Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Read an Excerpt from The Countess and the Cowboy by Linda Wisdom

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Cowboys and Indians never fought like this!

When Letitia DeMarco took the deed, by gunpoint no less, to her
ex-fiance's Montana cattle ranch, she didn't know it came with a
negative cash flow -- and Tyler Barnes, a foreman with a state-size chip
on his shoulder. Before she could even unpack her designer boots, they
locked spurs and made the ranch the wildest honky-tonk in town.

Letitia was sultry, high society and Italian in every way but heritage.
Tyler was the soul of Montana's wide-open spaces. He had been born and
bred on a ranch: his easy chair was a horse's back. When they locked
horns, it was winner take all. And, come high noon, there would be only one winner in this showdown.

Excerpt:

"Cara, have pity." His handsome liquid brown eyes and smooth Italian accent begged for understanding, but there was little hope of a reprieve. The beautiful woman’s furious aqua eyes told him not to expect such a thing even if hell froze over.

"Me, have pity? After what you did to me? Giancarlo, I should shoot you where you sit, you slimy snake, you sneaky underhanded worm, you conniving son of a..." She used both hands to brace the deadly weapon she aimed at him.

"Letitia, my darling, you are attracting attention." Giancarlo's gaze darted worriedly from right to left. He lowered his cultured voice to a confidential level. It began to show more than a hint of strain. But then, any man would feel some anxiety if he had a woman pointing a gun directly at his heart.

Letitia kept her eyes on the perspiring man seated at a cafe table on the shady patio. She was so focused on him, it was easy to ignore the mildly curious onlookers who had just walked off the golf course or the tennis courts in search of a cold drink. While the Southern California elite knew enough not to display vulgar interest in a woman standing on the clubhouse patio aiming a gun at one of the guests, many couldn't help but wonder who the pair was. When they joined the exclusive Bel Air club they had no idea such excitement was included in the exorbitant dues.

In the back of her mind, Letitia DeMarco realized this little incident would probably result in her guest privileges being revoked with no hope of ever being asked to join the club. Good thing such possibilities didn't upset her. Right now, she had more pressing matters to resolve. Mainly, Giancarlo,

“And to think I was almost fool enough to marry you," she snapped. "Tell me, Giancarlo, how many people have you duped over the years since your less than glorious retreat from Italy? Does anyone else know your family disinherited you because of a similar scandal with one of their friend's daughters? That they insisted you even drop your family name because they're so ashamed of you? Let me see."

She tapped her forefinger against her lips in exaggerated thought. Her one hand held the revolver with a steady grip. "Didn't it have something to do with getting your brother's fiancée pregnant and then refusing to-do the honorable thing by marrying her? Instead, you accepted a healthy settlement to stay away. And since then, you've proposed to dozens of women, as long as they're wealthy, of course. You'd get what money you could from them and take off for greener pastures. You have quite a little con game going on, don't you?"

Giancarlo Reynaldo, a.k.a. too many names to count, began to sweat under Letitia's deadly aim. The young woman he'd been romancing had fled the moment Letitia marched outside with the gun leveled at him. Letitia had smiled at the woman he was romancing as back up in case things didn’t work out with Letitia and suggested she might want to leave. The leggy blond didn't waste any time running into the bar screaming there was a crazy woman out there with her fiancĂ© and someone should call the police. The club executives being the types who disliked any kind of publicity, much less the negative kind, opted to alert their private security staff to the problem on the patio. They all were familiar with Letitia DeMarco, whom they had considered a very lovely and very reasonable woman. Until now.

Letitia hadn't stopped to think this could be a bad idea or that she could even end up in jail for threatening a man with a gun. She only knew the man cowering in front of her, the man she'd thought she wanted to marry, turned out to be the worst kind of man a woman could have the misfortune to hook up with.

Giancarlo managed a smile and slowly stood up with his arms wide open as if to embrace her. "Cara, let us go somewhere and discuss this," he crooned. "You know I would never do anything to hurt you. I love you." He took a step forward.

"Stop right there!" Letitia lowered the barrel. "You take one more step and I will shoot off what you hold so valuable."

His eyes widened in alarm as he realized she was now aiming at his crotch. "Letitia, you would not do such a horrible thing."

"Watch me." Her deep aqua eyes narrowed in concentration. She could hear voices murmuring in the background and realized her time was limited. "You owe me one hundred and fifty thousand dollars and I want it now."

"If there is a problem we can meet at my bank tomorrow and I will do all I can to help you."

Her laughter held no humor. "Which bank, Giancarlo? The one you claim to have an account at or the one that states your balance is twenty-three dollars and forty-six cents?" She dropped the bomb with ladylike aplomb. "I had a fascinating talk with your father last evening. He is very unhappy with you, Giancarlo. So unhappy that he isn't going to send you this quarter's check. In fact, you are now cut off from all family funds."

Giancarlo's face turned a sickly gray as he listened to his true past thrown out to the rapidly growing audience. Then his handsome features just as quickly turned sharp. As a man who lived by his wits and charm, he could see which would work with Letitia.

"What do you want?"

Letitia smiled. "My money."

"I do not have it and you seem to already know that," he snapped.

She nodded her agreement. "You probably spent it on your next victim. But that won't get you off the hook, Giancarlo. I did some checking and you do have some property. A cattle ranch in Montana. All you have to do is sign this transfer of ownership and we'll be even." She reached inside her jacket pocket and pulled out a sheet of paper. "I'm sure Lawrence over there will be only too happy to witness it for us. Won't you, dear?" She flashed a brilliant smile at a silver haired man standing off to one side. Lawrence's answering smile was feeble. "I assume he'll agree to help just to get me off the property within the next five minutes."

"The property is worth much more than a hundred and fifty thousand dollars!" Giancarlo argued.

Her glorious eyes spat fire. "Either pay me the money or sign over the ranch. Those are your choices.

Unless you'd rather I call in the authorities. The first charge will be fraud, then all the others will fall neatly into place. I wonder how many victims I might be able to find who'd be delighted to testify against you."

Giancarlo looked around for any semblance of support. Each person he silently sought discreetly turned away.

"All right, give me the damn paper," he growled, snatching it out of her hand. He didn't bother to read it but merely scrawled his name by a red x.

"It also states if you step foot on the Montana property you will be shot on sight," she advised, using the gun to wave Lawrence over. "We just need two witnesses. Howard, my dear, would you mind? In fact, is there anyone here with a notary stamp?"

"Letitia, I never thought you were the type to make such a horrible scene," one bikini-clad brunette murmured from the sidelines. "There are other ways to handle such an impropriety."

"Oh please. Those ways take too long and the victim never wins, Buffy," she stated, stepping forward and keeping one eye on Giancarlo as she signed her name on the dotted line.

"This is not legal," Giancarlo argued, trying one last time. “You are forcing me to sign away my property.”

"Oh, it's very legal. I made sure of that," she assured him. "I had a very good lawyer draw up these papers. You just sold me your ranch and I have plenty of witnesses to attest to that." Her voice softened. "Face it, darling, you've lost your entree here. After today, invitations to parties will suddenly disappear, your calls won't be taken, you won't get a decent reservation at the 'right' restaurants and people will suddenly develop amnesia when they see you on the street. I suggest you look for new territory."

"Mrs. DeMarco, may I have the gun please?" One of the club's security officers approached her with caution when he thought she appeared more composed. And a lot less lethal.

She turned to hand it to him.

"It's probably empty anyway," Giancarlo sneered, finding his courage now that he felt her power was taken away from her. He lifted his drink to his lips.

Letitia spun around with the gun still in her hand. The loud report assaulted the viewers' ears just as Giancarlo's glass shattered in his hand, the liquid streaming down his silk-covered arm. His curse could have been a prayer as he stared wild-eyed at her.

"Mother's second husband believed women should shoot as well as men," she explained, handing the gun to the stunned security man, whose lips twitched with amusement and respect for a woman who knew how to make her point.

Letitia scanned the document and carefully tucked it in her purse. She flashed her winning smile at the on lookers who appeared as shocked as Giancarlo.

"I really hate to shoot and run," she told them. "You see, it's just this little quirk I have. I hate to be cheated and he was going to pay one way or another. Although, I am glad I didn't have to shoot him. Blood is so difficult to get out of silk.” She spared Giancarlo a quick glance as she was escorted out of the patio area with a security guard on each side. "Have a nice day."

 

"THAT SON OF A BITCH!" Tyler slapped the letter with the attorney's letterhead against his gloved palm.

"You seem a little upset, boy," JT drawled, taking the paper out of his hand and reading it. "So that Eyetalian bastard sold the ranch."

"He promised I would have first chance if he decided to sell," he growled, prowling the empty corral like a jungle cat who'd been caged. "And now he's sold it to a woman! Some flighty Italian socialite who probably doesn't know a damn thing about ranching or how I've had to run this place on a shoestring because he never came through with the funds we need so badly to keep this place going."

"If she’s some countess maybe she'll have the money to do what's necessary for the place. As for her not knowing anything, if she doesn't, show her."

The older man's quiet suggestion brought Tyler up short. "I will not work for a woman."

JT searched his pockets and brought out a pack of cigarettes, which Tyler immediately confiscated.

"You're not supposed to have these," he scolded. "Besides, we have a problem here."

"You have the problem, son. I’m just your trusty sidekick," JT grinned.

"I can see her now," Tyler grumbled. "Dark hair, brown eyes, sounding like someone in one of those foreign films, wears silk and lace. She'll take one look at this place and head back to Italy because there’s no fancy dress boutiques in town."

"This lawyer's office is in California," JT commented, looking at the letter.

"I don't give a damn where she goes back to, as long as she goes." Tyler's gray eyes turned cold. "Giancarlo was happy to keep his distance, although some contact would have been nice all the times I wrote to him about our problems. This place could be turned into a paying proposition if we just had the funds." Frustration laced his voice.

JT, who'd been ranch foreman until his retirement when Tyler took over, understood the younger man's frustration. "Then charm the money out of the lady," he joked.

Tyler looked at the letter again. "She's due to arrive next week." He looked off into the distance. "Some damn Italian countess. I give her less than twenty-four hours."

JT's eyes lit up. Minor gambling on the property was one of the men's favorite pastimes. "Sounds like the beginning of a pool here." He rubbed his hands with glee.

"Put me down for two hours," Tyler said grimly, before striding toward the rear part of the main house. "I guess I better give Myrna the bad news. I just hope she doesn't fly off the handle and bum dinner."

JT was on his way to the bunkhouse. "Guess I better start drawing up the pool. Once the other men hear, bets will go wild. Somebody is going to be making a lot of money on this."

"An Italian countess," Tyler groused. "Terrific."

 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Guardian Angel by Linda Wisdom

$3.99

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The lady in command—a graduate of Annapolis—beautiful Alex Page had put a career in Naval Intelligence and a bitter marriage behind her. Now, as security chief of a major firm, her main charge was guarding the body of its dashing president.

Proud, aloof, an absolute professional, Alex had no interest in protecting Jared Templeton from the exquisite society women who assaulted his magnificent body by night—no interest in challenging the Sydney Sorceress or the South Seas Siren—until, without warning, the climate changed. Suddenly the man who moved through women like a shark through shoals of fish launched a calculated attack on her senses. And Alex, master of self-defense, could no longer guarantee the safety of her own heart.


Thursday, January 12, 2023

Read an Excerpt from Morrow's Con: Opening Gambit by Earl James

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People call him Morrow.

They aren’t sure if Morrow is his first name or last, and they don’t care. They call him when they're in trouble. They call him when conventional methods don’t work. They call him when they needed a solution that no one else can offer.

Morrow is a product of the streets. At an early age, he learned to anticipate what people would do given a few choices. He became a self-educated student of human nature, and later in life, he became a con man. Morrow isn’t tougher or more experienced than his opposition. He’s an average man who blends in and earns his living by out-planning and out-thinking his adversaries.

Now, he’s about to launch his first-ever full-fledged con. He knows his objective, he’s designed his plan, he’s selected his team, and he knows he’s ready to act. 

It’s what he doesn’t know that could be his downfall.

Excerpt:

 

D

ay twenty before the deadline was spent in meetings. Morrow met with each player individually to discuss their roles and the timing of each action. The other team members didn’t know that the exercise was Morrow’s way of fleshing out the plot in his own mind. He still didn’t have a good scheme for breaking into the safe, but it was getting to that point that he still had to plan. He trusted that he and Lou would come up with a good safecracking strategy soon.

The next morning found Morrow knocking on the LeBlanc mansion door. Once again, it was the Ice Queen herself, Ms. Velloitte, who responded.

“What do you want now, Mr. Dawes?”

“Well, I’d like to see the repairs you’ve made to my frame, and I need to talk to Conrad too.”

“Mister LeBlanc is out right now,” she replied, putting heavy emphasis on the word mister.

“Oh, shoot. I had a lead for him. When can I catch him here?”

Ms. Velloitte angled her head to the right and said, “That sounds suspiciously like an appointment. I don’t schedule appointments in person. You’ll have to call in.”

“You’re kidding, right? I’m a client now. Clients have privileges, right? And why am I still standing on the porch? Can’t you invite me in?”

“I’ll tell him you stopped by,” she said. “Call me when you want to set up an appointment.”

“Now, just a—”

She closed the door in his face.

Morrow turned and walked back to his car, talking to himself every step of the way. “What in the name of Wally Pipp is going on? This is fuckin’ nuts! Nothing is going right here. How am I supposed to get to know LeBlanc if I never get to see him? Who would’ve expected I would run into the Teutonic Bitch from Hell as his receptionist-guard? She’s killing me. I’ve gotta figure out a way around her—and fast!”

Driving away from this latest humiliating scene, Morrow headed to Sadie’s place for some lunch and a quiet thinking booth. He needed time to logic out this newest problem. Parking a half block away in a free spot, Morrow locked up his Toyota and walked to the entrance. Deep in thought, he paid no attention to the two goons walking directly at him. As they got closer, Morrow looked up and instantly knew he was in trouble.

The two Barger musclemen were easy to recognize. He’d last seen them when they were pointing a bazooka at him and Mr. Westcott. They wasted no time picking him up off the ground, each with a hand under his armpits. They escorted him into an alley next to the pub, threw him against the wall, and smiled. They weren’t friendly smiles. It was more like the smile you show when you know you’re going to win and the other guy isn’t.

Without another word, the goon on the right slugged Morrow on the chin. The one on the left gave him a blow to his midsection. Morrow doubled over and coughed out, “What’s all this for?”

“Mr. Barger doesn’t like you,” the goon on the right said. “You’re the fancy driver who got Westcott away from us the other day. He wants to let you know we know who you are. It’s like a helpful hint. We think you should not be working there anymore. Maybe even get out of town. Think of it as a health tip.”

“I take vitamins every morning. I had no idea that Barger was so concerned about my well-being.”

The other goon replied, “You got a smart mouth. We don’t like smart talkers. Wanna see what we do when we find one?”

“Nah, thanks. I think I saw it already.”

“Think of it as our way of saying goodbye.” Both goons unleashed on Morrow, landing a series of blows that left him lying on the ground, conscious but wishing he weren’t.

 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Get a Sneak Peek Into Twist of Fate by Linda Wisdom

 $3.99

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Diner waitress Allie Walker dreamed of grandeur, but even she never fathomed of being switched into the body of Brianne Sinclair, the world's most beautiful heiress. Dreams come true? Not for long. For when Allie came to as Brianne, there was a dead fiance at her feet--and she was holding the smoking gun!

Only struggling private investigator Pete Hackette believed her innocence. As Allie, she'd had a fierce crush on him, and now, as Brianne, she'd finally made Pete fall in love with her. But which woman was he really in love with? And which woman would survive when the real murderer was finally revealed?

 

 

Excerpt:

Allie tasted the coppery flavor of fear as she spied the knife in his hand. It seemed to move in slow mo­tion toward her. Before she could utter a word, she felt a sharp pain in her chest, then a cold feeling in­vade her body. Just as suddenly the cold disappeared and a damp warmth flooded her skin.

She looked down to see her blood flowing freely down her chest. She looked back up at Whit. She was too stunned to react. For a moment, his anger receded and fear took over. Just as rapidly, it disappeared.

"Now maybe you'll know I mean business," he said cockily, although white lines appeared at the edges of his mouth when he realized how serious her injury was.

"No!" she whispered as she saw her surroundings seem to grow foggy and eventually turn black.

This isn't fair! she raged as the darkness surrounded her. He shouldn't be allowed to get away with this. Please, don't let this happen!

As if her heartfelt plea had been heard, the darkness seemed to fade to a misty gray fog. She still couldn't see anything, but she sensed a presence with her.

Do you want another chance? the presence asked, the unisex voice seeming to come from inside her head.

Yes.

You may have to take on a problem even greater than your own.

I don't care, she heard her own voice answer as an echo inside her head.

Then it shall be.

 

"Brianne. Brianne! My God, what have you done?"

When Allie opened her eyes, she instantly knew that something was very different Not just with her sur­roundings; her body felt different too.

First of all, she didn't feel any pain in her chest, only in her head, which ached abominably. Next she realized she was kneeling on a very soft carpet. That alone told her she wasn't in her apartment. The beau­tifully dressed woman standing next to her, wearing a shocked expression, wasn't anyone she knew. Then she felt cold metal in her hand and looked down. That was when she saw the lethal-looking handgun. She was not only holding a weapon, but lying at her feet was a man dressed in a tuxedo. What caught her at­tention was the bright blossom of red flowering on his chest. There was no doubt in her mind that the color wasn't there because he'd spilled catsup on himself.

"Brianne!"

Allie realized the woman was talking to her. She unsteadily rose to her feet, and when she turned, she saw a mirror on the wall behind the woman. The re­flection staring back at her was more than a surprise. It was a shock that shook her to her toes.

She felt like Allie. She thought like Allie. The trou­ble was, she didn't look like Allie.

Instead of glossy black curls flowing to her shoul­ders, ash blond hair was pulled back in a French twist, with tendrils straggling across her pale cheeks. A white-and-silver, strapless gown covered her slender body instead of a pink polyester waitress uniform that had seen better days. She was positive she could see her own reflection in the mirror, but it looked like a faint mem­ory in the background.

What the hell was going on?

"Brianne, what happened here?" The woman grabbed her arm and pulled her around. "What have you done?"

 


Saturday, January 7, 2023

Spies, Lies and Chocolate Pies by Sally Berneathy

$4.99

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Book 8 in USA Today Bestselling series, Death by Chocolate

Fred’s wife is found dead. Murdered. Skewered to a tree with an arrow.

Lindsay has lived next door to Fred for three years and this is the first she’s heard of a wife.

Two days after the body of Fred’s wife is found, Lindsay's ex, Rick, goes missing. His girlfriend du jour, Grace, thinks it’s foul play. Lindsay thinks he’s simply being the slimeball he’s always been. Fred thinks he may have been murdered.

Suddenly Fred declares that Lindsay’s life is in danger, but he won’t tell her why. Lindsay declares Fred is being paranoid…until a figure steps out of the darkness and grabs her.

Fred is a man with many secrets.

Those secrets may get Lindsay killed.


Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Voices in the Night by Linda Wisdom

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HIS VOICE WAS HER HEARTBEAT

Malnutrition, cruelty, and blazing heat were the unbearable realities of the South American prison. All that stood between newscaster M.J. Blake and the madness of despair was a stranger’s voice.

As the days turned into weeks, the unseen reporter in the adjoining cell gave M.J. courage when she needed it, replaced her apathy with anger, and even made her laugh. They shared whispered memories, hopes, secrets, regrets…

Eighteen months after winning her freedom, M.J. was pretending that her life, her work, and her psyche weren’t ravaged by a season in the darkest corner of hell. And then M.J. heard the voice…

Review:

One word: addictive. Voices in the Night by Linda Wisdom is a book that will suck you in from page one. I loved the connection that is built up between M.J. and Jake, AKA 1179. And when they meet again, you'd think coming face-to-face with the man who saved her life would be a wonderful occasion for M.J., but both characters feel as though it's more than they can take. You simply have to read this to find out how the two can make it past the bad memories.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Guns, Wives and Chocolate by Sally Berneathy

$4.99

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Barnes & Noble

Book 7 in USA Today Bestselling series, Death by Chocolate

Lindsay hosts a welcome home party for a drug dealer’s release from prison. What could possibly go wrong?

Soon Lindsay’s back yard is filled with felons, loud music, and smoke from various kinds of cigarettes.

Lindsay’s ex’s ex, Grace, arrives with her young son and her new husband, Chuck. They are moving in across the street.

Chuck is murdered.

Then his other wife calls.

Wait…his other wife?

Can things get worse?

Yes.


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