Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Blues Promotion: July 2

Hi, welcome to Monday!  It's the first Monday of July. Wow. Halfway through the year already. Time really does fly, doesn't it?

In honor of the Fourth of July- Independence Day, today's theme is all about Independence. Your hero/ heroine could be doing something to claim or reclaim their independence. They could be celebrating the fourth of July....Be creative. Spread some independence. I'd love to see what you have today!

For new players, here are the rules. For everyone else, it's just a reminder. Leave the title of the book, buy link, or a link to your website to readers can find you or your promoted book. Excerpts should be no longer than 750 words.

Before, I was only taking excerpts from books that were contracted or already released, but you know what? Let's mix it up a little and anyone that has a Work In Progress, if you want to play too, bring it on! Just let us know that it's in progress.

So one, two, three, share!

And, Happy fourth of July!


  1. Thank you for this opportunity!
    Check out Easter Holiday, the latest short’n’sweet Cornish set story from Nell Dixon.
    Cornish farmer, Noah Penwarren is sworn off city girls, especially deceitful ones. Posy Carmichael is a city girl through and through. When romantic sparks start to fly will Posy’s secret end their Easter romance before it’s even begun?
    Published by and available from all good e-tailers!

    Here’s an excerpt!
    Posy flinched as she eased the car forward into the rut she’d been trying to avoid. Behind her, the tent poles and pegs clattered and rattled as she jolted along to the gap in the boundary. She placed the car in reverse and backed into the entrance of the field ready to turn around.
    The rear wheels skidded on the muddy grass. Posy changed into first gear and hoped she would manage to get out ahead of the tractor she could hear approaching down the narrow track. To her dismay the wheels of the car spun around as she revved the engine, failing to gain any purchase on the soft ground.
    “Noooooo.” She moaned and gave the accelerator a last desperate nudge. A fine spray of mud shot from the back of the car to coat the back bumper and window.
    The blue nose of a tractor chugged into view and stopped in front of her. Posy sucked in a breath. The way her day was headed she’d probably get told off now for trespassing. She lowered the window as the driver of the tractor dismounted from his cab and came over to her.
    “I take it you’re stuck?” The man bent so his head was level with her window.
    “I was trying to turn round.” Posy had a glimpse of dark blue eyes and a rugged jaw before the owner of the tractor stood leaving her with a view of green farm overalls.
    “I’ll pull you out with the tractor.” His voice sounded resigned as if he were used to tugging stranded motorists from the entrance to his fields every day of the week.
    Posy opened the car door and went to get out. Her shoe sank in the soft earth, with a soft, squelching sound.
    “Do you want me to help?” She wobbled on one leg trying to extricate her foot from the sticky gloop.
    “You’re fine. Just stay in the car and put it in neutral with the handbrake off when I tell you.”
    She slipped back into her seat and tried to scrape the mud from her shoe onto the car mat. The previously unsmiling lines of his mouth had now softened into the hint of a grin as he began to attach the rope to the front of her car. Clearly, he found her encounter with the mud amusing. If she hadn’t felt so mortified at being stupid enough to get both lost and stuck Posy might have considered her rescuer attractive.
    © Nell Dixon 2012
    Check out the other stand alone titles in the New Bay series – Making Waves, September Song and A Cornish Christmas and New Bay wedding!

    Readers say – ‘A lovely, sweet romance with refreshing, honest, down-to-earth characters. Her descriptions of Cornwall will make you want to book your own Easter Holiday.’

    ‘Short, sweet and amazing’

    ‘I feel as if I've been on my own brief holiday.’

  2. Hi! In Book Two of the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, Maxie reclaims her indepencende and her vampire lover,Jean-Louis, brings her in as a partner in his dangerous battles with his rivals.
    Buy at

    Blurb: In the second book of the SNAP Kandesky vampire series, Maxie Gwenoch, media-savvy editor of the multinational celeb gossip magazine SNAP, is pummeled in Paris and kidnapped in Kiev as the Huszars ramp up the race to oust their centuries-old rivals, the Kandeskys.

    SNAP’s owners, the Kandesky family of vampires, built the world’s most popular celeb coverage empire but this isn’t just a business take-over. These powerful vampire families lived with an uneasy peace for four centuries until Maxie came in to boost SNAP’s coverage and started making inroads into the Huszar’s traditional hunting territories.

    Although Jean-Louis, Maxie’s lover, vampire and second-in-command of the Kandeskys, tries to keep her safe, Maxie is determined to do things her way, a way that may lose her her job, her love and her life.

    Reviews: 4 stars from the Paranormal Romance Guild. "Ms. Drier takes us into a very interesting place, the world of gossip and the world of vampires. Both interesting in and of itself but together fascinating. The first book did not disappoint and neither did this one."
    Four Stars, Paranormal Romance Guild

    "I liked this second installment even more than the first because Drier seems to have hit her stride with excellent pacing, more nuanced concepts of similarity and difference between human and vampire and really fascinating world building that makes logical sense against a most creatively realized vampire history. The characters are smart and sophisticated and the plot stays thick to the last sentence." Five stars. T.T. Thomas, reader

  3. From Wild Horses.

    My heroine claimed her independence by running away from home at 18...this is the first time she's back.

    In less than half an hour, Castaña pulled into the ranch and killed the engine. Even in twilight, it looked as if the place hadn't changed much since the day she drove away six years ago. Blinking back tears of regret, she took in the familiar wood-hewn ranch house with its wide porch that offered shade even on the hottest day, the small barn and attached corrals. Farther, she saw horse pasture, and surrounding it all the Apache-Sitgreave National Forest. Up here, on the rim, it was forest, not desert. A lump formed in her throat and she fought to swallow. The day after her eighteenth birthday, she'd packed up and set off for Dallas planning to never look back.
    The last place she wanted to ever see again was this dusty old ranch that held very few happy memories and less opportunity. After a lifetime of being told she wasn't good enough by her father, she was beginning to make something of herself as a horse trainer in Texas. Martin had been the only child her father wanted, or desired. Men in the Castillo family didn't rely on women for anything more than physical pleasure.
    Wouldn't Martin be horrified to know she was the one he depended on now? But no matter how much he'd rejected her in the past, she couldn't just leave her brother to die. Finding him safe and sound was all she asked. She knew better than to hope for acceptance from him. A low moan to her right reminded her she had another headache. She shot a glance toward her passenger. He rested, half slumped against the door, eyes closed.



  4. An excerpt from Once an Outlaw, a western historical romance by Sandra Hall

    He sent the rest of the gang to board the derailed train. He stayed with her on the rocky
    hillside which was their vantage point, to make sure she appreciated his handy work.
    She felt weak at the knees and collapsed. She wanted to puke as she tried to cover her
    nose against the awful smell of smoke.
    “Get up.” He sounded angry. “Get up and watch.”
    “No, Dick. I can’t.” It wasn’t like rustling cattle, or robbing banks. Wrecking a train
    was too much destruction. There was no way someone wasn’t dead. And if they weren’t dead,
    Deke and the others were going to kill them for fun. Dick had triumphed over her again. She was truly in hell. She sobbed pounding on the rocks, where she expertly fired his rifle to ignite the explosives which blew up the tracks.
    A sharp rock pushed painfully into her knee, somehow that stopped her flow of tears and her mind began to focus. The rest of her life wasn’t going to be dynamite and carnage. She turned her head to look at the old lunatic that was trying to take her life, the precious life her mother had given her.
    “What are you crying about? Just a bunch of soldiers. You did good work, sweetheart. I
    knew you were the one when I first laid eyes on you. But you gotta stop all this weak stuff.”
    “You’re the devil,” she told him rising to her feet. He laughed throwing his head back
    like he always did when she got angry enough to dare call him names. With a rock she clutched hidden in her fist, she hit him in the throat. “Devil!” she screamed bringing her knee up to his groin. He went down groaning and started making gagging sounds. She went to take his gun but he managed to fight her for it and squeezed off one shot. It was sure to bring at least Deke or John back up the hill. She had to move fast. With her elbow she punched his windpipe, he dropped the gun. He still had the bowie knife and he went for it. She shot him in the chest then ran to the horses. She considered running them all off but thought it might take too long. Besides Deke still had his horse, he’d catch her easily if she wasted too much time. She climbed on the nearest animal and just high-tailed it out of there, her heart pounding in her ears. She was fleeing for her life, her sanity. She was riding a fast pony out of hell.

  5. Thanks for the opportunity! HOOKING MR. RIGHT is my first indie published book under my Emma Carlyle romance pen name.
    After writing a doctoral thesis that exposed fraud in the pop-psychology genre, professor Althea Chandler sacrifices her professional integrity to save her family from financial disaster. She secretly becomes best-selling romance guru Dr. Trulee Lovejoy, even though Thea’s a miserable failure when it comes to relationships -- especially those with the opposite sex.
    Burned by a failed marriage, Luke Bennett finds himself pursued by Dr. Lovejoy toting women after a gossip columnist dubs him NY’s most eligible bachelor. When he mistakes Thea for one of the women out to snare him, sparks fly, but the two soon find themselves battling sparks of a less hostile nature, thanks in part to an alley cat named Cupid.

    Excerpt of HOOKING MR. RIGHT by Emma Carlyle
    “The trouble lies in the Y chromosome.” Thea took a sip of her coffee and glared across the black Formica-topped desk at her editor, waiting to pounce on Grace if she challenged her statement.
    “How so?” Grace leaned back in her chair and sipped her own coffee. Over the rim of the cup an amused expression played across her face.
    “Simple genetics, really. Women have two X chromosomes. Men have an X and a Y. Do you know what the definition of Y is?”
    Grace set her coffee cup on her desk and raised her eyebrows. “No, but I suppose you’re about to tell me.”
    “Y is an X with a broken leg.”
    Grace stared at her as if Thea had lost more than a suitcase in her recent, abrupt move from San Francisco to New York. “And your point?”
    “Broken! Don’t you get it? Defective!” Thea slammed her hand onto a pile of unread manuscripts teetering on the corner of her editor’s desk, nearly toppling the unwieldy stack onto the floor.
    Grace grabbed for her cup, barely averting a brown tidal wave.
    “Ergo,” continued Thea, waving her hand in the air to punctuate her explanation, “there is no doubt that women are superior to men. No defective genes. Obviously, man was a rough prototype. God looked at Adam and said, ‘I can do better than that.’ Then he created Eve.” She placed her cup on the edge of the desk, leaned back in her chair, crossed her arms over her chest, and offered her editor a triumphant smile.

    Amazon buy link:

  6. Here's a scene from my latest release, Dangerous Proposal. Lena Benson, who ran from her psychotic fiance, is taking a chance on Alec Westwood, the dark stranger who has entered her life. Not a bad way to reclaim your independence ;)

    She ought to go. She certainly wanted to. But the idea of walking alone in the woods with the man she’d been warned to stay away from seemed most unimaginable.

    Lena looked at Alec. He was smiling softly, no longer criticizing. His eyes were full of intent. They suggested one thing. Come with me. And your desires will be fulfilled.

    Anticipation consumed her. She reached for his hand. Excitement melted into warmth. Warmth became security. They began to walk together along the moonlit path.

    She felt…safe. As if for the first time since she’d left Westchester, everything was going to be all right. No one could hurt her. Not when she was with Alec. Her skin tingled with warmth as he brushed his thumb across the surface of her hand.

    “Where are we going?” she asked.

    “I thought we were taking risks tonight,” he said with a grin. “You want to be surprised, don’t you?”

    Her cheeks were flushing. She was grateful for the darkness that masked her anxious demeanor.

    He smiled. “Don’t worry. I think you’re going to like this.”

    She imagined she would, considering how much she had enjoyed everything he’d done so far. A part of her was still afraid, but a larger part wanted very much to know where he was taking her.

    Alec stroked her knuckles as they walked. The feeling was intoxicating, like sweet, dark chocolate. The longer he did it, the more it seemed this simple touch was no longer enough.

    She was drawn from her thoughts as Alec stopped beside a bench. He took a red-and-blue-checkered picnic blanket and slung it over his shoulder.

    “Is that yours?”

    He shrugged. “I just thought you might want something to sit on. Some of us tend to”—he cleared his throat—“dress up a little more than others.”

    Lena laughed. With his hand around hers, she was almost appreciating his wit. “I guess some of us do.”

    He leaned in, his warm breath coming against her ear. “I didn’t say I didn’t like it.” He gave her hand a squeeze. “It’s just past those trees. No peeking. I want you to be surprised.

    “I promise I won’t peek.” She smiled and shut her eyes. A shiver shot up her spine when she realized he was kissing her cheek.

    Lena took an uneasy breath as she walked forward, unable to see what was in front of her. Keeping her arms at her sides, Alec moved her in slow steps. She was taking quite a risk, allowing him to lead her along like this. He could do anything he wanted to her with her eyes closed like this. Oddly enough, the idea was more exciting than it was frightening.

    Guiding her by the shoulders, he walked forward a few more paces. Then he stopped. “All right,” he said. “Open your eyes.

    Lena did as she was told, looking out at the biggest, most beautiful lake she’d ever seen. It was vast in size, extending out as far as the trees that surrounded it. Moonlight shined against an uneven surface. Dark ripples glittered beneath a starlit sky.

    She turned, looking up into two eyes as blue as the water. “It’s beautiful, Dr. Westwood.”

    “Say my name, Lena,” he commanded softly. “I love the way it sounds when you say it.
    Lena bit her lip. Once she did this, there was no going back. It would break the unspoken barrier between them. But how could she deny him anything when he was looking at her the way he was?

    She suddenly became aware of Alec’s arousal pressing against her back. Her pulse quickened. He tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, tightening his hold on her.

    She took a deep breath. “The lake is beautiful, Alec.”

    Buy Link:

  7. I finally have an excerpt that fits a theme! This comes from my new contemporary romance, Finding Refuge.
    That night, under a dark, clear sky, Andri joined Rachel in the middle of a mass of blankets, spread on the lawn for watching the impending fireworks. Kids ran past, waving sparklers as she chose her spot and sat cross-legged. Rachel leaned back to study the sky.

    Travis arrived a few moments later, having said goodbye to his parents. Andri turned to look at him as he stretched out beside her, the warm bit of breeze teasing her with his scent, accented with tones of sunscreen and smoke from the grill. His t-shirt clung to his frame just enough to hint at the muscles that shaped his chest and abs.

    She let her gaze slide down over his faded jeans, to the rip in one thigh. She imagined how the lightly-furred skin visible beneath the ragged edges of the denim might feel, jerking her thoughts away before she fell to temptation and touched him. This was supposed to be about friendship, right? She did not need a relationship right now. She did not need a relationship with him. Better get her mind elsewhere in a hurry. “How’s your dad?”

    “Fine. I think he wore himself out today. That three-legged race was a bit much.” Travis looked around her and lifted a hand to signal someone. Soon, Andri recognized the lanky form of Danny approaching. He’d arrived late tonight, but apparently sober. So far, it looked like Travis was simply going to be happy his brother had shown up. That was a good place for him to be.

    Danny nudged Rachel’s legs with his foot. “Make a space, Rach.”

    “And you’ll make it worth my while how?”

    He narrowed his eyes at her. “I’ll tickle you until you can’t breathe if you don’t.”

    Rachel snorted. “Come on, kid, try it. I can still take you, and you know it.”

    “You wish. I suppose I could ask nicely.”

    “Suppose you could.”

    Danny adopted a foot-forward stance and gave a flourished bow. “Dearest Rachel, sweet lady, grand friend, Queen of all that Glows with the Might of Electricity, wouldst thou be so kind as to move thy ass, so that I may occupy the smallest of parcels at thy delicate feet and watch the fireworks that shall surely dim in the face of thy beauty?”

    Andri laughed and applauded, glancing at Travis and enjoying the happiness etched on his

    Rachel laughed and pulled her feet up to make room. “That was laid on a bit thick, Danny-boy.”

    Danny shrugged and sat. He lay back, cushioning his head on his arm. “Yep. Worked, though.”

    Andri settled on her back, staring up at the sky, but after a moment, Travis scooted flush beside her and urged her to sit up enough that he could slide his arm beneath her head. Her heart tripped into a pounding beat as she rested against his strong shoulder.

    When he tilted his head to touch hers, the throbbing of her pulse intensified. It had been so long since someone set off her desire, and it was all she could do not to squeeze her thighs together in response. Clearly, it didn’t matter to her hormones what her brain understood about their friendship. He wasn’t flirting with her, and heaven knew she didn’t want him to, but it sure felt good to have him close.

    “Comfortable?” he asked, his breath warm against her cheek.

    “Very.” No, she was actually getting a little achy, but that wasn’t something she needed to share.

    “Hmm. Good.”

    The first firework shell boomed and burst into a thousand points of blue and red light, and as if on cue, Travis, Rachel, and Danny all said, “Ooooooh.” They followed the next burst with “Ahhhhhh.”

    Andri giggled. “You three have done this before.”

    Travis chuckled and she felt it vibrate through his chest. “Oh, yeah. Wait’ll we get to the end. Gotta make a big deal out of the grand finale.”

    She joined in with the oohs and ahhs after that, trying to ignore the flare of heat in her belly every time he shifted beside her. They were friends. Friends who could enjoy a holiday together and not get any deeper.

    Available at Amazon & B&N