Tag Archives: Romance

Vanity Kills by Dianne McCartney… A ‘Friday the 13th Story’

Hello and welcome to the third of my posts about a brand new series of 13 suspenseful “Friday the 13th” short stories, each by a different author.

Today, I am happy to share Dianne McCartney’s “Vanity Kills” – Now available for pre-order…releasing Nov 13.

Fun fact:

The subject of body-shaming has always interested me. I have a tall, stocky build and my daughter is on the other end of the spectrum, yet we have both suffered this behavior, mostly from other women. Those experiences are what spawned this story.

Blurb:

Detective Marcus Flint is hot on the trail of a demented killer. His initial victim, Carla Sharkley, is found with her body altered to look much bigger than her real size. Her face is made up like a clown’s. What bizarre message is this twisted killer trying to send? 

Further investigation links her to a group of high school friends, cheerleaders, who were known bullies. Is the killer one of the victims of their abuse? 

A search for similar crimes reveals several suspicious deaths, one in Marcus’s home state of Tennessee and two more out of state. All occurred on Friday the 13th.

When Marcus meets the lovely Eleanor Trask, one of the targets of their abuse, he is more determined than ever to solve this case. All bets are off, though, when the killer goes off script to reach his final goal.

Will Eleanor become his final sacrifice?

Excerpt:

At one forty-five, he headed down to the morgue. Dr. Georges Appel, the medical examiner, wouldn’t let anyone in to watch the autopsy unless they were present from the beginning. A fastidious man, he made an excellent medical detective, never missing a thing.

He grunted a hello as his assistant set up the equipment. Autopsies were not for the faint of heart, but it had never bothered Marcus. His old trainer had advised him to think of the body as a box that no longer contains a person. It had helped.

The doctor entered the room, washing his hands at the sink before putting on gloves. “Your victim was dressed in size twenty clothes, even though she is perhaps a size six without the padding.”

He explained the reason behind the subterfuge or their best guess about it.

“People can be so odd. Is this his only victim?”

“We haven’t confirmed yet, but I don’t think so. We found a similar case upstate.”

“Before we begin, I assume you noted that she had signs of being restrained on her wrists. Probably handcuffs.”

“I did. Thank you.”

The doctor murmured his observations into a recorder as he worked, beginning with the surface examination of the skin, fingernails and toenails, taking scrapings. Y-shaped incision to open the torso. The initial blow to the heart had been the death blow. On examining it, he said, “Very deep, you see. Your killer is strong. The knife was likely a hunting knife, kept quite sharp as the edges are crisp. Maybe six or seven inches long.”

“Do you think the strike to the heart was intentional and the others were random?”

“Yes. He’s making a comment, don’t you think?”

“I agree.”

He continued to work. “She didn’t bleed much after the initial wound, because the heart stopped beating. He accomplished his task very quickly. The poor girl never had a chance.”

About Dianne:

Dianne McCartney is an award-winning writer, speaker and contest judge from Canon City, Colorado. Her books, Just One Night, The Daughter of Death and The Road to Justice are published by The Wild Rose Press. A long-standing member of the OWFI and The Rose Rock Writers, she has sixty writing awards from contests in Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee.

Contacts:

Website: www.diannemccartney.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/authorDMcC

Instagram:   www.instagram.com/diannemccartney1200/

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How Martini Club 4 Was Born (Ruined – Vintage Romantic Suspense by Alicia Dean – #FREE for a limited time!!)

#FreeEbook

Martini Club 4 – The 1920s

In 2010, I and three of my writer friends—Amanda McCabe,  Kathy L Wheeler, and Krysta Scott—began meeting each Friday evening for Martinis and various other libations at the Martini Lounge in Edmond, Oklahoma. In time, we came to dub our gatherings the ‘Martini Club.’  During one of these get-togethers, an idea was tossed around to write stories centered around a Martini Lounge-like establishment. The idea blossomed from there, and the ‘Martini Club 4’ series was born.

Each of the four authors wrote our own, stand-alone novella, but the girls from each are friends, and they interact in one another’s stories. This first series is set in the 1920s, and the follow-up novellas are set in the 1940s.

I and my BAFF’s (Best Author Friends Forever) had a blast brainstorming and creating the MC4 Vintage Historical Romances over drinks and during a few out of town retreats (over drinks, as well :)).  Sadly, Kathy and Amanda have moved out of state and the Martini Lounge was converted into an Italian restaurant, so, like the Roaring Twenties, our Martini Lounge gatherings are bygone days.  (Although, never fear, Krysta and I have a few other friends who now meet for drinks on as many Friday nights as possible, though COVID has certainly put a damper on that. We still call our get-togethers MC (Martini Club) 🙂

Step back into the days of prohibition, gangsters, and speakeasies with the Martini Club 4 Series.

****  FREE for a limited time!!  – Ruined, Reckless, and Rebellious are free and Runaway is only 99 cents!!

 (See below for info about the 1940s novellas)

About the Books: 

  • Jessica:  An aristocratic reporter with a penchant for trouble, she encounters sexy, mysterious Frank Markov, owner of an elegant new speakeasy and a man with secrets she’s dying to uncover. ~ Rebellious by Amanda McCabe 
  • Eliza: She fled England in pursuit of a better life, but her illusions are shattered when she falls prey to a scoundrel who draws her into a life of prostitution. When she meets Vince Taggart, a former boxer in search of his missing friend, she finds hope and the promise of love. ~ Ruined by Alicia Dean
  • Margaret: Her impulsive nature lands her face-to-face with gangsters and bootleggers. Even more disarming is her undeniable attraction to the enigmatic Harry Dempsey. ~ Reckless by Kathy L Wheeler
  • Charlotte: Her dreams of owning her own bakery crumble when blackmail and murder land at her feet. Is the dashing detective her ruin or her salvation? ~ Runaway by Krysta Scott 

 

Blurb: Can an aristocratic lady melt the cold heart of a Russian gangster?

Lady Jessica Hatton fled her high-society London debutante life for one of investigative journalism in New York—only to be relegated to the fashion pages. Searching for a juicy story leads her to Club 501, the city’s most glamorous speakeasy—and its handsome, mysterious owner, Frank Markov. But his past of war and revolution puts their hearts—and their lives—in danger…

Excerpt: “Do you smell that, Meggie?” Jessica Hatton cried as she leaned into the cold, salt spray wind, her t-strap shoes perched on the lowest rung of the ship’s railing.  She’d lost her hat, and the short strands of her hair blew into her eyes, but she didn’t care.  England was far behind them.  They had escaped.

“It smells like freedom!” she shouted, and threw up her arms.  It felt like she could fly all the way to America.

“I only smell old fish,” Meggie said.  “Now come down from there, Jess.  If you tumble into the drink, it will all be over before it even starts.”

Jessica laughed and shook her head, but she did climb down.  She spun around to see Meggie stretched out on one of the deck chairs, the glossy mink collar of her coat drawn close around her.

The sky was grey and dismal-looking, the water not as glassy-smooth as when they slid past Ireland yesterday and headed out to open sea.  Several of the passengers had retreated to their cabins, but Jessica couldn’t stand staying inside.  Not when there was so much to be seen.

“It smells like fish and freedom,” Jessica insisted.  “But we can go in now.  Maybe Charlotte and Eliza will want to play some cards or mah-jong.”

“Finally,” Meggie grumbled as she swung her feet down to the damp deck.  But her smile was broad.  Jessica knew Meggie was loving it all just as much as she was.

Blurb: She vowed she’d be no man’s doxy, but fate had other plans…

After the Earl of Goodwin attempts to force himself on her, housemaid Eliza Gilbert flees England for New York, hoping to build a better life. But the land of opportunity proves as harsh as the London docks, and she finds herself in a situation more dreadful than the one she escaped.

Former boxer, Vince “The Fist” Taggart dreams of marrying, having a family, and living a quiet, peaceful life. But when a girl he’s known since childhood disappears, he heads to New York in search of her and meets Eliza, a woman with a less than honorable reputation. Inexplicably captivated, Vince can’t force himself to stay away, especially when he learns Eliza is the key to finding his missing friend.

Excerpt: Eliza lifted her gaze, then looked away when she met his eyes. They were just too…striking, too blue. “I’m afraid you’ll have to speak to Oscar. He handles all my transactions.” She could never have a normal outing with a man. A lump of regret rose in her throat. She turned and started up the stairs.

Vince caught up to her in a few steps and grabbed her arm, taking the bag from her at the same time. “That was a lousy thing to say.”

She opened her mouth to accuse him of going around Oscar so he didn’t have to pay. But that was ridiculous. He hadn’t taken what he’d paid for the first time. She lifted a hand and rubbed her forehead. His attention confused her. What was his angle? He didn’t want sex. Did he think she was hiding something about Cynthia and if he spent time with her he could draw it out? “What do you want from me?”

“A picnic.”

 

(99 cents on Amazon, free at this link: https://claims.prolificworks.com/free/imED1 )

Blurb: Lady Margaret turned Lady Bootlegger…

Singer Margaret (Meggie) Montley needs money…fast. Her friend is in a dire situation with nowhere to turn. While Meggie is on the brink of stardom, it’s not soon enough to save her friend.

Harry Dempsey is out to avenge the deaths of his father and brother at the hands of a ruthless gangster. But trouble spirals out of control when Meggie Montley shows up the night he meets his nemesis to settle the score. Saving the impetuous woman from a crime lord might be easier than saving her from her own reckless behavior.

Excerpt: Meggie launched herself from her hiding place and threw her arms about Harry’s neck. Locked in his muscular embrace, she rested her chin on his shoulder. His arms tightened around her. “Oh, Harry. I came as fast as I could. Just as we’d planned.” The words, she’d intended to carry, came out breathless.

“Fast, huh?” The whisper was against her ear where no one else could hear, raised goose prickles over her entire body. “Guess I’ll have to do something about that.” He lifted his head. “What are you doing with my girl, Joe?”

Joey’s hands flew into the air, indicating his surrender. “Sorry, Dempsey. Had no idea she was anyone’s quiff—”

Meggie’s cheeks burned, and she stiffened at the insult. Harry’s one arm gripped her closer. The other shot up, jerking her body like a rag doll. She couldn’t see Harry’s face with her own now buried in his neck, but she felt the corded muscles contract.  

(99 cents)

Blurb: Can she prove her innocence before more than her dreams are destroyed?

After escaping an arranged marriage, Lady Charlotte Leighton lands on a new shore, determined to realize her dream of opening her own bakery. But her plans are shattered when her former fiancé follows her to New York. Now, she finds herself in a fight for her freedom.

Haunted by a string of failures, Detective Felix Noble is determined to solve his latest case. But his efforts to find a murderer are jeopardized by a forbidden attraction to his number one suspect. While he’s certain Charlotte Leighton is keeping secrets, instinct tells him she’s not the murderess he first believed.

Excerpt: Long thin fingers curled around a glass and lifted it from the tray. Charli followed the direction of the drink. Derrick Chaunce, or as the local duffs referred to him, “Slick”, grinned, exposing yellowed teeth.

“You … You…” Her throat closed. The rest of her diatribe wouldn’t budge.

He winked. His thin hair slicked back in the latest fashion exaggerated the gaunt cheekbones and sunken eyes, tinging him with an unhealthy, dilapidated look. He gulped the whiskey. A bit of the amber liquid escaped through the gap in his teeth and down his chin. Her stomach lurched.

“Thank you, sweet cakes. Put it on my tab.” He skulked off.

Charli whirled around. How did the bounder get past Tiny? Ira fumed about customers who ran up a high tab without reconciling at the end of the night. Now she would have to explain yet another charge added to Slick’s mounting debt. She sighed and rolled her eyes to the heavens. The customer was always right. Even when they were wrong.

 

Please check out and ‘like’ our Facebook page:

http://facebook.com/martiniclub4

Print book of all four: http://www.amazon.com/Martini-Club-1920s-Kathy-Wheeler/dp/1508793107/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1429473865&sr=1-6&keywords=martini+club+4

Martini Club – The 1940s Novellas:

Pampered: The 1940s – Kathy L Wheeler https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZS2F7QK

Priceless: The 1940s – Krysta Scott  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081M76DLK

Precarious: The 1940s – Alicia Dean https://www.amazon.com/Precarious-Martini-Club-1940s-ebook/dp/B085BR3N7P/

Perilous: The 1940s – Amanda McCabe – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081K789BV?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420

 

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#HobbyCareerPassion: “I’m an Artist” ~ Author Pamela S Thibodeaux ~ My Heart Weeps

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest,  a good friend, and a wonderful writer, Pamela S. Thibodeaux.

 

Hello, my name is Melena Rhyker and I’m an Artist…..

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved to draw and paint and work with stained glass. Although I took a few art classes over the years, mostly leisure learning and have used my talent to gift others, I never thought of myself as an artist. You see, I married young and worked as an Administrative Assistant in an accounting firm most of my adult life. I even got my Accounting Degree courtesy of my boss. But when my husband died, I just couldn’t fathom living the rest of my life in that same old rut. Before he passed, the rut had meaning and purpose. After, my life was meaningless and empty.

My best friend Pat told me that if I didn’t change the status quo, I’d never make it out of the valley of the shadow of death. That’s what grief is you know. Anyway, I quit my job and decided to pursue my art, thinking that if I put as much energy and passion into that as I had my marriage, my and Jon’s life together and our family, I might be able to get by with the money I earned and what savings I had.

For a while at least.

I began writing art-related articles and selling a few old paintings and greeting cards online and that was encouraging but not enough to count as substantial income.

They say God works in mysterious ways and I can attest to this because an application for a grant to an artist’s retreat popped up in my email one day and I won! That retreat and a subsequent job working on the Crossed Penn ranch (where the retreat was held) opened my eyes to the possibilities that lay before me. Leaving home and family for a couple of months was not easy, but necessary for my mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Leaving Jon took a huge leap of faith, but it paid off. My art flourished and the ranch owners, Anne and Bill Penn, offered to host a show for me and manage my career. From that moment on, I was no longer an Accountant/wannabe artist, I was a gallery-worthy artist and well paid for doing what I love.

We all have gifts and talents the Lord has blessed us with. Find yours – albeit painting or writing, sewing or needlework, carpentry or dance – pursue it with passion and dedication and most of all, with love and let God take you and your career places you’ve never dreamed of.

My name is Melena Rhyker and I am an artist.

 

Blurb: After thirty years married to the man of her dreams, Melena Rhyker is devastated by her husband’s death. Relief comes in the form of an artist’s retreat at the Crossed Penn ranch in Utopia, TX. She rediscovers a forgotten dream as her artistic talent flourishes into that of a gallery-worthy artist. Will she have the courage to follow the path she was destined to travel?

Garrett Saunders has been on the run most of his life. Abused and abandoned as a child, he escapes the clutches of a past filled with pain and shame, and hides from his calling as a Native American healer. His years as a CIA agent aid in overcoming his childhood and honing his talent and skill as a fine art photographer.

Follow their journey as two people who come from totally different backgrounds, but share gifts of gigantic proportions, find meaning and purpose in the Texas Hill Country.

Excerpt: She went into the private studio tucked away in an alcove on the third floor of the lodge, surprised to find her work arranged in an attractive display. Direct light shone on some, muted on others.

Melena wandered around the room. Her gaze rested on each individual piece of art, amazed again at what God had seen fit to express through her.

Her easel stood in the center of the room. She made her way to the stool and sat. Her mind whirled with visions, yet she hesitated to put images to paper. She closed her eyes and heard the voice of her art instructor from years past.

“What do you see? What do you feel? Delve deeper.”

One word came to mind, echoed in her spirit. Serenity.

Melena rose, wandered around the room once more and gazed upon her creations with a new set of eyes.

The eyes of her spirit.

She tugged on frames, readjusted light, and rearranged pieces until her theme fell into place.

Serenity.

She placed a fresh canvas on the easel, filled her palette with color, mixed shades and, with soft strokes of the brush, painted.

My Heart Weeps is on sale for a limited time @ 99cents and FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Purchase Link: https://bit.ly/MyHeartWeeps

Author bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story!

Links:

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com

Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/psthibnewsletter

Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux

https://www.facebook.com/pamelasthibodeauxauthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

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

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/pamela-s-thibodeaux

Instagram: https://instagram.com/pamelasthibodeauxauthor

Pam is giving away 1 Ebook, 1 Autographed Print Book, 1 Audio Book, a $15 Amazon Gift Card, a 1-month Audible membership and a SURPRISE Giftpack to 6 lucky winners! (1 prize per person) Names will be collected throughout the tour which ends Sept. 30th. Winners will be notified, and prizes awarded by October 10th so be sure to leave your EMAIL Address!

Blog Tour Dates/Stops:

8/11 Gail Pallotta’s Peering Through Life’s Window

8/13 Liz Flaherty’ Word Wranglers Blog

8/15 Clare Revell’s The Word Can Wait Blog

8/18 Southern Writers Suite T Blog

8/18 Alina K Field’s Simply Romance Blog

8/20 Penelope Marzec’s Bookish Thoughts Blog

8/25 Jana Richards’ Romance Story Board Blog

8/27 Beverly Bateman’s BLOG

9/1 Valarie Goree’s Facebook Page

9/5 D. V. Stone’s Campfire Blog

9/9 Jacqueline Seewald’s BLOG

9/11 Linda Rondeau’s Snark & Sensibility Blog

9/14 Patricia Kioyno’s Four Foxes, One Hound Blog

9/18 Diane Burton’s BLOG

9/22 Alicia Dean’s BLOG

9/25 Jeny Hickman’s BLOG

9/30 Linda Nightingale’s Author…Musings Blog

 

 

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#HobbyCareerPassion: “A Passion for Life” ~ Author Brenda Whiteside ~ #AHAgrp

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest,  Brenda Whiteside…

 

A PASSION FOR LIFE

by Brenda Whiteside

Google Dictionary defines passion as a strong and barely controllable emotion; also as an intense desire or enthusiasm for something. My goal is for all of my characters to possess some passion.

Most of the characters in my stories in some way resemble people in my life. They could grow from a single personality trait of someone I know or have met into a full-blown hero or heroine, or my character might have much in common with the real-life person. In all cases, they have a passion that drives them forward to discover more about themselves.

Then there is Phoebe Anderson—my alter ego. Phoebe is the heroine in Southwest of Love and Murder, the second book in the five-book series. She’s a successful murder/mystery writer who lives in southern Arizona and loves coffee. My main writing genre is Romantic Suspense, but that’s close. I was born and raised in Phoenix. And I do LOVE my coffee.

Phoebe’s passion for writing started when she murdered her first husband on paper seventeen years ago. That book launched her career. She spends her mornings at the Lacy Latte consuming caramel lattes and creating villains we love to hate.

For Phoebe’s career passion, I didn’t have to do much research. Writing has long driven my days and leaked into my nighttime fantasies. As far as her preferred location to create her stories, I’m jealous of her. There isn’t a fancy latte café within two hours of me. But if I could, I would, so Phoebe gets to combine her two passions, writing and coffee, and I can live vicariously through her.

Mason, the hero in Southwest of Love and Murder, likens Phoebe’s style to a gypsy. She’s all gauzy skirts, filmy blouses, lots of jewelry, and long blonde hair with a few streaks of gray. Her passions go beyond her writing. Mason can attest to her boundless passion in at least one area. Her passion for life runs deep. In fact, anything Phoebe does is with passion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB

Mystery writer, Phoebe Anderson, owes her success to killing her first husband on paper seventeen years earlier. Now, someone has actually done it. When she decides to take a few days away on the ranch of her best friend’s brother-in-law, she doesn’t expect romance to find her…or murder to follow her.

Mason Meadowlark is happy with his wild cowboy ways, avoiding love since the death of his baby and the end of his marriage twenty years ago. When Phoebe shows up, he fights to control his emotions, but soon wonders if she just might be worth the risk of opening his heart again.

With an obsessed fan close on her heels, Phoebe is thrown into her own murder mystery…and the next target on his list is Mason.

EXCERPT

Phoebe shuddered and stilled.

Like the aftershocks of an earthquake, trembling overtook her body. Her knees wobbled, but Mason caught her before she collapsed.

“What’s wrong?” He hugged her briefly then brought his face even with hers. “Phoebe, tell me. Why are you shaking? What’s happened?”

“Oh my God, Mason.” She spread her hands on his chest and glanced back at the bathroom. “Tell someone to call an ambulance. Hurry!”

He took a step toward the ladies’ room, but she grabbed his shirtfront. “No!” She peered around him and shouted. “Someone call nine one one.”

Mason touched his pocket. “My cell’s in the truck.” He grabbed the shoulder of a male customer, the closest person to them. “You got a cell on you?”

The man nodded and pulled a phone from his pocket.

“Call nine one one right now. There’s been…” His face questioned her.

“Someone’s badly hurt in the bathroom. Oh hell, hurry!” She thumped her palms against his chest.

The man pulled out his cell as he raced into the ladies’ room.

Phoebe wrapped her arms around Mason, tipped her chin upward, and found the words. “It’s that
waitress, Mason. Carla.”

His expression went blank, from concern for her to no comprehension.

“There’s so much blood.” She stifled a gag, the sweet, copper penny reek still heavy in her nostrils. “Her throat.” A shudder rippled the length of her body. “I think she’s dead.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For a limited time, Southwest of Love and Murder is on sale for $.99 at the following sites:

BUY LINKS

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Southwest-Love-Murder-Book-ebook/dp/B00QQPMIMQ

Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/southwest-of-love-and-murder/id965678707?mt=11

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/southwest-of-love-and-murder-brenda-whiteside/1121003952?ean=2940149945269

If you enjoy audio books, Southwest of Love and Murder is available in the form also:

AUDIO BUY LINKS

Audible US: https://www.audible.com/pd/Southwest-of-Love-and-Murder-Audiobook/B07MGZ1GMM

Audible UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Southwest-of-Love-and-Murder-Audiobook/B07M623KW2?

iTunes Audiobooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/southwest-love-murder-love-murder-series-book-2-unabridged/id1448484811

Brenda Whiteside is the author of suspenseful, action-adventure romance. Mostly. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have decided they are gypsies at heart, splitting their time between Northern Arizona and the RV life. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW is fishing, Brenda writes stories of discovery and love entangled with suspense.

Visit Brenda at https://www.brendawhiteside.com

Or on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendawhitesid2

She blogs and has guests: https://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003V15WF8

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3972045.Brenda_Whiteside

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/brenda-whiteside

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

 

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17 Alicia Dean Ebooks – 99¢ each!!! #99Cents #BookWorm #EbookSale #Kindle99Cents #OklahomaAuthor

Sheltering at home? Running out of books to read? For a limited time, a select group of my Ebooks are on sale for only 99 cents. Enjoy…stay safe!

Mystery/Suspense/Romance:

Paranormal Romance:

Vintage Romance:

Gothic Mystery Romance:

Romance with Suspense Elements:

10 stories: mystery, paranormal, and romance

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Casi McLean – Reign of Fire – #Audiobook – #PoliticalThriller #Paranormal #Romance

USA Today Bestselling Author, Casi McLean, presents a political thriller with military and supernatural elements in Reign Of Fire.

To expose a faction threatening America’s democracy, Emily Rose joins forces with a team investigating her sister’s murder, but she never expects to fall in love – or to encounter her twin’s ghost.

Ashton Frasier accepts his detective career choice means a life of bachelorhood – until Emily Rose blows into his world. The spitting image of his latest victim holds a mysterious allure he can’t deny. Surrounded by danger with the country’s democracy at stake, Emily and Ash uncover a dangerous faction threatening to take the White House. Can a ghost spark love to expose the truth?

Buy Links

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Audible

Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.

Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down.

Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.

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Narrator Bio

Kristin “KJ” James was born and raised in the Nashville, TN area. Acting has always been a passion of hers. Starting on the stage as early as preschool, KJ pursued her passion into college where she received a BA in Communication with a double emphasis in Theatre and Public Relations from Mississippi State University. After college she found herself more and more drawn to voice overs. Several classes, coaching sessions, seminars, research, and a closet-turned-studio later, and she now records and produces audiobooks on a regular basis. She has also done several radio commercials for clients such as Advance Financial, TriStar Health, and GAC.

When she’s not in her booth, you can find her crocheting, playing video games, or running agility with her dogs.

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#HobbyCareerPassion: Crab Fishing with Jack Devereaux ~ Author Constance Bretes

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Jax Devereaux…

 

Constance:  What exactly do you do as a crab fisherman?

Jax:  I take a crew of 7 or 8 people, and we go out to the Bering Sea. I have 800 crate shaped open cylinders we call pots. When we get to the destination where we want to get crabs, We use a pulley and grab a pot, bring it to the deck, bait it with raw fish, attach a buoy to it and toss it in the sea. I mark the spot on my radar and GPS as well as write it on a pad of paper. We strong the pots along a line until all are dumped into the sea.

Constance:  What do you do after you string all your pots?

Jax:  We circle around and go back to the beginning. Sometimes it is 24 to 48 hours before we reach for the rope with the pulley, and pull the buoy and the pot up to the surface. When it reaches the surface, we lay it on a slab, open the pot, and dump the crabs in a chute, sorting them as we go. We are only allowed to keep male crabs that are a certain size. All others will be toss back into the sea. The chute takes them down to the holding tank.

Constance:  Where do you take the crabs you’ve caught?

Jax:  When we reach max weight, we head back to the harbor and offload at the warehouse where they process the crabs for distribution to the customers.

Constance:  What kind of crabs do you fish for?

Jax:  King crabs, Opillo crabs and Biardi crabs. Each has their own seasons.

Constance:  How often are you out at sea?

Jax:  Crab season starts in September and ends in the Spring. We are gone almost the whole season.

Constance:  How did you get into this profession?

Jax:  I’ve been a crab fisherman all my life except for the time I served in the US Coast Guard. My father and grandfather both were crab fishermen.

Constance:  Do you get to go home for holidays?

Jax:  No. We miss all the holidays, including Christmas, except for July 4th.

Constance:  What are the biggest concerns you have as far as deep sea fishing is concern?

Jax: Rove waves, severe weather, motion sickness and safety. Safety is my number one priority.

Constance:  How well do the crew perform in this condition?

Jax:   Everyone does a good job and pull their weight, that is, except one. My brother, Rudy. I have to light a fire under him to get him to perform at max potential.

Constance:  What made you famous?

Jax:  An author wrote a book called Midnight Escape where I’m the hero. It’s how I met Suzanne, the heroine. I snuck her on to my boat and took her crab fishing in an effort to shield her from the mafia who had a hit on her and was after her.

Constance:  I bet that was a ride of the lifetime.

Jax:  It was a hell of a trip. Poor girl, I had no idea Suzanne was deathly afraid of water.

 

On the run from the mob, Suzanne discovers that hunky Jax is just the man she needs.

Suzanne Pacheco is on the run from the mob after witnessing a murder and helping to put the killer in prison. Her trip across the country brings her to a small town in Alaska. But once again the mob’s hitman has tracked her down. She’s disheartened at the thought of leaving the town she’s developed a real fondness for, but there’s nothing else she can do. Until she finds help in the unlikeliest of places and embarks on an adventure like never before.

Commercial fisherman Jax Devereaux has his hands full fishing for crabs in the formidable Bering Sea, but when Suzanne needs his help, he adds yet another thing to his list of responsibilities. He takes her with him to the one place he thinks she might be safe—the middle of the sea. But there’s danger everywhere. Can he keep Suzanne safe, and will he lose his heart in the process?

Author Bio:

Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romances.

When she’s not writing book boyfriends and strong heroines, she enjoys basket weaving, reading, making jewelry, and playing the piano as well as spending time with her husband and their two furball children, Tigger and Sunny. Constance is married to Jim, and they live in a small town in Alabama.

You can sign up for her newsletter here:  https://constancebretes.com

Email: bretesc@gmail.com

Website: https://constancebretes.com

Blog: https://www.constancebretes.com/connies-blog

NL Link:  https://www.constancebretes.com/news–things.html

Amazon Author URL: https://www.amazon.com/Constance-Bretes/e/B00IKSKRES/

Bookbub Author URL: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/constance-bretes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/conniebretes/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7737457.Constance_Bretes

Instagram: constancebretesauthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cbretes/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ConstanceBretes,

 

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#HobbyCareerPassion: The Mint Invasion: Out Of Chaos Comes Jelly…And Romance by M.S. Spencer

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, M.S. Spencer…

 

The Mint Invasion: Out Of Chaos Comes Jelly…And Romance

Up until my thirties, I traveled a great deal, living in many countries with amenities that many would consider below standard. So it wasn’t until I married and settled down in an old farmhouse with an acre of land that I could indulge my fantasy of growing my own food. We planted apple, plum, peach, fig, hazelnut, and cherry trees; gooseberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries; all kinds of vegetables, including an ill-fated attempt to grow artichokes; and finally, lots and lots of herbs. I built a formal herb garden and planted thyme, lovage, rosemary, chives, tarragon, sage, and lemon balm. The one thing I couldn’t get to grow was mint. Yes, the gardeners among you will scoff, but it took me years to get a plot to flourish. Be careful what you wish for. When it finally got going, I had to do something before it took over the entire acre.

So I called upon my sister-in-law, to whom Whirlwind Romance is dedicated. She directed me to an old recipe for mint jelly. Once I’d mastered it, I went on to work up jelly recipes for all my herbs. Good thing we had a basement.

In Whirlwind Romance, my heroine, Lacey Delahaye, moves to an island in Florida and wants to reestablish the herb store she’d owned up North. Florida boasts innumerable ecosystems, from pine uplands, to coastal plains, to palm hammocks—all of which are host to many wild fruits, most of which can be made into jelly. Whirlwind Romance opens as she returns from a foraging trip, unaware that a hurricane had swept through, leaving an unexpected visitor in her mangrove swamp.

Woven throughout the story are descriptions of the wild fruits of Florida and the western Caribbean. For fun, I added recipes to each chapter. Here’s one for a common tropical wild fruit:

 Cocoplum Jelly

The cocoplum is native to South Florida and occurs naturally in cypress hammocks and wetland areas. Evergreen, it forms a dense, clumping bush. Fruit is a dark purple drupe one to two inches in diameter, and ripens May through August. The nut is also edible.

200 cocoplums to make 2 cups juice

2 cinnamon sticks

4 cups brown sugar

1 box (1.75 oz.) powdered pectin

Place peeled plums and cinnamon sticks in water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 ½ hours, or until liquid is dark purple. Remove from heat and strain, reserving the nuts. Add water if necessary to make 2 cups of liquid.

Shell the nuts and chop. In a jelly pan add the juice, nuts, and pectin and bring to a rolling boil. Pour in sugar all at once and bring back to a rolling boil. Boil exactly one minute. Remove from heat, skim off any foam, and ladle into hot, sterilized jelly jars to within ¼ inch of the top. Wipe rims and place the two-piece canning lids on the jars but do not tighten completely. Turn the jars over and leave upside down for five minutes on a padded rack. Turn upright and tighten the lids completely.

Alternative method: Process filled, tightly closed jars in boiling water for 15 minutes.

Cool.

Makes about 4 pints.

I give other jelly recipes in the book for Sea grapes, Kei apples, Beautyberries, Passionfruit, Roselle, and Shining Sumac.

Pirates, Puritans, propaganda, and princes—pieces of the puzzle in the whirlwind romance between a beautiful jelly maker and a mysterious castaway:

Whirlwind Romance by M. S. Spencer

Blurb:

In the aftermath of a hurricane,  jelly-maker Lacey Delahaye discovers a man washed ashore in her mangrove swamp, and tumbles into a sea of troubles. Kidnapped along with her shipwrecked sailor, she is taken to a tiny island in the western Caribbean. There, the two must escape from pirates, defeat a power-made ideologue, deflect a jealous ex-husband, and prove her companion’s birthright.

Excerpt (PG): Slipping Briskly

As she turned to leave, he touched her arm. “Stay a minute?”

How could she admit she had to get out of there quickly or she wouldn’t be able to go at all? His handsome face—the strong chin covered with stubble, the pearly teeth contrasting with his tan skin, not to mention the long, graceful fingers he held out to her—all conspired to lure her closer. Her heart led the way, propelling her to his side. She sat down. “What is it?”

“Lacey…um.”

Her body tensed as desire fought to get out, and she fought just as hard to keep it in. I have to go. I have to…go. “What?”

His words came out in a rush. “Lacey, the other day—the first night—when you rescued me. When we…we…”

Don’t say it. Don’t say it. Christ.

“I…uh…want you to know I don’t do that on a regular basis.”

His air of shy ambivalence gave her courage. “I see. You don’t have sex on a regular basis?”

“No, no, it’s not that.” He stopped, flustered. “Er, I mean… I don’t sleep with women indiscriminately.”

Should she let him off the hook? Nah. “But you do sleep with a lot of women?”

“No! Lacey, you’re being difficult on purpose. I meant, that I didn’t mean to…you know. It just happened. Forgive me?”

“I—”

Armand interrupted her. “Not that it wasn’t enjoyable.” He seemed distracted, running a finger down her arm. “Wonderful. Fantastic. Too short.” He peered at her. “Lacey, you must know how beautiful you are. You have the most perfect cheekbones I’ve ever seen.”

“Cheekbones?” What the hell is he talking about?

“I’m an amateur photographer. Those cheekbones could belong to a supermodel. Perfectly sculpted. And your nose…” He tapped the tip. “A little pixie nose. It even turns up slightly. Your long, fine hair is the russet-gold of burnished copper pots I once saw piled high in a shop on Martinique. Your eyes…” He closed his. “Your eyes are the blue-green of a freshly mowed cricket field, of the emeralds that grow deep in the mountains, of the lagoon near my home on a blustery day.” He touched her hand. “Then there’s your body—as I remember it—a soft, comfortable, pillowy—”

“Hey!” Lacey shook her head to break the spell. “I think you’ve said enough. Get some sleep.”

She tried to rise, but he slipped his arms around her and drew her close. She wanted to struggle. She tried to struggle. It was no use. The long kiss filled her with a warmth that matched a fire on a cold night, a cup of cocoa, or a hot bath. When he lay back, the warmth turned to blazing passion. The power of it frightened her. I’ve got to go. She ran out of the room before he could stop her.

Whirlwind Romance

Wild Rose Press (2016)

Contemporary romance/Action Adventure
Rating: Hot (R)
358 p.

Buy links:

Wild Rose Press 

Amazon

Bookstrand

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Google

ITunes

Walmart

Indigo

About the Author

Librarian, anthropologist, Congressional aide, speechwriter—M. S. Spencer has traveled the globe. She holds a BA from Vassar College, a diploma in Arabic Studies from the American University in Cairo, and Masters in Anthropology and in Library Science from the University of Chicago.  All of this tends to insinuate itself into her works.

Ms. Spencer has published thirteen romantic suspense or murder mystery novels, with two more on the way. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

Blog: https://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msspencermysteries

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/msspencerauthor

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/msspencer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/msspencerauthor/

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

Linked in: www.linkedin.com/in/msspencerauthor

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-s-spencer

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/M.S.-Spencer/e/B002ZOEUC8/

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#HobbyCareerPassion: Write What You Know – Horses by Pamela S. Thibodeaux

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Pamela S. Thibodeaux…

Write What You Know…

Horses

Horses have always been my passion. I’ve loved them as far back as I can remember, even owned a few in my lifetime. In memories of dreams past, I recall the desire to be a Veterinarian and work with horses. I’ve also held Bandera, TX near and dear to my heart since I visited the area as a small child with my grandparents. And, as most women, young and old, romance, and the desire for it, is a passion of mine. So how does all of this pertain to my writing?

I write contemporary romance and women’s fiction and my Tempered series is set in none other than, Bandera, Texas!

In Tempered Hearts (book 1), Tamera Collins is the culmination of that long-ago dream and obsession with horses.  A large animal Vet, she describes her love of these majestic animals like this…

“I’ve always had a passion for horses, much to the dismay of my mother. From the time I was very little, my daddy swore I was part horse. He said I squealed with delight every time I saw a pony.”

Hero, Stanley Morrison is the horse lover in Tempered Fire (book 3). His desire is to raise horses… “Not many, but well bred, well trained, high-quality horses. Quarter, Thoroughbred, Walkers, and Arabians; horses for speed, strength, show and beauty.”

Horses play a large part in any contemporary, cowboy series set on a ranch, but the Tempered books are not the only place horses appear in my writing.

In Circles of Fate, the heroine, Shaunna owns a horse. Keri’s Christmas Wish depicts a horse on the cover, one that Keri owned as a child which died when she was a teen. I’ve even written a story of how being around horses while living/working on a ranch in (you guessed it!) Bandera, TX during one of the darkest times of my life virtually saved me. The story is included in The Horse of My Heart anthology (Revell, Oct. 2015).

My love for horses has not dimmed over the years despite decades of not owning and years of not riding, however horses will most likely show up in books and stories for years to come.

All of these books can be found on my Amazon Author Page

Author bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story!

 

Links:

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com

Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/psthibnewsletter

Face Book Personal: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux

Face Book Author page: https://www.facebook.com/pamelasthibodeauxauthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

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

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/pamela-s-thibodeaux

Instagram: https://instagram.com/pamelasthibodeauxauthor

 

 

 

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#HobbyCareerPassion: A Fine Line Between Passion and Obsession ~ Linda Nightingale

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Linda Nightingale…

A Fine Line Between Passion and Obsession

Morgan D’Arcy

How closely does your passion border on obsession? Quite frequently, for very passionate people, their passion in life is an obsession, particularly those cursed with creativity.  I freely admit that I am one of those people.  For centuries I have dreamed of a woman to be my wife, the first to bear the title of the Lady of St. Averil since 1685. There’s a problem or two with my dream. You see, a vampire siring a child from a human woman is prohibited by Les Elus, the ruling council of the Vampyre.  In fact, such a child is removed from the Vampyre Gene Pool as soon as his/her existence is known. Not only is the offspring killed but both parents suffer the same fate.

The ritual of conception is very exact and very dangerous for the mother. She must be fed the vampire’s blood three times over a short period, then drained near death when she is impregnated.  If the father fails, he loses not only his dream but the woman he loves.

My hope was that my vampire/human child would have the powers of the vampire and the morals and sensitivity of its human ancestors.  The Vampyre have gifts to offer to humankind. Our blood will heal grievous human ills, and temporarily slow aging. I’m sure there will be quite a call for vampire doctors. I hope my child will be a bridge between two different species. Make no mistake—vampires and humans are different species. The Vampyre Effect alters the mortal’s DNA (Isabeau could explain this better than I) and grants immortality to a predator.

All lofty dreams aside, now a mortal woman has become my passion….Isabeau. She’s beautiful and brilliant—a gifted geneticist (which will come in handy). She loves me, too, but enough to stand the test of eternity?  I never dreamed that the woman who’d be my partner in crime would become my passion.  Oh, I still cherish my dream of a race of half-breeds, but she is my focus, and I find it difficult to even think of risking her life to make my dream come true.

Sinners’ Opera tells the story of our folie a deux, our double madness.  Read but do not judge. Les Elus will sit in judgment one day too soon.

Love is a passion. Obsession is a passion. Love and obsession tread the same fine  line as  between genius and insanity. Passion means standing naked before the mirror of one’s desires.  Do you have the courage? I’m not sure I do.

Any ideas?

BLURB:

Morgan D’Arcy is an English lord, a classical pianist, and a vampire. He has everything except what he desires most—Isabeau. As the Angel Gabriel he’s steered her life and career choice, preparing her to become Lady D’Arcy.

Many forces oppose Morgan’s daring plan—not the least of which is Vampyre law.

Isabeau Gervase is a brilliant geneticist. Though she no longer believes in angels, she sees a ticket to a Nobel Prize in Gabriel’s secrets—secrets that have led her to a startling conclusion. Gabriel isn’t human, and she fully intends to identify the species she named the Angel Genome. Morgan is ready to come back into Isabeau’s life, but this time as a man not an angel. Will he outsmart his enemies, protect his beloved and escape death himself? For the first time in eternity, the clock is ticking.

EXCERPT:

Razor-sharp memory sliced through me, jerking me upright.  “’od’s teeth!”

Before the fall, I’d been shot.

Rapid-fire images snapped before my eyes.  I saw my Jag plunging over the guardrail at the top of the Old Cooper River Bridge.  Now, in the silence of a church, I felt the wind whistling past my face as the force of the fall sucked the breath from my lungs and tried to pluck me from the convertible.  Irrationally, I’d clung to the wheel while my beloved roadster sank, in a slow rocking ballet, to the river bottom.

During that interminable swift plunge, I hadn’t been afraid of dying.

Mary touched my arm.  “Be still, hon, or you’re gonna start bleeding again.”

I was in no danger of bleeding to death or dying from any natural cause.  I knew why I’d heard her thoughts, why the aroma of her blood bedeviled me.  I knew who and what I am.

The blood staining her blouse was a miracle drug that could cure the most grievous of human diseases—and secure eternity for a predator. The wound that would have been fatal to a mortal had almost healed.  Within hours after the ritual blood exchange, a fragile yet potent virus had mutated my DNA.  I’d never actually died; would never feel death’s cold hands.  The Vampyre Effect was a transformation from one species to another.  For almost four centuries, I’d been a vampire.

The woman leaned over me.  I heard the blood whispering in her veins, saw the jugular bulging with each strong heartbeat.  Even the scent of my own blood fed the craving.  Hunger wrenched my stomach, the need for blood shuddering over me in flashes of heat.  The pain twisting inside me was a living thing—ugly, urgent, older than the world.  In a vain attempt at control, I ground my teeth until my jaw ached.  My hands clenched into fists, the tendons bunched like steel bands beneath the skin.  I was losing it, my eyes turning red.

“Run, Mary,” I panted, shoving her.  “For God’s sake, run.”

Her hands branded my shoulders.  Need coursed through me.

Her brow puckered.  “How did you know my name?”

“You look like a Mary,” I gasped, trying to crawl away.  “Bloody hell, run, woman.”

 

BIO :

After 14 years in Texas, Linda just returned home to her roots. She has seven published novels, four of which are available from Audible.com in audio. For many years, she bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses. So, she’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer. She retired from a career as a legal assistant at MD Anderson Cancer Center to write full time.

She has 2 wonderful sons—one in Texas; one in England—and 4 equally marvelous grandchildren.

She loves horses, sports cars, music, and piano, and enjoys dressing up and hosting formal dinner parties.

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LNightingale

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LindaNightingaleAuthor

Web Site:  http://www.lindanightingale.com

Blog:  https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839311.Linda_Nightingale

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lbnightingale1/

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Nightingale/e/B005OSOJ0U

BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/profile/linda-nightingale

 

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