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Caroline Clemmons: Texas Lightning (F*R*E*E READ)
Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Thanks to Delilah Devlin for hosting me on her blog.

I’m excited to tell you about TEXAS LIGHTNING, the first of my Texas Time Travel Series trilogy (Try saying that fast three times ☺). Reader reports have been very enthusiastic. Except for the words “damn” and “hell” a few times, this is a sweet romance. The second and third of the trilogy are TEXAS RAINBOW, releasing April 18, and TEXAS STORM, releasing May 25.

Years ago, I discovered the time travel books of Kathleen Kane before the author switched names and subgenre. I fell in love with time travel featuring ordinary people. I also have enjoyed the time travels of other authors, such as Beth Trissel, Linda LaRoque, Diana Gabaldon, and Peggy L. Henderson.

I especially enjoy the idea of a character from the past coming forward to today. Think about it—when someone goes back in time, they know what’s going to happen in that era. On the other hand, when a person comes forward, everything is new and requires huge adjustments in learning and attitudes. What a challenge for a character—and what fun for the reader. If there’s mystery and/or suspense, even better.

This is what I wrote in OUT OF THE BLUE, when an Irish woman from 1845 plopped down in contemporary Texas to help a detective solve several murders and discover who was trying to frame and kill him. Except for this book, my new trilogy is a departure from the usual books I write, but still in a western setting.

TEXAS LIGHTNING depicts Penny Terry as she stumbles forward into a complicated scheme to steal the ranch that had been hers. While unraveling the mystery, she learns why her father was killed. In this case, there’s even a fabulous treasure. Of course, she also falls in love.

The setting is a ranch in Central Texas on the Medina River somewhere between Bandera and Medina. Bandera touts itself as “The Cowboy Capital of Texas”. My family once stayed at The Mayan Ranch, a dude ranch near there. Our daughters and I fell in love with the ranch and the area. My Hero prefers to read about riding horses and ranching rather than experiencing them first hand. Hero was a good sport but would rather have been fishing. ☺

Texas Lightning

How can two people from different eras own the same ranch?

Penelope Jane Terry knows everything about ranching in spite of being a lone woman. She is determined to send to jail the rustlers who believe they can steal what is hers… until she is caught spying on their dirty works and must ride for her life. What Penny doesn’t count on is being hurtled over a 120 years into the future.

Jake Knight believes the attractive woman who stumbled into his home one rainy evening either has amnesia or is certifiably insane. Unless, that is, she is in league with whoever is trying to drive him out of business. Someone is trying to force him to sell his ranch by staging a string of damaging incidents. Jake’s been kept so busy making repairs that he can’t run his ranch properly. Even if he were stupid enough to wish to sell, the ranch is so firmly entailed that no one can break the conditions.

Jake gradually learns Penny is who she claims, no matter that time travel is supposed to be impossible. They’re locked into a clash only one of them can win. If an outsider weren’t trying to kill Jake as well as bankrupt him, perhaps he and Penny might be able to reach an agreement. And, then they discover there is a huge treasure….

TEXAS LIGHTNING Excerpt:

Finally, the lights of home shone faintly in the distance. Nothing had ever looked so good. She couldn’t keep going much further. Damned if blisters hadn’t burned on her heels from walking so far in wet boots. She was near frozen in these wet clothes.

Wait.

How could she be so cold now when the heat earlier had nearly suffocated her? Nevermind, she just wanted to be home, safe, and in her bed. There stood the fence next to the paddock. Almost home now, keep walking.

Don’t pass out, don’t fall. One foot in front of the other. You can do this. Stumbling from fatigue, she labored up the front steps onto the long wrap-around porch and bumped into a rocker. Who’d put that there? Just like her cook to move stuff around without telling her. How she’d love to sink into it and rest. First, she had to send for the sheriff and find out if Star came home.

At the door, she paused and listened for men talking—rustlers waiting to waylay her. She heard no sound. Lights shone so brightly, her cook must have waited up for her with every lamp in the house lighted. She eased opened the door, listened again, then walked in and leaned her rifle against the stair’s banister.

“Did Star come home?” She unbuckled her gun belt and hung it on the newel post—not something she’d do under ordinary circumstances.

Tugging off her gloves, she avoided a couple of cactus spines stuck in the fingers. How had they remained there without her feeling them? No matter, she sat down on the third stair tread to remove her boots.

She should have gone around to the back door, but she couldn’t walk another step. Weariness and sore muscles overwhelmed her and she wanted nothing more than to shuck out of her wet things and lie in her nice bed—if she could summon the energy to walk upstairs. Eyes closed, she leaned back against the stairs. She heard footsteps approaching and raised one foot.

“Had me a passel of trouble. Help me get these danged boots off, would you? Then I’ll tell you all about it.” A dog’s cold nose pressed against her cheek. She jumped and pushed her hair out of her eyes. A black and white dog stared at her. “Who are you?”

“His name’s Rascal.” An unfamiliar baritone said, “He’s mine.”

She looked up.

Whoa! The man who faced her was a stranger. In spite of her wariness, her mouth dropped open in awe. Instead of her arthritic middle-aged cook, this man was young and tall and definitely fit. And handsome. Unbelievably, mesmerizingly handsome.

He might be as comely as a fairy tale prince, but the regal disapproval on his face appeared anything but friendly.

Energized by fear, she jumped to her feet and grabbed her rifle. “Who the heck are you?”

He crossed his arms and ignored the Winchester pointed at his middle. His dark hair glistened in light that seemed too bright. Dark blue eyes had tiny creases at the corners, as if he laughed a lot.

He sure wasn’t laughing now.

“I might ask you the same question. And what are you doing tracking in mud and dripping water all over my foyer?”

Your foyer? This is my house, and it’s been my house since my daddy and I built it six years ago. Don’t you think for one minute I’ll let you steal my ranch.”

The dog growled, the fur of his ruff bristling.

The man snapped his fingers. “Quiet, Rascal.”

Who was this man? He didn’t look the type but maybe he was one of the men stealing her cattle. Could he and his dog have been waiting for her? She gripped the rifle with all her strength. Why hadn’t her cook shown up to help her?

Oh, no, had they killed him?

He glared at her. “Lady, I don’t know who you are, but this is my house, get it? I grew up here. My daddy grew up here. My granddaddy grew up here.”

Penny’s knees trembled, but she fought fear to appear strong. “Don’t try and trick me. The Double T ranch was started by my granddaddy in 1836. No con man is going to steal it from the Terry family, and you can take that to the bank.”

“The Terry family hasn’t owned this since Penelope Terry died in 1896. The Knight family has owned it since then.” He threw up his hands. “Hell, why am I arguing with a crazy woman?”

“Crazy?” She was about to light into him when the first part of his statement hit her. “Hey, what do you mean, I died? I’m as alive as you, whoever you are.”

“What the hell are you talking about? I see you’re alive. I said Penelope Terry died. Are you hard of hearing as well as nuts?”

Increasing fear spiraled inside Penny, knotting her stomach. How could this man think her dead? What kind of trick was he working? Had she been conked out long enough that her cook sent men out to look for her and they decided she’d died?

Forcing herself to appear calm when she shook inside, Penny stood erect. “I’m Penelope Jane Terry and you can see I’m very much alive…”

Amazon US buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B6R1K44?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

Amazon UK buy link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Texas-Lightning-Time-Travel/dp/1986339459/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1521667698&sr=8-3&keywords=Caroline+Clemmons

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/138-9010344-2686736?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Caroline+Clemmons

About the Author

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To make up for this tragic error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains from a small office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their rescued cats and dogs. The books she creates there have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won numerous awards. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, and Pinterest.

Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there.

Follow her on BookBub.

Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?

Victoria Pinder: Tempting James (Contest)
Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

With Tempting Gabe, my readers met Gabe Hawke. He was one of Belle Jordan and Colt Collins friends invited to Victoria and Colt’s wedding from the House of Morgan series. Gabe’s family was targeted and someone tried to assassinate his family. So Gabe called the other former Marine friends from the unit, James Clancy, Conner Udine, and Harrison Hughes to help him protech his family.

James Clancy gets assigned to protect Scarlett Hawke. He’s told she’s spoiled, opinionated, a shop-a-holic with no common sense. He’s going to help because Gabe is one of his best friends and the day of the explosion in the desert meant depending on each other was all anyone of them could do to survive. So he leaves running the company he inherited to babysit this princess.

However when he meets Scarlett, she’s nothing like what her brother said an she wants nothing to do with billionaires.

Scarlett Hawke has never been able to prove her worth to her family. She studied chemistry in college. She’s started her own organic makeup company that’s really taking off and she refuses to take a dime of her father’s oil money to help her succeed. She’s also not interested in her brother’s computer company. Her makeup company is her own. So she’s going to a resort conference with other makeup executives, determined to find her next level of funding. However her familial reputation preceeds her and to prove she’s stable, she needs a husband, fast. The second she meets James Clancy, in his wrinkled t-shirt and jeans, she thinks he’s perfect for a temporary husband. However she has no idea he’s a billionaire and if she finds out, she’ll hate him, fast.

This story was just so much fun to write. Scarlett was one of those characters who just fills the pages without struggle because she’s extraverted and just fun. And familial relationships often remember what we were like when we were 16 instead of the adults we grow up to be. So her struggle was just fun. This book comes out in 2 weeks so I hope everyone enjoys!

Tempting James

Scarlett doesn’t want a billionaire. James refuses to mention he’s one. He’s there to protect her, not fall for her.

She’s on the run. He’s a distraction. They’re begging for trouble.

James Clancy made a promise, and he intends to keep it. But protecting his former Marine buddy’s sister proves to be more than he bargained for. He’s already been burned once. He’s not about to let that happen again.

The last thing Scarlett Hawke needs is a babysitter. What she needs is a husband, and a way out. When she meets James, she knows he oh-so-wrong for her, but resisting him might be the hardest thing she’s ever had to do… until she discovers who he really is and just how dangerous that can be.

Will Scarlett let love happen or will it only make her complicated life worse? Can she trust her heart to a man who was supposed to hate her?

While this story is a standalone novel that belongs to the Hawke Family Fortune, there are mentions of the Marshall Family Saga, the House of Morgan, the upcoming Brothers in Revenge novels, and even Princes of Avce characters and storylines are all intertwined in the same world.

Get your copy here!

 

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Viviana MacKade: Living with the Anxious Man
Friday, April 20th, 2018

DJ, my heroine in All Those Miles I Walked, is a woman I like and understand. We both like to travel, we both are open and hungry for everything that’s new and different. She’s way more sociable than me, but she’s still a person I feel close to. And now that she’s with Scott, we share one more common trouble—the Anxious Man.

Let me tell you a bit about him.

The anxious man is a highly intelligent, self-made, strong man who got where he is by sheer work. Maybe exactly because he’s used to controlling his own universe, he’s also someone who needs reassurances on your well-being whenever he decides to check on you, with no regard whatsoever for what you might be doing.

Let’s say at any given time of the day a thought (“Is she all right?”) crosses his mind. He acts upon that thought, and he texts or calls you.

From that moment, you have from 5 to 20 seconds to reply/answer.

Problem is, maybe you can’t because you’re, I don’t know, using the restroom, or cleaning the ceiling with a long-handled brush, or trying to get your son out from the lake-size puddle of mud the last rain created in front of your house.

Maybe you forgot to turn on the ringtone, and you’re peacefully filing your nails oblivious of the poopy about to hit the fan.

After an average of 10 minutes from the first text (and at that point you’ll have an average of 150 of them and at least 300 calls) (yes, the Anxious Man can defy time and squeeze all those messages and calls in just a few minutes) the police, fire department, an ambulance, and possibly the FBI and the National Guard will barrel down through your door.

Poopy. Fan. There you have it.

I’ve been with my husband for 18 years, and let me tell ya, that cool, self-controlled man can go bat-shit crazy if I don’t answer the phone in .3 nanoseconds. So does Scott in the story.

And you know what? I get it (mostly because of the almost 20-year-experience in the front line), and now I’ll tell you why.

The Anxious Man doesn’t do that out of a need to control you. There’s no jealousy or will to tell you what you can or can’t do. He’s not throwing you any alpha crap or Neanderthal-like claim.

Literally, he only needs to know you’re well. He doesn’t have time or inclination to hear about your shopping day or whatever else you’re doing. Nope. No need to keep it long; a simple thumb-up emoticon would do.

The fact is, he might be busy, his head might often be somewhere work-related, and he probably will forget some anniversary but the Anxious Man loves, and loves deep. So deep, he needs to know the most important thing in his life, more important than work, more important than his wellbeing: not that you love him, miss him, think about him, but that you’re alive.

Which means you can’t get mad. Or overly mad, at least. Sometimes I do get annoyed (okay, pissed).

So, because I learned from personal experience that people like me and DJ will never be reliable with our phones, I have a word of advice for all the people like Marco and Scott, and the relationships that follow.

Buy an iWatch or any device like it.

Tired of the constant heart attacks, my husband gave me one for our anniversary few years back, and now I never lose a call or text. I can reply anywhere with the littlest time and effort. It’s pretty, and it gives him peace of mind, and me the freedom from checking the phone or (the horror) having to turn on the ringtone.

You’re welcome.

All Those Mile I Walked

At eighteen, DJ had to make a choice–her heart or her dreams. Neither was wrong, yet either would break her heart. She chose the world. Over a decade later, she returns to Crescent Creek and to the one regret she’s ever had—Scott. Scott’s always been steady as a rocky reef. He’d loved once and when she’d left, his strong heart had crumbled like a sandcastle. Now DJ is back, and Scott wants nothing to do with her. The problem? They share Eva, a close friend of both, and now Eva needs their help. Because of her, he’s stuck with DJ and he’d be damned, the woman still gets under his skin. DJ is a free spirit who needs the road under her feet. Scott is a family man who wants to groom his roots. With danger on their doorstep and a baby to keep safe, how much are they willing to compromise for love?

Amazon: ebook  paperback | iTunes | B&N | PDF and More

Find me:
on my blog at http://www.viviana-mackade.blog/

Excerpt

DJ fished her cellphone from the bag, turned it on thinking nothing of it. 12 unanswered calls and 6 messages appeared.

Fear raced through her good mood. Something had happened to Eva? To her parents? She checked the call list. Scott. From all of the calls and texts.

Well, unexpected. From zero interaction to a gazillion? She called his number; he picked up probably before it even rang.

“Where in the fucking hell are you?” he said quietly, anger vibrating in his voice more than a guitar string.

“Okay. Not really prepared for that, but okay. We’re across the road, at the beach.”

“Damn it, DJ, you’re supposed to text me when you leave.” She had to move the phone closer to her ear to hear his words.

“I know. We’re just across the road.”

“Are you in the house?” he asked. Still very much pissed, but at least he’d gone back to a human tone, one she actually heard.

“It’s basically the same.”

“It is not.”

“Okay, my bad. Besides, I didn’t realize I’d agreed to a middle of the morning text. When did it happen, by the way?”

“Damn it, DJ.”

Oh god, back to hissing. “You said it already. A few times, in fact.”

She brushed sand off from Henry’s legs, blew the boy a kiss that made him smile. Then heard a voice in the background of the call, then Scott saying to someone, “They’re fine, they’re at the beach.”

“Who is with you?”

“Charlie.”

“You called the sheriff? Where are you?”

“At Eva’s, ready to bust the fucking door down.”

“That seems extreme.”

“You don’t text me, don’t call me, and don’t pick up the damned phone,” he said, anger making his quiet words a bit breathless. “What am I supposed to do?

“Calm down would be the first thing, I guess.” DJ had always thought he might have a stroke, at some point. All control freaks like him did. Maybe today was the day, who knew? “You saw us at 8 this morning, two hours ago. You could have waited until, let’s say, lunchtime before freaking out this big.”

“I could kill you right now,” he said, so evenly it might actually have been truer than truth.

“You might want to be careful with what you say while Sheriff Charlie is there with you. By the way, tell her I say hi. Actually, can you give her the phone? We planned a spa day for next week but I’ll have to postpone it until Eva comes home.”

He closed the call.

Lizzie Ashworth — Regency Romance (Free Read)
Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Hi Delilah Fans! Thanks for stopping by my guest post today. For the last month or so, I’ve been reading Regency romance novels. This isn’t my standard fare. I lean more to the erotic end of things in my novels and short stories. But Regency has something to offer anyone who enjoys romance.

Despite the (mostly) lack of torrid sex scenes and descriptive words for body parts like, well, you know, Regency stories set 200 years ago tend to be long on sexual attraction and desire. Which, as we all know, is a lot of the fun in romance. Just as in any contemporary romance, these ‘bodice-rippers’ feature tall muscular men who are unbelievably handsome and who, despite all odds, take one look at the female in question and fall completely in love.

Of course, he doesn’t know it yet. They’re star-crossed lovers who can’t possible have a future because—well,  he’s a duke and she a mere seamstress. Or she’s lost her reputation due to some gossip about the ‘ton,’ as London life is called. Or because she’s from a titled family and he’s not, although this is rare because the happy ending usually involves his vast mansions with herds of servants and all the money they could ever want or need—without having to work.

What’s remarkable to me is the frequent reminder in these stories of how far we’ve come, ladies. Seriously, have you lately stopped to think that a mere 200 years ago, in a tradition going back as far as history, women were the property of men without the right to own property in her own right or to divorce her husband? Even 100 years ago, women were still under the thumb of a father and then a husband, although at least by then laws had pretty much curtailed the husband’s right to beat his wife.

Even fifty years ago, being a virgin until marriage was considered the norm and only ‘fast’ girls ran the risk of a scandalous premarital pregnancy. When birth control pills were introduced in the 1960s, everything changed.

Really, things started to change when women gained the right to vote in 1920. Women tended to support social change that not only benefitted themselves but also men in issues such as labor laws that eliminated child labor and created new ideas like weekends, a forty-hour week, and workplace safety regulations. But it would take until even later than birth control pills before publishers started to put sexy romance stories into the mainstream.

When I read Regency romance—which I enjoy because it’s a complete vacation from the real world and hey, what’s reading romance about anyway if not to escape reality for a few hours?—I’m often bemused by the arcane details of life in those times. Multiple layers of clothing including corsets for women and yards of pristine neck cloth for men—among other things—would be absurd in today’s world where both sexes routinely swim or jog in form-fitted Spandex that leaves pretty much nothing to the imagination.

What would one of those folks think now? I look around me at romance novels which explore bondage or menage and have to smile. We’ve definitely come a long way, baby.

If you’d like to explore Regency, here are a couple of authors I’ve been enjoying. And don’t forget to check out my newly revised Cannon Cousins series. Book I, HERS TO CHOOSE, is now FREE at your favorite ebook retailer. Visit https://www.amazon.com/dp/1490513906.

Cynthia Sax: Enemies-To-Lovers
Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Taking Vengeance, my most recent release, is an enemies-to-lovers cyborg romance. The hero, Vengeance, is a human-hating cyborg. The heroine, Astrid, is a cyborg-hating human.

Astrid tries to kill Vengeance…multiple times. He attempts to capture her, seeking to use her to expel all humans from his home planet.

Yet they can’t keep their hands off each other. Sparks fly…literally. All of that pent-up hate flows to red hot passion. They fight and then kiss, shoot each other, and then rip clothes off.

I LOVE enemies-to-lovers romances for this reason. There is so much emotion, raw and real, heated and urgent. There’s also delicious conflict. Vengeance and Astrid have very real reasons for hating each other. They both had loved ones killed by the “enemy.” That pain can’t be eased without struggle.

There are a gazillion wonderful enemies-to-lovers romances in Romanceland. They span every subgenre from Historical Romances to Romances set in the distant future.

The most famous is likely Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice, a Romance classic. Mr. Darcy and Lizzie hate each other at first sight. He insults her at a ball, saying, “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me.” She eventually zings him with “I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.” Yes, ouch.

But when they fall in love, wowsers. It is magical. They realize they have more in common than they first believed. They both have very strong personalities. That’s one example and there are many more. Lizzie and Mr. Darcy are perfect for each other. They simply didn’t know it at first.

That’s part of the fun. As readers, we can see the characters are truly meant for each other but they are so wrapped up in their hate; they can’t see it. We wait for that moment when they discover their attraction is more powerful than their dislike.

What are your favorited enemies-to-lovers romances?

Taking Vengeance

The only force stronger than their hate is their love.

Vengeance hates all humans. They killed every being he ever cared about. When the huge C Model cyborg is told he’s genetically compatible with the enemy, he makes it his mission to capture the female and use her to expel all humans from his home planet. That should be disappointingly easy. She’s a weak, fragile human.

Then she blows up his ship, blasting to bits his preconceived notions about the enemy.

Astrid, aka the Buoir Berserker, hates all cyborgs. They killed her entire clan, including her baby sister. The warrior female has vowed to hunt down and destroy the enemy. When a savage cyborg arrogantly puts his hard, sexy body within her reach, she does the only thing a female can do—she peppers his muscular physique with projectiles.

The more passionately they fight, the stronger their attraction becomes. Neither of them will relent on their missions, yet they can’t keep their hands off each other. Their battle will either end in love to last an eternity or in death.

Taking Vengeance is Book 12 in the Cyborg Sizzle series and is a STAND-ALONE story.

It is also an enemies-to-lovers Cyborg SciFi Romance set in a dark, gritty, often violent universe.

Buy Links:
Amazon US:
https://www.amazon.com/Taking-Vengeance-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B079YGMLD2
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Taking-Vengeance-Cyborg-Sizzle-Book-ebook/dp/B079YGMLD2
Apple/iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/taking-vengeance/id1352770472
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taking-vengeance-cynthia-sax/1128043105
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/taking-vengeance-1
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/794862

About Cynthia Sax

USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes contemporary, SciFi and paranormal erotic romances. Her stories have been featured in Star Magazine, Real Time With Bill Maher, and numerous best of erotic romance top ten lists.

Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled release day newsletter and visit her on the web at www.CynthiaSax.com.

Website: http://cynthiasax.com/
Newsletter: http://tasteofcyn.com/2014/05/28/newsletter/
Facebook: facebook.com/cynthia.sax
Twitter: @CynthiaSax
Blog: http://tasteofcyn.com/

Taisha Demay: Playing Dirty
Monday, April 16th, 2018

Love Truth and Consequences: Playing Dirty

Anxious for a career change, Katrina Locklear applies for the position of assistant to Decimal Accounting Services Financial Officer, Miller Greenfield. Miller is both intrigued and aroused by the beauty who has thrown his emotions off-kilter. Can Katrina and Miller keep things professional, or will they risk it all by mixing business with pleasure?

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00YPOQX08
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThroughtheFirebyAuthorTaishaDemay012
Facebook Blog: https://www.facebook.com/lovebetweenthepagesofabook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TaishaDemay012
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/Lovetaishademay
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+TaishaDemay
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14052151.Taisha_Demay
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ElliesBookShelf/
WordPress: https://www.authortaishademayblog.wordpress.com
Website: https://www.nycitygirl.com

About the Author

Author Taisha Demay is a New York native, but resides in North Carolina. She is the author of the Love Truth and Consequence series and Through the Fire and Taste of Intrigue: Food Fight Mysteries. Not being content with writing strictly in the non-fiction arena, she began to expand her portfolio by becoming a Blogger. Taisha is currently signed to Rhys World Publishing and working on her fifth release.

 She is a passionate author who has dedicated several years of her career to building an influential showcase of reading material for her audience. She is an active member of the Erotic Authors Guild, Erotic Readers and Writers Association, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Taisha Demay enjoys bringing complex and interesting characters to life for her readers to enjoy.

M. S. Spencer: The Pit and the Passion
Sunday, April 15th, 2018

The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel is my new mystery romance, set in Sarasota on the Gulf Coast of Florida. As John Ringling saw when he first arrived at the turn of the 20th century, it is a paradise.

“A beam of red light shot through her window. Sunset already? She got up, fixed herself a drink, and took it to the balcony. She watched as the sun sank into the gulf, long, needle-like pincers of light stretching out as though it wanted to hook the horizon and hang on for dear life. Like Kilroy, whatever was pulling it from below won the battle and the sun dipped, leaving its signature green spot as a token of affection for the world.”

This is what it’s like to live on the Gulf Coast of Florida. By day the sky is the deep blue of Paul Newman’s eyes; at close of day it’s flooded with a full palette of reds, oranges, pinks and purples. I have a lot of pictures of my granddaughter—I have even more pictures of sunsets in Sarasota!

Here’s the story of The Pit & the Passion:

At midnight, in the darkness of a deserted hotel, comes a scream and a splash. Eighty-five years later, workmen uncover a skeleton in an old elevator shaft. Who is it, and how did it get there? To find out, Charity Snow, ace reporter for the Longboat Key Planet, teams up with Rancor Bass, best-selling author. A college ring they find at the dig site may prove to be their best clue.

Although his arrogance nearly exceeds his talent, Charity soon discovers a warm heart beating under Rancor’s handsome exterior. While dealing with a drop-dead gorgeous editor who may or may not be a villain, a publisher with a dark secret, and an irascible forensic specialist, Charity and Rancor unearth an unexpected link to the most famous circus family in the world.

The Pit and the Passion: Murder at the Ghost Hotel
The Wild Rose Press, January 22, 2018 (Crimson Rose)
Mystery, Humorous/Romantic Comedy
Rating: PG13
418 p.; 97370 words

Excerpt (PG): The Man on the Beach

The Milky Way spread a swath of cream overhead. One small cloud trundled across the sky. Behind it peeped a gibbous moon. The beach was wide here, sweeping south in a twelve-mile-long arc but ending only a few yards north of her at a severely eroded cliff.

Not a soul stirred on the sand, except for a couple of willets picking their way along the edge of the water. She turned and headed toward the cliff.

Someone had left a beach chair out. She sat and watched the waves, listening to the chittering of the sandpipers and the putt-putt of a trawler far out. She assumed the rustle behind her was a ghost crab and kept quiet, hoping to catch a glimpse of it. She loved the way they would stop, half in and half out of their holes, their eyestalks waving. They’re so sure they’re invisible.

Charity?”

She jumped straight up, knocking the chair backward.

“What th—?” Her heart pounding, she turned. At that moment, the cloud shrouded the moon, and in the sudden darkness she could only make out a form.

“Who…who’s there?”

“It’s me. Rancor. Rancor Bass.”

She held out a hand and encountered a broad chest, lightly furred. She pulled it back quickly. “Are you…are you…”

He snickered. “Naked? As a matter of fact, yes.”

She backed up. A splash told her that her brand-new sandals were likely ruined. She vaulted out of the water and landed between two bare arms.

“Easy there, Charity. I hardly know you.”

“Stop it, Mr. Bass. And let me go. If I were you I’d drop that conceited tone. I wouldn’t be caught dead in your arms.”

His voice came low, laughter licking at its edges. “You don’t feel dead to me. In fact”—she tensed at the touch of a finger on the inside of her elbow—“you feel very much alive. And quite…fresh. Call me Rancor.”

“Rancor Bass, you leave me alone.” She tried to walk around the shadow, but an arm snaked out and caught her. She opened her mouth to scream and found two lips smothering hers. She stood quite still, fear and…something else…oh my God, desire?…taking over her senses.

He let her go. “Couldn’t resist. Wanted to see if those defensive walls could be breached.” He sat down in the chair. The moon came out from behind the cloud and cast a pale glow on his hair. “You’re a tough cookie, Charity.”

She wanted to deny it, to tell him how vulnerable she could be, but knew that would be very stupid. She wanted to kiss him again but knew that would be even more stupid. So she settled for a grunt and walked away.

He didn’t follow, and as she reached the dunes, she felt an unexpected twinge of disappointment. Could this man be the one? Nah. Still, preoccupied by this novel notion, she decided to skip the police station and go straight home. As she turned into her condominium parking lot, the obvious question finally occurred to her. What the hell is Rancor Bass doing naked on the beach in the middle of the night?

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About the Author

Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents, the last thirty years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, policy wonk, non-profit director, and parent. After many years in academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center.

Ms. Spencer has published eleven romantic suspense novels, and has two more in utero. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

Find her events and news at RomanceBooks4Us:
http://www.romancebooks4us.com/M.S._Spencer.html

and Moonlight and Mystery:
http://www.moonlightandmystery.com/

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