Feeling chatty?

Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing. Shall we gab?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Love. Lust. Power Games. Five Sizzling Hot Fantasy Romances.

Time to bundle it up again! This go around I’ve teamed up with four amazing authors to bring you 100% Fantasy Romance. So cozy in and check out some steamin' hot reads!

Steal the keys to five realms with these five fantasy romances for a mere $.99 with this bundle simply bursting with love, lust, and power games. From witches and werewolves to Greek mythology and even Scottish magic, these tales offer an eclectic mix sure to stoke your summer's heat into a solar storm! So, summon your inner warrior princess and ready your charms. Prepare for the battle of the sexes and wizards with hexes, because the only way to defy all evil is to fall in love...and maybe invoke a god!

His Forbidden Fruit by Jaide Fox: First she would become his captive...then he would capture her heart....With his lands cursed to wither and die, a desperate Lord Dominic Rainier learns from a witch that the only way to save his people is to capture the lovely Lady Lilith Somerset … and impregnate her before the next full moon….

Touch of the Gods by D.X. Luc: When Love and War make a wager, what could possibly go wrong? Hephaestus has lived a life of harsh abuse. The lame god knows heartbreak and doesn't believe love is in the stars for him. Little does he know, Eros and Ares puts his love life to the test and leads him to the full bodied, mortal Vanessa. Does he take a chance to open up or continue to believe he's destined to suffer for eternity?

Swordsong by Skhye Moncrief: He's arrived to help her create the perfect bride. His ticket home relies on a lonely woman haunted by more than apparitions. If time-travel duty, romance, and a bit of magic don't help them realize their destiny resonates in mysterious fairy SWORDSONG, all known history could change.

Sylvan Mist by Sky Purington: Coira refuses to acknowledge the Scotsman haunting her.Why should she? She carries no magic and is newly engaged. Though well aware of the mysterious tie between the medieval MacLomains and her Broun heritage, she prefers a proper English gentleman to a barbarian living six hundred years in the past. However, as one whirlwind day will prove, she has little choice in the matter.

Circle City, Lord of the Wolfen by Alisha Paige: Axl Wolfdorn is coming of age, ready for his Unleashing and on the hunt for his Moonswan, the female he will choose for the Chase and the royal Feral Consummation. But how can he consider bonding with a mate when the only scent deep within his nose is the tangy scent of the woman he must now kill to avenge his mother's death?

*These books contain very strong sexual content and are recommended for a mature 18+ audience*

Touch of the Gods- “If you like reading about the Greek Gods, well you'll have your eyes and imagination full. This is the side they didn't teach in Lit class.” A. Hayden

Swordsong- "Moncrief creates a unique culture from which Murdo comes and weaves it in with the present culture, making a compelling, sparkling love story with a unique twist near the end." ~Camilla, The Long and Short Reviews

His Forbidden Fruit- “The story is fast paced. It's well-written and creative…The lovemaking was hot and sensual.” K. Hill

Circle City: Lord of the Wolfen- “Fast paced and detailed…action packed...The plot line is deep and the twists and turns of the book will keep you wondering how things will happen and how it will end.” Stacy Eaton

Sylvan Mist- “A great book, mixing magic with history and time travel with romance, all following a family line through time. I loved the storyline and the great characters.” Night Owl Reviews

Coming soon to iTunes and many online bookstores.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Magic. Betrayal. Power Struggles. Shawndirea by Leonard D. Hilley II.

Today I’m thrilled to welcome over Leonard D. Hilley II, author of Shawndirea, Chronicles of Aetheaon, Book I, a Fantasy (Epic, Adventure, Sword/Sorcerer) novel.

Publisher:  DeimosWeb Publishing
Date of Publication: June 27, 2014

ISBN: 9781310304965 

Number of pages: 536 printed pages
Word Count:  148,000

GIVEAWAY!! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of 5 free ebook copies of Shawndirea via Smashwords. 

Book Description

Often the smallest unexpected surprises garner the most demanding dilemmas, which proves to be the ordeal that entomologist Ben Whytten faces.  While netting butterflies to add to his vast collection, he mistakenly sweeps what he thinks is the most spectacular butterfly he has ever seen into his net.  Upon examining his catch, Ben is horrified to discover he has captured a faery and shredded her delicate wings into useless ribbons.

Devastated, Ben vows to take Shawndirea back to her realm, Aetheaon; but he discovers that doing so places their lives into immediate danger.  To get to Aetheaon, they must pass through a portal rift deep inside the haunted cavern, Devils Den.  

Once they cross the rift, Ben enters a world where mysteries, magic, betrayal, and power struggles await. He must adapt quickly or die because Aetheaon is filled with enchanted creatures and numerous races where chaos often dominates order.  And since Shawndirea’s destined for the throne of Elvendale, opposing dark forces plot to prevent her from ever reaching her kingdom again.  The faery's magic isn't enough to fully protect them, so he must trust other adventurers to aid them during their journey.

Available at Amazon

Interview Time!

What inspired you to write this book?  

Shawndirea was originally meant to be a novella as a backstory for Devils Den (setting is twenty years after Shawndirea) that was published a couple of years ago.  My plan had been to explain the history behind several characters, primarily Ben and the faery, Shawndirea. However, the characters had something greater in mind.

Most of the characters in these two books originated with a book I trashed almost twenty years ago. Although I killed that novel, the characters stuck around in my head and matured. After twenty years, when the opportunity presented itself, they decided to hijack my novel and let their voices be heard. 

This is the longest novel I’ve written, and never has one of my novels flowed so rapidly. It was difficult for me to keep up with them.  There were many days with 12+ pages came with ease.

How did you come up with the title?

Shawndirea is the faery’s name. Giving the book a different title would have dishonored her.

What made you choose the main setting for your book?

The opening setting for Shawndirea and Devils Den is a fictional town (Cider Knoll) in Kentucky near Somerset.  Devils Den is the name of an enchanted cave that leads to a different realm, or realms depending upon how the maze passageways direct. 

When I wrote Devils Den and the rural town, I had never been to Somerset, Kentucky. After I had written the novel, I decided to drive out to Somerset with my wife and kids. The eerie thing is a lot of the descriptions I wrote about in the book were actually there. The old general store and other landmarks were there. It brought chills when I realized how much description my muse had instructed me to put on the page.

Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

The faery on the front cover is Shawndirea.  I scanned book covers online for hours and found this one.  The second I saw it, I knew that was her. http://www.selfpubbookcovers.com/Tigerlily

I was blown away. While the image is great online with Kindle, Nook, and other digital readers, the paperback cover takes the breath away.  

Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

I’m currently working on two novels. I’m working on the sequel to Shawndirea, and already a few chapters into it. I’m also working on a sci-fi novel based off a screenplay I had written while working on my Master’s thesis. This one should be a stand-alone novel and current word count is 25,000 words. 

Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc. 

It varies from day to day. The majority of the time I write in my recliner while my 24-toed black cat, Slinx, watches from his perch above my head.  Since I teach at a local junior college, I find that I have to write in my office between classes sometimes. Other days I go to the university library and hide in a cubicle on the top floor and write.  That’s the good thing about having a laptop because you can write almost anywhere.

Are your book/books available in audio? In other languages? If so, give us more details about where we can get them and what languages they’re in.

I’m currently working on audio and hoping to get translations in German, Spanish, and other languages before the year is out.

How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

I’ve been writing stories since I was 10 years old. For a time, I drew my own comics. I’ve loved books since I was three years old. I read everything I could get my hands on in school, and eventually decided to write books that I’d like to read except they didn’t exist. So I had to write them.

My first novel was published in 2007.

What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?

I tend to write in cross genre. My first series was sci-fi suspense/thriller with other elements mixed in. I also love writing fantasy. And later this year I will be starting my teen mystery series.  These will be shorter novels, but I already have three solid plots worked out.

Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon. 

My Darkness Series consists of four novels: Predators of Darkness: Aftermath; Beyond the Darkness; The Game of Pawns; and Death’s Valley. There is an air of dystopia in the first novel, but one of my characters is a genetically altered cat that can talk. Morton has a smart mouth, but readers love him. I love him. But he’s the hardest character for me to write. Since he’s a cat, he’s just that stubborn. He only speaks when he chooses.  Believe me. When he talks, I write it down.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to let me share about my writing. All my best to you and your followers!

Thanks for joining me today, Leonard! Wishing you much success always.

About the Author 

Leonard D. Hilley II currently lives in the mountains of Kentucky with his wife, Christal.  He is a biologist that has also earned his MFA in creative writing.  Having a passion for books at an early age, he knew he wanted to author his own creative works.  He wrote his first novel at the age of eleven and has never lost his love for books.

Visit Leonard D. Hilley II

Twitter@Deimosweb Publishing

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Paranormal Romance. Burdened by Peiri Ann.

Today I’m thrilled to welcome over Peiri Ann, author of Burdened, A Burdened Novel, Book 1, a Paranormal Romance.

ISBN: 9780991381104

Number of pages: ebook (381) 
Number of pages: paperback (423)
Word Count: 142K

GIVEAWAY!! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win.

Book Description

Tracey Warren has everything an eighteen year old girl should. She lives a life of expectancies; go to school, please her parents, party with friends, and revel in life as a young adult. 

That is until she experiences an unexpected life changing accident caused by Nathan Newcomb; an illegally attractive yet perplexed guy who has her fumbling over her words and cracking her head on the concrete. In being enthralled by his overwhelming existence, Tracey neglects his promise of death (which never falls short of Nathan) and in ignoring his guarantee, she chooses to give into love over sanity and risks her life for the opportunity of being with him. 

Nathan, knowing the risks gives into this want to have Tracey presuming it may be better to jeopardize their possible ending, than to allow her to endure the pain of his devoid. Nonetheless, with him being a burdened Sephlem, not only are they burdened by their adversaries who will risk everything but the exposure of their existence to see Nathan fall. But Nathan and Tracey come to find that their most sinister enemies lie under their same roof and regrettably share the same bloodline.

Book Trailer

Available at Amazon and BN

Interview Time!

Thanks for joining me today, Peiri!

Thank you for having me at A Writers Mind. 

What inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired to write Burdened when I was reading a lot of books that didn’t give me exactly what I wanted. They either had whiny heroines, not enough actions, not enough sex, the hero was too soft or too darn aggressive. And I wanted other PR with a strong romance base that wasn’t with vampires and werewolves. And I love writing. 

How did you come up with the title?

Burdened was written before I came up with the title. Because crazy and inconveniencing things happen throughout the story – when it seems as if everything is just getting better- I saw my character’s story as a burden. Plus my main character is a burdened Sephlem. So the title fit right in. 

If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?

Tracey: But if you murder your father, wouldn’t you kill your mother as well?

Nathan: No, she will remain alive, but she will be miserable and out of character.

Tracey: Wait, I’m confused. I thought one could not live without the other?

Nathan: The female can live without the male, but not the other way around. Remember, your heart beats in replacement of mine. So if I die, your heart will still beat, but if you die, that’s it for the both of us.

Tracey’s thought ‘That’s some crazy shit.’

Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details. 

I’m currently working on a fiction sci-fi/paranormal romance. It has a military base, genetically altered humans, aliens, and zombies. Yeah, an entire mixture of things that all role up into a wide ride called Diminish that will release early winter. 

What sort of personality does your hero have?

Nathan (the hero) is confident, charming, suave, reliable, keen, intelligent and fearless. He gives it to you straight forward and does not like to be BSd.

What sort of personality does your heroine have?

Tracey (the heroine) is conscientious, imaginative, capable, precise, and demanding. She wants what she wants when she wants it and hand has a good head on her shoulder... except when it comes to Nathan.

Did you enjoy writing one scene above all the rest? If so, share.

Yes. So there is this scene when Tracey and Nathan (my two main characters) get a little steamy. No, not a little, they get really steamy. Only when they are “steamy” can Tracey get in his head (Not hear his thoughts, but she can feel what he feels and see what he sees.) So, of course they are in there moment and she can feel the way she feels to him (as he’s feeling her) and sees how he sees her. What makes this scene my favorite is that it’s interrupted and at the worse possible “moment”.

Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.

My favorite writing environment is indoors surrounded by music sitting at my desk on this comfy spot of my couch where the cushions separate with my legs crossed Indian style and the laptop in my lap. (The best scenes and characters come to me when I’m like that.) 

Do you prefer to write short stories, novellas or novels? Why?

I like to write novels because I like to read long books and extended stories. Short stories and novellas bother me if I’m really into it and love the characters and I can’t get enough. 

Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon. 

I do write books in Series. Burdened is a part of A Burdened Novel book series. It’s four of them. Book two, “Tainted” will release this coming winter. 

If you could make changes to a story you’ve already written, which would it be and why?

One change I would make to a story I’ve already written is pushing out the relationship between my characters. Although if I did, it would really mess up the story’s plot. But because I don’t really like insta-love, yet I wrote it, that’s something I would change.

About the Author

A love for reading transpired into an admiration for writing at a young age for Peiri Ann. Starting off in writing poetry and short stories she indulged in the possibilities of creating new worlds and lives to live within them opening a window of unanticipated possibilities. In high school a pin and notebook never left her grasps and in college the pin was replaced by a keyboard and the notebook replaced by a computer screen. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and certified in business management. 

When Peiri Ann is not writing, reading, doing homework, or working in the downtown of Chicago she enjoys spending time with her little girl, watching action flicks, and spooning peanut butter from the jar as a midnight snack.

Visit Peiri Ann


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Friday, July 11, 2014

Powerful Love. Merciless Revenge. Wrath of the Highlander- The MacLomain Series: Next Generation.

Welcome! Summer is sizzling hot here in New Hampshire and as usual, I’m writing away. The characters from the MacLomain Series- Next Generation are keeping me well entertained. I hope you enjoyed last month’s release, Vow of the Highlander. I know several readers have been anticipating Malcolm’s story. Well wait no more… Wrath of the Highlander is here!

This book kept me up many nights not just writing but simply thinking. Why? Well, not only is this novel at the center of the series but it’s about one of my favorite characters, Malcolm MacLomain. As you can imagine, crawling inside his head was no easy task. Sure, he’d had it rough what with a traitorous wife now deceased and a lairdship denied him, but I was determined to see past his brooding nature to the man he once was. Though aggressive and dominating, I knew he was also by far one of the most honorable highlanders I’ve written about. Through that honor I was able to further understand what was at the root of him.

They say behind every good man is a good woman. As it turns out, Malcolm’s was not who you might’ve anticipated. Though Sheila made it clear she desired him, she kept a secret in Vow of the Highlander  that you’ll soon read about. But little would that have mattered because there’s another Broun cousin in town… or should I say medieval Scotland? With Cadence around, things will never be the same.

So here you go! I hope you enjoy reading Wrath of the Highlander  half as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Bookstore owner and ghostwriter, Cadence wants nothing more than to be part of the unending draw between her Broun heritage and the medieval MacLomain clan. When an unexpected Claddagh ring appears on her finger, the distant past soon becomes her future. Though sure she was brought back in time for another man, the laird’s cousin soon draws her eye, then her every thought.

Recently widowed by a traitorous wife, Malcolm MacLomain has no use for love. Merciless, he swears revenge on his enemies and embarks for war. When courageous and persevering, Cadence becomes part of his endeavor his broken heart starts to mend. Caught in an unexpected journey of forgiveness and discovery, two worlds collide and heal despite the, Wrath of the Highlander.


“Have you found your mystery man yet, lass?” he said, so low she would feel the rumble of his inquisition through the thin material of her silky, smooth dress.

Her lips trembled, eyes wide, but she gave no answer.

Oh, but to close his lips over hers.

“No,” Cadence finally murmured, her eyes still locked on his. “But I will find him.”

When she licked her lips, his eyes drifted down. Wide and full, they were created for pure sin. He could only imagine them running down his body, surrounding him where it mattered most. Damnation, he needed  her closer.

Though he wouldn’t kiss her, he’d sure as hell dance with her.

Ignoring her assurance that she was meant for another man, Malcolm pulled her into the dancing crowd. It didn’t matter if the music was merry; he wasn’t in the mood for speed. Besides, he needed to hide his swelling erection. This time he’d not temper the poor thing with magic. Nay, she’d feel his need while she tried to keep focus on the man she so eagerly sought.  

“Goddess above, what are you doing to me,” she whispered, voice strangled.

Arms wrapped tight around her lower back, he brought his mouth against her ear. “‘Twill be no goddess giving you answers, only me.” He tightened his hold. “Do you feel me then, lass?”

“How could I not?” she gasped. Hands clamped on his upper arms, she turned her face into his chest and mumbled, “You show ill respect to a man you have not met.”

“I dinnae respect a man until he earns it.” Malcolm closed his eyes and breathed in the sweet scent of her hair.

As each individual note trilled from the bagpipe, she melted against him more thoroughly than the icy snowflakes speckling his heated skin. Fire and drink might warm the crowd but where they stood his breath hit the air in foggy puffs. Always a fan of the cold, but an even bigger fan of a bonnie wee lass against him, he cupped one hand around the back of her neck.

Her heart thundered against his.

Her body shuddered.

“Easy, lass,” he whispered. “I willnae take what you’re unwilling to give.”

“Yet you hold me prisoner,” she murmured.

“Nay, we but dance.”

“If only.”

Her words were so soft he barely heard them.

Jaw grinding, he held her securely with his arm while pressing his arousal tighter against her. Och, but to be inside of her, to see the look on her face when he made her his.

“No,” she whispered. Then she pulled back, her voice stronger as her eyes met his. “No.”

“Aye, lass.” But he loosened his hold and gave her one more word before he let her go. “Soon.” 

Coming soon to iTunes and Google Books

Monday, July 7, 2014

First Love. Second Chance. Tender Deceit by H.Y. Hanna.

Today it’s my pleasure to feature, Tender Deceit,  First Love Series, Book 1 by H.Y. Hanna, a Romantic Suspense.

ISBN:  978-0-9923153-6-8
Word Count:  67,000 words
Cover Artist:  Kim Killion 

GIVEAWAY!! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win 5 free copies of the ebook or 1 Amazon giftcard for $20.

Book Description

First love. Second chance. All they have to do is stay alive…

Following her father’s mysterious death, Leah Fisher leaves her life in London and returns to her childhood home of Singapore. She’s braced to confront her past and determined to lay the ghost of her “first love” to rest. Toran James may have been the boy her fourteen-year old heart yearned for, but the magic of stolen glances and first kisses had faded with his betrayal.

Then Leah meets Toran again and finds that he has grown up into a dangerously attractive man. And the past holds more secrets than she realised. Was her father’s death really an accident? What is hidden in his study? And why has Toran contacted her again after all these years?

Someone is out to silence Leah – and that someone might be the man she’s rapidly falling in love with… again.


He looked up as she approached and she stopped short, stunned by the intensity of his green eyes. 


He made as if to rise and suddenly Leah panicked. Should I shake hands? Kiss him? Hug him? Quickly, she sat down at the table and waved him back down with her hand. 

“Hello, Toran.”

It was hopelessly inadequate, a stupid inane greeting after all these years, but Leah didn’t know what else to say to the stranger sitting in front of her. Except for those brilliant green eyes, there was little left of the boy she used to know. The jaw had widened and hardened, roughened by a faint shadow of stubble, and the warm smile had been replaced by a steely line of a mouth that was at once forbidding and sensual. Dark, unruly hair fell over his brow and didn’t quite hide a thin scar along his left temple which Leah was sure had not been there before. His skin was more tanned than she remembered and that lean, boyish frame had filled out into broad shoulders and a hard, muscular physique that spoke more of outdoor pursuits than time in a gym. More than that, though, was the feeling of latent power and cool authority. Leah caught her breath. Toran James had grown up into a dangerously attractive man. 

There was a glass in front of him filled with a pale amber liquid; and next to it, a cigar, its wreath of smoke curling lazily up to the ceiling. 

Her eyes met his in accusation. “You said you would never smoke.”

“You said you would never cut your hair.”

Leah touched her head self-consciously before she could stop herself. She wondered if he was assessing her too and searching for the girl he used to know. Her hair fell in waves just past her shoulders now and she had learnt the art of eyeliner to make the most of her deep blue eyes. She wasn’t a gym bunny either, but walking everywhere in London had kept her trim. Leah saw his gaze flick appreciatively over her, lingering on her bare legs exposed by the short hem of her black dress, and she felt her pulse quicken.

“I guess people change.” Leah attempted a light smile. “It’s been over twelve years, you know.”

“I know.” He made a gesture with his hands. “I’m sorry to hear about your father, Leah.”

She nodded. “Thank you.”

Silence settled over them. Leah found herself unable to look at him and was furious to realise that her heart was pounding. What was wrong with her? Anyone would think that she was still fourteen! She had thought that meeting Toran again would help to lay the ghosts of her schoolgirl infatuation to rest. Instead, Leah was dismayed to discover that her feelings for him seemed very much alive, her awareness of him even more heightened than when they were teenagers. Not that he seemed to share her turmoil, she thought, glancing at him from beneath her eyelashes. His handsome face was inscrutable, the green eyes cool and remote. 

The Indian woman came over with a menu. Leah ordered the house special, a coconut mojito, while Toran ordered another whiskey. When the drinks arrived, he settled back in his chair and gave her a small smile. It was just a glimmer, but it was enough to remind her of the boy she used to know and Leah felt her shoulders relax slightly. 

“So you work in London now?” He raised an eyebrow. “Tell me about your job…”

He was a good listener, as he always had been, and Leah found herself relaxing even more as she told him about her work, friends, life back in the U.K… Before she knew it, half an hour had passed and she realised that she had not learnt anything about him.

“What about you?” Leah asked. “What’s—”

A shrill beeping made her jump. He took a phone out of his pocket and glanced at the screen, his face tightening. He stood up with an apologetic smile. “I’ll be right back.”

Leah looked idly around the lounge as she waited for him to return, not quite sure of the feelings churning inside her. Why did anyone look up their childhood sweetheart? To reconnect? Rediscover? Re-ignite what had once been…?

“I’m really sorry—something’s come up and I have to go.” Toran stood by the table, those green eyes once again belonging to a stranger. 

Leah stood up quickly and found that he towered over her. He had always been tall, but now he was well over six feet. She stared at the front of his shirt, where the crisp cotton parted to reveal a glimpse of tanned chest. He was standing very close. She found herself unable to meet his eyes. “Um… Sure, yes, of course…”

“I’ll be in touch.”

Leah felt something brush her hand—she could almost have imagined it—and then he was gone. Slowly, she made her way back to her hotel, her head dizzy with thoughts she didn’t really want to acknowledge. Alone in her room, she grabbed the phone on an impulse and dialed the number.

“Hello?” Julia’s voice hadn’t changed, despite the years. 

“Hi, Julia.”

“Oh my God, Leah? Is that really you?” She laughed. “I was so excited when I read on Facebook that you were coming back to Singapore. When did you arrive? Where are you staying? Hey, if you’re not doing anything tonight—”

“I arrived earlier today. Listen, Julia,” Leah said breathlessly. “I know this sounds crazy, but I’ve got to tell somebody—somebody who understands. I…I saw Toran again and he—”

“What?” Her voice was sharp. “Toran James? When? Where?”

“Tonight.” Leah was taken aback by her sharpness. “I just got back, in fact. I went to meet him for drinks. I got this message and I couldn’t believe it… But then I thought, hell, why not, and…” She trailed off as she realised that Julia wasn’t listening.

“Tonight? You saw Toran tonight? Leah, are you sure?”

“Of course, I’m sure. I mean, he looks different—you know, all grown up—but his eyes…”

“Wait, Leah,” she cut in urgently. “That’s not possible.”

“What do you mean?”

“You couldn’t have met Toran tonight.”

“Why not?”

“Because he died in an accident yesterday.” 

About the Author

H.Y. Hanna was born in Taiwan and has been a globe-trotter most of her life, from growing up in the United Arab Emirates to attending school in New Jersey, from working in the glamorous world of London advertising to emigrating Down Under. 

Along the way, she somehow managed to pick up a wonderful husband, a huge, slobbery dog, two rescue cats, an assortment of cardboard boxes and a slightly dodgy "trans-atlantic" accent. After graduating from Oxford University, she tried her hand at a variety of jobs before returning to her first love: writing. 

She’s the author of the Amazon bestselling children’s mystery series, Big Honey Dog Mysteries, and is now diving into the world of romantic suspense with the launch of Tender Deceit, Book 1 in the First Love Series. 

You can find out more about H.Y. Hanna and her books at: www.hyhanna.com or catch her on Facebook at “H.Y. Hanna” or the Big Honey Dog Mysteries Facebook Page.

Visit H.Y. Hanna

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Urban Fantasy. Paranormal Romance. Burning in a Memory by Constance Sharper.

Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over Constance Sharper, author of Burning in a Memory, Adelaide’s Series, Book 1, a Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: July 1st, 2014

ISBN-13: 978-1499258738 
ISBN-10: 1499258739

Number of pages: Approx. 315
Word Count: 87,000

Cover Artist: Judyta (Feainne) K.

GIVEAWAY!! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of four paperback copies of Burning In A Memory.

Book Description

Curiosity killed the cat, and nineteen-year-old Adelaide was next. She could barely remember the moments during her childhood when she knew magic existed, but she never stopped searching for it since. On the flipside, monsters from the magical world never stopped searching for her either. 

Their paths finally cross in time for Adelaide to realize she should have stayed on the human side of the east coast. Unlike college, she can’t get out of trouble with a cute smile and a cuter wardrobe. 

These monsters are out for blood, her blood, but she’s in luck. They will spare her life in exchange for one favor, and that favor is named Leon Colton.

Amazon   BN    Kobo

Interview Time!

Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story. 

The story follows nineteen-year-old Adelaide. Adelaide has faint memories of a unique childhood and people who could conjure magic-- other people just like her. When growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, she doesn’t encounter anything close to magic. By the time she reaches college, she can take the curiosity no longer and goes searching.

Instead of finding mages, she finds the monsters of the supernatural world. These monsters are called shades and are seconds away from ending her life when she cuts a deal. She agrees to find a mage named Leon Colton in exchange for her own life. 

She figures it cannot be very hard. Leon Colton does not know who she is or whom she works with. She’s an unrecognizable woman with an ability to talk her way out of anything. Or at least she thinks. 

How did you come up with the title?

The title is very unique and probably not the best suited for a book name, but the storyline actually begged for it. I am a real advocate for allowing the storyline to names itself. Burning in a Memory refers to the deepest aspect of the book. It’s that something Adelaide remembers and can’t let go. It burns in her mind and is destroyed over time until nothing remains of the reality but ash.

If you could spend an hour in real life with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

Probably Leon Colton. The mage is legend but there is definitely a real man behind the legend. He’s the type of person to always keep you guessing and possibly the most intriguing of the characters. It’s impossible to capture him completely without reading the background of the book. I love twists and Leon is the center of a mass of them. 

What sort of personality does your heroine have?

Adelaide develops her personality from the unique circumstances she’s set in throughout life. She starts off as curious, like anyone would be, when they have unanswered questions about their own identity. She finds out quickly though that one wrong step could be her last and that many have died where she has survived. Despite the morbid knowledge, this leaves her absolutely determined to live on. Her urge for self-preservation is really defining—a trait she supposedly would never give up for a guy. 

Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

On the cover is Adelaide, the protagonist of the storyline. The model on the cover had the perfect look of someone caught between good and bad. She’s a knowing woman set atop the cliff where the beginning of the book takes place.  

How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

My first book came out in 2011 but I’ve been writing forever. I wish I could churn out more books, but unfortunately work and schooling always gets in the way. 

Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon. 

The first book series I published was The Airborne Saga. That series was made up of three books. 

The most recent series I’m publishing is Burning in a Memory. The new series, Burning, is quite a departure from the old books. I’m always looking for reinvention and am always evolving as a writer. I’m hoping Burning will capture a wider audience than Airborne as it transcends more of the genres. It is an urban fantasy (set in reality, modern day, with the one supernatural aspect). It also has a strong romantic aspect to it also driving the story. 


Adelaide screamed as she fell. Her hands flailed but she never caught the banister in time. She plummeted down the short flight of stairs and nailed the bottom step. Her vision flashed black and pain reverberated up her spine. She found her feet after a moment, but by the time she looked up, the basement door was shut. A halo of light outlined the doorframe and provided the only illumination in the dark basement. 

A cold fear suddenly seized her in the next second.  The shade was in here. Disorientation from the fall lingered but she still felt its presence. She heard the wheezing breath and smelt the bitter smoke that clung to its being. She could only see the hint of its figure in the dark, but refused to stay long enough to see more.

“Adelaide,” it cooed. The sound of its catlike voice made her misstep and stumble. She winced but forced herself to stay calm and find the stairs. The monstrous shade was tied and bound, she told herself. It could not get free. 

Wood creaked. The wheezing grew louder. The smell of smoke thickened in the air.

She carefully hurried to the top of the staircase and reached the door. She raced her hand along the wood until she found the knob and twisted, but the lock wouldn’t give. Twisting with all of her might, her muscles burned before she let go. The door was still pressurized in its exact position and that barred her only escape route. Leon’s aura filled the hall outside and the pressure wouldn’t let up until he did.

“Adam! Adam!” she called. Adelaide beat on the door with her fists, ready to splinter the wood if necessary. 

“Come down here, Adelaide. I’ve been waiting so long to talk to you,” it hissed.

She stopped her futile assault and her fists hovered in the air. The sound of its voice unnerved her and it refused to shut up.

“Why won’t you look at me? What are you afraid of seeing?” it asked.

Adelaide would have scoffed at the question if fear didn’t keep her so quiet. After a second of collecting her nerves, she turned to face it. Its figure was barely visible, but she saw it tug against its bindings. The wooden chair it was bound to creaked again. 

“I am not afraid of you. You can’t hurt me,” she blurted upon finding her voice.

“That boy is not going to protect you…”

“You don’t know anything. Leave me alone,” she spit. It was just taunting her now, but it also affected her more than she’d like to admit. She turned and pressed her ear against the door. If Adam was on the other side, he stayed silent. Her skin crawled when she couldn’t hear anything at all from the hallway.

“You cannot even protect yourself,” the shade said.

“Then you’ve never met me.”

The door suddenly groaned. It shifted in its frame and she grabbed the knob again. She yanked the door open and the sweet fresh air of freedom beckoned her out of the dank basement. But then the shade called out to her again and this time it stopped her dead in her tracks.

“Regardless, you will come see me soon if you want to survive,” it said. “Because I know your secret. I know what you’re doing here.”

About the Author

Born and raised in Florida, Constance Sharper juggles following her writing passion with completing her doctorate degree. She's been a lover of urban fantasy and young adult books, and published The Airborne Saga as her first series. She continues to write multiple books in the same and similar genres. She currently lives with her beagle and wishes a Starbucks would open up nearby. 

Visit Constance's Website and Twitter.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Paranormal. Romance. Tragedy. Beyond the Reach of Judgement by Jo Bissell.

Today I’m thrilled to welcome over Jo Bissell, author of Beyond the Reach of Judgement, a paranormal romance; paranormal tragedy. 

Number of pages: 294
Word Count: 76K

Cover Artist: Char Adlesperger 
at Wicked Cover Designs 

Book Description

“Did we leave any sin out?” she replied with a forced weak laugh.

“No. Between the two of us, I think we have managed to cover them all,” he mumbled as that uncomfortable lump in his gut returned. 

Julien Rene Durant was once a good man. Born in France, he took the oath as a Jesuit Priest in the 1600s. He dedicated his life to spreading the Gospel. Now, he was a monster surviving off the blood of others; killing for survival even as he wished for nothing other than for his own extinction. After almost four centuries of guilt and hopelessness, he encounters someone who might just be able to rescue the good man trapped within the monster, but will his judgements deny him a second chance?

Mary Ruth Jacobson-Ryan is nothing special; a small town girl stuck in a rut. Married to the local Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran and town hero who turned out not to be the perfect guy she fell in love with before the war, she is desperate for a way out. When things turn from bad to worse, she runs with plans to never look back. She quickly finds, however, that her search for a better future may lead her down a path with no future at all.

GIVEAWAY!! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of two $10 Amazon Gift Cards. 

Book Trailer

Interview Time!

What inspired you to write this book?

My first experience with the genre of paranormal romance was reading the Twilight Saga many years ago. While I've ready many more since, I was immediately hooked with the concept of but found myself wishing for “more.” More romance; more sex; more darkness; more adult themes; just more. Initially, I filled this void by writing some bad fan-fiction and reading other Indie Author PNRs. Finally, in November 2012, I decided to do something original with National Novel Writing Month and the idea of Mary Ruth and Julien started to take shape. While I did not “win” NaNoWriMo that year, I did get 30K+ words towards the project and felt a real sense of accomplishment with creating something fresh which inspired me to see this project through to the end.

How did you come up with the title?

I knew I wanted something with a suspenseful and slightly religious connotation given Julien's background and internal conflict with his Jesuit vows, and Ruth's disenchantment with her own spirituality which in many ways brings them together and pulls them apart. I tested many titles based on the concept of sin and redemption and good vs evil. But the title goes deeper and more personal, in that its about living your life for yourself and not for what others expect from you, with which both characters also struggle.

What made you choose the main setting for your book?

Almost all the settings I write about are places I've experienced personally. I do this because I feel it makes them more real in my writing, especially considering the less believable aspects of my stories.

Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story. 

The heart of  Beyond the Reach of Judgement is the concept of good people being forced by circumstances and poor options to make bad decisions. We all think we know what we would do when forced with certain moral choices, but what about when the alternative is even worse? Suddenly, it's much harder to judge that decision, but that doesn't make it any easier to make.

If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?

“A murderous vampire priest and an adulterous pregnant pagan prostitute... did we leave any sin out?”

Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details. 

Yes! My current project is an urban fantasy based on a black angel grave-marker over 100 years old located in Iowa City, IA that is shrouded in urban legends and mystery well known to the locals. Many of the urban legends involve harm coming to those who disrespect the monument and the heroine, Ingrid, is tasked by family heritage to try to prevent this harm.

Did you enjoy writing one scene above all the rest? If so, share.

My favorite scene to create was the scene in the steak house where Ruth hears Julien's story. I liked the flow of dialogue and the tension between them. This scene also sets the stage for the rest of their relationship, and really, the rest of the book.

Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.

I write pretty much anywhere I can bring my laptop. On the patio of my home, in front of the television watching the news, in my bed, in the car on roadtrips, coffee houses, libraries, and on flights. I think this is because with my “day job” as a full time physician, I have so little time to actually dedicate to writing. When I'm not at work I am either thinking about a current project, plotting a future project, or marketing an already completed project.


Alone in the stone cell, Julien paced the perimeter until finally sliding his body down the unforgiving wall opposite the cell door. With her final words still stuck in his head, he focused on the cracks in the stones and the number of blocks stacked to form his enclosure. He tried to memorize the angles and the dimensions of the space instead of allowing thoughts of her warm curves pressed against him to overcome his focus. When the vision of her bright blue eyes came into his head, he changed his attention to the ceiling, taking in the cobwebs in the corners, the dim bulb hanging above, and the smell of mildew hanging in the air. As his mind fell upon the memories of their final moments together, he ground his fingernails into the hard stone beneath him.

His concentration wavered as something slipped through the bars of the cell door. Even in the dim lighting, he immediately recognized the medical grade pint of packed red blood cells. Although freshly sated by the girl’s last remaining ounce of life, the blood still called to him. The more he tried to ignore its presence, the louder the call became. His eyes repeatedly drifted back toward the bag as his tongue ran over his teeth. He sniffed the air, relieved that the scent of the bag’s contents remained trapped by the sterile sealing process. 

His jaw clenched, and his fists tightened as the pain built in the back of his throat. Picturing himself back in France in the Church of Saint-Pierre de Montemartre, he swallowed back the saliva that collected in his mouth as he closed his eyes and began to chant. 

“AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen. ” 

With his eyes closed, he chanted the words over and over, repeating them until they became senseless in his mind. Placing his head between his knees, he squeezed his eyes closed tighter. When he started to wonder what blood type was written across the bag in bold letters or about how fresh it might be, he changed prayers. When the memories of the sensation of his lips on warm flesh, the sound of a pulse echoing in his ears, or the taste of that first drop of blood on his tongue entered his mind, he changed prayers. When he remembered her scent in his nostrils and her flavor in his mouth, he changed prayers.

Recognizing her footsteps and her smell, Julien did not look up as Agent Wolf stood in the doorway. After a long silence, she finally spoke. “Mr. Durant, tell me, why should I spare you?” 

“You should not,” he said. 

“And why is that?”

“I am a monster. I deserve to be ended. I wish to be ended.”

“And why should I give you what you desire?” Her voice hinted at genuine curiosity. 

“You should not.” 

She said nothing else as her footsteps disappeared down the long corridor. Silence filled the cell once again.

He was alone, alone with the blood. 

Imagining himself back in the Spiritual Exercises, he started to chant again. He had conquered the evil and disorder within himself once so many years ago; it could be done again. Ruth taught him that. It took losing her to prove to him that he had the choice, and her loss gave him the strength to take it.

Even though he had witnessed her passing with his own eyes, her presence still haunted his every thought. He sensed her fear and despair as if she sat next to him now. But now she was dead, and he sat alone in the stone cell.

About the Author

Jo Bissell started writing in middle school with fantasy stories inspired by books such as The Hobbit, and in fact once turned in a journal project written entirely in Dwarfish Ruins. She then explored fanfiction and short speculative fiction writing. Now, after many years of study, she spends most of her time working as a full time physician caring for hospitalized adults. When she is not writing or doctoring, she enjoys reading, watching movies, traveling, archery, thrift store shopping, and snowboarding. She currently resides in the Iowa City, IA area with her husband and two cats.

Beyond the Reach of Judgement is Jo Bissell’s first original novel which evolved out of a 2012 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) project. She also has a short speculative fiction piece, His Eyes, available for Kindle. Future planned novels include a sequel to Beyond the Reach of Judgement, other works of urban fantasy and paranormal romances, and a science fiction novel. She continues to participate in NaNoWriMo.

Visit Jo Bissell

Friday, June 27, 2014

Getting Close is Dangerous... Connecting Strangers by Rachel Carrington.

Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over Rachel Carrington, author of Connecting Strangers, Discovering Emily Series, Book 1, a Romantic Suspense. So cozy in and learn more about this book then check out a fabulous interview!

Date of Publication: July 21, 2014 
Word Count:  67,000
Cover Artist: Elaina Lee of For the Muse Designs

Book Description

Getting close is dangerous…

He’s too close, and I start to fidget, needing to keep my hands busy so they won’t grab hold of his shirt. Because that’s what they want to do. Draw him closer. So I can Inhale his scent. Taste his skin.

I didn’t run because I was in an abusive relationship; I ran because my soul was being crushed. I’d forgotten how to live, how to be happy. Running out of gas in a small town, I catch the eye of the local sheriff when the very last thing I want is to come under the scrutiny of the police. I left my boyfriend with blood on my hands, and I know as soon as the wound heals he’ll come looking for me.

Adam Madison draws me to him so easily I can’t even pretend to fight. And the closer we get, the more combustible we become.  I’ve never experienced such passion or power. My need is as great as his, but I’m sure he’ll walk away from me once he knows my secret. No other man would stay.

I’ve had enough complications in my life. I’m not looking for more, and that’s exactly what Adam is—a sexy, magnetic complication with secrets of his own. And with my ex on the hunt, I can’t risk bringing him down with me. But he won’t leave…even when vengeance could kill us both.

MEGA GIVEAWAY!! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of over thirty prizes from contributing sponsors! Giveaways listed below.

Let’s interview!

If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?  

“So we’ll do this together because the only place I can imagine being is with you.”

Did you enjoy writing one scene above all the rest? If so, share. 

I did really enjoy writing the scene where Emily gets arrested. I tried to bring so much emotion into that scene, and I guess I’ll find out if I succeeded when the readers let me know!

Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.

On my bed. In my pajamas. With my laptop. I can write anywhere, but this is, by far, my favorite place. 

What sources do you use for research? 

For the suspense portions, along with the internet, I have scores of books on police procedure, forensics, and building a case. It helps that I’ve been a paralegal for twenty plus years as well, and I have a close friend (more like a brother) who is a former cop. 

I used to work for a criminal defense attorney so I have some background into setting up a criminal case. And I’m extremely fortunate to have a really close friend who is a doctor. She can usually answer any medical questions so I don’t have a victim die from something that wouldn’t kill her ordinarily. I want to make my books as realistic as possible so I draw from resources who won’t lead me wrong.  

I joke with my friends that I still haven’t used some of their careers yet, but I will eventually get to them in my writing.  

It’s time to promo. What is your favorite marketing tool?  

This one is so hard to choose because I love social media, but I’m also a huge fan of word of mouth marketing and what I like to call obvious advertising. That’s where I give out book bags with my website on them along with a catchy phrase as well as things I know others will use in public.  Business cards are great, but they’re easy to lose. I prefer to use something I know people will actually utilize because it gets my information in front of more people. 

Are your book/books available in audio? In other languages? If so, give us more details about where we can get them and what languages they’re in. 

Right now, I have seven books in audio which are available from Audible.com, iTunes, and Amazon. Another book is in narration right now, and Connecting Strangers will be made available, too. 

How long have you been writing? How long have you been published? 

I’ve been writing since I was sixteen (and that’s as much of my age as I’m going to tell). I’ve been published since 2002, and I’m happy to say that Connecting Strangers is my 50th published work. Several of those fifty are out of publication now, and when I read back over some of them, I see how far I’ve come.

What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?

Once upon a time, I would have told you that I prefer writing paranormal, but over the last year or so, that’s segued to romantic suspense. I’ve written romantic suspense in the past, but, for the most part, I focused on paranormal like vampires. Now, I like creating the drama and suspense, getting inside the head of a creepy killer, and making sure the bad guy gets what’s coming to him. 

I’ve always wanted to try young adult, and I did write a novella in that genre. I’m not sure so I could tackle a longer story, though. For now, I think I’ll stick with what I love. 

Do you prefer to write short stories, novellas or novels? Why?

Definitely novels. I feel constrained when I’m writing a short story, and I’m always checking my word count to make sure I don’t go over. I recently wrote a novella for Still Hungry For Your Love, a zombie romance anthology, and it was difficult for me knowing when to wrap it up. There were scenes I wanted to put in, but then I worried I’d end up going over word count. 

Don’t get me wrong, though. I love writing novellas when I’m in the frame of mind to write them. My entire Spirit series are novellas. The stories just came to me, and I wrote those stories so fast. My novels usually don’t get written so quickly. 

Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon. 

I love writing books in series. I have the Vampires Destined series published, the first two books in the Spirit Series (Souls Divided and Sharing Our Souls) with two more books on the way. I also have the Hot Magic series from Ellora’s Cave.

Connecting Strangers is the first book in the Discovering Emily Series. I’m working on the next book now, and I anticipate at least a third book, maybe even a fourth, along with a novella or two for some secondary characters. 

If you could make changes to a story you’ve already written, which would it be and why?

I couldn’t just pick one story because I have several books out there where reviewers have picked up on something missing from the storylines, and I’d love to go back and change them. Unfortunately, if I did that, I wouldn’t have time to write new stores. 

Short Excerpt

I close my eyes and slowly squeeze the trigger. The shot sounds so loud I jump backwards. But the bullet hits its mark, tearing a hole through Mark's shoulder. With a curse, he falls to the ground. I know I haven't killed him because he's making so much noise and trying to scramble to his feet. So I snag the keys from the hook by the back door and run.

He'll come after me which means I don’t have much time to get a head start. The mud tries to suck my shoes off, but I clench my toes while Mark’s promise bounces around inside my head.  

You’ll always be mine.

At the time, I thought it was romantic, but I was only eighteen. What the hell did I know? It didn’t take me long to learn it meant Mark doesn't take no for an answer. In high school, his determination was a compliment. Nowadays, it would get him arrested...if we didn't live in a town that worshipped him.

Shaking so hard, I have a hard time jabbing the key in the ignition. Relief floods through me when I can finally start the 2000 Volvo my grandmother got me when I graduated from high school seven years ago. 

As I gun the engine, I see Mark's reflection in my rearview mirror. He's made it to his feet, and though blood is dripping down the front of his shirt, he’s running after me.

The Volvo kicks up plenty of dust and gravel when I stomp on the accelerator, showering Mark with enough pebbles to bring him to a halt. His loud curses follow me down the old, dirt road where our clapboard home sits. It’s the one his daddy built us once he knew Mark wouldn’t be leaving town anytime soon. 

Staying in rural Broomtown, Kentucky definitely hadn't been my choice. That had been all Mark. After my parents died, I wanted to get as far away as possible to start our lives fresh, but Mark, well, he figured since he was going to be trapped in a dead end job once his dreams of playing football were over, he might as well do it around family. 

I keep looking in my mirror to make sure he isn't following me, and I don't dare relax until I make it to the highway. Even then, the trembling continues. 

Ten miles down the road, I realize I left my purse on the kitchen counter, and I have no money and less than a half a tank of gas. In a car that chugs gas like this one, that isn’t going to get me very far. But anywhere is better than Broomtown with Mark. 

A tear trickles down my cheek, and I swipe it away. No more tears. I have cried enough for him. When I was still young and foolish, I thought Mark and I would be together forever. I know now that forever can be a hell of a long time when the love of your life morphs into a raving lunatic. 

My heart aches when I think about what we had once. We were the love story everyone dreams about. Me, the head cheerleader, and Mark, the captain of the football team. I still remember the night the Broomtown Broncs won the state championship. No one thought a team from the sticks could win such an important title. Mark had carried me on his shoulder through the cheers and the drums. Then he had to go and do something stupid for a senior prank that changed everything. 

I switch on the radio to drown out the memories, but they've always been louder. The thump of the wheels hitting pavement releases some of the pressure in my chest, and my shoulders begin to relax. I might not be free of Mark forever, but tonight I wouldn't have to listen to his drunken complaints. 

The Volvo's lone headlight illuminates the long, winding road ahead then bounces off the side of a white car heading in the opposite direction. I wish I could stop the person, warn them where there going. That road dead-ends in Broomtown. Hopefully, the driver doesn’t have plans to stay long. It’s the kind of place that sucks you in and while you’re there, it drains your soul a little piece at a time until you’re moving in slow motion. Just putting one foot in front of the other. 

My hand smells like gun powder, and though I wipe them one at a time on my jeans, the smell won’t go away. I still see the blood, too, even though none of it got on me. There’d been a lot of it, though. If I hadn’t seen Mark get up and walk with my own two eyes, I would be worried I’d killed him.

As much as I want to get away from Mark, I couldn’t kill him. It’s certainly not that I love him anymore, but taking a human life just isn’t in me. Hell, taking any life. Mark and his best friend always made fun of me when I wanted to set the mice free from the traps rather than kill them. Mark had better be glad that’s the type of person I am.

 Static replaces the low, monotonous voice of the town’s only radio broadcaster. I switch off the sound, and a flash of blue catches my eye in the rearview. I lift my gaze, and my stomach sinks. A cop is behind me, and the blue lights insist I pull over. 

Damnit. With one hand, I direct the car over to the side of the road while I reach for my purse that isn't on the passenger seat where I always drop it. Then I remember I left the house without anything but my clothes and keys. Double damn. 

I hear the squawk of the cop's radio as he approaches the side of my car. His long, black flashlight taps against the driver's window, and I sigh, knowing the only way out of this is to tell the truth...well, some of it anyway. 

Blinking rapidly against the glare of the light, I press the button to lower my window. My gaze tilts upwards and connects with hazel eyes. A sinfully handsome face causes my breath to stall in my chest. The man standing outside the window of my Volvo is a cop, and I should give him the proper respect, but finding my voice proves impossible. 

The darkness doesn't allow me much of a view, but it's enough to make my nerves dance. I glance at his full lips and realize they're moving. He's talking to me, and I blink several times in an attempt to regroup. My hand fumbles on the seat next to me.

"I-I'm sorry, Officer. I left my purse at home. I do have a driver's license and insurance, but I was in a hurry. I didn't even think about it, honestly." I babble on for a few more seconds until the cop interrupts in deep, throaty bass.

"Have you been drinking?" He shines the flashlight into the interior, and the beam slides over my denim-clad legs before sliding up my thin t-shirt.  I hadn’t had the time to grab a coat, and as cold as it is outside, it’s no wonder my outfit looks suspicious. His gaze pierces mine again while he waits for my answer.

I attempt to swallow, but the lump in my throat is the victor. "No, I haven't." But I don't blame him for asking. 

"Would you step out of the car, please?" He opens the door and takes a step back to give me room.

Trembling, I follow his command, closing the door behind me so I can lean against the coldness of the steel. A gust of frigid wind lifts the hair off the nape of my neck, and the trembles segue to shivers. 

The officer drags his gaze back to the interior of my car before fixing it on me again. He’s staring at me, and I don’t like it. I’ve had just about enough of me treating me like I’m a piece of meat. Of course, now isn’t the time to get defensive. Instead, I return his stare, but I have to look up, way up, to face him. "Do you mind telling me why you stopped me?" I silently congratulate myself on the composed question. 

He juts his chin toward the front of the Volvo. "You have a headlight out."

If only he could see how relieved I am…Something as simple as a headlight, I can deal with. "Oh, that. Yes, I know. I've been meaning to fix it, but it just keeps slipping my mind. I'm sorry." I lift my shoulders in an apologetic manner, but the stern look on the cop's face remains.

"What's your name?" The look on his face dares me to lie.

"Emily. Emily Murdoch." I accept the challenge by using my mother’s maiden name which is also my middle name. 

"Where do you live, Miss Murdoch?" 

Shit. The last thing I want is for him to know my real name. Living in Broomtown has taught me that cops cannot be trusted. As gorgeous as this one is, I still won’t let my guard down. I paste an easygoing smile on my face and lie again. "Juniper Springs."

His eyebrows lift, and my heart pounds. Did I say something wrong? Can he tell I'm lying now? "Really?"
I stick to my story, replying with only a stiff nod. 

"You mind if I take a look inside your car?"

“Not at all.” I move away from the door and wave my hand as though granting entrance to my minions. What else am I supposed to do? If I said no, he’d have come up with a reason to arrest me. That’s what all cops do.

His concludes his search quickly and straightens to face me. "It's too dangerous to be driving these dark roads with only one headlight, Miss Murdoch. I suggest you get it fixed first thing tomorrow morning." He switches off the flashlight. "Drive safely."

I watch him walk away while my legs threaten to collapse. Once back inside my car, I take in great gulps of air and lean my head back against the rest. But something tells me I shouldn't be relieved. The cop bought my story too easily. Which probably means he didn't just find me by accident. 

A sick feeling settles in the pit of my stomach. Mark is already on the hunt. 

About the Author

I started writing years ago, and my first attempt was a contemporary romance that will never see the light of day. I think I may even have thrown it away by now. It was absolutely horrific as I knew nothing about well…anything to do with writing.

After that, I started writing fantasy romances about wizards and wizards, and once those took off, I segued to paranormal romances (hello, vampires and ghosts) and romantic suspense. 

I also write articles for various magazines, including The Writer’s Journal, Writer’s Magazine, Writer’s Weekly, Writing for Dollars, Absolute Write, Freelance Writing.com, and Funds for Writers.

I’m fortunate to make my home in historical Charleston, South Carolina. Beautiful city. Beautiful people. When I’m not writing, I love to read, watch Bones, Castle, Blue Bloods, and Hawaii Five-O, create videos, keep Target in business, play visitor in my city, and drink lots of coffee.

Visit Rachel Carrington

Rachel would like to thank all of her sponsors for contributing prizes to her blog tour for Connecting Strangers. 

For a complete list of participating authors and how to connect with them socially, please click HERE

Giveaway contributing authors and their website and FB fan pages 

Melanie Shawn

Cathryn Fox

Steena Holmes

Lisa Renee Jones

Elena Aitken
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