Tuesday, October 15, 2019

SINNER'S OPERA and a horse named Bonito

Linda Nightingale joins me today to talk about her love for a horse named Bonito and about her newest book from The Wild Rose Press, SINNER'S OPERA. Take it away, Linda!


Sinners’ Opera is my latest book from The Wild Rose Press and is now available. In SO, the hero, Morgan D’Arcy, owns an Andalusian stallion kept at his ancestral estate in Devon, Royal Oak. As you might have guessed, Morgan is an English lord. Also, he is a concert pianist…and a vampire.

I’d like to tell  you about my experience with the magnificent Andalusian horse. I know Morgan would approve since he dearly loves his stallion and mentions him often in Sinners’ Opera. So...

In 1980, the year my oldest son was born, I discovered the Andalusian horse. Like a poster on my wall says, ‘this horse will change your life’.  We were breeding the Arabian at the time had garnered some success in the show ring.  But when I saw the magnificent Andalusian horses, I fell in love and immediately started liquidating my Arab breeding stock to purchase an Andy stallion.

If I were playing the piano with my first lesson, I’d try to sit down and play Liszt. As usual, I bought a young horse who knew more than I did. I looked all over the country for a THE horse I wanted.  I planned for him to be high-schooled (the Andalusian is gifted for the baroque moves—passage, piaffe, lateral work and pirouette, and the airs-above the ground).  I received a call from a breeder in Virginia saying that I needed to come see a  young stallion named Bonito.  I didn’t want him because he was young and unfinished, but he did have a lot of the moves on him at 4 (a mistake I later learned).

But I went to beautiful Middleburg, Virginia to look at Bonito.  In the indoor arena, I fell in love with a white fairytale stallion named Afamado, but he wasn’t for sale.  Then they showed me Bonito. He put his head over the Dutch door, taking my heart with one glance.  He was a rose-gray with a black mane and tail, both thick and long.  His neck was a majestic crest like a carousel horse.  I bought Bonito and never looked back.

Bonito and Holly
Bonito had been imported from Costa Rica.  My hubby and I later went to the National shows in CR and were treated like queens and kings. I also began to broker horses for Bonito’s breeder in this country.

We bred Bonito to mares of various breeds, and consistently he produced offspring of his quality. The Andalusian is gentle enough to breed the stallions in the morning and put him in the show ring that afternoon, without requiring a professional trainer to behave with other horses.  He was mischievous and a bit of a handful but always kind.  We entered the show ring with a vengeance. At the time, the Andalusian was a rare breed in this country and we wowed the crowd everywhere we went.  I did exhibitions in the long lines, parades in the long lines (you have a line each side of the horse and walk very close behind him).  His beauty and agility won him many admirers as well as his sweet temperament.  I could put a child on him and he was a plow horse,  but let me put a foot in the stirrup and he was all fire and show.  He knew he had a fan club.

I showed him at two National Championships in Halter and many championships in various classes.  I then began to show dressage and perform musical freestyles, but our best luck was in performing exhibitions at horse shows.  We had a routine to Phantom of the Opera, and I wish I had that on tape, but sadly I can’t find the old VHS to transfer it to disk.

When I was going through my divorce, I’d go to the barn and cry on his neck.  He’d fold that lovely neck around me and hug me while I cried.  I daresay he was my soul mate.

Bonito changed my life.

If you’d like to know more about the Andalusian or the high school movements, leave a comment with a way to contact you, and I’ll be glad to send you an article I wrote for a breed magazine and info on the upper level movements.

Everyone who met Bonito loved him.  Even today, twenty years later people remember him.


Sinners’ Opera Blurb:

Morgan D'Arcy is an English lord, a classical pianist, and a vampire. He has everything except what he desires most—Isabeau. As the Angel Gabriel he's steered her life and career choice, preparing her to become Lady D'Arcy.

Many forces oppose Morgan's daring plan—not the least of which is Vampyre law. Isabeau Gervase is a brilliant geneticist. Though she no longer believes in angels, she sees a ticket to a Nobel Prize in Gabriel's secrets—secrets that have led her to a startling conclusion. Gabriel isn't human, and she fully intends to identify the species she named the Angel Genome. Morgan is ready to come back into Isabeau's life, but this time as a man, not an angel. Will he outsmart his enemies, protect his beloved and escape death himself? For the first time in eternity, the clock is ticking.

Excerpt:

“Are you a bum?”  She cocked her head, one eyebrow arched.

“Do I look like a bum?”  I’d dreamed of changing the world.  How the Mighty fall.

“Well, yeah.”  She stressed the last word.

A bitter laugh burned my throat.  “Hold on to your dreams.  Dreams do come true.”  My hand shook, and I almost dropped the wallet engraved with my initials and the St. Averil crest—worthless reminders of a life left behind.

“Come closer.  I won’t harm you.  I promise.”  I folded the sodden currency and shoved it into her hand.

She gasped.  “Is this real money?”  Her eyes narrowed.  “Oh, my, it is.  A lot of money.”  An accusing gaze captured mine.  “Did you rob a bank?”

“The money is mine.  Now it’s yours.”  Thinking of a special little girl I’d taught to dream, I smiled wistfully.  “I must warn you.  Princes are in short supply.”

“You are an angel,” she whispered reverently.  “Grandma said angels didn’t always look like angels when they appeared to you.”

A sharp pain lanced my heart, sadness welling deep inside.  “I’m not an angel, child.  Run along home before you catch a chill.”

Book Video:

Imbed:

BUY LINKS:

https://books.apple.com/us/book/sinners-opera/id1478753329
https://www.amazon.ca/Sinners-Opera-Obsession-Linda-Nightingale-ebook/dp/B07X3RSRXQ
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sinners-Opera-Obsession-Linda-Nightingale-ebook/dp/B07X3RSRXQ
https://www.amazon.com/Sinners-Opera-Obsession-Linda-Nightingale-ebook/dp/B07X3RSRXQ
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sinners-opera-linda-nightingale/1115919206?ean=2940160871097
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/search?query=Sinners+Opera

About Linda:

After 14 years in Texas, Linda just returned home to her roots. She has seven published novels, four of which are available from Audible.com in audio. For many years, she bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses on their farm in Five Forks. So, she’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer. She retired from a career as a legal assistant at MD Anderson Cancer Center to write full time. She has 2 wonderful sons—one in Texas; one in England—and 4 equally marvelous grandchildren. She loves horses, sports cars, music, and piano, and enjoys dressing up and hosting formal dinner parties.

Social Media Links:

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LNightingale
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LindaNightingaleAuthor
Web Site:  http://www.lindanightingale.com
Blog:  https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839311.Linda_Nightingale
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lbnightingale1/
Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Nightingale/e/B005OSOJ0U
BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/profile/linda-nightingale

Sunday, October 13, 2019

#SundaySnippet - SEEING THINGS for Halloween!

Hi everyone! In honour of Halloween, I'm featuring snippets from my romantic suspense SEEING THINGS for the next three Sundays. I hope you enjoy them!


Blurb:

When psychic Leah McKenna “sees” the abduction of a small boy, she knows she must help find him, no matter the danger to herself. David Logan, the boy’s uncle, doesn’t believe in psychic phenomenon. He believes Leah knows who kidnapped his nephew, and plans to stick close to her to discover the truth. As they search for Jeremy they uncover truths about themselves and the way they feel about each other. Can Leah convince him her visions, and her love for him, are real before time runs out for all of them?

Excerpt:

Leah's young audience cheered and clapped. She laughed with them, their exuberance infectious. Contentment flowed through her as she watched their happy faces. How lucky she was to have a job that let her work with kids on a daily basis.

"Okay everyone, we're going to read one more book before snack time. This is one of my absolute favorite--"

The ground suddenly shifted beneath her as daylight turned to darkness...

Leah trembled on the edge of consciousness, trapped in the shimmer of light that marked the onset of one of her visions. She wanted to scream at the injustice of it all. The visions had been absent for two years, since the tragedy that had shaken the foundations of her world. She'd started to believe that she had finally been left in peace. Now that peace shattered into a thousand tiny shards.

The ringing in her ears reached a crescendo. Waves of panic and nausea rolled through her stomach. All traces of her normal, everyday life disappeared. In the next instant she was transported onto a quiet residential street. Leah shivered in the cold, rubbing her hands across her arms to warm herself.

The bare branches of stately elms canopied the snow-covered street, which was lined with older two- and three-story homes. The street looked familiar, almost like her own neighborhood in Winnipeg, the city on the Canadian prairies where she lived. A small boy wearing a winter parka and a bright blue knitted hat walked towards a deserted school.

Oh God, please not another child.

A car stopped at the curb. A man got out and stepped toward the boy, his hand outstretched. The boy shook his head at first and attempted to go around him, but after a few steps, he turned around. He listened with rapt attention. Finally he reached for the man's hand and together they walked to the car.

Leah tried to scream at the boy to run, but no sound would come from her closed throat. Her heart hammered in her chest as she helplessly watched the car pull away with the boy staring out the back window.


Buy Links:

Uncial Press | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA |
B and N | Google Play | Kobo US | Kobo CA | Untreed Reads | Chapters/Indigo | iBooks |

Friday, October 11, 2019

New Release from Vicky Burkholder

I'm pleased to welcome Vicky Burkholder to Journeys with Jana. Vicky is here to talk about her new release from The Wild Rose Press, REVENGE AMONG THE STARS, a sci-fi romance. Thanks for telling us about your new book, Vicky!



Blurb: 

Aleksia Matthews is left for dead, after space pirates attack her ship and kill her brother. She swears to avenge his death but knows she can't do the job alone. After taking out an ad for a bounty hunter, she weeds out the bad from the good, and one man stands out. He could be the perfect partner—and that scares Ali more than the pirates do.

Special agent Jason Cole is tracking the pirates who killed his family, but he's always one step behind. There have never been any survivors—until now. He needs Ali to identify the attackers, but she proves to be stubborn. She plans to go with him on the hunt, and he's determined to keep her safe.

While Cole and Ali seek revenge, someone at headquarters would like to see them fail. Together they battle explosions, their emotions, and danger from one of their own.

Links: https://www.amazon.com/Revenge-Among-Stars-Vicky-Burkholder-ebook/dp/B07X1N3VV3/

Excerpt:

She risked a glance at Jason and the other man. They were both out cold. “That’s it, then. We go by water.”

“Ali, it’s too dangerous,” Sami protested as a laser flare lit up the area in front of the rocks. “The sled’s been damaged.”

“I don’t have much of a choice, Sami. They haven’t seen me yet, but they will soon, and I don’t
think this baby can take too many of those crystal hits, can it?”

A very reluctant “no” issued from the speaker.

“Keep a fix on me, Sami. I’m going to be busy, and I’m going to need your help. Activate night vision.”

“Ali, you can’t be serious. The odds of you surviving in such turbulence are beyond my capabilities to compute.”

“Sami, either help me or shut up.” She lifted the sled out of the rocks and took a perpendicular line to the river. A minute after she left the safety of the rocks, a flare lit them up, and she blinked against the sudden glare—momentarily blinded. The sled bounced as she scraped against a low rise, staying on course by instinct alone. As she reached the river, another flare burst, lighting her for the pirates to see.

“I’ve been spotted, Sami.” Ali killed the night vision and turned on her running lights as a beam
whizzed by her port side. She gulped at the sight of the raging torrent but headed into the dubious safety of the water. Hopefully, the roiling water would dissipate some of the power of the beams.

“Baby, I sure hope you’re watertight.” Ali crossed her fingers as she dropped the sled into the water.

Author Bio:


Vicky has been married forever to the one person who accepts that she lives in a fantasy world most of the time. She's even been seen at the beach building worlds for her stories. In addition to creating fun characters, fantasy worlds, and suspenseful situations, she also enjoys and is very good at things like writing policy and procedures manuals and setting up continuity and organizational spreadsheets, both of which she has actually earned money doing. She has a master's degree in library science so likes things organized. Okay, so her family thinks having the spice rack alphabetized it a bit much, but she has no trouble finding what she needs when she needs it. And just because her extensive library is cataloged and organized, that doesn't mean she's obsessive. Honest. When not writing, Vicky can be found in the kitchen whipping up gluten-free, lactose-free, other allergy-free meals. Or watching the world go by from her front porch swing.


Author Links:



Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Chocolate & Book Boyfriends Halloween Romance Giveaway!


Chocolate & Book Boyfriends
Halloween Romance Giveaway
October 8-28

11 Ebook & Chocolate Prize Packs Up for Grabs!



Who wants romance and chocolate for Halloween? Silly question. Who wouldn’t? We’ve got the prizes that will make your Halloween rock. Bestsellling books from Top 40 Amazon romance authors. Chocolate from Godiva, Lindt, Fames, Dove, Barnett’s, Ferrero Rocher & more!

No matter your favorite romance subgenre…whether you like it sweet, sexy, or steamy, we have the prize pack for you. Enter now for your chance to win!

Friday, October 4, 2019

New Release from Seelie Kay!

I'm pleased to have Seelie Kay visiting me today. Seelie's latest release, HOPE from Extasy Books, is part of her series of books about the Agency, a group of attorneys who go undercover to right wrongs. Enjoy a short interview with Seelie and a blurb and excerpt from HOPE. 



An Interview with Seelie Kay:

Q.  Why do you write romance?

Because I am fascinated by the games people play to find and secure a lasting relationship, which is not always love. There’s the chase, the courtship, the falling, the surrender. That’s what I try to capture in my stories.

Q.  Do you prefer a certain type of romantic hero?

I adore smart, dashing gentlemen who aren’t afraid to live on the edge. They can be a bad boy, a billionaire, a prince, or a secret agent. That hint of danger just hooks me! However, I also love strong, independent women who aren’t afraid to fight for what they want, even love.

Q.  Why did you write “Hope?”

Hope Ali has been a minor character in past books and has made no secret of her desire to join the Agency. She had to grow up first. Now she has and it’s time for her story. She enabled me to tackle two issues: The number of people who are “disappeared” for opposing governments and leaders, and post traumatic stress disorder. In this book, Hope helps rescue a writer in the UAE who has been put under house arrest for authoring a book exposing the ties of the ruling families to gunrunning and terrorism. Unfortunately, Hope gets attacked and is broken, mentally and physically. This very vital, strong woman must find her way back from that traumatic event and the path is not easy. It is a story of courage and survival.

Q.   How does your former profession as a lawyer impact your writing?

My friends say I am obsessed with justice and I guess that’s true. After 30 years, the law and the legal world are so firmly embedded in my brain that I can’t flush them out. That has become the lens through which I view the world and that naturally guides my characters and plots. Injustice infuriates me, but it also leads me to great stories!


Blurb:
At only age twenty-two, she’s the best Probie the Agency has ever had—until her past catches up with her, leaving her devastated and broken. Without hope.

No one knows what they’re made of until they’re broken. At the tender age of twenty-two, Hope Ali has finally joined the organization of her dreams, the Agency, an elite group of attorneys who go undercover to right wrongs the law can’t. The requirements are stringent, the training exhausting.

After seeking asylum in the United States when she was sixteen, Hope and her father, Sheikh Harun Ali, settled in a quiet Wisconsin town, hiding from those who had placed a price on their heads. Still, she excelled, finishing her university and law school education by the time she was twenty-one.

Now, after breezing through the Agency training program, Hope appears to be indestructible—until she is assigned a simple task during the rescue of an author among the disappeared in the UAE. The task? To distract the woman’s captors until she can be spirited out of the country.

Unfortunately, a member of MISix has other plans. In an attempt to disrupt the Agency’s mission, she tips off one of Hope’s enemies, alerting them to her location. Hope manages to lead the author’s captors on a merry dance, freeing others to rescue her, until she is unexpectedly confronted with a violent angry mob intent on harm.

She is left bloody and broken. No one knows whether Hope’s body or her mind will heal. Suddenly Hope is no longer just her name. It is also the one thing she must embrace to find her new normal.


Excerpt:
Hope stared at the pit full of ice, then gazed at Dianna. “You want me to do what?”

Dianna smiled. “This is your new obstacle course. It’s called The Ballbuster. Obviously, the other one wasn’t challenging enough for you, so I thought we’d try something else.” She smirked. “What’s the matter, not up to it, Probie?”

Hope scowled. “I thought you were my friend.”

“When you’re on Agency grounds, I’m your trainer and mentor first. You know that, Hope. My job is to make sure that when in the field, you can overcome every obstacle. Failure isn’t an option. Failure could mean death.”

Hope snapped, “Don’t you think I know that? God, everyone seems duty-bound to remind me of that every damn day. I’m not a child. I know my limits. I know my weaknesses. You don’t have to bludgeon me over the head with a cudgel.”

Dianna’s expression hardened. “Here’s the thing, Hope. The second you begin to believe that you can overcome every obstacle put in front of you is the day you should quit. Confidence is one thing. Feeling that you’re omniscient is another. Out in the field, fear is what drives you, and it could very well be what saves you. I don’t need you taking stupid chances because you think you’re Wonder Woman, able to thwart every threat. I need you to calmly assess each situation and rationally weigh the risks. You need to know when to walk away. Just as you need to know when a risk is worth taking. You have no real superpowers, woman. And you need to remember that. That’s why you’re on probation until we’re confident you can survive, Probie.

“This job isn’t about physical skill. It’s about being able to clearly, quickly, and competently analyze the risks. What I see right now is a young woman without fear, willing to take on any roadblock. I need you to recognize your limits and work around them. There is no shame in admitting defeat. And there most definitely is no shame in asking for help. That’s why each obstacle has a kill bell. Hit that and the exercise stops.”

“And then what,” Hope muttered. “I get kicked out?”

“No, then we step in and help. This Agency leaves no man or woman behind, Hope. They proved that to me when I was sent to Bolivia. The minute I sent out the Bat Signal, they began putting together a team to extract me. They saved my life.”

Buy links:

Publisher:  https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2658-3-hope/
Coming soon to all other major booksellers!

About Seelie Kay:


Seelie Kay is a nom de plume for a writer, editor, and author with more than 30 years of experience in law, journalism, marketing, and public relations. When she writes about love and lust in the legal world, something kinky is bound to happen!  In possession of a wicked pen and an overly inquisitive mind, Ms. Kay is the author of multiple works of fiction, including the Kinky Briefs series, the Feisty Lawyers series, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, and The President’s Daughter.

When not spinning her kinky tales, Ms. Kay ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. She resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she shares a home with her son and enjoys opera, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.

Ms. Kay is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS:  Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

Author links:

www.seeliekay.com
www.seeliekay.blogspot.com
Twitter: @SeelieKay https://twitter.com/SeelieKay
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/seelie.kay.77
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Seelie-Kay/e/B074RDRWNZ/

Prior Books:

http://www.extasybooks.com/kinky-briefs/
http://www.extasybooks.com/kinky-briefs-too/
http://www.extasybooks.com/kinky-briefs-thrice/
http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-1734-5-kinky-briefs-quatro/
http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2023-9-kinky-briefs-cinque/
http://www.extasybooks.com/the-garage-dweller/
http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-1504-4-a-touchdown-to-remember/
http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-1795-6-the-presidents-wife/
http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2263-9-snatching-diana/
http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2032-1-the-presidents-daughter
https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2291-2-infamy/
https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2349-0-seizing-hope/
https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2538-8-cult/

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

New Release from Marie Tuhart!

Fellow Wild Rose Press author Marie Tuhart joins me today to talk about how her new release, erotic romance MORE OF YOU came to be. Thanks for being here, Marie!



Thank you for hosting me today, Jana.

When The Wild Rose Press asked for short stories in fall of 2018, I thought about it and went “why not.” The first short story I wrote didn’t make the cut, and it didn’t bother me. I understood why and it wasn’t really a story I could tell in under 7,000 words.

But I had already written four other short stories and sent them in advising my editor the four short stories had to go as a set. That’s because the stories were entwined with each other.

I have four couples who are in various stages of their relationship when they all meet up for game night at Club Crave.

Each story follows the couple on their romantic and sexual journey into their relationship and life choices.

And this leads me into what I write. I write Erotic Romance. Some people have the misconception that my writing is nothing but a bunch of sex scenes. It’s not. My books at their core are romance. Yes, my characters have sex and it’s on the page. It’s a part of them and life.

My stories revolve around the hero and heroine, their romantic and sexual journey. Yes, the sexual journey plays an important part with the characters as they explore their wants and desires, but it is also a love story. They have fears and conflicts that they have to solve to get to the HFN/HEA (Happy For Now or Happy Ever After).  There are romantic scenes as well as some hot sex scenes. It is a character driven story with goals, motivations and conflicts.

One of the things I say about my books is “It’s all about her.” Because my books have a strong female lead and sometimes she goes after what she wants, and sometimes the hero has to show her the way.

More of You 

Blurb:

Game night at Club Crave is heating up...

Up until now, Anna Carson's relationship with Chris Peterson has been strictly D/s play. He's had a vanilla girlfriend. Anna has respected that boundary, but the sexy Dom is no longer attached. Now, Anna is ready to be more than his submissive. Game night at Club Crave is the perfect place to make her move, if only she can face her fears and be bold enough to ask her Dom for more...


Excerpt:

A bell sounded, and Master Jason took to the small stage. The room went quiet.

“Good evening, friends, welcome to game night. You are the first fifteen couples who RSVPed to the event invitation.” Master Jason’s voice was loud and cheerful. “Tonight’s game comes with a twist.” He lifted a shoe-size box and shook it. “Inside this box are pieces of paper with your tasks for the game. All the items you will need to play tonight will be provided. The normal club safewords apply. Have an issue with the task? See me once everyone has chosen.”

“This sounds interesting,” Tanner said.

“Intriguing twist. That’s why we were told not to bring our play bags,” Chris said.

“You are not to share your task with others once you’ve drawn. You will read it, then get your submissive and follow the directions.” Master Jason looked out over the crowd. “Dom Chris, you are first.”

More of You is available at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X6JGZFM

Barnes & Nobel: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1133270985

iTunes/book: https://books.apple.com/us/book/more-of-you/id1478581182?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/more-of-you

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/MoreOfYou


Bio:

Marie Tuhart lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her muse, Penny, a four pound toy poodle. Marie loves to read and write, when she’s not writing, she spends time with family, traveling and enjoying life.

Marie is a multi-published author with The Wild Rose Press, Trifecta Publishing and does some self-publishing. To be alerted on new releases follow Marie on Amazon or  Book Bub. Also you can join Marie’s newsletter where she gives her group advance information on her books, runs contests and does giveaways just for newsletter readers. Marie can also be found on Goodreads, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.

Fun Facts: Marie has a key chain collection from all the places she's visited, both US and around the world.  Only two have been given to her.

Find Marie on the Web:

Website: www.marietuhart.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/MarieTuhartAuthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4190063.Marie_Tuhart
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/marietuhart
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/marietuhart
Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/marie-tuhart
Amazon Author page: http://amazon.com/author/marietuhart
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marietuhart/

Sign up for Marie’s newsletter at: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/p3y7p6

Friday, September 27, 2019

First kiss scene from WHEN LOVE WHISPERS by Laura Haley-McNeil

Author Laura Haley-McNeil visits with a first kiss scene from WHEN LOVE WHISPERS, book 2 of her Beaumont Brides Series. I hope you enjoy this sweet, emotional scene:



She turned her sweet face to his. In her eyes was a softness that bordered on melancholy. A lock of hair fell across her cheek.

Without thinking, he slipped a finger beneath the lock and draped it behind her shoulder. His hand rested on her delicate frame, her warmth sending a flood of emotions through him.

She stilled, her lips parting. A soft gasp escaped.

“Oh, Willow,” he murmured, and the desire that ached inside him gushed forward.

He pushed his hand through hair soft as silk and cupped the back of her head. She didn’t pull away. She let him guide her face to his. The taste of her lips was sweet and lush. She melted against him, her firm, round stomach pressed into his. The urges deep inside him burst in confusing sensations he wouldn’t take time to understand. For one heady moment, her mouth softened, her hand clinging to his shirt. His mind darkened, pushing out all rational thought. He couldn’t explain his feelings. What gripped his chest crushed reasoning.

She pulled away.

His eyes flew open. He released her. She stood before him, trembling, her lips swollen and red. A sheen filled her eyes. He stared at her stunned. What had he done?

“Willow, I didn’t mean—”

“Don’t say it.” Holding up her hand, she closed her eyes and shook her head. “Maybe we should rethink—”

“If that’s what you want, then we will.” His words were rushed. “But I’ll set some ground rules right now and promise you this will never happen again.”

Something flickered in her eyes.

Blurb:

Sometimes, love comes in packages.

As the top ranked student at Charleston’s military academy, Preston Lowe excels in class, in sports and with women. Only Willow Dockery, a barmaid at the city’s trendy nightclub, sees the pain in his eyes when he’s out with friends having a good time. But Willow doesn’t know how Preston inwardly struggles to forget a past that could derail the career he’s worked hard to achieve.

Willow wrestles with her own secrets. After a disastrous relationship leaves her broke and disillusioned, she vows never to let anyone rob her of her dreams again. But as she gets to know Preston, it’s as if their tumultuous pasts meld together into something so startling it transforms their relationship and their lives forever.

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X58RKK1

Author Bio:



Laura Haley-McNeil is an award-winning author of romantic suspense and women’s fiction in novel length and in short stories. Her work has been featured in several women’s magazines. She has studied piano and ballet and has been a board member for two community orchestras. She and her husband reside in Colorado. When she isn’t writing, she jogs, bicycles and crochets.

Social Media Links:

Facebook
Twitter
Website
Email
Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/lauramcneil/

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Keys: Voice of the Turtle by Karen Hulene Bartell

Like many writers, Karen Hulene Bartell has a writing buddy. Karen's buddy may not talk but he has ways of expressing himself! Check out the blurb and excerpt for Karen's new release, The Keys: Voice of the Turtle.

Thank you for hosting me on your blog!

Marmalade

The inspiration for the feline “character” in The Keys: Voice of the Turtle was my orange tabby cat, Marmalade. Though he doesn’t actively speak, he does plenty of “talking” with his antics, expressions, and meows. I call him my “mews.”




The Keys: Voice of the Turtle by Karen Hulene Bartell

Blurb:

Hours after arriving in the Florida Keys to help her cousin Keya create a turtle preserve, Ruth discovers a washed-up body and not one, but two apparitions—Maita, the angry victim's spirit, and Bart, a swashbuckling ghost. Ruth's curious ability to connect with the ghosts may help them move on, but how?

Keya is in a probate battle over her turtle-nesting beach. Land-hungry relatives want it bulldozed and developed. Like Ruth, she has a special gift—she can talk to animals. Between Ruth's help and Keya's unique ability, they work to save the property, but is it too late?

Can Keya save her beloved turtles? Can Ruth find Maita's murderer or help Bart solve his 400-year-old mystery? There's more than meets the eye to Keya's land. Add in a dashing sailor who believes in her, and Keya may have more than she bargained for…

Excerpt:

Conveying this land to the turtles would be my way of leaving the world a better place.” She turned toward Ruth. “Does that make sense?”

Ruth nodded and gazed at Keya as if for the first time. Her cousin’s intentions were clear. “But legally, how can you will the property to the turtles?”

“Easy. I leave it to the Turtle Refuge.” Keya laughed inwardly as they meandered along the beach. “And this is where you come in. When you’re writing the brochure, add a few paragraphs about planned giving and charitable bequests…” Her words broke off as Keya stared as if in a trance.

Ruth looked at her. “What’s wrong?”

Her hand shaking, Keya pointed to a shady patch of beach half hidden by sand dunes. A lifeless hand lay tangled in seaweed, its fingernails broken and bloodied.

Racing behind the sandbanks to help, Ruth skidded to a halt, her heels digging into the sand. A woman’s bloated body lay staring at the sun, her eyes opaque and unseeing. “Do you recognize her?”

“No.” Keya shook her head as the cat gingerly approached, sniffing and meowing. But Earnestine said she smells familiar.”

“Knock, knock,” called a man’s voice.

Ruth flinched at the sound. “Who’s there?”


Buy Links:

Amazon eBook: https://amzn.to/2XV2wO1
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2yfSB7b 
Barnes & Noble NOOK Book: https://bit.ly/2YFHWgQ
Barnes & Noble Paperback: https://bit.ly/2yuBEWO
The Wild Rose Press: https://bit.ly/2ZsH1lm


About the Author:

Author of the Sacred Emblem, Sacred Journey, and Sacred Messenger series, Karen is a best-selling author, motivational keynote speaker, wife, and all-around pilgrim of life. She writes multicultural, offbeat love stories steeped in the supernatural that lift the spirit. Born to rolling-stone parents who moved annually, Bartell found her earliest playmates as fictional friends in books. Paperbacks became her portable pals. Ghost stories kept her up at night—reading feverishly. The paranormal was her passion. Wanderlust inherent, Karen enjoyed traveling, although loathed changing schools. Novels offered an imaginative escape. An only child, she began writing her first novel at the age of nine, learning the joy of creating her own happy endings. Professor emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin, Karen resides in the Hill Country with her husband Peter and her “mews”—three rescued cats and a rescued *Cat*ahoula Leopard dog.

Connect with Karen: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarenHuleneBartell 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenHuleneBart 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/karenhulenebartell/ 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/611950.Karen_Hulene_Bartell 
Website: http://www.KarenHuleneBartell.com/
Email: info@KarenHuleneBartell.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/karenhulenebartell
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenhulenebartell/
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/karen-hulene-bartell
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karenhulenebartell/

Friday, September 20, 2019

Pia Manning Contemplates The Sweet Spot

Please welcome author Pia Manning to Journeys with Jana. She's here to talk about the compromise writers sometimes have to make in order to sell their work. Do they write the book of their heart, or the book that will sell? Welcome Pia!



That Sweet Spot

The sweet spot. What is it?

The simplest definition I’ve run across is this: The sweet spot is a compromise between what an author wants to write, and what a publisher or reader will buy.

Publishers research what genres sell the most, who buys their books and how much their customers are willing to spend. Backed by hard sales numbers and marketing research the sweet spot is for them well defined. Publishers communicate the results of their marketing research through their submission guidelines. This is where the publisher lets writers know what kinds of books they’re interested in buying. There are other sales’ indicator such as reviews, best seller lists, best selling authors’ lists. I could go on, but why? You get it.

Writing can wreck an author emotionally. All that angst we as writers wade through has a cost associated with it. Every piece of literature we put forward, whether fictional or not, holds a little bit of us within it. One of the best parts of being an author is connecting with a reader through our work. Forming that bond keeps us going.

And this is what makes finding that sweet spot rife with problems. These issues may be as small as a pothole, or as large as a minefield. How much are we willing to compromise in order to sell our work? To make it attractive enough for someone to select and read?

If our stories embody ourselves, how do we handle knowing we’ve compromised? Have we cheated ourselves somehow? Maybe. But can we make that connection with a reader if no one reads our work?  The self-negotiations every author engages in while trying to find their sweet spot are often difficult and delicate. In the end, only that writer can decide how far they’re willing to go in order to make a sale.

And if it was worth it…

Blurb, STAR BRIDES: DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS:

Warrior Kadir stares at the woman before him. Could she be the one he's searching for? Needs? Will she accept him and warriors, Tero, Kobak and Bakur as her mates?

Janine Longo's desperate. She's got one chance to escape prison and that's Kadir. But, can she bond with four men? Love them?

Excerpt:
The nearer to home they were, the faster they walked. By the time they reached their street they were running. Kadir didn’t stop to assess the damage. He pushed through the remains of their front door. Blaster drawn he yelled, “Janine!”

The other men fanned out to check the rest of the house. Tero ran to the kitchen. Seeing the demolished back door, he headed straight for the cold storage cellar. He climbed, then slid down the ladder into the gloom. He too knew where every box and crate sat, as well as every nook and cranny. If Janine hid herself back here, Tero thought it would be where the darkness was complete. “Janine!” he shouted again. “It’s me. Tero! Janine!”

Tero stopped to listen. Hearing only his own heartbeat, he turned to leave. He and the others needed to start searching for her before the mob…Tero couldn’t think about it.

“Tero?” a soft, breathy voice called.

Relief flooding through him, he answered. “Janine! Where are you? You ok?”

“Yeah. I’m way up here. Give me a second to get down.”

Tero moved to the bottom of the ladder. “Hey! She’s down here! We’ll be right up!” he yelled. “Need any help getting down?” He held his arms out to her.


Author bio:

Although I've kept house in a lot of places, I enjoy living in the deep dark woods of NW Wisconsin best. Sharing my space is my spousal unit, three rotten cats and one big 'fraidy-of-everything dog. I enjoy writing erotic romances 'cuz it allows my imagination to take over my day.

I turned to writing when the medical community pretty much 'diagnosed' me out of everything else. I write for myself and those of us who need a vacation, but can't always leave the room. I hope you enjoy my offerings.

Social Media Links:

Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/pia.manning.71
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/piamanning3
Wordpress: https://wordpress.com/view/piamanning.wordpress.com

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Writing a Serial Killer-Stephen B. King and the Deadly Glimpses Series

Fellow Wild Rose Press author makes a return visit to Journeys with Jana with the third book in his Deadly Glimpses Series, Glimpse, the Tender Killer which released September 11, 2019. So, if writers are supposed to write what they know, how does Stephen get inside the head of a serial killer? Take it away, Stephen!



How do I get inside the heads of my serial killer characters?

Very recently, while talking about the release of book 3 of The Deadly Glimpses trilogy, Glimpse, the Tender Killer, I was asked a question that made me sit up and think about my answer very seriously. The question was from a fellow TWRP author, Christine. This was what she asked:

“When I write, I actually 'become' the characters and live their lives to write authentic stories. My reviewers have said my writing is very emotional, tear jerkers, realistic, complex characters with deep POV.  So, with writing books as good as yours, I would think you must've taken on the characters lives & gotten into their minds, or imagined them explicitly (unless you have another method of making them so real).”

Now not only was this very high praise, which I truthfully appreciated very much, but it was a serious question, because the Glimpse series, give the reader insights into three serial killer’s mind, from their own POV and each suffer from a different mental illness. I think what she meant in a very polite way is how can I describe these monsters so well without being or acting like one myself.

The answer is that I don't get inside them. I couldn't because I am the complete opposite to them (I'm a lover, not a fighter in every sense of the word). I guess everyone has their own way of writing, for me it starts with a spark of an idea. For example -  and I've told this story in blog interviews before - I was driving along to work one day, with the radio on, and a crap song was playing. I was stuck in traffic and I was NOT thinking about my next book. At that time I was deep into edit rounds for Thirty-Three Days.  Anyway this random thought flitted across my mind and I have no idea where it came from or why I thought it: I was five years old when I first saw somebody bleed out.

Now, I’ve never seen anyone bleed out thankfully, at any age, let alone five years old. So I began to think who would say that, and why? What circumstances would cause someone to say such a thing? The only way for me to explore an idea is to start writing from that point forward; I never pre-plan anything and I have no idea what's going to happen next. When I’d written two or three pages about a five year old remembering watching someone bleed horribly I realized that what I was writing was a memoir of a serial killer, and in that moment, I had the title. Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer is what book 1 is called; book 2 is Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths and three I’ve already mentioned.

So, in this case, by starting at five years old, I was able to build a character so traumatized by events he became a serial murderer. At the same time I had to create the protagonist who catches him. For a while I’d wanted to tell a story of two people, who are in dysfunctional marriages, who are immediately attracted to each other when they work together to catch the killer. I wanted to tell the story of their relationship, and the consequences if they took the irrevocable step of sleeping together. So, I wondered how about a cop and a criminal psychologist?

When I am in the zone, the words pour from me like a torrent, and often I read what I’ve written and wonder where the hell did that come from? Its like the words come through me, not from me - it's a tap I can't turn off.

I’m not inside the characters - that would be too one dimensional for me, but more like I’m omnipotent; I can see what they are doing, know what they are thinking, and am often horrified by it. I suppose it’s a bit like being a method actor, except I’m the one writing the script. My brother said to me, when he read Burial Ground, an earlier book of mine about – you guessed it, a serial killer: “You’re a sick bastard.” He was smiling and said that he only meant that because he enjoyed the story so much and the character was so NOT like me. More high praise!

I guess it’s a subject that has always fascinated me; why do serial killers kill? What makes them want to do terrible things like that, and I don’t think I’m alone in that interest. How about you, dear reader? Do you ever wonder why someone that everyone thought was reasonably normal diced up ten people over a couple of years? It’s too glib to say because they wanted to, because the next question is, yeah but why did they want to?

So if you read the Glimpse series, you will learn why three people became mass murderers in my make believe world. The sad thing is though, you will discover that my make believe world is scarily close to the truth sometimes……….

Blurb:

Criminal psychologist Patricia Holmes is now a detective paired with Detective Sergeant Rick McCoy. Together they hunt The Biblical Killer, so named for the quotes left on walls written in the victim's blood. To lure the murderer out they join the Tender Nights internet dating site, openly making themselves targets. Rick and Pat have fought their desire for each other for months. Can they now survive their lust and an insane murderer intent on vengeance?

Purchase Glimpse, The Tender Killer at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W3NNVKM


Stephen B King
http://www.stephen-b-king.com
twitter: @stephenBKing1
Facebook: @stephenbkingauthor

Friday, September 13, 2019

Autumn Booklover's Facebook Scavenger Hunt!



AUTUMN BOOKLOVER’S
FACEBOOK SCAVENGER HUNT
September 13-16


Who doesn’t love autumn? Leaves whirling in the wind and rain outside, a comfy chair inside, you with your favorite book and a hot beverage. Play our fun and easy hunt and you could win one of five gift baskets or boxes loaded with yummy goodies to snack on while reading!

Plus, with 30 authors participating—most hosting individual giveaways of their own on the hunt—our autumn basket is overflowing with new books to discover and prizes up for grabs!

Make sure to enter my giveaway. Find the link to my Rafflecopter on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/JanaRichardsAuthor 


Authors Participating in the Hunt

Aldrea Alien • Alex Gordon • Amanda Uhl • Anne McClane • Anne Stone • Aubrey Wynne • Bernadette Rowley • Cara Bristol • Denise D. Young • Donna R. Mercer • Em Petrova • Emberly Hart • Grace Roberts • Jacqueline Diamond • Jana Richards • Judith Sterling • Karen Michelle Nutt • Katherine Gilbert • Kristine Smith • Rebecca Hefner • Samantha Holt • Shaylin Gandhi • Sierra Kay • Soraya Naomi • Stephanie Queen • Stephany Tullis • Tawdra Kandle • Teddy Cat Hester • Zoe Dawson • Zoe Forward

Interview with Author Jayne York

Jayne York joins me today with an interview, and a look at her debut novel with The Wild Rose Press, IF WISHES WERE HORSES. Fun fact about Jayne: she spent 45 years as professional jeweler and she loves handcrafted jewelry. Tell us about your life and your book, Jayne!


Where did you get the idea for your new novel?

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure to witness some amazing stories of survival and triumph over childhood abuse. This is a story of just that. Most of us think that heroism comes with a flag attached and with some kind of fanfare, but I find it’s more important to acknowledge the extraordinary courage it takes to take a crumpled life and shake the wrinkles into the light.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read your book?

Bravery comes in all different forms. Some get medals for it and God bless them for their service. Some simply get to draw their first breath of fear-free air. They are equally courageous.

What comes first for you – plot or character? And why?

The theme or general message is what grabs me most often. Telling a story and revealing the truth of it are my driving force. The plot and characters serve the theme and I try really hard to keep all three balls in the air until the final catch at the climax.

In the case of “If Wishes Were Horses” the theme was first. But the plot and the characters drove each other. I’m not certain that will be the case every time but for this book it was true.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

God, I’d love to be a meticulous plotter but that’s not the way my mind works. I probably fall into the 60% pantser/40% plotter ratio. I think the three-act format is a miracle on a plate.

Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?

I’m from the Rocky Mountains near the setting for “If Wishes Were Horses” but am currently living in upstate NY in the Adirondacks.

I’ve always written, but never had the courage to finish a book until five years ago when I began the journey with this book. It’s been one of the most satisfying trips of whole life.

If you could get rid of something in your life that would give you more writing time, what would it be?

Distraction! I’d love nothing better than to have the time and quiet to write full time. Unfortunately, I love to eat so I’m still working even in retirement.

Do you have any pets? Are you cat person or a dog person? Or are you into totally different pets, like goldfish? What do you like best about your pet?

I love them both (cats and dogs) and have been blessed to have some of the best you can imagine. At the moment I have a sweet and opinionated gray and white tuxedo kitty named George. She is my lap warmer and quiet companion on cold writing days.

George
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live? Why?

No question, I’d split my time between the mountains and Key West. I love the change of seasons but I’d rather it happened on my timeline.

What do you like best about your hero?

Michael’s not perfect and he knows it. His personality is primarily protective and self-assured being a SEAL but after being forced into retirement, his self-confidence is rocked. I think he handles himself pretty well considering he’s never been in love with anything but the Navy.

What do you like best about your heroine?

Emily has the feisty public personality that people are often attracted to, but inside she’s still the wounded child. She finds the backbone to confront her past and embrace the possibility of living a guilt free life. It’s frightening but she does it.

How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters?

They just float to the surface organically.

Do you base them on real people?

Always, they are an amalgam of the people I’ve met and those who have inspired me.

How can readers reach you or find you online?

You can always reach me on:
Website: jayneyork.com
Facebook: jayneyorkauthor
Twitter: @yorkauthor

Tell us a little about your current work in progress.

The WIP, “Midnight Acquisition”, is a heist story and a love story that revolve around a rare and misidentified gemstone. I spent forty-five years as a custom jewelry designer and manufacturing jeweler so there is a wealth of fantastical stories to draw from. I just finished the first draft, so I’ve got a lot of work to do.

What’s your tagline? Why did you choose it?

For “If Wishes Were Horses”, the tag is “History won’t dictate her future.”  It’s the crux of the story.

Do you have an event coming up you’d like to tell us about?

I’m on several blogs including this one. http://www.wildwomenauthorsx2.blogspot.com

and this one: https://aliciadean.com/2019/08/22/author-interview-new-release-if-wishes-were-horses-by-jayne-york/

Rhonda Gilmore on Aug. 21, http://sadirastone.com
JenniferWilck.com on Aug. 28
JeanMGrant.com on Sept. 1
Rebecca Grace on Sept. 5, http://rebecca-grace.blogspot.com

Thanks for having me. It’s been a pleasure to talk with you.

It's been a pleasure to have you on my blog, Jayne. Best of luck with IF WISHES WERE HORSES.

Blurb:


Emily Converse never expected to return to Tamarack, Colorado. But she's determined to rescue her drug-addicted brother and start a new life. Standing in her way, she finds her stepfather, a powerful US senator, looming over her future like the ever-present monster he'd been during their childhood.

Meeting wounded retired Navy SEAL, Michael McCandlis, is a steamy surprise in her homecoming, though he's adrift in civilian life. Together can they find a way to transform from victims to survivors?

Excerpt: 

Once upon a time, she'd run away from Tamarack like her heels were on fire, and now here she was volunteering to step back into the furnace. What was the definition of insanity? Doing the same things over and over, expecting a different outcome. Like if she managed to change, be stronger, be smarter, things would turn out better—different.

It wouldn't be that simple.

She downshifted the Jeep to slow for the last of the S-shaped turns on the narrow ribbon of asphalt. The road led her past the pretentious granite columns that marked her stepfather's compound. She wasn't consciously holding her breath, but a trickle of fear dribbled down her spine just the same. Her molars ground together in determination. The past wouldn't decide her present, not ever again.

In spite of herself, images of her last day on his estate flashed through her mind like the herky-jerky frames of a child's flip deck animation. Fear sharpened every visual, clarified every word, enhanced every touch. She'd run down the steps, racing for her car. He'd charged after her, smelling of alcohol and fury when he tried to stop her headlong rush toward an unknown future. They'd screamed out their mutual hatred, all the bitter dregs of their time together. She smirked when she remembered getting in the lucky shove that had landed him in a heap on the ground. It had been her first glimpse that Senator Ray Domenico was not the invincible, all-powerful monster she'd known him to be.

Buy Link:

Author Bio:


I've been an avid reader and sometime writer all of my life. I've never been able to resist the draw of a good story, and that has been true in my professional life as well. I was raised as the third of three children in the Colorado high country. Early on I discovered the joy of creating handcrafted jewelry, which led to a forty-five-year career as a professional jeweler. Every customer, every piece has its own story. I've collected them like pearls in a strand, and I often use them as a jumping-off point for the tales I tell. If you're looking for me, you'll find me on the shores of a northern lake, hammering away on my latest story of love and life in the modern world.
 ~*~ Find Jayne online at: http://www.JayneYork.com

Social Media:

Website: JayneYork.com
Blog: JayneYork.com/What’sOnMyMind/
Email: Jayne@JayneYork.com
Twitter: @JayneYorkAuthor
Facebook: JayneYorkAuthor


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Bedeviled by Madison Michael FREE!



Bedeviled The Beguiling Bachelors, Book 3 By Madison Michael
♥♥♥ ~ Free September 7th - September 10th Only ~ ♥♥♥

About Bedeviled:
If You Build Your Love on Lies, You Better Run Faster than the Truth

Newly appointed Finance Director, Charlotte Roche escaped dangers lurking in Boston by moving to Chicago. A new name, a new beginning - all built on lies. Believing she is safe, Charlotte drops her guard and sets her sights on her ruggedly handsome and wildly sexy running partner, Alexander Gaines. Can she advance their relationship from the track to the bedroom and still maintain her charade? or will Alex's probing questions pierce her carefully rehearsed story? 

Alex, with unrevealed secrets of his own, struggles to hold the irresistible Charlotte at arm’s length. But when Charlotte sustains a suspicious injury, Alex seizes the opportunity to cuddle up to the sassy beauty. Does he dare risk his reputation, his fortune, his friends, and his heart by letting her get close? 

How can they build a bond with deceit on both sides? With exposure imminent, their freshly forged relationship is in jeopardy and so are their lives. Can their love survive or are they bedeviled? 

Join Alex and Charlotte, in this steamy romance, the third in the five-star rated Beguiling Bachelor series. The suspense builds as the characters you’ve met and loved in “Bedazzled” and “Beholden” help tackle the maze of half-truths and cover-ups threatening the lovers.

ASIN: B06WLQL2FT Genre: Steamy Romantic Suspense

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/321d24H



Excerpt from Bedeviled:

Keeping his mind on the topic always took all of Alex’s effort anyway. When Charlotte sat hip-to-hip with him as she had today, he felt the heat of her skin, saw the long length of thigh exposed in front of him, heard her heavy post-run breathing until he was in sensory overload. She smelled so good, not stinky and sweaty like he must. She smelled classy and expensive with all those clean, floral scents. She smelled like a woman he could trust.
More like a woman I want to trust.
Thinking back, Alex recognized that she had been hiding something all along. When he wasn’t lost in a sensual fog, he was able to zero in on where the conversations lagged, when she got testy with his probing or tried to change the subject. It had something to do with her life in Boston before she moved to Chicago and it was something that had been going on for a while. She was practiced at her excuses by the time she used them on him. She was making too many trips back East for ‘Harvard stuff.’ She had met Regan Howe through this same ‘Harvard stuff’ yet Regan went back to her alma mater only once or twice a year, if that.
Oh yeah, Charlotte is definitely up to something and I intend to find out what. I have been patient long enough.
Sitting waiting now for Charlotte to arrive at Starbucks, Alex promised himself that he would get to the bottom of this or walk away.
Since she had declined his offer of a ride, Alex currently sat at a shady outside table enjoying the last of summer, waiting for her to walk over and speculating on her possible secrets. He was planning his subtle interrogation during the few minutes Charlotte would need to make her way across the park,
Stubborn. She should have just accepted the ride.
You driving over or walking?” she had asked him, once they caught their breath.
“I have the car if you want a ride?” When she hesitated, he tried tempting her. “I have the new car.”
Alex was the proud owner of a brand new Mercedes AMG. The sleek, luxury sports car suited him despite most people’s image of him as logical, conservative and staid. The need for speed was actually deep in his blood. “You will love it, tight on the curves, fast and quiet. She purrs,” he had bragged.
Charlotte hesitated on his last remark and Alex had been sure she would accept. “The new car, huh?” she sounded intrigued. “I am excited to see it at last, Alex. You have certainly been talking about it long enough.”
“I need to walk off this tight hamstring, so I’ll have to pass this time,” she had replied reluctantly. “Meet you there in five.” Of course, Charlotte had been Charlotte, and that included being unpredictable.
Charlotte, leaving Alex standing there, had taken off across the park without a backward glance. Alex stood dumbfounded a moment, watching her slow jog-walk toward the trail across the grassy lawns of Lincoln Park. She was heading directly toward their usual post-run Starbucks and if he didn’t get moving, she would be there first.
Still he stood, willing her to look back and flash him that smile that changed her whole face. She didn’t, of course, and Alex was left standing there, admiring her lithe figure and the smooth bunch and release of her muscles in those tiny running shorts as she moved into the distance. Reminding himself to close his gaping mouth, Alex jogged to the parking lot, trading an extra moment of admiring a beautiful woman for a few short moments admiring his beautiful new car.
Arriving at the coffee shop several minutes before Charlotte, Alex was forced to cool his heels. He spent the time piecing together anything he could think of to uncover Charlotte’s deep, dark, secret. Admittedly, he needed the ten-minute head start away from her to give his overheated blood a little cooling time too. He kept envisioning the two of them in that sweet ride, sitting close with their sweat-slicked bodies. The image had intensified the jolts of.electricity already coursing through his veins from running beside her scantily clothed body.
Too bad she turned me down. One of these days we will be in tight quarters, all alone, and I will make my move. I have resisted too long already.
Since the mention of her tight hamstring, all Alex could think about was massaging her leg, and moving up from there. Did the woman not understand what she was doing to him? After all, he was a healthy red-blooded man. How long was he supposed to watch her round little ass wiggle in front of him, or the glide of muscles in those incredible legs – or OMG – her breasts bob up and down in those little running tops. The woman was killing him. He wanted her so badly he could taste it.
He chided himself to stop thinking of her that way, as he always did when he lusted after her. He would catch himself wanting her and repress the overwhelming sexual response that had plagued him since the beginning. She was so much more than just beautiful and sexy. She was a brilliant woman, funny, witty, complex and delightful. She considered him a running partner, and a friend…
…but that body, oh, that body. Stop it!
Alex determined to stay focused on what she might be trying to cover up and got his desire under control. He reviewed the signs – when she changed topics or failed to make eye contact. He carefully dissected her words while he waited for her to arrive. He knew she was being intentionally elusive. Alex resolved again that today would be the day he found out what she was concealing, beginning as soon as she arrived.
Speaking of arriving, Charlotte should have shown up long before now. She would have, unless something had happened. How long had he been sitting, pondering? How much time had passed?
Heart racing like a freight train, Alex ran into the park. Unsure why, he was terrified of what he might find.



About Madison Michael: 
Madison Michael is an indie publisher, blogger and the author of the Beguiling Bachelor Series as well as the novella Desire & Dessert, from her sizzling B&B Billionaire Bachelor series.

A Chicago native and hopeless romantic, Maddy was raised on Chicago culture, fairy tales, great literature and swashbuckling movies. Maddy employs that history, writing steamy contemporary romance novels set against the sumptuous backdrop of Chicago’s elite society.

After receiving a BA in Journalism from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Madison abandoned her writing to find her way in the corporate business world. Daughter of a librarian, it was inevitable that she would return to the world of books.

Maddy writes from high above Chicago where she can stare at its gorgeous skyline or the shores of Lake Michigan surrounded by feline assistants. When she is not writing,, Maddy can be found lost in a book, fighting for the rights of the mentally ill or dining on Chicago’s famous cuisine. Hot dogs and pizza, anyone?

Social Links: