Thursday, September 30, 2021

Mafia Anthology #ComingSoon! SAVAGE BLOODLINE

Under the cover of darkness, in every major city, a DeLuca rules the streets. Get ready to fall hard for the DeLucas! These powerful, sexy Italians will dominate your body and soul, making you beg for mercy and release. You’ll become an instrument for them to play in their skilled hands. The moment you think it impossible to fall deeper in love, or that your panties couldn’t get any wetter, the savages will show you that pleasure and pain are virtually the same. 

Book Info:

Release Date: 3/15/22



Darkness lurks behind their gazes. There’s something sinister about their smiles. Their name incites fear in their enemies. Their touch arouses passion in the women they love. They are the DeLucas. In the streets and in the sheets, there’s one word that describes them best. SAVAGE.

The men of the DeLuca family are proof that the bigger the alpha, the harder they fall… in love.

Download this exclusive anthology featuring 20+ BRAND NEW mafia romances to find out which DeLuca you will fall in love with. But first, you must ask yourself one question: Are you ready to give your heart and body to a savage?

Immerse yourself in this dangerously seductive collection that includes:


*Friends to lovers.

*Enemies to lovers.


*Arranged Marriages. 

*And more!


Tears or Rain?

 Someone was going to die tonight.

Someone’s life was going to end before the clock struck twelve. Midnight. Their death would be painful, brutal. No mercy would be shown to them. Anyone who tried to defend them, anyone who got in the way, they too would die. That was the promise Enzo DeLuca had made to his grandfather.

And it was a promise he intended to keep, even if he had to burn the entire city to the ground to do so. Before he could keep his pledge, he first had to bury their fallen. He had to say his final goodbye to the man who’d been more like a father than a grandfather to him. The man who’d raised him. The man who’d nurtured him. The man who’d shaped him into the person he was today.

To this man, he owed his life. For this man, tonight, he was going to take a life. Rain fell in sheets on that cold and dreary January day in Bari, Italy. It was as if even mother nature was mourning the loss of Ermanno Deluca. Unlike most of those around him, Enzo DeLuca refused to stand under the shield of an umbrella.

He wanted to feel the cold rain against his skin. He wanted it to drip down his face like tears. Tears he refused to shed. There would be no crying for him. Not yet. Not until he’d kept his promise to his grandfather. Not until he’d put a bullet in the heart of the bastard responsible for the pain the DeLuca family was feeling today.

Perhaps this rain was a parting gift from his grandfather, who knew Enzo would not feel worthy of crying over his death, not until the person responsible was dead too. Enzo refused to allow his grandfather’s body to grow cold in the earth while his killer lived life to the fullest, making money, eating, sleeping, fucking, living as if he hadn’t caused the death of a Don. As if he hadn’t taken the patriarch of the DeLuca family away from them.

He refused to allow the DeLuca name to be made weak by the actions of a coward. Though he’d yet to kill the person responsible, those who knew Enzo knew that the coward was a dead man walking. A zombie. He could see, he could feel, he could hear, but he was already dead. There was already a bullet chosen for him.

A bullet blessed by his grandfather before he’d taken his final breath and left Enzo to deal with the chaos the coward had created. Yes, the coward was still moving around in the world of the living, but he was on borrowed time. And that time would expire tonight. It had taken Enzo a few days, but he now knew who the killer was and where to find him.

A life for a life. That was the code they lived by. The bastard would pay for his sins with his life. Not only because of the promise Enzo had made his grandfather but also to prove to their enemies that the DeLuca family was still a family of savages. Under his grandfather’s rule, they’d been nicknamed savage gentleman by some.

They kept to themselves and handled their business as gentlemen, Men of Honor. But when fucked with, they revealed just how brutal their bloodline was, how ruthless their organization was. He knew other families were watching and waiting to see if they’d live up to that title. They were watching to see if they would fall apart or rise up now that Ermanno DeLuca was no longer around.

It wasn’t only their enemies who were watching them. Members of the family were also paying close attention. Today, family members from all around the world were attending the funeral of their Don. Yet, half of them hadn’t shown their faces in Italy in years. They’d moved away and only returned home for funerals and weddings.

Some didn’t even come for that. Yet, they’d come for the funeral of Don DeLuca. Not out of respect, love, or loyalty. They came to see if there would be drama and to see if the passing of the title would cause chaos amongst the organization. Already there was speculation of who the new Don would be.

Whispers of who some wanted it to be had already reached Enzo’s ears. Whispering and talking behind backs were actions of weak men. Enzo liked to handle things face to face. And those who were whispering behind his back would soon have to face him. There was another group of people who’d come to the funeral. His grandfather always referred to people like them as vultures.

They were the ones who’d shown up so they could sidle up to the new Leader and try to get on his good side early so they could make requests of him later. Then there were those who were happy the old Don was dead. They were there to verify it for themselves and to silently gloat that they’d outlived Ermanno DeLuca.

If Enzo could, he’d put a bullet in all those who felt that way. Then he’d bury them underneath his grandfather’s grave so that he could rest in peace the same way he’d lived, with his enemies beneath his feet. As Enzo stared around him, he noted that there was one last group of people present. The loyal.

They were the ones who’d truly come to pay their respects to their fallen Leader. Ermanno DeLuca had been hated by many but loved by more. He’d been a fair Don, who’d steered the organization away from wars and into alliances that benefited them. Some had been happy with the changes he’d made. Others had wanted to go back to the old ways.

They wanted to go back to the old days. The days when organizations fought against organizations regularly to prove who was the more ruthless, to prove who should be the king of the streets. Don DeLuca had won that war and claimed that title. He’d found no need to fight continuously.

However, there were some who’d enjoyed the wars, the chaos, the death, and destruction. It was true. The wars had led to the respect their organization and family enjoyed today. It led to them becoming the most feared family in Italy. The name, DeLuca, was feared and respected worldwide. Yet, the wars hadn’t only brought them glory.

It had brought death and destruction to so many of their people. A lot of blood and tears had been shed for them to hold the position they held today. The Don had taught Enzo to respect those who’d died so that he could stand where he stood. He’d told Enzo not to let those blood and tears be shed in vain.

Some of the family didn’t feel the same way. The problem was determining the motives of those around him. It was hard to tell who was for you and who was against you at a time like this. How was he to know who was crying and who wasn’t? Tears or rain? That was the guessing game he was playing. And he was losing.

The voice of his right-hand man, Stefano Masiello, sounded over the comm-link in his ear. “Enzo, after the funeral, you must go to the reception. You have to show your face there. We all do. As soon as the funeral is over, we can head there.”

Enzo was impatient. He didn’t give a damn about a reception. If he could, he’d skip the entire event. It would only be a bunch of motherfuckers, smiling in his face, telling him stories of the old days and things Don DeLuca had done. He’d heard those stories. He’d seen those smiles. Why the fuck did he need to see and hear them again?

“Nod if you agree, Enzo.”

His gaze darted to the other side of the burial site where Stefan stood. He knew Stefan was only looking out for him. He knew he needed to attend the reception to keep up appearances. However, there were more important things he needed to do. He wouldn’t be able to rest until his fingers were coated with the blood of his enemy.

He wouldn’t be able to rest until his grandfather was avenged and the entire world knew it. But the reception was not something he could skip. Therefore, he nodded. A shadow crept overhead, and the chill of the rain ceased descending upon him. From the corner of his eye, he saw his cousin, Vito DeLuca, stepping forward, holding an umbrella.

“The rain is getting harder,” Vito told him.

“I know.”

“But you don’t care, right?”

Enzo nodded. Vito sighed. Both men stood there, silent once more as they listened to the preacher.

“Sorry, I got here late,” Vito apologized.

“At least you came. Some did not. They will pay the penalty.”

“Not everyone was as close to Grandfather as you and I.”

“But we’re all of his blood. And we’re all supposed to come home when we’re called.”

“You’re right. Family is family. We’re bound together by blood. When needed, we must come.”

“You sound like Grandfather.”

“That’s because those are his words. I’m going to miss our monthly chats over the phone.”

“When did you last talk to him?”

“A week before he was shot. If I’d known then what I do now, I would’ve stayed on the phone with him longer.”

Like his cousin, he’d also been playing the ‘If I’d known game’. If he’d known what he knew now, he would’ve spent more time with his grandfather. He would’ve made time to travel with him.

Every time the Don mentioned taking a trip to the States, Enzo’s excuse was always that he was too busy. He’d give anything to take that trip with him now. Enzo swallowed the lump of aguish rising from within him. No tears. Not yet. It wasn’t time.

Facing Vito, he asked, “What were Grandfather’s last words to you?”

“He told me to always remain true to what I believe in. He told me that he trusted me to do what was right for the family, even if it wasn’t of popular opinion.”

“Grandfather talked about you a lot. He liked the road you’d chosen. He said we needed more men like you to keep us on the right path.”

For a while, neither of them said a word. Then Vito asked, “What were his last words to you?”

The Don’s last words to Enzo were much different from what he’d said to Vito. That was because he expected something different from Enzo. Though the weight of his grandfather’s expectations of him was heavy, Enzo wouldn’t let him down, and he wouldn’t fold under the pressure.

He’d do exactly as he was told. His eyes were glued to the casket as it was lowered into the ground. Goodbye, Grandfather. Rest in peace, Don Ermanno DeLuca. No crying. It still wasn’t time for that yet.

“Enzo,” Vito called to him. “What were Grandfather’s last words to you?”

As the casket disappeared, Enzo responded. “He told me to remind them of who we are.”


Buy Links:

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Book Trailer:


Series Authors:

Kenya Wright, Amarie Avant, Xavier Neal, Keta Kendric, Sonja B, LeTeisha Newton, Courtney Dean, L Loren, Sage Young, M’Renee Allen, Tiye, Shani Greene-Dowdell, Tamika Brown, Lyndell Williams, Imani Jay, Siera London, PE Kavanagh, Cassie Verano, Amaya Black, Theresa Hodge, Kasey Martin, and Lola Joy.

Follow us on Social Media: 

Facebook Page: Savage Bloodline Mafia Collection | Facebook 

Facebook Group: Savage Bloodline Reading Group -La Famiglia | Facebook 

Instagram: Savage Bloodline Box Set (@savagebloodlinemafiacollection) • Instagram photos and videos 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

FOREVER WINTER: #NewRelease from Amber Daulton

 Please welcome Amber Daulton and her new sweet historical romance FOREVER WINTER, which releases October 5, 2021. The novella is on sale for .99 cents for a limited time, so get your ecopy now! 

A perfect Christmas wedding, a snowstorm, and a shocking secret. What could go wrong?

Susanna Lorican must marry the man she loves before the truth is discovered, or face the gossip of the ton. With an unexpected snowstorm injuring the minister, her future hangs in the balance.

Viscount Camden Beckinworth vows to keep his bride safe, even if he must betray her confidence. When their love is put to the test, how will he uphold her honor without jeopardizing his own?

– Warning: this sweet, complete Regency romance novella features a brief scene where the heroine is assaulted.

– Second edition. Newly revised and edited.

Will their love withstand the storm to come?


Oh, my. The air in her lungs froze as he teased and tasted her lips in a decadent, feather-soft kiss. She moaned into his mouth and closed her eyes.

“You are so beautiful.” He trailed his lips down her neck.

“Camden.” She gasped and gripped his broad shoulders for an anchor in the storm of bliss threatening to sweep her under. Spots dotted her vision like twinkling stars peeking through dark clouds. She blinked several times and nodded to the entryway. “We must control ourselves. Anyone could see.” The smirk crawling up his cheeks clenched something deep and primal inside her. She breathed harder and inched closer to his heaving chest.

“Let them. We are betrothed. Two people in love who are about to wed are expected to kiss.”

“Kiss, yes,” she whispered. “You, my lord, make love with your lips.” Heat flamed in her cheeks and surely reddened her face.

Camden laughed and trailed his fingers up her bare arm to the puffed sleeve. “Do I? You have never admitted that before.”

“There are some things you should not be privy to.”

“Really? I’m honored that my bride appreciates the way I kiss. If she didn’t, what kind of man would that make me?”

She stepped away and smacked his biceps. “There are eyes and ears everywhere, Camden. Especially today. I’m positive the servants are already gossiping that we are spending time together on the one day we should keep our distance. It is bad luck.” And since their chaperone had left them unaccompanied, she expected another servant to arrive any minute, courtesy of her mother.

Camden drew her back into his arms and brushed his lips across her hairline. “I make my own luck. We control our destiny, Susanna; no one else. Besides, you have nothing to worry about. The one activity we shared truly worth gossiping about will never reach the light of day.”

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About the Author:

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through Daulton Publishing, The Wild Rose Press, and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats. 

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats. 

Social Media Links: 

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Friday, September 24, 2021

5 Things About WHAT HAPPENS IN DENVER by Liz Crowe

Liz Crowe joins me today with a look at her new release, What Happens in Denver. Welcome Liz!

Top 5 Things to Know About What Happens in Denver

Releasing 9/20 

By Liz Crowe

5.  The story is set in the world of craft beer. I draw on my own experience, helping found a brewery in Michigan, working my way into that world, then being somewhat unceremoniously dumped from the company. But many of the friends I made in my craft beer journey are amazing and I learned a lot about the business from brewing, to marketing and sales and distribution. And I have used the craft beer setting a lot in my books—this time for a chick lit style romance.

4.  It is the story of one woman’s (Andi Rigby’s) journey from the top to the bottom and then her climb back up. It focuses on her new friendship with Sloane and a surprise new romance with a hot, beardy brewery guy named James. But the focus is less on her relationship with him and more on her coming to terms with what she has done in her life and what she plans to do going forward after everything falls apart.

3. Her new friend Sloane has serious body dysmorphia. In short, the woman is anorexic and the story focuses a fair bit on how we women tend to define ourselves by how we appear to other people based on society’s insistence that we be a certain size or look a certain way. I have received a bit of criticism for my “over-emphasis” on weight and body issues but I tend to write books that come from my own experiences and as a 54 year old woman, I can tell you that for most of my years I have been on some form of a diet or another and frankly, I’m tired of it. But this obsession with bodily perfection sometimes can take a dangerous turn for some women, and Andi learns that Sloane needs her friendship more than ever during a particularly tough period for her.

2.  There is an HEA, because at the end of the day, it is a romance—if less a traditional contemporary one and more of a chick lit style, given the 100% focus on Andi’s point of view. But item number 2.5 to know about What Happens in Denver? (drum roll) There IS a sequel, called What Happens in Chicago which is Sloane’s backstory with her boyfriend, Michael (James’ brother). It will release in early 2022 and it is scorching hot contemporary erotic romance.

And the Number 1 thing to know about WHAT HAPPENS IN DENVER….

You’ll learn a lot about craft beer, even more about Andi’s story, and be able to cheer her on as she recovers from the low blow her ex-husband strikes by emerging stronger, with a new friend, and a bonus new boyfriend in the bargain!


Meet Andi Rigby. She and her husband own a famous bar. Andi can mix a cocktail, change a beer keg, soothe ruffled customers, and drink you under the table — all within the same hour. Life is good, until the day she finds herself both divorced and unemployed. After a suitable period of ice-cream and whiskey infused mourning, she heads to a beer fest in Denver on a mission to rediscover her joy, not to mention a new job.

 Between fielding gossip, saving a drunk woman from herself, and dodging a hot, but ill-advised boozy hookup, the weekend doesn’t go quite as planned. She ends up employed with an unexpected bonus—a new friend. Oh, and the guy she kissed? Turns out her new job includes selling his brewery’s beer. No big deal. Except the bit about him being practically perfect for her at a moment she’s determined to focus on her own success.

 A story of new friends, fresh starts, and a side order of romance, served up with a nice cold pint.


Buy links:






“May I join you?”

I opened one eye, already knowing who it was and figuring it for some kind of effed-up karma. “If you must.”

I moved my shoes down to the sidewalk and shifted as far to the left armrest as I could. James Burke plunked himself right in the middle of the thing.

“Do you mind?” I crossed my legs to avoid having our thighs touch. I wasn’t in the mood for flirting or otherwise. I’d just done something great for myself for the first time in over a year and didn’t feel like sharing the victory.

No matter how good-looking said potential victory- sharer might be.

Or how close he was sitting to me.

“Don’t you have a Burke Brothers beer dinner to handle?” He didn’t. I knew, thanks to my new-found stalkerish behavior. I’d discovered the brothers weren’t hosting one this year. Odd. This would have been a great way to showcase their new quality-problem- solved brews to their fellow professionals. But it was their brewery, not mine.

“Nope,” he said, putting his hands behind his head and stretching out his long legs.

“Nice manspreading, dude,” I said in my prissiest voice.

“Nah, not really.” He glanced at me, then bent his knees and opened his legs out to each side, jamming me even farther into my corner. “Now this is nice manspreading.”

Without even thinking about it—and thanks to my three martinis—I twisted around and plopped my legs on his lap. He grinned, grabbed my left foot and dug his knuckle into my arch. I tensed, until my poor battered foot relaxed.

“ God...yes.” I closed my eyes and let him do what he would, no longer caring that we were making a spectacle of ourselves.

After a few moments, he switched to my other foot. I shivered and sighed again, stretching out like a cat until I realized my hips were practically on his lap.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said, shifting away until only my feet were there. He shot me a look that made my face flush hot. “Okay, I’m good. Thanks much.” I rotated and put my feet back on the sidewalk where they belonged.

“My pleasure,” he said, his voice soft and low.

I glared at him. “Don’t flirt with me, pal. I’m not in the mood. And you’re not my type.”

“So quick to judge,” he said, stretching his arms back and his legs out again.

When he closed his eyes, I allowed myself a quick, up-close assessment, which was a bad idea, in my weakened state. I’ve established that the guy could pass for an NFL player with his wingspan, immense shoulders, and ever-so-long legs. His beard was neatly trimmed off his neck and cheeks. The matching dark brown hair was thick and a bit on the long side, which made me have to curl my fingers into fists to keep from touching it.
Oh boy. Where did
that come from?
It came from the bottom of your third martini glass, you silly girl.

I jumped to my feet. James opened his eyes, slow and easy, as if knowing I was about to make a panicky bolt for it and figuring he should go slow, to treat me as if I were a rabid animal trapped under his front porch. Forcing myself to relax and smile, because I was in control of this, after all, I picked up my shoes and made a point to look at my phone screen.

“Don’t stare. It’s rude,” I said, my finger poised to call for a ride.

“Can I buy you a beer?”

I sighed and looked at the darkening sky, never more aware of how badly I did want to sit with him, to have a beer and a chat. But I was determined not to develop bad habits, like the one that had landed me with Matt in my post-grad years.

I would not—could not—allow myself to do anything more than drink and enjoy his company, then I’d get my sorry tail back to my hotel and pack. I had a lot of things to do after all. I had a move to plan.


I flinched. I’d been standing here too long, not answering him. My inner polite young lady kicked in. “Sorry. Um, sure. Okay.”

“Don’t get too excited about it.”

I glared at him. “Fine. I won’t. Catch you on the flip side, Jimmy.”

I was a solid fifty steps down the sidewalk before he caught up and fell into step with me. He kept his hands to himself, which I appreciated. I was too jumpy by half and needed my personal space honored. I gave him a mental half-point. He stuck his fingers in his jeans pockets, and we walked a while in comfortable silence. 


Author Bio:

Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville living in Central Illinois. She's spent her time as a three-continent expat trailing spouse, mom of three, real estate agent, brewery owner and bar manager, and is currently a social media consultant and humane society development director, in addition to being an award-winning author. With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, inside fictional television stations and successful real estate offices, and even in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are compelling and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, at times frustrate, and always linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.


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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Power of Pastry in ARBORVIEW by Karen Guzman

Welcome to Karen Guzman! She's here to tell us the role baking and pastry have in her upcoming release ARBORVIEW. Thanks for being here, Karen! 

The Power of Pastry 

Thank you, Jana, for hosting me. I want to write about food, pastry in particular, because it plays a big part in Arborview. Both my main characters are pastry chefs, and they are both hoping to use their love of baking as the catalyst to a new life.

Freshly divorced Ellen Cahill is adrift. She’s an empty nester who’s beginning to realize that she’s been giving up too much of herself, and for far too long. Nineteen-year-old Rosa Escamilla dreams of attending a top-notch culinary academy, if only she can scrape up the tuition and stare down her mother’s disapproval.

Ellen and Rosa connect in a community college pastry class Ellen teaches and set out to redefine their lives. Along the way, pastry marks their progress. Some of the recipes they lovingly dish out: Cocoa Chiffon Cake, French apple tart, Croquembouche, Chocolate Ganache Soufflé Cake, Molten-Lava Chocolate Cake, Berry Cobbler, Cherry Almond Biscotti, Caramel Pecan Bars, and Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread.

And that’s just a taste.

For these characters, pastry is more than dessert, and food is more than mere sustenance. In this excerpt, Ellen ponders the power of pastry:

“In the kitchen, she sifted flour. It fell in a tidy, purposeful blizzard into the stainless-steel bowl on the counter. Ellen’s hands warmed, her movements growing fluid. To her, pastry’s mere presence had always implied honor. Someone spent time creating it, assembling the ingredients and breathing life into them—a painstaking act that yielded something wholly beautiful and comforting. This was what she wanted her students to grasp: You can bring solace and wholeness into the world through simple acts. There are people who can’t, or who refuse, to understand this. But this doesn’t make them right. It makes them lacking.”

And here, Rosa reflects on her longing for a culinary career, despite her mother’s doubts:

“Was there no way to make Mama understand what Rosa saw, peering into the dining room of a restaurant like Sotto Voce at night? She saw the possibility of transformation. It was in the wink of the chandeliers hanging above the whispery conversations of the diners, in the candlelight warming their faces, in the flash of a jewel tucked in a woman’s hair, and in the white-coated waiters hoisting trays heaped with exquisite mystery. Rosa wanted to be in the kitchen, bright and bustling behind those swinging doors, the nerve center making it all possible, transforming an overly large, too ornate room into an oasis of muffled sensuality, shutting out the world. Could such a place really exist, or was it only in her mind?”

But what exactly is Arborview and how does it fit into all this? Good question. Arborview is the old treehouse sitting at the edge of Ellen’s back lawn. Once her children’s hangout, the treehouse has become a sort of chapel-in-the-sky where Ellen now ponders her toughest questions, reconnecting with herself and with a spirituality that she thought she lost long ago.

Arborview is available September 29. 

Buy Links:




When the recipe for a new life is bittersweet…

Ellen Cahill’s financial future rides on the success of her new pastry shop. A bruising divorce has drained her bank account, along with her spirit. A man enters her life promising love, but Ellen, haunted by the past, questions whether she can pull off this new beginning.

College student Rosa Escamilla has her own culinary dreams—and a difficult mother who’s dead set against them. Rosa won’t be deterred. She scrapes up the money to enroll at a prestigious culinary school, setting out to prove everyone wrong.

When hidden betrayals by the people they love most surface for both Ellen and Rosa, can they overcome the blows they never saw coming on the road to where they want to go? 


The light was dying in Arborview. Ellen had to get going, but she wasn’t ready. Descending the ladder meant reentering her life. The time she spent here, suspended among the branches, did not banish the uncertainty that crept back when her feet hit the ground, but it did give her reprieve. 

The stillness, the silence, slowed her mind. Be still and know that I am God. She used to love that old Psalm. This must have been what it meant. Her thoughts unraveled in Arborview, exposed in a cool, piercing light, a calm glow giving her hope.

It had been a week since she’d heard from Alice, and the memory of her guilty laundry-room face lingered. Perhaps Ellen had been too harsh, too judgmental. That was a big thing today, wasn’t it? Judging. Nothing was supposed to be off limits, nothing truly wrong, or shameful. Ellen had broken down and left a voicemail, but Alice had not returned the call. 

The warm impression William had left in her bed, the faint whiff of his cologne on the pillows, had stayed with Ellen, too. He was coming to take her to dinner in an hour.

William had struck a chord with his pastry shop idea. It had taken root and grown all week within Ellen, its tendrils reaching into her heart. She could see it: a little storefront place, a jingling bell on the door, cakes and pies in the window, a soft wash of light on the gleaming display cases inside.

Author Bio:

Karen Guzman is a fiction writer and essayist. Her new novel, Arborview, will be published on September 29 by The Wild Rose Press. Her debut, Homing Instincts, was published by Fiction Attic Press in 2014. Karen’s short fiction has appeared in a number of literary magazines, and her story collection, Pilgrims, was a finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award.

Karen is a regular contributor to the Collegeville Institute’s Bearings Online magazine. She is the recipient of a 2021 writing fellowship at the Collegeville Institute.

You can find Karen’s books on Amazon, and learn more about her work at

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Friday, September 17, 2021

CJ Bahr's Favorite Scene in REDEEMED BY FIRE

CJ Bahr visits today with a look at her favorite scene in REDEEMED BY FIRE. Take it away, CJ!

One of my favorite scenes between Detective Lucas Avery and Cassanne Thomas is the lead up to their first kiss in Redeemed By Fire.  Luc brought Casi home with him to keep her out of the hands of a supernatural serial killer stalking her.  After having dinner with his family, they’ve gone on a moonlight walk. It’s a fun scene because he got Casi spooked from introducing her to the bayou:

“Fee fo lay?” Casi whispered back.

Still wrapped in his arm, he stood so close his breath heated her ear as the liquid cadence of his accent enveloped her.

“A swamp fairy. In Cajun folklore, the fifolet are magic beings appearing as a bright light.” He leaned in closer. “They misdirect and disorient any who try to follow.”

The mesmerizing light continued to dance in the distance. She could well understand being led astray when lost in the dark bayou. The light would be a means to salvation.

“Like a wil-o’-wisp?”

Non, cher,” his voice dropped lower and softer. “Those are European. Our bayou faeries are much more dangerous. Evil.”


The loud screech beside her made Casi leap at Luc. She wrapped herself around him as his arms embraced her, holding her tight. The horrible sound didn’t repeat, but something brushed against her bare legs. Yelping, she grabbed his shoulders, jumped up, and wrapped her legs around Luc’s hips, locking her ankles to keep from falling to the ground.

Her heart raced. Luc should be running. Or shouting. She leaned back, wildly looking around, seeing nothing, not even the swamp fairy. Suddenly, she realized Luc was laughing as he held her with one arm braced under her bottom and the other wrapped around her shoulders.

“Are you laughing at me?”

He choked back a snicker. “More of a city girl, cher?”

“You are laughing at me.”

“Maybe a little.” His charming smile came out to play. He broke his gaze, looking past her. “Catastrophe, go on now. You’re cruel, taking advantage of our city, fille.”

Her eyes widen, and she looked over her shoulder and down. Sure enough, Cat sat beside them, regally upright, her bushy tail curled around her. And if a feline could smirk, Casi swore Cat did.

“Shoo, you troublemaker,” Luc ordered. “You know you’re not allowed outside. You’ll get yourself eaten.”

Cat yawned and stretched. She gave one last aloof feline stare before she trotted away, crossing the lawn toward the house.

“Sorry I laughed. But you should have seen your expression.”

She tore her gaze away from the retreating feline menace and locked gazes with Luc. “You had me all spooked out with your evil fairy and creepy swamp. What did you expect? Plus, there’s nothing wrong with being a city girl.”

Author Bio:

First published in Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Sword & Sorceress" anthology, C J was bitten by the writer's bug and hasn't stopped since. The Wild Rose Press published her award-winning first novel, "Walking Through Fire"— a Scottish ghost romance. She is currently working on the fourth book in the interconnected standalone series, The Fire Chronicles, as well as a new Urban Fantasy starring a kick-ass Time Enforcer.

When her pen isn't scribing, you can find her busily cutting and tracking music for film and television.  With over thirty years of music editing experience, her credits range from "Northern Exposure" and "The Muppets Christmas Carol", to "The Kill Point", "The Following", and ABC’s hit comedy, "The Middle".

In her downtime, you’ll find her curled up with a cup of tea, her cats and a great book in Tarzana, California.

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Twitter: @cjbahr 





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New Orleans, hot sultry nights, and an ancient evil who makes the French Quarter home.

Cassanne Thomas returns to New Orleans to start her life over and becomes the target of a supernatural serial killer. Escaping her close call with death, Casi is the only witness to the crime and finds herself placed in protected custody by a handsome Cajun detective. But with her dark, troubled past, trusting the police is the last thing she wants to do.

Detective Lucas Avery, the top homicide detective in NOLA, is unaware of the supernatural world surrounding him. With the killer stalking the streets, he vows to shield the beautiful, enigmatic, Casi with his life while fighting his growing attraction to her. He's been burned before.

Danger chases Lucas and Casi from the streets of the French Quarter to the wilds of the bayou. Will they be able to stop a monster, straight out of a nightmare or become victims themselves?


Casi screamed and covered her ears, though too late. The loud boom made her ears ring. Who was shooting at them? She tried to see, but Luc’s weight had her effectively pinned. Squealing tires along with a string of Cajun curses from Luc, had Casi guessing the shooter had fled.

Luc holstered his weapon when Casi spotted the blood dripping off his arm.

“Oh my God!” She pushed at him. “Let me up. You’re hurt. You’re bleeding!”

Luc rolled off her and did as she asked, while gripping his thigh with both hands. Her gaze left his arm drawn to the blood oozing out between his fingers. The thigh wound appeared much more serious. She tugged her phone out and quickly dialed 911. But before it connected, Luc’s bloody fingers grabbed her phone and disconnected the call.

“We can’t call this in.” Luc exhaled harshly and gritted his teeth as once again, he applied pressure to his leg.

“You’re shot. You’re bleeding from multiple places. We need an ambulance!”

He shook his head. “Can’t. We need to leave. Now.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Darlene Fredette and CHERRY RED: A new One Scoop or Two Story!

Darlene Fredette is here to give us a peek at her new release, CHERRY RED. She's also got a list of her Top Ten artists on her music playlist. Unlike Darlene, I can't listen to music when I write because I'm too easily distracted. Fellow Canadian Darlene has chosen several Canadian artists for her list. Blue Rodeo's one of my favourites, too. Welcome Darlene!

Darlene's Top Favourite Music

I love many genres of music from rock and roll, country, pop, blues, jazz, etc. I enjoy listening to music while I write, clean the house, have a bath, lounge outside, and drive in the car. One of my most favourite times listening to music is when my daughter and I take a trip to visit my aunt. My daughter loads our playlist and as soon as we hit the highway, the music comes on and we sing until we arrive in my aunt’s driveway three hours later.

Here’s a list of just some of the artists in my playlist.

1. Michael Bublé

2. The Rolling Stones

3. The Bee Gees

4. Elvis

5. Cold Play

6. Blue Rodeo

7. Train

8. Florida Georgia Line

9. Patsy Cline

10. Barenaked Ladies

11. Shania Twain

12. All Christmas music and much, much more!

Who is your favourite artist in your playlist? 

Author Bio:

Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada where the summers are too short, and the winters are too long. She writes contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When not working on her next book, she can be found with her husband, her daughter, and her yellow Labrador.


This summer, ice cream entrepreneur Carly Redd's only focus is expanding her business—until she's coerced into attending her ex's engagement party. Showing up without a date is unthinkable. She reluctantly agrees to be escorted by her brother’s co-worker, although doing so breaks her rule of not dating firefighters.

The daughter of the town’s fire chief should wear a Do Not Touch sign, but firefighter Noah Harding's interest blazed the moment he saw Carly. Agreeing to be her fake boyfriend is a no-brainer, but convincing Carly to trust him with her heart is harder than extinguishing a fire.

Overstepping the platonic-only rule is as dangerous as fire and ice swirling into a tempting combustion.


“This might seem like a strange question, especially since we’ve just met, but would you be interested in going out for a coffee? Or an ice cream?” Noah rested an arm on the bar.

Carly glanced down at her jeans and black T-shirt embroidered with the company name and logo…a cluster of red cherries. In a room full of women all dolled up in fancy—and some a bit scanty—dresses, why would this incredibly handsome man ask her on a date? “I appreciate the offer, but I’m not interested…”

Noah raised a brow. “I know you like ice cream, so is it the coffee, or me?”

“What? No. I mean, yes.” She took a second to collect her scrambled thoughts. “I like coffee. I just don’t hang out with firefighters.” Not that he was a real firefighter. Did impersonators count in her rules of men to avoid? She never dated a stripper, but she wasn’t sure she could have a relationship with a guy who was paid to take off his clothes and have other women fawn over him. Not that the guy asked her on a date…just a simple coffee. His frown made her feel badly. “I’m sorry. It’s nothing personal.”

“Burnt in the past? No pun intended.” He smiled.

She couldn’t help but smile back. “Something like that.”

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Saturday, September 11, 2021

Fall Into a Book Giveaway!

I'm excited to be participating in the Fall into a Book Giveaway at the Isn't it Romantic Book Club on September 24! Interested in winning prizes like GCs, ebooks, autographed print books and other swag? Then join the Isn't it Romantic Book Club!

Here's what I'm giving away:

Prize #1 - 1 $10 Amazon Gift Certificate

Prize #2 - The 3 books (as a group) in my Love at Solace Lake series in ebook, your choice of format

Prize #3 – an ecopy of CHILD OF MINE, book 1 in the Masonville series, your choice of format

Prize #4 – an ecopy of TO HEAL A HEART, book 2 in the Masonville series, your choice of format

Prize #5 – an ecopy of THE GIRL MOST LIKELY, a stand-alone novella from my backlist, your choice of format

Prize #6 – an ecopy of RESCUE ME, book 1 in the Victorian Mansion series, your choice of format

Prize #7 – an ecopy of TAKE A CHANCE ON ME, book 2 in the Victorian Mansion series, your choice of format 

Prize #8 – One autographed print copy of ONE MORE SECOND CHANCE. 

Sign up now and join the fun!

Friday, September 10, 2021

Pre-Order Tour for UNEXPECTED

 My tour has begun! I'm excited to let you know that UNEXPECTED has a release date -- September 27, 2021. The book is available for pre-order at the special price of $2.99 until September 17. AND book 1 in the series, CHILD OF MINE, is currently on sale for .99 cents until September 3. Make sure to enter my giveaway at the end of the post!



The Masonville Series Book 3

by Jana Richards

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Single dad Ben Greyson wants only to retain custody of his two stepdaughters. A dysfunctional childhood has made family the most important thing in his life. When his late wife's parents sue for custody, a desperate Ben is left with two choices – run away with his girls or marry his next-door neighbor.
Jamie Garven wants to be a mother. She's intrigued by her handsome new neighbor and falls in love with his little girls. Then Ben is faced with losing his children, and Jamie agrees to marry him for a chance at motherhood. They're determined to show the world, and the girls' grandparents, two loving parents.
Their marriage of convenience turns into unexpected love. But Ben interprets Jamie's efforts to save their family as betrayal—they could lose everything, including each other. 

**Pre-order Now – Sep 17th to get the special discount price of $2.99!**

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“Are you sorry you married me?”

He hadn’t meant to blurt out the words. Jamie lifted her gaze to his, her eyes wide. 

“I wouldn’t blame you if you were.” Ben rose to his feet, too nervous to sit. “I rushed you into this marriage. And let’s face it, I’m not much of a prize.”

She stunned him by laughing. “Come on, be serious. Have you looked in a mirror lately?”

He shook his head. “The looks are meaningless, simply the outside shell. I’ve learned it’s what’s inside that counts more. I’ve worked hard to be a good person. I need to earn the regard of the people who mean the most to me.”

“You’re so hard on yourself.” Jamie set a couple of mugs on the table. 

“I’m an alcoholic, Jamie. I have to be hard on myself.”

“But it’s not everything you are. You’re a dad and a brother. And you’re amazing in those roles.”

He was also a husband again. He wondered if Jamie would come to believe he was amazing in that role as well. “You haven’t answered my question. Do you regret marrying me?”

“No, I don’t. The reasons I married you are still valid. I’ll do whatever I can to help you keep the girls. They belong with you. And I still want to be their mother.”

Such clear-headed logic. Her answer should have pleased him, but he found himself wishing she’d said she didn’t regret marrying him because she wanted to be with him. Because she felt something for him. 

She’d told him she cared for him, and he cared for her. For now, it had to be enough.

He watched as she poured hot water into the tea pot and set the kettle back on the stove. “What about you? Do you regret marrying me?”

“No. Absolutely not.” Ben stepped forward to take her hand. “I have no regrets.”

She bit her lip and stared into his eyes. “I’m glad. The girls need us. I want this to work.”

“Yeah, so do I.”

He tugged her closer. The scent of her perfume intoxicated him with its sweetness. As he raked his fingers through the silky strands of her hair, her eyes drifted closed. Slowly, Ben lowered his mouth to hers, kissing her softly, tentatively. 

He couldn’t explain what happened next. She made a sound in her throat and gripped his shirt, bringing him closer. A switch snapped on in his brain and desire roared to life. Ben ravaged her mouth, sliding his tongue over hers again and again until he was dizzy. He gripped her hips and pressed against her, letting her feel how much he wanted her. All he knew was he needed her like he needed his next breath.

“I want you, Olivia.”

The minute the words left his mouth he realized the enormity of his mistake. He immediately felt Jamie’s withdrawal. She stiffened, dropped her grip on his shirt and took a step back, her gaze averted.

“Jamie, I’m sorry. I don’t know why I said that. Please forgive me.”

“It’s all right. I understand.” She took two more steps away, still not looking at him. “It’s been a long day. I think I’ll go to bed. Goodnight.”


“Please, don’t apologize. I understand, I really do.” She glanced up, giving him a wan smile, her gaze somewhere over his shoulder. “When you love someone that much, it’s hard to let go. Goodnight, Ben.”

She hurried from the room and a moment later Ben heard the bedroom door down the hall softly close. Ben swore under his breath. What devil had prompted him to utter his dead wife’s name in a moment of passion with Jamie? 

To Heal a Heart

The Masonville Series Book 2

Two souls in pain, two hearts in need of rescue.

Garrett Saunders' world changed two years ago on a road in Afghanistan. Back home, he feels like a stranger. As he struggles to find his place in the world, he meets a horse destined for the slaughterhouse and a woman bent on rescuing the strays of the world, including him.

Blair Greyson moves to Masonville to look after her ailing grandfather and give her rescue horses a home. Right away she butts heads with a surly former Marine. Despite a rocky start, they come to an agreement: Blair will board Garrett's rescue horse and he'll help with repairs around her farm.

Garrett finds purpose working with Blair—and falls in love with her. But she's hiding a secret. Can she forgive herself and accept Garrett's love, or will she let guilt and regret continue to rule her life?

**On Sale for Only .99 cents Sep 3rd – Sep 17th!!**

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Child of Mine

The Masonville Series Book 1

Is Lauren’s love for Cole stronger than her fear of scandal in her hometown?

Lauren didn't intend to sleep with her brother-in-law Cole on the day of her husband's funeral. But now that she is pregnant, she's not sorry. Cole's given her a baby, a long-wished-for miracle. He's been her friend forever, though she never told him or anyone else how unhappy her marriage to his cheating brother was. And she's afraid to tell the small town that considered her husband a hero that the baby isn't his.

Cole's been in love with Lauren since he was sixteen. It kills him that everyone believes the baby is his dead brother's. All he wants is to claim the baby, and Lauren, as his own. Though she marries him, will Lauren's heart ever be his?

Lauren must tell the truth or risk losing Cole. Is her newly-discovered love for him greater than her fear of scandal in her hometown?

**On Sale for Only .99 cents August 20th -Sep 3rd!!**

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When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at

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