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A. Catherine Noon: Home — What Izzit?
Thursday, January 8th, 2015

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They say, “Home is where the heart is.”  James Otis said, “A [person’s] home is [their] castle.”  There are books on buying a home, creating a home, remodeling the home you have, loving your home, and making a second home.

But what, exactly, is “home”?

For me, I don’t feel “at home” unless there are books, a piano, and cats.  Failing cats, at least pets of some kind, preferably mammals.  That’s what’s necessary to make it not just a house, but a home.  I’m always puzzled by people without books.  I’m told there is a creature who is “not a reader,” but that is as alien to me as breathing the atmosphere on Venus.  And no pets?  What blasphemy is that?

More esoteric, perhaps, is the existence of a piano.  I wander, room to room, wondering what’s missing, and if I see a piano, I stop, comforted.  Somehow, the fact of the piano calms me and lets me know I’m in a place that can be called a home.

While musing on home, and creating art, and music, and all sorts of other things that writers muse upon at the crest of a new year, I created the mandala above.  It’s a word art representing the question of “What is home?”

But I’m curious, Dear Reader:  what makes you feel at home?

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E.E. Cummings

**New** SEALED BY FIRE is available from LooseId LLC. An All Romance eBooks Bestseller!
The Chicagoland Shifters series:
Book 1 BURNING BRIGHT, available from Samhain Publishing.
Book 2 TIGER TIGER, available from Samhain Publishing. An All Romance eBooks Bestseller!
The Persis Chronicles:
**Coming Soon!** Watch for EMERALD KEEP from Torquere Books, out April 2015!
Check out EMERALD FIRE, available from Torquere Books.
Check out COOK LIKE A WRITER , available from Barnes and Noble.

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Roni Loren: Reading Resolutions for the New Year (Contest)
Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

It’s that time of year again. The time when we set bright and shiny goals and resolutions. I talked about some of my personal resolutions on my blog recently. But today I thought I’d talk about the resolutions we set as readers.

In general, it seems most people don’t set reading goals. But I’ve found that in the romance community, we’re all about the reading challenge. And I love that. I love having some goal set that I’m working toward with books. Last year, I created my Push Your Boundaries reading challenge to try to encourage me and others to step outside our favorite genres on occasion and expand our reading horizons. I did pretty well, hitting about 75% of the categories I’d set up. But this year, I’m not sure what challenges I want to do beyond my number goal of reading at least 60 books.

I want to continue to read widely and not just in my favorite genres because I definitely discovered some books/authors I liked last year that I never would’ve found without the Push Your Boundaries challenge. But I don’t know if I’ll do it as a formal challenge. And I’ve done the 50/50 challenge a few times before—50 books and 50 movies in a year—which was fun, but I’m not sure I want to focus on movies this year. I’m more behind on TV shows. And I’m way behind on my TBR pile because, lawd, do I have a lot of unread books. I may have a book buying addiction—shh, don’t tell. :wink:

So maybe I’ll fashion some challenge this year that focuses on decreasing the TBR pile I already have and on watching some of those TV series that have piled up on my DVR and Netflix cue. Hey, maybe I’ll call it the Catch Up Challenge, lol.

But here’s what I want to know from you: What reading goals are you setting this year? Do you set a number? Do you participate in some of the fun annual reading challenges that book bloggers host? Tell me your favorites! I’m a sucker for a reading challenge. :)

CONTEST: Leave a comment and get a chance to win a copy of my book, NOT UNTIL YOU!

And if you want to help fund my book buying addiction (*wink*), here’s my newest release—a hot m/m/f ménage!

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About NOTHING BETWEEN US:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Need You Tonight comes a steamy Loving on the Edge novel that proves watching is only half the fun…

Unlike the heroine of her popular thriller series, Georgia Delaune can’t afford to take risks or push sexual boundaries–unless you count spying through her neighbor’s bedroom window, and never missing a single move he makes.

Colby Wilkes is more than willing to put on a show for the alluring woman next door. But his dominant side aches to show her the pleasures of submission up close. As a counselor, Colby is sensitive to Georgia’s fears. As a Dom at The Ranch, a private BDSM retreat, he’s the perfect teacher to unleash her passion.

But just as Georgia lowers her emotional barriers, an unexpected complication arrives: a bad boy musician from Colby’s past who adds fuel to her heated imagination. Now, the lonely author has two gorgeous men eager to fulfill every fantasy she’s ever written–and one she’s never dared to dream….

Buy: Amazon | B&N

Brandy Walker: Thane
Monday, January 5th, 2015

Happy New Year Everyone! I’m sure you’re going to be hearing that for a while. We’re only a couple days in and my year started out with a bang. My oldest kiddo turned 16 on the 1st. We went to lunch at our favorite Chinese buffet, watched Back to the Future, and she spent the night at her friend’s house. It was a pretty chill day and perfect.

I also have a new series kicking off called Mystic Zodiac. I can’t remember (or choose to block it all at this point) how it came about but I had this crazy idea of creating my own paranormal-based zodiac and write a story a month featuring whatever mythical being of that particular month. Yeah, you read that correctly. 1 book each month for 12 months. I planned on getting ahead last year but life got in the way and we moved from Washington State to Virginia. I had already put out the booklet featuring the covers and roughly sketched out most of the books. There was no going back on with insane idea.

So today I’m bringing you the 1st of 12 books: Thane, Mystic Zodiac Book 1

The premise of the series is a bet between the Fate Chlotho (I’ve changed her name to Chloe) and Eros, the God of Love. Chloe thinks Eros has it easy. Anyone could get humans to fall in love. Eros challenges Chloe to match 12 couples, each one featuring a Mystic. If she can match all 12 she will earn Eros in her bed for one month. No distractions. No other plaything for Eros.

I hope you’ll stick around and see how the series turns out. I’d love to give away a $10 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble to one commenter. Ask a question. Make a comment. If nothing comes to mind, tell me were you fall on my Mystic Zodiac.

January | Angel                   February | God/Goddess
March | Shifter                    April | Nymph
May | Fae                            June | Witch/Warlock
July | Siren                          August | Dragon
September | Djinn               October | Vampire
November | Spirit               December | Demon

Thane

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BOOK: Thane
SERIES: Mystic Zodiac, Book 1
MONTH: January
SYMBOL: Angel
PUBLISHER: TEZ Publishing
RELEASE DATE: January 5, 2015

Welcome to the Mystic Zodiac Series.

High atop Mount Olympus, the ancient Gods and Goddesses still reside, hidden from mortal view.

They have always been there.

WILL always be there.

Watching…

Judging…

Meddling.

They dabble in the lives of humans and lesser immortals, known as Mystics.

For fun. Out of boredom. Simply because they can.

They thrive on watching people squirm under their thumbs. Laugh and celebrate each other while plotting to top what they did.

This is where our story begins…

With one more task to complete, Fallen Angel Thane will finally get what he’s dreamed about for decades…his rightful place back on Olympus with his brothers. All he needs to do is keep one woman from “doing something stupid”. How hard could that be?

NOTE: Mystic Zodiac is a 12 book series. It is NOT a serial. Each book ends in a happily ever after for the main couple. However, the prologue and epilogue of each story follows the Gods that kick off the series, Eros and Chlotho (aka Chloe). At the end of the series the bet between the two will come to a conclusion.

BUY HERE: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

EXCERPT:

Chloe’s sisters rose and began to move away. Slowly, she stood, smoothing out her dark blue chiton while looking at Eros one last time. He threw his head back and laughed heartily at one of the insipid women before wrapping his arm around her shoulders and kissing her soundly. When he released her, his gaze collided with Chloe’s. The slow rise of the corner of his mouth set off her fury with him once again.

Without thought she stomped over to where he sprawled with his harem. “You think you are so wonderful, Eros. The pre-eminent gift to both man and woman. Using your looks and ability to arouse desire in those around you to get what you want. Other than for sexual entertainment, you’re useless. Even your gift is a joke. You help mortals fall in love. How ridiculously easy that must be. Zeus knows, we wouldn’t want to tax your limited abilities by giving you something that mattered.”

In one smooth movement, Eros rose from his seat. The women surrounding him gasped in unison before closing their silly mouths. He stood in front of Chloe, towering over her, before she had a chance to flee. Not that she would give him that particular satisfaction.

“Oh sweet, Chloe. Still hurt at being rebuffed?” His words came out on a purr. Hatred rose within her. The man oozed sensuality and used it to his advantage.

“Never,” she hissed, knowing full well it was a complete and utter lie. Eros had to have figured as much. He lips lifted, a smirk painted across his face, as he stepped closer. She could feel the heat of his body, though there were still many inches between them. The thin film of her dress did nothing to diminish that heat or stop her body from wanting to melt into him.

“I believe you are,” he stated, regarding her in study.

She pressed her lips together to keep her words at bay. He would use whatever she said against her. It’s how he liked to play. How most Gods liked to get their rocks off. His head tilted to the side, a thoughtful look smoothing his features.

Damn the man for being attractive.

“I have a game for you, a challenge if you will. One I think you’ll quite like.”

“There is no game I want to play with you, Eros. That momentary lapse in judgment has passed.”

He stepped forward, closing the last of the distance between them. Chloe sucked in a quick sharp breath as his chest brushed against hers. Her nipples responded, hardening to rigid points.

“You would never pass up a challenge, I know you too well. Besides, this one has quite a wicked reward if you prevail. Something you desperately want and I denied.”

A flash of arousal burst through her. He couldn’t mean what she thought. She knew what she had been denied and though she would not admit it to him, she still wanted it—wanted him. She licked her lips and watched as his eyes dilated, tracking the movement. He wasn’t as immune to her as he portrayed.

She was unable to resist now that she knew. “I do love a challenge,” she whispered. She raked his body with a gaze, so lost in him; she jumped when he slipped an arm around her waist, pressing her into him. Her body betrayed her feigned lack of interest in his by quivering in response.

“I challenge you to match twelve couples.”

She opened her mouth to retort how easy that would be, when his finger landed on her lips, silencing the words that had yet to come out.

“Not until I’m done. Twelve couples, one a month, but they won’t only be human. I deal with much more than you think. You, my sweet Chloe, will match one Mystic a month for the next year, following the Mystic Zodiac. They must fall in love. If you succeed, as you surely believe you will, then you get me. For one…whole…month.”

He dropped his finger from her lips, his arm from around her waist, and took a step back. She nearly stumbled, locking her knees before that happened.

“An entire month?” she croaked, her mouth having gone dry.

He grinned like a fool. “Yes. All to yourself. No other playthings to occupy my time. Only you. Would that satisfy you?”

The young maiden within urged her to say yes. The wizened woman inside cautioned her. How could she lose though? Helping humans and Mystics fall in love couldn’t be that difficult. Humans fell in love too easily and too often. Mystics, if they had been on that plain long enough, did as well. It would be a breeze.

“Will I be choosing the Mystic or will you?”

“I will, of course. It is my job to know who will fall and when. I do have more than just one couple a month to deal with. I’ll give you the name of the Mystic, but I won’t tell you whom he or she is matched to; that you will have to figure out all on your own. Consider it an added degree of difficulty, since you find my job so easy. If you’re successful, we’ll meet again on the first day of the next month and I’ll give you the next name. If you aren’t successful, that is where the challenge ends.”

The deal sounded wonderful in her head and too good to be true. There had to be a catch. Something he got out of it if she failed. No God or Goddess did anything without a return in kind. “What will I owe you? If, by chance, I’m unsuccessful.”

Eros grinned. “That’s just it. You’ll owe me. One favor of my choosing. Doesn’t matter what it is, you’ll have to deliver.”

Chloe pursed her lips and thought it over. It didn’t take long to come to a decision. Confidence was never something she lacked. “You have a deal Eros—and you better be worth it.”

Eros threw his head back and laughed, much like he had earlier. When his laughter died down, he stared at her with a twinkle in his eyes. “Oh, I am Chloe. I am definitely worth it.” Quick as lightning, he dropped a soft kiss on her lips. “I’ll call on you tomorrow.” He spun away, joining the women back on the lush pillow-laden seating on the floor.

Chloe crossed her arms over her breasts, hiding her body’s reaction to him. The fools around her didn’t need to know of her attraction. “Your challenge has been accepted. Give me the name,” she demanded.

Eros chuckled, spreading his arms out to encompass the women around him. “I’m done for now. I have other pursuits to attend to. You can wait, Chloe, or are you that desperate to have me?”

“No one would ever be desperate over you. You give yourself freely to one and all.”

He pinned her with a look that stole her breath. Eyebrow raised, lips thinned. She stepped too far in pushing him. He opened his mouth and she cut him off.

“Tomorrow then,” she snapped. Turning on her heel, she left as quickly as she could without making more of a scene. His voice didn’t ring out behind her with the truth, and for that she was grateful.

“Blast, the damn man for being gracious.”

ABOUT:

Brandy is a paranormal romance author who, on occasion, likes to dabble with contemporary. She’s addicted to MDK shows and who-done-its. You’ll almost never see her without some type of skull paraphernalia on and is always dreaming of more tattoos.

Brandy is a Navy brat, prior enlisted Army, current Army wife, and mom. She lives in Virginia with her husband of almost 20 years, their three kids and one dog. Find out more about Brandy at www.brandywalker.net.

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Megan Mitcham: Favorites (Contest)
Sunday, January 4th, 2015

You’re not supposed to pick favorites with your kids or your novels. But hey, I’m a rule breaker. I won’t confess to having a favorite child. A waterboarding expert couldn’t get it out of me. My favorite novel on the other hand… Vail Tucker made it impossible for me to keep it under wraps. Take a peek…

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Warrior Mine Excerpt

In little less than a second Vail had a decision to make. Option one, continue the draw, shoot her in the head, and hope he could grab the detonator before she depressed it. Option two, leave his gun where it hung, attack with bare hands, get the detonator before she depressed it, and then find out who the hell she was and why she’d broken into his office. Deciding on option two, he released the gun and coiled slightly to strike. But a closer look brought that train to a grinding halt.

A long lever compressed between a slender metal box and her palm. That, combined with the distance she put between them, railroaded a surprise attack.

“Listen carefully,” she demanded in an even tone. “I do not wish to harm any of you nor steal your secrets. But, if you push me, I will lay waste to us all and have completed my task all the same. Do you understand?”

“Yes.” He held his body loose, waiting for any opening, while he catalogued the intruder.

Five-eight, maybe five-nine. Slender frame. Full breasts.

Not important at the moment, Tucker. 

                Still, he couldn’t help but notice how the thin cotton fitted the pretty mounds and dipped at the sway of her waist.

He moved on. Belt with extra magazines. Knife strapped to thigh. Bulge at ankle, probably a small cannon. Dark, sad eyes. Light caramel skin. Smooth. Long lashes.

Again, not important.

                Heedless of the warning, his body stirred.

“Open your left desk drawer.”

Tracking his options, he did as she asked, knowing what came next.

“Remove your gun with two fingers, place it in the drawer without putting your hand inside, then close it.”

Her gaze didn’t rove like his had, but speared him in the solar plexus. A nice trick to watch the surrounding area and your target at the same time.

“What is it you hope to accomplish with this misadventure?”

“Secure your sidearm. Then we’ll talk.”

“I don’t expect talking ranks high on your to-do list,” he said, dropping his weapon into the shallow drawer and pushing it closed.

“It is my list.”

“Really?” For a reason completely concealed from understanding, the words, ‘I think we’d fare better with action,’ tickled his tongue. He swallowed them, but his brow and smirk refused to fall in line.

She surged forward one brimming step. The gloved hand not holding the key to their possible doom snapped to her hip. Her gaze rose and lanced his own.

“Yes,” her sweet voice lashed like the end of a whip.

Vail remained still and watchful, a ready predator to his unsuspecting prey. She calmed in stages, as if summoning all her strength to rein a simmering rage. Again he inspected her eyes. There was no more accurate tell about a person’s mental state than the eyes. They were windows all right—he just didn’t think soul described what they revealed. Intent. Sanity or the lack. Direction. Fear. Malice. Truth and lies. If only they’d differentiate the lies from the truth.

The hue of her big rounds matched his coffee—devoid of cream or sugar—and the eyes that stared back in the mirror every morning. Only where his gave nothing away but the chill of earth’s poles, hers revealed everything. Passion. Fear. Determination. Stability.

“Don’t make this more difficult than it has to be.”

“For you?” he asked.

“For me. For you, Mr. Tucker. For your agents and organization. For your secretary.”

She’d done her homework because she knew just how to tweak him to get the desired results. His people and the security of his organization trumped it all, even his own wellbeing. Most of his people were currently on mission, but the lives of the few who remained were in his hands. Plus the lives of those on the thirty-one floors above them. Yeah it was late, but more and more people put in grueling hours, striving for that next corporate rung or avoiding home life. He couldn’t make a move without endangering their lives. So he’d ride this wave a bit further and look for a safe break for land.

“How can I do that? What’s your name?”

The mask moved around her mouth, but she didn’t speak. A smile, maybe, or a frown. He hated not being able to see her face. The tiny gestures lost behind the knit also gave vital clues to a person’s intentions.

“Pick up your phone, hit only the top left button for your secretary, tell her you need a boost and this coffee isn’t doing the trick. You need her to go get you a triple shot espresso.”

“Would you like anything?”

“I’d like for you to quit being a smart ass.”

 

Warrior Mine - Base Branch Novel 4
A silver fox learns new tricks.

The Base Branch office in Washington D.C. is so heavily fortified it makes Fort Knox look like a 7-Eleven. After twenty years in covert ops, nothing fazes Commander Vail Tucker. When a lightning bolt of feminine fury crashes into the interrogation room, holds him at gunpoint, and takes over the task with his prisoner, he’s more than surprised. She escapes without a trace, but Vail is unable to remain dispassionate. He must know what is so important the beguiling woman would risk her life to find it.

Carmen Ruez is deadly and desperate—a combustible combination. Born into the remnants of the Arellano Felix Organization, drugs and violence kept her in a gilded cage—until a twist of fate showed her the roots of their riches, making her yearn for freedom. She works for it. Fights for it. But her brother crosses the line to keep her loyal to the treacherous family she is determined to leave behind. Following instinct, Vail uncovers Carmen’s motives and is galvanized by a protective instinct he hadn’t known he possessed. Determination and desire force them to work together to defeat those loyal to Carlos Ruez and the AFO. But are those traits enough to make them fight for a future together?

 

Tell me in the comments below who your favorite book boyfriend is and what quality made him achieve that rank and one lucky commenter will win a digital copy of Enemy Mine, the first installment of The Base Branch Series.

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Megan Mitcham
Sizzling Suspense – Are you sizzling yet?

The Base Branch Series
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Lynn Cahoon: New Year, New You? Or Not?
Friday, January 2nd, 2015

With the holidays over, it’s time to jump head first into the New Year. This means resolutions. Even if you don’t do New Year’s resolutions, it’s a great time to focus on the things you want to invite into your life for 2015.

I do a mini-business plan that I review with a writer friend each year. We talk about what we want to write, what conferences/appearances we want to attend, and what kind of money we expect to earn. Our reporting and New Year goal setting call takes about two hours to get through. But by the end, we have a master plan. A plan I break down into a calendar plan, then a monthly to do list, then weekly goals. It’s all very complicated, but it works for me.

Personal goals, though, are harder for me to make, track, and, unfortunately, keep. In 2012 I focused on getting healthy and lost fifty pounds through diet and exercise. I wish I could say I kept it off. I haven’t. Once I got comfortable, I started missing workouts and the chips jumped into my cart and somehow, there was Coke in the fridge again.

I just had hip replacement surgery in November, so my eating patterns have been crap for the holidays and my exercise, nill. However, I’m determined to change than starting January 1st. I’m reaching for the healthy rather than the easy for 2015.

Another area I’m thinking about making changes in is my willingness to try new experiences. Maybe not crazy new, like bungee jumping. I want to make room in my life for other things like local museums I’ve driven by and always wanted to visit. Or the walking path I’ve always wanted to try out.

So what are your New Year’s resolutions this year? Or do you make them?

Lynn

If the Shoe Kills

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The tourist town of South Cove, California, is a lovely place to spend the holidays. But this year, shop owner Jill Gardner discovers there’s no place like home for homicide. . .

As owner of Coffee, Books, and More, Jill Gardner looks forward to the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers. But when the mayor ropes her into being liaison for a new work program, ’tis the season to be wary. Local businesses are afraid the interns will be delinquents, punks, or worse. For Jill, nothing’s worse than Ted Hendricks–the jerk who runs the program. After a few run-ins, Jill’s ready to kill the guy. That, however, turns out to be unnecessary when she finds Ted in his car–dead as a doornail. Officer Greg assumes it’s a suicide. Jill thinks it’s murder. And if the holidays weren’t stressful enough, a spoiled blonde wants to sue the city for breaking her heel. Jill has to act fast to solve this mess–before the other shoe drops. . .

“Murder, dirty politics, pirate lore, and a hot police detective: Guidebook to Murder has it all! A cozy lover’s dream come true.” –Susan McBride, author of The Debutante Dropout Mysteries

Links –
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Shoe-Kills-Tourist-Trap-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00KM9O6SQ/ref=la_B0082PWOAO_1_3_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413423386&sr=1-3
Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-the-shoe-kills-lynn-cahoon/1119633675?ean=9781601832405&itm=1
Goodreads -http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5857424.Lynn_Cahoon
Twitter – https://twitter.com/LynnCahoon
Facebook -https://www.facebook.com/LynnCahoonAuthor
website – http://lynncahoon.com/
Amazon author page – http://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Cahoon/e/B0082PWOAO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
 

Bio

lcCahoonUSA Today and New York Times, best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.

Excerpt –

The holidays were supposed to be a time of goodwill, celebration, and community. You couldn’t tell it from the glares going around the table as Mayor Baylor talked. Earlier, the leader of our little town had the group eating out of his hand. Then all hell broke loose. Focusing on the uproar going on at the Business-to-Business monthly meeting, I wondered if the shop owners gathered around the mismatched tables had even seen the calendar. As South Cove’s council liaison, I volunteered my shop each month for the meeting. I’m Jill Gardner, owner of Coffee, Books, and More, and president of the I-Hate-Mayor-Baylor Club. A red-faced Bill Simmons, chair of the business council and owner of South Cove Bed-and-Breakfast, stood at the front of the table, trying to get the group to quiet down.

            Aunt Jackie issued a shrill, earsplitting whistle, two-finger variety. My aunt could make me smile even in the worst situations. She’d been a rock the last year during all the craziness that had been my life. Now I didn’t know what I’d do without her help with Coffee, Books, and More. Or without seeing her on a daily basis.

            The room finally quieted. I’d been the city council liaison with the business community in our little coastal California tourist town for the last five years. I’d never heard this kind of uproar over a mayor’s mandate before. Maybe the Honorable Mayor Baylor was losing a bit of his power over the group.

            “Look, I know it’s a bad time for many of us to take on a charity project, but think of it this way, you’ll have an extra pair of hands for the season.” Bill pulled out what he’d thought would be his trump card.

            “I don’t understand what you’re all so upset about. I got you free help for the busiest season of the year.” Mayor Baylor glared at me, like their reaction was my fault. “These people want to work. We need to be charitable in our attitude.” This time, his scowl was full-on directed at me.

            I put on my sweetest smile, the one I saved for the few customers I truly didn’t like. “I’ve already signed up the coffee shop to participate. How about the rest of you?”

            “Not all of us have South Cove’s finest working part-time in our shops.” Darla Taylor, owner of the winery and editor of the local news for the South Cove Examiner, sniffed. “I heard he couldn’t place these losers anywhere else so Ted paid the mayor to take on these stragglers.”

“That is totally unfounded speculation,” Mayor Baylor blustered, his face turning a bright shade of scarlet. He turned his stare from me to Darla. “I hope I won’t see anything close to that being reported in the Examiner.”

I turned my head so no one would see my smile widen. As one of the local media, Darla’s nose for rumors was spot-on. Ted Hendricks, program director for Bakerstown’s welfare-to-work program, had come to our tourist town of South Cove with an offer. Ten participants would work for eight weeks with a local business in an intern capacity. South Cove was their last chance.

The mayor’s gaze shifted down the table, landing on Josh Thomas, a strong Mayor Baylor supporter. Except even I could see that His Honor wasn’t winning any points with his friend today.

            “Delinquents. You want me to let a delinquent run wild in my store. Talk to my customers and probably scope out my merchandise so they can rob me blind when I turn my back?” Josh owned Antiques by Thomas, the most recent business to open its doors on Main Street. Today, he pounded a chubby finger on the table.

            “Of course, you’d have a problem with this. You don’t even know that they are kids, or if they had trouble with the law. Just because someone is down on their luck doesn’t mean they are a bad person,” Sadie Michaels shot back. Sadie, owner of Pies on the Fly, was my main supplier of desserts for the coffee shop. And a strong advocate for the underdog in any fight.

            We’d gone down this path before. Josh and Sadie rarely saw eye to eye on any discussion. For my part, I liked the way she called him on his prejudice and narrow-mindedness. Bill tried again to short-circuit the argument he saw developing. “We don’t have time for a political discussion on the topic. This is a done deal. They’re coming today for the initial meet-and-greet with a walk through town.

Rhenna Morgan: Unexpected Eden
Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Welcome to 2015!

I hope you all enjoyed heralding the New Year in, and that you aren’t suffering crushing hangovers. I was sensible. When my daughter suffered a migraine, I told her to go to bed and went home. I watched reruns of Chicago Fire and missed the apple/peach/whatever falling altogether. But I believe you should herald in a New Year doing something you intend to continue throughout the year—which makes watching Chicago Fire the perfect entertainment for me. I intend to have sexy men, some of them firefighters, roaming through my imagination all year long. :)

I also intend to have exciting guests on my website this year—some familiar, some brand new friends. So let’s begin the way we intend to continue… Meet my brand new friend Rhenna Morgan. ~DD
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Most people believe Eden no longer exists. Lexi Merrill’s about to learn they’re wrong. A hard-working bartender with a self-sufficient backbone and a wary nature, she knows pickup lines like a second language. So, when Eryx Shantos barges into her world with too-smooth words and a body to back it up, she locks up her libido and vows to keep her distance.

Eryx has other ideas. As king of the Myren race, Eryx is duty-bound to enforce the laws preventing exposure of their existence to humans. Yet The Fates have led him through his dreams to Lexi, a temptation he doesn’t want to resist. The question—is she Myren, or human, which makes her forbidden fruit?

When Eryx’s nemesis tags Lexi as his next target, Eryx insists on taking her home where he can keep her safe. Lexi had no idea “home” would mean the one-and-only land of creation…or that she’d trigger a prophecy that could doom her newfound race.

Add to your Goodreads TBR List at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23269158-unexpected-eden

Buy Links
Amazon   B&N   iTunes   Kobo   ARE   Amazon Canada   Amazon UK    Kensington

Author Bio

Rhenna Morgan writes for the same reason she reads—to escape reality.

Yes, her life rocks—two beautiful little girls, a great husband, a steady job, and the kind of friends that would take you out back if you hurt her. But, like most women, she’s got obligations stacked tight from dusk to dawn. So, when the world gets her down, she slips into something…less realistic.

Romance is a must. So is a steamy romp (or four). Nothing thrills her more than the fantasy of new, exciting worlds, strong, intuitive men, and the sigh of, “Oh if only that could happen to me.”

So, if you’re picking up one of her books, expect portals into alternate realms and men who’ll fight to keep the women they want. Romantic escape for the women who need it.

Author Links
Website: http://rhennamorgan.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RhennaMorgan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rhennamorgan
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8596977.Rhenna_Morgan

Excerpt

Slow breaths in, slow breaths out. All Lexi had to do was focus on the thump of Rihanna’s latest hit, keep the drinks flowing, and stick to her half of the bar. The mother lode of testosterone on Jerry’s side couldn’t sit there all night. Could he?

“Don’t suppose you’ve noticed, but there’s a scrumptious not-from-around-here type giving you the eyeball.” Mindy grinned and handed over the latest round of drink orders.

White t-shirt, killer muscles, and dark chocolate hair halfway down his back? Yeah, she’d noticed. Repeatedly. And every time she went for a visual refill, his silver gaze shocked nerve endings she’d long thought dead.

“Drop it, Mindy. Guys like that are an occupational hazard and you know it.”

“Honey, that man is way past hazard. More like Chernobyl.” She leaned into the trendy concrete countertop. The modern pendant lights spotlighted her platinum hair and ample cleavage. One thing about Mindy—she knew how to work her assets. “I’ll bet the fallout’s worth it.”

“It’s packed tonight. You gonna get those drinks out and stash a few tips, or waste ’em on eye candy?”

Mindy’s dreamy smile melted and she pulled the loaded cocktail tray close. “All work and no play, huh?” She shook her head and turned for the crowd. “Have fun with that.”

Well, hell. Another social interaction down the toilet. At twenty-five-years-old, you’d think she could handle a little female bonding in the form of man-ogling. Especially when four of those years had been spent tending bar. But damn it, some things weren’t meant for discussion. Her overactive man-jitters being one of them.

Crouching to snag a fresh bottle of vodka beneath the counter, she peeked behind her. Lips guaranteed to make a girl forget her name curled into a sly smile.
Busted.
She spun away too fast and scraped her forehead against the rough edge of the bar. “Sonof a fucking, no good piece of shit.”

Head down, she counted to three and fought the need to check for witnesses, thankful the music was loud enough to cover her curse. The graceless gawker routine wasn’t normally her deal, but for the last thirty minutes she’d come up woefully short in the finesse department—and it was all the dark-haired man’s fault.

New bottle ready for action, she faced two middle-aged men dressed like frat boys and settled into her pour-and-bill groove. The routine was a comfort, a stabilizing rhythm to counterbalance the ever-present gaze heavy on her back.

“Hey, Lex.” Jerry smacked her shoulder and motioned behind him, never breaking stride as he headed for the register. “Tall, dark and handsome wants to see you.”

She wouldn’t look. Not again. The giggling trio of barely legal blondes fighting their way into ordering range wasn’t nearly as nice on the eyes, but at least they kept her anchored. “Since when did you take up matchmaking?”

“Since the guy offered me a Benjamin to make sure it was you who took care of him.” What? She spun.
The stranger met her surprised stare head on, his smirk a potent mix of humble and confident. “Sold me down the river, did you?”

“Damn right.” Jerry winked, shoved a stack of wrinkled bills into the register, and swaggered toward the waiting blondes without so much as a wish for good luck.

Lexi huffed and took an order from the none-too-shabby twenty-something guy right in front of her on principle. Mystery man could cool his jets for a minute or two. Besides, if his banter matched his looks, she’d need every second she could get to batten down the hatches.

She filled orders with slow deliberation and an extra bit of bravado, grabbing snippets of recon where she could.

A vicious looking man sat next to her dark-haired hunk. Lazy raven waves fell to a hard jawline, a tightly trimmed goatee making his harsh face a downright menace. Entirely the wrong selection for wingman material.

Out of customers and bar space, she faced both men and wiped down of the counter. “What can I get you?” The catchall phrase came out shakier than she wanted, and tried to cover it with an intensive, yet completely unnecessary study of the bottles stocked below the counter.

“You disliked my tactic.” God help her, the man had a voice to match his face. An easy glide that left a slow burn in its wake. Kind of like fifty-year-old Scotch. “I admit it’s not my style, but I was desperate.”

Not exactly the approach she’d expected from a hottie, but it did help ease her tension. “There’s not a thing desperate about you and we both know it.”

He answered with a megawatt smile that damn near knocked her off her feet. Utterly relaxed, he rested muscled forearms on the bar and raised an eyebrow. “Have dinner with me.”

She shouldn’t be able to hear him in such a crush, let alone register a physical impact, but damned if she wasn’t processing both loud and clear. “I don’t even know you.”

He offered his hand. Long, strong fingers stretched out, showing calluses along his palm. “Eryx Shantos.”

Wingman stared straight ahead, his aqua eyes cold enough to freeze a soul.

“Lexi Merrill.” As their palms met, a rush fired up her arm and down her spine, and she shook as though she’d cozied up to a blow dryer in a bathtub. She ripped her hand away and rubbed the tingling center up and down her jean-clad hip.

Eryx didn’t so much as blink, his sword-colored gaze glinting with dare and determination.

Maybe fatigue was taking a toll on her imagination. Or the flu. Or a desperate need to get laid. Gripping the bar for support, she took an order from a cute little brunette trying to avoid a middle-aged, bald guy’s come-on.

Except for a slow pull off his beer, Wingman stayed stock-still. His angry expression screamed, “Stay the fuck back.”

“Now you know me,” Eryx said. “Have dinner with me.”

“I have to work.”

“Then lunch.”

“I work then too.” A lame excuse, but true. Two jobs and part-time college didn’t leave a lot of room for being social. Not that socializing ever managed to work in her favor.

“Breakfast, then.”

A half-hearted laugh slipped out before she could stop it. “You’re persistent, I’ll give you that.”

“You have nooo idea.” Wingman tipped his longneck for another drink, fingers loose around the dark glass despite his tight voice.

Eryx shot him a nasty glare.

“Your friend doesn’t talk much.” Lexi grabbed a few empties and dunked them in a tub of soapy water.

“His name’s Ludan. And he may not be able to talk at all by the time the night’s over. Depends on if he manages to keep his tongue intact.”

“Yo! Need a few Bud Lights.” Two college-age men in need of a manners class shoved their way to Ludan’s free side.

Ludan straightened and pushed the men back a handful of steps with nothing more than a glare.

No way was she dealing with the fallout from a brawl, even if the young punks could use the lesson. “Stand down and kill the scary badass routine.”

Ludan faced her, his eyes a shade closer to white than blue. It took a tense breath or two, but the muscles beneath his black t-shirt relaxed and he smirked. He eased down on his barstool and snagged his beer. “Your woman’s got bite, Eryx.”

She snatched a pair of Buds from the cooler and popped the tops off. “I’m not his woman.”

“Not yet.” Eryx’s calm retort landed between them—part taunt, part promise.

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Tilly Greene: January in Scotland
Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

It’s midnight, New Years Day, Hogmanay is just about done and the real party is about to start!

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????First-footing takes place in Scotland and by some people in northern England. Roots to this tradition go as back as Viking invasions and have changed little. How it works is that the first person to enter a home after midnight starting the new year should be a man with dark hair and carrying tokens cementing good luck for the residents. The most common tokens are a lump of coal, whisky and an oat cake and in return, uisge beatha, water of life (whisky), and food are shared.

Sound fun? It is because throughout the night, as long as the chilled limbs can move, and one more dram can be shared, first-footing continues, house to house, party to party.

By the way, all the parties are not finished after a few days. In case you find yourself in Scotland during January, then you have about three weeks to get rid of the Hogmanay and First-footing hangovers to prepare for Burn’s Night on the 25th. What does one do in memoriam for Robert Burns besides quote a poem or two? Drink whisky and address the haggis, of course. Serious stuff and yes, there will also be men wearing kilts and pipers at these festivities as well.

If you can’t make it to Scotland, then don’t despair, recreate the fun in your own home with a little help from the internet. Search out recipes, cook some simple things, and share with your family and friends along with a wee dram or three of whisky. A new experience is a great way to launch a new year with a bang!

tgHorse by Tilly GreeneMy latest release is Horse, a historical western erotic romance, and the first book in The Bloody Bucket series. Jack Murphy, Horse, is straight off the boat from Ireland. The American Civil War was finished, rebuilding was starting and he made the trip. There was no way he could follow tradition and dedicate his life to the church as a second son normally does. That was his path in life if he stayed. He started out in New York City, but soon realized it wasn’t for him and moved to Texas. Life in Cowler was exciting, never quiet and serene, and he loved every moment because of her, MaryKate Thompson. You can pick a copy of Horse by Tilly Greene up at All Romance, Amazon, BN, iBooks and Smashwords.

Thank you, Delilah, for giving me the time and space to share my love for Scotland and its history, and my Irishman in Horse. Having just returned from spending the holidays in England, it’s all about that place across the pond for me today.

Tilly Greene
Scorching romances full of twists, turns and ties.
www.tillygreene.com
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Whether traveling or sitting in her office, Tilly Greene researches and writes erotica and erotic romance novels in a variety of genres and sub-genres like shape shifter, paranormal, contemporary and futuristics, and themes such as BDSM, multiculturalism and ménages. Every day she looks forward to writing about women who are independent and confident, the men who love them, and their twisting passionate path to each other.