Wednesday, April 10, 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.

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Key: Project Enterprise Book 1 by Pauline Baird Jones

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She’s a stranded soldier. He’s an alien castaway. Can their love save a galaxy torn apart by war? 
Sara Donovan knew her top-secret expedition would be dangerous. But she never imagined she’d end up separated from her crew and stranded on an alien planet. When the smoke from her crash landing clears, she’s surprised to find a marooned resistance fighter ready to lend a hand. In a war-torn galaxy, Sara refuses to give her trust lightly… especially when she risks exposing the strange abilities she’s kept hidden since childhood.

Kiernan Fyn survives day by day on the hopes of exacting revenge on the warlord who murdered his wife. Sara is his ticket off the desolate rock to a new better future…until she’s targeted by hostile forces who thinks she holds the key to a long-lost civilization. In a fight for their lives, sparks fly as Sara and Fyn attempt to decipher their hidden connection with the powerful key before their ruthless enemies distort its power for galactic domination.

The Key is the first novel in the phenomenal Project Enterprise sci-fi romance saga. If you like interstellar chemistry, fast-paced action, and sprawling space operas, then you’ll love Pauline Baird Jones’ award-winning epic.

Buy The Key to unlock a rollicking romantic adventure today!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

O'Hara vs. Wilder by Linda Wisdom

$3.99

Amazon

When Sheriff Tess O'Hara's former partner, detective Jake Wilder, roars into her small desert town and commandeers her house in pursuit of counterfeiters, he reignites temptations and passions Tess thought she had left behind. She'd surrendered to his temptation for one night long ago, and now he intends to prove that the passion still burns between them.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

August and the Single Heart by Vi Zetterwall Excerpt


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OFFICE ROMANCE OR SOMETHING ELSE COMPLETELY?

Theresa Solano is a beautiful, decisive and brilliant woman who is devoted to her family, even when they don’t deserve it. Her father places her in charge of the family business and she finds herself hated by the women, disrespected by the men and engaged in a search for someone she can trust. She holds the Coin of Luck in life and love and finds it will have to work overtime to resolve her dilemma. As she maneuvers through a labyrinth of twists and turns, she continues her search for love but finds the only thing more elusive…is the truth.

Excerpt:

“My turn. You said we were going to talk business. So my question is, would you like me to tell the honest truth about what the employees think of you?”
Theresa hesitated. Sometimes knowing the real truth hurts too much. She nodded yes anyway.
“OK.” Gus took another sip of wine before launching in. “When you first came in there was a ton of grumbling. From everyone. People didn’t like the nepotism factor. They figured you were there to keep an eye on them. Business had been soft and there were a lot of worries that your father might be wanting to shut it down.
“However, most people were unhappy that someone young, who hadn’t paid her dues in the industry, was suddenly in charge. You really didn’t know a waybill from a declaration form and they were used to being led by someone who had been in the industry for a long time. Besides that, you are stunningly beautiful, so the ladies hated you for that and the guys dismissed you.
“Want me to continue or have you had enough?”
Theresa was up to the task. “Keep going. I liked the stunningly beautiful part.”
Again, for just a second, she thought she saw a hint of a smile on Gus’s face.
He picked up where he left off. “So, pretty much everyone disliked you for one reason or another and no one trusted you. But a funny thing happened during the next few months. The women started liking you more and not holding your beauty against you as you held your own against the men. They particularly liked it when you asked the questions and fended off their advances so deftly.
“Every time you made a decision about personnel or marketing or customer relations, you started setting the tone and creating de facto policy, and people started seeing you display some strong common sense. They started trusting you more.
“Anyway, generally speaking, the jury is still out. But you’ve gained a slew of converts and even more respect. Turns out you’re not just another pretty face.” Gus took a sip of wine and added, “And that is the truth.”
Theresa felt a slight shiver go down her spine as he made the last comment. He said it in a way that made her believe everything he said truly had been the truth. Suddenly, she realized how infrequently she had heard it before.
“You value the truth, don’t you?”
“Is that your question or just a sad commentary on the world we live in?”
Theresa shook her head. “I don’t want to trade questions anymore. I’m just trying to understand what makes you tick. The other night at the Grill, you talked about numbers as though they were your religion. You have a thing for certainty, for absolutes, for, well, I guess for truth. Math gives you that, but I wonder if anything else in your life does.”
If it were possible for a straight-faced man like August Tomasi to appear even more serious, she felt she was seeing it now.
Slowly, Gus finished his sip of wine and fixed his eyes on Theresa’s. “Life is a quest for truth. Sometimes we find it and don’t recognize it. Sometimes we find it and don’t like it. And sometimes we miss it completely and don’t know it. And, just as in math, the sum product of our life is about those rare little bits of truth we did find and what good we did with them.”
Theresa stared back at Gus, and for one short moment, felt that she had just been handed a sneak preview into his soul. She took another sip of her wine without breaking eye contact. Then, slowly, she responded, “And when you are all done, when you lay on your deathbed and contemplate the end, the only real question to answer is ‘did I make a difference?’ And my best guess is August Tomasi will be able to say yes. And my fervent prayer—is that I will too.”
Both of them broke eye contact at the same time. Sometimes too much truth did hurt too much.

Friday, March 29, 2019

The Big Uneasy Bundle by Pauline Baird Jones

$9.99

Amazon

The first four installments in the Big Uneasy series!

The Big Easy ain't always easy for the law-abiding Baker family.

First up, Relatively Risky

A quirky artist must unravel her parent's secret past before the mob erases her future. But will the protection of a handsome homicide detective, Alex Baker, be her only hope of surviving the Big Easy?

The oldest of thirteen, Alex Baker does two things: he solves murders and avoids children. Until the day Nell Whitby foils a carjacking, knocks Alex off his feet and turns his life upside down.

When the shots start flying and every rock he turns over reveals another wise guy, Alex decides he needs to stick close to the quirky yet captivating children’s book author while he discovers who is behind a series of mob hits. But can he resist the urge to kiss the kid magnet now in the crosshairs?

A relative newcomer to New Orleans—with no family but her college friend—Nell spends her days in seeming obscurity, sketching tourists in the French Quarter and serving canap├ęs for her friend’s catering business. When a chance encounter makes Nell the target of a mob hit, the only silver lining is meeting the cute cop who is determined to protect her.

But when she finds herself at the head of a second line made up of goons and gangsters, and secrets start bubbling up out of her own past, Nell must figure out what she's made of so she can live long enough to kiss the cop again…

In “Family Treed,” a short story, will Nell survive dinner with the “killing cousins?”

Nell’s not sure why the mob wants to have dinner with her. She is sure she wants a cop at her side.

Alex wouldn’t let Nell go in without him, despite much unease from his many siblings.

But will they get out alive?

And in Dead Spaces “be careful what you dig for.”

A forensic surgeon in the New Orleans Coroner’s Center—and part of her dad’s Baker’s Dozen—Hannah Baker thought she knew where to dig, how and what to slice, and when to walk away.

But when her big brother gets her involved in the exhumation of a couple of old coffins, she realizes the past can’t be ignored. Not when its been simmering up a big pile of trouble for longer than Hannah’s born days.

Only New Orleans could produce a “Baked” gumbo of the mob, shadowy figures from the past, annoying figures from the present, murders, attempted murders, and a really cute detective who is technically off limits on account of he’s her big brother’s partner.

Good thing NOPD Detective Logan Ferris doesn’t know the meaning of “off limits,” because once more the Big Easy is getting mighty uneasy.

In Louisiana Lagniappe...
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.

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?

Pauline Baird Jones has won awards for her tightly plotted, funny, and fast-paced novels of romantic suspense. Get two complete novels and a bonus short story for one great price!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

In Memory's Shadow by Linda Wisdom

$3.99

Amazon

MISSING MEMORIES...Sam Barkley had promised to protect her. But Keely Harper was beginning to think she would never be safe again. Since she'd returned to Echo Ridge, the town of her birth, she'd been plagued by nightmares--not to mention that her new neighbors looked at her strangely.

Keely had been orphaned at five, and left with no memory of her early life. She'd come to Echo Ridge hoping to fill in some of the gaps, yet all she'd found were more questions. Her handsome lover seemed to know something he wasn't telling her. Could she trust the safety she felt in Sam's warm embrace? Or would her fragile serenity be destroyed by the devastating secret of her past.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

July and the Single Heart by Vi Zetterwall

Amazon

The Coin of Luck lands between a rock and a hard place.



29 year old, July Harris, has the entire fortunes of her conniving family riding on her. In order to fulfill her grandfather’s will, she must select a husband from among five strangers in less than two months. With the clock ticking, she makes a decision at the last moment that rocks her family’s world. And nothing turns out as she expected.

Excerpt:

William made a strong impression on her. At one point, they were discussing marketing for a small business like the restaurant they were at that evening. He said, “The wonderful aspect of helping a small company market itself is the process of helping them understand who they are. I mean, you should see their eyes light up when we talk with them and suddenly they begin to realize what they look like to other people. Some of them have never even thought about what their own USP is and when we help them identify it, well, it’s really something.”

July was hanging on every word. “USP? I’m sorry, I should probably know that, but what is it?”

William smiled gently. “USP is their essence. It’s who they are—their Unique Selling Proposition. Every business, and for that matter every person, has one. You just have to figure it out, and then, when you do, well, you build your ad campaign around it.”

“I’m still not sure I understand. I mean, for example, what is the USP for this restaurant?”

William answered immediately, “Well, they specialize in Ethiopian food, served just as they do in Africa. That is very unique and they should push that to the hilt. And I realize that probably sounds obvious but many businesses try too hard to appeal to a broad market and end up missing the mark altogether. Companies need to have a laser-like focus on their USP.”

“That…that is fascinating. I have to admit, I don’t say that very often, but I love to learn new things and I find that very interesting.”

William looked at her closely and smiled at her. “You know, you have a USP too. Everyone does, really. Would you like to know what I think it is?”

Slightly skeptical, July ventured, “Is this the part where you flatter me and I love it?”

William laughed. “Well, the cool part about USP’s is that they are always flattering. After all, you aren’t going to promote yourself by talking about something uncomplimentary, right?”

It was July’s turn to laugh. “True. So what is my USP?”

William looked at her and softly, with almost a conspiratorial tone, whispered, “You are inquisitive. And you take great joy in learning new things. I think that makes you unique and very attractive. Too many people have blinders on, and as they grow older, they quit seeking the new and start gravitating back toward the old. You, July, are different.”

That moment felt almost like magic to her. She moved William up to the top of the ‘no-cut’ list.

 
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