Release Blitz! Hear My Heart – Baytown Boys Book 8 by Maryann Jordan





Hear My Heart
Baytown Boys Book 8
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

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Military duty called them away to war zones, but after tours overseas, the group of friends found their way back home as men, seeking the peaceful little seaside town. Now, the band of brothers, together once more, work to provide a place for less fortunate veterans to call home.

Aiden MacFarlane came home from the war determined to live life to the fullest and that included running his pub with his brother, hanging with his friends, coaching with the American Legion youth baseball teams, and enjoying the company of the vacationing ladies who passed through the little seaside town of Baytown.

War widow Lia Smith had moved to Baytown with her young daughter, and the last thing she was interested in was the town’s player. Her job is to find out who might be stealing money from the town and she knows her investigation will ruffle feathers.

First impressions were not favorable, but as Lia gets to know the town’s Peter Pan, she comes to see there is so much more to him than the carefree image he presents. As Aiden falls for Lia and her adorable daughter, he takes on the role of protector when she is threatened by someone who wants her investigation to halt.

Will Aiden be able to save them before someone takes away his chance to truly live life to the fullest?

Scenes in the book are similar to what you would find in an R-Rated movie. Readers 18+ please.

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I truly love this series, I can smell the breeze on the bay and see the sunrises and sunsets in my mind as I read about these men and women.

Every one of the ‘Baytown Boys’ has a story that is related to his service in some way. Aiden’s is not something that happened to him, but something that he witnessed and affected him more deeply than he realized.

Aiden is the party boy, always joking and having fun. He also has quite the reputation as a ladies man.

Amelia has bought Thomas Redding’s accounting business. He is finally retiring at the age of 80. She and her daughter have settled on the outskirts of town, just in North Heron County.

Their first meeting is less than auspicious. However, after Aiden finds her daughter Emily when she wanders off during the music festival, he manages to get a date.

This date doesn’t go so well either, this is a favorite scene.

fingertips. Approaching the hostess counter, his heart stuttered as he observed a long-ago fling. Carlotta…fuck!

“Aiden! I haven’t seen you in forever!” The woman strutted closer and threw her arms around his neck, offering a loud smacking kiss on his cheek, perilously close to his lips.

He had to remove his hand from Lia’s back to give a slight push to Carlotta in order to encourage her to move back a step. Keeping his tone even, he said, “We have a reservation.”

Carlotta’s eyes widened as they jumped between between him and Lia and she gave him a knowing wink. “Sure, honey. Just follow me.” She grabbed two menus and began leading them toward the back of the restaurant where the booths facing the bay were.

Placing his hand on Lia’s back again, guiding her along, he felt the tension now radiating from her. Hoping to move past the awkward entrance into the restaurant, he gave a curt nod to Carlotta as he assisted Lia into the circular booth. Not giving her a chance to sit on the opposite side, he moved in next to her, forcing her to scoot over a little bit to make room for him.

Carlotta smiled as she rattled off the evening’s specials and winked at him again before she left, making her way back to the hostess counter.

Swallowing hard, he decided to ignore the past few minutes and plunged ahead. “What would you like to drink?”

“Just a glass of white wine,” Lia said, keeping her eyes down, already studying the menu.

As the waiter came by, he gave him their drink order and they listened to the specials again. Once the waiter left their table, he decided to come clean, hoping to alleviate the embarrassing start to their dinner. “I’m sorry about the hostess. She…um…is an old acquaintance.”

“Yes, she seemed to be,” her eyes moving to his. She offered him a tightlipped smile that did not reach her eyes. After the waiter returned with their wine and they placed their orders, he directed her attention to the setting sun, enjoying the way she had to twist her body slightly into his to view it. Hoping to ease her tension, he reached his arm around her shoulder, his fingertips lightly moving over her soft skin, and breathed a little easier as he felt her muscles relax.

As their meals were served, they began to chat again and he felt as though the earlier tension had left.

“Tell me about the American Legion and the ball teams,” she said.

Enthusiastic to have a conversation he was passionate about, he said, “Historically, the American Legion was chartered in the early 1900s as a veteran’s organization. It started as a group for the veterans of the first World War and has grown into one of the most influential nonprofit organizations in the United States.”

Eyes wide, she continued to eat as she listened with rapt attention. He liked the fascinated look on her face and was proud to have such a wealth of knowledge about the subject.

“When me and the other boys were in high school, we made a pact to all go into the military. It was our way to escape this tiny town and see the world. We had big dreams that we would go out and conquer.” He held her gaze as he sighed, adding, “But what most of us discovered was that the other side of the world is just that—another place. It wasn’t where our hearts were. So we all came home after our various tours ended…all but one of us.”

Her fork halted over her plate and she stared into his face. “Oh, Aiden, I’m so sorry.”

“It was our friend Philip. Philip Bayles. He was actually Katelyn’s fiancé.”

Lia was stunned into silence, clearly not having realized that Katelyn had suffered such a loss before finding love with Gareth and having their new baby.

Giving a mental shake, he continued, “But I didn’t mean to make this conversation a downer. It’s just that when we all came back, we realized that we wanted to be able to share our experiences that bound us together. There was an American Legion chapter in the northern part of the Eastern Shore that had almost died out. Mitch took the lead and managed to bring the chapter to Baytown.”

“I went to the Auxiliary meeting the other day. It was interesting and I’ve done the paperwork to become a member, but there’s still so much I don’t know,” she said.

“There are lots of activities that the American Legion is involved in, but baseball is actually one of their most successful amateur athletic programs. Our goal is to educate young people about the importance of sportsmanship, citizenship, and fitness. We’re also involved in supporting recovering recovering wounded warriors and their families. And the Auxiliary helps us with all of those endeavors.”

“Why is baseball so important?” She cocked her head and added, “For you, I mean.”

He chewed silently for a moment, thinking of his response. Swallowing, he held her gaze and said, “I guess it all comes down to my memories.” Seeing her rapt attention on him, he continued. “I grew up in this little, no-where town in America. Friends, family. Hell, the Baytown Boys were my life. Once I was in Afghanistan, I realized how much I missed it. The fun. The camaraderie. The sense of belonging. I came back to that, but started to notice how many kids in this area don’t have it.”

She nodded, her gaze never leaving his.

“When I was growing up, I never realized how poor this county was. We were big in agriculture, but by the time I was an adult, a lot of that was gone.” Shrugging, he said, “I’m just hoping to give some of these kids a chance to have a little bit of what I had.”

She reached over and touched his arm with her delicate fingers. “That’s lovely, Aiden. Really lovely.”

They finished their meals and pushed their plates back, both reveling in the nighttime sky over the bay and the good food and wine.

His hand settled across her shoulder again, fingertips soothing her skin, and he asked, “Do you think that Emily would enjoy being part of the team?”

She bit her lip, quiet for a moment, and he could see her thoughts churning behind her eyes. “Part of me wants her to feel normal and to do anything that she wants to do. The other part of me isn’t sure how that would work.”

“Why don’t you let me—”

“Aiden!”

A female voice sounded from the side and he jerked his head around. A statuesque blonde in a skintight cocktail dress leaving little to the imagination stepped over to their booth. He did not know her name but recognized her face as one of the vacation-fucks he had had the previous year.

You have got to be kidding me, he thought, once more feeling Lia’s back straighten and her shoulders tense.

“I was back in town for the weekend and wondered if I’d have a chance to see you again. We had such a memorable time the last time I was here.” Her voice slurred slightly, as though the effects of too many martinis had dulled her speech as well as her good sense.

Her behavior was rude, considering he was clearly on a date, and paired with his embarrassment over the whole thing pushed him over the edge. Deciding that he was no longer going to play nice, he said firmly, “I’m sorry, but this is not the time for a reunion. As you can see, I’m with someone.”

The blonde blinked, her eyes narrowing slightly as it appeared to dawn on her that he did not intend to welcome her with open arms. “Well, well. I never thought to see the leopard change his spots, but I guess anything is possible. But, just so you know,” she leaned in a little and mock whispered, the alcohol on her breath hitting him in the face. “If you change your mind, I’ll be here through the weekend, staying at the Baytown Hotel.” Batting her lashes, she turned and sashayed away.

Closing his eyes at that horrible display, he sat with his arm still around Lia, feeling the negative vibes pouring off her. Letting out a sigh, he turned to her. “Lia, I’m sorry, I don’t know what to—”

Without looking at him, she scooted to the other side of the booth and stepped out quickly. Not lifting her eyes to his face, she said, “I think I’ll skip dessert. I really need to get home and check on Emily.”

Dropping some bills on the table, he hastened to follow her out finding, even with his long stride, she was difficult to keep up with as she hurried out of the restaurant. Reaching his truck, he saw her standing facing the passenger door, still not looking into his face even as she heard him approach.
“Lia, please let me apologize. I never wanted our date to be interrupted like that.”

Her shoulders slumped and a sigh heaved from her body. Softly, she said, “I’m sure that’s true, Aiden. It happened nonetheless. Please take me home. I really do need to check on Emily.”

He felt sure that that was just an excuse but could not come up with a plausible reason for her to give him more time.
Jordan, Maryann. Hear My Heart: Baytown Boys.(Kindle Locations 1135-1202).Kindle Edition.

While Aiden tries to figure out how to make things right with Lia, she is deep into a forensic investigation of the town’s finances, at the request of the Town Council.

As things heat up with Aiden so do things in her investigation.

Fast paced with plenty of suspense, lots of soul searching and just the right amount of sizzle. Topped off with a few surprises. 

I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

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Maryann Jordan

I have always been an avid reader. My early memories were of my mother taking me to the library and allowing me to check out as many books as I could carry. My favorite books were checked out numerous times and read over and over. I would use my Barbie dolls to play out the scenes in books (such as Nancy Drew!).

I have written as a hobby for many years (probably since childhood). I have written devotionals, autobiographical writings about having a severely handicapped, medically fragile child, about my mother’s Alzheimer’s, and other subjects that interest me.

I joke that I “cut my romance teeth” on the old historical romance books. In 2013, I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers. In 2014, I finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.

I worked as a counselor in a high school and was involved in education for the past 30 years, until retiring in 2015. I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 35 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters. When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!


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Release Blitz! Meant For Me – Hawkeye Book 3 by Sierra Cartwright



Meant For Me
Hawkeye Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Sierra Cartwright

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Highly trained agent Mira Araceli can hold her own in the toughest situations, but not against her secret crush, Torin Carter. She’d fallen for her Hawkeye instructor years before. With his dark Irish good looks, unshakable integrity, and haunted blue eyes, he was everything she fantasized about. Unfortunately he never even glanced at her twice.

Torin’s intense hunger for the new recruit shocked him. But as his student, the fierce and beautiful Mira was off-limits. And she was far too young and innocent for his carnal demands.

Now, when Hawkeye pairs them together for an undercover assignment, she discovers the dangerous side he was hiding. Is she strong enough to fight for their second chance? Or will the beautiful storm that is Torin Carter destroy her completely?

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This book opens with a look at Mira when she was going through the Hawkeye training course. By course I mean mud and stuff. Torin is the instructor and he is way harder on her than the others and she is harder on herself as well.

Now assigned together in New Orleans, Mira is fighting the attraction she feels for him, and has felt for him since he was her instructor. Although she has a home close to New Orleans, she and Torin are staying together in the secure Hawkeye compound. They are pretty much always on call, but Mira also manages to get out with her friend Halley and go to the exclusive BDSM club Quarter. There she can fall into submission and relax in a way she can’t anywhere else.

Torin mostly keeps to himself, even as he’s fighting the same attraction. He tries to stay away because he doesn’t think he should inflict his lifestyle on her. I really had to giggle at that since she’s already into it but of course he has no idea.

Difficult clients make for some insanity, but also make for a fast-paced, action paced, fun and steamy read. I have to go back and read the other Hawkeye books.  I had forgotten how much I love this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Sierra!

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  Sierra Cartwright

USA Today Best-Selling Author, Winner of the 2015 Best BDSM Book of the year (Bind), 2015 Reader’s Choice Best Erotic Romance (Bind), 2015 Golden Flogger (Crave), 2014 LASR Book of the Year award (In The Den), 2013 Best BDSM Book of the Year award (Over The Line), Golden Flogger Award 2015 nominee for her books Command, Bind, and Brand.

Sierra was born in Manchester, England where she spent her early years traipsing through castles. After living in Denver for a number of years, the internationally acclaimed author now resides in Galveston, Texas. She loves the way history blends with Southern manners (being called “sugar” is an experience unto itself).

She invites you to join her on a sensual journey where the limits are explored and expanded.


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Release Day! Reviving Graham – Project Deep Book 5 by Becca Jameson



Reviving Graham
Project Deep Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Becca Jameson

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Graham Wentz is an introvert. Painfully timid.

Or he was.

Until he woke up from a ten-year preservation.

Now, he finds himself face to face with Kate Bauer, a woman he’d secretly admired from a distance for years before he was preserved.

Empowered with the knowledge that Kate also has eyes for him, Graham finds the ability to take action.

But Kate is hesitant.

He’s confident she’s attracted to him, but something is holding her back.

Graham is nothing if not patient.

After all, his experience with women is extremely limited.

They’re living in a new world—one filled with obstacles at every turn.

Their entire Project DEEP team is in trouble, and three decades’ worth of data is on the verge of being compromised.

Graham and Kate need to step up to the plate and help the team. But the cost seems too high.

Curing diseases is Graham’s life.

It’s all he knows.

But Kate isn’t sure it’s worth it anymore…

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With each book the stakes have been driven higher and this one is no different.

We open with someone finding Dane who shouldn’t have been able to. Spencer, a government hacker, is privy to something that has the teams on the move again.

As Graham comes out of the induced coma, Kate realizes he is far more coherent than anyone else has been at that point. Full of questions and more to the point, he appears to be attracted to her. However Kate isn’t sure if it’s her imagination or for real.

This is a favorite scene.

She lifted her gaze to him, her face heating further. “Jesus, Graham. Are you angry about this? So what if I’ve seen your body? I’ve seen lots of bodies. I’m a medical professional. I’m surprised it bothers you this much. I did it to keep you safer. The less people involved, the less our chances were at being found.” Her protest sounded a little too exuberant.

She tried to tug her hands back to get away from him, but he held tight. “You misunderstood me.” He gripped both her hands in his now. “I never said I was angry. Nor do I think you would ever entertain an unprofessional thought.”

Oh, he was wrong. She’d entertained a lot of unprofessional thoughts. That was why her face was now beet red.

He released one hand and reached for her cheek, tipping her chin up in the most intimate gesture. He searched her eyes.

She shuddered under the intensity of his gaze. “Maybe you’ve kept me a secret from other patients coming and going from the clinic, but you didn’t keep me from the staff. Not for a month. Not a chance. Anyone could have been assigned to care for me.

“Instead, you’ve taken on the entire burden on your own. You’ve slept in this room on that uncomfortable cot for a month, making sure I was completely safe and healthy. You didn’t have to do any of that. So, stop bullshitting me, and tell me what’s really going on.”

For a moment she thought he was insinuating that she was keeping some deep dark government secret from him, and then she realized he was pushing her to admit something entirely different.

He held her chin and leaned closer.

Her face grew incrementally hotter. She was not ready to discuss her reasons for caring for him so intently. Not today. Not tomorrow. Why did he have to be so damn insightful? And how had he been so completely aloof for the three years before they were preserved if he was able to so easily nail her down on his second day of reanimation?

“Under normal circumstances, I would point out that I wasn’t born yesterday. But in this case, I was actually born yesterday. It would also seem I’ve woken up in an alternate universe where the pretty girl from my first-grade class actually likes me.”

She flinched. “Of course, I like you. Why wouldn’t I like you?” She really needed to weasel out of this situation before she made a fool of herself. How the hell had she woken up in an alternate universe where the hot guy from her first-grade class actually noticed her? “I’ve always liked you. Now, let go of me, and I’ll go find you some breakfast.”

Instead, he pulled her hand closer and set it on his chest, his other fingers still on her chin. He shook his head. “You’re deliberately changing the subject.”

“You’ve lost your mind,” she pointed out.

He chuckled. “There’s no doubt about that, but if I’m dead or still in that cryostat, I’ll take it if it means…” he swallowed visibly, “…if it means you might be a little attracted to me.”

She froze. He was hitting way too close to home now. No longer skirting the edge of the subject. She said nothing. If she wasn’t mistaken, he’d just implied he would be pleased that she liked him.
“I…” She swallowed. Tried again. “Um…”

“Now I feel like an ass. How long have you been interested in me?”

She tried to turn away again. She wasn’t ready for this sort of confrontation. How the hell had she managed to reveal her feelings for him so blatantly in two days? “Graham, your brain is scrambled. Let me go.” How did he have the strength to grip her like this?

“There isn’t a damn thing wrong with my brain. Except it obviously wasn’t firing with all cylinders before I was preserved. There’s no way in hell you decided you liked me while I was lying here in a coma, so it had to have been before that. I’m not always so great with people, especially women, particularly when it comes to reading signs. It takes a lot for me to just look at people sometimes. But I’m paying attention now.”

She glanced away, tucking her lips under her teeth. Her total lack of protest was giving her away. But, anything she might say would come out all wrong. If only he would let her get out of the room, then she could regroup, take a few deep breaths, and make a plan for what to say to him. This was embarrassing.

“Judging by your reaction, I think I’m right. Now, tell me. How long?”

“Jesus, Graham. Let it go. So what if I was attracted to you? Who wouldn’t be? You’re off-the-charts intelligent, cute, talented, and dedicated. The list is long.”

He flinched, his entire body jerking back. “Wow. How did I not know this?”

She shrugged, still not meeting his gaze. Please, God, let me get out of here. This is so humiliating. No woman wants to have her crush brought to her attention and voiced out loud like this. Her mouth started running anyway to answer his question with the same words she’d just tossed out a moment ago. “Probably because you’re off-the-charts intelligent, cute, talented, and dedicated to your job. I was just some girl who happened to work in the same lab.”

He gasped. “Some girl who worked in the lab?” His voice rose. “Kate, you are not some girl at all. Not even close. First of all, you’re a woman, not a girl. Second of all, you act like you were the janitor. You’re a doctor. You graduated from Stanford, for God’s sake. And thirdly, before you let your mind wander one more second in these ridiculous fake murky waters you’ve stirred up, let me point out that the reason I never permitted myself to glance your way is because you are way the hell out of my league.”
Becca Jameson. Reviving Graham (Kindle Locations 598-641). Becca Jameson Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Nothing is going to go smoothly for them though. Dade and Blair show up and whisk them away to another safe house, before leaving to retrieve Bianca and Grayson. They have to move everyone who wasn’t in a bunker, they have all been compromised.

Plenty of suspense and tension as Graham recovers and catches up with 10 years of computer technology. With Kate’s help he will have to go to back to the bunker and backup all their data before the worst can happen.

Surprises abound in this edge of your seat, emotional, and sexy addition to the Project Deep Series. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Becca!

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Coming Soon!

Winter Blog About Author

Becca Jameson Becca Jameson

Becca Jameson currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two kids, and the various pets that wander through.

After editing for about five years she recently started writing. She is loving the journey, dabbling in various genres.

When not writing or editing she can usually be found taxiing kids to and from their activities, scrapbooking, and reading!

Late at night she can usually be found sequestered in her office creating fantasy with a glass of red wine and a bar of dark chocolate.


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Re-Read! Bride Protector SEAL – Brotherhood Protectors Book 2 By Elle James



Bride Protector SEAL
Brotherhood Protectors Book 2
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

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Ten years in the Navy, most with the elite brotherhood of SEALs, Axel Svenson “Swede” has dodged so many bullets, he knows his luck will someday run out. With younger blood pushing to take over for the older guys, and an injury that marks him for discharge, he takes the plunge into the civilian world. Since desk jobs aren’t what he’s cut out for, he checks on the pet project of one of his former teammates—Brotherhood Protectors. Providing personal security to rich people sounds like a walk in the park compared to where he’s been.

Prospective bride, Allie Patterson, thinks she’s marrying the man of her dreams. He’s rich, he’s handsome and mysterious—everything a woman should want. Until his secrets threaten her life. After several near misses, Allie reluctantly allows her fiancé to hire one of her brother’s bodyguards. The big, sexy, tatooed SEAL assigned to protect her is the kind of guy women drool over, and makes Allie question her decisions. Perhaps she’s marrying the wrong man for the wrong reasons. But her brother’s gruff friend can’t possibly be Mr. Right. Together, they traverse a dangerous journey to get Allie to the church on time…and alive.

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Set for medical discharge, Axel ‘Swede’ Svenson travels to Montana to join with Hank ‘Montana’ Patterson in his new endeavor. Providing security and bodyguard services is the name of the game for Brotherhood Protectors. Axel has also recommended someone he became close to in rehab, Bear. Although not a SEAL, he is Delta and this would be right up his alley too. Axel’s first assignment is to protect Allie Patterson, Hank’s sister. She is getting married and the groom has received threats to her safety.

Allie Patterson is a stubborn, much like her father and brother. She is determined to get married, nothing and no one is going to stop this wedding from happening. Not even the groom, who manages to disappear on business right after his barn burns to the ground.

Allie puts her bodyguard Swede through his paces the first day at the ranch and in spite of herself she feels more than a little attracted to him.

This is a favorite scene the second day on the Patterson Ranch.

Swede was glad the horse knew what to do. The work wasn’t hard. In fact, it had a certain rhythm that bred a sense of calm.

Georgia shouted from the house that Allie had a call from the caterer.

“This horse is about done. You can turn her out into the pasture and then bring out another horse. Just stay clear of Diablo, the black gelding in the last stall. He’s a work in progress, and he hasn’t quite got the hang of anything.”

“Who rides him?”

“No one, yet. Like I said, he’s a work in progress. In other words, he’s too wild to handle easily.” Allie waved at Georgia. “I have to go. No need to follow me. You can keep an eye on the house from the corral, and I really doubt anyone will attack me there.”

Swede nodded. She was right. He had a good view of the house and the road leading to it from the corral.
As Allie hurried inside, Swede couldn’t help but follow her progress. He told himself it was part of his job, but the truth was the way her hips swayed in her jeans was completely mesmerizing.

The horse he held on a lead tossed her head, pulling Swede back to the task at hand. He walked her through the gate into the pasture and unhooked the lead.

She pranced away and joined the other horses already grazing.

Glancing back at the house and drive, Swede returned to the barn and walked along the stalls, most of which were empty now. One mare stood placidly, watching him as he passed her and walked down the line of stalls to the end.

When they’d been cleaning, Allie had led Diablo Diablo in and out. She’d also taken charge of brushing him.

As Swede neared, the animal stuck his head over the top of the gate and nickered.

“So, you’re a real ball-buster, are you?” Swede spoke softly and reached out a hand to rub the gelding’s nose.

Diablo nuzzled his hand.

“Do you want out?”

The horse pawed at the dirt and tossed his head as if saying yes.

“How hard can it be to walk you around a corral?” Swede snapped the lead onto Diablo’s halter and opened the stall.

As soon as the latch was free, Diablo hit the door, knocking Swede backward. He staggered and held on tightly to the lunging rope, while being dragged out of the barn by the bolting horse.

When Swede got his feet under himself, he dug his heels into the dirt and slowed the horse.

Diablo reared and jerked the lead, but Swede held steady and started talking. Soon, the horse stopped fighting and settled on all fours.

Ruger stepped up beside Swede as if to show his support.

Diablo lowered his nose to the dog, and the four-legged creatures sniffed each other.

“You’re not so bad, just a little spirited.” He raised his hand slowly to stroke the horse’s nose. “See? I’m not here to hurt you.” The gelding tossed his head as if to disagree. “Ruger wouldn’t be beside me now if I hurt him. He trusts me because he gave me a chance. I gave him one, too.” Swede continued to talk to the horse as he led him into the corral and closed the gate behind him. Still holding the lead close to Diablo’s halter, Swede walked the horse around the outer circle. He kept a running monologue going, to calm the animal.

Ruger stood outside the pen. Every time they passed the dog, the horse looked his way.

After walking around the pen for five minutes, getting the gelding used to the environment, Swede picked up the pace and settled into a slow and steady jog.

Diablo matched his pace and trotted alongside Swede. Slowly, Swede lengthened the lead, still running with the horse, but putting more distance between them. Whenever Diablo slowed, Swede clicked his tongue and jogged faster, encouraging the horse to keep moving. When the lead was long enough and Swede was standing in the middle of the corral, the horse slowed. Swede clicked his tongue, and Diablo broke into a trot.

After several more circles around the corral, Swede let Diablo come to a stop. He pulled in the lead until he could rub the horse’s nose. “You’re a good boy,” Swede soothed, running his hand across the horse’s nose and up to scratch his ears. Then he swept his hand along the gelding’s neck to his back.

Diablo pawed the earth and whinnied, swaying on his hooves.

Swede scratched the animal’s back, side and around to his belly. He moved his hands up to the horse’s back again and laid his arms over the top, scratching the other side, while leaning his weight on the animal.

Diablo tossed his head, but didn’t move away.

Holding onto the lead rope, Swede grabbed hold of a handful of Diablo’s mane and swung his leg over the top of the horse. He leaned forward and wrapped his arms around Diablo’s neck, speaking to him the entire time, fully expecting to be thrown, but hoping it wouldn’t happen.

Diablo backed up and then moved forward, whinnying.

Ruger whined behind the rails of the corral, capturing the gelding’s attention.

Diablo trotted to where the dog stood and lowered his head to sniff.

Swede molded his body to the horse, still rubbing his neck and speaking softly.

Seeing Diablo and Ruger greeting each other with their noses, Swede slipped off the horse’s back and patted his neck. “See? It’s not as bad as you think.”

When Swede straightened, he noticed he had an audience. “Damnedest thing I’ve ever seen.” Eddy leaned against a corral panel, his arms resting on the top rail.

“That horse doesn’t like anyone,” Lloyd Patterson said, scratching his head.

“And to beat it all, Swede never rode a horse until yesterday.” Allie joined the two men at the fence, a smile tilting the corners of her lips.

“You’re lucky he didn’t take you for a ride.”

Swede rubbed Diablo’s neck. “I think he just needed a friend.” He tipped his head toward Ruger. Diablo and Ruger sniffed at each other. Ruger’s tail thumped the ground.

“The man we bought him from said he had another gelding raised with Diablo,” Mr. Patterson said.

“You might want to check and see if he still has him,” Allie said. “Seems Diablo needs a friend.”

“Why? Swede’s dog seems to be doing the job,” Eddy said.

“And why feed another horse?” her father added. “It’s cheaper to feed a dog.”

Allie’s smile slipped. “Swede and Ruger are only here until after the wedding.” She opened the gate.
James, Elle. Bride Protector SEAL (Brotherhood Protectors Book 2) (pp. 51-56). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

The more time Allie spends with Swede the more she questions her motives for marrying Damien. She is also determined to go through with the wedding. No matter what anyone says.

Swede needs to protect Allie from the escalating attempts on her life and at the same time keep himself from falling deeper for this tempestuous female.

A roller coaster ride of excitement, lust and emotions as they figure out who is after Allie, and bring him to justice.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

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Winter Blog About Author

Elle James Elle James

Award-winning author Elle James grew up as an air force military brat. She received her work ethic from her rock-solid father, her creative streak from her artistic mother and inspiration from her writing partner and sister, Delilah Devlin.

As a former member of the army reserves and a current member of the air force reserves, she’s traveled across the United States and to Germany, managed a full-time job, and raised three wonderful children. She and her husband have even tried their hands at ranching exotic birds (ostriches, emus and rheas) in the Texas hill country. Ask her, and she’ll tell you what it’s like to go toe-to-toe with an angry three-hundred-and-fifty-pound bird and live to tell about it!

Her adventures in the army and air force reserves, and the wild antics of her life on a small ranch in Texas give her fodder for mystery, suspense and humor in her writing. Elle writes gothic, paranormal mystery for the Harlequin Intrigue line and paranormal romantic comedy for Dorchester Publishing. A former manager of computer programming and project management professionals, Elle is happy she now has the opportunity to pursue her writing full time.

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Christmas Countdown! Long Gone Girl Of Starlight Bend – Starlight Bend Book 2 by Erin Wright



Long Gone Girl Of Starlight Bend
Starlight Bend 2
By
NY Times Bestselling Author
Erin Quinn


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Christmas 2015 Blog blurb

Kari Dale has plans—big ones that are about to be realized with the launch of her store in Starlight Bend. Totally focused on achieving her goals, Kari isn’t prepared for tall, dark, and amazing Ty Timberlake.

Within minutes of meeting Kari, Ty knows he’s in trouble. She’s smart, funny and beautiful. He understands her goals, but knows the rat race won’t make her happy. Kari is hell-bent on making her mark and moving on to the next challenge; Ty is equally determined to win her love and make her stay.

As Christmas draws closer, Kari begins to question who she is and what she wants. Should she stick to her plan and be long gone come the New Year, or chart a new course with the man who’s stolen her heart?

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Christmas 2015 Blog Review

Kari Dale comes to town with a plan, setup the store and move on to the next town. Unfortunately she’s not sure she want’s to stick to that plan.

Tyler Timberlake was grading papers when Kari walks into The Bar on the Lake. He finds her attractive and strikes up a conversation with her. This is a favorite scene.

The history teacher studied her for a moment, glanced at her shot glass, and then looked into her eyes. “Are you here to drink alone, or would you like some company?”

He had a nice voice, rich and smooth. Deep down, something gave her a hard elbow in a soft place. Yes, it whispered, she wanted company. Surprised at the power of the feeling, she nodded.

“Company would be nice.”

“You sure?” he asked.

And she liked that he asked. It spoke of a gentleman’s manners. Of a confident man who didn’t want to push. Or, most likely, didn’t need to.

“Yeah,” she said, feeling her cheeks heat. “Why not?”

He nodded, picked up his stack of papers, tapped them a couple times to straighten the edges, then crammed them into his satchel. Man, satchel, and the watery iced tea, moved down the bar to the empty seat next to her. The old bartender watched it all suspiciously.

“Stan, I’ll have what she’s having,” he said, pushing the tea forward so Stan could dump it.

“Ain’t it a school night?” Stan asked with a sour frown.

The teacher’s brows shot up and he grinned. “You gonna call my dad and tell on me?”

“Maybe I will,” Stan grumbled, moving to the taps. A few seconds later, he placed the beer and a shot of whiskey on the bar. The teacher clinked his glass against hers before drinking down the shot without coughing his brains out after. He did suck a quick breath through his teeth, though.

“Haven’t done that in a while,” he said with a laugh.

Cautiously, she took a drink of hers, too, finishing it in several small swallows this time. The second one went down easier than the first and warmed her blood like wildfire.

“I’m Tyler,” the teacher said, holding out his hand. “But everyone calls me Ty.”

“I’m Kari. With a K.” She put her hand in his, shocked by its warmth and size. He gave hers a gentle squeeze and released, but didn’t pull away. She didn’t, either. It was the alcohol, she told herself.
“Welcome to Starlight Bend, Kari with a K.”

For a moment, they just stared at one another, still touching. Still not pulling away. Stan muttered something she couldn’t make out and finally, she slipped her hand from Ty’s. Her palm tingled and she curled her fingers around it to hold onto his warmth.

Ty turned in his seat so he faced her, one booted foot on the railing by her stool. “So . . . what brings you to our little corner of paradise, Kari?”

“The same thing that brought me to this bar,” she answered truthfully. “Work.”

“You don’t like your job?”

“I love my job. I’ve just been in overdrive lately. I guess I’m a little burned out.” A lot burned out, actually, but she was in the homestretch of this sprint. Almost there, if she could just keep it together long enough to reach the finish lineHe nodded with understanding. “Burn out is hard to get past. What kind of work do you do?”

“I co-own a small chain of men’s clothing stores,” she said. “My business partner and I have opened four so far.”

“Impressive. And you’re opening another near here?”

“Right here. In Starlight Bend.”

Ty let out a bark of laughter. When she didn’t join in, his expression turned incredulous. “You’re serious?”

“Absolutely. I have just enough time to get the doors open and catch the holiday retail wave.”

“Wave? Starlight Bend isn’t big enough for a wave.”

“Maybe, maybe not. It’s an easy drive from Kalispell and not far from the Canadian border, though. Canadians like nice things, right?”

“Sure.”

She narrowed her eyes, not trusting that sure. “It’s a solid location. Our other stores are in similar demographics and they’re doing fine.”

He took a drink of his beer, eyes glinting again. “Have you ever even been to Montana before, Kari?”

“No, but—”

“No?”

“It doesn’t matter. We know what we’re doing.” She might have left it at that, but he looked so unconvinced that she had to go on. “The ratio of men to women is very high in Starlight Bend,” she told him. “That’s good for sales.”

Had she really just said that? Had to be the alcohol. Normally, she was very articulate about their strategic plan and the success they’d had so far. But normally, she wasn’t drinking shots in a bar beside a man who looked like this one. Up close, he took attractive to a whole new level.

“And you think that ratio’s going to make all the men go shopping?” he asked, clearly perplexed.

“Well, yes. If they want to catch the eye of the fairer sex.”

“The fairer sex?” he repeated skeptically. “I hate to tell you this, Kari, but that’s not really the way things are done out here.”

“Yeah, that’s what they said in the last town, and the one before that. But some things are the same no matter where you go. If a man wants to make a good first impression—”

Ty held up a hand. “Sweetheart, in this town, first impressions get made when you’re born.”

“My point exactly.”

“What point?” he said with a teasing laugh that made her smile, too.

“He’s going to have to make her look twice,” she insisted. “The women here know everything about the men in their vicinity. And frankly, they’re bored.”

“Did you Google that?”

“Starlight Bend has almost twice as many men as women, yet sixty percent of the single women of marriageable age, choose to remain single. That’s a majority,” she said, in case he’d missed it.

“Who does your math?”

She smiled. “Right now, Irish whiskey.”

“In that case . . . Stan, load us up.”

“Load us up,” she agreed, laughing.

Evidently, Stan didn’t see the humor. Scowling, he poured them each another shot, which only made it funnier.

“I don’t think he likes us,” Kari said.

“He loves me,” Ty said. “I think it’s just you he’s got problems with.”
Wright, Erin. Holiday Heat: The Men of Starlight Bend. (Kindle Locations 1533-1584). Bella Media Management. Kindle Edition.

Of course you know where all this leads and when he wakes up alone he heads to the coffee shop. Everyone seems to know who he was with including his father. Up until then he had no idea of where Kari was opening her store.

Even with conflicting feelings, Ty pursues Kari. The Wishing Tree again plays a role as does the Santa with the Mysterious bag that gives out cards. Even Ty’s students lend a hand to make Kari’s store a success.

In spite of herself Kari finds herself falling not only for the sexy teacher, but also this small town.

A fun and emotional read so perfect for Christmas Wishes.

5 Contented Purrs for Erin!

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Christmas 2015 Blog About Author

Erin Quinn

New York Times Bestselling author Erin Quinn writes romance for the thinking reader. Her books have been called “riveting,” “brilliantly plotted” and “beautifully written” and have won, placed or showed in the Booksellers Best, WILLA Award for Historical fiction, the Orange Rose, Readers Crown, Golden Quill, Best Books, and Award of Excellence

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Another Re-Read! Montana Seal – Brotherhood Protectors Book 1 By Elle James



Montana Seal
Brotherhood Protectors Book 1
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

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Winter Blog Blurb

Former SEAL and shining Hollywood starlet struggle against their burgeoning desire while trying to stay alive in the crosshairs of a murderous stalker.

Hank “Montana” Patterson never thought his call to duty would force him to leave his band of brothers in the Navy SEALs to return to the family ranch in the foothills of Montana’s Crazy Mountains. News that his father was shot sends him rushing home to take over the reins of the Bear Creek Ranch. His forever-belligerent father refuses his help, insisting Hank find the person who shot him. What Hank learns is the bullet was meant for the neighboring ranch owner, a Hollywood celebrity, and a beautiful actress who once stole Hank’s heart. Hometown girl, now a Hollywood mega-star, Sadie McClain shot to fame and fortune on the big screen, earning her star on the walk of fame and a stalker who won’t back off. Escaping to her ranch in Montana, Sadie hopes to avoid her stalker, only to be hunted there as well. In need of a bodyguard with combat skills, Sadie hires her old flame, Hank to do the job. Together they struggle to overcome their rekindled desire while fighting to stay alive in the crosshairs of a madman.

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I love this series and I have no idea why I haven’t reviewed it. So now I am re-reading and getting the reviews out there. Hopefully before the new book in January.

In this first book Hank Patterson has some decisions to make. He’s been injured and there is the possibility of medical discharge. The question is what will he do as a civilian? He doesn’t get along well enough with his father to go back to the ranch.

Sadie McClain is a Hollywood star with a stalker and a pain for an agent. She’s come home to escape from the turmoil her life has become. Only she finds her home radically changed by her sister-in-law. So much so she’s uncomfortable but not willing to return to LA.

When someone takes pot shots at her, Hank’s father Lloyd is injured it’s at the hospital she has her first encounter with Hank since she turned down his proposal.

This is a favorite scene.

Allie hooked her arm through Hank and Sadie’s and herded them through the door. “Sadie, tell Hank what happened while I try to talk sense into Daddy.” She pushed them into the corridor, and let the door swing closed behind them.

Relatively alone with Sadie in the corridor, Hank stared down at her. She’d broken his heart when she’d told him she didn’t want to get married, and that she wanted to pursue her dream of going to California to become a big movie star.

“Hi, again.”

She chuckled softly. “Your father is still the same.”

“If by the same, you mean cantankerous, ornery and pig-headed, you’re right.” Out of habit, his hand rose to touch her, to bring her into his arms and kiss her, but he stopped himself before his fingers made the connection. They weren’t teenagers in love anymore. She was a celebrity. He was a SEAL. By the nature of their chosen occupations, their worlds would never collide.

Except in Eagle Rock where they’d both been raised. In Hank’s case, he’d never wanted to come back. Had he known Sadie would be there…“How long have you been in town?” he asked.

“Five days.”

“I thought you lived in LA.”

“I do—did.” She stared down at her cowboy boots. “It’s complicated.”

Hank nodded. Complicated probably meant it was personal, and she didn’t want to share her reasons for coming home with him. There was nothing between them but a few old memories. Even if those memories were carved into his mind and had been what kept him going during his darkest days, whether in battle or in recovery from injuries.

“You look good,” Sadie said, a strained smile turning her lips upward on the corners.

“You look too thin,” he said, his tone flat, a frown pinching his forehead.

She’d lost the rounded corners of baby fat, her cheekbones and arms were more angular, toned and beautiful in a more mature, upscale fashion. This woman was now Hollywood royalty. She’d walked the red carpet with people way out of Hank’s league, gone to private parties with some of the most elegant and famous people of their time. She’d even had dinner with the president of the United States.

Hell, Hank worked for the president, yet he’d never actually met the man in person.

Sadie’s lips formed a crooked smile that had the added effect of turning his insides to mush. “I can always trust you to give it to me straight. No sugarcoated platitudes. Just the ugly truth.”

Hank shook his head and made the mistake of gripping her arm. Now there was no going back. Ever since he’d seen her in his father’s hospital room, he’d wanted to yank her up against him and kiss away all the years they’d wasted apart. As his fingers curled around her arms, he slowly, inexorably drew her toward him. “What I meant to say is you look incredible.” He brushed a strand of hair behind her ear like he used to do after horseback riding across the prairie grasses.

Her eyes widened and she tipped back her head. “It’s so very good to see you again, Hank,” she said, her voice breathy. Her tongue darted out to moisten her lips. “You look pretty good yourself.”

God, he wanted to kiss her.
James, Elle. Montana SEAL (Brotherhood Protectors Book 1) (pp. 38-40). Kindle Edition.

In spite of the insane attraction between them, the fact remains someone shot at her and injured his father. Hank agrees to be her bodyguard, even as he pursues her.

A tense, emotional, suspenseful tale as Sadie and Hank renew their relationship and hunt the person responsible for all the almost fatal incidents around her.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Winter Blog More Books

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Coming Soon!

Crossovers!

Winter Blog About Author

Elle James Elle James

Award-winning author Elle James grew up as an air force military brat. She received her work ethic from her rock-solid father, her creative streak from her artistic mother and inspiration from her writing partner and sister, Delilah Devlin.

As a former member of the army reserves and a current member of the air force reserves, she’s traveled across the United States and to Germany, managed a full-time job, and raised three wonderful children. She and her husband have even tried their hands at ranching exotic birds (ostriches, emus and rheas) in the Texas hill country. Ask her, and she’ll tell you what it’s like to go toe-to-toe with an angry three-hundred-and-fifty-pound bird and live to tell about it!

Her adventures in the army and air force reserves, and the wild antics of her life on a small ranch in Texas give her fodder for mystery, suspense and humor in her writing. Elle writes gothic, paranormal mystery for the Harlequin Intrigue line and paranormal romantic comedy for Dorchester Publishing. A former manager of computer programming and project management professionals, Elle is happy she now has the opportunity to pursue her writing full time.

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Winter Blog Author Links

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New Release! Geir: SEALs of Steel Book 6 by Dale Mayer



Geir
SEALs of Steel Book 6
By
NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Winter Blog Blurb

Geir Winthrop, a former SEAL, has recovered from the damage done when his squad’s truck drove over an antitank landmine more than two years ago. Six other team-mates were also badly injured, the seventh–Mouse–dead, in what their team leader realized later had to be a trap. Geir has been trying to uncover details about Mouse’s history. The more he discovers, the more he fears their newest member was nothing of the man they thought they knew and believed they could trust.

Morning Blossom runs a B&B in San Diego that her father co-owns. Unfortunately, he wants to sell despite that the business is the safety net she needs to pursue her passion for painting. While she longs to make a career of what’s only ever been a hobby, she isn’t sure she has the ability to be a success. Morning has avoided long-term relationships after one man who’d stayed at the B&B wanted to take up perpetual residence despite her objections. Geir, however, is someone she could grow used to having around permanently.

While Geir doesn’t understand her naïveté in letting strangers invade her world, Morning’s innocence and belief in the goodness of humanity attracts him. Geir’s innate protectiveness becomes much more than either of them anticipated when the nastiness of his world inevitably spills into hers…

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While each of these books is a standalone, I recommend reading them in order to get the most out of them.

This book opens at Badger’s home as the guys go over the information on Mouse they’ve uncovered so far. Geir is ready to head to San Diego but first he reaches out to Jaeger, the one member of the team who has stayed dark. He is pleased and surprised when Jaeger responds he’ll meet him there.

Mason has made arrangements for the guys to stay at a B&B run by Morning Blossom (yes, that’s her name) and Geir is very surprised at the lack of security there. While she has cameras there is nothing else. Jaeger shows up and they start with their investigating.

Morning owns the B&B with her father, but he is living overseas and the real reason she keeps it running is her art. Art is her true passion but she doesn’t trust her instincts and now she may have a gallery showing but nothing she feels is worthy to show.

This is a favorite scene when Geir returns and finds her in her gallery.

“Hello? Anyone here?”

Morning jolted with a start. She froze as she stared at the canvas, her gaze narrow. “Sorry. I’m coming,” she yelled.

“No problem. Just wondered if you were here.” Dimly, in the back of her mind, she recognized the voice of one of her new guests. Just then Geir popped his face around the doorway. She stared at him in surprise. “Guests aren’t allowed in here.”

He nodded, but, instead of backing up, he stepped into the room. He looked at all the paintings she had set aside, potentially for the gallery, and he didn’t look quickly. Instead, he picked up each one, studied it, put it down, picked up another one.

She could feel herself not breathing, waiting for his comment, whether it was disparaging or complimentary. But he didn’t say a word. He studied them all, put them back, turned to look around, saw the futon, then came up behind her. She froze. She hated for anybody to see her paintings in progress. She knew it came from her well of self-doubt, worrying how each wasn’t a masterpiece. She could see what she wanted in her mind’s eye, but she hadn’t been able to get her fingers to match that same image on a canvas. Yet. She stepped back until she stood beside him and turned her gaze to the canvas on the easel. She frowned. What the hell? Had she done that? Just then her grandfather clock chimed downstairs, and she realized it was four o’clock. She gasped. “It can’t be that late already.”

Geir slid her a glance. “Well, it is.”

Horrified, she looked at him, glanced back at the painting but couldn’t comprehend what she saw. She walked to the sink, cleaned her brushes and washed her hands.

When her hands were paint-free, she pulled off her smock and returned to take another look at the painting. It wasn’t just good. It was stunning. She knew it wasn’t finished, but, for the first time, she knew what was supposed to go next. It was an early morning sunrise, peeking through the clouds, adding light and lightness to a cherry blossom tree opening its buds. It was mostly done. She had a few more highlights to add. Several more hours probably because she always slowed down at this stage. But it was everything she could have hoped it to be.

At the same time she wondered if she was just caught up in the euphoria of a new project and not seeing it clearly. Then she turned to look at her nice paintings and knew there was no comparison. This wasn’t so much nice as it was demanding. It sucked you in and held you there.

And still Geir hadn’t said anything. He stood silently at her side, staring at the painting.

She walked to the door. “I’d like you to come out of there now please.”

He glanced at her, his gaze piercing as he said, “If you can paint like this”—he motioned to the canvas on the easel—“why do you paint like that?” He pointed to the pictures on the floor.

She stopped and looked at him. “What do you mean?”

“The level, the intensity, it’s tenfold in this painting. This one draws you in. I want to be there on that cherry blossom branch, watching the sunrise. It’s full of possibilities. It’s full of hope. Those others are flatter, still pretty, but this …” He returned returned his gaze to the canvas in front of him. “It’s stunning.”

Inside she felt some of the walls she’d built over her art dissolve. Some of her own insecurities came crumbling down. “Thank you,” she said quietly. “I have to come up with some paintings to take to a gallery owner on Friday. And I was unhappy with what I’d already done. I was looking for something that defined me, who I am. And I honestly don’t remember very much about the last few hours. I got so caught up in the painting.”

He walked toward her. “So that painting is going in a gallery. It’ll be for sale?”

She nodded. “Hopefully. If he likes it.”

“If he doesn’t like it, I would like to buy it.”

She turned and looked at him. He nodded. “I’m serious. It’s really beautiful.” Her heart bursting with happiness, she practically danced her way downstairs into the kitchen.
Mayer, Dale. Geir (SEALs of Steel Series Book 6). Valley Publishing Ltd. Kindle Locations (238-270). Kindle Edition.

As Geir and Jaeger work the leads they have, they find a scary link between ‘Poppy’ and a local school. With the help of Morning’s friend Nancy they get access to the school and start putting pieces together.

A break-in, a stuffed mouse, and a near miss ramp up the suspense as a romance develops between Geir and Morning.

Much happens in this book as they work toward solving the mystery that is Mouse and resolving the questions about the incident that caused their injuries.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Winter Blog About Author

Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).

She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!

To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.

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Christmas Countdown! Snowbound in Starlight Bend – A Riding Hard Novella by Jennifer Ashley



Snowbound in Starlight Bend
Starlight Bend Book 1
A Riding Hard Novella (Book 3.5)
By
NY Times Bestselling Author
Jennifer Ashley

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Christmas 2015 Blog blurb

Haley McKee is furious to find herself stuck in the tiny town of Starlight Bend so near Christmas. The only one who can help her is the handsome Maddox Campbell, a cowboy who’s not impressed with her fancy job title and money. In fact, no one has given Haley this much grief her entire life.

But there’s a lot more to Maddox than at first seems—he’s a hard-working man who gives much of his time and patience to help those who have little.

When a Starlight Bend tradition promises to bring Haley all she wants, will she make her Christmas wish with her head or her heart?

This novella was originally released in Holiday Heat: The Men of Starlight Bend. New in this edition: Expanded epilogue.

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Christmas 2015 Blog Review

I read this originally in Holiday Heat: The Men of Starlight Bend.

Haley has gotten herself caught in a snowstorm that cancelled her flight. So in a move typical for her, she buys a car and starts driving, determined to make it home for Christmas.

Unfortunately when she decides to take a detour through a small town she ends up in a snowbank and rescued by an honest to God cowboy.

Maddox is her rescuer along with his dog Lance. But his method of transportation surprises Haley.

This is a favorite scene.

Standing patiently just inside the tree line, reins looped around the big saddle on his back, was a horse. A tall, shaggy horse that turned around when he saw Maddox. He was a black-brown color all over except for a large white streak down his face that widened to take in his entire nose. He walked interestedly toward them, ears pricking, brown eyes taking in Maddox and Haley.

Haley wrenched her numb hand from Maddox’s. “That’s your transportation?”

“This is Sammy,” Maddox said. “My four-legged drive. Best way to get back and forth from town today. What did you think he was?”

“I don’t know—some kind of snowmobile?”

Maddox’s low laughter warmed the air. He didn’t laugh in understanding—he was enjoying himself at Haley’s expense.

He caught up the reins and turned Sammy so the saddle’s left stirrup was at Haley’s side. She backed a few steps.

“Why don’t you have him tied up?” she babbled. “Why doesn’t he run away?”

“Because he’s Sammy,” Maddox said as though he considered this a reasonable explanation. “He stays put when I tell him to.” He gave Haley a skeptical look. “You ever ridden a horse before?”

Haley wet her lips, which were chapped with the cold. “No.”

“You ever seen a horse before?”

“Of course I have,” Haley answered indignantly. “We have horses in Seattle. My school had a pony club.”

“A ,em>pony club?” Maddox all but snorted. “Like riding lessons for rich city kids?”

“Something like that, yes.”

“Were you in this pony club?” Maddox’s eyes were glinting again as though he’d burst into another round of laughter any second.

“Well, no, actually.”

“What club were you in? Let me guess. Debate? Computer?”

Haley swallowed. “Chess.”

Maddox let the laughter pour free. It made his blue eyes light up and the corners of them crinkle. “You know, sweetheart, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone like you before. Come on, I’ll give you a leg up.”

Haley moved to him in trepidation. Riding a massive horse wasn’t her idea of safety, but she was getting colder by the minute. If she didn’t find a warm place out of the snow and wind, she’d die of hyperthermia.

She bit back a surprised noise as Maddox grabbed her foot and shin and boosted her upward. Haley scrambled to catch the saddle, nearly going off the other side with the momentum. Maddox caught her with a strong hand and hauled her back, settling her on the seat.

Without waiting, he grasped the stirrup, put his own foot into it, and vaulted up behind her.

Warm, hard male landed at her back. Haley struggled to find her breath as Maddox reached around her and took up the reins, enclosing her in a heated space. Warmth radiated from him like a furnace.

“Ready, sugar?” he asked.

Haley gulped air. “Will you stop calling me sugar? I’m a CEO!”

“Yeah?” Maddox’s voice vibrated through her body. “Well I’m a CWDGAS.”

Haley blinked and looked back at him, his strong chest and curving mouth stealing her breath again. “What’s that?”

“Cowboy Who Doesn’t Give a Shit.” He let out a sharp whistle to the dog. “Come on, Lance. Sammy, take us home.”
Ashley, Jennifer. Holiday Heat: The Men of Starlight Bend.Kindle Locations (126-153). Bella Media Management. Kindle Edition.

Haley was more than a little surprised at his method of transportation, Sammy is a horse. She perseveres but not without a bit of protest.For some reason these two just like to bicker, fortunately his Aunt Jane was warm and welcoming. Unable to reach her father, she is able to text her best friend, who would notify her Dad. Otherwise her phone wouldn’t work at all.

A surprise winter storm party with many good neighbors that make her feel welcome add to Haley’s adventure.

The Sporting Goods store gift tree, a Santa Claus with unusual gifts in his bag and a strange geeky nerd named Andy all add to the charm and laughter of this book.

Interesting developments as Haley takes a star from the tree and Maddox finds he is more than a little interested in this city girl.

Fun, laughter and intrigue as they find the gifts requested for the children on the selected stars and the two of them become an item in spite of themselves.

5 Contented Purrs for Jennifer!

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Christmas 2015 Blog About Author

Jennifer Ashley

NY Times Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley writes historical, contemporary, and paranormal romance, historical mysteries, and urban fantasy as Jennifer Ashley, Allyson James, and Ashley Gardner.

Jennifer’s novels have won RWA’s RITA and RT Reviewer’s Choice awards, have been translated into many different languages, and earned starred reviews from Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly.

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Not a Romance but a Story that needed to be told. If Just One Person by Laurie Olerich



If Just One Person
By
Laurie Olerich

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Content warning: This story contains a first person, brutally honest expression of depression and despair, as well as a graphic depiction of a suicide.

I could be you. I probably was you . . . before I became me.

It didn’t happen overnight. My downward spiral started years ago. Once upon a time, I was happy and young and pretty. I had my whole life ahead of me and a heart full of bouncing optimism that kept me smiling and cheerful. That was 20 years ago though. Things have changed. Now?

I’m furious at everything and everyone.

The anger’s building and I can’t turn it off.

It’s only a matter of time before I unleash it on someone who doesn’t deserve it.

So lately, I’m thinking more and more about cashing out before I get any more twisted and bitter. I really want my friends and family to remember me with some love in their hearts. If I open my mouth and say what I feel, they’ll never look at me the same way again.

My suicide will be hard for them to understand, though I’m not convinced it will bother them for too long.

And at this point in my depressing life, I don’t care.

I’m going through the motions. Trying to get through each day with my sanity and liver intact. Money’s tight so the liver’s got a good chance of staying healthy since I can’t afford scotch anymore. Sanity? Well, now. That’s another thing entirely.

So, this is me. Shari Jensen.

Shari Jensen could be your sister, your mother, or your best friend. She’s everyone and no one. She’s an ordinary woman suffering from depression. She’s middle-aged and divorced. She has a dysfunctional family and forgetful friends. She appears strong, but deep down inside, she’s screaming for help.

Her story is hard to read, but it’s a reminder that even apparently strong, successful women can feel lost and alone behind the mask they wear for the world. It’s a reminder that just one person can make the difference between life and death.

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This is a very hard book to read. It tells a lot of truths, and while not everyone can be helped, if you don’t try you will never know.

From feeling alone, to an emotional creation of a best-friend, this is a heartrending tale. The story is told from Shari and Linnea’s points of view and takes us on a journey through depression, anger, bitterness, and despair.

As depression can be rampant especially at this time of year, I ask you to pay attention, really listen and reach out. Sometimes all it takes is ONE PERSON!

Thank you Laurie for saying the things that are hard, here is my favorite quote and the resources for help:It takes just one person to make a difference.

Just one person to save a life.

Just one person to heal a wounded spirit.

Will you be that one person?

Resources:If you’re a veteran, or know one who’s considering suicide, please call the Veteran’s Crisis someone. You can also chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat or send a text to 838255. Help is out there!

Please take that final step to reach it. If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line.

Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.
Laurie Olerich. If Just One Person ARC with watermark Laurie (Kindle Locations 880-888). Kindle Edition.

5 Contented Purrs for Laurie!

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Laurie Olerich

Laurie Olerich is the author of the Primani and Demons After Dark series. Part romance, part paranormal, part adventure…Three things she can’t live without!

Laurie spent most of her life in the Northeastern United States and in Western Europe. She now lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her son and Dalmatian muse Rambo. In an attempt to re-live her wild and crazy younger years, she lives vicariously through her characters by setting their adventures in her favorite city, New York, and the mountain forests of New England as often as possible.

Before diving into a writing career, Laurie dedicated 20 years to her country by serving in the United States Air Force. Much of her time was spent around men with guns and cool toys…this explains her obsession with both.

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Release Day! Ride the Storm – Storm Warnings Series Book 4 by Geri Foster



Ride the Storm
Storm Warning Book 4
By
NY Times Bestselling Author
Geri Foster

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EX-Navy SEAL, Jeff Crawley spent too much time in Iraq to think he might ever fit back into society. While receiving a Dear John out of country, Jeff decides staying away from women suits him just fine, too. He’s settled at his ranch after military life only for a tornado to uproot him. With everything destroyed, Jeff has no choice but to move himself and his herd closer to his brother in Rainwater, Texas.

At forty, Nancy Wigan has never had any kind of a relationship, and held no hopes of a knight in shining armor coming to rescue her. It didn’t help being call the Plain Jane of Rainwater, either. For years she worked the bank and cared for her ailing parents. Now left alone, she feels more forgotten than ever. Then one day Jeff Crawley blows into Rainwater, Texas like a nor’easter.

Will Jeff’s past catch up with him? Can he protect the woman he’s come to love? Will all be lost in an ultimate show-down?

Can two people who have nothing in common, both empty hearted, and alone, find love?

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Once again I am starting a series in the middle instead of the beginning. I am so grateful that these books are standalone.

Rainwater, Texas is a small town that has had it’s share of difficulties. In this book we get to know Nancy Wigan. She is the bank VP a position she earned after corruption was discovered in the upper echelon of the bank’s management. She’s also found herself elected to the City Council and is much admired for allowing group therapy sessions for Veterans to take place after hours at the bank.

Jeff on the other hand, is a veteran who has been having a hard time finding his groove in the civilian world. Working his ranch he doesn’t have much to do with any of the folks in town. Only his brother Russ and his nephew Austin get his attention. Well that’s not really true, He has definitely noticed Nancy, but he won’t let himself get involved with any woman. Not after the Dear John letter he got while he was deployed.

Unfortunately it’s Jeff’s service that is behind a stranger coming to town with revenge on his mind.

This is a favorite scene.

He watched as the doc left, leaving Nancy alone with a man he’d not noticed before.

Suddenly the hairs on the back of his neck came to attention, and he found himself getting out of his pickup and heading for the door of the bank.

On his way, he briefly greeted the men on their way out then headed inside and in Nancy’s direction. The stranger stood too close to her and his balled fists didn’t speak good things.

“Hey, Nancy,” he called out, more cheerfully than he felt. “I’m here to walk you home.” He barged between them like a two-year-old, but he didn’t care. Something didn’t seem right and he refused to throw Nancy to the wolves.

She appeared stunned to see him, but quickly recovered. By the flash of relief on her face, he grasped he’d done the right thing.

“Thank you, Jeff. It’s so nice of you to offer.” She turned to the new guy. “This is Alec Jones. He just joined the group.”

He turned and gave him the hardest stare he could muster. “What branch?”

“Branch?”

“Service. What branch of the military?”

“Army,” the man mumbled, averting his gaze.

Liar. You’ve never worn a uniform. “What unit? Where’d you serve?” “I’m not ready to talk.” Jones turned and stomped out of the bank, his hood up, eyes down.

He squinted after him, taking him in. He was so focused that, when Nancy reached out and touched his arm, it took a master-stroke of control not to instinctively jerk away. When his body reacted to her touch in a most unexpected way, he wished he had. A warm softness spread through him like a summer breeze after a harsh and cold spring, soothing him, body and soul.

How stupid could he be? A summer breeze? Those words had no place in his vocabulary, least of all in describing his feelings.

He shook his head, trying to dislodge the new sensation.

“He’s a weird one,” she said, her eyes trained on the back of Jones’ head. “I didn’t know he was coming. He showed up late, didn’t fill out the paperwork and, from what I could hear, didn’t say a word in therapy.”

“Then why’d he come?”

She shook her head, pressing her lips tight for a moment. “I don’t know.”

Shaking off her hold and turning to face her fully, he admonished, “You shouldn’t be in here alone. These guys have all been through some serious stuff. You don’t know what they’ll do. Hell, they don’t know what they’ll do. From now on make sure Dr. Molinsky sees you home.”

She stepped back, her smile upside down. “What are you doing here?”

Caught without an excuse, he had to quickly formulate a lie. “I was just driving by.”

The look in her eyes let him know she didn’t believe him, but she wasn’t going to call him on it either. He appreciated that more than he wanted to admit, and it left something aching inside him. Just another detail about Nancy that would dance through his mind that night. Oh well, it didn’t matter as long as she was safe.

With that thought, he abruptly turned and walked toward the door. Nodding his head in the direction of the exit, he commanded, “Let’s go.”

If he expected her to fight him on his tone he was in for a surprise. Nodding her head in easy agreement, she pointed to her office. “One second, I need to get my bag so I can lock up.”

As they stepped outside, she looked around acutely. “I think he’s gone. You don’t have to waste your time. I’ll get home safely.”

Should have known it wasn’t so easy. Smirking to himself at her tenacity, he wiped his face clear before turning back to her. “Damn right you will, cause I’m taking you.”
Geri Foster. Ride the Storm: Storm Warning Series, Book 4 (Kindle Locations 270-301).

After walking Nancy home and seeing the security or rather lack of in her home, Jeff is concerned.

These two will butt heads more than once over his high-handedness, but he really is only thinking of her safety.

It’s a convoluted, intense, and emotional journey as the motive behind the things happening come to light.

There are many characters from the previous books who make an appearance. I will definitely be going back and read those books.

I couldn’t put this book down, it grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

5 Contented Purrs for Geri!

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Coming Soon!

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Geri Foster

For as long as she can remember, Geri Foster has been a lover of reading and the written word. By the seventh grade she had worn out two library cards and had read every book in her age area of the library. After raising a family and saying good-bye to the corporate world, she tried her hand at writing.

To her surprise, she won a couple of contests, hooked up with a really great critique group and her writing career was well on its way. She spent several years studying her craft and developing her voice.

Action, intrigue, danger and sultry romance drew her like a magnet. That’s why she had no choice but to launch her published career with action-romance suspense. While she reads every genre under the sun, she’s always been drawn to guns, bombs and fighting men. Secrecy and suspense move her to write edgy stories about daring and honorable heroes who manage against all odds to end up with their one true love.

To keep the serious side of life at bay, Geri likes to write sexy short stories for her fans. In the Women of Courage series, Geri explores the deeper, darker nuances of life and relationships in small-town mid-century America.

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