Friday, September 09, 2016

Want to win a #Kindle? How about some gift cards or stunning earrings? Then join the #FallIntoRomance event today!

Welcome to the Fall Into Romance Kindle Giveaway! 

GRAND PRIZE – Kindle eReader + $25 Amazon gift card
1st PRIZE – $50 Amazon gift card (2 winners)
2nd PRIZE – $50 Amazon gift card (2 winners)
3rd Genuine blue topaz earrings (US only)
4th Signed paperback copy of Dominant Persuasions (US only)
5th Various swag items (3 winners – US only)

The wonderful and talented authors who have made this giveaway possible: 

Nicole Morgan, Sharon Hamilton, Desiree Holt, Laura Taylor, Sarah Jane Butfield, Mimi Barbour, Cynthia Woolf, Bethany Shaw, Jerrie Alexander, Elizabeth Marx, Kristine Cayne, Janice Seagraves, Beth Caudill, Olga Núñez Miret, Lisa Gillis, Denyse Bridger, Misha Carver, Laxmi Hariharan, Tina Donahue, Susanne Leist, Lisa Kessler, Tamara Ferguson, Amy J. Hawthorn, Kym Roberts

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Dark, intense, passionate... coming soon from #RB4U #MFRWauthor

The Shadows in Our Past
Denysé Bridger
Historical Western
Heat rating: sensual

Enroute home to Gold Ridge, Colorado after their honeymoon, David and Hannah Logan are attacked by a pair of bandits who plunge them back into a past they shared, but never truly came to terms with together... It’s been almost a year since the nightmare of violence and assault tore Hannah from David’s side and left him bereft and angry. When she returned to him, determined to rebuild what they’d lost, the light of love had come with her. Now, a new torment threatens to destroy everything, and Hannah’s biggest enemy might just be David himself…


“I wanted a father, and I got Jonas Wilkes. I needed to trust him, and he made me feel...” She shuddered, visibly changed her train of thought. “Then I met you; Gold Ridge’s most respected citizen. I’d never met anyone quite like you, David Logan. You were handsome, sophisticated, powerful... What was it Margaret called you? A charming outlaw.” She smiled. “She was right, that’s exactly what you are. But you took my breath away the moment I saw you. I will never forget that day, or turning around to see you on the stairs of the Nugget, all elegance and danger. You terrified me, and you excited me. I felt things in those first seconds that I have never felt before. My God, David, I think I fell in love with you before you even spoke to me.”

“You do know how to flatter me, Hannah,” he whispered.

“But it’s not flattery, David. Every time you walk into a room, you make my heart feel like it’s going to burst with the love that fills me. I can’t believe you’re my husband. That you chose to give me that much of your life.”

She smiled, tilted her head to one side, whimsical yet more serious than he’d ever seen her.

“Finish, Hannah,” he requested. “I want to know what you’re feeling.”

“Do you remember the first time you kissed me?”

He nodded.

“I would have behaved like a common whore for you that day, and it frightened me to death, David. I was with a fine, Southern gentleman. A man well-bred, respected, all the things that a lady wants. And instead of being a lady, I was ready to

His laughter stopped her abruptly.

“You do yourself a great disservice, Mrs. Logan,” he teased tenderly. “Any gentleman is still susceptible to the charms of a lovely woman. And you do take away my sense of propriety, Hannah.”

“The first time you made love to me, I was certain that God had put me on this earth to belong to you, David. You gave me everything that my heart had ever wanted, even the things I didn’t let myself hope for. I felt safe, and whole, at peace. Every time you touch me, I feel that way. Beautiful... complete...”

“Then why are you so afraid, Hannah?”

“I don’t want to be,” she said fiercely. “I hate it, David! I despise myself for feeling like this. But

“But?” he coaxed gently.

“Elizabeth was right,” she put her fingers to his mouth when he would have objected instantly. “She was right about some things, David. I’ll never know you the way Ellen did. I’m not from the same world. Your Southern honor is one of the things I love most about you, but it’s a mystery to me, too. You were married and fighting in a war when I was little more than a baby at my mother’s breast. Your soul was scarred in ways that I can only imagine.” Tears flooded her eyes as she stared up at him. “David, the sun in my world rises and sets in your eyes.” She gulped in a sharp breath. “I’ve never needed anyone that much, and it frightens me.”

David nodded, lifted her hands to his lips again as he kissed the fingers that shook within his light grasp; then he looked intently at her.

“Will you listen to me now?”

“Of course,” she replied, voice thick with emotion. She watched as he rose, took the other chair on the balcony, and set it directly in front of her. Then he sat and took her hands again.

“I love Elizabeth, Hannah,” he began quietly. “But, you’re wrong. She doesn’t know me. Not now. She remembers the child she grew up with, the young boy who adored her, and looked up to her. She loved Ellen; partly because I did; and partly because Ellen needed her approval and acceptance. Beth doesn’t know how to make you need those things from her, because the truth is, you don’t.” He smiled at her, warmed by the returning glow of devotion that stared back at him from her eyes. “The war cost us our way of life, and for some, it’s not a thing they’ll ever recover from. I feel like I’ve lived in two worlds for a long time, Hannah, not belonging fully to either one. When I let myself love you, I discovered that I had a home again.”

Her tears fell, silent, silvery trails of sorrow and gratitude that wet the gentle contours of her cheeks. David brushed them aside, then kissed her forehead.

“When you came to the Nugget after Wilkes left for St. Louis, I told myself that I was doing the honorable thing by protecting you.” He snorted softly, self-derisive. “I was doing nothing of the kind. I wanted you close to me, looking at me with that adoring, trusting awe that made my heart feel like it was trying to escape my body.”

“And I thought you didn’t want me near you.”

His laughter was low, genuinely amused.

“I didn’t want to make a fool of myself in front of you,” he corrected. “I don’t think any woman has ever looked at me with the trust and respect that’s in your eyes each day. You humble me, Hannah. No one’s ever done that. Not even Ellen.”

Startled, she looked closer at him, felt herself falling into the aching darkness of his eyes. She slid off her chair and settled at his feet, her head in his lap. David’s fingers brushed through her hair, and she shivered as she stared up at him.

“You are one of the most courageous women I’ve known, Hannah. Strong, independent, passionate, and loyal. Any man can buy a whore, Hannah. Few men are lucky enough to know a woman’s heart is his possession, and that she can be trusted to keep his in return.”
Coming in October from the authors at Romance Books 4 Us

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Social Media Madness #RB4U #MFRWauthor #WRWbuzz

It’s been an interesting week for me, to say the least. After more than two years of being virtually non-existent as a writer, I’ve started to come back online with my work goals firmly in place. One of the things I’ve been doing behind the scenes is studying, a lot! The craft of writing is an art, despite the vast multitude of people who think it’s only words on a page. I know this because I used to be one of the people who always said it wasn’t a special talent, just something I did – putting words on a page. Time has taught me it is so much more than that, and I want to do it right, and do it well again.

Over the past few days one of my “goals” has been to streamline my social media. Back in 2006 or so when I created my Facebook page and my Twitter account, and all that good stuff, it was all so new and exciting… so many people wanted to be friends or follow me, etc. I thought it was wonderful. Time has taught me some lessons there, too, of course. So, the past few days have begun a change in how I do my social media presence, too. I tackled Twitter first, because I’ve loved Twitter much more than Facebook over the years, but I could no longer pull a live conversation out of the light-speed streams via my Tweetdeck. I’ve talked to some pretty awesome people via Twitter over the years, and I wanted to get back to that, to a slower stream filled with people I really wanted to “tweet” to and hear from. With that in mind, I began cleaning house, and my list of following went from 2700+ to less than 300 after several hours of sitting here and looking over all the accounts I was linked to. Now my Twitter stream is readable again, and I’m able to actually speak to people and see what they’re saying in return – what a concept!

Today, I started the Facebook clean up, and that one is going to take a number of days to complete. No one has 4900+ friends, so it’s time to be realistic. I’m working on moving the business of writing to my business page, so please do feel free to connect there, I’ll be using it a lot more than I used to!! (Denysé Bridger, Author) My personal profile is being left for people I actual know or talk to for the most part. My first day has already decreased the list by 800, and tomorrow is another day.

I know some people will see this as me shooting myself in the foot, and they may be right, but in truth, I need to start separating work and personal. Too much of my life and struggles have become public property, and I’ve reached the point where I want my books to speak for themselves. I don’t want to have to beat people on the head and beg them to buy books. I have a huge presence, but it’s never resulted in people buying my books anyway, so really, there’s not much to lose at this stage.

Apart from this change of approach to social media, I’ve taken a new approach to my books, too. No more writing what I think will sell, or stuff that I really don’t like on any level myself. It’s time to go back to the beginning and start fresh. The books that are in the works are novels, good ones!! My forté was always romantic suspense, or mainstream romances, and that’s what I’m doing again. Exciting, sensual romance with edge… I hope you’ll continue to walk with me on the journey – I have a strong feeling the best is still in front of us, my friends!!

May your days be Blessed, and your hearts smiling… today and always! With my gratitude for your friendship and support... A new era begins….

Monday, August 08, 2016

Greek mythological fantasy As Fate Decrees @DenyseBridger #RB4U #MFRWauthor #RomFantasy

This book was almost ten years in the making. From the time it was conceived and I began work on it, until it was released in 2007, it went through several revisions as I polished it and worked on details. It was tentatively accepted by two New York publishers, but things fell through. I loved the idea of it being released for the turning of the millennium, but the Fates had other plans. I was lucky with this one, apart from one very odd review, it’s been universally praised and enjoyed by readers who have never read a fantasy novel, and by those who go enjoy the genre. At one point last year, it ranked in the Top 50 for genre on Kobo Books. If you like a time-spanning epic fantasy, you will surely like As Fate Decrees. And, it's currently climbing up the ranks at Amazon again, which is awesome to see!!


Genre: Adventure/Historical Fantasy / Greek Mythology
Aurora Award Finalist

The gods of ancient Greece must find a mortal champion to defend their fate.

“Go and seek the one I have told you about, she is frail and in need of help. Look not of upper blood, for I have seen her down in the dirt. She is held against her will. Find her and you shall find your savior.” — The Oracle of Delphi

In ancient Greece the young maiden, Amarantha, is captured and sold in the slave market of Athens.

"What fates await?" she wonders. "And what divine design will the Olympian gods have for me?"

As unexpectedly as she had found herself placed in chains, Amarantha finds herself purchased by a mysterious master who refuses to reveal his true identity.

But he is no ordinary man, nor she an ordinary slave.

Under her master's tutelage, Amarantha is trained as a fighter and challenged to prove herself in battle after battle until her skills are perfected and she is granted the right to know his true identity.

He is Ares, god of war and the son of Zeus. And she is to become Champion to the gods of Olympus; bound forever to serve and vanquish all foes until the gods themselves grant her peace.

But even gods are not immune to the fickle twists of fate, and Amarantha is soon ripped from her quiet resting place and cast through time itself to do battle with a modern day reincarnation of an old foe - a madman bent on rewriting history to suit his own twisted desire.

She must act quickly to win this battle, for the fate of all Olympian gods hangs in a delicate balance between immortality and the realization that even the gods themselves may be returned to the dust from which they arose.

For further information please see: 

Media Kit (PDF)

Trade Paperback:

In eBook at:

For anyone who would like to read the opening chapter/prologue from As Fate Decrees, it's available here 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Letterbox Love Stories makes the Best-sellers at Amazon! #WRWbuzz #RB4U #MFRWauthor

AWESOME NEWS!!! We did it, late last night we made it into the Top 100 on, and our Canadian Ranking is incredible!!

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #859 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#20 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Anthologies
#20 in Books > Romance > Anthologies
#69 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Supernatural

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,637 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#99 in Books > Romance > Anthologies
#101 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Collections & Anthologies
#753 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Romance > Contemporary

Friday, July 22, 2016

A great sale for authors need promo help! @SensuousPromos @The_BookPub #MFRWauthor #RB4U #RomFantasy

Once in a while in this crazy business you get to meet someone truly generous and enthusiastic about what you're doing. CJ at Sensuous Promotions started her business about four years ago, and it has grown steadily in that time. CJ is a dedicated professional who shoulders the massive task of social media and promotional posting for all her clients - and that is a task of monumental proportions at times as we all know too well. The sales at Sensuous Promotions are huge value for your money, and CJ makes the offers of multiple services readily available. There's a really great sale on at the moment, in fact. So check out the info below, and visit the sites for even more excellent deals! I've been one of CJs clients for pretty much the whole time she's been in business and she's honest, trust-worthy, and extremely helpful to all her clients. She will work with you to produce the best campaign for your books and often extends her services well past the timespan you purchase, so if you need help reaching readers, this is the lady to contact!!

Sensuous Promos (and their sister companies, The Book Pub & Teen and YA Books) are having a Premium Promotion special. 

4 months of Premium Promotion, which includes: 

1 month premium promotion package

- Post in Yahoo Groups (1x per week)

- Post in Sensuous Promos & The Book Pub's; Teen and YA Books (if applicable to the genre) social outlets (7x per week) 

4 months for only $60, which is a savings of over $100. 

Offer expires at 11:59pm PST on 7/31/16


To purchase any services, click here, or on the button below

The Book Pub is here!!!! Need help with Thunderclap campaigns? Need a boost with Goodreads? Check out our services

Saturday, July 09, 2016

A new release and a fun GIVEAWAY!! #WRWbuzz #RB4U #MFRWauthor


Available at 99¢ for limited time!

What if a life-changing letter arrived in today's mail? Now imagine it leads to love and adventure! From the northern British Isles, across the mainland of Europe, and on to Turkey, nine international romance writers share spellbinding love stories told across time. And each begins with a letter...

This collection includes contemporary and historical romance, futuristic time travel romance, and romance touched by magic by Award-winning and Multi-published Authors: Rose Anderson, Denyse Bridger, Lynn Crain, Helena Fairfax, Gemma Juliana, Marie Laval, Cara Marsi, Lindsay Townsend, and Jenny Twist.


Casino Coranthos is a playground for wealthy, bored people, but for some, it’s also a place where dreams and promises change lives forever. When a letter becomes part of an unexpected inheritance for Ryann Thomson, her aunt’s past brings her face to face with Ariston Katsaros, a man haunted by loss and driven by anger. As the attraction between them sizzles and grows, can Ryann convince him she isn’t looking to rob him or his father of anything, or will she become a casualty of Ari’s vengeance? In this dangerous game of all or nothing, her heart is at stake as well as her future happiness…


Stepping from the elevator, Ryann’s ears were assaulted by a surge of noises. The drone of many voices accompanied the bells and whistles of slot machines. She crossed the lobby and the roar of sound diminished considerably. The building was unique, the elite hotel housed in the back of the sprawling structure, facing the azure beauty of the Aegean, while the casino was in the front. It was like two worlds in one contained place.

“Mr. Demetriou has authorized an account for you, Miss Thomson,” the cashier handed her a stack of coins emblazoned with Casino Coranthos in gold on black.

“Thank you.” She took the roll of coins and wandered into the casino’s main area. She’d barely stepped into the bar when a voice close to her ear startled a gasp out of her.

“You must be Ryann Thomson.”

She looked up and was snared by the intensity of dark eyes gazing down at her.

“I’m Ariston Katsaros, I run the casino.”

She took a single step back. His voice was pure sin and seduction, something he apparently was well aware of if his smile was any indication.

“You work for Mr. Demetriou?”

For a moment, something flashed in his eyes, so quickly it might have been a flash of the light.

“In a manner of speaking,” he replied. “What is your game of choice?”

“Baccarat.” She tried to keep the smile on her face when the word popped out of her mouth. Too many James Bond movies!

Ariston Katsaros slowly nodded, his mouth curving into a smile. “Then allow me to join you in a game.”

Shit! What am I doing?! Her insides were quivering like someone had unleashed a torrent of butterflies, and she couldn’t decide if it was the handsome man at her side, or the sense that she was about to make a complete fool of herself.

The situation got even more unreal to her when he passed through the main casino and entered a much quieter area.

“Is this where the big money is?” She asked, grateful when her voice didn’t squeak.

“Not really,” he said with a laugh. “It is where high stakes games are sometimes played, but mostly it’s a question of privacy for some of our guests.”

There was an inflection in his tone that eluded her, and she sat when he held a chair for her at the table he’d chosen. She took a moment to look around and her nerves thrummed with tension. There were only a few tables in the spacious room, separated by enough space to make each one private. The one he’d brought her to was in the centre. Her heartbeat began a steady pulse that hammered at her brain for a couple of seconds.

“Would you like a drink?”

It took a moment to process his words and she blinked. “Vodka martini.”

Ariston’s smooth features transformed into a grin. “Shaken, not stirred?”

Heat rushed to her cheeks, but she laughed. “Why not?”

“Should I call you Mrs. Bond?”

“That would make you Mr. Bond, wouldn’t it?”

The laughter died in his eyes. “Do you have a preference for game?”

“Punto banco.”

One eyebrow arched and he bowed his head. “Well chosen.”

He turned to the waitress who’d discreetly approached them and ordered drinks before sitting next to her. A few moments later the croupier joined them, and the shoe, containing at least four decks of cards, appeared on the surface of the table. Drinks arrived, along with a single dealer, and the game began when the croupier directed Ariston to draw the first cards.

Several hands were played before either of them spoke again.

“What brings you to Coranthos?”

She accepted a third card and held up her hand to stand pat, then smiled at her companion. “I’m here to deliver a gift to the owner, Lukas Demetriou. He and my late aunt knew each other twenty-five years ago.”

For an instant his smile froze. A kiss of unease touched the back of her neck and she turned aside, picking up her drink to avoid meeting his gaze.

“The gift you bring must be very valuable for you to have made such a long journey.”

There was a note in his voice she couldn’t define. Steeling herself, she finished the martini and glanced at him again. “I hope he’ll think so.” She extended her hand to him. “Thank you for the drink, Mr. Katsaros.”

He stood with her, brought her hand to his lips and dropped a light kiss on her fingers. The brush of contact, like a feathery whisper, woke a quiver of response deep inside her. This man was dangerous, at least to her. He was very tall, his inky black hair trimmed and styled to perfectly frame arresting features. Dark eyes, almost the same midnight shade as his hair, were watchful and alert. He saw everything. Despite the casual suit he wore, she sensed a power seething inside him that was on a par with the force of nature.

* * * * *

Also includes: MORE THAN WISHES by Rose Anderson, SEALED WITH A KISS by Lynn Crain, COME DATE ME IN PARIS by Helena Fairfax, ABANDONED TREASURES by Gemma Juliana, SONS OF THE WIND by Marie Laval, CURATING LOVE by Cara Marsi, PLAIN HARRY by Lindsay Townsend, and THE MINSTREL BOY by Jenny Twist

NOW, to celebrate summer romance… a GIVEAWAY!!

All you need to do is comment something about the Letterbox Love Stories, and in one week I’ll randomly choose a winner. The prize is a pair of handmade summer-themed earrings and a $10 Amazon gift card. Good luck everyone!

99¢ for limited time at:

Monday, July 04, 2016

NEW RELEASE today! Letterbox Love Stories #RB4U #WRWbuzz #MFRWauthor


Available NOW!

99¢ for limited time at:

What if a life-changing letter arrived in today's mail? Now imagine it leads to love and adventure! From the northern British Isles, across the mainland of Europe, and on to Turkey, nine international romance writers share spellbinding love stories told across time. And each begins with a letter...

This collection includes contemporary and historical romance, futuristic time travel romance, and romance touched by magic by Award-winning and Multi-published Authors: Rose Anderson, Denyse Bridger, Lynn Crain, Helena Fairfax, Gemma Juliana, Marie Laval, Cara Marsi, Lindsay Townsend, and Jenny Twist.


Casino Coranthos is a playground for wealthy, bored people, but for some, it’s also a place where dreams and promises change lives forever. When a letter becomes part of an unexpected inheritance for Ryann Thomson, her aunt’s past brings her face to face with Ariston Katsaros, a man haunted by loss and driven by anger. As the attraction between them sizzles and grows, can Ryann convince him she isn’t looking to rob him or his father of anything, or will she become a casualty of Ari’s vengeance? In this dangerous game of all or nothing, her heart is at stake as well as her future happiness…


The door to the adjoining sitting room was open, and she could see Aunt Mel’s army trunk in the middle of the floor, papers scattered around it. Her heartbeat picked up, the thudding loud in her ears. Mel hadn’t opened that trunk in almost twenty-five years, not even when Ryann begged to see the contents. Her aunt didn’t want to be reminded of those last days in Vietnam, when Saigon fell and she’d barely made it out alive.

Ryann hadn’t understood, and no amount of wheedling on her part had changed Aunt Mel’s stance. As an adult, she understood. Mel didn’t want to go back to Vietnam, even in her mind.

“So what changed, Aunt Mel?” Her words were soft, barely a whisper in the silence of the room.

She dropped to her knees next to the open trunk and looked inside for the first time. She picked up the small nurse’s cap, shaking fingers smoothing the crisp material, her heart in her throat. The trunk was small, and it was far from filled. She set the cap aside, lifted the uniform, and spotted a photo album. She settled more comfortably on the floor and opened the book, looking at the photos with near reverence. Mel and her fellow nurses, all smiles, she could almost imagine their laughter and see the sparkle of adventure in their eyes. Further into the album, the smiles vanished, the disillusionment was impossible to deny. When she reached the last page, she noticed several photos had been removed.

She put the album back in the trunk and stood, heading for her aunt’s favourite armchair, and the pile of paper sitting on the table beside it. There were several books stacked neatly in the opposite chair, but it was the letter on top of the polished table that caught her attention. Guilt assailed her when she picked up the single sheet of heavy paper. Shaking her head, she unfolded the page and read:

My dearest Melinda,
Twenty-five years have passed, some of them so quickly I can hardly remember where they started or ended. What I do recall is that each of them was less than it might have been if they’d been shared with you. Our time has come, at last. I know you never married after we returned from Saigon, and I can see you now, frowning as you consider how I have such knowledge. Yes, I did keep tabs on you, but I never broke the promise we made. I lived my life. My wife died many years ago. I wanted to contact you then, but honoured your request that we not speak again until this year. I have much to tell you, but all that seems important are the words I left you with back in 1975, I love you.
Much has changed, my entire life in fact. Enclosed are tickets for Greece, home to me now. I want you with me, to see the turn of the millennium in six months, and to share whatever remains of our lives.
Love, Luke

Sure enough, under the letter was another envelope, and a brief look confirmed it was the airline ticket “Luke” had referred to. Stunned, Ryann sat back in the chair and stared at the room, seeing nothing. Aunt Mel had never mentioned anyone from Vietnam, yet she’d been loved by this soldier, and apparently had loved him, too.

Her gaze went to the books in the chair. Would she find answers between the covers of those books? She’d be invading Aunt Mel’s most personal space. If she wanted to know, this was the only way she’d find out more. Sighing, she reached for the first of the journals Aunt Melinda had kept throughout her life. There was a reason she’d been looking at these books…

Also includes: MORE THAN WISHES by Rose Anderson, SEALED WITH A KISS by Lynn Crain, COME DATE ME IN PARIS by Helena Fairfax, ABANDONED TREASURES by Gemma Juliana, SONS OF THE WIND by Marie Laval, CURATING LOVE by Cara Marsi, PLAIN HARRY by Lindsay Townsend, and THE MINSTREL BOY by Jenny Twist

99¢ for limited time at:

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Two books, one volume – OLD WEST #MFRWAuthor #RomFantasy

This particular novella has an odd history. It was first published back in 2005, and sold virtually nothing. Once I got the rights back, I filed it away for a number of years. In 2012, I decided it was time to bring it back for readers. It was a disaster, the company I contracted it with was the wrong publisher for it, and it languished again. I think it was on their catalogue for a couple of months, then I requested contract termination. Winner Take All had lost again, and I put it back in the literary vault. XoXo Publishing asked to publish it months later, and I decided to let it go again. Another doomed release. So, finally, New Dawning Book Fair, a company I love working with, put out a call for Westerns. This is one of my best books, and I am fond of it. I considered it for a time, then decided to take a chance again. This time I think the book has found a home and its’ audience at last!

Probably no surprise that I’m creating a new Western, too – one with some amazing and sizzling possibilities. It’s called Parlour Photography, and I think readers will love the idea! (That one will be part of a Boxed Set to be released in October…more details to follow…)

Here’s another look at Winner Take All and the other novella it’s been paired with to make OLD WEST – Volume One:

WINNER TAKE ALL: When Dylan Coulter rides into Sparkling Springs, he quickly discovers the woman who runs the local saloon is worth the risk of facing the hangman. Things get ugly fast when Dylan is accused of killing the only son of the richest rancher in the area. Unwilling to leave her behind, Dylan takes Maggie with him as he tries to dodge bounty hunters and a determined Pinkerton agent who just happens to be Maggie’s old love...

DESPERATE LOVE: Well-bred and genteel, Valerie Johnson travels by train and stagecoach from Boston to join her husband three thousand miles away in Virginia City, Nevada, only to discover she is a widow. Low on money, unable to find respectable employment, she accepts a temporary position as a courtesan at Rosie’s Parlor—an elegant Virginia City brothel.

When godlike Duke Dugan picks Valerie, they both wonder if it is lust or love at first sight.

Fascinated by the beautiful, flaming-haired prostitute he calls Red, Duke, wishing to learn more about her, takes her to dinner in Virginia City’s finest restaurant. To her dismay, Valerie finds out that Duke is a rebel captain, who, along with his two brothers, is on a desperate mission for the despised Confederacy. She would tell the authorities, except there’s one problem—she’s fallen in love with him.

Available now at Amazon


It was well into the night before Maggie was able to herd the last of the night’s customers out of the Spur and lock the doors behind them. When she dropped the key in her pocket and turned around, she was startled beyond reason to find herself face to face with Dylan Coulter.

“Mr. Coulter, I thought you’d gone upstairs,” she said, feeling instantly foolish when he grinned at her discomfiture.

“Where am I supposed to go upstairs, ma’am?”

Her annoyance with herself went up another notch. “I’m sorry. I’d forgotten that you’ve just arrived. I’m on my way to my rooms, so I’ll show you the way.”

“You stay here?” He sounded surprised and she gave him a sidelong glance.

“Of course. It’s comfortable, and convenient.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He nodded, still smiling broadly.

He took the oil lamp from her hand and gestured for her to lead the way. A slight scowl marring her face, Maggie set her jaw and headed for the stairs, the soft pool of golden light steady at her back as heavier steps trailed hers up the plain flight, and along the shadowy corridor.

“Your room is number three, Mr. Coulter,” she told him, pointing, “at the end of the hall, on the left. I had your things sent up earlier. Your horse is stabled across the street.”

“When did you have time to do all that?” he challenged, pleased, but also curious.

She laughed. “While you were busy taking money from foolish drunks.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re quite welcome, Mr. Coulter.”

“It’s Dylan, ma’am.” He handed her the lamp and touched the brim of his hat before walking away, humming softly to himself.

Before she could think about it, Maggie stopped him by calling out quietly, “Dylan, have you had any supper?”

He turned, watched her for several indeterminate heartbeats, and then shook his head.

“Would you like to join me?” Some inner voice was already laughing at her, and Maggie ignored it. She never socialized with customers. This was not only uncharacteristic; to her mind it was absurd. Yet… “Jonas Wilkins runs the café a few doors down, and he often stays late for me,” she said by way of explanation.

The amusement in Dylan Coulter’s blue eyes was already making her regret the impulsive invitation, but she bit back the tart words that would retract her cordiality, and waited for him to walk back to stand in front of her.

“I’d be delighted to have supper with you, Miss Watson,” he assured her and offered his arm.

“Maggie,” she said. “If you wouldn’t mind waiting for just a few minutes, I’d like to tidy up before we go.” She knew full well that she looked more than a bit harried after a long shift in the bar.

“I’ll meet you downstairs in twenty minutes, ma’am,” Dylan said with a smile.

* * *

Fifteen minutes after they’d separated upstairs, Maggie was waiting in the main room of the saloon. She heard a heavy footfall on the stairs and swung around to look at him.

For the second time that night, Dylan Coulter took her breath away. He’d changed from his riding clothes into a suit of rich, dark blue. His shirt was pale blue, ruffled at the cuffs and down the front. His silk tie was black, and the jacket he was pulling on drew her attention to broad shoulders and the undeniable impression of strength and power. He hadn’t bothered with a hat, and his dark brown hair was neatly combed, the deep waves gleaming when he passed under a lamp.

As he continued his walk toward her, her eyes drifted over him. Narrow hips flowed into long legs that were muscled from many hours spent on horseback. His boots were polished black leather, and the silver spurs were more ornate than functional. A gold chain dipped gracefully from the pocket of his burgundy vest, and the watch fob was a small, exquisitely carved replica of an old-fashioned flintlock pistol. At his hip, once again, rested a polished black gun, holster and shell belt lacking ornamentation.

A tiny sliver of ice formed at the base of her spine and began a swift ascent, chilling the back of her neck in heartbeats. He knows how to use that gun, too, a tiny voice murmured inside her head. The knowledge scared her a lot more than she wanted it to, though she wasn’t sure why it should.


She actually started at the sound of his quiet, richly timbred voice. His accent, like so much else about him, was something of a mystery; it revealed lingering traces of the south, but also the precision of an education obtained abroad. There was a subtle, growling purr in the texture of his speech A sound that made her feel awkward and vaguely disoriented. She’d felt a shadow of that kind of feeling only once before, and the reminder of it unsettled her further.

“Mr. Coulter.” She tried to smile, and knew it was only a partial success when his eyebrow rose, curiosity lighting the deep azure gaze that studied her. “Dylan,” she corrected softly. “Shall we go?” It was safer than standing around looking at him. She was distinctly certain that too long in his presence would not bode well for her peace of mind.

“Ma’am.” He nodded and offered his arm. “How far is this café?”

“A few doors down,” she said, and waited while he locked the saloon and pocketed the key. She opened her mouth to question the action, then chose not to bother.

“How much money did Billy Madison lose to you?” She asked the question carefully, a deep reticence about the answer stirring something akin to dread in her heart.

“A fair bit,” Dylan replied, his tone casual. “He assures me his daddy will be happy to pay the debt.” He looked down at her, a tiny smile lifting the corners of his mouth. “Is that true, Maggie. Or is the boy really as stupid as he seems?”

She sighed and shook her head. “Unfortunately, both.”

Dylan nodded. “Is this the place we’re looking for?” They’d stopped outside a small building with several windows in the front, and a sign above the door that read Wilkins Café.

She glanced at the door, with its shutter down but a light clearly burning inside. She smiled. “Yes, this is it.”

* * *

“She’s pretty friendly with that stranger, Billy,” Gil Horner noted as they watched from the concealment of an alley across the street from the café. He wasn’t much interested in Billy Madison’s attempts to win Maggie Watson’s heart, but Billy’s father paid him well to keep the kid alive. He had the feeling this would be one night when he had to earn his pay by more forceful means than the threat of his presence. If the kid went after Coulter, Gil knew they didn’t really stand much of a chance. Coulter had an air about him that Horner had encountered before; he was dangerous, cool, and confident. All the things Billy Madison wasn’t, of course. “Why don’t you just leave it, kid?” he advised, knowing as he spoke that the boy wouldn’t be deterred.

“Maggie and me have an understandin’, Gil,” Billy objected. “I don’t aim to leave her alone to face the likes of Dylan Coulter.”

Grinding his teeth in frustration, Horner grabbed the young man by the shoulder and spun him around so he could look Billy in the eye.

“What you and Maggie Watson have is a misunderstandin’, kid,” he snarled. “She’s out of your league, Billy. Leave her alone before it gets you killed!”

He waited, and in a detached corner of his mind, he gave the kid a once over. Billy was a good-looking boy, with light brown eyes and hair as black as his Indian mother’s had been. He carried the best features of both his parents, and there wasn’t a girl within a fifty-mile radius who wouldn’t be eager to marry him. Nature being perversely absurd, the only woman he’d ever expressed an interest in was the one who didn’t want him. Maggie was twenty-five to Billy’s nineteen, and Gil had wondered a few times if that wasn’t her primary objection to the kid. Horner had made a play for her once, and like others, she’d shot him down with kind, but firm words.

“You still hankerin’ for her yourself, Gil?” Billy asked with a sneer. “That why you want me to give up?”

“I’m not a man who likes to be turned down more than once, kid,” Gil snapped. “She said no, and I’m willin’ to leave it at that. Unlike you,” he added pointedly.

“Go home, Gil,” Billy ordered. “If I need backup, I can find Boyd.”

“Billy,” Horner began with forced patience. “The Sheriff’s out of town. Boyd ain’t in a position to be doin’ you favors. He’s the deputy, let him do his job.”

Billy started to object, just as Horner knew he would. Gil’s closed fist rose straight up, clipping the boy soundly beneath the chin, snapping his teeth together and knocking him out cold in a matter of seconds. Sighing heavily, Gil caught the kid’s weight, hefted him onto one broad shoulder, and headed down the alley to the waiting horses. Billy would be madder than a caged bobcat come morning, but that was better than dead. At least in Horner’s book.


Before you leave, I want you to go into Carson City and get provisions.

Cody looked surprised. “Isn’t that dangerous?”

“Yes, that’s why I want you to take Valerie with you. You’ll look less suspicious if a woman’s with you.”

“As you wish, Cap’tin.” Cody turned to Valerie. “Are you ready?”

Valerie was taken totally off guard, but she understood the reason Duke wanted her to go with Cody. It made sense. They would appear as a farmer or a rancher and his wife, buying provisions for the fortnight. “I didn’t bring a dress?”

“Doesn’t matter. Half the women hereabouts wear men’s clothing. It’s more functional.”

She shrugged her shoulders. “I’m ready when you are.”

He grabbed her hand. “Let’s go.”

She accompanied Cody, riding the same sorrel mare on which she rode to Carson City. They hadn’t ridden a hundred yards when Cody exclaimed, “Whoowee, look who’s playing married with the pretty lady. Too bad I don’t get to try out the side benefits of being married.”

Valerie bit her tongue to keep from smiling. “You are incorrigible.”

“Does that mean, can’t act normal?”

She did laugh. “Something like that. You are acting much too joyful for a morose farmer.”

“Let me tell you. Even a morose farmer would be joyful around you. You’re like a ray of sunshine.”

Time to change the subject. “Cody, what do you want to do after the war?”

“I want to start a ranch. Then, I’d like to find a classy woman as pretty as you and make her my wife. I would never treat her like some men treat their wives—beating them, going to saloons or even brothels. I would treat my wife like a queen.”

Valerie couldn’t think of what to say after that, so she rode on in silence.

Cody laughed. Then he leaned across the space between the horses and kissed Valerie’s cheek.

Wide-eyed and mouth open in shock, she turned to Cody. “What—”

His lips formed that bad boy smile that made her think of sex. “Sorry. I just felt like kissing my future sister-in-law. If’n I can’t have you, the next best thing is you being my sister-in-law.”

“You are—”

“I know, incorrigible. Watch this.” Cody whipped his dark brown stallion with the rein until it galloped. When he was a hundred yards ahead, he pulled the horse to a stop and started galloping back.

Valerie began to worry when, under a full gallop, he stood up on the saddle. Holding the reins in one hand, he waved his wide-brimmed western hat in the other. Then, as he passed, Valerie’s mouth dropped open when he jumped up and spun in the air, landing in the saddle sitting backward and waving to her as he rode away from her.

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