Archive for 'romantic suspense'
Tuesday, August 13th, 2019
I have a new release! If you’ve been following me for very long, you’ve read the Montana Bounty Hunters stories, and maybe, the Uncharted SEALs, the series from which I spun-off the MBH series. My SEAL, Sky Reynolds, first appeared in Big Sky SEAL, and then he and his love, Jamie, made an encore appearance in Head Over SEAL.
Both Sky and Jamie have appeared throughout the Montana Bounty Hunters, and I’ve teased the idea of their upcoming wedding for a while. Since Big Sky SEAL began as a crossover event between Elle James’ Brotherhood Protectors and my series, I thought it only fair to make their wedding another crossover event! Note the two logos on the cover below! This is, of course, a fun, action-filled, very sexy story. It’s a novelette, so not very long, but it doesn’t really need to be since I’m wrapping up their story. I’ve also included a bonus short story in the back, “Quincy Down Under“, to introduce my newest bounty hunter, Quincy James, who will have his own story in September!
I hope you enjoy Big Sky Wedding! Happy Reading! ~DD
Big Sky Wedding
MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS: Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
Sky Reynolds knows that he and Jamie Burke are perfect for each other. Both prior-military, they met while they were stationed in the desert, and fate brought them back together in the Montana mountains. They love working together, love everything about the new life they share, however, for some reason, Jamie’s been dragging her feet regarding wedding plans.
After a particularly stressful time, they take a break. Sky heads out on a mission in the Gulf with the Brotherhood Protectors, and Jamie’s chasing a dangerous felon through the woods with her tracking dog, Tessa. Sky and Jamie have time to think about what’s really important, and when Sky returns and joins her on the trail, he has a plan to give Jamie the wedding of her dreams.
Get your copy here!
If you are a KU subscriber, read it for free!
Are you all caught up with the bounty hunters?
MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS
Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
Reaper’s Ride: https://amzn.to/2KKkisI
Tuesday, August 6th, 2019
I think I have an entity that hides things from me. No joke! Twice in the past two months I bought allergy/mucus relief meds that got lost in my car. Maybe some entity was telling me not to take them, since I had been taking the meds a lot lately and some folks say they are bad for us. With the first set of meds, my calendar also disappeared. I still like paper calendars, and I depend on mine. Of course, I saw none for 2019 in the Dollar Tree, so I bought a notebook to fill in as a calendar and a calendar for 2020. As luck would have it, new calendars for the school year appeared in stores after I created my own. I didn’t find the lost one after I created one. Nor did the meds show up. Usually, things I replace show up to mock me. Maybe Mercury being in retrograde has something to do with my losses.
With the second set of meds I also had herbal tea bags in boxes. That bag never made it into my house, but it wasn’t in my car, either. The boxes should have made losing the bag less likely. BUT it didn’t! Again, maybe I wasn’t supposed to take the meds, but the tea?
The kicker, this time, is a blood pressure cuff and a pack of batteries. I bought it Sunday, but it didn’t make it into my house. Yes, I searched my trunk and the inside of my car, ’cause I tossed my wallet and my cell phone onto the driver’s seat and two larger bags into my trunk. The receipt for the BP cuff and I will go back to the store where I bought it and hope I left the bag in my buggy when I took it back inside.
The clerk seemed off when he rung up my purchases, but I know he gave it to me, and I know my allergy brain wasn’t working, soooo maybe I did take it back inside.
This summer has been crazy. I now have three books in the Protective Series.
Check out Protecting Melissa.
Get your copy here!
Protecting Melissa is a Romantic Suspense set in Georgia.
Melissa isn’t looking for romance since the murder of her cheating, swindling husband. She wants to teach and mind her own business. However, someone her husband cheated is determined to make her repay money her husband stole before his murder in the bed of one of his paramours.
Complications arise when Gabe, her former crush, walks into her classroom to check on his son, one of her students. The kid has a secret, she knows that secret, and his father wants to know that secret.
When Gabe and Melissa leave a basketball game and find all four tires on her vintage Mustang flat, he determines she needs his protection, despite her insistence she doesn’t. Gabe and Melissa’s brother were best friends. He looked after her when she tagged along behind him and her brother. Since her brother is out of the country Gabe feels obligated to protect her, just until her brother returns.
Someone has planted cameras in her house and made intimate looking photographs he shares on the Internet with her students. Who is sending her threatening emails and how far will her go to get what he wants?
Melissa and Gabe have been to the police station to report a threatening call from the night before and have returned to her house. Gabe has checked every inch of her house to make sure no one has been there or could get inside. Feeling safe, she checks her email.
Following the laughter, he found her at her desktop computer. “What’s so funny?” he asked.
He leaned over her shoulder, reading her message.
“Mom has her laptop with her. She sends stories about their stops. Look!” She pointed to a comment. “They’re having such a good time.”
“Be a shame to give them a reason to worry about you.”
“After all the stuff you did to my house, no one could break in here. I’m perfectly safe. So go away.”
She closed her mom’s email.
She didn’t recognize the next address. The subject line read Favorite Teacher.
She laughed again. “Probably a project for computer class. Let’s open the attachment and check it out.”
“No signature, darlin’. Do you recognize the screen name?” Gabe pulled a chair beside hers. Her gardenia scent nearly made his eyes cross with desire. Damn the situation. The damned situation was the reason he was alone with her and so close he could feel her body heat and the reason he’d had a hard-on much of the past two days.
“Do you really think I know all the screen names for my students? I have a hundred and forty students and a homeroom list of thirty. Then there are my past students and the faculty.”
“And they all have your email address?”
“A lot of kids use it to ask about assignments. Some keep in touch during school breaks and some send me photos. A few send me jokes and such. I discourage that because of the volume and time factor. Way too many kids.”
She downloaded the attachment and saved to the desktop. Then she opened it.
Her picture appeared on the screen. She stood in front of her classroom.
Gabe laughed. “An admirer, I see.”
“Probably from the yearbook candids.”
The first photo faded and a second one took its place. It showed Lissie running, concentration in her expression. It was grainy like an enlargement of a telephoto lens shot but still a good action photo. It grabbed his attention.
Seeing the third photo appear, he took the mouse from under her hand. Her gasp made him look at her, then back at the image of her sprawled across her bed, her eyes closed, the cover rumpled. Her gown had settled high on her thighs. One hand held the hem of the gown and the other rested on her breast.
“Pervert!” he growled. His cock loved the photo, but his conscience wanted smash the person who had taken it.
Gabe reached past Lissie to turn on her radio, in case someone was listening to them.
Her voice came out in a whisper. “How did that happen? Gabe, someone broke into my house and watched me sleep. That’s why I felt like someone was watching me.”
He grabbed his cell and dialed Bry’s number. (Bry is a cop.)
Lissie gasped. “Omigod!”
He wrapped an arm around her, waiting for Bry to answer his phone, and watched the next photo materialize on the screen. It showed her car with its slashed tires and Lissie examining them.
“Oh, shit! Come on, Bry, answer.” He pounded the desk. He muttered an obscenity as the voice mail rambled on. “Call me on my cell ASAP,” he muttered into his phone.
The final photo showed Lissie in her shower.
Links: Connect with the author
Follow Mary Marvella on Twitter: @mmarvellab
Sunday, July 21st, 2019
UPDATE: The winner is…Colleen C!
As a lot of you may know, I am a water person! Meaning I love everything from a gently-tumbling stream to the splash of crashing waves as they race to a sandy beach. In fact, my new release Dangerous Lies uses a lot of the fantastic places I’ve vacationed in Florida as part of the story’s backdrop.
But this year I decided to head upward, so I took an early June vacation to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. My family and I spent the week in a fabulous cabin high in the mountains just outside of Gatlinburg, where on clear days the distant mountain tops were visible. Other times they were cloaked in the clouds.
The entire region is just breathtaking! And that includes the ridge after ridge of forested mountains, plus the fast-rushing streams sliding over boulders smoothed by time, to eventually merge with a waterfall’s cascading waters. Then there are the natural trails, such as the one I climbed to Grotto Falls, that offer a different dimension of hiking. Paths that have been walked by many…with endless more hikers to come in future years.
Weathermen kept predicting rain, but most times there was only a brief shower. Except, one morning as I sat in a rocking chair on the porch, the steady drizzle turned into an all-out downpour! I loved the sound of the heavy rain moving through the trees on its way to my location. Thank goodness there was a nice half-porch roof covering so I could just stay where I was and enjoy the morning storm.
Since the cabin was so high up in the mountains, being on the porch felt as if I was one with nature amid the tall trees. In fact, during the downpour, I was able to see the rain hitting on top of the leaves…to see the delicate yet sturdy stems quiver with each drop’s touch…to see the leaves dancing in the rain. And my soul danced with them. That I’ll never forget.
I’d love to hear about a time the weather and its effect on your vacation was almost as exciting as the trip itself.
In celebration of my July 22 release of Dangerous Lies (Shades of Leverage Book 2), I will give one commenter an e-book of Slater’s Revenge—the first book in the Shades of Leverage series. Winner will be selected July 25.
(Shades of Leverage Book 2)
Release Date: July 22, 2019
She glanced over her shoulder, and there stood the man who’d hit on her. For all that’s holy, couldn’t the guy take no for an answer? “Back off, Dance Man. I told you before, I don’t care what song you play. And I don’t want to dance.”
“That’s good. Real good.” The corners of his mouth quirked upward, along with the tilt of his head and lift of his eyebrows. He chuckled as he slipped into the seat across from her. “Never been called that before.”
“You must really be desperate to keep hitting on someone like me.” Pointing her finger for emphasis, she gritted her teeth and spoke loud and clear in his direction. “Now, leave my table or I’m calling the police.”
The stubble on his jawline caught the light, emphasizing the dark, weathered tan of his now serious expression. His blue eyes focused on her with the intensity of someone looking for clarity before bidding on a rare diamond. She was drawn to the muscles in his forearms as he flexed his fingers back and forth, back and forth.
Caught in his stare, she shivered then noticed the barely visible earbud. She’d seen those on Secret Service agents when she’d visited the White House for an environmental briefing. She’d also seen the earbuds on people not so glad to see her as she dug for dirt on a corruption story. People who didn’t exactly play nice when she got too close to what they were hiding.
Without looking, she reached her hand into her purse leaning against her side, hoping to grab her keychain mace without him noticing. The purse tilted, and the vial slipped from her hand, landing on the floor with a slight thud.
He didn’t flinch. “You need to practice that move.”
What if he were the danger? She was alone. In the corner of an almost empty restaurant. No one was at the house to expect her home. No one even knew—
Drake. Drake knew. He was right there on the phone. He had to be hearing what was being said.
She wrapped her hand around her phone, ready to use it as a weapon. “If you don’t go away, I’m going to scream.”
The man sighed loud and heavy as he leaned against the high back of the wooden booth, then tapped his earbud and motioned to her phone. “Drake, you should tell this lady who I am before she rips my head off.”
Glancing at the phone, still on FaceTime, there was Drake holding a photo of the man sitting across from her. She lifted her gaze to the actual man and met his blue-eyed stare with one of her own. Evidently, her life had notched up in things that were out of her control. “You’re who’s supposed to protect me?”
“You got a problem with that?” He leaned forward, bracing his forearms on the table in front of him.
“No. Why didn’t you say something earlier?”
“Because you were too busy calling me Dance Man.”
She leaned forward in rebuttal. “Listen. I’ve had a very, very bad week. So, if I’ve upset you, that’s too damn bad.”
He popped the side of his fingers on the table. “Well, you’re not the only one who’s had a shitty week, lady.”
“Hey, you two want to put a lid on the sarcasm?” Drake sounded like he meant business.
They both took a breath.
“That’s better,” Drake said. “This is your protector agent, Mitch Granger. And, this is Elizabeth—”
“Liz,” Mitch stated.
“My name is Elizabeth Walkert.”
“Liz. As long as I’m your protector, your name is Liz.”
Buy Now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple Books
About the Author
Award-winning author Claudia Shelton could write her name before the first day of school, but now she writes romantic suspense, thrillers and contemporary romance. In addition, she presents workshops for readers and authors. Her debut novel, Risk of a Lifetime, released to 5-star reviews, reached Amazon’s Best Sellers Romance Series Top 100 and was named one of eBooks Galore top reads for 2014. She is also a two-time nominated Daphne Du Maurier (Unpublished) finalist for excellence in mystery. Claudia is the author of the Shades of Leverage action-adventure romantic suspense series.
On a personal note, Claudia considers herself a traveler, music lover and water person. A cool drink while listening to the splash of waves is always nice—so is a mug of hot chocolate in the falling snow. Her main priority is spending time with family, friends and her two sweet, conniving rescue dogs.
Monday, July 15th, 2019
Finally, a new release! It’s been a while, right? Not something readers who’ve followed me for a while expect. I used to spit out stories at a crazy pace. But I think I can be given a bit of break given all the trauma-drama my family have gone through in recent months with the injury, long recovery, and then death of my father. Losing him, especially when I was so involved in his care, was devastating, but now, I’m ready to get “out there” again.
Last month, my daughter and I made a two-day jaunt to New Orleans to “refill” my writerly well. I think it worked. You can judge the result for yourself. I’ve been to New Orleans multiple times, but this time, I directly applied that experience to the pages I wrote—including the description of where we stayed while we were inside the city.
Enjoy the trip to New Orleans. Enjoy the very sexy romance between my Cajun SEAL, Thibaut, and his childhood sweetheart, Amelie. It’s a hot story, so be sure to have a glass of ice water handy while you read. And when you do read it, let me know whether you’d like more stories set in the Big Easy. 🙂
Hot SEAL, New Orleans Nights
The last thing this SEAL wants is to open his heart to her again, but Amelie needs the “hands on” kind of protection only he can provide…
Navy SEAL, Thibaut “T-Bone” Cyr, has a lot on his mind. The time is approaching when he’ll either have to re-up with the Navy or leave. He’s come home to New Orleans to spend time in his old stomping grounds while he mulls over his decision. New Orleans is where his roots are, where his family lives, but he wants to stay on the downlow while he considers his future. He’s also hoping the past he left behind doesn’t still haunt him. Fourteen years ago, he fled the city when the woman he loved dumped him.
Amelie Rivette is back in New Orleans, ready to start again. She’s helping her blind aunt run a voodoo shop in the French Quarter, but her aunt’s troubles are getting complicated. After a string of bad luck, which includes a robbery and threatening calls, Amelie finds herself trapped inside the shop when a fire is set, and she’s attacked by an assailant.
Coming to the rescue of his ex-girlfriend, Thibaut finds himself torn. The last thing he wants is to relive the pain of their breakup, but Amelie needs the kind of protection he can provide. Soon, neither of them can resist their attraction, but while they reconnect physically, he holds back his heart, not trusting that what he feels is real and not some remnant of their shared past. Complicating matters is that their families are conspiring to give him a reason to stay in New Orleans.
When Amelie is kidnapped, Thibaut realizes he’s still in love with her. Hoping he’s not too late, he sets out to save her.
Buy links: Amazon | Amazon Print | B&N | Apple | Kobo
He continued toward the sign that read MADAME JOSETTE’S HOUSE OF VOODOO. He stood with his hand on the doorknob, looking through the crowded shop window, past the voodoo dolls, candles, beaded necklaces, and Mardi Gras masks, through to the wooden counter painted in a glossy Chinese red with its old-fashioned apothecary shelving behind it, filled with organic mysteries. Josette wasn’t seated in her tall chair behind the counter. No one appeared to be inside the shop. Didn’t she know when she gave tarot readings in the back that someone needed to keep watch over the cash register?
But then he remembered the bell above the door, which she didn’t really need because of her uncanny knack for sensing her surroundings. The woman couldn’t see her old deck of cards but knew instinctively which she placed on her table, something that had fascinated him as a child.
He turned the knob, listened to the light tinkling of the bell, and stepped inside, inhaling the scent of whatever incense Josette had set to burn that morning.
Shuffling sounded from the stockroom beyond a beaded curtain. “Be right with you,” came a musical voice. Not Josette’s.
He swallowed hard and held his breath as a slim hand parted the curtain, and Amelie Rivette stepped out. His reaction told him that he’d been lying to himself. That she was the reason he was here. Fourteen years hadn’t blunted her effect, not according to the familiar tightening of his chest and his frozen thoughts.
The years had been kind to Amelie. Her curly hair came to her jaw rather than cascading down her back but was still a glossy, dark brown. Fine lines framed her hazel-green eyes, and her cheekbones were a little more defined, but her skin was smooth, and still that lovely dark cream that denoted her mixed heritage.
His glance touched on her mouth for only a moment, but that millisecond was just long enough to cause his blood to heat. Her lips were still full and soft-looking, and partly opened as though she was just as shocked to see him.
“Amelie,” he said, the word sandpaper-coarse because he had to force it past his tightened throat.
“Thibaut,” she said, and then her lips twitched, and she gave him a polite smile.
His back stiffened at that smile. Like he was a stranger, or worse, someone she’d hoped never to see again. A bitter taste entered his mouth because they’d parted, promising to remain “friends.”
“You’re back…” she said, a tiny frown forming between her brows.
“No,” he answered automatically, because damn if he didn’t want to disagree with even the simplest comment she might make. “I’m only here for a little while.”
“Visiting, then…” Her shoulders relaxed.
“You back?” He arched a brow then parroted, “Visiting?”
Her lips closed around a tight smile. “Actually, I moved back to help my aunt. If you stopped in to see her, you just missed her. She’s gone home already.”
He nodded. “Tell her I stopped by.”
“I will. I’ll let her know you’ll see her…another time,” she said, sounding a little breathless.
That was his cue to leave, but he hesitated to turn away. He wanted to keep looking at her. Committing everything to memory. Wiping clean the image he’d carried in his head for years of the way she’d looked before she’d turned to descend the steps of his family’s home and exited the wrought iron gate with the sun gleaming on her long hair, her cheeks pale and her eyes sparkling with tears—and her lips swelling slightly from the hard kiss he’d given her when she’d bid him goodbye.
Firming his mouth, he gave her a nod. “Good to see you, Amelie.”
Amelie stood frozen until he walked out the door. Good Lord, the man sucked the oxygen out of the room. His body seemed taller, larger than she’d remembered, and ripped. Gone was the soft handsome babyface he’d had throughout school that had made all the girls giggle and swoon. Now, his cheeks and chin were hard-edged. Even his dark stare cut like a laser. Like a caged tiger, his movements were fluid but reflected his physical power. She shivered thinking about the way he’d looked at her, his gaze flicking over her face and body, leaving a hot trail of want she fought to quell. There was no use thinking about him in any sexy way. She was the last woman on earth he’d ever want again, something he’d made abundantly clear when she’d broken up with him on the eve of leaving for Illinois.
“Illinois? What the hell, Amelie?” he’d said on that long-ago afternoon, his grip on her upper arms tightening. “I’m going to Tulane. You said you were, too.”
Yes, they’d both received offers of scholarships to Tulane. Him for football, her for math. But she hadn’t told him about the second offer. The one her father had pressured her to accept.
“You lied to me? All summer, you lied…to me?” he’d said, his dark brows furrowing in a fierce frown.
“I didn’t lie,” she’d whispered.
He gave her a little shake. “You let me talk about getting us a place near school…” His mouth curled into a snarl. “I told you I loved you. Said we’d get married.”
She panted, every word making her gasp with pain for what would never be. By his darkening expression, he’d never forgive her, never let her explain.
“Don’t you dare say you’re sorry,” he spat.
She swallowed, tears beginning to fill her eyes. She’d known she was going to hurt him, but she’d left this reckoning too long. “I h-have to go.”
Thibaut had stared down at her, his nostrils flaring, his cheeks red with anger. Then he’d bent toward her and slammed his mouth down on hers. The kiss had been hard, crushing her lips against her teeth—a punishment, when she’d been accustomed to only soft, sweet kisses from the boy she’d loved. When he’d drawn back his head, he’d released her arms, and she’d stumbled back and wiped the back of her hand across her mouth. She’d stared for a long moment, memorizing his face, knowing they’d never be here, standing on his mother’s porch, ever again.
She’d left New Orleans and hadn’t looked back, but she’d never forgotten how she’d felt about him then. How she’d felt about herself for hurting him.
She’d been in New Orleans a month before she’d stopped worrying every time the bell tinkled that he’d walk through the door. Crazy thoughts like that had bombarded her ever since she’d returned. She’d seen him everywhere she went. Any burly, thick-shouldered man would instantly set her heart racing until she took a closer look. She’d told herself it was natural, because so many of her memories of this city were wrapped up with memories of him. Before she’d accepted that scholarship from Northwestern, they’d been inseparable, throughout middle and high school, dating as soon as her father had reluctantly approved.
It had taken years for her to get over Thibaut Cyr…
Wednesday, July 10th, 2019
Most of the time, when I write, the story is completely fictional. Protecting Zarifah, my newest book, is different. I am the founder of Shimmy Mob Memphis. Founded in 2011, by Francesca Sabeya Anastasi, Shimmy Mob is an International organization with chapters all over the world. We dance each year on international belly dance day and raise funds for our local domestic abuse shelters and we raise awareness. We dance to the same song, doing the same choreography and wearing the same t-shirts.
Next year will be the tenth year for Shimmy Mob. The Memphis chapter has raised over ten thousand dollars for the shelter through the years. I am proud of my dance sisters who stepped up to help. Together we are stronger. www.shimmymob.com
People often asked me why I signed the city up when I had retired from my troupe and was no longer dancing. I was focused on my first book out in print, and was busy going to book signings with little time to spare. I made time. No one had signed the city up. The clock was ticking. Why did I sign up?
I usually have a four-word answer to that question. Babies with broken bones. Domestic abuse hits the youngest child, to the oldest person. Substitute women for babies or elderly for babies in that four word sentence. Whoever is the victim, domestic violence is wrong. And it needs to stop. I do not want to live in a world where babies have broken bones because a malicious adult injured them or where a caretaker breaks an elderly person. That’s simply not acceptable to me. The work I’ve done with Shimmy Mob is one small way I could help.
That first year we faced a lot of challenges. In 2011 Memphis had tornados, the river rising and flooding. We had to find a place to dance and it was hard. We thought we had a place but then they backed out. No one wanted to let us dance because a Shimmy Mob/flash mob was brand new and other flash mobs had sometimes led to violence. I often thought of the irony as I searched for a place to dance. We were trying to stop domestic violence and couldn’t find a place to dance because others had been violent.
Forty-five dancers signed up from various dance groups in Memphis along with a few dancers from out of town. We started rehearsals but still had nowhere to dance. Last minute permission came from Center City Commission through Dawn Vinson, who would be dancing with us. We would dance downtown outdoors on the trolley line.
Only a fraction of our dancers made it out to dance because of the storms. We had tornados moving in. I could have called it, but staying in touch with the folks putting on Memphis in May concerts down by the river, I decided not to until they did. Bands playing on a metal stage would be called off if it became too dangerous. My oldest son was working the event. He does Tech Theater and works the lights and sound. We were both tuned in the weather.
So, we danced. We danced in between tornado sirens and watching for tornados, but we got the job done and we raised a thousand dollars that first year even though we received no local news coverage for our event. They were too busy covering the storms.
The photographer for the Commercial Appeal called me as we were driving away. He had just missed us. I thought we had been a small voice that few heard, but even a small voice can help. Even a small voice can speak up. That too is an important part of fighting domestic violence and an important example to set. Later, Shimmy Mob International honored us for our efforts.
Honoring Shimmy Mob Memphis in 2011
Shimmy Mob Memphis continued to dance each year. Our first year the funds went directly to the YWCA shelter. I took toiletries and diapers we’d collected to the shelter. There are so many ways to help. At the time it was the only shelter in the tri-state area – not enough for a metropolitan area the size of Memphis. In later years we donated to The Family Safety Center, the first place domestic violence victims can go locally. It is a wonderful place and offers many services.
Things often come full circle in my life. Now I’m retired from team leading, and instead, I’m writing about Shimmy Mob to shine a light and spread awareness.
Zarifah, my heroine in Protecting Zarifah is as assistant team leader in the first Shimmy Mob event. It is 2011 and they will have to take all the steps to put an event on. First, sign up the city. Second, get the word out to dancers and encourage them to sign up. Third, get the music and choreography and learn it. Fourth, find a place to dance. Fifth, set up donations. Sixth, promote the event. Then dance on Shimmy Mob day. Afterward, turn in money to the shelter. Send video and pics to International Shimmy Mob and share on social media.
Readers will get a glimpse into the world of a real belly dancer, while also reading about a fictional one that was engaged to the wrong man. When he is arrested for domestic abuse, she is done with him and determined that he will never touch her again. She files a restraining order against him.
Cutter, her new Navy SEAL boyfriend, will be there to protect her if her ex boyfriend comes around again and when she dances for Shimmy Mob, his protecting services are needed.
Available on Amazon for KU
And in print
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Sunday, July 7th, 2019
Each man has had his own personal experience with danger.
Now they are guardians of your safety and always there when you need them.
Finding Redemption is Book #5
Her son was kidnapped and there is no trace of him anywhere. The one man who can help her is wrapped in his own dark misery. Can she convince him to help?
She shook herself at the sound of Josh’s voice.
Lisa looked at the man across from her. She’d seen him a few times, in very brief situations, but this was the first time she’d had the chance to study him.
At thirty-eight he looked at least ten years older. He had thick black hair peppered with grey, worn long enough that he tied it back with a leather thong. His beard looked more like the result of not shaving rather than a deliberate plan, and dissolution had added extra flesh around the jaw line and pouches under his eyes. His skin was an unhealthy, ruddy color, probably from the amount of alcohol she heard he drank with regularity. Although he carried a few extra pounds, she bet that in his best days, he was lean and mean.
If this were, as the fairy tales said, once upon a time—before Charles had killed any interest she had in men and before Ethan Caine had destroyed himself—she could see herself being drawn to him. Now he just offended her, and she resented any latent spark of attraction he ignited in her.
But then she saw his eyes and something stabbed at her. Although they were alert, studying both the Taylors and his surroundings at the same time, they were a bottomless black filled with so much pain it hurt to look at them. What had this man seen and done that caused that much personal misery? Was this the kind of man she could trust to find her son?
She shook herself at the sound of Josh’s voice. “I’m sorry. My mind tends to wander these days.” She pasted what she was sure was a grotesque mockery of a smile on her face. “Than you very much for coming, Mr. Caine.”
“Ethan. Don’t thank me yet.” His voice was deep but not smooth, more like the scraping sound of gravel falling on cement. “Right now we’re just having lunch.”
“That’s true.” She nodded, willing her hands to stop their incessant tremors.
“So, why don’t we order and you can tell me what this little meet and greet is all about.”
Find all Buy links here:
Book #1 Moving Target
Book #2 Silencing Memories
Book #3 Killing Lies
Book #4 Running Scared
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Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019
My latest book, Colton’s Mistaken Identity, is Book 7 in the Coltons of Roaring Springs series from Harlequin Romantic Suspense. While each book in the series is standalone, meaning you don’t have to read any of the previous, it’s a richer read when you have. My heroine is an identical twin and poses as her (missing? kidnapped?) twin during a film festival in the idyllic setting of Roaring Springs, Colorado. Phoebe works at her parent’s Chateau resort, giving the setting a very Aspen/French Alps feel. Phoebe is attracted to the bigtime movie star Prescott Reynolds, but can’t even contemplate a sexy rendezvous or two, not with her sister’s mysterious disappearance and the festival to run. Of course, lots of scary suspense and life-threatening action ensues, along with intimate, intense sexy times. It’s why it’s called romantic suspense. What keeps me happily writing Harlequin Romantic Suspense is the depth of characters and the emotional honesty of their relationships. I hope you’ll enjoy them, too.
Colton’s Mistaken Identity
The wrong twin…or the right one?
A Coltons of Roaring Springs romance
Marketing exec Skye Colton suddenly disappears, putting the Roaring Springs Film Festival in jeopardy. Enter Skye’s identical twin, Phoebe, who poses as her sister. In her starring role, Phoebe catches the eye of A-list actor Prescott Reynolds, and she can’t deny the electricity that erupts between them. With Skye still missing and a stalker at large, this is the worst time to fall in love, especially with danger racing toward them…
A flash of red, the distinct shade he’d first laid eyes on this morning in the copse of aspen trees, caught his attention. The same woman he’d seen on the trail walked past him and began to climb the stairs to the grand ballroom. He knew where the impressive stairs led, as he’d already memorized the layout of the hotel. His privacy had necessitated he know every nook and cranny to escape to if the paparazzi became rabid.
She wasn’t in running clothes any longer, and her hair was styled to show off the unique hue. From her profile he saw that she was wearing makeup, a little much for his taste, but he was used to being around women who enjoyed dolling themselves up. It was all part of being an actor.
This woman intrigued him when she shouldn’t. And yet as she’d walked by, oblivious to him, he’d caught a whiff of floral perfume that captured him like a trout in a net. The sight of her profile again, this time with makeup on and offset by the backdrop of the luxurious resort, struck a chord deep inside him. Prescott wasn’t a stranger to immediate attraction but this took it to a new place for him. Besides the obvious physical pull of her beauty, he sensed the potential for something deeper, more meaningful, between them.
What the heck was going on with him?
She wasn’t wearing anything exciting, and her business suit didn’t show off her curves as well as her workout clothing had. Still, in the view he had of her backside, there was no denying her very feminine shape under the jacket and dress pants. Insta-lust made him pause, not wanting to get an erection in public.
You’ve been alone too long.
After what he’d been through with his ex, he knew better than to even look twice at this stunning woman. But he couldn’t help himself. Truth be told, he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her. Nor how relieved he’d felt when he’d realized she wasn’t trailing him. It was always in the back of his mind that Ariella could show up again, and her penchant for ugliness wasn’t something he relished. He’d been drawn to Ariella’s intelligence and quick wit. And it had worked for a while, until her true nature of career-climbing at the expense of the men in her life reappeared. Or maybe he’d simply come out of his denial about her dark side. Either way, it had been a rough go of it for his dating life ever since.
But the redhead… His gut told him to go after her.
He didn’t entertain the rational side of his brain that told him he was out of his league. That not everyone was impressed by actors, not that he ever consciously used his job or status to seduce a woman. He believed more in allowing an attraction to grow organically.
This inexplicable urge to talk to the stranger, the only redhead he’d seen at The Chateau, was definitely organic on his part. But would she think he was odd?
What if she wasn’t available? Preston stopped midway up the staircase. He hadn’t even considered that she might be with someone already. Hell, she could even be married.
Prescott hadn’t had to go after a woman in years. And he missed it. The constant attention from the opposite sex had been heady when he’d arrived in Hollywood and been cast in his first roles ten, twelve years ago. But it quickly grew old, and he didn’t want to spend time with someone who only saw him as an actor. The redhead clearly worked here or had a role to play in the film fest, so she was probably used to celebrities. Would she see past the Caribbean-blue eyes that had become his trademark? Not that he’d ever expected to be known for his eyes. His dream wasn’t even so much to be recognized for his acting as to be give the opportunities to bring meaningful roles to life. He wasn’t a fan of the celebrity culture that came with it but he understood it was all part of the gig.
Except when he wanted a woman to see him as more than a contender for a tabloid’s annual sexiest man.
He walked through open, massive carved oak doors and into the hotel’s pièce de résistance—the grand ballroom. The floor was entirely parquet but covered with a huge red carpet that ran into its center, where the area delineated for dancing remained clear. Hundreds if not a full thousand round tables framed the open area, the crystal chandeliers catching the fading sunlight, their bulbs still dim. Soon they’d be bright and the room a cacophony of press, actors, studio executives and the teams of people it took to make it all happen.
It was that rare quiet moment before a major event launched. Right now it was hushed as workers rapidly set tables and moved last-minute lighting equipment into place. A DJ set up in a far corner of the room, her control panel as large as any he’d ever seen in a concert. But in another hour and a half, it would burst to life with an entirely different personality.
Prescott liked the quiet anticipation before an event. As much as he enjoyed the slow build of desire as he met and wooed a woman into his bed.
The redhead stood alone in the middle of the room, silently moving her lips as she read from her phone. Her running clothes were gone but she hadn’t upgraded her look that much, wearing easy black pants and a simple pale pink silk shell. Her skin was dewy, and as he’d already noticed she liked her makeup heavy, but on her stunning features it only emphasized her beauty.
His running shoes, silent on the plush carpet, hit the parquet floor, and a loud squeak sounded. The woman gasped as she startled and dropped her phone onto the carpet. Her caramel-brown eyes lasered in on him, and he knew how a bug felt under a magnifying glass. But it was more like an ant under a sunbeam as heat immediately flared in his chest, rushing toward his groin. The woman was so damned beautiful, from her glorious red hair to her full lush lips, down to her full breasts and hips. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so smitten, from the get-go.
Because you never have been.
He held up his hands. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.” He bent down and retrieved her phone, on which he saw notes displayed before he handed it back to her.
“I-I’m not…scared.” She cleared her throat, and he had to consciously force his gaze from the creamy skin of her neck to her eyes. He swore he already knew what she’d taste like, how her soft skin would give under the pressure of his lips.
“What can I do for you?” She’d been surprised by his appearance but recovered quickly. The immediate shock in her brown eyes was already replaced by cool assessment. Yup, definitely someone used to working with celebrities. And not easily impressed, he’d guess.
“I know who you are, Mr. Reynolds. Is there something you need before tonight’s premiere?” Her tone burst with brusque efficiency, but all he could see was the way her pink-glossed lips formed the words.
“You didn’t notice, but this morning we were both on the hiking trail.”
“You mean the running path?” She bit her lower lip, and her cheeks flushed under the makeup. Why did she have an expression of guilt on her feminine features? “Sorry, but I’m not a runner. You must have seen my twin sister, Phoebe. She, ah, goes for a few miles every morning. I’m more of a night owl. Did you enjoy your time on the property?”
“Yes, of course.” He waved his hand around, motioning at the room. “This entire place is amazing. It’s easy to feel like I’m in the middle of Normandy or Burgundy while I’m here.” Too late he realized what a snob he sounded like. His global travel was a direct privilege of his celebrity status, and the Iowa farm boy inside him cringed at his careless mention of a destination so few ever afforded.
“Thank you. I’ll pass that on to my parents. Is there something else?” There was an air of impatience, no, make that desperation about her as she repeated her question. Maybe she had to practice red carpet introductions, or there had been some last-minute disruptions to the festival’s launch gala.
“Actually, it’s me who’d like to do something for you. What did you say your name was?”
Most women were impressed enough by this point to at least show a spark of appreciation in their gaze. But not this woman. She actually hesitated before she answered, as if reluctant to let him know anything so personal. Talk about the tables being turned.
The warmth in his center from her nearness exploded into something he hadn’t felt in a long while. Joy.
Prescott realized that he’d sorely missed having a woman turn him on his head. Maybe this film festival wasn’t going to be the laborious weeklong junket that he’d resigned himself to.
“I’m Skye Colton, the resort’s marketing director.” She held out a slim hand, and he took it. As they shook he was again distracted, this time by the silky softness of her skin that contrasted sharply with the firmness of her grip. “Pleased to meet you.”
“Not as pleased as I am. Call me Prescott, please.” He loved how she grasped his hand like a boss. She’d be incredible in bed, he instinctively knew. But what stunned him was that he wasn’t interested in that, not right now. Well, maybe he was completely enthralled by how seductive her mere presence was, but he was feeling something very different from first-meet attraction. Something more palpable.
All Prescott wanted was to get to know Skye Colton better. Suddenly his seven-day junket in Roaring Springs felt as if it was already half over. There would never be enough time to know this woman the way he wanted to.
But damned if he wouldn’t give it his best shot.
Phoebe knew she gripped Prescott’s hand too tightly, but to his credit the man didn’t even wince. She’d had no choice, as there was no other way to hide her nervousness. Thank goodness she’d wiped her palm on her pants before she’d shaken his. Otherwise he’d have known how rattled she was.
The photos and films didn’t do this man justice. Not even close. She’d never had a zing of awareness when she’d seen him on the big screen, nor had she grown wet with pure feminine need as she’d watched his performances. Standing so near to him, it was a shock to her that his star status wasn’t at play. She felt as she would with a non-celebrity man she was attracted to. Except her reaction was so far over the top. Between his deep voice, his words that made her feel like she was the only woman in the room, and the confidence in his posture and body language that hinted at his athleticism, her knees felt like her mother’s pepper jelly. All wobbly but with heat washing over her skin, making her want to run away before she did what her hormones were begging for: to kiss Prescott Reynolds right here in the ballroom and tell him to follow her to her room.
This must be what groupies feel like, and why they go after movie and rock stars.
This had to be some kind of sexual overreaction due to the morning’s upheaval caused by Skye’s disappearance.
Prescott flashed his familiar white-toothed I-leave-hearts-crushed-with-every-footstep grin that she recognized from his film promos and it snapped it out of her sexual trance.
It was nothing like the smile she’d witnessed in her favorite work of his—an historical period piece where he’d played a struggling artist amid the French Revolution. While his smile was part of his trademark good looks, as he looked at her, she was aware that there was more to this man than his celebrity. And he knew how to turn it on and off, not a virtue of many people she’d met who lived in the spotlight.
“Okay, then. Nice to meet you, Prescott.”
“Nice to meet you, too, Skye.” Phoebe didn’t like lying, ever, yet as she stood in the middle of the grand ballroom, her hair and makeup perfectly done in Skye’s signature style, it was surprisingly easy to fall into the role. Save for Skye’s effervescent presence. And extreme comfort around attractive, powerful men.
“You must be very excited for tonight. I’ll be announcing each of you, I mean the VIPs, as you arrive.” She’d watched from the sidelines as her twin had handled actors over the past three years since they’d both left college. Skye made it look so easy, but Phoebe was drained at the mere thought of having to play “happy to meet you” with countless actors.
He shrugged, his tall, muscular frame formidable in measure but his energy anything but. He made her feel as though she were the only person he wanted to be with. No doubt all part of his practiced Hollywood charm.
“It’s a thrill to know the world’s going to finally see something I worked so hard on, but to be frank, I left this film’s set almost a year ago. My mind is on other…projects.”
She couldn’t help but laugh, his flirting was so obvious. “I’ll bet it is.” It seemed silly, but she went ahead and batted her eyes anyway. And immediately felt like Skye. She wanted to tell him that she wasn’t really her twin, please forgive her, and would he call her Phoebe?
But she couldn’t. So she smiled, content to soak up his aura of good cheer as pseudo-Skye.
He smiled back, but it wasn’t the predatory grin of a man on the prowl. She’d watched plenty of actors behave poorly over the years, and this wasn’t it. Prescott seemed relaxed, and there was a special light in his eyes that she couldn’t attribute to the chandeliers, as they weren’t fully lit yet. She didn’t know the man, but if she had to name it, she’d say he was happy. A man in his element. Exactly where he wanted to be.
Buy links: https://gerikrotow.com/books/coltons-mistaken-identity/#order
About the Author
Geri Krotow is the bestselling author of the Silver Valley PD series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and the Bayou Bachelors series with Kensington Lyrical Caress. A U.S. Naval Academy graduate and Intelligence Officer, Geri left her Navy career to pursue writing. Geri enjoys creating sexy contemporary romances and tingling suspense.
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