Weekend Excerpt–JENNY’S VOICE

A traumatized young woman held hostage for years.
The rancher who comes to her rescue.
The crime boss who will kill them both if he finds them.

Jenny Stone’s voice was silenced the horrific day ruthless crime boss Victor Sorkin executed her parents in cold blood and took her as his personal good luck charm. Now she’s his pet, at his mercy when he summons her to warm his bed. Or the beds of his more esteemed business associates.

When she sees her chance to escape, she takes it, hitching a ride with an unsuspecting cowboy, horse trainer Cole Caldwell. Cole’s stunned to find the terrified young redhead hiding in his horse trailer. She’s as skittish as some of the horses he works with, and she’s apparently mute. But the nurturer in him wants to shelter her, to protect her. He’ll do his best to ignore the attraction he feels, content to help her know she’s safe with him.

When Jenny first escaped, her only thought was to get away. But now she’s worried. She’s put Cole in unspeakable danger. Should she leave before Victor finds them? Could it already be too late?

If you like your romance filled with hot cowboys, suspense, and happily-ever-afters, you’ll love JENNY’S VOICE.

JENNY’S VOICE is Book 1 in the Redheads & Ranchers Series.
Sexy redheads and the ranchers they can’t resist.

Here’s a little teaser from JENNY’S VOICE.

As he stepped inside, he was immediately surrounded by the tantalizing aroma of something cooking. He set down the bag and followed Jenny into the kitchen. The first thing he noticed was the table, set for two, a pretty bouquet of field flowers arranged in a Mason jar in the center.

He looked to Jenny, who was carefully watching his reaction. “What’s going on here?” He smiled encouragingly. “And what smells so good?”

Jenny used a folded kitchen towel to remove a dish from the oven and set it on the stove. Cole peered into the dish, where golden chicken breasts sizzled in a thin sauce.

“That looks amazing, Jenny. What is it?”

Her board was lying facedown on the counter. She picked it up and showed him what she’d already written on the other side. Chicken piccata.

“Chicken piccata? I had all the stuff to make that?”

Jenny nodded proudly.

Cole squinted, looking more closely at the dish. “What are the little burned peas-looking things?”

Jenny rolled her eyes. She jotted on her board. Capers.

“I had capers? Where the hell did I get capers?”

She shrugged and hooked a thumb at one of the upper cupboards.

“Oh, it must have been in that basket one of my clients gave me for Christmas.” Cole shook his head. “All sorts of fancy shit–I mean stuff.” He looked to Jenny. “Sorry about that.”

Jenny grinned, then jotted quickly, You can say shit. I’m a big girl. She laughed lightly.

Cole laughed, too. “Good. Well, shit! Yeah, that feels good.”

Waving with her hand, Jenny gestured toward the table.

“Is dinner ready?” Cole asked, and she nodded.

“Alright, let me go wash up and I’ll be right back.”

Cole headed upstairs. As he washed his hands, he wondered about how Jenny had created such a dish with the simple things he kept at the house. She seemed pleased with herself, too. Quite a difference in her from the first time he’d seen her in the back of the horse trailer.

He sighed to himself. They were making progress, and he found that gratifying. Would it be possible that one day she’d decide to talk to him?

When he returned downstairs, the chicken was arranged on a platter. Jenny had placed a bowl of salad on the table, along with a bowl of rice. She’d poured Dr. Pepper for herself, while at his place she’d set out a bottle of Heineken.

“I know this is the fanciest dinner this table has seen in years,” Cole said, sitting in his chair. “We have a centerpiece and everything. You picked these?”

Pleased, Jenny nodded as she took her seat.

“They’re beautiful. The purple ones match your dress and everything.” He smiled at her. “You look pretty tonight.”

Jenny blushed profusely and looked down at her plate, trying to suppress a smile.

“Let’s dig into this fine dinner, what do you say?”

She nodded, and Cole took the platter, serving her first, then himself. They passed the rice and the salad as well. Cole took a bite of chicken and closed his eyes, savoring the flavor. When he opened his eyes again, she was watching him carefully.

“Oh my God, Jenny, this is the best thing I’ve ever tasted. How did you know how to make this?”

Jenny’s smile faded a bit and she hesitated. Then she jotted on her board. It’s a long story.

Cole regarded her thoughtfully. “Maybe you can tell me sometime.”

She chewed her lower lip. Maybe.

They ate in awkward silence for a few minutes, and Cole silently cursed himself for stepping into something that made Jenny uncomfortable. Wishing to restore their easy rapport, he cleared his throat.

“I know. You’re an undercover chef.”

She gave him a sideways glance and snorted.

Encouraged, he tried again. “You’re a secret chef, and you’re on a mission to educate dumb cowboys like me in the ways of international cuisine.” He drew out the last two words in an exaggerated drawl.

Jenny giggled, tossing her napkin at him.

Cole grinned good-naturedly. “It really is good, Jenny, no lie. Thank you for making dinner.”

After dinner dishes were cleared, Cole remembered the bag he’d left by the door. “Oh, Jenny, I almost forgot. I have a surprise for you.” He reached out his hand. “Come see.”

Her eyes widened, but she took his hand. He led her to the family room and pointed at the couch. “Sit down and close your eyes.”

She hesitated a moment, then sat down. She glanced up at Cole.

“Close’em.”

Pursing her lips, she complied, knee bobbing anxiously. Cole retrieved the bag and placed in on Jenny’s lap. “Okay, now you can open them.”

With a glance at Cole, Jenny peered into the bag. Brow knit in a frown, she pulled a brown cardboard box out of the bag, setting the bag on the floor. With another glance at him, she lifted the lid and gasped.

Cole couldn’t stop the smile as Jenny picked up first one boot, then the other, eyes wide, running her fingers across the purple embroidery.

“I figured, if you’re going to be working in the barn, you’re going to need some good boots. I saw these at the saddle shop and I knew they were supposed to be yours.”

She looked up at him as a smile spread across her face. Standing, she let the box fall to the floor as she came to him, a boot in either hand, and wrapped him in a hug.

“Do you like them?” Cole laughed.

Jenny stepped back and nodded vigorously. Then she pointed up the stairs.

“You want to try them on?”

She nodded again. Gathering up the box, lid, and bag, she hurried upstairs. From where he stood, Cole heard her moving around, drawers opening, the creak of her bed. Then came the clomp of boots on the hardwood floor as she came back downstairs, her face beaming.

She crossed to him, then back to the bottom of the stairs like a fashion model on a catwalk, rocking the new boots with her dress.

Cole couldn’t stop his grin. “How do they feel? Do they fit?”

Jenny nodded happily.

“Okay, then. Wanna go help me out in the barn?”

She nodded again, taking his arm as they headed out the door and across the yard. Every few steps, she looked down at the boots. Cole couldn’t remember ever feeling so pleased with himself.

The horses were waiting near the gate as they approached. Cole opened it, and he and Jenny watched them head straight for the barn. He looked to her. “You do the feed and I’ll do the hay?” he asked.

She nodded, heading for the buckets and feed cans at the end of the barn. As Cole lugged a bale of hay into the first stall, he started singing a cowboy song about not being buried on the lone prairie. When Jenny smirked at him, he winked at her and continued with more gusto.

By the time the horses were in their stalls with buckets of feed and fresh hay, Cole had started the song over, and Jenny was grinning broadly and shaking her head.

“What? Does my singing suck?” he asked.

She shook her head. No, it’s very brave, she jotted on her board.

“Brave?” he laughed. “That’s what they tell people who can’t sing.”

He took Jenny’s hand and twirled her around as he sang, pulling her to himself and launching into an impromptu waltz down the center of the barn.

Cole relished her giggles as he spun them around, drawing out the final note. Breathless, they stopped, Jenny smiling up at him, her emerald eyes wide. Cole’s gaze drifted to her lips, pillowy and soft, no trace of the trauma that had once been there. He felt an almost irresistible pull, as though a magnet drew his lips to hers, but he blinked hard and spun her one last time before letting go.

“Who knew those were dancing boots?” he joked softly. When he looked back at her, he saw a glint of sadness in her eyes. She’d felt the same pull he had. But he knew he couldn’t take advantage of her. That wasn’t who Cole Caldwell was.

JENNY’S VOICE by Pandora Spocks

JENNY’S VOICE is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/JennysVoice

Weekend Excerpt–Tropical Dreaming…

Tired of winter yet?
You need a sexy Caribbean getaway.

All she wanted was just one night.

Katie Parker is a woman on a mission. On a Caribbean cruise for her annual girlfriends’ getaway, she’s determined to forget about the man who betrayed her. All she wants is to find a man for just one night of anonymous, no-strings-attached passion.

Mac Coleman needs to get away. For now, that means accompanying his brothers on a cruise to Mexico for his younger brother’s wedding. After that, he’ll be changing jobs and cities, all to get away from his stalker ex-girlfriend.

When the pair meet on board the ship, the chemistry is instant. Can Mac convince Katie that what they have deserves more than just one night?

Here’s a teaser from JUST ONE NIGHT.

“So where is your redhead going?” Tommy wondered as he and his brother watched the women leave the dining room.

Mac shrugged lightly. “She said something about karaoke tonight.”

Danny watched him for a moment. “Aren’t you going after her?”

“Nah, she wasn’t really up for getting together.”

“Dude, that dress is killer. She’s all dressed up for somebody,” Tommy observed.

“Yeah, well…” Mac sipped his water for an excuse to stop talking. “Hey, aren’t we hitting the casino tonight?”

Seated between his brothers at the roulette wheel, Mac watched the tiny white ball skitter around and come to rest on the thirteen. Of course, he’d bet on the twelve. After three rounds, he’d lost forty dollars. Tommy had the best luck, winning with every spin.

“Gents, I’m going to have to stop while I’m behind,” Mac said, pushing back from the table.

Tommy gathered his chips and Danny joined them. “What do you want to do now on your last night as a free man?”

Tommy grinned impishly at Mac. “I’m kind of in the mood for karaoke.”

Mac’s expression was dubious. “Karaoke? Since when are you into karaoke?”

“Since my older brother started mooning over some sexy redhead whose name he doesn’t even know.”

The brothers pushed their way through the crowded lounge searching for an empty table. Not finding one, they lucked out with three stools at the bar. Settled on his stool, Mac scanned the room and found her nearly immediately at a table fronting the stage. Her red hair stood out in the crowded room.

She looked up and her eyes widened in surprise before her lips curled in a suppressed smile. He raised his beer that had just been served and she smiled wider, lifting her shot glass and overturning it dramatically.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the emcee announced, “up next, we have the Heartbreakers!”

A squeal rose from their table and the four women made their way onto the stage. Mac watched in fascination as they took their cordless mics and stood with their backs to the audience. Wondering what they might sing, he heard the opening disco beat and bass of Hot Stuff and laughed out loud as the women began a slinky choreographed dance routine. He watched as the four took turns singing lines. When it was her turn, she locked eyes with him.

“Dude, your girl is hot!” Tommy commented.

“Yes, she is,” Mac agreed.

“I’m guessing they’ve done this before,” Danny opined. “God bless’em!” He raised his beer in salute.

***

Much like that first time back in high school, the end of the song was met with thunderous applause and the four friends returned to their table flushed with the exertion. “That never gets old,” Michelle laughed. “Do you remember the look on old man Adams’ face? He couldn’t decide whether to kick us out of the talent show or give us first prize.” The women laughed at the memory.

“It took forever for our turn,” Chelsea commented. “I want to go blow some money in the casino. Are you in?” She looked around the table.

“You guys go on. I’m enjoying the music,” Katie hedged. “Maybe I’ll just stay here a little longer.”

“Yeah, her mystery man and his brothers are here,” Michelle laughed. “She wants to blow something, just not money.”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake!” Katie blushed furiously.

“Come on girls,” Jayma said, “let’s give Katie a little space.” She kissed Katie’s cheek gently. “Good luck, hon. Have fun!”

Katie waved goodbye to her friends as they left. Another group was on stage, working their way through Paradise by the Dashboard Light. She saw his brothers stand and leave the bar. He sat smiling at her and she smiled back.

Taking a cocktail napkin, she wiped the water rings from the table in preparation for his joining her. Except that he didn’t join her.

When Katie looked again, he was watching the singers with rapt attention, even swaying a bit on his stool.

She frowned a bit. His brothers left. He saw the girls leave. What gives? She crossed her right leg over her left and jiggled her foot restlessly. No way am I going over there. If he thinks I’m going over there, he’s got another think coming.

She glanced his way again. He was watching her with that same amused expression. The one that made the butterflies in her stomach go bungee jumping. Oh, fine!

As the group onstage finished and another singer was announced, Katie left her table and made her way to the bar, relieved to see an empty stool beside him. As she approached him, the corner of his mouth curled slightly and his eyes sparkled with the smile he suppressed.

“Hey, you. Would you mind if I joined you?” Katie asked.

“Hey, you. I’d mind if you didn’t.”

She accepted his hand and he helped her onto the stool next to his. “Thanks!”

“My pleasure.” He surveyed her appreciatively. “That’s a really nice dress.”

She flushed with pleasure. “Thanks. I wanted to be dressy for Formal Night. You look very handsome yourself.” She reached to touch the cuff of his shirt sleeve, pushing back his jacket. “Cuff links?” She fingered the textured silver squares.

He watched her with curiosity and nodded. “Is that okay?”

She looked back to his face. “I love cuff links. They’re so…civilized.”

Mac laughed out loud. “Something I’ve never been called: civilized.”

Katie’s brow furrowed. “So why? Why didn’t you come to my table?”

His eyes smiled. “Because you said ‘one night only’. I respect your boundaries.”

“Yeah.” She idly fidgeted with a cardboard coaster. “About that…” She looked up at him through her long lashes and began to lightly caress the inside of his wrist as it rested on the bar.

He watched her another moment, a knowing gleam in his eyes. “You can’t resist me.”

She looked back down to his hand. “You’re pretty cocky.”

He gave an exaggerated snicker. “You said ‘cock’.”

Katie giggled and rolled her eyes.

The next singer came on and began a spot-on version of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On. They both laughed. Mac grinned and joined in, his cheek brushing hers as he sang along softly. Katie felt goosebumps as he crooned into her ear. “Let’s get it on…” Lightly, he nibbled her earlobe. He planted a gentle kiss on her bare shoulder.

Katie took his hand and he looked back up. “Come on, let’s go,” she said softly.

–JUST ONE NIGHT is just 99¢ every day!

JUST ONE NIGHT by Pandora Spocks

JUST ONE NIGHT is 99¢ every day!
books2read.com/JustOneNight

Weekend Excerpt–For Sparrow

A platonic Dom/sub relationship?
It’s a damn odd arrangement.

2018 GOLDEN FLOGGER AWARD WINNER–Best BDSM Book, BDSM Light!

When Jessi Crenshaw’s husband Graham dies unexpectedly, she’s devastated. He’s the only man she’s ever loved. Just eighteen when she met him, she’s been married to him for twenty-five years. Now she’s lost her friend, her lover…and her Dominant.

But as it turns out, Graham had an inkling that his health was in decline, and he tapped his friend and protégé in the Lifestyle, firefighter and paramedic Judd Farris, to be Jessi’s Dominant until she gets back on her feet.

Judd is determined to fulfill his promise to his friend. But it’s a damn odd arrangement—a platonic Dom/sub relationship. With her fiery auburn hair, sparkling green eyes, and audacious spirit, Jessi captured his attention the first time he ever saw her. At her husband’s funeral.

A man could go to hell for the things he’s been thinking. But they’ve drawn a line, and he’s going to stick to it.

Judd’s sexy good looks and his gentle confidence aren’t lost on Jessi. She’s torn between loyalty to the man she loved, and desire for the man increasingly in her fantasies. In the letter Graham left for her, he mentioned that she might find Judd attractive. But that’s simply ridiculous. He’s five years younger than she is. He couldn’t possibly be interested in her. Could he?

Judd’s a Dom without a sub, and Jessi’s a sub without a Dom. It’s perfect for the time being. Could it be that Graham had more in mind than merely a temporary solution?

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

FOR SPARROW is a contemporary erotic romance novel with a light BDSM theme. It’s the third book in the Dream Dominant Collection.

Read an excerpt from FOR SPARROW.

I buried my husband today.

The thought tumbled through Jessi’s mind over and over, like clothes in a dryer. Voices around her sounded oddly muted, as though she were underwater. Occasionally, someone touched her, a simple grasping of her hand, a gentle pat on her shoulder, and the sensation felt like burning embers showering down over her.

Following the graveside service, mourners had gathered at her home. Hers and Graham’s.

Only Graham isn’t here. We left him at the cemetery. I buried my husband today.

Food had appeared in her kitchen. Casseroles, desserts, salads. There was even a brisket. An army of women had set up a command post and were making sure guests had plenty to eat and drink. Jessi wondered briefly if there was enough ice for the drinks. Maybe she should ask Graham run to out and get some more.

I buried my husband today.

Since that day, her phone hadn’t stopped ringing. Friends and neighbors hadn’t stopped calling and dropping by. “How are you?” “What can we do?” “What do you need?”

Her business partner, Sarah Reid, had been her rock, taking over the events they had scheduled for the week, returning calls Jessi didn’t have the strength to deal with.

“You take all the time you need, hon,” Sarah had told her. “We’ve got it under control.”

Since that day.

“Sparrow, I need to get the oil changed in my car. Why don’t you drive to the mechanic’s and I’ll meet you there? I’ll drop you at your office, and then we can do the reverse this afternoon.”

Jessi had waited at the mechanic’s shop. After an hour had passed, she’d tried his phone. A stranger had answered.

“This is Officer Brooks. The owner of this phone has been in an accident. Are you the wife of Graham Crenshaw?”

A police car had picked her up and driven her to the hospital. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Crenshaw. It appears your husband suffered a fatal heart attack behind the wheel of his car. When the car hit the utility pole, he was most likely already deceased.” The doctor had had an air of resigned sympathy. Jessi had wondered how many people he pronounced dead on an average day.

Sarah had met her at the hospital and had driven her home. Jessi wasn’t sure how her own car had gotten back to the house. She’d somehow made the calls to Cara and Adam. “Something has happened. Your dad died.”

Cara, age twenty-three, had made her excuses at her job with the Weather Channel, and had taken the first available flight from Atlanta to West Palm Beach. Adam, age twenty-one, had driven from Orlando where he worked as a video game animator.

Jessi and the kids had gone to the funeral home the following day to see to burial arrangements. The funeral director had neatly folded his hands on top of his huge mahogany desk and smiled kindly.

“Mrs. Crenshaw, your husband has everything prearranged. You don’t need to worry about a thing, it’s all taken care of. He has requested that he be buried in a navy suit, with a white shirt and a blue and red paisley tie. Do you know the things he means?”

Jessi had nodded dumbly. What he’d described was her favorite suit of Graham’s. He always looked so handsome, and he’d worn it when they’d celebrated their anniversary a few months back.

He had it all planned out. But when? Did he do it after the heart attack a few years ago? Why didn’t he mention it?

“We’re just so sorry for your loss.” The statement shook Jessi from her thoughts, returning her to the morbid gathering in her living room. It was a neighbor couple from down the street.

“Thank you,” she murmured, not meeting their eyes. She sipped her wine to have something to do, and wandered into the kitchen.

“Hey, hon, how are you holding up?” Sarah asked.

Jessi shrugged and gave a weak smile. “I’m okay.”

“Can we get you something to eat?”

Jessi shook her head and headed back to the living room.

I buried my husband today.

“Jessica. I was just chatting with your lovely daughter and son,” said Rev. Lyman. “Graham was a good man, taken before his time.” He looked at Jessi with slight reproof. “I hope we’ll be seeing you and your family on Sunday.”

“Maybe, Reverend,” Jessi replied softly. “If you’ll excuse me and my children.”

“Of course. Family has to pull together at a time like this.”

They watched him work his way across the room. “I’m not lovely?” quipped Adam.

Jessi smiled at her son. “You’re lovely to me. And you’re welcome for getting the good reverend to move along.”

“Do you love the way Rev. Lyman tried to get in a plug for going to church?” commented Cara.

“My personal relationship with God is exactly that. Personal,” replied Jessi. “How are you two doing?”

“It’s hard,” said Adam, his voice breaking.

“I know. You don’t have to stay for all of this. I have no idea when people will decide to leave.”

“I’m here until Friday,” Cara said. “I don’t want to leave you alone to deal.”

Jessi kissed her cheek and then Adam’s. “Thank you both. I love you so much. Your dad loved you, too.” She felt tears forming again. She felt as though she’d cried out her very soul, and yet tears were always near.

Cara’s here until Friday. What day is it again?

Cara and Adam moved out to find their friends. Jessi turned to look for a place to sit. She was so weary. She was stopped by a woman she vaguely recognized.

“Jessica, I’m Harriet. From church?”

“Oh, yes, Harriet. It was good of you to come.”

“Sweetie, I just want to remind you that Graham is in a better place.” She beamed at Jessi, as though her words bestowed onto the new widow some sort of miracle.

Jessi felt a twitch begin at the outer corner of her left eye. If I don’t get out of here right now, I’m going to scream.

“If you’ll excuse me, please,” she murmured, pushing past the woman. She hurried through the kitchen, ignoring Sarah as she called to her, and slipped out the back door.

The lanai and pool deck were blissfully quiet in the early evening twilight. The sun had set and the lights had come on automatically. She crossed to the far side of the pool, and sat on the raised edge of the spa with her back to the house. Finally alone, she leaned forward with her elbows on her thighs and let the tears flow.

She’d only been there a few minutes when she heard a sound, the soft scuff of a leather shoe against the brick pavers. She sat up abruptly and whirled around.

“I’m so sorry. I don’t mean to bother you.” The man was tall and muscular, his dark hair in short waves framing a handsome face, his dark suit cut slim. Large brown eyes were soft and sympathetic.

Jessi sniffed and stood, swiping at the tears on her cheeks. “I just needed some air. I buried my husband today.” She looked up at him, shocked. “That’s the first time I said that out loud.”

He smiled kindly. “I’ll leave you alone. I just wanted to say that Graham was a good man. He was my friend and I’ll miss him.”

“Thank you. Did you work with him?”

“No. We were friends. I’m Judd, by the way.”

Jessi nodded. “Thank you for coming, Judd. I’m sure he would have appreciated it.” She began walking back towards the house. Judd fell into step beside her.

“I thought maybe I would come back on Saturday, maybe help you with the lawn,” he said.

Jessi was only half-listening, wondering if Harriet had gotten the hell out of her house yet. “Mm-hmm,” she murmured.

“Alright, Jessi,” he said. “Take care, now.”

She nodded and went to find her children.

–From FOR SPARROW, 2017 New Apple Medalist for Literary Erotica and 2018 Golden Flogger Winner for Best BDSM Book–BDSM Light.

FOR SPARROW by Pandora Spocks

FOR SPARROW is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/ForSparrow

Weekend Excerpt–Christmas on Lake Miranda

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 colleague Blake Walker, intent on leasing space at Blake’s family’s remote wilderness guest lodge. That’s where he meets Blake’s sister Jackie, who runs the lodge with her brother’s help. Her strength and independence intrigue Scott. A single mom, Jackie has no intention of being anyone’s submissive.

In his personal life, Scott is tired of casual sex in the BDSM club scene. Envious watching his buddy Blake fall head over heels for his own submissive, Scott thinks he might be ready to take the plunge himself. As he and Jackie spend time together, he’s enchanted with her inner Warrior Princess. But Jackie’s been burned before. And she has two children who are her priority, not to mention the business to run. As independent as she is, she can’t see relinquishing her power to a man, not even one she’s falling for.

Scott’s heart aches at the idea of not having Jackie in his life. Can she take another chance on love, or will she insist on ignoring her submissive soul?

If you enjoyed LOST & BOUND, you’ll love this spin-off stand-alone story.

Join Jackie and Scott in this little Christmas teaser.

On Christmas Eve, after the kids had gone to bed, the adults gathered around the enormous festively-decorated white spruce. Light Christmas jazz played in the background, and outside the floor to ceiling windows, snow swirled lazily in the half moonlight.

Jackie handed Amy a mug of warm mulled cider and settled beside her on a leather sofa with a mug of her own. On the floor, Scott and Blake sat amid the scattered pieces of a pink Barbie house ‘Santa’ had found on sale months earlier and had put away until now.

Winking at Amy, Jackie suppressed a smile. “Did you guys read the instructions?”

“We don’t need the damn instructions,” Blake huffed, pushing a stray lock of dark hair out of his eyes. “We’re two intelligent, grown men. We can figure out how to put together a dollhouse.”

The women clinked their mugs and giggled gleefully.

Amy looked from Blake and Scott to the twinkling Christmas tree, and to Jackie. “I love this.” Her voice was soft, and though she smiled, a tear was in her eye. “This is the Christmas I always wanted.”

Jackie’s heart melted, and she reached for Amy’s hand. “I’m so happy you’re here.”

Blake pushed up from the floor and pressed a tender kiss to Amy’s temple. “This is our life, kitten. This is our family, your family. You belong here.”

Jackie smiled across the room at Scott, who winked at her, and she felt a familiar tummy flutter. She loved the man more than she’d thought humanly possible. And when summer came, she’d marry him.

After Blake and Amy retired to the guest room, Scott and Jackie went to bed, quietly making love, then holding each other until late into the night.

They awoke to a bright sunny day, the sky crystal cerulean, the sun reflecting brilliantly off the sparkling snow. Emma and Grant squealed excitedly as they saw the mountain of gifts under the tree. Scott sat at the end of the sofa and Jackie snuggled up beside him, each of them sipping steaming mugs of coffee. Blake and Amy sat opposite them on the sofa’s twin, smiling as they watched the children tearing into their gifts.

Once they were finished, the kids had fun delivering gifts to the adults. Finally, all the gifts were opened. Blake and Amy gave each other a conspiratorial look. “We have a few more gifts,” Amy said.

“More?” Jackie echoed, thinking of the extravagant handbag for her, and the top of the line boots for Scott. “You’ve done so much already, seriously.”

Blake reached behind the sofa and picked up four identical shirt boxes wrapped in metallic red paper. He glanced at the tags and handed one to each of the children and to Jackie and Scott.

Amy leaned forward excitedly. “You have to open them all together. Ready? One, two, three!”

With a bemused glance at Scott, Jackie carefully opened her box. Grant and Emma ripped theirs open. “It’s a shirt,” Emma said, holding up a pink t-shirt.

Grant peered into the box. “Thanks, Aunt Amy,” he said, making an effort to sound enthused about a shirt. “It sure is…pink.”

Scott tilted his head as he looked at his, then elbowed Jackie lightly. She looked at his, then gaped at hers. In sparkling letters across pink cotton, she read, World’s Greatest Aunt.

Jackie gasped. “I knew it! I knew you were pregnant! I’m so excited for you!” she squealed, rushing over to give Amy and Blake a big hug.

“We didn’t want to tell anyone until we knew everything was going to be okay,” Amy explained.

“Cool,” Grant said, pulling his new shirt over his head, “we’re going to be cousins!”

“Aunt Amy, are you having a boy baby or a girl baby?” Emma asked.

Blake grinned. “It’s a little girl. That’s why we gave you pink shirts.”

“Congratulations, man!” Scott grinned as Blake stood and the two embraced. “That’s great news.”

“I can’t believe it.” He shook his head. “I’m going to be a dad.”

Jackie sank onto the sofa beside Amy. “A little girl,” she shook her head smiling. “That’s fantastic.”

Amy nodded, eyes shining. “Do you want to see the ultrasound pictures?”

“I’ll get them,” Blake said, heading in the direction of the guest room.

Grant and Emma returned to their new toys. Scott perched on the arm of the sofa next to Jackie. “I’m so happy for you two,” he told Amy. She laughed happily.

From the direction of the guest room, they heard a tiny yip. Jackie frowned. “What was that?”

Eyes wide, Amy gave an exaggerated shrug. “I have no idea.”

“Uh oh,” Blake called from the guest room. “I think I found another present.”

Jackie looked up to see a shaggy black puppy with a huge red bow come running into the room. He ran straight to the kids, yipping excitedly.

“A puppy,” Emma squealed.

Grant squinted at the tag on the big red bow and gasped. “Mom! It’s for us, from Santa!”

Blake leaned against the doorway looking pleased with himself.

“From Santa, huh?”

“I think Grandma and Grandpa might have mentioned it to the big guy,” Blake grinned.

Oh, for f-” Jackie glanced up at Scott. “Did you know about this?”

He raised his hands in surrender. “I promise, I knew nothing about a puppy.”

“They love Bear so much, they need one of their own,” Amy said, smiling.

“So, what are you going to name him?” Blake asked.

Brow furrowed, Grant watched the Newfie puppy for a moment. “Max. He looks like a Max to me.”

Ruffling the puppy’s ears, Emma nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah. Max.”

Jackie shook her head. “He’s cute, I’ll give you that. But I still want to see those ultrasound pictures of my niece.”

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

This Christmas, treat yourself to WARRIOR MINE,
Dream Dominant Book 4!
books2read.com/WarriorMine

Weekend Excerpt–Christmas at Michael’s

Michael and Maggie?
It’s complicated.

Brilliant Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan has his life arranged exactly the way he likes it. As a founding partner at the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, & Metheny, he can let his underlings do the legwork on the high profile defense cases his exclusive 50th floor division handles. He prefers to simply breeze in and do what he does best: dazzle juries and charm the press.

His private life is well-ordered, too. Michael doesn’t have the time or the patience for relationships. Instead, he has a contact list of hot blondes who meet his needs at any given moment, whether it’s a date to a gallery opening or awards show. Or he just wants to get laid.

Some people would call him shallow. But they’re just envious.

Maggie Flynn has her life mapped out as well. After she graduates from law school she plans to take a job with the Prosecutor’s Office where she interned. But when she attends a job fair and meets Michael Rannigan, her plans change. She’s studied his cases, even heard him speak once. He’s smart and sexy and she can’t resist interviewing with him.

Michael hires Maggie and has her assigned to his elite 50th floor team. He knows smart when he sees it. He also sees the spark in her eyes. She wants him. And having her nearby strokes his ego. It’s not like anything will come of it, she’s so far from his type. But there’s something unsettling about Mary Margaret Flynn, like she can see through his bullshit in a way no one else ever bothered to do.

Maggie realizes that her crush on Michael is all but hopeless. He’s a self-absorbed womanizer. But beneath that cool exterior, she’s seen the man he can be and she’s sure that love can bring that out. In the meantime, she’s content to work with him.

What would happen if they ever crossed that line?

In this teaser from RESISTING RISK, the first book in the Rannigan’s Redemption trilogy, a surprise guest has crashed Maggie’s annual Orphans & Misfits Christmas celebration.

After everyone ate as much as they could, the guys agreed to do all the clean-up. Maggie supervised returning the tables to their proper places then sank onto the sofa, resting her feet on the coffee table.

“What about the dessert, Flynn?” Ben asked when the leftovers were packed up.

“Let’s be informal. Grab some if you want some. I want to do presents,” Maggie said. Michael brought her a fresh glass of wine. She looked up at him, grinning in appreciation, and patted the space beside her.

“I’ll sit on the floor, I don’t mind,” he said, sliding to a spot beside her feet.

“Now the way this works is, everyone takes a number. We go in order starting at 1. Number 1 picks first. Number 2 can pick a new present or steal from Number 1. Everybody got it?” Ben asked. Maggie watched in amusement as some played shyly while others were cut-throat.

“What’s this?” Michael asked quietly. She looked down to see him holding an ornament from the tree. It was a small red glass ball held by a green paper cone. Her name was spelled out in glitter.

“I think I was about six when I made that,” she smiled. “The Christmas ornaments were some of the few things I took from my dad’s house.”

He grinned. “I like it.”

When the gifts were over, Maggie had a new hand-crocheted toilet-roll cover. Michael had a $10 gift card to Starbucks. “Guess somebody didn’t get the memo,” he quipped so that only Maggie heard, and she giggled softly.

He winked and leaned close. “Mags, I should be making my way to the airport.”

“Okay,” Maggie sighed. “I’ll walk you out.” She got her coat and hat while he said his goodbyes. “I’ll be right back,” she said to Casey as they headed out of the apartment. They walked down the stairs without chatting.

Once out on the sidewalk, Michael turned and faced her. “I had a great time, Mags. Thanks for inviting me.” He glanced up. “We have an audience, by the way.” He waved at the crowd gathered in Maggie’s front window.

She looked up at them, scowling. “Come on,” she said, turning right and heading down the sidewalk. She stopped just around the corner.

Michael smiled. “Thanks. I just wanted to say goodbye privately. I brought you a gift but I didn’t want to give it to you in there.” He pulled a small flat box from his pocket. It was light blue, tied with a white ribbon.

Maggie’s eyes widened. “Sean Michael Rannigan, you did not!”

“How did you know the S stands for Sean?

She shrugged. “Everyone knows it’s Sean. I can’t believe you went to Tiffany…” She stopped and looked up at him, smiling sadly. “This wasn’t for me. This is supposed to be for someone else.”

“No, Mags, this is for you,” he said earnestly. “I mean, to be honest, I went there yesterday looking for something for Jana.”

“What, Toys R Us and GapKids were closed?” Maggie quipped.

“Ah-hah-hah, you’re very funny. I found a little trinket to give to Jana, but then I turned and saw this. All I could think was that you should have it. It’s for you, Mags.”

Curious, Maggie slowly pulled the white ribbon and lifted the lid. In the box resting on light blue velvet was a delicate silver bracelet. It had a vintage look to it with large rectangular milky white cabochons alternating with trios of small round diamonds surrounded by platinum filigree. She looked back up at Michael, eyes wide.

“Those are moonstones,” he said proudly. “This was in the vintage case. It was made in 1915.” He gazed at the bracelet. “It’s graceful and classy, just like you.”

“I don’t know what to say, Michael. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. Will you help me put it on?”

He lifted the bracelet from the box and as Maggie held out her left hand he fastened it around her wrist. She held it out and watched it catch the natural light. As she did, she noticed a tiny platinum tag hanging from the clasp. Peering closer she saw that it was engraved. To Maggie, From Michael.

“See? I told you it was for you.” She looked back up at him, eyes shining, and as she did, a gust of wind caught some stray hair, blowing it across her face. Michael gently moved the errant strands, tucking them behind her ear. Without planning it at all, he planted a tender kiss on her lips.

He moved back slightly as Maggie looked up at him, eyes shining with desire. He leaned into her again, the kiss this time all heat and passion. She brought her left hand up to cradle his right cheek, her desire matching his. When he stopped kissing her, he pulled her close, tucking her under his chin and they stood like that for a moment.

Finally, he gently set her back from him. She looked up, the sad glint once again in her eyes. After all, he was leaving her to go to someone else. “Merry Christmas, Mags.”

RESISTING RISK, Rannigan’s Redemption Book 1 by Pandora Spocks

RESISTING RISK is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/ResistingRisk

Weekend Excerpt–Happy Thanksgiving!

Artist Petey Cavanaugh has no idea the handsome businessman she’s falling for is actually Europe’s most eligible prince.

Red-haired Petey Cavanaugh is a sculptor who welds steel and glass creations. A young widow, she lives on her in-laws’ sheep ranch in Montana where she helps out during the day, working on her art at night.

Looking to raise money to expand the ranch’s business, she gratefully accepts her art school roommate’s offer of a gallery show in Manhattan. It’s been years since she was in the city, and she’s happy to visit her old friend.

Nik is in New York on business. He’s been traveling for nearly a month, enduring endless meetings, attending obligatory dinners, and battling jet-lag. On his way to yet another business dinner, his world collides with Petey’s one rainy Manhattan night.

Their mutual attraction is immediate, but Nik’s skeptical. Could it possibly be that this gorgeous, enchanting artist has no idea that he’s Europe’s most eligible prince?

Spending time with Petey is Nik’s first-ever taste of ordinary. What will happen when she finds out the truth?

In this snippet from CHASING ORDINARY, Nik is ready to celebrate his first Thanksgiving.

After they’d showered and dressed for the day, Petey and Nik collected the casserole dishes from the refrigerator and placed them in the bed of a yellow wire-mesh wagon Petey retrieved from the garage. Together, they carried the wagon down the front steps and then headed off in the direction of Jane and Eli’s house.

The late November air was crisp and cold, their breath creating fog as they trudged along. As they approached the house, Cherry opened the front door and the aroma of roasting turkey wafted toward them. “Happy Thanksgiving!” she called.

“Happy Thanksgiving to you,” Nik returned as Petey waved. “We come bearing foodstuffs.”

Cherry’s brow furrowed. “Hunh?”

Petey laughed. “We have potatoes and dressing.”

“Oh. Come on in. It’s cold outside.”

Leaving the wagon on the front porch, Petey and Nik carried the dishes through the large living room to the kitchen, which was abuzz with activity. Mary Pat, decked out in a fall-themed apron, was leaning down to peer into the oven. At the kitchen counter, Jane was briskly working a fork through a large pot filled with something white. She looked up as they approached.

“Welcome! Happy Thanksgiving!” she smiled. “I’m just working the lumps out of the mashed turnips.”

Petey, sliding the potatoes into the fridge behind Jane, turned and made a face at Nik, who stifled a chuckle.

“Thank you for making me feel so welcome. I’m thrilled to be celebrating my first Thanksgiving,” Nik replied with an infectious grin.

“You never had Thanksgiving before?” Cherry asked, aghast.

“No, dummy, they don’t have Thanksgiving in Beruvia. It’s about the Pilgrims, remember?” Thomas chided.

“And the first time-out of the day goes to Thomas, who has been reminded repeatedly not to call his sister names. Ten minutes, pal. Starting when you get to your room. Now scoot,” called Eli, entering the kitchen from the back door. He nodded in greeting to Nik and Petey.

“Aw, dad!”

“We could make it twenty.”

“Geez, I’m going.”

Eli watched his son stomp upstairs. “Cherry, it’s time for the woolly to eat again.”

“Alright, Daddy.” The child turned to Nik. “Wanna come help me feed my lamb?”

Nik beamed at her. “I’d be honored to help. But you have to teach me how.”

Cherry was shrugging into her puffy hot-pink down coat. “Okay, but it’s pretty easy.” She pulled a knitted pink beanie with bunny ears down over her head. “Let’s go. We’re keeping him in the g’rage.”

With a wink to Petey, Nik followed the little girl into the garage.

“He doesn’t have to do that,” Jane whispered to Petey with a smile.

“I think he’s happy to tag along,” Petey replied.

“Happy Thanksgiving, Ms. Petey,” Jorgen greeted her as he entered through the same door Eli had come through moments earlier.

“Happy Thanksgiving, Jorgen. How are you today?”

The older man smiled. “I’m most well, thank you.” He turned to Mary Pat. “Is this what you meant?” He handed her three tins of spices.

Mary Pat smiled. “Yes, those are exactly the ones.” She shook her head. “I can’t believe I forgot them. Thank you so much for getting them for me.”

“It was sincerely my pleasure,” Jorgen said, bowing politely.

Jane rolled her eyes at Petey, who responded with a silent, “What the fuck?”

Eli had settled on the large sectional in front of the television. The Cowboys were just about to take the field. With his mission for Mary Pat accomplished, Jorgen joined Eli.

Petey was setting the long table in the dining room when Nik and Cherry came back into the house. The little girl was talking a mile a minute, with Nik nodding and replying when it was appropriate.

While Cherry continued into the kitchen, Nik stopped to give Petey a quick kiss. “Is there anything I can do?”

Petey shook her head. “I think it’s pretty much under control. Did you get the lamb all sorted out?”

“We did. I even got a chance to hold the bottle before Cherry decided I was doing it wrong.” Nik’s eyes sparkled with amusement. “I believe it’s the bluntest criticism I’ve ever received.”

“Yeah, she’d kind of straightforward,” Petey laughed. “The guys are watching football if you want to go relax.”

Nik nodded. “I think I will. I’m a bit knackered from too much sex,” he whispered.

Petey gave him a playful push and sent him on his way. Thomas, having paid his ten-minute penalty, made his way downstairs and joined his father and the others in front of the television.

Finally, everything was ready, with platters and bowls arranged down the center of the table. Everyone took their places, with Eli at one end and Nik at the other. Sitting to Nik’s right, Petey gave his thigh a quick squeeze beneath the table. Eli gave a thoughtful grace, and the food was passed.

Petey cleared her throat meaningfully as she handed Nik the bowl of mashed turnips. When he glanced her way, she arched an eyebrow. Stifling a chuckle, he passed the bowl to Jorgen, who heaped the concoction on his plate. Petey grinned at Nik, happy to share an inside joke.

The conversation was cheery, at times raucous and funny, punctuated by plenty of laughter. From time to time, Petey glanced to Nik, who seemed to be enjoying himself thoroughly. The thought of him being happy and at ease squeezed her heart with emotion.

At that moment, she realized that what she wanted more than anything was for Nik to be happy. That’s what love is, isn’t it?

When dinner was over, Jane stood up. “Okay, gentlemen, since the ladies cooked, you’re on clean-up detail.” She leaned over and kissed Eli on the cheek. “I’ll check on the barn,” she told him softly.

As Petey stood, Nik and Jorgen began gathering up the dishes and utensils. She sidled up to Nik. “You don’t really have to do this, you know,” she said softly. “It’s kind of Jane’s rule, but…”

“I don’t mind at all.” His tone was earnest. “I’m happy to help. It makes me feel delightfully ordinary.”

Petey pursed her lips thoughtfully. “Well, just so you know.”

“Go, relax,” he winked at her. “I believe that odd game you Yanks call football is still on television.”

“I heard that,” Eli said. “And it’s just plain football.” His tone was serious, but there was a twinkle in his eye.

“And why don’t they use their feet to play it, hmm?” Nik jibed, as both men laughed.

CHASING ORDINARY by Pandora Spocks

CHASING ORDINARY is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/ChasingOrdinary

Weekend Excerpt–Happy Halloween!

…the living are always more dangerous than the dead…

Happy Halloween!
If you’re in the mood for a ‘dark and stormy night in a haunted house‘ kind of romance novel, MIDNIGHT COVE is the book for you.

Writer Bree Blaylock leaves Florida and an abusive fiance for a quiet cabin on the lake in a small South Carolina town. The fact that the cabin is haunted doesn’t bother her in the least. In her experience, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

When she meets her handsome new neighbor, local lawman Jake Hanson, she wonders if it might be time to take another chance on love.

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

Here’s a brand-new teaser from MIDNIGHT COVE.

With Main Street blocked off, Rusty parked the truck in a designated area, and the pair set off on foot, joining dozens of other costumed townspeople as they made their way toward the center of the action. 

Midnight Cove had been transformed into a black and orange fairyland that would have made Tim Burton proud.  Orange lights were strung back and forth in zig-zag patterns across Main Street, and carved jack o’ lanterns of varying temperaments grinned in front of every business. 

The nostalgic aroma of fried dough and onions and fresh popcorn filled the air as Bree spied a row of food kiosks down the center of the street.  An area at one end of the street featured Halloween-themed carnival games for children, and residents had begun to arrange their chairs along the sidewalks, huge containers of candy at the ready for the trick-or-treating to begin.

At the opposite end of Main Street from the games, several stands offered adult beverages, and that’s where Rusty led Bree.  “I told her to meet us at the Dew Drop Inn tent,” he explained.  It’s right in front of the bookstore.

Just as they arrived at the orange and black canopy, the door of the Plucky Peacock opened, and a familiar figure emerged.  She locked the door and walked toward them.

“Hey, y’all!  Ooh, Bree, you look fantastic!  I love your makeup.”  She rose on her tiptoes and gave Rusty a kiss.

Bree shrugged lightly.  “It’s not too much, is it?”

“Girl, it’s Halloween.  Let it all hang out, that’s what I say.  Speaking of which,” she lowered her voice, “great cleavage!  Jake’s gonna love it.”

Beneath the heavy makeup, Bree blushed profusely.  “So, what’s this all about?”  She waved toward April, hoping to change the subject.

April held her hands out to her side and slowly rotated in a circle.  “Get it?” she grinned happily.

Bree scanned her friend up and down.  April was covered from her shoulders to her knees in a shaggy brown faux fur tube.  Her arms and legs stuck out from holes in the sides, and the whole thing narrowed to an elongated point that dragged on the ground several feet behind her.  A round fur hat completed the ensemble.

“What are you supposed to be?” Bree wondered.

April rolled her eyes good-naturedly.  “I’m a tail.”  She tucked her arm through Rusty’s.  “He’s a fairy.  Together, we’re a fairy tale.”  She gestured between herself and Rusty.

“Oh, for Pete’s sake,” Bree laughed lightly.  “Listen, have you seen Jake?”

“I don’t know.  He was down here earlier, but they may have sent him to the kids’ area.  We’ll find him later.  Let’s go get us some Witches Brew.”

Bree glanced around, but Jake was nowhere to be seen.  Reluctantly, she joined April and Rusty in line.  Ten minutes later, they each held a black plastic bucket containing a fruity alcohol concoction.

“Thirty-two ounces of different kinds of rum with a tiny splash of juice.” April giggled. “Any other day, it’s called a voodoo bucket, but on Halloween, they call it Witches Brew.”

Bree sipped hers, deciding the combination of different rums and juice was an enjoyable mixture. 

“Okay, what now?” Rusty asked.

“I really need to find Jake,” Bree responded.

“I thought we could work our way over to the nachos.”  April sounded a bit disappointed.

“You guys go ahead,” Bree told her.  “I’ll catch up with you in a little while.”

April looked to Rusty and rolled her eyes comically.  “The girl has the serious hots for your best friend,” she told him.

Bree laughed with more patience than she felt.  “Really, I’ll find you again.  And thanks for the drink.  Next round is on me.”

“Now, you’re talking.  Okay, go find Jakey-boy,” Rusty teased.  “We’ll see you in a while.” 

Bree watched the pair make their way to one of the food tents.  Then she turned and headed back toward the other end of the street.  Her sense of unease growing, her gaze flitted around as she scanned the crowd searching for Jake. 

She finally spotted him just as he was leaving the children’s game area.  Before she could reach him, he was stopped by Darlene Bright, who was sporting a very short plaid skirt and a white blouse tied around her bare midriff.  Her long blond hair hung in pigtails, and she wore white knee socks and black stilettos. 

Nodding at something Darlene said, Jake looked up and saw Bree coming toward them.  Grinning broadly, he excused himself and met Bree in three long strides.

“Hello, beautiful!  You make just about the sexiest witch I ever saw.”  He leaned down to kiss her lightly.  “And I see you found the official Halloween libation.  Where are Rusty and April?”

Bree hooked a thumb over her shoulder.  “They went to get something to eat.  I wanted to find you, though.”

“The festival’s going really well,” he commented, looking out over the crowd.  “The weather is perfect, and everyone’s having a great time.  Are you hungry?  The onion rings are to die for.  My treat?”

Shaking her head, she put her free hand on his arm.  “I need to talk to you.”

At her urgent tone, he frowned.  “Is everything okay?”

She sighed deeply.  “It’s just…”  She looked around.  “Can we talk someplace quiet?”  She dropped her drink into a nearby trash can.

He nodded.  “Sure.  Come with me.”

Taking her hand, he led her through the crowd to the police station.  The front doors were unlocked, and he led her through a swinging wooden gate into the inner office.  Brow furrowed, he turned to face her, leaning a hip on one of the desks.  “What’s the matter, Bree?  You’re worrying me.”

She exhaled sharply and paced a few steps away.  “This is going to sound nuts.  But I need you to believe me.”

Jake crossed his arms and nodded.  “Just tell me what’s going on.”

“Mr. Meyer killed that girl all those years ago.  Christie.  And he killed his brother, Steven, too.”  She wrung her hands together, desperate for Jake to believe her.

His frown deepened, and he swiped his hand across his chin.  “What makes you think so?”

Bree chewed her lip, hesitating.  “I saw him do it.”

She watched his eyes widen.

“You saw him.”  He shook his head.  “Bree, that murder happened forty years ago.  How could you have seen it?”

“I know how this sounds, Jake.  But I saw him.  Out on the island.  I don’t think he set out to do it, but he strangled Christie, then he hit Steven in the head with a rock.  He buried Steven in the basement of the lake house.”

Pushing away from the desk, he approached her, taking her hands in his.  “Bree, I just don’t understand.  What do you mean, you saw him do these things?”

“It was a dream.”  Her voice was nearly a whisper.

Relief flooded Jake’s face.  “A dream.  Bree, you just dreamed you saw Meyer do those things.”

Frustrated tears threatened to spill down her cheeks, and she swallowed hard.  “Jake, I need you to believe me.  It’s true.  The murderer has been here the whole time.  People should know the truth.  Steven and Christie deserve justice.”

He watched her for a moment, then pulled her to himself, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.  “It’s not that I don’t believe you, babe.  But let’s say I do believe you.  I can’t act on something you saw in a dream.  I need concrete evidence, something irrefutable.  I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to–“

With a grunt, Jake went limp and slid to the floor.  Where he’d been, Eric Meyer stood glaring at her, a heavy glass paperweight in his hand.

“See what you made me do?” he said to Bree.

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

Find MIDNIGHT COVE at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/MidnightCove

Weekend Excerpt–MIDNIGHT COVE

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

Writer Bree Blaylock picked the town of Midnight Cove, South Carolina by closing her eyes and pointing to a random spot on the map. She doesn’t care where she goes as long as it’s away from her abusive former fiance. All she wants is a quiet place to finish writing her new novel and to live in peace.

As soon as she drives up to the cottage she’s renting for the next couple of months, she knows she’s not alone. But she learned long ago not to be afraid of things that go bump in the night.

What she didn’t count on was falling for the handsome local lawman who lives a few doors down. Jake Hanson is giving her hope that finding real love is actually possible. But can he keep her safe when the past comes calling?

If I’m being honest, I have to say that I LOVE October. First of all, it’s my birthday month. Add to that the cooler temps, the beautiful fall colors…it’s an irresistible season.

But in October, suddenly I’m in the mood for a ‘dark and stormy night in a haunted house’ kind of book. If you’re like me, MIDNIGHT COVE is just what you’re looking for.

Here’s a scary little snippet.

A flash of lightning lit up the downstairs of the lake house like an overexposed photograph.  The crack of thunder was instantaneous, and Bree ducked her head reflexively.  Murphy, never a fan of a thunderstorm, cowered beside her on the sofa. 

The power had blinked off nearly half an hour earlier, and now the den was lit only by the fire in the fireplace along with a few scattered candles Bree had brought down from upstairs.  She’d had a productive day of writing, and now she was content to watch the storm and read her Kindle for as long as the battery held out.

She patted the dog affectionately.  “You’re fine, don’t be such a baby,” she murmured.  “It’s nice and cozy in here, and I’m sure they’ll get the power back soon.”

The tiny digital clock in the corner of her tablet read 10:04, and Bree wondered if the power might be off until morning.  Certainly, no one would be climbing up any power poles until the storm was over.

Briefly, she considered heading upstairs to bed, but her phone rang before she could definitively decide.

“Hi,” she smiled.

“Hi yourself,” Jake said.  “How are you holding up in this crazy storm?”

She glanced at Murphy and shook her head.  “Oh, we’re fine.  Some of us are better than others.”

“Murphy’s not digging the thunder?”

“You guessed it.  I, however, am enjoying the light show over the lake.  I wish the power were on, though.  It feels very 19th century.  I’m so spoiled,” she laughed.

There was a slight pause.  “We don’t have any reports of power outages.  How long has it been out?”

Bree raised her eyebrows.  “Maybe half an hour?”

“Can you see if mine’s out, too?  I left my dock light on.”

“Okay, hang on.”  Bree slipped off the sofa and padded to the back door.  Through heavy rain, she could just make out a dot of light several houses down.  “Yeah, I think I can see your light.  The rain is so heavy, it’s hard to tell.”

Lightning flashed again, for a microsecond illuminating a dark figure standing directly in front of Bree, mere inches away on the other side of the glass.  She shrieked, scrambling backward so fast, she tripped on the rug and ended up on her behind.  Her phone landed beside her.

“Bree!  What’s wrong?”  Jake’s tone was urgent.

She snatched up the phone.  “Holy shit!  I thought I saw someone on the deck.”  Bree’s heart pounded.

“Is someone out there?”

She shook her head.  “No, that’s crazy, nobody would be out there.”  Another bolt of lightning briefly lit up the darkness, and she saw it again.  Someone in a dark hood was peering in at her from the deck.  She gasped and crab-crawled backward to the end of the sofa, hiding herself from view.  Murphy leaped off the sofa and charged the back door, barking for all he was worth.

“Bree?  Bree!”

“He’s…he’s there!  Somebody’s out there!  I thought maybe it was just my own reflection, but he’s out there!”  Bree felt hysteria rising.

“Bree, where are you right now?”

“I’m hiding behind the sofa,” she whispered.

“Is there someplace you can go, a closet or something close by?”

With Murphy still barking, she looked wildly around the room.  From her vantage point behind the sofa, she could see the hallway that led to the foyer.  She knew there was a closet about halfway down. 

“Yes, yes,” she hissed.  “The coat closet.”

“Stay low and get there.  I’m on my way.  Don’t come out of the closet.  I’ll call you once I know it’s safe, okay?”

Phone pressed to her ear, Bree nodded.

“Bree, did you hear me?  Hide in the closet and don’t come out for anything.”

Her teeth chattered, and she nodded again.  “In the closet.  You’ll call me.”

“I will.  Everything’s going to be alright.  I’ll be there as soon as I can get there.”

*******

Jake doubted he’d ever made the trek from town as quickly as he did that night.  Dan Roebuck, also on duty that rainy night, followed Jake in his own patrol car.  Blue lights flashing as the storm’s fury began to subside, Jake skidded to a stop in the gravel driveway and jumped out into the steady rain that still fell. 

Heavy black Maglight in one hand and service revolver in the other, he nodded to Dan.  They split up, cautiously searching around opposite ends of the house and meeting at the back deck. 

Jake glanced down the lake toward his house and saw the light illuminating the end of his dock, just like Bree had said.

“Hanson.”

He turned to Dan, who aimed his flashlight on the wooden steps leading up to the deck.  “Muddy footprints.  Somebody was out here.”

Stepping carefully to avoid ruining the tracks, the men followed the trail up the steps and all the way to the back door, where they ended.  Inside the house, Murphy continued to bark.

“It’s okay, Murphy, good boy,” Jake called to him.

As soon as the dog heard Jake’s voice, the barking was replaced by tail-wagging.

The two men crouched to examine the muddy prints.  Jake’s lips pressed into a grim line.  “The guy stood here for a while.” 

He looked up, past the yellow lab who was now whining at him, into the den where the fire still burned in the fireplace.  A half-glass of wine sat on the end table beside the place Bree would have been sitting on the sofa.

Jake felt a ripple of rage.  Someone had stood out here watching Bree.  He shook his head abruptly.  “Hey, Roebuck, want to keep looking around?  I need to let her know we’re here.”

Dan nodded and moved further down the deck, shining his light as he did.  Jake took out his phone and carefully headed back down the stairs. 

She picked up on the first ring.  “Where are you?” she whispered.

“I’m here,” he answered as he rounded the end of the house.  “I’m heading to your front door now.  Come let me in.”

At the front door, he tapped lightly, exhaling deliberately as he tried to tamp down his anger.  That someone had been prowling around the house, had been peering in at Bree, was more than he could stand.  As she tentatively opened the door, he pasted on what he hoped was a reassuring smile.  When she saw him, she threw herself into his arms. 

“Hey, it’s okay, everything’s okay.”  She shook uncontrollably as he held her.  He pressed a kiss to the top of her head.  “Come on, let’s go inside.  I’m getting you all wet.”

“I-I don’t c-care,” she told him.  “I was so scared.”

“I know, babe, but you’re safe.  I promise you’re safe now.”  He walked her to the sofa where she sat.  He took a seat on the coffee table across from her.  “Now, tell me what you saw.”

Her eyes were wide, and she still shook.  He took her icy hands between his own.  “Bree, describe what you saw.”

“A-a man was just standing there.  It was so dark.  I only saw him for a second, when the lightning flashed.  At first, I thought I had scared myself, that it was just my own reflection.  Or maybe–” 

She looked up at him like she was surprised to see him, and she shook her head again.  “But when the lightning flashed again, he was still there.  I was so scared,” she squeaked as tears began to fall.

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/MidnightCove

Weekend Excerpt–WARRIOR MINE

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 colleague Blake Walker, intent on leasing space at Blake’s family’s remote wilderness guest lodge.

That’s where he meets Blake’s sister Jackie, who runs the lodge with her brother’s help. Her strength and independence intrigue Scott. A single mom, Jackie has no intention of being anyone’s submissive.

In his personal life, Scott is tired of casual sex in the BDSM club scene. Envious watching his buddy Blake fall head over heels for his own submissive, Scott thinks he might be ready to take the plunge himself. As he and Jackie spend time together, he’s enchanted with her inner Warrior Princess.

But Jackie’s been burned before. And she has two children who are her priority, not to mention the business to run. As independent as she is, she can’t see relinquishing her power to a man, not even one she’s falling for.

Scott’s heart aches at the idea of not having Jackie in his life. Can she take another chance on love, or will she insist on ignoring her submissive soul?

If you enjoyed LOST & BOUND, you’ll love this spin-off stand-alone story.

Here’s a teaser from WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4.

Early the following morning, grey light filtering into the tent and the soft chirps of purple finches outside roused Jackie. Scott and the children were still fast asleep, but feeling the call of nature, Jackie quietly wriggled out of her sleeping bag and slipped out of the tent.

In the early morning chill, she pulled her blue hoodie around herself and headed into the woods behind the tent.

Minutes later, she returned, for the first time, looking out toward the water. Early morning fog shrouded the surface of the lake, but what caught her attention was the black bear curiously nosing around the skiff at the edge of the water.

Following dinner the previous night, they’d placed the cooler back in the boat to keep from having it at the campsite, and Jackie realized that even from inside the large plastic cube, the smell of hot dogs was probably extremely enticing. But the fact that her children and Scott slept mere meters away pushed her into action.

“Nope! No way!” she shouted, waving her arms wildly. “This is not working for me. Get out, bear! Go on, get!”

The bear looked up in surprise. Jackie stepped closer, continuing with waves and shouts. Stooping, she picked up a rock and lobbed it in the bear’s direction, plinking the side of the aluminum boat with a resounding thunk.

Opting to search for an easier meal, the bear turned and splashed through the water before loping up a hillside further down the shore.

Jackie turned to see Scott standing outside the tent, barefooted and hair askew, his jeans and red long-sleeved cotton t-shirt wrinkled from sleep. His expression said that he wasn’t happy. Wide-eyed, Emma and Grant peered around his legs from inside the tent.

“What was it, Mom?” Grant asked.

“Just a bear, but don’t worry about it; he’s gone now. You can go back to sleep.”

“A bear?” Emma echoed shrilly.

“He’s gone, baby, it’s okay.”

“You guys rest for a little while longer,” Scott said. “We’ll get you up for breakfast.”

Squatting, he withdrew his boots, then zipped the tent. After slipping on the boots, he marched toward Jackie, finger-combing his hair and tying it in a loose knot at the back of his head.

Sensing his anger, Jackie crossed her arms and squared her shoulders.

When he reached her, he took her gently by the elbow and led her further down the beach. “That was not safe, Jackie. What were you thinking? No way should you have approached that bear on your own,” he hissed.

“What was I supposed to do, let it get into the boat? Into the cooler? All I wanted to do was scare it away.”

Scott shook his head and exhaled in exasperation. “When I think about what might have happened…” He looked back at her. “Jackie, you have to keep yourself safe.”

She raised her chin indignantly. “I needed to keep you and the kids safe. That’s what I was thinking.”

“Careful with your tone, Princess. You’re in enough trouble as it is.”

“Oh, please, are you serious right now? I scared away a fucking bear. What should I have done? Gotten you up so you could scare it away?”

“You should have let me help you. That’s what you should have done. And I’m keeping track. Going after the bear by yourself, the tone, the sass. And the language on top of it all? Your ass is going to be so red.” He leaned over her, eyes flashing with a mixture of anger and desire.

Jackie wanted to stay angry, but she felt her core melting at the promise of a spanking. Still, she couldn’t resist pushing back. “Is that so?”

A low growl rolled up from his chest, and he grasped the front of her shirt, pulling her to himself and capturing her lips in a rough, demanding kiss. When he released her, she was breathless. “That’s so, Princess. Mark my words. Your ass is mine.”

WARRIOR MINE by Pandora Spocks

WARRIOR MINE is available at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/WarriorMine

Weekend Excerpt–RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION

Maggie is far from Michael’s usual type.
So why can’t he get her out of his mind?

Rannigan’s Redemption is 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 at 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.

Here’s a peek at the moment Michael and Maggie meet.

Michael Rannigan dry gulped three ibuprofen tablets as the car from the service weaved its way through mid-day Manhattan traffic. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a hangover. The previous night had been exceptional. At an art gallery opening, he’d met twin flight attendants who matched him drink for drink before going home with him for an extended threesome adventure.

I’m getting too old for this shit. Should have called in sick today.

As a partner at Murphy, Rannigan, there was no one to question his absence. But it was his turn representing the firm at the job fair at NYU. Brian Murphy was out of the country on vacation. And James Metheny was recovering from surgery. Tonsils or some shit, Michael mused. Didn’t everyone have their tonsils out when they were five?

Sure, the firm needed new talent. But why did he need to be there? He knew exactly why. Without his presence, John Hemphill would be the senior man there, and that couldn’t happen. Hemphill’s an idiot, he thought.

The car dropped him at the entrance to Vanderbilt Hall. He knew it well. After all, NYU was his alma mater. He took a moment to straighten his tie before entering the building. As expected, the hall was full of fresh young faces, soon-to-graduate litigators who needed jobs. Unconsciously his eye roved, looking for nubile young female candidates. Not necessarily for the firm, mind you. He was always on the lookout for his next conquest. He passed a group of girls who giggled as he walked by.

“Ladies,” he greeted them, flashing his mega-watt smile. Just get this over with, he begged as he zeroed in on the Murphy, Rannigan table.

Already seated at the table were John Hemphill, Stan Hodges, and Ellen Standifer. The trio were associates from the elite 50th floor of Murphy, Rannigan. They were good enough at what they did, which was mostly research and legwork, with the occasional foray into the courtroom when necessity called. Each had a laptop and on the table was a spreadsheet they’d worked out back at the office. Of course, they’d vetted possible candidates before they ever set foot at the university. Preparation saves time in the long run, they knew.

Michael took a bottled water from the table and sipped, standing behind the three and continuing to scan the room. “What’ve we got?” he asked.

Hemphill gave him a brief rundown. “We’ve interviewed five candidates so far, five of the ones we were interested in. We’ve turned away about a dozen others that didn’t meet our standards,” he related in his adenoidal drone that so grated on Michael.

“You’re turning away interviewees who aren’t on your candidate list?” Michael snapped. “How sure are you that your list is accurate? Paper and data don’t always tell the story.” Hemphill reddened a bit.

“Well, I…” the man floundered.

Michael grinned to himself. It’s the little pleasures in life that make it all worthwhile, he thought. He watched as a young woman crossed the floor, seeming to make a beeline for their table. She was petite, with red hair, and she was wearing a grey suit paired with a green silk blouse. What have we here, he wondered.

“Hello,” said the young woman. “I’d like to interview with your firm.” She reached across the table to shake hands with the attorneys seated there.

“And you are?” Michael asked, still standing behind the others.

“Oh, sorry,” she said, clearly flustered. She opened her folio to remove copies of her resume and several slipped out, sailing across the floor. Michael watched in amusement as she scrambled to gather them up again. “Sorry,” she repeated, as she handed a document to each of them.

“Mary Margaret Flynn,” Michael read from the top line of the resume.

“Um, Maggie, actually,” the young woman corrected.

“Have a seat, Ms. Flynn,” Hemphill directed as they read over her resume. Standifer pulled up Mary Margaret Flynn on their database and Hodges located her name on their spreadsheet. There were two stars beside her name. How have we not spoken with this one yet?

Michael took a seat directly across from her. He was impressed with the resume, and he’d found her name on the spreadsheet before

Hodges had. He looked from the document back up to her face. Her green eyes were wide and as she sat, she fidgeted nervously with the atrocious vinyl folio containing her resumes.

“So Ms. Flynn, your resume is impressive. It says that you interned with Rance Stockwell at the DA’s office. I’m surprised he hasn’t offered you a job.”

“Oh, he has,” Maggie replied. “I just haven’t accepted yet.”

“Looking for better offers, are you?” Michael asked, arching an eyebrow.

“I have a great deal of student loan debt,” she confessed. “It makes sense to me to look around and find my best options.”

Michael leaned back in his chair. “Are you familiar with our firm?” he asked.

“Yes, actually,” Maggie answered. “I heard you speak once at a charity luncheon. You said that everyone is entitled to the best defense possible, regardless of the circumstances of their charges.”

Michael tried to suppress a smile. “I said that, did I?” The others at the table snickered.

Maggie’s face reddened a bit as she glanced down the line of lawyers. “It really resonated with me,” she said quietly. “I also tried one of your cases as a mock trial project.”

“Which case did you choose?” asked Michael.

“People v. Lawson.”

The other three snickered louder and Michael looked down at his notes, suppressing another grin. “Well, Ms. Flynn, if you were going to try one of my cases, you might have chosen one I actually won.”

Maggie glared indignantly at the panel. “I, well, I tweaked it a little. I uncovered evidence that you overlooked.” Michael sat up straight; she had his undivided attention. “Testimony in the deposition was contradicted on the witness stand. The victim stated in the deposition that she’d met the defendant two weeks prior to the incident. On the stand she said she’d just met him that night. It was enough doubt for the mock jury. I won your case.”

Michael looked at the other three. If someone had dropped the ball on the case, he or she was currently seated at the table. They all looked down, suddenly intensely interested in their notes.

He cleared his throat. “It seems, Ms. Flynn, we have everything we need. We’ll make a decision by the end of the week and let you know.”

Maggie stood and reached out her hand. “Thank you for your time.”

“Thank you,” Michael nodded, shaking her hand. He watched her walk back across the room and disappear in the crowd.

RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION, Book 1, Resisting Risk by Pandora Spocks

RANNIGAN’S REDEMPTION
is available, book by book or in one boxed set,
at your favorite online bookseller
books2read.com/RannigansRedemption