Just a Taste – ENAMORED

Just a Taste – ENAMORED

My latest release is ENAMORED, book 3 in my baseball series. I wove two romances together in this one, so I’m calling it a baseball romance double-header. 🙂

 

After a Spring Training stunt saddles Liam York with a broken ankle, the League’s Best Mascot is forced to share the spotlight with the team’s solution: a temporary friend for Fin the Shark. But his new co-worker tests the limits of his control.

Claire Devereux spent years caring for her siblings and is more than ready for some fun. She loves every aspect of being Fin’s new friend Fiona and is determined to make the temporary gig permanent.

As romance blooms between their on-field personalities, Liam and Claire give in to their passion off the field too. But curve balls from every direction test whether they’re better as a duo or if it’s every mascot for him/herself.

Meanwhile…

First baseman Slade MacInnes has a lot of balls in the air. His contract is expiring, he’s just found his birth parents, and his agreement to do some work with a children’s charity has led him to the very sexy and sweet Savanna Soto.

Savanna works hard granting wishes to kids with life-threatening illnesses, something her sister never lived to experience. Slade’s no-fear attitude and adrenaline-junkie adventures make her want to break out of her self-imposed safety bubble and live.

Slade figures he’s just the man to help her conquer her fears. Each activity draws them closer together with an attraction that sizzles. But when life pushes their differences to a head, will fear win out or can love save the game?

****

Here’s a taste from Liam and Claire’s story:

Thanks to traffic, forty minutes passed before she entered the stadium’s employee parking lot. Claire grabbed her purse, pulled out her badge, and jogged toward the entrance. She couldn’t afford to be late yet. Maybe no one had noticed.

Yeah right.

She flashed her badge at the security guard and increased her pace. Rushing to the third-floor office, she bypassed the elevator and ran up the stairs. The team wanted the mascots to be visible to the fans on the concourse prior to the game. People would see that she wasn’t there with Liam. Even if the fans didn’t notice, the staff would. Raymond had been pleased with her performance so far. She couldn’t let that change.

Her purse caught the edge of a maintenance cart and yanked her back. She stumbled into the wall, cursing as her shoulder met concrete.

“Claire?” Liam, dressed as Fin, slowed to a stop on his golf cart. “I tried calling your phone. Are you okay?”

Rubbing her shoulder, she pushed away from the wall. “Sorry I’m late. I’ll be dressed in under a minute.”

She slid past him, jogged the remaining steps to the office, and dropped her purse on the floor. Her damn shoulder throbbed. Hopefully, it wouldn’t hold back her performance. No one could see her wince in pain anyway during the game. The costume made sure of that.

The golf cart stopped in front of the door. Liam hopped off, grabbed his crutches, and lumbered into the room. The door closed at his back. “Are you getting in a pre-game workout by jogging around the floors?”

Laughter huffed out at the thought. “Right. That’s it.”

She tugged on the costume, tripping as her sneaker caught on the material. And then the zipper got stuck on the fabric. “Damn it, damn it, damn it.”

“Hey, relax. We’re good.”

“No, we’re not good. We’re due out on the concourse.”

“If you need more time, Fin can always pretend he locked Fiona in a closet so he could have fun on the field.”

“Raymond’s not going to buy that if he’s out there.” She sat on the couch and worked the material free of the zipper’s teeth.

He came closer and laid his hand on her shoulder. “I wouldn’t throw you under the bus. I’d tell Ray that you were stuck in a traffic backup caused by an accident or road construction.”

Her previous sales job had been cut-throat, with co-workers stealing customers and an everyone-out-for-themselves environment. She had never expected that Liam would back her up here. “Well, thanks. I appreciate it.”

“Just curious, but why were you late?”

“Lasagna and a missing gym leotard.”

She caught his grin through the mesh of Fin’s mouth. “Yeah, I hate it when that happens.”

They both laughed and he nodded toward the TV. “Today’s episode of Fin and Fiona is The First Kiss. We can tune in right here during the fourth inning.”

“With everything that’s gone on today, I’d forgotten. I’m glad Raymond was right about the fans loving the Fin and Fiona storyline.” Resisting Liam had been harder than she’d thought. Just one look into those laughing brown eyes and she’d melt. He made her wish for things that she shouldn’t. She stood and slid the zipper closed.

He moved backward, but his crutch landed on her purse and fell away from his grip. His body pitched to the side and he flung out his arm and casted ankle. Claire sprang forward. She couldn’t have him land on either of those. Yanking the front of his costume, she twisted toward the couch. His weight and momentum took them both down and they landed in a heap of tangled limbs.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” Buried beneath him, she panted the apology. She never left her purse on the floor. “Did you bang your ankle?”

“A little.” He pushed up on his arms but she couldn’t see his eyes through the dark mesh of the costume. “Can you pull off my mask?”

“Sure.” Berating herself, she slipped it off his head. His eyes kindled with that familiar spark and his dark hair was tousled in a sexy mess. She could picture him looking this exact way after a night spent together. Dragging her thoughts from going in that direction, she smoothed the strands, desperate to fix something after the near-disaster she’d caused.

His breath stilled when her hand tangled in his hair. And she realized she probably shouldn’t be touching him like this. She lifted her hand, but he shook his head. “Don’t stop. I like it.”

Her blood beating a steady thrum, she returned her hand to his hair. His gaze roamed her face and then settled on her mouth. He shifted his body and tugged his hand free of their tangle. When his finger trailed from her temple to her chin, her eyes fluttered closed. The touch was like thousands of points of electricity pulsing against her skin.

She opened her eyes. Liam’s gaze held hers captive and he traced his finger over the shape of her lips. “Fighting this hasn’t worked. If anything, it’s made me want you more.”

The words spoken in the roughened tone were both arousing and gratifying. She hadn’t been the only one who’d suffered. “So maybe we should stop fighting it.”

A slow, dangerous smile spread across his face. He moved his hand to her throat and stroked her skin with a feather light caress. Claire left one hand buried in his hair and slid the other to his neck, massaging the muscles.

Liam groaned and lowered his head and his mouth crashed down on hers faster and hotter than she’d expected. His lips coaxed hers apart and she let his tongue slide inside to dual with hers. He kissed a trail to her jawline then down her neck in a series of nips and licks that weakened her muscles and heated her blood. Tugging his hair, she nudged him until he returned to her mouth. His urgency matched hers and his body blanketed her, wrapping them in their desire.

A knock pounded on the door. Claire jolted and knocked her forehead into Liam’s. “Damn it.”

He pulled away, rubbing his forehead, and rolled to the floor. “Just a second,” he called out as he reached for his crutches.

Claire sprung to her feet. She adjusted her costume, slipped her mask in place, and helped Liam put his on.

When she opened the door, Tim, one of the security guards, stood with his hand on his radio. “You guys all right? Our guest singer for the National Anthem was late, but she’s ready to go now. You need to get on the field.”

They were much later than she’d thought. Claire groaned and glanced at Liam. “Sorry. I had some costume trouble.”

“I’ll have them hold the elevator for you.” Tim stepped away, speaking into his radio.

Liam locked the door and climbed into the golf cart. He rubbed Fin’s fins together. “Time to burn some rubber.”

She started the engine and sped down the hall. Her attraction to Liam couldn’t get in the way of doing her job. “Listen, about what happened…”

“It was a good first kiss, starting with the crash and ending with a bang.” He raised his hand to his head.

Laughing, she glided the cart onto the empty elevator. “Seriously. We can’t let it affect things here.”

He laid his hand on her thigh. “Believe me, I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize this job. On the clock, we’ll make sure to keep a better watch on the time. But off the clock, all bets are off.”

A shiver tore through her. Anticipation rolled together with wariness. Losing focus of her responsibilities wasn’t an option. And Liam proved to be the biggest distraction she’d ever had.

You can get your copy here:

Amazon: http://a.co/7T7IHJ6

iBooks: http://apple.co/2tI3UC3

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2u7flFy

B&N: http://bit.ly/2uKUPIT

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2u2rxb3

 

Happy reading!

Sample Positively Pippa

Sample Positively Pippa

 

Just a Taste of my upcoming release, Positively Pippa #1 Ghost Falls Series. The book releases at the end of the month and I’m so exciting to share it with you. I am running a number of exciting giveaways prerelease.

 

  1. I am offering a custom made downloadable coloring book for any preorder of any of my books. All you need to do is send along proof of preorder to sarah@sarahhegger.com
  2. Watch out for the blog release tour starting May 19th, I’m offering free books as well as three Ulta gift cards so you can give yourself a makeover a la Pippa. More details on my website.
  3. I am also hosting a Facebook release party on May 30th (release day!) and just for attending you might win a $400 gift card to StitchFix for a wardrobe makeover – your very own Pippa. Click the link to take part.
  4. And finally just by subscribing to my newsletter I am offering a chance to win a custom made bracelet from local Colorado jeweler Sima Gilady

And having chewed your ear off about all of that, let me give you that threatened excerpt:

 

“Shit, Isaac. If the plumber needs quarter-inch pipe, get him quarter-inch pipe.” Matt threw open the door to his truck as he half listened to another lame excuse. He could recite them by heart at this point anyway.

“No, I can’t get the pipe. I’m at Phi’s house now.” He sighed as Isaac went with the predictable. “Yes, again, and I can’t come now. You’re going to have to fix this yourself.”

He slammed his door and keyed off his phone. Smartphones! He missed the days of being able to slam a receiver down. Jabbing your finger at those little icons didn’t have the same release.

When God handed out brains to the Evans clan, he must have realized he was running low for the family allotment and been stingier with the youngest members. Between Isaac and their sister, Jo, there could only be a couple of functioning neurons left. And their performance, like a faulty electrical circuit, flickered in and out.

He grabbed his toolbox from the back of the truck. This had to be the ugliest house in history, as if Hogwarts and the Addams family mansion had a midair collision and vomited up Philomene’s Folly.

His chest swelled with pride as he stared at it. He’d built every ugly, over-the-top, theatrical inch of this heap of stone. He’d bet he was the only man alive who could find real, honest to God, stone gargoyles for downspouts. Not the plaster molding kind. Not for Diva Philomene St. Amor. Nope, she wanted them carved out of stone and mounted across the eaves like the front row of a freak show.

“Hey, Matt,” a kid called from the stables forming one side of the semicircular kitchen yard.

“Hey, yourself.” He couldn’t remember the name of Phi’s latest rescue kid doing time in her kitchen yard. Kitchen yard! In this century. Diva Philomene wanted a kitchen yard, so a kitchen yard she got, along with her stables.

“I want a building to capture the nobility of their Arabian ancestors thundering across the desert.” She’d got it. Heated floors, vaulted ceilings, and pure cedar stalls—now housing every ratty, mismatched, swaybacked nag the local humane society couldn’t house and didn’t want to waste a bullet on. A smile crept onto his face. You had to love the crazy old broad.

He skirted the circular herb garden eating up the center of the kitchen yard. A fountain in the shape of a stone horse trough trickled happily. He’d have to remind her to drain it and blow the pipes before winter. He didn’t want to replace the piping again next spring.

The top half of the kitchen door stood open and he unlatched the bottom half before stepping into the kitchen. The AGA range gave off enough heat to have sweat sliding down his sides before he took two steps. He opened the baize door to the rest of the house and yelled, “Phi!”

He hadn’t even known what a baize door was at nineteen, but the Diva had educated him because she wanted one and it became his headache to get her one.

“Mathieu!” The Frenchifying of his name was all the warming he got before Philomene appeared at the top of her grand, curving walnut staircase. Thirty-two rises, each six feet wide and two feet deep leading from the marble entrance hall to the gallery above.

The soft pink of the sun bled through the stained-glass windows and bathed the old broad in magic. Her purple muumuu made a swishing noise as she descended, hands outstretched, rings glittering in the bejeweled light. “Darling.”

She made his teeth ache. “Hold on to the railing, Phi, before you break your neck.” It had taken a crew of eight men to put that railing in, and nearly killed the carpenter to carve a dragon into every inch of it.

She pressed a kiss on both his cheeks with a waft of the same heavy, musky perfume she’d always worn. She smelled like home. “You came.”

“Of course, I came.” He bent and returned her embrace. “That’s how this works. You call, I drop everything and come.”

A wicked light danced in her grass green eyes, still bright and brilliant beneath the layers and layers of purple goo and glitter. She’d been a knockout in her youth, still had some of that beautiful woman voodoo clinging to her. If you doubted that for an instant, there were eight portraits and four times that many photos in this house to set you right. Or you could just take a look at Pippa—if you could catch a quick glance as she flew through town. He made it his business to grab an eyeful when he could.

“I am overset, Mathieu, darling.” She pressed her hand to her gem-encrusted bosom.

“Of course you are.” The Diva never had a bad day or a problem. Nope, she was overset, dismayed, perturbed, discomposed and on the occasion her dishwasher broke down, discombobulated.

“It is that thing in the kitchen.” She narrowly missed taking his eye out with her talons as she threw her hand at the baize door.

Her kitchen might look like a medieval reenactment, but it was loaded for bear with every toy and time-saving device money could buy—all top of the line. “What thing, Phi?”

“The water thingy.”

“The faucet?”

She swept in front him, leading the way into the kitchen like Caesar entering Rome in triumph. “See.” He dodged her hand just in time. “It drips incessantly and disturbs my beauty rest.”

He clenched his teeth together so hard his jaw ached. He ran a construction company big enough to put together four separate crews and she called him for a dripping faucet. “I could have sent one of my men around to fix that. A plumber.”

“But I don’t want one of your men, darling.” She beamed her megawatt smile at him. “I want you.”

There you had it. She wanted him and he came. Why? Because he owed this crazy, demanding, amazing woman everything, and the manipulative witch knew it. He shrugged out of his button-down shirt and pulled his undershirt out of his jeans. He was going to get wet and he’d be damned if he got faucet grunge all over his smart shirt.

Phi took the shirt from him and laid it tenderly over the back of one of her kitchen chairs. “This is a very beautiful shirt, Matt.”

“I’m a busy and important man now, Phi. A man with lots of smart shirts.”

She grinned at him, and stroked the shirt. “I am very proud of you, Matt.”

Damn it all to hell, if that didn’t make him want to stick out his chest like the barnyard rooster strutting across Phi’s kitchen yard. He turned the faucet on and then off again. No drip. “Phi?”

“It’s underneath.” She wiggled her fingers at the cabinet.

He got to his knees and opened the doors. Sure enough, a small puddle of water gathered on the stone flags beneath the down pipe. Good thing Phi had insisted on no bottoms to her kitchen cabinets. It had made it a bitch to get the doors to close without jamming on the stone floor, but right now it meant he wouldn’t be replacing cabinets in his spare time.

“You should be out on a date,” Phi said from behind him.

“If I was out on a date, Phi, I wouldn’t be here fixing your sink.”

“Yes, you would.”

Yeah, he would. He turned off the water to the sink. “Have you got some towels or something?”

She bustled into the attached laundry and reappeared with an armload of fluffy pink towels.

Wheels crunched on the gravel outside the kitchen and Phi dropped the towels on the floor next to him. She tottered over to the window to stare. A huge smile lit her face and she gave off one of those ear-splitting trills that had made her the world’s greatest dramatic soprano. Everyone, from the mailman to a visiting conductor, got the same happy reception.

He leaned closer to get a better look at the pipes beneath the sink. Were those scratch marks on the elbow joint? Neat furrows all lined up like someone had done that on purpose. He crawled into the cabinet and wriggled onto his back. They didn’t make these spaces for men his size.

“Mathieu?” Phi craned down until her face entered his field of vision. Her painted-on eyebrows arched across her parchment-pale face. “I have a visitor.”

“Is that so?” What the hell, he always played along.

“Indeed.” Her grin was evil enough to have him stop his tinkering with the wrench in midair. “I thought you might like to know about this visitor.”

The kitchen door opened. A pair of black heels tapped into view. The sort of shoes a man wanted to see wrapped around his head, and at the end of a set of legs he hadn’t seen since her last trip to Ghost Falls—Christmas for a fly-by visit. His day bloomed into one of those eye-aching blue sky and bright sunlight trips into happy.

Welcome home, Pippa Turner.

 

You can preorder your copy of Positively Pippa from any of the following places:

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2g19kUQ

iBooks: http://apple.co/2fUzwkR

Nook: http://bit.ly/2fo0T27

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2fhes62

 

Just A Taste Of The Wedding Gift

Just A Taste Of The Wedding Gift

I’ve never written a story for a boxed set, so this was a novel experience for me. My book, The Wedding Gift is one of 20 in the Wedding Dreams Boxed Set, releasing April 18. 3000 pages of sweet to spicy tales of nuptial bliss, and sometime, not so blissful.

My story is about Gage Cassidy, a wounded warrior, his fiance, Elle Sweeney, and a marvelous goggle-wearing therapy dog named Sigmund. I hope you enjoy this little taste…

“What I don’t understand is why he’s pushing me away.” Elle Sweeney shoved her phone in her back pocket and bent to straighten the kindergarten kid-sized chairs. She worked her dark blond curls into a ponytail as she used her hip to shove a pint-sized desk back into an orderly row.

School had let out for the summer two hours ago and her room was in disarray. Elle had conducted a cute little awards ceremony and she’d accepted a bazillion hugs from her students.

In the now quiet classroom, she had only her aide, Sally, and a burgeoning sense of helplessness and frustration to keep her company. She’d texted Gage the second the kids and their parents had scattered, and, now, an hour later, it was apparent he was ignoring her.

God, she’d been so happy to see him. The drive to the airport in Denver had passed in a blur of eagerness and anticipation. He’d requested only she meet him, instead of his entire family making the trip. And his mom and dad had agreed.

The sight of him riding the escalator to baggage claim had finally caused the tears to spill over. Rugged, handsome, weary, but looking so damn good in his BDUs. It was only after he’d swept her up in a hug she realized how gaunt he’d become. He’d buried his face in her neck for several long minutes, hiding his tears against her skin. She hadn’t bothered to hide hers.

Their kiss was like a recreation of the very first time he’d kissed her. Tentative, sweet. It felt like coming home. Every inch of her body tingled when he’d wrapped her in his arms for the first time in a year. Deployment was hell, but oh, God…that first kiss. They’d spent the night in Denver, in a luxury suite she’d been saving for months to pay for. They’d checked in early to the knowing smile of the desk clerk. And for a time, life had been rosy, filled with pent-up passion and words of love. Until he’d rolled to his side and fell into a fitful sleep without…

The nightmares began that night. His moans had jerked her awake and she’d held him tight while his heart slowed and he withdrew into himself. He’d refused to talk about it. She had no experience dealing with returning warriors, so other than whispering words of love, she didn’t know how to calm him. How to help him reclaim the funny, happy man he’d been before he left for war.

“Is he seeing someone?” Sally Gagnon asked. At fifty-something, Sally had started working in Elle’s classroom as an aide, helping with whatever was needed for a class of twenty kindergartners.

“No. My dad is standing by, ready to help, but Gage is uncomfortable even talking about setting an appointment.”

“Well, I guess I can understand that. But I’d bet your dad would remain impartial.”

“He should be able to, but can you imagine talking to your future father-in-law about intimacy issues brought about by traumatic wartime experiences?” Heat flashed up Elle’s chest, neck, and face. The curse of being pale. Those blushes were unconquerable. She couldn’t believe she’d said anything to Sally. But frustration was getting the better of her. They’d had a spectacular physical relationship before he’d shipped out. But in the month he’d been home, they’d only made love three times. Each time had left her…lonely.

Sally shuddered then laughed. “I see your point. Does Gage have a dog?”

That was an odd question. Elle tipped her head to the side. “Cricket passed a year before Gage was deployed. He hasn’t had the heart to get a new dog.”

He’d loved that old Black Lab so damn much. He’d been devastated when the vet had told him Cricket had cancer. His hand had shook as he signed the consent forms to euthanize his pet. More than a pet, really. Cricket had been his best friend, other than Elle. He’d sat, his back to the wall, with the seventy-pound dog on his lap as Cricket breathed his last.

Gage had broken down as soon as they’d left the vet’s office. They’d driven to the dog park Crick had loved. They sat silently on a bench, watching other dogs playing with their humans. Gage had hurled the dog’s leash into the small pond, then kicked a tree hard enough to rake bark from the trunk. Thankfully, Gage had been wearing the steel-toed boots required for his job at the mine.

It had been the first time she’d seen him so upset. But not the last. Normally, Gage was even-keeled, but in the month or so he’d been home, he’d become more and more fidgety and out of control. He tried to hide it from her by constantly heading to the river trail to jog for hours. He’d come home too exhausted for words. Just thinking about it now made her eyes sting and ache with unshed grief.

“Listen, my daughter has been training dogs for stroke and cardiac patients,” Sally offered. “She told me last week she was fostering a shepherd-boxer mix that had been trained for PTSD victims. Have you heard anything about therapy dogs? Is that something your dad could recommend?”

“I haven’t heard of them. Dad’s never mentioned them. But I haven’t really talked to him about Gage’s problem. Somehow, it feels disloyal.”

Sally laid her hand on Elle’s forearm. “Grab your purse. I’m going to introduce you to Emily and Sigmund. Men are basically boys at heart. And what boy doesn’t want a dog?”

This set is on preorder right now for 99¢. You can buy it at all these retailers.

Smarturl.it/WeddingDreamsKobo

Smarturl.it/WeddingDreamsiBooks

Smarturl.it/WeddingDreamsGP

Smarturl.it/WeddingDreamsNook
Smarturl.it/WeddingDreamsAmazon

By the way – The authors of Wedding Dreams are sponsoring a great giveaway. You can enter for a chance to win an iPad mini by clicking this link 

 

Tis the season for movies.

Tis the season for movies.

One of the best parts of this holiday season are the new release movies. Now I’ve only seen one of these, but the rest are on my short list for the next few weeks.

Moana

Disney and the Rock? This is a no brainer. Sure to be fun. A 95% from Rotten Tomatoes.

La La Land

This one looks so good. And 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sing

From the makers of Despicable Me? Oh yeah, front row please. 77% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Rogue One

rogue-one

This is the one I’ve seen, and can highly recommend to any fan of the original Star Wars series. So good! 84% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Pop me some popcorn!

Steve

 

 

Just A Taste of “Tyranny” Bk 1 of The Goddesses Of Delphi

Just A Taste of “Tyranny” Bk 1 of The Goddesses Of Delphi

tyrannyfinal-fjm_low_res_500x750

About a year ago, I decided to try writing in a different genre. I’ve always written contemporary romances, but I was so intrigued by the idea of writing about Muses, gods, and goddesses that I just had to try. I’m biting my nails waiting on the release of this story. Here’s a little taste from the first meeting of immortal librarian Clio, Muse of History and Jax Callahan, a new professor:

Now she just had to figure out the best spot for the wet-floor warning. As she pivoted, the heavy wooden entry door swept inward again. A sudden gust of wind caught the door and propelled it toward Clio’s head. The dull thunk of the door connecting with her forehead rebounded in her ears. Glittering stars burst behind her eyes.

She stumbled backward, arms flailing. The safety cone flew from her grasp.

“Mother goddess!” The epithet burst from her lips before she could bite it back. Tears watered her vision as a large man reached for her. His big, warm hand wrapped around her arm and steadied her. A barrage of tiny, invisible arrows traveled from his fingertips up her arm.

“Oh, God! I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” When he spoke, his husky baritone voice vibrated through her chest.

She rubbed the tender spot on her head and blinked to clear the moisture from her eyes, bringing the man into focus.

Set under a pair of slashing brows, deep amber eyes reflected warmth and concern. A sexy scruff of midnight black whiskers covered a square jawline. His lips thinned and turned down in a frown. She took a step away, breaking the hold he had on her arm, and immediately missed the heat and comfort.

His broad shoulders, encased in a blue oxford cloth shirt, were wet from the rain. Drops of water sparkled on his cheeks and eyelashes. He probed his thumb over her forehead, gingerly testing the sore spot and rising lump there. When she flinched, he did as well.

She pushed his hand away. “I’m okay. I keep asking the administration to install glass entry doors to avoid things like this happening. Perhaps if I have a concussion, they’ll listen.”

“Oh, hell! Did I hit you that hard?”

She shook her head cautiously to make sure her brain didn’t rattle around. “No, I exaggerated.”

As much as it grieved her to do so, she turned from the man’s gaze and stooped to retrieve the wet floor sign. A moment later, she’d settled the bright yellow cone over a damp spot on the floor. Her thoughts still on the man next to her, she spun around to return to her work area. As she slipped on a slick spot, the stranger reached for her once again. One arm around her waist, the other grasping her arm, he kept her upright, balancing her against his solid body. He saved her from a mortifying tumble to the floor. Although, if he were a cushion, she’d gladly take a fall if landing on him was part of the cost. Preferably straddled on his lap.

And where in Zeus’s name had that thought come from?

Tyranny releases October 4, but is available for pre-order on Amazon

 

Just A Taste of “Starlight” by Xio Axelrod

Just A Taste of “Starlight” by Xio Axelrod

FB ad3Starlight is book two of my FALLING STARS series and concludes (or does it?) the epic saga of Sam Newman and Valerie Saunders, two starstruck lovers that defy logic, social media, and their own personal baggage to find a way to one another.

In book one, Sam and Val spend months fighting the inevitable, while being forced to act out their desires on-screen. In book two, all bets are off. Here’s a little peek. [Read more…]

My Lady Faye

My Lady Faye

This year has flown past, and just keeps flying. On September 1st this year, I released the second in the Sir Arthur’s Legacy Series. Here’s a small taste from that book, My Lady Faye.

 

My Lady Faye Cover

The Lady

The fair Lady Faye has always played the role allotted her. Yet the marriage her family wanted only brought her years of abuse and heartache. Now, finally free of her tyrannical husband, she is able to live her own life for the first time. But someone from the past has returned. Someone she has never been able to forget.

 

 

The Warrior

After years of servitude as a warrior for King and Country, Gregory is now free to pursue his own path: to serve God by becoming a monk. The only thing stopping him is Faye. Gregory has loved Faye since the moment he saw her. But their love was not meant to be. How can he serve God when his heart longs for her? He can neither forsake God nor the woman he loves.

 

The Promise

When Faye’s son is kidnapped, Gregory answers her family’s call for help, only to find that even in the most dangerous of circumstances, neither can fight their forbidden attraction. An attraction that now burns brighter than ever before. And it is only a matter of time until it consumes them both .

 

The ache in Gregory’s knees brought him closer to God. Hunger gnawed at his belly and reminded him of his connection with the Lord. For three days he had fasted and prayed, waited for God to show him the way to enter into service.

God remained silent.

He must pray harder and keep at it until he had his answer. God’s way was not always the way of man and His divine timing did not always answer the impetuous call of sinners.

Something clattered through the bars of his cell.

Gregory started, but kept his eyes closed. He could afford no distractions in his wait for God to deign to speak with him. Sweat broke out on his brow. He bowed his head. “Dear Father in Heaven…”

Another skittering across the floor and Gregory opened his eyes.

A pebble lay almost within reach at his knees, a pale interloper against the dark stone floor of his bare cell. A thin pallet rested against one wall, stripped of linen except for a rough blanket. On the opposite wall a tiny barred window overlooked the fields were they worked each day. Above it a stark wooden cross served as a reminder that all here was by Grace alone. Beneath the casement stood a plain wood table and a bench.

The Abbey bell tolled Terce over the undulating chant of the monks reciting the second of the Little Hours of the Divine Office. Father Abbott had understood his need for private meditation, but he would be expected at Lauds.

“Psst!”

Not God at all, unless the Almighty had grown a set of large hands and gripped the bars of his cells so tightly His knuckles turned white.

A dark head popped over the lip, followed by dark eyebrows and the sharply drawn planes of a face many a lass considered handsome.

“Garrett?” Gregory’s knees creaked as he rose. Sharp pain lanced through his long frozen muscles. Three days, most of which spent on your knees, would turn any man’s limbs into a grandfather’s. “Is that you?”

“Aye?” Garrett blinked away a sweat droplet that snaked down his brow and into his eye. His face turned redder . “Only could you come down, I am not sure how much longer I can hang on.”

“Did you climb the side?”

Garrett’s teeth clenched. “Aye and I am about to go tumbling on my ass, so get down here.”

Garrett’s head disappeared from view as he scrabbled down the side of the two-story dormitory.

Alarm spiked through Gregory, if Garrett was here, something was amiss at Anglesea. Sir Arthur might have sent him with news.

My Lady Faye.

 

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Just a Taste from Sarah Hegger

Just a Taste from Sarah Hegger

Good morning from New York City, where I am attending the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference. I’m sharing a taste with you of my upcoming new release, Nobody’s Fool #2 Willow Park Romance.

1978477_326714900859339_7243473038906140942_oJosh winced around a mouthful of lukewarm beer. Time to go. He’d been nursing this beer for the last hour and his new book on Sir Isaac Newton was calling him. Age or boredom—who the hell knew?

He’d only come here for a quiet beer to unwind from his day. Granted, this particular bar was a shitty choice, but it was close to his condo, the beer was cold, and the bartender friendly.

A woman pushed through two slick broker types and fumbled a cell phone out of a pair of baggy GAP jeans. Her burgundy University of Western Ontario sweatshirt sneered like a rescue pound mongrel at the expensive Armanis flanking it.

Her brow puckered into a vicious frown.

She could be lost, or in disguise, but she did have the whole I-have-no-idea-exactly-how-hot-I-am thing going for her. A light lurking under a bushel, a diamond in the rough, a girl with an air of do me, bad boy she seemed oblivious to.

Not so clueless was every red-blooded male in her vicinity. More than one covert eye went her way.

Dark eyes, gleaming with intelligence and ringed by thick lashes, met his gaze.

A promising start—if he was looking for a pickup, which he wasn’t—but still…There was something familiar about this girl.

Diminutive and with her face devoid of makeup, she could have passed for fourteen. The air of determination marked her as older, however. Closer to his age, which meant old enough to drink, old enough to drive, and old enough for all sorts of interesting games.

Ten years ago, five even, he’d have cruised right over and worked his smolder. He knew better now.

The woman ducked her head and took a call. A mane of long wavy hair obscured her face.

The sort of hair a man liked to curl his fingers in.

Her gaze flickered up and over him. Angry eyes under a pair of lowered brows, giving him the eye so evil he almost looked over his shoulder for the true beneficiary.

Whoa!

Women, as a rule, didn’t look at him that way. Women dressed like bag ladies with … pencils? No kidding. It was definitely a couple of standard number twos holding her hair tightly against her head. Women like her almost never gave him the hairy eyeball.

His feelings might be a bruised.

Nope. Feelings intact but ego definitely grazed. She kept her hostile glare going. Those things could smoke a hole right through him.

Maybe she was gay. Josh winced behind his beer, glad he wasn’t voicing any of this out loud. He would sound like an egotistical prick. Okay, women didn’t often turn him down, but it happened. Sometimes.

Her glance shifted away. She was aware of him and doing her best not to show it.

He knew her. It hit him out of the blue and he stopped to think. She had the sort of face it was hard to forget. Not pretty, exactly, more compelling, and a blank canvas for every thought running through her head.

And right now she was not aiming happy thoughts in his direction.

She hunched over her phone to hear better.

The love ’em and leave ’em style of his early twenties hadn’t left many warm and fuzzy feelings behind him. Still, he came up blank. He was reasonably sure she wasn’t one of the bodies littering his youth, but this lady did not like him.

“Hey, Jo-osh?” His name was singsonged at him.

And speaking of his youth, right on cue. The timing nearly made him bust out laughing.

His mystery lady stuck her cute nose in the air. The amber glow from the lighted bar counter turned her skin to butter cream and picked out the tiniest golden freckles across her upturned nose,

The disdain rolled across the distance between them in waves.

“Hey, Josh, like, hello.” A pair of breasts intruded into his line of sight, right beneath his nose. He faced the owner of the pair.

There were three of them and all looking at him expectantly.

Ah, shit, here we go.

Over the newcomers’ shoulders the mystery lady shook her head in disgust. Her eyes raked over him and the posse in front of him and rolled.

Now, that was not entirely fair. He might even be getting a little pissed at her and her attitude. Girls like the trio facing him were knee deep in trendy Chicago bars, which this one happened to be. They were voracious hunters and he’d only been standing here minding his own business. She needn’t act like he’d encouraged them.

In the meanwhile, Bambi, Barbie, and Bubbles—or whatever—posed and primped in front of him. Their cheeks pink with a combination of alcohol and excitement.

His heart sank. He could almost script what was coming. It was his own damn fault, ultimately, but there had to come a point when the ghosts of the past went toward the fucking light or something.

“So, like, we were wondering…” Bambi/Barbie/Bubbles pursed her frosted mouth at him and stuck out her breasts.

As if he could have missed them the first time around.

Two and three were providing the flanking action, mirroring her movements and throwing in some freestyle hair tossing.

“Hi, girls.” His skin prickled. Was he really going to have to do this now? Mystery lady with the judgmental eyes was going to get her money’s worth tonight.

SarahSig

 

An Ode to Oreos or The Loss of Mindless Eating

An Ode to Oreos or The Loss of Mindless Eating

by Veronica Forand

Diets annoy me. Don’t eat bread, stay away from alcohol, ignore the chocolate ice cream. It’s like making a list of the most wonderful things in life and then avoiding them.

When I was younger, I never had a problem with a diet. I’d sit down with a box of Oreos and eat every damn one of them. Ice cream? Bring it on. I’d go for seconds most nights, and the scale wouldn’t tip. Eating habits of an eighteen year old that worked out for two hours every day and rarely sat in a chair.

Life as an over forty writer? Not exactly a lifestyle that spikes metabolism into overdrive. And while I don’t want to diet, I need to. As I gain weight, I feel sluggish and my mind, the main tool I use for writing, doesn’t provide me with the best ideas. More weight for me increases my need for mid-afternoon naps.

So this week, I’ve cut the carbs and the alcohol and the chocolate and anything pleasant that makes me want to sprint to the kitchen. The result? I’m surviving and slowly as the days pass, I feel better.

Will this last? No. Probably not even to Friday. But after I break my bad habit of eating everything I desire in large quantities, I can return to eating some things. Wine and chocolate. And really after that- what else would I need!

And in a shameless plug- Susan Scott Shelley are releasing our hockey romance today “Simmering Ice.” Don’t count on either the hero or heroine for good recipes- they stink at cooking. At least in the kitchen…

Simmering Ice Screenshot Cover

 

 

Just a Taste from Xio Axelrod

Just a Taste from Xio Axelrod

Today I’m sharing a wee snippet from the follow up to my debut novella, The Calum. In Calum Me Maybe, the bloom is definitely off the rose as Lovie and Duff navigate the choppy waters of their long distance relationship. Shifting priorities and startling revelations will either push them together, or tear them apart. Here’s a peek! [Read more…]