#8Sunday – WeWriWar February 1st

It’s 8 line Sunday again. There are an amazing group of authors from all different genres participating.  Check out  WeWriWar  for a snippet of their work.

My scene continues from last week.

Enjoy:

His shoulders stooped under the weight of her rejection, and his body trembled from exhaustion. The heaviness of his head became too much, and he leaned into his hand.

With no pride left, he finally spoke, “May I please have something to drink before I return to the road?”

She went to the water stand and poured him a cup. Her hair cascaded down her back and he imagined what it would feel like to touch her. His body stirred as if from a deep sleep.

Oh, Iseabail, if only ye knew how much I desire ye. I would take ye as my wife and love ye…

The tracks of her tears gave him pause.

 

TheBruisedThistle_850 (1)

 

 

Available now at: Amazon, BarnesandNoble, Apple, and Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

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Foody Friday – Cranberry Apple Pie with Dawn Marie Hamilton

Thanks for inviting me to share my newest, favorite recipe, Ashley. During the holidays, my husband requested cranberry-apple pie. Although I love to cook and bake, I’d never made and apple pie, never mind cranberry-apple. So, I searched for recipes online and pulled out my mother’s old recipe box. Here is the recipe that evolved. The cranberry-apple pie is yummy served with country-style vanilla ice-cream.

Note: The recipe is on the tart side. If you have a major sweet tooth, consider increasing the amount of sugar.Cran-Apple Pie

Ingredients:

1 package ready-made pie crusts (2 crusts)

4 large apples (peeled and sliced) (3 Braeburn and 1 Granny Smith is nice)

1+1/2 cup cranberries (cut largest berries in half)

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1+1/2 Tablespoons butter (cut into five pats)

  1. Preheat oven to 400º
  2. Flour both sides of one crust and place in 10-inch pie plate.
  3. For pie filling: combine apples, cranberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Spoon mixture into pie crust.
  4. Distribute butter pats over filling
  5. Place second crust on lightly floured surface and cut into strips.
  6. Basket weave strips over pie filling and crimp edges.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes or until crust is golden-brown.

Enjoy!

Bio: Dawn Marie Hamilton dares you to dream. She is a 2013 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist who pens Scottish-inspired fantasy and paranormal romance. Some of her tales are rife with mischief-making faeries, brownies, and other fae creatures. More tormented souls—shape shifters, vampires, and maybe a zombie or two—stalk across the pages of other stories. The Highland Gardens Scottish historical fantasy romance series and the Crimson Storm paranormal series are available in e-book and print. When not writing, she’s cooking, gardening, or paddling the local creeks of Southern Maryland with her husband.

Connect with Dawn Marie at:

Dawn Marie Hamilton Writes Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon

Just in Time for a Highland Christmas, Highland Gardens Book 2.5

Just in Time 300-1-200by300 Can a determined brownie craft a perfect match?

When the Chief of Clan MacLachlan travels to the stronghold of his feuding neighbors to fetch his betrothed, she is gone. A year later, she is still missing. Making life more vexing, a band of reivers are stealing clan cattle, leaving behind destruction. Archibald MacLachlan determines to capture them and administer harsh punishment.

Though once in love with the man, Isobell Lamont refuses to wed her clan’s enemy. After running away, she joins the band of reivers set on revenge.

Can Archibald forgive the raven-haired beauty? Will a journey through time bring them together for a Highland Christmas?

EXCERPT: 

“Can we make snow angels?” Scott hollered over bantering voices.

“Yes, please,” Young Iain begged too.

Laurie urged the lads into jackets and the entire family trudged out into the snowy garden. Patrick flicked a switch. Light illuminated the area, making the snow sparkle. The lads fell onto their backs in the snow, waving their arms and legs. The imprints left behind were the images of angels. Laurie made a large one. Patrick’s even larger.

If a once powerful warrior could display a playful side so could she. Isobell dropped onto her back to make an angel of her own. To her utter surprise, Archie threw off his plaide and plopped beside her in naught but his trews and leine. As they spread their arms to make angel wings their fingers touched. Their gazes met. A thrill shot through her.

Archie’s eyes flared. He must have felt it too.

She couldn’t let the moment pass without making one last memory with him. Isobell squeezed his fingers. “Come with me. I ken a special place.”

Archie grabbed his plaide and they slipped away from the others frolicking in the snow. She guided him through the inn’s garden, along the well-trodden woodland trail, through the meadow and into Laurie’s garden and the privacy of the orchid room. Was doubtful the family or guests would visit on this most special of nights—Christmas Eve.

“Why have you brought me here?” he asked.

“Why do you think?” She hoped her smile appeared sensual.

He raised a brow. She pressed against him, grasped his hands and pulled his arms around her, placing them on her bum. His response, a firm squeeze, urged her on. Stretching up onto the balls of her feet, she leaned in and kissed him as sweetly, as passionately, as her heart demanded.

A rough sound erupted from deep within his throat, a growl, a demand, and the kiss intensified into a meeting of mouths and tongues, wet and wild. Isobell’s breath came from Archie and his from her. When the fever calmed, forehead resting against forehead, they gasped for air.

“So, that is your answer, lass?”

“Oh, aye!” She melted against him.

He glanced around the small glass chamber then stepped away. He grabbed a cushion from one of the chairs and tossed it on the floor. Then another and another. Using all the cushions, he made a fine bed.

Archie dropped onto the cushions, tested their comfort then offered an inviting hand. “Join me.”

She fell on knees on the cushions beside him. Suddenly feeling shy, she tentatively touched his smooth cheek. She had no experience seducing a man.

Archibald wrinkled his nose in the sweetest way. “What?”

“You have been with so many other women. I dinnae ken…”

“Nae so many.”

“But Da said—”

“He said a lot of things that were not true. Aye?”

“Aye.” She lowered her gaze embarrassed for having believed all the lies.

Archie slid a palm over her hair and down an arm. “I will be gentle.”

Available at Amazon for Kindle and in print. Free with Kindle Unlimited.

Does your husband have a favorite dessert? Tell us about it.

 

~Dawn Marie

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Sophia Kimble – Protect Her

I’d like you to welcome a very good friend of mine, Sophia Kimble. We don’t write in the same genre but we do have this very important thing in common – We love writing about amazingly hot heros.  Her debut novel, Protect Her, definitely fits that bill :)

Tell us about Sophia Kimble, the author. 

I began writing my first novel, Protect Her, at the end of 2012, Finished it in June 2012, Signed a contract with Soul Mate Publishing in March, 2014, Released Protect Her on October 22, 2014.

Protect Her is a paranormal romance, and the first in The Druid’s Curse series. I’ve just finished the second, Avenge Her, and have begun the third, Fear Her.

No grass growing under your feet. Wow! Good for you. Tell us what you like best about being a published author.

Making things up!  There’s nothing better than getting paid to let your imagination run amuck.

Well I don’t know if I’d say your imagination has run amuck but the vividness of your story and characters certainly comes from an imagination running wild. They’re great. Are there any similarities between you and them?

Golden Alexander, the heroine in Protect Her, is named after my great aunt. She was the inspiration in so far as her name and ancestry.

I think there are bits and pieces of myself and people I know in all my characters, though there’s not one character who embodies one person as a whole.

What is your writing schedule like?Sophia

Ah… I get up at three am, and write until about noon almost every day. For the rest of the time, until the kids get home from school, I play on social media, market Protect Her, and make posts for my blog.

Do you have any other interests?

I love genealogy, researching and finding my roots, and this is going sound morbid, but I do write paranormal romance…

I love to go to old cemeteries, and check out all the headstones, wonder who the people were, and what their lives were like.

Told you it was a tad morbid. J

No, that’s not morbid. It’s interesting. Or it could be just us. Want to see the pictures I took from the cemetery in Colorado when I was there in November? We are cut from the same cloth! Thank you so much for this interview. I hope the readers really get a sense of who you are and all run out to buy your book because it is great <3

ProtectHer_850HIGHProtect Her

Golden Alexander is trapped in a nightmare.

Trying to flee her hallucination of a demon, she runs heart first into the brooding alpha male she’s been dreaming about for years, and then her nightmare really begins.

Kris Pietka is done with women…he’s broken. But when he meets Golden, an overwhelming need to protect her tests everything he thought he knew about himself, and the paranormal.

A bond forged centuries ago thrusts them together as they search for a way to break an ancient Druid curse prophesying their demise. Racing against the clock, they travel from Vermont, to the Carpathian Mountains in Poland, and the Scottish Highlands in search of answers and a way to break the curse.

But something evil watches—it covets, and time is running out.

Will fate allow love to prevail against unbeatable odds, or will Golden wake to find it was all a delusion?

Available at Amazon

Excerpt:

The side door to the house opened behind her.

“Matka? Dzien dobry? Ma? Hello?”

The deep male voice filled the kitchen. Filled her. Her muscles tightened, her arms vibrated like she’d been doing yard work for the last hour and had just turned off the weed whacker.

Mary raised an eyebrow in her direction before looking past her to the door. “Kris, proszę meet Golden. Come, come.”

Heavy boots sounded on the wooden steps. The loud thumping stopped as if in mid-step and an invisible electric current slammed into her back. Heat spread through her and settled in her belly.

“Matka, what’s going on here?”

“Golden is your Babci’s new caregiver.” Mary enunciated as if she were speaking to a five-year-old. “I told you last week she answered the ad and was coming today. She’ll be starting on Monday.”

Mary glared at Kris and then turned to Golden with an apologetic smile on her face. Kris moved around the table and stood next to his mother.

Her mouth fell open.

He narrowed his piercing blue eyes at her, and a lock of sandy brown hair fell from behind his ear.

Holy shit.

He looked exactly like the man she’d been dreaming of for years.

The once cozy kitchen felt tiny. Airless. Too hot. Using the table as a lever, Golden forced herself to stand and shot a glance in Mary’s direction, worried she was hallucinating her dream man and looked delusional. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d acted crazy. Okay, Mary didn’t act like her new employee was tripping her ass off. Good to know.

Words in a language she didn’t understand flew out of his mouth, his unfriendly gaze fixed on her. Wow, angry much? He was obviously talking about her in a not so nice way, which pissed her off. Combined with her confusion, she was a hot mess. And all the while her emotions were ping ponging, her body pulsed, begging for this jerkoff to touch her.

His brows furrowed, and he ranted as though she weren’t in the room. Rude. New plan. She’d figure out how she’d dreamt of him later. First, she wanted to know what he had against her and why she reacted to the jerk like he’d brought her a dozen roses while hanging out the sunroof of a limo.

Mary cut him off with a single word. “Dosyć!” She closed her eyes and whispered, “Enough.”

Kris sucked in a breath, and without another word, pivoted on his heel and walked deeper into the house.

What was wrong with him? Ever hear of anger management classes? And what was wrong with her Benedict Arnold body? Pick an emotion and stick to it. Anger, that’s what was called for here. Not, gee you’re hot, I’ve been dreaming of you for years. Want to hook up?

Figures, the one guy that finally made her wake up and say hell yes was a total turd.

Connect with Sophia at the following sites:

Website: http://sophiakimble.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sophiakimbleauthor

Twitter: @SophiaKimble https://twitter.com/SophiaKimble

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/SophiaKimble

 

 

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#medievalmonday2015 – Highland Burn

Welcome back to Medieval Monday. Is your TBR list growing phenomenally? Maybe you need to get on some of these books. I could easily spend more time reading than writing with these wonderful authors. Today is just as good with Victoria Zak and Highland Burn. Is her cover hot or what? Enjoy:

HIghlandBurn-Abs21-198x300Blurb: Will Love’s Flame Quench the Dragon’s Fire? …

The past never stays in the past, it rears its ugly head eventually. James the Black Douglas knows this all too well. With a past that has left him vengeful and his dragon blood thirsty, his reputation as a ruthless warrior haunts his enemies in their sleep. As his allegiance stands with Robert Bruce, the King of Scotland, he must now repay a debt to the king and agrees to marry his daughter, Abigale Bruce. The problem is he doesn’t want a wife. When flames start to burn out of control between him and the auburn-haired lass, he must decide to either kindle the flames of passion or shelter her from the truth and set her free.

It’s What Shines in the Dark That Brings Forth Your True Light…

Determined to keep his daughter safe and out of the hands of the English, Robert hides Abigale behind the safe walls of a nunnery. After eight long years of living her life in seclusion, Abigale is finally set free. But her new found freedom comes to an abrupt halt when she learns of her betrothal to the infamous Bogeyman – James the Black Douglas. She soon finds herself falling in love with the uncontainable and haunted man. Is her love enough to soften his hardened heart?

Excerpt:

The unsettled nature of Scotland had left Abigale hardened. She’d seen firsthand the aftermath of battles fought; mended wounds, prayed over dead bodies, and even buried the dead. The nunnery where she grew up would set up tents to aid those wounded in battle. Abigale would assist in surgery and her passion grew for healing the sick and mending wounds. Life was to be valued, not destroyed.

In a way she blamed Lady Scotland for her misfortunes. Her father’s growing need to fight for Scotland had caused her to stay hidden, conceal her true identity, and grow up without a family. Her whole family had been affected by the battles fought for Scotland and the greed of claiming the crown. Though it was true she had long forgiven the Lady; she could not forget.

The Highlander seemed far away in thought, because he took a while to answer. “Some would say I’m a Highlander.” He approached Abigale. “May I?” The beautiful stranger reached for a piece of hair that was stuck to her face and tucked it behind her ear. He brushed a callused finger down her cheek to her slender neck leaving a fiery path trailing behind.

He held her stare and captivated her to the point that she could not form a coherent thought. Her body was no longer hers to control, her heart dropped, and desire pooled in her core setting her body on fire. This Highlander was so close to her she could feel his breath on her skin, she could smell his masculine scent and soon she wanted to taste his lips.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1qUrh7n

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1odTL41

Amazon AU http://bit.ly/1AncKju

Next week Medieval Monday features Carmen Stefanescu. See you then!

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#8Sunday – WeWriWar January 25th

It’s WeWriWar Sunday! Welcome!

It’s 8 line Sunday here along with other amazing authors at WeWriWar who want to share a snippet of their work.

My scene continues from last week.

Enjoy:

She is alive.

He drank in the sight of her as if she were water in the midst of a drought. He ached to touch her–the silkiness of her hair, the softness of her skin–to pull her against him. His elation dampened when she turned toward him, her face dark with anger.

She stood rigid, not even the rise and fall of her chest visible in the fading light. Her eyes were cold as steel. The silence grew. She would not listen to him now.

TheBruisedThistle_850 (1)

 

 

Available now at: Amazon, BarnesandNoble, Apple, and Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

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Foody Friday – Mexican Party Dip with R. L. Syme

Still in search of great Super Bowl recipes? Look no further. This sounds amazing :)

Throwing a Great Party

Growing up with a mother and two grandmothers who were excellent at throwing parties, I’ve tried to pick up their habits over the years. One of the things I believe firmly in is having a signature item at the party. Something that’s sort of a conversation piece.

I’ve seen my grandma make elaborate aspics and my mother spend hours baking pastries from scratch and decorating them like a Christmas Tree. I tend to like to make foods that I can tell stories about. Only makes sense, right… I’m a storyteller by trade.

This is one of my go-to party recipes with a thousand stories. I once served it to a dignitary; I made it at the opening party for the nonprofit I used to run; it’s seen twenty or so Super Bowls; I made it for my housewarming party, and when I sold my first book. It’s one of my favorite things to make, and I think it can be the perfect dip for parties big or small. Plus, it can go in a crock pot and sit there for hours, and it just keeps getting better and better. I hope you enjoy.

Mexican Party Dip

2 T. oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tomatoes, peeled & chopped

(I have never peeled the tomatoes—just chop fine—don’t use canned)

2 T. chopped jalepeno chilies (can be canned)

1-10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach

2 c. grated jack cheese (can substitute pepper jack for more heat)

8 oz cream cheese cut in ½” pieces

1 c. half & half

2 cans 2.2 oz sliced black olives, drained

1 T. red wine vinegar

salt & pepper

A couple hints to start: thaw spinach and squeeze dry in a colander. Also, cut the cream cheese in pieces while it is still firm and cold—don’t let soften first.

Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and chilies and cook 2 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and stir in spinach, cheeses, half & half, olives, and vinegar. Spoon into shallow ovenproof baking dish or warm in crock pot on low. If you bake, heat oven to 325 degrees and bake for 10-20 minutes. I have rarely cooked this in the oven because I like to keep it warm at parties. Keep it on the lowest setting on a crock pot or heat in the microwave occasionally and stir if keeping warm over a long period of time. Can be heated up in the microwave as well. Just stir often during microwaving.

Serve with tortilla chips, and additional chilies for those who like it hot.

Speaking of hot things… I have a book about a firefighter that recently came out. Part of the Somewhere, TX continuity series. Here’s a little about it if you’re interested.

BeccacoverFIRE AWAY by R.L. SYME

Blurb: When two people fall for the same cupcake, more than tempers flare…

Claire Milton moves back to Somewhere, TX with her life in shambles. She lost her job, her savings, and the support of her parents. But she has an idea that will put everything back on track. And she needs Meg Klein’s help. The MatchBaker. When Claire attends her scheduled taste-testing at Meg’s Bakery in Old Town Somewhere, TX, she doesn’t expect to have company, let alone her first crush.

And what a crush he was.

Strapping fireman, town sports hero, all around hunky and currently quite single. So what is Aidan doing at a wedding cake tasting?

Captain Aidan Conley doesn’t get out much. He’s been mostly in limbo, trying to avoid the town gossips who only want to talk about him and his late wife. When doing his sister a favor puts him in the path of Claire Milton, his high school best friend, he can’t stop thinking about how much he wants to kiss her. But when a cold case at the fire house puts his career in jeopardy and Claire is the only person standing between him and a life sentence, he has to put his feelings aside and fight for his life.

But a fireman who knows entirely too much about how to investigate fires must be under suspicion when his wife dies suddenly in a house fire. Even if they were the happiest couple on earth. So when Claire discovers evidence that they weren’t as happy as they seem and it casts a light on Aidan she doesn’t want to admit, she has to choose between her resurfacing feelings and her own safety…

From the Somewhere, TX Volume I boxed set, TEXAS SUNRISE.Becca Box Set

When two people fall for the same cupcake, more than tempers flare…

 

Bio: R.L. Syme writes hot Highlanders and sexy Chefs, and not always in that order. She lives in Montana with her cat who drinks wine and does not answer back when she talks to him.

Website: http://rlsyme.com

Becca Nation: http://on.fb.me/1Bo1h8L

Facebook Fan Page: http://facebook.com/bighopesbigheroes

Twitter: http://twitter.com/beck_a_tron

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rlsyme

Buy Links

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1AbvKCq

Nook: http://bit.ly/1wFafKf

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1wxFaei

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1EdW15O

 

 

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In Celebration of Scotland’s National Bard – Robert Burns

During my trip to Scotland, I was introduced to Robert Burns by way of the Literary Pub Tour. I admit we were in it for the pub tour (aka beer) but the two actors who presented the information about Robert Burns were just adorable. It starts with the man in charge of the tour collecting you all into a back room of the pub.100_0085

“All have your beer?”

“Yes!”

“Fine…” and he starts giving us the background of this man who was quite a…let us say lover of the drink. Suddenly an outraged patron sitting alongside stands up and say “NO! You are wrong! Rabbie was a romantic. A connoisseur of women….” And so it goes from Pub to Pub as they discuss the man’s true character.100_0083

I, being a woman, tend to agree with the pretend patron. Just read his poems! So many are turned into songs that I love to listen to and even if I can’t understand all the words, I feel the depth of his emotions ;) Enjoy:

A Red Red Rose

“O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.

Come join the celebration on January 25th at the Robert Burns Celebration on Facebook

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Sara Walter Ellwood – Gambling On A Secret

Sara Ellwood GamblingOnASecret2 360x540My guest today is Sara Walter Altwood with great news on Book 1 of The Colton Gamblers….

In anticipation of the June release of Book 3: Gambling On A Dream, Kensington Publishing has put Book 1: Gambling On A Secret on sale!

***ON SALE FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY FOR $0.99***

Check this out:

When Charli bets everything on a secret, will she find the deck stacked against her?

Former runaway-turned heiress Charli Monroe is hiding her sordid past and planning a future in Colton, Texas. Attending the local college for a degree in social work, she intends to raise cattle on her newly purchased ranch, which she plans to open as a home for troubled teens. Only a few glitches—the Victorian mansion is crumbling, the barn needs a roof, and her oilman neighbor wants more than friendship. When she meets Dylan Quinn, Charli is willing to take a chance on the town drunk to help her rebuild the rundown ranch.

Dylan has his demons, too. The former Special Forces commander can’t get past his ex-wife’s betrayal and the botched mission that left him with much more than a bad limp. Certain the greedy oilman next door to Charli wants much more than just her heart, Dylan’s even willing to stop drinking in order to protect her.

When things get dangerous and secrets of the past are revealed, is he only looking out for his new employer, or is she the new start he so desperately needs?

 

Excerpt:

Dylan regarded her for a long moment and cocked a brow. Damn, was he making fun of her? He looked her up and down. “Wouldn’t a woman like you be more comfortable getting manicures and massages in a Dallas spa, not worrying about cattle breeds and barn roofs? It’s no secret around town you’re the heiress to the Monroe Farm Equipment fortune, and you sold a huge ranch in Oklahoma your grandfather left you. Why on Earth did you buy a dump like this?”

Now he’d pissed her off. Charli might have more money than she’d ever dreamed of having. She might like to dress in designer clothes, but it was none of this jerk’s business which ranch she bought. Or why she wanted it. She had a business plan and a vision for the ranch; what else mattered? “I happen to like this place. It suits me better than the ranch I sold.”

“Is that so? Did you bring any equipment with you? A tractor, a planter, hay mower, baler, anything?”

He would bring up one of the stupidest things she’d done. Sighing, she admitted, “I sold the equipment with the ranch when I decided to leave Oklahoma. One more reason I need a manager.” Her cheeks burned. “When I sold the ranch after inheriting it, I didn’t intend to buy another.”

“Why did you buy another ranch?” He slid his gaze back to hers and peered at her as if he could read her every thought–but what had her swallowing hard was the spark of something hot in his eyes.

She tightened her arms in the hug she gave herself–a self-protecting, insecure gesture she’d acquired while she lived with her abusive lover in Las Vegas as a teenage runaway.

“Buying a ranch the size of this one isn’t something most folks just wake up and decide to do, Miss Monroe. A ten-thousand-acre spread takes commitment and dedication and is damned hard work.”

Yeah, she knew that.

He looked down at her multicolored Manolo Blahnik five-inch heeled slides. The ghost of a smile touched his lips again, but this time little crinkles formed at the corners of his eyes, which held a spark of interest she didn’t want.

Damn, he was good-looking. She squelched that notion like the roach she’d killed earlier in the house. Hadn’t her life with Ricardo taught her a handsome face meant nothing but trouble?

“I can’t imagine you stuffing those pampered and polished feet into rubber boots to muck around in the barn.”

Me, either. But she would if she had to.

She drew in a breath and dropped her arms to her sides. “I think we should get back to asking questions about you. When your sister called about my newspaper ad, she said you were exactly what I’m looking for.”

He shrugged again in a not-a-care-in-the-world way again. What was this guy’s problem? If she weren’t running out of time, she would tell him to leave. She couldn’t waste this year, which meant she had to get someone hired. And her prospects were limited.

“Can you do the job?”

“Affirmative.”

She waited for him to elaborate, but when he didn’t, she frowned. “Do you have any references?”

“I expected you to ask. Everything you need to know should be in here.”

She moved closer and took the folded sheet of paper he held out the window. After glancing at it, she wasn’t surprised it was a resume, but his listed experience had her heart beating a little faster. She looked up at him. “You have a degree in agricultural business from Texas A & M, started up your own ranch and served in the Army?”

He looked off in the distance. “I was in the service for thirteen years, three years in the Corps of Engineers, four in Airborne and the last six in Special Forces.” His jaw clenched, making his face the chiseled block of cold stone again. “And I know something about building. When I wasn’t deployed, I built the house and barn on my two-hundred acre ranch.”

“You don’t own the ranch now?”

“No. My ex-wife got it in our divorce settlement. I planned to get out of the Army after my last tour in Afghanistan and raise cattle. But things never happen the way we want them to.”

The bitterness of his tone had her stepping away. She shivered again and busied herself with looking at the resume. Whatever his ex-wife had done to him, it wasn’t good. “Your reference list is pretty skimpy.”

“The first name is my old commander, but I just got word he’s shipped out on a secret mission.”

Something wasn’t adding up. Either he was hiding something or his sister had lied about his experience. “Your sister said you worked on Oak Springs Ranch while in high school, but it’s not listed on your resume. Are you related to the owner, Leon Ferguson? You said your mother grew up there.”

His eyes narrowed and his lips thinned into a tight line. “Leon is my mother’s stepbrother. While my grandfather was still alive and ran the ranch, I worked there until I joined the Army after he died. I chose not to mention it.”

But why? She didn’t press the matter. She wasn’t seriously considering him for the job anyway, was she?

She studied the resume again. “Brenda Dailey. Is this person off-limits, too? Or can I speak with her?”

“My ex-wife. I’d appreciate it if you don’t involve her. I put her on there because of the ranch.”

She looked up at him. “The divorce that bad, huh?”

Dylan shrugged and looked away. He gripped the top of the steering wheel hard enough to whiten his knuckles. “Suppose it’s no secret. Our divorce has only been final four months, and she married her baby-daddy the day after it became official. You figure it out.”

“Ouch. Okay, I won’t call your ex. Nevertheless, I’d like to see your house. Your sister mentioned you were a carpenter.” She glanced at the address of his former ranch. “Killeen’s south of here?”

He nodded. “It’s your two hours and tank of gas.”

“Thank you for stopping by. Your number’s on here. I’ll call you.”

“Thanks for your time, Miss Monroe. Good luck with this place.” He looked around at the buildings and over her before he turned the key in the ignition. The rusted bucket of bolts sputtered and the starter groaned before the engine turned over.

As he pulled away, she looked at the piece of paper in her shaky hand and studied his name at the top.

Damn, she’d hoped he was the one.

She crumpled the paper, and the memory of his weathered eyes, as dull and gray as her ranch buildings, came to her. What ghosts did he see when he closed them?

She opened her palm and stared at the wad of paper. Feeling haunted by the past was something she understood very well.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Google

“Full of intrigue, tangled pasts, and raw emotions, this one is guaranteed to keep you turning pages from start to finish and then wishing for one more chapter!”
Carolyn Brown, New York Times bestselling author.

Ms. Brown also named Gambling On A Secret as one of her favorite romance reads in 2012 in the Happy Ever After Blog on USA Today.

“HONESTLY this was a FABULOUS read. Gambling on a Secret is a gripping, entertaining and an absolutely delightful romantic read which is set in the town of Colton located in Texas. Sara Walter Ellwood has scored with this book. This has been one of my favourite reads for 2013…” Read the rest of this 5 Satin Pillow review at Satin Sheets Romance

Get in touch with Sara at:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Also look for:

Book 2: Gambling On A Heart at Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Available now for preorder—Book 3: Gambling On A Dream at Amazon | Barnes and Noble  | Kobo

 

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#medievalmonday2015 – Marek by Bambi Lynn

Welcome to another Medieval Monday. 

The thing I like best about medieval romances are the settings and the opportunity for true romance. Some books start back in time and others, like my guest’s today, like to start in the present and go back in time. My guest today is Bambi Lynn with her book Marek. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to you. Enjoy! (and it’s a tub scene – my favorite!!!)

Marek_Cover.18193459_stdBLURB: Boring accountant, Kitty Petty, struggles to get through each day one at a time since the brutal murder of her husband. She spends every free moment caring for her young daughter, until the night she wakes to find her bed on fire.

Kitty doesn’t know how she got to the year 1196, much less how to get back. But if she doesn’t, her daughter will be institutionalized. Having failed to save her child from the clutches of a madman. Kitty vows to protect her future. But going back to her time means risking her own life and separating her from the knight she has grown to love.

Marek Stone wants to protect his wife from the people of Stonebridge. Katherine has been declared a demon after her miraculous rise from the funeral pyre, and the villagers want justice.

EXCERPT:

Marek jerked the laces free at the waist of his chausses, tugged them off and, naked, padded across to the tub. Stepping over the side, he sank into the steaming water. With a sigh, he closed his eyes, resting his head back against the rim.

The look of ecstasy on his face made Kitty want to rip off her own clothes and jump in with him. She realized she’d never known lust until that moment. She tried to deny it, but the pulse at her core could not be ignored, nor could the moisture that pooled between her thighs. Slowly she tiptoed over until she stood next to the tub, gazing down at him.

He did not open his eyes, but spoke so quietly he must have known she stood next to him. “If you have had a change of heart towards Bria, I am pleased. I would not deny her the affections of her mother. I have often told you not to toy with me, now I demand the same consideration of her. I would not have her disappointed in any way.”

She nodded vaguely, her gaze riveted to the water line just beneath his chest.

When she did not answer, he looked up at her. “Wife,” he snapped. Kitty jumped, having been caught gawking at his nudity, barely hidden beneath the water. “Continue to stare at me thus and you’ll find yourself possessed of me for the first time in years.”

Kitty could think of nothing more pleasant that being ‘possessed’ of this man.

He settled himself once again, but continued to look up at her. “I have not concerned myself with your whoring for some time. But I would like nothing more than for Bria to know the love of a happy family. You are a mistress of deceit. If you can make her believe she has that, I would be…grateful.” His expression softened.

Kitty fairly melted. He loved that child. All he wanted was for her to be happy. She knew in that moment that this man would never allow harm to come to his daughter, much less harm her himself. He wasn’t like Jake. She reached out, traced the tip of her finger along the scar that trailed into his wet hair.

The touch was like an electric shock. The downy hairs on the back of her neck prickled. A shiver racked her whole body.

He must have felt it, too. Marek grabbed her wrist and, before she could say anything to stop him, pulled her over the side and into his lap. Water sloshed onto the floor.

Her first thought, that he was ruining Bria’s favorite gown, evaporated as he pulled her against his chest, crushing his lips to hers.

Kitty knew she should resist. She couldn’t breathe. The frantic, almost desperate movement of his mouth on hers seared her. She kissed him back with all the pent up passion and loneliness she’d felt in recent months.

God! He was a good kisser. His lips were full and seemed to devour her. She opened her mouth wider, taking his tongue inside her. Her hands grasped his shoulders. Oh, but she could get used to this.

And her daughter would perish.

Available At: Amazon, B&N, Apple

Next week I will have the lovely Victoria Zak right here. See you then <3

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#8Sunday – WeWriWar January 18th

Welcome! It’s 8 line Sunday here along with a load of other authors at WeWriWar who want to share a snippet of their work.

My scene continues from last week.

Enjoy:

“I have been on the road for days without rest and little food.” Seumas’s head started to fall back. He dropped down onto the coffer, his legs too weak to support him. “I merely want to talk to ye, and I will be gone…Please.”

The sight of her standing at the window overwhelmed him. A breath of fresh air after being submerged. His lungs filled, yet he could not breathe. His heart sang.

TheBruisedThistle_850 (1)

 

 

Available now at: Amazon, BarnesandNoble, Apple, and Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

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