• Leslie P. Garcia-Author

Susanne Matthews Presents Her Top 5 Reasons Why…

new picture of me    I love having authors drop by. We have spotlights for books, we do interviews and encourage guest posts. But this is a Return to Rio first–a “Top Five” list! So, what are my top three reasons for being glad Susanne Matthews came by? She’s creative, a class act, and a talented author. Bonus gift–she brought us some “oh, wow!” excerpts. What’s not to love? Please welcome Susanne and learn the five top reasons you’re next book should be a Susanne Matthews book!

Top Five Reasons Why You Should Consider Reading My Books.

Hello and thanks so much for having me here today. When I was considering what to write for this blog post, I couldn’t decide on a number of things—the topic and the book to promote to you were just two of them!

Instead of writing about a particular topic, I decided to talk about all of my books and let you decide which one might suit you best. As an author, I see my books as my children, loving each one equally, but as a reader, I know everyone has favorite genres and subgenres.

1. So, you should consider reading my books if you like romance. All of my books are romance novels, but they don’t follow the formula romance model. You’ll meet my hero and heroine separately, get to know them and their problems before they meet one another. The stories will always have a ‘happily ever after’, but getting there will never be the same.

2. You should consider reading my books if you like suspense. Fire Angel, In Plain Sight, On His Watch, and Echoes of the Past are all novels with strong suspense components. Fire Angel is the story of a serial killer who uses arson as his weapon of choice and Alexis and Jake, the fire investigator and wounded warrior criminal profiler determined to stop him. In the novel In Plain Sight, you’ll meet Misty, a woman in witness protection, on the run from the Irish mob, and Nick, a temporarily blind concert pianist determined to keep her safe. Nikki, in On His Watch, suffers amnesia after a brutal home invasion and Jason, the FBI agent who found her fights his own guilt and attraction as he seeks to keep her safe from a monster who wants her dead and won’t give up. Echoes of the Past brings the past, present and future together as Michelle and Tony, reincarnations of their ancestors, seek to end a curse and save the Lake of the Mountain from ruthless meth dealers.

On His Watch

Excerpt from On His Watch:

The sound of breaking glass coming from downstairs shattered the stillness. Nikki tensed. Had the sound come from the kitchen? Had she left a window open? She’d shut the bedroom window a few moments ago because the wind had picked up and its whistling sound bothered her. Could it have knocked over the crystal vase of roses Sam had sent her this morning? Perhaps Mrs. Olsen’s tabby had jumped in the window and knocked the vase over. The cat had been a regular visitor when the previous owners had lived here, and he saw no reason to curtail his visits. She’d almost had a heart attack the last time he entered, bringing her a gift—a dead mouse—and Danny had laughed himself silly at “Mommy’s girliness.” Sam, not an animal lover, had threatened to poison the animal if it came into the house again. If the cat had broken the vase, its days were numbered.

Or what if someone was in the house? She’d noticed a lot of strangers in town, some looking more unkempt than others. There were plenty of family campers, but every now and then, she’d seen so-called gold prospectors combing the Larosa hills. Trudy, Mandy’s best friend Lily’s mother, had said they were harmless but to a girl like Nikki from San Francisco, dirty, half-starved men meant trouble. They could easily be junkies desperately needing a fix.

She took a deep breath. She didn’t hear any other suspicious sounds. As Sam would say, she was letting her imagination run wild. Most likely it was one of Larosa’s minor quakes that had caused a glass to slip off the table. Just a few miles off the San Andreas Fault, the town was constantly trembling. She barely noticed the Earth’s slight shaking anymore.
Even though she’d convinced herself nothing was amiss, Nikki tiptoed to the guest room, got down on all fours, and peeked under the bed. Mandy was asleep. The child slept like the dead once she was out. Nikki reached for the flashlight, turned it off, and used the bed to leverage her body upright again.

She picked up the cell phone she’d left on the dresser earlier, made sure it was on in case Sam called, and dropped it into the right pocket of her pajama top. Carrying the flashlight, she slipped out of the room, closing the door softly behind her.
Maybe getting a dog’s a good idea. It would keep the damn cat out of the house.
Nikki stood still in the hallway and listened. The only thing she could hear was the sound of the television in the den. Someone was buying a vowel.

She reached Danny’s room and opened the door. When she saw his bed was empty, she relaxed and shook her head in resignation. As much as it annoyed her to admit it, this time Sam was right. Her imagination did tend to look for boogeymen where there weren’t any. Clearly her eight-year-old and his bottomless pit of a stomach had decided to have another bedtime snack. No doubt he was the culprit. She left the room and placed the flashlight on the hall table where it usually sat in case of a power outage.

“What did you break this time?” she called as she headed down the stairs. “I swear, you’re like a bull in a china shop.”
The sound of the garage door opening indicated Sam’s arrival. Although the clinic was nearby, since he carried major opiate drugs back and forth, Sam always took his car to work. He’d enter the house through the garage, leaving his lab coat and shoes out there and washing his hands at the sink he’d had installed for that purpose.

“Let’s get this cleaned up before your father comes in.” She turned the corner into the kitchen and stopped cold.
The fridge door was open, the pitcher of orange juice shattered on the floor beside what was left of her crystal vase full of roses, the red petals vanishing in her son’s blood. So much blood! Danny lay there, his head at an awkward angle, his eyes open, looking into the face of death. A scream froze in her throat as arms grabbed her from behind, and the sting of the knife bit into her upper back.

 

3. You should consider reading my novels if you love history. The Captain’s Promise and The Price of Honor, due out this fall, are both set in the seventeenth century. While the stories start in France, they deal with the history of French colonial North America. The Captain’s Promise was simple. When he left to pursue his fortune, he promised to come back. Ten years later, he does, only to find the woman he loves in serious trouble. Now, a ship’s captain tasked with safely bringing the first French colonial merchant marine ship to the new world, can he save Elle and his ship from those who want to see this new venture fail? The Price of Honor, for Izzy, is high—her name, her home and her birthright, but she’ll risk everything to clear her husband’s name. With the help of a childhood friend, she escapes an unwanted marriage to sail to New France and discover the truth. What she finds is a plot that could destroy the colony and the love she thought lost to her forever.

The Price of Honor     Excerpt from The Price of Honor:

Isabelle realized her mistake when she saw her step-mother’s face. Henriette’s fury was palpable and radiated from her. She stood quickly, knocking over her chair, moved to Isabelle’s side, and grabbed her chin painfully, twisting her face to the right and then to the left. Her fingertips would leave their imprint.

“You’ll do nothing of the sort. How naïve you are. Have you learned nothing of politics? This may be the seventeenth century, but because of your royal blood, you have less rights than the slaves you described. Rebellions have been started by people with a weaker claims to the throne than yours—what are you? Twelfth now? Many of those ahead of you are old. As they die, your claim to the throne improves. Among other things, your darling Pierre is to blame for your current situation. His treason cost you your freedom. The king can’t allow someone he doesn’t trust to be in your position. After what happened, it would be political suicide. I know it, the chevalier knows it, and so does the king. His Majesty’s chosen a man he trusts with his life to father your children. The original plan was to slit your traitorous throat. The chevalier convinced the king to spare you and this is how you’ll repay his concern?”

Isabelle stared into her step-mothers cold eyes. Could Henriette be telling the truth? Had the chevalier and not the king instigated this farce? Slit her throat? She’d prefer they had to this travesty. Henriette continued talking, oblivious to the thoughts overwhelming Isabelle.

“Look at you. You’re powerless. Why you don’t have enough mettle to push my hand from your chin.” She let go of her and pushed her away with such violence Isabelle had to grab the edge of the desk to keep from falling.

“Surely, there’s another option? Why would waiting a few more months make that much difference?”

“Because of the conspiracy, you foolish girl. Think of it. A member of the royal family, albeit a distant one, conspiring to commit treason? A woman is often blamed for her husband’s crimes. The sooner that connection is erased from memory, the better. Besides, I can’t take my place at court until you are the new Comtesse of Caen. Your husband becomes Comte de Caen and d’Angrignon the day you marry, and he’s quite anxious to assume his new title. Did you think this was all about you? While he may lust after you, there are plenty of women willing to fill his bed. Vincent offered to give you his name to spare the king any further shame, and somehow managed to convince his majesty it was all his idea in the first place. The man is brilliant. The title is his reward, the position at court, mine. It’s about power—power and politics. Nothing personal.” She laughed at what must be the stunned look on Isabelle’s face. “Pauvre petite! You’re almost twenty-five, and you have no idea how the world works. You’re the daughter of a comte, with royal blood in your veins. Strange things happen at court. It’s possible your child could inherit the throne—a daughter could marry the dauphin. Resign yourself to your fate, and make the best of it. This can be a wonderful opportunity. You can have everything you’ve ever wanted, and all you have to do is spread your legs.”

4. You should read my novels if you like reading about confusion and misunderstanding. In Just for the Weekend, Cleo, a prim and proper kindergarten teacher agrees to attend a sci-fi convention in Las Vegas and gets more than she expected when she finds herself married to a man she thinks is a male exotic dancer. Afraid he’ll end up with another gold digger, multi-millionaire real estate developer Sam decides to keep his true identity a secret, but falls like a ton of bricks for the green-skinned Orion slave girl, and marries her, only to find his bride has vanished. Can a relationship built on lies survive?

Excerpt from Just for the Weekend:                                         Just for the Weekend cover.

“Holy crap! You could have warned me.”

Mitch wore a long black wig, heavy brown makeup, and the facial ridges of a female Klingon warrior. Her body was shoved into a tight, black leather corset-styled top that accentuated her breasts and a long, leather skirt paired with heeled boots with silver toecaps. She had a knife of sorts shoved into her belt.“Wow! You look fantastic. I could use one of the push-up bras from hell if I ever wanted to look sexy.”

“What are you talking about? You’re one of the sexiest woman I know, and you’re completely oblivious to it. Get your nose out of your father’s ancient history books and look at yourself in the light of the twenty-first century. I love you, girl, but sometimes you frustrate me.”

“Yeah, well, let’s agree to disagree on that. I don’t want to be noticed that way. There’s more to me than a set of boobs and long legs. I’m much happier out of the limelight. Now, are you going to tell me about your makeup?”

“It’s a mask. My friend Hailey works at Paramount and made it for me last year. It gets a little warm after a while, but it’s a lot easier than putting the makeup on each time.”

“I wish I had something like that. Where’s the rest of my costume? I’d better be wearing more than green body paint, blood red lipstick, and gold eye shadow.”

“It’s on your bed.”

Cleo stared at the scraps of fabric and jewelry on the spread.

“No way! There’s got to be more to it than that.”

The costume consisted of a burgundy silk bikini bra, a matching string bikini bottom with gold-colored sheer skirt panels front and rear, gold muscle bracelets shaped like snakes, and two-inch wide metallic fabric ankle shackles without the chain.

“You’ve got to be kidding. I’ll look like a semi-naked leprechaun. How does that fit into a sci-fi convention?”

“It happens to be one of the most popular women’s costumes. For the record, leprechauns wear green, and unless they’re some kind of mutants, they aren’t green. With my five-foot-four figure, the costume loses something, but on you, it’ll be awesome.” Mitch handed her a glass of wine. “Here, take a drink and relax. You showed just as much by the pool this afternoon.”

“Yeah, and whose idea was that? I don’t see why I couldn’t wear my black swimsuit this afternoon. You seem to forget about the moral turpitude clause in my contract. Lying around in the sun half-naked is pushing it. I certainly won’t be wearing that blue bikini to take the kiddies swimming at the local pool.”

“That clause is archaic, and you worry about it way too much—between your father’s ‘rules’ and the school board’s ‘thou shall not’s,’ you’re living in the past. Besides you needed a new swimsuit. Even my mother doesn’t wear a one-piece bathing suit like the one you had. I don’t even think my grandma would wear it. You chose the bikini—there was that gorgeous leopard one…”

“You mean the one cut down to my navel in front, and so high on the hips my ass hung out? No thanks. At least the bikini covered most of my boobs and butt.”

“Whatever.” Mitch rolled her eyes. “Let’s get you dressed. We need to be downstairs in twenty minutes.”

Mitch helped her put on what was surely the skimpiest alien costume in the universe. Cleo stood before the mirror staring at the creature looking back at her.

“I look like a mutant leprechaun belly dancer.” She took a sip of her wine. “It’s a damn good thing you didn’t show me this when you asked me to come. I’d have said no.”

“For the record, you’re not a mutant leprechaun; you’re an Orion slave girl. Men are powerless before you. Too bad that cutie from the bar last night can’t see you. You’re worth a dozen of the brunette he was with. Come here so I can spray the glitter on you.”
Two glasses of wine in quick succession were easing her embarrassment, but as she allowed Mitch to spray the liquid shimmer on her hair and body, she couldn’t resist one final complaint.

“Well, I’d rather wear what you’re wearing. If the air-conditioning is turned up as high as it was this morning, I’ll be an Orion slave icicle!”

5. You should read my books if you want to be entertained. I co-author under the name Misty Matthews. Grand Slam is a baseball short where the past and the present collide. Brittany and Justin have a second chance at love. Will they take it? As well, in October, Coming Home, the first book in a four-book series, Taking a Chance on Love, will be released. Litigation lawyer Alana hates Chance, Arizona, her hometown, and has avoided returning until now. She’s here for the holidays, but she intends to go back to Texas as soon as she can. Connor hates the big city. Can he change Alana’s mind and show her home is where the heart is?

Grand Slam cover   Excerpt from Grand Slam:

“Honey, we’ve been to two games already this year. You’ll have more fun with your teammates than hanging out with your boring, old mother. You’ll do guy things.”

She gave a half-hearted laugh trying to keep the conversation light. Dustin could never know the reason why she couldn’t go to the Ravens’ game. She’d found a way to avoid taking him to the New Orleans’ game each season these last three years, but she didn’t know how she’d get out of it this time. Why did the Ravens have to be his favorite baseball team? Why was he drawn to Justin Harris rather than one of the other players? Did the heart instinctively recognize its own?

“You’re not old, Mom. You’re the biggest baseball fan I know—besides me, of course. I really want us to go together. Please? It won’t be any fun listening to my team cheering for the Tornados.” He shook his head as if such a thing was unthinkable. “You won’t be the only parent there. Some of the other kids’ fathers are going. Besides, you promised to take me to a game I chose. This is the one I’m picking.”

Why can’t he love the home team like everyone else?

There was that dreaded ‘F’ word again. Her mind and her heart screamed this would be a mistake. Why was it kids knew exactly what to say to undermine a parent’s confidence? She wouldn’t let him guilt her into giving in this time, but this was a problem she’d created. When he’d won the team MVP last year, she’d foolishly agreed to give him a special gift of his choosing. He’d opted for tickets to the game of his choice next season. They’d already gone to games, but those hadn’t been his choices.

Why did I ever agree to such a thing? Sometimes I just don’t think.

Dustin was a good kid, and she hated denying him anything since he so rarely asked. He never begged for outrageously expensive things like some of the other kids did. He seemed to understand, that as a single parent family, some things were a bit harder for them. The only things he asked for were baseball-oriented, and as much as it hurt her to admit it, she wasn’t sure she could honor this request.

“I don’t know, Dustin. I’ll have to think about it. Go wash your hands. We’re ready to eat.”

“Mom,” he groaned, dragging the word out as if it had more than one syllable and standing his ground. “I don’t see what the big deal is. I want to go and watch our favorite team play. I want to see Justin Harris, and I want to do it with you.” He glared at her, every ounce of stubbornness he possessed on his face. “Just say yes.”

To hide the tears in her eyes she turned away from him. With more force than necessary, she cut into the lasagna.
“I can’t do that. It isn’t that simple. We can discuss it after supper.”

“I’m not hungry. I’m going to my room to do my homework.”

“Dustin, you have to eat.”
He ignored her, stalked off, and slammed his bedroom door.

Damn!

***

What I want more than anything is that, when you turn that last page of any of my books, I want to know you smiled and said, “I enjoyed that.”
You can find all of my books through my website: http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/

About the author:

Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. An avid reader of all types of books, with a penchant for happily ever after romances she travelled in her imagination to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. Today, she has made her dreams come true. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Susanne and her husband of more than 40 years live busy lives. They have three children and five grandchildren. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, chatting on the Internet with her writer friends, and hearing from her readers.

Follow Susanne on her: Website Blog Facebook page Twitter @jandsmatt

Amazon author page and Goodreads author page

More on Love in a Small Town from Readers and Reviewers

9781440585869Celebration over the Crimson Release bundle Love in a Small Town continues to build. Find out more about these ten full length novels of life and love in America’s closest knit communities. –Leslie

 

Who doesn’t enjoy a charming love story where the towns are small but folks’ hearts are big? Now you can get ten of them together for just 99 cents in this Love in a Small Town book bundle courtesy of Crimson Romance…

 

Release date: September 15, 2014

 

Curl up tonight with these ten down-to-earth heroes who know just how to set the neighbors’ tongues wagging with their good looks and easygoing charm. But life in a small town isn’t always sweet and simple, and love can get more than a little complicated in these heartfelt contemporary romances.

 

See what previous readers and reviewers are saying about these stories on Amazon:

 

  • California Sunset by Casey Dawes -

            “…pulls at your heart making you feel what you didn’t know you could.”

 

  • Slow Ride by Kat Morrisey -

            “The chemistry between Kyla and Copper is so hot you will need a cool glass of water…”

 

  • Coming Home by Christine S. Feldman -

            “…an emotional ride, beautifully written and developed.”

 

  • Begin Again by Christy Newton -

            “…a sweet, poignant small town romance which is a pleasure to read.”

 

  • Lake Effect by Johannah Bryson -

            “…flirty, fun, and just right to take your troubles away for awhile.”

 

  • All About Charming Alice by J. Arlene Culiner -

            “…an emotional, heartfelt, dazzling experience.”

 

  • Broken Wings, Soaring Hearts by Beverly A. Rogers -

            “…a sweet, deep and very inspiring and fast read with a great plot that will keep you hooked…”

 

  • Charmed by Inés Saint -

            “…a charmingly sweet romance with warmth and humor that you will enjoy throughout the book.”

 

  • Angel Without Wings by Mari Manning -

            A story about family, love, and redemption…

 

  • Breaking the Rules by Melinda Dozier -

            “…a beautiful romance about taking risks and second chances.”

 

Grab the entire collection now for just 99 cents, and see for yourself just how sweet small-town love can be…

BUY LINKS:

Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iTunes

Spotlight on Love In a Small Town

9781440585869

Crimson Romance releases Love in a Small Town. Ten dazzling, full length romances from the heart for just .99! Get your copy before time runs out.

 

Love in a Small Town: Ten Homespun and Heartwarming Contemporary Romances (Crimson Romance Bundle)

 

California Sunset: Casey Dawes

Divorced mother Annie Gerhard meets rugged new bookstore owner John Johnson at the worst possible time in her life. Her high tech company is threatening to lay her off if she doesn’t move from California to New Jersey and her 15-year-old son David is causing trouble. The recession has hit Silicon Valley hard and there are no jobs for a middle manager, even if she hates what she does. And this is no time for romance, no matter how good the man looks in his jeans.

John has escaped Montana memories of a deceased wife and betraying girlfriend by buying an independent bookstore in California. He’s got bigger problems than falling for a spunky woman with control issues. Keeping a bookstore afloat in a recession and finding a home where he can stable his horse are all he can handle right now.

Unless . . .

John and Annie must both face their pasts in order to greet the future. Can they risk it?

Contemporary romance author Casey Dawes is an award-winning writer who believes in Casey Dawes contemporary romance authorthe power of friendship and love to change lives. Her novels are filled with real-life situations where people discover how to change their lives for the better to achieve real love.

Living in the beautiful state of Montana gives Casey and her husband plenty of opportunity to hike, camp, and photograph scenery, animals, and birds. When weather keeps her in, Casey also enjoys quilting, knitting, and cooking.

 

Slow Ride: Kat Morrisey

Kyla O’Grady hit the gas and drove her Mustang out of Rock River, Pennsylvania with one goal in mind: find somewhere to start over. Her life had gone sideways back home and Kyla needs something new, something fresh, and she needs to find the music again. But on a stretch of road off the coast of Maine, her car has other ideas. Broken down just inside the town limits of Ashten Falls, Maine, Kyla is stranded.

Cooper Moretto has a problem. In fact, the whole town of Ashten Falls has a problem in the form of a corrupt town official. Cooper had enough on his plate to last a lifetime, but on a stretch of highway heading into the town he spots a ’67 Mustang Coupe and does what any decent mechanic would do: stop to help. But getting this car back on the road is the last thing on his mind when he sees its owner, singing as if she weren’t in the middle of nowhere.

Kyla is speeding away from her past, unsure how to move forward. Cooper has been on cruise control, just hoping to get through every day without being arrested or harassed. Can the two slow down long enough to see that maybe the answers to both their problems lie in each other? And can they survive when enemies that are lurking in the shadows try to destroy them both?

Kat Morrisey lives in a small town in central New York State where she splits her time between her family, her jobs as both teacher and lawyer, and the fictional characters she writes about. She can often be heard on social media talking about a wide range of topics, including Highlanders, book boyfriends, happily ever afters, Jane Austen, hockey, fictional characters, men with beards, and of course, zombies. She loves to hear from readers and can be found on twitter, @KatMorrisey, and Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/KatMorriseyAuthor

 

Coming Home: Christine S. Feldman

No woman ever really forgets her first love. Callie Sorenson is no exception. Hers was tall, tanned, and – as her older brother’s best friend – completely off limits.

Danny McCutcheon.

It’s a name that Callie hasn’t spoken in years, even if the man to whom it belongs has never really been all that far from her thoughts. Or her heart. But now a twist of fate will bring her back to the childhood home she left behind years ago, and to the hometown boy for whom she secretly longed.

When her mother takes a bad fall and breaks her hip, Callie leaves the bright lights of New York City to fly back west and help with the rehabilitation. It’s a tense homecoming due to a long time estrangement between mother and daughter, and it drives Callie to confront both a painful personal loss and her unanswered questions about the father who abandoned her when she was just a child. It also brings her face to face with Danny again, and Callie quickly realizes that old feelings die hard.

But for Danny, it’s new feelings that are a problem. Callie is not the young girl he remembers but a woman now, and a very desirable one. They both have reasons to fight the growing attraction between them, but the temptation may just prove to be too much to resist, despite some very real risk to their hearts. The past casts a long shadow over the future, though, and Callie will have to overcome it or else face losing the one man who means the most to her.

Christine S. Feldman writes both novels and feature-length screenplays, and she has placed in screenwriting competitions on both coasts. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her ballroom-dancing husband and their beagle.

 

Begin Again: Christy Newton

What if one night changed your life forever?

 

Maisie Scott lost not only her husband and unborn child in a tornado two years ago, she lost her will to live. Keeping busy is the only way she can get by. This small town waitress won’t let herself get attached to anyone . . . until Ryan, the new veterinarian for exotic animals, starts making regular trips to her diner. As hard as she tries not to feel anything, Ryan ignites a spark in her broken heart.

Ryan Tucker craves a happy family of his own more than his momma’s apple pie. Getting over his fiancée leaving him six months ago, he moves to Pleasant Valley for a fresh start. When he meets Maisie and notices the sadness in her eyes, he is determined to put a smile on her pretty face.

When another dangerous storm hits, Ryan stays by Maisie’s side. She fills the missing piece in his heart, but will Ryan share his secret? Can Maisie move on from the past and learn to begin again?

Christy Newton is a hopeless romantic and writes many genres of romance. She just might be the only author out there that doesn’t drink caffeine, but dark chocolate is her must have. She falls in love with each of her heroes and hopes you will too! Learn more about her at www.christynewton.com, on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Christy-Newton/359791990763912, and on Twitter @CNewtonAuthor.
Lake Effect: Johannah Bryson

Shelby Aylesworth knows what real love feels like. She also knows the pain of losing that kind of love. With her faithful collie dog, Norman, she takes refuge on Whiskey Island to try to put her life back together. When Norman arranges a most unusual introduction to the island’s newest resident, Shelby finds herself wondering if it isn’t time to stop grieving and start living.

Wyeth Packard has come to Whiskey Island under the guise of restoring and making profitable an old vineyard and manor house. What he really wants is some peace and quiet away from the fast pace of NYC. Being considered one of the city’s most eligible has thrown him into the path of every gold digging society princess out there. He longs to find a balance but has given up on ever finding a woman who will love him for who he is, not what he has.

Together they navigate the slippery slope of what it means to begin again. Can a new love fill the void left by an old love?

Johannah Bryson lives in NE Ohio, near the shores of fabulous Lake Erie. In addition to writing she’s also a Certified Personal Chef. She shares her home with her husband, a ten year old collie and a three year old Border collie. When she’s not writing or cooking, she and her husband love to explore the amazing food and music scene of Cleveland and the surrounding area. She loves to hear from her readers: johannahbryson@gmail.com

 

All About Charming Alice: J. Arlene Culiner

Alice Treemont has given up hope of meeting the right man and falling in love. Living in depopulated Blake’s Folly, a community of rusting cars, clapboard shacks and thirsty weeds, she cooks vegetarian meals, rescues unwanted dogs and protects the most unloved creatures on earth: snakes. What man would share those interests? Certainly not Jace Constant whose life in Chicago includes elegant women, fine dining and contemporary art. He’s in Nevada doing research for his new book but definitely won’t be staying: he hates the desert’s bleakness, the dust on his fine leather shoes and the dog hair on his cashmere sweaters. As for snakes — they terrify him.

So why does the air sizzle each time Alice and Jace meet? Why are they so fascinated by each other? Their feelings might go deeper than raw desire, but any long-term relationship is clearly doomed.

In need of juicy gossip, the other 52 residents of Blake’s Folly have decided Alice has been alone for long enough. The attraction between her and Jace is so obvious, why worry about differences? If you trust in love, solutions do appear. But don’t those solutions call for too many compromises, too much self-sacrifice?

Born in New York, raised in Toronto, J.Arlene Culiner has spent most of her life in England, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Hungary and the Sahara but now resides in a 300-year-old former inn in a French village of no real interest. Much to everyone’s dismay, she rescues and protects all living creatures — especially spiders, bats and snakes; her wild (or wildlife) garden is a classified butterfly and bird reserve. She can be found at: www.j-arleneculiner.com and at: www.jill-culiner.com

 

Broken Wings, Soaring Hearts: Beverly A. Rogers

Hailey Holman is a woman determined to keep her dad’s memory and his dream of reopening their small-town Texas base station alive. Jack Stinson is looking for a peaceful place to escape the rat race of the big city life and big city business of his own family’s airplane manufacturing business.

What a perfect match. Other than the fact that her mom hates the flying business with a passion and fights Hailey’s every effort, and Jack’s dad fought his every effort to make the break, then disowned him for leaving. Throw in two town bullies who insist on opening a base station of their own and reeking havoc on Hailey’s plans and her own determination not to get personally involved with the employees, and it’s anything but smooth sailing.

But these two focused pilots might just be surprised how things can work out with enough stubbornness . . . and faith.

Beverly A. Rogers is a Texas girl who writes with a heart as big as the Lone Star State. Her idea of a romantic man isn’t someone who will promise her the moon and the stars. It’s someone who will walk on the beach holding her hand, watching the moon and the stars from her eyes . . . and never complain about sand in his boots.  Learn more about Bev at http://www.BeverlyARogers.com.

 

Charmed: Inés Saint

Jamie Sullivan is a fun-loving, widowed mother of twin five-year old boys. A
creative goldsmith with her own line of designer charms, she is determined to
forge her own unique brand of success. Jamie guards a painful secret that leads
her to be emphatic about not letting a man into her life.

Nick Grey is the gorgeous, charming, and daydream-inducing headmaster of the private
elementary school Jamie’s children will attend. After single-handedly bringing
up his daughter while earning his doctorate and proving himself to the school’s
board of directors and the community, he feels burned out. Come the end of the
semester, Nick is taking a year off to travel the world.

When they meet, an instant attraction blazes through both. Nick and Jamie soon find their hard
earned peace of mind threatened by meddling matchmakers, old rivalries, and
children who can’t keep their feet out of their mouths. But Nick’s not
interested in starting over and raising kids again, and Jamie’s sure she can’t
trust her heart. Will they be able to nurture their friendship and attraction into something that can last forever?

Ines was born in Zaragoza, Spain and have moved approximately twenty times. I went to school in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Puerto Rico and I’m bilingual and bicultural. I’ve spent the last ten years raising my fun, inspiring little boys and sharing my life with the man I’d always dreamed of. My greatest joys are spending time with family and close friends and coming up with characters and interesting situations.

 

Angel Without Wings: Mari Manning

A war widow at twenty-six, Linnea Reyes is haunted by the soul-shattering fight she had with her husband just before he led his detachment into the ambush that killed him. When one of the wounded soldiers from her husbands battalion asks her to help save his family’s farm, she jumps at the chance for redemption. Unfortunately, she runs straight into a six-foot roadblock – the soldier’s older brother who has plans of his own.

After resigning from a promising army career to help his mother and wounded brother, Jesse McCormick is at the lowest point in his life. Now they are about to lose the family’s organic farm and only one plan will earn him enough money to get his family out of debt and him off the farm – a dangerous assignment with a paramilitary group. He can brush aside the protests of his worried family, but the good intentions of Linnea Reyes prove to be more than he can handle.

Angel Without Wings is Mari Manning’s second book from Crimson Romance. She has always loved small towns and romance … and writing. The result is Angel Without Wings and her first book, Holding Out for a Hero. Mari has finaled in several contests, including the Golden Claddagh and the RWA Valley of the Sun’s Hot Prospects contest. She is also a member of RWA and the Chicago North Chapter for which she serves on the board. Currently Mari is working on a three-part series of romantic suspense set in the hill country of Texas and, in her spare time, blogging at http://www.marimanning.com.

 

Breaking the Rules: Melinda Dozier

A forbidden love affair in the past has led Hope Robinson, a middle school principal, to Harbor Bay, Florida, where she commits herself to play by the rules. This can be difficult for a perpetual klutz, who—even strapped in a cast—has to uphold a competent attitude at all times.

Luckily, she has Dr. Colin Calaway on her side, a widower and father of a student, who is ready to give love another try. When Colin convinces Hope they should explore the connection between them, a steamy romance develops, though it could destroy them both. They must decide if their jobs—and their hearts—are worth the risk.

Melinda lives in Guatemala, Central America with her husband and three boys. She teaches English to middle schoolers during the day and finds time to write at night. Melinda has always been an avid reader and writer, enjoys watching reality tv, blogs, and relaxes with Zynga games. You can find Melinda at www.melindadozier.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/melinda.dozier

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

B&N

Kobo

iTunes

Crimson Romance:

 

Corralling those Cowboys!

Corralling those Cowboys!.

Return to Rio Welcomes Bethany-Kris

spraypaintkisses2

Today is a Return to Rio first–we’ve done spotlights and interviews, but today, author Bethany-Kris kindly agreed to share a guest blog post with us! I’m really happy about that, because after my first week at school with 28 first graders I needed a mental break! Even better, Bethany-Kris shines the light on inspiration in her New Adult romance, and shares background, a blurb, and an excerpt that makes me want to keep reading.

I know you’ll enjoy our guest post!  Thanks, Bethany-Kris!

How Spray Paint Kisses Started …

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today to talk about my latest release with Evernight Publishing Spray Paint Kisses. A contemporary erotic romance, the story also happens to fall into the category of new adult, considering the ages of the main characters are 22 for the hero Gage, and 21 for the heroine Summer. It isn’t often I write my characters younger, at a point where they’re just beginning to enter adulthood, but sometimes, the story requires it. I like to think these two, while still learning about things like love and life, have a maturity they’ve both earned though the choices and mistakes of their pasts.

I always love to answer the question, “So what made you write this story? What inspired it?” That’s what I’m going to talk a little bit about today before I introduce you to the story itself.

I grew up in a very small town. So small, in fact, that my graduation class only sported 80 or so graduates. These were mostly people I’d went to school with my entire life. Because when you live in a small town, you tend to take notice how small it really is, and sometimes forget about how big the real world actually is until you’re thrust right into the middle of it. My lovely spouse, who is always such a great support system and encouragement to me, also grew up in a small town, one just a short drive away from mine.

Where he grew up is where Spray Paint Kisses begins. I always knew I wanted to write a story based in his hometown, as I know so much about it, and it’s a beautiful place. A quiet, almost retirement community if you want to put it that way, the younger generation has little to do but cause trouble and make a ruckus just to have some fun. (Hey, I was one of those once …)

Unfortunately, it isn’t always innocent. Lately, the town has been plagued by some serious vandalism and things of that nature. And while sitting in my car waiting for my spouse to finish getting what he needed from the store, I noticed a young man with a pretty blonde on his arm. His hoodie was pulled up over his head to hide his face, not to mention it was the middle of summer so why did he need a hoodie anyway, right? Fashion statement, I guess. Don’t question the moods of teenagers.

Nonetheless, that wasn’t what caught my attention. It was the black spray paint smeared on his hand, the one holding a cigarette, not the one holding the girl’s at his side hand. Vandalism is illegal, and we can label it whatever we want—a crime, graffiti, or street art. That young man whose name I don’t know, and probably won’t ever, inspired an older version of my hero with spray paint on his hands, a pretty blonde at his side, and a past that wasn’t always on the right side of the law, so to speak.

I do so hope you enjoy the story of Summer and Gage in Spray Paint Kisses.

–Bethany-Kris

 

Spray Paint Kisses by Bethany-Kris

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance, New Adult

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Release Date: August 20th, 2014

Length: 26k – Short Story

Blurb:

He’s left his mark everywhere. She’s still trying to find a place to leave hers.

Gage Masselin is a graffiti artist whose life has revolved around his art, and focused entirely on his career. He’s never needed a muse to get his inspiration flowing, so when an unexpected blonde-haired beauty knocks him out of his zone, he knows he’s in trouble.

Summer Davey is just a traveling girl with a gypsy’s soul. The one constant she has is her need to keep moving on. She’s never stayed in one place long enough to plant roots, never mind finding a man with spray paint kissing the tips of his fingers to make her heart beat faster.

She inspires him. He’s the first thing to ever feel like home.

Sometimes the hardest things to find in love and life are the easiest to lose.

Excerpt:

“Isn’t that illegal?”

Gage Masselin nearly dropped the aerosol paint can when he heard the feminine voice. Whenever he was in the middle of creating a tag, he was in the zone. There were no sounds but the constant whoosh of the spray paint can’s nozzle and his rhythmic breathing. No distractions took him away from his art.

Well, usually.

Turning on his heel, Gage forgot about the black and white bandana he still wore around his lower face as a shield from the paint fumes. The material muffled his surprise as he came face to face with the prettiest damned thing he’d ever seen in his twenty-two years of life.

Long waves of golden hair were tied off to the side in a messy braid, falling over her front. There wasn’t a lick of makeup on her clear peaches and cream complexion. Standing in gladiator style sandals, ripped up jean shorts, and a faded band T-shirt, the girl could have been just about anyone.

Except she couldn’t. Gage’s tiny New Brunswick hometown was a blink and you’d miss it kind of place. Growing up in Plaster Rock gave him the ability to know everyone, even if he didn’t officially live there fulltime anymore. Thing was, people moved away, new people didn’t move there.

Everybody knew everyone else, or they thought they did. Gage didn’t know this girl.

“Uh …”

The girl smirked before waving in Gage’s direction. “Your face.”

His face?

What?

“My—”

Instantly, Gage realized what the girl meant. The bandana still covered the lower part of his face, including his mouth. He probably looked like some little hoodrat hiding in the alley, tagging the shit out of the high school library’s wall.

No wonder she thought he was doing something illegal.

Tugging down the bandana so it rested around his throat, Gage offered the girl a shrug in explanation. “Sorry, habit to wear it. I usually don’t have company when I’m painting, so no reason to have my mouth free to chat.”

“You mean an accomplice, right?”

“No, I mean company,” Gage replied with a smile.

 “I didn’t realize graffiti had become legal.”

 Oh, this girl had balls, or she just liked breaking them. Either way, Gage liked that.

 “It’s not. That’s probably why I spent two years in juvenile hall.”

 “Wouldn’t be juvie now, though.”

 “No,” Gage said. “It’d be the pen. Good thing it’s legal. I’m not looking to spend any more time in a lockup.”

 The girl still didn’t look convinced.

 “Honest, sweetheart. See …” Gage pointed at the piece of official paper taped to the brick wall. If a cop happened to stop by, all he had to do was refer to that permit. “Gives me the right to be here slumming up this wall with my work. The school commissioned me to do the piece. It’s all on the legal side of things, promise.”

 A small hand rested on her jutted out hip. The action caused Gage to let his eyes wander down the expanse of her creamy thighs and wonder if they felt as smooth and silky as they looked. They probably did. He bet she’d taste like salt, skin, and sin.

 Shit, how short were those jean shorts of hers, anyway?

 Short enough that they made Gage’s mouth a little dry just from staring.

 Fucked, that’s what he was, and he didn’t even know her name.

 “If you say so,” the girl mused.

 Gage couldn’t help but tease. “What would you have done if I said it was illegal? Call the cops?”

 “Nope.”

 “That’s it?”

 She smiled a blinding sight. “That’s it. It is pretty.”

 “Uh, thanks?”

 “You’re welcome.”

 With one more glance at the bare bones of the mural just beginning to take form, the girl turned to leave. Gage was positive his heart leaped into his throat, creating a lump his words couldn’t make their way by.

 “Wait!”

 The darkened blue of her eyes glittered as she stared back. “Yeah?”

 Gage forced himself to swallow the nerves beginning to form in his throat. Nervousness wasn’t like him at all. “You didn’t tell me your name.”

 “You didn’t tell me yours, either.”

 “Gage. It’s Gage.”

 “Summer.”

Buy Links

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Spray-Paint-Kisses-Bethany-Kris-ebook/dp/B00MVA2D8O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408492788&sr=8-1&keywords=spray+paint+kisses 

Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/spray-paint-kisses-by-bethany-kris/

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-spraypaintkisses-1601136-149.html 

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/spray-paint-kisses-mf 

 

Add Spray Paint Kisses to Goodreads TBR

Author’s Bio

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother of two young sons, two cats, and two dogs. Between barking dogs, snuggling cats, playing children, and a spouse calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

Author Links

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bethanykriswrites

Twitter: www.twitter.com/BethanyKris

Blog: www.bethanykris.blogspot.com

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/bethanykris/

Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/bethany-kris/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bethany-Kris/e/B00FF78PVO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

This Writer’s Road: Lola Karns Introduces A Bad Traveler

Bad-Traveler300x450    I am delighted to welcome Lola Karns to share a little of her writing journey. Her new release, Bad Traveler–look at that cover!–features a remarkable story from small town America. She also shares a recipe that made me laugh, even after I spent a 13 hour stretch at the day job. Be sure you read all the way through to the most useful cookies you might ever find! Let’s get a little bit of Lola’s perspective on this new romance and the writing life in general.

 Lola, you have a new release, Bad Traveler, coming out on August 22nd. Before we talk about the newest release, what would you like us to know about your work up to the moment?

Bad Traveler marks my debut as a multi-published author. My first book, Winter Fairy, came out in 2012.

 I grew up in a small town, and love small towns as setting—and really sometimes, as characters—in stories. Tell me a little about the town and residents we’ll meet in Bad Traveler?

I created a college town, the sort of place dominated by bars, cheap eats and a seasonal population of students. The idea of placing my hero and heroine in this sort of place appealed. They met at the college, but are in different stages of life when they independently return. So far as residents, Gwen’s parents are both academics. Kyle works for the college, but Gwen’s sister, Keira, serves as voice for the year round residents. She’s fun. She might deserve her own story.

 You know what’s better than a single title small town romance? A series! Hint, hint.Your heroine and maybe especially your hero caught my attention—their problems are so current and so difficult to resolve. How did Gwen and Kyle come about?

Gwen developed in part through conversations with other women who expressed the fantasy of owning their own bakery and in part through my own parenting moments where I thought “I need help.” I’m fortunate that my husband is involved with my children’s lives. Single parents have a difficult road. Kyle evolved from my experience living near Virginia Beach and Norfolk VA. With a large military presence, I became acquainted with a number of active duty members of the military who were thinking about what happens after retirement. The local newspaper, the Virginian-Pilot, ran a series of articles about wounded warriors, who face unique challenges in adapting to civilian life. The range of responses discussed in the paper inspired me to think more about the reintegration of these brave individuals into civilian society.

 Miranda Lambert wrote a song called “Everybody Dies Famous in a Small Town.” What would Gwen and Kyle be proudest and most ashamed of in their town?

Kyle is most proud of Gwen and how she opened her own business. She is proud of her business too, but her daughter Chloe, always comes first. So far as what would shame them most, no doubt, gossip.

Small town gossip is both the best and the worst. Depends a lot on the situation! What do you want readers to take away from Bad Traveler, or any Lola Karns story?

I hope that readers find something that makes them smile, something that offers food for thought and something that makes them want a cold shower.

 What didn’t I ask that I should have—something important, silly, funny, strange—just something you want to add?

I asked Gwen for her brownie recipe, but she refused to share. Instead she offered this recipe for Aggression Cookies used in a pivotal scene.

From the kitchen of Gwen Jones

3 cups old-fashioned oats

1 ½ cups packed brown sugar

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 cup chocolate chips (I also like a blend with butterscotch)

Dump all ingredients into a large bowl. Mash, squish, pound, punch until thoroughly mixed and you’ve mostly forgotten why you were mad in the first place.

Roll into 1 ½ inch sized balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. If you’re still mad, you can smash them into place with the side of your palm dipped into sugar.

Bake 10-12 minutes in a 350 degree oven

A warm cookie and a glass of milk will ease any left-over hostility.

BIO

Having worked as a bartender, shipping clerk, concierge, document translator, European history doctoral candidate, and more as she moved through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, Georgia, and Virginia, Lola decided she needed a more portable career. Writing fit the bill.

Lola currently resides in Minnesota with her husband, two children, two hairless cats and a fluffy ex-stray cat. When not writing, she enjoys baking, reading and drinking coffee.

 

Media links:

Website/blog    www.lolakarns.com

Twitter                                 @lolakarns

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

Goodreads         https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6451976.Lola_Karns

Google+               https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LolaKarns/about/p/pub

Pinterest             http://www.pinterest.com/lolakarns/

 

 

 

Presenting Summer Heat from Crimson Romance

Summer_Heat_Bundle2014_600

Suffering from the summer doldrums? Has the weather been a little cool, or the sizzle a little short-lived? Rescue is at hand! Find out about an extraordinary bundle of hot books to end your summer with a bang. Here’s what you need to know:

Summer Heat – 10 Sizzling Romances for 99 Cents

 

Do you like it hot?  Crimson Romance just released a new 10-book box set of their steamiest titles for only $0.99.  You heard right!  These aren’t short stories or novellas but ten full-length romances all in one big bundle for less than a dollar. Bought separately, you would pay over $40 for these same books.  This collection will be available for a limited time , so don’t miss out!

 

On an even tighter budget? Kindle Unlimited subscribers can borrow all the individual titles FREE as part of their subscription. Just click the Free on Kindle Unlimited links under each title below to download.

 

Blurb:

When the summer sun beats down on the beach, Crimson Romance turns up the sizzle between the pages. From hot bikers to powerful venture capitalists and those oh-so-sexy military men in—and out—of uniform, these ten books put the spotlight on the heroes who make us melt.

 

Where to Buy:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Crimson Romance | Amazon.uk | Amazon Canada

 

 

Summer Heat includes all 10 of the following titles:

 

The Wicked Bad by Karyn Gerrard

Is Veronica a good girl who longs to rub against…The Wicked Bad?

Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

Infamous by Irene Preston

Hollywood’s favorite wild child moves to the ‘burbs in this heart-warming romance that reviewers call fun, flirty, and 10 kinds of hot.

Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

Prelude to a Seduction by Lotchie Burton

Can an unexpected romance develop between an over-confident, on-the-prowl playboy and his unsuspecting and uncompromising prey?

Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

Inventing Sin by Alicia Thorne

Dumped by her ho-hum boyfriend, English professor Gabriella Kurtz invents the perfect imaginary man to replace him . . . and gets the surprise of her lifetime when a real flesh-and-blood hero takes advantage of her little white lie.

Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

His Fantasy Maid by Susan Blexrud

Dr. Amy Maitland is a first year resident physician, but she leads a double life…as a fantasy maid.

Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

Island Pursuits by Heather Rodney-Diaz

Adrian and Cory begin a sizzling affair in their island paradisebut what they both discover about the past threatens to destroy any chance of a happily ever after.

Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

Dangerous Love by Lilou DuPont

In Prague, Laura explores her sexuality by embarking on an erotic love affair that challenges her deeply held beliefs.

Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

Her New Worst Enemy by Christy McKellen

Ellie’s no-strings weekend fling with her brother’s best friend should be the easiest thing in the world to walk away from, so why is she finding it so difficult?

Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

Blitzkrieg Love by Livia Olteano

Ellie’s no-strings weekend fling with her brother’s best friend should be the easiest thing in the world to walk away from, so why is she finding it so difficult?

Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

As If You Never Left Me by Katriena Knights

Rey wants Joely back, But will his carefully laid plans disintegrate when she finds out what really brought him home to Colorado?

Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

Still not sure? Here are a few excerpts to help you make up your mind!

 

 

The Wicked Bad by Karyn Gerrard

 

Blurb:

Dark and brooding, Nick Crocetti is a bad boy in looks and demeanor. Veronica Barnes needs a new start, and Nick is a complication she doesn’t need.

Can they break down the barriers of past heartbreak, or is Veronica just a good girl who longs to rub against “the wicked bad”?

 

Excerpt:

She followed him toward the beach. The shoreline wasn’t very big, but private, as you couldn’t see the road or much else from their vantage point. Wonder how many other women he brought here, she thought cynically.

 

He spread the blanket and assisted her in sitting down. Again, the touch of his hand made her face flush as well as parts further south. Nick sat next to her with one leg bent and he rested his arm on the top of his knee. They sat quietly and gazed out over the water. The waves caressed the sand with a serene almost hypnotic sound.

 

“I saw you talking to that wuss, Jake Spooner, as I left the other day. I can imagine what he said about me,” Nick said in a voice so soft, she hardly recognized it as his.

 

Veronica cleared her throat uncomfortably.

 

Nick laughed. “I see. Go on, amuse me, what did he say?”

 

“Um, he said you were in prison—” she began.

 

“Jail. Not prison,” he retorted.

 

“There’s a difference?”

 

“You’ve got the cop for a brother, you tell me,” Nick snapped. He shook his head, more gently he said, “Sorry. It’s a touchy subject. City jail, for assault and destruction of property. Prison usually means a state or federal beef. Mine was local and a long time ago. I did my time and it’s over. I don’t like talking about it.”

“He called you a thug and said you deal drugs among other things.” She shouldn’t be telling him this, but the words tumbled out of her.

 

“Really? And still you went out with me? Are you some thrill seeker, one of those good girls eager to rub up against some wicked bad? Is that why you’re here? I’ll be as bad as you want, just say the word.”

His voice grew tight and edgy. Barely restrained anger simmered below the surface, she could hear it.

 

“I’m just telling you what Jake said, you asked.”

 

Nick stared at her for several moments. “Yeah. I did. Sorry. I haven’t been out on a date in awhile.”

 

“You haven’t been with any women…”

 

“Oh, I didn’t say I haven’t been with women, just haven’t been on a date.” The right corner of his mouth twitched in what Veronica supposed was amusement.

 

About Karyn:

Karyn lives in a small town in the western corner of Ontario, Canada. She wiles away her spare time writing and reading romance while drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea. Tortured heroes are a must. A multi-published author with a few best-sellers under her belt, Karyn loves to write in different genres and time periods, though historicals are her favorite. As long as she can avoid being hit by a runaway moose in her wilderness paradise she assumes everything is golden.

 

Karyn’s been happily married for a long time to her own hero. His encouragement keeps her moving forward.

http://www.karyngerrard.com/

 

 

 

Infamous by Irene Preston

 

Blurb:

Jessica Sinclair is Hollywood’s favorite wild-child, so what’s she doing burning cookies and playing house in the ‘burbs?  Conservative soccer dad Morgan Riley can’t figure it out but he’s happy to have her home and heating things up in his bed.  Then Jessica finds herself back in the tabloids…with Morgan’s teenage daughter right next to her.

 

Excerpt:

In the elevator, he fumbled for the room key that would allow them access to the suites on the top floors. His hands felt big and awkward as they swiped the key through the reader. If you stripped me naked on the hors d’oeuvres table. . . .Christ. She always had a way of knocking him off balance, of peeling away every last bit of self control. She had thrown the words out so casually, and as soon as she said them he had pictured doing just that—imagined shoving aside the crudités and shrimp cocktail and spreading her out like his own personal feast.

 

The doors closed and she was in his arms. He pushed her against the elevator wall, his tongue thrusting urgently into her mouth. She wound around him, humming incoherent words of encouragement. They weren’t nearly close enough. She tilted her head back, inviting his tongue deeper. He was drowning in the taste of her when he felt her hands slide down between them. His body jerked.

 

They were still in the elevator. He was damned if he was going to make love in a public elevator. He managed to wrest her hands away from him and anchored them above her head with one of his own.

 

Not here.” Could she hear the desperation in his voice?

 

About Irene

http://www.irenepreston.com/

Irene Preston has to write romances-after all, she’s living one! As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe. Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses.

 

 

His Fantasy Maid  by Susan Blexrud

 

Blurb:

On the eve of Jake Sinclair’s bachelor party, his best man surprises him with a fantasy maid named Amy. Clad in a bikini, she cleans his house and jump starts his heart. She’s beautiful, smart, and compassionate. Why is a woman like this working as a fantasy maid? A few days later, with thoughts still distracted by the enigmatic Amy, Jake crashes his car and wakes in the hospital emergency room where his fantasy maid is now wearing scrubs and wielding a stethoscope. Is she an hallucination, or is his fantasy maid a doctor?

 

Excerpt:

If I believed the adage, “you are what you do,” my self-concept would be in the toilet, so to speak.  I clean houses in a bikini or French maid get-up, client’s choice, which contributes little to making the world a better place.  As a result, my adage is, “you are what you become,” because I’m becoming a doctor.

 

But today, I’m Amy Maitland, fantasy maid.

 

My best friend and fellow medical resident, Ellen, knows about my undercover life working for Fantasy Maids, but she’s the only one.  If word got out at the College of Medicine,

I’d be the laughingstock of the University of Central Florida.  My five brothers know I work as a housemaid, which they respect as good, honest labor, but they don’t know the fantasy aspect.  Protective (and controlling) men that they are, they’d lock me up.

 

That being said, it’s not the worst job in the world.  I’ve been a fantasy maid for almost two years, and so far, none of my clients has tried to assault me. But it’s always a possibility, considering Florida’s propensity for perverts.  The company (i.e. Rex, the owner, and a part-time secretary) arms us with pepper spray and an emergency hotline number (Rex’s cell phone), and they screen the customers to make sure no one’s a registered sex offender.  They also arrange our appointments, and Rex is good about following up…within four or five days…to make sure we survived the gig.

 

About Susan:

http://susanblexrud.com/

 

Susan Blexrud hails from Orlando but currently lives in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, where she quilts, watches birds, leads a monthly romance book club, and conjures her next romance novel.

 

 

Dangerous Love  by Lilou DuPont

 

Blurb:

In Prague, Laura feels that she has met her soulmate. Yet how can her soul merge with the son of a Nazi? After being passed over for a promotion at a Chicago advertising agency, Laura cashes in her stock options, quits her job, and moves to Prague. There, she begins an erotic romance with Byron, only to discover that he is German and his father was in the Hitler Youth. As an observant Jew, Laura has deep misgivings about becoming involved with the son of a Nazi, but the attraction between them is so strong that she cannot resist.

 

Excerpt:

“Oh!” Laura cried out. There were other passengers in the railcar, but Byron did not seem to care. Presumably, he knew what they could (or could not) get away with on a train in Europe. He glided his hand past her panties and went right for her gash.

 

“Oh!” she cried out again. Their railcar entered a tunnel while another train blasted by them, gusting in the opposite direction. They were engulfed by a deep rumble and darkness. Byron sheltered her in his arms, protecting her from any danger. When they emerged from the tunnel, they were overwhelmed by sunlight.

 

He covered her eyes with his hands, as if blindfolding her. Finally, he kissed her on the mouth. His fingers separated, allowing in a burst of white light. It was ordinary daylight and she was on a midday train, somewhere in Bohemia. Yet it was more like being on Space Mountain at Disney World. Would Byron get the reference?

 

The tip of his tongue entered her mouth and teased her. She wanted it down her throat. From the tacky seat, she lifted up her buttocks, struggling to be as close to him as possible.

 

He reached inside the low, scooped out neckline of her peasant dress. He attacked her nipples, brushing them back and forth. Laura was so stimulated she wanted to scream. He restrained her by kissing her again. Now his tongue aggressively explored her. She sucked on it, wanting much, much more.

 

About Lilou:

Lilou DuPont graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in Philosophy and studied Erotic Writing at The New School in New York City. She lives in Washington, DC where she enjoys a successful advertising career and a large circle of friends. Dangerous Love is her first novel. She is at work on her second book, a spy romance set in Bucharest, Romania. Vampires? No. Gypsies? Yes.

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Her New Worst Enemy  by Christy McKellen

 

Blurb:

Six months ago Ellie Holdsworthy’s life was all planned out – kids, wedding, happy ever after – until her boyfriend dumped her for another woman. Now her best friend, Penny – an heiress to a small fortune – looks set to run off with a gold-digger and Ellie is determined to save her from certain doom. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is the one person she’d rather not ask…

 

Little does Ellie know, persuading her brother’s best friend – commitment phobic, playboy businessman, Gideon DeLancy- to hold an intervention at his beautiful Georgian manor would be the easy part. Keeping her hands off him is a whole other matter.

 

Excerpt:

Gideon grasped her wrists and pulled them behind her body, pushing her breasts forwards even more. He held both wrists captive with one hand and pressed his body closer to her, trapping them. She gasped as his erection pushed against the top of her buttocks.

 

“See how much you turn me on,” he whispered again into her ear, his eyes not leaving hers in the reflection.

 

Blood pounded between her legs causing a hard ache of need, and she pushed her buttocks against him, loving the feeling of his obvious arousal for her.

 

As she stared back at the mirror she was amazed to see how different she looked now. Her breasts were high and full pushed forward and with her pelvis tipped back, her stomach seemed flatter and tighter. For the first time in a very long time she looked at her body, really looked at it, and liked what she saw.

 

“You see,” he said, kissing along the top of her shoulder. “Gorgeous.”

 

He released his hold on her captured wrists and ran his fingers across where her collar bones pushed against her flesh, to the dip of her neck, then skimmed down over her breasts, down her stomach to the top of her jeans.

 

He pulled the buttons roughly open and slipped his hands inside, under her panties, before pushing them down over her legs.

 

“Step out of them,” he murmured, and she did as she was told. She was now standing naked in front of a mirror. In front of Gideon.

 

“Bend forward and put your hands against the mirror,” he said.

 

“What?” Her voice was shaky and light with arousal.

 

“Just do it, Ellie,” he said, kicking her clothes away from them.

 

About Christy:

B.K. (Before Kids) Christy worked as a Video and Radio Producer in London and Nottingham. After a decade of dealing with nappies, tantrums and endless questions from toddlers, she’s come out the other side and moved into the wonderful world of literature. She now spends her time writing flirty, sexy romance with a kick (her dream job!).

 

 

Blitzkreig Love  by Olivia Olteano

 

Blurb:

“Don’t try to be my hero. Don’t care about me. Don’t let go.”

 

Twenty-two-year-old Beatrice Stevens lives to dance. Two years ago she walked in on the picture of horror: after stabbing her mom 34 times, her father killed himself. She found his corpse still clutching at her mom’s, determined not to let go of her even in death. Now Beatrice freaks out if she’s hugged, loomed over or receives attention from daddy-type guys. Unless she’s dancing—the one thing that feeds her soul and saves her time after time.

 

Anthony Gowl wants Beatrice from the moment she bumps her adorable nose into his chest. That desire turns into a burning need after he sees her dance. But he’s the overprotective type—he can’t help it, it’s part of him ever since his sister ODed seven years ago. His savior complex makes him the perfect opposite of what Beatrice needs.

 

But she can’t seem to shake him. He’s both scary and exciting, even when he kneels at her feet. And the closer he gets, the more that toxic waste in her soul threatens to explode.

 

Excerpt:

“Jesus freaking Christ, yes! I’m comin — ”

 

I froze there. Right before me stood tall, gorgeous, and annoying Anthony Gowl. And he was grinning.

 

“Is this a nightmare?” I muttered under my breath.

 

“Judging by your sleepwear, more of a fantasy. But I’m awake, so I don’t know what that makes this.”

 

I frowned and looked down. My sleepwear was a pair of shorts and a top. Well, not showing more skin than the costumes. “What’s wrong with my sleepwear?”

 

“Not a thing. But it looks so … intimate. I like your morning look. Truly beautiful women are beautiful right when they wake up.”

 

I snorted. “Whatever. You clearly know nothing of women if you think that. Now what are you doing here?”

 

“Will you let me in, or are we talking on the hall?”

 

I thought about it. The only other person living here was Doug, so I was sort of okay talking in the door like that. But he just looked so hopeful, like a puppy. I almost felt bad to keep him there. So I shrugged and turned around, heading for the kitchen. “I’m making coffee. Want some?”

 

The door clicked closed behind him. “Sure, thanks.”

 

“Sit down or whatever,” I called over my shoulder.

 

Once the coffee was all done, I poured two mugs of it and brought them into the living room. He’d settled down on the couch, coat shrugged off. He wore chocolate brown pants and a lovely, crisp, white shirt. Not clean-shaven like he’d been the night before, and I sort of liked this look better. There was something about men with a maximum of three days’ growth that was incredibly sexy. I left his mug on the coffee table and walked into the bedroom, put on a pair of sweats. Sitting with him on my couch, him in a suit and me in shorts just seemed wrong on so many levels.

 

“Don’t dress up on my account. I liked your earlier outfit — ”

 

I held up my hand and took a few gulps of coffee. The nectar of the gods slid down my throat and made me incredibly happy. I truly woke up then, my brain getting its gears in motion.

 

I sighed with delight then fixed my eyes on him. “Okay, now I’m ready to begin the day. What the hell are you doing here?”

 

“I think I liked you better before the coffee. You were so soft and pliable … ”

 

I squinted my eyes and took another gulp. “Start talking or I’m calling Doug to throw you out.”

 

About Olivia:

Livia Olteano is a loud and proud coffee addict, lover of all things beautiful and incurable romantic.

 

She believes stories are the best kind of magic there is. And life would be horrible without magic. Her hobbies include losing herself in the minds and souls of characters, giving up countless nights of sleep to get to know said characters, and trying to introduce them to the world. Sometimes they appreciate her efforts. The process would probably go quicker if they’d bring her a cup of coffee now and then when stopping by. Characters—what can you do, right?

 

Stop by www.liviaolteano.com or the blog for the latest news and rants of glory.

 

Presenting Crimson Romance’s Modern Love Bundle!

Modern love logo

 

Ten authors.  Ten books.  One unbelievably low price for a summer reading bundle that celebrates the many faces of modern love.

Find out more below–the authors, a few excerpts to whet your appetite–and the unbelievably low price for this spectacular summer deal! And on a personal note–I had a terrible time choosing just three of the excerpts!  I can tell you, each of these ten full-length works is one of Crimson Romance’s best-selling, most compelling stories of modern love.  Get yours now!

Amazon

Modern-Love-Sale

Bundle Blurb

When love calls, it’s rarely easy but always memorable, and definitely worth turning the pages. Recapture the thrill, the delicious anticipation of finding your happily ever after in these 10 unforgettable, hot stories by some of today’s brightest names:

Her Knight in Black Leather – J.M. Stewart

Destination Wedding – Robyn Neeley

Drawn to Jonah – Jennifer DeCuir

On the Fly – Katie Kenyhercz

Wildly – Debra Kayn

Falling for You – Heather Thurmeier

Beginning Again – Peggy Bird

Spiraling – Rachel Cross

Save My Soul – Elley Arden

Sweet Gone South – Alicia Hunter Pace

 

 Excerpt One:

Falling for You by Heather Thurmeier

 

“Stay still, Corona,” she pleaded, patting the horse on the shoulder. She swung her leg over the horse, determined to successfully complete one dismount before the challenge ended.

Her arms shook as she lowered herself carefully from the saddle, finally giving up their fight part way down. Gravity took her the last few feet and she hit the ground with both feet, stumbling backward a step before bumping into something solid.

“How, Cassidy? How do you always end up in my arms?” Evan’s voice rumbled in her ear, his warm breath on her earlobe making her girly bits tingle.

She found her footing and turned in his arms. She could see the dust and dirt clinging to his five o’clock shadow, his brow beaded with sweat. He desperately needed a shower and there was nothing she could have fantasized about more than being in one with him. Instead, she pushed herself back from him and swallowed her urge to climb him like a jungle gym.

“What can I say? I guess I just keep falling for you,” she said, before her brain caught up to her mouth and she was able to censor herself.

 

About Heather

Heather Thurmeier is a lover of strawberry margaritas, a hater of spiders, and a reality TV junkie. Her passion is contemporary romance—writing stories filled with laugh out loud moments, uber-hunky heroes, feisty heroines, and always a happily ever after.

 

Excerpt Two:

Drawn to Jonah by Jennifer DeCuir

Jonah was standing at the sink with his back to Quinn. Or rather, with his backside to Quinn. She paused for a moment, enjoying the view. Until she realized that Jonah was looking at her reflection in the kitchen window. If she weren’t so mortified, having been caught checking out the handyman’s butt, she might have noticed the fact that he seemed to enjoy the attention.

“Um,” she gestured at the gurgling coffeemaker.

“Yeah, I’d like some. Thanks.” Jonah grinned.

He peeked in on Lily, who was curled up on the couch, wrapped in Nanny’s crazy colored afghan. They sat down at the table, the silence awkward. Jonah looked agitated.

“There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you,” he blurted.

There it was. Her instincts were spot on. She nodded.

“I’ve been trying to come up with the right way to ask this.” Jonah drummed his fingers on the tabletop, his expression sheepish.

He was going to ask her out! She had to tell him no. It wouldn’t work. But he was so good looking, such a loving father. He made her feel things she had no business feeling. Oh, what the hell—she’d go out with him. Just this once.

“Okay, here’s the deal.” He breathed deep and leaned in close. “I was hoping that you would…teach me to read.”

Wow, it must have been the paint fumes coming off his speckled T-shirt, because Quinn could have sworn that Jonah just asked her to teach him to read.

 

About Jennifer

Jennifer DeCuir is a busy mom still trying to figure out how to balance carpooling, volunteering and homework with writing time. Coffee helps … a lot.

Excerpt Three:

 

Destination Wedding by Robyn Neeley

 

“Kate, I was expecting you.” He chuckled and pointed to her side. “Do you need some help with that?”

Kate looked down in horror. She had forgotten to zip up her dress! Her lacy blue bra and matching thong strap were visible. She yanked up the side zipper. “You have something of mine,” she said icily.

“Your dress from last night. Here it is.” He pulled back the closet door and handed it to her. “Looks like they were able to get the tomato juice stain out. Good as new.”

“Thank you.” She clutched the dress and turned to leave. On impulse, she spun back around. “You know. You’re an ass.”

He smiled down at her. His smile was just as warm as it had been last night. “I’ve been called worse. Listen, Kate, we need to talk. Let me get dressed real quick. Why don’t you come in and have some champagne.”

Kate peered in. Next to him was a bottle of champagne chilling in an ice bucket and a glass plate of chocolate covered strawberries.

“I sent those to you and Lauren. There’s nothing to say. You, Drew Cannon, are my client. I don’t know what last night was about, but we will not be clinging champagne flutes unless it’s at your wedding!”

“Kate, you’ve got this all wrong. This isn’t what you think.”

“You commandeering my dress and posing as my boyfriend isn’t what happened?”

“Well, yes, but come in. I’ll explain everything. I think you’ll find it quite amusing.”

“There is nothing funny about my client being a lying, cheating schmuck.” She turned and headed back to her room.

The door slammed behind her.

“Kate, please stop. If you would just listen—”

She put her hand up to block his words. “Don’t follow me. I am only going to pretend to be nice to you because you are my client, and your wedding is going to catapult me to partner. I need this wedding to go off without a hitch.”

He swore under his breath.

“You don’t have to get nasty.” She pushed her keycard in and unlocked her door.

“No, it’s not you. I locked myself out.”

“Not my problem.” Kate entered her room and slammed the door.

“Kate. Come on,” he pleaded from the hallway. “At least let me borrow your phone to call housekeeping. You can’t leave me out here in a towel.”

“Consider it payback!” she yelled and peered out of the peephole. He had turned around. His beautifully sculpted backside was exactly as she had imagined. No tattoos, no scars. Pure perfection. Her nails would have a heyday…

Frustrated, she turned around and leaned against the door. So he has to go to the lobby in a towel to fetch a new key. He’d probably get some suggestive looks from women anxious to find out what was underneath it. That’s not payback. Her lips turned up in a devilish smirk. “But this is.” She gripped the door handle and flung it open.

“Thank you, Kate.” He started to enter. “I knew you wouldn’t leave me out here. I’ll only be a minute.”

“Not so fast.” She rested one hand on his chest and yanked off his towel with the other, leaving him naked. “I’ll just have this dry cleaned for you.”

She slammed the door and rolled up the towel, shoving it in the wastepaper basket. Now that was payback.

 

About Robyn

Robyn Neeley is an East Coaster who loves to explore new places; watches way more reality TV than she cares to admit; can’t live without Dunkin Donuts coffee and has never met a cookie she didn’t like. If you have a must read romance suggestion or a fabulous cookie recipe, she wants to know. Visit her at robynneeley.com.

 

Modern-Love-Sale

Amazon

New Release: Tara Mills’ Dark Storms

TaraMils Dark storms

 

Today Return to Rio is proud to highlight Tara Mills brand new release Dark Storms!  To celebrate, Tara  provided us with a blurb and excerpts to share with you–so dig in and enjoy.  Check back here or on Tara’s site (following excerpts) for information on any upcoming blog tours or giveaways!

 

Blurb:

Fresh out of the Navy, Gabriel Nadeau is more than ready to settle down when he accepts a job on Pelican Cay. He craves peace and serenity—and lands in a tempestuous paradise instead. Barely unpacked, he finds himself entangled with the enchanting free spirit, Adriana Hernandez, marked by a jealous rival, and uncovering an ongoing crime. As the residents prepare for the storm of the century bearing down on them, Gabe discovers the hurricane is the least of his worries and he and Adriana are both in more danger than either realized.

Excerpt 1:

Gabe was sprawled face down on his bed, the twisted sheet draped loosely over one leg and pinned beneath the other, when he was roused by a rap on his door.

He shook himself awake as another knock sounded. The digital clock on the bedside table told him it was nearly two in the afternoon.

Grunting and groaning, he rolled to his side and rubbed his eyes. “Hang on. I’m coming.”

He swung his legs off the bed, grabbed the untucked sheet, and wrapped it around his waist as he shuffled to the door. Still a little drowsy, he tried and failed to manage the chain stop and gave up, pulling the door open without it.

Adriana was on the other side. Her eyebrows shot up and she gave him a wicked grin. “Good afternoon. I brought coffee from the lobby.” She looked him over, very carefully, and her smile widened. “Why don’t you get dressed and meet me on your little patio?”

“Ah…” He followed her eyes down his bare torso to the loose bed sheet and rubbed the back of his neck. “Sure. Be right with you.”

“Good.”

She put a little extra wiggle in her walk as she wandered off. Grateful and grinning now himself, he closed the door. Whatever was on top in the bureau drawers is what he grabbed and took into the bathroom.

Adriana was relaxing in one of his two patio chairs when he joined her. She took in his lightweight track pants and Navy t-shirt and gave a sad little sigh. “Gone, but not forgotten.” Before he could respond, she picked up a thermal mug from the little table next to her and offered it to him.

“Thanks.” The mug was brand new and stamped on the outside with the resort’s logo.

“I didn’t know what you like, so I just went with our special Pelican Cay roast and two amaretto creamers.”

He leaned against the railing and took a taste. “Mmm, works for me. Thanks again.”

“Did you get enough sleep?”

“Plenty. I usually only need about six hours a night.”

She frowned. “So you didn’t go to bed right away?”

“I needed to wind down first.”

“Hmm.” She seemed to mull that over for a moment then shook herself and looked up at him, brows arched. “I noticed you don’t have a shift until tomorrow morning. Would you like me to show you around? I’ll give you a tour of the island.”

“Aren’t you working?”

“It’s slow. I asked if I could leave early.” She winked at him. “I have an in with the boss.”

He took another pleasurable swallow, finally waking up. “Lucky. Sure, I’d love a tour.”

“Bring your trunks. Who knows, we might find time to take in a little swim.” She stood up and tipped back her own cup, draining it. “I have a couple of things to finish. Why don’t you meet me at the front desk? I’ll introduce you to Rosa. After that, I’m all yours.”

It was hard to mistake her invitation when it came coupled with a flirty little smile. Not only were they on the same wavelength, but he was receptive to the idea. “Sounds good. I’ll catch up with you.”

She left him there and Gabe ran back into his quarters to brush his teeth, find his trunks, and grab his wraparound sunglasses. Working his feet into his leather sandals, he looked around, wondering how he was supposed to carry his damn trunks. He didn’t have a bag small enough. Ah, screw it. He wadded them in his hand, slid his wallet into his back pocket and plucked his keys off the bedside table. Out of habit, he tested the door once it closed to be sure it locked properly.

The grounds crew was busy. He could hear the buzz of trimmers being used around beds and borders. At least one riding mower passed nearby, making curving patterns in the grass on its way back between the buildings.

Skipping up the two steps and into the airy lobby, he met Adriana’s gaze over the counter and they both smiled. His heart beat just a little faster at seeing her again. It was ridiculous. She’d just left him five minutes ago. Yet, he couldn’t stop his blazing grin from flaring to life when she looked at him.

“Hey,” he greeted her. “Almost ready?”

“Just about. I have to put the paychecks into the boxes then I’m done. Hang on.” She turned and called, “Mom? Gabe’s here.”

An attractive woman stepped out of the office. She was a little shorter, a bit thicker through the body, but clearly Adriana’s mother. Smiling, she approached the tall counter, giving him a friendly onceover. The women’s smiles were identical. Where they differed was the eyes, or rather the expression in the eyes. Adriana looked at him with familiarity, intimacy, and open amusement.

“Gabe? I’m Rosa. It’s nice to have you here with us. Are you settling in okay? Have any questions or concerns?”

Startled, his eyes cut to Adriana and he shook his head. “Um, no. Your daughter was very helpful.”

Rosa patted Adriana on the back. “I’m glad to hear it. Honey, I’ll take those checks. Don’t make him stand around waiting for you.”

“Thanks.” Handing them over, Adriana gave her mom a quick kiss on the cheek. “I guess we’re out of here. I’ve got my phone if you need to reach me.”

Rosa turned her around and with hands on both shoulders, walked Adriana out from behind the counter.

Summarily dismissed, Adriana spun around. “Wait, I need my bag.”

Gabe was snickering when she came back out of the office swinging a canvas bag by the straps.

“Here.” She opened the top of the bag and thrust it at him. “Drop your drawers.”

 

Excerpt 2:

Adriana gave him a big smile. “There you are. I thought I was going to have to send a search party.”

“Unnecessary.” He looked her up and down and slowly shook his head. “That’s some suit.” His deep wolf whistle made her laugh.

She turned to show him the back, tossing a saucy look over her shoulder. “It’s new. Do you like it?”

“Very much. Should I read this as an invitation?”

The minx gave him an intriguing little smile. “More like a challenge.”

“A challenge?” He snorted at that. “How so?”

She started backing toward the water, grinning as if they were playing a game, only he didn’t have a clue what the rules were yet.

“Nothing worth having should come too easily. You have to catch me.” With that, she spun around and took off, racing for the waves.

Jolted by her unanticipated move, spurred on by her beckoning laugh, and still raring to go, he dropped his clothes and bounded after her. Adriana took a running dive into the water and swam away from him. He hit the water hard. The splash made her look back and shriek. Her arms dug in faster than ever, and she submerged making him wonder if she’d changed course. Then she resurfaced where he thought she would be and he gave chase, heading right for her.

She was a good swimmer, sleek and powerful, surprising because she was a slim little thing. He felt like a lumbering giant behind her, though he wasn’t a bad swimmer either. Slowly, steadily he closed the distance. Plunging under the waves he saw her bare feet and safely caught her right ankle without getting kicked. He hauled her back to him and she spun and sputtered as they both broke the surface and gasped for air.

Adriana smoothed her wet hair back and blinked at him. Her lashes were long, black and spiked. Paired with those deep brown eyes, it was a good look for her. She bit her lower lip and her expression turned coy. Not expecting that, he caught her around the waist before releasing her foot. He wasn’t entirely sure she wouldn’t swim off again once she was free and he didn’t want to risk it. She surprised him by moving closer instead. Their bodies bumped and slid together. Her arm went around his shoulders and she pressed her chest more firmly into his.

“I’ve got you now,” he told her.

“And I’ve got you. What happens next?”

He wanted to touch her, let his hands and lips explore every slippery inch of her, but they were too far out and he couldn’t touch bottom here. But he could kiss her, and that’s exactly what he did.

http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Storms-Pelican-Cay-Book-ebook/dp/B00LGZKU76

About the Author

I’m a contemporary romance writer, wife, mom, new nana, and dog owner. I can be serious and silly. Thoughtful and thoughtless. I fear math and technology, but give me a box of Crayolas or a book and I’m a happy camper. Escape with me into books.

If you like fun and flirty, saucy and sexy, exciting thrills and suspense, or simply a feel good story, I’ve got a title for you. Romance with a heartbeat.

Please visit my website, Tara Mills Romance, for more information on my titles, sneak peeks, and my quirky blog. I’m also on Facebook.

 

 

This Writer’s (Well-traveled) Road: Cait O’Sullivan

taming-001 Today I’m honored to have author Cait O’Sullivan visiting us from her home in London.  Cait will fill us in on her world travels, set me straight on whether or not she’s madly in love with the sea and it’s pirate lore.  Glad you could join us today, Cait!

Hi Leslie, thanks so very much for having me on your blog today!! I’m thrilled to be here.

Before we go too far, Cait, how about telling us a little about yourself–a bit of a biography.

I’m a divorced mum of two beautiful girls and live in London. As a child I used to climb a big apple tree in the garden (in Limerick, Ireland) at 6am and sit and read my books as the sun came up. I never thought I’d be the one writing the books when I grew up and feel immensely grateful that I am. Writing has become a bit of an obsession with me, if I don’t get my fix (as in school holidays and the like) look out world. You know sexual frustration? I get creating frustration!!

You were born in Ireland, live in England, but you’ve traveled a lot?  Where haven’t you gone you really want or need to go—personally, or as a writer?

Well, currently I’m doing draft III of the first fantasy novel in a trilogy – yup I know, a big departure from writing romance. And that’s really where I needed to go as a writer. Personally? Heck there are a whole heap of places I need to go. Africa, India, Canada as new places, but also want to revisit New Zealand and North America. New York I want to see. I could go on, you know…

Cait, correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought when I first started seeing you on blogs that you might have a fascination with the sea. Do I notice a bit of pirate dialect creeping into some of your blog conversations, or is that your native Irish lilt creeping into your conversations?

Native Irish lilt, I can’t help it I’m afeared :). I don’t realize it, it’s only afterwards that I notice it’s phrased in a different way. Interestingly enough, it is generally backwards, such as ‘the sea, why do you want to ask me about that?’ as opposed to ‘why do you want to ask me about the sea?’ and I recently found out that it is because Gaelic scans like that. So it’s in my blood. Hence I can’t change it. I like to introduce early enough that there is some Irish blood somewhere, just in case someone is perceptive (like you Leslie!) enough to pick it up!! As regards your question about the sea, nope, I haven’t written about it, but simply because I don’t think I’m worthy enough to do so. A quote I love from PB Shelley:

‘I see the Deep’s untrampeled floor,

With green and purple seaweed strown;

I see the waves upon the shore,

Like light dissolved in star-showers, thrown.

I just so love that last line!! Anyway, with beautiful verses like that out there about The Sea, The Sea, how could I possibly do it justice?

Hope I didn’t put you on the spot, Cait.  I know you wrote Romancing the Sea, and I heard a few ‘mateys’ and ‘arghs’ here and there in interviews, so I thought you might share my love of the sea–which is why I live in dry, landlocked south Texas.  And if I can tell a quick story about Irish lilt–my father had an Irish friend, Bog Gogarty–not really a handsome man, but leprechaun cute–and my sister and I had huge crushes because of his lilt!  And the funny thing–he had a gorgeous, too young English wife named Lesley, and we thought she hung the moon when we weren’t being jealous teenagers. Technically, she was a teenager, too–19–but she was older than us!  But I’m sorry–I digress. 

 Your next release, Taming the Tango Champion, promises to be a sultry reunion between Londoner Ava Whittaker and tango champ turned dance show judge Matthias de Romero of Argentina.  What intrigued you most about this relationship, this story?

The whole cross continent relationship, really. When I traveled, I was very protective of my heart because to be honest, I didn’t want to fall in love with someone who lived continents apart from me. Having said that, I don’t think it gets any more romantic than love across oceans. So that was what I wanted to explore a bit more deeply. The single mum story too was very close to my heart as I know how it feels and so wanted to write something meaningful to me. You’ll spot the parts that were written when I had had that particular experience, the scene with the risotto for example. Taming the Tango Champion started as my second book, then put away whilst I write book 3 & 4, then dusted down, edited, finished and edited. So parts are written from different times of my life. I can see them all played out.

 What’s ahead down the road?  Are any particular projects demanding your attention?

Fantasy fantasy fantasy. I’m so very excited that I’ve written my first one and am now trying to do the story justice by telling it the best way I can.

How difficult has the road to publication been to this point, and what has surprised you most by where you are and how you got here?

It wasn’t that tough so far, although I had shelved Romancing the Seas—the first book I wrote—thinking there was no point in trying to sell it. But a lovely and dear friend of mine sent me the link to a publisher and then hey presto, they liked it. What surprised me most was the wonderful support, motivation and encouragement I received from anyone in the writing world, whether it be critique partners or writing groups, or groups of writers belonging to publishers, the energy has been wonderful and I feel really privileged to be a part of it. Thanks all!

 What do you hope readers who have read Taming the Tango Champion—or any of your books—will look for in your future works?

A certain sense of style in the way I write. I don’t know what it is, so I can’t tell you!!! I’d like to think there’s humour in my writing, along with the occasional truth that gets people thinking. Maybe J I can hope hey!!

Tell us something I forgot or didn’t know to ask you—something deep, or silly, or funny—just something you want us to know about Cait O’Sullivan that we don’t know.

I’ve just fallen in love with the most amazing man on the planet J. How zat to finish off a romance interview!!

Pretty perfect, if you ask me!  Cait, thanks so much for coming by, and I hope Taming the Tango Champion is a huge success!  Good luck with your fantasy series–we’ll be looking forward to those, too.

 

BLURB:

One dance is never enough.

London TV presenter, Ava Whittaker, has a baby by twice-former Argentine Tango Champion Matthias de Romero. The problem? He doesn’t know. Fast forward two years and Matthias is the judge on a new dance show where Ava is a contestant. But time hasn’t healed the wound of discovering he was engaged during their tryst whilst on holiday in the Andes, and although she’s still in love with Matthias, she carefully guards her secret…and her heart.

Still in search of answers on why Ava walked out on him while staying at his ranch two years ago, Matthias takes a place as a judge on To Dance or Not to Dance. But seeking answers only creates more questions for Matthias.

Will the glitterball–and her secret–cause their intense feelings to burn out or fan further the flames of desire?

 

Amazon UK                Amazon.com

 

 

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Author biography

 

Cait O’Sullivan has a deep love of words, music and magic, having had the good fortune to grow up in Ireland. The wanderlust in her blood sent her out to travel the world and now, residing in a leafy suburb of London, it is her thoughts and memories that journey far and wide in order to create her stories.

Cait’s Place                             Facebook                                 Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

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