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!
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.
“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.
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.
Love and secrets are a tricky combination
For Emily, going home isn’t easy, especially when her small town never felt like home in the first place. She escaped Alma seven years ago when she went to university, but now her estranged father needs her help. At least returning means spending time with the only good thing in town—her best friend, Luke.
Luke always knew Emily needed to be free of their hometown, so he withheld his true feelings. Even though she has returned, he knows she will never stay. He tries hard to respect the boundaries of their friendship but every moment they spend together makes it harder to deny their connection. Self-control dissipates. One kiss turns into two…
But is Luke really the man Emily remembers? When Emily discovers Luke has betrayed her trust, they could lose the most precious thing of all—each other.
**This is a standalone romance with medium heat**
Release Price $2.99
Universal Link – https://books2read.com/u/3n7nPK
Canada – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08Q2YD2DC/
Luke had been strange all morning. It was weird. Up until our visit to Brodsky’s he’d been fine. His normal Luke self. He seemed to change after he’d held my hand. Maybe he’d read my thoughts when I’d looked at him. He’d always known what I was thinking, sometimes before I did and at that moment, in that store, in front of Callum, I’d thought about kissing him.
I was so stupid. Luke had never shown any interest in me other than being friends even though he was always there for me. Always. I enjoyed spending time with him more than anyone else in the world. Had he read my mind and freaked out?
Filling the kettle, I shook my head. I kept busy, getting the cups out of the overhead cupboard while I waited for the kettle to boil. My thoughts strayed to Luke’s lips, his strong arms, his hands—so much bigger than mine but so gentle, roaming across my body. I dragged my thoughts away. There was no point ruining our friendship for a kiss.
The kitchen door creaked as it opened. Luke came in, running his hand through his hair. He was nervous. What had I done? One stupid slip had led to this. Not even a kiss. A dream of a kiss.
“Need a hand?” he asked, coming over to where the cups were sitting.
“My saviour,” I said, giving him a hip bump. I wanted the old Luke back. I handed him the plate of Tim Tams and started pouring the cups of tea. He grabbed one and took it outside. I watched him leaving, longer than I should have, but damn his arse filled his shorts nicely.
Callum walked up the driveway and Emily went out to meet him. I raised my hand in greeting but stayed on the porch with Jim. I didn’t need to be in the Emily/Callum bubble. So, I stood at the railing, watching them like a creeper. As they set off Callum put his hand on the small of her back just like he’d done last week at the meeting. Touching Emily seemed so natural to him. Even when he let go, they stayed close. They walked to the end of the field looking back once. Callum said something and Emily laughed, turning her attention back to him.
I could tell she liked being with him by the way she walked with so much energy. I could feel it from where I stood. She turned into him when he spoke, gazing up into his face. My hands hurt from clutching the railing too tight. I kicked at the post, visualising Callum’s shin.
“Looks like you left your run eight years too late,” Jim said from behind me.
I clenched my jaw. I should have known better than to get my hopes up. The kiss the other day meant nothing. Just a moment in time never to be repeated. It’s what I deserved for not putting up an argument about the fake dating and then for not telling Emily about it.
Cynthia Terelst is an emerging Australian author based in regional Queensland, where the sun shines 283 days a year. She is a project officer by day and a writer by night. Cynthia’s mother introduced her to a lifelong love of reading, for which she will be forever grateful. With love for the written word instilled in her, she wrote her first picture book at the age of 8, about her lost cat, Fluffy.
Cynthia writes contemporary romance and has four books published in her Love Down Under series. She refers to her writing style as ‘heat with heart’. In her novels, she likes to share a little bit of history, some Australian scenery and a whole lotta love. Her novels do not shy away from difficult topics, as she feels that they should not be ignored.
Social Media Links
Facebook For the Love of Words FB Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/572605370313807/
Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Terelst/e/B07ZCTX8SB/
Linktree – https://linktr.ee/cynthiaterelst
M/f and F/m BDSM Erotica PLEASE NOTE==EXPLICIT
Amazon KDP – Free on Kindle Unlimited
For some people, kink is a game, a way to spice up sex by adding a hint of taboo. This book isn’t about those people.
These stories dig deeper, baring souls, exposing the heady thrill of power and surrender, intimacy and complicity. In the passionate dance of dominant and submissive, there is no tomorrow. There is only now, balanced between pleasure and pain, breathless with forbidden possibilities.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B097HJYMFC/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B097HJYMFC/
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B097HJYMFC/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B097HJYMFC/
Universal Amazon Link: https://rxe.me/HJYMFC
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The heady thrill of power and surrender, intimacy and complicity. BOUND AND BREATHLESS: PASSIONATE KINK, new #BDSM #erotica from @LisabetSarai http://bit.ly/PassionateKink
The whip feels like an extension of my body. No, that’s not right; it’s an extension of my mind. I imagine a lovely pattern of traces on his upper thighs, and they burst into being, accompanied by his cries of pain. ~ from Shades of
His hands on my body and his iron will are my only realities. It’s what I’ve craved all my life and never known. I swear I never dreamed of this – did I? He makes me wonder, as he fucks me like the slut that I am. Perhaps I’ve always
craved this kind of surrender, my dark desires hidden even from myself. ~ from Never Too Late
“I know you, Lissa. I’ve read every book you’ve written. I’ve watched you, on the street, at readings, working at your computer. You don’t want timid games. You’re afraid to admit it – I understand – but you want marks. Bruises. Blood.
You want to be tested, stretched to the breaking point and beyond.” ~ from Muse
“See how sharp it is, Becca. We want clean cuts – no jagged edges. Deep. Perfect. Beautiful.” A manic glee illumines his face now. The tender lover has vanished. The sadist has come out to play. A frisson of terror crawls up my spine. I remind myself of all the other times this man has dangled me over the edge of the precipice and still kept me safe. My fear transmutes into searing lust. ~ from Limits: A Love Story
PG-Rated – From Body Electric
“You! Come over here.” I started, my meditations interrupted by a rich, unfamiliar voice. The female crowd around Moresby had dispersed, and sure enough, he was beckoning to me.
Rude, I thought, but I obeyed him anyway.
“I don’t know you, do I?” He smiled down at me. My brief irritation at his lack of manners melted away in the heat of that smile.
“I’m Colette D’Arpignay. I just joined the Department of Languages and Literature this semester.”
“Oh, right! The Sex Professor!”
I felt the blood rising in my cheeks. “Oh dear! I didn’t realize that sobriquet had spread outside my own department.”
“Never mind. It doesn’t hurt to have a bit of a racy reputation. Makes you more interesting.” He scanned my body, not even trying to disguise his lascivious interest. “The question is, do you deserve it?”
My earlobes burned. Despite the air conditioning, sweat trickled down between my breasts. I was acutely aware of my tightened nipples, pressing against the purple jersey of my top. I couldn’t look at him.
He leaned over like a conspirator and delicately flicked one terribly obvious bud with his forefinger. A bolt of lightning sizzled through me and ignited a sudden blaze between my thighs.
“I’m willing to bet that you do deserve it,” he murmured, close to my ear.
I pulled back, stumbling on my high heels, trying to regain control. “Please, Dr. Moresby. Remember where we are.” He did not look in the least repentant. “I’d rather not talk about it.”
“Oh?” He looked at me skeptically, eyebrows raised. “I’m not sure I believe that. Anyway, call me Ryan.” He dug in his pocket and produced a slightly crumpled business card. “Here’s my card.”
I took it, unwilling but somehow unable to refuse it.
“And may I have yours, Colette?” His eyes seized mine and wouldn’t let me look away. Later I couldn’t remember their color – only their intensity.
It seemed that I was moving in dreamlike slow motion as I extracted a card from my purse and handed it to him. He nodded. “Good. It’s got both your office and your cell. We’ll talk soon.”
Dean Evans appeared, with a busty, forty-something blonde in tow. “Excuse me for interrupting, Ryan, but I must introduce you to Larissa Carter, from Biology. She just came to us from UC San Francisco.”
“Dr. Carter.” He took her hand and half-bowed. “I’m delighted to meet you.”
She looked as charmed by him as everyone else. I wondered if he’d tweak her nipples, too.
I turned to go. His hand on my arm stopped me. I was wearing long sleeves, but somehow I felt as though he was touching bare skin. “Don’t forget, Colette. I want to hear all about your research.”
“And I want to learn about yours,” I replied archly.
“Oh, you will,” he said with a strange smile, then turned the magic of his attention back to the buxom biologist.
Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website ( http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html ), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance ( http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com ), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads , Pinterest , and
Twitter . Join her VIP email list here: https://btn.ymlp.com/xgjjhmhugmgh
Touch Me, the fourth book of the Alinta Bay series comes out this weekend!
She loves the feel of his skin beneath her hands …
Lexie Marshall packs up and moves 3,000 km east with her daughter Zoe, to forget and move on. Now, all that matters is her daughter and her new job. She tries hard to stay focussed, but the sexy and extremely kind park ranger, Jesse, is not making it easy. And when her husband shows up in the small coastal town creating chaos, all she can do is hang on and trust her new friends.
After his last girlfriend walked out on him, Jesse Parker is doing just fine on his own. Until his accidental meeting with single mother Lexie, when he rescues her and her daughter from getting lost in the forest. But when her past catches up with her, he is right in the middle of it all and it might ruin his career.
Will returning to her old life be the only chance to save his career?
Lexie Marshall looked around, seeing nothing but trees. Worry crept into her mind. It’d been a while since they’d seen another soul. The old farmer on the tractor had warned them, but she’d been certain she had known the way back to the car.
“Mum, are you sure you know where you’re going?” Zoe asked.
Loosely circling her shoulders to rid herself of the kink in them, Lexie replied, “Sweetie, I’m sure we’re almost there. It can’t be far.”
“Such a stupid idea to go for a bushwalk.”
Lexie stopped and turned, looking at her daughter, undecided whether to be annoyed or feel guilty. “I thought it was a great idea. We’re stuck in that small house seven days a week with the walls closing in on us.”
Zoe met her gaze, tears shimmering in her eyes. “Not my fault we moved here.”
Massaging the temples, she took a deep breath. “I hope we’re not going through the separation discussion again. Your dad and I drifted apart. Nothing I can do about it.”
The girl lifted her shoulder in a shrug. “That didn’t mean you have to drift all the way to this godforsaken place.”
“This godforsaken place is giving me a chance to work in my profession as a lawyer during school hours only so you’re not on your own at home.”
Zoe shrugged again. “I miss my friends.”
“Well, so do I, but I am trying to do the best in a bad situation. How about we try to get out of this jungle of trees and next weekend we’ll check the real estate agent for a bigger house?”
“We had a big house in Perth—”
Lexie looked into the distance and then back at her daughter. “Look, I get it that you’re not happy with the current situation. But I’m trying my best here.” She inhaled a long breath to calm herself. “I don’t really think this is the right place to have this discussion, but maybe the right time for you to ponder about the alternatives. Perth, big house, your mother working massive hours to afford it, which would mean you’re in after care, or Alinta Bay, small house, hopefully we’ll find something bigger soon, and I can drop you off and pick you up from school, plus we will have enough money for two holidays a year.”
Without waiting for an answer, Lexie turned again, but didn’t move. Cursing under her breath, she conceded that they were lost. And it scared her. A lot.
Lexie whirled around again. “What?” But as soon as she saw her daughter’s timid look in her eyes, she apologised straight away. “I’m sorry, sweetie. But—”
Zoe shook her head. “Mum, listen,” she said just above a whisper.
Lexie focussed and followed the girl’s gaze.
“Look! A car.”
“Hallelujah,” Lexie murmured.
“Can you run?”
Hands on hips, Lexie said, “I’m old, but I’m no geriatric.”
“Well, duh, Mum. Run.”
“Wait,” she almost shouted. “We can’t just—”
“Mum, just run. You’re not wearing your glasses, are you? It’s the Park Ranger vehicle.”
Shaking her head at her own embarrassment, but also at her clever daughter, she rushed after Zoe through the forest, literally over sticks and stones. Worried about her daughter stopping a stranger’s car, Park Ranger or not, she screamed, “Wait, Zoe. Wait for me!”
Without looking back, her daughter replied, “No way I’m letting this guy drive off.”
When Lexie stopped a couple of minutes later in front of the Ranger’s truck, she placed her hands on her knees, trying to catch her breath.
“Mum got us lost.”
The Ranger came around the car and placed his hand on Lexie’s arm, “Ma’am, are you okay?”
She straightened. “I’m okay. Embarrassed, my ego dinted, and having aged by about ten years, but I’m okay.”
His deep chuckle invaded her senses with its warmth and did something to her. And it’d been a while since a man had stirred something inside her, not since … she pushed the thought of her husband away, as well as the flutter in her stomach, trying to deal with the problem at hand.
For the first time ever, both Arresting Mason and Arresting Jeremiah are on sale for $2.99 each.
This romantic suspense series features smokin’ hot sex scenes, bad boy heroes, and badass heroines who fight their own battles and keep their men on their toes.
Now is the perfect time to catch up with these books since they’re half off! Find them on sale at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple/iBooks.
Limited Time Only – May 14 to May 28, 2021
Arresting Mason (Arresting Onyx book 1)
– Their chance encounter resulted in a steamy affair, but will his former gang and a parole officer tear them apart?
Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.
Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.
When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?
Add to Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39005064-arresting-mason
Check it out on BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/books/arresting-mason-by-amber-daulton
Arresting Mason – Purchase Links
Amazon – http://amzn.to/2ppcmEJ
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Arresting Jeremiah (Arresting Onyx book 2)
When threats escalate, will Jim and Calista succumb, or fight for a love they can’t deny?
Injured Parole Officer Jeremiah “Jim” Borden never expected Calista Barlow, the sassy blonde waitress he’s craved for months, to ring his doorbell. She slips into his heart—and his bed—but he’s obsessed with a gangland investigation that threatens his career and maybe even his life.
Calista doesn’t trust easily, not with a daughter to protect and the stalker who keeps calling her. After her violent ex-boyfriend returns, she finds solace in Jim’s arms.
Jim may have to forego his need for answers to protect the ready-made family he adores, but how will he and Calista escape an unseen enemy that is always one step ahead of them?
Add to Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55223686-arresting-jeremiah
Check it out on BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/books/arresting-jeremiah-arresting-onyx-book-2-by-amber-daulton
Arresting Jeremiah – Purchase Links
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Barnes and Noble – https://bit.ly/2E4eJYO
Apple/iBooks – https://apple.co/35BOuo1
Universal link – https://books2read.com/u/mVKvMP
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.
Universal link – https://linktr.ee/AmberDaulton
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!
Check out all the other great books on the loop here!
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?
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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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.**’
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.
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.”
“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.
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.
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Book title: Love Leads the Way by Margot Johnson
Genre: Sweet contemporary romance
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?
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 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.
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.