Rannigan’s Redemption Collection Cover Reveal!

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Introducing…

The Rannigan’s Redemption Collection boxed set!

This set is Michael and Maggie’s entire story and includes all three novels: Resisting Risk, Running Rogue, and Ransoming Redemption.

In a nutshell, what is Rannigan’s Redemption all about?

Rannigan’s Redemption is contemporary erotic romance.  It’s the story of the complicated relationship between sexy high-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and sassy red-haired fellow lawyer Maggie Flynn.

Michael and Maggie meet at a job fair, where he hires her practically on the spot. She’s smart and good her job. But there’s more to it than he’s willing to admit. He’s attracted to her. Which doesn’t make sense. She’s nothing like the women he dates. She’s way too smart, for one thing.

And Maggie’s in love with him, too. Realizing the situation is all but hopeless, she contents herself with working with him.

One night of passion tears them apart. And from that point they’re both just running rogue, each making questionable decisions in their professional and personal lives.

A moment of desperation brings them back together. After Michael has burned all his bridges, Maggie’s the only one willing to stand by him.

And he’s grateful. He knows he needs to make it up to her, to somehow find redemption for himself.

How about a little taste of Rannigan’s Redemption?

This is probably a bad idea.  Maggie stood on the terrace of Michael’s apartment looking out over the city.  It looked magical after dark, all dotted with twinkling lights.  Even the traffic sounds were muted from this height.  Lost in thought as she was, Michael’s voice startled her.

“That’s better.  Can I get you something?”

She turned to see that he’d exchanged his suit for jeans and a faded forest green t-shirt.  His feet were bare.  “Come on in, I’ll pour you something.”

Wordlessly, she followed him back inside the apartment.  Baseball was playing on the huge flat-screen television; the sound was low.  Michael turned to her.  “Relax,” he said, eyes sparkling with amusement.  “We’re not at work anymore.”

He continued on to the bar.  Maggie stopped by the kitchen counter where she’d dropped her purse, stepping out of her black pumps and removing the jacket of her black skirt suit, folding it carefully and laying it over the back of the couch.

She felt vaguely uncomfortable and rubbed her arms, now bare in her sleeveless grey chiffon blouse, as she crossed the room to the bar.  Michael was behind the sleek black counter, his back turned, so she sat on one of the ultra-modern black bar stools, tucking her feet carefully onto the footrest as she noticed the mirrored front of the bar.  He was reaching into the glass-fronted oak cabinet that complimented the apartment’s light hardwood floor.  From this vantage point she could appreciate the way his shirt hugged his torso, the contours of his shoulders and back evident as he moved.

Focus, Maggie.  She cleared her throat.  “This really is a beautiful apartment.”

He glanced over his shoulder.  “But not your style,” he quipped, grinning.

Maggie blushed.  “I like more classical design, of course, but this is very nice,” she said, fidgeting with her bracelet.

Michael turned around and placed two heavy glass tumblers on the counter.  Beside the glasses he placed a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve bourbon.  Maggie frowned slightly and looked up at him.  “This isn’t the same bottle I gave you a few years ago, is it?”

He grinned.  “Yes, it is.”

She shook her head.  “But how…?  I mean, why didn’t you drink it?”  Her face fell.  “You didn’t like it.”

“Are you kidding?  I love this.  I only bring it out for special occasions, for people I know will appreciate it.”  He poured for them both.  “Every year you get me great bourbon, but the year you gave me this?”  He lifted the bottle admiringly.  “You knocked it out of the park.”  He replaced the bottle and walked around the bar to where she sat.  On the bar stool she was as tall as Michael.

Maggie snickered.  “Baseball reference.”

Michael laughed and lifted his glass.  “To baseball, especially my Yankees, may they win the pennant!”  Maggie laughed and touched her glass to his.

“And, to friends,” he added, regarding her warmly.

Maggie sipped quietly, blushing again.  She set down her glass and turned to look out the huge wall of windows, fidgeting absently with her bracelet again.

Michael nodded at her wrist.  “Is that the one I gave you?” he asked.

She looked down, surprised.  “It is.  I forgot that I had it on.  I wear it a lot, actually, but most of the time it’s hidden beneath my sleeves.”  She held it out for him to see.  “I love it.  It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever owned,” she said earnestly.

Michael took her hand and looked closely at the bracelet, fingering the moonstones and turning it around her wrist.  “You should have beautiful things,” he murmured.  He lifted her hand and turned it over, gently pressing her palm to his lips.

Maggie felt her heart pound.  She’d had a lot of bourbon.  That could explain the rush of heat she felt.  It could.  She slowly moved her hand to cup his jaw, feeling the prickle of his ever-present five o’clock shadow.  His soulful brown eyes drew her like a magnet, as though some invisible force pulled her to him, or him to her, it was hard to tell.

“Aw, Mags,” he breathed, just before their lips met.  Like the handful of other times they’d kissed, the heat was instant, the hunger and desperation, tongues seeking and finding.  When he pulled back she was breathless.

“I should probably go,” she whispered.  She slid off the stool and unsteadily stepped away from the bar.  Michael shoved his hands in his pockets and followed her to the kitchen counter where she’d left her things.  Maggie stopped at the counter, her back to him, and she closed her eyes.

“I wish…” he began, and stopped.

Maggie licked her lips, eyes still closed.  “What do you wish?”  Her voice was husky.

Michael lightly caressed her upper arms with his finger tips and nuzzled the back of her neck through her long red hair.  “I wish you didn’t have to go.”

Maggie felt her skin prickle with goosebumps, her nipples tighten and extend.  She felt a surge of moist heat at the apex of her thighs.  Michael brushed aside her hair and streamed tiny kisses down her neck from behind her ear down to her collarbone and as he did, a low whimper escaped her lips.

Maggie turned slowly.  She could see the heat in his eyes and she knew he saw the same reflected in her own.  She placed the flat of her palms on his chest and dragged them slowly down his body to the hem of his shirt.  He felt firm and tight.

Eyes on his, she moved her hands under the shirt, resting them on his belly and he closed his eyes, groaning slightly.  She moved in to kiss the corner of his mouth then traced kisses along the jawline she’d held a moment ago.

Michael pressed into her, pinning her against the counter and he gripped her hair, gently pulling her face up to meet his.  His brown eyes smoldered with desire and he stared into hers briefly before pressing his lips to hers with bruising intensity.

Maggie moved her hands up to touch his face again, to tangle her fingers in his hair, and she kissed him with matching ferocity.  His hand moved to the small of her back, pulling her even closer, his arousal pressing hard against her leg.  Slowly he drew his hand up her body to her breast, which he cupped and kneaded, finding her erect nub and giving it extra attention.

She gasped into his kiss and he broke away from her lips, looking down as he tugged her blouse free from the waist of her skirt and worked the buttons open, exposing her smoke grey lace bra.

He looked back up at her, a question in his eyes.  In response, she pulled up on the hem of his shirt.  Michael grinned and wasted no time whipping the green t-shirt over his head and dropping it on the floor.  Returning his attention to her, he gently traced the lace trim of her bra with his fingers before tugging down the demi-cups, freeing her full, round tits.

“Holy…” he whispered, burying his face between them, kissing her sternum lightly before covering first one pebble-hard nipple then the other with his mouth, suckling and working them with his tongue.

Maggie leaned her head back, moaning with pleasure.  She could feel moisture begin to slide down her legs.  As if he sensed it, Michael moved his hand between her thighs and slid it up to her moist center, caressing her through her panties.

“Oh, God, Michael,” she gasped.

There was concern on his face when he looked up.  “Do you want me to stop?” he asked quietly.

Her eyes flew open.  “No!  Please don’t stop,” she begged.

The Rannigan’s Redemption Collection boxed set launches on July 26, and you can pre-order NOW at these fine online booksellers.

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

Weekend Excerpt–It’s a Mystery!

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Not so long ago I wrote a three-novel story called Rannigan’s Redemption.  The books were released one at a time over the course of about six months.

On July 26, you’ll be able to own the entire collection as a boxed set.  And on July 12, I’ll be revealing the cover.  You’ll see it first here.

For now, here’s an excerpt from Running Rogue, the second book.

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.”

Be sure to check back here on Tuesday for the cover reveal of the new Rannigan’s Redemption Collection Boxed Set!  In the meantime, ‘LIKE‘ me on Facebook–I’m there every day!

Holiday Excerpt–Ransoming Redemption

It’s the 4th of July!  Here in the states, we’re celebrating Independence day.  We’re cooking out, swimming at the beach, and enjoying time with family and friends.

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Rannigan’s Redemption is a three-novel contemporary erotic romance that takes place in Manhattan.  I thought it would be nice to celebrate the 4th of July with Maggie, Bobby, and the Beaulieu clan.  Here’s an excerpt from Ransoming Redemption.

 

Tiny loose gravel crunched beneath her brown leather sandals as Maggie clipped along the pavement.  She paused, scanning the great lawn looking for Bobby.  Anxiously, she dialed him again.  “I still don’t see you,” she said.

“I see you and you look beautiful.  Stay where you are, cher.  I’ll be right there.”

She dropped her phone back into her summer bag and distractedly wiped her palms on the skirt of her sapphire colored sundress.  She glanced down at herself and for the hundredth time that afternoon hoped that the dress was appropriate for a July 4th family celebration.  Bobby had asked her to meet him along with his parents and Savannah for a picnic supper in the park before the fireworks.

Squinting with a hand shading her eyes, she finally saw him striding towards her, lop-sided grin in place, and she let her eyes drink in the way his shoulders and chest were showcased by his fitted brown v-neck t-shirt.  Khaki cargo shorts ended where his muscular calves began, and umber leather deck shoes completed the outfit.

When he reached her, she could see herself reflected in his mirrored aviators.  “You look amazing,” he grinned, scooping her up and whirling her around.

“Thanks, so do you,” she said, glancing around self-consciously as he set her back down.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“I just want your family to like me,” she said softly.  “I don’t want to offend them.”

Taking her hand in his, he kissed it gently.  “They’re going to love you, just like I do.”  Together they left the sidewalk and walked across the grass, dodging picnic blankets that had been placed around like staked claims until they came to a large blanket of blue paisley and edged in blue piping.  Beside the blanket were five folding outdoor chairs, two of which were occupied by a middle aged man and woman.  A small blonde girl sprawled on the blanket, leaving the pink child-sized chair vacant.

Please let them like me, Maggie prayed as they all looked up at her.

Maman, Pop, this is Maggie Flynn.”  Bobby turned to her.  “Maggie, this is my mother and father, Jerilyn and Justin Beaulieu.”

They both stood, and Maggie reached out to shake their hands.  “Mr. and Mrs. Beaulieu, I’m so happy to meet you.”

Jerilyn reached her first and, ignoring the handshake, went straight in for a huge bear hug.  “Oh, ma cher, I have heard so much about you from my son.  I’m glad to finally meet you.  And honey, you can just call me Jerilyn.  Mrs. Beaulieu was my mother-in-law.”

Bobby steadied Maggie with a gentle touch on the small of her back when his mother released her.  Justin hugged Maggie gently and kissed her cheek.  “I can see my boy has good taste.  It’s nice to meet you, Maggie.  I’m Justin.”

“And this,” continued Bobby as he leaned down to scoop up his daughter, “is Savannah.  Can you say hi to Maggie?”

“Hi,” said the little girl shyly as she lay her head on Bobby’s shoulder.

Maggie smiled at her.  “Hello, Savannah.  I’m happy to meet you.”

“Come sit, cher,” Jerilyn said.  “Tell us all about yourself.”

Maggie looked wide-eyed to Bobby who smiled happily as he sat next to Savannah on the blanket.  “I, uh, well…”

The next hour was spent with Maggie answering questions, Bobby interrupting, Jerilyn telling stories from when Bobby and his sisters were growing up, the entire conversation punctuated with laughter.  Maggie realized that she was feeling more and more at ease as the afternoon wore on.

Glancing at Justin, she could see where Bobby got his rugged good looks, thinking to herself that he was probably a foreshadowing of how Bobby would look later in life.  They enjoyed fried chicken and potato salad, freshly made that morning by Jerilyn in Bobby’s kitchen, washing it all down with glasses of sweet tea.  As the sun began to sink, homemade coconut cream pie was served.

“Daddy, I want to go see the water,” Savannah said, pointing to the lake at the bottom of the hill.

“Okay, baby, we can walk down there,” Bobby said.

The little girl shook her head and whispered in his ear.  Bobby’s eyes widened and he looked to Maggie.  “Ask her, then.”

Shyly, Savannah approached Maggie.  “Will you take me to see the water?”

“Um, sure, if that’s okay with your dad,” Maggie answered, surprised.

“You two go on down there,” Bobby told Savannah.  “I’ll meet you there in a while.  And you mind Maggie, you hear?  Be a good girl.”

As they left the picnic blanket, the little girl slipped her hand into Maggie’s and began chattering about the things she’d seen since arriving in the city.  Bobby felt a lump forming in his throat as he watched the two people he loved most in the world walk hand in hand down the hill.

“She’s a nice little girl, Ro-bert,” his mother said.  “I like her very much.  And she loves you, you can see it in her eyes.”

“I love her, too, maman,” he said.

“She’s a real pretty little thing,” his father said.  “Like your maman said, dat ‘tite fille loves you.  Makes me happy to see.”

Silently, they watched as Maggie and Savannah reached the pond.  Together, the two picked up pebbles along the edge and tossed them into the water.

“I’m so happy I could bust,” Bobby said, grinning.

“Go to them,” Jerilyn said.  “We’ll be fine right here, won’t we, Papa?”

They watched as their son strode down the hill towards Maggie and Savannah.  When he reached them, he pulled Maggie close for a tender kiss before lifting Savannah up to sit on his shoulders.  The trio began making their way back to the picnic blanket but stopped at some sort of vendor’s stand.  Ten minutes later they returned.

“What took so long?  I saw you start coming back a long time ago,” Jerilyn commented to Savannah.

“We buyed some presents,” she answered excitedly.

“Presents?” her grandmother exclaimed.  “Mercy me!”

“My girls wanted jewelry,” Bobby grinned.  “How could I say no?”

Savannah scampered to Justin and Jerilyn with a small plastic bag.  “This is for you, Papa,” she said, handing him a blue plastic glow necklace.  “This one is for Nana,” she said, handing Jerilyn a purple one.  “Daddy gets the yellow one,” she added, handing one to Bobby, “and Maggie gets the red one, ’cause her hair is red.”  She removed the remaining necklace as the adults laughed.  “And this one is mine, ’cause I love pink the bestest.”

“Perfect, ma ‘tite cher,” Justin said, grinning at his granddaughter.  He dutifully put on the necklace, as did everyone else.  The plastic rings around their necks glowed brighter in the growing dusk.

“Cool!” Savannah exclaimed as she took her seat in her pink chair.

Maggie giggled.  “We’re styling and profiling.”

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When the fireworks started, Savannah climbed onto Bobby’s lap.  He kissed her head gently and reached for Maggie’s hand as they watched the extensive pyrotechnic display.  A satisfied sigh escaped his lips.  This is what contentment feels like, right here, he thought as he glanced at Maggie.

Her eyes were on the sky and the light of the fireworks reflected on her face.  When she turned suddenly and caught him staring, she flashed him her brightest smile before leaning over to kiss him.

Following the fireworks show, Maggie helped gather up the chairs and picnic supplies.  Savannah had passed out and Bobby held the sleeping child against his shoulder.  They all began to make their way back to the street among the throngs of people leaving the park.

Once they were a block away from the celebration, Bobby turned to his parents.  “Your hotel is about three blocks that way,” he pointed.  “My apartment is five more blocks this way.”  He nodded his head in the opposite direction, speaking softly to avoid waking Savannah.

“Oh,” said Maggie, surprised.  “I thought you were staying with Bobby.”

“We’re being treated to a night in a fancy hotel,” beamed Jerilyn.  “Just us grownups,” she added, winking at Justin.  “We’re booked for a couples massage later tonight.”

“How nice!” Maggie grinned.  “I hope you enjoy it.”

“I’m sure we will,” said Justin, smiling.  “I’m so happy to finally meet you, Maggie.”

“I’m happy to meet you, too,” Maggie returned, hugging them both.

“Now, cher,” Jerilyn said seriously, “you will come down to Louisiana for Thanksgiving.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Maggie answered.  “I’m looking forward to it.”  Bobby and Maggie watched as his parents walked arm in arm heading for their hotel.

“They’re so nice,” she told him as they turned and made their own way toward Bobby’s apartment building.

“They really liked you, too, cher.”

Minutes later they were stepping into the elevator for the ride to the twenty-first floor.  Bobby shifted Savannah’s weight slightly, trying to find a more comfortable position.  Maggie carried four chairs, their bags slung two over each shoulder, with the child-sized chair in her hands.  She looked up and Bobby was grinning at her.  “Stay the night, cher.”

She frowned slightly.  “But what about…” she whispered, nodding at the sleeping child.

“Stay,” he grinned.

Ransoming Redemption, the last book of the Rannigan’s Redemption series,  is available at these fine online booksellers.

Amazon, iBooks, B&N, Kobo, & Smashwords

Weekend Excerpt–Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale

Smashwords is having their Summer/Winter Sale throughout the month of July.  You can save on hundreds of books in all genres.  For example, Resisting Risk, the first novel in the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy, is 75% off.

Curious?  Here’s an excerpt to tempt you.

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With the concert over, the dj was back in position and guests were taking advantage of the dance floor situated at the opposite end of the dinner tent from Michael’s table.  Michael and Maggie dodged enthusiastic dancers as they headed back to check on Ben.

White candles on the tables and white paper lanterns hung along the sides of the tent washed the scene in soft light.  Nearby trees had been strung with tiny sparkling lights and with nightfall the place took on the appearance of a fairyland.

Ben was asleep with his head on the table when Michael and Maggie returned.  The Murphys and the Methenys arrived at the table just behind them and their return caused Ben to stir slightly.

“Did you see Diamond Dave?” Pam gushed excitedly.  “He’s still so hot!”

“I didn’t see him but I heard him.  He sounds great,” Maggie commented.

“Michael, we’re going to be heading out.  We still have to get back to the city and pay the babysitters while we can still afford it,” Brian laughed and he moved around the table to shake Michael’s hand.  Pam and Renee gathered their purses and wraps.

“Did you guys share a car?” Michael asked.  “I didn’t realize.  Well, hey, I’m glad you made it out tonight.  We should go out together more often.”  He shook Jim’s hand and pecked Pam and Renee on the cheeks.

“Maggie, it was lovely meeting you,” Renee said.  “We’ll all get together for lunch or something.”

“That sounds great.  It was nice meeting you as well.  Safe travels,” Maggie said.  They stood and watched the foursome leave.

Maggie looked down at Ben, who was still asleep.  “I’m so sorry, Michael.  I never dreamed he’d be like this.”

Michael waved off the apology.  “Never apologize for someone else.  At least he’s quiet.”  They both laughed lightly.

“I should probably try to get him moving so we can go,” Maggie said.  “Ben, wake up.  Come on, seriously, we should be going.”

Michael watched her attempt to wake the sleeping Ben.  As she leaned forward over the table her tits came precariously close to spilling out of the deep v neckline and Michael was mesmerized, feeling himself become aroused.

“Hey Mags, let him sleep.  I’m stuck waiting here until my car returns.  Let’s hang out and you two can ride back with me.  Besides, they’re supposed to have fireworks in about an hour.”

“Really?”  Maggie gave a relieved smile.  “I wasn’t sure how I was going to get him home on the train.  I sort of pictured tossing him over my shoulder firefighter style.”

They both laughed as Michael removed his jacket and loosened his tie, placing the jacket on the back of the chair beside him.  He flagged down a waiter and quietly said something Maggie didn’t catch.  The waiter nodded.  “I’ll be right back, sir.”

Michael motioned to a chair beside him.  “Come, relax.”  As Maggie moved to Michael’s side of the table, the waiter returned with a bottle of wine and two glasses.  He opened the wine and offered it to Michael.

“That’s fine, thanks, I’ll take it from here,” he said, handing the man a generous tip.  Michael poured as Maggie sat beside him, their chairs facing each other.

She leaned an elbow on the table.  “That’s some service,” she commented.

He shrugged.  “You just have to ask nicely,” he said.  “Too many people behave like assholes.  Everybody likes to be treated with courtesy.”

They sipped without speaking for a while, enjoying the music from the other end of the tent.  Maggie spoke up.  “The Murphys and the Methenys were very charming.  I liked Pam and Renee.”

Michael nodded.  “Yeah, they’re good people.  Although the girls looked like bored house fraus out for a night on the town.”

Maggie let out a surprised laugh and playfully slapped his arm.  “They did not, they were lovely!”

“Just calling them like I see them,” Michael chuckled.

“Well I thought they were sweet.  And it’s sweet they had to get home to their kids.  They’re such nice families.”

Michael rolled his eyes.  “Don’t tell me.  Mary Margaret Flynn aspires to be a member of the Dowdy House Frau Club.  Ah, yes, the white picket fence, the 2.3 kids, the cocker spaniel.  You’d give up your career and move to the suburbs?”

Maggie blinked and spluttered, “The what?  I don’t…I mean you can’t just…”

He laughed heartily.  “Okay, Mags, don’t blow a gasket.  I’m just pulling your chain.”

“I’m not talking about giving up my career or moving.  People raise families in the city.  They do it all the time.  Don’t you want all that?  You know, a home, a wife, kids.  I mean, sometime, not now.  But seriously, Michael.  You mock all that like it’s pointless.”

He shook his head gravely.  “No.  I absolutely do not want that.  I like my life just as it is.  I come and go as I please.  I spend my money as I please.  If I want to go out, I do.  Otherwise I stay in alone.”

She regarded him seriously.  “But you don’t want to grow old alone.  Don’t you want someone to be there for you when life gets difficult?”

“I would think you of all people would get it,” Michael said, draining his wine and pouring another glass.  “People let you down.  They leave you and you have to fend for yourself.  It’s just easier this way.  You know what you’re getting.”

“Being alone in the world was never my choice.  And I hope to find someone to build a life with, to create a family with, if only to do better than what I had growing up,” she replied passionately.

“Your date tonight is an unconscious gay guy.  And how are you doing on that family thing?” he asked darkly.

Maggie swigged the rest of her wine.  “Well, it’s easier said than done,” she acknowledged quietly.

They drank in silence for a while, the mood between them soured.

“You know, Dan likes you,” Michael offered.

Maggie laughed.  “He doesn’t.”

“He does.  He told me so.  Asked me if it would be breaking firm policy to ask you out.”

“I wouldn’t go out with him,” Maggie said firmly.

“Why not?” Michael wondered.  “He’s a nice guy.”

“He’s a very nice guy.  I’m just not attracted to him.  It wouldn’t be right,” she answered.

Michael shook his head, bewildered.  They settled into quietly listening to the music as they sipped their wine.

Recognizing the intro to the next song, Maggie cried out, “Oh! Moon Dance!  I love Van Morrison.”

Michael gave her a sideways glance and held out his hand.  “Come on, Mags.  Dance with me.”

She took his hand as he helped her to her feet and she giggled self-consciously, her several glasses of wine causing her to wobble a little as they walked to the dance floor.  He turned to face her, placing his right hand on the small of her back and holding up her right hand in his left.

Maggie giggled again.  “So formal, Mr. Rannigan,” she smiled up at him.

He crooked an eyebrow at her.  “I’ve had lessons, Ms. Flynn.”  They began moving around the dance floor, swaying to the beat of the music.  Michael crooned along and made Maggie laugh by spinning her several times then pulling her close.  At one point he suddenly dipped her backwards, causing her to whoop in surprise.  Nearby dancers applauded as he pulled her back up and held her to him.  He could feel her heart pounding as she caught her breath.

“God, you smell good,” she whispered against his neck.

“That, Ms. Flynn,” he teased, “is because I showered and put on clean clothes today.”  His wit was rewarded by Maggie’s laughter.

Van Morrison finished moondancing and he was replaced by Eric Clapton singing about a woman who looks wonderful tonight.  Maggie stopped dancing and stepped back from Michael.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

She shook her head.  “I don’t know, Michael, it’s a slow song.” Maggie gazed up at him sheepishly, the self-conscious look back in place.

His soft brown eyes burned into hers.  “I’m not done.  And you do, you know.  You look wonderful tonight.”

Without waiting for her to reply, he once again pulled her close to himself with one hand on the small of her back, the other gripping her right hand and pulling it in to his collar bone, brushing it across his lips in the process.  He could feel her breath against his neck, then she sighed quietly and rested her head on his shoulder.  He hummed the rest of the song and when it was over, he continued holding her close.

A loud whistle followed by an explosion jarred them both as the fireworks display began over the water.  Michael released her and she stepped back.  “That was…” Maggie looked up into his face, eyes shining, “nice.”

He grinned down at her.  “Yes, it was.  Shall we go watch the fireworks?”

Resisting Risk is 75% off at Smashwords through the end of July.  Here’s the LINK.

 

Weekend Excerpt–Rannigan’s Redemption

ipadmini_707x1018Rannigan’s Redemption is a three-novel epic about the complicated relationship between hot-shot Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and fiery redheaded fellow lawyer Maggie Flynn.

This excerpt is from the first book, Resisting Risk.  Be forewarned…

Maggie has something of a potty mouth.

Maggie was happy to wake up in her own bed Monday morning.  She was also glad that Michael had insisted that she take the extra day.  Truthfully she was tired, and she was sick of having to cover up so carefully.  She studied her neck in the bathroom mirror.  The bruises had faded from deep purple to a pale yellow-green.  Another couple of turtleneck days should do it. 

Maggie cleaned her immaculate kitchen, reorganized her shoes, and paid a few bills, but when she looked at the clock, only forty-five minutes had passed.  She sighed and sank onto the couch, clicking on the television.  A flip through the channels revealed talk-fests and game shows.  I’m bored out of my mind.  Maybe I’ll just go in and check email and that kind of thing.  I probably won’t even see anyone. 

It was noon when Maggie exited the elevator on the 50th floor.  She’d dressed in a purple turtleneck and charcoal slacks, a scarf with a purple paisley design accenting her neck.  Karen wasn’t at her desk.  Probably at lunch, Maggie thought, and she went directly to her office.

Opening the door, she started to toss her bag on the desk when she realized someone was sitting there.  Her arm stopped mid-swing, her eyes wide, and she looked back at the door, frowning.  “May I help you?” she asked.

The guy was about her age with brown hair and eyes.  He looked startled.  “Um, no, thanks.  I’m okay for now.”

Maggie raised an eyebrow.  “You’re in my office.”

“Oh, you must be Maggie,” he said.  “Mr. Rannigan said you wouldn’t be in until tomorrow.”

“And yet, here I stand today,” Maggie replied in an irritated tone.  She turned and marched down the hall to Michael’s office.  At his closed door she hesitated.  He might be with a client, she considered.  Fuck that!  Some dude is in my office. 

She threw open the door with enough force to swing all the way open and it crashed into the wall behind it.

Michael, seated at his desk and concentrating on his computer, jumped.

“What the fuck, Michael?!” Maggie demanded.

“And it’s nice to see you, too, Mags,” he replied with a grin.  “Welcome back.  We didn’t expect to see you until tomorrow.”  He met her at the door and ushered her into the reception area.

“I can tell you didn’t expect me until tomorrow.  I didn’t expect some guy to be in my office today,” Maggie ranted.

Michael put up both hands in defense.  “Calm down, Mags, everything’s okay.”

Maggie shook her finger in his face.  “Don’t you tell me to motherfucking calm down!  If you were going to fire me…”

“Fire you?” he frowned.

“You could at least have done it on Wednesday instead of waiting until I come in and find my office occupied by some…”

Michael continued to guide her down the hall.  “That’s Josh, we just brought him up from downstairs,” he explained calmly.

“I don’t care where he came from, he can just take his skinny little ass right back…”

“Mags…”

“Because as far as I know I still have a contract…”

“Maggie…”

“You can’t just push me out, I’ve worked way too hard…”

“Mary Margaret!  Stop talking,” Michael interrupted.  They’d stopped in front of the door to what used to be John Hemphill’s office.  He pushed it open.  “This is your new office.”

Maggie stopped mid-sentence.  She was looking into the most beautiful room she’d ever seen.  It was a confection of lavender and cream and eggplant.  On the far side of the room next to the floor to ceiling windows, there was a silver chandelier over a small ecru French desk.  On the desk was a white and purple orchid in a shallow lavender bowl.  Purple drapes and cream sheers framed the wall of glass.  Nearer the door there was a seating area with a cream sofa accented with lavender and purple pillows fronted by a glass coffee table.  On the other side of the room was a small glass conference table and four purple upholstered chairs.  The new pale hardwood floor was arranged in a herringbone pattern.

“It looks like an office in Paris,” Maggie breathed.  She crossed the room to examine a pair of large framed photographs.  Gasping, she looked back at Michael.

He smiled at her.  “Florence,” he said.  “This is why I wanted you to wait until tomorrow.  The furniture was delivered this morning.  We literally just got it finished.”

Maggie’s eyes were wide.  “I don’t understand,” she said.

“Let’s go to lunch.  We’ll talk about everything,” Michael said.

Rannigan’s Redemption 1: Resisting Risk is available at Amazon, iBooks, B&N, Kobo, & Smashwords.

Weekend Excerpt–Running Rogue

bigstock-Beautiful-Couple-Kissing-Passi-101305661.jpgErotic romance novel Running Rogue is the second book of the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy.  It begins where the first book, Resisting Risk, leaves off.  Maggie makes a sudden decision to leave the law firm for a job with the prosecutor’s office, leaving Michael in a tailspin.  Jarred by the changes, they’re both making rash, sometimes destructive, decisions as they lead separate lives.

Then comes news that shakes Michael to his core.  Having surrounded himself with people as shallow as he is, he finds that he has nowhere to turn.

Here’s an excerpt from Running Rogue.  *Warning:  This excerpt contains spoilers.

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?”

Michael sat up, sniffing and using the towel to wipe his face.  “Shit.”  He coughed and took a sip of coffee.  “I have to be there at 1:30.”

Maggie looked over to where her files still sat scattered in the living room.  She knew they probably represented ten hours of work for the following day and sighed heavily.  “Where is the doctor’s office?”

“It’s on E. 80th between 2nd and 3rd.”

She nodded.  “Okay.  I’ll tell Rance that I have to leave at lunch.  I’ll meet you there.”

“I can’t ask you to do that,” Michael said quickly, but he looked at her with such gratitude she felt the sting of tears in her eyes and a huge lump formed in her throat.

She coughed lightly.  “You didn’t ask, although you seem to have asked everyone else in your Contacts, and I’m going to try not to take that personally,” she said.  “I’m offering.  Take it or leave it.”

Michael smiled thinly.  “I’ve missed your smartass.  I’d be so glad to have you with me.”

Maggie nodded.  “Done.  But if for some reason I’m running late, you go on in.  I’ll be there.  I promise.”  She took his plate and warmed it in the microwave before placing it in front of him again.  “Now finish this up.  I’m calling you a cab and sending you on your way.”

Running Rogue Cover

Running Rogue, along with the rest of Rannigan’s Redemption, is available on Amazon, iTunes, B&N, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Rannigan’s Redemption–The Story Is Complete!

Last Monday, the final chapter of Rannigan’s Redemption went live on the usual ebook sites. Rannigan’s Redemption is a three-part erotic romance chronicling the complicated relationship between high-profile Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and fellow lawyer Maggie Flynn.  The story spans nearly ten years of their lives.

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Today’s excerpt is from the first book, Resisting Risk.

With the concert over, the dj was back in position and guests were taking advantage of the dance floor situated at the opposite end of the dinner tent from Michael’s table.  Michael and Maggie dodged enthusiastic dancers as they headed back to check on Ben.

White candles on the tables and white paper lanterns hung along the sides of the tent washed the scene in soft light.  Nearby trees had been strung with tiny sparkling lights and with nightfall the place took on the appearance of a fairyland.

Ben was asleep with his head on the table when Michael and Maggie returned.  The Murphys and the Methenys arrived at the table just behind them and their return caused Ben to stir slightly.

“Did you see Diamond Dave?” Pam gushed excitedly.  “He’s still so hot!”

“I didn’t see him but I heard him.  He sounds great,” Maggie commented.

“Michael, we’re going to be heading out.  We still have to get back to the city and pay the babysitters while we can still afford it,” Brian laughed and he moved around the table to shake Michael’s hand.  Pam and Renee gathered their purses and wraps.

“Did you guys share a car?” Michael asked.  “I didn’t realize.  Well, hey, I’m glad you made it out tonight.  We should go out together more often.”  He shook Jim’s hand and pecked Pam and Renee on the cheeks.

“Maggie, it was lovely meeting you,” Renee said.  “We’ll all get together for lunch or something.”

“That sounds great.  It was nice meeting you as well.  Safe travels,” Maggie said.  They stood and watched the foursome leave.

Maggie looked down at Ben, who was still asleep.  “I’m so sorry, Michael.  I never dreamed he’d be like this.”

Michael waved off the apology.  “Never apologize for someone else.  At least he’s quiet.”  They both laughed lightly.

“I should probably try to get him moving so we can go,” Maggie said.  “Ben, wake up.  Come on, seriously, we should be going.”

Michael watched her attempt to wake the sleeping Ben.  As she leaned forward over the table her tits came precariously close to spilling out of the deep v neckline and Michael was mesmerized, feeling himself become aroused.

“Hey Mags, let him sleep.  I’m stuck waiting here until my car returns.  Let’s hang out and you two can ride back with me.  Besides, they’re supposed to have fireworks in about an hour.”

“Really?”  Maggie gave a relieved smile.  “I wasn’t sure how I was going to get him home on the train.  I sort of pictured tossing him over my shoulder firefighter style.”

They both laughed as Michael removed his jacket and loosened his tie, placing the jacket on the back of the chair beside him.  He flagged down a waiter and quietly said something Maggie didn’t catch.  The waiter nodded.  “I’ll be right back, sir.”

Michael motioned to a chair beside him.  “Come, relax.”  As Maggie moved to Michael’s side of the table, the waiter returned with a bottle of wine and two glasses.  He opened the wine and offered it to Michael.

“That’s fine, thanks, I’ll take it from here,” he said, handing the man a generous tip.  Michael poured as Maggie sat beside him, their chairs facing each other.

She leaned an elbow on the table.  “That’s some service,” she commented.

He shrugged.  “You just have to ask nicely,” he said.  “Too many people behave like assholes.  Everybody likes to be treated with courtesy.”

They sipped without speaking for a while, enjoying the music from the other end of the tent.  Maggie spoke up.  “The Murphys and the Methenys were very charming.  I liked Pam and Renee.”

Michael nodded.  “Yeah, they’re good people.  Although the girls looked like bored house fraus out for a night on the town.”

Maggie let out a surprised laugh and playfully slapped his arm.  “They did not, they were lovely!”

“Just calling them like I see them,” Michael chuckled.

“Well I thought they were sweet.  And it’s sweet they had to get home to their kids.  They’re such nice families.”

Michael rolled his eyes.  “Don’t tell me.  Mary Margaret Flynn aspires to be a member of the Dowdy House Frau Club.  Ah, yes, the white picket fence, the 2.3 kids, the cocker spaniel.  You’d give up your career and move to the suburbs?”

Maggie blinked and spluttered, “The what?  I don’t…I mean you can’t just…”

He laughed heartily.  “Okay, Mags, don’t blow a gasket.  I’m just pulling your chain.”

“I’m not talking about giving up my career or moving.  People raise families in the city.  They do it all the time.  Don’t you want all that?  You know, a home, a wife, kids.  I mean, sometime, not now.  But seriously, Michael.  You mock all that like it’s pointless.”

He shook his head gravely.  “No.  I absolutely do not want that.  I like my life just as it is.  I come and go as I please.  I spend my money as I please.  If I want to go out, I do.  Otherwise I stay in alone.”

She regarded him seriously.  “But you don’t want to grow old alone.  Don’t you want someone to be there for you when life gets difficult?”

“I would think you of all people would get it,” Michael said, draining his wine and pouring another glass.  “People let you down.  They leave you and you have to fend for yourself.  It’s just easier this way.  You know what you’re getting.”

“Being alone in the world was never my choice.  And I hope to find someone to build a life with, to create a family with, if only to do better than what I had growing up,” she replied passionately.

“Your date tonight is an unconscious gay guy.  And how are you doing on that family thing?” he asked darkly.

Maggie swigged the rest of her wine.  “Well, it’s easier said than done,” she acknowledged quietly.

They drank in silence for a while, the mood between them soured.

“You know, Dan likes you,” Michael offered.

Maggie laughed.  “He doesn’t.”

“He does.  He told me so.  Asked me if it would be breaking firm policy to ask you out.”

“I wouldn’t go out with him,” Maggie said firmly.

“Why not?” Michael wondered.  “He’s a nice guy.”

“He’s a very nice guy.  I’m just not attracted to him.  It wouldn’t be right,” she answered.

Michael shook his head, bewildered.  They settled into quietly listening to the music as they sipped their wine.

Recognizing the intro to the next song, Maggie cried out, “Oh! Moon Dance!  I love Van Morrison.”

Michael gave her a sideways glance and held out his hand.  “Come on, Mags.  Dance with me.”

She took his hand as he helped her to her feet and she giggled self-consciously, her several glasses of wine causing her to wobble a little as they walked to the dance floor.  He turned to face her, placing his right hand on the small of her back and holding up her right hand in his left.

Maggie giggled again.  “So formal, Mr. Rannigan,” she smiled up at him.

He crooked an eyebrow at her.  “I’ve had lessons, Ms. Flynn.”  They began moving around the dance floor, swaying to the beat of the music.  Michael crooned along and made Maggie laugh by spinning her several times then pulling her close.  At one point he suddenly dipped her backwards, causing her to whoop in surprise.  Nearby dancers applauded as he pulled her back up and held her to him.  He could feel her heart pounding as she caught her breath.

“God, you smell good,” she whispered against his neck.

“That, Ms. Flynn,” he teased, “is because I showered and put on clean clothes today.”  His wit was rewarded by Maggie’s laughter.

Van Morrison finished moondancing and he was replaced by Eric Clapton singing about a woman who looks wonderful tonight.  Maggie stopped dancing and stepped back from Michael.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

She shook her head.  “I don’t know, Michael, it’s a slow song.” Maggie gazed up at him sheepishly, the self-conscious look back in place.

His soft brown eyes burned into hers.  “I’m not done.  And you do, you know.  You look wonderful tonight.”

Without waiting for her to reply, he once again pulled her close to himself with one hand on the small of her back, the other gripping her right hand and pulling it in to his collar bone, brushing it across his lips in the process.  He could feel her breath against his neck, then she sighed quietly and rested her head on his shoulder.  He hummed the rest of the song and when it was over, he continued holding her close.

A loud whistle followed by an explosion jarred them both as the fireworks display began over the water.  Michael released her and she stepped back.  “That was…” Maggie looked up into his face, eyes shining, “nice.”

He grinned down at her.  “Yes, it was.  Shall we go watch the fireworks?”

Resisting Risk, Running Rogue, and Ransoming Redemption are available here.

 

 

Watch This Space–A. M. Manay

AM Manay banner

A. M. Manay, author of intelligent paranormal fantasy, just released She Lights Up the Dark, the follow-up to her smash hit, She Dies at the End.

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I was fortunate enough to snag an ARC and I absolutely loved it!  Here’s my review.

I loved this book!  I have to say that from the beginning.  I’m not generally a reader of vampires and werewolves, but this book sucked me in from the opening sentence: “Her gift stalked her, even in the ground.”

November Snow, the clairvoyant ‘she’ of She Dies at the End, Book 1 of the November Snow series, was saved at the last minute by vampire Ilyn, who changed her.  But now that she’s clawed her way out of the grave, she’s been rendered invisible to those closest to her by the evil Luka.  She’s on her own to figure out this new immortal life.  And she has to try to stop Luka and his plans for destruction.

In this book, supernatural creatures live mostly unnoticed among humans.  The battle of good versus evil is intense, and ordinary people have no idea that imminent disaster is upon them unless someone acts quickly and decisively.

Author A. M. Manay has woven an imaginative, captivating tale that is fast-paced, thrilling, and at times heart-breaking.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  She Lights Up the Dark is highly recommended.

I suppose I had certain expectations about reading a vampire/werewolf paranormal fantasy, but A.M. Manay weaves such rich characters that you feel what it’s like to be them, to be in their skin.

This is a letter written from the perspective of fairy warrior Pine to Matt, his late husband.  Pine is one of the primary characters in A.M. Manay’s November Snow Series.  The letter provides hints about the plot of the second book in the paranormal tale, She Lights Up the Dark, which was released yesterday, April 19, 2016.  To learn more about the characters mentioned here, you can also read the first book in the series, She Dies at the End, or the short story collection She Sees in Her Sleep.

 

Dear Matt,

It’s funny.  I thought I’d be sad spending this much time in your RV.  I’ve barely set foot in it since you died, but I couldn’t make myself get rid of it, either.  Just kept maintaining the engine out of habit, but it was too painful to drive it anywhere.  But it’s been nice, actually.  I feel like you would approve of our mission and our makeshift little family.

I think you would approve of Hector, too.  My parents, though, I wonder what they would say if they knew . . .  They were okay with the human husband eventually, but a werewolf boyfriend?  That’ll be hard for them to swallow.  If I ever actually get to first base, that is.  It’s cool.  I’m three hundred years old.  I can wait him out.

And God, has he been through a lot.  He refuses to talk about it around Zinnia.  I think he’s afraid he’ll upset her, but, of course, she can already feel his pain.  But sometimes if he and I go off to do something just the two of us, I can get him to open up a little.  It helps if I talk about my own history, all the wars and the miscarriages with my ex-wife and all.  Willow’s betrayal.  These letters I write to you.  I guess it makes him feel like not such a weirdo for having feelings.

Zinnia and Carlos seem to be doing okay, considering.  He gives her something to focus on, which is good, what with our mission going so poorly, and her missing November so much.  He’s starting to smile some, have fewer nightmares.  It’s going to be a long road, though.

I can’t stop cursing myself for letting Willow get away.  If I had been a little faster with the mace, she wouldn’t still be around causing so much trouble.  I thought she was my friend.  My best friend, other than you.  I try to tell myself that Luka would have just found some other way to screw us all over even if I had taken care of Willow.  But still, it hurts to think of November . . .

It’s my turn at the wheel, so that’s enough for now.  Love you, Matthew.  Always.

 

ammanayheadshot

Author Links for A.M. Manay

She Dies at the End: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0112S00KI

She Sees in Her Sleep: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019EG1NWE

She Lights Up the Dark: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BQGGBMW

Website: www.ammanay.net

Fan email list: November’s News

Facebook: facebook.com/ammanaywrites

Twitter: @ammanay

Instagram: instagram.com/a.m.manay

Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/ammanay

 

Launch Day! Ransoming Redemption!

RR3 out today

Ransoming Redemption, the third and final book in the Rannigan’s Redemption erotic romance triology, is out TODAY!  It’s the conclusion of the story about high-powered Manhattan attorney and inveterate player Michael Rannigan, and his complicated relationship with fellow lawyer Maggie Flynn.

It’s gotten great advance buzz:

I received the ARC of Ransoming Redemption. A privilege for sure. With how Running Rogue ended, I was itching to see what happened to Michael, and if Maggie and Beau fell in love. I must tell you, that there are very few books that made me bawl like a baby. One was Fine Things by Daniel Steele. And that’s who Pandora Spocks’ writing can be compared to. Steele, Jackie Collins. She’s one of the finest Indie writer I’ve met.

In the Finale of Rannigan’s Redemption, Michael Rannigan, a successful, handsome rake tries to make up for his mistakes. In Book 2, he was faced with a challenge that he was forced to face alone – cause he was such an as*h*le – except for Maggie. She stood by him and Michael was determined to make it up to her. He will get his redemption.

Pandora Spocks is an erotic romance writer, and there are hot scenes in this series. But never will you feel that you’re reading smut. The erotic scenes are tasteful, appropriate and darn effective. People make love and so the scenes are there. But more than that, the story touches on many of our personal issues. The fear that we may not have done right in our life, our fear of being alone, our fear of losing the ones we love, and our fear of falling in love and maybe finding the happiness we seek.

This series had such an impact on me. The finale is an emotional powerhouse that made me cry for 2 hours. Yes, while reading. Awesome. Definitely the best book I’ve read so far this year.

Highly recommended must read series.

–Eeva Lancaster, The Book Khaleesi

Ransoming Redemption, along with the rest of the Rannigan’s Redemption series, is available TODAY at these fine online booksellers.

Amazon, iBooks, B&N, Kobo, & Smashwords

Ransoming Redemption Excerpt

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Ransoming Redemption launches on Monday, April 18.  It’s the conclusion of Rannigan’s Redemption, the three-book erotic romance series about hot-shot Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan and his complicated relationship with spunky fellow lawyer Maggie Flynn.

I’m afraid the final exclusive excerpt before launch day is a naughty one.  Sorry.

Not really sorry.  😉

Later that evening, after the kitchen had been thoroughly cleaned and leftovers had been packed away, the four Beaulieu daughters along with their husbands and children said their goodnights and went their separate ways.  Suddenly the house seemed empty and quiet.  Jerilyn and Justin retired to the den to watch a holiday movie on television and Bobby put Savannah to bed, but not without a song from Maggie.

Pulling Savannah’s door closed, Bobby winked at Maggie.  “Now, cher, there’s something I want to show you.”

Ten minutes later they were driving away from the house in the rented pickup truck, country music playing softly on the radio.  “You want to show me something we have to drive to?” Maggie asked.

His smile said he was pleased with himself.  “It’s not too far.”

Soon they were driving in an older neighborhood populated with small family homes set closely together.  Most were well-kept and a few had apparently used the holiday to get a jump on setting out their Christmas decorations.  Maggie smiled out the window at wicker reindeer lit with twinkling white lights, inflated Santas and other cartoon characters lit from within, and roofs outlined in sparkling icicle lights.

Bobby pulled to a stop in front of a nondescript split level with brick on the bottom and white clapboard on the top.  Black shutters framed the three visible windows.  A large tree stood in the front, skeletal in the cool fall air.  Maggie looked back to Bobby questioningly.

“This is the home where I grew up,” he said quietly.  He looked at Maggie.  “We were happy here.  Crowded, because there are only three bedrooms and a bath and a half, but we were happy.”  He smiled as he looked out across the brown lawn.  “See that tree right there?  It’s a maple.  I planted it from a seed when I was about five.  Savannah’s age now,” he reflected.

Maggie smiled too, envisioning five-year-old Bobby slowing down long enough to plant a seed in a paper cup.  “Your mom said that you built their house.”

Bobby gazed down at his hands on the steering wheel.  “My dad worked on the off-shore oil rigs, was gone for months at a time.  Maman taught school.  We never had two nickels to rub together, and they worked so hard, both of them.  We never lacked anything we needed, but it was always tight.  Then Pop got hurt and couldn’t work anymore.”

He looked back to Maggie, his eyes shining.  “They always sacrificed so much for all of us.  I didn’t want them to ever worry about their home.  And I figured, hell, might as well make it big enough for everybody.” Bobby laughed lightly.

Maggie smiled at him proudly.  “You’re a good son.  A good man.”  She slid across the bench seat and leaned up to kiss him deeply.  Leaning back she said, “Thank you for showing me this.”

He sighed.  “I just want you to know who I am, where I come from.”  His eyes took on a mischievous sparkle.  “But this isn’t all I wanted to show you.”  Putting the truck back in gear, he drove away from the quiet neighborhood and pulled back onto a highway.

Fifteen minutes later the terrain grew less populated, and they were passing endless oak trees bare of leaves but dripping with Spanish moss that glowed eerily in the moonlight.

“Where are we going?” Maggie asked curiously.  Bobby winked at her as he pulled off the highway onto an unpaved road, the truck bouncing as he slowly made his way over potholes.  Eventually the dirt track opened up into a clearing at the edge of a marsh.

Bobby turned off the truck engine and grinned.  “This, cher, is where I passed a good deal of my misspent youth.  We’d come out here and go fishing or frog-gigging.  But at night, it can be very romantic.  Come on.”  He jumped out and came around to open Maggie’s door.  She took his hand and slid down to the ground.

Bobby kissed her warmly and grinned.  “I’ve wanted to bring you here since the first time we kissed.”  He led her around to the back of the truck and lowered the tailgate.

Maggie noticed for the first time that the bed wasn’t empty.  Tucked against the cab of the truck was a small cooler and a sleeping bag.  She looked back to Bobby, her eyes wide.

He grinned at her.  “It’s a beautiful night with a full moon, cher.  Just right for strawberry wine.”

He hopped up into the bed of the truck and help her climb up beside him.  Together they stood looking out over the marsh shining silver in the light of the moon.  He wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her to himself, lifting her chin with a finger.  “You’re so pretty,” he breathed before covering her lips with his own.  Pulling her closer he deepened his kiss as Maggie opened her mouth to welcome his searching tongue, giving herself over completely.  She allowed her head to loll back as he trailed kisses down the side of her neck and she felt her core become drenched with desire.

Maggie was breathless when he released her.  She watched as he rolled out the sleeping bag and she stooped to help him spread it out.  He sat and patted the space beside him.

“Come get comfortable,” he grinned as he opened the cooler and removed a bottle of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill along with a couple of plastic cups.

“Red Solo cups?  Seriously?” Maggie laughed as she sat beside him, her legs curled beside her.

“Oh, cher, we’re going for authenticity,” he returned.  He handed her a cup and touched his to hers.  “To my sweet strawberry wine.”  Maggie took a sip and looked up to see Bobby’s eyes burning into hers.  He took her cup again and put it down beside his.

“You aren’t the first girl I’ve ever brought here.”  He smiled ruefully.  “But I want you to be the last.”  With that, he lay her back and leaned over her looking down.  “I want to see the moonlight on your beautiful body,” he whispered, raising her arms above her head.  Slowly, he peeled off her layers until she lay bare before him, glowing in the light that bathed her skin.

Bobby drank in the sight of her breasts with their points puckered and sharp in the cool night air, her flat belly that ended at her smooth pussy, and he looked back up to her green eyes that gazed back at him, sparkling with desire.  “You take my breath away, cher.”  He knelt up and removed his shirt and jeans quickly.

“Oh, Bobby,” she whispered as he pressed her legs apart with his body and held himself over her, his hardness teasing her entrance.  “I love you so much.”

Bébé, tu es toute pour moi,” he murmured as he slowly entered her, his eyes never leaving hers.

Maggie brought her knees up, eager to have him inside her as far as he’d go.  “God, I love it when you do that,” she hissed.

Bobby’s movements became more intense, his thrusting more urgent, spurred on by Maggie’s moans of pleasure.  Buried deeply in her sex, he felt her grip his cock more tightly as her moment neared.

“Oh, Bobby, oh my…”

“Do it, baby, come for me,” he urged her softly.

Maggie shattered as her climax rolled through her body like a tidal wave and she cried out unintelligibly.  As her body continued to shudder in pleasure, his own release came and he thrust one last time as he grunted her name.  “Maggie…”  For a moment he held himself still as his essence poured into her.  A lifetime later, as her shuddering subsided, he kissed her tenderly before sliding from her body and pulling the edge of the sleeping bag over them.

 Ransoming Redemption is out on Monday, April 18 at these online booksellers.

Amazon, iBooks, B&N, Kobo, & Smashwords

Not all caught up on Rannigan’s Redemption?  No problem.  Resisting Risk and Running Rogue are available now at those same retailers.