by Mimi Barbour, Jacquie Biggar, Rachelle Ayala, Suzanne Jenkins, Dani Haviland, Stacy S. Eaton, Katy Walters, Susan Jean Ricci

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Come into our world, where guardian angels protect you, Fountain of Youth water revives you, and supernatural beings comfort you. Eight paranormal stories with romance and happy ever after endings by eight award winning and bestselling authors. Enjoy the ride into our mystical fantasies filled with superb entertainment!

His Devious Angel – Mimi Barbour

A gorgeous man-hater gets mixed up with a hotshot soldier when he runs her down with his convertible. Now she’s stuck having to accept help from him and his angel.

The Guardian – Jacquie Biggar

Lucas Carmichael and Scott Anderson had it all, money, fame, and fortune. But one night’s stupid mistake takes everything they thought they cherished and dumps it upside down.

Just My Imagination – Suzanne Jenkins


Sheila spends twenty-four hours nursing the half-frozen handsome stranger who appears at the door of her rustic cabin back to health. The next morning, he’s gone, and Sheila longs for the mysterious Tom Caldwell. Was he ever with her or was it just her imagination?

Time in a Little Blue Bottle – Dani Haviland

The quest for the little blue bottle of Fountain of Youth elixir just got more complicated for Bella. A vampire, Elvis, and Mark Twain are after the same thing, plus her young escort has a crush on her!

Garda ~ Welcome to the Realm – Stacy Eaton

Sometimes decisions in death are as hard as the decisions in life. When Officer Corey Hamilton dies in the line of duty, she trains to be a Guardian, but will her choices change her destiny?

Black Tied – Rachelle Ayala

When ordinary you and the Son of the Kitchen God are all that stand between a playboy apocalypse and true love.

A Knight’s Sorceress – Katy Walters

Tania Roberts searches for her lost love, a search that will take her through time to a distant world of the Tree people, an ancient tribe of Britons who lived and worshipped the mighty trees, a world where Lord Devlin the Black Warrior, encounters Forestyne, the Sorceress.

Honeymoon in Coffinville – Susan Jean Ricci

An ancient, haunted mansion, a white cat with different colored eyes, and more visions than they ever imagined leads lovers Shannon and Rick to wonder if their newly acquired cat is a guardian angel or a creature of darkness.


Mimi Barbour is an incredibly busy New York Times, USA Today and award-winning, best-selling author who has five series to her credit. The Vicarage Bench Series – Spirit/Time -Travel tales that have a surprising twist / The Angels with Attitude Series – Angels Love Romance / The Elvis Series – Make an Elvis song a book / Vegas Series – 6 books full of romantic suspense, humor and gritty conflicts / and… the fast-paced, edgy, humorous, romantic suspense, Undercover FBI Series. She also has numerous box collections and single titles to add to her credits.


Jacquie Biggar is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want, that is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls.She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂Free reads, excerpts, author news, and contests can be found on her website. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter or email her via her web site. Jacquie lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and loves to hear from readers all over the world!You can join her street team on Facebook, her exclusive Review Crew or sign up for her newsletter.


Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She writes from sweet to steamy and believes that everyone should find love as often as possible, even if it’s within the pages of a book. Rachelle is working on a sweet series of romances with pets and firemen, Have a Hart Romances, and one full of bad boys, Bad Boys for Hire. She also writes sports romances in both football and baseball, as well as many holiday romances, both sweet and spicy.

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USA Today best-selling author Dani Haviland, a Mayflower and Mormon pioneer descendant, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses in Alaska, relocating to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.

Life has changed from jumping into a skidsteer loader to plow snow to pull-starting the walk behind weed whacker, but there are still enough hours in the day for the feisty old lady to propagate people for her novels and plants for her yard. Sharing is part of her personality, so creating books and photos to share all over the world makes her happy.

Her tenacious and perky attitude is reflected in many of her cyber children, whether they be a British lord stuck in 18th century North Carolina or a 6’7″ time traveling ‘fairy’ who is out to champion anyone who is having a rough time dealing with difficult life situations.


Stacy Eaton is a USA Today Best Selling author and began her writing career in October of 2010. Stacy took an early retirement from law enforcement after over fifteen years of service in 2016, with her last three years in investigations and crime scene investigation to write full time.

Stacy resides in southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, who works in law enforcement, and her teen daughter who is working toward her second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and on the choral and cheerleading squads at school. She also has a son who is currently serving in the United States Navy.

Stacy is very involved in Domestic Violence Awareness and served on the Board of Directors for her local Domestic Violence Center for three years.

Be sure to visit her website for updates and more information on her books.

Sign up for all the latest information on Stacy’s Newsletter!


USA Today Best-Selling author, Katy Walters e.books, and paperbacks are purchased and read in their thousands on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. Katy lives in the midst of Regency towns on the South Coast of England. Her main interests are historical; contemporary suspense romance, and time travel. She is equally drawn to the paranormal based on mythology and the Dark Ages.

After studying at various universities Katy was awarded a B.A Hons (psych) B.A.(Soc.) B.A. Eng Lit & Creative Writing and an M.A. She was also awarded a Doctor of Science (Hon) for research into pain control.


An Award-Winning, From Women’s Pens Author, and Humorist, Susan Jean Ricci is best known for her Cindy’s Crusades Series, starring the hilarious duo Cindy and Jay DeMatteo. These cherished characters are first introduced in the novel Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems, and return to entertain you in the sequel The Sugar Ticket. Their mischief making continues in these shorts Two Miracles for Christmas, A Valentine’s Day to Remember, and The Blind Seer.

Ms. Ricci’s Christmas stories and novellas have been published in the beloved Annie Acorn Christmas Treasuries 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. Other selections appear in Annie Acorn’s Romance 2015 Treasury, Annie Acorn’s Romance Treasury 2016, and Annie Acorn’s Spirited Tales 2015. All may be purchased as stand alone stories, as well as other her titles, including those smoking, hot novellas available in Ms. Ricci’s catalogue, The My Sexy Chef Series.

More recently, Ms. Ricci’s When Sailors Play has been included in Uvi Poznansky’s Bestselling Anthology Love in Times of War. Her current tales are offered in the following anthologies Unforgettable Heroes – Unforgettable Passion, and Sweet Heat – Where Love & Suspense Meet.

Susan and her husband Joe live in a beautiful town near the sea, and when time allows, they love to travel. Together they have seven children, ten grandchildren, and harbor their queen of the castle Emma the Lab.



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Ever wondered about the personalities behind your favorite books? Victoria Danann‘s new podcast with Riley J. Ford has an incredible lineup of authors booked through the spring. No question is out of bounds. Check it out!



Alyssa Day is the pen name (and dark and tortured alter ego) of author Alesia Holliday. As Alyssa, she is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, and she writes the Warriors of Poseidon and Cardinal Witches paranormal romance series and the Tiger’s Eye Mysteries, a paranormal mystery series. As Alesia, she writes comedies that make readers snort things out of their noses, and is the author of the award-winning memoir about military families during war-time deployments: Email to the Front. She has won many awards for her writing, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award for outstanding romance fiction and the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Paranormal Romance novel of 2012.

Alyssa is a diehard Buckeye who graduated summa cum laude from Capital University Law School and practiced as a trial lawyer in multi-million dollar litigation for several years before coming to her senses and letting the voices in her head loose on paper. She has lived all over the country, including Florida, Mississippi, Washington state, Ohio, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Colorado, Illinois, Texas, Alaska, Michigan, Virginia—and she has lived all over the world: the Philippines, Turkey, and Japan. She loves to travel, and just got back from a cruise to Cozumel (lovely! Wine on our balcony!) and an adventure with a group of high school art students to London, Paris (my favorite city in the world!) and Rome. She currently lives somewhere near an ocean with her Navy Guy husband, two kids, and any number of rescue dogs.



Obedience (Book 1) & Lies (Book 2)

by Jenna Fox

Genre: BDSM Erotic Romance

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Me. He’d chosen me.

Not a rich girl.

Or a pretty girl.

But me

A girl with a bleak future.

A girl with a tragic past.

Sloane Rothchild, New York City’s most eligible billionaire bachelor, could’ve picked a beautiful and educated girl to be his new assistant. But he wanted me. And all I had to do was show him I could obey.

Be a good girl.

Be his dirty girl.

But if I didn’t obey…

I’d get the whip.



Oh, why did the dirty and forbidden things he wanted to do to me send tingles in all the right places?

So, I fell hard and fast for him.

I bared him my body.

My heart.

My soul.

But there was another irresistible side of Mr. Rothchild—a side he didn’t warn me about.

A side I had to find out on my own…

His other half. His dark, tempting and mysterious twin, Cain.

Cain was like me—scarred and damaged. We immediately connected. He understood my needs. But after all, shouldn’t my heart belong to the man who’d given me the opportunity of a life time?

Each brother had taken a piece of me. One man had torn my heart out, and the other had used my body. But only one truly owned me. And only one man had swept me up in a current of lust and need…

Had tangled me in his web of lies and deceit.

Nobody told me there would be danger.

Nobody told me I might fear for my life.


“I expect to see you naked under that robe, Megan.”

My heart lurched at his low, throaty voice. There was no tenderness in the tone. None on his face. Unsure of my desire to let him know that I was indeed, naked underneath the robe, I adjusted the sash and took a quick breath as he thumped the glass on the table and strode over to me. “Take off the robe, Megan.”

I tried to stay relaxed, but being this close to him was so intimidating that I’d forgotten he’d given me a command. I let out a small cry as a hand reached around my head, balling a section of my hair to pull my head back. “Remember, you’re to do everything I want,” he rasped.

His voice did strange things to my body and mind. Caught off guard by the sudden change and the tugging on my hair, I struggled to speak clearly. “Y-Yes, I remember.”

“Good, now that we have that straight…” His words trailed off as he pulled me up against his chest. Shivers of need ran through me as he scraped his teeth along my neck. “On your knees.”

My response to him was so powerful. An unexpected thrill shot through my body as I shucked off the robe and dropped to my knees. Immediate willingness to submit should’ve disturbed me, but it didn’t outweigh the heat, the need and the moisture gathering between my thighs.

My heart fluttered wildly in my chest as his hand smoothed over my hair and traveled down my cheek. “You like this don’t you, my dirty little girl?”

Oh, hell yes! Being under his dark, enthralling gaze filled me with a strange excitement that couldn’t be put into words. I’d heard about the euphoria a woman could get from giving up power to a man—a few of my friends had talked about it—but I hadn’t understood it. All I knew was that it felt natural and I loved it.

“You’re going to learn how to please me,” he said, tipping my chin upward.

His thumb drifted across my forehead and moved to trace my bottom lip. I melted inside as I looked up at him, his shoulders squared and straight. I felt more exposed than ever to him, even though I’d been naked in front of him just yesterday. As his eyes raked boldly over my body, I could say nothing. But it wasn’t long before he was dissatisfied with my silence. “Would you like to help me come, my dirty little girl?”

“Yes,” I barely breathed.

His hand tightened in my hair. “You will, what?”

“Do everything you want…sir.”

An approving noise came from him, and my heart hammered in my ears as he pulled the button on his pants. I knew what his cock felt like inside of me, but when the material sagged open and he freed himself, I realized it was the first time I’d actually seen it.

I’d remembered his length was impressive, but when I took him into my hand, it felt thicker than before. I slid my hand down, all the way to the base, then back up. He moaned, his hips jerking as I slicked my tongue across the head. I licked around the ridge and moved my fist down, then back up taking him fully into my mouth.



In my worst nightmare, it was a word I never thought I’d associate with the only person who’d given me hope—the only woman who gave me something to believe in.

And even though I’d begun to break my cardinal rule, never fall for a woman, she’d turned my world upside down.

Never trust.

Never love.

I gave her everything—pulled her out of a hellish life. She was grateful, and said she’d do anything for me. I believed her.

But every word that passed her sweet lips was a lie. And every promise she’d made to me was broken into a million pieces.

I should’ve overlooked my desires.

I should’ve acted like the man my father had trained me to be.

I’d fallen short and found myself reeling in devastation.


Thrown away.

That’s what he did to me.

I’d given him my best—anything he wanted—my work, my loyalty… my heart.

I let him walk all over me—I’d even allowed him to trample my heart.

After he took me to his dungeon and marked me as his own, Sloane Rothchild gave me a reason to dream again, but then bashed it all to pieces. I begged and pleaded, but…

He told me to get out of his sight.

So, once again, I gave him his wish. I took the shattered remains of my heart and walked away.



That’s all that remains.

Jenna Fox is a civilized hillbilly and doting mother residing in the deep South. Besides juggling a busy family life, Fox reviews and critiques for other authors and crafts her own dark erotic tales. Stories always feature a mysterious alpha male with unexpected twists to shock the reader. She believes in HFN and HEA endings, although not always in a romantic or conventional way.

Her work is born from real life experiences, an overactive imagination and a consuming caffeine addiction. Sometimes she finds herself writing sex scenes on fast food napkins and store receipts while waiting in traffic, but she’s always guilty of keeping her mind in the gutter.

In short, she’s a multi-tasker – a writer, a storyteller, able to make a boo-boo all better with just one kiss and a proud, world class expert at screwing up recipes and scaring away closet monsters. She believes in ghosts and God and is absolutely convinced chocolate soothes the savage beast.

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Prize: A signed paperback of ‘Pleasing the Manwhore’ (for US residents only)

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A Harper’s Rock Legacy Series, Book 3

by JJ Ellis

Genre: Young Adult

Please note: This series deals many teenage issues. This particular book touches on kidnapping, rape, physical abuse, and eating disorders. JJ doesn’t go into physical and descriptive aspects of these issues but uses the issues to allow the story to move forward.

Ben Croft and Adella Johnson come from two different worlds. Ben’s a high school football star who likes the party girls. Adella is autistic and prefers the majesty of the horses she works with to the social awkwardness created by teen boys.

But for Ben, there’s just something about the unpretentious, pretty blonde. So, when his usual charms don’t work on her, he drops the act and gets real. They form a quick and powerful bond.

It seems almost from the beginning that the world is working hard to shred everything that ties them together. And it just might succeed when each is faced with a future they never saw coming.

Little did he know that the first time he saw her that day, his world would fall away beneath him. It started with the neigh of a horse, the sweet smell of hay, and a laugh so full of joy it made his heart ache. His eyes scanned the landscape settling on the fence beyond the trees. Adella, standing next to Misty, with her head thrown back in laughter was like nothing he’d ever witnessed before; beauty, life, joy, everything pure in the world stood before him in the girl he wanted so much. As the Wyoming wind tossed her hair about, Ben was finally able to move forward again. But for the first time in his life speech escaped him.

“Ben!” Addie squealed when she saw him approach. “I’m so glad you made it.”

“Uh hi.” He stared at her like he was seeing beauty for the first time.

“We’re going to train Misty some more today. Is that okay.”

Ben looked down at the ground. “What…how…uh…”

Addie looked at him, her expression puzzled. “Oh no! You caught my autism!”

There was a silent beat then both teens laughed breaking the tension. Misty joined in with a loud neigh and a nudge to Adella’s side.

When the laughter finally died down, Ben kissed Adella’s cheek and took Misty’s reins. “What do I do first, boss?”


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One young man

One desperate decision

Being a teenager is hard enough, but when you have a diagnosis of depression and anxiety life can feel like it is caving in on you. When you add in a new awareness of your sexuality and falling in love for the first time, life can become almost too much to bear.

Ben Harper is determined to make it all work with the help of his best friend and new love, JC Croft. But when his inner demons conspire against him, can he come out on top or will he be crushed by the pressure?

A Promise to Sadie


Michael Croft, a sensitive, artistic teen, is trying to decipher his father’s tragic and complicated legacy.Then, life presents Michael with the opportunity to help his childhood friend Sadie. He agrees, knowing he would do anything for the girl he loves.

When tragedy strikes the young couple, Michael makes a promise that beings to tear his life apart. But he has a guardian angel watching over him. Can his father’s broken past help him face life as it should be? Or will Michael turn his back on the lessons of the past and sabotage his own peace?


JUNE 20, 2018

Defining Riley


At what point will defining Riley become a matter of life or death? Is a legacy left by someone he’s never met the only thing that can save him from himself?

Riley Johnson has always carried one label or another. He’s the ranch kid, the bully, the jock, the closeted bisexual, the wild kid, the son of the town drunk. But these are all labels placed on him by others. Who is Riley Johnson really, in his own eyes?

Starting with the death of someone he loves, Riley’s world beings to fall apart. As he tries to keep his head above water, he’s faced with a choice. He can live down to the labels and be the Riley everyone believes him to be or he can search within himself and the hearts of those who care about him to find out who he really is and who he will someday become.

JJ Ellis is first and foremost a mom to five kids, four girls and one boy, ranging in age from 6-22. After that, she is a physically limited wife, blogger and now an author. She holds a degree in Communication Studies (Public Relations) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas but never thought she would choose writing as a career, especially at the age of 42. She once wanted to be a publicist in the entertainment industry, but never a writer. Then one day when she was in her mid-thirties she was going through what can only be described as an early ‘midlife crisis’ and ideas just started to come to her and she felt compelled to write them down. She finished her first book relatively quickly, but life got in the way and it took her eight years to revisit it and then publish her first novel. She can honestly say that now she is finally right where she wants to be.

JJ has been married to her college sweetheart (and romance novel hero) for twenty-one years and they reside in Casper, WY with their kids and one crazy mutt named Kreuger. She enjoys reading, writing, blogging, computing, and graphic design. She will try anything that will allow her creativity to be released.



Prize: Ebook copies of the two previous books (Anguish & A Promise to Sadie) and advanced copy of Defining Riley.

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by K.B. Andrews

Genre: YA Romance

I’ve always been the shy, quiet one.

My best friend, the fun loving, outgoing one.

When she’s gone, taken away entirely way too soon,

I have to learn how to live.

And not just for me, but for her too.

I have to live for the both of us.

That means doing things I’d never do, stepping out of the shadows

to join the rest of the world- taking chances, falling in love,

and getting into a little trouble along the way.

Losing my best friend broke me.

And when a person breaks,

They f*cking shatter.


✯✯✯✯✯ “An emotional rollercoaster” by Brandi W via Audible

What an incredible story! I knew nothing about this story before listening to it, and I’m so glad I got the opportunity. It is a beautifully written story filled with heart ache, love and rediscovering yourself. The narrator, Sarah did an incredible job of conveying the emotion of the book. I was hooked at the first chapter!

✯✯✯✯✯ “Loved it” by Kay via Audible

This was my first K.B. Andrews novel and I loved it. F*cking Shattered was an emotional, touching novel that had me hooked from start to finish. Its a story about friendship and love, about grief and dealing with grief. Its also about living your life.

I loved Jovie and River. Together they were perfect and I loved going on that journey with them. You will experience a range of emotions with this novel, from crying to laughing to shock, KB Andrews gave us all the feels in this story.

I listened to the audible version of this novel narrated by Sarah Puckett and it was amazing. She did a great job bringing these characters to life and I enjoyed it.

I loved this novel and I would highly recommend it.

✯✯✯✯✯ “I truly enjoyed this story!” by Julie D via Audible

This story of friendship, loss, and new love did my heart good! I think Katie arranged this all hoping it would work out the way it did!! I enjoyed the lists and how they made each item happen!!! Sarah Puckett does a wonderful job with the storyline and with the definition between the characters. I enjoy listening to stories she narrates.

K.B. Andrews was born and raised in a small town in Southern Illinois. She has been dreaming up stories since she was a small child, before she even knew how to spell. She took the first step into self publishing in November of 2016 and hasn’t looked back since. Currently, she has written five books, three books in The Chance Series, Finding You in the Darkness, and Losing a Piece of Me. She is a stay-at-home mom of two children, and spends her days in a chaotic mess of life and writing. To stay up to date on things she’s working on, find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!



A Bittersweets: Oscar and Lisa Sequel

by Suzanne Jenkins


Genre: Contemporary Romance

Lisa stood on her toes to reach Oscar’s lips. Muscle memory clicked in, remembering what the others lips felt like, how perfectly their mouths fit together, the line of their bodies melding. They were getting a second chance. The only thing they didn’t know is what total intimacy would be like, because Oscar had been too afraid. But he wasn’t afraid now.


The sanctuary of Saint Albert in Germantown was abuzz as Ed Penn entered the church alone. Rather than walking down the aisle like he would have if his daughter, Lisa was on his arm, he scooted over to the side aisle and briskly marched up, his wife with a look of terror on her face, having risen out of the pew to see what the delay was. Ed nodded to her to join him, and she did so, hyperventilating, knowing it wasn’t going to be good. The groom, Louie Blakemore, stepped down from his place at the altar to meet them, confusion replaced by knowledge leading to a broken heart. Lisa had apparently stood him up.
“Do you want me to say something?” Ed asked.
“Say what? What happened?” Louie asked. “I just talked to her an hour ago.”
Deciding to rip the bandage off the wound in one fell swoop, Ed chose to tell the truth.
“She’s still in love with Oscar,” he said. Martha gasped, breaking down in tears. “She’s left with him.”
“You can’t tell this crowd,” she cried. “It’ll be a mob scene out of Frankenstein without the torches and pitchforks.”
“I’m leaving,” Louie said, pale. “Tell them whatever you want.”
He ran out of the side door, leaving the job to Ed. Louie’s mother and father followed him out of the building, first telling Ed the reception would go on, to please let the crowd know.
“Come with me, Mother,” he said gently, offering Martha his arm, knowing what this was costing her.
Holding her head up was so hard as the tears came. She wanted to run out the side door and go home to bed. They climbed the steps to the pulpit together. The priest offered the microphone.
“Stop that infernal playing,” Martha cried to the organist and the music abruptly stopped, the last notes echoing throughout the vast space.
Handing Martha his handkerchief, Ed focused on her needs for a moment to get composed, his arm around her shoulder, patting her. Finally, the stood as a couple united at the pulpit, looking out over the congregation. He didn’t recognize one soul, only seeing a bunch of grim looking strangers in dress-up clothes. The heat up at the pulpit was exponentially worse than down in the pews and he’d make sure the trustees knew that something needed to be done about the antiquated air conditioning at the next meeting.
“Ed, spit it out,” Martha hissed, elbowing him, not applying the same gentleness he was showing her.
“Friends and family, as you can probably tell, we’re not having a wedding here today,” he said, rubbing his side where his wife had jabbed him. “Lisa has changed her mind and I agree now is the time to do it.
“We are going to continue on with the reception at two because it’s bought and paid for. By that time, I hope to have all the gifts over to Blakemore Farm where they will be returned to you. Thank you to the Blakemore family.
“Please give these young people your love and compassion at this difficult time.”
He helped Martha move to the stairs as she howled an audible sob. Their other girls circled around them, friends and family giving them room as they moved to the side door leading to the parking lot.
“I’m so sorry!” a voice called out.
“No one died,” Ed yelled. “Keep it in perspective.”
“What now?” daughter Mary asked.
“Let’s get your mother home and get out of these clothes. I’m all for blowing the diet today. How’s pizza sound?”
“Perfect,” Mary said. “We’ll see you at home.”
While the Penn family quickly made their way back home, their youngest daughter, Lisa was on the back of Oscar Butler’s motorcycle, holding the train of her wedding dress out of the way of the mechanism of the bike, an arm around Oscar, feeling freer and more alive than she had in weeks. Two blocks from the church, Oscar came to a stop and got off the bike. He had to kiss Lisa. They held on to each other, crying through the kiss, murmuring apologies.
“Lisa, I love you so much,” Oscar sobbed, holding her face. “I’m so sorry I drove you away.”
“No! It’s my fault,” she cried. “I’ll try to make it up to you.”
“What should be do?” he asked.
“Let’s just be together,” she said.
“Do you want to go to my place?”
When she nodded, he drove to the apartment above his motorcycle repair shop.
They’d come so close to getting married themselves months earlier, but due to a series of misunderstandings and miscommunication, Lisa broke up with Oscar, breaking his heart. Her mother had introduced her to Dr. Louis Blakemore, who’d fallen in love with her immediately, to Lisa’s family’s delight. They’d never cared for Oscar, referring to him as a dumb grease monkey behind Lisa’s back.
After Oscar had rescued Lisa in her wedding dress at the church, they’d retrieved her honeymoon suitcase, filled with beachwear.
“Where were you going for your honeymoon?” Oscar asked, holding up a bikini top.
He sat on his bed while she looked through her suitcase for something to wear, eager to get out of the expensive wedding dress.
“Bermuda,” Lisa answered, pointing to the zipper at the back of the dress. “I’m so relieved I don’t have to get on a plane.”
“So I saved the day for more than one reason,” Oscar said, teasing her as he unzipped her wedding dress. “I’m going to call Brenda and Larry right now while you change. You don’t have to get on a plane to get to the Jersey shore.”
Brenda and Larry were friends who had a beach house at the shore, and he’d beg them to hand over the keys for a long weekend. They were thrilled to let Oscar and Lisa use the house, cheering that the couple had reconciled.
Lisa stepped out of the beautiful dress, laying it across Oscar’s bed. Waves of hot shame and regret flowed over her body at the realization of what she’d doneruining lives in her wake. She couldn’t imagine what was taking place at the church, trusting her father to have made the best decision. Now if she could only make up to Oscar the betrayal, hurt and shame.
Unhooking garters, she rolled stockings down her legs and was in that position when Oscar returned from making the call. “They said the house is ours,” Oscar said, standing in his bedroom doorway after she’d gotten out of the wedding dress, Lisa in a lacy bra and panties.
“That dress is really something,” he said, pointing to it.
“My mother wanted it,” she said. “It’s not my style.”
Either was Louie Blakemore. Lisa studied Oscar’s face, saw the yearning and his eyes, and reached for him. They came together, Lisa standing on her toes to reach Oscar’s lips. As they kissed, muscle memory clicked in, remembering what the others lips felt like, how perfectly their mouths fit together, the line of their bodies melding. The only thing they didn’t know is what total intimacy was like, because Oscar had been too afraid. But he wasn’t afraid now.
“I want you,” he whispered. “I’ve thought of you every minute of everyday.”
“I want you, too,” Lisa replied. “I’ve never stopped wanting you.”
They kissed again, Oscar’s hands running over her body, touching her in places he’s never allowed himself to touch before.
“I wish we could stay here this weekend, but I’m afraid we’ll be bothered by all our nosey friends.”
“I guess we should probably get on the road then,” Lisa whispered. “Where do we have to go to get the key?”
“They live in Society Hill. We’ll swing by their brownstone on the way out of town. I’m taking the Walt Whitman Bridge, the quickest way to their shore house. All I want to do is get there and get you in bed.”
Running his hands over her strong back, memorizing the lines of her body made him thing of the mistakes he’d made when they were first together. He’d wanted everything to be perfect between them, including not having sex until they were married. And in planning it, he made one slip-up and that was not including Lisa’s wishes in the strategy.
Filled with regret, he concentrated on not crying again. They’d both been with other people during their break up. How would they overcome that?
Holding her tight, he whispered in her ear. “Can you forgive me?”
“Oscar, of course, there’s nothing to forgive. Can you forgive me?”
“It’s the same thing for me, Lisa, there’s nothing to forgive. I’m scared we won’t be able to overcome what happened. If your father hadn’t warned me, this would be a much different outcome.”
“So that’s how you knew. You’re timing was perfect,” she said. “Five minutes later and I would have been walking down the aisle.”
“That wouldn’t have stopped me,” he said. “We have a lot to talk about. Let’s go.”
He led her to the truck and opened the door for her, throwing their bags in the back of the cab. They were flying by the proverbial seat of their pants. Sometime soon, Lisa was going to have to talk to Louie who she felt horrible about humiliating. Her goal right then was not to let guilt about Louie interfere with reconciliation with Oscar.
Her mother, Martha would survive, but Lisa realized the damage to the relationship due to the embarrassment she’d caused her might make the rift irreparable. If Martha said one more unkind thing to say about Oscar, it would mark the end of their relationship.
Oscar slid onto the bench seat next to Lisa, and reached for her hand, pulling her next to him.
“This weekend is ours,” Oscar said, determined to stop obsessing. “We’ll deal with anything unpleasant on Tuesday.”
“How’d you know I’m worrying?”
“I’m doing it too. I can see the wheels turning,” he said. “We’re human, Lisa. You did what you thought would make everyone happy, me included. The hard part is going to be not letting what happened in the past ruin our weekend and ultimately, our future. We have to work at staying in the moment.” He chuckled, looking over at her staring at him. “I read that in a book.”
“I thought so,” she said, laughing. “It sort of sounds like something Terry might say.”
“Right, Terry,” he said, frowning. “Do you mind if we run up to the house and tell her? She’ll be hurt if she hears this from Brenda.”
Terry Kovac was currently Oscar’s landlady, but also through a complicated series of relationships, one of his closest friends. She was devastated when Oscar and Lisa broke up.
“It’s probably too late,” Lisa said. “But sure, let’s go.”
They got out of the truck and held hands walking up to the house. Terry heard the truck door close and waited for them, holding one year old Elizabeth.
“Oskie,” Elizabeth squeaked, pointing.
Terry held the door for them, eyes bright with excitment, and Elizabeth reached out for Oscar who took her in his arms, giving her a kiss on the cheek.
“I’m so happy,” Terry said, hugging Lisa. “I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through, but so happy you’re back together again.”
“I guess Brenda called?” Oscar asked, smiling.
“She sent me a text while you were talking to Larry,” Terry replied. “You know we have no secrets around the eight of us.”
“Nine,” Oscar said, bouncing Elizabeth on his hip. “We’ll be back Monday after lunch.”
“You should stay longer,” Terry said. “They can’t use it until next weekend anyway.”
“I’ve got unfinished business to take care of,” Lisa replied.
“And I want to marry Lisa right away,” Oscar said, smiling down at a beaming Lisa. “Can we still do it here?”
“Of course! We’re ready when you are. My husband will be thrilled.”
“Where is Alex anyway?” Oscar asked.
“He’s in a race today. They don’t allow strollers, so the Queen and I are here alone.”
“Right, I forgot. Tell him our news when he gets home,” Oscar said, handing Elizabeth back. Thank you for everything.”
Terry leaned forward and kissed Oscar on the cheek again. Lisa couldn’t help but notice that Oscar and Terry had gotten awfully cozy since the last time she saw them interact.
Oscar would tell Lisa about the support Terry and Alex had given him after she left, making sure he ate, that he was rarely alone when the crushing pain of losing her made him consider taking his own life.
But not today. Today and the weekend were about love. Oscar glanced over at Lisa from time to time while they were saying goodbye, letting her presence sink in. He truly didn’t think this day would ever come.
They got back in the truck, holding hands while he drove into Center City to stop by Brenda and Larry’s brownstone. The familiar cityscape brought Lisa so much joy, and now that she was sharing it with Oscar, she couldn’t imagine ever thinking she’d be content in a marriage to a man she didn’t love.
“You know I didn’t love him, don’t you?” she asked.
“I hoped you didn’t. What did you plan on doing that could keep you in a relationship with him?”
Cringing, Lisa knew she had to be honest with Oscar and that the repercussions might ruin the weekend.
“I thought we were going to let the past stay in the past,” she answered.
Oscar laughed. “That’s true, but we do sort of owe each other some information. If it pops up later, it might be harder to deal with.”
“Did you love that woman you were involved with?”
Lisa had heard from Larry, who was a physician at the same hospital where Lisa worked as a nurse, that Oscar was in a serious relationship with the receptionist at the law office where his wife, Brenda and Terry both practiced.
“Ah, you’re avoiding the topic,” he answered. “No, I didn’t love her. I liked her, but I couldn’t love her because I was in love with you.”
“I like that answer,” Lisa said, putting her head on his shoulder. “It was the same with me. I planned on throwing my energy into restoring the house we bought. It’s my dream house, but when I was there working on it, it made me miserable because it wasn’t yours, too. I’ll be content to live in my row house with you.”
“Lisa, we can get a bigger house. It just won’t be right away. I’ll save money and when we have enough, we’ll buy one, okay? Don’t give up your dream.”
“Okay, I won’t. It was a stupid reason to marry him. My mother loved him. She’s probably in bed, moaning right now.”
“Yes, Martha is not my fan,” Oscar said, grimacing.
“Unless she crawls to us on her knees, we never have to see her again.”
“You’ve got to have a relationship with your mother,” Oscar said. “She won’t bother me.”
“We’ll see,” Lisa said. “It’s possible she won’t speak to me and that’s fine. I don’t want to think about her.”
Arriving at Brenda and Larry’s house on Pine Street in Society Hill, as Oscar expected, there was no place to park on the street.
“I’ll hop out,” Lisa said.
Oscar double parked and Lisa got out of the truck. Brenda and Larry heard the truck and ran to the door, Brenda meeting her on the sidewalk.
“I’m so happy,” Brenda shouted, grabbing her in a hug. “I was so sad to have to let you go.”
“I know, I’m sorry,” Lisa said, hugging her back. “Thank you for the house this weekend.”
A car pulled up behind Oscar’s truck.
“You’d better go. We’ll all get together soon,” Brenda said, letting go of Lisa who ran back to the truck, waving and smiling at the waiting car.
Brenda went back into the house. “Well, they’re back together,” she said. “I dread work on Monday.”
“Why?” Larry asked.
“Well, because his former girlfriend, Corinne is our receptionist, that’s why. I wonder if he told her yet.”
When Oscar made the decision he was going to go to the church to get Lisa on Saturday, he had called Corinne right away. Although his friends knew that Lisa was getting married, no one had the heart to tell Oscar about the wedding, thinking it wouldn’t help the situation.
But Lisa’s father, Ed Penn had had a heart-to-heart with Lisa days before the wedding and found out that she was still in love with Oscar. Ed decided to do an intervention, as he called it. Going straight to Oscar’s motorcycle repair garage on Friday, Ed confronted him, telling him that Lisa loved with him, and that the wedding was at noon the next day.
Stewing about it for hours, Oscar finally remembered Corinne. “I was getting worried,” she said when he called. “You’re usually down here by now on a Friday night.”
“I’m sorry. I’m not coming. I wasn’t sure until just now.”
“What happened?” she asked, but her heart sunk, Brenda having told her about Oscar’s old girlfriend getting married that weekend.
They were having coffee and Brenda decided to tell her about Lisa’s engagement because secretly, she wanted Corinne to tell Oscar, hoping he’d do something about it, confront Lisa, or at least contact her.
“Oscar’s old girlfriend is getting married,” Brenda had said. “I’m just warning you because I’m sure he’s going to be upset when he finds out.”
“Gee thanks, Brenda. I had myself convinced he was over her.”
“I’m sure he is,” Brenda had replied. “But it’s a process, you know? Once he hears, he’ll deal with the news. I just wanted you to know.”
But Corinne never said a word to Oscar about it. He seemed fine, until that Friday. When he didn’t show up, and then the call, she knew they were through.
“Corinne, I’m going to try to get Lisa back. I still love her. You’ve been great. We had some great times, too. I’m not getting over her like I should be. If it doesn’t work out, I’m still not sure you and I would have any kind of future together, and I’ve strung you along long enough.”
Breathing into the phone, Corinne’s emotions ran the gamut. “I don’t feel strung along.”
She waited, but he didn’t respond. “So I guess this is you saying, “Fuck off, Corinne.”
“Sort of,” he replied. “I’m sorry.”
“Fuck off, Oscar,” she said, and hung up.
He didn’t think of Corinne again. On Saturday morning, he got up early, shaved and showered, and waited, drinking coffee and watching the clock. At eleven thirty, he went around to the church and hung out in the parking lot of a small convenience store on Germantown Avenue. It was going to be a nice day for July, the sun bright but not too hot yet. At eleven fifty, he got a text from Ed Penn that he was getting ready to walk Lisa into the church. It was now or never. Oscar started up the bike, pulling in front of the driveway just as Lisa and her father left the parking lot of the church.
Watching her, the shock on her face, and then the joy, kissing Ed and running toward Oscar, he sputtered, laughing and crying at the same time. Lisa threw herself at him. They clung to each other.
“We’d better get away from the church,” she said, and Oscar helped her get on the motorcycle, pulling her dress around so she could hold onto it.
They waved goodbye to Ed before Oscar took off the few blocks toward her row house. Later, Lisa said she knew as they rode down the street that people were moved in some way by the girl in the wedding dress on the back of a bike. She wondered what they were thinking – if it was obvious she was running away from something, or toward it perhaps she and Oscar were headed to their own wedding.
Glancing out the window above his bed, she saw the leafy green tree tops of the woods behind the barn.
“I wish we never had to leave,” she said. “I’d hang out right here.”
But he didn’t want to stay in town. The danger of their friends and family converging with all their questions and advice was a scary threat, so they headed to the shore. Traffic was heavy, the usual shore traffic on a Saturday afternoon. They had the windows down in his truck, and the closer they got to the beach, the stronger the smell of the sea. In her white T-shirt and hair blowing in the wind, she looked like an angel to Oscar.
“Thank you so much,” she said reaching for his hand. “This is perfect. This is exactly what I wanted.”
He took her hand to his lips and kissed it, his facial hair tickling her, familiar and comforting. “We’ll stop at the next store we see and get provisions so we don’t need to leave again. I have no idea what they keep in supply.”
They wandered through the freezing cold air conditioning of the grocery store, hand in hand, putting whatever looked appetizing into their basket. Lingering at the deli counter, they ordered a pound of enough cheese and lunchmeat to last a week. They’d exist on sandwiches and chips and ice cream. Oscar food.
Lisa was in awe. “They have beachfront? Jeesh, must be nice.” Immediately sorry she said it, she was relieved that Oscar didn’t take it wrong, forgetting for a minute that with Oscar, she could say most anything and be herself. It was with Louie that she had to be careful.
“This is when having rich friends come in handy. I know Larry and Brenda worked their asses off. But we can’t all be doctors and lawyers.”
“You are so right,” she said. “It’s not over the top, either. It’s just a nice beach house with a fabulous location.”
They put the groceries away and then Oscar locked the front door. Taking Lisa by the hand, he led her to the back of the house to the bedroom he’s used when he took Corinne there, although he wouldn’t tell Lisa that. After placing their bags on the floor, he turned to her, and kissed her, pulling her shirt up.
“What are you doing?” she asked, giddy with excitement.
“I’m undressing you,” he said. “I think we’ve waited long enough.”

Terry & AlexBrenda & LarryOscar & Lisa

Suzanne Jenkins Bio Suzanne writes page-turning contemporary romance, mystery, and women’s fiction with passionately gripping characters that stay with readers long after they turn the last page. The Detroit Detective Stories, beginning with The Greeks of Beaubien Street are a reflection of American fantasy with historical reality. Pam of Babylon books consistently rank in the Top 100 Best Sellers in American Drama with over 500,000 downloads. A retired operating room nurse, Jenkins lives in Southern California.

Prize: A charm bracelet featuring all the covers from the series

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by Zoë Mullins

Genre: Historical Erotic Romance

Publisher: Totally Bound

A misfit in proper society, Lady Georgiana will risk her future for a night of pleasure with Captain Wrath.

Lady Georgiana Knolls is a misfit in proper society, only there because her brother insists she have a Season and learn what it means to be ‘a lady’. The rules and etiquette forced upon unmarried women of her class are stifling and she breaks them more often and more publicly than is wise.

Which is how she meets Captain Wrath. His arrogance and confidence are nearly a match for her own and for a chance of pleasure with him, she will risk the future she’s been waiting for.

After years at sea, Captain Wrath is ready to resume the mantle of the Earl of Rathbridge. His first good deed? To save his best friend’s sister from blackmail by offering her the protection of his name…as her fiancé. The faux betrothal turns real when he realizes she is the same beauty who’s been sharing his bed since his return.

The earl is ready to make things right, but to do that, he will have to unmask a blackmailer, convince his best friend that he is suitable marriage material for his beloved sister and prove to Georgie that becoming his wife won’t stifle the independence she craves.

This had been, Georgiana decided, a no-good, horrible day. She had just lost five hundred pounds. Her stern Methodist uncle was bound to find out and Kit would likely tear a strip off her as well. Not that Kit would care that she’d played, just that she’d lost. He’d taught her better than that.

She looked at her opponent with consternation. She felt as if she should know him, but she couldn’t place him. He wasn’t fashionable, though his clothes were obviously from the best tailor. No one with that much money should look like that, she thought.

From his wide-shouldered, well-sculpted chest, narrow waist and muscled thighs, he was built like a laborer but he dressed better than the prince regent. You’d almost think he was a gentleman, she thought, except for his raven hair, which though gleaming, was too long to be fashionable, as it fell not just past his collar but past his shoulders.

“I was hoping you’d be up for another game.” He leaned forward in his chair and raised an eyebrow arrogantly. She wondered if they taught that look to men in school. Her brother could give her the same look. Usually when he knew she was lying about something.

“As much as I would love not to have to explain to my uncle why I need to withdraw the funds, I really shouldn’t play with you. I have nothing left to offer,” she drawled, then chastised herself. She should not be flirting with this man. She had no excuse. Your aunt and uncle are trying to marry you off to an old goat, a little voice in her head reminded her. That is no excuse, she told it.

“Darling,” he purred, “I think you have a lot to offer.”

Goosebumps rose where his dark eyes roamed over her, caressing her. Her chest flushed when his gaze lingered on her breasts.

“But I am unwilling to wager my body to your pleasure.”

“I promise you, when you give yourself to me it will be for pleasure not because you lost a wager. When I take you to bed, it will be because you want to be there, beneath me. You want to feel me inside of you.”

She was spellbound by his bold words, and the heat uncurling in her belly. She didn’t notice when he reached out and pulled on the ties of her mask. It dropped to her lap.

“No hiding, love.” He grinned at her. “The choice is yours.”

He didn’t have piggy eyes or fetid breath, she’d give him that. He was strong and virile, and she realized she was being offered an unparalleled opportunity. With the safety of anonymity inside this room, she could afford whatever the evening held. She thought of her uncle threatening to marry her off. She was a spinster after all, and had only been kissed three times. How can I afford to say no? she wondered.

“Deal the cards, Captain.”

Totally BoundLanding Page


A prolific writer, even in elementary school, she was jotting down poems and stories whenever she had the chance – usually during math class.

After many years of working in corporate communications, Zoë decided in 2015 it was time to focus her energy on the kind of writing she loved – hot romances with strong, alpha heroes and quirky, independent heroines.

Zoë’s husband of nearly 20 years threw his full support behind that dream and loves to tell people his wife is a romance author. They live in Atlantic Canada with their two crazy collies. When not at her computer, you will find Zoë chasing after her muddy dogs, working in the garden or helping to renovate their money-pit of a house.

Prize: $10 Amazon giftcard

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FOREVER IN INK by Jude Ouvrard

Ink Series Book 4

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Designer: JC Clarke (The Graphics & Formatting Shed)

Editor: RE Hargrave

Release Date: June 20, 2018

Kyle Layne has it all figured out. The perfect life, including a future with his dream woman, is in his grasp. Each day filling with more happiness than the one before, he couldn’t ask for a better existence.

But fate has other plans.

Like lightning from the heavens, Kyle’s dream turns into a nightmare in the blink of an eye. Lost, and filled with pain and anger, his once perfect life now resembles a broken mirror—shattered.

With the help of his best friend Levi, he finds a ray of hope in the depths of darkness. Kyle’s fragile shell is transformed into a work of art, freeing his mind and soul for a chance at a new future while memorializing his sacred past forever in ink. Kyle’s dream has died, but life starts making sense again after his tattooing career takes off and strong friendships help rebuild his sanity… until a one-night stand flips his world upside down, that is.

Can Kyle risk his battered heart in Destiny’s untrustworthy hands? After so much loss, does he dare to dream again?

Pulling me back a few steps, she tugged me closer to her, so our fronts were touching. “I don’t want you to worry, K. A perfect life doesn’t mean diamonds and designer clothes. It means having a roof over our head, being surrounded by love, and having our health. Things we already have.”

We had such a different vision of what we both wanted. Cassidy did deserve diamonds, plenty of them. One every Christmas, one every Valentine’s Day. She was right, though; we already had everything to have a good life, and I should consider myself lucky. What with all the broken families around town, the poor and hungry, even the unhappy, rich businessmen living in their offices.

I had everything, I didn’t need more.

introducing cover

pre-order 99AmazonAmazon Int’l

As an editor, sometimes working through a manuscript becomes technical, and you don’t necessarily get “sucked in.” With Forever in Ink, I found myself having to stop reading to go back and edit. And, yes, I cursed Ms. Ouvrard a couple of times for making my heart race… in both good and bad ways. Kyle’s story is as heartbreaking as it is uplifting. Everyone deserves a second chance.

#EditorApproved ~ RE Hargrave

Body, Ink, and SoulMusic, Ink, and LoveInk Me More

“Drama, true love, tattoos…and everything in between!”

Jude Ouvrard is an author who writes from the heart, and reads with passion and devotion. Jude enjoys stories of drama, true love, tattoos, and everything in between. While writing is her therapy, reading is her solace. Life doesn’t get better than books and chocolate, and maybe a little bit of shopping.

A romance lover, Jude writes about love, pain, heartbreak and matters that will challenge your heart. A book can tell an unexpected story, no matter which directions it takes. Jude embraces words that have haunted her for years.

Jude is a working mom who dedicates her time to a law firm and writing books. She has an energetic superhero son, and a supportive boyfriend of many years. Her family is her rock; she could not survive without them. Born a country girl, she transformed into a city woman who now lives in Montreal, Canada. Although French is her first language, Jude decided to write in English because she liked the challenge.


EDGE OF DANGER @HerCountryGirl

I don’t know how Barb Shuler does it, but every time I check, she has a new release! Check out her latest!


Edge Of Danger
Shattered Lives Series; Book 6
Publish Date: May 25, 2018
Genre: Psychological Thriller/ Suspense


Cover Design by: MadHat Books



Purchase Links:
Amazon US : AU : CA : UK


Stalked. Hunted. Betrayed. The past never stays in the past.
For the last seven years, the small town of Burke, Texas has been fighting an unseen monster. In the wake of devastation, the monster was eliminated. Things were starting to get back to normal…
Evil has risen once again with vengeance in its blood. The shadows seek out retribution and no one will be safe until it’s wiped out, again.
The darkness surrounding three men on a journey to clear their heads and soak in the wilderness around them turns into a bloody game of cat and mouse. Threats would cow some, but not these men. You should always know your enemy. You should always know your surroundings. You should… run.



Purchase Links:
Amazon US : AU : CA : UK




Shattered Lives Series
My Own Nightmare / Somewhere I Belong / Shatter Me Whole /
Sparks Of Deception / Living In Your Hell


The Cowboy Way Series
Wrangled By Love


A Rescue Series Novella
A Marshal’s Courage
Her Savior


Primal Darkness
Shifting Shadows


Dirty Fairy Tales Anthology – What Big Teeth
The Parlour Anthology – Ultimate Control


Coloring Books
Shaded With Love: A Coloring Book for a Cause Vol 5


~Meet Barb Shuler~


I’m a Carolina Girl by right and a Texan by birth… so I have a Texas-sized temper. Living and working in both states I’ve learned a lot about hard work, adapting to your surroundings and making the best of the path that you have been led down. My grandma Dollie once told me I would know what I was meant to do when it happened. She was right, as always.
As with most book lovers, I am an avid reader. Reading has always been a hobby – a passion, really. Reading helps to expand the perimeters of one’s mind. That is what got me to start writing as a kid. If I had paper…or a wall… I was writing. Words are a part of us all. Why not use them, right?
During the day I work as a ‘desk jockey’ and help the residents of my county navigate themselves around our little, but not too little country town. By night I am either blogging, doing PA work for some of my favorite authors or I am fighting with the voices in my head. (They can be stubborn at times.) It’s a way to cope and make the troubles of the day disappear, if only for a few hours. It’s a blessing and I am cherishing every moment. For that which is my creation, may become someone else’s treasure.
Tomorrow is never guaranteed so I want to make sure I live the day as fully as possible.


~ Connect with Barb here ~





A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure

by Laura Strickland

Genre: Steampunk Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


Buffalo Police Sergeant Brendan Fagan, investigating a series of grisly murders spurred by clashes between humans and automatons, only wants to save his city. The last thing he needs in his life is a rule-bending, steam-cannon-toting, unpredictable female like Ginny Landry, a woman who could possibly bring down his career and the one woman he quite likely can’t resist.

Ginny means to settle the estate of her mother, an infamous madam, quickly and get out of town. She has no intention of becoming involved with any part of her inheritance or falling for Brendan. In fact, she makes it a point never to date handsome men. But when her rash behavior brings them together, the attraction can’t be denied.

And when the city erupts in chaos, forcing her to choose a moral side, can she deny what’s in her heart?

“Line ’em up again,” the woman cried in a husky voice.

“They’re already lined up, miss!”

She shut one eye. “So they are. Stand back and let me at ’em.”

“She hasn’t missed yet.” The man standing next to Brendan informed him, and then promptly did a double take before yelping, “Hold up! The coppers are here.”

“To hell with ’em!” the woman cried and opened fire. The empties along the wall exploded in an even line, and the room blossomed with heat and steam.

Brendan, mouth ajar, watched in horrified amazement as the explosions continued—at least until the cannon needed to recharge.

“Wall’s on fire!” somebody stated. One of the barmen ran forward and slapped out the flames with his cloth.

“Saints preserve us,” Dennis breathed.

It would take more than saints. Brendan, gathering himself, marched forward and glared up at the woman.

“Get down off that bar.”

She focused on him—a bit blearily, but she focused. She seemed to contemplate his face, his hair, and his uniform before she sneered. “Says who?”

She accompanied the last word with a lean that allowed him a good view of her bodice, most of its buttons undone. Sweet mother Mary, full of grace.

“Buffalo police,” he declared himself, proud to hear he sounded steady as a rock. “Cease and desist. And while you’re about it, you can hand over the steam cannon.”

The crowd booed. The woman looked around at them and waved her hand. “Go away, Officer. You’re spoiling the entertainment.”

“This is not entertainment. It’s sheer stupidity. There are ordinances prohibiting the discharge of a steam cannon indoors.”

“And aren’t you the dull fellow to remind us of those ord-ord-ordinances?” She smiled the kind of smile the devil might. “How about if I blow out that wall? Then we won’t be indoors, will we?”

“We will. At least,” he allowed, “three-quarters. Miss, you’re drunk and shouldn’t have possession of a weapon. Hand it over, please.”

“Isn’t he polite?” She appealed to the bar at large, while Brendan’s temper rose. He didn’t lose it often but felt damned close now.

The other patrons hooted some more and stamped their feet.

Brendan called to his fellow officer. “Dennis, let’s get her down.”

Both of them tall men, each reached for one of the woman’s arms, intending to swing her down from the bar. As soon as they touched her, though, she began to holler.

“Fred! Where are you, Fred?”

A fellow stepped forward. Squat and red-faced, he appeared at least as drunk as the woman. He balled up his fists. “Leave go of her now.”

Ignoring him, Brendan grunted as he and Dennis swung their charge down, him all too aware she still had the now-recharged cannon in her hand.

He set her squarely on the floor, took a half step back, and held out his hand. “Give me the weapon.”

“No one takes this cannon from me.”

“Hand it over, miss, unless you wish to be arrested.”

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Dead HandsomeOff KilterSheer MadnessSteel Kisses


Born in Buffalo and raised on the Niagara Frontier, Laura Strickland has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. She believes the spunky, tenacious, undefeatable ethnic mix that is Buffalo spells the perfect setting for a little Steampunk, so she created her own Victorian world there. She knows the people of Buffalo are stronger, tougher and smarter than those who haven’t survived the muggy summers and blizzard blasts found on the shores of the mighty Niagara. Tough enough to survive a squad of automatons? Well, just maybe.

Prize: A sweet Steampunk necklace with ribbon choker and antiqued heart. Does your lover have the key to your heart?

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