Guest Post. New release – Last Chance at Love by jj Keller.

I am thrilled today to have jj Keller as my guest with her brand new release

Last Chance at Love.

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When Alyson McLeod returns to Jove, she never expects her high school sweetheart to knock on her front door. Sam’s arrival stirs memories she thought she’d banished long ago and awakens a fiery need no other man has been able to conjure.

The phoenix tattoo on Sam Crown’s arm immortalizes the woman he loved—and lost—long ago. Alyson’s return should excite him, but instead, she awakens a guilt he’s not sure even love can overcome.

Can these star-crossed lovers finally find happiness or will a wicked matchmaker’s antics keep them apart forever?

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EXCERPT:

Alyson swung her attention from her laptop to the handyman bent over the kitchen cabinet. Chris’ powerful, flawless arms enabled him to wield the screw gun like a pro, and durr, durr, durr added a pleasant melody to the room.

The maple cabinets had been an impulse purchase, but she rather liked how the lighter color made the space appear larger. A bonus to having her kitchen updated, Chris modeled the hero in her current book. His white T-shirt pulled taut across his broad shoulders as he stretched to secure a bolt from a toolbox a foot away.

Jeans sheathed his tight, perfectly formed rear. His thick thighs enabled Chris to lift heavy pieces of lumber while her hero’s enabled him to hold the heroine against the wall during a hot, sexy, clandestine encounter. Chris’ dark blond hair, styled in a buzz cut, accentuated his sharp cheekbones and granite jawline. Her hero had light brown hair that touched the tips of his ears. However, the cheekbones and stubborn jaw…the same.

In a lot of ways, Chris reminded her of Sam Crown, her boyfriend at Chilton Academy nearly thirty years ago. Sam had been the love of her life, the man who’d created a cancer in her heart no other man had been able to cure. Returning to her hometown had stirred memories of their ill-fated romance, and she’d embedded some of those details into her book. In doing so, in giving fictitious-Sam and fictitious-her a happy ending, maybe she could finally eradicate him from her thoughts.

She scooted her chair away from the dining table and evaluated the renovations. The noise and scenery inspired her. She wouldn’t leave the area despite the strong odors of glue and dust. She had to think of another job to keep her handyman on site after the current project ended on Friday. At least long enough for her to write twenty thousand more words. She hated the thought of her “hero” leaving before her book was finished.

The whirring of the motorized tool ended, and wood particles flew into her nostrils. A couple sneezes had her frantically searching for the napkin she’d left amongst the clutter on the table.

“Ms. McLeod?” Chris’ resonant voice matched his six-and-a-half-foot frame. The scent of man-sweat radiated from him, so unlike anything she’d become accustomed to over the course of her marriage. Jasper, her ex-husband, was the type of man to hire people to shift a piece of paper from one side of the desk to the other, so she’d rarely seen him perspire. Not even after he’d played polo, but he’d sure been sweaty when she’d found him naked in their marital bed with his assistant.

She looked away from the carpenter’s sculpted upper torso, and he chuckled, his tools clanking and tingling. Oops. She hadn’t looked away quickly enough.

She lowered her gaze to the keyboard. “Yes, I’m sorry, Mr.—”

“Please, call me Chris.” He nodded to her laptop. “How’s the book coming?”

She glanced into his eyes. The blue-grays were so reminiscent of Sam’s. She had to get a grip on her overactive imagination. Would she see Sam’s face in everyone, all over town? One of her high school friends had told her Sam moved away, hadn’t been seen since the funeral.

“Ma’am?”

“Sorry. Great. Good. The best one yet.”

Chris looped a thumb through a hanging hoop on his leather utility belt. “I’ll have a substitute here tomorrow. My son has a doctor’s appointment, and I need to check on another project. Sam will manage the installation of the countertop. It’s a simple task. He’ll arrive around ten in the morning.”

“No problem.” Good God, even her old flame’s name came into play.

“The sub’s my dad.” At the mention of his father, pride splashed across his roughened features. “He’s a professor.”

“Architecture or construction?”

“He’s a math professor at West Indiana State University. He’s been teaching a reduced load of classes this semester and going stir crazy with nothing to do. This project came at the perfect time.”

She wanted to jot down notes about mannerisms. Some of his phrasing was priceless. She lifted scattered papers and searched for an ink pen. Finding one, she slid a glance at him, put ballpoint to notepad and quickly scribbled to get the ink to infuse.

“I understand that happens,” she mumbled. “Maybe he needs a hobby?”

Wiping his hands on a red, thin square towel, he smiled and showed off his pearly whites. “Oh yeah, a hobby would be good.” He pointed to her computer, the cloth waving like a banner. “Is that the type of book you write? Hobbies?”

Heat infused her cheeks. She’d just finished a sex scene for the vamp character. Nope, not a book about typical hobbies. “Not exactly. I—”

The ding of a cellphone sounded and a light shone through his jeans pocket. He dug the phone out and glanced at it. “Excuse me. I need to take this.”

The younger man swiped a finger across the screen, and after a few mumbled comments, glanced at her as he took a few steps into the corridor. He wouldn’t have privacy in the Echo Wall hallway.

Alyson put the pad of paper in front of her keyboard and focused on the computer screen.

“Dad, Mrs. Clydesdale called and said you ditched her.” He paused.

She leaned forward, wanting to know more. Might be useful information for her book.

“Yes, she does look like her name, but you can’t keep dating women one time and…” Chris exhaled. “No, I don’t want to hear about that aspect of your life. I know. I’ll meet you at the usual place. Someday maybe we could meet at a coffee shop instead. Yeah, I miss her too. I’ll be on time.”

Alyson choked back a chuckle and lowered her laptop’s screen. In her own style of shorthand, she jotted notes. Busy trying to catch up from the previous interaction, she failed to hear more of the conversation. Usually, she couldn’t care less about other people’s phone discussions, but for some reason, the dialogue between Chris and his father had piqued her interest.

“Time to leave?” she asked when he returned.

“Yeah, something came up with my dad.” He tucked his phone back inside his pocket.

She smiled, hoping to reassure him she hadn’t overheard his conversation, at least not all of it. “I understand about complicated families.”

He nodded. “Oh, I forgot you’re a widow too, so you understand. Even after a year and a half my father’s adapting. He and my mother were really tight.” Chris packed up his tools. He slid screwdrivers into the loops of his utility belt and plunked heavier items into the metal toolbox.

She didn’t want to correct him about her single status. Perhaps her brother, Grayson, had declared her a widow. He’d arranged the construction company. Maybe Grayson didn’t want his friends to find out she’d left her husband. Divorcees had their own set of barriers and stigmas.

She dreaded the questions, the ones her friends would ask. From her experience, people were either predominately nosy or, the polar opposite, caring.

Chris looked barely twenty years of age, too young to lose a parent. Then again, maybe his parents had him later in life.

He returned to the table. Tools were no longer distributed throughout the kitchen. A sudden sense of loss snatched the warmth from her.

She slid the notepad forward. “I’m sorry about your mother. How did she pass?”

Chris hoisted his toolkit. “Cancer. She was an amazing woman.” His cell phone dinged. “Dad—Sam—will be here tomorrow around ten to do prep work and accept the delivery of the countertops.” He nodded toward the panel truck in the driveway, visible through the kitchen window. On the side, “Stiles Construction and Remodeling” was written in bold black letters over a sun rising on a blue sky. A ladder sat on top. “But we’ve remodeled a couple of kitchens, so he has skills.”

“Okay, thanks. I look forward to meeting Sam.” She stood, wishing she’d made more notes about the way Chris talked, some of the charming language he’d used and his magnificent facial expressions, but she always had next time.

* * * * *

The next day, Alyson tossed clothing on her king-sized bed. She’d collected a lot of designer eveningwear during her ten years of marriage. She selected a dress for the upcoming Wish Upon a Star charity event but added most of her gowns to the donation pile. She probably wouldn’t use formal attire as often now that Jasper was no longer dragging her to one black-tie affair after another.

With a smaller closet, she should have thinned out the older garments before moving back to Indiana. She’d donate the unused clothing to a local woman’s shelter. From the height of the pile, she’d need a truck to transport them. Most of the dresses could be converted into casual wear or business attire if their new owners were so inclined.

Dressed in her camisole and panties, she tried on summer outfits to determine if she needed new sizes. She didn’t want to think her hips had expanded or back fat had appeared. As a realist, she understood changes occurred in a woman’s body as she aged, but she didn’t want to admit she couldn’t keep a husband or that she’d gained weight in all the wrong places.

A knock sounded on the front door.

She glanced at the oversized medallion clock. Nine. Chris’ dad wasn’t due to arrive for another hour.

Her sleek emerald robe hung off the edge of a beige barrel table. She grabbed it and slid her arms into the sleeves as she scurried down the hallway and into the dining room. She bypassed the security panel and eased the white plantation shutter open to peer outside.

Her heart thudded to a stop. “Sam,” she whispered, not truly believing what she was seeing.

The man on the porch was Sam. Her Sam. The love she’d never been able to forget. The one who’d broken her heart over two decades earlier.
http://www.jj-keller.com
Fantasies with spice and humor.

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Last Chance at Love 1st October 2015

The Valkyrie and the Marine, Pippa’s Rescue, Memory of Love &
Trade Agreement, LASR Best Book, Prop in the movie RED. www.thewildrosepress.com print and eprint.
All rights reserved.

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The Hardest Love – Liza O’Connor

Today you can find my Marked for Magic tour at

http://www.arecafe.com/cafe-news/daisy-banks-marked-for-magic/

and to keep you entertained here, I welcome the lovely Liza O’Connor

with her newest book  The Hardest Love showcased on her latest blog tour. Enjoy.

The Hardest Love Tour Banner

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X3V45MW/

Meet today’s bionic man. In my story, Sam has always blamed himself for his army buddy’s loss of his legs in Iraq. When Carlos returned to the U.S. and entered a Veteran’s Hospital, they claimed he lacked sufficient leg mass to get prosthetic legs and he would have to live the rest of his life in a wheel chair. Thus, Carlos begged Sam to bring him a gun so he could end his life. Sam refused, but the request sent him spiraling down with guilt and remorse. When Trent gave Mars half his multi-billions and the grand Long Island Estate, Mars turned it into a recovery Sanctuary for Vets, to heal both their physical and mental wounds. To save Carlos, he bought him the most advanced bionic legs that presently exist. At first, Carlos refused to use them, still focused on ending his life. But with a change of therapists he not only regained his ability to walk and run, but he also found love again. Want to see how impressive bionics are becoming:

https://youtu.be/CDsNZJTWw0w

In real life, the prosthetics most of our vets receive are far from state of art. Presently on Dancing with the Star is the hunkiest, cutest army Vet who returned without an arm and most of one leg missing from an IED explosion. At one point Dancing with the Stars tried to fit him with a bionic arm, but Noah has come to terms with his current limitations and was not comfortable adding an arm, so he refused it. Also his prosthetic leg does not bend at the knee, which an advance bionic would. However, learning to use advanced prosthetics and how to fox trot in the same week seems beyond reasonable. By remaining with the standard equipment, he also is an inspiration to other soldiers that an injured soldier can still be all they can even if they don’t get the most advanced bionics.

https://youtu.be/0gEuyjP7z6Q

The Hardest Love (400x640)The Hardest Love

A Long Road to Love Series By Liza O’Connor

BLURB

THE HARDEST LOVE IS TO LOVE YOURSELF. Sam has a new theory as to why his relationships with women never work. The problem is he’s constantly falling in love with women that he rescues from serious situations. He reasonably believes saving one from great harm should result not only in good sex afterwards, but never ending gratitude. But it hasn’t been working out that way. Sam’s conclusion: damsels in distress are incredibly ungrateful. So he decides the next woman he gets involved with will not require rescue. She will be strong and self-reliant. Only problem: he’s never met a woman like that. They do exist Sam. They really do. And just maybe, she’ll just rescue you instead.

EXCERPT Motioning him forward, Mars made it clear he wanted Sam to enter first. Damn. He took a moment to prepare himself for an onslaught of guilt and pain. He wished Aggie was with him, because seeing what he’d done to Carlos always tore him up inside. “Enter!” the same man yelled again, then opened the door. Upon seeing Sam, he smiled and opened the door wider. Across the room stood Carlos, grinning from ear to ear. Sam didn’t know which shocked him the most. Carlos smiling or Carlos standing on feet he no longer had. Since Sam remained frozen in stunned confusion, his war buddy moved toward him in an easy stride and hugged him tightly. “God, it’s good to see you!” Finally, he broke through his stupor and hugged his friend back. “Carlos! Look at you! You’re happy!” Carlos laughed and then smiled past him to the guy who had opened the door. “Happier than I’ve ever been in my whole life.” He pulled up a trouser leg to expose what looked to be real legs in black spandex with silver ankles and grippy treads for feet. “I got these a few weeks ago, and every day I get better at walking. Yesterday, I managed to walk the rose garden, which, in case you’ve never noticed, is lumpy as hell. I started out with a walker but by the end of the day, I could do it on my own.” He pointed to a picture of Trent hanging on his wall. “All because your brother gave Mars this place and the money to buy my expensive legs.” His words hit Sam hard. While Mars had done great things with his share of Trent’s largess, he’d done nothing worthwhile with his half. “Well, anytime they invent a better model, let me know, because the next pair is on me.”

BUY LINKS Released May 5, 2015 A Long Road to Love The Hardest Love Amazon Book Five

Other books in the A Long Road to Love series

Book One Worst Week Ever Amazon “Love this book and couldn’t stop laughing from beginning to end.” 5 stars – Alves – Amazon

Book Two Oh Stupid Heart Amazon “Be warned though, this book is completely different from The Worst Week Ever. Yes, there is still humor, dry wit, situations that you would think…NOT AGAIN but this one humanizes Trent more.” 5 stars – Brian’s Mom – Amazon

Book Three Coming to Reason Amazon Once again, Ms. O’Connor has written a brilliant book about the complexities of relationships, good and bad. Again, to me, the book is the best break up book EVER and it left my heart singing in the end. Best.Book.Ever…

Book Four Climbing out of Hell Amazon “In typical @Liza0Connor fashion, crazy things happen which make you laugh outloud.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Liza O’Connor Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LIZA O’CONNOR & UPCOMING BOOKS:

Liza’s Blog and Website Facebook Twitter

Tuesday Treat. In His Corner: First Encounter by Vina Arno

nice strawberry ladyWelcome to Tuesday Treat and this week’s treat is a guest post from Vina Arno with her debut novel In His Corner, due out on the 14th of April. Welcome Vina.

In His Corner: First Encounter
In Vina Arno’s debut romance, In His Corner, Tommy Raines and Siena Carr first meet each other in the ER—the most unlikely place for romance.
He’s a 22-year-old Olympic gold-medalist boxer known as the Juggernaut, who gets hurt during sparring. Dr. Carr stitches up his cut, but also steals his heart in the process.
They are unprepared for each other. He’s focused on training for a million-dollar fight, his first as a pro, while she’s fresh from a breakup with her longtime boyfriend. Their memorable first encounter leads to a tumultuous romance.

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Click the cover to pre-order.

Book Excerpt

Here is an excerpt from the first chapter, when they first meet each other:
Dr. Siena Carr dropped the clipboard on the counter and washed her hands. When she turned around, she gasped. “What are you doing?”
The Juggernaut was undressing. Before she could say another word, he was naked. A glorious sight that sent her heart racing and her face burning. Did he know that he looked like a sculpture by Michelangelo? Except for the tattoo on his right shoulder, this man was David incarnate.
She looked away abruptly, grabbing the clipboard. She didn’t even know his name! She looked at his paperwork. Tommy Raines. “Mr. Raines, please put on your clothes.”
She continued scanning his form. Occupation: boxer. Age: twenty-two. Weight: 160 pounds. Height: six feet. Blood type: O positive. No pre-existing health conditions. His temperature and blood pressure were normal. Reason for ER visit: a cut sustained from sparring.
She faced him. Thank God, he was clothed again.
“Sorry about that,” he said. “I thought you’re supposed to check me out.”
Did he just say check him out? “Mr. Raines, this is an ER, not a bar. I don’t check out patients. Do you mean to say check up?”
He smiled. “Yeah, check up.”
“I’m going to take care of your cut, but I’m not doing a checkup. If you need one, you should go to your primary care doctor.”
“I don’t like doctors. I avoid hospitals and clinics as much as possible, but my cut kept bleeding even after I showered. So here I am.”

Blurb
WORK OUT
No sex for almost a year could kill a guy, but when you’re the boxer known as the Juggernaut, it’s the price you pay for turning pro. Tommy’s fully dedicated to his craft, until he meets the incredibly gorgeous Dr. Siena Carr. Now he’s looking forward to taking on this prim and proper lady in a wet and wild workout…
KNOCK OUT
Siena has seen many patients come through the ER, but none as sexy as Tommy Raines. With a nasty cut over his eye, she knows he needs stitches, but after he takes off his shirt, she needs some air. With rock-hard abs and taut biceps, it’s clear this man takes care of his body. And all Siena can think about is letting him take care of hers…

Pre-Order Now
In His Corner by Vina Arno, published by Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing, will be released on April 14, 2015. Genre: contemporary romance.
You can pre-order the book at:
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Kobo Books
Kensington Books
iTunes
Google

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About Vina Arno
Vina Arno is a pen name used by Cindy Fazzi, a Philippine-born American writer who has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. Her short stories have been published in the Snake Nation Review, Copperfield Review, and SN Review.

Social Media
Read this Forbes article about Vina Arno:
3 Career Reinvention Tips From A Reporter Turned Romance Writer
http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2015/03/12/3-career-reinvention-tips-from-a-reporter-turned-romance-writer/
Learn more about Vina Arno at:
Web site: www.cindyfazzi.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cindy-Fazzi/779654065440439
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9800535.Vina_Arno
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+CindyFazzi/about

Gambling on a Secret by Sara Walter Ellwood.

I am very happy today to welcome Sara Walter Ellwood to the blog with

Gambling on a a Secret.

Gambling On A Secret by Sara Walter Ellwood

Gambling On A Secret
Book 1 of The Colton Gamblers….

In anticipation of the June release of Book 3: Gambling On A Dream, Kensington Publishing has put Book 1:

Gambling On A Secret on sale!

***ON SALE FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY FOR $0.99***

Blurb:
When Charli bets everything on a secret, will she find the deck stacked against her?
Former runaway-turned heiress Charli Monroe is hiding her sordid past and planning a future in Colton, Texas. Attending the local college for a degree in social work, she intends to raise cattle on her newly purchased ranch, which she plans to open as a home for troubled teens. Only a few glitches—the Victorian mansion is crumbling, the barn needs a roof, and her oilman neighbor wants more than friendship. When she meets Dylan Quinn, Charli is willing to take a chance on the town drunk to help her rebuild the rundown ranch.
Dylan has his demons, too. The former Special Forces commander can’t get past his ex-wife’s betrayal and the botched mission that left him with much more than a bad limp. Certain the greedy oilman next door to Charli wants much more than just her heart, Dylan’s even willing to stop drinking in order to protect her.
When things get dangerous and secrets of the past are revealed, is he only looking out for his new employer, or is she the new start he so desperately needs?

COVER QUOTE: “Full of intrigue, tangled pasts, and raw emotions, this one is guaranteed to keep you turning pages from start to finish and then wishing for one more chapter!”
Carolyn Brown, New York Times bestselling author.
Ms. Brown also named Gambling On A Secret as one of her favorite romance reads in 2012 in the Happy Ever After Blog on USA Today.

“HONESTLY this was a FABULOUS read. Gambling on a Secret is a gripping, entertaining and an absolutely delightful romantic read which is set in the town of Colton located in Texas. Sara Walter Ellwood has scored with this book. This has been one of my favourite reads for 2013…” Read the rest of this 5 Satin Pillow review at Satin Sheets Romance

Excerpt:
Dylan regarded her for a long moment and cocked a brow. Damn, was he making fun of her? He looked her up and down. “Wouldn’t a woman like you be more comfortable getting manicures and massages in a Dallas spa, not worrying about cattle breeds and barn roofs? It’s no secret around town you’re the heiress to the Monroe Farm Equipment fortune, and you sold a huge ranch in Oklahoma your grandfather left you. Why on Earth did you buy a dump like this?”
Now he’d pissed her off. Charli might have more money than she’d ever dreamed of having. She might like to dress in designer clothes, but it was none of this jerk’s business which ranch she bought. Or why she wanted it. She had a business plan and a vision for the ranch; what else mattered? “I happen to like this place. It suits me better than the ranch I sold.”
“Is that so? Did you bring any equipment with you? A tractor, a planter, hay mower, baler, anything?”
He would bring up one of the stupidest things she’d done. Sighing, she admitted, “I sold the equipment with the ranch when I decided to leave Oklahoma. One more reason I need a manager.” Her cheeks burned. “When I sold the ranch after inheriting it, I didn’t intend to buy another.”
“Why did you buy another ranch?” He slid his gaze back to hers and peered at her as if he could read her every thought–but what had her swallowing hard was the spark of something hot in his eyes.
She tightened her arms in the hug she gave herself–a self-protecting, insecure gesture she’d acquired while she lived with her abusive lover in Las Vegas as a teenage runaway.
“Buying a ranch the size of this one isn’t something most folks just wake up and decide to do, Miss Monroe. A ten-thousand-acre spread takes commitment and dedication and is damned hard work.”
Yeah, she knew that.
He looked down at her multicolored Manolo Blahnik five-inch heeled slides. The ghost of a smile touched his lips again, but this time little crinkles formed at the corners of his eyes, which held a spark of interest she didn’t want.
Damn, he was good-looking. She squelched that notion like the roach she’d killed earlier in the house. Hadn’t her life with Ricardo taught her a handsome face meant nothing but trouble?
“I can’t imagine you stuffing those pampered and polished feet into rubber boots to muck around in the barn.”
Me, either. But she would if she had to.
She drew in a breath and dropped her arms to her sides. “I think we should get back to asking questions about you. When your sister called about my newspaper ad, she said you were exactly what I’m looking for.”
He shrugged again in a not-a-care-in-the-world way again. What was this guy’s problem? If she weren’t running out of time, she would tell him to leave. She couldn’t waste this year, which meant she had to get someone hired. And her prospects were limited.
“Can you do the job?”
“Affirmative.”
She waited for him to elaborate, but when he didn’t, she frowned. “Do you have any references?”
“I expected you to ask. Everything you need to know should be in here.”
She moved closer and took the folded sheet of paper he held out the window. After glancing at it, she wasn’t surprised it was a resume, but his listed experience had her heart beating a little faster. She looked up at him. “You have a degree in agricultural business from Texas A & M, started up your own ranch and served in the Army?”
He looked off in the distance. “I was in the service for thirteen years, three years in the Corps of Engineers, four in Airborne and the last six in Special Forces.” His jaw clenched, making his face the chiseled block of cold stone again. “And I know something about building. When I wasn’t deployed, I built the house and barn on my two-hundred acre ranch.”
“You don’t own the ranch now?”
“No. My ex-wife got it in our divorce settlement. I planned to get out of the Army after my last tour in Afghanistan and raise cattle. But things never happen the way we want them to.”
The bitterness of his tone had her stepping away. She shivered again and busied herself with looking at the resume. Whatever his ex-wife had done to him, it wasn’t good. “Your reference list is pretty skimpy.”
“The first name is my old commander, but I just got word he’s shipped out on a secret mission.”
Something wasn’t adding up. Either he was hiding something or his sister had lied about his experience. “Your sister said you worked on Oak Springs Ranch while in high school, but it’s not listed on your resume. Are you related to the owner, Leon Ferguson? You said your mother grew up there.”
His eyes narrowed and his lips thinned into a tight line. “Leon is my mother’s stepbrother. While my grandfather was still alive and ran the ranch, I worked there until I joined the Army after he died. I chose not to mention it.”
But why? She didn’t press the matter. She wasn’t seriously considering him for the job anyway, was she?
She studied the resume again. “Brenda Dailey. Is this person off-limits, too? Or can I speak with her?”
“My ex-wife. I’d appreciate it if you don’t involve her. I put her on there because of the ranch.”
She looked up at him. “The divorce that bad, huh?”
Dylan shrugged and looked away. He gripped the top of the steering wheel hard enough to whiten his knuckles. “Suppose it’s no secret. Our divorce has only been final four months, and she married her baby-daddy the day after it became official. You figure it out.”
“Ouch. Okay, I won’t call your ex. Nevertheless, I’d like to see your house. Your sister mentioned you were a carpenter.” She glanced at the address of his former ranch. “Killeen’s south of here?”
He nodded. “It’s your two hours and tank of gas.”
“Thank you for stopping by. Your number’s on here. I’ll call you.”
“Thanks for your time, Miss Monroe. Good luck with this place.” He looked around at the buildings and over her before he turned the key in the ignition. The rusted bucket of bolts sputtered and the starter groaned before the engine turned over.
As he pulled away, she looked at the piece of paper in her shaky hand and studied his name at the top.
Damn, she’d hoped he was the one.
She crumpled the paper, and the memory of his weathered eyes, as dull and gray as her ranch buildings, came to her. What ghosts did he see when he closed them?
She opened her palm and stared at the wad of paper. Feeling haunted by the past was something she understood very well.

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Google

Sara Walter Ellwood

Bio:
Although Sara Walter Ellwood has long ago left the farm for the glamour of the big town, she draws on her experiences growing up on a small hobby farm in West Central Pennsylvania to write her contemporary westerns. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for over 20 years, and they have two teenagers and one very spoiled rescue cat named Penny. She longs to visit the places she writes about and jokes she’s a cowgirl at heart stuck in Pennsylvania suburbia. Sara Walter Ellwood is a multi-published and international Amazon bestselling author of the anthology set Cowboy Up. She also publishes paranormal romantic suspense under the pen name Cera duBois.
Author links:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Also look for:

Book 2: Gambling On A Heart at Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Available now for preorder—Book 3: Gambling On A Dream at Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Twice in a Blue Moon by Cate Masters.

TwiceInABlueMoon-SM

I am thrilled to welcome Cate Masters to the blog today with her new release

Twice in a Blue Moon.

Blurb

Can true love strike twice?

After the death of her first love, Melanie Michaels buries her grief in the risky demands of a reality show, where her extreme stunts leave her teetering on the edge of danger. That’s exactly where she wants to be—until she arranges for her crew to traverse the Swedish Lapland in the dead of winter. It’s the one place she shouldn’t go, on the one day she should avoid—her would-be wedding anniversary.

Instead of romantic nights spent in the Ice Hotel or under the Northern Lights, Melanie is stuck with Joe “Buck” Wright, a snarky loner tour guide who loves his sled dogs and nothing and no one else. But Buck is also trying to numb a painful past. Can two people skilled at pushing others away find warmth at the edge of the Arctic?

Twice In A Blue Moon
Contemporary romance novella
ISBN: 978-1-61650-646-9
Publish Date: 1/19/2015
About 48,000 words
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kensington

Excerpt
Buck tried not to drool. “Perfect.” He loved making new friends, especially of the female variety. So long as they didn’t complain about his modus operandus: all fun, zero ties. Repeats happened if the girl abided the rules. And if he didn’t get too attached. Such foolishness led to all manner of drama and heartache. He’d had enough of both. His life had become about survival, and he’d taught himself not to let anyone get close. Not to make himself vulnerable to pain. To live alone and like it.
Klaus set two mugs in front of them and deftly removed a bill from the stack Buck had left on the bar.
Something made him glance up at the television. Maybe Kenny had implanted a subliminal suggestion during their conversation. Damn if the name at the bottom of the screen didn’t read Melanie Michaels. A man spoke into a microphone, then stepped closer to hold it near her.
“No way. That’s her?” He waved at the bartender. “Turn up the volume, will you please, Klaus?”
The camera zoomed in on her face. Features delicate but strong, beautiful but serious. God, that mouth—lips full and wide, and the way they moved as she spoke, he could hardly tear away his gaze. Her large eyes, dark and luminous in the way that had always struck him to the bone. Just like Poppy. She’d turned out to be anything but sweet. More like poisonous, the opium behind the flowery facade an instant addiction that took him years to overcome. He still carried the scars from her acid nectar. Anything and anyone reminding him of his former lover ranked the lowest of low on his shit list.
Melanie Michaels just claimed that spot.
And now he’d have to deal with her every day for almost a week. “Oh man, it’s going to be a grueling six days.” Five, technically. Tomorrow’s meet-and-greet was strictly a formality, though the preliminaries helped him size up his guests so he could better prepare.
Klaus glanced from Buck to the screen and back again. “She’s taking your tour? You lucky bastard.”
Lucky? No. Bastard? Yes, according to some. “Oh yeah. Skol.” He raised his mug and gulped. And gulped.
The blonde assessed him. “You’re a wilderness guide? For which company?”
He tried to sound proud and manly as he said, “Arctic Adventures.”
“I’ve heard about them.” An arch of her brows, and her demeanor turned glacier-cold.
He could only imagine what, exactly, she’d heard. Kenny insisted they stretch their expenses as far as possible. Translation: second-rate accommodations. And hey, it wasn’t his fault if the sled dogs took a dislike to certain clients. They should know better than to leave unpackaged foods unprotected and stow their backpacks away from the team. The dogs had few enough trees upon which to relieve themselves, and he didn’t blame them one bit.
Klaus shot the blonde a dubious, don’t-make-trouble look.
“What? They’ll be famous.” She hid a laugh behind her hand. “No Boundaries will make you a star in America.”
“America.” Ah, hell. Why hadn’t it occurred to him? His family would see him, the friends he’d left behind. And Poppy. Shit. Short of them traveling to Sweden, there’d been no way for any of them to bust him on the lie he’d told. Now they’d know he didn’t work for the prestigious National Geographic tours, but a crap company based in Kiruna. In his last email, he’d boasted of almost having saved enough money to build a log resort better than the world-famous Wilderness Lodge. Fat chance, on his salary.
Me, a star? More like an outcast. Buck heaved a sigh. “I’ve suddenly lost my appetite.” For drinking or anything else.
He grabbed the cash from the bar, left a generous tip, and nodded goodbye to Klaus. He strode to the exit, ignoring the blonde’s taunting calls to come back. The laughter in her lilting tone churned his gut.
Whether he returned to the job at all depended on how badly Melanie Michaels and crew shamed him on video. He’d spend the next six days avoiding the camera, and afterward, crawl into some isolated igloo a dismal failure. He might stay there until global warming melted away the polar ice cap.

About the Author
Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.

Contact Details
Website: http://catemasters.blogspot.com
Email: cate.masters@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cate-Masters/89969413736?ref=ts
Twitter: @CateMasters

Book video
Direct link: http://youtu.be/SdWvcfhYzDM
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Advance reviews for TWICE IN A BLUE MOON
“…a great read. It is fun, it is romantic, it is moving.” – Dan Curnett, 5 stars
“…a quick romance read that will undoubtedly leave them wanting more” – Maria, 4 stars
“… a satisfying and enjoyable read” – Jennifer Schultheis, 4 stars
“I really liked this book! It had a unique setting and a hero with a lot of baggage” – JoMarie DeGioia, 4 stars

Tuesday Treat from Elle Rush.

nice strawberry lady

Welcome to this weeks Tuesday Treat. Today I am very pleased to welcome back Elle Rush with her treat from her book Drama Queen. In the spirit of Tuesday Treats Elle has a memorable first for us. Thanks for blogging here, Elle.

As an additional bonus treat this week you’ll find me blogging over at Elle’s blog today. Just click the Tuesday Treat image.

 

 

FIRST TIMES

There are a lot of fun firsts when you start a new relationship: first date, first kiss, first time. Then when the shine wears off the relationship, you get to the not-so-fun firsts – first time apart, first fight, and potentially the worst of them all…

First time you meet your significant other’s parents.

Granted, most of them aren’t Ben Stiller bad, but they are all stressful. And if your honey is completely “Oh, I’m not going to worry about it. They can like me or kiss my butt but I’m not going to try to impress them” you’ve got other problems.

Personally, my first time meeting the parents went well. Of course, I sweated through two tops before I even left my house but everybody was very pleasant. And instead of sitting around in the living after supper suffering some awkward conversation, they pulled out a set of dominos. Instant conversation and fun. It was a genius move on their part.

In “Drama Queen”, Russ and Layla weren’t that lucky but you’ll have to read it to discover why. I will share this tidbit from their first date:

She was in jeans and a blouse. Jeans. She hadn’t been on a date in two years and now she was dressed like she was ready for a big night out at Chuck E. Cheese. She wasn’t even wearing more than minimal make-up after all the crud she’d had on her face all day. Russ wouldn’t let her go change into something dressier. He said she was perfect. The man was an idiot.

He was also sneaky. When she asked “Perfect for what?” he wouldn’t tell. “Trust me,” he said. So she did. It was easier than she expected, trusting him. She was just as out of practice at that as she was at dating. Besides, it was only dinner. It wasn’t like he could orchestrate some kind of major betrayal after a week at arm’s length. He hadn’t gotten nearly close enough to do that and if he were going to he would have sold the Jeremy Bowen escapade to the papers. Tonight would be fine.

They ended up at a hole-in-the-wall Mexican place miles from any landmark she recognized. The restaurant was a stand-alone building beside a community center and across from a strip mall. The entire neighborhood screamed “suburbia”. Layla was afraid that if she rolled down the windows, she’d hear banjos. There was a reason she lived in Marina del Ray.

 LSB Cover Art Template for PhotoShop

Blurb:

Layla Andrews isn’t really a bitch – she just plays one on television. For the last eighteen months, she’s acted like one in real life too while she was forced to serve probation for something she didn’t do. Now the Queen of Olympus has done her time and she’s ready to start living again … but she’s forgotten how.

Russ Vukovick, the show’s fight coordinator, had been attracted to Layla since the first time he saw her. Recently he’s caught glimpses of a new side of her – one that makes her irresistible. But as he gets closer to her, he also sees more of what she hides beneath the mask she wears.

As Layla and Russ try to navigate their new relationship, families, danger and secrets work against them at every turn. Can they find a true happily-ever-after when they are surrounded by lies?

 Links: Buy it from my publisher Liquid Silver Books (MOBI version for Kindle, EPUB for Kobo and iTunes), or get it directly from Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Noble/Nook, ARe

Bio: Elle Rush is a Canadian romance author from Winnipeg, Manitoba. When she’s not travelling, she’s hard at work writing her contemporary romance eBooks which are set all over the world. Elle earned a degree in Spanish and French, barely passed German, and is starting to learn Italian and Filipino. She has flunked poetry in every language she’s ever taken. She also has mild addictions to tea, cookbooks and the sci-fi channel. The easiest way to keep up with her it to sign up for her free newsletter but you can also find her at her website, on Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest.and Pinterest.

The Tenant Blog Hop

banner Tennant

Book Title: The Tenant

Author: Sotia Lazu

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: 55K

Release Date: 08.07.2014

ISBN: 978-1-62916-082-5

AllRomance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thetenant-1588143-149.html

The_Tenant-Sotia_Lazu-500x800

Blurb
In hopes of getting her fiancé to consummate their relationship before the wedding, Amanda convinces him they should check out the apartment her father gave her as a gift for their upcoming nuptials. Darkness and privacy are supposed to work in her favor, but there is one parameter she doesn’t know about: the apartment is not empty yet, and the current tenant has no plans of moving.

Derek has had a hell of a few months. His girlfriend turned out to be a cheater and then stole his restaurant. He’s not about to also give up the place he’s called home for three years—even if his hot but infuriating landlady threatens to move in by the end of the week.

When her own lease is up, Amanda is forced to make good on her threat. As if life isn’t already hard enough, her tenant-turned-roommate is as sexy as he is annoying, and her fiancé is caught with a half-naked woman.

Now she and Derek need to find a way to survive their forced cohabitation. They soon discover sleeping with the enemy can be fun.

Excerpt

Hushed voices. There were people whispering inside his home, and—

Something crashed.

It might have been fury at whoever dared vandalize his home that drove his feet from bathroom to bedroom, naked as the day he was born. It could have been hope he’d finally get out some of his frustration that curled his fingers around the baseball bat lying beneath his bed and led him the rest of the distance to his living room in the pitch black.

Weighing the bat in one hand, he pressed the fingers of the other to the light switch he knew to be at his left, and took in the lit room.

A couple was making out on his floor. By his overturned table and his smashed lamp.

He scowled so hard his forehead hurt, but it was all he could do not to charge them and bash their heads in.

“What the fuck are you doing in my place?” he asked the kneeling hulk. He’d heard about people making out in parks, playgrounds, even cemeteries, but breaking into someone’s home to get some was unbelievable.

The small blonde lying on the floor sat upright, eyes blazing. “Your place? My father gave me this apartment!”

Her boyfriend simply blinked at him.

Was it Derek’s imagination, or was the blonde having a hard time looking him in the eye? He was tempted to mention his face was an entire torso—and then some—higher than what she was staring at, but his ego needed some stroking, so he let her take all of him in, while his mind caught up to what she’d just said.

“You’re Kenneth’s daughter?” he finally asked, the bat only slightly lowered. Alice’s sister. This one was shorter, and Alice dyed her hair dark brown these days, but Derek could see the resemblance.

She finally lifted her gaze to meet his, and her eyes were the same bright green as her sister’s. “You’re the guy who’s supposed to be gone?”

He could apologize and say he’d forgotten because of the rain of utter shit falling on him lately.

He could ask for a bit more time until he’d found a new place.

Or he could be an ass. Nobody else seemed to think twice about being an ass to him. “Hardly,” he said with a snort. “I’m supposed to be right where I am. You, on the other hand, are trespassing. Or is it breaking and entering?”

The young woman scrunched her nose, which was adorable in a snooty, bratty way. “No breaking. I’ve got a key.” She narrowed her eyes. “When Mason and I were first engaged, Dad said he asked you to move. That was three months ago.”

Mason. That was the silent brute’s name. “I remember no such thing, and” —he looked pointedly at the remains of his favorite lamp— “there has definitely been some breaking.”

Blondie bounced up and glared. Funny, but she was intimidating despite her small stature. Maybe that was why Mason stood back and let her handle things. “Dad bought the place for me, to begin with,” she said. “You knew when you first moved in that I was eventually going to be needing it.”

That was true. Derek had heard all about how this was one day going to be a wedding present for Kenneth’s oldest daughter—and what was her name, again?—though said daughter hadn’t even been dating back then. Kenneth said his daughter was picky and needed a man with serious backbone before she settled down.

Things had apparently changed.

Derek considered waving the bat to see if the big guy would flinch, but decided to be the bigger man—and wasn’t that ironic, when Mason had at least four inches on him? “Kenneth mentioned something, but he didn’t give me the sixty days notice he was supposed to.” Blondie opened her mouth, probably to repeat her father let him know three months ago. Now was time for the coup de grace, and Derek somehow knew he’d love watching her squirm. “As you know, the notice is supposed to be in writing or it doesn’t count,” he said.

And smirked.

And winked.

Mason grabbed Blondie’s shoulder, flexing his arm in the process. The look on his face indicated that Derek’s nudity might have offended him more than Derek’s intention to not vacate the premises for at least two more months. “Let’s go, Mandi.” Ah, that was her name. “We’ll talk to your father. He’ll know what to do.”

Her gaze said she knew what to do too, and it involved the painful insertion of the baseball bat in Derek’s most private orifice.

Derek’s smirk widened into a grin. “And now get out of here, before I have to call the police and report you for harassment on top of everything else.”

Mandi stared him down for a split second, but when Derek swung his bat in the air, her overly inflated toy boy all but dragged her out the door.

Derek propped his weapon on his shoulder, grabbed a bottle of scotch, and went to bed. He sensed his swagger had returned. Maybe that was because he’d actually felt he had balls, for the first time in days.

Odd way for his day to improve, but it had. He would give anything for another opportunity to bait Mandi Murphy. If he couldn’t torture the woman who’d hurt him, he’d torture the one who wanted to evict him. He had to be subtle about it, though. He didn’t want to make Kenneth mad at him.

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Sotia

About the Author

Sotia’s making do with Greek reality, while writing and mostly thinking in English.

She loves romances with a twist and urban fantasy novels, always with vivid erotic elements. Her favorite characters to write are not conventional hero-material at first glance, and she enjoys making them fight for their happiness.

Sotia shares her life and living quarters with her husband, their son, and two rescue dogs, one of which may be part-pony. Sappy movies make her bawl like a baby, and she wishes she could take in all the stray dogs in the world.

Also, she hates mornings!

Sotia’s books: Amazon | B & N | Smashwords | Apple | Kobo

Contact Sotia:

Website
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Or write to her at author@sotialazu.com