Saturday, February 21, 2015

In the Spotlight...L.M. LeFerrur

Please join me in welcoming L.M. LeFerrur and her new release, Rekindled Heat. 

Be sure to check out the buy links!


Blurb:
She had loved and lost…and gained. 

Drea Tate had loved once. One night shattered her world. Left alone and pregnant, Drea moved to Second Chance, Pennsylvania and began a new life for her and her son. 

Bail Enforcement Agent Micah Bridges lands the opportunity to score some quick money catching a bail jumper in a sleepy town in Pennsylvania. Little did he know that he’d find the woman he’d loved…and a son he didn’t know had existed.




Excerpt:

“Why don’t you get us both a beer?” was the man’s only reply. Official part of the meeting was over. Time for some alcohol.
Micah weaved his way through the tables toward the bar. He wedged his body between two people sitting on stools at the end. While he waited for the bartender, he tapped his fingertips against the scarred, wooden counter top. Though he wouldn’t mind if she took her time.
She had one of the finest asses he’d ever seen. Heart-shaped and softly rounded. Just enough for a man to grab hold of. She wore form-fitting jeans and a snug, black T-shirt. Bleached-blonde hair, cut short, drew his attention to her long, elegant neck.
Memories slammed into his mind, nearly staggering him. He had once known someone with a similar body build. Right down to the elegant neck. She had been slimmer than the bartender. But she had been his. They had pledged their love, their futures, to one another.
He shook his head to clear his mind of the visions of her. That was years ago. Time had changed him. Made him harder, scarred him, made him more of a realist. He had loved her, but sometimes situations made a person walk away from the ones they cared for.
Someone moved passed and air wafted behind him. Micah sniffed. The normal bar smells were there, but another scent assaulted him.
Warm, alluring vanilla.
Realization crashed over him, robbing him of breath and weakening his knees. He had to lean against the bar to support himself.
That scent belonged to only one person.
Her.
The love he’d thought was lost forever.
His Drea.

* * * *

Awareness crept up Drea Tate’s spine. Someone’s gaze weighed heavily upon her.
She turned and looked down the length of the bar. Mostly her regulars.
A man with blonde hair slicked away from his face stood at the opposite end. He leaned what she estimated to be a six-foot tall frame against the counter, probably waiting for her. Drea excused herself and moved toward him. Something about him was oddly familiar. Like she’d met him before. She couldn’t shake the feeling that she knew this stranger…intimately.
Suddenly, her stomach summersaulted, and she paused, mid-step, to lay a hand over it. Strange.
Drea continued to approach the customer. For reasons unbeknownst to her, her belly fluttered wildly again. She’d once known a man who could make her feel like a high school girl crushing on her first love.
He had been her real first love. The man she would have walked with through the burning fires of Hell.
The father of her four-year-old son, Reed.
Couldn’t be him. He’d died years ago. His uncle had told her that.
With a mental shrug, she reached the customer. “What can I get you?”
Her eyes locked with his. She’d know those amber-colored pools anywhere. She froze, rooted to the floor. It couldn’t be.
Could it?


Buy Links:

Barnes and Noble - http://bit.ly/1M9h5ja

Secret Cravings Publishing - http://bit.ly/1IKRwWn

All Romance E-books - http://bit.ly/1AfygLa


Author Bio:

I'm a writer of sexy romances with a kick of heat! Though my contracted stories are paranormals, I haven't discounted writing a contemporary or two.

I live in Pennsylvania just a hair shy of the Maryland border. I live with a family I adore which includes two furry feline children and a furry canine daughter.

In my spare time, I'm more than likely watching television. I watch Bones, Blue Bloods, NCIS:New Orleans, or some sort of car show like Wheeler Dealers.

I'm a huge sports fan, football in particular. During the fall/winter, I'm watching Notre Dame or Penn State on Saturdays and the Saints or Colts on Sunday.

I've been known to have my nose buried in a book. Nora Roberts/JD Robb and Clive Cussler are favorites of mine. I know, I know...Clive Cussler isn't a romance author. The man can weave a tale of adventure like no other!

Find her at:


Friday, February 13, 2015

In the Spotlight...Sexy to Go!




Sizzling short stories from top-selling authors


Sample romance in all its flavors in Sexy to Go. From paranormal to contemporary, you’ll find your fix here. Look for a brand new collection every month.




Punishing the Messenger by Tara Quan
When her flighty cousin bails hours before the wedding, Kailee Chan is forced to deliver the news. The dominant groom punishes her instead, and her submission leads to a far more serious commitment.

Trio Concerto by Eva Lefoy
Casi suffers a scheduling mishap, but finds impromptu sex in the forest fulfils more than one personal fantasy. When the sexy shifters vanish, she’s left with an invitation to return. Does she dare?

To Love Again by Allie Ritch
Kara is a reincarnated sorceress who has cheated death to return to her vampire lover again and again. She always comes back to Griffin. And she always leaves him, too. Now the anniversary of her first death has arrived, and she’s fated to die. Will she finally let Griffin turn her so they can be together forever? Or will she love him again in the next life?

Faking It by Sofia Grey
Lucy can’t believe her luck. Upgrade to 1st class flight and a hot hunk in the next seat. He’d never be interested in a geek, so maybe it’s time to reinvent herself? Faking it has never been such fun.

Assistant Seduction by Jocelyn Dex
When the temp agency sends Kyla a hunky male assistant, who looks as if he stepped out of one of her erotic stories, will she get more than she bargained for?

Unconventional Spark by Allyson Lindt
If Jade can’t learn to balance business and pleasure, she’ll lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her—the unconventional spark she shares with her boyfriend, Brandon

Dancing in the Flame by Ann Gimpel
Keira’s an indentured hooker. Mired in the hopelessness of her dreams, she longs for more and finds it in Barrett. He’s not what he seems, but neither is she—except she doesn’t know it yet.


Skin by Leigh Ellwood
Skin - One needs a tough skin to endure an unpleasant situation. When Lt. Andromeda Kurn is sentenced for damaging property during a shore leave, the skin suit she must wear enhances the pleasure of her punishment.

Meant to Be by Nerika Parke
A rock concert, a chance meeting with a sexy musician and a night on the beach turn Jessica’s unremarkable life upside down when she takes a weekend away for her birthday.

Dreamwalker: Key to Paradise by Pamela Moran
Pulled together through a world of dreams, Lena and Davis might have found the Key to Paradise. Can he convince her to take a chance, to believe in impossible possibilities, to hold on to their dream?

For His Pleasure by Shiloh Saddler
A black slave and white plantation owner’s son narrowly avoid being separated when the estate is sold. Forced into poverty they must work hard to survive. But through the hardship their love endures.

Buy Links:




Monday, February 9, 2015

In the Spotlight...Sara Burr!

Please join me in welcoming Sara Burr and her debut Astraea Press release, Underground Rose.

Be sure to check out the buy links!

Blurb:

After her surprise discovery of a mystical gift, fourteen-year-old Rose Wilson thinks her life is ruined. It turns out she comes from a long line of gifted women, and despite her protests, Rose’s mom ships her off to her grandmother’s house to spend the summer learning about her family’s well-hidden secrets. To make matters worse, Rose is expected to carry out this tradition alongside her mousy, bookworm cousin, Megan. What a waste of a summer.
With some effort, Rose and Megan manage to find common ground and by the time they get home, they’re working together to adjust to their new life. But everything is turned upside down again when their families are exposed by witch hunters who call themselves The Witches’ Hammer. With killers on the loose, their tiny town isn’t safe anymore. Rose’s entire family is fragmented and forced to flee through a network of hiding places, dubbed The Witches’ Underground Railroad.


As she journeys to the sea, Rose learns more and more about who she really is. The closer she gets to her destination, the more danger she encounters, until she is forced to make the ultimate decision: follow her family’s edict of non-violence and become an orphan, or save her mom’s life.

Excerpt:

A pool of blood already surrounded Amber's head, and she was as pale as a ghost. Her breathing was shallow and labored.
Rose started parting her wet hair, little by little, trying to find the wound. Finally, after the longest minute of her life, she found it. The wide cut was right on the crown of Amber's head – how could she have missed that? – and it was bleeding fast.
Fighting not to gag at the metallic smell, Rose put her hands on the slippery gash and pushed, like the lady said, but the blood just seeped through her fingers. The bleeding wasn't stopping. Was she doing it right?
Feeling completely helpless, she began to sob.
She didn't dare leave Amber again to go back to the phone.
“I don't know what to do!” she cried out. “Help,” she croaked, knowing no one could hear. “Please help.”
Suddenly, she felt something strange happening, deep inside her chest. A comforting warmth, like hot chocolate on a freezing cold day, heated her from the inside out. It spread and expanded from her chest, bubbling and tingling like a fizzy drink, growing like wild morning glory vines, covering every part of her insides.
Was it coming from her heart?
It grew until she felt like she couldn’t contain all that heat for one second longer. Then, when she thought she might just explode, the heat-vines raced down her arms. An effervescent mixture of blue, pink, and purple light exploded from her hands, and surrounded Amber's head like a quivering, transparent cocoon.
Rose sucked in a breath and blinked in disbelief.
She was frozen – afraid to move or even breathe. She stared with her mouth agape, her emerald eyes wide, as the bleeding slowed.
What the heck is happening? she thought. Is this a dream?
She didn't understand what she was seeing. Was it ... magic?
The glimmering cocoon continued pulsating from her fingertips, surrounding Amber's head. Rose didn't dare let go, for fear of undoing this miracle.
Then Amber started to stir.
This was not something Rose wanted to discuss. What kind of a freak would Amber think she was? Reluctantly, she removed her hands.
The vines of warmth snapped back into her, like a recoiling measuring tape. Then, the peculiar sensation was gone. No more heat. No more colors. She looked at her hands in a mixture of awe and disgust.
What was that? she asked herself.
She didn't know, but she was glad it was over.

A few short seconds later, Amber opened her eyes. Her face so pale her freckles looked three dimensional and her icy blue eyes were even more clear than usual.

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Underground-Rose-Sara-Burr-ebook/dp/B00SILJ5P4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422166576&sr=8-1&keywords=Underground+Rose

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/underground-rose-sara-burr/1121090605?ean=2940150267275

About the Author:

Sara has been entranced by the written word for as long as she can remember. The daughter of a school teacher, she fell in love with books as soon as she could read them. She wrote her very first story, about a girl who ran away and hid in her cousin’s lilac bush, when she was just eleven. Although her stories have grown more complicated and less petulant since then, Sara still loves to entertain kids with her words.

When she isn’t writing, Sara has a big family to keep her busy: a husband who is her other half, and four children who are wonderfully individual. They live next to a beautiful lake in a tiny town with no street lights. Sara spends lots of time taking care of little superheroes. She likes to camp with her family, enjoys traveling, and hopes to see the Northern Lights someday.


Social Media



Friday, January 30, 2015

In the Spotlight...Ashley Stambaugh!

Please join me in welcoming Ashley Stambaugh and her new release, Torn!

Be sure to check out the buy links!

Genre

urban fantasy, new adult/adult

Back cover blurb

Three months have passed and Melina thought she was safe. Safe from the effects of the angel powers and safe from the Noxin demons. But she thought too soon.

Just as she’s starting to enjoy her new powers and her new relationship with Lee, the slight pain she still experiences after using the powers starts to grow worse. As the pain becomes more and more unbearable, she finds herself lashing out at innocent people with unexplained anger and hatred. Then to make matters worse, she sees a Noxin demon again.

No one, not even the elders, seems to know what’s happening to Melina, or how a Noxin demon found her. And when she’s introduced to Dean, another unique human like herself, she learns that his pain is completely gone, which only makes her situation even more confusing.

Grasping for any type of answer, Melina throws out one possible explanation after another. But as her angry feelings intensify, and her angel powers grow weaker, she begins to think there might be something malevolent inside her that’s trying to take over. It’s not long before her internal struggle spirals out of control, and her body is turned into a battlefield that’s torn between good and evil.

Melina fears that if no solution is found, then she might lose all the people she loves, especially Lee. But what scares her even more is that she might lose herself to evil.

Tag line

Choosing between good and evil isn’t always that easy.


Excerpt

            Melina released his hands and nodded again as she turned to gaze out the front windshield. "I'll talk to him as soon as I…ʺ Her voice trailed off as she continued to stare out the window.
            "Is it the pain again?ʺ Lee asked.
            "No," Melina replied, her face turning paler by the second.
            He glanced out the window and then back at her, a look of concern in his eyes. ʺWhat’s wrong then? What do you see?"
            "A demon." She continued to stare out the window, her body frozen stiff with fear.
            Lee's brow furrowed. "Why are you so scared? I know you can see angels all the time now, but I thought you could see all sorts of different demons now, too. "
            Melina's eyes remained fixed out the window. The demon's black, billowy figure wasn't exclusive to his particular group, but the fiery red eyes were unmistakable.         
            "This isn't just some random demon. It's a Noxin demon."
            Lee's expression turned serious. "Those are the ones I saw on the video footage from my apartment, right? The ones you said were really dangerous?ʺ
            She gave him a stiff nod, but kept her gaze locked on the demon. Out of the corner of her eye she saw him looking out the window to see if he could spot the demon himself.
            "Where is he?ʺ Lee asked.
            "He’s behind the antique store across the street, lurking back in the alley.ʺ
            Lee leaned forward in his seat and squinted his eyes as he looked in that direction. ʺI don't see it."

            Melina's breath suddenly caught in her throat. "It's gone. It's gone!ʺ She sat up in her seat, her eyes frantically searching the area outside. A few seconds later she turned to look at Lee, her bright green eyes wide with fear. "This is serious. We need to go.ʺ


About the author

Ashley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.

Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys and their comical black Pug. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.

When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.


Social media links




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Drum roll please....here's a cover reveal!

Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to Miriam Khan's new book cover for her YA Paranormal Romance, Seasons of Time. Whoot! Leave a comment below along with your e-mail address to be entered to win a free e-copy of Seasons of Time when it releases!



Here's the Goodreads link.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23491033-seasons-of-time


How about the prologue and Chapter One? It's all yours.


Prologue

The woman who was lying on her bed was beautiful, with hair a reddish gold and a face as pure white and soft as ivory silk. Although bestowed with love and cherished by those who knew her well, she lacked what most would have called "blessed with substantial wealth." Even so, she imagined she could win the affections of an honorable prince, perhaps a count, a true royal, one who could sustain her heart and flourish within her dreams.
She laughed at her foolishness and stroked the small painting of her beloved, decorated in twine and rose petals she had weaved throughout the night. As she placed a finger to his lips, she marveled at the likeness, wondering if she truly was a gifted artist.
But it was inevitable she would paint him so. He was etched to her mind. Even with her eyes closed, she could see every curve of his exquisite face, the deep earthly heaven of his eyes and sensuous lips. He had betrayed her, yet she still hungered for his touch, she still longed for the press of his lean physique that made her feel light and feverish.
Of course, the wench he craved was rich and that helped her in gaining his attention.
But Elias was hers. Only hers. Not Penelope Le Roses'.
The young woman sat up and grimaced, distorting her cumbersome features.
With her mind set, she knew what to do. She would cast her spell and severe the bond he'd declared for the imposter once and for all.




Chapter One.

The sun shifted to the right and I could see the miles of dusty roads and fewer cars up ahead.
Susan, my step-mom, who now even controlled Dad, had insisted I stay with her Grandmother Gracen for some of the summer. It was why my trip to Pennsylvania was a command I had to adhere to. It was why my teeth had been gritted throughout most of the drive from Delaware.
She had practically packed my bags and shooed me out the door this morning. Dad, as usual, wasn't there to argue in my defense. Not that he would have anyway. He was a renowned surgeon, and had probably been placing a new kidney donor as I chugged out of our driveway; my suitcases packed and my date of return unknown.
Ever since Mom left to be with her personal trainer five years ago, Dad barely looked at me. He just noticed the poodle haired blonde he liked to call Flick, the matchstick woman he rushed all the way home to have candlelight dinners with as I sulked in my room.
Stopping at the nearest gas station that looked as if it hadn't been visited since the seventies, I took a short break then set off again. It wasn't long before dotted aspens and maples no longer concealed the entryway to Gracen's large estate. Terra-cotta stone and the edges of a lavish roof were just about visible. I was told Gracen came from a line of successful merchants and oil diggers. It was why she considered herself a cut above the rest of the residents of Spring Mills. Her inherited wealth was the only thing to keep me from pulling up and hyperventilating.
After parking my cherry red Mustang in the pebble driveway, I took in the place. The mansion was breathtaking, complete with a cylinder roof crowned and decorated with golden leaf detail. It reminded me of a centerpiece to a castle.
My smile vanished though as soon as I got out of the car. I sensed I wasn't alone. It was as though someone was watching me, and closely. When I spun around, there was no one around. I rubbed the goose bumps popping up all over my arms and shivered, gasping as a fiery heat crawled from my feet to my neck. The air turned sour next, as if the flowers in the crescent shaped garden were decomposing. The added smell of ash and smoke stung my eyes, and the driveway darkened.  Slowly, the ground became paved, horse hooves clamored and large wheels of a carriage creaked to a halt. A barrage of screams erupted from the nearby forest as flames licked at my waist. 
"Lara. Lara Voight!"
I turned and almost stumbled. The flames disappeared as a man in a black tuxedo came ambling down the stone steps: rake thin and with a silver goatee.
"Lara Voight?" he repeated, getting closer.
"Y-e-s," I stuttered.
"Where are your things?" he asked, looking at my beat up car.
I tried to catch my breath. It was if the wind had been taken out of me. My legs even shook.
What had happened? Was it heat stroke? Five hours on the road could probably do that to a person. I could sue Susan. It was her idea I came all the way to Spring Mills while she "worked things out" with Dad. I was so easy to manipulate.
"In the trunk," I muttered.
The man shook his head without a care for the way I was panting.
"Who are you anyway?" I tried to ask.
"Henry." He held out his hand. His long, boney fingers reminded me of the creature from Alien. "You can give me the keys. I'll take care of your luggage."
I shakily did as asked. It wasn't like I had anything to steal.
"You need to go and see Mrs. Miller before she takes her afternoon nap," he said gruffly. "You're late as it is."
His aggravated tone wasn't appreciated, but it helped me to feel less disturbed by what had happened.
Who was he? Why was there a strange old man in Gracen's home? Was he a live in lover no one knew about?
"Who are you to Gracen?" I queried, trying to match his clipped tone.
"Her chau-ffer," he said, as if I was too dim to know what that was.
He carelessly dragged my luggage out of the trunk and waved me away. He actually waved.
What a jerk.
I ran up the stone steps to blow off steam before I said something I would regret. I couldn't make an enemy as soon as I arrived.
Inside, the house welcomed me with a cool draft that helped me to breathe a lot easier. The interior was less ambient than expected, with a dark hallway and distressed wood on the floor that was partially bordering the empty walls. My name was called out and I flinched, spinning around. Henry was nowhere in sight.
"Make yourself at home," a nasally voice said from behind me, making me jump.
An old woman in a wheelchair zoomed my way. Salt and pepper curls bounced on broad shoulders. My heart stopped thumping when I realized it was just Gracen. She wasn't overly wrinkly for someone close to her eighties.
"Stare all you like." She harrumphed.
"Sorry. I was—"
"I'm not seventeen, but I have my uses," she added seethingly, parking her wheelchair in front of me and lifting her chin. "As you can see, I'm Gracen Miller."
"Nice to meet you, Mrs. Miller."
"You may as well call me Gracen for now." She grimaced. "Follow me, Lorna."
"It's Lara."
"Same thing."
Balling my hands into fists, I watched her wheel away from me. The woman was reminding me of Susan already.
The rectangular room we entered had mismatched furniture cluttered like bonfire piles on either side. Collectable items such as tribal masks, globes of the world, and ceramic Chinese figurines, confused the theme that might have been in mind when decorated.
Unlike the foyer, the walls were lined with watercolor paintings of naked damsels and huntsmen clasping large rifles. Beneath these were pleasant enough antique tables and cabinets. A chessboard beside a mustard leather couch, though, clashed with the pea green walls. It looked like someone hadn’t a clue how to coordinate.
"My husband, Charles, was a prideful hunter," Gracen said as if to explain. "Would you care for a drink?" She began to pour a murky orange concoction into a tall blue glass.
I was suspicious of the act of kindness. It wasn't like I got along with her granddaughter to be made to feel welcome. No. I felt extra wary. It was totally unfair of Dad to make me stay here in some stranger's home. I was even more wary of Gracen's choice of beverage. But the last few hours in my non-air conditioned cocoon had dried out my throat too much to care in the end.
I waited for her to hand me my drink. Gracen supped it herself before pouring herself another glass. I tapped my fingers on my pants as way to a hint that I was getting impatient. Gracen made the effort to glance at me before pouring a third drink, yet only halfway before roughly handing it to me. Then off she wheeled again, almost riding over my toes.
"Sit," she commanded, pointing her crooked finger at a beige leather couch.
I sipped what was thankfully just ice tea.
"Let's start with a few questions, shall we?" She eyed me.
I nodded, hoping to get on her good side; if she had one that is.
"Susan tells me you're a spoiled brat."
I almost spat out my drink but somehow kept smiling. "It depends on what you think is spoiled."
She harrumphed in that horrible, condescending way of hers. "Do you bathe often?"
Seriously? "Um. Yes."
"Do you smoke, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, dabble in drugs?"
Maybe this was literally a test. "No."
Her bushy eyebrows rose in insinuation. "Are you promiscuous?"
My jaw dropped. "Excuse me?"
"Just answer the question."
"No."
"No, you won't answer the question, or no you're not promiscuous?"
"No, I'm not promiscuous."
"Have you ever dated?"
My cheeks burned. "No."
"Excuse me? You need to speak up."
"No."
"Why not?" She eyed me, this time a lot more thoroughly. "You're attractive enough, I suppose."
I sipped my drink. It was starting to leave a bitter aftertaste, a lot like Gracen. "I haven't...found anyone...yet."
"I must say you remind me of someone else. She was just as dark, tall, sinewy, but plentiful in the right places. She had your emerald green eyes, too, even your awfully small lips, but a confidence that made up for what she lacked."
I gritted my teeth for what must have been the fifth time. I'd had a semester of psychology in high school. I tried to seem unfazed by her remarks.
"Really? Who was she?"
"A childhood friend of my mother's."
The strained conversation was interrupted by a petite woman who entered from an adjoining room. She patted her brown hair that was pulled neatly back into a ponytail. Her cheeks were ruddy, and her apron was stained with what looked like dark chocolate. She seemed Puerto Rican or Hawaiian. I was never any good at guessing someone’s ethnicity.
Gracen fluttered her fingers at the woman. "This here is Celine. She takes care of all the household chores and serves as my cook, nurse, and maid. The woman can do just about anything."
Gracen's compliment sounded chiding. Celine simply bowed like a lifelong servant. 
"Celine will show you to your room," Gracen added, wheeling across the room and out of another side exit.
So that was it? The end of my supposed welcome?
It was more like snoop at my innermost thoughts before leaving me with the housemaid. My summer was going to suck worse than I thought.
Celine had already headed to the dull foyer, explaining the ground rules and what each room contained in her timorous voice. There was a library, a parlor, a ballroom and dining area; a kitchen, downstairs bathroom, pavilion, tea garden, and one elevator.
Elevator? So that was how the old ogress got up and down the stairs.
The house had more rooms than I could have counted, with extra doorways leading to locked compartments at every stop, rooms that restricted me from having a look around more than I should have wanted to. The spiral staircase reached toward a diamond-drop chandelier; a pleasant addition, and the only thing, so far, that I liked about the place.
Celine stopped at the top of the stairs and pointed at a door to the right. "That's Henry's room. He keeps mostly to himself."
"I bet," I muttered.
"Oh, he's a kind man at heart," Celine insisted with a stiff smile.
"Really? You don't think he's a little..."
"Hostile?"
"So it's not just me he snaps at?" I was grateful Celine was pleasant.
"He can be demanding. But he warms to you once you take the time to consider his reasons."
"Which are?"
"A lonely man is afraid to get too close too soon. But please, don't mention his family."
I was about to ask why when she turned and headed to the next room. I took that as a sign to stop poking around in other people's business. It wasn’t like I wanted to confess that I'd been abandoned by Dad because he was besotted with a horrible witch, I mean Susan.
Celine pointed to her room beside Henry's, then Gracen's which was on the other side, clearly separating herself from her employees. The hall bathroom and a pantry for any supplies such as fresh blankets, sheets, pillows, and air fresheners, was next to the broom closet. During our exploration of her cleaning supplies, I decided Celine was kind of skittish but friendly, and spoke English fluently, even if I didn't have a clue where she originated. She was coy yet happy to offer up a smile—unlike the other two residents.
Susan had obviously sent me here to change my ways or go live with Mom or probably even some hostel. But Mom was living the life I could only dream about, dating guys young enough to be on a sophomore baseball team.
I tried to block out the argument I had with Dad late last night and the way he yelled at me for the first time. He'd apologized and explained he had a lot on his mind. That was when he dropped the bombshell. Susan was pregnant. With twins.
"It's just here." Celine's voice broke me from my reverie. I brushed away a tear that had escaped, glad Celine had her back to me.
We stopped abruptly beneath a dangling piece of frayed rope that looked to be leading to an outline of a pull door in the ceiling.
Was I expected to sleep in the attic?
"You'll be sleeping in the attic," Celine confirmed. I could hear the outright pity in her voice. "Mrs. Miller ordered the spare rooms to be fumigated. Right now they're not...habitable."
Habitable? Did Dad know about this? Susan? My guess was it was her idea to put me in the attic. My blood boiled and my nails dug into my palms. How could Susan be so mean? Especially after the sacrifice I'd made to help them work things out?
I wanted to think up an excuse not to visit the attic and call Dad to have a hissy fit. But he would have been too busy at this time of day, and it would only have given Susan a reason to gloat. It was something I couldn't handle right now.
"Fumigated from what?" I asked, pretending not to care as I followed Celine up the slanted stairs.
"Roaches."
She was a bad liar. She had even stuttered. A house like this wouldn't just have had its spare rooms fumigated. Still, Celine was doing her job and obeying orders. I couldn't take my frustration out on her.
When we reached the top, I decided the attic wasn't a total horror. With a lick of paint, two weeks dusting, a new window and a dumpster to haul out ninety percent of the junk, it would have been close to five-star accommodation.
"I cleaned up a little before you arrived," Celine said, adding tedious adjustments to my makeshift dresser—a shoddy cardboard box.
"I can tell," I lied. Two could play this game. "Thanks, Celine."
I forced a smile and walked over to my wheel suitcase. It looked like Henry had tossed it on to the floor and stomped all over it. I unzipped the top and bit back the urge to yell and stomp my own feet like a detained five-year old. I probably would have caved in the brittle floorboards and landed in the kitchen.
"I'll leave you to get settled in," Celine chirped, backing away from me as if I was holding a loaded musket. "Call me from the stairs if you need anything. And remember, dinner will be ready at six-thirty sharp. Mrs. Miller doesn't appreciate tardiness."
I smiled, letting it drop the moment she left me with the contents of an undiscovered rummage sale.
Poor timing?
There wasn't a word or phrase for what seemed to be about to happen in the next few weeks. I was stuck in a dusty hellhole with a grouchy old woman who had little social skills, not to mention a chauffeur who was acting kind of a jackass. Only Celine had the potential to be different. The other two seemed unchangeable.
I headed to my one window to look at something uplifting. I found a nice view, mainly of the darkening woods and a few patches of hills and cattle grazing in the distance. A river trickled west and disappeared among a bushel of leaves and pines. There was nothing unusual about it, just familiar from certain angles, as if I'd once followed the pathway beyond the wooden pole, the one with the lantern hanging from it. I imagined passing through to the opening of gnarly branches. Maybe I had been here as a child, I thought. The closer I looked, though, the more I imagined the light of the moon glowing on the riverbed, gradually illuminating the night. I could see myself gasping for breath, my hands grappling for long blades of grass as I became immersed in frigid water.
Shaking off the vision, I hurried to my bed, my heart thrumming like a wild bird. The scents from the driveway re-emerged like a forgotten memory. This time with a hint of violet and vanilla. My hands burned and a fermenting heat crept up to my waist, bubbling in my chest before cooling down again, making me pant and wheeze.
What was going on here? Where were all the scents coming from? The burning sensation?

Why hadn't I ran away like I'd planned?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

In the Spotlight...V.L. Locey

Please join me in welcoming V.L. Locey and her book, Language of Love!

Be sure to check out the buy links!

Blurb:
Life was so much easier for Margarite Lancourt before she had set eyes on Petro Shevenko. Her diploma to teach hearing impaired children would be in her hand within a year. Then she would find the right man, the right neighborhood, and bear the right children. Her deafness was not going to get in the way of her aspirations. But were they her dreams or her mother`s?
Now that she has met Petro, the Wildcats sexy new acquisition who has an unquenchable thirst for the wild side of life, Margarite`s nicely mapped out life is in chaos. Can she tame this unruly Russian Wildcat? Or will his family demons drag him, and Margarite, back into the darkness the couple have struggled to break free from?



Buy Links:


Secret Cravings Store-
http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=4&products_id=1011 

Excerpts

PG:
I had to smile when I saw what had lured him from our bedroom. Breakfast. Of course. Well, at least it hadn’t been booze or some trashy bimbo. Since I had been here, he had been remarkably well behaved. He attended AA meetings weekly. He never missed a training session with Clarkie, Bernie, or Schultz. He ate well, worked hard, stayed sober, and kept his pants zipped. Aside from last night. Olaf swept us into our chairs, talking as she served bowl after bowl of her homeland’s delicacy. I thought that athletes who were training as hard as Petro was were supposed to eat chicken and pasta. Most of the Wildcats had a strict nutritional, as well as personal, schedule. Morning skate of twenty to forty minutes to loosen up, light stretch or bike, home or hotel for the biggest meal that is usually around lunch, then a nap followed by a return trip to the arena about two hours before game time. Perhaps because it wasn’t in-season he didn’t feel the need to be so strict.

I poked at the heavy foods laid out before me. Petro ate his fill and then some. I made a small sandwich out of one slice of dark rye, or “black bread” as Olaf called it, folded over to hold some scrambled eggs with a fat slice of ham and butter. I suppose the bread counted as his carbs, although ham certainly wasn’t as lean as chicken. The coffee was thick, strong, and invigorating. I stirred some sugar into my coffee as Petro and Olaf fell into a rather animated conversation. She sat down beside me with a huff. I peeked at her over my cup of coffee. The hot brew trickled over my tongue.

“So, when wedding?”

Danny Thomas would have been impressed with my spit-take. Petro shook his head then growled something at his grandmother. She waved the man off with a strong hand. I grabbed a handful of napkins to dab at my chin, my dish, and the table.

“Bad news no wedding. Back in Chatsky if couple found naked gooey together, they make vows. But.” She threw her hand into the air dramatically. My shirt was wet with spewed coffee but I could not pull my sight from Olaf. “This is America, land of free and funny TV shows. You two make me great-grandmother, you get married. End of discussion, “she spat at her grandson who must have been retaliating verbally.

I was so mortified I couldn’t move. Coffee soaked through my shirt.

“So,” the rumbling Russian tank said her steely eyes back to me, “Petro say he makes good with you. I like this match. You make good player out of him, keep him on narrow path. Walking the line, yes?”

Petro slapped the table. My stunned sight jack-knifed over to him. He was smiling widely. Olaf grinned at me, shoved a platter of potato pancakes at me then pinched my hip. I jumped in pain. This morning was just going so well.

“You need more meat. When I coached women’s team, I make players get more muscle. You too skinny, thighs too thin. Eat more.”

My mind was completely overwhelmed. Coached women’s team? What women’s team? My thighs were fine. Now my ass on the other hand…


The touch of Petro’s warm fingers on my arm startled me. My head whipped back in his direction. His fingers slid down my arm to my wrist. Far more gently than one would think, he lifted my hand to his lips then tasted my palm.

Author Bio:

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted goofy domestic fowl, and  two steers: one named after a famous N.H.L. goalie while the other carries the moniker of a 60`s pop legend.
When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads. 

I love to meet new friends and fans! You can find me at-


Secret Cravings Backlist Books and Upcoming Releases
Pink Pucks & Power Plays (Book One of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
A Most Unlikely Countess (Book Two of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
O Captain! My Captain! (Book Three of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
Reality Check (Book Four of the To Love a Wildcat Series)
Tumble Dry
Coming in 2015 only from Secret Cravings  . . . Final Shifts (Book Six of the To Love a Wildcat Series) and Clean Sweep (Book One of the Venom Series)
Torquere Press Backlist and Upcoming Releases
Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse (Part of the He Loves Me For My Brainssss anthology)
Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 2: It Came From Birmingham
Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 3" He's a Lumberjack and He`s Undead
Love of the Hunter
Goaltender`s Penalty
All I Want for Christmas
 Every Sunday at One (Part of the 2013 Charity Sip Anthology)
 Night of the Jackal
Coming in 2015 exclusively from Torquere Press . . . An Erie Operetta and Early to Rise - A Toms & Tabbies Tale.