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Min Edwards: A Typical (Not) Maine Summer
Friday, September 14th, 2018

Hi, Delilah. I’m happy to be with you today as we ease (hopefully) into fall.

Well, if I ever doubted Climate Change and Global Warming, which I never did, this summer proved that our Earth is going through some troubling times. The Rim of Fire in the Pacific is working overtime. The glaciers are melting at a shocking pace giving us an actual Northwest Passage. The super volcano at Yellowstone is starting to worry me. And here in Maine we had the summer from hell.

It started slow with a snowstorm in mid-April (the morning of my birthday on the 20th actually, what a birthday present), cold weather for our annual International Marathon in late June, and then finally in July the 80 degree temps set in and lasted for two months. Normally we get a couple of days of 80 degrees in late August early September, but this year was a scorcher. It was made worse by the fact that most homes and business in Downeast Maine don’t have air-conditioning. In fact, last night I was considering going out to my car and turning on the A/C and sleeping in the back seat!

I was so looking forward to a bumper crop of raspberries and blackberries. Spring was glorious with their blossoms. But it was so hot that most of the berries scorched on the vine. Just shriveled up like raisins.

The heat has been especially bad on our wildlife. I’ve seen no deer or moose, just some signs of coyotes and a bunny that has stayed with us visiting every morning and evening when the temps are a little cooler. I haven’t seen a single hummingbird and normally they are numerous. But a bird built a nest in the top of my propane tank and laid some eggs. One is still there, unhatched. I think it got too hot before the poor thing was ready.

But some good things came out of this strange weather. My yard turned into crispy weeds instead of lush rye grass, so a saving on my landscaping expenses. The bugs were scarce until just the last week or so because we had an almost rain-free season. Then last week the mosquitoes, and we have huge ones up here, realized that if they didn’t get busy and start biting, their summer would be wasted.

Now the weather is turning. Today the high is 63 degrees and I saw a flock of Canadian Geese beginning their yearly migration south this morning. And with the cooler temperatures, all my apples (I have many trees, wild ones) will be ripening. I’m madly searching for a recipe for crabapple jelly now. And I have several trees near my house with apples the size of cranberries. I wonder how I prepare those?

However, now that it’s autumn (almost) I’m anticipating my most productive time of the year. I’ve just received the edits from my editor for my next book, The Russian Phoenix, the prequel to the last book in my High Tide Suspense series, Precious Stone. It’s what I call a fictional memoir—the story of a young Russian girl, her turbulent life in the 20th century including the Romanov Jubilee year of 1913, and her life adapting to the changes that threaten to overcome her during the rest of the century. It will be published in just a few weeks.

I’ve also started research on my next series, Wolf Moon. I’m very excited about that. I get to use my bachelor’s degree in anthropology! The first book, and I don’t have a title yet, is about a Shoshone girl, Glory, from the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. The series begins in 1949 and each of the books in the series uses as the protagonist, one of the sons-daughters on the family tree of Glory Grey Wolf. There’s some mysticism, some politics, some adventure! Visit my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/AuthorMinEdwards where I’ll keep you up-to-date with my progress.

Have a perfect Autumn!
Min

Min’s Books

A gift of thanks to a young girl from the Tsar more than 100 years ago… and now the Russians want it back.

Collee McCullough, the owner of The Bakery in Stone Bay, Maine, has a perfect life until early one morning men in suits come calling. She has something someone dangerous wants. Something that her Russian great-grandmother Natasha took when she fled Russia in 1913. Too bad great-gran never told her family what she had or where she left it.

Jake Elsmore, visiting Stone Bay to sell his mother’s house, walks into The Bakery for a cup of Earl Grey tea, but gets more. There she is. A sprite in a flour-dusted apron, stepping out from behind a big burly policeman; a lovely, fiery-haired fairy toting a shotgun while two men are laying insensate on the floor of her shop. Looks like that tea will have to wait.

Get your copy here!

*~*~*

Russia: 1913. A time of celebration; a time of turmoil for Russia. But for Natasha it’s a time of horror.

Natasha, a young cousin of Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova, the Empress Consort of all the Russias, is eighteen and living a life she never dreamed. The year is 1913, the 300th Jubilee Year of the Romanov rule and it has been filled with fêtes, balls, and excitement.

But the night of the last ball of the season a burgeoning love affair goes horribly wrong and she’s kidnapped and whisked out of Russia. Her adventures change her life in ways she could never imagine and take her far from home. But her travails forge her into a strong, resourceful woman of the new century.

Look for this, coming soon!

*~*~*

About the Author

Min Edwards is the pen name of archaeologist, former bookstore owner, and eBook designer (A Thirsty Mind Book Design), Pam Headrick. She is a life-long Texas girl who on a whim decided to leave the heat of Central Texas and move to her property on the coast of Maine. What was she thinking? Now Lubec, the most eastern town in the USA is her home. She writes from a desk near her kitchen window in an almost 200-year-old farmhouse overlooking apple trees, mating pheasants, rabbits which turn from brown to white in the winter, and the occasional moose. Just down the road is her private beach which is unfortunately not sand but shingle… small stones which have been tumbled by the surf for eons. And they sing when the 30-foot tides of the area wash over them. Her muse and constant companion is Zach, a 12-year-old black German Shepherd who offers comedic relief when she needs it… like when one of her characters is not following orders or a plot has imploded and it looks like it’s time to start over.

Links
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Sneak Peak at S*x on the Beach!
Friday, September 7th, 2018


S*x on the Beach

In Cabo San Lucas, Navy SEAL Carson “Beach-boy” Walsh is ready to live the good life. After surviving fifteen deployments in ten years, he bailed on the SEALs, figuring this cat had run out of lives. The only danger he faces now is choking on an oyster or drowning in beer—and then he meets her.

Gina Tripp is the Calamity Jane of bounty hunters, enjoying an unexpected vacation. She’s the stand-in for an absent groom on her girlfriend’s honeymoon in Cabo when she meets a cute guy with a nothing but sex on the beach in mind. As her luck would have it, her best friend winds up kidnapped, and now Gina’s embroiled in a dangerous rescue that deepens her attraction Carson.

Just when she thinks she can settle in and enjoy a few days of sin, an opportunity to prove herself to her boss lands in her lap. Now, she has her sights set on scoring a huge bounty—an ex-pat skip, hiding out in Mexico. What follows is a wild ride that leaves her feeling pretty relieved she hijacked a Navy SEAL to help her with the job.

**S*x on the Beach** is part of the Montana Bounty Hunter series. It is also in the SEALs in Paradise connected series. Each book can be read as standalone. They do not have cliff-hanger endings and do not have to be read in any particular order.

Get your copy here!

Six months ago…

Carson “Beach-boy” Walsh pulled his dog tags from under his shirt, and then exposed the small medallion that rested against one rubber-clad tag, lifted it to his mouth, and kissed it.

So, Saint Christopher wasn’t actually considered a saint anymore, and Carson wasn’t Catholic, but his aunt had given him the medallion the first time he’d shipped out. Kissing it for luck before a fight had become a ritual.

After tucking the medal back inside his shirt, he raised his MK17 to hold it crosswise in front of his body as he continued the march into the valley. He breathed in through his nose and out through his mouth to calm his heart and head. Another part of his “pre-game” ritual.

He was on his fifteenth deployment, and he’d lost count of how many missions. He’d just hit his ten-year mark as a SEAL, and he was one lucky guy. Everyone said so. Other than a little shrapnel and splinters, he’d never been seriously injured.

Sure, he’d had a moment during his thirteenth deployment, when he thought maybe he’d run out of luck—when he’d stepped on a landmine. But the second his boot had landed on the metal plate buried in the sand, he’d known exactly what was happening, and had pitched himself over a stone wall a split-second before it exploded, a luckily delayed reaction, which had showered him with dirt. His buddies had rushed to him, certain they’d be picking up pieces of his body, but he’d sat up, shook his head, and grinned.

“Goddamn, Beach-boy,” his best buddy Fischer had said as he slapped his back. “You are one lucky bastard.”

Yeah, that had been his closest call, but he didn’t take his luck for granted. He trained hard, kept alert to his surroundings, and trusted the men on his team. They were the source of his real luck.

He’d lost friends along the way, to death and career-ending injuries. He knew, someday, his streak would end, but it wouldn’t be today. Not this early morning when the sun was painting the prettiest dawn as it climbed over the rim of the valley. Bright yellow at the edge, a pale purple and orange just above it. While he preferred a bit more greenery, the sparse bushes and trees dotting the rocky valley below looked almost lush compared to the countryside they’d been quickly moving through. The walled compound below looked like a crumbling castle from some ancient tale. A castle they hoped contained their current target, an insurgent leader who’d escaped a series of raids, and who’d publicly mocked his would-be captors.

The team was eager to capture Ahmadi, who’d become a kind of superstar, even among those who wanted to see an end to the Taliban’s reign of terror, once and for all. They admired the fact he’d managed to survive, always staying one step ahead of his American pursuers.

When they reached the outer wall of the compound, Carson paused as his team moved past. Every one of them reached out a hand to rub his helmet, their own lucky ritual, before they took positions along the wall. Carson was on point. He’d be the first inside the compound—after he blew the thick plank door set into the wall.

Fischer rubbed his helmet then took a knee beside the door. “Don’t get killed.”

“You can have my helmet if I do,” Carson said with a quick, tight grin. Then he reached out, stuck the small explosive charge next to the lock on the door, set the timer, and then took cover.

He counted the seconds and covered his ears. As soon as the C-4 exploded, he pushed up and ran quickly through the opening, heading toward the side of the mud-stuccoed house in the center of the open compound. As he moved, the only sounds were the quiet crunches of boots behind him. Not a bleat from a goat, not a bark from a dog, not a shout. “Too damn quiet,” he said.

“Damn, I hope he hasn’t already slipped the noose,” the mission commander said in his earpiece. “Breach the door, but keep your eyes peeled.”

“Anyone tell him that never sounds good?” Fischer muttered.

Hunkered down with his weapon raised, the buttstock snug against his shoulder, Carson kept close to the wall as he moved toward the alcove shading the front door. He checked the dirt around the concrete porch but saw no signs of recent digging, so no mines, he hoped. Then he ducked into the alcove, Fischer right behind him, his back to Carson as he continued to scan their surroundings.

Carson moved to the door, reached out with his left hand, and pulled down on the latch. He heard a snick, but also a snap. His heart thudded, and he turned to Fischer, “Go, go, g—”

An explosion sounded behind him, a millisecond before the door slammed into his back and pushed him ahead of a blast of fire and air that picked him and Fischer up. When he landed, he scrambled toward his buddy. Fischer lay face down, his arms spread.

Sounds around him were muffled—pops of gunfire, distant shouts. He crawled to Fischer and gently rolled him over. His face was covered in sand and grit…and blood, seeping from beneath his helmet. No, his ear.

“Fisch,” he shouted close to him, but Fischer didn’t stir.

“Man down. Fisch is down,” he said into his mic, but couldn’t hear a response. Sounds faded. He knelt, knowing he couldn’t do a thing—not remove his friend’s helmet, not move him again. He swayed on his knees and nearly fell, but more of his team arrived, pulling him away, running their hands over his back.

He sucked a breath between his teeth when he felt a sudden sharp pain on the right side of his back. More muffled voices shouted into his ear. “Lie down, Walsh! Helo’s coming!”

At that moment, Carson realized his luck had just run out. Too soon to save Fischer. Maybe too soon to save himself.

 

Three months ago…

The sky was blue, the temperature was in the mid-seventies, and a light breeze filtered through the leaves of the cottonwoods. It was a gorgeous, glorious Montana day, and Gina Tripp was pumped. Her boss, Fetch Winter, had finally let go of the tight leash he’d kept her on since he’d hired her after she’d left active duty where they first met. Before he’d mustered out, he’d given her his number and told if ever she needed a job…

She’d accepted his offer and moved to Montana from her home in San Diego. So far, she loved the climate, the mountains, the people she worked with, and, especially, the job. Bounty hunting was damn fun, and from listening to the stories of the more experienced hunters, she was eager to experience the occasional adrenaline rush she’d grown addicted to in the Army. But she was the “new girl” and had to prove herself before they’d trust her with the scary shit.

The past two weeks, Fetch had finally let her take solo baby-steps—rounding up druggies who’d missed their court-ordered drug tests, picking up an old Buick from a seventy-year-old woman who’d signed away her car to bail out her deadbeat son, only to have him skip his date with the judge.

Nothing big. Nothing dangerous. She’d performed well on other tasks, working the phones to give the other hunters leads. At last, Fetch was trusting her to serve as part of the team going after Harland Oates, a once-convicted felon, who hadn’t been seen since he’d met his bail for a DUI offense that he’d compounded by assaulting the arresting officer.

Gina had “geared up” along with two other hunters from the Kalispell office, Sam Meacham and “Kid” Hagerty. They were armed with handguns, a rifle, and a pellet gun. She’d been given beanbag rounds for her shotgun, something non-lethal because the men were nervous she’d shoot them by mistake.

She’d snorted at that assumption, but they’d taken her new nickname “Trip” to heart. So, she’d faceplanted on the drive outside the office during an ice storm. And once, she’d slid like surfer across a sheet of black ice during a coffee run, only to hit hard snow and somersault. After managing to save one lidded drink, she’d thought that would count for something.

Nope. They’d taken the security camera footage and posted it on YouTube. Now, she was known as the Calamity Jane of the bounty hunting world, at least here in Montana.

Fetch had told her to stop trying so hard. Relax. She’d eventually find her feet in the job. She’d rolled her eyes, and he’d laughed at his joke. He predicted, that in the end, she’d be a hell of a hunter.

But her training was taking a little longer than she liked. Like most of the people he’d hired, she was ex-military. She’d seen action as a driver in Iraq, driving in convoys transporting supplies across huge expanses of open desert. She’d had to bail out of a 5-ton truck a time or two to set up a quick defense against attacks from ISL forces. She’d even shot her weapon. Not that she’d ever hit a thing. Didn’t matter. She’d done her job. Had been prepared for worst case scenarios. She knew how to solider, how to follow orders, and she didn’t lose her nerve when things got grim.
She reminded herself of all these things as she trudged behind Sam and Kid toward a house, of sorts, deep inside the woods. The structure had begun its life as a school bus but had been “renovated” with wood-framed offshoots that sat on piers that looked like a stiff wind would shift them right off their foundations. This was Harland’s “hunting cabin” or so his buddies back at the bar in Bozeman had said.

Gina’s Kevlar vest was a little large, and the top rubbed the underside of her chin. She reached for the bottom edge and tugged it down to just above her hips, and then hurried to catch up with the guys on the trail.

They both turned and shot her harsh glares, but she gave them a smile. Kill them with kindness; that was her motto. They likely thought she was a bit of a snowflake she smiled so damn much.
Kid had already asked her on a date, but she’d told him she didn’t think it was a good idea—at least not until she was off her ninety-day probation. She had to be all about the job. Still, turning him down had been hard. The man was beautiful, although she was sure he wouldn’t like being described that way, but he did have the dreamiest gray-blue eyes, soot-black wavy hair that he kept cut short, and a body that any breathing woman, and probably a lot of men, would sigh over.

But it was better to keep her mind on the job, not the way his Levi jeans hugged his ass. When she headed back to California for her best friend’s wedding, she’d be sure to scout out a booty call to take care of any unrequited urges Kid inspired.

“Trip!” came a harsh whisper in her earpiece.

She glanced up and caught Sam’s signal. They’d circled to the back of the ramshackle cabin, and Kid had his back to the siding as he edged closer to a window to peek inside.

“He’s inside. Kitchen,” Kid whispered then ducked down.

Sam caught her glance, pointed toward the back door, and made some sort of hand signal. Not strictly military, so she wasn’t exactly sure if he was telling her to guard it or open it, but she nodded and moved toward the rickety back steps. When he disappeared around the front of the structure, she guessed she was supposed to wait, because he’d likely be the one to breach the front door. She edged quietly up the wooden steps to stand at the back door.

“Harland Oates, Fugitive Recovery Agents!”

Gina winced at the shout in her ear, but then almost snickered at the way Sam had said the felon’s name. It had sounded like “Hall & Oats” and, not for the first time, she was tempted to break out in song. “Maneater” came to mind.

“We have your place surrounded! Come out with your hands up!” A moment passed. “I’m goin’ in!” Sam whispered.

A crash sounded in the distance. Footsteps pounded through the bus, striking metal then wood. Then the knob on the door in front of her twisted. She only had a second to jerk back into the tiny space behind the door as it slammed open. When a man began to emerge, all she saw was wild hair, a wilder beard, and bare muscled arms.

Has to be Harland. Fuck! She pushed the door back as hard as she could against the large body hurtling out onto the porch.

She caught him, sort of.

Harland Oates slammed against the railing. “What the fuck!”

The porch shuddered then teetered to the side. She grabbed for Harland, caught his grubby wifebeater in her fist, but he fell through the rail, taking her with him. They landed on the ground, her body bouncing against his back, her shotgun banging against his head. When she scrambled to her knees, she was straddling him and fighting to get her shotgun turned in the small space between their bodies, when he bucked upward, sending her to the side.

Still turning the weapon, her finger got stuck in the trigger housing and a round went off, pounding into the ground beside his head, and he froze.

They both turned their gazes to the expended round. The lead-filled red “pillow” was disintegrated.

“Bitch, you almost shot me in the fucking head!” Harland whined.

It took everything not to blurt that it had been an accident. Instead, she gave him her meanest stare. “You gonna give me any more trouble?”

“Trip, what the hell?” Sam shouted from the back door.

She glanced up to see him tip back his cowboy hat. He couldn’t step out because the porch had collapsed. “We’re good, Sam,” she said, then dragged the muzzle of her shotgun closer to Harland’s belly. “Ain’t that right?”

Harland groaned and wilted against the dirt just as Kid strode to her side.

Sam shook his head and disappeared back inside, his feet clomping through the cabin.

Kid offered his hand. “Not exactly graceful, are you, Trip?”

She squinted up at him. “If you ever want that date, you better take that back. I got him, didn’t I?”

His mouth stretched into a huge grin. “Wish I’d had a camera. You should have seen your face when that porch fell out from under you.” He glanced down at Harland who’d reached out his hands, showing he was ready to surrender.

“Can ya get off me now?” Harland asked.

Kid cupped her elbow and grabbed her shotgun, holding it well away as he helped her to her feet. “I got this. Don’t want you to get those fingers stuck again.”

“They weren’t stuck,” she lied, her cheeks feeling as though they were on fire.

“Sure, and you meant to knock him out with the door, right?”

“I don’t suppose you could keep the after-action report to ‘Trip took down the target’, could you?”

He gave her a sly wink. “Oh, that’s exactly what happened, wasn’t it?”

Her shoulders fell. No way in hell would either of the hunters let her live this one down. She’d be stuck relieving grannies of their prized possessions for the rest of her days.

“Make yourself useful and get him cuffed before Sam gets here,” he said.

As she drew her handcuffs from the pocket on her web belt, Kid pulled out his cellphone from under his vest.

While he took pictures of the collapsed steps, she helped Harland to his feet. The man wasn’t very tall. She probably could have taken him from behind if she’d let him climb down the steps first. Instead, adrenaline had been her bitch.

As she led him back through the woods to their SUV, she heard laughter following her every step of the way.

Elle James: Salty Dog
Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

The first of the SEALs in Paradise stories is here!

Hot SEAL, Salty Dog

SEALs in Paradise
Brotherhood Protectors, A Brotherhood Protectors/ SEALs in Paradise Crossover Novel

Navy SEAL on vacation in Mexico wakes up married to a jilted bride and retraces his steps to matrimony…

Confirmed bachelor and Navy SEAL Chase Flannigan is celebrating his separation from the Navy in the tropical paradise of Cabo San Lucas. After a particularly hazy night, he wakes up with a ring on his finger and a beautiful woman in his bed, and no memory of how they got there.

Stood up at the altar, jilted bride Maggie Neal snags her best friend and goes on her honeymoon, one groom short only to wind up in bed with a hot SEAL, married and extremely hungover.

Together, Chase and Maggie take a walk down a fractured memories’ lane to discover how they ended up hitched. In the process, they discover a bullet hole in Chase’s baseball cap, a drug cartel with a vendetta against them and a burgeoning love born of respect and adventure, a love they never expected to find in paradise.

** Salty Dog ** is part of the Brotherhood Protectors Series. It is also in the “SEALs in Paradise” connected series. Each book can be read as a stand-alone. They do not have cliffhanger endings.

Get your copy here!

Books in this series:

Hot SEAL, Salty Dog by Elle James
Hot SEAL, S*x on the Beach by Delilah Devlin
Hot SEAL, Dirty Martini by Cat Johnson
Hot SEAL, Bourbon Neat by Parker Kincade
Hot SEAL, Red Wine by Becca Jameson
Hot SEAL, Cold Beer by Cynthia D’Alba
Hot SEAL, Rusty Nail by Teresa Reasor
Hot SEAL, Single Malt by Kris Michaels

Desiree Holt: Double Deception (Contest)
Monday, September 3rd, 2018

UPDATE: The winner is…Misty Dawn!
*~*~*

Leave a comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate

“New company creates hackproof proprietary software…”

“DHS warns companies targeted on dark web”

“Hacker exploits Netgear router to nab US military drone files”

“Chinese group engaging in cyber espionage against US companies, report says”

“FBI warns hackers are targeting internet routers”

 

Software by Design creates new hackproof security software
By Joe Mallory
The Electronic Blog

In a world where suddenly nothing on a computer is safe, Liam Benedict, the wunderkind of proprietary software, is setting the world on fire with his ability to design software that will work only for one program on one system. It’s a boon for both corporations and Benedict, because the software is broken apart and reconfigured each time a client begins a new project.

Benedict says it also can protect financial information at banks, financial management firms, any entity where privacy and secrecy are more important than anything else. He has a team of trained, trustworthy experts who write code and create programs that are virtually impenetrable.

His explosion of success has come to the attention of Arroyo, a multinational conglomerate run by billionaire Taylor Cantrell and her husband, Noah. They were recently here in Tampa to seal the deal to make SBD a part of Arroyo. This reporter tried to arrange an interview with them but was told everything goes through their public relations department on San Antonio, Texas.

We did, however, learn that the company is moving to larger, more secure quarters even as you read this. There is also a rumor that Benedict’s newest client is a defense contractor who may or may not be designing a super secret project for the Department of Defense.

I’ll be doing my best to keep you updated.

 

Out and About Tampa Bay
The blog that tells it all

Is there a romance brewing or is the tech world’s newest wunderkind in some kind of trouble? High profile, much-in-demand criminal defense attorney Sydney Alfiore was spotted having drinks with Liam Benedict, owner of Software By Design. Benedict is much in demand because of his firm’s ability to design software that is project specific. Defense contractors are lining up to hire him. Rumor has it he has a new client who needs the best firewall in the world for a super hush-hush project.

Alfiore, meanwhile, is smack in the middle of a very high profile murder trial, where it’s said her client may be on the verge of convicted. Don’t believe it. Alfiore always pulls a rabbit out of the hat at the last minute. The media has been covering the trial on a daily basis and every television station wants five minutes of her time.

So how did these two people find the time to meet for a drink? And look very cozy doing it?

Stay tuned for further details.

Double Deception

No one could tell who was telling the truth…

For Liam Benedict, the merging of Software by Design into the Arroyo mega-conglomerate is a dream come true—until someone on his staff screws with critical software and puts the company and its future in grave jeopardy. Suddenly life is not so euphoric for Liam. His contract with a defense contractor is in jeopardy, he doesn’t know who to trust on his staff and there is a distinct possibility a foreign power is behind the whole thing.

When forensic data analyst Eric Braun discovers who it is and how they did it, he is killed before he can tell Liam who the mole is. Framed by the killer, Liam is arrested for murder. It will take the combined resources of beautiful criminal defense attorney Sydney Alfiore, the woman he, loves, and the huge Arroyo Corporation to solve the riddle, but can they do it in time?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo| Totally Bound | iTunes

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Coming September 11th!
Saturday, September 1st, 2018

This is just a reminder, in case you haven’t already pre-ordered it! I’m posting late because I’m still working on finishing up this book. Yeah, I’m last-minute-Lucy with this story. So many things happening in this crazy house, it’s hard to meet deadlines anymore.

Anyway, thought you might like a glimpse inside the story. It’s got a hot SEAL hero, a bad-luck bounty hunter, action, humor, hot-HAWT sex, so you know, the usual! 🙂

Have a peek! And if you’re wondering why on earth I didn’t spell out SEX in the title of the book, I didn’t want my book listed in porn-prison on Amazon.

S*x on the Beach

Navy SEAL Carson Walsh is ready to live the good life. After surviving fifteen deployments in ten years, he bailed on the SEALs figuring this cat had run out of lives. Now living in Cabo San Lucas, the only danger he faces is choking on an oyster or drowning in beer—and then he meets her.

Gina Tripp is the Calamity Jane of bounty hunters. She’s the stand-in for an absent groom on her girlfriend’s honeymoon in Cabo when she meets a cute guy with a nothing but sex on the beach in mind. But she has her sights set on scoring a huge bounty—an ex-pat skip hiding out in Mexico. All she has to do is figure out how to perform her own extradition of her target. One drunken night later and a wild ride on a drug-runner’s plane, she’s pretty relieved she hijacked a Navy SEAL to help her with the job, even if he’s an unwilling participant who has to put his rusty skills to use to keep them both alive.

Pre-order your copy here!

Excerpt from S*x on the Beach

Gina sat on the red leather couch in the honeymoon suite her best friend was supposed to be sharing with her husband. But as usual, Gina’s string of bad luck had struck again. Maggie had left minutes ago, hoping to figure out how her life had taken such a crazy turn, while Gina sat, a little dazed from the morning’s odd happenings. Well, truthfully, the “dazed” bit was likely the last remnants of all the alcohol she’d consumed the night before.

She’d been in the hotel bar the night before, ready to tie one on with her best buddy to prove to Maggie she didn’t need any stinking man, when the bartender had asked her what she’d wanted. She’d been ready to order her usual Manhattan, but she was on vacation, and she wanted something new, something she hadn’t tried before.

“I hear Sex on the Beach is pretty good.”

The sexy drawl had pulled her gaze to the side where she locked gazes with one of the most delicious looking men she’d ever seen. She’d glanced at Maggie, who seemed to be doing fine, chatting with an equally sexy, well-built man. So, what the hell? A girl only lived once. She turned to the bartender. “That’s what I want. Sex on the Beach.”

The man beside her had chuckled then lifted his chin at the bartender. “Put it on my tab.”

As easy as that, she’d allowed her future booty-call to buy her drinks then draw her onto the dancefloor where he’d pulled her close, tempting her with his hard body and sliding hands. As soon as they’d finished their second slow dance, she’d been so breathless and hot, she’d pulled him toward the exit and then led him all the way back to her hotel room—after she’d assured herself that Maggie was having a good time. Maggie had been salsa dancing and looked like she was having the time of her life—and was heading toward the exit, hand-in-hand with her sexy man. Gina had only felt a slight twinge of guilt letting her leave like that.

No, her mind had been on the wicked Navy SEAL, who’d proven to be very adept at giving a woman mind-blowing orgasms.

“Well, that was awkward,” Carson Walsh said as he stepped into hotel room door carrying two Styrofoam coffee cups. “I met your friend at the elevator. She didn’t look very happy.” His gaze raked over her. “Well, damn, you got dressed.”

He sounded so disappointed Gina almost felt sorry for him, but she wasn’t over feeling sorry for herself. Yes, Gina Trip had done it again—tripped all over herself and wound up in bed with a hunky Navy SEAL while her best friend had married a complete stranger the night before.

She blew out a breath that billowed her cheeks. Reality had settled in like a wet blanket the second Maggie had left with her brand-spanking-new husband, Chase Flannigan, on a hunt to fill in the missing pieces from their memories after their drunken binge—and to figure out how they could quickly annul their marriage. “I’m a terrible wing-woman. I just wanted Maggie to have some fun. Dance a little. Maybe get laid. She was into him, I thought. How was I supposed to know she’d go and marry a complete stranger? A little rebound sexy maybe, but married?” She shook her head.

Carson handed her the coffee he’d left to find. “Caramel latte, just as you ordered.”

She glanced up and really looked at him. Was she any better off than Maggie? She’d willingly, knowingly, slept with a stranger. Okay, so he was sinfully handsome with his broad shoulders, ripped abs and tattooed biceps. And yes, his shaggy, sun-kissed blond hair, scruffy bearded cheeks, and sexy blue eyes caused her heart to flutter, but she’d resisted handsome before. What was it about these Navy SEALs that had women throwing caution to the wind to get inside their pants?

“Okay,” he said, taking a seat beside her. “You just looked at me like I did something wrong. Want to talk about it?”

She took a deep breath, hoping to cool her motor before she reached for him and compounded the sins she’d already committed with the lug. “I’m not a good friend. I shouldn’t have laughed.” But she hadn’t been able to help herself. The second Maggie had slammed through her bedroom door, shouting, Gina! What the hell happened last night? she’d been stunned by the sight of Maggie fuming while a buff, naked man stood beside her.

The man had been as cool as a cucumber and hadn’t tried to hide a thing.

Gina had managed a squeal and a “Geez, woman. Haven’t you ever heard of knocking?” But as Maggie had ranted on and on about how she’d woken up lying beside Chase, and that neither of them knew how they’d gotten there and why they were wearing wedding rings, Gina had realized something. Maggie wasn’t depressed anymore. There was color in her cheeks, a twinkle in her eyes, and her handsome husband had put that look there.

“This was supposed to be her honeymoon…” she murmured.

“I got that,” Carson said.

“Her fiancé ran off with the wedding planner. How cliché is that?”

“Got that, too.”

Gina frowned. “I whisked her away from the wedding as soon as we realized Lloyd wasn’t coming—and right before her father was set to arrive. We knew he’d flip his lid. But then, I told her she should take the vacation she’d planned. When she said she didn’t want to go alone, that it would be too depressing, I offered to come. I promised to be her wing-woman. Help her get her groove on.”

“I’d say, you did that.”

She gave him a narrowed glance, sure he was secretly laughing at her, but his expression was…concerned. For her? Her heart fluttered again. “A wing-woman is supposed to keep her friend from doing something irreversibly stupid.”

“Would you feel better if we went after them and helped them sort this out?”

She frowned, remembering how Chase had seemed committed to sticking close to Maggie, especially after someone had sent a text to Gina’s phone, threatening to harm Maggie if her new boyfriend didn’t show up that night to settle some score neither Maggie or Chase knew a thing about. They’d both been so wasted every single detail of their night together was a big black hole of nothing. “Chase seems…capable. He’ll keep her safe.” She bit her lower lip, considering what a good friend would do at a moment like this. Then she glanced at Carson. “For all her shouting, she seemed…more herself. Maybe she needs him more than she needs me right now.”

He nodded. “Okay, so that leaves you here. Alone. With me.” He waggled his eyebrows.

Heat crept across her cheeks. “I don’t sleep with men I don’t know. And I know Maggie never has either. I mean, I have sex, sure, but I usually expect a little effort from a guy—dinner, a movie… What is it with you SEALs that makes women ready to drop their panties at hello?”

His mouth stretched into a wicked, very confident grin. “Last night, you said it was something about all the muscles…”

She wrinkled her nose. “I did, didn’t I?” Feeling pretty sexy herself beneath his smoldering gaze, she reached across his lap and settled her hand on the burgeoning knot between his legs. She didn’t know how to go slow with this man.

“Not a muscle, not technically,” he said, while his eyelids dipped, and he gave her that sexy look that had made her wet in a second last night in the bar.

“What the hell,” she whispered as she stood and then climbed over his lap. With her thighs spread, she angled her body to rub against his erection. “Maybe if we do this again, I’ll decide I’ve had enough. A girl can only have so many orgasms before she gets bored, right?”

“Think so?” he said, chuckling.

“Seeing as I hadn’t done this in a while, before last night, I should reach the point pretty soon where it gets uncomfortable. Then I’ll be able to resist.”

“Let’s see how that works for you…”

She gasped as he fisted his hair in her curls. Carson already knew she went wild when a man grabbed her hair. “Pull harder,” she whispered against his mouth.

Carson growled and fisted tighter. The sting caused the muscles up and down her channel to ripple and her core to heat. She’d never thought of herself as overly sexual, but with this man, she was a full-blown nympho. She could lose herself in the pleasure because he knew exactly how to touch her.

Gina pulled at his shirt, rucking it up to expose his chest, and then did the same with hers, unlatching her bra so she could press her bared breasts against his hot skin and silky, light brown chest hair.

Then she rose, set her feet on the floor and shimmied out of her shorts. He continued kissing her, cupping one breast with his free hand while she thumbed open his jeans. When he lifted, she pushed to get them down his hips, just far enough to free his cock, which sprang full and hard between them.

Again, she settled her knees on the cushions beside his hips and reached to guide him to her entrance. With a downward glide, she took him, bouncing gently on his cock as she consumed it.

Once their groins were flush, she circled her hips. Good Lord, she felt full. “Did I mention that you’re big?”

“Yeah, the second I lost my pants last night. I think you squeaked.”

Desiree Holt: A Deadly Business (Contest)
Monday, August 20th, 2018

UPDATE: The winner is…Jackie Wisherd!
*~*~*

Leave a comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate!

A Deadly Business

There is nothing quite so deadly as the business of revenge…

Just ask me. I know, because one of the most terrifying men in the world wants me dead for revenge.

My name is Marissa Hayes. I was recruited by the CIA because I had what they wanted—a degree from Wharton School of Finance and experience in complicated money transactions. Under the name of Lauren Chapman I spent three years playing a role in one of London’s top money managers. My target? One of their clients, a man named Stefan Maes whose  money came from providing illegal arms to terrorists, funding cartels and raping Third World countries of their resources.

I was close to sealing the deal for the CIA, giving them enough information to take Maes down and freeze almost all of his money, when my cover was blown. That’s a damn scary thing, because when people like Maes get hold of you, death is the most pleasant thing that can happen to you. Lucky for me, my handler had an escape method already planned. He whisked me out of London through back alleys and down seedy streets until I was safe on a boat and then a plane.

Safe!

What a joke!

I thought I was safe when the relocated me to a sleepy little Southern town on the west coast of Florida—Arrowhead Bay. Nothing much happens there, although it does get a lot of tourists. I changed my hair, my makeup, my style of clothing…My name is now Marissa Hayes and I run an art gallery. A far cry from being a spy for the Central Intelligence Agency.

I was sure I was safe and secure in Arrowhead Bay. After all, it is the home of the international security agency, Vigilance, whose agents are all former Special Ops of one kind or another. And then there is Justin Kelly, one of their top agents, who has been teaching me defensive boxing while we dance around a sizzling sexual attraction. He’d defend me with his life, although of course, who could find me? Right?

But Maes’ right hand man, who hated the fact that I rebuffed all his sexual advances, blew my cover with his boss. Now Maes, who had lost a huge chunk of his empire, was out for blood. He wanted my head on a stick and my other body parts scattered to the winds.

Of course, nothing is for certain, and when two of Maes’ agents find me in Arrowhead Bay, I know it won’t be long before Maes himself arrives. Time to get the hell out of dodge, at least until the danger has passed. Vigilance has sent me off to a private Caribbean island, with a bonus—Justin as my bodyguard.

As I write this I am sitting in a private villa at Rosewood on Princessa Key, a luxury resort on a private island, where Justin and I finally gave in to our feelings for each other. But right now Justin is on the phone with Vigilance, where he has received frightening news. Maes has disappeared.

I keep telling myself he can’t find me here. Right?

Right?

 

A Deadly Business

Her life in beautiful Arrowhead Bay seems like paradise. But for former CIA operative Marissa Hayes, it’s a deep cover she’s forced to live under after daring to take down a powerful enemy with strong terrorist ties. Out of necessity, she keeps her emotions as guarded as her life, even as she finds herself drawn to Justin Kelly, the most arousing man she’s ever met. But when Marissa must find a new place to hide, the able-bodied Vigilance agent is the first man she turns to . . .
Justin can’t get close to Marissa, if he hopes to keep her alive. Which only makes sharing a villa with her at a remote island resort all the more challenging. The passion rising between them is exquisite—and excruciating. Even more so when terrorists infiltrate the island, putting Marissa in the crosshairs. Now Justin will do anything to protect the woman he cares about more deeply than he dares to admit. . . .

Get your copy here:

https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Business-Vigilance-Desiree-Holt-ebook/dp/B078LQN6C2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1525461092&sr=1-1&keywords=A+Deadly+Business+desiree

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-deadly-business-desiree-holt/1127723099?ean=9781516103690

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-deadly-business-3

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-deadly-business/id1329275830?mt=11

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38534912-a-deadly-business?ac=1&from_search=true

 

 

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Flashback: Through Her Eyes (Contest–2 winners)
Sunday, August 12th, 2018

I can’t believe it’s mid-August! Where did the summer go? Yesterday was the first time the pool felt cool. 🙁 I’ll be lucky to get a full month more of swimming. And, tomorrow the kids go back to school—including the almost-5-year-old. Her mom and I are feeling a little sad about that. The baby’s growing up. Double- 🙁

In the meantime, I have plenty on my plate to keep me too busy to cry, and I’d better get to it. Hope you enjoy the excerpt and the contest!

For a chance to win one of my Uncharted SEALs stories,
winner’s choice, answer me this…
I
f you were dating a SEAL, where would you prefer to vacation?
Mexico? Destin? Fiji?

Through Her Eyes

Through Her Eyes

Ex-SEAL and expert sniper, Wolf Kinkaid, is taking a little downtime while he considers his options. Being wooed by two elite spec ops groups, he’s enjoying Charter Group’s beach house in Cancun while he considers his options. A loner by nature and occupation, he wonders if he’ll ever really be able to connect to people around him. Afraid his loner nature will sentence him to spending his life alone, he’s not even sure he wants to continue looking down a scope, even if the pay’s good.

Bounty hunter Piper Ames loves the adrenaline rush she gets from her high-stakes hunts, but, now, she has time on her hands as she waits for her collar to pop up his head, so she can take him down. While she’s waiting, it doesn’t hurt that a big, buff, ex-military type is staying right next door. Not the least shy about going after what she wants, she’s surprised when he’s equally as aggressive. Their chemistry is off the charts, and the sex is the hottest she’s ever had.

While Wolf and Piper connect in the only ways their independent natures allow, danger lurks. When, at last, her target arrives, guns blazing, Wolf and Piper have to pull together to make it out alive.

Order Ebook: Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

Excerpt

Wolf hated the wait. Especially in the white-hot heat. Even at this elevation, the sun was merciless. Hot wind gusting through the pass provided no relief.

Sweat dripped from his hair down the side of his cheek, but he ignored it. His muscles cramped. His eyes grew dry. And still, he kept staring through the scope of his Macmillan Tac-50, watching the long line of insurgents trudge along the goat trail of a road below his position. Waiting for them to get close enough…

“A thousand yards. They’re coming within range,” came the voice of the mission commander through the comm in his ear.

Wolf reached for his box magazine, sitting on a rock beside him. He’d been heating the rounds in the sun to increase their range, but now, the time had come to lock and load.

Below were a couple dozen of the enemy, seemingly unaware of the weapons trained on them from above. All fresh from a battle in Ghazni. Intel said his target, Khalil Alam, would be among the group. So far, he’d searched every face but hadn’t found one that perfectly matched the grainy photo lying beside his mat.

The soldiers were all dark-haired. All wore beards or had the lower halves of their faces covered by cloths. His mark should be a little taller and gaunt. He’d spent months hiding in the mountains, orchestrating attacks from afar—a high-ranking Taliban commander who’d stepped out of the shadows to lead their latest attack, which left half a dozen Marines dead and fifteen more wounded, some maimed for life.

Again, the silence was broken. “Crosswind from the east.”

Wolf didn’t have the luxury of waiting for the wind to die down. He might have only one shot. One kill. If he was lucky.

Beside him, his spotter shifted, crunching the sand. “I see him,” he whispered, although they were nearly a mile away from the rag-tag army ambling through the mountain pass. “He’ll be coming over the hill, facing you. Best time to clip him. Nine hundred twenty yards.”

Quickly, Wolf rechecked the data he’d entered in his scope. He’d maxed out the windage. Maxed out the elevation drum. He’d need a one mil lead—aiming just ahead of the target for the four seconds the .50 Cal round took to travel.

Five seconds later, a tall angular figure climbed the trail. A weapon was slung over his bony shoulders. His robe billowed outward, caught by a sudden breeze.

Wolf kept his sight trained on the enemy’s center of mass—he’d aim for his heart. The distance was too far to even attempt a head shot. But he wasn’t the only sniper on this mission, although his was the most important target.

“Snipers, everyone found their mark?” their commander’s voice sounded. “Chime in when you have your target.”

In quick succession, the snipers called out.

“Sniper One, ready.”

“Sniper Two, ready.”

Wolf squinted down his scope at the tall Afghan he was about to take out. “Sniper Three, ready.”

He kept his breathing even, readying for the command to kill. All shots had to break at the same time, or the group below would scramble for cover and the opportunity would be lost.

“This is Foxtrot One. I have control. Shoot on my command.”

Wolf expelled a quick breath then drew in a long one and held it.

“Three…two…one…execute.”

He pulled the trigger and stared down his scope.

Beside him, his spotter cursed. He’d followed the vapor trail of the round Wolf fired and watched it splash in the dirt. He called out adjustments, which Wolf made in a second.

Still staring down the scope, he watched as everyone around Khalil Alam dove for cover. Not his target. The Afghan insurgent stood still, his head raised, his gaze narrowing as though he could see Wolf where he lay with his rifle, hidden in the shadows of a large rock. And then he did a strange thing.

Khalil Alam raised his arms out to his sides and bared his teeth.

Again, Wolf took aim and fired.

This time, his target dropped.

But so did the much-smaller figure behind him. One with a beardless, bloodied face…

 

Wyatt “Wolf” Kinkaid awoke and threw off the covers tangled around his legs. Sitting on the edge of the mattress, he set his elbows on his knees as he drew in deep, cleansing breaths.

He didn’t know why that particular kill haunted him. He’d killed kids before. Some intentionally. But that one…

Maybe because of the shock frozen in the young boy’s eyes. Khalil Alam’s son, he’d been told later. No blame, no censure came from his team. The boy was a terrorist in the making, following in his father’s footsteps. A “preemptory kill” someone who’d been trying to be helpful said. And yet, the memory still sickened him.

He wiped a hand over his face. Sleep-time was over. Daylight was burning. Not that he was on any kind of schedule. The sound of surf washing against sand in the distance reminded him he was as far from Afghanistan as a man could be. Rising, he strode to the window overlooking the beach. The large sea-side villa hadn’t impressed him nearly as much as the sight of the strip of pristine white sand. By the placement of the sun, he’d guess the time was around nine AM. He’d slept a full nine hours. And he wasn’t dead.

The peaceful view didn’t do a thing to slow his heart rate. To shake off the last sticky spider webs of his nightmare, he turned, rifled through the duffel sitting on the floor beside him, and pulled out his spotting scope. Cupping the compact Hensoldt in his hand, he stared through the lens.

If he’d needed confirmation before, he knew he was losing it when a few adjustments brought the surf closer, and, at last, he stopped hearing his pulse pound against his temples. Maybe he wasn’t meant to be up close and personal with anything. Ever.

The name he’d been given by the Team—Lone Wolf, which had been shortened over time—had never felt truer. Read the rest of this entry »