHK/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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

Facebook
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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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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.

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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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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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