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Harley Wylde: BEHIND THE SCENES with Harley Wylde … (Excerpt)
Friday, October 22nd, 2021

For readers who are familiar with my work, you know I don’t shy away from harder topics. If you’re looking for a sweet, fluffy romance, you aren’t going to find it here. What you’ll get are alpha men who go after what they want, women who are stronger than they give themselves credit for, and some darker topics like child abuse, assault, human trafficking, and murder. Not necessarily all in the same book.

What types of heroes do I write most often? Bikers who might have a hard exterior, but when it comes to those they love, or women and children in need, they’re complete softies on the inside. In the case of Samurai, you’ll find out why he’s got such a hard exterior, and it’s a rather difficult topic to cover. This book does come with a reader advisory, and for good reason. Samurai suffered trauma in his past that has shaped who he is today. In the previous books, you’ve not received so much as a hint as to what’s driving Samurai, so be prepared for a curveball with this one!

Readers first met Samurai in the earlier Devil’s Boneyard MC books, when he was a prospect known as Jin. Now he’s all grown up and battling demons who seem to be getting the best of him. Until sweet Grey comes along and is far more understanding than he could have ever hoped for.

Samurai (Devil’s Boneyard MC)

 Author: Harley Wylde
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Release Date: October 22, 2021
Genres/Themes: MC Romance, Romantic Suspense, Multicultural/Interracial

Grey — Desperate times call for desperate measures, otherwise, I’d have never signed a contract with Knox’s Pleasure Emporium. Selling myself for a few hours once is far better than my other option — letting my mother’s loan shark use me however he sees fit in order to recoup his money. I can’t even be angry with my mom since she’s no longer with us. She did what she’d thought was best at the time, but now I’m paying the price.

I didn’t count on a biker changing my life forever. Not only did we have a slight miscommunication that ended up leaving me with an eighteen-year commitment, but he’s my only hope of escaping my son’s father. Why do I keep getting tangled up with bad boys? It never ends well for me.

Samurai — I can admit my past has left me screwed up. I’d never thought I’d pay to be with a woman, but not just anyone can handle my needs. The little goddess I purchased isn’t anything like I expected. The way she gives into me so sweetly, and comes apart in my arms, makes it damn hard to forget her when our time is over. I didn’t realize I’d be seeing her again, under less than favorable circumstances.

She needs my protection. What do I do? Act like a bastard and call her names. Not my finest moment. Now I need to fix things before my cousin, Phantom, decides to step in and claim her for himself. I might have some issues to work through, but Grey is mine, and no one is taking her from me. Not Phantom, and not the man threatening Grey and Ryo. Because once I’m in, I’m all in.

WARNING: There are scenes with bad language, adult situations, violence, and talk of abuse that may bother some readers. No cheating. No cliffhanger. And a guaranteed happily-ever-after. Samurai is part of the Devil’s Boneyard MC series. While the series may best be enjoyed in order, each book can be read as a stand-alone.

Get it here 👇
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2ZyYIEA
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3FihQqN
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3uQ8IF5
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3DcA9Mi
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2XXtFl6
B&N Nook: https://bit.ly/3zPcUps
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3uoISHX

TRIGGER WARNING

WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING…

“Wow….I’m not sure I will be able to find the words to give this one justice… I can’t even express how much I love this story!” – Shelby, Goodreads

“This story will take you on a journey that will break you apart and then put you back together in a way that you don’t expect. Samurai and Grey embarked on a raw and emotional ride that started some healing that both of them deserved. This is a powerful, strong, meaningful and heartfelt story. I enjoyed every single second of this book.” – Drea, BookBub

“Another brilliant read from Harley Wylde. Samurai and Grey’s book is on point. I highly recommend this. You have to binge and read all her books. I have not come across a bad one.” – Alice, Goodreads

“Samurai took me completely by surprise, I couldn’t be happier that he did! These two are just perfect for each other, I fell in love with them both. All the stars for Grey and Samurai” – Leslee, Goodreads

“I absolutely loved Samurai and Grey. Their story was so emotional.” – Tanya, BookBub

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 Harley Wylde

I didn’t want to be here. I had a feeling this would end badly, but I didn’t know what else to do. Ryo clutched my hand and I shifted from one foot to the other while the guy behind the gate looked me over. His gaze landed on Ryo and his eyes slightly widened as he took a step back.

“You said Samurai?” he asked. “Not Phantom?”

I didn’t know who Phantom was, or why this man would think I didn’t know who to ask for. Clearly I’d come here for a reason. Did women show up and get the men confused on a regular basis? I wasn’t sure how to take that.

“Samurai.” I took a step closer. “Please. It’s important.”

His gaze dropped to Ryo again. “I bet it is.”

I breathed a sigh of relief when he opened the gates and let us through. At least we’d made it this far. Samurai might very well tell me get to lost and never show my face here again. At least I’d get the chance to find out.

He pointed to a building not too far off. “He’s probably at the clubhouse. But um… you may not want to take the kid inside there. It’s not too wild at this time of day. Doesn’t mean people aren’t smoking, or that he wouldn’t see something he shouldn’t.”

Right. Because I was at a biker compound. Who knew what went on behind the gate, much less in the building he’d called a clubhouse. I doubted they were in there playing video games or watching movies.

“I can’t leave Ryo outside on his own,” I said.

The guy looked around and let out a shrill whistle. “Hey, Sam! Lady needs her kid watched for a minute.”

The other man jogged over. I noticed both wore the leather vest like Samurai had, but neither had a name on theirs. It only said Prospect. I had no idea what that meant, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

“Sam, this is…” The guy rubbed the stubble on his jaw. “Sorry. Didn’t catch your name.”

“I’m Grey and this is Ryo,” I said.

He nodded. “Right. Grey and Ryo. She’s here to see Samurai.”

Sam’s eyebrows rose as he stared at Ryo a moment. “All right. I can sit outside with him, or I can go in and get Samurai. Might be better to have him come outside.”

“Going inside doesn’t bother me,” I said. “But he said it wouldn’t be a good place for Ryo.”

Sam shook his head. “No, I have a feeling Samurai would kick my aa… uh, rear, if I let either of you into that building. You can sit in the shade. There’s a few chairs up on the porch.”

I led Ryo over to the building and claimed a chair while Sam went inside. I could hear laughter and music spill from the open doorway, as well as the sounds of women. My stomach soured when I pictured Samurai with them. It was stupid to come here. He wouldn’t want this baby, or me. Wouldn’t care about my problems or that my son was in danger.

I stood and lifted Ryo into my arms. “Come on, sweetheart. We shouldn’t have come here. We’ll go home and figure something else out.”

I walked down the steps and toward the gate, but the guy who’d let me in was shaking his head and pointing back at the clubhouse. “Nope. Sorry. I’m not letting you leave until you see Samurai.”

“Are you serious right now? It’s obvious I made a mistake coming here. Let me go before he comes out and…”

I heard heavy steps behind me and stopped mid-sentence. My nape prickled and I had a feeling the man in question was right behind me. Ryo’s head remained tucked against my chest, and I tightened my hold on him. If I’d had anyone to watch him, or felt safe leaving him behind, I wouldn’t have brought him with me.

“Before I come out and what?” Samurai asked. I’d recognize his voice anywhere.

Slowly, I turned to face him. He rocked back on his heels, his gaze going to Ryo. “Sorry to disappoint, but no fucking way that kid is mine. Your math is off by a few years.”

“I never said he was yours.” I backed up a step. “I needed help, but I shouldn’t have come here. He won’t open the gate and let me leave.”

Samurai’s gaze went over my shoulder and I saw him scanning the road. I knew what he’d see. Nothing. I didn’t have a car or any other transportation. I had to walk everywhere and coming way out here hadn’t been easy on either me or Ryo. Thankfully the weather had cooled a little, so I at least didn’t have my clothes and hair plastered to me from sweat. Could have been worse.

“You walked here carrying him?” he asked.

“Yes, and if you’ll tell him to let me go, then I’ll walk right back home. I shouldn’t have come.”

“Why did you?” he asked, folding his arms over his chest.

I shifted Ryo in my arms and felt my dress pull tight over my stomach. I tried to hide the small bump before he noticed and seemed to have managed since he didn’t say anything. Or maybe he didn’t care. This version of Samurai was very different from the one at the Pleasure Emporium. The man who’d made me cry out his name, who’d melted my bones with multiple orgasms, wasn’t the one eying me now.

“Some people in town have talked about the good things your club does. Toy drives and helping homeless women. I’d hoped you might know of a way to solve my problem, but it was wrong to even ask.”

“You sure the kid isn’t Phantom’s?” the guy at the gate asked.

Samurai’s eyes narrowed as he studied Ryo. The look he slid my way held a hint of hostility. I didn’t know why they kept bringing up Phantom.

“I’ve never met anyone named Phantom,” I said. “Why does everyone keep asking me that?”

“He’s my older cousin, and your son resembles him,” Samurai said.

I didn’t want to do this out in the open, or where Ryo could hear, so I chose my words carefully. “Do you remember my first reaction to you, and why I said it happened?”

His chin went up and he cursed softly. “The guy who hurt you. The one you said was Japanese, like me.”

I ran my hand over Ryo’s hair. “He saw me last week, with Ryo. He knows, and he… he said he’s coming for us. I survived him once. Even if I could live through it again, I won’t let him get his hands on Ryo. My baby is a good boy. He’s sweet and innocent. If Itachi gets his hands on him…”

“Itachi Suzuki?” Sam asked. “That’s who you’re running from?”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harley Wylde is the International Bestselling Author of the Dixie Reapers MC, Devil’s Boneyard MC, and Hades Abyss MC series.

When Harley’s writing, her motto is the hotter the better — off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place. She doesn’t shy away from the dangers and nastiness in the world, bringing those realities to the pages of her books, but always gives her characters a happily-ever-after and makes sure the bad guys get what they deserve.

The times Harley isn’t writing, she’s thinking up naughty things to do to her husband, drinking copious amounts of Starbucks, and reading. She loves to read and devours a book a day, sometimes more. She’s also fond of TV shows and movies from the 1980’s, as well as paranormal shows from the 1990’s to today, even though she’d much rather be reading or writing.

You can find out more about Harley or enter her monthly giveaway on her website. Be sure to join her newsletter while you’re there to learn more about discounts, signing events, and other goodies!

Find Harley Online:  Website | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Twitter

A. Catherine Noon: Organize!
Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Do you have lots of supplies, Dear Reader, for things like a craft, (or more than one), a hobby, for kids, or for your home office?

Do you know where everything is?

Loaded question, I know. Some of us might have things totally organized. But I suspect there are a lot more of us who, well, don’t.

It’s that part of us to whom I write.

When I’m not writing, I make stuff. Mostly, the stuff I make involves yarn. Not always, but in the interests of time and staying focused, (i.e. not chasing ALL the squirrels), I’m going to stick with yarn for the purposes of our discussion.

I truly do have a LOT of yarn. I started knitting the year my mother died and found, through knitting, a solace that other things haven’t brought me. But my obsession with yarn didn’t start there. If I look back in my own timeline, I see yarns woven in and out of my tapestry since I was a little girl. My first art, in fact, was embroidery.

I made a unicorn.

What about you? Do you have a particular interest in a type of material? When I was little, I loved stickers – a thing that has matured, I find, with friends who geek out for hours about washi tape and bujo (“bullet journals”).

So here’s where things get interesting. I love to write, I love to make things – particularly with yarn, and my day job is highly organized, (I work in the insurance industry). How are these things related? Well, I could get really philosophical and talk about relationship-driven business and how much I love to teach, and teaching is woven in and out of all three of those pursuits, but that’s not what I’m after today. No, today, I’m all about the organizing.

When I buy yarn, it’s usually in a specific place for a specific reason. I don’t necessarily mean “sweater for husband.” I mean I’m at a writing retreat, say, and we go visit a local yarn shop, (known in our subculture as an “LYS,” or “Local Yarn Shop). I buy a skein or two of high-end fiber, maybe out of the sale bin, (these fibers can be spendy!). I haven’t yet decided what to make, but it will likely be a shawl to commemorate my experience. My “Bryce Canyon Shawl” is one such example – made after a trip to, you guessed it, Bryce Canyon. (If you are a fellow yarnivore, my Ravelry is here.) More often, though, I don’t yet know what it will be, just that I want to connect the yarn to my trip and the people with whom I’m retreating.

Here’s how I do it: I have bins that I numbered. My first bins were actually repurposed cat litter buckets, washed out, and with the labels removed. My more recent ones are plastic shoe boxes from the big box store. (Now I feel compelled to note that some purists feel storing fiber in plastic can degrade it, so it pays to do your research and understand how you are choosing to curate your collection.) I made numbered labels for the bins, and then tracked them in a word table, something like this:

 

I’ll give myself as much context as I can, without going overboard writing a novel. I stress, the detail matters. “Green yarn for Suzie” is going to be a lot less helpful two years from now than you think it will. And definitely go through your collection from time to time. There are many benefits to this: maybe you and “Suzie” aren’t as close as you once were; maybe you have a new idea for an existing fiber – shop your stash!; maybe you want to use it for a new craft – this happens, as for example when I took up weaving.

There’s no reason you can’t have a well-managed yarn collection, and as my coauthor Rachel Wilder puts it, “it’s hours of pre-paid entertainment.”

Any other ideas? I’d love to hear in the comments.

And stay well, Dear Reader. ~hugs~

Cherylyn Chester: Diving into Audiobooks!
Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

My husband kept telling me I need to do audiobooks. I kept ignoring him because that was beyond my knowledge base. Then he bought me a microphone. It wasn’t just a present; it was his way of saying he believed I could do it. So, I did some research and everything said it was easier to pay someone else to do it but it was possible to do it myself.

It turns out the room in my basement filled with boxes and old drapes is perfect for a sound studio. Then I had a couple of days with Youtube videos playing on my TV and my computer in front of me learning how to use Audacity. It took a couple of months to record my novella, The Wedding Gift. Some chapters had to be rerecorded four times before I figured out what I was doing wrong. The hard work paid off, and I’m happy to have another way to connect to my readers… and listeners.
If you’re going on a road trip with your mother or anyone else, it would be awkward to listen to a sex scene with, this is the audiobook for you. I left the steamy stuff out of this story. It was fun to write, and I hope you enjoy listening to it. Here are some promotion codes to save you money.

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Also available on iTunes.

C. Marie Bowen: Unable to write! (GIVEAWAY)
Monday, October 18th, 2021

What do you do when the characters that live inside your head stop talking to you? They were there yesterday, whispering their stories, their hopes, and dreams, having conversations with each other—and then poof! They’re gone. Where did they go? The silence was deafening.

Back at the start of the pandemic, I had big plans. The second book in my new series, Coven Moon, had just come back from the editor, and I was ready to dive into writing book one. (The voices don’t always proceed in an orderly fashion). Then quarantine—and silence.

Cowboys: A Boys Behaving Badly AnthologyI tried everything to coax those shy personalities back out, but those were the dark days of food delivery and ordering masks online. No matter what I did to persuade my voices to give me a hint, a laugh, a word, they remained mute. It wasn’t until Delilah’s open submission for Cowboys: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology—well over a year of silence—that my friends began to return, and I got busy.

First up, Penelope’s Heart. Sam and Nell had waited patiently and are residents of the old west, after all. They felt their time was at hand. Although you won’t find them in Delilah’s anthology, for a limited time, you can download the beginning of Sam and Nell’s tale right here with The Kid in Black for free!

FREE! The Kid in Black

Nell Grant lost everything and watched her life burn to the ground. A fiery-hot need for revenge keeps her moving during the day. But at night, dreams of a passionate stranger fill her empty heart. Passions collide as Nell and Sam struggle to balance the scales between her thirst for vengeance and his sense of duty.

Get spicy romance – The Kid in Black for free!

These offers are only good for the first 50 recipients. Get your copy today!

Soul of the Witch

Next, I finished the first and second books in the new Coven Moon series, and both are available for preorder. These full-length novels tie into my Soul of the Witch original trilogy, with books 1 and 2 serving as prequels, and book 3, when completed, wrapping up both series. I’ll fill you in on the details about these two historical paranormal novels on my next visit. In the meantime, if you’re interested, check out my Soul of the Witch trilogy on Amazon.

LINK to Soul of the Witch on Amazon

Lastly, if you would be interested in receiving an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review for both new Coven Moon novels, the ARCs are going out in a couple of weeks. Send me an email via my website and let me know you want in, and I’ll add you to my ARC team. Add me now!

About Author C. Marie Bowen

Discover nail-biting suspense with paranormal romance author C. Marie Bowen. She weaves her supernatural characters into a collection of tales linked to her first award-winning novel, Passage. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Mr. B, and their two rescue pets, Abby and Rue.

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Diana Cosby: Inspiration From Nature – Fall! (Contest)
Friday, October 15th, 2021

©Diana Cosby 2021

Fall is my favorite season, one that inspires my muse.  I love the crisp air, the beautiful fall foliage, and seeing the birds and animals in the woods.  On occasion, I’m fortunate enough to see a fawn.

At this time of year, the marsh grass takes on a golden hue, which makes a gorgeous backdrop for nature photos.

I love bees, and with the cooler weather, they’re working overtime to find the few remaining blooms.  This bee was fortunate enough to find a few flowers on a Rosemary plant.

Red-eared Slider and Painted turtles at the pond enjoy the last few warm days before the cooler temperatures will have them digging into the mud and hibernating.

Skippers are beautiful and have such interesting attitudes.  It’s neat how their gorgeous colors mimic those of the Black-eyed Susan.

There’s a new visitor in the area, a handsome groundhog.  I often find him munching on clover, but soon he’ll be returning to his den in the woods to hibernate until spring.   Enjoy the beauty of nature around you, and I hope you have a wonderful fall.

Contest

***ONE winner will be drawn from everyone who posts on my guest blog post about, ‘Inspiration From Nature – Fall!’ on Delilah’s blog between 15 October 2021– 24 October 2021, and will win a signed copy of His Destiny.

About Diana Cosby

A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series have been translated into five languages. Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.

After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. After the release of the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series and The Oath Trilogy, she released the bestselling The Forbidden Series.

Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.

Diana Cosby, International Best-Selling Author
www.dianacosby.com
The Oath Trilogy
MacGruder Brother Series
The Forbidden Series

Social Media
Website:  https://www.dianacosby.com/
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/978803.Diana_Cosby
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Diana-Cosby/e/B003YJ1MR4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1417447922&sr=8-1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Diana-Cosby-Romance-Author-150109024636/?ref=ts

Lizzie Ashworth: Denial House of Rae Book III – FREE for 24 hours only, Oct 14-15!
Thursday, October 14th, 2021

FREE for 24 hours only, Oct 14-15! Full-length novel.
Get your copy now!

Romance stories usually focus on fairly young characters. A younger woman can be somewhat inexperienced in sex, so it’s believable that the man she meets has a few things to teach her. He, on the other hand, is vulnerable in hidden ways to her joie de vivre and innocence, and so the standard trope unfolds.

But what if the characters aren’t young?

I admit that when I first considered that idea for this book, I immediately dismissed it. Yet the idea kept coming back, and I ended up compromising between a twenty-something female and a woman so deep into her fifties that readers (sadly) might find her romantic possibilities somewhat unbelievable.

It’s not that many readers aren’t over fifty. It’s just that romance novels are supposed to take us to a fantasy world where men are so powerful their shoulders fill a doorway and women are so lovely they utterly captivate the man at first glance. There must be room for magic.

In this story set thirty years into the future, the magic has been left hanging too long, a love affair put on hold while the hero turns his attention to a family emergency. Taken for granted a little too long, the heroine tries to cut her losses and forget him.

Denial

Martin Bernard has spent his life becoming one of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful men. But that’s not helping him now that his criminal son-in-law Ned Argenta has gone rogue, putting Martin’s empire on the block in order for Martin to ensure his daughter Marie’s safety. Weeks, months fly by as Martin tries to control this nightmare, leaving his lover Mohana in the sidelines. He just wants to get control of things and then he’ll make it up to her.

Mohana James isn’t waiting any longer. At her friend Giselle’s urging, she visits the Paris House of Rae to find some pleasure. The pleasure partner there doesn’t disappoint, but the entire experience stirs up her grief about Martin. Is he ever going to call? Should she forget him? If she does hear from him, is she going to slap him and walk away? She’s pretty sure that’s all he deserves. But her heart is breaking and she’s not sure she can forget him.

Get your copy now!

 

Excerpt from Denial

November 3, 2063

Street café, Paris

“It’s what I have to do,” Mohana said, stabbing her omelet. “I have to.”

“Yes,” Giselle said. “I totally agree. I’m excited for you.” She dumped another spoonful of sugar into her tea and stirred. “But you don’t have to do it all at once, do you?”

Blinking against the bright hazy sky, Mo leaned back to watch people strolling past their table. Parsley sat patiently by her chair, his attention riveted on the regular appearance of other dogs. This sidewalk café had been a favorite since, well… She wasn’t going to think about the passage of time. It hurt too much. A slight breeze ruffled the tablecloth and sent tiny ripples across the surface of her tea. Traffic was light for a Saturday morning.

She’d worn a new dress today, one she’d bought only recently in one of Giselle’s on-demand shopping trips. It had almost been a dare to herself, selecting something in a soft cotton print with a low V-neck in a fitted bodice over a flowing calf-length skirt. The wind teased her cleavage, an insanely erotic sensation that left her uneasy. But whereas before she would have been reminded of Martin with such a sensation, now she also thought of Henri and the possibility that she might again darken the door at the House of Rae to see what other scrumptious men might be on order.

“I’m not doing it all at once,” she said, savoring the flavor of the mild cheese, garlic-sautéed chard, and green onions inside their comfortable warm envelope of tender egg. “I made a list. Disentangling myself from Martin means I have to stop accepting his money. I don’t think he even knows he’s still sending it.”

“Why stop?” Giselle said. “Take it, save it if you don’t want to spend it. He owes you.”

“Yes, well, I need to stand on my own two feet. And that means earning a living.” She ripped a chunk off the flakey croissant and popped it in her mouth, relishing its delicate texture. “If I can get this position at the national library, it will make me very happy to go to work every day. Can you imagine?”

Giselle brandished her butter knife. “I can’t think of a job better suited for you, but…”

Parsley whined, his tail whipping side to side. A shadow loomed over the table, and the two women looked up. Mo’s breath caught in her chest. She literally could not breathe.

“Martin!” she gasped.

“I thought that was you,” he said, his gaze roaming down her cleavage before returning to her face. “And Parsley, too. What a good boy!” He leaned down to pat the dog’s head before standing to devote his full attention to Mo. Deep laugh wrinkles creased in his cheeks as he smiled. “It’s wonderful to see you. How have you been?”

Of all the… Mo bit back outraged profanities and tried to calm her racing pulse. He looked so damn fine. Despite the months, years of tears and torment, she instantly wanted him.

“Lovely, and you?” she managed.

He laughed, that same warm baritone that had rumbled in his chest so many times before. “I’m in the middle of a crisis, but what else is new, right? Look, I really don’t have time to talk right now, but I saw you and couldn’t stop myself from saying hello. I promise to be in touch soon. We’ll get caught up.”

Giselle looked at her and lifted an eyebrow. Damn it, he was tan and healthy looking, as well built as she remembered, broad shoulders straining the seams of his tailored light blue sports shirt, sculpted biceps emerging from the short sleeves. The sinews of his forearms rippled underneath the soft furring of hair, reminding her of the times he lifted her to sit astride him.

So much for the idea that he hadn’t been in touch because he was sick or injured in some way. She bit back the litany of cutting remarks hovering on the tip of her tongue. Most men his age had developed a paunch, but Martin’s belly remained flat inside the waistband of his slacks. She ripped her gaze away before her eyes dropped further. But she knew.

She could always feel the force of his virility from across a crowded room.

A bit more gray than she remembered peppered his hair and beard, but the same chiseled features – strong jawline and square chin under that neatly trimmed beard, sensuous mouth and those eyes – made her pulse race madly in her neck. She could taste him, smell him, feel the heat of his skin under her palms as if no time had passed, as if she wasn’t three years older, still hopelessly in love.

“No rush,” she said, straightening in the chair and smoothing her napkin against her lap. “I know how busy you must be.”

He seemed startled by her remark, opened his mouth then closed it. She lifted her teacup, proud that her hand didn’t shake, and sipped calmly as if he were a mere acquaintance.

“Well, I – uh, soon, I promise.”

“Yes, of course,” she said. She broke eye contact and waited for him to move. Moments clicked past, each instant a torment of unsaid words and mounting fury. Then his shadow moved away. Parsley stretched and lay down, head resting disconsolately on his front paws.

“Christ,” Giselle said. “That was intense.”

“Damn it.”

“I thought you handled it perfectly.”

“Good. I was dying inside.”

“And screaming, too, right?”

Mo nodded, waiting for her heart to stop pounding against her ribs. “Why does he have to look so damn good? It’s not fair.”

“Well, you’re looking pretty great yourself this morning,” Giselle said with a huge smile. “I thought he was going to eat you up.”

“Really?”

“Couldn’t you see it? Hell, I shouldn’t tell you.”

“Tell me.”

Giselle leaned forward and lowered her voice. “All the signs – his face flushed, his nostrils flared. His er, um, was pressing his pants, like full on. Dear me, what a specimen. Didn’t you see? Honestly, I think he fought not to touch you, and that’s just a sign of how desirable you are. It’s no wonder Henri outdid himself. There are plenty of men out there who will want you, Mo. You don’t have to waste your life on Martin Bernard.”

Belatedly, Mohana wished Giselle had kept that bit about Martin’s arousal to herself.

Still later, Mo studied herself in her bathroom mirror. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes seemed overly bright. Her pulse still hadn’t calmed and she felt alternatively hot and cold. How could she still react this way after all he’d done? Or, actually, not done. She couldn’t get him out of her mind, how his body had inclined toward her, how tiny lines crinkled at the corners of his intense green eyes. So charming, so damn handsome.

She’d never been able to define it, what he had, what seemed to be at the heart of Martin Bernard more than any man she’d ever met. Maleness. Potency. Energy radiated from him like a kind of gravity, pulling her in, wrapping her in his strength. For years, she had fallen deeper and deeper into that force, enchanted in the joy of their love.

Yet, somehow, she had failed. She’d agonized over it, night after night, month after month after he’d disappeared from her life. He had said she was beautiful, but what if he wanted someone younger, prettier? He had said he loved her, but that must have been a lie. He had said he wanted to marry her, spend the rest of his life with her. She’d even indulged in fantasies of their future together, maybe a child…

She gripped the sink. In the long days and nights of waiting, she had deluded herself, thinking he might be ill or disabled somehow, too proud to let her know. Alternately, she imagined he’d been trapped in some foreign country in one of his far-flung business deals. But here he was, walking the streets of Paris looking like a million dollars, full of himself.

And dismissive. He’d call soon. Ha!

BONUS! Reprieve

BONUS:  Nab another book in the House of Rae series also FREE at the same time!

Reprieve, Book II, is the first part of Martin’s story about his daughter Marie.

House of Rae franchisee Marie Argenta is on the run after her estranged husband Ned inflicts unimaginable tortures. Leaving her Paris House to hide out in the U.S., she ends up at the San Francisco House to serve as temporary manager. The very first day, her gaze lands on the most arrogant man she has ever seen, Adrian Velasquez. He’s also the most compelling devastatingly attractive, over-the-top pleasure partner the universe could ever conjure, which makes her think twice about the rules forbidding employee relationships.

Adrian knows what he likes and this new House manager Marie ranks above and beyond anything he’s ever imagined. Too bad his life is already crammed too full of family troubles, work overload, and finishing his law degree to even consider stretching the rules with this irritating woman. But a touch here, a kiss there, might be too delicious to refuse and she’s, well, she wants him. He knows it.

What Marie and Adrian are soon to discover is that Ned knows where Marie has fled and plans to take her back no matter what.

Get your copy here!

Katherine Eddinger Smits: Have You Visited the Psychic Capital of the World? (Excerpt)
Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

Mediums are the main attraction in one of my favorite places, Cassadaga, Florida. If you want to communicate with a loved one who has passed away, this is the go-to town.

As you walk along the quiet streets, many of the homes are Victorian with wide porches and colorful gingerbread trim. Others are more like cottages or bungalows. The atmosphere is peaceful and serene, and you see signs outside the homes advertising psychic readings

A fascinating bookstore offers the schedule for the month including tours, healing and massage services, orb photo opportunities, educational sessions, and so much more.  This is the perfect place to begin learning about Spiritualism and the history of the town.

A historic hotel dominates the smaller businesses and residences. Its 1920’s style luxury immediately brings about a sense of a slower, simpler pace of life. It’s supposed to be haunted, but the ghosts are friendly!

Even if you don’t see a ghost during your stay, you can get a tarot card reading, experience a reiki healing session while reclining in a crystal bed, or have your aura photographed.

I could go on and on about this charming location, which is only about 20 miles from Daytona Beach, but truly in a different world.

My recently released novel, Witch Trial Legacy is set in Cassadaga and surrounding areas and is the first in a collection where romance collides with supernatural suspense.

The Cassadaga Collection: Witch Trial Legacy

If you are a fan of Tricia O’Malley or Kay Hooper, you’ll love The Cassadaga Collection: Witch Trial Legacy.

 Get your copy here!

Sybilla Sanborn must break a centuries-old curse before everything she cares about goes up in smoke.

Sybilla is a nurse gifted with the ability to heal with her touch but cursed with visions of future tragedies she cannot prevent because no one heeds her warnings. With help from the mediums of the spiritualist town of Cassadaga, Florida, she learns she is descended from both the first person executed for witchcraft in this country and the man who accused her.

Conn Ahern is an Iraq war vet dealing with pain and PTSD while working as a paramedic and struggling to save the ranch his grandmother founded. He’s an atheist who wants nothing to do with the people of the town.

When Conn and Sybilla meet, sparks fly, but not always in a good way, and their relationship fans the flames of jealousy and revenge in someone who doesn’t want them to work things out.

During a séance, her ancestor’s spirit reveals how Sybilla can rid herself of the curse and save Conn, but the price may be too high.

Here’s an excerpt that shows Sybilla meeting with a medium and experiencing a past life regression where she views what happened to her ancestor:

This time she didn’t even make it up the sidewalk before the door opened. “Did you glimpse me from the window again?”

“Nah, this time it was my psychic power.” Mr. Bennett said it deadpan.

Not sure if he was joking, she nodded and followed him inside.

Today he sported a blue and yellow Hawaiian shirt over tan pants and sandals. He carried a tray with a pitcher of ice water and two glasses into the living room and set it on the coffee table. “Okay, you’re familiar with the drill by now.” He gestured toward the recliner.

She sat there, and he settled in the other one. “The initial routine will be the same as the previous sessions. First, a short prayer, then I’ll put you in a state of deep relaxation. When you’re completely open, I’ll guide you to younger times in your life. Eventually, we’ll return to previous lives or those of your ancestors. The process is a little like hypnosis, except I won’t be giving you suggestions or commands. Instead, I’ll guide you to remember past incarnations. Time is not a concept of the other side, so during a session, we could move backward or forward from the present. Who you were, and who you are, and who you will be are all the same. Only our mortal minds need to sort events into before and after. So, whatever happens to you, go with it. All right?”

She touched her butterfly necklace. “What if I get scared or find out something terrible? What do I do?”

“Trust me. If you tense up or I think you’re becoming frightened, I’ll bring you to the here and now. Remember, none of what you see or hear is happening in this lifetime, but the past and can’t harm you. Are you ready?”

“Let’s do it.” She leaned back, closed her eyes, and listened as Mr. Bennett said the invocation and guided her through relaxing by contracting and releasing the muscle groups in sequence from her feet up to her neck and face. An odd floating sensation went through her as if she hovered a few inches above the chair.

His calm, soft voice surrounded her. “Now, I want you to remember a time when you were young and happy. Tell me about it.”

“My birthday when I was five. I had on my princess gown with a tiara in my hair. Mommy looked so beautiful in her white slacks and lacy top, like a queen. The cake was white with white icing and gold candles. Everything at the party was white and gold. So lovely.” Sybilla sighed. The day had been one of her best, before the visions and the fear.

“All right. Imagine yourself as a toddler.” He paused. “Now as a baby.” For a moment he remained silent again. “Now, go further, all the way to the womb.”

Imagining myself in utero is silly. No one can remember before they were born. Black nothingness, although warm and safe.

“Let your mind drift to before this existence, to when you manifested as someone else, someone with a different name and a different body, a man or a woman, adult or child. Do you remember?”

Something happened.

*~*~*

She viewed the world from a different perspective as if she were shorter. Her chubby body was that of a child. Young, maybe six or eight. She stood in a cell beside a woman who wore an ankle-length, black skirt with a white apron, and a dark, long-sleeved blouse. The woman wept and sobbed into a handkerchief.

Mother. She clung to the woman. “Don’t cry. I love you. What’s wrong?”

Rough hands gripped her shoulders from behind and plucked her from the woman’s arms. “Mistress, say goodbye to your daughter.” A male voice, cold and harsh.

The woman clutched her and hugged her hard.

The man with the cruel grip dragged her away.

She wailed. “No, let me go. I want my mother.”

The man lugged her out as she kicked and screamed, and her mother shouted, “Damn you, Matthias North. You bear false witness against me. Though I am no witch, I condemn you and your line forever. No one will ever again believe you or anyone descended from you for the rest of time.”

“A witch you are, proved by the curse that falls from your foul mouth, evil one.” The man spat on the floor.

When he reached the outer door of the jail, he handed the struggling child to a woman. “Take her and find a family to care for her until she is grown. The witch hangs tomorrow.”

About the Author

Katherine Eddinger Smits is a direct descendant of Susannah Martin, one of the victims tried and executed for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. With a master’s degree and over 20 years of clinical social work experience, Katherine addresses real-life issues of self-acceptance, body image, relationship dynamics, fears, and phobias through stories of fantasy and romance which include mages, mermaids, and magical creatures. Mystery, suspense, and a little sex add spice to her books.

Other books by Katherine Eddinger Smits:
Water Dreams, Love’s Siren Song, Book I
Water Desires, Love’s Siren Song, Book II
The Sea Witch and the Mage, Sirens Series 1
Siren Descending, Sirens Series 2

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