Sunday, August 31, 2014

Don't Worry About The Mule Going Blind: Hazel's Daughter by Betty Tucker

Don't Worry About The Mule Going Blind: Hazel's Daughter by Betty Tucker

Betty Tucker came of age in Belle Glade, Florida, infamous for its poverty and violence (e.g., see the Wikipedia entry and the 2006 documentary One Percent). Her childhood was one of debilitating poverty, borne of racism: exploitive migrant labor, multiple rapes and other abuse, chronic illness among her family and acquaintances ... the list is long and bitter. Betty survived not only by sheer hard work but also by nurturing a nascent belief that she deserved better. She moved to California, earned her college degree, and raised a family. Then, in 1997, she began a long and eventually successful search for the twin girls she had given up for adoption thirty years earlier.

Fear, insecurity, sexual abuse, want, neglect: This memoir will look beyond the description of these difficulties in the author's life to examine how they stifled her ability to shape her own life, how she acquired the tools she needed to take more control of her life, and what impact her choices, both intentional and unintentional, had on her life and those of her children.

Ghost Train by Jeff Breland

Ghost Train by Jeff Breland

Ghost Train is a book that takes readers on a journey through the life of voodooist Marie Laveau. The story and thereby the book is set in the 19th century, which in itself offers a wonderful backdrop and dynamic to the story that is further enhanced by the author’s mastery over story telling techniques. In fact, it uses visual imagery so vividly that readers are bound to be mesmerized instantly. Marie is the eighth great great granddaughter of Marime Philome Glapion, who belongs to a noble bloodline. Thus it takes one into the world of nobles, which has always been fascinating and exciting to say the least. To add to the magic, one finds out that on her eighth birthday, Marie inherits an amulet with mystical powers. Such is the charm of the story line, which has been woven wonderfully by the author to draw readers in.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Lost Love (Dark Visions Book 2) by Jeanette Raleigh Review

Title: Lost Love
Series: Dark Visions, Book 2
Author: Jeanette Raleigh
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 203
Price: $2.99
Thoughts: A powerful fantasy.

Book Synopsis:

They fell in love, but fate tore them apart.

When Stefan has a sacred vision of Emily's death, he pulls away, hoping that distance will protect her. The vision's warning is clear. If he builds a life with Emily, he will watch her and their babe die by the sword of his enemies. The risk is great, but his love for Emily consumes him.

Stefan leaves on a personal quest, hoping to turn aside the vision. He think he's found a way to have Emily for his wife and protect her, but will the cost be too high to bear?

A heart-wrenching tale that will bring tears to your eyes.


Jeanette Raleigh has created a powerful fantasy that will pull at your heartstrings. If you love fantasy and romance novels, this one's for you.

Brainstorm by Gordon A Kessler Review

Title: Brainstorm
Author: Gordon A Kessler
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 312
Price: $3.99
Thoughts: Highly recommended.

Book Synopsis:

BRAINSTORM: What if a small American town is secretly replicated, populated with kidnapped scientists and psychically talented civilians, and then used as a proving ground while training psychic assassins? Political and military leaders of the Free World are the targets of these psychic warriors, and Project Brainstorm's goal is world domination.

Gold Rush seems to be just another sleepy little Colorado community full of friendly, caring citizens, quaint cottages, and a sort of quiet peace, held gently by the picturesque mountains that surround it. However, something isn't right in Gold Rush, and early on a Monday morning Robert Weller awakens with a cautioning and insuppressible voice inside his head. He soon finds a secret behind every door, a motive with every glance, and a lie beneath every spoken word. After meeting a strange but beautiful woman named Sunny who insists they were once lovers, people begin dropping dead around him without apparent cause. The world he thought he knew twists upside down as paramilitary teams hunt him, and his own wife and the people he considers friends turn against him.

Weller is thrown into the middle of a military mission to rescue thousands of the town's citizens from a plot to destroy the free world. In time, Weller discovers he was once the CIA's top remote viewer, and it's not just the bad guys who will lose if he survives another day.

* * * * *

BRAINSTORM goes beyond the bounds of ordinary reason. It blends the past (the CIA's "Project Stargate," a twenty-year exploration into remote viewing and psychic powers as background) with the present (incredible new developments in nonlethal weapons such as acoustic cannons, sticky foam, anti-traction substances, electromagnetic pulse devices, and infrared lasers). And it throws in a very sobering reminder; that there are still thousands of American MIAs from the Korean and Vietnam Wars.


A fast-paced thriller that will keep you flipping the pages. I like that the author drew inspiration from actual mind-altering methods used in the military. If you love thrillers, I highly recommend this one.

The Winner by Patricia Green Review

Title: The Winner
Series: Romantek
Author: Patricia Green
Genre: Western Time Travel Romance
Pages: 138
Price: $4.99
Thoughts: Unique and Sexy

Book Synopsis:

Audrey Beacon is a winner. Because of her slogan writing ability, she's won a fabulous vacation - one which only the rich and famous get to experience. It's a big leap for her; she's a small town girl, in a dull dead-end job; she's never had an adventure. Nevertheless, she accepts the prize and is whisked away to a fabulous cruise ship and then the prize: a RAVE - a dream-generated reality adventure. She picks a time-travel RAVE, and goes to 1850s Nebraska.

While in her old West adventure, Audrey meets White Star Smith, an Native American man who has little tolerance for undisciplined females. He's not hesitant to show his displeasure in order to help Audrey improve her attitude and behavior. Audrey feels totally free to let go for the first time in her controlled, unadventurous life, because of course White Star isn't real. In short order, Audrey is in love.

Coming back to the real world is tough, and gets harder when Audrey realizes that White Star might actually be a real person. So what was he doing in Audrey's RAVE? That was not part of the deal!

Can he love her, despite her low social status? Can she show him that she loves him, or is her heart too much to risk?


Such a unique series. The idea of being able to take part in a sexy adventure is so much fun. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for something new and HOT.

Knight of Runes by Ruth A. Casie Review

Title: Knight of Runes
Author: Ruth A. Casie
Genre: Time Travel Romance
Pages: 270
Price: $3.03
Thoughts: An enjoyable read.

Book Synopsis:

England, 1605
When Lord Arik, a druid knight, finds Rebeka Tyler wandering his lands without protection, he swears to keep her safe. But Rebeka can take care of herself. When Arik sees her clash with a group of attackers using a strange fighting style, he's intrigued.

Rebeka is no ordinary seventeenth-century woman—she's travelled back from the year 2011, and she desperately wants to return to her own time. She poses as a scholar sent by the king to find out what's killing Arik's land. But as she works to decode the ancient runes that are the key to solving this mystery and sending her home, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic and powerful Arik.

As Arik and Rebeka fall in love, someone in Arik's household schemes to keep them apart, and a dark druid with a grudge prepares his revenge. Soon Rebeka will have to decide whether to return to the future or trust Arik with the secret of her time travel and her heart.


Those that love fantasy and romance should definitely read this book. Not only does the author do a great job at writing fantasy, but she also creates a strong female lead. It's an enjoyable time travel romance.

Her Vampire's Promise: A Romance In Central City, Novella One by Jordan K. Rose

Her Vampire's Promise: A Romance In Central City, Novella One by Jordan K. Rose

Raging Fire Kills Co-Founder, Daughter.
Panthera Laboratories in Ruin.
~ Central City Gazette, 1994

Reade Hayes knows better than any vampire that nothing good ever comes out of Central City. So he isn’t surprised the beautiful blonde he meets in a dive bar is crazy. What does surprise him is how fast she moves, how hard she hits, and the fact she’s wearing a ring he last saw two decades ago on the hand of his dead friend.

Is it possible the little girl he swore a blood pact to protect didn’t die in the fire? If the beauty sitting beside him is that pretty little baby, where has she been for twenty years? And why is she so lethal?

On hindsight Lawrie Tyrone realizes drinking vampire blood might not have been the smartest decision. But scientists experiment and if she is going to prove her father was not a traitor, she has to take risks. So far she’s experienced no alarming side effects, well, none other than being able to recognize vampires walking among humans.

From the power he exudes to his gorgeous dark eyes everything about the man to her right screams danger. Every logical thought tells her to kill him. But something in his eyes stops her. Is he using his vampire powers to influence her, or is something else making her heart ache for him?

Can love thrive in the ruins of Central City?


Reade wished he’d thought twice about returning to this dump. The stale stink of cigarettes clinging to the walls and furniture assaulted him the moment he opened the door. He’d known better than to agree to take the assignment with Garrison, but curiosity had him crawling back for more. And here he sat in the same dingy bar where he’d wasted many a night in Central City.
“Make fun of me because I’m not as smart as them. We’ll see who has the last laugh.” The woman sitting on the barstool beside him shook her head. “Jackasses.”
He watched the bartender refill his shot glass. Maybe it wasn’t curiosity. If he were honest with himself, he’d have to admit it was the idea of having one more chance at vengeance. Twenty years was a long time to wait. It was a long time to think about what he’d do if opportunity came knocking.
“When my moment comes, they’ll rue the day they laughed.” She snatched a handful of nuts from the bowl in front of her. “Then the tables will turn. Then they’ll see who’s the dog.”
He’d been warned about coming back here. Nothing good ever came out of Central City anymore. That’s what he’d been told. But the warning didn’t stop him. He had to come. He'd do anything for one more chance to make it right.
“Treat me like I’m stupid. Act like I can’t possibly understand basic chemistry. I know the periodic table.” She smashed her fist onto the bar, cracking open the peanut shell.
In the last several weeks the desire to have his revenge burned hotter than it had in two decades. It festered deep in his gut, burning and screaming for release. He hadn’t felt this much angst since the incident. 
“And I’m not afraid. Wait. Just wait until they learn what I’ve done.” She picked the peanuts out of the shell. “Then they'll be sorry.”
He wished he hadn’t sat beside the pretty blonde. Problem was he’d always been a sucker for long hair and big boobs.
But even his two favorite attributes couldn’t make up for her nonstop bitching.
“Huh, tell me I’m not good enough. They told me I’m not one of them. They said I don’t belong.” She sucked hard on her straw once again, swallowing the last mouthful in her glass. “I’m smart enough. Smarter than they know. I’ve memorized things. Important things. I’ll show them.”
If the bartender would turn around from the ball game on the television, he’d be more than happy to buy her another fruity concoction. Maybe it would keep her quiet for five damn minutes.
Why had Garrison picked this dump? The guy always loved the crummiest places. It wasn’t as if meeting in the coffee shop down the street wouldn’t have worked. He was certain there was only one person left in Central City who’d recognize them, and that person rarely left Panthera.
There had been talk of something happening at Panthera. New buildings being built. Production facilities ramping up. Possibly a state of the art laboratory. The company hadn’t produced anything worthwhile since one of the cofounders was killed in the explosion all those long years ago. If there was action now, Reade knew it was not to his benefit.
Staking out Panthera was the perfect job for him.
“I’m not good enough? I’m just as good as any of them.” She slapped her hand onto the counter top, then crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m not afraid. I’m not the one who hypothesizes but doesn’t act. I’ll show them. When I’m through, they’ll never doubt me again.”
Her foot tapped furiously against the leg of his barstool. The rapid banging was beginning to annoy him more than her babbling.
“Family first? Oh, well, that all depends on how you define family. With a family like this, who needs enemies?”
He pushed his seat over a couple inches.
Her head snapped to the right. “What? I’m not good enough for you either?”
Reade shook his head and didn’t bother to look in her direction. No sense in fueling her ire. “You can’t pick your family.” When he raised his shot glass to his lips the smell of very cheap whiskey assailed his nostrils, and he knew what he was about to taste wasn’t what he’d ordered.
“No, but the smart ones get away.” She stared into her empty mug. The remaining few drops of her red girly drink pooled in the bottom, too small an amount for her to suck up into the straw, though he enjoyed watching her try. “They escape. The rest of us die slow deaths.” 

Survive the Night (Lost, Inc.) by Vicki Hinze

Survive the Night (Lost, Inc.) by Vicki Hinze

After losing everything, Della Jackson tries to begin again as an investigator. But she can't forget the past…and neither can someone else. Someone who won't let anyone—even Della's best friend, former special operative Paul Mason—stand in the way. As Della is stalked and those closest to her are targeted, both Della and Paul realize there's only one way to survive. They each have to face their greatest fears, overcome the scars of the past and dare to love again…before it's too late.

The Suit: RC Investigations by V.R. Marks Excerpt

The Suit: RC Investigations by V.R. Marks
$2.99 or FREE for Prime Members

One mistake and he's not a bachelor anymore...

FBI Special Agent Dale Nichols is all about closing cases. Until a small town waitress brings him a corruption case that is spiraling out of control. To protect her, he pops the question, putting himself between her and those who want her dead.

Everyone in Haleswood knows Heather Morris simply as the waitress who serves coffee with a smile. So when Dale offers her a chance to make a difference bring down a major crime ring, she leaps at the opportunity to play his fiancee.

As Dale and Heather race to resolve the case, will it be the real enemy or the fake engagement that destroys their chance for a future?

Don't miss the previous RC Investigations novels from USA Today bestseller, V.R. Marks: The Thief, The Witness, The Hostage, and The Informant.


Mr. FBI was up to something. They’d met all of three times and the first one didn’t count. He’d come to Haleswood to apprehend a criminal and Heather had been part of the crowd watching the whole thing from across the street.
Of course, the whole town knew he’d dropped in on the Morris family Christmas Eve dinner. Playing along, she leaned forward, bracing her elbows on the counter. “Then what is it I can do for you, Special Agent?” She put extra emphasis on the ‘special’. Being so close, she noticed the gold flecks in his unique hazel eyes.
“Dale,” he corrected. “I came to ask you to dinner.”
Was this a joke? She struggled not to jerk back from him, to keep her voice light and flirty. “Tonight?”
“I realize it’s short notice.”
“Maybe I have plans.”
His eyebrows knit together as if he hadn’t considered the possibility of her social calendar. It pissed her off. Immensely. But she kept that smile in place. The unflappable, sturdy curve of her lips had seen her through rough moments as a waitress and as a volunteer at the county animal shelter.
“If you do, I’m hoping you’ll change them for me.”
“Huh.” She pushed back from the counter, pretending to think it over. His body language said date, but his voice remained serious. Did he ever let his guard down? “Where do you want to take me?” She rubbed the edge of her apron across a clean spot on her side of the counter.
“There’s a new sushi bar in Columbia. I made reservations.”
“Sushi?” She could get her fill of excellent sushi without a reservation at the place just around the corner. Of course, the serious, handsome companion would be missing from that scenario.
She was tempted to string him along for another minute or two, for the benefit of their rapt audience, when her brother walked in, glaring at Mr. FBI’s back. Sheriff Cochran must have told him she had a visitor. As if she couldn’t take care of herself with a man. In a public venue.
The irritation only proved she’d never get any respect for her independence if she stuck it out in Haleswood. She leaned across the counter and ran a finger down the perfect, full Windsor knot of Mr. FBI’s tie. “I had plans.” To volunteer at the shelter, but she could rearrange that. “But I’ll change them. For you.”

Friday, August 29, 2014

River of Murder by Conrad Jestmore Review

Title: River of Murder
Author: Conrad Jestmore
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 240
Price: $2.99
Thoughts: Wow!

Book Synopsis:

In Book 1 of the Jimmy O'Reilly Mystery Series, O'Reilly, ex-cop and failed P.I., returns to his small Kansas hometown on the Arkansas River to find peace, but instead finds a family friend murdered. Only problem, no one believes it is murder. As a reluctant investigator, O'Reilly stumbles on an international drug scheme, and in the process has to face his demons from the past. A trail of murders up and down the river leads O'Reilly
to the big city and its violent underworld of crime. It also brings into question his ability to not only find the truth, but to come to terms with his wife's death and at the same time protect an innocent teenager from the danger.


Conrad Jestmore is definitely an author you want to discover if you love mysteries. What I first noticed about River of Murder was the amazing storytelling. Jestmore does an amazing job at bringing the story to life through detailed descriptions. Can't wait to read more from this author.

Sinfandel by Gina Cresse Review

Title: Sinfandel
Author: Gina Cresse
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 276
Price: $7.99 or FREE for Prime Members
Thoughts: Great characters.

Book Synopsis:

When the body of a young winemaker is discovered during the grape harvest, Kate Cimaglia has no idea there’s a connection between the dead girl and her latest assignment to straighten out the California wine grape harvest database. The last thing Kate needs is a corpse to deal with. She already has narcotics Detective Obermeyer hounding her after a stand of marijuana plants is discovered near her vineyard, and she’s sure her low-life neighbor is the culprit.

On top of that, her lying, cheating ex, Roger, shows up after ten years and wants to pick up where things left off… yeah, like that’s going to happen, especially now that Kate is convinced Roger is the Grass Valley sniper taking potshots at passing cars in the middle of the night.

To make matters worse, she can’t balance the records she’s been hired to fix and it turns out she’s uncovered a massive case of fraud.

And then there’s Kate’s vineyard manager, Andy Carmichael, who must have been in the chiseled-jaw line when God was handing out charm. The two of them didn’t hit it off from the start, and Kate’s not sure they ever will.

When Kate finally unravels the mystery of who forged millions of dollars worth of Zinfandel grapes, she discovers that the dead winemaker figured it out, too. If Kate doesn’t want to suffer the same fate, she has to act fast to save herself.


A great mystery with enjoyable characters. If you love women sleuths, you're going to love this book. Grab a glass of wine, curl up in your favorite chair, and enjoy.

Sweet, But Sexy Boxed Set Review

Title: Sweet, But Sexy Boxed Set
Authors: Varied
Genre: Sweet Romance
Price: $0.99
Thoughts: A must for sweet romance fans.

Book Synopsis:

Where sweet can still be sexy!

Turquoise Morning Press presents eight sweet contemporary romance stories that will convince you that sweet, can still be sexy! We’ve selected sweet and “sweeter” stories from some of our most popular romance authors to showcase in this set—stories that will take you from the beach to Christmas, from small town to big city, from keeping secrets to building dreams.

After all, sweet and sexy romance, comes in all shapes and sizes, right?


I absolutely adore sweet romance and was so happy to discover this collection. With so many great stories to choose from, there's something for everyone. Those looking for some new authors, or maybe something from an old favorite, should definitely check out this collection.

Love Thy Sister (Mina's adventures Book 1) by Maria Grazia Swan

Love Thy Sister (Mina's adventures Book 1) by Maria Grazia Swan
On Sale for $0.99 Until September 1st!

Buy Links:

Italian-born Mina Calvi lives in a mansion in idyllic Orange County, California with her protective older sister, Paola. Unemployed again and aimless, Mina can’t seem to find her niche in her adopted country, but confusion and restlessness soon become the least of her problems. Someone is stealing from the software business owned by Paola and her husband, losses so great the business is sinking like the Titanic. And the strange death of a company employee turns out to be murder. Then, while, facing a loss so terrible she can’t bear it, Mina discovers an old family secret that turns her world upside down. There’s some solace in the arms of her blue-eyed lover, amateur sleuth Brian Starr, but danger still stalks her at every turn, edging closer and closer as Mina tries to untangle the web of lies, adultery and treachery, and put her life back together


A black Corvette with tinted windows inched ahead in the fast lane. Could it be Michael? Mina maneuvered the Bug across two lanes of traffic. She got the finger from the driver she cut off in the middle lane, but she didn’t care. The fast lane halted, and she finally caught up.
A glance through the dark glass revealed nothing. The driver must have noticed her maneuvering because he changed lanes in pursuit of the VW.
At first, Mina didn’t pay too much attention. Apparently the driver wasn’t giving up. Having the Corvette shadowing her rear bumper made her nervous. On impulse, she pulled out at the first available freeway exit and found herself headed for Irvine. The black car right behind hers.
Where was she?
The street sign read Red Hill. Oh, Okay. Now if she could figure out which direction to go, she’d be fine. She drove in the center lane while debating which way to turn. Both cars came to a halt, side by side, at a red light.
From the corner of the eye, Mina could see the passenger’s side window of the Corvette sliding open. Stay cool.
“Hi, baaabe.”Baaabe? Would that be what Americans refer to as‘A wolf in sheep’s clothing'? Well, that middle age sheep-wolf could use better clothing and--a haircut. To compensate for his lack of hair on top, the well-fed man wore the back part of it in a long, oily ponytail.
The old Mina would have stuck out her tongue at him, then hit the gas. But this Mina was wearing a business suit and--high heels. So, she simply ignored him. He wasn’t giving up that easy.
“Whatcha doing, baaabe?” He wiped sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand.
Mina played the deaf-mute. When the light turned green, the man retreated back to the driver’s side. He turned up the volume of his car radio as the window closed.
Put on your red shoes, let’s dance--”
The music exploded in her head. Oh, Dio Mio!That song. The same song she heard on the phone, night after night.
“Mister, hey, wait.”
The black Corvette was already vanishing to the left in a squeal of tires. Mina gunned her yellow rag top cutting off a motorist turning left. She wasn’t rational. She had to know.
Now the car turned into what appeared to be an industrial park. Mina didn’t know where they were headed. From behind one of the buildings, she could see a huge, colorful balloon floating in the sky. The kind used on promotional stints, like when they opened the new Albertson’s in Mission Viejo.
The Corvette parked, the engine running. Mina pulled up right behind it. She got out of her car, strode up to the driver side, and tapped on the window. Ten seconds went by, then the glass glided open. The sheep-wolf looked surprised, gave her a silly smile. “Yesss--” He stared at her, in anticipation, a cigarette dangling from his mouth.
“Excuse me, is that the radio or a tape?”
His expression changed, “What the hell?” Without removing the cigarette he sneered “Tape? Tape? Yeah, this is a CD. Ever heard of CDs where you come from? You followed me here, babe, so don’t give the music line.”
She bit her tongue, tried again. “You were listening to a song.” Mina hummed, “Put on your red shoes--”
“So?” He looked really ticked off.
She didn’t care. “What’s the title of the song? Who is singing? Where can I get it?” She blurted it all out without a breather.
She could tell by his glance he thought her to be a lunatic. He puffed on his cigarette, flicked the butt through the air, barely missing her.
“David Bowie, Let’s Dance. This is California, not Bosnia. You can get the CD in any music store. Even at K-Mart.” He looked at her as if she were dirt

Read Chapter One of Collide by Ashley Stambaugh

Collide by Ashley Stambaugh

Melina Rowe never thought her quiet, simple life could change to one full of fear and confusion just by accidentally bumping into someone. But after she collides with an elderly man named Walter, she starts to hear people’s thoughts and have unsettling visions.

Walter reveals himself as a guiding angel and explains to Melina that she’s a rare type of human who can absorb angel powers. But her special ability is more of a problem for her than a gift.

The powers are too strong for humans and will eventually kill Melina unless she can successfully use them to help a select individual who’s in need of guidance. Her chances are slim, though, seeing that the handful of other humans this has happened to before didn't survive.

Scared for her life, Melina desperately tries to help a young man named Lee, but his continual resistance and her struggle with the powers make it almost impossible. Her situation only grows worse when a trio of soul-snatching demons is sent by an unknown entity to take her soul and kill her.

As a determined Walter sets out to discover who sent the demons and why, Melina must defend herself from their relentless attacks all while trying to use powers she doesn’t fully understand to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. If she can’t figure out how to break through to Lee, the powers will ultimately destroy her. But if the powers don’t kill her first, the demons will.

Chapter One

Melina Rowe peered out of her bedroom window and wrinkled her nose. It was late October, so she knew it was cold outside, but it also appeared to be windy. These weather conditions weren’t her favorite, but she was determined to continue with her morning runs until snow prevented her from doing otherwise. She pulled her long brown hair up into a ponytail, slid a fleece headband on over her ears, and zipped up her coat before heading out her apartment door and down the stairwell to her bookstore below. The store didn’t open for another hour, so she had plenty of time. She took a quick look around and then turned to exit through the back.

Starting off in a slight jog, she followed her normal path toward the park, taking in the city in its early morning state as she went. Traffic was light, and there was only a handful of people out and about. The sky was a dull gray, and brown, dried up leaves swirled and danced around her, giving the city an even gloomier feeling. She hoped the blustery wind didn’t mean rain was on its way.

After only a few short blocks, the wrought iron gates that surrounded the park appeared alongside her. She picked up her pace and rounded a corner to her right, making her way toward the entrance, when she came upon an elderly man walking from the opposite direction. They met each other so suddenly that neither of them had a chance to move out of the way. Melina collided with the man, and it was in that moment that it happened.

As soon as their bodies made contact, she felt a powerful surge of energy pass through her and then a bright white light exploded between them, knocking them both away from each other. Melina, who had been knocked to the ground, pushed herself up to her feet, wondering what had just happened. The sensation that went through her body was like nothing she had ever felt before. It was very sharp and intense, like an electric shock, but at the same time it was soothing and warm. The feeling still lingered in her body as she finally looked over at the man.

After catching his balance, he looked over at her, and she noticed his expression of confusion and shock. His mouth opened as if to say something, but nothing came out. He stared at her for a moment and then finally he spoke to her.

“You,” he muttered.

“Excuse me?” she asked, returning his confused look.

“You’re one of them.”

The Three Kitties That Saved My Life by Michael Meyer Review

Title: The Three Kitties That Saved My Life
Author: Michael Meyer
Genre: Self-Help
Pages: 137
Price: $1.99
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Book Synopsis:

What if you suddenly lost your partner through life? How would you find the will to go on all alone? Would you ever be able to fall in love again? This is the true story of my journey from grieving widower, not caring if I lived or died, to the once-again happily married man I am today, a man who both loves and cherishes life. My three kitties have given me a new zest for living.

My story begins with loss and tears, but it ends with lots of love and laughter. I hope that you will find yourself both entertained and inspired by my journey.


The Three Kitties That Saved My Life is the incredibly touching story of a man who loses his wife, but learns to love again. By no means does this book skip over the death of his wife. The author spends time describing their life together, her illness, and death in such a way that I was moved to tears and felt the grief. However, this book is also about hope and that's what the author provides for those who have lost their spouse or partner. He gives hope that there can be happiness in the future for those that are grieving their loss. If you, or someone you know, is going through the loss of a loved one, I highly recommend this book. It's written in such a way, that it's like the author is talking to you as a friend, as someone who understands your pain because he's been there. To me, that's better than any book written from a physiological, detached point of view.

Setting: Center Stage in The Oleander Sisters by Elaine Hussey

I grew up reading and loving the novels and short stories of great Southern writers such as Eudora Welty, William Faulkner and Flannery O’Conner, and the plays of Tennessee Williams. In all of them, the sense of place was so strong I could feel myself there, in the story with the characters, holing up with Sister in the small-town post office in Welty’s Why I Live at the PO and prowling a mansion on a Delta plantation, trying to figure out how to deal with Sister Woman and her no-neck monsters in William’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
When I chose the setting for The Oleander Sisters, I wanted a time and a place that would directly impact the story. The summer of 1969 in Biloxi, Mississippi, had exactly the kind of excitement I needed. In July, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and in August, Hurricane Camille blew the Gulf Coast nearly off the map. I loved the contrast between hope and despair. I loved that I could put my characters to the test in a category five storm that mirrored the tsunami going on in their private lives.
As always, I did extensive research to write a novel set in the not-so-distant past. The true stories that came out of Camille were so fascinating I sometimes got caught up in the research and had a hard time making myself get back to my own novel.
I did, of course, and many of you have written to say how you relate to the sisters, and how you once lived through a storm, and – oh, best of all – how you love the book! Thank you for letting me stop by to chat with you. I’ll be giving away two digital copies of The Oleander Sisters today. Do leave a comment for a chance to win. Ask anything you like about the book, and I’ll be here to answer your questions.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Nebula Nights: Love Among The Stars Review

Title: Nebula Nights: Love Among the Stars
Authors: Various
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Price: $0.99
Thoughts: An excellent collection!

Book Synopsis:

If you like your science fiction blazing with adventure and your space opera spiced with romance, this boxed set is for you. From first contact to battles for survival and love on war-torn planets, this collection from bestselling & award winning authors, including Cathryn Cade, Veronica Scott, PK Hrezo and more, will leave you sighing with satisfaction.


An excellent collection of some of the best sci-fi romance authors. If you love the mix of science fiction and romance, I highly recommend this collection. Even if you just love romance, there's a good chance you'll still enjoy this collection.

Tequila Sunrise (Cocktail Cruises Book 1) by Allie Boniface Review

Title: Tequila Sunrise
Series: Cocktail Cruises Book 1
Author: Allie Boniface
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: $2.99
Price: 126
Thoughts: A fun, sexy read.

Book Synopsis:

Book 1 of the Cocktail Cruise Series!

3 stories...1 ship...lose yourself on the waves...

Recently dumped by her long-time boyfriend because she wasn’t thin enough, Louise Jamison wants to let loose and find love (or at least great sex) on board a romantic singles’ cruise. When she meets the man of her dreams at a speed dating event, Lou believes she’s struck gold.

Toby DeMarco is too busy building his new construction business to get involved in a serious relationship. He only goes on the four-day cruise because his best friend’s family owns the line and his sister works on it, so he got a great deal. He plans to relax, rejuvenate and maybe find a woman to pass the time with. But when he meets the luscious Louise, his heart's a goner and all bets are off.

A few days of romance are jeopardized when Louise learns that the cruise line’s matchmaking service assigns partners based on looks and weight. Mortified by this unethical business practice, she takes to social media and makes national headlines. But the publicity is hurting Toby’s family and friends – and family means everything to Toby.

Will Toby be able to convince Lou that true love exists beyond numbers, before it’s too late?


A fun, sexy read. I love that the books are named after cocktails, such a fun idea. Tequila Sunrise is a fast-paced read that will whisk you away for a night of sexy fun.

Natchez Nights by Eugenia Riley Review

Title: Natchez Nights
Author: Eugenia Riley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 178
Price: $0.99
Thoughts: A truly enjoyable read.

Book Synopsis:

Behind Door #1: The Sexiest Man in the World!

Leigh Carter wants nothing more than to lose herself in the antebellum homes and elegant magnolias of Old South Natchez, Mississippi. She can’t afford to tell anyone why she’s hiding out, or playing the piano at a restaurant Under-the-Hill. Just when she’s starting to feel comfortable, Leigh leads a group of ten ladies on a tour of the grand mansion where she’s staying . . . and unwittingly stumbles into the wrong room!

Wearing—just barely—a towel, handsome L.A. attorney Peter Webster seems delighted to have lovely Leigh crash in on him in his bedroom. Reeling at her first glimpse of the sexy stud-muffin, Leigh gathers her scandalized ladies and flees. Peter is thoroughly intrigued. He is here in Natchez to help his Aunt Myra restore the old house, but never did he dream she’d have such an irresistible tenant living across the hallway from him.

Although Leigh may have opened the wrong door, Peter soon becomes determined to convince her that he is the right man. But can their budding romance withstand the secrets Leigh holds in her heart, hidden hurts that could doom their love before it ever has a chance to bloom on some glorious Natchez night?

Natchez Nights is a breathtaking love and laughter romance set in contemporary Mississippi. Approximately 54,000 words. Eugenia Riley is the acclaimed, best-selling author of numerous historical, contemporary, and time-travel romances, including A Tryst in Time and Bushwhacked Bride.


Filled with excellent descriptions and great characters. This is one of those books that's hard to put down. Those that enjoy contemporary romance should definitely give this one a try.

Yesterday by Amanda Tru - $0.99 Goodie!

Yesterday by Amanda Tru

Her yesterday was five years ago. What will her tomorrow bring?

When HANNAH KRAEGER saves a family injured in a car accident, she has no idea she has changed events in the past. Waking the next morning, Hannah discovers her yesterday was really five years ago.

Each trip Hannah takes through time changes the timeline and her own life. With help from DR. SETH MCALLISTER, Hannah must unravel the mystery of why she time travels and who she actually is before the strange ability costs her future, the man she loves, and even her life.

YESTERDAY is a thrilling Christian Romantic Suspense filled with unexpected twists, mystery, and romance.



Abby gently pushed me toward a chair and started piling food on a plate. I swear she always tried to get me to pack on the pounds when I visited.
“What happened last night, Hannah? I finally had to stop waiting and go to bed. I was so relieved when I peaked in your room this morning and saw you there.”
“But Seth filled you in right? How is the injured family? Are the parents still alive?”
Abby looked at me with confusion. “What are you talking about, Hannah? And who in the heck is Seth?”
“Come on, Abby, that isn’t funny! I was Superwoman last night and rescued a family who’d had an accident in the snowstorm. A helicopter came to the lodge and took them to the hospital. No one told you about the helicopter?”
Abby stared at me like I’d lost my mind. “Hannah, maybe you should sit down. Are you not feeling well?”
“I’m fine! But I want to know what’s going on! Where’s Seth? He’ll explain it to you.”
“Hannah, there isn’t anyone here at Silver Springs named Seth. There was no injured family or a helicopter here last night. And . . .” She walked over and lifted the window blind to reveal a sunshiny day with only a moderate amount of snow. “We haven’t had any new snow in at least two weeks!”

Murder Al Dente by Jennifer L. Hart Excerpt

Murder Al Dente by Jennifer L. Hart

Pretty please with spaghetti on top?

Andy Buckland has always dreamed of being a chef. But after a live studio audience is stricken with food poisoning during her debut cooking show, she finds herself blacklisted in the culinary community. The only job open to her is working in her family's southern pasta shop, and, to make matters worse, her first assignment is serving baked ziti to her former lover and his spoiled bride-to-be at their engagement party! But a broken heart and a bruised ego are the least of Andy's troubles when she discovers a dead body at the party with the words "welcome home" written in flour next to it. Is it a warning? A threat? Or a frame-up job? Andy is determined to find out. With the help of her over-the-top Italian family, Andy will prove that she has what it takes to not only cook the best dish in town but also catch a killer, too!

Recipes included!


"Five minutes, Ms. Buckland." Mimi, Chef Zoltan Farnsworth's assistant, poked her head into the closet I'd been given to use as a dressing room.
I grinned at her. "Thanks. He has you herding the entire studio, now, huh? Why do you put up with him, Mimi?" She was a talented pastry chef in her own right, but Zoltan Farnsworth treated her like dirt. Not that that was unusual for him. Farnsworth treated everyone like dirt. It was practically his brand.
"He is not so bad." She paused, seemed to consider, and said in her careful Asian accent, "Well, he is bad."
 "Hey, when I'm Flavor TV's next big thing, I'll hire you right out from under his mustache." I took a deep breath, checked my appearance one last time in the chipped mirror, and pasted on a smiled. "First I have to go out there and blow their doors off."
"You will do very well, I am sure." Mimi offered me a smile, dipped her head, and bustled off.
I made my way to Studio C where a live audience was already tasting samples of the culinary concoction I'd whipped up. Much to my relief, everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves. My cell buzzed, and I checked the display. A text from Donna Muller, my best friend since high school, and I grinned at her message.
 Knock 'em dead!
Donna knew better than pretty much anyone else how hard I'd worked for this moment. After being raised by my very Italian grandmother and great aunt who ran the small town's pasta shop, it was possible I had marinara instead of blood.
One of the techs signaled me, and I quickly stowed my phone, lifted my arms, and let him attach my microphone. We did a sound check, and I was good to go.
"All set?" The producer, Stacy DeAngelo scurried over, tablet in hand. She didn't wait for a response but gave me a light shove in the direction of the stage.
My nerves got the best of me when I saw what appeared to be a sea of faces, all of whom looked at me expectantly. Oh no. I'd told everyone I knew about this. My grandfather, Pops, was tuned in along with my great aunt Cecily. The entire population of Beaverton, N.C, all 21,086 of them, were probably watching the Atlanta based television station.
Kyle was watching. No, no he wasn't. The sheriff had more important things to do on a weekday afternoon than watch his ex-girlfriend make an idiot out of herself on live television.
Then, my canned music started and my feet unfroze. "Is it just me or does pasta get a bad rap?" I asked the audience. Mostly smiles, but a few nods. "Let me tell you, there is not a more versatile food in the world. It can be light or heavy, served as a side dish or the main course, or even dessert."
 I lowered my voice to a hush, which of course the microphone projected. "Just don't tell my great aunt Cecily I said that. She's a purist."
Several chuckles. My confidence grew, and I returned to my normal easygoing drawl. "Today, I'm going to show you linguini's true potential when served with fresh clams in a white wine sauce. So, here's what you'll need." I'd been over the spiel at least a thousand times in my head, and as I spoke, I moved around my "kitchen," which was really a set that had been made to look like a cozy country kitchen. Nothing too ostentatious. Flavor was a relatively new cable channel, and I was supposed to be a girl-next-door kind of cook. Al Dente, my brand spanking new cooking show, focused on the ins and outs of pasta, not high end appliances. But the new countertops practically sparkled, and I could see my face in the gleaming stainless steel refrigerator as I extracted the clams.
While the water came to a boil, I added a little background to my instructions. "In Italian, al dente means 'to the tooth.' The perfect al dente pasta will have a little resistance when you bite into it. Nothing ruins a meal like overcooked noodles. Cooking times will vary depending on the shape of pasta and thickness. For instance, vermicelli or angel hair will take less time to cook to al dente perfection than fettuccini or shells."
The first segment of the show seemed to fly by, and before I knew it, I was being signaled that it was time for our three minute intermission.
"You're doing great." Stacy looked up from her iPad, her expression approving. She'd gone to bat for me with the network execs when I'd pitched her the concept for the show. She said she'd seen something in me, and she'd fought hard to get me this chance. I wanted to prove her right. "By this time tomorrow you'll have a ton of sponsors."
I beamed. "I can't believe it, but at one point I actually forgot I was on camera."
"That's how it goes. We're back in ten seconds."
My return to the stage-slash-kitchen was much smoother this time, and I talked about pairing wines with different dishes. Before I knew it, the meal was assembled. "Smells great. Just the right combination of garlic and wine really brings the pasta and clams together in perfect harmony. Don't take my word for it though, what does our audience think?" ."
 Thunderous clapping accompanied by a few wolf whistles. Perfect.
"And we have a special treat for you. Chef Zoltan Farnsworth is here to join me for the tasting." It hadn't been my idea, but the network insisted a guest spot by their number one cooking show host would help boost my numbers.
From the sound of the audience clapping to greet the pastry chef, they were right.
Farnsworth strutted like a peacock and did a little faux air kiss thing in greeting. "It smells…pungent in here," he said with a smug smile.
Jeez, not exactly a compliment. He couldn't have gone for aromatic or fragrant? I made my tone light as I said, "Garlic will do that. One of my favorite scents in the world."
After dishing out a serving for Chef Farnsworth, I sat down to mock eat my own serving of pasta. "How is it?"
"Excellent," Farnsworth said, surprising me. Maybe he wasn't such a bad guy. "Though a bit more salt wouldn't hurt."
I didn't roll my eyes, but it was a struggle. "Well—" The sound of retching came from the audience, and my head whipped around so fast I bumped my microphone. Was I being heckled?
Then again, from another section. Definitely vomiting this time, and my heart stumbled in my chest. "What's going on?"
Frantic movement caught my attention, and I turned in my seat to see Stacy, her eyes huge, her face pale. She was mouthing something to me.
Something that looked like bad clams.
I was on my feet in an instant. "Don't eat it!" I shouted at the audience.
Some people looked startled, others angry.
My phone buzzed again, but I ignored it. Multiple people were bent over, obviously sick. Oh dear sweet Lord, I'd given my audience food poisoning on live television. Zoltan was on his feet, hands in the air, ranting about incompetent cooks. About me.
"Call 911," I said to Mimi, who was hovering by Stacy's side. "We need to get these people medical treatment, now."
"We'll take care of it." Stacy said, not unkindly. "You'd better go, Andy."
She shoved me again, this time in the direction of the exit. "Go."
I went, stunned by what had just happened.

Final Notice: A Damaged Goods Mystery by Jennifer L. Hart Excerpt

Final Notice: A Damaged Goods Mystery by Jennifer L. Hart

She’s serving up mayhem in the Magic City….

Dishing out bad news is Jackie Parker’s job until her boss grabs her assets one time too many and she serves him her notice and hopes he chokes on it. There must be a better way for a certified process server to make a living in Miami than working for a lousy lecherous lawyer. Whatever Jackie decides, her number one priority is spending time with her husband, Luke, preferably without his brother Logan—AKA the Dark Prince.

Despite Logan’s objections, Luke asks her to join forces in their own property management team, Damaged Goods. Drawing the line between professional and personal lives proves challenging though, especially with Logan serving her an ultimatum—tell Luke the truth about what really happened the night they first met or he will. Sexual harassment is looking better and better.

Fester Gomez is three months behind on his rent for his pricey South Beach condo and Damaged Goods is on the job. Either they convince the tenant to pay up or he’ll face eviction. The simple task turns deadly when the team discovers Gomez missing and a Jane Doe slowly decomposing in his bathtub. Serving a killer up to justice, wrestling family secrets—it’s just another day on the job for Damaged Goods.


That creep had grabbed my ass for the last time.
 I raised the clipboard I’d been holding up over my head—ready to smash it down on the booty grabber’s cranium—when Marcy Regan snuck up behind me and snatched my makeshift weapon out of my hands.
 “Don’t, Jackie. He’ll file an assault charge.”
 “Then I’ll file the sexual harassment charge.” I seethed.
 “Think of the paperwork,” Marcy hissed. “And the lawyers.”
 It was not an idle observation. Marcy worked for the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s office and she spent her days up to her eyeballs in paperwork. And I was currently employed by Stan Cunningham, the ass grabbing lawyer. Neither of us wanted to bring the job home with us.
 Ugh. She was right, I knew it but as I glowered at my still smirking boss seated behind his ostentatious mahogany desk, I wanted him to suffer. Boils and sores were too good for this hump. “Dude, what part of ‘I’m married so keep your paws to yourself,’ don’t you understand?”
 His face went blank “I didn’t do anything.”
 As I stared into his doughy face, one thing became clear. No job was worth such crap, especially not the peanuts I’d been paid.
 “Give me the clipboard, Marcy.” My voice remained steady.
 “What are you going to do with it?” Her tone was wary, but she handed it over.
 I flipped over the case we’d been going over, scrawled I quit, you big tool, and dropped it on his desk. Terminating my employment on a notice of termination—how appropriate. “Cough up what you owe me or I’ll send my husband for it. With his entire marine platoon.” Their version of collecting was of the turn your head and cough variety. I doubted the pervert liked them apples.
 The smarmy grin slid right off Stan the Shyster’s face. “Take it out of petty cash.”
 “Gladly.” After backing away slowly, I pivoted on my heel and made for the front office, cleared out the petty cash and moved to the glass door.
 I gestured to Marcy. “Let’s go, lunch is on me.”
 We headed down to our favorite little Panini cafe where I ordered a Piña Colada the size of a fishbowl—a reward for my restraint. Though I offered one to Marcy as well, she declined.
“Some of us have to go back to work,” she groused.
 “I’ll make it up to you this weekend.” I owed her, big time. If I had hit Stan the Stain and he took me to court, I could’ve lost my process serving certificate. Then I’d really be out of luck.
 I slid my oversized sunglasses up and took in the scenery. A cloudless blue sky, palm trees swaying hither and yon. Pedestrians in micro dresses, short-shorts and swimsuits strolled by. Oh, to be able to loll around and enjoy the sea breeze.
 “So, what are you going to do now?” Marcy took a delicate bite of her mozzarella and tomato Panini.
 “Tell Luke I quit. After I throw him a bang, of course.” My husband was always so much more agreeable while basking in post-coital bliss.
“Did he find a job yet?”
“He’s doing security with his brother.”
 Marcy’s big blue eyes got even bigger. “Logan’s back? Why didn’t you tell me?” She fanned herself. Apparently the wind off the water wasn’t enough to contend with her heated thoughts of my brother-in-law.
 “Sorry, I didn’t think you cared.” The lie scalded my throat. Truth was, I’d done my best not to think about Logan Parker for the six years Luke and I had been married.
 “He’s the hottest guy on the face of the planet.” Marcy fluffed her blonde hair as though just mentioning the Devil’s name would draw his notice. “Is he seeing anybody?”
 “A therapist, I hope.” I drained my drink. “I should get home. Do a little feminine maintenance before I break the big news.”
 Marcy grinned. “Or you could look for another job.”
 “Oh you and your zany ideas.” The thought of going to work for another sleazy lawyer made my skin crawl. We had some money saved up and I could afford to take a little while to consider my options.
 I left Marcy outside the county clerk’s office and hailed a cab. Last thing I needed was a DUI. Luke was gonna be upset already.
 Not with me though, never with me. My husband didn’t think the sun rose until I got out of bed in the morning. No, the censure would be totally focused inward. On himself for being unable to land a permanent job post-military. Luke was old-fashioned—he wanted to support me, not the other way around.
 Stubborn Parker men. My brain shied away from thoughts of Logan, hoping to God that Luke wouldn’t drag him home for a beer after work. Not only did I not want to see him, I didn’t want to compound Luke’s humiliation by fessing up about the grabby attorney in front of his brother’s hawk-like stare.
 To my surprise, Luke’s big black truck was parked in front of our little bungalow in the neighborhood known as Coral Gate on the west end of the city. The house was 1920’s era that had been remodeled hideously in the 1950’s and again in Technicolor in the 70’s. We were slowly upgrading it with a more modern color scheme while restoring the historic appeal, an arduous and costly proposition. After paying the cab driver, I made my way up the cracked concrete walkway and followed the sound of hammering around the side of the house.
 Luke stood there with his shirt off, golden sweat-slicked muscles gleaming in the sun. His dark hair was damp, pushed back away from his face, having grown out since his last tour of duty ended. My heart sped at the sight of him and I wrapped my arms around him from behind, pressing my body into his. “Hey there, sexy.”
 Instead of hugging me back he stiffened instantly, muscles freezing into granite. He looked over his shoulder. Piercing blue eyes, not the expected melty chocolate I loved, stared down at me. “Jacqueline.”
 Logan. “Holy Mary and a bag of chips, sorry! Sorry!” I let him go instantly, but the damage was already done. Stupid, delicious rum based drink had impaired my judgment. Crap on a cracker, could this day get any worse? “I thought you were Luke.”
 “Obviously.” His gaze dipped from my face down to my chest. “That’s a nice look.”
 Huh? Glancing down my body I saw that the cream-colored shell top was now plastered to my chest thanks to his manly sweat saturating the fabric. I plucked it away from my skin, flustered beyond belief. “Friggin hell, I want a do-over for today.”
 “If only I had that power.” There was censure in Logan’s deep tone. Censure and regret.
 My gaze flew to his, my heart pounding like it wanted out of my ribcage. Oh no, he was not going there, not when I was half drunk and fully freaked out.
 “Hey babe, thought I heard you.” Luke moved out onto the verandah. He was also shirtless and sweating, a reprieve for my reeling senses. My safe harbor.
 From the front he and Logan were similar in both height and build, but Luke was rangier, designed for speed more than heavy lifting. His smile was the most welcoming sight.
 Brushing past Logan, I moved up the steps to press myself against my man and he pulled me into the safety of his arms.
 “You smell like rum.” He laughed and kissed the top of my head. “And did I see a cab drop you off? Something wrong with your car?”
 “I quit my job.” Frick, there went my awesome seduction to help break the news plan. I cast Logan a dark look. It was his fault for throwing me off balance.
 Luke rubbed my back in a soothing motion. “And the rum?”
 Since I’d already spilled the beans…. “I got blitzed on a giant Piña colada after I cleared out the petty cash. Seemed like a good idea at the time.” Before I knew I was destined to humiliate myself in front of Logan.
 Again. Why did I always end up running into him when I had a snoot-full?
 “Looks like you’ve got stuff to deal with, man. I’m gonna take off,” the Dark Prince intoned.
 I sagged, but my relief was premature because Luke said, “Hang on a second. This could be a good thing.”
 As far as I could tell, the only good thing had been the booze and that was long gone. I pulled back to study his face. “What do you mean?”
 He grinned, that boyishly charming grin that had snagged my heart at first sight. “Come inside and we’ll hash it out. It’s hot out here. Logan, you want a beer?”
 “No.” Logan’s tone was emphatic and I got the feeling he wasn’t talking about the beer.
 “Man, she’s qualified and she knows everyone. Where are we going to find—?”
“I said no.” A muscle jumped in Logan’s jaw.
 I glanced between the brothers and worried my lower lip. “What are we talking about here?”
 Luke looked down at me. “Logan and I were thinking of going into business for ourselves.”
 “Like your own property management company?” The work Luke had been doing was of the odd jobs, thankless part-time variety and I knew it didn’t make him happy. He wanted to make a difference and do something he felt was important.
 “Right. We’d try to strike a deal with the tenants without legal intervention. It’s less expensive for all parties involved.”
Which meant less work for guys like Shyster Stan. “Sounds like a good idea to me.”
“But we need a certified process server on board, someone who knows the county laws and could make sure we stay on the right side of them. A person who can serve the papers on behalf of the owner and, if necessary, can legally write notices for eviction. We were going to look for somebody else, but since you’re free….” He tossed me a wink.
 “Wow.” I blinked from more than just the harsh sunlight. “I don’t know what to say.” Maybe it was the rum talking, but it sounded like a stellar idea. With Luke in the military, I’d barely seen him. If we went down this road, we would work side by side on something that mattered to us both.
 Plus there was no shortage of work. With the housing market hit hard in Florida, properties stood empty and owners were constantly searching for property management teams to take care of messy situations. Ousting squatters, collecting past due rent, stopping unlawful activity and, when necessary, streamlining Florida’s complicated eviction process to rerent the property to decent tenants as soon as legally possible. It was hard, often thankless work, but it paid well. I knew how to make sure that all the i’s were dotted, the t’s were crossed so anyone who hired us wouldn’t end up with a giant lawsuit on their hands.
 “Luke,” Logan’s tone held a warning. “It isn’t safe. Are you really willing to put her in harm’s way?”
 I turned to face my brother-in-law. The living, breathing downside to this seemingly awesome plan. If working with Luke was a dream then working with Logan was a nightmare. Were his objections really about my safety or did he just want to nix the idea before it took root? “I’ve served in that capacity before, at the sheriff’s office. Luke’s right, no one knows the eviction process in this county better than me, at least not in the private sector.”
 “We could take on Aaron’s job. Go there tonight and see what’s what. He owns near half the damn county and if he likes our work, he’ll recommend us.” Luke was like a little kid in a toy store, his enthusiasm contagious, at least for me.
 I hadn’t heard him so hopeful for the future in a long time. Turning toward Logan, I made up my mind then and there that I would do everything in my power to help him make this dream a reality.
 Logan and I would just have to deal with each other. Be professionally courteous. We were adults, we could handle it and we would if I had anything to say about it.
 If not he could take a long walk off a short pier.
 “I’m in.” I said. Luke squeezed me and Logan looked like he’d chewed on a fresh turd.
 For better or worse, I had a new job.

 Aaron Tanner was a marine who’d gone through boot camp with Luke. After serving out one tour, he’d inherited his father’s condo complex in South Beach and left the military to be a full time landlord. According to the file Luke had given me, Aaron’s tenant, a Mr. Fester Gomez, was three months behind in his rent.
 The eviction process is complex in any state, but Florida had its own special quirks. The laws were written to protect tenant rights before those of the property owner. Knowing what I do about the eviction process, I’d rather stick a hot poker in my eye or spend ten minutes locked in a closet with Logan, than ever choose to be a landlord.
 As Luke drove over the MacArthur Causeway, I read the file out loud. “Fester Gomez, Latino, age sixty three, widower. Lived here for ten years, never had a late payment before. Aaron wants us to talk with him, inspect the property for damages if he’ll let us and find out why he’s not paying his rent.”
 “And if he doesn’t let us?” Luke asked.
 “I’ll post a twenty four hour inspection notice and we’ll go in tomorrow.”
 “You’ll stay in the car.” Logan didn’t phrase it as a request and I didn’t appreciate his tone.
 “I’m going in. Mr. Gomez has no criminal record, he’s not a threat. Besides, if you two scary guys knock on his door and give him a heart attack, Aaron might get sued. Then we’re SOL.”
 “Jackie’s right, Logan. We’re just going to talk this out. Aaron doesn’t want to go through the trouble of eviction if there are any other options.”
 From my position in the back I saw Logan shift, so I was prepared when he pivoted to glare at me. “Don’t do anything stupid.”
 “Broke that habit years ago.” The passive-aggression was so dense you could eat it with a spork. I saw the instant the barb struck home. His eyes narrowed to blue slits. I raised an eyebrow, daring him to take it further.
 “Knock it off you two. We’re almost there.” That from Luke, the peacemaker of our little trio, who multitasked brilliantly as he turned the truck onto Ocean Drive.
 He stopped the vehicle near a pristine white stucco apartment complex. I whistled low as my feet met asphalt. “Hot damn, you think Aaron would rent to us while we finish the house? I always wanted to live near the beach.”
 “We couldn’t afford it.” Luke said, sending me a rueful smile. “Maybe in a few years, if this business works out.”
 Logan remained quiet, assessing our surroundings with watchful eyes.
 We trooped across the street and into the breezeway, stopping at the door to 1C. I held my clipboard with the 3-Day notice all filled out, should Mr. Gomez not provide an adequate reason why he’d been skipping his rent. Luke and I exchanged a glance, he nodded, and I knocked on the door, going over the spiel I’d prepped.
 A spiel, I didn’t need because the unlatched door creaked open ominously. “Uh oh.”
 “Get back,” Logan snarled, shoving me behind him and several steps to the side. I didn’t protest the rough treatment because my nose had picked up the same stench that had put him on high alert. Something that reeked like death.
 “I’m going in,” Logan said.
 “Don’t be an idiot.” Luke grabbed for his brother’s shoulder but Logan shrugged him off.
 “If whatever’s in there is still alive, it needs help. Get her back to the car.” Logan barreled forward like a freight train.
 “Idiot.” Luke growled. “Jackie, go back to the car. Call 911. Tell them what’s going on.”
 Luke shoved his cell phone at me and I fumbled it. “You don’t know what’s in there.”
 “Logan’s in there,” he said simply and disappeared into the place.
 The Parker brothers might be big, tough heroes but I sure as hell didn’t want to see what was making that smell. Week-old garbage rotting in a Dumpster was more appetizing. I couldn’t just go lock myself in the car though. What if they needed help?
 I dialed the phone and gave the 911 operator the address. “Probable DOA. My husband and his brother have gone in to check on the resident.”
 “Do you require an ambulance?”
 Considering Mr. Gomez’s rent was three month’s late, I seriously doubted it. Still, I called out, “Luke? Is there anyone alive in there?”
 It was Logan who appeared, his T-shirt pulled up to cover his mouth and nose. “Whoever did this is long gone.”
 I was craning past him, looking for Luke. “Did what?”
 Sirens blared in the distance, announcing help was on the way.
 “Luke, get out here!” Logan called, shoving me back into the breezeway. “Put your hands up so the cops can see them.”
 “Ma’am? Are you there?” The 911 operator’s voice crackled over the line.
 Luke slipped through the door, face ghostly pale as his eyes met mine. He’d seen his share of dead bodies and I doubt discovering Mr. Gomez had passed peacefully in his sleep would have brought on that kind of reaction.
 “What’s wrong?”
 Logan and Luke exchanged a look and I knew Logan didn’t want to tell me, the jerk, while Luke couldn’t see any way to avoid it.
 “It’s not Gomez.”
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