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New read from the Valesky Crime Family Series!

Target

The Valesky Crime Family Book 1

by Tina Donahue

Genre: Dark Mafia Romance

A Russian kingpin wants her dead… the only one who can stop it is the man sent to murder her.

Toni Flores loved her dream job working for a respected US senator until he raped her. She’s determined to bring him to justice, no matter the cost.

For years, Dimitri Valesky, head of a Russian crime family in America, has bought off those in government. Just like the senator responsible for Toni’s assault. When she won’t keep quiet about it and risks Dimitri’s business, he orders his stepson Michael to kill her.

Michael’s a lobbyist not a mafia enforcer. He refuses the insane demand, but Dimitri insists. The power he holds over Michael and his brothers is absolute… or so he believes.

Rather than murder Toni, Michael intends to romance her. Once he convinces her to keep quiet about the Senator, she won’t be a target any longer and Dimitri will back off on the hit. The plan falls apart and now they are dodging mafia enforcers, bullets, and Dimitri’s outrage.

Michael and Toni fight to stay alive and save those dearest to them as they also fall hopelessly in love.

This is book one in the Valesky Crime Family series and has an HEA.

Publisher’s Note: This contemporary dark mafia romance contains elements of mystery, suspense, action, adventure, adult themes, and possible triggers for some readers.

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

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

Website * MeWe * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

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An interview with Sarita Leone!

Thanks for being with us today, Sarita! First, would you tell us a bit about yourself?

I love happy endings—in life and on the page.

When I’m not busy writing, I practice and teach yoga. I also like to hike, travel, and dance beneath the stars. I study languages, love baking and cooking, and I can pack a suitcase in less time than it takes to peel an apple. I never say “no” to fun and absolutely plan to make every moment of this journey count.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

I enjoy a good cup of coffee, love some wonderful chai, but the one thing I have on my desk is M&Ms. It’s the go-to handful for when I’m contemplating a plot twist or wondering how a character will act. The childhood favorite sits in a jar on my desk and that’s a jar that gets refilled a lot when I’m writing on deadline!

How would you best describe your books?

I hope that my books are heartwarming romances. I love seeing ordinary people find love, especially when it comes with some sort of growth. When we step outside of ourselves and see the world and others in kinder, gentler ways, there’s so much opportunity for growth. Many of my books are set in different times in history, where there was potential for personal expansion. I hope that my books show that there’s room for romance and learning, both.

Tell us about your most recent publication.

Snickerdoodle Snowmen is part of The Wild Rose Press’ Christmas Cookie Series. It releases on November 3 and I’m so excited for this fun romance set in Alaska to come out!

The blurb:

Baker Kris Kringles sends snickerdoodles from North Pole, Alaska, across the globe, spreading holiday cheer like confetti. But she has a secret not dusted with sugar, and an incentive to speak with a slick journalist that isn’t half-baked.

Reporter Santos Kloss hates Christmas. How could he not, with a name that makes him the butt of endless holiday jokes? He’s got one last assignment to complete before he can begin a new chapter in his life, so he grits his teeth, grabs a parka, and heads to Christmas central.

Both expect the interview to be a snap, but a snowstorm, insistent sisters, and a little holiday magic have very different ideas!

What inspired you to write this story?

As soon as I heard about the call for submissions, I knew I had to write this story. I have to admit, I love baking and snickerdoodle snowmen are one of my favorite cookies, both to bake and eat!

Also, I love the Northern Lights. I’ve seen them a number of times from a few different locations, and I’m always mesmerized by the way the sky dances. So, I wanted to set a story beneath the Lights.

Add a couple of loving families, snowy encounters, and two characters who are completely not looking for love and I knew that this was a recipe for a happily-ever-after story. It was a blast to write, and I hope readers enjoy reading it.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today?

I think my favorite thing about this story is that it shows that people’s motivations aren’t always what we imagine them to be. Everyone has a story or something they’re dealing with, so it’s best if we all remember that and treat others with kindness. These characters both have a lot on their respective plates and hide that well. They come to the story with baggage that seems much lighter when they learn to share the load.

aurora borealis on the mountain

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an author. I think I wrote my first story in crayon (probably purple!) and I haven’t stopped since.

Do you belong to any writing groups?

I don’t belong to any formal writing groups, but I’m super fortunate to have a wonderful group of author friends. We chat, support each other, bounce ideas around, and honestly just share the writing journey. They are dear to me and I feel so grateful to have other authors as friends.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing?

I don’t generally listen to music while I’m writing. It makes it hard to hear the voices in my head, LOL.

To encourage those still on the path, tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one? What do you think was the key to selling that first book?

I don’t count the number of books published, so I can’t honestly answer that question. I sold the first book I wrote and haven’t looked back. I know that’s not everyone’s story, and I’m grateful that it happened that way for me.

I believe a lot of things factor in to selling a book and I don’t have any real idea of what the “one thing” might be. I just honestly believe that the best way to become published is to write. Then write some more. And then, write. Most of us improve with practice, no matter what it is we’re doing, so I think it’s important to practice writing the way you’d do with any other skill you’re taking on.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

I’ve written a few stories for The Wild Rose Press’ Wylder West Series. I love being a Wild Rose Press author and am having a great time writing for the series. I am currently working on a book called Wylder Promises. It’s a story about second chances and finding love with someone who thinks romance is part of their past, but not their future. I’m enjoying writing this wild west story. It’s such an interesting time in history and I get a kick out of researching the time period.

I am not making personal appearance at the present time. The pandemic still has me sticking close to home. In the future I do plan to do signings again and attend conferences, but just not yet.  

Anything else you would like to add?

Thank you so much for having me here today! It’s been a pleasure!

Links:

Snickerdoodle Snowmen (Christmas Cookies) – Kindle edition by Leone, Sarita. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

https://saritaleoneauthor.blogspot.com/

Amazon.com : sarita leone

Savage Bloodline October 2021 book tour!

October Theme:

A Month of #CoverReveals!

The DeLucas are impatient. Once a savage makes up his mind, there’s nothing you can do to stop him. None of them want to wait for March to introduce themselves. They’re ready to meet readers now!

Join the Savage Bloodline Readers’ Group from October 1st to 21st as they meet the DeLucas, a family of men who are masters of slaughter and seduction. Savage Bloodline authors will reveal their covers and tell you a few things about their DeLuca savage.

It’s time to meet the DeLuca Savages! Ready?

Book Info

Release Date: 3/15/22

ASIN- B092D9RGRW

Taglines

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.

Buy Links

Universal Buy Link – https://books2read.com/SavageBloodlineBoxset

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B092D9RGRW/

Nook – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/savage-bloodline-kenya-wright/1139270630

Apple – https://books.apple.com/us/book/savage-bloodline/id1561989851

About the Series

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:

*Second-chance.

*Friends to lovers.

*Enemies to lovers.

*Billionaire.

*Arranged Marriages.

*And more!

What’s better than one hot savage? A family of them! Prepare to fall in love with the DeLuca crime family.

https://books2read.com/SavageBloodlineBoxset

Download the prequel, Brutal Bloodline, for Free: https://BookHip.com/PQVFCMB

#SavageBloodlineBoxset

Excerpt

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.”

Savages.

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, Lola Joy

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Finding a new life isn’t easy

Arborview

by Karen Guzman

Genre: Women’s Fiction

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?

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59084694-arborview

Buy Links
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09DNQH267

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/arborview/id1583063322

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arborview-karen-guzman/1140053868?ean=2940162377610

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?_bbid=19486921&_bbreg=us&_bbtype=blog&id=nOBDEAAAQBAJ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/arborview

TheWildRosePress: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/book-post/arborview

Excerpt #1 from Arborview

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.

Excerpt #2 from Arborview

That was how she had come to think of herself: a divorced person. She disliked ”divorcee,” which Alice liked to throw about suggestively. The word had the faint stink of misogyny, of finger-pointing, the whisper of failure—more so a woman’s than a man’s. Why was that? Men were simply “divorced,” a neutral proclamation. No cutesy name had been invented to designate their failed-marriage status.

In truth though, if Ellen had failed anyone, she had failed herself. That stinging little insight had come to her Arborview, lying in dappled sunlight, where she was free to look at things, to test them out, and creep near the truth. The truth was she had fallen like a stone to the earth after all these years, and the voice that she had learned to ignore had only grown louder. God, forgive me. She had abandoned, or at least shelved, herself, long before Zach worked up the courage to do it.

She really should tell Rosa this: Don’t worry about what your mother thinks, or your brother, or anyone else. Choose, or the world will do it for you. That was what the girl needed to hear.

About the Author

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 onAmazon, and learn more about her work at www.karenguzman.com

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

Author Links

Website: https://karenguzman.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kgwriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kguzman_author

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

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Guzman/e/B097Q6PYXJ

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4348296.Karen_Guzman

Print Copy of Arborview,

$10 Amazon giftcard

-1 winner each

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C.J. Bahr brings her ‘cinematic’ writing to vibrant life

Thanks to C.J. Bahr for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

Hi, everyone! Thanks for having me today. My name is C J Bahr. I live in sunny Southern California in the town of Tarzana, which was named after Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I’m still single and looking for my happily-ever-after. In the meantime I surround myself with awesome friends and live with two cats, Liam and Gerry. I love to visit California wineries, taking hikes and of course, curled up with my kindle to escape to new places.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

I’m a tea drinker. A snobby tea drinker! I like the loose leaf tea in all flavors, none of the pressed flat tea bags for me! If I’m writing later, nice glass of wine might be seen next to my laptop.

Is your education relevant to your writing, or have you branched off in something entirely different to create? How would you best describe your books?

I have a BA in Communications with a Film/Television emphasis. Though I use this degree for my “day” music editing career, it has influenced my writing. Several of my readers and fellow authors have described my writing as cinematic. Or in other words, they can visualize my stories on screen easily. I write paranormal romance, supernatural suspense, and fantasy/sci-fi, so my novels have a magic and lots of action. You can escape with my writing. I’ll definitely take you on a journey.

Tell us about your most recent publication/whichever book you’d like to talk about today?

My newest release drops on September 20th, and it is “Redeemed By Fire”. It’s my third book of seven in my standalone Fire Chronicles series. You can jump into the fire at anytime, no reading order necessary! It’s a paranormal romance, set in New Orleans.

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

First, I knew my story would have a musical element which would play an important part to the plot. With that in mind, I couldn’t set it anywhere else but New Orleans! I’ve always wanted to visit. In fact I had the Airbnb  and plane tickets booked for June 2020, but than the pandemic hit. One day, I will get there. So, of course I researched New Orleans so the readers would feel like they were actually there. But the more fun research was for my villain. My killer (trying for no spoilers!) needs the pineal gland (located inside the brain and is also known as the “third-eye chakra”). So not only had I research the gland, but had to figure out how to remove it. If you want to know, it’s through the eye.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

Well, I finally gave one of my heroes a cat. There’s just something I love about a guy who likes cats. He named her, Catastrophe. Cat for short. She’s half Maine Coon and plays a pivotal roll in the plot.

The special in creating “Redeemed By Fire” is consciously making my characters more reflective of an inclusive society in order to diversify. My heroine is half Haitian. My Cajun detective’s partner is African American. My heroine’s best friend is gay. I want to grow as a writer and a person. As a writer I feel I should be stepping up to show all the colors and lifestyles in this world in which we live in.

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I love creating stories people want to read. The actual writing, it’s a few things: banter dialogue, action scenes, and strong female leads. The least? It has to be when I reach the ¾ mark of a new novel. I always seem to jump to the end of the story and when I re-read the first draft I realize I’ve skipped a whole portion of my plot! I knew I wanted to be an author by my late teens and even manage to sell my first short story to one of my favorite fantasy author’s anthology in my twenties.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

I use to belong to a couple of writing groups, but now I mostly write with one fellow author. Writing groups depend on honest helpful critiques and of course participation. It’s tough when you open yourself for critique but your other fellow authors stop submitting there own writing. Now I swap pages with trusted beta readers instead of groups.

One of my favorite websites is www.wordhippo.com. It’s great for finding perfect word or phrase. I use www.prowritingaid.com when I begin the editing process. And I absolutely love www.bookbrush.com when it comes time to create advertising memes, book trailers and covers.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

Music is a huge part of my life since I made a career around it. I listen to instrumental television and film scores. I cannot write while someone is singing! I get distracted by the lyrics. So instead, I “score” what I’m writing. For instance, if I’m writing an action sequence I might be listening to the “Italian Job” or music from one of the “Bourne Identity” movies. If I’m writing a comedic fun or a romantic scene, I’ll look for an appropriate movie or TV soundtrack to play in the background.

Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience?

As mentioned above, I no longer belong to a critique/writers’ group. I have a very select group of three beta readers I give my pages to. I found over time, I work better with a trusted few. One is a fellow author, who gets my way earlier stuff. She’s the bomb and doesn’t pull any punches. Another is an avid reader of the genres I write, who’s smart and again, will tell me like it is. My last reader is a copy editor who is one of the last set of eyes before I submit or self-publish. It is so valuable to have the right eyes on my pages, trusted individuals who will always tell me the truth of what is working and what isn’t. This input is invaluable as I continue to develop my writing.

To encourage those still on the path, tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one? What do you think was the key to selling that first book?

I made my first sale in my twenties to the first place I submitted. I was thrilled. Then, it took me another twenty years to publish again! It wasn’t until my late forties I sold my first full length novel. I went the contest route after trying for agents and directly with publishers and getting shut down. “Finish The Damn Book” contest where you enter your first and last chapter of your novel, I was placed second; however, the editor requested a full and then contracted me. I was careful on what contests I enter, making sure either an editor or agent was reading the finalists in hope of getting my work in front of them.

“Walking Through Fire” was actually my second complete novel, but it was the first to sell. I currently have four novels out, and two stories in two anthologies. The key to selling is have an original voice, a great tale and persistence! Never give up. It may have taken me twenty years to sell from my first, but now I have six books out. Hang in there.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

Currently I’m writing two novels. The fourth fire book is in research/plotting mode while I’m writing a first book in a new urban fantasy about a kick-ass, female time cop.

I recently appeared on a vlog/podcast. You can find links to your media listening/viewing choice here: https://www.sheshedstudios.net/event/vloggingpod-interview-w-cj-bahr/

Anything else you would like to add?

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.

Social Media Links:

Website/Newsletter:  https://cjbahr.com

Twitter: @cjbahr  https://twitter.com/cjbahr

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bahrcj

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cjbahr.author/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9828572.C_J_Bahr

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/c-j-bahr

Amazon Author: https://tinyurl.com/y7jmpqdg

Redeemed By Fire Specific Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09CG6JX5T/

B&N: https://tinyurl.com/273fhhtc

iBooks: https://tinyurl.com/wctyc9xa

Goodreads: https://tinyurl.com/3v6mcsn7

BookBub: https://tinyurl.com/vrxs8nbp

Blurb:

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?

OFFICIAL EXCERPT:

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.”

An interview with author Darlene Fredette–her new release is Cherry Red!

Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

I live on the Atlantic Coast of Canada with my husband and daughter. We also have a rambunctious three-year old Yellow Labrador.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

I don’t drink coffee or tea, but my go-to caffeine addiction is hot chocolate. I have a cup of hot chocolate every day, and my favorite is flavoured white hot chocolate.

Is your education relevant to your writing, or have you branched off in something entirely different to create?

I studied administration in school and followed that path in my career, which led to a position as Director of Administration and Marketing. My writing stemmed from English classes when we had to write essays on books.

How would you best describe your books?

Contemporary Sweet Romances.

Tell us about your most recent publication/whichever book you’d like to talk about today?

Cherry Red is about a woman who owns an ice cream business. Carly has no time in her life for a relationship…until Noah strides into her life and she is forced to pretend he is her boyfriend.

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.

What inspired you to write this story?
When I learned my publisher was looking for ice cream stories to fit their One Scoop Or Two series, I thought about the perfect storyline to fit the theme.

What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

Researching ice cream was so much fun!

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

I love the characters I created from the main characters (Carly and Noah) to the whole cast. They were enjoyable to write about.

What do you most like about writing? Least like?

I like getting into the story and seeing the characters grow and interact. I don’t like editing. It’s painful and tedious.

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I wrote a short story for my high school English class and enjoyed developing the plot and characters.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

I listen to the radio while writing. It’s on but not very loud. Music is very therapeutic.

Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience?
I am part of a beta group. I don’t know what I would do without their input.

To encourage those still on the path, tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one? What do you think was the key to selling that first book?

The main thing is to stay positive, even when rejections hit hard. The key to selling my first book was perfecting the writing craft – reading and learning as much as I could. Cherry Red is my eighth published book

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?
My ninth book, Finding Home Again, received a contract and is currently with the proof-reading department. Once proofing is done, it will be formatted, and I’ll receive a release date. I am writing book ten, which brings me back to Redford Falls.

Anything else you would like to add?

Thank you for the opportunity to share Cherry Red with your followers!

Bio: Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada where the summers are too short, and the winters are too long. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to develop the many stories coming to life in her head. 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. Darlene’s favourite pastime is taking summer daytrips to the Valley to soak in the small-town feel.

This link will bring you to my website which has links to all distributing sites for my books. Universal Purchase Link: http://darlenefredette.blogspot.com/2021/04/my-books-purchase-links.html

Author Web Site: http://darlenefredette.blogspot.com/

Blog: http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Fredette/e/B005NAF660/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarleneLF

Murder, mystery, suspense in latest from Brenda Whiteside

The Wickedest Town in the West turned ghost town, turned hippie haven, turned tourist mecca…that’s the inspiration for my latest series, The MacKenzie Chronicles. Although I’ve renamed my city Joshua, Arizona, anyone familiar with Jerome, Arizona will recognize the setting within my stories.

KODAK Digital Still Camera
  • I was born and raised in Arizona and fell in love with the city in the 1960s. Jerome has long been a favorite place to visit for locals. The town nearly died in the 1950s when the mining dried up. What once was a raucous little town hanging on the side of a mountain, inhabited by the men who worked the mines, the wealthy who owned the mines, and the ladies who lived in the cribs and entertained both, became a ghost town. And the city does literally hang on the side of the mountain. Three main roads are stacked like stadium seating.

In the 1960s, hippies discovered Jerome and squatted in the abandoned buildings. But they also bought the homes, improved them, and turned the town into a center for art.

Today, the town flourishes with artists, wine tasting, historical settings, and restaurants. The residents prefer to keep the town looking much like it did in the 1920s when the mines pumped out the minerals that made millions.

Frank MacKenzie, an artist, and Susie Muse, a store owner and mystic, met in the hippie days of Joshua. The MacKenzie Chronicles are about their three children, now grown. Susie died a couple of decades ago, but two of her offspring have mystic talents while one is creative like her father. There is murder, mystery, and suspense in their pasts as well as their presents.

Mystery on Spirit Mountain, book 2 in the series, is Harlan’s book, and officially releases on September 15. Preorder is available now at a sale price.

The past never sleeps.

The truth never dies.

Only Harlan MacKenzie can sense the troubled history of the Big Purple House. When he’s hired to restore the historical mansion, he doesn’t foresee the secrets—secrets that entangle his family in deceit and murder.

Phaedra is selling the house that has been in her family for decades. As her friends-to-lovers relationship with Harlan escalates, she puts her values on the line and chances losing him.

After a stranger comes to town, weaving her web of deception, hell-bent on correcting an old grievance connected to the house, dark revelations of the past implode the present. Harlan and Phaedra are thrown on a dangerous path, not only risking love but possibly their lives.

You can read the first chapter of Mystery on Spirit Mountain here:

https://brendawhiteside.com/mystery-on-chapter-one

To reserve your copy of Mystery on Spirit Mountain (The MacKenzie Chronicles book 2) at the sale price: https://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Spirit-Mountain-MacKenzie-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B09CP3BXVG/

BIO:

Brenda Whiteside is the author of suspenseful, action-adventure stories with a touch of romance. Mostly. She and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. For now, they’ve settled in Central Arizona, but won’t discount the possibility of another move in their future. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW is fishing, Brenda writes.

Visit Brenda at https://www.brendawhiteside.com

Or on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor

Sign up for her email newsletter: https://us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=4804e039587723cfe02e83f2c&id=5e4b22a4ac

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendawhitesid2

She blogs and has guests: https://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003V15WF8

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3972045.Brenda_Whiteside

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/brenda-whiteside

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

An interview with Seelie Kay

Q.  Why do you write romance?

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

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

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

Q.  Why did you write “Ye Gods! The Law is an Ass?”

Donovan Trait is a vampire lawyer. In the human world, a very respected lawyer. I wanted to give him the opportunity to shine in the vampire world. So I created a scenario where his turned vampire bride Shirley is unfairly punished for an unintentionally violating their marital agreement, as well as other outdated, outrageous, and outright discriminatory laws—she unintentionally  To survive and protect their unborn child, they must not only fight back, but also rebel. In this instance, human history provides them with the path. That gave me the opportunity to draw parallels between the fight for human rights and the rights of vampires who aren’t purebloods. It also allowed me to poke at the continued need of both societies to embrace social change. Perhaps surprisingly, the vampires lag far behind the humans in terms of equality and individual freedoms. However, in the end, the message is clear: Whether human or vampire, an individual is entitled to certain rights and liberties. And no human or vampire has a right to deny them.

Blurb:

It was the Great Lie, and it could destroy the Vampire Nation.

In First, We Kill All the Lawyers, vampire lawyer Donovan Trait survived repeated attacks by a serial killer. Now, after violating a marital agreement with the Vampire Coalition, and several ancient Vampire Laws, Donovan, and his newly-turned vampire bride are on the run. You see, in exchange for permitting a pure-blood vampire to marry a turned human, the Traits agreed to allow vampire scientists to monitor the conception and birth of their children. When Judge Shirley Magnusen Trait turns up accidentally pregnant on her wedding day, the fury of the Coalition is unleashed. The tribunal recommends unacceptable punitive action and the Traits are forced to flee to a mysterious island of vampire nuns. The Traits are, by profession, seekers of the truth. But this time, the truth may not set them free. In fact, it could start a revolution. Will the Traits escape the clutches of the Coalition and keep their babies safe? Or will their family be…eliminated?

Excerpt:

Jonathan opened the envelope and reviewed the report. When he got to the last page, his eyes grew wide. “Donovan, it seems Shirley had a reason for that lightheadedness.”

Donovan gasped. “What is it?”

His father handed him the document and pointed at the bottom of the page. “She’s pregnant.”

Donovan grabbed at the wall. Overwhelmed with unfamiliar emotion, he settled onto a chair and rested his head in his hands. “Ye Gods,” he muttered. “I’m going to be a father.”

“And I am to be a grandfather, finally. However, I am afraid the Coalition may have a problem with this. They may not permit your marriage today or anytime soon.”

Donovan Trait turned to his father, his eyes filled with fury. “Why does it matter? We’re already married in the human world and we are about to repeat our vows before all in the Vampire Kingdom. This doesn’t change anything. It’s not like we are going to have a child out of wedlock. We have broken no laws.”

Jonathan Trait arched a fluffy white brow. “We need to discuss this, son.” He sat beside him. “The problem is, you explicitly agreed to allow the Coalition to oversee the conception and birth of any children born of this joining. Every step of the process was to be observed, studied, and documented. You know this.”

“So, they are going to force us to terminate the pregnancy and start over?” Donovan groaned. “It’s too late. I will not force her to start over. They can be voyeurs the next time. I am sure Shirley will have no problem with the monitoring of her pregnancy. It’s not like she can consult with a human physician. They would not understand that her child may have fangs in utero. And the blood work…” He shuddered. “I can’t imagine what…”

Jonathan frowned. “The agreement says from the point of conception, son.  You know what sticklers they are. Our women became barren more than a century ago. We need to understand why. From a scientific perspective, we need to know exactly what was different, so we can find a solution.”

Donovan harrumphed. “Seriously? Did they wish to observe while I made love to my wife? That’s ludicrous. Horny old bastards.”

Jonathan chuckled. “Some of those old fuddie-duddies would stroke out if forced to watch a virile man like you seduce his wife.” His expression turned somber. “Let’s look at the facts as we know them. As a lawyer, that’s a process with which you are familiar.

“Human women can’t carry a vampire child to term. We know that. They miscarry. The human uterus is simply not strong enough to withstand the damage caused by a developing vampire fetus. Those fangs shred the amniotic sac. However, we also don’t know if a female vampire can carry a human baby to term. Shirley may not be able to provide the fetus with the nutrition that it needs to develop properly.

“In addition, we don’t know the point of conception, which means we don’t know if Shirley was fully turned when she conceived. We also don’t know what the genetic makeup of the baby will be and whether that will change as the pregnancy progresses. Furthermore, we don’t know whether the baby’s genetics will alter after birth. We don’t know what the child will need to survive. We don’t know much.

“That raises several questions, Donovan. Is Shirley’s life in danger? And is your child’s life in danger? Not just physically and genetically, but socially. The baby is an anomaly. To some, an adnomination. A freak. He or she will constantly be in danger. If you had kept to the agreement, she and the baby would have been protected. Now everything is at risk.”

Book Trailer–

Buy links–

Extasy Books: https://www.extasybooks.com/ye-god-the-law-is-an-ass

Amazon:

Barnes and Noble:

Kobo: 

Universal link:

About Seelie Kay:

      Award-winning author Seelie Kay writes about lawyers in love, sometimes with a dash of kink.

Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in nineteen works of fiction, including the new paranormal romance series Donovan Trait, as well the erotic romance Kinky Briefs series and The Feisty Lawyers romantic suspense series. She also authored The Last Christmas, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The President’s Daughter, Seizing Hope, The White House Wedding, and participated in the romance anthology Pieces of Us.

When not spinning romantic tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently, she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.

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

Seelie can be reached at http://www.seeliekay.com, http://www.seeliekay.blogspot.com, or on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Author links:

Website:  https://www.seeliekay.com

Blog:  https://www.seeliekay.blogspot.com

Twitter: @SeelieKay https://twitter.com/SeelieKay

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/seelie.kay.77

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/seeliekay51/

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Seelie-Kay/e/B074RDRWNZ/

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/seelie-kay

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16492565.Seelie_Kay

Newsletter sign-up:  https://rb.gy/w69pim

Prior Books:

Kinky Briefs:  https://www.extasybooks.com/kinky-briefs-1

Kinky Briefs, Too:  https://www.extasybooks.com/kinky-briefs,-too

Kinky Briefs, Thrice:  https://www.extasybooks.com/kinky-briefs,-thrice

Kinky Briefs, Quatro:  https://www.extasybooks.com/kinky-briefs,-quatro

Kinky Briefs, Cinque:  https://www.extasybooks.com/kinky-briefs,-cinque

The Garage Dweller:  https://www.extasybooks.com/the-garage-dweller

A Touchdown to Remember:  https://www.extasybooks.com/a-touchdown-to-remember

The President’s Wife:  https://www.extasybooks.com/the-presidents-wife

The President’s Daughter:  https://www.extasybooks.com/the-presidents-daughter

The White House Wedding:  https://www.extasybooks.com/the-white-house-wedding

Snatching Dianna (Feisty Lawyers Book 1):  https://www.extasybooks.com/snatching-dianna

Infamy (Feisty Lawyers Book 2):  https://www.extasybooks.com/infamy

Cult Feisty Lawyers Book 3):  https://www.extasybooks.com/cult

Hope (Feisty Lawyers Book 4):  https://www.extasybooks.com/hope

Martimus (Feisty Lawyers Book 5):  https://www.extasybooks.com/martimus

Seizing Hope:  https://www.extasybooks.com/seizing-hope

The Last Christmas:  https://www.extasybooks.com/the-last-christmas

Bovine Tricks (Royals Gone Rogue 1): https://www.extasybooks.com/bovine-tricks 

First, We Kill All the Lawyers (Donovan Trait 1):  https://www.extasybooks.com/first,-we-kill-all-the-lawyers

Check out the Masonville series!

Unexpected

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!**

Add to Goodreads

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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 Aug 20th – Sep 3rd!!**

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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 Sep 3rd-17th!!**

Add to Goodreads

Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo * TheWildRosePress

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 www.janarichards.com

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads * Newsletter

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Watch out for that first step–this hike’s a doozy!

During the daylight hours, I am a project manager, dad, ranch hand, and general all-around average guy. I spend my free time with my family, reading, playing games, golf, and the working on our small ranch.

A closet romantic, Fate Takes a Hike was a challenge I set myself almost a year ago. While I have been writing short stories and fan fiction for years, I’d never pushed myself to do a full, book-length tale, until now.

With the book’s release, I will start my journey into this world called romance writing. Let’s hope I survive!

EXCERPT:

Prologue— Jacob

Mist from the early morning rain clung to the trees and mixed with the light breeze to cool the sweat on my face as I walked up the small trail.

Just past the halfway point to the glade, I stepped over the roots of old Splitjaw. At some point in its past, the aged fir tree had been bent over and broken, creating a neck-like structure where the shattered ends split open, making the trunk look like the opened jaws of an alligator. Kara, my fiancé, named it Splitjaw during our first hike in this area.

I smiled, thinking back to that day and her silliness. She’d insisted that Splitjaw needed to be fed. She had dug through her backpack and pulled out some beef jerky, which she opened and stuck in its jagged “mouth.” Pleased with herself, she’d shouldered her pack and continued with our trek.

Digging into one of the cargo pouches on my pants, I pulled out the strips of beef jerky I brought with me for this very moment. I unwrapped them and placed them into Splitjaw’s mouth. Pocketing the wrapper, I patted the tree and proceeded on my way. Tradition satisfied.

It was close to noon when I stepped out of the trees and into the clearing. Sunlight bathed the meadow. The tall, waving grasses forming a sea of green, almost like a calm lake. The lone Oregon white oak dominated the center of the clearing, a soldier standing guard over the meadow and its denizens. I had no idea how that acorn made it to this area, but I was happy that it had found a home here.

Its branches spread outward to provide shelter and shade to all those who gathered below them, perfect for the task I had given it.

I drew in a cleansing breath, shaking myself from my reverie, and continued walking until I stood under the oak’s branches. I unshouldered my backpack and set it down against the tree before letting one hand rest gently on its trunk.

“Sorry I’m late. I was finishing up some drywall in one of the upstairs bedrooms and lost track of time.”

I bent down, opened up the pack, and pulled out a collapsible rake. Unfolding it as I stood, I began clearing the detritus of small limbs and leaves from around the area.

“It took longer than I planned, but I got the flooring finished in the kitchen. I know we talked about that white checkered slate tile, but it was out of stock and the backorder was going to take too long. So, I ended up doing a grey, sixteen-inch tile that has four small black diamonds in the center. I think it looks fantastic against the backsplash.”

I continued my rundown of my construction highlights as I kept raking.

Satisfied that no limbs or leaves remained, I collapsed the rake, stowed it back in the pack, and pulled out a small set of shears. I squatted down on one knee and began trimming the grass around the two small bronze markers. I worked in thoughtful silence, letting the metallic snip-snip of the trimmers soothe my mind and heart as I cleared back the grass and weeds that had grown since my last visit.

Once everything was pruned to my liking, I stowed the shears and retrieved a small rag and bottle of brass cleaner. Pouring a small bit of the solution onto my cloth, I began scrubbing the bird droppings off the markers.

With the bronze gleaming again, I stowed all of my tools and supplies and gazed down at the markers, telling myself I wouldn’t cry even as the first tear worked its way down my cheek. Every time I thought I had cried myself out, I found that with these two, I never would.

Kara Berman

Loving Wife

Karen Berman

Beloved Daughter

“I love you both,” I whispered, letting my fingers lightly brush the metal.

I stood up, grabbing my backpack and swinging it up and onto my back. I shrugged my shoulders a couple of times to seat the straps comfortably, then fastened the belly band, tugging on it to make sure it was tight.

With a final, pained glance at the markers, I turned and headed east, passing quickly out of the meadow and into the trees beyond.

Chapter 1 Josie

I shook the small handheld GPS unit in an attempt to make it work.

“You’ve got to be freaking kidding me! I will smash you into a million pieces, you worthless hunk of plastic!”

The small, yellow electronic devil was obviously unimpressed with my threat and mocked me with its refusal to comment. Looking up at the sky, I almost asked the heavens, ‘What next?’ But I didn’t want to tempt fate. Little did I realize at the time that the heavens could read minds, and fate could be a real bitch.

Sighing like a teenager being asked to do the dishes, I shoved the worthless plastic demon into my backpack and pulled out my trusty old compass. Flipping open the lid, I began turning in a small circle, talking to myself while the needle danced inside its glass case.

“Okay, let’s see,” I muttered to myself. “If that’s north, then that way is west and towards the lake. If I can make it to the lake, I should be able to get to the marina and use their phone.”

I nodded to myself, taking a deep, calming breath. This was good. Everything was going to be okay.

“I’m going to call Brianna Cranston and give her a piece of my mind. Wait, no. First, I’m going to get her to come pick me up and take me to my car, and while she’s driving me to it, then I’m going to give her a piece of my mind. She’ll be trapped then and can’t escape my wrath. Nice plan, Josie. Less walking, more righteous satisfaction.”

Brianna had been the one to talk me into this jaunt when I should have been helping Mom with the store. I knew that somewhere in those spreadsheets and invoices was the answer to our financial situation, something that would pull us up out of the hole we were spiraling into.

Apparently, I had been getting a tad bitchy with folks lately. Brianna cornered me in my small office Wednesday. Mom apparently let her slip back to harass me.

“Girl, you need to get away from the sheets of numbers and clear your head before you bite one of your worker’s—or worse, Kaylin’s head off,” she told me, crossing her arms and skewering me with an icy glare.

I scrubbed my tired eyes, glancing up at her. “I don’t have the time. We’re losing money every day and if I don’t figure out how to stop it, Mom and I are toast.”

Brianna began lecturing me, using her finger like a conductor’s baton. “Get your lazy butt out in the woods. You and your dad loved the woods and trails around here. Hell, you were a tomboy for most of your time here. Get out there, walk among the trees, and clear your mind. Maybe an acorn will fall on that head of yours and give you the idea you need!”

I had reluctantly agreed, more to get her to leave and to stop her nagging. And I had to admit … she had a point. I needed a break.

Putting my compass in the pocket of my shorts, I began walking in the right direction, only slightly limping, thanks to the blister on my heel. Normally, I’d have fixed it with some moleskin, but since I was in such a hurry to leave this morning, I neglected to pack my first aid kit.

My pack contained everything else I might need. Bear whistle, snacks, water, and dry socks. I even had a copy of Cosmo that I had filched from the beauty shop. Figured it could double as emergency toilet supplies should the need arise.

No GPS, no moleskin, a squishy blister on my heel, and still a long way from my car. The day was just a winner all the way around.

“Just you wait, Brianna, I’ve got two sweaty socks with your name written all over them!”

I chuckled evilly at the thought of taking off my boots in her car and launching an odoriferous attack. If I were lucky, she’d puke. Hey, if you can’t make your best friend puke, why are they your bestie?

While I might have thought Brianna gagging on sweaty socks would be funny, what galled me the most was that she was right.

About an hour into the hike this morning, I realized I actually felt better. The rich smell of the trees and the sounds of nature slowly eroded my stress level, lowering it to what most folks considered normal. I was bordering on darn near relaxed. Even with the blister and the evil GPS unit, I was feeling better than I had in several weeks.

“Okay, Brianna, maybe no socks this time.” Nodding to myself, I continued on down the trail.

After another thirty or so minutes of walking, I came to a ridgeline. Taking a moment, I glanced down into what appeared to be about a fifty-foot drop-off. It wasn’t a straight drop, more of a steep downhill, something you might ski on if there were snow, and if you didn’t mind rocks and trees at the end of your run. Unhooking my water bottle, I took a small sip as I drank in the panoramic view. I could just see the lake on the horizon. Clipping the water bottle back to my pack, I took a deep, refreshing breath.

“Finally, something is going my way.”

I began walking along the edge, hoping to find a way down that looked less like a blue diamond run and more like a bunny slope. I enjoyed skiing, but the lack of skis and snow put a damper on shooshing down the ledge. With my luck today, I’d fall and break an ankle.

At that exact moment, the heavens showed me that they had been paying attention to my thoughts. Just as I walked near a patch of scrub brush, a small rabbit burst out of it right at my feet, moving as if it was late for something.

Like any red-blooded girl seeing something that looks like a mouse on steroids flying at her, I screamed and high-stepped away from the impending rodent mauling that I just knew was coming my way.

Unfortunately, in my adrenaline-fueled rush to escape, I forgot about the ridgeline I had been admiring. I screamed again as I toppled over the edge. I smashed flat on my side and began tumbling end over end as the loose rocks and dirt gave way. I saw ground, sky, ground and then felt a sharp burst of pain in my leg and a punch to my stomach.

I barely had time to think, “Ow … shit,” before blackness took me.

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About The author

When he’s not writing, or working his day job, Bob spends his time helping his wife take care of their three horses, four cats and the multitude of chores one finds around the farm. When there is free time left, he enjoys playing golf, video games, and DnD with his friends on the west coast and watching their three kids grow up and explore life.