2 new books, 1 author, a lot of crazy

I’m so proud of my newest release, RAINING LOVE & MURDER (Love & Murder Book 4). It was just out everywhere on Saturday.  There’s a lot of craziness going on in my life (almost all of it good craziness). I’ll send out a newsletter this week, but this is my official announcement.

CHRISTMAS REDEMPTION (Love & Murder Book 5) is on pre-order for July 21st, so it will be a Christmas in July book. It’s a novella, and like all the Love & Murder books, it’s a standalone.

The blurbs for both books are below. All of the Love & Murder books have a love story, suspense, and mystery. They also have either a dog or cat (and sometimes both) as an important secondary character. This brings an important question:

What are your favorite books – or movies or TV shows – with a dog and/or a cat?

Raining Love and Murder-Amazon

An abandoned dog. A homeless veteran. A woman on the run. Her life in jeopardy.

Sisters Dawn and Sunny stood together through the trauma of their childhoods and the fame they gained from Dawn’s songwriting and Sunny’s magical voice. But when Sunny marries the son of a cult leader, Dawn’s life is in jeopardy. Taking on the identity of Raine, she goes to ground in a small Wisconsin town with a handsome innkeeper whose upbeat temperament is the antidote to her pain.

Chuck’s always been a good-time guy, and now that he’s come up with a plan to help the town, no one in Trouble Bay thinks he’s up to the hard work. Just as well that he has a new guest to deal with. A woman with secrets. A woman who who makes his heart beat faster. A woman in danger.

**This stand-alone book also has a woman who thought she married a prince but he turned into a snake, and so much more. It’s a powerful and emotional story of love, friendship, dogs, music, and—maybe—murder.

Amazon | Amazon UK | AmazonCA | AmazonAU | BN | Google Play |iBooks | Kobo

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ChristmasRedemption-266x400Everyone has a secret…

Someone attempted to kill Sylvia last Christmas, but she doesn’t expect it to happen again. She’s heard about the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde from Michigan, but the thrill-seeking murderers have kept to their native state, and Sylvia has other concerns.

The freezing, starving, and frightened cat she found in her garage.

Two couples snowed in at her bed-and-breakfast with her and her college professor/screenwriter boyfriend are giving her odd vibrations.
And then there are Sylvia’s past misdeeds. She’d like to tell the man she loves the truth about herself … but some people can’t take the truth.

And some secrets can be deadly…

Amazon | Amazon UK | AmazonCA | AmazonAU | BN | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

 

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Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!

NEW RELEASES

 

rainRaining Love & Murder (Love & Murder Book 4)

by Edie Ramer

An abandoned dog. A homeless veteran. A woman on the run. Her life in jeopardy.

Sisters Dawn and Sunny stood together through the trauma of their childhoods and the fame they gained from Dawn’s songwriting and Sunny’s magical voice. But when Sunny marries the son of a cult leader, Dawn’s life is in jeopardy. Taking on the identity of Raine, she goes to ground in a small Wisconsin town with a handsome innkeeper whose upbeat temperament is the antidote to her pain.

Chuck’s always been a good-time guy, and now that he’s come up with a plan to help the town, no one in Trouble Bay thinks he’s up to the hard work. Just as well that he has a new guest to deal with. A woman with secrets. A woman who who makes his heart beat faster. A woman in danger.

**This stand-alone book also has a woman who thought she married a prince but he turned into a snake, and so much more. It’s a powerful and emotional story of love, friendship, dogs, music, and—maybe—murder.

Amazon | Amazon UK | AmazonCA | AmazonAU | BN | Google Play |iBooks

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hitThe Hitwoman Under Pressure (Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman Book 15)

by JB Lynn

Maggie Lee’s dedication to her family knows no limits.

Even though her life is in chaos, she’ll take any chance to repair her fractured family.

All she has do is:
Get out of the loony bin
Eliminate the killer who’s hunting her sister
Make sure her family doesn’t go off the rails (yup, this one’s the toughest)

Thankfully she’s got the help of an ex-lover, a conman, and a sexy sailor, along with her psychic friend, her loyal, but bickering, pets, and her favorite mob boss.

If only she could rely on them to help her stop the man who wants her sister dead. With two hitmen already killed for going after him, Maggie could use all the help she can get.

Maggie’s skills (and sanity) are put to the test and the stakes have never been higher.

Amazon

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rampRamping Up

by Zoe Dawson

The world of extreme sports just got a little steamier! Zoe Dawson’s pulse-pounding, emotional series follows the wily young female agents of Mavrick Allstars as they chase their dreams—and meet the chiseled athletes who make them come true.

Helena “Lena” Mavrick is ready to prove that she can play with the big boys. Working at her father’s internationally renowned agency, Mavrick Allstars, Lena sets her sights on one of the most coveted phenoms out there: a twenty-four-year-old surfer caught ripping it in a viral skateboarding video. Signing him would be a huge win—and his marketing appeal isn’t the only thing that makes Lena’s heart skip a beat. Trouble is, fraternizing with the client is against company policy.

Professional surfer Gunner Smith lives under the absolute control of his coach—until he takes the ultimate risk and starts over as a skateboarder. Gunner swore he wouldn’t give up his freedom again, but Lena’s out-of-the-blue offer makes him think long and hard. She’s smart, she’s bold, she’s got sponsors lined up around the corner—plus she’s drop-dead gorgeous. He’s just not sure his coach will let him get away that easily, because he’s not just Gunner’s coach, he’s also his father.

Gunner is used to hiding his tortured past. But when his steamy affair with Lena threatens their future, he must decide whether he will sacrifice everything for the woman who’s stolen his heart.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google

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bodyThe Body Reader

by Anne Frasier

For three years Detective Jude Fontaine was kept from the outside world. Held in an underground cell, her only contact was with her sadistic captor, and reading his face was her entire existence. Learning his every line, every movement, and every flicker of thought is what kept her alive.

After her experience with isolation and torture, she is left with a fierce desire for justice—and a heightened ability to interpret the body language of both the living and the dead. Despite colleagues’ doubts about her mental state, she resumes her role at Homicide. Her new partner, Detective Uriah Ashby, doesn’t trust her sanity, and he has a story of his own he’d rather keep hidden. But a killer is on the loose, murdering young women, so the detectives have no choice: they must work together to catch the madman before he strikes again. And no one knows madmen like Jude Fontaine.

Amazon

FREE BOOKS

cruxCrux (Southern Arcana, Book #1

by Moira Rogers

Southern Arcana, Book One

Jackson Holt has carved out a life for himself as a private investigator in New Orleans, home of one of the largest underground supernatural populations in the United States. He and his partners have never met a case they couldn’t crack…until a local bar owner asks him to do a little digging on her newest hire.

New Orleans is the fourth destination in as many months for Mackenzie Brooks, a desperate woman on the run from a deranged stalker. After all, any man who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her destined lover has more than a few screws loose. But crazy doesn’t explain why Marcus always finds her, no matter how far she runs.

When her well-meaning boss puts a PI on her case, Mackenzie comes face to face with the incredible, unbelievable truth: magic is real, and whatever spell has kept her hidden and separate from the paranormal world is rapidly deteriorating.

With time running out, she has no choice but to trust Jackson as they struggle to uncover the truth of her past—and her destiny.

Amazon US | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia | Amazon DE

 

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Why Princess Might Be the Career Choice for You

As part of my Cin Wikkid: April Fools For Love book tour, I was asked many Princessly questions. Build your perfect prince or princess was popular. It made me realize my idea of royalty was more Shrek than Disney. But I’m a traditionalist in some ways.

Top 5 Princessly Necessities

Sparkly Tiara. Seriously, these things rock. A hat that glitters and is a nice nest egg for retirement? Where do I sign up?

A handsome prince. Or an ogre prince, but the key point is, this is your soulmate. Seriously, this guy loves you enough to hack apart impenetrable sword-sharp thorns or brave a whole new world or change from a beast into a man. If that isn’t true love, what is?

Adventure. From flying carpets or canoes or exploring creepy old castles, being a princess means new experiences. Well, unless you have really, really long hair, in which case you’re locked in a tower. It’s only a real problem if you make the mistake of starting the pectin diet on the wrong day (beware the door-to-door fruit saleslady) or are the victim of a shoddily manufactured spinning wheel. But Princesses Are Resourceful!* You’ll find a way out of any difficulty by The End.

No cooking or cleaning! You’ll have an army of servants to do all that, or at the very least strangely musical animated household items.

Stylish transportation. Although the new BMW hypercar has a lot to recommend it too.

What about you? If you changed careers, what would it be? Would Princess be on your list?

 

 

CinWikkid3x4.5
From award-winning bestselling author Mary Hughes comes a fairytale romance with a twist.
THE WRONGED DAUGHTER
Cinderella hungers to escape from under Widow Wikkid’s grinding thumb. But to snare a plum job at Prince Industries, Cin desperately needs her degree, and she can’t wrap her mind around tax accounting.
Then scarred but sexy Rafe Montoya ignites her imagination with his brilliant tutoring—and, as they work together in his cozy apartment, he sets her body on fire. She thinks he’s the one for her, until he starts pushing her to attend Gideon Prince’s marriage-mart ball.
THE HANDSOME PRINCE
Rafe is really Gideon Prince, head of Prince Industries. He must name his bride by his April first birthday or suffer the loss of his family fortune.
Rumors say he’s still single because women love his money and looks, not him. Is he lonely or just another duplicitous tycoon?
THE GLASS SLIPPER TEST
Hopefuls flock to Prince’s birthday ball, but only the woman who is kind, wise, and generous will win his heart. Is it Cin, or will her stepmother, as she always does, snatch the prize for her own daughters?
And on the night of the ball, when Cin discovers Rafe’s true identity, can she even accept his final test?
Warning: Rags-to-riches fairytale meets the texting generation. Stepsisters who are a blush-brush shy of a full makeup set, and a ball gown built like a tank. Contains material intended for mature audiences. Reader discretion advised.
For anyone who has ever been persecuted or hidden their light under a bushel.
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CN0Y8GG/
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cin-wikkid-mary-hughes/1123933834?ean=2940158431982
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/643840
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cinwikkidaprilfoolsforlove-2058859-149.html
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/cin-wikkid-april-fools-for/id1125208529?mt=11
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Mary_Hughes_Cin_Wikkid_April_Fools_For_Love?id=K0NnDAAAQBAJ
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/cin-wikkid-april-fools-for-love
Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01CN0Y8GG/

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Shattered is almost here!

The story that started it all – Tuesday’s child (permafree) – was first published in 2011, almost 5 years ago today. That spawned a wild ride that at times made me nauseous and at times gave me a nosebleed from the heights I flew. But never have I regretted the journey.

On June 29th, Shattered, book 9 will be available! 

Some events are life shattering…

Caught in a gilded cage for most of her life, Hannah keeps trying to escape. There’s something wrong with her the doctors can’t diagnose, but she’d rather be free and die than stay trapped… forever.

When she’s caught once again, Trevor offers her a unique way out. Should she trust him? And what if he finds out the truth? Will he still be on her side?

Trevor knows he has a lot to make up for in his life. He works at it every day. But when the opportunity to rescue an incredibly talented waif comes, he doesn’t realize how much will be asked of him.

Time is against them. And that’s when they find out that not all enemies are outside in the world.

Sometimes they are inside… we just don’t know it…

And if you haven’t ordered your copy of Shattered yet, the preorders are up!

[ cover: Psychic Visions - Shattered ]

 [Kindle]  Nook  iBooks  Kobo  Google Play

SEALs of Honor: Cooper will release on July 19th! Preorders available now!

[ cover: SEALs of Honor - Cooper ]

 [Kindle]  Nook  iBooks  Kobo  Google Play

 

 

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Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!

FREE BOOKS

v3Portals: Volume 3

by Michelle Diener et al.

Book blurb: Welcome! You have arrived at a portal to the galaxy.

Enter, and you’ll be introduced by award-winning authors to worlds beyond imagining, with heroes & heroines who dare to take it to the edge and beyond. Count on these adventurers to take their best shot … at their enemies and at romance!

Contains 10 first chapters, with links to purchase any or all of the complete books, should you wish.

Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks | ARe

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lakeshoreLakeshore Secrets: The McAdams Sisters (By The Lake Series Book 1)

by Shannyn Leah

Kate McAdams was forced six years ago to leave her beloved hometown of Willow Valley, leaving behind her family and the only man she’s ever loved, Marc Caliendo. Although she has created a new life for herself away from the drama, secrets and stress of the small town, she must return upon her grandmother’s death. Her return brings back wonderful memories, especially of Marc, but also horrible fears from the past.

When fate throws her and Marc together once again, how can they ignore the everlasting love and desire between them? Will Kate stay and face her demons or will the deceit and secrets of the past destroy any future they may have and force her to leave again?

This book can be read as a stand alone, but for more enjoyment read them in the order of the series, as all the characters appear in future books.

Amazon

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Pushed Too Far: A Thriller (Val Ryker series Book 1)

by Ann Voss Peterson

FREE THROUGH SATURDAY

A TOWN’S TERRIBLE SECRET

Two years ago a woman was brutally murdered, her body burned until only ash and shattered bone remained. Police Sergeant Valerie Ryker solved that case, putting psychopath Dixon Hess in prison for life, and becoming the first female police chief of her tiny Wisconsin town.

A COP’S UNFORGIVABLE MISTAKE

Then the original murder victim turns up in a frozen lake, all in one piece and only recently dead, and Val must enter a race against time. In only forty-eight hours, Hess will be set free, and he wants payback. And Val, her town, and everyone she loves are at the top of his list.

A KILLER’S NEXT VICTIM

But surviving Hess’s vengeance is only part of her dilemma. For there’s another killer in Lake Loyal. One who may be closer to Val than she knows…

Val will need all the help she can get, including a sexy firefighter, her dead sister’s daughter, and a tough Chicago cop named Jack Daniels. Everyone has a breaking point, and Val has just reached hers.

Amazon

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onceOnce Upon a Night at Sea (Princess Cruises Presents: Kindle Love Stories)

by Barbara Longley

A spilled latte. A broken nose. Marin and Jason are bracing themselves for anything—except finding love on the high seas.

Things don’t start off on the right foot between Marin and Jason. After all, spilling caramel latte all over the hottest guy she’s ever laid eyes on isn’t the best way to make a good first impression. And, based on his brusque reaction, Jason isn’t quite Marin’s type, anyway. But when Marin wins the trip of a lifetime—a weeklong Caribbean cruise aboard the spectacular Emerald Princess—she’s shocked to find the sinfully handsome guy she’d doused in coffee back home occupying the stateroom next door. Even more shocking? Cruising on the high seas just might turn the tide of romance their way.

Amazon

 

 

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What’s in a name…? A Blurb Fit for Royalty — Guest Remi Bond

Please welcome guest Remi Bond, whose release Surprise for Three: Leap Year, along with S.L. Carpenter’s Chasing Dreams: Leap Year, leaped into reader hands February 29!

The first thing a reader sees of an author’s book is the cover or title. I think Surprise for Three is a good, engaging title, and with SL Carpenter’s artwork, you know the cover is going to be superlative.

But the next thing a reader sees is the “tag” and “blurb”, the hook line plus the three or four paragraphs that set up a promise as to what kind of ride the story will give.

I wrote what I thought was a good blurb, but for this first menage, was it good enough?

So I handed it over to The Blurb Queen, a professional. Oh, my, am I glad I did! Here’s the before and after, paragraph by paragraph, for your reading pleasure.

TAG
Before: (none)
After: Will she dare to take a leap this bold?

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR

Before: Annaliese loves Ransom, but she’s too shy for him, and knows it. So in farewell, she throws him a Leap Year birthday party—with a surprise. Sure, she doesn’t get his heart a-pumping, but the beautiful exotic dancer popping out of the cake will.

After: … she’s not daring enough for him
Annaliese loves Ransom, but has given up on winning his heart. It hurts too much to watch him with other women, so she’s leaving town. In farewell, she throws him a Leap Year birthday party—with a surprise. She may not get his heart a-pumping, but the beautiful exotic dancer popping out of the cake will.

THE RICH PLAYBOY

Before: Ransom craves the adrenaline rush extreme sports and kinky sex give him. His heart belongs to Annaliese, but he’d make her miserable as her lover. He can only hope his hot blood cools before another man sweeps her away …and then the giant cake is wheeled in.

After: … he’s too much of a risk-taker for her Ransom’s heart belongs to Annaliese, but he’s convinced he’d make her miserable, since he craves the adrenaline rush of extreme sports and kinky sex. He can only hope his passion for her matures before another man sweeps her away … and then the giant cake is wheeled in.

THE INJURED SEAL

Before: Jack’s home from war for good and looking for a sweet woman to settle down with. When a relative maneuvers him into a pirate costume to swing his sword for some rich woman’s birthday party, he spies sweet Annaliese and knows she’s the one he wants. But she loves another…

After: THE WOUNDED WARRIOR … she’s just what he’s looking forJack is home from duty as a Navy SEAL and on the hunt for a sweet woman to settle down with. When a relative maneuvers him into a pirate costume to swing his sword for some rich chick’s birthday party, he goes along as a favor. Then he spies sweet Annaliese watching his moves and knows she’s the one.

(Wrapup)

Before: When the exotic dancer bursting from Ransom’s birthday cake turns out to be a well-muscled pirate, it’s a surprise for three.

After: A LEAP YEAR LOVE TRIANGLE … can they make it last?
When Jack sees the way Annaliese looks at Ransom, he’s ready to back away … until Ransom invites him to a private after-party for three. Can Annaliese overcome her shyness to share passion with not one, but two hot men?

WARNING

Before: This story contains material intended for mature audiences. Reader discretion advised.

After: Warning: This story contains hot ménage and demonstrations of affection between two alpha heroes and one heroine.

Don’t miss your chance to get in on this sexy celebration—get your copy of Surprise for Three today!

Here are the finished products:

Chasing Dreams: Leap Year by S.L. Carpenter

Michelle has reached a crossroads in her life just as the year offers her an extra day – February 29th. Walking away from an empty relationship and striking out on a new path is reviving feelings—both scary and wonderful. A train trip home offers time to think about her future, and what the Leap Year might bring. It also offers her a good looking drunk, passed out in her sleeping compartment.

Josh is mortified that he crashed in the wrong compartment, but fascinated by the woman who let him sleep and even covered him with a blanket. Their meeting seems pre-destined, as does the passion sparking between them.

But they both have pasts, and sometimes the past can leave a long shadow across the future. Michelle and Josh will have to come to terms with where they’ve been before they can really set off on the ultimate adventure…chasing their dreams.

Amazon | Amazon UK

Surprise for Three: Leap Year by Remi Bond

Will she dare to take a leap this bold?

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR … she’s not daring enough for him
Annaliese loves Ransom but has given up on winning his heart. It hurts too much to watch him with other women, so she’s leaving town. In farewell, she throws him a Leap Year birthday party—with a surprise. She may not get his heart a-pumping, but the beautiful exotic dancer popping out of the cake will.

THE RICH PLAYBOY … he’s too much of a risk-taker for her
Ransom’s heart belongs to Annaliese, but he’s convinced he’d make her miserable, since he craves the adrenaline rush of extreme sports and kinky sex. He can only hope his passion for her matures before another man sweeps her away … and then the giant cake is wheeled in.

THE WOUNDED WARRIOR … she’s just what he’s looking for
Jack is home from duty as a Navy SEAL and on the hunt for a sweet woman to settle down with. When a relative maneuvers him into a pirate costume to swing his sword for some rich chick’s birthday party, he goes along as a favor. Then he spies sweet Annaliese watching his moves and knows she’s the one.

A LEAP YEAR LOVE TRIANGLE … can they make it last?
When Jack sees the way Annaliese looks at Ransom, he’s ready to back away … until Ransom invites him to a private after-party for three. Can Annaliese overcome her shyness to share passion with not one, but two hot men?

Warning: This story contains hot ménage and demonstrations of affection between two alpha heroes and one heroine.

Don’t miss your chance to get in on this sexy celebration—get your copy of Surprise for Three today!

Amazon | Amazon UK

What about you? Does a polished blurb make a difference?

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Looking forward to reading . . .

Woman Reading on CouchThere is nothing better than looking forward to reading something you’re pretty sure you’re going to love. I know I’ll soon have Edie’s latest book to critique, and I’m looking forward to that, but I’m also looking forward to reading a host of other books coming up.

I haven’t yet read the new Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson book: Fire Touched, so I’m really looking forward to that, as well as the latest JD Robb book, Brotherhood in Death, and the fourth book in Anne Bishop’s Other series, Marked in Flesh. There is a Nalini Singh book, Allegiance of Honor, from her Psy/Changeling series coming up, too. I just have to finish Dark Minds, the final book in my Class 5 series (nearly there! yay!) and then have it edited and proofed and proofed again 🙂 and then I’m giving myself permission to dive in to these great reads.

What books are you looking forward to reading? Let’s get a list going – I’m sure there’s room on my TBR pile for some more books!

One series I only just found is the Lupi series by Eileen Wilks. I sneak a read every weekend, just for a bit of R&R to give me a break from writing, and I’m loving it!

Project-Portal-Volume-3-250And for those of you who read my post last month about the Portals Project, where I was involved in a sampler, where the first chapters of Science Fiction Romance novels were being included in six volumes, available for free, for readers to find new authors in one easy place, the volume with the first chapter of Dark Horse in it, Volume 3, has now gone live everywhere, and it’s free, so don’t hesitate to download and discover some great new books.

PORTALS: VOLUME THREE

Amazon | Nook | Kobo | iBooks | ARe | Google Play

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Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!

FREE BOOKS

pamSix Months in Montana (Montana Sweet Western Romance Series, Book 1)

by Pamela M Kelley

SIX MONTHS IN MONTANA–First book in the series, FREE everywhere.

Molly Bishop loves living in Manhattan and managing a boutique luxury hotel. She’s about to be promoted to her dream job of General Manager, the role she’s been striving for her entire career.

There’s only one thing standing in her way.

The will of her childhood friend, Christian Ford’s grandfather. She hasn’t even seen Christian in over ten years, but a recent run-in with his grandfather during a rare visit home, resulted in a new condition to the will. Christian will only inherit the ranch he’s been running and the real estate development business that he has expanded, if he marries Molly and stays married for at least six months.
AmazoniBooks | Nook | Kobo

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dogsGoing to the Dogs Starter Box Set

by Zoe Dawson

Beware of dogs, romance and deep belly laughs!

Four friends meet in a dog park and become fast friends. Four different backgrounds, four different personalities, but two things in common, the love for their funny, endearing four-legged furry friends and their deep friendship for each other. Come along and join my girls as they find their true love in the urban jungle of New York City and each snag the man of their dreams. To get you started on this fun journey, this set includes Leashed, Book 1 and Groomed for Murder, Book 2 of The Going to the Dogs series.

LEASHED

And they call it puppy love!

When Jack falls head-over-paws for cute and cuddly Jill next door — that creamy coat, those soft brown eyes, and, yowza, those long legs, he simply cannot help himself. Bing, bang, boom, a few weeks later, Jack has some ‘splaining to do when that cute female is with puppies. Jack’s going to be a father, trouble is his lady love’s owner Owen McKay and his owner Callie Lassiter need a little shove into love. Being a large and in-charge Great Dane, that’s no problem for Jack. With a little cooperation and a little matchmaking, some nudging, whining and puppy dog eyes, hopefully, everyone will live happily ever after together.

Groomed for Murder

Can a dog have a bad hair day?

Brooke Palmer owns Pawlish, an exclusive doggie spa and grooming business in upper Manhattan, but when a client’s champion poodle gets a bad poodle cut and has to undergo therapy to recover, the client sues. The lawyer they send is drop dead gorgeous, but Brooke won’t be wooed by a corporate shark in a sharp suit.
Corporate lawyer Drew Hudson has better things to do then take on this ridiculous lawsuit, but since he works for the client’s husband, he has no choice. After meeting the beautiful, sweet-tempered owner, he can’t keep his mind on the silly case. But when the client turns up dog gone dead, Brooke may be a conflict of interest when she’s charged with the murder. All Drew wants to do is prove that this sexy entrepreneur is not dangerous, except to his heart.

Can she take a chance on him?

Don’t miss Hounded and Collared Book 3 and 4 along with the wedding novellas that are now available in a boxed set!

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | GoogleKobo | Smashwords

99c BOOKS

setPsychic Visions Set 4-6

by Dale Mayer

On sale for 99¢

This Psychic Vision Set includes the following 3 books in the series:

Garden of Sorrow
Knock, Knock…
Rare Find

Amazon | Nook | GP | Kobo

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cinCin Wikkid: April Fools For Love

by Mary Hughes

THE WRONGED DAUGHTER
Cinderella hungers to escape from under Widow Wikkid’s grinding thumb. But to snare a plum job at Prince Industries, Cin desperately needs her degree, and she can’t wrap her mind around tax accounting.

Then scarred but sexy Rafe Montoya ignites her imagination with his brilliant tutoring—and, as they work together in his cozy apartment, he sets her body on fire. She thinks he’s the one for her, until he starts pushing her to attend Gideon Prince’s marriage-mart ball.

THE HANDSOME PRINCE
Rafe is really Gideon Prince, head of Prince Industries. He must name his bride by his April first birthday or suffer the loss of his family fortune.

Rumors say he’s still single because women love his money and looks, not him. Is he lonely or just another duplicitous tycoon?

THE GLASS SLIPPER TEST
Hopefuls flock to Prince’s birthday ball, but only the woman who is kind, wise, and generous will win his heart. Is it Cin, or will her stepmother, as she always does, snatch the prize for her own daughters?

And on the night of the ball, when Cin discovers Rafe’s true identity, can she even accept his final test?

Warning: Rags-to-riches fairytale meets the texting generation. Stepsisters who are a blush-brush shy of a full makeup set, and a ball gown built like a tank. Contains material intended for mature audiences. Reader discretion advised.

For anyone who has ever been persecuted or hidden their light under a bushel.

Amazonauk

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amberAmaretto Amber (Franki Amato Mysteries Book 3)

by Traci Andrighetti

**Now in development for a TV movie!**

Private investigator Franki Amato has just turned thirty, and she feels anything but festive. For starters, she can’t have cake because she’s given up sweets, and one of her teeth is torturing her. To add insult to birthday injury, she has to investigate a surreal strip club homicide—with her sixtyish ex-stripper landlady. Then her Sicilian grandma crashes the New Orleans non-party and insists that she steal a lemon to land a husband. Unfortunately for Franki, the man she has in mind has his mind somewhere else, and their relationship seems to have soured. Adding to her troubles, she has to figure out what a missing amber pendant and a mysterious amaretto bottle have to do with the murder, not to mention why she’s being followed. When a second dancer goes down and a third is threatened, Franki turns to a weird witch to crack the case and cancel a curse before someone blows out her candles for good.

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Stay Away From The Voodoo…

sugar skull

© Elisanth | Dreamstime.com

I can’t as it plays an important part in the book I’m writing right now. It’s another Hope Parish Novel and begins a trilogy. Resisting Samantha is about Chase Sutton trying to resist falling for restaurant owner, Samantha Wharton. But, the problem is, Samantha is in deep voodoo (yeah, you saw what I did there). The current owner of Imogene’s, Samantha Wharton is a young, pretty widow from New York City. She’d taken over Imogene’s when it had fallen into disrepair and revitalized the eatery steeped in mystery and secrets. For that, she’d won the hearts of everyone in Suttontowne, Louisiana where my books are set. It’s a small town in Hope Parish, a hop and skip from Lafayette, Louisiana and a two-hour drive from New Orleans.

It was rumored that Imogene had been a voodoo priestess who practiced her art under the full moon. She was hanged for supposedly causing a hurricane and wiping out a small fishing village farther down the road, because some of the men there had raped and murdered her daughter, AnnClaire. It’s said the daughter’s ghost haunts the restaurant.

Of course, Louisiana lends itself well to ghosts, voodoo and secrets. Samantha might be getting warnings from a ghost and strange things are happening, but the danger she is facing is real and links back to tragedies she suffered in New York City before she moved to Suttontowne.

Her past comes back to haunt her.

When someone says voodoo, it conjures up images of zombies and sacrificial goat slayings, blood and voodoo dolls, but there is a different side to voodoo that is all about protection. A gris-gris bag (Also spelled grigri and pronounced gree-gree. The s is silent.) is a talisman, a voodoo amulet with its origins in Africa and protects the wearer from evil and brings luck. There are different gris-gris bags for different needs like healing, happiness, courage, and love.

gris-gris bag

© Laura Kuhn | Dreamstime.com

The gris-gris bag was common in the American headquarters for voodoo, New Orleans. It’s been interesting to research this topic and discover information about Marie Laveau, the reigning queen of voodoo and to weave some history into my contemporary novel. A gris-gris bag is ritually made at an altar containing the four elements: earth (salt), air (incense), water and fire (candle flame). The number of ingredients placed in the bag is always one, three, five, seven nine or thirteen, never an even number.

The bags, depending on the purpose being sought, can contain lodestones, minerals, four leaf clovers, rabbits foot, cross, coins, dice, personal items, pieces of colored cloth or feathers, talisman written on parchment, saint medals or cards, magical powders and oils.

Here is the passage from the book describing Samantha’s bag:

There was a small bag lying near the shards of the cake plate. I hesitated and looked up to where the woman had been standing. She was still gone. Then, back down at the bag. I reached out and touched the fabric. There was something in it. It was made out of red chamois, very soft and tied with a drawstring.

With trembling fingers, I pulled open the top, a strong balsamic-spicy, lemony-evergreen scent I recognized as frankincense filled the air. Among the contents were a pungent eucalyptus leaf, an acorn, and a sigil with a sun inside a triangle with three slashes that looked like claws at the top, one tiny star in each corner of the lower portion, a German iron cross at the bottom, and all the symbols were enclosed in a circle. There was something at the bottom that glinted in the light, but I couldn’t see what it was. I dumped out the contents and my heart stopped beating.

My hand went reflexively to the necklace that Jeff had given me.

It was gone.

I never took it off. He’d given it to me as a wedding present, his saying: I started wishing upon a star then I found you and wished no more.

Yet on the table was the small silver star. I’d had it on last night when I gotten into bed. I know I did because I played with it whenever I was thinking about Jeff. And, after that physical connection with Chase, I’d been feeling a bit guilty and conflicted and sad all week. I’d wanted to kiss more than his scratchy cheek, the scent of him had me lingering and breathing deep, until I came to my senses with a strong case of embarrassment.

I had been wondering about moving on, afraid to even think it. But this couldn’t be the same star, mine had an engraving.

Backing up, my heart in my throat, the hair on the back of my neck rising, I stood there just staring at it. I had to have lost my necklace. That had to be it.

But when I turned it over, there in one of the points was the heart he had engraved into it the day he’d bought it.

It’s been so fun doing research into such a topic steeped in lore and mystery.

What, if anything, do you like about voodoo? I personally thing the sugar skull and the top hat are particularly cool.

‘Til next time ~ Zoe

Upcoming releases:

Resisting the Fall: Resisting Samantha – Out July 25, 2016

Resisting SamanthaStruggling with a devastating painful past, Samantha Wharton had escaped New York City to settle in Suttontowne and run Imogene’s, a quaint and historical eatery.  She thought her heart had died along with her family, but when she meets Chase Sutton, the fallen son of the town’s founder, even with a vow to keep her emotions bottled up, she cannot seem to hang onto her bruised and battered heart

Chase Sutton was tired of being told what to do and whom to know. After the discovery of a devastating family secret, he left his life completely behind and opened up a bait and tackle shop supplying seafood to the local merchants. The simple life suits him fine. It isn’t until he falls into Samantha’s sad eyes that he realizes what he’s lost. But how can he offer Samantha a future when he hasn’t dealt with his own past?

Contending with the living is enough of a challenge–add in voodoo spells, haunting ghosts, and things that go bump in the night leads Samantha to draw closer to Chase. But risking her heart is a more terrifying prospect, especially when all signs point to the return of a dangerous adversary from Samantha’s past, one who targets anyone she cares about.

Mavrick Allstars: Ramping Up – Out June 21, 2016

Ramping Up_Dawson largerframeThe world of extreme sports just got a little steamier! Zoe Dawson’s pulse-pounding, emotional series follows the wily young female agents of Mavrick Allstars as they chase their dreams—and meet the chiseled athletes who make them come true.

Helena “Lena” Mavrick is ready to prove that she can play with the big boys. Working at her father’s internationally renowned agency, Mavrick Allstars, Lena sets her sights on one of the most coveted phenoms out there: a twenty-four-year-old surfer caught ripping it in a viral skateboarding video. Signing him would be a huge win—and his marketing appeal isn’t the only thing that makes Lena’s heart skip a beat. Trouble is, fraternizing with the client is against company policy.

Professional surfer Gunner Smith lives under the absolute control of his coach—until he takes the ultimate risk and starts over as a skateboarder. Gunner swore he wouldn’t give up his freedom again, but Lena’s out-of-the-blue offer makes him think long and hard. She’s smart, she’s bold, she’s got sponsors lined up around the corner—plus she’s drop-dead gorgeous. He’s just not sure his coach will let him get away that easily, because he’s not just Gunner’s coach, he’s also his father.

Gunner is used to hiding his tortured past. But when his steamy affair with Lena threatens their future, he must decide whether he will sacrifice everything for the woman who’s stolen his heart.

Going to the Dogs 2: Holding Still – Out August 22, 2016

Prudence Chambers made a deal with the devil—Harper Sinclair, now Shaw. Exclusive photo coverage of her socialite wedding. It put Pru on the map as a photographer and has opened so many doors. Harper held up her end of the bargain, now it was up to Pru to fulfill her vow. She’d promised Harper that she would give Nathaniel Taylor a second chance. Pru is skeptical that Nate would ever change, but if she is being honest with herself, she has to admit that she still harbors feelings for the sexy stock broker. But she’d hold her heart in reserve until he proved himself—holding still. She just couldn’t go through that heartache again—the next time might kill her.

Nate Taylor was still in love with Pru, had realized his bone-headed and stupid behavior drove her away. Now he was a different man after reconnecting with his brother Jared and his friends, especially Harper. Life was streaking at the speed of light, and he needed to slow down, get in touch with what was important. Like his opportunity to work with AlphaGroup Investments and worthwhile causes. Sit still for a minute—holding still. But, could he open up to Pru again, let her back inside, and risk it all?

More books to be discovered on my website.

 

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Young adult books then and now

Several months ago, one of the ladies in my yoga class asked me about my young adult books, including Bright Blaze of Magic, the third and final book in my Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series.

We started talking, along with the other ladies in class, and they mentioned something interesting — that their kids and teens in general these days just don’t seem to read the same books that their parents did. Specifically, that it seems like teens prefer to read fantasy books instead of the Nancy Drew mysteries and other classic books that their parents read when they were teens.

The Secret of the Old ClockI keep thinking about this conversation because I loved reading Nancy Drew when I was growing up, and I specifically remember the cover shown at left. I read several different versions of Nancy Drew, and I also loved reading Trixie Belden, Sweet Valley High, the Baby-Sitters Club, and just about any other book/series I could get my hands on. I checked them all out from the library and read and re-read them time and time again.

Looking back, it seems like I read more mysteries and contemporary books when I was young. I don’t remember reading a lot of fantasy books until I was in high school. That’s when I discovered authors like Terry Brooks and David Eddings.

But once I started reading fantasy, I fell in love with the genre. I just loved all the fantasy books with all these characters going on these epic adventures and trying to save their kingdom, world, etc. from the bad guys. I like to read books with a little bit of everything in them, and to me, fantasy books were the perfect combination of action, adventure, magic, danger, and romance. And they still are today. Discovering fantasy books when I was a teen is probably one of the reasons why I write fantasy books today.

Oh, I still read mysteries, romances, westerns, spy thrillers, and more, but fantasy books definitely hold a special place in my heart. And the more I think about it, the more I think that my yoga ladies are right. Just browsing through the young adult section at my local bookstores, it seems like most of the young adult books are fantasy books. And it seems like most of the big books that all the book blogs are talking about are often young adult epic fantasy books.

So why is that? I think that maybe as teens get older and start becoming more independent, that they want to read about characters who are doing the same — folks who leave the safety of their homes/towns behind, go on these epic adventures, and use their magic for the greater good. I think there’s something that’s universally appealing about that, no matter how old you are, but that it really resonates with folks when they are in their teens and trying to figure out who they are and what they want to do in life.

What do you guys think? Do the teens that you know prefer to read fantasy books? Or do they read a wide variety of books?

Bright Blaze of Magic finalBright Blaze of Magic is out now. You can order the book at all the usual sites, including the following:

Amazon Kindle / Amazon print / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-MillionGoogle Play iBooks IndieBoundKobo

The audiobook is available through Audible and Amazon, and Brittany Pressley is once again be the narrator.

And here is the book description:

BAD THINGS ALWAYS COME IN THREES…

As a thief, I’m good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families—and kill every last Sinclair. What they don’t know is that I’m on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I’ve got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…

I hope that everyone enjoys the book. Happy reading! 🙂

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