Tag Archives: #ContemporaryRomance

Ticket to True Love Multi-Author Series ~ #AHAgrp #Blog #ContemporaryRomance

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Jennifer Wilck and the other authors of her Ticket to True Love multi-author series. Such a clever idea. And the covers are fabulous! Sounds like a fantastic series. Congrats, ladies!

 

Thanks so much, Alicia, for hosting me on your blog today! Better Together in Boston is a contemporary romance that released on June 11. It’s part of the Ticket to True Love multi-author series. I’m excited to tell you a little about the book, as well as to share some of the other books in the series.

Anna Levinson has long since come to terms with the understanding that “having it all” is impossible if she wants a successful career. Despite being left at the altar twice, Ben Diamond still believes his soul mate is out there. A long-distance relationship isn’t what either of them has in mind, and Anna isn’t about to ruin another person’s dreams; however, giving each other up is harder than it looks.

Here are a few of my favorite lines from the story:

This was it. The moment she’d waited for and dreaded at the same time.

The seventh inning stretch.

Anna was not like the other women she’d grown up with and knew. She’d never dreamed of a happily ever after for herself. Her mom was strong and independent, and she was, too. Regardless of how much guilt Anna carried, she never felt the need to depend on a man, so marriage had never been one of her goals. And once she started achieving professional success, a relationship would just be one more thing pulling at her time.

But every time she came to a baseball game with her mom, there was always someone nearby who would lean over and kiss his or her partner while everyone else rose during the seventh inning stretch. As a child, she’d been fascinated. As a teen and a young adult, she’d been at first horrified and then a little envious. But as she matured, she decided it was stupid, especially if the couple was unlucky enough to be shown on the Jumbotron.

Seriously, who wanted their kiss broadcast to the world? It gave an intimate moment too much weight.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Better-Together-Boston-Springs-Contemporary-ebook/dp/B09432941B

Jennifer’s links:

Website: http://www.jenniferwilck.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Wilck-201342863240160/

Newsletter: https://www.jenniferwilck.com/contact.html#newsletter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JWilck

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjenniferwilck/

Fun Fact: Boston is known for the “Freedom Trail,” but it also has an entire literary district, including the homes of famous authors and even a statue based on the story, Make Room for Duckling!

The most difficult thing about writing with other authors is making sure the things that carry through all our stories, such as the small town of True Springs, are consistently portrayed.

The best thing about writing with other authors is that I get the benefit of their knowledge and I have a built-in support system, whether it’s for blurb help or advertising.

And now, let me introduce you to the others!

Georgia Grace by Savannah Kade

Blurb: Equal parts determined and petrified, Grace is leaving her abusive boyfriend for good. Hopping on the the back of a stranger’s bike isn’t the worst decision she’s ever made. How can two broken and scarred hearts give in to love when they’ve each vowed never to lose themselves again?

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CFSVYZ1/

Favorite Lines:  He’d woken up and everything he’d ever wanted, everything he was supposed to get, was gone. And he could never get it back.

Fun Fact:  I’ve been to every place they visit! Even the fictional towns. Ha!

Most Difficult Thing: Just making sure we had everything lined up!

Best Thing: Great ideas I got from reading the other stories.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/ReadSavannahKade

website: https://www.savannahkade.com/

Yearning in Yellowstone by Holland Rae

Blurb: It was supposed to be a summer road trip in an RV with old friends. She never expected the adventure to be love. Big skies may call to both of them, but work is waiting for Rhiannon and Nick has never claimed one place as home. They only have a few days to decide what’s worth risking and what they’re willing to live without…or they might just find that what matters most is already gone.

Quotes:

“It was the first national park,” he said. He hadn’t let go of her hand and she hadn’t pulled away. “Seems an auspicious place to run into each other, no?”

They were the same passes their group had used to get into Indiana Dunes, into Theodore Roosevelt National Park, into Cuyahoga. But this time, knowing that Nick would be joining them all for dinner, that she was seeing him again in just a few short minutes, they felt like tickets to a far greater adventure
This time, he was here with Rhiannon.

And that made all the difference.

“It’s yours. The whole sky, it’s yours.” 

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08WKNRGD1/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0 

Fun Fact: This story was very much written as my love letter to young women who are still trying to navigate the world and their place in it. The inspiration of a group of summer camp friends who have stayed in touch and grown up together came from my very own group of summer camp friends. We have traveled together, grown together, and continue to be part of each other’s lives, no matter how far away we move. 

Not only was Rhiannon’s relationship with her friends based on the real life friendship—and many of the real life conversations and experiences—of my own camp friends, but many of the stories in Yearning in Yellowstone are from camp, as well, if altered slightly. While nearly a decade has passed since I worked at a sleepaway camp, it was one of the most unique and challenging and exciting experiences of my life—and it definitely comes with stories. Camp taught me how to think on my feet and how to find joy in the in-between moments, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful. I’m also eternally grateful that I never have to deal with several dozen vomiting children again… 

Working With Other Authors:

The Ticket to True Love writing process has been nothing but wonderful. I love the excitement of seeing where each of the stories are going to be set and how each other blends the series rules with their own style and story. The series guides, with the water and the tickets, really gave me a chance to push the story and try new things and I enjoyed taking Yellowstone to a whole new level. Ironically enough, the summer camp where I actually worked isn’t very far from where True Springs can be found, which helped inspire the very start.  It’s also been so fun running parties and creating a community with such amazing authors surrounding romance and adventure and a little bit of the magic of love. 

Find Holland: 

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HollandRae 

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/196337010993469 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RaeRomance 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hollandraeromance/ 

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@rubymayqueen?lang=en 

HollandRae.com 

Practically Persuaded in Pittsburgh by JB Schroeder

Blurb:

In this friends-to-lovers, interracial story with a small-town feel, Sadie agrees to a fake marriage for a good cause, but she has to fess up about other plans when Jake begins playing for keeps!

Amazon and Kindle Unlimited: https://amzn.to/34jiNht

A few favorite lines from the story:

“Are you offering me some kind of partnership? Just spit it out already.” Sadie didn’t have time for this, and Jake was cracked if he thought she had any kind of capital for some kind of family-ruining buyout. “I’m going to be late.”

“No—it’s bigger than that.” Jake sucked in a big breath. “I’m asking you to marry me.”

Sadie’s mouth dropped open. Her heart stuttered with shock and then recovered, as if Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage had appeared and then vanished all in the space of a second.

She barked out a laugh—because really, what other way was there to react? “You are out of your mind.”

“I’m completely serious.”

She scrunched up her face and peered at him. His hair was mussed, but his eyes were clear and he wasn’t muttering or drooling or frothing. Not drugs, not a psychotic episode, not even sleepwalking.

And sadly, most definitely not some romantic notion blown out of proportion as a result of one heart-stopping kiss seven years ago.

Fun Fact: I grew up in Pittsburgh but the Strip District has had a complete blossoming since I’ve been gone!

Most Difficult Thing: Keeping everyone excited and motivated!

Best Thing: The camaraderie and sharing of ideas.

www.JBSchroederAuthor.com

www.facebook.com/JBSchroederAuthor

www.instagram.com/jbschroederauthor/

www.goodreads.com/JBSchroeder

Sure to Fall in Sedona by Julie Strauss

Blurb:

Tiffani Lemmen worked hard to get clean. If she can stay out of trouble and away from men, she’ll inherit her grandmother’s fortune.

Danny Ibanez is the most promising young cop on the South Sedona police force. The law is black and white, and when you’re the son of the most crooked cop in Arizona, you follow the rules. All of them. The last thing Danny plans to do is fall for an ex-junkie with a criminal past.

Resisting each other is impossible. Falling in love with cost them everything.

Buy Link: https://amzn.to/34JUJ7s

Favorite lines:

She hit the water back-first. The basin was deeper than she expected, and the water came up over her face. The cold surprised her, and she opened her mouth to gasp. Water filled her mouth, and she choked on it. Suddenly, time sped up, and she struggled to stand up. Her clothes had grown heavy and waterlogged, and her flip-flops had fallen off, so her bare feet couldn’t get purchase on the slippery tiled bottom. She managed to struggle over onto her hands and knees, coughing and spitting out water.

She looked up at the two young men in front of the statue, who had stopped mid-makeout to gaze at her.

“Well,” observed one of them, “that’s one way to find your true love.”

Fun fact about the story:

After I wrote the initial draft of “Sure to Fall in Sedona,” I sent it to a cop friend of mine. She replied, “Did you actually research police work? Have you ever met a cop? Have you ever even seen a cop show?” I had to admit the truth: all I really know about police work was that one time I’d been out to lunch with a girlfriend of mine and their was a bachelor party in the room next to us and a stripper in a cop uniform showed up and stripped down to his g-string. I corrected the actual police work in the book, but I left in a few cracks about ogling handsome men in uniform. Like I’m gonna pass up that opportunity!

The most difficult part of writing with other authors: I admire the other writers so much, and I was pretty sure they made a mistake when they invited me to join them. I was (and still am!) afraid that I could never match their level of excellence.

The BEST part about writing with other authors: I loved that we were all working with similar parameters and coming up with such different stories. I think the experience made me a better writer.

Contact Links:

Website/Instagram/Podcast

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Author Interview with Jayne York ~ New Release: If Wishes Were Horses

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Jayne York…

Good morning, Jayne. Thank you for joining me today.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

I’m a professional jeweler specializing in custom design and manufacturing. Writing is my second career, and just like my first, it fills all those gaping holes yearning for productive creativity.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

Distraction, I’m easily led astray.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read If Wishes Were Horses?

This is a story of lessons learned and the strength they bring. My main characters are both at turning points in their lives. How they handle the changes and the challenges is the crux of the story.

What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie?

Debra Messing and Hugh Jackman.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

My WIP is a fast-paced heist enmeshed in a love story. Tentatively titled, “Midnight Acquisition”, I hope it will be out this time next year. After that, maybe a sequel to “If Wishes Were Horses.”

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

I was advised to put the MS under the bed and move on. But I believed in the story and kept at it until I had it the way I wanted it. The message there—trust your gut and listen to people with experience and a keen eye. The flip side compliment—another author called me a “Unicorn” because not only is this my first book, but my first pitch and was picked up by the first publisher I queried. Incredible luck all around, I know. Hope it holds going forward.

How did you come up with the title?

It was something my mother used to say to me all the time. Usually when I was whining about not having what I wanted.

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

If I had to put a finger on the message; Remember to forgive yourself for doing the best you could when you fail. Life is a long road, and it’s full of potholes. So try to stay out of the weedy ditches.

 

BLURB:
Emily Converse never expected to return to Tamarack, Colorado. But she’s determined to rescue her drug-addicted brother and start a new life. Standing in her way, she finds her stepfather, a powerful US senator, looming over her future like the ever-present monster he’d been during their childhood. Meeting wounded retired Navy SEAL, Michael McCandlis, is a steamy surprise in her homecoming, though he’s adrift in civilian life. Together can they find a way to transform from victims to survivors?

EXCERPT:
Once upon a time, she’d run away from Tamarack like her heels were on fire, and now here she was volunteering to step back into the furnace. What was the definition of insanity? Doing the same things over and over, expecting a different outcome. Like if she managed to change, be stronger, be smarter, things would turn out better—different. It wouldn’t be that simple. She downshifted the Jeep to slow for the last of the S-shaped turns on the narrow ribbon of asphalt. The road led her past the pretentious granite columns that marked her stepfather’s compound. She wasn’t consciously holding her breath, but a trickle of fear dribbled down her spine just the same. Her molars ground together in determination. The past wouldn’t decide her present, not ever again. In spite of herself, images of her last day on his estate flashed through her mind like the herky-jerky frames of a child’s flip deck animation. Fear sharpened every visual, clarified every word, enhanced every touch. She’d run down the steps, racing for her car. He’d charged after her, smelling of alcohol and fury when he tried to stop her headlong rush toward an unknown future. They’d screamed out their mutual hatred, all the bitter dregs of their time together. She smirked when she remembered getting in the lucky shove that had landed him in a heap on the ground. It had been her first glimpse that Senator Ray Domenico was not the invincible, all-powerful monster she’d known him to be.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I’ve been an avid reader and sometime writer all of my life. I’ve never been able to resist the draw of a good story, and that has been true in my professional life as well. I was raised as the third of three children in the Colorado high country. Early on I discovered the joy of creating handcrafted jewelry, which led to a forty-five-year career as a professional jeweler. Every customer, every piece has its own story. I’ve collected them like pearls in a strand, and I often use them as a jumping-off point for the tales I tell. If you’re looking for me, you’ll find me on the shores of a northern lake, hammering away on my latest story of love and life in the modern world. ~*~ Find Jayne online at: http://www.JayneYork.com

Website: JayneYork.com

Blog: JayneYork.com/What’sOnMyMind/

Email: Jayne@JayneYork.com

Twitter: @JayneYorkAuthor

Facebook: JayneYorkAuthor

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Writing about PTSD in Romance by Kimberly Beckett


Please help me welcome Kimberly Beckett with a fascinating article and her latest release, Racing Toward Love.

Writing about PTSD in Romance

            In my day to day life, I work as an attorney for the United States Department of Defense, and have been doing so for a little over thirty years.  During that time, I have worked with colleagues that have been exposed to combat situations, and/or their spouses, and have seen the direct impact to the lives of military members who suffer from PTSD.  Therefore, when, as a writer, I decided to create a character that suffers from the effects of PTSD, I resolved to do as much research as I could to make the experience as authentic to my readers as possible.

            In Racing Toward Love, the second book in my Horses Heal Hearts series, I dive more deeply into the background of Ian Stafford, a former British SAS officer, who suffers PTSD. Ian was first introduced to my readers in Dressage Dreaming, book one of the series. Ian’s PTSD started when he watched his best friend die in his arms – felled by an enemy sniper.  Ian believes himself responsible for his friend’s death – after all, he was his commanding officer, and as such responsible for the lives of every man in his command.  That sense of responsibility, coupled with the fact that his friend relied on Ian for advice and support, triggered flashbacks, a quick temper, and nightmares that have haunted Ian ever since.

            In my research, I discovered a relatively new treatment for the men and women who suffer from PTSD, not just from combat, but from other traumatic experiences they’ve suffered in their lives. It was called Cognitive Processing Therapy, or CPT. If you’re a writer seeking to write an authentic character with PTSD, I recommend researching the therapy. It was extremely helpful for me. I also spent some time interviewing those military members I knew who suffered from the effects to find out more about how episodes were triggered, and what they and their loved ones could do to avoid the onset. Sometimes, I’m sorry to say, there really is nothing a family member or friend can do but stand by and let the patient know they’re there for them.  There are no easy solutions to PTSD, but with the love and devotion of their own special hero or heroine, those who suffer from PTSD have hope.

Learn more about Kimberly Beckett at her website:  www.kimberlybeckett.com.

Her books can be found on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Dressage-Dreaming-Kimberly-Beckett/dp/1682916693

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KTDLWQD

About Racing Toward Love

Ian Stafford is a former British Special Forces soldier and Afghanistan war veteran who still has nightmares after watching his best friend cut down by a sniper in a remote village in Afghanistan. When he sees a woman in a local pub begin harassed and threatened, he intervenes. During the ensuing brawl, the woman escapes, but Ian accidentally stabs one of his attackers who later dies.  Ian is charged with manslaughter, and the woman who can exonerate him has disappeared.

     Megan Brady and her father Daniel never imagined that the thoroughbred colt they raised from birth would grow up to be a contender for the British Triple Crown.  Seabiscuit II is the last horse you might imagine as a champion if judged by looks alone.  Like his namesake, Seabiscuit II is not much to look at, but has a heart as big as all outdoors, and refuses to be beaten.  Unfortunately, the Irish mob has also taken notice, and has approached Megan’s brother Stephen with an offer of a bribe to purposely lose the most important race of his career.  Stephen refused, and Megan has taken it upon herself to thwart the mob, but their brutal tactics nearly see her raped until Ian steps in to save her.  Megan knows she must come out of hiding to exonerate Ian, but knows if she does, the mob will be there too.  Meanwhile the date of the big race approaches.

     Can Megan’s example of courage in the face of overwhelming odds, and the will to prevail even when the going looks tough, help Ian come to grips with his grief, and give him the courage to forgive himself and allow himself to live and love again? Will Ian be able to trust Megan with his heart?

Chapter 1

Megan Brady’s stomach fluttered as she parked her car in front of the Rusty Nail Pub just outside of Woking and near Guildford. There were no other buildings nearby and very few cars in the lot. She had to admit that the location was ideal for a clandestine meeting, but the atmosphere clearly favored the men she was supposed to be meeting. The pub was practically deserted, so there wouldn’t be anyone to help her should the encounter go badly.

Megan gripped the steering wheel of her father’s car as she debated whether she should even go in. This wouldn’t be easy, primarily because the party she was there to meet was expecting her brother Stephen and would not be happy she had come in his place.

“OK, Megs,” she whispered under her breath. “You’re here now. There’s no going back. Let’s do this.”

She took a deep breath, squared her shoulders, and opened the car door.

Megan entered the pub and was immediately assailed with the stench of stale beer and cigarette smoke. Although smoking had been banned in bars in the U.K. for years, it appeared this establishment didn’t abide by government rules. Her eyes slowly adjusted to the dark, drab interior. Getting her bearings, she slowly walked to the bar. She was somewhat surprised to see she was the first to arrive. No one resembling the party she was supposed to be meeting was in the pub. There were only a couple of other patrons in the place, none of whom took any notice of her. She walked over to the bar and sat down.

The bartender looked at Megan curiously. Apparently, few people other than locals frequented the Rusty Nail. He approached cautiously and asked, “What can I get for you?”

Megan knew she needed all of her wits about her if she was going to survive a confrontation with the organization that was threatening her family, so she ordered a soda.

The bartender cast her an even more curious stare and dispensed the soda, placing the glass in front of her.

Just as the bartender served Megan her drink, the pub door opened, and Megan quickly turned. A tall, good-looking, well-built young man with sandy blond hair cut in a distinctive military style entered the pub. Megan watched with interest as his gaze scanned the interior of the pub as if to memorize every detail of the place and its inhabitants. Once he had completed his sweep of the room, he made his way to a table. The bartender walked over to take his order, and Megan overheard the man order a steak and potato pie and a beer. The bartender served him the beer right away.

She surreptitiously watched the man as he sipped his beer and waited for his food. This wasn’t the person she was there to meet. For one thing, he wasn’t looking for anyone; he just went about his business. It appeared he was reading a booklet of some sort, but he occasionally looked in her direction. Obviously, he was just as curious about her as she was about him. Did he live nearby? Or was he just passing through? She wasn’t very familiar with this area, but she was fairly certain there weren’t any military bases in the vicinity.

A door slammed in the back of the pub, drawing her attention. Four large, burly men emerged from the shadows. They scanned the room but quickly focused on her. As one, they moved toward her. The apparent leader, the largest of the four with a jagged scar down one side of his face, sauntered up to Megan and leered at her.

“Im surprised to see you here, Miss Brady,” the man said insolently. Megan noticed immediately that he spoke with a distinctly Irish accent. “We have business with your brother. Where might he be?”

Megan hoped the men couldn’t see how fast her heart was beating as she dug deep and found the courage to respond in a clear, firm voice. “Stephen sent me in his place.” She squared her shoulders and looked at the leader defiantly. “My father asked me to give you a message. Neither Stephen nor my father will accept your bribes. Seabiscuit II will run his race at the Epsom Derby. We will not agree to lose intentionally as your boss has requested. We ask that you accept our decision and leave us alone.”

Megan watched as the man’s expression slowly changed from lascivious to enraged. In truth, her father didn’t even know she was there, and he probably would have tied her up and locked her in her room if he had known she had talked Stephen into allowing her to take his place for this meeting. However, when Stephen had approached her and told her that members of the O’Reilly crime family had tried to bribe him to throw the Epsom Derby, one of the richest races in Britain and the second race in the British Triple Crown, she easily fell back into her familiar role of big sister and protector and persuaded him to allow her to take care of things.

She was now seriously regretting that rash decision. Feigning a bravado she didn’t feel, Megan looked toward the pub entrance. “Now that I have delivered my father’s message, if you will excuse me, gentlemen, I have to go.” Megan left some cash on the bar to pay for her drink and started toward the door.

The leader, who unbeknownst to Megan was the O’Reilly family patriarch’s nephew and chief enforcer, Colin Fitzpatrick, grabbed Megan’s arm and hauled her back toward him with enough strength that she lost her balance and fell into him. She shoved both arms against his massive chest, trying to push herself away from his brutal embrace, but he only laughed at her ineffective struggles.

“My friends and I came a long way to make a deal with your brother, darlin’,” he said with a sneer. “Now that you’ve taken that away, I think you owe us. Boys, let’s take her to the back of the pub and collect our payment before we go back to the boss. This way we’ll at least get something for our trouble.”

The other three men grinned their approval and raked her with their eyes, lingering on her breasts. She shuddered with revulsion, and her heart raced as the full implication of what she had gotten herself into hit her. She glanced at the bartender to see if he would help her, but he was purposely ignoring the situation. No help there. She scanned the pub to see if anyone else was paying attention and noticed that the blond military man was watching and appeared concerned. Would he help her? She had to try.

“No,” she said in a loud, clear voice. “I don’t want to go with you. Leave me alone, or I’ll call the police.”

Colin only chuckled. “No one here is going to help you, sweetheart. This pub is owned by the same people who pay my salary, and, as for the police, well, let’s just say I’m not too worried about them either. Come along quietly, now, and we’ll try to make this easy on you. If you fight us, you’ll only get hurt.” His gaze swept her body hungrily.

Regardless of the man’s assurances, Megan knew that if she surrendered to these men, she would suffer unbearably. Her only option was to resist. She refused to go quietly and allow these men to rape her without a fight. “Please just leave me alone,” she pleaded. When the man continued to drag her, she planted her feet, forcing Colin to stop. “Let me go!” she shouted. When the man didn’t respond, she lashed out with her open hand and slapped him. “I said, let me go!”

Megan was shocked at her own audacity and watched in horror as Colin drew his fist back to strike her. He could easily break her jaw.

Suddenly, a very strong and very large hand grabbed the man’s fist and held it. “You heard the woman. Let her go.” The resonant and commanding voice came from just behind Megan, and she turned around to see the man she had decided was a soldier standing right behind her, appearing big, strong, and determined. Megan noted with some relief that the man was over six feet tall, had a muscular, athletic build, and exuded strength and confidence.

Ian Stafford had been watching the scene unfold before him, and, seeing no one in the pub willing to help the woman who was clearly in danger, made the split-second decision to come to her defense.

“Mind your own business, laddie,” Colin replied. “This is none of your affair.” He loosened his fist, though, and Ian released his grip on the man’s wrist. Little did the thug know how close he had come to having his wrist broken.

“I’m making it my affair since the woman clearly doesn’t want to go with you. Do yourself and your friends a favor, and let her go.”

Colin snickered and glanced over at his friends, who were also laughing. He responded, “I don’t know how you’re going to stop us. You’re only one man against four.” He turned toward the back of the pub, dragging Megan with him. Megan realized there was nothing she could do to stop the inevitable, thankful that her rescuer had at least tried to help her. Then, before she realized what had happened, the thug was lying on his back on the pub floor with his nose broken and blood streaming down his face. The impact of the stranger’s fist to his face had caused him to let go of Megan, who moved out of harm’s way toward the pub entrance. Unfortunately, after she escaped his grasp, the man’s friends surrounded the stranger, who even Megan knew was no match for four trained mob enforcers.

Ian knew he was in trouble, but at least he had gotten the woman out of immediate danger. Now, he could deal with the four thugs who had tried to rape her. He’d broken the leader’s nose, but the brute wasn’t entirely out of commission, and Ian could tell that the other three were experienced brawlers. They wouldn’t be easy for one man, even one man with Special Forces training, to subdue.

To survive this fight, he would need his knife, tucked conveniently in his boot. It was the one habit he had brought home from Afghanistan that had been difficult to break. Since his last tour in country, he didn’t feel safe without a weapon of some kind on his person at all times. Ian reached down quickly and unsheathed the knife. With it, he was able to fend off the men for a time, but despite Ian’s best efforts, it wasn’t long before two of the thugs pinned his arms, and a third tried to wrest his knife out of his hand.

Ian knew from the nature of the men he was fighting that if he lost his knife, his life would be forfeited, so he dug deep and used all his remaining strength to wrest his right arm away from one of the thugs. The knife he still held went straight into the belly of the man directly in front of him. The man collapsed immediately, and Ian was shoved to the ground as two of the thugs carried their comrade away—presumably to a hospital.

Colin looked at the bartender and barked, “You, I know you work for my uncle, tie this man to a chair and call the police.”

At first, the man looked confused, but the leader spoke to him sharply. “Look, man, we know where you live, and we can reach your family easily. Do what you’re told, or they’ll pay the price.”

The man paled, and then rushed to comply. His hands trembled as he tied Ian to a chair.

The leader further instructed the bartender, “When the police come, you will tell them this man started the fight and attacked us without provocation. We acted in self-defense, but he stabbed our friend. Do you understand?”

The bartender nodded again, and, apparently satisfied with the response, the leader left the pub, presumably to join his friends at the hospital.

When the police arrived, the bartender did as he was told, and despite his protests, Ian was arrested for criminal assault with a deadly weapon. The woman he saved had disappeared.

 

About the Author

Ever since she can remember, Kimberly Beckett has loved horses. She wore out 4 rocking horses before she was 5 years old, and as she got older, she read every horse story in print, from Black Beauty to My Friend Flicka. It wasn’t until she got her first job as an attorney for the federal government, however, that could afford to buy her first horse, and she hasn’t been without at least one ever since. She has been riding dressage for several years and has earned her United States Dressage Federation Bronze Medal. When she wasn’t reading about horses, she was reading romance novels, and her favorites always involve an alpha male Hero riding a magnificent horse. Kimberly has now found a way to combine her love of horses with her love of romance by writing her own version of equine-facilitated happily ever afters. She truly believes that Horses Heal Hearts. She lives in southwest Ohio with her two adopted greyhounds, and two warmblood horses.

If you loved Racing Toward Love, please read the first book in Kimberly’s Horses Heal Hearts Series, Dressage Dreaming, where readers are first introduced to Ian Stafford, his brother, Michael, and Michael’s love, Jessica Warren. 

To find out more about Kimberly, and to keep up with her next release, please visit her website, www.kimberlybeckett.com and sign up for her periodic email updates. 

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October Featured Books

#AHAgrp

Looking for something new and fabulous to read? Try these…

 

Caper Magic by Veronica Lynch  

P.I. Nick Forrester comes to Cape Brendan ostensibly to assist with Caper Madness, a month-long celebration of everything Halloween. In reality he is tracking a woman on the run. Within days he is confronted by Annunciata Doyle, a vivid reminder of a pain-filled past.

After retreating to Cape Brendan in defeat and humiliation, Nunie Doyle’s only hope was to make the best of forced retirement. There, in this quaint tourist town on the shores of Lake Ontario, she earned the love and respect of new friends and neighbors—and put her talent for helping women to good use.

With the mutual goal of making Caper Madness the best ever, Nick and Nunie fight tooth and nail on the personal level, each discovering a new side to the other, sides that make them consider making drastic changes for the rest of their lives.

This attraction: Is it complete madness– or sheer magic?

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Stone Bay by Min Edwards

 

Amanda Warner is a Texas girl from her cowgirl hat right down to her silver-tipped boots. She’s a successful woman, but romance has passed her by. On a whim to find that elusive spark that others seem to enjoy, she buys a new home… sight-unseen… on the Internet… in Maine. However, when she pulls up into the driveway of her new house, one that looks nothing like the online images, there’s a handsome stranger standing on her derelict porch. At that moment, she realizes she might have bitten off more than she can chew, in home ownership and romance.

Kevin Franklin, retired Army Intelligence officer, successful builder, has been unlucky in love throughout his life. He’s been more concerned with keeping family, friends and his country safe than finding a soul mate. Things may be changing for him though. When the new cowgirl in town walks into his life and into the house he was planning to buy for his sister, his luck takes a turn… and not always for the better.

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Yours Truly by K.J. Pierce

Izzie Greene never wanted the limelight. As a caterer for Poe, the top-rated U.S. TV show, she had background player down pat. Her main focus was to spoil the cast and crew and fantasize about her celebrity crush, Scotsman Cardwell Bennett, while navigating the daily chaos.

Izzie’s professional life takes a sharp left turn when her ex-boyfriend unexpectedly arrives on set. Her personal life spirals into Hell when she runs afoul of an unethical paparazzo. Thrust into the public eye, her notoriety is fueled by equal measures of constant scrutiny, speculation, and half-truths. Her rumored romance with Cardwell further stokes the flames.

Held captive by the media, accident-prone Izzie struggles to keep her privacy, secrets, and sanity intact—not to mention her sense of humor. With help from her best friend Delly, her temperamental cat Edgar, and unexpected backup, Izzie might withstand the onslaught. And survive the season.

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 On the Surface by Margo Hoornstra 

Wrongly convicted ex-con and recent parolee Jenny Reynolds wants to forget her tarnished past and focus on a brighter future. One that begins with a return to the small tourist town where she grew up. The restoration of her family’s once proud Rest Easy Bed and Breakfast is the only thing on her mind. Fleeing an ex who refuses to let her go, what she doesn’t need to complicate her already problematic life is another man.

Enter handsome handyman Brad, a man who seems to care as much about restoring the B and B as she does. A man who soon becomes ready, willing and able to steal her heart. A man, as it turns out, with more than a few secrets of his own. A dropout from law enforcement, the real Brad Collins will use anyone and anything to fulfill a personal vendetta.

When two pasts collide and danger threatens, their budding love for each other may be the first casualty.

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A Deep Thing by A.K. Smith

2017 Readers Favorite Award- Gold Medal Winner
Dive into A Deep Thing
A suspense conspiracy adventure novel full of twists and turns.
Love – Lies- Secrets and the possibilities of the What if’s?5 stars “Such an intriguing story that I couldn’t put it down. If you are looking for a great summer read, you have found it”. -Amazon Customer

What WAS her husband hiding in the jungles of Mexico?

Rocked by her husband’s tragic death, Kendall Jackson strives to put her life back together. But Ryder, her nineteen-year-old stepson, is bitter and wants nothing to do with her. And she can’t keep the grief at bay. Sometimes, it’s so strong, she wonders if life is worth living.

A call from a cave diver in Mexico gives her hope of mending the relationship with her stepson. Before his death, her husband arranged a diving expedition as a birthday gift for his son. Kendall persuades Ryder to honor his father’s last wish.

From the campus of Western Maryland College to the woods of Camp David and the caves of the Yucatán, Kendall and Ryder take a journey to discover what her husband worked so hard to hide, and to protect his treasured secrets from falling into the wrong hands. The choices they make will decide their fate and the future of others. Will they risk everything for the truth?

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Legacy of Evil by Sharon Buchbinder

When a wild mustang is shot in Montana, renowned horse whisperer and telepath, Emma Horserider, is called in to calm the herd and find out what happened. Once on scene she is almost killed by a bullet-spewing drone, and calls her black ops brother for back-up.

Emma’s help roars into her life covered in tattoos and riding a Harley. Remote viewer Bronco Winchester takes the assignment because he is ordered to, but he wonders what type of assistance, his boss’s sister needs. That is until he sees Emma, a valiant Warrior Woman proud of her Crow heritage.

Posing as a married couple, Emma and Bronco go undercover to infiltrate and stop a hate group. Both are anxious enough without the now growing attachment they feel for one another. When the lives of many are on the line, they are not sure if they will live or die—let alone have a chance at love.

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For Money or Love by Margo Hoornstra – ONLY 99 cents!

Mega-millionaire Daniel Winston Montgomery lives to work at his prosperous software company. Scrimping to survive as a child, money means everything to Dan. He’ll do whatever it takes to preserve his wealth and the security it provides his mother and younger siblings. His brilliant top assistant, Lindsey Carr, is essential to his firm’s continued success. He has no problem sharing the fruits of their combined labors with her. Though, truth be told, he needs Lindsey far more than she needs him…

Computer brainiac Lindsey Carr wants more out of life than her prestigious, well-paying job and craves a little excitement. She’s tired of being no more than boring tech support in a well-run software enterprise. Convinced Dan and his company will survive—and thrive—just fine without her, she tenders her resignation. After all, Dan has never required more from her than her superior analytical skills. Well, except for that one time she won’t let herself think about…

Unwilling to let Lindsey go, Dan must fight to keep her in his life. In a clash of priorities, will he choose money…or love?

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Saturday in Serendipity by Margo Hoornstra  

  A Three Book Anthology
A twenty year high school reunion changes the lives of former classmates and leads to unexpected futures.

Three Strikes Thursday
Barry Carlson, a pro baseball success, could have any woman he wanted. Except one. Twenty years before, Barry won Amanda Marsh’s love, only to crush her heart. He’s returned to Serendipity, determined to win her back. Recently divorced, Amanda is happy—until Barry slides back into her life. Can they put aside old wounds and new misunderstandings to find a forever love?

Two On Tuesday
Blane Weston’s construction company needs the venture capital Matt Durand has. With his reputation for hostile takeovers, she wants no part of him. Mixing business with pleasure, she’s off to Serendipity to hook up with a former flame. Not used to being denied, Matt follows. How can Blane enjoy a journey to her past when Matt is determined to dictate her future?

One Fateful Friday
His high school reunion in Serendipity over, hospital CEO Jake Holbrook regrets his single state. When a special woman from his past tumbles back into his life—and his bed—he’s determined to keep her there. Family practitioner Bethany Thomas avoids an entanglement with her new boss, but unknowingly betrays him. As the holidays approach, can they overcome a lack of trust to find their Christmas miracle?

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Mistletoe Snow and Suspense by V. B. Tenery, Lillian Duncan, Pamela S Thibodeaux, and Mary Vee  – ONLY 99 cents!!

Acclaimed Christian authors come together in this irresistible collection of Christmas novels and novellas filled with suspense, romance, and intrigue.

THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL THIEF
by Lillian Duncan
Zoe Adams has a secret—one that’s worth killing for!

As the country’s most infamous PK (preacher’s kid), Zoe chose to rebel against her famous father and his beliefs. Instead, she lived the party lifestyle with the rich and famous of Hollywood until she disappeared after witnessing a crime. After more than three years of running and hiding, all she wants is to go home for Christmas but knows that can never happen—if she wants to stay alive.

Ex-FBI agent, Marco Bernstein traded his gun in for a Bible. His path crosses with Zoe’s in a most unusual way. When he recognizes her, he makes a promise to get her home for Christmas but someone else is just as determined to make sure Zoe never gets home alive so keeping that promise turns out to be more difficult than Marco ever imagined—and even more dangerous!

ANGELS AMONG US
by V. B. Tenery
In the season of Love, Peace and Joy, a chance meeting with a young woman in a supermarket sets Detective Cole Allen on an urgent quest to save the lives of three young women.
It will take the combined skill and dedication of the Twin Falls Homicide Bureau, and a helping hand from God, to locate and end the nightmare of the helpless victims.

WORKS OF DARKNES
by V. B. Tenery
Some secrets just won’t stay buried.

A construction site provides a horrific discovery when a worker uncovers the skeleton of a small child wrapped in a sleeping bag. Police Chief Matt Foley links the murder to another cold case, the hit-and-run death of Attorney Josh Bradford.

The long-suppressed memory of the young victim’s childhood friend, Sara Bradford may hold the key to both crimes. But Matt has mixed emotions about Sara—his prime suspect in her husband’s murder.

Matt soon discovers the twenty-five-year-old mystery has the power to stretch across decades to kill again.

KERI’S CHRISTMAS WISH
by Pamela S Thibodeaux
For as long as she can remember, Keri Jackson has despised the hype and commercialism around Christmas so much she seldom enjoys the holiday. Will she get her wish and be free of the angst to truly enjoy Christmas this year?

A devout Christian at heart, Jeremy Hinton, a Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Spiritual Mentor and Energy Medicine Practitioner has studied all of the world’s religions and homeopathic healing modalities. But when a rare bacterial infection threatens the life of the woman he loves, will all of his faith and training be for naught?

Find out in Keri’s Christmas Wish

CHRISTMAS WITH THE ENEMY
By Mary Vee
Samantha Windermere, a successful marketing intern, is lured by her parents to leave a hectic Chicago life for one relaxing week in the Windermere/Tucker family-share lodge. She arrives in a Rocky Mountain blizzard before anyone else and is scared when the family enemy walks through the door.
The generation-old disagreement between the Windermeres and Tuckers over a priceless antique toy sparks when Sam’s parents arrive a few hours late and find Hank. A family Christmas just can’t be celebrated with one of them on the grounds.
Sam’s boss calls with an emergency from the Chicago office to the archaic lodge landline. She must attend a meeting tomorrow evening or her money-making account will be given to her rival. With no cell phone coverage or Internet at the lodge, city girl Sam must ask family enemy and mountain man, Hank, to guide her through white-out conditions to find an Internet connection.
Blizzards, avalanches, bear attacks, snowmobile accidents, and deadlines become minor concerns when Hank’s parents arrive unexpectedly, igniting the toy train feud and exploding any chance for Peace on Earth.

Oh, how good and how pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity. Psalm 133:1 KJV

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