Sharon C. Cooper

Just thinking…

Something New

I have received numerous emails from readers asking why my debut novel, Something New, wasn’t a part of the Reunited Series, especially when it introduced some of the characters – who now have books in the Reunited Series.

The decision to not include Something New in the Series is one I struggled with, but finally decided against it because of the genre. When I first started writing, my intent was to only write sweet/inspirational romance, but if you’ve read any of my books, you know things didn’t quite work out that way. Even Something New pushed the envelope on being a sweet romance (it’s a cross between an “edgy” sweet romance and women’s fiction). And while Blue Roses started as a sweet romance, the characters (Dallas Marcel and Tyler Hollister) weren’t having it (the sexual tension between the two was too much), so I decided to turn it into a contemporary romance. That didn’t work either – and before I realized it, the story was a romantic suspense.

Okay, so long story short – Something New was not included in the Reunited Series because the stories in that series are all romantic suspense. I decided (with feedback from some author friends) to not mix genres within a series. I think it would have alienated readers who might only read sweet/inspirational romances to suddenly pick up my next book in the Reunited Series only to find out it was a different genre.

Hopefully that addresses the mystery of why Something New wasn’t included in the Reunited Series.

Now, on to other things. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of reading, Something New, below is the blurb and an excerpt. Enjoy!

SomethingNewcoverforARE

Entrepreneur, Simone Edwards, did what any intelligent woman with a ticking biological clock would do: she asked her longtime boyfriend to marry her. Devastated when he turns her down, and fed up with dead-end relationships, Simone swears off men … and takes a vow of celibacy. How hard could it be? She soon learns it’s harder than she thinks when the most irresistible man in the world, Tim Hollister, shows up at her job. She hasn’t seen him in over ten years, and quickly realizes he is a temptation she doesn’t want to resist. But isn’t there some rule about dating your friend? Simone must decide if a romance with Tim is worth risking their friendship, and her reclaimed virginity.

Betrayed by his supermodel ex-girlfriend, who happens to be the mother of his child, Tim Hollister has placed a padlock on his heart. But when Simone, an old high school friend falls back into his life, he soon forgets his promise to stay clear of beautiful women. Simone was always like a sister to him, but he discovers that his feelings for her aren’t very brotherly. He’s captivated by the woman she’s become and wants to take their friendship to the next level – despite her resistance. Tim can’t avoid their new-found passion, and sets out to prove he’s the man for her.

Excerpt

Simone couldn’t believe how flustered she felt being near Tim. But who could blame her? She was acutely conscious of how his wide chest and muscular arms filled his tailored black suit jacket. Relaxed and confident, he discussed with Jessica how his consulting company could assist them. Simone’s breathing quickened when he glanced at her and smiled, causing her eyes to zone in on those chiseled cheekbones that graced his ruggedly handsome face. She groaned within and rubbed her forehead, realizing small pebbles of sweat had formed at her hairline.

What is wrong with me? It’s not like I’ve never seen a good-looking man before. I must be coming down with a cold or something.

“And so when we failed to raise enough money for the expansion,” Simone heard Jessica say, “we went to the bank for a loan, but they turned us down.”

Tim frowned. “I’m surprised. Of course, I would have to look at your books to know more, but based on what you’ve said, it sounds like you guys are running a sound business.”

Simone put her elbow on the table and rested her chin in her hand. She listened as the two continued to talk back and forth. It wasn’t necessary for her to add her two cents since Jess seemed to be doing fine explaining their needs. Tim listened carefully, mentally cataloging all that was said. He was like that in high school as well. As good friends, they had studied together on occasion and even hung out some weekends. What she remembered most—his kindness, and that he was a great listener. Until now, she hadn’t realized how much she missed his friendship.

Her gaze remained on him. She couldn’t get over how good he looked. The moment she walked into the room and saw him, her pulse had tripled, and she wouldn’t be surprised if he’d heard her heart pounding against her chest. He was sexier than she remembered, and those dark, penetrating eyes could draw in the strongest woman. He always did have women vying for his attention, and probably still did since he was even hotter than he was back then.

Stop, stop, stop it. This is Tim Hollister, friend. He’s off-limits. Besides, I’m done with men.

“Anything you want to add, Simone?” Jessica asked.

Simone’s head jerked up at hearing her name. She closed the notebook that sat on the table in front of her. “Uh, no. I think you covered it all.”

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June 26, 2013 Posted by | Books, Something New - Novel | | 4 Comments

Deception

It is with pleasure that I spotlight Deception (Southern Comfort book 3), by author Lisa Clark O’Neill. Lisa is sharing an excerpt and doing a giveaway – also, see my review below.

deception-coverContemporary Romantic Suspense

Categories: Action/Adventure, Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Lisa Clark O’Neill

Release Date: June 4, 2013

Heat Level: Steamy

Word Count: 103,000

Description

Samantha Martin’s carefully reconstructed life is teetering on the edge of disaster. After surviving an abusive childhood, Sam is only months away from completing her hard-won college degree when she gets devastating news about her brother. Donnie, her protector and best friend, lies in a coma in a Charleston hospital.

Sam struggles with the question of who shot her beloved brother as well as the monumental expenses of his ongoing care, and in desperation seeks ready cash by agreeing to act as the “entertainment” for a local man’s bachelor party – where to her everlasting mortification, she encounters the one man who’d ever meant enough to her to break her heart.

Forensic artist Josh Harding recognizes the butterfly tattoo on the curvaceous hip of the wig-bedecked stripper. After all, he’d spent hours sketching her lovely figure while a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Now here she is, eight years later, and it becomes clear that Sam is in trouble. Seemingly unrelated threads weave into a pattern surrounding her and her brother. Exposing criminal enterprise among the upper echelon of local society and the shocking truth behind the city’s most famous murder, the unexpected connections that neither Josh nor Sam saw coming draw them both into a tangled web of love and Deception.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Excerpt

Sam’s mind whirled in confusion as she tried to make sense of what he was saying.  What exactly could Donnie have done considering he’d been in a coma for the past few months?   And the almost… fond way he was speaking to her was in direct conflict with his hold on her arm.  He was gripping her so tightly she’d no doubt have a bruise. But that was the least of her worries.  This guy was clearly psychotic.  Whether he was the man stalking her or not, he was certainly up to no good.  Sam opened her mouth to scream for help but it died in her throat when he squeezed her voice box.

With the hand that had been gripping her arm he fumbled around in the pocket of the lab coat.

Justin’s lab coat.

Oh, God.

Was his plan to hurt everyone she cared for in some way?

He eased his grip on her throat and she gulped in a breath of burning air. Just as she felt the prick of a syringe below her ear.

“One push,” he told her softly. “One push from my thumb and its lights out, Samantha.  A shame,” he continued in that conversational tone that was completely divorced from the current reality.  “I didn’t want to have to kill you.”

The tip of the needle pressed into the soft skin of her neck, and though he was obviously threatening her to keep her quiet, her throat was too bruised for her to do much more than squeak.  He dragged her backwards toward the edge of her brother’s bed, heading farther away from the doorway. Sam looked plaintively toward that opening hoping one of the nurses or orderlies would come in.

But given the noise still coming from the hall she figured she was on her own.

Clawing at the arm around her throat earned her a meaty fist upside her head, and after the stars had faded Sam tried to stop panicking long enough to think.  She’d been trained to defend herself, but at the moment that instruction seemed beyond her.  Her thoughts were such a jumble of raw emotions and nerves that it was hard to remember to breathe.

Angling her head to the side as much as she could, Sam saw him messing with her brother’s IV.  This creep obviously intended to pump something into it that would do God knows what to her brother.  Rage bubbled up so hot and fast that her body stiffened of its own volition.  The man behind her sighed, tightening his grip around her throat.

“We can do this one of two ways,” he informed her equably, all trace of southern honey gone from his voice.  His accent sounded vaguely northern, harsher and more guttural than it’d been before. “I can hit you with the needle, put you in one of these beds and take you downstairs. Maybe leave you behind the hospital in an alley, make it look like a mugging gone bad. Or I can tap you on the head, take you out of here the same way, and then bring you along on a little trip to visit with my partner.  He has a real thing for sexy broads – gets him in a lot of trouble. I feel pretty sure he’d enjoy taking you out for a test spin or two before he decided how best to dispose of you.  Either way, you’re gonna die, but it’s up to you how painful we make it.  Fight me now and I’m inclined to introduce you to my pal.  Be quiet and behave like a good girl and I’ll make sure you and your brother don’t suffer.”

Oh, God.  He was going to kill them.  And he was threatening her with rape to make his job easier.  Whoever this man was, he had no idea what he was saying.

Because instead of making Sam quiescent, that particular threat made her blood burn hotter.

But forcibly, exercising as much willpower as she possessed, she made herself tremble meekly and nod her head in terrified agreement.  The trembling part was accurate – there was enough adrenaline in her body to jumpstart a turbo jet – and the terrified part wasn’t far off.

But meek and agreeable she was not.  Like she’d just sit back and let him blithely murder her and her brother?  She had way too much to live for and there was no way she’d sacrifice Donnie.

Get your copy today! Amazon | Smashwords

GIVEAWAY INFO:

Prize: 10 ebook copies of Deception, Southern Comfort book 3 (1 book to 10 winners)

Here’s how you can enter for your chance to win: Rafflecopter Giveaway

My Review

In exchange for a gifted copy of Deception (Southern Comfort book 3), I agreed to give an honest review.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I’m pretty sure it won’t be my last. I enjoyed Deception!

The story had great main characters! Samantha Martin (heroine) had spunk, loved her heroic brother enough to almost die for him, and her ability to function under pressure truly added to the story’s adventures. Josh Harding was a sweetheart and the perfect hero. A boy scout until he realized his beloved Samantha was being stalked– then he became the perfect alpha male (loved him).

Though the story had a ton of characters (some I assume are from previous books and books to come), the author did a good job in not just throwing them into the story, but making sure their roles were very clear. I was thrown a couple of times by a character but mainly because of some names starting with the same letter, for example there was a Kim, Karen, and Kathleen. Despite that issue, the story had some wonderful twists and turns that readers will love!

Expect the unexpected. Just when you think you have everything figured out – it changes. It was clear the author either did some serious researching of police (CSI) work/roles or she’s had some personal experience. It’s nice to read books that are not only entertaining, but also ones that educate as well – which Deception did.

With all of that said though, I did struggle through a chunk of the book due to an extensive amount of description, that, in my opinion, bogged down some of the story. After the first few chapters (which were entertaining) there was a lull and a great deal of description that almost made me stop reading, BUT I’m so glad I didn’t! I would have truly missed out! Ms. O’Neill TOTALLY saved the story (in my opinion) about midway through and I couldn’t put the book down until it was finished.

If you enjoy stories that have a nice mix of suspense and humor, along with info. on forensics, science, CSI, romantic suspense, and a great deal of description (in every area), you’re going to enjoy this story.

I definitely recommend this book!

Overall Rating = 4.5  Stars

Book Cover = 4 Stars

Book Blurb = 4 Stars

Writer’s Voice /Style = 5 Stars
Character Development = 5 Stars
Story Appreciation = 4.5 Stars

About the Author:

oneill-authorphoto

One fine day in the not-too-distant past, Lisa Clark O’Neill left WittenbergUniversity with a BA in English, which she promptly neglected. After working as an interior designer, decorative artist, and Montessori art teacher (there may have been a BA in art as well,) she finally settled into the role of mother to two very fine children.

However, two years of doing the stay-at-home-mom brain cell melt drove her to pull out a pen and one of her old college notebooks.

That turned into six manuscripts.

Lisa spent subsequent years avoiding housework by burying her nose in just about every romance novel she could get her hands on, after completely falling in love with the genre. Her own work falls into the romantic suspense sub-genre, with strong comedic undertones.

Lisa currently lives in the Atlanta area with her family, her dog, her cat and her daughter’s pet rabbit. When she isn’t attempting to keep the rabbit from eating the woodwork, she’s hard at work on her next novel.

Connect with Lisa Clark O’Neill

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June 24, 2013 Posted by | Blog Guest | 1 Comment

Book Spotlight – Only One for Me by Candace Shaw

It is with great pleasure that I welcome my friend, author Candace Shaw to my blog! Candace is the author of Cooking Up Love, The Game of Seduction, and Simply Amazing. Today she’s sharing an excerpt from her latest release, Only One for Me, book 3 in the Arrington Family Series. Check it out below!

Candace - Book Cover- Only One

Blurb

Dr. Cannon Arrington’s mission is to help people in need. But when his ex fiancée re enters his life after twelve years, he has a new mission. Never let her get away again.

Yasmine Dubose never stopped loving Cannon. Instead, she learned to live without him, guarding her heart in the process. However, when they are brought together to plan a wedding for their best friends, Yasmine is faced with the challenge of following her heart this time around or risk losing the only man she’s ever loved.

Excerpt

When Yasmine heard her name from the familiar deep voice from the past, she thought she was dreaming, for in her dreams was the only place she experienced it. Her heart thumped against her chest as if it was ready to jump out, and the simple task of breathing was the hardest thing she’d ever done. Cannon Arrington stood less than twenty feet away from her, even more handsome and debonair than she remembered. Feelings she’d buried crept into her heart and mind, overwhelming her. Part of her wanted to run, and another part wanted to curse him out. But her aching heart wanted to fly into his warm embrace and exhale from all of the years she’d spent without him.

Instead, she stayed glued to the chair as her eyes roamed over him. His black trench coat was opened, exposing a blue suit that fit his in-shape six foot one frame as if it were made especially for him. His clean-shaven face was more chiseled and defined. Gone were his boyish grin and innocent features. He was all man now. His captivating presence in the small room reeked of importance and respect.

Yasmine told herself if she ever saw him again, she would be cordial. What happened twelve years ago was in the past, even though he’d hurt her more than she could have ever imagined. She’d managed to avoid seeing him by not coming home to Memphis often. Instead, she would give her mother an excuse as to why she should come to Atlanta or suggest they take a vacation together.

Nonetheless, there he stood, holding her eyes in a trance with his. Her skin was flushed and nausea overtook her as he casually strode over wearing that damn delicious smile as if they saw each other every day. Yasmine mustered up all the strength she had left in her as he suavely approached. She hoped she could keep her voice steady. Hoped he wouldn’t realize she’d never fully gotten over him.

“I asked you a question.” She was surprised her voice didn’t crack, but she wasn’t going to allow him to see her sweat.

“I’m here to meet with the wedding coordinator,” he answered matter-of-factly.

Cannon’s voice was deeper, sexier—sending goose bumps trailing down her arm. His woodsy aroma caught in her nose, reminding her of the times when his scent was intertwined with hers as they made love.

“But why? Doug’s brother is supposed to meet me here. He’s the best man.”

“Change of plans. I’m the best man now.”

Before she could protest, the door opened and the receptionist stuck her head in.

“Ms. Jackson is ready. I’ll show you to the conference room.”

Yasmine grabbed her belongings as frustration deepened in her.

Why on earth is he the best man all of a sudden, and why didn’t Sherika call to tell me?

“After you, Yasmine,” Cannon said, stepping back so she could walk in front of him.

A heat wave washed over her as he said her name in a sexy, seductive tone. She found herself being extra conscious of her appearance as he walked behind her. A winter white sheath dress, which stopped at her knees with a black belt wrapped around her waist, accentuating her curvy hips. Her mother had joked that morning about how sexy she looked and was she trying to score a man. Now, as Cannon cleared his throat a few times along their walk, Yasmine wondered did he think the same as her mother.

Moments later, they were settled across from each other at the conference table, with Ms. Jackson at the head going over the information for the wedding, but Yasmine couldn’t concentrate. Even though she was looking at Ms. Jackson, she could feel Cannon’s eyes on her, causing heat to ignite over her skin.

“So, is that okay with you?” Yasmine heard the coordinator say, but wasn’t sure what it was in reference to.

“What?” Yasmine snapped out of her daze as she glanced back and forth from Cannon to Ms. Jackson.

Cannon, who could apparently listen and stare at her at the same time, chimed in.

“Can you do the cake tasting Friday afternoon?”

“Oh, sure,” Yasmine said, trying to focus her attention on Ms. Jackson, but Cannon’s eyes wouldn’t leave her face. She crossed and uncrossed her legs as warmth shocked her womanly center. “Sherika likes amaretto and vanilla flavors, so I have an idea of what she would like.”

“Perfect.” Ms. Jackson flashed a smile and scratched something off of her to do list. “I forwarded the picture of the cake the bride emailed me to the bakery …”

Yasmine tuned out once again as Cannon’s eyes trailed along her face and neck. She swore she could feel the heat from his breath on her skin, and she reached for the bottle of sparkling water the receptionist brought in earlier. She decided to tune back into the conversation when Ms. Jackson mentioned the music.

“I’ll contact the wedding bands I usually use to see if they’re available for that day. The bride said as long as they can play “Ribbon in the Sky” for their first dance, they’re hired.”

Yasmine’s heart sank at the mention of the song. It was the song he had chosen for their wedding, and she couldn’t stand to listen to it. She glanced at Cannon, who had flinched. His Adam’s apple bobbed, and his eyes locked with hers as she tried to hold back the tears. Placing her notepad into her purse, she fished for her keys. She needed to escape now.

“Anything else?” Yasmine’s voice croaked as she cleared her throat and took one more swig of the water. Her mouth had turned to cotton.

Ms. Jackson closed her laptop and scooted her chair back. “Nope, I think we’ve covered everything for now. You two just let me know your progress, and I’ll do the same.”

Moments later, Yasmine high-tailed it out of the office building toward the parking lot with Cannon behind her. When she stepped outside, the cold air greeted her and she realized her coat was draped over her arm, but she didn’t care. She needed to get to the car. She needed to get away from him.

“Yasmine … wait.”

She hit the unlock button on her key remote. “I have to go.” She opened the driver’s door of her Lexus, but Cannon pushed it shut.

“Not until you look at me.” His voice caressed over her like silk as he stood behind her with his hand still on top of the car.

Taking a deep breath, she turned to face him. Her breathing stifled as she looked up at his handsome face. It took everything she had not to run her hand along his strong jawline up to his hair and twirl a finger around a curl.

“What?”

“I know this has to be uncomfortable for you, but I just hope we’ll be able to work together to make Sherika and Doug’s special day perfect.”

“I don’t see that as a problem considering there really isn’t a need to see or speak to you again until the wedding weekend.”

“Um … no. I’ll see you this Friday at the cake tasting.”

“Wait? What? Why do you have to be there? I’m just sampling cakes for the bridal cake.”

“But Doug wants a groom’s cake, so I told him I would take care of that. Weren’t you listening to the conversation earlier?” he asked with a smirk and a raised eyebrow.

Of course she wasn’t paying attention to the conversation. She was too busy trying to pretend to listen as Cannon stared her down like a tiger ready to pounce on his prey.

“I … must’ve misunderstood.”

“How’s your mother?”

“Fine.” She wanted to keep her answers short. The less he knew about her life the better.

“I was disappointed to learn she has cancer,” he said with sincerity in his voice. “Please give her my best.”

“She’s in remission and doing a lot better.” Yasmine tried to avoid eye contact with him, but it was hard since he overpowered her personal space. Plus, she was pinned against the car and his hand was still on top of it over her shoulder.

“How long will you be in Memphis?”

“Until the beginning of summer.”

“Maybe we can have dinner. Go over the wedding plans and catch up.”

“I can’t,” she said in a strained voice.

His hand slid off of the car, brushing her shoulder and down her bare arm in the process. Yasmine winced at his subtle, warm touch. They stared at each other in silence, and she was scared of what he may do or say, especially when he stepped toward her, closing what little space was between them. His sexy mouth was just inches from hers, and she yearned to kiss him to know what heaven felt like again.

“Well, if you change your mind.” He paused, brushing a curl off her forehead that had fallen out of her headband on her brisk walk to the car. “Call me. My contact information is in the packet the coordinator gave you.”

Stepping back, he turned to open the car door for her. Without acknowledging him, she slid into the car, tossing her coat and purse onto the passenger seat. She reached to close the door, but he shut it for her and stood outside for a second, staring at her through the tinted window before walking away. Tears burned her eyes, but she was too mad to let them roll down her face.

Copyright by Candace Shaw, June 2013

Get your copy today!

Buy Links

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | All Romance Ebooks | Kobo | Sony | Diesel eBookstore

About the Author

Candace Shaw is the author of fun, flirty, and sexy African-American contemporary romance novels.  She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

When Candace is not writing or researching information for a book, she’s reading, window shopping, gardening, listening to music or spending time with her loving husband and their loyal, over-protective weimaraner, Ali.  She is currently working on her next novel.

Contact Links

Website 

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Facebook Fanpage

Facebook Profile

Goodreads

Amazon Author Central

June 20, 2013 Posted by | Blog Guest | , | 4 Comments

Loving Day Blog Hop and Giveaway

Loving Day - Banner

If you’re like many, chances are you’ve never heard of Loving Day. Well today, over thirty authors are participating in the Loving Day Blog Hop, giving you an opportunity to learn more about why this day was significant to America’s history, and we’re giving away lots of books and prizes!

But First Things First…

The Loving Day annual celebration held on June 12th is the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving vs. Virginia that struck down all anti-miscegenation laws. Though, the case was brought on by the marriage of a black woman to a white man (Mildred and Richard Loving), the decision eventually had an effect on all interracial marriages, no longer making it a crime for individuals of different races to marry.

Below is a partial interview with one of my most recent heroines, Alandra Pargas, of Rendezvous with Danger, book 2 of the Reunited Series. Since she’s bi-racial, I thought it would be interesting to get her take on the Loving Day celebration and what effects, if any, did anti-miscegenation have on her life.

Interviewer: Alandra, I understand your parents endured great ridicule when they became a couple and even had to forgo marriage for many years due to a society that was anti-miscegenation. How did this affect you growing up?

Alandra: You’re right, with my father being Hispanic and my mother African-American you can just imagine what life was like for them in the late fifties, early sixties. Not only did they have to deal with a society that was closed-minded, but they also endured ridicule from their own families. Despite not being able to marry right away, my parents refused to allow anyone to dictate to them who they could love, enduring unbelievable derision. By the time I came along, they had officially married and were still very much in love. Though their love stood the test of time, my grandparents, on either side, never came around, despite the Loving vs. Virginia ruling. They still didn’t want anything to do with us and I never had the pleasure of getting to know them.

Interviewer: Wow, I’m sorry to hear that…but tell me, how do you feel about interracial marriages?

Alandra: I’m totally fine with it. You can’t help who you fall in love with. I think if you find that person who makes your heart beat double-time and whom you can’t live without, you should go for it – no matter their race.

Interviewer: I know we’ve been talking all morning, but I only have a couple of more questions. When you think of your childhood kitchen, what smell do you associate with it? Why is that smell so resonant for you?

Alandra: Hmm…interesting question. Well, food was a big deal in our house. Both my parents were excellent cooks. We were well fed on tamales, tacos and arepas, as well as collard greens and fried chicken. Lol! I don’t mean to sound stereotypical, but those were the type of meals we had. I don’t think there is one smell that resonates with me more than another, but if I had to pick one, I would have to say the smell of tamales. My father was killed when I was younger and I can’t help but think of him whenever I smell tamales. They remind me of times when my sisters and I would crowd around him whenever he was in the kitchen cooking.

Interviewer: So tell me about Rendezvous with Danger, book 2 of the Reunited Series.

Alandra: Here’s what you would find on the back cover of the paperback and a short excerpt:

Blurb:

Alandra Pargas, ex-CIA counter-intelligence officer, plans to wreak vengeance on the people who tried to kill her. A little rendezvous with danger is not what scares her, though. It’s seeing the tall, dark, and dangerously sexy man she vowed to love forever that has her running for cover.

Former U.S. Special Operative, Quinn Hamilton, left the world of covert operations after the love of his life died in his arms during a black op. Three years later, he still loses sleep wondering if maybe he could have done something more to save her – until Alandra shows up on his doorstep. With her lies and betrayal, he wants nothing to do with her, yet, his heart won’t cooperate. It’s not until unknown enemies come after her that he must decide if he can leave the past behind and protect the woman he’ll always love. Will they survive this last mission and rekindle the love and passion they once shared?

Excerpt

Holy Mother of… There is no way she can be alive. When the woman rose from the sofa, Quinn took a slow perusal of her body from the top of her head down to the red ballerina-like shoes covering her feet. Behind the long straight reddish hair, green contact lenses, and a thinner body than he remembered, stood the woman he’d vowed to love until the end of time. Alandra – dark olive skin, the flattened nose inherited from her Hispanic father, full lips, and a curvaceous body all from her African American mother. Her mixed race was more apparent than he remembered.

He moved in closer. Despite the minor changes to her appearance he was almost sure it was her, but how was it possible? He had held her bloodied body in his arms. No way could she have survived a bullet to the chest. Never had he been at a loss for words when it came to a beautiful woman, but when the woman was supposed to be dead, words escaped him.

“Q, don’t tell me you know this woman,” Malik roared.

“Keep him away from me,” Alandra said of Malik.

Quinn shook his head in disbelief when she spoke. Her deep velvety voice could have easily belonged to a 1-900 phone sex operator.

“You attacked me!” Malik yelled. “I think you busted up one of my ribs with that judo shit. Who the hell are you anyway?”

The question jolted Quinn out of his coma-like shock. He looked from Malik to Wiz, who had just returned with the ice. “I need you guys to give us a minute.”

Malik shook his head. “No way, man. Not before you tell us who she is.”

Quinn narrowed his eyes at Malik, wishing he’d back off, but in all fairness, Quinn couldn’t be mad at them for wanting some answers. Hell, he wanted some too. He looked over his shoulder at Alandra.

“Why don’t you tell my friends who you really are Ms. Aguilar?”

Alandra tilted her head. “Porque no puedes decirles? Ellos son tus amigos.”

He stiffened as though she had struck him. Yeah, these guys were his friends and sure he could tell them who she was, but he was still trying to process her actually being alive, and in his house! The last thing he wanted to do was play games. Feeling his patience wane, he said as calmly as he could. “I want you to tell them.”

Her hands slammed on her hips and she huffed, “My name is Velvet Aguilar.”

With one-step, Quinn was in her face. “Tell them who the hell you really are!”

She jumped at his tone, and Quinn felt Wiz and Malik jolt to attention.

“Come on, Q,” Wiz stepped closer, his hand on Quinn’s shoulder. “Don’t you think you’re being a little harsh?”

Quinn ignored the question, his eyes trained on Alandra. A few seconds passed with them staring at each other.

“Fine. My name is Alandra Pargas-Hamilton … Quinn’s wife.”

**

Want to find out what happens next! Get your copy today!

Buy Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance ebooks | In paperback – Amazon    CreateSpace

Did you know that there was a prequel to Rendezvous with Danger?? Well there is! Get your *FREE* copy of  Secret Rendezvous here.

ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY

Every blog host participating in the Loving Day Blog Hop is giving away prizes! So make sure you click on the link below and hop around to each site!

HERE’S WHAT I’M GIVING AWAY

First prize: a $5 Amazon gift card and an e-copy of Blue Roses, book 1 of the Reunited Series

Second prize: An e-copy of Blue Roses, book 1 of the Reunited Series

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN ENTER AND WIN:

* Leave a comment on this blog.

* Visit other blogs that are participating in the Loving Day Blog Hop. Each blogger is giving away prizes!!! Did you get that? That means you have a chance to win over thirty prizes (just make sure you leave a comment on the blog sites).

Deadline: You must enter today, no later than 11:59 p.m pst.

I will post the name of my winners on this blog site on Thursday, June 13, 2013. Note: The winner will have been contacted via email by this time.

Good Luck on the Blog Hop – I hope you’re a big winner!

(don’t forget to leave a comment below)

Here is the link to the next blog host participating in the Loving Day Blog Hop.

Laura Cremant

And for other sites participating in the hop click here.

June 12, 2013 Posted by | Blog Hop | , | 29 Comments

Book Spotlight and Giveaway By Jerrie Alexander

It is with pleasure that I spotlight The Last Execution, by author Jerrie Alexander! Jerrie is sharing an excerpt and doing a giveaway.

lastexecution-coverThe Last Execution

by Jerrie Alexander

Romantic Suspense

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Heat Level: Steamy

Word Count: 97,000

Description – The Last Execution

To survive, she must put the past behind her. To love, she must learn to trust.

Homicide detective Leigh McBride’s first assignment with the FBI brings her face-to-face with a past she’s tried hard to forget. And when her temporary partner, a cynical ex-marine, lights a fire in her she thought long-extinguished, her darkest secret is threatened.

Scarred both physically and emotionally, Special Agent J. T. Noble is a man of few words. He prefers to keep people at a distance—until he meets Leigh. He’s attracted to her strength and drawn in by her secrecy. But in their line of work, secrets can be deadly.

When the killer they are hunting aims his vigilante justice at Leigh’s past assailant, the fine line between right and wrong blurs. To heal the past—and find their future together—Leigh and J. T. must learn that only through trust and forgiveness can love grow.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Excerpt

Ethan turned his head sideways as he studied J.T.’s face. Wide eyed, the boy pointed at the scar with his index finger. J.T. wasn’t surprised. The kid was probably curious.

“How’d you get that?”

“A piece of shrapnel—” He paused and considered Ethan’s age. “I was in the war. A bomb went off and a piece of metal smacked me in the face.”

“Does it hurt?”

“Not anymore.” J.T. marveled at the innocence in Ethan’s eyes.

“Can I touch it?”

“I guess so.” J.T. breathed in and waited. Ethan hesitated, leaning closer.

“I’m not supposed to talk about your scar.”

“Who said?”

“Mama.”

“It’s okay. I won’t tell.”

J.T. turned his head to the side. No one had outright asked to touch the constant reminder of a day when his best friend caught the worst of an IUD. Hell, people shied away from his right side. Except Leigh, she looked him square in the face. He lay still while Ethan poked a finger into the scar a couple of times. After a few seconds of investigation, the kid cupped the scar with his small hand and patted lightly. The oddest thing happened to J.T.’s heart. It swelled inside his chest and then clenched.

“Mama said you were a brave soldier.”

Alien emotions swirled through J.T. and an unexplained urge to hug Ethan put a weird lump in J.T.’s throat. Unable to cope or understand, his mind raced for an idea, anything to end the moment.

Available at:

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

GIVEAWAY INFO:
The prize is an eBook copy of “The Green-Eyed Doll” from Jerrie Alexander. Contest is tour-wide and ends June 16. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Here’s how you can enter for your chance to win: Rafflecopter Giveaway

About the Author:

jalexander-authorphoto

A student of creative writing in her youth, Jerrie set aside her passion when life presented her with a John Wayne husband, and two wonderful children. A career in logistics offered her the opportunity to travel to many beautiful locations in America, and she revisits them in her romantic suspense novels.

But the characters went with her, talked to her, and insisted she share their dark, sexy stories with others. She writes alpha males and kick-ass women who weave their way through death and fear to emerge stronger because of, and on occasion in spite of, their love for each other. She likes to torture people, make them suffer, and if they’re strong enough, they live happily ever after.

The author of THE GREEN-EYED DOLL, THE LAST EXECUTION, and her latest release, HELL or HIGH WATER, Book 1 in the Lost and Found, Inc. Series, Jerrie lives in Texas, loves sunshine, children’s laughter, sugar (human and granulated), and researching for her heroes and heroines.

Connect with Jerrie Alexander

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Check out the rest of Jerrie’s blog barrage schedule:
http://www.cblspromotions.com/2013/06/blogbarrage-last-execution-by-jerrie.html

June 11, 2013 Posted by | Blog Guest | , | 4 Comments

I Still Believe In Miracles

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know from time to time I post Aha! moments, impart some of my wisdom (Ha), or just share random thoughts. Today is one of those days. Sometimes I can’t help but think about how blessed I am. Sure, like others, I have my share of issues: not getting what I want – when I want it; financial setbacks; death of family and friends, but even through the midst of life’s twist and turns, I still believe in miracles.

It’s hard not to considering how God always shows up. Maybe not exactly when I want Him to, but yet, His timing never ceases to amaze me.

MiraclesThe other day I had a situation. Nothing overly serious, just a little something to get on my nerves and distract me from what I should have been doing. And me, being me, tried to fix it…tried to figure it all out. I complained for a minute, tossed ideas around, created a pros and cons list, but still couldn’t come up with a solution. Then after  frustration set in, I did what I should have done in the first place. I had a talk with God. I’ve been a Believer for many, many years and love the special relationship that I have with God so you would think that I would have automatically gone to Him. But nope, I was all up in my feelins’ (as a friend of mine often says) trying to handle things on my own. There have been countless times when I have thrown up my hands and have said, “Okay, God, I’m going to need you to show up and fix this because I don’t know what else to do.” It has always worked for me so within seconds (not minutes) of me mumbling those words this time, the telephone rung and the problem was solved. All I could do was shake my head, chuckle and give God some praise.

So tell me, have you had moments like that – where you try to figure a problem out on your own instead of going to the Problem Solver right from the start?

June 5, 2013 Posted by | Just Thinking | , | 6 Comments

The Love Sessions by Author Tia Kelly

Today I have the pleasure of spotlighting The Love Sessions, the latest release by author Tia Kelly.

The Love SessionsAbout The Love Sessions

Four couples discover the hard way that wedding vows are meant to be more than just words.

In Sickness and in Health

After a whirlwind courtship, Eric West and Shelby Bryan (featured in the prequel “Love’s Rebound”) elope. When their love loses its shine, the toll it takes on their marriage leads them down a detrimental path.

For Richer For Poorer

Secrets brought Terrence Baker and Alexis Norwood (featured in the prequel “Save Me From You”) together and now secrets threaten to tear them apart.

Do Us Part

Donovan Sinclair adores his wife Mya (featured in the prequel “Give Me You”) and lives to make her happy. Until one day, the one marital vow they never imagined experiencing ends it all – death.

With this Ring

Keri Waters arrives to the Poconos ready to pick a wedding date with her fiancé, but when she meets Nathan Garrett, she learns how it really feels to have a man love, honor and cherish her.

The Love Sessions is a full-length novel.

The Love Sessions (an excerpt)

Donovan & Mya

Donovan glanced at the monitors while refusing to let go of his wife’s hand. The strong, solid beat of his son’s heart could be heard throughout the room and according to the doctor and nurses, it was perfect.

Of course his firstborn, his namesake to be, would be perfect. He was the product of the love Donovan and Mya shared. It would only be fitting that their son would be born on the fourteenth of February.

The day Donovan accompanied Mya to her ultrasound appointment she had insisted that they should wait to find out the sex. Impatient and wanting to control as much as possible, he argued otherwise. As usual, they compromised.

Donovan could keep a secret. He almost did it too well. If he was a gambling man, he could have made a fortune playing poker. Mya gave the technician and doctor permission to share their unborn child’s sex with her husband as long as he would allow her the moment of surprise in the delivery room.

In the months to follow, Donovan asked his wife to select a décor befitting a boy’s room and something she would like for a little girl. Then he commissioned an outside source to help him shop and prepare the baby’s nursery as a welcome home surprise for the mother and child.

Donovan knew Mya was impatient at times and struggled relinquishing control on occasion. He had a lock installed temporarily on the nursery door to keep his wife from snooping. During a babymoon vacation, a trip they made together a few weeks before she went into labor to celebrate their time alone before the baby arrived, the decorator put the finishing touches on the room.

The only thing Mya was allowed to see of the nursery prior to the great reveal was a mural Donovan had painted on the wall. It was his first time painting since college and the task was an honor for him. They also agreed on two names suitable for a son and daughter. Despite all of his restraint, it took a lot of effort to not mention the little boy’s nickname when he was talking to her growing belly every day.

Donovan watched the monitor intently and noticed a wave forming high on the printout. Mya gripped his hand tightly as Donovan already knew another contraction was coming. He reached for the photo she had taken of the mural as her focal point and moved it into her line of vision. Mya had insisted that the photograph would keep her eye on the prize – the moment when she would carry her newborn into the room for the very first time.

“Just breathe, baby,” he coached her. From the sidelines, he was trying to be the perfect birthing coach, but inside he felt like last season’s jelly shimmying out of a mason jar. He, too, focused on the youthful mural of Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. Donovan was a devout Boston Red Sox fan, but knew his wife had a devotion to her hometown sports teams.

With a sly grin, he couldn’t wait to show her the custom newborn Red Sox jersey he had waiting in his bag. “Trey” and the number three would be part of their son’s going home from the hospital attire. Donovan itched to wear his own jersey with the number two, as he was now the second of three Sinclair men named Donovan.

Confidently, Mya worked through that wave of pain and each subsequent one until the doctor finally told them it was time. With each contraction, she focused on the one person that could get her through it all – Donovan.

Donovan was her own knight in beautiful, smooth bronzed armor. His skin still glowed from the sunrays they experienced three weeks ago on the beach in Florida. That was once he finally eased up after stressing over Mya like a frantic father to be. Her obstetrician had cleared her for air travel one final time and Mya wanted to take advantage of warmer weather after a brutal winter was well under way in the northeast.

Despite feeling fat and out of place in the midst of long legged beauties playing in the white sand, Donovan reminded Mya that she was beautiful and exquisite every minute he could. He had her walking with a protruding stomach and newfound confidence in her swimsuits and sundresses, turning more heads than the gorgeous ladies of Miami everywhere they went.

Now in the homestretch, Mya looked down at her bare, trembling thighs shaking under the pressure of her hard labor. After ten hours, Donovan Xavier Sinclair, III was about to take his very first breath, but Mya was so exhausted that she wanted to call a time out.

“I can’t do this anymore. Let’s just go home and try again tomorrow,” Mya cried. Several bouts of pushing had rapidly drained what energy she had left.

Donovan chuckled at his wife and kissed the back of her hand. “The baby is right there, honey. I see the head! Just a couple more tries and our little one will be here before you know it.”

Mya didn’t care what Donovan or anyone else in the room had to say. She was hungry and tired. Wanting to desperately hold her bundle of joy in her arms made the wait even harder. Damn she could go for a cheesesteak right now!

“Maybe if I had something to eat, I can get my energy up.”

“I promise you. As soon as the baby gets here, I will bring you whatever you want to eat. Now, let’s focus. Just try really hard once more, okay?”

Donovan watched his wife’s obstetrician carefully, picking up on each cue. The moment he saw the doctor lean in toward Mya, he knew another push would soon be needed.

“I need you to give us a really big push this time, Mya,” Dr. Wagner instructed.

Mya exerted all of the energy she could muster and with the aid of Donovan sitting behind her and holding her weakened body upright, she forced out the one last push she had inside of her. Mya felt a hot flame shoot up from her thighs as it coursed to her brain. With a forceful growl, she cried out in agony.

*

Want to know what happens next? Here’s how you can get your copy!

Purchase on Amazon
The Love Sessions: http://www.amazon.com/The-Love-Sessions-ebook/dp/B00CZE051S
The Love Sessions (complete series including three prequels): http://www.amazon.com/Sessions-Complete-Series-Bundle-ebook/dp/B00CZE09FK
About the Author:
Tia Kelly may be witty and feisty on the outside, but she is a die hard romantic that is always looking for a happy ending while rooting for the underdog. In addition to her love for writing, reading and traveling, Tia loves to kick back with a glass of wine and a good game on her television screen.
Reach out to Tia by visiting her website or stop by and give her a shout out on Facebook!

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June 3, 2013 Posted by | Blog Guest | , | 3 Comments