Vampire in Distress – Family Blood Ties Book 2 By Dale Mayer


Vampire in Distress
Family Blood Ties Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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When Tessa rallies friends and family to find her missing date, they uncover a secret…and start a war that causes ripples in all aspects of their lives.

A vampire with throwback human genes. Sixteen-year-old Tessa finds more than just her friend in this journey…she also finds herself in need of rescue … Imprisoned, she has to find a way to escape and reunite with her family before this war takes out those she loves.

The youngest of his ancient line. Eighteen-year-old Cody descends from flyer vampires wants Tessa back at his side where she belongs – even as he struggles with conflicting emotions about his best friend’s kid sister…

A human determined to protect his people. Seventeen year-old Jared thought his life was over then he finds out that his rescuers are vampires…how can he trust them? And then he finds out the truth about Tessa…and that she’s been taken, too…

Three brave souls struggle as war breaks out around them…a war that shows them no mercy.

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Two very important things happened at the end of the first book, one was the discovery of Moltere hanging like the humans in that warehouse. Moltere was their prime suspect, now they had no idea who could be running this place. Second, Tessa had been sleeping in a bed next to Jared when she disappears. No one knows what happened or where she is other than Cody found a syringe on the floor by the bed. That leaves the question of how did they get in and then out with Tessa.

Now Tessa’s guards are concerned, first she got sick and second she’s not waking up. Although that wasn’t exactly true, she was pretending to be asleep and listening to every word they said. When they leave she gets free and heads in the opposite direction of their energy.

In the meantime, Cody and Ian find the passage they think was used to take Tessa and follow it, finding nothing but a possible exit streaming daylight and beyond a marshy area with no footprints they head back. Only to be knocked out briefly. Goran, Serus and David went the other direction, to where they came in. Then covering up and dashing to the house they first searched for Jared but found Cody and Jewel. They find themselves locked in but search to be sure they haven’t missed anything before returning to the warehouse.

Jared wakes up and Rhea explains what had happened and also that Tessa has been kidnapped. He’s a bit shocked to find out Tessa is a vampire. He doesn’t know who to trust, that vampires did this doesn’t inspire trust in the ones around him.

When the doctors and support teams show up, Jared freaks out and runs.

This is a favorite scene.

Cody groaned and stumbled to his feet. “Damn it, Ian. What hit us?”

“I don’t know.” Ian clutched his head and tried to stand up. “Man, my head is killing me.”

“Yeah, mine too.” With a wince, Cody walked to the end of the hall. “No one’s here. All I see is that bloody cupboard. Could it have fallen on us when we came through?”

He stared at the partially damaged shelving and the gaping hole in the wall.

“I suppose it’s possible. It’s not like we were calm and quiet. If the hinges were only secured to the drywall, they might have loosened when we jumped through.

“Great. I suggest we don’t tell the others. This could be a little embarrassing. And speaking of which, let’s go find them.” Still rubbing his temple, Cody walked out to where the hallway joined the warehouse. Just the look of all those hanging bodies made his stomach lurch again. Damn scary. With Ian close behind him, he headed in the direction where they’d left Rhia and Jewel.

“I wonder if anyone has news on Tessa yet.”

“They better have.”

Cody grimaced. “Maybe the medics will be there, too. I could use some food and rest, and I won’t get either until we find Tessa. As soon as it’s dark, I’m flying.”

“Hmph. Rub it in, why don’t you?” Ian grinned at the old joke between them. Both were fliers, but Cody was faster and stronger.

They hurried around the corner with Cody leading the way. He slammed into someone running fast and went down. The other person fell, too…so hard, in fact, his head actually bounced.

Cody gave himself a shake and jumped to his feet.

Ian laughed. “Now that was like something straight out of a cartoon.”

“What the hell?” Cody stepped around the prone man until he could see the guy’s face. It was Jared. “There’s nothing to him. He hit me like a linebacker and bounced off. Like, I don’t get it. What’s he running from?”

The answer to his question came running around the corner: Jewel and Rhia.

Rhia cried out, “Oh, thank heavens you’ve caught him. I don’t want to lose him again.”

“Why was he running away?” Cody glared down at Tessa’s friend. Apparently, Jared was still causing trouble.

Rhia raised her palms and shrugged. “The medical team arrived, and Jared seems to think they’re the bad guys in disguise. He really took offense at Dr. Korner, the head of the team.”

“Offense?” Cody asked cautiously. He didn’t know the doctor in question, but Jared had been through a lot and it might not have taken all that much to spook him. He’d been the only conscious human surrounded by a pack of vampires – and that obviously hadn’t done much for his comfort level. Exasperation laced his voice as he continued, “Let’s get him back to bed. He has spent more time injured because of me than he has from the vamps that kidnapped him.”

“We won’t hold that against you.” Jewel grinned. “He might though, when he comes to.”

“Yeah, he looks like the kind to hold a grudge.” Cody couldn’t do anything about the way Jared felt, but he could make the guy more comfortable. So he bent down, and with Ian’s help, raised Jared onto his shoulder. He then carried Tessa’s friend to his old room.

A group of people stood outside the room, gawking at them.

“Hi,” Cody murmured as he passed them before lowering Jared onto the same bed he’d been in before.

Throwing a blanket over Jared, Cody backed up out of the way so Rhia could mother him again. That kid had to stop going against Cody. He might end up seriously injured one of these days.

Accidentally injured, of course.
Mayer, Dale. Vampire in Distress (Family Blood Ties Book 2) (ppp. 76-79). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

I sort of feel sorry for Jared, but he does eventually pull it together.

Tessa manages to get away and to a safe spot where once darkness falls Goran and her father can pick her up. In the meantime things are off in many ways down in the warehouse.

Tessa discovers unconscious people in a van that should have been transporting the rescue crews, adding even more suspense to this already tense tale. She also decides enough is enough and calls in everyone she can think of both human and vampire to help.

Plenty of funny moments as well as tense ones as this story progresses. There is another cliffhanger but that’s okay because this is a completed series. I’m off to start the next book!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Prequel

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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Building Strength – SEAL Team Heartbreakers by Teresa Reasor


Building Strength
SEAL Team Heartbreakers
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Teresa Reasor

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Sleeping with a man before getting to know him isn’t the greatest blueprint for building a relationship.

But after being celibate for so long, when lightning strikes, redhead, Moira McKee, embraces being impetuous for once in her life and decides to ride it. Even if Navy SEAL, Lieutenant Sam Harding never calls her again, he’s at least replaced the painful memories of her first (and last) intimate experience.

Sam Harding has a reputation for being a hard-ass at work and at play. He has two unbendable rules: No strings. Keep it casual. But when he meets Moira at a charity dinner, he’s torn between the desire to take her to bed and the need to protect her.
After a night of terrific sex, neither knows where things are going. But then Moira finds a dead body on the grounds of the hotel, and Sam can’t walk away without knowing she’s safe.

At least that’s what he tells himself. But as the threat he’s sensed becomes real, he’s powerless to protect her. It’s up to Moira to fight for her survival…and his.

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Navy SEAL Sam Harding doesn’t do relationships. He’s seen too many bite the dust, especially while teams are deployed. The secrecy involved in a SEAL’s job and the sudden deployments can be devastating to a relationship.

Moira is an artist and a high school art teacher, she came up with an idea to raise money for a new NICU and it was embraced by the entire school. Every aspect of the fund raising was handled by the staff and the students to make for a very profitable endeavor. She attends a fund raising dinner where she would be accepting an award on behalf of the school for their large donation. She never expected to meet someone who breaks down her barriers where men are concerned.

Sam’s father has a law firm where both his brothers are employed. As a favor to his mother he attends this fundraiser to deliver a check and represent the firm. While Sam is a lawyer, he’s never practiced law. He followed his heart to the Navy and then the SEALs. Moira strikes a cord with him and he finds himself talking and doing things he wouldn’t have considered prior to meeting her.

This is just one of my favorite scenes.

Sam studied the slope from Moira’s shoulder to her breast. Shit, she was built— slender, compact, and all that glorious red hair… “What do you do in your spare time?”

“I’m an art teacher, but also an artist. I do work on commission. Plus, I swim every day at five before school, and I go up to the NICU unit at the hospital twice a week to cuddle the babies and feed them.”

Alarm bells went off in his head. He wasn’t ready for marriage or children. “How long have you been doing that?”

“Two years.”

He paused in cutting his steak to lean forward and rest his forearm on the table. “Why do you do it?”

“Because cuddling benefits their development. Babies who are cuddled have better sleeping habits and are less fussy. And the parents who have to work, who can’t be there all day to cuddle or hold them, need the extra support.

“When my youngest brother was born, I was twelve. He was premature, had lung issues and feeding issues. The doctors didn’t expect him to make it, so they sent him home to die. But we held him constantly and fed him through a tube. He’s fourteen now, strong, fit and plays baseball.”

“So, you visit the unit and cuddle babies.”

“It takes my thoughts away from school issues and focuses them on what’s important, giving the babies the human contact they need to survive.”

“Plus, your school raised money for the NICU?”

“Yes. The kids really got on board and did several fundraisers to bring in the money. They’ve worked hard all year. I voted for a couple of students to come and accept the award on behalf of the school, but my principal wanted me to do it.”

He turned toward her and his leg brushed hers. “I bet you had a lot to do with organizing the fundraisers.”

“The students worked to make things happen.”

Yeah, but he’d lay odds her organizational skills kept things running. “Moira, you inspired an entire school to get behind a project. That’s no small feat.”

She seemed uncomfortable with the praise and shrugged one shoulder while she chewed an asparagus tip, then took a drink. “The student body learned from the experience, and the school system got good press.” And she’d also received several commissions because of the work. She turned toward him. “And what about you? Wouldn’t it have been easier to be a lawyer than go into the Navy?”

He didn’t really want to talk about himself, but there was something about her that elicited trust. “My father and I had a deal. If I finished college, I could do whatever I wanted afterward. So I went to college, finished in three years, enrolled in law school, and passed the bar. The next week I enlisted in the Navy.”

“Was that the plan all along?”

“Yeah. I got the law degree in case I needed a backup plan some time down the road. I joined the Navy because it’s what I always wanted.” Had he ever told a woman all this?

“Did your father realize you were still going into the Navy?”

“He thought I’d change my mind once I finished school.”

“When did you go into the SEALs?”

“Right after boot camp.”

Her blue-green eyes rested on his face, her glasses magnifying their expression. “Would you say, then, that you’re just a little bit of an overachiever?”

He laughed at her droll tone. “Maybe a little.”

“And now you’re a team leader.”

“Yeah.”

“A first lieutenant?”

“How do you know?”

“You have a law degree, so you came into the service as an officer. But you’re not old enough to have been in long enough to have the rank of captain. What’s your next goal?”

He captured one arrant red curl, finding its texture interestingly coarse, and guided it back into place down her back. Her dress had an intriguing V there that ended just between her shoulder blades, revealing velvety skin that was a temptation he couldn’t resist. She froze as he brushed the back of one finger against the stretch of pale soft skin. “To get you out—” He paused and her heart leaped and hammered against her ribs until he finished the sentence “on the dance floor right after they give out the awards.”

She looked away fearful he might read her reaction and reached for her water glass again. “You may find you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. My size seven feet might feel like boat paddles when they step on your toes.”

“I’m not worried. You’re an overachiever, too.”

She pushed her plate away, half the food still on it, and shook her head at the server when dessert was offered, then turned to Sam and raised one perfectly arched, red brow. Damn, but she was beautiful. “I’m not even in your league, Sam.”
Teresa J. Reasor. Building Strength (Kindle Locations 264-303). Teresa J. Reasor.

A walk on the beach after the ceremony, a kiss, a phone call and they end up spending the night together. Something that surprises Sam, he doesn’t spend the night, ever.

It’s the next morning when Moira makes a startling discovery on the ground below her balcony that Sam’s protectiveness kicks in.
With one of his team in the hospital following a training incident, Sam and his team are assigned to training the new batch of SEALs. BUDs training for the candidates isn’t fun or easy, for the team it’s a break and fun to oversee the process all of them have been through.

There are so many things happening behind the scenes in this book. All are vital to the story and each provide their own twist.

I loved the way this story develops, from the investigation of the accident and the murder to the developing bond between Sam and Moira, you won’t be able to put this book down.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Teresa!

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Teresa J. Reasor

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Teresa Reasor was born in Southeastern Kentucky, but grew up a Marine Corps brat. The love of reading instilled in her in Kindergarten at Parris Island, South Carolina made books her friends during the many transfers her father’s military career entailed. The transition from reader to writer came easily and she was a closet novelist for many years until 2007 when her first book was published.

After twenty-one years as an Art Teacher and ten years as a part time College Instructor, she’s now retired and living her dream as a full time Writer.

Her body of work includes both full-length novels and shorter pieces in many different genres, Military Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Children’s Books.

The Cowboy’s Christmas Bride – Cowboys of Chance Creek Book 9 by Cora Seton


The Cowboy’s Christmas Bride
Cowboys of Chance Creek Book 9
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Cora Seton


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After traveling around the globe for over a year, Cole Linden is more than ready to return home to Montana, so when his fiancée, Sunshine, suddenly cuts their trip short and books them flights back to Chance Creek, Cole feels like the holidays have come early this year. He hopes she’ll love the present he bought her: a restaurant space downtown. If only he can transform it into the sleek, modern style she likes before Christmas, maybe she’ll finally agree to set a date for their wedding.

Sunshine can’t believe she’s pregnant, but she is, which means it’s high time to get back home. It also means she needs to re-think her career goals. She can’t run a world-class restaurant in tiny Chance Creek—especially not with a baby. So Cole will have to be the breadwinner of the family. Which means he needs a ranch. Luckily she’s found one. Three hundred acres of prime ranch land and a wonderful—if dilapidated—house. With Christmas looming, she’ll need to race to turn it into the comfortable family home they’ll need as soon as they get married.

But when a delayed flight results in the loss of their hotel room, Cole and Sunshine realize they’ll have to couch surf through the holidays. Staying with each of their friends in turn leads to a series of revelations that might undermine their relationship for good. Can Cole and Sunshine make it until Christmas?

Or will this be the holiday that ends it all?

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Cole and Sunshine have been traveling the globe, getting to know each other better and enjoying learning about world cuisine and cultures. Now after years of travel they are heading home to Chance Creek, hopefully to stay.

While they are both excited to return, they are both keeping secrets. In an unexpected twist, they run into one of Cole’s old girlfriends at the airport, Fran is anything but subtle as she describes that relationship. Although Sunshine knows her relationship is secure, doubts creep in.

Once in Chance Creek, their reserved hotel room has been given away, this is a favorite scene.

She opened her eyes, took in the drab facade of the motel and nodded. Without a word she undid her seatbelt, gathered her purse and stepped out. Cole joined her, taking in her ridiculous but beautiful high-heeled leather boots. She’d likely break her neck on the ice before they reached the front entrance. When he went to take her arm, Sunshine smiled at him, but that didn’t dispel the tiredness that etched her face. He needed to get her to their room, fast.

They walked in silence to the lobby where a woman greeted them with a frown. “Sorry, folks. We’re full up, just like the sign says.”

“We have a reservation,” Cole said. “Under the name Linden.”

The woman was already shaking her head. “Like I said, we’re full up. Everyone’s already checked in.”

“We have a reservation.” He couldn’t keep the steel from his tone. “Look it up.”

“Okay, Mr. Linden.” She typed into her computer and shrugged. “I’m sorry. Just like I said.”

Cole braced his hands on the counter. “We have to be in there. We’re a little late, but—”

She pursed her lips and typed some more. “You’re more than a little late, Mr. Linden. Your reservation started last night.”

“We got held up at the airport.”

“It’s a shame you didn’t let us know. We could have held your room. Instead we gave it to someone else.”

Anger boiled up inside Cole. “Like hell. I reserved that room for two weeks!”

“And you didn’t show up or notify us of your change in plans. We didn’t charge you.” The woman shrugged again.

“I don’t care if you didn’t! I need a room—now!”

“Cole.” Sunshine’s voice held a warning.

The woman folded her arms over her chest. “We’re fully booked, Mr. Linden. I think you’ll find most places are. You might try Billings—”

“I’m not driving two hours to find a motel.”

“Cole,” Sunshine said again. “You’re not helping.”

He clamped down on the urge to swear. She was right. Guilt swamped him again at the unhappy expression on his fiancée’s face.

“Isn’t there someone you know?” she asked.

He’d never seen her so pale and drained, even in the deepest jungle or on the most forbidding mountain. Maybe Sunshine was getting ill. If so, he couldn’t waste time arguing. “Take a seat,” he told her and waved at the armchairs positioned by the window. “I’ll find us somewhere to go.”
Seton, Cora. The Cowboy’s Christmas Bride (Cowboys of Chance Creek Book 9).Kindle Locations (231-248). One Acre Press. Kindle Edition.

From the moment Cole finds a room for them at Ethan and Autumn’s Bed and Breakfast you know this is going to be an interesting couple of weeks. They will only have this room for one night, then other friends step up and offer a room a night, right up to Christmas.

The thing is, Cole has bought a restaurant for Sunshine. It needs a lot of work before Christmas and his friends offer assistance in the project. He wants her to have what she wants, he also has to find a home for them. He isn’t kicking Scott Preston out of the apartment attached to his rifle range. He’d done so much while Cole and Sunshine were traveling.

Sunshine’s surprise is twofold, she is pregnant and she’s bought a ranch for Cole sight unseen. A ranch that Carl Whitfield wants to buy so badly he’s offering double the amount paid in cash. This has Sunshine questioning herself and Cole even as she and the other women start making the house livable.

Much hilarity as they make up excuses for not being where they said they were. That leads to a rock band and the guys taking dance lessons.

A fun read, with renewed friendships, new goals, and lots of love. Now I have to see which series I haven’t completely read. I love Cora’s books!

5 Contented Purrs for Cora!

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Cora Seton

USA Today and NYT Times bestselling author Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.

Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini.


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Vampire in Denial – Family Blood Ties Book 1 by Dale Mayer


Vampire In Denial
Family Blood Ties Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Blood doesn’t just make her who she is…
it also makes her what she is.

Like being a sixteen-year-old vampire isn’t hard enough, Tessa’s throwback human genes make her an outcast among her relatives. But try as she might, she can’t get a handle on the vampire lifestyle and all the…blood.

Turning her back on the vamp world, she embraces the human teenage lifestyle–high school, peer pressure and finding a boyfriend. Jared manages to stir something in her blood. He’s smart and fun and oh, so cute. But Tessa’s dream of a having the perfect boyfriend turns into a nightmare when vampires attack the movie theatre and kidnap her date.

Once again, Tessa finds herself torn between the human world and the vampire one. Will blood own out? Can she make peace with who she is as well as what?

Warning:
This book ends with a cliffhanger! Book 2 picks up where this book ends.

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Tessa is part human and her vampire side appears to be the more recessive gene. She goes to a human school but does take some classes at the vampire one. She can walk in daylight and doesn’t exhibit many vampire traits. At least she doesn’t until a date goes terribly wrong.

There are two men that will play an important role in this book. The first is Jared who was walking her home when the vampires attacked. They leave her injured and take Jared.

This is a favorite scene.

Jared spoke up for the first time. “I saw one of them. I saw his face. God, he looked pretty freaky. He also looked pissed.”

“How did you see him and I didn’t? We were together the whole time.” Tessa couldn’t help feeling disgruntled.

Jared reached out a gentle hand to stroke her arm. “When we were running out of the theater. I caught a glimpse of his face as he passed us.”

“Would you recognize him?” Tessa asked curiously. She hoped not.

“Oh yeah.” Jared nodded confidently. “His face would be easy to spot. Wide and heavyset, very Neanderthal looking.”

Shit. Her stomach bottomed out. If the vampire in question understood that he could be identified, then Jared wasn’t safe. All vampires knew breaking the treaty was bad business. The Vampire Council wouldn’t take this lightly. The Council was very aware of their responsibility to look after humans – the weaker species. Considering how much these vampires were risking, she could only imagine what they’d do to keep their identities hidden.

She and her friends had to get away from here. “Come on, let’s move to a better-lit spot.”

Staying under the halo of light from street lamps, they passed phones around as everyone called for rides. Except Tessa. She didn’t want to talk to her family.

“Tessa, do you want to use my phone?”

“Don’t need to. David should be here soon anyway. I’ll just wait.” She smiled. “Is your mom on the way?”

“Both my parents are coming,” Catherine piped up. “Mom’s pretty freaked out. They want me to stay here.” She spun around as if hoping they’d arrived in the fifteen seconds since she ended the call. “Tessa, are you sure you don’t want a lift? My parents aren’t going to be happy to leave you here.”

“No. If David can’t find me when he gets here, it could set off World War III. Don’t worry. He’s always on time.” Now that the immediate panic had died down, a burning pissed-off sensation filled her. Her perfect evening had ended in a disaster.

She almost wanted the attackers to find her. Wouldn’t they get a surprise? Not that she could say anything if they had found her. None of her human friends knew anything about her vampire heritage. If they had, they’d have run screaming long before now.

They waited under the bright lights as parents came to collect their kids. Each left in a flood of tears and excitement as the story was repeated over and over again. Finally, Jared and Tessa stood alone. She glanced around. “It’s getting late. Are you sure your parents are coming?”

“No. They aren’t,” he said. “I was hoping everyone would leave so no one would have to know.”

“What’s up?”

“My family is a little different. And I don’t have any parents. I live with my uncle. He figures if I go out alone, then I should be able to get home alone.”

“Then you’re walking home?” Tessa grinned. Maybe this wasn’t such a bad end to her evening, after all.

“Oh, yeah.”

“So am I. I lied. My brother isn’t coming to get me. Everyone is out for the evening, so no big deal,” she said, glancing down the street in the direction of her home. “I’m heading this way. Where are you going?”

“Down a block, then left for another block. Let’s go. I’ll walk you home first.”

“Such a gentlemen.” With the moon shining down on the deserted parking lot, the recent harrowing scene seemed like a nightmare they could now laugh about. She linked her arm through his as they walked and talked, tickled at the unexpected bonus end to her evening.

Halfway home, she heard another sound. Remembered fear slammed back into mind. She spun around in time to see a wave of blackness cover her. A blow slammed the side of her head, sending her to the ground. She cried out. “Jared, look out!”

Pain exploded at the side of her head for a second time. The world disappeared briefly as blackness surrounded her. Agony clawed through her brain. Groaning, she tried to straighten, hearing the voices around her.

“What the hell! Why doesn’t she stay down?”

Another blow slammed into her, this time catching the arm she’d lifted defensively. Shards of agony slid from her wrist to her elbow. She screamed in a blend of pain and fury. Drawing on her primary heritage, she opened her mouth in fury to scream.

“Shit!”

Just like that the attackers disappeared. She staggered to her feet, moaning at the sledgehammer pounding inside her head. She stood, closed her eyes briefly against the throbbing and waited for the world to stop spinning.

Where was Jared? She searched everywhere. Jared was gone.
Mayer, Dale. Vampire in Denial (Family Blood Ties Book 1) (pp. 22-26). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

Her family was less than helpful other than to call a Council meeting. Tessa needs to find Jared and they way to do that is to infiltrate that meeting to collect clues. She makes some radical changes to her appearance and proceeds do her own version of hunt.

Tessa recognizes one of the attackers and goes to wait for him to leave, it’s then that Cody, her brother David’s best friend finds her. Cody will become very important, not only to the tale but to Tessa as well.

What Tessa and Cody discover is both gruesome and against the human/vampire treaty. Her parents Council member Serus and her mother Rhia both ancient vampires enter this frightening and intense search for Jared. They are joined by their son David, his girlfriend Jewel and a couple other friends Ian, Wendy and Jacob. Cody’s father Goran, another ancient vampire also gets involved. The implications of what happened are reminiscent of another time, another war.

Plenty of intrigue and action as this story unfolds and a possible romance begins with Cody and Tessa in an unusual way.

I’m really glad all the books in this series are out, this cliff-hanger had my buying the next book right away. There’s also a prequel I didn’t see at first, I’m going need that one too.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Prequel

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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Their Lords of Nightly Lust: A Steamy Regency Romance Collection by Scarlett Osborne


Their Lords of Nightly Lust
A Steamy Regency Romance Collection
Contains
A Fiery Escort for the Roguish Marquess
Rescued by a Wicked Baron
Tamed by the Marquess
By
Scarlett Osborne

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A Fiery Escort for the Roguish Marquess

As an escort, Rachel Bell yearns for a change of life, away from her sinful past. When a Lord steps into the tavern, the change turns out to have a handsome face and a mysterious past. Ernest Jackson is on a mission to find the remains of his deceased sister. But when he meets Rachel, she proves to be more than a valuable spy. When she gets kidnapped, they soon realize that the enemy wears a familiar face…

Rescued by a Wicked Baron

A social outcast as she is, Catherine Barnet conceals the shame and the scars her abusive brother left behind. Patrick Conolly, Baron of Ramshay, has been concealing his feelings for her all his life; until they spend a night together. But mysterious eyes follow their every step and once Catherine finds out of Patrick’s involvement with a notorious criminal, things turn for the worse. And when Patrick visits her brother in prison, he’s not prepared for what he’s about to hear…

Tamed by the Marquess

Shunned by society, Joanna has been living as a nomad. When her daughter gets ill, Christopher Albertson, Duke of Gresham, the man who has haunted her mind, is her only hope. With him knowing no other fiery love than her, he takes her child under his protection. But when he gets poisoned, all clues lead to Joanna. But when her daughter discovers a secret entrance to the manor, everything changes…

A Fiery Escort for the Roguish Marquess

Rachel Bailey is an escort/lady of the evening, she’s saving to buy the correct clothing to apply for work in one of the many manor homes either here in London or in the country. She just wants to not sell her body to live from day to day.

Lord Ernest Dalton has made a puzzling discovery, clothing he believes belonged to his sister. He’d been told his sister died as an infant, but the clothing is too big for that. After speaking with his mother he’s not convinced his sister is dead and begins a quest to find her that will lead to some interest encounters.

This is a favorite scene.

“You knew at once I was not from these parts,” he said. “How?”

“Your hands,” said Rachel. “They’re far too clean.” She paused in thought, then knelt beside the bed. She reached beneath the mattress and pulled out a small basket. She rifled through the contents, before handing Ernest a small jar of lampblack. She grinned, her eyes shining in the lamplight. “Here. Put a little under your fingernails. You’ll look the part in no time.”

Ernest chuckled. Obediently, he reached a finger into the charcoal and smoothed it over his skin and nails. He looked down at his hands. The hands of a miner, perhaps. He smiled.

“Better,” said Rachel, “much better.”

Ernest grinned. “What else?”

She hesitated. “Your hair. It’s too neat.”

He nodded knowingly. “I thought to mess it up. But the damned thing keeps falling back into place like it has a mind of its own.”

Rachel burst out laughing, a sudden, sweet sound that made his heart skip. “Poor you,” she said. “It must be a great trial to be Mr. Ernest Jackson.”

After a moment, Ernest found himself laughing too. He looked up at her. “Is there anything in that basket that might help me?”

Rachel paused in thought. “Face powder,” she said, “rose water…” She sat each bottle on the table. “A wash ball…” She leaped to her feet. “Wait here. I’ll not be long.” She darted from the room, leaving Ernest bewildered. From the tavern downstairs, he heard the loud crash of glasses and a roar of laughter. After a few moments, Rachel returned with a cooking pot in her hands.

Ernest raised his eyebrows. “What do you have there?”

She grinned. “Just a little lard. The cook was going to throw it out. I convinced her I had a far better use for it.”

She set the pot on the table and stood over Ernest, peering down at his thick hair.

“May I?” she asked, a little of the confidence suddenly gone from her voice.

Ernest nodded. Rachel dipped her fingers into the pot, then slowly ran her hands through his hair. At her touch, he felt a shiver slide down his spine. He swallowed hurriedly. He felt her work the grease through his locks, working them into an unruly mess.

All too quickly, she pulled away. She stepped back to admire her handiwork. “Oh yes,” she said, a cheeky smile on her lips. “Now you’re beginning to look as you should.”

She reached for the cracked mirror that hung on the wall and handed it to Ernest. He peered at his reflection and was unable to stop a laugh escaping. His auburn hair was wild and dirty, poking from his head at bizarre angles. In the mirror, he could see he had wiped a streak of lampblack across his chin. He looked oddly like another man. Who might he be, Ernest found himself wondering if he had been born into such a life? What adventures might he have had? Who might he have loved?

He put the mirror down and smiled up at Rachel.

“I’ll never be able to replicate such a thing on my own,” he said. “I shall have to come and find you each time I come back to—” He stopped abruptly, realizing how forward, how presumptuous his words sounded.

Rachel said nothing. She wiped her hands on the cloth she had brought from the kitchen and began to set the bottles back in her basket.

“Why?” she said suddenly.

Ernest blinked. “Pardon?”

“Why are you doing all this?”

Ernest hesitated. Ought he keep his reasons a secret? He didn’t want to, he realized. Not from Rachel Bell. He wanted to share. Wanted to tell her of that chest of clothes he had found in the wardrobe. Tell her of his mother’s lies. Of the things Phillips had heard George Owen say.

“I’m looking for my sister,” he said simply.

Rachel’s eyebrows shot up.

“I was told she died when I was a child. But I’ve reason to believe she is still alive.” It was the first time he had admitted such a thing aloud, and it made something turn over in his stomach.

Rachel slid the basket back beneath the bed and sat back in her chair. “I see.” She frowned. “You believe she’s here? In Bethnal Green?”

“No,” Ernest admitted. “But the man I’m looking for, George Owen, I believe might have information. He used to work as a gardener at my father’s house in Pimlico some thirty years ago. The last I heard of him, he was living out here.” He lowered his eyes. “I know it’s a long shot. In all likelihood, the man is dead. But I don’t know where else to start.”

“I don’t know George Owen,” Rachel told him. “But there are people I can ask. Perhaps someone may have heard something of him.”

Ernest met her eyes. “You’ll help me?”

She nodded. “Of course.”

He felt a smile in the corner of his lips. How refreshing it was to be spoken to this way. Spoken to without formalities, without how-do-you-dos and finely-whittled etiquette. For a fleeting moment, Ernest found himself wishing he really were that man with blackened, miner’s hands, and unwashed hair.

“Come back and see me this time next week,” said Rachel. “I’ll see what I can find out.”

Ernest smiled, his heart quickening again. Was it the possibility of his search progressing that was making him feel this way? Or was it the thought of seeing her again?

She had lit something inside of him that Ernest knew had nothing to do with finding Unity. He pushed the thought away at once. What point was there letting himself think about something that could never be?

Best focus on the task at hand. I have a mystery to solve. Something has happened to my sister. I will not let myself be distracted.
Scarlett Osborne. Their Lords of Nightly Lust: A Steamy Regency Romance (Kindle Locations 532-580). Scarlett Osborne.

Plenty of sparks fly between Ernest and Rachel right from the beginning. However, there is much to be done and she isn’t what one would consider a proper wife for the future Duke.

Another suspenseful tale with deceit, drama, tension and a sizzling romance.

5 Contented Purrs for Scarlett!

Rescued by a Wicked Baron

Catherine Barnet’s brother Robert has been imprisoned for horrible crimes and her home and lands sold to cover debts. She is grateful her Aunt Cornelia and her cousin Edmund, the Viscount of Featherstone are willing to take her in. Edmund and Cornelia are very protective of the Featherstone name and now their are whispers that Catherine must have been involved. To some that may seem logical since she lived with her brother, but he never treated her with kindness only the kind of distain most reserved for servants.

She does appear to have an ally in her cousin’s friend. Patrick Connolly, the Baron of Ramshay, understands her position. On his father’s death he inherited more than just his title, he inherited large debts. He’s more than a little interested in Catherine, but he’s willing to form a friendship with her until she’s ready to be courted.

When her brother requests her to visit him in prison, she turns to Patrick. He would get her the proper paperwork and escort her to the prison. She couldn’t let her cousin or aunt know what she’s doing. They wouldn’t approve.

Now Patrick has some new problems, the demands now made on his finances were bad enough that he needs to speak to the one person he knows hates him. That man blames Patrick for his incarceration in the prison, but he may hold the answers Patrick needs to extract himself from these further payments.

The opportunity to escort Catherine was just an added plus.

This is a favorite scene.

Lord Ramshay was waiting close to the visitor’s entrance, his hands dug into the pockets of his greatcoat and the collar turned up against the wind. At the sight of him, Catherine felt relief flood her. A sudden warmth began to bloom inside her.

How thoughtful that he might have waited for her so close to the entrance of the jail. How selfless that he might be willing to tarnish his reputation so she might not have to walk this street alone. His kindness brought fresh tears to her eyes.

He gave her a small smile. “Is everything all right, Miss Barnet? Is your brother well?”

Catherine tried to return his smile, but tears tightened her throat. “Robert is as well as can be expected,” she said, her words coming out husky and half-voiced.

“And the reason for his requesting your visit? Nothing is wrong, I hope?”

She shook her head. “My brother just wished to see I was getting by,” she managed. Her words were thin. Surely, he could tell she was lying.

But Lord Ramshay just gave a nod of understanding. They stood in silence for a moment, meeting each other’s eyes.

Catherine knotted her hands into her cloak. And for a moment, she was acutely aware of Edmund’s words.

“You know, surely, that Lord Ramshay has feelings for you…”

She dropped her gaze to the ground, unable to look at him. Perhaps he had had feelings for her once, but it would only be a matter of time before they faded away— if they hadn’t done so already. How could he care for her when she was standing outside Newgate prison, dressed in stolen servants’ clothes? How could he care for her when she had let her family’s house and land be sold? How could he care for her when she had stood back and watched while her brother had been dragged into the underworld?

The tears she was fighting spilled suddenly down her cheeks. She tried to cough them away, swiping at them with a clenched fist.

“Oh, Miss Barnet.” Impulsively, Lord Ramshay pulled her into his arms, and held her tightly against his chest.

Catherine felt her breath leave her. The shock of it was enough to halt her tears. Enveloped in his strong embrace, her heart began to race. She found herself sliding her arms around his waist and pulling herself against him.

This was wrong, she knew. If anyone were to see them, it would cause the greatest of scandals. And yet, how could something so wrong feel so intensely right? With her head resting against Lord Ramshay’s broad chest, with the steady thud of his heart against her ear, the sting of Robert’s words began to fade. A part of her longed to stay there forever.

Suddenly aware of herself, she pulled herself away, wiping away the last of her tears. She looked up to meet his warm brown eyes.

“Forgive me,” she coughed. “The visit… It was more difficult than I was anticipating.”

Lord Ramshay shook his head gently. “You’ve nothing to be sorry for, Miss Barnet. Please don’t apologize.” He glanced over his shoulder into the busy street. A crowd was beginning to gather outside the Old Bailey. “This is not a safe place for a lady to be,” he said. “You ought to go home and rest a while. Shall I find you a cab?”

Catherine shook her head. The thought of going back to Aunt Cornelia’s was unbearable. Being in Featherstone Manor just reminded her that her own family home was gone. Robert had gambled it away, and she had sat back and let it happen. Soon, yes, she would need to return to the manor. Would need to sneak back into the house and pretend she had been lying ill in her bedroom all morning. But she couldn’t do it yet.

“I just need to walk a while,” she told Lord Ramshay. “Clear my head a little.”

He gave her a short nod.

She felt suddenly, intensely grateful that he had seen fit not to question her. Not to probe into the reasons for Robert requesting her presence or harp on about how inappropriate it was for a young lady to be wandering the streets alone, as she felt sure Edmund would have done. For not the first time, she began to believe that Lord Ramshay truly did understand a little of what she was going through.

When he looked back at her, she saw that familiar shyness in his eyes. “Perhaps I might accompany you?” he ventured, looking at once both hopeful and uncertain.

Catherine felt a fluttering deep inside her. It began in her stomach and worked its way up to her chest, leaving her entire body tingling with energy. She did not know what this was. She only knew there was nowhere else she wanted to be other than in this man’s company.

“I should like that, Lord Ramshay,” she managed. “I should like that very much.”
Scarlett Osborne. Their Lords of Nightly Lust: A Steamy Regency Romance (Kindle Locations 5604-5642). Scarlett Osborne.

Her visit to her brother was painful to say the least, he blamed her for losing the lands as well as the rest of the estate. She had no say or choice in that matter, he still wasn’t taking responsibility for anything.

Patrick’s visit didn’t go much better than hers but he was grateful to be able to support Catherine. This experience brought them closer. Now Patrick realizes he’s going to need help from his friends, Edmund and Simon, the Marquess of Ayton to figure out what’s going on.

Questions lead them into the seedier parts of London, and the closer they get to answers the more danger they all find, including Catherine.

Plenty of intrigue, suspense, a simmer to sizzle romance and quite a few surprises.

5 Contented Purrs for Scarlett!

Tamed by the Marquess

Joanna Bagley is a traveler, her family spends the summer on the Gresham Estate. When she was little the Marquess, Christopher would sneak away from the house and explore with her. When they meet again as adults, it’s a bit awkward but they manage to get past it. It’s Christopher who holds back though, he won’t compromise Joanna. He loves her and his parents would never consider her a proper candidate to be a dutchess.

Christopher is to do the season in London, under protest of course. However, there is a turn of events that has him agreeing to wed his father’s choice for him. That agreement comes with the release of Joanna’s father from the gaol, he couldn’t do anything to save the other two men from their fate. At least Joanna would have her father.

The choice the Duke makes for Christopher is a merchant’s daughter, Dorothy Coleman is wealthy but lacks the title her father would like. Only Christopher refuses to announce anything until the end of the season. The Lady Jersey takes a liking to him and invites him on an excursion of sorts to Bath. The thing that convinces him to go is the proximity to Stonehenge. If he is going to marry, he would at least see his Joanna one more time.

This is a favorite scene.

When they awoke, the sun was high in the sky, and they were cold. Christopher carefully wrapped the blanket around Joanna. They did not speak for a while.

“Joanna,” Christopher said, “You know it can’t end like this. I must see you again. And again and again, every day of my life. You’re mine now, and I won’t let you go.”

“But how, Christy?” She rubbed at her sleep-crusted eyes like a child.

“How much do you trust me, Joanna? Would you take a big risk, to be with me?”

“Anything, Christy. I’ll do anything you ask.”

He thought quickly. “Would you come to London? I’d leave my family behind and marry you there. If you’d have me, that is.”

“Oh, Christy, how can you even ask that? Of course. You know I want to be with you always. No one can separate us now. You’re mine, and I’m yours.”

They kissed sweetly for a few minutes, kisses not of passion but of love.

“But how would I get to London, Christy?”

“Can you get to Domesday St. Osmund?”

“I think so. My Da got there on foot.”   Was that really only two days ago?

“There’s a daily stagecoach there to London. It costs about two guineas. I’ll give you money.”

“Christy, I don’t want your money.” She was so proud, his Joanna.

“Don’t be silly. You’re mine now. I have to protect you.”

“So I go to London. Then what do I do?”

“Ask the coachman to hail you a hansom carriage. Give him a shilling for his trouble.”

“A shilling. All right. Then where do I ask the driver to take me?”

A good question. She’ll have to stay with a woman— it would entirely ruin her reputation to do otherwise. But who? I can’t trust either of my sisters. Lady Jersey? No, she wouldn’t be too kind to a rival.

Suddenly an idea struck him. “Ask the cabman to take you to a place called the Empire. Go while it’s still daylight, not at night. When you get there, say you’re not there to work. Emphasize that very clearly, all right? You’re not there to work. You’re there just to visit an old friend of yours, by the name of Rosie.”

“Why do I have to make it clear I don’t want work? And who is Rosie?”

“Rosie is a very sweet girl who was once kind to me when I first came to London. But Joanna— I hope you won’t be offended by this, but— she’s a prostitute.”

“A prostitute! And just how do you know a prostitute, Christopher Albertson, bloody Marquess of Clydekill? Did you—  ?”

She was working herself into high dudgeon.

“No, I did not. Don’t be ridiculous. You’re the only woman I’ve ever been with like that, and you’re the only one I want. Silly goose. My father insisted I see her. But I didn’t do anything. I just sat there and told her all about you. Tell her you’re Joanna. The Marquess of Clydekill’s Joanna.”

“I like the sound of that.”

“Well, it’s true. Tell her that she needs to get me a private message at Gresham House that you’ve arrived. She’ll know it needs to be a secret. Tell her I asked her to find you somewhere respectable to stay for a little while until I can come to you— a good ladies’ hotel or something like that. It won’t be for long. Then we’ll get a special license and marry secretly— wait. You are eighteen, aren’t you?”

“Last June.”

“Good. Then we won’t need a parent’s permission.”

He walked over to his saddlebag and took out a wallet. “Here, Joanna. Here are banknotes for twenty guineas, and a few guineas more in smaller coins for coaches and such things. Tell Rosie that I’ll take care of her if she has to spend any money on you.”

“Christy.” Her eyes were wide. “That’s an awful lot of money. You could buy several fine thoroughbred horses with that much.”

“I don’t need any thoroughbred horses. I need you. Now tuck it all away, Joanna. Don’t lose it.”

They sat on the blanket for a long while after that, saying very little and just feeling the closeness between them. Then it was time to say goodbye.

He kissed her deeply, and he lifted her up onto her horse. “I love you, Joanna.”

“I love you, Christy.” And then she was gone.
Scarlett Osborne. Their Lords of Nightly Lust: A Steamy Regency Romance (Kindle Locations 10479-10517). Scarlett Osborne.

Of course it’s not going to be that simple and the conspiracy against Christopher thickens as he’s imprisoned by his father until his wedding day. Joanna is supposedly bought off, but she runs back to Rosie, the message she sends to Christopher is never received.

There is plenty of dealings going on and the worst is once Christopher becomes Duke. He is involved in his properties and good to all his workers. His wife not so much and her father isn’t any better.

Plenty of intrigue as this tale unfolds, I wasn’t sure Christopher would ever see Joanna again. This is quite the journey for both of them.

Intrigue and deceit with a sizzling romance that doesn’t die.

5 Contented Purrs for Scarlett!

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Born in the Sunshine State of Florida, but of both British and Nordic descent, Scarlett Osborne grew up reading historical romances from the land of her ancestors. Fascinated with the British society of the 1800s and armed with a wild imagination, she obtained a degree in Creative Writing and immediately started her career as a Regency romance author.

A daydreamer extraordinaire, Scarlett likes to jump in the shoes of her heroines, immersing herself in her own stories, living the adventures that she wished she had experienced as a child. An avid reader and fan of the outdoors, Scarlett spends her free time either reading or going on long horseback rides along with her two sons.

Get lost in a land of enchantment, where adventure and love await around every corner…Scarlett hopes that through her heroes, you too will get to live a whirlwind romance in the Regency era, when fairytales were real and all dreams possible!


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Shielding Kinley – Delta Team 2 Book 2 By Susan Stoker


Shielding Kinley
Delta Team 2 Book 2
By
NY Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestselling Author
Susan Stoker

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When Kinley Taylor witnesses what was possibly the last few minutes of a young girl’s life while in Paris, she realizes exactly how alone she is in the world. The only person she has to turn to for help is the one man who she feels is completely out of her league.

Gage “Lefty” Haskins liked the personal assistant the first time he met her. And after spending an afternoon in Paris with her, he likes her even more. But when she shows up in Texas, on the run, and desperately in need of help, he’s determined to keep her safe.

But the person after Kinley is patient, and determined to get to her no matter who is protecting her.

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Gabe met Kinley first in Africa when her boss sent her for coffee and she ended up in trouble. They connected and although she agreed to keep in touch once home ghosted him.

Now Gabe’s in Paris and although his team is guarding another diplomat, he knows Kinley is there. He wants to know what happened and comes up with a plan to share the sights of Paris with her and have that conversation.

Kinley is surprised at the trouble Gabe went through to have time with her and does her best to explain what happened. They wandered around Paris’ sites and when they get to Notre Dame, Gabe calls his mother. I loved this, because his mother is obsessed with the Cathedral he wanted her to see it. It’s Kinley who actually gives her the tour though.

This is a favorite scene.

Knowing she’d probably be up, even as early as it was in California, he clicked on his mom’s number and put it on speaker. As it rang, he felt Kinley staring at him. He met her gaze as his mom answered.

“Hey, son. Everything all right?”

“Yeah, I’m good. I’m in Paris,” he said without preamble.

“Paris?” his mom breathed. “Please tell me you’re getting to do a bit of sightseeing.”

Lefty chuckled. “As a matter of fact, I am, which is why I’m calling. I’m going to FaceTime you, that all right?”

“Of course. It’s not like I’m standing here naked and decided I might as well answer the phone when my only child calls.”

Lefty chuckled, and he loved the giggle that escaped Kinley’s mouth. He clicked on the button that would let his mom see him.

“Hey, baby,” his mom said softly when she saw his face.

“Hey, Mom,” Lefty said. “You look great.”

She rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Always the flatterer,” she accused.

“You know I never lie,” he said. “Before I get to why I called, I have someone for you to meet.”

“Gage, no,” Kinley whispered, but he ignored her.

“Mom, I’d like you to meet Kinley Taylor. Kinley, this is my mom, Molly.”

“Hello, Kinley,” his mom said as Lefty pulled Kinley into his side so her face would be on the screen with his. “I love your hair! The black color looks positively radiant in the sun.”

“Um…thanks. I washed it this morning,” Kinley said, and Lefty felt her stiffen as if she was embarrassed over what she’d just blurted out.

But his mom didn’t miss a beat. “Good for you. I swear I’m addicted to that dry shampoo stuff. Kaden, my husband, has to force me to get in the shower some days.”

Lefty felt Kinley relax next to him. “I haven’t tried it. Does it really work?”

“Oh, honey,” his mom said. “Yes. It’s amazing! I’ll have Gage give me your email, and I’ll send you names of the ones that I’ve found work best. They aren’t all made equally, you know.”

“Thanks,” Kinley said.

“Anyway, Mom, I wanted to call because we’re standing in front of Notre Dame right now,” Lefty said.

“You aren’t!” his mom exclaimed.

Lefty chuckled. “Would I call you from Paris and lie about something like that?”

“Not if you wanted to live to see tomorrow,” his mom retorted. “Lemme see! I get to see your ugly mug all the time. I’ve never seen Notre Dame in person.”

“Just for that, I don’t think I should show you,” he teased. He turned to Kinley. “My mom loves Notre Dame. As long as I can remember, she’s been in love with this building. There were times I thought she loved it more than me when I was growing up. For her birthday one year, I managed to get a buddy who was coming here on assignment to pick up a street artist’s drawing of the cathedral. I thought my mom was gonna die when she opened it.”

“Shut up,” his mom complained. Lefty kept teasing, drawing out the moment for his mom. “She’d planned to come to Paris with Dad one year, but she had to have an emergency appendectomy and they missed it.”

“Gage,” his mom threatened. “Turn the damn phone around or I swear I’ll tell Kinley about the time you peed your pants while you were waiting in line at Disney to see Mickey Mouse.”

“I was four,” he told Kinley with a wink. “And Mickey was my hero. Of course I peed my pants.”

“Gage!” Molly Haskins whined.

Before he could put his mom out of her misery, Kinley took the phone and turned the camera around, pointing it at the iconic building. “From this angle, you can hardly tell there was a fire,” Kinley told his mom. “Look, the stained glass is almost perfect still.”

Then, as if she gave tours of Notre Dame all her life, Kinley proceeded to give his mother the thrill of a lifetime by walking around and showing her every little thing.

Lefty didn’t mind in the least. He loved that his mom and Kinley were bonding over the building. He’d always thought his mother’s obsession with Notre Dame was a little odd, but seeing her love for it being nurtured by Kinley was a gift.

“And look, you don’t see this in any of the pictures of the chapel,” Kinley said, pointing the phone toward their feet. They were standing in the square in front of the church, looking down at a compass engraved into the stone. “Point zéro des routes de France,” Kinley said, then translated, “point zero of French roads. This exact spot indicates where all distances to and from Paris are measured.”

He heard his mom sigh in contentment. “Thank you for the tour,” she told Kinley after she’d brought the phone back up to look into the camera. “You have no idea what this has meant to me. I’m gonna get there someday, but seeing it today, and hearing you tell me all about it, was special.”

Lefty saw Kinley had no idea how to respond, so he wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her into his side, reaching out and taking the phone from her. “Anything you want to know about anything, Kinley can probably tell you,” he told his mom. “She’s super smart.”

“What I want to know is when my boy is going to find the time to come visit his parents,” Molly quipped.

Lefty chuckled. “Hopefully soon, Mom.”
Stoker, Susan. Shielding Kinley (Delta Team Two Book 2) (pp. 39-42). Stoker Aces Production, LLC. Kindle Edition.

It’s what Kinley sees on her last night in Paris that causes all kinds of trouble for her. Fired from her job, nearly pushed onto the tracks of the metro, she makes the decision to run. Unfortunately her phone was in the box that was crushed by the train, so now she can’t contact Gabe.

Gabe was sure she ghosted him again, until they return from their mission and Gillian tells him she was there. Unfortunately Gillian hasn’t heard from her in days and is now worried. When the guys find her she’s burning up with a fever. All this is just the beginning.

This book is full of painful memories for Kinley, and Gabe, with the help of his team, is determined to help her do the right thing for that girl in Paris.

There’s fun, laughter, and so many tears as this story unfolds. That Susan bases what Kinley goes through on a real life story makes it even more poignant.

I can’t wait to see what’s next in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Susan!

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Coming Soon!

Susan Stoker - Photo Susan Stoker

Susan Stoker is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her series include Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes, SEAL of Protection, Delta Force Heroes, and Mountain Mercenaries. Married to a retired Army non-commissioned officer, Stoker has lived all over the country—from Missouri and California to Colorado and Texas—and currently lives under the big skies of Tennessee. A true believer in happily ever after, Stoker enjoys writing novels in which romance turns to love. To learn more about the author and her work, visit her website, or find her on Facebook. Links below.


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In Cassie’s Corner by Dale Mayer


In Cassie’s Corner
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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The bounds of faith and loyalty are tested
in a lesson of what it truly takes to believe –
in self, friends, even life after death…

Cassie’s best friend, bad boy Todd, is gone. Gone as in dead. Gone as in ghost.

But she doesn’t realize that when he wakes her in her bedroom and begs her not to believe what they say about him. It’s not until the next day when her parents tell her about the accident that she learns the truth…

The police believe Todd was living up to the family name, drinking and driving and coming to a predictable end. It’s up to her to find out the truth and clear his name.

Todd is shocked at his sudden change in circumstances…and angry. He struggles with his new ghostly reality, realizing all he’s lost as he watches his brother build a relationship with Cassie as the two pair up to find out what really happened to him.

The truth isn’t always pretty, and Cassie has to be stronger than ever before. Especially when the whole world seems to be against her.

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This book is not part of a series, it’s the first YA book Dale Mayer wrote for her daughter and I couldn’t resist reading it. While it’s not a romance per se, there are elements of one beginning.

Cassie’s friend Todd has died, but she is seeing his ghost. He doesn’t remember what happened but he knows one thing, he doesn’t drink and drive. While Todd needs to know what happened, Cassie also needs closure.

She convinces his brother Jessie, to ask some questions and while he does go to see the deputy in charge, he gets no other answers than what they were already told. Still not convinced, Cassie goes to the see the deputy herself.

This is a favorite scene.

Cassie walked into the sheriff’s office on her way home from school. Going through the front door wasn’t too bad, but once inside she felt intimidated. Everyone had such stern, imposing looks on their faces.

Unapproachable. She almost backed out.

“Hi there. How can we help you?”

Cassie followed the sound of a friendly voice to a large counter where a woman smiled at her. A friendly face. Cassie headed for her, relief in her voice as she said, “I want to find out some information about an accident that happened last weekend.”

The woman looked at her monitor and typed in something. “What kind of information are you looking for? And which accident?”

Cassie took a deep breath and gave out the details. “I’m…” she stumbled and corrected herself, “… I was his best friend and well, I can’t sleep for the questions rolling around in my head.”

“How old are you, Cassie?”

“Sixteen,” she muttered, hoping age wouldn’t make a difference.

“And do your parents know that you’re here?”

A heavy sigh slid out. “No. And I suppose you can’t talk to me unless they are here, too, huh?”

“That’s not mandatory. Let me find someone for you.” The woman stood and left the room.

Cassie wiped her sweaty hands on her jeans. That wasn’t so bad.

“Cassie, come on through here. Deputy Magnusson has a few moments to spare.”

The large wooden desk-high gate opened, giving Cassie entrance to the other side of the counter. The woman led her down a small hallway and into a smaller office. A portly man her father’s age stood and smiled at her. “Come in, come in. We don’t get too many people your age in here voluntarily, you know.”

Cassie grimaced. “Not sure I’ll ever come again either, sir.”

He laughed. “Sit down and relax. What can I do for you?”

“Thank you.” She sat down on the edge of the spare chair. “My friend, Todd, died in a car accident Friday night.” Tears threatened. Cassie stopped, sniffled once and stared out the window for a long moment before she managed to get her emotions back under control. Facing the deputy again, she saw empathy and understanding on his face. “I know that everyone says he’d been drinking and driving and deserved what he got.” This time tears did form in her eyes. She choked them back. “But, he didn’t. He’d never drink and drive.”

Deputy Magnusson sat back, crossed his hands on his belly and gave her a solid look. “First off, no young man deserves to die. So what they’re thinking along that line is just plain wrong. Second, the investigation hasn’t officially been closed and rumors will always float around.”

“I need to make sure you checked out a few things.”

The deputy raised one eyebrow and settled back into his chair. “Fire away and we’ll see if I can help.”

“Did his airbag go off?” she blurted out. Sitting back, she wondered at the frown on his face.

“You know, that’s a darn good question. There was one on the car, I know that. And it was burned in the fire.” He reached into the drawer at his side and pulled out a thin file. “I’m not sure if I have anything written down about whether it went off first though. Why are you asking?”

“I’m wondering if he was actually thrown out of the vehicle, and if he was, how? He kept his car tuned up particular. He loved that machine and there were airbags in it. So if the airbags went off, how could he have been thrown out of the vehicle?” she asked reasonably. “Also, did anyone find Todd’s cell phone?”

The Deputy frowned as he flicked through his open file. “We didn’t find one. Although, chances are it was destroyed in the fire.”

Wincing, Cassie stared at the floor for a moment, catching her breath. “Right. Fire,” she said weakly. “Was Todd burned as well?”

“No.” He rushed to assure her. “He was far enough off to the side that he wasn’t caught in the fire.”

Her breath gusted out in relief, not wanting to have that picture locked into her head. “So is it possible for him to have been thrown out before the airbag opened up or to have crawled out after it inflated?”

The deputy studied her face. “What’s the real problem here?”

Cassie flushed. “The problem is Todd didn’t drink. Maybe a little but not very much and never ever would he drive afterward.” She sighed. “Have you met his father?”

When the deputy nodded, she grimaced. “Maybe you don’t know if you’ve never seen him at his worst, but Todd’s dad is a horrible drunk with a matching drunk driving record. He hit a woman years ago when driving home. Todd never could accept the fact that his dad had gotten off so lightly.” Raising her voice slightly, she repeated, “Todd would never drink and drive. Never. There had to have been someone else in that vehicle with him. Maybe they survived the crash and ran off, afraid of what they’d done. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I need to.” She leaned forward. “Please, check it out further.”

With a heavy sigh, the deputy shuffled the papers in front of him, aimlessly. “I’ll tell you what. We won’t close the case until we have all the facts. Good enough?” At her bright smile, he held up a warning hand. “Don’t get too excited. The men were pretty sure they knew how this accident had played out.”

Cassie’s grin didn’t dim one bit. “No, I understand. Thank you.” She jumped to her feet and headed for the door. At the doorway, she turned back. “I don’t suppose it’s possible to search for the cell phone is it? Just in case he picked up a friend who needed a ride or called for help?” She leaned over and handed him a folded sheet of paper with the type of phone, color and the number. “Here is the description of his phone. I’ve tried calling and texting, but it never goes through. Oh, and he scratched his initials on the back, on the sliding keyboard piece.”

The deputy grinned. “Are you angling for a future in law enforcement, young lady?”

“No, sir. Just doing for a friend who can’t do for himself.”

Serious appreciation glinted in his eyes. “Lucky friend.”
Dale Mayer. In Cassie’s Corner (Kindle Locations 644-693). Valley Publishing.

Jessie and Cassie work together trying to put the pieces together, and as they find more clues and inform the deputy the more puzzling things become.

The closer Cassie and Jessie get, the more Todd seems to show up. Todd loved Cassie but she was not his girlfriend. Jessie has always liked Cassie but thought of her as Todd’s. Now it’s different and maybe once things settle Cassie would go out with him.

Many family things come up on both sides, many of which we learn about when Cassie finally talks to the Doctor her parents introduced her to.

The investigation also turns up some interesting thing that lead to some surprising revelations.

A touching story of grief, love, pain and growing up.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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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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The Lost Sister – The Collective Order Book 1 by Jen Talty


The Lost Sister
The Collective Order Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty

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Hazel Raven is a psychic with precognition abilities. She and her sisters have formed the Raven Agency (private investigators) to help find the lost and heal the broken.

However, when she foreshadows her sister’s disappearance, and arrives at the scene too late, she and her sisters hire the GLOBAL ALLIANCE COLIATION(G.A.C.) for assistance.

Brett Radcliffe is new to the Agency, brought in for his remote viewing capabilities. Finding one of the Raven sisters is his first assignment. He’s excited and at the top of his game, until he comes face to face with Hazel and a past he’s never quite forgotten.

Together they begin to unravel betrayal and treason in search of the missing sister and in the process, they find they are not only cut from the cloth, but they are the future of THE COLLECTIVE ORDER.

With their sister Savannah missing, the Raven sisters request help. That help comes in the form of Brett Radcliffe. Hazel and Brett have a bit of a past, precisely one night, thirteen years ago.

While Brett had looked for her it seemed no one knew who she was. Now they have to find Savannah before it’s too late. They discuss the circumstances where Brett may have felt Savannah as they were looking into a missing person at a coffee shop. Then Hazel’s vision, followed by her request he try to view her.

This is one of my favorite scenes.

“Have you had a vision about where she might be?”

Hazel nodded. “I’ve seen a large body of water, but not an ocean. It looks like a lake surrounded by mountains, and I heard children laughing in the background.”

“Anything else you can tell me, like is the area humid or cooler air?”

“It smelled like my great aunt’s cabin in upstate New York.”

“We’ll go with that,” he said. “I’ll need you to be quiet, unless I ask you a question, okay?”

Hazel nodded.

He rolled his neck and then closed his eyes, fingering each of the objects. The biggest thing he’d learned from his training at the Perception Project had been that he had other psychic talents. They weren’t prominent, and never would be, but they could enhance his viewing capabilities by honing the other ones.

The ability to feel other people’s emotions was one of his strongest subsets. Many called it being an empath, though others considered it to be clairsentience. He didn’t care what you called it, he hated it. Just like he hated feeling the concern rippling from Hazel’s body.

He focused on the connection between Hazel and her sister. A tunnel appeared, like in most viewing sessions. He used that tunnel to transport himself to wherever he needed to be. He saw a beam of light at the other end, and the tunnel walls went from grey, to brown, to a lush green.

He slowed his pace and soon he found himself standing on the ridge of a mountain overlooking a lake. He scanned the area, but didn’t see anything other than pretty greenery and a path.

He grabbed a long stick and headed down the trail. He heard the laughter of children running and playing. The faint sound of a tennis ball hitting the strings on a racket echoed between his ears. The roaring of an outboard engine tickled his senses. A rush of happiness edged its way into his body like a kid on a perpetual sugar high.

As he neared the bottom of the mountain, he saw wooden cabins nestled in the trees. A couple of young boys sat on a tree stump while others raced around, hurling insults at each other.

This wasn’t the right place.

“Did your sister ever attend summer camp?” He hated pulling himself even slightly from his view, but he had to understand why he’d been brought to this area.

“No. None of us did.”

He meandered his way through the cabins and found himself on what appeared to be a fire-access dirt road. Girls ran by, laughing. A young boy, maybe fourteen, smashed a tether ball with his fist. The girl standing on the other side jumped, nailing it with the palm of her hand, sending it back around the pole in the other direction.

Over here. A faint voice echoed from far away.

Over where? He wondered as he continued through an open field, surrounded by cabins. Some older, some newer. His own memories of his days at Camp Quest filled his brain. He walked for what seemed like forever until he came to a small beach. Across from the beach was a house. In the house, he saw Savanah.

You need to come in person, the voice rattled inside his mind. Get out of my view and just view the area. Tell Hazel, because I know she’s with you, that I’m fine, but that nothing is as it appears to be. Before he could channel the connection, it broke.
Talty, Jen. The Lost Sister: The Collective Order (The Raven Sisters Book 1) (pp. 19-21). Jupiter Press. Kindle Edition.

Things heat up in more ways than one as they try to get to Savannah before anything worse can happen to her.

A tangled and twisted story of how some will misuse the gifts these women have. Brett and Hazel have a bond and they both experience changes in their gifts.

A page-turning read, with lots of suspense, action and a sizzling romance!

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

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Jen Talty

Welcome to my World! I’m a USA Today Bestseller of Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, and Paranormal Romance.

I first started writing while carting my kids to one hockey rink after the other, averaging 170 games per year between 3 kids in 2 countries and 5 states. My first book, IN TWO WEEKS was originally published in 2007. In 2010 I helped form a publishing company (Cool Gus Publishing) with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer where I ran the technical side of the business through 2016.

I’m currently enjoying the next phase of my life…the empty NESTER! My husband and I spend our winters in Jupiter, Florida and our summers in Rochester, NY. We have three amazing children who have all gone off to carve out their places in the world, while I continue to craft stories that I hope will make you readers feel good and put a smile on your face.


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Hot SEAL, Taking the Plunge – SEALs in Paradise: Wedding Edition Book 7 by Teresa Reasor


Taking the Plunge
SEALs in Paradise: Wedding Edition Book 7
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Teresa Reasor

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Rylie Stewart, daughter of SEAL legend, Admiral ‘Black Jack’ Stewart, is in trouble. Big trouble. Eight and a half months through a difficult pregnancy, she’s kept her silence about who the father of her unborn child is, but the closer she gets to giving birth the more the pressure mounts for her to reveal the man’s name. But she’s been a SEAL’s daughter for twenty-three years and she’s as good at keeping secrets as her father is.

Navy SEAL Eric ‘Viking’ Anderson has just come off a six-month deployment to find Rylie on his doorstep with news. He’s about to become a father, and she wants a promise in case something happens to her during the birth. Eric’s more than willing to give her his word, but he wants something in return. Another chance with the woman he loves. And this time they’re going to do things his way. No more hiding and no more secrets.

But there’s one truth he can’t reveal to Rylie without further damaging her rocky relationship with her father. He suspects Black Jack knew about their affair and deployed Eric to end it. But now Rylie’s carrying his baby, the Admiral will play hell getting rid of him again. His missions: To put a wedding ring on Rylie’s finger, making their relationship permanent, and to be the best dad in the world for their baby boy.

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This book opens in the here and now, with Eric just getting home from a deployment and on a mission of his own to find Riley. He hasn’t heard from her in a month and wants an explanation. Then Riley shows up at his door, very pregnant and in labor.

While that in itself is a shock to him, her explanation goes back to when they met. Not that Eric was likely to forget, she crashed into his motorcycle. In the aftermath of that accident he invited her to join him and his friends for dinner.

This is a favorite scene as Riley meets Eric’s teammates.

Rylie cocked her head. The way he went from being upset about his motorcycle to asking her to join them seemed too surreal. “Do you always invite strange women to join your party when you’re here?” She bet he had to peel women off him all the time.

“No. Actually, you’re the first.”

She raised one smooth, dark brow. “I think your nose might have grown an inch or two with that one.”

Eric chuckled. “I usually bring a date, but I’ve been out of town for a while… and it was spur of the moment.”

Military. He had to be. His body was too toned and fit to a be a civilian. And oh, boy. Her father would shit if she hooked up with a sailor. Suddenly the idea was appealing. “Are you in the Navy?”

“Yeah.”

She shook her head, suppressing a smile. “I don’t know. I’ve heard stories about you guys. A girl in every port and all that.”

He grinned. “I’m usually too busy to find a girl in every port.”

“And here at home?”

“It’s kinda challenging here, too. My schedule’s a little erratic.”

A SEAL. He had to be. But he didn’t play the SEAL card, and she liked him for that. But then a lot of the guys were careful about owning it.

“What do you do for a living, Rylie?”

“I’m an interior designer. I work for a firm downtown.”

“I could use your expertise at my apartment. It looks like a cross between a locker room and… you don’t want to know.”

She laughed. “I heard you guys are self-disciplined and everything has its place.”

“Only on post, darlin’. The rest of the time we’re just like everyone else.”

She started cleaning her room for inspection when she was six. Her dad made it a game, but the need for order had been ingrained in her.

“What do you do in the Navy?”

“I’m a dive supervisor. Do you dive?”

“Yes, I do. Though I haven’t been diving in a while, I’ve kept my certification up to date.”

“That’s great. We could go diving together sometime.”

There it was. But it thrilled her, because he was suggesting they get together for something more than a hookup. If she encouraged him, it would really get her father’s goat… but it would also be petty and immature.

On the other hand, Black Jack deserved it. But this guy didn’t deserve the trouble Black Jack was sure to send his way.

She studied Eric’s rugged, handsome face and sighed inwardly. He seemed nice enough. And that deep voice appealed to her. In fact, the whole package appealed to her. “I don’t normally go to bars alone. I just went in to find you and report the wreck.”

“You look like you’ve been crying. Boyfriend?” he asked.

She shook her head and wiped beneath her eyes. “No. I got an eyelash in my eye and my eyes watered.”

She could tell he wasn’t completely convinced.

“Come join us. Drink a glass of wine, eat a few wings, relax. At least until you’ve shaken this off.” He offered his hand. His smile held enough warmth and charm that her heart did a jig.

Once inside she said, “I need to freshen up. You’re outside with your friends?”

“Yeah.”

“Go ahead and order your food. I’ll join you.” She slipped away to freshen her makeup and half toyed with the idea of sneaking away instead. But it seemed cowardly after he’d been so nice.

As she went to join them outside, the sun had set and the lights strung overhead were already on, though the night was stalled between daylight and dusk. The air felt moist, and the breeze carried the scents of food and flowers.

Eric beckoned to her, and she headed in that direction.

“Hey, guys. This is Rylie.” Eric grabbed an empty chair and placed it at the table, then introduced his friends. Tucker and his date Jodi, and Evan and his date Presley. Nick and Eric were flying solo. At least Eric had been before inviting her to join them.

“So how long have you known Eric?” Nick asked.

Rylie checked her watch. “About half an hour.”

Everyone at the table laughed.

Nick nudged Eric in the ribs with an elbow. “A new record, Viking?” Nick’s green eyes shone with amusement.

The nickname Viking certainly suited Eric, with his blond hair and sky-blue eyes. And with a last name like Anderson he probably had the genes to back it up.

Eric grinned. “She dives. It’s a match made in heaven.”

“How long have you been diving, Rylie?” Nick asked, his eyes alight with amusement.

“Twelve years. My dad’s a dive enthusiast.” No way was she admitting to this crowd who her father was. They’d shut down and lock her out in a New York minute.

With a momentary flash of surprise, he said, “She may be better than you, Viking.”

Eric shrugged. “Dive dates aren’t a competition.”

“So, you’re going on a dive date with Viking?” Tuck asked.

Eric frowned at him. “You don’t have to make it sound like she’d be putting her life at risk.”

Everyone in the group laughed.

Rylie bit her lip to keep from smiling. “I’m just a hobbyist. Eric’s the professional. I’m sure I’d be safe with him underwater.”

“Or anywhere else,” Eric said with another of those heart-jolting grins.
Teresa Reasor. Hot SEAL, Taking the Plunge (Kindle Locations 308-353). Teresa J. Reasor.

There’s a lot of reminiscing while Riley’s in labor. It also puts a few things in perspective for Eric. Including the reason why she hadn’t answered his calls or replied to his letters. It also makes him wonder about the hold on his promotion, her father could certainly done that.

One thing is for sure, he is going to marry Riley and be a good father to their son.

This book is a lot of fun, in spite of the problems ‘Black Jack’ Stewart causes. There’s laughter, tears and some sizzle as well.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this multi-author series.

5 Contented Purrs for Teresa!

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Coming Soon!

Teresa J. Reasor

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Teresa Reasor was born in Southeastern Kentucky, but grew up a Marine Corps brat. The love of reading instilled in her in Kindergarten at Parris Island, South Carolina made books her friends during the many transfers her father’s military career entailed. The transition from reader to writer came easily and she was a closet novelist for many years until 2007 when her first book was published.

After twenty-one years as an Art Teacher and ten years as a part time College Instructor, she’s now retired and living her dream as a full time Writer.

Her body of work includes both full-length novels and shorter pieces in many different genres, Military Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Children’s Books.

A New Order – Witches Academy Book 1: The Collective Order Spinoff by Jen Talty


The New Order
Witches Academy Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Jen Talty

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Harnessing her powers as a witch was easy, being the princess of the New Order was something no academy or amount of training could have prepared her for.

Cinnabar (Cinn) Knight understood that her parents and her aunts and uncles were the glue that held the collective order in place. Growing up, she accepted she was different, but she had no idea how special, or how powerful she’d become. Not only that but no matter how much training she’d received, she was ill-prepared to become the princess of the New Order. Worse, that her prince, Axel Grove, the arrogant bodyguard assigned to keep her safe from the Elite Brotherhood and those who wanted to the balance of psychic power to fall in the wrong hands, thought she wasn’t capable. As a matter of fact, he believed she was nothing but a spoiled witch who didn’t have what it took to lead the New Order into the future and beyond.

What do eight enchanted witches have in common? They’ve all attended the Witches Academy of Sorcery in the Big Easy, the foremost school of magic in the world. From coast to coast, each of these bewitched women will work at becoming who they are meant to be, using their powers to the fullest capacity.

This is a multi-author series these books are coming soon:
Natalie Ann – Passionate Vision
Judith Lucci- Seer of Justice
Suzanne Jenkins – Secret Royalty
Anna Celeste Burke – Kitchen Magic
S. R. Mallery – Endangered Spells
Margaret A. Daly – Wickless
Tamara Ferguson – Enchantress

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Cinn has a life away from Lake George and her family, NY city is exciting and her modeling let to a role on a daytime drama. Now she’s been summoned home, the event they’ve been waiting for is close to becoming reality. Cinn has always been a strong witch but she’s out of practice. Something she’s not willing to admit.

Axel is a werewolf, he’s also Cinn’s mate. He’s been trying to move on since Cinn left to pursue her dreams but he loves her still. Her parents sent him to pick her up at the airport and Cinn is not happy. Axel is the one who chose to stay behind, he could have done his art in the city and stayed home instead of keeping them together.

These two have to find common ground or they will lose the coming battle. There’s also Cassidy who Axel has been seeing, he’s been thinking in terms of not having his mate and settling for less. She has different ideas and isn’t happy Cinn is back.

This is a favorite scene.

For years, she’d tried to get him to go to the city and be some kind of starving artist. But that wasn’t who he was and had nothing to do with protecting his pack and following a long-honored tradition. He was proud to be of one of the oldest packs in North America. The Lost Keepers had a long history in the Adirondacks, and he wouldn’t dream of leaving the land of his ancestors. It wasn’t just about doing the right thing; it was about being a part of something bigger.

“I still paint, and I have my own dedicated studio. I’ve even sold a few pieces.” He sat up tall, puffing out his chest. He might not have made a million or had any kind of showing in some big gallery. However, a few pieces hung in a local hotel and the owner had asked him to do a few more.

It wasn’t much, but he’d gotten a lot of gratification from knowing locals and out of town guests alike would be able to appreciate his work.

“That’s wonderful, but don’t you want more?”

He shook his head. “I have everything I could ever want right here, at home. Why can’t you understand that?”

“I won’t be staying here forever,” she said softly, looking down at her perfectly manicured fingernails. They were long with light-blue, sparkly polish.

He used to love how they felt digging into his back and tickling his spine, but those days had long since passed.

“You made that abundantly clear when you made me chose between you and my family.”

“It never had to be that way.” She took his hand, lacing her dainty fingers between his thick ones, curling them together, creating heat, sending it right to his heart. “I didn’t choose between my family and career.”

“But you did. You just haven’t realized that’s what you’ve done.” He sniffed.

Cassidy.

Fuck.

Cinn yanked her hand, stood, and spun. “What is that beast doing here?” She snarled, almost as if she were the werewolf.

Cassidy strolled into the moonlight.

Axel had to admit, the wolf was a beautiful creature with her shoulder-length, auburn hair, green eyes, and tall, lean build.

But she wasn’t the mate for him.

No matter how much he wanted to get Cinn out of his mind, heart, and soul, there was no replacing her.

“I heard you were back.” Cassidy stood behind the rock, resting her human hand on his shoulder.

He should shrug it off, but he didn’t. Leading Cassidy on would only cause her heartache in the long run, but he couldn’t bring himself to take a step away.

“How long are you staying?” Cassidy asked.

Other than the warriors in his pack, very few knew the real reason for her return. He stared at Cinn for a long moment, both seemingly searching for the right answer, unsure of what that might be.

“You’re not going to like this,” his father’s voice cut through his brain like a hot branding stick. “But you’re going to have to tell her—”

“Like hell I will,” Axel projected.

“You don’t even really like Cassidy that way.”

“Not the point. I don’t want everyone else thinking we’re together.”

Cinn inched forward, flicking her finger. Dust took ahold of Cassidy’s hand.

“Ouch. That hurt.” Cassidy shook her wrist. “What the hell did you do that for, witch?”

“Because I don’t like your paws on my man.”

Axel could hear his father laughing in the distance.

“Not funny, old man.”

“Your man?” Cassidy asked with disdain dripping from every syllable. She glanced over at Axel.

“Yes. Mine. So back off.”

He exhaled through his nostrils. “Cinn wants to discuss the possibility of us getting back together.” He nearly choked on the lie. “I should have told you.” He really didn’t owe Cassidy anything. They had no ties to one another other than her family was well respected in the pack.

“And you’re considering this?” Cassidy took a step back.

“Cinn and I have a history. Our families are connected.”

“We belong together.” Cinn inched closer, resting her arm over his shoulders. She smiled, pressing her lips against his cheek.

“You’re making a big mistake,” Cassidy hissed. “She’s going to rip your heart out. Again. And then run off to her city and her show and leave you licking your wounds and I’m not going to sit around and wait to pick up the pieces.”

“I’m not asking you to,” Axel said, letting out a long breath, putting a little space between him and Cinn. “I’m sorry, Cassidy.”

“Right.” She took off running toward the woods. No doubt, she’d shed her clothes and change.

Seconds later, he heard her howl at the moon.

“You didn’t have to be so cruel or rub it in her face so harshly.”

“Are you seriously going to tell me you’d consider a life with her? You’d be satisfied leading your pack with her at your side?”

“Do you have someone else in mind?” He grabbed her wrist and yanked her to his chest, his lips so close to hers he could feel the heat pouring from her pores. He licked his own, staring into her blue orbs, daring her to kiss him.

“That’s not what I meant,” she said so softly he could barely hear her.

He tried to tell his body to stop, but even his mind wanted to taste her, even if for one tortuous moment. He pressed his mouth over hers, slipping his tongue inside with a broad stroke, finding every tasty crevice. Every muscle in his body ignited with a million firecrackers. “What did you mean, exactly?”

“I don’t know,” she whispered. “She’s always just made me crazy. Ever since we were little, she’s told me she was going to steal you away from

He let go of Cinn’s arms and stuffed his hands in his pockets. “I don’t belong to you anymore. You made that clear. If I want to be with her, that’s my choice. But for the sake of the future of the New Order, I will do my duty and fight alongside you to defeat Zelig. If we die, we die. If we don’t, you are free to go back to your life doing whatever it is you do, and I will choose whoever I want to lead my pack with me. Is that clear?” He didn’t wait for an answer. He wiped his lips and strolled off toward the woods and back to his home.

“I’ll see you in the morning,” he said. “Sleep well.”
Jen Talty. A New Order: Witches Academy Series Book 1: A Collective Order Novella (Kindle Locations 402-455).

Axel and Cinn are going to her family’s private island to reconnect and work to strengthen her powers. Some new things pop up and then there’s the problem of the upcoming battle with Zelig.

Plenty of heat in this book, Axel and Cinn are mates and when it comes right down to it neither one of them wants to settle for less than the love they share.

Not so much action as planning and trying to figure out who to trust. Finding ancient artifacts and unlocking key elements are key in their battle.

This is not the end. The New Order needs to have all the Queens, and Cinn with Axel as her King is only the first.

I can’t wait to read the other books in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Jen!

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Jen Talty

Welcome to my World! I’m a USA Today Bestseller of Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, and Paranormal Romance.

I first started writing while carting my kids to one hockey rink after the other, averaging 170 games per year between 3 kids in 2 countries and 5 states. My first book, IN TWO WEEKS was originally published in 2007. In 2010 I helped form a publishing company (Cool Gus Publishing) with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer where I ran the technical side of the business through 2016.

I’m currently enjoying the next phase of my life…the empty NESTER! My husband and I spend our winters in Jupiter, Florida and our summers in Rochester, NY. We have three amazing children who have all gone off to carve out their places in the world, while I continue to craft stories that I hope will make you readers feel good and put a smile on your face.


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