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:

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Meet the Characters – An Interview with Trent Parker from “Risking Her Heart” by Laura Haley-McNeil

Hollywood producer Trent Parker has one goal – to own the film option for the breakout novel Sunset in Maui. His problem? Actress turned producer Charisse Whitloch. She’ll do anything to produce the film. Trent can stop her, but not without getting close to her, a bond he can’t risk.

Charisse has found the film project that will prove she’s her own woman – not her father’s daughter. One person stands in her way – Trent Parker. She’s faced opposition before, but she isn’t prepared for Trent. Her charisma has softened Hollywood’s hardest hearts, but is she a match for Trent’s heart of stone?

Trent’s defenses against Charisse crumble - loving her will heal the darkness in his soul and open the door to a secret he buried long ago. When Charisse is threatened, she and Trent face her adversaries. They piece together a plot more sinister than any Hollywood movie, but the key to their survival lies in Trent’s past – the key that will lead to Trent’s destruction.

Today we’re talking to Trent Parker from “Risking Her Heart: Crystal Creek Series #5,” a Romantic Suspense by Laura Haley-McNeil. Let’s get started. I’m sure our readers are eager to learn more about you.

What is your relationship status?
I’m completely unattached, which is the way I like it. Relationships complicate things, and I don’t like complications. I’m a simple man. Most people would tell you otherwise, but I’m not most people.

What is people’s first impression of you?
They would say I’m cool and aloof, and they would be right. Getting close to someone isn’t something I can afford. I have my work, and that’s all I need. I stay busy. Some say I’m a workaholic, but they would be wrong. I don’t work because I want to make money. I work because I need to forget.

Name three of your favorite things.
Peace, quiet, serenity. How can I say these are my favorite things? These are the things I long for. These are things that evade me. The last time I felt peace was when my mother was still living, though I can barely remember that. I was young when she died. Then my father remarried. I never knew peace after that.

What is your best memory to date?
It was the day Charisse took me riding on her stepmother’s ranch. I’d never seen anything more beautiful than Crystal Creek. Now that place was serene. We had gone to scout a location for my next film, but when she took me to Crystal Creek? I found serenity. And I found it again every time I looked into her brilliant blue eyes.

“Risking Her Heart” is available through:

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Recommended Reading from My October and November List

Reading Spotlight

October/November Books I Read and Recommend

No One But You (Silver Springs #2) by Brenda Novak
Contemporary Romance

Sugar's Twice as Sweet (Sugar, Georgia #1) by Marina Adair
Contemporary Romance

The Duchess War (Brothers Sinister #1) by Courtney Milan
Historical Romance

Passion for the Game (Georgian #1) by Sylvia Day
Historical Romance

Game of Love (Love in Bloom: The Remingtons #1) by Melissa Foster
Contemporary Romance (currently free in eBook format)

The Kidnapped Christmas Bride (Taming of the Sheenans #3) by Jane Porter
Contemporary Romance 

Friday, December 22, 2017

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “Unwrapped ” by Valerie Ullmer

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Valerie Ullmer, and an excerpt from her Male/Male Contemporary Romance, “Unwrapped (A Unexpected Novella). ”

Friends to lovers.
Jack had done what he’d always done to protect himself.  He allowed fear to take over and as a result, he pushed Adam away.  When Adam finally left, Jack understood that if he loved Adam as much as he claimed, he needed to change before Adam could risk his heart again.
Lovers to forever.
Adam understood why Jack kept his feelings secret, but after being ignored one too many times, he left.  But Jack won’t give up and when he proves to Adam how much he wants their relationship to work, can Adam risk his heart to the one man he’s loved all over again?
Will Jack and Adam find their happily-ever-after during the season of miracles?

First Kiss Excerpt

A knock at the door dispelled Adam’s doubts and he smoothed down his jeans and dark blue pullover.  He pulled the door open to find a nervous Jack on the other side, shifting from one foot to the other.  Adam took the time to peruse the sweater that showed off the muscles in his arms and the width of his shoulders, the gray bringing out the blue of his eyes.  His gaze strayed down to his jeans that fit him perfectly, leaving Adam speechless.
His Jack was a very handsome man.
Adam reached for Jack’s forearm and pulled him inside, shutting the door behind him.  He reached for the carryout bag and set it aside before he leaned toward Jack and locked the door, loving the heat radiating from the man.
“I missed you.”
Adam’s breath caught at the sincerity of his words and choked out the same.
“Can I kiss you?”
The timid Jack was someone new to Adam, but without hesitation, Adam nodded.  He hadn’t liked the physical separation from Jack, but he missed being able to kiss Jack whenever he wanted.  Jack cupped the back of his neck with his hand and barely brushed their lips together.
“I missed this, your touch.  More, Jack, please.”
Jack’s tongue swept inside and took control while Adam forgot everything but the feel of Jack’s mouth and taste.  Adam reached for Jack’s hips and pulled him closer, getting lost in the taste of Jack and the feel of his hard body pressed from chest to hips.
Too soon, way too soon for Adam, Jack broke off the kiss.  He pressed his forehead to Adam’s as they both fought to even out their breathing as they stared into each other’s eyes.  When Adam felt steady enough after a few minutes, he asked the question that he almost moaned aloud when the broke the kiss.
“Why did you stop?”
Jack met his gaze and gave him a small smile.  “I messed up my first chance with you.  Now that I have a second, I won’t rush you or make the same mistakes I made before.”
Adam brushed his lips against Jack’s, unable to stay away.  “Thank you.”
Jack clutched Adam close and Adam didn’t want to let Jack move from his hold.
“I should be thanking you for giving me another chance.  My therapist said that I should take our relationship slow, to show you how much you mean to me.  I am willing to do anything for you, even keeping my distance and ignoring my body for the time being.”  Jack smiled and snagged another kiss before he stepped back, only to be blocked when Adam’s arms wrapped around his back and pressed him close.

“Unwrapped” is available through:

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Meet the Characters – An Interview with Grant Mitchell from “Bear’s Edge” by Christina Lynn Lambert

After sexy bear shifter Grant lost his girlfriend and three best friends in a fire, he decided he was done with love, done with people, done with pretty much everything. One woman has him rethinking his whole strategy.

As his boss, Shayla is off-limits, so Grant keeps his feelings for her under wraps until...the attraction doesn't seem so one-sided. Grant takes a risk and lays a piece of his heart on the line. When things get hotter than he could have imagined, Grant wonders--will some of his darker desires be too much for Shayla or will she embrace the needs he's kept hidden for so long?

A reporter who covered the bombing Shayla survived three years before is convinced the only reason Shayla survived is because she's some type of bionic medical experiment or superhuman freak. When the reporter ropes Shayla's angry ex, Hunter into the mix, Shayla's business and her life are on the line. Can she and Grant trust in each other and find a way to slay all the obstacles that stand in their way?

Today we’re talking to Grant Mitchell from “Bear's Edge (Stranger Creatures book 2),” a Paranormal Romance by Christina Lynn Lambert. Let’s get started. I’m sure our readers are eager to learn more about you.

What was your childhood like?
My dad wasn’t around so it was just me and my mom though she wasn’t really around much. When she was, she was usually drunk or worse. I tried to fix things around the house because our landlord was skeevy and cheap. Money was tight so I paid whatever bills I could whenever I had (sometimes stole) enough cash.

What did you want to be when you grew up–and what did you end up becoming?
I didn’t think much about the future when I was a kid. I was just trying to survive, day to day. My talent at math helped me earn a scholarship. After college, I put my math skills to good use and went into financial management. Numbers make more sense to me than people sometimes.

What makes you laugh?
My sense of humor is kind of warped. I laugh at things I shouldn’t and love a good, dirty joke.

Are you a dog or a cat person?
Either really. But not fish. I don’t remember to feed them.

Are you a leader or a follower?
A leader, but I know when to shut up and listen too. I try not to act like a caveman or mansplain things.

Any fears in life or are you as tough as you look?
I can’t stand the thought of losing anybody I care about. When I found myself falling for my boss, Shayla, I fought it hard because I didn’t know whether I could put myself back together again if something happened to her.

Do you like to cook?
Not particularly but I like to eat regularly so….

Tell me your best day and your worst day.
The day that changed my life, and that probably kept me from becoming a criminal out of necessity was the day I met my three best friends, I was fifteen years old, beaten and bloody. They barely knew me but they got me cleaned up and never once judged me harshly. It was through my friends that I met my girlfriend Maya. I was going to ask her to marry me.

The worst day of my life was the day I lost all of them in a fire was also the day I became a bear shifter. I was saved from death when all I had wanted at the time was to die. I thought everything good in my life had ended that day and that the rest of my life would just be sadness and misery. Eventually the sadness didn’t overwhelm me and the memories of the people I lost didn’t cut so deep, but the fear of getting close to someone and then losing them caused me to keep my distance from everyone around me.

What’s it like being a bear shifter?
In the beginning, I hated it and the bear. Acceptance took a while, but shifting form to run as a bear is kind of amazing. The bear, yeah, having his voice in my head is weird. I don’t even know how to describe him. Maybe that he’s my brother from a non-human mother. He can be obnoxious and nosy, though he’s told me more than once I’m stubborn and don’t pay attention to what’s right in front of me.

Where is your favorite place and why?
I prefer being outside. The quiet and peace of being outdoors appeases the bear shifter side of me, plus, I don’t care for big crowds. Honestly, anywhere Shayla and I are together is my favorite place, even if we’re just walking around the hardware store or waiting in line at the pharmacy dealing with a snarky hipster clerk.

“Bear’s Edge” is available through:

Friday, December 15, 2017

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “My Rodeo Man” by Bonnie Phelps

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Bonnie Phelps, and an excerpt from her Contemporary Romance, “My Rodeo Man: The Texas Kincaids #1.”

Zach Kincaid was definitely not what Ashley Drayton was looking for – one more risk-taking, bad boy to add to that long list of narcissistic, jerks who kept breaking her heart. Well, she was fed up. From here on out, bad boys need not apply. So how in the world had this cocky, confident cowboy charmed his way into her affections? She sure wasn’t going to succumb without a fight.

Ashley Drayton looked like the typical, spoiled Southern Belle that made Zach turn tail and head for the hills. As a champion team roper on the rodeo circuit and ranch owner, he sure didn’t need the complications a feisty, prima donna would bring to his life. When he finally did settle down, he wanted a woman strong enough to stand beside him in the hard-knock world of ranching and rodeoing.

Can a rough and rugged cowboy live happily ever after with a sassy and sophisticated socialite?

First Kiss Excerpt
“I’ll be darned,” drawled Zach in his turn-your-insides-to-molten-lava voice after he made his way to her side. “You were just in my dreams and now here you are in the flesh. I am one lucky man.” He leaned forward and let their lips brush briefly. “Hello,” he said with that smile that melted her heart.
Despite the brevity – or maybe because of the brevity – her lips, her heart and every female bit of her wanted more. Momentarily at a loss for words, something totally out of character for her, she just stared.
Zach waved a hand in front of her face. “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?”
Her cool mask fell back into place. “Zach, I’d like you to meet my date for the evening, Robert Prichard… Robert, this overly friendly fellow is Zach Kincaid.”
The men shook hands. “And these are my brothers, Nate and Josh,” said Zach.
“I’ve heard of you. Nice belt buckle,” Robert observed. “Pro rodeo World Champion Team Roper three years in a row. I saw you at the last Stephenville rodeo. Those runs you made were amazing. Didn’t think that steer could be caught in under 5 seconds.”
“I had no idea you followed the rodeo,” Ashley said to Robert.
“I’m a Texan so there’s a little cowboy in all of us. He glanced across the room. “Sweetie, I see one of my clients over there and I need to go say hi. If you want to chat with your friends a little longer, that’s fine by me. Just catch up with me when you’re done.” He looped his arm across her shoulders and gave her a quick, friendly squeeze.
“Sure, I’ll be along shortly,” she said with a puzzled frown.
The brothers exchanged an ‘is this man crazy’ look.
“Bet you’re not used to having your guy leave you stranded. Frankly I’d say he is one bubble off plumb,” Zach rubbed the stubble on his jaw. “Far be it from me though to look a gift horse in the mouth.” He hooked his thumbs into his belt loops and rocked back on his heels. “I’d be more than happy to keep you company.”
He glanced over at his brothers. “Don’t you two have someplace else you need to be?”
Nate looked at Zach and shook his head. “No, I’m fine right here. Josh, you?”
“Me neither,” Josh said. He stuck out his hand, looking a bit uncomfortable, but smiled shyly. “Hi, I’m Josh,” he said to Ashley.
Zach scowled at his brothers, then turned his back on them to face Ashley. His brothers shrugged and wandered off to the next food station.
“You’ve got just a bit of sauce right here.” He touched her chin with his thumb while he feathered his finger across her lip.
Everything stopped like one of those freeze frames in the movies. She couldn’t form a coherent thought for the span of 30 seconds. She gazed deeply into his eyes lost in their Topaz depths and in a room crowded with people, filled with noise – there was silence.
A man bumped Ashley as he reached for a sample on the table jolting her back into action. She dabbed at her chin with her napkin.
“Did I get it?”
“Almost… Here, let me help.” Zach softly kissed the spot on her chin, then used his thumb to wipe away the trace of sauce that remained. He sucked the remnants off his thumb and smiled in that way that short-circuited her system and had fireworks exploding in her brain. Didn’t wolves have blue eyes she wondered? If the smoky look he was giving her was any indication, then it would seem he wanted to devour more than the smidgen of sauce on his thumb.
“Thanks,” she whispered, her usual witty repartee disappearing into the ether, but somewhere she heard the tom-tom beat… Good boy. Bad boy. Choose. Choose. Choose.
He wanted to whoop for joy at the dazed expression on her face, but was afraid his expression matched hers and decided to shelve the implications of his reaction. Talk about a herd of stampeding cattle churning their way through his gut. Damn, was about all his brain could process which is why he said the most inane thing possible…

“My Rodeo Man” is available through:

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “The Santa Bargain” by Robin Michaela

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Robin Michaela, and an excerpt from her Contemporary Romance, “The Santa Bargain: A Small Town Christmas Romance.”

Santa’s gifts can be both nice…and naughty.
Coffeehouse entrepreneur, Maria Thompson, has sworn off men ever since her young son’s father walked out of their lives. But, when she literally runs into sexy carpenter, Joe Sinclair, she wonders if it’s time to rethink her plan.
Joe Sinclair doesn’t need or want romance or a family. He was raised in the foster care system and learned long ago not to get attached to anyone. Now, if he could just remember that, he could put the sensual owner of Copper River, Colorado’s new coffee shop out of his mind.
After Maria and Joe volunteer to work together on the town’s first Christmas festival, their attraction lights up brighter than a new a string of holiday lights. When Santa comes to town, will they finally find everything they’ve ever wished for under the tree?

First Kiss Excerpt
Joe definitely liked the direction in which things were heading, but he didn’t want to make it too easy for her. “I don’t know,” he said, shaking his head and trying his best to sound like he needed more convincing. “Santa would have to bring me something extra special to get me to agree to be part of the Christmas Festival. I doubt he knows what I want.”
“Santa sees everything,” she pointed out. Her soft breath whispered along his jawline and her peachy scent enticed his nostrils. “Believe me, he can tell what you need. And he also knows if you’ve been naughty or nice.”
“I’ve heard that before,” Joe said, pleased that his voice still sounded normal. He gritted his teeth to stay focused on the conversation.
Maria rested her other hand around his waist, then leaned in and put her lips next to his ear. “If you’re nice enough to help me out,” she said in that throaty tone, “I can guarantee you’ll be happy with the naughty gift you’ll get.”
Joe nearly swallowed his tongue. “I can’t imagine what kind of gift that could possibly be.”
She turned her head and pressed her soft lips against the ridge of his jaw as she leaned against his chest. Joe wrapped an arm around her waist as he sucked in a breath. He imagined his entire blood supply had headed south, because he was suddenly so aroused, it was painful.
Maria raised up on tiptoe and slid her lips in a scorching trail of tiny kisses – from his ear, across the stubble of his cheek, and over to his mouth. She stroked her tongue along his lips, then slid it inside when he opened for her.
Joe groaned when she did that. He didn’t hesitate to tip her head to one side and take over the kiss by cupping her chin gently with one hand and burrowing the fingers of his other hand in her blond tresses. Sliding his tongue along hers, he deepened the kiss, gratified to hear her moan. For a moment, he lost himself in the softness of her mouth and the tempting smell of her skin, then he broke the kiss to trail his lips down her neck to her collarbone. Just as he’d thought, she tasted like fresh peaches.
He also took a certain primitive pleasure in the fact that Maria was breathless.
“That was just a hint of what you’ll get to unwrap on Christmas if you agree to be Santa,” she said, dropping her hand from around his neck and leaning her forehead against his chest.

“The Santa Bargain” is available through:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Meet the Characters – An Interview with Valerie Baldwin from “Connections” by Janette Harjo

Reincarnation... real or not?

“Connections” is the heartbreaking love story of Valerie and Alecksander. Caught in a circle of life after life, always knowing something is familiar but never quite understanding, until the vicious spell that put them there is broken and all remembrance returns. A love story that will bring tears, hope and joy to all who read.

Today Janette Harjo is interviewing Miss Valerie Baldwin about herself and her role in the three book “Connections” Series.

 “Hello, Valerie. I see you’ve received many good reviews for this story on Amazon, and I appreciate this opportunity to sit with you and learn more about yourself and your role in this story. 
“Time-Travel, reincarnation, cursed souls, wizards… Oooo It peaks my curiosity. What can you tell me about all that?”
The twentyish-looking woman crossed her shapely legs and adjusted her body in the straight-backed chair she sat on in my office. 
She sighed and began, “It’s not really a story.  It’s all true. You see, I’ve lived many lifetimes and have traveled back and forth through time in search of my ‘happy ending,’ you might say.”
JH – “Please continue!”
VB - “This series is about three simultaneous lifetimes my hero and I have lived in search of each other. Let’s see. Where shall I begin?”
I scooted forward in my chair, recorder ready. “The beginning?
Valerie tapped the right side of her head. “Oh, yes. The beginning. Of course! As I am today, I was a young empathic healer in the 1690s in “Fated,” the first of the series.”
JH - “As you are today? And your age then would’ve been the same?”
VB – “Yes. We, and a little boy who follows us through time, are the same age every time we meet for a chance at obtaining our connection.
Valerie lowered her eyelids for an instant. “But my exact age? That’s for you to decide. I am and have always been twenty-something. My hero has always been about the same age as I am. Probably in his early thirties. I’m five-five and he’s five-ten.
“But even as I am thought of as a young woman in today’s world, in the seventeenth century I was rather old to have no children. I was barren, which was something to be ashamed of, then.
“My husband at the time abandoned me for that reason, and left me alone to fend for myself. But I loved the children, and healed them with my God-given gift. 
“But the world of the late seventeenth century had no understanding for empathic abilities, and so I came under suspicion and thought of as a witch.”  
She raised her eyebrows, leaned forward toward me and murmured as if she shared a secret.  “And you know what they did to witches in the new colonies of America at the time.”
JH – “Oh, My! Yes I do.  Did you survive? How did you survive?”
Valerie fretted with her fingers. “The colonists enlisted the aid of a supernaturally powerful witch-hunter. None matched his prowess.” She shivered. “Can we please go on?”
JH – “Yee. Of course.”
Valerie took a deep breath and continued, “My second lifetime in this series, in “Conned,” occurred in the 19th century. During that time I served as a school-marm in the newly developed state of Oregon.
“I envisioned the children I taught as mine, and I cared for them as such. As I have said, I have always loved the dear little ones and so it seems fitting that I once more existed in a position where I could serve them. That became more complicated when one of those traveling show-men arrived in our town.
“I had heard all about them and I could not let him influence my children with his conniving ways. It was my place to stand up to him and protect them. He charmed me with his magical abilities, much as the witch-hunter had, and I let my guard down.
Then one of my little boys went missing – the same child who was with us in “Fated.” I alerted the sheriff and told him the blame should be placed on the con-artist in town because of his time spent with and the things he had taught to my children.”
I saw moisture on her forehead. She fisted her hands and leaned her head forward so her lips rested on them.
VB - “I shouldn’t have let it happen, but I did. It was all my fault.” Valerie raised her head.  “Can we go on to the 3rd in the series?”  Her lips trembled into a smile. 
I patted one of her hands. “Of course. What do you have to tell me about “Informed”?”
VB – “Informed is the story of my present day life. Due to my past experiences, I’m sure I’ll live other lives, but I like living today. Who knows what the future will hold, but today is much better than yesterday.”
JH – “Why do you say that?”
VB – “Because my previous lifetimes left me prepared for today. I’ve got this chance to reach my destiny. It’s my current reality – not like something I’ve lived before.”
The excited glow in Valerie’s eyes calmed and she continued. “As has always been my passion, I’m still working with children.” She lowered her gaze to her lap, “But I am also still unable to bear them.”
“I’ve again met an awesome magician, just as I did in my previous lifetimes.”
JH – “And you’re both the same ages as always before?”
 “Yes.  But let me continue with what’s going on in my life today!”
JH – “Please do!”
VB – “Everything is still much the same as always before. As I said, I am still childless, he’s still a magician, and there is still an orphaned little boy who has worked his way into our lives.”
JH – “What do you do in today’s world?”
The warmth of a loving smile softened Valerie’s face. “Today my empathic gifts are recognized as such and not as a disgrace I should be punished for. I’m a social worker and I use my unusual talents to fight for the safety of abused children. 
VB – “At first it seemed my magician and I were finally destined to find our connection and be together, but it seems like we might have more lifetimes to go through, after all.”
JH – “Why? What has happened?”
“The curse that has haunted us from day one has followed and found us again,” she sighed. “But today’s society is enlightened enough that we were able to enlist the assistance of a past life regressionist. Through him we learned about the previous lifetimes we’ve shared.”
Valerie’s face drained of all color and she gave a sudden shake with her head and shoulders.
JH – “Are you all right?”
VB – “We have been regressed to the twelfth century, where a final showdown between good and evil – my soul mate and the wizard who cursed us to lifetimes without each other – is going to happen. 
JH – “Your wizard is magnificent, isn’t he? There should be no problem, should there be?” I watched as her face drained of color and her voice broke with uncertainty.
VB – “I’ve grown to love him. What if his magic is not as strong?”
JH – “He must be good if you love him, and good always triumphs over evil; doesn’t it?”
VB – “So I’ve heard. But our little boy… uh, the little boy who has followed us through time is with him. I just don’t know how this is going to end!”

“Connections” series is available as single titles or a boxed set through:

Friday, December 8, 2017

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “You for Christmas” by Valerie Ullmer

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Valerie Ullmer, and an excerpt from her Contemporary M/M Romance novel, “You for Christmas.”

Hiding his feelings for his best friend has become second nature to Parker Hunt.  Throughout his years of friendship with Jonah Lee, he’d hoped for more, but he’d never been able to tell Jonah how he felt or what he wanted.  When Jonah’s plans fall through for holiday break, Parker is determined to spend their last Christmas together and this time, be brave enough to tell Jonah exactly how he feels.

Jonah Lee has always been in awe of his friend, Parker.  His energy, enthusiasm, and honesty had drawn Jonah to him from the first time they met.  And while he’s always been an open book with Jonah, lately, Parker had been holding something back.  On top of that, Jonah has realized that his feelings for Parker has grown and for the first time in his life, he’s curious about what Parker’s lips would feel like under his and what his definite male body would feel against his.

Will the holidays bring everything both men want, or will they let this opportunity pass them by?

First Kiss Excerpt

Without another word, Jonah clutched Parker’s hand in his and led the way back to their room.
Parker kept quiet, his body vibrating from Jonah’s voice and the assertive nature he rarely showed.  He’d managed to make Parker’s knees weak whenever he did.  Parker tried to breathe as desire for Jonah overwhelmed his senses, but he gave up a moment later when Jonah pulled him through the door and slammed it behind them.  The click of the lock loud in the dark, quiet room.
Parker had no idea what to say.  Jonah pressed him against the solid door behind him, pressing their chest together as Jonah’s hands opened and tightened on Parker’s waist, holding him still.
“You are…mine.”
Not expecting those words, Parker whimpered.  “Yes.”
Parker watched as he caught the desire as it flared in Jonah’s eyes.  A split second later, Jonah slanted his mouth and pressed their lips together.  Parker let their first kiss consume him, loving the feel of Jonah’s soft lips against his.  When Jonah’s tongue swept inside, he tasted the mint and Jonah.  Parker felt his legs go weak.  He ignored everything but the sensations Jonah drew from him, and he opened his mouth wider, letting Jonah devour him.
Parker’s arms banded against Jonah’s lower back when Jonah pulled back slightly, nibbling on his lips but not moving away.  Jonah pressed their foreheads together and breathed heavily for several long minutes as they stared into each other’s gazes.
“I’ve been so stupid.”
Jonah’s voice was deeper than Parker had ever heard it, but then his words registered and he stiffened.  Jonah regretted kissing Parker.  Searing pain slashed through Parker’s chest and he tried to untangle himself and his hold on Jonah.
“No, Parker, I don’t regret the kiss.  I’m sorry that I couldn’t tell you sooner.  I want you, Parker, but it’s more than that.  I want to share everything with you, I want a relationship with you.”
For a long time, Parker couldn’t make words push past his tight throat.  He cleared it several times before he could speak.
“Am I dreaming?”
“I hope not because I can’t go back to our relationship as it was before.”
“You’re my world, Jonah.  I want whatever you’re willing to give me.”
“I want you.  To be able to make love to you, to hold you and kiss you whenever I want.”
Parker moaned as their lips touched.  Every thought and worry dissipated until there was nothing left but Jonah.

“You for Christmas” will be available on December 12, 2017 for free:

Check Valerie’s WEBSITE for updates and links

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Meet the Characters – An Interview with Lady Tuya from “Lady Of The Nile” by Veronica Scott

Tuya, a high ranking lady-in-waiting at Pharaoh’s court, lives a life of luxury, pageantry and boredom. Khian, a brave and honorable officer from the provinces temporarily re-assigned to Thebes, catches her eye at a gold of valor ceremony. As the pair are thrown together by circumstances, she finds herself unaccountably attracted to this man so unlike the haughty nobles she’s used to. But a life with Khian would mean leaving the court and giving up all that she’s worked so hard to attain. As she goes about her duties, Tuya struggles with her heart’s desires.

When Tuya is lured into a dangerous part of Thebes by her disgraced half-brother and kidnapped by unknown enemies of Egypt, Khian becomes her only hope. Pharaoh assigns him to bring the lady home.

Aided by the gods, Khian races into the desert on the trail of the elusive kidnappers, hoping to find Tuya before it’s too late. Neither of them has any idea of the dark forces arrayed against them, nor the obstacles to be faced. An ancient evil from the long gone past wants to claim Tuya for its own purposes and won’t relinquish her easily.

Can Khian find her in time? Will he and his uncanny allies be able to prevent her death? And if the couple escapes and reaches safety, what of their fledgling romance?

Today we’re talking to Lady Tuya of Pharaoh’s Court from “Lady Of The Nile (Gods Of Egypt),” a Paranormal Romance set in ancient Egypt by Veronica Scott. Let’s get started. I’m sure our readers are eager to learn more about you.

What are you most afraid of?
When the novel begins, I’m most afraid of standing outside life, being a mere observer of others’ happiness. Living and dying without really experiencing all the joys of true love, marriage, motherhood – I have my position as a lady in waiting to the queen and I serve the goddess as a priestess. And ultimately that wasn’t enough for me.

What would you like it to say on your tombstone?
As you probably know, in the land of the Nile, we have elaborate tombs, with significant events from our lives depicted in beautiful paintings, as well as scenes of the life we hope to lead in the afterlife. I can’t reveal spoilers from the novel of course but there is a scene toward the end of the book, involving Pharaoh that I definitely will have painted in my tomb! I can say in general, as a priestess of the goddess Mut, I’ll commission scenes of myself with her. I’ll also have paintings of my beloved Khian, and if we are blessed to have children, they’ll be included.

Now on to something lighter, what is your favorite drink?
Egyptians are renowned for their beer.

What is your favorite food?
Honeyed dates.

What is your favorite song?
I doubt you’ve heard of it – a song extolling the accomplishments of Pharaoh.

What was your first impression of Captain Khian?
I first saw Khian when he appeared at court to be honored for military valor. He was so different than the nobles or even the top military men in Pharaoh’s private guard. Khian seemed like a breath of fresh air, no political artifice, just honest and forthright.  (Tuya giggles at a private memory.) And as I found out much later, in a moonlit garden, he can also quote poetry most effectively. And he’s quite handsome.

If you could go back in time, what one thing would you change in your life?
I’m content with the changes that occurred for me in the novel, as Fate brought me Khian. I lost my father at a very early age and of course I’d wish to alter that sad event, but then I’d never have met Khian. As the wise men say, “There is no one who can ignore Shai, god of Fate.”

Are you close to family?
I have no family left now. I did have a half-brother who was something of a scoundrel.

Do you see morality as black-and-white, or with shades of gray?
As Egyptians, we believe in ma’at – the balance and harmony of the universe, with truth and justice being very important. After death, each person must pass the test of having their heart weighed in the balance of the gods, to see if we’re worthy of achieving the joyous afterlife. I have tried to keep the principles of ma’at faithfully. I pray the goddess who embodies these traits, Ma’at herself, will find I have done well and lived a worthy life.

If you could make any one thing happen, what would it be?
Khian and I pray to the gods to bless us with children.

What is your most prized possession?
A feather from the pure white wings of the goddess Mut herself.

What kinds of things do you always carry in your pockets or purse?
I always have my ostrich feather fan, because the days can be quite hot, and I wear various amulets to ward off evil spirits and bring me good fortune. I have no purse or pockets, however. I’m told the pocket will be invented some 2000 years or so after I leave the land of the living to travel into the west. (My author does sometimes talk about pockets on occasion, but she calls them ‘conscious anachronisms’ in her writing. She has a Note on Historical Accuracy on her blog.)

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
Khian and I would go for a sail on the river Nile, and talk of everything and nothing, recite poetry to each other, perhaps fish for dinner…and have some very private moments in our cabin!

“Lady Of The Nile” is available through: