Sizzle In The Snow Newsletter #2

October 15, 2015

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SIZZLE IN THE SNOW: A SOUL MATE CHRISTMAS COLLECTION

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Eight steamy romances by eight Soul Mate Publishing authors . . .


This Christmas season, Soul Mate Publishing and editor, Char Chaffin, presents Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection, an anthology available December 2 on Amazon and Soul Mate Publishing. The featured authors and their stories include:

Welcome to our second newsletter in celebration of the release of

Sizzle In The Snow: A Soul Mate Christmas Collection.

xmas girl

Check your inbox every ten days for each newsletter. Inside you’ll find great decorating tips, recipes and cocktails, excerpts, craft ideas, song links, holiday memories, and personalized cards and poems by the authors!


clip art books

Book Corner

We promised a sneak peek, so here goes . . .

Author CD Hersh gives an excerpt of their short story, Kissing Santa!

Anna Noel studied the trim backside of the Santa standing in front of her. He appeared younger than most of the Santas at the Santa Claus conference she’d chosen to attend this year. A lot more attractive than any Santa she’d ever met. For the briefest of moments she let her mind wander, lingering on ‘Christmas Wish Number Nine.’

Make love to Santa.

A heated flush climbed her chest as she envisioned the scene, and she flapped the jacket of her green elf costume to cool down.

Her gaze traveled over his hips, chest, and to the beginnings of a snow white beard; then to his shock of silver hair underneath the white-trimmed, red Santa hat.

Yep. Definitely a Santa she wanted to know. Too bad she wouldn’t be the elf to his mall Santa. They could have gotten acquainted. And more.

The conference registrar drew her out of her Christmas fantasy with a loud, “Miss? Are you with this Santa?”

“What? No. I don’t have a Santa. I’m here alone.”

Sexy Santa turned and held out his hand. “Me, too. I’m Sam S. Klaus.”

A smile curled her lips as she took his hand. “As in Sam Santa Claus?” His warm palm sent tingles through her fingers as he gently squeezed them.

He flashed a slightly lopsided grin. “You have the same warped sense of humor as my parents.” He gave her a mock bow. “Sam S. for Santa, and Klaus, with a K.”

“That’s your real name?” He’d let go of her hand. She fought to keep from grabbing it back. A real Santa Klaus? How great was that?

“The same, and you are?”

“An—” She stopped, suddenly unwilling to reveal her name. A rollercoaster of emotions raced through her, suggesting she might hit number nine with this Santa. If she did, and it didn’t go well, she wouldn’t want Sam Klaus to know her real identity. “An elf who needs a Santa,” she hedged. “How about we team up? I’ll be your personal elfette, and you can be my Santa.”


 Cocktail Corner

 Cocktail Corner

Busy shopping, wrapping, and socializing?

Kick back with a festive cocktail!

Recipe shared by Tina Susedik!

Tom & Jerry

Ingredients:

6 eggs

1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar

Cream of tartar

Cloves

Allspice

Cinnamon

Nutmeg

Rum

Brandy

Separate eggs. Beat yolks and white separately. Add a dash of Cream of Tartar to whites before beating. Beat yolks until frothy and whites until very stiff. Combine. Gradually beat in 1 1/2 pounds of powdered sugar. Add a dash of cloves, allspice, and cinnamon. Put batter in cup. Add shot of brandy and 1/2 shot of rum. Add boiling water to top of cup. Top off with a dash of nutmeg.


 

 Recipe Corner

Recipe Corner

Company coming over? Author Beth Carter dishes up her favorite holiday recipe:

 

Pumpkin Rum Cake

1 yellow cake mix

1 15 oz. can of pumpkin

3 eggs

½ c rum or ½ c coconut rum (I like the coconut rum.)

½ c chopped pecans, toasted (Sometimes I skip the toasting!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the cake mix, pumpkin, eggs and rum. Beat on low speed to blend, then beat on medium speed for two minutes. Fold in pecans and pour batter into greased 12-cup Bundt pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes and turn onto serving platter. Frost with Orange Glaze (yummy). See below.

Orange glaze:

¾ c powdered sugar

2 T plus ½ tsp orange juice

1 T orange zest

Mix powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest until smooth. Spoon glaze over top of cake allowing it to run down the sides. Enjoy! We enjoy this for Thanksgiving, Christmas and throughout the fall.

~Beth Carter


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Holiday Memory Corner

Ryan Jo Summers has a wonderful holiday memory to share . . .

Many years ago I married a man who had custody of his two sons, six and three. We wanted this first Christmas as a family to be very special for everyone, so we headed to the closest Toys R’ Us with lots of cash and left the kids with Grandma.

Hubby and I were like kids ourselves as we both pushed our carts up and down the aisles, discussing which child would love what present the best. We wrapped and decorated and couldn’t wait to see the boys on Christmas morning. The presents were piled so high and far out, we could hardly reach the tree to plug it in. But it was all worth it when the kids came downstairs that first morning and exclaimed we must have bought out the whole toy store!


music bell

Music Corner

Listen up! Amy Deason shares her favorite holiday song:

Title:

All I Want For Christmas Is You

By Mariah Carey

Song Link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXQViqx6GMY&list=RDyXQViqx6GMY

Craft Corner (2)

Craft Corner

Feeling crafty? Kim Hotzon shares a festive DIY craft:

Holiday Ornament Ball

Kim Hotzon ornament

When my children were young, we spent many weekends crafting homemade ornaments for our tree. This is a simple craft that is inexpensive, and makes a great gift too!

Supplies:

  • scraps of fabric (the more festive pattern the better but plain greens, reds, whites, stripes, etc. work well)
  • festive ribbon (for handle)
  • glue gun
  • glue sticks
  • foam balls from craft store

Steps:

Cut squares of fabric and wrap around foam ball. Glue in place with glue gun. You may need to cut different sizes of squares to fit the ball, depending on the size. Smooth fabric in place with your fingers. Leave a little opening at the top of the ball and insert a loop of ribbon, securing under the fabric with the glue gun. Press down, hold for a minute until glue sets.


Decorating Corner

Decorating Corner

Time to bring out the mistletoe! Crystal Firsdon has some great decorating tips!

There’s always a theme to what I do: easy and simple.  For years, I never knew what to do with the Christmas cards I received, so I stood them on any available vertical surface. As you can imagine I had to re-stand them up every day and sometimes several times per day, and they made my tables and shelves looked cluttered. Finally I came up with a solution: cards on a ribbon. (In my mind I’m the one who invented this, but a lot of you probably do this already)

First, I cut a 3-5 foot piece of cute, wide Christmas ribbon.

Next, hang it from a higher shelf by taping the top of the ribbon to the flat surface of the shelf. I place a Christmas picture over it, making sure it covers the tape. I’ve learned that several cards are heavier than you might think, so use a lot of tape.

As I receive Christmas cards, I simply staple each card to the ribbon. If I get more than expected, I hang another ribbon.

One reason I love this is because I’ll find my kids opening the cards to read them and see who they’re from. I also like that the funny cards are mixed with the more serious and sentimental cards. It totally fits my family’s hodgepodge decorating style!


 Holiday Card Corner

What’s a holiday without a personalized card by one of your favorite authors? Author Cheryl Yeko sends her holiday greetings:

Xmas Greeting

Of course, as authors we love our readers, and we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to offer swag, free books, and a grand prize which will be awarded to one lucky blog/newsletter follower! For a chance to win these prizes, follow and join the author’s blogs!

Don’t miss our upcoming Facebook launch party with tons of goodies to giveaway! Follow the authors’ blogs for a sneak peek of this wonderful collection! (FB launch date TBA).

Thursday Threads Welcomes Author Tina Susedik

MY SEXY VALENTINE HOLIDAY ANTHOLOGY

Featuring Tina Susedik’s Short Story, The Valentine’s Proposal

MySexyValentine

Other Contributing Anthology Authors: Cheryl Yeko, Sage Spelling, Lynn Cahoon, S.C. Mitchell, Char Chaffin

ANTHOLOGY HEAT LEVEL: STEAMY

The Valentine’s Proposal:

When a Valentine’s Day proposal doesn’t go the way she expected, librarian Janetta Simonson’s life changes in ways she’s never dreamed.

BUY LINK: My Sexy Valentine: http://amzn.com/B00SSFM1OChttp://amzn.com/B00SSFM1OC

EXCERPT FROM The Valentine’s Proposal:

Devlin Baran followed the statuesque brunette as she stomped from the woman’s room and headed to the bar. His cock twitched as her hips swayed in tight jeans. Was the guy who dumped her crazy? To trade in this hot piece for the washed-out blonde?

He’d noticed her the moment she’d walked into the building. Full breasts. Tapered waist. Not too thin. Tall. His body had reacted immediately. He liked his women tall. He’d been ready to join her when the jerk arrived. During their argument he’d called her Janetta. The name seemed to suit her.

Pseudo cowboys irritated the hell out of him. New boots, shiny belt buckle, cheesy western shirt were all signs. But even real cowhands dressed up for a Saturday night on the town, so he could be mistaken. When the man tossed his hat brim side down on the table, Devlin knew him to be a fake. Any real westerner knew you put your hat top side down so not to ruin the folds.

Since he was out of luck with the brunette, he’d headed to the men’s room, where he observed the encounter. He nearly applauded when the woman smacked the pretend cowboy across the cheek and threw the ring into the crowd. Hell. Not only did he like them tall, he loved them spirited, like his fillies on his ranch.

As she headed to the bar, he shook his head. He couldn’t let a hot woman interfere with the job he had to do, needing all his focus to find out who was slipping drugs into women’s drinks. As a rancher working undercover as an FBI agent, he always seemed to be one-step behind the assholes who thought it fine to have sex with unconscious women.

The man, or men, moved from bar to bar in the small rural area. This was the only one that hadn’t been hit. He hoped to hit pay dirt tonight.

He tried to ignore Janetta’s shapely ass as she sat on a stool next to another pseudo cowboy. She must have a thing for their type. After taking her time with one drink, the man tipped his overly white Stetson, leaned in and said something, making her laugh. The back of Devlin’s neck prickled. He seemed familiar.

What was she thinking, Devlin wondered as she let the guy put his hand on her thigh. Even though she oozed sex appeal, after her encounter with Fred, he had the feeling she wasn’t a sexually aggressive person. She seemed more like a kindergarten teacher.

Janetta took a sip of her orange-colored drink and spoke to the man—who threw his head back and laughed. The hand went a bit further up her leg. She took another drink and swayed into him. Maybe he was wrong and she was just another floozy looking to pick up an unsuspecting cowboy.

The man swung an arm around her shoulders and lifted the glass to her lips. Her head dropped into his neck. He glanced over his shoulder and snuggled her into his side. After a few minutes he pulled her from the stool, and like a man helping a drunk companion, headed toward the door.

Shit. She’s been drugged.

ALSO BY TINA SUSEDIK:

Tina Susedik

Riding for Love: http://www.amazon.com/Riding-for-Love-ebook/dp/B00CLJD31Q

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/riding-for-love-tina-susedik/1119333999?ean=9781619354289

All I Want for Christmas is a Soul Mate: http://www.amzn.com/B00GH2I458/

http://tinasusedik.wordpress.com./

Twitter: @tinasusedik

Website: TinaSusedik.com

Facebook: Tina Susedik, Author

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17908316-riding-for-love

http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/riding-for-love/

Thursday Threads – Riding for Love!

Welcome back to Thursday’s Threads! This week I am hosting author Tina Susedik on my blog. An excerpt of her novel, Riding for Love follows below:

RidingforLove

Riding for Love by Tina Susedik

Romantic Mystery

Sensuous

Blurb:

Eve Dayton, owner of a riding ranch, rose above her childhood past and overcame the emotional damage her boyfriend caused when he married another woman. When someone starts sabotaging her ranch, Eve is desperate to find the culprit before she loses everything. Is it a coincidence or is the return of Denton Johanson tied to the mystery?

Divorced Denton Johanson returns to his hometown to help convict the embezzling controller of the family business. When he runs into Eve, he realizes his feelings for her are still strong enough to try and win her back. His fear of horses won’t get in the way of his goal and decides the only way to be near her is to take riding lessons from her. Can he convince her that his love is real and he is not behind the mystery surrounding the ranch?

Excerpt

Eve leaned against the door frame of the woman’s bathroom. Grasping her purse against her stomach with both hands, she tried calming the herd of horses charging through her system. Taking a deep breath, she stepped forward and peered through the leaves of a tall potted plant placed to obscure the view of the restrooms. Her pulse picked up speed. Rose and Denton approached Max.

“Smart move,” she muttered. “Chicken. You should be raising chickens instead of horses, moron!”

She slapped her hand over her mouth when an elderly woman walked out of the bathroom and gave Eve a small smile and a wide berth. The woman went to her table and whispered something to her companion, probably about a crazy lady talking to a tree. Eve suppressed a laugh. Crazy, that was her all right. Crazy to be afraid of Denton and the rush of adrenaline snapping her nerve endings at the sight of him.

“C’mon, girl, he can’t eat you.” Visions of Denton nibbling on her neck sent shivers up her spine and down her legs. “Well, not literally, anyway.” Over the years, though, memories of his desertion had eaten away at her, turning her into an emotional cripple, afraid of becoming close to anyone except Tom. “Damn!  Why did he have to show up tonight and ruin the evening?”

She peered through the branches of the plant. Max kissed Rose on the cheek. Rose’s introduced Max and Denton.

Eve couldn’t help comparing the two while they shook hands. Both men were good-looking, tall, about 6’2. Max’s hair was blond, straight and short, while Denton’s was dark, wavy and worn nearly to the collar of his pale blue dress shirt. Max’s slim, wiry physique hid a strength making him capable of handling even the largest animals. Denton’s broad shoulders and hips accentuated his slim waist making him seem taller than Max. Women’s eyes followed Max when he came into a room, but he seemed to pale in comparison with Denton.

The men shook hands, but didn’t immediately let go. Max frowned. Did Denton grimace? Were Max’s fingers turning white? Were they going to start arm wrestling in the middle of the restaurant? Not that it mattered, but did Denton think she and Max were lovers? Max said something and the three of them turned in her direction. Eve quickly stepped back, hoping the rustling branches weren’t obvious. She peeked through the leaves again. They were still looking her way.

“Oh, hell!” she muttered. “I can’t hide out here forever.” Wiping her hands down the sides of her dress and taking a deep breath, she stepped into the hallway, head high, shoulders back, knees trembling. “I’m not chicken,” she said surprising a couple sitting nearest the restrooms.

“Eve, what a nice surprise,” Rose said, giving Eve a gentle hug when she reached the table. “You remember my son, Denton, don’t you?”

Eve couldn’t believe Rose’s question. What was she trying to pull? Even though her relationship with Denton had ended years ago, her friendship with his mother had grown and blossomed. Before she answered, Denton leaned over and placed a quick kiss on her cheek.

A lighted blow torch placed directly against her skin wouldn’t have burned anymore than his simple peck. Memories flashed back at her. Denton chasing her around the trees in his parents’ yard. Denton’s first tentative kiss on their fifth date. His last soul-searching one the evening before he left for college. The one from a lover during his Thanksgiving break.

“Hello again, Eve.” His soft words snapped her out of her memories.

“Hello, Denton,” she managed to utter, avoiding his eyes and glancing at Max.

Max observed the interaction. The urge to mark his territory overpowered him. He took Eve’s hand in his. “You two know each other?”

Max expected Eve to answer since Rose was only a passing acquaintance. When she didn’t say anything, he glanced at Eve. Her face had gone from pale back to rosy again and kept her eyes on their clasped hands. With a subtle motion, she turned the pearl side of her ring to the inside of her hand, leaving only the thin, gold band showing. What the hell?

It was obvious he was not going to get an answer from neither Eve nor Denton. He raised an eyebrow at Rose.

“Max, Eve and Denton went to high school together. They haven’t seen each other in a long time,” Rose answered Max’s silent inquiry. “Denton, Max is a veterinarian and takes care of Eve’s animals.”

“We’re out enjoying one last quiet evening before the seasonal rush starts,” Max said trying to cover the awkward situation while still trying to figure out all the currents flowing around them. It was more than the way Denton looked at Eve like a lost puppy having found his way home, or the way Rose watched Denton looking at Eve. There was so much voltage zapping between Eve and Denton, Max thought the restaurant lights should be popping and snapping. Was this Denton an adversary? A future friend? He sure as hell wished he knew because the situation was getting more strained by the second.

An awkward silence landed on the foursome once more. Eve didn’t understand Rose’s smug smile. Max squeezed Eve’s fingers tighter and glared at Denton as the silence stretched. Denton looked alternately between Max and Eve’s joined hands and their faces, seeming to come to some decision. He stepped forward and took Eve’s other hand in his.

“Eve, I need to talk to you,” he said, pressing her fingers in his.

Max’s hold on her hand increased as he gently pulled her away from Denton. Denton grasped her hand tighter.

“Please, Eve. I need to explain.”

Eve tried to turn and face Denton. Max’s grip pulled her back toward him. She was beginning to feel like a piece of taffy, being stretched and tugged to the maker’s satisfaction. A glance at Rose’s smiling face and Eve realized she wasn’t going to get any help from her. Max and Denton acted  like gladiators in a coliseum ready to fight for their lives. Eve only wanted to leave. People were starting to stare at the foursome still standing beside the table. Eve tried to remove her hands from both men. Their grips became equally stronger. Her fingers began to tingle from lack of circulation. She tugged again and finally faced Denton.

“Please let go of my hand. I have nothing to say to you,” she said quietly.

Buy Links:

Soul Mate Publishing: http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/riding-for-love/

http://www.amazon.com/Riding-for-Love-ebook/dp/B00CLJD31Q

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/riding-for-love-tina-susedik/1119333999?ean=9781619354289

Tina Susedik

Contact links:

Website: TinaSusedik.com

http://tinasusedik.wordpress.com./

Twitter: @tinasusedik

Facebook: Tina Susedik, Author

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17908316-riding-for-love

Author Spotlight: Joanne Guidoccio and A Season for Killing Blondes

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Interview with Joanne Guidoccio

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2 More Days!!

Kim, thanks for participating in the Countdown to a Season for Killing Blondes.

Joanne, it is my pleasure to have you on my blog today! I love romantic suspense novels, and A Season for Killing Blondes is right up my alley. I think many readers will enjoy delving right into this cozy mystery.

Readers, make sure you check out the details below for Joanne’s giveaway, which she is offering in celebration of the release of her novel on June 12!!!!

  1. Briefly explain the inspiration behind your novel.
  2. While receiving cancer treatments, well-meaning friends gave me inspirational and comedic books. They meant well, and so did the healthy professionals who advised me to cross-read and challenge myself. By reading new and unfamiliar material, I could create new neural pathways in my brain and reduce the likelihood of developing the dreaded chemo brain.

But all I wanted to read were cozies, those delightful murder mysteries that include a bloodless crime and contain little (if any) violence, sex, or coarse language. I read voraciously, often finishing a cozy in one sitting. Toward the end of treatments, I came up with a storyline for my own cozy.

  1. What will readers love most about your heroine?
  2. It’s difficult for me to be objective about what readers may or may not like about Gilda Greco, the protagonist of my novel. Why? Because Gilda is 70 percent of me. We are Italian Canadian women, born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario. Growing up, we were happy, high-achieving nerds who loved curling up with books and writing poetry. Both Libras, we are sensitive to our surroundings and dislike loud, confrontational situations. Years ago, I would have classified ourselves as introverts, but after reading Quiet by Susan Cain, I believe we are ambiverts or extraverted introverts.

BTW…We are self-proclaimed non-foodies who have a great appreciation for the talents of foodies. Just don’t expect us to compete at that level.

  1. What word(s) best describe your book (3 words or less)?
  2. Entertaining Cozy Mystery

Blurb

Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the dead body of golden girl Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside her office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation.

When three more dead blondes turn up all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders. Frustrated by Carlo’s chilly detective persona and the mean girl antics of Carrie Ann’s meddling relatives, Gilda decides to launch her own investigation. She discovers a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga instructor in need of anger management training, a lecherous photographer, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.

As the puzzle pieces fall into place, shocking revelations emerge, forcing Gilda to confront the envy and deceit she has long overlooked.

Trailer

 https://youtu.be/QURgFbybQVw

Excerpt

Three thousand euros worth of pastries. Can you believe it?

When I agreed to import the pastries, I had no idea I would be subsidizing the failing Italian economy and helping Silvio Berlusconi stay in power for a few weeks longer. Left to my own devices, I would have gone down the street to Regency Bakery, picked up some pastries and just walked them over. But my mother and Aunt Amelia were adamant. The open house for my new career counseling office needed a proper launch, one that could only be achieved with pastries from a Sicilian bakery.

To be fair, both of them were horrified when they saw that final four-figure amount on the invoice and swore me to secrecy. While conspicuous consumption is valued in the Italian community, being taken for a ride is not, and we would never hear the end of it from Uncle Paolo who is still complaining about the ten cents he has to pay for a shopping bag at No Frills.

I watched my mother rearrange the amaretto cookies, stuffed figs, biscotti, and other delicacies that had arrived yesterday. She and Aunt Amelia had brought in their best silver trays and carts and spent hours—according to Uncle Paolo—creating a colorful Italian corner.

“Everything is perfect. Maybe too perfect.” My mother made the sign of the cross and mumbled a Hail Mary.

“Relax, Ma. I’ve got everything under control. Nothing bad will happen.”

“Things have been going too well, Gilda. The lottery win. Your new career. This beautiful office. I’ve had one of my dreams, and you know what that means.”

Buy Links

Amazon (Canada) – http://is.gd/t0g1KZ

Amazon (United States) – http://is.gd/jADjPp

Amazon (United Kingdom) – http://is.gd/8mknFJ

Amazon (Australia) – http://is.gd/r843iX

Kobo – http://is.gd/BpO9gY

Readers:

The author, Joanne Guidoccio is generously offering a giveaway of her book to celebrate the release date! Either of the following links will take you directly to the giveaway!!!

Rafflecopter

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/628069201/?

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NjI4MDY5MjBkZDZjNzc5NWE4OTgyNWI5ZGEwM2U4OjE=/?

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Bio

In high school, Joanne dabbled in poetry, but it would be over three decades before she entertained the idea of writing as a career. She listened to her practical Italian side and earned degrees in mathematics and education. She experienced many fulfilling moments as she watched her students develop an appreciation (and sometimes, love) of mathematics. Later, she obtained a post-graduate diploma as a career development practitioner and put that skill set to use in the co-operative education classroom. She welcomed this opportunity to help her students experience personal growth and acquire career direction through their placements.

In 2008, she took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne…

Website:   http://joanneguidoccio.com/

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanneguidoccio

Pinterest:   http://pinterest.com/jguidoccio/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7277706.Joanne_Guidoccio

Thursday Threads – Author Spotlight: Meggan Connors

Thursday Threads – Author Spotlight: Meggan Connors

Meggan Connors

Highland Deception

By Meggan Connors

Title: Highland Deception

Heat Rating: Sensual

Genre: Historical Romance

highlanddeception

Buy Links:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J3D2JS6/

Blurb:

When Kenneth Mackay, long-banished rogue and thief, returns to the Mackay holding at the request of his brother, he has no idea what he might find. He certainly doesn’t expect to be confronted with his twin’s imminent death, or with the plan his brother has concocted.

Ten years before, Malcolm made a tragic mistake, and, to preserve the family name—and his own skin—he allowed Kenneth to take the fall. Now that he is dying without an heir, Malcolm plans to atone for his mistake: by giving Kenneth his life back. All Kenneth has to do is assume his brother’s identity. But complicating matters is the unexpected return of Lady Isobel Mackay, the daughter of an English marquess and the wife Malcolm didn’t want.

Isobel barely knows the husband who abandoned her even before their marriage, and she’d long since given up hope on having a real marriage with him. Yet when she returns to the Mackay holding far earlier than expected, she finds her husband a changed man. Despite the hurt between them, Isobel’s heart responds to this man who cares for his entire clan as if there were family. Who, for the first time, cares about her as if she is, too.

Falling in love with her husband had never been part of Isobel’s plan. But when their future is suddenly in peril, Isobel must find a way to save him—from himself and from the deception threatening to tear them apart.

Excerpt:

She ignored Grant’s angry protests behind her and ran for her husband’s bedchamber. Slamming open the door, she stumbled inside.

Malcolm lay in the great bed. Alone.

Alone. She tried not to speculate about what meant.

His breathing was shallow, as if he’d been running. As the door bounced back and closed, his sky-bright eyes shot up and met hers.

No, not sky-bright. Darker, the color of the forget-me-nots that bloomed in the gardens in spring. The color of the night sky as it lightened with the first rays of dawn.

“Milord.” She gasped for breath.

Malcolm had never looked at her like he did now. This time, when he studied her, it was as if he didn’t dislike what he saw.

Being honest with herself, Malcolm had never disliked her. After all, the term dislike implied a depth of feeling he almost certainly lacked.

“Wife.”

Isobel flinched.

Grant was suddenly at her back. “Sir, I apologize. She’s faster than you’d think.” He laid a hand on her shoulder, as if to steer her from the room.

She shook him off.

“Indeed.” Malcolm smiled, and a charming dent in his cheek appeared.

How had she not noticed that before?

“We will leave at once.” Grant took her by the arm.

She wrenched out of his grasp. “I’m not going anywhere. Not until I have my audience.” She glanced around the room and saw no sign of Malcolm’s mistress.

“Lady Mackay,” Grant began.

Malcolm held up his hand. “‘Tis fine, Grant. I can always make time for my lady wife.”

Isobel barked a hollow laugh, alleviating the ache, just a little.

“Are you certain?” Grant’s eyes shifted from Isobel to Malcolm and back again. A wrinkle formed between his brows, and the muscle in his cheek worked as he ground his teeth together.

He’d only ever done that when he was agitated or anxious.

But there was no reason for that, as Malcolm had never truly cared enough to keep secrets from her in an attempt to spare her feelings. Nor had he ever forced others to do the same.

Malcolm’s eyes met Grant’s, and something passed between the two men. Her husband gave Grant a clipped nod. “If you’ll excuse us, Grant.”

Grant released his breath slowly. His eyes narrowed first at Malcolm, then at Isobel. Scowling, he bowed his head. “Mackay,” he said stiffly. He turned to Isobel. “Lady Mackay.”

Isobel watched him go then waited until the door had closed behind him. “So, where is she?”

Malcolm arched a dark brow. “Where is who?”

“You know. Her.”

He lifted a single shoulder, as if she didn’t have a right to know. “I doona ken.”

The silence that fell between them was deafening, damning.

Finally he said, “Your arrival was unexpected.”

She breathed a mirthless laugh. “I have no doubt.” She expected him to look ashamed, but his expression didn’t hold even the slightest hint of remorse. She swallowed against the betrayal rising in the back of her throat and tried again. “Why are you abed?”

“I’ve been ailing. Naught to fash yourself over.”

She approached his great bed tentatively. “Ailing how? Has your cough worsened?”

He glanced down at his coverlet and then brought his gaze back to her face. “For a time, aye. I believe I’m on the mend now.”

Isobel pressed her hand to his forehead, then his cheek. His skin felt cool beneath her palm, if a little damp.

His breath hitched, then he cleared his throat. “Satisfied? As you can see, I am on the mend.”

“Perhaps,” she whispered. She ran her hand around to the back of his neck, then descended to his back.

He wore a thin linen shirt, unsuitable for the cool nights of the Highlands in late fall. She placed her hands between his shoulder blades. He was thinner than she remembered, but there was no mistaking Malcolm’s unique strength.

“Breathe,” she said, and then reminded herself to do the same.

Malcolm.

“I hardly think—”

“If you want me to leave you be, you will appease my curiosity. Breathe.”

Malcolm tilted his head up and studied her.

She fought the desire to look at him for as long as she could before meeting his gaze. Her heart skipped a beat as she saw something in his eyes she hadn’t seen before.

Curiosity.

“Breathe, milord.” Heat spread up her neck to her face, and, to keep her free hand from shaking, she clenched a fist. The warmth of his body seeped through his nightshirt, scalding her hand not with fever but with something else.

The corners of his lips tilted upward before he smoothed his features. He paused for a moment too long, then held her gaze as he took an extended, deliberate breath.

She shoved the raging emotions aside and forced herself to view him as a person who needed her help.

She felt no hint of the cough that had been nagging him before she’d left.

Swallowing hard, she slid her hand between the linen and his skin, against his chest.

His heart rate kicked up.

“Breathe.” She struggled to force the word out.

I feel nothing. Nothing. He needs my help.

She closed her eyes and listened to his breathing, feeling the rise and fall of his chest beneath her hands, the steady beating of his heart. His skin scorched hers.

Her mouth dried, her tongue thick and heavy. She removed her hand. “You seem to have mended nicely.” Even to her own ears, her voice sounded strangled.

His gaze searched her face. “Aye.”

Isobel cradled her hand against her chest and stepped back from the bed, nearly tripping over her own feet. “I will leave you now, sir.”

Malcolm gave her a clipped nod. “Very well, my lady wife.”

“I—I will be in my chambers should you require me.”

He didn’t laugh, as he normally would have. “Then I shall find you there if I do. Or I will send for you.”

She backed up a few paces, bumped into a trunk, and immediately turned her attention to her skirt, trying to smooth wrinkles undoubtedly permanent from long days of travel. It was better than looking at Malcolm.

“By your leave.” Her eyes locked on the floor as she dipped into a hasty curtsy and fled.

The moment the door closed behind her, she put her back against the cold, stone wall, cradling the hand that had touched him as if she had injured it.

She’d touched his skin, felt the heat of his body, and the responding heat of hers.

He hadn’t forced her hands away. He hadn’t mocked her.

Instead, for the first time since their marriage, he’d called her wife.

Meggan Connors

www.megganconnors.com

Thursday Threads – Author Elle Hill

Elle Hill is the author of The Tithe, a science fiction, sensuous romance novel. For a glimpse of her book cover, buy links, and a sneak peek excerpt, read on . . .

elle hill

The Tithe

By Elle Hill

 thetithe

“Every seven years, seven persons from each of the ten towns must go into the desert, where they will enter into the realm of Elovah, their God.”

No one knows exactly what happens to these seventy Tithes, but everyone knows who:  the “unworkables,” those with differing physical and mental capacities. Joshua Barstow, raised for twenty years among her town’s holy women, is one of these seventy Tithes. She is joined by the effervescent Lynna, the scholarly Avery, and the amoral Blue, a man who has spent most of his life in total solitude.

Each night, an angel swoops down to take one of their numbers. Each night, that is, except the first, when the angel touches Josh… and leaves her. What is so special about Josh? She doesn’t feel special; she feels like a woman trying to survive while finally learning the meanings of friendship, community, and love.

How funny that she had to be sacrificed to find reasons to live.

Excerpt:

The lights in the Great Room went out.

No flickers, no dimming, no sizzling sounds—nothing. Just darkness where light used to be.

A man cried out and several people gasped.

“It’s all right, everyone,” Marcus called. Really, he was beginning to annoy Josh, too. He didn’t know that. No one did. “I’m sure this has—”

A whooshing sound, like air displaced, sliced through the room. For a tiny, tense moment, no one spoke.

“Is it an angel?” a child’s voice asked.

Several voices broke out then, some in shouts, some in startled cries, one or two in terror.

Just like the night before, the fold and crack of feathered wings in motion breathed through the room. Weak light from the multiple hallways leaked through the perimeters. Now that her eyes had adjusted to the sudden darkness, Josh found she could identify vague outlines.

Someone a few seats down leapt to her feet and hurled herself toward Josh, perhaps seeking the sterile safety of the kitchen. She stumbled over Josh’s outstretched legs and hurtled to the ground. Josh gasped in pain.

And still, the snap and sigh of wings overhead.

Josh wanted to stand up, to defend herself. She wanted to shrink into the upholstery, to make herself as small as possible. In the end, she sat still, trembling in indecision.

“The angels!” someone cried in something like terror, or perhaps ecstasy.

“Keep them away from me!” Someone—she thought it might be Len—shrieked.

Several people jumped to their feet and pushed their way through the room, seeking some kind of safety. The woman who’d tripped over Josh lay whimpering on the ground.

Whump, whump . . .

A warm arm encircled Josh’s shoulder. She shrieked before realizing it belonged to Blue. The baggy sleeves of his black tunic partially covered her head. She turned to him, and he pressed her closer.

I don’t think I want to court you, she remembered him saying, and almost sprayed laughter. Who knew they’d practically snuggle later that day?

The thump of wings grew closer. An outline of a human-sized object hurtled through the air and the darkness toward her. What had to be its wings spread around it, moving and tilting. Some stray ray of light gleamed whitely off the area where eyes should be. They seemed fixed directly on her.

Links:

Email: elle@ellehill.com

Website: www.ellehill.com

Blog: ellehillauthor.blogspot.com/

Book buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Tithe-Elle-Hill-ebook/dp/B00MVCPJFG

Author Spotlight: Cynthia Gail

Who doesn’t love a romance series? For my latest blog on the Passionate Writer, I am featuring author Cynthia Gail. Cynthia has written several books and she is here today to spread the word on her latest  and recent (May 6th) release – Summer’s Family Affair, Book 3 in the Music City Hearts series. Summer’s Family Affair is a contemporary romance which follows the story of Jenny, a super successful marketing consultant who happens to be surrounded by a group of adoring men, one of whom may have just a little too much interest in her.

headshot-3

Bio:

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

KH: Welcome, Cynthia, to my blog, The Passionate Writer.

CG: Thank you for inviting me. I’m excited to be here and have the opportunity to meet some of your followers.

KH: Let’s jump right to the heat level of your book, as readers usually love to know. What is the heat rating for Summer’s Family Affair?

CG: Medium/Hot with sex scenes done as secondary elements to the story itself.

KH: What was the inspiration behind this book?

CG: Summer’s Family Affair is the 3rd book in my Music City Hearts series – Three Best Friends . . . Three Single Hearts . . . All Turning Thirty. These three best friends, Beth (Winter’s Magic), Sara (Spring’s Surprise) and Jenny (Summer’s Family Affair) were roommates in college and they’re as close as sisters. They’re all turning thirty this year and looking for that special someone. Their journeys have all been quite different and they support each other through the ups and downs. I love reading and writing series, because I enjoy following characters not just in their own stories but seeing the after-story, too.

KH: It’s great that you love to write series novels, as readers often love being able to follow a storyline as it continues . . . What will readers love most about your hero/heroine?

CG: I don’t like wimpy characters. So I make all of my leading ladies and their men strong and successful. Yet, everyone has a weak spot. Something that happened to them years ago, something related to the way they were raised, or simply a soft spot in their heart for something specific that I can use in my stories as a hot button to show they’re human. I try to make my characters realistic so my readers can relate. They’re not super heroes and they don’t wear armored suits. They simply want someone to spend the rest of their lives with – someone who will love them and accept them despite their flaws.

KH: That is a wonderfully true observation. I think a lot of young women (and older) would be able to relate to strong female characters, so it’s nice to know your series offers that for readers. Do you have a favorite moment or scene from your book that you would like to share?

CG: There are several touching moments throughout the book related to Jenny and her mother or her work at the children’s hospital. A couple of spots that still make me cry every single time I read them. But my favorite part of any book is the moment two people meet. Their reaction, the chemistry, the circumstances, the sheer surprise that makes their heart race. I’ve attached a separate excerpt of Jenny and Craig’s first meet.

KH: What words best describe your book?

CG: Romantic, Sexy, Real.

KH: Thank you, Cynthia, for dropping by today. Readers, if you would like to get in touch with the author, or grab a copy of any of her books, follow the links below which the author has provided.

Cynthia’s social media links:

Website:  http://cynthiagail.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CynthiaGailBook

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6564818.Cynthia_Gail

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Gail/e/B009WQTTQE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1426743860&sr=8

You can also get in touch with Cynthia at: mailto:Email address:  author@cynthiagail.com

Buy link: Amazon buy link:  http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Gail/e/B009WQTTQE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1426743860&sr=8-1

Check out the amazing cover for Summer’s Family Affair:

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 Read on for a description and excerpt of Summer’s Family Affair.

Jenny Cohen defines successful independence: she put herself through college, couldn’t ask for better friends, owns a consulting firm, wears designer clothes, and just moved into her dream home . . . But she’s alone, except for her ailing mother whom she supports in a nursing home. As the marketing consultant for Chester, Dorsey & Tanner, she’s surrounded by male attention. Too bad it’s the overly-protective big-brother type.

Architect, Craig Stone, hasn’t looked at another woman since his wife passed away four years ago. His time is taken—building a career while trying to be both mother and father to his eight-year-old son. But when his appointment with the largest development firm in Nashville is double-booked with a black-haired beauty, he finds himself reaching for new possibilities.

The attraction sets off more fireworks than the Fourth of July. Yet, their relationship is riddled with issues neither one of them expected. Somewhere in the middle they must find a way to compromise or let go of a chance for love they may never find again.

EXCERPT #1

All thought froze, as a beautiful voice cut through the near-silence of the room. Craig stared at the portfolio for just a second more before turning his attention to the front desk. He couldn’t see far enough around the corner to get a good view. What he did see . . . a pair of black strappy stilettos.

“Better you than me. He’s in an awful mood. Jeffry was out for just three days and his temp messed up the entire week’s schedule.”

Craig quietly moved down the row of chairs. Though his line of sight was much improved, he still couldn’t see the face behind the voice.

“You know it’s only going to get worse. It’s just Monday. How bad is it, really?”

She must be leaning over the desk, because her voice was now a faint whisper and the scene that greeted him was a firm derriere and a pair of runner’s legs that made his heart skip a beat.

“I’m not sure. I do know that you’re double-booked with the gentleman sitting across the room. Don’t look now.” Someone cleared their throat. “He’s a new architect Nick’s consulting with on the expansion designs. Too expensive to reschedule. Sorry.”

“Oh.”

“Brandon’s supposed to be part of their meeting and the temp had it on his calendar for noon tomorrow, instead of nine today.”

“I guess I can take second place. Only because it puts Brandon at my mercy. Tell Jeffry to come to the lobby and we’ll work it out. I’m always flexible, especially when it gives me an edge.”

The women laughed, a beautiful melody that rang through his entire being. Craig watched as she straightened and he could now see long, wavy black hair, falling against a ruby-red silk blouse. She reminded him of a Victoria Secrets model—long and lean, with a hint of curve.

“That’s why I like you so much. It’ll be a few minutes, if you’d like to have a seat.”

Craig shifted his attention back to the contract in his hand and purposefully read the title five more times. Slowly. He listened as her shoes clicked across the hardwood floor, waiting until the sound stopped before turning in her direction. She’d taken the chair he’d previously occupied and was sliding her phone into a black designer clutch.

Then she greeted him with a smile that still held a spark of amusement. He took a deep breath and swallowed. She had a hint of summer tan that made her skin glow, a touch of sheer gloss on her lips, and chocolate-brown eyes that instantly warmed him to the core.

His throat went suddenly dry and his mind raced for something to say. He stared silently, feeling like a teenage boy who’d never spoken to a girl before. Somehow, he found his footing and stood, then walked over to the chair next to hers. “Craig Stone.”

wintersmagic2_8501springsurprise2_850

Buy links for books #1 and #2 in the series:

Winter’s Magic  http://amzn.to/1Gsi6OM

Spring’s Surprise http://amzn.to/1Np002k

Cover Reveal for Son of the Moonless Night

Cover Reveal for Son of the Moonless Night by C.D. Hersh

I absolutely love featuring new covers by authors. It is exciting moment for any author, and it is equally thrilling for readers to stumble across a brand new title with a captivating cover. In this case, the talented husband and wife author duo, Catherine and Donald Hersh, are sharing the cover for their upcoming release, Son of the Moonless Night. They have co-authored several books, and this latest release is book 3 of the series The Turning Stone Chronicles. Son of the Moonless Night, a paranormal suspense romance, is scheduled to be released the middle of May.

Thrust back into the world of paranormal huntress, Deputy Coroner Katrina Romanovski must unravel a string of murders she believes are vampire attacks. When she discovers the shape shifter she’s in love with is the murderer, she must reconcile her feelings for him, examine her life of violence against paranormals, and justify deceiving him in order to bring him to justice.

 SON OF THE MOONLESS NIGHT_505x825

Son of the Moonless Night, The Turning Stone Chronicles, book three

Author – C.D. Hersh

Genre – Paranormal Suspense Romance

Heat Level – Sensual

 

Read on to learn about the main characters, Owen and Katrina . . .

Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.

Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different-love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?

The authors have provided an excerpt below:

A crash in the alley stopped Katrina Romanovski mid-stride. Like the October mist swirling in off the lake, her gypsy blood stirred sending her intuition into high gear. Something unnatural was happening.

Go see what’s wrong. She heard her father’s voice as clearly as if he stood next to her.

On the heels of his words came her mother’s pragmatic warning in clipped British tones. You know what curiosity killed. Katrina pushed the ever-present warning aside. Mom never approved of Dad’s supernatural hunts and even less of his drawing her into them.

Pulling the oversized cross she always wore out from under her shirt, Kat looked around for a weapon. Please, not a vampire. I hate vampires! A piece of wood sticking out of the trashcan at the front of the alley caught her eye.

Grabbing it, she broke the end off into a sharp point. The mist-filled air filtered the light from the single bulb over one of the alley doorways. The wind swirled the loose trash around making a quiet approach difficult. Sidestepping the paper, with the stake in one hand and holding the gun she took from her purse in the other hand, she crept into the alley.

A roar echoed against the buildings, the sound nearly sending her running. That roar wasn’t a vampire. It sounded more like an animal. Kat inched closer. In the yellow pool of light from the back door of the building, a black bear, over seven feet tall, reared on its back legs and swung its paw at the man standing at the edge of the light. He crashed to the ground, shirt torn open from the slashing claws. Blood covered the fabric, and he clasped his left hand over his shoulder to stem the flow. The bear bent toward him, teeth bared in a smile. A wicked smile.

Kat aimed her gun, but before she could pull the trigger, a shot rang out. The flash of gunpowder lit the face of the injured man. The blast reverberated against the buildings. With an enraged bellow, the bear staggered backward against the wall. Shaking his head, the animal dropped to all four paws. Weaving like a drunk, he lumbered toward his attacker. The man took aim again, shooting the animal between the eyes. Animal and human collapsed on the dirty, littered pavement.

As she started to move forward, Kat’s gypsy senses crawled over her skin like angry red ants. As she slipped back into the shadows, the bear shed fur. Changing size. Then, finally, turning into a man.

Shape shifters. Her stake wasn’t any good against them, and her bullets weren’t silver. This one appeared dead anyway. Had the wounded man seen the shift? Tossing the stake aside, she paused by the shifter and quickly moved to the wounded man. Out cold. Still human.

When she touched him, his eyelids fluttered open. “Did I get it?”

“What?”

“The bear.”

Son of the Moonless Night is book 3 in a series. For information and links to books 1 and 2 in the series, please refer to the following links:

Amazon buy links:

The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00DUMODKI

paper back: http://amzn.com/1619353504

Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00OVNFC8W

The Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3):

eBook coming soon

Author Bio:

Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first two books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. The third book in the series Son of the Moonless Night is to be released mid-May by Soul Mate Publishing.

Where you can find CD:

Website: http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/

Blog: http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/blog-2/

Soul Mate Publishing: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

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

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/C.-D.-Hersh/e/B00DV5L7ZI

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCDHersh

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/CDHersh

Author Spotlight: Layne Macadam

I am pleased to feature author, Layne Macadam, on The Passionate Writer’s blog today. Layne hails from Down Under, and with a degree in history, she is clearly qualified to write a story that taps into history and the Land of Oz.

Her featured book, Obsession Down Under, comes on the heels of Desire Unleashed, all part of the Desire Series. Obsession Down Under is due to be released today on March 4th!

photo copy

Author bio:

Layne lives with her husband, two dogs, and a cat on the mid-eastern coast of New South Wales, Australia. In addition to being an author she has a degree in history and holds down a full-time job.

She has always been an avid reader and voraciously consumes all types of fiction, but she particularly loves a happy ending, so writing romance seemed a natural progression for her. But as she sat at the computer one day—staring at a blank screen—it all seemed rather daunting. Yet once she finally started tapping on the keys, the words kept flowing, and what was meant to be a short story turned into a full-blown novel, Desire Unleashed, the first book in the “Desire” series.

Layne writes contemporary romance, paranormal, and sci-fi. With her passion for travel and her love of history, an historical romance is not outside the realms of possibility. When she’s not writing, you might find her tackling a craft project, walking by the lake, or in the kitchen creating some culinary delights.

LayneMacadam_ObsessionDownUnder

Following is a short excerpt provided by the author:

Short excerpt

“Welcome to Highland Glen Jess. I’m Drew, Whip’s youngest brother—the good looking one” he said by way of introduction and helped her out of the car.

“If you believe that Jess, you’ll believe anything.” Another young man appeared shouldering Drew, aside. “Hi, I’m Mark, and as you can plainly see, I’m the good looking one—he’s the comedian.”

“Would you two clowns back off, and give the girl some space.” Whip materialized at her side.

Jessica extended her hand to the young men. “No ugly sticks here either Whip, they’re both handsome.” She gurgled joining in the fun.

“That’s a matter of opinion.” Whip groaned and grasping her arm led her up onto the verandah. “Do us a favor you two and bring in the luggage.” He threw over his shoulder.

The woman on the verandah, a petite redhead, was dwarfed by the man standing beside her. Jessica guessed he must be Travis.

“Welcome Jess, it’s going to be so much fun having you here.” The redhead stepped forward and gave her a hug. “I’m Annie, and this big dope here is my husband Travis, who only opens his mouth to change feet.”

“What can I say Jess, I’m a mere male, do you forgive me?” His sheepish expression had her heart fluttering, he was the dead spit of Whip.

“With a face like that how could I not?” She stood on tiptoes and planted one on his cheek. “All is forgiven.”

“This is all very cozy, but isn’t anyone going to say g’day to me?”

“Oh you big baby, of course we missed you, and it’s good to have you home so soon.” Annie hugged Whip, and then gave him a playful punch in the upper arm.

“Next time when I tell you to call me, call me.” Travis chimed in throwing his twin a stern look.

“I hope everyone’s hungry?” Annie said.

“I don’t know about anybody else, but I could eat the crutch out of a low flying duck,” Drew said as he dumped the bags by the stairs.

“Me too, I’m starving,” Mark agreed.

“Well, you’re both out of luck because duck crutch isn’t on the menu. I’ve cooked a lamb roast, so both of you get yourselves into the kitchen and help me dish up.”

“I’ll help,” Jessica piped up. At least by pitching in she could show her gratitude. She wasn’t the type that needed to be waited on hand and foot, her upbringing had seen to that. Although an only child, she hadn’t been spoiled or pampered, her parents had been very strict and set her daily chores that she didn’t dare shirk.

“Thanks Jess, but there will be time enough tomorrow for you to find your way around the kitchen, just take a seat and Travis will pour you a drink.”

“Okay, but I’m not a bad cook, so tomorrow night it’s my turn, agreed.”

“Um okay, if you insist.”

Layne’s book, Obsession Down Under, will be available on Amazon, beginning March 4th. You can find yourself a copy of this romance novel, as well as read more about Layne on her social media links:

Thanks for being here today, Layne. I’m sure readers will love this story with a backdrop that promises as much heat as the characters do.

http://www.laynemacadam.com/

http://www.amazon.com.au/s?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Layne%20Macadam&search-alias=digital-text

https://www.facebook.com/layne.macadam.3

https://twitter.com/?lang=en

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: CHERYL YEKO

I am happy to introduce you to author Cheryl Yeko, a prolific author of many titles, in addition to being an Acquisitions Editor for Soul Mate Publishing. Read on to learn more about her latest release, My Sexy Valentine, a perfect match, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Cheryl can be reached on many social media platforms, for which she has provided the links below. Make sure you also check out her book trailer on YouTube! Welcome, Cheryl, to The Passionate Writer today!

Cheryl Yeko is a multi-published, award-winning author. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband Patrick, and loves to read, play piano, and spend time with family and friends. She enjoys novels with fast-paced action and steamy romance, protective alpha men and strong heroines. She belongs to several writing groups, and is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), as well as the Wisconsin Chapter.

Cheryl is also an Acquisitions Editor for Soul Mate Publishing. As an Editor, she welcomes Romantic Suspense, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Contemporary, and Erotica.

Hi! Thank you for having me here today. I’d love to tell you about my newest (2015) releases, first being, MY SEXY VALENTINE, SOUL MATE COLLECTION 1, a collection of steamy little stories of which I am both the Editor, and also have a story in the collection, titled VALENTINES DAY BREAKUP. I had great fun working with all the talented authors for this awesome collection!

sexy valentine

Here’s a blurb for my story in this fun anthology-VALENTINE’S DAY BREAKUP:

Finding her fiancé in a clutch with the coat check girl sends Shelly straight into the arms of her Soul Mate.

Here is a short expert, where our hero, Dean, steps into the bar and sees our heroine, Shelly, for the first time (after she’s ended her engagement with her cheating fiancé):

Intrigued, Dean stepped up to the spot next to her and requested a Hacker-Pschorr. The woman was leaning over her drink, her thick blond hair flowing forward, obscuring his view of her features. Bob, the bartender, came back with his Weiss beer. Dean tossed a wad of money on the bar, starting a tab.

Returning his gaze to the woman, he picked up the bottle and waited for her to notice him. But she seemed to be deep in thought, twirling her straw in her drink, before taking a long sip. He frowned when he thought he heard a sniffle. Was she crying? The last thing he wanted was to get caught up in the drama of a crying woman. Had her boyfriend stood her up on their Valentine’s date? His interest waned. Whatever the reason, he didn’t take advantage of vulnerable women, so she was off-limits.

But before he could turn away, she lifted her head and looked at him, and he froze. Well, everything froze except his cock, which in a millisecond grew hard as iron as he looked upon pure sensual perfection. She was an angel, with delicate features and a perfect oval face, her cute nose slightly tipped up and full, rosy lips that begged for his kiss. He set his jaw and managed to keep his hands, and his lips, to himself.

Dean stared into her soft green eyes, the shade of freshly mown grass, glistening with unshed tears. His feet refused to move. An overwhelming urge to gather her into his arms and hold and comfort her swept through him.

Turn your ass around and get the hell out of here, his I-don’t-have-time-for-this-shit internal voice insisted. Then she sniffed again, and one lone tear slid down her right cheek and gutted him.

“Hello-o,” she said, then blinked like an owl, before turning back to her drink and taking another long sip through the straw, once again obscuring his view to her lovely face.

That was when he realized his angel was tipsy. He frowned. She wasn’t his angel and he should just turn around and walk away. But he didn’t. Against his better judgment, and with a feeling of possession that was totally out of line, he stepped closer and asked as gently as he could, so as not to scare her, “Why the tears, angel?”

MY SEXY VALENTINE is available for Pre-Order on Amazon and scheduled for release on February 4th!

EYES OF A HERO, is my second new release this year, and Book 2 in my Hero Series. The first novel in the Hero Series is, MOUNTAIN HERO, which took first place in the 2014 International Digital Awards, in the novella category…how cool is that?

eyes of a hero

Blurb For Eyes Of A Hero:

Stumbling across a murder and getting chased off a cliff makes for one heck of a bad day. But when a handsome blue-eyed hero comes to Darcy’s rescue, things begin to look up.

The last thing Randy expected when he made the hike up the bluff was to rescue a beautiful woman hanging off a cliff ledge. He soon learns that he’s her only protection against powerful forces that want her silenced.

 

Here’s an Excerpt – Enjoy!      

“How’d you end up on the ledge?” Randy’s gaze scoured the area for anything to help him retrieve her.

“I—I was running from some me—”she hiccupped on a sob“—men.”

A sense of unease rushed through him, and his eyes narrowed as he did another search of the area, looking for danger this time.

“How many men?” he barked, his voice low and threatening at the thought of a group of men chasing a woman off a cliff. Were they still around? His hands curled into tight fists, itching to get his hands on the bastards.

“I think they left.” A soft sniffle sounded. “But they . . . they killed a man.”

What the hell?

Keeping alert to any approaching danger, He knelt back down to speak with her. “What happened?”

“I—” Another frightened squeak came from her as more loosened stones tumbled into the water.

Shit! He had to get her off that damn ledge.

“Darcy,” he said urgently, “don’t move.” He wished like hell he could see her, because he had no idea how much time she might have before the rock underneath her totally gave away. The afternoon sun was blasting, and sweat slid down his back, under his shirt.

There was a long tense moment until the pebbles finally stopped falling. Her panicked gasp cranked up his urgency to get to her, filling him with a sense of impotence at his total uselessness. He needed to think of something, fast! As an avid outdoorsman, there had to be something here he could use.

“Randy,” her soft voice called up to him.

“Yeah, darlin’,” he said gently.

“If I don’t make it—”

“You’ll make it,” he snapped, standing, his body tense. He wouldn’t even entertain the thought that she’d die. He’d never be able to live with the guilt for allowing it to happen.

Ignoring him, she continued, “Please tell my family I love them . . . okay?”

The muscles in his shoulders tensed into hard knots, his mind working feverously. “You’re gonna tell them yourself, Darcy. Just as soon as I get you up from there.”

“How’re you going to do that?” The resignation in her voice indicated she didn’t believe he could save her.

Like hell . . . He set his jaw in determination.

“I’ve got a hiking kit back at my campsite. I’m going to get it, I’ll be right back.”

“You—you’re leaving?” Panic laced her voice.

“I’ll only be gone five minutes.”

She didn’t answer.

“Darcy?” he repeated, kneeling back down to peer over the edge. “I promise, I’ll be back for you.” Damn, he wished he could see her face, so she’d know he meant every word he said.

“Okay,” she responded quietly, though he could hear the tears in her voice.

The tinkling of small pebbles rolling down the cliff told him to get his ass moving. She needed off that ledge, before it was too late.

He just wasn’t quite sure how the hell he was going to accomplish that.

—————————–

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PROTECTING ROSE: 2011 Launching a Star Contest – Finalist

2012 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence – Winner

A MAN TO TRUST: 2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence – Finalist 2013 Write Touch Contest – Finalist ABDUCTING CASEY MOUNTAIN HERO:

2014 International Digital Award (IDA) – Winner

2014 Carolyn Readers Choice Award – Finalist SHIELDING HER HEART: 

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THE NOTARY

EYES OF A HERO

MY SEXY VALENTINE, SOUL MATE COLLECTION 1: Release date February 4, 2015