Weekend Excerpt–Great News for CHASING ORDINARY!

There was great news this week for my modern-day adult fairy tale.
CHASING ORDINARY was named the 2018 New Apple Summer eBook Awards Medalist in Literary Erotica.

The news is so brand-new, I don’t even have the medallion for the front of the book yet.  But I’m beyond thrilled that my handsome European prince and his sassy ginger sculptor are being honored.

Here’s CHASING ORDINARY, in a nutshell.

Sculptor Petey Cavanaugh has no idea that the handsome businessman she’s falling for
is actually Europe’s most eligible prince.
She’s Nik’s first-ever taste of ordinary, and everything he ever wanted.
If he doesn’t blow it.

 

How about a little teaser?
And don’t miss the official book trailer at the bottom.  😉

Nik peered grimly out the window at the passing grey tableau as the Mercedes made its way uptown toward the exclusive Empire Club.  Dalton Rigby’s great-great grandfather had been a founding member, as the man had been careful to point out every time Nik had ever met him.

At least the food will be good, he consoled himself.  Mentally, he went over his talking points as the city passed by in a gloomy blur.

A flash of color on the sidewalk caught his focus.  Ahead, a woman in a bright red dress was attempting to hail a cab in the pouring rain.  As his car pulled alongside her, he watched in slow motion as a spray of water completely doused her.

“Stop the car!” he shouted.

The driver eyed him in the rearview mirror.

“Stop the car,” he repeated.

“But sir,” Jorgen protested from his seat beside Nik.

Shrugging, the driver stopped, causing the car behind them to slam on its brakes and honk loudly.

Nik was already halfway out of the car.  “Go around the block,” he called over his shoulder as he stepped out into the rain, slamming the door behind him.

The woman was still standing where she’d been when the Mercedes’ front wheel had torn through a deep puddle, spraying her with filthy runoff.  Nik made his way to her, ignoring the rain that pelted him as he walked.

“I’m terribly sorry.  Are you alright?”

She stood shaking from cold, red hair matted to her head, black streams of mascara running down her face like cracks in fine china.  “I’m s-s-s-soaked!” she shrieked.

“Again, I’m so sorry.”  Nik’s expression was contrite.  He shrugged out of his suit jacket and wrapped it around her.  She was tiny, and the jacket nearly swallowed her whole.  He glanced around.  “Is your apartment near here?”

She shook her head.  “I’m locked out.  And I’m unbelievably late.  I can’t go like this.  And I can’t get back into the fucking apartment!  Fuck!”

“My car is coming back around the block.  I’ll give you a ride to wherever you need to—“

At that moment, a boxy delivery truck hit the same puddle, spraying them both.  They gasped in unison.  Momentarily blinded by the wall of water, Nik sputtered and swiped at his face.  “Bloody hell!”

He looked down at the woman whose eyes were impossibly wide with surprise.  “Here comes my car now.  Come with me.  I’m staying at the Plaza.  We’ll call ahead and have the stylist meet us.  Once we’re both cleaned up, I’ll take you where you need to go.”

She looked up at him in alarm.  “I’m not going to your hotel with you!”

“No, I don’t mean…  I realize how inappropriate it sounds, but I promise, I only mean to help.”  He held up his hands in surrender.  “Clearly you can’t stay here.  And you can’t go to wherever it is you were going, not like this.”

He aimed for a reassuring smile.  “The services of the spa and salon will be at your disposal.  And I know St. James will have something for you to wear.”

He watched as she considered her options.  “I feel responsible.  Please let me make things right.”

The black Mercedes pulled up to the sidewalk and the driver walked around to open the back door.  “Please,” he pleaded softly.

The woman drew a shaky breath.  “Okay.  Thank you,” she said quietly.

Jorgen slid out of the back seat and moved to the passenger side of the front.  Nik motioned for the woman to get in, and he climbed in beside her.  The driver returned to his seat and pulled out into traffic.

“Jorgen, call St. James and tell him to meet us at the underground entrance.  Ms.—“ He looked to the woman.

“Oh, Cavanaugh.  Petey Cavanaugh.”  At his befuddled expression she added, “It’s a long story.”

Nik frowned.  “Ms. Cavanaugh is to have whatever services she needs.  When she’s ready, we’ll take her where she needs to go.”

“Yes, sir,” Jorgen responded, taking his phone out of his pocket.

“Thank you,” Petey said sheepishly.  “I’d better call my friend.”

She dialed a number.  “Yeah, it’s me.”  There was a short pause.  “No, I’m not almost to the gallery.  I’ll tell you all about it when I get there.”

Another pause.  “I know, seriously, I do!  Nobody would rather be there right now than I would, but I forgot the umbrella, and I forgot the key, and I’m a total wreck right now, completely soaked to the skin.”

She seemed to listen for a moment.  “I know, but I can’t help it.  I’m headed to the Plaza.  I’ll get cleaned up, and then I’ll be right there.”

Nik watched as she eyed him quickly.  “I don’t know.  Some guy,” she whispered.  There was another pause, and Nik could hear an agitated voice on the other end, although he couldn’t make out the words.

“Okay, Jules, I’m hanging up now.  I’ll let you know when I’m on my way.”  She stabbed at her phone and put it back in the small silver bag she was carrying.

She looked back at him sheepishly.  “My friend.”

“I truly am sorry.  You said you’re late?”

She nodded.  “It’s a gallery opening.  I’m supposed to be there,” she glanced at her watch, “twenty-two minutes ago.”

“I’m late for dinner myself.  At least gallery openings usually run for several hours.  Surely it won’t matter if you’re a bit late,” he said reasonably.

“It’s my show.  It looks kind of bad for the guest of honor not to be there.”

Nik was intrigued.  “You’re an artist.  What is your medium?”

“Sculpture.  I do welded steel and glass pieces.”

He squinted, picturing the petite, feminine woman using a welding torch to bend steel to her will.

“We’re here, sir,” Jorgen announced, interrupting his thoughts.  The car pulled through a security gate into an underground garage.  As it eased up to a pair of double glass doors, Colin St. James stepped out to greet them.

“Holy crap on a cracker,” he exclaimed as first Nik, then Petey, climbed out of the back of the car.  “What on God’s green earth happened to you?”

“It’s raining,” Nik replied succinctly.  “This is Ms. Cavanaugh.  She’s late to her own gallery opening, and obviously, she can’t go like that.  Please see to it that she’s ready in about twenty minutes.  Will that be possible?”

“Twenty minutes?  Are you kidding me?  They don’t call me ‘the miracle worker’ for nothing.”  He scanned Petey up and down.  “Although this might be my greatest challenge yet,” he said under his breath.

She glared up at him through wet lashes.

Nik turned to Petey.  “I’m going upstairs to get cleaned up.  I’ll check on you when I’m ready.”

She nodded shyly, shrugging off his suit jacket and handing it to him.  “Um, thank you.”

He nodded to Colin and turned to head to the elevator.

Colin took Petey by the hand.  “Okay, sweetie, let’s see what we can do.”

***

Petey stared into the dressing room mirror.  “Oh, my God, I look like Alice Cooper on a three-day bender!”

“And we’re getting a picture of it, too,” Colin said, snapping a photo with his phone before she could protest.  “Because this is going to be a hell of a ‘before and after.’”

Colin clapped his hands loudly.  “Okay, people, we have an extreme makeover.  STAT.  Let’s see…”  He circled Petey, brow knit in concentration.  “First, we ditch this horrid dress.  Honey, I don’t know what you were thinking.”

“Unh, this was my friend Jules’ idea,” Petey snapped back.

“Well, what did you do to make her hate you, because this thing is a nightmare.  Arms up,” he directed.

“This from a guy in orange pants,” Petey snarked, as she raised her arms.  Two female assistants gripped the hem of the dress and pulled it over her head.

“These are harvest rust, and they’re Prada.”

“Dude, they’re orange.”  Uncomfortably, she clutched her arms in front of herself in a vain attempt to cover her panties and bra.

Colin barked with laughter.  “I like you.  You’re feisty.”  He continued to peruse her closely.  “And you have great tits.”

He reached to cup one of her breasts and she batted his hand away.  “Hey!  Watch it!”

He just rolled his eyes.  “Honey, please!  Tits are not my thing, except the way they fill out couture.”

To one of the assistants, he snapped, “Elaine, go to the stash of Agent Provocateur and find something in a, what?  34D?”  Petey nodded mutely.

“And Zoe?  I’m seeing her in that pink Solace London.  The one with the mock turtleneck?”  The two women hurried off, presumably to find what they’d been sent to get.

Colin turned back to Petey.  “Get out of your wet undies and slip on a robe.  We’ll get you cleaned up, and then we’ll polish you until you sparkle.  Don’t worry about a thing.”  He winked at her and sent her on her way.

For the next twenty minutes, an entire team worked to put Petey back together.  Her hair was washed and her face was cleaned.  While someone worked on her makeup, another person gave her a pedicure, while a third did her nails.  Finally, her hair was blown out.

Colin returned to inspect their handiwork.  Nodding approvingly, he smiled at Petey.  “Okay red, in the dressing room, you’ll find new lingerie, a dress, and a pair of shoes.  Get dressed and come on out.”

Petey stepped into the dressing room and closed the door.  The mirror was covered with paper, and she’d only seen a maddeningly brief glimpse of herself in the makeup chair.  A plush chair held a cardboard box lined with tissue paper.  Inside were a pretty bra and panty set.  A pink dress hung on a hook on the wall, and she saw a shoe box on the floor.

Lifting the bra from the box, she admired the sheer burgundy fabric, embroidered with peach and deep pink flowers.  The tag still hanging from the garment announced its price–$215.  Petey gaped.  The matching panties turned out to be a thong, priced at $130.

Her most extravagant lingerie purchases had been a few bras from the Victoria’s Secret semi-annual sale.  It had taken over an hour to find something she liked, and she’d had a sneaking suspicion they’d made a stack of ugly bras just so they could discount them.

Shaking off her reservations, she dressed quickly, careful to pull the dress over her head without looking at the tag.  It seemed better not to know.

The shoebox held a pretty pair of mauve velvet ankle-strap stilettos.  She sank onto the chair and fastened them on her feet.  God, what I wouldn’t give for a mirror right now.

Glancing at her watch, she saw that it was exactly twenty-five minutes since he’d left her to go upstairs.  He.  She had no idea of his name.  In all the chaos, she hadn’t thought to ask.

When she opened the dressing room door, a crowd was waiting, with Colin smack in the middle.  There was a collective gasp as he snapped a photo.  The group burst into applause, and Colin took a bow.  “That, ladies and ladies, is why they call me the ‘miracle worker’.

He took Petey by the hand.  “Come look,” he said.  He led her to a tri-fold mirror at the top of a small dais.  “Go ahead,” he nodded.

Petey carefully climbed the three steps to the top, and stopped short.  Gazing back at her was the most beautiful self ever to greet her from a mirror.  Her long red hair was blown out silky and smooth, her makeup, including false eyelashes, expertly applied.  The pastel pink dress fit her like it was made for her, the mock turtle collar hugging her neck, leaving her shoulders and arms bare.  The clingy knit hugged her curves, and the hem hit just below her knees.  The color complimented her hair and skin flawlessly.

Colin stepped up behind her.  “Naturally, the dress is meant to be shorter.  But because you’re such a shorty, it hangs longer on you.  If we had the time, I’d have it taken up.”

Petey turned to him, eyes shining.  “Thank you so much.  I can’t possibly afford these things.  I’ll take them to the one-hour cleaner first thing tomorrow and return them.”

The man gave a friendly chuckle.  “Don’t worry about it, sweetie.”

“Hello?  Is she ready?” a male voice called.

Petey turned around.  Her rescuer had returned.  For the first time, she noticed his British accent.  Their eyes met and she gasped lightly.  He was the most gorgeous man she’d ever seen.  His dark blond hair was neatly trimmed, a thin scruff of beard defining the contours of his chiseled square jaw.  Deep blue eyes gazed back at her, wide with apparent surprise.

Certainly, she’d looked different when last he’d seen her.  As had he, to be honest.  He was now dry, his hair neatly back in place.  While the suit he’d worn earlier had been blue, the current one was a deep charcoal.

They stared across the room for what felt like an eternity.  Finally, she broke the ice.  “Hi.”

“Hello,” he replied softly.  “Are you ready?”

Petey looked to Colin, then back at him.  “Yes, I think so.”

“Before I send you back out in to the monsoon, I’m putting a coat on you.  No more getting drenched.”  An assistant appeared with a trench coat in a black and white chevron pattern.  Colin helped her into it.

She threw her arms around him.  “Thank you!  Thank you for everything.”

“My pleasure, red.  You come back and see me anytime.  I mean that.”  He kissed both her cheeks.  “Have fun.”

She headed to the doorway where he waited.  He called across to Colin.  “Thank you.  You’re a lifesaver.”

Colin laughed and waved.  As the pair left, he shook his head.

“Well, kids, I think we just witnessed history.”

CHASING ORDINARY is available in both digital and paperback
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/ChasingOrdinary

Weekend Excerpt–WARRIOR MINE

Presenting the official book trailer for my new novel,
WARRIOR MINE!

Like all the books in the Dream Dominant Collection, it’s a stand-alone novel.  But it’s a spin-off from Dream Dominant Book 2, LOST & BOUND.  Characters and timelines intersect, but I made sure you can read this new book, even if you haven’t read the other one.

For WARRIOR MINE, I returned to the Canadian setting of LOST & BOUND.  It’s a place near and dear to my heart, a place where I spent many a happy summer vacation during my childhood.

From the mid-1940s, my family owned an island in the northern Ontario wilderness.  We had a tiny log cabin on a little island on a remote lake not far from the town of Elliot Lake.  When I took my kids, they were the 5th generation of my family to spend time there.

In LOST & BOUND, Hollywood bad girl Shasta Pyke stays in the cabin for a while.

Later, in WARRIOR MINE, Scott Nielsen remodels it into a bunkhouse for his outdoors school.

These are actual photos from the Spocks family album.

Because it’s so remote, we flew by bush plane over crystal-clear lakes to reach our island.

In LOST & BOUND, I had Blake Walker use a bush plane to ferry guests to remote cabins owned by Lake Miranda Lodge.

In WARRIOR MINE, Blake’s good friend Scott Nielsen also flies a De Havilland Beaver, and offers to help with flight duties.

Again, these are Spocks family photos.

Ironically as I was writing LOST & BOUND, my parents sold the property.

Here’s a little teaser from WARRIOR MINE.

“What would you do with the lodge, if you could do anything you wanted?”  Amy looked at Jackie curiously.

Jackie gazed dreamily across the water.  “Well, I’d upgrade the whole place.”  She looked at Amy.  “Not modernize it, I wouldn’t want to lose the rustic charm, but…”  She sighed, thinking of the capital it would take to make the place everything she envisioned.  Amy watched her, waiting for her to speak.

“I would put in new beds, update the kitchenettes but use vintage-looking appliances, restore the rooms in the main house to use as guest rooms like they used to be, build a little house for the kids and me to live in…”  She smiled sheepishly.  “Not that I’ve put a lot of thought into it,” Jackie laughed.

Amy smiled.  “I think you have some great ideas.  This is such a special place.  I’d love to see you do really well.”

While she was speaking, Jackie became aware of the buzz of an airplane in the distance.  Normally, she’d assume it was Blake.  Her eyes darted beyond Grant and Emma, to where Blake’s De Havilland Beaver floated, moored to the end of the dock.  But Blake’s plane is here.

Now that they were quiet, the buzz seemed louder.  Both women looked in the direction of the noise.  The plane, a small pontoon plane quite like Blake’s, was coming closer and seemed to be descending toward the far south end of the lake.

“What the…” Jackie murmured.

Using their hands to shield their eyes from the glare of the afternoon sun, they rose from their chairs.  White spray fantailed behind the twin pontoons as the plane landed at the far end of Lake Miranda.  Even Grant and Emma lost interest in their fishing as the plane motored its way toward them.

“Maybe you’d better get in the house,” Jackie said to Amy.

“I’m not leaving you to deal with whatever this is.”

They made their way down the deck steps and across to the dock.  “Go inside, kids,” Jackie said.

“But Mom,” Grant protested.

“Don’t ‘but Mom’ me, do as I say.”

“Aw, man!”

“Aw, man,” Emma echoed.

“In the house.  Now.” Jackie marched purposefully down the dock, and Amy followed along behind her.  Torn, Jackie still debated sending Amy into the house with the children.  Unconsciously, she stepped between Amy and the intruder.

The plane was mere yards away from the dock by this time.  Squinting against the glare, Jackie could see the pilot, his face obscured by green aviator sunglasses and huge headphones.  He appeared to have a light blond beard and mustache.

As he got closer, he cut the engine, and the lake was quiet again.  The door popped open and the pilot swung himself down and grabbed a paddle from the inner side of one of the pontoons, using it to maneuver the aircraft toward the dock.

Headphones removed, Jackie saw that the man had long, thick honey-blond hair that hung in a braid down his back.  He gave a little salute as he got closer.  To Jackie’s relief, he didn’t seem to have a camera.  But her hackles were up anyway.

“No.”  Jackie shook her head firmly.  “You can’t be here.  Just go on back to wherever you came from, this is a private dock.”

“But,” the stranger began.

“Nope, no buts.  You’ll have to go now.”  Jackie planted her feet shoulder-width apart and crossed her arms.

“I talked to Blake a couple of weeks ago, told him I’d be stopping by.”  The stranger smiled reassuringly.  Up close, he was tall, well over six feet, and his forest green polo shirt clung to muscular shoulders and upper arms.  Short sleeves showed tats up both arms.  Khaki shorts revealed strong legs flecked with light hair, and on his feet, he wore battered brown leather boots.

He’d gotten the plane to within a few feet of the dock.  To tie up, a couple of the skiffs would need to be moved.

“Wait,” Amy surprised Jackie, “are you Scott?”

The man’s face lit up in a smile, and he nodded.  “I’m Scott Nielsen, I used to work with Blake.  You must be Amy?”

Hands back on her hips, Jackie moved in front of Amy again.  “Um, yes,” Amy frowned.  “Blake told you about me?”

Scott laughed.  “We’re pretty tight, Blake and me.  He’s like the little brother I never knew I wanted.”

He laughed again.  “And I guess that makes you Jackie.”  Holding the line to the plane, he stepped onto the dock, moved the sunglasses to the top of his head, and offered his hand.  “Scott Nielsen.  Sorry I just barged in on you like this.  I sort of thought Blake would be here.”

Slowly, Jackie reached for Scott’s hand.  “He’s in town, but he’ll be back soon.  I didn’t mean to be rude, it’s just that we’ve had a little bit of trouble recently…”  Her voice trailed off as she stared into his bright blue eyes.

Scott frowned.  “Trouble?”

Jackie shook her head sharply as though to clear the cobwebs.  “Oh, never mind.  Let’s get you tied off.  Can I offer you some iced tea?”

WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4, comes out August 14.
Reserve your copy for the pre-order special of 99¢.
books2read.com/WarriorMine

5

 

Weekend Excerpt–RANSOMING REDEMPTION

RANSOMING REDEMPTION is the third and final book of Rannigan’s Redemption, my ‘spicy vanilla’ erotic romance law drama.

Rannigan’s Redemption is the story of hotshot Manhattan criminal defense attorney Michael Rannigan, and his complicated relationship with Maggie Flynn, the smart redhead he hires straight out of law school to join his elite practice.

By the last book, Michael and Maggie have been friends for years.  Although she’s not anything like the vapid, surgically-enhanced blondes he favors, he’s never been able to shake the attraction he feels for her.

Now, though, this inveterate player feels the need to make amends for the ways he’s used people, to find redemption for all the ways he’s failed those around him, Maggie in particular.

So he hatches a plan to make sure that no matter what might happen in the future, Maggie will be happy.  And he’ll do it, too, even if he has to give her a little push.

Here’s a snippet from RANSOMING REDEMPTION.

Standing in the empty parlor three steps down from the entry, Maggie’s gaze traveled from the intricately designed hardwood floors to the crisp white crown molding, halting in amazement on the ornate stone federalist fireplace.  Winnie was giving a running narrative though Maggie only half heard her.  “Now you’ll notice lots of original details throughout this property.”

“When was this house built?” Michael asked.

“Got to be late 1800s,” Maggie murmured thoughtfully.

“1890 to be precise,” said Winnie sounding pleased.  “You know your architecture.  It’s believed that it was originally built to be the home of a gentleman’s mistress.  He set her up in grand style.”

Maggie giggled.  “Ooh, how scandalous!  What an interesting history.”  She walked the perimeter of the room.  “Michael, do you see the wood inlay in the floor all around the edge?” she asked, stooping to lightly caress the design.  “This is just exquisite.”

She turned to Michael suddenly.  “You’re not seriously considering moving?”

He shook his head.  “Nah, this would be an investment.  I wanted your opinion on the place, though.”  Crossing to a bay window that overlooked the sidewalk and street, he sank onto the seat and put his oxygen back in.  “How about you look it over for me and see what you think.”

Winnie nodded.  “If you go on back, you’ll see they’ve upgraded the kitchen while keeping the original style of the place intact.”

Maggie continued down the hallway past a formal dining room and into the kitchen.  As Winnie had said, it was spacious and open, boasting high end stainless steel appliances and stone counter tops, but nothing overpowered the original stone floor and fireplace.  At the end of the room was a space for a breakfast table and beyond that, tall vintage French doors.

“Oh, Michael, there’s a yard back here,” she called, letting herself out into a small gravel courtyard dominated by a huge old oak tree and edged by landscaping beds.  There are probably tulip and daffodil bulbs that pop up in the spring, Maggie mused.  The brick walls of the garden were covered with ivy.

She returned to the parlor.  “Michael, this is absolutely amazing.”

“You like it, then?” he asked, seeming pleased.

“It’s beautiful.  Maybe you should think about moving,” she said.

“You haven’t seen the upstairs yet,” Winnie reminded her.  “This house has four bedrooms and four and a half baths.  The master suite takes up the entire second floor.  Two bedrooms are on the third floor, and there’s a smaller attic bedroom at the top.  Oh, and the basement is finished.  It’s perfect for a home office or a gym.”

Maggie had just started up the stairs when Michael called from the window seat.  “Hey, Mags?  Do you have a couple of dollars?”

“A couple of dollars?”

“Yeah.  I want to buy a newspaper.”

“Michael, I’ll buy you a paper on the way home.”

“There’s a little store on the corner,” he hooked his thumb toward the window, “I just forgot my wallet.  Can you loan me some money?”

Maggie returned to the living room.  “Oh, for fu-,” she glanced at Winnie, “I mean, for Pete’s sake,” she muttered as she dug though her purse.  “Here’s five bucks.  Honestly, I would be happy to get your paper when we’re finished here.”

Michael flashed his best grin.  “Thanks, Mags.  By the way, can you sign as a witness?  I’ve decided to buy the house.”

Maggie frowned at the document in his hand.  “We haven’t even looked at the rest of it yet.”

“I’ve seen the pictures.  And judging by the way you like this floor, I’m thinking this is a good deal.”

She took the document from him, her brow furrowed in thought.

“Maggie, wait until you see the claw foot tubs in the bathrooms,” Winnie said.  “And they’ve maintained the vintage tile on the floors and walls.”  Maggie looked up from the contract.

“Just sign below me, Mags,” Michael said, pointing to the line.  Distractedly, she took the pen from him and quickly signed her name as Winnie continued talking.

“And the master suite has its own original fireplace similar to the one down here.  Let me show you.”

Taking one last look at Michael, Maggie dutifully followed the realtor up the stairs.  Michael smiled smugly to himself.

RANSOMING REDEMPTION, Book 3 of Rannigan’s Redemption,
is available at your favorite online bookseller,
in both digital and paperback formats.
books2read.com/RansomingRedemption

 

But be sure to start at Book 1,
RESISTING RISK:
books2read.com/ResistingRisk

 

And pssst, just between you and me…
I’ve posted RESISTING RISK chapter by chapter on Book+Main.
Or you can read it in its entirety for FREE at Bellesa.co.

 

Weekend Excerpt–LOST & BOUND

Lost & Bound promo new1

My Dream Dominant Collection is a series of stand-alone contemporary erotic romance novels featuring hot Alpha males, strong red-haired women, and light BDSM themes.  LOST & BOUND is the second book in the collection.

In LOST & BOUND, following a brush with the law, actress Shasta Pyke is sent to cool her heels for a few weeks in the wilderness of northern Ontario.  It’s there that she meets ruggedly handsome Blake Walker, an experienced bush pilot who helps run his family’s remote guest lodge on Lake Miranda.

Initially, Blake’s not too impressed with the lodge’s sole VIP guest.  But as he spends time with her, he begins to see the frightened little girl she hides from the world.  Could it be that Shasta Pyke is the baby girl this Daddy Dom has been looking for?

Here’s an excerpt from LOST & BOUND.

Blake had heard the car pull up.  He dawdled, swiping at imaginary smudges on the passenger door of the de Havilland Beaver that rested at the end of the dock.  He had no desire to get caught up in whatever celebrity fanfare accompanied their new guest’s arrival.

The voices faded after everyone went inside and still Blake waited a few minutes longer before making his way back up the dock toward the front of the lodge.  He was surprised to see a young woman standing alone in the clearing in the center of the cabins.  Her back was to him and he took a moment to watch her.

His first impression was that she was sexy as hell.  Her shoulder-length hair was bright red, and expensive-looking sunglasses sat perched on top of her head.  She was wearing a white halter blouse with a very short black skirt.  Her high-heeled shoes were bright pink suede and they wobbled precariously as she marched around holding her mobile phone in front of her like a divining rod.

When he told her about the lack of signal, she whipped around, giving him a glare that would freeze lava.  Fine, lady, have it your way, he thought.

Thankfully, Jackie came out with a smarmy-looking older guy in an expensive Italian suit.  Blake busied himself retrieving a mountain of bags from the trunk of the black Lincoln.  He noticed that the guest of honor grabbed the suit’s arm and pulled him off to the side for a little chat.  He wondered if her tone was any friendlier with him, and he figured that it wasn’t.

He’d just finished loading all the bags into the front of the red aluminum skiff when Pink Shoes came tapping down the dock.  His gaze started at the shoes and slid up shapely legs to the tight skirt and curved hips.  The deep V in the halter top hinted at stellar tits and her lips were a deep red.  She wore too much makeup in his estimation, but there was no denying that Shasta Pyke was hot.

“Are you ready to head over to the island?”

He watched her grip her huge black leather shoulder bag, hiking it higher up on her bare shoulder.  “Um, yes, please.”

Blake wasn’t sure, but she seemed embarrassed by her earlier behavior.  He offered her his hand and she took it, gingerly stepping into the boat.  She sat on the center bench, facing forward, away from him, and clutching her bag like it was a life preserver.

***

               They didn’t speak during the ten-minute ride across the water to the small island in the middle of Lake Miranda.  It would have been difficult over the roar of the small outboard motor, even had she been facing him.

Blake expertly angled the small boat to rest beside the tiny dock and killed the motor, tying off his end before jumping out and tying the front end as well.  Then he again offered his hand, helping Shasta climb out of the boat and onto the dock.

She stood taking in the view as he unloaded her things.  The lodge was visible across the water, seemingly closer than it actually was, judging by the ten-minute ride.  If she hadn’t been in such a foul mood, she would have found the place beautiful.  The only sound she could hear was the wind in the tops of the countless pine trees covering the island.  It would be a short climb up to the crest of the island where a log cabin sat.  She could see a stone-surrounded fire pit flanked by a quartet of dark green wooden Adirondack chairs and further away, stretched between two large pines, was a white canvas hammock.

When all her things were on the dock, Blake turned to her.  “Let me take you to the cabin.  There are a few things I need to show you.”

He took off up the hill and Shasta teetered along behind him, carefully avoiding large rocks that were in the way.  “Are you making it?” he called over his shoulder.

“I’ve got this, don’t worry about me,” she muttered.

Blake turned away and grinned to himself.  He was waiting for her when she finally made it up the hill.  “I hope you brought other shoes.”

Out of breath, Shasta put her hands on her hips and nodded.

He unlocked the door and held it open for her to enter the cabin.  She stepped into an open room featuring a seating area in front of a fireplace immediately to her right.  Further into the room, a kitchen was arranged in the back left quarter of the space with a cast iron stove on the back wall and a kitchen table pushed against the right wall down from the fireplace.  Between the fireplace and the kitchen table was a small desk that held some sort of radio equipment.  Shasta peered into an alcove to her left and saw that it was a tiny bedroom.

“Now,” Blake was saying, “the lights run on propane.  You turn this little lever and you can light them with a lighter.  The fridge and the cooktop also run on propane.  Same thing, you turn the knob and then light it with the lighter.  I already lit the pilot on the fridge and it should be fine.”  He indicated a small metal box beneath the kitchen counter.

Wordlessly, Shasta followed him around the room, trying to take in all his instructions.  “Now if you want to bake, or if you’re just cold, you can build a fire in the stove.”  He showed her where to put the wood.  “And there’s always the fireplace.  Wood is stacked outside against the back of the cabin.  I can always bring you more, too.”

He waved at the few kitchen cabinets.  “We’ve stocked the cabinets and the refrigerator but if you need anything, just let me know.”  He headed for the door.  “Water comes from a spring near the front of the island.”

“Wait.  What?”

“Water.  You know, to drink?”

Desperately, Shasta searched the room, making a beeline to the sink.  Instead of a faucet, there was a green-painted old-fashioned hand pump.  She worked the handle a few times and a spurt of water came out.  She looked back to him, bewildered.

“Well, you can’t drink that.  Not without boiling it for about ten minutes.  It comes straight out of the lake.  Use it for dishes and things.  You can drink the spring water right out of the ground.”

“Wait a second.  Where’s the bathroom?”

“I was just going to show you.  Follow me.”

Blake headed out the door and Shasta followed along behind him.  He turned down the right side of the cabin, following a narrow trail through the trees.  Shortly, the path opened onto a small clearing and to the right of the clearing was a tiny log structure.  “Here’s your bathroom,” he pointed.

She began to shake her head.  “Oh, no, no, no, no, no,” she murmured.  “There must be some mistake.  I don’t do outhouses.  Does Eddie know about this?” she demanded.

“Who’s Eddie?” Blake returned, picturing the smarmy suit guy.

“No.  Absolutely not.  This is completely unacceptable.  Besides,” she breathed deeply, trying to regain her composure, “where is the shower?”

“Well, some guests bathe in the lake.”  He took in her incredulous expression and continued.  “On the other hand, we do have a solar shower.  I’ll show you.”

Shasta followed him down the other side of the cabin, to the place where the tiny bedroom jutting out from the main cabin made a little sheltered corner.  A post was situated in the corner with a pulley rigged to the top.

“This is a solar shower.”  Blake held up a large flat rectangular vinyl pouch that was clear on one side and black on the other.  The clear side had a large round valve and there was a handle on one end.  The other end had clear tubing attached and at the end of the tubing was a tiny shower head.

“You fill this up with water, seal the valve, and lay it out in the sun.  The dock is a good place.”  He watched as Shasta held her forehead with the palm of one hand, gaping at him in disbelief.  “Anyway, when you’re ready for a shower, you hang it up here,” he indicated the pulley, “and just shower away.  The spruce trees right here make for privacy, although you shouldn’t have any folks out on the lake, seeing as how you’ve rented out the whole place.”

Wordlessly, Shasta turned and hobbled back to the front of the cabin, sinking into one of the Adirondack chairs.  Blake followed, hands in his pockets, uncertain whether or not to continue the tour.  She glanced up at him, deciding to change tacks.

“Listen,” she smoothed, “we seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot.”  She pasted on her dazzling Shasta Pyke smile.  “Obviously, there’s been some kind of mistake.”  Standing, she approached him, pushing her glasses back up onto her head and fixing him with soft brown eyes.

“Here’s the thing.”  She reached out to stroke his arm, biting her lower lip provocatively.  “I can’t stay here.  And you don’t want me here, not really.  The place is already paid for.  Just,” she stepped closer, brushing her breasts against his arm, “maybe you could drive me someplace where I can get a cab or an Uber or something, and I’ll be out of your hair.”  She wrinkled her nose and winked.  “What do you say?”

A slow smile spread across Blake’s face.  “What do I say?”  He laughed lightly, shaking head.  “I say, you’re a piece of work, lady.”  With that, he turned.  “I’ll leave you to it, then.”

“Wait!” she shouted after him.  “You can’t just leave me here!”

He waved over his head and didn’t turn around.

“Come back here!  You come back here right now!”

Wordlessly, he cast off from the dock and pushed the boat away from the shallow water.

“What about my bags?  They need to be taken to the cabin!”

“And it will be dark soon.  So you might want to get on that,” Blake chuckled.

Shasta was on the dock by now and she stomped her foot, fists balled at her sides.  “Do you know who I am?” she screamed.

“You look to me like a little brat who needs her ass tanned,” he fired back.

She shrieked unintelligibly and threw a rock at the boat.  She missed by a mile and the rock plonked harmlessly into the water.

Blake laughed again, started the engine, and headed back to the lodge.

LOST & BOUND is available at your favorite online bookseller:
books2read.com/LostandBound

I’m currently hard at work on WARRIOR MINE, Dream Dominant Book 4.  Although it’s a stand-alone novel, it’s a spin-off from LOST & BOUND.

I’m planning on a summer release.  Keep watching for the reveal of the gorgeous cover, designed by the ever-sexy and talented Linzi Basset.

Weekend Excerpt–FOR SPARROW

jessi bath

She’s a sub without a Dom.
He’s a Dom without a sub.
For the time being, it’s perfect.

FOR SPARROW is the third book in the Dream Dominant Collection.  It’s the winner of the 2017 New Apple Award in Literary Erotica, and it’s a Golden Flogger Nominee for Best BDSM book of 2018.

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?

Here’s a HOT teaser from FOR SPARROW.

Jessi stared at herself in the bathroom mirror. The image she saw looked tired, dark circles under listless eyes. She turned to the side, examining herself in profile. She’d probably lost weight, although she’d never step on a scale to find out.
Facing forward again, she reached up, twisting her long auburn hair into a topknot, and she turned her head this way and that. Forty-five. She didn’t look so bad, did she?

Do you suppose a man like Judd might be attracted…

Her eyes widened. Where did that thought come from? She had just been staring at her dead husband’s closet. How could she even think about…

A determined glint in her eye, she slowly removed her clothes, dropping item after item until she stood nude in the mirror. She used a tortoiseshell clip to fasten her hair up again and stood, hands on her waist, assessing what she saw. Her face was virtually unlined, only the slightest hint of laugh lines at the corners of her eyes. She traced the fingers of her right hand along her jawline. Fastidious application of sun block over the years had undoubtedly helped.

Nothing like creamy Irish skin to discourage a love of sunbathing, she considered.

Her gaze slid down from her face, skipping over her breasts to her stomach, which was amazingly flat.

Yeah, grief will do that to you. She snorted at the thought.

She skimmed further down to the V where her legs met. A light smattering of red pubic hair didn’t hide the cleft there. Judd had been insistent about her toenails. Would he think that she needed to wax, too?

Lightly, she smoothed her fingertips down her neck and hesitated briefly before bringing up her hands to cup her breasts. They’d increased over the years, from a B cup before Cara had been born, to the DDs they were now. They weren’t as high as they used to be, she noticed, hefting their weight in the mirror. She slid her hands to capture her rose-tipped nipples between her fingers, squeezing them and causing them to pebble tightly.

God, she wanted a man’s hands there. Judd’s hands. There was no sense in denying it. Not in the privacy of her bathroom, at least.

He’d given her permission for release. Once. He’d been very clear about it. She felt the need in her core.

Naked, she returned to Graham’s closet. As her Master, he’d been the keeper of their toys. Ignoring a flicker of guilt, she opened the door and pushed aside his suits and slacks. When they’d bought the house, Graham had kindly accepted the smaller of the two master closets; his was merely a rack of clothes behind a door. Jessi had been treated to the huge walk-in on the opposite wall.

But it was behind his things, on a shelf at the back, where he kept the ornate burlwood box that held their small assortment of dildos, vibrators, clamps, and other toys, and it had been Graham who had chosen what they’d use and when.

Jessi realized that part of her objection to Cara’s plan might have stemmed from the fear of her children discovering her stash of sex toys. She suppressed a smile at the picture of her daughter unearthing the box in front of her boyfriend.

It’s going to stay in my closet from now on, she thought, closing the door and placing the box on the bed. Lifting the hinged lid, she scanned the contents. The wand was always a good choice. But she craved penetration. Moving aside the wand, she selected the rabbit vibrator with its clear pink latex design. She closed the lid of the box, carried it to her closet where she placed it on a low shelf, and took the chosen vibrator into the bathroom.

Up to her neck in lavender-scented bubbles, Jessi sighed. The room was lit only by a handful of tea light candles she’d placed around the edges of the garden tub. She closed her eyes and recalled the feeling of being in Judd’s arms earlier in the day. He’d told her that he was proud of her, and that had pleased Jessi immensely.

And he’d given her permission to come. The impish sparkle in his eyes had held the promise of a skilled lover.

Her eyes popped open. Why had she thought that? Nevermind. Focus on the task at hand.

She leaned back once again, eyes closed, as she began to stroke and knead her breasts, pulling her nipples tightly, picturing lips suckling them, a tongue caressing them, as the heat built between her thighs. She slid one hand lower to stroke her needy sex, finding the sensitive nub erect with arousal. Rubbing intensely, she brought herself to the edge of orgasm, but slowed down. If she was only getting one, she was going to make it last.

Her hands retreated to her breasts again, then slowly traveled back down to her pussy, where she nearly rubbed herself to completion again. This time, she picked up the pink rabbit waiting on the edge of the tub and clicked it once. Lowering the vibrator to her clit, she gasped as her eyes rolled back with pleasure. Realizing she couldn’t hold out much longer, she slid the phallus to her sensitive entrance, pressing slowly into her core, all the while imagining Judd, holding himself over her, pushing his way into her needy space. The outer part of the dildo vibrated against her clit as she fucked herself.

“Oh, God,” she moaned softly, her moment building. “Oh, shit, holy…Judd!” Orgasm thundered over her as she gasped, her body shuddering with intense release. As her quaking subsided, she switched off the dildo, but left it in place as she floated back to earth.

Sparrow 5 star review

FOR SPARROW is available in both digital and paperback formats at your favorite online bookseller.

Weekend Excerpt–Lost & Bound

Lost & Bound new cover 2

Hollywood bad girl Shasta Pyke is used to getting her own way.  But she’s met her match in Dominant mountain man Blake Walker.  Initially, he’s not too impressed with the new VIP guest at his family’s remote guest lodge.  But maybe she’s the baby girl this Daddy Dom’s been looking for.

This book, the second in the Dream Dominant Collection, is on my mind a lot these days.  I’m currently writing Dream Dominant Book 4, WARRIOR MINE, which is a spin-off of LOST & BOUND.

Still a stand-alone novel, WARRIOR MINE picks up the story of Blake’s sister Jackie, and her new love interest, Blake’s friend Scott.

But today, I want to give you a snippet from LOST & BOUND.

Curiosity got the better of Shasta as the black Lincoln pulled up to the red-painted clapboard lodge.  The trip down the unpaved drive from the highway had taken a good fifteen minutes.  A friend of a friend of someone Eddie knew had told him about the place.

Shasta had checked it out on her phone.  The website wasn’t kidding when they said ‘remote.’  The tree-shrouded driveway opened up onto a clearing to reveal the large main lodge and a sprinkling of small cabins, all painted the same warm red.  A sparkling lake was visible beyond the buildings and Shasta could see a small plane at the end of a long dock.

She climbed out of the back of the car and took a few steps to stretch her legs.  Still wearing the outfit she’d worn to court, she realized that stilettos were probably not the way to go on the soft ground.

Eddie looked at her across the top of the car.  “Well, kiddo, are you ready?”

She flipped her red hair in annoyance and followed him up the front steps and into the two-story building.

They were greeted by a petite brunette woman with a friendly face.  “Welcome!  We’re so glad to have you.  I’m Jackie Walker.  This place has been in my family for three generations.”

Shasta shrugged noncommittally.  Eddie filled in the gap.  “Thank you.  Shasta is understandably tired from the trip.  I can take care of checking her in.”

“Of course,” Jackie replied, watching Shasta curiously.  “Let’s get that squared away now.”

Shasta wandered over to a window and peeked out.  “If you think I’m staying in one of these little shacks, you’re crazy.”

“Oh, no, Ms. Pyke, we have you in the island cabin.  It’s very private,” Jackie assured her.

“Hmm, island cabin.  That sounds more like it.”  Digging into her huge black leather bag, she extracted her phone and stalked outside.  It wasn’t that she was anxious to talk to anyone.  She simply felt humiliated.  Her life had spun so far out of her control and she felt like an errant child.  She stabbed at the phone anyway, and she was irritated to find that there was no signal.

“Why can’t I get some fucking bars?” she muttered to herself, waving the device around as if she’d catch a signal if she hit just the right angle.

“You won’t find a signal.  There are no towers for about a hundred miles.”

Shasta turned and glared at the source of that information.  He was a good foot taller than she, with broad shoulders wrapped in some sort of flannel.  He had dark brown hair with caramel highlights that glinted in the sunlight filtering through the tall pine trees, and he’d pulled it back, presumably to keep it out of his eyes, which were the most sparkling blue.

Seeing her glare, he raised both hands in mock surrender and walked away, heading for the front door of the lodge.  The door opened just as he reached it.

“Oh, good, you’ve met Blake.  Blake will be taking you across to your cabin.”

“Oh, good,” Shasta muttered as Eddie shot her a dirty look.

Jackie chose to ignore her sarcasm.  “He’ll load your things into the boat and you can get settled.”

“Okay, kiddo, this is where I leave you.”  Eddie crossed to Shasta.

“Can I speak to you for a moment?” she asked him.  She took his arm and led him a few feet away.  “Please,” she begged, clutching his hand, “please don’t leave me here.  Don’t make me do this.”

“You’ll be fine.  Look at me,” he soothed.  He gently took her chin and raised her eyes.  “You’ve got this.  It’s just a vacation.  I’ll be back to get you in no time.”

Waves of desolation washed over Shasta and she felt hot tears threatening.  She pulled her sunglasses into place and cleared her throat.  “Okay, fine, whatever.”

Eddie flashed his winning smile.  “That’s my girl.  I’ll see you in a few weeks.”

Shasta fought panic, willing her breathing to return to normal as she watched the car carrying Eddie disappear down the drive.  She turned to see the woman watching her curiously.

“Blake probably has your things in the boat by now.  But you’re welcome to stay for supper before you go out to the island.  It’s not fancy, but it’s good.”  The woman smiled reassuringly.

Uncomfortable, Shasta crossed her arms in front of herself.  “No, thanks, I’ll just go to my place now.”

The woman nodded.  “If you just take that path, you’ll end up at the dock.”  She waved to her right.  “The kids and I leave for Orlando in the morning.  Blake will be here to help you with anything you might need.”

Wordlessly, Shasta nodded and headed off in the direction the woman had indicated.

***

Blake had heard the car pull up.  He dawdled, swiping at imaginary smudges on the passenger door of the de Havilland Beaver that rested at the end of the dock.  He had no desire to get caught up in whatever celebrity fanfare accompanied their new guest’s arrival.

The voices faded after everyone went inside and still Blake waited a few minutes longer before making his way back up the dock toward the front of the lodge.  He was surprised to see a young woman standing alone in the clearing in the center of the cabins.  Her back was to him and he took a moment to watch her.

His first impression was that she was sexy as hell.  Her shoulder-length hair was bright red, and expensive-looking sunglasses sat perched on top of her head.  She was wearing a white halter blouse with a very short black skirt.  Her high-heeled shoes were bright pink suede and they wobbled precariously as she marched around holding her mobile phone in front of her like a divining rod.

When he told her about the lack of signal, she whipped around, giving him a glare that would freeze lava.  Fine, lady, have it your way, he thought.

Thankfully, Jackie came out with a smarmy-looking older guy in an expensive Italian suit.  Blake busied himself retrieving a mountain of bags from the trunk of the black Lincoln.  He noticed that the guest of honor grabbed the suit’s arm and pulled him off to the side for a little chat.  He wondered if her tone was any friendlier with him, and he figured that it wasn’t.

He’d just finished loading all the bags into the front of the red aluminum skiff when Pink Shoes came tapping down the dock.  His gaze started at the shoes and slid up shapely legs to the tight skirt and curved hips.  The deep V in the halter top hinted at stellar tits and her lips were a deep red.  She wore too much makeup in his estimation, but there was no denying that Shasta Pyke was hot.

“Are you ready to head over to the island?”

He watched her grip her huge black leather shoulder bag, hiking it higher up on her bare shoulder.  “Um, yes, please.”

Blake wasn’t sure, but she seemed embarrassed by her earlier behavior.  He offered her his hand and she took it, gingerly stepping into the boat.  She sat on the center bench, facing forward, away from him, and clutching her bag like it was a life preserver.

Lost & Bound NEW COVER

Stay tuned for news about the release of WARRIOR MINE.

In the meantime, you can find LOST & BOUND
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/LostandBound

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

Weekend Excerpt–And Great News for FOR SPARROW!

I’m so thrilled to announce that FOR SPARROW, Dream Dominant Book 3, was named the New Apple 2017 Medalist Winner for Literary Erotica!

The book is special to me for a number of reasons.  First, it’s set in my home of Palm Beach County.  Many of the places Jessi and Judd go, beaches and restaurants and other places, are some of my local favorites.  I also dedicated the book to two lovely subbie friends of mine who inspired the story.

So for it to receive recognition is really the cherry on top!

FOR SPARROW, like all my Dream Dominants, features a light BDSM theme.  In this story,  when Jessi’s husband and Dominant, Graham, dies unexpectedly, she discovers that he’s made provision for her in the form of a surrogate Dom.

Sexy firefighter paramedic Judd promised his friend Graham he’d be happy to look after Jessi until she gets back on her feet, in the unlikely event that something happened to Graham.  But a platonic Dom/sub relationship is a damn odd arrangement.

Could it be that Graham had something more permanent in mind?

Here’s a little teaser from FOR SPARROW.

Slowly, Jessi became aware of the drone of some sort of lawn equipment.  Damn neighbors.

She tentatively cracked open one eye and wondered at the gecko staring back at her.  Holy shit, I slept outside. 

She carefully peeled her cheek from the seat cushion and pushed herself to a sitting position on the lounge chair, immediately regretting the sudden movement.

“Oh, my God,” she groaned, reaching to hold her head.  Still, the relentless sound of trimmers echoed in her ears.  From her position at the edge of the pool deck she could see past the end of the house, and to her surprise, a stranger was in her yard.

Ignoring the pounding in her head, she stood and walked toward the source of the sound.  A tall muscular man with short brown hair was trimming her hedges.  He was dressed in an orange Dolphins t-shirt, khaki cargo shorts, and worn brown leather work boots.

“Excuse me!” Jessi shouted, the effort sending pain shooting through her head.  The man didn’t respond.

Moving closer she tried again, holding her head with both hands to prevent it from blowing apart.  “I said, excuse me!”

Startled, he jumped and turned off the offending machine, his brown eyes made larger by surprise.  “I’m sorry, did I wake you?” he asked.

“What are you doing here?” Jessi asked.

“I’m trimming these hedges.”

Jessi frowned.  “Yeah, I can see that.  I mean, why are you on my property, trimming my hedges?”

The man frowned as well.  “Um, I mentioned to you that I’d be here today to help out with your lawn.”

“Who are you?  When did we decide that you’d come here to do my hedges?”

He smiled in a friendly way.  “I’m Judd.  Farris.  We spoke at the funeral?  I said that I’d be over today to help out.”

Jessi blinked at him, trying desperately to recall ever having had a conversation with this…Judd person.

“Out by your pool?  I know, there were a lot of people here.  It probably all runs together.”

You have no idea, she thought.  Then her memory stirred.  “Oh, you were friends with Graham?”

He grinned broadly.  “Exactly.  Graham and I used to go for coffee every once in a while.”

Jessi aimed for a kind smile.  “Well, look Judd, I appreciate your thoughtfulness.  But you really don’t need to come over here and trim the hedges.  It’s very nice of you, but I’ll be okay.”

Judd shook his head.  “I promised Graham I’d check in on you, take care of things like this.”

“That’s great of you, but there’s no need.  I release you from your promise,” Jessi said, her patience wearing thin.

“It was a promise I made to Graham.  You have nothing to do with it,” he said reasonably, and he prepared to continue with his work.

“I have everything to do with it.  Graham isn’t here.  You’re dealing with me, now.”

Judd let the trimmer hang down at his side and looked at her intently.  “You look like shit, if you don’t mind me saying so.  When is the last time you combed your hair?  You have little leaves in it.”

Jessi’s eyes went wide and she started to reply, but he cut her off.  “You do realize you’re standing in your yard wearing only a stained men’s undershirt, right?  I was trying to ignore it, but damn.  A guy can only keep his eyes averted for so long.”

Jessi glanced down to see Graham’s undershirt, which barely covered her panties, and clung to her breasts like Saranwrap in the humidity of the morning.  “Shit!” she swore.

“No worries, Jessi.  I’ll be out of your hair as soon as I’m done with these hedges,” Judd said as he started the trimmers again and returned to his work.

Jessi hurried back to the pool deck and into the house.

For Sparrow promo 1

Use this link to get your copy of FOR SPARROW:
books2read.com/ForSparrow

Weekend Excerpt–CHASING ORDINARY Releases Tuesday, Feb. 13

My new ‘spicy vanilla’ modern-day adult fairy tale, CHASING ORDINARY, comes out Tuesday, February 13, just in time for Valentine’s Day!  It’s the dreamy romance I’ve always wanted to read.

Until release day, you can
reserve your copy
for the special pre-order rate of 99¢!

Here’s the official description:

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?

Check out the official CHASING ORDINARY book trailer.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, how about a steamy excerpt?

Magnum?  Seriously?”

Bedroom mess with lingerie shoes and condom quick sex conceptHe pulled her closer, gently running his thumb across her lips.  “So pretty,” he breathed before plunging his mouth to hers.  She responded to his fervor, reaching to stroke his cheek, to tangle her fingers in the hair behind his ears.

Wrapping an arm around her waist, he pulled her astride his lap, never breaking their kiss.  Gripping her ass, he pulled her closer, aware of his burgeoning erection.  She rested her hands on his shoulders, grinding against him as she deepened the kiss.

The car stopped and the driver cleared his throat.  “We’re here, sir.”

Breathless, they froze.  In a husky voice, she said, “Do you want to come in?”

Eyes locked on hers, he nodded.  “Yes.  I would definitely like to come in.”

When the car door was opened, Petey stepped out onto the sidewalk in front of Jules’ apartment.  Nik followed, murmuring something Petey didn’t catch to the driver, who nodded, closed the door, and returned to the driver’s seat.  Petey looked to Nik questioningly.

“I told him I’d call when I’m ready to return to the hotel.”

Together, they made their way up the steps to the front door.  Nik paused, putting a hand on Petey’s shoulder.  “I don’t have…“  He raised his eyebrows.  “I didn’t have the thought that I’d need…“

Petey’s eyes widened.  “Oh,” she said, as she got his meaning.

He hooked a thumb in the direction of the car.  “I could have Lars go—“

“God, no!” she exclaimed, mortified.  “I’m sure Jules will have condoms.”

Red-faced, she unlocked the front door and let them into the entry.  Taking his hand, she led him to the steps he’d climbed earlier in the evening.  Four flights of stairs later at Jules’s apartment, she glanced up at him, blushing again as she unlocked the door and they quietly went inside.

A small lamp in the far corner and the light over the stove prevented the living room from being completely dark.  Glancing around as she closed the door, she saw Jules’ black overcoat hanging over the arm of a chair in the living room, and her bedroom door was closed.  Jules is home, she thought.

She turned to Nik, who took her hand and drew her closer, planting a soft kiss on her lips.

“Would you like some wine?” she whispered.

He nodded, so she carefully set her bag in the chair by Jules’ coat and crossed to the small refrigerator.  She took out a nearly full bottle of sauvignon blanc, and retrieved a pair of wine glassed from the cupboard over the fridge.  These she handed to Nik, nodding to the black iron spiral staircase.  “Go ahead upstairs,” she whispered.  “I’ll find the…”  She raised her eyebrows and nodded toward the bathroom.

Taking the wine and glasses, he kissed her again and softly padded up the stairs.

When she heard his footfalls on the loft above, Petey slipped off her ankle boots and tiptoed to the bathroom.  Gingerly, she opened the door to the medicine cabinet, but didn’t see what she was looking for.  Squatting, she opened the cabinet beneath the sink and frantically sorted through the various items there, with no luck.

“Shit!”  She wondered if she should have let Nik ask the driver to go to the 24-hour pharmacy down the street after all.

“Psst!”

Petey froze.  She heard it again.

“Psst!”

Peeking out the bathroom door, she saw that Jules’ bedroom door was cracked open and an extended hand proffered a box of condoms.

Petey took the box, scanning it quickly.  “Magnum?  Seriously?” she whispered.

Jules lifted her upturned palm in a one-handed gesture.

“Thanks!” Petey whispered.

Jules formed a circle with her thumb and forefinger, flashing the ‘okay’ signal, then quietly closed her door.

Breathing out nervously, Petey made her way back to the spiral staircase.


Wine and glasses in hand, Nik reached the top of the stairs and paused, taking in the scene.  The room was small, dominated by a king-sized bed covered with a white duvet.  A steel-grey velvet-upholstered headboard rested against a white wall, a gold-framed pair of botanical prints hanging over the bed.  Opposite the bed was a wall of white shelves, housing hundreds of books and the occasional objet d’art.

But he was drawn to the wall of glass beside him.  He let himself out onto the wooden deck, set the wine on a tiny bistro table, and crossed to the far side where a steel railing guarded the edge of the outdoor space.  He peered down at the street four floors below.  At this time of night, all was quiet in the residential neighborhood.  He knew from experience that the neighborhood around the Plaza was busy day and night.  He hadn’t thought to find such a quiet space within the city.

He turned to look back at the apartment, where he saw Petey reach the top of the stairs, her gorgeous red hair reflecting the moonlight shining in through the skylight.  He smiled as he watched her pause, looking around the room in puzzlement.  Then she turned and met his eyes, smiling in relief.

“Hello,” she said as she let herself out onto the deck.  “I wondered where you’d gone.”

Nik approached her, gesturing to the table.  “I couldn’t resist this lovely terrace.  It’s still such a beautiful night.”  He poured wine for both of them.

Petey accepted the glass he offered her, and they both sipped quietly.  She glanced at him shyly.  “I, um, found what I was looking for,” she said.

“Did you?” he smiled.  “No sending Lars to the chemist?”

She shook her head.  “No, we’re good to go.”

Nik stepped closer, wrapping his free arm around her waist and pressing his lips to hers.  She tasted of wine and desire.

Petey took a step back, taking his free hand.  “Let’s go inside.”

Taking their glasses with them, they returned inside to the bedroom.  Nik noticed the box she’d left on the bedside table.  They were, indeed, all systems go.

Petey set her wine glass on the table beside the box of condoms and took his glass, too.  She pressed her body to his, reaching up to grip his shoulders.  He leaned down to meet her, and she hungrily claimed his lips, her intensity surprising him.  Then he tightened his arms around her, meeting her heat with his own.  His erection pressed into her belly, and he slid his hands down to grip her firm ass.

She broke the kiss to trail light nips along his jaw line, then down his neck to his collarbone.  Stepping back, she looked up with a gleam in her eye, and began to loosen his tie.

Nik smiled indulgently as she draped the tie on a chair beside them, before going to work on his shirt.  As she exposed his chest, she kissed her way to each succeeding button, while sliding her hand down to the front of his trousers, where she massaged his iron shaft.

When his shirt was unbuttoned, she lightly kissed her way down the happy trail that disappeared at this waistband.  Nik heard a groan and realized that it had come from himself.

She slid the shirt from his shoulders and was momentarily foiled when the sleeves were caught at his wrists.  Fumbling, she discovered and unfastened platinum cuff links, placing them carefully on the bedside table.  “Oops,” she giggled softly.

Nik chuckled too, pulling her to him and kissing her again.  He reached down, grasping the hem of her dress, and slid it up, breaking his kiss to pull it over her head.  Beneath the dress was a matching bra and panty set of silver lace.  As he slid his gaze over her appreciatively, she did a slow twirl to show off the thong.

“Utterly breathtaking,” he murmured.

She smiled sheepishly.  “This was part of what Colin sent.”

“I wholeheartedly approve,” he nodded.  “I will definitely have him send more.”

“Yeah?”

“Oh, yeah.”

She turned, sending a smoldering look over her shoulder, as she reached behind her to unhook the bra, allowing it to slide to the floor.  Slowly, she turned back to face him.  Through the skylights, the moon bathed her breasts in silver light.  Her nipples were tight pink points, and whether from the coolness of the evening or from arousal, he couldn’t say.  For the moment, he simply stared.  “You’re so beautiful.”

Reaching slowly, he cupped her breasts, brushing the erect nibs with his thumbs.  He earned a whimper which he muffled with another deep, languid kiss.  Slowly, he moved them both, gently laying her across the bed.  He lowered himself over her, capturing her lips with his for another brief kiss before wandering lower, unable to resist the temptation of her tight points.

She arched into him as he suckled, lavishing her peaks with his tongue.  As he did, he slid his hand slowly up the inside of her thigh to her sex, cupping it, feeling heat rising from there.  He pressed down with the heel of his hand and Petey gasped, arching once again.  Emboldened by her responsiveness, he pulled aside the grey lace thong and massaged her pussy for a moment before sliding a pair of fingers between her slippery folds.

“Oh, God,” she gasped.

He continued to finger her for a few moments before he withdrew his digits, popping them into his mouth, his stormy blue eyes smoldering.  “Du smager så godt,” he murmured.  “You taste so good.”

CHASING ORDINARY will be available at your favorite online bookseller at this universal link: books2read.com/ChasingOrdinary

Don’t forget to take advantage of the 99¢ pre-order until Tuesday.

Chasing Ordinary 7

Watch This Space–SPY by Maggie Carpenter

SPY
His Mission. His Orders. His Promise

cover

I’m doing the happy dance, you guys!  That’s because award-winning erotic BDSM romance author, and my hero, Maggie Carpenter has a brand new release, and I can’t wait to read it!  Here’s the blurb:

HEARTBREAK AND HEALING. SIZZLING SUSPENSE. SMOKE AND MIRRORS…!

Natalie Freeman, a headstrong, talented art historian, is staring in shock at the man who has broken into her hotel suite. He also broke his promise and her heart two years before. Her fury at his betrayal still burns in her soul, but she’s never stopped craving his decadent desires and take-charge passion.

Oliver Barton, a spy for a secret organization, has been searching for the red-headed spitfire since circumstances ripped them apart. He has finally found her, and to his dismay she’s working for a ruthless Russian gangster, Victor Pichenko.

But Oliver is on assignment, and though he can rescue her from the clutches of the murderous mobster, the perilous mission will put them both in grave danger.

SPY stars an edgy British tough guy, a wily willful woman, salacious sex and sizzling suspense. If you enjoyed the best selling Motorcycle Master and Cowboy by this author, you’ll love this riveting romance.   

 

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Here’s where you can get your copy of SPY:
AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2C3vpJF
APPLE: https://tinyurl.com/y8set4lv
KOBO: https://tinyurl.com/yae4ueyu

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 Wouldn’t you love to read a steamy excerpt from Spy?  I knew you would.  Here you go…

Half-naked and nervously waiting, Natalie wondered why she’d purposely disobeyed Oliver’s orders. The way he’d outlined her actions had shone a light on her reckless behavior, yet she’d known she was being an idiot even as she’d watched the garage door roll up and she’d rolled down the drive. She’d also known he’d be furious and put her over his knee. Is that why she’d done it?

“So, bad girl, you look deep in thought,” he declared, entering the room.

“I suppose I am.”

“Pondering your misdeeds?”

“Exactly.”

“Trying to understand why you did what you did, knowing all the while this is where we’d end up? How am I doing so far?”

“One-hundred percent.”

“I could offer theories, but only you know what lives in your heart and head, though one thing is clear. You need to be reminded of my authority and what comes with it. Protection and love.”

“Maybe, yes, I do.”

“And the stinging heat of my hand.”

“Yes, Sir, thank you, Sir.”

“Good. Let’s begin,” he said firmly, settling next to her. “Sit on my lap with your back to me.”

Puzzled, she shifted across and sat on his thighs, and as he placed his hands on her shoulders she felt a slight push.

“Tilt forward.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You’re going to bend all the way over and place your hands on the floor, then move your legs out behind you. Imagine you’re a wheelbarrow.”

“WHAT? But, uh, that’s impossible.”

“No it’s not! Do as you’re told!”

His instruction had been delivered in his brisk British accent, the one that told her he meant business, and tentatively leaning down she squirmed into the awkward position. But she suddenly realized it wasn’t just awkward. It left her vulnerable and exposed.

“You know why I’m going to spank you, you know it’s deserved, and you know why you need it. You also know what I expect you to say next.”

“Please, Sir, will you punish me?”

“I certainly will. I said it before but it bears repeating. You will never, ever, put yourself at risk like that again. Correct?”

“Never, Sir.”

Gazing down at her curvaceous backside and fully revealed charms, he decided when the mission was over he’d immerse her into his decadent world. When he’d discovered her submissive soul he’d started her down the path, and he’d planned a variety of salacious surprises at the remote mountain cabin, but that dream had been shattered by a spray of bullets. As his mind had wandered, he’d been caressing her full plump cheeks, but it was time to spank his beautiful, willful woman.

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A BIT ABOUT MAGGIE

Award-winning and best-selling author Maggie Carpenter has published over fifty romance novels, and is the recipient of a number Romance Reviews awards spanning a variety of genres. Her readers describe her work as, romantic, funny, suspenseful, beyond a five-star read, and exciting romance with a ton of surprises.

Her work includes a best-selling twelve-book contemporary cowboy series, Cowboys After Dark, (http://amzn.to/2ihCNtp), a warrior fantasy trilogy, Warriors After Dark, (http://amzn.to/2iE0cDa) contemporary love stories, and several Victorian romances. His Willful Bride was a #1 best-seller for many weeks and a BookBub Feature Deal. Her most recent series, Alpha Male Masters, (http://amzn.to/2vyj5go) offers undercover agents, bodyguards, cowboys, barbarians, Harley riders and billionaires. Her smart, witty, strong-willed heroines bring unexpected challenge, mystery and humor into the lives of passionate, take-charge men.

Maggie has a history in show-business both in front of and behind the camera, but moved from Los Angeles to live in the Pacific Northwest to pursue her writing. She is an equine enthusiast who rides every day, and writes until the wee hours of the morning when her eyes close only because they must.

This author loves to hear from readers. You can contact her through her website: http://www.MaggieCarpenter.com. Find her on Amazon at http://www.Amazon.com/author/maggiecarpenter. To sample her work for free and subscriber to her newsletter go to www.3FreeBooks.com.

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MAGGIES SOCIAL MEDIA

http://www.MaggieCarpenter.com

https://www.Amazon.com/author/maggiecarpenter

https://www.facebook.com/MaggieCarpenterWriter

YouTube Channel: https://tinyurl.com/y9styy9q

 

Spanking Romance Review Awards

 Best BDSM Contemporary Romance
The British Billionaire Bachelor (Runner up 2015)

Best Regency/Victorian Romance 

His Willful Bride 2015

The Wanton Widow 2016

Best Contemporary Western Spanking Romance

When A Cowboy Loves A Woman 2015

Her Forbidden Cowboy 2016

Best Paranormal Spanking Romance

Warrior and the Mischievous Witch

Best Medical BDSM Romance

Her Doctor in Charge

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