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Archive for 'contemporary romance'

Flashback: Lawless (Contest–2 Winners!)
Tuesday, August 9th, 2022


Come on, baby. Break a few rules…

When a Texas deputy’s motorcycle club trashes a bar with him leading the brawl, the sheriff decides his punishment will be serving as the bouncer/enforcer for the pretty owner while she runs a booth serving bikers during a weekend-long motorcycle club convention.

For a chance to win your choice of one of these Cowboys
on the Edge stories, answer me this!

Texas, Wyoming, Montana? Or do you love cowboy stories set somewhere else?

Wet Down Controlled Burn Cain's Law Flashpoint Lawless

(Click on a cover if you’d like to learn more!)

Don’t know what you’re missing in this cowboy series? Read an excerpt…

Snippet from Lawless

Ty Nolan ignored the nudge against his shin. Last thing he wanted to do was open his eyes. From the already harsh glare burning behind his eyelids, he knew opening them would be damn painful.

“Ty, come on. Wake up,” came a harsh whisper. “Sheriff’s here.”

Sheriff? What the hell? And what was Tank doing in his bedroom? Another moment passed before he realized his mattress was damn flat. Where the hell was he?

“Ty,” came another voice, this one louder and with an irritated edge. “Hate to interrupt your beauty sleep, but I’d like a word.”

Fuck, it really was the sheriff. Which answered the question of why his bed was so damn uncomfortable. He peeked in the direction of Sheriff Josh Penske’s voice—bars stood between them. Oh hell, I’m going to hear about it now.

With his head pounding, he accepted Tank’s hand up.

His buddy grinned. “Never knew you were such a lightweight, bro.”

Ty grimaced at Tank’s wisecrack—and his crushing grip. Tank was built like a…well, a tank. Ty had played football for the defensive team in high school, so he wasn’t exactly puny. It took a few seconds to stuff his shirt back into his jeans, wincing as his bruised knuckles brushed denim. Before he turned toward Josh, he raked a hand through his hair. Josh stood beside the open cell door, shaking his head.

Good Lord, was he about to lose his job? Be suspended?

Josh turned and led the way down the corridor to the station’s bullpen door. Ty was glad he was still too hung over to blush as he completed the walk of shame past his fellow deputies, whose mouths were crimped, no doubt to hold back their laughter. Josh led him inside his office then waved him toward the vacant chair in front of his desk.

Ty slumped into the chair. He was going to be fired, he just knew it.

Josh sat back in his chair and turned his chair to the side, his gaze going to the window. “You know, I thought it was a simple assignment.”

“To be fair, I had the night off—”

Josh held up a hand to cut him off. “No matter whether you’re in uniform or not, your duty is to keep the peace, not start the dang fight.”

At this point, Ty knew better than to try to correct Josh’s impression of what had happened the evening before. He’d only piss him off worse than he already had.

“I don’t know what to do with you…”

Ty wished he’d framed that statement as a question, because he would’ve offered suggestions—short of firing him, of course. He liked his job.

And he needed it. He needed to succeed if he ever wanted to put in his application to join the Texas Rangers. He sat straighter in his chair. He’d take his lumps and move on. Figure out what was next in his life. Life after the Army wasn’t turning out to be the cakewalk he’d expected.

“Can you imagine my surprise when the mayor called to inform me that she’d seen you hauled off in handcuffs, along with a dozen other ‘miscreants’—her word?”

The mayor hadn’t been so keen on this weekend’s festivities. He’d had a bird’s-eye view of just how unhappy she was when she’d marched into the station the morning before and asked Josh to lock the fairground gates.

Apparently, she’d changed her mind about allowing bikers to gather there. “Yes, I know I approved the club’s permit, but have you seen how many bikes are parked all up and down Main Street? Caldera will not be another Waco!” she’d said, tapping her foot.

Ty had grimaced at the mention of the infamous shootout between members of two rival motorcycle clubs, that had spilled out into a restaurant parking lot where cops had violently ended that shit. Ty’s Veterans Posse Club wasn’t like that. Not involved with drugs or criminal activities. Opposed to violence, they did however get pissy about disrespect from any other club. Composed entirely of former vets, the club gave its members a safe place to be, with people who had shared similar experiences that most folks couldn’t empathize with or even conceive of.

What had happened last night at Ruby’s Roadhouse had been…his fault. One too many beers and a sneering, snide comment from another club’s snarky member, who shouldn’t have been there in the first place, and he’d waded right into a fight.

“Look, I got the down-low from Ruby at the bar,” Josh said. “She said that guy from the club was being a dick to one of the waitresses, and that when you approached him, he insulted your club…”

Ty opened his mouth, but Josh gave a curt shake of his head, again cutting him off.

“Ruby Tackett’s bar got trashed. I asked her what she wanted to have happen.”

Here goes… Ruby was a hardass. She’d turned off the jukebox to read the riot act to all the bikers who’d filled her bar last night—before shit had gone down. “No fights,” she’d said, her arms crossed over her ample bosom. “No hassling my girls. When I say you’re cut off, you’re cut off. No fights! Got it?”

He and his buddies had all grinned and nodded. “Yes, ma’am,” they’d answered.

And still, all hell had broken loose.

“She expects your club to clean up the mess.”

Ty nodded. “Of course.”

“She’s closing the bar for the duration of the convention. But she already has a booth set up at the fairgrounds where she’ll be serving beer in the campground area—to keep the visitors off the road and out of her place. She wants you behind the bar with her.”

Natasha Moore: Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner (Contest)
Monday, August 8th, 2022

“Don’t bet on it.”

“Ace in the hole.”

 “Put your money where your mouth is.”

I’m not a gambler. Not at all. In fact, my adult daughter took me to a casino for the first time only a few weeks ago. And while I had a fun afternoon with her, I don’t feel the need to do it again unless it’s simply to spend more time with her. I was not drawn into the flashing lights and promises of big payouts. I had more fun watching the other people. Yep, not a gambler.

But when I was working on my last book, NOT BETTING ON FOREVER, which releases today, Aug 8th, I researched betting lingo so I could add a few phrases here and there. The main characters, Melanie and Nick, grew up next door to each other in very competitive families, so when they both end up back in town, single and next door to each other again, what can they do but fall into old habits? They don’t go to a casino but find themselves competitors in the local Battle of the Businesses.

I was surprised how many common terms and phrases come from betting lingo. I mean, I guess most of them are pretty obvious when you get right down to it. But when a non-competitive, non-gambler like me uses some of these phrases in non-betting conversations…well, as someone who loves words, it made me curious about which phrases I’ve been using without having a clue where they originated. Just a few examples…

“Holding your own.” I always thought that meant you could handle yourself in a certain situation, but in betting lingo, it means breaking even — like what I did after 5 hours in the casino with my daughter.

“Sure thing.” Now to me, it’s another way to say “yes.” “Hey, can you pick up the pizza on your way home?” “Sure thing.” But in betting lingo it means…yeah, pretty obvious…something that has 100% chance of winning. Kinda the opposite of a “Long shot.”

“Down to the wire.” That’s a phrase that now means up to the very last moment, like when I’m working right up until my deadline to finish a project. Luckily, that doesn’t happen very often! But in betting terms, it comes from a time when a wire was stretched across the finish line in horse races as a way to tell which horse won when the competition was very close. Sounds kind of dangerous to me.

You might wonder which terms my characters used in NOT BETTING ON FOREVER? Just a few examples…

“What do you want to bet?” That was only a few pages into the book. They can’t help it!

“Penny ante.” It used to be a small-stakes poker game. The definition now means any dealings on a small scale. Nick and Melanie’s parents usually play for pennies, big jars of them.

 “Luck of the draw.” Melanie’s team is put up against a tough competitor in one of the battles, I’m not going to tell you who won.

“You’ve got a bet.” Nick and Melanie made a side bet. Um…more than one, actually.

The examples I’ve given are just the tip of the iceberg. So, what about you? Any favorite betting phrases? Do you like to hit the casinos? Do you weigh the odds? Play your cards right? Or are the cards stacked against you? Let me know in the comments below and one lucky commenter will get a free digital copy of NOT BETTING ON FOREVER.

Not Betting on Forever

What’s the fun when you don’t bet to win?

Single mom Melanie Hayes should absolutely, completely, and totally not be attracted to her next door neighbor. Nick Campagna can be her friend, her secret crush, or just the arrogant —and unavoidably handsome—jerk next door, but nothing more.  Because, even though it was a million years ago, he’s also her sister’s ex. And now, with Lakeside’s Battle of the Businesses in full swing, Nick’s also Melanie’s competition.

Their families have always been competitive, so it’s no surprise to anyone that Nick and Melanie are playing for more than just bragging rights. With a coveted piece of land on the line, Nick isn’t backing down. Maybe he can’t help noticing that the tomboy he knew as a kid has turned into a stunning redhead. Maybe he is attracted to Melanie. Ridiculously so. But as real as this feels, Nick knows this is one game he definitely can’t win.

They’ve known each other long enough that it’s definitely not love at first sight. But attraction can happen in an instant. And this is one wager where winning is nowhere near as fun as playing the game…

BRAND NEW RELEASE! Get your copy here: Not Betting on Forever

Oh, and the title phrase – “Winner, winner, chicken dinner?” It’s said that it originated from gamblers who would bet anything to win enough money to buy themselves a chicken dinner.

Don’t forget to leave a comment!


July into August (Contest)
Sunday, July 31st, 2022

Another month gone! 2022 is flying! This month, the kids go back to school and my weekdays will be quieter. Soon, twice daily swims will be reduced to one as the water cools. 🙁 But there’s the string of lovely holidays coming with fall, so I won’t be sad for long…


Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse

Here’s what I managed to accomplish…


  1. I completed writing and published Gabriel, Book #7 in my MBH: Dead Horse, MT, series. Fig finally got her man!
  2. I completed 2 editing projects for other authors in July.


  1. I have not climbed back aboard the Weight Watchers wagon. However, I maintained 25 pounds of my loss since January. Motivation is still lagging…
  2. As for physical activity, I’ve upped my steps and make multiple trips up and down the stairs! I’m swimming at least once a day, usually twice.
  3. I visited the dermatologist this month. I had a spot of skin cancer in the past, but this checkup was all clear. Yay!


  1. I volunteered to serve on the board of my local art guild, so I HAVE to get out of the house and mingle with real people. Along with my board position, I committed to twice monthly “art days” where I paint at the art center with my artist friends.
  2. I committed to participating in this year’s Festival of the Arts, so I must get some decent paintings done to sell in September! Yikes!
  3. Here are a few of my recent pieces…


Do these covers excite you?

Hard Knox

For work-related, I plan:

  1. To complete a story set in my sister’s Brotherhood Protector’s world! The cover is coming soon!
  2. To revise and compile the Danger Zone trilogy into a single bundle and get it ready for publishing in August!
  3. To plot and chart out Hard Knox, my first We Are Dead Horse story!
  4. To complete 5 editing projects in August!

For health related, I plan:

  1. To restart Weight Watchers (count those points!) and hope to lose at least 5 pounds, remembering: Slow is good!
  2. To swim at least one time a day while I can! Mid-September is when the water gets a little too nippy…
  3. To begin some low-impact aerobics. I’ll do more housework, too, because my art room is a disaster!

For happiness-related, I plan: 

  1. To inventory the art I have and determine what I need to do next to get ready for the show!
  2. To produce at least four finished pieces of art every week!
  3. To blog about art (on my Emerald Casket site) just to keep myself honest! (No one actually has to read it! No one except my pal Susan does!)


Comment on anything you’ve read in this post. Tell me what you’re doing to make yourself happier and healthier. Tell me what you plan to read…

Like I said, comment on anything for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

Elizabeth Andrews: Birthday Party! (Contest–2 Winners)
Thursday, July 28th, 2022

UPDATE: The winners are…Lynn Danilowicz and Christine Cushing!

Hi, everyone! I want to start today by thanking my hostess Delilah for letting me come play in her space again. It’s always a lot of fun hanging out here with you all.

Today is my birthday, but I have gifts for some of you and will tell you about that just a little later.

While today is the day, we’re not doing birthday dinner and cake until the weekend, because of family work schedules. Not mine—I took today and tomorrow off so I have a four-day birthday weekend. But it means I have two days to do almost anything I want. The question is, what will that be?

Reading is on the list for sure. There’s a little cooking on the to-do list, because I am prepping my birthday dinner for Saturday, plus the regular weekend chores, but there is still a whole lot of open time. I’m thinking about an hour on the massage table on Friday—I haven’t done that in a while, and an hour of total relaxation on a long weekend seems a good idea. But I still have a lot of time to fill in those four days.

Heck, as I’m writing this, I still haven’t decided on what kind of cake I want to have with dinner on Saturday. I really have to figure that out, since the cake is the most important part of the birthday dinner menu, at least on my birthday. Layer cake with icing? Cheesecake? Fancy cupcakes? Decisions, decisions…

I am sure of one thing, though—there will also be writing time. Hopefully a lot of it (we won’t talk about how far behind I am on this year’s writing goals.), because tonight happens to be my regular monthly writing group night. Every month a group of us meet for dinner and writing time. Some months we’re all there, sometimes only a couple of us make it. Some months we get a lot of writing done, some months we do more talking than writing, depending on what’s happening in our worlds or in the world in general. But we all look forward to the evening—so much so that we’ve added a second night several months recently—because it’s a chance to hang out with people we enjoy spending time with while also doing something we all love. Also, there are usually cookies. It’s not birthday cake, but it’ll do until Saturday. Kind of like having two birthday dinners.

Aside from writing this weekend, I have some revisions waiting for me as well, on the third book in my Medusa’s Daughters trilogy, which has a beautiful cover waiting already and which I wanted to have out in the world long before now. Hm, this weekend’s schedule might be taking better shape now. Reading, writing, revisions, massage, two birthday dinners, weekend chores. That might be enough for four days, especially since the reading/writing/rewriting will take a large chunk of time, or should. What do you think?

When I was a kid, deciding on birthday dinner and cake was fairly easy, as was how I wanted to spend the day—lots of years, it meant a sleepover with a best friend, and always family around the table. Plus I didn’t have to do any of the dinner prep myself.

If you could design the perfect way to spend your birthday, what would it look like? Who would you be with? What kind of cake would you have? I will do a drawing on Sunday morning, July 31, 2022 and pull two names from all of the responses for an ebook giveaway—winners’ choice from my three romances. My birthday = presents for you!

About the Author

Lifelong book addict Elizabeth Andrews fell in love with romance novels at an early age, a love that carried into adulthood, and for a while, she worked in a bookstore, where she got to share that love with other readers. Now she writes her own, full of sexy heroes and strong heroines. Her stories range from paranormal to contemporary, to who knows what her imagination might come up with along the way, but happy endings are a guarantee!

She’s a married mother of two, who’s got a room overflowing with her book collection and a garden full of herbs and veggies that need occasional attention between writing and reading binges.

You can find her at

About Her Books

Light the Way Home: Single dad Nate Baxter has his hands full with his son and his haunted lighthouse. He doesn’t have time to spend with a woman…especially one who won’t stick around, like his ex-wife.

But Lucie Russo’s not like other women Nate’s met. She’s sweet and sexy, and his mouth waters every time he’s around her.

Will a family emergency cause him to break his relationship rules? And if he does, will his heart be broken too?


Hunting Medusa, Medusa’s Daughters Book 1: When Kallan Tassos tracks down the current Medusa, he expects to find a monster. Instead he finds a wary, beautiful woman, shielded by a complicated web of spells that foils his plans for a quick kill and retrieval of her protective amulet.

Andrea Rosakis expects the handsome Harvester to go for the kill. Instead, his attempt to take the amulet imprinted on her skin without harming her takes her completely by surprise. And ends with the two of them in a magical bind—together. But Kallan isn’t the only Harvester on Andi’s trail…


Protecting Medusa, Medusa’s Daughters Book 2: Being the Medusa will put a real crimp in a woman’s social life. Lucky for Philomena Gregory, she gave up on men long before Athena’s curse landed on her head. Not even the naked man in the bathroom will change her mind.

Ryder Ware has waited six years to meet Mena in person. Flirting on the phone and via email is no substitute for face to face when a man is so intrigued. But now that Athena’s Harvesters have found her, Mena has no choice but to let him keep her safe—and close, very close.

GABRIEL releases after midnight! Plus, your recommendations! (Contest)
Monday, July 25th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…ButtonsMom2003!

First, just a reminder! Gabriel releases after midnight tonight. If you haven’t already pre-ordered your copy, just click on the image!

Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse

Next! With only three weeks left before the kids head back to school, we’re trying to fit in fun family activities. Of course, we have the pool, the lake, etc. We also love our movie nights!

I’ve been dying to see this movie…

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, tell me your recommendations for family movie night!

My Favorite Snippet from Gabriel & Open Contests!
Sunday, July 24th, 2022

My latest book releases tomorrow night just after midnight. I’m sitting here wanting to share the entire story right now, but I’m settling for a snippet instead. But which one? An exciting criminal takedown? The first kiss?

Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse

I’ve shared the entire first chapter. You can read it here. What about a snippet from the sex scene?

How about I choose my favorite scene from the book? And it might seem weird to you, but I love this tiny scene featuring my favorite waitress, Nadine. She makes an appearance in all the books. The woman is a fixture in Dead Horse—she’s rude, irascible, and knows everyone’s business. She’s decided that the bounty hunters are enemy #1 and never gives them any slack. This scene has more to it, because you’re meeting Nadine’s relative, who will feature in my first We are Dead Horse story. So, maybe this excerpt won’t be as much fun for you because you’re not seeing the “bigger” scene but it’s my favorite because I love, love, love Nadine.

Nadine in Gabriel

Their table at the diner was surrounded by other tables. No privacy. And business was humming. Fig glanced up and watched the hunters’ “favorite fan” approach. “Watch out,” she whispered to Gabe. “Nadine’s coming our way.”

Gabe’s mouth firmed into a thin line.

Nadine slapped laminated copies of the menu on their table. “Heard you two let that Jimmy Calhoun fella slip right through your fingers.”

Fig raised her eyebrows. “Nadine, I never figured you for someone who kept up with current events. You being so busy and all.”

Nadine’s eyes narrowed. “Had someone from your TV show call me yesterday. Said they wanted some local color and wanted to interview me. Told ’em they’d need more than a damn five-minute segment to cover all the issues.”

“I’m sure they were eager to sign you up.”

Nadine huffed a breath. “So, are you two gonna order or talk my ear off? I’ve got other customers to tend to.”

Open Contests & a Giveaway

  1. Giveaway! FREE Read! Sweeter Than Honey — LAST DAY! Everyone, get your FREE story!
  2. Tell Me a Story or a Big Fat Lie! (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  3. Gabbi Grey: Why Write in A Shared World? (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  4. Michal Scott: Nothing New Under the Sun: Callie House and Ex-Slave Reparations (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  5. Saturday Puzzle-Contest! — Win an Amazon gift card!
Gabbi Grey: Why Write in A Shared World? (Contest)
Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…bn100!

Hugh is my third shared world book, and I’ve signed up to write three more in the next six months.  Why? Easy. Because I love the camaraderie of working with other writers.

Writing is very much a solo pursuit.  You can join writing groups, cultivate critique groups, find loyal beta readers, and even have accountability partners.  In the end, though, unless you’re literally sitting next to another writer and you’re sharing the words, you’re on your own.  You might brainstorm a story with a good friend, but getting the actual story on the page is up to you.

Shared world writing is no different.  I’m still responsible for writing the story.  But I get to have fun working with other authors.  We create a world and then we share it with readers.  Our characters develop into more than what we see for them.  For instance, Charley Descoteaux wrote Jake, the first book in the Single Dads of Gaynor Beach series.  I read her book and adored her couple, Micah and Jake.  I brought them into my story.  I also pulled some of her secondary characters and Wynn – the hero of Amelia Hayden’s book.

Then I created other secondary characters – like Louisa, the local veterinarian.  She’ll appear in Kaje Harper’s upcoming book Alec.  And, of course, I’m hoping my couple – Hugh and Oscar – appear in future books.

Although writing like this is way more effort, it’s also rewarding.  I’ve met some great new authors and gotten to work with several authors whose work I’ve admired in the past.  I’ve enjoyed this process so much that I’ve signed up to write Anthony.  His book is coming in December 2022.  Now, he’s a bit of a jerk in Hugh, so you’ll have to stay tuned to discover why he’s an asshole, and how he’s going to redeem himself.

The one challenge, for me, was choosing an original storyline.  With twenty books about gay single fathers, I wanted something unique.  For Hugh, I chose to have a single grandfather.  He doesn’t know about his daughter, and when she dies, he discovers he has a granddaughter.  He races home to take care of her only to discover there’s already someone caring for her.  Want to know how that goes over?  You’ll just have to read the book!

What are your favorite tropes?  I love single fathers.  I adore hurt/comfort with a moderate amount of angst.  How about you?  One random commenter will win a $5 US Amazon gift card.  Good luck!



Having spent more than twenty years as an emergency medicine physician in war zones around the world, I barely have a home to speak of. A daughter I didn’t know about has died and left a child behind, so I must get to Gaynor Beach, California to claim my granddaughter. Her temporary guardian is the first man to spark my interest in a very long time, but it would be inappropriate for me to have a relationship with this much-younger man.


Gutted by my best friend’s death, I take solace in the daughter she left in my guardianship. I’ll protect this precious baby with all I have, and no one is going to take her away from me—least of all the man who turns up on our doorstep claiming to be her grandfather. Despite the resemblance, I plan to keep him at arm’s length. I’m going to show him how capable I am. But I might also lose my heart in the process.

This is an 85k word, hurt/comfort, interracial, age-gap, MM romance novel with a moderate amount of angst.

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About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Gabbi Grey lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black and Gabbi Powell.

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