Welcome guest author Catherine Wolffe!

Welcome Catherine Wolffe, author of Casey’s Gunslinger, as my guest today!  She brought an excerpt from her latest release. Enjoy!

What inspired you to write your first book?

Like so many other authors, I love to read but the catalyst that drove me to write was a challenge from my younger sister.  We dared each other to stop talking about writing and write!  Three years later the result for me was Comanche Haven.  For her the book was A Vampire From Hell.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Only that love can conquer all life puts in two peoples’ path if they’re determined.  Real love is courageous and stalwart in the face of danger.

Did you learn anything from writing your book? If so, what was it?

Yes, I learned several things.  One, I have a never quit willpower.  I say that because I didn’t get family support for my writing until just recently.  Instead of letting that detour my efforts, I dug in and kept going.  The second thing I learned is I love to write for the sake of writing.  There are few things, which bring me so much joy and satisfaction as sitting down to write a few thousand words.  A new world opened up for me when I discovered I loved writing.

Who is your most popular character? Why do your readers like or dislike this character?

Readers love Seth Loflin in Comanche Haven, The Loflin Legacy # 1.  I believe the reason lies in his being a genuine alpha male with a heart of pure gold.  Torn between responsibilities and love, Seth battles not only the odds stacked against a relationship with Celia but also his own inner demons.  This kind of tortured soul resonates with readers.

What are your current projects?

Casey's Gunslinger

Recently, I released the second book in The Loflin Legacy series called Casey’s
Gunslinger
.  I enjoy sharing the story of Seth’s friend, a bad boy turned saint and the saloon barmaid he has to save.  Readers will enjoy Casey’s headstrong nature as well as Charles’ laid back, suave demeanor.  Both are hiding things, which will bring the world down around them, if they aren’t careful.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’d love to share a small excerpt from Casey’s Gunslinger… here’s the blurb first…

When Casey St. Clair returns to Tyler to locate her birth father, she seeks the help of the town’s attorney, the wickedly handsome, Charles Harrison. Abandoned as a baby by the town’s most influential man, Earl Loflin, Casey’s plan includes going to any length to shame the man who sired her. Charles sees her plan as a foolhardy attempt at revenge. He’ll do his best to protect her without resorting to the methods of his past. But when his past comes calling and Casey walks blindly into a trap, he’s the only man who can save her and any future they have together.

And onto the excerpt…

***

Charles woke with the sunrise each morning, a habitual routine left from his years at West Point.  Having spent the time at the nation’s premier military school, first becoming a soldier and afterward an attorney, he maintained the regiment easily.

Staring hard at the fire burning brightly in the grate, Charles’ focus broke off with the knock at the door.  It was only 7:30 in the blooming day.  With less than he polished poise, he strode to the door.  “Yes?”

The woman had her back to him.  Her deep blue suit coat fit smoothly past a trim waist.  He had no trouble with the vision of the curves beneath the plaid skirt of russet, blue and brown.  Her blond curls showed beneath a hat, perfectly matching her suit coat, while a velvet reticle of deep brown hung from her arm.  He did admire a well turned out woman.

With his question, she turned.  He couldn’t help noticing how the suit’s color suited her complexion perfectly.

Cassandra St. Clair cheeks flushed to a shade of pomegranates before she smiled at him.  “Good morning, Mr. Harrison.  May I come in?”

The shock of seeing her on his doorstep stole his tongue.  Her eyes twinkled like a peacock’s feather, brilliant blue and mesmerizing.

“Of course, please, do come in” he finally managed.

“Thank you.”  She said as she breezed by him in a cloud of a cinnamon and vanilla, a combination, which somehow suited her perfectly.  “I hope I’m not disturbing you?”  Her gloved hands rested lightly on the handle of her reticle.  A faint smile creased her lips.

“No, no,” he stammered.  Unable to form a complete sentence, he simply stare.

Casey went straight to the fire.

Besides the hour, the temperature was cold.  “Did you walk from the hotel?”

“Yes, yes I did.”  Working off her gloves, she held her hands out toward the fire’s warmth.

“I wonder if I could bother you for some coffee, Mr. Harrison.”

Looking back with a quick twinkle in her eye, she grinned.  His heart quivered in his chest.

“I’d forgotten how chilly the temperature can be here in the mornings.”  Rubbing her arms, her cheerful demeanor faltered slightly.  With her focus returning to the fire, she extended her slim fingers, working them in front of the flames.

“Certainly, please, won’t you have a seat?”  Indicating a large parlor chair, he shoved the high-backed seat closer to the hearth, making sure she was comfortable.  “I’ll be only a minute.”  Wandering a short distance away before turning back, he shook his head.  “Uh, forgive me.  I seem to have lost my manners this morning.  What would you like in your coffee?”

“Black is fine.  I prefer my coffee that way.”

Easing out of the room, Charles hurried to the kitchen located in the rear of the building.  He glanced at the disorder of things before turning his attention to locating the coffee tray buried somewhere in his kitchen cabinet.  Cleaning wasn’t his long suit. The truth was he’d been a bachelor much too long to take up the habit now.  Poking around the upper cabinet, he finely found the sugar bowl.  Wait!  She said she liked her coffee black.  With a grumble for the coffee pot, he cocked a brow.  Was the fool thing asleep? He actually jumped when she appeared at the doorway.

“Is there anything I can help with?”

Strolling in, she looked at ease with her surroundings.

“I thought I might give you a hand.”  Scanning the cluttered room, she reached out.  “Here let me get that for you.  Your housekeeper must be on holiday this week.”  Taking the coffee pot from him, while he stood mute and frozen, she went to the sink and pumped water.

The flush of embarrassment raced up his neck.  He tugged at his shirt collar.  With a sweep of his hand to encompass the mess, he tried to explain. “I’ve been working on a case and had no time to tidy up.  Struggling to the dirty dishes on the counter alone, he walked to the stove, lighting a flame under the wood inside its cast iron belly.  Snatching a dish towel off the stove top before the fool thing caught fire, he strode to the laundry basket sandwiched in the far corner, depositing the cloth.  Certain she watched from under those sooty lashes, he refrained from wiping the sugar spilled atop the kitchen table off onto the floor, wiping both palms across his back pockets instead. He attempted an additional explanation, “I don’t see many guests here in my private quarters, you see.”  The laugh he finished with was telling, making him curse inwardly.

“Here, let’s take our coffee into the parlor.  The fire will warm you.”  With an elbow under her arm, he guided her back to the warmth of the fireplace situated on the back wall of the room.

“You have a lovely office, Mr. Harrison.”  She traced a finger along the rosewood carving of the settee.  “I find the dark wood combined with the leather suits you.”  She flicked him a glance.  “Do you entertain clients here?”

“Thank you, Miss St. Clair.  I can’t take credit for the outer office.  I had some help with the decorating?”

She lowered her lashes to her lap demurely.  “I see.”

Realizing she thought he had his woman come by, Charles did his best to rectify the explanation.  “Maggie McCready made some suggestions with regard to the furnishings.  You mentioned you knew her, so you know how relentless she can be.”

“Yes, Maggie is a stubborn individual.”

Running a hand across the leather of the chair he sat in, Charles waited.  What was she up to?  She was three hours early for their appointment, shivering on his stoop.  If he didn’t know better, he’d wager Cassandra St. Clair had come back to Tyler for a reason.  She said it was to find her father.  Why didn’t he believe that?  He didn’t think it was to find work, either.  No, there was more.

Glancing about benignly, she smiled when she spotted a picture of him standing next to Seth, his best friend.  Seth Loflin was a tall, brown-headed fellow with an easy smile.  He’d known both Seth and Tyron Loflin as long as he’d known their paw, Earl.  In the picture, the two had hung an arm around each other’s shoulders in a companionable stance.  Each wore Stetsons, vests and dusty boots.  They resembled a team or partners.

“I didn’t know you were a cowboy.  You both look so young.  Are you’re celebrating something in this tintype?”

“Hum?”  Her question caught him off guard.  Her eyes were taking in everything in the room at once.  He glanced at the tintype.  “Oh yes, the end of calving season the last summer before we went off to West Point.”  If she was Earl’s daughter, he didn’t consider his close relationship with her brother to be where he wanted their conversation on the subject of Earl to start.  “How’s your coffee?”  The wink he gave her, made her blush.  Well, good to see she had some limits.  So many women he met didn’t.

“Good.  Thank you.  I’m feeling much better now.”  With her cup balanced in her fingers, she glanced at him.  “West Point.  My, but you’re just full of surprises, Mr. Harrison.  May I ask something of you?”

“Certainly.”

“Why did you pay for my room at the hotel?”

Ah, yes, she did have limits.  If he wasn’t mistaken, her question was intended to make him feel uncomfortable.  Though it cost him something to admit the truth, he gave it to her.  “I was concerned for your safety.  You had asked where a lady could find a decent place to stay.”

She met his steady gaze before quickly glanced away.  “I can take care of myself.”  Her pert nose raised a fraction.

His erection twitched in his trousers.

“I’m here today to set things straight.”  She inhaled, releasing the rest of her declaration on the breath she let escape.  “I want you to know I appreciate the gesture, but I can’t accept your generosity.”  She flicked a glance in his direction.

He swallowed hard.

“However, I will consider a loan.”  With a hopeful quality to her statement, she paused.

Wondering if she tasted like sweet cherries, Charles sucked in a breath.  “A loan.  How do you propose to pay back a loan?”  Regretting the words as they left his mouth, he tried again.  “That is to say, do you have employment yet?”

Her lovely head dropped a fraction.  “No, but I will find a job.  I have excellent ciphering skills and I can write beautifully.  I catch on fast, I’m young and strong.  You can count on me finding a position.”

Her confidence was refreshing, yet a bit naïve.  The glide of her hand, when she wanted to make a point, reminded him of a butterfly wing when the creature took flight.  Unnerved, he stared hard into his cup.  The silence spread out around them like a slow moving fog.  “The offer of work still stands, Miss St. Clair.  As you can tell by the condition of the place, I need help.”  Hoping the pitiful pitch of his words would strike home, he waited.

She shook her head.  “I…I’ll have to consider the opportunity.  That’s a fact.  I’m not a silly woman.  I know without a man, I’ll need a job.  It’s just that I know so little about you.”  With that, she lifted her eyes, the dimple in her cheek winking at him.

Charles’ heart lurched.  Instead of allowing the reaction to show, he stifled the response with a cough before standing.  Making sure he faced the fireplace, he pondered how he’d adjust the bulge in his pants.  Was she actually innocent or playing him?  Tempting him with his own offer?  Who was interviewing who for the position?  Surely she wasn’t as brazen as that.  Deciding the wingback chair he’d vacated earlier provided a useful buffer between her line of vision and his physical discomfort, Charles pivoted, propping his elbows on the chair’s back.  Now if he could manage a casual reply.  “Well, perhaps then, I could invite you to share an afternoon with me.  It will give us a chance to get better acquainted.”  He could have sworn her face froze for an instant.  The bright pink hue returned to her cheeks.

“I wouldn’t think of putting you out.  You must have business to attend.  Don’t let me keep you from taking care of your clients.”

“It’s no inconvenience at all.  I have a client outside of town.  Since I have papers to deliver, we can pass the time getting acquainted.”

Rising, Cassandra settled her reticle on her arm.  She didn’t say anything, yet she resembled a deer ready to bolt.  Taking a step, she turned, smiling briefly.  “I have appointments to keep today.  There’s  a dear friend of mine I want to visit.  You understand, I’m sure.”

“You mean Father Samuel?”  Her mouth opened but nothing came out.  “He’s out of town for several days.  So you see, problem solved.”

Cassandra glanced down at her shoes peeping out from beneath her suit.  The quandary was evident in her expression.  “I’d hoped to seek his advice about a job in Tyler.”  She shook her head as if clearing another concern.  “Well, I do need to visit with some other old friends I haven’t seen since I was last in Tyler.”

“Who?”

She stilled again, this time with the face of unease visible.  The eye darting was back.  “I…I have to see Maggie McCready and Jake Ramsey.  They’re dear friends.  I’ve known them since I came to the orphanage.”

Charles slapped one hand against the other.  “Perfect!”

She jerked.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.  I’m seeing their employer today.  Ride with me.  We’ll kill two birds with one stone as Maggie likes to say.” Sometimes a man had to take matters into his own hands. Coming around the chair, he took her by the elbow.  “Here, let me help you with your shawl.  I’ll get the papers and a blanket for the buggy.”  He gave her a devilish wink. “Before you know it, we’ll be on our way.”

***

Available now at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble!

Dale, it’s been a pleasure being with you today.  Thank you for having me.  I’ll give a choice of ebooks from my list to 1 lucky commenter.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

It’s not the book, it’s me

So I recently read a book that I had seen a ton of good reviews for online. I enjoyed the book, but I wasn’t blown away by it, like most folks online seem to be.

And I had to wonder – is it the book or is it me?

The Girl with the Dragon TattooThis isn’t the first time this has happened to me. I remember hearing all the buzz about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson a few years ago. So I read that book. Overall, I enjoyed it, but I didn’t see what the fuss was all about. Honestly, those first couple hundred pages of the book were slow. To me, the story didn’t pick up until the two main characters, Lisbeth and Mikael, started working together. At least in my opinion.

Then there are popular books that I’ve never read, like The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown or Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (although I do hope to read that one at some point).

And it’s not just books. Movies, TV shows, music, even characters. There is a lot of pop culture out there that just doesn’t resonate with me. For example, I’ve never understood what all the fuss is about when it comes to Superman. I’ve always thought that Batman was much more interesting – and had better villains to battle.

Of course, everyone has different tastes and likes, but I always think it’s interesting what strikes a chord with some people and not others. I guess if we could figure that out, our books would all be mega-bestsellers like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

What about you guys? Are there any books, movies, or TV shows that you just couldn’t get into? Are there any books, movies, or TV shows that you love that you wish more people would discover?

GIVEAWAY TIME

In honor of Superman and Batman, I’m giving away an e-copy (Kindle or epub) of Karma Girl, the first book in my Bigtime superhero series. The giveaway is open internationally to everyone 18 and older. To enter, use the form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Giveaway, Jennifer's Posts | Tagged | 21 Comments

Rare Find Release Day! Finally…. :)

Hi everyone,

It’s hard to imagine a more welcome and yet nerve wracking day for a writer than the dayRare Find R25 of a new release. In my case, you’d think I’d be used to it! Rare Find is my 20th release! That deserves celebrating too! :)

It is available at:

Coming soon to ITunes and Kobo! The print edition will be out this week as well.

This is book 6 of my popular Psychic Vision series books. Honestly I can’t believe that there are that many books already! Book 7 is scheduled for an October release.

To help celebrate this wonderful day I am having a huge launch party with most of my Magical Musing sisters and a few other authors joining me!

And you’re all invited. :)

What – Launch Party for Rare Find
Where – my blog - http://dalemayer.com/category/blog/
When – TODAY!!! (all posts will stay up for 2 days to allow everyone a chance to comment)
Who – the lineup of guest authors is as follows – but not necessarily in this order:

8:00 am - Dale’s Introduction
9:00 am - Cyndi Faria
10:00am - 
Cynthia Eden
11:00 am - Donnell Ann Bell
12:00 PM - Virna DePaul
1:00 PM - Marilyn Brant
2:00 PM - 
Edie Ramer
3:00 PM - Misty Evans
4:00 PM - Robin Bielman
5:00 PM - Jamie Lee Scott
6:00 PM - Michelle Diener
7:00 PM - Dale Mayer’s final post

As part of my celebration, the first three books in this series – Psychic Visions set (Tuesday’s Child, Hide’n Go See, Maddy’s Floor) is on sale this entire week for 99 cents!

PV3_200x300

Amazon  
B&N
Google Play
ITunes

Posted in Dale's Posts | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Library Love

An author that I am friends with on Facebook has mentioned spending time at his local library the past few days and has shared some photos (see below). I realized after seeing the photos from Chris Almeida how much I miss going to the library.

Photo Courtesy of Chris Almeida

While I grew up reading and going to the library with my mom, I got away from reading in high school and college in exchange for other activities. I started reading again when I was pregnant with my first child, but then it was just parenting and baby books.

It wasn’t until about five or six years ago that I found reading romance as an escape and became addicted. I did not have an e-reader at the time so I found myself at the library several times per week. Our small town had just built a brand new library and it was awesome. So welcoming and cozy to browse the selections and sit and read a bit from each book before deciding what to take home.

When it was time to search for an e-reader, we went with Barnes & Noble’s Nook because, at the time, it was the only one that would allow lending through libraries. It was a no brainer because I couldn’t possibly spend the average (that I knew) $7.99 + on books every time I wanted to read a book. Our local library offers digital lending, so it was great. However, I found myself physically at the library less and less. I would only go in and snag the latest J.D. RobbLisa Kelypas or Sophie Kinsella book I was not able to borrow digitally.

Photo Courtesy of Chris Almeida

Then I learned about indie authors. Okay, so I didn’t really know that that meant at the time. I just found that I could get books cheap. Like really cheap. Like less than $5.00 cheap. I started browsing through those books on Barnes & Noble’s website and slowly my TBR list started growing. I was at the library even less!

Reflecting on these photos that Chris shared has made me a little nostalgic. I miss the library. I miss the way it feels to be surrounded by books with fantastic stories or those with knowledge to glean. I miss the quiet and calmness. Our library has a fantastic children/young adult section and I miss taking my kids. I need to make time to go to the library and just soak it all up.

What about you? What is your favorite thing about the library?

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Guest Author Paige Tyler and a Giveaway!

Update: Our gift card winner is…Danniell Hampton! Daniell, I will email you with prize claim details.

Happy Thursday, everyone!! Today, we have guest author Paige Tyler taking over the blog. She’s sharing details about her new release, HER PERFECT MATE.

Just what do you look for in a perfect mate?  Let us know in the comments section, and you will be entered to win a $10 Amazon.com gift card. Good luck!

***

HER PEFECT MATE by USA Today Bestselling Author Paige Tyler

 HerPerfectMate_CVR USA TodayThank you so much for asking me to guest blog today, Cynthia!

I have a new release coming out with Sourcebooks on May 6 (but it’s available for pre-order now) that I’d love to share with you.  It’s a military/paranormal/romantic-suspense called HER PERFECT MATE and it’s the first book in my X-OPS SERIES.

It revolves around the Department of Covert Operations, a top secret organization that exists within the Department of Homeland Security. They pair the very best soldiers, law enforcement people, and spies together with shifters—humans that possess special animal attributes found in their DNA. Essentially, it’s pairing one of them with one of us.

The heroine is a sexy, but deadly feline shifter named Ivy Halliwell who gets teamed up with yet another soldier—something she isn’t thrilled about. Her previous partners hated her because she was a freak in their eyes, and she figures this new guy will be the same. But Captain Landon Donovan is Special Forces, so he’s used to taking crazy situations in stride.

HER PERFECT MATE is a paranormal shifter story that blends romance, action, suspense, and military elements into one exciting package that will keep you up reading late into the night—I promise.

Blurb:

He’s a High-Octane Special Ops Pro

When Special Forces Captain Landon Donovan is chosen for an assignment with the Department of Covert Operations, he’s stunned to find his new partner is a beautiful woman who looks like she couldn’t hurt a fly, never mind take down a terrorist.

She’s No Kitten

Ivy Halliwell isn’t your average covert op. She’s a feline shifter, and more dangerous than she looks. Her feline DNA means she can literally bring out the claws when things get dicey. She’s worked with a string of hotheaded military guys who’ve underestimated her special skills in the past. But when she’s partnered with special agent Donovan, a man sexy enough to make any girl purr, things begin to heat up. He doesn’t think she’s a freak-and he’s smokin’ hot. Soon they’re facing a threat even greater than anyone imagines…and an animal magnetism impossible to ignore.

Excerpt:

Landon expected Todd and Kendra to take him to another conference room, so he was surprised when they led him into what looked like a workout room. Mats covered the floor and a heavy bag hung from a hook in one corner. Weights and workout equipment filled a good portion of the room. A woman was seated cross-legged in the center of it, her eyes closed, her hands loosely resting on her knees. At their entrance, she gracefully uncurled herself from the floor and got to her feet.

She was wearing a pair of black workout pants like his ex-girlfriend used to wear when she went to yoga class, and a form-fitting tank top. He couldn’t help but notice her curvy, athletic body, expressive dark eyes, and full lips. With little makeup and her long, dark hair pulled up in a
ponytail, she looked like the girl next door. Only more exotic than any girl he’d ever lived next door to, that was for sure.

He didn’t care how tired and irritated he was, this was a woman he definitely wouldn’t mind stopping to appreciate. Hopefully, one of his new training officers would introduce them before she left to give them the room.

“Landon, meet Ivy Halliwell, your new partner,” Kendra said. “Ivy, Captain Landon Donovan, Special Forces.”

They were going to have to pick his jaw up off the floor because Landon was damn sure that’s where it was after hearing that announcement. No way was this walking wet dream his partner. She looked like she couldn’t hurt a fly, much less do any kind of covert ops. They had to be messing with him.

“Your first mission is to put her on her ass,” Todd said.

He’d had some big what-the-hell moments in his life—most of them within the past twenty-four hours—but this had to be the biggest.

Landon narrowed his eyes at the man. “Excuse me?”

“Take her down.”

Was this guy serious? This was his new partner and they wanted him to kick her ass? Ivy was about half his size and looked like she should be walking down a fashion runway somewhere, not trading blows with a trained combat killer.

Landon shook his head. “Forget it. I’m not going to take a swing at her, much less put her on her ass.” He folded his arms across his chest. “You want entertainment? Maybe I should put you on your ass.”

Kendra must have thought that was funny because she hid a smile behind her clipboard.

Ivy wasn’t so subtle. She laughed outright. And damn if it didn’t have a sexy sound to it.

“That’s chivalrous of you, Donovan,” she said. “You putting Todd on his ass is something I’d like to see, but he isn’t going to let us leave this room until you learn the lesson you’re here to learn. So, let’s get this over with.”

She didn’t wait for a reply, but instead slowly circled around Landon on her bare feet. He instinctively turned to follow her. She moved with the sure-footed grace of a cat, making him think she was probably well-trained in one or more martial arts.

“Well?” she demanded.

He assessed her stance. “You’re not ready.”

Ivy rolled her eyes. “Tell you what. I’ll make it easier on you. I’ll hit you first. How’s that sound?”

“That implies I’d let you hit me.”

She shrugged her slim shoulders. “Oh, I’ll hit you all right.”

He laughed, but the sound was cut short as she twisted in a blur and her leg came around in a spinning heel kick that would have taken off his head if he hadn’t backed away just in time.

“Shit,” he muttered. He was way too tired for this crap. “Stop screwing around, okay? That kick would have done some damage if you landed it.”

Ivy didn’t heed his warning, though. Instead, she immediately followed up with the same kind of a kick, this time in the other direction. Landon quickly backpedaled to avoid her foot, only to smack against the wall. He dropped to one knee, instinctively thrusting out with his hands to
both knock her away from him and put some space between them. But instead of falling back, she moved out of the way, avoiding his hands. For a moment he didn’t realize what she’d done. Then it struck him. She’d darted sideways while she was in mid-kick. That shouldn’t even be
physically possible.

Ivy landed lightly on her feet, a smile curving her lips. “I knew I could get you to take a shot at me, even if it was lame. Then again, I didn’t expect much from another oversized grunt like you. I don’t know why they keep pairing me up with guys like you all the time. Can’t they find anyone with a brain?”

Landon rose from his crouch and moved to the center of the room. When she came at him again, he didn’t want a wall getting in his way.

“Guys like me? You’re trying to insult me now? Think that’s going to get me to take a punch at you? What are you, a masochist?”

Her smile broadened. “I already got you to do that. And I’d only be a masochist if you ever got your hands on me.”

He snorted. “Lady, that wasn’t a punch. You’d know it if I wanted to hit you.”

“All talk and no action,” she scoffed. “Isn’t that the Special Forces motto or something?”

Landon knew what she was trying to do and it wasn’t going to work. She must have figured it out, too. She gave up on the verbal jabs and resorted to real ones, coupled with those damn spinning roundhouse kicks again.

He stripped off his camo overshirt and threw it across the room, so he could get down to serious business.

He blocked most of her strikes with his hands and the others with his shoulders, biceps, and thighs. He sure as hell felt them, but he got the feeling she wasn’t hitting him nearly as hard as she could.

His plan was to lure her in close enough to get his hands on her. That way, he could put her down without being forced to throw a serious punch. She might be agile as hell, but if he connected with anything real, he’d break something. His best bet was to get his hands on her and
pin her to the floor so he could end this stupid game.

That was easier than it sounded. Ivy was faster than lightning and could twist her body into a pretzel to get out of his grasp. He had her in a perfect jujitsu take-down position several times only to have her spoil it by not going down like she should have. He even planted his knee in
her stomach and yanked her backward with him in a throw that should have landed her hard on her back, groaning in pain. Instead, she turned the move into some kind of gymnastic flip and came down as softly on her feet as if she stepped off a street curb.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the two training officers taking notes as they watched. Kendra was actually smiling. Landon clenched his jaw. What a couple of asses.

On the other side of the room, Ivy spun around to face him. Eyes narrowing, she ran directly toward him. He automatically braced himself for another blow, but at the last second she darted to her right, jumping at the wall and rebounding off it like she was an extra in some Jackie
Chan movie, then ricocheting back at him, her right leg coming around in a roundhouse kick.

Instead of getting out of the way like any sane person would have, he moved closer, getting underneath her swinging leg and grabbing her shoulders. He avoided her foot, but ended up taking a knee to the left side of his rib cage. It hurt, but it got him inside her defenses. He was
going to get a grip on her, and this time she wasn’t going to get away.

That’s when he realized her kick had only been a distraction. He’d been so busy watching her feet he hadn’t even noticed her open hand coming toward him. He did a double take. She was going to slap him? His mind registered surprise for half a millisecond before her hand angled down to sweep across the front of his T-shirt.

Landon felt the fabric tug and swore he heard a ripping sound. He even felt a sting. But he ignored it. Tightening his grip on her shoulders, he spun them both around, letting the momentum from her rebound take them down to the floor.

He twisted at the last second, taking the impact of the floor on his right shoulder before yanking her to his chest in a bear hug. If he’d been trying to kill her, he would have crushed a hell of a lot harder. Instead he squeezed just enough to let her know he could hurt her if he wanted to.

They came to a stop with him on his back, Ivy pinned to his chest. She didn’t fight him, simply laid there with her face close to his neck, breathing deeply. Landon couldn’t help but notice how soft her body was against his, and how nice it felt to have her on top of him.

His cock noticed, too.

Shit. This was going to be embarrassing.

“Okay, you two,” Todd said. “I think we’ve gotten everything out of this demonstration I intended.”

It took a moment for the words to register—probably because all the blood had left his head to rush to another part of his anatomy. Landon reluctantly loosened his hold on Ivy. He waited for her to get up, but she stayed firmly planted on top of him, which alarmed him. He thought
she would have jumped up the moment he released her. God, he hoped he hadn’t hurt her with that take down.

He gently tilted her chin up with his fingers. “Hey. You okay?”

Ivy blinked at him, her beautiful eyes filled with something that looked almost like wonder. Then she gave herself a little shake. “I-I’m good. You?”

“Yeah. Fine.”

“Good.”

She gazed at him for a moment longer, then quickly pushed to her feet. She crossed the room to slip on a pair of flip-flops she had left there. When she turned back to him, her face was the perfect mask of composure he’d seen when he first walked in.

“No hard feelings, I hope?” she said as he stood. “That’s just the way the DCO likes to introduce me to my new partners. I don’t know why.”

He knew why. The DCO realized the fastest way to get a man to appreciate the talents of his female partner was to have her kick his ass. At least she hadn’t done it to him.

“Not at all,” he said. “I suppose we can call this match a tie.”

Her lips curved. “You think so?”

Reaching out, she flicked his shirt with her fingers, then turned and walked away.

Remembering the bizarre open-handed swipe she’d given him across the chest, he looked down to see four diagonal tears in his T-shirt. He pushed the material aside, frowning when he found four identical scratches on his chest. If he didn’t know better, he’d think he got scratched
by a cat—a big cat. They weren’t deep or bleeding, but there was no mistaking what had made them—fingernails. Ivy’s fingernails. Not exactly standard-issue hand-to-hand combat technique. He got the feeling nothing about this place was standard issue. Especially his new partner.

 ***

Look for HER PERFECT MATE online and in bookstores everywhere on May 6, or pre-order it now at Amazon or B&N in paperback or digital!

 

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Mate-X-Ops-Paige-Tyler-ebook/dp/B00HUTVFXU/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396465890&sr=1-9

 

B&N:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/her-perfect-mate-paige-tyler/1116882566?ean=9781402292095

 

Bio:

Paige Tyler is a USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, romantic fiction. She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kickbutt heroines who fall in love with them.

She is represented by Bob Mecoy.

 

Website: http://paigetylertheauthor.com/

Blog: http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com/

Facebook Profile Page: http://www.facebook.com/paige.tyler.9

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/PaigeTylerAuthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PaigeTyler

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/paigetylerauth/

Google+: http://plus.google.com/u/0/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2300692.Paige_Tyler

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/BBrEP

Email: paigetyler@paigetylertheauthor.com

 

 

Posted in Cynthia's Posts | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

Brought To You By…My Readers

I was stuck for a blog topic today, so I posted a shout-out to my Facebook fans. What would they like to ask me? Here are a few of their questions and my responses:

From Gayle: “What do you miss about the 80′s, or 90′s depending on your age group. I miss not having to carry a cell phone everywhere.”

ME: I didn’t have to think long about this. From the 80s, I miss big hair! And big-hair bands like Cinderella, Warrant, and Poison. http://www.pinterest.com/kaloia/favorite-80-s-big-hair-bands/   4d001a73c2d88cc674008b92908175fd

I miss my friend Mona…we were super close through middle school and most of high school. Oh, and Miami Vice! Jeez, I could on all day about what I miss. imagesCA30EHR3LOL.

From the 90s? I miss Buffy. Yes, she didn’t start until 1997, but really, the whole decade should belong to her. Just sayin. Which brings me to…

Jim asked: “Why do female leads work so well in Urban Fantasy?”

ME: Jim is big fan of my Kali Sweet series, and I owe him the next book (shooting for October, Jim!). I love to read UF as well as write it (Buffy is a huge influence), but I’d never thought about the fact that nearly all of the UF authors I read (including our own Jen Estep) have female leads and are in first person POV. Maybe because I’m female, I prefer reading a female’s point of view regardless if she’s a demon, witch, vampire, or elemental. I also personally like a female lead because UF heroines have to be uber tough – tougher even than my romantic suspense heroines, since they’re dealing with supernatural forces – yet they typically have as many relationship hang-ups and issues as the rest of mere mortals.

From Amanda: “Do you feel any pressure from your readers when you write something you know they will not like in your story? For example, killing off a favorite character. Or do you stay true to the story line in your head?”

ME: I’ve only killed off a favorite character once in my Kali Sweet series…and after I killed him, I brought him back (one of the perks of writing UF!) I write with fans in mind, and since I’m invested in these characters as much as they are, I go with what feels right. Hopefully, that gut feeling keeps my readers happy.

From Donnell: “Because I know you like your gadgets – with technology changing every time we blink, how do you keep up with it in your books?”

ME: I answered this one on my FB page, but I’ll answer it here too. I have two teenage sons. They know about every gadget out there and every social media outlet available…especially those that keep things secret from Mom. LOL. Honestly, the CIA should hire them. They’re experts at covert ops!

From Amy (Remus): “Conrad.”

ME: Not a question, a character. Conrad Flynn is a spy in my Super Agent series. A spy Amy Remus virtually stalks (he loves it). I decided to ask Con a few questions to make Amy happy.

ME: What’s playing on your iPod?

Con: Celtic Woman.

ME <making a face>: I never figured you for a CW fan.

Con: I’m not even sure who the hell they are. Julia stole my iPod and loaded it with this crap to get back at me for forgetting about our anniversary last week.

ME: How many years?

Con: Before my death or after?

ME: You make it sound like you’re a vampire. Or a zombie.

Con: I have zombie tendencies before I have that first cup of coffee in the morning.

ME: So how many years total with Julia, before and after you faked your death to keep her safe?

Con: We’ve been together since The Farm. I was her training instructor. I can’t disclose exact dates, but let’s just say we’ve been together long enough she knows that deleting Creed and Coldplay from my iPod and putting that other shit on it is far worse punishment than yelling at me.

ME: At The Farm, she brought you to your knees with a well-aimed—

Con (crossing his legs): Let’s not go there.

ME: Right. Speaking of zombies, what’s your favorite zombie movie?

Con: Resident Evil. I’ve always wanted to load my Beretta with quarters and shoot some terrorist in the ass.

ME: Dog or cat?

Con <scratching his head>: For what type of mission?

ME: Not a mission. As a pet.

Con: Whichever one Julia prefers.

ME: She’s got you whipped, doesn’t she?

Con: What’s wrong with being whipped? It can be fun, especially when the whipper is an intelligent, beautiful woman who makes the best pancakes this side of the Mississippi.

ME: You’re hoping she’s reading this blog post, aren’t you?

Con: Damn straight. I have a lot of groveling to do over that anniversary screw-up.

ME: Operation Sheba, your book, is being re-released next month. Amy and I are having a hard time capturing the essence of Conrad Flynn for the cover art. If you could pick an actor to model for the cover, who would you pick?

Con: Why would I pick someone else to be on the cover? I’ll model for it. Tell Amy to get her camera.

ME: There you go, Amy. He’s all yours. <wink>

 

Posted in Misty's Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Free Books!

I promised to do a giveaway every month. Author friends whose writing I love have free books – some permanently free. I have a novel and some short stories permafree most places, too. So my blog today is a list of some of those books. The links I’m posting will take you to Amazon US. I think most of the books listed will be free at different online booksellers or different Amazon stores. Have fun checking them out!

Hearts in Motion 240x251 72dpiHearts in Motion (Rescued Hearts, Book 1) by Edie Ramer

The Fat Cat (a Cattitude Short Story) by Edie Ramer

Dead People in Love (a Haunted Hearts Short Story) by Edie Ramer

Tuesday’s Child (Psychic Visions, Book 1) by Dale Mayer

Dangerous Designs (Design trilogy, Book 1 )

Sians-Solution-R3-200x300Vampire in Denial (Family Blood Ties, Book 1) by Dale Mayer

Sian’s Solution (Family Blood Ties Short Story) by Dale Mayer

A Bit of a Bite by Cynthia Eden (a short, paranormal story)

Holding Out For a Hero (A Short Story) by Stacey Joy Netzel

Mistletoe Mischief (Romancing Wisconsin, Book 1) by Stacey Joy Netzel

AFairtoRemember_web.darkerA Fair to Remember (Welcome to Redemption) by Stacey Joy Netzel

A Fair of the Heart (Welcome to Redemption) by Donna Marie Rogers

Daughter of the Sky  by Michelle Diener (for Prime members, only – otherwise it’s $3.99, and well worth it!)

Cynthia Eden has a few books that are free for Amazon prime members, too. You can check them out on her Amazon Author Page.

This isn’t free, but for a short time, Christmas at Angel Lake (Rescued Hearts, Book 2), is on sale for only 99 cents.

Do you download free or 99 cent books?

Posted in Edie's Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

It’s my birthday! :)

I rarely blog on my birthday – I have a schedule to blog every second Friday and so far, this year is the first year that my birthday falls on my blog day. And mocha cakes of all kinds are my preferred cake. (hint, hint…)

Birthday cake

Normally, I make a huge deal on my kids’ birthdays and try to let mine go by without any fan fare. Not because I want to hide from the proof that every year is passing and I’m one year older. In truth, that part doesn’t matter to me. I’m not afraid of aging – besides I’m too busy to even notice most of the time. :)

And I rarely bought myself anything special to mark the day. My kids always did something for me and that was enough.

This year, I did something I’d been wanting to do for a long time and never could quite afford it. It’s more a business thing but as an author, I am a business person (really there is no choice anymore) and my birthday gift to myself this year was to hire a Virtual Assistant! :) YAY me. It wasn’t my birthday that alerted me that I needed to destress, take more downtime, and share the workload. These are things I’ve been trying to do for a long time. But there’s nothing like a birthday to make you sit down and see how you can justify something you really want.

Well I went and did just that. Now we’ll see how that wonderful-in-theory plan works in reality. lol

Wish me luck!

ID-100183604

Besides that gift to myself, my kids are taking me out for lunch, we’ll be having special lattes on the beach, and barbecuing steaks and prawns for dinner. I hope to spend most of the day relaxing, but will most likely be pounding on a keyboard instead! :)

Except come evening…when I have a couple of bottles of wine waiting for just this occasion. Now is it my birthday I’ll be celebrating – or finally being sensible and getting some help???

What do you do on your birthday?

 

 

Posted in Dale's Posts | 15 Comments

Guest Elle J Rossi with Giveaway!

I’m so happy to have my friend Elle J Rossi as a guest today. A former professional singer, Elle is focusing her creative energy on her haunting stories, as well as her cover art at EJR Digital Art. She’s giving away a digital copy of her newest release, INDIGO DAWN, to a lucky commenter! I’ll announce the winner here on Saturday morning.

elleFa la la & a lot of Yee-haw

A big thanks to Edie and all at Magical Musings for inviting me into their home today. I’ve brought along a jug of moonshine and an eclectic playlist to share with everyone. Technically, that’s not true. Don’t worry. The moonshine is legit and plentiful. The playlist, however, contains mostly country music with a couple of other genres thrown in here and there to keep me well rounded.

In my humble opinion, music makes everything better. When we’re at our highest, we crank the tunes, put our dancing shoes on (or boots in my case), and sing at the top of our lungs. Conversely, when we are at our lowest, music can be an aid to heal our soul. A song has the power to touch us in a place we didn’t even know existed.

The reason I navigate toward the country side of life has a lot to do with my upbringing, but even more to do with emotion and truth. At the heart of any country song, including the new “bro country”—which I’m still on the fence about, mind you—are themes based on real life, whether that be joy or heartbreak, success or struggles.

It’s this emotion that propels me not only through my daily life, but also through my stories. Music helps to mold the characters that take shape on the page. The right song will bring them to life—so much so that I have conversations with my characters. I listen to them. They listen to me. It’s a total win-win situation. Some say I’m mental. Maybe. But aren’t we all just a little crazy? Isn’t that what makes each of us unique and interesting?

Speaking of interesting!!! Nashville, Tennessee is one of my favorite places on the planet. There’s something about the vibe of the whole town that calls to me. The magic of the streets draws me in and holds me tight. If I had to guess, I’d say the music—the people who create the music—are responsible for the friendly atmosphere and the feel-good mentality. If you’ve never been, I highly, highly recommend you go sometime, even if you’re not a country music fan. Though, I reckon you might be by the time you head back home.

So, pass the jug, take a swig, and tell us what music means to you. Share what it does for you. While you’re at it, shout out a song recommendation. My current favorite is Kiss Me When I’m Down by Ryan Kinder. Check it out!

What song or singer have you been listening to lately?

~Elle

INDIGO DAWN summary:
IndigoDawn ecoverVampire Lust and Pixie Dust.

Josie Hawk is a Huntress. A killer devoted to protecting the humans of Nashville from the shadows that lurk in the night. But the shadows are gaining ground.

When an infamous pixie tricks Josie into a drug-induced nightmare, Josie envisions the death of her vampire lover, Keller O’Leary. Was the vision a threat … maybe even a promise? But from whom?

Desperate to track down the source of the toxic psychedelic pixie dust, Josie kicks and punches her way toward the truth. But her efforts backfire, provoking a deadly attack at Wolfie’s—the bar Josie co-owns with her sister-in-arms, Sage.

Tag. You’re it.

Haunted by the threat to Keller, Josie scrambles to outwit her elusive opponent before the deadly game escalates and claims more lives. But in saving Nashville, will Josie lose those she loves?

Or will she be too late to stop the deadly game of tag?

Buy links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords | Moon Rose Publishing

Find out more about Elle J Rossi at Facebook, Twitter, Elle J Rossi Website, Moon Rose Publishing.

Posted in Edie's Posts, Giveaway, Guest Posts | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Television, Books and the Power of Story

House Original Cast

photo credit: noir photographer via photopin cc

Do you enjoy television or movies or the theater? What are your favorites? I have some confessions of my own to make, and I think you’ll be surprised.

Before we get chatting, I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Mary, usually Mary Hughes to differentiate me from the zillions of other Marys out there, Mary Jean if you’re my cousin Mary Ann :smile:. I’m a new regular to the Magical Musings team and I’m so very thrilled to be here. Huge thanks to Edie Ramer, Michelle Diener and the awesome Magical Musings team and readers for welcoming me!

Books are a passion of mine. But a picture paints a thousand words—you can’t get more concentrated storytelling than a movie, television, or play.

A couple hours can plunge us into deep drama, as with Death of a Salesman or Streetcar Named Desire. An hour brings justice to an NCIS criminal or cures (or kills) a House MD patient. Sitcoms solve world problems in 30 minutes or less. Commercials tell a complete story in mere seconds! (Have you seen the TJ Maxx/Marshalls commercial? Two groups of sassy women march at each other like football teams about to clash. One set carries red Maxx bags, the other blue Marshalls. We think it’s going to be a Jets/Sharks West Side Story moment but they meet and become friends. The message: you can have both! That’s a story in a nutshell.)

But books…ah, nothing will ever replace them. Because, Scrubs internal asides aside, nowhere else can you truly get the thoughts and smells and raw feeling and emotions found in a book.

So here are my confessions. *My husband and I didn’t own a television for the first five years of our marriage. *One of my favorite entertainments? The Geico commercials. “Do Dogs Chase Cats?”—yes, they do, in a Bullitt-style car chase—continues to top my list. *Though I adore sparkling comedies, I never saw Scrubs before this year.

What visual entertainment is your favorite? Do you have a can’t-miss show or a movie that will forever be with you?

BONUS! I also adore quirky comic strips. Here’s XKCD on television before the Internet.

Want to see what I mean about the up-close-and-personal touch, taste, and emotions you can only find in books? Get inside a shy flutist’s head in hot vampire romance Downbeat.

Striking the right note could shatter more than their hearts. Warning: Contains a master of seduction and symphonies, an awkward and innocent flutist, small-town humor, heart-stopping action, and an exodus to Iowa. Oh, and the cheese balls are ba-a-ack—and deadlier than ever.

Posted in Mary's Posts | Tagged , , , , | 26 Comments