Monday, March 2, 2015

Spotlight & Excerpt from Back In the Game (Stardust, Texas #1) by Lori Wilde

Back In the Game
Stardust, Texas # 1
Lori Wilde
February 24th, 2015

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New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde welcomes you to Stardust, Texas . . . where dreams come true and love is always right around the corner

Wanted: ghostwriter. Must be female, a baseball fan, and have a great pair of legs.

Ex-pitcher Rowdy Blanton never saw a woman he couldn't conquer or a team he couldn't beat. And now that he's off the field he's ready to tell all about when he played the field. So he chooses Breeanne Carlyle to do the job-she's got the requirements, but more important, there's something about her that makes him want to be a better man.

Convinced there's more to Rowdy than a good fastball, a wicked smile, and a tight pair of pants, Breeanne can't help but be tempted. After all, it's boring always being the good girl, and Rowdy dares her to be just a little bad. The stakes are high, but win or lose, this time Breeanne's breaking all the rules playing the game of love.

Back In the Game
© 2015 Lori Wilde

Breeanne Carlyle disliked estate sales.

The forlorn belongings of the recently departed, cataloged and arranged for easy browsing, gave her chill bumps in the same way as the turkey buzzards that nested in the Loblolly pine outside her bedroom window. Each year the vultures raised a new set of voracious young to patrol the two-lane, farm-to-market road extending from Stardust, Texas north to Jefferson, keen-eyed for the misfortune of others. 

It was not what Breeanne wanted to do with her life, this picking through of things left behind. 
But here she was, doing it all the same.

How could she tell her parents that she had dreams beyond Timeless Treasures? While she loved the family business that was part antique store, part bookstore, part tearoom, and the undisputed hub of Stardust for the last twenty-five years, she burned for a real writing career. 

She’d enjoyed a tiny bit of literary success, just enough to stoke the flickering candle of her hunger to a raging blaze. She’d written a book about her great-aunt Polly, who played centerfield in the Women’s Professional Baseball League during WWII. She’d gotten an agent, sold to a regional press for a modest advance, and they had contracted her to write a follow up book about the history of baseball in Texas.
Foolishly, stupidly, she believed she was on her way.
Then her publisher went out of business. No one else wanted the second book. Her agent quit taking her calls. Doggedly determined to make it as a writer, she self-published her second book. 
And promptly fell down the well of Internet obscurity.
The book had been available online for six months, and despite extensive promotional efforts that plowed through her savings, she’d sold the grand total of eighty-seven copies, and as far as she could tell, every single one of those to family and friends.
“That means you have eighty-seven people who love you enough to buy your book,” her mother said at Breeanne’s disappointment. “You are rich beyond words.”
“You’re working too hard,” Dad had said. “Take a break.”
Her father’s comment splashed over her like gasoline on a campfire. “No,” she declared, shocked by the powerful punch of anger pushing out of her. “You’re wrong. I haven’t been working hard enough!”
Unaccustomed to opinionated outbursts from their most easy-going daughter, her parents had both taken a step back, and exchanged wary glances.
“You’re becoming obsessed with this writing thing,” her mother said. “It’s not healthy. You need to relax. Go swing in the hammock. Get some sunshine.”
Dad smiled a gentle smile. “You know, Angel, it’s next to impossible to make a living as a writer. The Rangers are playing the Cardinals on TV at two, what say you come watch the game with your old man?”
Because she did love her father and baseball, Breeanne backed down, and instead of going to her room to write, she went to watch the game with him. But the entire time, she couldn’t stop thinking, he doesn’t believe in me, they don’t believe in me, no one believes in me.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lori Wilde has sold seventy-eight works of fiction to four major New York Publishing houses.
Her first NYT bestseller, the third book in her Twilight, Texas series, The First Love Cookie Club has been optioned for a television movie. The town of Granbury, Texas, upon which her fictional town of Twilight, Texas is loosely based, honors Lori with an annual Twilight, Texas weekend each Christmas.
A popular writing instructor, Lori is a two time RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award. She's won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Golden Quill, the Lories, and The More than Magic.

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

A visit with Sierra Cartwright, featuring an excerpt from Command

I am delighted to have the wickedly talented Sierra Cartwright visiting today. Sierra is celebrating the release of Command, the third installment from her Bonds series.

Let the Music Move You!
By Sierra Cartwright

From the familiar strains of the Star Wars score to a fifties doo wap, to Lady Gaga, music has the power to change, set, and evoke a mood.

Have you ever been listening to the radio when a song comes on that brings up a flood of emotion? I have. I remember the (seeming) tragedy of breaking up with my high school boyfriend. I repeatedly played the same song as I sobbed. (Come on, admit it. You did the same thing!)

Alternatively, at my wedding reception last year (different guy!), we selected The Twist as one of the songs that would play toward the end of the reception. Everyone, young and old, got up from their seats and headed to the dance floor. People were smiling, huffing and puffing, wrenching their backs, but always cheering for one another.

Just the opening notes of Amazing Grace brings tears to my eyes. It takes me back to a funeral that had a lone bagpiper standing near the grave. It reminds me of a lantern tour I took through a cavern. One of the young men with us began to sing, and we all stopped, gathered round with our lanterns raised and listened, astounded.

When it’s time to get on my mountain bike and attempt a challenging ride, I select Eye of the Tiger on my iPod. When I need to get on the treadmill, you can bet Lady Gaga is thumping out the tunes to get me moving faster.

I’m really choosy about what I listen to. I know the power of music, and I want to use it. That’s why I don’t do housework to a ballad. I’ll be crying over the Swiffer instead of shaking my groove thing to get it done.

I write hot, erotic novels with BDSM elements. When I create, I generally listen to music that fits the scene my characters are experiencing. Since I want to be in their mindset, I’ll choose a ballad for the early parts of a love scene. I’ll choose something bluesy if they’re struggling emotionally. I’ll cue up Nine Inch Nails for an intense BDSM club scene or play Enya as I’m writing about a sensual flogging.

In Command, the final book in the Bonds trilogy from Totally Bound, music plays a big part for my hero, Grant. He’s a Dominant, and he’s somewhat intrigued by his reluctant houseguest, the beautiful, hesitant Aria DeWitt. During an evening together, he purposefully chooses jazz to help set the mood for talking as well as a sexy seduction.

Obviously, it’s not just the music that works. Grant’s words, actions, focus, attention, and the way he touches her all lead her to trust him and make her fall in love. I’m pretty sure it would have worked with me!

© 2015 Sierra Cartwright

It’d been a long time since Grant had prepared a meal. Her company and her appreciation, applause and all, made the effort worthwhile.

She crossed into the living room and curled up in a corner of the sectional, facing the fire. It surprised him how comfortable she seemed, and how natural it felt to him.

He poured the remaining chardonnay from the bottle into his glass then turned off the kitchen lights before joining her. “Do you dance?” he asked.

“Not well. Well, I can do the line dances at a wedding. And I do an excellent limbo at the roller-skating rink. Or, well, I did when I was ten. But somehow I still keep that image in my mind.”

“Ah, to be as good as we’ve convinced ourselves we once were.”

“Exactly.” She grinned. “And you? Are you good at it?”

“Dreadful.” He slid his drink on top of the mantel. The dog lifted his head and put it back down as if slightly annoyed. “So let’s not dance well together. I’ve already promised that I’ll keep your secrets.”

What he lacked in skill, he made up for in enthusiasm. Since he’d spent more time with electronics than with women in the early college years, he’d missed out on a lot of opportunities to go to clubs and formals.

He moved closer to Aria, held out his hand and waited, telling himself he wouldn’t be disappointed if she refused. But that was a complete lie. He wanted her in his arms, against his chest. And he knew he’d use whatever method it took to get her where he needed her to be.

Common sense urged Aria to run.

She should make excuses and lock herself in her bedroom. If she were smart, that’s exactly what she would do. 

Instead she was considering it.

He was impossibly tall, impossibly handsome, impossibly seductive. Like her, he hadn’t changed clothes when they’d arrived home. So he still wore those bad-ass black boots, jeans that showed an ass that was tighter than it had a right to be. The long-sleeved black T-shirt that he’d tucked into his waistband behaved as a second skin since it emphasized the shape of his biceps and the breadth of his shoulders.

Outside, the wind whipped across the valley, driving snow into the windows. But in his living room, a warm fire, a wonderful dinner, a nice wine, intimate conversation and the lure of temptation wove an indelible spell around her.

She reminded herself that this man was a Dominant, and he made her nervous. Despite herself, she was curious what it might be like to have sex with him, to fall under his powerful, masculine spell.

Nerves flooded her, making her giddy as she admitted the truth to herself. Part of her wanted to wanted him.

With seemingly infinite patience, he remained where he was, not pushing for a response, but she knew that taking this step might lead to something more. She also sensed that he’d allow her to move at her speed. Finally, she gave voice to her fears. She wondered who she was hoping to convince. Him? Or herself? “Dancing with you could be an insanely bad idea.”

“It could.”

“We’re coworkers.”

“Also true.”

“Sleeping together might really muck things up.”

“Another valid point.”

“I wish you’d try to talk me into this,” she said, “or out of it, for that matter. Something.”

He grinned. “A dance doesn’t have to lead to sex.”

“But it probably will.”

“If you want it.” He swept his gaze over her. “Because I sure as hell do.”

The music segued into something a little more seductive, and he took the opportunity to draw her in. Willingly, without resistance, she went. She appreciated his strength, the way he naturally took charge. It should have frightened her. Instead, it ensnared her. “I’m curious.”

“Go on,” he encouraged.

She’d wanted to ask at dinner, but this way, not looking directly into his eyes, was easier. “How would you introduce someone to your BDSM world?”

“I already have.” 

Adrenaline skittered through her.

He placed a hand on her derrière and brought her against him.

Bonds #3
Sierra Cartwright
Totally Bound
February 27, 2015

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With all she has to offer, she’s his to command…

Aria DeWitt is a runaway bride. Only months away from her wedding, she panicked, returning her engagement ring and donating her gorgeous gown to charity.

She’s less than pleased when she’s reassigned to a new work project and sent to work with Grant Kingston in the middle of nowhere. She knows of his reputation as a recluse and genius, but she isn’t prepared for how handsome, powerful and deliciously Dominant he is or how he ignites something inside her that no man ever has.

Grant isn’t happy when his cherished solitude and creativity are shattered by Aria’s unwanted and unwelcome arrival. That is until he glimpses her carefully concealed vulnerability. Aria’s confidence and responsiveness intrigue him, ensnaring him in a way he’d never believed possible, chipping away the ice that shrouds his heart.

As he interacts with her, he realizes why she ran from marriage. She’s never met someone strong and complex enough to hold her interest. And suddenly, he’s determined to be that man.

Sierra Cartwright was born in Manchester, England and raised in Colorado. Moving to the United States was nothing like her young imagination had concocted. She expected to see cowboys everywhere, and a covered wagon or two would have been really nice!

Now she writes novels as untamed as the Rockies, while spending a fair amount of time in Texas…where, it turns out, the Texas Rangers law officers don't ride horses to roundup the bad guys, or have six-shooters strapped to their sexy thighs as she expected. And she's yet to see a poster that says Wanted: Dead or Alive. (Can you tell she has a vivid imagination?)

Sierra wrote her first book at age nine, a fanfic episode of Star Trek when she was fifteen, and she completed her first romance novel at nineteen. She actually kissed William Shatner (Captain Kirk) on the cheek once, and she says that's her biggest claim to fame. Her adventure through the turmoil of trust has taught her that love is the greatest gift. Like her image of the Old West, her writing is untamed, and nothing is off-limits.

She invites you to take a walk on the wild side…but only if you dare.

Check out Sierra's new Bonds website

You can find Sierra on Facebook, follow her on twitter and check out her page on Tumblr.

Totally Bound is giving away one copy of Command plus three books from Sierra's back ist to one lucky winner! To enter, visit the link below.

Good Luck!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review of Game Play (Power Play #1) by Lynda Aicher

"Are you running from me, Samantha?" - Dylan Rylie

Game Play
Series: Power Play # 1
Author: Lynda Aicher
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: February 16th, 2015
Source: Netgalley

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One night, one time, nothing more. That’s all it was supposed to be. They’d agreed their first night together would be their only night together—and Minnesota Glaciers defenseman Dylan Rylie was fine with that. Giant hickeys and claw marks on his ass had never been his style, even if the very memory of Samantha Yates’s merciless sexual energy gets him hard within seconds. He needs to focus on getting a better contract, not mind-blowing orgasms.

One night, one time, nothing more. Fresh off representing the US at the Games and with nowhere else to play, Samantha gave in to one night of frantic passion with the Glaciers’ brawny hotshot. She couldn’t get hurt—not if she controlled the outcome. And she planned to leave Minnesota soon, anyway. She didn’t expect to be recruited to coach Dylan after they’d gotten down and dirty.

When brutal on-ice workouts lead to kinky locker room sessions and “one night” falls by the wayside, Samantha insists on keeping things casual, despite Dylan’s quiet hope for more. But when Dylan goes down—hard—and his career is in jeopardy, Samantha is the first one by his side. What will it take to keep her there after he’s healed?

I love hockey players... Hockey romances... Just about anything to do with the sport. In fact, I have the Anaheim Ducks game playing in the background (we won't mention the score...). Plus, I have been wanting to pick up a Lynda Aicher book. In Game Play we meet Dylan Rylie and Samantha Yates, two very talented hockey players at different points in their careers. Dylan is in his contract year and he is determined to get a contract from the Glaciers. Meanwhile, as a female hockey player, Samantha is dealing with the end of her playing career. I loved the contrast between Dylan and Samantha. While both of them are focused on their future, it is taking them into two separate directions. I loved Dylan and Samantha. The banter between them was prefect. I loved that they challenged each other and often fought for control in their relationship. Although he's focused on his career, Dylan is still determined to make Samantha see that their relationship is worth fighting for. I had so much fun reading Game Play. I don't know whose book is next, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Lynda Aicher has always loved to read. After years of weekly travel implementing computer software into global companies, she ended her nomadic lifestyle to raise her two children. Now her imagination is her only limitation on where she can go and her writing lets her escape from the daily duties as a mom, wife, chauffeur, scheduler, cook, teacher, volunteer, cleaner and mediator. Find her at:

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Spotlight of More (All or Nothing #2) by Lea Griffith

All or Nothing # 2
Lea Griffith
February 10th, 2015

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Sure to please fans of erotic romance, Lea Griffith’s All or Nothing series returns to the deepest places of longing and obsession.
Three years ago, Ruthie Copeland ran away from an erotic connection that shook her to the core. Now she realizes that Tobias Edwards is the only man who can give her what she craves. Determined to reignite the dangerous flame between them, Ruthie seeks him out at The Underground—and discovers a changed man. Though Ruthie, blind since childhood, cannot see the scars on Toby’s face that forced him to seal off his heart, her gentle submission eases the pain of her body’s only Master.
Toby stopped feeling after Ruthie left, stopped expecting to find release in meaningless dominance play. Now that Ruthie has taken their dance to the limits of ecstasy, Toby’s lost in a haze of sensation. Yet the enemies that left him disfigured may reappear at any moment. Ruthie’s love gives him the strength to face those who seek to break him, but Toby fears he must leave her to save her life.
More is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

Lea Griffith began sneaking to read her mother’s romance novels at a young age. She cut her teeth on the greats: McNaught, Woodiwiss, and Garwood. A firm believer that love makes the world go round, she still consumes every romance book she can put her hands on, but now she writes her own. 
Lea lives with her husband and three teenage daughters in rural Georgia. Two dogs, a cat, and a beta fish named Coddy George complete a family that is always in motion. When not working at the EDJ, she’s usually at her keyboard, using every spare second to write. Science fiction, paranormal and contemporary romance, oh my! Nothing is off-limits when it comes to her writing.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A visit with Sawyer Bennett, author of Garrett (Cold Fury Hockey #2)

 It is my pleasure to welcome the lovely Sawyer Bennett today to chat about book covers. Sawyer's new book, Garrett (the second book in her Cold Fury Hockey series), released last Tuesday. You don't want to miss this series!

Take it away, Sawyer!

Let’s talk book covers and the importance of creating a striking, unique cover.  To do that, we first need to talk models.

Specifically, male models.

Hard, chiseled, strong, sexy, male models.

You know the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”?  I call bologna.  Books are absolutely judged by their covers, especially in the romance and erotica genres.  The selection of the perfect cover, and subsequently the perfect model, are paramount.

Choosing the wrong model can mean disaster, even if your book is amazing.  Why?  If a reader doesn’t feel a connection with your cover, they will move on to the next book in line.  And trust me; there are a lot of other books waiting in line.

Readers want to see eyes that show soul, lips that beg to be kissed, abs that scream to be touched.  They want hair they can imagine running their fingers through and arms that make them want to be embraced.  Readers want to read your book and imagine your cover model doing all the things your words say he does.  That model is their escape from reality and into your book for a few precious hours of their lives.

In modern romance and erotica, gone are the days of Fabio and long, flowing dresses (and hair!).  Readers want hard bodies and hot men.

As an author, I have a duty to my readers to find the hardest bodies and hottest men.  And let me tell you, that is such a hardship!  My least favorite days are the ones that I am forced to sit at my computer for hours, scrolling through picture after picture of hard, hot, sometimes sweaty male models.  Even worse?  When I have to screen them in person.  UGH.

I make these sacrifices for you.  I want you, my readers, to have the absolute best cover possible, so I suck it up and deal with the torture for you.  It’s okay, you can thank me later.

Choosing the perfect model or photo for your cover can be tricky.  It is important to not only choose a photo that conveys your message, but to also know what is already out there.  Stock photos are readily accessible and a good stock photo may be used my multiple authors, giving their covers a similar feel to one another.  While it is impossible to prevent this from happening, there are other ways to help your cover stand out.

Fonts, coloring, shading and cropping can all help provide your cover a unique feel, even when the photo may not be.  Branding also plays a significant role.  As an author, developing your brand is a must.  For example, look at the books in my Last Call series.  Each of the books are branded similarly, therefore allowing a reader to identify with my brand.  The pictures may not all be unique, but the branding is.

Another option is hiring a model and photographer for your own photo shoot, where the pictures taken are the property of the author.  I did this when it came time to design the cover for Uncivilized, hiring Jay Byars and Krystal Reynolds to portray Zach and Moira.  Uncivilized is a standalone, with a very different, very raw theme and I wanted the cover to portray exactly that.  I was able to create the cover I envisioned by opting to have photos taken instead of using stock photos.

Bottom line – a cover can make or break your book.  There is no wrong or right way to go about it, and the options for a stand out cover are endless.  Creativity and an open mind are key!

What do you think?  Do you judge a book by it’s cover?  What turns you on to a book when you see it?  What turns you off?

Cold Fury Hockey # 2
Sawyer Bennett
February 17th, 2015

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USA Today bestselling author Sawyer Bennett hits the ice with the story of a playboy athlete whose winning ways lead him to a beautiful woman with a lot to lose.

Carolina Cold Fury star Garrett Samuelson never wants to miss out on a single minute of fun. Whether he’s playing hockey, hanging out with friends, or walking the red carpet with a new date on his arm, he lives every day to the fullest. When he meets Olivia Case, he sees someone who’s exactly his type—confident, sexy, smart . . . his next fling. But the more he pursues her, the more Garrett shares a side of himself that other women don’t normally get to see.

Olivia has been keeping a secret. While Garrett lives for the next thrill, Olivia’s not sure she’ll live to see the next day. She’s undergoing treatment for some serious medical issues, and she doesn’t have time for a relationship with no guarantees—especially one with a hot-as-sin womanizer who won’t take no for an answer. But as she gets to know the real Garrett, Olivia can’t help falling for him . . . hard. To reveal the truth would mean risking everything—but you can’t score without taking the tough shots.

USA Today Best-Selling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series and the Last Call Series. She will be releasing her second book in the Cold Fury Hockey Series with Random House Loveswept, February 2015.

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Spotlight & Excerpt from One Night More (U.S. Marshals #2) by Mandy Baxter

One Kiss More
U.S. Marshals # 2
Mandy Baxter
February 24th, 2015
Kensington Books

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Rough, tough and by the book, he's most criminals' worst nightmare. Until the girl of his dreams is caught on the other side. . .

Emma Ruiz knows her father is innocent. But that doesn't help her convince the law--not even smoking hot U.S. Marshal Landon McCabe. When McCabe bangs on her door demanding information about how her cancer-stricken father escaped from federal prison, she'll have to distract him somehow--it may as well be with a stolen kiss.

Landon gets why Emma isn't saying all she knows. What he doesn't understand is why he's putting his reputation, his case, and his badge on the line for a gorgeous person of interest. Much as he'd love to, he can't let Emma play him. The stakes are higher than either of them can guess. The only way to survive is to trust their instincts. But their instincts want more than one kiss. . .

One Kiss More
© 2015 Mandy Baxter

Landon McCabe could think of a thousand things he’d rather be doing right now. Skydiving, BASE jumping, climbing to the top of Mount Hood would be nice. When did the running of the bulls begin, anyway? Law enforcement was supposed to be an exciting, adrenaline-infused career. Maybe he should have applied for the Marshals’ elite Special Operations Group when he had the chance. Of course, knowing his luck, he’d get an assignment like his friend Galen Kelly had snagged: babysitter to some foreign dignitary for a year. Prestigious? Maybe. But Landon wasn’t interested in recognition or prestige. He was in it for the action. Which was why, as he pulled up to the swanky Aspira building in downtown Seattle, he wished he were jumping out of a plane, thousands of feet from the ground. He hadn’t felt an exhilarating rush of any kind for a long goddamned time. And like any addict, he was itching for a fix.

He pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialed. After a few rings, Galen answered and the fucker had the nerve to sound upbeat. “Hey, man. Did you see me on Anderson Cooper last night?”

Galen had recently come off a case that had landed him not only in the media spotlight, but in bed with the woman he’d been assigned to protect. Lucky bastard. “Yeah. And you know what? It’s true what they say about the camera adding ten pounds. You might want to think about hitting the gym.”

“Jealous much?”

“Please,” Landon scoffed. “I’ve got nothing to be jealous about. You go ahead and be the poster boy for the Marshals Service while the rest of us go out and get shit done.”

Galen’s laughter rumbled through the receiver. Playful hostility was what Landon appreciated most about their friendship. Galen deserved his accolades, though. He was damn good at his job. “Have you questioned Ruiz’s daughter yet?”

The consummate professional, Galen would forego the banter for work talk any day of the week, and as always, Landon was on the same page. “On my way up to her condo now,” he said as he flashed his badge to the parking attendant at the underground garage. The Aspira had top-of-the-line security, which might make it tough to sneak a fugitive in. On the other hand . . . it might also be the perfect place to hide someone from prying eyes. Landon pulled the phone away from his ear long enough to get directions to the public parking and pulled through the levered gate. “I doubt she’s going to be cooperative, though.”

“Who’s your contact there?”

Technically, the Ruiz case was in the Oregon district’s jurisdiction, but since Ruiz’s daughter lived in Seattle, the investigation had become an inter-regional effort. “Ethan Morgan,” Landon replied as he hit the key fob with his thumb and locked his black Chevy Tahoe. He pivoted on a heel as he searched out the elevators and found a bank of silver doors on the far left wall. “I’m meeting him at the office later, but I thought I’d get a jump on Emma first.”

Galen was silent for a moment, and Landon could almost picture the shit-eating grin on his face. “Get a jump on her, huh?”

“Unlike you, I’m a professional,” Landon remarked, as he stepped inside the elevator and hit the button for the twenty-first floor.

“Touché,” Galen replied.

“Dude, the French,” Landon said with snort. “So not manly. Later.”

Galen’s answering laughter was the last thing Landon heard as he ended the call. For the past few days, he’d been staking out Emma Ruiz’s building and tracking her every move in the hopes that she’d lead them to her father. But the only thing he’d learned so far in his time on this assignment was that the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. Emma was still a hard-core party girl. She still hung out with pro athletes and rich playboys and lived her life as publicly as she dared, as though she invited the media attention and gossipmongers while simultaneously not giving a shit about any of it.

The Ruiz case had been high profile six years ago when they’d conducted their investigation into the federal judge’s dealings with Mendelson Corp. Once one of the country’s shrewdest and most successful attorneys, and later, the consummate legal hero who defended the little guy, Javier Ruiz had landed a federal judgeship in Oregon after retiring from a firm that dealt primarily in environmental safety and wrongful death suits. His judgeship had taken a nosedive when his dealings with Mendelson had been scrutinized. The U.S. Marshals had gotten involved after he’d dismissed what should have been an open-and-shut FTC trade violation case against the multinational corporation. Through an anonymous tip, the feds had been alerted that Ruiz was extorting money from Mendelson, and the CEO had admitted to paying the judge in exchange for a favorable ruling in their case.

And for the last six years, Emma had been a staunch supporter of her father, declaring his innocence on several national news programs as well as on E! News and in the pages of US Weekly. A first-class celebutante, Emma was often categorized as famous for being famous, or whatever it was the gossip rags said about over-privileged daddy’s girls like her. She had often been whispered about in the Portland office when they’d investigated Javier. At eighteen, she had already been on the road to stop-your-heart gorgeous and had a reputation for playing fast and loose with several pro athletes. She had a mouth on her, not to mention a penchant for fucking with anyone who fucked with her dad. During the course of the Marshals Service’s investigation, she’d made it her life’s ambition to cause any deputy involved in bringing dear old daddy down a world of hurt. Landon’s team had been on the receiving end of several of her malicious pranks including the old potato-in-the-tailpipe routine. That shit wasn’t urban legend, and the blowback from the exhaust had damned near asphyxiated him. Not the best experience for a rookie on his first case.

Watching her over the past couple of weeks had stirred up all sorts of memories. One of those being the euphoric rush he experienced every time he laid eyes on her. Landon couldn’t explain it. He wasn’t usually the sort of guy who got twisted up at the sight of a pretty girl. But Emma was different. Her presence triggered something primal in his subconscious. And that instant, gut-clenching reaction bothered the shit out of him. So, yeah, he wasn’t exactly enthused about paying a visit to the now-twenty-four-year-old Emma, and grilling her about daddy’s whereabouts while he tried not to fall under her spell yet again. Landon was certain that no matter what, Emma was going to give him a run for his money. Paybacks were a bitch.

Mandy Baxter is a part time pet wrangler, a full time sun worshipper, and only goes out into the cold when coerced. She loves black clothes, pink appliances and thinks junk food should be a recognized food group. She lives in rural Idaho with her family.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Paranormal Picks at Lyrical Press

Calling all paranormal romance fans... Or anyone who just wants to pick up the genre. Check out these four fabulous books from Kensington's Lyrical Press!

Black Wolf’s Revenge
Silver Wolf Clan # 2
Tera Shanley

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He’ll risk it all to bring her home.

Morgan Carter witnessed her sister’s murder, has been turned into a werewolf and is now raising her young niece. Then her fiance, Greyson Crawford, proves he wants to be with her for the wrong reasons, and she knows her life couldn’t be any stranger. Devastated, she retreats to her cozy house in the city with her sister’s little girl, Lana. There, they’ll have normalcy, and maybe eventually, even happiness.

But Morgan’s the only living silver wolf. Her uniqueness—the ability to produce werewolf offspring—means, without Grey’s protection, she’s unknowingly put herself and Lana in deadly danger. Other werewolves want to claim her for their pack, and she’s the easiest, most tempting prey ever.

When they strike, Grey has to find her and rescue her before it’s too late. Not so simple a task; he has only the uncontrollable beast inside him, Wolf, and an unlikely pack of allies he’s forced to rely on. Can he get to her in time? And if he does, can he convince her he’s there for the right reasons, saving them both?

Born and raised in small town Texas, Tera Shanley grew up in books. Her cousin gifted her a signed copy of Beauty by Bill Wallace when she was young and that was it for her. So smitten was she with getting lost in a story, that while other eleven year olds her age were groaning at the accelerated reader program in school, she was racking up the points just for fun.
Balancing chronic book-wormyness is her devotion to the outdoors. Hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, camping - her soul is happiest out of doors. And lucky for Tera, her family feels the same. She grew up a wild child helping her grandma ranch cattle, and has a hundred memories out in the wilderness which tend to influence her books.

When she's not eating chocolate, slinging rifles, or soaking up some sun, she's lost in a book, but these days it's more often one she's writing. From historic western romance, to paranormal romance, to apocalyptic (zombie) romance, the genre doesn't matter quite as much to her as the love story.
She currently lives with her husband and two young children, and is owned by two crazy mini-cujos.

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Nightwing # 2
Juliette Cross

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In the Gladium Province, the boundaries between humans and Morgons, the dragon-hybrid race, continue to blur as a new generation surrenders to long-forbidden temptation…

Sorcha Linden does whatever she wants whenever she wants, and no one can stop her. Least of all a man. After all, they’re good for only one thing—warming her bed. But then she meets Lorian, brother of Lucius Nightwing. Seductive and iron-willed, Lorian is determined to melt her emotional defenses—and warm her rebellious heart.

The beast within Lorian longs to cage Sorcha and mark her as his own. Forever. Yet the man within also longs to protect her. When a stalker starts leaving Sorcha suggestive gifts with cryptic messages bearing an ancient blood cult symbol, Lorian’s dragon side takes over. With her life at stake, Sorcha can no longer deny the love they share. But when evil tracks her into the night, will she be too late to claim it?

Juliette Cross calls lush, moss-laden Louisiana home, where the landscape curls into her imagination, creating mystical settings for her stories. She has a B.A. in creative writing from Louisiana State University, a M.Ed. in gifted education, and was privileged to study under the award-winning author Ernest J. Gaines in grad school. Her love of mythology, legends, and art serve as constant inspiration for her works. From the moment she read Jane Eyre as a teenager, she fell in love with Gothic romance—brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own. Visit her website at

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Enchanter’s Echo
Mayflower Mages # 2
Anise Rae

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Aurora Firenze lives a quiet life hiding in a junkyard. Her repair shop is the last hope for gadgets and gizmos before they get tossed onto the trash towers. Fortunately, Aurora can fix almost anything, including mages, though repairing people with metal enchantments is highly illegal.

Edmund Rallis, heir to the Rallis senate seat, has spent months hunting down his errant enchantress. He’ll play every game he knows to win her back and entice her to share the secrets she hides. But he’s inadvertently put her on the frontlines of a new game, one with an opponent who’s determined to destroy Rallis Territory and drive the Republic toward war. If the new enemy isn’t stopped in time, Edmund will lose his enchantress again—and this time there won’t be another chance.

Anise Rae grew up among the cornfields and soybeans of Ohio, dreaming of being a ballerina, an astronaut, and a romance writer. With no turn-out and a soul deep love of chocolate, her ballerina dreams floated away as high as the moon, equidistant with the astronaut aspiration. She stuck with writing. After 22 years, she got the call. Or rather, she got the email. Syphon’s Song, a 2012 Maggie Award of Excellence finalist, will be released March 3, 2014 from Lyrical Press.

Now transplanted to the South, Anise lives in Georgia with her family and a cast of characters that flit around in her head. A select few of those imaginary people are ever so grateful for their chance to escape into the real world of books. The remaining characters, enough to form an army, still clamor for freedom.

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Love, Lattes and Mutants
Mutants # 1
Sandra Cox

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Finding love is hard, even when you aren’t a mutant.

Like most seventeen-year-olds, Piper Dunn wants to blend in with the crowd. Having a blowhole is a definite handicap. A product of a lab-engineered mother with dolphin DNA, Piper spends her school days hiding her brilliant ocean-colored eyes and sea siren voice behind baggy clothing and ugly glasses. When Tyler, the new boy in school, zeroes in on her, ignoring every other girl vying for his attention, no one, including Piper, understands why...

Then Piper is captured on one of her secret missions rescuing endangered sea creatures and ends up in the same test center where her mother was engineered. There she discovers she isn’t the only one of her kind. Joel is someone she doesn’t have to hide from, and she finds herself drawn to the dolph-boy who shares her secrets. Talking to him is almost as easy as escaping from the lab. Deciding which boy has captured her heart is another story.

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA fantasy, historic and paranormal romance and metaphysical nonfiction. Sandra lives with her husband, a menagerie of pets, and an occasional foster cat in sunny North Carolina. To see the brood go to her website and click on the cat tab.

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