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All posts in the excerpt category

Guest Author AnneMarie Brear

Published May 24, 2017 by francesothomas

Where Rainbows End AnneMarie Brear

 

AnneMarie Brear’s latest novel Where Rainbows End was just released. She graciously provided the blurb and excerpt below.

 

Blurb

“I’m not a man, but that won’t stop me. Just you wait and see.”

It’s 1850 and the Noble family have arrived in Australia to start a new life after scandal drove them from their native England. Headstrong Pippa Noble is determined to reclaim their honour by making her father’s plans for a successful stud farm a reality.

Pippa is immediately spellbound by the untamed outback landscape, although she learns the hard way about the unforgiving nature of the bush – sometimes with devastating consequences. When circumstance leads to Pippa tending the new farm alone, it is the steadfast friendship of neighbouring country estate owner Gil Ashford-Smith that helps her through.

Then an unexpected visitor from England arrives, putting Pippa’s dreams in jeopardy. But she refuses to let go. She will hold onto her family’s land and make her mark, even if it means losing everything else …

 

Excerpt:

‘Pippa! Come look!’ Davy ran into the stables. ‘There’s a carriage coming with two shiny black horses with white feathers on their heads.’ He grabbed her hand and pulled her outside. ‘A carriage!’

Intrigued, Pippa frowned at Robson as he came to stand at her side. They both stared along the valley track. Indeed a large, shiny black carriage pulled by magnificent horses rumbled beside the creek towards them.

‘Who could it be?’ Pippa glanced at Robson for his input.

‘Nay, miss, I know of no one with such a carriage in this district.’

Davy jumped up and down, clapping his hands. ‘It’s a Prince!’

Pippa gently pushed him towards the house. ‘Go to your mother.’

She and Robson walked away from the stables and waited under the big gum tree near the footbridge. On the other side, Davy and Millie watched the carriage approach.

The driver halted the fine pair and drew the carriage to stop. The door was flung open and Gerald popped his head out. ‘Pippa!’

Pippa’s eyes widened in disbelief. ‘Father?’

Gerald exited the carriage and handed Hilary down and then the maid, Cissie. ‘We’re here at last!’ he shouted, reaching back into the carriage.

Hilary ran up to Pippa and hugged her. ‘It’s good to see you! Have we surprised you? How are you? Mother fainted! As soon as we started the descent into the valley, she screamed that we would all fall to our deaths and then fainted.’

Blinking rapidly to make sure of her vision, Pippa let Hilary’s words wash over her. Her family here! She couldn’t believe it. They’d sent her no word of their impending arrival.

‘Come, come, Esther. Pippa wishes to greet you,’ Gerald cajoled his wife out of the carriage. ‘You’re safe now, so stop your hysterics.’

Pippa stepped forward and kissed her mother’s pale cheek. ‘Welcome, Mother.’

Esther, fanning herself with a white handkerchief, sniffled. ‘What a journey, Philippa, what a journey.’ Slowly she raised her head and gazed about. Her eyes widened, her mouth dropped open.

The heavy weight of guilt sunk Pippa’s happiness at her family’s arrival. Her mother’s rigidness confirmed her fears. She hated the valley. ‘Mother—’

‘You …’ Esther turned to scan the whole valley and all it contained, her eyes filling with tears. ‘Gerald …’ She blinked, her chest heaving as though she struggled to breathe. ‘You brought me here?’

‘Mother—’

‘Esther—’

‘How could you?’ Esther’s voice lowered in anger. ‘I’ll not spend one night in this god-forsaken backwater!’ She spun on her heel, re-entered the carriage, and slammed the door.

Pippa stared at her father, whose cheeks flushed beet red. He stormed to the carriage and jerked open the door. ‘Get out at once!’

Hilary silently came to Pippa’s side and took her hand as, in disbelief and with acute embarrassment, they watched their parents argue and wrestle. At last, Esther emerged from the carriage, dishevelled and indignant.

‘I will stay but one night, then I am returning to Sydney to the Talbots.’ She marched past them all and crossed the footbridge. Hilary hurriedly followed her.

Sighing, Gerald walked away, around the other side of the carriage, and, after a glance at Hilary, Pippa went to join him.

‘I’m sorry, Father. I didn’t expect you. Hilary’s letter said it could be another month as Mother had engagements. Inside the house is not complete yet. I kept the men working on extending the stable block.’

‘I do not blame you in the least, dearest.’ His eyes softened and he slipped his arm around her waist to hug her to him. ‘In fact, I’m so very proud of you.’ He gazed out over the valley, at the cluster of buildings, the horses and sheep grazing. ‘What you’ve achieved here in such a short time is inspirational, my dear. You have the courage of a lion.’

Pippa kissed his thin cheek, aware that his ill health had taken its toll on him. ‘I did it for us all, Father. This is our home now, and we’ll be successful, I know it.’

‘I have no doubt about it, not with you in charge.’

‘Oh, but Father, I’m not in charge now you’re here.’

Gerald shook his head. ‘No, Pippa. This is your dream, your future.’

She stepped back, frowning. ‘But it’s yours, too. We share it together.’

‘Yes, but I don’t have the youth, the energy, the heart that you do.’ He shook his head and sighed. ‘All I wanted to do here was to make money. You wanted to make a home.’

She touched his arm, frightened by how old and defeated he looked. ‘We can do both, Father.’

He remained silent for a long time, staring out over the land.

‘Please don’t be dispirited, Father. We can be successful. The mistakes made in England do not have to be repeated here.’

‘My health is failing, but I tend to think that is a good thing.’

‘No—’

Gerald held up his hand. ‘Hear me out. I insist we have honesty if nothing else after so many years of lies.’ He paused and took a deep breath. ‘If I were hale and hearty and a few years younger, there would be no stopping me, but no doubt that would have led to our ruin as it did back home.’

‘Father—’

‘I’ve had time to think while bedridden and holed up with the Talbots, and I’ve made a decision.’ He took both her hands in his and smiled. ‘I was going to tell you this later, but I might as well do it now and be done with it.’

‘What is it?’ Pippa braced herself for bad news, for his tone was the same he used in England when he would admit failure in some investment or when the bailiffs came to clear the house of their belongings to repay his gambling debts.

He sucked in a deep breath. ‘The valley is yours to do with as you please. I’ll sign it all over to you, with the provision that you support your sister.’

Pippa blinked. ‘But what about you and Mother?’

‘We shall return to England.’

‘No!’

 

To buy Where Rainbows End

All Amazon Kindle sites; myBook.to/WhereRainbowsEnd

Kobo UK: https://goo.gl/24Tir1

Annemarie Brear

Author Bio:

Australian born AnneMarie Brear writes historical novels and modern romances. Her passions, apart from writing, are reading, researching, genealogy, roaming historical sites, buying books and gardening. She is an author of historical women’s fiction, contemporary romance and several short stories and is currently living in England. AnneMarie Brear on the web: http://www.annemariebrear.com http://annemariebrear.blogspot.co.uk https://www.facebook.com/annemariebrear   Twitter @annemariebrear.

Tina Gayle #Romantic Travel guest post

Published September 27, 2016 by francesothomas

 

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One of my favorite romantic trips my husband and I like to take is to go out to Palm Springs and play golf. We have a great time and get outside. The scenery along a golf course is beautiful and then we go out to a nice restaurant before heading back to our hotel room.  This is both relaxing and fun.

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Here is a short youtube video I created.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNfhj-hf66s for the mountain course at LaQuinta

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CEO’s Widow  – Book 4 of the Executives’ Wives’ Club series

Genre: Contemporary Romance with strong women fiction elements

Four women…
One fatal car wreck…
Everyone’s lives changed…

 

CEO’s Widow

Blurb:

After surviving the grief from her husband’s death, Marianne Clark has built a new life with the help of the other Executive Wives. She plans to enjoy grandchildren and friends until her doctor tells her he found a lump in her breast. Her world turned upside down. She re-evaluates her priorities and decides she will grab hold of life with both hands.

Knox Turner lost his first wife to cancer. He’s determined not to let Marianne face this challenge alone.

Can this couple face the trials ahead and build a future together?

 

 Excerpt:

“What about you and Knox? Is Travis and Lyndsey’s relationship still causing problems between you two?”

In response to Brie’s questions, Marianne lifted her gaze, uncertain how to explain the true reason for not caring to become involved with Knox.

“He seemed determined today to put an end to the stand-off,” Sylvia inserted, her tone reflecting her amusement of the moment.

Brie captured Marianne’s gaze and slow shook her head. “You’re still not over Jack, are you?”

Jen swiveled her head, first to Brie, then back around to stare at Marianne. “Oh, no, that can’t be.”

“Awe shit,” Sylvia muttered and turned in her chair.

All eyes locked on her. Marianne dropped her chin and fought for something to say to ease her friends’ concern.

“I knew it, you assume because you’re interested in Knox you’re somehow being unfaithful to Jack.” Sylvia clasped her hand around Marianne’s forearm. “Well, you’re not. Jack would understand. Hell, if he were in your shoes, he’d have already remarried.”

 

Buy Links:

Available at Amazon Worldwide exclusively:

http://amzn.to/1MUiDQ5

 

Newsletter:

If you would like to sign up to be an exclusive member of Tina’s List simple visit:

http://www.tinagayle.net/newsletter.html

You’ll receive a free short story – “My Future StepBrother.” This story leads you right into the story of the CEO’s Widow.

URL to cover: http://www.tinagayle.net//BannerforTinaFreeBook.jpg

 

Author Bio:

Tina Gayle loves writing and is currently working on finishing her Family Tree series, a contemporary paranormal suspense series.

When not writing, she enjoys spending time with my family and traveling around the country. She hasn’t hit every state, but she hopes to someday. You might also catch her on the golf course with her husband of 30 years.

Also, you can read the first chapter of any of her books by visiting her website or download an exclusive story “My Future Step Brother” and join her special friend’s list. All on her website http://www.tinagayle.net

 

Home – www.tinagayle.net

Blog – www.tinagayle.blogspot.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle

Goodread – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1641826.Tina_Gayle

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle

 

The Bookshop on the Corner review

Published September 20, 2016 by francesothomas

bookshop

 

THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER

By Jenny Colgan

William Morrow Paperbacks

September 20, 2016

ISBN: 9780062467256; $14.99

E-ISBN 9780062467263; $9.99

 

Now that I am writing fiction set in a small town myself, I am on the look out for other authors who use similar settings. Some are in America like mine. Others are in Great Britain.

Having read a previous book by Jenny Colgan, I was eager to read The Bookshop on the Corner. I was every bit as delighted with this one. I feel as if I know her and as somewhat of an Anglophile, I have such fun reading British slang. Her descriptions of scenery and life in Scotland make you want to arrange a vacation.

Nina, the heroine of this book, would rather read than participate in real life. When she loses her job as a librarian, she finds the courage to take a leap of faith and turn her knowledge and love of books into a business. She buys a rickety van and turns it into a mobile bookstore.

Along the way, she also ventures into romantic territory.

All of her city friends end up envying her new lifestyle. Me too.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt from THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER:

The problem with good things that happen is that very often they disguise themselves as awful things. It would be lovely, wouldn’t it, whenever you’re going through something difficult, if someone could just tap you on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry, it’s completely worth it. It seems like absolutely horrible crap now, but I promise it will all come good in the end,” and you could say, “Thank you, Fairy Godmother.” You might also say, “Will I also lose that seven pounds?” and they would say, “But of course, my child!”

That would be useful, but it isn’t how it is, which is why we sometimes plow on too long with things that aren’t making us happy, or give up too quickly on something that might yet work itself out, and it is often difficult to tell precisely which is which.

A life lived forward can be a really irritating thing. So Nina thought, at any rate. Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, was telling herself not to cry in public. If you have ever tried giving yourself a good talking-to, you’ll know it doesn’t work terribly well. She was at work, for goodness’ sake. You weren’t meant to cry at work.

She wondered if anyone else ever did. Then she wondered if maybe everyone did, even Cathy Neeson, with her stiff too-blond hair, and her thin mouth and her spreadsheets, who was right at this moment standing in a corner, watching the room with folded arms and a grim expression, after delivering to the small team Nina was a member of a speech filled with jargon about how there were cutbacks all over, and Birmingham couldn’t afford to maintain all its libraries, and how austerity was something they just had to get used to.

Nina reckoned probably not. Some people just didn’t have a tear in them.

(What Nina didn’t know was that Cathy Neeson cried on the way to work, on the way home from work—after eight o’clock most nights—every time she laid someone off, every time she was asked to shave another few percent off an already skeleton budget, every time she was ordered to produce some new quality relevant paperwork, and every time her boss dumped a load of administrative work on her at four o’clock on a Friday afternoon on his way to a skiing vacation, of which he took many.

Eventually she ditched the entire thing and went and worked in a National Trust gift shop for a fifth of the salary and half the hours and none of the tears. But this story is not about Cathy Neeson.)

 

Purchase Here:

THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER – https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062467263/the-bookshop-on-the-corner

 

About the Author

Jenny Colgan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, includingLittle Beach Street Bakery, Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop, and Christmas at the Cupcake Café, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.

 

Connect with Jenny Colgan

Website – http://www.jennycolgan.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/jennycolgan

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jennycolganbooks

 

 

 

Kris Bock #RomanticTravel Guest Post

Published September 16, 2016 by francesothomas

krisbock

The Mad Monk’s Treasure

A legendary treasure hunt in the dramatic – and deadly – New Mexico desert….

The lost Victorio Peak treasure is the stuff of legends – a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, made richer by the spoils of bandits and an Apache raider.

When Erin, a shy history professor, uncovers a clue that may pinpoint the lost treasure cave, she prepares for adventure. But when a hit and run driver nearly kills her, she realizes she’s not the only one after the treasure. And is Drew, the handsome helicopter pilot who found her bleeding in a ditch, really a hero, or one of the enemy?

Erin isn’t sure she can trust Drew with her heart, but she’ll need his help to track down the treasure. She heads into the New Mexico wilderness with her brainy best friend Camie and a feisty orange cat. The wilderness holds its own dangers, from wild animals to sudden storms. Plus, the sinister men hunting Erin are determined to follow her all the way to the treasure, no matter where the twisted trail leads. Erin won’t give up an important historical find without a fight, but is she ready to risk her life—and her heart?

“The story has it all—action, romance, danger, intrigue, lost treasure, not to mention a sizzling relationship….”

“The action never stopped …. It was adventure and romance at its best.”

“I couldn’t put this book down. You’ll love it.”

Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell will enjoy these stories of love in the wild, from a New Mexico Book Award-winning author

The Mad Monk’s Treasure is the first Southwest Treasure Hunters book, followed by The Dead Man’s Treasure. Each novel stands alone and is complete, with no cliffhangers. This contemporary romantic suspense series mixes action and adventure with sweet romance.

 

Excerpt

Erin could hardly believe what she was seeing. Could this be it? After all this time waiting, searching, had she finally, finally, found what she was looking for?

She forced herself to sit back and take a deep breath. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t rush into things. She wanted to leap up and scream her excitement, but years of academic training held. Slow down, double-check everything, and make sure you are right!

She leaned forward and ran her fingers over the grainy photograph. With that one image, everything seemed to fall into place. This was the clue. It had to be.

She fumbled in her desk drawer for a magnifying glass and studied the symbols in the photo more closely. At a glance, they looked like your standard Indian petroglyphs. You could find them throughout the Southwest, tucked away in caves or scattered among boulder fields.

But this was different.

If she was right—and she had to be right—these symbols were a map. A map that could lead her to one of the greatest caches of buried treasure ever.

She reached for the phone. In a few seconds a voice said, “Yeah.” Erin could hear the sound of some tool on metal in the background.

“Camie? I found it!”

 

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.

 

Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Kris Bock on GoodReads

Kris Bock on Facebook

Kris Bock on Pinterest

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My Romantic Getaway

My husband and I always spend our anniversary weekend in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Although T or C is small, it has several good restaurants and many spa services. We like to stay at the Fire Water Lodge, where each room has its own tub fed by geothermal hot mineral water. Each room is different, and you can see the specifics for each room on their website. Fire Water is one of the more funky/less expensive lodges. You can also find high-end luxury lodging.

There’s not a ton to do in T or C – which is part of what makes it relaxing. You can wander the small town and poke around used bookstores and art galleries. Nearby Elephant Butte provides three short hiking trails as well as a ten-mile trail along the lake, if you’re feeling ambitious. You can also sit on the beach, fly a kite, watch birds, or fish. At night, be sure to look up at the sky – we prefer to do this from our Jacuzzi tub – at a dark sky filled with stars.

For more Southwest travel, visit my Southwest Armchair Traveler blog. Check out the Labels for posts on different parts of the state.

Wanderlust book blast

Published May 23, 2016 by francesothomas

Wanderlust_Banner copy

 

Wanderlust

by Bernadette Marie

GENRE: Contemporary Romance

 

Bernadette will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Please 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/2016/05/book-blast-wanderlust-by-bernadette.html


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Gia Gallow has traveled the world. Her wanderlust landed her in Georgia where she has created a life for herself away from the petty differences of relatives and domineering ex-lovers. Having settled in America, she has a successful business and dear friends—and the attention of both Dane and Russell Walker. Due to her own family’s dramas over dueling hearts, she might have to forget about her feelings for Dane to keep peace within the Walker family, but sometimes even running thousands of miles away can’t keep a heart from going after what the heart wants. And Gia’s heart wants Dane.

 

Excerpt:

He’d be gone in a week she reminded herself when the thought about making a move on him entered her mind. Long distance never worked, and she wouldn’t do it again.

He’d be nice eye candy for the next week. She could live with that.

bernadettemarie

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends. Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter. At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years.

In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children –Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published. That year she wrote 12 books. In 2009 she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born. In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and has begun the process of taking on other authors in other genres.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events. She is also an accomplished martial artist, working her way to her second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.

An avid reader she loves to meet readers who enjoy reading contemporary romances and she always promises Happily Ever After.

Website: http://www.bernadettemarie.com/

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

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

Blog: http://www.authorbernadettemarie.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Bernadette-Marie/e/B003M75S8W

 

 

 

Every Bride Has Her Day release

Published May 3, 2016 by francesothomas

 

Something new on the blog. Characters from Lynnette Austin’s book, Every Bride Has Her Day, being released TODAY have momentarily taken over:

Hey, Sam DeLuca here with my sexy-as-all-get-out neighbor, Cricket O’Malley. We’re in Misty Bottoms, Georgia, and Fran’s been good enough to let us handle the interview today. Thanks so much for inviting us to visit at Rusticating in the Tropics. Come on over here, Cricket. It’s time to start!

Cricket: (punching him playfully on the arm) You forgot to tell everyone that we have our own book, Every Bride Has Her Day, the second in Lynnette Austin’s Magnolia Brides series. How do you think you ended up in a book, Sam? As the hero?

Sam: (laughing): Honestly? I have no idea! There’s nothing special about me. Now you? Those thundercloud-colored eyes, that crazy hair…you’re beautiful, Cricket. And a force to be reckoned with. I’ve never known anyone as driven and, at the same time, as selfless as you.

Cricket: Cut it out, Sam. You’re embarrassing me. I work with flowers at my new shop The Enchanted Florist and help with the weddings at Magnolia House. Hardly life-changing work.

Sam: You bring joy to others—at weddings, on birthdays, anniversaries, all kinds of special occasions. And you’re doing it here in Misty Bottoms. This is a very different scene for me. It’s a small—very small—Southern town. Me? I’m New York City born and bred.

Cricket: Yeah, the big bad city detective. But you’re here now.

Sam: (meeting her eyes) Yeah, I am. I came for some much needed R&R. A case went south, one that got way too personal. I came looking for solitude. I wanted to be alone.

Cricket: ( touching his hand) Let’s talk about something lighter. Tell us what you drive.

Sam: Oh, you would go there, wouldn’t you? Okay, I’ve got a big black Harley. I love that thing. But…I’m tackling the house my aunt Gertie left me. It’s been empty a couple years and, boy, does it need work! I can’t very well haul lumber and tools on my bike. On top of that I seem to have adopted Hobo, a stray mutt that showed up on my back porch half-starved. I needed a truck and bought old Lem Gibson’s rust-bucket.

Cricket: And now you can take Hobo and me to the Dairy Queen for ice-cream. Okay, let’s play a game of pretend. You’re getting ready for a night out. Where are you going and what would you wear?

Sam: Seriously?

Cricket nods.

Sam: (big sigh) First of all, you know the answer to this question because when I go out, it’s with you. But okay. I came to town on my Harley, so my wardrobe’s severely limited. I’ll wear jeans and a T-shirt. I’ll slide onto my Harley with you behind me snuggled up close and we’ll take a ride on back country roads with the wind in our faces. Maybe we’ll head to Fat Baby’s Barbeque or Mama’s Pizza and Wings. Then again, maybe we’d just stay home and…

Cricket: (holds up her hand) Stop right there. This is a G-rated interview, Detective DeLuca. One last question. Do you like the way Every Bride Has Her Day ended?

Sam: Are you kidding? It’s a romance, a guaranteed happy-ever-after, right? That means I get the girl.

He glances at Cricket who says nothing, simply raises her brows and sends him a cat-and-mouse smile.

Sam: I do get the girl, don’t I?

Cricket: It’s time for us to go. Tell all these wonderful readers good-bye, Sam.

Sam: But…

Lynnette here. I hope you can join Sam, Cricket, and me in Misty Bottoms, Georgia, for Every Bride Has Her Day, book two in my Magnolia Brides series!

Excerpt:

Outside, dusk settled in. Sam opened the kitchen window and a warm breeze played over his face. Grabbing a beer, he decided to sit on the front porch steps for a bit. Hobo followed him out, dropping down heavily beside him, his head on Sam’s lap. Within minutes, the dog was out cold, sighing every once in a while.

Ten minutes turned to twenty, half an hour to an hour.

He thought about Federoff, about the stranger who kept popping up.

The dark didn’t scare him. It was the nightmares in his own head that turned the night against him and made it his enemy. Rather than fade away, the dreams came more often now, even with the sweet scent of the flowers from Gertie’s rosebush filling the room.

Across the road, the bedroom shade opened a crack, and Cricket stood in the window, backlit by a soft lamp. He told himself to look away.

He didn’t.

Sam drew back farther into the shadows. Did she know he watched her? She wasn’t beautiful in the classical sense. That short, choppy blond hair, those storm-cloud eyes and little pointed chin shouldn’t add up to attractive. They did.

The sizzle was purely physical, he reminded himself. It had been awhile since he’d been with a woman. Would be a long time till he wanted to again. The betrayal, the shooting, the hospital and physical therapy had all exacted a huge toll.

Now, he sat in the dark, on the outskirts of a Podunk town in Southern Georgia, alone with his thoughts and an annoying neighbor. One who looked like sin on two legs as she stood at her bedroom window in that skimpy little nightgown.

Sam swallowed a pain pill he’d tucked in his shirt pocket, then took one last look toward Cricket’s. He told himself it was the cop thing, the need to protect. He sure as hell hoped that’s all it was because, otherwise, he was turning into one sick puppy.

Speaking of pups. He nudged the old dog. “Hey, Hobo, bedtime. Run out in the yard and take your last tinkle for the night.”

Restless, Cricket sighed and closed her blind. Not a single light on across the street.

Still, she could have sworn earlier—

She shook her head. This magnetic draw toward Sam DeLuca was silly, with more than a touch of loneliness thrown into the mix. But, oh, her girly parts tingled when the man was around. The man was gorgeous in capital letters.

Black hair and eyes, all that dark stubble, and oh, so male. Torn, tight jeans and a T-shirt that hugged his muscles. And she’d seen earlier what that shirt hid. Ooh, boy. No wonder she couldn’t sleep.

She slipped out the backdoor and hit a switch. Strings of tiny white lights twinkled throughout the garden. Mrs. Michaels had planted a moon garden, and the night blooming jasmine shone beside the Lamb’s ears and Dusty Millers, even in the slim moon’s glow.

Bare-foot, she crossed to the small fountain and sat down on an ornate stone bench. The evening dew moistened her nightgown and hair. A fairy’s kiss.

And still, Sam filled her mind.

Then all hell broke loose.

The most pitiful howls she’d ever heard erupted out front. Hobo? Had something happened to Sam? She raced through the yard, mindless of her bare feet.

“What the hell are you doing?” Sam’s outraged voice lifted over Hobo’s distress.

Relief rushed through her.

Hobo sat in the middle of the road howling pathetically.

“What’s wrong?”

“I have no idea.”

Cricket walked toward them, and Hobo greeted her with a bark and a leg nudge.

Sam’s gaze traveled over her, making her aware of how thin her gown was, how short it was.

He grinned. “Nice look.”

Her eyes drifted down the length of him. He, too, was shoeless, and his jeans hung low. “I might say the same.”

“Cricket—” He raised his hands. “I’m sorry he woke you.”

“He didn’t. I was actually in the back yard.”

“You should get some sleep. Come on, Hobo.”

Sam started toward his house, and Cricket did the same.

Hobo dropped back onto the pavement and filled the night with long, mournful cries.

“See, this is why I don’t need a dog.” Sam took another step toward his house, and the dog’s yelps grew louder.  Hands on his hips, Sam eyed the dog.

Cricket moved closer.

Hobo stopped baying.

“Maybe he just wanted to wish you good night.” Sam pulled Cricket into him.

She could barely breathe. In the moonlight, Sam looked like some pagan god, the moonlight glinting off that dark, dark hair. His body, so hard and warm, lit a fire deep inside her.

Their lips touched, tongues danced, and she went weak-kneed.

“Good night, Bug.”

“Night, Sam.”

Hobo got to all fours, shook, then quietly stood beside Sam, watching her. She stopped at the door and waved.

“Lock your door,” Sam called.

“Consider it done.”

With a smile, she watched the man and his dog cross the street and walk inside.

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About the Author:

Lynnette Austin loves Starbucks, Peppermint Patties, and long rides with the top down and the music cranked up! One of the great things about writing is that daydreaming is not only permissible but encouraged. She grew up in Pennsylvania, moved to New York, then to Wyoming, and presently divides her time between Florida’s beaches and Georgia’s mountains. She’s been a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest. Having grown up in a small town, that’s where her heart takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody…and all their business, for better or worse. Visit her website http://www.authorlynnetteaustin.com

 

 

 

Crash and Burn

Published February 17, 2016 by francesothomas

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Crash and Burn

by Michele Callahan

GENRE: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION Michele Callahan will be awarding a $15 Amazon, B&N, OR iTunes card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Please 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/2016/01/blurb-blitz-crash-and-burn-by-michele.html

A childhood promise has Chance Walker picking up a guitar once again. Sure, he’s been busy growing up, finishing college, and even law school. He made a promise to his dying mother and he’s determined to keep it. While his guitar playing dreams were big when he was a kid, his skill is rusty and he hires Erin Michaelson to bring music back into his life. Not only is she incredibly talented, she’s one of the sexiest women he’s ever met. It’s hard to focus on correct finger position when her sweet scent threatens to drive him out of his mind.

Less than twenty-four hours after his first lesson he sees her again, but this time she’s on stage using another name and seducing an entire audience of men. He played the gentleman card once, and it got him nowhere. This time, all bets are off and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her. A single, sizzling backstage kiss will change both of their lives forever, because Chance soon realizes that Erin is not just an itch, she’s an obsession that he refuses to live without.

Erin Michaelson spends her days teaching guitar and her nights on stage as her sexy alter-ego, Eva James. Music is her dream, her passion. All she wants is to say goodbye to a lifetime of scraping by, working two jobs, and paying for past mistakes. When a major record label exec hears her band play, she gets her big break. But life can be a real bitch, and meeting Chance now is just bad timing.

Problem #1: The record label wants her to dump her band and move to L.A. Problem #2: She hadn’t counted on Chance Walker and the scorching heat of that first kiss. And last but not least is Problem #3: Is Chance really falling in love with the dull guitar teacher, or is he really just lusting after the sexy Eva James?

Will success make all of Erin’s dreams come true? Or will falling in love make them both crash and burn?

Excerpt:

Eva James, or Erin, or whatever name she wanted to call herself, was a wild card. She burned bright, took chances, and followed her heart. And he wanted to taste that wild side with her.

When Eva James disappeared down the hallway that led to the restrooms, he got up off his barstool. He took one step before Mitchell’s hand landed on his right arm and Jake’s on his left.

“Whoa. Where do you think you’re going?” Jake’s shit-eating grin said he already knew the answer to that question.

“I’m going to get her.”

Derek burst out laughing. “Let him go. I gotta see this train wreck.”

“Screw you, Derek.”

Even Mitchell was grinning now, but he let go of Chance’s arm. “Go for it, brother. She’s going to love you, bad boy. Just so you know, that tie of yours can be used for all kinds of things besides wearing it in court.”

Derek was still chuckling. “We’ll have to pry her off your rebel ass with a crowbar.”

Chance flipped them all off and headed for the side of the stage to wait for her. He didn’t give a damn what any of his brothers said. So what if she wasn’t his normal type? Forget normal. He wanted her. He looked, and he wanted. End of story.

He was tired of playing it safe. Tired of taking care of other people’s problems. He needed a damn break. He wanted her to rattle his cage.

He wanted to talk to her, to touch her. And if she didn’t run scared? He damn sure was going to get her into his bed.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

M.L. (Michele) Callahan is a sci-fi fanatic and full time writer whose earliest movie memories are of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and light sabers. (Still waiting on Santa to come through on that one.) ML writes sci-fi action adventure as ML Callahan, and romance as Michele Callahan. Fans of Hugh Howey’s Wool series, Wayward Pines, Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s League Series, or Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series will not be able to resist Callahan’s complex world building, twisting plot lines, or unique premise. Callahan writes something brand new in the science fiction arena with character driven stories that read more like adventure books than hard science manuals. The Timewalker Chronicles are like nothing you’ve ever read before.

Amazon: http://goo.gl/Xd2o2X

iTunes: https://goo.gl/nWEyk6

Website: http://mlcallahan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michele.callahan.142

Twitter: https://twitter.com/michelecallahan