Devil’s Run by Beverley Oakley #giveaway

devil's run blog tour

Devil’s Run 
Scandalous Miss Brightwells series

By Beverley Oakley


Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here

BLURB: 

A rigged horse race – and a marriage offer riding on the outcome. When Miss Eliza Montrose unexpectedly becomes legal owner of the horse tipped to win the East Anglia Cup, her future is finally in her hands – but at what cost?


George Bramley, nephew to the Earl of Quamby, will wager anything. Even his future bride.
Miss Eliza Montrose will accept any wager to be reunited with the child she was forced to relinquish after an indiscretion — even if it means marrying a man she does not love.
But when the handsome and charming Rufus Patmore buys a horse from her betrothed, George Bramley, whose household her son visits from the foundling home, her heart is captured and the outcome of the wager is suddenly fraught with peril.
**This is book 3 in the Scandalous Miss Brightwells series, though it can be read as a stand-alone.
~*~*~*~*~*~

Excerpt  from Devil’s Run 


Chapter One
“And there’s nothing else you’d like, my dear? No?” Straightening after receiving a polite rebuff, George Bramley found it an effort to keep the syrup in his tone. His bride-to-be had not even looked at him as she’d declined the piece of marchpane he’d been certain would win him at least a smile.
Hovering at her side, he weighed up the advantages of a gentle rebuke, then decided against it. Until yesterday, he’d thought her quiet demeanour suggested a charmingly pliant nature. Now he was not so sure. In fact, suddenly, he was not sure of anything.
“A glass of lemonade, perhaps, my angel? Or a gentle stroll?”
“I would prefer to be left alone.” Miss Montrose waved a languid hand in his general direction, while she continued to gaze at the still lake beside which their picnic party had situated itself.
The languid arm-wave had not even been accompanied by a demure thank you as subtle acknowledgement of her gratitude that not only had Mr Bramley, heir to a viscountcy, stepped in to rescue Miss Eliza Montrose from impoverishment, he was prepared to treat her publicly as if she were as fine a catch as he could have made.
A soft titter brought his head round sharply, but the ladies behind him, bent over the latest Ackerman’s Repository, appeared occupied with their own gossip as they lounged on cushions beneath the canopy that had been erected to protect them from the sun.
Awkwardly, he looked for occupation as he continued to eye his intended with a mixture of irritation and desire—both lustful desire, and the desire to put her in her place.
The idea of the latter made him harden. She was beautiful, this quiet, apparently retiring, young woman who said so little, but whose eyes spoke such volumes. The afternoon sun glinted on her honey-gold hair and imbued her porcelain skin with a warm glow. The skin that he could see, at any rate.
He pushed back his shoulders. On their wedding night in six weeks, when he’d at last take possession of her, he’d rip that modesty to shreds. The skin she was so at pains to hide would be his, not only to see, but to caress and taste. When she was his wife, the beautiful, distant Miss Eliza Montrose would no longer get away with paying George Bramley so little attention. No, he’d have her screaming and writhing at his command. He would make her like the things he did to her; or at least, show him she did if she enjoyed harmony as much as she appeared to. None of this languid reclining like a half-drugged princess in his presence. He’d keep her on her toes, ready to leap to his bidding at the sound of his footstep. She’d learn to be grateful.
Feeling ignored and superfluous, he turned to his uncle’s detestable wife, Lady Quamby, and said with a smile, “Perhaps you and Miss Montrose would like to accompany me to the turret. Since you appear to have enjoyed this new novel, Northanger Abbey, so much, you might be interested to know there is an excellent view of the ruined monastery not far from here.”
He was just priding himself on being so attuned to the feminine inclination for pleasure, when Lady Quamby half turned and sent him a desultory smile. “Oh, I think Miss Eliza looks perfectly comfortable, and Fanny and I are having such a lovely little coze.” As if imitating Miss Montrose, she waved a languid hand in his general direction. “Why don’t you take Mr Patmore off to see it? The two of you can tell us all about it when you return.”
The fact that Miss Montrose didn’t deign to even speak for herself, much less glance in his direction, sent the blood surging to Bramley’s brain. By God, when he was married to Eliza Montrose, the limpid look of love so lacking now would be pasted onto her face every time he crossed her line of vision. She’d soon learn what was good for her.
He inclined his head, hiding his fury, and was on the point of leaving when Lady Quamby’s sister, Fanny —for he’d be damned if he’d accord the little strumpet the title of Lady Fenton—leapt up from her chair. She’d been poring over the latest fashions, but now she smiled brightly up at him.
“I’ll come with you, Cousin George. We’ll have an excellent view of the  children learning to row from the battlements. I told Nanny Brown she could take them in the two boats if they’d been good.”
Bramley stared down her liveliness. In fact, he was about to give up the idea of going up to the battlements altogether when his other guest, Rufus Patmore, suddenly rose and joined Fanny’s side with a late and unexpected show of enthusiasm.
“Capital idea!” declared Rufus.
George flashed them both a dispassionate look. He’d chosen to invite his betrothed, Miss Montrose—whose chaperone was currently tucked up in the green bed chamber nursing a head cold—to be his guest at his uncle’s estate, Quamby House, after receiving intelligence that Ladies Quamby and Fenton would be safely in London with their husbands and children. Instead, the brazen Brightwell sisters—as they’d infamously been called when he’d first made their acquaintance—had altered their plans, and were now in dogged attendance, reminding him as they always had, of some awful tenacious climbing plant, determined to find a foothold wherever they could in order to rise in the world.
Rufus, a last-minute addition and acquaintance from his club, Boodles, was here because he’d just purchased a horse from Bramley the night before. Now, Rufus was gazing at Lady Fenton, with the same dewy-eyed fondness George was used to seeing reflected in the eye of his uncle, the Earl of Quamby, who called the Brightwell sisters his precious rose-buds. To George, they were common dandelions! And now they had overridden Quamby House, the rambling Queen Anne manor house and estate that would have passed to George the moment his uncle quit this mortal coil, were it not for the snotty-nosed infant Lady Quamby had borne far too early in her marriage to George’s uncle.
George shook his head. He’d changed his mind. Only, there was Rufus striding across the lawn, skirting the lake with Fanny at his side, and George didn’t want to be seen as petulant for having offered the suggestion in the first place. Or have his snubbed and ignored status so much on parade, since the two remaining ladies—Miss Montrose and Lady Quamby—had their heads bent together in deep discussion, with no apparent interest in seeking his company.
By God, he thought, clenching his fists as he set off after them at a brisk trot, they’d all rue the day they showed George Bramley so little respect.
~*~*~*~*~*~
Author Info: 

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.
Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.
Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honour – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.
Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances tarring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.
You can get in contact with Beverley at:
Posted in MRM | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Game of Thrones a Romance? Here’s 4 Reasons Why

Game of Thrones Romance?

photo Sputnik International, HBO

Ok, so there are plenty of bloody battles – and I do mean plenty and I do mean bloody – in Game of Thrones. And yes, there is incest and greed, murder most foul and mayhem in general, but I still contend that at heart Game of Thrones is a perfect romance.

Here are four reasons why:

Obviously, Jon Snow is the perfect romantic hero. Game of Thrones a Romance? Here's 4 Reasons… Click To Tweet

Jon Snow – The Ultimate Romantic Hero

Obviously, Jon Snow is the perfect romantic hero. Hell, he even has the hair to prove it. And that body – don’t forget that body. Oh my! I can give you dozens of reasons why he is the perfect hero, but I will settle for just a few. First, Jon is a flawed character, who learns and grows through the love of a woman. He comes to the Wall arrogant and naïve, yet by the time Egret dies, Jon has discovered he has much to learn, although we still find him perfect. He has matured, becoming both a better man and a better leader. Second, he knows when to pay attention to his woman, and when to focus on the world’s important issues. In the current season Jon may be attracted to Danaerys, but that must simmer while he prepares to fight the Whitewalkers. He is King of the North after all, with an entire people to protect. A hero never shirks his responsibilities. Third, Jon is a fierce warrior on the outside, but he is soft on the inside. He is a family man, protective of the Stark family, of his brother Watchers at the Wall, a loyal friend, and a man of his word. And did I mention that there are his bloody good looks? This is a hero worth swooning over if ever I saw one.

Tommen and Margaery – The Ultimate Sacrifice

Tommen and Margaery. What could be more romantic than a King who would forfeit life, crown and kingdom by throwing himself out a window for the woman he loves? Tommen may be a youthful innocent when his scheming family arranges a marriage with Margaery’s equally politically ambitious clan, but he grows up quickly and learns to reject his mother, be a king and stand by his woman. Tommen overlooks Margaery’s previous marriage to his older brother and quickly becomes enamored with the woman who initiates him in the ways of love. In a true “Romeo and Juliet” moment, Tommen throws himself from the castle window upon his wife’s death. If that’s not romance, I don’t know what is. After all, it worked for Shakespeare and has for over 400 years.

Contemporary romantic fiction is liberally sprinkled with hot sex and so is Game of Thrones… Click To Tweet

Sex – The Ultimate Offering in Every Form Possible

There’s loads of sex. Contemporary romantic fiction is liberally sprinkled with hot sex and so is Game of Thrones. We have affection and sex from the beginning. In Season One in the loving marriage of Caitlyn and Ned Stark, and the premarital sex their son Rob partakes in leading up to the now famous Red Wedding. We have Dany’s wonderful training in the ways to tempt her Dorthraki husband and there is the constant coupling of brother and sister Cersei and Jaime, which fits the bill for many erotic fiction tales today. And for the sweet romance lovers, we have the generous abstinence of Tyrian during his brief marriage to Sansa. Definitely all romantic fiction material.

The Happily Ever After – Ultimately Couples End as They Should

A romantic story requires a couple, a crisis, and a resolution that ends in happily ever after. Here your view may differ from mine, but Joffrey’s death by poisoning seemed like the perfect end for his marriage to Margaery. Ditto, Sansa bringing in the hungry dogs to end Ramsey’s cruelty. Tell me you weren’t happy when that happened. I was positively gleeful. Sure, all of these are violent and some endings were technically less than happy but we cannot say that they were dissatisfying. They were incredibly satisfying. They offered that ‘aah’ moment as well as any happy ending.

But Wait, there’s more ….

Of course the series isn’t over either, but I think the characters who truly belong together in GoT have a tendency to find each other. From Dany and Jon – our key heroes in this saga – to secondary relationships, be they siblings like the Starks, real, like Samwell and Ginny, or bromance, like the loyalty we see between Tyrian and brother Jaime despite all obstacles that come between them. And, of course, poor Hodor, who is bound to Brandon Stark to his ultimate demise.

Still, I must hedge my bets on this whole hypothesis, for Game of Thrones has a season and a half left until its conclusion. As we know, anything can happen and usually does. But the possibilities are fraught with romance: Dany and Jon, Samwell and Ginny, Sansa and Littlefinger, even Brianne and Tormund. Still the winter is long and it is here.

Want more Game of Thrones?

Want more Romance? 

 

 

Posted in Maddy Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Desert Sun – Enter Wayne Hussey’s Exotic World

The Desert Sun. The name conjurs an instant vision, The cover art reinforces it. We are instantly moved from our homes, our cities, to an exotic land full of possibilities. With his debut novel, Wayne Hussey introduces us to a new romance from a new author, set in in the exotic desert of North Africa.  I often make the mistake of thinking all romance writers are women, and that readers are too. But in fact 20% of my readers are men, equivalent to the average. They bring a different perspective to romance. Wayne does too.

The Desert Sun by Wayne Hussey
The Desert SunThe Desert Sun takes you on an incredible adventure that is filled with action, suspense, passion, and erotica. There is something for both men and woman to cling to and hold their interest throughout the book. This fiction novel will take you to many places as you travel along. From the sands of the Sahara desert to a mountain cabin in the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon. Steve Gaston is on a mission for C.I.T.(Commission on International Terrorism). If you enjoy a strong manly character who knows how to love a woman in a romantic, sensual, mesmerizing way, then this is a book for you.

The story revolves around a mercenary agent who is on a secret mission. Along the way, you will meet up with some fascinating women. Romance, Erotica, Passion Suspense are all covered. There are a few twists and turns that you won’t want to miss. Let your mind relax and take you there. All you need to add is a comfortable pillow and a nice glass of wine
Buy Link: Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073GDYS99

Excerpt Part 1: Something for the Guys:
The sun was beating down onto the desert. Looking around at the terrain, it seemed desolate and without life. Gaston slowly raised his body up to look over the sandy knoll. There was dust in the distance. Maybe, ten miles away he estimated and was approaching towards him!
“I’ve really done it this time!”

Steve Gaston began to reflect back. When I took this assignment, they said it would be an easy one. “You’ll probably just lie around drinking Iced Teas and soaking up a few rays. Heck, you may like it so much, you might even decide to stay,” replied Gaston’s Commander in Chief, Colonel Jerry Tiffany.
“The only thing that could make me stay in that God-forsaken part of the world is if they killed me and threw my dead and decaying carcass to the wild dogs.!!!”

Another tour for C.I.T. (Commission on International Terrorism). How is it that they always seem to talk me into coming back? After the last assignment, I told myself, “Steve, it’s time to settle down. Find a good woman, have some children. Life’s too short! Take some time off and enjoy it as God intended for you to do. You know that your days are not an infinite number and it’s only a matter of time before it catches up with you! Now, look at me? Air dropped into the middle of a desert. The Sahara Desert no less!”

The Commission on International Terrorism set up this tactical group after the United States waged War on Iraq. Its sole purpose was designed to eliminate radical terrorist leaders (The ones that could not be incarcerated legally by the United States or the United Nations without significant reprimand, repercussions or retaliation). So, with the United Nations hands tied behind their backs, so to speak, they did the next best thing, and that was to hire mercenaries to carry out high-level termination sentences set forth by the so-called League of Bodies. Steve Gaston was one of these men.

Excerpt Part 2: Something for the Ladies:
Steve put his hand on the back of Vicki’s head and kissed her tenderly. His other hand slowly moved up Vicki’s blouse and reached for her bra strap. In less than two seconds, Steve had released his first obstacle with a simple ‘snap your finger’ motion using his right forefinger and thumb.

Vicki was impressed at how smooth and softly he’d unstrapped the bra. Steve slid his hand under the loosened bra to make contact with her breast, cradling it in his hand. Using his forefinger and thumb, he slowly rolled them together over her stiffening nipple. The sensation was driving her wild inside of her head, completely consumed by the sensual touch. It had been, what to her seemed like forever, since her heart pounded so hard and fast in her chest.

Steve stood up, took Vicki’s hand and helped her off of the bed. He gazed deeply into her dark brown eyes as he unbuttoned her blouse. Her facial expression told him that she was yearning for more. Steve knew he would need to proceed in a very slow and methodical manner. Vicki wasn’t like any other woman he had been with in the past. No, she was different, and he knew it.

They were both undressed now, and Vicki was laying on her back in the large bed. Steve had positioned himself along her side and was slowly and gently moving his hand up and down her perfectly shaped and toned long satin legs.

Meet Wayne Hussey
desert sunWayne Hussey is an aspiring writer. He is from a small town in Eastern Oregon. He has experience in many professions which helps him to draw from. You will feel his passion for detail in his writing.

Recently after spending seventeen years as a Web Administrator for a large health care system in the Pacific Northwest. Wayne decided to go back to a story in his head from a long time ago and write this book.

This book is fiction, drawn from both life experiences and a great imagination.  Whether he was working overseas in North Africa as a young man or being a John Deere mechanic for twenty years, or working on farms and ranches across the states of Oregon and Idaho, it is the simple small town man with visions and aspirations for all that comes out in his writing.

1. Where is your favorite place to write? I enjoy writing in the serenity of my cabin in the blue mountains of Eastern Oregon. The quiet, peaceful surroundings allow my mind to flow.

2. What inspires you as an author?
The opportunity to write a story, and to breathe life into some very unique characters fascinates me. For the basis of my first book The Desert Sun, I drew from my past when I escaped out of Libya as a young man. I wanted to share parts of that adventure and place it into a fictional setting. It will be up to the reader to decide on what is real and what is imaginary. Writing allows me to step out of my comfort zone and experience different things that life has to offer. Hopefully, you will feel the same.

3. Why do you write romance and why your genre of romance? I enjoy writing in the romance-erotica genre because my goal as an author is to take you, the reader, on a unique journey filled with adventure, action, suspense, erotica, and romance all within the safety of your own imagination. I provide the words to tempt your mind, but it is up to you, the reader, with your experiences in life to interpret the outcome of certain scenes.
I have never read a romance novel before, so this is my first attempt to write what I believed would make for an adventurous and romantic story. Was I able to accomplish this or not? Only you the reader will be able to answer. I let my heart and mind dictate where the story would lead us. I wanted to present a strong masculine character and show that even a tough guy can have a tender romantic heart that appreciates and understands the importance of pleasing a woman.

4. What are you working on next and when can we expect to see it?
I will begin my second book a sequel to The Desert Sun in September 2017. I hope to have it completed by the summer of 2018.

Posted in MRM | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Beguiling August – Sultry Nights, Girls & Giveaways

Sultry Nights

Sultry Nights. Sounds like an accurate description of these warm, humid August nights when tall cool drinks and a light breeze on moist skin feel heavenly. Sultry Nights – when the sun finally sinks in the sky, taking with it the heat and the lethargy it brought all day. Sultry Nights when our hearts and minds linger on the sensuous roughness of sand between our toes, the cooling effect of warm water on hot skin.

I think of all of those when I hear the title of the first collection I have participated in. Sultry Nights is the perfect title for a collection of 22 steamy romances by a diverse group of talented authors coming out later this month because that’s what you will discover when you begin reading – 22 sultry, love stories featuring strong sexy men and stunning, sassy women.

Speaking of sassy women, throughout July I shared the works and words from four of the wonderful authors I have come to know through the Sultry Nights collection. Today is about more of the girls, and about giveaways.

First meet Charlotte.

My contribution to Sultry Nights is Bedeviled, my full-length, third installment in The Beguiling Bachelor Series. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, each is about one of four millionaire friends, handsome, smart, successful and confident – confident that is, until each finds themselves chasing a fiery beauty who initially rebuffs their charms. In Bedeviled, our confident bachelor, Alex, gets his comeuppance from the brilliant Charlotte, a Harvard graduate, a marathon runner and a women with dark secrets.

Here’s a short excerpt from Bedeviled:

Beguiling August“I am not going to your place,” Charlotte countered without missing a beat. “I am going home. People navigate stairs on these stupid things,” she pointed at the heavy black boot on her leg, “and if they can do it, I certainly can.”

“I don’t doubt you could, Charlotte,” Alex responded. “I am confident you could do anything you set your mind to, but you have the bruised ribs and hand and you need a little help. I can provide that. I am happy to provide that.”

“I don’t know you well enough, Alex, and I absolutely cannot take advantage of you like that. Besides, you will be out of town all week, so I would still have to care for myself, just in a strange apartment.”

“It’s not strange, Charlotte, it’s flat, and comfortable. You would have everything you need there. Oh, and I cancelled my trip. I want to be here, for you.”

Charlotte blushed at the last few words, silenced for a moment. “Alex, you didn’t need to do that. I am embarrassed by all this attention. I can’t let you do this. I just can’t. I have only known you a few short months and it’s not like we have that kind of relationship.” She was blushing furiously, unable to make eye contact.

Lifting her chin and looking deep into her tawny eyes, Alex made sure she would hear and understand what he told her next. “I am your friend, Charlotte. I can do this and I want to do this for you. I am your closest friend in Chicago and I have the space, the ability,” Alex paused for effect and chose his words carefully, “and the desire to care for you.” He stressed the word ‘desire.’

She must understand what I am telling her. I couldn’t have been more obvious, even if she is in a medicated fog.

“You are being so generous and I am so appreciative…”

“Great, I will just go get the car.”

“…but I really can take care of myself, Alex. I still have to say no thank you.”

“It’s too much, Alex,” she explained. “You are so thoughtful and I appreciate it, really I do, but I simply cannot impose on you. Go to California. I will be fine.”

“It’s a secure building,” Alex reminded her, hitting her where he suspected she was most vulnerable. “You can trust me Charlotte. I will keep you safe.”

Charlotte’s head shot up and he knew he had struck a nerve. Sometime in her past she had been badly scared. It made so much sense now – her need to be strong and independent, her skittish behavior if a man got too close.

“Why did you say that?” She looked more frightened than he had ever seen her. “What would make you think you have to keep me safe?”

www.madisonmichael.net/books – for buy links

Meet Sloane – BEHOLDEN ****GIVEAWAY****

Want more beguiling Bachelors? During the month of August I will be giving away 100 ebooks of Beholden, book 2 in the Beguiling Bachelor Series. Here’s your chance to meet the manipulative beauty Sloane, toppled from her perch at the apex of society she gives our Bachelor, Randall, a merry chase. Randall, determine to woo Sloane by helping her regain her position underestimates her fury at being Beholden

 

Meet Sierra London

beguiling augustNavy veteran, Siera London writes stories about sizzling heroes, sassy heroines, and seat of your pants suspense. After a day in her writing cave, she can be found in a sunken tub of honey-scented bubbles, walking the water’s edge, or veggin’ out in front of the television.

You’ll want to take advantage of these offers from Siera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLAIMING JANNA, Book 4 in SIERA LONDON'S Bachelors of Shell Cove series in on PRE-ORDER!… Click To Tweet

Offers from Sierra:

Pre-Order Now 🚥

Janna - Beguiling AugustCLAIMING JANNA, Book 4 in SIERA LONDON’S Bachelors of Shell Cove series in on PRE-ORDER! #oneclick #romance #suspense

http://a.co/46B0nLd

Check out my newsletter for the Chapter One excerpt! http://preview.mailerlite.com/y3x1n4

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Link

https://www.facebook.com/authorsieralondon/photos/a.1553727604910368.1073741829.1509236882692774/1918596925090099/?type=3&theater

 

💥🔥🔥💥The Fiery Fairy Tales Series💥🔥🔥💥
By Siera London
#DFRKW #ChasingFlames #ConcealingFire #CommandingHeat#RomanticSuspense #SieraLondon

Chasing Flames~ http://a.co/2LZEcSh
Concealing Fire~ http://amzn.to/2uOkBOH
Commanding Heat~ http://amzn.to/2tRQe6b

They’ll be More coming – After all it’s Beguiling August

Lots of ladies, lots of freebies. Grab these offers now and watch for Sultry Nights coming soon.

Posted in Maddy Blog | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

The Vicar’s Deadly Sin – Meet Miguelina Perez

The Vicar’s Deadly Sin is Miguelina’s new Regency romance mystery, part of the Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard series. Here’s an excerpt and a chance to meet the author. I hope you enjoy!

…The vicar has been murdered.

Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard have been friends since the age of twelve. Together they share their dreams, hopes and love for reading. However, it is their wild imagination and a love for solving mysteries that will test their abilities when the Vicar of Dover is found murdered.

The Vicar's Deadly Sin is a witty Regency romance mystery about two friends solving crimes… Click To Tweet

The young ladies are joined by two gentlemen, also eager to find the murderer in order to prove to the ladies that detecting is a man’s job, though the gentlemen find their beauty, wit, and pride more troublesome than solving a murder.

The Vicar’s Deadly Sin is a delightful and witty Regency romance mystery about two friends and their love for solving crimes, while keeping society and its rules at bay.

 

The Vicar's Deadly Sin

Here’s an excerpt from   The Vicar’s Deadly Sin

“I understand women have their places for the opportunity of bonding and, if I am correct, there is Almack’s. Besides, it’s expected of women born to privilege to be introduced to society,” he said. “It’s their duty in life.”

She stopped midway from taking a sip of her tea. Had she heard him correctly? “I must say Almack is a joke! It’s managed by a bunch of snobbish old biddies. Your comment suggests to me you believe women are born to shackles.” Margaret’s voice turned to ice.

“I daresay, Miss Renard, that being ‘born to shackles’ versus being born to high society is not a very decent comparison. To someone like you it may be shackles, but to my family, it is a small payment for living in a civilised society,” said Mr Latham. His aloofness after such a comment irritated her.

Margaret stood. “Indeed, sir, are you implying that I am uncivilised?” she asked stiffly.

Mr Latham rose as well, looking a bit worried. “Of course not, I am merely stating that society sets up rules separating itself from the animal kingdom and—”

Her temper, ignited by his comments, made Latham vulnerable against her retort. Margaret swallowed hard to control the tone of her reply. “Oh, so now I am an animal?”

“Please forgive me. I did not mean to offend you. I merely stated—”

“I think, sir, you should take your leave. Any future communications may be carried out via post.”

“Surely you are not serious, madam. You are letting your sensibilities get the best of you.”

Margaret could not believe her ears. Did he just accuse her of being too emotional? “Well, now you are accusing women of being prone to emotional outbursts?” Her voice carried out into the hall. She had no doubt that the servants were beginning to form a group outside the door to the drawing room, being able to hear her overwrought voice.

Mr Latham sighed, releasing the indignation that had worked its way up from his toes to his face, and before he caught himself, he blurted, “Yes! That is exactly what I am saying. Women are highly emotional, and some have the propensity to disperse opinions freely on matters that do not concern them. Furthermore, when vexed, you all become judge, jury, and executioner.” He bent to gather his papers, believing a quick exit to his best advantage. He turned around once more to look at her. He barely retained his manners, resulting in a distinct hardening in his eyes.

He felt as if the room had suddenly become overheated even Miss Renard’s breathing had become forced and deep, no doubt because no one before him had ever spoken to her in such a manner.

“Take care, dear lady; you look about to faint. A pity I don’t carry the salts with me as my father always advised me to do. Good day, madam.” He started to bow, but instead, ducked quickly to avoid being hit from whatever object the lady intended to throw at him.

Buy Links

If you are as fascinated as we are by this suspense romance, here’s where you can purchase it:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Vicars-Deadly-Bartholomew-Margaret-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01N387E9B/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499783284&sr=8-1&keywords=the+vicar%27s+deadly+sin

About Miguelina Perez, Author

Ms. Miguelina Perez is a writer, and jewelry artist. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of the District of Columbia. As a jewelry artist one of her lariats was showcased in the San Antonio Express-News. She has won several awards including a critical Writing award for an essay on the gender roles of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

It was during her high school years at the school’s library that she first encountered her first romance mystery writer – Ms. Victoria Holt and then Ms. Phyllis J. Whitney. Her love of romance novels stems from those discoveries, especially the Romance mystery genre.

Several of her poems have been published in anthologies, and she was named “Poet of Year in 1995”. She finished her first book, The Vicar’s Deadly Sin – a Regency romance mystery, the first of a seven-part serial based on the Seven Deadly Sins.

Currently, she is working the sequel to the Vicar’s Deadly Sin, “Angel’s Lust” from her Seven Deadly Sins series and “A Hero of Her Own” a contemporary romance thriller, about a serial killer terrorizing New York.

Ms. Perez is a member of the Romance Writers of America and two of its chapters:Washington Romance Writers and Maryland Romance Writers . As newsletter editor for WRW, she contributes articles about writing and author interviews.

Here’s where to go to learn more about Miguelina and her work:

Website: http://www.miguelinaperezauthor.com

Twitter: @mperezauthor

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

Posted in MRM | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Perfectly Skeptical – Welcome Linda O’Connor

Today, I am delighted to welcome back to the blog the wonderful Linda O’Connor. She has agreed to share with us a short excerpt from her new romantic comedy Perfectly Skeptical.   The novella is part of a new boxed set available August 1st. Check out the excerpt and details of a giveaway below.

Perfectly Skeptical

Perfectly SkepticalDr. Brianna Scott looked forward to sleeping away her staycation, until a lucky windfall meant an upgrade to palm trees, an ocean view . . . and the sexy Dr. Matt Gaelen. She’ll play and have fun, but can a holiday fling really turn into a soul mate for life? Doubtful.

Matt has no radar for sniffing out gold-diggers and protecting his heart. Until now. Brianna is more turned off than turned on by his wealth. What are his chances of getting her to overlook it? Dubious at best.

Improbable and uncertain, iffy and unlikely – the typical path to love.

 

Perfectly Skeptical . . . love when you least expect it.

 

Excerpt from Perfectly Skeptical

She stopped in her tracks and squealed, almost bumping into a man standing on her porch. He put out his hand to steady her.

“Oh my god, you scared me,” she said, taking a deep breath.

Laughing blue eyes looked back at her. “Sorry about that. I was just about to knock, but you beat me to it.” His eyes swept the length of her. “I was sent to see how you’re doing.”

Brianna stiffened. “I’m fine. Why?” She hadn’t advertised she was going away. Her parents and Maisy were the only ones who knew where she was.

“You haven’t been out and about.”

Who’s keeping tabs? And who would send this dark-haired, all muscle, all-male hunk with the relaxed island smile and disarming blue eyes? Not her parents, that’s for sure. Maisy? It was entirely possible. Maisy’s reach was surprisingly long.

Don’t live a little. Live a lot. Maisy, you’re a cheeky devil, sending a male escort. He looked at her with a patient smile, waiting for her to catch up. Something about a tropical paradise and his sexy bod made her consider. Brianna narrowed her eyes at him. “Are you married?”

“Nope.”

“Do you have nail fungus?”

He blinked and his smile faltered. “No. Are you feeling okay?”

“I’m feeling great.” She stepped closer to him. His eyes darkened. He didn’t step away. What the hell – she could play this game. Be cool. Fake nonchalance. Cultivate some of that swagger that came so easily to Maisy. Her heart pounded, but he didn’t need to know.

She went on her toes and brushed her lips against his. When he responded and took control, Brianna felt a tingle from her head to her toes. She pressed closer and felt the hard muscle of his chest through the thin shirt he wore. He caressed the bare skin of her back and skimmed her waist. She opened her mouth to take him deeper and their tongues danced. This wasn’t the kiss of a boy. This was the kiss of experience. Maybe Maisy had it right – if you were going to play, you might as well play with top-of-the-line equipment.

He ran his hands down her arms and then gripped them gently and pushed her away, breaking off the kiss. Brianna raised startled eyes to his and made a noise in protest.

“I’m sorry.” He stepped back, putting more distance between them, and cleared his throat. “I think you have the wrong idea. I’m Matt Gaelen. Dr. Matt Gaelen.” He ran his hand through his hair. “Jerome and Maria were worried because you hadn’t shown up at the restaurant, so they asked me to come and check on you.”

“Jerome and Maria. Owners of the villas?”

“Yes.”

Uh-oh. “You weren’t sent by Maisy?”

“No, I don’t know a Maisy.” He grinned. “Though I wish I did.”

She felt a flush rise on her cheeks. So much for living it up. “I’m very sorry,” she said stiffly. “That was a misunderstanding.” She grimaced. “It won’t happen again.” She’d stay well and truly hidden under a rock of mortification.

He raised an eyebrow. “Well, I’m happy to see you’re fine. Better than fine.” He smiled. “I’ll let them know.” He turned and jogged down the steps. And then he stopped and looked back. “But it does seem a shame that it won’t happen again.”

Brianna blew out a breath and watched him go. That wasn’t embarrassing. She cringed. This was precisely why she wanted solitude and privacy. She shook her head at herself and picked up her towel. The light was fading, but she still had time for a quick dip to cool off.

Let that be a lesson learned – well two, really: don’t jump to conclusions, and Dr. Matt Gaelen is an excellent kisser.

Buy Links:

perfectly skepticalPerfectly Skeptical, a Perfectly Series novella, will be featured in the Tropical Tryst Boxed Set. Escape with 25 brand new and exclusive sexy reads from NY Times, USA Today, and International bestselling authors. This set is perfect for romance lovers of all kinds. Offering up passionate and enticing tales, set in hot and tropical settings, this collection will feed your need for summer sexiness! Available for pre-order for only 99 cents. Release date is Aug. 1

Bonus: Visit www.tropicaltryst.com for special pre-order giveaways and join the Tropical Tryst Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/TropicalTryst/) for updates and a chance to win Tropical Tryst swag!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0713MQ2TP

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tropical-tryst-nicole-morgan/1126270355?ean=9781508076988

Pronoun: https://books.pronoun.com/tropical-tryst/

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tropical-tryst

A Little about Linda

Linda O'Connor author of Perfectly SkepticalLinda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at the local home décor store. It turns out she loves writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician, and it shows up in her stories 😀 ). She hangs out at www.lindaoconnor.net.

Laugh every day. Love every minute.

 

Social Media:

 

Posted in Maddy Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Heating it Up” with Elizabeth Harmon

I am bursting with excitement. Elizabeth Harmon, 2016 RITA Award finalist, has stopped by to share a little something about herself and to introduce us to Heating It Up,  a Red Russian Series novella. I know you will enjoy today’s post.

By Elizabeth Harmon

Why do I write contemporary romance? At library talks and multi-author events, it’s a question I’m often asked, especially by readers unfamiliar with the genre.

The best answer I’ve found draws upon two of my favorite quotes.

The first comes from Rainbow Rowell’s New Adult novel Fangirl. Aspiring author Wren must defend her choice to end her Simon Snow fanfiction story on a happy, rather than tragic note. Wren’s reply?

“Happy ever after or even just together ever after is not cheesy. It’s the noblest, most courageous thing two people can shoot for.”

Too often, romance novels and their “happy ever after” endings are dismissed as trivial, cheesy or Hollywood. Love stories that end in tragedy are celebrated for their realism, truth and beauty.

Not to take anything away from those stories or the readers who enjoy them, but that attitude suggests the only stories worth telling are sad ones.

I respectfully disagree.

As a romance writer I have a unique opportunity to deliver a little helping of hope to my readers, and to myself.

Woven into every happy ending is the idea that despite our differences and challenges, we’re all worthy of genuine, healthy and lasting love. Love may not be the magic elixir, which is why my characters usually lose something on the way to gaining something much better. But at the end, they walk away into a bright future together, because love has made them better and stronger.

The second quote comes from author Toni Morrison: “If there’s a book you want to read that doesn’t exist, then you must be the one to write it.”

When I longed to read a sports romance set in figure skating that not only featured a skater heroine, but also a skater hero, I couldn’t find one. So I wrote “Pairing Off,” which launched my Red Hot Russians series. My fascination with Antarctica inspired me to set my current release Heating It Up: A Red Hot Russians Novella, at a fictional Antarctic research station known as Amity Bay.

Despite its extreme climate, Amity Bay is a warm-hearted, welcoming and slightly whimsical place. Cozy up to the bar at the Hut, the town’s favorite gathering spot, and you’ll meet wise-cracking bartender Francine, brave fire-chief Will and Dylan, a guitar-playing Texan who’s sweet on Shelby, the nurse.

Just outside town, there’s breathtaking wilderness, green icebergs, an old cabin and a luxurious lodge—both of which might be haunted, and a mysterious creature swimming in the icy bay.

Rugged station manager Alexei Zaikov (the non-skater brother of one of my figure skater heroes) and architect Nora Bradford and must work together to save Amity Bay, though Nora’s secret role in the town’s demise could doom their romance.

I’m not giving too much away to assure you that it ends well. Happy reading!

Red Hot Russian Alexei is king of the Ice…Antarctic style

heating it upAlexei Zaikov loves his life in remote Amity Bay, Antarctica, until a new luxury guesthouse threatens the community’s future. As head of Amity Bay, he’s driven to save it, but first must discover who is hiding out in the supposedly deserted lodge…and why.

Nora Bradford has lost everything; a promising career and the man she loved. Glacier Ridge Lodge, the architectural masterpiece she designed but was denied credit for, seems like the perfect place to grieve her loss, until a ruggedly handsome Russian arrives on her doorstep, determined to bring her in from the cold.

Desire sparks, leaving them hungry for more. But will the truth about Nora’s role in Amity Bay’s demise, doom their romance?

Enjoy an Excerpt!

“Stop right here,” Nora Bradford raised her voice so the driver could hear her over the engine’s rumble. The giant tractor’s snow treads ground to a halt behind Glacier Ridge Lodge.

Nora peered through the cab’s dirty windows. Her former firm’s chartered yacht was still anchored in the icy water of Amity Bay, Antarctica. She wasn’t sure if that was good or bad.

“You sure you don’t want me to drive you down to the boat?” Charlie, the driver, who brought Nora back to Amity Bay from McMurdo Station, leaned over, concern in his voice. “It’s a long walk with all your stuff.”

“No!” Nora whipped around in her cramped seat as much as her bulky red parka allowed, and grabbed her suitcase. Tired as she was, the thing seemed to weigh a ton, but she managed to hoist it into her lap. “It’s two in the morning and everyone’s asleep. I’ll be fine up here, and in the morning, I’ll call down for help if I need it.”

The driver hesitated, and she sensed he didn’t like the idea of dropping her off at an empty building in the dead of night. During the three hour drive, she’d gotten to know him a bit. Charlie seemed like a decent guy.

Unlike some.

“You sure?” Charlie said, frowning. “Don’t forget, Antarctica ain’t exactly San Francisco.”

“Really? I hadn’t noticed.” Immediately, she regretted her sarcasm. Taking her problems out on others solved nothing, and this poor guy didn’t deserve to have his head bitten off. The stress of the last few days and the seriousness of what she was about to do were clearly getting to her. Best to get on with it.

You don’t have to do this. There’s still time to change your mind.

The calm voice of her more rational self intruded, just as it had when she’d hatched this plan an hour ago. Once more she shoved it from her thoughts.

“Really, I’ll be fine.” She tipped her chin and blinked quickly to clear the fresh tears. She gave a shaky laugh. “I designed this place. It’s only natural I’d want to spend one last night here. And you need to get back to McMurdo, so you don’t miss your flight home.”

“True,” Charlie agreed. “Hey, you have a good trip back to San Fran.”

Nora sniffed. “Right. And you have a good trip back to the States, too. Cleveland, right?”

“Yep. It’ll be good to get home.”

For Charlie, who had something to go back to, it probably was good. Nora slid down from the cab, dragging her suitcase behind her.

Inside, the lodge was quiet and empty, just as she’d hoped. She bustled through the first floor then up the stairs, making as little noise as possible, alert for anyone who might have slept here after last night’s Dedication Gala. When she safely reached the third floor, she released a sigh. For now, she was alone. But there was no time to waste.

Buy Links

Elizabeth Harmon

heating it up Contemporary romance author Elizabeth Harmon loves to read and write romances with a dash of different. She is the author of the Red Hot Russians sports romance series. Her debut novel Pairing Off is a 2016 RITA® Award Finalist.

Website: http://www.romancewriter-girl.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/elizabethharmonauthor?ref=h

Twitter: https://twitter.com/romanzwrter_grl

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23440537-elizabeth-harmon

BookBub

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/elizabeth-harmon

Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RY9SY0S

 

Posted in MRM | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stealing Hearts – Meet Rachel Shane

Welcome Rachel Shane. It is my pleasure to bring you this wonderful author, a fellow contributor to our Sultry Nights Collection, due in August. Today Rachel is sharing an excerpt from another collection. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Take it away , Rachel.

I’m excited to share with you an excerpt from my story, STEALING HEARTS, which is exclusively part of the FORBIDDEN Romance Anthology. This one was super fun to write! I loved getting into the mind of a con artist and the sexy billionaire who trips up her usually flawless con jobs. I hope you enjoy!

Stealing Hearts

Stealing Hearts

She sets out to steal from him, but he might just steal her heart instead.

Liliana Stratford dons a new alias and a short skirt in order to pull off her biggest con job to date: exacting revenge on billionaire bachelor Colby Carver. He’s the jerk who purchased her precious family heirloom for mysterious reasons at an auction after her deadbeat mother pawned it off. Without the funds to buy it back, she decides her best course of action is to infiltrate Colby’s life, find the brooch, and swipe it out from under him the same way he unknowingly did it her.

A personal chef’s job for Colby provides Liliana with exactly the right opportunity to snoop behind his back. As she grows closer to finding the brooch, she also grows closer to Colby himself, bonding with him despite her conscience telling her what a bad idea this is. The chemistry between them crackles and soon she finds exactly what she wasn’t looking for: love. But how can she fall for him when she’s planning to rob him blind?

 

Buy Link

https://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Contemporary-Anthology-J-L-Beck-ebook/dp/B073TKW33D

Excerpt from Stealing Hearts

It’s time to get revenge on Colby Carver for a crime he doesn’t even know he committed against me. I don my shortest skirt, fluff my newly dyed blond waves, and spruce up my cleavage by adjusting my push up bra. A swipe of my shiniest gloss makes my lips glisten like the diamonds I plan to steal. I take one last look in the scuffed mirror and give myself a satisfied nod despite the dim lighting in this shitty motel. He won’t recognize me like this. It’s the perfect disguise.

I fly to my laptop and curse under my breath as it lags and wheezes in an attempt to connect to the crappy Wi-Fi. I’m stuck in this shit hole until I get what I traveled over three hours from backwoods Florida to luscious Miami for. The Craigslist ad for a Personal Chef pops up and I jot down the address, ignoring the part that says to call to set up an interview. I can’t put my fate in the hands of an anonymous phone screener. In person, I can disarm Colby with all the charms.

I head twenty minutes in the wrong direction to a gourmet market with a five star Yelp rating and prices that make me want to gouge my eyes out. Wooden walls and dim lighting give the place an authentic rustic vibe. The forty dollars weighing down my purse has to last me through the next few days. I bite my lip and inhale the heavenly aroma of peppery basil, crisp maple bacon, and grilled salmon fresh from the ocean. My stomach grumbles at the very sight of the food I won’t get to eat.

Still, I load up separate environment-friendly cardboard containers with perfectly grilled lamb chops doused in mango chutney. Char marks create a crisscross pattern on the mouth-watering meat. Truffle risotto fills the second container, releasing a scent so intoxicating, it takes all my will power not to dip my finger in and slurp down an expensive bite. Colorful yellow and red tomatoes roll on top of crisp arugula greens sprinkled with a light citrus vinaigrette. I top it all off with a decadent slice of chocolate cake dripping in gooey caramel drizzle.

She sets out to steal from him, but he might just steal her heart instead. Stealing Hearts by… Click To Tweet

I wait off to the side, balancing the heavy tray in my arms. Men and women jostle me for prime access to the self-serve bar. Women carrying gourmet salads stream onto the check out line, but I hold out until I spy a group of men in business suits moseying toward it. With a hustle in my step, I time my approach perfectly, reaching the line entrance at exactly the same time as them.

One of the guys flourishes his hand toward me like a gentleman and I give him a polite smile in thanks. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice all three eyeing me from top to bottom. Thank you, short skirt.

“Sixty-eight dollars and seventy-seven cents,” the cashier says, already reaching for the next guy’s items.

“Wait what?” I blink in mock horror. “I’ve only got a twenty.”

The cashier gives me a look that clearly says she doesn’t give a shit.

Beneath the counter, I dig my nails into my palms until fat tears well in my eyes. “This is so embarrassing.” I cover my mouth and heave a little sob.

The guy behind me leans over with his credit card. “Don’t worry, I got it.” He gives me a wink.

“Oh my Gosh! Thank you!” I leap forward and wrap him in a hug, making sure to press my breasts against his chest in thanks. I grab my bag and strut out of there with my forty dollars in tact.

As soon as I reach my car, I get to work transferring the beautifully arranged food into Tupperware containers and sliding them into a picnic basket. I top off the presentation with a blue ribbon tied around everything, and then I hit the gas and drive all the way to the mansions at beachfront Miami.

I park just outside the sprawling carnation colored Mediterranean Revival style home with art deco sensibilities. It’s exactly the kind of outlandish thing I’ve been dreaming of one day owning myself, outright and legit, instead of stolen out from under someone. The breeze carries the scent of salt from the ocean and kicks my hair up in a wild snarl of blond. The light colored strands still startle me whenever they cross my vision, and my stomach clenches with lament for my signature dark locks. But my reward for a job well done will be a reunion with my old appearance.

I press my finger to the doorbell and as soon as I do, my limbs start to twitch. I pace back and forth on the concrete front porch, trying to wear it off. There’s more riding on this con than any of the small time jobs I’ve pulled in the past.

The clicking of my heels works to combat the sound of heavy stomps heading to the doorway from inside. A shadow covers the peephole before the door swings open. Sweltering heat beats down on my bare shoulders, but the sweat slicking my brow stems from something deep inside me.

Colby stands there in low-slung jeans and a casual white t-shirt that does nothing to conceal the six-pack abs hiding beneath. His smoldering blue eyes search me, sliding down my throat, past my low cut cleavage, and lingering on the picnic basket secured strategically in front of my hips before he jerks his face back up. He pins with me a gaze so intense, so thoroughly invasive, that I sputter out a breath.

“Can I help you?” he asks.

For a moment, I can only stare at him, struck numb by the piercing eyes, chiseled jaw, and luscious locks that landed him at number two on the list of Miami’s hottest billionaire bachelors. The last and only time I saw him—when he unknowingly swiped the metaphoric tablecloth out from under me and knocked my entire life off balance—I hadn’t gotten close enough to take in that delicious smile hiding behind his pursed lips. It takes concentrated effort to force myself to swallow and remember that I’m supposed to be charming him, not the other way around.

I shake my head slightly to knock myself out of my daze and pop on my signature smile that tends to lure guys right where I need them to be: vulnerable.

“Hi!” I grab his hand from where it clutches the door, forcing him into an energetic handshake that clearly catches him off guard by the way he stumbles toward me. “I’m Liliana and I’m here to interview for the Personal Chef position.”

Colby clears his throat and casually slides his hand out from mine. “I’m sorry, but I’m already in the middle of an interview.” He pulls the door open a little more, giving me a front row seat of the dark hardwood floors that lead up to chic mid-century modern gray couches in his sitting room, and a guy wearing a chef’s coat shifting his weight uncomfortably on the tweed cushions. “You’re supposed to call first.”

Farther in the background, a woman with a severe bun sings quietly to herself in Spanish as she dusts the handsome dark wood end table that blocks the rest of the house from view.

“I did call.” I inject my words with pep and cheer to cover the way my voice cracks on the lie. “I spoke with a woman.” I switch the fluent Spanish to tell him the woman said to come by this afternoon for the interview.

Colby glances behind him and curses under his breath. He clearly did not understand a word I said judging by his knitted brows, but got my implied meaning: his employee made a promise he now has to keep.

The heavy basket makes my arms start to shake. I struggle to lift it up for him to see, grunting in the process. “Any place I can set this down?”

Colby rakes his hands through his hemp-colored hair, shifting the locks back to a side part, and presses his lips together. “One second.” He shuts the door just a bit, but it’s enough for me to hear hushed whispers and annoyed grunt from the guy in the chef’s coat.

A second later the guy in the chef’s coat storms past me, shooting me with a middle finger in the process.

“Sorry about that. That guy wasn’t working out anyway.” Colby leads me inside, giving me a perfect view of his sculpted ass as I follow him into the sitting room the rejectee just vacated.

He settles onto a couch but I immediately head down the hall until I find the dining room, my eyes memorizing every end table and closed door I pass. I set my picnic basket on the reclaimed wooden table and start removing the Tupperware plus the elegant Lenox bone china dishes I picked up at an Estate Sale last week for two bucks a pop. With equally ornate bargain serving ware, I gracefully scoop the food out of the Tupperware and transfer them to the plates before I lovingly wipe up excess with a dishtowel. After I set out a cloth napkin and ornate flatware, I flourish my hand toward the place setting. When I glance up, I notice he’s been leaning against the wall, watching me with a glint of interest.

A nervous flutter warms my belly.

He saunters over to me and takes a seat in front of the feast.

I stand up straighter. “Today I’ve prepared for you a gourmet lunch consisting of braised lamb chops seared on a grill with a spread of mango chutney and truffle risotto. The sweetness of the mango compliments the smokiness of the lamb.” I wave my hand over the first dish. Ten hours of watching the Food Network was all the prep I needed to speak like a sophisticated culinary expert. “For a lighter option, I present to you an array of vine ripened tomatoes atop a bed of wilted arugula and finished with a citrus vinaigrette that balances the tartness of the vegetables with a delightful spring pop.” I inch closer to him until he’s forced to glance up at me. “And lastly, no meal is complete without something sweet to finish it off.” I wave my hand toward the slice of cake as my toes bump against his socked feet. I lower my voice to sultry levels. “Indulge in a slice of cake made from chocolate imported directly from Paris and finished with homemade caramel sauce.” No clue where the chocolate comes from but Paris sounds decadent.

He sniffs the air. “God, it all smells amazing.”

I wink at him, knowing the only thing he can likely smell with me standing so close is my flowery perfume. “Tastes that way too.” I hope…

Colby grabs a fork and a knife and carves into the lamb chop, slicing off a piece of perfectly cooked meat. He twirls the fork in the air, admiring the way the juices run down onto the plate.

My chest stills. I don’t dare even swallow as he brings the fork to his mouth.

Before he takes a bite, his hand freezes. He presses his lips together, turning the fork over skeptically, before he sets it back down on the plate.

Panic climbs my spine and I nudge the plate closer to him. “I assure you, it’s delicious.”

“I’m sure it is.” He leans back in the chair. “But it wouldn’t be fair to the other candidates.”

Oh for fuck’s sake. This guy has a conscience?

“Can you make me scrambled eggs instead?”

“But—“ I open my mouth to speak but then clamp it shut again. My pulse amps. “I just spent all morning cooking you—“

“For all I know, you could have walked into a store and purchased this. I need to see you in action. Scrambled eggs are a simple dish but everyone has their own technique. I want to see yours.”

My technique usually involves going to brunch and ordering some. I grit my teeth. “No problem.”

 

Meet Rachel

Rachel Shane is the author of several romance books, young adult books, and a non-fiction writing guide. She’s been a computer animator, an e-book creator for a major NY publisher, and now she works as a Project Manager for a software company where she enjoys telling people what to do. She lives in NJ with her husband, young daughter, and a basement full of books.

Posted in Maddy Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Baron’s Cufflinks” by P.J. MacLayne

Today it is my pleasure to present to you P.J. MacLayne and her latest book, The Baron’s Cufflinks. Come learn a bit about P.J. and step inside her latest work, which she describes as a “cozy mystery (with a touch of romance)”

Discover P.J.

Baron's CufflinksWhere is your favorite place to write? There’s a lake halfway between Walden and Cowdrey, Colorado. I don’t expect anyone has heard of them. They’re in the high plains between several mountain ranges, north of the Rocky Mountain National Park. There’s a ranch across from the small public area on one side of the lake, and nothing between the lake and the mountains but cows and prairie. On a good day you can see the mountains reflected in the lake and listed to the yellow-headed blackbirds that nest in the bushes along the shoreline. Normally, there might be only two or three other vehicles there, people out in canoes fishing. What a great place to write.

What inspires me as an author? I like watching people. In stores, in restaurants, where I work. I like overhearing bits and pieces of their conversations and filling in the blanks. Despite all the flaws we have as humans, I still think most of us are basically good. I try to make the characters in my books reflect that.

Why do you write romance and what is your genre of romance? Romance is what we are looking for. We may define it in different ways, but I believe each of us is looking for our happily ever after. It’s comforting to read romance and hope for our own if we haven’t found it already.

My line is that I write action with a touch of romance. But the underlying romance, in both my urban fantasies and my mysteries, is what ties the stories together.

What are you working own next and when can we expect to see it? I’ve got two projects. One is a short story for a compilation with nine other authors. The other is the next book in my Free Wolves series, Wolves’ Gambit.  They should both be available around Christmas.

Meet @pjmaclayne & 'The Baron's Cufflinks', a cozy mystery (with a touch of romance) Click To Tweet

The Baron’s Cufflinks

The Baron’s Cufflinks is the third book in the Oak Grove Mysteries, and Harmony Duprie is up to her usual antics.

Description:

What starts as Girl’s Night Out ends in murder, and Harmony Duprie is a suspect.

She’s innocent, of course, but with no alibi, the sheriff’s department won’t remove her from the list of suspects. It doesn’t help when a waitress from the bar gets beaten up and the only clue is a slip of paper with Harmony’s name on it. Throw in a rookie deputy dead set on building his reputation and Harmony must tread carefully.

But caution isn’t Harmony’s middle name and she plunges head first into danger to defend her honor.

What she finds is a web of half-truths and suspicions implicating several law enforcement agencies, with Jake, her ex-lover, stuck in the middle of it all.

Can Harmony rescue Jake and find the real culprit before she becomes the next victim?

Excerpt from The Baron’s Cufflinks

It didn’t take long for a warm body to slide into the barstool next to me. The middle-aged man with a bad comb-over hairdo and bulging stomach wasn’t my type at all. But Tiffini would talk to him.

“How’s it going, Sugar?” he said. “Buy you a drink?” He’d already had several drinks based on the smell of liquor on his breath.

I smiled and waved my beer bottle in front of his face. “Thanks! How about the next round?”

He waved to get the bartender’s attention and pointed to me. “Another of those for the lady.”

I wouldn’t be drinking it, but I didn’t stop him.

“What’s your name, Sugar?” he asked.

God help me, I giggled. “Sugar will do fine for now. What’s your name?”

“Dave.” He took a swig of whatever poison he was drinking. “I haven’t seen you around here before.”

He looked like a Dave. His wife—yes, he was wearing a wedding ring—probably called him David when she was mad at him. “I’m new in town,” I said. And giggled again. “Thought I’d get out and make some friends.”

Dave grinned widely. At least he had a full set of teeth. “Why don’t you come over and join me and my buds?”

I glanced over towards the table he indicated. The three men looked like clones of Dave. None of them appeared to be dangerous. It would likely be a waste of my time, but I picked up my beer and slid off the barstool. “Sure.”

He grabbed my second beer and his own drink and we made our way across the room.  One of them grabbed an empty chair from a nearby table. “Sugar, meet the guys. That’s Bill, Harry, and Lamar.”

They could have been Mo, Larry, and Curly for all I cared, but I grinned as I settled into one of the empty chairs. “Nice to meet you.”

“Sugar’s new around here,” Dave announced. “So, I volunteered us to make her feel welcome.”

I fluttered my fake eyelashes and giggled. “Sure is nice of y’all to let me join you.”

I did my best impression of Tiffini flirting with all four of the men and discovered, to my surprise, they were actually fun to talk to. I think they were surprised at my knowledge of Steeler’s football, and that made Tiffini more of a friend than a target. The chair they’d given me had a view of the front door, and as was my habit, I’d been keeping an eye on it. It had opened and closed many times, but this time was different.

Buy Links:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-baron-s-cufflinks

Books2read Universal https://www.books2read.com/u/b5OVGp

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072P6CD3D

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1232223538

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-barons-cufflinks-pj-maclayne/1126317718?ean=2940157511692

P.J.’s Bio

Baron's CufflinksBorn and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscape. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she’s not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks. In addition to the Oak Grove Mysteries, she is also the author of The Free Wolves series.

P.J. MacLayne can be reached on:

Posted in MRM | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Billionaire’s Private Scandal – Meet Jenna Bayley Burke

This week you are in for a real treat. I am hosting Jenna Bayley Burke, romance author of the Invested in Love Series. Jenna is juggling a new release, The Billionaire’s Private Scandal, a promotion, and giveaway – yes, giveaway – with all her other obligations. And she has plenty. Just read about her at the bottom of this post to learn more about Jenna. Meanwhile, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Jenna, one of the 21 other authors that will be joining me in our 99 cent romance extravaganza later this summer. I will be including Bedeviled in the collection. Jenna will be including Big Ben is in HSN.  Watch for more about that too! Take it away, Jenna.

Meet Jenna and The Billionaire’s Private Scandal

Thanks for inviting me over this week. Things are crazy busy in the land of Jenna – a new release & 99c sale on my best selling book. I have Dory on repeat in my mind – just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

My Indulgence series, Invested in Love, follows a group of successful men who were selected by their college professor to join an exclusive investment club. They’ve made millions together, as well as in their own careers. They have it all… except love.

On Monday we released The Billionaire’s Private Scandal, a second chance romance of secret lovers ripped apart by betrayal. The bankrupt heiress, the corporate raider, and a deal so deceptive the wall of civility crumbles.

The Billionaire's Private ScandalThe Billionaire’s Private Scandal

by Jenna Bayley-Burke

Series: Invested in Love, 3

Megan Carlton’s secret affair with financier Brandon Knight ended when he pulled off a hostile takeover of her family’s hotel empire and then kissed another woman. Broke and alone, Megan starts a new life and learns to stand on her own, then Brandon finds her serving coffee and surviving on tips and tries to pull her back into her old life and his arms. She thought she was over him, and she certainly can’t ever trust him again. But what her head knows and her heart feels are two different things.

Brandon was used to always getting what he wanted, then the woman he loves disappeared without a word. When he finds her months later working as a barista, he wonders if she’s suffering from amnesia. Getting a scalding Americano to the chest proves she recognizes him, but she’s got the situation—and him—all wrong. Now all he has to do is prove it.

This week only, Compromising Positions is on sale for just 99c. It opened the series and is my best-selling book to date. There’s something magical about David & Sophie and the way they come together. Oh sheesh, not like that. Well, like that. Going to stop digging this hole now.

Relentless billionaire   

Determined heroine   
Indulgently sexy romance 

Pick up THE BILLIONAIRE’S PRIVATE SCANDAL today!

✦Amazon ➜http://amzn.to/2tucLZF
✦iBooks ➜ http://apple.co/2uWEsIj
✦B&N ➜ http://bit.ly/2uDqUCk
✦Kobo ➜ http://bit.ly/2tNTKCe

The Billionaire's Private ScandalNew Release Giveaway

Be sure to enter my New Release giveaway :: http://jennabayley-burke.blogspot.com/2017/07/new-sale-giveaway-shameless-click-bait.html

New! Sale! Giveaway! Shameless Click Bait!

jennabayley-burke.blogspot.com

It’s a big week in the land of Jenna. A new release in the Invested in Love series, a 99c sale & 3 different giveaways : ✔ New release –…

About The Author

By day, Jenna is faster than a speeding toddler, stronger than a stubborn husband, able to leap tall Lego structures in a single bound…but by night, while the family sleeps she writes romance novels where no one ever has to scoop up after the dog, change diapers, clip coupons, drive carpool, do laundry, mop floors, get silly putty out of hair, vacuum, empty the vacuum bag (gross!), exercise, count calories, apply bandaids, clean up puke…wait where was this going? Oh, Jenna writes romance because it is glamorous. Just ask the dog.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Profile

Posted in MRM | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment