Tuesday Tales – Stutter

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Happy Tuesday everyone and welcome to Tuesday Tales! I am back with my Steampunk Romance. The last couple of weeks I stepped back to a spot I missed. Now I am back on track with Gideon and Emma hiding away in their cottage.

Don’t forget to check out the other incredible authors of Tuesday Tales!

Moonlight reflecting on the snow outside filled the little cottage with a brilliant white light. Gideon slowly, carefully slid from the bed, gazing at Emma naked and deep asleep. He sighed deeply. He couldn’t believe how beautiful she was. Without a noise he tugged on his trousers and shutter-stepped from the bedroom.
It had been two weeks without word from Edgar and they spent every moment they could making love. But in the depths of the night Gideon would sneak away from their bed. Tossing more wood on the dying fire, he dug into the chest in the sitting area for the projects he was tinkering with. He pulled free an object wrapped in a white cloth then searched for the rest of his tools. Once everything was gathered, he stood and shuffled to the table.
Gideon unwrapped the cloth, revealing the remains of the brass spider. Parts has already been reassembled, leaving a lopsided, five legged creature. He picked up his goggles, tugged them on, then began to work.
Diligently working on his task, Gideon was able to repair the damaged brass spider. It stared back at him lifeless. A soft whirl beneath his feet caught his attention. Glancing down, he found his other creatures at his feet waiting patiently for the rebirth of their friend. Gideon smiled at them.
“Do not worry, little ones,” he whispered. “He will be back with you soon. I need only one more ingredient to bring him back to life and I will get it tomorrow. I need it for this also.”
He stood and crossed back to the chest with the brass animals following. Kneeling at the wooden box he opened it. He reached in and pulled free a white rose made of silk and brass, just like the red one he created for Sophia. The hum of the creatures made him smile. “Yes, I think it’s beautiful too. Now, off to bed before you wake your mistress and ruin my surprises.”
The brass animals spun away in different directions as Gideon gathered his work and tucked it away. Softly padding into the bedroom, he slipped into the bed next to Emma and pulled her close. Her soft snore told his she was still fast asleep. With a content smile he joined her.

Don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales authors!

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Tuesday Tales – Ruthless

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Hi everyone! Welcome to Tuesday Tales! This week’s word prompt is “ruthless”. We’re back this week with Gideon and Emma in my Steampunk romance.

Don’t forget to check out the other incredible authors of Tuesday Tales!

Gideon could tell something was wrong as he studied the front door of the townhouse. It was cracked open ever so slightly. He knew for certain he had closed and locked it. Emma had left through the back doors. He gently nudged Emma behind him. She clenched the items they had purchased to her as she peeked around his shoulder. “What is it?” she breathed.
“Stay behind me,” he ordered as he cautiously approached the building. Nudging the door open with the toe of his boot, he stepped inside.
Gideon’s breath caught in his throat. Everything in the place was in shambles. The sheets on the bed were slashed to shreds. Bookshelves were overturned, books and stacks of paper were lying everywhere. His workbench was lying on its side and his lone bottle of absinthe was shattered on the floor, the thick, emerald liquid in a puddle full of glass shards. He turned as he heard a sob.
Emma knelt on the floor, her small, delicate hands cupping the remains of Gideon’s brass spider. She pressed a careful kiss to the cold metal. Several of Gideon’s other brass creations scuttled around her knees, whirling a mournful sound at the loss of their friend.
“These men are ruthless,” she whimpered.
“These men knew you were here,” Gideon warned.
“I am sorry.”
“No apologies. But we need to go before they come back.” Gideon tugged her to her feet despite the creatures’ protest.
Emma glanced around her feet. “We cannot leave them.”
“Then box them up.” Gideon nodded to the parts in her hands. “That one too. But hurry. I will go and prepare our transportation. We need to hide until Edgar can bring us news.”

Don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales!

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La Contessa and The Marquis by Lindsay Downs

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Welcome to my very good friend Lindsay Downs!

Thank you very much for having me visit you and your blog to introduce my newest regency cozy mystery series, Rogues and Rakehells Mystery. The first book in the series, La Contessa and The Marquis is currently available for preorder with its release set for Monday, Jan 19, 2015.

As I’m not sure where you, the readers of this post, live in the world I’ve included all the Amazon buy link for your convenience.

Blurb-

When Bianca Maria Ledford Goretti, La Contessa de Massa, flees back to her homeland and the safety of her godmother, The Duchess of Gorham, little does she realize who’s arms she lands in.

Lord Rainer Cross, Marquis of Hathaway, is a well-known and dangerous rakehell within the ton. Little does he suspect his godmother has set him up to halt his skirt chasing days.

Over time the reason for Bianca’s return comes to light which has Rainer deeply concerned. Not sure who he can trust Rainer turns to has several of his more interesting staff. He has them use their talents to ferret out the truth.

Everything get more complicated when they learn a friend might not be who he claims to be. Not sure who to trust, except Rainer and the duchess, Bianca learns several startling facts which could protect her from harm.

Once everything is revealed the duchess steps in with a surprise, something neither could have ever seen coming.

Excerpt-

Rainer Cross, Marquis of Hathaway, settled his shoulder against a pillar where he’d ensconced himself so he could overlook the ballroom. A warning glare to several want to be rakes was all that was needed to send them scurrying back to their mommas.

With a renewed resolve, to search down one particular individual, his piercing blue eyes studied the throng of ladies. Some too old but searching for a lover, even if for a brief tryst. Others on the hunt for a husband of which he had no interest, at least with them, as he already had his sights set on one person in particular.

Granted, he’d not seen her, except from a distance, but if the reports were to be believed she was, without a doubt the most beautiful lady, the truest diamond, to ever grace the ton.

Then, as if Venus rising from the ocean, she appeared at the top of the grand ballroom vestibule. He could feel the air rush from his lungs, something he’d never experienced before, as he fixed his gaze on her.

Seeing her in the flesh, as it were, he knew all the whispers circulating about had been true. Without a doubt she was the most beautifully, enchanting and mysterious woman he ever set his eyes upon.

He was pleased to see she was conversing animatedly with an elderly, heavily bejewelled woman. From where he was standing and the angle of the matron, Rainer wasn’t able to see her face.

“As long as she’s not my godmother, then I most assuredly will gain an introduction to the Contessa,” he mumbled to himself.

Due to the loud voices, so everyone could be heard over the musicians, he didn’t hear their presentation. His only concern was the woman accompanying the contessa as he already knew her name- Bianca Maria Ledford Goretti, La Contessa de Massa. Levering himself off the pillar he started toward them, still unable to see who her chaperone was when a friend, another fellow rake, stopped him.

“Rain, I do hope you’re not going after that delicate morsel, as I’ve it on excellent authority she’s eaten up and spit out several lords,” Tony, or more precisely Anthony Fuller, Earl of Wyatt, his friend from their days at Eton then university, informed him.

“My dear friend if she does, then I’ll die a happy man for la Contessa is a gem whom I wish to possess.”

“Ah, and that’s the rub. After she dismisses you she’ll then tread over your heart leaving nothing but a shell of a man. Trust me on this for I’m sure you’ve heard the rumour her first husband died mysteriously.”

“Tony, the only lady I fear is my godmother. If you’ll excuse me I’m going to attempt an introduction,” Rainer told him. With a pat on Tony’s shoulder he stepped around his friend and started for the divan where both ladies had settled.

As he made his way forward he wasn’t surprised to see both women had already collected a small group of young ladies around them. What he found amusing were several swains on the outskirts, all trying to be noticed by either lady.

Upon seeing a frontal assault was out of the question Rainer selected to attack from the rear. Stepping into an adjourning, but linked, alcove he easily approached them and came to a halt within feet of his object.

“Damn. I thought she wasn’t in town,” he mumbled on spying his nemesis, best known as his godmother, The Duchess of Gorham.

Buy Links-

Amazon US- http://tinyurl.com/pyw2lba

Amazon UK- http://tinyurl.com/nhp3oph

Amazon CA- http://tinyurl.com/kwf494z

Amazon AU- http://tinyurl.com/q6ssryz

Amazon DE- http://tinyurl.com/pcmhkgm

Amazon FR- http://tinyurl.com/ms85q3a

Amazon BR- http://tinyurl.com/m8849d6

Amazon IT- http://tinyurl.com/jwy7524

Amazon MX- http://tinyurl.com/lwqv3c9

Amazon NL- http://tinyurl.com/msfmqj2

Amazon ES- http://tinyurl.com/mch56nh

Amazon IN- http://tinyurl.com/m4bqqfu

Trailer-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKXamzz68x4

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Bio-

I’ve been an avid readers ever since I was old enough to hold a red leather bound first edition copy of Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake in my lap.

So it only seemed natural at some point in my life I take up pen and paper to start writing. Over time my skills slightly improved which I attribute to my English teachers.

My breakthrough came about in the mid 1970’s when I read a historical romance written by Sergeanne Golon, Angelique. This French husband and wife team opened my eyes to the real world of fiction. Stories about romance, beautiful damsels, handsome heroes and plots which kept me hooked. Of course, being a man, I had to keep my reading hidden from others as that wasn’t appropriate reading for men.

With this new found appreciation of the written word I took up other books and devoured them as a starving person would a plate of food. I them attempted to write again. I still wasn’t satisfied so I put it aside for years as other events entered my life.

Finally, in the early years of the new millennium I tried again to write and once again met with limited success. At least now I was able to get past the first page or two. Then, in 2006 a life changing event brought me back to my love, I took a job as a security officer. This allowed me plenty of time to read different genres.

My favourite was regency. As I poured through everyone I could get my hands on I knew this could be something I wanted to attempt.

Since 2012 when my debut regency romantic suspense released I was hooked and have, except for a few contemporaries, focused on this genre.

Since 2012 I’ve lived in central Texas. I’m also a member of Romance Writers of America and their local chapter.

Where you can find me-

Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/lindsay.downs.7

Facebook Pages-         https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lindsay-Downs-Author/325132754200597?ref=hl

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Regency-by-Lindsay-Downs/421654731286944

Twitter- @ldowns2966

LinkedIn- http://www.linkedin.com/home

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3210224-lindsay

Lindsay Downs-Romance Author- http://lindsaydowns-romanceauthor.weebly.com/

Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/Lindsay-Downs/e/B007NQAIIS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_2

Secret Cravings Publishing 4th Anniversary Blog Hop

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Welcome everyone to the Secret Cravings Publishing 4th Anniversary Blog Hop!  I’m so glad you can join us!  I am so lucky to be a part of Secret Cravings Publishing – it’s my dream come true!

*I have prizes to give away!  Four lucky commenters below will win their choice of four of my e-books!  Just comment below with your e-mail.  I will draw on Sunday evening!*

Don’t forget to hop back to the Blog Hop to Visit More Incredible Blogs by Clicking Here!

Now, I would love to introduce you to each of my books but in an unique way – through excerpts!

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Find Black Irish Here!

Sloan watched from a distance as Aubrey fought to keep Abbey from dashing away, a frightened doe in the terrifying forest named New York. Apparently, up to this point, the vicious predators of the city hadn’t sent her fleeing home.

Until he entered her world, obviously.

Sloan had to admit something about her alarmed him too. He knew many women and had been with several. But none of them like her. Innocent. Naïve. True. Or so she seemed at first glance.

He couldn’t pull away from her wide-eyed, burning, hazel gaze. He wanted to free her shining, brown tresses from her ponytail and bury his fingers in the locks. He wanted to taste her plump, rose lips. He wanted to caress her curves, feel her warmth.

Sloan could hear Abbey beg for another illustrator. He heard Aubrey counter that there was none better. He was part of the deal, or there was no deal. She was ready to walk away from a contract worth potential millions over a fear of him.

He wouldn’t let her do that. He wouldn’t let her leave his life before she ever became a part of it.

Slowly approaching the two women at the end of the hall, Sloan asked, “Aubrey, can I have a moment please? Let us talk it out and see if we can come to an agreement.”

Aubrey looked uneasily from him to Abbey then nodded. “Sure.”

Sloan waited for Aubrey to return to the conference room. He shot a warning glare at the associates that had gathered to watch the scene unfold before turning his attention back to Abbey.

“What’s the matter, miss?” Sloan took Abbey’s hands in his as he smiled encouragingly.

“I’m sorry. I’m sure you’re very talented. But I don’t think I would be comfortable working with you,” she confessed.

“You don’t even know me.”

“I know. And I’m sure you are a perfect gentleman. But, you see, I don’t think Michael would be very happy with me working with a…gifted man such as yourself.”

“Michael?”

Abbey blushed. “My boyfriend.”

Ah. There it is. A boyfriend. Sloan silently berated himself. He should’ve known a woman so beautiful would have already given her heart to someone. He couldn’t, however, allow her to get away so quickly. Perhaps he couldn’t have her, but that didn’t mean he had to let her go.

Thinking quickly, Sloan pressed one of her hands to his lips. “No worries, luv. I’m no threat.”

“How can you say that?”

“I’m gay.”

Her face brightened with relief. “Really?”

“Yes, Abbey. Gay.”

She blushed pink. “I’m so embarrassed I overreacted. Please forgive me?”

“Of course I forgive you. Now, will you stay and undertake this project with me?”

Abbey beamed. “Of course. I would love to.”

Sloan motioned for her to precede him back to the conference room. He watched her walk before him, his gaze transfixed on her hips, her slim waist, and her luscious curves. A little white lie. She’ll never know.

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Find Heartland (Black Irish #2) Here!

Abbey stared at him with wide hazel eyes. “Yes? And you are? And more importantly—how did you get up here?”

The man extended his hand to her. “Nathan Paulson. I am Mr. O’Riley’s attorney. Bartholomew escorted me.”

Abbey breathed a silent sigh of relief. “I’m sorry, Mr. Paulson. Sloan is in San Francisco. I don’t know when he’ll be home.”

Nathan smiled at her. “I’m here to speak to you, Abigail.”

“Me? Why me?”

Nathan nodded to the interior of the apartment. “May I come in?”

Abbey stepped aside to open the glass door wider. Nathan brushed past her into the spacious, opulent penthouse grasping the handles of a bulging leather briefcase. Before she could offer him a seat, he sank into the chocolate brown leather armchair.

She wrinkled her nose in disgust. That was Sloan’s chair. It’s where he sat to watch SportsCenter and read the paper. They cuddled in that chair. They made love in that chair. Seeing another man sitting in it seemed wrong. Very, very wrong.

“Can I get you something to drink?” Her voice slightly betrayed her insincerity. She really wanted him to leave.

“No, thank you. Sit,” Nathan commanded. He reached across to the sofa and patted the cushion. “We have a lot of ground to cover, and I have another appointment in an hour.”

Abbey complied hesitantly. “If we need to do this another day…”

Nathan unzipped his briefcase and pulled free a stack of documents. The pile was easily over two inches thick. “No, we need to do this today. Sloan insisted.”

“Do what?”

Nathan carefully arranged the stack of paper into several neat piles. “Sloan called me the other day to have me draw up some additional contracts for San Francisco. He told me the news of your nuptials and the little one coming. I advised him that we strong arm you into a post pre-nup to protect his investments.” Nathan looked up at her from sorting. His glare gave Abbey the chills. “By the way, congratulations.”

Classy. Abbey fought the sneer from her face. “Thanks,” she responded sarcastically. “So, this is the pre-nup?”

“No. I barely got the word pre-nup out before Sloan laid into me. Hard. I’m glad he’s in San Francisco, or he would have torn me limb from limb. After calling me some very colorful names, he very distinctly and clearly ordered me to add you to his accounts. Immediately.”

“His accounts?”

“As his wife, you share in his assets—bank accounts, properties, car titles, etc. Billions of dollars’ worth of assets.”

Abbey’s eyes flew open wide. “B-b-billions?”

“You heard millions? When San Francisco took shape, Sloan went from a millionaire to a billionaire.”

She shook her head. “No, I can’t allow this to happen. Sloan worked too hard for that money.”

“That’s what I said,” Nathan agreed. He picked up a pen from amongst the stacks. “But Sloan disagrees with us. And he holds all the cards in this game. So, could you start signing so I’m not late for my next appointment?”

TheTroubles_LRG

Find The Troubles (Black Irish #3) Here!

Sloan stood at the glass wall of his bare, undecorated office, staring down at the streets of Zurich, Switzerland. The twilight moon lit the room in a cold, slate blue. He felt like a god overlooking the world below. He watched the headlights of the cars in the street, the people below scurry in and out of the rain. Rushing home to their loved ones, I suppose. Their families. I want mine.

Within a couple of weeks, he had established a firm foundation for Sloan Enterprises. He worked every minute of the day and expected his staff to do the same. He had already fired three assistants and four lawyers. He had purchased the property for two new complexes. He had slapped his name on the building he was standing in. None of it was a salve for what he had had to sacrifice.

He couldn’t stop thinking about Abigail. Nathan should have delivered the papers to her by now. He knew how much a divorce would hurt her. It’s killing me. The thought of letting her go destroyed him. I should have walked away from her in the beginning. I should have never let her in my heart. That wee woman brought me to my knee, and I no longer remember how to stand.

Sloan glanced back at his office. There were no reminders of home—no pictures of Abigail or Ame, no tokens, nothing. The black bookcases that lined the walls were empty except for a few decorative tomes. The steel and glass coffee table was adorned with only a couple copies of trade magazines. The pieces of art on the wall were simple colors. His desk was almost bare except for the phone and computer.

The room was cold. Prison cells had more warmth. He had to close that chapter in his life. He would find a way to move on, letting Abigail go, knowing she was alive. I have no choice. It would be the end of me if I held onto her, and she would be killed.

Then, he swallowed back a growl. Just because he could never be with another woman didn’t mean Abigail wouldn’t give her heart to another man. I can’t stop her. Or beat him within an inch of his life for touching her. The thought that Ame could call another man “Daddy. My daughter. Being his child. Another man making love to my Abigail. Another man making her his. Abigail carrying his child. Abigail telling another man she loves him. Not me. Him.

He felt his temper peak. He wanted blood. I don’t care who he is. I will make him regret it.

Sloan’s clenched his eyes closed. The pain of missing her was too much. He could call her. Just hearing her voice would be enough. He didn’t even have to talk. He could listen to her answer and hang up. It was admittedly immature, but the quick rush would be worth it. Maybe this whole situation was all an overreaction.

He opened his eyes and stepped to his desk. His breath caught in his throat as his eyes fell on the green silk box that sat beside the phone, the only decoration in his office. It didn’t reside here. It went everywhere with him. A constant reminder of what was at stake.

Letting go a deep sigh, he slumped into his chair. He ran his fingers hopelessly across the cold fabric, his eyes studying the gold embroidered, Oriental pattern. Picking it up, he opened it. He shuddered as his gaze fell on the contents inside, contents that made his stomach churn at the thought of the damage they could inflict.

He struggled to breathe as he shut the box and placed it beside the phone again. He ran his hand through his thick, black hair then rubbed his tired eyes.

It’ll be another sleepless night. I might as well get back to work. He turned to his computer and nudged the mouse to wake it. Seven signed contracts sat waiting in his inbox, along with the digital blueprints to both new complexes. He should be overjoyed. His company was going to be a success. His empire was growing.

My empire will never be complete without its queen. There is only one. One I can never have again. If I dwell on this much longer, I’m going to lose my mind. I’ve already lost my heart.

TrialByFire_MED

Find Trial By Fire (Black Irish #4) Here!

Sloan stared out the window at the asphalt as the wheels of the jet skidded across the black surface. He was back.

His gaze took in the Belfast International Airport, flicking around, looking for military vehicles or platoons of troops ready to take him prisoner. All he found were flight crews darting about on baggage carts to prepare the next flight, and the occasional traveler peeking out the window of the terminal.

He let go a large sigh, his sensual, trademark smirk gracing his lips. I knew there was nothing to worry about. He glanced over to Gordon and Liam, meeting their scowls. They almost seem disappointed that Fitzgerald told me the truth.

His thoughts quickly returned to Abbey. He couldn’t shake her from his mind, his heart, since their lips had parted in Minneapolis. As soon as he checked into his hotel, he would call her and tell her he was safe. Then, he would send the jet back to get her, Maggie, Mary, and the children. In a day or two, she would be back in his arms, his face buried in the sweet curve of her neck, his hands roaming her body.

Once the celebratory lovemaking was over, he would take her to rediscover all the precious places of his childhood. He wanted nothing more than to share his past with the woman he loved, at least the parts of it that had been pleasant.

Once the jet had crept to a halt, the men rose and made their way to the door. They slowly descended the rolling staircase to the tarmac. Sloan’s grin widened. All was still good.

His smile faded when he heard the cock of a gun. He glanced to the side as over three dozen soldiers marched from around the aircraft, guns drawn and pointed at him.

“Well, well, well. Look who’s back,” a voice boomed over the crowd.

Sloan clenched his eyes shut. “Brown,” he growled.

The tall, balding man, dressed in his impeccable uniform, strode between the troops and stopped in front of Sloan. “I was hoping to get to say this again. Sloan O’Riley, you’re under arrest.”

“Go to hell.”

Sloan’s vision blurred as the butt of a rifle was slammed against his temple then into his rib cage. His knees buckled from the force. He fought to stay on his feet, to face his enemy standing tall and proud. He lost the battle as he crumpled to the ground. He grunted as his arms were wrenched behind him and cuffs were clamped on his wrists.

“Let him go!” Sloan could hear Gordon struggle against the men restraining him.

Fionainn, I suggest you let the men do their job.”

Sloan’s head snapped up. Through the still-lingering haze from the blow, he could see Fitzgerald standing over him, his gaunt face beaming. “Welcome home, boy.”

“You set me up.” Sloan’s voice was violent through clenched teeth. His eye became hot as it began to swell. “I completed every task you gave me, completed every order. And you turn me over to the enemy?”

Every task? Not everyone, Sloan.” Fitzgerald leaned into him, his hot breath inflaming Sloan’s ear. “I wanted blood, boy. Innocent, guilty…it didn’t matter. I wanted Northern Ireland in my grip. But you wouldn’t hit the targets I gave you. No. You set your sights on the military. Not the good, obedient soldier you thought you were.

“And then, you tried to leave. You met with those recruiters from the All Blacks that those imbeciles I let raise you invited to watch you play rugby. So, I fixed it so that you could never leave. I took one of your precious toys to London and left it there loaded with enough C4 to blow up say…a marketplace?”

For a moment, Sloan’s veins turned to ice as the revelation hit him like a shard of lightning. It had been Fitzgerald who had set him up, destroyed his life, and forced him to flee from his Ma and Maggie to save himself. It had been Fitzgerald who had murdered all those innocent people and pinned it on him.

Rage quickly replaced the chill within him. He rose in a lunge at Fitzgerald. Sloan was quickly brought back to his knees as the butt of another rifle cracked him across the skull.

Fitzgerald’s laugh echoed across the airfield as he strutted past Brown. “He’s all yours, Commander Brown. See to it that he is hanged, will you?”

“It’ll be my pleasure, Jack,” Commander Brown crooned.

Two soldiers roughly tore Sloan from the ground, dragging him to his feet. Sloan shook his head violently to clear the fog that had invaded his senses. His head throbbed. Fitzgerald’s confession echoed in his brain. Although Sloan knew the truth, it wouldn’t change a thing. His words meant nothing in a court of law. Here, he was a terrorist. A murderer. No amount of protesting would change anyone’s mind.

He looked up slowly, his eyes catching Liam and Gordon’s. Both men were restrained by at least three law enforcement officials apiece. Sloan ripped his gaze away from them. He couldn’t take the looks of horror on their faces. He knew what they meant.

He closed his eyes, clinging to the image of Abbey, Ame, and Ethan that he held in his heart. He had been a fool to leave them. Now, he would never see them again.

There’s no way out of this one. I’m as good as dead.

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Find Breaking the Cycle (Hard Drive Series #1) Here!

Max near snarled. He’d had enough. He rose to his feet, set his plate on the coffee table, and followed. When he was out of earshot and fully blocked the door, he crossed his arms over his broad chest and stood his ground. “Talk, Chloe,” he snarled. “I tried to do something for you. For your mom. How am I repaid? You won’t talk to me.”

“I didn’t realize you needed to be paid back,” Chloe murmured, her eyes trained to the floor. She leaned against the counter beside the sink. “I’ll pay you back whatever you spent.”

“I don’t want your money. I want to know what I did to you that was so wrong?”

Chloe looked away as tears pooled in her eyes. “My dad left when I was eight. Because of me. Because of this stupid thing I have. It broke Mom’s heart. She loved him so much. She has spent every day since loving him and hating him all at the same time. I don’t want to be like her. I don’t want to love and hate…” Her voice trailed off.

Max’s face softened. He took the few steps to her then tilted her chin so her eyes met his. “Don’t want to love and hate what, Chloe?”

She swallowed hard. “I don’t want to love and hate you at the same time for the rest of my life. So, I’m trying to not fall in love in the first place. But when you do such incredible things like you did today…”

A sweet smile spread across his face. “Hey, you can’t blame me for being charming.”

“Max.”

“Chloe. I would never hurt you. I promise you. Never.”

“You say that now.”

“I’ll say that forever.”

“Chloe! Max! What are you two doing in there?” Liz called from the other room.

“Just talking, Mom.” Chloe offered him a small smile as she slipped past him. Max turned and watched her go. She doesn’t want to love and hate me at the same time when I leave. The solution to that is simple. I’ll never leave.

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Find Breaking the Silence (Hard Drive Series #2) Here!

Rico sauntered to the counter, where a tall, lanky redhead waited to take his order. After paying for a cup of coffee, he stepped back, winking at a girl sipping on a glass of iced tea. His eyes raked over her as she giggled. He grinned then glanced up behind the counter again.

He lost his breath. He felt his pulse pick up a notch. The last thing on earth he believed in was love at first sight. But in this moment, he was a true convert.

The barista barely came to his chest. Her long, blonde hair wisped in curls around her shoulders. Her frame was small, with perfect curves in all the right places. Her lips were a soft, very kissable pink. And when she looked up at him to hand him his drink, her eyes glittered a clear, crystal blue. She smiled then turned to fulfill the next order.

She never said one word to him. Him. Rico Choate. MMA superstar Rico Choate. His picture was on posters, in magazines.

And she didn’t say one word.

He was baffled. He gripped the coffee and rushed out the door. It wasn’t until he parked his Jeep at Hard Drive that he realized he hadn’t gotten one number, not from any of the women in the shop.

He rubbed his forehead, puzzled. He didn’t want any number. He just wanted the barista’s. But for the first time in his life, a woman wasn’t interested in him. He was still shaking his head when he strode into gym and plopped the paper cup down in front of an equally perplexed Chloe. Before she could even utter a syllable, he stormed out of her office and onto the mats.

Rico spent the rest of the afternoon working the speed and punching bags, hoping for a little bit of relief from his memory of the barista. He couldn’t get her out of his head. After a couple of hours, he couldn’t take it anymore. He jogged up the steps two at a time then ducked his head into the office.

“Need another cup of coffee?” he volunteered.

Chloe lifted up the empty cup. “I just finished this one. I’m—”

“Another cup coming right up.” Before Chloe could object, he was down the stairs and out the door. He hopped in the front seat of the Jeep, fired it on, and sped away. He brushed his fingers through his thick, brown hair as he waited at the lone stop light that separated Hard Drive from the coffee shop. He glanced at his reflection in the rearview mirror.

Then, he checked again. Yes, he looked incredible. The barista may have been able to blow him off before. She certainly wouldn’t miss him this time.

Rico stepped inside the cool, dimly lit store and glanced around. There were fewer people lounging than there were earlier. A couple of girls that had been there before waved in his direction. He ignored them as he approached the counter, frowning as he did so. The redhead greeted him with a goofy grin. “Need another jolt of java, bro?”

“Ummm…yeah.” Rico scanned behind the counter as he paid for the coffee. “Where’s the blonde who was here earlier?”

The redhead shot him a puzzled look. “Avery? You know her?”

“Not yet. But I’d like to.”

“Her shift is over. She’s heading to class. She just left to wait for the bus.” The barista handed him a paper cup. “Hey, aren’t you that MMA guy? I think I’ve seen you fight.”

“Yeah, probably.” Rico grabbed the drink and raced outside, never looking at the girls who now were vying for his attention. He searched up and down the sidewalk for the blonde barista. He picked up his pace again as his eyes landed on her standing at the corner, still dressed in her white blouse and khakis from the restaurant. A large, sky blue backpack nearly bursting at the seams was slung over her shoulder. She checked her watch as the bus crawled to a stop before her.

“Hey! Hey!” Rico shouted as she stepped on. She never turned, never acknowledged him. The door closed behind her, and the large beast chugged on its journey, leaving a dumbfounded Rico behind.

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Find Queen of Savon Here!

Cassandra firmly capped the bottle of herbs with a cork and slipped the container in her bag. She marked her books, stacking one on top of the other. Glancing out the window, she watched as Matthew gently kissed Stephana before helping her into the carriage.

Sighing, she pulled herself away from the window to gather more herbs. She picked up her books and the bag of bottles. Then, she hobbled to the door and struggled to open it with her one free hand.

Cassandra jumped back, startled, as she discovered Matthew standing in the doorway. He clung to the doorframe as he stared at her.

“How may I serve, my lord?” she greeted as she awkwardly bowed to him.

“Where are you going?” he asked, barely audible.

“Home. I have much to do before I return in the morning and you leave for battle.”

Matthew paused. “I did not propose to Stephana.”

Cassandra set her items on a table nearby. “That was unwise, my lord.”

Matthew stared at her as he dug his fingernails into the wood of the frame. “Cassa, do not leave me like this.”

Cassandra swallowed as she heard the urgency in his voice. “Like what, my lord?”

“Like this—the formal address, the subservient nature. This.” Matthew stood up straight, taking a step to grip her arms in his hands.

“Tell me her name,” Matthew demanded.

“There is no one.”

“Tell me her name,” Matthew begged. “Tell me, and I will give her my heart and make her my bride. I swear this.”

Cassandra stared at him, tears filling her eyes. “What if she belongs to another man?” She looked away as the words she spoke seemed to crush him. He closed his eyes, fighting to defeat the truth, the truth he already must know. Capitalizing on his weakness, Cassandra pulled away. “I told you there is no one.”

He grasped her hand, pressing it to his heart. “No, my lady, I will win her. I will fight, and I will not stop until she is cradled in my arms. This I promise you. Do you hear me? This I promise you.”

Her tears burst their floodgates as she slipped her fingers from his. “I must go,” she stumbled out. “I have much to do. I must go.”

Cassandra scooped up her books then swept by Matthew and ran down the stairs. She cringed as she heard him call her name, his voice betraying his pain.

Cassandra could not sleep. She lay in her bed, staring at the ceiling of her room as the night passed by. As dawn brushed the sky, she pulled herself from her covers, dressed, and trudged her return to the palace.

In no time, she stood in the courtyard, the soldiers around her completely oblivious to her presence. She glanced up as Victor rode next to her. “Lock yourself in the tower. I will see you when I get back,” he instructed as he kissed her on the cheek.

“Stay safe,” she murmured.

Cassandra looked to the ground as Victor’s horse trotted away. Then, she raised her head as she heard hoof steps approach. Matthew wandered across the courtyard, leading his stallion behind him. His eyes, yearning and desperate, locked on her.

She shuddered as he approached, his stride determined as he wove his way around the soldiers scattered around the courtyard. He stopped, dropping the reins of his horse, when he reached her.

Without warning or care for decency, Matthew cupped Cassandra’s face in his hands drawing her lips to his and parting them in a soul-wrenching kiss. She clung to his arms as he tasted her, clearly searching for confession, answers—her love for him. As he pulled away, he whispered, “Lock yourself in. I could not live another day if anything happened to you.”

Matthew’s fingers caressed Cassandra’s skin once more before they slipped away to grasp his horse’s reins. He glanced at her over his shoulder before he disappeared behind the wall. Cassandra hugged herself tightly, her limbs shaking in uncertainty.

Collecting herself as much as possible, she wound her way to her tower blindly. Her thoughts were incoherent. Matthew? Victor? She rubbed her fingertips against her swollen lips. Both had made their feelings for her abundantly clear. And both were riding out to battle. Above all, the vows she had taken as a child dictated she could have neither of them.

Tears filled her eyes as she collapsed onto her cushion. The only thing she knew with clarity was that she needed to get her thoughts together. It wouldn’t be long before she would be joining them on the battlefield.

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Find The Thirteenth Knight Here!

Miranda swept silently down the dirt path beneath the lush, fragrant canopy of the towering pine trees. The light of the full moon above cast everything in an unearthly, pale glow. Her heart raced in anticipation. Although she had seen Thatcher several times in the past few days, the thought of his eyes gazing on her as Miranda, and not as Ewen, made her tremble in excitement.

A soft laugh escaped her throat. Count Brunon was disgusted that his betrothed seemed to have such a weak stomach. Miranda did not even have to fake it. Brunon craved meats and delicacies that made Miranda cringe. However, Brunon happily avoided his sick beloved in case her malady happened to be contagious, which made it easy for Ewen to appear and volunteer to gather firewood.

Miranda stopped short as the path reached the creek. Her breath caught in her throat as her eyes found Thatcher. He stood, his tall, chiseled, muscular frame draped in a linen shirt and chocolate brown trousers. He watched the moonlight glimmer off the water. He ran a strong, powerful hand through his short, black hair. Miranda sighed, hopelessly in love.

Thatcher’s head spun at Miranda’s whisper-soft sigh. In just a few long strides, she was caught in his strong arms, his sweet lips prying hers apart in a soul-wrenching kiss. “Miranda,” he breathed after they parted.

Miranda caressed Thatcher’s cheek, her fingers grazing the stumble there. “I cannot stay long.”

“I know, my love. Our forced separation will be brief. I will free you from Brunon.”

Miranda smiled gently. “I know.”

The emotion in his eyes became intense. “I will not let him wed you. I will die before that will happen.”

“I know, my love,” she assured him.

He chuckled. “I owe Ewen a debt of gratitude for bringing you to me. I wasn’t sure he would.”

“He shouldn’t have.”

“I am surprised he didn’t join you.”

She scrambled for an answer. “He is keeping watch at the edge of the forest. He wanted to give us privacy.”

“He is a good man. There is something about him.” Thatcher gazed at Miranda. “He has your beautiful eyes. Are you related to him?”

“Perhaps.” Miranda pulled Thatcher’s face to her. She bravely parted his lips with hers, kissing him deeply, possessively. The mystery of Ewen seemed to flee Thatcher’s mind as he held Miranda close.

Their time together was far too brief. Thatcher clung to her hand as she turned to go. It took all the will in Miranda’s heart to pull free. All she wanted was to run away with him and leave the kingdom behind. Tears burned her eyes as he disappeared from her sight.

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Tuesday Tales – Gray

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Hey everyone! It’s time for Tuesday Tales! This week’s word prompt is “gray”. Since I left last week in sort of a cliffhanger, I’m back with my small town MMA romance The Fighter.
Don’t forget to check out the other awesome authors of Tuesday Tales!

Buddy cracked a grin at Reese. “I don’t think the Sheriff will bother you.”
Reese frowned at him. “Why not?”
“Your dad would have to be dead to arrest you for murder.”
“He’s not dead?”
“Nope. You beat him within an inch of his life. But no. Howard Cooper is alive and well and living in Braden.”
“Yeah, well I can still be arrested for assault.”
Buddy shook his head, his thick hair rustling as he did. “Your dad’s neighbor told the Sheriff your dad took the first swing. The first half dozen actually. You only fought back because you had to.”
Reese slumped onto a bar stool as he stared into space. He never had to run. But it would have been nice if the nosy old neighbor Daryl Cox would have shot his mouth off when his dad broke his arm when he was twelve. “So, who’s still around?”
“Pretty much the whole gang. You’re the only one who left.”
Reese paused for a moment. “Even Lily Dixon?”
Buddy cocked a curious eyebrow. “The preacher’s daughter?”
“Yeah.”
“She left Braden to go to the University then came home. She’s the town librarian.”
A smile slipped across Reese’s face. It was the first one since he stepped foot in this cursed town. “Huh. Good to know.”
Buddy wiped his hands on his gray T-shirt. “Did you want to get settled?”
“Sure.”
Buddy dug his hand into his pocket, retrieving his keys. He handed them to Reese. “Two-ten Pine. Two blocks that way.” He threw his thumb over his shoulder.
“I know where Pine is, Buddy. I was born here, remember.”
“It’s been awhile. You’ve taken a few shots to the head since. Go drop your stuff off and come back. First beer is on me.”
Reese stood then picked up his bags. “I appreciate it, man.”
“No worries.”
With a final forced smile Reese shuffled out into the spring sunshine.

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Tuesday Tales – New Year

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Hey everyone! Happy Holidays and welcome to Tuesday Tales! I’m stepping away from my Steampunk tale to introduce a book I will be working on. I hope you enjoy!
**Warning…there is a bit of strong language.**

Don’t forget to check out the other awesome authors of Tuesday Tales!

For being such a fucking small town, it seems like it goes on forever.
Reese squinted against the blaring May afternoon sunshine as he stared down the main drag. Here he was. Home. Braden, Iowa. He jammed his hands in his jeans pockets as he glanced down at his bags on the ground. This was the last place he wanted to be.
Slowly rotating his shoulder back, he winced in pain. It was a subtle reminder of why he came home. The submission hold that screwed up his arm, that kicked him to the injured list, sent him here. When the new year began, he was partying it up on the Las Vegas strip drinking and sleeping with any woman that came his way.
Now, five months later, he was standing on the threshold of his hometown wounded and homeless. He hitchhiked his way out of this hellhole. Unfortunately, he hitchhiked his way back. With a defeated huff, Reese picked up his bags and slung them over his good shoulder. My life fucking sucks.

Trudging his way past the churches and stores, he stopped in front of the small bar. The front windows were nearly covered in obnoxious beer signs. He took a deep breath and pushed the door open, stepping into the cool darkness.
“Wow, look what the cat dragged in.”
Reese forced a smile on his face. “Hey, Buddy.”
Buddy scanned Reese from head to toe, brushing his shaggy blond hair from his face as he did. “Saw your last fight. Brutal, man. Thought you had him. You had his blood smeared all over the octagon. He got lucky wrenching your arm like that.”
“Yeah. Tell me about it.”
“What brings you here?”
“I’m out for the next few months. Rehab. I was hoping I could take you up on your offer.”
“What offer was that?”
Reese took a deep breath. “I need a place to crash while I heal. My roommate kicked me out so his girlfriend could move in.”
Buddy stared at him for a long, hard moment then grinned. “Mi casa es tu casa.”
Reese smiled. “Thanks. For all I know I won’t be there long. If the Sheriff finds out I’m here I’ll probably be thrown in the slammer for murdering my Dad.”

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Stuff Your Kindle Blog Hop

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Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope Santa brought you everything you wanted.  Ready to stuff that brand new Kindle with some new books?  I’d love to help!

I will be awarding an e-book copy of two of my latest releases, Trial By Fire (Black Irish #4) and Breaking the Silence (Hard Drive #2) to two lucky winners!  Just leave your name and e-mail address in the comments below!

And don’t forget to hop back and check out the other the incredible authors participating in the Stuff Your Kindle Blog Hop!

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Trial By Fire (Black Irish Series #4)

Sloan’s only chance of freedom is Abbey…but is she becoming him?

Blurb:

Being lured home to Belfast, Northern Ireland, by the lie that he is a free man, Sloan O’Riley is arrested for the bombing in London he never committed.  His only chance to stop his condemnation and execution is his wee wife, Abbey.

Abbey throws herself into her husband’s past with the Irish Republican Army to construct the one thing that can free him – a bomb.  With the help of her mother and Sloan’s sister, Maggie, she targets empty, crumbling buildings throughout Belfast to cast doubt on Sloan’s guilt.

As things heat up in the courtroom and on the streets of Belfast, Abbey fights for Sloan’s freedom.  Will her actions free Sloan from prison and from those who would like to see him dead?  And will their love withstand Abbey becoming just like Sloan?

Excerpt

Sloan stared out the window at the asphalt as the wheels of the jet skidded across the black surface. He was back.

His gaze took in the Belfast International Airport, flicking around, looking for military vehicles or platoons of troops ready to take him prisoner. All he found were flight crews darting about on baggage carts to prepare the next flight, and the occasional traveler peeking out the window of the terminal.

He let go a large sigh, his sensual, trademark smirk gracing his lips. I knew there was nothing to worry about. He glanced over to Gordon and Liam, meeting their scowls. They almost seem disappointed that Fitzgerald told me the truth.

His thoughts quickly returned to Abbey. He couldn’t shake her from his mind, his heart, since their lips had parted in Minneapolis. As soon as he checked into his hotel, he would call her and tell her he was safe. Then, he would send the jet back to get her, Maggie, Mary, and the children. In a day or two, she would be back in his arms, his face buried in the sweet curve of her neck, his hands roaming her body.

Once the celebratory lovemaking was over, he would take her to rediscover all the precious places of his childhood. He wanted nothing more than to share his past with the woman he loved, at least the parts of it that had been pleasant.

Once the jet had crept to a halt, the men rose and made their way to the door. They slowly descended the rolling staircase to the tarmac. Sloan’s grin widened. All was still good.

His smile faded when he heard the cock of a gun. He glanced to the side as over three dozen soldiers marched from around the aircraft, guns drawn and pointed at him.

“Well, well, well. Look who’s back,” a voice boomed over the crowd.

Sloan clenched his eyes shut. “Brown,” he growled.

The tall, balding man, dressed in his impeccable uniform, strode between the troops and stopped in front of Sloan. “I was hoping to get to say this again. Sloan O’Riley, you’re under arrest.”

“Go to hell.”

Sloan’s vision blurred as the butt of a rifle was slammed against his temple then into his rib cage. His knees buckled from the force. He fought to stay on his feet, to face his enemy standing tall and proud. He lost the battle as he crumpled to the ground. He grunted as his arms were wrenched behind him and cuffs were clamped on his wrists.

“Let him go!” Sloan could hear Gordon struggle against the men restraining him.

“Fionainn, I suggest you let the men do their job.”

Sloan’s head snapped up. Through the still-lingering haze from the blow, he could see Fitzgerald standing over him, his gaunt face beaming. “Welcome home, boy.”

“You set me up.” Sloan’s voice was violent through clenched teeth. His eye became hot as it began to swell. “I completed every task you gave me, completed every order. And you turn me over to the enemy?”

“Every task? Not everyone, Sloan.” Fitzgerald leaned into him, his hot breath inflaming Sloan’s ear. “I wanted blood, boy. Innocent, guilty…it didn’t matter. I wanted Northern Ireland in my grip. But you wouldn’t hit the targets I gave you. No. You set your sights on the military. Not the good, obedient soldier you thought you were.

“And then, you tried to leave. You met with those recruiters from the All Blacks that those imbeciles I let raise you invited to watch you play rugby. So, I fixed it so that you could never leave. I took one of your precious toys to London and left it there loaded with enough C4 to blow up say…a marketplace?”

For a moment, Sloan’s veins turned to ice as the revelation hit him like a shard of lightning. It had been Fitzgerald who had set him up, destroyed his life, and forced him to flee from his Ma and Maggie to save himself. It had been Fitzgerald who had murdered all those innocent people and pinned it on him.

Rage quickly replaced the chill within him. He rose in a lunge at Fitzgerald. Sloan was quickly brought back to his knees as the butt of another rifle cracked him across the skull.

Fitzgerald’s laugh echoed across the airfield as he strutted past Brown. “He’s all yours, Commander Brown. See to it that he is hanged, will you?”

“It’ll be my pleasure, Jack,” Commander Brown crooned.

Two soldiers roughly tore Sloan from the ground, dragging him to his feet. Sloan shook his head violently to clear the fog that had invaded his senses. His head throbbed. Fitzgerald’s confession echoed in his brain. Although Sloan knew the truth, it wouldn’t change a thing. His words meant nothing in a court of law. Here, he was a terrorist. A murderer. No amount of protesting would change anyone’s mind.

He looked up slowly, his eyes catching Liam and Gordon’s. Both men were restrained by at least three law enforcement officials apiece. Sloan ripped his gaze away from them. He couldn’t take the looks of horror on their faces. He knew what they meant.

He closed his eyes, clinging to the image of Abbey, Ame, and Ethan that he held in his heart. He had been a fool to leave them. Now, he would never see them again.

There’s no way out of this one. I’m as good as dead.

Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/Trial-Fire-Black-Irish-Book-ebook/dp/B00QH49O8M/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1418276666&sr=8-4&keywords=tricia+andersen

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Breaking the Silence (Hard Drive Series #2)

MMA Bad Boy Rico Choate falls for Avery, a deaf Marine – but will she stick around when she learns of his career in the octagon?

Blurb:

Rico Choate is a MMA bad boy with a love ‘em and leave ‘em attitude.  That is until he meets Avery Walker, a deaf Marine who lost her hearing when her transport was destroyed in an I.E.D explosion in Afghanistan.  He falls hard for her, even learning sign language from his friend, Chloe, so he can talk to her.

Avery has worked hard to overcome her deafness. She doesn’t need anyone’s sympathy. She’s living a perfectly normal life and has no time for celebrities who have everything handed to them on a silver platter.

Because of Avery’s pride, Rico to keep his career in mixed martial arts a secret.  But how long can he keep such a huge part of his life separate from the woman he loves?  And if she does find out, how will she react? Can Avery set her stubbornness aside, or will secrets and pride keep these two apart?

Excerpt:

The weekend finally arrived, but it was no break for Avery. She still had her early Saturday morning class to attend. She trudged down the steps wearily. Of all the times for the air conditioning to go out, this was the worst by far. The ninety-degree day seeped into the building, making the rooms hot and stagnant. Every last person in the classroom was drenched in sweat. Even for one class, it was unbearable.

Her face brightened as she stepped out the door and found Rico in his Jeep waiting for her. She nearly ran for the vehicle. Dropping her backpack on the floor, she climbed in beside him.

He looked at her concerned. Are you all right?

No air. I baked for the last hour.

Do you still want to do something?

Yes. You are the highlight of my day.

Where do you want to go?

Someplace cool.

Rico thought for a moment then grinned. I know the perfect place. But you are going to want to bundle up.

It is the middle of summer. Where are you taking me?

You will see.

Rico drove her home then waited in the Jeep for her to get clothes. Apparently, he wasn’t about to push his luck with Lindsay.

He then stopped at his place. Instead of having her wait in the car, he escorted her inside. His apartment was a loft in an old, renovated warehouse, complete with the freight elevators. It was sparsely decorated with a leather sofa and chair. It was the typical guy’s apartment.

There were several MMA magazines scattered on the end tables. He must really be into mixed martial arts.

It only took a moment for Rico to come out of his bedroom changed. Instead of the shorts and T-shirt he had worn before,he now had on a pair of jeans and a snug fitting Henley that accented his muscles. She swallowed back a moan. She hadn’t thought he could get any hotter.

He smiled. Ready?

Yes. Avery took his outstretched hand in hers. She waited as he locked the door then walked with him to the elevator.

Rico weaved from one interstate to the other until they were in Saint Paul. The entire time, he held her hand in his. He parked the car in front of a large, concrete building lined with windows.

Ice skating? she signed

He laughed. You wanted to be cool.

That is true. But I can’t do this.

He frowned. Why not?

I can’t ice skate.

You do not know how?

I do. When I was young, I was very good at it. But I cannot do it now.

Because you are deaf?

Yes.

He smirked at her. I did not realize that you ice skate with your ears.

That is not funny, Rico.

Come on, Avery. We’ll have fun. I promise I will not let you fall.

She gazed at him as he grinned at her. Her eyes wandered over his chiseled physique. He certainly could keep his word. She sighed as she hopped out of the passenger seat and turned back to him. All right. Let’s go.

Absolutely! Rico jumped out with her and raced around the vehicle to take her hand. He pulled her close and wrapped his arm around her waist as they strolled in.

Rico paid their admission as Avery slipped into the restroom to change into her lightweight sweater and jeans. She watched his eyes wander over her head to toe as a smile spread across his face. He certainly seemed pleased. He took both pairs of skates the attendant offered before following her to a bench. Then, they tugged on their skates and, carefully stepping on the thick, black mat on the floor, they made their way out to the ice.

They skated around the rink laughing, sometimes hand in hand, sometimes trying awkwardly to race each other. Avery hadn’t been ice skating in years, not since she’d lost her hearing. It had ended up on the virtual list of activities she stubbornly believed she could no longer do. Rico had proved to her she could.

She gazed up to him as he smiled at her. He certainly was turning out to be her hero. Not that she needed one. She didn’t. But it was definitely nice to have one, just in case.

They were so wrapped up in each other, neither of them noticed the little boys that flew between them until it was too late. The last one hooked his skate with Avery’s. She was off her feet in a split second. She clenched her eyes in anticipation of the cold impact on her butt. Instead, two strong arms kept her from falling. Her eyes fluttered open, and she glanced around.

Rico had caught her just as he’d promised. Her eyes locked with his sapphire blue ones. She wanted to protest, to joke just how cliché this was. Here he was, cradling her in his arms after saving her from falling, his lips dangerously close to hers. They must have looked like they belonged on the front of a romance novel. But her breath caught in her throat as she clung to him, her gaze drifting to his mouth.

She gasped as he gathered her closer and softly kissed her. Her fingers buried into his hair as he deepened it, his lips parting hers as his tongue slowly grazed across her teeth then tangled with hers. Their eyes met for a moment as the kiss broke. Avery fought against her breath coming out in ragged gasps, but it was no use. So, that’s what kissing Rico Choate is like. It was light years better than she had imagined.

Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Silence-Hard-Drive-Book-ebook/dp/B00NR3JUQ2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411271702&sr=1-1&keywords=Hard+Drive+Series

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Tuesday Tales – Dance

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Happy Tuesday! It’s time for Tuesday Tales! This week’s word prompt is “dance”. We are backing up in my Steampunk romance to where I left after the “stuffed” prompt. Let’s catch up with Gideon and Emma!

Don’t forget to check out the other awesome authors of Tuesday Tales!

Gideon gently closed the door to the townhouse softly. He laughed as he spun on his heel and descended the stairs. Snowflakes danced around his boots as he strolled along the brick covered street. He had risen early to make breakfast for his exhausted lover only to find the pantry bare. He slipped out to head to the shops for provisions.
His eyes caught two men mulling about the corner. He frowned as their cold, piercing eyes watched him walk by. He shook the paranoia from his mind. No one knew where Emma was. These gents were just passing the time.
The first stop was the butcher. The shopkeeper gasped at the sight of Gideon then greeted him with an endless barrage of words. Gideon chuckled to himself. Had he been out of sight that long. In mid sentence, the stout man paused. “What can I get for you, Miss?”
“I’m with him, sir.”
Gideon flew around, finding Emma behind him dressed in Sophia’s crimson cloak and pale yellow gown. He strode across the shop to her, bending low to keep the butcher from hearing them. “What are you doing here? Do you not remember me telling you that Katarina wants you dead?” he growled.
“You promised not to leave me there,” she pouted.
“You aren’t safe out here.”
Emma wrapped her arms around his. “I’m safe with you, Gideon. Besides, I snuck out the back door the moment you left and traveled through the alleyways. No one saw me.”
Gideon sighed. “All right. But keep the hood up. Understand?”
“Of course.”
Gideon tugged her close then ordered sausage and bacon. They stepped from the shop in the direction of the dairy. He glanced warily around the street. The two men were quickly approaching, each looking furious. Instinctively he pressed Emma against the storefront, blocking her from their sight.
“What are you doing?” she demanded.
He pressed a tender kiss to her forehead. “Trust me, my love.”

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Tumble Dry by V.L. Locey

Welcome to the blog, V.L. Locey!

TUMBLE DRY

Blurb:

Roxanne Jones has one day off this weekend. She does not want to spend it carrying her unmentionables to the nearby Laundromat but Fate has different plans. When the washing machine in her apartment building dies mid-cycle, Roxanne has no choice but to finish her laundry across the street. Once inside the Tumble Dry launderette, she discovers that the dryers aren`t the only hot things to watch. In walks a younger man wearing the only clean items left in his wardrobe: torn jeans, sandals, tattoos, sex appeal, and a few well-placed piercings. When the two lock gazes no amount of fabric softener can stop the sparks from flying. It doesn`t take long for Donovan King, an English major at the local college, to not only woo Roxanne, he manages to begin to a steamy seduction that won`t end until both are well-tumbled.

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Buy Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Tumble-Dry-Weekend-Getaways-Book-e…/…/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tumble-dry-vl-l…/1120795590…

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tumbledry-1682006-…

http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php…

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/493907

Excerpts:

PG

“So do you?”

“Do I what?”

“Have a couple of spare quarters? Since you won’t let my man things gyrate around in the water with your woman things.”

Was he saying those kinds of things on purpose? Of course he was, if the puckish grin he now wore was any indicator. Oh, I did like this man. A lot.

“Honey, I’m not sure that your man things are man enough to gyrate with my woman things,” I parried. He chortled then leaned a hip into the washer, his arms folding over his bare chest.

“I’m pretty sure that they are.” He said it with utmost confidence in the prowess of his man things. I sucked down a large gulp, the twinge behind my eye reminding me to slow down. I sipped and enjoyed looking at him, spying a small, silver navel ring glistening from the neon lights overhead. My mouth was dry even though I had just swallowed some of my drink. His steady gaze made me fidget.

“Rather sure of your man things, aren’t you?” I finally said, as I tossed my change purse to him. He caught it with one hand, his eyes never leaving my face.

“Rather,” he commented offhandedly, opened the tiny bag then extracted four quarters. My tongue toyed with the end of my straw. He laid the purse on the top of the machine next to his then arranged the coins in the slots, all four standing erect. Mmm, what a nice word that is. Erect. Makes all sorts of dirty, sweaty images appear inside a woman’s mind, doesn’t it?

R

“Excuse me, sir, but this cart is mine.”

“Really? And how is that, Roxanne? Clearly I was here first.” He leaned over the cart, his scruffy cheek brushing mine he whispered beside my ear. “You were engrossed with erotic thoughts about my mouth and the pleasure it could bring you.”

He drew back. My brain shut down as my mouth dropped open. That was all the time Donavon needed to commandeer the cart.

“No I wasn’t.” There. Take that. I bet that verbal spear pierced a few vitals. Not.

Damn the man for reading me like that beaten-up poetry book of his. He shrugged a shoulder, the inked one. An emerald-eyed tiger rolled it’s head at the up and down motion.

“Yeah, you totally were. Would you like me to tell you the signs of arousal that you’re wearing at the moment?” He threw several pairs of wet jeans into the cart. They landed with a slap.

“The only thing that I’m wearing at the moment is a dash of lovely,” I countered quickly.

“Yes, you are incredibly lovely, and horny. Your nostrils are flared, your eyes are wanton, your nipples are hard, and you keep licking your lips.” He paused in tossing balled-up shirts into the cart. “You also keep crossing and uncrossing your legs.”

Shit. Okay. So the man knew I was sporting a big girl-boner for him.

“Maybe I just have hives.” I tugged the cart away from him then stalked over to my washer with the buggy in tow. I heard his throaty chuckle behind me.

“Maybe you want me to take you somewhere private and read you something…Sapphic.”

He was right behind me, his breath fluttering past my left ear, his body close enough to exchange sparks with mine. Damn. Damn. Damn. My spine stiffened, as did my nipples. They were now so hard they hurt.

“You think reading me lesbian poetry will turn me on?” I inquired, trying to sound as if his smoldering nearness was having no effect. The smoky cast to my voice kind of ruined the indifferent attitude I was going for.

“I think you’re already turned on.” I heard the cart being nudged aside. I stood as still as a deer in a strange meadow, alert to every sound. My fingers gripped the lid to the machine as he stepped closer. The touch of his chest to my back was seismic. Desire didn’t just uncoil like a snake finding a warm rock, it rose up like a jungle cat, and then stretched, sharp claws of need raking open my calm exterior.

Vicki at Wedding

Author Bio:

 

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted goofy domestic fowl, and  two steers: one named after a famous N.H.L. goalie while the other carries the moniker of a 60`s pop legend.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

I love to meet new friends and fans! You can find me at-

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/pages/VL-Locey/124405447678452

Twitter- https://twitter.com/vllocey

Pinterest-http://www.pinterest.com/vllocey/

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5807700.V_L_Locey

My blog- http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/

Secret Cravings Backlist Books:

Pink Pucks & Power Plays (Book One of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

A Most Unlikely Countess (Book Two of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

O Captain! My Captain!(Book Three of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Reality Check (Book Four of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Torquere Press Backlist and Upcoming Releases

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse (Part of the He Loves Me For My Brainssss anthology)

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 2: It Came From Birmingham

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 3″ He’s a Lumberjack and He`s Undead

Love of the Hunter

Goaltender`s Penalty

All I Want for Christmas

 Every Sunday at One (Part of the 2013 Charity Sip Anthology)

 Night of the Jackal

And coming in 2015 exclusively from Torquere Press . . . An Erie Operetta and Early to Rise – A Toms & Tabbies Tale.

Tuesday Tales Pic Prompt

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Hi everyone! It’s time for Tuesday Tales! This week is a picture prompt. We are with Gideon and Emma in our Steampunk Romance. To make the picture work I had to jump ahead in the story.
Don’t forget to check out the other incredible excerpts from the Tuesday Tales authors!

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Emma clung to the seat of the carriage for dear life. Gideon glanced over to her and chuckled. Her knuckles were literally white. “I thought you liked my creations,” he purred.
Her answer came through clenched teeth. “Your little creatures never tried to kill me. Just your humidor. And this.”
“My carriage won’t kill you, my love.”
Emma glared at him, her beautiful blue eyes icy. She didn’t look convinced.
It wasn’t long before London faded into the background. The brick buildings and mulling people were replaced by snow covered fields and cottages. The carriage puffed steam merrily as it chugged down the dirt road, the clouds drifting lazily from the vehicle.
A small white house nestled amongst tall, towering evergreens came into view. A barn with a wooden fence bordering it stood just feet away from it. Gideon maneuvered the carriage through the snow to the house. Stepping out into the drift, he offered his hand to Emma. “Let me take you inside and get you warm. I will come for our things shortly.”
“Who lives here?” Emma inquired.
“No one. I purchased it during my leave before Sophia’s death. I hoped to move my family here. When they died I never came back. Are you coming in?”
Emma slipped her hand into his then hopped out of the carriage. Gideon scooped her into his arms before her foot hit the cold, wet fluff below. She gaped at him astonished. He flashed her a wink as he unlocked the door with one hand and carried her inside.
Gideon gently set Emma on her feet inside the door then strode to the fireplace to start the fire. As the flames began to flicker around the dry logs, he turned to her. “It will be a while for the room to warm. I will get you a blanket.”
She crossed the room and took his hand in hers. “I have a better idea.”
“That is?”
“Where’s the bedroom? The warmth of your naked body will keep me warm.”
A sly smirk spread across his lips. Her mere suggestion set him on fire. “This way, my lady.”

Don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales!

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