Friday, January 19, 2018

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “Fated Desires” by Becky Flade

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Becky Flade, and an excerpt from her Contemporary Romance, “Fated Desires.”

Jenna Gavin is searching for a fresh start and, more importantly, for balance. Her heart, and perhaps the hands of fate, have led her and her son to Trappers' Cove, Minnesota. Settling in the small, quirky town, she's not in the market for a casual relationship but finds herself in one with the young widower next door.

Former shortstop, Gabriel Foxx, is drawn to his difficult new neighbor. The more the prickly divorcee tries to keep him at arm's length, the more determined he is to break down her walls. He can't avoid the passion Jenna inspires and his friendship with Finn has him yearning for family, but Gabe won't allow himself to feel more.

When friendship grows complicated by stronger emotions and mutual desire just isn't enough, will love be worth the risk?

First Kiss Excerpt
He wasn’t expecting the kiss. It was a whisper of a caress. Jenna’s eyes were open. Luminous. And he saw compassion and comfort there. Only their lips touched, but the world rocked under his feet.
“I didn’t intend to make you sad,” she whispered.
He tugged her close and took her mouth. This kiss wasn’t a whisper. She gasped when he sucked her bottom lip between his. He felt the tip of her tongue, the sharp edge of her teeth, and the pulsing vein under his hand where it rest on her neck. He broke the kiss and she swayed.
“You didn’t.”
“I didn’t what?”
She looked dazed. He stuck his tongue in his cheek to avoid smiling. He thought she’d get mad; assume he laughed at her. But he was delighted with her, with her reaction, and charmed she had kissed him to cheer him. It wasn’t how he’d imagined the moment, their first kiss, but this was much better. Unexpected. This woman was a constant surprise.
“You didn’t make me sad. Far from it.” He took her hips in his hands. They were curvy and filled his palms. A pleasant surprise, as she gave the impression of being all edges and sharp angles. He tugged and her lissome body brushed his. His erection jumped happily at the brief contact. Her eyes flared and her lip caught between her teeth. He couldn’t hold in his laughter. “See?”
“I, um, really?”
“Really.” He let go of her and she stepped far enough away he’d have to stretch to touch her again. She was unsure of herself; he could see her mind working. He put his hands in his pockets and waited. She ran her hands through her hair and the ends stuck up in the frenzied way he enjoyed.
“You’re attracted to me?”
“It’s not pity?”
A few feet away from him she paced in a short, jerky circuit. Amused by her confusion, he stepped toward her. “I’m attracted to you. Tell me to back off or get comfortable with it…Fast.”

“Fated Desires” is available through:

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Meet the Characters – An Interview with Eric Outerbach from “The Mighty Finn” by Holly Bargo

Boy meets girl.

Author Charlotte Forsythe is determined not to be a victim again. Her Great Dane, Finn, makes sure of it. While vacationing with Finn in San Diego, Charlotte meets Navy SEAL, Eric Outerbach. It doesn’t go well. Eric begs forgiveness.

Boy and girl become friends.

They make a long distance friendship work through texts and phone calls. The film rights to two of Charlotte’s books are sold and she heads back out to California to supervise the conversion of written content to the silver screen. And the friendship's not so long distance after all.

Boy and girl fall in love.

How could she not fall in love with a handsome, sexy warrior like Eric? How could he not love a woman as gentle and forgiving as Charlotte?

A guardian’s duty ends.

Finn is mighty, but old. It’s time to pass on the duties of love and protection to someone else.

Today we’re talking to Eric from “The Mighty Finn,” a Contemporary Military Romance by Holly Bargo. Let’s get started. I’m sure our readers are eager to learn more about you.

How old are you?
I’m 39 years old, old for a Navy SEAL.

What is people’s first impression of you?
Big, fit, maybe dangerous.

What are you most afraid of?
Letting my team down. That happened once with disastrous results and one of my team members died. It happened shortly before I met Charlotte.

What was your first impression of Charlotte?
Not good. I was depressed, having recently lost one of my teammates. I saw this pretty woman playing on the beach with her big-ass dog and their joy just struck me wrong, you know? Anyway, the dog crashed into me jumping after a Frisbee and I lost my temper. It went downhill from there.

Are you close to family?
My team is my family and we’re as close as brothers can get. We’d do absolutely anything for each other, no questions asked, no hesitation.

Do you care about what others assume about you?
I care what my team members and Charlotte think of me. And my CO. Hey, I’m a SEAL, confidence goes with the territory.

If you could make any one thing happen, what would it be?
If I could have healed Finn, I would have done that. Chill gave his life for his country, something we all knew might happen. But Finn… damn… that dog was Charlotte’s lifeline. He saved her when I didn’t even know her, when I wasn’t there for her.

What inner doubt causes you the most difficulty?
That another nut job will hurt Charlotte again and I won’t be able to protect her. It happened once, and she still bears the scars, terrible scars that make even me cringe.

Now on to something lighter, what is your favorite drink?
Beer. Hands down, nothing beats a cold beer on a hot day.

What is your favorite food?
I’ve been in the military since I was 18 years old, so anything that falls under “home-cooked” is my favorite food. I’ve got to admit that my buddy Tornado’s wife is an absolutely fabulous cook and Charlotte’s pretty good, too—just don’t tell her that Maria Teresa is better.

What is your favorite song?
Anything Charlotte doesn’t sing. I love that woman to death, but she couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. Even Finn cringed when she sang.

Describe a typical Friday night.
Before I married Charlotte, a typical Friday evening was spent playing cards with my buddies, drinking some beer, and maybe—if we were lucky—eating Maria Teresa’s cooking.

What kinds of things do you always carry in pockets?
A pocket knife and cash.

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
Spend the day with Charlotte. It wouldn’t even have to be in bed, although that’s a damned good option. Just holding her hand and knowing she trusts me is enough.

“The Mighty Finn” is available through:

Friday, January 12, 2018

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “Stalemate” by Ginger Sharp

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Ginger Sharp, and an excerpt from her Contemporary Romance, “Stalemate.”

Tony Verducci is a single father with a brooding Jersey-sized chip on his shoulder about life, love, and women. Cassi York is a trusting California Girl who expects the best out of everyone and is slowly becoming disillusioned about romance and men.

When these two lost neighbors meet, sparks fly, tempers flare, and both learn to deal with the baggage in their mutual lives. Stalemate is a modern-day story about how opposites attract regardless of their rocky pasts and present situations.

Can Tony and Cassi prove that love can always find a way, or will they lose each other in the rough waters of New Jersey?

First Kiss Excerpt
Driving home with urgency from work, I park my car. Running up the stairs to discover there’s a note taped to the door of my apartment that I tear down as I am going inside. My apartment is free of my daughter and Cassi.
I go back to the note and read it out loud,
I had an emergency at work. Please come to NJVH for Izzy. The address is 19 Essex Street, Neptune City, NJ.
Hopefully, we get home before you see this note,
Pacing in my kitchen, I’m shocked and angered that Cassi took my child to this NJVH place in the middle of the night. I try to call her cell phone, but she’s not answering. Entering in the location address to my phone and I see that it is less than two miles away. I race down the stairs, leaving to go pick up my daughter.
Angrily driving and locating the building, I don’t waste time as I hastily move through the doors. A tired receptionist behind the welcome desk perks up in her place.
Glaring her down, very agitated. “I’m looking for Cassi York?”
The receptionist grins as she stares down at my chest, and then back up to my face. She plucks up her phone and makes a call. After a few minutes, Cassi appears in front of me wearing hospital scrubs.
She gestures for me to follow her. Cassi walks to an employee lounge where Izzy is sleeping on their sofa.
Crossing my arms into my chest, I’m about to reprimand Cassi for taking my daughter out in the middle of the night. I can see the weary look on Cassi’s face. I bend down, picking Izzy up from the couch.
Cassi jerks her head, motioning for me to follow her. She directs me out a back door into the parking lot. She opens my car door for me, so I can place Izzy down on the seat. I seatbelt her in and lightly close the door.
Spinning around and glaring, “You had no right taking Izzy from my apartment. I trusted you to watch her.”
Cassi closes her eyes squeezing them shut, “Tony, I’m very sorry. I received an emergency call and I had to bring Izzy with me. My staff loved having her and she was well cared for by all of us. You know this is the nature of my job.”
Shaking my head, “No, I don’t know. What do you do and why was that woman calling you doctor?”
Cassi sharply inhales, “Tony, I ‘am’ a doctor, a veterinarian. I specialize in exotic animals, mostly reptiles and amphibians, but all other animals as well.”
Crossing my arms, leaning on my car, I speak sternly, “You’re telling me that this emergency could not wait until the morning for a stupid animal?”
She shakes her head, sighing as she speaks, “No Tony, the lizard would have died. I had to diagnose and operate immediately. I must be getting back inside. I may stay here until my shift starts. Again, I’m very sorry.” She turns and walks away from me.
I call out to her, “I can see that you’re tired. We’ll discuss this later.”
Cassi stops short, harshly speaking out, “Tony, there’s nothing to discuss. Just let it go and find yourself a new babysitter. Your daughter was safe the entire time and never put in harm’s way. Please get over your arrogant brooding self.”
Opening my eyes wide, “Wow, someone’s being a bitch.”
Cassi takes a few steps toward me, and then angrily points, “Tony, I think I have known you for a little over a week, and you do nothing but play games with my head. You try to push me around and you also try to control me. I’m not yours to control. If I want to cheat on Jason with some guy at a bar, then I will. I don’t need you to protect me. As you can see, I’m a very big girl and if I want to make mistakes, then I will. Our friendship ends right now and our favors have been squared away.”
She turns away from me again moving hastily toward the building.
My brain is calling me a stupid-ass, but my emotions are disagreeing. I run after her. My heart screams to be careful, but to go for it. Catching up to her, grabbing her, and I spin her around to face me. I curl my fingers around the nape of her neck, leaning in, and forcefully placing my lips to hers.
Cassi tries to resist, but only for a moment. Pushing through her lips to get my tongue into her mouth, I explore her tenderly.
Her warm hands come up to my chest and slowly glide upwards, caressing me. After a prolonged minute, she moans into our kiss. Breaking away slow, I then rest my forehead to hers and listen to her accelerated breathing.
Whispering to her, “There you go, you just cheated on Jason. I promise to never bother you again, since we are no longer friends. Goodbye Cassi.” Rapidly moving away from her to my car, climb inside and start the engine. As I drive away, I look in my rearview mirror to see that Cassi hasn’t budged.
I chuckle to myself wondering what Cassi must be thinking right now. Hopefully, that was a kiss of a lifetime for her. Silly, stupid kid that she is for messing with me. Cassi sure likes to play with fire. Well, it is over now this little game that we both have been playing. I’m relieved, I think. That one kiss shouldn’t get me into any trouble with Melinda, but she’ll not find out about it anyway.
I keep thinking about Cassi. That girl has a real job, a career. She maybe a sexy, smart ass doctor, but she has no common sense. I really must turn off these feelings that I have for her. I’m heavily attracted to the girl living and sleeping just two doors down from my apartment. Things will improve for her later today when she sees her boyfriend. We can move on from this little attraction that we have. No harm done, since it was only one kiss.

“Stalemate” is available through:

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Meet the Characters – An Interview with Sue-ling from “Love in the Air” by Adam Mann

Two passengers find some common ground on a flight to Taipei. Charlie meets Sue-ling on trans-Pacific flight to Taipei after delays due to bad weather, and then further delays mean a long stop-over in the transit area at the airport. Charlie decides to stay at the Airport Hotel where he can get a shower and rest a bit, and is helped by Sue-ling who joins him as she too is delayed by the weather. Their in-flight conversation becomes more than friendly, as they have to wait for their connections, and a mix-up in the hotel bathroom exposes more than just her skin as their relationship develops.

Today we’re talking to Sue-ling from “Love in the Air,” a Contemporary Romance by Adam Mann. Let’s get started. I’m sure our readers are eager to learn more about you.

How old are you?     
I was 29 when I met Charlie, so now just 30.

What is your relationship status?
Single, but now happily married.

What is your best memory to date?
Oh dear, so many, I’m lucky.  Most recently the day I graduated, and then meeting Charlie on the flight as it dawned on me that he might be a good man to get to know better, and I was right.

What was your first impression of Charlie?          
When he kissed my forehead in the airport, and then called my mobile just in time just before I left the terminal.

If we could only hear your voice (but not see you) what characteristic would identify you?
I was born in Taiwan, so I’m obviously Chinese to look at, although after three years at college in Vancouver I do speak good Canadian English.

If you could go back in time, what one thing would you change in your life?   
I first of all thought about meeting Charlie earlier, but that wouldn’t have been practical as then he had a girlfriend, and I was engaged to a man who I thought I’d marry eventually.

Are you close to family?      
My mother and I talk a lot together about all sorts of things, but I do love my father and now of course my new husband.

Do you see morality as black-and-white, or with shades of gray? 
I always thought in terms of black and white, but experience taught me otherwise. I understand the value of a “white lie”, but I despise outright untruths.

If someone from your past showed up, who would you most want it to be, and why? 
I had to think about that question for a few minutes. I’d love to meet any of my fellow students, and I just know we’d talk about old times and new opportunities, and their men.

If someone from your past showed up, who would you most NOT want it to be, and why?   
If I met my old financé I think that he’d be more embarrassed than me, especially as he eventually married my best friend, but forgot to tell me!

What inner doubt causes you the most difficulty?
Charlie’s work contracts last for about two years, so for the time being I have to worry about where we’d live, hopefully with two young children, so the doubt or worry is probably financial.

What is your biggest need? 
Not really a need, but I’d like a job of my own. I’m a botanist.

If you could make any one thing happen, what would it be?      
Easy. I want two babies – one at a time – and as soon as possible, and Charlie agrees.

Now on to something lighter, what is your favorite drink?          
I like California dry white wine, preferably chilled.

What is your favorite food?
Oh definitely Chinese, and roast meat with a salty taste.

Describe a typical Friday night.      
As we move around a bit that would vary, but right now it would not be a conventional Friday, so I’ll have to pass on that question.

If there is one place in the world you could go, where would it be? 
Probably a beach holiday in the Caribbean, especially on a tropical island with plants and animals.

What is your most prized possession?        
My new husband, Charlie.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
With Charlie I have to be both, oops!

What kinds of things do you always carry in your purse?           
So some reason I’ve always carried a Swiss Army penknife, but I’ve rarely had to use it. It just gives me confidence.

What would make you completely happy?
Charlie making me pregnant.

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?           
Charlie and I haven’t really gone on any holiday, yet, apart from three days honeymoon in Macau. I suppose that shopping would be my main attraction, for clothes and household utilities and decorations.

“Love in the Air” is available through:

Friday, January 5, 2018

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “Love in the Air” by Adam Mann

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Adam Mann, and an excerpt from his Sexy Contemporary Romance, “Love in the Air.”

Two passengers find some common ground on a flight to Taipei.

Charlie meets Sue-ling on trans-Pacific flight to Taipei after flight delays due to bad weather, and then further delays mean a long stop-over in the transit area at the airport.

Charlie decides to stay at the Airport Hotel where he can get a shower and rest a bit, and is helped by Sue-ling who joins him as she too is delayed by the weather. 

Their in-flight conversation becomes more than friendly, as they have to wait for their connections, and a mix-up in the hotel bathroom exposes more than just her skin as their relationship develops.

First Kiss Excerpt

It was very early morning when the flight arrived in Taipei, and Charlie walked with Sue-Ling to the Arrivals Hall.
“Wait a minute,” she said and disappeared into an airport shop.
“Here,” she said a few minutes later, “something from Taiwan so that you remember me!” and she laughed.
He handed him a small locally made toy farmer.
As she was standing close to him he kissed her forehead, and she blushed, but made no effort to move away.
“Bathroom,” said Charlie, and Sue-ling took his bag and said, “I’ll wait for you,” which was kind of her.
She watched him walk away, and made a mental note.
Tall, she decided, probably six feet, brown wavy hair, slim build, intelligent and with a lovely smile.  She guessed he’d be late thirties.
She knew he wasn’t married as he’d told her during the flight, as she’d told him she was nearly thirty and single, but she had also said there was an old boyfriend waiting for her at home.
Charlie, for his part, thought about this charming and attractive lady he’d met on the flight.  She was quite tall compared to other Taiwanese ladies, kept her black hair shoulder length, wore thin gold ring earrings, and was still very slim. But with winter clothes covering her he could not tell anymore.  Still she did have a lovely smile with sparkling black eyes.
Sue-ling was waiting for Charlie, and she gave him her bag as she in turn went to the ladies washroom.
“Wrong way round,” thought Charlie, “I should have asked her first!” And he admonished himself, and when she came back she was a bit deep in her own thoughts.  They walked on together.
“You have to go that way, but I’m going over there,” Sue-ling indicated the overhead signs, “Oh yes, here’s my mobile phone number so if you give me a ring sometime, and then I’ll have your number,” and she handed him a small card.
“Good-bye Sue-ling,” said Charlie, “thanks for your time and help on the flight.
Sue-ling smiled and on tip toe kissed Charlie on his right cheek, and she walked away.
Charlie followed the signs leading to the Departure Hall, but was still thinking about her.
He dialed her number in his mobile phone, and it rang;
“Is that the attractive lady I met on the flight from Vancouver?” he asked into the phone.
“No, sorry, I can’t see her around here,” she replied, “but I’ll give you a call if I do.”

“Love in the Air” is available through:

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Meet the Characters – An Interview with Blade Masters from “Stormy Hawkins” by Ana Morgan

Blade Masters has finally spotted his ideal Dakota Territory ranch, where he can live alone, forget his cheating ex-fiancée, and bury the shards of his shattered heart. All he needs to do is sweet-talk the ailing owner, and his spitfire daughter, into retiring.

If she weren’t desperate, Stormy would never hire a cowhand. She’s learned the hard way that she’s happier working her family’s ranch alone. But, the greedy banker who holds their mortgage just demanded payment in full—or her hand in marriage.

Will this handsome drifter protect her? Or does he have designs of his own?

Today we’re talking to Blade Masters from “Stormy Hawkins (Prairie Hearts Series Book 1),” a Western Historical Romance by Ana Morgan. Let’s get started. I’m sure our readers are eager to learn more about you.

What is your relationship status?
I’m single and intend to die that way. All I want is a ranch with a small house and a barn for my mare, Belinda. We’ll run cattle and I’ll bury my heart.

Name three things that tick you off.                
Liars, cheaters, and hustlers. People who take what doesn’t belong to them. 

What is your favorite food?                   
I’ve subsisted on jerky and cold beans for so long that I like anything that’s hot and homemade. But since I have to name just one thing, it’s Running Bear’s biscuits smothered with butter and brambleberry jam. Heavenly.

What was your first impression of Stormy Hawkins?                  
I was shocked. Sultry voice behind a double-barreled shotgun pointed at my nose. Denims, boy’s shirt, and a battered, wide-brimmed leather hat. She accused me of working to repossess her ranch and ordered me off. Said if I showed up again, she’d shoot first and talk second. Now, it’s no secret I’ve always had a way with the ladies. I know how to use charm to get what I want. But I’d never encountered a woman like Stormy.

What would you most like to forget?                     
Not what, but who. My ex-fiancée Candace. Candy. We met in a dockside bar. She said she loved me and had no trouble spending my pay in exchange for, ahem, companionship. When I had saved enough money to buy a ranch, she dumped me for my younger brother. She’s his problem now.

If you could go back in time, what one thing would you change in your life?       
Ah, the wish of every man who’s ever been humiliated in front of his family by the woman he loves. What would I change? I’d wipe away the day I showed Candy the mansion I grew up in. From that day forward, she schemed to possess more than my heart and soul.

Are you close to family? 
Haven’t seen them in five years. I do miss my baby sister, Mary, though. She’s sweet and special. Plays the piano.

Describe a typical Friday night.              
You might not like it. I’m usually lying on my bedroll looking up at the stars. That’s the life of a land scout. We’re always on the move, looking to earn our next commission.

If there is one place in the world you could go, where would it be?  
I’ve found my heaven on earth, and if the Hawkins ranch were mine, I’d ride right into the yard, unsaddle Belinda, and unpack my bedroll.

What is your most prized possession?
My mare, Belinda. She taught me how to be a cowboy and has carried me everywhere I want to go. She’s my best and only friend.

What inner doubt causes you the most difficulty?
That I could be so blinded by a woman’s charms that I could not see what she was really after. If I could be fooled once, who’s to say I couldn’t be fooled again. Best thing, as I see it, is to steer clear of every feminine invitation.

What is your biggest need?     
Right now? To close one more land deal and have enough money to buy my own spread.

What would make you completely happy?   
To have a ranch of my own and a woman who loves it and me.

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?               
I’d ride over every inch of land that belonged to me and admire very blade of grass, every cow and calf. Then I’d come back to my cozy cabin, give Belinda an extra scoop of grain, and sit in a rocker on the front porch with a big cup of eggshell coffee.

“Stormy Hawkins” is available through:

Friday, December 29, 2017

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “Order vs. Chaos” by Mary E Thompson

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Mary E Thompson, and an excerpt from her Contemporary Romance, “Order vs. Chaos (Opposites Attract Book 1).”

Paradise is not like I remembered…
My curvy, sexy new boss has a chip on her shoulder the size of The Big Island.
And it’s all because of me. Although I have no idea why. She couldn’t be pissed because I checked her out the first time we met. She’s hot, and I like to look. But I won’t touch. She is my boss.
I spend my days trying to convince her she won’t regret hiring me, and my nights trying to forget my past.
And I’m failing at both. Kiana threatens to fire me before our first wedding. But I’m not leaving Hawaii. I lived through hell, and have the flashbacks to prove it. I’m staying put. No matter what she throws at me.
Even if it’s my worst nightmare come to life.


First Kiss Excerpt

She sighed and that vulnerability snuck back into her eyes. “Why do you care?”
I shrugged. “What kind of person would I be if I didn’t care?”
“You don’t even know me,” she whispered, making me wonder if she was talking to me or herself.
“That doesn’t mean I want you to run yourself ragged or get hurt. You need to take care of yourself.”
“I do fine.”
“I didn’t say you didn’t. I care about the people I’m around. And that starts with you.”
She looked up at me with eyes so big she looked like a cartoon character. She was close to me, close enough that I could smell coconut rolling off her.
Her pulse fluttered in her neck, and her breath quickened. I stepped closer to her, unable to resist the tug between us. I’d felt it the moment I saw her, and it only got stronger as she stared up at me with those eyes that begged me to take care of her.
I wanted nothing more.
She rose to her tiptoes as I leaned down. Our lips met somewhere in the middle, a spark shooting through me. Her lips were soft, delicate, tentative. I didn’t know if she was single, if she even liked me, but in that moment, nothing mattered except kissing her.
Her hands wound around my neck, dragging me closer to her. I slid one hand into her hair and the other low on her waist, desperate to feel her curves.
She moaned softly when my tongue traced her lips, then parted them for me. She tasted as sweet as I knew she would. Like everything good in the world wrapped up in one beautiful wedding planning package.
Which reminded me…she was my boss.

“Order vs. Chaos” is available through: