Banner © Fiona Jayde

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Myth, vengeance, and sensual romance... Silent Death returns.... #RB4U #MFRWauthor #RomFantasy

RETRIBUTION: Silent Death
Genre: Contemporary Action/Thriller
Publisher: Crimson Frost Books


BLURB:

Adam Walker is one of the Company’s best field agents, a highly trained, well-honed killing machine when that’s what’s needed. But, he’s also a man of many secrets, and one of them is that he’s a ninja, one of Japan’s mythical death warriors. When another of Adam’s secrets, his lover Kiku, is killed, he turns to the one person he trusts, fellow agent Shainna Barton. While Shainna covers for him on a mission, Adam metes out his revenge, and discovers that his friendship with Shainna has a much deeper meaning that either of them ever realized…

EXCERPT:

Adam's steps were sure and silent as he made his way to the rear of the small theater. Exhaustion consumed him, but the residue of rushing adrenaline afforded his body a moment of false energy. Successful in yet another assignment—when the body turned up with the stolen files, there'd be no questions asked. Business as usual.
Still, the timing had been off, and there'd been no time to warn Kiku to stay at home. Uneasiness whispered inside him again, as it had for most of the past hour. Not for the first time during recent weeks, though . . . . He wondered if it had been wise to reject her desire to take their relationship to a more intimate involvement. Loving Kiku was as natural to him as breathing. But being her lover was something he hadn't honestly considered. Not until she'd brought it to his attention.
Why he hadn't noticed her love changing to passion baffled him now, as he thought about it. He'd told her intimacy of that kind would create distractions within his mind—the kind that might one day get them both killed. She'd been skeptical, though uncharacteristically reticent about explaining why, when he questioned her quick acceptance of his decision.
He thrust the doubts aside as he reached her office and entered. As always, the closet-like room appeared in complete chaos. An organized mess, she called it. He crossed the short space and picked up the phone as he settled on the edge of her desk. He was about to dial her home number when a flicker of movement drew his attention to the small, private parking lot separating the theater from a large apartment building next door. Adam slipped the receiver into its cradle and moved to stand in the shadows next to the small window behind her desk.
He spotted Kiku's nearly naked body and he froze. Instinct guided him as fear and rage surged through him. Reaching beyond the haze of tumultuous emotions, he drew on his training. A careful look at Kiku told him she was dead . . . her neck broken. Again, the flicker of shadows betrayed a presence. He waited. Seconds passed, so drawn out by tension they felt like hours, but one-by-one he saw each figure with striking clarity. And in that brief instant, each of the five faces was burned indelibly into his memory. He knew one of them by name, and recognized the others as students of Caisson's dojo. The heavy weight of the gun under his left arm all but spoke to him the alluring suggestion to pull the weapon and use it was so tempting. Adam had to force himself to resist using his weapon, a task made all the more difficult when Caisson bent over Kiku and placed a mocking kiss on her forehead.
He tore his gaze away, no longer trusting his ability to control his grief-enhanced rage. As he leaned against the wall, he realized he'd been holding his breath. Slowly, he exhaled, shaking uncontrollably despite his imposed strength of will.
When the wracking spasms of anguish subsided, he emerged from the theater's office and left without looking back.

* * * * *

Less than half an hour later, Adam slipped into Kiku's small flat. Like her office, it was in disarray, although not to the same exaggerated extent. He did a thorough, systematic search of the entire four rooms, removing every trace of his presence in her life. The items were few, for he seldom left even the smallest of articles behind. No photographs of them to be found, together or individually, a house rule they'd agreed to years earlier.
Hovering in the doorway, he took one final look at the place. It was so much like her, he thought, inhaling the light residue of sandalwood incense in the air. Books on every subject to satisfy her insatiable thirst for knowledge were strewn about, along with old theater posters, exotically painted masques, and cassettes and CDs in various languages. Despite his protestations, a map hung on the wall, dotted with postcards from the countries they'd traveled together. He hesitated for a moment then decided to collect the cards and destroy the map.
When he finished, he locked the door and turned his back on this place, too. Kiku would have expected nothing less from him.

* * * * *

Shainna Barton sighed in weariness as she kicked open the door to her apartment to drag her luggage inside. She'd been out of the country for over a month this time, and home seemed more appealing than she would have thought possible. She was growing tired in more ways than one.
A quick slam and the door shut firmly, leaving her in the silent, air-conditioned sanctuary she'd bought only a year before, a purchase she'd recognized as the first step toward her accepting pending retirement from the field.
She'd called home the night before, and her oldest and dearest friend had opened the apartment and stocked the cupboards for her. DeeDee Caulwell was one of the few constants in Shainna's life. She honestly didn't know what she'd do without her.
The phone rang. She stole a glance at the caller ID. Dee. Shainna dropped her shoulder bag and flopped into a chair as she grabbed the phone. The worry in DeeDee's voice hit before the actual words, and Shainna automatically reached for the TV remote control to turn on the news report her friend was going on about with such dread. The reporter's words ran together as Shainna's world twisted wildly on its axis. Her pulse roared so loud in her ears she barely heard DeeDee say she was on her way over.

* * * * *

From her window seat, Shainna looked out at the night sky. Her chill had very little to do with the air-conditioned air. The ice reached into her soul and expanded outward to her quivering limbs. She wasn't prone to infatuation, never had been, but there was something almost obsessive in her passion for Adam Walker. They were friends; the relationship worked for them. But Shainna had realized, long ago, the hunger she felt in Adam's company had precious little to do with being friends. If she'd been less honest, she would have hated Kiku Shimoda, simply for being the love in Walker's life. But Shainna was too much a realist to pretend the other woman was the reason Adam didn't love her.
She sighed and closed her eyes, letting her head thump gently against the wall at her back. Adam's amazing topaz eyes came into focus so quickly she was startled to discover he wasn't next to her. She could feel him, though. All around her. Inside her heart. His pain was agonizing—and total. He was out there, and by now, he knew.
"What are you going to do, Adam?" She asked the question aloud, as was her custom when working possible angles to a puzzle. She shivered when the answer, like a cold caress, brushed her consciousness—a promise of mayhem and death—as if Adam had spoken directly into her mind. They'd been connected on some level for what felt like forever. And in that moment, she wondered if he'd actually heard her and responded.
Before the odd thought could create another conundrum for her to ponder, she was distracted by a knock at the door. She crossed the room and opened the door, breathing a thankful sigh at the sight of her friend.
"Are you all right?"
She shut the door as DeeDee glided past, shedding her coat and tossing it into a chair before she turned to Shainna.
"I'm still trying to take in what's happened." Shainna confessed. "This is going to destroy Adam. Especially when he finds out what the press is reporting. I don't even know where to find him, Dee!"
"Maybe that's for the best." DeeDee's features showed visible concern.
Adam Walker was always a touchy subject between them, and the gentle censure in her friend's voice made Shainna's temper flare.
"Okay, Shain." DeeDee held up her hands in a gesture of surrender before Shainna had time to snap. "Truce. Back off. What are you planning, anyway?"
"If I know Adam, he's going to find who did this." She paced, chewed her thumbnail, and tried to make her brain function past her fear for the man. Kiku was the world to Adam, and Shainna knew—via the Division grapevine—the two had been a solid couple for some time. Whether or not the rumors were based on truth wasn't relevant to her heart. She'd tried not to resent Kiku for Adam's lack of interest, but it hadn't been easy when every part of her spirit and body cried for the man in ways she wished rather to never have experienced.
"And . . . ." She finally added. "He's going to make them pay for what they did to her—in blood."
"That sounds like Adam," DeeDee agreed, her tone reflecting her dislike and her near contempt for the man they discussed.
"Why do you hate him so much?"
Startled, DeeDee didn't answer for a moment, then she laughed. "I hate what he does to you. Adam himself means nothing to me. I know you'd walk through hell for him, and he wouldn't have to ask you to do it. What would he do for you, Shain?"
"The same thing if I needed him."
"You're so certain of that. Why?"
"Because he's Adam. Because what exists between us is a lot deeper than simply trusting another agent with your back."
"What happened in Italy last year?" DeeDee asked. "You've never said much, but something changed between you and Adam on that mission."
"Yeah, we took our last day and went sight-seeing like normal people. I got drunk and told him I loved him. We blamed the wine the next day, and pretended it never happened."
"What did he say?"
"I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies."
DeeDee's frown of confusion made Shainna laugh. "It's a quote we found earlier that day, a 15th century Italian poet called Pietro Aretino wrote it. Adam told me we were friends, there was no room for anything else between us."
"But he's always willing to ask you to risk your life for him!"
"It's my job, Dee. And his!"
"Not this time. This time it's personal, so you should stay out of it."
"How am I supposed to do that? He's going to need backup, and if I know Adam, he's going to make it clear he wants me."
"Doesn't mean Michael will agree." DeeDee reasoned. She'd been fidgeting and tidying up the apartment from the moment she'd started the conversation. Now, she stopped moving. "He does have some control over Adam."
Shainna laughed at DeeDee's careful words, barely recognizing the shrill, hysterical edge that turned the sound brittle. "No one controls Adam," she said, barely above a whisper. "Michael knows that better than anyone."
"So, what are you going to do?"
Shainna trembled. "Wait." She returned to the window and stared into the night once again. "I'm going to wait for him. What else can I do?"



Saturday, August 29, 2015

Currently FREE best-sellers from ARe eBooks #RB4U #MFRWauthor #RomFantasy

A highly trained military operative, Prince Charming, and a vampire with a taste for decadence and sexual dominance... and this week they're all available for free - three of my best-sellers on Amazon and ARe, in whatever format your reader needs... check them out!!


by Denyse Bridger
- Romance>Contemporary

Randall Stone is the stuff of heroes, a mercenary given a discharge from the army he has served with his life. But the government is still interested in using the skills they've taught Major Rand Stone, and he continues to work with his hand-picked team. Into his shadowy world a light has come, and in her love, Stone discovers unhoped for joy, and, perhaps, unbearable sorrow?



(Twisted Fairytales)
by Denyse Bridger
- Romance>Fantasy

Cindi Lancourte is the illegitimate daughter of a powerful businessman and a lovely woman who worked for him. Acknowledged when his wife died, she was quickly relegated to the role of servant by his new wife and step-daughters, but an invitation to a Masquerade gives this Cinderella a new shot at happiness with a handsome Prince Charming.


by Denyse Bridger
- Romance>Vampires

In modern Toronto, two vampires stalk the night, their hunting a game that is seductive and deadly. In a darkly compelling Goth Club, they find the prey they seek for their pleasures, and the night runs crimson with blood and unquenchable thirsts....

Thursday, August 20, 2015

.@KarenDocter on the dark side of danger and romance with Killing Secrets #RB4U #MFRWauthor #RomFantasy

Join award-winning K.L. Docter on the dark side of danger and romance with Killing Secrets, Book 1 in her Thorne’s Thorns romantic suspense series.


Killing Secrets
© Copyright 2014 – K.L. Docter

Patrick shifted in his seat. “I remember what I promised.” The trick was to figure out how to keep that promise without spending every spare moment hanging out his office window with his tongue brushing the ground while he waited for a glimpse of the ethereal blond, as he’d done since he spotted her last night.

On his return from Cheyenne around midnight, he’d walked out his back door to dump the garbage. He would have missed her sitting on the lounge in the shadows of his parents’ side porch if she hadn’t sighed, something low and wistful, sounding so lost. There was enough moonlight to capture the curve of her face, a riot of short honey blond curls, and the lean lines of long legs and thighs barely covered by a pair of cutoffs, stretched out to rest on the wicker ottoman.

The moment she spotted him, he knew. She stilled. Gasped. He’d felt the heat of her gaze on him. For an eternity, he kept still, afraid to scare her off. Then she slipped off the lounge and disappeared inside the house. He was left with a raging hard-on and the wild thought he’d imagined the woman, that he’d inadvertently caught sight of one of the magical fairy queens his office manager’s granddaughter insisted lived in his mother’s gardens.

A brief glimpse this morning through his mother’s kitchen window revealed Rachel James was real, and there was no question he’d keep an eye on her. Not because he’d made any rash promises to do so, but because he couldn’t seem to not watch the blasted woman. He just planned to do it from his side of the property line that separated his parents’ home from his own.

He could handle lust...from afar. If that made him a craven coward, so be it. The last thing he wanted was another needy woman in his life. He didn’t do relationships, didn’t dare step over that line again.

Whatever Rachel James’ problems might be, he'd only make them worse. He'd learned a hard lesson trying to help Karly. Broken women can't be fixed, not by him at least. He didn't rescue damsels in distress anymore. There was nothing—no one—who could induce him to stick his neck out again. Two deaths on his conscience were enough.


Author bio:

Amazon Bestselling Author Karen/K.L. Docter writes two different kinds of romance novels... 

Contemporary Romance w/a Karen Docter: Romance...With a Kick! Amazon Author Page: goo.gl/FwhxNC

Romantic Suspense w/a K.L. Docter: Women hunted by killers...men who'd die to protect them. Amazon Author Page: goo.gl/igvR0k

Karen's contemporaries are delightful, spicy romances. She loves writing about real men and women with dreams and goals that don't allow for a relationship just so she can throw them in each others path. 

Her romantic suspense novels (as K.L. Docter) are also filled with romance, although the dangers the hero and heroine face are intense, usually because a serial killer is bent on ending one or both of their lives before they can fall in love. 

Karen/K.L.'s an award-winning author, a four-time Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist, and won the coveted Kiss of Death Romance Writers Daphne du Maurier Award Category (Series) Romantic Mystery Unpublished division.

When she's not saving her characters from death and destruction or helping them to fall in love, she loves camping and fishing with her family, reading, gardening & cooking. If she can do most of those things over a campfire, all the better! Website/Blog: karendocter.com

Titles Available from K.L. Docter:

KILLING SECRETS, Thorne's Thorns Series, Book One

Titles Available from Karen Docter:

SATIN PLEASURES
CATCH THAT SANTA
COP ON HER DOORSTEP, True Love In Uniform Series, Book One

Author social links:


Monday, August 17, 2015

Meet the cop from Cop On Her Doorstep by @KarenDocter #RB4U #MFRWauthor #RomFantasy

Cop On Her Doorstep
by Karen Docter

Amazon * B&N  * Kobo

In the six years since her husband was killed by S.W.A.T., Carrie Padilla has spent long hours at work, rebuilding a life for herself and her son. The little time she has at home is spent keeping her eight-year-old son out of trouble, but he is all too eager to try to be the man in the house. When a handsome cop shows up on her doorstep, her errant son in tow, Carrie's heart stutters. The sexy Italian cop sets off all kinds of bells in her system, and she knows there's only one thing she can do to save what is left of her family, her husband’s memory, and her heart...avoid her new neighbor at all costs. 


S.W.A.T. officer Jake Stafani already lost one little boy to gang violence, the dead boy’s older brother is missing, and Jake's not about to let the same thing happen to a neighbor's son. He drags the youngster home only to discover much more than a passing interest in the boy's beautiful, but wary, mother. Forced to take a leave of absence after a bust goes awry, Jake can think of nothing better to occupy his time than to keep Carrie and her son safe, and locate the missing teen who holds the key to taking the gang off the streets, once and for all. 

But Jake doesn’t count on his stubborn, intriguing neighbor distracting him from his job, or the passion that flares between them. He doesn’t expect her amazing son to steal a piece of his heart. Jake is ready to risk everything for Carrie, body and soul. But it’s not all up to him. If their new love is to survive, Carrie will need to be strong enough to see the man's beating heart behind the badge, to look beyond the pain of her past, and decide that loving again is worth the risk. 

Amazon * B&N  * Kobo


Character Interview ~ Jake Stefani, hero, COP ON HER DOORSTEP 

1. What is your name? Do you have a nickname? 

My full name is Giacobbe Marcos Stefani, but only my traditional Italian mother insists on using it, usually when I’m doing something that provokes her. Giacobbe is Italian for Jacob. My friends all call me Jake. 

2. Who is your best friend? What kinds of things do you do when you’re together? 

My best friend is my partner, Ramón. We both joined S.W.A.T. about a year ago and ride together when we’re on regular shift. When we’re not at work...well, I’m always at the precinct or training in some way. I don’t have much to go home to, but Ramón is married to the love of his life and they have four children. They’re always great about inviting Uncle Jake to do family things with them. I try not to intrude too often. 

I recently bunked on their basement couch for four months after my ex-girlfriend kicked me to the curb. I only hang with Ramón at work now that I’m moving into my new house. I’m too busy unpacking, remodeling my house, and getting to know my luscious new neighbor, Carrie, and her eight-year-old son, Eric. 

3. If you have a family, how do you get along with them? If you don’t, are there people in your life that you consider family? How do you get along with them? 

Despite the fact I’m Italian, I don’t have a huge family in the States. My dad died shortly after I followed in his footsteps and graduated from the academy. I’m Mama’s only child and sometimes that can be a pain, especially since she’s made it her life’s mission to marry me off so I can start making all the bambinos she wants. She’s only lived in the States the last 35 years and has definite ideas about her duties...and mine...to the family name. 

But, I love her. She lives about an hour and a half away since I moved to Riverton, Colorado seven years ago to work in the same precinct as my Uncle Jules. It’s just enough distance to keep her from showing up all the time with potential wife material. Not that she doesn’t succeed in sideswiping me occasionally. Mama’s set her heart set on my ex-girlfriend. I’ve yet to convince her that it’s over, that I’m pursuing my own woman who, luckily enough, lives two doors down and across the street. 

When I joined the Riverton Police, my uncle wasn’t my superior. Now, he’s my captain. We have a good relationship but work at keeping our personal and professional lives separated. My uncle isn’t Italian. He met Mama’s sister when she came to the States for my parents’ wedding. Uncle Julian was my dad’s Best Man as well as his partner. I have two cousins, Gino and Lorenzo, who are my age. We spent a lot of time together growing up, camping and fishing. 

The rest of the Mazzotti-Stefani family lives in Italy. I met a bunch of them several years ago when I took Mama there for my great-grandfather’s funeral. Just thinking of going back makes me shake in my boots. If I thought Mama was bad with her incessant matchmaking, she is a neophyte compared to the rest of them. There were more single women at my great-grandfather’s funeral than lived in the nearest four villages. I’m not going back there again until I’m safely married with half a dozen kids in tow! 

4. Do you have a secret? If so, who do you need to keep the secret from and why? 

I don’t normally keep secrets. However, I do have one I’m keeping from Carrie until she gets to know me better. She knows I’m a police officer. After all, I did bring her son home after I caught him in my backyard about to make mischief. But she’s got a bad history with cops, especially S.W.A.T. cops. I need to work on her perception of my uniform before I spring on her that I’m also S.W.A.T. like the officer who killed her husband. Once she accepts my uniform, I’m confident she’ll get past the rest. 

5. Look down. Describe what you’re wearing. Is this the way you’re normally dressed? If not, what do you normally wear? 

I’m on vacation at the moment, so I’ve hung my police uniform in the closet for the duration. It’s what I wear when I’m on shift. I’m afraid you caught me in the middle of my house renovation. I’ve been stripping wallpaper off the walls in one of the spare bedrooms. Why anyone would hang wallpaper on Spanish stucco is beyond me! 

Anyway, I’m wearing my favorite jeans, a faded black t-shirt with chunks of wallpaper paste and dust, and tennis shoes. Hmm, one is loosely tied. I’d better tighten it up before I climb back up that ladder. 

I’ll wear black jeans, a blue cotton shirt, and my black leather moto jacket tonight when I take Carrie out to dinner. 

6. If you had to make me a meal right now, without going to the store, what would you find in your refrigerator to feed us? 

I’ve been living in Ramón’s basement for months and taking on quite a few double shifts, so I’ve been eating out a lot. I’ve only been in my new house three weeks, and my kitchen is sort of bare. I make a mean ravioli when I have the time to stock up my freezer, so you’ll have to come back in a few weeks. 

You know, we could drive down to Colorado Springs to one of Mama’s bi-monthly dinner parties. It will take us an hour and a half, but it will be worth the drive. She always makes plenty of her famous spaghetti and meatballs and she loves to feed friends and family. 

Um, you’re already married, right? :) 

7. What’s the one thing you’re afraid of losing? 

I’m afraid of losing another kid to gang violence. Ever since a ten-year-old kid from my old neighborhood died in my arms, I’ve been doing everything I can to get rid of the SKL gang that has taken hold on Riverton’s west side. They killed Mateo Reyes, his older brother Julio has gone missing, and I’ll be damned if I’ll let them destroy any more lives. I’m afraid I’ll never find Julio and bring him back to his grieving mother. I’m afraid I will find him and have to give him back to her in a box to lay alongside his brother. I’m holding tight to my mission...maybe too tight, if my superiors were right to force me to take a vacation. But I won’t rest until I find Julio. 

8. You’re doing intense spring cleaning. What is easy for you to throw out? What is difficult to part with, and why? 

I’d have a hard time getting rid of anything at the moment. My girlfriend kicked me to the curb four months ago, remember? She took damned near everything with her, including my self-respect and my dog, Riker, and I ended up living on my partner’s couch. I guess it was easier to walk away from everything than to fight for it at the time. The only thing that mattered back then when our relationship imploded was that I’d lost Mateo and Julio. The few basic things I kept were stored in Ramón’s garage until I closed on my new house. Now, I’m unpacking it and rebuilding my life one piece at a time. 

If I had one regret, it was losing Riker. Me and him were buddies, and I miss training him. But what the hell was I supposed to do with a dog? I didn’t have a home. I was working all the time. If I had to do it all over again, I’d have kept him. I didn’t want to impose on Ramón and Maria any more than I had to, but we could have worked something out somehow. 

9. Has anyone broken your heart? Who was she? 

After hearing me go on and on about my ex-girlfriend, you’d expect me to say she broke my heart. But the truth is we were in trouble even before I moved in with her. When she traded me in for a better cop model, a friend and one of my co-workers, I was more pissed than anything. Removed from the situation, I quickly came to realize I was too damned stubborn to accept that I’d made a mistake, that I was letting Mama’s matchmaking and my need to have a family of my own get in the way of my good sense. 

I think Carrie could break my heart...if she doesn’t accept my uniform. 

10. What makes you laugh out loud? 

Carrie’s boy, Eric, makes me laugh out loud. He’s a great kid who has definite opinions and isn’t afraid to tell you. For instance, when I asked Carrie to help me organize a barbecue so I could meet the neighbors, he didn’t want her to invite the Lawrences. When I asked him why, he told me I’d know who Mrs. Lawrence was right away because I’d be throwing up all over the place. After meeting Kitty and experiencing one of her creative dishes first hand, I knew exactly what he meant. The kid might only be eight-years-old but he’s fun to be around. 

Speaking of Eric and Carrie, I need to clean up the debris in the spare bedroom before I can change for my date with Carrie. It’s been great talking to you. I hope your readers stop by and pick up my story! 

Author bio:

Amazon Bestselling Author Karen/K.L. Docter writes two different kinds of romance novels... 

Contemporary Romance w/a Karen Docter: Romance...With a Kick! Amazon Author Page: goo.gl/FwhxNC

Romantic Suspense w/a K.L. Docter: Women hunted by killers...men who'd die to protect them. Amazon Author Page: goo.gl/igvR0k

Karen's contemporaries are delightful, spicy romances. She loves writing about real men and women with dreams and goals that don't allow for a relationship just so she can throw them in each others path. 

Her romantic suspense novels (as K.L. Docter) are also filled with romance, although the dangers the hero and heroine face are intense, usually because a serial killer is bent on ending one or both of their lives before they can fall in love. 

Karen/K.L.'s an award-winning author, a four-time Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist, and won the coveted Kiss of Death Romance Writers Daphne du Maurier Award Category (Series) Romantic Mystery Unpublished division.

When she's not saving her characters from death and destruction or helping them to fall in love, she loves camping and fishing with her family, reading, gardening & cooking. If she can do most of those things over a campfire, all the better! Website/Blog: karendocter.com

Titles Available from K.L. Docter:

KILLING SECRETS, Thorne's Thorns Series, Book One

Titles Available from Karen Docter:

SATIN PLEASURES
CATCH THAT SANTA
COP ON HER DOORSTEP, True Love In Uniform Series, Book One

Author social links:





Friday, August 14, 2015

New Release today: Favola (Fairytale) #RB4U #MFRWauthor #RomFantasy

Favola (Fairytale)
New from Eirelander Publishing


In the town of Favola, a prince and a lovely girl imprisoned by her mother's jealousy find passion and love... but will it be enough to outsmart the machinations and fury that their devotion inspires in the beautiful Bella Venezia? An Italian fairytale is re-told for an adult audience....

Short Excerpt:

“Her name is Capricia,” someone informed him, and he turned to see an old man working next to him, arranging steaming pies and fresh fruit into appealing displays. He was smiling with affection and appreciation. Francesco turned away just in time to see the girl vanish into the throng of people.

“Where can I find her?” He was craning his neck, trying to catch sight of her again. Francesco grabbed the man’s arm and shook him. “Where?”

The old man laughed. “La Locanda di Pericoli Nascosti,” he replied with a knowing wink at the baker, who was watching the exchange. “She is the daughter of the woman who owns the place.”

“And where might I find this Inn of Hidden Dangers, old one?” Francesco’s question was curt, he was eager now to seek out the girl and see if she could be charmed into being his companion for the night. The old man’s gaze was shrewd, the heat of embarrassment warmed Francesco’s face, the other man had all but read his intentions.

“Be careful of her mother, boy,” was all the old man said. “End of the road there,” he added, crooked finger aimed in the general direction where the girl had disappeared. “It’s easily found.”

Puzzling over the old man’s vague warning, Francesco turned in the direction he’d been shown and continued. It took only minutes to discover the busy inn. He tied his horse to a rail, and went inside.

The common room was filled with travelers and local people. As he approached the counter, he saw the lovely woman who ran the place and stopped to listen as she spoke with a newly arrived patron.

“Tell me, signore,” she all but purred, leaning forward so the stranger could see the lush swells of her breasts, “have you seen a more beautiful woman than me?”

The man shook his head and swore he had never set eyes on anyone more beautiful than her, Bella Venezia. Satisfied, she told him he could have his room that night for half the usual price.

Francesco stepped forward, and once again she turned on her charm.

“Are you here for a room, signore, or merely to enjoy my company?”

Francesco smiled. She was a fine-looking woman, and it would have been very easy to be swept away by her ample charms, but another face haunted his heart now, and stirred his desires as no other woman had. Francesco had escaped his family for a time, tired of the endless parade of potential brides being brought before him. None had appealed to him, yet this stranger had captured his heart, and his imagination. He’d return home with the bride of his choosing, once he found her again.

“Your charm and beauty is undeniable, signora,” he replied smoothly. “But my heart has been stolen by one so fair I cannot live without her. Your own daughter, Capricia.”

When Bella’s eyes narrowed and she glared at him, Francesco knew he had made a grave error in allowing his heart to speak before he could think. He had been foolish enough to believe a mother would be pleased to have her daughter admired.

“Then you may pay twice the price for the privilege of admiring her, signore,” she informed him.

“Then I have still been granted a bargain, signora,” he assured her, resisting laughter at the anger seething in the woman’s eyes. Her striking face set into hard lines of resentment, and her eyes were glacial. He paid her and she told him what room was his for the night.

Francesco went to settle in and wait for nightfall. He did not plan on spending his time alone, not when the girl of his heart’s dreams was only a short distance away.



Favola

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

.@PumpUpYourBook presents BackJack by Christine Donovan


BlackJack
Author: Christine Donovan

Publisher: Christine Donovan Books

Pages: 336
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Nook


Cole Jackson spends fifteen years in prison for a murder he did not commit, the murder of his wife, Lindsey.

His talent as a songwriter and an avid reader save him from the loneliness of the cold, dark and unforgiving prison walls. But as he joins the world of the free again, he struggles with his once again fame, because of his rock-n-roll band, of being a convicted killer and the fact that his self-esteem and self-respect were lost years ago. Prison will do that to you, not to mention drugs, alcohol and an unfaithful wife. He no longer has the drugs, the alcohol or the unfaithful wife. What he has is a tarnished reputation and the determination to find the true killer and restore his life.

Shannon Gallagher's hard work as a writer has finally paid off. She believes her life is complete living in her dream home on the ocean until she meets Cole Jackson. She idolized him at sixteen, cried at twenty-one when he went to prison. Now at thirty-six she meets him and falls instantly in love. But as Cole gets closer to his wife's killer, he puts Shannon's life in danger. Can he expose the murderer and keep Shannon safe?

For More Information

Book Excerpt:

Groping the wall blindly, hoping to steady his rubbery legs, Cole Jackson swore as he realized he was totally wasted. The hotel hallway seemed to sway violently like a ship caught in a serious gale—the kind small boats don’t survive intact.

“Shit,” he yelled as he collapsed to one knee then slowly raised himself up and continued shuffling toward the room he shared with his wife, Lindsey.
From a distant haze, voices pummeled through the buzz surrounding his brain. Faces blurred and flashed in and out and around the black spots plaguing his eyesight.

One person asked, “How’d the show go tonight, Mr. Jackson?”

“Great, just great,” Cole thought he replied. The words formed in his brain—he just wasn’t sure they managed to escape his mouth.

Another man remarked, “Do you need any assistance?”

“Hell no,” Cole muttered aloud this time as he tripped along mumbling to himself. Why did everyone assume he needed assistance just because he had a damn good buzz on? It was his life, wasn’t it? And if he chose to blur it with alcohol it was his business and nobody else’s.

Cole slid the stupid plastic key card in the door for the third time. “Damn, damn, damn.” He pounded the door with his fist. “I need sleep. All I want to do is crawl into bed. Come on, fourth time’s the charm.”

As he turned the knob, he prayed Lindsey slept alone. He’d stayed away as long as he could without passing out in the hotel bar. Not like he’d never done that before.


“What the hell,” he swore as he shoved the door open, banging it into something. Once inside with the door shut, he looked down, blinked several times, forcing his eyes to focus, and saw Lindsey lying on the floor. A deep red stain encompassed her chest and a potent metallic smell suddenly floored his senses. Cole swayed and tried to steady himself as blackness descended, swallowing him up. The last thing he remembered as he collapsed next to Lindsey was his hand landing in something warm, wet and sticky.

About the Author

Christine Donovan is an International Bestselling Author and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. She lives on the Southeast Coast of Massachusetts with her husband, four sons, one granddaughter and four cats. In addition to writing Contemporary Romance, she writers Regency and Paranormal Romance. When she is not writing or reading, she is either painting or gardening.

Her latest book is the contemporary romance, BlackJack.

Has writing been something you always did, or was it a discovered talent that came to you at a later point?
While I always made up songs and bedtime stories for my children it wasn’t until later when my youngest went into preschool that I penned my first book, The Rose Cottage. I didn’t tell anyone, not even my husband what I was doing. I wrote longhand into notebooks at every conceivable opportunity.  I was the parent sitting in my car during sports practices frantically writing.  Someday, perhaps I’ll revisit The Rose Cottage and release it. Because it is the first book I ever wrote, it has a special place in my heart.

Is this a first book, part of a series, or the latest in a long line of many?
BlackJack is actually the third book I’ve written out of fifteen to date, but it is the fourth I’ve released. It’s the first in, A Standish Bay Romance Series, which I hope will be a long running series.

What is the oddest thing that’s happened to you since you chose to become a professional writer? Will it ever make it into a book, or is that a secret?
So many things have happened or been said around me that I’ve used quite a few in my books. I’ve also used funny things my children did when they were young and took things from my childhood. I won a writing contest about your funniest parenting moment put on by, Loretta LaRoche. You will find it in BlackJack and it involves a toilet plunger.

Do you have your next book underway, or other titles in the planning stages?
I have the next two in A Standish Bay Romance Series already finished. The second book, Bridget, is available now and the third, Mitch, will be out in this month.

Do you have a favourite genre and why? Is it one you write in, read in, or both?
Before I became a writer, I could say for certain that Historical Romance is my favorite. When I was a teenager and in my twenties I devoured every historical I could get my hands on. The first three books I’ve published are Regency Romances.  Now, I go months when I read all historical, mostly Regency, then I go months reading contemporary and then on to paranormal. Personally, I think there are too many great authors and books to keep to one genre.  I don’t want to miss out.

What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process? Does it change from book to book or remain the same?
My writing process has pretty much stayed the same for me.  I might be driving down the street, sitting on the beach or cleaning the house and a story comes into my head. I think about it for days and I jot down notes. I do not outline per say. Before I do start, I write a cheat sheet with names, ages, description of characters, etc.  

If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why? What kind of book do you think would come from the collaboration?
If I could collaborate with anyone, I would choose the late, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. Her books were the first I fell in love with growing up and I can credit her with my love of historical romances.  If we could co-author a book together it would be similar to Shanna, as that is my favorite book of hers.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Thanks so much for being my guest.
Thank you, Denyse, for inviting me to be a guest on your blog.  I had a great time.



Media Contact:

Dorothy Thompson
Pump Up Your Book
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague Island, Virginia 23336

The Maid's Quarters @hollybushbooks @GoddessFish

THE MAID'S QUARTERS
by Holly Bush

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1893 . . . Alice Porterman is released from her duties as a maid and travels home to help her mother care for her sickly brother. But her mother and brother are not in their family home when Alice arrives and she learns the landlord, Albert Donahue, has evicted them into the harsh Boston winter. Alice goes in search of him and is surprised at what she finds. 

Albert Donahue, an up-and-coming member of Boston’s elite, made his fortune through hard work and shrewd business deals. But his dreams of a family to share it with have not come true, perhaps until an impertinent young woman enters his home and won’t leave until she speaks to him.

EXCERPT:

“May I help you?” he said.

Alice nearly lost her voice and courage. But if the butler was capable of keeping her at arm’s length, how would she ever get her family home back? She cleared her throat. “I need to speak to Mr. Albert Donahue. My name is Alice Porterman.”

The butler’s bushy brows rose. “And you have an appointment, miss?”

“I do not.”

“Anyone wishing to speak to Mr. Donahue has an appointment.”

“And who do I see to get such an appointment?”

“Mr. Vickers, his secretary. I’m sorry, he is not in but, but—Where are you going? You cannot come into this house!”

Alice swept by him and seated herself on a settee inside the door. “I will wait here until Mr. Vickers arrives, unless you would prefer me to wait in his office.”

“Certainly not. I can’t just let a complete stranger make herself at home in Mr. Vickers’s office.”

“Then I will be satisfied to wait here,” Alice said, as she noticed a young man hovering near the staircase. She nodded toward him. “Someone is looking for you.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Holly Bush writes historical romance set on the American Prairie, in Victorian England, and recently released her first Women’s Fiction title. Her books are described as emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance. She makes her home with her husband in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.



GIVEAWAY

Holly will award a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter.