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Parker – The K9 Files Book 6 by Dale Mayer


Parker
The K9 Files Book 6
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Heading back to Iraq was never in Parker’s plans …

But, when his brother is killed in action, he makes the journey to bring his brother back home to his final resting place.

When one of the K9 War Dogs disappears at the military airport in transit, and all attempts to locate him fails, Parker agrees to investigate during the few days he’s there.

Sandy is making the same journey as Parker—both of their brothers were killed in the same incident. Both brothers had been the best of friends, but this is the first time she’s met Parker. From that initial moment, she realizes something odd is happening in his world. When they find a K9 dog in a rebel stronghold, she’s sucked into a much more dangerous trip than one of compassion and grief.

There’s a reason why the first investigation didn’t turn up anything. … As Parker rattles cages and shakes up a ring of thieves, the bodies start dropping, one by one.

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Parker is going to Iraq to escort his brother’s body home. Saying goodbye is never easy and having been injured himself, he’s made the decision not to re-up.

Sandy’s brother was also killed in the same incident as Parker’s brother. The two men were best friends so it’s not a hardship for her to get to know Parker. A military nurse, she has also decided it’s time to leave the service.

After visiting with some friends at the base, both are restless and Parker invites Sandy to accompany him as he tries to find out what happened to the missing K9 Samson.

This is a favorite scene.

Parker used the ground cover to his advantage, crawling up the hill far away from where he’d seen the light. As he crested the top, he could see a little bit of a rise, and nestled on the other side were several huts and small buildings. A compound with dogs was around the back. He was too far away to see if the shepherd was there, but it would make sense that, if these guys had the shepherd, it would be with the other dogs.

Time was tight. He didn’t want to leave Sandy too long. He’d rather not leave her alone at all. It would be inexcusable to have something happen to her from this decision. But the opportunity was here. And if there was one thing he’d learned from his navy days, it was to make the most of those.

Making a quick decision, he slid down the hill along the back behind the dog compound. As he approached the fence, he saw a big black male shepherd. He gave a slight whistle that he knew the dog should have heard many times in the military. The dog jumped to its feet and came racing to the back fence. Parker gave a second whistle on a different octave, wondering if the dog was capable of jumping to that level. The dog, from a standstill, soared over the fence and ran toward him. Parker had no lead for him, but, carefully maneuvering back the same way he came, Parker slid down the hill on the other side, keeping the dog at his side.

Once they got to the trees, he stopped and hugged the dog. Samson still had a collar on him with his name. Parker crept to the jeep, holding the dog by the collar.

Sandy stared at him. “That easy?”

“It’s never that easy,” he said. Just then shots were fired over his head. He swore and got the dog into the back seat of the jeep.

Before he could head to the driver’s side, Sandy slid over and already had the jeep running. “Get in, get in.”

He jumped into the passenger side. At his feet, he found a piece of rope for a lead for the dog.

Sandy drove like a crazy person, leaving a huge plume of dust behind them. As they hit the small village, everybody was already undercover and hiding, but Parker knew people were coming after them.

“We have to be prepared for them to gain on us,” he cried out as he watched behind them.

yelled, “I’m going as fast as we can.”

He nodded. “After the village we have to find a place to hide. We don’t want to hide close to the village, in case the rebels attack the villagers.”

“No, that’s not happening,” she said. “If we can get to the base or to the airport, that would be the best.”

He nodded. “They were at least prepared for us. I don’t have any weapons. Do you?”

“No,” she said. “I wasn’t issued one. I’m just here as a visitor. Remember?”

“I know. Me too,” he said. “Doesn’t matter what we used to do. It’s what we currently do that matters.” He looked behind them to see a vehicle coming faster than they could drive. “Do you want me to take over?” he yelled.

She shook her head and noticed the vehicle behind them. “I can drive faster.”

“Go cross-country. We should be able to lose them on the other side of the village.”

She didn’t hesitate. He really admired that. She took directions and drove fast.
Dale Mayer. Parker (Kindle Locations 438-464). Valley Publishing Ltd..

Finding the dog and being chased by rebels is only the beginning. They’ve managed to open a whole can of worms and now don’t know who they can trust.

Samson is an awesome dog and is quite the hero in this one. I love how he bonds with both Parker and Sandy.

Lots of action, hold your breath scenes, and a romance that blossoms in the midst of the chaos and grief.

In addition the lead in to the next book has me wanting it now!

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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Flynn’s Firecracker – Heroes For Hire Book 5 by Dale Mayer


Flynn’s Firecracker
Heroes For Hire Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

Some jobs are more pleasant than others…

Flynn agrees to do a security job for Levi as a trial run for more work. Looking after Anna and her animal shelter is a breeze. Trouble free. Until he leaves…

Having Flynn around was both good and bad. To have the help at the shelter was huge, but they drew sparks just being around each other. She tells herself she’s relieved when he’s gone but when a dead man shows up, she’d do anything to have him back.

Someone is after Flynn…
and he doesn’t care who he kills in the process…

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I have this book in the Heroes for Hire Bundle, Books 4-6, but I am reviewing them individually as I read them.

As this book opens you will recall Flynn is no longer providing protection for Anna. He’s been gone for about a week and has also done another assignment since. One thing he did do, was leave his jacket hanging on the back of the kitchen door. An excuse to come back to see her. Unfortunately that little ploy is about to backfire.

When Anna wakes to an owl slaughtered on her doorstep, she calls the police, but after they left she found Flynn’s jacket in her bedroom, with a bloody knife in the pocket. Furious she drives to Levi’s compound to confront Flynn.

Flynn was shocked and Logan suggests they test the blood on the knife. It was human. Now they have find a body and deal with the police.

Since Anna couldn’t stay in her home and animal shelter, Levi invites her to stay at the compound and Flynn rides with her to explain why he left his jacket.

This is a favorite scene.

His famous Irish ire. That damn temper of his got him in more trouble. He ignored the orders to return to camp. Instead he helped set a broken leg and then assisted the injured mother with carrying the children back where they would be safe. By the time he made it to camp again, he was in deep shit.

If there was ever a black day he remembered, it was that, and no one wanted to hear his side. It didn’t matter that he was doing a good thing. He did not follow orders. The other guys didn’t sympathize. In fact, several of them got really angry.

But his CO was an asshole. It didn’t matter how good a job you did sometimes anyway. So Flynn had spent a year traveling, “finding” himself. It didn’t all suck. It was a great year, but the thought that he’d been having a midlife crisis already at thirty wasn’t something he was proud of. But he was lost. Angry, disbelieving the sudden turn of events, and it had taken a long time to get back on his feet.

But now he had a shot with Levi’s company, and didn’t want to lose it. This was what he was geared to do. Born to do. They were all former SEALs. He knew that would change over time. A lot of other really good men were out there who he knew would like a chance to join. But Legendary Security was a fledgling company, and Levi could hire only so many people at one time. Yet his company was growing. Flynn had no doubt in a few years, this would be the company, and he wanted in now.

So when Levi had asked Flynn to look after Anna, the answer had been an instant yes. He’d jumped at the chance and would have done it for nothing, like his official job interview for Levi, so Flynn had been delighted when he was paid.

But nothing had prepared him for meeting Anna. Or for the attraction. It wasn’t all one-sided either. He lived large. And he loved well but was looking looking for something so much more. In Anna, he’d found it. Only they’d argued—a lot. And he’d loved every minute of it. When he’d been told by Levi it was time to pack it in, Flynn had been disappointed but accepted that the job had come to an end. When it came time to actually go, he’d had a hard time leaving things the way they had. So he had left his jacket behind on purpose.

“Are you going to tell me?” she asked. “Is it some deep dark secret you don’t want anybody to know? What? Have you been holding a candle for me?” She sneered. “I know that’s not true.”

He glanced at her. “I guess I deserved that.”

She frowned and stared at him.

And he knew she didn’t understand. “Because I did leave the jacket behind for a specific reason. It gave me an excuse to come back and see you.” He gave a heavy sigh. “And maybe I was staking a claim. So that if any man went inside, he’d see it and know my clothes were there first.”

Her gaze widened, and she jerked her attention back to the road. She didn’t say anything for a long moment.

He slunk back into his seat prepared to sit in silence until they got to the compound.

“And why did you want to come back and see me? All we did was fight.”

“Not quite,” he said quietly. “Or have you forgotten the kiss?”

“I haven’t forgotten anything,” she mumbled.

He grinned at her emphasis on anything. Maybe this wasn’t as much of a lost cause as he was afraid it was. He certainly hadn’t misunderstood her response to their passionate kiss, but it was something they hadn’t gotten a chance to talk about, until now. Leaving the jacket behind was his way of saying, I’m coming back. Apparently, she got the message.
Mayer, Dale. Heroes for Hire: Books 4-6 (pp. 248-250). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

Things start to unravel as Anna gets a SEAL trident in the mail, and the team starts looking at some sort of connection to Flynn. The problem, whoever is responsible is targeting Anna and her no kill animal shelter.

In spite of Anna and Flynn both having tempers, they are really well suited to each other. They both have a love of animals, and I teared up when Anna got a very large donation check which allowed her to catch up on bills and would support many of the needed repairs.

Unfortunately things seem to escalate instead of calm where Flynn is concerned.

Fast paced, action packed and the heat turns up on the fiery relationship between Anna and Flynn.

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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Gregory – Hathaway House Book 7 by Dale Mayer


Gregory
Hathaway House Book 7
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

Welcome to Hathaway House.
Rehab Center. Safe Haven.
Second chance at life and love

Navy SEAL Gregory Parkins knows he’s not so bad off as to need what Hathaway House offers, but he’ll do anything to get in. RN Meredith Anderson is there, and Greg loves Meredith. In the time since they split up, his life has been one disaster after another, including the one that ended his career—the career that separated them in the first place.

Meredith was horrified to hear what happened to Gregory. But seeing his file was an even bigger shock. Greg thinks he’s basically back to normal, but Meredith knows he has a long way to go. She doesn’t know how to tell him, without running the risk of him leaving Hathaway House before his healing can really take place.

But the last thing she wants is for him to walk away from her again. Not if there is any chance that they can find their way back to each other …

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Gregory thinks he’s doing really well with his rehab, but in actuality his progress is stalled. He’s filled out applications to Hathaway House but hasn’t sent them in, but finally he finishes the last few questions on the one online and sends it. The woman he hasn’t been able to forget is a nurse there and maybe just maybe he can win her back. Not the best motivation but at least it got him to try.

Meredith is a bit shocked when she reads through the new patients coming in as she reads some pretty horrific injuries and recognizes Gregory’s name. After a talk with Dani she feels she is ready to see what happens, not only with his rehab, but also with them.

Therapy at Hathaway House is a lot different than anywhere else. Shane seems to know how to get to the root of things and as a result Dani has Meredith back away for a while, changing her shift and patients.

Gregory has a lot of anger and when it comes through it’s epic. Shane is there to sort of guide him so he doesn’t cause himself further injury, but he’s also going to push a little.

This is a favorite scene.

“Doesn’t matter what you want at this point,” Shane said, his voice and tone brooking no argument. “Your therapy session isn’t done.”

“It is done,” he snapped. “And I want to go back to my room. You can’t force me to do anything.” Hating it, his voice rose like a truculent child.

“Yes,” Shane said, “I can. You’ll have to get up off that chair to stop me.”

Gregory was so angry. Again. Where had that anger come from? How could there possibly be any more anger? He was exhausted; his body was pummeled from the therapy. Then he’d beaten his hands to death in the gloves, and his shoulders were killing him. There shouldn’t have been any more anger, but it was rising yet again in another red wave.

“I’ll have you fired for this,” he roared. He knew he was attracting attention, but, shit, he couldn’t stop himself.

Shane chuckled. “If it was that easy to fire me,” he said, “I would have been fired a long time ago. I’ve been dealing with guys like you for over a decade,” he said, “and I do understand a lot about it, and I understand that layers and layers and layers of rage are inside. The sooner we can deal with them, the better we all are.”

“Didn’t I get enough out already?” Gregory snapped. “You not happy with your job? Is that what this is? Are you just angry because you don’t see another little successful check in a box beside your name?” he asked snidely. He hated the way he was acting, but he didn’t know how to stop it. It was just too unbelievable. Suddenly they were at the pool level.

He glared at the beautiful gleaming water, even though part of him desperately wished to be swimming in it. But he didn’t want Shane to know that.

Except Shane had absolutely no intention of giving him the upper hand. He hit the edge of the wheelchair with the ladder and locked down the wheels to the chair. He walked in front of Gregory and said, “You go in voluntarily, or I’ll pick you up and put you in.”

Gregory glared at him and said, “No way in hell you’ll get away with doing that.”

Shane nodded, scooped him up underneath his arms, and then, with a quick flip, tossed him into the deep end of the pool. Gregory hit the water, and his outrage came in a scream of fury as he kicked and pounded and screamed underwater. Suddenly he came up, gasping for air, to find Shane already in the water beside him.

Gregory glared at him and said, “What kind of a sadistic move was that?”

“It was a good one,” Shane said. “I haven’t thrown a patient around in a few years, which is too damn bad as it’s really cathartic.”

“It’s also not legal.”

“Stop being such a crybaby, and listen to your therapist.”

“Like hell,” Gregory roared as he stroked away from him. There was something so damn calming, so peaceful and so good when doing that.

But he was also exhausted. Four laps later, he found himself doing the breaststroke, trying to maintain his floating, and realizing that he’d burned out so much energy that it was all he could really do.
Dale Mayer. Gregory (Kindle Locations 1300-1324). Valley Publishing Ltd.

While Gregory was dealing with his anger, Meredith also has some soul searching to do. Being away from Gregory hurt, almost as much as not supporting him five years ago. So much to sort out, for both of them.

Once again I couldn’t stop reading. So much courage, resolve, pain, and love. Communication is always key, but both parties need to listen as well.

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!

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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Taylor – SEALs of Honor Book 22 by Dale Mayer


Taylor
SEALs Of Honor Book 22
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

Murder is a deadly way to start a relationship …

Finally back in Coronado and his own apartment but still tired from traveling, Taylor helps a neighbor by closing her apartment door as she dashes back to work. But, as he does so, a smell he’s all too familiar with permeates the air. And he’s plunged into a multiple homicide with no meaning or end …

Midge doesn’t understand what’s happened to her life, … but now her home, her workplace, her neighbors are all in danger and are all suspect. … Taylor is the only piece of normalcy in her world-gone-crazy right now.

But even he can’t keep an eye on her all the time …

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Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire! Taylor has just returned from a mission, tired he neglects to close his door and crashes on his couch. Only to be roused by his neighbor who notices the open door.

Midge hasn’t even made it to her own apartment when she gets called back into work. She notices Taylor’s open door and calls out to him before continuing on her way. But Taylor’s door isn’t the only one not closed and what Taylor finds inside has him stopping her from leaving the complex.

This is a favorite scene.

Midge Holloway wouldn’t believe Taylor until she saw it for herself. They now stood in the hallway, outside Midge’s apartment. She stared at Taylor. Then her head started to shake, sending red curls everywhere. Her body followed. She wrapped her arms tight around her chest, but it was hard to hold back her shudders as shock set in. “I barely even knew the man,” she whispered. “What’s he doing in my apartment?”

“I don’t know,” Taylor said grimly. “But we have a very limited window to find out.”

She stared at him, her fuzzy mind confused as she struggled to understand what Taylor was talking about. She glanced up and down the hallway. “This is so wrong. I’ll be in so much fucking trouble.”

“That you are,” he said. “So, somehow, we have to clear you of this.” He stopped talking and looked at her intently. “Presuming you’re innocent.”

Her eyes widened, and she stared at him for a moment before her temper spiked. “I had absolutely nothing to do with any of this. How could you even think I would do something like that?”

“Hey, I hated to ask, but I needed a clear answer,” Taylor said, running a hand through his hair. “I’m short on sleep. It’s been a rough couple of days. Look. In the last eight years that I’ve been in the navy, I’ve seen way too much shit. Not just on a personal level but globally. No, the scene in your apartment is not a new coup taking over a small country and leaving behind only bloodshed, bones and broken dreams. But, on a small scale, it’s really the same damn thing. You’ve got somebody who wanted something, and they’re using people as a way to get it. So you need to tell me how well you knew Gary.”

Just then a door slammed down the hallway, and a guy turned to the stairway without even looking at them. They could hear his footsteps as he went downstairs. She looked at Taylor and whispered, “Did you recognize him?”

He shrugged. “No. I can’t say that I did. You?”

She frowned. “I don’t know,” she said. “I feel like I’m looking at everybody suspiciously. For that matter”— she turned to look at him—“ how do I know you didn’t kill him? Maybe when your door was open, you had just raced away from my place.”

He gave a bark of laughter. “If only I had the energy for all that. You can call Nelson and find out that I just got home like an hour ago.”

“How long do you think the guy has been dead?”

He watched her with respect. “Oh, good question. Because if he’s only been dead forty-five minutes, I could have killed him, but what would be my reason for letting you know a dead guy is in your room?”

She frowned, not sure exactly what his reasoning would be. “Maybe you’re not a nice guy, but you’re not quite the asshole who would want me to come home in the dark and see that either.”

He pursed his lips with a smirk and said, “Good theory but it’s a no on all counts.”

She raised both hands in frustration. “Fine. So what now?”

“We call in the police,” he said quietly. “And you don’t touch anything.”

“I’m not touching nothing,” she snapped. “Except my cell phone. I have to go to work. You know that, right?”

He shook his head. “Tell them an emergency came up.”

“Are you kidding? That’s why I got called in to begin with. Somebody else had an emergency.”

“Let me call the cops first. I’ll see if you can head off to work, but I’ve got a pretty good idea what the answer will be.”

She groaned and paced while he made the call. She heard broken bits of the conversation, but the gist was clear. She’d better stay here, or her ass was on the line.

It made sense, considering it was her apartment and all, but, at the same time, she didn’t want to get into more trouble at work either. Reluctant, but resigned, she picked up her phone and called her boss.

His voice ripped through the air. “Why aren’t you back here yet? I told you that we needed you.”

“I’m sorry, sir,” she said. “But something major is going on in my apartment building.”

“Unless you’re dead, dying or almost there,” he snapped, “you better get your ass over here or don’t bother coming tomorrow.”

She gasped in outrage, but Taylor snapped her phone from her hand.
Dale Mayer. Taylor (Kindle Locations 106-109). Valley Publishing.

With a dead body in his neighbor’s apartment things heat up quickly. Police, Mason, and couple of friends start investigating. Midge works in records and someone has hacked into that system. A very suspicious occurrence on top of a murder.

There are many twists in this book as the investigation into both crimes proceeds with Midge and Taylor right smack dab in the middle of it all.

They also start exploring why they’ve never dated which in itself is a fun conversation.

As with every book I’ve read in this series to date, I couldn’t put this book down!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

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

Gun in the Gardenias – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 7 by Dale Mayer


Gun in the Gardenias
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 7
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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blurb-fall-cornucopia

Riches to rags. … Chaos to more chaos. …
Fire destroys evidence. … Or at least most of it!

Flush with success from solving a decade-old kidnapping case, Doreen can’t wait to find out what’s next in her one-woman crusade to clean up Kelowna’s cold crimes. But, before she can unearth another old case to sink her teeth into, she must tie up some loose ends from the last one.

Steve Albright, fixer for the local biker gang, has made it clear that he blames Doreen for sending his friend Penny Jordan to prison. Steve even suggests that Doreen might have set up Penny Jordan. While Doreen wouldn’t do that, she’s afraid that other people might believe Steve. He’s a popular figure in town and has a lot of friends, many of whom Doreen doesn’t want to get any closer to than she must.

At least Steve doesn’t have his gun anymore, having dropped that in Doreen’s neighbor’s gardenia bed while she chased him from her yard. Which makes Doreen think that maybe it’s safe to dig into Steve’s past. Until she uncovers a connection to three arson cases from years ago and is warned off by Corporal Mack Moreau.

But Doreen’s never listened to Mack before, and it has all worked out thus far, so it’s not like she has to listen to him now. Right?

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I am truly loving this series, the antics of Doreen’s pets, Goliath, Mugs and Thaddeus are so much fun even as they demonstrate their loyalty to her. Her grandmother, Nan is a pip, she’s the reason Doreen has a home and all these interesting issues.

At the end of the last book as things are wrapping up, one of Doreen’s neighbors gives Detective Mack a gun he found in his gardenias.

In this one Doreen has finally gotten rid of much clutter that her Nan had collected over the years. She now wants to do a thorough cleaning before considering decorating to her liking. Of course nothing is simple and she merely finds more things to go through and organize.

Doreen has learned to do a lot, like pay the bills related to owning a home. Selling off of things and finding cash in pockets and pinned in clothing, plus working in Mack’s mother’s garden, has made this possible. She’s also learned a bit about cooking thanks to lessons from Mack.

Mack gets so frustrated with her, she seems to find trouble even as she solves cold cases. He thinks he finally has convinced her to take some time to heal and rest when her neighbor hands him a gun.

This is a favorite scene.

Just then one of the neighbors raced toward Mack, allowing Doreen to sidestep Mack’s question. “Hello, hello, police?”

Mack turned to look at him. “Yes, I’m Corporal Mack Moreau. What can I do for you?”

The man held out a paper bag. “You can take this away,” he said. “Just a few days ago, I was working in the garden, and I know it wasn’t there before then. But I did have somebody run through my yard last Friday night or Saturday morning, it was late, but super early, I don’t know … I was asleep and woke up to see him running,” he said, the words spilling out of him so fast he was hard to understand.

Mack held up a hand. “Slow down.”

“I didn’t know what to think of it. I was really nervous.” The neighbor appeared to be in his mid-seventies at least. The small man with a whisper of gray hair on his head scrunched up his face into worry lines. “Here, here, here,” he said, shoving the bag at Mack. “Take it.”

Mack took the bag and looked inside. His eyebrows shot up toward his hairline, and he said, “Where did you find this gun?”

“That’s what I mean. That’s what I mean. I was working in the gardenias, and I know it wasn’t there before then. But, after that man went through my backyard, I went outside to continue my work the next day, and I found it. I didn’t know what to do with it. I thought maybe he would come back and get it again,” the man cried out. “So I left it there. It’s just me at home, and I knew nobody else would come and take it, but then, when I went out this morning, it was still there. I don’t want it. I don’t want it,” he said, backing up. “You take it.”

“Do you have a dark-brown fence?” Doreen asked. “That runs along the creek?”

He turned and looked up. “Yes, yes, that’s my place. I see you sometimes walking there.”

She nodded. “I love that space. It’s a really nice path along the creek.”

“Not anymore,” he said. “Not anymore.” He kept backing away. “Not when people throw guns into my backyard,” he said. “This used to be a nice neighborhood.” Out came his finger, and he poked it in her direction. “You’re the one who keeps bringing all these nasty people here.”

She stared at him in surprise. “How is that possible?” she asked. “I’m the one finding and shining the light on all these nasty people who have been living here long before I arrived.”

He said, “Well then, you need to find one more. You need to find whoever put that gun in my gardenia patch. It’s really not good for the soil.” He shot her a hard look, and then he turned and left.

Doreen looked at Mack and said in a conversational tone, “I know who dropped it.”

He spun ever-so-slowly, looked at her, and said, “What?”

She beamed up at him. “Maybe we’ll have a cup of tea and talk about it on another day. I think I’ve given you enough work for right now.” She motioned toward the chaos. “Definitely another day.” And she turned, called the animals to her, and said, “Don’t forget. We have a cooking lesson coming up in two days. Mind you get all your paperwork done before then so you can enjoy dinner.” With a big smile, she walked inside and closed the door hard.

She leaned against the inside of the door and couldn’t stop smiling. Mugs jumped up on his back legs, his front paws hitting her midthigh, and he woofed at her. She reached down and and petted him. Goliath, not to be outdone, stretched into the exact same position. She slid down the back of the door until both animals could get at her. Thaddeus hopped up her arm to tuck into the crook of her neck. She cuddled them all and said, “Thank you so very much for saving me again today. And for caring about Mack.”

She knew the absolute joy of having all these tomorrows coming to her, even more so now that the animals had saved her life once more. “Treat time,” she said.

The animals went crazy. She jumped to her feet, laughing, and said, “You deserve it today, guys. You definitely deserve it today.”

As she handed out treats, she couldn’t help but think about the gun in the gardenias and the suspicions she had in the back of her mind. “But that’s tomorrow’s case,” she said, chuckling. “Definitely tomorrow’s case.”
Dale Mayer. Gun in the Gardenias (Kindle Locations 57-90). Valley Publishing.

That gun is just another added frustration for Mack as Doreen just leaves him on her porch.

This case intertwines with the last one and there is much suspense as we see Penny’s friend Steve running into Doreen more than just occasionally.

Plenty of discoveries lead to clues and of course plenty of antics from the pets as Doreen tries to find a sense of normalcy. There are also more hints of a possible romance blooming, but the time definitely isn’t right.

This series is delightful and I perk up every time there’s a new addition. I can’t wait for the next one!

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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Finn – Hathaway House Book 6 by Dale Mayer


Finn
Hathaway House Book 6
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Welcome to Hathaway House.
Rehab Center. Safe Haven.
Second chance at life and love

Navy SEAL Finn MacGregor arrives at Hathaway House not only with half of one leg but with a stoma, one that necessitates the use of a colostomy bag. While it’s nice to once again see his old friend Dani Hathaway and her father, the Major, it’s tough to feel like the least sexy man on the face of the earth. Especially after he meets the pretty nurse in charge of his care …

Fiona Smithers has seen practically everything when it comes to the human body, and Finn’s physical problems don’t faze her. Emotionally she’s wary though. Once before, one of her patients had confused the gratitude he felt for her as love. … That scenario left Fiona devastated to know her friendliness had been misunderstood. Whether deemed love or friendliness, those emotions directly effected that patient’s initial healing and then his setbacks of body as well as of heart and of mind, making her more determined not to run the same risks again. Yet, this time, she may not be able to help herself. She wants Finn in her life on a permanent basis, but, after seeing his obsession with her in his artwork, is that even possible?

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We met Finn briefly when he urged Elliot to go to Hathaway House, at the time he was recovering from his latest and last surgery. He really wanted to see how Elliot did before he committed to going.

One thing we didn’t know then is that he is friends with Dani and when he makes he makes the call, he’s in. As is always true, Finn’s injuries and the approach to therapy are different. Some of his issues stem from his having a colostomy bag, it was life saving, but the position of it and the function it serves is an embarrassment to him.

When Fiona meets Finn, she is a delight. Open and honest she doesn’t pull any punches. She’s not only part of his team, she also frequently helps out with the animals in the Vet Clinic. Her initial interactions with Finn are both fun and informative.

This is a favorite scene

She smiled. “Appearances matter to you, don’t they? You have this view of who you are and what you should be, and, anything different than that, you’re not willing to accept.”

“Is anybody?” he asked, wanting to challenge her on that. He shifted uncomfortably. “Besides, you’re my nurse, not my shrink.”

She settled back and looked around.

He wondered if he’d hurt her and immediately felt bad. “I’m sorry,” he muttered.

“No need to be.”

“Yes, there is,” he said. “I didn’t mean to come across as an arrogant asshole. Apparently, I’ve been doing a little bit too much of that lately.”

“Or, you are somebody desperate for the same chance that you see everybody else getting,” she murmured. “The thing is, when you’re desperate, it doesn’t happen.”

Her words were like a sock to his gut because so much truth was behind them, but how did she know? He stared down at his water bottle, wondering.

“Everybody comes here with that same look,” she explained, her voice once again cool but warm. “And you have every right to it. This is your life. This is your physical body. This is your future. You have to want this change, to be the best you can be. You have to be hungry for it,” she said. “But you have to be willing to do the work to get there. And the work is not always the work that you think it’ll be.”

He stared back at her. He didn’t even necessarily want to go down that train of thought. But what she was offering him was tantalizing. “Is that part of your shrink duties?” he asked, but he tried to keep the sarcasm out of it.

“We’re all shrinks here,” she said, “because we’re all people who walk this world called life. None of us are any better than you. None of us are any worse. We’re all here on this journey. We’re all at different stages. Just because I’m healthy and seemingly whole and have a job where I get to help people become healthy and whole doesn’t mean I’m ahead of you. On the contrary,” she said, “I’ve learned so much on a day-to-day basis from each and every one of you that I know that I’m further behind.”

She almost took his breath away. He took a sip, trying to gather his thoughts as he considered her words. “I guess you’ve seen it all, haven’t you?”

“I keep thinking I have, and then I get a new patient with a new set of problems and a new set of beliefs and a new set of handicaps, and I realize that, yet again, somebody new with something different has presented which I haven’t seen before, and it’s another opportunity to learn.”

Her words were hard-hitting, and yet, so damn meaningful that it made him feel small. “It seems like, every time you open your mouth right now, you come out with something incredibly prophetic, and it makes me feel even smaller,” he admitted. “I had no idea my insecurity was such an issue.”

“What I’ve found,” she said in a conversational tone, leaning forward and linking her fingers loosely in front of her, “is that whenever we’re up against a new challenge— in your case, your physical disabilities— it makes us all feel very insecure because it’s different. We don’t experience a stable footing to stand on. We don’t know what we’re up against, so we don’t have the confidence to know if we can handle it. It’s as if the mountain seems to be so big that you just don’t have the coping skills, so everything falls apart. And the first thing to go is your sense of confidence, your sense of security, your ability to do versus maybe I can do.” She cut her roll in half and offered him half.

He stared at it and then nodded. He leaned forward, wincing only a little at his back as it twinged with the movement.

“Did you lose that kidney too?” she asked, her tone so normal and commonplace.

He laughed and said, “I did. That and a bunch of other stuff.” He picked up the half of her roll, took a bite and slowly savored it.

She nodded and said, “You haven’t allowed yourself much in the way of food, have you?”

Instinctively he gazed at his waist. She nodded, “Because whatever goes in has to come out, and you’ve been avoiding what comes out.”

He flushed, looking around, wishing she kept her voice low.

“If I were to stand on this tabletop and yell out to everybody that you have a colostomy bag,” she said comfortably, “not one person here would give a shit or be fazed by it.”

“How do you know?” he asked in horrified fascination. “Do you do that to all the newbies who come here?”

She stared at him in surprise for a moment and then went off in a peal of laughter. When she finally calmed down, she wiped the tears from her eyes, still chuckling, and said, “Oh, that was great,” she said. “No, I don’t. I should though, shouldn’t I?” Still chuckling, she checked her watch and said, “Not sure what time your next appointment is, but I have to get going.”

“What time is it?” he asked.

“One.”

He nodded. “I should go too. I’m not exactly sure how anything works here, but it seems like it’s not really been set up yet.”

“That’s normal until everybody on the team gets up to speed,” she said, standing. “Do you want a hand back?”

“I think the answer that I’m supposed to give you,” he said, “is, No, I’ll do it myself. But the honest truth is, I would. I’m quite tired.” He lifted a hand to see it trembling.

She gave a decisive nod. “I’m taking my lunch back to my desk. Let’s get your drink and your lunch and bring it back with you.” She quickly packed up a tray, put it on his lap, walked behind him, pushing him toward his room.

“Are you supposed to see me this afternoon?”

“Yes, I am,” she said. “Will you be there, or will you run away?”

“I was thinking that I really wanted to see you,” he said. “You have a take on life that’s refreshing.”

“It’s because I like to take life by the hand and give it a good shake and see what falls out,” she said, still laughing.

“Like I said, refreshing.”
Dale Mayer. Finn (Kindle Locations 490-538). Valley Publishing Ltd..

As Fiona works with Finn she finds her attraction to him growing but because of things that happened previously she is very wary of her feelings. Something she find the animals help with.

Finn finds himself more than a little attracted to Fiona and he knows he needs to find a comfort zone with his own body.

It’s quite the interesting journey for Finn and Fiona, balancing the personal and professional. There’s also Finn’s friendship with Dani that puts and interesting twist on things even though Dani and Aaron are solid and engaged.

I loved seeing Stan the Vet, he does so much and with the new additions of an Appaloosa named Appie and his sidekick a llama named Lovely, plus some difficult cases we see a new side to him. I think he needs a book. Did I mention the puppies and the injured Mom?

Then there’s Danny from the kitchen, he seems to be everywhere and knows what everyone needs nutrition wise. I’d like to know more about him as well.

I truly love the entire process that we witness in these books, from the first day to almost the end of a stay.

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!

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

Elliot – Hathaway House Book 5 by Dale Mayer


Elliot
Hathaway House Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Welcome to Hathaway House.
Rehab Center. Safe Haven.
Second chance at life and love

Former Navy SEAL Elliot Carver came to Hathaway House to get help with the lingering repercussions of a mission gone bad. His body is dealing with the physical trauma of a spinal cord injury, while his mind is caught in a loop of painful memories that he can’t sideline, and both won’t let him heal the way he’d like.

Former ER Nurse Sicily Lawrence has just made her way out of a difficult relationship, and the quietness of the night shift at Hathaway House gives her peace of mind. The last thing she needs is to get involved in another volatile union. But she has seen injuries like Elliot’s before, and she knows that a certain type of therapy can help. One Elliot isn’t interested in trying.

Now, for Elliot’s sake, Sicily must push him toward the progress he needs, even it means losing him. And, with time and luck, maybe they can cross the hurdle and find each other at Hathaway House.

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Every time I start a book in this series, I am taken by the beauty and serenity portrayed in the property. The perfect setting for rehab and new beginnings for folks who manage to get a bed here. I really love that the Veterinarian Clinic and Shelter is there, animals are great helpers in the healing process and they also get the love and attention they need.

Elliot is one of the fortunate ones admitted to Hathaway House. A former SEAL his injuries go beyond the physical, he has some extreme PTSD nightmares that have him waking every night. This causes such exhaustion he can’t function, let alone do the physical therapy.

The staff is very creative though and Sicily his night nurse keeps trying to come up with ways to help him sleep. One thing that seems to work is a massage to relieve the cramping muscles of his back. She has an idea that the hot tub could help as well and approaches Dani about that as well as the possibility of Equine Therapy. Unfortunately Dani has been unsuccessful in finding the right resource for it. Sicily takes on the project of finding someone close and qualified.

In helping Elliot find the rest he needs, Sicily finds herself developing a close friendship with him. While Elliot hopes that their friendship might turn into more, he also recognizes the things he needs to accomplish and those he needs to conquer.

This is a favorite scene when Elliot invites Sicily to breakfast.

Many relationships existed on the surface only and never touched the deeper layers. There was no need to unless somebody was involved in some sort of major trauma. Most people never found out who they were on the inside at that level. Once a trauma happened to one half of a pair, then the other partner was pulled in, whether they wanted to be or not. They couldn’t avoid seeing what the injured person was going through.

The best relationships grew out of times of stress, when you saw how the other person acted at the worst point in their life. If you still respected that person and still loved and appreciated who they were at that point, then the relationship had every reason to flourish. But so many other people would take one look and crack. They couldn’t handle seeing the other person in pain, realizing they didn’t have it in them to be supportive or to be there for that person during the hard times.

“Shall we sit over there?” Sicily pointed to the sunny side of the deck, interrupting his musings.

“Sure.” He let her lead, then followed.

He always figured when he was in a relationship he was there not for a good time but for a long time. But he’d been the first to admit that hadn’t worked out so well. Now maybe that would change. He was no longer leaving the country on a regular basis, and his work was no longer dangerous. Hell, he didn’t even have a job. That was a real issue. Sure, he had a pension, but it wasn’t the same thing. He still intended to be a fully functioning member of society, paying taxes and putting money away for retirement. That had not changed. He just didn’t know what he wanted to do. Although he was leaning toward business. He just had no idea what facet. He was who he was on the inside, and he was the same person he’d always been. Now the person on the inside was a little stronger. He was a little wearier, and he’d seen a whole lot more of the world and of himself than he’d have liked, but it was all good. He could do this. Most of the time.

“Thanks for the invite,” Sicily said.

Given a choice, he’d do this every day. “You’re welcome.” If Sicily was his, he could do this all the time.

Until all those memories came out of the shadows and attacked him, like some enemy who he knew existed but had never seen. One of the most frustrating things for him was that he didn’t necessarily know when or how the attacks would happen or from what corner. He knew that they were coming, and they would give him hell.

He’d been through a battery of psychological tests. He knew who he was on the inside, so when he’d hit the bottom, there hadn’t been any ugly surprises. The biggest surprise was how deep and bottomless that well of falling seemed to be. But as soon as he landed, he took stock and got back on his feet and then crawled up again. It was not easy, not fast and certainly didn’t happen without help, but he had made it.

As he looked around at the people beside him, he realized this was exactly where he needed to be. Everyone here was in the same place mentally. Sure, there were ups and downs and some differences, but they were all on the path to recovery. They had all turned the mental corner and were doing what they needed to do for their own sakes. Not that they didn’t care about their friends, family, children or spouses, but the rehab patients had to do what they had to do right now. So they were here, doing what they did best, and that was dealing with life. A new life. He settled in to enjoy his meal.
Mayer, Dale. Elliot: A Hathaway House Heartwarming Romance. Valley Publishing Ltd. Kindle Locations (255-284). Kindle Edition.

A complicated relationship develops, one where Elliot is challenged at every turn to do more and better, until the final straw. The Equine Therapy is a definite no for him even though he agrees to watch others do it and after all the work Sicily put into to find someone, she is hurt that he won’t try, but also recognizes the benefits for some of the other patients.

I mean seriously, Dani wouldn’t bring something in that would only benefit one person.

I enjoyed every single page of this book. While every man in this series has different issues, Elliot is by far the most unique of the bunch. I cheered and sniffled with every hurdle he conquers. Even as Sicily discovers a hurdle or two she needs to address as well.

Love these two together, and 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!

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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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page