Thursday, January 31, 2013

Turn Me On this Valentine's Day

Guest Author Virginia Nelson is with us today. So please give her a hearty welcome.


I’m super excited to share my new Valentine’s Day themed release Turn Me On.  A ff erotic coming from MuseItUp Publishing, Turn Me On is about getting over the mistakes and bumps in the road that linger from the past and being willing to enjoy the future.  

Blurb:

Valentine’s Day sucks.
When Kay gets a call to meet a former lover for Valentine’s Day, she learns that not only is the ex getting married but she expects Kay to take part in the blessed event. Kay doesn’t want chocolates.
The sexy sister of the groom-to-be is determined to help Kay get over the bride. 
Turn Me On…
Will Cammie help Kay learn that passion is better when it isn’t hidden?  Or will Kay give up the one woman who can bring her body—and her broken heart—back to life?
Available on Amazon, B&N, All Romance ebooks and the publisher, here.



About the Author:
Virginia Nelson spends her days chasing three very active kids around.  When she is not doing this, or plotting taking over the world, she likes to write, play in the mud, drive far too fast and scream at inanimate objects.  She can often be found listening to music that is far too loud and typing her next fantastic tale of blood, sex and random acts of ineptitude.  Romance, in Ms. Nelson’s opinion, is not about riding off into the sunset on the back of a horse with the knight in shining armor— it is about riding the dragon.  If the knight can keep up… well, that is love.
Books for sale, snark for free. virg-nelson.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Heather Long on The Literary Goddess, BlogTalk Radio

Did you miss the show? You can listen to the geek-gasm and laughter here! Check it out.



Listen to internet radio with Kristy Bock on Blog Talk Radio

Friday, January 25, 2013

Release Day: The Two and the Proud (Always a Marine #8)


Good morning and happy Friday! I'm excited to announce the release of The Two and the Proud, the eighth installment in the Always a Marine anthology in 1Night Stand (1NS) line for Decadent Publishing.The best part of writing these stories is discovering how each of my Marines has a great story. Rowdy and Kim are both Marines, both with interesting histories and dedicated to their service to family, unit, and country. 

While neither one is really looking for a happily ever after, they discover so much more in their night together. Have you ever wanted to have a connection to another person? Spend time with someone who truly gets you? Rowdy and Kim want that--even though that isn't their initial goal, Madame Eve always knows best.

Oh and as a complete and total aside, I got to incorporate NCIS into this story. These are the days that I really love my job! 

Keep up with Heather and the Always a Marine series:



The Two and The Proud
Always a Marine #8

Roger Michael Easton IV, better known as Rowdy, flouted the family’s Naval tradition to enlist the Marines—not as an officer, but a ground-pounding grunt. He never expected to see as much combat or valor as he did in the field, but every engagement furthered his commitment to his brothers in arms. Now, with an offer to end his contract early on the table, Rowdy has to take a long look at the life he left behind, the life he’s built, and the future he longs to have.

Rowdy wants a woman who gets him.

Inactive Marine, Kim Wakefield, continues to serve her country as a Naval Criminal Investigator. She’s hard on the grunts and sailors because she is one of them—and they didn’t sign up for easy.  Tired of the seedier side of military life—picking up drunk Marines, AWOL sailors, busting drug running operations, or worse, sending drug addicted servicemen to court marshal and treatment.  She longs to have her faith in her fellow Marines restored.

Kim wants a man who knows what she needs.

Thrown together by chance on a 1Night Stand, these two jarheads have a combustible chemistry—but do they have what it takes?




Excerpt:

Not sure how those results could be a bad thing he tapped the side of the shot glass. “Put the piece in the safe. They have the kind you can program here. I’ll keep my eye on the tequila.” He wouldn’t have tried to memorize her combination anyway, but he didn’t miss the minute relaxation around her eyes when he told her he’d watch the drinks.

True to his word, he kept his attention on the alcohol while she stowed the gun. When she leaned against the bar next to him, he pushed a shot glass over to her. “Let me preface this by saying I absolutely want to have sex…but I don’t want to be limited by the one night stand.”

She hesitated in mid-reach for the glass and stared at it, not him. “Clarify?”

“I like you. You’re smart—which is both good and bad.”

“How can it be good and bad?” Her chin came up and she swung a hard gaze on him. Temper flared just beneath the surface, bright as the lightning outside, it enhanced the outrage in her eyes.

Gotcha. Just one little nudge to crack the cool fa├žade and the passionate woman beneath glared at him. Yeah, that’s more like it.  A second knock on the door interrupted and he let her think about it while he took the tray from room service and sent them away. He set the tray on the luggage stand and ignored it for now.

He sprinkled salt onto the side of his hand.  “It’s good, because it’s sexy.” He bit into a lime and tossed back the tequila. He finished off the ritual with a quick lick of the salt. “It’s bad because you’re playing a game with me.”  He poured himself another shot, the first warming his gut and loosening more of the tension. He barely added the salt to his wrist when she slammed back her own drink, caught his hand and stroked her tongue over his pulse point before gliding up the side of his hand to take the salt.

All the blood in his head rushed south and he let out a low whistle. “Damn.”

“Courage isn’t doing something because you know you can do it.” She moistened her lips and he couldn’t look away. “It’s doing what you’re not sure you can be successful at.”

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Guest Author & Giveaway: Rosalind Hartmann


Hi there.  I'm Roz, and you've never heard of me before, but that's cool – hopefully that'll change…some…day.  I just recently self-published my first novel which is part of a series.  Blood Memory:  Book 1 (because honestly I couldn't think of a better title) is a paranormal action/romance written book with a little humor mixed into it.

It's based off of characters originally created on a role-playing message board I helped create – www.sanguineaffliction.com.  It's a tale of supernatural beings:  werewolves and vampires, and I swear I didn't just hop on the bandwagon because of all the sparkles and stuff in the main stream right now.  The main character, Simon Huntington, was created back in 2004 and the others just keep cropping up.


Blood Memory:  Book 1 is a story about intrigue, murder, and the lie within the truth.  A 'blood memory' is a werewolf ability passed from gifter to giftee.  This particular memory involves Simon Huntington and his partner Ellis Duban and they're the center of a dark betrayal against the werewolf family packs:  the Jamesons and Hammerthynns.  Coincidentally, no one can remember the memory itself, only that they want to tear off Simon's face whenever they see him.  Inconvenient, to say the least.

Then there's Vivienne Sena, the sole survivor of a massacre brought upon by the man she would eventually call father.  A blood retribution against her family, Vigo Hammerthynn's Pipers wiped out the Sena pack and left her an orphan, sparing her life for an unknown reason.  Vigo raised Vivienne outside the pack, but as an adult, recognized certain abilities that made her indispensible to the Alpha Pipers – the group of werewolves who are bred as Alpha protectors, and related to the Jameson and Hammerthynn packs.

Together, Vivienne and Simon travel the globe to search out the real truth of the Blood Memory that no one can remember, but all Hammerthynns and Jamesons would die for.  Led by Vigo's only son, Viv's adopted brother, and the Greater Pack's Beta, Iov Hammerthynn enlists his cousin, and Viv's secret lover, Commander Brian 'Brig' Jameson to kill Simon and bring back Vivienne to an almost certain death.

No one questions the blood memory.  Period.

Simon, Vivienne, Charlie, Brig – all the characters in the Piper's world have a little bit of me, probably more than I realize.  I did base Brig off of my USAF husband, especially the way he paws at her.  I've been married to my husband for twenty years now and the love I feel for him definitely mirrors Viv and Brig's love.

Simon's the quiet, somewhat snarky man that would make you look twice, not from how handsome he is but by his sheer presence.  But then who can do the smoldering stare better than a vampire?

Book 2:  Awake will be coming out in the spring.  It will feature more characters I briefly introduced in Book 1 as well as continue the storyline of the Blood Memory.  It will be two storylines, and at the moment, already creeping toward 100k words, so it will be significantly longer.

Book 2 main characters will be: Charlie, JT Paulson, you'll find out what happens between Simon/Viv/Brig, and will be introducing Caitlinn Conrad, a not-exactly-clueless human thrown into the Pipers world against her will.

Book 1 is available on amazon in both print and kindle format – Book 2 will be as well.  Thanks for taking the time to read all this and you can find me at the following.


 Bio:
Married for 20 years with two crazy kiddos, Roz lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her USAF husband.  Mike and I met in high school (ok he dated my bff but that's a long story!) and we married 2 years after graduation.  We had our daughter 8 years into our relationship and our son 5 years ago.  13 and 5 – this is what we get for spacing them apart, but hey she's a free babysitter!

Leave a comment and you will be entered to win a signed print of my first book Blood Memory. Make sure you use the Rafflecopter form!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 18, 2013

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem - After School Special


Two lies and a loving truth—I couldn’t help but be utterly delighted as The Vampire Diaries returned with a powerful, poignant episode motivated by two of the most narcissistic characters the show has ever seen.

Carol Lockwood, You Will Be Missed

The funeral is taking place in the high school gym—which I don’t completely understand. That said, Liz’s eulogy was lovely and made all the more powerful by Tyler’s emotional breakdown as he had to get out of there. Like Elena and Jeremy before him, he’s lost both of his parents—only in this case he lays the blame for her death at his own door—if he hadn’t gone after Klaus, chances are the Original wouldn’t have killed her mother.

I wish I could say he was wrong.

The Bitch is Back

I know I’m in the minority here, but I’ve never been a fan of Rebekah—until tonight’s episode. She makes her way through the school, snapping Elena’s neck and then compelling her to keep her ass in the chair in the library. She summons Stefan imperiously to come rescue his ‘beloved’ and Stefan decides to go after her with Caroline—allow me to pause and say I think he went there with a death wish frankly because neither he nor Caroline have the chops to take on Rebekah—particularly when she is expecting them.

But I digress…

Rebekah wants to play catch up on what she’s missed since Stefan conspired with Klaus to dagger her. She also wants the cure. She compels each of them to tell her the truth. Little did she realize that Elena and Stefan broke up, but it isn’t long before Caroline blurts that juicy morsel out.

The Original vamp is delighted to hear this gossip and she wants all the deets. It’s not long before Stefan says they broke up because Elena slept with Damon. Not to call Stefan on his timing, but she slept with Damon after, but whiny boy needs to complain. His hostility and disgust are self-evident.

Note: Caroline looked mighty guilty when Elena stared at her. Because it was Caroline who spilled the beans. Frankly at this point, Elena would be well within her rights to never trust Caroline again.

Continuing with the flaying of Stefan’s heart, Rebekah asks Elena for all kinds of answers including one that turned quite self-revelatory for the newbie vamp: she’s in love with Damon.  While we the viewers have known this for quite some time, the angry admission that she didn’t sleep with Damon because of the sire bond but because she was in love with him just drove the stake deeper in Stefan’s heart.

Elena also confessed that she loves Stefan, but she isn’t in love with him. Stefan treats her like a broken doll.

Note: He absolutely does and that doesn’t change with this episode.

A little bored with the game, Rebekah learns that Professor Shane knows what she needs so she sends Kol to fetch him. Once Kol arrives, Rebekah also summons Tyler. Once he’s there, she compels him to shift. She tells the three captive vamps they cannot leave the school and trots off to get info out of Shane.

Bonnie’s Not So Awesome Spell

Bonnie’s struggling with having her heretofore unseen Pops back in town. (Is someone going to ask why her last name is Bennett and not Hopkins?) Apparently Daddy hates magic and isn’t keen on his daughter being involved in the town’s resident vamp problem. He plans to crack the whip and make things tougher. Yeah, um, good luck with that.

Shane gives Bonnie a human bone necklace as her graduation present. Um…yay? He tells her she knows everything she needs, too. Well, everything he needs her, too.  But Kol snatches him and Bonnie heads to Mystic Falls High (because of course that’s the first place I’d look, too). She runs into Batty April who tells her Rebecca is hanging in the library with the other vamps and getting answers.

Seriously? April can die now.

She believes everything the 1000+ year old vamp tells her after she pulls the dagger out, but not the people around her. But again I digress…

To protect Shane, Bonnie casts a spell only all it manages to do is inflict all the damage he is receiving on April ala the transfer spell done between Katherine and Elena in season 2’s epic Masquerade episode.

Sidenote: Bonnie objects to Expression for about five minutes until Shane tells her that it's not good or bad magic, it just is. If you have to murder dozens upon dozens to get this kind of magic--it's bad. Just saying.  

Also, can we book a trip to Tibet for all the vamps to learn how to resist compulsion. Shane can do it. Caroline's dad could do it. Tyler's learning how to do it on his own. Just a thought.

Baby Got Wolf

Stefan and Elena flee from Tyler and try to hold the doors closed so he can’t get them. Elena even rips off a locker door and bashes wolfy on the nose as they push the door closed. Tyler leaves them be and later Caroline finds him curled up naked in front of what the memorial altar for his mother. He sobs in Caroline’s arms.

Kudos to Tyler for fighting the compulsion so long (something none of the others managed to do) and getting to shift back without hurting them. Boy has grown so much and at such a great cost.

Shane Isn’t Telling

Shane tells them it’s funny they are torturing him, he doesn’t mind sharing the location of the cure—after all he’s been working hard to get to it. He knows where it’s buried and it’s buried with Silas.  This freaks Kol out. Apparently Silas is a bit of a boogeyman to Originals.

Kol wants nothing to do with this and drives a mop stick through Shane. Thanks to Bonnie’s spell he doesn’t actually die, but Rebekah is pouty.

Shane confirmed he was responsible for dozens upon dozens of death, but it’s okay because when he wakes Silas, all the dead will rise.

Um, point of order—by rise does he mean zombies? And by all the dead does he mean every single person EVER that’s died? Or just all those turned into vamps? I’d like some clarification because frankly, that just can’t be good.

Erase My Memory Before You Go Go

Rebekah’s pouty because Stefan and Elena managed to survive. She offers to wipe all memory of Elena from Stefan’s heart, so he can be free of everything they ever did, pain included. Stefan says yes, do it—Elena is more than a little stunned by how quick Stefan is to make that choice.

However, Rebekah would rather he live with his pain and denies him the opportunity.  After she leaves, Stefan doesn’t want to talk to Elena. He’s “done” and walks away.  She starts after him and then lets him go.

Good girl. He can sulk on his own.

Meanwhile, Back at the Lake

Damon continues his quest to train Jeremy into a vampire hunter. He wants him fully up to speed before they go after real prey and just practicing with Matt isn’t doing it. He’s also tormenting himself by listening to voice mails from Elena asking him if she can come back. She misses him and she doesn’t think the sire bond is why they have grown so close.

Jeremy and Matt keep ordering pizza, but Damon pays off the cute delivery girl to not come back and sends the boys on a run around the lake. Later he has Jeremy putting a gun together and loading it. Jer’s pretty slow, so Damon pulls it apart and tells him to do it again.

Impatient Klaus shows up and Damon gives Jeremy an object lesson. Shooting Klaus three times and tells him “That’s for Carol.”  We forget that Damon is fond of several people in town, Carol Lockwood and Liz Forbes are both on that list.

Klaus wants to know why Damon hasn’t just turned the whole nearby lake community so Jeremy can kill them, but Damon says the idea occurred to him, but he decided against it.  The Original correctly assumes it’s because Elena wouldn’t approve, but it’s also because Damon wants to protect Jeremy. Unfortunately for all involved, Klaus is under no such compulsion. He’s taken care of the problem.

Pizza girl is the first one to attack and Jeremy has to stake her. Damon isn’t thrilled, but deals with it. He’s burying the body when Elena calls. She confesses to him what happened and that she’s realized she’s in love with him.  The words are the ones Damon has longed to hear for so very long.

This has been a LONG time coming. No one on this show has deserved to hear those words more than Damon did in that moment.

He tells her to listen carefully, get in her car and come to him.  He can’t take being away from her anymore than she can being away from him.  He’s going to do whatever it takes to get her the cure so she can be free in her choices and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect Jeremy. He also warns her he’s going to have to do some thing she won’t like—first up? Taking Matt and Jeremy into town where Klaus is having a drink in the local bar and all the patrons are in transition.

Yeah, this is gonna be messy.

I Hate My Brother

Back at the Salvatore manse, Rebekah arrives to find out why Stefan asked here there. He has a plan, he wants to partner with her to find the cure. She hates her brother and he hates his. Klaus has the sword. Damon has Jeremy. Shane has Bonnie. They need to team up to control who gets the cure.

So they make a pact.  Because Stefan won’t be happy until he’s cured Elena and figured out how she really feels.

Wow—talk about your selfish loves. Stefan really needs to get over himself. Because at this point, he is the worst thing that ever happened to Elena.

Overall! Both thumbs up. I cannot WAIT for next week.

What did you think?  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Show & Tell: Melissa Schroeder

You may or may not know but I'm a fan of Melissa Schroeder and her Harmless series. Her newest release is A LITTLE HARMLESS FANTASY. The very first MMF HEA (male/male/female, happily ever after) in the Harmless series. Sure there are have been menages but never one that ended with all three together.


A Little Harmless Fantasy
Harmless Series #8
Melissa Schroeder

What starts out as simple fantasy among friends, becomes an overwhelming need that none of them can deny.
Maura Dillon has always been someone who lived life on her own terms. From the time she in college she knew she had different needs than most of her friends. But she never thought she would find herself torn between two very sexy men, or that they would want to add her to their relationship.
Zeke and Rory have known each other for years. Their casual relationship has spanned a decade, but now that they are living together things are on a whole other level. Add in their mutual attraction for Maura and things are just getting out of hand.
Rory understands their desires and suggests a week in Hawaii. No rules, no limits, no regrets. But as their nights are filled with unimaginable erotic pleasure, there is someone lurking in the shadows. Someone who wants revenge, and will stop at nothing to succeed.
»WARNING: this book contains the following: Two sexy men who are hot for each other and the heroine, more Hawaiian scenery, a Dom who thinks he can control everything, two lovers who know he can't, and scenes that push even Harmless Addicts over the edge.
Buy Links:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Guest Author & Giveaway: Kiru Taye



Book Blast Island Bound by Kiru Taye

Thank you, Heather, for hosting me today.

About Kiru Taye

Hello, everyone. For those who don’t know already, I write historical, contemporary as well as paranormal romances. My stories are sensual, with strong, passionate characters and the settings are atmospheric and exotic, usually in Africa.

My debut historical romance His Treasure (Men of Valor series, book 1) is a LR Cafe Book of 2011 award-winner and also a runner-up at the Swirl Awards 2012 (novella category).

When I’m not writing, I love reading, hanging out with family/friends or travelling. Born in Nigeria, I currently live in the UK with husband and children.

You reach me via my Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

Follow my blog for latest news, free reads & giveaways: http://kirutayewrites.blogspot.com

For a comprehensive list of my books and to download free reads, check out my website: http://www.kirutaye.com

Giveaway:  Leave a comment on this post and visit my blog to enter the Rafflecopter prize draw to win a $10 eGift card in the Island Bound Book Launch event. Entries close on January 28, 2013.



About Island Bound:
Island Bound is a sensual, contemporary romance novella, set in Brass Island, Nigeria. It’s the story of Christy and Joshua who are on the verge of a marriage breakdown and how they get their second chance at a life together. Out 16 January, 2013 published by Decadent Publishing for their new African Ubuntu line.


Blurb:
Marriage has stripped their relationship of its thin, rose-tinted coating, and bared their monochromatic existence for what it was. Will Joshua and Christy get a second chance this holiday season?
When Christy Inemi-Spiff discovers that the man she vowed to love and honor has no such feelings for her, she’s determined to cut her losses and move on with her life. A quick, quiet divorce is all she wishes for Christmas.
However, Joshua has other ideas. He’s not ready to walk away yet, especially when he doesn’t understand why Christy wants out of their marriage. So he demands she agree to spend a quiet Christmas on a remote African Island with him, hoping they can salvage their relationship. If she still wants a divorce after these two weeks, he will let her go. But not before he’s had his fill of her.
But with the sparking tension between them, and the secrets behind the disintegration of their marriage threatening to explode, will either of them get their wish? Or will this season of good will show them what really lies at the bottom of their hearts?

***

Excerpt:

“Why are you doing this?” she challenged. Her emotions rolled, making her feel unbalanced. It had been a long three months. And it seemed like today was only going to get worse.
“Christy, you know the reason. If you stopped long enough and thought about it hard, in your heart, you’ll know.”
“You can stop this.” She struggled to contain her anger. “You started this; you can end it.”
“I know, but I won’t.”
“You, you—” Enraged, she lifted a hand to slap him.
Joshua caught her hand midair, held it tight. Before she could react, he pushed her back against the wall, pinning her to it with his rigid body. Christy felt every bit of him, his strength, and his physical nature that he never bothered to hide.
“I think I have the perfect answer for all your bottled-up rage,” he said as he parted her thighs with his leg.
“Move,” she ordered, her throat dry and croaky, betraying her increasing apprehension.
Joshua had it easy. He was a man at home with his masculinity. She had never been able to resist him. He could have any woman he wanted. Sometimes, she wondered if he had, especially during their separation. She shouldn’t care if he’d been with anyone else. After all, her goal was a divorce. Still, she couldn’t suppress the intensity of her feelings. Perhaps her anger and hatred drove the concentration of her emotions.
“We have to get a few things sorted out first,” he replied.
He moved closer, his body flush against hers; his chest crushed her breasts, his thighs pressed against hers. Though she wore cotton trousers and a tank top, all of him stroked her.
“What are you doing?” she asked as she pushed against him.
He didn’t budge. “Just trying to relieve some of your frustration. That’s what all your aggression has been about, isn’t it?”
“Rubbish!”
“Such vehement denial, when the evidence is so obvious.”
Her face stung with revealing heat as warm blood rose in her body. Mortified, she tried to move to shake him off, but only managed to get her body even more entangled with his.
Her breathing came in short snatches. She became more aware of Joshua, his hardness and heat.
“I hate you.” Her voice sounded strangled. Blistering white rage swept through her.
“You lie, sweetheart.”
He lowered his head, trailing his lips against her cheeks in a tormenting caress.
“You love me.”

Copyright Kiru Taye 2012

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Release Day! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - Always a Marine

Joe Cooper is a hero and active duty Marine sent to Mike’s Place to complete his recovery from injuries sustained during a firefight. His one-in-a-million injury includes a bullet to the back that cracked a bone in his spine, but left the nerves intact. His right leg was shattered in two places. Extensive reconstructive surgery and weeks trapped in a wheelchair haven’t dampened this wounded warrior’s pride or his devotion to duty—but they have left him needing to be needed because he is not an idle man. His waiting is very soon rewarded when recently widowed mom Melody Carter moves in next door. 

The Story Behind The Story

At the heart of every Marine book I write is the theme of healing and returning to life at home, away from the wars we’ve been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. When I first began writing the Always a Marine series, a conversation with my critique partner began with “what if someone who comes to Mike’s Place is a bit of a fraud?” This random idea stuck with me and evolved into, what if this person wasn’t so much a fraud, but felt like a fraud? Why would she feel that way? How could she overcome it?

Then just a few months ago, my editor mentioned to me that they were putting together a new series. Based on stories I’d written previously, she invited me to participate. This idea resurfaced, because I knew the story I wanted to tell. What if an abused wife and widow of a Marine had to rely on Mike’s Place to save her child? Who could reach out to her? And in a flash, I saw Joe. Joe, an honorable, admirable, and courageous Marine battling back from his own injuries—he would be in a wheelchair because that would make him safer for my heroine to “trust” him and these two lonely souls would find salvation in each other.

It was far from the easiest story I’ve ever written. I found myself battling anger over the hurt and pain Melody found herself in and cheering Joe on as he struggled to breach the barriers she erected against the world. Ultimately, the tale traveled different paths than I envisioned, but I am extremely proud of the book. Joe is also my first African-American hero and at no point did I focus on race, but whenever I saw Joe in my mind, he was a good looking man with a heart of gold, a spine of steel, and a soul worth cherishing.

I hope you see him that way, too. Sadly, Melody’s issues are not unique and are part of a larger, silent epidemic in and out of the armed forces.  Please remember, if you are being abused, you are not alone. Call for help:

National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Military OneSource – 1-800-342-9647 (To locate a victim advocate in your area).
Defense Centers of Excellence Outreach Center – 1-866-966-1020  (Helps you find resources in your area)
Department of Defense (D.O.D) Child Abuse Safety and Abuse Hotline – 1-800-336-4592




Blurb:

Have you ever woken up every day afraid of everything?

For single mom and widow Melody Carter, six months passed since an IED ripped her life apart. Everyone is sympathetic and offers platitudes of comfort and support. Everyone thinks they know why she's grieving but Melody isn't mourning her broken heart. She's ashamed to be grateful her abusive husband won't hurt her anymore and scared for her child. Born with a mild heart defect, her daughter needs lifesaving surgery and with her funds tight and her emotional scars tighter, she’s running out of options. When she receives an offer for assistance from Mike's Place, can Melody put her faith in the men her husband called friend?

Have you ever woken up, day after day, to discover your body's betrayal?

Marine Captain, Joe Anderson Cooper, received the Silver Star for Valor when he led his unit through heavy fire to rescue fellow Marines. Despite numerous injuries, the Captain refused medical aid, insisting that the medics attend others. A broken back and shattered bones put Captain Cooper in a wheelchair and every day is a battle to keep his recovery on track and his sanity intact. When a single mom moves in to the apartment next door to his and he recognizes a kindred—damaged—soul, can he overcome her fear and be the man she's always needed?

 Can these two lonely souls rise to the challenge or will their scars trap them forever?


Excerpt:

Letting herself out of the apartment, she locked up and turned to find her neighbor locking his door. He caught sight of her and smiled. “Good morning.” His deep baritone hummed over her senses. She appreciated the low voiced greeting.

“Good morning.” She wanted to say something more, but her brain locked up around the words. He eased his wheelchair back until nearly off the sidewalk and motioned for her to precede him. Biting her lip, she found another smile for him. “Thank you.” Her heartbeat accelerated and sweat cooled her spine. She didn't hug the wall, but she couldn't help widening the distance between them.

The wheels made the faintest squeaking noise after she passed, and she glanced back to see him following her down the path toward the parking lot. Maybe she should have offered to push. He wore an olive green t-shirt and a matching pair of slacks, though they were cut up the side of the large cast encasing his right leg from mid-thigh to his toes.

He—Joe, he said his name was Joe—met her gaze and gave her another easy smile. His eyes crinkled at the corners and the dimple in his cheek deepened. The sidewalk widened and she slowed to let him catch up.
“I'm sorry. I'm not the best company this morning.”

“No worries, ma'am. Little ones take a lot out of a body.” The buttery softness of his voice washed over her like a soothing balm—like the night before when he knocked on her door and introduced himself. He scared the hell out of her, but not in the same breath.

I must be tired. I have no idea what I'm feeling from one moment to the next. As if summoned by her thought, fatigue wavered through her and she stumbled. The diaper bag swung down her arm. She couldn't catch it and hold the baby at the same time. Joe stopped the bag's arc, and gave her a chance to catch her balance.

“May I?” He offered, still holding the bag.

May he what…? He wanted to carry the bag for her and she winced. It was heavy and he…

“I have plenty of room and then you don't have to worry about it taking you off balance again.” The sound logic quashed her natural objections. She shifted Libby carefully and let the strap fall off her arm. Her internal alarms sounded. Giving him the bag didn't give him some kind of power over her, but her gut tightened at the surrender of her possession.

He settled the bag against his lap and nodded encouragingly. “Just point me to your car…”

“Oh, I don't drive. Well, I do but I'm not driving here. I'm actually just staying here for a few weeks and I'm waiting for the shuttle.” She tacked the last on with a grimace. “And apparently I'm as muddleheaded for real as I feel. Sorry. Thank you. The shuttle is scheduled to pick us up here in about…” She couldn't look at her watch.

“Two minutes.” The captain supplied. “I'm waiting for the same shuttle.” His warm brown gaze turned studious. “Are you okay?”


Don’t miss these upcoming titles in the Always a Marine series:

The Two & The Proud
A Marine & a Gentleman
Combat Barbie



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Monday, January 7, 2013

Release Day: Earth Witches Aren't Easy (Urban Fantasy)

And now for something completely different...it's release day for Earth Witches Aren't Easy. I am thrilled to be able to share my first ever completed novel. Released originally in 2009 under the title Prime Evil, this is the first of three Chance Monroe novels. It's been re-edited and updated since the first release. Set in Northern Virginia, where I lived for many years, this book always evokes a deep sense of nostalgia for me. Come with me on a journey into a world where magic exists side-by-side with us and not everything is as it seems.


He's supposed to be dead…

Nearly a decade ago, hedge witch Chance Monroe's life irrevocably changed. She survived the attack of a serial killer. His death should have set her free.

But he's killing again…
When her ex-lover shows up on her porch, Chance isn't ready to hear Randall Oakes is still alive and less prepared for the sea of emotion swamping her. One man wants her dead and the other just wants her. When the FBI offers protective custody, Chance refuses. Connected to the earth, Chance must rely on her supernatural senses and her wits to survive this game of cat and mouse.

This time, she plans to teach her hunter a lesson…
In the farm rich countryside of her native Northern Virginia, Chance must confront her troubled past, a supernatural adversary and a sizzling passion that’s lain dormant for years to survive....

Earth witches aren't easy targets…


Excerpt:
Just when I began to think we would have to take a break in the negotiations, we settled on a gift of power, relocation and my boots. I was a bit prickly about the boots. They were a six hundred dollar pair I’d splurged on spontaneously in a brief fit of self-indulgence. But the First One was unbending. He wanted the boots. Being honorable sucked.

Resigning myself to the inevitable, I stripped the boots off and offered them in good faith. The imps were to return all other property to the homeowner and remove themselves from the domicile. Bound by barter law, the First One agreed and the rest were forced to follow along, though there was grumbling amongst the troops.

The imps dispersed when I released my captive. I rushed inward closing down my attunement with the Earth, ears popping at the swiftly changing pressure. I was sitting in a cramped position, feet both soundly asleep, despite my removal of the boots. Even at my age, my back protested from sitting in the same position for too long. With pained and gradual slowness, I regained my feet. The scars on my abdomen tightened uncomfortably, but I ignored them and began the chore of straightening what little mess I had made. A glance to where the uniforms were snappily folding themselves before whisking out of the room—and hopefully back to the closet they came from—assured me the imps were holding to their end of bargain. I allowed myself a brief, if satisfied smile, until I thought about my boots. The smile became a grimace. Better to focus on the job well done.

Hoisting the duffel onto my shoulder, I shuffled my way through the kitchen and out to the porch. Mr. Adams looked up sharply as I stepped outside, a great deal more stiff of posture than he’d demonstrated to me the afternoon before.

“Are you quite all right, Ms. Monroe? I checked on you last evening, but you were not responding and I could not seem to step further into the room.” He sounded genuinely concerned. What a sweetie!

“I’m fine, Mr. Adams. I have negotiated with your imps and they are diligently returning your belongings. I’m going to need a day or so to relocate them, but they are amenable to the suggestions I have made.”

“Quite good.” He nodded, accepting my explanation with a modicum of grace. “I expect you will need to make a return visit before the invoice will be complete?”

“Yes, sir.” Drooping with exhaustion, I preferred the idea of stumbling my way to the car to small talk about my services. But he deserved his explanations.

“I expect at least one more visit, two at most. I’ll need about twenty-four to forty-eight hours to prep a place for them and do the actual relocation.”

“Very well. Thank you, Ms. Monroe. I’ll await your return.”

Padding down the wooden steps, I gritted my teeth as sharp points of rock dug at my small, socked feet all the way to the car.

I was really going to miss those boots.