Category Archives: Romance

Echo Falls by Jaime McDougall

About Jaime McDougall

Jaime McDougall 2Jaime McDougall is a citizen of the world, currently loving life in beautiful country Victoria in Australia. She loves eating sushi, kidnapping her husband and naming her pets in honour of science fiction authors.

She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: High School: The Real Deal and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles. So You Want to Write a Guest Post: An Author’s Guide to Promoting with Guest Blogging is her most recent non-fiction ebook. She has also enjoyed writing a column called ‘The New Australian’ in local newspapers as well as various articles online.

Echo Falls is her first paranormal romance novel. You can buy it now at:

Amazon ( Kindle ) | Barnes and Noble ( Nook ) | Smashwords ( Multiformat )
Amazon ( Print ) | Barnes and Noble ( Print )

You can visit her website at InkyBlots.com

About Echo Falls

Running from a nightmare stalking her every move, Phoebe Martin arrives in Echo Falls hoping she has finally found a safe place to stop. But trouble has a way of catching up and soon the signs are there.

After a vicious attack in an alley, policeman Aidan O’Bryan is left with Phoebe as his only path to understanding why the Echo Falls werewolf pack – his pack – is being attacked. When another pack member is killed, Phoebe is forced to confront her past before she loses Aidan and everything she has come to love.

Love and duty become one as Aidan strives to prevent Phoebe from becoming the next victim. But with Phoebe just as determined to protect Aidan and her new home, secrets from her past threaten to tear them apart.

Will love give Phoebe the strength to trust Aidan and face her fears, or will her past destroy her future?

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONEKeep running, keep running, keep running. Phoebe’s lungs burned as her mind screamed the mantra. Keep running, keep running.

How many steps can there be?

She should know. She lived in this apartment building.

Tears ran down her cheeks and her lungs burned for air. Only the random irrational thought broke through the panic keeping her feet moving down the steps. Keep running. Keep running. The light of the emergency exit came into view. Almost there…

The door to the stairwell slammed open with a hollow boom. She tripped and clung to the railing to steady herself.

Keep running.

The shock of the cool night air sent a shiver of relief through her body. She’d come out a side exit into an alley. If she could just get to the front –

Suddenly she was thrown to the ground from behind. She hit the concrete, what little breath she had knocked from her lungs. Blood began flowing from where her head hit the ground, and small sparks of light floated into her vision.

How did he catch up so fast?

Desperately she tried to gulp down as much air as she could, willing her lungs to cooperate. Instinct kicked in as the attacker slashed at her, and she curled into fetal position.

A dog. He’d turned into a dog. A big dog with vicious claws and teeth he used to tear into her exposed back, thigh and shoulder. She slowly regained her breath but could only use it to scream her throat raw.

Her vision faded, taking the small sparks of light with it. Searing pain ripped through her shoulder as a claw dug down against her bone. One last, long scream tore from her lungs before she was left gasping and sobbing, her fear slowly smoldering into rage.

Things can’t end like this.

She opened her eyes as the dog stood over her, trying to get to her throat. A paw came into her line of vision and she saw her chance. She reached out, grabbed it and squeezed with all the strength she had.

The dog yelped and tried to twist away, but she held on with all the strength she had. She knew she’d only bought herself time. She couldn’t move the dog off her and she couldn’t squeeze his paw all night. He tried uselessly to bite her, his jaws having no strength so long as she squeezed his paw. But she could already feel her strength waning.

Suddenly the weight of the dog flew off her, taking the paw out of her grip. Without thinking, she used her one cooperating arm to drag herself toward the front of the building.

She shivered, her arm giving out, and caught a glimpse of a second dog. No. A wolf… Squeezing her eyes tightly shut, she listened to the dogs fighting, the battle just a few steps away. She tried her best to curl up against the building wall and willed the growling and snapping to go away. They sounded like they were tearing each other to pieces.

The universe granted her wish, the battle ending with the sound of two bodies hitting each other and a sharp whine. She shivered and softly whined as well, dreading the approach of the winner as one of the dogs yelped and ran away.

A few moments later warm, human hand brushed the back of her head and she screamed again. If it could be called a scream. Her throat burned and rebelled at her abuse of it.

“Ssh. You’re safe now.”

She tried to scream again and move away, but her body wouldn’t obey her commands. She groaned as the full force of the pain washed over her.

He murmured and she relaxed her desperate grip on staying conscious. Sleep seemed so tempting, the black abyss singing a siren’s song to her. Her rescuer – or captor – tried to soothe her, but something dark and dangerous in his voice betrayed him. He was different. She tried to bat away his hands but gave up after a few attempts, not sure if her good hand was actually moving.

As she slipped into the darkness, she wondered if death had merely granted her a short reprieve from the inevitable.

My Dearest Friend by Hazel Statham

Hazel read her first Regency Romance, Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer, when she was seventeen and knew that at last she had found her era.Hazel photo

She had been writing since she was fifteen and had mainly been influenced by authors like Austen, the Brontes and Sabatini, but Georgette Heyer opened up the romance and elegance of the eighteen and nineteenth century and she fell head over heels in love with it.

She devoured her books in very quick succession and wanted nothing more than to recreate her own Regency world. History had always been her favorite subject at school and it was just one small step to portray it in her work.

However, despite today’s trend to produce ‘hotter’ novels, she writes ‘traditional’ Regency Romance and closes the door on her characters when they retire. So much emotion can be conveyed by a mere glance or a single word that she doesn’t feel it necessary to leave the metaphorical door open to convey the emotions of the moment. The merest hint is often sufficient to stimulate the reader’s imagination and to go into detail is totally unnecessary.

Hazel has been married to her husband since 1969 and they share their home with a lovely Labrador named Mollie. Apart from reading and writing historical novels, Hazel’s other ruling passion is animals and, until recently, she was treasurer for an organization that raised money for animal charities.

Hazel loves to hear from her readers and promises to answer all mail. My Dearest Friend is one of two books Hazel is touring with this month.

Visit her online at www.hazel-statham.co.uk.

MDFAbout My Dearest Friend

Robert Blake, Duke of Lear, is a man of intense emotions who loves deeply and protects fiercely. Devastated and wracked with guilt by the death of his younger brother, Stefan, in the Peninsular War, he readily agrees to aid Jane Chandler to bring her seriously wounded brother back from Portugal.

Much against Jane’s wishes, he decides to accompany her and together they embark on the hazardous mission to retrieve the young soldier. However, the journey holds many revelations, not least of all the abiding friendship and growing love between the two travelers.

That special love is put severely to the test by the treachery that awaits them upon their return to England, when a tenant of Jane’s former home invades their lives, maliciously creating jealousy and misunderstandings for his own nefarious reasons.

Can their friendship and love conquer the emotions that threaten to tear them asunder?

Read an Excerpt!

Their arrival at the inn that night went quite unnoticed, the sound of the horses’ hooves clattering over the cobbled yard exciting no more interest than had done their predecessors’ during the day. Once they were halted, the duke hurried Hannah and the sleeping Sophie from the vehicle and into the private parlor. He had hoped to find Jane within, but the room was deserted and he knew a moment’s disappointment. Just as he was about to go in search of her, Eaves pushed open the door and stopped in some surprise.

“Your grace,” he beamed coming into the room. “We had given up hope of you arriving today.”

“Where is Miss Chandler?” the duke demanded, making toward the door.

Eave’s countenance sobered. “She’s with the major, sir. I am afraid he took a turn this morning and she has not left his side since. The doctor has been called and says that despite it being but a momentary setback we must delay our return journey for a few days. Shall I fetch her for you, sir?”

“No need, I will go to her directly,” the duke said. “However, I would be grateful if you would arrange suitable accommodation for my ward and her nurse and make sure they are well nourished before they retire. It has been a very long and tiring day.”

With that, he strode from the room and took the stairs two at a time to the second landing. Eagerly pacing its length, he came to a sudden halt just as Jane stepped out of Harry’s room and quietly closed the door behind her. In the dimness of the corridor, she did not immediately perceive him standing but a short distance away, awaiting her notice, and was startled when he softly called her name from the shadows.

“Robert,” she cried, involuntarily pressing her hand to her throat, unable to move, as a new shyness overcame her.

For an instant, they stood thus until the duke moved forward into the pool of moonlight that filtered through a small window and slowly opened his arms to her. She did not hesitate but ran to him and buried her face in his neck. Words were not necessary for the moment as they both rejoiced in their reunion. Indeed, if she had tried to speak she would have found her words crushed into oblivion as, bending his head, he fiercely kissed her, demanding a response.

Finding in herself no resistance to his embrace, she welcomed it as if to be loved by him was the most natural occurrence in the world.

Eventually pulling apart and capturing her hands in his the duke gave a low chuckle, “I see you have missed me as much as I have you, my love.”

“That is unkind of you, sir,” she replied dropping her eyes before his fiery scrutiny, thankful that the shadows hid the warm glow his embrace brought to her cheeks.

“But oh, how I have longed for you, my dear friend.”

He smiled mischievously, once more drawing her to him, the better to study her features. “So, you will still insist on calling me your dear friend, sweetheart. I had hoped for something more.”

“You will always be my dearest friend,” she replied meeting his gaze openly. “Whatever else you may become, you will still be my friend.”

“Tell me then, my little friend, do friends marry?”

“Of course they do,” she replied without hesitation.

“Who else would tend me when I am nauseous and become a burden?”

He laughed, his green eyes dancing with delight, his face transformed. “If that is to be my role in life, then I must bear it with what fortitude I can muster, imp. Then sobering slightly, “Does it matter to you that we have known each other so short a time, for to me it seems an
eternity?”

“Not a whit,” she replied cradling his hand against her cheek. “For me the seed was set when you so obstinately refused to desert me to my fates on The Mistral. It showed an unparalleled fortitude and a kindness I will never forget.”

“I wish you would, my dear,” he said, attempting to hide his smile, “for I can see you regaling our grandchildren with it in years to come and it will do nothing to enhance the superior image that I would cultivate.”

“I assure you your image is quite safe, sir, for will I not tell them what a true and faithful friend you are and how I have come to love you?”

He would have taken her in his arms once more but the sound of a door opening at the further end of the corridor drove them guiltily apart and instead, he clasped her fingers securely in his and led her to the stairs.

“In my eagerness I have become remiss in my duties,” he said. “You are no doubt impatient to know the results of my journey and to see the babe, and you must tell me of Harry and what is to be done. We have so much to arrange. I must warn you, however, that we are increased in numbers. When we set out on the journey we were two, anticipated four, and now we become six. We will present quite a cavalcade on our return.”

She smiled, returning the pressure of his fingers. “I care not however many we become as long as I have my dear friend, for without him I am disconsolate.”

This did not go unrewarded and having achieved the first landing, he found it necessary to quickly catch her to him.

“My love, I can see you will be an enchanting wife,” he chuckled before briefly kissing her upturned face.

Read the Reviews!

“My Dearest Friend is an historic romance in an unusual but undoubtedly moving style…”

–The Long and The Short of It

“My Dearest Friend is a very tender love story about two people who are dearest friends first before marriage. The characters are likeable and their expressions almost dance across the pages. The reader cannot help but be caught up in their life. Ms. Statham blends all the right elements that breathe life into this well-written classic that I recommend.”

–Cherokee, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance

“My Dearest Friend is an intricately woven tapestry of life and death and shows us the inner workings of the nobility. The story starts off well and continues to build momentum to the last page.”

– Robyn Once Upon a Romance

My Dearest Friend Tour Schedule

Monday, August 15th

Book spotlighted at Books, Products and More!

Tuesday, August 16th

Guest blogging at The Hot Author Report

Wednesday, August 17th

Interviewed at Examiner

Interviewed at Blogcriticsbooks

Thursday, August 18th

Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Book spotlighted at The Plot

Friday, August 19th

Character interviewed at The Plot

Book spotlighted at Broowaha

Monday, August 22nd

Book reviewed at Debbie’s Book Bag

Tuesday, August 23rd

Book reviewed at The Book Connection

Wednesday, August 24th

Guest blogging at Literal Exposure

Thursday, August 25th

Book reviewed at A Book Lover Forever

Friday, August 26th

Book reviewed at The Hot Author Report

Consequence by Hazel Statham

Consequence Banner

Join Hazel Statham, author of the Regency romance novel, Consequence (Avalon Books), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in August on her fifth virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book.

About Hazel

Hazel read her first Regency Romance, Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer, when she was seventeen and knew that at last she had found her era.Hazel photo

She had been writing since she was fifteen and had mainly been influenced by authors like Austen, the Brontes and Sabatini, but Georgette Heyer opened up the romance and elegance of the eighteen and nineteenth century and she fell head over heels in love with it.

She devoured her books in very quick succession and wanted nothing more than to recreate her own Regency world. History had always been her favorite subject at school and it was just one small step to portray it in her work.

However, despite today’s trend to produce ‘hotter’ novels, she writes ‘traditional’ Regency Romance and closes the door on her characters when they retire. So much emotion can be conveyed by a mere glance or a single word that she doesn’t feel it necessary to leave the metaphorical door open to convey the emotions of the moment. The merest hint is often sufficient to stimulate the reader’s imagination and to go into detail is totally unnecessary.

Hazel has been married to her husband since 1969 and they share their home with a lovely Labrador named Mollie. Apart from reading and writing historical novels, Hazel’s other ruling passion is animals and, until recently, she was treasurer for an organization that raised money for animal charities.

Hazel loves to hear from her readers and promises to answer all mail. Consequence is her latest release.

Visit her online at www.hazel-statham.co.uk.

Consequence jpgAbout Consequence

In the wake of a duel, Marcel Blake, the Duke of Lear, an infamous rake and gamester, leaves London to visit his cousin in Paris. Here he meets and falls in love with Julie, the British ambassador’s daughter. Thinking she would be horrified if she learned of his reputation, Marcel fights the attraction; but when he is wounded while saving her from the unwanted advances of a less-than-desirable would-be suitor, Marcel finds that she returns his affections.

Ultimately, vengeance conspires against them; at their wedding reception, Julie is maliciously informed of Marcel’s previous life of misdeeds, and she’s led to believe that he only married her to please the king. With this insurmountable gulf suddenly between them, will Marcel prove his reformation, woo his wife, and find happiness with her, or is the sudden desolation in Julie’s heart impossible to overcome? Have Marcel’s games finally caught up to him for good?

Read an Excerpt!

Everyone had gone to the hunt excepting Julie, who had pleaded a headache, Lady Markham who never rode to hounds and his grace who did not think fox hunting in France held any interest.

It was about half an hour before mid-day when his grace, about to enter the library, heard a scuffle and a muffled cry come from the drawing room, and vaguely interested in its source, languidly opened the drawing room door. The scene that met his gaze however, cast aside all languor. Julie was found to be struggling in Coustellet passionate embrace, most obviously repulsed by his amorous attentions and vainly attempting to free herself from his hold. Coustellet having his back to the door neither saw nor heard the duke’s entrance, and it was with no mild surprise that he felt his collar taken in a strangling grip and himself thrown bodily to the floor.

After briefly asserting that Julie was unhurt, Marcel wrenched a bemused Coustellet to his feet and drove his fist into his jaw. Staggering back, Coustellet shook his head before rushing forward like an enraged bull. Throwing a wild right he caught the point of the duke’s jaw but a follow up to this move was confused by his grace serving him a heavy blow to the chest, which felled him to the ground. Again Coustellet was on his feet and this time was favored with a lucky punch that drew a spattering of blood from the duke’s nose. The thrashing that his grace then administered to the unfortunate gallant was suddenly cut short by Coustellet who, finding himself once more companion to the floor, in desperation, grabbed a nearby foot-stool and, quickly rising, dealt his grace a foul blow to the side of his head.

Marcel sank semi-conscious to his knees while Coustellet, taking full advantage of the situation, ran to the open casement by which he had entered and beat a hasty retreat in the direction of the stables.

Julie ran stumbling forward to help the duke whom, having risen rather shakily to his feet, was gingerly feeling the swelling that was fast forming over his left temple. However he managed to execute a graceful if somewhat short bow. “You must forgive me, my dear,” he said succumbing to Julie’s ministrations and sitting in a large chair. “It was not my wish that you should be witness to such a vulgar turn of fisticuffs, especially one in which I should suffer the indignity of being defeated by a foot stool!”

There had been a light of amusement in the duke’s eye as he spoke these last few words and Julie could not help but give a reluctant chuckle. “It was neat was it not?” she agreed. “If only Bertram could have seen you he would have been your eternal friend. There’s nothing he likes better than a mill.”

“In that case perhaps I should repeat the whole performance for his edification,” said the duke, with an attempt at levity. Seeing that her hand trembled, he took her fingers in his warm clasp, his gaze intent on her face. “Did he hurt you?” he asked quietly.
“Apart from a few cracked ribs, I think not,” she said in an attempt to mirror his flippancy. She tentatively raised her finger to the bruise that was spreading at his temple. “It is you who are hurt, sir, and all for my sake. I do beg your pardon. Coustellet entered unannounced and took me by surprise. I had thought him at the hunt with the others but, upon finding me absent, he came back to Sefron supposing me to be alone.” Julie’s eyes fell before the duke’s fiery scrutiny, “and – and then he tried to force his attentions on me,” she stammered, unable to hide her distress at the situation, and whispered with a catch in her voice, “I don’t know what I would have done if you had not intervened.”

“Probably used the footstool on him,” replied the duke with a lightness he was far from feeling. Then unable to disguise his anger any longer, “I shall find it necessary to pay our amorous friend a visit in the very near future, so if you would be so kind as to furnish me with his direction…”

“No!” she cried hotly, then, as the duke looked sharply at her, she said a little more calmly, “I will not allow you to be put out on my account, sir.”

“I think Coustellet has already put me out as you term it,” purred the duke at his most unpleasant. “There is now an issue between us that must be settled. His actions toward you cannot be allowed to go unpunished.”

“But it must go no further,” she persisted. “No one must know, not even my father who holds Coustellet in strong aversion. It would be said that I encouraged him by staying away from the hunt, apparently alone.” Her gaze swept his face and as if suddenly becoming aware that his fingers still held hers, she pulled her hand away, saying “Where are my senses, your head must ache terribly and there is a very large bruise fast appearing.”

“You need not worry,” said the duke, making to rise.

Julie gently but firmly pressed him back into the chair. “I will get you something for the swelling,” she said, and without waiting for an answer hurried from the room.

His grace was not very much hurt, but of a sudden had taken a liking to being pampered and allowed Julie, when she returned, to bathe his temple with a cooling lotion. She perched herself on the arm of his chair requiring him to hold a small china bowl wherein reposed the soothing liquid and gently bathed the offending lump.

The duke, deeming it prudent not to mention Coustellet, in an attempt to divert her thoughts asked lightly, “Did you enjoy your season in London?”
Julie smiled ruefully, thankful for the diversion. “I’m afraid my aunt who was to have brought me out suffered a seizure just before the season began and so my debut had to be postponed. However, Papa has promised that I will have a season next year.”

“No doubt your debut will be a great success, my dear,” he said, smiling. Indeed, it is an event I shall look forward to with great anticipation.”

As Julie gently smiled in response, he involuntarily became fascinated by the turn of her delicate cheek, and for the moment, imagined his lips resting there. Mentally taking himself to task, he attempted to banish such errant thoughts but against his will, the fascination remained. When, inadvertently spilling some of the liquid on his coat, Julie leaned closer to his profile in an attempt to dab away the offending liquid, he found the temptation impossible to resist. Without conscious thought, he gently tilted up her chin and tenderly kissed the sweet roundness of her face.

For a moment she gazed blankly at him, and then with a sudden cry, ran from the room and up to her apartments, locking her door against all intruders and there spent the remainder of the day.

The Duke of Lear, cursing himself for being every type of fool reflected that he had treated her hardly better than Coustellet by taking advantage of her trusting innocence. It had however, taken him completely by surprise that he could feel so tenderly toward her, for he had thought himself impervious to her charms and it was in some consternation that he also retired to his room.

Consequence Tour Schedule

 

Monday, August 1st

Guest blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Tuesday, August 2nd

Book reviewed at Debbie’s Book Bagbooks

Wednesday, August 3rd

Book reviewed at Broken Teepee

Thursday, August 4th

Book spotlighted at The Plot

Interviewed at One Writer’s Journey

Friday, August 5th

Character interviewed at The Plot

Book reviewed at Words I Write Crazy

Monday, August 8th

Interviewed at As the Pages Turn

Tuesday, August 9th

Book reviewed at Reviews by Molly

Wednesday, August 10th

Book reviewed at A Book Lover Forever

Thursday, August 11th

Interviewed at Paperback Writer

Book reviewed at The Hot Author Report

Friday, August 12th

Book reviewed at Life in Review

Hazel Statham’s CONSEQUENCE VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR will officially begin on August 1st and end on August 12th, 2011. This tour is now filled. Thank you for your interest.

The Hand He Dealt by Tanith Davenport

Astra Scott likes to live life to the full. A sorority girl and Gaming Management student, she spends her days studying and practicing guitar, and her nights partying or working at the Fountain Casino, where she has an internship as part of her final semester.

The only blot on her landscape is Ash Drake, her best friend Sasha’s boyfriend. Arrogant, physical and blond, Ash has never forgiven Astra for her rejection months earlier and enjoys annoying her at every turn.

But when Astra’s boyfriend Harry reveals a shocking secret, Astra responds in the only way she can think of: by finding a way to take on a more attractive, masculine role in the relationship. Her experimentation with sex toys finds a surprising outlet in Sasha, but when Ash discovers their secret and wants to get involved, Astra finds herself torn between dislike and desire… and as their undercover relationship grows, Astra finds herself falling in love, a path she feels can only end in heartbreak.

For Ash may be the only man whose own fantasies are a match for hers, but can she knowingly steal his affections from her best friend?

http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=1244

Would you like to win an ecopy of The Hand He Dealt?

One copy is being given away tour wide.

To enter just leave a comment at one or all of the stops along the tour

A winner will be chosen from all the tour stops after the tour ends. The winner will be announced on the Bewitching Book Tours site.

EXCERPT

Read the rest of this entry

Karma and Melodies by Katie Salidas

Kendra used to spend her days organizing events for Café Enigma while daydreaming about Marcus, the sexy lead singer of Normal Paradox. But all those dreams of becoming Mrs. Rock Star died, along with her mortality, the moment Hector entered her life and turned her into a vampire.

Ten torturous years later, Kendra finally escapes Hector and runs straight into Marcus. (Well, actually, he hit her with his car, but that’s beside the point.) The accident leaves Marcus concussed and a few pints too low, forcing Kendra to share her blood to save him.

Sharing her blood doesn’t just heal Marcus’s wounds; it bonds him to Kendra in a magical “can’t live without you” sort of way. Now he’s professing his undying love to her, and Kendra’s not sure if he’s for real or just experiencing the side effects of their new blood bond. Either way, the two of them can’t be separated without suffering suicidal levels of depression, and the band needs to hit the road for the rest of their cross-country tour.

Kendra’s content to travel with the band and explore her new-found relationship, until whispered threats from her master, Hector, start invading her dreams. He’s tracking her down, and she can feel it. She knows the horrors he’s capable of, and if he finds out about Marcus, Hector will do everything in his power to destroy him.

If she stays, Marcus is doomed to Hector’s wrath. If she goes, the repercussions of their bond might kill Marcus. Both options will break Kendra’s heart. If they’re truly meant for each other, they’ll have to find another way….

Amazon USA

About Katie Salidas

Katie Salidas is a Super Woman! Endowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women, she can get the munchkin off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons. She can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime… And, She still finds the time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). She can do all of this and still have time to write.

And if you can believe all of those lies, there is some beautiful swamp land in Florida for sale…

Katie Salidas resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mother, wife, and author, she does try to do it all, often causing sleep deprivation and many nights passed out at the computer. Writing books is her passion, and she hopes that her passion will bring you hours of entertainment.

http://www.katiesalidas.com/

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Eternal Hearts by Jennifer Turner

Toni Tutoro just wants to go home. Banned from Chicago’s vampiric society after cutting a swath of violence through the city, she must now successfully complete an investigation for the Lord of Chicago to regain the right to live in her hometown again.

To ensure Toni’s safety during her probationary period, Drake Black, a feared assassin, is secretly contracted to protect her. Even with direct orders to keep his relationship professional, and his own personal vow to never get involved with a female vampire again, Drake finds himself drawn to Toni in ways he can’t explain. But unbeknownst to him, he’s tied to one of the people who drove Toni to her night of destruction.

Drake’s legendary heritage holds the key to Toni’s survival and success, but will she be able to forgive his connection to the brutal night that robbed her of those she loved most? Will Drake be able to forget the betrayals in his past and risk taking one more chance? But most of all, can they find a way to reach each other in the darkness?

Read an Excerpt

Every muscle Toni owned tensed as she stared up into the angry eyes of Lord Christian Locke, Mr. Fancy Pants himself, right there…in the flesh. She silently cursed her horrible luck as he deftly stepped around Drake and moved to stand directly in front of her.

For the second time that night, she shifted between her feet as a pair of veiled blue eyes bored into her. But unlike Drake’s, Christian’s eyes weren’t filled with sadness and pain – his were as cold and calculating as she remembered. And if anything else lurked somewhere deep behind them, anything at all, she either couldn’t see it or didn’t know how to recognize the emotions.

What she hoped was inside him somewhere was compassion and warmth. She wanted to believe that behind those frigid blue eyes and kingly demeanor was a good man, who just did everything he could to hide his true feelings from the world.

That’s what she wanted to believe – but that didn’t mean it was true.
She’d been burned enough times to know that what you wanted to believe was inside someone, and what was truly there…were sometimes two very different things.

Silence stung the air for what felt like an hour before he finally opened his mouth. “Miss Tutoro, I’m so happy to see you’ve made it back to our fair city unharmed. Please, enlighten me as to why you’ve come home. I’m absolutely dying to know.” His smooth English accent made him sound every bit as snotty as he looked.

Feeling forced to defend herself in a way she wasn’t prepared for; Toni returned his sarcasm with a dash of her own. “As always, Christian, you’re looking lovely this evening. Did Armani make that suit especially for you? It’s simply ravishing,” she quipped, trying to mimic his accent.

It didn’t mix well with the Spanish hint she already had.

She tried not to smile when she heard Drake snort, but she couldn’t help it. She knew she should be nice, knew Christian Locke held everything she wanted in his fancy little manicured hands, but something about the smug, holier-than-thou look on his face just screamed for her to do everything in her power to annoy him.

“Do you find my suit unacceptable?” His sharp tone practically dared her to respond.

“Well, since you asked,” she said as she took a step back and gave him an obvious once over, “you might wanna tell him to keep his eye on the scissors. Your right sleeve looks a tad longer than your left.”

He didn’t react. Instead, he continued to stare at her with glaring disinterest. She thought she remembered how unsettling that stare was, but she was wrong. It made her feel icky all the way down to her toes this time. Last time it was only to her knees.

But she just…couldn’t…stop. “Oh wait, that’s right.” She waved a hand at him. “It’s all coming back to me now. It’s you that’s off. Your right arm’s just a little longer than your left, isn’t it?” She blew out a sigh then offered him her most sympathetic smile. “We can’t all be perfect, can we?”

“Miss Tutoro, it would seem to me if one was seeking solace in a city they’d already been thrown out of once, one would adopt a little more humble attitude. Wouldn’t you agree?” The new, much darker edge to his voice sent fear tap dancing down her spine.

Toni sucked in a deep breath and slowly nodded. He was right. He was the only one who could give her permission to stay in Chicago, and here she was, treating him like crap.

She looked back up at him, hoping he could hear the truth in every word she was about to say. “I just wanted to come home, Christian. I’ve been driving around the country, trying to find a place that feels right. I’ve been in more cities than I can count, and I still haven’t found one that feels like home.” She struggled to keep her voice steady. “I’m not here to cause trouble, I swear. I just wanna see faces that actually smile at me again. I wanna sleep a full day without nightmares.” She turned away when she lost the battle against her tears.

How could she explain what Chicago meant to her? How much she needed to be home?

After a few moments passed, Toni wiped her cheeks and cleared her throat. She had to make him understand. But as she turned to face him again, a feeling of doom settled deep into the pit of her stomach.

He seemed to be watching her with an odd, detached curiosity.

Wanting desperately to believe she could reach him, she forced herself to continue. “This city stays with me wherever I go. I was born here, and for every awful memory I have here, there are still fifty good ones.” She lowered her eyes when his face didn’t change. “I don’t know what I was thinking…you wouldn’t understand.”

“Have you secured yourself a place to stay? I know you haven’t purchased any homes or leased an apartment. There are also no reservations for you or any of your aliases at any hotel in the city.”

Toni surrendered with a spiteful laugh. He hadn’t changed at all. “No, Christian, I haven’t broken your rules by making any permanent arrangements. I have my car. That’s it.” She narrowed her eyes when a look of pure amusement swept across his face, instantly churning her doomed feeling into seething anger. “Look, if you’re gonna throw me out or kill me, could you get on with it already? It’s getting late and I don’t have much time to run before the sun comes up. You’re at least gonna be a good sport about this, right?”

His sharp features took on the texture of concrete. “I will arrange for you to stay in a suite at my hotel. When you arrive in the lobby, give the desk clerk your name and he’ll take care of your needs.” One of his brows rose slightly as his eyes moved over her. “I’ll also have him make a few calls in order to procure you an article of clothing more befitting a woman. I expect you dressed appropriately when you arrive at my office tomorrow evening, where we’ll finish discussing your official request to stay in my city. Be there at Midnight, not a second later.”

It took everything Toni had not to look down at the sidewalk to see if her jaw had landed on one of his expensive Italian shoes. What did he say? Was she still sleeping?

Was she really in Chicago?

She barely registered the weight lift from her body as Christian’s gaze shifted up to Drake, who at some point during the conversation had moved to stand behind her.

“Mr. Black, it’s a pleasure as always,” he said as he extended a hand, which Drake easily accepted. “Since it would appear my Head of Enforcement felt so comfortable leaving Miss Tutoro in your capable hands, you’ll understand if I ask that you remain with her for now. Unfortunately, I have it on good authority that once Brick and 8-Ball finish sanitizing the scene on Rush Street, they’re going to find themselves otherwise occupied for a time.”

Toni stiffened at his words. “Christian, please don’t hurt them. I’m the one who called 8-Ball. He warned me not to come, but I didn’t listen. If you’re gonna punish someone, punish me. It’s my fault. They don’t deserve to get…” Her words faded into mumbles as Drake’s big hand clamped tight over her mouth.

“I’ll stay with her, Lord Locke. It’s not a problem.”

When the monster inside her thrashed and growled, Toni committed to the only action that blind instinct would allow – she sank her teeth into one of Drake’s meaty fingers.

“Ouch!” He ripped is hand away from her mouth. “I can’t believe you just fucking bit me! I should’ve known better.”

She whipped around to face him and jammed a finger into his chest. “Don’t you ever try to silence me again! Brick and 8-Ball are my friends, and I don’t wanna see anything happen to them. And I’d rather be put in the sun for five seconds because I said too much, than stand here knowing they might end up with some punishment they don’t deserve. I don’t even know you that well, but if Christian tried to pin you as an accessory to this whole, awful situation just because you’re standing here with me, I’d do the same for you!”

He couldn’t have looked any more shocked if she’d hoisted her leg up and kicked him in the junk. “You’d endure a Trial By Sun, for me? Lady, you don’t even know me.”

“I may not know you, but so far all you’ve tried to do is help.” She withdrew her hand. “You didn’t have to offer to stay with me so 8-Ball could go with Brick, but you did, and I appreciate that. It means a lot more to me than you’ll ever know.” She turned away from him as the stupid tears she’d been fighting all night welled up yet again. “I’d do anything for my friends. So just keep your big hands away from my mouth and we should be fine.”

Toni drew a deep breath in an attempt to pull her scrambled emotions together, then eyed Christian, who had a smile she could only describe as evil stretched all the way across his face. “What the hell are you smiling at now?”

He actually laughed at her. “Nothing, Miss Tutoro. Nothing at all.”
She fisted her hands. “Please, just promise me you won’t hurt them.”

“I have absolutely no intention of hurting them. After all, it does me no good if my Enforcement Team is out of commission.” If it was possible, his smile turned even more malicious at the edges. “However, I’m sure they’ll wish I had offered a physical punishment by the time I finish speaking with them about the disrespectful practice of keeping secrets from their Lord. If I remember correctly, don’t those of the Warrior lineage just love a good, long lecture?”

When Drake’s loud laughter boomed behind her, Toni had to smile. If there was one punishment she knew 8-Ball hated, it was some Trump giving him the verbal what-for. He’d always complained that Trumps had a bad habit of using words bigger than their egos, which as far as he could tell, no board room could hold without serious structural damage.
Not that 8-Ball was really one to talk when it came to huge egos, but she’d gladly take him and Brick being on the business end of a lecture over the possible alternatives any day.

“Now, Miss Tutoro, if you would kindly excuse me, I have other pressing business this evening. And please, do find yourself a coat. It’s far too cold to be out in the city without one. Actions as such make the humans look twice.” He gave a curt nod before he turned and walked back to his car. “Oh, and Mr. Black,” he called as he slid into the backseat, “please see to it that your charge arrives at my hotel within the hour.” He’d no more than finished his request before the door closed and his car was gone.

Toni watched as the glowing red taillights of the Lord of Chicago’s white Mercedes quickly faded in the distance. What the hell had just happened?

You’ve entered the Twilight Zone, that’s what just happened. She nodded in response to the voice in her mind. The last courtesy she’d expected when Locke had stepped out of his car was the offer of a meeting and a suite at his hotel. A swift kick in the behind and a warning to be out before sunrise, most definitely, especially since that was the response she’d gotten from the Lords of other cities as soon as she told them her name. But a warm place to stay without the threat of being hunted by the Enforcement Team…not even close.

Now, if she could only keep her mouth under control at the meeting…

She turned and looked up at Drake at the thought. Apparently, the meeting wasn’t the only place she needed to keep her mouth to herself.

She rested a hand on his forearm. “I’m sorry I bit you.”

He wrinkled his nose like a five year old and made a production of rubbing his booboo. “Me, too.”

“Oh, please.” She grabbed the offended hand and pressed a kiss to the wounded finger that had probably healed the second he’d removed it from her mouth. “There. All better.”

He jerked his arm back as though she’d touched him with an open flame. “Don’t do that.” The pain in his eyes deepened right before that invisible curtain slammed back into place. He flashed a smile that wasn’t true. “The last place my fingers need to be is anywhere near your mouth. You’ve already proven you’re a biter.”

Toni mirrored his false smile, even though what she wanted to do was ask why he kept trying to be someone else. But then, she knew all too well what it felt like not to be happy with who you were. She’d felt that way for the last three years, and to this day, she’d give anything to go back to who she was before. Back to a time when her life consisted of more than running to stay alive, back to before one night and a few bad decisions changed everything.

She stared down at his hand. “If I hurt you, Drake, I really am sorry.”

A long moment of silence stretched between them before he asked, “Can I ask you a question?”

She nodded, but couldn’t quite meet his eyes. “Sure.”

“Why do you apologize so much?”

“Because…” She bit at the inside of her bottom lip then cleared her throat. “Because I promised myself a long time ago that I’d never waste a chance to tell someone how I really feel. That I’d never walk away from someone I knew I’d hurt without telling them I was sorry…even if they couldn’t hear me.”

“Well,” he sighed, his voice seemingly filled with the same regret she felt. He rested a warm hand on her shoulder, sending a shiver down her spine. “Even though my finger will probably get all infected now and swell up like a bloated corpse, I want you to know that I’ll probably forgive you someday.” He slid his hand down her arm and squeezed her fingers tight. “But today’s not your day…and tomorrow ain’t lookin’ too good either.”

She ripped her hand away from him when he burst into a loud fit of laughter. “Oh my God!” She grabbed a fistful of his long hair then yanked his face down to her level. “What’s wrong with you? Why would you say something like that to me? What did I ever do to you?”

“Ow, ow, ow. You’re hurting me. Say you’re sorry! Say you’re sorry!”
She tugged hard on his hair again, but this time all she could do was laugh at the exaggerated way he bent at the waist and contorted sideways as his face scrunched up. “You’re just not right.”

He flashed the most beautiful, most genuine smile she’d ever seen. “Yeah, but now you’re laughing.”

She slowly released her hold on his hair, noticing for the first time how soft the dark strands felt as they slipped between her fingers. She couldn’t remember the last time someone had tried to make her laugh. Couldn’t recall, aside from 8-Ball and Brick, the last time she’d been touched by a vampire who wasn’t trying to kill her.

She looked up at Drake, watching the way his eyes seemed to lighten a little more every second he stared back at her, until not even a trace of the sadness remained. Where the darkness had gone or why, she didn’t know, but she’d been alone and unwanted for so long that she wasn’t sure whether to smile because he made her feel so good, or cry because she knew she didn’t deserve it.

You don’t deserve it. Toni swallowed the jagged knot tightening her throat and backed away from the man who had no idea what kind of monster he stood so close to. “We should probably head for Locke’s hotel.” She tucked her hair behind her ears as the frigid wind picked up around them. “When we get there, I’ll see if I can find someone who knows him. Maybe I can get his number and talk him into letting you go. I’m sure you’ve got better things to do than be stuck with someone like me. Someone you don’t even know.”

“Oh. Hell. No.” He folded his arms over his chest while that adorable, lopsided grin from earlier reformed on his lips. “I’m not going to the hotel yet. I’m not moving an inch until you say it.”

She blinked at him. “Say what?”

“Say what?” His mouth gaped open like a suffocating fish. “I want you to say you’re sorry for pulling my hair. I want you to say you’re sorry for almost snapping my spine in two.” He scuffed one of his big black boots against the sidewalk. “There’s ice down there, ya know. I almost fell, and I don’t have health insurance yet.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes. I want an apology.”

She moved to stand in front of him again. “I’m sorry that I bit you. I’m sorry that I pulled your hair. And I’m sorry if I hurt you, because that’s not what I wanted.” She tipped her head back and stared into his eyes. “And I’m sorry that the longer you’re around me, the more I’ll have to say I’m sorry…because I will hurt you again. I’m sorry Brick and 8-Ball had to leave. I’m sorry you got stuck with me. And I’m sorry that I couldn’t be in this city for more than an hour without fucking everything up again. You have no idea just how sorry I am. But I promise I’ll do everything I can to get Christian to let you go. Now, can we go to the hotel?”

“Wow.” His blue eyes widened as he inhaled a deep breath. “When you Warriors swing…you really go for the fences don’t you? And then that fence, and that one, then the one over there, then you run back to where you started and do it all over again.” He shook his head. “Truthfully, I don’t know how you do it, because I’m getting tired just watching you.”

Toni gave in to the light tugging sensation at the corners of her mouth when Drake started laughing again. Deep and damningly contagious, the rich sound rolled over her in a soothing wave, making the air feel just a little bit warmer, a little less empty.

“I have an idea.” He rubbed his hands together then blew a breath between them. “How ‘bout you pick a mood and stick with it for five minutes, I’ll worry about what I’m getting myself into, and we’ll head to the hotel where they have this great invention called heat.”

She studied him for a minute, watching the steady rise and fall of his chest as he breathed, the way each breath that slipped past his lips became a burst of steam as it mingled with the cold air, and how his tongue darted out every so often to moisten those lips.

Everything about him was human…

And from what she could tell, he didn’t even try. He didn’t stop to concentrate every few minutes. Didn’t appear to give as much as a second thought to the human functions he maintained. He imitated life with perfection, down to the very last detail, as though he’d never lost it.

She bit down hard on the inside of her cheek as jealousy tingled through her again. He was right. She seriously needed to get her emotions under control. She’d already bitten the poor guy once because she’d let the beast get the better of her, the least she could do was pick one fence to swing at. Besides, how much damage could she do to him in less than 24 hours?

About Jennifer Turner

Jennifer Turner lives in Bowling Green, Ohio, with her husband, twelve year old daughter and two cats. She regularly claims one of the aforementioned takes far more work than the others to maintain – but she won’t share which one. She’s the middle child between two brothers, and the favorite child of her parents. Of course, that’s always subject to opinion. Jennifer began her writing career as a self-published romance author, but is now represented by Robert Gottlieb, Chairman of Trident Media Group.

www.darknesswithinnovels.com
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Love Bleeds by Maggie James

There’s no such thing as vampires…

Straight-laced Katarina Renót is well educated, logical and doesn’t believe vampires truly exist. But when a well deserved holiday in Europe turns into a torrid game of cat and mouse with a handsome stranger and her best friend is exhibiting signs of being allergic to daylight-Kat doesn’t think her life can get any stranger.

Every man has a weakness…Even an immortal…

Joseph Markus is an arrogant, wealthy entrepreneur who spends his free time as the raspy lead singer for the rock band “Slang” and seducing beautiful women. After decades of mourning the tragic death of the only woman he ever loved, vying to save his best friend from an unrelenting death wish- now he is accused of being a murderer.

An undeniable twist of fate…

Kat learns her Prince Charming is actually the “Prince of Darkness” and though she can’t resist falling for this sultry vampire, she still lives in denial. But when the lines are drawn, and Kat finds herself caught in the middle of a deadly plot for revenge she has only one choice–trust the seductive vampire who has captured her heart.

Despite his own arrogance, Joe finds himself inexplicably drawn to Kat. Her stubborn will to resist his seductive charms coupled with her endearing naiveté prove to be more than he bargained for and Joe soon realizes he is in way over his head.

But will love be enough to save their immortal souls from the grips of a twisted obsession?

Amazon book listing: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004QWZ850

Amazon U.K book listing:   https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004QWZ850

Barnes & Noble listing:  http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Love-Bleeds/Maggie-James/e/2940012187390

Smashwords listing:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/45777

***

Born and raised in Central New Jersey, Maggie James is a proud ‘Jersey Girl’ who still resides there with her husband of 23 years and their children. Maggie prides herself on being a wildly romantic “Jersey Girl” with a passion for vampires, rock music and romance novels. She successfully combined these 3 elements in “LOVE BLEEDS” her sexy new tantalizing paranormal romance, the first installment in the Only After Dark series. (Book Two coming soon!)

Maggie writes what she loves to read–Sizzling romantic novels containing the dark, mysterious and handsome alpha male and the strong willed, die-hard souled heroine who, despite her better judgement, can’t resist him. Their worlds collide and you can’t help yourself from being swept away into their irresistable world of passion and chivlary; heartbreak and reconciliation.

You can follow Maggie on Facebook, Twitter, Blogger to keep updated on her newest & upcoming releases. Please feel free to leave a comment…Maggie loves to hear from her readers and fans!

Blog link:  http://maggiejames-author.blogspot.com/

A Little Bit of Passion by Beate Boeker

About Beate Boeker

I’m in my forties, married, and have a young daughter. A university diploma in International Business gave me the opportunity to work and live in Hong Kong, the United States, Indonesia, France, and Scotland. I speak German (my mother language), English, French, and Italian fluently.

Right now, I live in the north of Germany and work as a marketing manager. That’s why I know all about the art of choosing a product that fits into the right slot in the market.

It was inevitable that I should work with books sooner or later; I even have it in my name: Boeker is the word for books in the local German dialect and my first name Beate is straight from Latin and can be translated as ‘Happy’. With a name that reads ‘Happy Books’, what else could I do but write romances?

About A Little Bit of Passion

Karen calls herself a modern gypsy because she has split her life into two perfect halves: In winter, she’s a skiing teacher in the Teton Mountain Range, and in summer, she works at her book store on Long Island.

But one Easter holiday, John and his son Gerry join her skiing group, and her perfect universe is shaken. Her e-mails to her best friend Leslie are without restraint, ironic and illogical, furious and funny, sensitive and sad – just like her life.

But can she overcome her need for independence and find a compromise between her free life and the man who might be the love of her life?

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
Teton Mountain Range

Dear Leslie,

Do you remember the guy who made me think for the first time that I’m too old to teach skiing? I was so glad when he finished his course last year and took his turtle-y head elsewhere.
Well, he’s back.

I greeted my new ten o’clock group this morning, and the instant I finished presenting myself, he sidled out from behind someone else’s back and stared at me with his half closed eyes. A shiver ran down my spine, and I’m sure I looked as if I had discovered a huge spider amongst the Easter eggs. He must have hidden at the guest-house this morning, or I would have been on my guard.

I turned my back on him as soon as I could, but I knew he continued watching me, his head swiveling from left to right like a hundred year old turtle. That image really fits, right down to the wrinkles all over the face and the folds in the neck. You can’t imagine how stiffly I moved all at once, like a wooden doll, waiting for his first filthy comment.

I didn’t have to wait long. Just as I showed them how to swing into an arc, he muttered in that penetrating voice of his, “Show me again how to swing that hip, baby. It’s so inspiring.”

I ignored him with clenched teeth.

But of course he didn’t let go. He lifted his voice and repeated: “Baby, I said show me again how to swing that hip. I’m here to learn, and you’re here to teach.”

The group stared a him.

A woman called Minnie started to giggle.

I fixed the turtle with a stare as hard as I could. “My name is Karen.”

“Oh, my, baby, I’m so sorry. I forgot. I thought you’d given me leave to call you some other names.”

What could I say? The management has made it clear to me that I have to keep the customers happy no matter what. Every time I complain about the turtle or other types, they say I should “endeavor to be a little bit more skilled in the art of flirting”. After all, the other instructors don’t complain, so it must be me, right? Why, oh why, do so many men think the skiing teacher is part of the package tour?

I closed my eyes and tried to remember why I love my job. The purple mountains. The air like chilled white wine. The joy of flying across the snow. Meeting many wonderful people, teaching them how to ski better. And the nasty ones don’t stay long, so it’s easy to bear. Usually.

I knew I had to put a stop to it right away; he would only make it worse if I laid down now. “I can’t remember giving you leave to call me anything but Karen,” I said and swished around to show them the arc once again.

Without giving them time for comment, I made them go through the motions. It’s a mixed group, aged from thirteen to fifty, I would say. I’ll separate them into beginners and advanced tomorrow, but unfortunately, I have promised Steve to take the advanced group this time, and the turtle is advanced, there’s no denying that.

When I asked the turtle to take his turn, he managed to brush by me and yelled, “Oh, my, I’m so sorry, Kare-een, I lost my footing.”
My face burnt so much, it’s a wonder I didn’t melt a hole into the snow, but I clenched my teeth and didn’t comment.

Next came the youngest of the group. He made a very creditable arc, and when he pushed past me on his way back, I said “Well done”.
The youngster cast me a glance and said in a low voice “Don’t mind that jerk.”

Underneath his red cap two gray eyes fixed me earnestly. He has lashes every female will envy, thick and long and straight. But what floored me was the spattering of freckles across his nose.

I swallowed and promised myself to dispatch the turtle somehow, to avoid spoiling that kid’s Easter holiday.

So if you read about the murder of a turtle in the Teton Mountain Range, make sure you get a good attorney, because it’ll be hard to wriggle out of this one.

Love,
Karen

*Come back tomorrow for Five Things You Didn’t Know About Karen, the main character in A Little Bit of Passion*

Tom Jones Club by Kathy Holmes

Kathy Holmes: She often says that she was “Born in the City of Angels, raised on Walt Disney, and inspired by the dreams of both.”

Maybe she should say something about being conceived in San Francisco, but it doesn’t sound quite as poetic. Her agent said that she had a poetic, almost lyrical writing style and she’ll be forever grateful to her for saying that.

Kathy grew up halfway between Disneyland and the beach with influences from nearby Hollywood during the Mad Men era. No wonder there’s usually some sort of retro scene in her writing.

Her mother was part Betty/part Joan –  sometimes she was a full-time stay-at-home mom – sometimes she had to girdle herself up with garters, hose, and heels and take the plunge into the male chauvinistic office politics of that era.

Kathy’s step dad was a mix of Elvis and Don Draper – southern California-style. She ventured all over southern California on the back of his motorcycle – no wonder her favorite Mad Men scenes are the ones where Don Draper is visiting SoCal.

It’s also no wonder she sometimes feels like Sally Draper – about the same age back then. She understands the father issues since Kathy didn’t formally meet her sailor boy father until after the age of 40 and subsequently wrote Myths of the Fatherless. Kathy wonders what will become of Sally. As for Kathy, she found her way back to the place of her conception and worked for advertising agencies, printers, and publishers in San Francisco, leading to a career in the high tech world of Silicon Valley.

Tantalized by the tropics since Adam Troy set sail on the Kon Tiki in James A. Michener’s “Adventures in Paradise,” Kathy has traveled to tropical destinations such as Hawaii, Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Asia Pacific. Eventually, she moved to Florida where she wrote and secured representation for Real Women Wear Red. She also wrote for Walt Disney World and the Orlando Sentinel.

The Tom Jones Club begins in Orlando and finds its way to Las Vegas. But no surprise there – the first time she saw Las Vegas she about seven-years-old when her step dad, attempting to quit smoking, drove the family to Las Vegas to keep his hands busy playing craps. Somebody said that this was the funniest bio they’d ever read, and she happens to agree with them about the “playing craps to quit smoking” part.

Life is fully of ironies because she’s now living in Las Vegas with her husband and their three furry kids.

*** Dedicated to her paternal grandmother, Rev. Freda Walker Holmes, 1915-2000 – who said “never give up, in spite of age or the naysayers, and “attitude is just how you see things.” As you can see, “Cattitude is everything.”

About Tom Jones Club

International wine director Lucky Stryker, the “Lucky Lady,” is lucky in the boardroom, but unlucky in love. But the last thing she expects is to land in the arms of a cowboy during the Tom Jones Club convention. A hot week with a cowboy in Las Vegas is one thing—eternity is another.

Fearing that any woman he gets involved with will leave him–the way his mother left his father–Eric Blake chooses women who are guaranteed to fulfill that prophecy. And Lucky Stryker is no exception.

When Lady Luck throws the red hot dice, Lucky and Eric cash in on a red hot sizzling romance. So when their pasts catch up to them, and neither is who they appear to be, they are forced to answer these questions, “Can their hearts keep the promises their bodies have been making?” and “Will they finally get lucky in love?”

Lucky was called a Keeper by one agent and The Tom Jones Club won a query submission contest by another agent.

PURCHASE your digital copy at Bookstrand, Mobipocket, Nook Book (BN.com), and amazon.com (Kindle available now – Print – available late December on amazon.com)

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Excerpt

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All’s Fair in Love and Law by KM Daughters

KM_Daughters_headshot_2About K.M. Daughters

Sisters, Pat Casiello and Kathie Clare write as K.M. Daughters. Their penname is dedicated to the memory of their parents, Kay and Mickey, the “K” and “M” in K.M. Daughters. All’s Fair In Love And Law is the fourth book in the author’s acclaimed Sullivan Boys romantic suspense series. K.M. Daughters writes romantic suspense for The Wild Rose Press, inspirational romance for White Rose Publishing and contemporary romance for Sapphire Blue Publishing. Contact K.M. Daughters at http://www.kmdaughters.com.

About All’s Fair in Love and Law

The senseless death of their brother-in-law, Mike Lynch, has left the Sullivan boys reeling. Still coping with the death of their brother, Jimmy, they are pulling together to help their sister Kay deal with the loss of her husband as she slips into depression.All's Fair in Love and Law cover

During an outing with Kay’s twin girls, Patrick Sullivan, a new captain at the Chicago Police Department, comes face-to-face with a woman who gets his body tingling all over. Little does he know he’ll see this woman again all too soon–in the courtroom.

C.J. Demarco, also known as, Charlie, is a shining star of a defense attorney at Schotz, Pearson and Freemont. When she gets a perp off on a technicality, Patrick’s department isn’t looking too good and he has to answer for it to the media. But he has much bigger issues to deal with. Someone is brutally killing prostitutes and dumping them in the trash in the city’s alleys. The Garbage Man Murderer case is going to take all of Pat’s limited resources to nail; not an easy task considering the recent budget cuts.

Despite working on seemingly opposite sides of the law, Charlie and Pat can’t deny their attraction to each other. When Charlie is set to defend a high-profile case, Pat can’t believe she would be involved in trying to get such a creep off. But Charlie isn’t about to reveal why she does the type of work she does or the reason getting too involved with Pat scares the hell out of her. Their budding romance is threatened. And for Charlie, one mistake, could be a fatal one.

Read an Excerpt!

Her breath caught as his smile dazzled in reaction to something one of the girls said to him.  Certainly his size alone would draw attention.  Close-cropped reddish hair, her favorite shade of blue eyes, like his kids’, and muscles in that thin T-shirt that teased a woman to cup them with her hands.   She had had a hard time concentrating on stage during the first set.  Her eyes had sought his involuntarily again and again.  And damn if he wasn’t sending her appreciative vibes.  Must be this crazy heat in April.  She extended her lower jaw and blew air up over her face.

Frankenstein called for his bride.  Charlotte counted to ten and then ran out from behind the curtain.  The crowd jumped to their feet and cheered.  Wow, this is what it must feel like to be a rock star.  Emi, I think I’m jealous of you.  Maybe I should switch careers and we can do a sister act.

Her ego stroked, she enjoyed every minute of the performance.  Mummy led the cast off stage into the audience.

“Pick us.  Please pick us!” The hunk’s kids yelled.

Well, of course I will.  Her hips gyrating, she sashayed in his direction, her eyes locked on his heavenly blues.

“Here she comes.  She is going to pick us this time.”

She averted his eyes and focused on his cute kids.  “Hi girls.  Would you like to come up on stage with me?”

“Is it OK, Uncle Pat?  Can we please?”

“Sure it is.  Go ahead.”

Saints be praised.  No wedding band on the man’s hand, either. “Would Uncle Pat like to come up on stage, too?”

“Thanks but no. I’m good.”

“Well I bet you are.”  He grinned and boyish dimples creased his fair-skinned cheeks.  Her purposely-suggestive laugh made him blush.

Here’s what reviewers are saying about All’s Fair in Love and Law!

“I have loved this series from the get-go and each book keeps drawing me in. The Sullivan Boys series blends intriguing plots, complex characters, and loads of conflict to keep you turning page after page.

K.M. Daughters proves over and again that they have mastered the art of storytelling. I can’t put one of their books down, despite the late hour, despite the fact that I’m facing an early morning with my kids, despite knowing I’ll be sitting at my desk gulping caffeinated soda the next day just to stay awake.

The perfect blend of romance and suspense is what you’ll find in All’s Fair in Love and Law!”

–The Book Connection