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Flashback: Hard SEAL to Love (Contest–2 Winners!)
Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

UPDATE: The winners are…Daun Ann Corty and Laura!
*~*~*

I loved writing my Uncharted SEALs series. All those rugged, alpha heroes and strong heroines. Humor. Action. All the ingredients that make stories fun for me to write, and hopefully, fun for you to read.

With Uncharted SEALs, I experimented a bit. For the first time, I did sequels with the same characters—for the simple reason I couldn’t say goodbye to them. I wanted to see inside their Happy Ever Afters. Through Her Eyes and Between a SEAL and a Hard Place share the same main characters, as do Dream of Me and Heart of a SEAL. Big Sky SEAL gave birth to my Montana Bounty Hunters, introducing Jamie and Reaper, who as a result of their work in Big Sky earned their own satellite office of MBH.

A fun theme I used in two of the stories was a cruise ship. Both Before We Kiss and Hard SEAL to Love are set on the same ship and have the same supporting characters. Plus, Hard SEAL to Love features a disabled female vet! Enjoy the excerpt below!

Watch Over Me   
*~*
Baby, It's You Before We Kiss Special Forces: Operation Alpha: Between a SEAL and a Hard Place 
*~*
  Head Over SEAL

Click on the covers to learn more!

Contest

Win your choice of one of my Uncharted SEALs stories! There will be 3 winners! All you have to do to enter is answer me this…

(IGNORE COVID) If you got two free tickets for a cruise, who would you take with you and where would you go?

Hard SEAL to Love

Hard SEAL to Love

Former SEAL, “Big Mac” McLane, is sure he earned all kinds of bad karma somewhere when his first mission with Charter Group is guarding the “Love Boat” and its activity director. Okay, so the cruise line is sponsoring a special cruise for wounded soldiers and their families — a great cause — but Big Mac doesn’t do well around families and children, and Kylie Hammond is cute, but he feels like he has two left feet whenever she’s around. But he’s going to do his job, keep it strictly business, fade into the background whenever she’s around, but it seems Kylie has other ideas…

Kylie knows the big SEAL isn’t exactly gung-ho for his new assignment, but she can’t be more pleased. The big man’s the yummiest thing she’s ever seen, and coaxing blushes and glares from him becomes her favorite sport. But then things begin to go wrong aboard ship, people disappear, and then someone’s killed. The thing her charity most feared — a terrorist attack at sea — appears to be underway. Now, she has to trust Big Mac and his team to keep her wounded soldiers safe.

Excerpt from Hard SEAL to Love

“Big Mac” McLane stood on the well-lit dock beside his team leader, Deke Warrick, and his teammate, Jackson Keller, as crewmembers and dockworkers rolled storage containers from the belly of the huge cruise ship. Soon, the refuse from a four-day cruise would be disposed of, and new provisions, along with a new group of passengers, loaded.

Waves lapped against the piers, the wheels of the rolling containers whirred and grated, and forklifts beeped. All familiar sounds but made surreal because he wasn’t waiting to board some Navy battleship, and the size of the cruise ship was astounding.

Mac admired the lock-step precision of the entire operation as the unloading continued. Despite the added pressure of law enforcement personnel crawling all over the ship, the Delphin’s crew didn’t miss a beat. Nothing would delay the ship from leaving the dock just after fourteen hundred hours that day. The cruise ship had a schedule to keep.

Stretching his arms, Mac stifled a yawn. The trio had taken a red-eye flight from Dallas to meet the ship in Miami. Due to the recent troubles, Charter Group wanted feet on the ground to make sure the Countess cruise line and law enforcement were taking seriously the string of events aboard their ships that had unfolded over the past weeks since the abduction of Poppy Shackleford. Although Charter Group’s people had successfully recovered the general’s daughter, everyone involved with the upcoming Soldiers’ Sanctuary cruise feared the problems would only escalate. Mac had been tapped to provide the program director protection during the special cruise which was scheduled to leave the Port of Miami the following day.

Although the time was just past O-five-hundred, the air this morning was warm and balmy. Temperatures would rise to a boil by mid-morning, so Mac didn’t mind waiting on the dock to speak to the Delphin’s captain while passengers set to disembark midmorning still slept. A Miami-Dade County medical examiner’s van stood by to remove the body of one unlucky soul whose cruise hadn’t ended well.

“And the ship’s doctor is sure the cause wasn’t a heart attack?” Jax murmured.

Deke’s lips tightened. “He smelled almonds, and the woman’s cheeks were cherry red. Her traveling companion described her as having a seizure and not being able to breathe. M.E. looking at the body now thinks it was cyanide, but we won’t know for sure until an autopsy’s performed.”

Jax scraped his palm across his stubbled jaw. “No one else was affected?”

Deke shook his head. “It happened while they were eating in the dining room. No one else’s plate was tampered with.”

“The traveling companion?”

Deke shrugged. “Her girlfriend of thirty years. The ship’s doctor had to administer a strong sedative because she freaked. He doesn’t think she did it.”

“So, another incident.” Mac took a deep breath. “How many does this make?”

“Three.” Deke lifted his hand and began counting off the list with his fingers. “First, a water system was tampered with on the Tethys. Someone flushed red dye through the ship’s fresh water. Passengers thought it was blood.”

“So they may have been testing methods of dispersal,” Jax muttered.

“Looks like. Or they could be assessing which method of attack will cause the most panic. Next, was the small explosion in the engine room aboard the Nereus. The ship had backup generators, so services weren’t stopped, and the crew effected repairs to continue to their next port. Other than a loud boom, the incident caused no injuries, and the passengers were no wiser. The cruise line can’t be a hundred percent sure whether it was sabotage or a malfunction. So their resistant to cancelling any voyages. But their security’s stretched. And now, we have last night’s poisoning…”

“Gonna be bad PR for the line,” Jax said, shaking his head.

“The company’s keeping the incidents under wraps,” Deke said. “And Homeland’s locking down this investigation here. Miami-Dade will help with interviewing passengers and crew, but they’re informing everyone for now that it was a routine death at sea.

“Just got off the phone with Jake Patton at Homeland. He says they want to catch whoever did this. They don’t want the culprits spooked and scattered to the winds. If their ultimate target is the soldiers’ cruise, we’ll be waiting. In the meantime, they do their due diligence, talk to every person on that ship who had access to the victim’s meal, and search every corner of the ship to see if any clues were left behind. He’ll have men with the ship when it sails today to continue the investigation.”

“Had to have been wait staff,” Mac said, frowning while he thought about the thousands of support personnel that worked on the ship. Homeland and the police had a small army ready to question all cooks and waiters and still wouldn’t be done before the boat sailed.

“Probably was some waiter,” Jax said, “maybe someone embedded, or someone bribed or threatened to get them to add the poison to her plate. And the next question is whether the victim was a random target—as in, just another test.”

“Or they’re taunting us.” Mac’s hands slowly curled into fists. He hated goddamn cowards who picked a fight but didn’t bother showing their faces. “Maybe they’re letting us know they can get to our guys, no matter how well prepared we are.”

Deke’s cheeks billowed as he blew out a long breath. His gaze darted to Mac. “You’re set to meet with Kylie Hammond at the Hampton Inn this morning. Have to warn you, she’s no happier at the thought of having a babysitter than Poppy was to discover we’d put Wiley on her detail.”

Mac grimaced. “Doesn’t matter if she’s not happy. I’m her date for the next four days. She won’t move without me one step behind her.”

As he leaned forward to look sideways, Jax’s mouth twitched. “Didn’t turn out so bad for Wiley and Poppy.”

Yeah, right. Mac gave him a blistering glare. A wedding at sea wasn’t in his plans. Nope. Didn’t matter if Kylie Hammond was a knock-out or not, he was immune to commitment. After transferring teams, all he wanted was to settle into this gig and prove his worth to Deke. “So, you two wanna tell me who I pissed off to get this assignment?”

Jax chuckled.

Deke’s grin was wry. “Thought you were ready for a vacation.”

Mac shook his head. Maybe he’d been too quick to accept Charter’s offer for an “easy assignment” after the last one where he’d spent weeks guarding freighters dodging Somali pirates. He’d been ready for some down time. Had even considered doing some house hunting or heading to his buddy Carter’s ranch in Texas. Although the last time he’d been there, he’d grown restless after witnessing just how happy Carter was with his new wife and little niece he’d adopted to raise as his own.

All that domesticity had made him itch. As a guy who’d spent his teenage years bounced around in foster homes, he couldn’t imagine any man willingly being leg-shackled to one woman or even planting roots to live in one place. Not that he couldn’t see the attraction. Carter had carved out a nice life for himself. Now that his father was on the mend, Carter wasn’t tied to the ranch, although he was always eager to return there after an assignment. He had a pretty wife, a great kid, and nice-sized piece of heaven in the ranch he’d someday inherit.

Family, a home passed down through generations of Texans—all that was as foreign to Mac as the thought of sitting on the “Love Boat” for a fancy cruise with a privileged society girl building her social media cred through charity work. “Hell,” he muttered. “Job’s just four damn days.”

“Five. The assignment starts today.”

Mac lifted his shoulder. “Whatever. She’s locked down in the hotel until the buses come tomorrow morning to take the soldiers to the ship.”

Jax slapped his shoulder. “You do know ships’ captains can perform marriages in international waters…”

“Hey, I’m happy for Wiley.” Mac shuddered. “But he has General Shackleford for a father-in-law. Wonder if he has to snap a salute before they sit around the table to eat turkey and cranberries at Thanksgiving.”

Deke coughed into his fist. “Having a powerful father-in-law isn’t always a pain in the ass.”

Mac winced, having forgotten that Deke’s father-in-law was a former Navy commander-turned-congressman, and was now in charge of special operations for Charter Group. “How’s old Commander Martir doing, anyway?”

“Still a badass,” Deke said, giving him a glare.

“Once a SEAL…” Shrugging, Mac didn’t complete the phrase.

“Stop bellyaching about the assignment, McLane.” Deke braced his feet apart. “You might be bunking in a stateroom but don’t treat this assignment differently from any other you’ve had. Kylie Hammond’s safety is your mission.”

 

Five hours later, Mac stepped through the entrance of the Hampton Inn. The lobby was a study in orderly chaos. Suitcases were lined up and stacked against one wall. Men and women, some in wheelchairs or walking with crutches and walkers, and missing limbs—some multiples—filled the space.

Mac tamped down a feeling of guilt for being able-bodied and whole as he walked through the throng, nodding now and then as he passed the veterans. He headed to the concierge and asked where he could find Kylie Hammond. After being informed which conference room Soldiers’ Sanctuary had commandeered to hand out welcome packets to arrivals, he headed down a hallway, relieved he didn’t have to push through a sea of bodies. He was ready to start this op. Sooner the better. Five days would fly by, and then he’d have the down time he needed to get his head on straight before the next assignment.

Stepping inside the room, he noted two long conference tables filled with plastic buckets of folders. Three elderly men manned the table.

One of them who sported a gray buzz cut and a surprisingly muscular build glanced his way. He lifted his chin in greeting.

Mac decided he was as good a place to start as any and strode toward him.

The old man held out his hand. “Joe Olinksy,” he said, in deep, loud voice. Then he leaned against the table edge and whispered, “You with Charter?”

Mac eyed him then glanced at his two buddies who were moving closer. His presence as part of the security team was supposed to be on a “need-to-know” basis.

Grinning, Joe waved a hand. “We’re part of your support. Eyes and ears only. We’re a little too long in the tooth to be the muscle, but we’re here to help. We’ll be staying in the stateroom next to yours.”

Skeptical that this band of elderly brothers could be of any service at all, Mac drew a deep breath and gave Joe’s two companions another look.

“This is Morty,” Joe said, pointing toward a thin man with a round, pot belly. “And that’s Sly.”

Sly smiled, and his teeth were blindingly white and little too large in his mouth.

“Ex-marines, 3rd Division during Viet Nam,” Joe said. “You a SEAL like Wiley?”

“Semper Fi,” Morty said, grinning.

Mac grunted, revising his original assessment. These guys had seen real action. “I’m looking for Kylie Hammond.”

“She’s out in the atrium,” Joe pointed toward the windows behind him, “getting a cup of coffee. She’s been manning the tables since dawn. And don’t worry about us. We can handle ourselves. After all our help on the last cruise, Poppy made sure to add us to the team. We’ll have your six.”

The three elderly men hadn’t been mentioned in any of the briefings he’d attended back at HQ. Wiley for damn sure hadn’t said a thing, but then again, Wiley had looked a little smug when he’d heard Mac was being assigned to protect his wife’s best friend. He cleared his throat. “Mac McLane by the way,” he said, giving a nod to all three men.

“We’ll see you aboard the Oceanus,” Joe said.

Mac left them and thought about calling Wiley to find out why the hell he hadn’t mentioned his geriatric buddies. Just to bitch because he was already dreading the coming minutes. He didn’t have a lot of experience with Ms. Hammond’s brand of womanhood. He’d served with women in the field, and slept with the women who swarmed bars outside Navy bases, hoping for a hookup with a SEAL.

Women outside those two categories tended to make him nervous. In his experience, women had served only two purposes, as support and/or stress-relief for a SEAL. Not that he looked down on them. He liked the women he’d known. But he hadn’t had to think much about what kind of impression he made or how to talk to them. He could be gruff and blunt. What the hell would he talk about for the days and nights he and the princess would be glued to each other’s sides?

Entering the atrium, he glanced around for someone who fit the picture he’d made up in his mind. She’d be pretty, no doubt. He couldn’t imagine anyone who was friends with Poppy Shackleford and attending her social functions looking any different.
Most of the small round, brightly tiled tables were filled with men and a few women. Probably wives of the wounded soldiers, who’d be accompanying their husbands on the cruise.

One woman sat alone, her head bent over her cell phone which lay flat on the tabletop, a tall Styrofoam cup beside it. Her hair was a mass of dark brown curls. Her body, what he could see of it hunched over the table, was slender. Her bare arms and the tops of her shoulders, revealed by an olive tank, showed well-developed muscles. She wore no jewelry, save for a watch on an olive-colored web strap. Faux military-issue? And now he wondered whether she was one of those who was so enamored of military men she wore cammo pajamas. He’d met a few like that. As he moved nearer, she must have sensed someone watched her.

The woman’s gaze lifted from her phone and locked with his.

As he took in her features, he slowed his steps. Wide-set green eyes whose gaze never wavered, tan skin, rose-colored lips, cheeks that were prominent and high. She was lovely, but didn’t wear a hint of makeup. She didn’t need it. Unbidden, interest flared inside him, heating his blood.

“Are you Mac?” she asked, her voice even and little husky.

His tongue felt thick as he gave a crisp nod and replied. “You Kylie?”

Her smile was a little tight, but she pushed up from the table to greet him, her arm reaching forward.

When he looked down at her hand, with its long fingers and short bare nails, his gaze dropped to her legs. Another shock stole his breath. She wore shorts which ended at mid-thigh, revealing one long, nicely turned limb paired with a shapely thigh that disappeared into the black cup of a prosthetic limb.

Team Trojan: Defending Evangeline is out!! FREE in KU!
Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

What readers are saying….

“Outstanding Romantic Suspense…”

“Defending Evangeline is a phenomenal romantic suspense…”

“With a plot that is engaging, filled with danger, good guys, bad guys, and of course romance, we end up with another entertaining story in the series.”

Not enough to convince you that you need to read this story? How about it lives inside Elle James’s Brotherhood Protectors: Colorado series? Read on!

Defending Evangeline

Defending Evangeline

A sharp-edged, disgruntled former Green Beret who needs to find redemption finds himself attracted to a woman hiding dangerous secrets.

Zeke Turner still can’t get his head wrapped around the fact he’s been all but booted from the job he loved. Angry over the fact Trojan Team took the fall for their leadership’s failure, he’s relieved that he and his buddies appear to have landed on their feet, still together, having been hired by the Brotherhood Protectors, but he doesn’t trust this move will end well. Once burned, twice shy is his motto—and he was never very trusting in the first place.

His first protection job doesn’t leave him feeling any surer he made the right decision, but he’s keeping his dissatisfaction to himself, keeping his head down…until then he bumps into a dark-haired angel in Fool’s Gold, who manages to both attract and intrigue him. He knows something’s not right, that Evangeline Carré is scared and hiding secrets. With his protective instincts going into overdrive, he’s determined to unravel the mystery surrounding her while keeping her safe, even when she swears she doesn’t need or want his help.

Get your copy here!
FREE inside KU!

Better yet, this book is in a sub-series of five stories—Team Trojan stories—written by some amazing authors! Check them all out!

Defending Sophie
Defending Evangeline
Defending Casey
Defending Sparrow
Defending Avery

7 open contests! And a timely reminder from yours truly!
Friday, November 5th, 2021

This is just a quick peek inside the door! My son’s visiting this week, and I’ve been mostly absent online. I just wanted to remind you that Defending Evangeline releases next Tuesday! I can’t wait for you to read it! Also, I have some contests on this site and my Collections website that are wrapping up! $ are at stake! So, enter now!

Open Contests Here!

  1. COWBOY is here! Brand new release! FREE in KU! (Contest) — This contest ends this weekend! Win an Amazon gift card!
  2. The World of Dead Horse, MT (Contest) — This contest ends soon! Win an Amazon gift card!
  3. Happy Halloween & October Wrap-up! (Contest) — This contest ends soon! Win an Amazon gift card!

 Open Contests on the Collections site!

  1. IN ONE PICTURE: JENNIE KEW’S “TYING THE KNOT” (CONTEST)This contest ends this weekend! Win an Amazon gift card!
  2. IN ONE PICTURE: REINA TORRES’ “SWEETGRASS SUMMER” (CONTEST) — This contest ends this weekend! Win an Amazon gift card!
  3. IN ONE PICTURE: IZZY ARCHER’S “SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT” (CONTEST) — This contest ends this weekend! Win an Amazon gift card!
  4. IN ONE PICTURE: DELILAH DEVLIN’S “HUNK OF BURNING LOVE” (CONTEST) — Win an Amazon gift card!
EmKay Connor: It’s not too late! Authors collaborate to raise money for 9/11 20th Anniversary
Monday, October 4th, 2021

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon in Washington DC, and the crash of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Carina Alyce, an author and physician, wanted to do something to honor the memories of those lot that day.

Twenty years ago, those heroes went up those stairs and never came back. We can never replace what was lost, so we can at least do our part to preserve their memories.  ~Carine Alyce, author and physician

After posting an open invitation for contributions to a box set of first responder romances, fellow authors EmKay Connor, Karigan Hale, LoLo Paige, LC Taylor, and Samantha Thomas joined the project, Heroes with Heat and Heart: A 9/11 Charity Anthology. Each wrote a separate story featuring front-line heroes such as ER physicians, firefighters, police and sheriff officers, wildland firefighters, and S.W.A.T. team members.

Each of the authors had a very personal reason for wanting to be a part of the anthology.

Carina Alyce joined the anthology because she worked for years in the ER side-by-side with many firefighters and EMTs.

EmKay Connor, a former Navy wife who lived on a military base in Washington, DC, during the 9/ll attacks and aftermath, believes in honoring those who serve and sacrifice for the USA.

Karigan Hale chose to participate to honor the amazing first responders that not only were heroes during the attacks on September 11th but also during the recent pandemic.

LoLo Paige joined the anthology because she supports all firefighters who put their lives on the line daily.

LC Taylor, a former police officer who is married to one, was inspired to participate because she has worked alongside police officers and firemen for several years

Samantha Thomas calls participating in the anthology a “privilege” that allowed her to honor the New York community, as well as family and friends that work as first responders, in all capacities, every day

To date, more than $1,400 has been raised to support the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City (https://www.911memorial.org/). All royalties—100%—generated during the months of September, October, and November will be donated. Supporters can subscribe to the charity anthology newsletter to track donations and support the heroes of 9/11.

Heroes with Heat and Heart

Heroes with Heat and Heart is available on Amazon/Kindle Unlimited for $3.99 and the gorgeous print copy is $20.

For more information and more first responder hero romances, join the Heroes with Heat and Heart reader group on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1243950246047530

Have you pre-ordered your copy? Defending Evangeline (Contest + Excerpt)
Saturday, October 2nd, 2021


I have new books coming soon. One, in particular, I’m pretty excited about. Defending Evangeline exists inside my sister Elle James’s Brotherhood Protectors world. It’s one of five books in the Team Trojan stories inside the series. I have an excerpt to share. The minute Zeke and Evangeline meet sparks fly (Pssst. It’s a very sexy read!). I’m sharing a hint of it below! Enjoy! Poor Zeke’s in a bad way. 🙂

Defending Evangeline

A sharp-edged, disgruntled former Green Beret who needs to find redemption finds himself attracted to a woman hiding dangerous secrets.

Zeke Turner still can’t get his head wrapped around the fact he’s been all but booted from the job he loved. Angry over the fact Trojan Team took the fall for their leadership’s failure, he’s relieved that he and his buddies appear to have landed on their feet, still together, having been hired by the Brotherhood Protectors, but he doesn’t trust this move will end well. Once burned, twice shy is his motto—and he was never very trusting in the first place.

His first protection job doesn’t leave him feeling any surer he made the right decision, but he’s keeping his dissatisfaction to himself, keeping his head down…until then he bumps into a dark-haired angel in Fool’s Gold, who manages to both attract and intrigue him. He knows something’s not right, that Evangeline Carré is scared and hiding secrets. With his protective instincts going into overdrive, he’s determined to unravel the mystery surrounding her while keeping her safe, even when she swears she doesn’t need or want his help.

Pre-order your copy here!

Contest

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, let me know if this story is one you look forward to reading! Let me know how you like the excerpt! Do you love ex-military men who put everything on the line to save the women they love?

An excerpt from Defending Evangeline

By early evening, they’d heard from Cage and Sawyer. They’d finished up installing all the tech at the cabin and were heading back. Jake had outfitted Zeke with weaponry, and a satellite phone, as well as one of the tracking pendants. They’d use the cover of darkness to spirit Evangeline away from the lodge, with decoy vehicles to distract anyone who might try to tail them.

Right now, he was climbing the stairs two at a time to bring Evangeline down for dinner. The team was using a room reserved for parties for their meal rather than their usual staff-only table in the dining room to keep Evangeline out of the public eye. Clint was watching the entryway and stairs to ensure that he got her downstairs without being seen.

It was a lot of cloak and dagger shit, but after Evangeline had spent the afternoon confined in her room, Jake and RJ were sure she would appreciate some company and a taste of normalcy.

Zeke had showered and changed half an hour ago, and RJ had stopped by Evangeline’s room to let her know what the plans were for the evening meal. He paused and rubbed a hand over his hair, making sure nothing was sticking up, then knocked on her door.

Evangeline opened it a few moments later.

Every thought in his head flew at the sight of her, replaced by an instant surge of lust. Although dressed casually, her jeans were dark and tailored to hug the length of her surprisingly long and slender legs. Her feet were encased in short black leather boots with three-inch heels. On top, she wore a teal-colored sweater that looked as soft as a cloud and molded over the curves of her perfectly sized breasts. The collar of the sweater draped downward, and there was a deep narrow slit in front that showed just a hint of her cleavage. She’d left her dark hair down and wore only the lightest application of makeup. She didn’t need any of it. The woman was gorgeous. Way out of his league. And suddenly, he felt awkward, like an oafish Shrek, as he stood before her.

“You look nice,” he said, wincing inside because she looked much more than nice, but he would likely have garbled a stronger compliment.

She blushed as her gaze roamed his body from his chest to his toes and back up to his face. “You look nice, too.”

Her lips parted, and he had the urge to duck down and kiss her. Fuck, I’m in trouble. Instead, he held out his arm. “Ready to head down?”

She stepped out, closed the door behind her, then took his arm and walked beside him as they headed to the stairs.

“Were you bored as fu—bored,” he quickly corrected, “staying in your room all afternoon?”

“Yes, I was bored as fuck,” she said, her words sounding almost comical coming from her mouth. She glanced sideways, revealing a teasing smile.

He cleared his throat to keep from laughing. “I spend all my time with other guys. I don’t have to think so much about what comes out of my mouth.”

“I’m not a fragile princess or a prude. I won’t judge you, Zeke.”

He stayed silent as they descended the steps, determined not to trip over his own feet and bring her down with him. At the bottom of the stairs, Clint gave him a wink and signaled the “all clear” as he took her past the dining room to the smaller party room.

“I’ve put you all to a lot of bother,” she said softly.

They’d reached the door. Zeke turned toward her. “Stop. This is what we do.”

“For money,” she said, her eyes filling. “And you should be paid. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to reimburse you for everything—”

“Stop.” He pulled her against his chest. “We’ll get paid. Just not by you. The Brotherhood Protectors make bank for their paying jobs, but they also have benefactors who fund jobs where people can’t afford to pay for the protection they need. We don’t turn down someone who’s needful for lack of money.”

She leaned back her head. “I hate this. I put myself in this position. No one should feel sorry for me.”

“No one does. We feel concern—for your safety. And you do not deserve what’s happening to you.”

She dropped her gaze but didn’t step out of his embrace. He liked how she felt pressed against him, soft and warm. Her fragrance, a hint of a light exotic floral, filled his nose, and it was all he could do not to tighten his arms around her.

“I think they’ll probably wonder what’s keeping us,” she said, peeking up at him again.

He didn’t move his arms. “You ready?”

Her eyebrows drew closer. “Not yet,” she said, then rose on her tiptoes and kissed the side of his mouth. When she lowered again, she cleared her throat. “I am now.”

Shocked, Zeke slowly let his arms fall away. Evangeline turned and opened the door. He followed her and quickly schooled his expression into an impassive mask.

Why had she kissed him? Okay, so it had been on the corner of his mouth, not directly on his lips. Maybe it was how she kissed friends. Maybe it was some French-Canadian thing to kiss your bodyguards.

His mind was blown—and not just from her quick, over-in-a-second gesture—but from the memory of the slide of her body up his, her breasts rubbing his chest, her belly lightly grazing his cock as she’d risen.

Now, he was breathing through his nose to calm his heart and keep his unruly dick from showing how much he’d liked the feel of her rubbing up and down his body.

And maybe he hadn’t hidden his lust very well, because while they were calling out greetings and standing to offer her a chair, there were sly glances from his teammates as he followed her, a hand on the small of her back, which he hadn’t realized he’d placed there, until now.

That she allowed it and didn’t draw away only made things worse for his poor dick.

Relief filled him when she sat and he was able to quickly take a seat beside her. He was perspiring. Likely his cheeks were darkening. He reached for the glass of water at his place setting and downed half the glass before he swept his gaze around the room at his team and gave them a fierce glower.

Soft chuckles followed, but Zeke was saved from further ribbing by the swinging door opening and Gunny, followed by RJ and her friend JoJo, bringing in the food.

The smell of sizzling steaks filled the room, and Zeke’s stomach growled. Happy for the distraction, he glanced sideways at Evangeline, who was looking back at him.

Their gazes locked. A pale flush of pink crept across Evangeline’s cheeks, but her lips curved into a small smile.

His irritation with his friends died down as he smiled back. “Looks like it’s steak,” he said, cursing his stupid tongue. Duh.

“After all I ate for lunch, I’m surprised I’m suddenly ravenous.”

Jesus. The way she said that last word had him thinking about all the things he was truly ravenous to consume—her sweet curves, her cries.

Maybe his expression gave him away, because her blush intensified…

Get your copy now! HER SANCTUARY is out!
Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

This story has a long history for me. I began publishing through various online and traditional houses in 2003. I wrote Her Sanctuary in 2006. The first publisher disappeared. I re-pubbed it through a second publisher a few years later that disappeared as well. I dragged my feet on again publishing this story on my own because, over all those years, I’ve gotten many requests from readers for sequels. I wasn’t ready to continue the series then. I am now.

So, without further ado, here’s the first story in my Texas Vampires series. It’s FREE in Kindle Unlimited. I hope you’ll read it and want more. Because “more” (specifically Diego’s story) is in the works!

Enjoy the story! If you have time, tell someone about it. And thank you for supporting me over the years. I love my job. 🙂

Her Sanctuary

Her Sanctuary

A woman surviving on the edge of a dark frontier strikes a sensual bargain with a handsome stranger hiding a dangerous secret…

In a post-apocalyptic future, creatures who’ve hidden in the shadows for millennia are freed to roam in a world shrouded in darkness. Rancher Kate McKinnon runs Sanctuary Ranch—a last refuge on the western frontier. While running herd over her cowhands and integrating refugees into their self-sufficient refuge, she escapes her responsibilities the only way she has left—via radio to pockets of other survivors. One man, Ty Bennett, is her confidante, and she thinks she might be falling in love with his deep, rasping voice. Although they’ve never met, he seems to know her heart.

On a patrol to scavenge supplies, Kate and her cowboys are surrounded by a gang of renegades intent on claiming her. Rescue comes unexpectedly by a militaristic band led by the man she’s spent so many hours talking to through the dark nights. She brings him home only to discover she’s brought vampires inside the refuge.

Already half in love with the human woman, Ty offers added muscle to her defenses and promises to move her people to safety. Fighting his own nature and appetites, he seeks redemption for his many sins but can’t control his hunger to possess Kate. Getting past her prejudice and choking responsibilities tests his seductive powers.

Get your copy now!

Enjoy a peek at Diego’s cover!

No Tender Mercy
For Diego, the career his father had insisted was his destiny turned out to be the perfect preparation for the end of times. The Army made him a warrior—and then it turned him into a monster.

Pre-order your copy now!

CHASE is here!
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021

Book #4 of my Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, MT is here! And I can’t wait for you to read it! Be warned—it’s very, very sexy!

If you’ve read Hardman, you’ve already met Chase. The crew is up to its usual fun with new manhunts and the high-spirited interactions between all the hunters in the Dead Horse office. You’ll also meet the newest member of the team. There’s some suspense, tons of humor, sexiness only an extremely focused and fit man can bring, and a subplot that will pull at your heartstrings. This book’s theme is family. I hope you love it!

Chase (Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, MT Book 4)

MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS: DEAD HORSE, MT
Authentic Men… Real Adventures…

The happily single owner of the only liquor store in Dead Horse, MT needs the biggest, baddest man around, and a certain former Green Beret seems made to order…

When Chase Kudrow leaves the Green Berets, he is ready to throw off rules and regs and be his own damn boss. Bounty hunting doesn’t tie him down and occasionally gives him the adrenaline rush he craves.

Then he discovers he has a niece, an eight-year-old, who is the only family he has left. Suddenly, his life gets serious. He needs a steadier paycheck and a place to set down roots so he can do right by his dead sister’s little girl. Being recruited by the Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, MT, office perfectly fits the bill.

His “get serious” agenda soon finds him in the company of one of the town’s “good” women, Rhonda Kudrow, who owns the local liquor store. Sure, she’s pretty and seems interested, but what does he know about wooing a good woman who will certainly expect more than he knows how to give?

When her store is robbed, Chase swoops in to provide some much-needed security expertise and protection and soon discovers an addiction he never wants to kick. Sweet Rhonda is full of her own sexy surprises…

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Read an excerpt!