Is a Break from Romance worth the Gamble?

gamble on romance

I should be feeling guilty right now. Here I am, gambling and losing my money in a casino – have I mentioned that I love to gamble– and not sitting and writing. Well, okay, at this very moment I am writing, but I will hit the tables or slots as soon as I finish this post.

There are a few things I like to turn to when should be writing but need an escape. Gambling is one of them. I love the idea of winning, and allow it to outweigh my fear of losing. It probably shouldn’t, with my track record, but hope springs eternal.

I love going to the movies, or watching movies on TV. I can sit all day avoiding my latest novel while avidly gazing at the boob tube, usually engrossed in the predictable new Hallmark movie or worse, the one I have seen so many times that I know every line. Much as I love them, even on first viewing it doesn’t take much to guess what’s going to happen.

Another thing I love to do rather than write is listen to music and dance around my living room. I can’t hold a candle to Tom Cruise in “Risky Business,” and currently there are construction workers outside my windows, so I wear more clothes.

But today, sitting in the lounge of the casino, I realized that the movies, the hope of winning, and the music are all about romance. I am listening to tunes from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s when songs were all about love. Right now, Madonna is belting “Borderline” but moments ago I was singing along to “Bus Stop” by The Hollies.

Romance is a Gamble

We all want that happy ending, be it in a song, at the gaming tables, in a movie or of course, in a novel. We all want to believe that love conquers all, that we will find that winning hand, that perfect mate, that we will ride into the sunset of our happily ever after.

My job as a romance writer is to provide that happily ever after for you. Love is more complicated in today’s music, movies have grown into franchises with increasingly complex situations, and while you, as a reader, still have an expectation that all will end well, you now expect characters to be more three dimensional. You expect them to struggle with juggling career and family, money problems, complicated family situations. In short, you expect them to find love, but not without jumping some hurdles.

I am struggling with the hurdle of completing my final “Beguiling Bachelor” book, while meeting your expectations for character growth and a compelling story. But I know although the casino will be open all night and all day tomorrow, my novel “Besotted” awaits and won’t write itself.

I am gambling that a day off here and there to regroup, to listen to love songs and get inspiration from romance novels and movies, will help me be a better author. Losing at the tables will remind me to add twists and turns before I get to happily ever after. The simple lyrics of long ago remind me that today’s music is often darker and tackles difficult themes. Today love is everywhere, but cannot be gambled on.

So it is with my novel. I cannot take it for granted, or you, my wonderful readers. Tomorrow, it is back to work with a fresh perspective and renewed dedication. I thank you for indulging me now and then, when I I play hooky. We all need refueling, and Stevie Wonder and the promise of a royal flush are filing my tank today.

Keep your fingers crossed, I could use a win.

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Get Hot and Filthy with Whitley Cox #authorlove


Hot and FilthyIt is my pleasure to introduce you to Hot and Filthy and Whitley Cox, the first of the authors who will be a guest blogger Thursday’s in July. Whitley and I are just two of the 22 authors in our 99 cent anthology coming in August. Here you can get a first peek at Hot and Filthy, Book 4.5 of Whitley’s exciting “Dark and Damaged Heart” series. Not for the faint of heart, Whitley knows how to spice things up – with humor, with hot sex and wonderful romance.

Hot and Filthy

Book 4.5 of The Dark and Damaged Hearts Series

Available June 29th

Hot and Filthy








Emma Everly didn’t know true love or happiness until she met enigmatic millionaire James Shaw. He turned her world upside down, all for the better, possessing her heart, body, and soul. He brought her over to the dark and dirty side and opened her eyes to the wild and kinky sex Emma didn’t even know she craved.

Now they’re married and ready to start their life together, and Emma realizes all her dreams are coming true. With a romantic honeymoon planned on a live-aboard boat in French Polynesia with nothing but her handsome husband and the fishes, Emma is positive James will take her body to newer and more extreme heights of pleasure. But James has other ideas, and even in the middle of their sexy sea adventure, their relationship is put to the test. Emma must find a way to come to terms with James’ demands or risk ruining their first holiday as husband and wife.

A quick and funny story with nothing but sex, scuba diving, and newlywed bickering. Because these two deserve a chill honeymoon. As I’ve started telling people, it’s nothing but pure filth with the odd parrot fish sighting. Don’t expect the darkness and angst of the other books; this little story is meant to be light, fun, super dirty and give you all the happy feels.

***Warning! This book and this excerpt contain scenes with explicit sexual content, vulgar language and BDSM play***

Excerpt from

Hot and Filthy“Well, Mrs. Shaw … God, I’m never going to grow tired of calling you that, you know that, right?” James growled, pulling me onto his lap in the back of the limo.

He nuzzled my neck while his hand made its way up my shirt, and he started pulling on the cup of my bra. I squeaked and squirmed when he tweaked the hard and achy bud, loving the bite of pain and the zing of need it sent to my core.

“Shall we consummate the marriage here and now? Or can you wait until we board the jet?”

I chuckled low and let my hand drift to the front of his shorts, unzipping him and worming my fingers in until I felt the hard column of flesh I just couldn’t get enough of.

“It’s not that long of a drive to the airport,” I purred. “And I certainly hope the consummation will take more than five minutes. So …” I dropped to my knees. “Let’s just do this until we get to the jet, where there is a big, beautiful bed, and you can fuck your new wife properly.” And then I pulled down his shorts, dipped my head low and took him into my mouth.

His fingers found their way into my hair, and he pulled on my scalp, setting the pace he wanted, hard and fast, just like our love. I’d loved this man almost instantly, craved him from our first kiss. He was my addiction, and I hungered for him constantly. There was no rehab or detox program in the world that could kick me of my James habit, not that I wanted one. The man was my everything, and now, finally, after almost two and a half years together, he was my husband. We’d been through hell and back both on our own and together. Fought past demons and weathered storms no couple or person should ever have to face. He’d torn down his walls for me. Let me inside, revealed his true self and the heavy weight and guilt he carried around on those impossibly broad shoulders of his. But now that guilt, those problems weren’t just his. We were in this together and even though I knew James would never truly forgive himself or let go entirely of his haunting past, at least now I could help carry the weight. Relieve him of the burden just a bit, and be there to rub out the knots and tired muscles at the end of the day.

“God, Emma … that fucking mouth …” he groaned, bucking his hips up off the leather of the seat. “Yes, you filthy girl. Suck it hard.”

I couldn’t help but smile as I took him to the back of my throat, my fist rhythmically pumping him root to tip; I loved the effect I had on him, loved how easily I could bring him to his knees while I pleasured him on mine. He was a bossy fucker, incapable of submitting, but when he was in my mouth, he was completely at my mercy. I could ask him for anything, and he’d never say “no.” Not that I asked for much, and not that he’d ever denied me. But when I was on my knees, the man was under my spell, and I was in control as much as he liked to think he was.

I flattened out my tongue and grazed the entire surface area up his shaft, feeling the thick roping veins and the silky, soft crown. He was perfect. Designed by the gods. Tall and muscular with a strong, chiseled jaw and dark, luscious, wavy hair that tumbled just over his forehead and ears. Not too long and unruly, but just roguish enough. I loved nothing more than burying my fingers in it, and pulling on the ends, especially when his head was bobbing up and down between my legs.

I snaked my other hand beneath him and cupped his balls, gently pulling and rolling them in my palm until I earned that extra moan I coveted, the moan that told me he loved it and he wanted more. The moan that told me he was getting close, barely holding on, pacing that narrow edge and about to tip over.

hot and filthy whitley coxHis cadence picked up, and he started to jerk on my head, really forcing me down hard onto his cock, until it knocked my tonsils and I fought to suppress my gag reflex. And fuck if I didn’t love it. I loved that I could drive him wild.

I sucked hard on the crown when I brought him back to my lips, flicking the tip, the small hole at the top with my tongue, wedging it in just enough to earn another moan, before I plunged him back to my throat again. In and out I fucked him with my mouth until his rhythm started to falter and I knew he was close.

I swallowed when he bottomed out in my throat again, knowing that the contraction of my muscles might just kick him over the cliff. I pulled down slightly on his balls with my one hand, and down on his shaft with the other, hummed slightly and deep throated as much as I could, swallowing again. And damn if that didn’t do the trick.

He snarled above me as his fingers loosened their death grip in my hair, his cock pulsing inside my mouth, filling me with his warm, salty semen. I swallowed again, letting it flow across my tongue and down my throat, reveling in his canticle of pleasure.

I licked him clean and then gently tucked him back into his shorts, taking great care not to snag him in his zipper. Then big, strong hands came up under my arms, and I was hauled off the floor and thrown onto my back on the cool leather. Growling low and deep in his throat, he pinned me beneath him, his mouth capturing mine.

He groaned against my lips as his fingers found a nipple again. “Oh, Mrs. Shaw. I’m not sure I can wait until the plane to fuck you.”

Buy Links:

 Heat and Hunger: Part 1

Sex, Heat and Hunger: Part 2

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Hot and Filthy

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About Whitley Cox

A West Coast baby born and raised, Whitley is married to her high school sweetheart and together they have a spirited toddler and a fluffy dog. She spends her days making food that gets thrown on the floor, vacuuming Cheerios out from under the couch and making sure that the dog food doesn’t end up in the air conditioner. But when nap time comes, and it’s not quite wine o’clock, Whitley sits down, avoids the pile of laundry on the couch, and writes.

A lover of all things decadent; wine, cheese, chocolate and spicy erotic romance, Whitley brings the humorous side of sex, the ridiculous side of relationships and the suspense of everyday life into her stories. With mommy wars, body issues, threesomes, bondage and role playing, these books have everything we need to satisfy the curious kink in all of us.  

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Take “A Journey Home” with Angela Scavone

It somehow seems appropriate to present Angela Scavone’s military romance A Journey Home on this July 4th despite her Canadian residence.  Happy independence day to all, and enjoy reading Angela’s contemporary romance.

A Journey Home by Angela ScavoneA Journey Home

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Content Warning: Some explicit language


An air force captain charged with bringing home deceased soldiers from overseas is forced to partner with her cheating ex-husband. @busterwhyte #romance #militaryromance


Stephanie Tyler’s sole job is to fly overseas to war torn areas of the world to retrieve and escort the bodies of fallen soldiers back home to the United States. It is a tough and emotional job but she is honored for the privilege. Her duty also helps her to escape her past and her failed marriage.

But those flights have become increasingly more dangerous and she is forced to have a partner accompany her. Much to Stephanie’s surprise and dismay, she is partnered up with her ex-husband, Captain “D.A.” Douglas Aston.

From the moment Captain D.A. enters the scene, he irritates her. It could have something to do with the fact he slept with her best friend while they were married. As they go on several missions together, Stephanie is forced to be courteous and professional with D.A. even though the very sight of him irritates her beyond comprehension.

Then, Stephanie’s cheating, husband stealing, ex-best friend is killed in Afghanistan and Stephanie and D.A. must escort her body home. While executing this difficult duty, a myriad of conflicting emotions makes Stephanie ponder how short life really is . . . and to question her own ability to forgive.


To the female eye, he was a very attractive man. He stood at six-four and was well built, but not so much that muscles and tendons were popping out everywhere. He had a strong jaw and black hair just long enough to run your fingers through. Dressed in full uniform, his handsome features were even more prominent.

Not that I noticed.

“Please come in and we can discuss your new role.”

“Yes, Sir.” Captain DA put out his hand for me to shake, flashing his killer smile that started in his bright blue eyes and ended in a set of mouth-framing dimples. “Good to see you again, Captain.”

I returned his smile and handshake, determined to be professional in front of the Colonel even if it killed me.

I remained on my feet which kept both men standing. “Sir, with all due respect,” I began, facing the Colonel, “I cannot work with Captain Aston.” Apparently, my mouth wasn’t on board with being professional.

“Why not?” DA asked, sounding offended.

I ignored his question and kept my attention on the Colonel, who looked as if he were about to laugh. “We used to be married.”

“I know that.” He smiled.

“Our marriage did not end on a positive note,” I continued, “and I don’t think I can work with him on a day to day basis. In fact, I left Virginia to get away from him.”

“You know, I’m standing right here,” DA chimed in.

The Colonel spoke. “How did your marriage not continue on a positive note? I remember the wedding. You two seemed so in love. What happened?”

DA and I looked at each other for the first time since his arrival.

“He cheated on me with a friend of mine,” I replied baldly.

“I did not cheat on you! How many times do I have to say it before you believe me?” he retorted, all vestiges of professionalism gone.

“Oh, here we go again!” I shouted back. “I came home early, I walked into the kitchen and there was Alex on top of you on the kitchen floor.”

“I told you it wasn’t what it looked like. I have said over and over again that I did not sleep with Alex!” His tone increased until he was shouting, too.

“Ahem.” The Colonel cut in. I jerked back, startled; in the heat of arguing with my frustrating ex,

I had forgotten my boss was there.

“Sorry, Sir. Do you see why I can’t work with him?”

The Colonel regarded us both. “Alex?” he questioned DA.

“Alexandra Keating, Sir. She was Stephanie’s best friend.”

“Best friend, my left toe! She’s a traitorous, backstabbing, two-faced, lying, husband stealing bitch.”

“Wow, that’s quite descriptive, Captain. Why don’t you tell us your true feelings about her?” Both of the Colonel’s eyebrows rose in shock.

“I’m only speaking the truth, Sir.” I addressed the Colonel but glared at DA.


Buy Links for A Journey Home 


Meet Angela

Angela lives in Ontario, Canada sharing her home with her father and much-loved pups.  She currently works for the Board of Education behind the scenes supporting and analyzing student data, however, in her spare time, apart from her avid love of storytelling, she likes to read, spend time with family and friends and concoct dairy free recipes from scratch. Sometimes she wins some and sometimes she loses – tofu, banana and peanut butter pudding we are looking at you.

You’ll always be able to find her on her Facebook or Twitter pages.

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The Heat is Almost Here! Can you Feel it?

feel the heatThere are two things I have always loved – a great read and a bargain. Okay three – let’s not forget chocolate. When I was younger, I hounded used bookstores, trading a bag of books I’d read for a stack of new possibilities or as the daughter of a librarian, I borrowed a number of romances from the local library. Once married to the son of two authors, I made sure to buy several new books too.

Back in the olden days

All of this was before ebooks, before Amazon and others delivered something to tickle my fancy day or night. I would stockpile books. It was my version of the boxed set, I guess. I would purchase books in series by the same author or books of similar genres. I might read everything in stock by Amanda Quick,or select other historic romances. Maybe I would assemble a dozen books that clearly fit the bodice-ripping category. I built my stash and worked my way from the top of the pile to the bottom in record time. I know plenty of readers who do this still.

Then came the birth of boxed sets, dozens of authors bound together so that I didn’t have to create my own combinations. They did it for me creating the literary introduction leaving me hungering for more. I became a true fan of the boxed set – be it four titles from a single author, or ten selections from a group of like-minded writers.

Now it’s my turn

bedeviled included in feel the heatI am incredibly excited to share a secret with all of you – I am going to be one of 22 authors featured in an ebook boxed set scheduled to come out in August. My most recent novel, Bedeviled, the third in the Beguiling Bachelor series,will be included in the set alongside the works of USA Today bestselling authors. Even more exciting – you can buy all 22 works for a mere 99 cents! Yes, you read that right. 99 cents!

Why on earth would I sell Bedeviled for less than a dollar when it retails for more than double that? The answer is discovery. Cross promotions and joint boxed sets like this allow my readers to discover new authors while their readers discover me.. What a great way to read familiar and new authors. It rekindles my memories of stacks of books as tall as I was, but without of the clutter.

The working title of the set is Feel the Heat but I will keep you posted if that changes. I will do more than that. For the next four weeks I will be introducing you to four of the world-class authors whose works are included in the set. I want to build enthusiasm. I want you to spread the word to friends and family – hell, spread the word to strangers too. Shout it from the rooftops! 99 cents for 22 great romantic reads.

Hell, spread the word to strangers too. Shout it from the rooftops! 99 cents for 22 great… Click To Tweet

Meet some Wonder Women

I want you to get a chance to meet some of the lovely women who have welcomed me into their world, offering me the opportunity to publish with them. They are kind and talented women, fun and encouraging. You will meet my mentors and inspirations over the next four Thursday’s and get a small sample of their works, personalities as well as a taste of what to expect from Feel the Heat.

Meet Whitley Cox, Jenna Burke, Shana Silver and Linda O’Connor. i am pleased and proud to have them guest on my blog during the month of July. Then watch this space for more about the boxed set and more from these amazing authors.



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All In For Love – Ready to Roll the Dice? #Giveaway

All in for Love

Today I am gambling that you will really enjoy our authors and “All In For Love”.  Yes, I said authors – six of them! Please welcome the authors of “All in For Love”. Six award-winning authors bring you six *sweet to sensual* romances filled with suspense, thrills and maybe even a ghost or two—for less than the price of a cup of coffee—99 cents!

Welcome to La Bonne Chance Resort & Casino!

With thousands of people passing through the casino’s doors on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that a variety of lives and loves are on the line there. It’s said that you’re more likely to lose your heart at La Bonne Chance than a hand of poker. Whether you are the Director of Casino Operations or the guy who created its software, a jilted bride or a black jack dealer, a past guest’s ghost or a sous chef–when it comes to love, the stakes are high.

Thank goodness what happens at La Bonne Chance, doesn’t always stay at La Bonne Chance….

Ready to roll the dice?

Thank goodness what happens at La Bonne Chance, doesn’t always stay at La Bonne Chance….Ready to roll the dice?… Click To Tweet


An Inn Decent Proposal By Sharon Buchbinder

Perfect Odds By Lashanta Charles

A Ghost To Die For By Keta Diablo

Raising Kane By Kat Henry Doran

For Money Or Love By Margo Hoornstra

Take A Chance On Me By M.J. Schiller

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense Anthology

Release Date: June 1, 2017


An Inn Decent Proposal, Sharon Buchbinder
Can an hotelier with a past and a chef with a future revive the grand dame in a neglected old inn?

Perfect Odds, Lashanta Charles
When a jilted bride meets the man of her dreams, will she embrace the new plan, or cling stubbornly to the old one?

A Ghost To Die For, Keta Diablo
She didn’t believe in ghosts…until one showed up in her room.

Raising Kane, Kat Henry Doran
Funny how a night in jail will change a woman’s outlook on life.

For Money Or Love, Margo Hoornstra
She’s the one woman he can’t afford to lose.

Take A Chance On Me, M.J. Schiller
Who do you count on when the chips are down?


To add to the fun, we are giving away one gambling themed handmade item to ONE lucky commenter who will be selected by a Random Number Generator.

All in For Love... giving away one gambling themed handmade item to ONE lucky commenter… Click To Tweet


Buy Link

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Excerpts and Author Fun Facts

Excerpt from An Inn Decent Proposal by Sharon Buchbinder

After the hotel auction, a stunned Jim Rawlings and excited Genie King go to Sips, a local coffee house. Overwhelmed with self-doubts verging on buyer’s remorse, Jim begins to question his sanity. Genie, on the other hand, is bursting with enthusiasm and ideas…

“Why did you want this place?”

“The old girl called to me, begged me to save her.” He gave Genie a wistful smile. “Do I sound crazy?”

“You call the Inn ‘she,’ too?”

“Yes, she’s like a grand old dame who’s fallen on hard times.  Remember the parties? The famous people who stayed and played there? Celebrities came to the Inn because they knew their privacy and secrets were safe with us. If those walls could talk!  Every day was new and exciting. I would love to bring back her glory days.”

Genie leaped up, ran around the table and hugged him. “I have the same dream. We can do it.”

He hesitated for a moment, then returned the gesture, his hands unable to resist lingering on her luscious curves just a tad too long. Genie’s inviting cleavage made him wish they were somewhere private. He could scarcely breathe and had to shake his head to dispel naughty images of nuzzling her soft breasts. “We can do what?”

She sat down again, but clung to his hands. “I’ve done the research. The Inn should be in the National Park Service Historic Registry—but it isn’t. If we can get her added to the Registry, there are laws and standards about how we make the rehabilitation. We can bring it up to modern codes, but have to use certain treatments—”

“I hate to burst your bubble, but where will we get the money to do all this?” He wasn’t sure he could afford too many more big gambles like this last one.

Her face flushed and her sapphire blue eyes sparkled. “If we can get her added to the Registry, we’ll qualify for special low interest loans. And for a major tax credit. And we have a million dollars in equity.”

“Pretty, smart—and you say you can cook? If you can do all that, you are a genie.”

She released his hands, pulled her shoulders back, and inadvertently gave him a better glimpse of her bosom. Genie gave him a scalding look. “Are you challenging my cooking, Mr. Rawlings?”

Uh-oh. He never dreamed of Genie having a little temper. He couldn’t resist tweaking her. “I’m sure you’re a solid cook.”

She stood, almost knocking her chair over. “Solid? What the hell does that mean? Average? Good enough to make the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner for the family—but not good enough to cook for guests? Tell you what, Mr. Critic, you come to my house for dinner tomorrow night.” She scribbled her address on a business card and threw it on the table. “My food makes men go weak at the knees.”

Hypnotized by the sway of her voluptuous ass as she stalked out of the nearly empty café, Jim bet it wasn’t just this saucy woman’s cooking that made strong men weak.

About Sharon Buchbinder

Sharon Buchbinder and her husband used to breed and show Egyptian Maus and Color Point Persians (formerly called Himalayans). If you’ve ever seen the mockumentary, Best in Show, you have an idea of what life was like 24 out of 52 weekends a year for this wild and crazy couple. When Sharon returned to school for her PhD in 1986, she decided a doctoral program plus a toddler plus a full time job was more than enough and they placed all their cats in good homes—including their own.

* * *

Excerpt from Perfect Odds by Lashanta Charles

Callista is meeting her fiancé at the airport so they can fly out to N.Y. where they’re supposed to get married, but it seems plans have been changed without her knowledge.

“James? Where are you? They’re boarding everyone now,” I say when I answer.

            “I’m not coming,” he says.

            I pause in making my way to the attendant station. Surely I heard him wrong.

            “Hang on a sec, let me ask them how long we have before they can no longer wait. If you’re here already it shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll just need to hurry. Like, sprint through the airport or maybe get one of those guys on the carts to give you a ride somehow.”

            The attendant smiles at me and holds her hand out for my boarding pass. I move to give it to her, but hear James speaking again.

            “Cali, you’re not listening. I’m not there. I’m not coming,” he says.

            Pulling my boarding pass away from the attendant, I force a smile and step away for privacy. “What are you talking about, James? I’m here waiting for you.” As if he doesn’t know that. He helped me load our luggage into the car before I left this morning. Is this some sick joke he’s pulling right now?

“I’m not coming, Cali,” James repeats for the third time.

            I stare numbly at the ‘now boarding’ screen above the attendant. I heard him the first two times. It makes as much sense now as it did then – none.

            “I don’t understand. You can’t not come. I can see if they’ll schedule us for a different flight. I’m sure it’s not too late. We’re getting there early enough that one day won’t really matter,” I tell him.

            He lets out an exasperated sigh. He’s annoyed? We’re two weeks away from our wedding and I’m at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, sans fiancé. I battled an hour and a half of traffic to get here and get us both checked in two hours early, lugged all our suitcases – overweight, I might add – only for him to call when it’s time to board the flight to New York and tell me he’s not coming, yet, he’s the one who’s annoyed?

            “I don’t know what else to say, Cali. I’m trying to do right by you here. We both knew this wouldn’t end well.”

            I splutter. Try as I might, I can no longer get the words to flow from my mouth to have this conversation. We didn’t know anything of the sort. Do right by me? How is standing me up for our wedding doing right by me? I didn’t ask to marry myself. I didn’t insist on us having a short engagement or me moving in with him. I definitely didn’t count on any of this.

About Lashanta Charles

So I don’t really have anything too witty, but I have a 6-year-old with a sharp tongue. One of the things I always tell my kids is that mommy and daddy knows everything. So one day I’m taking my daughter to the store to buy toys with her birthday money. This is how the conversation went:

Her: So, who gave me this birthday money?

Me: Poppy (Grandad)

Her: Oh, I really miss Poppy. I want to go see him.

Me: Well, you have to wait until this summer, when you’re out of school.

Her: Why?

Me: Because you have to learn things in school and if you miss a day, you’ll miss what you need to learn and then you won’t know everything.

Her: Ohhhhh, you mean like you and daddy don’t really know everything even though you say you do?

Me: *speechless*

* * *

Excerpt from A Ghost To Die For by Keta Diablo

Rooney encounters a stranger in her hotel room and soon finds out he’s a ghost!

Rooney looked at the man through narrowed eyes. “You weren’t at the séance on stage, so what then, were you in the audience?”

No, I was on stage, but kind of hanging around in the background. He put his hands in the air, palms out. I swear, I won’t hurt you, but I been lurking around this hotel for two months now wondering how I was going to get out of this mess. Then you arrived at La Bonne Chance with your sister, you know, the fabulous Fontaine sisters, the crème-dela-crème of psychics, and my prayers were answered.

She snorted. “I’m not a psychic, mister, so if that’s your angle, you picked the wrong sister.”

No, I picked the right sister. Now if only I can get her to hear me out.

“I don’t want to hear you out; I want you to get the hell out of my hotel room. Like now!” When he didn’t comply, she moved the can of hair spray until it loomed inches from his face. “I’m going to count to three. If you aren’t out of that chair and out that door by then, I’m giving you a face full of hair spray.”

Go ahead. Maybe then you’ll realize what I am and listen.

“You asked for it.” She held the nozzle down and let him have it right between the eyes. He didn’t move a muscle, didn’t react at all. Much to her dismay, she didn’t even have the satisfaction of seeing him blink. The drizzle and aroma of hair spray hung heavy in the air but didn’t seem to bother him nearly as much as it did her. Through a series of chokes and chortles she managed to eke out the words. “What are you, some kind of weirdo with inhuman defenses?”

A ghost.


You asked me what I am and I’m telling you. I’m a ghost.

Eyes wide, voice in shriek mode, she fell onto the edge of the bed and glared at him. “You can’t be a ghost. I don’t believe in ghosts!”

Understandable. Neither did I until I became one.

She reached out and touched his arm, more to prove him wrong than anything else. A startled scream escaped when her fingers danced through vacant air. Coming to her feet, she paced a small area beside the bed. “This can’t be happening. It isn’t possible.”

That’s exactly what I said when they pushed me off the balcony and I wound up in this state.

She resumed her prior position on the bed. “Someone pushed you off a balcony?”

More like tossed me over, right here at the La Bonne Chance Casino, seventh floor, two months ago.

“Two months ago? You’ve been wandering around here for two months?”

He released an exasperated sigh. I thought you might be a good listener, but I’ve said that twice now. Two months ago I died, and yes I’ve been hanging out here, twiddling my thumbs and trying to figure out what to do next.

“You can’t leave the hotel?”

Not yet, anyway. I’m working on it, but you have no idea how much energy it takes just to project my voice. No one else has been able to hear me, or see me, until you, Rooney, and now I seem to be experiencing a renewed sense of energy.

“Stop saying my name as if we’re besties.”

Well, after that séance and the conversation you had with Violet about your little sister, Vanessa, I kind of feel as if we are.

About Keta Diablo

Keta once dressed up as old man on Halloween and picked up her 9th grader at school in costume! Needless to say, he wasn’t pleased. In fact, he refused to get in the car. She followed him out of the parking lot and down the street for two blocks before he’d even look at her. Yes, he finally got in, but didn’t appreciate her humor…at all. Update: He’s in college now and says the “old man” incident is now one of his fondest childhood memories.

* * *

Excerpt from Raising Kane by Kat Henry Doran

Lt. Kieran Pollack signs in to work and comes up against the woman of his dreams: Mallory Kane, ace investigative reporter. Unfortunately she’s just spent the night in jail and is in no mood to speak with anyone–particularly a cop.

“Anything I need to know before I head upstairs, Sarge?”

“It’s all there.” The night duty man passed him the report from the previous platoon. “The usual pugs, thugs and mugs threw themselves a circus down at The Dirty Dawg last night.”

Kieran scrawled his name on the sign-in roster. “Again? Somebody ought to look into closing down that pest hole.”

“I bet the Mayor is thinkin’ along those same lines. With the Chief on vacation and the Deputy Chief at a meeting out of town, as PIO it’s your job to handle the fallout. Lucky man.”

Fall-out? “What are you talking about?”

A woman with mile-long legs and hair the color of roasting chestnuts strode past the desk, heading in the direction of the revolving door.

“Overnight guest,” the sergeant advised under his breath. “TV Reporter. I was you, I’d head that one off at the pass.”

In addition to a talent for scoping out shapely legs, Kieran possessed the good sense to act on sound advice. After shooting both cuffs and ensuring his tie hung straight, he glided up beside the woman. “Excuse me, miss?”

She stopped, threw back her shoulders, then turned. “Yes?”

In the shimmer of an early morning sun he saw a nasty bruise blossoming across one cheekbone and winced. “Does that hurt as bad as it looks?”

“Who are you and what do you want?”

She possessed a voice designed to make a man think of hot nights and cool sheets. Extending a hand, he launched into his usual PIO song and dance. “Kieran Pollack, Public Information Officer for the Victory PD. What’s a pretty thing such as yourself doing in a joint like this?”

The screech of tires on the street outside obscured any response she might have made. Panel vans bearing the logos of the local TV affiliates disgorged reporters and camera-persons who wasted no time in storming the doors to the Public Safety Building.

Kieran attempted to head her off at the pass with a fast two-step and a faster line of bull. “Look, can you help out this hard working public servant?”

She raised one hand to shield her injured cheek. “Not without my attorney.”

“Aw, now. Why do you want to go and do something like that? We don’t need no lousy lawyers to make things right, do we?”

“I believe it’s somewhere in the Bill of Rights,” she murmured, eluding his out-stretched hand with a fast step to the left.

“Please. Hear me out,” he pressed, one eye on the camera-persons now jockeying for position just inside the doors. “I can make this all disappear―if we could go someplace to talk. It would be to your advantage, I promise.”

A spark flared in those dull, pain-filled eyes. “I’d sooner walk barefoot through a nest of pit vipers than spend one second alone with any member of the Victory Police Department.”

About Kat Doran

There was the time I played private duty nurse for my uncle, after he underwent a resection of an aortic aneurysm. Very scary for a number of different reasons. It became my job to ensure Father Joe got sufficient rest which boiled down to playing traffic cop and time-keeper on visitors. On one afternoon, I could see Joe was fatigued and needed a nap. As I rounded up the crowd to send them out the door, one smirked at me. “Who’s Nurse Ratched, Joe?” he asked.

I said, “Who are you, the Pope?”

He said, “Close to it, honey. I’m the Bishop.”

Aw geez.

* * *

Excerpt from For Money or Love by Margo Hoornstra

Lindsey Carr’s two best friends, Rita and Anne, discuss exactly why she and her mega-millionaire boss, Daniel Montgomery, are no longer romantically involved.

Shooting Lindsey a quickly manufactured smile, she turned her full attention to the eye candy. “No doubt about it. Those are bedroom eyes.” She trailed her fingertips over Daniel’s forehead, down his cheek and onto the outline of his lips.

Lindsey brought both hands to her lap under the table, locked her fingers together and squeezed. It was a four-page spread in Today’s Tech magazine. The picture of Daniel’s forehead, cheek and lips.

An important distinction to remember. If that had been her boss in the flesh he’d be blushing beet red from all the fluttery female attention. Daniel Montgomery was different than most other powerful millionaires. Those she’d heard about anyway. Certainly drop dead gorgeous as had been established. With a mile wide shy streak not many people knew about or even suspected. Hands still clasped, Lindsey leaned away from the display.

Anne slid her glass aside and moved up to fill the void, her critical gaze focused on Daniel’s picture. “I’m never sure what the term ‘bedroom eyes’ means.”

“Not droopy or sleepy.” Rita didn’t bother to look up. “Sexy. There’s no other word for it. Well, maybe erotic would fit. I must say, Lindsey. It amazes me you can work side by side with this man day in and day out and manage to keep your hands to yourself.”

“It’s easy.” She murmured the blatant lie. Very easy. He does the same and then some.

“You and this marvelous specimen.” Rita waited until Lindsey glanced up then met her eye to eye. “As a couple, are old news, right? That’s what you’ve said.”

“Absolutely.” Purposely lowering her voice, she mentally counted to five before she spoke again. “We did the dating thing for a while.” She shrugged one shoulder for effect. “It didn’t work for us.”

Lindsey took a small gulp of wine to avoid having to share more, and was relieved when Rita and Anne went back to hunk browsing. Trying her best to ignore the fact it was Daniel’s hunk they browsed, she gave up to give into her own thoughts about the man.  Bowing to a mutual attraction that became evident soon after they met, Lindsey and Daniel dated for a time. A very short time, consisting of a few casual dinners, a couple of movies.  That one night in….

“Why didn’t it work for you exactly?”

Unsure who asked the question, Lindsey looked up then blinked. “It just didn’t.” She slowly let out a breath. “I don’t think of Daniel Montgomery in that way.” Much anymore.

“Then why are you blushing?” Her sharp gaze unrelenting, Rita leaned considered her from across the table. “Care to share?”

I’ll have no peace around here until I do. Taking her time to indulge in another sip, she completed a long, slow swallow then licked her lips.

About Margo Hoornstra

Becoming a coffee connoisseur wasn’t an instant fall head over heels event for Margo Hoornstra. Initial cups were loaded with milk and sugar. When the children arrived, two AM feedings coupled with six AM risings for work necessitated more indispensable caffeine. Flavored, iced, lattes and such, a true coffee aficionado, she covets them all.

* * *

Excerpt from Take A Chance On Me by M.J. Schiller

After chasing leads at the station, Cash returns to his home where his partner, Ian, is supposed to be watching over the murder witness, Harper…

Cash slowly pulled his keys out of the door, examining the pair. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing. Right, Ian?”

Ian nodded loosely. “Nothing. Like she said.”

Cash closed the door and set his keys on the end table. “Uh-huh.” He stuck his hands in his pockets. “What’s behind your back?”

Ian shot a glance at Harper. “You’re on your own.” He ducked into the kitchen.

“Coward,” she mumbled out of the side of her mouth.

Cash moved forward, and she took a step back. He lunged, catching her, and causing her to scream. He wrestled the bottle from her hand and brought it out where he could see it. Ian ran in, his concerned gaze darting to Harper. He stopped and put a hand over his heart, leaning against the side of the archway between the two rooms.

“Hmm.” Cash took a step back, tilting the bottle. He fought the smile tugging on his lips. “Is this my Jäger?”

Ian and Harper looked at each other with open mouths, but neither spoke.

Cash ambled over to the coffee table and clinked the bottle against the shot glasses as he set it down. “So—and correct me if I’m wrong—it looks like, while I’ve been out working my ass off, the two of you were busy getting snockered.”

“Oh, no.” Harper shook her head. “We were working hard, right, Ian?”

Ian made an attempt to stand straight, but swayed comically. “We were working hard.” He nodded, but turned to Harper. “What were we working hard at again?”

“Looking at the mug shots.”

“Oh. Yeah. That’s right. We were looking at the mug shots.” He faced Cash. “And doing shots.”

“Sh-sh-sh. It’s a secret.” Harper laughed.

Ian chuckled along with her. “Oh, yeah.”

Cash put his hands on his hips. “Well, I hate to tell you, friends, but the cat’s out of the bag now.”

“Cat? What cat?” Harper laughed, seeming to be slightly more sober than her partner in crime, his partner.

“He has a cat?” Ian seemed genuinely confused, looking around for the feline. “You never told me you had a cat.”

Harper sputtered and broke into laughter again.

Cash sat, hiding his chuckle. She was so damned cute. He put his feet on the coffee table, spreading his arms out along the top of the couch. “Whose idea was this anyhow?”

They pointed at each other.

“It was mine?” Harper asked. Ian nodded. “Oh. It was mine.” She smiled and didn’t appear to try to hide her pride.

Cash shook his head, staring at them for a moment. He stood and pulled out his phone. “Okay, Ian. I’m calling you an Uber.” He punched some buttons. “Chrissy’s gonna kick your butt. And the next time she sees me, she’s gonna kick my butt.” He looked at his screen. “Two minutes away.” He came over and put his arm around Ian, steering him to the door.

“I’m leaving?”

Cash grabbed his jacket off a recliner. “Yes, you are. Maybe the night air will sober you up some.”

“I doubt it.”

Cash laughed. “I doubt it, too. And you, little missie—” he swung around to point to her.

She looked about, then put a finger on her chest and mouthed “Me?”

“Yes, you. Don’t think you’re off the hook. I’ll deal with you when I get back.”

About M.J. Schiller

One day–when M.J.’s triplets were about two, and her eldest four–she was doing laundry and matching up the socks, one of her least favorite chores. She lined them up all along her arms as she hunted for their mates. After a bit of fruitless searching, she glanced at the time and realized she needed to hustle to be on time for a prayer service she was attending at her church.

She made it in time, her four children in tow, and removed her coat before kneeling to say a prayer. An half hour later, as she piously prayed along with the congregation, her eldest asked, “Mommy, why do you have a sock on your shoulder?” She had missed removing one of her husband’s long, mateless gym socks!


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A First Look at Laverne Thompson’s “The Beast Within”

Today it is my pleasure to introduce Laverne Thompson and TWO of her new books. She is honoring us by sharing a preview of her upcoming book, The Beast Within along with an excerpt of her current novel, After Midnight-City of Sin. Take it away, Laverne.

My name is LaVerne Thompson, I write contemporary, fantasy and sci/fi romance but I also have an alter ego. As Ursula Sinclair I write new adult and romantic suspense.

I’m an empty nester. Both of my kids have graduated from college and are off in their chosen careers so it’s just my hubster and me along with my dog and cat. So I pretty much write all over the house. I’m no longer relegated to hiding in the basement to write, which is what I used to do when the house was full.

I write romance because I am a romantic at heart. I love a happily ever after and want to take my readers there. Even in a continuing series the reader still has the satisfaction of knowing my heroine gets her hero. lol I also love to build worlds, which is why even my contemporary stories tend to have intrigue or be more romantic suspense. But my favorite is writing fantasy/paranormal or sci/fi works. Then I can really let my imagination roam. The other thing about most of my books, other than the romance and hot sex 😊  there’s also violence. In some more than others, not between the hero and heroine but directed toward them and they also direct it toward the villains, who more than deserve it. And my heroines stand side by side to dish it out with the hero.

I find my inspiration pretty much any and everywhere, even in my sleep. I find it in my dreams, in music, a conversation, looking up at the stars, looking into the mist or watching the ocean. I can go on but you see, everywhere.

Right now I’m working on something new that will be out in August. It’s part of an anthology this is new work and is a stand alone paranormal. The Beast Within will be part of the Creole Nights Anthology. Here’s a first look.

Excerpt from The Beast Within by LaVerne Thompson

(Coming in August)

Suddenly, her body froze in mid sway slowly she lowered her arms. Someone stood behind her. This person was different from whoever had been there before. It wasn’t like he was touching her ass or any part of her body—yet she felt him. His heat. Her heart picked up its pace, but it had nothing to do with the music but the man behind her. Oh yes, she knew it was a man, there was no mistaking the male energy wafting off him behind her. She desperately wanted to turn and see who he was. She could feel his breath on her neck. Then she began to sway again, a primal instinct moving inside her, wanting him to press his body against hers and move with her.

My daddy dearest would make anyone who looked at me sideways disappear, permanently… Click To Tweet

AFTER MIDNIGHT- City of Sin (available now)

laverne thompsonBlurb:


I wasn’t looking for a relationship, never even crossed my radar. Then one night in a crowded room, I caught a scent that seeped into my marrow. I followed it and found the shock of a lifetime. Someone was playing frigging tricks on me. She is Vampire and I’m Were. She is forbidden to me. But I never did do rules.


I wasn’t looking for a relationship. Hell, I’d never really even had a boyfriend. My daddy dearest would make anyone who looked at me sideways disappear, permanently. Then one night in a crowded room, I heard a voice. The resonation vibrated soul deep. I could not turn away. But he’s Were and I’m of the old blood. My father’s going to kill him when he finds out a Were has claimed me.

Buy Links

Meet Laverne Thompson

Laverne ThompsonLaVerne Thompson is an award winning, best-selling, multi-published author, an avid reader and a writer of contemporary, fantasy, and sci/fi sensual romances. She loves creating worlds within our world. She also writes romantic suspense and new adult romance under the pen name Ursula Sinclair.

She is a certified chocoholic and is currently working on several projects. Some might even involve chocolate. But writing helps maintain her sanity.

Sign up for her newsletter for sneak peeks and advance info on new releases as well as a few freebies to subscribers. to learn more about her books

or Facebook to contact her, or

and on Twitter at


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Meet Ann Everett and her Romance “Chirp”

Please join me in welcoming author Ann Everett, a fellow Diet Dr. Pepper addict.  Ann brings her love of romance and her wit to her latest release Chirp. Check out this excerpt and you will be as anxious as I was to start reading.  Enjoy!

My Questions for Ann

Where is your favorite place to write? At my desktop. Most authors I know love using their laptop, but I’ve never been able to feel comfortable with one. The only way I use mine, is to connect a regular keyboard to it!

What inspires you as an author? Just about any and everything. The book I’m working on now was inspired by an article in the monthly magazine I get from my electricity provider.

Why do you write romance and why your genre of romance? Who doesn’t love a happily-ever-after? I write several different types of romance. Contemporary, romantic mysteries, and new adult. It depends on the idea I get as to which slot my books falls into.

What are you working on next and when can we expect to see it? I’m about half-way through my next project which is a companion book to my latest release, Chirp. I hope to have it released by late 2017 or early 2018.

Ann Everett author of "Chirp"Chirp by Ann Everett

A woman hiding from her future…..

Heiress to the largest steel company in America, twenty-year-old, socially awkward Blaze Bledsoe hides out at Dessie Bishop’s farm. For the last three years, Blaze has eluded one investigator after another, but just when she thinks she’s safe, a PI closes in. Her luck is about to run out in more ways than one.

A man running from his past….

Rance Keller, a tough, hard-living ex-con, fresh out of prison for a crime he didn’t commit, arrives to claim the house his grandmother left him. Finding a strange girl living there, his plans for a solitary life take a turn. Her lack of modesty, no filter, and word of the day fetish baffles him, but those big green eyes and sweet mouth have him losing sleep.

Welcome to Bluebird, Texas

Where two damaged people with secrets, discover trust can lead to passion.

Excerpt from Chirp


Blaze reached room three and referred to the next list: Blue eye shadow. Black mascara. Mauve lip gloss. Enhance beauty mark at corner of mouth.

Only thirty-nine years old, Ginny Elliott had met her demise when her biker boyfriend failed to negotiate a turn. Thank goodness she’d worn a helmet. Camouflaging a mangled face presented a challenge. Being tossed ten feet into the air before landing on hard pavement had proved too much for the rest of her bones.

Ginny was dressed in a leather jacket and low-cut tank, her voluptuous breasts swelling over the top. Nothing like formaldehyde to pump up a woman’s upper thorax. Blaze tugged at her own T-shirt, conscious of the small boobs she’d been blessed with. Removing the pencil from behind her ear, she scratched out part of the note, and made changes.

Proper shading and contouring made women appear pounds lighter and years younger. Once Blaze had finished, Ginny looked like a Harley Harlot. Blaze always regretted the client couldn’t witness the magic. She jotted another message, tucked it into Motorcycle Momma’s pocket, and zipped it. “Give this to Larkin Montgomery. You’ll recognize her because we look alike.” With only a few pictures for comparison, she wasn’t sure about that. The older she got, the less she remembered about her mother.

With her supplies back in place, Blaze peeked into the hallway. The coast appeared clear. No Cam waiting to walk her out. Maybe she’d finally been rude enough for him to get the message.

Outside, a sharp February breeze cut at her face, but spring hid right around the corner. Almost time to break up the garden spot. Even though she liked living alone, she missed Dessie. The sweet woman had left the place to her only grandson, but Blaze would never meet him.

Since he was serving a fifteen year prison sentence. She’d be long gone by the time he showed up.


Rance stepped outside and followed the aroma of bacon to Bubba’s Diner. Just what he needed after going heels to Jesus all night. He removed his last cigarette and tossed the package into the blue trash barrel at the corner of the building. Really should give up the bad habit, and he would. Later.

It occurred to him, the tag-team event with the BFFs, had fulfilled his goal. No more pressure. With an early start and few stops, he could make it to Bluebird in one day. Grab a quick breakfast. Crank up the Harley. Hit the road. Couldn’t wait to see the place again. Enjoy the seclusion and relax in his grandmother’s old claw-foot tub. That’s what he loved about the little country town.

Everything remained the same. Never any surprises.

Find Ann’s books at 

Meet Ann Everett

Award winning and Amazon Best-Selling author, Ann Everett embraces her small town upbringing and thinks Texans are some of the funniest people on earth. When speaking at conferences and to writing groups, businesses, book clubs, and non-profit organizations, she incorporates her special brand of wit, making her programs on marketing, self-publishing, and the benefits of laughter, informative and fun.

A top reviewer on, she lives on a small lake in Northeast Texas where she writes, bakes, and fights her addiction to Diet Dr. Pepper.

  • She’s been married to her high school sweetheart.
  • She loves shopping at thrift stores.
  • She doesn’t remember her first kiss.
  • She hates talking on the telephone.
  • A really sharp pencil makes her happy.
  • She secretly wants to get a tattoo.
  • Elected as a charter member of National Honor Society in high school remains one of her biggest surprises.
  • She’s thankful wrinkles aren’t painful.
  • She sucks at math.



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Brand New! “Oh Danny Boy” by Josie Riviera

Please join me in welcoming Josie Riviera and her brand new book “Oh Danny Boy”. Josie is a USA Today Bestselling author of sweet romances that promise a great read. “Oh Danny Boy” promises not to disappoint. I think this is where the craic is!

A Little Irish from Josie

A favorite phrase in Ireland is “What’s the craic?” which, loosely translated, means “What’s happening?” or “Where’s the fun?”

The Irish people are a people of contradictions. They love to have a good time, they love to laugh, and they love people who make them laugh. If you don’t have a sense of humor in Ireland, you’ve committed a grave offense, and one not easily forgiven.

Most Irish are uncomfortable accepting a compliment, However, the mere hint of an insult might result in a brawl. On the other hand, they will avoid confrontation.

Women may rebuff a compliment by belittling the object complimented as in saying, “What, this old rag?” and draw attention instead to their perceived failing–hair that’s too curly, skinny legs, etc.

So, if you want to laugh, head to Ireland. Feel free to lavish praise, regardless of the rebuff you’ll likely receive. And don’t forget to ask, “What’s the craic?”

Oh Danny Boy  

This pot of gold could hold more than they bargained for…

Grand. Just grand. Clara Donovan’s failure to keep her brother from going off the rails—again—is a public spectacle. Including a handsome stranger who puts down his guitar case to help her talk Seamus down from Farthing’s tallest bridge.

Everything about Danny Brady reminds Clara how many times she swore she’ll never again be that pathetic, weak woman who got taken in by a good-looking man. Especially when, the next day, she walks into a new coffee shop in her little Irish town and discovers Danny’s secret.

Danny didn’t lie—technically—about his coffee shop chain. He’s just tired of women going after him for his wealth. Clara is a graceful, fiercely loyal, non-Irish Irish damsel in distress, a combination that tugs at his heart. A heart that’s spent its share of time in pieces.

Danny has never hesitated to go after what he wants, but melting Clara’s defenses will take more than hot tea and charm. He’ll have to prove he’s made of stronger stuff—even when her past threatens to tear her carefully reconstructed world to shreds.

Available from Amazon:

Excerpt from “Oh Danny Boy” by Josie Riviera


“Seamus, don’t jump!” Clara Donovan heard her own cries, the shouts resounding through the misty night air. She raced across the sidewalk toward Farthing Bridge, her gaze riveted on a horror she didn’t want to believe. Her older brother Seamus sat on the edge of a tall bridge with his head slumped in his hands, a bottle of whiskey beside him. The arched stone bridge spanned the River Farthing, connecting the town to a once-popular marketplace.

No. It couldn’t be. Her breath burned in her chest as she took in gulps of dampness and drizzle. Don’t stop. Run faster.

When she reached the bridge, she elbowed through a group of late-night revelers. Several pointed up at Seamus. “He’s off the rails!” someone shouted.

Her brother seemed unaware of the gathering crowd. He swung his legs back and forth like an underwound metronome and stared into the ice-cold river below.

She shook off the image of him on her living room floor several days earlier. He’d been passed out drunk. Should she have phoned a treatment center? No. She could fix her brother’s problems. He simply needed encouragement, surrounded by his loving, supportive family.

Seamus. Gentle Seamus. Kind and fiery-haired, quick to temper, quicker to make amends. Her heart squeezed at the scruffy, dejected man he’d become since his wife had died.

Clara put her hands on her knees and took in calm, even breaths. Quickly, she assessed the corroded pedestrian catwalk leading to the top of the bridge, the skull and crossbones sign that warned Danger.

She stared upward at her sweet brother. “Dear saints in heaven, Seamus,” she whispered. “You promised me that you’d never drink again.”

She stuffed her wool gloves into her jacket pockets and bent to lace her weatherproof boots tighter. There was no time to dash around the river to the street that crossed the bridge, and she certainly wouldn’t ask anyone in the crowd to lend a hand.

She yanked off the “Danger” sign and threw it to the ground. That pressing feeling in her chest, like she was running out of air, slowed her movements. Dragging in another breath, she grasped the slippery wet handrails and stepped onto the bottom rung of the catwalk.

“Missus, are you trained for this?” a man from the crowd inquired.

She glanced around. The man stood a hairsbreadth away. He was tall with piercing blue eyes and carried a guitar case. His dark brown hair had a reddish tinge and his navy wool jacket strained against his athletic form.

Meet Josie Riviera

Oh Danny Boy author Josie RivieraJosie Riviera is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and live in an old house forever needing renovations.

Send her an email at:


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An “Unexpected” Visit with Valerie Ullmer #Unexpected

Unexpected blog tour on

Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Valerie Ullmer and her new hot romance, “Unexpected”. Valerie is a Denver native and fellow coffee lover. What is it about coffee and writing? I asked Valerie a few questions to help you get to know her a bit better.

A Little about the Author

Where is your favorite place to write? I have a desk near the window in my living room where I have to work every day. If I don’t have a set schedule, I would never write, so my desk gives me a spot that I can see and know that I have to get to work.

What inspires you as an author? It’s an answer that I have seen from other authors. Everything. In my latest book, the idea came to me when I heard that news that the new administration wanted to overturn gay marriage. After all this time, some people can’t stand the fact that two people of the same sex can fall in love. I wanted to write a book where two men fall in love, despite obstacles and other’s opinions.

Why do you write romance and why your genre of romance? I have loved romance books since I picked my first one up in high school. There are rules to romance and the greatest one is that they have to end in a happily ever after. And because I read mostly romance, when I started writing, it was only natural that I wrote romance as well. I write contemporary and paranormal erotic romance because most of my ideas (and there are a lot) fall into those categories.

What are you working on next and when can we expect to see it? My next book is a paranormal romance. Xander (A Dark Assassins Novel Book Three) releasing on July 25th, 2017.

 Unexpected (A Unexpected Novel Book One)

Unexpected byValerie UllmerGenre: Contemporary M/M Romance 


A chance meeting will change their lives forever…

From the moment he entered the dark taproom, Caleb Hunt found himself drawn to the handsome man who sat alone at the end of the bar, away from the crowd. His interest in the dark-haired, muscled adonis took him by surprise, not remembering when he’d felt such hunger from a simple glimpse. Unable to stay away, he quickly found an open seat next to him and slid into it. When Ronan turned his ice-blue eyes to Caleb and introduced himself, his warm hand sent shivers of desire through his body and he was enthralled.

Ronan Scott’s boring Friday night had taken a turn for the better when Caleb took the seat next to him. Over the next few hours, he found Caleb easy to talk to and at the same time, he found that he couldn’t tear his gaze away from the beautiful man. Caleb captured his attention in a way that no other had for as long as he could remember. Taking a chance, he leaned forward and captured Caleb’s lips with his. And with the simple kiss, Ronan understood that Caleb would become an essential part of his life.

As Ronan and Caleb explore their new relationship and integrate their lives together, they realize that not everything will be so seamless…





“Are you here alone?”

Caleb had to bite the inside of his lip in order not to moan out loud at the sexy, deep voice. Remembering the question, he shook his head and pointed toward Dylan and Garrett across the room. Dylan, of course, had a woman on his lap and was tracing a finger down her neck, before he leaned toward her and his mouth followed the same trail.

Garrett was looking down at his phone. The shy woman he’d been talking to had disappeared, much to Caleb’s disappointment, and another was trying, unsuccessfully, to get his attention. She looked drunk and very loud by the way he flinched every time she spoke.

“Dylan, the one on the right with a woman on his lap, is the biggest flirt in the world. He’s never serious about any woman he takes home. Garrett is his best friend, the complete opposite of Dylan, but he’s loyal.”

The man laughed and Caleb couldn’t help the lift of his lips at the sound. It was deep, rich, and addictive. But when the man turned his ice-blue eyes on him, something unidentifiable swelled in his chest. He could sense that he should speak, to keep this gorgeous man talking for as long as possible. “Are you here alone?”

Smart, Caleb. Just parrot the same question back.

The man smiled before he nodded over to his group of friends. Some were flirting, but others were enjoying the company of their friends on a Friday night.

“The ginger is Hawk; he’s a divorce lawyer who is handling Ryan’s divorce. That’s why they’re hunched over their beers. Ryan’s wife apparently hadn’t been faithful during their entire four-year marriage, and he found out when he came home early from a business trip. Jack is the one who is flirting with the group of women; he’s like Dylan in that way, never serious. He’s a CEO of a tech company and he could have any woman with his looks and the power he exudes, but he’s never been in a serious relationship. Sam is my second-in-command, the one who looks faintly sick, because Adam is a forensic scientist who loves talking about his work.”

Caleb found himself smiling at the group of friends. When he glanced at the man, who had turned back to Caleb after pointing out his friends, he snagged Caleb’s gaze. “So, do you have a girlfriend at home?”

“No. I can’t remember the last time I had a date, much less a successful one. You?”

Caleb breathed a sigh of relief when he shook his head.

“I’m Ronan Scott.” He held his hand out.

Shit, even the man’s name is sexy.

He had to clear his throat before he reached out and grasped Ronan’s large, warm hand in his. “Caleb Hunt.”

Something inside Caleb warmed in increments until fireworks exploded behind his skin, all from a simple touch.

Valerie’s Bio

Valerie writes paranormal and contemporary romances with strong alpha males and brilliant, beautiful heroines. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her wonderfully supportive husband and their funny and wise black lab. She’s addicted to coffee, crime shows, and reading and writing character driven romances.





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Need a Great Summer Read? “Any Duchess Will Do”

In I love vacations, don’t you? I love the change of scenery and schedule despite the fact that I control my own schedule all year long. Oh yeah, I love the chance to catch up on my reading too. In my humble opinion, airplanes and trains are perfect for reading. Guest rooms are too.

I just returned from almost a week of vacation, staying with friends in Virginia and North Carolina. I saw the sights, visited with my besties, and attended an awesome party. The days were very full as was my belly. Seeing friends always boils down to the meals: breakfast with Ann, lunch with Sarella, dinner with Brenda. Brenda introduced me to fried Oreo’s for which I will be eternally grateful. (She was a fabulous host ).

I managed to spend some time catching up with a little work on my book, and read a romance or two. In fact, I had a little trouble putting one down, sinking under the covers on starry Virginia nights reading when I should have been sleeping. I discovered a new author and I couldn’t stop reading her book. I recommend it and want to share a bit of it with you.

Any Duchess Will Do

tessa Dare Any Duchess Will DoThe book is “Any Duchess Will Do” by USA Today Bestselling author Tessa Dare. I borrowed my sister’s Kindle to read something else for our book club but I read this instead. I am so glad I did.

Any Duchess Will Do is part of the Spindle Cove Series. Spindle Cove is a fictitious seaside village haunted by hopeless spinsters, who are in fact, anything but. Instead, they are smart and resourceful women. I was not aware until several capable characters from Spindle Cove arrived late in the book that this was a series, but it quickly became obvious that each of these women was spunky, bright and wonderfully quirky. So is the heroine in “Any Duchess Will Do.”

Redheaded barmaid, Pauline, is plucked from Spindle Cove as the unlucky pawn in a game between a determined Duke and his equally tenacious mother. Unfortunately for Pauline, mother and son want completely different results from her, and so the fun begins. The Duchess vows to turn Pauline into Duchess material in 7 days so that her son will marry the girl. The Duke promises Pauline a veritable fortune to fail at her task. We all know where this is leading, but Tessa Dare takes us there in such a delightful and fresh way.

The plot seems ludicrous as I describe it and yet it works – completely. From the first chapter to the last, these characters are rich, funny and believable. The writing is quick and clever and the sex is hot. Regency England comes alive under the author’s pen in all its haughty stuffiness, so that Pauline –and her lack of pedigree – are a breath of fresh air.

Now it’s my turn…

This book has inspired me to get back to my own writing, but now I want to inject some humor. I couldn’t wait to try my hand at suspense in my book, Bedeviled, and I continue that path in the final book of the Beguiling Bachelor Series. My new challenge will be to marry a bit of fun with a bit of mystery. I am about 50 percent done so stay tuned for “Besotted” later in 2017 to see if Tessa Dare’s influence is a success.

In the meantime, go buy Dare’s book, and I suspect you will want to read the entire Spindle Cove Series.

The Prior Books in the Spindle Cove Series:

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