Tuesday, August 20, 2019

November and the Single Heart by Vi Zetterwall Excerpt


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“Captain, I am not playing nursemaid to a hayseed from Podunk, Montana.”

Icy veteran police officer, Alicia “Novy’ November was coping just fine until a rookie transplant from Montana was paired with her. Now Novy must straddle the line between the modern world and her Coos Indian roots, while a taciturn “Hayseed” from Montana struggles to adapt to big city life and to understand his new partner.
As Novy tries to wash him out, the rookie proves resilient and he joins those who worry about Novy. She bravely faces daily combat on the police beat while only a very few know she also battles an age-old Coos curse brought on by the coming blood moon. In a world gone wrong, Novy aims to find the right path as the calendar moves closer to the day of the blood moon and her foretold rendezvous with certain death.

* A stand-alone story - the eleventh in the Single Heart Series portraying the travels of the Coin of Luck in LIfe and Love and the impact it has on each recipient. 

EXCERPT FROM NOVEMBER AND THE SINGLE HEART:

“Alright, Nina, I’m ready. I want to hear everything about you and Jason.”
They had just settled down into their seats at Shari’s on Highway 99, and Novy could not wait to hear the news. The menus lay unopened and Novy gave Nina the attention she needed.
“I’m just bursting to tell someone. I really can’t tell Mom. She’s old school and, well, you know.”
“”I know. I could hear it in your voice when you called earlier. Tell me everything and don’t leave any details out. Remember, I live vicariously through your exploits, so don’t short change me.” Novy winked.
“Well, like I told you before, we were supposed to go out on a Saturday night, right after we last met for eats. But his job sent him out of town and he canceled. He promised he would call me the day he got back but I just figured, you know, that he had second thoughts and was trying to get off the hook. But two weeks later, he calls me up and asks me out again. We went out the next Saturday and he took me to a very nice dinner. Guess where.”
Novy shook her head. “I have no idea. Canlis? Some fancy-schmanzy place?”
“The Space Needle. It was the most romantic evening ever. My gosh, I couldn’t believe it when he pulled up and handed his keys to the valet. He didn’t tell me we were going there. I have no idea what the evening cost him but I have to tell you, no one has ever spent that kind of money on me. I mean, he was the perfect date—showed up with a gift of one rose, held my door open for me, kept me entertained all night with amusing stories and treated me to the best view in Seattle. We polished off a bottle of wine together and sat there as long as we could, just talking all night. I felt like a princess. Have you ever had one like that?”
Novy smiled softly. “Not exactly, but Manny and I had a few for the memory book. But I know that’s not the end of the story. What happened then?”
Nina could hardly contain the smile on her face. “He asked me to join him for a drink at a pub near work and he introduced me to some of his friends and co-workers. That was nice. I mean, being introduced and meeting people. Some of them made fun of him, in a good-natured way, saying he shocked them that he actually dated and stuff like that. I guess he doesn’t go out much.”
The waitress came by, and they paused long enough to peruse the menu and order an entrée.
The moment she was gone, needing no encouragement, Nina continued, “So he asks me out again. This time to his place for dinner. He can cook. Pretty well too. We had chicken cooked in a wine sauce with penne and beans. And, of course, a nice white wine.” She stopped and smiled.
“Let me guess, dessert was Nina à la mode?” Novy giggled.
“Wow, you’re like psychic or something. Of course I was. And, it was fantastic. I keep, you know, waiting for the other shoe to drop but being with him just gets better and better. It’s like winning lotto or something.”
The waitress returned with their salads and Nina continued to beam. When the waitress left, Novy said, “OK, seems to me you were awfully sparse with the details. You promised not to short change me, remember.”
“You want the play-by-play?” Nina asked, a bit incredulously.
Novy cocked her head and looked at her. “You got someone else you can tell this stuff to?”
“You know I don’t.”
“You want to tell, don’t you?”
“You really are psychic!” Nina laughed. “OK, well, after dinner, he took my hand and without a word led me to the bedroom. Feel free to imagine how big a fight I was putting up.”
“Like a lamb to the slaughter?”
“Exactly!” Nina laughed. Then, in a quieter voice, she went on for the next ten minutes with more detail than Novy expected as she recounted their mattress dance. Novy listened attentively and even had her repeat some of the more amazing parts. She finished just as their entrées were being delivered to them.
Nina, almost out of breath, finally came to the end. “Enough detail for you?”
Novy shook her head. “Well, you didn’t short change me. I have heard of some wild rides on the baloney pony, before but I think that one takes the cake.”
Nina howled and then, self-consciously, toned it down. She looked around the room. Most everyone, thankfully, was minding their own business. “You cops know the best descriptive phrases. OK, enough about me, What about you? Any news on the Kevin front?”
“Funny you should mention that. He called me yesterday. There’s a work party he wants me to go to with him. Being held at the meeting room at the top of the Smith Tower. That should be interesting.”
“Well, cool. I want to hear all about that later. What about your new partner, what’s his name, the cowboy?”
“Oh, you mean Hayseed? He’s still with me. For a few more days anyway. Then his probation is up and he’ll be moving on.”
“Not sticking around, huh?”
“I don’t think so. I just don’t feel good about recommending him. He’s green and just, I don’t know, missing an edge or something. Nice guy but I’m going to recommend reassignment.”
Nina considered that for a moment, and added, “Probably not as sharp as you were in your first thirty days, huh?”
Novy frowned. “I know. I wasn’t a dream partner either to begin with. But this guy is hesitant to draw his gun and that scares me. What’ll happen when someone’s life is on the line? No, it’s better if he moves on.”
“Who will they pair you up with, then?”
“I don’t know. Any veteran has to be better. It’ll work out.”

Monday, August 19, 2019

Steamrolled: Project Enterprise Book 4 by Pauline Baird Jones

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Robert Clementyne is the only man standing between an evil doctor and a accidental time machine gone missing. When his trail of clues goes cold, he takes a long-shot gamble and visits the steampunk-themed bowling alley museum belonging to the inventor’s descendant.

Emily Babcock has dedicated her life to keeping the memory of her trailblazing ancestor alive. But even she’s skeptical when a hunky stranger comes searching for an invention long lost in time… until the contraption materializes before her eyes. Hoping for a romantic detour, Emily climbs aboard with the sexy mystery man for a wild ride through space and time.

Their travels take a twisted turn when they plunge headfirst into a fever dream version of New York City. Trapped in an unstable time bubble, Robert and Emily must find a way to defeat the evil doctor and escape before reality comes crashing down.

Steamrolled is the fourth book in the innovative Project Enterprise sci-fi romance series with steampunk sensibilities. If you like bizarre alternative reality worlds, fiery chemistry, and fast-paced action, then you’ll love Pauline Baird Jones’ page-turning triumph.
Buy Steamrolled to expand your imagination with a weird and wonderful sci-fi romance today!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

October and the Single Heart by Vi Zetterwall

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LOVE VERSUS THE IMMOVABLE FORCE

“It’s none of your business.” That was the answer neighbors heard when a mysterious man bought a parcel of land in a run-down neighborhood. Every indication was that he was up to no good. Sarah Lowell, a widow with two young children wasn’t the type to timidly accept that. She may have been searching for love but she was up for a war. The taciturn developer goes head to head with a diligent mother and odds are, only one of them will win.

This is the tenth romantic novella in the series and it tells a story of inter-racial relationships. Sarah is an African American widow with a strong sense of right and wrong while Mr. October is an enigmatic, uncommunicative white male. He seems to be working overtime to be disliked and untrusted. October and the Single Heart takes a look at this urban story that is much like real world events that are happening every day. It is a story of heartbreak, tears and reversals as colliding wills fight on.

Like all of the romantic novellas in the Single Heart series, this is a stand-alone story which follows events that occur as a new female lead character comes into possession of the Coin of Luck in Life and Love. Vi Zetterwall’s Single Heart series explores the very nature of a woman and a man’s relationship. Each book is a distinctive story—a short novel that pays homage to the verbal foreplay that goes on early in a relationship. Vi’s novels feature unique characters facing everyday problems—and sometimes, not-so-everyday. Although the characters and plotlines are all different, there is a connecting thread: In each book, the leading lady comes into possession of the Coin of Luck in Life and Love. In ways, sometimes small, sometimes great, the coin affects her actions and all subsequent events.

In your life, you have probably experienced an event that seemed inconsequential at the time but had far-reaching results. Vi’s books explore the magic that occurs when serendipity strikes and some chance meeting, a misunderstanding, an unexpected job offer or a misread clue leads to two people finding each other and falling in love. Vi writes about relationships and the drama that comes from every conversation. The steam that rises from her books is not due to an abundance of love scenes. You won’t see many phrases discussing the male anatomy or torrid moments in the bedroom. But you will feel your blood pressure rise during the dialogue-heavy scenes between potential lovers. Your heart will ache when the leading lady’s does and you will gain the same insights about life and love as she has.

Follow the travels of one coin and the lives it touches. As each book concludes, the protagonist passes on the Coin of Luck to another random woman—sort of a sneak preview to the next tale in the series. And everything seems to change after that. Is the coin magic or is it merely a catalyst that pushes love in the right direction? Every reader will have to decide for themselves. Vi Zetterwall weaves feel-good stories of love, suspense, mystery, and always a twist or two at the end. She loves a happy ending and never fails to deliver.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Louisiana Lagniappe: The Big Uneasy 3 by Pauline Baird Jones

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A Reunion, a murder, and a wedding... What's next?

Becca Smith Poole should have known her forty-fifth high school reunion would be anything but normal - especially when a dead body turns up! Renowned for her problem-solving skills, Becca is determined to discover who the murderer is - and if her former high school crush is still as handsome as he was in their younger days. The first will take some time to solve, the second one took her breath away.

Retired detective Zach Baker has been lonely since the last of his Baker’s dozen moved out. When he sees Becca Smith’s picture in the “where are they now” brochure, he wonders if this might be a first chance for him with the gal he could never connect with in high school. But before he can ask her out, a murder breaks up the party.

Lucky for him, his son’s upcoming wedding is full of problems requiring Becca’s professional problem-solving touch. Can a retired cop and a mystery reading problem solver unmask a killer before the wedding? Even more challenging, can Zach convince Becca that there is no end date for falling in love?

Dive into the next installment of the Big Uneasy series that reviewers have said will “make the reader feel as if they’ve been plopped down right in the middle of the Big Easy.” Get Louisiana Lagniappe: The Big Uneasy 2.5 now!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Her Secret, His Son by Linda Wisdom

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It was a day she'd never forget...

Sara Murdock was pumping gas in Henderson, North Carolina, when she heard about the new preacher. He was reputed to be a quiet, thoughtful man. His name was Jess Larkin.

That evening Sara walked around the hillside town--the town that had been her home in name only. She watched the people who had never accepted her as one of their own when she'd returned fifteen years ago with an infant son. Then she went home and looked at the boy, and saw again the heart-wrenching smile and stubborn pride Tim had inherited from the father he never knew. How would Sara cope when everyone discovered the truth about Tim's parentage?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

September and the Single Heart (Single Heart Series Book 9) by Vi Zetterwall


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CAN ENEMIES FALL IN LOVE?
Anne Giamatti Is more than just a rich and powerful man’s daughter. She is a smart, beautiful, insightful woman of thirty-four with a heart full of passion for the right man. But her protected life dramatically minimized her chances of ever finding him. On a sunny day in January, she is given the Coin of Luck and after that, her life spirals out of control. The man she meets, James Hale, is deliberate, cold, calculating and capable of terrible deeds. A superior planner just like her father, James kidnaps her and holds her for a ransom she can't imagine. Caught in the battle between her father and James, Anne finds herself in the middle of something she does not yet understand…with only her wits to survive.

Excerpt:

On day thirty-nine, she heard the door unlock at two fifteen in the afternoon. James knocked and called through the door, “You decent? Can I come in?”
“Suit yourself.”
He opened the door and stepped inside. “I see the kitty still has her claws out. I really wish you would relax. You’re not going to be harmed.”
“So you say. I’m sure I should believe you since you’re such a stand up kind of guy.”
He turned to leave the room. As he did, he said, “Well, I was just here to announce congratulations. You’ve been paroled—thirty minutes early, for good behavior.” Then he walked away.
Anne put on her shoes and strolled out of her room. She went downstairs to the kitchen and checked the fridge. A voice from the living room called out to her, “Boss made a run to the market this morning. We’re all stocked up on everything, including those little itsy bitsy Corona beers you like.”
She peered out into the living room. Joey sat on the couch, downing a raspberry seltzer. The front door was open with just the screen door shut. She walked out into the living room, eyes focused on the door.
Noticing that, Joey said, “The boss said you could go outside and sit with him at the pond. He wants to talk to you.”
Eyeing him with suspicion, she nevertheless went outside. For the briefest of seconds she judged the distance to the highway and wondered if she could make it and flag down a car before they caught her. It seemed like a losing proposition, so she walked over to the bow of the hill and sat down next to James. She said nothing.
They both sat there, side by side, making no comment for ninety seconds. Finally, James pointed to the far side of the pond and said, “I’ve been watching that little frog over on the far side. Now and then he moves and every time he does, that bird up in the tree turns its head toward him, like he is checking out the lunch menu or something.”
“I know this lowlife who once told me that for every action there’s a reaction.”
“Yeah. How low is he?”
“As low as you can get. He plays handball off the curb. He steals people from their lives and then locks them in their room when they’ve only done what any normal person would do. I think he’s just mean that way.”
Again there was an extended pause in the conversation. Being outside was like a gift from heaven for Anne. She closed her eyes and let the soft wind tickle her face as the afternoon’s last rays of sun beat down on her.
She glanced over at him. Again, she caught a trace of an odd smile as he stared at her.
“I’ve seen that smile before. My mom used to call those ‘secret smiles.’ You know what that is?”
James shook his head. “Tell me.”
“A secret smile is the kind you smile just for yourself. And it has a special meaning. It’s a smile that means something unique to you and to no one else.”
James pondered that. “Your mom teach you anything else?”
Anne looked off into the distance. “Plenty. She taught me good manners. And, by the way, kidnapping people is not good manners. And she also taught me to always do three things when I conversed with people.”
Now she had James’s attention. “Don’t be a tease. What three things?”
Anne gave herself a secret smile. “She said always say something nice, say something true, and say something that causes them to reflect. She said it was a surefire way to build a good relationship.”
“Hmmm, an interesting philosophy. So…do you have three things for me?”
Anne eyed him carefully. “Hmm, let me think. Yeah, I guess I do.” She paused for effect.
“Well, what are they?” asked an impatient James.
“All right, here are your three things: my father hasn’t killed you yet, my father hasn’t killed you yet, and my father hasn’t killed you yet. How’s that work for you?”
Playing along, James nodded. “Well, let’s see. Something nice, something true, and something to reflect on. You’re right. That works. Not sure if it helps build a strong relationship, though.”
“Yeah, well, I guess my mom wasn’t always right.”
“Remind me not to verbally joust with you too often. I’m getting my butt kicked.”
Anne chuckled quietly to herself. Just then an orange-colored butterfly descended from higher up and flew within a few feet of Anne and James. It fluttered its wings and hovered for a few moments. Anne reached her hand out toward it and it quickly flew away.
“Well, at least she can escape from here.” Anne flashed a look at James.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Tangled in Time: Project Enterprise: Book 3 by Pauline Baird Jones

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He’s a modern soldier. She’s a vintage scientist. Their star-crossed love could redefine the boundaries of time and space. 
Colonel Braedon Carey thought his space-time test flight would be a cake walk. When he wakes up dazed and confused in an unfamiliar desert, he realizes he crash landed in the wrong decade. And judging by the steam-powered machine he stumbles upon, Braedon discovers that a spunky scientist already broke his space-time record… by more than a century.

Miss Olivia Carstairs had triple-checked the calculations for her transmogrification machine before she pulled the trigger. But she never counted on being thrown off course by a strange man from the future. Lost in time together, Olivia teams up with the intriguing traveler who speaks in perplexing turns of phrase but whose warm eyes speak volumes.

On the run from a mad doctor with a dark, twisted purpose, Olivia and Braedon must find their way to a new future before both of their histories disappear.

Tangled in Time is a charming standalone novella in the Project Enterprise sci-fi romance series with a steampunk style. If you like sweet chance encounters, witty rapport, and action-packed adventure, then you’ll love Pauline Baird Jones’ light-hearted story of clocks and chemistry.

Buy Tangled in Time to get lost in an enchanting temporal romance today!
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