Crown Prince Killian Rhys’s life has been defined by duty for as long as he can recall.
Duty ties him to a wife he does not love.
Duty separates him from the woman he loves, a woman once believed to be beneath him.
Duty holds him to the people he will one day rule.
Can Killian break free of duty’s chains before his wife binds him with more than vows?
Will he find a path to his true love, or will duty wrap him in inescapable shackles?
A lifelong California girl, Michelle Rabe tried the Hollywood thing but decided she preferred an author’s den to the actor’s trailer. She now lives in the Phoenix Arizona area with her unhelpful author cat. Michelle is the author of the Morgan Blackstone Vampires series and The Dragon Fey Saga.
I always go in with a plan. A set of rules for myself. I don’t take unnecessary risks. That’s how I’ve been able to evade capture all these years.
But there’s something about this girl that is different than the others. When I finally meet her, the rules become a blur. And I break the most important one of all—I take her with me.
It’s just my imagination—that feeling of being watched. That those icy eyes— a vivid turquoise with a distinct golden fleck—aren’t watching me.
It’s just stress. I am the person everyone relies on. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been feeling so content with my life lately. Why I dream those eyes belong to someone who can tear me away from all of my responsibilities.
But these are just shameful fantasies, never meant to breach reality.
Then one night, the dream comes true, only it’s a horrific nightmare.
Now, I only have one task: survival.
Nina G. Jones is the author of seven full-length novels of various romance and erotica sub-genres. Her latest novel, Take Me With You, releases on October 17th.
Women’s Fiction – Magical Realism
Date Published: September 14, 2016
Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing
On the day Jennifer Green was born a pile of stones was placed alongside her scale of life. A few were the dark gray of sorrow, but most were a pale blush color. The largest stone was the rose hue of a sunrise. That one would be placed on the scale the day she married Drew Bishop. Even more brilliant but a wee bit smaller was the pink stone glistening with specs of silver. That one would bring Jennifer a baby girl named Brooke. The Keeper of the Scale smiled. Seeing such happiness laid out before him was pleasing to his eye.
Since the beginning of time, he and he alone has been challenged with the task of keeping each person’s scale in balance. A bit of happiness and then a small stone of sorrow, until the lives he has in his charge are measured evenly.
You might think such power is universal, but it is not. There are silver threads that crisscross the landscape of scales and connect strangers to one another. Not even the Keeper of the Scale can control the events traveling through those threads; the only thing he can do is try to equalize the balance once it has been thrown off. There is nothing more he can do for Jennifer; now he must find the thread that leads to Drew if he is to have the love he deserves.
A great novel that implements several different elements to keep the reader on their toes. I liked that I was continuously surprised by and guessing what would happen next.
There was an emotional element to this one as well that I really enjoyed.
I really enjoyed that it was also so unique and different from other things I have read lately. Bette Lee Crosby really sets herself apart.
Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to works of fiction—the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away.
“Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”
Crosby’s work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since then, she has gone on to win numerous other awards, including The Reviewer’s Choice Award, The Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal, FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal and The Royal Palm Literary Award.
Crosby originally studied art and began her career as a packaging designer. When asked to write a few lines of copy for the back of a pantyhose package, she discovered a love for words that was irrepressible. After years of writing for business, she turned to works of fiction and never looked back
The Much Anticipated Spin-off to the Savannah Series by New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Danielle Jamie is now bundled together in a complete boxed set!
#99Cents for a limited time!
Prepare to laugh your butt off and become extremely hot & bothered! Brooklyn Bennett breaks the mold when it comes to female heroines, she is not your average chick! She loves sex, hot guys, and her best friend Savannah fiercely and has a slight obsession with Jared Leto.
You got to know me in my best friend Savannah’s series. Now it’s my turn to tell you my story and for you to see my best friend’s journey to her happily ever after through my eyes.
My life is far from the norm. First off, I’m not your average girl. I’m wild, crazy, and everyone who knows me say’s I’m a free spirit. I guess I am, because I don’t sweat the little things.
˃˃˃ Life is too short.
˃˃˃ Meet Dixon Beaumont
That is until I meet a certain Southern hottie by the name of Dixon Beaumont, who just so happens to be the cousin of Kayden Knox. He flips my world upside down the moment we meet.
˃˃˃ My Dilemma…
The only problem is he’s the male version of me: Career driven and enjoys having a good time with no plans on settling down.
Throw in a bad boy rocker and a sweet Aussie and I find myself going from a simple, carefree life to a full-blown love square. It’s going to be dramatic. But hey, what’s life without a little drama?
After taking our bags up to Kayden’s master bedroom, Savannah and I headed to the stables to have a quick visit with our horses while the guys pulled their four-wheelers around back. The horses are out galloping around the stables, looking happier than ever. They get along great with Kayden’s stallions.
Hearing the guys approaching behind us, Savannah, and I say goodbye to the horses and jog down the small hill, meeting the guys halfway. Sliding my eyes from Tank, Wyatt, Brantley, and Dixon, I smile and ask, “So which one of you am I riding…with?” I can’t help but let out a small snicker at their shocked expressions. I even notice Wyatt blush a little.
Aww…he must be the shy one in the bunch.
Kayden answers before anyone else can. “Jump on with Dixon. He has the most room for an extra person.”
Savannah wastes no time jumping on behind Kayden and hooking her arms tightly around his waist.
“Okie dokie!” I say in a sing-song voice.
I skip down the remainder of the hill and playfully wiggle my eyebrows at Dixon. I slide my fingers gingerly along his broad shoulders and climb onto the back of his Grizzly.
“Great,” I hear him mumble under his breath before taking off and following the guys.
I playfully pinch his nipple and let out a giggle as he hollers out in pain. “Ow! What the fuck was that for?” he barks out, snapping his head back towards me. Even with his dark blue, fuming eyes glaring at me, I find myself melting under his gaze.
I glare right back at him. “That was for being an ass. Is it seriously that awful to have to ride with me? If so, I can get off right now and jump on with one of the other guys.”
Now that the four-wheeler has slowed to a standstill, I begin to stand and make good with my threat to get off.
Dixon’s eyes soften momentarily before I notice his walls come back up as he returns to his all-too-annoyed stare. Shifting his body more towards me, he grabs my thigh and forces me to sit back down. I can’t ignore the spark I feel shoot through my thigh where his hand connected with my body; even through jeans, it’s impossible to ignore. I can tell he felt it, too, by the deer-in-the-headlights look that momentarily flashes before his eyes.
I can’t help but feel suddenly parched and have to lick my lips, which feel drier than the Sahara Desert. Dixon’s eyes dart to my lips and watch my tongue slide over them before snapping his eyes back up to meet my dazed stare.
“You’re riding with me, so sit your ass down and enjoy the ride.”
With those words, Dixon turns back around and guns it. We speed across the field and fly by Kayden and Savannah and the other guys.
“Alrighty then!” I shriek as I hold on to Dixon for dear life. My hair is whipping around behind me in the wind. I can feel Dixon’s abdomen moving up and down against my hands. I hear a low chuckle coming from him as I react to him turning towards a small puddle, splattering our legs.
This guy is giving me whiplash with his mood swings. One minute he is bitching because I’m riding with him, and the next he’s demanding I ride with him! What the hell is his problem?
Everyone loves me! Especially men. Why the hell wouldn’t he be jumping for joy that I’m riding with him instead of one of the other guys? Normally, guys are falling all over themselves to be close to me.
I don’t get this guy. Now he is laughing! Seriously laughing along with me as we speed through the wooded trail.
Dixon’s frame is massive and fills up almost the entire seat. I have my body plastered against the back of his, resting my cheek against his hard, muscular back with my fingers laced together against his stomach. I can feel his taut, ripped abs under my hands flexing with each bump we hit as he grips the handlebars and steers us through the trail. His back muscles are flexing against my cheek as I hold on to him for dear life.
I can’t control the laughter coming out of my mouth as we zip along the trail and slam into mud holes. We’re being splattered with mud, and I couldn’t care less. I’m currently distracted by Dixon’s cologne; it’s consuming my senses and causing my mind to turn to mush. I inhale deeply and feel my endorphins firing off as his scent fills my nose.
He smells amazing.
That is one of my weaknesses, a man’s cologne. If he smells good and is a unique scent you don’t smell on every man you meet, it makes me a hundred times more attracted to him.
It causes every inch of my body to jump with excitement. I have to use every ounce of self-control I have in me right now to behave myself. Everything in me is yelling at myself to rip his shirt off so I can run my nose along his chest to get a better smell of his orgasm-inducing cologne.
Ugh! I must resist the urge to strip this man. God. So much easier said than done.
This guy has my mind and body all over the damn place right now.
“Having fun?” he yells over the roar of the engine.
Focusing on Dixon’s question helps distract me from the fact that my body is pressed up nice and firmly against his, making me feel every single ripple of muscle along his wide, muscular back.
“Haaa…yeah! This is awesome!” I squeeze him a little tighter as he hits a small incline, and we momentarily go airborne.
“Hold on, darlin’. Don’t need you fallin’ off and hurtin’ that pretty behind of yours.”
I can’t help but notice the playfulness in his tone and the fact that he thinks I have a nice butt. He’s loosening up, and in turn I can feel myself becoming more relaxed. I glance back over my shoulder at the other guys behind us zigzagging through the mud holes, but Savannah and Kayden have disappeared.
Turning my attention back to the front, I yell to Dixon, “Yeah, falling off and getting run over by two four-wheelers is not my idea of a good time. And I’m glad to know you love my ass.”
A deep, husky laugh graces my ears as Dixon glances back at me with a cocky grin on his face. “You wanna drive?” he asks, changing the subject. He’s really good at that.
“Hell yeah!” I bounce eagerly behind him as he slowly pulls to the side of the trail.
Sliding off the seat, Dixon stands beside me, towering above me. Pointing in front of me, he asks, “You know how to handle one of these?”
Rolling my eyes, I glance up at him as I scoot up to the front and grab the handlebars. “Yes, I know how to drive a four-wheeler, Dixon. I popped that cherry a long time ago.”
Dixon shakes his head and smiles back at me, causing my girly parts to tingle and my body to flush. “You’re something else,” he says as his eyes roam across my body, which is now decorated in mud.
“That I am.”
Shaking his head as if he’s trying to shake out the thoughts filling it, he climbs onto the four-wheeler behind me, then leans back slightly and rests his hands on the bars behind him.
Whipping my head around, I look from his hands up to his face. “You can touch me, you know. I don’t bite…well, not unless you ask me to first,” I say as I bat my long eyelashes at him flirtatiously and bite gently on my bottom lip.
I see his eyes brighten and fill with a lustful stare–but as quickly as that heated look was there, it was gone. Blinking, Dixon clears his throat and says, “How about you show me how well you can drive this thing.”
“Hold on, because I’m going to take you for a ride you’ll never forget!”
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author who took a chance and wrote her first book in 2013. It was the beginning to a whirlwind journey into the world of a published author with now 22 books available on ebook retailers sites!
Danielle Jamie is a contemporary romance author who loves getting lost in a good book or writing a memorable love story. Her most popular works are her Bestselling Savannah Series, her heart wrenching standalone Tempt my Heart and her steamy taboo Stepbrother Series!
She lives in Upstate NY with her husband, two daughters and son. She loves traveling and seeing the world all the while meeting her fans along the way at Author Events.
Date Published: April 26, 2016
Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Underground
“Masterful, bone-chilling fiction…one intense thriller. A Thousand Yesteryears will keep you guessing, gasping and turning the pages for more.” —New York Times bestselling author Kevin O’Brien
Behind a legend lies the truth…
As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real…
Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse, but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer…
B & N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-thousand-yesteryears-mae-clair/1122454905?ean=9781601837776
Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Mae_Clair_A_Thousand_Yesteryears?id=kY9KCgAAQBAJ&hl=en
Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters and folklore through research and reading since she was a child. In 2013 and 2015, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who factors into her latest release.
Mae pens tales of mystery and suspense with a touch of romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and numbers cats, history and exploring old graveyards among her passions. Look for Mae on her website at MaeClair.net
Date Published: November 2014
“Readers who like to curl up during the long winter evenings and feel the delicious chill of fear running up and down their spines need only turn to The Glade to have all their expectations fulfilled.
Harmony Kent is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour and quirky neighbours and refuses to admit to her age.
If you catch her at work, you’ll see that she also offers editing, proof reading, manuscript appraisal, and beta reading services. Not to mention being passionate about supporting her fellow authors.
Date Published: March 13, 2015
There is something evil up Bergamot Holler, and it’s been targeting the Hall family for generations.
Patty Hall is fifteen years old. She loves stargazing, science fiction, and all things related to space exploration. This leaves her perfectly prepared for the wrong problem.
Patty is afraid her mother will send her to a care facility if she tells her what she’s seen. If she doesn’t figure things out soon, she’s going to join her father in the Hall family cemetery plot.
Patty has to come to grips with her own physical handicap, survive the wilderness, and face an ancient evil all alone if she’s going to survive.
Will O’ the Wisp is suitable for young adults. It involves strong elements of suspense, and is set in the mid 1970s.
Headlights made their way towards us along the Bergamot Creek trail. “Damn it. I wish people would just stay away.”
Pete looked at them and said, “They’re far enough away we can still watch. Besides, they might not stay once the road ends. Maybe it’s Mrs. Matthews with another one of her boyfriends.”
“That’s gross. I don’t care to see that again.”
“Satellite,” Pete said.
It was no Comet Kahoutek, but we watched it pass overhead and waited for the next one. The car turned out to be a van full of older kids. Three guys and two girls. They built a fire and took out a styrofoam cooler. They looked like students on their way to college somewhere.
I turned my radio off and pushed my lower lip into my upper. “I suppose they’re spending the night.” The sound of their car radio reached our ears.
“So what? We might catch another satellite or a shooting star before we have to go home.”
“Meteor. They aren’t really stars. And now we have light pollution.” I looked up once more and tried to have a good time.
“Holy crap. What’s that?”
I snapped to attention and looked at Pete. He was fixated down toward the campers. A ball of green light, about the size of a softball, drifted along the stream bank. It was darker than the fireflies, more the color of moss, but it glowed in the dark. It lit up the gravel alongside the creek.
“That has to be the king of all fireflies,” Pete said.
“Maybe it’s a cluster.”
It turned and headed our way. Pete crab-crawled away from the light.
The glow got softer. It headed back toward the campfire. It was like it couldn’t make up its mind.
A blond boy with surfer good looks walked away from the fire toward the glowing sphere. He said something to his friends, but I couldn’t hear it over their radio. They all stood and looked. He spread his arms wide then waved the thing toward the campfire like he was calling his dog.
The glowing ball started flickering and moved toward him. It hit his chest and pushed him back. Then it went — it went inside him. He arched rearward, then forward, hit the ground and convulsed.
The girls screamed and ran.
“What the hell was that?” Pete said. “Oh my God! What was it?”
“I don’t know, but one of them’s running this way. Let’s get out of here.”
“See you tomorrow.”
“You’re just going to leave me?”
“This is Burkeford. White girl, black boy, after dark. I don’t want to decorate a tree somewhere by morning. I can’t get caught out here.”
I swooped up Rick’s binoculars and headed for home. The screaming girl was almost to the clearing when I made it into the deep woods. Briars tangled my braces and I fell into the thorns. Someone yelled from the campfire for her to come back. He said something about a hospital.
I lay still in the briars and sucked blood from the back of my hand. The girl fumbled to light a cigarette and took a step toward the van. When she left the clearing, I untangled my braces and found the trail.
I suppose I ought to get a flashlight, but I’ve walked this trail so many times I could do it blindfolded. Stupid Pete. What if there are more of those things?
The forest threatened, menaced even. This was my special place, and all I could think of was getting away. Every trunk became a good place for something to lie in wait. Every rock pile, a den for some monster. I tried to hurry as I picked my way through the rocks and roots along the trail.
What the hell was that thing? The John Glenn book said he saw green stuff swirling around his ship. I’ve never seen anything like it. Never even heard of anything like it. What the hell was that thing?
I picked up my pace once I got to the fence along the field. I needed a bath, and wanted to get indoors. I really wanted to get inside. The fox yapped off to the west, and I thought about my parents.
I slipped in through the back door and headed for the stairs.
“You didn’t stay out long,” Mom said, “and you’re bleeding.”
I shrugged. “Briars. I fell.” I tried to blow it off and keep cool. Rick talked her into letting me go up the ridge. If she thought it was dangerous, she’d never let me go back.
She stood up and picked a twig out of my hair. “I hope you took care of Rick’s binoculars. Those were expensive you know.”
I lifted them over my head. God, she could be annoying. “Right here, Mom. Good as new.” I headed upstairs for my room.
Crap. I’d left my backpack and radio behind. Mom didn’t notice. If I can slip out next time, I’ll just bring it all back then.
Rick was in the bathtub, so I had to wait. I went to my room, took off my braces and picked thorns out of my elbows.
Fireflies don’t attack people. That guy seemed like he invited it to camp and now they’re taking him to the hospital. Maybe he’s dead.
Mom yelled up the stairs. “Patty. Telephone. It’s your friend Petey.”
I headed down. Thank God he got home. There could be dozens of those things out there.
“It’s just Pete now, Mom.” She handed me the phone.
“I just wanted to make sure you got home,” Pete said.
“I’m fine, how are you?” I said it for Mom’s sake, then turned away. “No thanks to you,” I whispered.
“Look, you don’t understand. Your parents are cool and all, but not everyone is. There are people around who’d lynch a black boy for even talking to a white girl. Laura gets it. Why don’t you?”
“I get it, but this is different. Something bad happened out there. I was scared and you left me all alone.”
“I was scared and alone too. I saw monsters behind every tree.”
I smiled. “Me too. Guess we’ll have something to talk about on the bus.”
He chuckled and said, “Yeah, so what was that thing?”
“I have no idea, but I think it’s alien.”
“See you on the bus.”
North American Continent http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00UPH6BNS
Rest of the world http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00UQNDT2C
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.
I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.
Date Published: April 2, 2016
A cold stone heart breaks more easily than it beats. Than it loves.
Damien was a loyal warrior, killed in battle in 1203. Because of his true heart, he was given the option to pass on to his eternal reward or exist in another state of being as a protector… until the time came when he could resume living the life he’d been cheated of.
A soldier by nature, he chose the latter. And he waited centuries—as a gargoyle—growing increasingly bitter about his choice. Then he sees her.
Rina is a hard worker and loyal friend. She just has the worst luck. One night, after saving her best friend from a violent assault, she finds herself at the attacker’s mercy. Then out of nowhere, a savior comes and rescues her.
With only an angel to guide him, Damien must make the right choices to win Rina’s heart, or be forever damned as a grotesque mockery of the guardian he once was.
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/STlovesetinstone
As goes her reading, so goes her writing. She can’t pick a single genre to focus on, so she doesn’t even try. She’s proud to say she’s a multi-genre author.
When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with family and friends, possibly cooking for them, or maybe enjoying an afternoon in the pool. To learn more about her, visit her website or connect with her on social media.
Date Published: October 18, 2015
My name is Zoe Tempest. Just let me say, I had no intention of becoming a vampire hunter. My world revolved around the trendiest clothes, the boy of the week and shopping. My parents were well-off and indulgent. I was the center of their universe. I’m afraid I took that for granted. My life was as close to perfect as a seventeen year old can get. I had everything. Then my parents were murdered and my world came crashing down.
After their funeral, I went to live with my uncle Julian Kilmer. That’s when everything changed. In a manner more terrifying than anything I could have imagined.
Sandra writes YA Fantasy, Paranormal and Historical Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or a latte and enjoying a good book. She’s a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.
Twitter: @ Sandra_Cox
Psychic medium Quinn Thatcher would never be classified as normal. Just ask her mother. Her people-pleasing skills could use some work, which is why Quinn prefers working with the dead over the living. Ghosts take her as she is, but when people experience Quinn’s sharp tongue and sassy attitude, there is no in between. They either love her or want to throw her off the nearest bridge, with the latter being more typical. Good thing she knows how to swim.
When a Scottish ghost invades her home and insists she resolve his earthly issues, banishing his ghostly presence becomes priority number one, and a battle of wills and wits ensues until she ultimately agrees.
Her task is easy enough. Return a gem to its rightful owner and then return home, minus the aggravating ghost. Quinn should know things are never as easy as they seem.
Scottish laird Collin Menzie has lived through his share of problems and is still currently dealing with the aftermath of a fire that nearly destroyed his ancestral home. When a beautiful American shows up to return his emerald, her presence starts an unavoidable collision course, in which he questions not only his destiny but also hers.
When dealing with an annoying ghost, an emerald worth a small fortune, and a sexy-as-hell Highlander, what could possibly go wrong? Quinn is about to find out just how deadly the combination can be.
Quinn started the climb up the grassy hill. With each step, her perfect white heels sank further into the brown dirt and her calves screamed in protest.
“I could be on the beach working on my tan,” she grumbled as Clarence appeared at her side. “Nice of you to show. I hope you’re happy and decide to stay.”
The damn ghost had the nerve to disappear again. Jerk. If she ever figured out a way to blast ghosts into the light, her job would be easier. She gave up trying to climb the mountain on her tippy-toes to avoid completely ruining her shoes. She slipped them off her feet and dangled them between her fingers as she walked barefoot the rest of the way to the top. Ridge her butt. A baby Mt. Everest was more like it. Okay, so maybe cheeseburgers weren’t her friend either.
She heard shouting that got louder as she neared the stone bridge. She crossed it to find several grown men and women standing in a circle. Their plaid clothes reminded her of a picnic without food. Two kilted men sat tall on horseback, one on a black stallion and the other white, while clanking their swords together, making her ears ring. One of the horses rose on his hind legs, and the rider lifted the shiny silver sword in the air and waved it around, like Quinn had while trying to get a male stripper’s attention by flashing a twenty-dollar bill. His hooves landed with a thud against the ground, and a ghastly smell permeated the air. Did horses fart? Or maybe it had been the rider. Whoever was responsible, the smell reeked of bad eggs. Quinn stood unsure and stunned as she watched. Taking a tentative step toward the crowd, she held her breath from the smell. Using her shoulders and elbows, she slipped into the surrounding crowd for a better view of the barbaric fight.
The burly man standing next to her answered without looking in her direction. “The annual reenactment of the Menzie/McDougall battle over the lost emerald. It’s tradition.”
“I bet.” Her lips twitched in amusement. “Which one is Menzie?”
“Menzie is in the green. McDougall is red.”
Menzie’s arm muscles constricted as he swung his sharp sword, clanging it against his opponent’s. A mischievous smile spread across his lips as his eyes twinkled. He was handsome in a rugged kind of way, and she silently wondered if he was all brawn and no brains. She should be so lucky.
Quinn stepped into the arena and held up her arms to stop the battle. “Excuse me…”
The swords continued to clink, and her presence went ignored, so she did what any southern woman would do. She slipped her fingers into her mouth and let out a loud whistle that would have made her mother cringe and her father think he’d raised a tomboy.
Both men came to an abrupt stop and turned their horses in her direction. Both had that…who-the-hell-do-you-think-you-are glare Quinn seemed to get everywhere she went. She rolled her eyes.
People in the crowd gasped with the same greeting as the maid. As long as they kept their pinchers to themselves, no one would get hurt.
Quinn slipped the emerald from around her neck and tossed it toward the man in the green kilt. “Game over. The mighty emerald has been returned. You can each go back to your castles and have a beer or whatever it is you do to celebrate.” She planned to.
Quinn smiled brightly and spun on her bare feet, ready to walk away. Within seconds, the sound of galloping hooves and the bark of a dog had her spinning around just as a huge ball of white fur leaped from the ground and tackled her. Her body hit the grass with a thump as a pink tongue licked the length of her cheek, covering her in drool and ruining her makeup. Of course, a psychotic dog. She should have known.
“Harness, heel,” a deep-timbered voice boomed with authority from above.
The dog gave her one last lick and climbed off. Crazy mutt. Harness sat on his haunches, staring at Quinn through the white hair that covered his face. His tongue lolled out as he panted, as though waiting to lick her like his favorite lollipop flavor while humping her leg. Quinn’s nose twitched while picking the dog hair off her shirt, trying her best to hold in the sneeze that teased for release. A shiver of annoyance traveled down her spine, in a clutching hold, like the flu that had attacked her pilot.
“Good dog,” she mumbled, getting back to her feet. She swiped at the dirt stains covering her ruined white skirt. These people could keep their motherland. Scotland and Quinn would never get along.
“Who are you?” Menzie asked, hopping down off his extremely large, white horse. A shame. The wind kept his kilt down. It would have answered an age-old question and brought a whole new meaning to the word bareback. She shivered. Becca would have loved this place, and the knight in shining armor this guy portrayed. Pity that Quinn couldn’t have manipulated her to deliver the damn gem.
“I’m nobody, and I’m just leaving.” She grabbed her shoes.
“No, wait.” His voice held more of a demand than a request. She ignored him. There was only one man that she’d consider stopping for when he issued a command, and she called him Dad.
“There isn’t enough sinus medicine in all your land to get me to stay,” she called over her shoulder and lifted the heels in her hand as a wave goodbye. “Peace, love, and God save the Queen.” Was that right? Probably not, but it still brought a genuine smile to her lips.
Laughter and voices continued behind her. The quicker she got back to the hotel, the closer she’d be to getting home.
Quinn had just cleared the bridge when the dog appeared by her side. “Go away. Shoo.” She waved her shoes toward him. Her scare tactic bombed, and he rubbed against her leg.
“I’m not here for you,” Quinn yelled out to the ghostly woman watching from her perch in the tower. Sometimes ghosts could be as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, and other times just plain mean. No two were ever the same.
“Who are you talking to, luv?”
Quinn refrained from rolling her eyes as Menzie appeared on her right and McDougall on her left.
“I didn’t mean to interrupt your play time. I just wanted to return your prize.” She quickened her step. For every two of hers, they took one.
A beefy hand clenched Quinn’s arm. The thick fingers dug into her poor delicate skin and she stopped on the spot, adjusting a shoe in each hand with the sharp, pointy heels to use as makeshift weapons. “Remove your hand, or I’m going to find out if you are actually wearing underwear under your skirt when I kick your balls.”
“McDougall, release her,” Menzie growled, and McDougall smirked. Wrong move. Men were all the same, no matter what country they were from. They’d test her resolve until she shoved it in their faces.
“No, I willnae until the wee lass tells me how she came to find the stone.”
“Suit yourself.” Quinn slammed both of her heels into his arm and spun, kicking beneath his skirt. Her foot came in contact with sweaty balls. Lucky for him, her newfound anger held her gag reflex at bay. Otherwise, he’d be covered in the same color as his enemy. Green split pea soup.
Mr. McNotSoStudlyNow fell instantly to the ground, cupping his crown jewels. She shrugged.
“Can’t say I didn’t warn you. You should really think about wearing underwear. I’m not sure it’s sanitary for the horses.” Much less her foot. She chuckled and continued walking, leaving the Scottish douche on the ground, moaning like a big baby while she desperately tried to remember if she’d packed a bottle of disinfectant in her bag.
“You’re a feisty one.” Menzie chuckled. “But he deserved it.”
“And more. My momma always told me to act like a lady, unless some schmuck tried to treat me like a piece of meat.”
“Wise advice,” he said as they approached the car, where Angus was waiting with the door open. A smile split his lips, and his eyes twinkled in approval.
“I would say it’s been a pleasure, but it hasn’t. Good day, Laird Menzie. I hope you have a long life with your prize.”
“Who are you?”
She let out a resigned sigh. “Quinn Thatcher. You have your emerald, so my work here is done.” She patted the large muscles on his sweaty, bare, tanned chest. Yes, okay, she copped a feel. It was the least he could put up with to repay her for her hell of Mr. Grabby and the obnoxious ghost. “Have a nice life.”
Kate has lived in Florida for most of her entire life. She enjoys a quiet life with her husband, Michael and two kids.
Kate has pulled all-nighters finishing her favorite books and also writing them. She says she’ll sleep when she’s dead or when her muse stops singing off key.
She loves creating worlds full of suspense, secrets, hunky men, kick ass heroines, steamy sex and oh yeah the love of a lifetime. Not to mention an occasional ghost and other supernatural talents thrown into the mix.
He’s a hardened ex-Navy SEAL with a smile that would melt your grandmother’s heart. She’s a tough-as-nail nurse who has a soft spot for those in need.
Returning home after the death of his best friend in the line of duty, ex-Navy SEAL Ben Harper has managed to fool everyone that he’s fine. A master at hiding his thoughts and feelings, he’s positive that no one is on to him.
Presley James is drawn to the new Director of Security at the hospital where she works. Tall, dark, dangerous and sexy as hell. With a wicked grin and happy hello for everyone—he’s a total contradiction. After spending most of her life caring for people, she can spot a pretender a mile away and isn’t duped by his masquerade one bit!
Will she be able to help him find his way when her own baggage is more than even she can handle?
Mature content, not intended for under 18 years of age.
Presley leaned forward and wiped the steam off the bathroom mirror. “I think we used up all the hot water.”
“I don’t think the steam was from the water,” he said, teasing.
She gave him a quick hug from behind, holding on a bit longer than necessary, then let go. “I think you might be right.”
He looked so good standing in her bathroom next to her, wrapped only in a towel. She hadn’t had nearly as much time as she wanted to admire his body last night.
By the time they had gotten home from Ryan’s it was dark out, so they only had taken enough time to turn her little night-light on, which cast more shadows than anything. Now, in the bright light of her bathroom, she could take the opportunity to check him out fully.
He was solid muscle. She didn’t think she had ever seen anyone as defined as him before, not in person anyway. The amount of time it must take to maintain his body had to be massive.
“What are you thinking?”
“Oh, nothing. Just looking at you.”
“I see that.” He smiled warmly at her. “But you’ve got a question you want to ask, so ask it.”
“How do you know?” she asked, her eyebrow arching.
“That I’ve got a question.”
“It’s written all over your face, so ask.”
She shrugged, then ran her hands over his back and down his arms, trailing her fingertips along his abs. “How much time do you have to put in to have a body like this?”
“That is your question?”
“For the moment, yeah.”
“A few hours a day.”
“How do you find the time? You work more than anyone I know,” she asked, astonished.
He leaned his head back and turned slightly, then kissed her brow. “I don’t sleep much, and I get up early. Or when I can’t sleep at night, I work out until I’m tired enough to sleep. Simple as that.”
She pursed her lips. That didn’t sound simple at all to her. That didn’t sound healthy at all, either. But she kept that to herself.
Natalie Ann lives in upstate NY with her husband and teenage son. By day she’s a bean counter, by night she tries—and mostly fails—to be superwoman. Wife, mother, maid, cook and sometimes dog walker.
After decades of her head in the clouds full dreams, characters, and scenarios, she decided to put pen to paper determined to not give up until the draft of her first book was complete. Now here she is publishing her ninth book!
She loves to hear from her readers, so please drop her a line, even if it’s just to say hi.
Sometimes we love being a mom, but get frustrated when motherhood takes over our life. You are a mom and so much more. That’s why it’s important to start your journey to find your purpose beyond just being a mom. Learn the secrets to finding “me time” in even your busiest days. Uncover and recover your unique mom personality with a personality quiz. Create a sustainable and effective plan for your future that your family will support. No matter how busy you are, how many kids you have, or how young your children are, this book makes finding fulfillment possible for you.
What are you waiting for? Make a difference in your life and start finding yourself today!
You may think that it’s impossible to get to know yourself while your children are young and that it will be easier when your children get older. The truth is, you don’t have to wait. I took my journal to the hospital with me when I had my second child and started implementing some of my goals right after I recovered from childbirth.
Refinding myself has really changed the entirety of my life. In the year following my own personal analysis, I managed to meet my goals of becoming an author, losing all my baby weight from both kids, and strengthening my spirituality. I discovered that I do not have the patience or the real skill for crocheting; I enjoy horseback riding and quiet time in the woods. Currently, I’m working through a couch to 5K program in order to run a race in a few months. I have future aspirations of having my own successful business, learning karate, and traveling the globe.
You may be thinking, “Well, good for you, Amanda, but I’m too busy to find myself.” Maybe you work full time, homeschool, have seven kids, and make all of your food from scratch. Maybe you volunteer at church or take care of an elderly parent or a special needs child. As mothers, our list of responsibilities is endless and our unique challenges may feel insurmountable. The thing is, if you really want to make a difference in your life, you will find a way. I purposely directed this book at moms because we face unique trials, and I wanted to really zero in on how you can make a difference in your life.
The “year of Amanda,” during which I took the time to find myself, was also one of the most hectic periods of my life to date. We had a new baby, my husband got a new job, and we moved from one house to another. All of this was going on while I was still actively raising and nurturing two children. The “year of you” may be even more hectic, but we are going to work together to make it a reality.
Are you ready for the “Year of You?”
This book is designed as an informational workbook to help you on your journey toward rediscovering yourself. I know there is so much in this book that it can be a bit overwhelming. You do not have to complete all of Part 1 at one time in order to get a lot out of this book. That’s why I broke the book down into three parts. You can explore as much or as little about yourself in Part 1 as you want, while still being able to turn your areas of improvement into actionable steps and goals in Part 2. In Part 3, you can learn how to take those goals and start applying them to your life. This book isn’t meant to be something to just read and forget. I want you to be able to take whatever time you have and put it into making a real change in your life.
After reading this book, you will be able to:
•Incorporate personal time into your daily routine (with the kids around)
•Identify your individual qualities, stresses, and opportunities
•Understand your personality and your family members’ personalities
•Set achievable goals particular to your life
•Start a realistic personal development plan
•Become the mom you want to be
If you actively partake in this book, you will have a solid plan for becoming who you are above and beyond the beloved label of “mom.” We have a lot to cover in this book, and I’m excited to help you change your life into one that is more fulfilling. As you turn the page, bring a pen to take notes and an open mind to discover your potential.
Let’s start finding you . . .
Amanda Mawhinney is an author, trainer and family relationship coach. Her professional passions are helping women to develop themselves and helping families to connect and build stronger bonds. Her blog, My Koala Pouch is where she writes about creating healthier families and fun activities for kids and adults.