Tuesday, August 2, 2022

#NewRelease from Tina Donahue: SINFULLY HOT


Erotic Paranormal Romance



A hotter-than-sin reaper. A badass demon. Hell doesn’t get steamier than this.

Zekiel owns the newest nightclub in the French Quarter. The decadent atmosphere draws the corrupt, their blackened souls just what he likes to reap.

Jewel is not amused. Not only has Zekiel cut in on her territory, Satan’s gotten hardcore, upping her quota. All hell’s going to break loose if mortals don’t start selling their souls to her.

The race is on. Zekiel claims victory and wants Jewel as his prize for one evening. Nothing forbidden. Nothing denied. In other words, the whole enchilada, including voyeurism and BDSM.

After the first promising look and lingering touch, they’re goners…even though they’re supposed to be competitors.

This book was previously published in a box set.


He brushed his lips over her ear. “Are you challenging me?”

She was a hot mess, unable to do anything except submit. His breath was fresh and warm, his muscles harder than stone. “Challenge you to what?” Us doing the horizontal tango? Bondage? Punishment?

“To see who can claim a soul faster. You seem to think you can.” He snuggled his tongue into her ear.

Jewel shivered. Her knees bumped his. “Not seem. Know. What happens when I win?”

He laughed, his chest and hard stomach quivering.

She should have slugged him but couldn’t find the strength. His beard-roughened cheek scoured hers in the best possible way. Never again would she consider reapers loathsome creatures worse than pond scum. However, he had still horned in on her turf. That deserved retaliation.

She broke free from his grip and stroked his inner arm.

He trembled.

She purred. “What’s the matter, baby? Afraid of real competition?”

He eased back slightly. Charcoal locks dangled over his forehead, begging her to ease them into place.

She resisted.

His dimpled smile returned. “Are you serious? Competition from you?”

Certainly not from other reapers who usually resembled Lurch in that ancient TV show The Addams Family. Even if those guys hadn’t owned the kiss of death, their looks alone sent mortals scurrying for cover. “How about we give it a try?” She shoved him off her. “When I win, I’ll determine your new role at this place.”

“When you win? I’d say ‘if’ isn’t even close.” He bent down until their noses nearly touched. “Want to know what I want when you lose?”

Her expelled from here and roaming New Orleans like a whipped dog, desperately scouring the surroundings for mortals to corrupt so she’d make this month’s quota. If that didn’t happen, Satan might renege on the one promise he’d made her. The reason she’d willingly sold her soul when she shouldn’t have.

Love hadn’t given her a choice.

She shook off the unchangeable past and steeled for battle. “I don’t care what you want, because my losing to you won’t happen. The second I win, I want full access to this place from midnight to seven a.m.”

“My operating hours.”

“Bingo. I expect you to round up the most likely candidates and let me do my thing. No hassle or interference. It’s only right given that you’re trespassing in my hood.”

He played with the top bow on her bustier. “Sure you don’t want to hear what happens when I win?”

She brushed his hand away. “Shall we begin?”

“Fine with me.” He tugged the ribbon, untying it.

Jewel leaned into his touch then stopped and pulled away. “We’re wasting time.” Satan wasn’t going to wait forever for her newest report. “Good luck.”

“Thanks, but you’re the one who’s going to need it.” He ignored her offered hand and swung his to the side, touching a twentysomething guy who strolled up. He sported thick Goth makeup. Metal studs dotted his face in a haphazard pattern.

With Zekiel’s touch, the young man turned whiter than nature or Revlon allowed, clutched his chest, and dropped to the floor.

The guys behind him giggled drunkenly and stepped over his corpse to leave the club.

Zekiel blew on his forefinger as one would a smoking gun. “Wow. Looks like I win.”

She gestured frantically. “Bring him back. He’s too young to die. He’s not even corrupt.” Despite his macabre appearance, his soul smelled of sunshine and hope.

Zekiel regarded the poor slob. “What do I get if I do?”

“Fine, reap him.” She crossed her arms. “I’ll even call 911 for them to collect the remains. I’m not leaving without my quota.”

He muttered something that sounded nasty and revived the young man.

The kid teetered to his feet and blinked repeatedly. “I just saw Heaven.”

Jewel rubbed her temple.

“It was beautiful.” He bounced on his heels. “I wanna go back.”

“Maybe tomorrow night.” Zekiel waved his hand.

The gust that produced whizzed the kid to the exit and out the door.

Zekiel faced her. “Seems like you need me to take a handicap to make our competition remotely fair.”

“Fair would be you taking off and letting me have this place.”

Laughter shook him. “Tell you what, you pick the victim.”

“Not until I know you won’t touch him until I’ve closed the deal.”

“That’s giving away the keys to the castle.”

She stroked his throat, enjoying how hard he swallowed. “Would it be so bad if I won?”


About Tina:

Tina’s an Amazon and international bestselling novelist who writes passionate romance for every taste – ‘heat with heart’ – for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. She’s won Readers’ Choice Awards, was named a finalist in the EPIC competition, received a Book of the Year award, The Golden Nib Award, awards of merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competitions, and second place in the NEC RWA contests. She’s featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.

On a less serious note: she’s an admitted and unrepentant chocoholic, brakes for Mexican restaurants, and has been known to moan like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally while wolfing down tostadas. She’s flown a single-engine airplane (freaking scary), rewired an old house using an ‘electricity for dummies’ book, and is horribly shy despite the hot romances she writes.

Website/Blog: http://tinadonahuebooks.blogspot.com/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tina-donahue

MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/tinadonahue

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tinadonahuebooks/  

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1wFmIu6

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tinadonahue

Triberr: http://bit.ly/1CE2ec7

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1yFLeMx

Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/1ChWFkO

My page at TRR: http://bit.ly/1vb7eEc

Kensington Author Page: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/author.aspx/24772

Sweet ‘n Sexy Divas: http://bit.ly/1ChWN3K

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Kayelle Allen and the Antonello Brothers: #ScifiRomance

Kayelle Allen returns to my blog today for the Antonello Brothers: Immortal Complete Set Book Release Tour. If you like science fiction gay romance on the sweeter side, this set is for you! Welcome Kayelle!


Antonello Brothers: Immortal 

A Sweeter Gay Romance Set
New Release


Alone for centuries, Luc seeks mortal lovers to hold the loneliness at bay, but unlike himself, when they die, they don't come back. When his latest mortal lover falls in love with another, Luc steps aside. Will he never find his own forever love?

Izzorah, a young Kin male, comes into Luc's life, and the outlook brightens. This catlike alien reads Luc's emotions as if they were written on his face. Instead of fleeing from Luc's pain, Izzorah presses closer, offering solace.

When a life-threatening accident nearly kills Izzorah, the thought of losing him is too much to bear. Luc breaks the highest law among immortals and saves him by a transfusion of blood.

But instead of a simple cure, Luc's blood triggers a latent power, and an ability no one expected. Immortality. Could his precious Izzorah be Luc's forever love?

One thing is certain. Once Luc sets his mind to a thing, what Luc wants, Luc gets. But to claim Izzorah's full surrender, Luc must first offer his own...

♥If you'd like a cuddly cinnamon roll hero who purrs, and an alpha male who has met his emotional match, this MM Sci-Fi Romance book bundle is just what you've been looking for. Extra points if you prefer your love scenes with only a hint of steam.

♥Includes a bonus book and links to a full universe of stories with these characters.

Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/abi-complete

Cover by GermanCreative 

#WriteLGBTQ #SciFi #Romance #NewRelease #Immortals #PietasFans #MMRomance #SciFiRomance 

Universal Buy Link

Universal Buy Link https://books2read.com/abi-complete

Website https://kayelleallen.com/anthology-package-deal

Website Series https://kayelleallen.com/antonello-brothers-immortal/

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Antonello-Brothers-Immortal-Sweeter-ebook/dp/B0B3SD65CM

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/books/complete-set-antonello-brothers-immortal-by-kayelle-allen

BookFunnel https://buy.bookfunnel.com/agjbctt9u6 

StoryOrigin https://storyoriginapp.com/universalbooklinks/d33baa08-eb78-11ec-a208-4bc2590dc92f?via=kayelle

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/complete-set-antonello-brothers-immortal

Friday, July 8, 2022

Margo Bond Collins and THE ALIEN BRIDE LOTTERY

Margo Bond Collins joins me today to talk about her new kickstarter. Read on to get in on Margo's exciting plans!

The Alien Bride Lottery: 

A Brand-New Story, Hardcover Vol. 1, and More

Are you a fan of sexy science fiction romance, hot aliens, and surprise meetings between fated mates?

Do you enjoy spicy alien romances?

Even more, are you looking for a guaranteed happily ever after?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you don't want to miss out on the passionate romance seriesThe Alien Bride Lottery.

Author Margo Bond Collins is running a Kickstarter, where fans can get a brand-new story set in the world of The Alien Bride Lottery, a signed hardback copy of Volume 1 including the first three books, tons of digital and physical products--and you can even get a story starring YOU as the heroine (or hero) of your own Alien Bride Lottery story!

A New Alien Bride Lottery Story

For a pledge of as little as $5, you can get Evading the Alien Bride Lottery, a brand-new story set in the universe of The Alien Bride Lottery. And at higher tiers, you can get a beautiful print of the artwork the cover was created from, along with a pile of other digital and physical rewards.

The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games...in Space! 

The Alien Bride Lottery Volume 1 tells the stories of three human women whose names are drawn in the Alien Bride Lottery to participate in the Bride Games as part of a treaty between the Khanavai warriors and Earth’s leaders—whether or not the women want to become an alien’s chosen mate! (Hint: they don’t!)

This book includes three novels, and you do not need to have read any of the other books in the series in order to enjoy this fantastic sci-fi romance.

This story, previously published on Amazon Kindle, has not been released in hardcover. This version also includes a hot bonus scene written especially for this edition! 

The hardcover print version will not be available for purchase until late 2023, and that edition will not have all of the bonus content included in this book as presented with the Kickstarter offer. 

This brand-new hardcover edition includes Entered in the Alien Bride Lottery, Captured for the Alien Bride Lottery, and Claimed for the Alien Bride Lottery.

Read a sample of Book 1, Entered in the Alien Bride Lottery, here!

Pledging in Kickstarter

And if you back by July 15, you can also get free ebooks!

Want to spread the word for a chance to win a Premium Swag Pack? Enter the Alien Bride Lottery Kickstarter Giveaway here and enter to win!

Alien Bride Lottery Premium Swag Pack

About the Author

USA Today,
Wall Street Journal, and New York Times bestselling author Margo Bond Collins is a former college English professor who, tired of explaining the difference between "hanged" and "hung," turned to writing romance novels instead. She now writes urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction romance. 

Sometimes her heroines kiss aliens, sometimes they kill monsters. But they always aim for the heart. 

You can learn more about her books at www.margobondcollins.net  and follow her on social media:

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Christmas in July! Order a Holiday Box Today!


Do you love unwrapping presents and books at Christmas? Why not combine the two?

Five author friends and I have been working on a Christmas surprise for you! We’ve created a new small town, sweet romance series for the holidays called The Seasons of Sugar Creek. We’re starting with WINTER and all the fun things you love about Christmas--caroling, sleigh rides in the snow, hot cocoa, holiday baking, skiing, etc. etc.

We've tucked these novels, along with other holiday-themed, hand-selected gifts, in a box to help you get into the Christmas Spirit this winter. How do you get a hold of one of these boxes? I'm glad you asked.

Starting July 1st, we're hosting a Kickstarter fundraiser featuring our Holiday Book Boxes.

What's in Each Box?

In each of the three boxes you'll get two special edition, signed, exclusive HARDBACK books from two authors, 4-6 Sugar Creek-inspired holiday gifts. Every box, valued over $100, will arrive at your door before December 25.

Titles and authors in series: 
Box 1 
A White Christmas Lie by Amey Zeigler 
The Christmas Crash by Cindy Gunderson 
Box 2 
Inn Love For Christmas by Hillary Sperry 
A Home For Christmas by River Ford 
Box 3 
Pining for Christmas by Heather Tullis 
A Christmas Pairing by Lisa Catmull

Click here to buy your box.

About Sugar Creek the Town

Life is sweeter in Sugar Creek

Nestled in the foothills of Mt. St. Ambrose, Sugar Creek is a small town in Vermont with all the trimmings: a ski lodge, a Christmas train, caroling, baking contests, and winter parties and balls. Our characters are young and old, single dads, and twins. There are new romances and second chances. You’ll love to call this hometown your home.

What is Kickstarter Anyway?

In case you're unfamiliar with how Kickstarter works: Kickstarter is a crowdfunding (fundraiser) website where you PLEDGE money toward a project you are interested in. You only pay when the creators make their fundraising goal. If they don’t make their goal, then the project doesn’t happen.

We know you'll be delighted with these Sugar Creek Book Boxes and hope for your support. We are using this method to pay for all fabulous gifts for the book boxes in advance so we can get you the best. You can also just get the ebooks. Every little bit helps.

Wish us luck!

One last thing: Will you share this news with all your other book friends?


Saturday, July 2, 2022

My #SmallTownRomance UNEXPECTED on the Kiss App!

The Kiss App has picked up my Masonville Small Town Romance Series, given it a new cover and offered it to readers under the title UNEXPECTED. Click here to get your copy!

Here's some info on Kiss:

KISS is a new and exciting way to experience Romance stories of all genres. Enjoy serialized quality content from NYT and USA Today bestselling authors, available right from your phone!

KISS has hundreds of titles and authors to choose from, including new and exclusive content from some of your favorite voices!

Best of all? You can choose just how much to read with our pay-as-you-go format! 

Where can I download KISS?

Friday, July 1, 2022

#NewRelease from Liz Flaherty

Liz Flaherty, my special guest today, has had a terrific year writing-wise. REINVENTING RILEY, book 2 in her Second Chances series, is her third new release this year! ( A YEAR OF FIRSTS, book 1, Second Chances series, released February 7, 2022 and LIFE'S TOO SHORT FOR WHITE WALLS came out April 20, 2022.) Congrats Liz! She's here to tell us a little about REINVENTING RILEY. Take it away Liz!

Rye Winters grew up in Chicago, and she loves it there. After many years in a small-town subdivision, the forty-something widow is champing at the bit to go back. She’s sold her business and her house and made plans right down to the kind of apartment she wants to lease or buy—no more lawn-mowing or weed-eating for her! She’s not going to need a car—which is great because she hates to drive. She’d reinvented herself once—she could hardly wait to do it again.

But before making her final move, she goes to Fallen Soldier, Pennsylvania, population 2922, to be her best friend’s “widow of honor” in her wedding.

Where she meets the preacher, falls in love with a cottage on the lake, and can’t stop looking at a downtown building that has so many possibilities. Hmm… 


He’s afraid a second time at love wouldn’t live up to his first. She’s afraid a second round would be exactly like her first. 

Pastor Jake McAlister and businesswoman Riley Winters are in their forties and widowed. Neither is interested in a relationship. They both love Fallen Soldier, the small Pennsylvania town where they met, even though Rye plans to move to Chicago, and Jake sees a change in pastorates not too far down the road. Enjoying a few-weeks friendship is something they both look forward to.

However, there is an indisputable attraction between the green-eyed pastor and the woman with a shining sweep of chestnut hair. Then there’s the Culp, an old downtown building that calls unrelentingly to Rye’s entrepreneurial soul. And when a young man named Griff visits Jake, life changes in the blink of a dark green eye.

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0B2FT1JLR


He walked her to the door and waited while she unlocked it.

She looked up. “Do you want a glass of wine?” While being alone seldom bothered her, the evening ahead looked long with only Hagar for company. “Maybe watch a movie? I start watching Christmas movies on Thanksgiving night, so I guarantee you’ll have plenty of opportunity to roll your eyes.” 

He hesitated long enough for it to hurt, and she drew back. “Never mind. You don’t have—” 

“I want to,” he said. “Maybe a little more than is good for either of us. I don’t want to let you in for the gossip that often goes along with dating a single pastor.”

The relief made her feel a little silly. “Probably not as much as if I dated a married one.” 

But who was talking about dating? He was a dedicated minister with little left over to offer to a relationship. Besides, the sudden appearance of the boy called Griff was enough for him to have on his mind. Not that Rye didn’t want to spend time with Jake, but dating and depth didn’t go together for her. Sometimes, when she allowed herself to worry about things, she worried that she wasn’t capable of depth. 

She wasn’t going to think about that now. She was going to think about wine and cheese while watching the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol. If a handsome man sat on the loveseat beside her, that was all right. That’s all, just all right.

“So?” She hated the breathiness of her voice that made her sound like the stereotype of a beauty pageant winner. She wasn’t the breathy type. Breathiness went with depth, didn’t it?

“So, would you like me to open the wine? I’m good with a corkscrew.”

They still stood inside the door, the lights on the Christmas tree she’d put up the night before lending ambiance to the little house. “Yes,” she said. “I’ll slice some cheese. Do you have a favorite?”

“White kinds. I might not be too knowledgeable about cheese.” 

“Do you like Christmas songs?”

“Is the Pope Catholic?”

Rye’s list of holiday music played softly as they worked together in the tiny kitchen, bumping into each other every minute or so and laughing each time. It wasn’t self-conscious, the laughter, and she reveled in it. How long it had been since she shared that particular kind of joy with a man she…liked? Yes, liked. No more, no less.

After the third clashing of elbows, Jake set down the glasses he’d taken out of the cupboard and took the knife from her hand. “Let’s do this,” he said, and took her into his arms. Not close or tight, but warm, and danced with her through the kitchen and hallway, ending in the glow from soft light from the tree in the living room. They stood, swaying together.

“Your eyes,” he said, “are extraordinarily blue.”

“Yours are extraordinarily green.” His sweater, the same color as his eyes, was soft under her hands, covering shoulders and arms more muscular than she had expected. He was just the right height to dance with, too. Looking up didn’t hurt her neck, but he was enough taller than she to reduce her tendency to lead. “Is this our first date?”

He looked thoughtful. “No. Actually, I think we’ve had several. We’ve just kind of avoided calling them that.”

“That’s good then.” She sounded breathy again, but the truth was, she was feeling a little winded by his proximity and how it made her feel. “Because, I wouldn’t want to be known as someone who…you know…would kiss on the first date.”

“No, that wouldn’t be good, would it?” His arms tightened. “But maybe after several dates it would be okay?”

“I think so. A nice kiss goes well with wine and cheese and Ebenezer Scrooge’s story.”

“Does it?” His lips, warm and firm, met hers then. Searching. Tasting. Releasing. For a moment. “If one goes well, how would they be with two?”

“Oh.” She raised her hands, threading them through his thick, soft hair. “I think they’d be even better.”

The wine, cheese, and movie were wonderful after four kisses, splendid after five. The wine had had plenty of time to breathe and the cheese had warmed so that its flavor was rich and its consistency creamy. 

Kind of like the kisses. Not the creamy part, but warm and rich and leaving her with a wish for more.


USA Today bestselling author Liz Flaherty started writing in the fourth grade when her Aunt Gladys allowed her to use her portable Royal typewriter. The truth was that her aunt would have let her do anything to get her out of her hair, but the typewriter and the stories it could produce caught on, and Liz never again had a day without a what if… in it. 

She and Duane, her husband of at least forever, live in a farmhouse in central Indiana, sharing grown children, spoiled cats, and their grandkids, the Magnificent Seven. (Don’t get her started on them—you’ll be here all day.) To find out more about her, stop by http://lizflaherty.net/ or sign up for her newsletter at http://eepurl.com/df7dhP

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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

J. Arlene Culiner and a recipe from A ROOM IN BLAKE'S FOLLY

J. Arlene Culiner makes a return visit to my blog today. She tells us more about A ROOM IN BLAKE'S FOLLY and the characters who inhabit it, and also shares a recipe for the vegetarian dish Pecan Soup. Because, of course, many of her characters are vegetarian. Thanks for stopping by again, Jill. Great to have you!

Romance with Strange Characters

A Room in Blake’s Folly by J. Arlene Culiner

I love writing about people who are different. Some are forced to adapt to new circumstances in order to survive, others are originals, folks who have never really fit into mainstream society. But no one is humdrum, and all have dreams.

I adore people who challenge the status quo. They are often opinionated, sometimes obnoxiously so, but they are also entertaining, and stimulating, and they do make us question our own values.

In my latest release, A Room in Blake’s Folly, six linked stories take place in a former silver boomtown that, in time, becomes a semi-ghost town. The sort of people who choose to live in such a place can only be at odds with society. But that doesn’t make them unworthy of love.

In the second story, Evenings at Madam Lacey’s, Alexander Treemont is the son of a former silver baron. However, instead of stepping into his father’s shoes, he ran away to Paris to become an artist back in the 1880s. Now, forty years later, he is again in Blake’s Folly, and still willing to break taboos, he begins wooing Susanna Lacey, former prostitute, now a brothel owner. And when he invites Susanna to his home for dinner, she discovers he is a vegetarian—no surprise; in Paris Alexander frequented former anarchists and artists:

Their meal of old-fashioned American dishes was equally surprising, and very different from what she knew: a smoky soup of herbed pecans, a main course of braised squash, carrots, fennel, and herbs, served with the finest Canada rice, and a dessert of home-preserved summer fruits. There was no meat, neither was there fish. 

“A hangover from anarchist days in Paris,” Alexander explained. “We were influenced by writers like Henry Salt who protested against the appalling treatment of work horses and dogs in England, and Tolstoy, who thought it immoral to slaughter innocent animals that were themselves vegetarian—deer, rabbits, sheep, horses, and trusting cows.” 

That sort of meal sounds wonderful to me, too. Vegetables that are braised or oven roasted with a touch of olive oil are divine. As for pecan soup — you can use walnuts if pecans aren’t available—well…it’s a taste of heaven.

I’m a cook who never measures anything, so I can only give you a vague recipe. But do play around, give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Pecan Soup - Ingredients

1-2 cups of shelled, lightly oven roasted (about five minutes) pecans or walnuts

1 large chopped onion

1 medium to large potato cut into small pieces

4 cups of vegetable broth (can be from a cube)

1-2 chopped cloves of garlic

1-2 chopped celery stalks (optional)

1 chopped tomato (optional)

Pepper, chopped parsley, oregano (optional) rosemary (optional) thyme (optional)

Milk, cream or sour cream


Chives (optional)

Sauté all the ingredients (except the chives) in butter until the onion is soft. Add the broth and simmer until the potato is cooked. Put everything into a blender until smooth. Now add the milk, cream or sour cream until you decide it tastes perfect.

Pour into bowls and sprinkle with chives.

The Room Upstairs, the fifth story in A Room in Blake’s Folly, takes place in 2021. My heroine, Lucy Barnes, a woman who loves and protects spiders, is also a vegetarian. Here’s the moment when Lance Potter, veterinarian, asks her out for dinner:


Pushing open the door to Second Hand Rose, he stepped inside. Stopped dead, his heart plummeting lower still. No, Rose wasn’t here. The comforting thought of a flirtatious evening disappeared, slid outside to join the frigid desert air and glacial stars. Sitting at a small round wooden table over to the left, was the Valkyrie. She looked up from the book she was reading and stared at him with just about the same amount warmth he was feeling toward her.

“She’s not here.” No “hello,” no preamble of any sort. 

“Yes, I can see that. I’ll come back another time.” He turned to go, return to the wintry evening, and begin the long drive home. 

“Hey, wait.” She was staring at him. “Why not come and sit down. Make yourself comfortable. You want a coffee?”

“A coffee?” He gaped at the Valkyrie as if the word “coffee” were a new one he hadn’t yet tried out. “You’re offering me a coffee?” And hospitality? 

She lowered her head and a certain amount of amiability disappeared. “That’s right, Buster. Real freshly-made coffee in a pot, no instant, no chemicals.” 

“My name’s not Buster.” 

A wicked grin appeared, one made more mischievous by her slightly crooked and uneven teeth. “Okay, Bud. But the offer for coffee still holds.”

“It’s not Bud either.” 

That grin broadened. “Look, you can’t get around me. I know what you call me.” 

“Oh, yes?” 

“Yup. Just to let you know.”


“I’m the Valkyrie, right?” 

He took a deep breath. Then, felt amusement pushing aside dark dreariness. “Yeah, that’s right.” 

“But you’re wrong.” She got to her feet, as if preparing a devastating blow. “You wanna know why?” 

Even he had started smiling. “If I don’t, you’re still going to tell me, right? Because that’s your style.” 

“You got it, Bud.” Hands on her hips, she looked at him with what could only be called triumph. “Because the Valkyries were virgin warriors, and I’m way too old to be a virgin, that’s why.” 

Impossible to suppress the chuckle bubbling up from deep in his belly, that turned into a roar of laughter. How had she managed to win him over in such a short time? Damn.

She was still grinning, still waiting for his answer about the coffee. He stared at her for a minute, then forced his own broad smile into something more serious. “Let’s forget about the coffee.” 

“Okay.” The grin faded, and she shrugged as if she didn’t care one way or the other, which was probably true.

“Instead of coffee, how do you feel about going out to dinner with me?” 

Now she was the one who stared as if the word “dinner” were a new one. “Me?” 

“At the moment, you’re the only one in this room aside from some 2,000 tiny loyal spiders that probably follow you everywhere. But I’m not asking them if they’re hungry because I know what the answer would be.”

“As for dinner, I’m a vegetarian.” 

“You would be.” 

“You got something against people who refuse to kill animals for food?” She was back in Valkyrie mode. 

“Absolutely nothing. I’m open as far as food goes.” He paused before adding, “And I’m open to new ideas, too, okay?” 

Warily, she nodded.

A Room in Blake’s Folly


If only the walls could speak…

In one hundred and fifty years, Blake's Folly, a silver boomtown notorious for its brothels, scarlet ladies, silver barons, speakeasies, and divorce ranches, has become a semi-ghost town. Although the old Mizpah Saloon is still in business, its upper floor is sheathed in dust. But in a room at a long corridor's end, an adventurer, a beautiful dance girl, and a rejected wife were once caught in a love triangle, and their secret has touched three generations.

Purchase Links:




Author Bio:

Writer, storyteller, photographer, and social critical artist, J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has crossed much of Europe on foot, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a haunted house on the English moors. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to local dismay, protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She particularly enjoys incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way communities, and her conversations with strange characters.

Author Website: http://www.j-arleneculiner.com

Blog: http://j-arleneculiner.over-blog.com

Storytelling Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/j-arlene-culiner

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