Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

I’m thrilled to announce that LOST & BOUND, Book 2 of the Dream Dominant Collection, has been named a 2018 Finalist (Erotic category) in the Colorado Romance Writers’ Beverley Contest.   Winners will be announced July 15, so fingers crossed!

Making this even more exciting is the fact that I’m getting ever closer to finishing WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4, and a spin-off from LOST & BOUND.

Here’s a teaser from LOST & BOUND.

Blake carried the bucket to a board wedged waist-high between two birch trees.  “How about I build a campfire and clean the fish?  You can go get the skillet and some plates?”  He nodded toward the cabin.

When she returned from the cabin carrying a large cast-iron skillet stacked with a pair of white-dotted blue enamelware plates and a variety of utensils, a fire was roaring in the stone ring and Blake was filleting the first fish.  Shasta placed everything on a stump near where he was working and sank onto a log close to the fire.

Neither of them spoke.  Somewhere further down the lake, a loon called and they heard it echo across the water.  Blake’s attention was on the fish but out of the corner of his eye, he watched her assessing him.

“Have you always been a mountain man?”  Her expression was earnest.

Blake’s head dropped back as he laughed out loud.  “A mountain man?  Is that what I am?”

Shasta smiled sheepishly.  “Aren’t you?”

“Well, I grew up at the lodge.  My grandparents built the place.  My grandmother was Miranda.  The lake is named for her.  But I haven’t always lived here.  I went away to college.  After graduation, I worked for a while as a wilderness counselor.  I was in the woods a lot, but I was based in Toronto.”

“A wilderness counselor,” she repeated thoughtfully.

“Yeah, you know, we worked with troubled city kids, took them out and taught them survival skills and self-reliance, that kind of thing.”

“You worked with bad kids?” she wondered.

He shook his head.  “They weren’t bad, really.  Just…lost.  They needed help to find their way.”

“Why did you stop?”

Blake shrugged.  “My folks ran the lodge for years until my dad’s stroke.  They retired to Florida.  My sister and her husband started running the place full-time.  When that asshole bugged out, I came to help her.”

Shasta watched him appraisingly.  “That was really nice of you.”

“She’s my sister.  I’d do anything for someone I love.”  He placed a grate over the fire and set the skillet on top.  “Besides, I’m happy to be home.  I drive past my old school every time I go into town.  There are a lot of great memories.  I don’t really miss the city.”  He sat opposite Shasta on another log.

She laughed lightly.  “It must be odd to come back to live where you grew up.  I imagine you were the big football hero around here.”

He shook his head.  “Football is for sissies.  We played hockey.”

“Oh, excuse me, hockey,” she laughed.

“That’s right.  Hockey.  A man’s sport.”  He reached into his mouth, and to her surprise, removed his right front tooth and the one beside it.  “Where I come from, if you have all your teeth, you weren’t really trying.”  He laughed at her shocked expression as he refit the teeth into his mouth.

Shasta grinned smugly.  “I’ve got you beat, mountain man.”  She stood and leaned toward him, parting her lips and baring her perfectly straight, whiter-than-white teeth.  She ran her forefinger across them.  “All of these are fake.  I had them all capped.  Can’t have uneven or discolored teeth in Hollywood.  Nope.”

She sighed as she sat back down.  “Nothing about me is real,” she murmured.  He eyed her curiously.  She gave him a sidelong glance, then ran a finger down her nose.  “Nose job.”  She waved a handful of hair.  “Extensions.”  She grabbed her tits.  “Boob job.”  She looked down at the dirt.  “Even my name is fake.”

Blake had been watching her with interest.  “Your name isn’t Shasta?”

She snorted.  “Who would name their kid Shasta?  Eddie gave me that name when I was five.  He told my parents that nobody would hire Amy Malone.  I needed a name with pizzazz.”  She waggled jazz hands.  “I think he has a list of names in a drawer someplace and you just get the next one on the list.”

“So your name is Amy.”

Shasta nodded.  “But nobody’s called me that since my grandpa died.  He thought all the acting stuff was stupid.  He kept telling my parents to let me just be a kid.”  She laughed.  “He refused to call me Shasta.  My grandpa was a pretty stubborn guy.”

His expression was soft.  “Why would you get a nose job?  Or breast implants?”

She shrugged and pulled her sunglasses down over her eyes.  “Eddie said the boobs would help me transition between being a child actor and an adult.”

Blake could feel his protective nature surging.  “Eddie’s that guy who brought you here?  He made you get a boob job?”

“He didn’t make me.  But I knew he’d be disappointed if I didn’t.”  She used her toe to push a patch of pine needles back and forth.

The fish was done, and Blake was glad for the distraction.  He plated the fillets, handing one to her and taking the other for himself.

“Oh, my god, this is amazing,” she moaned through her first bite.

He grinned.  “Nothing like fresh bass, right out of the lake.  Unless it’s fresh trout, right out of the lake.  That’s pretty good, too.”

They enjoyed their lunch without conversation, appreciating the quiet of the wilderness.  The silence was broken only by the crackling of the fire or the occasional call of a loon.  Once again, Shasta felt a sense of peace settle over her.

Blake took her plate when she was finished.  “Now, we’ll see about washing up these few things and then we’ll blow this pop stand.”

LOST & BOUND is available at your favorite online bookseller,
in both digital and paperback formats.
books2read.com/LostandBound

Watch the official LOST & BOUND book trailer!

Weekend Excerpt–For Sparrow

FOR SPARROW received more great news this week.  Named the 2017 New Apple Medalist for Literary Erotica, it’s now also a Golden Flogger Nominee for Best BDSM Book of the Year.

The third Dream Dominant novel, it’s the story of new widow Jessi Crenshaw and her unconventional relationship with hot Dominant firefighter paramedic, Judd Farris.

When Jessi’s husband Graham dies unexpectedly, she’s shocked to find out that he made provision for her, asking his friend Judd to step in as a surrogate Dom until Jessi is back on her feet.

A platonic Dom/sub relationship is a damn odd arrangement, and they find their mutual attraction growing.  Could it be that Graham had something more permanent in mind?

And could it all end at the hands of a madman?

Here’s a little snippet:

It was 9:30 on Saturday morning when Judd pulled up in front of Jessi’s house in his beat-up F-150.  His main focus today was to fix the driveway gate that opened onto the street.  It had apparently been rusted open for the last few years.

That was his main focus.  Then there was the other thing.  He rolled his eyes and tried to mentally prepare himself for Jessi’s reaction.  He breathed out sharply.  “Here goes nothing,” he muttered.

It was about half an hour later that Jessi glanced out her front window and noticed Judd on a ladder at the end of her driveway.

“What the…?”  She marched out the front door and down the driveway.

“Excuse me,” she said, feeling like she was stuck in a time warp to the previous week.  At least she hadn’t awakened on the pool deck.  And a quick glance down confirmed that she was indeed dressed.

“Good morning, Jessi,” Judd answered, swinging down off the ladder.  He couldn’t help noticing that she looked much more put together today, dressed in a green sleeveless top and jeans that fit oh, so right, her auburn hair shining in the sun.  “It’s a beautiful day.  You look nice, all dressed and everything.”  He grinned at her.

“Yes, well, be that as it may,” she said blushing.  “Is this supposed to be an ‘every Saturday’ kind of thing?”

“No, not every Saturday.”  He shook his head.  “I’m working next Saturday so I’ll be here on Friday next week.”

Jessi crossed her arms in front of her.  “Look.  Judd.  I don’t mean to seem ungrateful.  But I’m just not comfortable with you being over here, working on my property like this.”

He squinted at her thoughtfully.  “Not comfortable.  Why not?”

His question surprised her.  “Well…just…because,” she spluttered.

His grin was accompanied by a twinkle of amusement in his brown eyes.  “No worries, Jessi.  I’ll be finished with your gate soon.”  As he turned to climb the ladder again, there was a small yipping sound from around the hedge.

Curious, Jessi moved closer.  In a small grey plastic corral made of some kind of toddler barrier, a brown and white puppy with long floppy ears looked up at Jessi, tail wagging furiously.

“Well, hello there, cutie,” she said.  Glancing up at Judd she said, “You brought your dog?”

Judd climbed back down again.  “It’s kind of complicated,” he said.  He reached in and lifted the puppy out of the corral, cradling him in his arms.  “Look at this face,” he cooed to the puppy.

He turned to Jessi.  “A friend of mine called me from the animal shelter, said they had a litter of beagle puppies that needed homes.  When I got down there, this little guy was the only one left.  If I didn’t take him, they were going to have to put him down.”

Jessi looked at him, aghast.  “I know,” he agreed to her silent protest.  “I had to take him.  The only thing is,” he looked at her with soft brown eyes, “I work twenty-four hour shifts at the station, sometimes back to back.  I can’t take care of a puppy.”

“At the station?”

“Fire station.  I’m a paramedic.”

“Oh.  I didn’t know that.”

“Anyway, I was sort of hoping…”  He looked at her meaningfully.

Jessi raised a hand in front of her.  “Oh, no, no way.  I can’t have a puppy.”

Friendly smile in place, he handed off the puppy to her quickly and went back up the ladder.  “Why not?”

She hugged the dog to her chest and swayed as if he were an infant.  “Well, just…I can’t, that’s all.”

“Why not?  You work regular hours, right?  You have enough room for him.”  Judd glanced down at her.  “If you can’t, I’ll have to take him back to the shelter and they’ll put him down.”

Jessi looked back down at the puppy and he licked her chin.  “Well, nobody’s going to put you down.  He can stay.”  She looked back up at Judd.  “For now.  But remember, he’s yours.  What’s his name, anyway?”

Judd grinned.  “Buddy.  His name is Buddy.”

“Well come on, Buddy.  Let’s see if we can find you something to eat,” Jessi cooed as she made her way back into the house.

“I’ve got some puppy kibble in my truck.  I’ll bring it to your door when I finish with the gate.”  Out of the corner of his eye, he watched her walk away making baby talk to the puppy.

He laughed to himself.  That was not as hard as I thought it would be.

For Sparrow promo 1

One-click your copy of FOR SPARROW.
books2read.com/ForSparrow

Exciting News!

This is the time I usually post a Weekend Excerpt, but I’ve posted several snippets this week, all in the name of promoting Rannigan’s Redemption.

So instead of another excerpt, I want to tell you some exciting news.  LOST & BOUND, the second novel in my Dream Dominant Collection, has been nominated for a 2017 Reader’s Choice Award for Romance.  I’m just thrilled!

In LOST & BOUND, spoiled Hollywood badgirl Shasta Pyke gets into trouble with the law and is sent to cool her heels for a few weeks in the wilderness of northern Ontario.  That’s where she meets Dominant mountain man Blake Walker, who is none too impressed with the sole guest at his family’s remote lodge.  But there’s something about her petulance that calls to his Daddy Dom soul.  Could she be the baby girl he’s been looking for?

Now I’m asking for your help.  I need votes.  If you would take just a moment, I’d be forever grateful.  Here’s the LINK for voting.  Once you get there, you’ll see a gray bar that says ‘1/16’.  (I’ve included a screenshot for reference.)  Click the arrow on the right side of the bar to get to 7/16, Romance.  The books are listed in alphabetical order by title.

I’d really appreciate your support.  Voting closes Dec. 10.  If you haven’t read LOST & BOUND yet, it’s available at your favorite online bookseller at this universal link.
books2read.com/LostandBound

The Post in Which Pandora Squeals Like a Girl

Please permit me a little happy dance.  I just received notification today that my books Rannigan’s Redemption and Just One Night have been nominated for the 2016 Summer Indie Book Award.

I’m beyond thrilled and couldn’t wait to share the exciting news!  The voting begins September 1.  I’ll be sure to post links then.  Thanks for putting up with my squeals!  I’ll try to keep it down…   🙂