Sunday Excerpt–Running Rogue

Running Rogue CoverRannigan’s Redemption Part 2: Running Rogue launched to 5 Star Reviews in early February.  It’s the second of a three-part story about hot-shot Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and his complicated relationship with Maggie Flynn, a smart, spunky red-headed lawyer he hired to work at his firm.

In Running Rogue, Michael is trying to find his way in the aftermath of Maggie’s having left the firm.  When he shows up at Maggie’s doorstep a couple of years later having nowhere else to turn, she agrees to help him.

Baseball Player

Grateful for her selfless generosity, Michael is determined to do something kind for her.  Enter Maggie’s new love interest Bobby ‘Beau’ Beaulieu, retired baseball pitcher and newly minted sports broadcaster who recently moved into Michael’s building.

In this brand-new exclusive excerpt, Maggie meets Bobby for the first time.

Maggie strode purposefully across the lobby of Michael’s building. It had been a shit week and knowing that she had to work all weekend to make up for what she’d missed, all she wanted to do was to check in on Michael, deliver his soup, and head home to a nice hot bath and a large glass of wine. Ahead of her a man was just stepping into the elevator and she increased her pace, hoping to make it before the doors closed. He turned and their eyes met just as the doors slid shut.

“Well, shit!” she muttered, juggling her purse, her brief case, and the bag from the deli. Just then the doors slid back open.

“Sorry about that,” the man said, “I didn’t realize you were right behind me.” He held open the door as she stepped in and turned around. “What floor?”

Maggie glanced up at him. He was tall with broad shoulders, muscular without being muscle-bound, with wavy brown hair and sparkling blue eyes framed by the longest lashes she’d ever seen on a man. She’d noticed a bit of a drawl when he spoke. Dressed in a t-shirt and sweatpants, he’d apparently been working out in the gym. He stood beaming at her with a boyish grin on his face and he seemed to be waiting for her. She realized she was staring.

Oh, shit! What floor? “Oh, sorry, um, twenty-one, please.”

He grinned again. “Twenty-one. That’s my floor, too.” He held out a hand. “I’ve only been here a couple of months. We haven’t met yet. I’m Bobby.”

Maggie shifted the deli bag and grasped his hand. “Um, I’m Maggie. I don’t actually live here. I’m visiting a friend.” She paused. “Do you know Michael in 2101?”

Bobby’s eyes widened and he took a step back. “Oh. You’re one of Michael’s girls.”

Maggie frowned. “No. I am absolutely not one of Michael’s girls. Nope. Not me. No way.” She shook her head emphatically.

Bobby grinned wryly. “So you’re not one of Michael’s girls.”

She felt her face flush. “I’ve known Michael for a long time. We used to work together. He’s a little…under the weather, and I told him I’d stop by, bring him some soup.” She held up the deli bag for emphasis.

He flashed the boyish grin, blue eyes sparkling with amusement. Maggie felt her pulse race and a warm flush crept up her neck. What the hell?

“So you’re a lawyer.”

She nodded. “Yep. Sorry.”

“Why sorry?”

“Everybody hates lawyers,” she replied as the elevator doors opened on the twenty-first floor. She stepped out into the hallway and immediately went down hard on her left knee.

“Motherfucker!” she cried out.

Bobby was beside her instantly. “Are you alright? What happened?”

Maggie looked around. “My shoe.” The heel of her right shoe was caught in the space between the elevator and the hallway. It had snapped off as she stepped forward. Bobby grabbed it before the doors closed, then gently took her arm and helped her up.

“Did you hurt yourself?” he asked, concerned.

“I’m alright, really,” she replied shakily. Blood was dripping from her knee and running in rivulets all the way down her shin.

“You banged up your knee.”

“But I saved the soup, so there’s that,” she quipped.

He placed a hand on the small of her back and walked her down the hall, stopping at a door. “This is me,” he said. “Come in and let me at least bandage you up.” Maggie regarded him warily.

“I’m not an axe murderer, I promise,” he laughed.

She frowned. “Isn’t that exactly what an axe murderer would say?” she said as he unlocked the door.

“Tell you what–we’ll leave the door open. You can sit right here.” He pointed to a bench in the foyer. “If I make any sudden moves you can run for it,” he chuckled.

Sheepishly, Maggie sank onto the bench. Truthfully, her knee hurt. She set down her things and glanced up at him. “Thanks,” she said quietly.

Bobby smiled and gestured to his right. “I’ll just…go get my axe.”

She could hear him in another room rummaging around through something. She removed her broken shoe and held up the dismembered heel. It had come clean off the sole. An image flashed through her mind of the shoe repair shop just around the corner from her apartment.

“I can fix that for you.” Startled, she looked up. Bobby had returned with first aid supplies.

“Oh, you don’t have to do that,” she said quickly. “There’s a shop near my place.”

He poured alcohol on some gauze and knelt beside her. “It won’t take me two seconds,” he murmured, dabbing at her knee.

Maggie breathed in sharply. “Ouch! Ow ow ow!” she protested softly.

Bobby looked up at her. “Sorry, cher,” he said, “we’ve got to get it cleaned out.” Gently he grasped the back of her calf and raised her leg, wiping away the streaks of blood.

Maggie stared at him, scarcely breathing. There was something electric about his touch, so strong yet so tender.

He finished cleaning her shin and returned to her knee, carefully placing a large bandage over the scrape. “There you are, good as new. Well, almost,” he smiled.
He took the shoe and heel from her. “I really can fix this for you. I’d just have to find my tools,” he nodded his head toward the other room. “I should really unpack anyway,” he smiled ruefully.

Maggie rose from the bench and stood lopsided on one heel. “I don’t want to be more trouble than I’ve already been.”

Something tells me that you’re all kinds of trouble, cher. “It’s no trouble. Besides, I’d be worried about you limping along like Quasimodo on your way home,” he laughed.

She laughed, too. “Well, alright then. Thank you. And thanks for…” She glanced down at her knee.

“It’s my pleasure, cher,” he said quietly.

Maggie felt as though suddenly all the air had gone out of the room. She stared up into his amazing blue eyes. She opened her mouth but no words came out.

He spoke. “Just stop by when you’re finished at Michael’s. If I have to leave before that, I’ll bring you your shoe.”

You can get your copy of Rannigan’s Redemption Part 2: Running Rogue at these fine online retailers.

Amazon, iTunes, B&N, Kobo, & Smashwords

Finding The Muse

F. Scott Fitzgerald quote. Writing Tips by Famous Authors board at Michael McClintock Poet on Pinterest.: Where do you get your ideas?

I get that question fairly often.  People want to know how I come up with the stories for my books.  The short answer is, a lot of places.  Sometimes I get a snippet of an idea from a dream or a conversation or a song on the radio and I perk on it for a while, turning it around and around in my head until it lines up into a cohesive story.  I once got a great idea for a story when I overheard a couple arguing at a restaurant.

This excerpt, working title Callie’s Freedom, is from the Teasers tab of my blog.  The idea for this one came from the last time I had to stand in line at the post office.  It’s not my current work in progress, but it might be the one after that.  See what you think.

Callie’s Freedom

Standing in line at the post office has to be the fourth circle of hell.  Callie shifted her weight to her left foot and leaned her hip against the railing around which the line of fellow postal customers snaked.  Look, only three more back-and-forths then it’s my turn, she thought sardonically.  She frowned to herself.  Whose inner monologue is sardonic?

     “Next,” called the clerk at the second station.  Everyone in line took a step forward clutching their parcels all wrapped in brown paper and packing-taped into infinity, or their very important looking overnight-air envelopes.  Callie glanced down at the peach square of paper in her hands.  We REdeliver for you! the paper promised.  She shook her head.  She wasn’t waiting for redelivery.
     Another clerk called out and the line shifted again.  A sextet of antique ceiling fans whirled ineffectively over their heads as a bead of sweat trickled down her spine.  She wondered if the air conditioning was out or if the USPS was simply economizing.  Either way, you could tell it was summer in south Florida.
     She made it to the turn-around and felt a bit encouraged.  Not much longer now.  She gazed at the receipt once again, her forefinger lightly tracing the address of the sender.  Sevilla.  She inhaled sharply.  She knew one person in Seville.  She couldn’t imagine what he’d sent in a parcel.
Raised voices interrupted Callie’s thoughts.  She looked up to see a well-dressed middle-aged woman standing at the third station who was shouting at the clerk. 
    
     “What do you mean, I have to get in a different line?  I’ve been standing here all day!”
     “Ma’am, I don’t have the form that you need.  Would you like to get in the other line?” the clerk asked patiently.  The man was an older black gentleman with sloping shoulders and an air of resignation.  Callie idly wondered if he’d delivered mail on foot back in the day.
     “Well if you won’t give me the form I guess I’ll have to!” the woman snapped as she vacated the station and toddled off to the the correct line. 
     Callie shook her head.  Why do people have to be such assholes?  She ran into her fair share of them as a teacher but she recalled her college days when she’d worked as a server in a busy restaurant.  People have no idea…
     She found herself suddenly only two people behind the head of the line and she felt her heart begin to pound.  Finn.  She looked back at the peach scrap of paper.  After all this time.
     In truth she was shocked that he’d sent anything at all.  She’d known him for all of what, fifteen days?  The flush began in the center of her being and flowed up her neck to her cheeks.  Those fifteen days had changed her irrevocably.  She could never go back to the pre-Finn Callie.
     Vaguely she heard a clerk call for the next customer.  “Excuse me, ma’am?” said the guy behind her.  Callie looked up, startled.  “You’re next.”

     She murmured an apology and walked to the vacant station.  The same clerk who’d had the misfortune to deal with the nasty customer surveyed her with gentle eyes.  Callie was determined to be kind, to make up for the woman who’d been so unpleasant.  She smiled broadly.  “Yes, I’m picking up a parcel.”  She presented him with the peach scrap and her driver’s license.

     The man smiled kindly as he took the slip of paper and disappeared into the back.  He reemerged moments later carrying a package about the size and shape of a hardcover book.  Callie’s pulse pounded in her ears.
     “Here you are, ma’am,” he said as he handed her the box.  It was lighter than she’d expected.  Her eyes zeroed in on the return address.  Finn Cooper, 54 Calle Montevideo, Sevilla, Espana. 
     She smiled again and thanked the man, wished him a pleasant day, and walked out into the heat of the summer day.
Before this novel gets completely written, the final chapter of Michael Rannigan’s story, Rannigan’s Redemption Part 3: Ransoming Redemption will be out this Spring.  Keep watching right here for updates.

Meanwhile, in another corner of the universe…

Here’s a great review of Jolie Mason’s Home is the Sailor by Aussie Book Reviewer G. S. Bailey!

Aussie Book Reviewer

1. ACaptain Aricka Badu left Taarken Prime twelve years ago for very good reasons, and she seldom goes back. It was supposed to be a short run, but, between the pirates, a brewing civil war and her ex, she may never get to leave.

Caden Carnes hadn’t seen Ari in twelve years, but he’d never stopped thinking about her. Given their past, it wasn’t exactly surprising she stayed away. What was surprising was seeing her back on Taarken…ever, the mining planet she’d abandoned along with her lover and her family.

Her brother’s mining hauler is missing and Caden asks for Ari’s assistance along with her ship to go find it. One discovery leads to another, until all their secrets are out. Caden and Ari don’t have long to discover the most important thing in the universe; You can actually go home again.

Available on Amazon

BOOK REVIEW: This sci-fi setting is…

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Valentine’s Day Kinky Promotion

Treat yourself to great erotica for Valentine’s Day!

Lilah E. Noir


valentine

Amazon link – http://www.amazon.com/Lilah-E.-Noir/e/B016D4Z1XW/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

If you want to make a special surprise for your partner or just indulge yourself in some panty-melting prose now is the moment! The special offers on my available work expires on February 15th so hurry up and get your copy during the 13/14 February weekend promotion.

Only 99c!

reviewsstrokeraceBlurb: Evan and Annabelle remember when they had a perfect marriage. Though they don’t want to admit it their relationship is on the verge of falling apart, plagued with a myriad of insecurities, frustration and deeply rooted sexual repression.

Evan still loves his wife yet Annabelle’s hostile attitude and uptight behavior could strain the patience of a saint. Annabelle still loves her husband yet she is ashamed and afraid of her own dark, lustful desires and needs.

Enters Kitty – the beautiful damsel in distress, robbed and left all alone in the rain. When they accept the miserable girl…

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Announcement: Rannigan’s Redemption 2: Running Rogue Live on Amazon

Thanks so much to LilahENoir for this really kind post! I can’t express how much I appreciate your support!! 😀

Lilah E. Noir

Pandora Spocks is a new and very refreshing author of contemporary erotic romance. Her first novel, Luke and Bella: Two Streets Over, came out last summer and ever since then that ginger author worked hard on establishing her name. She combines light hearted writing, some kink, wonderful characters, amazing build up and very sexy scenes. I was pleasantly surprised by her first novel of the Rannigan’s Redemption series, an urban, slow burn type of romance between your not so typical playboy lawyer and an even less typical good yet sassy and confident woman. You can expect my review of the first part over the next week. If you haven’t read it and if you appreciate the magic of a truly slow build up of intense passion I’d hotly recommend you to read Resisting Risk. And once you finish the last pages you may hurry up to buy the…

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Launch Day!

It's Launch Day! rannigan 2Rannigan’s Redemption Part 2: Running Rogue is out today!  It’s the continuation of the story of the complicated relationship between highpowered Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and Maggie Flynn, the smart, spunky redhead he hired straight out of law school.

Michael Rannigan is running rogue. Since Maggie’s abrupt departure from the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, & Metheny, he’s been in a tailspin. As he limps along in the new normal, he misses her more than he ever imagined.

Maggie misses Michael as well. But she makes the best of her new job at the District Attorney’s office. Occasionally they cross paths in court, each assessing the other. Like Michael, she finds herself making questionable personal choices.

When opportunity knocks for Michael he leaps at it, maybe as much to avoid Maggie’s absence as anything else. The fact that his decision impacts everyone else at the firm doesn’t slow him down at all.

Then comes news that shakes him to his core. Now that he’s burned all his bridges, who will be there to help him pick up the pieces?

You can get Running Rogue starting TODAY at these fine online booksellers.

Amazon, iTunes, B&N, Kobo, & Smashwords

Watch This Space–Jolie Mason

I love to read, been an avid reader since the moment I first read a whole book all by myself (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish if you’re keeping score).  I love erotic romance, obviously, and thrillers and true adventure.  But I’ll have to admit, I’ve never read much sci-fi romance before.

And then I found Jolie Mason.  Her 47th Lancers series grabbed me my the lapels and threw me down ever since I read Riding Redemption.  Mason’s stories are packed with fast-paced action, softened around the edges by heart-felt romance.

Her new release, Redemption Burning, is no different.  The opening of the story is heart-breaking.  And I’ve said it before, Mason insists on giving us the technical details of battle without dumbing them down.  She trusts us to keep up and it’s a better story for it.

Here’s my Amazon review of Redemption Burning.

Action, Adventure, and Heart-Felt Romance

Confession—I don’t have a lot of experience reading sci-fi romance. Then I came across Jolie Mason. Having thoroughly enjoyed Riding Redemption, I was thrilled to read Redemption Burning, the next installment in Jolie Mason’s sci-fi romance 47th Lancers series.

The book opens with a heart-breaking scene. “Briar” Rose MacClellen is having a conversation with an AI representation of her dead lover, “Beezer.” From beyond the grave, Beezer tells her that she needs to take care of his best friend, Herc. Because as Beezer always knew, Herc was as much in love with Briar as he himself had been in life. And if Briar was honest with herself, she knew about Herc’s feelings all along. And just maybe she has feelings for him, too. Against a backdrop of an epic battle, Briar begins to come to terms with Beezer’s death and the living man who loves her.

I absolutely love this series and this book is a terrific addition. The action is fast-paced and Mason doesn’t dumb down the technical details. The romance is heart-felt and passionate and it all comes together to create an epic story. What a great book!

You can buy Redemption Burning here.  Go on, what are you waiting for?

A FREE Gift

 

Indulgence for romance and erotic romance readers is an eZine published by ASMSG Romance Erotica.  It’s my honor to have been included in the latest issue.  My new book is highlighted and I also contributed an article.  And I’m able to offer it to you as a FREE pdf download.  Just click on the image to get your FREE copy.  And thanks so much for supporting Indie Authors.

Saturday Sneek Peak–Final Exclusive Excerpt

Elegant young man in tuxedo looking down while sitting on a stooRannigan’s Redemption: Running Rogue is out on Tuesday!  It’s the highly anticipated second book in the contemporary erotic romance trilogy that follows the complicated relationship between high-powered Manhattan defense attorney Michael Rannigan and Maggie Flynn, the smart, spunky redhead he hired straight out of law school.

The first book, Resisting Risk, ended in something of a cliffhanger.   Running Rogue picks up the story right where that book left off.  Here’s the last exclusive excerpt before the release on February 9.

“Michael?” Maggie asked into the intercom.

“Hey, Mags.” His voice sounded tinny over the ancient device. “I know it’s late. I’m sorry. But when I saw your light on, I mean… Can I come up?”

Maggie hesitated, her finger hovering over the button. “What do you want, Michael?”

“Mags, I just…I just want to talk.”

She shook her head, checking the time again. What the hell? And he’s probably drunk. Standing out there in the rain like he’s got absolutely no sense.

She pressed the door buzzer. “Don’t wake my neighbors,” she admonished him.
Maggie pulled the wooly cream colored robe tighter around herself, tying the belt securely and she stalked to the door, opening it to wait for Michael. She watched him coming up the stairs, his soaked hair matted to his head. His wet shoes squeaked softly with each footfall. She started to say something snippy but noticed the haunted look in his eyes, so she simply stepped back and let him into the apartment. She closed the door behind him and walked to the kitchen counter where she leaned back, crossing her arms, head cocked at him expectantly.

Michael stood just inside the doorway, rainwater pooling all around his feet. He looked ill at ease and uncertain.

“Well?” she finally said.

He ran his fingers through his wet hair and sighed deeply.

“Oh for God’s sake, Michael!” She left him standing there and returned with a large blue towel. “You’re soaked.”

She took his jacket from him and hung it over the back of a kitchen chair. As he used the towel to dry his face and hair, she couldn’t help herself. “Are you drunk?”

He frowned and shook his head. “I’m not drunk. I had some bourbon. I might be drunk. A little.”

Maggie rolled her eyes. “Sit down. I’m making you some coffee so we can send you home. Have you eaten lately?”

“I don’t know.” Michael sank onto a chair at the kitchen table. He glanced around as Maggie busied herself putting a kettle of water on the stove and taking a French press from a cupboard.

“I hope I’m not causing a problem with your fiancé. Husband? Whatever.”

Maggie paused to look at him, her lips forming a grim line. “Yeah, well, that didn’t work out so…no worries.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be.”

She worked in silence breaking eggs into a bowl and putting strips of bacon into a skillet as Michael sat at the table and occasionally used the towel to swipe at his face. On the stove, the bacon began to sizzle as the kettle whistled. Maggie poured the boiling water into the press and let it stand for a moment as she chopped a small onion and part of a green pepper.

“Did you know Stan Hodges died?” Michael finally asked.

Maggie arched an eyebrow. “I was at the funeral. Where were you?”

“I don’t know,” he answered vaguely. He watched her grate cheddar into the eggs. Then she pressed the plunger on the coffee and poured some into a cornflower blue mug with a white script ‘M’ on the side.

M for Maggie. Or Michael. He shook his head to dismiss the inane thought. Looking around the small apartment, he asked, “Why are you still here?”

Maggie glanced over her shoulder. “What, I should move uptown into one of your glass and steel monstrosities?”

“I was just thinking that you could afford a bigger place, that’s all.”

“This may be a tiny apartment but this building has soul. Once upon a time, a family called this place home. Maybe I can’t afford to own a whole townhouse but at least I can rent a small part of it.”

Michael watched her for a moment. “You could have bought your own townhouse if you’d stayed with the firm.”

Maggie turned around and leaned against the counter, crossing her arms. “If I’d stayed, I’d have been out of a job along with everyone else. You really tanked everyone, you know that, right?”

He looked down at his hands. “I wouldn’t have pursued the television thing if you’d still been there.”

She snorted, returning to her cutting board. “Bullshit. Being on the news every night is exactly your thing. You can’t put that off on me.”

She set the coffee in front of him. “What are you doing here, Michael?”

He stalled, sipping the steaming hazelnut blend. “This isn’t where I meant to be. I went out and ended up down here in the Village. I was at the Blue Note until they kicked everybody out. I got a little lost and then realized I was across the street from your apartment.”

Maggie turned back to her omelet, stirring in the vegetables. The bacon had quieted down and she turned over the strips, causing them to erupt into loud sizzling once again. “Why are you here?” she asked again.

“I’m sick,” he said quietly.

“I don’t doubt it. It’s forty degrees outside and you’re soaked. It’s a wonder you don’t have pneumonia.”

“It’s cancer.”

Maggie froze mid-stir. “What?” Slowly, she turned around.

“Cancer.”

“Shit.” She crossed to the table and sank onto the chair across from him, gaping at him wide-eyed.

“There was this spot. And then they found out it was melanoma.” Michael’s face twisted. “Mags, you wouldn’t believe the chunk they cut out of my shoulder.”

“Well, they got it then,” she said. “Good. That’s good, right?”

“Bacon’s burning,” Michael said quietly.

“Fuck!” She jumped up and took the pan off the burner.

“I like it that way,” he offered as she set the strips of bacon on a paper towel to drain and poured the omelet into the pan.

“So after they took the hunk out of my arm they did a biopsy. It was melanoma, just like the doctor said. Then they had me get a PET scan. Said they needed to see if it had spread.”

Maggie worked mechanically at the egg mixture in the pan, listening intently as he spoke. “And?” she asked as she slid the omelet onto a blue ceramic plate. She placed it in front of him and sat down again.

“And they called this afternoon to say they have the results. The doctor wouldn’t discuss it over the phone. He wants me to come in tomorrow.” He looked down at the plate. “He said I should have someone with me.”

“Oh my God. Michael.”

He nodded. “I started making phone calls. That’s how I found out about Stan. Which was after I called Murph and then Jimbo. They pretty much told me to go fuck myself.”

Maggie watched him grimly. I imagine they did.

“I called some of the women I go out with. I guess everybody has a lot going on.” He sighed. “I thought about calling you. But, I don’t know. I’ve been an asshole. Plus I figured you were busy with getting married and stuff.” He met her eyes. “I didn’t mean to come here, honest to God.”

She watched him pick at the omelet. “My agent’s pissed at me because I bailed on some appearances. Asking her to come with me is out of the question. She’s probably not in town anyway.”

Michael shook his head. “I don’t know why they’re insisting that someone comes with me to that appointment tomorrow. I should just go and find out what the scan shows, figure out where to go from there. It’s just…” His voice broke. “Mags, I’m scared shitless.” He put down the fork and held his head in his hands.

Maggie could never have imagined a scenario in which S. Michael Rannigan would break down sobbing at her kitchen table. She felt as though her heart would break.

“Michael,” she said softly, standing beside him, placing her hand on his shoulder. His body shook as he let loose the emotions that had been building since the day the nightmare had started. “It’s okay,” she murmured. “It’s okay, everything’s going to be alright.” She waited for him to quiet down. “What time is your appointment?”

You can get your own copy of Rannigan’s Redemption Part 2: Running Rogue beginning on Tuesday at these online retailers.  If you could leave a review where you buy the book, I’d be forever grateful!

Amazon, iTunes, B&N, Kobo, & Smashwords

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