Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Blues Promotion- May 21

Yes, it really is that time again. Monday. Oh no!

But no fear. Authors, this is your chance to promote an excerpt from one of your books!

To those that have been here, done that before, you know the drill.

To the newbies, well here's how it works.

Every Monday, the comments section is wide open to provide an excerpt. But....there's a catch. Oh yes, there certainly is. No worries, though. It's a fun catch. Promise!

The excerpts revolve around a theme/topic. Each week is something different.

So, in light of Sunday's solar eclipse, which is a rare event, how about we revolve the excerpts around a rare occasion in your story? it could be something simple, or something major! Be creative, have fun!

Please post Book Title, Author, and a buy link along with the excerpt. The excerpts should not exceed 750  words.

And hey, spread the word! :)

Can't wait to see what today brings.

Until next time,

Storm Goddess


  1. Title: To Touch a Thief
    Author: L.j. Charles

    Amazon link:

    It's not every day one of my heroines is arrested! This is the opening of my latest release in the Everly Gray Adventure series.

    It would end her career as a forensic accountant. She knew the arrest was going to happen, had helped to plan it, participated in the fine tuning, and even requested they handcuff her before the “event” so she’d know what to expect. They’d refused. Insisted it needed to be a virgin handcuffing to keep her response authentic.
    A slippery column of sweat trickled along her spine and pooled at the small of her back. The detective held the shiny metal handcuffs loosely, almost as if they were a toy or an ingredient in a sexual fantasy. But they weren’t. This was all too real, right down to the newspaper reporters and the snarly, disgusted twist of Parker Steele’s mouth. Perfect lips should never wear such an ugly expression.
    The detective snapped the handcuffs in front of her face, sending a ripple of fear to her belly, and then he pulled her hands behind her and secured the cuffs. Cold metal. Tender skin. It wasn’t a good combination.
    “Jayne Hunt, you’re under arrest for theft, grand larceny, and fraud.” And then he read her the Miranda warning—so rote on television, so terrifying in real life. Chief Hayes better have her back on this, or…
    The detective’s meaty hand circled her upper arm, and panic clouded her senses. She focused on the anger and loathing in Parker’s glare to keep her from screaming when the handcuffs clamped down on her wrists, and flashes from the reporters cameras blinded her.
    A uniformed officer stepped to her other side, grabbed her arm, and together they fast-walked her to the waiting cruiser.
    Chain link mesh and locked doors.
    A glimpse at her future.
    The officer put his hand on her head, just like they did on the small screen, and pushed. She landed on the hard seat with a thud, pain shooting through her wrists. A wash of heat stained Jayne’s cheeks. She’d never allowed anyone to manhandle her. Not ever. It was positively tawdry to be arrested. And being photographed in handcuffs was worse—a permanent testament to her professed sins.
    The cruiser door slammed. She wanted to hide, or maybe evaporate. But when she inhaled, the sickly smell of sweat and fear with a whiff of stale alcohol coated her nose and throat, making it impossible to do anything but accept the reality of her situation.
    Nausea churned in her belly, and chill bumps covered her arms and legs. They could have picked her up in a clean vehicle. Really, they could have.

  2. Julie writes about Florida in her KILL FEE, Book of the year and the Dec. 2012 sequel, MEDIUM RARE.

    'We live in Florida where lightning is a constant concern. Even on clear days, golfers are hit with bolts from the blue Swing low, guys, God is watching. (Bible Belt humor.)

    One must consider that God and Big Brother are in charge and we peon people don’t have a lot of clout with the Almighty. Unlike politicians, He can’t be bought. So what should we do? If money doesn’t buy love what will?

    Theory one: Do good deeds.

    Theory Two: Be more intimidating than God and Politicians. Be valuable, be generous, be a writer.

    With respect for both God and the power of politicians, I take some precautions: Regardless of the weather, I unplug my computer when I leave the house. For Politicians, I never use key words that could land me in Quantico, a gal without a country.

    So far all this is working. Neither my computer nor I have crashed. But if my computer were to crash, I have three flash drives I rotate that are filled with my current material. One is in the safety deposit box on high ground and one IS squirreled away in a different bank near the beach. The third one I carry in my pocket.

    Did I say I was a Girl Scout?

  3. Title: Blood Lust Rising
    Author: Fayth Devlin (

    It isn't every day that Ella Grey wakes up naked with a man she considers her enemy!!


    I woke, eyes snapping open to a void of darkness. The thud-thud of my heart quickened, became erratic. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t breathe. The fear, heavy as water, filled my lungs until I was choking on it. One gulping pant at a time, I struggled to force air inside.

    As I shifted, the movement pushed me into a landscape of springs and lumps. I was on a bed. Not my bed. I blinked up at a ceiling, struggling to bring the stucco into focus. There was no stucco in my bedroom. The ache mounting inside was not gentle. The pain did not ebb as my vision cleared. The sensation was a throbbing, bubbling stream of molten lava. The quicker my pulse sped, the faster my blood boiled.

    Was I hurt? Was I waking from a nightmare? The last time I woke confused and gasping like this, Julian had given me a few pints of his blood and I’d been turned. That time though, I had woken to silk sheets and an orgy-sized bed soft enough to cradle every contour of the body. For a moment I retreated into the memory of Julian’s strong, cold hands pushing the sweat-matted hair off my forehead. He had cooed his foreign words against my ear, comforting and easing me against him. I remember the hard press of his body, the utter stillness of his chest when he guided my mouth to his smooth, pale chest and urged me to bite.

    I jerked away from the memory and into a pink nightmare.

    Through a gap in the stiff, mauve curtains that adorned the room’s only two windows, light reflected off the drapes and gave everything a nauseating rosey tint. The shiny veneered table under the window held a generic gold lamp with a misshapen maroon shade, which cast that awful colored light and vomited it against the once-white walls. The only thing not pink was a two-foot by two-foot chunk of yellow tinged wallpaper curling away from where the ceiling met the wall. Where in the hell was I?

    Every breath I struggled to take was laden with a powerful odor. Under the smoldering scent of smoke, mold and sweat was the richness of sex. The unmistakable musk filled each shallow gasp. Despite the pain affecting every inch of my body, I shot upright. Scratchy, pink cotton sheets slid over my bare breasts to pool around my hips. Why was I naked? The simplest answer was usually the correct one. I fought logic.

    “No. No. No,” I gasped.

    Confusion pounded my head into the first starbursts of a migraine. I refused to think about the intimate places which burned. I refused to identify why my skin was sticky and tight with dried fluids. It was mostly blood. And sweat.

    If I dwelled on it I would cry. Instead, I tried to think about how I’d gotten here. Where was here? A mammoth chunk of my memory was missing. I had to think. I had to calm down. I would start at the beginning. Where had I been? What was the last conscious thought I’d had before the darkness swallowed me? Where had the darkness spit me out?

    Shimmering wings brushed through my subconscious. Something slithered under my skin.

    The graveyard. Micah. The succubus. Chanting.

    Flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood...The Vampire Queen and the Demon Son….

    Oh, the demon bitch was going to die.

    Something beside me groaned. Reluctantly, I looked to the source of that sound. I did not want to look. I did not want to see who was beside me. All of this had to be some cruel joke; it had to be.

    The sight of familiar broad shoulders sucked away any air I’d managed to capture. Micah lay on his side, bare feet hanging off the end of the bed. The other half of the sheet I was clutching against myself was intimately intertwined with his body. His naked, pale body. He hugged the sheet closer, cradled it in his arms like his beloved shotgun.


  4. Excerpt from The Princess' Dragon Lord
    By Mandy Rosko

    Amazon Link:

    A Dragon's Desire Will Burn For A Thousand Years...

    Diana lifted her finger—she couldn't seem to stop it from shaking—to point in the spot where the dragon had once stood. "That—that was—"
    Azoth took her hand and held it close to his heart. "I swear to you, he will never harm you again." His other hand went out to her face, his thumb tracing the long scar that ran diagonally down between her eyes.
    She snatched her hand back and scrambled up and away, suddenly remembering who this man was and what he'd done to her as the fear of the giant lizard simmered down. "Get away from me!"
    Azoth stayed down as she got up, more of that sad expression on his face.
    "Why did you bring me here? Take me back, right now."
    He stood slowly. "Princess—"
    "Stop calling me that!"
    If Diana, in any universe, had ever been a princess, she would've have known it. Princess Diana! Yeah right. It was too ridiculous. There was only one Princess Diana in the real world and it certainly wasn't her.
    "I call you that because it is your name, Sweet. You are my wife, princess of the fae and dragons. Why can you not remember me?"
    "I am a grade school art teacher, and you are a World of Warcraft rapist freak."
    He recoiled as though she'd slapped him and kicked him in the balls. "I—I am not," then he took on that angry expression she'd been so fearful of seeing. Shit! Maybe she shouldn't have said that.
    "Diana! I have never forced myself onto any woman, ever! Do not make such accusations!"
    "What do you call what you did to me then?"
    He flew up faster than her eyes could see, his large hands on her small shoulders, pushing her back against the stone walls with an angry shove that knocked the wind right out of her.
    His eyes were stone cold on her. "You appeared her from nowhere, soaking wet, wearing these ridiculous garments," he said, his nose curling down at what she currently wore. "You knew me on sight, called me by my name. You. Know. Me."
    She shook her head. If she accused him of lying, or being delusional, would he go off the deep end and snuff out her life right here and now? She didn't dare speak.
    He pushed himself away from her. "I can see that whatever spell has taken hold of you is strong. I know not what miracle brought you back from the dead—"
    He ignored her. "But I am grateful for it. Even if you do hurl insults at your husband, whom you claimed to love so much. Perhaps that is my fault, however."
    "No, wait. What was that part about being dead?" She shrank against the wall, trying to inch away from him.
    He noticed, there was no doubt in her mind about that, not with the way his eyes scrutinized her as she moved, but he didn't say anything about it.
    "I believe what I am about to say will only frighten you further, but perhaps you are owed the truth. It may even help restore your memory. Mayhap that is the cause for such a lapse. Reincarnated souls rarely recall anything from their previous lives."
    "Will you get to the point!"
    He narrowed his eyes at her. "On our wedding night, more than a millennia ago, I lost control and transformed into the beast you just saw, my dragon half. I am ashamed to admit that I attacked and killed you that day, along with most everyone in your family."

    Amazon Link:

  5. In The Shadow of War historical romance by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
    Blurb and buy link:

    In The Shadow of War
    Rebel Ink Press May 17 2012

    Her great-granddaughter wants to know if Bette remembers World War II for a school project and her questions revive old memories….
    Small town school teacher Bette Sullivan's life was interrupted when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941 but her world changed forever when she met Private Benny Levy, a soldier from the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York stationed at Camp Crowder, the local Army base.

    Their attraction is immediate and mutual but as their relationship grows their love and lives are shadowed by World War II. As the future looms uncertain the couple comes together with almost desperate need and a powerful love they hope can weather anything, including the war.

    Another couple beat them to the grotto, so they wandered around the park until they found a vacant bench in the shade. A few kids played on the teeter-totter and swings, their happy babble setting a bright mood. Benny put his arm around her and Bette snuggled against him with a contented sigh. For a few minutes they sat, comfortable with the pose and content with each other. She’d already come to associate his scent with security and she inhaled it, saving it up for when she’d be alone. As they rested in easy silence she savored the harmony and as they lingered Bette noticed their breath came in tandem, in and out with the same rhythm as if they were one, not two.
    Just as she opened her mouth to remark on it Benny took her face and turned it toward him. With slow deliberation he kissed her, unhurried with such sweetness she forgot to breathe for a few seconds. His lips caressed her mouth with a fine light touch, as soft as hair blown across her face with a gentle breeze. Such tenderness evoked the same within and yet triggered desire, too. Benny cherished her mouth with his, his lips sending shivers through her body despite the hot day, little spirals of chill strong enough to make goose pimples erupt on her flesh.
    Bette responded with her mouth, a hankering for something deeper and more intimate rising in her with the force of a rising wind. She sensed how great it would be to lose her consciousness by drowning in her senses, by molding her body into his. Bette, virgin as the mother of God, ached now for the pleasures of the flesh. Every old wives tale ever heard about sex being dirty or painful or nasty evaporated faster than snow in March and for the first time in her life, she decided sex could be wonderful.
    His kisses stirred Bette’s body even as they induced emotion, too sweet to be sinful. Her body responded to his mouth the way a good corn crop ripened beneath the sun’s warmth. As her limbs relaxed she leaned into him, one hand holding tight to his arm so she wouldn’t lose balance to tumble from the park bench onto the grass. The kiss lasted forever, but not quite long enough when Benny paused so they could both breathe again.
    “Oh,” she said with wonder. “Benny, that’s nice.”
    “Nice, she says,” he responded with mock outrage. “Just nice? I call it splendid, fantastic, superb, supreme…”

  6. Love's Prophecy, a paranormal romance.
    True love take courage and sacrifice.

    It's not every day one meets The Creator, lol.

    “You have bore a cold life, my child. But I come to you with a gift. A gift of love, and if you choose to receive it, it shall bring you joy for all eternity.”

    Mel stared into the twin headlights that were her eyes. Wonderment filled him as realization struck. This was no mere mortal. This was the force—the energy—behind all life. This being was akin to the sun, giving life to all on the planet, from the smallest microbe to the tallest tree. Akin, yet more. The Creator even of the sun.

    She nodded and smiled. “Yes. I am life itself. I answer to many names in numerous cultures, but The Creator of all, I am. I stand before you of my own free will to smite those who dare try to take what does not belong to them.”

    Either he'd fallen off the edge and plunged into the sea of insanity, or this really was The Creator. He bowed his head, feeling wholly unworthy to be in the presence of such greatness.

    Her hand hovered over his heart and she frowned. “Such pain and self-doubt you bear, my son. Have I not tried to ease your misery with dreams of my daughter—of a love that would comfort your weary soul?”

    The dreams he'd had of Breeana invaded his thoughts. The love and contentment that came with them had been like a double-edged sword. They had taunted him with snapshots of what he truly craved yet figured he'd never have. The guilt he carried from his past never allowed him to hope for more. Until Breeana.

    She tilted his chin up until their gazes merged. “Let your father's cruelty and venom fall away and haunt you no longer. Embrace your destiny.”

    As Mel stood in the illumination, he felt his flesh open like a zipper had been tugged down, exposing his soul. The light rushed in, cleansing away his shame, doubts, sealing up old wounds and scars, leaving him complete for the first time, healed mind, body and soul.

    Author: Brenda Dyer

  7. Unbidden, a historical romance

    Rochelle of Alda has been called before her emperor who has just commanded her marriage to a man of his choice.

    The room erupted in arguments and seemed to tilt before Rochelle’s eyes. A shift in perception. Perhaps she had landed on the moon, summoned there by Louis the Pious. What she once understood to be real was like a daydream, an illuminated drawing in one of her father’s books. She needed time to make sense of it, but something – someone – was dragging her back. That someone was grabbing her elbow again, pulling her to her feet, feet of heavy, lifeless clay. She staggered. His hands caught her waist, surprisingly gentle as he supported her from behind, so close she could feel warmth coming from his body. “Steady,” he murmured.
    “The floor is so hard,” she breathed, mortified at her physical weakness. “I can barely feel my feet.”
    “Shall I carry you?”
    “Of course not!” she hissed, anger bringing reality back in sharp relief.
    “I think the emperor would like it.”
    She tried to pull away, but he held her, his voice at her ear. “Let us go to the chapel.”
    “I am not going there. Not with you. Not with anyone,” she declared over her shoulder, beginning to struggle in earnest against the hands at her waist. “It is you he has chosen, is it not? I will not have it. I will not have you. Do you hear me?”
    He spun her so deftly she felt dizzy again. “Look at me,” he ordered.
    She tried to focus on his eyes, but she felt crazed, like a bird trapped in a windowless building, a tiny bird surrounded by giant peacocks. The noise in the room escalated as the noblemen argued amongst themselves about the emperor’s plan for Rochelle and her estate.
    David spoke to her urgently, “I know you are overwhelmed by what is happening to you, but I am telling you, you must retreat.”
    “What? What are you talking about? Retreat?” She forced herself to look at him, at the steady brown eyes, so calm amidst the chaos around her.
    “You cannot win here today. He will take everything from you. Do you understand?”
    “No, no, no, this cannot be happening. I will not let this happen! This is my life!” She pushed against him with all her might. She might as well have tried to push over the stone wall around the palace.
    David gripped both of her biceps to give her a little shake. “Rochelle, you cannot win here. Not today. Not against him. He will not back down in front of all these men. Now, do as I say.”
    He glared at her, and she knew what he was doing. She knew that men had ways to work around the plans of women. He would change tactics now and so would she, and on and on they would go until she got what she wanted, which was to be left alone.
    “What is the most important thing in the world to you?”
    It was a ridiculous question in the present circumstance, but the answer was so easy, so instinctive, it slipped out of her like an exhalation. “Alda.”
    “Are you prepared to give it up in the next half a minute? The decision is that simple. The way back to Alda is through the palatine chapel. Any other path leads to a place not of your choosing, and you will never get your estate back.”
    “Oh,” she moaned, not in acquiescence, but in disbelief. He was not doing this right. “This cannot be happening.”

  8. Title: The Art of Deception
    Author: Kate Kelly

    Sophie Pascotto, another heroine, innocent--maybe--who finds herself in trouble with the FBI.

    She spun around and collided with a solid wall of male flesh. Huge, capable hands caught her as she slowly tipped sideways. All those man smells, cologne, shaving cream, the underlying scent of maleness surrounded her as she gripped hard, muscular arms. Agent Gage smelled delicious.

    She looked up. “Either I’m going to have to get stilts or we sit down to talk. My neck’ll get a crick in it if I have to look up at you.”

    The stern line of his mouth softened, and she thought he was going to smile, but he didn’t. “Are you really drunk?”

    “Not yet.” She peeked around his solid body, back toward her friends and shouted the length of the bar. “Ciro, if Raphael turns up, tell him I’ll be home later.

    “Okay. Let’s go.” On the third stair, Gage’s hand engulfed her elbow as if to steady her. She thought of pulling away, but decided against it. Ciro was right. She was a stupid chickie. Alcohol turned her into a chatterbox, which was not the best state to be in while being questioned by the FBI. But, God, how she hated people telling her how to behave.

    Halfway up the stairs, she stopped and dug into her satchel for her sunglasses. “The worst thing about happy hour in spring is it’s still daylight when you go outside. Why do you suppose they keep bars so dark?” She twisted around to face him, sunglasses in hand.

    Standing on the stair above him, she stared at the perfect knot in his navy tie. Of course his tie was tied perfectly. She couldn’t imagine him looking rumpled or sweaty, or....

    “Are you married?” She shoved her sunglasses on, embarrassed by her impertinence. Stop playing your stupid games. The man was an FBI agent, for heaven’s sake. She didn’t have to work at pushing him away, because a cop was not going to be attracted to someone like her. Thank God.

    “I thought I was the one who was supposed to ask the questions.” His mouth compressed into sterner lines as he wrapped his large hand around her elbow again and steered her up the stairs.

    When they emerged on to the busy sidewalk she hitched her satchel further up on her shoulder and stepped to the curb, the coffee shop directly across the street from them.

    Gage tugged her back. “We’ll use the crosswalk.”

    “You’ve got to be kidding. The crossing is way the hel... dickens down there.” Wonderful. Five minutes in his company, and she was using crosswalks and trying not to swear.

    She yanked her elbow out of his firm grip. “I can manage by myself.” Then turned and plowed into two businessmen hurrying in the opposite direction. The now familiar feel of Gage’s hand settled on her shoulder as he steadied her. When she shrugged his hand away, a long-suffering sigh seeped out of him.

    “If you want to get yourself trampled or run over, that’s fine, but could you wait until I’ve asked you a few questions?” Still wearing his I-mean-business look, he grabbed her arm again propelled her along the crowded sidewalk.

    Had the Grim Agent--cousin, she was sure, to the Grim Reaper--just made a joke? You’d never know it by the way he stalked along beside her.

  9. I am LOVING these excerpts, you guys!! This is fun! Please pass the word along :)

    Keep em' coming!

  10. Being hit on by your room-mate at the graduation party is not something that happens every day, especially when you're a guy... and so is your roommate! And that's just for starters!

    Here's an excerpt from my contemporary novel "Kissing the Cotton Clouds", available on Kindle at and

    Title: Kissing the Cotton Clouds
    Author: Michela O'Brien



    There was a strange buzz ringing through the room, louder than the house music pumping out of the stereo, louder than the many voices trying to make themselves heard above the noise, louder than the loudest party Seth had ever been to.

    The euphoria in the flat was tangible. They were all elated, drunk, high and, finally, graduated. Seth too. The last six months had probably cost him ten years of his life, but he had managed to get there and scrape through. He could afford to celebrate and pat himself on the back, to feel good.

    The general atmosphere was one of let’s party today and worry tomorrow, all thoughts of saying goodbye, moving on, career planning, job-hunting and starting adult life pushed aside for one more night of carefree abandonment, beer, vodka, spliffs, Es and free love.

    Snogging someone you never thought you would, for better or worse, was a regular occurrence at that type of event, but finding Carl Mansfield’s tongue down his throat wasn’t just something Seth had not planned or wished for, it was definitely taking things a step too far.
    He retreated to the corner of the sofa to escape Carl’s advances.

    “Steady on,” he shouted to overcome the music and the buzz. They had started a male-bonding, Es-fuelled I’ll miss you, mate style conversation, which was fair enough, considering they had shared the same living space for three years, but Seth was still sufficiently lucid to know that the move from buddy-love to french-kissing was not going to happen.

    Carl lowered his blue eyes, blushing under his blond mod-style mop. His lips moved, but the commotion of the crowded room made it impossible for Seth to hear what he was saying. And the buzz was growing louder.

    “What?” He tried to get Carl to repeat his words, instead Carl’s face crumpled and he began to sob.

    God! Just what he needed, a weepy confession of love from one of his room-mates. Seth wasn’t even aware Carl was gay… though thinking back, the signs were probably there. But did Carl have to choose that night to come out and hit on him?

    He wasn’t feeling well enough to face revelations of that kind.

    In all honesty, Seth hadn’t been feeling well for weeks.

    He had lost so much weight that his clothes didn’t fit him anymore and he was often anxious and tachycardic. It had been a very stressful six months and he was relieved that he could finally leave them behind.

    At that moment, though, he was rather hot and restless, as he watched Carl tearfully talking to himself.

    The buzz in the room was now so loud that it drowned out any other sound. He had to find its source and make it stop. He was surprised no one else seemed to be bothered by it.

    Seth got up and unbuttoned the top of his shirt. He was perspiring profusely, almost drenched, as if suddenly all the liquids of his body had decided to leave him at once. His mouth, on the other hand, had dried up, like it was filled with sand.

    He walked around the room, bypassing people as they stood and talked, drank and danced. He checked the furniture, the stereo, the TV set - nothing seemed to be emitting any unusual noise and Seth was starting to panic.

    It’s got be here, somewhere… It’s got to! It’s driving me nuts!

    Seth placed his hands over his ears, but the sound was still there, torturing him. The front of his shirt was wet with sweat and he started to gasp for air. [...]

  11. It's not everyday a guy has an angel pop up in his car to warn him to slow down before he hits someone...too bad he doesn't listen!

    Title: His Devious Angel
    Author: Mimi Barbour

    Chapter One

    “Slow down, Mate! You could kill someone at this speed.”
    “What the hell?” Liam tramped on the brake and whipped his head around to stare in the back seat. There sat a stranger who looked rather pale, scrambling for his seat belt. “How did you get into my car?”
    “Maybe you should watch the road instead of looking at me? I’m not about to hurt you, just a bloke along for the ride.”
    Liam wrenched the wheel and spun over to the curb, the screech of the tires attracting attention. Since he drove a convertible, and the hot sunny day had been perfect for putting the top down, he carefully controlled his voice. “Look, I don’t know how the hell you got into my car or who you are, Mate,” he said, “but you’ve got one minute to get lost, or I’ll be forced to remove you. Trust me; it wouldn’t be pleasant. I’d hurt you just because you’ve pissed me off, scaring the bejesus out of me.”
    “Jesus is on my side, I’m afraid. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, Liam, you could remove me, but I’d only return. You need me with you today.”
    Perplexed by the sincerity in his unwanted passenger’s voice, and by the fact that a stranger knew his name, Liam stopped raging. Searching for control, he took a couple of deep breaths, gritted his teeth and asked, “Why?”
    “To stop you from killing someone.”
    “Okay, Bub! You’re outta here.” Furious at letting his guard down and getting played, Liam bolted from the front seat. He wrenched open the back door, and motioned with his thumb.
    “I’ll only come back.” The slim male with the dark hair and cynical attitude didn’t move. Instead he crossed his arms and glared up at Liam. Familiar looking, he had Liam searching for who he reminded him of. The pirate's jerkin, flowing white blousy shirt and tight leather pants were clues, but they didn’t add up at first. It was the haircut that solidified his speculation. The guy looked enough like a young Johnny Depp to be his twin. Only his strong English accent didn’t fit the picture.
    “Stop playing silly buggers and get out of my car.” Liam leaned in and his fingers met—air, because there was no one in his back seat. Stunned, he sagged against the side of the vehicle.
    As if his intentions hadn’t changed, his fingers continued reaching towards his hair, getting stuck in his wild mess. With a yank, he pushed them to the back of his head, interlocked his hands and studied the ground. Covertly, he peeked around him to see if anyone had noticed him talking to—what? A ghost?
    He hadn’t been drinking the night before. Deciding the time had come to cool it with the late nights, he’d turned off the idiot box at ten after the football game and for once had gotten an early night. Actually managed to sleep for four consecutive hours before he woke and thrashed the rest of the night before luckily fall into another dreamless nap for maybe an hour. Five hours in one night—unheard of for him. Therefore, he couldn’t blame this lapse on being hung over or even on extreme tiredness. Blinking, he studied the back seat again. Still empty.
    His cell phone rang, and he wiggled to free it from the pocket of his jeans. When he looked at call display, his eyes widened and he snorted. The word "Heaven" showed clearly on the screen.
    What the…?
    He pushed the talk button and held it to his ear. “Yeah?”
    “Can I come back now?” The British accent from his recent guest was as clear as the headache starting to grind at the back of his head.
    “I don’t know who you are, or what your game is, but if you come anywhere near me, so help me God, I’ll—“
    “Ay, there, hang on. God is trying to help you. Just my bad luck that he sent me to carry out his wishes. Give over, would ya? I won’t be in the way, I promise. I’ll just ride along and maybe warn you to slow down from time to time. You drive like a maniac. You know that, don't you?”

  12. MOOSED UP starts with chapter one as my heroine gets introduced to Alaska.

    She was out of her ever-loving mind.
    Eva Stuart trekked over the forest carpet of lowbush cranberries, wild mushrooms, and who knew what else. Yes, it was beautiful, stunning really, but Chatanika, Alaska? They had said remote. They hadn’t said end of the world, or in this case, top of the world. She didn’t even know what time of day it was. Just that she was lost. What had she been thinking, taking a walk about town, when there really was no town? It was a freaking village. And she was the only medical personnel here. She thought she’d be working in a medical clinic with a staff of doctors and nurses.
    Nope. Nurse Practitioner was all they could afford. She was it. If there was an emergency, and she couldn’t save a patient in time, they were out of luck. She’d wanted something completely removed from Cincinnati, but taking a position like this without really thinking it through because her rat-bastard ex-fiancé was banging her best friend was the definition of extreme. Or stupidity. Davis and Jeremy were probably enjoying a fine meal in her favorite Italian restaurant, drinking an expensive bottle of wine, while she was lost in the woods slapping bird-size mosquitoes.
    Yeah, she sure showed them.
    What did it say about her that she was still more upset with her best friend Jeremy betraying her with Davis, rather than the fact that Davis was obviously gay too? She missed Jeremy. She could always talk to him, go shopping. He got her. He was the best girlfriend she’d ever had. And now he was shacked up with her former boyfriend planning to adopt a baby and starting the family she’d always wanted.
    Rustling in the brush behind her caused her to freeze.
    What was that?
    She swiveled at the sound of branches breaking behind her and came face to face with a bull moose.
    “Nice Moosey.”
    His nostrils flared, and his ears twitched. What had the travel brochure said? Moose weren’t cute Disney characters. They weren’t dumb, and they weren’t nice, and they probably didn’t like being called “Moosey” either.
    The moose lowered his massive head and glared at her from under the shadow of his impressive antlers. Eva inched back, her heart in her throat.
    He charged.
    She screamed, and ran for her life, twisting through paper birch and sick-looking spruce trees.
    * * *
    Lynx Maiski whipped off his shirt and wiped his face and the back of his neck with it. He picked up the ax and continued to chop firewood. It was a gorgeous, hot summer day. Well, night actually, as it was headed toward ten o’clock, but you wouldn’t know it by the sun. He loved it up here in the north.
    Plenty to do, plenty of food, and plenty of peace.
    He turned toward the scream and caught a glimpse of Eva, the little sprite of a nurse new to town. He wondered how long she’d last. Hopefully a while, since she was the hottest piece of ass he’d seen in a long time.
    What was she doing running hell bent for high water like that? Then he heard the thrashing in the brush right before a Bull Moose appeared.
    Oh, boy.
    Lynx sunk the ax in the log and took off after the pair. He hollered and waved his arms, making himself appear bigger than he was, in the hopes of scaring off the wild animal. The moose slowed his gait as the trees thickened.
    Smart girl, heading into smaller places where your predator couldn’t follow. Much like a bird, Eva flew up a black spruce tree.
    Ah, now that’s not going to work.
    The moose, not afraid of Lynx, stopped at the base of the tree. Eva yelped and climbed higher, spindly branches breaking beneath her.
    “Don’t move,” Lynx warned. She was going to break her cute little neck.
    “Shoot it!” she yelled.
    “It’s not moose season.”
    “I don’t give a shit. Shoot it!”
    The moose turned his head and seemed to share a look with Lynx over the new Cheechako in town.

  13. Windswept Shores by Janice Seagraves:

    Excerpt: They headed towards the reef while the bottom dropped away, but rose up again at the colorful reef. Megan gazed, delighted, at the exotic fish. I wish I had the nerve to dive further down, but the view from here is still amazing.

    A fish bumped against her goggles as she stared back at it, fascinated. When she touched its nose, it puffed out and spikes appeared all over it.

    Oh, it’s a puffer fish.

    Soon a large grouper came over to her and allowed her to pet it with a single finger. A tiger fish soon joined it, but she knew better than to try and touch it. The fish strutted for her anyway, as it fluttered its wing like fins. They all darted away when a sleek shape swam near. Megan held her breath, trying not to move.

    Is it a shark?

    It came right up to her peering into her goggles, turned to the side and appeared to smile.

    Good heavens, it’s a spotted dolphin.
    Megan touched its inner-tube textured side. It blew bubbles which reminded her of giggling underwater, then it swam away. Wow.

    Seth soon joined her. He showed her his full collection bag and pointed toward shore.

    Time to go home.

    They waded out of the surf, side by side. “You did good, luv, for your first time out,” Seth told her with a proud grin.

    “Oh, Seth, I saw a dolphin! It let me touch it,” she said, still enraptured by what she saw. “Just think, that reef’s been there the whole time, and I didn’t know it.”

    “Sure, luv, but you didn’t have goggles and a snorkel did ya, eh?”

    “True. Nor did I have anyone to teach me either, until now.” She smiled up at him.

  14. It's not every day that my heroine would even consider saying I love you.

    Title: Clear As Day
    Author: Babette James

    They took the Whisper out for a long, leisurely evening troll, and then Nate anchored back at Skunk Beach’s sheltered cove, where they continued fishing in peaceable quiet under the stars. The easy wash of water and soft clop of wavelets against the hull and the assorted creaks and clinks of Nate’s pride and joy created a music of its own. Dark shadows of bats streaked by in their wild air hunts. Coyotes’ yearning cries and yips punctuated the peace. Winks of lights here and there across the lake pinpointed other camps.

    Her tension slowly leached away. Nate caught a few, but released them. Her line hung neglected in the dark water, the bait probably long stolen. It didn’t matter. She’d always enjoyed the fishing far more than the catching.

    Fish don’t like chatterboxes…stop fidgeting…no, hold the pole the way I told…ugh, go wash, you stink of fish…ladies don’t—


    She shifted in her seat, and shifted her thoughts to the now. Her earlier anxiety over Nate cornering her for an answer had been for nothing. Instead of confrontation, he’d given her the relaxing evening she’d needed away from Olivia’s troubles and her own churned-up, muddy old memories. Instead of questions, he’d given her easy conversation scattered over the lazy, quiet fishing. With her legs stretched out on the cushion of the bench seat, she half-drowsed, enjoying the cool of the night and watching Nate.

    He sat opposite her at the stern end of his bench, relaxed, his eyes distant beyond the dark water and moonrise, occasionally twitching or reeling his line. Moonlight painted him in silver and shadow. The breeze kept the mosquitoes at bay and ruffled those unexpected curls.

    She fiddled with his ring, twisting the band about on her finger, the white gold and small diamonds winking like those camp lights. He said he loved her. What he offered and called love—what she had always called friendship—if it was love, was so different from the chaos named love she’d grown up with. His was peaceful.

    Very tempting.

    I love you, she practiced. If this is love, I’m pretty sure I love you, too.

    Focus on the positive. If you don’t give this relationship a chance, it definitely won’t work, but if you do try, it might.

    Relationship? The “R” word was almost as bad as the “L” word.

    He deserved an answer. That scared bundle of nerves tightened, choking off the words she wanted to say. This wasn’t a sketch or a painting she could do over. She wanted to say yes. She wanted to say yes, with qualifications. Explanations. She wanted to tell him she was scared.

    What if she trusted him, as Olivia had trusted R.J., trusted those around her, and something beautiful came to disaster?

    She sucked in a hard breath. Getting wound up was no good. Nate wasn’t pressuring her, but she was doing a good job pressuring herself.

    Nate looked back at her and smiled as he reeled in his line. Just a content aren’t-you-glad-we’re-here together smile that wrapped around her like velvet and steel, uplifting and terrifying and comforting beyond anything she understood.

  15. How often does the daughter of a famous movie producer encounter and I mean ENCOUNTER - with a ghost?

    Camile Carson

    Midnight's Last Light

    Amazon -

  16. Oops forgot the excerpt:
    Midnight's Last Light
    A Siren Erotic Romance
    “Look, this is my house. Saul, my father, died three years ago. If anyone was living in the guesthouse, I would know about it. There haven’t been any servants here since my father’s passing. Enough is enough. Please get out of my kitchen before I call the police.” Her voice quaked.
    A long silence stretched between the two. Madi, perplexed by the seemingly calm demeanor of the intruder, found herself aroused by his aroma and incredible good looks. The long days and even longer nights had lengthened endlessly without companionship. Frightened by his presence, she found a surge of eroticism flowing through her svelte torso and down her willowy thighs. She yearned for the touch of a man.
    “Something is desperately wrong here.” Chuck looked at his shoes and then into Madison’s eyes. “What year is it?”
    “What do you mean, what year is it? It’s 2010, just as it has been for nine months.”
    No one had been in this house but her since Saul’s passing. Parties, film crews, starlets, they all came to the Palimento Estate. Wild parties were notorious in the back cottage. Saul threw his money into lavish celebrations before and after each film. Some starlets invaded the Palimento home for days as they seductively acquired more lines in the films. Strong men in their small Speedos swam the waters of the two pools. The liquid indigo waters were aflame at night when spotlights triggered the ceramic tiles and moonlight thundered down.
    The paparazzi would have a field day at the estate. Photos of indiscretions between stars and crew were pasted all over the rags. Inquisitions of drug abuse and orgies popped up, adding only allure to the guests of the dream world that Madi called home. Most of the rumors were unfounded. However, it was not unusual to find two or more women in the hot tubs, rubbing the thighs and cocks of the leading stars.
    Saul allowed for overnight guests, no matter the formation or number that entailed. Madi was secluded from these excursions, as her father was worldly but protective of his only daughter and protégé. Hopes that Madison would head the production company after his death were detailed in his will.
    “Look, I don’t know what kind of game you and Saul are playing. Is this some scene he’s sticking in the movie?” Chuck interrupted Madi’s flirtation with her star-kissed past. His face reddened as his voice gained volume. Chuck’s hand stretched out and caught her wrist. “Tell me what’s going on.”
    A blast of heat ignited her cheek. Madi tried to liberate from his grasp but couldn’t fight the intensity of his hold. The muscles in his forearms tightened into steel cables. The outline of his pectoral bulges seemed to flinch under the tension. Anger wore well on Mr. Freeman.
    “This is insane! The year is 2010! What else do you want from me? Get out of my house and off my property before I call the police.” Quivering under his gaze, Madi’s voice was breathy and filled with surrender. The ache of loneliness clouded her judgment. Trembling loins and lust-filled thoughts erased fear of the intruder.
    “Come with me to the guesthouse. Now!”

  17. Oh my goodness you guys, my credit card is crying from my book buying....these excerpts are wonderful!

  18. Tooooo tired from yard to think about an excerpt to fit for today - so instead I read all the excerpts - wow - some fantastic stuff.

  19. Sinbad's Last Voyage by Toni V. Sweeney

    Hired to find Andrea Talltrees' fugitive from justice husband, Sinbad sh'en Singh takes a side trip to the largest mall in the galaxy to buy Andi proper clothes for their search, and gets sidetracked by a bottle of rare perfume.


    He nodded, and when she reached out and took his hand—as a child would—he let her lead him to another store.
    Lunch, he decided, can wait.
    She stopped at a Perfumery. The 'droid on duty held out several samples, and Andi selected a tiny pottery jug half an inch tall, dark green with a cork in its top, sealed with wax.
    "That's Enow," Sinbad said. "It's an ancient Terran word meaning enough. It's made from a flower that grows in the jungles of Ch'nar, blooming once every century and a half. Only one-sixteenth of an ounce is sold in a bottle. There won't be any more for another 150 years. There's a drop of scent in the wax. See?" He pointed to a pink spot on one side of the neck. "So you can sniff the fragrance without breaking the seal."
    "You certainly know a lot about perfumes," Andi commented.
    She turned the little jug over, looking at the tiny letters carved into the neck.
    "I've smuggled enough of it," he laughed.
    He was lying. He'd never smuggled perfume, but he had spent three months searching through the Emeraunt Galaxy trying to find a bottle, and two thousand Credits to obtain a cracked jug holding only a thirty-second of an ounce—hoarded over half a century—because his mistress at the time had wanted it.
    She held it out to him. Sinbad shook his head. He remembered the fragrance well, didn't need to smell it.
    Andi raised the bottle to her nose. It was delicate, subtle, beautiful, a scent that wouldn't insult a Felidan's sensitive nostrils, but would excite a lover's senses. She saw the sadness in the green eyes, and felt ashamed of her sensual thoughts and quickly replaced the bottle on the counter.
    The 'droid picked up another, spraying the droplets onto her wrist. It squeezed the tiny bulb abruptly and a violent puff of fragrance exploded into the air. Sinbad leaped back, sneezing and coughing as he dodged the floating mist. Though none of the spray hit him, he was spitting and wheezing as Andi ran over to him.
    "Are you all right?"
    "I will be," he rasped, "as soon as that sickening scent floats away." He sneezed. "God! I'll be smelling that stuff for days." With a short, he wiped his hand across his nose and drew a deep breath. "Come on, let's get away from here."
    Taking her hand, he led the way this time to a store where he bought her the promised jeans (genuine Terran Levis), a couple of Antillan cotton shirts, and a small case of hairpins.

  20. Vampires are Forever
    Tony-Paul de Vissage

    In 1929, the inhabitants believe the new resident of the Old Manor is a vampire. Nevertheless, they invite him to their Fall Festival and to their surprise, he accepts. Just to be on the safe side, Seamus Flannery's wife Maeve has a secret weapon...garlic-stuffed potatoes.


    Conor was waving for silence and saying into the murmured stillness, “I’m thinkin’ we should welcome our guest…Mr. Karel Novotny…”
    Immediately, all eyes swung to the table where the newcomer sat beside Brigid. He nodded and looked a little wary and self-conscious. Slowly, one pale hand crept to the wing collar and bow tie, a finger hooking inside as if it had suddenly become too tight.
    “So…I’m thinkin’ we should let our guest serve himself first, an’ then we’ll all eat!”
    “Here,” Brigid was on her feet, Novotny jumped up also. Like a gentleman, thought Seamus, noting how none of the other lads stood when the women did. Not even himself. The girl patted his shoulder, pushing him back into his chair. “I’ll fill plates for both of us. You just wait here.”
    “Make certain he gets some o’ m’potato dumplin’s,” Maeve called. “A double helpin’!”
    So, Novotny sat there, smiling at everyone who passed him on the way to the buffet set up on the side of the room. He gave Seamus and Maeve and each of the children a tentative glance, looked uncomfortable and didn’t speak.
    “You certainly moved well on th’ dance floor,” Seamus decided to keep some kind of conversation going. “Don’t think I’ve ever seen any o’ those dances done like that.” Especially that Charleston. Seeing Novotny’s slim body and Brigid’s wiggling so scandalously still rankled a little.
    “My mother insisted I learn,” Notovy replied. “She always extolled the virtues of dancing as a way to win a woman’s heart.” The words seemed to glide out. As Seamus’ face showed surprise at hearing his own mother’s words parroted back by this stranger, he looked as if he thought he’d said the wrong thing. A mask suddenly fell into place.
    “Aye, that’s a truth. Your mother knew what she was talkin’ about,” Maeve spoke up. She’d come out of her awe now and was hovering between being won by Novotny’s charm and her previous fear. She gave Seamus a fond look. “If my Seamus could dance, I’d have married him a year earlier.”
    “Now’s a fine time to tell me that,” Seamus pretended to grumble and was surprised to see a delighted, if brief, expression cross the young man’s face.
    Then Brigid was back with two plates piled high with food, the largest helping of which was Maeve’s potato dumplings. Novotny thanked her, picked up his fork, shoved it into the potatoes…and Seamus was subjected to the sight of a vampire with a mouth filled with garlic-laden dumplings.
    Novotny’s eyes widened. The fork fell to the plate with a clatter as he drew in a harsh and heavy breath and just sat there, cheeks puffed out. For a moment, his eyes roved frantically as if searching for somewhere to spit the mouthful of food. Then, he chewed, swallowed, and turned to Maeve, who was watching his reaction closely. “Mrs. Flannery, you cooked these?”
    “That I did.” She affirmed, frowning slightly and tensing as if expecting some kind of attack. An accusation of trying to poison him, perhaps? Seamus unconsciously braced himself, also.
    “Dear lady, they’re delicious,” came the astonishing statement. “I haven’t had anything this good since the last time I visited my mother!”
    While Maeve looked at Seamus in surprise, Novotny proceeded to finish the rest of the dumplings and request a second helping.