Friday, June 28, 2013

SPRING SURPRISE BY CYNTHIA GAIL



SPRING’S SURPRISE
by Cynthia Gail


Sara Michaels is single again. And she's celebrating her thirtieth birthday with a complete spa makeover and a day of boutique shopping with her two best friends. After a ten-month battle for freedom, a long weekend in Nashville, Tennessee is just what she needs to erase the memories of a broken heart.

Jack Tanner is the soon-to-be new partner at Chester & Dorsey Development Firm. Jack's love life has been on the back burner for years as he's built a successful career. But the moment he meets Sara, he takes a hard look at his life and his priorities.

Sara steps out of her comfort zone and spends and unforgettable weekend with Jack. She's never felt so carefree. Until she realizes too late that three days can change everything.




EXCERPT:

Jack was leaning against a post, about halfway between the barn and the porch, when he saw Sara come out of the house.

God, she was gorgeous. Every inch of his body stirred as he watched her approach him in a pair of form-fitting black jeans. She had her hair down and wore a long necklace that hung low on her neck, bringing his eyes to the low cut of her shimmery blue blouse.

If that wasn’t enough to make his blood boil, she was wearing a pair of high-heeled black sandals that showed off her sexy red toenails he’d noticed the previous night.

He felt like a teenager going on his first date. He didn’t know what to say. You’re pretty didn’t seem to do justice, but he hated to be the slobbering fool, constantly telling her how beautiful or amazing she looked. Even though she did.

He wished their situation wasn’t so complicated. He was getting ready to make a huge move in his professional life that would take him farther away from her.

How could life be so cruel, to introduce him to such an amazing woman, the kind he could really see himself falling for, just to say that he couldn’t have her?

Or maybe life wasn’t saying he couldn’t have her. Maybe long distance was just temporary. Maybe . . .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Cynthia Gail

 My husband and I live in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee with our eighteen-year-old son and three dogs. When I’m not working or writing, I can be found with family and friends. I love to bake in the winter, grill in the summer, and on occasion, I sneak away from everyone and curl up with a good book.

I hope you enjoy my stories. Each one touches on modern day issues, fears, and challenges that women face every day. And each one illustrates that love is within reach if you let down those walls and allow your heart to open. Our lives and experiences are so much more meaningful when we have someone to share them with.




Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 24, 2013

THE EXPOSITO SERIES BY J M GRIFFIN




The Esposito Series
by J.M. Griffin

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

The Esposito Series Box Set:

Now you can own the first three books in the sassy and suspenseful Vinnie Esposito Series by J.M. Griffin!

By day, Lavinia (Vinnie) Esposito is a criminal justice instructor at a college in Rhode Island. By night Vinnie is an amateur sleuth, solving murders while trying to avoid getting yelled at by her Italian father, her hunky protective boyfriend Marcus Richmond, and her sexy upstairs tenant, the mysterious Aaron Grant.

For Love of Livvy (Book 1)

Vinnie investigates the death of her beloved aunt, and a mysterious box is left on her doorstep.

Dirty Trouble (Book 2)

Someone is stalking Vinnie and that’s just the beginning of her troubles.

Dead Wrong (Book 3)

Vinnie is out to save her brother from being framed after a valuable painting is stolen.




Excerpt:
The front door knocker rapped twice after the door bell rang. I hustled from the rear deck of the gargantuan house to answer the summons. Someone seemed impatient, and I was curious as to who it was. My watch read just after eight o’ clock. I swung the heavy door open to find my prospective visitor absent.

It was so quiet, the town ghostly in its seemingly deserted state. Sundays were always lazy days in Scituate, once church was over. With a glance up and down the street of the small historic Rhode Island village, neat colonial homes stretched along the sides of the road in both directions. No one came into view.

On the doorstep, a package addressed to my recently deceased Aunt Livvy sat wrapped in brown paper. Again, I gawked up and down the street, but only empty sidewalks and barren roadway appeared in the waning light. The idea of a jaunt along the main drag entered my mind. I figured it would be senseless since the street was visible for about two hundred yards in either direction. Whoever had left the package was gone, long gone.

An eternity passed, or so it seemed, while my gaze locked onto the square, little box. Reluctant to touch it, I decided to call the local fire company to come take a gander. Call me paranoid, but as a criminal justice instructor, a recent audit of a class on bomb components remained fresh in my mind.

I quickly stepped to the living room and grabbed the phone. I dialed the private number of the fire station up the street. A grunt came across the phone line that could only be Bill MacNert.

“Hey Nerd, its Vinnie,” I said. “A package was just left on my doorstep, could you come down and check it out for me?”

“Sure, you got a secret admirer or somethin’?” He cackled, as only senior men can.

“Not likely, but you never know. This package is addressed to Lavinia Ciano, not Lavinia Esposito and is wrapped in brown paper. Nobody’s here to accompany this little surprise either.”

“I’ll be right down, Vinnie, don’t touch it.” He warned.

“Okay.”

Anxious, I paced back and forth across gleaming hard wood floors in the spacious living room of my newly acquired colonial. My fingernails tapped the enamel on my teeth as I wandered to and fro. As irrational as it seemed, I finally leaned against the door jamb inside the entry to wait for MacNert to arrive.

It wasn’t long before the limber old guy came into view as he hot footed down the street with a stethoscope in his hand. This particular piece of equipment wasn’t quite what I’d expected, but then he wasn’t a bomb expert either.

When he arrived on the doorstep slightly out of breath, he glanced at the parcel, and then turned toward me.

“This was just delivered, you say?” MacNert squinted toward me with wizened brown eyes that twinkled all the time. It was as though there was a private joke going on inside his head.

“Yeah, someone knocked on the door, and when I got here to answer, there was nobody around. It didn’t seem prudent to mess with it, so I called you.”

“You just finished that bomb class, eh?” He chuckled and then sobered quickly. Since 9/11, everyone took stuff like this with a serious attitude. While he chuckled, I knew MacNert was no different.

The stethoscope ends plugged into his ears, Bill laid its diaphragm on top of the package. Removing it, he gingerly set it against the sides and listened again. I didn’t make a sound as he stood and glanced up.

“There’s no tickin’ but that doesn’t mean it’s not an explosive. You should probably call the state police barracks up the road. Have them send their bomb guys down for a lookie see, just to be on the safe side.”

“Geez, I hate to do that. I’ll feel stupid if it’s a joke,” I whined.

“It’s up to you, but if you were nervous enough to call me, then you should call them. It’s just my opinion, Vin.” He stepped over the box and wandered into the entryway. “Got anythin’ to eat? Wifey’s out of town visitin’ her sister and I’m starved.”

Bill didn’t seem over concerned, but then again, he hadn’t recently taken a bomb class either. My eyes never left the box as I answered him. “There’s food in the fridge, help yourself.”

I’d known the homely man and his family for years and respected his opinion. Tapping my fingers against my lips, I called after him, “You’re right. I’ll ring the state police now, but stick around okay?”

Unwilling to be nailed as over-dramatic by the staties, I reluctantly punched in the numbers. It was bad enough that the local cops had bugged the shit out of me for the first month after Aunt Livvy’s death. They still stopped by now and then, annoying me even more with stupid questions. Questions to which I had no answers.

After the trooper covering the desk answered, I explained what I’d found on the doorstep. He seemed unconcerned until I mentioned my name and address, and then he stated someone would be down momentarily. The swift change in his manner piqued my curiosity. I wondered why he’d suddenly capitulated when his initial response had been of disinterest.

In the living room, I paced while awaiting the arrival of the state police. Within minutes a sleek, grey Crown Victoria pulled up to the curb out front and a tall, lean trooper got out. Broad shouldered and well built, he walked with assurance and a certain amount of swagger. I stepped into the open door entry and watched him saunter through the front gate onto the walkway. He stared at the package and then at me.

“Did you call about this box, ma’am?” Keen hazel green eyes traveled over my face and down my body.

Craggy features, sculpted from granite, faced me and I felt my blood run hot as the breath caught in my throat. What was this about? I gazed at him admiring the neat package wrapped in the trim uniform.

“I did. Bill MacNert from the fire station thought it would be a good idea since it was mysteriously left on the doorstep. He checked to see if it was ticking, but it isn’t.”

“Are you Lavinia Ciano?” The trooper’s glance strayed from the name on the wrapper to me as his eyes showed a glint of humor and his mouth twitched.

Could that humor be over the name? I wondered, as I said, “No, my name is Esposito. Livvy was my aunt.” Our eyes held and my heart pounded. I licked my parched lips and then glanced away.

An oversized van idled up behind the patrol car and the trooper glanced back. Two men stepped from the vehicle dressed in heavy gear and acknowledged him. He turned to the lead man, mumbled a few words and then stared at me again. If this was an action film, I would have expected Bruce Willis to jump out of the truck announcing he was about to kick someone’s ass. This wasn’t an action film, but a real life situation instead.

The two guys angled through the front gate and hitched their gear as they hauled a peculiar looking lidded barrel toward the front door. By this time, a few neighbors had taken notice of the activities. Several people straggled along the sidewalk across the street to watch.

You’d think it was a freakin’ sideshow. I smiled and waved. Nobody responded, they just continued to gawk. A little excitement for them on an otherwise dull Sunday, I guessed. The trooper stood aside and watched the crowd, but said nothing.

The overdressed bomb guys corralled the box between them. With delicate finesse they lifted and stowed it into the metal container, loaded it into the truck and drove off. I stared in disbelief. Hell, I wanted to know what was in the package. I had a right to know, didn’t I?

The trooper turned to leave and I stepped forward.

“Uh, I’d like to know what’s in the box, if it’s not too much to ask.” My hand snuck up to my hip as my cocky Italian attitude slid into place.

Tall and Curious stiffened at my tone and turned to stare at me. It seemed he wasn’t used to being spoken to in this manner, which wasn’t any big surprise. Women tend to respond differently to men in uniform, especially a man such as this luscious creature. Well, not this chick. I teach guys like him all year long and the “I’m so wonderful” thing gets old fast.

“I’ll be sure to let you know, Miss Esposito. If we have any questions, you’ll hear from us right away.”

I gawked a moment and my eyes narrowed. His opened wide in contrast and he waited, his body tense. Maybe he thought I’d pitch myself off the steps onto his perfectly toned frame and pummel the daylights out of him or something. It was a thought, but I really wanted to know what was in the package. Besides, his muscles were bigger than mine.

In an effort to change tactics rather than be handcuffed and dragged off to jail, I smiled and spoke in as nice a manner as I could muster.

“I’d appreciate any information you could give me officer, since the package was left in such an alarming way. Should I call headquarters tomorrow?”

His look narrowed. I suspected he was unsure of where this was headed. There was a moment’s hesitation before he answered the question.

“Sure, that would be a good idea.” He gave a nod of the stiff brimmed campaign hat that covered cropped brown hair.

“All right then. I’ll call the colonel first thing.” My voice remained light and sweet, and the smile was charming, at least I hoped it was.

The colonel runs a strict police force and is a tough disciplinarian with an intense dislike for any impropriety, implied or otherwise. I’d gleaned that much from the cops in my criminal justice classes.

A tight lipped smile crossed his face. I figured he couldn’t decide whether I really knew the colonel or if this was a ploy. To be truthful, I lied by omission. I hadn’t said I knew the colonel, I just said I’d give him a call.

“That won’t be necessary ma’am. As soon as there’s any information, I’ll get in touch with you.” With a nod of his head, he turned and left.

Don’t you hate that ma’am thing? It makes me feel old. I know I’m thirty-something, but really.

Bill MacNert stood near the doorway sucking down a sandwich filled with sausage and peppers. My mother had sent the food home with me the day before. The smell of rich tomato sauce and fragrant sausage tantalized my taste buds.

“Guess it wasn’t that serious then?” Slurp noises preceded a sauce blob that dripped down his uniform shirt.

 I glanced at Bill’s shirt, snagged a tissue from my pocket and dabbed at the drip.

“I won’t know until tomorrow, but if I’m the town laughing stock you’re in for it and don’t forget it. By the way, did you leave me any food?” I chuckled at his expression.

Bill’s guilt ridden grin assured me that he hadn’t, but he swore that he had. He handed me the empty plate before he headed toward the fire station. I watched the stethoscope bob up and down from the back pocket of his pants. He trotted up the street, and I felt sure the story would make the rounds since Bill was an avid gossip.

The crowd had dispersed, and I was alone again. Livvy would have had a fit over the whole affair had she been alive, but I figured there was no sense in being stupid. I act that way often enough, thank you.

Mystery still surrounded Livvy’s non-violent death. While the police weren’t forthcoming with information, the state troopers’ attitude on the phone caused me to reconsider the promise to my father to not investigate on my own. I wandered through the house deep in thought over the situation.

Darkness had descended as I headed toward the bedroom. Changing into a t-shirt and boxer briefs, I climbed into bed with a notebook. The troopers’ attitude niggled at me. I leaned back against the pillows scribbling notes about the package delivery. Words ran across the page as the scene and the trooper came to mind. The trooper’s name wasn’t on his badge, but I remembered the badge number.

The pad propped against my knees, my mind drifted over the parcel and the officer’s attitude. Warm hazel green eyes along with the trooper’s cool manner had drawn my interest. It wasn’t really just his bearing that caught my attention either and it was a struggle to stay focused.

Intense eyes sat above a strong, chiseled nose and firm jaw. I sketched the features onto the pad of paper. His lips weren’t thin, not too wide, but just right for kissing. Wondering what it would be like to taste those lips, I gave myself a mental head slap. A cop is the last thing you want or need, my inner voice echoed. This voice always echoed dire warnings through my head. It had a bad habit of doing so at the worst possible moment. Just stay focused on Livvy, I lectured myself.

Snuggled under the lightweight blanket, thoughts about Livvy and our life played in my mind. Muscles relaxed, and I realized I needed to talk to her tomorrow. The graveyard was about two blocks away from the house. I often went to her grave for a conversation when I’d become involved in one issue or another. That’s what my life consisted of, one issue or another. Most of the time the issues were huge, never mundane, not ever.

I sighed, sniffed the sweet summer scents that wafted through the open window and wondered how this summer in Rhode Island would be. The pillow slipped lower and so did I as my mind wandered over life, the package and my aunt.

.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

As a humorous, cozy mystery writer, J.M. adds a touch of romance to every story. She believes in fairies, doesn't believe in coincidence, and feels life is what you make it. Believe in yourself and look at the positive, not the negative, to bring about success. AND. . .never stop trying.

J.M. lives in rural New England with her husband and two very mysterious cats



Twitter: @mycozymystery



Buy Link:




Saturday, June 22, 2013

THANKS AND MOVIES WE LOVE

First, thanks to each of you who commented on the Dog Gone Blog Hop for Charity. I have rounded up the donation for Parker Paws. They work diligently to foster cats and dogs and spare them from our local quick-kill shelter.

Last night my husband and I watched "The Pricess Bride" again. This movie is rated one of the top 100 all-time favorites of American movie viewers. Certainly, so many phrases from this movie have entered our vernacular, including "I do not think that means what you think it means,." "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya," and "As you wish." Plus, this movie always leaves me with a smile.


Not all memorable movies leave me smiling. Remember "Sixth Sense?" Wow, was that scary for me. Hero was out of town when Darling Daughter 2 and I saw that movie, so I had to go home to a dark house in our rural area. Now I'm never afraid to be alone, but in this case I dragged her right back to the ticket window and purchased our seats to the next showing of a Steve Martin comedy. But, that was a terrific movie and I hear people mention, "I see dead people" in conversation about something frightening.



"The Wizard of Oz" is a classic movie shown at least once a year on a major network. I do love the story, love Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Ed Wynn, etc. But to me as a small child, that movie was frightening. I was a  puny asthmatic whose strong medicine caused hallucinogenic dreams. For years, I dreamed the wicked witch flew overhead chanting. Instead of "I'll get you yet, Dorothy," she used my name. Yes, I was a wuss. Hey, I was a kid, but I really have to give my parents extra credit for not drowning me or dropping me off at an orphanage.



Do you recall the first time you saw "Star Wars?" That was an amazing experience, wasn't it? I can hardly wait to see the new version that has recently been released. And "Star Trek" falls into this same category. These movies created a new class of fans who became a cult following.



Another favorite is "Charade" starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. My favorite line is "I already have so many friends, I couldn't possibly make another friend until one of them dies." I always wanted to look like Audrey Hepburn, who was a kind as she was beautiful. Unfortunately, I shot up passed her height when I was twelve or thirteen and kept going to five feet eight inches.


Remember when the hero and heroine had to be in the same scene early in the movie? "Sleepless in Seattle" dispelled that rule. The movie is still popular and shown on TV frequently. Tom Hanks still commands huge crowds for any movie in which he stars.

Which brings up "Forrest Gump" and the genius of that movie. How many times do you hear someone say, "Life is like a box of chocolates" or "Run, Forrest, run?"



And I haven't even touched on the movies of John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, and so many of the other great male starts. Or Meryl Streep, Sandara Bullock, Amy Adams, and the great female actresses.

What is your favorite movie? Who are your favorite actors?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

DOGGONE BLOG HOP FOR CHARITY


Welcome. This is a small blog hop to raise money for pet charities. For every comment, I will donate $2 to our local rescue group, Parker Paws http://www.parkerpaws.org/. Now, it’s all about our dog.

We adopted our sweet ShihTzu, Webster, from the ShihTzu-Llasa Apso Rescue Society. We don’t know how old Webster is, but the rescue people thought he was about three when we adopted him. He was found at the ER drive of a human hospital, severely wounded from an attack by a large dog. In fact, he was so injured that he was almost put down. That would have been a terrible shame, because he is such a sweet, loving, and obedient little guy.

Webster the Amazing Wonder Dog
When We First Adopted Him

ShihTzus are mostly one-person dogs, although he appears to consider both Hero and me his people. He was supposed to be mine, but he immediately bonded with Hero. I mean, Webster adores the man. (So do I, of course.) Webster also enjoys Darling Daughter 2. She sometimes brings her small dog for play dates with Webster. But Darling Daughter 1 has large dogs, so Webster does not enjoy her visits. He's afraid of large dogs, which, considering the injury that almost cost his life, is understandable.

Webster is happiest when he is in bed with Hero and me so he can snooze between our feet or against one of us. One funny thing he does is talk in his sleep. Yes, he sometimes yips, but he also mutters. His mutterings sound almost like words. It's as if in his sleep, he is having a conversation in human form.  He also makes theses same sounds for Darling Daughter 2 when she pets him, but not for anyone else. 

Webster hates riding in the car, but tolerates it to humor us. Unless there is bad weather, and then I have to hold him. He doesn’t mind storms at home, so it must just be the sound of rain on the metal car that terrifies him. We purchased him a fancy shmancy car dog bed because we thought his dislike of the car might be that he gets car sick. We read that if dogs can see out, they don’t get car sick. Nope, that’s not it. He prefers to ride on the seat if he has to be in the car. But he gives us that "Do I have to?" look.

When we’re at home, Webster barks once if someone comes to the door. If we are traveling, though, he doesn’t bark inside the hotel room. He was very well trained when we adopted him. I’m sure someone was extremely sorry to lose him. He is so friendly, that if a gate was left open, he would just trot off to investigate, so we suspect something like that happened. Who knows? We’re just happy he’s part of our family now.

A few cautionary words to pet owners:
Have your pet chipped.
Don’t your pet them run loose.
Don’t tie or chain a pet in your yard.
Make sure pets are inside in hot or cold weather.
Make sure there is plenty of water and shelter when they are outside.     



Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 17, 2013

FATAL EXPOSURE BY GAIL BARRETT



FATAL EXPOSURE
by Gail Barrett

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Cold-case detective Parker McCall has spent fifteen years trying to solve his brother’s murder.  Now a chance photo of the killer in the newspaper sets him hard on the woman’s trail.  A former teenaged runaway, reclusive, award-winning photojournalist B.K. Elliot chronicles the harsh reality of life on the streets -- until a photo in the paper reveals her identity, blowing the lid off her secret past.  With a powerful murderer now dogging her heels, and her police officer step-father determined to silence her permanently, the last person she can afford to trust is a cop.  So why does sexy police detective Parker McCall tempt her to break her silence and resurrect ideals she’d lost years ago?  As danger closes in, and with more than her own life at stake, Brynn must decide if the duty-bound cop will betray her...or heal her battered heart.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~



EXCERPT:

“All right,” she said. “Undo my hands.”

“You promise to answer my questions?”

“I said I would.”

He tossed her backpack onto the pile of papers and pulled out the handcuff key. He reached for her wrists and unlocked the cuffs, trying to ignore the alluring fragrance of her skin and hair. Then he stepped back, his impatience mounting as he waited for her to do her part.

But she took her time, righting the chair, taking off her peacoat and draping it over her bag. At last she turned to face him, and for the first time, he got a close look at her in the light. She was even more attractive than he’d expected with her wary green eyes and delicately winged brows, that long tumble of auburn hair. Her mouth was evocative and full, her high, sculpted cheekbones tinged with pink. A smattering of freckles dusted her small nose.

He raked his gaze down the rest of her—over her small, high breasts and slender waist, slim hips clad in low-slung jeans—and his heart began to thud. She looked amazingly like the computerized image, but softer, far sexier. More vulnerable.

Vulnerable? He stifled a snort. He wouldn’t make that mistake again.

He returned his gaze to hers. And without warning, a sense of awareness arrowed between them, a deep tug of sexual attraction that caught him unprepared. His belly went taut, a rush of adrenaline accelerating his pulse.

He bit back hard on a curse. Wrong time. Wrong place. Definitely the wrong woman, considering she was a potential suspect in his brother’s death. And her reaction didn’t help—her eyes going wide and dark, her breath catching on a quiet gasp, impacting him even more.

“I need a drink,” she muttered, spinning around.

That made two of them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Gail Barrett, Author


A former RITA® and Daphne finalist, Gail Barrett has received the Book Buyer’s Best Award, the Holt Medallion, the Booksellers Best, The National Readers’ Choice Award, and numerous other awards.  She lives with her husband in Western Maryland.  Readers can contact her through her website: www.gailbarrett.com.


Links to buy the book:

Barnes and Noble paperback and Nook:

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, June 14, 2013

REVIEW OF OUT OF THE DARK

OUT OF THE DARK, by Geri Foster, is a fast paced, sexy, action adventure, romantic suspense available in print or e-book.  From the first page, readers are riveted to the story and can’t stop reading until the last sentence. I enthusiastically give it 5 of 5 stars!

To prove how much I love this book, I'll be giving away an OUT OF THE DARK e-book to someone who comments on this post.



Emily Richards is a mediation attorney who at times works for Falcon Securities. Her current assignment for Stromberg Chemicals has taken her to Moscow, and exhausting negotiations have just ended. Emily looks forward to returning home and a vacation at a peaceful Belize beach with her best friend, Brenda.

While in Moscow, Emily has tested an invention for her former fiancĂ©, Stanley. The device is a camera built into a contact lens remotely controlled by a pen-like device. Her last night in Moscow, she strolls around and takes random photos in various light to complete Stanley’s test.

When Emily returns to her hotel room, John “Mac” McKinsey is there. His mission for Falcon Securities has gone wrong and he is stranded while assassins search for him. Against her better judgment, Emily is persuaded by the head of Falcon Securities to let Mac hitch a ride to London on the Stromberg Chemicals private plane. After all, since Falcon Securities works directly for the President of the United States, so who is she to fight that connection?

Emily fights her attraction to Mac. She’s worked with him before at Falcon's Dallas, Texas corporate office, but always he’d been in a suit and tie. Now he’s in jeans and a tee shirt and looks even more ruggedly handsome. 

Mac notices that Emily no longer wears an engagement ring and figures any guy who let her get away is too dumb to live. Mac's interested, but she fits in the house-with-a-picket-fence-and-kids. He doesn't see himself in that picture. 

There’s a lot of chemistry going on between them, but neither sees it going anywhere permanent.

Before they can leave, armed men invade her hotel room. Mac shoots the men and hurries Emily down the staircase and out. Emily is forced to depend on Mac to escape whoever is trailing them. Each time Emily thinks they are finally safe, another frightening incident occurs. Her anger with Mac for entangling her in a life or death struggle quickly turns to fear when the men pursuing them call her by name. How would they know who she is?

Mac and Emily are caught in a tumultuous race to escape with their lives and capture a crazed bomber and a vindictive drug lord. Facing their attraction is almost as frightening as the villains. Mac can’t conceive of any other life than his, and he knows love never lasts. Emily wants a calm, normal life with a husband who comes home each evening and is with her all weekend, not someone who risks his life on each assignment.

But living apart offers no peace. Can they tear down their own emotional walls and admit love is the most precious thing in life?

I have to admit up front that Geri Foster is a long time friend and one of my three wonderful critique partners. That’s why I am so pleased her first two books are released and have been so well received. Geri is a terrific author who is also a supportive and encouraging friend. But here’s the point of this disclaimer: Even if I’d never met or heard of Geri Foster, I would still love OUT OF THE DARK.

As one of Geri’s critique partners, I know the struggles she endured writing a book that is so fast-paced it leaves the reader breathless yet immensely satisfied with the action, the romance, the relationship, and the outcome. Once she latched on to this plot, she did not back away. Even when the FBI came to her home to ask why she had been researching “how to make a bomb” and “White House floor plan” at the same time.

I’m so happy with this Falcon series. In addition to OUT OF THE DARK, OUT OF THE SHADOWS is now available. These truly are stand alone and don't need to be read in any particular order. Geri plans more stand-alone books in her Falcon Securities series next year, and I can hardly wait for each one. 

You can find OUT OF THE DARK here:





 Geri Foster

Award winning author Geri Foster and her husband and their dog Lola live in the Fort Worth area. Geri is President of the Yellow Rose chapter of Romance Writers of America and active in Dallas Area Romance Authors. For more information, check out her website at www.gerifoster.com, Facebook and Twitter, and her personal blog. She blogs on the 20th of each month at http://www.smartgirlsreadromance.blogspot.com

If you want to be included in the drawing for a free e-copy of OUT OF THE DARK, please leave your email with your comment.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

KAT FLANNERY SHARES LAKOTA HONOR

Bestselling Western Romance author, Kat Flannery, takes you on a new journey with her new Historical Paranormal Romance, LAKOTA HONOR

Fate has brought them together, but will a promise tear them apart?

In the small town of Willow Creek, Colorado, Nora Rushton spends most of her days locked up in her home with a father who resents her and fighting off unwanted marriage proposals from the wealthy Elwood Calhoun. Marked as a witch, Nora must hide her healing powers from those who wish to destroy all the witkowin—crazy women. What she doesn't know is that a bounty hunter is hot on her trail.

Lakota native Otakatay has an obligation to fulfill. He has been hired to kill the witkowin. In a time when race and difference are a threat and innocence holds no ground, courage, love and honor will bring Nora and Otakatay together as they fight for their freedom. Will the desire to fulfill his promise drive Otakatay to kill Nora? Or will the kindness he sees in her blue eyes push him to be the man he once was?

LAKOTA HONOR Reviews:

"Transport back to the old west with this paranormal historical, and its alpha hero, and a heroine hiding her secret talents." —Shannon Donnelly, author of the Mackenzie Solomon Urban Fantasy series

"Ms. Flannery doesn’t shy away from writing gritty scenes or about unpleasant topics…That’s what good writing is all about—bringing out strong emotions in a reader."
—Peggy L. Henderson, bestselling author of the Yellowstone Romance Series

"Those who relish the conflict of a heroic half-breed trapped between the white man's world and the Indian will fall in love with LAKOTA HONOR.—Cindy Nord, award-winning author of No Greater Glory

"LAKOTA HONOR weaves a fast paced and beautiful prose that lures you through every chapter and leaves you wanting more.—Erika Knudsen, paranormal author of Monarchy of Blood
 


Excerpt
PROLOGUE
  
Colorado Mountains, 1880
 The blade slicing his throat made no sound, but the dead body hitting the ground did. With no time to stop, he hurried through the dark tunnel until he reached the ladder leading out of the shaft.
 He’d been two hundred feet below ground for ten days, with no food and little water. Weak and woozy, he stared up the ladder. He’d have to climb it and it wasn’t going to be easy. He wiped the bloody blade on his torn pants and placed it between his teeth. Scraped knuckles and unwashed hands gripped the wooden rung.
The earth swayed. He closed his eyes and forced the spinning in his head to cease. One thin bronzed leg lifted and came down wobbly. He waited until his leg stopped shaking before he climbed another rung. Each step caused pain, but was paired with determination. He made it to the top faster than he’d thought he would. The sky was black and the air was cool, but fresh. Thank goodness it was fresh.
 He took two long breaths before he emerged from the hole. The smell from below ground still lingered in his nostrils; unwashed bodies, feces and mangy rats. His stomach pitched. He tugged at the rope around his hands. There had been no time to chew the thick bands around his wrists when he’d planned his escape. It was better to run than crawl, and he chewed through the strips that bound his feet instead. There would be time to free his wrists later.
He pressed his body against the mountain and inched toward the shack. He frowned. A guard stood at the entrance to where they were. The blade from the knife pinched his lip, cutting the thin skin and he tasted blood. He needed to get in there. He needed to say goodbye. He needed to make a promise.
 The tower bell rang mercilessly. There was no time left. He pushed away from the rocky wall, dropped the knife from his mouth into his bound hands, aimed and threw it. The dagger dug into the man’s chest. He ran over, pulled the blade from the guard and quickly slid it across his throat. The guard bled out in seconds.
He tapped the barred window on the north side of the dilapidated shack. The time seemed to stretch. He glanced at the large house not fifty yards from where he stood. He would come back, and he would kill the bastard inside.
      He tapped again, harder this time, and heard the weak steps of those like him shuffling from inside. The window slid open, and a small hand slipped out.
“Toksha ake—I shall see you again,” he whispered in Lakota.
The hand squeezed his once, twice and on the third time held tight before it let go and disappeared inside the room.
A tear slipped from his dark eyes, and his hand, still on the window sill, balled into a fist. He swallowed past the sob and felt the burn in his throat. His chest ached for what he was leaving behind. He would survive, and he would return.
Men shouted to his right, and he crouched down low. He took one last look around and fled into the cover of the forest.

Kat Flannery, Author

Kat Flannery has loved writing ever since she was a girl. She is often seen jotting her ideas down in a little black book. When not writing, or researching, Kat enjoys snuggling on her couch with a hot chocolate and a great book.

Her first novel, CHASING CLOVERS became an Amazon’s bestseller in Historical and Western romance. LAKOTA HONOR is Kat’s second book, and she is currently hard at work on the third.

When not focusing on her creative passions, Kat is busy with her three boys and doting husband.



Monday, June 10, 2013

SHADOW ACROSS THE LIFFEY BY CATHY MANSELL



SHADOW ACROSS THE LIFFEY
By
Cathy Mansell

   
A gripping story of how family secrets can wreak havoc on the present.

In 60’s Ireland life is hard for widow, Oona Quinn, grief-stricken by the tragic deaths of her husband and five-year-old daughter. Struggling to survive, she meets charismatic Jack Walsh at the Shipping Office.

Vinnie Kelly, her son's biological father, just out of jail, sets out to destroy Oona and all she holds dear. Haunted by her past, she has to fight for her future and the safety of her son, Sean. But Vinnie has revenge on his mind . ..




Excerpt 
***
The sun had just come out, and McNally cursed the task ahead of him. The child’s death had touched him deeply. At the station, he had seen tears in grown men’s eyes. This was, by far, the hardest thing he had ever had to do.

He parked the car outside the house with the shiny green door and well-maintained garden, and walked slowly up the path. He hesitated. From inside he heard laughter and music, and it pained him to be the bearer of such shocking news. A lump formed in his throat. He removed his hat and held it in front of him, before knocking on the door.

‘Mrs Quinn?’

Oona stared at the uniformed man on her doorstep. ‘That... that’s me.’ She clutched the door. ‘Has, has something happened?’

‘I’m Sergeant McNally. There’s been an accident. May I come in?’

Connie joined her in the hall, the smile slipping from her face.

‘Are you a relative?’ he asked.

‘We’re sisters. What is it?’

He thought Oona was going to faint but her sister’s hand guided her towards the living room.

A moment later, the two women sat on the sofa clutching hands.

‘May I sit down?’

Oona nodded. She was trembling. McNally could see a glimmer of hope in her big brown eyes.

‘I’m afraid your husband’s been in a serious accident, Mrs Quinn.’ He saw all her fears encapsulated in that one terrible moment as he delivered the news.

‘Please, tell me he’s not dead.’

Cathy Mansell, Author

Member of Leicester Writers’ Club, Just Write workshop, Life President of Lutterworth Writers’ Group, Member NAWG, Member Romantic Novelist Association and past president of Riverside Speakers club.
Cathy is an experienced writer of romantic fiction. Her early work was competition short stories and articles published in national magazines. She was Editor in Chief of the Leicestershire Anthology, TAKING OFF, a book promoted and supported by Arts Council UK.

In recent times, Cathy has turned to writing full-length novels that are set in Ireland/England. Her debut book SHADOW ACROSS THE LIFFEY was published on 7th February 2013 by Tirgearr Publishing.  She was a recent contestant on the TV show "Food Glorious Food" broadcast on 27th February 2013.

cathy.ashbymagna@zen.co.uk

Buy links:

And now let’s hear what Cathy has to share with us:

Caroline: Where did you grow up?

Cathy: I grew up in the small neighbourhood of Ballsbridge/Donnybrook on the south side of Dublin city. I wouldn’t have called myself a bookworm back then.  However, I always had stories going round inside my head.  My first husband, Jim, died shortly after I gave birth to our second child. It left me devastated.  But I’ve since re-married to Dennis and we live in Leicestershire, England.  We have three grownup children eight grandchildren and a special needs Beagle.

Caroline: Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

Cathy: The late Maeve Binchy, Elaine Crowley, Mary Ryan, Lesley Pearce. Rosie Goodwin, Lynda Page and Margaret Kaine, local authors. I love historicals, romantic suspense books and the odd crime book.

Caroline: Isn’t it sad that Maeve Binchy passed away? What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?

Cathy: When I’m not writing, which is most of the time, I find time to read some of the best selling novels on Amazon.  I like walking in the countryside and playing and having fun with my grandchildren.

Caroline: Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?

Cathy: Yes, I have two. Good health is the best wealth and the next is writing. If you are lucky enough to have good health, you can do almost anything.

Caroline: How true, but my health is not so good. How long have you been writing?

Cathy: I’ve been writing stories and articles for more than twenty years, and getting published in national magazines. And in recent times I’ve turned to novel writing, with four now under my belt.

Caroline Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude?

Cathy: I have to say I prefer solitude and I’m lucky to have a wonderful writing space. My husband converted our loft into an office and it is a great place to hide away and write.  I love music, but rarely ever have music on when I’m being creative.  I like the quietness when I’m creating characters.

Caroline: I love my office, too. We’re lucky, aren’t we? Are you a plotter or a panzer?

Cathy: I’m definitely a plotter.  I feel that the plot is essential to a good story and I’ll often know my plot even before I begin to think about my characters.

Caroline: Do You use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?

Cathy: I usually work from my own experiences of life. I’m often inspired by stories I hear or read about. SHADOW ACROSS THE LIFFEY was inspired by my own experience of widowhood and bringing up two children as a lone parent. The accident at the beginning of the book was also inspired by someone I once knew who had lost a child in a road accident.

Caroline: Being a single mom is tough. I really admire all the women who manage to raise children alone. Do you set daily writing goals?

Cathy: Yes, I write every day.  But since becoming a published author it has got more difficult.   As all writers know, it is almost as important to promote your work these days. I’ve finally devised a way of doing both.  I read only important emails from publishers then get on to writing and towards the end of the day I promote in every way I know how. It appears to be working better.  But, there again it is down to being disciplined.

Caroline: Promotion steals a lot of writing time, it’s true. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Cathy: I’d like them to feel a touch of Nostalgia. I hope that readers of SHADOW ACROSS THE LIFFEY and HER FATHER’S DAUGHTER, will enjoy the story.  That readers familiar with the period with say, Wow!  That brings back memories.

Caroline: What long-term plans do you have for your career?

This year I’ve had two acceptances, one for SHADOW ACROSS THE LIFFEY and another for HER FATHER’S DAUGHTER.  I’m hoping that my career is just beginning and that more contracts will follow.

Caroline: Wonderful, Cathy, and I hope your career takes off like a rocket. Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

Cathy: My current book is an historical set back in 1900.  The story takes the heroine from Galway Bay to Covent Garden in London.  Gypsy girl, Tamara, escapes an arranged marriage to a rich landowner by stowing away on a ship with dire consequences.

Caroline: Sounds intriguing. What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Cathy: Never give up on your dream to become a published author.  Keep going and above all
believe in what you are doing, because if you don’t know one else will.

Caroline: Great advice. What’s a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you?

Cathy: I play the melodeon and the harmonica when we have family gatherings.  I make a fool of myself by bounce on the trampoline with my grandchildren and do Irish dancing with them.

Caroline: That sounds wonderful. What’s something about you that that would surprise or shock readers?

Cathy: A few years ago, I was almost killed by a falling tree when it crashed down just inches from my car.  Then the overhead electric cables came down sizzling across the bonnet.  I foolishly got out of the car and removed them while they were still sparking and lived to tell the tale.

Caroline: How frightening! Are your books a series?

Cathy: No, SHADOW ACROSS THE LIFFEY nor HER FATHER’S DAUGHTER are stand alone books. They might be considered, by some, to be a family sagas, but, personally, I would say they are definitely romantic suspense.

Caroline: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?

Cathy: I’m a dedicated writer in my genre.  One more thing would make be very happy is to know that American readers were reading and enjoying my books.


Thanks for stopping by!