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Mary Marvella/M. M. Mayfield: Her Deception (Contest)
Monday, January 21st, 2019

I hope everyone is having a super January!

I’d love to share my 10th book, Her Deception. This is my second M. M. Mayfield book. Choosing a title isn’t easy as some folks think it is. My working title was Angel, since my main character adopts the name Angel when she leaves her husband to return to stripping. So now you know! I called this book my stripper book. That gets some curious looks. After checking Amazon for titles, I discarded The Stripper’s Revenge, Angel’s Revenge, Their Deception and Their Secrets. So here is Her Revenge, my stripper book.

Her Deception


The day Patrice heard her husband order a hit to be done quickly or his ass wouldn’t be worth anything, she knew she had to leave him. The only way she knew to investigate him and his people was by returning to stripping where she would meet the people who dealt in death, drugs, and prostitution. When she worked her way through college she learned more about crime than she ever wanted to know.

Why would anyone believe Hugh, the man who played golf with the mayor of the a small town on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, who socialized with the chief of police in that town and respected business owner had a second life one involving crimes? Who would believe a former stripper over this man?

Excerpt…

By the time Patrice searched every surface of furniture in every room in the house, she felt drained. Tomorrow she’d make an appearance at her office, attend the staff meeting.

Tomorrow she’d clear out with resources to start a new life away from this house. She’d miss the things she’d done to change a sterile, fashionable showplace into a beautiful home. If she could get the goods on Hugh, he’d go to jail and everything would likely be confiscated.

Nothing she took must be traced back to her.

She grabbed Hugh’s car keys and searched his Mercedes. One slip of paper between the seats contained a combination of numbers and letters. These she copied. She dared not leave anything that would catch the attention of the car’s proud owner. She had actually seen her husband take out a monogrammed silk handkerchief and wipe a speck of dust from the dashboard. He’d notice any minor damage to the carpet or any lining or cover moved, so she had to stop her search.

Exhausted, but keyed-up, Patrice went back to the master bathroom upstairs and filled the whirlpool tub to soak. For the last time she poured her favorite bath salts, a gift from Hugh.

Climbing into the tub, she sank up to her neck in foaming water. Even over the noise of the water jets, she heard the hateful words echoing. “Get the job done before Friday or forget the price we discussed. If the man is alive to stand trial, we’re all dead.”

She didn’t want to hear them. Enough already, think about something else. Blue Atlanta skies, magnolia blossoms, fragrant honeysuckle, juicy ripe peaches, symphony music, the man who introduced her to the world of Atlanta culture.

Warmth melted her bones and moving water lulled her. “We don’t pay you to think. Just kill the man like we told you to. Make it look good, the way you always have. My employers don’t leave loose ends alive, you should know that.”

Patrice woke with a start in a tub of cold water. Was someone in the house? Had she really heard the hateful words or has she dreamed them? She stood shivering as she grabbed her towel from the warming rack and wrapped it around her body. She listened. No thumps, no footsteps. Surely her subconscious had awakened her to keep her from drowning in her bath.

Surely the noise had been her imagination, like the sound of Hugh’s voice moments ago. She yanked her soft robe from its hook on the door, then put it on. Grabbing her cell phone and the gun on the ledge of the tub – she had kept them within reach – she crept to her room.

The downstairs alarm hadn’t gone off, but a woman couldn’t be too careful. If Hugh had returned home early he’d have called out to her. He didn’t know she had heard him order a man killed.

Carrying her gun and cell phone she eased into the hall and searched. Her guilty conscience made her jumpy. Since there would be no sleep for her, she selected a few of her books and other items Hugh wouldn’t notice were missing.

She emptied jewelry cases into the bag with lingerie and sleepwear. The street-smart person knew to take salable things, so she filled an overnight bag with Hugh’s watches and rings. He’d think they’d been robbed, a false trail.

Once she’d moved that suitcase down to the garage, she selected her two most expensive furs. She lugged them down to the garage and put them in her car’s trunk.

Since she’d done everything, she went to her bedroom to rest. She mussed the bed. Her cook and housekeeper would believe this morning was just like any other morning.

For the few hours she dozed, she didn’t rest well. A memory made her bolt straight up in bed. Vacations. Foreign banks. Yeah, she and Hugh had visited one bank in the Bahamas and one in Switzerland. What had they been called? She didn’t sleep, but she did remember details about off shore banks.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Her-Deception-M-Mayfield-ebook/dp/B07HF4X5V2/

Contest

Comment for a chance to win a download of Write Dirty to Me.

Find Mary Marvella/M.M. Mayfield at:
https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Marvella/e/B008E1SJ32
https://goodreads.com/author/show/4909455.Mary_Marvella
https://www.facebook.com/ARomanceCaper
www.MaryMarvella.com
https://www.facebook.com/mmbarfield
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Marvella- Author/121044561311561
http://pinkfuzzyslippersauthors.wordpress.com
Follow Mary Marvella on Twitter @mmarvellab
https://mmmayfieldauthor.wordpress.com/
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Desiree Holt: Advance to the Rear (Contest)
Friday, January 18th, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Sheryl Stark!
*~*~*


Want to win a tote filled with books from your favorite authors?
Want to find out ow Strike Force came to be?
Want to win a copy of UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER, Strike Force Book #1?
Leave a comment

In honor of the prerelease of ADVANCE TO THE REAR, Book #4, Strike Force, in my reader group I am running a contest for four more weeks. Each week we award one book but at the end of the campaign, on release day, February 12, some lucky person will win a Desiree Holt tote filled with signed books from some of your favorite authors, including the fabulous Delilah Devlin.

The concept of Strike Force originated from many conversations I was fortunate to have with a former member of Delta Force. He shared what he could of his experiences and patiently answered my tiring questions, so I could get it just right. In addition, I am so lucky to have become friends with a former member of one of the elite forces who is now in law enforcement. He has been invaluable in making sure my information is correct and that I don’t throw outrageous stuff into my books. In fact, he’s a fanatic about it, one of the reasons I dedicated the book to him.

The concept of ADVANCE TO THE REAR is, as they say, ripped from the headlines and is a very real probability.

Here is an exclusive excerpt.

Bang!

The explosion two streets over erupted in the night air. At the same moment, Slade detonated a small amount of Semtex on the back door and blew it open, the sound barely seconds behind it. Then they were in the rear room of the house, a room as barren as the one at Ibrahim’s. The two hostages, a man and a woman, huddled together in a corner, looking both terrified and bewildered. Both looked disheveled and each of them sported bruises on their arms and their faces.

Bile rose in Marc’s throat, as it always did when he saw how human beings had been unnecessarily been abused. Once out of here and back at the FOB, they’d get proper attention. Right now, though, the only focus was getting the fuck out of here.

This was always the hairiest part. They had scant seconds to pull this off. Slade held up a finger to his lips to signal silence, then mouthed “U. S. Army.” He and Marc pulled the hostages out through the back door, silent as ghosts. Beau and Trey had their guns out and ready to hit anyone who came through the door from the front of the house. In seconds they were all out in the alley behind the house where Ibrahim, good as his word, now waited in his cousin’s van. Seconds later they were all inside. Down the narrow street and around the corner. They stopped only long enough for Ibrahim to get out and melt away. If he was caught driving them he and his family would be annihilated.

Then Slade took over and they headed hell-bent for leather out of town.

The hostages sat silent and petrified in the middle seat, sandwiched between Trey and Marc. They clung to each other as if that contact was their only salvation.

“I know you can’t figure out what’s happening,” Trey said, his voice soothing. “All you have to know is you are with American soldiers and in less than thirty minutes we’ll all be out of here.”

Still neither of them spoke. Marc could imagine the treatment they’d suffered, the way their captors had terrorized them. But at least they weren’t screaming and trying to run away from the team, or doing anything else to hinder their departure. Beyond a cursory examination to make sure the two were mobile and didn’t need to be carried, the team had not questioned them.

“Still all clear back here,” Beau said from the third seat. He was on his knees, his rifle pointing out the window of the rear hatch door.

Marc knew he had one order to execute. If anyone came up behind them, shoot and keep shooting. Marc kept checking his watch, counting down to when the Night Stalker would be there. So far so good. They were out in the desert now, the driving slow going through the sand.

They were almost at the extraction point when Beau hollered back to them.

“Enemy vehicle on the horizon. Right on our tail.”

The MH-60 M Black Hawk zoomed in and hovered just past the van, skillfully handled by its Night Stalker pilot. Marc helped hustle the aid workers out of the van and into the chopper, handing them up to the two men crouched in the open doorway. Sand kicked up everywhere from the rotors, getting into even their eyes and teeth.

Beau was the last one in, crouched in the open doorway, positioned with his gun. Just as they lifted off, the four-wheel drive vehicle made it to the outskirts of Agadez and came plowing through the sand. The man riding in the rear began firing the vehicle-mounted machine gun while two other climbed out and started firing assault weapons at the chopper.

The pilot banked to the left, away from the line of fire, even as Beau fired steadily at the men below. And then they were out of range, rising higher until the desert was far below them.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DiqRCf 
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/advance-to-the-rear-1 
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/advance-to-the-rear-desiree-holt/1130030868?ean=9781786864505 
https://apple.co/2RKmbwU
https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Desiree_Holt_Advance_to_the_Rear?id=tH-ADwAAQBAJ&hl=en_US

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PRIZE ALERT! Be sure to enter!
Thursday, January 17th, 2019

I’m finishing up a book today, so no time to chat! But I wanted to remind you that there are still some active contests happening on this blog! Enter before it’s too late!

These contests are still active!

  1. Landra Graf: A Trip to the Stars (Contest)
  2. Montana Bounty Hunters: Animal (Contest & Excerpt)
  3. Caroline Clemmons: The Widows of Wildcat Ridge (Contest–Two Winners!)

 Animal 

Caroline Clemmons: The Widows of Wildcat Ridge (Contest–Two Winners!)
Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Thank you to Delilah for hosting me today.

Do you prefer mountains or the beach? I enjoy both, but I love mountains most. I find them inspiring. I remember one trip, for instance, to Estes Park, Colorado several years ago. This magical trip occurred on the first weekend in October.

While we were there for a conference in which my husband participated, we stayed in a lovely hotel. Our room had a huge plate glass window view of the mountain. I had taken my laptop with the intention of writing while my husband was busy. This beautiful, slow snow came with giant snowflakes that stuck to the pine trees.

How can anyone be expected to work in those conditions? I confess that for the most part, I watched the snow fall. Where we live in the Fort Worth area of North Central Texas, we don’t get much snow—some years none. You can understand how fascinated I was with this lovely sight.

The conference featured a tour for spouses on Saturday afternoon. One of the sites we toured was the Stanley House Hotel, which Steven King supposedly used in THE SHINING. It’s a lovely hotel and not at all frightening. While we were walking through, a Regency reenactment group was holding a dance that looked entertaining.

Our tour guide said she lived in a haunted house that had had a poltergeist when she and her husband first moved there. She reported the poltergeist swept dishes off shelves and was a destructive nuisance . I’ll bet even Stephen King would find that frightening. I certainly would.

One evening, my husband and I strolled to the center of town. The elk that came up to feed and drink are protected and have right of way. I couldn’t help laughing at them as they wandered on and off the street and caused drivers to stop. This was the first time I’d seen an elk that wasn’t in a zoo.

I’ve been to Colorado several times, but this was the most memorable visit. I’ve written numerous books that take place in a mountain setting at different seasons. When I’ve done so, I recall the wonder of that trip. Perhaps to people who are used to a lot of snow, such scenes are annoying instead of awesome. To me, if was wonderful and unforgettable.

I relied on these memories for my latest release, GARNET, book 9 in the sweet western historical series, The Widows of Wildcat Ridge. Though GARNET is set in Utah, I picture the Wildcat Ridge Mountains resembling those on the Colorado trip I so enjoyed. In GARNET, a terrible mining tragedy has left many widows in town.

Here’s the book’s description:

Garnet Chandler is fighting to hold onto her café, her niece and nephew, and her sanity after the deaths of her husband, his brother, and his sister-in-law. A persistent prowler and the threat of losing custody of her niece and nephew spur her to action. She doesn’t need another man, but she needs a husband long enough to convince the children’s grandparents she can offer them a stable home.

Bounty hunter Adam Bennett was ready to settle down when his friend was killed by a horse thief. He set out to capture the man who had also killed a guard when escaping prison. Adam must have let down his defenses because the man he followed and two cohorts waylaid Adam, beating him and stealing all his possessions before kicking him down a steep ravine. Adam is determined to capture the three as soon as he heals from their encounter.

Garnet and Adam join forces to achieve both their goals but will that be enough?

The buy link is http://getbook.at/garnetWOWR . GARNET is available in e-book and will soon be available in print. Of course, it’s free in KU.

Here’s an excerpt…

A loud rap at the back door startled her. She kept the curtains closed unless they were serving food and couldn’t see who had knocked.

Joey grabbed his stick. “Don’t answer it. Might be the robber there.”

She wiped her hands on her apron. “Or a friend who needs something.” Joey didn’t know the Colt .45 was in her apron pocket. After taking a deep, bracing breath, she opened the door.

The dirtiest man she’d ever seen stood there. His beard was as dirty as his clothes. Fresh cuts showed through the mud on his face. He was tall and broad-shouldered but looked as if he could barely stand.

“Ma’am, my name is Adam Bennett. Please don’t be put off by my appearance. I was robbed up the mountain a ways and lost all my gear. I’m mighty hungry. If you need anything done, I like to work for a meal.”

Joey was by her side. “He isn’t the one from last night.” All the same, her nephew kept his pick handle in his hand.

“We’re the Chandlers. Come in and sit down. Wait, wash your hands and face at the sink first. You can’t handle food while you’re that filthy.”

While the man washed his hands, she filled a plate from leftovers and poured a cup of coffee. “Joey, please get my medicine box from upstairs.”

He leaned close. “I don’t think I should leave you alone while he’s here.”

Joey took being man of the family seriously. “Oh, all right. Hyacinth, would you get the medicine box for me?”

“How come he doesn’t have to and I do?” Usually sweet, Hyacinth was a bit spoiled and definitely jealous of her brother.”

“Because Mr. Bennett is injured and needs our help. Please hurry.”

Her niece stomped up the stairs while muttering under her breath, her golden curls bouncing with each step.

When Garnet glanced at the man, she saw he’d wolfed down his food. “I’ll get you more. How long since you’ve eaten?”

“Not sure how long I was in and out of consciousness up there. They attacked me on Saturday morning. What day is this?”

“Monday. No wonder you’re hungry.” She set another plate of food in front of him and refilled his cup.

Contest

I’ll be giving away an e-book copy of GARNET to two people who comment today. Tell me your most memorable vacation in a comment to enter.

Montana Bounty Hunters: Animal (Contest & Excerpt)
Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Rebecca Merz!
*~*~*

Series lovers, I have one for you! Love a lot of badass alpha heroes, fast action, great sex, and humor? Well, that’s what I deliver in Montana Bounty Hunters! And another installment is set to drop next Tuesday!

Are you caught up? No? Then click on a cover to pick up your copy of one of these fast-paced stories and begin your blitz-read through the series, because next Tuesday Animal is coming!

 Dagger Reaper's Ride
S*x on the Beach Hook
Wolf (Montana Bounty Hunter) Animal

Contest

Enter to win a $5 Amazon gift card!
Tell me whether you’ve ready any of the series, and if you have, which book are you on?

Excerpt from Animal

Animal tuned out the crackling, thudding sounds of his team members moving through the forest.

On day three after he’d joined the hunt, he wasn’t regretting his decision to give MBH a try. He’d been unwilling to make any long-term promises. Hadn’t signed a contract or filled out a W-9. Not yet, anyway. When Fetch had described what Tibbets had done, and then talked about the hunters who were already on his trail, Animal had felt a stirring of interest. Manhunts were something he was familiar with. So, he wasn’t hunting a high-dollar target through the Hindu Kush mountains. Wasn’t dropping into some walled compound to sweep a house in the dead of night.

Still, this felt familiar. Moving through the bushes. Tracking a target. Looking for campfires, footprints, signs Tibbets had stopped to piss or shit. That morning, they’d found a butchered deer. Most of the carcass had been left for scavengers. So, it hadn’t been left by a game hunter. He’d taken a portion of a haunch, had roasted it over a quickly built fire, and had eaten as much as he could before moving on.

Looked like Tibbets was feeling pretty sure he’d slipped the noose. He hadn’t even bothered to try to bury the evidence he’d been there.

The first afternoon, Animal had ridden along with Carly and Reaper. They’d shown him the warrant and pictures of Tibbets and his family. They’d canvassed businesses in Olney—gun shops, grocers, gas stations, but no one recalled seeing him or his cousin Murray.

That evening, they headed to Tibbets’s favorite haunt again. The women sat at the long polished bar, chatting up the bartender and the waitresses. Dagger and Mace played pool with two plugged-in and gossipy locals. Reaper and Animal sat at a table, watching the doors. But none of them were getting any bites.

About an hour into their surveillance, Hook and Cochise arrived.

Hook slapped a map on the table. “Found the parcel his family owns. It sits on a creek.”

“’Bout damn time,” Reaper had muttered.

The next morning, they’d geared up and surrounded a small, ratty camper trailer. Tibbets had been there recently but was now gone. After tearing through his belongings, searching for clues where he might have gone next, they bagged up dirty clothes for Mace’s dog Taco to scent on.

The moment Taco lowered his nose to the ground, following Tibbets’s trail from the camper’s metal steps, they’d realized the man had headed straight into the woods, afoot, rather than driving out.

They’d left Dagger, Lacey, and Cochise behind to watch for any movement in town, to keep an eye any one of his relatives who looked ready to head north with supplies to help him out, but the rest of the team grabbed their gear from their vehicles and began tracking him into Flathead National Forest.

Animal didn’t mind the rough conditions. He was accustomed to long marches and sleeping on the ground. None of the hunters, even Carly Stenberg, complained about the conditions, even after they’d endured a chilly rain the previous day. They’d dried their clothes beside a fire last night, reasonably assured they were still a day’s hike from catching up to Tibbets. Conversation had flowed around him, but he hadn’t felt the need to try to contribute.

This was a tight, well-trained crew, and they knew each other well. But they seemed to understand he wasn’t the chatty type. He rather liked the fact they let him be.

They came to the edge of the woods. A large meadow stretched before them, mountains in the background. The meadow was broken on one side by ridges of exposed rock.

“We got company,” Reaper said quietly. They all held back, remaining hidden by the brush. Reaper lifted an arm and pointed.

Animal pulled out his tactical telescope and followed Reaper’s direction, at last spotting a slender figure standing beside an outcropping. Not their mark. A woman. She stood in front of a tripod and peered into a camera. She had wheat-colored hair drawn back into a messy braid. She wore a red plaid shirt and a khaki vest over blue jeans and boots.

Suddenly, she jerked back her head, giving him a glimpse of her profile. Her eyebrows were lowered, her mouth dropping as she stared down the hill.

He turned his telescope toward whatever had caught her attention and immediately understood her concern.

A baby black bear ambled into the clearing, heading upward toward her location.

“Where’s mama?” he whispered.

As though answering his question, a loud bellow sounded from the forest farther down the tree line. A bear ran out, huffing and bellowing, heading toward the woman.

He didn’t have even a millisecond to think through a better plan. Animal dumped his pack and ran into the clearing, tearing at his shirt. When he’d ripped off the buttons down the front, he flapped the edges, trying to make himself look bigger. “Ha! Ha!” he yelled as loud as he could to draw the bear’s attention away from the woman.

Mama Bear bounced on her front paws and spun toward him.

“Don’t shoot unless you have to!” Animal tossed over his shoulder to Reaper.

“Don’t get in my line of fire!” Reaper shouted back.

“Don’t shoot her!” the woman screamed.

“You, shut up!” Animal yelled, still running, still flapping.

The bear’s head moved from Animal to Reaper behind him, and again to the woman, likely trying to decide who was the biggest danger to her cub.

The baby bear squalled and changed direction, running for his mama.

Just when Animal feared the bear would charge, she spun and ran into the woods, her cub running right behind her.

Animal halted, breathing hard. He gave another flap of his shirt. “Ha! Ha!” he shouted, hoping she’d been startled bad enough not to turn around.

Then he heard a whirring sound, coming from up the rise. He turned his head toward the woman. The sound came from her camera. Animal gave her a fierce glare then began to stalk up the rise.

When he reached her, she straightened and flashed him a wide smile. “Thanks for that. Thought for a second there I was going to be lunch.”

“What the hell!” he bellowed, anger shot through him. Didn’t she have a clue how close to being “lunch” he’d been, trying to rescue her? And all she’d thought about was taking her damn pictures?

Her eyebrows shot upward, and she stood still.

Behind him, he heard more of his team stomping up the hill. He should have turned and walked away. Should have let Reaper handle getting her packed up and off the mountain. Away from him.

Instead, anger vibrated through him. He glanced at the gear strewn around her feet. “Who the hell comes out to the wilderness without a goddamn gun?”

“The only shots I plan to take are with my camera,” she said icily, lifting her chin.

He ground his teeth as his face heated.

“Wish I’d been shooting video though,” she said. “The footage would’ve gone viral. Do you chase bears often?”

He narrowed his gaze, not liking her smartass tone. Did she know how close he was to exploding? Men he’d fought with knew better than to talk to him when he was like this.

A throat cleared beside him. “Ma’am, you need to pack up,” Reaper said, his voice even.

Her hazel gaze darted from Animal to the man standing beside him. “Why? She’s gone.”

“The bear’s the least of what you have to worry about out here.”

She seemed to finally take in the fact that she was surrounded by five well-armed strangers. “Were you tracking her?”

“We don’t hunt bear,” Reaper said, his voice lowering.

Animal felt a little of his steam begin to cool hearing Reaper’s clipped delivery. Someone else here got the fact she had no business out here. Alone.

“Well, I thank you for your advice, but I have no intention of packing up and leaving. It took me three days to get here. I’ll be setting up camp.” She bent and swiped at the straps of her backpack then reached inside it. She pulled out a small 9mm Colt Defender but had the good sense to point it away from the group. “I’m not unarmed.”

Animal grunted. “Think that would have stopped her? If you didn’t hit her in the head, you’d just piss her off.”

“Well, that’s not your worry, is it?” Again, she lifted her chin.

Damn, if his body didn’t go hard. The way she locked her gaze with his, she didn’t show any fear. Foolish was what she was. He could get around her gun and have her on the ground in the time it took her to realize he’d even moved.

“This is no place for a woman on her own, not today,” Reaper said.

Her back stiffened. Her cheeks paled just a bit.

“We’re not what you should fear,” Carly said quickly, stepping past Animal and Reaper. “It’s gonna take a few minutes for these two get over the adrenaline rush to explain. I’m Carly,” she said, reaching out her hand.

The woman passed the gun from her right to her left and shook Carly’s hand. “Carly, it’s nice to meet you.” She didn’t smile, and her gaze kept scanning the rest of them, like she expected them to make a move against her.

Animal drew a deep breath. He knew what she saw. He wasn’t into scaring women. Happened naturally, often enough. He set his hands on his hips and glanced at the ground while he waited for the tension in his body to ease.

“We’re bounty hunters,” Carly said. “We’ve been tracking a dangerous felon. He’s in this area. It’s not safe for you to be here.”

As Animal glanced up again, the woman’s frown deepened. “I’ve been here a day. Haven’t seen anyone but you. How do I even know you’re telling me the truth?”

Carly glanced back at Reaper. “Show her the warrant.”

Reaper reached into his pack and pulled out the folder. He passed it to the woman.

She held the folder in the crook of the arm and thumbed through the documents. “Okay, so I believe you’re what you say. But since you’re on his trail and he’s not here, why do I have to leave? Obviously, he’s already passed my location.”

“Because there are going to be more teams out here, combing the area. We’ve got the jump on everyone else. When other teams arrive, our skip might double back to evade them. No place in this wilderness is safe.”

Her lips thinned then twisted. Her gaze went back to Animal. “Dammit, I just got here.”

Animal stepped forward, using his body to intimidate her. Yeah, he felt no shame doing that. Not when scaring her into making the right choice could keep her safe. “You’re not safe on your own. Pack up.”

Damned if the woman’s mouth didn’t twitch like she wanted to laugh.

He glared.

She arched a brow. “You’re right. It’s not safe to be alone out here.”

Her expression gave him no ease. He narrowed his eyes until they were slits as he waited for what else she intended to say, because there was no way in hell she was giving up so easily.

She gave a little shrug and grinned. “I’ll go with you.”

Landra Graf: A Trip to the Stars (Contest)
Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

I’ve written romance for the last five years. In that time, I’ve read even more. From contemporary to paranormal I love multiple sub-genres. In that same amount of time, I’ve always loved action adventure movies, including sci-fi movies and shows. Imagine my surprise when my muse sent me an idea that would combine them both.

Queue the futuristic world, where humans have colonized the galaxy and the richest have migrated to planets like Jupiter, Neptune, and Saturn, leaving Earth to become a haven for the production of drugs and booze. Out of these ashes emerge drug runners and bootleggers to carry the fruits of Earth’s labor to the upper planets, outsmarting the government and making as much money as they can.

It’s a bit lawless, and crafting this story and world was filled with fun and a bit of frustration. I did plenty of research in the form of watching episodes of some awesome movies and television shows. Today, I want to talk about some of my favorites.

First up, Farscape. We humans think we’re the smartest beings in the known universe. When NASA Scientist and Astro-genius, John Crichton is slingshot to the far side of the universe, he finds out otherwise. Add in the super soldier, Aeryn Sun, female bad ass, and I was smitten from episode one. Fun fact is how the Muppet Studios were involved in this series and the unique, fresh take on possible alien species. Four seasons was never enough.

Second, Dark Matter. This series is another that was cut too short. There was so much to explore, from character dynamics to other dimensional threats. Beyond that, this is another series where there are a ton of strong females to feed off of as inspiration—Number Two and her fabulous run as captain of a ship, add in a younger female techie, Number Five, and the ever hilarious Android. It’s a female fab cast, rounded out with male characters who respect and support them even amid heists and running from the law.

Finally, Firefly. This 13-episode series holds a special place in my heart, as it does for many. The dialogue is priceless, the character building sublime. Nobody holds a candle to Captain Malcolm Reynolds, the guy who wants to be an anti-hero, but ultimately isn’t. Kaylee, River, and Zoe. Yes, I like Inara too, but she’s not my favorite. The strong females are fabulous and not in the least intimidated by their Captain. If anything his strengths encourage the ladies to run with their own.

I’ve waxed poetic enough about my favorite sci-fi shows. What are yours? There are many I haven’t mentioned. Some more spec fiction than sci-fi per se. Like Fringe, Warehouse 13, Sliders, Star Trek (all the iterations). Tell me your favorite sci-fi show, movie, character – even if it’s from a video game. Be sure to comment to get in on my sweet giveaway in honor of my new release, A Talent For Trouble.

A Talent For Trouble

Drug runner Emilio Morales is one deal away from being the sole runner from Earth to the upper planets—until his partner attempts a double-cross. Now, Emilio’s stuck in a disabled spaceship with an unpredictable, attractive female who’s willing to help him out if he’ll assist her in retrieving her ship from an impound facility.

Antonia ‘Toni’ Smith is sick and tired of being beholden to men. The only way to guarantee freedom is to get back her bootlegging ship to run her own business again. When Emilio kills her ticket out, she’s forced to rely on him for assistance. Emilio, the most wanted and annoying man in the solar system, is a sexy-as-hell means to an end.

But every plan the duo makes falls apart and every day they spend in each other’s company increases the tension between them.

With the death toll rising and their defenses low, can Emilio and Toni get the happy ending they want, without falling for each other in the process?

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Totally Bound | Goodreads

Excerpt

He poured himself a glass. Turning it slowly, spreading the liquid up the sides and back down, he noticed he wasn’t alone. “Can I offer you a drink?”

“No,” a sultry feminine voice responded. “There’s nothing over there isn’t made in the still or fermented in a barrel.”

“Suit yourself.” Emilio turned and took in the view. Mother Mary.

The woman, a vision of sin, stood angled toward the fancy window display where three floor-to-ceiling panels showcased the twinkling view. She wore a glimmering red dress, which sparkled even more as she turned toward him. Her hair was a pale-white blonde, short and framing her face, giving it a distinct diamond shape. She’d be labeled gorgeous, more than the word could construe, with her eyes the color of whiskey—and not the cheap stuff in his glass. No, the full-bodied swirling amber and caramel colors.

“What brings you to Casa Manolo?” He swallowed a little more whiskey than he intended and did his best to sound suave, but the words came out more like a croak.

“Nothing that concerns you.” The dismissal paired with a smile, a little thing revealing flawless teeth. He glanced down at her one note of defiance—boots. Grav boots to be exact, black and fierce. A deep, soul-encapsulating need clamped onto his brain, a need he’d waited years to experience. This was the woman he’d been waiting for. The type he’d always wanted. The one he’d call his.

He walked closer, eager to see if she took a similar interest in him. “Oh? Well, I’m happy to make this visit less business and more pleasure. Your name is?”

The words escaped his mouth as he glanced at her lips—expressive, full and waiting for his kiss, even when those same lips uttered, “Too expensive for you.”

About the Author

Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day, and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.

Author Links:
Website: https://landragraf.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LandraGraf
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/landra.graf
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Landra-Graf/e/B00IESJED4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1440641120&sr=8-1

Our Favorite Brimful of Asha (Contest)
Saturday, January 5th, 2019

UPDATE: The winner is…Mary Preston!
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I should have been writing.

Instead, I said yes when my dd asked whether I’d like to make a trip to Sam’s. Sam’s is an hour away. And an hour back. Inside Sam’s is a world of temptation in big, multi-box glory. We took forever shopping. So, when we wrapped it up, the kids slept in the back of the mini-van while the adults cranked up the Pandora to do some headbanging. And then it was, “Play this!” We went through our hard rock/metal faves—Limp Bizkit’s “Nookie” (I can’t believe how well that song has aged for me!), White Zombie’s “More Human Than Human”, Disturbed’s “Stupefy”—with all of us trying to follow David D’s haunting cantor’s wail (oh my eardrums!).

In the middle of a very satisfying jam, my dd suddenly, joltingly, changed the theme to our least favorite songs, beginning with “Peaches” by The Presidents of the United States of America (which, oddly, we knew all the words to!). But the one that rose to the top of the groans scale was “Brimful of Asha” by Cornershop. Don’t remember it? I bet you’ll wish you didn’t after you have a listen here. And I’ll bet you can’t play it just once. (Ahem, it’s a bit addicting.)


Share your favorite bad song for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card! (“Bad” is all in the eye of the beholder—my daughter can’t understand why I detest Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph”!)