Weekend Excerpt–WARRIOR MINE

She’s the perfect combination of princess & warrior.

When single mom Jackie Walker meets her brother’s best friend, wilderness survival expert Scott Nielsen, she’s instantly attracted to the tall, blond outdoorsman. But she has no idea that he’s Dominant.

As Scott works to set up his new outdoors school at the Walker family’s remote lakeside guest lodge, he sees in Jackie the submissive she’s positive she’s not. And maybe the one he’s been waiting for.

Can strong, independent Jackie let go enough to allow Scott to show her a whole new world?

Here’s a wintry teaser from WARRIOR MINE.

Wringing her hands in front of her, Jackie paced back and forth by the windows as cold fear thrummed through her veins. The storm seemed to have increased in intensity, but she wondered whether it was just her imagination.

She’d received Scott’s text half an hour earlier, and she’d forced herself to walk away from the computer where his GPS location was being tracked on a map of the lake. Watching minute by minute wasn’t helping anything, and she had guests to attend to.

A glance showed her that Emma and Grant were still playing quietly, unaware of the danger Scott faced alone in the snow. Perhaps it was that, to them, strong and larger than life as he was, he was simply invincible. She envied them, she realized.

“He’s fine, Jacks.” Blake materialized beside her, handing her a mug of coffee.

Jackie accepted it, nodding her thanks. “I know. I just…” She shrugged, not knowing what else to say.

A loud bang from the reception area startled them, and a whoosh of cold air swirled into the room.

“Oh, thank God!” Jackie ran to the dining room door, several others following behind her. Across the reception area, the lodge’s front door had swung all the way open, banging against the wall. Snow swirled wildly on icy gusts around a lone figure in a black parka.

Jackie grabbed his arm and pulled him further into the room, then battled the wind to close the door. Hadley Pierce tugged down his hood and stomped to shake off the snow from his boots and clothes.

“C-c-cold,” he shivered, pulling off his heavy gloves.

“Come on, bud,” Dan Spinelli said. “Let’s get you by the fire.” He helped the man out of his coat and guided him into the dining room.

Jackie hung the coat on a hook and followed. “Where’s Scott? Putting away the snowmobile?”

Pierce pulled off his black knit beanie, uncovering his shaggy dark hair which stuck out in all directions. He dropped the cap to the floor and held his hands out toward the fire. “So fucking cold,” he muttered.

“Scott! Where’s Scott?” Jackie grabbed the young man’s arm and spun him around.

He blinked down at her.

“Dammit! Where is Scott?”

“How should I know?” he shrugged, turning back to the fire.

Jackie grabbed him again, whirling him around and slamming him against the stone of the fireplace. “You should know because he went out looking for your sorry ass when you went out in the middle of a fucking blizzard,” she growled.

Blake placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. “Easy, sis.”

Indignance flashed in Pierce’s eyes. “Look, all I know is, your piece of shit snowmobile broke down, and I had to walk all the way back here. I don’t know anything about Scott.”

He shoved past Jackie to return to the fire. “He’s a sorry excuse for a wilderness expert, you ask me,” he muttered.

Before Blake could stop her, Jackie spun the young man around once more and slapped him hard across the face. A second crack rang out before Pierce could recover from the first.

“You listen to me, you snot-nosed motherfucker.” Jackie waved her finger in his face.

Blake gently wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her away from the young man.

“He’s out there looking for you after you ignored his instructions. He told you not to go out in a blizzard. He’s risking his life for you, you sorry sack of shit!”

Pierce opened his mouth to reply, but Jackie raised her hand as if to slap him a third time. “Not another word. You keep your mouth shut, and you stay away from me. As soon as this storm’s over, I want you out of here, and I never want to see you again.”

She turned on her heel, heading to the office. Blake followed close behind her. “Jacks, we’ll just text him and tell him to come back.”

“Yeah, but it still infuriates me that one idiot created such a mess. And the snowmobile didn’t ‘break down’. He wrecked it on the rocks at the end of the lake. Scott found it.”

She tapped in the password and the screen lit up with a topographical map of the lake. Leaning closer, she blinked. The blip that had been Scott was gone. She refreshed the page, but there was no red path leading from the lodge to the end of the lake.

“What the…” Blake clicked a few things, but nothing changed the map.

On her phone, Jackie sent a quick text.

The douchebag just showed up. Hurry back now.

The message was immediately returned with an error notification. Receiving device unavailable. Try again later.

Jackie looked up at Blake, who shrugged slightly. “Something must be wrong with his sat-com.” He scrubbed a hand across his mouth as he sank into a chair. “So, we don’t know where he is, and we can’t communicate with him.”

“I’m calling the police,” Jackie said, determination in her voice. She tapped the number into the office phone.

After a trio of rings, someone answered. “Eliot Lake Police, Ned Hart.”

“Ned, thank God! This is Jackie Walker at Lake Miranda Lodge. One of our survival school students went AWOL in the storm, and Scott went out after him. The thing is, the guy wandered back, but Scott’s still out there. We can’t get ahold of him on the sat-com, and I’m frantic. Can you send someone out to look for him?”

There was a pause on the other end. Then, “Jackie, I can’t send anyone out in the middle of a blizzard. Now I’m looking at the radar, and it looks like this might all be past us in another couple of hours, but I’m sure you understand, I can’t risk the lives of my team in the middle of a storm like this.”

Jackie felt as though she’d been gut-punched. She fought to breathe.

“Jackie?”

She pulled herself straight and tall. “Fine,” she said softly, “I’ll just go find him myself.”

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

Find WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4,
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/WarriorMine

Weekend Excerpt–MIDNIGHT COVE

They say that still waters run deep
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove,
still waters harbor dark secrets.

If you love your romance with a spooky vibe, you’re going to love MIDNIGHT COVE.

Writer Bree Blaylock has rented a quiet lakeside cottage to finish writing her new novel. But it turns out, she’s not alone.

Bree has had odd experiences her whole life, and she’s content to share her space. She has nowhere else to go anyway. When she meets handsome local lawman Jack Hanson, she considers whether she’s ready to take another chance on love.

But can Jake keep her safe when the past comes calling?

Here’s a teaser from MIDNIGHT COVE.

Bree stretched luxuriantly, her bare arm catching the warm sunlight that streamed in through the bay window across from the bed. Last night had been the best sleep she’d had in as long as she could recall. She stretched again, smiling to herself as she recalled vague snippets of a dream she’d had. She’d been on a peaceful, tropical beach. And there’d been a hot guy.

She pursed her lips, considering the blonde young man with sparkling blue eyes. Having dreams about hot guys? She needed a man in her life right now like she needed an extra hole in the head. She was still trying to recover from the one she’d just left.

Sighing deeply, she shook her head. He wasn’t real, the man from her dream. Steven. She frowned slightly. That was kind of specific, wasn’t it? She had to smile at herself. He hadn’t been any more real than the dolphins she’d seen. Just a pleasant dream. And wouldn’t she love to have more of those?

Canine feet click-clacked across the wood floor, and a large yellow head appeared at the side of the bed.

“Good morning, Murph. Do you need to go potty?”

Soulful brown eyes pleaded with her as the dog whined softly.

Bree laughed. “Okay, buddy, let me put some clothes on.”

Warm sunlight or no, the room itself was cool in the fall morning. She quickly made the bed, then padded to the closet to grab a pair of faded jeans and a white v-neck T-shirt. When she was dressed, she slipped on her favorite pair of white low-topped Chucks and shrugged into a long pink cardigan.

“Come on, Murph, let’s take you outside. Then we’ll figure out the rest of our day.”

On her way out the bedroom door, something caught her eye. Frowning, she slowly approached the bay window that overlooked the lake, its stained-glass accents casting reds and browns across the wood floor. In the center of the brown velvet cushion sat a glossy shell about the size and shape of an egg. It was tan, with spots of light and dark brown.

Heart pounding, she reached to pick it up. The shell felt smooth and cool in her hand. Turning it over, she saw the opening, a narrow slit running the length of the shell, looking like a crooked, serrated grin.

Unconsciously, she gripped the shell lightly. Her dream last night. The stranger–Steven–had given her a shell. This shell.

What had he said? “Keep it so you can remember this beach. So you can remember me.”

Wide-eyed, she slowly turned, scanning the room. No one was there. She closed her eyes and tried to get a sense of a presence, but she felt nothing.

Murphy whined again, bringing her to the present. Distractedly, Bree slipped the shell into her pocket. “Come on, boy. Let’s go.”

Downstairs, she opened the back door. The yellow lab bounded across the wide back deck and down to the lawn that gently sloped to the lake. Lost in her thoughts, Bree followed along behind him.

Her dream had been just that, right? A dream. But could it be that the mystery man, Steven, was the presence she’d noticed in the house?

It was beyond ridiculous, really. She’d half convinced herself that she’d merely imagined the flutter in the attic window, the chair that rocked itself.

But how do you explain the shell? Riddle me that one.

She chewed her lip thoughtfully. Should she be alarmed? Steven had seemed nice enough. He’d almost seemed surprised that she’d spoken to him. If he was in the house, maybe he needed help moving on.

Sighing deeply, she kicked at a clump of colorful leaves on the ground. It was a lot to contemplate, and she had work to do. Rita Pearlman, her editor at Bonne Nuit House, expected the first draft of her new novel by the middle of November. So far, she had managed to write the first ten thousand words.

Not bad, she snorted, only about eighty thousand to go.

But writing with Greg around had been next to impossible, especially right there at the end.

She shook her head to dismiss the dark thoughts. Greg was a non-issue now. And she was on her second day of two months of peace and quiet in her cabin by the lake.

House, not cabin, she corrected herself. Still.

The sound of distant barking drew her back to the present. The yellow lab was nowhere to be seen. Rushing down the hill to the waters’ edge, Bree glanced down the shoreline in both directions.

“Murphy!”

She heard barking again, clearly from her left. She took off in that direction, calling again. “Murphy! Come here!”

Trudging along the shoreline, Bree ignored the house next door and the one after that, intent on finding her dog. Mr. Meyer had said that most of the lake houses were closed until spring anyway. So when she spied a tall, dark-haired man fishing at the end of the third dock, she was surprised. Tail wagging furiously, Murphy stood beside the man looking out over the water.

“Murphy!” she called sharply as she headed down the dock.

The dog turned and whined sheepishly, clearly reluctant to leave his new friend.

The man reeled in his line and set the fishing rod down on the dock. As Bree approached, he grinned.

“I’m so sorry he’s bothering you,” Bree rushed, grabbing the dog by his blue web collar. “Let’s go. You’re in big trouble.”

The man laughed, revealing perfect white teeth. “Don’t be too hard on him, Mom. He just got excited when I reeled in a nice fat bass.” His deep blue eyes twinkled with humor.

Bree’s gaze slid from his wavy dark brown hair to his square jaw nicely defined by dark stubble and zeroes in on his sensuous lips. His dark blue long-sleeved Henley clung to his muscular shoulders, and the sleeves were pushed up to reveal strong forearms lightly sprinkled dark hair.

She felt herself blush. “Well we just went out to go potty, and he got away from me. I didn’t realize anyone was around. I promise I’ll keep him on a leash from now on. I’m so sorry.”

The man took a step toward her and held out his hand. “Don’t keep him on a leash on my account. I love dogs. I’m Jake Hanson.”

“Oh, sorry. Bree Blaylock.”

He pursed his lips as though he were suppressing a grin. “Welcome to Midnight Cove, Bree Blaylock. Are you staying at the Meyer place? I heard Old Man Meyer had rented out his lake house.”

Bree nodded. “Yes, for the next couple of months, anyway. Mr. Meyer told me that most of the lake houses sit vacant until spring.”

Jake glanced around and nodded. “Most of them do.” He hooked a thumb toward the one-story brown craftsman-style bungalow up the slope from the dock. “But I live here year-round. It’s quieter than in town.”

He tilted his head slightly, his smile warm. “So where are you visiting from?”

“Oh, we’re from Clearwater. Florida.” Bree patted Murphy to have something to do with her hands. She nodded and tugged on the dog’s collar. “Well, it’s nice meeting you.”

“Jake.” He grinned.

Bree felt her face heat up again. “Jake. It’s nice meeting you Jake. I’ll see you later.”

Blue eyes sparkling, he nodded. “I expect you will. It’s a small town. And a small cove. It’s nice meeting you, Bree. See ya later, Murphy. Behave yourself and mind your mom.”

Face burning, Bree held Murphy’s collar tightly and marched him back down the dock. As they made their way back down the shoreline toward the house, she risked a look over her shoulder. Jake Hanson stood watching them, and he waved. With her free hand, Bree waved back.

“You are in so much trouble,” she hissed to the dog.

–MIDNIGHT COVE is exclusively at Amazon, and it’s FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE
is available exclusively at Amazon.
Read it FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

Weekend Excerpt–ANNA’S HEART

Coming this summer!

Anna Graves never expected world-famous Hollywood actor Angus McGregor to show up at her family’s Wyoming guest ranch. And she certainly never expected to fall for him. Sure, he seems attracted to her as well, but it’s ridiculous, really. He’s a movie star and she’s just a normal person. As soon as he’s gained the horsemanship skills he needs, he’ll be off to film his next movie, and she’ll be right where she’s always been, teaching riding to the tourists who visit the Sweetwater Ranch.

Here’s a NEW (and unedited) teaser from ANNA’S HEART.

As headlights approached in the distance, Anna leaned forward hopefully, but the ancient mini-van moved past her, its female driver never even glancing her way.  Exhaling sharply, Anna leaned back against the brick wall behind the bench on which she sat.  From about a block away, country music occasionally punctuated by laughter filtered her way from the open door of The Mine Shaft.  

Lips pressed tightly together, she shook her head in disgust.  His car was there in the parking lot.  Bruce’s car.  She could see it from where she was if she stood up.  Thankfully, the awning over the hardware store prevented the glow from the nearby streetlight from reaching her, so she was reasonably confident that she was virtually invisible as she waited for her ride. 

Calling Angus had been hard.  But she was sure she’d made the right decision.  Earlier as she’d gotten dressed, she’d opted to wear the new sandals with no thought of having to walk any distance.  Now her ruined feet were paying the price for her shortsightedness.  

It was a good thing she’d stopped where she had, too.  When she’d first sat down, she’d removed her shoes to discover blisters not only between her toes but on the balls of her feet as well.  By the time she’d stopped walking, the blisters had already burst and begun to bleed.  

Fingers crossed, Angus would be able to find some shoes to bring her.  It would be even better if he grabbed a pair of her boots; she always left a pair of socks in her boots, and that would be sufficient to stem the bleeding until she got home and could deal with her feet.

Another set of headlights came into view.  Anna closed her eyes.  

Please, please, please.

Hearing the vehicle slow down, she opened her eyes again to see a light-colored pick-up truck.  It eased to a stop in front of the hardware store and the passenger window buzzed down.

“Anna?”  His brogue was soft.

“It’s me.” She gave a weak wave.

Angus put the truck into park and got out, heading her way with a pair of boots in his hand.  As he approached her, she gripped the bench seat and swung her feet awkwardly back and forth.

“I brought yer boots.  I hope they’re okay.”

She nodded gratefully.  “They’re perfect, thanks!”  She took the boots from him and reached inside the right one, releasing a sigh of relief to find a pair of socks balled up in the bottom.

Grateful once again for the shadow in which she sat, Anna unrolled the socks and slipped them on, ignoring the burning pain of her raw feet as she stuffed them into her boots.

Angus stood uncertainly, his hands tucked into the pockets of his jeans.  “Anna, what happened?”

She aimed for nonchalance as she shrugged and jumped to her feet,  ignoring the searing pain.  “Oh, stupid me, I wore new shoes and got blisters.”

“No,” he said softly, “I mean, what happened to your friend?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”  She crossed her arms and gave him a look that dared him to pursue the subject further.

He watched her for a long moment then shifted gears.  “Alright.  How about dinner?  That looks like the place.”  He hooked a thumb over his shoulder in the direction of The Mine Shaft.

“No!”  It came out louder than Anna had intended.

Angus arched an eyebrow but said nothing.

Exhaling sharply, she tried to regroup.  “You don’t want to eat there.  It’s a dive.  Eagleton is only twenty miles up the road.”  She pointed in the direction from which he’d come.  “We can find something in Eagleton.”

“Eagleton,” he repeated.

Anna nodded definitely.  “Believe me.  You’ll be glad we went the extra distance.”  Because I know I’ll be glad.

“Eagleton it is, then.” 

Together, they walked to the truck where Angus opened the passenger door for her.  Gritting her teeth, Anna managed to make it into her seat without groaning in pain.  As she watched him walk around to the driver’s side, she sighed with relief at being off her feet again.

Angus climbed in, buckled his seatbelt, and started the truck.  Checking to make sure no one was coming, he made a u-turn and headed down the street.  

Country music played softly as Angus drove past the sign that pointed to Eagleton, a town roughly twice the size of Crystal Springs.  Anna glanced at his profile illuminated by the dashboard lights.

“Um, thanks, by the way,” she said.  “For coming to get me, I mean.  And for remembering the boots.”

“I’m happy to do it.”  He briefly looked at her before turning his eyes back to the road in front of them.  “I’m guessing there’s a reason ye called me rather than your brothers.  Or your parents.”

Anna crossed her arms again and said nothing.

He gave her a sideways glance and continued.  “Of course, it’s none of my business, yer reasons for doing what ye do.  But it looks like we’ll be having dinner together after all.”

Anna felt her face heat up.  “About that…I don’t mean to be…  I mean, it’s just…”  She sighed heavily.  “It’s just, you’re, you know, famous.  And I’m just…well, me, and so…”  She trailed off, not knowing where she’d been headed when she started speaking.

“It’s dinner.  Everyone eats dinner.  It’s no’ a big deal.”

She slouched down in the seat and stared out the window, immediately regretting shifting her booted feet.  

It was nine-thirty by the time they pulled into the parking lot beside Good Time Charley’s, a local bar and grill known for excellent pub food.  At that time on a Saturday night, the place looked to be nearly full, but Angus managed to find a parking spot at the far end of the lot.  

He hurried around to let Anna out, and again, she gritted her teeth as her boots hit the pavement.  

“Are ye sure yer alright?” he asked, frowning down at her feet.

“I’m fine,” she muttered.  “Nobody ever died from blisters.”

Even so, he altered his long stride to accommodate her as she struggled not to hobble to the front door.  Inside, classic rock music played loudly, and the rowdy Saturday night crowd didn’t notice as Anna and Angus were seated in a booth at the edge of the bar.  

“Is this okay?” he asked, leaning across the table toward her.

Anna glanced around and nodded.  “Yeah, it’s fine.”

Angus perused one of the menus they’d been given.  “What do you recommend?”

Anna’s stomach growled, for the first time taking her attention away from her feet.  “You can’t go wrong with a burger,” she replied, her mouth watering at the prospect of well-done ground beef with all the fixings.

“Aye, that sounds like just the thing,” he nodded, grinning.  “With a nice pile of chips?”

Anna laughed in spite of herself.  “You mean fries?  Of course.  What’s a burger without fries?”

Angus put down his menu and nodded.  “Chips, fries, it’s all the same.  Golden-fried goodness.”

“And a very large beer,” Anna added, waving to a server.  Notepad in hand, the tall young man approached the table.

“Hello!  Welcome to Charley’s.  I’m Dustin.  What can I get you to start off?”

Anna looked to Angus then back up at the server.  “I think we’re ready to order.  I’ll have the bacon cheeseburger, well done, with fries.  And a Yuengling, please.”

The server looked at Angus. 

“I’ll have the same.  Except I’d like a seltzer and lime to drink, thanks.”

Dustin nodded, adding notes to his pad.  “Got it.  Two burgers, one beer, one seltzer and lime.  I’ll be right back with your drinks.”

Anna watched him head in the direction of the bar.  Then she leaned toward Angus.  “You don’t want a beer or something?”

“No,” he smiled gently.  “I don’t drink.”

“Oh.”  Anna frowned slightly.  “I hope it’s okay that I ordered a beer.”

He bobbed his head and gave a rueful smile.  “I’m not an alcoholic.  That was me da.  Watching him waste his life away convinced me that drink was no’ for me.”

“Wow.  I’m sorry.  That’s…wow.”  Surprised at his casual revelation, Anna sat back and assessed him sympathetically.

He lifted one shoulder.  “Everythin’ in yer life goes into making ye who ye are, I suppose.”

ANNA’S HEART by Pandora Spocks

ANNA’S HEART is the third and final book in the Redheads & Ranchers Series. It will be out this summer. In the meantime, check out JENNY’S VOICE and HUNTER’S PRIDE, the first two books in the series.

Just in Time for Halloween!

Sexy pirate and steamy author M.S. Tarot has released the second collection of his EROTIC SHIVERS series just in time for Halloween!

Like some sexy with your scares?  This collection includes eight erotic horror stories that range from the macabre to the horrifying. Tears and chills, or nauseated and aroused. All are possible with this collection.

I had the privilege of beta reading one story from this anthology, and you’re going to LOVE it!  Just keep the lights on.  Word to the wise.

EROTIC SHIVERS 2 is available at Amazon,
and it’s FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

And as long as we’re talking about it, why not check out the first volume of EROTIC SHIVERS?  I’ve read this whole collection, and I absolutely loved it!

So I have one question for you…
TRICK OR TREAT?

Welcome back, @PandoraSpocksWP

Many thanks, Marlena, for sharing my new book! I really appreciate your support. ❤

Hello, Bloggers!!

I’m excited to welcome back Author Pandora Spocks to the site today.

Pandora is sharing about her recently released Contemporary Erotic Romance book, WARRIOR MINE. Get ready to enjoy all the details below!


Warrior Mine 1 ebook coverThe Basics:

Title: Warrior Mine (Dream Dominant Collection Book 4)
Release Date: August 14, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Heat Level: Erotic
Word count: 115,887
Author: Pandora Spocks
Cover Design: Linzi Basset
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER at this Universal Link: books2read.com/WarriorMine

Blurb:

She is the perfect combination of princess and warrior.

Scott Nielsen and Jackie Walker.
Their attraction is instant from the moment they meet.
But he’s Dominant.  And no way is she submissive.
Is it a missed connection?  Or a divine appointment?

Scott Nielsen is ready for change.  He’s walked away from his career as a wilderness counselor, planning to start his own outdoor survival school.  He looks up his old friend and former…

View original post 1,287 more words

Here is my interview with Pandora Spocks

Fiona McVie was kind enough to do this interview for the release of CHASING ORDINARY. I’m forever grateful! ❤

authorsinterviews

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

A: Hello!  I’m Pandora Spocks and I write contemporary erotic romance novels featuring strong, smart, red-haired heroines.

Fiona: Where are you from?

A: I live in south Florida.  West Palm Beach, to be precise, in the United States.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

A: I’m married to my happily-ever-after.  I’m the mom of two adult sons, and step-mom of one adult daughter.  My degree is in Elementary Education, and I taught for quite a while before I started writing full-time.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

A: I just released my new book, CHASING ORDINARY, around Valentine’s Day.  It’s the modern-day fairy tale I’ve always wanted to read.

Fiona: When and why did…

View original post 2,311 more words

CHASING ORDINARY Release Day!

Today’s the day!  

CHASING ORDINARY, my ‘spicy vanilla’ modern-day fairy tale, is now available at your favorite online bookseller.  And for one more day, you can still get your copy at the 99¢ pre-order price at this link: books2read.com/ChasingOrdinary

Let me introduce the main characters, Petey and Nik.

Petey Cavanaugh, leading lady of Chasing Ordinary, is, like all my heroines, a strong, smart redhead.  She’s a sculptor, living on a Montana sheep ranch.  A young widow, she’s headed to New York to visit Jules, her best friend from art school.  Jules has arranged a gallery show of Petey’s work—her goal is to earn enough from the sales of her sculptures to fund the expansion of ranch business.

Petey has no desire to meet someone, but one rainy Manhattan night, fate has other plans.  She meets Nik, a gorgeous international businessman who is as taken with her as she is with him.
But there’s something he hasn’t told her.  When she finds out, she’s furious.
Will she give him a chance to explain?

Nik is in New York on the third week of a month-long business trip that has taken him all around the world.  In the quiet of his thoughts, he tells himself that it should be his brother Eirik attending to business affairs.  But when Eirik died seven years earlier, all that responsibility fell to Nik.  And he’s determined to honor his brother’s memory.

One rainy Manhattan night, he meets Petey Cavanaugh, a gorgeous redhead and talented artist who challenges him from the start.  He soon realizes that she has no idea who he is, and he finds that immensely refreshing.  Petey sees him as a man, not an institution, or simply a means to an end.

He knows he needs to tell her the truth, but he’s relishing his first-ever taste of ordinary.  Unfortunately, when she finds out who he is, she angrily refuses to even speak to him.  If only he can have the chance to explain…

Get your copy of CHASING ORDINARY!
books2read.com/ChasingOrdinary

 

The Next BIG Thing!

Love a great story?  Tired of waiting for George R.R. Martin to come out with a new damn book?  I’m going to introduce you the the next BIG thing.

Normally, I’m all about steamy romance, but I’m a huge fan of great literature.  And that’s what this is.

Award-winning author A.M. Manay has taken young adult fantasy to the next level with her brand new book HEXBORN.  How do I know it’s so good?  Because I was blessed to have beta read this book months ago.  It’s fantastic–if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you will LOVE Hexborn!

Can a child of war fight for peace?

Hexborn. Abomination. Unclean.
Young Shiloh knows exactly what she is. Her missing and and the world at large are ever ready to remind her. Outcast she may be, but her broken body hides great magical power. The king’s servant Silas seeks to use that power to  reserve the uneasy peace the kingdom has enjoyed since the end of the Siblings’ War. He’ll slit her throat if she threatens it instead. Will Shiloh prove her worth? Or will past sins rise to destroy Shiloh, Silas, and the kingdom of Bryn?

*********************************************************************

When she wrote HEXBORN, author A.M. Manay has created in Shiloh a strong, bold heroine.  Add to that thrilling danger, and a fantastic new world.  No, really!  She has a map and everything!

Here’s an excerpt:

The dust betrayed them.  At the end of a long, dry summer in the Teeth, the hooves of their horses stirred up a cloud that billowed like smoke as they traversed the pass. Shiloh made out a flash of blue that she reckoned must be Lord Blackmine’s crest. The Lord of the Teeth’s men flew a banner with a white horse on a blue field.

Not that we see it much, given his lordship’s lack of interest in defending his lands and his folk.

The spots of red up in front she supposed might be Silas Hatch’s household livery: a golden hatchet on blood crimson.

At least the man embraces his infamy.

She’d been packed for weeks, waiting. She could have run.  That is what Brother Edmun had urged her to do, from his deathbed . . . Edmun, who had put her in mortal peril long before he’d learned to love her like a daughter.

He had let Shiloh read all his letters to the City, the ones in which he’d begged the Hatchet to find a place for her at the Royal Academy.  He had extolled Shiloh’s virtue and her gifts at length, hopeful that his favorite old pupil would have mercy on his beloved young one.  But at the last, Edmun’s fear for her safety had overcome his hopes for her future, and he’d urged the girl to fly away before Hatch’s men came stomping up their mountains.

She had considered it.  As she’d wept into Edmun’s blankets after he’d finally breathed his last, she’d considered it.  As she’d watched his wands crumble to dust as they died with him, she’d considered it. As she’d prepared him for burial, as she’d put him in the ground, as she had waited for weeks . . .

And, yet, here she stood, waiting patiently for an infamous, ruthless stranger to spirit her away.

As she watched the cloud of dust move ever closer to her home, she considered her choice on last time.  Her options were limited.  No other village would ever accept a hexborn stranger, and a bastard foundling at that.  Her own had only tolerated her because they’d feared to cross Edmun and her father, and because her skills had made her useful. She was surprised they hadn’t tried to drive her out of town since her men had died.

If not a village, then where? Living as a hermit in the woods lacked appeal, not least because her ill health turned every winter into mortal combat. Besides, the Feralfolk were not exactly fond of her. She would be easily caught if she ventured any further west, closer to the City. She had not
the money to go abroad, to Estany.

Thus, she waited, and she hoped that all of her work, and all Edmun’s plotting, had not been in vain. She wondered how the soldiers would react if her village failed to produce her.

Not well, she thought.

It would serve them right.

***

Before Hatch and his men entered the village of Smoke Valley, there they were: a half-dozen charred skulls on pikes at the edge of the road leading down from the pass, a warning to outlaws to steer clear of the settlement. He squinted and held out a gloved hand as if feeling for heat. A muscle in his face twitched.

“Looks like they’re holding their own against the Feralfolk,” Perce observed. The men grunted with approval after they traced superstitious circles on their foreheads.

“She, not they. Magic killed them all,” Hatch countered grimly, before prodding his horse to continue past the macabre display. He heard retching behind him and turned to find Cyrus, the young priest sent to replace Edmun, vomiting into the brush.

Hatch shook his head. These high country folk are going to walk all over him. Let’s hope he doesn’t pass out the first time he sees one of them chop the head from a chicken.

“A little girl from the Teeth, all by her lonesome, killed six grown men?” Perce asked skeptically. “A girl who hasn’t even been to the Academy yet? Isn’t it more likely this Brother Edmun did them in?”

Hatch fixed his sharp eyes upon his companion. “That is possible, but as poor as his health has been these last years, I find it unlikely. The rumors all say the girl killed them. As to the child’s education, Brother Edmun was the finest professor at the Royal Academy for decades before the war started. He was the youngest headmaster ever appointed. She’ll know more walking
through the door than many of our most gifted noblemen know when they finish their studies. You underestimate her at your peril.”

Perce held up his hands in surrender. “Yes, Uncle. It’s just . . . it’s a lot to believe. A hexborn kid that he found in the woods grows up and kills grown Feralfolk without even having a wand to use?”

“She might have used one of his. Stranger things have happened,” Hatch replied. “And my source in South Lake has proved reliable in the past. Evidently, the Feralfolk had just killed her father when the . . . incident . . . occurred. That is certainly plausible motivation.

“You’re not old enough to have been in the war. I saw grieving wizards slaughter entire companies of men after losing a beloved companion on the battlefield; some of them were barely older than this foundling. Power comes in unlikely packages, and rage can unlock any box you try to hide it in.”

“Where do you suppose she even came from?” Perce asked.

“There are a number of possibilities. She was born in the last days of the war. Many of the monks and nuns drafted into the fighting broke their vows in those days. Of those who bore children from such illicit unions, some abandoned or killed them in the hopes of hiding their guilt. Some ran off and became Feralfolk along with their offspring,” Silas explained patiently.

“It is fortunate that the girl was found by someone interested in proving his loyalty. Had she been raised a Feral, or spirited out of the country by the king’s enemies, she could have become a significant problem for the realm. A weapon like that, in hostile hands,” Silas concluded, “could be devastating.”

“Do you think she’ll come quietly, Uncle Silas?”

“I think the chances are good. Edmun claims that she is as devout and patriotic a lass as could be found anywhere. Even if that is an exaggeration, if she were not clever, Edmun would not have bothered with her. He never was an easy man to impress. I doubt he gentled with age,” Silas
opined.

“And if she seems like a threat, once we have her in hand?” his nephew asked.

Silas turned his intimidating gaze upon Perce once again. “Then we shall fulfill our duty to kingdom and crown. Why do you suppose King Rischar sent me to handle this myself?”

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