The Demise by Erica R Lomelino – Q&A and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Erica R Lomelino will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What or who inspired you to start writing?

I first started out writing poems in middle school, then in high school I began writing in a journal and joined the school newspaper. In adulthood, I found a love for writing short stories.

How did you come up with ideas for your books?

Although my book is published as fiction, most of the events in this book were written from my own life experiences. I was hurting and writing was a way to release the pain that was trapped inside. I wrote about what I knew, no matter how hard it would be to share these experiences with the world.

What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?

I love walking outside on a nice day and just standing there for a moment and taking everything in. The warmth of the sun on my skin, the wind blowing through my hair, and sounds of the birds chirping away. No matter what is going on in my life, in that small moment I am at peace.

As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?

I hope to write a few more novels but I think my greater passion is in writing children books. I have written and published one so far titled Grandpa’s Farm and my daughter loves me reading it to her over and over again.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your leading roles?

For the role of Elizabeth I think I would choose Evan Rachel Wood. She’s a pro when it comes to dramas, and is on point with her sex appeal. For the role of Ian, I think this is a much harder choice so for now I would say either Liam Hemsworth or Chris Pine.

Elizabeth Woods and Ian Sweeten had a romance which sparked over a few months. Marriage followed, and with it the couple traveled around the world as he served in the military. After Ian’s deployment, overseas, their young love deepened into something more but with life comes complications, and what Elizabeth comes to realize is that her husband is battling his own demons. Mind games, deceit and abuse become part of the ways Ian seeks to control her. As she struggles to repair her marriage and get back to the love they shared early in their relationship, Elizabeth realizes that holding on to the man she loves may come at a price too high to pay.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“How are you feeling today?” Dr. Carter asked.

“Antsy,” I told her. I’d brought a bottle of water and took a sip. It helped my throat at least. “I was thinking about what I wanted to say to you on my way here, and it just occurred to me there are some parts of my relationship with Ian that are just as painful as when they happened back then. What happened to the old adage about time healing all wounds? I should be past all this by now.”

Dr. Carter shook her head. “We all heal differently. But in my experience, time heals little if anything. It all depends on how much work you get done in the meantime. And that’s what you’re here for, so you’re moving in the right direction.”

“You tell everyone that?”

She cracked a smile. Dr. Carter struck me as a motherly woman. She was in her early forties, by my guess. “I do find myself saying it often,” Dr. Carter admitted. “A lot of people struggle with this idea that they should be further ahead in their emotional healing than they actually are. We give people the idea there’s this prescribed amount of time to be over mourning, and after that amount of time it’s somehow wrong to feel anything about it.”

“Mourning?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said. “You’re mourning the demise of your marriage.”

I thought for a moment before answering. “I never looked at it that way.”

About the Author: Erica R Lomelino, lives in Jacksonville, Florida. In her free time, she enjoys the beach life, painting, reading, traveling and spending time with her daughter. She looks forward to developing her skill at writing and hopes to continue to write books that will put you on the edge of your seat.

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Summer of Firefly Lake by Jen Gilroy – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher to celebrate today’s release of Summer on Firefly Lake, the second book in Jen Gilroy’s Firefly Lake series. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Sometimes love is better the second time around . . .

Mia Gibbs spent her marriage putting her husband’s needs before her own. And now, after a painful divorce, she’s building a new life for herself and her two daughters back home at Firefly Lake. The last thing she needs is a man to complicate things. But former bad boy turned friend Nick McGuire—and the one kiss they’ve shared-has turned everything upside down . . .

Attorney Nick McGuire wasn’t meant to be a family man. His career has always been his focus and after taking time out to help his mother, he’s ready to get back to the city . . . until Mia and her daughters arrive at Firefly Lake. Mia is beautiful and intriguing, and it doesn’t take long to realize being “just friends” will never be enough. As the summer nights turn colder, Nick will have to choose between the life he’s always wanted . . . and the woman he can’t live without.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Did you enjoy the play?” Nick leaned over to speak into her ear.

She jumped and then blinked as the overhead lights went on. “It was nice.”

“Nice?” He raised one dark eyebrow and grinned. “It was a murder mystery where the villain killed his so-called friends with poisoned martini olives. Nice isn’t the first word that comes to my mind.”

“I meant it had a good plot. I didn’t guess who did it until the end.” Probably because she hadn’t paid attention.

“I knew it was the town clerk all along.”

“The town clerk? I thought it was the caterer.”

“When he isn’t on the boards, the actor who played the caterer is the town clerk over in Kincaid.” Nick chuckled. “He’s always cast as the villain in local theater productions. Cat says it’s because he has evil eyes. He grew up in Firefly Lake, and every Halloween when we were kids, he dressed as a monster and scared her half to death.”

“I’m a city girl, remember?” Easy banter, keep it light and pretend everything was like it had always been between them. “I’m still not used to the kind of community here and how everyone seems to be connected to everyone else.”

“There’s a lot that goes along with that community.” Nick got to his feet and shepherded Mia through the crowd to the exit. His big frame sheltered her and made her feel safe and protected. “People know your business and think they have a right to talk about you because their grandmother’s second cousin was related to your great-aunt by marriage three times removed. They post pictures of you on Facebook.”

Mia’s face heated. A copy of that Facebook picture had appeared on Gabrielle’s kitchen table. She should have gotten rid of it but instead, Mia had taken it upstairs and tucked it into the bottom of her suitcase. Then ignored Gabrielle’s pointed looks.
“Do you want to get ice cream? Simard’s Creamery has a stand across the street from where we had dinner.”

The intimate bistro with tables for two, where the muted candlelight had softened the planes of Nick’s face, and they’d bumped knees under the small table to send jolts of awareness through her.

“You like your tiger tail ice cream, don’t you?” Although Nick’s voice held a teasing note, something hot and elemental sparked in his eyes. Then his expression changed again, and he was the Nick who’d helped her with her mom’s foundation on all those late-night phone calls last winter. The friend she called when she wanted to talk about anything and everything.

Mia stopped in the middle of the rutted track in the field where they’d left the car. The long grass tickled her bare legs below her sundress, and she shivered in the cool night air. They’d go for ice cream and then Nick would take her home. They’d drive the familiar highway back to Firefly Lake and talk about the play and how well Charlie and Lexie were doing. Safe, easy topics.

He’d drop her off at Harbor House, and she’d go upstairs and get into Georgia’s single bed beneath the tattered travel posters. Alone. Like all those other nights she’d spent alone, denying what she wanted and making excuses.

“I changed my mind. I don’t want ice cream.” Her voice shook.

“Mia, I—” He made a choked sound.

“I thought about what you said.” If she didn’t go for this, she’d always regret it and wonder about what might have been. And maybe a fling with Nick was exactly what she needed to put the last ghosts of her marriage behind her. “You’re right. We’re both single and neither of us wants something the other one can’t give.”

“Are you sure?”

She tried to laugh. “We’d have to be discreet.”

“Of course.” The raw desire on his face was replaced by a glimpse of what might have been vulnerability.

“I like you, and I know you won’t hurt me.” Because she’d locked the part of her that could be hurt deep inside. “We both have needs.” She kicked the grass with her sandals and rubbed her bottom lip.

“I like you, too. What Jay did was wrong, and I want to make sure you understand I’d never do anything like that.” A pulse fluttered in Nick’s throat. “We might not have a relationship, but I wouldn’t sleep with anybody else if I slept with you.”

Mia looked at the night sky, where stars twinkled above the forested hills. When she was little, she’d wished on stars and believed in a happy-ever-after. But she was an adult, and life had made her wiser and destroyed her childish belief in magic and wishes. “Where do we go from here?”

“I’ll take you back to Mom’s if you want me to.” Nick’s arm brushed the curve of her shoulder through her light sweater, and the tremble inside her kicked up. “If you’re not ready.”

She was ready all right and had been even before he kissed her the first time. “I want this.” She lifted her face to his as a cloud scudded across the moon. “I want you.”

About the Author: Jen Gilroy grew up under the big sky of western Canada. After many years in England, she now lives in a small town in eastern Ontario where her Irish ancestors settled in the nineteenth century. She’s worked in higher education and international marketing but, after spending too much time in airports and away from her family, traded the 9-5 to write contemporary romance to bring readers’ hearts home.

A small-town girl at heart, Jen likes ice cream, diners, vintage style and all things country. Her husband, Tech Guy, is her real-life romance hero, and her daughter, English Rose, teaches her to cherish the blessings in the everyday.

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Can’t Stop Lovin’ You by Lynnette Austin – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher to celebrate today’s release of Can’t Stop Lovin’ You, the third book in Lynnette Austin’s Maverick Junction series. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Maggie Sullivan can’t wait to get out of Texas. Luckily, she just got the break she needed to make her big-city dreams a reality. But then Brawley Odell swaggers back into Maverick Junction, looking hotter than ever in his dusty cowboy boots and well-worn jeans. He’s the guy she still dreams of at night. The guy who broke her heart when he left her behind.

Fed up with city life, Brawley jumps at the chance to return home and take over the local vet’s practice—and get back to the smart, sassy woman he’s never been able forget. He couldn’t be prouder of Maggie’s new wedding-dress business… until he realizes it may mean losing her all over again. Determined to win her back, Brawley must find a way to convince Maggie that their one true home is with each other.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“You’re staying,” Maggie whispered.

“I am.”

“You’ll be happy here, Brawley.”

“I’ll miss you.”

“You’ve lived without me for a long time.”

“But I always knew you’d be here. That I could get my Maggie fix whenever I needed it with a couple hours’ drive.”

“Brawley—”

“I know.” He held up a hand. “Not fair. I won’t ask you to stay. I know better than that. This is something you have to do.”

“It is.”

“Once you’re in New York, though, if you don’t like it, I’ll be here.”

“That’s not going to happen.”

“Red, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s never say never.”

“Fine.” Her heart hammered in her chest. She moved to the leather love seat, her hand stroking it. “This is yummy.”

“So are you.” The thought tumbled out before he could stop it.

She turned, so close he could feel her breath on his face.

He hadn’t meant for it to happen. He hadn’t brought her here to make a move. But damn if he could keep his hands, his mouth, off her.

He’d watched her all day, that gorgeous red hair done up in a tumbled mass, curls escaping and trailing down her neck. He’d itched to pull out whatever pins held it and spill the fiery strands around her. Wanted to run his hands through it, feel the silky softness.

More, he wanted to unzip that swath of silk and let it slide to the floor. Wanted to touch the creamy white skin beneath. Needed to taste her. Her lips, the back of her knees, her stomach.

Needed to know if she still wore the little silver ring through her belly button.

Needed almost more than his next breath to hear her quiet little sighs, her cries of delight as they made love.

His gaze drifted to her red, red lips when her tongue peeked out between them.

“Maggie—”

“Brawley?”

“Yeah?” He raised his eyes back to hers. They always reminded him of a Texas meadow right after a spring rainstorm. What man could resist? Sure as hell not him. He caved. Pulled her to him. Felt her heat.

The first kiss was tentative. After that initial foray, though, he lost sight of his good intentions, of right and wrong.
Soft. So very soft.

His hand moved to the back of her neck, drawing her closer still. Inching into that silken mass of hair, he removed the pins one at a time, sighed when the strands spilled loose over his fingers, his hand, his arm.

His mouth left hers, traced a path along her chin, over her cheek. He buried his face in her hair and breathed deeply. God, she smelled good.

Maggie gave him those little sighs, those moans he’d been craving.

His lips trailed back to hers. When they parted, he slid his tongue inside to dance with hers. He backed her up till she was against the sofa.

Sliding a hand beneath her knees, he scooped her up and laid her on the soft leather, then followed her down. His hands ran the length of her, his fingers trailing beneath the hem of her dress.

He felt her cool hands on his heated flesh. Somehow she had his shirt out of his pants and half unbuttoned. Her head lowered, and she trailed a line of kisses across his bare chest. She stopped at the small scar just above his navel, flicked her tongue over it.

Brawley sucked in his breath. Maggie had been the one to mark him there with a stick when they’d been eight-year old pirates fighting it out with pretend swords. He put a finger beneath her chin and raised her head to taste her lips again.

She had matured, ripened. Was everything the eighteen-year- old Maggie had been and more. Much more.

“Oh, Mags,” he whispered into her ear. “You’re killing me.”

She answered with a long, deep kiss.

He groaned. “I want you so badly it hurts.”

“Shut up and kiss me, cowboy.”

About the Author: Lynnette Austin loves Starbucks, peppermint patties, and long rides with the top down and the music cranked up! One of the great things about writing is that daydreaming is not only permissible but encouraged. She grew up in Pennsylvania, moved to New York, then to Wyoming, and presently divides her time between Florida’s beaches and Georgia’s mountains. She’s been a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest. Having grown up in a small town, that’s where her heart takes her-to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody…and all their business, for better or worse.

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Writing What You Know by Sarah Skilton – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Sarah Skilton, who is celebrating tomorrow’s release of her first book for adults Club Deception. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Writing What You Know by Sarah Skilton

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Write what you know,” but what does it really mean? That every book is a thinly veiled biography? Nope–not at all.

In my experience, it means writing the types of stories only you can tell, and it comes from three possible areas:

1) Drawing on past emotions or experiences to authenticate a story

2) Using the most unique aspects of your life to shed light on an otherwise hidden subculture

3) Taking a hobby you already possess, that’s independent of writing, and giving it double duty as research

While my characters and storyline are fictional, certain elements of the plot or aspects of characters’ personalities were inspired by things I’d either experienced or witnessed. Each of the three novels I’ve published so far have had personal connections to my life and interests.

In my debut young adult novel, Bruised (Abrams/Amulet Books, 2013), the main character loves tae kwon do. Although I didn’t get my black belt until I was in my ’20s (as opposed to my protagonist, who received her black belt at 16), I was able to use my old tae kwon do diaries, charts, calendars, and instruction manuals to verify specifics about the art. I then imagined how it might feel to be a teenager with those kinds of skills. The portions from real life, although presented in a fictional way, helped provide a behind-the-scenes look into a sport not everyone knows about.

High & Dry (Abrams/Amulet, 2014) was a little trickier. What do I have in common with an 18-year-old high school boy on the soccer team? Not much, except for being a fan of the sport. During the 2010 World Cup I developed a passion for watching soccer on TV, so when it came time to write scenes from the POV of a soccer star, I felt comfortable describing high-paced, action-filled games using the appropriate terms. I never necessarily predicted it would come in handy for my writing, but due to the hours I’d logged “on my own time,” I didn’t need to conduct much additional research to make those scenes work.

Likewise, in Club Deception, my first book for adults (on sale July 25th, through Grand Central Publishing), I was able to parlay the most unusual elements of my life into the story. The novel is a murder mystery set at an underground magic club in downtown L.A. My husband is a full-time, professional magician. I enjoyed observing him and his friends at gatherings, and of course watching him perform on a regular basis. It was important to me that I depict magic and magicians in an entertaining way, while still keeping the magicians’ abilities grounded in reality.

So whether the part you “know” is something you’re on the periphery of, something you’re a longtime fan of, or something that even defines you, finding ways to integrate personal components in your writing can provide honesty and authenticity to keep readers engaged.

I hope you enjoy reading Club Deception as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Claire Fredericksson is the beating heart of CLUB DECEPTION, LA’s most exclusive magician’s society. She’s the Queen Bee of Magician WAGs (“Wives and Girlfriends”), and the real genius behind her philandering husband Jonathan’s award-winning magic show, but her debilitating stage fright has kept her out of the limelight. Claire’s life is upended by the arrival of two new women to the closed group of magicians’ wives—Jessica, a young trophy wife with a secret, and Kaimi, an art expert looking for the long-lost Erdnase papers by posing as a girlfriend. When a magician rivalry and a stolen routine erupt into murder, the women must uncover the truth and set things right for the men they love. With a cast of endurance experts, Vegas stage stars, close-up card handlers, and a pick-up artist or two, this glamorous novel weaves a tale of murder, fame, and many, many illusions.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Every magician has another magician he hates. Doesn’t matter if you’re a hobbyist or a top performer, a stage illusionist or a close-up expert. Somewhere, for whatever reason, another magician hates you.”

He regarded her carefully. “You’ve given this speech before.”

“I try to warn the new wives. Most of them have no idea what they’re getting into.”

“What are they getting into?”

She dismissed him with a wave. “Oh, I don’t know. Disillusionment. Misdirection. Now you see him, now you don’t.”

“I thought that was every marriage.”

“A lot of magicians—the good ones, anyway—lead a double life. It can be disconcerting to discover. On the other hand . . . he might make us float. He might make us fly.” She sounded far away, and her pale-green eyes shimmered like gemstones. He was certain a tear would slip down her cheek but she kept it at bay, perhaps through sheer willpower.

“Is that why you married Jonathan?” he asked.

“No.” She looked straight at him. “I wanted to disappear. And that was the only way I knew how.”

CREDIT: Excerpted from the book CLUB DECEPTION by Sarah Skilton. Copyright © 2017 by Sarah Skilton. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

About the Author:SARAH SKILTON is a book blogger with Barnes & Noble, as well as the author of two young adult novels, Bruised and High & Dry. This is her first adult novel, which will also appeal to her devoted audience of teen readers. Sarah Skilton’s
husband is a full-time professional magician and a member of the exclusiveclub, The Magic Castle! Visit Sarah at her website.

Favorite Fictional Cowboys – Dynamic Duos by Kari Lynn Dell – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Kari Lynn Dell, who is celebrating the upcoming release of Tougher in Texas, the second book in her Texas Rodeo series. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win one of three bundles of the first three Texas Rodeo books (Reckless in Texas, Tangled in Texas, Tougher in Texas).

My Favorite Fictional Cowboys – Dynamic Duos
Tougher in Texas is the story of Cole and Shawnee, a pair of rodeo pickup men–except one is a woman. Pickup men work in tandem to help cowboys off bucking horses at the end of a ride, clear the horses and bulls from the arena, and generally do everything they can to ensure the safety of all…occasionally even the audience, as in one scene in this book. Inside the arena Cole and Shawnee have to trust each other implicitly. Outside the arena…well, that’s where it gets really tricky for these two damaged souls. In honor of my dynamic duo, I picked out my favorite fictional cowboy partners.

Hands down, no comparison is Robert Redford and Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. This movie has it all—action, suspense, humor, incredible camera work, and a bromance with chemistry that’s off the charts. And the romance is pretty hot, too. The scene when Sundance is waiting in Katharine Ross’s bedroom and forces her to undress at gunpoint absolutely crackles with sexual tension. It’s a buddy movie, a heist, a comedy, a shoot ‘em up…in other words, damn near perfect. And did I mention PRIME Redford and Newman?

Here’s where everyone expects me to talk about Gus McCrae and Captain Call from Lonesome Dove, but they get enough attention. In honor of all the great ranch and rodeo horses who’ve been my partners over the years, I’m going to Australia with Jim and Denny in The Man from Snowy River. Jim is the cowboy. Denny is his tough, gutsy buckskin mare. Together they shot one of the most thrilling equine action scenes in movie history with their breakneck ride down the side of mountain, which you can watch at YouTube. This descent is so iconic that any time we have to go bounding down a steep ridge after a cow we call it ‘doing the Snowy River’, and any rancher worth his salt knows exactly what we mean. Yes, there’s also a romance, but at the end Jim rides away not with Rebecca but his true love—Denny.

He’s got five rules
And she’s aiming to break them all

Rodeo producer Cole Jacobs has his hands full running Jacobs Livestock. He can’t afford to lose a single cowboy, so when Cousin Violet offers to send along a more-than-capable replacement, he’s got no choice but to accept. He expects a grizzled Texas good ol’ boy.

He gets Shawnee Pickett.

Wild and outspoken, ruthlessly self-reliant, Shawnee’s not looking for anything but a good time. It doesn’t matter how quickly the tall, dark and intense cowboy gets under her skin—Cole deserves something real, and Shawnee can’t promise him forever. Life’s got a way of kicking her in the teeth, and she’s got her bags packed before tragedy can knock her down. Too bad Cole’s not the type to give up when the going gets tough…

Enjoy an Excerpt

The cowboy nodded and Flight Risk fired out of the chute, a fifteen-hundred-pound missile launching into midair. His head whipped around to the left and his body followed; the sheer power ripped the cowboy’s hand out of the rope. He shot backward, ending up astride the bull’s butt. On the next jump, Flight Risk slung him skyward, but instead of sailing free, the cowboy was jerked down and slammed into the ground, one spur caught in the flank strap.

Hung up in the worst possible way.

Cruz threw his body on top of the cowboy in hopes that the extra weight would rip the spur free while Hank grabbed for the tail of the flank strap to yank the slip knot loose. As his hand closed around the rope, Flight Risk kicked high, picking Hank up and tossing him a dozen yards, right into Hammer’s path, forcing Cole to rein up hard. The flank strap and the cowboy came loose and Flight Risk broke into a gallop, headed straight for the luxury boxes. Her path blocked by the scrambling cowboy, there was nothing Shawnee could do but watch as Flight Risk reached the fence, gathered himself, and leapt.

He landed in a narrow walkway between two of the VIP boxes, greeted by screams and flailing bodies. Flight Risk ignored them, focused on the tunnel that led under the grandstand and out to freedom—and the midway.

“Plan B!” Cole yelled.

He was already riding through a pass gate and into the stands. Shawnee was right on his tail. Hammer and Salty plowed through the chaos, impervious to dropped beers and flying nachos. When they clattered out the end of the tunnel Flight Risk was twenty yards ahead, aimed straight for the line of shooting galleries and ring toss games. A mother grabbed her toddler and flung him over a low counter, face first into the rubber duck pond, then dove in after him. A carnie waved his oversized hammer in self-defense as the bull hooked a giant purple panda with one horn and flung it onto the lap of a bug-eyed girl on the Tilt-a-Whirl.

Flight Risk dodged left between a cotton candy booth and a trailer peddling funnel cakes and deep-fried pickles. Cole followed. Shawnee stayed right so the bull couldn’t circle back. As they thundered past the mini donut truck, people scattered, shrieking and stumbling. Salty did a nifty shuck and jive to dodge a stroller, knocking a candied apple out of a wide-eyed teenager’s hand.

“’Scuse us!” Shawnee called over her shoulder.

As they came even with the next gap between vendors, Shawnee saw Cole’s loop settle over the bull’s horns, then heard Hammer’s hooves scrabbling on the asphalt when Cole dallied up and attempted to bring the bull to a stop. As Flight Risk turned, Shawnee skidded around the shaved ice stand, took two swings, and laid her loop under his belly, snatching up both hind feet and whipping solid dallies around her saddle horn. Salty grunted but held as the bull stretched between the horses, teetered, then flopped onto his side a foot shy of a bouncy castle filled with squealing preschoolers.

Shawnee was blowing as hard as Salty. Ho-lee shit. That…was…so…awesome.

Cole didn’t look nearly as thrilled, eyeing the pandemonium in their wake, and the flock of morons with cell phones already creeping closer. “We’ll have to hold him until security clears these idiots out, then take him back to his pen and go ask that dickhead what he thinks of his fence now.” Then, of all things, he grinned, and her heart gave an odd little blippity-blip. “Nice loop, by the way.”

A warmth that had nothing to do with the heat rushed through her. It was just…okay, yeah, it meant more coming from Cole, not because she treasured his opinion, but because he was so stingy with his praise. That was all. Just a major ego stroke.

And maybe, just a little, that smile. Damn. She considered mentioning that if he broke it out a little more often, his wife hunt might go considerably better. But she’d had to earn it…and she didn’t want to share.

Uh-oh.

She couldn’t turn loose of Flight Risk and run, so she did the next best thing. She batted her eyes and leered at him. “See? I told you we’d be good together.”

But this time, Cole didn’t blush.

About the Author: KARI LYNN DELL brings a lifetime of personal experience to writing western romance. She is a third-generation rancher and rodeo competitor who works on the family ranch in northern Montana, inside the Blackfeet Nation. She exists in a perpetual state of horse-induced poverty along with her husband, Max and Spike the (female) Cowdogs, a few hundred cows and a son who resides on the same general segment of the autism spectrum as Cole Jacobs and doesn’t believe names should be gender-limited.

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Indiebound, iTunes, Kobo, or Chapters.

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Writing Critique Groups: Do’s and Don’t’s by Sara Turnquist – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

WRITING CRITIQUE GROUPS: Do’s and Don’t’s

One of the highlights of my week is writing critique group. I enjoy getting together with like-minded people, sharing my work and theirs, and giving each other feedback as well as encouragement. It gives me a place to bring my work in progress and have others put their eyes (and ears) on it.

Now that this group has been running for a while, a few things have stuck with me as definite strengths and potential pitfalls. Some from what I see in my own group, some from horror stories I have heard. So, if you are looking for a group or wanting to establish a critique group, let me give you some pointers.

DO: Have a published author in your midst

This is not absolutely necessary, but it is helpful. Otherwise, you might end up in a situation where it is the blind leading the blind. At the very least, the group’s leader (or wrangler, if you will) needs to be investing in learning the craft through writers conferences and books. A published author knows firsthand what editors and publishers are looking for in a manuscript. The author (published) is learned on craft and probably already investing in continuing education.

DON’T: Push others down

I understand that this, surprisingly, can be one of the major downfalls of a critique group. Members of the group, whether intentionally or subconsciously (I hope the latter) pushing the top talent in the group “down”. Being unnecessarily harsh with these bright rising stars may make someone feel good for a moment, but it will destroy the group in the end. And the damage it does to the members is unimaginable. Yes, we need to critique each other, but it needs to be done with a heart that seeks to better the other person and their work, not to take them down a notch. It just has to be done with the right intent.

DO: Be honest

On the flip side, it is so important that you bring your honesty to the other person’s page. No one in the group will grow if we all sit around and tell each other how wonderful we all are. There is a place for accolades, but the reason people join these groups is to have other critical (and hopefully kind) eyes on their work. To better their work. To better themselves as writers.

DON’T: Be afraid to share your work

And so you can see how important it is for you to be brave and bring your work, to share your art with the other members of the group. With any luck, you’ve found a group like mine that will share feedback seasoned with encouragement. If you get the sense that others are there to be critical, it’s not you, that is probably not the group for you.

Feedback may not always be easy to hear and there may be times you want to cry from honest feedback (this is the work of your heart, after all), but it should be delivered with some sense that they understand that very thing. That this is near and dear to you, that it’s not easy to hear, but that, just like stinging antiseptic, it must be done to help you get better.
In the end, that’s what it’s all about – honing your craft and becoming a better writer. So, walk into your writing critique group with that mindset. Yes, the encouragement and praise is great, but if that’s all you get, you’ll never grow. And isn’t that our goal anyway?

He never imagined her heart would be so hard to reach.

Forced into a marriage of convenience after her husband dies, Amanda Haynes is determined she will never love again. Not that it bothers Brandon Miller. He needs her husband’s cattle ranch and life insurance policy. She needs financial stability and long-term support for her son and herself. But she never expected to care so much about the running of the ranch.

Butting heads over the decisions of the ranch, adding to her frustration and grief at her loss. Her wellbeing is soon threatened as their lives become entangled with Billy the Kid and his gang. What has she gotten herself into? What kind of man has she married? Is there any way out?

Enjoy an Excerpt

A strong arm grasped Amanda, catching her upper arm and dragging her onto the horse. As soon as she was solidly on the animal, she grabbed ahold of Brandon as tightly as she could.

They took off. The bull pawed at the ground, making all manner of grunting noises, but as if by some miracle, he ran off to the left. All of this happened as if time had slowed.

The horse continued to push forward. And as they neared the edge of the fence, Brandon urged the horse to go even faster. Were they going to break through? What would happen to the cattle with the fence destroyed?

But as they approached the fence, the horse leapt. Amanda gripped Brandon impossibly tighter. Jolted when the horse landed, her teeth chattered.

Only then did Brandon slow the horse. He then placed a hand on her upper arm and pushed.

She released him.

He sucked in a deep breath and expelled it.

Had she been holding him too tightly? Her face warmed.

He took hold of her shoulders. “Are you all right?”

She nodded, and though their faces were but a breath apart, she was not quite able to meet his eyes, fighting tears in her own. Only then she found herself staring at his bare chest. Jerking her head away, she averted her gaze.

“Do you realize what could have happened?” His voice rose.

She nodded, still not able to meet his eyes. The force of his emotion hit her. Was he so concerned after her?

“I would have had to shoot that bull.”

What? Eyes wide, she tilted her face up to look at him.

“That bull is worth half my herd.”

So he was only worried about the cattle. Not her. His precious cattle.

About the Author:

Sara is originally from Middle Tennessee. After a short stint in Memphis, where she earned a degree in Biology and began a career as both a Zoo Educator and a Sleep Technician, she then followed a dream to work for a large zoo in Orlando, FL as an Educator. Once she and her husband started their family, they moved back to Middle Tennessee where they currently reside. Sara and her husband now enjoy a full life with their three beautiful and very active children. She enjoys many creative outlets – singing, piano, drawing, drama, and organizing anything. And even though she has enjoyed her career as a Zoo Educator, Sara’s great love of the written word continued to draw her to write. She has always been an avid reader and, for many years, has been what she terms a “closet writer”. Her travels and love of history have served to inspire her to write clean Historical Romance. Sara has made several trips to the Czech Republic. Her time among the Czech people and the landscapes of the country inspired her and greatly influenced her work on her debut novel, The Lady Bornekova, set in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. Sara is also the author of The General’s Wife, Off to War, Hope in Cripple Creek, and A Convenient Risk and a member of ACFW.

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Game on Askole by Gail Koger – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Gail Koger will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Tihar travels to Earth to find and claim a Jones’ female. He knows they are fearless, psychic warriors and talented in bed sport. Ten minutes after meeting Sarah, Tihar knows the feisty, little human is the one he has been searching for. Now he must convince Sarah, she’s meant to be his.

The first-time Sarah sees Tihar, she’s a bit freaked out. The Askole warrior has tentacles, snakelike features and black armored-plated skin. Even weirder she finds him strangely attractive. Tihar’s torso is sculpted perfection and his black scales are kind of sexy. Who knew challenging Tihar to combat would start the Askole mating dance. He thinks Earth girls are easy and he’s about to learn messing with a Jones female is never a good idea.

As the two grow closer, their romance comes to a screeching halt when Askole rebels attack Tihar’s home world. He tells Sarah she is his heart’s destiny and he will love her to the end of time. He abruptly severs their mental bond and disappears. Reeling from shock, Sarah won’t let a galactic war stop her from hunting him down. Can the two of them find their way back into each other’s arms?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Poof! A tall, stick thin Coletti female wearing a pointy metal hat and bronze breastplate over a screaming red body suit appeared on the terrace and surveyed us like we were dog poop she had accidently stepped in.

“Say howdy to Lilkee, the paranoid whack job.” I waved at her all friendly like. “Lookin’ for your death bringers?”

She totally ignored me and drew her sword. Lilkee’s entire focus was on Detja. If looks could kill, Detja would be toes up.

“Lilkee,” Detja said, her voice terse and unfriendly. “Zarek is not here.”

The whack job smirked and stroked the hilt of her gem encrusted sword. “I know. I came to see the pitiful female your half-breed son has chosen.”

“Half-breed? Pitiful?” Kaylee narrowed her eyes. “One more insult and that skinny bitch is gonna get her ass kicked.”

“We’ll help,” I said.

Her lips curled in contempt, Lilkee examined Kaylee from head to toe. “You are nothing, but a filthy little primitive whose pathetic planet Malik plans to wipe from existence.”

“The only one being wiped from existence is Malik.” Kaylee stood. “If you’re a smart girl, you’ll leave now, before I beat the living shit out of you.”

“I am Coletti, daughter of Zarek. You could never defeat me,” Lilkee said proudly.

Kaylee punched her hard in the mouth, knocking her down. “Wanna bet?”

Two dozen Genghis Khan wannabes appeared around us.

“Oh, hell.” I grabbed a butter knife off the table.

“Kill them,” the whack job commanded.

About the Author: Howdy. My name is Gail Koger and once upon a time I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher. Too many years of wild requests, screwy questions, bizarre behavior and outrageous demands have left me with a permanent twitch and an uncontrollable craving for chocolate. I took up writing science fiction romance to keep from killing people. So far, it has worked.

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Spooning Daisy by Maggie McConnell – Q&A and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie McConnell will be offering 1) Nordstrom “Daisy” vegan leather clutch, 2) Nordstrom turtle pin, or 3) Rebecca Minkoff star pendant/necklace to 3 randomly drawn winners (US only; international winners will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC).


 

 

 

 

 

Please tell us about growing up.

I was ten weeks old when I moved with my family from Illinois to Pakistan. After that we lived in Vietnam, Laos, and Ecuador, and travelled extensively through Europe and Asia. I never really knew the US as home until my tweens when my parents retired from the Foreign Service and we returned to Illinois. I credit my dad for giving me a world view, along with a deep appreciation for the United States. On the negative side, some overseas experiences still haunt me today, yet I know they helped create who I am. Some might consider my childhood “privileged” but it was far from idyllic; almost everyone has memories they would prefer to forget, but it’s the combination of “good” and “bad” that makes us dimensional, and I like to think, gives us compassion. My characters—even the supporting ones—often have something lurking in their shadows, and none is beyond redemption. On a different level, I love foreign cultures and settings. Born in China, my mom was the daughter of Christian missionaries. I credit her for my faith and spirituality, which subtly pops up in my writing.

Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

I like books on philosophy because this influences both plot and characters. Everyone has core values that they rely on throughout their life, and these impact behavior. I like my characters to have beliefs that then drive the plot. My characters aren’t perfect, but they’re doing the best they can. By the end of the book, they’re kinder and more compassionate which I think we all strive to be.

A few authors I enjoy: Kate Braestrup (Here If You Need Me); Jodi Picoult; Sara Gruen; Dana Stabenow; Marion Zimmer Bradley (Mists of Avalon); Richard Bach (Illusions); Pam Grout (E-Squared); Winston Churchill; Dorothy Cannell; Sandra Brown; Garrison Keillor, Wayne Dyer, Nora Roberts, Lillian Jackson Braun; James Herriot… Yikes! I could go on forever!

When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?

I live on a no-kill ranch that doubles as a sanctuary for all wild creatures, great and small. Aside from my animal family—two horses, a dog and cat—I live among snakes, deer, coyotes, skunks, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, packrats, javelina, mountain lions, bobcats, range cows, and lots of birds. When I’m not writing, I’m caretaking the ranch and animals by providing habitat and water (especially crucial during summer). I usually don’t relax until the evening and before bed, I usually watch PBS. My favorite programs include everything on Sunday night (Grantchester, Home Fires, My Mother and Other Strangers, Last Tango in Halifax—pretty much anything!), Nature, Father Brown, The Coroner, Murder in Paradise, and currently hooked on The Great British Baking Show.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing when I was seven with a story about a donkey, which I also illustrated. So even then I had a Gemini’s inclination for diversity (my undergrad is in Art). I haven’t been blessed with a “singular purpose” in life although I do have a few “constants,” such as animals. That 7-year-old has never stopped writing. Over the years, I’ve taken college courses, completed manuscripts, attended conferences, entered contests—I was a 2012 Golden Heart finalist—knowing that eventually I’d arrive here. Now I take one page at a time.

Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

I have an office dedicated to writing so I never have to clean up! My best time to write is early morning, about 4:30 am until I go to the barn around 7:30. Then I try to carve out a few hours between ranch/animals chores. My only goal is to finish the book (and make it better than the last!). I write best with quiet.

Are you a plotter or a panzer?

Pretty much, a panzer! I start with an idea and begin writing. I have a direction I think I’d like my characters and story to go, but it’s not set in stone. I prefer to let them wander as they like. Often, I’m surprised by the journey. But I figure, if I’m surprised, then the reader will be, too. This wasn’t the way I was taught to write—where’s the start-to-finish outline? But then, I live my life in a similar way, so this feels natural. When I was working on my BA in Art, I had no idea that I would get an MBA. When I was in grad school, I hadn’t anticipated moving to Alaska. When I moved to Anchorage, I did so without having a job or a place to live. It goes on from there. But having faith and going with the flow works for me.

Do you do your research before you begin a new project, or as you go along?

As a panzer, I research as I go along since I usually have no idea what I need to research until it happens!  PS…I LOVE research.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise readers.

A few things that aren’t in my bio… I can operate a John Deere tractor; I relocate rattlesnakes unharmed (when they coil in inconvenient places like next to my deck slider); I once made bi-weekly appearances on a kids’ television program (Cactus Pete’s Funny Company); I can wiggle my ears; I served 18 months on a Federal Grand Jury; I once owned a women’s weight-lifting gym; and during college I worked as a go-go girl.

What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Smiles and laughter. And they might learn something about Roman Emperors (and other bits of trivia).

What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Ignore the advice of others.  Believe in yourself. Trust your instincts. Have no regrets—don’t be sitting on your rocker at the end of your life wondering what might’ve happened if only you’d sent one more query…

Thank you for this interview and for spotlighting Spooning Daisy.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Max cocked his head at her. No siree, Bob. Daisy Moon was not easy. She was like a 1500 piece puzzle, where all the pieces are really tiny, and similar in shape and color, but are nonetheless different, and it would take weeks, maybe even months, just to get the edges put together.

“Don’t look so surprised,” she said. “I know I’m not exactly laid back. Okay, maybe that’s being kind,” she responded to Max’s smile. “But I’m an incredible cook. And a really good speller. Not to mention having a humongous vocabulary. I came in fourth in the national spelling bee championship when I was fourteen.”

Without meaning to, Max pictured Daisy at fourteen, in a prim white blouse and a demure plaid skirt with her hair tied back in a ribbon, triumphantly spelling words like…concupiscence.

“Do I know what men want, or what?” Now Daisy smiled…at herself.

Taking the cue, Max leaned into her and spoke sincerely, but resisted the urge to cup her hand.
“Somewhere there is a man who wants a pretty redhead who’s difficult and a great cook with a really humongous vocabulary who can spell…and next time it won’t be a cross-dressing felon.”

About the Author: Golden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.

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The Kind of Writer I Am by Coco Gem – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Coco Gem will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Kind of Writer I Am

I am a writer who hates writing.

I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but there is absolutely no aspect of writing that I actually enjoy. Just the thought of sitting down at a computer to write out a story causes me great anxiety. I keep a small green notebook in my purse, and it’s full of ideas for stories. The ideas are amazing… there are pages of them. The problem with me is that I hate writing. I love telling stories, and I love watching my characters come to life as the stories unfold, but I hate the semantics of writing. I hate that I am a perfectionist when it comes to grammar and spelling and how I arrange my words, and get so focused on how a story is written that I lose the magic of actually telling the story. I’m constantly policing my grammar. Is this modifier dangling? Is this the best word to use in this sentence? How could I better say this sentence? I drive myself so crazy with syntax that the story takes the backburner. I wish I could shut off the former teacher/ current editor part of my brain enough to just tell the story. I don’t write a story until I absolutely have to, until it consumes me so much that I can’t sleep until I tell it. Only then do I sit down to the grueling process of writing. This is probably why I write mostly short stories, because I have found neither the patience nor the attention span to write an entire novel.

I love to have written, but I hate writing. And all I’ve wanted to do my entire life was be a writer. Go figure. I’ve learned, however, to push past my disdain, though it is a lengthy process. I write in my office at a desk that is absolutely cleared, because I am so easily distracted that anything on my desk becomes a reason I can’t write. I light a candle, play some music that I’m in the mood to listen to (mostly Citizen Cope or Frank Ocean while I write), and type without backspacing until I get everything out. Then I take a break and go back into the story and clean up my errors and mistakes. This is pretty much how I work. It isn’t glamourous, but I would imagine that no great masterpieces are in their creation stages, so I’m okay with how this works.

“The Tryst” tells the story of one woman desperate for the approval of her very dominant partner and the lengths she is willing to go to in order to earn it.

“Me, Her, and Him” suggests that the best way to get over an old man is to get under a new one… especially when his gorgeous wife comes as part of the deal.

From stories of love and passion like “The Elevator” to stories of sheer carnal, insatiable desire like “Bad Girl,” Sweat chronicles the stories of women who take control of their sexuality and go after what satisfies them most—at any cost.

Enjoy an Excerpt from “The Tryst”

I take a swig from my flask to calm my nerves. I sit and wait a few minutes for my hands to stop shaking. Another swig. A deep breath. I close my eyes as I feel the warmth of the vodka consuming my body, and I will myself to calm down.

I am sitting in my car on this quiet side street, waiting for the butterflies in my stomach to subside. My makeup is perfectly applied, and my sexy lips are covered in bright red lipstick. My short, tight dress, under which I am wearing a red lace thong, barely covers my ass. On my feet are heels appropriate only for the bedroom or for the stage and my full breasts are straining against the thin fabric of my dress. My body is absolutely perfect, and my shaved pussy is already wet with anticipation. I refuse to lose my nerve. Tonight, I will go through with my plan. All the pieces are in place.

I examine my reflection in the rearview mirror and decide my already perfect pout needs more red lipstick. As I reach up to apply it, the 3-carat diamond in my wedding ring catches the glow of the streetlight outside, and I immediately pause. My heart, which had just slowed to its normal pace, starts racing again. I almost- ALMOST- start the car and abandon my mission.

I am the wife of one of the most prominent attorneys in our city. I am beautiful, I am charming and charismatic, I am well-educated, the very epitome of grace and class. I keep our home immaculate, and our children are well-behaved, well-mannered angels. All I have ever known is opulence. I wear my long hair perfectly styled, because it is important I remain camera ready at all times. I love the woman I am. I love my husband.

I love my life.

Tonight, however, I am preparing myself to be explored, degraded, and fucked in ways my husband could never imagine fucking me. I pull my ring off and put it in my glove compartment. I say a silent prayer that I remember to put it back on when the night is over.

I gulp from my flask again. And I wait.

About the Author: CoCo Gem was born on June 1, 1982, in Washington DC. An only child to older parents, CoCo became an avid reader at a young age, and has always had a love for words. “I didn’t have any siblings, so I found my friends in books,” CoCo says. “It wasn’t long before I’d read every book on my bookshelf and was asking for weekly library visits.” All throughout school, CoCo maintained As in English, and she went on to major in English Arts at Hampton University. She graduated and became a high school English teacher, and, for the next 9 years, shared her love of literature and writing with high school students in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

CoCo is an avid fiction writer who tends to focus on the less explored aspects of humanity, including overwhelming sexuality, the heaviness of human emotion, and the constant battle of consciousness. She has several published short stories available for purchase on Amazon, and she continues to write and publish stories on her personal website, www.alisahyman.com. Sweat is CoCo’s first book. Set to release in June, Sweat is a compilation of erotic short stories and poems that explore the sexual limits of her characters and entice readers to be more exploratory in their own sexual practices.

CoCo is currently working as a freelance writer/editor and content developer, helping entrepreneurs to develop the content necessary to build their websites and promote themselves. She is also ghostwriting two novels, and is planning to collaborate with other authors in the future. CoCo has one 14-year-old son and lives in the suburbs of Washington, DC. She sees herself one day landing on the New York Times Bestseller list… if she can ever sit still long enough to write a novel of her own.

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The Lost Sisters Trilogy by Dilys J. Carnie – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dilys J Carnie will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Undone By His Desire

Micah King arrives in North Carolina with one goal—to verify that Daisy Wallace is one of the women his security firm has been hired to locate. He wants to tell her the truth about why he’s there, but first he needs to make sure that she is indeed who he’s looking for. He never meant to get involved with her, but she’s just so tempting.

Will Daisy be able to forgive Micah’s lie by omission? After all, he’s deceived her from the first moment she laid eyes on him, and she’s had her fill of deceitful men. And can she forgive the woman who gave her up for adoption thirty years ago?

Rejecting His Desire

Rose Eagleton has never let anyone penetrate her tough exterior. She won’t allow herself to be hurt again, nor will she let anyone uncover the secrets of her past. When she meets Jack Calloway he refuses to let her hide behind her shell, but she knows one thing for sure—she can’t let him become important to her.

Jack is intrigued by the beautiful young woman who fights so hard to keep him at a distance. As he discovers the secrets she’s trying so desperately to hide, it becomes clear that her life is in danger. Can he break through her shell and provide her with the protection she needs but refuses to accept?

Seduced By His Desire

Kent Lloyd steps onto British soil wishing he was anywhere else. But when Jasmine Owen refuses to visit her newly found sisters, giving them one lame excuse after another, even Kent knows something is seriously wrong.

The last person Jasmine expects or wants to see at her door is the super sexy man who walked away from her bed after one wild night. But when her sisters suspect something is wrong, they send Kent to check on her. Jasmine hasn’t told her family about the stalker who’s making her life a living hell and has her in a constant state of fear, but it looks like she might not be able to keep the truth from them any longer.

Content Warning: contains adult language and explicit sex

Enjoy an Excerpt from Undone By His Desire

Micah watched the emotions cross Daisy’s gentle features. The shock was evident, the pain recognizable, and the realization she had family was priceless. She folded the piece of paper and put it back in the envelope. She looked up at him, the tears in her eyes tugging at his heartstrings.

“I have sisters,” she whispered.

“Yes, two. You are part of triplets.”

“I always wanted a sister, and now…now I have two. How insane is that?” She shook her head. “What is Poppy to you?”

“A friend. I’ve known her for a few years. She’s such a sweet lady, and she wants to make things right, she wants to try and bring you all together.”

“Have you found them?” Daisy asked.

He nodded. “Rose lives in Wilmington, and Jack has already made contact with her. Jasmine lives in Chester, UK. Kent landed in Manchester a few hours ago. I’m not sure yet if he’s made contact yet.”

“Jack and Kent are your business partners?”

“Yes, we were all in the Navy SEALS together.”

“I need a little bit of time on my own, Micah…I need to think.”

His gut clenched. “Do you want me to leave?”

“No, but I’m going to go walking for a little while.”

She turned and put her hand against his unshaven jaw, the heat of her skin making him turn his face into the warmth and close his eyes for a second.

“I don’t blame you, Micah.”

His eyes flashed open.

“You’re only trying to help a friend out, but this is so big. Can you understand how hard this is for me? I always knew I was adopted, but sisters…” She shook her head. “I’m thirty years old, all that time has passed and I never knew and that’s what I don’t know if I can forgive Poppy for.”

He covered her hand with his own and turned it over, kissing the palm. “Think about it, Daisy. I’m not going to push you into anything. It’s entirely your decision whether you want to meet Poppy and your sisters.”

She smiled at him, such a warm, caring smile. “You misunderstand me. I will definitely meet with my sisters, that’s unconditional.” She pulled her hand away. “It’s Poppy I’m not sure about.”

He turned as she made her way out of her sitting room.

“Daisy?”

She stopped in the doorway, her hands shoved into the pockets of her sweats, her head slightly leaning to one side.

“Promise me one thing.”

“What?”

“You’ll think about the circumstances surrounding why you were given up for adoption.”

She nodded.

“And…”

She raised her eyebrows.

“Last night.”

She blushed furiously, a lovely pink shade.

“Last night was beautiful and had nothing to do with why I’m here. I really do like you and would like for us to see where whatever we feel takes us.”

She shrugged. “There is no us.”

“Yes, there is. You just don’t want to admit it.”

She walked out the door without replying.

Damn it all to hell and back, he hoped he hadn’t blown it, not just for Poppy but for himself as well.

About the Author:I live on Anglesey which is a small island in North Wales.My life here is busy as I help with the family business (general dogsbody lol) and try and fulfill my writing contracts.

My office is under the stairs of our small welsh cottage and this is where I let my imagination run riot.

I love to write and be creative with my characters.

At the moment I am in awe of the people who have read my book, It is great to meet people who have taken the time to buy it and read it and I love meeting new fans.

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