Thursday, June 15, 2017

Random Reveal & Giveaway . . . Lotus by T. L. Smith

This cover is amazing!! Can't wait to dive into this one!!


Title: Lotus
Author: TL Smith
Photographer:  Wander Aguiar Photography
Cover Designer: Romantic Book Affairs 
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: July 27


To break a heart is easy.
All you have to do is reach in, wrap your blood covered hands around it, and pull.
 This happened to me.
Two hands, both red as my hair, did this exact thing.
Tore it away like it wasn’t made for me.
Maybe it was his to take?
Because years on, with those same blood red hands, he still has it.
In his hands. And he won’t give it back.
But the real question is, do I want it back.
He is dangerous, uncontrollable, and downright sexy.
I fell for it all, but in the end, he didn’t catch me he let me fall.






ENTER HERE





T.L Smith Lover of chocolate, books, but mostly words.
T.L Smith loves to travel, loves to shop for books, sometimes shoes 😉
Don’t be shy about contacting T.L Smith, she doesn’t bite, hard!



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Random Release & Review . . . Torrid by Nikki Sloane

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Torrid by Nikki Sloane is NOW AVAILABLE! The release week special edition features a BONUS BOOK of Sordid (previously banned on Amazon!) iBooks: http://apple.co/2pJ3f2Y Amazon: http://amzn.to/2thTSpV Nook: http://bit.ly/2sxxY5l Kobo: http://bit.ly/2s77eWG

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PRAISE FOR TORRID:

"Hold my gun because I need some alone time after reading this! Nikki Sloane creates yet another stirring romance full of heat and mayhem to stir your soul. Five dark and panting stars for Vasilije and Oksana!" - USA Today bestselling author, Sierra Simone

"Scorching hot, darkly complex, and deliciously dirty, Torrid is one of the best mafia books I've read all year!" - NYT Bestselling Author, Anna Zaires

“Dark, edgy, and so deliciously dirty. Torrid is insanely good!”- USA Today Bestselling Author, Natasha Knight

"Definitely judge a book by its cover on this one! Nikki Sloane delivered a story that lives up to the amazing cover and beyond. So sinfully hot that I couldn't stop reading. Dark, dirty and delicious. I want more from this author now." - USA Today Bestselling Author, Alta Hensley

Torrid Cover

iBooks: http://apple.co/2pJ3f2Y Amazon: http://amzn.to/2thTSpV Nook: http://bit.ly/2sxxY5l Kobo: http://bit.ly/2s77eWG

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Blurb:

Vasilije Markovic is the prince of the Serbian mafia and one of the most powerful men in Chicago. His smile may be razor sharp, but he’s crueler than the devil. I’m playing a dangerous game and betting my life I’m going to win. I pretend to be his pawn. I do as he says and move where he tells me, letting him think he’s in control as I position myself for revenge. Every turn brings us closer. His grin doesn’t seem as evil when we’re alone. Behind closed doors, I welcome his unrelenting and vicious personality. He’s confessed all his secrets, but I’m holding one back and it’s a game changer. If I survive the board, this pawn turns into a queen. I become the most powerful player and send all the other pieces running. To get what I want, I must make sacrifices, but am I willing to draw the line at him?

My Review:

If you like your books dark and gritty, yet beautifully complicated, you'll love this one. I didn't read Sordid, Book 1, but I was able to keep up with Torrid and understand the dynamics with no problems. In fact, this is my first book by this author and I can definitely say she's a keeper. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

When the book opened with Oksana, my heart bled for her. And then she grabbed the gun...YASSSS, Oksana!! I loved the development of Vasilije and Oksana's relationship. It wasn't an instant love, it wasn't romantic, and it wasn't anywhere near normal - it was a far removed from normal as possible; but it was intriguing, mind-altering, complex and altogether cataclysmic.

I liked that they challenged each other and made each other question their feelings and their outlook on what was true. I liked that they reveled in each other's depravity. They were great for each other.

I wish there could have been more to the ending. It wasn't rushed, but it happened extremely fast and it seemed like there should have been more. everyone seems to have been caught off guard and that didn't seem believable to a certain extent.

**An ARC was provided and I am voluntarily reviewing.**
  
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About the Author:

Nikki Sloane landed in graphic design after her careers as a waitress, a screenwriter, and a ballroom dance instructor fell through. For eight years she worked for a design firm in that extremely tall, black, and tiered building in Chicago that went through an unfortunate name change during her time there. Now she lives in Kentucky and manages a team of graphic artists. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, is married with two sons, writes dirty books, and couldn’t be any happier.

Stalk Nikki:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Random Release & Review . . . Captive Vow by Alta Hensley



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Captive Vow by Alta Hensley is Available NOW! #FREE with Kindle Unlimited

"Wow, what a magnificent dark thriller!" - Romantic Angel Blog


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ADD TO YOUR TBR ➤ http://bit.ly/2o82cug

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I take you. To honor and obey. Till death do us part. This is my solemn vow. I am caught in the madness of a deep obsession. Stolen away to become his perfect and dutiful wife. Trapped in a twisted and dark courtship. Forced and trained in the wifely duties of an obedient bride. I am his. Captive ever after…

***Captive Vow is a dark romantic thriller. If you don’t like a sprinkle of shock, a dash of taboo, and a heavy dose of sex, then don’t take a sip of my cocktail.

Review:

I had mixed feelings about this book, but overall I enjoyed it. I wavered between 3 and 4 stars due to a few things that stuck out to me, so I've settled on 3.5 stars.

First, the writing was amazing, the style, the formatting, the editing — all delivered very well, and I absolutely love the cover. I liked that Demi was such a good person inside. She was al about taking care of everyone, even when she should've focused on herself. I also lie that Viv's character was completely twisted. That wasn't expected at all, but was integral to the plot and very welcomed.

I liked Pope's character, but I felt like he was lacking. For the life of me, I can't figure out how though. There was just an element that was missing from him. I wanted him to be more alpha. 

I felt like the ending came out of nowhere. There was so much more to be explored and I still have questions. I wish I could've gotten Pope's POV on some of the events, but the book is good as is.

**Spoiler Alert**
I wanted him to stand up to his mom's craziness. I wanted him to tell Demi that regardless of how the situation came about the requirement were actually what he enjoyed. I wanted him to be the plot twist and I expected it, so when that wasn't the case it felt slightly anticlimactic. I don't think the blurb truly fits with the actual story. I wanted Pope to stop apologizing for the things they did. It was obvious he enjoyed them and so did Demi. They kept saying how wrong it was and asking what was wrong with them and how sick it was, but seriously, NO ONE was around to judge them. The wavering on both their parts took away the dark and gritty aspect of it for me. Yes, they were forced, but it would've been much darker if one of them made no apologies, enjoyed it to the fullest, and made it known that the force wasn't an issue for them.

I received an ARC and voluntarily reviewed.

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About the Author: Alta Hensley is a USA TODAY bestselling erotic romance author who has had #1 top-selling books in dark, contemporary, BDSM, erotic science fiction, humor, suspense and historical. She writes the hot, dark, and dirty romance. Being a multi-published author in the romance genre, Alta is known for her dark, gritty alpha heroes, sometimes sweet love stories, hot eroticism, and engaging tales of the constant struggle between dominance and submission.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Random Release . . . All That Glitter Ain't Gold & Sitting Behind The Gates of Hell by Teresa Mason Browning

All That Glitters Ain’t Gold & Sitting Behind the Gates of Hell Release Day Blitz
Vaneka’s VIP Literary Services is pleased to announce the Release Day Blitz of All That Glitters Ain’t Gold and Sitting Behind the Gates of Hell by Teresa Mason Browning.
Author Teresa Mason Browning
Genre African American Fiction, Urban Fiction
Publisher Self-Published
All That Glitters Ain’t Gold (Book 1)
At what point are you willing to risk it all to get ahead? Is your freedom worth the gamble?
For most of us in this world, there are times when certain occasions arise in our lives that we consider to be that golden opportunity that once in a lifetime moment that we’ve waited for our entire lives that fate will not allow us to pass by. Because of this fateful belief, Ronda, partially out of anger from her past relationships and a strong dose of ego, refused to see the red flags and spiritual warnings all around her, and is faced with the reality of her decision that will turn her life upside down. Very secure in her Christian beliefs but not wise enough for the street wizards who love to prey on the innocents, she walks through the door into the fast past world of scheme and deception, blindfolded.
Much like lady justice who has purposely chosen to be blind to justice in the courts, Ronda too was blind to the streets and the business world of investments, and took the chance to dream without doing any research to ensure her dream would become a positive reality for her and family. At the end of a failed marriage and lost in a lustful drive for pleasure Ronda’s naivety quickly spirals out of control.
Does she have what it takes to stand the test of time and will her new flaming love, H.D., be there when all the ugliness unfolds?
I dare you to turn the page to find out.
ISBN-10 1546500693
ISBN-13 978-1546500698
Print Length 124 Pages
Publication Date May 15, 2017
Purchase Links
Sitting Behind the Gates of Hell (Book 2)
How much thought have you put into the actions you’re about to take? Are you prepared to face the consequences of your decisions?
For Ronda, it no longer matters how much time she spent or if she’s prepared to face the reality of her decisions; the federal gates she must walk through are very real and what lies behind them has no compassion for what god you believe in. All alone with nothing left but her broken ego and the will to survive, Ronda’s nightmare behind the gates of hell begins.
Now at Alderson Federal Prison for women, the unimaginable has happened and what Ronda has yet to find out is just how raw prison life truly is. Yes, women prisoners can be just as fierce as men and in many cases even worse: Alderson will prove to be no exception as she will soon learn by example. As Ronda does her time she quickly learns how to maneuver and tries to settle in but will she be able to keep herself together or will she brake to the harsh reality of prison life and become another statistic lost in the system?
ISBN-10 1545488606
ISBN-13 978-1545488607
Publication Date May 15, 2017
Print Length 248 Pages
Purchase Links
Teresa Mason Browning
Teresa Mason Browning is a woman of true insight and a lively spirit. She is the author of six novels: Why I Kept My Past A Secret, Now That The Secrets Are Out, Living Free of the Secrets, A Black Man’s Pain and her dual new releases, All That Glitters Ain’t Gold, and Sitting Behind the Gates of Hell. She has traveled many places as a motivational speaker. Teresa was born in Lawton Oklahoma, but was raised in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area. She now resides in South Carolina close to her children and grandchildren that helps keep her the jovial woman she is today.
Stalk Teresa
Facebook Fan Page @MizAuthorT
Twitter @MizAuthortInstagram @miz.authort
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Friday, June 2, 2017

Random Release . . . Losing Her by KS Marshall

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LOSING HER
Part One of the Lost & Found Duet
by K.S. Marshall

Genre: Romantic Suspense, Dark Romance, Erotic Romance
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All eyes have been on her since she was born. That came with the territory, being the only daughter of a prestigious and wealthy family. But Alina Prescott was tired of not living her own life, so she took matters into her own hands. Escaping to a new city and starting over, she's finally free.
Or so she thought.

Derrick Williams is focused on one thing -- work. And for good reason too. The last time he was distracted from work, it cost him. Literally. Now he's the new private investigator working for the Prescott family, and his first assignment is to find their daughter who ran away. Easy enough. Until she makes him torch all of his personal and professional boundaries.

Their entire relationship is a lie and one person is hellbent on destroying everything they've built together.

WARNING: This book contains themes and situations that some might consider triggers. Intended for Mature Audiences only. 18+

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Buy Links:
FREE w/ Kindle Unlimited

ABOUT K.S. MARSHALL
K.S. Marshall is a nearly thirty-something writer, living and loving in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her boyfriend, two kids and two fur babies. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she's lived all over the United States and considers herself an adopted Texan at heart.
Labeled as "super emotional" and "dramatic" very early on in life, it became second nature to journal and write. K.S. realized her overactive imagination and her affinity for creating stories from thin air helped her as a writer. She is drawn to character that are relatable; people that you might know or find within yourself. She enjoys a good plot twist and using elements that have you anxiously turning the page to figure out what happens next.

She loves interacting with readers in her Facebook Group: XO by K.S.

Author Links

Random Review . . . Bare Yourself by Alex Grayson

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BARE YOURSELF by Alex Grayson Genre: Contemporary Romance Review Blitz: June 2, 2017
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BLURB
My name is Tegan Zander, and I like to… bare myself. Yes, you read that right. It’s not just me I want everyone to see, but also the lucky person I’m with at the moment. No, I don’t go around whipping out my junk and pulling up skirts to flash all the Joe Blows around. Give me some credit; I’m a bit more discreet than that. Barely. No, I like to be watched while fucking. I like knowing someone else is in the room, getting off on what my partner and I are doing. This is my sexual vice, and I fucking love it. What I don’t do is relationships. I have too much fun in my bachelor life. I don’t want to be tied down to one woman when there are still so many out there to explore. Willow Bennett was just a woman I helped on the side of the road. Nothing more, nothing less, even if her hot little body demanded attention from mine. I did my good deed, kissed those sweet lips, ground my jean-covered length against her softness, and left, expecting to never see her again. But then, there she was, in her short skirt, tank top, and flip-flops, looking sexy as hell. She didn’t know it yet, but she was my next plaything. I was going to expose her along with me. I was going to show her just how good it could be if she lost her inhibitions and let me put her on display. I don’t do relationships, but with this girl, I just might… expose my heart to her. *Although this is Book 2 of the Consumed Series, BARE YOURSELF may be read as a standalone!* **This book is intended for mature audiences ages 18+!**
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Exclusively on Amazon and FREE on Kindle Unlimited! ONECLICK NOW!
ADD TO YOUR TBR: http://bit.ly/2qBC7Rg
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ALSO AVAILABLE FREE on Kindle Unlimited! Always Wanting (Consumed: Book 1) Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2qXeTIe Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2rpF4c6 Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2rZkNac Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2rHw7dH
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AUTHOR BIO Alex Grayson is originally from the south but has recently moved to Northern Ohio. Although she misses the warmth of Florida and often times detests the cold of Ohio she absolutely loves living in the north. She and her husband bought a house on two acres of land and live there with their daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 7 ducks. She hopes to eventually get chickens and a couple of goats to add to their country way of living. Besides her family and home her next best passion is reading. She is often found with her nose obsessively stuck in a book, much to the frustration of her husband and daughter. On more than one occasion Alex found herself wanting a book to go a certain way, but it didn’t. With these thoughts in mind she decided to start writing stories according to her own visions. Although this is a new endeavor for her she hopes that readers find her concepts on romance intriguing and captivating. Alex welcomes and encourages feedback, of any kind. She can be contacted at alexg@alexgraysonbooks.com.
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AUTHOR LINKS Facebook: http://bit.ly/2qs61qF Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/2qXiwOc Website: http://alexgraysonbooks.com/ Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2rHxjxL Twitter: http://bit.ly/2qXlMsZ

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Random Release . . . All In For Love by Multiple Authors


ALL IN FOR LOVE



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
ASIN B071V94BWM
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?

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?


Giveaway
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. Comment on the blog post to enter the drawing!
Links

What happens at La Bonne Chance, doesn’t always stay at La Bonne Chance. Are you ready to roll the dice? 
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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 cafĂ©, 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.
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Excerpt from Perfect Odds by Lashanta Charles
**Subject To Change**

Callista is meeting her fiancĂ© 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. 

“Cameron? 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 Cameron 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, Cam? 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,” he 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 fiancĂ©. 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 crĂšme-dela-crĂšme 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.
"What!"
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. 

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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 JĂ€ger?”
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!