• Leslie P. Garcia-Author

Intense, Provocative, Addictive: Susanne Lee Matthews’ The White Carnation

The White Carnation

Evil exists in the world, and Susanne Lee Matthews captures its horrors in an exquisitely crafted, gripping romantic suspense, The White Carnation, first in The Harvester Series. I found the book intriguing, and the suspense chilling. Faye Lewis and Detective Rob Halliday are swept into the labyrinth of danger presented by serial killers and secretive cults, and their escape is never a given. Author Susanne Lee Matthews shares details with us:

Blurb For The White Carnation

The last person disgraced reporter Faye Lewis wants back in her life is Detective Rob Halliday, the man she blames for ruining her career and breaking her heart. But when she finds an old friend murdered, he’s the one she calls.

For the past year, Rob and his team have been hunting the Harvester, a serial killer who ritualistically murders new mothers and vanishes with their infants. What Rob doesn’t need is another case, especially one involving his ex-fiancée.

Then Faye is assaulted, and Rob realizes the cases are connected. She may hold the answers he needs to find the elusive killer. But the more they investigate, the more complex the situation becomes. Can they set the past aside and work together, or will the Harvester and his followers reap another prize?

The White Carnation will be available April 20, 2015. For buy links, please visit http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/

 

Excerpt:

Twenty minutes later, the unmarked police sedan pulled up behind the black and white outside the brownstone. The paramedics were parked farther along the street, just ahead of the police car, reducing traffic to a single lane. The coroner’s van pulled up behind them. Rob got out and approached the coroner.

“Amos, I didn’t expect to see you here so soon. I called for a bus, not the meat wagon.”

“Paramedics were nearby so Logan got here quickly. He radioed in—exsanguination due to a lacerated throat. He’s still up there. Nothing he can do for the victim, but your fiancée is taking it hard.”

“The victim was like a second mother to her.”

Your fiancée—Amos’s words were true once, but never again. There was no way Rob would hitch his wagon to a woman who could believe he’d betray her like that, a woman who’d put her job so far ahead of him, he’d barely been on her radar at times. The sex had been great, but love was supposed to be more than that. Still, she’d reached out to him. He took the stairs to the brownstone two at a time, his lean, muscular body having no problem with the climb. He flashed his badge at the officer who stood guarding the door. “Anyone showing any interest?”

“No, Detective. According to the concierge, the people in number five are in Europe, and I don’t think the rest of the residents are home from work yet. Looks like a robbery—the place has been tossed pretty good—and there’s no damage to the door, so she must have let them in. Logan says her throat’s been slit from behind.”

“Where’s Ms. Lewis?”

“In the living room with Logan. He wanted to take her to the ER—claims she’s in shock. I told him she had to stay put until you arrived. He’s pissed at me. Says I’m interfering with his job. He seems pretty friendly with her. I heard she’s some big shot investigative reporter.” He chuckled. “Some crime reporter—she’s puked a couple of times already.” He continued to laugh. Rob’s face must have reflected the anger moving to the surface because the guard choked it off.

“Rick Logan is one of the best paramedics we have. For the record, McMillan,” Rob read the nameplate on the policeman’s uniform, “the next time he says someone has to go the ER, you’d better damn well listen to him. And as for Ms. Lewis, the victim was a personal friend. It’s different when the victim’s someone you know.” His voice was clipped, his displeasure obvious.

Rob turned and entered the apartment. He’d learned the need to remain objective in order to do the job properly, but as he’d told the young officer, it was different when it was personal. Not only had the victim been an acquaintance, Faye was in there. He swallowed and tried to find the emotional distance he needed.

The place was a mess, just as the officer had said. He looked around quickly, his trained eye taking in everything in an instant—the wallet on the table, money on the floor mixed with the victim’s blood, the take-out bag, Faye’s purse and its scattered contents. Whatever this had been, it hadn’t been a routine robbery. Someone had been looking for something other than the usual snatch and grab items, so what were they after? What could Mrs. Green have that was worth dying for?

He found Faye sitting on the living-room sofa with Logan. Her face was red and blotchy, her blue-green eyes mascara-rimmed from her tears, and her clothing disheveled and covered in blood. She stood and moved forward, stopping before she reached him. Wrapping her arms around herself, she looked young and vulnerable, not a bit like the bitter, angry woman she’d been the last time he’d seen her.

new picture of me

About the author:

Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. 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.

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

Amazon author page    and    Goodreads author page

Susanne always provided a bonus, for those who want to know more. Why not meet one time crime reporter Faye Lewis before you dive into her chilling story:

 

Meet Faye Lewis:

Creating three dimensional characters the reader will identify with is a challenge faced by most authors, including myself. For Faye to be “real” to the reader, she had to be “real” to me. I wanted my readers to love her, identify with her, and care about her and her struggles the same way I did.

Faye Lewis, the heroine in The White Carnation, Book One of The Harvester Series, is named after my best friend, and in writing the story, I tried to give Faye Lewis those qualities I admire most in my friend. With apologies to the real Faye, I’ve tortured my heroine, but she’s a fighter, and believe me, she gets her happily ever after in the end.

So what kind of person is Faye Lewis?

Dedicated: Faye’s an aspiring journalist who’ll do whatever it takes to get the story. She’ll work long hours, and make whatever personal sacrifices are necessary on the way to her ultimate goals—a Pulitzer Prize and the number one spot on the crime beat at Boston’s most prestigious newspaper.

Caring: She has a soft spot for underdogs, and befriends those who are marginalized by others. She also jumps to help those who ask for her help. She accepts people at face value, but if you get on her bad side, forget it. She can and does hold a grudge.

Knowledgeable: Faye’s intelligent and well-read, and has done a lot of research on a number of different topics in her quest for the truth in reporting her story, and her search for the story that will win her that Pulitzer Prize.

Perceptive: She has the ability to look at a number of seemingly disconnected points and pulling them together so that they make sense. She’s invaluable to Rob as they try to solve the Harvester case.

But, in order to be well-rounded, Faye also has her faults.

Stubborn: When Faye thinks she’s right, nothing can make her change her mind.

Distrustful: Due to her father’s behavior, Faye expects to be let down by people. She doesn’t trust anyone, not even the man she purported to love.

Quick-tempered: Irish to the roots of her chestnut hair, she loses her temper quickly, jumps to conclusions and says things she regrets almost as soon as she’s said them.

When the story starts, Faye has two fears: clowns and electrical storms.

The White Carnation is available now from most major e-retailers. Visit my website http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/  for direct purchase links to this and the rest of my books.

Morgan O’Neill presents The Thornless Rose

 

THE THORNLESS ROSE 1600x2400   Ageless romance, royal intrigue and fictional characters so perfectly drawn they become part of the history of their time–and all time. Morgan O’Neill’s new release, The Thornless Rose, Book One in the new Elizabethan time travel series, is a perfectly crafted jewel!

Blurb:

No one ever knew what really happened to Dr. Jonathan Brandon back in 1945. He simply disappeared from a London pub, leaving behind an unsolved mystery and his fiancée—Anne Howard’s grandmother. Seventy years later, Anne herself is haunted by the strange tale, along with inexplicable hallucinations straight out of Elizabethan England. Including a scarred, handsome man whose deep blue eyes seem to touch her very soul…

Anne wonders if there isn’t something more to the story. Is it even possible that Jonathan disappeared into England’s dark past? And why does Anne keep hearing him whisper her name? Because now she too feels the inexorable pull of the past, not to mention an undeniable attraction for a man she doesn’t even know.

It’s just a matter of time before Anne will step back into history, and face a destiny―and a love―beyond imagining…

 

 

 

DeborahCordes&CaryFrates

Meet Morgan O’Neill:                                           

A chance meeting at a writers’ conference brought Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes together, two award-winning authors who connected because of a mutual love of time travel fiction. Collaboration ensued, the search for a pen name the first step in their working relationship. Their maiden names provided the solution – and “Morgan O’Neill” was born.  Cary and Deborah’s backgrounds are uniquely suited to writing stories steeped in atmosphere and history: Deborah has a Master’s Degree in history and is a dedicated genealogist; Cary is a talented linguist in French and is currently a student of Latin. They’ve traveled to Europe’s ancient and medieval sites many times, with Cary living on the Continent for five years.  The Morgan O’Neill time travel novels have received a number of literary awards, including two finalist wins in the Booksellers’ Best Awards, two semifinalist wins in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, first, second, and third place wins for the Mainstream Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category of the Golden Rose Contest, a top ten finalist award in the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Conference Zola Awards Literary Contest, and a top ten finalist win in the Orange Rose Contest.

Author Links:

Website – www.morganoneill.com

Newsletter – https://madmimi.com/signups/125219/join

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23723313-the-thornless-rose?from_search=true

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/morgan.oneill.books.12

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AuthorMONeill

 

Buy Links:

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Thornless-Rose-Entangled-Select-Historical-ebook/dp/B00QRW3OH6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418852004&sr=8-1&keywords=the+thornless+rose

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/thornless-rose-entangled-select/id949899897?mt=11

Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-thornless-rose-entangled-select-historical

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-thornless-rose-morgan-oneill/1120872044?ean=9781633751767

 

 

 

 

Elke Feur Presents Deadly Race-Book Two in the ‘Deadly’ Series

ElkeFeuer_DeadlyRace_800px   Elke Feur’s December release, Deadly RDeadly Race - Preorderace, available now for pre-order, brings together the elements of a fabulous lifestyle–an island lifestyle, fast cars, deadly men–a perfect playground for heroine Remy Borden. Until people start dying, and she and Dr. Jackson Wilson clash–and burn.

Who can resist a story that promises so much, and throws humor into the mix along with suspense and some Cayman Island glitz?

 

Book Blurb:

Race car driver Remy Borden likes fast things: bikes, cars, and men. Her plans to become the first woman from the Cayman Islands to race internationally gets sidetracked when she’s injured and pulled from the final race because of a fiery confrontation with another driver.

 

Life goes from bad to worse when the racetrack owner is killed and she’s suspect number one because his death puts her back in the race. But racing again proves difficult when Dr. Jackson Wilson insists she stop racing until she heals, making her wonder if his ‘doctor’s orders’ don’t have ulterior motives-the racetrack owner was his friend.

 

She and Jackson search for the truth behind the murder when accidents start happening at the racetrack, and an adoring fan gets too close. Soon the simmering attraction between her and Jackson boils over, forcing her to admit Jackson makes her think of a life beyond racing.

 

Excerpt

“I didn’t really have a relationship with her. She was someone I wanted, but she didn’t know how I felt until an hour ago.” Would she decide to kick him out of her apartment for either leading her on or being a complete ass?

She gripped the couch tightly and it collapsed beneath her hands. Her eyes narrowed to slits and her mouth twisted in anger. Here comes her emotional eruption. He braced himself.

“You put me through all of that for nothing?” She said it with so much control he wondered where she got it.

“It wasn’t nothing to me,” he reasoned.

“Wasn’t nothing? Do you know how many times I felt guilty because you had a girlfriend, or know how many nights I lay awake imagining I’d go to hell for the dirty thoughts I had about you in this apartment, inside and outside your car, even the examination table in your office?” She paced before him.

Jackson was speechless, and turned on, as he thought about everything she’d just mentioned. He remembered the night she kissed him in the car and wondered what would’ve happened if they hadn’t been interrupted, or if they’d been in a secluded area instead of outside her apartment.

“Hey!” she shouted, pulling him from his erotic thoughts of her spread out over the roof of his car.

“Stop that! You don’t get to have a fantasy in the middle of my rant. Got it?” Her index finger pointed at him.

He wanted to smile, but knew she’d probably knock his lights out if he did. “Please continue,” he said as politely and seriously as he could.

“Why couldn’t you be honest with me?” She ran a hand through her hair.

Honest about that? She couldn’t be serious? “Honest about wanting someone I hadn’t even told how I felt? I hardly knew you, Remy, and you wanted me to share something I’d kept secret for nearly two years?”

“Two years?” Her voice echoed in disbelief.

It sounded ridiculous to hear it out loud.

She must’ve thought so, too, because she laughed. It started as a light chuckle, but then escalated to full, out loud, boisterous laughter until it was so extreme she fell to the floor behind the couch.

He walked over to where she lay. “It’s not that funny,” he insisted.

She looked up at him with tears in her eyes and laughed harder.

“I’m glad you’re enjoying this at my expense.” He extended a hand to help her up, but she waved it away as another fit of laughter overtook her. “You might not believe this, but I’m incredibly shy.”

She roared louder and gestured with her hand for him to stop talking.

He couldn’t blame her for laughing. He’d been anything but shy around her. She had a knack for bringing out emotions in him that were less than passive, with her audaciousness and that unfiltered mouth of hers.

 Elke Feuer - Author Photo

About the Author:

Elke was born and raised on Grand Cayman and lives there with her husband and two kids who keep her on her toes.

She’s a cof­fee­holic, check­list fanatic, and future space explorer. She has a sarcastic/quirky sense of humor and loves meet­ing new people. When not writing, she’s helping other writers in Cayman through her organization CayWriters.

The author of For the Love of Jazz and Deadly Bloodlines, book one in her Deadly Series. She stumbled into writing romantic suspense because of her fascination with serial killers, but writes other genres because characters keep telling her their stories and she’s a sucker for a crazy story.

What people say about Elke

“Elke knows how to create a page turner and will leave you begging for more”

“Elke is an up and coming author to watch”

 

Connect with Elke:

Website |Twitter|Facebook|Amazon |Goodreads

Contact: hotcaymanmama@yahoo.com

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://myBook.to/DeadlyRace (universal link to all Amazon sites)

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deadly-race-elke-feuer/1120829111?ean=2940046424195

Smashswords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/497029

 

 

Hashtags:

#DeadlyRace

#Romanticsuspense

#interracialromance

#islandstories

 

 

 

 

 

Gift Yourself–The Santa Drag, Free!!

santadragreal

Black Friday FREEBIE!

From 11/28 – 11/30/14, The Santa Drag is FREE from Amazon! Reviewers have called this story charming and funny, so for a quick holiday pick-me-up, one-click The Santa Drag.

Blurb:

Things aren’t always what they seem, and this shopping mall Santa has a secret only true love can reveal.  Mackenzie’s an out-of-work actress who takes a job as a shopping mall Santa to pay the rent. She fools everyone with her Santa drag, until the day Joe McBride walks into the mall. Joseph Timothy McBride – the real-life, got a soap opera gig and you saw him in Scream II actor. The only guy she ever really loved. Can Mack stay in character, or is it time to strip off the red coat and peel off the beard for good?  The Santa Drag is a 6,000 word short story about a Santa with a secret, stressed out parents in the mall, and one very handsome actor.

Excerpt:

“Hey Santa, smile again,” Maya said, her eyes crinkling with suspicion.

I’d drifted off into my own thoughts while still holding the baby. It was starting to droop towards the left, and its next stop would be the pile of packages at my feet. Oops. I gave the heartiest “Ho-ho-ho,” I could muster and shifted the baby back into the crook of my arm. After a month, you’d think I’d be better at managing the little ones.

A quick glance revealed Shauna chatting brightly with Joe. Two kids had come out of the crowd and stationed themselves on either side of him. The girl was holding onto his arm. My Santa-glamour almost cracked at the thought that he’d married someone else and had children.

The young mother finally reclaimed the baby from my lap, which gave me half a minute to myself. The line of squirrely kids and stressed-out parents who were waiting to have photos taken with Santa was way too long for me to take a break. My heart rate jacked up a few more notches when Joe and the kids joined the end of the line.

I took several deep breaths to try to calm my nerves. Didn’t help. I told myself the grapevine would have reported the event if Joe had married someone. That didn’t help, either. I reminded myself he’d sent me roses for my birthday every year since I was nineteen years old, when we were still in college and had barely started dating. The first couple of years he was in L.A., it was only one rose, and I worried he’d have to eat ramen noodles for a week to pay the florist. The year he made Scream II, he sent a dozen big fat scarlet blooms. When they started to fade, I hung them upside down to dry and then put them in a silk bag in my underwear drawer. In the language of flowers, red roses mean true love, and somehow I never doubted he still loved me.

Buy Link:

The Santa Drag is available exclusively from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Santa-Drag-Liv-Rancourt-ebook/dp/B00PG7W6KO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415974210&sr=8-1&keywords=santa+drag

Liv Rancourt Bio:

I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire…or sometimes demon. I write funny. I don’t write angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog is the cutest thing evah(!), and we’re up to three ferrets.

I can be found on-line at all hours of the day and night at my website & blog (www.livrancourt.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt). Come find me. We’ll have fun!

Morgan O’Neill: The Other Side of Heaven and Time Enough for Love

DeborahCordes&CaryFrates  Are there genres you think you don’t read? Places you never really wanted to go? If so, you haven’t read the right author–or authors. When you pick up a Morgan O’Neill time travel, you’re picking up the minds, talents and hearts of gifted authors Deborah O’Neill Cordes and Cary Morgan Frates–and treating yourself royally to a new fascination with medieval Italy. Morgan O’Neill’s award winning time travel series take you back to an unknown Italy, caught in violence but full of promise, hope and love.  The blurbs and the glowing praise from prestigious reviewers speak more powerfully than I can, so please check out Gwen and Alberto as they live what truly is a love for the ages. 

OtherSideHeaven_CVR_LRG

Book Blurbs:                                                                                      

The Other Side of Heaven, Book One of the Italian Time Travel Series

Californian Gwendolyn Godwyn seeks to learn her family’s history and hopes to restore the bond that once existed between her Italian forebearers and those who live in America. While visiting her ancestral Italian town, Gwen is caught in a violent earthquake and inexplicably thrust through time. At first refusing to believe what has happened, she nevertheless uses her wits to survive, donning a monk’s cowl to hide her identity as a woman. Ripped apart from all she has ever known, Gwen finds herself in the midst of brutal territorial battles in an era she once blithely called “The Dark Ages.” When the golden Italian summer of 951 emerges from the strife and gloom, Gwen joins forces with a cadre of gallant men, allies in the struggle against the evil nobles, Willa of Tuscany and Count Berengar, kidnappers of Italy’s rightful queen, Adelaide. Along with Father Warinus and Lord Alberto Uzzo, Gwen seeks to rescue Adelaide and restore her kingdom. In the midst of this great adventure, Gwen falls in love with the complex and passionate Alberto, to whom she reveals her identity as a woman. But can Alberto learn to love her strong and independent nature and help Gwen in her quest to discover her rightful place in time?

Time Enough for Love, Book Two of the Italian Time Travel SeriesTimeEnoughLove_CVR_LRG

Through dark magic, Californian Gwendolyn Godwyn has been swept back in time to medieval Italy. There, she finds herself in the midst of a war between Italy’s rightful queen, Adelaide, and those who have kidnapped her and seek to usurp her crown. Risking her life, Gwen elects to play a pivotal role in the planned rescue. In the midst of the chaos, she is drawn to the queen’s champion, Lord Alberto Uzzo, who battles not only their military foes, but also his personal demons. Tested to the limit when he discovers Gwen’s true identity as a time traveler, Alberto nevertheless fights through his doubt and the whirl of superstition that surrounds this intriguing and strong-willed woman. Time is of the essence as the lovers seek to overcome the evil forces rallying against the queen they’ve vowed to save. Will Gwen and Alberto be able to overcome the groundswell of danger to find time enough for love?

Review Quotes:

“What an amazing adventure… These two books will have a very treasured place on my bookshelf.” ~ Review by Hitherandthee of Night Owl Reviews. Both novels were given Top Picks, 4.5 stars for The Other Side of Heaven, 5 stars for Time Enough for Love.

 

“Alberto and Gwen’s relationship was one of the most touching and heartfelt romances, that I’ve read in a long time.” ~ Review by Angela Searles, Satin Sheets Romance Reviews.

 

Bio:

Two authors writing as one, Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes specialize in recreating pivotal moments in history, epic adventure, and romance – with a time travel twist. They are the award-winning authors of the medieval Italian time travel duo, The Other Side of Heaven, and its sequel, Time Enough for Love, and the forthcoming Elizabethan time travel series, which will debut with The Thornless Rose, from Entangled Publishing, LLC, in November, 2014. They are also the authors of the Roman time travel series, which will be re-released in 2015.

Links:

http://www.morganoneill.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Other-Side-Heaven-Italian-Travel-ebook/dp/B00NPC9YMA/ref=la_B008G92D70_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411236012&sr=1-4

http://www.amazon.com/Time-Enough-Love-Italian-Travel-ebook/dp/B00NPCGH34/ref=la_B008G92D70_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411236034&sr=1-5

 

 

 

 

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 

 

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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

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