Alana Lorens

Nothing says love like the right piece of pie #MFRWHooks

Leyla Brand has one perfect day in her life: the day she meets rock singer Arran Lake at the Bele Chere Festival in Asheville. They have so much in common, Leyla is sure they are soulmates and will have a future together.

The very next morning, when Arran receives the call to hit the big time, he vanishes into the world of California rock and roll to become an international star, leaving her behind. Only a few phone calls keep them in touch — until his phone is disconnected. After that, all she has of him is every new song that hits the charts.

Five years later, she gets a message on the Internet from an unfamiliar address. Someone wants to know if she’s the Leyla of Bele Chere. Should she open that door and discover who this might be? Who else could it be? And if it is Arran, why does he want to contact her now, after all this time? Will he just break her heart again?

This excerpt has a personal connection for me– at the time I wrote it, my daughter was working as a pastry chef at the Stable, at the Biltmore–and I included her very own strawberry and lemon custard pie in the story!!

            As the first colors of twilight painted themselves onto the clouds overhead, Leyla and Arran walked through the rose garden at the Biltmore’s botanical gardens, hand in hand. She could hardly believe this was happening. She’d hoped for a simple meeting, a conversation. Instead, he’d swept her off her feet.

            They’d lingered over a late lunch of roasted vegetable panini, followed by strawberry-and-lemon custard pie at the Stable, a casual restaurant built on the site of the former stables of the estate, the booths constructed from the wrought iron and solid wood of the old stable panels. When the staff politely eased them out at closing, they’d left the restaurant and strolled the gardens.

            She learned that he refused to wear the glasses he’d been prescribed in junior high, because he thought they made him look old; that she’d been right that he didn’t drink, since he came from a family of alcoholics; and that his fear of needles had kept him from getting the typical rock star tattoos. She shared that her mother had left just before Leyla went to kindergarten, that she’d always thought cats sucked the breath out of people while they slept, which is why she wanted a cocker spaniel puppy, and that science fiction shows had always been her favorite.

            “So you grew up fast,” Arran observed, reaching out to gently touch one of the tea roses along the walk.

            “Had to. My dad worked all the time, and I kept house, cooked, you know, all that.”

            She walked beside him, close but not touching, noting others’ glances at them. People stared. Did they recognize Arran, or was it the smile on her face, the one she couldn’t control, her delight warm and shining through?

            He laughed, but it wasn’t an amused sound, more a bond of understanding. “My parents really quit keeping track of me about the time I turned fourteen. They spent more time finding the bottom of their bottles.” He hunkered down to examine the leaves of a plant. “So it seems like we both had to grow up on our own.”

            “Well, kind of.” She didn’t feel sorry for herself. She really didn’t want him thinking she was just another loser. “I had plenty of friends, too. So I got out of the house a lot. Spent a lot of time running from reality, actually.”

             “Oh, I know. Me, too.” He grinned. “Some pretty bad years there, about age fifteen, sixteen. I’m surprised I’m still alive, actually.”

            She wondered what he’d done that was so bad. She knew her own sins. She’d bet everything in her wallet that they’d echo each other. We’ve got time to discover all our shadows. “Amazing,” was all she said.

THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, from the Wild Rose Press in ebook format–costs less than a cup of coffee. Give it a try!

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For those who like older characters… #mfrwHooks

Family law attorney Suzanne Taylor understands her clients’ problems–her own husband left her with two babies to raise alone. Now that they’re teenagers, her life is full. The last thing she wants is the romantic attentions of a police lieutenant, no matter how good-looking.

Lt. Nick Sansone is juggling the demands of a new promotion and doesn’t need complications either. But when he sends a councilman’s battered wife to Suzanne for help, he realizes he wants to connect with the lovely, prickly lawyer on more than a professional level.

They are soon confronted with a different battle when the abused woman’s husband threatens retribution. The powerful, well-connected councilman can damage both their careers–not to mention hurt those they love. Can they bend enough to admit they need each other in a time of crisis? Or will a husband’s revenge take them down before they ever get a chance?

BUY HERE: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0089PTPAO/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i7

For more information on the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyers series: https://alana-lorens.com/the-pittsburgh-lady-lawyers/

Excerpt: (from the first date)

            “You went to Pitt? My alma mater, too.”

            “Not in the same class, I’m sure.” Nick was forty-five; he’d always thought of Suzanne as at least ten years younger.

            The fingers of her left hand ran lightly over the fork, cushioned in the folded white napkin on the table. “Well, I went for law school. We wouldn’t have seen each other anyway.”

            “Probably not. It was twenty years ago, before I joined the force.”

            She looked up, surprised. “I was just finishing up. But I was sure you were older than I am.” She hesitated, bit her lip. “I just turned forty.”

            “Not so much. I’m forty-five.” There, he said it.

            He hated thinking about the passing of the years. So many of them, so many alone. An awkward silence between them preceded the arrival of the wine, as well as hot bread with the strong aroma of garlic and cheese. He uncorked the bottle with a well-practiced hand, then poured them each half a glass. He suppressed the urge to ask about her love life. “Where’d you go for undergrad?” he asked instead.

            “Penn State.” She took a sip of the wine, holding the cool edge of the glass against her lip for a moment.

            “Business major?” he guessed.

            “Oh, no! Sociology. Headed for a career involving ‘Would you like fries with that?’” She laughed. “Graduate school was pretty much a given.”

            “So you’ve been bent on saving the world all along.”

            She shrugged. “Some of it, at least.”

            He could understand the sentiment. “I believe that’s what I do, too. God knows there isn’t much other reason to be on the street some days. I want to know I’m making a difference for some man, woman

or child every time I step out on the street.”

            He waited for her to mock him, as other women had over the years. Many women wanted to date a police officer. Some found it a ticket to an “E” ride, great benefits, good pay, the opportunity for them to hang out with the girls at the outlet malls all day and get their nails done. Some, with violent men in their pasts, thought being with a cop would protect them. Some just were cop groupies, taking the thrill and excitement of the profession by proxy. But most denigrated his genuine need to serve as corny and fake.

            Suzanne didn’t poke fun. She skewered him with a dissecting gaze. After a few silent moments, she ostensibly accepted him at face value. “Did you always want to be a cop?”

            “Sure. I mean, the family history and all. Guess I never wanted to be anything else. Except an astronaut.” He grinned.

            “You? Roger Ramjet? Hard to believe.” She laughed softly, and he thought the cool distance in her eyes mellowed. Maybe he had a chance with her.

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Play time is past, time to grow up: The Ramadan Nights

They’re not kids anymore. 

Just when he starts to get his act together,  Mansur wakes to an empty bed and a crying baby. His wife leaves him with their infant on the day he starts a new job. Uneasy and alone, he looks across the street to Faiza for help. As he relies on their long friendship, desires for the sexy firefighter reawaken within him. 

Faiza can’t deny Mansur, even though she should. Her heart broke when he married another woman. She got herself together and moved on. Now, he is back in their childhood neighborhood and her life. She knows they’re just friends, but she can’t help longing for more.  

Family and culture kept them apart when young, but Mansur won’t allow interference from anyone or anything. He is determined to make Faiza more than just a friend.

The Groom is a boy-next-door romance full of passion and an alpha who proves that he is no longer a little boy. **NO cliffhanger, Guaranteed HEA.**’

Series Blurb

Fast, pray, love. 

The men of the Ramadan Nights series love their Creator and women.

Igniting passion within them is worship.

The Ramadan Nights series features four exciting and inspirational romances by bestselling and award-winning authors. Get ready to be captivated by characters as they explore the links between faith and sensuality. This vibrant series includes a spectrum of New Adult and Adult fiction, from sweet to steamy. Enjoy romance stories of second chance love, friends to lovers …

Fall in love with strong, confident alphas and heroines as they undergo tests of resolve to love and captivate each other from sunset until daybreak.

EXCERPT:

Faiza reached for the popcorn bowl before Mansur put it on the table. “Thank you.”

He smiled and sat at Beni’s feet; his little body stretched between them. “Do you want anything else?”

“What you, need more time away from the feeding frenzy?” She popped a handful of buttery goodness in her mouth, looking at the screen and him.

He sat and rested an ankle on the opposite knee. “I told you, I’ve changed. So, let’s get into your sick fixation with cannibalism.”

She scoffed. “How many times do I have to tell you? It’s not cannibalism. The Titans aren’t human, not exactly, anyway. They’re shifters. “She moved to the edge of her seat. A giant scooped up a poor townsperson, gnashing the snack between its enormous teeth. “See, that’s what happens when you don’t listen.” Her guffaws burst through the room with the next fighting scene. “Oops, Beni.” She covered her mouth and looked down at him. Barely a move. “Who am I kidding? He can sleep through anything.”

Mansur draped an arm over the back of the sofa. “That’s the truth.” He lifted one of Beni’s arm. It fell flat on the couch.

She waved a hand. “Stop that. We don’t want to take any chances. We’re only done with season one.”

“Wait, how many of these things are we supposed to watch?”

She lifted more popcorn in front of her lips. “It depends. How sorry do you feel? I think at least the first three seasons is enough penance.”

“Three?”

“It’s the weekend.”

“We have prayer.”

“We’ll make them between seasons like we did the last one. All you’re doing is proving that you’re still frightened.”

“Oh, I’m not scared. Fine, three seasons.”

She shoved the popcorn in her mouth, chest swelled with victory.

He winked. “I guess I’ll sleep here.”

That got a gasp out of her, allowing a piece of popcorn to wedge in the back of her throat. She lurched forward, coughing with no noise, grabbing the edge of the table for dear life. Bits of chewed popcorn sprayed in front of her, but the one morsel killing her stayed lodged.

“Crap, Faiza.” Mansur lifted and spun her. He wrapped his strong arms under her breasts and pulled her against him.

She clamped her hands over his hairy forearms. It would have been a turn on if she weren’t dying. The popcorn flew across the room after Mansur’s third try. Her entire belly ached, and pride sat lying on the floor next to the hunk food in a tiny pool of saliva. “Tha—thank …” She bent over, resting her hands on her knees while he stroked her back.

“Just breathe.” His soothing words clashed with a series of explosions bursting from the screen. “Are you all right?”

“Yeah.” She fell back in her seat. He sat across from her on the coffee table. “Humiliated, but fine.”

He laughed. “For real? It’s me, Mansur.”

She met his gaze. The kindness in his gray eyes drove away concerns of dying and flesh-eating giants. He was right. She shouldn’t be embarrassed, not with him. “I know it’s you. I’m glad it’s you.” She couldn’t stop staring at him. “Listen. We’ve been friends since we were babies, but lately—” A knock at the front door stopped her.

Author Bio

Lyndell Williams is an award-winning writer and bestselling author. She is a cultural critic with a background in literary criticism specializing in romance. She is an editor, writing coach and mentor. She has been published in peer-reviewed journals and writes for multiple online publications.

Author Links

Blog – https://laylawriteslove.com/ 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laylawriteslove/ 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/laylawriteslove 

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/laylawriteslove/

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWpN2YTkr9cGO9Z7-AB8xNw

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/laylawriteslove 

Amazon – http://amazon.com/author/laylawriteslove

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/abdullahpoulos/lyndell-williams-author/

Newsletter – bit.ly/lwlnewsletter   

Does attraction lead to love?

Book title: Love Leads the Way by Margot Johnson

Genre: Sweet contemporary romance

Blurb:

She coaches him in team leadership, but do they both need lessons in love?

Single mom Tessa Shore runs a successful leadership program at work and supports a mother with dementia. She can handle any challenge in her jam-packed schedule as long as nothing spins out of control…especially her feelings.

Engineer Mark Delaney is an expert on pipelines at the same company, but his interpersonal skills need a makeover. Advancing to an executive job requires enrollment in a leadership course he doesn’t think he needs.

When their professional and personal issues entangle, life at the office gets a lot more complicated. Romance is impossible…or is it?

Buy links:

LOVE LEADS THE WAY

LOVE TAKES FLIGHT

About the author:

Margot Johnson grew up in a family of writers and has always loved books and writing.

She is the author of LOVE TAKES FLIGHT and her new release LOVE LEADS THE WAY. Before turning her focus to the fun writing life, Margot held leadership roles in human resources and communications. Her motto is “Dream big and work hard.”

When not writing, she loves to connect with family and friends, volunteer with SK Writers Guild, and walk at least 10,000 steps a day (except when it’s minus 40!) She lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada with her amazing husband and beloved golden retriever.

Social media links:

Margot Johnson Author

Margot Johnson on Love Leads the Way

For many years, I worked in a busy corporate environment, and I left a leadership role in human resources and communications to focus on writing. Now instead of guiding employees, I create characters who have minds of their own!

In LOVE LEADS THE WAY, Tessa coaches Mark in leadership, but they both need lessons in love! I hope you have fun with these clashing coworkers as they discover where love leads.

The story is fiction but draws on some of my experiences at work and at home. I’d love to have lunch with Tessa and compare notes on office gossip, single parenting, family quirks, and cute golden retrievers. One key difference is I didn’t meet my handsome husband at work!

Tessa and Mark both support a mother with dementia which brings some tough but also light moments. My late dad died of complications from Alzheimer’s, so that part of the book is close to my heart. He was a journalist who always encouraged me to read and write.

My characters love dogs, and my loyal, old golden retriever, Sophie, is the inspiration for the adorable dogs in my books.

When not writing, I love to travel. One of my more unusual adventures was appearing on the TV game show Let’s Make a Deal where I almost won a car! You can often find me reading a good book for my monthly book club while munching on a large bowl of popcorn.

Excerpt:

Pacing around Crescent Park in moonlight trimmed with stars, Mark breathed fresh air and slowed his erratic heartbeats from the shock of Tessa’s invitation. Apparently, the woman who directed the class with the precision of an air-traffic controller could flex…at least, a little. She wanted to spend extra time with him, and he couldn’t refuse.

“I didn’t think we’d bump into other participants at this late hour.” She hugged tighter her windbreaker against the cool breeze. “We won’t mix business and pleasure. I’m strictly off duty, and so are you.”

“Okay, Tessa, whatever you say.” Zipping higher his jacket, he strode and sniffed moisture riding the wind. Guilt tiptoed around his collar, and he couldn’t escape the feeling this outing was a bad idea. He should avoid her, except in class, yet he accepted her invitation. But why did she break her own rule and contact him?

“If I can’t discuss work, can I ask you a personal question?” He admired her profile with pert nose tipped to the sky, breathing the fresh night air.

“I guess so since I’m the woman who persuades everyone else to dish.” She laughed and brushed a curl from her cheek.

Streetlights alternated with a full moon to light the pathway. Their footsteps crunched on gravel, and their murmured voices broke the peaceful silence.

            “Ready.” She tucked her hands in her jacket pockets.

“Is Mr. Shore waiting at home?” He winced at his forward question. No sense beating around the bush. He shouldn’t pine for someone else’s wife.

The Cursed YA series trailer reveal!

Check out the new Cursed Series trailer here!
Eternal Curse
The Cursed Series Book 1
by Kara Leigh Miller
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
When a rash of unsolved murders leaves two of Chloe’s classmates dead, she begins to suffer from disturbing hallucinations that build to the horrifying image of Trent as a murderous vampire. To make it worse, he’s cursed—no Halstead will ever know true love–and he’s desperate to find a way to break the curse. Could Chloe be the key?
Eternal Choice
The Cursed Series Book 2
Forced to move to California with her father, Chloe is once again starting over. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she has this gnawing sensation that she’s forgetting something important. And then Trent Halstead crashes back into her life, bringing with him everything she’s forgotten and the devastating news that there’s a coven of witches after her, and no one knows why.
Eternal Bond
The Cursed Series Book 3
Chloe is in a fight for her life. Literally. Held prisoner by the Rose Coven, they are desperate for her to break the curse and restore the magical balance, but Chloe adamantly refuses—until a nearly starved Jax Halstead is tossed in the room with her. Now, hanging on to her humanity might be next to impossible.
Eternal Love
The Cursed Series Book 4
Having an unbreakable bond with Jax is hard enough, but fighting it will most certainly drive her mad. Until an unlikely source offers them a solution to their problem. There’s just one catch—in order to fully break the bond, Trent’s immortal life will be linked to her mortal one. Is the promise of eternal love is enough to make Chloe risk Trent’s life?
Eternal Promise
The Cursed Series Book 5
When a mysterious rogue witch arrives in town and starts causing trouble, Chloe ends up in the hospital, and it becomes clear that the Zoya are getting desperate. But are they really the ones behind the attack?
Kara Leigh Miller is a multi-genre published author and an avid reader with eclectic tastes that range from the tame to the taboo. She currently lives in Michigan with her husband, four (of five) kids, three pit bulls, and six cats. When she’s not busy writing romance novels that leave readers swooning, she’s spending time with her family, working out, or binge watching Netflix. And sometimes, she’ll even play golf with her husband, even though she totally sucks at it.
Kindle Fire + $25 Gift Card, Swag Pack, ebook

Finding your muse

When I write I search for a model who captures what I think my hero and heroine look like. I try to capture them in the process of struggle, since the arcs of the story and scenes are so important. In this novel, Cinnamon & Sugar, published by The Wild Rose Press, the two models above are exactly how I pictured them. In the story, Alicia, is compared favorably to any number of young starlets. Humphrey when first seen disturbs Alicia s resistance, but she’ll struggle on.

BLURB: Humphrey Bertrand’s genius-level IQ can’t help him find his moral compass. His family is filled with racial conflicts and he struggles to find his own way. But he cannot let anyone drown, regardless of their skin color. Alicia Bloom, a gifted valedictorian and poet runs away from an abusive situation. While she is thankful to Humphrey for saving her life, she doesn’t want to be tied to anyone. When an attempt on her life forces them to hit the road together to stay one step ahead of a murderous maniac they wonder if their dreams of a future will be put on hold permanently.

A NOTE regarding recent events. People have told me I stole the story from the violence in D.C. I can’t write that fast. If ever you send a manuscript to a publisher you can expect a year to go by before it’s out. My story is about how love knows no boundaries.

When I was caretaking my daughter, I read to her from my draft manuscript that I have since dedicated to her. I read to keep her mind off her pain and that she might have to leave soon. I never imagined her reaction. She cried, yes, of course, it’s a tear jerker, but it was more than that. It was how she loved, lived, and taught. She, being who she was, instructed a professional writer (me), on changes she wanted (demanded). Since it was on a subject (racial hatred and brother and sisterhood) that caused her to march just like her old man did with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., she made me promise I get a ‘real’ publisher, “and, Dad can you help my boys?” I said, “yes, honey, all the royalties will go to them.” So, Lani became my third muse and first angel. The story is rated PG.

rwrichard@ymail.com

https://rwrichardnet.wordpress.com

https://romancetheguyspov.blogspot.com

A talented prince, a woman with a free heart–fire or ice?

Get off Your High Horse

Love Down Under Book 3

by Cynthia Terelst

Genre: Contemporary Royal Romance

When two opposites collide, will their differences ignite a spark or send them into turmoil?

Frankie and Sebastian live totally different lives. Lives that are entwined through polo, the sport of kings.

Frankie’s a country girl, working hard toward her dream of turning the family farm around. She needs to endure one more polo season to make that happen. She has no interest in high society or the rich, arrogant riders she has to deal with, especially Sebastian. Her heart may be softening to his charm, openness and love of working with horses, but her brain won’t be convinced. She looks forward to her summer break on the farm, away from him, until her parents decide to invite Sebastian to stay.

Sebastian descends from royalty. Rich and arrogant come with his family title. But that status is something he’d rather avoid, just like he avoids returning home to a life he doesn’t want. Sebastian sees a freedom in Frankie he wishes he had. Her life is full of love, family and horses; something he can only dream of. And her, he can dream of her. But a dream is all it will be, seeing as Frankie does her best to avoid him.

If only he can convince her to look past his title, and see that his hopes and dreams aren’t so different from hers.

Goodreads * Amazon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56239045-get-off-your-high-horse

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Get-Off-Your-High-Horse-ebook/dp/B089Y1NDN9/

Excerpt

Sebastian

“Princes have many talents I’m sure you’re not aware of.”

“Such as?” She turned to face me; her body so close I could feel her breasts pressing against my chest.

“We like to roll around under the covers as well.”

“Is that so?” Her breath brushed against my lips. Her body pushed against mine, sending electricity through me. I imagined her standing there in her lace bra and matching knickers. I wrapped one arm around her back pulling her tightly against me. The other cupped the back of her head, tangled in her pony tail. Her lips met mine and opened and I sought out her tongue. Her hands found their way around my back and held tight.

I couldn’t let her go. I wouldn’t. I’d wanted to kiss her like this for months. This was so much better than what I’d imagined. My erection pressed against her. I deepened the kiss, holding her tight. She sighed into my mouth.

I shouldn’t have kissed her. I shouldn’t have invited her down the road of misery I would soon be facing. Only one of us should have a broken heart.

About the Author

Cynthia Terelst is a project officer by day and a writer by night. She is a contemporary romance writer who likes to share a little bit of history, some Australian scenery and a whole lotta love. Cynthia does not shy away from difficult topics, as she feels that they should not be ignored.

She lives in Queensland, Australia, where the sun shines at least 283 days a year.

Website * Facebook * FB Group * Twitter * Instagram *Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Author Links

Website: http://cynthiaterelst.com
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/cynthiaterelstauthor

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/572605370313807

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CynthiaTerelst

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

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cynthia-terelst 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Terelst/e/B07ZCTX8SB

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19874340.Cynthia_Terelst

Giveaway

$20 Amazon

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

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The best Christmas gift: someone to hold

Harmony’s Embrace

Series: Deerbourne Inn

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Release Date: November 16th, 2020

ASIN: B08L73TB9C

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Length: 40k

Heat Rating: 3 Flames

Reuniting with the man who broke her heart has never felt so right.

Divorced dad Birley Haynes is too busy raising his children and running his family’s music academy to start a relationship. Then Harmony Holdich, his high school sweetheart, returns home to Willow Springs, Vermont for Christmas and falls into his bed. She brings light and fun back into his life, but he can’t brush aside the threatening incidents around his workplace.

Harmony hadn’t expected a complication like Birley, especially so soon after the death of her unfaithful husband. With her life a mess, she plans to move across the country and start over. All she can offer him is a fling, but her heart yearns for more.

When the threats rise, how will Birley keep his children safe and convince Harmony to give love another chance?

EXCERPT:

Dear God. His heart slammed harder. He’d died and gone to Heaven.

Harmony stretched her arms above her head and danced in the middle of the living room. Her hips pulsated with the beat of the music. Twisty locks of her hair bounced around her shoulders. She winked, then glided her hands across her breasts and stomach, daring his gaze to follow.

Birley licked his lips. The organ pressing against his zipper throbbed. Sweat slicked his nape. He dropped his scarf beside her purse, jacket, and beanie on the coffee table.

“Dance with me?”

Her husky entreaty ricocheted through him like a ping-pong ball. How could he deny her? He gripped her waist. She slid her arms around him. They swayed, their bodies a scant inch apart. She nuzzled his neck, her breath fanning his skin. His hair prickled. The air crackled around them. He shuddered and held her tighter.

“I’ve missed this.”

His chest heaved. He struggled to fill his lungs with air. “Dancing?”

“Dancing with you.” Harmony stroked his clean-shaven jaw. “I’m sorry things didn’t work out with you and Susannah, but I wouldn’t trade this moment for anything.”

Oh, God. He kissed her and swept his tongue past her parting lips. Delicious. The taste of chocolate and wine clung to her breath. He nibbled and licked the smooth slope of her neck.

“Birley, yes.” She ducked her head and claimed his mouth with hers. Then she feathered kisses across his face. “I need your hands, your mouth, your scent all over me. Take me, Birley. Hard, soft, I don’t care.”

Fuck. Her breathy plea wrapped around his heart and shot blood to his groin. She eased back, drawing him with her. The wall halted her retreat, and he trapped her between it and his body. Their tongues dueled and teeth clanked. Heat sizzled through his veins and pulsed through every organ. Her body writhed against his. Was she trying to drive him mad? He snapped open the fasteners of her pants and slid his finger beneath the waistband of her insulated leggings. Silk brushed his skin, then he slipped into her warmth.

Add to Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55691564-harmony-s-embrace

Check it out on BookBubhttps://www.bookbub.com/books/harmony-s-embrace-deerbourne-inn-by-amber-daulton

Purchase Links

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Harmonys-Embrace-Deerbourne-Amber-Daulton-ebook/dp/B08L73TB9C/

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/harmonys-embrace-amber-daulton/1137951572

Apple/iBooks – https://books.apple.com/us/book/harmonys-embrace/id1539081673

Universal link – https://books2read.com/u/bPX6kR

Now Taking Sign Ups for my Newsletter, Amber Daulton Romance

https://emailoctopus.com/lists/9d60a166-f2ea-11ea-a3d0-06b4694bee2a/forms/subscribe

About the Author

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

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

Social Media Links

Website – https://amberdaulton.wordpress.com/

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/amber.daulton.author

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AmberDaulton1

Pinterest – https://pinterest.com/amberdaulton5/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624921.Amber_Daulton

Amazon Author Page – https://amzn.to/14JoZff

Book Bub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/amber-daulton

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/amberdaultonauthor1/

More from the scary world of Stephen B. King

One thing about Glimpse 4 I think readers will find interesting:

A character named Jolly appears in Glimpse, the Tender Killer as the evil alter-ego of the schizophrenic serial killer, Bobby Cornhill, whom the media nickname, The Biblical Killer, because of the religious quotes written in blood on the victim’s walls. I received a lot of emails from readers demanding not only to bring him back, but asking the question, was Jolly a real entity or just a figment of Cornhill’s very troubled mind. While I loved creating this character, I was stunned that readers wanted more, and in Glimpse, the Angel Shot, Jolly features a lot more. This time one of the main protagonists, Rick McCoy sees, and talks to Jolly. The question again is: Is Jolly real, or is Rick slowly going insane?

Who is Jolly?

I am genuinely staggered by the number of readers who wanted to know more about my character, Jolly. I wanted the reader to wonder, is Jolly real, or just a figment of a very troubled mind? And boy, did they.

I loved Jolly, and felt I was crossing the border into the supernatural, as if I was writing like my more famous namesake. I put a lot of effort into making Jolly feel real to not only the murderer, but make the reader ask that question, is he somehow real and chooses who he appears to?

I had so many requests, when I sat down to write Book 4, The Angel Shot, I knew I had to bring Jolly back, and, I did with a vengeance. The hairs on the back of my neck still tingle when I read about Jolly, and I know what happens next! I hope those readers who wanted to see him again are satisfied, and they can finally decide if he is just imaginary, or somehow, a sentient character who chooses who he will appear to, and influence. How could he appear to Bobby and make him murder liars in an internet chat room, yet confront Rick McCoy and offer a lifeline to save Juliet, his wife? And, then, when Jolly appears to Juliet and offers a way to find solace, and help to keep her sanity, is he helping, or hindering her recovery?

Suffice to say, my beta readers, my editor and narrator, enjoy the juxtaposition that Jolly creates. While Rick worries, he is losing his mind, supposedly, all Jolly wants to do is save his wife’s sanity, and life.

Could such a thing actually happen? As Pat says to Rick when he finally admits to her he is seeing Jolly: “We all need help at different times in our lives, sometimes more than others. Often, speaking about what is inside us helps our fears and anxieties dissipate by bringing them into the open and letting you examine them in the cold light of day. I can see Jolly seems real to you, which of course, he would, wouldn’t he? If it weren’t so real, you’d shrug it off and laugh. A psychosis, no matter how severe, is always real to the person experiencing it. It should never be shrugged off, laughed at, or ignored for that matter. You’ve been under more stress than anyone should have to bear, I’d be amazed if you didn’t come through it without some, shall we say, quirks. It doesn’t mean you’re mad or need locking up or can’t function as you are. But I think the first step for you is to understand why this is happening. Guilt is one of the most powerful motivators there is, and I think once you accept that, work with it instead of trying to fight it, you will see Jolly less and less.”

Will Jolly appear in a future story?

Hmm, I am honestly not sure. From my perspective, he is a wonderful, rich character to write for. Intelligent, deep, and he keeps quoting the bible to suit any given situation. So, maybe he will. I’m not saying Jolly is appearing to me, but I sometimes, in the still of the night, hear him whispering to: “Stephen, bring me back…”

One thing about me readers may find interesting:

I am fascinated by how the human mind can fracture and have a tremendous respect for psychologists, and psychiatrists who try to help patients put the pieces back together. A good friend, and his wife are both prominent psychologists, and my daughter has degrees in criminal psychology and justice. I often wish I had studied the subject myself, but at that age I was far more interested in rock music, free love, illegal substances, and telling stories. The Glimpse series is named that because in each book I try to offer the reader a look into the killer’s mind set, and offer an answer to the question most people want answering; why.

Glimpse, the Dinner Guest

Amazon buy link: https://amzn.to/3m1RaA8

I have been asked many times, will there be more Glimpse stories?

During writing Glimpse, The Angel Shot, I believed it was to be a standalone story, and a finale for my characters, Rick, Pat, and Juliet. But, I am frequently reminded of the James Bond quote, “Never say never!”

In fact, there is now a Glimpse 5, called Glimpse, The Dinner Guest, released 13th of November 2020. This is a special project I was invited to submit a story to, and I was humbled to be selected. Me? an ego? Nah, surely not.

The rules seemed simple and interesting enough. 13 authors each publishing a dark thriller, of only 13000 words. It must feature a broken mirror, and use the words, Friday the 13th. I jumped at the chance to make my favorite all time character, Patricia Holmes take a starring role in a scary, stand-alone story, without her protector Rick McCoy to ensure she doesn’t get hurt again.

Here is the blurb:

Detective Sargent and clinical psychologist, Patricia Holmes, has been invited to a murder mystery dinner party at a small luxury hotel located in Western Australia. The dinner is a reunion party for the psychologists and psychiatrists who work at Perth’s largest mental hospital, which treats the criminally insane.

But there is an uninvited guest–a former patient who is hungry for revenge. In fact, he is ravenous. He will stop at nothing until he murders the doctor who gave him painful, electroconvulsive therapy.

Detective Sargent Holmes must stop a frenzied killer on a vicious spree—but can she save the other guests, or will she be the last one left alive?

Here is a short excerpt:

Pat knocked on the door of number ten and hoped she had caught Ruth before she went downstairs to the bar. From inside, she heard a muffled woman’s voice. “Can you get that, Tony,” The next moment, the door was yanked open, and a tall distinguished looking man wearing a tuxedo performed a double take when he saw her.

“Jesus Christ, are you all right?” he said with concern in his voice, and Pat realized the effect her slashed and bloody top had on him.

Pat gave a small laugh, which, when she glanced again at his face, grew louder, and threatened to become hysterical. “I’m fine, thank you. Dress scary, the invite said, so I did. I’ve got to say; your tuxedo isn’t scary at all. I’m Patricia Holmes and would like to have a few words with Ruth, if I can, before festivities get underway.”

He grinned and stepped back, beckoning with his head for her to enter. “Yeah, we don’t do fancy dress-ups, sorry. We’re far too dull in our old age. Come in. Ruth is applying her make up with a trowel. I’m Tony. I don’t think we’ve met?”

“Thanks, Tony, please call me Pat, everyone does. I left Graylands quite a while ago now, and even when I was there, I was only part-time. I consulted to the criminally insane, the lifers, worst of the worst. By all means, call me morbid. These days, I’m with the police.”

He pointed to the chair by the desk for her to sit then turned his head to the bathroom. “Hon, it’s Patricia Holmes. She wants a word with you before we go downstairs. Do you want me to hang around, or can I go down and mingle?”

Ruth Hawthorne stuck her head around the doorway with a lipstick clutched in her right hand. “Hello, Pat, bloody long time no see, how are you doing?” She turned her glance to her husband, “You can leave us girls. We can go down together. Is that all right, Pat? My God, I love your outfit.”

“Thanks, Ruth. I thought I’d have a bit of fun. Going down together works for me. I need a private chat anyway…”

“Sounds ominous. You get off, Tony. Pat joined the dark side and is with the police now, but I don’t think she is here to arrest me.”

Pat shook her head and smiled as Ruth disappeared back into the bathroom. Pat sat down on the seat to wait, and Tony acted like most people do around detectives; nervous and in a hurry to get away.

“Righto, see you downstairs. Nice to meet you, Mrs. Holmes.” He scampered out the door quickly, eager to either get away from her, find a strong drink, or both.

My crazy world of irony:

I love some of the ironies and humor, I created in this short story. Pat, who used to consult with murderers attends a murder mystery dinner, dressed as a murder victim and is the only police officer in the remote location to try to stop a murderer kill all the attendees. I found it funny to write that she is the only guest to use fancy dress as the invite instructed her to do. This once happened to me, many moons ago when I dressed up as Count Dracula, but the other fifty or so guests at the party wore ‘normal’ clothes. I felt like an idiot all night, though I did meet a woman who became a playmate for a while…She thought I was interesting.

In Glimpse 4, Patricia was shocked to learn that most of the other detectives in the Major Crime squad don’t want to partner her because she had been badly injured in two previous cases. In Glimpse 5, she must face a man suffering extreme paranoid schizophrenia, intent on ridding the word of as many psychologists as he can, and Pat is a psychologist.

Why a short story in the Glimpse series?

I am reminded of the adage, less is more, and for writers, that means the less you say, the more impact it can have. So, the challenge for me was only writing 13000 words featuring a character I love writing for, when sometimes I could just write, and write and write… Then, before I know it, I’m approaching 100,000 novel limit. When I read through The Dinner Guest, as I have so many times now, I realize just how much I was able to say, with so few words, and I am thrilled with the result. I am tempted to perhaps write a few more short stories, or novellas for Pat, and Rick, in their own anthology. We shall see how Book 5 is received, and if there is a demand from my loyal reader.

Well, as I said earlier, never say never.

Taking on a serial killer

This week I’ll be featuring new stories from Australian author Stephen B. King. HEADS UP: They do tell stories with murder, rape and other subjects which would not always sit well with my usual heroines, but I know some people enjoy crime stories, and we want to appeal to everyone!

Glimpse, the Angel Shot

Book 4 in The Deadly Glimpses Series.

Amazon buy link: https://amzn.to/3n70Fif

Blurb:

Seven women have disappeared from bars only to be found murdered after asking for an Angel Shot. Detective Rick McCoy is handed the case after returning from leave following his wife’s horrific ordeal at the hands of the serial killer, PPP.

Criminal psychologist Patricia Holmes lost her husband to the same killer and when her current partner makes her life miserable she jumps at the chance to work with Rick again. When they determine a man currently jailed for the crimes could not have committed them the mystery deepens.

But that is the least of Rick’s worries. An imaginary alter ego appears warning him his wife is suicidal. Will they be able to solve the riddle of the Angel Shot before another victim loses her life and save his wife from taking hers? 

Two favorite passages:

“You have been busy, haven’t you? Thanks for interceding on my behalf. The thing is, I’ve been thinking of giving everything up and going back to lecturing. Besides, I won’t work with Pepperdick again, and apparently, all the other sergeants think I’m a liability and won’t partner with me.” She took another drink and looked back out of the window, blinking rapidly.

“Pat, you know as well as I do most cops are a superstitious lot. All you need is one more good investigation, one where you don’t get shot or stabbed, and there would be a long line of guys who would want you as their partner. Do you think if you had another chance, you could get through a whole case and not get wounded or slap your boss?”

She had been swallowing and choked as she laughed at his humor. “Depending who my boss would be, I could try,” she offered when she recovered, then turned her serious gaze on Rick’s.

****

“Yep. So, show me what you’ve got. Let’s say Brandon is not our killer. Have you got enough to profile who is?”

Pat made a pantomime of patting her pockets and looking around her, including under her chair. “What are you doing, Pat?” he asked, though he suspected what her answer would be.

“Oh, I was just looking for my magic wand; I thought I left it lying around here somewhere.”

They both laughed for a moment, and Rick’s heart swelled. They fitted together so perfectly. He shrugged, forcing the feelings down, which he had been doing with Pat for a long time.

“I don’t have much, Rick, but here are some thoughts.” She paused, composing her ideas. “People generally think rape is about having sex, yet we know often it’s not. That is the result, yes, but the cause is more about control, or even to some extent, sadism. Sometimes the rapist cannot achieve orgasm, which makes him more violent, so, we can postulate sex may not be a motivating factor; cruelty is. So, that’s the first point to consider. Second, not only was Ingrid Stapleton brutalized, but then strangled. Strangulation is a very hard, upfront, and personal way of murdering someone. Sometimes we see it in a case of domestic violence, where the killer is angry with someone else to the point of losing control. So, we can draw from that the man was angry with Ingrid, but why? On the face of it, Brandon O’Toole fits that description, he was rejected by her, and that could cause uncontrollable rage, rage enough to strangle, yes, but, in that case, not rape, do you see what I mean?”

Rick nodded slowly. “Yes, I think I do. If we are assuming O’Toole didn’t take Ingrid, then maybe the killer watched her in the bar, perhaps witnessed Ingrid’s altercation with O’Toole, and tried to rescue her. Possibly, he comforted Ingrid after O’Toole left and because he fancied her that could explain the Rohypnol and subsequent sexual assault. But why kill her by strangulation?”

Her brown-eyed gaze bored into his. “Rick, I think we are looking for someone in part with severe issues of anger and hatred toward women, yet in another way, he has a natural desire for them too. He couldn’t let her go because she would identify him. This man could have some sort of dissociative disorder, or dare I say even possible multiple disorder syndrome, and if that’s the case….”

“He’s killed before, or after. Jesus, Pat, you’re saying this could be a serial killer who got away with murder?”

****

Why did you write a Glimpse 4, wasn’t it meant to be a trilogy?

Well, yes, originally this was to be THREE deadly glimpses. I wanted to tell a story of inappropriate workplace desires and the effect on four people during three murder investigations of three different serial killers. I think in the same way good actors like a mini-series to be able to really portray a character, I wanted three books to tell the story with all the nuances two married people would feel who were attracted to each other. I believe I did tell that tale to the best of my ability, but after book 3, Glimpse, The Tender Killer was published, a groundswell of public and reader opinion made itself known by way of emails…..It seemed my readers, including my narrator, and editor wanted to know what happened to my characters next. Quite frankly, I was stunned by the response

I was genuinely flattered, but as a writer, I had ‘moved on’ and had other projects I was working on such as Winter at the Light, and a full re-write of Domin8, yet the calls for more continued. I truthfully never expected that, and was deeply moved that my characters struck such a chord with readers. But, still the ethos of the Glimpse series was to take the reader inside the minds of three separate serial killers and show why they were the they were, so to create a fourth instalment would require another killer, and that wasn’t so easy to do.

I am deeply fascinated by all things psychology, and in particular, what circumstances create the triggers which cause some people’s minds to fracture and create a serial killer. In Glimpse, The Angel Shot I use 3 quotes from one of America’s worst serial murderers, Ted Bundy, to give an indication how these types of people think:

“Murder is not about lust, and it’s not about violence. It’s about possession.”

“We serial killers are your sons; we are your husbands, we are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow.”

“What’s one less person on the face of the earth, anyway?”

For me, this is not only some of the most chilling words I have ever read, but deeply, and yes morbidly, interesting. So, for me to create another serial murderer for Patricia Holmes to profile, wasn’t easy, and it took some time to come up with the answer. My wife inadvertently came to my rescue when we were out one night at a social function and she said to me when she returned to the table, “You’ll never guess what is written on the back of the lady’s toilet door.” I looked up and joked, “Jeez, I hope it’s not my phone number advertising for a good time.”

Obviously, she is used to my warped sense of humor, and gave me a withering stare, until I asked her, “No, darling, what is on the back of the door?”

Her answer was like a bolt of lightning hitting me, and my two all-time favorite words came to mind: “What if…”

My loving wife gave me all I needed to create a man so troubled by his dysfunctional marriage he wants to rape and murder vulnerable women when they asked for help to be rescued from a troublesome date.

STAY TUNED—THE SECOND HALF OF THIS STORY WILL APPEAR HERE ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, for the release of Glimpse 5, called Glimpse, The Dinner Guest!!!!