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Hale – SEALs of Honor Book 31 by Dale Mayer


Hale
SEALs of Honor Book 31
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Hale received an unexpected request to join Marsha McConaughey on a special mission. Only four of them would track a terrorist, with a history of blowing up American citizens. The bomber’s current plot was foiled, but, in the chaos, he escaped across the border into Canada, giving a middle-finger salute to the first set of cameras on the other side.

Marsha has been hunting assholes like this one for years. It’s wearing on her. This is her last job, but she’s determined to walk away on a success. This one means more to her than the others. This man took out several members of her team. She wants this a*****e. Willingly chasing him into Canada is one thing, but into the backwoods of Prince Albert National Park is another thing altogether.

When the killing spree continues in Canada, the team is more determined than ever to stop this guy—before he kills anyone else—particularly the woman hunting him.

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Hale Rodney is finishing up a course that includes the history of terrorist bombs. One in particular he recognizes the signature. This catches the eye of the instructor who later informs him he’ll be joining a mission to catch this particular bomber.

Marsha McConaughey has been after this bomber, ‘the ghost’, for years. She came really close once and this time she’s determined to get him. This is going to be her last case and she won’t fail. Everything she had set up had to change when the ghost changed his location. He’s now believed to be in Prince Albert, and Hale makes the observation that it’s a good place to hide out, with the huge National Forest.

As they are traveling, Hale makes arrangements to pick up some camping and outdoor gear from his stepbrother. He wants to be prepared for anything at this point.

Marsha is shocked to find her men dead at the house she arranged for their stay. Hale immediately takes over with a contingency plan she had no idea he had. He grabs the groceries the men had bought and gets everything back into the truck. It’s time to go hunting.

Hale takes them the long way around a popular campground, and they walk about five miles to the site he has in mind.

This is a favorite scene.

Finally he stopped and announced, “We’re here.”

He felt her relief rolling toward him in palpable waves, as he turned, grabbed the pack off her shoulders, and said, “Let’s get that thing off you.”

As soon as the pack was on the ground, she crouched into a squat position, wrapped her arms around her chest, and tried to stretch out the center of her back. He dropped his own pack, walked behind her, then scooped up her arms and spread the muscles from her shoulder blades up and around. Then he gave her a hard two-minute massage and added, “That should help.”

She stood up, rolled her shoulders, and nodded. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Now let’s get set up for the night.” He pitched a small tent the same color of the trees around them.

She stared at it. “One tent?”

“Yep, one tent. Neither of us could carry any more than we did.” And, since she had barely even carried her weight, she surely wouldn’t argue. He tossed her a sleeping bag and suggested, “You might want to collect some leaves or something from around here to lie on.”

She winced. “We’ll sleep on the ground?”

“I have one roll each,” he explained, “but you’ll notice very quickly if you don’t have a pillow. Grab your T-shirt and fill it with leaves so at least you’ll have something. Or, if you don’t want to do that, you can just use your clothes, as packed.”

“I’ll try the clothes tonight,” she replied, and he just nodded. As soon as the tent was up and their gear stowed inside, he walked over and looked at the grocery bags that he’d been carrying in the top of his pack. “Was there much that they bought?” she asked quietly.

“Quite a bit. The question now is, how far can we make it go?”

“How long do you expect to be here?”

“Not long, but you saw how far we had to walk.”

She nodded. “I did, and I’m still not thrilled to be here.”

“Nope, but you’re safe at the moment.”

She frowned at that. “Safe wasn’t the entire plan.”

“No, but neither was getting killed, like the other three.”

She winced at that. “That’s not fair.”

“Maybe not, but it’s true,” he replied quietly.

“What exactly will this location do for us?”

“It’s simple.” He pointed. “A spot about five hundred yards from here is fairly popular with locals, yet wouldn’t be something that too many others would know about. However, if the Ghost’s up here, my guess is that he’ll be close.”

“Why?”

“Because he can drive there.”

She stared at him in shock, and then her tone turned ominous. “We just walked for five miles.”

Hale nodded. “He’s on the other side of the river.”

“What good is that?”

“Because I know how to get across.”

She fell silent. “I suppose you’ll tell me now that he won’t know we’re here?”

“We’re higher up. Now he might smell our fire if a heavy fog rolls in, keeping the air down. However, unless he’s quite as good as he thinks he is, he won’t get to us before I can get to him.”

“I suppose you’ll say that you set up some kind of warnings along the way.”

“No, but I am observant enough, and I will be making regular recon trips to see that nobody has followed us.”

She nodded slowly. “I still don’t understand how we’re supposed to capture him up here.”

“It’s hard to say,” Hale admitted, “but he’s hunting us. So we need to go to ground for a while, until either he figures that we’re not coming or he figures any op has been called off because of the killings.”

“He’ll be hunting us regardless, and he knows I would never call it off.”

“That just means we could be staying here longer then.”

“Why, when that won’t get the job done?”

“Why don’t we get a good night’s sleep and think on it,” he suggested.

She glared at him, and he nodded. “I know you’re pissed now, but maybe things will look different in the morning.”

“We sure as hell didn’t have to walk five miles.”

“Yeah, we did, because not too many people would follow us.” Hard for her to argue with that.

“It’s still a long way here and a long way to get back.”

“It is,” he admitted, “and again there’s a reason for it. Let’s see what we have for food and then call it a night.”

She bent down to the large bags that he had packed. “Is this all the groceries?” she asked in astonishment.

“Yeah, what the guys had picked up.”

She noted, “Steaks, potatoes, … even bacon, eggs, and bread. Lots of sliced deli meats and cheeses. Even peanut butter.”

He nodded. “Yeah, so, in a way, we’re in good shape.” She wanted to argue with him, but she didn’t, and that was good because, right now, he wasn’t in the mood. “I’ll cook these steaks, since they won’t keep and hope they don’t bring in predators.”

He soon got a fire going and, with such ease, that she just stared at him.

“You’ve got to remember,” he told her. “This is what I do.”

She frowned at that. “So, if I had picked somebody who wasn’t an expert in survival, I would be in a hotel right now?”

“If so, you’d be dead,” he stated flatly.

She winced at that. “Great, not exactly how I wanted to view this.”

“Maybe not, but you’ve got to admit the chances of that being the truth are quite clear.”

She hated to admit he was right, but it was a good possibility. “I still don’t know how he knew about the guys.”

“It doesn’t matter. Either he’s paid some locals or has other sources, and I know you don’t want to hear this, but they could potentially be within your own department.”

“Nobody knows where I am,” she replied quietly. “And the only one who knows you are here is Mason. Unless you told anybody?” she asked, searching his gaze.

It was hard to see in the dim light, but he could see her eyes. “Nope. I just knew that I had a job to do, so I came. I don’t bother telling people any details. First off, they’re not allowed to know about most of my jobs to begin with, and you never know when things will change, and you end up having to make clarifications later,” he noted. “I’ve learned that it’s just much easier to keep your mouth shut.”

She smiled at that. “Believe it or not, I agree.”

“Oh, you’re not going to argue with me, huh?” he teased, rolling his eyes. “That’s new.”

“Since when have I argued with you over everything?”

“Since … we met,” he stated, with another eye roll.

“Maybe you deserved it.”

He snorted at that. “You might think I deserved it, but I won’t agree with that assessment.”

She smiled. “Of course not, that would be way too simple. All right, so what can I do to help?”

“For now, just sit there and rest,” he suggested. “You’ll be very stiff and sore, so maybe do some exercises to stretch out your body. You might also want to tend to your feet. You’ve probably got blisters, and, for sure, you need dry socks.”

“I can do all that, but is there anything I can do for dinner?”

“Nope, not at the moment.”
Dale Mayer. Hale (Kindle Locations 710-777). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

With each page the suspense rises, and both Marsha and Hale are feeling a bit of an attraction toward each other. Of course, this isn’t the time to take action on that.

More death, the involvement of the RCMPs and plenty of hold your breath action as this tale unfolds.

I was sorry to read that this is likely the end of the SEALs of Honor series, although the author says we’ll see some of our favorite characters in other series.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Dale Mayer

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

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

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


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String of Tears – Psychic Visions Book 22 by Dale Mayer


String of Tears
Psychic Visions Book 22
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Jewel wakes up in the hospital, with no memory of what happened to her or no reason why she was found on the highway—dead. As reawakening goes, this one is brutal, but even more confusing is her instinctive grasping for a missing necklace around her neck. Had she been robbed, beaten, and dumped? If so, why? She has few friends and even fewer family members left to care, but, unlike his name, Hurricane walks into her hospital room and becomes a safe harbor for a world gone nuts.

Hurricane had been asked by Stefan to help Jewel and to take possession of a necklace, if it was deemed dangerous. Hurricane has seen a lot of dangerous and crazy things in his life, but Jewel’s current state is something new to him.

As the dangerous storm heightens around them, Hurricane’s task—keeping Jewel safe, as she tries to regain her memories and her sanity—slips even further away …

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Stefan calls Hurricane in to help with this latest problem. A pearl necklace that Jewel called him about because she was concerned. Now she’s in the hospital, and as Hurricane arrives, she’s just awakened.

The circumstances of just how Jewel ended up in the hospital is disconcerting and with amnesia she isn’t much help to the police or Hurricane.

As he gets her home, she starts remembering bits and pieces. For example, her home really isn’t her home, just a house. She spent most of her time in her studio, which she doesn’t remember the address of, but can somehow give directions once on the road.

This is a favorite scene.

“According to what you’ve told me, you have no idea how you came to be at the hospital. You have no idea what happened to put you in this condition, and yet you remember something about a necklace, that you use love in your work and you definitely remember Stefan.”

She gave a half laugh at that. “I asked how it’s possible that I could remember Stefan, but the real question is how would it even be possible to forget him.”

“Have you ever met him?”

“In real life, or whatever that means, no.”

Again Hurricane just studied her face carefully.

“And, if you’re looking for truth in that statement, that’s all I can give you,” she murmured. “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen him face-to-face.”

“Good enough,” Hurricane replied cheerfully.

She looked at him, puzzled. “Have you?”

“Yeah, a couple times. He is pretty hard to forget.”

“Even for those of us who haven’t met him,” she murmured. She groaned, as she slowly lifted her arms over her head and rotated her neck and shoulders, letting her arms stretch as high as they would go and then back down again.

“Sore?” he asked.

“The bruises,” she noted, “they’re sore.”

He nodded, his gaze going to her bare arms. “They are fascinating, as bruises go.”

“I don’t know that I like that term.” She followed the direction of his gaze. She held out her arms, twisting them slightly to get a better look at them. “I mean, they’re sore, but, if I’ve been beaten to within an inch of my life, which is what these bruises appear to indicate, they aren’t that sore.”

“Maybe that’s a good thing at the moment,” he suggested. “The mind has a tendency to only remember what it can cope with.”

She stared at him and then nodded. “Meaning, it’s a self-defense self-defense mechanism, and maybe what happened was so horrific that I’m not ready to face it.”

“That would be one guess, yes.”

She looked around the kitchen. “Where to from here?”

“You tell me,” he replied, a note of humor in his voice. “I brought you to what I thought was your home.”

“It’s apparently the house, but it’s not home, and that’s a pretty important distinction at this point.”

“So, you tell me,” he prodded. “What I’ve come to understand about you in this short time is that you really care about and were obsessed with your work.” She pondered that and nodded. “So, in that case, why don’t we go to where your work is.”

“Oh, well, that’s a completely different story.” Puzzled, he watched as she got up, pulled a travel mug out of a different cupboard, filled it with coffee, and then walked to the front door. When he didn’t move, she called back, “Are you coming?”

“Sure. Why not?” With that and a disgusted sigh, he got up and headed toward her. “You want to tell me where we’re going?”

“I’m not sure,” she began. “But, if you drive, I’ll give you directions.”

His eyebrows shot up at that, but he didn’t say another word, hopped into the vehicle outside, and asked, “Are you okay to leave the house unlocked?”

She nodded. “Nothing for anybody to find.”

“Glad to hear that,” he noted. “So now we need to know where everything you care about really is.”

“I think it’s in my head,” she shared. “But that doesn’t explain where the rest of it is.”

He turned on the engine and waited for her to speak. She hesitated a moment, and he watched as she appeared to almost meditate, looking for some answer. Then she stated, “Drive up to the next corner and take a left.”

Following that vague statement was hard. The rest of the instructions came a little clearer each and every time, though sometimes right on top of each other. By the time he pulled up in front of what looked like a warehouse, he was staring at her, then back at the warehouse. “Does this make sense? You remember this place?”

“I’m not sure,” she murmured. “But it’s all we have to go on.” She hopped out, still sipping the coffee in her hand, and waited for him to come around. When he did so, she smiled and pointed. “The left one.”

“How is it that you’re getting here? What are you following for a trail?”

She hesitated and then just shrugged, and he knew that whatever came out of her mouth wouldn’t be the truth.

He immediately called out, “Stop.”

She froze, looked at him, and asked, “What?”

“I only want the truth. If you don’t have the truth to give me, or you’re not ready to give it to me, then don’t, but do not insult me with lies.”

She slowly closed her mouth and shrugged. “Fine,” she agreed. And, with that, she cut in front of him, her steps smart, clipped, and she was clearly irritated.

He grinned and followed. At least she hadn’t followed through with the lie. He wasn’t getting any information at all now, and maybe the lies would have told him something. However, for the moment, it looked like they had a truce. He just didn’t know what the fight had been about.
Dale Mayer. String of Tears (Kindle Locations 380-422). Valley Publishing Ltd..

With every turn of the page something new is added. Dr. Maddie is in this one, as is her husband Grant. Stefan is in almost constant contact, and we get a couple of glimpses of his wife as well.

Now something I noticed, not so much inconsistencies but rather incongruency in some parts of Jewel’s recollection. Things not quite right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. That is until it all breaks wide open. I did however see Hurricane falling for her and Jewel falling for him, I just wasn’t sure how that was going to pan out.

Holy Moly what an ending, I truly didn’t see it coming!

These books never fail to surprise me, and I really can’t wait for the next one.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

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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Bronson – SEALs of Honor Book 30 by Dale Mayer


Bronson
SEALs of Honor Book 30
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Training in underwater recovery techniques, Bronson didn’t expect to recover a body, particularly one with a knife embedded into a diver’s back. Down in Mexico, often anything goes, but he’s been on many dives in his life and has been through a lot of this country, yet at no time had he seen this scenario.

Her missing brother being found sends Robin deep into grief and guilt. Her brother had been much older, living a risky lifestyle on the fringe of society in a small coastal Mexican town. She’d arrived six months earlier in an attempt to help him get his life together.

Finding out what happened is paramount. Yet, as the twisted tale unravels, the betrayals and secrets finally come to light. Bronson and Robin must protect themselves, before the wrong person finds out exactly what they’ve discovered.

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Gavin and Bronson are at the end of an underwater recovery course when Bronson discovers a body. The instructor, Marshall, recognized the man immediately as Jason Rancher, a local diver and former employee. He knows they’re in for it when he sees Jason’s sister on shore.

Former military, dive instructor and researcher, Robin has been looking for her brother. He’s been missing for a couple of days and she’s worried. Obviously with cause.

Robin insists on seeing her brother’s body, she wants to see it before the authorities get there. She’s convinced they will twist things to suit their own agenda and not seek the truth.

Since Bronson found the body, he was given 48 hours leave to be available to the authorities. Bronson is going to use that time to help the victim’s sister Robin. They’re heading where he found the body and she gives him a bit of history on both herself and her brother.

After an initial look around the dive site, they go back and have dinner. Deciding afterwards to clean out his ‘apartment’ that is more of a shack.

This is a favorite scene.

She shuddered. “Shouldn’t there be something of his life left though?” she cried out, staring at Bronson. “Something worthwhile?”

“Yes,” he agreed. “You’ll find it in your memories. It has absolutely nothing to do with the bits and pieces of a material life that went down the drain.” His tone was calm, almost serene, in the eerie darkness surrounding them.

“God.” She kicked the box closer toward him and sighed.

A man behind them asked, “Hey, what are you doing?”

Bronson turned around to see an older man, standing nervously behind him. Robin stepped forward, so her face showed in the light, and the man looked at her and relaxed.

“Oh, it’s you. Sad to hear about your brother, chica. He wasn’t an all-bad man.”

As compliments went, that was nothing to write home about, but Bronson could see that it was given with as much or perhaps more empathy than anybody else around here had offered her.

She nodded. “I know he wasn’t. … I was really trying hard to help him.”

“We all knew it. Yet family, what can you do?” He looked over at Bronson.

“This is the man who found my brother,” she explained. The older man nodded. “And we’re just trying to clean up my brother’s mess.”

“That’s nice,” the landlord replied. “I appreciate that. I would just throw it all in the Dumpster anyway.”

“Which is pretty well what we’ve done,” she admitted. “Nothing here is worth keeping.”

“No, and, even if there were, a few guys have already been through here pretty fast to take anything of value.” The old man shrugged. “Yet I don’t know when your brother last had anything of value in here.”

“Thank you for letting him stay here,” she said. “At least it kept a roof over his head.”

He smiled. “We used to be friends,” he murmured, “before the booze got him.”

She nodded. “And I appreciate that you didn’t throw him out, like so many would have.”

“It was tempting,” he admitted, with half a smile. “Then I saw how bad he was and knew he’d have no place else to go. Now he’s finally at peace. So let him go, let him go back to the ocean, where he belongs.”

She nodded. “I’ll have him cremated and then will take him back out to the same spot.”

He smiled. “That sounds real good. You know that’s where he wants to be.” And, with that, he smiled sadly at her, looked around the room, and shook his head. “It’s a sorry night.” And, with nothing else to say, he quickly slipped out the door.

“You’ve obviously met him a couple times before.”

“Yes,” she replied, with a light nod. “Every time I came looking for my brother and couldn’t find him, I’d usually find him passed out on his bed, telling the world to go away.”

“At least your brother had somebody advocating for him, besides just you.”

“I know.” She attempted a smile. “There haven’t been too many people, but there have been a couple.”

“And that helps to restore your faith in humanity,” he noted quietly. With the room more or less cleaned up and just needing to be swept out, Bronson stated, “There’s really nothing here, is there?”

“No, … he lived a very bare-bones existence. If he were back in the US, he would have been on the streets and homeless. It just breaks my heart to think of him in that lifestyle. Here, he at least had this, and he had his job and his hobby.”

“What about his job? Do you think anything of his is there, like in an employee locker or whatever, that needs to be cleaned out?”

She frowned as she walked out of the empty room, followed by Bronson, who closed the door that barely even shut properly. She replied, “Right, I should hit the dive shop in the morning,”

“What time does it open?” Bronson asked, as they slowly walked their way back to her place.

“Six.”

Surprised, he said, “Wow, not much opens at that hour in Mexico.”

“No,” she agreed, “but a lot of expats are down here, who don’t think much of the rules and regulations up in the US, so they come here to live the life they want. And a few of the shops here accommodate them.”

“Oh, trust me. I’ve met lots of expats in bars all over the world,” he noted, with a smile.

“They’re not all that bad,” she murmured. “And Chet is a bit of a character, but he had a soft spot for my brother too.”

“Sounds like Jason found some people to make his life worth living.”

“I guess.”

When they reached her apartment, Bronson added, “Look. Let me know when you’re up, and then we’ll meet up and go to the dive shop together, okay?” She stared at him, and he shook his head immediately. “Don’t even think about making any excuses. There’s no reason for me not to come with you. I’m in this far. I may as well go all the way.”

“Says you, … but I appreciate the support, so thank you.”

As she headed inside, he asked, “You’re sure he didn’t find anything on any of his dives, huh?”

She stopped, looked at him, and shook her head. “You’re still thinking about a motive?”

He nodded. “Yeah, kind of. I guess I’d like to think that Jason looked forward to something in his life, so his days were more than just missing his wife or having people hating him or beating him up or threatening revenge or whatever.”

“He didn’t ever say anything to me.” However, she stopped, looked puzzled for a moment, then frowned. “He was excited about something for a while and told me that he was on to something. But he was always on to something, you know?”

“And, even now, you don’t think it was serious?”

“I didn’t give it a thought at the time.” She stared at Bronson, while considering his question. “It was just more of the same, you know? But I hope, for his sake, it was something great. It would be nice to think that something in his life made Jason happier. Of course he was always out scavenging things. But when I did ask him about it a few days later, he immediately said that it was nothing and that I was better off if I didn’t know. So I assumed it had to do with either booze or drugs, which I definitely didn’t want to know about.” She grimaced. “So I never asked him about it again.”

“And with his history, that would be a reasonable assumption.”

“Maybe it was,” she muttered. “Let’s just say that I was happy to let it rest.”

He nodded. “But, if he did find something and if it was something that he didn’t want you to get involved with, it’s quite possibly something that could have gotten him killed.” “Let’s hope not,” she said, “but we can ask more about it tomorrow.”
Dale Mayer. Bronson (Kindle Locations 726-781). Valley Publishing Ltd..

It’s after cleaning out Jason’s place that Robin remembers her brother being excited about something, but he wouldn’t elaborate.

No one really seems to care that Jason was murdered, he was just dead and that was all that mattered. Robin isn’t going to let it go and Branson isn’t going to let her do any investigating on her own. It just isn’t safe.

Things heat up in more ways than one as this book progresses to the most startling ending.

I just couldn’t put this book down, a common occurrence with Dale’s books.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

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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Terk’s Triumph – Terkel’s Team Book 9 by Dale Mayer


Terk’s Triumph
Terkel’s Team Book 9
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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The move to a castle is both daunting and exhilarating. Damn sure he has bitten of more than he can handle, Terk asks Charles for help. In turn, Charles brings in an old friend to get the team installed and to get the castle renovated and organized. Going into private business never looked so good or so hard. But, with Levi and Ice joining in the fun, even Bullard helping out, the renovations are in Emmaline’s capable hands, and all is well.

Or is it? When Jonas calls to say there’s a problem, and it’s heading their way, Terk knows the priority is safety and security. But what does that look like with a large group of energy workers? There’s also another side effect of so much energy all in one place—something no one thought about—and something that’s way too late to stop …

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I absolutely loved Celia’s reaction to the property Terk is considering for their compound. It’s a castle complete with a moat. It’s perfect really what with the team at a count of 19 including the unborn twins.

Charles has introduced his friend Emmaline who will be helping with organizing the renovations. She’s quite the master at it. Charles would also be helping with the hiring of household staff.

All of Terk’s team is there and of course one of the first things is security, Bullard can’t be there so it’s Levi, Stone, Merk and Rhodes who come to help out.

They’re working with blueprints, but we all know that castles have all sorts of hidden things. It’s one of these that causes an intruder to find a way in. Seems some contracts are still out there, even though there is no one to pay on them.

This is a favorite scene.

“Yeah, and where is your friend?”

“I don’t know,” he cried out, visibly shaking now. “I didn’t hear any gun shots though.”

“Yeah, well, nobody told us that we have to use gunpower in order to take out our enemy. Just like that glass, we could break you where you stand.”

He started to cry out, “No, no, no, you don’t have to do that.”

“Then put down that gun,” Celia murmured, “and you give in right now and stop with your stupid petty thefts and threats. Then we’ll bring the men in to take care of you.”

“What? So now you need the men to take care of me?” He perked up again, trying for a more macho look.

“We don’t need the men to deal with you,” Cara said, her voice deadly, “but the men will want to know about this little display of yours.”

“They won’t care because my friend is taking out the ones who need to be taken out, and I still think you’re lying about the contract killing. He’d never do something like that. I mean, theft is one thing”— he waved his hand—“ but murder? That’s just beyond him.”

“It’s not beyond him. Do you not realize Bill escaped from MI6 for that very thing? Plus, he was involved with international criminals, who are on the wanted list for Interpol,” Celia explained, with a smile. “And then of course the CIA out of the US wants to talk with him as well, just as soon as they get the chance.”

“No, no, no. He wouldn’t have gotten mixed up in something that stupid.”

“Maybe you should take a moment and rethink things going on here, before you get yourself into trouble that you will pay for with the rest of your life. Assuming you survive today.”

“I don’t know.” He glared at her. “This is all ridiculous.”

It was obvious that he didn’t know which way to go or how to get out of the situation he had gotten himself into.

Celia almost felt sorry for him. “Tell you what. Why don’t you start by putting down the gun, so nobody thinks you’re still actively trying to shoot us. Then you can turn around and return the way you came,” she suggested, with a bright smile.

He looked at her hesitantly, took another step back. “But, if I put down the gun,” he stated, “I won’t have any weapon. … And I still don’t understand why you’re acting this way.” He seemed completely perplexed.

“No, of course not, but you also don’t know what we know.”

“What’s that?”

“That there’s no way you’ll get out of here alive, as long as you keep that gun in your hand. You might get out on your own if you leave now, but, as soon as the men come back, which I can already hear is happening, you’ll be out of options.”

He stared at her, looked at the door behind her, looked back at her, looking like he wanted to bolt.

“You can run,” she called out, as he backed out some more, “but you can’t hide.”

“The hell I can’t,” he cried out, “and you won’t ever see me again.”

“I wouldn’t count on that. That’s presuming you get out of here safe and sound and in one piece.”

“Of course I am.” And he took another step back. “You don’t seem to be as scared of the gun as you should be, and I don’t really want to go down as the guy who shot unarmed women in their own home. And I don’t want anything to do with Bill, if he is involved in contract killing. Yet I still think you’re wrong, and I’ve got to give him a chance to show me.”

“Right,” she said, fascinated. “So, what will you do?”

“I’ll leave and talk to him later.”

“Yeah, you do that.” She beamed at him. “That’s presuming we don’t already have Bill in custody.”

“Do you?” he asked.

“That’s for you to find out, isn’t it? Or you could just leave and see if he ever shows up again. And that would be your answer too.”

He stared at her, moistened his lips, nervously looking from one to the other. Obviously he was completely over his head and didn’t have a clue how to handle this situation.

“I’ll just leave. Sorry for disturbing you, ladies.”

“Yeah, no problem,” Clara said in a hard voice. “Make sure you don’t make that mistake again.”

He shook his head, spun around, and ran. Right into Terk’s fist.

Terk looked around the room. “Everybody okay?”

All of them nodded.

“We’re fine.” Celia smiled, as she walked toward him, and flung her arms around his neck. “I suggest you get this shit fixed real fast.”

He groaned, wrapped his arms around her close, and murmured, “Believe me. I’m trying.”

“Try harder,” she whispered.

He chuckled. “It sounded like you all had this well in hand.”

“It’ll be a cold day in hell before any of us will let an asshole like that take away the bright future we have planned. I’ve also decided,” Celia declared, “that I don’t want these babies to be born without a father.”

He looked at her in confusion, as the other women started to chuckle. “I’m confused,” he said. “I am their daddy.”

“Absolutely you are,” she murmured. “But you’re daddy, not legally the father.”

He shook his head. “There’s a difference?”

“A difference that matters to me, yes.” She took a deep breath. “I want us to be married.” She pulled her arms tighter around his neck and kissed him gently.

“So give me a moment to just clarify this,” he said. “Are you telling me or asking me?”

The other women burst into laughter.

Celia chuckled. “I’m not getting down on one knee, and, as much as I consider myself a modern woman, I still would prefer to be asked. However, given our unique situation, I guess the question really is, Will you marry me?” He wrapped his arms around her, picked her up, and gently swung her around in a big circle. “If you’d given me a chance, I was planning to ask you.”

“Apparently you’re too slow.” She grinned down at him, still in his arms.

He burst out laughing.

“Okay,” Celia said, “now how about an answer?”

“I have an answer for you. How about a screaming loud yes?” Then he lowered his head and kissed her, right in front of everyone.
Dale Mayer. Terkel’s Triumph (Kindle Locations 1005-1057). Valley Publishing Ltd..

Plenty of construction, laughter, romance and some interesting side effects of all of Terk’s team being together.

This is the perfect end for this series, although I’m sure we’ll see them in other books helping out.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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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Amazon Author Page

Landon – The K9 Files Book 18 by Dale Mayer


Landon
The K9 Files Book 18
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

Landon, after a tough couple of years helping his navy buddy live out his last years, needed a break. Tracking a war dog named Chica to make sure it was okay sounded perfect. Especially being able to take his three chihuahuas with him. But finding a dog that had been part of a large shipment heading to a rescue across the Canadian border but had gone missing on the last stop before the border – well that was going to be a challenge. Particularly one that had a lame leg and half a paw.

Sabrina had spent years volunteering at a local vet clinic, because all animals had a soft spot in her heart. Finding out Landon is trying to track down a missing War Dog, well how could she not volunteer to help him? Still when her world flips upside down, she’s more than happy to have Landon close by.

Now if only they could find the dog and figure out who was responsible for endangering her life…

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The war dog Chica had a good retirement until, her caretaker died. She along with many other dogs was shipped to Canada. Unfortunately, she never made it across the border.

Badger and his wife Kat have been helping the government find missing war dogs and this is the next one they need to find, hopefully quickly. They contact one of Kat’s patients only to find he’s unavailable for a while. However, his brother might be able to help them out.

Landon had been caretaker for his friend Joe and now that he is gone, he could use a bit of a distraction. He still has the three chihuahuas that brought Joe so much joy in his last days. Landon cared for them since their birth bottle feeding them around the clock, they are family to him.

When his brother calls to ask if he wants to help find the war dog he immediately says yes and calls Kat and Badger. is more than willing to help find Chica, now he just has to figure out where to start. It takes a while, but he manages to find the phone number of the man’s mother. She informs him of the accident and the hospital where he is a patient, requesting only that he let her know how her son Charlie is really doing. The hospital is close to the border crossing where Chica went missing so visiting in person is Landon’s choice.

Sabrina volunteers at the Veterinary clinic where her best friend Angela works. Angela’s partner is a veterinarian who hopes to join the practice, but so far, they haven’t come to terms with Angela’s boss. As a result, they are extremely busy, and Sabrina frequently picks up a meal and helps out with the animals after her regular shifts as a nurse at the local hospital. She’s picking up lunch for Angela and her boss Dave when she meets Landon. He’s debating which sandwich to buy.

They run into each other again in the hospital parking lot and the third time is inside the hospital when he gets lost while talking on the phone first with Charlie’s boss, and then with Badger.

This is a favorite scene.

Stepping into a waiting room, Landon made a quick call to Charlie’s boss, who confirmed what the injured man had told Landon. She didn’t have any more information on the location of the dog but did add that it had been a last-minute solution to put Chica on the truck going up to Canada. She also confirmed that the cross-country transport was a common practice and that they did it several times a year. He shook his head at that because it just seemed crazy that Americans weren’t looking after their own, but apparently the Canadians had been doing this for years, and it was a system that worked very well.

She was really anxious that nothing mess it up because they had hundreds more already looking toward the next load.

And, with that, Landon contacted Badger to give him an update as to how far he had gotten, as he slowly wandered down the hallway toward his truck. By the time he put away his phone, he realized he must have taken a wrong turn, and he was in a completely different part of the hospital. He frowned, did a full turn, and just as he went to walk up to a counter to ask for directions, a woman stepped up and then chuckled. “Okay, now three times can’t be a coincidence.”

He looked back to see the woman from the sandwich shop. He smiled at her. “I was talking on the phone with my boss, and I completely lost track of where I was, and now … I’m lost.”

“That’s easy to do in this hospital,” she declared, with an eye roll. “You’re not the first person.”

“So how do I get back to the parking lot?” he asked, raising his hands. “It seems foolish to admit I got lost inside the building.”

She grinned and took him to a window at the end of the hallway, then pointed out where the parking lot was.

Landon frowned. “I know I was talking and walking for a while, but, jeez, I didn’t think I’d managed to travel that far.”

“A hallway connects the two buildings,” she explained, “so if you ended up there, you wouldn’t even have realized that you left one building for another, but you would have already been heading in this direction.”

“Okay, but this doesn’t bode well for my trip though.”

“What trip?” she asked. “Did you get to see the guy you hoped to see?”

He nodded. “Yeah, I came here because Charlie was taking a load of dogs up to Canada, and one of them, a War Dog, somehow got lost.”

Her eyebrows shot up. “Lost?” she asked cautiously.

He winced and nodded. “Yeah, lost. Apparently anyway.” Then he explained the little bit that he knew about the situation.

“Oh my, I hope you find the poor thing.”

“That’s my intention.” He smiled. “I just don’t know what all will be involved in getting there.”

She nodded. Pointing down the hallway, she began to escort him to his truck. “I volunteer at a vet clinic here in town,” she added. “That’s who I was getting all the sandwiches for this morning. Animals get dropped off there all the time.”

“How can somebody do that?” he asked, staring at her. “I have three dogs of my own out in the truck right now.”

“Three?” she repeated, her eyebrows shooting up again.

He nodded. “Chihuahuas.” She gave him a tiny smirk. “Don’t say it,” he warned her in good humor, even as he narrowed his gaze at her.

“Say what?” she teased, obviously trying hard to keep a straight face.

“That I don’t look like a guy who would have Chihuahuas.”

She nodded. “You said it, not me.” She gave him a huge smile. “But, hey, at least you’ve got dogs.”

“Always had dogs,” he confirmed. “Love them. Absolutely love them.”

“So do I. I have two at home myself, and I’m absolutely thrilled that you’re searching for this poor dog,” she stated. “Since I work for free at the vet clinic, I can’t volunteer any of their services, but I know that we’re always more than happy to help out, if you end up in a spot of trouble and the dog needs somebody to look after it.”

He shrugged. “I hope not. I don’t know what the score will be. Chica’s been lost a couple months now, so not sure what she’s already been through since then. Plus, she had her own war wounds to heal from. So I’m really hoping somebody has been good to her in the interim.”

She nodded. “If you do find Chica, let me know.”

“How will I do that?” he asked, looking at her. “You haven’t given me your number.”

“In the interest of helping out an animal, I can do that. This is for the vet clinic.”

“What about afterhours?” She nodded. “Fine, here’s my cell. Don’t abuse it.”

He grinned at her. “Never. Unless it’s a case of a dog that needs help.”

At that, her smile fell away. “If that’s the case, you call me. Where was she lost? How far away is it from here?”

He shrugged. “Not too far. I just got a location at the Canadian border where it was last seen.”

She frowned at that. “You know what? I feel like I heard rumors about a wounded dog being picked up somewhere near here.”

He stared at her. “I don’t suppose you have a way to chase down those rumors?”

She shook her head slowly. “No, but now it’ll really bug me until I figure it out.”

“If you do”— he pulled out his phone again and quickly sent her a text—“ that’s my number. I’m Landon. Let me know if you hear anything.”

“Sure. And I’m Sabrina. What’ll happen to the dog if you do find her?”

“First off,” Landon noted, “we need to make sure that she’s okay and gets whatever medical treatment she needs. It’s missing half a paw already, so it’s very distinctive. Plus, she’s also had multiple breaks in her back leg, so she limps.”

“Right, and there’s a fine distinction with that too.”

“She’s also a highly trained War Dog. She’s used to being in difficult situations and still going strong, so she won’t necessarily look like she’s injured or down to that extent.”

She stared at him for a long moment. “Kind of like you, huh?”

He winced at that. “Is that really how I come across?” he asked in mock horror. “Like I’m a lame dog, one step away from being put down?”

She frowned, then burst out laughing. “Uh, no, that’s the last thing I would say about you.” Still snickering, she explained, “You’re more like a junkyard dog than a retired War Dog, and you look like you’ve seen better times in your life.”

“Yeah,” he agreed. “I’m still dealing with losing that friend of mine.”

At that, her smile sobered. “I’m sorry. I deal with loss at my work all the time, and it’s never easy, even when you haven’t gotten to know them very well yet.”

“Nope, not easy,” he confirmed, “and, just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, something comes out of the blue and throws you for a loop.”

“Agreed,” she replied, “but you’re doing really well.”

He smiled at her. “How would you know that?” he asked in a teasing manner.

“Hey, I can see that you’re doing well,” she stated. “I have really good instincts.”

“I hope so,” he said. They had reached the front door, where Landon had entered. “And, if you do hear anything about the dog, let me know.”

“Will do.” And she stood at the entrance and watched as the most interesting man she’d met in a very long time got into his vehicle and drove off.
Dale Mayer. Landon (Kindle Locations 548-610). Valley Publishing Ltd..

A couple of things happen as Sabrina helps out by contacting the vets she knows, including Angela. Angela is very skeptical with regard to Landon thinking her friend is being gullible and pushes Sabrina away rather than bringing her closer.

She does get a clue from a rescue who has sighted Chica but was unable to catch her. Landon sets up some cameras and puts out food for Chica. He hears her but doesn’t yet see her. He does however, meet a problem with a BB gun.

There’s so much that goes on with Chica’s situation and also with Angela. The relationship between Landon and Sabrina also develops into more.

I love these rescues; every war dog deserves to retire to a loving home.

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

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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author-links-fall-cornucopia

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Terkel’s Twist – Terkel’s Team Book 8 By Dale Mayer


Terkel’s Twist
Terkel’s Team Book 8
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

In advance of another major attack, Terk races to Levi’s compound in Texas, where Terk finally gets to meet Celia, the woman carrying his child. Thankfully he arrives in time to protect his friends and new family from another attack, but he’s determined to get to the end of this nightmare that tried to earlier destroy his team.

Finally meeting this stranger-whose child Celia may be carrying-how could she not be suspicious? But after meeting Terk, she believes he had nothing to do with her pregnancy. Only after some deep conversations, as they peel layer from layer, do possible answers surface.

When the pieces finally come together into the most probably theory, Terk realizes how simple this whole mess really is. But solving it? … That’s a whole different story.

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When we left Terkel and the team, he was headed back to the US and Levi’s compound. It’s time to solve the mystery of Celia, the woman who is carrying his child.

Trouble is following Terk and Merk to Texas, they arrive to an almost empty compound since Levi decided to keep folks to a minimum. Celia is less than receptive to Terk, after all, she woke up in a strange place, pregnant and no recollection of how it all happened.

There’s also more to Celia than meets the eye as we find out as she asks about Terk’s abilities.

This is a favorite scene.

Celia bit her lip, not willing to share when nobody else was.

Ice nudged her gently. “The only way we’ll get to the bottom of this is if everybody opens up.”

“You mean, like why somebody won’t tell me what Terk’s ability is?” she muttered out loud, staring directly at Terk.

Hearing her voice, Terk was roused from his musings. “Sorry, what was that?”

“I want to know what is so special about you? Why you?”

His gaze suddenly narrowed, and he gave a clipped nod. “I guess that’s fair.” He sat down beside her.

With Ice on one side and him on the other, Celia suddenly felt squished between two very large personalities. Yet oddly enough, she didn’t feel threatened. It was a strange feeling, almost as if she were protected. She frowned and tried hard to refocus her attention on what Terk was saying.

“I know things,” Terk claimed, with a shrug. “I don’t always know what I need to know, and I certainly don’t always know things that would be helpful,” he explained, “but I get premonitions, and … I work with energy. I assembled a team with varying abilities of their own, and we’ve been quite effective as a unit.”

“Doing what?” Celia asked.

“We were a black ops division of the US government stationed out of Paris,” he explained. “Just after they shut us down out of the blue”— he stopped to collect his thoughts—“ my entire team was attacked.”

She sucked in a breath and stared at him, wide-eyed.

“I haven’t ruled out our own government’s involvement. Subsequent attacks have continued.”

She winced at that. “Why would anyone do that?”

“Because we know too much,” he stated boldly.

Such honesty was in his voice that she didn’t doubt him. “Know too much or can do too much?”

His lips twitched at that. “If it was the government, I can only assume it’s because they decided we were dangerous.”

She sucked in her breath, and he looked over at her, with a gaze so intense, it sent shivers down her spine. “Dangerous in what way?”

“We can do things,” he said, pinning her with a sharp look that she felt to her soul. “We know things that nobody else should be allowed to know.” He shrugged. “But, if you’re thinking that I know what you did yesterday or something like that, you’re wrong. I can’t read your mind either.” He shook his head. “I get hit out of the blue with all kinds of stuff, sometimes helpful, sometimes not.”

At that, Merk walked into the room, sat down, and looked at them sitting side by side. “And Terk can do a lot more than that, which is why he was recruited by the government in the first place. And, since he’s been there, they have successfully completed an amazing number of missions. But sometimes the creation becomes something beyond the original intent, and not all have the ability to contain it or to control it.”

Celia sat back and felt everything inside her stilling, given this information. “I might have an idea,” she murmured, “about why I was chosen.”

Immediately everybody turned to look at her, and she looked over at Ice and nodded. “I was right.”

Ice reached across to pick up her chilled fingers, then gently squeezed her hand. “Go on.”

Celia took a deep breath, but just then Levi walked in. Realizing that something important was going on, he sat down. She took a deep breath. “I ran a test group, doing research on psychic phenomena,” she admitted. “I’m a scientist, and I was researching superhuman abilities and the possibility of the impossible. I had grants for studying all kinds of abilities,” she murmured.

Terk looked at her. “Like the electrodes to the head testing?” She smirked. “Well, I suppose that’s one way to test, but that’s not the way I was testing. We were doing a lot of work, especially with aquakinesis, what some might think of as spoon-bending stuff.”

Terk nodded slowly. “And what makes you think that would have put you onto somebody’s radar?”

She looked over at Terk and saw the understanding in his gaze. “My research would do that. Particularly if Stone’s theory is right.”

“The one about creating more of you?” Merk asked, an eyebrow up.

“Yes.” Terk looked over at Celia. “You were doing the testing because you have abilities, don’t you?”

She nodded slowly. “I do, but it’s not something that has ever really been ratified. And honestly, they’ve been very dulled since I woke up here. From the drugs I suppose, so I am not sure I have any now.”

“Ratification is for governments,” Terk noted. “For those of us in the field, it’s not something we need.”

“Might not be something you need,” she murmured, “but competing for grant money to study it means you have to have some proof. Now”— she shrugged—“ I might need a career change.”

“How well-known are you in your field?”

She shrugged again. “Not at all really, but there was definitely some outcry when I got the grant money. A few detractors thought I had abilities to somehow influence the grant award decision.”

He snorted at that. “Not sure what abilities you have.” He studied her with that same liquid gaze that rattled her spine and seemed to see right through her.

Celia stated, “I can sense energy.” She wasn’t sure if that would be enough for them. She didn’t want to go into too much detail at this point.

“Nice.”

He was trying to put her at ease and obviously saw what she wasn’t saying.

“Give them time to resurface. Drugs can blunt them for quite a while.”

“So someone decided that a cross between the two of us would make children who would do what we do?” Celia asked Terk.

“I have no idea,” Terk murmured. “Of all the crazy things I’ve dreamed up over time, that is not one that occurred to me.”

She snorted. “Well, I’m not the kind of person who walks around expecting terrorist groups to be looking for a secret weapon either.”

“No? That’s my department,” he said, with half a smile. “But somehow taking my sperm and utilizing it in this way never occurred to me.”

“Is that even possible?” Levi asked, his tone somber.

Ice immediately nodded. “Yes, sperm can be aspirated many ways, but I keep going back to the fact that you’d have to be unconscious.”

Terk’s gaze lifted, and he studied her for a moment. “I was in the hospital, remember?”

“I do, and, from what you told me, you were comatose for a few days.”

“A little longer than they thought was normal,” he murmured.

At that, she winced. “What are the chances you were deliberately put under? Deliberately attacked for just this reason?”

“Probably way too high for my liking,” he replied. He crossed his arms, then leaned back against the chair, but it was obvious from the ticking of a muscle at his jawline that the news bothered him.

At that, Ice turned and looked at Celia. “What about you?”

“I was supposed to have an ovary removed because I’d been having some problems.”

“Was it about the same time?”

She winced. “Yeah, you could say that. Also at the time I was having trouble with a stalker. And honestly, I didn’t have any remembrance of it, but I assumed that I’d been attacked and raped by him.”

At that, Terk sucked his breath back. “Well, you can bet it wasn’t me.”

She looked at him. “And you can bet I had nothing to do with what happened to you. And yet, the bottom line is, this child exists.”

He looked at her and repeated, “Child?”

At that, her lips twitched. “I know. I was trying not to say it out loud.”

“Say what?” Levi asked, confused.

“What’s going on?” Ice asked, having picked up on interchange between them.

“I’m carrying …” Celia began.

At the same time, Celia and Terk voiced the ultimate truth together in unison.

“Twins.”
Dale Mayer. Terkel’s Twist (Kindle Locations 573-640). Valley Publishing Ltd..

With that bit of information, things start to make more sense. Although it’s still bazaar and quite frankly more premeditated than initially thought.

As they ready for an attack they manage to get a big heads up from surveillance cameras. Then the fun begins.

From start to finish this book is filled with intrigue, suspense and action. I can’t wait for the final book in this series.

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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author-links-fall-cornucopia

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Silenced in the Sunflowers – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 19 by Dale Mayer


Silenced in the Sunflowers
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 19
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Hearts start to heal. …
Friendships start to grow, …
just not for everyone!

Doreen knows her relationship with the police captain has always been on thin ground. She has helped them solve a lot of cases, but she’s quadrupled their work and constantly gets in their way. So no one is more surprised than Doreen when the captain stops by and asks for a personal favor, concerning a cold case from his own childhood.

Slowly recovering from his injury, Corporal Mack Moreau learns that the captain has stopped by Doreen’s house, asking for a moment of her time. Curious, Mack’s even more stunned to hear the details about his captain’s visit. Mack wants to help, but investigating a case from forty years ago doesn’t leave much behind to go on.

Doreen knows that failing to solve a case has to happen sometime. But she’d do a lot to not have that happen here, not when the captain had personally asked for her help. So, with her critters in tow, Doreen is off and running, … leaving Mack watching—and worrying—in her wake.

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Mack is healing and ready back to work on light duty, his brother Nick is still working on Doreen’s divorce, and they’ve all been hanging out together. They’re talking about how Thaddeous, Goliath and Mugs all defend her when Mack’s captain shows up.

With all the cases Doreen has solved she’s caused the department a lot of extra work, but you really can’t ignore her success rate. The captain has a request to make of Doreen, it’s personal to him. His cousin was murdered, and he was injured decades ago, and it’s never been solved. He doesn’t know if Doreen can solve it, but he’s going to give her the chance.

Before she gets started on that cold case, she goes paddleboarding with Mack, his brother and of course the animals.

This is just one of my favorite scenes.

She burst out laughing. “See? You guys have a great sense of humor.”

“Why can’t I find any women like that?” Nick asked his brother.

“You’re looking in the wrong place maybe?” he suggested.

“Maybe they’re not looking for you,” Doreen suggested.

“It’s not really as if I’m looking either. It’s just, you know, it’s people that I kind of cross.”

Mack tsked-tsked and called out, “Children, children, play nice.”

The two of them settled down until they got to the beach. She stared out at the open water. “See? It looks beautiful.” She pointed to other paddleboarders. “And they look incredibly graceful, like they’re one with the water. It’s just such an awesome thing to see, but, when I’m out there, that’s a different story.”

Nick frowned at her. “Do you really think your paddleboarding is that bad?”

“I can’t hold my balance,” she explained. “It just reminds me of all the things that I can’t do, and this became yet another told you so.”

“It’s not that you can’t do it,” Mack corrected. “You just need to practice.”

“Easy for you to say.” She glared at him. “That’s because you do it effortlessly. Now the trick will be whether your brother can do it quite the same.”

Nick shrugged. “I used to paddleboard all the time,” he noted apologetically. “So I’m really not expecting it to be hard.”

Immediately her shoulders slumped. “Darn. … I was hoping you’d be as bad as I am.”

He grinned at her. “Come on. Buck up,” Nick replied. “Just think. It can’t be as bad this time.”

“Yeah? You know what? I’ve heard that a time or two,” she noted in dark tones. “I think people lie.”

But gamely she grabbed her board, and, with the animals in tow, she walked down to the water’s edge. As soon as Goliath realized where they were going, he immediately turned on her and walked back up to the grass. “Even Goliath has deserted me,” she announced.

Mack laughed. “What about the other two?”

“Well, they don’t want to swim with me,” she noted, “so they’ll have to go with you.’

He called Mugs over. Mugs immediately hopped onto the board, walked to the far end, and lay down. He was no lightweight, so the board tipped ever-so-slightly.

At that, Nick looked at her and asked, “The animals go out on the boards?”

“They do with Mack because they trust that they won’t end up in the water.”

Nick burst out laughing again, and the grin stayed on his face, as he hopped onto his board, and, from a standing position, pushed himself off the shore.

She stared at him. “You can do that?”

He looked at her. “Do what?”

“Start from here on the beach instead of starting out there from the water.”

“Well, it can be hard to get on out there.” Nick turned toward his brother. “Didn’t you think so, Mack?”

“Maybe.” Mack faced Doreen, who looked out at the water. “Why don’t you try it?”

“Is there a reason why you didn’t give me that suggestion earlier?”

He nodded slowly. “Yeah, there is.”

“And what’s that?”

He explained, “Because, when you fall closer to the shore, your chances of feeling the fall are much greater than if you fall while you’re farther out where the water can cushion you. If you land here, you’ll hit this rocky shoreline.”

She frowned, stared at the rocks, and then replied, “Good enough.” And, with that, she knelt on the board and proceeded to paddle her way out into the water.

When Thaddeus— sitting on her shoulder— realized she was now on the water, he squawked, “Help! Help! Help!”

She straightened up, still kneeling, and looked at him. “Really? Really?” she cried out. “That’s not fair.”

She heard the two brothers laughing, and very quickly Mack came up beside her and held out an arm.

Thaddeus, looking as if jumping on a life raft, hopped onto Mack’s arm and then walked up to his shoulder. As he landed there, he spread his wings, fluffed them, and announced, “Thaddeus is here. Thaddeus is here.” As if he were some reigning champion.

She glared at him. “Loser.”

Immediately Thaddeus cocked his head, looked at her, and repeated, “Loser. Loser. Loser.” And the men burst out laughing.

Glaring at the bird, Doreen slowly managed to stand on her board, using her arms to help balance her. And, this time, Nick stayed close by and gave her some tips. She looked over at him and asked, “Has Mack done very much of this?”

Nick shrugged. “Not as much as I have. My friends were all into this when I was growing up.”

She nodded. “And is this like the bicycle thing? Once you learn how to do it, you will always remember?”

“I think after a few times, yes,” Nick confirmed. “Something about the whole balancing act makes it the hardest. Once you get a handle of how to stand and how to hold yourself,” he explained, “I think you’ll find it much easier.”

“Maybe,” she muttered.

As they moved on ever-so-slowly, she did find it a lot easier.

About thirty minutes later, when she was still standing and hadn’t wiped out, she turned to Mack and said, “It’s much better today.”

He nodded. “But watch out for that wave coming up.”

As she turned back to look, she lost her balance, and down she went. As soon as she broke the surface, she glared at him. “You know that I’d have been fine, if you hadn’t said that.”

He just smiled at her, but Thaddeus was laughing at her in his big raucous cackle.

“You better stop that,” she warned the bird. “Otherwise no treats for you.”

And surely it was coincidence, but he immediately shut up and looked at her, with a side glance. She sighed.

“That bird understands words way too much,” Mack noted.

“He really does, doesn’t he?” Nick asked in astonishment. “It’s freakishly amazing.”

“I think he does,” she agreed. “Just not enough to always be nice about it.”

Mack chuckled. “And I shouldn’t laugh at you. You’ve been doing fantastic.”

She snorted. “Sure, as long as you didn’t want to get anywhere today.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Mack noted. “I’m just out here, spending time with my brother.”

“And me,” she added immediately.

He smiled at her gently. “That goes without saying.”
Dale Mayer. Silenced in the Sunflowers (Kindle Locations 201-257). Valley Publishing Ltd..

With her usual flare Doreen, slowly back tracks the case to start with the key players and move on from there.

As always there’s a bit of help from her Nan and grumbling from Mack.

It never ceases to amaze me how Doreen extracts information.

Plenty of intrigue as the threads of this case unravel, and Mack and Doreen’s relationship moves a little further along.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

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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Paxton – SEALs of Honor Book 29 by Dale Mayer


Paxton
Seals of Honor Book 29
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

Paxton, while trying to get clearance to return to work, calls his physio to ask why he’s refusing to sign off on his documents—only to hear gunfire through the phone, killing the man he was talking too. Racing to the scene, he finds the gunman still there, in anguish and in fury, telling Paxton a tale of blackmail and fraud, before killing himself.

Hearing the same phone conversation that Paxton made while in her office, Cherise races behind to make sure he’s okay, as the police move in. Standing together at the scene of the crime, however, puts them both in the target zone, as someone tries to keep the details of the blackmail a secret.

Trying to keep Cherise and himself safe, while unravelling the rot going on under the surface, Paxton realizes just how personal this case has become …

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If there’s one thing Dale Mayer does well, it’s starting a book with a bang. In this one it’s a bit more than that. Paxton has requested a transfer to Mason’s group and is waiting for clearance. Mason tells him to check with Cherise since she would be able to spot something that might be wrong in the paperwork. What she finds is a note from his Physio and that has Paxton calling to ask why. Instead of answers he hears gunshots.

Cherise calls 911 while Paxton races to his Physio’s office. When he gets there, he’s accosted by the gunman who tells him quite the story before shooting himself. Now Paxton wonders if there’s anything to it.

On seeing Cherise outside the building after being released by the police, Paxton talks her into having dinner with him. Cherise texts Mason to let him know what’s going on and he asks that she keep him updated, including Paxton’s mental state.

Cherise recognizes the name of the gunman. He made her uncomfortable when he came in to get information on his paperwork. Although everything Paxton relates about the man sounds like a conspiracy theory, it could also be more than that. The question is motivation, the man wanted to go back to work not the opposite.

After returning home, Cherise feels uneasy. When Paxton calls, she admits to that and also an urge to flee. Paxton heads back to her and intercepts a messenger that then gives Cherise what appears to be a veiled threat to stay away from ‘him’.

Instead of staying put, Paxton and Cherise go out for coffee, and as they go over the events so far, Paxton decides to call Mason. Mason agrees that the MPs and civilian police should be talking in the case and sets that in motion. It’s when they return to Cherise’s that they find another warning in her apartment. Instead of reporting it Cherise lets Paxton take pictures and send them to Mason and then sends him home after they straighten things up.

Cherise is going to end up knee deep in this as the next day she does a search and finds others who have complained about being stopped from returning to work. Mason agrees Paxton should have the names so they can investigate further.

Then dead bodies start showing up.

This is a favorite scene.

“I’m going back to Cherise’s place,” he replied. “That’s the fourth death connected to this case— that we know about. I don’t feel good leaving her alone.”

“It’s still a bit of a stretch to say it’s connected,” Mason cautioned.

“Not that big of a stretch,” Paxton murmured, “but I hear you.” He was already headed toward her apartment. When he got there, he called up from the outside intercom. When she answered, he felt a wave of relief flood his senses, and he realized how much tension had built up on the drive over.“Hey, it’s me. May I come up?”

“Did you bring lunch?” she asked crossly.

He winced at that. “I thought maybe we’d pick something up and head for the beach.” After a moment’s hesitation, she buzzed him in. He bolted up to the fourth floor, with her standing outside her apartment when he got there. “Hey, are you okay?” he asked, reaching out his hand to gently grasp her upper arm.

“I’m fine. I’m just more pissed off than anything.”

“Did you ever ask management if video cameras might have captured any intruders here?”

“I did,” she huffed. “Security cameras haven’t been working all week. So I’m guessing you can probably say all month,” she murmured. “Apparently it’s something they’ve been trying to get fixed.”

“Of course.” Paxton motioned to the living room. “May I come in?”

“I thought we’re leaving,” she said, looking at him suspiciously. Then, seeing something in his expression, she motioned him inside. “Okay. Let’s talk about … whatever.” As soon as she closed the door, she turned to look at him. “What’s wrong?”

“Rick, one of the two guys I know on that first list of four, remember?”

She nodded. “Yeah, what about him?”

“He’s dead,” Paxton shared starkly. Then he quickly relayed the morning’s activities.

She stared at him in shock. “Oh my word.” She walked to her couch and sat down. Then she looked at him sharply. “But there’s isn’t any guarantee that it was connected to this mess, is there?”

“Not at this point,” he replied. “He was apparently at a party last night.”

She reached up a hand to her forehead and whispered, “What are the chances?”

“Not great,” Paxton confirmed.

“You still have a few other names to check.”

“I sent the other guy I know a text message, but I haven’t heard back.”

“Did you check where he lives?”

“I don’t know where he lives,” Paxton noted. “I could head down to the gym and see if he was there, which is where I usually see him.”

“Right. Maybe you should do that first.” She checked her watch. “It’s only eleven. I was planning on getting out of here soon, but I need to run some errands and do some banking,” she shared. “Why don’t we meet up someplace in about an hour, so meanwhile you can check out those other names.”

“Agreed,” he said immediately, then hesitated. “I did get the message with the other four names that got pulled, and Mason told me about Dr. Comline being killed in a car accident.”

She nodded grimly. “And the chances of that not being connected are?”

“Almost impossible,” Paxton declared. “So, as much as I would like to keep track of you all day, I’m pretty sure you won’t agree to having a tail.”

She immediately shook her head. “Besides, you have things to do,” she replied gently. “I’ll just stay aware. I’ll do a couple simple errands, and then I’ll meet you … where?”

He mentioned a hamburger joint within walking distance. She nodded. “Fine, I’m not sure I can do burgers two days in a row, but—”

“We can always eat somewhere else. That’s just an open public meeting place. So I’ll see you there in an hour.” He reached over, gave her a gentle hug, and said, “Promise me that you’ll stay safe.”
Dale Mayer. Paxton (Kindle Locations 1250-1283). Valley Publishing Ltd..

These two are getting to know each other in spite of or maybe because of the circumstances surrounding them. Things are a bit convoluted, and the path gets complicated, but the romance evolves.

The suspense stays high, and the romance begins to sizzle as this story unfolds.

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

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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Simon Says…Run – Kate Morgan Book 5 by Dale Mayer


Simon Says…Run
Kat Morgan Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Author

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

Some cases are clear-cut and make sense, and then there’s this one. Two women, avid joggers, out for a hard Stanley Park Fun Run. Both dead. Both at the same time. Both on the popular park trail. rail running up and down hills dodging rocks and trees is rough, sometimes deadly. But this killer has a unique method for taking out his victims—one that doesn’t leave any forensic evidence.. Detective Kate Morgan focuses on the victims, … until two more are killed.

Awakening in the night with horrible nightmares, Simon St. Laurant curses his life and hates having ever traveled down this strange pathway, particularly when the visions come out of nowhere. This case, though, involves a much more personal element that terrifies him.

As Kate gets closer to finding out the truth, she finds herself following the path to becoming the next victim.

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Kate and Simon’s relationship while not exactly conventional, has been progressing nicely. She still hasn’t totally come to terms with his visions although she definitely can’t deny they happen and are spookily accurate.

When Kate gets called, she really could have used the downtime with Simon. Murder waits for no one and she’s off to join her partner Rodney to investigate. It’s a bit disconcerting that the two victims appear to have been killed at the same time.

Simon has a nightmare vision after Kate leaves him, hours later actually. That being the case when she calls him back, she already knows what he’s telling her. He tries not to let it get to him, but of course it does. He’s even disappointed that Kate just goes home to crash after her day.

Although it’s a Sunday, Simon goes through his normal routine, only to find himself waiting outside the police station for Kate.

This is a favorite scene.

He often had nightmares and dreams, caught whiffs of bits and pieces, but they were in the distance, as if a curtain obscured them. He liked it that way because he could turn his back and carry on. But this last vision wasn’t that way. This last time he was actually in the victim, like a possession or whatever, as she’d been plowed to the ground and strangled. He had experienced her horrible death. That was so not what he wanted.

He could still feel his heart pounding, the adrenaline pumping through his body, as she raced down the trail, filled with the sheer joy of what she was doing, the exhilaration of feeling her muscles burn, as she pounded and stretched them further and further to the max with her efforts. And then the complete shock as something came out of nowhere and slammed her to the ground. He sat here— outside, on a street bench, in the heat of the summer afternoon— almost shivering. He huddled over his coffee, wondering if this sense of foreboding would ever go away.

There also hadn’t been any numbers connected with this latest vision, as seemed to be prevalent with his previous sightings, at least he didn’t think so. He didn’t know if numbers were even part of this case.

As he waited, studying the traffic that came and went around him, he kept a close eye on the front of the station. It’s also possible she’d go out the back, in which case he was completely screwed, or rather had just wasted his time. But anytime something like this happened, it wasn’t necessarily a waste of time, but maybe he needed it anyway as a break. Maybe he needed a few moments of resting time, either before he headed off to another job in order to keep himself busy, or went home alone. When a woman called out to him, he looked up, startled to see Kate standing across the street, glaring at him.

“Off to a great start,” he muttered to himself, as she walked over to the corner, waiting for the traffic light to change, and crossed. When she reached his side, she sighed. “You know that you could tell me that you’re here.”

“I know,” he said, “but I like sitting here.”

“That’s creepy,” she announced.

He snorted. “Given what I do, and what you do, you find this to be creepy?”

She stared at him. “Why are you here?”

“I wondered if there was any news,” he replied quietly.

Immediately her shoulders sagged, and she plunked herself down beside him. “Not enough. And I’m not done for the day.” He looked at her in surprise, and she shrugged. “I’ll go see the husband of the other victim. He’s at work. Apparently he went to work even though his wife just died.”

“Sometimes people need work to bury themselves in,” he suggested, thinking of himself. “It helps to turn the focus away from something you can’t change.”

“And a lot of people just like to grieve too,” she reminded him, “because they are so shocked and so horrified by what’s happened that they can’t even begin to function.”

“And sometimes people go into auto-pilot mode,” he argued, defending this nameless guy. “And they just go on in a robotic way because that’s what they can do. You can’t take that away from him, if it happens to be his coping mechanism.”

“If it’s his coping mechanism, then fine,” she replied in exasperation. “I’m not judging him.”

“Yes, you are,” Simon snapped.

She glared at him. “Is that what this bench-sitting is for you, a coping mechanism?”

He shrugged. “Probably. I don’t know why the hell else I’d be here when you’re cranky.”

“You didn’t know I was cranky before you got here.”

“You’re pretty much always cranky,” he snapped back. She stared at him, and he saw the hurt and realized how quickly they’d slid into a destructive pathway. He reached over and gripped her fingers gently. “I’m sorry.”

“No,” she admitted, “you’re probably right. That’s exactly why I don’t get along very well with a lot of people.”

“You get along fine with people, when you want to,” he reminded her. “It’s just that, a lot of the time, you don’t seem to care.”

Her lips twitched. “Not with the work I do. I want people to give me the answers, and too often they’re just sitting there, being stubbornly silent about it. Or they’re lying or cheating.”

“Sure, but they’re also trying to outwit the cops, so they don’t spend the rest of their life in jail.”

She shrugged. “I’ll get to the truth anyway. Wouldn’t it be easier to just give it up right away?”

At that, he stared at her in shock and started to laugh. “Do you really think it’d be easy if they thought that way?”

She frowned. “Why are you laughing at me?”

“I have this image in my head of your expectation that criminals should see you coming and say, ‘Oh, here she comes,’ then lie down and hold out their hands and say, ‘Take me away, Officer.’”

Her lips twitched in spite of herself. “Okay, so it sounds pretty stupid when you say it that way.”

“Besides, you wouldn’t have a job then. If there wasn’t a need for somebody to sort out the puzzles, there wouldn’t be any need for people like you. You could just have officers walk over and pick up all the criminals who are standing there, with their wrists out, saying, ‘I’m guilty.’”

She groaned, slumped into the bench seat, and stated, “Okay, so it’s a stupid idea.”

“No, not stupid at all. I mean, if we live in Heaven, we might as well dream what we want,” he added. “I personally would like to have no crime, but, if you want the criminals to just walk over and say they are guilty and roll over, that’s a different story. Maybe that’s something we could stop, before it got to that point.”

“Fine,” she moaned. “And obviously we’re not in that world.”

“Nope. … Last I checked, it was still full of assholes.”

She smiled. “I agree. So where are you going from here?”

“Well, I was hoping to spend some time with you, but apparently you’re not off work yet.”

“I’m not,” she confirmed, “although the visit with the husband probably won’t take all that long.”

“Well, in that case, let me come along,” he said, yet a part of him hated that he even had to ask, but that’s just the relationship they had. She was busy, and he was busy, but her busyness seemed to take priority over his, or maybe he was letting it. He didn’t know.
Dale Mayer. Simon Says… Run (Kindle Locations 580-632). Valley Publishing Ltd..

This case has plenty of twists and turns and even Simon’s visions are different than they have been.

There’s a major difference for him and it points to his relationship with Kate even more than before.

I loved the intrigue, suspense and the continued growth of Simon and Kate’s relationship.

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

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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Ryatt – Hathaway House Book 18 by Dale Mayer


Ryatt
Hathaway House Book 18
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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After a rough start at Hathaway House and a major reboot in attitude, Ryatt still struggles to get his feet under him at the center. Seeing his sister back here hit him harder than he expected. He would like to think that, once here, he had a free pass for the rest of his life—but apparently not. Now he needs to see real progress, everlasting change, to make that future for himself that he’s rather desperate to have.

Lana always looked at life with a happy, fun-loving attitude. She loves working at Hathaway and interacting with the patients and staff. It’s heartwarming and rewarding work. Every once in a while she finds a patient who is reticent and even grumpy. That fits Ryatt, but she’s attracted to the dark broken depths of him.

But can she show him another way to live and to view the world? She hopes so, as he’s already helped her to see so much more in her own.

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Ryatt started out at Hathaway House angry and lashing out at everyone. When his sister Quinton ended up back as a patient, he considers it a failure for her. In a fit of pique, he requests to be transferred out, now he’s determined to stay and work through all his issues.

Ryatt is surprised when Lana knocks on his door, he’s sent her away in tears at one point. He starts off by apologizing for his behavior and they start a bit of a conversation having to do with attitudes. Lana is a happy person, and it tends to be contagious. She’s going to town to shop for residents and wants to know if he’d like her to pick up anything for him. He’s surprised he’d never thought of wanting something not readily available to him here. He also learns something more about the tablet he has that integrates with the system. He starts thinking about the licorice she mentioned and messages her. She calls back and he learns something yet again he didn’t know before. Fighting everything around him he really missed out on some things.

Ryatt still doesn’t believe he’s improving at all, yet Shane his PT sees it. Ryatt’s frustration is such that he is still questioning just about everything. Shane doesn’t pull any punches and tells it like it is.

Shane also overhears when Ryatt asks Lana to have lunch with him. A date of sorts.

This is a favorite scene.

She nodded in understanding. “It’s all good.” She pointed outside to the table that she had saved for them. “I didn’t know if you wanted sunshine or not.”

“Today I’m tired,” he murmured, “so the sun will just take more out of me than I’ve got to give but I’d love to catch a few minutes.”

She laughed. “Good enough. Do you want to sit there for a moment and relax or come to the buffet first?”

“Let’s get into line, so we don’t have to wait too much longer for food.”

She stepped in front of him and pulled out the trays that they needed to move along. She’d handle that, while Ryatt had his hands full with his crutches. As she did so, Dennis looked up at her and smiled. “So what’ll it be?”

“I was looking for a salad. Your cooking is killing my weight.”

“You don’t have any kind of a weight issue at all,” he said, shaking his head. “So don’t be worrying about things you don’t need to.”

“Yeah, but, if I don’t keep an eye on it,” she said, with an eye roll, “it’ll become a bigger problem.”

At that, he burst out laughing. “Well, I won’t argue with you on that point because there could be some truth to it.” She smiled at him. “Anyway, how about some chicken on your salad?” At her nod, Dennis made up a vegetable salad, and added chicken and lots of feta cheese.

She stared at the salad in awe. “That’s gorgeous,” she murmured.

“Good.” Dennis handed her the salad, which she added to her tray.

She walked over and grabbed a juice and a small fruit salad for her dessert, chock-full of berries. With that on her tray too, she placed it on their table and looked back to see how Ryatt was doing. He was holding his own, pushing his tray along the ledge of the buffet, except his plate held twice the food that hers did. She returned to him, picked up his tray, and led the way outside.

She smiled when they got to the table. “Wow. You’ve really done yourself in, with that amount of food.”

“I eat this much every day.” He gave her half a smile.

She shook her head. “I would be fifty pounds heavier if I did that.”

“I’m just trying to feed my damaged muscles, which are trying to heal. It takes a lot of protein.”

“I get it,” she murmured, “but it’s a good thing it’s you and not me. I don’t think I could eat that kind of quantity.”

He smiled. “You’d be surprised. I am hungry every day.” Even as he sat here, working his way through his plateful, Dennis arrived with a large shake, a peculiar almost pinky-green color.

She winced, didn’t know how those two colors could even go together. She looked at Dennis. And then she caught the look on Ryatt’s face and laughed. “So that’s more medicinal than fun, huh?”

Ryatt nodded. “Dennis keeps giving me these shakes, getting me to take this stuff, then keeps doctoring up the recipe in different forms all the time, hoping to make it palatable.”

“That’s because it’s good for you,” Dennis murmured. “It will help move you forward a lot faster. It’s chock-full of greens, vitamins, minerals— all the good stuff that you need.”

“I could get it from eating five more plates of this too,” he murmured.

Dennis laughed. “I know you’re a good eater, but not even you can eat all the whole vegetables to get all the minerals and vitamins and nutrients that your body needs right now. Bottoms up.”

“You are probably right,” Ryatt murmured. He picked up the shake, took a sip from the straw, tilted his head to the side as he considered it, and then he looked up at Dennis. “You know what? This one’s not bad.”

Dennis rolled his eyes. “None of them were bad.”

“This one’s great though.”

And Dennis nodded, took his tray full of more healthy shakes, and walked around, handing them off to various patients.

“So does he just do this as an extra offering for the patients?” she wondered out loud.

“I think so, for anybody whose deficiencies are not being met— according to his standards and maybe the nurses and doctors and Shane too,” Ryatt said in a laughing voice. “Dennis is always mixing up these heavy-duty nutritional drinks to help us get through the day.”

“And that’s wonderful of him,” she noted, wondering at all the things she didn’t know about here.

“It is.” Ryatt nodded in agreement. “So many things happen here that I didn’t really appreciate, not when I first arrived.”

“Why were you so angry?” There, she’d done it. She’d asked point-blank what was going on in his head that told him how everything was so terrible.

“I was angry at the world, not at anyone here,” he explained. “I’d just been told I couldn’t have surgery to remove a piece of metal in my back, and it’s something I’ll have to live with. I arrived here, thinking that I would be a cripple forever and that they were only taking me on because of my sister.” He laughed, shook his head, and added, “What can I say? I was an idiot. But I was just so traumatized by everything that had gone on with my accident and afterward that I wasn’t willing and ready to see the good things around me.”

He lifted the large glass with his odd-colored shake. “Things like this. I do tease Dennis on a regular basis because, when he first brought them to me, I was horrified with the taste, of that initial one especially. They were so rough to get down,” he shared honestly. “I lost the first one. It came right back up. Dennis immediately started trying out new flavors.

I’m kind of like a guinea pig here.” Ryatt smiled. “And I appreciate it. I know he’s trying to get me back on my feet, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll make it. Yet, at the moment, it seems so far away.”

“I don’t think it’s as far away as you think.” She took a bite of her salad, paused to chew and swallow, and then added, “One of the best benefits here is the food.”

He laughed. “Agreed.”
Dale Mayer. Ryatt (Kindle Locations 377-425). Valley Publishing Ltd..

We get to see all different aspects of Ryatt’s treatments. Those with Shane and also with the psychologist. Both are so important in navigating recovery as is the developing relationship with Lana.

We see Quinton again and of course Stan and the animals. Dennis seems to always find a way into the stories with his excellent food and advice.  Hathaway House surely has everything to help towards successful recovery.

One of the things I love about these books is how different they are. Everyone is different and while injuries may be similar, no two are exactly alike. The same is true for the people with said injuries.

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

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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