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Mr. Red – The Case Brothers Book 3 by Tessa Layne

Mr. Red
The Case Brothers Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Tessa Layne



They say an eye for an eye, and God knows I deserve every punishment for the things I’ve done. But when Alison comes sweeping into my life like an angel of death, begging for mercy is the last thing on my mind.

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Nicholas aka Nico Case has been played. Not only did his ex-wife take him for a bundle, she also emptied their joint accounts. To top it off his ‘friend’ and accountant let it happen.

With his trust fund locked by his father, Nico is broke and decides to take his brother Declan up on his offer to stay at his new vineyard. What he finds is a bottle of Grappa on the table and dives into it before crashing on the couch.

Alison is Declan’s winemaker, she was highly recommended by Danny who has connections just about everywhere. She has some secrets, but she never expected Nicholas Case to show up on her couch in the middle of the night.

This is a favorite scene.

She lets out a squeak and lowers the pan, a dusky flush creeping across her chest. “I work for Declan,” she grits indignantly. “But you still haven’t told me who you are.”

I drop my head- it takes too much effort to be upright at the moment, and I study her through half-lidded eyes. What kind of game is she playing here? She’s looking at me like she knows me. Really knows me. But I swear I’ve never seen her before in my life. I don’t recognize her voice, or her body. And I’m pretty sure, once the err… creative face covering is removed, I’m not going to recognize her face either. “I think you know who I am.” I don’t have the energy to be coy.

She lets out a sigh. “You’re Nicholas Case, aren’t you?”

“Nico.” I raise my wrists again. “I’d shake your hand…” I shrug.

“Why are you here? Declan didn’t mention anything about visitors.”

The stabbing above my left eye starts again. “He invited me here weeks ago. Ask him.” I crack open an eye, immediately drawn to dark buds puckered tight and pushing through the sheer fabric, teasing me with how untouchable they are. They might as well be eyeing me through a glass wall. I force myself back to neutral territory. “So you’re the foreman? Very progressive of Dec.”

She makes that squeaky noise deep in her throat again. “Hardly. I’m the winemaker.”

That makes me sit up, albeit too fast, as my head angrily reminds me.

“Wait. Dec’s making wine?” Sonofagun. He’s never shown the faintest interest.

“No. I’m making wine. That’s why he hired me. That’s why-” She shakes her head. “Why’m I telling you this?”

I flash her a mischievous grin. “Because I’m the kind of guy women love to confide in.” Not. So not. If anything, I was the kind of guy mothers forbid their daughters to date. But maybe I’m about to turn over a new leaf.

She’s not buying it. She scoffs. “Good to know you’re still a bullshitter,” she retorts with a huff.

“Wait. Do we know each other?”

She freezes, but it’s so fucking hard to read her with that thing covering her face, I can’t tell what she’s thinking. “No,” she says firmly with a shake of her head. “The papers have said all anyone needs to know about you.” Truth. My brothers and I have been fodder for both the society pages and the gossip rags since we were probably sixteen. But she’d only know that if she’s from here. “What did you say your name was?”

She cocks her head, eyes narrowing. “Alison.”


Her mouth thins as if she’s having some kind of inner battle with herself. “Alison Walker.”

“A pleasure to meet you. Alison.” I catch her eyes and let my mouth linger over her name. It’s as sensuous on the tongue as her body would be underneath me. If only we could resolve the small issue of the duct tape.

Something hot flares in the deep dark depths of her eyes, and she clears her throat. “Stay here.”

Like I’m going anywhere. I stare unabashedly as she turns and hurries down the hall, still clutching the frying pan. Her barely-there nighty barely covering the plump curves of her ass as it sways in time with her hips.

Holy. Hell.

Maybe there’s a silver lining in this nightmare after all.
Tessa Layne. Mr. Red (Kindle Locations 176-177). Shady Layne Media.

I really got a kick out of these two. Alison puts Nico to work and even while he grumbles he has to respect what she is doing with the vineyard.

The hot and heavy relationship develops quickly, but of course the rest of Nico’s family crap has to rear it’s ugly head.

A page turning read with a surprise or three. I can’t wait to read Danny’s story in Mr. Whiskey.

5 Contented Purrs for Tessa!

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Coming Soon!

Tessa Layne

Tessa Layne writes smokin’ hot contemporary cowboy and military romances filled with tenderhearted tough guys and sassy strong women who capture their hearts.She grew up in Colorado in the mountains at the edge of the Great Plains. There, she met her own smokin’ hot Cowboy and they had a whirlwind romance to rival any novel. She believes in Happily Ever Afters, loves fireflies, horses, and breathing clean country air. Her favorite thing to do is to sit on the porch swing with a glass of Rose, listening to her Cowboy pluck his guitar!

Feel free to drop her a line (links below) – She loves to hear from her readers!

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Jayden: Heroes at Heart Book 5 By Maryann Jordan

Heroes At Heart Book 5
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan


Jayden Chapman may have always been the quieter twin, but deep inside lay the heart of a protector.

When he came upon a young woman stranded on the side of the road, he recognized her as someone he had seen before…and not been able to help. Determined to not let history repeat itself, he befriended her, as well as took care of her car.

Ruby Mantle had worked hard for years, just to pay the bills and take care of her grandmother. The weight of the world was on her shoulders and she was wary of the large man who came to rescue her. But, soon, she learned that Jayden was determined to help her in any way that he could.

Allowing love to bloom as their friendship grew, life began looking up for them. But, then a problem from her past reared its ugly head, and Jayden stepped in to protect her once more.

Loosely based on Little Red Riding Hood.

Scenes in the book are similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie. 18+ readers only.

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I love these fairy-tale based stories by Maryann. Definitely a different twist. I also love the fact that she delves into the originals as well as the revised versions of these tales.

In this one, Jayden finds frustration as well as love when he takes a different route home from dinner at Aunt Ethel’s.

Ruby is trying to mow the lawn at her grandmother’s in preparation for her return home from rehab, unfortunately the lawn mower isn’t cooperating.

Jayden sees her struggling, her red hooded jacket had caught his eye. When he stops to see if he can assist, he is surprised. This wasn’t a child as he first thought, but a beautiful woman. Unfortunately he has to back away when a man appears in the doorway. He doesn’t want to make things worse for this woman.

However fate does smile on him when he encounters this woman again.

This is a favorite scene.

Bringing his thoughts back to the ride, he left the country road and moved onto a slightly busier road heading back into town. The traffic was not heavy, but he was forced to go a little slower. Up ahead, he could see cars slowing as they moved around a vehicle that had pulled to the side of the road, their lights flashing, indicating a problem.

Not one fucker is stopping to help, he grumbled to himself, flipping on his blinker and moving to the shoulder. The sight of an oversized, red hoodie grabbed his attention. His breath caught in his throat as the driver who had been standing to the side of the immobile car turned and faced him. Ruby! Her wide, blue eyes stared at him, and this time he saw a flash of confusion as she tilted her head to the side, her mouth open slightly.

Swinging his leg over his bike, he pulled his helmet off, his hair curling about his shoulders. Walking over, he could not deny the sense of pleasure he felt at seeing her again.

“What’s the trouble?” he asked, observing her cross her arms in front of her tightly. Recognizing the defensive posture, he stopped several feet away from her.

“I don’t know,” she replied, her voice as soft as he remembered. She glanced back toward her car and said, “It’s been running a little funny for a long time, but I was hoping that it would keep going a bit longer.”

“May I take a look?”

She sucked in her lips, then nodded her reply.

He walked around her, making sure to not pass too closely, opened the hood and peered inside. It only took a few minutes to determine that the repair would not be something quick he could fix on the side of the road. She had edged closer to him and was now standing at his side, looking at the engine, as well. He glanced down, observing her hand resting on the metal of the frame. Her wrists were thin and her fingers delicate. She was just as tiny as he remembered.

“I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know anything about cars,” she said, her eyes moving from the engine up to his. “I just always stick the key in the ignition and pray that it starts and gets me where I need to go.”

He smiled as light pink dusted her cheeks. “Don’t be embarrassed. That’s a lot more common than you think. But you’re in luck because I’m a mechanic.”

Her eyes widened, and the shy smile she offered warmed his heart. “Seriously?”

Pleasure shot through him at her beautiful smile directed at him, and he nodded. “Yeah.” He reached for his wallet and pulled out a business card, handing it to her. “That’s me, Jayden. Jayden Chapman.”

She stared at the card in her hand, studying it before looking back up. “I’m Ruby. Ruby Mantle.”

“I’m pleased to meet you, Ruby. And even though I own a mechanic shop, I don’t actually advise that people ignore their cars. I’d rather see people take care of their automobiles and know what they need to do so that they don’t end up stranded on the side of the road.”

She glanced around at the traffic passing by, her brow lowered as her lips thinned into a grimace. He had not meant to lose her smile but did want her to realize she had put herself in a precarious situation. “Hey, but don’t worry. I’ll call for one of my men to bring out a tow truck, and we’ll you get you back to the shop.”

“Oh… um… okay.” Worry lines appeared on her brow, and her mouth tightened even more.

He felt concern rolling off her and rushed to say, “Don’t worry about the cost. You didn’t call for our service. I came across you and volunteered. So that means we’ll tow you for free.” He hoped his offer would work, but her eyes pinned him to the spot.

“I know that can’t possibly be true,” she said, shaking her head. She bit her lip and glanced back down to the car engine. Finally, heaving a sigh, she nodded. “I don’t want to be towed for free, but I know I’m in a pickle. I’ve got to get back to town to check on my grandmother, and I’ve got to get my car fixed. If I can’t get to work, I can’t get paid.”

Relief flooded him that she was going to allow him to help.
Maryann Jordan. Jayden: Heroes at Heart (Kindle Locations 580-612).

Jayden really has to work at getting Ruby’s trust. She has been let down in many ways by the only boyfriend she’s had. Plus he has to prove to her that his help comes without strings.

Ruby’s grandmother is a wise woman, and it’s her influence that allows Ruby to accept the help she needs.

A heartfelt story with plenty of emotion, love and just enough sizzle to the relationship.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

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Maryann Jordan

As an Award Winning, Amazon International Bestselling and All-Star author, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Author, I have always been an avid reader. In 2013 I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers and finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.

My first novel, Emma’s Home became an Amazon Best Seller in 3 categories within the first month of publishing. Its success was followed by the rest of the Fairfield Series and then led into the Love’s Series. Soon, other spin-off series came along and 8 of my books have made Amazon top 100 Bestselling books.

Gabe, from the Alvarez Security Series won Silver Medal and 5 Star Review by the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Honor Love was an award winning novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Serial Love was an award finalist novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Coming Home was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Discover Love was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.

My books are filled with sweet romance and hot sex; mystery, suspense, real life characters and situations. My heroes are alphas, take charge men who love the strong, independent women they fall in love with.

I worked as a counselor in a high school and have been involved in education for the past 30 years. I have just retired and look forward to more time with family and writing!

I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 36 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters.

When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!

I love to hear from readers, so please email me!

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Releases Tomorrow! Jackson – SEALs of Honor Book 19 by Dale Mayer

SEALs of Honor Book 19
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


A bullet takes out his rig,
but a mechanic captures his heart…

When Jackson is forced to pull his rig to the side of the road as the radiator overheats, he’s not impressed, but when a bouncy mechanic in camo drives back to help him, he’s even less enthralled – with himself. She’s smart, capable, single and knows a whole lot more about mechanical things than he does.

But when he hears that it’s a bullet that’s brought his rig to a stop, he knows exactly what to do – save the woman at his side and find the men who did this.

Deli was sent to assist Jackson and his sidelined rig. Only to find they are caught up in a double cross that has bullets flying and bodies dropping… some of them very close to her.

If only it was that simple… as the bodies start to fall, and their passion starts to heat up… who will be the final casualties in take the last shot in the final act?

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Okay so I’m going to be out of order here, because I was fortunate to get an ARC of this book. I had just started this series and I have reviewed the first two already. I’ve fallen in love with these guys, and the whole Keeper thing is hysterical, well for the guys not involved at the time anyway.

Like most of this team, Jackson isn’t actively looking for a girlfriend, the guys who have found their ‘Keeper’ have set the bar high. The ones who aren’t attached want women with all those same traits. Smart, loyal, and brave are just a few.

When Jackson Pearson’s convoy truck dies as he is trying to rejoin the group he meets someone and finds himself and her in a precarious situation.

When Dahlia ‘Deli’ Montgomery, one of the top mechanics backtracks to aid Jackson, she finds there is a bullet hole in the radiator. Before the tow truck can arrive a pickup drives by pelting the truck but fortunately not them with bullets.

“You know the MPs will be all over this one. They’ll probably tow it back for a forensic visit and then conclude it was just something to note in the files and to not worry about. As long as there are no casualties and not too much vehicular damage, then it won’t get very much publicity or investigation hours.”

“But somebody shot at the vehicle,” Jackson said in exasperation. “Were they shooting at me? Were they shooting to stop the vehicle down the road so they could hijack us? I don’t know.”

“Don’t worry about that right now.” Then Mason hung up.

When Jackson put away his phone, he turned to look at Deli. “Mason doesn’t seem to think anybody’ll give a crap.”

At the name Mason, her face lit up. “Are you friends?”

He nodded. “Yeah. I’m relatively new to the unit, but all of us in that group are friends.”

“You’re a SEAL then?” She smiled. “But a green one.”

His hands went to his hips, and he glared at her. “Hardly green,” he snapped.

She chuckled. “We all have to start somewhere. What you don’t know is, I started at about age six with a wrench in my dad’s garage. I’ve been wrenching ever since.”

He just rolled his eyes.

At the sound of a vehicle they both stepped out of the way. A black pickup truck drove past at an exorbitant speed. When Jackson realized something had been stuck out the window, he grabbed Deli and pulled her to the ground.

Gunfire shattered the windshield of his rig, as the pickup drove right past them.

Jackson tried to identify the plates, but the truck was going too fast.

“Did they just try to kill us?” Deli gasped.

He nodded. “Looks like it. Or to scare the crap out of us at least.”

“Why the hell aren’t you armed?” Deli asked Jackson.

He pointed to his rig. “I had plenty of firepower when on assignment or on these exercises. It’s in back of this rig and the others.”

“You don’t even carry a knife?” she asked, incredulous.

“You are talking to a trained SEAL,” he informed her.

A second and third vehicle came down the road just then. This time there were two military rigs, one the tow truck.

Deli raced to the second vehicle and explained about the pickup that had just fired on them. It took off, giving chase as the tow truck pulled a U-turn and worked to hitch up the front of Jackson’s military rig. He had it ready to move in about five minutes, while Jackson kept watch on the road, alternating with checking his watch.

She turned to Jackson and asked, “Are you okay to ride in the cab of the tow truck? Or you can catch a ride when a driver comes for my rig.”

He still stared at the road where the others had gone. “Did you hear back from them?”

“No, not likely to either,” she said. “I don’t know who they were. But they could have caught the asshole already.”

“Shouldn’t they be back by now?” He didn’t like this at all. He pulled out his phone and called Tanner. “Are you around?”

“Yeah. Mason called me. I’m heading in your direction, buddy. You got a lift yet?”

“If I want to be a threesome inside a tow truck, I’ve got a lift, yeah,” he said with light sarcasm.

“I got your back. I’ll be there in ten.”

Feeling much better, Jackson turned to Deli and said, “Tanner is about to pick me up.”

She nodded, walked up to the tow truck and said, “Good for you.” She opened the door and started to climb in.

He walked over to her. “Hey, if you want to ride back with us, that’s cool too.”

She smiled but shook her head. “I don’t wanna let your vehicle out of my sight. We’ve got this.”

And, with that, the tow truck pulled away.
Dale Mayer. Jackson (Kindle Locations 107-139). Valley Publishing.

This is a situation nobody likes, everyone is military and stationed at the same place, which means it’s someone attached to the base. Nobody likes a traitor, and this convoy was returning from testing some very confidential weapons.

I really liked that Deli is in the military and is more than a match for Jackson. The dynamic between these two is fun and intense. His Alpha protection instincts definite run into resistance with her.

Lots of tense situations, action packed suspense and plenty of heat combine with some fun and heat as Jackson finds his ‘Keeper’.

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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Corpse in the Carnations – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 3 by Dale Mayer

Corpse in the Carnations
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


After getting involved in two murder cases in the short time she’s lived in picturesque Kelowna, divorcee and gardener Doreen Montgomery has developed a reputation almost as notorious as her Nan’s. The only way to stop people from speculating, is to live a life of unrelieved boredom until the media and the neighbors forget about her. And Doreen aims to do just that with a tour of Kelowna’s famed Carnation Gardens. Plants, more plants, and nothing whatsoever that anyone could object to.

But when she sees a fight between a beautiful young woman and her boyfriend, she can’t help but be concerned. Concerned enough that she follows the couple out of the parking lot and through town. And when gunshots interrupt the placid afternoon, it’s too late to worry about how her nemesis, Corporal Mack Moreau, will feel about her getting involved in yet another of his cases.

With bodies turning up in the carnations, and a connection to a cold case of a missing child from long ago, Doreen has her hands full, not least with trying to keep her involvement in the investigations a secret from her Nan, Mack Moreau, and especially the media. But someone’s keeping up with Doreen’s doings… and that someone can’t afford for her to find the answers to the questions she’s asking.

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These books just get better and better! Mack has been visiting more and more, whether to try to keep Doreen in line or just because is still in question.

Doreen has been getting by with the money she’s found stashed in pockets and pinned in the clothing her Nan left behind when she moved to assisted living. She really wants a job, and she really wants to clear some addition space in the home. So much furniture is cluttering the space, some antiques, so she needs to get someone to appraise the items.

Mack does have an idea for her to make money though and that is to bid on the flower bed around the town sign. The Town Council is taking bids as they prepare to replace the current sign.

This is a favorite scene. These two are priceless.

“I didn’t say a death was involved.”

“That would be even better,” she said. “Then I wouldn’t trip over any more bodies, at least not right away.”

“I’d be totally okay if you wouldn’t trip over any more anytime,” he said.

“Suits me,” she said. “I’m okay to not find dead bodies ever again.”

“Besides, it’s not a cold case I wanted to talk to you about. I’ll think about that first.”

“Damn.” She let out a heavy sigh. “So what is it then?”

“I was talking to the city council. They want to redo the big sign with the garden as you enter the city limits. You know the Welcome to Kelowna sign surrounded by flower beds?”

“Yeah, mostly begonias I think,” she said. “At least one of the rings around the sign are begonias.”

“Ugh,” he said. “I’d be happy not to see any more of those anytime soon.”

She nodded. “They’re nice to look after, and they don’t grow too crazy outside, so they don’t need a ton of maintenance. They’re easy for large gardens and make great borders or plots.” At the word plot she winced.

He chuckled. “I can see that having you around will be a constant reminder of dead things and everything associated with them.”

“Maybe. And what about the city council? What were you talking to them about?” Her mind zinged to her ever-dwindling pile of money, and she was deeply concerned about it. “Hope it’s important. And, if it involves money for me, the answer is yes.”

He chuckled. “You don’t even know what it could entail.”

“Doesn’t matter,” she said. “I’m about out of the money I found in Nan’s pockets before donating and trying to resell some of her unwanted clothes. Which means I’ll be diving into that little bit of savings I have.”

“And the gardening you did at my mom’s place? That’ll be a regular thing, if you’re okay with that.”

“I am absolutely okay with that,” she said. “What you pay me will put food on my table.”

“Speaking of food,” he said. “Did you turn on the new stove?”

She pivoted and walked out of the kitchen. “What stove?”

He sighed. “The stove you paid one hundred dollars to replace. A lot of people went to a lot of trouble to make sure you had something safe to cook on.”

“There’s the trick,” she said, “the word cook.”

“I’ll tell you what. How about this Sunday I bring over the fixings for something simple for breakfast or lunch, and I’ll show you how to cook it.”

“Simple would be, like, eggs,” she said, “and I highly doubt you want eggs for lunch, do you?”

“Not an issue for me. I love eggs anytime,” he said. “Don’t you know how to cook eggs?”

She pulled the cell from her ear so she could glare at the blank screen.

“Okay, okay, okay,” he said. “Stop glaring at me.”

She gasped. “How did you know I was glaring at you?”

“I could hear it in the heavy silence of the phone’s speaker,” he said drily. “And eggs are easy. How about we do omelets? They are a little more substantial than plain eggs.”

Her mind filled with the soft fluffy omelets her chef used to make for her. “With spinach and caviar and gruyere?”

Mack replied with that heavy silence again.

“Oh. Okay, so what do your omelets normally contain?” she asked.

“Well, spinach is one possible ingredient,” he said, “but anything I have on hand. Like bacon, ham, leftover meat. You can put veggies in it if you want.” His tone said he really didn’t see the point. “Meat and eggs are a perfect combo. … Plus cheese.”

“Well, ham and cheese omelets are good too,” she said. “Can we add mushrooms?”

“Sure,” he said. “We can sauté a few mushrooms. So are you up for a cooking lesson?”

“Yes,” she said slowly. But she needed to ask him something, and it was kind of embarrassing.

“Speak up,” he said in that long-drawn-out sighing way of his.

As if he knew she was making a big deal out of nothing but needed to get it out first. “Am I paying you for it?” she asked in a rush.

He laughed. “No, you’re not paying me for a cooking lesson. Not with money, not with gardening work, not with bartering or any other method.”

She beamed. “In that case, I’m looking forward to cooking lesson number one coming up. Omelets it is.”

“I’ll bring the ingredients. You’ll write down everything I do, okay?”


“And, on Tuesday, you’ll repeat the menu, on your own,” he said. “You’ll take a picture and send the final results to me, so I can see how you did.”

She chuckled. “Probably better if you come back and watch me make it the second time, and then you can taste the results.”

“Done,” he said.

She frowned suspiciously, wondering if he hadn’t planned on that in the first place. “So you need to bring ingredients for two meals,” she said swiftly.

He howled with laughter. “You know what? You might not know how to cook, but you sure know how to negotiate a deal.” And, on that note, he hung up.
Dale Mayer. Corpse in the Carnations (Kindle Locations 80-124). Valley Publishing.

Of course this wouldn’t be a murder mystery without a body so, yes she does manage to find one of those in a display of carnations by the Family Planning Center that was currently closed.

However, I found her other little investigation just as interesting and heartrending. That starts when Thaddeus finds a license plate buried by the creek.

Antiques, murder, a cold case, a break-in or two, her animals, her Nan, Mack and his team all will have you turning the pages.

I really think Mack is interested, we get a little clue in this one and he does give Doreen a kiss on the forehead.

Laughing, crying and holding my breath seem to be things I do while reading this series.

I wish it was April, because that’s when the next book in this series is scheduled to be released.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links

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

Bones in the Begonias – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 2 by Dale Mayer

Bones in the Begonias
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Doreen Montgomery’s new life in Kelowna was supposed to be a fresh start after a nasty split from her husband of fourteen years, plus a chance to get her bearings and her life back on track. Instead her first week in her new hometown was spent digging up dead bodies, chasing clues, and getting in Corporal Mack Moreau’s way.

But now that the old cold case has been solved, and the murderer brought to justice, Doreen believes things might go her way this week. When Mack hires her to whip his mother’s garden into shape, it seems like a second chance, both for Doreen’s new beginning in Kelowna and for her budding relationship with Mack.

But, instead of digging up Mrs. Moreau’s struggling begonias and planting them in a better location, Doreen discovers another set of bones … and another mystery to solve. As the clues pile up, Mack makes it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want or need her help, but Doreen can’t resist the lure of another whodunit. As she and Mack butt heads and chase red herrings, Doreen’s grandmother, Nan, sets odds and places bets on who solves the crime first.

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I love this series! I start off laughing, and then enjoy every word as the mystery plays out. I love Doreen, she doesn’t know how smart and strong she really is. Her pets are atrociously amusing. Thaddeus is the absolute best with the words he keeps picking up and Mugs and Goliath have become quite the pair.

In the first book, Mack asks Doreen if she would work on his mother’s garden. She is unable to give it the attention it needs and she’s worried about her begonias. They don’t seem to be doing well. This book opens with them going to work on that garden.

This is a favorite scene and started me giggling.

He shook his head. “I’ll take a rain check on that. I stopped by to ask if you could come to my mother’s house. She’s got a patch of begonias she’s fretting about. I don’t know if you can fix them. But, while we’re there, we could discuss what to do and when.”

Doreen donned her expert gardener face. “Of course I know how to deal with ailing begonias. I have begonias here that need to get into the ground. They were dug out when your department came and removed the body. The first one.”

He nodded. “And since I mentioned that begonias had been pulled out here, my mother has been fretting over the begonias in her garden.”

“When do you want to go?”

He hesitated. “I don’t want her to worry, so would you mind coming with me now, just to take a quick look? We’ll come up with a plan on what we can do with them.”

Excited, Doreen said, “Absolutely. Let’s go.”

They walked around to the driveway. Ignoring the people standing and staring outside her house, not saying a word to anyone, Doreen hopped into his truck, Mugs trying to follow her. “Okay if Mugs rides with us?”

Only it wasn’t just Mugs as Goliath raced toward them, Thaddeus squawking from the porch before soaring in their direction.

“Everyone? Really?” Mack sighed and allowed time for Doreen to pick up her menagerie. When they were all in the vehicle, he reversed out of her driveway and drove the five minutes to his mother’s house. It was close enough to walk, but then they would have been accosted by all the curious onlookers.

As they got out of his vehicle, he said, “She should be napping still. I left her ready to go to sleep and came straight to your place.” They slipped around to the back, and he pointed out a large patch that wasn’t doing very well.

Doreen sighed. “If these are begonias, they’ve definitely seen better days.” She wandered the large six-foot-plus patch and then bent down on her hands and knees, plunging her fingers into the dirt, checking and testing the soil. “I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong with them. Is there a shovel handy?”

He brought over a small spade. She dug in close to the roots on the first bush, pulling up some of the dirt so she could see the root system. After scooping away several spades full, she stopped, brushed off some of the dirt against the tubers, and took a closer look. “They’re definitely not happy. How often are they getting water?”

“There are sprinklers and soaker hoses on timers. So they should be getting plenty.”

She nodded and shifted her spade back a little bit, so she could pull out more dirt. Some perlite was all around the base of the plant, but the black dirt was decent. Although plenty of clay was here too, it appeared to be absorbing enough water. As she pulled up another handful, she froze.

Mack bent down beside her. “What’s the matter?”

She plucked up something white, dropping it in his hand. She turned to look at him. “Is this what I think it is?”

He frowned, shook his head, but his mouth opened, and then he froze. “I sure as hell hope not.”
“It would be fitting,” she said in a dark tone.

“How?” he barked, his gaze on what was in his hand.

She snickered. “Bones in the begonias, anyone?”
Dale Mayer. Bones in the Begonias (Kindle Locations 247-273). Valley Publishing.

I’m not sure if I feel sorry for Mack or not. Doreen listens but doesn’t, and she has more than her fair share of problems with the house and money.

Her struggles are real and when her pets find more stuff at the creek she delves even deeper in to the mysterious disappearance of a young girl.

I couldn’t put this book down. Between Doreen’s comments to her stove and her pets. Add in Mack’s frustration with her investigating and you will be intrigued, laughing and turning the pages.

There is definitely an attraction between these two, that I’m sure her Nan wants to see come to fruition as well.

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

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links

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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Releasing Tomorrow! Unmasked – Psychic Visions Book 14 By Dale Mayer

Psychic Visions Book 14
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Winter Blog Blurb

Childhood dreams can come true—so can nightmares…

Lacey always dreamed of a trip to Pompeii but never thought it would happen, until her cousin calls out of the blue, asking if Lacey would like to replace their photographer on their archeological dig.

Sebastian wasn’t expecting Lacey to be, well … Lacey. But he’s intrigued from the start, and then he sees what she can do— even before she does.

As the images of the past rise in front of Lacey, taxing her artistic ability to document them, strange events start happening. Without reason, the atmosphere on the dig shifts to something supernatural that scares her, intrigues her, then consumes her.

For Sebastian these events all bring back memories of the worst dig in his life, and he can see history repeating itself. He needs to stop it this time. He must protect his team and his friends, but especially Lacey … before everyone dies—just like they did last time.

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Winter Blog Review

Now I have to confess, I hadn’t read this series because I wasn’t sure about the whole Psychic thing. I love Dale’s other series so I decided to try for this ARC and I am very glad I did.

Lacey has always wanted to go to Pompeii having been fascinated by a documentary about the eruption when she was just a child. Now the opportunity arises when the photographer on a dig there quits and her cousin, Chana, gives her a call.

With school out, Lacey is able to take advantage of this opportunity and things start getting interesting almost immediately.

What he really wanted was to see what Lacey saw. He stopped at the edge of the dig, turned and called back, “Chana, come here please.”

She raced over.

“What’s the deal with Lacey again?” He watched the color blanch from her face. He shook his head. “It’s fine that she’s here. I just don’t remember what the arrangement was.”

“She’s a middle-school history teacher, out for the summer holidays. I told her how we had lost our photographer, and she volunteered to come. She’s really, really good. But she’s not a pro, and we’re not paying her,” she said very clearly. “But we are covering her costs.”

He shot a glance toward the woman who, even now, was absorbed in a pattern of rock on the ground just off to the side. The mystery of what it was, what it had been, remained buried beneath the ground. Her aura was cream-colored and glowing brightly, even from a distance … “Okay, that’s fine.”

“I’ll keep an eye on her,” Chana said quickly. “She’s my cousin. She’s really doing this as a favor for us.”

He nodded absentmindedly. “I said it’s all right. I do want to see the photos she takes.”

“I didn’t get her to sign a nondisclosure agreement,” she said quickly. “If that’s something you want.”

His mind contemplated the issue. “I’ll think about it. Depends on how willing she is to share her photos.”

“She does this for the joy of it,” Chana said. “For the love of the world around her. She has a very unique insight into everything.”

“And why is that?”

Chana lowered her voice. “I honestly think it’s because she spent years caring for her dying mother— tried to make each moment count before she lost her. No treatment was working, so they knew the end was inevitable, and yet, every day they tried to do something to make that day special. After her mother passed away six months ago, Lacey continued the practice. And coming here has been a dream of hers since forever. All I ever heard from her was how she wanted to see Pompeii.”

He’d taken a step away when he heard that last bit. He spun around and looked at Chana hard. “What do you mean?”

He watched as his team leader shrugged her shoulders. “Honestly? She saw a documentary when she was young, like six or seven. Since then it’s all she’s talked about.”

“And this is her first time here?”

Chana nodded. “I really want to make it a good visit for her. She deserves that. She’s a good person, and she spent a lot of years of her life making her mother’s life easier.”

He kept his thoughts to himself, but he couldn’t keep his gaze off Lacey. What did she see behind that lens of hers? Did she see the people of the past? The death and disaster? The good? The evil?

Voluntarily taking that walk of grief with her mother was difficult. He’d only seen one person do it well— his own mother had nursed his sister to her early end. It took a lot of spirit, a lot of heart, but it could also break someone. And the breaks could be hidden inside where no one knew. That could make them weak, make them easily accessible, make them susceptible to all kinds of dangers. All kinds of evil.

He could admire what she’d done, but she needed watching.

A lot was going on here that nobody knew about, that nobody understood because they couldn’t relate to the dark forces underneath. But anybody who had been called from halfway across the world, with a need instilled at such a young age— well, that meant that person needed to be here. He didn’t know why. But he’d find out. His visit just became open-ended. He didn’t dare leave the site or Lacey alone …

Things were happening. Or maybe evil Mayan god-driven things were happening considering people were doing things they weren’t aware of. He’d seen the anomaly before— starting, as a young man, at a Mayan ruin dig where there’d been similar incidents to what he saw here. Only back then, things got much worse, starting with accelerating verbal squabbles among the crew, for no good reason, but they saw the negative energy coming from one very strong and powerful male energy who was very, very, very angry … ending with several deaths.

The locals blamed Kisin, the Mayan god of death. Sebastian didn’t know what to call it. It was a violent nightmare he was desperate to get out of and by the time it came to a stop, there were only a couple of them left alive.

Deaths that had haunted him ever since. When he’d heard about the incidents on this site, his heart had damn-near exploded in his chest. That was partly why he’d been so angry that his team hadn’t contacted him. They didn’t understand the danger. And they definitely didn’t understand how the darkness underneath was attracted to the light above.

The darkness especially liked the innocence, the energy, the purity of someone like Lacey. More than liked— it fed on it …
Dale Mayer. Unmasked (Kindle Locations 479-517). Valley Publishing. Kindle Edition

As Lacey takes more photos and also sketches areas of the dig. Sebastian realizes that what she is seeing, not only in the photos but portraying in her sketches was uncannily accurate of the past, not the current status of the ruins.

Plenty of strange and unusual occurrences, even stranger people and a possession that will surprise the living daylights out of you. All entwined in the beautiful tragic ruins of Pompeii.

I couldn’t put this book down and I will definitely be reading more of this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Winter Blog About Author

Dale Mayer

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

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

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

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Winter Blog Author Links

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