Rowan – The K9 Files Book 10 By Dale Mayer


Rowan
The K9 Files Book 10
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Rowan hopes that the deep emptiness inside him might possibly heal—if he just finds the retired K9 Hershey, named after an old trainer buddy. Nothing can hold Rowan back from locating his old K9 friend. What he didn’t expect was his old friend had found a new friend, with puppies of her own.

Brandi had just lost her grandmother, her home, and her best four-legged friend, Lacey, in a horrible forest fire that swept through town. Everyone said to not give up on Lacey, as dogs often disappeared only to reappear later. That one thought calls her to spend every spare moment she has at the site, calling for Lacey. When she realizes someone else has the same idea, she’s happy to join forces.

When things get ugly, she’s glad to have someone at her side because she hadn’t seen what ugly could really look like … until now.

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The dog Rowan is going to California to locate has special meaning to him, he was on the mission where Hershey’s handler was killed. If he had known Hershey was retired and up for adoption he would have taken him in a heartbeat. The problem now is the family had been living where one of the wildfires destroyed everything. They’ve had to leave the state and if Hershey is found they don’t want him.

Brandi was in Europe when the rampant wildfire took over her neighborhood. She lost everything, her grandmother died in it and there’s nothing left of their home. She’s been coming back to the area every day since she got back but can’t find her pregnant retriever Lacey.

When she first meets Rowan she’s skeptical but decides to give him a chance when he’s back for a second day. They split off so they could cover more area. It’s Brandi who hears the growl and Rowan joins her. Putting out some food Brandi has, they are surprised by two puppies. He’s not sure if Hershey’s the one guarding them and he’s also worried because his voice is different and he’s not sure if his scent is the same.

Rowan being prepared, manages to get some pictures of the puppies and the other dogs, discovering in the process the mother dog is injured and there’s another puppy not doing well. They need to get them help and soon. But as they’re deciding how to go about it, a shot rings out, and Rowan has Brandi hide while he chases, unsuccessfully, after the shooter. Knowing they have no choice but to get the dogs out now, Rowan concentrates on Hershey.

This is a favorite scene.

As he took a third bite, he broke off a third piece for Hershey and threw it out to him but, this time, not quite as far. If Hershey wanted this piece, he’d have to come out of the shelter a little bit. And Rowan turned his head away and had another bite. As he broke off another one, he turned to look up and found himself staring straight at Hershey’s eyes.

He took a slow, deep breath and said, “Hello there, buddy.” His heart lit with joy. “I’m so sorry my voice is different now, but you know one thing? Hopefully my scent isn’t. My body’s been through a lot of doctors and hospitals and all that good stuff,” he said, “but it’s still me on the inside. That hasn’t changed.”

Afraid to talk too much to the dog just yet, much less reach out, Rowan continued giving Hershey time and little bits of the protein bar. At one point, he looked up, and the dog stared at him in confusion. “Hey, Hershey,” he said, as he reached up a hand.

The dog leaned forward and sniffed his fingers. He reared back and then leaned forward again. Rowan knew Hershey was confused; the scent was close but not quite right and from a long time ago. Rowan leaned forward again, and this time he put up the other hand, the one that hadn’t had surgery. Hershey sniffed and then whined.

Rowan smiled. “Hey, boy. I am so glad I found you.” And just like that, a switch flipped, and Hershey launched himself at Rowan. Hershey’s tail wagging, he jumped, circled him, jumped again, this time completely tackling Rowan to the ground. Rowan lay here on his back, laughing, letting the dog greet him.

“It’s been a long time, boy.” He gently cuddled the great big goof, walked his hands across Hershey, gently loving him, caring and rejoicing in Hershey’s greeting, knowing that this bond had never been broken. That was the thing about animals. They remembered. It took Hershey a bit to get around Rowan’s different smells and his different voice, but, after that, it was a done deal.

Finally Hershey laid down, half on top and half beside Rowan, and dropped his head on his chest. Rowan just held Hershey for a long moment. “It’s been a tough couple years, hasn’t it, buddy? I heard you got to retire and yet look at what happened to your retirement, but then something similar happened to me too.” He reached up and gently scratched the dog.

He heard Brandi’s voice off to the side, who said, “The two pups are coming out toward you.”

He reached up a hand gently, coming in contact with soft fur. The pup backed away a little bit and then came back again. Hershey barked, and pretty quickly both pups surrounded him. Rowan chuckled at the furballs. He said to Brandi, “You can try coming up, if you want.”

“Is it safe?” she asked in a dry tone. He shrugged. “No clue, but Hershey recognized me, and he trusts us enough that he got the pups here now.”

While Hershey was busy, he managed to get a rope and hooked it around the dog’s neck. Hershey didn’t appear to be bothered in any way. As part of his training, he was used to being on a leash. Used to having commands and somebody in authority over him. So this was a good thing.

With a big smile Rowan sat up gently, moving slowly, so that the pups wouldn’t get too scared, and gently he wrapped a rope around the first one, making it snug enough so that he couldn’t pull his head out of it, letting the rope trail behind him, getting him used to it. The pup seemed to treat it more like a toy than anything, rolling around, grabbing the rope, chewing it. When Rowan had the opportunity, he slipped a rope around the second one too.

“These three all have ropes now,” he said. “Do you want to come see if you can contact Lacey from here?”

“I guess that’s my best bet, isn’t it?” She walked up slowly and crouched. Hershey turned to look at her and growled.

Rowan reached up immediately and said, “Friend, Hershey. She’s a friend.”

Hershey’s ears came forward, and he looked down at Rowan. He smiled gently and rubbed Hershey’s forehead. “I know it’s been a long time, hasn’t it? But she’s a good person. It’s okay. We’re here to help Lacey, not hurt her.”

Brandi came closer and greeted the pups, who didn’t seem to think that she was anything other than part of the landscape. They rolled around, grabbing their ropes and tugging.

“They’re so special,” she whispered.

“Pups,” he said with a chuckle, still sitting on the ground. “Now we have ropes on these three, so it depends whether you can get up close and talk to Lacey as to how we handle her.”

She looked at Hershey. “Have you got him under control though?”

Rowan recognized the nervousness in her tone. “He’ll be fine,” he said. “I’ve got him now. He’s on a rope. He’s always been very well leash trained. Just don’t make any sudden moves, and go on up and talk to Lacey.” He watched as Brandi shifted closer toward the den that the dogs had created together, talking to Lacey gently. When he heard a whine on the inside of the hollow, Rowan smiled and said, “Give it a shot. I believe another pup is also in there.”

“If the pup is alive,” she murmured.

“We can only deal with what we have to work with,” he said. “So let’s hope everybody is alive.” He watched as she slowly crept a little bit closer and closer. Hershey watched, his ears forward, obviously disturbed at the turn of events but not enough to do anything about it. “Good boy,” Rowan whispered. “Good boy.” Hershey looked down and nuzzled his nose against Rowan, blowing deeply against his neck. Rowan wrapped his arms around his scruff and burrowed his face against his neck. He hoped that she had as much luck with Lacey as he was pretty sure that Lacey was badly hurt.

When he heard a strangled voice calling out to him, he turned to see her saying, “Rowan,” and she held up a third pup. “It’s alive but in rough shape.”

“Can you see why?”

“No,” she said. “It was just lying here.”

He shifted ever-so-slowly so that he could reach up a hand, and she gently placed the pup in his arms. And he tucked it against his chest, while Hershey nuzzled it. “Is this your adopted daughter?”

Rowan checked over the pup, but nothing was obviously wrong. Yet she was malnourished and suffering. “It’s a good chance Lacey has no milk,” he said, “and this one is too weak to eat otherwise.” He turned to look for Brandi, but she was inside the brush again. He didn’t hear any growling, so he hoped for a good outcome because, going into a hollow with an injured dog was never a smart idea. But just like he had a bond with Hershey, he could only hope Brandi had the same bond with Lacey. He called out, “Is she okay?”

“No,” she said, her voice thick with tears. “Her back end is damaged.”

“Like from a car accident or the fire?”

“I don’t know what I’m looking at,” she said, “but I think it’s an ugly injury and likely a broken leg.”

At that, he swore and said, “That would explain Hershey’s reaction.”

She lifted the brush and looked at him. “Why is that?”

“Because he knows exactly what those look like,” he said.

She stared down at her beloved dog, and the pain in her dog’s eyes just tore at her. But her tail moved in greeting and hope. With the brush matted down, she could see that this was where the sick pup and, of course, Lacey had bled all around. It didn’t look like she’d gotten up in a couple days. “We have to get her to a vet,” she said.
Dale Mayer. Rowan (Kindle Locations 581-645). Valley Publishing Ltd.

Getting Lacey and the pups to the cars was a bit of an adventure at least for Brandi. Then comes the hard questions about being shot at. As things get even more interesting and suspenseful, Rowan calls on Badger and the guys for help figuring things out. A relationship begins between Brandi and Rowan and there’s hope that maybe they can stay together. You know for the sake of the dogs (grin).

I love these stories so much. This one especially tore at my heart, knowing the devastation of the fires in California.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

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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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Now You See Her… – Psychic Visions Book 8 by Dale Mayer


Now You See Her…
Psychic Visions Book 8
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Energy is the life-force of inherent good…
and the vigor of unnatural evil.
Which is stronger?

When she was young, Tia was forced into a prison, studied and tortured, because of her special talent. The chance for escape led her to run as far away as she could…but she quickly discovered there is nowhere she can hide that they can’t find her. Stefan Kronos, a psychic who’s formed a community of those like her, is the only person she believes can help her. When she begs him to help her, she awakens from a coma six weeks later. Her problems have only just begun, chief among them that she’s still being hunted.

Now you see her…

Dean is moonlighting as a guard at the hospital Tia finds herself in upon rousing from unconsciousness. Between a rock and a hard place, Dean has met Tia, a woman he can’t forget…and equally can’t believe the insane things she’s telling him – until there’s absolutely no other choice. What’s at stake becomes only too clear when Tia’s problems become Dean’s, entwining them so neither knows where one stops and the other starts. If she runs again, how can he find someone of her unbelievable talents?

Now you don’t…

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Tia has been hiding for years, she can’t let him find her. She has a unique talent, she blends into the energy around her, making her invisible. She’s tired of hiding and turns to Stefan for help. However the person looking for her attacks her, and Stefan gets her to the hospital. What she doesn’t realize at first is that she is safe and among friends, she feels the need to run.

Dean is on guard duty, watching over Tia for Stefan. It’s been weeks since the incident that left her comatose. He checked on her, turned around and she was gone. Fortunately Stefan was in the hospital at the time and joins him, explaining Tia’s ability. Dean’s more than a little grateful that at least Stefan understood what was going on. He certainly didn’t. As he goes off duty, he’s going to check on Tia’s friend Simone. Tia’s worried about her since she helped set up the meeting with Stefan. What he didn’t expect was Tia to slip away and join him. First to an address that wasn’t correct, but was actually Tia’s family dwelling, then to the correct place.

This is a favorite scene.

Tia raced through Simone’s house, following on Dean’s heels. This didn’t make any sense. She made it to the bedroom as he stepped into the bathroom. Her heart stuttered to a stop when she heard him say, “Shit.”

She glanced around the light disarray in the bedroom. Simone was meticulously clean. She’d never have let her bedroom look like this. And…her suitcase was gone.

She brightened. Good. Simone had managed to clear out.

Dean came out of the bathroom, his phone against his ear.

“Stefan. She’s gone. There’s a dead man here.”

What?

Tia snuck around him and raced to the bathroom to see the folded body of a man. “Oh God,” she whispered. “It’s Brennan.”

And heard a sound behind her.

She spun around.

Dean glared at her.

As in he glared at her.

As in he could see her.

Shit.

She caught her breath and waited, her eyes darting to the entrance where he spread his legs in a square stance, effectively filling the doorway. He wasn’t going to let her out. Did he know she was there or was he only guessing? He’d had wonderful hearing in the hospital. And she’d just spoken out loud.

But he didn’t know for sure.

She slowed her breathing down.

“You might as well show yourself. I’m not letting you out of here.”

The nerve of him. What did he know? This was her friend’s house he was searching. Did he have any answers – no. He couldn’t stay here all day. She’d just wait him out.

“Stefan, your little tricky friend is here too.” Dean grinned. “At least I think it’s her. I can hear her, not see her. She’s in the bathroom with the dead man.”

There was silence while she considered her options. She felt like a school kid caught out on a prank.

“No, I’ve called in the police. The place will need to be gone over. So far I’m not sure where Simone is, but it looks like she left in a hurry. The question now is did she kill this man before leaving?”

“No, she wouldn’t,” Tia muttered. “They’d been together for years.”

“Ah, she speaks,” mocked Dean.

“Did you hear that Stefan? Tia says the man was Simone’s partner.”

Dean listened for a few more minutes. “You can make that decision. I’m not. She’s here and she’s your problem. Finding a dead man shoots my chance to get some sleep tonight. I’ll call you tomorrow if we find anything.”

He closed his phone and tucked it into his pocket. “Why waste energy trying to hide? I know you’re here. You obviously came in my truck so stop being a child and show yourself.”

“I’m not a child.” She dropped her energy guard and showed herself. “It’s been a long time since I was a child – if I ever was.”

And something in her voice must have gotten through to him for he stared at her hard for a moment then gave a clipped nod. “Then stop disappearing and running away.”

“I’m being hunted,” she said sarcastically. “Maybe that doesn’t mean anything to you, but I’d kinda like to stay alive, thanks.”

“I got that. But if you’re going to hide from those trying to help you, how far do you think you’re going to get?”

She hated the truth of his words, but trust wasn’t something she did easily. “What do you think happened here?” She motioned to the bathroom, deliberately not mentioning the body at her feet. She had no trouble recognizing Brennan. Simone had talked about him for years, even sending Tia photos, but Tia hadn’t actually met the man as he hadn’t been home last night – deliberate choice on their part. The less people who knew she was here the better.

Not that her attempt to keep him out of this mess had done anything for him.

“She either was attacked by him or someone else came in and killed him but she got away. Or she killed him then left.”

But Tia was already shaking her head. “She wouldn’t have killed him. They had arguments like any relationship, but she’d never kill anyone. She was a nurse. She lived to help people.”

“Let’s say I believe you for the moment, what do you think happened here?”

“I think I made a mistake and somehow someone followed me to her place and went after her. She might have had a warning considering she packed a few things. Simone is very street smart.” She’d have disappeared by now. Chances were good Tia wouldn’t ever see her friend again. As long as Simone was free and clear, Tia would be happy for her.

Her heart tripped over the thought of Simone not being free. Could she have been taken? She was a beautiful woman and she was Tia’s friend. She didn’t know if the asshole would do anything to Simone or if he’d keep her as part of his living collection. If so, maybe then Tia could get to her and save her before it got too bad. As long as she was still alive, she could heal. But Tia had to find her and save her. If she hadn’t been taken then there was no finding her. She had street smarts. She’ll find you – if she cares to.

She walked out of the bathroom and collapsed down on the side of Simone’s bed. “I suppose the cops will be all over the place now.”

“In a few minutes, yes.”

“And you have to stay here?”

“Not for the whole mess of things about to happen, but I will have to for at least an hour or so.”

She nodded. It was just setting in. Simone had lost Brennan and she had lost Simone. She stared dry-eyed at her present life and didn’t like the look of it. The future was even more depressing. Shit.

“You can go into my truck and wait. Don’t let them see you. Oh wait, damn it. What about your fingertips. Do you leave prints?”

She nodded absently. “I do but I haven’t touched anything.” She straightened. “Oh, but I did earlier.”

He nodded, his tone serious as he said, “We might need to take your prints to compare to the ones here.”

A broken laugh escaped her. “No, you won’t need to. You’ll run the prints and mine will come up.”

“Come up for what?” He walked to stand in front of her, effectively caging her in case she tried to bolt.

Only she had no plans to bolt. She was just realizing what kind of trouble she was in. Stefan might not be able to save her this time.

“Just how much trouble are you in?”

“Prison type of trouble,” she said shortly. “Maybe.”

“What did you do?”

“I escaped a place where I was supposed to stay. Only I was a prisoner. When I had an opportunity, I ran and never looked back,” she said softly. “With my prints all over the place, they might think I did it.”

“Did what?”

“Killed the doctor,” she whispered. “But I didn’t kill anyone. I’m not even sure he’s dead. If he is, then I think whoever did kill him is after me…and if he’s not dead…then he’s the one chasing me.”
Mayer, Dale. Psychic Visions: Books 7-9. Valley Publishing Ltd. Kindle Locations (4931-4989). Kindle Edition.

This is the beginning of a very interesting relationship, Dean can hear and sense her when she’s invisible. This makes for some amusing conversations. There’s also the fact that someone is hunting for her but the main suspect is supposedly dead.

Dean finds himself unable to stay away from her, even as some very strange things happen to her. Dr. Maddy and Stefan are concerned because her energy appears to be shorting out, causing only parts of her to disappear, very disconcerting.

There’s plenty of things going on to keep you turning the pages as Dean, Stephan and Dr. Maddy try to figure out what’s going on. Both with Tia’s energy and who is looking for her.

I was truly surprised at the conclusion of this one, I never saw it coming.

Suspense, intrigue, romance and so much more.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

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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2020 Christmas Countdown: My Christmas Quarantine – A Reverse Harem Novella by Mika Lane


My Christmas Quarantine
A Reverse Harem Novella
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Mika Lane

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Dear Santa:
It’s okay that I have to spend Christmas by myself. Alone. In my apartment. Quarantined.
No gifts. No cheer. No feast.
But really.
It’s fine.
And I’ll continue to ignore my hot next door neighbors.

Three guys who make my knees weak.
Even though they invited me over for a holiday feast.
I mean, we’re supposed to be in quarantine, right?
Or not.
Don’t I deserve a present or two or three? I think I do.
Merry f*cking Christmas
Love,
Me

Nina was packed up and ready to fly home for Christmas when during a conversation with her mother she’s told she can’t come. Her father was supposed to tell her weeks ago, but forgot. Now she’s sure she’ll be spending it alone. That is until she really meets her neighbors across the hall. First one of them helps her bring her tree upstairs, then she almost gets hit in the head with the football they’re throwing around the hallway maskless of course. Since it is the holidays she decides to make them some masks so she’d feel better running into them. She makes her favorite cookies, a sort of revenge thing since her mom was making them when she let her know she couldn’t come home for Christmas. What she didn’t realize was how many cookies the recipe made. Not wanting to have them go to waste she packs some up to give to the guys. This results in an invitation to a hallway dinner.

This is a favorite scene.

It was the only table in sight, so yeah.

He picked it up with about the same level of effort Henry had picked up my Christmas tree, which is to say hardly any, and positioned it in the hallway just outside my door. He returned to the kitchen and grabbed a chair. At the other hand of the hall, he’d put their table out along with three chairs.

“Okay. All set. Henry is still cooking, so I’ll let you know when we’re closer.”

“What service. Thank you,” I said.

He took a fake bow. “We aim to please, madam.”

He left, and of course I watched him through the peephole like I always did. That’s when I saw Leo come out of the apartment and set the table. Holy shit. They actually set their table.

I figured I should do the same. I gathered a plate, silverware, and napkin, and pulled my door open to find they’d done it for me.

No shit. They’d actually set a place for me at my own table, and lit a freaking votive candle.

Guys have votive candles?

An unwelcome lump in my throat expanded at the sweetness of their gesture, and for a moment I considered that while I might not be having the kind of Wisconsin holiday I was accustomed to, maybe something different wasn’t going to be all that horrible.

And the guys didn’t seem to have girlfriends.

Not that that mattered. Not at all.

I brought the gingerbread plate over to their table and set it down just as their door flew open. Leo was holding four wine glasses and a bottle he’d uncorked.

I walked back to my side of the hall, unsure how it all was supposed to work.

“Here you go, Nina,” he said, handing me a full glass while standing as far away as possible.

Glad to see at least one of them was careful.

He walked back to his side of the hall, and lifted his mask just enough to taste his wine. His method looked like a good way to go. I did the same.

And the wine was a rich red that was neither too sweet nor too spicy.

“Oh my god, I love this,” I said, taking another swallow.

I had to pace myself or I’d drink too much.

“Isn’t it amazing? It’s my best seller. Comes from a small winery in Napa.” He held his glass toward me. “Cheers.”

Just a few hours ago I wouldn’t have thought there was anything to be cheery about. But things seemed like they might be looking up.

Wes came out of the apartment and poured himself a glass. “What do you think of our setup, Nina? I think it’s looking pretty damn good.” He looked around, pleased.

“I… I’m blown away, I have to admit. Thank you.”

He gestured toward me with his glass. “Have a seat. Henry will be serving us soon.”

“But wait. Must top off wine, first.” Leo grabbed the bottle and sprinted over toward me, standing back as far as he could but still getting the wine in my glass.

His goofiness was fucking cute.

They took seats at their table, so I took mine. It felt funny to be facing each other from opposite ends of the hall but it was actually, sort of, working. The hallway, a little on the shabby side and never very well lit, was lovely in the low light and flickering candles. The threadbare carpet morphed into something charming, and the ornate trim where the walls met the ceilings, covered with years of glopped on paint, actually looked high end. Even a bit decadent.

“Funny how quiet the building is, huh?” Wes said. “Guess most people have gone somewhere. I haven’t seen a single person in days. Apart from you, Nina.”

I leaned toward them and lowered my voice. Well, as low as I could and still have them hear me across the hall and with my mask on. “Mrs. Strubel is still around,” I said, pointing to her door.

“If we see her, we’ll invite her too,” Leo said, raising his glass again.

Just then, Henry emerged with a huge platter. Steam was pouring off it and my stomach growled rudely.

“What is it? It smells so good,” I said.

Henry took a sip of wine and then looked at us all just as if he were the chef in a real restaurant. He started with a little bow. “Tonight we are serving oven roasted lamb T-bone with rosemary, thyme, and garlic confit. On the side we have chanterelle mushrooms, smashed sunchokes, and wild spinach. And of course, au jus for the lamb.”

Holy shit. What had I stumbled into?

“Henry, you are a rock star,” Leo roared. “Damn, this looks good. I recommend everyone have a chef for a roommate.”

“Or in Nina’s case, a neighbor,” Henry added. “Nina, bring me your plate, would you?”

I walked toward the guys, trying my best not to run, that’s how good everything looked. “I can’t believe this. Just incredible.”

Henry, still wearing his mask, took my plate, piled it high, and returned it to me. Then he served the guys and himself.

“Hey, I think we’re sitting far enough from each other to take our masks off now. What do you think, Nina?” Wes asked.

For a moment, I didn’t care what I was in danger of catching. I was starving and hadn’t had a meal like this in… probably ever. I whipped off my mask.

“There she goes,” Leo whooped, and stuffed his own mask in his pocket, followed by Henry and Wes.

Bon appetit, everyone,” Henry said, raising his glass.

“Compliments to the chef,” I called.

“Hear, hear.”

I delicately pushed my knife into the lamb for my first bite while also discreetly checking out the guys without their masks.

’Course I’d seen them unmasked before, but because they’d annoyed the hell out of me, I’d pretty much ignored them in my passive-aggressive way of showing I thought they were jerks.

Except for when I spied on them through my peep hole.

“So, guys,” Wes started. “Did you know… that Nina works for a sex toy company?”

Henry coughed, and Leo slapped him on the back.
Lane, Mika. My Christmas Quarantine: A Reverse Harem Holiday Romance. Kindle Locations (493-548). Headlands Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Things get just a bit uncomfortable after they start discussing her job and she makes a quick getaway. Yet somehow Nina can’t seem to avoid them.

This is a fun Christmas romp, with a slow build to a some serious sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Mika!

Mika Lane

Writing has been a passion of mine since, well, forever (my first book was “The Day I Ate the Milkyway,” a true fourth-grade masterpiece), but steamy romance is now what gives purpose to my days and nights.

I live in magical Northern California with my own handsome alpha dude, sometimes known as Mr. Mika Lane, and an evil cat named Bill.

A lover of shiny things, I’ve been known to try to new recipes on unsuspecting friends, find hiding places so I can read undisturbed, and spend my last dollar on a plane ticket somewhere. I also drink cheap champagne and have way too many shoes.

I’ll always promise you a hot, sexy romp with kick-ass but imperfect heroines, and some version of a modern-day happily ever after.

I LOVE to hear from readers when I’m not dreaming up naughty tales to share. Join my Insider Group below, So we can get to know each other better.

Eyes to the Soul – Psychic Visions Book 7 By Dale Mayer


Eyes to the Soul
Psychic Visions Book 7
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Even when a person can see something, it doesn’t necessarily mean he should look…

Celina Wilton is technically blind, but, given the alternative of being dead instead, she’s learned how to adapt to a condition she finds far from ideal.

Leader of a community of psychics, Stefan Kronos is often asked by the police to help out on special cases where his unique abilities assist with investigations. When he’s called upon to consult on a case, Celina falls squarely on his radar. For a long time, he’s wanted to get to know Celina better, and the only reason he’s gotten as far as he has around her walls is by proceeding in unusual ways. He’s had to cautiously watch his every step…and now, in order to protect her, he has to watch hers as well.

But, to unravel the threads tangling their lives with a vicious killer, Celina will need to trust Stefan enough to let him inside her barriers.

This stalker is like none other Stefan has encountered. Before long, he realizes he’s not the only one with eyes into Celina’s soul…

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At the end of ‘Rare Find’ I was happy dancing over this next book. Finally it’s Stefan’s story. He’s with Dr. Maddy and Drew, Tabitha and Ronin and Shay at the symphony when Tabitha lets out a delighted gasp. Stefan had his eyes closed enjoying the music but opens them to see what’s happening. Colors danced with the music in the ethers. It’s Dr. Maddy who points out they are coming from the harpist. Stefan follows the colors to the source, he knows her, she is his beloved, the other half of his soul.

Now it’s one thing to get to know someone and fall in love, but Celina doesn’t know Stefan as he is now. He’s kept his distance, first because he’s older, then later waiting for the right opportunity.

Celina has a problem, there’s someone in her head, asking her for something she can’t do. A repetitive ‘Let Me See’ is only part of the torture he is putting her through. As Celina and a few friends from the symphony are celebrating the new season, he decides to offer her proof of what he could do and that begins a very interesting cycle of events.

Celina’s always seen ghosts but this one that has attached to her is decidedly malicious in intent. Unlike Mimi who is more of a friend and confidant. Celina is also blind, her surgeon is puzzled because there doesn’t appear to be an medical reason for it.

We get to see a lot of Samantha in this book, she’s having visions that are very disturbing. Brandt is trying to make sense of them and needs Stefan’s help. It’s through this connection that Stefan gets to meet Celina, although it’s in regard to a disturbing message written in blood on her bathroom mirror.

This is a favorite scene.

The doorbell rang once, and then a second time. Celina’s stomach sank. Great, here was round two. “That’s the cops. A different group,” she muttered, pushing her chair back to stand up.

“Ugh,” Jillian said.

Celina called back, “I know you can’t stay for long. If you want to take off now while they are here, you could always come over later.”

“Will do.”

Celina opened the door and frowned. Heat and power radiated toward her. “Hello?”

“Hello,” said a calm, masculine voice. “I’m Detective Brandt Sutherland and I have Stefan Kronos, a consultant working with the department, with me.” He hesitated. “May we come in? We won’t be long, but we’d like to see the crime scene.”

She stepped back and away from the entrance. By rights she shouldn’t even be here, but it wasn’t like she had any place to go. She motioned in the direction of the bathroom. “Help yourself.”

“Thank you.” Two men walked past her. The second one caught her attention as he moved past her. She lifted her head and sniffed gently. She recognized that aftershave…and there was just something else about him…she recognized him…or maybe it was his name.

Celina waited at the door but the consultant didn’t say anything. She wracked her brain as to why his name rang a bell in her memory.

Jillian stepped closer and whispered in Celina’s ear, “Oh my God, they are both hunks.”

Celina’s lips twisted. “Really? Well, their looks don’t do anything for me.”

“Maybe not, but wow.” Then her voice changed. “I feel like I should know the first guy but can’t place him.”

“Hmm. I thought I recognized the consultant’s name, but I don’t know from where.”

“Think about it, and be good while I’m gone.”

“Like I have a choice,” Celina muttered as she closed the door behind her friend. She really needed to give up her self-pity and get on with her life.

“Like hell,” she said to no one in particular, then realized how odd she must look standing in the hallway talking to herself. She made her way back to the kitchen where she sat down with her tea and waited. She lifted her cup ever so slightly when she felt it – almost a ghostly poke.

It was a weird, snaky, sneaky feeling. She frowned and lifted her face in the direction of the doorway.

“Did you want to talk to me?” That deep milk chocolate voice that promised a million midnight dreams spoke, his tone curling her toes and making her drop her cup. She knew that voice. Oh dear God, she did. “You,” she whispered. “What are you doing here?”

“Do you know me?” the consultant asked. “From where?” The smile in his voice sent shivers down her back.

It was stupid, but she felt she’d touched this man before and had been touched by him. Finally, forced by a compulsion she couldn’t understand, she whispered the truth under her breath, “From my dreams. I’ve seen you in my dreams.”
Mayer, Dale. Psychic Visions: Books 7-9 . Valley Publishing Ltd. Kindle Locations (975-999). Kindle Edition.

Stefan is a bit puzzled, but takes it all in stride knowing that everything will eventually come together and make sense. In a bit of a twist, Celina’s surgeon calls Dr. Maddy in for a consult on her eyes. This turns out to be even more interesting.

I love the peeks we get at the bad guy’s thoughts as this story unfolds it kept me trying to guess who it is and why. Thanks to Dr. Maddy, Stefan is finally able to get close to Celina. Although Lissa, the teenage ghost who’s attached herself to Stefan isn’t happy with her.

I loved this complicated tale with so many different things going on that are all related and just a touch of sizzle. I’m so glad I was able to get this in another bundle so I can just start on the next book.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

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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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Rare Find – Psychic Visions Book 6 by Dale Mayer


Rare Find
Psychic Visions Book 6
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Injured people in need of aid call out to friends and family or even strangers for help. Who can animals turn to who would not only hear them but understand their cry for help? Such a creature would truly be a rare find.

Determined to bury her aching heart in service of her animals at Exotic Landscape, Tabitha is caught unaware when she’s yanked out of her cozy little retreat by the appeal of someone needing rescue. Responding to that call gets her more trouble than she bargained for.

Understanding secrets isn’t difficult for someone with quite a few of his own, but Detective Ronin Chandler learns that the mysteries of the universe can take on a whole new level of meaning. With the woman he loves in jeopardy, Ronin struggles to comprehend what’s happening, what Tabitha needs, and how to even help her…before he loses her, maybe forever.

Danger escalates at every turn. Determining who to trust – and who not to – becomes as much of a challenge as figuring out who wants them dead.

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We met Tabitha in ‘Knock Knock…’ her animal refuge is one of Shay’s Foundation’s benefactors. Ronin is our local detective with his own abilities. There is a lot of attraction between him and Tabitha, as we saw in that book.

Now with the death of Tabitha’s grandfather Ronin is even more protective of her. She’s also been having headaches since returning from hiding in the ether and having a slow recovery that required hospitalization. I’ve loved the way animals come to play in these books, they are a way to find peace in their crazy world. In Tabitha’s world the animals are both pets and shelter. I wasn’t surprised to see her with a massive dog, a three-legged Bull Mastiff named Tripod. Her other pet however, gave me pause, Tango is a very affectionate white tiger. Raised from a cub Tango and Tabitha share a special bond one I’m sure is aided by her gifts.

Ronin is in for a big surprise though, he’s never been in her home, they’re taking things slow. He does have a problem with cats though, he’s going to have to get over it if he wants to continue his relationship with Tabitha. He’s at still at work when Stefan calls him to get to Tabitha, that she’s been attacked psychically. It took a bit of doing but Ronin makes friends with Tripod and gets Tabitha the help she needs. However, it’s Stefan who get her back to herself and home since medically there isn’t anything wrong with her.

Ronin was there waiting with dinner, but when Tango roars Tabitha knows she has to introduce Ronin.

This is a favorite scene.

“Jesus. What the hell is that?” Ronin half jumped out of his chair and leaned forward to look out the window.

“Ha. It’s my cat. That’s Tango.”

He shot her a disbelieving look, catching the amused glitter in her light-green eyes. “There is no way a cat makes that kind of sound.”

Tango roared again. This time though there was something off. Tabitha went to the living room and pushed some kind of button. Ronin followed more slowly and watched as the whole wall retracted.

What the hell kind of wall was that? And damn if she didn’t have some kind of fine mesh cage behind that wall. Thank God. He was half afraid she was one of those crazy people who got so super cozy with their wild pets that they ignored common sense.

Then she pulled the wire mesh completely back.

Oh shit.

And didn’t the biggest damn white tiger, with a head the size of Mount Rushmore, saunter toward her.

“Watch out,” he cried as the tiger jumped. Instantly his throat clogged and his chest tightened. Christ, he could hardly breathe. He swallowed. And then swallowed again. He couldn’t help the instinctive clenching of his fists. Inside, insidious emotions shifted through him. Panic. Pain. Sadness. So much worse than the last time he’d been in the house.

He took a shaky breath. This was not happening.

He was halfway to her when he realized the tiger had stopped with complete control and was on his back legs, Tabitha crushed in his embrace.

Jesus.

Ronin prided himself on being a brave soul, but he was not going that close. And he didn’t care how tame the damn thing was. A wild animal was a wild animal.

Unless it’s not a wild animal.

Stefan. And did one ever get used to this guy in his head?

Ronin snapped out mentally, If you’re trying to convince me that this thing is safe to be around, forget it. I have too much respect for human life to believe you.

And in many cases you could be right. In this case however, you’d be wrong.

And why is that? Has she got some kind of special powers or something? Right about now he wished she did. He’d believe that as much as anything.

No, but they do have a special connection.

See, that’s where you are wrong. All pet lovers say that about their little pooches. And he couldn’t help the disgust from rolling through his voice. He was a cop, damn it. And he’d seen more than his fair share of animals both domesticated and wild. Sometimes the domestic ones were the more dangerous.

Stefan laughed.
You’ll have to see for yourself. And take a deep breath. You will survive this.

“Promise?” Ronin muttered.

With a last laugh, Ronin’s mind emptied. Damn, that was weird.

“Ronin, come and meet Tango.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Damn it, he wasn’t a wuss. He took a couple of steps forward and stopped. And struggled to breathe. He so didn’t want to pass out. Not here. Not with her. Not with that carnivore looking on. “I’ll stick to dogs.”

“Tripod is here, too.”

He groaned silently and took another step into the living room.

Tango dropped to the floor and stared at Ronin, a howl starting deep in the back of his throat. The hairs raised on the back of his neck.

The look in those damn eyes…

Ronin took a deep breath and tried to stop the shakiness that was starting to vibrate his insides, making his stomach acids turn to cheese.

“Why is he howling?”

“I’m not sure. He doesn’t normally do that.” She reached down to place a hand on Tango’s head. The howl changed. It wasn’t the same tenor as the first time, but it was hardly welcoming.

Then all of a sudden, the howl cut off.

Thank you. Ronin much preferred the silence. Except now a dull roaring sound was in his head. Almost a buzz. He shook his head, trying to clear it.

Tabitha sighed heavily. “Come over here and meet Tango. He’ll calm down once he meets you. And maybe you will too.” She tilted her head and studied him. “And make sure that gun is safely away. Tripod hates them.”

“I’ve already made peace with the dog.” He didn’t move.

“And you’ll make peace with Tango, too. It’s much better to meet him on equal ground. If you take one step backwards, he’s got you.”

“Damn.” Ronin stepped forward. He could feel the heat, the intensity of that deep blue feline gaze following his every movement. Like a cat watching a mouse.

Ronin had always felt sympathy for the mouse.

For a cat, the animal was damn beautiful. The markings on its head, the eyes, the shocking white fur were something he’d never expected to see up close. And never inside a house. Not sure he wanted to hear the answer, he asked, “Do you let him out of that cage much?”

“All the time. The house is his, too.”

Double damn.

When he was a couple of feet away, Ronin stopped, his gaze on the cat.

“Now what?”

She grinned. “Say hi.”

He shot her a fulminating look. “Just like that.”

“Well, to him of course.”

His gaze zipped back to the waiting tiger. Did she mean it the way Stefan had said to talk to Tango? ’Cause there was no way in hell he’d be dropping to his knees and closing his eyes in front of a tiger. Talk about being a sacrificial offering. Then as if to accentuate the fact that the tiger was waiting for the appropriate response, it sat down and waited.

Taking a deep breath and feeling like an idiot, Ronin said, “Hi, Tango. Nice to meet you.”

No response. Then again, what had he expected? He shook his head then winced at the heavy buzz in his ear. Under his breath, he swore again.

“That ringing inside your head… It’s because he’s talking to you and you’re not listening.”

He stared at her in disbelief. “How did you know my head is ringing?”

She snorted. “Because I can sense it. Normally I only listen to my animals but now… some things have changed and I can sense more with people too. And behind your lovely front of ‘I don’t like cats’…I see fear.”

Heat washed up his cheeks. Damn. So what if there was fear? Hell, there was a tiger in the room. Anyone with an ounce of working brain matter would understand. Besides, it’s not as if he was afraid of cats… He knew there was fear there, he just didn’t understand what exactly frightened him.

And the last thing he wanted was her laughing at him.

With a final glance at the still gaze of the tiger locked on him, Ronin decided enough was enough for this time. He’d done well but he didn’t want to push it. He turned and headed back to the kitchen, putting a little distance between him and Tango. “While you’re having your fun, I’ll go finish eating. Unless you’re planning on feeding dinner to the two of them.”

Turning his back on that damn feline was the hardest thing he’d done in a long time. And he was proud that he’d managed to do it in a calm, nonchalant manner.

Then he found the two empty plates on the table and the guilty party still licking the tomato sauce off his face.

Tripod.
Mayer, Dale. Psychic Visions: Books 4-6. Kindle Locations (10180-10234). Valley Publishing. Kindle Edition.

It’s bad enough for Ronin to get through that but to realize Tango frequently sleeps with her is quite another. He stays the night with her, and when she wakes feeling hunted he’s right there. After that he’s in her bed, not going to do anything but sleep but her restlessness leads to conversation about him and cats and then to other things.

It’s not long after that feeling of being hunted comes back, Tabitha decides to try something and ends up being yanked out of her body to somewhere else. It takes a while but she finally realizes she is inside a large cat. She doesn’t know where and that’s a problem. She has to find her way back in order to save both of them.

Ronin also figures out his issue with cats, and yes I cried.

This book pulls out all the stops and is extremely emotional. With nail-biting suspense and an unusual twist on the psychic abilities.

I am already starting the next bundle of three.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

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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Succubus Blessed – Shackled Souls Trilogy Book 3 by Heather Long


Succubus Blessed
Shackled Souls Trilogy Book 3
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long

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The following blurb might
contain spoilers for Succubus Unchained.
Be warned before you scroll down.

There might be something to this new life of mine.

Being mated to Maddox and bonded to Alfred isn’t so bad. Rogue is stealing his way into my heart and Fin already had part of it. If I were to be totally honest, I think they’ve all taken pieces of my soul.

Choosing them was the scariest thing I’d ever done, until now.

Someone has stolen my dragon and my druid. They’re locked in the last place I’d ever want to see again.
But I’ll do it. I’ll walk right into the belly of the beast, confront the warden and anyone else who gets in my way.
Yeah, sounds a lot braver than I am. But they wouldn’t leave me there and I won’t leave them.

Even if Rogue and Alfred forbade me from going.

Pfft.

What’s the worst that could happen?

NOTE: This is a paranormal prison reverse harem and will feature aggressively snarky characters, a bit of twisted humor and a lot of passion. So come join an amazing group of authors in Nightmare Penitentiary, a place you’ll never want to escape from. The author suggests you should always read the forward in her books. This is the third in a trilogy.

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Fiona has accepted that she is theirs and they are hers but…Don’t lock her up. She wasn’t going to let that prison have her Mage, Fin or her Dragon, Maddox. They didn’t leave her there, she won’t leave them. We jump right into plenty of action, then some sizzle. As they are leaving the prison they are confronted by Cyrus. As Maddox with Fin’s help hides her, they are joined by Alfred and Rogue. I found myself giggling at Fiona’s antics while Alfred and Cyrus converse, but then let a battle begin.

When Fin transports them all back to the Keep, all Fiona wants is a bath and sleep. That’s not all but I do try to keep it clean here.

They obviously have something to discuss with her and they are probably correct in assuming she’s not going to like it.

This is a favorite scene.

“Finish bathing, Hellion, then we’ll take this somewhere more comfortable.” Alfred’s tone suggested there would be a real fight if Maddox or Fin argued with him. Rogue had no such objections. The bathing room was good for her, but between the hot pools and the fire, it was uncomfortable for him after a time.

More surprising than Maddox and Fin accepting Alfred’s unspoken threat was the fact that Fiona didn’t argue. She shifted to move for the soap and the shampoo, and he was forced to leave her hair alone. Instead, he examined his brothers as Fin rose from the water. The marks left on his arms and back had faded significantly, but even the pale pink of them suggested how bad they’d been.

For his part, Maddox looked tired, but he also bristled like his dragon was dangerously close to the surface. To be fair, he and his dragon were more often one in the same, the dragon in the human’s skin and the human in the dragon’s scales. But this was different.

Mating had changed him.

Changed all of them.

There was a peace to Alfred, a resoluteness that had never been there before. His reaction to her disappearance had been profoundly and dangerously quiet. They’d gone after her, and when they hadn’t tracked her immediately, Alfred had simply cleared coven after coven of vampires— all those loyal to the ones allying against them.

Rogue had no objections. They’d gotten out of hand in recent centuries. It was more than time to cull back the worst of the worst. This hadn’t been about culling. It had been about eliminating threats. The other members of the Seven had added a fresh bounty to Fiona’s head. While vampires older than her might still find her a tough target, enough of them could overwhelm and that was not an option.

When she finished washing up and all traces of blood and soot were gone from her skin, Rogue swept a gaze over her as she rose from the water. He wasn’t the only one looking for signs of injury. There was a hint of bruising along one arm and on her hip. No scrapes or broken skin. More, there was no hint of shadow taint on her to mar the shimmer. Even in the warm-lit gloom of the bathing room, she shimmered faintly.

Glowing.

Yes, he’d seen her outside the prison— the pure light she’d radiated and the shadow wings stretching out from her back. Even her deep red hair had taken on a more vibrant sheen, and when she’d looked away for the briefest of moments, her eyes had been purely luminescent, jewels given life.

Not that she hadn’t always been beautiful, because she had. Beautiful. Stubborn. Irritating. She dug in deep, refusing to be dislodged with her hotheaded impetuousness. Now?

Now she was exquisite in a way Rogue couldn’t even begin to define. Fin and Maddox both dressed in the clothes that had been left for them. It was Maddox who held out a robe and wrapped her in it before he scooped her up. She’d rolled her eyes and slapped his chest because she was fine, but he’d only nipped her ear and murmured something that had her laughing before he carried her up with the rest following.

They’d gone to the library, where fires awaited them, along with hot tea and more food. Fiona had only rolled her eyes as Maddox settled in a chair with her in his lap, and the rest dragged seats over to join them. Rogue plucked her away from Maddox when he was distracted and he scowled, but Fiona only wrapped her arms around Rogue and he curled her closer.

When he’d helped her escape, to spread her then metaphorical wings, he’d known where she was. Yes, he’d told her he wouldn’t be able to track her, but he’d known exactly where she would go, just as Fin had. He’d been able to keep his distance and check on her— discreetly— even as Alfred and Maddox had raged at him.

This time?

No, this time, he’d had a taste of the cool gray overwhelming his world once again in her absence. He would not willingly return to that half-state. One he hadn’t even realized he’d been living in for so long.

“So,” Fiona said once Fin pressed a mug of tea into her hands and she snuggled back against Rogue. “What did you want to discuss?”

Maddox opened his mouth, but it was Fin who spoke. “The prophecy.”

“Blegh,” she said, her whole face screwing up. “I hate prophecies. I hate anything magic related.”

“You don’t hate me,” Fin teased.

“For the moment,” she snapped back, but the playfulness in her voice pulled a smile from all of them, even Alfred.

Smoothing a hand over Fiona’s abdomen, he drew a light circle against the fabric of her robe. “Little sváss, we need you to listen for a few moments and to hear us on this. While I agree, prophecies can be muddled and, as often as not, vague and open to interpretation, this one very much impacts you.”

She twisted and met his gaze, searching his face for something. The little frown pulled her brows together. “How much does it affect the rest of you?”

“Anything that affects you will have to go through us,” he told her simply, directly, and she let out that little sigh of impatience before making a face.

“Fine. I will listen and do my best to not interrupt. But I refuse to not roll my eyes if I think it’s stupid.”

“Why don’t you like magic?” They’d never asked, and if they wanted her to believe in this prophecy even in as much as to help them with it, then they should know.

Slumping back against him, she made a pained sound, then laughed. “I don’t like magic because witches are the most interfering creatures you’ve ever met. They have a spell for literally everything. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have some very good witch friends. But magic and I? We haven’t always gotten along. You know how they say a hybrid can’t exist?”

She paused and glanced around at all of them, but it was Alfred who merely nodded and said, “They also say I don’t exist, Hellion.”

“Yeah, but they are kind of half-right about you,” she pointed out. “You don’t involve yourself in the world. You stay here, hidden away. You let them come to you so if they don’t, then by that logic, you aren’t a part of their world and thus you don’t exist.”

His mouth opened and then closed as he appeared to consider her words. A laugh worked its way through Rogue, and he wrapped a hand around her nape and turned her again. She met his kiss easily and lightly. Eyes lighting up, literally, Fiona leaned into him and then the tingle of her kiss spread through his whole body, and he wrapped her up tighter.

“And she’s glowing again,” Fin murmured in a low voice. Alfred leaned forward, and even Maddox studied her intently. As aware of them as he was though, Rogue let himself feel her. Something about her wildness had always called to him, from the moment he’d taken her from the prison and brought her to the keep.

The very primal part of her nature summoned his own to the surface— a part of him he’d long believed cut off. It was why he shifted again, something he hadn’t indulged in over countless centuries. She’d done more than just push him, she’d brought him back to life.

Energy hummed off of her, but it was beyond soothing and he found himself wanting to cradle her, shield her light from any breeze that would extinguish it.

“I never expected this,” Alfred said, running a hand over his mouth as he studied her.

That pulled her attention away from Rogue, and he exhaled a long breath. He could have cheerfully forgotten the rest and drowned in the brilliance of her.

“Spill it, boys. You’re starting to freak me out.”

They weren’t. Not yet. But she tried to tease it out of them. Still, when she slid her hand over Rogue’s, he threaded their fingers together.

“There’s a prophecy,” Fin said. “Borne from a vision I had of you… a long time ago. Now, while I agree with you— prophecies tend to be vague and open to interpretation— this didn’t come from just any seer. It came from me.”

That pulled her full interest, and Rogue could practically feel her leaning forward, even if she didn’t shift a muscle. “Dun. Dun. Dun. Dun!”

Her intonation of the musical notes shattered the tension, and Alfred chuckled. The soft laughter carried through the whole library, and Rogue grinned. Maddox and Fin stared at them both like they’d sprouted second heads before they began chuckling, too.

“This isn’t supposed to be funny, Beautiful.” Fin’s argument didn’t hold much weight.

She shrugged. “You’re an incorrigible flirt and you tease me constantly, and then you tell me in this super serious dark and sober voice that this ‘prophecy’ is something uber special because you saw it?”

With a sniff, he nodded. “Exactly.” Then he grinned and another bubble of laughter escaped Rogue. When was the last fucking time he’d been happy?

He didn’t have to see her face to almost feel the way she rolled her eyes. “Fine, I’ll give this all the seriousness it deserves. What’s the prophecy?”

Fin exhaled, then glanced at each of them before he focused on her. “When the female hybrid is born, the world will change.”

She waited a beat. “It will change?”

He nodded.

“That’s it? The world will change?”

“Hellion,” Alfred began, even as Maddox said, “Kitten—”

But a sound tugged Rogue’s attention. A sound and a ping on the wards.

It was the only warning he had before the first volley slammed into the building, but Rogue had already tumbled her out of the chair and over, shielding her as the explosion of light and sound rocked them.
Heather Long. Succubus Blessed: Shackled Souls 3 (Kindle Locations 923-999).

An attack on the Keep has Rogue fleeing with her through tunnels she didn’t know existed. This leads to an encounter with yet another of the Seven, much to the chagrin of the others. They really do need to get themselves together and stop hiding things from her. Fiona isn’t one to sit back and do nothing. She’s also not going to be caged up ever again.

The Keep, a Castle, and the Island are all sites of altercations. Maddox takes off with Fiona, wanting to protect her from all that’s happening. Of course neither Fiona or the guys are going to let him get away with that.

This book reveals many new things Fiona can do, and there’s a few surprises as well. Plenty of snark, action, some giggles, and sizzle heat kept me turning the pages.

While I’m sorry to say good-bye to these characters this book was truly the perfect ending to this trilogy.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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Heather Long Heather Long

USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas in the summertime.

From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories–her characters drive the books.

When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.


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Knock Knock… – Psychic Visions Book 5 By Dale Mayer


Knock Knock…
Psychic Visions Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

There’s no best-by date for revenge.

Wealthy and beautiful Shay Lassiter runs the prestigious Lassiter Foundation, but her connections and resources prove worthless when her fiancé tries to murder her. Now, she’s guarding her heart and using her knack for reading people’s intentions – both good and evil – to guide her. But when the Foundation’s clients start dying, she must turn to the new man in her life…one who’s giving her mixed signals.

Computer specialist and ex-cop, Roman Chandler, has a secret. It involves Shay and could ruin the fragile relationship he’s building with her. Though he can’t tell her the truth, he needs to convince her to trust him. He fears that whoever is behind this is about to turn his vengeance on Shay…

And vengeance can be deadly.

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We meet Shay at the start of this book, she’s woken with a sense of dread. Her ghost cat Morris a blue ball of energy at her shoulder. What ensues is a psychic battle with her fiancé. One she almost doesn’t survive but with the help of Stefan and then Morris she does. She sees something as the end is near but it was too late to stop the process. Darren and who or what was inside him died. A bittersweet moment as well since Morris was gone too.

A year later, Shay is looking forward to meeting Roman Chandler, they connected through their grandfathers who are close friends. She already knows his twin brother Ronin, a detective in Portland. However, hadn’t lived here until recently. She didn’t know what their relationship could be but she does want to find out.

Shay runs a foundation and uses her ability to read energy to be sure what is on paper matches the intent of the person requesting the grants. Beatrice Folgrent, her godmother, also runs a similar foundation and they often compared applicants to see which foundation they would be better suited to. It’s a grand fundraising event put on by Beatrice that Shay finally gets to meet Roman in person. Aside from the immediate attraction something else happens at the same time.

This is a favorite scene.

Shay was part of the same world. Dealt with the same driven – and sometimes desperate – people. She had her own methodology for finding the shysters and removing them from the honest applicants for her own foundation. And because they shared similar challenges and experiences, Bernice and Shay often compared notes and worked closely on joint projects. Their assistants also stepped in to help resolve problems on each other’s projects. It helped to have that type of close working relationship. They watched each other’s backs.

“Roman, darling. Here is the young woman I adore as if she were my own.” Bernice reached out, latching onto the arm of a tall, suited gentlemen. She tugged him around and pointed to Shay. “Isn’t she gorgeous? Just like I promised.”

Oh lord. Shay groaned inside. Bernice really hadn’t needed to make a public spectacle of this meeting. But why was she surprised? This was typical Bernice.

“Shay, this is Roman Chandler, the grandson of my dearest friend, Gerard Chandler.”

Heads had turned at Bernice’s loud introduction and color stroked up Shay’s neck as she fought back her embarrassment. She should be used to it. But wasn’t.

Still, she faced Roman, kept her plastered-on smile in place and lifted her gaze to his.

And sucked in her breath.

The look in his eyes. It was so…intimate. So knowing…as if he knew her…all of her, inside and out. And as if he liked what he knew.

They’d emailed. Chatted. Though they’d corresponded for a few years, over the last year they had built a friendly almost… intimate… relationship over the Internet and phone. And they had talked – like really talked. Theirs was a relationship she hoped would grow. But she’d never met him before. Hadn’t shared everything with him. She didn’t know him – not in the way he seemed to know her.

The heated look in his eyes unnerved her…and yes…intrigued her.

And she had to admit…sparked an answering awareness.

Shay had no illusions about her looks, regardless of Bernice’s constant matchmaking attempts. She was too tall for many men, was slim, with milk chocolate brown shoulder-length hair and a largish mouth, and instead of symmetry, her nose was slightly crooked and one eyebrow was slightly off line. All minor in the scheme of things but those same flaws had given her terrible, angst-ridden moments through her teenage years. Now she could brush off the negative thoughts as they came and even though she could get her nose fixed, it no longer mattered to her.

According to the look in Roman’s eyes, her flaws didn’t matter to him now either. Of course he’d seen pictures of her. But that wasn’t the same thing as this. She secretly had high hopes about Roman, but she’d never expected this level of appreciation from him right off.

When he spoke, his voice held both promise and familiarity. “Hello, Shay. I’m delighted to finally meet you.” He glanced at Bernice, standing beside them both with a smug, knowing look on her face.

“Hello, Roman.” Did he look at all women as if they shared special memories? She so badly wanted to ask. Instead, she said, “How nice to meet you.” She paused then added, “Finally.”

His gaze deepened to midnight blue, and he smiled. That wide movement of his lips released her from the intensity of his gaze. She could breathe easy again.

“This is so much better than email,” he murmured, “and you are so much better looking in person than in photos.”

Under Roman’s midnight blue gaze, Shay’s stomach churned with unanswered questions and delight. She wanted to take a more in-depth look at his energy, but thought she’d better save her strength for when a deeper reading might be needed.

A strange sound had her turning to face Bernice, her hostess and mentor.

Bernice opened her mouth to speak when she suddenly stopped, an odd look on her face. Her breath sucked in so loudly, Shay leaned closer in concern. “Bernice? Are you all right? What’s the matter?”

Silence.

Shay studied her old friend, but Bernice’s face had turned ashen, her eyes locked on something behind Shay’s back. Shay twisted around to look, but the only thing behind her was a wall. A blank wall.

Turning back around, and seeing no change in her friend, she said, “Bernice, talk to me. You’re scaring me.”

Bernice’s breathing turned ragged, stuttered then almost appeared to stop. Her features locked in place yet her chest rose and fell in a natural movement.

The hairs on the back of Shay’s neck rose.

Jesus, she must be having an attack of some kind.

“We’ll get you some help. Can you talk to me? Can you tell me what’s wrong?”

Roman bent to study Bernice’s face. “I’ll get a doctor.” He took off.

Bernice’s mouth worked. Still, no sound came out.

Silently, Shay willed Roman to hurry. But from the looks of it, he wasn’t going to be fast enough. She raised her hand to call for help when her arm was grabbed. She stared, surprised to see Bernice’s bronzed nails cutting into her soft skin.

“Bernice?” Shay rubbed the papery skin on the back of Bernice’s fingers with gentle soothing strokes. “Hang on. Help is coming.”

From a distance, she could hear rapidly approaching footsteps. Thank God. Please let her friend be all right.

Worried, Shay stared into Bernice’s eyes, and Bernice stared back. Her gaze dark. Bottomless. Blind. Shay’s heart squeezed in fear. “Bernice. Damn it, stay with me. Please talk to me if you can.”

Shay willed Bernice’s eyes to return to normal. Willed them to blink. To move. To do something.

Then something else happened. Inside, deep inside, Bernice blinked. A clear movement that Shay could see and understand.

Except for one thing.

On the surface, Bernice’s eyelids never moved.
Mayer, Dale. Psychic Visions: Books 4-6 Kindle Locations (5231-5272). Valley Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Things start to go a bit crazy after this. It appears someone is targeting people who run places funded by Shay’s foundation. Even with all that going on, the attraction between her and Roman is growing. He’s hiding something and that scares her. She’s afraid he’s hiding things like her now dead fiancé.

Roman wants to share his secret, but he’s afraid of her reaction. He’s beginning to get a reputation as an artist and it’s his ‘model’ that might get him in trouble with Shay. He’s been painting her for years with no face showing. She’s his muse, he’s tried other media but they never work for him.

Once again it’s Stefan who helps get that ball rolling in the right direction. All that and tracking down the person responsible for the attacks. Ronin is also helping with Roman handling her security and computer work.

Plenty of intrigue, some laughs, some sizzle and yes, I even cried in this one.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

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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Zack’s Zest – Heroes For Hire Book 24 By Dale Mayer


Zack’s Zest
Heroes For Hire Book 24
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

Zack wasn’t someone to focus on his mistakes, but he’d made a big one, and it was hard to move on from it. Still he was determined to work with Levi’s team to find new meaning in his life and to get his head on straight. At least that was the plan. When he ends up part of a two-man team to rescue a kidnapped woman, the daughter of a former politician, Zack doesn’t know how to react—she’s certainly unique. Not the least of which, she didn’t appreciate the rescue. … At least not once she learns the details.

Zadie knew her father was guilty of the crimes he’d been accused of. She was more concerned about her mother, who’d always been the downtrodden and obedient wife. But, as more and more evidence shines a light on their lives and her kidnapping, the issue is no longer as clear.

Heartbroken at the losses that keep mounting, Zadie knows she needs a second rescue—hopefully by her same rescuer. Only it’s not as simple this time, and it’s infinitely more dangerous …

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This book opens with a very interesting conversation between Levi, Ice and Zack. He wasn’t sure if he was in or out, until he was in. Confusing but not, given how Levi hires and the fact that very soon Ice would have her baby so they aren’t going to be chasing the bad guys for a while. The case Zack is given is to find and rescue Zadie Nather. The daughter of a former Turkish politician. His partner will be Bonaparte, a friend and he had served with him in the SEALs. They don’t have a lot of time and there’s little information.

Zadie was grabbed and drugged while she was planning her own getaway. Her parents were under house arrest due to her father’s crimes. She has no doubt about his guilt, but her mother needs to get away too. Now she doesn’t know where she is or what the motives of her kidnappers are.

With some incredible luck, Zack finds Zadie. Now he has to get her away, interrupted she stays put while he hides. They are going to need to get away quickly once the coast is clear.

This is a favorite scene.

“It’s me. Stand back.” He unlocked the door again, standing there like a badass.

She stared at him in shock. “How did they miss you on the search?”

He smiled and said, “Come on. Let’s go.”

“I have no shoes or coat.”

“Grab one blanket,” he said.

She quickly snatched up a blanket, wrapped it around her, and, leaving the door closed, as if locked, followed him silently through the basement, only able to see him in front of her. The rest of the floor was so dark; it was void of light. When they got to another room, he spoke again. “This window is broken and doesn’t have bars. I will lift you up, and you go through the window and wait for me on the other side.”

Before Zadie had a chance to make a sound, he boosted her up and popped her through. She fell out of the small window ledge onto the grass below. Immediately she untangled herself from the blanket. The blanket had stopped her from getting cut; by the time she had the blanket off and on her feet, he stood beside her.

He quickly tossed the blanket back inside and replaced the wood that covered the broken window. “Now,” he said, “we have to be beyond careful.”

She looked at him in surprise.

“We have absolutely no cover from here to the tree line,” he replied to her look. “This is where it gets dicey.”

She whispered in a low voice, “They saw someone outside. That’s how they knew that somebody was probably inside.”

“No,” he corrected. “That’s how they worried somebody might have been inside. Now we have to make sure we get you away from here before they can confirm it.”

She looked back. “I should have brought the blanket with me.”

“No, don’t worry about it. They’ll know soon enough how we got you out.”

She winced at that. “Do we just run as fast as we can?”

“How tired are you?”

“I’m exhausted and terrified,” she said. “However, believe me. When it comes time, I’ll be able to run, just not too far.”

He pointed to a series of trees, about one hundred yards away. “Can you make it there?”

She looked up to see a flashlight shining above. He immediately pulled her flat against the house and held a finger against her lips. He pointed to a cloud moving across the sky. “When the moon goes dark, we will go like bats out of hell,” he murmured.

She nodded, her breath caught at the back of her throat as she watched the clouds drift across the moon. She could hear him counting down beside her.

“Four, three, two, one, go.” And they raced into the night.

Zadie ran as hard and as fast as she could. The cold basement room she had endured over the last few days— plus her lack of food— had already taken a lot of her energy, but the panic she felt at being recaptured lit a fire to her heels. She stumbled several times, but her savior always pulled her forward again until she regained her feet. By the time they reached the trees, her head pounded, and pain seized her chest as it tried to rise and fall. She struggled to catch her breath. Collapsing to the ground, Zadie rolled to her side, pulled her knees against her chest, and gasped for air. “Did we make it?”

“I’m checking,” he said.

She watched as he peered through the trees back at the house. The same house her parents were in. She couldn’t believe she was still here, still in the same damn place. Were they okay? Was her mother okay? From where she lay, it seemed the same. She needed to get out of here, make a new plan, and see how to get her mother out of her prison, possibly with the help of this new guy. Her previous plan would no longer work, what with the house-arrest guards and now this inner element of kidnappers involved, all at the same house.

She understood the two brothers wanted to get their father out of jail, but, according to the one woman, the father was somebody who shouldn’t come out of jail. It made little sense why they kidnapped Zadie when she was already a captive. But, as usual, more than one game plan was happening here, involving different political ideologies, she presumed. She lay on the ground, wondering if her body would ever feel normal again. For all the debilitating cold she experienced inside, a weird numbness now spread up her legs.

Finally her rescuer dropped beside her and asked, “Are you okay? We have to get out of here.”

“I’m okay,” she lied. “Help me to my feet.”

He reached down, she clasped his forearms, and he helped her up. “We will go around the back,” he said. “We can’t risk staying here any longer.”

“I know,” she said. “They have some sentries around, and another two guards were looking after me, but also a woman is with the two jailers. I don’t think she would come outside.”

“They will have more men around. Let’s go.” She did her best, really she did. She thought she was in great shape physically, but he was moving too fast, too steadily ahead of her. Even with her best efforts, she fell behind.

Immediately he corrected his pace, and he whispered, “Come on. You can do this.” He reached out a hand, and she grabbed on, as if it were a lifeline.

“Says you,” she said. “Where the hell are we going anyway?”

“Off this property into a couple estates on the other side. I’m not out here alone. I do have a partner. We have a vehicle not too far away.”

At the sound of a getaway car, she almost cried with relief. Every step was bone jarring. “I’m not feeling too well,” she gasped. The stitch in her side made it difficult to breathe.

He slowed his pace to a walk, and she bent over double, gasping for breath. “It’s hard when you go past the normal pace,” he said. “We have to get your breathing back down, before we can speed up again.”

She just nodded.

He kept walking, nudging her forward, not allowing her to stop longer than a few seconds. She really needed a ten- or a fifteen-minute break, but she understood why she couldn’t have it. She said, “Are we going straight to the vehicle?”

“In a roundabout fashion,” he responded. He pulled out his phone and quickly sent several messages as he kept walking. “Damn it.”

He seemed to be one of those incredibly solid people who could continuously multitask. She knew she texted better when she was stationary or sitting down. She marveled at all those people who could do it while walking or even running. For her, doing such would have caused her to fall.

When his phone vibrated, he nodded with satisfaction. “We are confirmed to meet a couple estates over,” he said. “It’s not far, about two miles.”

“Why can’t they pick us up here?”

“Because the two of us are here on the property,” he said. “We parked the vehicle so it was hidden from view near the house.”

“Two miles is a long way,” she said.

He looked at her, concerned. “Did they beat you?”

“No. Starved, yes. And drugged. I’m still dealing with those aftereffects.”

Understanding whispered across his face. “I’ll see if he can find a closer rendezvous point.” Even as they talked, he quickly sent off a text.

She was grateful and said, “We need probably what? A half hour to go two miles?”

“At least,” he said. “If we were running, we could do it in fifteen minutes, but, if you can’t run, then we’d be hard-pressed to walk it in that time.”

“So let’s go,” she said bravely.

He picked up the pace slightly, and she caught him glancing at her several times in concern. She thought she’d been doing better, keeping up fine.

Then he said, “This isn’t working.” He bent down and picked her up.

She gave out a small shriek as she was suddenly airborne. He was carrying her at a run, and she was no lightweight. She was 130 at least.

He started to jog now.

“Good Lord,” she said. Her arms went around his neck, as she hung on tightly, trying to stop the jostling. For whatever reason, it was killing her. Racking pain ran up and down her body. But she pursed her lips and hung on.

“It’s the only way to get there in time,” he said.

“Nothing closer?”

“Nothing doable,” he murmured. “Just hang on, and this will be over soon.”

“If you say so. How is it you can even do this?” she whispered. She could sense the effort he was putting in, and his body was already streaked with sweat as he carried her. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “I wish I could do more.”

That startled a laugh out of him. “Don’t be,” he said. “If you were on my back, it’d be a different story. Carrying you like this is a little harder.”

“I can go on your back, if that’s easier?”

“Maybe,” he said. “I’ll let you know. In the meantime, I’ll keep going this way.”

“But you can hardly see,” she said. “I can barely see anything.” Indeed, her vision had closed down to a light gray everywhere. She closed her eyes and clenched them tight as she tried to catch her breath. If she could at least do that much, she could regain her feet and run beside him. “I used to run,” she said, “but I haven’t in the last few years.”

“Not an issue,” he said. “Let’s just keep moving.”
Dale Mayer. Zack’s Zest (Kindle Locations 410-485). Valley Publishing Ltd..

By the time Zack makes it to Bonaparte, he realizes Zadie is injured. Now she needs medical care. I have to say I was impressed with the way Levi seems to find what they need from so far away.

This mission is far from over though, Sadie’s mom is in trouble. Her father is dead and she absolutely needs to get her mother. You know that’s not going to be easy, right?

A suspenseful and intriguing tale with a relationship that blossoms in spite of everything going on.

I can’t wait to read Bonaparte’s story.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Bonaparte’s Belle

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

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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SEAL Justice – Brotherhood Protectors Book by Elle James


SEAL Justice
Brotherhood Protectors Book 13
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

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On terminal leave, Navy SEAL Sam Franklin has a job waiting for him with the Brotherhood Protectors, but he’s taking a few days off to try his hand at fly fishing before he goes back to work. He needs the R&R to decompress after his final mission got some of his buddies killed. Relaxation ends when his adopted Military War Dog Grunt discovers a body washed up on the river bank.

Drugged and scared, Reggie McDonald escaped through the woods and fell into a river, running from her kidnapper. By some miracle, she washes ashore at the feet of a former Navy SEAL. When he tries to take her to the hospital, she refuses to go, insisting she remain ‘dead’.

Sam takes Reggie to his small cabin. When he learns that there are other young women being held by the man she escaped, he promises to help her find them. Calling on the Brotherhood Protectors, Sam and Reggie race against time to free the others before the kidnapper kills them.

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This book opens with Reggie McDonald escaping from cell of sorts. She was abducted on her way home a couple of weeks ago. She’d fought but quickly discovered escaping from her dirt walled cell was the better option. She’s finally managed to get free, and ran for her life. With two Rottweilers on her tail she jumps off the cliff into the river below, vowing to come back and rescue the other woman held there.

Sam ‘Talon’ Franklin is Brotherhood Protectors latest hire. On terminal leave from the Navy SEALs, he is taking a week alone in the wilderness with an eye on relaxation and fly fishing with his newly adopted war dog Grunt. The cabin Sadie found for them is small and well appointed. Perfect for now.

As Sam tries out his new gear, Grunt goes exploring. Hearing him bark, Sam chases after him to find his dog, a wolf and a woman. The woman refuses hospital or police involvement then passes out. With no other recourse he brings her to his cabin, cleans her up and treats her feet as best he can. When she starts running a fever Sam calls Hank. Hank and Sadie come and bring medicine and soup for the woman. They still don’t know her name, but Hank is going to try some facial recognition software in case they need to bring her to the hospital.

Her condition improves though and Sam finally gets some answers.

This is a favorite scene.

Reggie blinked open her eyes and stared up at wooden beams rising at a steep angle to the apex of a vaulted ceiling. Those beams weren’t the plain two-by-fours that had been the flat ceiling of her earthen-walled cell.

A soft light burned from a lamp on an end table, spreading a golden glow over the corner of a small room. The scent of wood smoke gave her a feeling of warmth and security like she hadn’t felt in a while. Her hands moved, her fingers touching smooth sheets and soft jersey covering her body.

Sniffing sounds next to her ear made her turn sharply.

A black snout lay beside her. Before she could scream, a long, wet tongue snaked out and swiped her chin.

Reggie jerked away. A squeal shot up her dry throat, coming out as more of a croak.

A face appeared over her.

Fear ripped through her, paralyzing her.

“Hey,” a deep, resonant voice said. His warm, minty breath brushed across her face.

A hand holding a cup with a straw moved into her view. “Thirsty?” he asked and held the straw to her lips.

She shook her head.

“It’s just water,” he insisted.

And whatever drug he’d decided to add to it. She shook her head again and stared at him through narrowed eyes. “Who are you?” The words came out as a whisper. Her dry throat disallowed any real sound from making it past her vocal cords.

“My name is Talon. Er…Sam Franklin.” He smiled. “What’s your name?”

“Reggie McDonald,” she answered automatically. Her eyes narrowed even more. Were those the eyes behind the masked man who’d kidnapped her and held her captive for so long? The voice didn’t fit, but she wasn’t completely clear-headed. “Talon?”

He shrugged. “That’s the nickname they gave me in BUD/S training.

She shook her head, trying to clear the lingering fog. “You lost me.”

“BUD/S. Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. I’m a Navy SEAL.” He cleared his throat. “Or I was. I left active duty a few days ago.”

She wasn’t sure she believed him, though he looked sincere. “Where am I?” she said, continuing to whisper.

“In my cabin, outside of Eagle Rock.”

The black-nosed animal slipped beneath the man’s elbow and lay on the bed beside her.

The man smiled and rubbed a hand over the dog’s head. “This is Grunt, also recently released from active duty. You can thank him for finding you.”

She stared at the dog. He had one bright black eye. A jagged scar sliced over the dog’s face and his other eye. That eyelid was forever closed, appearing to be sewn shut. “Does he bite?” she asked, forcing the words past her vocal cords, tired of whispering. The croaking sound was worse.

“Please, drink this. You’ve had a fever. The liquid will help your body recover from it.” He held the cup and straw toward her again.

She shrank back. “How do I know it’s not drugged?”

His brow formed a V. “Drugged?” He looked down at the cup. “Why would I drug you?” When he glanced back up, his frown deepened. “Is that what happened to you? Someone drugged you?”

She nodded.

He put his lips to the straw and drank from it. “There. If it’s drugged, I’ll be drugged too.”
She stared at the cup again, her mouth so dry she felt as if Death Valley had taken up residence on her tongue.

“Look, if I’d wanted to hurt you,” he said. “I could have done it while you were out for the past twenty-four hours.” He shoved the cup in front of her. “If you like, you can have Grunt taste it, too. I promise, it’s just water.”

She tried to sit up but fell back against the pillow.

Talon set the cup on the nightstand, slipped an arm around her and helped her into a sitting position, stacking several pillows behind her then laying her back against them.

Once she was positioned, he handed her the cup. She held it for several seconds. The water inside looked so wet and inviting she couldn’t resist another moment. Reggie drank until the cup was empty, and sucking through the straw made a loud, empty sound.

Talon, or Sam, chuckled. “Want more?”

She wiped her hand across her mouth. Her lips were chapped, and her hand shook. She realized she was weaker than she thought. For a moment, she closed her eyes and let the water settle in her empty belly. “What do you want with me?”

He laughed. “To get you well enough to tell me what the heck happened. And now that you’re my assignment, I need to see that it doesn’t happen again.”

“Assignment?” She shook her head and lifted her eyelids. “What do you mean…assignment?”

“I just started working for an organization called the Brotherhood Protectors. My boss, Hank Patterson, and I are former Navy SEALs. He hired me to do personal security work. You know, like bodyguard, private investigation, or whatever is needed.” He raised his hands, palms up. “Since I found you in the river, he’s taken your case and assigned me to figure it out. That is, if you want me to help.”

Her head spun. “Look, Talon—Sam—whoever you are, how do I know you don’t work for him?”

“Call me Sam,” he said. “By him, I assume you’re referring to The Master?”

Her eyes rounded, and that fear rippled through her again, making her cold all over. “You know him?”

Shaking his head, Sam pulled the sheet and a quilt up over her. “No, but you mentioned him when you were delirious with fever. Is he the one who hurt you?”

She nodded.

“Do you know who he is?” Sam asked.

She shook her head. “No. He wore a mask. I never saw his face.”

Sam frowned. “That will make it more difficult to track him down.”

“Why would you help me?” She pinched the bridge of her nose. “You don’t even know me.”

“Well, for one, my boss just made you my assignment.” He glanced down at the dog. “And Grunt likes you. I’m told dogs are good judges of character.” He scratched behind the German Shepherd’s ear. “Right, Grunt?”

“Grunt?” She snorted softly. “That’s his name?”

The dog barked, startling her, sending a shiver of terror through her. She shrank away from Grunt. A flash of déjà vu rippled across her memory. Dogs had barked as they’d chased her to the edge of a cliff.

Sam touched the dog’s head. “Grunt,” he said in a stern voice. To her, he said, “Are you okay? Grunt didn’t mean to scare you.”

“No,” she said, holding up her hand. “He d-didn’t s-scare me,” she lied. “It’s just…” Reggie swallowed hard with her suddenly dry throat. “Could I have more water?”

He hurried to the faucet in the kitchenette on the other side of the one-room cabin, filled the cup and returned, handing her the cup and straw.

She drank, thinking back over what had happened that had led to him finding her in the river. As she remembered, the terror of her escape washed over her. She trembled all over, and her hand shook so hard, she spilled water on the quilt.

Sam took the cup from her and set it on the nightstand. “Hey, it’s okay. You’re safe here.”

When she continued to shake, he eased over to sit on the bed beside her and pulled her into his arms. “I promise, I won’t hurt you. And I won’t let anyone else hurt you.”

He held her stiff body for a long moment. When she didn’t relax, he leaned back and looked into her eyes. “Is my holding you making you uncomfortable? If it is, I’ll let go.” He shifted his body, loosening his hold around her.

She shook her head and leaned into him. “No. It’s just… Oh, sweet Jesus. I’m free. I can’t believe I got away.” All the horror of captivity threatened to overwhelm her. The trembling increased until she realized she was crying. Sobs wracked her body and left her wrung out and weak.

The arms around her were loose enough she could get away easily, but strong enough to make her feel protected for the first time since she’d been abducted.

Sam smoothed back her hair from her forehead and held her until she ran out of tears. Still, she leaned against him, soaking up his warmth and strength. When she finally pulled away, the cool air made her shiver.

“I’m sorry,” she said, wiping her damp cheeks with the back of her hand.

“No need to be.” He shifted back to the chair beside the bed and waited for her to pull herself together. “When you’re ready, could you tell me what happened and why you want to be dead?”
James, Elle. SEAL JUSTICE (Brotherhood Protectors Book 13) Kindle Locations (463-529). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

When her story unfolds it just makes Sam more determined to find the guy and be sure he never sees the light of day again. Since she never saw his face, it wasn’t going to be easy and they’d have to find where she was held.

Reggie is adamant that find the house and free the other women.

We see many of the other Brotherhood Protectors, and of course Hank and Sadie as the search goes into full swing. We also meet a couple of interesting characters along the way.

Full of suspense, romance and a bit of sizzle, you won’t be able to put this book down. Now I have to back up one and move forward to catch up on this series. I thought I was but I’ve obviously missed a few.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

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(Books 1-3)


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Elle James

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

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

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

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Garden of Sorrow – Psychic Visions Book 4 By Dale Mayer


Garden of Sorrow
Psychic Visions Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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After spending a brutal year trying to cope after the loss of her sister, Alexis Gordon knows she needs to get on with her life. Only, instead of the normal work day she’d anticipated as the means to begin her journey back to the land of the living, reality as she knows it disappears…

Kevin Sutherland is a detective and a psychic. Recognizing Alexis’s gift and aware she has no idea what’s happening to her, he calls his friend and frequent case consultant, Stefan Kronos, an artist with psychic gifts. Stefan leads a community of psychics able to help Alexis understand and develop her unique skills.

Alexis has unwittingly become involved in a case unlike anything Kevin has ever seen before. The killer seems to have a personal vendetta against Alexis herself. He intends to eliminate her before she uses her psychic gift to discover not only his identity but the garden of sorrow he’s buried his long-dead victims.

Only Alexis can stop this madman who fully intends to survive … even after death.

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While all these books are standalone, I am really enjoying reading in order. As we meet different women with unusual psychic abilities, there are some stranger than others, some somewhat aware, others clueless and scared.

Alexis Gordon is a gardener with the city, she loves plants and although she doesn’t recognize it as such she boosts plants energy with her thoughts and actions. That has been all it is until this political filled groundbreaking for the new gardens. Alexis makes a startling discovery when she falls into a ditch that is being dug for new sewer lines. She’s never had a vision before and the one she has as she holds a skeletal finger is both scary and disturbing.

Kevin Sutherland is also attending this event, he is there in a supposed official capacity. Not that there is any case to investigate but he does use his psychic abilities to scan the area looking for possible issues. He senses something is wrong and moves away from the crowd to find the source. When he finds Alexis, he also finds the source of her need for help, a child’s skeletal body in the wall of the ditch.

When Alexis gives her account of finding the body, she doesn’t mention her vision of the child. She wasn’t sure what to make of it, and didn’t want to be labeled as crazy. Her friend and co-worker Scott understands something happened. An older gentleman she regards him as almost a father figure, he refers to her gift with plants as sight which she rejects. Now she’s just not sure of anything anymore. She needs help to understand but doesn’t know anyone or even how to explain this turn of events. Especially the vision in her apartment hallway and the appearance of her sister Lissa’s ghostly form.

Kevin is trying to find out what she’s hiding, and is surprised when she felt his psychic probe as a physical caress. Yet he gains no further information as she leaves for home. However once she arrives home he hears her cry for help and needs to get to the bottom of it all. He was more than a little surprised to find she has no clue how strong a psychic she is.

This is a favorite scene.

Time stopped.

A transmitter? Is that what she was?

She rolled the idea around in her head, trying it on. Did it fit? Maybe…in some ways. But there was so much more to it than just that. Like seeing the vision of the little girl, seeing the hallway shift and even hearing the voices.

And if she were transmitting like Kevin said, how come no one else was hearing her but him?

Another thought struck – what about her plants? She’d thought she just talked to them. Was she transmitting when she talked to them? Yes, that made more sense. But what about her understanding of their needs, colors and even their sounds – didn’t that make her a receiver, too?

Was there such a thing?

“Does everyone have this ability?” she asked cautiously. “Lying latent until something brings it to their awareness?”

“Researchers say we do, but only a small fraction of the population uses it or even knows those abilities are there to be used. It can also get more confusing because all receivers are transmitters but not all transmitters are receivers.” He leaned forward, locking his hands together in front of him. “This whole idea is</em? new for you, right?”

“Absolutely.” And with the word came a question. Should she tell him everything, or wait?

He cocked an eyebrow in surprise at her answer, but he continued, “Chances are something triggered this. Something like finding the body, maybe?”

“The finger,” she added softly, needing to tell someone. Maybe he would understand. “Something happened when I picked up the bones and realized they belonged to a child’s finger.” The horrific memory made her wince. God, she didn’t want to revisit this.

“Tell me,” he urged. “Exactly what started with the finger?”

Slowly, haltingly, she related the weird series of events from the ditch. He let her get it all out, and somehow, in the process, her hand ended up cradled in his.

Mesmerized, she watched the strong, sinewy thumb stroke and slide over her palm, warming and comforting on a level she hadn’t felt in many years. It moved over the rounded pad, sliding down the valley between her fingers, sensuous, sexy and definitely seductive.

She ordered her hand to withdraw. But her long fingers had a mind of their own and refused to obey. They chose instead to nestle against his much larger and stronger ones. As if they belonged there…

Enough. Alexis broke the trance and snatched her hand free, tucking it into her pants pocket.

“What else?”

She glanced at him. “Is there anything else?” His question prodded gently for more.

Alexis wavered, but there was no point in keeping the rest from him. As clearly and as succinctly as she could, she described her visions of the hallway, and of little Daisy – and Lissa.

“When you heard the little girl calling you, did it come from outside your head or inside?”

She smiled without humor. “Believe it or not, I’d wondered that myself. I don’t have a definitive answer.”

Kevin seemed to consider her words. “Is that everything?” he asked.

She flushed.

“It would help if I knew it all,” he suggested quietly, his eyes never leaving hers.

She wanted to believe in the understanding, compassion and acceptance he offered. Taking a chance, she shared the last bit about her gardens and the need to transplant the suffering plant to the child’s grave.

“You planted a daisy on her grave, and you’re saying the ghost child said the same word as her name? That’s odd and too much of a coincidence to ignore.”

“I know. I’m presuming it’s her body we found.”

“Anything’s possible.” He pulled his sleeve back to check the time. “I need to leave. Let me know if anything else like this happens.” He paused, gave her a wry look and added, “Or else I’ll find out the same way I did last time.”

Alexis almost laughed but now that he spoke of leaving, Alexis found the thought of being alone, disconcerting. How stupid. She hadn’t wanted him here in the first place. Still he’d gone a long way toward helping her tonight.

“Are you going to be okay here?”

“Of course. This is home.” Even though she hadn’t put much effort into making it hers. She cast an unhappy glance around the cold place.

“We need to talk some more about your abilities and how you can learn to control them. I have a friend, Stefan, who might be able to help. I’ll talk to him.”

He walked to the doorway, jacket in hand.

She’d trailed behind him, helpless to abate the sense of loss already threatening.

Slowly, she closed the door behind him and turned to look around the empty room. An odd thought struck. Outside of Scott, Kevin was her first real visitor in a year.

How pathetic.

When her sister’s cancer had first been diagnosed, priorities had to be set. Everything had been about Lissa. Afterwards, Alexis had remained secluded, inside a wall of pain that refused to ease.

When had that changed? When had the pain reduced her to the point that she’d just been hiding?
Mayer, Dale. Psychic Visions: Books 4-6. Kindle Locations (736-779). Valley Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Stefan becomes a friend helping her to navigate the ethers and control how much she puts out there. She sees her sister in the ethers and having her there brightens Alexis even more as she realizes she can move forward. It’s while she’s with Lissa that she sees ‘evil’ for the first time. It’s a threat to her personally and somehow involves the child she found.

Stefan jumps in at her cry of fear, and of course Kevin shows up at her door. There’s a relationship brewing there one that will complete the two of them.

Plenty of anxiety, suspense, romance and so much more as Kevin and Alexis work to solve the mystery of the child’s identity.

I am really enjoying these books, I love the pairings so far, cops and psychics. I can’t wait for Stefan to find his, it’s being hinted at in almost every book. I’m so happy these books are offered in bundles so I can just move on to the next one.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

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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