Category Archives: Guest Authors

Postings, short stories, and promotions for Authors

VBT – Daughter of the Sun

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Title: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat series, Book 1)
Author: Zoe Kalo
Genre: YA contemporary / Egyptian mythological fantasy/paranormal
Word count: 93,000 words / 330 pages

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DOWNLOAD FREE at www.ZoeKalo.com

Mystery, adventure, a hint of romance, and the delicious sweep of magic…

16-year-old Trinity leads a quiet life until fate takes her to the Island of Cats.

As Trinity tries to solve the mystery of an ancient papyrus, she’s pulled into a vortex of bloody sacrifices, evil curses, and a prophecy that points to a horrifying destiny.

The author is giving away the first book in the series for FREE to readers who sign up for her mailing list on her website at www.ZoeKalo.com

PRAISE….

“This was an amazing story!”Hot Off the Shelves

“Wow- this book was a stunning, magnificent adventure!”The Recipe Fairy

“If you are looking for a Young Adult Fantasy book that is different from the norm, then look no further. Daughter of the Sun is full of Egyptian mythology, with layer upon layer of mystery just waiting to be uncovered.”Archaeolibrarian

ABOUT ZOE

Zoe

Storyteller at heart…

A certified bookworm and ailurophile, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has remained. Today, Zoe passes her stories to you with lots of mystery, adventure, a hint of romance, and the delicious sweep of magic.

Currently, she balances writing with spending time with her family, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.

Connect with Zoe Kalo on the web: www.ZoeKalo.com / Facebook / Twitter

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VBT – Entrance

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. J.J. Sorel will be awarding copies of the entire series (3 books in all) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Clarissa Moone is a young, classy, impoverished art history graduate. Her life transforms when she lands a job working for the enigmatic billionaire, Aidan Thornhill. As the contract stipulates that she reside at his lavish Malibu estate, Clarissa suddenly finds herself surrounded by jaw-dropping art and opulence. A significant step up from the run-down apartment she shares with her best friend.

Aidan Thornhill is a self-made billionaire whose earlier start in life was riddled with poverty and a dysfunctional upbringing. Running away from scandal, he joins the army and works his way up to the Special Forces. Accompanied by haunting memories, Thornhill re-enters civilian life with a million dollars gifted to him by a dying buddy. He travels to Europe where he develops a passion for art. And after many astute investments, he becomes one of LA’s wealthiest bachelors.

Voluptuous, intelligent and sensitive, Clarissa Moone’s beauty makes Aidan gasp for air. But with a reputation that is as much invented as true, he has to convince Clarissa that he is not a heart-breaker. Aidan Thornhill’s movie-star looks, love of art and passionate support for the downtrodden, soon wins Clarissa’s heart, soul, and innocence.

After living a life devoted to intellectual pursuits and art, being new to love, she succumbs to her smoldering hot boss, who stops at nothing to pleasure her, sending Clarissa off into toe-curling ecstasy.

Behind the scenes, however, the claws are out. Determined to stir trouble, three characters, one of whom, a spoilt heiress, do everything to reap revenge.

With mutual burning passion impossible to extinguish, the couple’s chemistry is so potent that their souls implode when Thornhill’s mysterious past threatens to drive a wedge between them. The former soldier goes into battle determined to have Clarissa even if it means losing everything.

Read an Excerpt

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“Leave it to me, Clary. We’ll have you looking sexy and professional in no time.” She looped her arm in mine and was all bouncy.

“Not sexy, only professional,” I said.

“Don’t lay that virgin crap on me. You’re working for the hottest guy in town,” she blurted so loudly people’s heads turned.

“Tell the whole of LA, why don’t you?” I snapped.

“You’ve got a figure to die for and a face like Natalie Wood’s,” Tabitha said, dragging me along by my hand.

“Tabs, need I keep reminding you that I’m employed as a PA?”

“I know, I know. But there’s no harm in making the most of your assets,” she said, sounding more like an ambitious mother by the minute.

We passed “Yesterday’s Child” my favorite vintage shop. Instincts fully aroused, I headed for the doorway. Tabitha pulled me back. “No vintage, Clary, only contemporary, stylish, and sexy.”

“Vintage can be super classy and fashionable,” I argued. Although she was right, I had a pathological addiction to 1960s clothes. Tabitha said it was because I was trying to emulate my late mother. I couldn’t disagree. My mother and I were so alike in build that I still wore her clothes. It was an obsession that had caused much trouble at college, at least until vintage became fashion. Then the bullies suddenly regarded my Mondrian-inspired mini worn over white patent-leather boots with envy.

“Let’s go there.” Tabitha pointed to an enormous department store. I followed along submissively.

About the Author:

50 Shades of Grey was the first contemporary romance book I’d ever read. Up to that point, I’d spent my entire reading life buried in literature.

But then, one day, I picked up 50 Shades of Grey and couldn’t put it down. Impressed by their heart-felt, down to earth portrayal of love and sex, I quickly developed a voracious appetite for contemporary romance books. I was so inspired by the genre that I decided to explore that world as a writer.

After completing a certificate in Writing Romance with the Australian College of Journalism I embarked on writing three books. All of which are still sitting on my computer.

Then Aidan Thornhill entered my imagination and came alive on paper. From that moment, like all emotional love stories, nothing else mattered. I fell in love. And was compelled to write, almost in a frenzy, every day without fail. I am presently working on my latest novel – The Importance of Being Wild.

https://jjsorel.com

https://www.facebook.com/JJSorel/

https://twitter.com/JJ_Sorel

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36461844-entrance

The book is on sale for only $0.99 at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076K5J11Z.

J.J. Sorel will be awarding copies of the entire series (3 books in all) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2018/03/blurb-blitz-entrance-by-jjsorel.html

Spotlight – Snickety Dickety Doo

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About the Author

Danica-Lea Larcombe 2

Danica-Lea Larcombe has a B.Sc (Environmental Health), a Grad.Dip in Education and has taken courses in Journalism, Travel Writing, and Photography. She is currently undertaking a thesis in Biodiversity and Human Health, and lives with her Japanese Spitz Bella.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

About the Book

Snickety Dickety Doo

Title: SNICKETY DICKETY DOO
Author: Danica-Lea Larcombe
Publisher: Blurb
Pages: 90
Genre: Children’s Fiction

BOOK BLURB:

George, Fiona and Marni find a tin of bubbles, not just any ordinary bubbles but planets. The planets shrink the children and take them to faraway lands. The children have many exciting adventures and try not to let their secret be discovered.  They learn about different cultures, currencies and languages, and are inspired at school.

In Series Two, George, Marni and Fiona continue their adventures around the world in the planet bubbles. They narrowly escape being killed by some monks in Turkey, find a little companion in Paris and visit royalty in Monaco.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Book Excerpt:

It wasn’t just a small piece of tin.  Curiosity got the better of her and Marni decided she better keep digging around.  She could see the edges now and it looked like it was a tin box of some sort. Marni suddenly forgot about her wish and dug frantically to get the box out.  It was quite a light box of about medium size. It was not painted and there was no writing on it.

“What on earth could be in it?” Marni wondered.

It had a small padlock but this was rusted and broke off easily.  She opened the lid carefully to find nine individually wrapped balls, or so she thought.  She unwrapped one of the balls to find it was not a ball. In her hand it shone like a bubble, and was soft and tender to touch.  It had little feet and hands and was the colour of the sun.

“Oh my”, Marni whispered, “It has got a face!”  

The bubble’s eyes were closed and the mouth still.  On the other side it had the shape of a door, but there was no door handle.  How odd.

Marni looked at her watch quickly. It was six o’clock which was tea time and her parents would be calling her any minute.  She hastily re-wrapped the ball and closed the tin. She put her secret wish down the hole and filled it up with the dark brown coloured soil.  

Somehow Marni made it back inside the house and into her bedroom without anyone seeing the box.  She could not wait to show it to George and Fiona but it would have to wait until after tea. Her hands and knees were filthy dirty now, and her father questioned her.  

“What have you been doing? You look like a gypsy”.  

“Oh, just helping Fiona in the garden” Marni lied.  

Dinner was always a silent occasion in the Dimond household, and you got your knuckles rapped if you spoke.  Which Fiona did quite often.

Marni wished tea time would hurry up and finish but she had to wait for the compulsory pudding first.  It would either be apple crumble or apple strudel with ice-cream. Her mother baked wonderfully, but never seemed to want to try new recipes.  Now they were all allowed to leave the table because everyone had finished but the dishes still had to be dried and put away after her mother had washed them.  It was the height of the summer and daylight savings time meant that sunset would not be until about 8.30pm.

“George, Fiona, come into my room.  I have something to show you” Marni said.  “Quickly then” grumbled George. “I want to finish my hut”.  

“Ooh what is it?” asked Fiona.  

Spotlight – Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies

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About the Author

Evy Journey

Evy Journey, SPR (Self Publishing Review) Independent Woman Author awardee, is a writer, a wannabe artist, and a flâneuse who, wishes she lives in Paris where people have perfected the art of aimless roaming. Armed with a Ph.D., she used to research and help develop mental health programs.

She’s a writer because beautiful prose seduces her and existential angst continues to plague her despite such preoccupations having gone out of fashion. She takes occasional refuge by invoking the spirit of Jane Austen to spin tales of love, loss, and finding one’s way—stories into which she weaves mystery or intrigue.

Her latest book is Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

About the Book

Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies

Title: SUGAR AND SPICE AND ALL THOSE LIES
Author: Evy Journey
Publisher: Sojourney Books
Pages: 200
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Crime

BOOK BLURB:

Cooking a wonderful meal is an art. An act of love. An act of grace. A gift that affirms and gives life—not only does it nurture those who partake of the meal; it also feeds the soul of the creator. These are lessons Gina learns from her mother, daughter of an unfortunate French chef.

Gina is a young woman born to poor parents, a nobody keen to taste life outside the world she was born into. A world that exposes her to fascinating people gripped by dark motives. Her passion for cooking is all she has to help her navigate it.

She gets lucky when she’s chosen to cook at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area where customers belong to a privileged class with money to spare for a dinner of inventive dishes costing hundreds of dollars. In this heady, scintillating atmosphere, she meets new friends and new challenges—pastry chef Marcia, filthy rich client Leon, and Brent, a brooding homicide detective. This new world, it turns out, is also one of unexpected danger.

Can the lessons Gina learned from her mother about cooking and life help her survive and thrive in this other world of privilege, pleasure, and menace?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Praise:

By Lee Broom on December 24, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition

Powerful book! I feel like this story was one that I will have on my mind for a while. Gina is a gourmet chef, and her life is centered around her food and her dreams of owning her own restaurant. She recently got out of a relationship, not wanting to commit because of her passion for her job. Then a charming rich playboy notices her and won’t stop sending her roses. It’s an interesting story that has some crazy twists when jealous women come out of the woodwork. Gina doesn’t want to have a relationship so she ignores Leon’s attentions. Then she meets an intense homicide detective named Brent who catches her heart, but numerous events keep them apart. It’s a compelling story with quite a few ups and downs and sometimes I wanted to say to these people, “What is wrong with you people? Can’t you just admit you love each other and live your life happy already?!” I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to read more by this author.

 

Book Excerpt:

Prologue

I’m alive. I’m dead. I’m in-between. In that limbo where my vital signs hover just above death. I rise above my body and look down on it, lying on a gurney. Hospital staff are rushing me along the brightly-lit hallway to the operating room. One of them holds an oxygen mask on my face. Another, a bag of intravenous fluid connected to my veins by a tube.

I’m not ready to die yet. These good people anxious to rescue me don’t know that my resolve is the only thing that is keeping me alive. No, I’m not ready to die—I’ve only just begun to live. I have yet to prove to myself, to the world, that I have what it takes to prevail.

My family—now on their way to the hospital—doesn’t know yet exactly what happened to me. And except for one detective, neither do the police. I see him now by the foot of the gurney, keeping pace with the nurses. He’s scowling, his lips pressed into a grim line.

A tall, taut, and solitary man, he has deep-set gray eyes clouded by too many images of violent death and a lower lip that hangs perpetually open in disgust or despair. So much darkness he has already seen in his thirty odd years in this world. He needs to piece together the facts that constitute the attempt on my life, events that may have led to it, and various fragments of my past to understand what brought me to this point.

The first time I met him, I fell in love with him. There was something primal about him, some paternal, animalistic instinct to save hurt or fallen victims. Like me, maybe. It gave him power and it made him irresistible to me.

But fate is fickle. It teases. It entices. One day, something quite ordinary happens to you. Yet, you sense that that ordinary something can change your life. Not necessarily for something better, but for something new. Fate is dangling before you the promise of a world that, before then, was totally out of your reach. How can you not seize it?

Now, of course, I see the end of that promise. And it’s not where I want to be.

It’s tragic, don’t you think, that the end of that promise should be right here on a gurney, with me fighting for my life? It certainly is not what I hoped for.

How could it end this way? I embraced life, took chances, but half-dead on this gurney, I wonder: Am I paying with my life? But, like I said. I’m not ready to die yet.

 

VBT – Daemon Reckoning

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Mariah Ankenman will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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Hidden in the shadows of our world, supernatural creatures wage war for the fate of humanity.

Euadaemons protect the innocent, Kakodaemons desire absolute power. Both have altered Krista Culver’s life. After spending the past ten years as a Drone for evil, she’s finally awake and doesn’t want to waste another moment. No one will stand in the way of her kicking Kako butt. Not her sister, not her father, not even her incredibly tempting boss.

Racine is about to go mad trying to find his evil twin brother responsible for the Kako uprising, but Rysis is in the wind. Adding to his problems, Krista returned from Enforcer training. Gone is the sweet girl. In her place is a fierce woman who stirs something deep inside. Something he thought long dead and buried.

As their desires grow so does the danger surrounding them. The Kako threat is mounting and the time for a reckoning has come.

Read an Excerpt

BookCover_DaemonReckoning

What the hell was she talking about?

“You think I won’t touch you because you’re a freak?” Women made absolutely no sense to him, this one in particular.

She shrugged, but he saw the agony in her gaze.

“Why else do you keep such a distance from me?”

That was what she thought? She assumed he kept his distance because of a crazy notion she was some kind of freak? If only the sexy little minx knew the real reason he kept his distance.

“You think I don’t touch you because I believe you’re a freak?” he asked again, disbelief boiling into anger. How could she think so little of him, of herself? Did she not see how hard he tried to resist the temptation she offered? Maybe the time had come for him to show her exactly why he kept his distance.

Placing his glass down on the bar, he stalked toward her. The woman had enough common sense to back up. He was sure he looked savage, because at the moment the word described precisely how he felt. Savage. Hungry. Ready to take what he’d wanted since the infuriating woman showed up on his doorstep no longer a girl, but a strong, fierce woman. Krista took two steps back until she bumped against the wall. Racine continued his advance, stopping inches from her body. He caged her in, his hands pressed flat against the wall on either side of her head.

“I don’t touch you, you silly human,” the words rumbled deep from within him. “Because once I start, I won’t be able to stop.”

About the Author

RWA® Golden Heart® Nominated author Mariah Ankenman lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her two rambunctious daughters and loving husband who provides ample inspiration for her heart-stopping heroes.

Whether she’s writing hometown heroes or sexy supernaturals, Mariah loves to lose herself in a world of words. Her favorite thing about writing is when she can make someone’s day a little brighter with one of her books.

Website: http://www.mariahankenman.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mariahankenman

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mariahankenmanauthor

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mariah_ankenman/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2GnLuNu

The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/2FBAVF6

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2p48s4x

iBooks: https://apple.co/2FBVDF9

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2HtVWlY

Mariah Ankenman will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2018/03/blurb-blitz-daemon-reckoning-by-mariah.html

VBT – Serial Wives

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Yvonne Walus will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why would a rich girl become a prostitute?

Three years ago Joy refused to sleep with an ex boyfriend. When he committed suicide, her guilt was enormous. To punish herself she opted to serve as a prostitute for three years.

How far would you go to protect your child?

Cora loves her convict husband despite – or because of – his bad boy ways. But now that he’s back in her life, she has their daughter to consider. Is a faulty father better than no father at all?

A serial killer…

A serial killer who murders women and displays their bodies dressed in a white sheet with a fencing mask covering the face. Who will be next?

Read an Excerpt:

It’s small, probably the smallest size available, but remarkably heavy. The address is hand-written.

I know the handwriting.

I throw the envelope into the dustbin. Unopened.

I go out to buy a fresh bread roll and eat it on the spot even though the chill in the weather does nothing to encourage lingering in the street. The air smells like rain and cocoa.

All around me are couples: at the other three black metal-lacework tables inside the coffee shop, outside on the footpath walking hand in hand, or arm around waist, or palm of the hand on the back of the neck.

I spy on them all, attempt to sniff out their recipe for a happy life. I look at the young mothers with milk bottles and prams, and I wonder why life is so bloody hard for me, why everybody but me knows the answers to life’s choices, the secret key to bliss.

The girl in a plum office skirt leaving a coffee shop next door with a polystyrene cup of espresso, for example, she looks like she has it all: a wedding band on her finger, a high-power job, a smile on her face. It’s not that I want a husband or an office job—either would stifle me in a week. But the plum skirt girl radiates inner happiness, so I go into the coffee shop and order a cup of whatever she’s just had.

And when I emerge through the glass door, polystyrene container in hand, nothing’s changed. I’m just a woman with a plastic cup of coffee in my hand.

The irony being, I don’t even drink coffee.

About the Author:

You won’t believe this, but when I’m not a novelist I’m actually a Doctor of Mathematics. A business and data analyst. A wife and a mother. Most of all though – I am a writer (in several languages) hoping to change the world one book at a time.

My heritage is inter-continental. I was born and raised in Poland. When I was twelve, my family and I emigrated to South Africa. Your teenage years are usually your formative years, so it’s no surprise I consider South Africa my second homeland. For the past twenty years, I’ve lived in New Zealand, and people ‘back home’ tell me I’ve become a real Kiwi.

Crime fiction is my passion. My childhood hero was, predictably, Hercule Poirot. I’ve changed my mind several times since, and for a time I was totally into Harlan Coben’s super-rich super-able Win (Windsor Horne Lockwood), but my current favourite is Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch… I mean, Sherlock Holmes.

My co-ordinates:

https://www.yvonnewalus.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Yvonne-Walus-author-206745219335573

https://twitter.com/hotyve

http://yewalus.blogspot.co.nz/

Here’s a link to the promo video for my latest book: http://stairwaypress.com/book/serialwives/.

Print version: http://stairwaypress.com/book/serialwives/

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Serial-Wives-Introducing-Zero-Zimmerman-ebook/dp/B07B2RQHGW

Yvonne Walus will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spotlight – Love Hack

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About the Author

Kimberly Dean

When taking the Myers-Briggs personality test in high school, Kimberly Dean was rated as an INFJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). This result sent her into a panic, because there were no career paths recommended for the personality type. Fortunately, it turned out to be well suited to a writing career. Since receiving that dismal outlook, Kimberly has become an award-winning author of romance and erotica. She enjoys the freedom and creativity allowed in writing romance, especially with all the interesting cross-genres that have been exploding on the scene.  When not writing, she enjoys movies, sports, traveling, music, and sunshine.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER

 

About the Book

Love Hack

Title: LOVE HACK
Author: Kimberly Dean
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 180
Genre: Romantic Suspense

BOOK BLURB:

Security analyst Spencer Weiler is excited when he lands a job at Afire Industries. The responsibility is daunting, but nowhere near as exhilarating as working with Josie Johnson, the pretty program manager in charge. Spencer lusts after her, but knows that she only sees him as a work friend. He needs to make himself over if he’s going to have a shot with her.

Josie is all too aware of the cute computer geek watching over her. He was tempting before, but with his newfound muscles and sexy haircut, he’s suddenly an irresistible stud. She makes the first move and is stunned to learn that her hot IT guy is just as studious in the sack. Their affair turns hot and heavy, but Josie has broken her rule about dating coworkers once before. It didn’t end well. When her ex returns and posts scandalous pictures of her on the Internet, it’s not Spencer’s muscles that she needs. She needs a hacker.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

Book Excerpt:

Chapter One

As far as work settings went, Spencer supposed the place would do. Yeah, understatement of the year. He looked around the open bay of Afire Industries and tried not to drool. It was a developer’s dream: pods of desks for teams, comfy seating areas for private thinking, top-notch equipment, and cool technology on which to work. The downtown location in Seattle was prime, within walking distance of restaurants, bars, the waterfront, and even the Space Needle. Not that he was geeking out about the opportunity or anything…

Okay, he was geeking out, but it was only natural. He was a software geek. Hell, he was the King of Software Geeks.

“We’re glad to have you onboard,” his new boss, Luke McAllister, said. “Your background in software security is just what we need.”

No kidding. Afire was recovering from a major hack. It had been all over the news. From what Spencer knew about the situation, it hadn’t been a sophisticated attack. The hackers had come through the Internet of Things, which had been left unsecured. A total oversight and totally preventable. “I think I can help you guys out.”

A company this big and this advanced in the tech field? Heads had rolled as a result of the breach, but it had also opened up an opportunity for him to do what he did best. Security was Spencer’s game. What had impressed him most about the situation had been Afire’s response. Contrary to prevailing advice from government and law enforcement officials, Afire had not only closed the hole, they’d gone after their attackers—and they’d taken them down.

This was the kind of place where he wanted to work.

“We’re not ‘you guys’ anymore,” Luke said. “You’re one of us now, ‘a fireman.’ Come on. Let me show you around the place.”

Spencer hopped to his feet, automatically swiping up the MacBook he’d been assigned. He liked this guy, Luke. He wasn’t a normal software guy. In fact, he was pretty up-front about the fact that he was just learning the basics of coding. What McAllister did know, inside and out, was security in general: defensive measures, weakness analysis, perpetrator psychology… Rumor was that he’d worked for the Secret Service before turning to the private sector. What Spencer liked most, though, was that his new boss seemed to let people play to their strengths.

And he was cool as hell: tough, muscled, and badass.

“These three pods are where the security group is located.” Luke nodded, and the developers who weren’t heads-down coding nodded back.

Spencer recognized a few people from his interview and gave a wave.

“We have flexible hours, and you’re free to work from home when you feel the need. If things get hot, though, I’d prefer everyone be onsite so we can ‘war room’ the situation.”

“Not a problem,” Spencer said. That was pretty normal in the industry. He’d be working onsite until he got up to speed on everything.

He followed Luke when he turned down a hallway. The layout of the converted fish cannery was open and airy, but the security team was somewhat secluded around a corner. He was okay with that. Managers thought open-bay setups encouraged collaboration, but to Spencer, they just got loud. He preferred to work on his own when possible. As he’d often been told, he was a “deep thinker.”

“The restrooms are down there on the left. Here’s the grab ’n go area. Take whatever you want to eat or drink. The Green Team just prefers you use the recyclable bowl you were given. It should be on your desk.”

Recycled bowls for snacking, a T-shirt with the company fire emblem, plus a baseball hat, a mousepad, and a backpack to match. Afire didn’t skimp on the swag—although Spencer knew it was free advertising to have the company’s employees going around Seattle dressed like walking Afire billboards.

But shoot, they could dress him up and send him down the runway if this was what he got in return.

He tried not to smile too broadly as they continued their tour. He’d come from a company that specialized in security, but he felt like he’d just made it to the big leagues. It wasn’t just the perks. He was excited to get out on the front lines. The security firm’s customers had been other software companies. Here, he’d be protecting consumers directly. It was a challenge he looked forward to, because, honestly, he needed some new challenges. Things had been getting too easy for him at his old job. Easy and boring.

“Our customer success team is over there. They work with clients directly, helping them through any problems they might encounter. If you need someone who knows our applications inside and out, talk to them.” Luke kept moving until they were at the back of the building. “Down here is the gym.”

Spencer gave it a cursory glance. The assortment of workout machines looked shiny and top of the line, but what did he know? It wasn’t a perk he was likely to use.

“Towel service is provided. I can show you how to use the programmable locks on the lockers, if you’d like.”

“I think I can figure that out,” Spencer said dryly.

Luke sent him a sidelong look and laughed. “Yeah, I suppose you can.”

Clapping a heavy hand on his shoulder, Spencer’s boss turned him back in the direction they’d come. “The cafeteria is open for breakfast and lunch. The team is planning to eat as a group today to welcome you.”

“Cool,” Spencer said. He liked Christopher Chen, the guy who sat at the desk next to him, but he hadn’t gotten to spend much time with anyone else.

Not that he was a social butterfly, but those were his people. Luke was a bit intimidating. He was the kind of guy who probably knew all about working out in gyms, fishing, football, and women. Spencer suspected he’d have more things to talk about with Christopher and the other developers.

“Okay, this is really where I want to take you,” Luke said as he opened a door to a covered walkway leading out of the main Afire building. “This is the way to our small business accelerator. It’s managed by Afire, but space is rented by entrepreneurs trying to get new tech companies off the ground.”

“Sounds interesting.”

Spencer followed his boss to the smaller building next door, but stopped when Luke turned with his hand on the door’s push-bar.

“It’s also where the hack came in.”

Okay, now Spencer’s interest was piqued. “One of the entrepreneurs let them in?”

“No, we let them in. We own and manage the facilities and shared equipment. The small companies here just rent space. The hack came in through the Internet of Things, which we should have secured for everyone. The hacker was then able to breach the firewall between Start ’er Up and Afire’s networks. That’s top-secret info that nobody outside of our team needs to know.”

Spencer nodded. That little tidbit hadn’t been in any of the news reports. It also made it more understandable how such an infiltration had occurred.

Luke pushed open the glass door at the end of the walkway, and the hydraulic closer let out a whoosh. Soft chatter filtered through the air.

“Welcome to Start ’er Up,” Luke said.

Spencer looked around the place with interest. The tech world and startups went hand in hand, although he’d always worked in established businesses. Along with being a deep thinker, he was an old soul. The idea of going out on his own was tempting, but he knew the risks involved with that. Perks were one thing, but he wasn’t blinded by them. Company stability, health insurance, and a 401(k) match were more important to him.

Although this could be a cool way to keep tabs on cutting-edge stuff…

“I’m assigning this place to you,” Luke said.

What? Spencer stood a little straighter. Wow. Talk about a shot in the arm. “Okay.”

“I had a consultant go through everything. She assures me that everything is secure now, but I’d like a second opinion. I’d also like to bring the responsibility in house.”

“Yes, sir. I can do that.” Spencer nodded with confidence as he looked around the space. He spotted printers, routers, and even an old fax machine… all potential infiltration points if somebody wanted to get in via the Internet of Things, much less the Wi-Fi that all these companies no doubt shared.

His brain began churning. Damn, he was getting more and more excited about this job, but he didn’t want to come off like a goober.

Luke turned into one of the few offices in the smaller building. “First things first, I’d like to introduce you to Josie. She manages Start ’er Up. You two will be working closely.”

Spencer took one step in the room, and his brain jammed. Crumpled-paper-in-the-bowels-of-a-printer kind of jam. One moment his brain was firing on all cylinders, excited about the new assignment, and the next, it froze and his body went a little haywire. Girl. Beautiful girl. Strawberry blonde. Green eyes. Pretty smile. Pink lips… And a tight body. Oh, hell. Don’t look there.

“Josie, this is Spencer Weiler, our new security hire. He’s the one who’s going to take point on Start ’er Up’s security situation from here on out.”

The girl… woman… gorgeous woman looked at him and blinked those big green eyes. “Oh! Hi there. It’s nice to meet you.”

She looked at him expectantly, but that paper jam was in there good, gunking up any thought processes Spencer might have once had. “Hi-lo,” he said.

Oh, crap. That wasn’t right.

“Hell. I mean hell-o.” One of her eyebrows rose, and he thought he saw a dimple in her cheek deepen. Damn, this should not be that difficult. “Hi,” he said on a rough exhale.

“Hi, Spencer.” Okay, she was smiling at him. Laughing, really. No, not laughing. There was empathy there. “First days are tough, aren’t they?”

He nodded, his tongue feeling twice its size inside his mouth. Yeah, first day. They’d go with that. She did not need to know about the boner that he was suddenly sporting. She didn’t need to know that was why no blood or oxygen was making it to the head atop his neck.

She held out a hand. “I’m glad you’re here.”

Not as glad as he was. Not even close.

He took her hand and shifted the Mac he was still carrying so it hid the front of his jeans. Her skin felt like silk. Warm, smooth silk.

He couldn’t stop staring at her. Honest to God, she was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen.

“I still feel so bad about the hack,” she said. “I didn’t even know you could hack equipment like that.”

“Josie,” Luke said. “We’ve talked about this.”

“I know,” she said, sighing heavily, “but I’m responsible for this place. I should have done something to stop it from happening.”

Spencer frowned. “You know how to change the password on a R-4200 router?”

“Uh… no,” she said with a blush. Her gaze went quickly to her desk, where he’d seen the piece of equipment. “But I should know that’s something that needs to be done.”

“It’s not even in the owner’s manual.” He shrugged, hoping the gesture showed reassurance.

Was it hot in here? He stuck his hand in his front jeans pocket to keep from fanning himself like a ninny, but winced. Tight. Jeans too tight. He pulled his hand back out quickly and wrapped his fingers around the shield of his Mac.

“Really?” The lines on the angel’s face smoothed. “Oh, that makes me feel better. I’m the program manager around here. There’s a lot to keep track of.”

“The rock star manager of all managers,” another female inserted.

Spencer glanced to the door. Okay, smoking-hot brunette at nine o’clock. Was there something in the water over here? His glance bounced off her right back to Josie.

“This the newb?” the visitor asked.

Luke nodded. “Spencer, this is Kylie Grant. Kylie, this is Spencer Weiler.”

“Hey.”

“Hey.”

The brunette looked at Luke. “I got this place locked down, you know.”

He sighed and crossed his arms over his chest. The guy’s forearms bulged like Popeye’s, and the woman took notice. Spencer caught the reaction and quickly let his gaze skim over Josie. She wasn’t eyeing his manly boss, so much as fighting a smile watching the other two people in the room squabble.

“Security over here is Afire’s responsibility,” Luke said.

“Uh huh.” Kylie pushed her hair over her shoulder and cocked her head.

“Now,” Luke said in resignation. “We’re watching it more closely now, and Spencer is in charge of that.”

Spencer felt the brunette’s gaze rake over him. Her brow furrowed when she noticed the way he was clutching his Mac. He forced his fingers to relax, but he didn’t move it. No way, no how.

“Where did you work before this?” she asked.

“Samson Security.”

“Nice.” She drummed her fingers against her thigh. “What do you think of facial-recognition authentication?”

“Not dependable enough.”

“Pattern recognition?”

He shook his head. “Better than alphanumeric, but still a pain. Fingerprints are the way to go for top-level security and ease of use.”

“Hm,” she muttered. She swung her hand out, gesturing like Vanna White. “What do you think of the place? From a developer’s point of view?”

“Good space, a little loud.” He squinted at the sunlight bouncing off Elliott Bay through the front windows. That was something to mark on the calendar. The sun was out in Seattle, and he’d met the most beautiful girl in the world. Whom he’d like to get back to… if he could communicate with her… Hell, why was his brain connecting to his mouth with this brunette bombshell but not the redhead?

“It’s nice, although a bit bright,” he said.

Kylie straightened as if he’d jabbed her with a stick. “He’ll do.”

“Nice to have your approval,” Luke said dryly.

She lifted an eyebrow. “You know you want it.”

Josie cleared her throat. “They date,” she said.

Good. That meant one less guy Spencer had to be concerned about. A scary thought hit him, and his gaze snapped to her desk. He was relieved when he didn’t see photographs of a husband or boyfriend.

“Are we still going to Ivar’s for dinner tonight?” Kylie asked.

“Yeah,” Luke said. “How late are you going to be?”

“I can go anytime. Just pick me up when you’re ready.”

Was that a gleam in his boss’s steely gaze? Spencer watched for hints, pointers even. The guy obviously had game, and he could use some help in that area. Like, pronto.

Spencer shot another glance at Josie. He knew he was staring, but he couldn’t help it. That paper jam in his head just wasn’t letting loose. Did he even have a shot? She seemed so normal—no, so outstanding—and he was a computer geek. His kind didn’t have the best track records with women. What was his next step? Was he going to make a play? How did one do that?

He didn’t even know what a play was, not with someone like her.

“Anyway,” Luke said. “Now that we have approval from the boss, I’d like you two to work together to map out a plan. Spencer, you know the security piece. Josie, you know how Start ’er Up works. We can’t lock it down too tightly, because we have a lot of small businesses and entrepreneurs using this place. We’re here to help them, not shut them out.”

Spencer nodded. “Got it.”

“Josie can introduce you around and get you situated.”

Spencer nodded again. It was the one form of communication he had that seemed to be working. His brain was now stuck on the fact that he’d be spending a lot of time with her. It thrilled him and terrified him all at once.

“Any questions?” Luke said.

So, so many. Spencer shook his head.

Josie walked to her desk and opened a day planner the size of War and Peace. “When would you like to start, Spencer?”

Oh, God. He was even turned on by the way she said his name.

“Nuuhhhh.” He cleared his throat. “Now?”

She blinked. “Uh, okay.”

She moved some papers aside on her desk, but Luke stepped forward. “Whoa, boy. Slow ’er down.”

Josie giggled, and Spencer nearly died.

“I thought we were supposed to Start ’er Up,” she teased.

Spencer snorted. Literally, the most ungraceful sound in the world came out of his mouth, and Josie laughed harder.

Luke looked back and forth between the two of them. “Geek humor. Great.”

He tilted his head toward the door. “We’re not finished with his onboarding,” he said. “Put something on his calendar for tomorrow or later. Whatever works for you.”

“Okay.” Josie trailed her finger down the open page. “If you don’t need me now, I guess I’ll head down to the gym.”

Heat washed through Spencer when she turned toward him and laced her fingers together. “See you tomorrow.”

He nodded roughly. “Tmrro.”

Damn it.

“All right. Sounds like a plan.” Luke started out the door. “Let’s go back to my office.”

Spencer somehow managed to put one foot in front of the other to follow him. Looking over his shoulder, he caught Josie’s green gaze one last time. “Buh.”

Oh, hell and tarnation.

“Bye,” she said with a little wave that made his erection nearly burst right through the zipper of his jeans.

Spencer hoped to God he wasn’t walking funny as he followed Luke back through the walkway into Afire. Once the door closed behind them, some of his brain function returned. It was a proximity affliction, apparently.

This was a problem.

The woman put his brain on the fritz. He liked her. One step inside that door, and he’d wanted her. At the very least, he had to work with her, but she wasn’t a typical tech female. Luke’s girlfriend, Kylie, wasn’t either, but he could talk to her. But Josie?

Spencer narrowed his eyes on Luke as he sank down into the chair behind his desk. Wait a minute. Luke had somehow made the crossover from normal guy to geek girl—although Kylie was unlike any geek girl Spencer had ever met. Surely, he could take hints from their relationship and reverse-engineer it.

His brain started to whir; he was onto something here. He could hack this.

“So… that’s the gist of the job. Now, for your development plan.” Luke swiveled in his chair toward his laptop. “Everybody hates coming up with these, but Afire likes to keep its employees learning. You don’t have to come up with a full-blown plan now, but start thinking about an area where you’d like to develop more skills.”

“You mean in security?”

Luke shrugged, his heavy shoulders bunching. “Not necessarily. It can be pretty much anything. Rafi is taking some public-speaking courses to help with his presentations. Christopher is shadowing our customer success people to learn how our customers approach things. So think about it. What’s something you’re interested in learning more about?”

That was easy—the redhead next door.

Although when Luke said “anything,” Spencer doubted she was included.

He tapped his fingers against the arm of his chair. There was more than one way to hack a password.

“Stress can be a problem for me,” he said. It was the truth. “Sometimes I can get too deep in a problem and forget to take care of myself.”

Honesty there.

“Okay,” Luke said.

“And not to brag or anything, but I could teach most of the courses on security.”

Luke’s chair squeaked when he sat back. An evaluating look had settled onto his face. It was all jagged corners and tough-guy handsome. Spencer tried not to squirm as Luke looked him over. He could afford to put on some muscle like McAllister.

“The gym,” he said. It came to him like the flash of a light bulb. “I’d like to get more comfortable there, maybe establish a workout routine. You know, to get out of my head.”

Luke’s eyes narrowed, and Spencer rushed to make sense of the request before Luke made it to the truth. Although with the way his mouth started to tug at the corners, it might already be too late.

“Would you be open to training me?” Spencer asked.

Luke’s chin snapped up a fraction of an inch. Okay, he hadn’t been expecting that.

“Well, I am down there usually once a day,” Luke said, “and I wouldn’t mind a training partner. What’s your normal workout routine now?”

Routine? “I play a lot of disc golf in the summer. Does that count?”

The frown he got in return didn’t help.

“What’s that?” Luke asked.

Spencer ran a hand through his hair. “Frisbee golf.”

Damn, that didn’t sound tough at all.

But Luke nodded in approval. “There’s cardio with that.”

“Yeah, and I can run.” Spencer flexed. “I just need to… you know… beef up.”

Women were into that, from what he’d heard.

He flinched when Luke leaned forward and braced his elbows against the desk. “Let me get this straight. One of my security guys wants to enter… the gym.”

Spencer swallowed hard. He might as well have said the Twilight Zone. Did he want to become a gym rat? No. But did he want a shot with Josie? “Yes.”

He fought to hold his ground as Luke watched him. The guy could read the truth. He had eyes like lasers and a brain that was nearly as sharp.

“Okay, strength training it is.” Luke turned to his computer and filled out the development form. “We’ll start tomorrow morning before you go over to help Josie with Start ’er Up.”

“Tomorrow,” Spencer agreed. Before his brain went wonky again.

Man, he hoped this worked.

* * *

“So what did you think of him?”

Josie glanced up from her gym bag to the door. Shoot, Kylie was back. Josie returned her attention to her bag and zipped the compartment shut. She should have just run to the locker room and checked to see if she’d remembered to bring shampoo. “Who? Spencer?”

“No, Luke,” her friend said dryly.

Josie sighed. “I don’t know. He’ll be fine, I’m sure.”

“That’s a ringing endorsement.”

Okay, that hadn’t been fair. The new guy was better than fine—and maybe he had the security chops, too. “If you and Luke feel he’s the right guy, I’m sure he is.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

Giving up, Josie dropped the strap of the bag and slumped down into her chair. “I just can’t help feeling like it’s punishment for screwing up, like he’s being assigned to watch over my shoulder.”

“Screwing up?” Kylie closed the door behind her and walked over to settle her hip against the desk. “What did you do wrong?”

Oh, just about everything. Josie had gone over the whole cycle of events in her head so many times, it was like it was on constant replay. “I should have noticed the change in the lighting. I missed that completely. Even when you told me, I didn’t dig into it.”

Kylie frowned. “But you let me. And how would you have known that was evidence of a hack? I didn’t until I started poking around in the smart building control system, which you gave me access to, following proper protocol. Have I thanked you for that, by the way? If you hadn’t added me as an administrator, Luke never would have listened to me. I’d probably still be talking with lawyers today.”

“Yes, but that was a security violation, in and of itself. You weren’t officially associated with Afire. I should have been fired for that alone.”

“Hey, I’m a consultant. I’ve even got a badge to show it.”

Josie hit her friend with a look. “After the fact.”

“You just beat Luke to the paperwork.”

Josie fiddled with the pen holder on her desk. Afire liked to promote itself as a paperless company, but there was just something about pen and paper that made her feel more organized. She had pens in every color under the sun, and her day planner was jammed with Post-it notes to expand on the rainbow. That was her strength—organization and communication. She kept this place running as its program manager. She helped people network and find collaborators. She put together training sessions for new businesses on how to keep their books, market their products, and find venture capital. She kept metrics on their member companies’ progress, she reviewed startup applications for membership, and she even made the coffee.

But with all that she did, she knew that the Start ’er Up program was not key to Afire’s success. It didn’t make money. Every once in a while, a technology company might have something her bosses would be interested in licensing or even outright purchasing, but Start ’er Up’s mission was to support the entrepreneurship culture in Seattle. It was a community service.

Yet that community service had nearly brought Afire down.

She banged her pen holder against her desk, and two pens jumped out. “Why did that hack have to come through this place?”

Kylie frowned. “Did you ever stop to think how lucky we were that it did?”

“Excuse me?” Another pen, a purple one, fell out when Josie tried to shove the other two back in. She rarely got angry. She was an upbeat person, but she didn’t need coddling.

“Do you think something like that ever would have been noticed or investigated over in Afire? A lighting glitch? Especially with Steven Ayers at the security helm?”

Josie winced. She hadn’t realized how self-centered she was being. Steven Ayers had been the top security guy on Luke’s team. Smug, misogynistic, and highly overrated, he’d been fired for not detecting the hack of Afire’s network—and he’d come after Kylie for revenge.

Reaching past her growing pile of spilled pens, Josie caught her friend’s hand. “I’m sorry. I didn’t even think of that.”

“Those hackers could have done a lot more damage if we hadn’t caught them when we did. Luke isn’t assigning Spencer to Start ’er Up because he doesn’t trust you. He’s giving you the support you’ve always needed.” Kylie pushed her hair back and gave a little sniff. “Even if I had it handled.”

Josie rolled her eyes. Okay, they both had some personal hang-ups with the new situation. “You’ve got enough on your plate with your web design company and… whatever else it is that you do.”

Her friend clammed up real quick at that.

Kylie leaned forward and changed the subject. “So, give me the truth. What did you think of Mr. Chatty Cat?”

Talk about turning the tables. The direct look in her friend’s eyes made Josie blush, but she pretended not to know what Kylie was talking about. “The two of you communicated just fine.”

“Yes, but I’m one of his kind. You aren’t.”

Josie busied herself with straightening up her pens. “I understood what he was trying to say.”

Kylie’s grin turned into a smile. “I bet you did.”

“We’ll know better tomorrow if we can work together.”

“Josie, the words he managed to get out around you weren’t even English.”

“So he’s a little shy.” Shy, observant, tall, and sexy, in an awkward sort of way. Those dark puppy-dog eyes had made Josie melt when she’d first locked gazes with him. She pointed a pen at the brunette interrogating her. Enough of this. “What did you think?”

Kylie shrugged. “He’s kinda cute, if you go for that type of thing.”

“I meant for the security job!”

She laughed. “He’s solid. Technically, he’s really good. I checked him out before Luke made the offer.”

Josie’s jaw dropped. “Then why are you asking me?”

“Because it’s what you think that matters. He can be a security genius, but if you don’t like working with him, just say the word.”

“Oh, come on. Give him a chance.”

“So you like him?”

Josie began fiddling with her gym bag again. Kylie just wasn’t going to let up on this. “He is kind of cute, I guess, with that shaggy hair and dark eyes.”

“Too wiry for my taste.”

“Lanky,” Josie said. In a Ramones T-shirt, he’d been like all the other tech guys walking around, but his backside had been rather nice as she’d watched him walk out the door. He was tall, too. She’d had to tilt her head back a little to talk to him. She’d kind of liked that. And he had shoulders to match, even if he didn’t fill out the T-shirt as well as the jeans.

“I guess he is at the opposite side of the spectrum from Nolan,” Kylie said. “That’s a plus.”

Nolan. At the mention of her ex-boyfriend, Josie’s stomach went from buoyant to a ball of lead. Okay, it was her turn to clam up. She looped the long strap of her gym bag over her shoulder and stood. “I just agreed that Spencer is cute. That doesn’t mean I’m going to date him.”

She wasn’t ready to get back into that scene yet.

The humor left Kylie’s eyes. “Is Nolan still giving you problems?”

“No. Just a late-night text here and there.” Josie rounded her desk. She really did need to get to the gym if she was going to get a workout in.

Kylie put her arm over the doorway. “What does he want?”

Josie ducked underneath the barrier and scooted through. “To get back together.”

“No.”

“Yes.”

Kylie followed her down the hallway. “You’re not—”

“No.” Absolutely not.

“Good.” Kylie’s fists relaxed at her sides. “Cute and lanky might be a good thing after all.”

“Spencer’s just for work.” They were in the covered walkway now, leading over to Afire. Josie swiped her badge through the reader at the door to the main building. Kylie didn’t have her consultant’s badge on her, so this was where Josie could make her great escape. When the reader’s light turned green, she put her shoulder into the door and pushed it open. “I’m too busy for another boyfriend right now.”

Busy trying to make sure Afire was still invested in Start ’er Up and her job was secure.

The door clanked shut behind her, ending the conversation and making the lead ball inside Josie’s stomach heavier. Maybe Spencer could help her understand security better, but anything beyond that was out of the question. She needed to concentrate on her career while she still had it.

 

VBT – Finding Michael

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Wendi will be awarding a bracelet made by the author and signed swag. (International) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Going home could be just the thing his muse needs and his heart desires.

Tristan Paulson needs the words to return. He loves his career penning novels of small-town love, but his muse has gone missing. If he can’t write, he can go back to his roots and sort through the items his newly deceased uncle left behind. Once in Sullavan, Ohio, he realizes just how much he loved the place. Then he sees the handsome librarian—Michael is just the kind of guy he’s always wanted. How can he go back to the big city when Sullavan calls to him?

Michael Kane wants nothing more than to be surrounded by his books and the written word. He knows heartbreak and isn’t in the mood to put himself out into the dating pool again…until he sees Tristan. He wants to be with Tristan, but he’s too shy. A handsome man like Tristan wouldn’t be interested in a quiet man like Michael…would he?

Read an Excerpt:

Tristan stilled Michael’s hands—to stop the nervous gesture and to hold Michael’s hand. He understood what Michael wanted out of the pairing. He needed to know he wouldn’t be used and he had good reasons for it. Tristan wouldn’t be in town long and getting involved wasn’t smart. But that didn’t stop him from wondering. Michael was sweet, sexy in a geeky way and everything Tristan didn’t look for in a man.

He scanned the menu and decided on his lunch, then focused on Michael again. “Why’d you come to Sullavan? What was the draw?”

“A job.” Michael sat back in his seat, but didn’t pull away from Tristan. “I was fresh out of college and needed a source of income to pay back my student loans. I applied at over two dozen libraries. Sullavan was the only one to call me back and that was through the parent Black River Library system. They seemed to like me and I got the job. Thirteen years later and I’m still here. I made learning about Sullavan my personal goal because I thought it was important. If someone comes to town, then they’ll start here. We have people come back often for genealogical searches.”

“Neat.” He rubbed the top of Michael’s hand. “I can’t say I’m that important. I’m not vital to much.”

“I’m sure you are. Al thought a lot of you. He spoke about you once or twice.”

“He did?” He hadn’t thought about his uncle much in the last year. “So, you know me?”

“I know of you. He said he had a nephew who wrote books and was in New York. I assumed the state and that you did what he claimed, but I never asked your name.” Michael shrugged. “Al was quiet, but he’d speak to me. I think he felt lonely and coming to the library was a comfort.”

The more Michael spoke, the more Tristan saw his uncle in a different light. He’d barely thought about the man, but knowing Al had been proud of him enough to mention him… That was big.

“Then what do you do? Write books?” Michael’s eyes flashed. “Anything good? I heard you say something to Dicey about being an author. We’re always looking for anyone who’s written a book and is willing to impart information to the writers’ group. They can use the guidance. I’m no help. I have no desire to pen anything but the daily logs.”

He’d have to tell his story. He owed Michael that much. But he wanted to keep his secret a little while longer.

About the Author:

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and BDSM themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best author, best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. Find out more about Megan and Wendi at: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm

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